Brought Happiness Quotes

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After all, what is happiness? Love, they tell me. But love doesn't bring and never has brought happiness. On the contrary, it's a constant state of anxiety, a battlefield; it's sleepless nights, asking ourselves all the time if we're doing the right thing. Real love is composed of ecstasy and agony.
Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. "Can they be brought together?" This is a practical question. We must get down to it. "I despise intelligence" really means: "I cannot bear my doubts.
Albert Camus
Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
I don't think it was pain that made [Vincent Van Gogh] great - I think his painting brought him whatever happiness he had.
David Lynch
How little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their passions were stronger than their virtue.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Do you love me?' I asked her. She smiled. 'Yes.' 'Do you want me to be happy?' as I asked her this I felt my heart beginning to race. 'Of course I do.' 'Will you do something for me then?' She looked away, sadness crossing her features. 'I don't know if I can anymore.' she said. 'but if you could, would you?' I cannot adequately describe the intensity of what I was feeling at that moment. Love, anger, sadness, hope, and fear, whirling together sharpened by the nervousness I was feeling. Jamie looked at me curiously and my breaths became shallower. Suddenly I knew that I'd never felt as strongly for another person as I did at that moment. As I returned her gaze, this simple realization made me wish for the millionth time that I could make all this go away. Had it been possible, I would have traded my life for hers. I wanted to tell her my thoughts, but the sound of her voice suddenly silenced the emotions inside me. 'yes' she finally said, her voice weak yet somehow still full of promise. 'I would.' Finally getting control of myself I kissed her again, then brought my hand to her face, gently running my fingers over her cheek. I marveled at the softness of her skin, the gentleness I saw in her eyes. even now she was perfect. My throat began to tighten again, but as I said, I knew what I had to do. Since I had to accept that it was not within my power to cure her, what I wanted to do was give her something that she'd wanted. It was what my heart had been telling me to do all along. Jamie, I understood then, had already given me the answer I'd been searching for, the answer my heart needed to find. She'd told me outside Mr. Jenkins office, the night we'd asked him about doing the play. I smiled softly, and she returned my affection with a slight squeeze of my hand, as if trusting me in what I was about to do. Encouraged, I leaned closer and took a deep breath. When I exhaled, these were the words that flowed with my breath. 'Will you marry me?
Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember)
There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it. But this is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy.
Ernest Hemingway (A Moveable Feast)
In happy ignorance, I sighed for a world I did not know, where I hoped to find every pleasure and enjoyment which my heart could desire; and now, on my return from that wide world... how many disappointed hopes and unsuccessful plans have I brought back!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
I'm sorry, but I don't want to be an emperor. That's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone, and the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The airplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say, do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. Soldiers! Don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you, enslave you; who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who drill you, diet you, treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines, you are not cattle, you are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don't hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers! Don't fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it is written that the kingdom of God is within man, not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power. Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world! To do away with national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!
Charlie Chaplin
The centripetal force on our planet is still fearfully strong, Alyosha. I have a longing for life, and I go on living in spite of logic. Though I may not believe in the order of the universe, yet I love the sticky little leaves as they open in spring. I love the blue sky, I love some people, whom one loves you know sometimes without knowing why. I love some great deeds done by men, though I’ve long ceased perhaps to have faith in them, yet from old habit one’s heart prizes them. Here they have brought the soup for you, eat it, it will do you good. It’s first-rate soup, they know how to make it here. I want to travel in Europe, Alyosha, I shall set off from here. And yet I know that I am only going to a graveyard, but it’s a most precious graveyard, that’s what it is! Precious are the dead that lie there, every stone over them speaks of such burning life in the past, of such passionate faith in their work, their truth, their struggle and their science, that I know I shall fall on the ground and kiss those stones and weep over them; though I’m convinced in my heart that it’s long been nothing but a graveyard. And I shall not weep from despair, but simply because I shall be happy in my tears, I shall steep my soul in emotion. I love the sticky leaves in spring, the blue sky — that’s all it is. It’s not a matter of intellect or logic, it’s loving with one’s inside, with one’s stomach.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
My tears brought no sense of release or relief. Their flight felt like the lightest, coldest touch of a departing lover.
Anne Giardini (The Sad Truth About Happiness)
Thankfully I had to stand solitary for only one long moment before Jay came back feeling over-the-moon happy. I let his emotion drench me. “What were you and Kaidan Rowe talking ’bout?” Jay asked me. “Man, y’all looked like you were gonna rip each other’s clothes off!” I gasped and smacked his arm, but he didn’t flinch. “We did not.” My eyes darted over to Kaidan for a fraction of a second, and though he was too far away to have heard, the wink he sent me brought another flush to my skin.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Unhappy memories are persistent. They're specific, and it's the details that refuse to leave us alone. Though a happy memory may stay with you just as long as one that makes you miserable, what you remember softens over time. What you recall is simply that you were happy, not necessarily the individual moments that brought about your joy. But the memory of something painful does just the opposite. It retains its original shape, all bony fingers and pointy elbows. Every time it returns, you get a quick poke in the eye or jab in the stomach. The memory of being unhappy has the power to hurt us long after the fact. We feel the injury anew each and every time we think of it.
Cameron Dokey (Belle: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast (Once Upon a Time))
The scene I had just witnessed (a couple making love in the ocean) brought back a lot of memories – not of things I had done but of things I had failed to do, wasted hours and frustrated moments and opportunities forever lost because time had eaten so much of my life and I would never get it back. I envied Yeoman and felt sorry for myself at the same time, because I had seen him in a moment that made all my happiness seem dull.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Rum Diary)
As I focus on diligent joy, I also keep remembering a simple idea my friend Darcey told me once -- that all the sorrow and trouble of this world is caused by unhappy people. Not only in the big global Hitler-'n'-Stalin picture, but also on the smallest personal level. Even in my own life, I can see exactly where my episodes of unhappiness have brought suffering or distress or (at the very least) inconvenience to those around me. The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefiting act, but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you out of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
We come from people who brought us up to believe that life is a struggle, and if you should feel really happy, be patient: this will pass.
Garrison Keillor
Must it ever be thus-that the source of our happiness must also be the fountain of our misery? The full and ardent sentiment which animated my heart with the love of nature, overwhelming me with a torrent of delight, and which brought all paradise before me, has now become an insupportable torment, a demon which perpetually pursues and harrasses me.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
Expectation has brought me disappointment. Disappointment has brought me wisdom. Acceptance, gratitude and appreciation have brought me joy and fulfilment.
Rasheed Ogunlaru
It’s hard to be sad when you’re being useful. And he liked that idea. That service to others brought happiness. It was self-involvement that led to depression, to spiraling questions about the meaning of things.
Noah Hawley (Before the Fall)
Try to find something that makes you happy. Your life is not going to get easier once Queen Levana is your wife. If you had even one small thing that brought you happiness, or hope that things could someday be better, then maybe that would be enough to sustain you.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
Even though nobody knew that you were in my life, you were the person who brought a raft at every rapid current and helped me cross that water safely. I was happy that you were there. I came to tell you I was able to travel through my life because I could come to you when I was anxious, not when I was happy.
Shin Kyung-sook (Please Look After Mom)
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt. I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate. There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid. At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame. I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you. The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you. For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right. I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Her laugh, her laugh was the sound that brought him out of the darkness and into the light. Her laugh dragged him, by his damn collar, through the bullshit clouding his mind and infecting his thoughts.
Anna Todd (After Ever Happy (After, #4))
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow. The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately: I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us." And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real. Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
I'm happy that I have brought laughter because I have been shown by many the value of it in so many lives, in so many ways.
Lucille Ball
He took it for granted that she was content; and she resented his settled calm, his serene dullness, the very happiness she herself brought him.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
As Venus within Eros does not really aim at pleasure, so Eros does not aim at happiness. We may think he does, but when he is brought to the test it proves otherwise... For it is the very mark of Eros that when he is in us we had rather share unhappiness with the Beloved than be happy on any other terms.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
This was a dream. A very bad, bad dream, brought on by liver poisoning from too many gin and tonics. Here it was, a deal with the devil. At what price my soul? He watched me expectantly and threateningly all at the same time. If I said no, I knew what would happen. Save the glass, waitress, I’m drinking from the bottle! Happy hour, with my neck on tap. If I said yes, I’d be agreeing to a partnership with pure evil.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
She gave her a reason to write her own words, to see that words had also brought her to life. "Don't punish yourself," she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was writing.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Let’s take this figure of the feminist killjoy seriously. Does the feminist kill other people’s joy by pointing out moments of sexism? Or does she expose the bad feelings that get hidden, displaced, or negated under public signs of joy? Does bad feeling enter the room when somebody expresses anger about things, or could anger be the moment when the bad feelings that circulate through objects get brought to the surface in a certain way?
Sara Ahmed (The Promise of Happiness)
I have brought you a hero’s fate, and a hero’s fate is never happy. It is never anything but tragic.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
Yet each disappointment Ted felt in his wife, each incremental deflation, was accompanied by a seizure of guilt; many years ago, he had taken the passion he felt for Susan and folded it in half, so he no longer had a drowning, helpless feeling when he glimpsed her beside him in bed: her ropy arms and soft, generous ass. Then he’d folded it in half again, so when he felt desire for Susan, it no longer brought with it an edgy terror of never being satisfied. Then in half again, so that feeling desire entailed no immediate need to act. Then in half again, so he hardly felt it. His desire was so small in the end that Ted could slip it inside his desk or a pocket and forget about it, and this gave him a feeling of safety and accomplishment, of having dismantled a perilous apparatus that might have crushed them both. Susan was baffled at first, then distraught; she’d hit him twice across the face; she’d run from the house in a thunderstorm and slept at a motel; she’d wrestled Ted to the bedroom floor in a pair of black crotchless underpants. But eventually a sort of amnesia had overtaken Susan; her rebellion and hurt had melted away, deliquesced into a sweet, eternal sunniness that was terrible in the way that life would be terrible, Ted supposed, without death to give it gravitas and shape. He’d presumed at first that her relentless cheer was mocking, another phase in her rebellion, until it came to him that Susan had forgotten how things were between them before Ted began to fold up his desire; she’d forgotten and was happy — had never not been happy — and while all of this bolstered his awe at the gymnastic adaptability of the human mind, it also made him feel that his wife had been brainwashed. By him.
Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad)
A book is really like a lover. It arranges itself in your life in a way that is beautiful. Even as a kid, my sister, who was the eldest, brought books home for me, and I think I spent more time sniffing and touching them than reading. I just remember the joy of the book, the beauty of the binding. The smelling of the interior. Happy." [Interview with Emma Brockes, The Believer, November/December, 2012]
Maurice Sendak
I want to be with you.” My words brought a hugegrin to his incredibly beautiful face. “You’re my present and my future,Sadie, I will use whatever power I have to make you happy.” He leaned down and touched his perfect lips to mine, and my heart took flight. I would never get tired of his kiss. Jax Stone was my everything.
Abbi Glines (Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1))
Parents always have their own ideas about how they wish their children to be brought up, both morally and spiritually. But they must understand that their children are not their property; that their children are entitled to pursue happiness in any way they wish.
Graham Masterton (Ritual)
I'd discovered that the sun equated happiness. Its bright and lovely existence was hope incarnate. It exposed the dark, brought forth the light and showed you that no matter how strong or oppressive the night was, that it was infinitely stronger, exponentially more substantial and just because you couldn't see it with your eyes, didn't mean it wasn't still with you. it was stalwart and constant. It was infinite.
Fisher Amelie
I always considered myself a loner. I mean, not like a poor-me, Byron-esque, I-should-have-brought-a-swimming-buddy loner. I mean the sort of person who doesn’t feel too upset about the prospect of a weekend spent seeing no one, and reading good books on the couch. It wasn’t like I was a people hater or anything. I enjoyed activities and the company of friends. But they were a side dish. I always thought I would be happy without them.
Jim Butcher (Ghost Story (The Dresden Files, #13))
I had my arms around his waist, smiling as I looked up at him. Being with Alex made me so completely happy, in an easy, uncomplicated way that I hadn't felt since I was a small child. "I love you," I said. In the five days we'd been there, it was the first time I'd said the words to him in English; they just slipped out. Alex's expression went very still as he looked down at me, his dark hair stirred by the slight breeze. I picked up a sudden wave of his emotions, and they almost brought tears to my eyes. Gently, he took my face in his hands and kissed me. "I love you, too," he said against my lips.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel (Angel, #1))
Curiosity killed the cat, you know, but satisfaction brought him back snap-ass happy.
Stephen King (The Colorado Kid)
I tried to read that book again before I went to sleep. I didn’t like that book, but I kept going for all the reasons a person hangs in with something that isn’t good-you feel bad about not giving it a chance, you´ve already come too far to give up now, you believe it´s going to get better. When you’re a person whose life has mostly brought good things, you believe in goodness. You believe that things will work out. Even the worst things will work out. You believe in a happy ending. But you are naïve. The mostly good in your life has made you that way. You´ve spent so much time seeing the bright side that you don’t even believe the other side exists. You are wrong about that. I closed that book. I wouldn’t open it again, I vowed. It was time to learn something.
Deb Caletti (Stay)
I can't begin to describe how you've touched my heart. You've brought so much joy and happiness to my life. I never thought I would ever be able to love anyone as much as I do you. You've consumed my very being, completing my soul.
Trin Denise (Worth Dying For)
Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal. The winged fairies of Grimm and Andersen have brought more happiness to childish hearts than all other human creations.
L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz, #1))
What is pure Bill? Or excellent or admirable? The death of a million people in a flood? God evidently through so. He is incapable of acts that are not admirable, and it is He who brought about the Flood. How about the slaying of children in Jericho? There are a few Bible stories that are not as terrible as they are happy. We just prefer to leave out the terrible part, but that only makes the good anemic.
Ted Dekker (When Heaven Weeps (Martyr's Song, #2))
And this, too, affords no small occasion for anxieties - if you are bent on assuming a pose and never reveal yourself to anyone frankly, in the fashion of many who live a false life that is all made up for show; for it is torturous to be constantly watching oneself and be fearful of being caught out of our usual role. And we are never free from concern if we think that every time anyone looks at us he is always taking-our measure; for many things happen that strip off our pretence against our will, and, though all this attention to self is successful, yet the life of those who live under a mask cannot be happy and without anxiety. But how much pleasure there is in simplicity that is pure, in itself unadorned, and veils no part of its character!{PlainDealer+} Yet even such a life as this does run some risk of scorn, if everything lies open to everybody; for there are those who disdain whatever has become too familiar. But neither does virtue run any risk of being despised when she is brought close to the eyes, and it is better to be scorned by reason of simplicity than tortured by perpetual pretence.
Seneca (The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters)
happiness and satisfaction always imply some desire fulfilled, some state of pain brought to an end.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Studies in Pessimism (Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer))
Such a letter was not to be soon recovered from. . . . Every moment rather brought fresh agitation. It was an overpowering happiness.
Jane Austen
He kissed her a little more deeply and was happy to hear her gasp of pleasure. The sound brought his erection back to life, and he brushed his fingertips over her collarbone. "How 'bout you hop on up here with me?" "I don't think you're quite ready for that yet." "Wanna bet?" He took her hand and put it under the hospital sheets. The throathy laugh as she gripped him gently was yet another marvel. Just like her constant presence in his room, her fierce protection of him, her love, her strength. She was everything to him. His whole world. He'd gone from being blasé about his death to being desperate to live. For her. For them. For their future. "What do you say we give it another day?" she said. "An hour." "Until you can sit up on your own." "Deal." Thank God he was a fast healer. (..............) Wrath struggled on the bed, trying to force himself upright so that he bore the weight of his upper body on his hips. Beth watched him the whole time, refusing to help. When he was steady, he rubbed his hands together in anticipation. He could feel her skin already. "Wrath," she said with warning as he beamed at her. "Come up here, leelan, A deal's a deal.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
I was on a mission. I had to learn to comfort myself, to see what others saw in me and believe it. I needed to discover what the hell made me happy other than being in love. Mission impossible. When did figuring out what makes you happy become work? How had I let myself get to this point, where I had to learn me..? It was embarrassing. In my college psychology class, I had studied theories of adult development and learned that our twenties are for experimenting, exploring different jobs, and discovering what fulfills us. My professor warned against graduate school, asserting, "You're not fully formed yet. You don't know if it's what you really want to do with your life because you haven't tried enough things." Oh, no, not me.." And if you rush into something you're unsure about, you might awake midlife with a crisis on your hands," he had lectured it. Hi. Try waking up a whole lot sooner with a pre-thirty predicament worm dangling from your early bird mouth. "Well to begin," Phone Therapist responded, "you have to learn to take care of yourself. To nurture and comfort that little girl inside you, to realize you are quite capable of relying on yourself. I want you to try to remember what brought you comfort when you were younger." Bowls of cereal after school, coated in a pool of orange-blossom honey. Dragging my finger along the edge of a plate of mashed potatoes. I knew I should have thought "tea" or "bath," but I didn't. Did she want me to answer aloud? "Grilled cheese?" I said hesitantly. "Okay, good. What else?" I thought of marionette shows where I'd held my mother's hand and looked at her after a funny part to see if she was delighted, of brisket sandwiches with ketchup, like my dad ordered. Sliding barn doors, baskets of brown eggs, steamed windows, doubled socks, cupcake paper, and rolled sweater collars. Cookouts where the fathers handled the meat, licking wobbly batter off wire beaters, Christmas ornaments in their boxes, peanut butter on apple slices, the sounds and light beneath an overturned canoe, the pine needle path to the ocean near my mother's house, the crunch of snow beneath my red winter boots, bedtime stories. "My parents," I said. Damn. I felt like she made me say the secret word and just won extra points on the Psychology Game Network. It always comes down to our parents in therapy.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
I call it Joy. 'Animal-Land' was not imaginative. But certain other experiences were... The first is itself the memory of a memory. As I stood beside a flowering currant bush on a summer day there suddenly arose in me without warning, and as if from a depth not of years but of centuries, the memory of that earlier morning at the Old House when my brother had brought his toy garden into the nursery. It is difficult or find words strong enough for the sensation which came over me; Milton's 'enormous bliss' of Eden (giving the full, ancient meaning to 'enormous') comes somewhere near it. It was a sensation, of course, of desire; but desire for what?...Before I knew what I desired, the desire itself was gone, the whole glimpse... withdrawn, the world turned commonplace again, or only stirred by a longing for the longing that had just ceased... In a sense the central story of my life is about nothing else... The quality common to the three experiences... is that of an unsatisfied desire which is itself more desirable than any other satisfaction. I call it Joy, which is here a technical term and must be sharply distinguished both from Happiness and Pleasure. Joy (in my sense) has indeed one characteristic, and one only, in common with them; the fact that anyone who has experienced it will want it again... I doubt whether anyone who has tasted it would ever, if both were in his power, exchange it for all the pleasures in the world. But then Joy is never in our power and Pleasure often is.
