Brought Us Together Quotes

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Captain?" "Yeah?" "Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?" He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. "No. I'm pretty sure it was Cinder.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
God has brought us together as families to bring to pass His eternal purposes. We are part of this plan in this marriage relationship. let us love and respect and honor one another. We can do it, and we will be the better for it.
Gordon B. Hinckley (Stand a Little Taller)
I feel like fate has brought us together again. I also believe that one night, so long ago, just wasn’t the right time for us. But tonight is.
Kim Karr (Connected (Connections, #1))
What is today’s date?” He is so random. I lift my head and look at him. “The eighth of August. Why?” “Just want to make sure you never forget the date the universe brought us back together.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
I kiss my Last Friend, because the world can't be against us, if it brought us together.
Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End)
Words brought us together though they almost kept us apart. You trusted me with your secrets and then you stole my heart.
Kasie West (P.S. I Like You)
I'm going to love you so good and so long you're gonna be convinced no earthly thing could have brought us together
J.R. Ward (Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5))
So the fairy silver brought you a monster of fire for a husband, and me a monster of ice. We should put them in a room together and let them make us both widows.
Naomi Novik (Spinning Silver)
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
Perhaps fate brought us together, And the incidents in between made us close, Falling in love was a simple choice, But breaking my heart, that was yours.
Tanzy Sayadi (Write like no one is reading 2)
We all have our little solipsistic delusions, ghastly intuitions of utter singularity: that we are the only one in the house who ever fills the ice-cube tray, who unloads the clean dishwasher, who occasionally pees in the shower, whose eyelid twitches on first dates; that only we take casualness terribly seriously; that only we fashion supplication into courtesy; that only we hear the whiny pathos in a dog’s yawn, the timeless sigh in the opening of the hermetically-sealed jar, the splattered laugh in the frying egg, the minor-D lament in the vacuum’s scream; that only we feel the panic at sunset the rookie kindergartner feels at his mother’s retreat. That only we love the only-we. That only we need the only-we. Solipsism binds us together, J.D. knows. That we feel lonely in a crowd; stop not to dwell on what’s brought the crowd into being. That we are, always, faces in a crowd.
David Foster Wallace (Girl with Curious Hair)
Words brought us together though they almost kept us apart. You trusted me with your secrets and then you stole my heart. They say that love is rare, like … “What’s rare?” I asked. “What?” His eyes lifted from the page and met mine. “What are some things that are rare?” “Meat?” I laughed. “We’re more alike than you know.
Kasie West (P.S. I Like You)
How can a three-pound mass of jelly that you can hold in your palm imagine angels, contemplate the meaning of infinity, and even question its own place in the cosmos? Especially awe inspiring is the fact that any single brain, including yours, is made up of atoms that were forged in the hearts of countless, far-flung stars billions of years ago. These particles drifted for eons and light-years until gravity and change brought them together here, now. These atoms now form a conglomerate- your brain- that can not only ponder the very stars that gave it birth but can also think about its own ability to think and wonder about its own ability to wonder. With the arrival of humans, it has been said, the universe has suddenly become conscious of itself. This, truly, it the greatest mystery of all.
V.S. Ramachandran (The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human)
I was remembering the things we had done together, the times we had had. It would have been pleasant to preserve that comradeship in the days that came after. Pleasant, but alas, impossible. That which had brought us together had gone, and now our paths diverged, according to our natures and needs. We would meet again, from time to time, but always a little more as strangers; until perhaps at last, as old men with only memories left, we could sit together and try to share them.
John Christopher (The Pool of Fire)
Maybe that brought us together, but it didn't make us who we are. It didn't make you the girl who could get me to laugh when I had nothing. It sure as hell didn't make me the idiot who took that for granted. Whatever there is between us, we forged it. It belongs to us.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
We lie together, quiet, under an endless sky, beside a bottomless ocean, and we don’t talk about how these are all the things that brought us together. We don’t talk about how we wouldn’t change any of them.We don’t have to, because these are the things we know by heart.
Jessi Kirby (Things We Know by Heart)
Promise me we'll stay together, okay?" His eyes are once again the clear blue of a perfectly transparent pool. They are eyes to swim in, to float in, forever. "You and me." "I promise," I say. Behind us the door creaks open, and I turn around, expecting Raven, just as a voice cuts through the air: "Don't believe her." The whole world closes around me, like an eyelid: For a moment, everything goes dark. I am falling. My ears are full of rushing; I have been sucked into a tunnel, a place of pleasure and chaos. My head is about to explode. He looks different. He is much thinner, and a scar runs from his eyebrow all the way down to his jaw. On his neck, just behind his left ear, a small tattooed number curves around the three-pronged scar that fooled me, for so long, into believing he was cured. His eyes-once a sweet, melted brown, like syrup-have hardened. Now they are stony, impenetrable. Only his hair is the same: that auburn crown, like leaves in autumn. Impossible. I close my eyes and reopen them: the boy from a dream, from a different lifetime. A boy brought back from the dead. Alex.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
You could say that Elphaba brought us together,' said Boq softly. 'I'm closer to her and so I'm closer to you.' Galinda seemed to give up. She leaned her head back on the velvet cushions of the swing and said, 'Boq, you know despite myself I think you're a little sweet. You're a little sweet and you're a little charming and you're a little maddening and you're a little habit-forming.' Boq held his breath. But you're little!' she concluded. 'You're a Munchkin, for god's sake!' He kissed her, he kissed her, he kissed her, little by little by little.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
As I've mentioned, a large part of my father's legacy is the lesson he taught his sons. He brought us together and said, 'The measure of a man is how well he provides for his children.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole? For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one. Metaphysical proofs are, however, not the only ones which we are able to bring forth in support of this idea. Science, too, recognizes this connectedness of separate individuals, though not quite in the same sense as it admits that the suns, planets, and moons of a constellation are one body, and there can be no doubt that it will be experimentally confirmed in times to come, when our means and methods for investigating psychical and other states and phenomena shall have been brought to great perfection. Still more: this one human being lives on and on. The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains. Therein lies the profound difference between the individual and the whole.
Nikola Tesla
Stranger isn’t it,” said Nasir, who was never one for contemplation. “How the darkness brought us together, and the light will let us fall apart?
Hafsah Faizal (We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, #2))
How strange that the years and ocean between us have brought us closer together.
Sarra Manning (You Don't Have to Say You Love Me)
All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of all ages. For three days these people, these strangers to one another, are brought together. They sleep and eat under one roof, they cannot get away from each other. At the end of three days they part, they go their several ways, never, perhaps, to see each other again.
Agatha Christie (Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #9))
She picked at the chiffon overlay of her skirt. “Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?” He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder. Why?
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
It's just like in a Brazilian serial! Destiny has brought us together.
Olga Goa (Fateful Italian Passion)
Captain?” He perked up. “Yeah?” She picked at the chiffon overlay of her skirt. “Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?” He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
I don’t know if it’s fate or a series of crazy coincidences that brought us together. But whatever led me to you isn’t as important as what will keep you here.
Vi Keeland (Happily Letter After)
We came so close to losing everything we had built together because of something that was out of our control. Something that should have brought us closer together but instead pulled us further apart.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
Only Christ could have brought us all together, in this place, doing such absurd but necessary things.
Kathleen Norris (The Cloister Walk)
I gave him a challenging half smirk. “You were the one who traveled halfway across the country to find me, Zeke Crosse. Now that you have, and now that you insist that something brought us together, I’m afraid you’re not getting rid of me that easily. Or, maybe I should say, I’m not letting you go. Vampires are possessive like that.
Julie Kagawa (The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2))
Books are what have brought us together. A love of the stories within, the adventures they take us on, their glorious distraction in a time of strife.
Madeline Martin (The Last Bookshop in London: A Novel of World War II)
Behold, the Great Poison!” Shinyun shouted. “Our founder. The prophet who brought us together and then led us astray.” “It’s just an honor to be nominated,” Magnus gasped.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Strange, isn’t it,’ said Nasir, who was never one for contemplation. ‘How the darkness brought us together, and the light will let us fall apart?’ Zafira shook her head, looking among them. ‘We’re not falling apart. We hunted the flame on Sharr, set free the stars across the skies, but it was only ever the dawn of our zumra. Now we make sure that light doesn’t go out. Forever. Together.
Hafsah Faizal (We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya, #2))
There comes a moment in our lives when some of the pieces of the puzzle come together - where all our past experiences, both good and bad, are brought to bear in causing us to become who God intends us to be.
Michael Card (A Fragile Stone: The Emotional Life of Simon Peter)
But in the early 1970s, we were not birdwatching. We were birding, and that made all the difference. We were out to seek, to discover, to chase, to learn, to find as many different kinds of birds as possible — and, in friendly competition, to try to find more of them than the next birder. We became a community of birders, with the complications that human societies always have; and although it was the birds that had brought us together, our story became a human story after all.
Kenn Kaufman (Kingbird Highway: The Biggest Year in the Life of an Extreme Birder)
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)
So, Buckley, huh?" he asked, pulling away from me. "You think he deserves that much credit?" "Well, he did bring us together and all," I said. "Oh, is that what brought us together?" His brown crinkled together. "I thought it was that ten minutes of unprotected passion in a cheap Manhattan hotel room." "I'd give it six at most.
Rachel K. Burke (Sound Bites: A Rock & Roll Love Story)
The line had brought us together, irrevocably entwining our fates.
Amie Knight (The Line)
People entering the bars on First Avenue gave up their bodies. Then only the demons inhabiting us could be seen. Souls who had wronged each other were brought together here. The rapist met his victim, the jilted child discovered its mother. But nothing could be healed, the mirror was a knife dividing everything from itself, tears of false fellowship dripped on the bar. And what are you going to do to me now? With what, exactly, would you expect to frighten me?
Denis Johnson (Jesus’ Son)
You're my green flash, Aiden. Our moon wishes may have brought us together, but it’s our hearts that led us home. To each other. I know with everything I am that you’re it. My true love.
Jillian Dodd (Get Me (The Keatyn Chronicles, #6))
Food has powers. It picks us up from our lonely corners and sits us back down, together. It pulls us out of ourselves, to the kitchen, to the table, to the diner down the block. At the same time, it draws us inward. Food is the keeper of our memories, connecting us with our pasts and with our people.
Jessica Fechtor (Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home)
How ... how fragile situations are. But not tenuous. Delicate, but not flimsy, not indulgent. Delicate, that's why they keep breaking, they must break and you must get the pieces together and show it before it breaks again, or put them aside for a moment when something else breaks and turn to that, and all this keeps going on. That's why most writing now, if you read it they go on one two three four and tell you what happened like newspaper accounts, no adjectives, no long sentences, no tricks they pretend, and they finally believe that they really believe that the way they saw it is the way it is ... it never takes your breath away, telling you things you already know, laying everything out flat, as though the terms and the time, and the nature and the movement of everything were secrets of the same magnitude. They write for people who read with the surface of their minds, people with reading habits that make the smallest demands on them, people brought up reading for facts, who know what's going to come next and want to know what's coming next, and get angry at surprises. Clarity's essential, and detail, no fake mysticism, the facts are bad enough. But we're embarrassed for people who tell too much, and tell it without surprise. How does he know what happened? unless it's one unshaven man alone in a boat, changing I to he, and how often do you get a man alone in a boat, in all this ... all this ... Listen, there are so many delicate fixtures, moving toward you, you'll see. Like a man going into a dark room, holding his hands down guarding his parts for fear of a table corner, and ... Why, all this around us is for people who can keep their balance only in the light, where they move as though nothing were fragile, nothing tempered by possibility, and all of a sudden bang! something breaks. Then you have to stop and put the pieces together again. But you never can put them back together quite the same way. You stop when you can and expose things, and leave them within reach, and others come on by themselves, and they break, and even then you may put the pieces aside just out of reach until you can bring them back and show them, put together slightly different, maybe a little more enduring, until you've broken it and picked up the pieces enough times, and you have the whole thing in all its dimensions. But the discipline, the detail, it's just ... sometimes the accumulation is too much to bear.
William Gaddis (The Recognitions)
The Anonymous Creed We believe in one God, and many gods, and the possibility of none, And also that the existence of the almighty is largely irrelevant, Because regardless of who is maker of heaven an death, It is our duty to care for all of creation, both visible and invisible. We believe in one fundamental truth: That all people, regardless of what they worship, who they love, and what they think Have a right to exist, and a right to be heard. We strive to make faith consubstantial with reason and compassion, Through which all good things are made. We believe in the goodness of humankind (with a few notable exceptions), The worth of listening to our friends and understanding our enemies, The power of a single voice in a silent room, And the practicality of cloaks and other assorted historical outerwear. We do not all believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic church But are nonetheless grateful that it brought us together. We strive to remember that high school will not last forever And look forward to graduation day And the life of that world to come. Amen.
Katie Henry (Heretics Anonymous)
The Prophet was the leader of the entire ummah, his every action an example, but when his grandson climbed his back, he had bent the rules, and what if it had been because it was more important to protect a child from pain than to be unwavering in principle? Maybe it was the exceptions we made for one another that brought God more pride than when we stood firm, maybe His heart opened when His creations opened their hearts to one another, and maybe that is why the boy was switched with the ram: so a father would not have to choose between his boy and his belief. There was another way. Amar was sure of it. He wanted them to find it together.
Fatima Farheen Mirza (A Place for Us)
We've got time," Jared says again. An abrupt panic, like a warning premonition, makes it impossible for me to speak for a moment. He watches the change on my face with worried eyes. "You don't know that." The despair that softened when he found me strikes like the lash of a whip. "You can't know how much time we'll have. You don't know if we should be counting in months or days or hours." He laughs a warm laugh, touching his lips to the tense place where my eyebrows pull together. "Don't worry, Mel. Miracles don't work that way. I'll never lose you. I'll never let you get away from me." She brought me back to the present - to the thin ribbon of the highway winding through the Arizona wasteland, baking under the fierce noon sun - without my choosing to return. I stared at the empty place ahead and felt the empty place inside. Her thought sighed faintly in my head: you never know how much time you'll have. The tears I was crying belonged to both of us.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
So she looked upon the wolves, who were dwindling in number, and back at the humans who no longer cared for their own, and combined their spirits. She took the loyal, protective, possessive natures of the wolf and took the intelligence, emotions, and love of the human and brought them together. She designed us to be a pack.
Quinn Loftis (Out of the Dark (The Grey Wolves, #4))
It was not chance that brought us together again. I am sure of that. These things are predestined. I have a theory that each man's life is like a pack of cards, and those we meet and sometimes love are shuffled with us. We find ourselves in the same suit, held by the hand of Fate. The game is played, we are discarded, and pass on.
Daphne du Maurier (Mount Verità)
At last, Sturmhond straightened the lapels of his teal frock coat and said, “Well, Brekker, it’s obvious you only deal in half-truths and outright lies, so you’re clearly the man for the job.” “There’s just one thing,” said Kaz, studying the privateer’s broken nose and ruddy hair. “Before we join hands and jump off a cliff together, I want to know exactly who I’m running with.” Sturmhond lifted a brow. “We haven’t been on a road trip or exchanged clothes, but I think our introductions were civilized enough.” “Who are you really, privateer?” “Is this an existential question?” “No proper thief talks the way you do.” “How narrow-minded of you.” “I know the look of a rich man’s son, and I don’t believe a king would send an ordinary privateer to handle business this sensitive.” “Ordinary,” scoffed Sturmhond. “Are you so schooled in politics?” “I know my way around a deal. Who are you? We get the truth or my crew walks.” “Are you so sure that would be possible, Brekker? I know your plans now. I’m accompanied by two of the world’s most legendary Grisha, and I’m not too bad in a fight either.” “And I’m the canal rat who brought Kuwei Yul-Bo out of the Ice Court alive. Let me know how you like your chances.” His crew didn’t have clothes or titles to rival the Ravkans, but Kaz knew where he’d put his money if he had any left. Sturmhond clasped his hands behind his back, and Kaz saw the barest shift in his demeanor. His eyes lost their bemused gleam and took on a surprising weight. No ordinary privateer at all. “Let us say,” said Sturmhond, gaze trained on the Ketterdam street below, “hypothetically, of course, that the Ravkan king has intelligence networks that reach deep within Kerch, Fjerda, and the Shu Han, and that he knows exactly how important Kuwei Yul-Bo could be to the future of his country. Let us say that king would trust no one to negotiate such matters but himself, but that he also knows just how dangerous it is to travel under his own name when his country is in turmoil, when he has no heir and the Lantsov succession is in no way secured.” “So hypothetically,” Kaz said, “you might be addressed as Your Highness.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
My Angel, My greatest hope is that you never have to read this. Vee knows to give you this letter only if my feather is burned and I’m chained in hell or if Blakely develops a devilcraft prototype strong enough to kill me. When war between our races ignites, I don’t know what will become of our future. When I think about you and our plans. I feel a desperate aching. Never have I wanted things to turn out right as as I do now. Before I leave this world, I need to make certain you know that all my love belongs to you. You are the same to me now as you were before you swore the Changeover Vow. You are mine. Always. I love the strength, courage, and gentleness of your soul. I love your body too. How could someone so sexy and perfect be mine? With you I have purpose-someone to love, cherish and protect. There are secrets in my past that weigh on your mind. You've trusted me enough not to ask about them, and it's your faith that has made me a better man. I don’t want to leave you with anything hidden between us. I told you I was banished from heaven for falling in love with a human girl. The I way I explained it, I risked everything to be with her. I said those words because they simplified my motivations. But they weren't the truth. The truth is I had become disenchanted with the archangels’s shifting goals and wanted to push back against them and their rules. That girl was an excuse to let go of an old way of living and accept a new journey that would eventually lead me to you. I believe in destiny, Angel. I believe every choice I've made has brought me closer to you. I looked for you for a very long time. I may have fallen from heaven but I fell for you. I will do whatever it takes to make sure you win this war. Nephilim will come out on top. You’ll fulfill your vow to the Black Hand and be safe. This is my priority even if the cost is my life. I suspect this will make you angry. It may be hard to forgive me. I promised that we would be together at the end of this and you may resent me for the breaking that vow. I want you to know I did everything to keep my word. As I write this I am going over ever possibility that will see us through this. I hope I find a way. But if this choice I have to make comes down to your or me, I choose you. I always have. All my love, Patch
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
I’d assumed after that I’d never find love. But fate brought us back together and I knew I had to win her over. Even if we did have to fight to overcome the cruel, we hung on to the beautiful and it was damn worth it.
Terri E. Laine (Cruel and Beautiful (Cruel & Beautiful, #1))
The world can’t be against us if it brought us together
Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End)
It was our fate and our natures, flawed and wounded, that brought us together - Violet Minturn
Amy Tan (The Valley of Amazement)
The risk of outgrowing each other is always eminent, especially if the reasons that brought us together in the first place were superficial.
Lebo Grand
She must have heard the door opening and closing in the middle of the night; she produces a smile, warm, conspiratorial, and I know what circuits are closing in her head: by screwing Joe she's brought us back together. Saving the world, everyone wants to; men think they can do it with guns, women with their bodies, love conquers all, conquerors love all, mirages raised by words.
Margaret Atwood (Surfacing)
As we age and plasticity declines, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to change in response to the world, even if we want to. We find familiar types of stimulation pleasurable; we seek out like-minded individuals to associate with, and research shows we tend to ignore or forget, or attempt to discredit, information that does not match our beliefs, or perception of the world, because it is very distressing and difficult to think and perceive in unfamiliar ways. Increasingly the aging individual acts to preserve the structures within, and when there is a mismatch between his internal neurocognitive structures and the world, he seek to change the world. In small ways he begins to micromanage his environment, to control it, and make it familiar. But this process, writ large, often leads whole cultural groups to try to impose their view of the world on other cultures, and they often become violent, especially in the modern world, where globalization has brought different cultures closer together, exacerbating the problem. Wexler's point, then, is that much of the cross-cultural conflict we see is a product of the relative decrease in plasticity. One could add that totalitarian regimes seem to have an intuitive awareness that it becomes hard for people to change after a certain age, which is why so much effort is made to indoctrinate the young from an early age.
Norman Doidge (The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science)
On my way to the living room, where my family was gathered, I stopped to look at the photo in the foyer. As always, my eyes were drawn to my own face first, then those of my sisters, and finally my mother, looking so small between us. But I saw it differently now. When that picture was taken, we were all gathered around my mother, sheltering her. But that was just one day, one shot. In the time since, we had arranged and rearranged ourselves so many times. We’d all gathered around Whitney, even when she didn’t want us to, and Kirsten and I had gotten closer when she pushed us both away. We were still in flux, as had been clear at the table that night as I watched my mother and sisters come together again. Then, I’d been convinced I was on the outside, but really, I’d always been within arm’s reach. All I had to do was ask, and I, too, would be easily brought back, surrounded and immersed, finding myself safe, somewhere in between.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
In 1965, worked with Nite Owl bringing street gangs under control. Tackled the Big Figure together. Brought down Underboss together. Good team. Until he got soft, like rest. Until he quit. No staying power. None of them. Except Comedian. Met him in 1966. Forceful personality. Didn't care if people liked him. Uncompromising. Admired that. Of us all, he understood most. About world. About people. About society and what's happening to it. Things everyone knows in gut. Things everyone too scared to face, too polite to talk about. He understood. Understood man's capacity for horrors and never quit. Saw the world's black underbelly and never surrendered. Once man has seen, he can never turn his back on it. Never pretend it doesn't exist. No matter who orders him to look the other way. We do not do this thing because it is permitted. We do it because we have to. We do it because we are compelled.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
For each of us is A separate miracle In a collective miracle Brought together For a moment By a group of notes And a scan of words From the heart Of one Who dares To think That others Might feel As he feels
Leonard Nimoy (Will I Think of You?)
I don't even remember who brought it up. It might have been Julie. Sometimes when we're all together, I get confused about who is who. Where one of us stops and the others start. We overlap, bleed together. I love it.