C.S. Lewis (Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life)
The study was slowly lit up as the candle was brought in. The familiar details came out: the stag's horns, the bookshelves, the looking-glass, the stove with its ventilator, which had long wanted mending, his father's sofa, a large table, on the table an open book, a broken ash-tray, a manuscript-book with his handwriting. As he saw all this, there came over him for an instant a doubt of the possibility of arranging this new life, of which he had been dreaming on the road. All these traces of his life seemed to clutch him, and to say to him: 'No, you're not going to get away from us, and you're not going to be different, but you're going to be the same as you've always been; with doubts, everlasting dissatisfaction with yourself, vain efforts to amend, and falls, and everlasting expectations, of a happiness which you won't get, and which isn't possible for you.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
It is that happy stretch of time when the lovers set to chronicling their passion. When no glance, no tone of voice is so fleeting but it shines with significance. When each moment, each perception is brought out with care, unfolded like a precious gem from its layers of the softest tissue paper and laid in front of the beloved — turned this way and that, examined, considered.
Ahdaf Soueif (The Map of Love)
We are to blame for this destruction, we who don’t speak your tongue and don’t know how to keep quiet either. We who didn’t come by boat, who dirty up your doorsteps with our dust, who break your barbed wire. We who came to take your jobs, who dream of wiping your shit, who long to work all hours. We who fill your shiny clean streets with the smell of food, who brought you violence you’d never known, who deliver your dope, who deserve to be chained by neck and feet. We who are happy to die for you, what else could we do? We, the ones who are waiting for who knows what. We, the dark, the short, the greasy, the shifty, the fat, the anemic. We the barbarians.
Yuri Herrera (Signs Preceding the End of the World)
When most people looked at Josie Tyrell, they only saw a certain collection of bones, a selection of forms filling space. But Michael saw past the mouth and the eyes, the architecture of the body, her fleshly masquerade. Other boys were happy enough to enjoy the show, they just wanted to be entertained in the body's shadow theater. But Michael had to come backstage. He went down into the mines, into the dark, and brought up the gold, your new self, a better self. But what good was it if he was just going to leave her behind?
Janet Fitch (Paint it Black)
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done. I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye. But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face. “Is it?...is it?” I whispered to my guide. “Not at all,” said he. “It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.” “She seems to be...well, a person of particular importance?” “Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.” “And who are these gigantic people...look! They're like emeralds...who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?” “Haven't ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.” “And who are all these young men and women on each side?” “They are her sons and daughters.” “She must have had a very large family, Sir.” “Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.” “Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?” “No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.” “And how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.” “They are her beasts.” “Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.” “Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.” I looked at my Teacher in amazement. “Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
It could've been easy to say I was hurt because I'm trans, because someone singled me out for my identity, but there's something weird about that - something off, about suggesting that my identity is the thing that brought me any sort of pain. It's the opposite. Being trans brings me love. It brings me happiness. It gives me power.
Kacen Callender (Felix Ever After)
Youth was the time for happiness, its only season; young people, leading a lazy, carefree life, partially occupied by scarcely absorbing studies, were able to devote themselves unlimitedly to the liberated exultation of their bodies. They could play, dance, love, and multiply their pleasures. They could leave a party, in the early hours of the morning, in the company of sexual partners they had chosen, and contemplate the dreary line of employees going to work. They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. Later on, having started a family, having entered the adult world, they would be introduced to worry, work, responsibility, and the difficulties of existence; they would have to pay taxes, submit themselves to administrative formalities while ceaselessly bearing witness--powerless and shame-filled--to the irreversible degradation of their own bodies, which would be slow at first, then increasingly rapid; above all, they would have to look after children, mortal enemies, in their own homes, they would have to pamper them, feed them, worry about their illnesses, provide the means for their education and their pleasure, and unlike in the world of animals, this would last not just for a season, they would remain slaves of their offspring always, the time of joy was well and truly over for them, they would have to continue to suffer until the end, in pain and with increasing health problems, until they were no longer good for anything and were definitively thrown into the rubbish heap, cumbersome and useless. In return, their children would not be at all grateful, on the contrary their efforts, however strenuous, would never be considered enough, they would, until the bitter end, be considered guilty because of the simple fact of being parents. From this sad life, marked by shame, all joy would be pitilessly banished. When they wanted to draw near to young people's bodies, they would be chased away, rejected, ridiculed, insulted, and, more and more often nowadays, imprisoned. The physical bodies of young people, the only desirable possession the world has ever produced, were reserved for the exclusive use of the young, and the fate of the old was to work and to suffer. This was the true meaning of solidarity between generations; it was a pure and simple holocaust of each generation in favor of the one that replaced it, a cruel, prolonged holocaust that brought with it no consolation, no comfort, nor any material or emotional compensation.
Michel Houellebecq (The Possibility of an Island)
And Kurt. If only he could have seen the joy that his music brought to the world, maybe he could have found his own. My life was forever changed by Kurt, something I never had the chance to say while he was still with us, and not thanking him for that is a regret I will have to live with until we are somehow reunited. Not a day goes by when I don't think of our time together, and when we meet in my dreams there's always a feeling of happiness and calm, almost as if he's just been hiding, waiting to return.
Dave Grohl (The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music)
Speaking of, “When is your birthday?” Strider asked Kaia. Wide silver-gold eyes swung to him. “You don’t know?” “No.” Pouting, she twirled a strand of her hair. “How can you not know?” “Do you know mine?” he asked. “Of course I do. It’s the day you met me. As good a day as any. “No, it’s not, because that was a trick question, baby doll. I don’t actually have a birthday. I was created fully formed, not born.” True story. “You can be such a moron.” She threw up her arms, exasperated. “Don’t argue with me about this kind of thing. I’ll always be right. Seriously. You were dead until you met me and we both know it. Which means I brought you to life. So, happy belated birthday.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld, #8))
As it turned out, Ilsa Hermann not only gave Liesel Meminger a book that day. She also gave her a reason to spend time in the basement, her favorite place, first with Papa, then Max. She gave her a reason to write her own words, to see that words had also brought her to life. "Don't punish yourself", she heard her say again, but there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was writing.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
A true home is one of the most sacred of places. It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world’s perils and alarms. It is a resting-place to which at close of day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow. It is the place where love learns its lessons, where life is schooled into discipline and strength, where character is molded. Few things we can do in this world are so well worth doing as the making of a beautiful and happy home. He who does this builds a sanctuary for God and opens a fountain of blessing for men. Far more than we know, do the strength and beauty of our lives depend upon the home in which we dwell. He who goes forth in the morning from a happy, loving, prayerful home, into the world’s strife, temptation, struggle, and duty, is strong--inspired for noble and victorious living. The children who are brought up in a true home go out trained and equipped for life’s battles and tasks, carrying in their hearts a secret of strength which will make them brave and loyal to God, and will keep them pure in the world’s severest temptations.
J.R. Miller
I have had friends who I decided were not good friends, were people who brought more trouble than happiness, and thus I have found ways to create more distance between us. Now I have the same thoughts about God, my faith, that I had for these friends. God is in my life but I do not depend on him. My God is not a reliable God.
Dave Eggers (What Is the What)
Age brought wisdom, but it also brought a genuine gratitude for the happiness of sharing life with someone as much liked as loved.
Colleen McCullough (Too Many Murders (Carmine Delmonico, #2))
I had no hope,” I sobbed. “You made me hope, you brought me back to life, to happiness and love that I’d never dared to dream of anymore.
Lucian Bane (Dom Wars: Round Six (Dom Wars, #6))
You want to know why I love you. You brought light into my formerly gray existence.” He touched her cheek. “Until you, I never knew a woman could be both friend and lover. You saved me from the dark. I love you for what you are; strong and brave and kind. When I walk into a room and you are there, my heart lifts. When I’m away, just thinking of you makes me smile. Being with you makes me happy. No one else has ever done that. When I am with you, I am whole. Better than whole, for on my own, I’m a worthless fool.
Carolyn Jewel (Lord Ruin (The Sinclair Sisters, #1))
Some of the deepest truths are simple, when seen in the clearest light, and it takes a lucid intellect to grasp them so thoroughly that their simplicity can be brought into that light and offered to all, not just the privileged few.
Bertrand Russell (The Conquest of Happiness (Routledge Classics))
It’s not complicated and it doesn’t compare to my problem, now give me a damn cookie I think I earned it,” Jill snapped. Chris grinned like it was Christmas morning. “Yes, you did.” He brought her a cookie. “Very good, my young one. You’ve made Chris very happy with this little tidbit of information.
R.L. Mathewson (Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel, #1))
God was happy without humans before they were made; he would have continued happy had he simply destroyed them after they had sinned; but as it is he has set his love upon particular sinners, and this means that, by his own free voluntary choice, he will not know perfect and unmixed happiness again till he has brought every one of them to heaven. He has in effect resolved that henceforth for all eternity his happiness shall be conditional upon ours.
J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
Son, you were your mother's peace. You brought her so much peace and joy from the very first time she held you, that she knew she had to name you Pax. Your mother loved you more than anything in the world. She would have gladly given her life a hundred times over to keep you safe. Whatever you do, just live a good life for her. She had so many hopes for you. But when it boils down to it, all she would want is for you to be happy.
Courtney Cole (If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1))
She knew her duty inside and out. The prosperity of the cash drawer brought happiness to husband and wife. Not that Madame Puta was bad looking, not at all, she could even, like so many others, have been rather pretty, but she was so careful, so distrustful that she stopped short of beauty just as she stopped short of life—her hair was a little too well dressed, her smile a little too facile and sudden, and her gestures a bit too abrupt or too furtive. You racked your brains trying to figure out what was too calculated about her and why you always felt uneasy when she came near you. This instinctive revulsion that shopkeepers inspire in anyone who goes near them who knows what's what, is one of the few consolations for being as down at heel as people who don't sell anything to anybody tend to be.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
She gave him a happy look as he followed her out on the water-soaked wooden walk. "This could be fun," she said, then turned, took a running step, and did a couple of back flips—like a middle-school kid at recess. He stopped where he was, lust and love and fear rising up in a surge of emotion he did not, for all his years, have any idea how to deal with. "What?" she asked, a little breathless from her gymnastics. She brushed her wavy hair out of her face and gave him a serious look. "Is there something wrong?" He could hardly tell her that he was afraid because he didn’t know what he’d do if something happened to her. That his sudden, unexpected reaction had brought Brother Wolf to the fore. She threw his balance off; his control—which had become almost effortless over the years—was erratic at best.
Patricia Briggs (Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2))
Holy shadows of the dead, I am not to blame for your cruel and bitter fate, but the accursed rivalry which brought sister nations and brother people to fight one another. I do not feel happy for this victory of mine. On the contrary, I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions. [Addressing the dead Hellenes of the Battle of Chaeronea]
Alexander the Great
I remember the first story he ever wrote me,” she said with a big smile. “‘Once upon a time, there was a boy.’” She let out a long chuckle. “I remember too,” I said. As weird as this feels to say, I was really happy the memory had survived the crash. “I told him it could use a little development, so the next day he brought me another story,” she said. “‘Once upon a time, there was a boy who wanted to fly.’
Chris Colfer (Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal)
The greatest of poems is an inventory. Every kitchen tool becomes ideal because Crusoe might have dropped it in the sea. It is a good exercise, in empty or ugly hours of the day, to look at anything, the coal-scuttle or the book-case, and think how happy one could be to have brought it out of the sinking ship on to the solitary island.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
The librarian was explaining the benefits of the Dewey decimal system to her junior--benefits that extended to every area of life. It was orderly, like the universe. It had logic. It was dependable. Using it allowed a kind of moral uplift, as one's own chaos was also brought under control. 'Whenever I am troubled,' said the librarian, 'I think about the Dewey decimal system.' 'Then what happens?' asked the junior, rather overawed. 'Then I understand that trouble is just something that has been filed in the wrong place. That is what Jung was explaining of course--as the chaos of our unconscious contents strive to find their rightful place in the index of consciousness.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
Really? So you brought home a vampire? Cool. (Starla) I’m not a vampire. (Talon) ’Not exactly,’ he said earlier. What’s not exactly a vampire? (Sunshine) A werewolf. With his aura, it makes sense. Wow, Sunny, you found yourself a werewolf. (Starla) I’m not a werewolf. (Talon) What a pity. You know, when you live in New Orleans, you expect to meet the undead or damned at least once in a while. (She looked back to Sunshine.) You think we should move? Maybe if we lived over by Anne Rice we might catch sight of a vampire or werewolf. (Starla) I’d be happy to see a zombie. (Sunshine) Oh, yeah. You know, your dad said he saw one out on the bayou right before we got married. (Starla) That was probably the peyote, Mom. (Sunshine) Oh. Good point. (Starla)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter #2))
I knew he was unreliable, but he was fun to be with. He was a child’s ideal companion, full of surprises and happy animal energy. He enjoyed food and drink. He liked to try new things. He brought home coconuts, papayas, mangoes, and urged them on our reluctant conservative selves. On Sundays he liked to discover new places, take us on endless bus or trolley rides to some new park or beach he knew about. He always counseled daring, in whatever situation, the courage to test the unknown, an instruction that was thematically in opposition to my mother’s.
E.L. Doctorow (World's Fair)
But coming out of that sleep was excruciating. My entire life flashed before my eyes in the worst way possible, my mind refilling itself with all my lame memories, every little thing that had brought me to where I was. I'd try to remember something else—a better version, a happy story, maybe, or just an equally lame but different life that would at least be refreshing in its digressions—but it never worked. I was always still me. Sometimes I woke up with my face wet with tears. The only times I cried, in fact, were when I was pulled out of that nothingness, when the alarm on my cell phone went off.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
... All who have brought about a state of sex-consciousness are to blame, and it is they who drive me, when I want to stretch my faculties on a book, to seek it in that happy age ... when the writer used both sides of his mind [the male and female sides of his mind] equally. One must turn back to Shakespeare then, for Shakespeare was androgynous; and so were Keats and Sterne and Cowper and Lamb and Coleridge. Shelley perhaps was sexless. Milton and Ben Jonson had a dash too much of the male in them. So had Wordsworth and Tolstoy.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Did anyone ever say that life was to be enjoyed and not suffered? What if the suffering was the point? But I didn't want to suffer anymore. I couldn't take it. That was clear. So I was going to try to be happy, even if it brought me more suffering.
Melissa Broder (The Pisces)
Oh, but I was an idiot. Wanting to be whatever magic she waited for, when I had no magic - only darkness or death to give. But it seemed in that one instant, when she turned to discover what was behind her, that I could have brought happiness to at least one mortal. Me and my dreams of goodness. I had always been a fool for them.
Krisi Keley (On the Soul of a Vampire (On the Soul, #1))
I have one final promise to make to you, one I hope I will never break. I promise to live, richly and shamelessly and with my arms wide open to the world. If there was any part left of you at the end that wished our our great happiness, that truly wanted what was best for us, I think it would be pleased to hear me say it. I do not know if I have justified my choice to you, but I think I have justified it to myself, and that has brought me peace enough.
S.T. Gibson (A Dowry of Blood (A Dowry of Blood, #1))
I believe in a very deep way that our past is what brings us to our future. When I pray for someone, I thank God for every day of their life, for every moment, for every heartbreak and each moment of happiness that has brought them to be this person at this time. I believe in mining through the darkest seasons in our lives and choosing to believe that we’ll find something important every time.
Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
I recall how miserable I was, and how one day you brought me to a realization of my miserable state. I was preparing to deliver a eulogy upon the emperor in which I would tell plenty of lies with the object of winning favor with the well-informed by my lying; so my heart was panting with anxiety and seething with feverish, corruptive thoughts. As I passed through a certain district in Milan I noticed a poor beggar, drunk, as I believe, and making merry. I groaned and pointed out to the friends who were with me how many hardships our idiotic enterprises entailed. Goaded by greed, I was dragging my load of unhappiness along, and feeling it all the heavier for being dragged. Yet while all our efforts were directed solely to the attainment of unclouded joy, it appeared that this beggar had already beaten us to the goal, a goal which we would perhaps never reach ourselves. With the help of the few paltry coins he had collected by begging this man was enjoying the temporal happiness for which I strove by so bitter, devious and roundabout a contrivance. His joy was no true joy, to be sure, but what I was seeking in my ambition was a joy far more unreal; and he was undeniably happy while I was full of foreboding; he was carefree, I apprehensive. If anyone had questioned me as to whether I would rather be exhilarated or afraid, I would of course have replied, "Exhilarated"; but if the questioner had pressed me further, asking whether I preferred to be like the beggar, or to be as I was then, I would have chosen to be myself, laden with anxieties and fears. Surely that would have been no right choice, but a perverse one? I could not have preferred my condition to his on the grounds that I was better educated, because that fact was not for me a source of joy but only the means by which I sought to curry favor with human beings: I was not aiming to teach them but only to win their favor.
Augustine of Hippo (Confessions)
It's not wrong, pal," he said to her back. "You've been brought up to think so. Most of us have. But who are they hurting? Nobody. They're just making each other happy. And you want their heads to roll because it makes you feel funny.
Ann Bannon (Beebo Brinker)
I leaned out one last time and caught a snowflake on my tongue. They tasted so good, so pure and so divine, like nothing I had ever tasted from the sky. It was as if happiness spread through your body with the cold, but then disappeared and brought depression, all in less then two seconds. It was unbelievable, and yet, addicting.
Shannon A. Thompson (November Snow)
Insofar as we appreciate order, it is when we perceive it as being accompanied by complexity, when we feel that a variety of elements has been brought to order--that windows, doors and other details have been knitted into a scheme that manages to be at once regular and intricate. (p184)
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
The novelist’s happy discovery was to think of substituting for those opaque sections, impenetrable by the human spirit, their equivalent in immaterial sections, things, that is, which the spirit can assimilate to itself. After which it matters not that the actions, the feelings of this new order of creatures appear to us in the guise of truth, since we have made them our own, since it is in ourselves that they are happening, that they are holding in thrall, while we turn over, feverishly, the pages of the book, our quickened breath and staring eyes. And once the novelist has brought us to that state, in which, as in all purely mental states, every emotion is multiplied ten-fold, into which his book comes to disturb us as might a dream, but a dream more lucid, and of a more lasting impression than those which come to us in sleep; why, then, for the space of an hour he sets free within us all the joys and sorrows in the world, a few of which, only, we should have to spend years of our actual life in getting to know, and the keenest, the most intense of which would never have been revealed to us because the slow course of their development stops our perception of them.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
Evil is not one large entity, but a collection of countless, small depravities brought up from the muck by petty men. Many have traded the enrichment of vision for a gray fog of mediocrity--the fertile inspiration of striving and growth, for mindless stagnation and slow decay--the brave new ground of the attempt, for the timid quagmire of apathy. Many of you have traded freedom not even for a bowl of soup, but worse, for the spoken empty feelings of others who say that you deserve to have a full bowl of soup provided by someone else. Happiness, joy, accomplishment, achievement . . . are not finite commodities, to be divided up. Is a child’s laughter to be divided and allotted? No! Simply make more laughter! Every person’s life is theirs by right. An individual’s life can and must belong only to himself, not to any society or community, or he is then but a slave. No one can deny another person their right to their life, nor seize by force what is produced by someone else, because that is stealing their means to sustain their life. It is treason against mankind to hold a knife to a man’s throat and dictate how he must live his life. No society can be more important than the individuals who compose it, or else you ascribe supreme importance, not to man, but to any notion that strikes the fancy of the society, at a never-ending cost of lives. Reason and reality are the only means to just laws; mindless wishes, if given sovereignty, become deadly masters. Surrendering reason to faith in unreasonable men sanctions their use of force to enslave you--to murder you. You have the power to decide how you will live your life. Those mean, unreasonable little men are but cockroaches, if you say they are. They have no power to control you but that which you grant them!
Terry Goodkind (Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6))
The great preacher and founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley (1703-1791), was once approached by a man who came to him in the grip of unbelief. "All is dark; my thoughts are lost," the man said to Wesley, "but I hear that you preach to a great number of people every night and morning. Pray, what would you do with them? Whither would you lead them? What religion do you preach? What is it good for?" Wesley gave this answer to those questions: You ask, what would I do with them? I would make them virtuous and happy, easy in themselves, and useful to others. Whither would I lead them? To heaven, to God the judge, the lover of all, and to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant. What religion do I preach? The religion of love. The law of kindness brought to light by the gospel. What is this good for? To make all who receive it enjoy God and themselves, to make them like God, lovers of all, contented in their lives, and crying out at their death, in calm assurance, "O grave where is thy victory! Thanks be to God, who giveth me victory, through my Lord Jesus Christ.
John Wesley
He;s really happy,” Rebecca said. “With his life, with Isabelle. And that’s all thanks to you.” She leaned forward and spoke in a conspiratorial whisper. “When you and Simon first got to be friends and he brought you home from school, my mom said to me: ‘That girl is going to bring magic into his life.’ And you did.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
She lifted up a bag on her shoulder and informed me that not only had she brought me a swim suit, it was a string bikini. I thought I might die of happiness. That last part isn’t true. I was being sarcastic. Sorry.
Penny Reid (Attraction (Elements of Chemistry, #1; Hypothesis, #1.1))
I am not a toy, September! Fairyland cannot just cast me aside when it’s finished playing with me! If this place could steal my life from me, well, I, too, can steal. I know how the world works—the real world. I brought it all back with me—taxes and customs and laws and the Greenlist. If they wanted to just drop me back in the human world, I can drop the human world into theirs, every bit of it. I punished them all! I bound down their wings and I set the lions on them if they squeaked about it. I made Fairyland nice for the children who come over the gears, I made it safe. I did it for every child before me who had a life here, who was happy here! Don’t you see, September? No one should have to go back. Not ever. We can fix this world, you and I. Uncouple the gears and save us both! Let this be a place where no one has to be dragged home, screaming, to a field full of tomatoes and a father’s fists!
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
Heaven and happiness do not exist. These are stories told by your fathers to justify the crime of having brought you into this world. What exists is reality, harsh reality: this slaughterhouse where we came to die, to kill and by the way kill the animal, our neighbor.
Fernando Vallejo
If every parent understood the huge educational benefits and intense happiness brought about by reading aloud to their children, and if every parent and every adult caring for a child read aloud three stories a day to the children in their lives ,we would probably wipe out illiteracy in one generation" Reading Magic Mem Fox
Mem Fox
Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions. Germanic traincar constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy". I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
My realisation that all I had ever done in life, not only in France but in England also, was to watch people, never to partake in their happiness or pain, brought such a sense of overwhelming depression, deepened by the rain stinging the windows of the car, that when I came to Le Mans, although I had not intended to stop there and lunch, I changed my mind, hoping to change my mood.
Daphne du Maurier (The Scapegoat)
I think timing is better left up to God to decide then religious leaders. I once met a man that brought his wife flowers in the hospital. They held hands, kissed and were as affectionate as any cute couple could be. They were both in their eighties. I asked them how long they were married. I expected them to tell me fifty years or longer. To my surprise, they said only five years. He then began to explain to me that he was married thirty years to someone that didn’t love him, and then he remarried a second time only to have his second wife die of cancer, two years later. I looked at my patient (his wife) sitting in the wheelchair next to him smiling. She added that she had been widowed two times. Both of her marriages lasted fifteen years. I was curious, so I asked them why they would even bother pursuing love again at their age. He looked at me with astonishment and said, “Do you really think that you stop looking for a soulmate at our age? Do you honestly believe that God would stop caring about how much I needed it still, just because I am nearing the end of my life? No, he left the best for last. I have lived through hell, but if I only get five years of happiness with this woman then it was worth the years of struggle I have been through.
Shannon L. Alder
I don't want to go back into that dressing room and take off my boots and my pants and start putting on jeans only to discover that the ones you brought me are all too tight, and then when I ask for the next size up, be informed that they're the biggest size you carry. I can't take that today. Seriously, I'll blow my head off. So look at me, look at my ass, look at my gut, take it all in, and then tell me honestly if you anticipate we're going to have a problem.
Sarah Dunn (Secrets to Happiness)
How can one explain this trend towards a more colorless and shallow life? Well, the work was easier, if less healthy, and it brought in more money, more leisure, and perhaps more entertainment. A day in the country is long and hard. And yet the fruits of their present life were worthless compared to a single coin of their former life: a rest in the evening and a rural festivity. That they no longer knew the old kind of happiness was obvious from the discontentment which spread over their features. Soon dissatisfaction, prevailing over all their other moods, became their religion.
Ernst Jünger (The Glass Bees)
Know, then, that now, precisely now, these people are more certain than ever before that they are completely free, and at the same time they themselves have brought us their freedom and obediently laid it at our feet. It is our doing, but is it what you wanted? This sort of freedom?' Again I don't understand', Alyosha interrupted, 'Is he being ironic? Is he laughing?' Not in the least. He precisely lays it to his and his colleagues' credit that they have finally overcome freedom, and have done so in order to make people happy.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
It's clear: if there is no good reason for enviousness, the denominator of the fraction of happiness is brought to zero and the fraction is transformed into a glorious infinity.
Yevgeny Zamyatin (We)
What we cannot admit in ourselves we often find in others. If a person--who speaks of another person whom he hates with a vengeance that seems nearly irrational--can be brought to describe the characteristics which he most dislikes, you will frequently have a picture of his own repressed aspects which are unrecognized to him though obvious to others. -June Singer
Elizabeth Wagele (The Happy Introvert: A Wild and Crazy Guide to Celebrating Your True Self)
I needed to be brought into the loop about who's hot and who's not, when I moved here. You know how it is," he added. "Social status and all that." And then I was deflated, because I understood what he meant. "Yes, I'm sure they were happy to fill you in that I'm part of the 'who's not' category. In fact, I'd imagine I'm probably on the top of that list." He lifted an eyebrow in question, and I noticed the colour of his eyes again for the second time today. "You're kidding, right? I don't think any guy has you on his 'who's not' list." "Then please, enlighten me as to which lucky category I've fallen into. It's always nice to be sorted like inanimate objects.
Lacey Weatherford (Crush (Crush, #1))
Now the same mystery which often veils from our eyes the reason for a catastrophe envelops just as frequently, when love is in question, the suddenness of certain happy solutions, such as had been brought to me by Gilberte's letter. Happy, or at least seemingly happy, for there are few that can really be happy when we are dealing with a sentiment of such a kind that any satisfaction we can give it does no more, as a rule, than dislodge some pain. And yet sometimes a respite is granted us, and we have for a little while the illusion of being healed.
Marcel Proust
I loved you, I love you now, but I’ll be able to go on. I know that I can. You taught me that. Not being with you is far from my dream, but like our hearts, dreams can be broken and repaired again. It’s hard for me not to wonder if I scared you away with all these letters. I hope not. I hope it just made you see how beautiful and amazing you are. I guess I’m realizing now that I just want you to be happy and safe. That’s the most I can hope for now. I brought some of your boxes here but I didn’t open
Renee Carlino (After the Rain)
On my birthday, every year since I turned eighteen, she called me at twelve twenty in the morning to wish me happy birthday and tell me how much joy I brought her. She’d told me she was sorry she couldn’t do it when I turned thirty, and handed me a box filled with little bits of paper. She’d written Happy Birthday to my baby boy on every one. There must have been fifty of them.
T.A. Webb (Second Chances (Second Chances #1))
Making her happy was his vocation. Sure, he loved making money, thrived on it sometimes. The chase was his adrenalin. Being top dog, another high. Even when it brought headache after another. But his girl’s being happy with everything they both could possibly need? Rider had no ceiling on what he wouldn’t do for Zara and Harper.
V. Theia (Mistletoe and Outlaws (Renegade Souls MC #5.5))
He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.) When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded. When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags. Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever - in case I need him. And I expect I will - as I always have. He is just my dog.
Gene Hill
We got passes, till midnight after the parade. I met Muriel at the Biltmore at seven. Two drinks, two drugstore tuna-fish sandwiches, then a movie she wanted to see, something with Greer Garson in it. I looked at her several times in the dark when Greer Garson’s son’s plane was missing in action. Her mouth was opened. Absorbed, worried. The identification with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer tragedy complete. I felt awe and happiness. How I love and need her undiscriminating heart. She looked over at me when the children in the picture brought in the kitten to show to their mother. M. loved the kitten and wanted me to love it. Even in the dark, I could sense that she felt the usual estrangement from me when I don’t automatically love what she loves. Later, when we were having a drink at the station, she asked me if I didn’t think that kitten was ‘rather nice.’ She doesn’t use the word ‘cute’ any more. When did I ever frighten her out of her normal vocabulary? Bore that I am, I mentioned R. H. Blyth’s definition of sentimentality: that we are being sentimental when we give to a thing more tenderness than God gives to it. I said (sententiously?) that God undoubtedly loves kittens, but not, in all probability, with Technicolor bootees on their paws. He leaves that creative touch to script writers. M. thought this over, seemed to agree with me, but the ‘knowledge’ wasn’t too very welcome. She sat stirring her drink and feeling unclose to me. She worries over the way her love for me comes and goes, appears and disappears. She doubts its reality simply because it isn’t as steadily pleasurable as a kitten. God knows it is sad. The human voice conspires to desecrate everything on earth.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
I'm a fucking idiot. No, he was a man in love with a woman who meant the entire universe to him. Like I said, you're a fucking idiot. And for the first time in his life, he was happy being stupid because the only alternative would be existing without her, and now that he'd tasted the sunlight she brought into his world, he never wanted to live in the darkness again. Please don't send me back to the night.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of the Night (The League, #1))
I'd discovered that the sun equated happiness. Its bright and lovely existence was hope incarnate. It exposed the dark, brought forth the light and showed you that no matter how strong or oppressive the night was, that it was infinitely stronger, exponentially more substantial and just because you couldn't see it with your eyes, didn't mean it wasn't still with you, that you couldn't feel it or that it wouldn't come back for you. It was stalwart and constant. It was infinite.
Fisher Amelie
What is this all about,' asked Sai, but her mouth couldn't address her ear in the tumult; her mind couldn't talk to her heart. 'Shame on myself,' she said...Who was she...she with her self-importance, her demand for happiness, yelling it at fate, at the deaf heavens, screaming for her joy to be brought forth..? How dare...How dare you not... Why shouldn't I have...How dare...I deserve...Her small greedy soul...Her tantrums and fits...Her mean tears...Her crying, enough for all the sadness in the world, was only for herself. Life wasn't single in its purpose...or even its direction...The simplicity of what she'd been taught wouldn't hold. Never again could she think there was but one narrative and that this narrative belonged only to herself, that she might create her own tiny happiness and live safely within it.
Kiran Desai (The Inheritance of Loss)
I, too, like to read. Once a month, I go to the local branch. For myself, I pick a novel and, for Bruno, with his cataracts, a book on tape. At first Bruno was doubtful. “What am I supposed to do with this?” he said, looking at the box set of “Anna Karenina” as if I’d handed him an enema. And yet. A day or two later I was going about my business when a voice from above bellowed, ALL HAPPY FAMILIES RESEMBLE ONE ANOTHER, nearly giving me a conniption. After that, he listened to whatever I’d brought him at top volume and then returned it to me without comment. One afternoon, I came back from the library with Ulysses. For a month straight he listened. He had a habit of pressing the stop button and rewinding when he hadn’t fully grasped something. INELUCTABLE MODALITY OF THE VISIBLE: AT LEAST THAT. Pause, rewind. INELUCTABLE MODALITY OF THE. Pause, rewind. INELUCTABLE MODALITY. Pause. INELUCT.
Nicole Krauss
One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give, and so fail to realize your need for God. If everything seems to come simply by signing checks, you may forget that you are at every moment totally dependent on God. Now, quite plainly natural gifts carry with them a similar danger. If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is. “Why drag God into it?” you may ask. A certain level of good conduct comes fairly easily to you. You are not one of those wretched creatures who are always being tripped up by sex or dipsomania or nervousness or bad temper. Everyone says you are a nice chap, and between ourselves, you agree with them. You are quite likely to believe that all this niceness is your own doing, and you may easily not feel the need for any better kind of goodness. Often people who have all these natural kinds of goodness cannot be brought to recognize their need for Christ at all until one day, the natural goodness lets them down, and their self-satisfaction is shattered. In other words, it is hard for those who are rich in this sense to enter the kingdom.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Life was nothing but endless torture. He no longer felt any pleasure watching the sun rise, his every waking moment was sour, ruining the taste of anything that could have brought him enjoyment. As he had never really felt that he was living, he was not afraid of death. He was even happy that, in death, he would find the sole proof that he had been alive.
Martin Page (How I Became Stupid)
The two lovers walked among the willow trees, and the oneness of each was a language speaking of the oneness of both; and an ear listening in silence to the inspiration of love; and a seeing eye seeing the glory of happiness. "Astarte has brought back our souls to this life so that the delights of love and the glory of youth might not be forbidden us, my beloved.
Kahlil Gibran (A Tear and a Smile)
Outside, she thought that there ought to be a word for it: the air temperature that was perfectly neither hot nor cold. One degree lower, and she might have felt a faint misgiving about not having brought a jacket. One degree higher, and a skim of sweat might have glistened at her hairline. But at this precise degree, she required neither wrap nor breeze. Were there a word for such a temperature, there would have to be a corollary for the particular ecstasy of greeting it - the heedlessness, the needlessness, the suspended lack of urgency, as if time could stop, or should. Usually temperature was a battle; only at this exact fulcrum was it an active delight.
Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World)
Dexter the Magnificent, who doth bestride the world like a Colossus, many lovely corpses at his feet, brought to you in live color just in time for the evening news. Oh, Mama, who is that large and handsome man with the bloody saw? Why, that's Dexter Morgan, dear, the horrible man they arrested a little while ago. But Mama, why is he smiling? He likes his work, dear. Let that be a lesson to you--always find a worthy job that keeps you happy.
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter By Design (Dexter, #4))
Now, a month later, I sit, foggy, a similar state of mind, in a different seafood restaurant with a locals-know-every-secret bar, two happy hour martinis downed, fidgeting with my napkin below the lip of the table, and I barely hear Wendy ask me another question. She brought a bag of them tonight.
Justin Bog (The Conversationalist)
Before we can bring happiness to others, we first must be happy ourselves; nor will happiness abide within us unless we confer it on others. If there be a smile upon our lips, those around us will soon smile too; and our happiness will become the truer and deeper as we see that these others are happy. "It is not seemly that I, who, willingly, have brought sorrow to none, should permit myself to be sad," said Marcus Aurelius, in one of his noblest passages.
Maurice Maeterlinck (Wisdom And Destiny)
Right here people might bring up Vincent van Gogh as an example of a painter who did great work in spite of—or because of—his suffering. I like to think that van Gogh would have been even more prolific and even greater if he wasn’t so restricted by the things tormenting him. I don’t think it was pain that made him so great—I think his painting brought him whatever happiness he had.
David Lynch (Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity)
Then I said to myself, "If the centuries are going by, mine will come too, and will pass, and after a time the last century of all will come, and then I shall understand." And I fixed my eyes on the ages that were coming and passing on; now I was calm and resolute, maybe even happy. Each age brought its share of light and shade, of apathy and struggle, of truth and error, and its parade of systems, of new ideas, of new illusions; in each of them the verdure of spring burst forth, grew yellow with age, and then, young once more, burst forth again. While life thus moved with the regularity of a calendar, history and civilization developed; and man, at first naked and unarmed, clothed and armed himself, built hut and palace, villages and hundred-gated Thebes, created science that scrutinizes and art that elevates, made himself an orator, a mechanic, a philosopher, ran all over the face of the globe, went down into the earth and up to the clouds, performing the mysterious work through which he satisfied the necessities of life and tried to forget his loneliness. My tired eyes finally saw the present age go by end, after it, future ages. The present age, as it approached, was agile, skillful, vibrant, proud, a little verbose, audacious, learned, but in the end it was as miserable as the earlier ones. And so it passed, and so passed the others, with the same speed and monotony.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
So? If I die, then I die! The loss to the world won’t be great. Yes, and I’m fairly bored with myself already. I am like a man who is yawning at a ball, whose reason for not going home to bed is only that his carriage hasn’t arrived yet. But the carriage is ready . . . farewell! I run through the memory of my past in its entirety and can’t help asking myself: Why have I lived? For what purpose was I born? . . . There probably was one once, and I probably did have a lofty calling, because I feel a boundless strength in my soul . . . But I didn’t divine this calling. I was carried away with the baits of passion, empty and unrewarding. I came out of their crucible as hard and cold as iron, but I had lost forever the ardor for noble aspirations, the best flower of life. Since then, how many times have I played the role of the ax in the hands of fate! Like an instrument of execution, I fell on the head of doomed martyrs, often without malice, always without regret . . . My love never brought anyone happiness, because I never sacrificed anything for those I loved: I loved for myself, for my personal pleasure. I was simply satisfying a strange need of the heart, with greediness, swallowing their feelings, their joys, their suffering—and was never sated. Just as a man, tormented by hunger, goes to sleep in exhaustion and dreams of sumptuous dishes and sparkling wine before him. He devours the airy gifts of his imagination with rapture, and he feels easier. But as soon as he wakes: the dream disappears . . . and all that remains is hunger and despair redoubled! And, maybe, I will die tomorrow! . . . And not one being on this earth will have ever understood me totally. Some thought of me as worse, some as better, than I actually am . . . Some will say “he was a good fellow,” others will say I was a swine. Both one and the other would be wrong. Given this, does it seem worth the effort to live? And yet, you live, out of curiosity, always wanting something new . . . Amusing and vexing!
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
She was sitting in a dark room, curled up and her head buried on her knees. His name echoing in her mind, like a thunder over a seashore. She was torn between the happiness brought by the waves, that touched her feet and fear of losing herself in the chaos. created by the sound that shattered her whole world into pieces.
Akshay Vasu
I hope to have told you all this myself,” Bail Organa’s voice said. “I hope we have enjoyed many more happy years as a family, that we have seen the Empire fall, and that we have gone forth together to find General Kenobi and your brother. If so, this recording can serve only one purpose. You must be listening after my death, so let this be my chance to say once again how much I love you. No other daughter could ever have brought me more joy.” Tears welled in Leia’s eyes, but she fought them back. If she began to sob, she wouldn’t be able to hear her father’s voice any longer. He concluded, “Please know that my love for you, and your mother’s love, endures long past our deaths. We are forever with you, Leia. In your brightest triumphs and your darkest troubles, always know that we are by your side.” She
Claudia Gray (Bloodline)
He brought her to the moon with a flourish. The near side facing the Earth, not the far side, since he thought they should take the trip in stages. She turned in his arms to look around at where he brought them. "W-what ... " "I told you it would be somewhere special," he said, in the invisible bubble he had created for them. She screamed. He smiled smugly. Yes, this second date destination was worthy of a happy scream. Very few humans had walked on the moon. He knew how rare this opportunity was. Surely it should make up for what had happened on their first date. Grace kept screaming. She turned and clawed at him. "Oh, my God. Oh. My. God. OHMYGOD!" His smile vanished. He tried to get hold of her in a gentle but tight grip. That was more difficult than he expected. She seemed to have acquired a half-dozen arms and legs. He informed her, "You may stop making noise any time now." Somehow she had climbed halfway up his body before he managed to grasp her waist. He plucked her off and set her on her feet. She started to climb up his body again. "Are you having fun?" he asked suspiciously. "We're on the fucking moon!" she shouted. "There's nothing here!" He stared at her. "I don't think you're having fun.
Thea Harrison (Oracle's Moon (Elder Races, #4))
He cupped both my cheeks and released my lips to gaze at me intensely. "I love you, Emma." He croaked as though his throat was also tight. His head shook, "I can't hide it or run from it anymore." His face creased, "It's fuckin' crushing me and I feel like I'm gonna break." My breath whooshed out of me and my heart stopped. "It's always been you. I’m incapable of loving anyone else. It's you or no one." He brought his body into contact with mine, "I would be so good to you, babe. Please, just give me a shot at making you happy.
Cora Hawkes (Rocked Under (Rocked, #1))
Actually I am pretty pregnant with the news Sid brought me, but glad we have not spread it. The girls look very happy. With their heads bound up in babushkas they might be out of the peasant chorus of a Russian opera. Any minute now we will sing and dance to the balalaika. Charity is tall and striking; Sally smaller, darker, quieter. One dazzles, the other warms. In a couple of hours I will need sympathy, but for now I like being washed by the wind.
Wallace Stegner (Crossing to Safety)
I don’t know everything about life and marriage and happiness. But I do know what love is. And I do know that when love is real, and when love is in its strongest form, it is the most powerful thing on this earth. It kills, saves lives, heals wounds, and most of all, brings hope. That is what you have done for me, Lily. You have brought me hope." -James Potter
Mordred
What about you, Neville?” said Ron. “Well, my gran brought me up and she’s a witch,” said Neville, “but the family thought I was all-Muggle for ages. My Great Uncle Algie kept trying to catch me off my guard and force some magic out of me — he pushed me off the end of Blackpool pier once, I nearly drowned — but nothing happened until I was eight. Great Uncle Algie came round for dinner, and he was hanging me out of an upstairs window by the ankles when my Great Auntie Enid offered him a meringue and he accidentally let go. But I bounced — all the way down the garden and into the road. They were all really pleased, Gran was crying, she was so happy.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, # 1))
I was afraid to fall asleep, but staying awake also brought back painful memories. Memories I sometimes wish I could wash away, even though I am aware that they are an important part of what my life is; who I am now. I stayed up all night, anxiously waiting for daylight, so that I could fully return to my new life, to rediscover happiness I had known as a child, the joy that had stayed alive inside me even through times when being alive itself became a burden. These days I live in three worlds: my dreams, and the experiences of my new life, which trigger memories from the past.
Ishmael Beah (A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier)
Nearly anyone might feel like a painter walking the streets of Paris then, because the light brought it out in you, and the shadows alongside the buildings, and the bridges which seemed to want to break your heart, and the sculpturally beautiful women in Chanel's black sheath dresses, smoking and throwing back their heads to laugh. We would walk into any café and feel the wonderful chaos of it, ordering Pernod or Rhum St James until we were beautifully blurred and happy to be there together.
Paula McLain (The Paris Wife)
Who ultimately is going to receive the result brought about by the choice that is made? When the child has made the choice of not studying, ultimately, the result of that decision—not being able to keep up in class or to get into the preferred school, for instance—does not have to be received by the parents. Clearly, it is the child who has to receive it. In other words, studying is the child’s task.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness)
But the gospel, brought home to your heart by the Spirit, can make you happy enough to be humble, giving you an internal fullness that frees you to be generous with the other even when you are not getting the satisfaction you want out of the relationship. Without the help of the Spirit, without a continual refilling of your soul’s tank with the glory and love of the Lord, such submission to the interests of the other is virtually impossible to accomplish for any length of time without becoming resentful.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
I brought you here tonight to remind you of when we were happy. When we were inseparable, best friends and more. But— [...] “What?” I asked. “Please, tell me. I promise I’m okay.” [...] “But what if this is the last time we ever get to do this?” [...] “Then we had tonight. We’ve had this memory. We’ve had this cherished moment.” [...] “I used to know a boy, a boy I loved with my whole heart, who lived for a single moment. Who told me that a single moment could change the world. It could change someone’s life. That one moment could make someone’s life, in that brief second, infinitely better or infinitely worse.” [...] “This, tonight, being at this creek with you again, … it has made my life infinitely better. This moment, given to me by you, I will remember always. I will take it with me to … wherever I go.
Tillie Cole (A Thousand Boy Kisses)
Only, we must allow time. But our demands as far as time is concerned are no less exorbitant than those which the heart requires in order to change. For one thing, time is the very thing that we are least willing to allow, for our suffering is acute and we are anxious to see it brought to an end. And then, too, the time which the other heart will need in order to change will have been spent by our own heart in changing itself too, so that when the goal we had set ourselves becomes attainable it will have ceased to be our goal. Besides, the very idea that it will be attainable, that there is no happiness that, when it has ceased to be a happiness for us, we cannot ultimately attain, contains an element, but only an element, of truth. It falls to us when we have grown indifferent to it. But the very fact of our indifference will have made us less exacting, and enabled us in retrospect to feel convinced that it would have delighted us had it come at a time when perhaps it would have seemed to us miserably inadequate.
Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time)
In any ten step instruction manual and every book of doctrines, there is complex advice that serves the very simple function of helping the lonely person find some similarity with the world around him. He connects and, suddenly, there is a burst of joy, a ray of hope. He believes that it was those steps or that book, specifically, that brought him happiness, when really he has simply been triggered into his natural state.
Vironika Tugaleva (The Love Mindset: An Unconventional Guide to Healing and Happiness)
Are you going to hand me over to him?" "I haven't decided yet," I teased, and he smiled again, erasing his momentary seriousness. "So, where'd you get the suit?" "Believe it or not, that lovely friend of yours, Willa," Loki said. "She brought me a whole slew of clothes last night. When I asked her why she was being so generous, she said it was out of fear that I would run around naked." I smiled. "That does sound like something you would do. Why are you wearing all black, though? Didn't you know you were going to a wedding?" "On the contrary," he said, doing his best to look unhappy. "I'm in mourning over the wedding." "Oh, because it's too late?" I asked. "No, Wendy, it's never too late." His voice was light, but his eyes were solemn. "May I cut in?" the best man asked. "No, you may not," Loki said. I'd started to move away from him, but he held fast. "Loki," I said, and my eyes widened. "I'm still dancing with her," Loki said, turning to look at him. "You can have her when I'm done." "Loki," I said again, but he was already twirling me away. "You can't do that." "I just did." He grinned. "Oh, Wendy, don't look so appalled. I'm already the rebel Prince of thine enemy. I can't do much more to tarnish my image." "You can certainly tarnish mine," I pointed out. "Never," Loki said, and it was his turn to look appalled. "I'm merely showing them how it's done." He began spinning me around the dance floor in grand arcs, my gown swirling around me. He was a brilliant dancer, moving with grace and speed. Everyone had stopped to watch us, but I didn't care. This was the way a Princess was supposed to dance on her wedding day. The song ended, switching to something by Mozart, and he slowed, almost to a stop, but he kept me in his arms. "Thank you." I smiled. My skin felt flushed from dancing, and I was a little out of breath. "That was a wonderful dance." "You're welcome," he said, staring intently at me. "You are so beautiful." "Stop," I said, looking away as my cheeks reddened. "How can you blush?" Loki asked, laughing gently. "People must tell you how beautiful you are a thousand times a day." "It's not the same," I said. "It's not the same?" Loki echoed. "Why? Because you know they don't mean it like I do?" We did stop dancing them, and neither of us said anything. Garrett came up to us. He smiled, but his eyes didn't appear happy. "Can I cut in?" Garrett asked. "Yes," Loki said, shaking off the intensity he'd had a moment ago, and grinned broadly at Garrett. "She's all yours, good sir. Take care of her." He patted Garrett on the arm once for good measure and gave me a quick smile before heading back over to the refreshment table.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
The same strength which has extended our power beyond a continent has also interwoven our destiny with the destiny of many peoples and brought us into a vast web of history in which other wills, running in oblique or contrasting directions to our own, inevitably hinder or contradict what we most fervently desire. We cannot simply have our way, not even when we believe our way to have the "happiness of mankind" as its promise.
Reinhold Niebuhr (The Irony of American History)
Anyone who manages to experience the history of humanity as a whole as his own history will feel in an enormously generalized way all the grief of an invalid who thinks of health, of an old man who thinks of the dream of his youth, of a lover deprived of his beloved, of the martyr whose ideal is perishing, of the hero on the evening after a battle that has decided nothing but brought him wounds and the loss of his friend. But if one endured, if one could endure this immense sum of grief of all kinds while yet being the hero who, as the second day of battle breaks, welcomes the dawn and his fortune, being a person whose horizon encompasses thousands of years, past and future, being the heir of all the nobility of all past spirit - an heir with a sense of obligation, the most aristocratic of old nobles and at the same time the first of a new nobility - the like of which no age has yet seen or dreamed of; if one could burden one’s soul with all of this - the oldest, the newest, losses, hopes, conquests, and the victories of humanity; if one could finally contain all this in one soul and crowd it into a single feeling - this would surely have to result in a happiness that humanity has not known so far: the happiness of a god full of power and love, full of tears and laughter, a happiness that, like the sun in the evening, continually bestows its inexhaustible riches, pouring them into the sea, feeling richest, as the sun does, only when even the poorest fishermen is still rowing with golden oars! This godlike feeling would then be called - humaneness.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
Happy smiles were shared between the bride and groom, but it was the cake their guests remembered - the vanilla custard filling, the buttercream finish, the slight taste of raspberries that had surely been added to the batter. No one brought home any slices of leftover cake to place under their pillow, hoping to dream of their future mate; instead, the guests… ate the whole cake and then had dreams of eating it again. After this wedding unmarried women woke in the night with tears in their eyes, not because they were alone, but because there wasn't any cake left.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
I don't have all of the answers to the world. I don't know everything about life and marriage and happiness. But I do know what love is. And I do know that when love is real, and when love is in its strongest form, it is the most powerful thing on this earth. It kills, saves lives, heals wounds, and most of all, brings hope. That is what you have done for me, Lily. You have brought me hope. When I look into your eyes, I know that no matter what may happen to me, as long as I can see those eyes staring back at me, then I'll be fine. Somehow I'll make it through. Somehow I'll find a way to survive for you. And that's what I want to feel for the rest of my time here on Earth, however short or long that may be. I want to wake up every morning and see your shining face staring back at me. But I also want to protect you. I want to protect you from anything that may hurt you. I want to be there when you cry to dry your tears. When you feel lonely, I want to give you a kiss. When you are scared, to embrace you. And when you are happy, to share a laugh with you. I don't know what's in store for us, but I do know that true love outlasts everything. It outlasts doubt, hate, war, misfortune, and most of all death. I vow to you to always be beside you. Not only in this life, but the next. Because that's when love becomes real. That's when love becomes unchained from anything in this life. I know that when I die, the first thing that I will see will be your eyes. That is how I will know that I made it to Heaven. Because you and I will still be together, forever." -James Potter
Mordred
The place resembled a new model prison, or one that had achieved a provisional utopia after principled revolt, or maybe a homeless shelter for people with liberal arts degrees. The cages brought to mind those labs with their death-fuming vents near my college studio. These kids were part of some great experiment. It was maybe the same one in which I'd once been a subject. Unlike me, though, or the guinea pigs and hares, they were happy, or seemed happy, or were blogging about how they seemed happy.