Rachel Harrison (The Return)
How can you love me if you don’t even know me?” He lifted my arms around his neck and placed his hands on the small of my back. “I know you, Jade. You’re witty and stubborn, like when you wanted to get rid of me at the bar in San Diego. And you’re sweet and caring, like when you talked to my mother at the hospital. And you can drink like a sailor. ” He chuckled. “And you hardly ever blush, but when you do it’s like the sunshine.” Then, he whispered in my ear with a husky voice, “And you make love with your soul.” Peter gave my earlobe a quick nibble. “I couldn’t care less about energy. It might have brought us together, but I only care about you. I want to spend the rest of my days with you; no matter if it’ll be ten or ten thousand.” Despite myself, I felt my eyes burn from tears I wasn’t ready to shed. Still, I couldn’t say it. “Peter...” I kissed him with all the tenderness I found in my heart and said, “the tub is about to spill.” “Oh, shit.” He jerked away from me, turned the water off and unplugged the tub, then hugged me again with wet hands. “All we need is time, Jade. You’ll see this love is real.
Denyse Cohen (Witch's Soulmate)
We had nothing in common, except we both loved music. It was the first connection we had, and we depended on it to keep us together. We did a lot of work to meet in the middle. Music brought us together. So now music was stuck with us.
Rob Sheffield (Love is a Mix Tape)
We had been taken from The Wild and brought together in one place, because, for some strange reason, people found us interesting.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
Surrounded by people speaking a different language, our family started talking to each other. We drew into a very small tribe (population: four), who ate together, and squabbled together, and mostly played together. We learned to waste our moments-together. And then we brought that lesson home with us.
Eloisa James (Paris in Love)
He kisses each of my eyelids and hovering his mouth over mine, he talks around my lips. “Ever since I met you, no one else has been worth thinking about.” I open my eyes, and he presses his forehead to mine as he continues, “I feel like fate has brought us together again. I also believe that one night, so long ago, just wasn’t the right time for us. But tonight is.
Kim Karr (Connected (Connections, #1))
When I saw my friend kissing the woman he loved it occurred to me that this moment, this instant stolen from time and from God, was worth all the days of misery that had brought us to this place and the many others that were doubtless waiting for us on our return to life. And that everything that was decent and clean and pure in this world and everything for which it was worth living and breathing was in those lips, in those hands and in the look of that fortunate couple who, I know, would be together for the rest of their lives.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Prisoner of Heaven (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #3))
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
Please Aslan, before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do, make it soon." "Dearest," said Aslan very gently, "you and your brother will never come back to Narnia." "Oh, Aslan!!" said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices. "You are too old, children," said Aslan, "and you must begin to come close to your own world now." "It isn't Narnia, you know," sobbed Lucy. "It's you. We shan't meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?" "But you shall meet me, dear one," said Aslan. "Are — are you there too, Sir?" said Edmund. "I am," said Aslan. "But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
Did the tsar refuse to marry you?" I asked. I thought the duke might have been angry with her if he had: he hadn't seemed like a man to be satisfied if his plans went awry. "No," she said. "I am tsarina. For as long as I live." She said it dryly, as if she didn't expect that to last long. "The tsar is a black sorcerer. He is possessed by a demon of flame that wants to devour me." I laughed; I couldn't help it. It wasn't mirth, it was bitterness. "So the fairy silver brought you a monster of fire for a husband, and me a monster of ice. We should put them in a room together and let them make us both widows.
Naomi Novik (Spinning Silver)
I know we don’t need an official document or rings on our fingers to tell us we belong together, because we’ve always known it. Always will. But the part of me who looks at you every morning and is proud as hell to call you mine, wants everyone else to know it too. So I brought you here and spoke my heart to ask you a single question. Will you say I do?
K. Bromberg (Sweet Cheeks)
YOU KNOW HOW RAMADI WAS WON? We went in and killed all the bad people we could find. When we started, the decent (or potentially decent) Iraqis didn’t fear the United States; they did fear the terrorists. The U.S. told them, “We’ll make it better for you.” The terrorists said, “We’ll cut your head off.” Who would you fear? Who would you listen to? When we went into Ramadi, we told the terrorists, “We’ll cut your head off. We will do whatever we have to and eliminate you.” Not only did we get the terrorists’ attention—we got everyone’s attention. We showed we were the force to be reckoned with. That’s where the so-called Great Awakening came. It wasn’t from kissing up to the Iraqis. It was from kicking butt. The tribal leaders saw that we were bad-asses, and they’d better get their act together, work together, and stop accommodating the insurgents. Force moved that battle. We killed the bad guys and brought the leaders to the peace table. That is how the world works.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
She pressed her hands against my chest and tried to push me away. "I can't think straight when you 're this close." I backed her up against the wall. "I don't like the thoughts running through your head. I plan on staying here until you look me in the eye and tell me you 're mine." "This isn't going to work. It never would have." "Bullshit. We belong together." Echo sniffed and the sound tore at me. I softened my voice. "Look at me, baby. I know you love me. Three nights ago you were willing to offer everything to me. There is no way you can walk away from us." "God Noah..." Her voice broke. "I'm a mess." A mess? "You 're beautiful." "I'm a mental mess. In two months you 're going to face some judge and convince him that you are the best person to raise your brothers. I'm a liability." "Not true. My brothers will love you and you 'll love them. You are not a liability." "But how will the judge see me? Are you really willing too take that risk? [...] What happens if the judge find out about me? What if he discovers what a mess you 're dating?" Breathing became a painful chore. Her lips turned down while her warm fingers caressed my cheek. That touch typically brought me to knees, but now it cut me open. "Did you know that when you stop being stubborn and accept i may be right on something, your eyes widen a little and you tilt your head to the side?" she asked. I forced my head straight and narrowed my eyes. "I love you." She flashed her glorious smile and then it became the saddest smile in the world. "You love your brothers more. I'm okay with that. In fact, it's one of the things i love about you. You were right the other day. I do want to be a part of a family. But i'd never forgive myself if i was the reason you didn't get yours." To my horror, tears pricked my eyes and my throat swelled shut. "No, you 're not pulling this sacrificial bullshit on me. I love you and you love me and we 're supposed to be together." Echo pressed her body to mine and her fingers clung to my hair. Water glistened in her eyes. "I love you enough to never make you choose." She pushed off her toes toward me, guiding my head down, and gently kissed my lips. No. This wouldn't be goudbye. I'd fill her up and make her realize she'd always be empty without me. I made Echo mine. My hands claimed her hair, her back. My lips claimed her mouth, her tongue. Her body shook against mine and i tasted salty wetness on her skin. She forced her lips away and i latched tighter to her. "No, baby, no," i whispered into her hair. She pushed her palms against my chest, then became a blur as she ran past. "I'm sorry.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
The only person that should wear your ring is the one person that would never… 1. Ask you to remain silent and look the other way while they hurt another. 2. Jeopardize your future by taking risks that could potentially ruin your finances or reputation. 3. Teach your children that hurting others is okay because God loves them more. God didn’t ask you to keep your family together at the expense of doing evil to others. 4. Uses religious guilt to control you, while they are doing unreligious things. 5. Doesn't believe their actions have long lasting repercussions that could affect other people negatively. 6. Reminds you of your faults, but justifies their own. 7. Uses the kids to manipulate you into believing you are nothing. As if to suggest, you couldn’t leave the relationship and establish a better Christian marriage with someone that doesn’t do these things. Thus, making you believe God hates all the divorced people and will abandon you by not bringing someone better to your life, after you decide to leave. As if! 8. They humiliate you online and in their inner circle. They let their friends, family and world know your transgressions. 9. They tell you no marriage is perfect and you are not trying, yet they are the one that has stirred up more drama through their insecurities. 10. They say they are sorry, but they don’t show proof through restoring what they have done. 11. They don’t make you a better person because you are miserable. They have only made you a victim or a bitter survivor because of their need for control over you. 12. Their version of success comes at the cost of stepping on others. 13. They make your marriage a public event, in order for you to prove your love online for them. 14. They lie, but their lies are often justified. 15. You constantly have to start over and over and over with them, as if a connection could be grown and love restored through a honeymoon phase, or constant parental supervision of one another’s down falls. 16. They tell you that they don’t care about anyone other than who they love. However, their actions don’t show they love you, rather their love has become bitter insecurity disguised in statements such as, “Look what I did for us. This is how much I care.” 17. They tell you who you can interact with and who you can’t. 18. They believe the outside world is to blame for their unhappiness. 19. They brought you to a point of improvement, but no longer have your respect. 20. They don't make you feel anything, but regret. You know in your heart you settled.
Shannon L. Alder
I just want to make sure you never forget the date the universe brought us back together
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
We're brought together by a power greater than either of us. Something bigger than our own world.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
I kiss my Last Friend, because the world can't be against us if it brought us together
Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End)
I kiss my Last Friend because the world can't be against us if it brought us together.
Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End)
I'd rather focus on what brought us together than dwell on what tore us apart.
Teresa "Jew" Lariosa
Alex gave me a sad smile. “Sometimes being unique is better than being normal. It’s what brought us together.
Keary Taylor (Vindicated (Fall of Angels, #3))
God didn't bring us together. Our jobs brought us together. That's not divine intervention, that's just life.
Tiffany Quay Tyson (Three Rivers)
Snow. Falling snow is what brought us together. That and his hurried life, which collided us in the first place.
Alessandra Torre (Sex Love Repeat)
But Bella’s disappearance brought us together. Made us a real couple. I always said we needed a child.
Fiona Barton (The Widow (Kate Waters, #1))
Yeah,bumpers are for preschoolers or two teenagers who couldn't stop throwing gutter balls if their lives depended on it.Which, fortunately, they don't.Because we'd be screwed." I grabbed my glittery hot pink ball (which I was seriously considering buying) and imitated the perfect form a Mohawked guy next to us was using. Instead of shooting straight down the lane and knocking over all the pins, my ball inexplicably went flying backward toward Lend. "Okay,now we're getting dangerous." Lend brought my ball back and, wrapping himself around me,we threw it together. After pinballing off the bumpers on both sides,it knocked down a whole three pins. I jumped up and down, screaming. "That's like, practically a strike,right?" "Good enough for me!
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
I believe in our life together. I believe in it the way I believe in everything that brought us together: in the most profound depths of your darkness and of mine. I revealed everything about myself to you. Now that it gives you pleasure to laugh at it, to soil it––this leaves me as far away from anger as it is possible to be. Scatter, spoil, destroy, throw to the dogs all that you want: you will never affect me again. I will never be where you think you find me, where you think you’ve finally caught me in a chokehold that makes you come. As for me I am beyond words, I have seen too much, known too much, experienced too much for appearance to take on form. You can do anything you want, I will not be hurt." (in a letter to Georges Bataille)
Laure
Coddly slammed a fist on the table. “No one will take you seriously if you do not act decisively.” There was a beat of silence after his voice stopped echoing around the room, and the entire table sat motionless. “Fine,” I responded calmly. “You’re fired.” Coddly laughed, looking at the other gentlemen at the table. “You can’t fire me, Your Highness.” I tilted my head, staring at him. “I assure you, I can. There’s no one here who outranks me at the moment, and you are easily replaceable.” Though she tried to be discreet, I saw Lady Brice purse her lips together, clearly determined not to laugh. Yes, I definitely had an ally in her. “You need to fight!” he insisted. “No,” I answered firmly. “A war would add unnecessary strain to an already stressful moment and would cause an upheaval between us and the country we are now bound to by marriage. We will not fight.” Coddly lowered his chin and squinted. “Don’t you think you’re being too emotional about this?” I stood, my chair screeching behind me as I moved. “I’m going to assume that you aren’t implying by that statement that I’m actually being too female about this. Because, yes, I am emotional.” I strode around the opposite side of the table, my eyes trained on Coddly. “My mother is in a bed with tubes down her throat, my twin is now on a different continent, and my father is holding himself together by a thread.” Stopping across from him, I continued. “I have two younger brothers to keep calm in the wake of all this, a country to run, and six boys downstairs waiting for me to offer one of them my hand.” Coddly swallowed, and I felt only the tiniest bit of guilt for the satisfaction it brought me. “So, yes, I am emotional right now. Anyone in my position with a soul would be. And you, sir, are an idiot. How dare you try to force my hand on something so monumental on the grounds of something so small? For all intents and purposes, I am queen, and you will not coerce me into anything.” I walked back to the head of the table. “Officer Leger?” “Yes, Your Highness?” “Is there anything on this agenda that can’t wait until tomorrow?” “No, Your Highness.” “Good. You’re all dismissed. And I suggest you all remember who’s in charge here before we meet again.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
How are you giving it magic?” he said, through his teeth. “I already found the path!” I said. “I’m just staying on it. Can’t you—feel it?” I asked abruptly, and held my hand cupping the flower out towards him; he frowned and put his hands around it, and then he said, “Vadiya rusha ilikad tuhi,” and a second illusion laid itself over mine, two roses in the same space—his, predictably, had three rings of perfect petals, and a delicate fragrance. “Try and match it,” he said absently, his fingers moving slightly, and by lurching steps we brought our illusions closer together until it was nearly impossible to tell them one from another, and then he said, “Ah,” suddenly, just as I began to glimpse his spell: almost exactly like that strange clockwork on the middle of his table, all shining moving parts. On an impulse I tried to align our workings: I envisioned his like the water-wheel of a mill, and mine the rushing stream driving it around. “What are you—” he began, and then abruptly we had only a single rose, and it began to grow. And not only the rose: vines were climbing up the bookshelves in every direction, twining themselves around ancient tomes and reaching out the window; the tall slender columns that made the arch of the doorway were lost among rising birches, spreading out long finger-branches; moss and violets were springing up across the floor, delicate ferns unfurling. Flowers were blooming everywhere: flowers I had never seen, strange blooms dangling and others with sharp points, brilliantly colored, and the room was thick with their fragrance, with the smell of crushed leaves and pungent herbs. I looked around myself alight with wonder, my magic still flowing easily. “Is this what you meant?” I asked him: it really wasn’t any more difficult than making the single flower had been. But he was staring at the riot of flowers all around us, as astonished as I was. He looked at me, baffled and for the first time uncertain, as though he had stumbled into something, unprepared. His long narrow hands were cradled around mine, both of us holding the rose together. Magic was singing in me, through me; I felt the murmur of his power singing back that same song. I was abruptly too hot, and strangely conscious of myself. I pulled my hands free.
Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
The superiority you discern in me,” she concurred, “announces my futility. If you knew,” she sighed, “the dreams of my youth!” But our realities are what has brought us together. We’re beaten brothers in arms.
Henry James (The Ambassadors)
My idealized account was so much to her liking that it brought us together. At that moment Lola seemed to discover that we had at least one taste in common, well concealed in my case, namely, a taste for social functions. She went so far as to kiss me in a burst of spontaneous emotion, something, I have to admit, that she seldom did. And then she was touched by the sadness of bygone fashions. Everyone has his own way of mourning the passage of time. It was through dead fashions that Lola perceived the flight of the years. "Ferdinand," she asked, "do you think there will be races here again?" "When the war is over, Lola, I should think..." "We can't be sure, can we?" "No, we can't be sure." The possibility that there would never again be races at Longchamp overwhelmed her. The sadness of the world has different ways of getting to people, but it seems to succeed almost every time.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
Queer people have had to actively make their culture and community and institutions, because the non-queer world is not going to do it for us. And I love that, I love the idea that you have to create what you need, you know?
Sarah Liss (Army of Lovers: A Community History of Will Munro, the artist, activist, impresario, and civic hero who brought together Toronto's club kids, art fags, hardcore boys ...)
We all have our little solipsistic delusions, ghastly intuitions of utter singularity: that we are the only one in the house who ever fills the ice-cube tray, who unloads the clean dishwasher, who occasionally pees in the shower, whose eyelid twitches on first dates; that only we take casualness terribly seriously, that only we fashion supplication into courtesy, that only we hear the whiny pathos in a dog's yawn, the timeless sigh in the opening of the hermetically-sealed jar, the splattered laugh in the frying egg, the minor-D lament in the vacuum's scream; that only we feel the panic at sunset the rookie kindergartener feels on his mother's retreating. That only we love the only-we. That only we need the only-we. Solipsism binds us together, J.D. knows. That we feel lonely in a crowd and stop not to dwell on what's brought the crowd into being. That we are, always, faces in a crowd.
David Foster Wallace (Girl with Curious Hair)
Christmas, therefore, is the most unsentimental, realistic way of looking at life. It does not say, “Cheer up! If we all pull together we can make the world a better place.” The Bible never counsels indifference to the forces of darkness, only resistance, but it supports no illusions that we can defeat them ourselves. Christianity does not agree with the optimistic thinkers who say, “We can fix things if we try hard enough.” Nor does it agree with the pessimists who see only a dystopian future. The message of Christianity is, instead, “Things really are this bad, and we can’t heal or save ourselves. Things really are this dark—nevertheless, there is hope.” The Christmas message is that “on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Notice that it doesn’t say from the world a light has sprung, but upon the world a light has dawned. It has come from outside. There is light outside of this world, and Jesus has brought that light to save us; indeed, he is the Light (John 8:12). THE
Timothy J. Keller (Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ)
I laughed; I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t mirth, it was bitterness. “So the fairy silver brought you a monster of fire for a husband, and me a monster of ice. We should put them in a room together and let them make us both widows.
Naomi Novik (Spinning Silver)
I think we were meant to find each other, AK. I think we were meant to find each other, to leave hell together.” I didn’t reply. I had no words. “I think that no solution is quick, and no remedy will magically make our pain drift away. I believe that we must go on through this pain we are feeling in order to move on. And I believe whatever God or greater power exists above us brought us together so we may heal together. Heal the other in a way that no other person could.
Tillie Cole (Damnable Grace (Hades Hangmen, #5))
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 sense of respiration is an example of our natural sense relationship with the atmospheric matrix. Remember, respiration means to re-spire, to re-spirit ourselves by breathing. It, too, is a consensus of many senses. We may always bring the natural relationships of our senses and the matrix into consciousness by becoming aware of our tensions and relaxations while breathing. The respiration process is guided by our natural attraction to connect with fresh air and by our attraction to nurture nature by feeding it carbon dioxide and water, the foods for Earth that we grow within us during respiration. When we hold our breath, our story to do so makes our senses feel the suffocation discomfort of being separated from Earth's atmosphere. It draws our attention to follow our attraction to air, so we inspire and gain comfort. Then the attraction to feed Earth comes into play so we exhale food for it to eat and we again gain comfort. This process feels good, it is inspiring. Together, we and Earth conspire (breathe together) so that neither of us will expire. The vital nature of this process is brought to consciousness when we recognize that the word for air, spire, also means spirit and that psyche is another name for air/spirit/soul.
Michael J. Cohen (Reconnecting with Nature: Finding Wellness Through Rebuilding Your Bond with the Earth)
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)
I've been mistaken to assume that in this little village in the spring, so like a dream or a poem, life is a matter only of the singing birds, the falling blossoms, and the bubbling springs. The real world has crossed mountains and seas and is bearing down even on this isolated village, whose inhabitants have doubtless lived here in peace down the long stretch of years ever since they fled as defeated warriors from the great clan wars of the twelfth century. Perhaps a millionth part of the blood that will dye the wide Manchurian plains will gush from this young man's arteries, or seethe forth at the point of the long sword that hangs at his waist. Yet here this young man sits, beside an artist for whom the sole value of human life lies in dreaming. If I listen carefully, I can even hear the beating of his heart, so close are we. And perhaps even now, within that beat reverberates the beating of the great tide that is sweeping across the hundreds of miles of that far battlefield. Fate has for a brief and unexpected moment brought us together in this room, but beyond that it speaks no more.
Natsume Sōseki (The Three-Cornered World)
Say yes, Avery. Say that you’re in this with me.” She closes her eyes. “Of course I am.” I crush my lips to hers. Avery—she’s my destiny. There are too many times fate has brought us together, and I can no longer deny that she is my dream and this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.
Michelle A. Valentine (Wicked Love (Wicked White #3))
I wondered straightaway how he could sit at peace there, of an evening, with the row of heads staring down at him. There were no pictures, no flowers: only the heads of chamois. The concession to melody was the radiogram and the stack of records of classical music. Foolishly, I had asked, "Why only chamois?" He answered at once, "They fear Man." This might have led to an argument about animals in general, domestic, wild, and those which adapt themselves to the whims and vagaries of the human race; but instead he changed the subject abruptly, put on a Sibelius record, and presently made love to me, intently but without emotion. I was surprised but pleased. I thought, "We are suited to one another. There will be no demands. Each of us will be self-contained and not beholden to the other." All this came true, but something was amiss. There was a flaw - not only the nonappearance of children, but a division of the spirit. The communion of flesh which brought us together was in reality a chasm, and I despised the bridge we made. Perhaps he did as well. I had been endeavouring for ten years to build for my self a ledge of safety. ("The Chamois")
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
In great cities men are brought together by the desire of gain. They are not in a state of cooperation, but of isolation, as to the making of fortunes;; and for all the rest they are careless of neighbors. Christianity teaches us to love our neighbour as ourself; modern society acknowledges no neighbour.
Benjamin Disraeli (Sybil, or the Two Nations)
If we waited for people to deserve our love, we'd never love a soul. Better to follow God's way of love, better to love people even when they don't deserve it, because it is love that heals the hearts around us. It's love that brings people back to God. It's love that brought us back together once again, as a family.