Sam Lipsyte (The Ask)
I can honestly say that every gift I’ve ever given has brought at least as much happiness to me as it has to the person I’ve given it to. I give as I feel. Throughout the year, that may mean mailing a handwritten note to someone who didn’t expect it. Or sending a great new lotion I just discovered, or delivering a book of poetry with a pretty bow. It doesn’t matter what the thing is; what matters is how much of yourself goes into the giving, so that when the gift is gone, the spirit of you lingers. My
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know for Sure)
I can't believe I have you here with me," she whispered and turned her face into his throat, nuzzling him. Inhaling. Tasting his skin with her tongue. "My life was pain and terror. You took away his voice. You gave me hope that my daughter would survive and others wouldn't shun her. I was terrified and alone, and you changed all that. You brought beauty and hope back into my life. Thank you for that, Dragomire. I swear I will spend every minute making you happy." Emeline to Dragomire, Dark Legacy, Dark #27
Christine Feehan (Dark Legacy (Dark, #27))
We all want more: more money, a bigger house, fancier clothes, faster cars—all the stuff the people on TV have and tell us we need to be happy. We keep moving forward in search of something, but that something already lives inside of us. And that something is, simply, gratitude. It’s stopping in the middle of the cacophony of more and saying, “What I have is enough; I am enough; I am grateful for all that is in this moment, all that is me: the chances I have been given, the things I have done, the good, the bad, and the embarrassing. I am grateful for them because they have brought me to this place. They have been my guides and my teachers.
Paul Williams (Gratitude and Trust: Six Affirmations That Will Change Your Life)
Just imagine the existence of a man - let us call him A - who has left youth far behind, and of a woman whom we may call B, who is young and happy and has seen nothing as yet of life or of the world. Family circumstances of various kinds brought them together, and he grew to love her as a daughter, and had no fear that his love would change its nature. But he forgot that B was so young, that life was still a May-game to her and that it was easy to fall in love with her in a different way, and that this would amuse her. He made a mistake and was suddenly aware of another feeling, as heavy as remorse, making its way into his heart, and he was afraid. He was afraid that their old friendly relations would be destroyed, and he made up his mind to go away before that happened.
Leo Tolstoy (Family Happiness)
It was pitiful for a person born in a wholesome free atmosphere to listen to their humble and hearty outpourings of loyalty toward their king and Church and nobility; as if they had any more occasion to love and honor king and Church and noble than a slave has to love and honor the lash, or a dog has to love and honor the stranger that kicks him! Why, dear me, ANY kind of royalty, howsoever modified, ANY kind of aristocracy, howsoever pruned, is rightly an insult; but if you are born and brought up under that sort of arrangement you probably never find it out for yourself, and don't believe it when somebody else tells you. It is enough to make a body ashamed of his race to think of the sort of froth that has always occupied its thrones without shadow of right or reason, and the seventh-rate people that have always figured as its aristocracies -- a company of monarchs and nobles who, as a rule, would have achieved only poverty and obscurity if left, like their betters, to their own exertions... The truth was, the nation as a body was in the world for one object, and one only: to grovel before king and Church and noble; to slave for them, sweat blood for them, starve that they might be fed, work that they might play, drink misery to the dregs that they might be happy, go naked that they might wear silks and jewels, pay taxes that they might be spared from paying them, be familiar all their lives with the degrading language and postures of adulation that they might walk in pride and think themselves the gods of this world. And for all this, the thanks they got were cuffs and contempt; and so poor-spirited were they that they took even this sort of attention as an honor.
Mark Twain
Though parted from all his soul held dear, and though often yearning for what lay beyond, still was he never positively and consciously miserable; for, so well is the harp of human feeling strung, that nothing but a crash that breaks every string can wholly mar its harmony; and, on looking back to seasons which in review appear to us as those of deprivation and trial, we can remember that each hour, as it glided, brought its diversions and alleviations, so that, though not happy wholly, we were not, either, wholly miserable.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin, or, Life Among the Lowly)
when we were old enough, Mom felt like she had given us all the tools she could to have happy lives, and she wanted us to do just that. Live. Make our own mythology, not be swallowed up by hers. Live the kind of happy, drama-free, painful and joyful mortal life she couldn't, and at the end of it come home to be ushered into our next life by the two people who brought us here in the first place. I know you think mortality is evidence that they don't care, but giving us the the ability to grow and change and progress and then finish? That was the greatest gift two ageless, eternal, very very stuck gods could think to give the children they love more than anything.
Kiersten White (The Chaos of Stars)
You telling me God love you, and you ain't never done nothing for him? I mean, not go to church, sing in the choir, feed the preacher and all like that? But if God love me, Celie, I don't have to do all that. Unless I want to. There's a lot of other things I can do that I speck God likes. Like what? I ast. Oh, she say. I can lay back and just admire stuff. Be happy. Have a good time. Well, this sounds like blasphemy sure nuff. She say, Celie, tell the truth, have you ever found God in church? I never did. I just found a bunch of folks hoping for him to show. Any God I ever felt in church I brought in with me. And I think all the other folks did too. They come to church to share God, not find God.
Alice Walker (The Color Purple)
The moments of satisfaction you experience are not in a subject/‌object relationship where you can say “I am free, I am happy.” These moments without thought, dream or representation are our true nature, fullness, which cannot be projected. It is an experience encountered where there is neither somebody experiencing nor a thing experienced. Only this reality is spiritual. All other states, “highs,” whether brought about by techniques, experiences or drugs, even the so often exalted samadhi, are phenomena‌—‌and carry with them traces of objectivity. In other words, as what you are is not a state, it is a waste of time and energy chasing more and more experiences in the hope of coming closer to the non-experience.
Jean Klein (I Am)
Noah didn’t walk, he stalked and I loved the mischievous glint in his eye when he stalked me. He placed his hands on my hips and nuzzled my hair. “I love the way you smell.” I swallowed and tried to reign in the mutant pterodactyls having a roller derby in my stomach as I dared to think about a future for the two of us. The moment Aires’ car rumbled beneath me, I’d known that I needed Noah in my life. Aires’ death had left a gaping hole in my heart. I thought all I needed was that car to run. Wrong. A car would never fill the emptiness, but love could. “I hope your future includes me. I mean, someone has to continue to kick your butt in pool.” Noah laughed as he snagged his fingers around my belt loops and dragged me closer. “I was letting you win.” “Please.” His eyes had about fallen out of his head when I’d sunk a couple of balls off the break. “You were losing. Badly.” I wondered if he also reveled in the warmth of being this close again. “Then I guess I’ll have to keep you around. For good. You’ll be useful during a hustle.” He lowered his forehead to mine and his brown eyes, which had been laughing seconds ago, darkened as he got serious. “I have a lot I want to say to you. A lot I want to apologize for.” “Me, too.” And I touched his cheek again, this time letting my fingers take their time. Noah wanted me, for good. “But can we hash it all out some other time? I’m sort of talked out and I’ve still gotta go see my dad. Do you think we can just take it on faith right now that I want you, you want me, and we’ll figure out the happy ending part later?” His lips curved into a sexy smile and I became lost in him. “I love you, Echo Emerson.” I whispered the words as he brought his lips to mine. “Forever.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
Handsome, strong, gay ... She felt again the thro and lilt of her blood. She had loved Kameni in that moment. She loved him now. Kameni could take the place that Khay had held in her life. She thought: 'We shall be happy together - yes, we shall be happy. We shall live together and take pleasure in each other and we shall have strong, handsome children. There will be busy days full of work ... and days of pleasure when we sail on the River...Life will be again as I knew it with Khay...What could I ask more than that? What do I want more than that?' And slowly, very slowly indeed, she turned her face towards Hori. It was as though, silently, she asked him a question. As though he understood her, he answered: 'When you were a child, I loved you. I loved your grave face and the confidence with which you came to me, asking me to mend your broken toys. And then, after eight years' absence, you came again and sat here, and brought me the thoughts that were in your mind. And your mind, Renisenb, is not like the minds of the rest of your family. It does not turn in upon itself, seeking to encase itself in narrow walls. Your mind is like my mind, it looks over the River, seeing a world of changes, of new ideas - seeing a world where all things are possible to those with courage and vision...' She broke off, unable to find words to frame her struggling thoughts. What life would be with Hori, she did not know. In spite of his gentleness, in spite of his love for her, he would remain in some respects incalculable and incomprehensible. They would share moments of great beauty and richness together - but what of their common daily life? (...) I have made my choice, Hori. I will share my life with you for good or evil, until death comes... With his arms round her, with the sudden new sweetness of his face against hers, she was filled with an exultant richness of living.
Agatha Christie (Death Comes as the End)
She reached out to him, hesitated, then dropped her hand into her lap. "You catch on fast," she praised him. He felt the flood of acceptance from both of them.It was interesting that he could tell it was from both.Gregori reached over,took Savannah's palm, and pressed a kiss into the exact center. Je regrette, mon amour, but it seems I cannot overcome certain failings. There is no need for you to apologize, lifemate. We both are learning to live in the other's world.I don't find it necessary to touch others to be happy. Gregori brought her hand to the warmth of his mouth a second time,the molten silver of his eyes caressing her intimately. Gary cleared his throat. "Enough of that stuff." A brief smile softened the edges of Gregori's mouth.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
I must have had some high object in life, for I feel unbounded strength within me. But I never discovered it and was carried away by the allurements of empty, un-rewarding passions. I was tempered in their flames and came out cold and hard as steel, but I'd lost forever that fire of noble endeavour, that finest flower of life. How many time since then have I been an axe in the hands of fate? Like an engine of execution, I've descended on the heads of the condemned, often without malice, but always without pity. My love has brought no one happiness, for I've never sacrificed a thing for those I've loved. I've loved for myself, for my own pleasure, I've only tried to satisfy a strange inner need. I've fed on their feelings, love, joys and sufferings, and always wanted more. I'm like a starving man who falls asleep exhausted and sees rich food and sparkling wines before him. He rapturously falls on these phantom gifts of the imagination and feels better, but the moment he wakes up his dream disappears and he's left more hungry and desperate than before.
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread. Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear. Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you've defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you. The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
[I]t's difficult to make people see that what you have been taught counts for nothing, and that the only things worth having are the things you find out for yourself. Also, that when so many brands of what Chesterton calls 'fancy souls' and theories of life are offered you, there is no sense in not looking pretty carefully to see what you are going in for. [...] It isn't a case of 'Here is the Christian religion, the one authoritative and respectable rule of life. Take it or leave it'. It's 'Here's a muddling kind of affair called Life, and here are nineteen or twenty different explanations of it, all supported by people whose opinions are not to be sneezed at. Among them is the Christian religion in which you happpen to have been brought up. Your friend so-and-so has been brought up in quite a different way of thinking; is a perfectly splendid person and thoroughly happy. What are you going to do about it?' -- I'm worrying it out quietly, and whatever I get hold of will be valuable, because I've got it for myself; but really, you know, the whole question is not as simple as it looks.
Dorothy L. Sayers (The Letters of Dorothy L. Sayers 1899-1936: The Making of a Detective Novelist)
To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Uncommon Prostitues I have nothing to say about prostitues (other than you'd make a terrible prostitute,the profession is much too unclean), I only wanted to type that. Isn't it odd we both have to spend Christmas with our fathers? Speaking of unpleasant matters,have you spoken with Bridge yet? I'm taking the bus to the hospital now.I expect a full breakdown of your Christmas dinner when I return. So far today,I've had a bowl of muesli. How does Mum eat that rubbish? I feel as if I've been gnawing on lumber. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: Christmas Dinner MUESLY? It's Christmas,and you're eating CEREAL?? I'm mentally sending you a plate from my house. The turkey is in the oven,the gravy's on the stovetop,and the mashed potatoes and casseroles are being prepared as I type this. Wait. I bet you eat bread pudding and mince pies or something,don't you? Well, I'm mentally sending you bread pudding. Whatever that is. No, I haven't talked to Bridgette.Mom keeps bugging me to answer her calls,but winter break sucks enough already. (WHY is my dad here? SERIOUSLY. MAKE HIM LEAVE. He's wearing this giant white cable-knit sweater,and he looks like a pompous snowman,and he keeps rearranging the stuff on our kitchen cabinets. Mom is about to kill him. WHICH IS WHY SHE SHOULDN'T INVITE HIM OVER FOR HOLIDAYS). Anyway.I'd rather not add to the drama. P.S. I hope your mom is doing better. I'm so sorry you have to spend today in a hospital. I really do wish I could send you both a plate of turkey. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Re: Christmas Dinner YOU feel sorry for ME? I am not the one who has never tasted bread pudding. The hospital was the same. I won't bore you with the details. Though I had to wait an hour to catch the bus back,and it started raining.Now that I'm at the flat, my father has left for the hospital. We're each making stellar work of pretending the other doesn't exist. P.S. Mum says to tell you "Merry Christmas." So Merry Christmas from my mum, but Happy Christmas from me. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: SAVE ME Worst.Dinner.Ever.It took less than five minutes for things to explode. My dad tried to force Seany to eat the green bean casserole, and when he wouldn't, Dad accused Mom of not feeding my brother enough vegetables. So she threw down her fork,and said that Dad had no right to tell her how to raise her children. And then he brought out the "I'm their father" crap, and she brought out the "You abandoned them" crap,and meanwhile, the WHOLE TIME my half-dead Nanna is shouting, "WHERE'S THE SALT! I CAN'T TASTE THE CASSEROLE! PASS THE SALT!" And then Granddad complained that Mom's turkey was "a wee dry," and she lost it. I mean,Mom just started screaming. And it freaked Seany out,and he ran to his room crying, and when I checked on him, he was UNWRAPPING A CANDY CANE!! I have no idea where it came from. He knows he can't eat Red Dye #40! So I grabbed it from him,and he cried harder, and Mom ran in and yelled at ME, like I'd given him the stupid thing. Not, "Thank you for saving my only son's life,Anna." And then Dad came in and the fighting resumed,and they didn't even notice that Seany was still sobbing. So I took him outside and fed him cookies,and now he's running aruond in circles,and my grandparents are still at the table, as if we're all going to sit back down and finish our meal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FAMILY? And now Dad is knocking on my door. Great. Can this stupid holiday get any worse??
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
There have been numerous times I have not brought up my case because I do not want to upset anybody or spoil the mood. Because I want to preserve your comfort...You will find society asking you for the happy ending, saying come back when you're better, when what you say can make us feel good, when you have something more uplifting, affirming. ...I've found that victims identify more with pain than platitudes. When I write about weakness, about how I am barely getting through this, my hope is that they feel better, because it aligns with the truth they are living...I write because the most healing words I have been given are It's okay not to be okay...
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
What?” Lucien laughed. “Yes—all those female faeries around you were females for Tamlin to pick. It’s an honor to be chosen, but it’s his instincts that select her.” “But you were there—and other male faeries.” My face burned so hot that I began sweating. That was why those three horrible faeries had been there—and they’d thought that just by my presence, I was happy to comply with their plans. “Ah.” Lucien chuckled. “Well, Tam’s not the only one who gets to perform the rite tonight. Once he makes his choice, we’re free to mingle. Though it’s not the Great Rite, our own dalliances tonight will help the land, too.” He shrugged off that invisible hand a second time, and his eyes fell upon the hills. “You’re lucky I found you when I did, though,” he said. “Because he would have smelled you, and claimed you, but it wouldn’t have been Tamlin who brought you into that cave.” His eyes met mine, and a chill went over me. “And I don’t think you would have liked it. Tonight is not for lovemaking.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
The days I’d passed with my mom before she died were still there, it seemed, seared into the corners of my heart. The atmosphere of the station brought it all back. I could see myself running to the hospital, glad to be seeing my mother again. You never know you’re happy until later. Because physical sensations like smells and exhaustion don’t figure into our memories, I guess. Only the good bits bob up into view. I was always startled by the snatches of memory that I saw as happy, how they came. This time, it was the feeling I got when I stepped out onto the platform. The sense of what it had been like to be on my way to see my mom, for her still to be alive, if only for the time being, if only for that day. The happiness of that knowledge had come back to life inside me. And the loneliness of that moment. The helplessness.