Mick Mooney (SNAP)
When I came into his presence, he was seated, and in his lap was a fat yellow cat. He told me that one of the captains had brought the beast to him, from an island beyond the sunrise. 'Have you ever seen her like?' he asked of me. And to him I said, 'Each night in the alleys of Braavos I see a thousand like him,' and the Sealord laughed, and that day I was named the first sword." Arya screwed up her face. "I don't understand." Syrio clicked his teeth together. "The cat was an ordinary cat, no more. The others expected a fabulous beast, so that is what they saw. How large it was, they said. It was no larger than any other cat, only fat from indolence, for the Sealord fed it from his own table. What curious small ears, they said. Its ears had been chewed away in kitten fights. And it was plainly a tomcat, yet the Sealord said 'her', and that is what the others saw. Are you hearing?" Arya thought about it. "You saw what was there." "Just so. Opening your eyes is all that is needing. the heart lies and the head plays tricks with us, but the eyes see true. Look with your eyes. Hear with your ears. Taste with your mouth. Smell with your nose. Feel with your skin. Then comes the thinking, afterward, and in that way knowing the truth." "Just so," said Arya, grinning.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Touching the copper of the ankh reminded me of another necklace, a necklace long since lost under the dust of time. That necklace had been simpler: only a string of beads etched with tiny ankhs. But my husband had brought it to me the morning of our wedding, sneaking up to our house just after dawn in a gesture uncharacteristically bold for him. I had chastised him for the indiscretion. "What are you doing? You're going to see me this afternoon... and then every day after that!" "I had to give you these before the wedding." He held up the string of beads. "They were my mother's. I want you to have them, to wear them today.” He leaned forward, placing the beads around my neck. As his fingers brushed my skin, I felt something warm and tingly run through my body. At the tender age of fifteen, I hadn't exactly understood such sensations, though I was eager to explore them. My wiser self today recognized them as the early stirrings of lust, and . . . well, there had been something else there too. Something else that I still didn't quite comprehend. An electric connection, a feeling that we were bound into something bigger than ourselves. That our being together was inevitable. "There," he'd said, once the beads were secure and my hair brushed back into place. "Perfect.” He said nothing else after that. He didn't need to. His eyes told me all I needed to know, and I shivered. Until Kyriakos, no man had ever given me a second glance. I was Marthanes' too-tall daughter after all, the one with the sharp tongue who didn't think before speaking. (Shape-shifting would eventually take care of one of those problems but not the other.) But Kyriakos had always listened to me and watched me like I was someone more, someone tempting and desirable, like the beautiful priestesses of Aphrodite who still carried on their rituals away from the Christian priests. I wanted him to touch me then, not realizing just how much until I caught his hand suddenly and unexpectedly. Taking it, I placed it around my waist and pulled him to me. His eyes widened in surprise, but he didn't pull back. We were almost the same height, making it easy for his mouth to seek mine out in a crushing kiss. I leaned against the warm stone wall behind me so that I was pressed between it and him. I could feel every part of his body against mine, but we still weren't close enough. Not nearly enough. Our kissing grew more ardent, as though our lips alone might close whatever aching distance lay between us. I moved his hand again, this time to push up my skirt along the side of one leg. His hand stroked the smooth flesh there and, without further urging, slid over to my inner thigh. I arched my lower body toward his, nearly writhing against him now, needing him to touch me everywhere. "Letha? Where are you at?” My sister's voice carried over the wind; she wasn't nearby but was close enough to be here soon. Kyriakos and I broke apart, both gasping, pulses racing. He was looking at me like he'd never seen me before. Heat burned in his gaze. "Have you ever been with anyone before?" he asked wonderingly. I shook my head. "How did you ... I never imagined you doing that...” "I learn fast.” He grinned and pressed my hand to his lips. "Tonight," he breathed. "Tonight we ...” "Tonight," I agreed. He backed away then, eyes still smoldering. "I love you. You are my life.” "I love you too." I smiled and watched him go.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
Thus a translation of a translation brought us together, but I can see now that we were still very far apart, farther apart indeed than languages, even though we had laughed together, for our laugher was cruel, as laughter often is. I was laughing at the awkwardness of a Chinese mind, the translator's; Su-ling at the awkwardness of a Western mind, mine.
John Hersey (A Single Pebble)
We’re brought together by a power greater than either of us. Something bigger than our own world.” It’s not just a romantic saying; it’s scientific fact.
Claudia Gray (Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird, #2))
But the really special thing I've included is my letter, the one I wrote to him so long ago, the one that brought us together. I wanted to keep it, but something felt right about Peter having it. One day all of this will be proof, proof that we were here, proof that we loved each other. It's the guarantee that no matter what happens to us in the future, this time was ours.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
It has been brought to our notice that we have been in the habit of regarding the connection between the sexual instinct and the sexual object as more intimate than it in fact is. Experience of the cases that are considered abnormal has shown us that in them the sexual instinct and the sexual object are merely soldered together—a fact which we have been in danger of overlooking in consequence of the uniformity of the normal picture, where the object appears to form part and parcel of the instinct. We are thus warned to loosen the bond that exists in our thoughts between instinct and object. It seems probable that the sexual instinct is in the first instance independent of its object; nor is its origin likely to be due to its object's attractions.
Sigmund Freud (Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality)
To loveres our theree... Sometimes we get carried away with the fights we are having. With the mistakes and problems we have in a relationship. That we forget to show each other and tell each other, how much we love each other. We concentrate on the bad things and forget what do we mean to each other and what brought us together. We forget to show appreciation and that we care for one another.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
We sometimes get together with others hoping their mood will elevate ours. In a way, we want to bring leftovers to the potluck and we're hoping to fill our plates with apple pie. Energy tells us why this won't happen. When we show up for a buffet of conversations, we will be drawn to the moods that reflect what we brought with us. Our feelings, beliefs, and thoughts seek similar energy fields.
Jeanne McElvaney (Personal Development Insights)
The Pandemic Sonnet This ain't the first time you've come to haunt us, And it won't be the last either. You thought you could break the species, But all you did is bring us together. You brought the world to almost a standstill, Yet we never stood still to let inaction take over. Each one of us did the best we could, And we'll keep on doing till your traces wither. We may have our differences at times, But when trouble knocks on our door we all stand one. We may act selfish sometimes, But in catastrophe we refrain from helping no one. However thanks for reminding us to leave wildlife alone, Otherwise all we'll have left to do is mourn.
Abhijit Naskar
We are here. We will work together for what purpose seems to us right. We will work with calm, and with tolerance and, please God, with saving laughter. ‘We know something of men. We know of evil, and of sloth, and of self-seeking ambition. We accept it, and will use what we have of wit and good faith to overcome it. ‘And if we do not overcome it, still we are the road; we are the bridge; we are the conduit. For something have we been born. For something have we been brought here. And if we hold firm, the men who peopled our earth need not be ashamed, when the reckoning comes, to say, we worked with all we had been given; and for one another.’
Dorothy Dunnett (Checkmate (The Lymond Chronicles, #6))
Xenia was still laughing at us when her brother walked over. "Georgi, do you remember when Katerina Alexandrovna and Dariya Yevgenienva brought the kitten to the ball?" I hadn't noticed the grand duke approaching. Dariya curtsied prettily. "Katiya's mother wouldn't let us play together anymore after that." "I thought your mother disallowed it," I said, surprised. "Both mothers were very wise," George Alexandrovich said, his lips pressed tightly together, almost as if he was trying not to smile. "You two are an extremely dangerous duo." "Nonsense." Dariya smiled. "Nothing bad has happened tonight." The grand duke was looking straight at me when he said, "But the night is young.
Robin Bridges (The Gathering Storm (Katerina, #1))
Odette, because of you, I laugh, I smile, and I dare to dream of a future that is worthy of poets. The reasons that brought us together weren’t the best or the most romantic, but I am glad for them nevertheless, and I swear to you that from now until the day I die, your dreams are my dreams. Your joy is my joy. Your pain is my pain, and I will never betray you. You are now my body, my mind, my soul, and my heart. You are my sun, my moon, and all of my stars.
J.J. McAvoy (The Prince’s Bride Part 1 (The Prince's Bride, #1))
There’s our homecoming picture. Last Halloween, when I dressed up as Mulan and Peter wore a dragon costume. There’s a receipt from Tart and Tangy. One of his notes to me, from before. If you make Josh’s dumb white-chocolate cranberry cookies and not my fruitcake ones, it’s over. Pictures of us from Senior Week. Prom. Dried rose petals from my corsage. The Sixteen Candles picture. There are some things I didn’t include, like the ticket stub from our first real date, the note he wrote me that said, I like you in blue. Those things are tucked away in my hatbox. I’ll never let those go. But the really special thing I’ve included is my letter, the one I wrote to him so long ago, the one that brought us together. I wanted to keep it, but something felt right about Peter having it. One day all of this will be proof, proof that we were here, proof that we loved each other. It’s the guarantee that no matter what happens to us in the future, this time was ours. When he gets to that page, Peter stops. “I thought you wanted to keep this,” he said. “I wanted to, but then I felt like you should have it. Just promise you’ll keep it forever.” He turns the page. It’s a picture from when we took my grandma to karaoke. I sang “You’re So Vain” and dedicated it to Peter. Peter got up and sang “Style” by Taylor Swift. Then he dueted “Unchained Melody” with my grandma, and after, she made us both promise to take a Korean language class at UVA. She and Peter took a ton of selfies together that night. She made one her home screen on her phone. Her friends at her apartment complex said he looked like a movie star. I made the mistake of telling Peter, and he crowed about it for days after. He stays on that page for a while. When he doesn’t say anything, I say, helpfully, “It’s something to remember us by.” He snaps the book shut. “Thanks,” he says, flashing me a quick smile. “This is awesome.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
In the afterglow of the Big Bang, humans spread in waves across the universe, sprawling and brawling and breeding and dying and evolving. There were wars, there was love, there was life and death. Minds flowed together in great rivers of consciousness, or shattered in sparkling droplets. There was immortality to be had, of a sort, a continuity of identity through replication and confluence across billions upon billions of years. Everywhere they found life. Nowhere did they find mind—save what they brought with them or created—no other against which human advancement could be tested. With time, the stars died like candles. But humans fed on bloated gravitational fat, and achieved a power undreamed of in earlier ages. They learned of other universes from which theirs had evolved. Those earlier, simpler realities too were empty of mind, a branching tree of emptiness reaching deep into the hyperpast. It is impossible to understand what minds of that age—the peak of humankind, a species hundreds of billions of times older than humankind—were like. They did not seek to acquire, not to breed, not even to learn. They had nothing in common with us, their ancestors of the afterglow. Nothing but the will to survive. And even that was to be denied them by time. The universe aged: indifferent, harsh, hostile, and ultimately lethal. There was despair and loneliness. There was an age of war, an obliteration of trillion-year memories, a bonfire of identity. There was an age of suicide, as the finest of humanity chose self-destruction against further purposeless time and struggle. The great rivers of mind guttered and dried. But some persisted: just a tributary, the stubborn, still unwilling to yield to the darkness, to accept the increasing confines of a universe growing inexorably old. And, at last, they realized that this was wrong. It wasn't supposed to have been like this. Burning the last of the universe's resources, the final down-streamers—dogged, all but insane—reached to the deepest past. And—oh. Watch the Moon, Malenfant. Watch the Moon. It's starting—
Stephen Baxter (Time (Manifold #1))
Here, Kells. I brought you something,” he said unassumingly and held out three mangos. “Thanks. Um, dare I ask where you got them?” “Monkeys.” I stopped in mid-brush. “Monkeys? What do you mean monkeys?” “Well, monkeys don’t like tigers because tigers eat monkeys. So, when a tiger comes around, they jump up in the trees and pummel the tiger with fruit or feces. Lucky for me today they threw fruit.” I gulped. “Have you ever…eaten a monkey?” Ren grinned at me. “Well, a tiger does have to eat.” I dug a rubber band out of the backpack so I could braid my hair. “Ugh, that’s disgusting.” He laughed. “I didn’t really eat a monkey, Kells. I’m just teasing you. Monkeys are repellant. They taste like meaty tennis balls and they smell like feet.” He paused. “Now a nice juicy deer, that is delectable.” He smacked his lips together in an exaggerated way. “I don’t think I really need to hear about your hunting.” “Really? I quite enjoy hunting.” Ren froze into place. Then, almost imperceptibly, he lowered his body slowly to a crouch and balanced on the balls of his feet. He placed a hand in the grass in front of him and began to creep closer to me. He was tracking me, hunting me. His eyes locked on mine and pinned me to the spot where I was standing. He was preparing to spring. His lips were pulled back in a wide grin, which showed his brilliant white teeth. He looked…feral. He spoke in a silky, mesmerizing voice. “When you’re stalking your prey, you must freeze in place and hide, remaining that way for a long time. If you fail, your prey eludes you.” He closed the distance between us in a heartbeat. Even though I’d been watching him closely, I was startled at how fast he could move. My pulse started thumping wildly at my throat, which was where his lips now hovered as if he were going for my jugular. He brushed my hair back and moved up to my ear, whispering, “And you will go…hungry.” His words were hushed. His warm breath tickled my ear and made goose bumps fan out over my body. I turned my head slightly to look at him. His eyes had changed. They were a brighter blue than normal and were studying my face. His hand was still in my hair, and his eyes drifted down to my mouth. I suddenly had the distinct impression that this was what it felt like to be a deer. Ren was making my nervous. I blinked and swallowed dryly. His eyes darted back up to mine again. He must have sensed my apprehension because his expression changed. He removed his hand from my hair and relaxed his posture. “I’m sorry if I frightened you, Kelsey. It won’t happen again.” When he took a step back, I started breathing again. I said shakily, “Well, I don’t want to hear any more about hunting. It freaks me out. The least you could do is not tell me about it. Especially when I have to spend time with you outdoors, okay?” He laughed. “kells, we all have some animalistic tendencies. I loved hunting, even when I was young.” I shuddered. “Fine. Just keep your animalistic tendencies to yourself.” He leaned toward me again and pulled on a strand of my hair. “Now, Kells, there are some of my animalistic tendencies that you seem to like.” He started making a rumbling sound in his chest, and I realized that he was purring. “Stop that!” I sputtered. He laughed, walked over to the backpack, and picked up the fruit. “So, do you want any of this mango or not? I’ll wash it for you.” “Well, considering you carried it in your mouth all that way just for me. And taking into account the source of said fruit. Not really.” His shoulders fell, and I hurried to add, “But I guess I could eat some of the inside.” He looked up at me and smiled. “It’s not freeze-dried.” “Okay. I’ll try some.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I would think of it with affection because of its scenes of fragmentary beauty, because it brought men closer together through their perversity and fear, because it enabled us to pretend that death could be a tender experience, and because it breached the long silence.
Don DeLillo (End Zone)
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))
You guys could handle this on your own. Why risk getting kicked out of your He-Man-Monster-Haters Club?" "Because we can't handle this on our own. At least I don't think we can." "You said yourself you already have some Prodigium working with you. Why not go to them?" "We have a handful," he said, frustration creeping into his voice. "And most of them suck. Look, just consider it a peace offering, okay? My way of saying I'm sorry for lying to you. And pulling a knife in your presence, even if it was just to open a damn window to get out before you vaporized me." Most girls got flowers. I got a dirt put used for demon raising. Nice. "Thanks," I replied. "But don't you want in on this?" He looked at me, and not for the first time, I wished his eyes weren't so dark. It would have been nice to have some idea of what was going on in his head. "That's up to you," he said. Mom always liked to say that we hardly ever know the decisions we make that change our lives,mostly because they're little ones. You take this bus instead of that one and end up meeting your soul mate, that kind of thing. But there was no doubt in my mind that this was one of those life-changing moments. Tell Archer no,and I'd never see him again. And Dad and Jenna wouldn't be mad at me, and Cal...Tell Archer yes, and everything suddenly got twistier and more complicated than Mrs. Casnoff's hairdo. And even though I'm a twisty and complicated girl, I knew what my answer had to be. "It's too much of a risk, Cross. Maybe one day when I'm head of the Council, and you're...well, whatever you're going to be for L'Occhio di Dio, we could work on some kind of collaboration." That brought up depressig images of me and Archer sittig across a boardroom table, sketching out battle plans on a whiteboard, so my voice was a little shaky when I continued. "But for now, it's too dangerous." And not just because basically everyone in our lives would want to kill us if they found out, I thought. But because I was pretty sure I was still in love with him, and I thought he might feel something similar for me, and there was no way we could work together preventing the Monster Apocalypse/World War III without that becoming an issue. Not that I could say any of that. Archer's face was blank as he said, "Cool. Got it." "Cross," I started to say, but then his eyes slid past me and went wide with horror. At the same time, I became aware of a slithering noice behind me. That just could not be good; in my experience, nothing pleasant slithers. Still, I was not prepared for the nightmares climbing out of the crater.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Perhaps the immobility of the things that surround us is forced upon them by our conviction that they are themselves, and not anything else, and by the immobility of our conceptions of them. For it always happened that when I awoke like this, and my mind struggled in an unsuccessful attempt to discover where I was, everything would be moving round me through the darkness: things, places, years. My body, still too heavy with sleep to move, would make an effort to construe the form which its tiredness took as an orientation of its various members, so as to induce from that where the wall lay and the furniture stood, to piece together and to give a name to the house in which it must be living. Its memory, the composite memory of its ribs, knees, and shoulder-blades offered it a whole series of rooms in which it had at one time or another slept; while the unseen walls kept changing, adapting themselves to the shape of each successive room that it remembered, whirling madly through the darkness. And even before my brain, lingering in consideration of when things had happened and of what they had looked like, had collected sufficient impressions to enable it to identify the room, it, my body, would recall from each room in succession what the bed was like, where the doors were, how daylight came in at the windows, whether there was a passage outside, what I had had in my mind when I went to sleep, and had found there when I awoke. The stiffened side underneath my body would, for instance, in trying to fix its position, imagine itself to be lying, face to the wall, in a big bed with a canopy; and at once I would say to myself, "Why, I must have gone to sleep after all, and Mamma never came to say good night!" for I was in the country with my grandfather, who died years ago; and my body, the side upon which I was lying, loyally preserving from the past an impression which my mind should never have forgotten, brought back before my eyes the glimmering flame of the night-light in its bowl of Bohemian glass, shaped like an urn and hung by chains from the ceiling, and the chimney-piece of Siena marble in my bedroom at Combray, in my great-aunt's house, in those far distant days which, at the moment of waking, seemed present without being clearly denned, but would become plainer in a little while when I was properly awake.
Marcel Proust (Swann's Way)
Instead of consoling us, my mother spoke sternly. 'Pull yourselves together. Surely I've brought you up better than this? we come into the world alone, and we leave it alone. And in between, too, if it is destined, we'll be alone. Draw on your inner strength. Remember, you can be your own worst enemy - or your best friend. It's up to you. And also this: what you can't change, you must endure.' I knew it was mostly to me that she'd spoken. 'Endure'. A word solid as a tree trunk. A good word upon which to build a life, I thought. I would learn it, and it would help me through dark times.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (The Forest of Enchantments)
It’s all right.” “It’s not. Nothing’s right. I’ve never done a right thing in my life, it seems.” “That makes a pair of us then.” Her lips pressed against the spot under his ear. “But I believe we are right together, don’t you? People like us…we have no talent for following rules. We can only follow our hearts. I’ve wronged people as well, but is it horribly wicked that I can’t bring myself to regret it? It brought me to you.” He took one of her hands and kissed it. “You’re so young, you can’t know the meaning of true regret. It’s never what you’ve done, love, it’s what you’ve left undone.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
[The Christian story] amounts to a refusal to affirm life. In the biblical tradition we have inherited, life is corrupt, and every natural impulse is sinful unless it has been circumcised or baptized. The serpent was the one who brought sin into the wold. And the woman was the one who handed the apple to man. This identification of the woman with sin, of the serpent with sin, and thus of life with sin, is the twist the has been given to the whole story in the biblical myth and doctrine of the Fall.... I don't know of it [the idea of woman as sinner...in other mythologies] elsewhere. The closest thing to it would be perhaps Pandora with Pandora's box, but that's not sin, that's just trouble. The idea in the biblical tradition of the all is that nature as we know it is corrupt, sex in itself is corrupt, and the female as the epitome of sex is a corrupter. Why was the knowledge of good and evil forbidden to Adam and Eve? Without that knowledge, we'd all be a bunch of babies still Eden, without any participation in life. Woman brings life into the world. Eve is the mother o this temporal wold. Formerly you had a dreamtime paradise there in the Garden of Eden – no time, no birth, no death – no life. The serpent, who dies and is resurrected, shedding its skin and renewing its life, is the lord of the central tree, where time and eternity come together. He is the primary god, actually, in the Garden of Eden. Yahweh, the one who walks there in the cool of the evening, is just a visitor. The Garden is the serpent's place. It is an old, old story. We have Sumerian seals from as early as 3500 B.C. showing the serpent and the tree and the goddess, with the goddess giving the fruit of life to a visiting male. The old mythology of he goddess is right there.... There is actually a historical explanation [of the change of this image of the serpent and the snake in Genesis] based on the coming of the Hebrews into Canaan. The principal divinity of the people of Canaan was the Goddess and associated with the Goddess is the serpent. This is the symbol of the mystery of life. The male-god-oriented groups rejected it. In other words, there is a historical rejection of the Mother Goddess implied in the story of the Garden of Eden. Moyers: It does seem that this story has done women a great disservice by casting Eve as responsible for the Fall. Why...? Campbell: They represent life. Man doesn't enter life except by woman, and so it is woman who brings us into this wold of pairs of opposites and suffering.... Male and female is one opposition. Another opposition is the human and God. Good and evil is a third opposition. The primary oppositions are the sexual and that between human beings and God. Then comes the idea of good and evil in the world. And so Adm and Eve have thrown themselves out of the Garden of Timeless Unity, you might say, just by that act of recognizing duality. To move out into the world, you have to act in terms of pairs of opposites.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth)
I get it. Having had Satoru take me in as his cat, I think I felt as lucky as he did. Strays, by definition, have been abandoned or left behind, but Satoru rescued me when I broke my leg. He made me the happiest cat on earth. I'll always remember those five years we had together. And I'll forever go by the name Nana, the name that - let's face it - is pretty unusual for a male cat. The town where Satoru grew up, too, I would remember that. And the green seedlings swaying in the fields. The sea, with its frighteningly loud roar. Mount Fuji, looming over us. How cosy it felt on top of that boxy TV. That wonderful lady cat, Momo. That nervy but earnest hound, Toramaru. That huge white ferry, which swallowed up cars into its stomach. The dogs in the pet holding area, wagging their tails at Satoru. That foul-mouthed chinchilla telling me Guddo rakku! The land in Hokkaido stretching out forever. Those vibrant purple and yellow flowers by the side of the road. The field of pampas grass like an ocean. The horses chomping on grass. The bright-red berries on the mountain-ash trees. The shades of red on the mountain ash that Satoru taught me. The stands of slender white birch. The graveyard, with its wide-open vista. The bouquet of flowers in rainbow colours. The white heart-shaped bottom of the deer. That huge, huge, huge double rainbow growing out of the ground. I would remember these for the rest of my life. And Kosuke, and Yoshimine, and Sugi and Chikako. And above all, the one who brought up Satoru and made it possible for us to meet - Noriko. Could anyone be happier than this?
Hiro Arikawa (Nana Du Ký)
Contrary to how I was taught to think about economics, everybody wasn’t operating in their own rational economic self-interest. The majority of white Americans had voted for a worldview supported not by a different set of numbers than I had, but by a fundamentally different story about how the economy works; about race and government; about who belongs and who deserves; about how we got here and what the future holds. That story was more powerful than cold economic calculations. And it was exactly what was keeping us from having nice things—to the contrary, it had brought us Donald Trump. So, I made an unexpected decision. I decided
Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together)
They weren't stronger than him, they weren't smarter, they weren't more prepared. But circumstances had brought them together and allowed them to succeed where so many others had failed. Patricia knew how they looked, a bunch of silly Southern women, yakking about books over white wine. A bunch of carpool drivers, skinned-knee kissers, errand runners, secret Santas and part-time tooth fairies, with their practical jeans and festive sweaters. Think of us what you will, she thought, we made mistakes and probably scarred our children for life, and we froze sandwiches, and forgot carpool, and got divorced. But when the time came, we went the distance.
Grady Hendrix (The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires)
The Earth Turned to Bring us Closer by: Eugenio Montejo The earth turned to bring us closer it turned on itself and within us until it finally brought us together in this dream as written in the Symposium. Nights passed by, snowfalls and solstices time passed in minutes and millennia. An ox cart that was on its way to Nineveh arrived in Nebraska. A rooster was singing some distance from the world, in one of the thousand pre-lives of our fathers. The earth was spinning with its music carrying us on board; it didn't stop turning a single moment as if so much love, so much that is beautiful was only an adagio written long ago in the Symposium's score.
Eugenio Montejo
Neil stared back at him, suddenly lost. He was fluent in two languages, nearly there in a third, and could string together some useful survival phrases in a half-dozen more. But with the whole truth bared between them Neil didn't have the right words to say. "You should have thrown my file away," Neil said at last. "You should have walked away when I threw your contract back in your face. But you took a chance on me and you brought me here. You saved my life. Three times," Neil said, "you've saved my life. I can't just say 'thank you' for that." "You don't have to," Wymack said. "I brought you here, but you saved yourself. You're the one who decided to stay. You're the one who stopped being afraid long enough to realize you could get a grip here and a foothold there. You found your own way." "If anything," Wymack continued when Neil tried to protest, "I should be thanking you. You told us last night you intended to end the year dead or in federal custody. You could have shut everyone and everything out and worried about yourself this year. Instead you agreed to help Dan fix this team. You're saving the two I thought we couldn't reach, and you're a living example for Kevin to follow. He never used to watch you," Wymack said, "but he's had eyes on you since December trying to figure out how you stand your ground.
Nora Sakavic (The King's Men (All for the Game, #3))
Jesus intentionally brought together disciples who were very different - fishermen, tax collectors - not people who would naturally love one another. But he did this to show us what love looks like in practice. We have the privilege of putting this same kind of love on display as we love those in the body of Christ who don't look like us.
John M. Perkins
It was your love that had brought us back together, your unflagging love that lasted through my deception and my seclusion. I’d thought I was making the right sacrifices for you to be with God, but I’d been wrong the whole time. Now we are both with God and we are together, giving up our individual lives today to fuse into one eternal soul.
Sierra Simone (Priest (Priest, #1))
Ildiko shuddered.  Her hope to never again see or eat the Kai’s most beloved and revolting delicacy had been in vain.  When Brishen informed her that the dish was one of Serovek’s favorites, she resigned herself to another culinary battle with her food and put the scarpatine on the menu.  She ordered roasted potatoes as well, much to the head cook’s disgust. When servants brought out the food and set it on the table, Brishen leaned close and whispered in her ear.  “Revenge, wife?” “Hardly,” she replied, keeping a wary eye on the pie closest to her.  The golden top crust, with its sprinkle of sparkling salt, pitched in a lazy undulation.  “But I’m starving, and I have no intention of filling up on that abomination.” Their guest of honor didn’t share their dislike of either food.  As deft as any Kai, Serovek made short work of the scarpatine and its whipping tail, cleaved open the shell with his knife and took a generous bite of the steaming gray meat. Ildiko’s stomach heaved.  She forgot her nausea when Serovek complimented her.  “An excellent choice to pair the scarpatine with the potato, Your Highness.  They are better together than apart.” Beside her, Brishen choked into his goblet.  He wiped his mouth with his sanap.  “What a waste of good scarpatine,” he muttered under his breath. What a waste of a nice potato, she thought.  However, the more she thought on Serovek’s remark, the more her amusement grew. “And what has you smiling so brightly?”  Brishen stared at her, his lambent eyes glowing nearly white in the hall’s torchlight. She glanced at Serovek, happily cleaning his plate and shooting the occasional glance at Anhuset nearby.  Brishen’s cousin refused to meet his gaze, but Ildiko had caught the woman watching the Beladine lord more than a few times during dinner. “That’s us, you know,” she said. “What is us?” “The scarpatine and the potato.  Better together than alone.  At least I think so.” One of Brishen’s eyebrows slid upward.  “I thought we were hag and dead eel.  I think I like those comparisons more.”  He shoved his barely-touched potato to the edge of his plate with his knife tip, upper lip curled in revulsion to reveal a gleaming white fang. Ildiko laughed and stabbed a piece of the potato off his plate.  She popped it into her mouth and chewed with gusto, eager to blunt the taste of scarpatine still lingering on her tongue.
Grace Draven (Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1))
The men were famous once. Some of them still are. They were the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team and Brooks had brought them together, 24 summers before. He had picked them and provoked them and pushed them, sometimes irritating them and often infuriating them by his hardness and his aloofness, his scathing rebukes and his unrelenting mind games.
Wayne Coffey (The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream, and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team)
I took her face in my hands and brought her close so only she could hear. “This is the day we meet for the first time and the rest of forever.” “I still don’t understand,” she cried, so I kissed her lips and prepared myself for what came next. “You promised me a long time ago that when it was all over, you’d bring me to my knees.” I let go of her face and took her hand. “I hope one will do.” I lowered myself to one knee and looked her in her eyes. “You chased away the monsters and became my reason—my forever. I’m yours, Lake Monroe. Will you marry me today?” “Yes, I fucking will,” she screamed. Just then, a light showering of flower petals rained down on us, and when she looked up, her breath caught. Buddy sat on the edge of the monkey bars with a handful flowers, sprinkling them over us. “Buddy!” “You were my hero.” He grinned. She smiled up at him and then turned to face me, and I nodded at the priest to begin. “We are gathered together to celebrate the very special love between bride and groom, by joining them in marriage…
B.B. Reid (Fearless (Broken Love, #5))
I've walked a long trail, a long trail of years flushed with tears. Tears of remembrance. Years of driven labor have not driven the ancestral thoughts out of me. My memory of teaching— surrounded by children, singing songs of our people, the stories of our history— lives always with me... Song shields our hearts from abuse, draws us together, strengthens our lives.
Ashley Bryan (Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan)
It was a small bothy, one step brought us to meet in the midst of it; my arms were around him, and his around me, the strong right arm and the maimed left that felt sapless and brittle as a bit of dead stick, and we held fast together, and wept somewhat, each into the hollow of the other’s shoulder. Maybe it is easier to weep when one grows old, than it was in the flower of life.
Rosemary Sutcliff (Sword at Sunset)
Min Yoongi You were brought into this world in 1993 you didn’t know what you’d grow to be. At that time I was around 6 years old, and I came to learn my life would not be so easy. For 27 years I’d walk alone broken by every stone life threw at me. On the other side of the world you’d also take that beating. I’d search this world high and low for some kind of serenity. Who knew that boy in Daegu would write the peace I was seeking. The link that would bring us together is entwined by the millions. It led me to Agust D in the middle of August. Not being funny that’s the honest truth. I deciphered your words and found my story written in them. Though we walked down different paths I saw myself in you. Everything I felt inside came out through the ink from your pen.
Mandy Darling (Map Of My Soul)
If they come to this forest, to us here, seeking shelter from the havoc that has been brought upon their lands, at the hands of evil, I say come. I say join us in this fight! The royal throne of Northbrook no longer resides in Gamlock. It is here. Now. In this place. You are its soldiers, I am its king, and we will work together to unite all who are willing to fight alongside us! (Wharick)
Madison Thorne Grey (Sustenance (Gwarda Warriors 2))
That night, lying exhausted in my swag, covered with salt water and river mud, I had a single thought running through my mind over and over. Thank God that Steve was there. Wherever I was in the Australian bush, whatever I was doing, I resolved that Steve had to be with me. I felt that as long as he was there, no matter what accident or incident happened, I knew I would be fine. It wasn’t just that I knew Steve would protect me and that his knowledge of the bush was so complete. I was beginning to sense something we would both come to feel and talk about seriously. When we were together, nothing bad would happen. Apart, we might be vulnerable. It was hard to explain, but it was as if the universe had brought us together and now we were as one. Whatever it was, we both felt it.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Do you get it now,Becks?" Jack wrapped a finger around a long strand of my hair, and we were quiet as it slipped through his grip. "You haven't moved on?" He chuckled. "I have a lifetime of memories made up of chestnut wars and poker games and midnight excursions and Christmas Dances...It's all you. It's only ever been you.I love you." The last part seemed to escape his lips unintentionally, and afterward he closed his eyes and put his head in his hands,as if he had a sudden headache. "I've gotta not say that out loud." The sight of how messed up he was made me want to wrap my arms around him and fold him into me and cushion him from everything that lay ahead. Instead,I reached for his hand. Brought it to my lips. Kissed it. He raised his head and winced. "You shouldn't do that," he said, even though he didn't pull his hand away. "Why?" "Because...it'll make everything worse...If you don't feel-" His voice cut off as I kissed his hand again, pausing with his fingers at my lips. He let out a shaky sigh and his hair flopped forward. Then he looked at my lips for a long moment. "What if...?" I bit my lower lip. "What?" "What if we could be like this again?" He leaned in closer with a smile, and as he did,he said, "Are you going to steal my soul?" "Um...it's not technically your soul that..." I couldn't finish my sentence. His lips brushed mine, and I felt the whoosh of transferring emotions,but it wasn't as strong as the last time. The space inside me was practically full again. The Shades were right. Six months was just long enough to recover. He kept his lips touching mine when he asked, "Is it okay?" Okay in that I wasn't going to suck him dry anymore. Not okay in that my own emotions were in hyperdrive. Only our lips touched.Thankfully there was space between us everywhere else. He took my silence to mean it was safe. We held our lips together, tentative and still. But he didn't let it stay that casual for long.He pressed his lips closer, parting his mouth against mine. I shivered,and he put his arms around me and pulled me closer so that our bodies were touching in so many places. He pulled back a little.His breath was on my lips. "What is it?" I asked. "I dreamed of you every night." He briefly touched his lips to mine again. "It felt so real.And when I'd wake up the next morning,it was like your disappearance was fresh. Like you'd left me all over again." I lowered my chin and tucked my head into his chest. "I'm sorry." He sighed and tightened his grip around me. "It never got easier.But the dreams themselves." I felt him shake his head. "It's like I had a physical connection to you. They were so real. Every night,you were in my room with me. It was so real." I tilted my head back so I could face him again, realizing for the first time how difficult it must've been for Jack. I kissed his chin, his cheek, and then his lips. "I'm sorry," I said again. He shook his head. "It's not your fault I dreamed of you, Becks.I just want to know if it was as real as it felt." "I don't know," I said. But I told him about the book I'd read on Orpheus and Eurydice, and my theory that it was her connection to Orpheus that saved her.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
The human ripples of pain are still heartbreaking when made visible to us now. Our friend Agnolo the Fat wrote: “Father abandoned child, wife husband, one brother another; for this illness seemed to strike through the breath and sight. And so they died. And none could be found to bury the dead for money or friendship. Members of a household brought their dead to a ditch as best they could, without priest, without divine offices.” The essence of that account is of an epidemic destroying the very bonds of human society. When was the last time the developed world experienced such a rapid descent into a microbial hell? And if parents abandoning children wasn’t destabilizing enough, other support elements in society were shattered by the justifiable fear of the pestilence. The natural human inclination to seek companionship and support from one’s neighbors was short-circuited. No one wanted to catch whatever was killing everybody. In an era when people congregating together was so much more important than it is in our modern, so-called connected world, people kept their distance from one another, creating one of the silent tragedies of this plague: that they had to suffer virtually alone.
Dan Carlin (The End is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses)
We’re workers, they say. Work, they call it! That’s the crummiest part of the whole business. We’re down in the hold, heaving and panting, stinking and sweating our balls off, and meanwhile! Up on deck in the fresh air, what do you see?! Our masters having a fine time with beautiful pink and perfumed women on their laps. They send for us, we’re brought up on deck. They put on their top hats and give us a big spiel like as follows: “You no-good swine! We’re at war! Those stinkers in Country No. 2! We’re going to board them and cut their livers out! Let’s go! Let’s go! We’ve got everything we need on board! All together now! Let’s hear you shout so the deck trembles: ‘Long live Country No. 1!’ So you’ll be heard for miles around. The man that shouts the loudest will get a medal and a lollipop! Let’s
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
We are the center. In each of our minds - some may call it arrogance, or selfishness - we are the center, and all the world moves about us, and for us, and because of us. This is the paradox of community, the one and the whole, the desires of the one often in direct conflict with the needs of the whole. Who among us has not wondered if all the world is no more than a personal dream? I do not believe that such thoughts are arrogant or selfish. It is simply a matter of perception; we can empathize with someone else, but we cannot truly see the world as another person sees it, or judge events as they affect the mind and the heart of another, even a friend. But we must try. For the sake of all the world, we must try. This is the test of altruism, the most basic and undeniable ingredient for society. Therein lies the paradox, for ultimately, logically, we each must care more about ourselves than about others, and yet, if, as rational beings we follow that logical course, we place our needs and desires above the needs of our society, and then there is no community. I come from Menzoberranzan, city of drow, city of self. I have seen that way of selfishness. I have seen it fail miserably. When self-indulgence rules, then all the community loses, and in the end, those striving for personal gains are left with nothing of any real value. Because everything of value that we will know in this life comes from our relationships with those around us. Because there is nothing material that measures against the intangibles of love and friendship. Thus, we must overcome that selfishness and we must try, we must care. I saw this truth plainly following the attack on Captain Deudermont in Watership. My first inclination was to believe that my past had precipitated the trouble, that my life course had again brought pain to a friend. I could not bear this thought. I felt old and I felt tired. Subsequently learning that the trouble was possibly brought on by Deudermont's old enemies, not my own, gave me more heart for the fight. Why is that? The danger to me was no less, nor was the danger to Deudermont, or to Catti-brie or any of the others about us. Yet my emotions were real, very real, and I recognized and understood them, if not their source. Now, in reflection, I recognize that source, and take pride in it. I have seen the failure of self-indulgence; I have run from such a world. I would rather die because of Deudermont's past than have him die because of my own. I would suffer the physical pains, even the end of my life. Better that than watch one I love suffer and die because of me. I would rather have my physical heart torn from my chest, than have my heart of hearts, the essence of love, the empathy and the need to belong to something bigger than my corporeal form, destroyed. They are a curious thing, these emotions. How they fly in the face of logic, how they overrule the most basic instincts. Because, in the measure of time, in the measure of humanity, we sense those self-indulgent instincts to be a weakness, we sense that the needs of the community must outweigh the desires of the one. Only when we admit to our failures and recognize our weaknesses can we rise above them. Together.
R.A. Salvatore (Passage to Dawn (Forgotten Realms: Legacy of the Drow, #4; Legend of Drizzt, #10))
We’re workers, they say. Work, they call it! That’s the crummiest part of the whole business. We’re down in the hold, heaving and panting, stinking and sweating our balls off, and meanwhile! Up on deck in the fresh air, what do you see?! Our masters having a fine time with beautiful pink and perfumed women on their laps. They send for us, we’re brought up on deck. They put on their top hats and give us a big spiel like as follows: “You no-good swine! We’re at war! Those stinkers in Country No. 2! We’re going to board them and cut their livers out! Let’s go! Let’s go! We’ve got everything we need on board! All together now! Let’s hear you shout so the deck trembles: ‘Long live Country No. 1!’ So you’ll be heard for miles around. The man that shouts the loudest will get a medal and a lollipop! Let’s go!
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
That is when it happened. A soft white glow gathered on his chest, over the place where his heart must be. The glow became a cord, reaching out through the air. The cord approached me. I rowed and struggled. But I was held fast. I felt the light encircle my neck, link me to his heart. It didn’t hurt. It bound us together. I don’t know if he felt it too – I like to think he did. Then he brought me home to this nice warm house where I can sleep all the time and get stroked. I don’t even have to look at the outside world if I don’t want to! The windows are all boarded up. Ted made me an indoor cat and I’ve never had to worry about anything since. This is our house which is just for us, and no one else is allowed in. Apart from Night-time, of course, and the green boys and Lauren. I could do without some of them, to be honest. I
Catriona Ward (The Last House on Needless Street)
Max sat down on a couch. "I think he wants her to join him." Nora sat next to him. "She'll never agree to it." Max sat quietly for a moment, thinking about what he knew of his sister. They had spent very little time together and he didn't yet know all of her strengths. She'd hidden her magic from him. She was smart, but he knew her weakness. A smile crept across his face. "I know that look," Nora said. "You've got an idea." "If we want to try to get my sister to join us, we can't go through her. She's too noble. But we can go through those who are close to her. She's in love with Ashton." "Your apprentice?" Nora's eyebrows pressed together. "Was that the one she brought with her to the castle?" Max nodded. "So that's why he's not here," Nora said. "He's in love with the little princess. It'd be sweet if it wasn't so inconvenient for us.
Dyan Chick (Oracle of Illaria (Illaria #2))
After everything we’d been through, it was finally over. We’d experienced a lengthy and intense nightmare over the past couple of weeks—which, by the way, felt more like years. In the end, it had brought us closer together. It had put us through incredible trials and tribulations. We’d walked out of it all still breathing, albeit a little roughed up. There was a hole in my soul. But hope was blossoming in my heart again.
Bella Forrest (A Battle of Souls (A Shade of Vampire #59))
It has taken me much of my life to begin to get to the second gaze. By nature I have a critical mind and a demanding heart, and I am so impatient. These are both my gifts and my curses, as you might expect. Yet I cannot have one without the other, it seems. I cannot risk losing touch with either my angels or my demons. They are both good teachers. I am convinced that guilt and shame are never from God. They are merely the defenses of the False Self as it is shocked at its own poverty — the defenses of a little man who wants to be a big man. God leads by compassion toward the soul, never by condemnation. If God would relate to us by severity and punitiveness, God would only be giving us permission to do the same (which is tragically, due to our mistaken images of God, exactly what has happened!). God offers us, instead, the grace to “weep” over our sins more than to ever perfectly overcome them, to humbly recognize our littleness. (St. Thérèse of Lisieux brought this Gospel message home in our time.) The spiritual journey is a kind of weeping and a kind of wandering that keeps us both askew and thus awake at the same time. Thérèse called it her “little way.” So now in my later life, contemplation and compassion are finally coming together. This is my second gaze. It is well worth waiting for, because only the second gaze sees fully and truthfully. It sees itself, the other, and even God with God’s own eyes, which are always eyes of compassion. It is from this place that true action must spring. Otherwise, most of our action is merely re-action, and does not bear fruit or “fruit that will last” (John 15:16). It is all about me at that point, so I must hold out for the second gaze when it becomes all about God, about the suffering of our world, and is filled with compassion for all of it. Some high-level mystics, notably the Jewesses, Simone Weil and Etty Hillesum, actually “felt sorry” for God. Most Catholic mystics just want to actively join God in suffering for the world (Colossians 1:24). The gaze of compassion, looking out at life from the place of Divine Intimacy, is really all I have, and all I have to give back to God and back to the world.
Richard Rohr (Radical Grace: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr)
First and most important, our culture was a reflection of the man we served. Obama is at his core a really chill guy and I mean that in the most presidential way. He is a nice guy who expects his team to be nice to one another. This trait comes from how he was brought up. Obama may have been born in Hawaii, but he is “Midwestern Nice,” which comes from his grandparents and their Kansas roots. He engendered loyalty to him and our cause by being loyal to his team. There were many times in the campaign where people, including some of our top donors, wanted the lot of us fired and replaced by people with more “DC experience,” and every time, Obama stood by his team. We didn’t know if we were going to win or lose, but we were going to do it together. If the person at the top of any organization does not reflect the values you want in the culture of that organization, it won’t work.
Dan Pfeiffer (Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump)
That is why the second coming of the Lord is not only salvation, not only the omega that sets everything right, but also judgment. Indeed at this stage we can actually define the meaning of the talk of judgment. It means precisely this, that the final stage of the world is not the result of a natural current but the result of responsibility that is grounded in freedom. This must be regarded as the key to understanding why the New Testament clings fast, in spite of its message of grace, to the assertion that at the end men are judged "by their works" and that no one can escape giving an account of the way he has lived his life. There is a freedom that is not cancelled out even by grace and, indeed, is brought by it face to face with itself: man's final fate is not forced upon him regardless of the decisions he has made in his life. This assertion is in any case also necessary in order to draw the line between faith and false dogmatism or a false Christian self-confidence. This line alone confirms the equality of men by confirming the identity of their responsibility. ... Perhaps in the last analysis it is impossible to escape a paradox whose logic is completely disclosed only to the experience of a life based on faith. Anyone who entrusts himself to a life of faith becomes aware that both exist: the radical character of grace that frees helpless man and,no less, the abiding seriousness of the responsibility that summons man day after day. Both together mean that the Christian enjoys, on the one hand, the liberating, detached tranquility of him who lives on that excess of divine justice known as Jesus Christ. ... This is the source of a profound freedom, a knowledge of God's unrepentant love; he sees through all our errors and remains well disposed to us. ... At the same time, the Christian knows, however, that he is not free to do whatever he pleases, that his activity is not a game that God allows him and does not take seriously. He knows that he must answer for his actions, that he owes an account as a steward of what has been entrusted to him. There can only be responsibility where there is someone to be responsible to, someone to put the questions. Faith in the Last Judgment holds this questioning of our life over our heads so that we cannot forget it for a moment. Nothing and no one empowers us to trivialize the tremendous seriousness involved in such knowledge; it shows our life to be a serious business and precisely by doing so gives it its dignity.