Banana Yoshimoto
The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries abandoned the idea of spiritual or intellectual happiness in order to have this material happiness, consisting of a certain number of essential consumer goods. And hence, in the nineteenth century, happiness was linked to a well-being obtained by mechanical means, industrial means, production. The new thing that Saint-Just spoke about was that, in the past, happiness could appear as a very vague, very distant prospect for humanity, whereas now, people seemed to be within reach of the concrete, material possibility of attaining it. That was why happiness was to become an absolutely essential image for the nineteenth-century bourgeoisie, and for modern society. Happiness was attainable thanks to industrial development, and this image of happiness brought us fully into the consumer society.
Jacques Ellul (Perspectives on Our Age)
But suddenly something sharp was cutting me, my throat, my wrists, my ankles. I screamed in shock, thinking he'd brought me there to hurt me more. Then fire started burning through me, and I didn't care about anything else. I begged him to kill me. When Esme and Edward came home, I begged them to kill me too. Carlise sat with me. He held my hand and said that he was so sorry, promising that it would end. He told me everything, and sometimes I listened. He told me what he was, what I was becoming. I didn't believe him. He apologized each time I screamed. Edward wasn't happy. I remember hearing them discuss me. I stopped screaming sometimes. It did no good to scream.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
But it is to the school that Tagore devotes central emphasis in The Religion of Man.14 He begins by expressing his lifelong dissatisfaction with the schools he attended: “The inexpensive power to be happy, which, along with other children, I brought to this world, was being constantly worn away by friction with the brick-and-mortar arrangement of life, by monotonously mechanical habits and the customary code of respectability” (144). In effect, children begin as madcap Bauls, full of love, longing, and joy in the presence of nature. Their love of play and their questioning spirit need to be strengthened, not crushed. But schools usually crush all that is disorderly,
Martha C. Nussbaum (Political Emotions)
It is a special blessing to belong among those who can and may devote their best energies to the contemplation and exploration of objective and timeless things. How happy and grateful I am for having been granted this blessing, which bestows upon one a large measure of independence from one's personal fate and from the attitude of one's contemporaries. Yet this independence must not inure us to the awareness of the duties that constantly bind us to the past, present and future of humankind at large. Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here, involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing the why and the wherefore. In our daily lives we feel only that man is here for the sake of others, for those whom we love and for many other beings whose fate is connected with our own. I am often troubled by the thought that my life is based to such a large extent on the work of my fellow human beings, and I am aware of my great indebtedness to them. I do not believe in free will. Schopenhauer's words: 'Man can do what he wants, but he cannot will what he wills,' accompany me in all situations throughout my life and reconcile me with the actions of others, even if they are rather painful to me. This awareness of the lack of free will keeps me from taking myself and my fellow men too seriously as acting and deciding individuals, and from losing my temper. I have never coveted affluence and luxury and even despise them a good deal. My passion for social justice has often brought me into conflict with people, as has my aversion to any obligation and dependence I did not regard as absolutely necessary. [Part 2] I have a high regard for the individual and an insuperable distaste for violence and fanaticism. All these motives have made me a passionate pacifist and antimilitarist. I am against any chauvinism, even in the guise of mere patriotism. Privileges based on position and property have always seemed to me unjust and pernicious, as does any exaggerated personality cult. I am an adherent of the ideal of democracy, although I know well the weaknesses of the democratic form of government. Social equality and economic protection of the individual have always seemed to me the important communal aims of the state. Although I am a typical loner in daily life, my consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice keeps me from feeling isolated. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all there is.
Albert Einstein
Waiting is one of the things that humans beings cannot do well, though it is one of the essential things we must do successfully if we are to know happiness. We are impatient for the future and try to craft it with our own powers, but the future will come as it comes and will not be hurried. If we are good at waiting, we discover that what we wanted of the future, in our impatience, is no longer what we want, that waiting has brought wisdom. I have become good at waiting, as I wait to see what action or sacrifice is wanted of me, wait to discover where I must go next, and wait for the day when the fortuneteller's promise will be fulfilled. Hope, love, and faith are in the waiting.
Dean Koontz (Odd Interlude: A Special Odd Thomas Adventure)
Yes, yes, it ended in my corrupting them all! How it could come to pass I do not know, but I remember it clearly. The dream embraced thousands of years and left in me only a sense of the whole. I only know that I was the cause of their sin and downfall. Like a vile trichina, like a germ of the plague infecting whole kingdoms, so I contaminated all this earth, so happy and sinless before my coming. They learnt to lie, grew fond of lying, and discovered the charm of falsehood. Oh, at first perhaps it began innocently, with a jest, coquetry, with amorous play, perhaps indeed with a germ, but that germ of falsity made its way into their hearts and pleased them. Then sensuality was soon begotten, sensuality begot jealousy, jealousy - cruelty . . . Oh, I don't know, I don't remember; but soon, very soon the first blood was shed. They marvelled and were horrified, and began to be split up and divided. They formed into unions, but it was against one another. Reproaches, upbraidings followed. They came to know shame, and shame brought them to virtue. The conception of honour sprang up, and every union began waving its flags. They began torturing animals, and the animals withdrew from them into the forests and became hostile to them. They began to struggle for separation, for isolation, for individuality, for mine and thine. They began to talk in different languages. They became acquainted with sorrow and loved sorrow; they thirsted for suffering, and said that truth could only be attained through suffering. Then science appeared. As they became wicked they began talking of brotherhood and humanitarianism, and understood those ideas. As they became criminal, they invented justice and drew up whole legal codes in order to observe it, and to ensure their being kept, set up a guillotine. They hardly remembered what they had lost, in fact refused to believe that they had ever been happy and innocent. They even laughed at the possibility o this happiness in the past, and called it a dream. They could not even imagine it in definite form and shape, but, strange and wonderful to relate, though they lost all faith in their past happiness and called it a legend, they so longed to be happy and innocent once more that they succumbed to this desire like children, made an idol of it, set up temples and worshipped their own idea, their own desire; though at the same time they fully believed that it was unattainable and could not be realised, yet they bowed down to it and adored it with tears! Nevertheless, if it could have happened that they had returned to the innocent and happy condition which they had lost, and if someone had shown it to them again and had asked them whether they wanted to go back to it, they would certainly have refused. They answered me: "We may be deceitful, wicked and unjust, we know it and weep over it, we grieve over it; we torment and punish ourselves more perhaps than that merciful Judge Who will judge us and whose Name we know not. But we have science, and by the means of it we shall find the truth and we shall arrive at it consciously. Knowledge is higher than feeling, the consciousness of life is higher than life. Science will give us wisdom, wisdom will reveal the laws, and the knowledge of the laws of happiness is higher than happiness.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and the Little Orphan)
People have been taught to hide. They have been taught not to trust. They have been taught that man is naturally bad, that life is naturally dangerous, that unless you keep very alert you are going to be cheated and deceived. If you don’t protect yourself you will be lost. These things have been put into the unconscious from the very childhood. They have become part of our foundation and because of them we go on hiding. The reality is just the opposite: man is not naturally bad, man is naturally good. Nobody really wants to do bad, and if somebody is doing bad it simply means that he has been a victim of circumstances and situations so he has been forced to do that. No thief is happy to be a thief and no murderer is happy to be a murderer. They have been forced. In fact they are Victims; they have been compelled by the logic of situations. They have been brought up in such a way that their whole being has been poisoned.
Osho (Let Go!: A Darshan Diary)
A few hours later, Françoise was able for the last time, and without causing pain, to comb that beautiful hair, which was only slightly graying and had thus far seemed much younger than my grandmother herself. But this was now reversed: the hair was the only feature to set the crown of age on a face grown young again, free of the wrinkles, the shrinkage, the puffiness, the tensions, the sagging flesh which pain had brought to it for so long. As in the distant days when her parents had chosen a husband for her, her features were delicately traced by purity and submission, her cheeks glowed with a chaste expectation, a dream of happiness, an innocent gaiety even, which the years had gradually destroyed. As it ebbed from her, life had borne away its disillusions. A smile seemed to hover on my grandmother’s lips. On that funeral couch, death, like a sculptor of the Middle Ages, had laid her to rest with the face of a young girl.
Marcel Proust
I sent a clear warning to you, Aidan." There was a hint of censure in his words, although his voice was soft. There was a hard edge to Aidan's mouth. "I received your warning. But this is my city, Gregori, and my family. I take care of my own." Savannah rolled her eyes. "You could just beat on your chests,you know. It probably works just as well." You will show some respect, Gregori ordered. Savannah burst out laughing, then reached up to caress his shadowed jaw. "Keep hoping,my love, and perhaps someday someone will obey you." Aidan's mouth twitched, the golden eyes sliding over Gregori in amusement. "She inherited something besides her mother's good looks,did she not?" Gregori sighed heavily. "She is impossible." Aidan laughed,ignoring the warning flash from Gregori's pale eyes. "I believe they all are." Savannah ducked out from under Gregori's arm and found an overstuffed chair to curl up on. "Of course we're impossible.It's the only way to stay sane." "I would have brought Alexandria to meet you,but Gregori's warning dictated prudence." Aidan sounded smug, as if he had been able to lay down the law to his woman when Gregori was unable to do so. Savannah flashed an impish grin up at the man. "What did you do,leave her sleeping while you ran off to play hero? I'll just bet she has a thing or two to say to you when you wake her." Aidan had the grace to look sheepish. Then he turned to Gregori. "Your lifemate is a mean little thing, healer. I do not envy you." Savannah laughed, unrepentant. "He's crazy about me. Don't let him fool you." "I believe you," Aidan agreed. "Do not encourage her in her rebellion," Gregori tried to sound severe,but she was turning him inside out.She was everything to him, even with her silliness.Where did she get her outrageous sense of humor? How could she ever be happy with someone who hadn't laughed in centuries? She melted his insides. Melted him. He was careful to keep his face expressionless. It was bad enough that Savannah knew he was practically wrapped around her little finger. Aidan didn't need to know,too.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Christie was one of that large class of women who, moderately endowed with talents, earnest and true-hearted, are driven by necessity, temperament, or principle out into the world to find support, happiness, and homes for themselves. Many turn back discouraged; more accept shadow for substance, and discover their mistake too late; the weakest lose their purpose and themselves; but the strongest struggle on, and, after danger and defeat, earn at last the best success this world can give us, the possession of a brave and cheerful spirit, rich in self-knowledge, self-control, self-help. This was the real desire of Christie's heart; this was to be her lesson and reward, and to this happy end she was slowly yet surely brought by the long discipline of life and labor.
Louisa May Alcott (Work: A Story of Experience)
~Does it bother you that you didn’t become a famous actor? That you didn’t get a break?~ ~David, there aren’t any guarantees in life. Not for your friends who want to be all of sorts of things. Not for you. The only thing we can do every single day we wake up is try to do the things that we can do the best; enjoy the things we get, and pay attention to when and why we’re happy. I didn’t know what I really wanted until I held you in my arms. In that minute, the very first minute they brought you to me wrapped in that blanket, I knew my little dream about myself was nothing in comparison.~
Dan Skinner (Memorizing You)
Charles's conversation was as flat as a sidewalk, and everyone's ideas filed along it in their ordinary clothes, exciting no emotion, no laughter, no reverie. He had never been curious, he said, when he lived in Rouen, to go to the theater and see the actors from Paris. He did not know how to swim, or fence, or fire a pistol, and he could not explain to her, one day, a riding term she had come upon in a novel. But shouldn't a man know everything, excel at a host of different activities, initiate you into the intensities of passion, the refinements of life, all its mysteries? Yet this man taught her nothing, knew nothing, wished for nothing. He thought she was happy; and she resented him for that settled calm, that ponderous serenity, that very happiness which she herself brought him.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
Tibet has not yet been infested by the worst disease of modern life, the everlasting rush. No one overworks here. Officials have an easy life. They turn up at the office late in the morning and leave for their homes early in the afternoon. If an official has guests or any other reason for not coming, he just sends a servant to a colleague and asks him to officiate for him. Women know nothing about equal rights and are quite happy as they are. They spend hours making up their faces, restringing their pearl necklaces, choosing new material for dresses, and thinking how to outshine Mrs. So-and-so at the next party. They do not have to bother about housekeeping, which is all done by the servants. But to show that she is mistress the lady of the house always carries a large bunch of keys around with her. In Lhasa every trifling object is locked up and double-locked. Then there is mah-jongg. At one time this game was a universal passion. People were simply fascinated by it and played it day and night, forgetting everything else—official duties, housekeeping, the family. The stakes were often very high and everyone played—even the servants, who sometimes contrived to lose in a few hours what they had taken years to save. Finally the government found it too much of a good thing. They forbade the game, bought up all the mah-jongg sets, and condemned secret offenders to heavy fines and hard labor. And they brought it off! I would never have believed it, but though everyone moaned and hankered to play again, they respected the prohibition. After mah-jongg had been stopped, it became gradually evident how everything else had been neglected during the epidemic. On Saturdays—the day of rest—people now played chess or halma, or occupied themselves harmlessly with word games and puzzles.
Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet)
Along with the greening of May came the rain. Then the clouds disappeared and a soft pale lightness fell over the city, as if Kyoto had broken free of its tethers and lifted up toward the sun. The mornings were as dewy and verdant as a glass of iced green tea. The nights folded into pencil-gray darkness fragrant with white flowers. And everyone's mood seemed buoyant, happy, and carefree. When I wasn't teaching or studying tea kaiseki, I would ride my secondhand pistachio-green bicycle to favorite places to capture the fleeting lushness of Kyoto in a sketchbook. With a small box of Niji oil pastels, I would draw things that Zen pots had long ago described in words and I did not want to forget: a pond of yellow iris near a small Buddhist temple; a granite urn in a forest of bamboo; and a blue creek reflecting the beauty of heaven, carrying away a summer snowfall of pink blossoms. Sometimes, I would sit under the shade of a willow tree at the bottom of my street, doing nothing but listening to the call of cuckoos, while reading and munching on carrots and boiled egg halves smeared with mayonnaise and wrapped in crisp sheets of nori. Never before had such simple indulgences brought such immense pleasure.
Victoria Abbott Riccardi (Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto)
Nonetheless, many people, and especially intellectuals, passionately loathe capitalism. As they see it, this ghastly mode of society’s economic organization has brought about nothing but mischief and misery. Men were once happy and prosperous in the good old days preceding the Industrial Revolution. Now under capitalism the immense majority are starving paupers ruthlessly exploited by rugged individualists. For these scoundrels nothing counts but their moneyed interests. They do not produce good and really useful things, but only what will yield the highest profits. They poison bodies with alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and souls and minds with tabloids, lascivious books and silly moving pictures. The “ideological superstructure” of capitalism is a literature of decay and degradation, the burlesque show and the art of striptease, the Hollywood pictures and the detective stories.
Ludwig von Mises (The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality)
Baby girl, this is your mother. I know I’ve given you explicit instructions to trace this into your yearbook, but they’re my words. That means this is from me, my heart, and my love for you. There’s so many things I want to say to you, things I want you to hear, to know, but let’s start with the reason I’m having you put these words in your senior yearbook. First of all, this book is everything. It may be pictures, some names of people you won’t remember in five years, ten years, or longer, but this book is more important than you can imagine. It’s the first book that’s the culmination of your first chapter in life. You will have many. So many! But this book is the physical manifestation of your first part in life. Keep it. Treasure it. Whether you enjoyed school or not, it’s done. It’s in your past. These were the times you were a part of society from a child to who you are now, a young adult woman. When you leave for college, you’re continuing your education, but you’re moving onto your next chapter in life. The beginning of adulthood. This yearbook is your bridge. Keep this as a memento forever. It sums up who you grew up with. It houses images of the buildings where your mind first began to learn things, where you first began to dream, to set goals, to yearn for the road ahead. It’s so bittersweet, but those memories were your foundation to set you up for who you will become in the future. Whether they brought pain or happiness, it’s important not to forget. From here, you will go on and you will learn the growing pains of becoming an adult. You will refine your dreams. You will set new limits. Change your mind. You will hurt. You will laugh. You will cry, but the most important is that you will grow. Always, always grow, honey. Challenge yourself. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations (BUT BE SAFE!) and push yourself not to think about yourself, your friends, your family, but to think about the world. Think about others. Understand others, and if you can’t understand, then learn more about them. It’s so very important. Once you have the key to understanding why someone else hurts or dreams or survives, then you have ultimate knowledge. You have empathy. Oh, honey. As I’m writing this, I can see you on the couch reading a book. You are so very beautiful, but you are so very humble. You don’t see your beauty, and I want you to see your beauty. Not just physical, but your inner kindness and soul. It’s blinding to me. That’s how truly stunning you are. Never let anyone dim your light. Here are some words I want you to know as you go through the rest of your life: Live. Learn. Love. Laugh. And, honey, know. Just know that I am with you always.