Benedict XVI (Introduction to Christianity)
When an Indian Child has been brought up among us, taught our language and habituated to our Customs, yet if he goes to see his relations and make one Indian Ramble with them there is no persuading him ever to return, and that this is not natural merely as Indians, but as men, is plain from this, that when white persons of either sex have been taken prisoner young by the Indians, and lived awhile among them, tho’ ransomed by their Friends, and treated with all imaginable tenderness to prevail with them to stay among the English, yet in a Short time they become disgusted with our manner of life, and the care and pains that are necessary to support it, and take the first opportunity of escaping again into the Woods, from whence there is no reclaiming them. One instance I remember to have heard, where the person was to be brought home to possess a good Estate; but finding some care necessary to keep it together, he relinquished it to a younger brother, reserving to himself nothing but a gun and match-Coat, with which he took his way again to the Wilderness.30
David Graeber (The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity)
Indeed, since ancient times, when the life of which I do know something began, people who knew the arguments concerning the vanity of life, the arguments that revealed to me its meaninglessness, lived nonetheless, bringing to life a meaning of their own. Since the time when people somehow began to live, this meaning of life has been with them, and they have led this life up to my own time. Everything that is in me and around me is the fruit of their knowledge of life. The very tools of thought by which I judge life and condemn it were created not by me but by them. I myself was born, educated and have grown up thanks to them. They dug out the iron, taught us how to cut the timber, tamed the cattle and the horses, showed us how to sow crops and live together; they brought order to our lives. They taught me how to think and to speak. I am their offspring, nursed by them, reared by them, taught by them; I think according to their thoughts, their words, and now I have proved to them that it is all meaningless! "Something is wrong here," I said to myself. "I must have made a mistake somewhere.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
A funny thing about living abroad is that what might separate us expats back home brought us closer together in China. We'd listen to their complaints about the food, their legs swelling up with the MSG, and instead of rolling our eyes as we might've thought we would at Americans complaining abroad, we listened and offered advice on where to find more palatable, familiar food. For their part, they seemed to conveniently ignore the fact that we were living together unwed, and when they'd pass by our room, door open, there was no strong feeling of judgment.
Megan Rich (Six Years of A Floating Life: A Memoir)
We started getting hungry again, and some of the women started chanting, "MEAT, MEAT, MEAT!" We were having steak tartare. It was the only appropriate main course we could think of, for such a graceless theme, and seeing as nobody in the club was confident making it, we had to order it in. I made chips to serve with it, though. I deep-fried them in beef fat. The steak was served in little roulades, raw and minced, like horsemeat. It was topped with a raw egg yolk, chopped onions, pickled beetroot, and capers. I had wanted to use the Wisconsin version, which is served on cocktail bread and dubbed "cannibal sandwich," but Stevie insisted we go classic. Not everyone could stomach theirs with the raw egg yolk, too, and so, unusually for a Supper Club, there was quite a lot left over. We took another break to drink and move about the room. Some of us took MDMA. Emmeline had brought a box of French macarons, tiny pastel-colored things, which we threw over the table, trying to get them into one another's mouth, invariably missing. For our proper dessert, we had a crepe cake: a stack of pancakes bound together with melted chocolate. We ate it with homemade ice cream, which was becoming a real staple.
Lara Williams (Supper Club)
We are called to be strange in the same way that the early Christian communities were strange to the world around them. The community in Antioch brought together Jews and Samaritans, Greeks and Romans, slaves and free, men and women in a way that was so confusing that people didn't know what to call them. So they called them "Christians." The only way they knew to describe their peculiar actions was to say that they were followers of an odd preacher from Galilee. The world is longing for such new and odd communities in our time. . . . I pray the time is now and that the resurrection might begin in us.
Emmanuel M. Katongole (Mirror to the Church: Resurrecting Faith After Genocide in Rwanda)
Trying to live and love, With a heart that can't be broken, Is like trying to see the light with eyes that can't be opened. Yeah, we both carry baggage, We picked up on our way, so if you love me do it gently, And I will do the same. We may shine, we may shatter, We may be picking up the pieces here on after, We are fragile, we are human, We are shaped by the light we let through us, We break fast, cause we are glass. Cause we are glass. I'll let you look inside me, through the stains and through the cracks, And in the darkness of this moment, You see the good and bad. But try not to judge me, 'cause we've walked down different paths, But it brought us here together, so I won't take that back. We may shine, we may shatter, We may be picking up the pieces here on after, We are fragile, we are human, We are shaped by the light we let through us, We break fast, cause we are glass. We might be oil and water, this could be a big mistake, We might burn like gasoline and fire, It's a chance we'll have to take. We may shine, we may shatter, We may be picking up the pieces here on after, We are fragile, we are human, And we are shaped by the light we let through us, We break fast, cause we are glass. We are glass.
Thompson Square
Christy dug her hand deeper into her shoulder bag. Scanning the papers she finally located there, she found no phone numbers or addresses listed. All the plans had been made in such haste. All she knew was that someone was supposed to meet her here. She was here, and he or she wasn't. Never in her life had she felt so completely alone. Stranded with nowhere to turn. A prayer came quickly to her lips. "Father God, I'm at Your mercy here. I know You're in control. Please show me what to do." Suddenly she heard a voice calling to her. "Kilikina!" Christy's heart stopped. Only one person in the entire world had ever called her by her Hawaiian name. She spun around. "Kilikina," called out the tall, blond surfer who was running toward her. Christy looked up into the screaming silver-blue eyes that could only belong to one person. "Todd?" she whispered, convinced she was hallucinating. "Kilikina," Todd wrapped his arms around her so tightly that for an instant she couldn't breathe. He held her a long time. Crying. She could feel his warm tears on her neck. She knew this had to be real. But how could it be? "Todd?" she whispered again. "How? I mean, what...? I don't..." Todd pulled away, and for the first time she noticed the big gouquet of white carnations in his hand. They were now a bit squashed. "For you," he said, his eyes clearing and his rich voice sounding calm and steady. Then, seeing her shocked expression, he asked, "You really didn't know I was here, did you?" Christy shook her head, unable to find any words. "Didn't Dr. Benson tell you?" She shook her head again. "You mean you came all this way by yourself, and you didn't even know I was here?" Now it was Todd's turn to look surprised. "No, I thought you were in Papua New Guinea or something. I had no idea you were here!" "They needed me here more," Todd said with a chin-up gesture toward the beach. "It's the perfect place for me." With a wide smile spreading above his square jaw, he said, "Ever since I received the fax yesterday saying they were sending you, I've been out of my mind with joy! Kilikina, you can't imagine how I've been feeling." Christy had never heard him talk like this before. Todd took the bouquet from her and placed it on top of her luggage. Then, grasping both her quivering hands in his and looking into her eyes, he said, "Don't you see? There is no way you or I could ever have planned this. It's from God." The shocked tears finally caught up to Christy's eyes, and she blinked to keep Todd in focus. "It is," she agreed. "God brought us back together, didn't He?" A giggle of joy and delight danced from her lips. "Do you remember what I said when you gave me back your bracelet?" Todd asked. "I said that if God ever brought us back together, I would put that bracelet back on your wrist, and that time, it would stay on forever." Christy nodded. She had replayed the memory of that day a thousand times in her mind. It had seemed impossible that God would bring them back together. Christy's heart pounded as she realized that God, in His weird way, had done the impossible. Todd reached into his pocket and pulled out the "Forever" ID bracelet. He tenderly held Christy's wrist, and circling it with the gold chain, he secured the clasp. Above their heads a fresh ocean wind blew through the palm trees. It almost sounded as if the trees were applauding. Christy looked up from her wrist and met Todd's expectant gaze. Deep inside, Christy knew that with the blessing of the Lord, Todd had just stepped into the garden of her heart. In the holiness of that moment, his silver-blue eyes embraced hers and he whispered, "I promise, Kilikina. Forever." "Forever," Christy whispered back. Then gently, reverently, Todd and Christy sealed their forever promise with a kiss.
Robin Jones Gunn (A Promise Is Forever (Christy Miller, #12))
Now,” Samite continued, “after Essel has just spent time warning you about generalities and how they often don’t apply, I’m going to use some. Because some generalities are true often enough that we have to worry about them. So here’s one: men will physically fight for status. Women, generally, are more clever. The why of it doesn’t matter: learned, innate, cultural, who cares? You see the chest-bumping, the name-calling, performing for their fellows, what they’re really doing is getting the juices flowing. That interval isn’t always long, but it’s long enough for men to trigger the battle juice. That’s the terror or excitation that leads people to fight or run. It can be useful in small doses or debilitating in large ones. Any of you have brothers, or boys you’ve fought with?” Six of the ten raised their hands. “Have you ever had a fight with them—verbal or physical—and then they leave and come back a little later, and they’re completely done fighting and you’re just fully getting into it? They look like they’ve been ambushed, because they’ve come completely off the mountain already, and you’ve just gotten to the top?” “Think of it like lovemaking,” Essel said. She was a bawdy one. “Breathe in a man’s ear and tell him to take his trousers off, and he’s ready to go before you draw your next breath. A woman’s body takes longer.” Some of the girls giggled nervously. “Men can switch on very, very fast. They also switch off from that battle readiness very, very fast. Sure, they’ll be left trembling, sometimes puking from it, but it’s on and then it’s off. Women don’t do that. We peak slower. Now, maybe there are exceptions, maybe. But as fighters, we tend to think that everyone reacts the way we do, because our own experience is all we have. In this case, it’s not true for us. Men will be ready to fight, then finished, within heartbeats. This is good and bad. “A man, deeply surprised, will have only his first instinctive response be as controlled and crisp as it is when he trains. Then that torrent of emotion is on him. We spend thousands of hours training that first instinctive response, and further, we train to control the torrent of emotion so that it raises us to a heightened level of awareness without making us stupid.” “So the positive, for us Archers: surprise me, and my first reaction will be the same as my male counterpart’s. I can still, of course, get terrified, or locked into a loop of indecision. But if I’m not, my second, third, and tenth moves will also be controlled. My hands will not shake. I will be able to make precision movements that a man cannot. But I won’t have the heightened strength or sensations until perhaps a minute later—often too late. “Where a man needs to train to control that rush, we need to train to make it closer. If we have to climb a mountain more slowly to get to the same height to get all the positives, we need to start climbing sooner. That is, when I go into a situation that I know may be hazardous, I need to prepare myself. I need to start climbing. The men may joke to break the tension. Let them. I don’t join in. Maybe they think I’m humorless because I don’t. Fine. That’s a trade I’m willing to make.” Teia and the rest of the girls walked away from training that day somewhat dazed, definitely overwhelmed. What Teia realized was that the women were deeply appealing because they were honest and powerful. And those two things were wed inextricably together. They said, I am the best in the world at what I do, and I cannot do everything. Those two statements, held together, gave them the security to face any challenge. If her own strengths couldn’t surmount an obstacle, her team’s strengths could—and she was unembarrassed about asking for help where she needed it because she knew that what she brought to the team would be equally valuable in some other situation.
Brent Weeks (The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2))
What I don’t get is how this helps me. You two get superpowers, and I get what?”Cian smiled broadly. “You have a power, Meggie. You have a magical pussy. It was sleeping with you together that brought us into our power. That vagina of yours is pure gold, lover.” Meg gave Cian a playful shove and rolled her eyes while he and his brother had a good laugh.“Don’t go expecting to use it on anyone else,” Beck said as though the thought had suddenly occurred to him. “That only works on the two of us.”Meg walked up to him and gave him a saucy smile. “Yes, Beck, I was planning on opening up shop. I was going to hang a sign on the cottage door and charge for it.
Sophie Oak
He smiled, and some of the knots in my stomach loosened. He would keep my secret. Devon hesitated, then reached over and put his hand on top of mine. His skin was warm, as though the sun had soaked into his body. I breathed in, and the crisp, clean scent of him filled my nose, the one that made me want to bury my face in his neck and inhale the essence of him over and over again. But I forced myself to exhale and step back, putting some distance between us, even though our hands were still touching. “Look,” I said, my voice carefully neutral. “You’re a nice guy, a great guy. But I’m going to . . . be here for a while. You’re an important member of the Family, and I’m your bodyguard, so it’s my job to protect you, and we’re going to have to work together. But I don’t think there should be anything . . . else.” “Because of your mom, right?” he asked in a low voice. “Because you blame me for her death?” I sucked in a breath, so rattled that I couldn’t even pretend I didn’t know what he was talking about. First, my magic, and now this. Somehow, Devon knew all my secrets. “How do you know about my mom?” I croaked out. “I remember everything about that day in the park,” he said. “Including the girl with the blue eyes who helped save me.” I didn’t say anything. I could barely even hear him over the roar of my own heartbeat in my ears. “It took me a while to figure out why you seemed so familiar. When I realized you reminded me of the girl in the park, I knew it had to be you. Mom would never have brought you here otherwise. Plus, there are several photos of your mother in the library. You look just like her. I know what happened to her. I’m sorry that she died because of me—so sorry.” His green gaze locked with mine, that old, familiar guilt flaring to life in his eyes and punching me in the gut. And once again, I found myself wanting to comfort him. “I don’t blame you for her death,” I said. “It wasn’t your fault. None of it was your fault. It was all the Draconis.” “Do you really mean that?” he whispered. “I do.” Devon closed the distance between us and stared down at me. I let myself look into his eyes for another heartbeat. Then I pulled my hand out from under his and stepped away. Hurt flashed in his gaze before he could hide it. I wanted to stop. I wanted to tell him that I felt this thing, this attraction, this heat between us just as much as he did. I wanted to wrap my arms around his neck, pull his lips down to mine, and lose myself in him. But I couldn’t. Not when I was planning on leaving the mansion, the Family, and him, the second I thought it was safe. I already cared about Devon way too much. And Felix and Oscar and even Claudia. I didn’t need to fall any farther down that rabbit hole, especially where Devon was concerned, because I knew exactly where I would end up—with my heart broken.
Jennifer Estep (Cold Burn of Magic (Black Blade, #1))
A friend brought me here years ago, when we were kids. We were both troublemakers and breaking in here made us feel like rebels. We used to come here all the time and talk for hours. Now I come here whenever I want to be reminded of how insignificant I am in the grand scale of the universe.” “Sounds like lots of fun.” “Space is the best cure for sadness that I know.” “Feeling insignificant isn’t exactly a great cure for unhappiness.” “Hell yeah it is. When I look into the night sky, I remember that I’m nothing but the ashes of long-dead stars. A human being is a collection of atoms that comes together into an ordered pattern for a brief period of time and then falls apart again. I find comfort in my smallness.
Krystal Sutherland (Our Chemical Hearts)
The doctrine of Relativity is carried to a fallacious pitch, when applied to prove that there must be something absolute, because the Relative must suppose the non- Relative. If there be Relation, it is said, there must be something Un-related, or above all relation. But Relation cannot in this way, be brought round on itself, except by a verbal juggle. Relation means that every conscious state has a correlative state ; which brings us at last to a couple (the subject-mind, and the object or extended world). This is the final end of all possible cognition. We may view the two facts separately or together; and we may call the conjunct view an Absolute (as Ferrier does), but this adds nothing to our knowledge. A self-contradiction is committed by inferring from * everything is relative,' that * something is non-relative.' Fallacies of Relativity often arise in the hyperboles of Rhetoric. In order to reconcile to their lot the more humble class of manual labourers, the rhetorician proclaims the dignity of all labour, without being conscious that if all labour is dignified, none is ; dignity supposes inferior grades ; a mountain height is abolished if all the surrounding plains are raised to the level of its highest peak. So, in spurring men to industry and perseverance, examples of distinguished success are held up for universal imitation ; while, in fact, these cases owe their distinction to the general backwardness.
Alexander Bain (Logic: Deductive And Inductive)
We’ve come because we need to track down the original location of the Fall,” Daniel said, “the place where Lucifer and the host of Heaven will appear. We have to stop him.” Dee looked strangely undeterred from her tea service, continuing to divvy up the cucumber sandwiches. The angels waited for her to respond. A log in the fire splintered, cracked, and tumbled from the grate. “And all because a boy loved a girl,” she said at last. “Quite disturbing. Really brings out the worst in all the old enemies, doesn’t it? Scale coming unhinged, Elders killing innocents. So much unpleasantness. As if all you fallen angels didn’t have enough to bother with. I say, you must be awfully tired.” She have Luce a reassuring smile and gestured again for them to sit down. Roland pulled out the chair at the head of the table for Dee and sat down in the seat to her left. “Maybe you can help us.” He motioned for the others to join him. Annabelle and Arriane sat beside him, and Luce and Daniel sat across the table. Luce slid her hand over Daniel’s, twining her fingers around his. Dee passed the cups of tea around the table. After a clattering of china and spoons stirring sugar into tea, Luce cleared her throat. “We’re going to stop Lucifer, Dee.” “I should hope so.” Daniel grasped Luce’s fingers. “Right now we’re searching for three objects that tell the early history of the fallen. When brought together, they should reveal the original location of the Fall.” Dee sipped her tea. “Clever boy. Had any luck?
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
I know that in every age, in every place, love is certain to be present, anonymous to be found and concrete to be held onto, so there is no reason to tremble because life on earth is nothing but one brief moment, a moment truly worth living for, which becomes even wealthier when it is for someone like you. I have found that out by being with you. Having you in my life has brought me more happiness than a lifetime could bring. You've touched my life and my soul, so deeply in your own way that you’ve helped me laugh and become my true self. I feel like I've searched my whole life and I have finally found the one meant for me and even though our time together was short, it will not be forgotten but remembered forever and ever. I pray to the almighty that everything in future comes out perfect for us.
Atul Purohit (Love Vs Destiny . . .the strange game of life!)
I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government – every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the new world, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
Anthony McCarten (Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought us Back from the Brink)
We were able to successfully downplay the whole going-to-the-dance-together thing to our parents. I guess our history of acting like we despise each other worked in our favor, because they actually believed that I changed my mind at the last minute and called Ryder to take me--just because he lives down the street. And then, since I didn’t have an escort, Ryder offered to stand in. Mama saw this as a perfect opportunity to remind me what a gentleman Ryder is--how selfless and generous and downright perfect he is. Only, this time, I agreed wither. Secretly, of course. I have no idea how Ryder and I are going to manage this from here on out. We didn’t talk about it last night. We didn’t really talk, period. We danced. We laughed. We had fun with our friends. We saved the kissing for later, when Ryder brought me home. He parked the Audi at the end of our road, far away from prying eyes. We leaned against the car under the bright moonlight and kissed until we were breathless, until my lips were swollen and my cheeks were flushed and I thought I was going to melt into a puddle of goo from the sheer rightness of it all. And then we’d driven up to the house and he’d walked me to the front door. We were careful then, keeping our distance. I figured my mom had her nose pressed to the glass, waiting for us. She probably did, considering how quickly she’d burst into the living room when I walked in the front door, firing a barrage of questions at me before I’d even made it out of the mudroom. And now I’m just lying in bed, purportedly napping since I’d gotten up early to go to church, but really texting with Ryder.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
The game within the game is the game that only the players see. They experience it in relation to one another on the floor at a particular time and in the middle of the action. It is one of the nuances of the game of basketball. As Knick teammates during those years, we knew what a teammate was going to do almost before he did it. We helped one another on defense and shared the ball on offense. We made room for each of us to be his best within the context of the team. For example, I often would see Clyde come down the floor with the ball. I'd catch his eye. I knew he wanted to go down my side of the floor. In order to give him a little more room to move, I would clear out. That way I didn't clog up his space. Or, when I had the ball on the side and he was at the top of the key, waiting to go backdoor, our center knew he had to move to the other side of the floor to create the room for the backdoor bounce pass from me to Clyde who was moving down the lane toward the basket. That was the game within the game. On one level, the game within the game was a matter of mechanics but is also operated on a psychological level in that we truly were all for one and one for all. We challenged one another in practice to become better. We helped one another come back from defeat. We inspired one another to reach our peak team performance. None of us felt we could be as good alone as all of us could be together. Our unity came sometimes with laughs, sometimes with conflicts, sometimes with moments of collective insight, but it was that spirit of camaraderie which brought us together in a way that allowed the fans to see something very special.
Walt Frazier (The Game Within the Game)
September 10, 1965 Dear Francesca, Enclosed are two photographs. One is the shot I took of you in the pasture at sunrise. I hope you like it as much as I do. The other is of Roseman Bridge before I removed your note tacked to it. I sit here trolling the gray areas of my mind for every detail, every moment, of our time together. I ask myself over and over, “What happened to me in Madison County, Iowa?” And I struggle to bring it together. That’s why I wrote the little piece, “Falling from Dimension Z,” I have enclosed, as a way of trying to sift through my confusion. I look down the barrel of a lens, and you’re at the end of it. I begin work on an article, and I’m writing about you. I’m not even sure how I got back here from Iowa. Somehow the old truck brought me home, yet I barely remember the miles going by. A few weeks ago, I felt self-contained, reasonably content. Maybe not profoundly happy, maybe a little lonely, but at least content. All of that has changed. It’s clear to me now that I have been moving toward you and you toward me for a long time. Though neither of us was aware of the other before we met, there was a kind of mindless certainty humming blithely along beneath our ignorance that ensured we would come together. Like two solitary birds flying the great prairies by celestial reckoning, all of these years and lifetimes we have been moving toward one another. The road is a strange place. Shuffling along, I looked up and you were there walking across the grass toward my truck on an August day. In retrospect, it seems inevitable—it could not have been any other way—a case of what I call the high probability of the improbable. So here I am walking around with another person inside of me. Though I think I put it better the day we parted when I said there is a third person we have created from the two of us. And I am stalked now by that other entity. Somehow, we must see each other again. Any place, anytime. Call me if you ever need anything or simply want to see me. I’ll be there, pronto. Let me know if you can come out here sometime—anytime. I can arrange plane fare, if that’s a problem. I’m off to southeast India next week, but I’ll be back in late October. I Love You, Robert P. S., The photo project in Madison County turned out fine. Look for it in NG next year. Or tell me if you want me to send a copy of the issue when it’s published. Francesca Johnson set her brandy glass on the wide oak windowsill and stared at an eight-by-ten black-and-white photograph of herself.
Robert James Waller (The Bridges Of Madison County)
I remember her, grave with the peace of the destined, the summoned, and she seemed almost an apparition. But if she had simply brought us home again to the high frame apartment building with the scaffolding of stairs, I would not remember her that way. Her eccentricities might have irked and embarrassed us when we grew older. We might have forgotten her birthday, and teased her to buy a car or to change her hair. We would have left her finally. We would have laughed together with bitterness and satisfaction at our strangely solitary childhood, in light of which our failings would seem inevitable, and all our attainments miraculous. Then we would telephone her out of guilt and nostalgia, and laugh bitterly afterward because she asked us nothing, and told us nothing, and fell silent from time to time, and was glad to get off the phone.
Marilynne Robinson (Housekeeping)
As he heard a brief click, Ralf thought about what had happened in that moment which had already passed. For just one hundredth of a second, the shutter had opened and photons had flooded into the dark box. They did not move in lines but everywhere at once, so that some might have travelled from Ralf’s face to the end of the beach and back. They went so quickly that, from the perspective of light, the rest of the universe remained at a standstill. For Ralf and Elsa, time was slipping by irrecoverably, but for that single hundredth of a second, the celluloid recorded its bombardment, like the sooty negatives of objects and people, scorched onto the façades of buildings in bombings. The celluloid had ceased to interact with the world, a carpaccio of time, a leaf of the past brought into the present, where Ralf and Elsa stood together, still.
Alex Christofi (Let Us Be True)
The kids helped keep me together as well. One day they came in from playing after dinner, and I told them I was just completely exhausted by work and everything else. I said I’d take a shower as soon as I finished up; then we’d read and get ready for bed. They warmed up some towels in the dryer while I was showering and had them waiting for me when I was done. They made some hot coffee--not really understanding that coffee before bed isn’t the best strategy. But it was just the way I like it, and waiting on the bed stand. They turned down the bedcovers and even fluffed my pillows. Most of the time, their gifts are unintentional. Angel recently decided that, since the Tooth Fairy is so nice, someone should be nice to her. My daughter wrote a little note and left it under her pillow with some coins and her tooth. Right? The Tooth Fairy was very taken with that, and wrote a note back. “I’m not allowed to take money from the children I visit,” she wrote. “But I was so grateful. Thank you.” Then there was the time the kids were rummaging through one of Chris’s closets and discovered the Christmas Elf. Now everyone knows that the Christmas Elf only appears on Christmas Eve. He stays for a short while as part of holiday cheer, then magically disappears for the rest of the year. “What was he doing here!” they said, very concerned, as they brought the little elf to me. “And in Daddy’s closet!” I called on the special brain cells parents get when they give birth. “He must have missed Daddy so much that he got special permission to come down and hang out in his stuff. I wonder how long he’ll be with us?” Just until I could find another hiding place, of course. What? Evidence that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, you say? Keep it to yourself. In this house, we believe.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
About 4.6 billion years ago, a great swirl of gas and dust some 15 billion miles across accumulated in space where we are now and began to aggregate. Virtually all of it—99.9 percent of the mass of the solar system—went to make the Sun. Out of the floating material that was left over, two microscopic grains floated close enough together to be joined by electrostatic forces. This was the moment of conception for our planet. All over the inchoate solar system, the same was happening. Colliding dust grains formed larger and larger clumps. Eventually the clumps grew large enough to be called planetesimals. As these endlessly bumped and collided, they fractured or split or recombined in endless random permutations, but in every encounter there was a winner, and some of the winners grew big enough to dominate the orbit around which they traveled. It all happened remarkably quickly. To grow from a tiny cluster of grains to a baby planet some hundreds of miles across is thought to have taken only a few tens of thousands of years. In just 200 million years, possibly less, the Earth was essentially formed, though still molten and subject to constant bombardment from all the debris that remained floating about. At this point, about 4.5 billion years ago, an object the size of Mars crashed into Earth, blowing out enough material to form a companion sphere, the Moon. Within weeks, it is thought, the flung material had reassembled itself into a single clump, and within a year it had formed into the spherical rock that companions us yet. Most of the lunar material, it is thought, came from the Earth’s crust, not its core, which is why the Moon has so little iron while we have a lot. The theory, incidentally, is almost always presented as a recent one, but in fact it was first proposed in the 1940s by Reginald Daly of Harvard. The only recent thing about it is people paying any attention to it. When Earth was only about a third of its eventual size, it was probably already beginning to form an atmosphere, mostly of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, methane, and sulfur. Hardly the sort of stuff that we would associate with life, and yet from this noxious stew life formed. Carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas. This was a good thing because the Sun was significantly dimmer back then. Had we not had the benefit of a greenhouse effect, the Earth might well have frozen over permanently, and life might never have gotten a toehold. But somehow life did. For the next 500 million years the young Earth continued to be pelted relentlessly by comets, meteorites, and other galactic debris, which brought water to fill the oceans and the components necessary for the successful formation of life. It was a singularly hostile environment and yet somehow life got going. Some tiny bag of chemicals twitched and became animate. We were on our way. Four billion years later people began to wonder how it had all happened. And it is there that our story next takes us.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
The flyers, not being pursu'd, arriv'd at Dunbar's camp, and the panick they brought with them instantly seiz'd him and all his people; and, tho' he had now above one thousand men, and the enemy who had beaten Braddock did not at most exceed four hundred Indians and French together, instead of proceeding, and endeavoring to recover some of the lost honour, he ordered all the stores, ammunition, etc., to be destroy'd, that he might have more horses to assist his flight towards the settlements, and less lumber to remove. He was there met with requests from the governors of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, that he would post his troops on the frontiers, so as to afford some protection to the inhabitants; but he continu'd his hasty march thro' all the country, not thinking himself safe till he arriv'd at Philadelphia, where the inhabitants could protect him. This whole transaction gave us Americans the first suspicion that our exalted ideas of the prowess of British regulars had not been well founded.
Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
All the love that had been accumulating through the lonely years of her childhood was in that kiss-Ian felt it in the soft lips parting willingly for his searching tongue, the delicate hands sliding through the hair at his nape. With unselfish ardor she offered it all to him, and Ian took it hungrily, feeling it moving from her to him, then flowing through his veins and mingling with his until the joy of it was shattering. She was everything he’d ever dreamed she could be and more. With an effort that was almost painful he dragged his mouth from hers, his hand still cupping the rumpled satin of her hair, his other hand holding her pressed to his rigid body, and Elizabeth stayed in his arms, seeming neither frightened nor offended by his rigid erection. “I love you,” he whispered, rubbing his jaw against her temple. “And you love me. I can feel it when you’re in my arms.” He felt her stiffen slightly and draw a shaky breath, but she either couldn’t or wouldn’t speak. She hadn’t thrown the words back in his face, however, so Ian continued talking to her, his hand roving over her back. “I can feel it, Elizabeth, but if you don’t admit it pretty soon, you’re going to drive me out of my mind. I can’t work. I can’t think. I make decisions and then I change my mind. And,” he teased, trying to lighten the mood by using the one topic sure to distract her, “that’s nothing to the money I squander whenever I’m under this sort of violent stress. It wasn’t just the gowns I bought, or the house on Promenade…” Still talking to her, he tipped her chin up, glorying in the gentle passion in her eyes, overlooking the doubt in their green depths. “If you don’t admit it pretty soon,” he teased, “I’ll spend us out of house and home.” Her delicate brows drew together in blank confusion, and Ian grinned, taking her hand from his chest, the emerald betrothal ring he had brought her unnoticed in his fingers. “When I’m under stress,” he emphasized, sliding the magnificent emerald onto her finger, “I buy everything in sight. It took my last ounce of control not to buy one of those in every color.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
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 aeroplane 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 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “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 fulfil that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil 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 Great Dictator: Il grande dittatore di Charlie Chaplin)
Well, I don’t know about you girls,” Patti called out, “but I’m starving. You wanna help me throw everything together before I go check on the chicken?” The twins shared uncertain expressions. “Sure, we’ll help,” I answered for them. “What do you need us to do?” “All right, how about you and Marna make the salad, and Ginger can help me bake this cake.” Their eyes filled with horror. “You mean like chopping things?” Marna whispered. “Yeah. It’s not hard. We’ll do it together.” At my prompting they stood but made no move toward the kitchen with me. “I’m not sure you ought to trust me with a knife,” Marna said. “Or me with baked goods,” Ginger added. I’d never seen her so unsure of herself. If it were just me making the request, she’d tell me to go screw myself, but neither girl seemed to know how to act around Patti. They fidgeted and glanced at the kitchen. Patti came over and took Ginger by the arm. “You’ll both be fine,” Patti insisted. “It’ll be fun!” The seriousness of the twins in the kitchen was comical. They took each step of their jobs with slow, attentive detail, checking and double-checking the measurements while Patti ran out to flip the chicken. Somewhere halfway through, the girls loosened up and we started chatting. Patti put Ginger at ease in a way I’d never seen her. At one point we were all laughing and I realized I’d never seen Ginger laugh in a carefree way, only the mean kind of amusement brought on at someone else’s expense. Usually mine. Ginger caught me looking and straightened, smile disappearing. Patti watched with her keen, wise eyes. She wasn’t missing the significance of any gesture here. When she returned from getting the chicken off the grill, Ginger said, “Oh, that smells divine, Miss Patti.” Who was this complimenting girl? Patti smiled and thanked her. Ginger was so proud of the cake when it was finished that she took several pictures of it with her phone. She even wanted a picture of her and Patti holding the cake together, which nearly made Patti burst with motherly affection. I couldn’t even manage to feel jealous as Patti heaped nurture on Ginger. It was so sweet it made my eyes sting. Marna kept sending fond glances at her sister. “I did that part right there all by myself,” Ginger said to Marna, pointing to the frosting trim. “Brilliant, isn’t it?” “Bang-up job, Gin.” Marna squeezed her sister around the shoulder.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Peril (Sweet, #2))
The six characteristics that, taken together, reveal the nature of the gnostic attitude. 1) It must first be pointed out that the gnostic is dissatisfied with his situation. This, in itself, is not especially surprising. We all have cause to be not completely satisfied with one aspect or another of the situation in which we find ourselves. 2) Not quite so understandable is the second aspect of the gnostic attitude: the belief that the drawbacks of the situation can be attributed to the fact that the world is intrinsically poorly organized. For it is likewise possible to assume that the order of being as it is given to us men (wherever its origin is to be sought) is good and that it is we human beings who are inadequate. But gnostics are not inclined to discover that human beings in general and they themselves in particular are inadequate. If in a given situation something is not as it should be, then the fault is to be found in the wickedness of the world. 3) The third characteristic is the belief that salvation from the evil of the world is possible. 4) From this follows the belief that the order of being will have to be changed in an historical process. From a wretched world a good one must evolve historically. This assumption is not altogether self-evident, because the Christian solution might also be considered—namely, that the world throughout history will remain as it is and that man’s salvational fulfillment is brought about through grace in death. 5) With this fifth point we come to the gnostic trait in the narrower sense—the belief that a change in the order of being lies in the realm of human action, that this salvational act is possible through man’s own effort. 6) If it is possible, however, so to work a structural change in the given order of being that we can be satisfied with it as a perfect one, then it becomes the task of the gnostic to seek out the prescription for such a change. Knowledge—gnosis—of the method of altering being is the central concern of the gnostic. As the sixth feature of the gnostic attitude, therefore, we recognize the construction of a formula for self and world salvation, as well as the gnostic’s readiness to come forward as a prophet who will proclaim his knowledge about the salvation of mankind. These six characteristics, then, describe the essence of the gnostic attitude. In one variation or another they are to be found in each of the movements cited.
Eric Voegelin (Science, Politics, and Gnosticism)
Upon a lonely mountain, there lived two hermits who worshipped God and loved one another. Now these two hermits had one earthen bowl, and this was their only possession. One day an evil spirit entered into the heart of the older hermit and he came to the younger and said, “It is long that we have lived together. The time has come for us to part. Let us divide our possessions.” Then the younger hermit was saddened and he said, “It grieves me, Brother, that thou shouldst leave me. But if thou must needs go, so be it,” and he brought the earthen bowl and gave it to him saying, “We cannot divide it, Brother, let it be thine.” Then the older hermit said, “Charity I will not accept. I will take nothing but mine own. It must be divided.” And the younger one said, “If the bowl be broken, of what use would it be to thee or to me? If it be thy pleasure let us rather cast a lot.” But the older hermit said again, “I will have but justice and mine own, and I will not trust justice and mine own to vain chance. The bowl must be divided.” Then the younger hermit could reason no further and he said, “If it be indeed thy will, and if even so thou wouldst have it let us now break the bowl.” But the face of the older hermit grew exceedingly dark, and he cried, “O thou cursed coward, thou wouldst not fight.
Kahlil Gibran (The Khalil Gibran Megapack: 43 Classic Works)
Obviously the most enduring way to make this commitment is through marriage. Yet because sexual liberals deny the differences between the sexes, their explanations of why there are marriages and why marriage is needed and desired ignore the central truth of marriage: that it is built on sex roles. Pressed to explain the institution, they respond vaguely that human beings want "structure" or desire "intimacy." But however desirable in marriage, these values are not essential causes or explanations of it. In many cultures, the wife and husband share very few one-to-one intimacies. Ties with others of the same sex--or even the opposite sex--often offer deeper companionship. The most intimate connections are between mothers and their children. In all societies, male groups provide men with some of their most emotionally gratifying associations. Indeed, intimacy can deter or undermine wedlock. In the kibbutz, for example, where unrelated boys and girls are brought up together and achieve a profound degree of companionate feeling, they never marry members of the same child-rearing group. In the many cultures where marriages are arranged, the desire for intimacy is subversive of marriage. Similarly, man's "innate need for structure" can be satisfied in hundreds of forms of organization. The need for structure may explain all of them or none of them, but it does not tell us why, of all possible arrangements, marriage is the one most prevalent. It does not tell us why, in most societies, marriage alone is consecrated in a religious ceremony and entails a permanent commitment. As most anthropologists see it, however, the reason is simple. The very essence of marriage, Bronislaw Malinowski wrote, is not structure and intimacy; it is "parenthood and above all maternity." The male role in marriage, as Margaret Mead maintained, "in every known human society, is to provide for women and children." In order to marry, in fact, Malinowski says that almost every human society first requires the man "to prove his capacity to maintain the woman." Marriage is not simply a ratification of an existing love. It is the conversion of that love into a biological and social continuity. . . . Regardless of what reasons particular couples may give for getting married, the deeper evolutionary and sexual propensities explain the persistence of the institution. All sorts of superficial variations--from homosexual marriage to companionate partnership--may be played on the primal themes of human life. But the themes remain. The natural fulfillment of love is a child; the fantasies and projects of the childless couple may well be considered as surrogate children.
George Gilder (Men and Marriage)
Until that moment Elizabeth wouldn’t have believed she could feel more humiliated than she already did. Robbed of even the defense of righteous indignation, she faced the fact that she was the unwanted gest of someone who’d made a fool of her not once but twice. “How did you get here? I didn’t hear any horses, and a carriage sure as well can’t make the climb.” “A wheeled conveyance brought us most of the way,” she prevaricated, seizing on Lucinda’s earlier explanation, “and it’s gone on now.” She saw his eyes narrow with angry disgust as he realized he was stuck with them unless he wanted to spend several days escorting them back to the inn. Terrified that the tears burning the backs of her eyes were going to fall, Elizabeth tipped her head back and turned it, pretending to be inspecting the ceiling, the staircase, the walls, anything. Through the haze of tears she noticed for the first time that the place looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in a year. Beside her Lucinda glanced around through narrowed eyes and arrived at the same conclusion. Jake, anticipating that the old woman was about to make some disparaging comment about Ian’s house, leapt into the breach with forced joviality. “Well, now,” he burst out, rubbing his hands together and striding forward to the fire. “Now that’s all settled, shall we all be properly introduced? Then we’ll see about supper.” He looked expectantly at Ian, waiting for him to handle the introductions, but instead of doing the thing properly he merely nodded curtly to the beautiful blond girl and said, “Elizabeth Cameron-Jake Wiley.” “How do you do, Mr. Wiley,” Elizabeth said. “Call me Jake,” he said cheerfully, then he turned expectantly to the scowling duenna. “And you are?” Fearing that Lucinda was about to rip up at Ian for his cavalier handling of the introductions, Elizabeth hastily said, “This is my companion, Miss Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones.” “Good heavens! Two names. Well, no need to stand on formality, since we’re going to be cooped up together for at least a few days! Just call me Jake. What shall I call you?” “You may call me Miss Throckmorton-Jones,” she informed him, looking down the length of her beaklike nose. “Er-very well,” he replied, casting an anxious look of appeal to Ian, who seemed to be momentarily enjoying Jake’s futile efforts to create an atmosphere of conviviality. Disconcerted, Jake ran his hands through his disheveled hair and arranged a forced smile on her face. Nervously, he gestured about the untidy room. “Well, now, if we’d known we were going to have such…ah…gra…that is, illustrious company, we’d have-“ “Swept off the chairs?” Lucinda suggested acidly. “Shoveled off the floor?
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
This book festival...grew to attract thousands of visitors every year. Now they felt like they needed a new purpose. The festival’s continuing existence felt assured. What was it for? What could it do? How could it make itself count? The festival’s leadership reached out to me for advice on these questions. What kind of purpose could be their next great animating force? Someone had the idea that the festival’s purpose could be about stitching together the community. Books were, of course, the medium. But couldn’t an ambitious festival set itself the challenge of making the city more connected? Couldn’t it help turn strong readers into good citizens? That seemed to me a promising direction—a specific, unique, disputable lodestar for a book festival that could guide its construction...We began to brainstorm. I proposed an idea: Instead of starting each session with the books and authors themselves, why not kick things off with a two-minute exercise in which audience members can meaningfully, if briefly, connect with one another? The host could ask three city- or book-related questions, and then ask each member of the audience to turn to a stranger to discuss one of them. What brought you to this city—whether birth or circumstance? What is a book that really affected you as a child? What do you think would make us a better city? Starting a session with these questions would help the audience become aware of one another. It would also break the norm of not speaking to a stranger, and perhaps encourage this kind of behavior to continue as people left the session. And it would activate a group identity—the city’s book lovers—that, in the absence of such questions, tends to stay dormant. As soon as this idea was mentioned, someone in the group sounded a worry. “But I wouldn’t want to take away time from the authors,” the person said. There it was—the real, if unspoken, purpose rousing from its slumber and insisting on its continued primacy. Everyone liked the idea of “book festival as community glue” in theory. But at the first sign of needing to compromise on another thing in order to honor this new something, alarm bells rang. The group wasn’t ready to make the purpose of the book festival the stitching of community if it meant changing the structure of the sessions, or taking time away from something else. Their purpose, whether or not they admitted it, was the promotion of books and reading and the honoring of authors. It bothered them to make an author wait two minutes for citizens to bond. The book festival was doing what many of us do: shaping a gathering according to various unstated motivations, and making half-hearted gestures toward loftier goals.
Priya Parker (The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters)
The truth about my family was that we disappointed one another. When I heard the word 'disappoint,' I tasted toast, slightly burned. But when I saw the word written, I thought of it first and foremost as the combining or the collapsing together of the words 'disappear' and 'point,' as in how something in us ceased to exist the moment someone let us down. Small children understood this better than adults, this irreparable diminution of the self that occurred at each instance, large and small, of someone forgetting a promise, arriving late, losing interest, leaving too soon, and otherwise making us feel like a fool. That was why children, in the face of disappointments, large and small, were so quick to cry and scream, often throwing their bodies to the ground as if their tiny limbs were on fire. That was a good instinct. We, the adults or the survivors of our youth, traded in instinct for a societal norm. We stayed calm. We swallowed the hurt. We forgave the infraction. We ignored that our skin was on fire. We became our own fools. Sometimes, when we were very successful, we forgot entirely the memory of the disappointment. The loss that resulted, of course, could not be undone. What was gone was gone. We just could no longer remember how we ended up with so much less of our selves. Why we expected nothing, why we deserved so little, and why we brought strangers into our lives to fill the void.
Monique Truong (Bitter in the Mouth)
About my father..... My father was a very simple person. When I was small I never understood why he is so simple actually I disliked it. He use to go to office and return late and have dinner with us. I use to think he never stood for me on anything. But he was the person who uses to take me to the market for Diwali shopping. He uses to give me 20 Rs to eat at school when he had only 30. He tried to fulfill all my wishes in his range. He uses to take me on his bicycle after school tuition and walk while making me sit on bicycle. He uses to scare away lizards for me. He uses to play with me. He was the one who told me to work hard when I failed. He never scolded me for studies but only when I killed an insect intentionally. He was the one who taught me physics and mathematics. Once he found a wounded parrot on the road and he bought him home. He brought medicine for him and applied it on his wounds. Later on a cat took that parrot and he ran after her but the parrot died. He did not had proper food for three four days. He spent each and every penny of his earning for our happiness and never forgot to return any pending amount. He use to talk to us but very less and joke sometimes. His style was very different, we use to tell him to use dye or color on his hairs but he always refused. And when he smiled and laughed he doesn’t stop. For every question he had one answer:-“TRUST GOD HE WILL DO EVERYTHING,HE IS THE ONE WHO DOES EVERYTHING”. He uses to discuss with us lot on Bhagwat Gita. Once he told me:- “ Bade prem se milna jag mae sabse aye insaan na jane kis vesh mae tujse mil jayen bhagwaan(meet each person with full love as you never know in which form god will come in front of you)”.To that I replied:-“ But according to Bhagwat gita this is kalyug and all will deceive you if you do that”. He never drunk alcohol or had non-veg. His habits were like –“If he don’t want to do something he will not do it”. But later on he started consulting me (A foolish person like me). I use to shout at him each time I was leaving home as he use to put my wallet at some secret safe place. And when he had not kept it even I use to say “you must have kept it”. He just kept quiet. But later I came to know about the place and it was always the same and I myself realized that why am I shouting at him. Once he said to me “ bache apne aap he sekhtae hain(Children learn by themselves)”. I daily use to woke up walk up to him and say something and then lie down beside him and sleep again. I had lot of fights with him and he was never angry on me. He was just realizing that I am becoming responsible son and we had lot of dreams together and we use to plan a lot. His smile, his eyes, his habits, his innocence, his politeness , his sense of responsibility , his teachings , his knowledge ,his humble nature, his moral values, his love for humans and animals, being non arrogant , no anger, he was never hungry for money , his voice :-“ hello Sonu beta , theak ho ( My Son – Sonu , are you fine)” , his watch, his mobile case, his phone, his shoes, his specs , his laugh, his jokes and all the qualities that were infinite.