Tijan (Enemies)
This woman controls my heartbeats. Every love lyric I sing each night is made for her. Every melody chases her heartbeat, and every chorus begs for her love. It has been brought to my attention that a few people on my management team have chosen to approach the love of my life and tell her that she wasn't good for my image. Due to her looks and the past she had no say in creating, they said she wasn't good enough. It's true, we grew up in the same town, but that didn't mean our home lives were built on the same steady foundation. I was blessed enough to never know struggle. This girl had to fight tooth and nail for everything she was given. She sacrificed her own youth, because she didn't want her little sister to go into the foster system. She gave up love, in order for me to go chase my dreams. She gives and gives in order to make others happy, because that's the person she is. She's the most beautiful human being alive, and for anyone--especially people who are supposed to be in my corner--to say differently disgusts me to my core. I am not a robot. I hurt, I ache, I love, and I cry. And it breaks me to live in a world where I have to be afraid of showing who I really am in order to gain followers. So if you don't like this fact--that I am not single and that I am hopelessly in love--then that's fine. If I lose fans over this, I'm okay with that. I will make every sacrifice in the world from this point on in order to give my love fully to the woman who has given more than she ever should've had to give. I love you, Haze. From the new moon to the fullest. From now until forever.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Wreckage of Us)
felt it for the first time when I was working on the legal codes and drafts of the Enlightenment. They were based on the belief that a good order is intrinsic to the world, and that therefore the world can be brought into good order. To see how legal provisions were created paragraph by paragraph out of this belief as solemn guardians of this good order, and worked into laws that strove for beauty and by their very beauty for truth, made me happy. For a long time I believed that there was progress in the history of law, a development towards greater beauty and truth, rationality and humanity, despite terrible setbacks and retreats. Once it became clear to me that this belief was a chimera, I began playing with a different image of the course of legal history. In this one it still has a purpose, but the goal it finally attains, after countless disruptions, confusions, and delusions, is the beginning, its own original starting point, which once reached must be set off from again.
Bernhard Schlink (The Reader)
Will and Lake, Love is the most beautiful thing in the world. Unfortunately, it's also one of the hardest things in the world to hold on to, and one of the easiest to throw away. Neither of you has a mother or a father to go to for relationship advice anymore. Neither of you has anyone to go to for a shoulder to cry on when things get touch, and they will get touch. Neither of you has someone to go to when you just want to share the funny, or the happy, or the heartache. You are both at a disadvantage when it comes to this aspect of love. You both only have each other, and because of this, you will have to work harder at building a strong foundation for your future together. You are not only each other's love; you are also one another's sole confidant. I hand wrote some things onto strips of paper and folded them into stars. It might be an inspirational quote, an inspiring lyric, or just some downright good parental advice. I don't want you to open one and read it until you truly feel you need it. If you have a bad day, if the two of you fight, or if you just need something to lift your spirits...that's what these are for. You can open one together; you can open one alone. I just want there to be something both of you can go to, if and when you ever need it. Will...thank you. Thank you for coming into our lives. So much of the pain and worry I've been feeling has been alleviated by the mere fact that I know my daughter is loved by you....You are a wonderful man, and you've been a wonderful friend to me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for loving my daughter like you do. You respect her, you don't need to change for her, and you inspire her. You can never know how grateful I have been for you, and how much peace you have brought my soul. And Lake; this is me-nudging your shoulder, giving you my approval. You couldn't have picked anyone better to love if I would have hand-picked him myself. Also, thank you for being so determined to keep our family together. You were right about Kel needing to be with you. Thank you for helping me see that. And remember when things get touch for him, please teach him how to stop caring pumpkins... I love you both and with you a lifetime of happiness together. -Julia "And all around my memories, you dance..." ~The Avett Brothers
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
There is a special pleasure in the irony of a moralist brought down for the very moral failings he has condemned. It’s the pleasure of a well-told joke. Some jokes are funny as one-liners, but most require three verses: three guys, say, who walk into a bar one at a time, or a priest, a minister, and a rabbi in a lifeboat. The first two set the pattern, and the third violates it. With hypocrisy, the hypocrite’s preaching is the setup, the hypocritical action is the punch line. Scandal is great entertainment because it allows people to feel contempt, a moral emotion that gives feelings of moral superiority while asking nothing in return. With contempt you don’t need to right the wrong (as with anger) or flee the scene (as with fear or disgust). And best of all, contempt is made to share. Stories about the moral failings of others are among the most common kinds of gossip,3 they are a staple of talk radio, and they offer a ready way for people to show that they share a common moral orientation. Tell an acquaintance a cynical story that ends with both of you smirking and shaking your heads and voila, you’ve got a bond.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Putting Ancient Wisdom to the Test of Modern Science)
I am a center in the Divine Mind, a point of God-conscious life, truth and action. My affairs are divinely guided and guarded into right action, into correct results. Everything I do, say or think, is stimulated by the Truth. There is power in this word that I speak, because it is of the Truth and it is the Truth. There is perfect and continuous right action in my life and my affairs. All belief in wrong action is dispelled and made negative. Right action alone has power and right action is power, and Power is God... the Living Spirit Almighty. This Spirit animates everything that I do, say or think. Ideas come to me daily and these ideas are divine ideas. They direct me and sustain me without effort. I am continuously directed. I am compelled to do the right thing at the right time, to say the right word at the right time, to follow the right course at all times. “All suggestion of age, poverty, limitation or unhappiness is uprooted from my mind and cannot gain entrance to my thought. I am happy, well and filled with perfect Life. I live in the Spirit of Truth and am conscious that the Spirit of Truth lives in me. My word is the law unto its own manifestation, and will bring to me or cause me to be brought to its fulfillment. There is no unbelief, no doubt, no uncertainty. I know and I know that I know. Let every thought of doubt vanish from my mind that I may know the Truth and the Truth may make me free.
Ernest Shurtleff Holmes (The Science of Mind: The Definitive Edition)
Eros does not aim at happiness. We may think he does, but when he is brought to the test it proves otherwise. Everyone knows that it is useless to try to separate lovers by proving to them that their marriage will be an unhappy one. This is not only because they will disbelieve you. They usually will, no doubt. But even if they believed, they would not be dissuaded. For it is the very mark of Eros that when he is in us we had rather share unhappiness with the Beloved than be happy on any other terms. Even if the two lovers are mature and experienced people who know that broken hearts heal in the end and can clearly foresee that, if they once steeled themselves to go through the present agony of parting, they would almost certainly be happier ten years hence than marriage is at all likely to make them—even then, they would not part. To Eros all these calculations are irrelevant—just as the coolly brutal judgment of Lucretius is irrelevant to Venus. Even when it becomes clear beyond all evasion that marriage with the Beloved cannot lead to happiness—when it cannot even profess to offer any other life than that of tending an incurable invalid, of hopeless poverty, of exile, or of disgrace—Eros never hesitates to say, "Better this than parting. Better to be miserable with her than happy without her. Let our hearts break provided they break together." If the voice within us does not say this, it is not the voice of Eros.
Christopher Grau (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Philosophers on Film))
Csikszentmihalyi teamed up with two other leading psychologists—Howard Gardner at Harvard, and William Damon at Stanford—to study these changes, and to see why some professions seemed healthy while others were growing sick. Picking the fields of genetics and journalism as case studies, they conducted dozens of interviews with people in each field. Their conclusion32 is as profound as it is simple: It’s a matter of alignment. When doing good (doing high-quality work that produces something of use to others) matches up with doing well (achieving wealth and professional advancement), a field is healthy. Genetics, for example, is a healthy field because all parties involved respect and reward the very best science. Even though pharmaceutical companies and market forces were beginning to inject vast amounts of money into university research labs in the 1990s, the scientists whom Csikszentmihalyi, Gardner, and Damon interviewed did not believe they were being asked to lower their standards, cheat, lie, or sell their souls. Geneticists believed that their field was in a golden age in which excellent work brought great benefits to the general public, the pharmaceutical companies, the universities, and the scientists themselves.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further out-door exercise was now out of the question. I was glad of it: I never liked long walks, especially on chilly afternoons: dreadful to me was the coming home in the raw twilight, with nipped fingers and toes, and a heart saddened by the chidings of Bessie, the nurse, and humbled by the consciousness of my physical inferiority to Eliza, John, and Georgiana Reed. The said Eliza, John, and Georgiana were now clustered round their mama in the drawing-room: she lay reclined on a sofa by the fireside, and with her darlings about her (for the time neither quarrelling nor crying) looked perfectly happy. Me, she had dispensed from joining the group; saying, “She regretted to be under the necessity of keeping me at a distance; but that until she heard from Bessie, and could discover by her own observation, that I was endeavouring in good earnest to acquire a more sociable and childlike disposition, a more attractive and sprightly manner— something lighter, franker, more natural, as it were—she really must exclude me from privileges intended only for contented, happy, little children.” What does Bessie say I have done?” I asked. Jane, I don’t like cavillers or questioners; besides, there is something truly forbidding in a child taking up her elders in that manner. Be seated somewhere; and until you can speak pleasantly, remain silent.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
DEAR MAMA, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write. Every time I try to write to you and Papa I realize I’m not saying the things that are in my heart. That would be O.K., if I loved you any less than I do, but you are still my parents and I am still your child. I have friends who think I’m foolish to write this letter. I hope they’re wrong. I hope their doubts are based on parents who loved and trusted them less than mine do. I hope especially that you’ll see this as an act of love on my part, a sign of my continuing need to share my life with you. I wouldn’t have written, I guess, if you hadn’t told me about your involvement in the Save Our Children campaign. That, more than anything, made it clear that my responsibility was to tell you the truth, that your own child is homosexual, and that I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant. I’m sorry, Mama. Not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief—rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes. No, Mama, I wasn’t “recruited.” No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, “You’re all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You’re not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends—all kinds of friends—who don’t give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it.” But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find it out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don’t consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being. These aren’t radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it’s all right for you to like me too. I know what you must be thinking now. You’re asking yourself: What did we do wrong? How did we let this happen? Which one of us made him that way? I can’t answer that, Mama. In the long run, I guess I really don’t care. All I know is this: If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it’s the light and the joy of my life. I know I can’t tell you what it is to be gay. But I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not hiding behind words, Mama. Like family and decency and Christianity. It’s not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It’s not judging your neighbor, except when he’s crass or unkind. Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it. There’s not much else I can say, except that I’m the same Michael you’ve always known. You just know me better now. I have never consciously done anything to hurt you. I never will. Please don’t feel you have to answer this right away. It’s enough for me to know that I no longer have to lie to the people who taught me to value the truth. Mary Ann sends her love. Everything is fine at 28 Barbary Lane. Your loving son, MICHAEL
Armistead Maupin (More Tales of the City (Tales of the City #2))
MOMENTS I saw you first You looked exactly The same as before Tall and awkward and shy I walked towards you My hands clammy I felt cold inside My insides were shaking Cant run This is it. U saw me Your face brightened A smile painted on your face I missed it Your smile It brought back the past You walked I walked Nearer It feels like in the Movies Two people A boy and a girl Meeting halfway Hoping for a happy Ever after I stopped Right before I reached you I realized This isn't like the movies I turned I told myself Don’t smile You reached me Close So close I felt the urge To touch you Hug you And maybe Kiss you There weren't Hellos Only silent prayers Smiling You reached for my hand Giving me something You knew I love It was awkward You standing there Me standing there So close Too close Yet so far I looked up to you I tried to ask myself Are you for real? You smiled wider Shy but happy You left as fast As you came back It was for a second I hated time I wished it was A little bit longer With that, I knew I still want you.
Marianne Escobar
One by one the dragons came to ground, and the wolves slid down from them. Anders transformed as soon as his paws hit the earth, and once human, silently pulled off Rayna’s harness so she could do the same. Nearby, Lisabet was seeing to Ellukka. Both the harnesses were charred in places, and he wasn’t sure Rayna’s would hold if they used it again. One by one the dragons transformed, until the eleven children stood in a circle. Some leaned over to rest their hands on their knees, exhausted, others hugged themselves, staring at their companions in the moonlight. The tableau was broken when Kess suddenly streaked across the circle, leaping down from Lisabet’s arms to run straight for Anders, scaling his body and perching on his shoulders. He was so exhaustedly happy to see her, he didn’t even mind the places where she sank her claws in. As if the cat’s movement had woken her up, Viktoria spoke in a whisper. “What have we done?” “The same thing as us,” Ellukka replied. “You can’t go home. Neither can we.” “We had to,” Lisabet said, sounding just as tired as the others. “If we hadn’t brought the Sun Scepter, the wolves would have weakened the dragons until they killed them. If we hadn’t kept it from the dragons, they’d have used it against the wolves until they could attack instead. We’re the only reason they’re not at war right now.” “All we did was destroy half of Holbard instead,” said Theo, looking sick.
Amie Kaufman (Scorch Dragons (Elementals, #2))
Playing and fun are not the same thing, though when we grow up we may forget that and find ourselves mixing up playing with happiness. There can be a kind of amnesia about the seriousness of playing, especially when we played by ourselves or looked like we were playing by ourselves. I believe a kid who is playing is not alone. There is something brought alive during play, and this something, when played, seems to play back. If playing isn't happiness or fun, if it is something which may lead to those things or to something else entirely, not being able to play is a misery. No one stopped me from playing when I was alone, but there were times when I wasn't able to, though I wanted to--there were times when nothing played back. Writers call it 'writer's block'. For kids there are other names for that feeling, though kids don't usually know them. Fairy tales and myths are often about this very thing. They begin sometimes with this very situation: a dead kingdom. Its residents all turned to stone. It's a good way to say it, that something alive is gone. The television eased the problem by presenting channels to an ever-lively world I could watch, though it couldn't watch me back, not that it would see much if it could. A girl made of stone facing a flickering light, 45 years later a woman made of stone doing the same thing. In a myth or a fairy tale one doesn't restore the kingdom by passivity, nor can it be done by force. It can't be done by logic or thought. It can't be done by logic or thought. So how can it be done? Monsters and dangerous tasks seem to be part of it. Courage and terror and failure or what seems like failure, and then hopelessness and the approach of death convincingly. The happy ending is hardly important, though we may be glad it's there. The real joy is knowing that if you felt the trouble in the story, your kingdom isn't dead.