Amit Dixit
On true penance and the holy life. Many people think that they are achieving great things in external works such as fasting, going barefoot and other such practices which are called penances. But true penance, and the best kind of penance, is that whereby we can improve ourselves greatly and in the highest measure, and this consists in turning entirely away from all that is not God or of God in ourselves and in all creatures, and in turning fully and completely towards our beloved God in an unshakeable love so that our devotion and desire for him become great. In whatever kind of good work you possess this the more, the more righteous you are, and the more there is of this, the truer the penance and the more it expunges sin and all its punishment. Indeed, in a short space of time you could turn so firmly away from all sin with such revulsion, turning just as firmly to God, that had you committed all the sins since Adam and all those which are still to be, you would be forgiven each and every one together with their punishment and, were you then to die, you would be brought before the face of God. This is true penance, and it is based especially and consummately on the precious suffering in the perfect penance of our Lord Jesus. Christ The more we share13 in this, the more all sin falls away from us, together with the punishment for sin. In all that we do and at all times we should accustom ourselves to sharing in the life and work of our Lord Jesus Christ, in all that he did and chose not to do, in all that he suffered and experienced, and we should be always mindful of him as he was of us. This form of penance is a mind raised above all things into God, and you should freely practise those kinds of works in which you find that you can and do possess this the most. If any external work hampers you in this, whether it be fasting, keeping vigil, reading or whatever else, you should freely let it go without worrying that you might thereby be neglecting your penance. For God does not notice the nature of the works but only the love, the devotion and the spirit which is in them. For he is not so much concerned with our works as with the spirit with which we perform them all and that we should love him in all things. They for whom God is not enough are greedy. The reward for all your works should be that they are known to God and that you seek God in them. Let this always be enough for you. The more purely and simply you seek him, the more effectively all your works will atone for your sins. You could also call to mind the fact that God was a universal redeemer of the world, and that I owe him far greater thanks therefore than if he had redeemed me alone. And so you too should be the universal redeemer of all that you have spoiled in yourself through sin, and you should commend yourself altogether to him with all that you have done, for you have spoiled through sin all that is yours: heart, senses, body, soul, faculties, and whatever else there is in you and about you. All is sick and spoiled. Flee to him then in whom there is no fault but rather all goodness, so that he may be a universal redeemer for all the corruption both of your life within and your life in the world.
Meister Eckhart (Selected Writings)
Cribbage!” I declared, pulling out the board, a deck of cards, and pen and paper, “Ben and I are going to teach you. Then we can all play.” “What makes you think I don’t know how to play cribbage?” Sage asked. “You do?” Ben sounded surprised. “I happen to be an excellent cribbage player,” Sage said. “Really…because I’m what one might call a cribbage master,” Ben said. “I bet I’ve been playing longer than you,” Sage said, and I cast my eyes his way. Was he trying to tell u something? “I highly doubt that,” Ben said, “but I believe we’ll see the proof when I double-skunk you.” “Clearly you’re both forgetting it’s a three-person game, and I’m ready to destroy you both,” I said. “Deal ‘em,” Ben said. Being a horse person, my mother was absolutely convinced she could achieve world peace if she just got the right parties together on a long enough ride. I didn’t know about that, but apparently cribbage might do the trick. I didn’t know about that, but apparently cribbage might do the trick. The three of us were pretty evenly matched, and Ben was impressed enough to ask sage how he learned to play. Turned out Sage’s parents were historians, he said, so they first taught him the precursor to cribbage, a game called noddy. “Really?” Ben asked, his professional curiosity piqued. “Your parents were historians? Did they teach?” “European history. In Europe,” Sage said. “Small college. They taught me a lot.” Yep, there was the metaphorical gauntlet. I saw the gleam in Ben’s eye as he picked it up. “Interesting,” he said. “So you’d say you know a lot about European history?” “I would say that. In fact, I believe I just did.” Ben grinned, and immediately set out to expose Sage as an intellectual fraud. He’d ask questions to trip Sage up and test his story, things I had no idea were tests until I heard Sage’s reactions. “So which of Shakespeare’s plays do you think was better served by the Globe Theatre: Henry VIII or Troilus and Cressida?” Ben asked, cracking his knuckles. “Troilus and Cressida was never performed at the Globe,” Sage replied. “As for Henry VIII, the original Globe caught fire during the show and burned to the ground, so I’d say that’s the show that really brought down the house…wouldn’t you?” “Nice…very nice.” Ben nodded. “Well done.” It was the cerebral version of bamboo under the fingernails, and while they both tried to seem casual about their conversation, they were soon leaning forward with sweat beading on their brows. It was fascinating…and weird. After several hours of this, Ben had to admit that he’d found a historical peer, and he gleefully involved Sage in all kinds of debates about the minutiae of eras I knew nothing about…except that I had the nagging sense I might have been there for some of them. For his part, Sage seemed to relish talking about the past with someone who could truly appreciate the detailed anecdotes and stories he’d discovered in his “research.” By the time we started our descent to Miami, the two were leaning over my seat to chat and laugh together. On the very full flight from Miami to New York, Ben and Sage took the two seats next to each other and gabbed and giggled like middle-school girls. I sat across from them stuck next to an older woman wearing far too much perfume.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
Fresh seafood stock made from shrimp and crab... It's hot and spicy- and at the same time, mellow and savory! Visions of lush mountains, cool springs and the vast ocean instantly come to mind! She brought out the very best flavors of each and every ingredient she used! "I started with the fresh fish and veggies you had on hand... ... and then simmered them in a stock I made from seafood trimmings until they were tender. Then I added fresh shrimp and let it simmer... seasoning it with a special blend I made from spices, herbs like thyme and bay leaves, and a base of Worcestershire sauce. I snuck in a dash of soy sauce, too, to tie the Japanese ingredients together with the European spices I used. Overall, I think I managed to make a curry sauce that is mellow enough for children to enjoy and yet flavorful enough for adults to love!" "Yum! Good stuff!" "What a surprise! To take the ingredients we use here every day and to create something out of left field like this!" "You got that right! This is a really delicious dish, no two ways about it. But what's got me confused... ... is why it seems to have hit him way harder than any of us! What on earth is going on?!" This... this dish. It... it tastes just like home! It looks like curry, but it ain't! It's gumbo!" Gumbo is a family dish famously served in the American South along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. A thick and spicy stew, it's generally served over steamed rice. At first glance, it closely resembles Japan's take on curry... but the gumbo recipe doesn't call for curry powder. Its defining characteristic is that it uses okra as its thickener. *A possible origin for the word "gumbo" is the Bantu word for okra-Ngombu.*
Yuto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 31 [Shokugeki no Souma 31] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #31))
My interest in comics was scribbled over with a revived, energized passion for clothes, records, and music. I'd wandered in late to the punk party in 1978, when it was already over and the Sex Pistols were history. I'd kept my distance during the first flush of the new paradigm, when the walls of the sixth-form common room shed their suburban-surreal Roger Dean Yes album covers and grew a fresh new skin of Sex Pistols pictures, Blondie pinups, Buzzcocks collages, Clash radical chic. As a committed outsider, I refused to jump on the bandwagon of this new musical fad, which I'd written off as some kind of Nazi thing after seeing a photograph of Sid Vicious sporting a swastika armband. I hated the boys who'd cut their long hair and binned their crappy prog albums in an attempt to join in. I hated pretty much everybody without discrimination, in one way or another, and punk rockers were just something else to add to the shit list. But as we all know, it's zealots who make the best converts. One Thursday night, I was sprawled on the settee with Top of the Pops on the telly when Poly Styrene and her band X-Ray Spex turned up to play their latest single: an exhilarating sherbet storm of raw punk psychedelia entitled "The Day the World Turned Day-Glo" By the time the last incandescent chorus played out, I was a punk. I had always been a punk. I would always be a punk. Punk brought it all together in one place for me: Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius novels were punk. Peter Barnes's The Ruling Class, Dennis Potter, and The Prisoner were punk too. A Clockwork Orange was punk. Lindsay Anderson's If ... was punk. Monty Python was punk. Photographer Bob Carlos Clarke's fetish girls were punk. Comics were punk. Even Richmal Crompton's William books were punk. In fact, as it turned out, pretty much everything I liked was punk. The world started to make sense for the first time since Mosspark Primary. New and glorious constellations aligned in my inner firmament. I felt born again. The do-your-own-thing ethos had returned with a spit and a sneer in all those amateurish records I bought and treasured-even though I had no record player. Singles by bands who could often barely play or sing but still wrote beautiful, furious songs and poured all their young hearts, experiences, and inspirations onto records they paid for with their dole money. If these glorious fuckups could do it, so could a fuckup like me. When Jilted John, the alter ego of actor and comedian Graham Fellows, made an appearance on Top of the Pops singing about bus stops, failed romance, and sexual identity crisis, I was enthralled by his shameless amateurism, his reduction of pop music's great themes to playground name calling, his deconstruction of the macho rock voice into the effeminate whimper of a softie from Sheffield. This music reflected my experience of teenage life as a series of brutal setbacks and disappointments that could in the end be redeemed into art and music with humor, intelligence, and a modicum of talent. This, for me, was the real punk, the genuine anticool, and I felt empowered. The losers, the rejected, and the formerly voiceless were being offered an opportunity to show what they could do to enliven a stagnant culture. History was on our side, and I had nothing to lose. I was eighteen and still hadn't kissed a girl, but perhaps I had potential. I knew I had a lot to say, and punk threw me the lifeline of a creed and a vocabulary-a soundtrack to my mission as a comic artist, a rough validation. Ugly kids, shy kids, weird kids: It was okay to be different. In fact, it was mandatory.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
Are you ready, children?” Father Mikhail walked through the church. “Did I keep you waiting?” He took his place in front of them at the altar. The jeweler and Sofia stood nearby. Tatiana thought they might have already finished that bottle of vodka. Father Mikhail smiled. “Your birthday today,” he said to Tatiana. “Nice birthday present for you, no?” She pressed into Alexander. “Sometimes I feel that my powers are limited by the absence of God in the lives of men during these trying times,” Father Mikhail began. “But God is still present in my church, and I can see He is present in you. I am very glad you came to me, children. Your union is meant by God for your mutual joy, for the help and comfort you give one another in prosperity and adversity and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children. I want to send you righteously on your way through life. Are you ready to commit yourselves to each other?” “We are,” they said. “The bond and the covenant of marriage was established by God in creation. Christ himself adorned this manner of life by his first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. A marriage is a symbol of the mystery of the union between Christ and His Church. Do you understand that those whom God has joined together, no man can put asunder?” “We do,” they said. “Do you have the rings?” “We do.” Father Mikhail continued. “Most gracious God,” he said, holding the cross above their heads, “look with favor upon this man and this woman living in a world for which Your Son gave His life. Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world. Defend this man and this woman from every enemy. Lead them into peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle upon their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their friendship, in their sleeping and in their waking, in their joys and their sorrows, in their life and in their death.” Tears trickled down Tatiana’s face. She hoped Alexander wouldn’t notice. Father Mikhail certainly had. Turning to Tatiana and taking her hands, Alexander smiled, beaming at her unrestrained happiness. Outside, on the steps of the church, he lifted her off the ground and swung her around as they kissed ecstatically. The jeweler and Sofia clapped apathetically, already down the steps and on the street. “Don’t hug her so tight. You’ll squeeze that child right out of her,” said Sofia to Alexander as she turned around and lifted her clunky camera. “Oh, wait. Hold on. Let me take a picture of the newlyweds.” She clicked once. Twice. “Come to me next week. Maybe I’ll have some paper by then to develop them.” She waved. “So you still think the registry office judge should have married us?” Alexander grinned. “He with his ‘of sound mind’ philosophy on marriage?” Tatiana shook her head. “You were so right. This was perfect. How did you know this all along?” “Because you and I were brought together by God,” Alexander replied. “This was our way of thanking Him.” Tatiana chuckled. “Do you know it took us less time to get married than to make love the first time?” “Much less,” Alexander said, swinging her around in the air. “Besides, getting married is the easy part. Just like making love. It was the getting you to make love to me that was hard. It was the getting you to marry me…” “I’m sorry. I was so nervous.” “I know,” he said. He still hadn’t put her down. “I thought the chances were twenty-eighty you were actually going to go through with it.” “Twenty against?” “Twenty for.” “Got to have a little more faith, my husband,” said Tatiana, kissing his lips.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
Society, in which we all live, is corrupt, immoral, aggressive, destructive. This society has been going on in primitive or modified form for thousands of years upon thousands of years, but it is the same pattern being repeated. These are all facts, not opinion or judgment. Facing this enormous crisis, one asks not only what one is to do but also who is responsible, who has brought the chaos, the confusion, the utter misery of humanity. Is the economic crisis, the social crisis, the crisis of war, the building of enormous armaments, the appalling waste, outside of us? Inwardly, psychologically, we are also very confused; there is constant conflict, struggle, pain, anxiety. We are together taking a journey into the whole structure that mankind has created, the disorder that human beings have brought about in this world. There is misery, chaos, confusion outwardly in society; and also inwardly, psychologically, in the psyche, the consciousness, there are pain and struggles. What are you going to do about all this? Turn to leaders, better politicians? This one isn’t good, but the next one will be better; and the next one still better. We keep this game going. We have looked to various so-called spiritual leaders, the whole hierarchy of the Christian world. They are as confused, as uncertain, as we are. If you turn to the psychologists or the psychotherapists, they are confused like you and me. And there are all the ideologies: communist ideologies, Marxist ideologies, philosophical ideologies, the ideologies of the Hindus and the ideologies of those people who have brought Hinduism here, and you have your own ideologies. The whole world is fragmented, broken up, as we are broken up, driven by various urges, reactions, each one wanting to be important, each one acting in his own self-interest. This is actually what is going on in the world, wherever you go.
J. Krishnamurti (Where Can Peace Be Found?)
We had planned to spend Christmas morning with my family, and then head over to Phil and Kay’s for Christmas night. The whole family was there, including all the grandkids. Bella, Willie and Korie’s daughter, was the youngest and still an infant. We opened presents, ate dinner, and the whole evening felt surreal. Tomorrow morning I’ll have a baby in this world, I thought. When Jep and I left that night, I said, “I’m gonna go have a baby. See you all later!” For all the worry and concern and tears and prayers we’d spent on our unborn baby, when it came to her birth, she was no trouble at all. I went to the hospital, got prepped for the C-section, and within thirty minutes she was out. Lily was beautiful and healthy. I was overwhelmed with happiness and joy. I felt God had blessed me. He’d created life inside of me--a real, beautiful, breathing little human being--and brought her into this world through me. It was an unbelievable miracle. And the best part? Jep was in the delivery room. Unlike his dad, he wanted to be there, and he shared it all with me. I’ll never forget the sight of Jep decked out in blue scrubs, with the blue head cover, holding his baby girl for the first time. I’ll never forget how she nestled down in the crook of his arm, his hand wrapped up and around, gently holding her. He stared down at her, and I could see a smile behind his white surgical mask. He was already in love--I knew that look. After we admired the baby together, I fell asleep, and Jep took his newborn daughter out to meet the family. He told me later he bawled like a baby. Later, when she went to the hospital nursery, Jep kept going over there to stare at her. I think he was in shock and overwhelmed and excited. Lily had a light creamy complexion and little pink rosebud lips, and she was born December 26, 2002. Despite the rough pregnancy, she was perfect. God answered our prayers, and now we were a family of three. We’d been married just a little over a year.
Jessica Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
I find that while each partner might have needed some specific coaching, the real tests we faced were basically the same, season after season. We had to learn to move as a team. We had to master complex, carefully timed choreography. We had to face the hot lights and live action and the idea that millions of eyes were upon us. But beyond that, I needed to inspire and instill confidence in each person I coached and danced with. I needed to communicate with an open heart and empathetic, encouraging words. I had to critique usefully and praise strategically. I also needed to be my authentic self--exposing my personal vulnerabilities to win their trust. Ultimately, I had to make each of my partners embrace not just me, but also her own sill and power. Every partner I’ve danced with has it within them to kick ass and climb mountains. When you put yourself in a situation when you’re vulnerable, that’s when your power is revealed. And it’s always there; it’s part of your DNA. It’s like a woman walking into a room looking for the diamond necklace and realizing it’s around her neck. I’m not changing any of these ladies; I’m helping them rediscover themselves. And truth be told, that was never my goal. I never walked into a studio thinking, I’m going to transform this person’s life. I’m no therapist! I was just trying to put some damn routines together! But I realized after all these seasons that the dance is a metaphor for the journey. Every one of my partners has had a very different one. What they brought to the table was different; what they needed to overcome was different. But despite that, the same thing happens time and time again: the walls come tumbling down and they find their true selves. That I have anything at all to do with that is both thrilling and humbling. In the beginning, I thought I was just along for the ride--army candy. To touch a person’s life, to help them find their footing, is a gift, and I’m thankful I get to do it season after season.
Derek Hough (Taking the Lead: Lessons from a Life in Motion)
I am a Carpathian male, long in the world of darkness. It is true that I feel very little, that my nature revels in the hunt, in the kill. To overcome the wild beast we have to find our one mate, our other half, the light to our darkness. You are my light, Raven, my very life. That does not take away my obligations to my people. I must hunt those who prey on mortals, those who prey on our people. I cannot feel while I do so, or madness would be my fate. Kiss me and merge your mind with mine. Love me for who I am.” Raven’s body ached and burned. Needed. Hungered. His heart beat so strongly. His skin felt so temptingly hot, his muscles hard against her softness. Every touch of his lips sent a jolt of electricity sizzling through her. “I cannot lie to you,” he whispered. “You know my thoughts. You know the beast that dwells inside. I try to be gentle with you, to listen to you. Always that wildness breaks free, but you tame me. Raven, please, I need you. And you need me. Your body is weak, I can feel your hunger. Your mind is fragmented--allow me to heal you. Your body cries out for mine as mine does for yours. Kiss me, Raven. Do not give up on us.” Her blue eyes continued to search his face and then came to rest on his sensual mouth. A small sigh escaped. His lips hovered over hers, waited for her answer. It was in her eyes first, that moment of complete recognition. Tenderness rushed over her, and she caught his head in her hands. “I think I’m afraid I made you up, Mikhail. That something so much a part of me, so perfect, can’t be real. I don’t want you to be what I dreamed of and the nightmare to be real.” She brought his face the inch separating them and fastened her mouth to his. Thunder pounded in her ears, in his. White-hot heat streaked and danced, consumed her, consumed him. His hand touched hers gently, tentatively, found no resistance, and he merged them together so that his burning need became hers, so that the wild, unbridled passion in him fed hers. So that she knew he was real and would never leave her alone, could never leave her alone.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
Perhaps we could practice together at Marsbury House sometime,” he said. “I would enjoy that.” She ignored the niggle that said encouraging the duke’s suit was wrong when she wasn’t sure she wanted to marry him. “Yes, Lady Celia always enjoys showing a man how to use his gun,” Mr. Pinter put in. “You couldn’t ask for a better tutor, Your Grace.” When the duke stiffened understandably, she glared at Mr. Pinter. “His Grace needs no tutoring. He shoots quite well. And manages to remain civil at the same time, which is more than I can say for you, sir.” Why was Mr. Pinter being so difficult? Bad enough that he’d goaded her into this competition-must he also make her suitors resent her? So far they’d taken her participation in this competition in stride, but if he kept provoking them… Mr. Pinter scowled as they all halted to reload. “Civility is for you aristocrats.” His voice was sullen. “We mere mortals have no sense of it.” “Then it’s a miracle anyone ever hires you to do anything,” she retorted. “Civility is the bedrock of a polite society, no matter what a man’s station.” “I thought money was the bedrock,” eh countered. “Why else does your grandmother’s ultimatum have all of you dashing about trying to find spouses?” It was a nasty thing to say and he knew it, for he cast her a belligerent look as soon as the words left her mouth. “I don’t know why you should complain about that,” she said archly. “Our predicament has afforded you quite a good chance to plump your own pockets.” “Celia,” Oliver said in a low voice, “sheathe your claws.” “Why? He’s being rude.” The beater’s flushed the grouse. Mr. Pinter brought down another bird, a muscle ticking in his jaw as they all fired. “I beg your pardon, my lady. Sometimes my tongue runs away with my good sense.” “I’ve noticed.” She caught the gentlemen watching them with interest and forced a smile. “But since you were good enough to apologize, let us forget the matter, shall we?” With a taut nod, he acknowledged her request for a truce. After that, they both concentrated on shooting. She was determined to beat him, and he seemed equally determined to beat the other gentlemen. She tried not to dwell on why, but the possibility of another kiss from him made her nervous and excited.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Theseus Within the Labyrinth pt.2 But nobody like Theseus likes a smart girl, always telling him to dress warmly and eat plenty of fiber. She was one of those people who are never in doubt. Had he sharpened his sword, tied his sandals? Without her, of course, he would have never escaped the labyrinth. Why hadn’t he thought of that trick with the ball of yarn? But as he looked down at her sleeping form, this woman who was already carrying his child, maybe he thought of their future together, how she would correctly foretell the mystery or banality behind each locked door. So probably he shook his head and said, Give me a dumb girl any day, and crept back to his ship and sailed away. Of course Ariadne was revenged. She would have told him to change the sails, to take down the black ones, put up the white. She would have reminded him that his father, the king of Athens, was waiting on a high cliff scanning the Aegean for Theseus’s returning ship, white for victory, black for defeat. She would have said how his father would see the black sails, how the grief for the supposed death of his one son would destroy him. But Theseus and his men had brought out the wine and were cruising a calm sea in a small boat filled to the brim with ex-virgins. Who could have blamed him? Until he heard the distant scream and his head shot up to see the black sails and he knew. The girls disappeared, the ship grew quiet except for the lap-lap of the water. Staring toward the spot where his father had tumbled headfirst into the Aegean, Theseus understood he would always be a stupid man with a thick stick, scratching his forehead long after the big event. But think, does he change his mind, turn back the ship, hunt up Ariadne and beg her pardon? Far better to be stupid by himself than smart because she’d been tugging on his arm; better to live in the eternal present with a boatload of ex-virgins than in that dark land of consequences promised by Ariadne, better to live like any one of us, thinking to outwit the darkness, but knowing it will catch us, that we will be surprised like the Minotaur on his couch when the door slams back and the hired gun of our personal destruction bursts upon us, upsetting the good times and scaring the girls. Better to be ignorant, to go into the future as into a long tunnel, without ball of yarn or clear direction, to tiptoe forward like any fool or saint or hero, jumpy, full of second thoughts, and bravely unprepared.