Lynda Barry (What It Is)
In The Garret Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, All fashioned and filled, long ago, By children now in their prime. Four little keys hung side by side, With faded ribbons, brave and gay When fastened there, with childish pride, Long ago, on a rainy day. Four little names, one on each lid, Carved out by a boyish hand, And underneath there lieth hid Histories of the happy band Once playing here, and pausing oft To hear the sweet refrain, That came and went on the roof aloft, In the falling summer rain. 'Meg' on the first lid, smooth and fair. I look in with loving eyes, For folded here, with well-known care, A goodly gathering lies, The record of a peaceful life-- Gifts to gentle child and girl, A bridal gown, lines to a wife, A tiny shoe, a baby curl. No toys in this first chest remain, For all are carried away, In their old age, to join again In another small Meg's play. Ah, happy mother! Well I know You hear, like a sweet refrain, Lullabies ever soft and low In the falling summer rain. 'Jo' on the next lid, scratched and worn, And within a motley store Of headless dolls, of schoolbooks torn, Birds and beasts that speak no more, Spoils brought home from the fairy ground Only trod by youthful feet, Dreams of a future never found, Memories of a past still sweet, Half-writ poems, stories wild, April letters, warm and cold, Diaries of a wilful child, Hints of a woman early old, A woman in a lonely home, Hearing, like a sad refrain-- 'Be worthy, love, and love will come,' In the falling summer rain. My Beth! the dust is always swept From the lid that bears your name, As if by loving eyes that wept, By careful hands that often came. Death canonized for us one saint, Ever less human than divine, And still we lay, with tender plaint, Relics in this household shrine-- The silver bell, so seldom rung, The little cap which last she wore, The fair, dead Catherine that hung By angels borne above her door. The songs she sang, without lament, In her prison-house of pain, Forever are they sweetly blent With the falling summer rain. Upon the last lid's polished field-- Legend now both fair and true A gallant knight bears on his shield, 'Amy' in letters gold and blue. Within lie snoods that bound her hair, Slippers that have danced their last, Faded flowers laid by with care, Fans whose airy toils are past, Gay valentines, all ardent flames, Trifles that have borne their part In girlish hopes and fears and shames, The record of a maiden heart Now learning fairer, truer spells, Hearing, like a blithe refrain, The silver sound of bridal bells In the falling summer rain. Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, Four women, taught by weal and woe To love and labor in their prime. Four sisters, parted for an hour, None lost, one only gone before, Made by love's immortal power, Nearest and dearest evermore. Oh, when these hidden stores of ours Lie open to the Father's sight, May they be rich in golden hours, Deeds that show fairer for the light, Lives whose brave music long shall ring, Like a spirit-stirring strain, Souls that shall gladly soar and sing In the long sunshine after rain
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
Phoebe Hurty hired me to write copy for ads about teen aged clothes. I had to wear the clothes I praised. That was part of the job. And I became friends with her two sons, who were my age. I was over at their house all the time. She would talk bawdily to me and her sons, and our girlfriends when we brought them around. She was funny. She was liberating. She taught us to be impolite in conversation not only about sexual matters, but about American history and famous heroes, about the distribution of wealth, about school, about everything. I now make my living being impolite. I am clumsy at it. I keep trying to imitate the impoliteness which was so graceful in Phoebe Hurty. I think now that grace was easier for her than it is for me because of the mood of the Great Depression. She believed what so many Americans believed then: that the nation would be happy and just and rational when prosperity came. I never hear that word anymore: Prosperity. It used to be a synonym for Paradise. And Phoebe Hurty was able to believe that the impoliteness she recommended would give shape to an American paradise. Now her sort of impoliteness is in fashion. But nobody believes anymore in a new American paradise. I sure miss Phoebe Hurty.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
Brought up with an idea of God, a Christian, my whole life filled with the spiritual blessings Christianity has given me, full of them, and living on those blessings, like the children I did not understand them, and destroy, that is try to destroy, what I live by. And as soon as an important moment of life comes, like the children when they are cold and hungry, I turn to Him, and even less than the children when their mother scolds them for their childish mischief, do I feel that my childish efforts at wanton madness are reckoned against me. "Yes, what I know, I know not by reason, but it has been given to me, revealed to me, and I know it with my heart, by faith in the chief thing taught by the church. "The church! the church!" Levin repeated to himself. He turned over on the other side, and leaning on his elbow, fell to gazing into the distance at a herd of cattle crossing over to the river. "But can I believe in all the church teaches?" he thought, trying himself, and thinking of everything that could destroy his present peace of mind. Itentionally he recalled all those doctrines of the church which had always seemed most strange and had always been a stumbling block to him. "The Creation? But how did I explain existence? By existence? By nothing? The devil and sin. But how do I explain evil?... The atonement?... "But I know nothing, nothing, and I can know nothing but what has been told to me and all men." And it seemed to him that there was not a single article of faith of the church which could destroy the chief thing--faith in God, in goodness, as the one goal of man's destiny. Under every article of faith of the church could be put the faith in the service of truth instead of one's desires. And each doctrine did not simply leave that faith unshaken, each doctrine seemed essential to complete that great miracle, continually manifest upon earth, that made it possible for each man and millions of different sorts of men, wise men and imbeciles, old men and children--all men, peasants, Lvov, Kitty, beggars and kings to understand perfectly the same one thing, and to build up thereby that life of the soul which alone is worth living, and which alone is precious to us. Lying on his back, he gazed up now into the high, cloudless sky. "Do I not know that that is infinite space, and that it is not a round arch? But, however I screw up my eyes and strain my sight, I cannot see it not round and not bounded, and in spite of my knowing about infinite space, I am incontestably right when I see a solid blue dome, and more right than when I strain my eyes to see beyond it." Levin ceased thinking, and only, as it were, listened to mysterious voices that seemed talking joyfully and earnestly within him. "Can this be faith?" he thought, afraid to believe in his happiness. "My God, I thank Thee!" he said, gulping down his sobs, and with both hands brushing away the tears that filled his eyes.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Thank you, for creating this vast and flexible playground. Thank you for creating one of the twentieth century's most popular myths, a gift that has brought billions of happy viewing hours at a critical time in world history, a time when perhaps, we need more than ever to blieve in honor, sacrifice, heart, and that special magic called life itself. As long as I live I will never forget The Moment when Luke Skywalker flew so desperately into the Death Star's trench, John William's score soaring magnificently, and the audience overwhelmed by Industrial Light and Magic's mind-bending inaugural. At that pulse-pounding moment, a moment when it seemed the individual human being could have no point or purpose, no meaning in a universe so vast and cybernetic, we heard Obi-Wan Kenobi whisper that we should trust our feelings. The Force flows through us. It controls us. We control it. Life creates it. It is more powerful than any Death Star. Hundreds of millions of people said yes, and sighed, and applauded, and went home or turned off their videos feeling just a little more empowered than they did before the lights went down and the Twentieth Century-Fox fanfare came up. No small feat. May the Force be with you, Mr. Lucas. And with us all. Always".
Steven Barnes (The Cestus Deception)
Barbara and I had arrived early, so I got to admire everyone’s entrance. We were seated at tables around a dance floor that had been set up on the lawn behind the house. Barbara and I shared a table with Deborah Kerr and her husband. Deborah, a lovely English redhead, had been brought to Hollywood to play opposite Clark Gable in The Hucksters. Louis B. Mayer needed a cool, refined beauty to replace the enormously popular redhead, Greer Garson, who had married a wealthy oil magnate and retired from the screen in the mid-fifties. Deborah, like her predecessor, had an ultra-ladylike air about her that was misleading. In fact, she was quick, sharp, and very funny. She and Barbara got along like old school chums. Jimmy Stewart was also there with his wife. It was the first time I’d seen him since we’d worked for Hitchcock. It was a treat talking to him, and I felt closer to him than I ever did on the set of Rope. He was so genuinely happy for my success in Strangers on a Train that I was quite moved. Clark Gable arrived late, and it was a star entrance to remember. He stopped for a moment at the top of the steps that led down to the garden. He was alone, tanned, and wearing a white suit. He radiated charisma. He really was the King. The party was elegant. Hot Polynesian hors d’oeuvres were passed around during drinks. Dinner was very French, with consommé madrilène as a first course followed by cold poached salmon and asparagus hollandaise. During dessert, a lemon soufflé, and coffee, the cocktail pianist by the pool, who had been playing through dinner, was discreetly augmented by a rhythm section, and they became a small combo for dancing. The dance floor was set up on the lawn near an open bar, and the whole garden glowed with colored paper lanterns. Later in the evening, I managed a subdued jitterbug with Deborah Kerr, who was much livelier than her cool on-screen image. She had not yet done From Here to Eternity, in which she and Burt Lancaster steamed up the screen with their love scene in the surf. I was, of course, extremely impressed to be there with Hollywood royalty that evening, but as far as parties go, I realized that I had a lot more fun at Gene Kelly’s open houses.
Farley Granger (Include Me Out: My Life from Goldwyn to Broadway)
The slippers in the story mean that everything you see and do and touch, every seed you sow, or don't sow, becomes part of your destiny...I met Hema in the septic ward at Government General Hospital in India, in Madras, and that brought me to this continent. Because of that, I got the biggest gift of my life - to be a father to you two. Because of that, I operated on General Mebratu, who became my friend. Because he was my friend, I went to prison. Because I was a doctor, I helped to save him, and they let me out. Because I saved him, they could hang him...You see what I am saying? I never knew my father, and so I thought he was irrelevant to me. My sister felt his absence so strongly that it made her sour, and so no matter what she has, or will ever have, it won't be enough. I made up for his absence by hoarding knowledge, skills, seeking praise. What I finally understood in Kerchele is that neither my sister nor I realized that my father's absence is our slippers. In order to start to get rid of your slippers, you have to admit they are yours, and if you do, then they will get rid of themselves. The key to your happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don't. If you keep saying your slippers aren't yours, then you'll die searching, you'll die bitter, always feeling you were promised more. Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
In a private room down the hall, a tired but delighted Cecily was watching her husband with his brand-new son. Cecily had thought that the expression on Tate’s face at their wedding would never be duplicated. But when they placed the tiny little boy in his father’s gowned arms in the delivery room, and he saw his child for the first time, the look on his face was indescribable. Tears welled in his eyes. He’d taken the tiny little fist in his big, dark hand and smoothed over the perfect little fingers and then the tiny little face, seeking resemblances. “Generations of our families,” he said softly, “all there, in that face.” He’d looked down at his wife with unashamedly wet eyes. “In our son’s face.” She wiped her own tears away with a corner of the sheet and coaxed Tate’s head down so that she could do the same for him where they were, temporarily, by themselves. Now she was cleaned up, like their baby, and drowsy as she lay on clean white sheets and watched her husband get acquainted with his firstborn. “Isn’t he beautiful?” he murmured, still awed by the child. “Next time, we have to have a little girl,” he said with a tender smile, “so that she can look like you.” Her heart felt near to bursting as she stared up at that beloved face, above the equally beloved face of their firstborn. “My heart is happy when I see you,” she whispered in Lakota. He chuckled, having momentarily forgotten that he’d taught her how to say it. “Mine is equally happy when I see you,” he replied in English. She reached out and clasped his big hand with her small one. On the table beside her was a bouquet of roses, red and crisp with a delightful soft perfume. Her eyes traced them, and she remembered the first rose he’d ever given her, when she was seventeen: a beautiful red paper rose that he’d brought her from Japan. Now the roses were real, not imitation. Just as her love for him, and his for her, had become real enough to touch. He frowned slightly at her expression. “What is it?” he asked softly. “I was remembering the paper rose you brought me from Japan, just after I went to live with Leta.” She shrugged and smiled self-consciously. He smiled back. “And now you’re covered in real ones,” he discerned. She nodded, delighted to see that he understood exactly what she was talking about. But, then, they always had seemed to read each others’ thoughts-never more than now, with the baby who was a living, breathing manifestation of their love. “Yes,” she said contentedly. “The roses are real, now.” Outside the window, rain was coming down in torrents, silver droplets shattering on the bright green leaves of the bushes. In the room, no one noticed. The baby was sleeping and his parents were watching him, their eyes full of warm, soft dreams.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
How are we going to bring about these transformations? Politics as usual—debate and argument, even voting—are no longer sufficient. Our system of representative democracy, created by a great revolution, must now itself become the target of revolutionary change. For too many years counting, vast numbers of people stopped going to the polls, either because they did not care what happened to the country or the world or because they did not believe that voting would make a difference on the profound and interconnected issues that really matter. Now, with a surge of new political interest having give rise to the Obama presidency, we need to inject new meaning into the concept of the “will of the people.” The will of too many Americans has been to pursue private happiness and take as little responsibility as possible for governing our country. As a result, we have left the job of governing to our elected representatives, even though we know that they serve corporate interests and therefore make decisions that threaten our biosphere and widen the gulf between the rich and poor both in our country and throughout the world. In other words, even though it is readily apparent that our lifestyle choices and the decisions of our representatives are increasing social injustice and endangering our planet, too many of us have wanted to continue going our merry and not-so-merry ways, periodically voting politicians in and out of office but leaving the responsibility for policy decisions to them. Our will has been to act like consumers, not like responsible citizens. Historians may one day look back at the 2000 election, marked by the Supreme Court’s decision to award the presidency to George W. Bush, as a decisive turning point in the death of representative democracy in the United States. National Public Radio analyst Daniel Schorr called it “a junta.” Jack Lessenberry, columnist for the MetroTimes in Detroit, called it “a right-wing judicial coup.” Although more restrained, the language of dissenting justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Souter, and Stevens was equally clear. They said that there was no legal or moral justification for deciding the presidency in this way.3 That’s why Al Gore didn’t speak for me in his concession speech. You don’t just “strongly disagree” with a right-wing coup or a junta. You expose it as illegal, immoral, and illegitimate, and you start building a movement to challenge and change the system that created it. The crisis brought on by the fraud of 2000 and aggravated by the Bush administration’s constant and callous disregard for the Constitution exposed so many defects that we now have an unprecedented opportunity not only to improve voting procedures but to turn U.S. democracy into “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” instead of government of, by, and for corporate power.
Grace Lee Boggs (The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century)
Louis XIV was a very proud and self-confident man. He had such and such mistresses, and such and such ministers, and he governed France badly. The heirs of Louis XIV were also weak men, and also governed France badly. They also had such and such favourites and such and such mistresses. Besides which, certain persons were at this time writing books. By the end of the eighteenth century there gathered in Paris two dozen or so persons who started saying that all men were free and equal. Because of this in the whole of France people began to slaughter and drown each other. These people killed the king and a good many others. At this time there was a man of genius in France – Napoleon. He conquered everyone everywhere, i.e. killed a great many people because he was a great genius; and, for some reason, he went off to kill Africans, and killed them so well, and was so clever and cunning, that, having arrived in France, he ordered everyone to obey him, which they did. Having made himself Emperor he again went to kill masses of people in Italy, Austria and Prussia. And there too he killed a great many. Now in Russia there was the Emperor Alexander, who decided to reestablish order in Europe, and therefore fought wars with Napoleon. But in the year ’07 he suddenly made friends with him, and in the year ’11 quarrelled with him again, and they both again began to kill a great many people. And Napoleon brought six hundred thousand men to Russia and conquered Moscow. But then he suddenly ran away from Moscow, and then the Emperor Alexander, aided by the advice of Stein and others, united Europe to raise an army against the disturber of her peace. All Napoleon’s allies suddenly became his enemies; and this army marched against Napoleon, who had gathered new forces. The allies conquered Napoleon, entered Paris, forced Napoleon to renounce the throne, and sent him to the island of Elba, without, however, depriving him of the title of Emperor, and showing him all respect, in spite of the fact that five years before, and a year after, everyone considered him a brigand and beyond the law. Thereupon Louis XVIII, who until then had been an object of mere ridicule to both Frenchmen and the allies, began to reign. As for Napoleon, after shedding tears before the Old Guard, he gave up his throne, and went into exile. Then astute statesmen and diplomats, in particular Talleyrand, who had managed to sit down before anyone else in the famous armchair1 and thereby to extend the frontiers of France, talked in Vienna, and by means of such talk made peoples happy or unhappy. Suddenly the diplomats and monarchs almost came to blows. They were almost ready to order their troops once again to kill each other; but at this moment Napoleon arrived in France with a battalion, and the French, who hated him, all immediately submitted to him. But this annoyed the allied monarchs very much and they again went to war with the French. And the genius Napoleon was defeated and taken to the island of St Helena, having suddenly been discovered to be an outlaw. Whereupon the exile, parted from his dear ones and his beloved France, died a slow death on a rock, and bequeathed his great deeds to posterity. As for Europe, a reaction occurred there, and all the princes began to treat their peoples badly once again.
Isaiah Berlin (Russian Thinkers)
There was one monk who never spoke up. His name was Vappa, and he seemed the most insecure about Gautama coming back to life. When he was taken aside and told that he would be enlightened, Vappa greeted the news with doubt. “If what you tell me is true, I would feel something, and I don’t,” he said. “When you dig a well, there is no sign of water until you reach it, only rocks and dirt to move out of the way. You have removed enough; soon the pure water will flow,” said Buddha. But instead of being reassured, Vappa threw himself on the ground, weeping and grasping Buddha’s feet. “It will never happen,” he moaned. “Don’t fill me with false hope.” “I’m not offering hope,” said Buddha. “Your karma brought you to me, along with the other four. I can see that you will soon be awake.” “Then why do I have so many impure thoughts?” asked Vappa, who was prickly and prone to outbursts of rage, so much so that the other monks were intimidated by him. “Don’t trust your thoughts,” said Buddha. “You can’t think yourself awake.” “I have stolen food when I was famished, and there were times when I stole away from my brothers and went to women,” said Vappa. “Don’t trust your actions. They belong to the body,” said Buddha. “Your body can’t wake you up.” Vappa remained miserable, his expression hardening the more Buddha spoke. “I should go away from here. You say there is no war between good and evil, but I feel it inside. I feel how good you are, and it only makes me feel worse.” Vappa’s anguish was so genuine that Buddha felt a twinge of temptation. He could reach out and take Vappa’s guilt from his shoulders with a touch of the hand. But making Vappa happy wasn’t the same as setting him free, and Buddha knew he couldn’t touch every person on earth. He said, “I can see that you are at war inside, Vappa. You must believe me when I say that you’ll never win.” Vappa hung his head lower. “I know that. So I must go?” “No, you misunderstand me,” Buddha said gently. “No one has ever won the war. Good opposes evil the way the summer sun opposes winter cold, the way light opposes darkness. They are built into the eternal scheme of Nature.” “But you won. You are good; I feel it,” said Vappa. “What you feel is the being I have inside, just as you have it,” said Buddha. “I did not conquer evil or embrace good. I detached myself from both.” “How?” “It wasn’t difficult. Once I admitted to myself that I would never become completely good or free from sin, something changed inside. I was no longer distracted by the war; my attention could go somewhere else. It went beyond my body, and I saw who I really am. I am not a warrior. I am not a prisoner of desire. Those things come and go. I asked myself: Who is watching the war? Who do I return to when pain is over, or when pleasure is over? Who is content simply to be? You too have felt the peace of simply being. Wake up to that, and you will join me in being free.” This lesson had an immense effect on Vappa, who made it his mission for the rest of his life to seek out the most miserable and hopeless people in society. He was convinced that Buddha had revealed a truth that every person could recognize: suffering is a fixed part of life. Fleeing from pain and running toward pleasure would never change that fact. Yet most people spent their whole lives avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure. To them, this was only natural, but in reality they were becoming deeply involved in a war they could never win.
Deepak Chopra (Buddha)