Stephen Dobyns (Velocities: New and Selected Poems, 1966-1992)
could stand to be a little scared. “No, let’s spook them,” I whispered back. Lake grinned, Carla shook her head. “They’ll turn us in,” Carla said. “They’ll tell the others.” “They won’t,” I whispered and then motioned for them to get close. When they did, I let them in on the plan. “Let’s sneak around the back. Carla, do you have your flashlight.” With it being a clear night, and the moon glowing above, we hadn’t needed the flashlight. Carla had brought it, though.  She pulled it out of her pocket and held it up. “You stand back,” I told her, figuring she’d want this job. “Shine the light toward the back of the tent. Lake, you and I stand close to the tent wall. When Carla shines the light, you pretend to be a bear and roar. And we’ll make shadows.” “Sounds good to me,” Lake said. “Only we have to be quiet from here out,” I whispered. “North can hear everything.” I wasn’t so sure he couldn’t hear us out here now with his supersonic hearing. Maybe he was asleep... The girls followed me as I tiptoed my way around wide toward the back of the tent. Carla positioned herself near the trees, so her light would cast a good glow. Lake and I stood halfway between. Lake stood really close to me. “So we don’t look like two people,” she explained when I started to back away from her. I realized she was right. Standing together, we’d make one big shadow. We stood hip to hip and I counted down with hand signals to Carla. Three. Two. One. Go! Carla lit up the beam, creating a strong enough glow to spread across the back of the tent wall. She even angled from below so the beam went up, making our shadow taller. Lake raised a curled hand like a claw and growled, doing a great bear impression. I raised my own hand on the other side—another claw. The tent erupted with the sounds of grunts, curses, and a few squeals. “Kota!” Gabriel’s voice erupted over the mix of noises. “Bear!” “Bears don’t have flashlights,” Kota said. “Shit,” Gabriel said. “Fuck. Shit. Fuck.” “Enough,” North said. The three of us outside giggled and started making our way back around the tent, when I was tackled, and on the ground in a heap before I even realized what had happened. The smell of leather and cedar wafted over me. I’d recognize the big bulk of muscle anywhere. “It’s just us!” I cried out in an eruption of giggling, struggling for breath with him on top of me. “I knew it was you,” Nathan said, leaning back while still sitting on my hips. “No one else at this campground would dare.” The others had been tackled, too. Silas was on top of Lake. Luke was on top of Carla. “Get off,” Lake said but she was laughing, pushing on Silas, only Silas
C.L. Stone (First Kiss (The Ghost Bird, #10))
The first thing to note about Korean industrial structure is the sheer concentration of Korean industry. Like other Asian economies, there are two levels of organization: individual firms and larger network organizations that unite disparate corporate entities. The Korean network organization is known as the chaebol, represented by the same two Chinese characters as the Japanese zaibatsu and patterned deliberately on the Japanese model. The size of individual Korean companies is not large by international standards. As of the mid-1980s, the Hyundai Motor Company, Korea’s largest automobile manufacturer, was only a thirtieth the size of General Motors, and the Samsung Electric Company was only a tenth the size of Japan’s Hitachi.1 However, these statistics understate their true economic clout because these businesses are linked to one another in very large network organizations. Virtually the whole of the large-business sector in Korea is part of a chaebol network: in 1988, forty-three chaebol (defined as conglomerates with assets in excess of 400 billion won, or US$500 million) brought together some 672 companies.2 If we measure industrial concentration by chaebol rather than individual firm, the figures are staggering: in 1984, the three largest chaebol alone (Samsung, Hyundai, and Lucky-Goldstar) produced 36 percent of Korea’s gross domestic product.3 Korean industry is more concentrated than that of Japan, particularly in the manufacturing sector; the three-firm concentration ratio for Korea in 1980 was 62.0 percent of all manufactured goods, compared to 56.3 percent for Japan.4 The degree of concentration of Korean industry grew throughout the postwar period, moreover, as the rate of chaebol growth substantially exceeded the rate of growth for the economy as a whole. For example, the twenty largest chaebol produced 21.8 percent of Korean gross domestic product in 1973, 28.9 percent in 1975, and 33.2 percent in 1978.5 The Japanese influence on Korean business organization has been enormous. Korea was an almost wholly agricultural society at the beginning of Japan’s colonial occupation in 1910, and the latter was responsible for creating much of the country’s early industrial infrastructure.6 Nearly 700,000 Japanese lived in Korea in 1940, and a similarly large number of Koreans lived in Japan as forced laborers. Some of the early Korean businesses got their start as colonial enterprises in the period of Japanese occupation.7 A good part of the two countries’ émigré populations were repatriated after the war, leading to a considerable exchange of knowledge and experience of business practices. The highly state-centered development strategies of President Park Chung Hee and others like him were formed as a result of his observation of Japanese industrial policy in Korea in the prewar period.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order)
About 4.6 billion years ago, a great swirl of gas and dust some 24 billion kilometres across accumulated in space where we are now and began to aggregate. Virtually all of it – 99.9 per cent of the mass of the solar system21 – went to make the Sun. Out of the floating material that was left over, two microscopic grains floated close enough together to be joined by electrostatic forces. This was the moment of conception for our planet. All over the inchoate solar system, the same was happening. Colliding dust grains formed larger and larger clumps. Eventually the clumps grew large enough to be called planetesimals. As these endlessly bumped and collided, they fractured or split or recombined in endless random permutations, but in every encounter there was a winner, and some of the winners grew big enough to dominate the orbit around which they travelled. It all happened remarkably quickly. To grow from a tiny cluster of grains to a baby planet some hundreds of kilometres across is thought to have taken only a few tens of thousands of years. In just 200 million years, possibly less22, the Earth was essentially formed, though still molten and subject to constant bombardment from all the debris that remained floating about. At this point, about 4.4 billion years ago, an object the size of Mars crashed into the Earth, blowing out enough material to form a companion sphere, the Moon. Within weeks, it is thought, the flung material had reassembled itself into a single clump, and within a year it had formed into the spherical rock that companions us yet. Most of the lunar material, it is thought, came from the Earth’s crust, not its core23, which is why the Moon has so little iron while we have a lot. The theory, incidentally, is almost always presented as a recent one, but in fact it was first proposed in the 1940s by Reginald Daly of Harvard24. The only recent thing about it is people paying any attention to it. When the Earth was only about a third of its eventual size, it was probably already beginning to form an atmosphere, mostly of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, methane and sulphur. Hardly the sort of stuff that we would associate with life, and yet from this noxious stew life formed. Carbon dioxide is a powerful greenhouse gas. This was a good thing, because the Sun was significantly dimmer back then. Had we not had the benefit of a greenhouse effect, the Earth might well have frozen over permanently25, and life might never have got a toehold. But somehow life did. For the next 500 million years the young Earth continued to be pelted relentlessly by comets, meteorites and other galactic debris, which brought water to fill the oceans and the components necessary for the successful formation of life. It was a singularly hostile environment, and yet somehow life got going. Some tiny bag of chemicals twitched and became animate. We were on our way. Four billion years later, people began to wonder how it had all happened. And it is there that our story next takes us.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Steve was a warrior in every sense of the word, but battling wildlife perpetrators just wasn’t the same as old-fashioned combat. Because Steve’s knees continued to deteriorate, his surfing ability was severely compromised. Instead of giving up in despair, Steve sought another outlet for all his pent-up energy. Through our head of security, Dan Higgins, Steve discovered mixed martial arts (or MMA) fighting. Steve was a natural at sparring. His build was unbelievable, like a gorilla’s, with his thick chest, long arms, and outrageous strength for hugging things (like crocs). Once he grabbed hold of something, there was no getting away. He had a punch equivalent to the kick of a Clydesdale, he could just about lift somebody off the ground with an uppercut, and he took to grappling as a wonderful release. Steve never did anything by halves. I remember one time the guys were telling him that a good body shot could really wind someone. Steve suddenly said, “No one’s given me a good body shot. Try to drop me with a good one so I know what it feels like.” Steve opened up his arms and Dan just pile drove him. Steve said, in between gasps, “Thanks, mate. That was great, I get your point.” I would join in and spar or work the pads, or roll around until I was absolutely exhausted. Steve would go until he threw up. I’ve never seen anything like it. Some MMA athletes are able to seek that dark place, that point of total exhaustion--they can see it, stare at it, and sometimes get past it. Steve ran to it every day. He wasn’t afraid of it. He tried to get himself to that point of exhaustion so that maybe the next day he could get a little bit further. Soon we were recruiting the crew, anyone who had any experience grappling. Guys from the tiger department or construction were lining up to have a go, and Steve would go through the blokes one after another, grappling away. And all the while I loved it too. Here was something else that Steve and I could do together, and he was hilarious. Sometimes he would be cooking dinner, and I’d come into the kitchen and pat him on the bum with a flirtatious look. The next thing I knew he had me in underhooks and I was on the floor. We’d be rolling around, laughing, trying to grapple each other. It’s like the old adage when you’re watching a wildlife documentary: Are they fighting or mating? It seems odd that this no-holds-barred fighting really brought us closer, but we had so much fun with it. Steve finally built his own dojo on a raised concrete pad with a cage, shade cloth, fans, mats, bags, and all that great gear. Six days a week, he would start grappling at daylight, as soon as the guys would get into work. He had his own set of techniques and was a great brawler in his own right, having stood up for himself in some of the roughest, toughest, most remote outback areas. Steve wasn’t intimidated by anyone. Dan Higgins brought a bunch of guys over from the States, including Keith Jardine and other pros, and Steve couldn’t wait to tear into them. He held his own against some of the best MMA fighters in the world. I always thought that if he’d wanted to be a fighter as a profession, he would have been dangerous. All the guys heartily agreed.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Who is it from?” Savona asked. I looked up at him, trying to divine whether the secret knowledge lay behind his expression of interest. “Of course she cannot tell,” Tamara said, her tone mock chiding--a masterpiece of innuendo, I realized. “But…perhaps a hint, Countess?” “I can’t, because it’s a secret to me, too.” I looked around. Nothing but interest in all the faces, from Savona’s friendly skepticism to Shevraeth’s polite indifference. Shevraeth looked more tired than ever. “The best kind, because I get the ring and don’t have to do anything about it!” Everyone laughed. “Now that,” Savona said, taking my arm, “is a direct challenge, is it not? Geral? Danric? I take you to witness.” We started strolling along the pathway. “But first, to rid myself of this mysterious rival. Have you kissed anyone since yesterday? Winked? Sent a posy-of-promise?” He went on with so many ridiculous questions I couldn’t stop laughing. The others had fallen in behind. Conversations crossed the group, preventing it from breaking into smaller groups. Before too long Tamara brought us all together again. She was now the center of attention as she summoned Savona to her side to admire a new bracelet. This was fine with me. I did not like being the center, and I felt jangled and uneasy. Had I betrayed myself in any important way? Had I been properly polite to Shevraeth? The few times he spoke I was careful to listen and to smile just like the others. When I found myself on the edge of the group, I slipped away and hastened back to the Residence. In my room, I found Mora sewing. She looked at me in surprise, and hastily got to her feet to curtsy. “Never mind that,” I said. “Tell me, who brings letters and things?” “The runners, my lady,” she said. “Can you find out who sent a runner?” When she hesitated, I said, “Look, I just want to find out who gave me these gifts. I know under the old king, people could be bribed. Is that true now? Please, speak plain. I won’t tell anyone what you tell me, and I won’t make trouble.” Mora pursed her lips. “There are times when the runners can be bribed, my lady,” she said carefully. “But not all of them. Were it to get out, they could lose their position.” “So everyone belowstairs doesn’t know everything?” “No, my lady. Many people use personal runners to deliver things to the palace runners; and the loyal ones don’t talk.” “Ah hah!” I exclaimed. “Then, tell me this: Can something be returned along the same route, even though I don’t know to whom it’s going?” She thought a bit, then nodded. “I think that can be arranged.” “Good. Then let me pen a message, and please see that it gets sent right away.” I dived down onto the cushions beside the desk, rummaged about, and came up with pen and writing paper. On the paper I wrote: The gifts are beautiful, and I thank you, but what do they mean? I signed my name, sealed the letter, and handed it to Mora. She left at once, and I was severely tempted to try to follow her, except I’d promised not to make trouble. And if I were caught at it, I suspected that the servants involved might get into trouble. I decided to look at this whole matter as a kind of challenge. I’d find some clever way of solving the mystery without involving anyone innocent.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
Sharon passed around a handout: "Triangle of Self-Actualization" by Abraham Maslow. The levels of human motivation. It resembled the nutrition triangle put out by the FDA, with five horizontal levels of multiple colors. I vaguely remembered it from my one college psychology course in the 1970's. "Very applicable with refugees," Sharon said. "Maslow theorized that one could not move to a higher level until the prior level was satisfied. The first level, the triangle base, is physiological needs. Like food and water. Until a person has enough to eat and drink, that's all one would be concerned with." I'd never experienced not being able to satisfy my thirst or hunger, but it sounded logical that that would be my only concern in such a situation. For the Lost Boys, just getting enough food and water had been a daily struggle. I wondered what kind of impact being stuck at the bottom level for the last fourteen years would have on a person, especially a child and teen. "The second level is safety and security. Home. A sanctuary. A safe place." Like not being shot at or having lions attack you. They hadn't had much of level two, either. Even Kakuma hadn't been safe. A refugee camp couldn't feel like home. "The third level is social. A sense of belonging." Since they'd been together, they must have felt like they belonged, but perhaps not on a larger scale, having been displaced from home and living in someone else's country. "Once a person has food, shelter, family and friends, they can advance to the fourth level, which is ego. Self-esteem." I'd never thought of those things occurring sequentially, but rather simultaneously, as they did in my life. If I understood correctly, working on their self-esteem had not been a large concern to them, if one at all. That was bound to affect them eventually. In what way remained to be seen. They'd been so preoccupied with survival that issues of self-worth might overwhelm them at first. A sure risk for insecurity and depression. The information was fascinating and insightful, although worrisome in terms of Benson, Lino, and Alepho. It also made me wonder about us middle-and upper-class Americans. We seldom worried about food, except for eating too much, and that was not what Maslow had been referring to. Most of us had homes and safety and friends and family. That could mean we were entirely focused on that fourth level: ego. Our efforts to make ourselves seem strong, smart, rich, and beautiful, or young were our own kind of survival skill. Perhaps advancing directly to the fourth level, when the mind was originally engineered for the challenges of basic survival, was why Prozac and Zoloft, both antidepressants, were two of the biggest-selling drugs in America. "The pinnacle of the triangle," Sharon said, "is the fifth level. Self-actualization. A strong and deeply felt belief that as a person one has value in the world. Contentment with who one is rather than what one has. Secure in ones beliefs. Not needing ego boosts from external factors. Having that sense of well-being that does not depend on the approval of others is commonly called happiness." Happiness, hard to define, yet obvious when present. Most of us struggled our entire lives to achieve it, perhaps what had brought some of us to a mentoring class that night.
Judy A. Bernstein (Disturbed in Their Nests: A Journey from Sudan's Dinkaland to San Diego's City Heights)
I was getting my knife sharpened at the cutlery shop in the mall,” he said. It was where he originally bought the knife. The store had a policy of keeping your purchase razor sharp, so he occasionally brought it back in for a free sharpening. “Anyway, it was that day that I met this Asian male. He was alone and really nice looking, so I struck up a conversation with him. Well, I offered him fifty bucks to come home with me and let me take some photos. I told him that there was liquor at my place and indicated that I was sexually attracted to him. He was eager and cooperative so we took the bus to my apartment. Once there, I gave him some money and he posed for several photos. I offered him the rum and Coke Halcion-laced solution and he drank it down quickly. We continued to drink until he passed out, and then I made love to him for the rest of the afternoon and early evening. I must have fallen asleep, because when I woke up it was late. I checked on the guy. He was out cold, still breathing heavily from the Halcion. I was out of beer and walked around the corner for another six-pack but after I got to the tavern, I started drinking and before I knew it, it was closing time. I grabbed my six-pack and began walking home. As I neared my apartment, I noted a lot of commotion, people milling about, police officers, and a fire engine. I decided to see what was going on, so I came closer. I was surprised to see they were all standing around the Asian guy from my apartment. He was standing there naked, speaking in some kind of Asian dialect. At first, I panicked and kept walking, but I could see that he was so messed up on the Halcion and booze that he didn’t know who or where he was. “I don’t really know why, Pat, but I strode into the middle of everyone and announced he was my lover. I said that we lived together at Oxford and had been drinking heavily all day, and added that this was not the first time he left the apartment naked while intoxicated. I explained that I had gone out to buy some more beer and showed them the six-pack. I asked them to give him a break and let me take him back home. The firemen seemed to buy the story and drove off, but the police began to ask more questions and insisted that I take them to my apartment to discuss the matter further. I was nervous but felt confident; besides, I had no other choice. One cop took him by the arm and he followed, almost zombie-like. “I led them to my apartment and once inside, I showed them the photos I had taken, and his clothes neatly folded on the arm of my couch. The cops kept trying to question the guy but he was still talking gibberish and could not answer any of their questions, so I told them his name was Chuck Moung and gave them a phony date of birth. I handed them my identification and they wrote everything down in their little notebooks. They seemed perturbed and talked about writing us some tickets for disorderly conduct or something. One of them said they should take us both in for all the trouble we had given them. “As they were discussing what to do, another call came over their radio. It must have been important because they decided to give us a warning and advised me to keep my drunken partner inside. I was relieved. I had fooled the authorities and it gave me a tremendous feeling. I felt powerful, in control, almost invincible. After the officers left, I gave the guy another Halcion-filled drink and he soon passed out. I was still nervous about the narrow escape with the cops, so I strangled him and disposed of his body.
Patrick Kennedy (GRILLING DAHMER: The Interrogation Of "The Milwaukee Cannibal")
Again you must learn the point which comes next. Every circle, of those which are by the act of man drawn or even turned on a lathe, is full of that which is opposite to the fifth thing. For everywhere it has contact with the straight. But the circle itself, we say, has nothing in either smaller or greater, of that which is its opposite. We say also that the name is not a thing of permanence for any of them, and that nothing prevents the things now called round from being called straight, and the straight things round; for those who make changes and call things by opposite names, nothing will be less permanent (than a name). Again with regard to the definition, if it is made up of names and verbal forms, the same remark holds that there is no sufficiently durable permanence in it. And there is no end to the instances of the ambiguity from which each of the four suffers; but the greatest of them is that which we mentioned a little earlier, that, whereas there are two things, that which has real being, and that which is only a quality, when the soul is seeking to know, not the quality, but the essence, each of the four, presenting to the soul by word and in act that which it is not seeking (i.e., the quality), a thing open to refutation by the senses, being merely the thing presented to the soul in each particular case whether by statement or the act of showing, fills, one may say, every man with puzzlement and perplexity. [...] But in subjects where we try to compel a man to give a clear answer about the fifth, any one of those who are capable of overthrowing an antagonist gets the better of us, and makes the man, who gives an exposition in speech or writing or in replies to questions, appear to most of his hearers to know nothing of the things on which he is attempting to write or speak; for they are sometimes not aware that it is not the mind of the writer or speaker which is proved to be at fault, but the defective nature of each of the four instruments. The process however of dealing with all of these, as the mind moves up and down to each in turn, does after much effort give birth in a well-constituted mind to knowledge of that which is well constituted. [...] Therefore, if men are not by nature kinship allied to justice and all other things that are honourable, though they may be good at learning and remembering other knowledge of various kinds-or if they have the kinship but are slow learners and have no memory-none of all these will ever learn to the full the truth about virtue and vice. For both must be learnt together; and together also must be learnt, by complete and long continued study, as I said at the beginning, the true and the false about all that has real being. After much effort, as names, definitions, sights, and other data of sense, are brought into contact and friction one with another, in the course of scrutiny and kindly testing by men who proceed by question and answer without ill will, with a sudden flash there shines forth understanding about every problem, and an intelligence whose efforts reach the furthest limits of human powers. Therefore every man of worth, when dealing with matters of worth, will be far from exposing them to ill feeling and misunderstanding among men by committing them to writing. In one word, then, it may be known from this that, if one sees written treatises composed by anyone, either the laws of a lawgiver, or in any other form whatever, these are not for that man the things of most worth, if he is a man of worth, but that his treasures are laid up in the fairest spot that he possesses. But if these things were worked at by him as things of real worth, and committed to writing, then surely, not gods, but men "have themselves bereft him of his wits".
Plato (The Letters)