Cement Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Cement. Here they are! All 200 of them:

For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (Yasalar Üzerine)
What sphinx of cement and aluminium bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? - Howl
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
Friendship is a serious affection; the most sublime of all affections, because it is founded on principle, and cemented by time.
Mary Wollstonecraft
Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it's okay to be a boy; for girls it's like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.
Ian McEwan (The Cement Garden)
...there was cement in her soul. It had been there for a while, an early morning disease of fatigue, shapeless desires, brief imaginary glints of other lives she could be living, that over the months melded into a piercing homesickness.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
I held this girl in my arms She wrapped her tiny fingers around mine. It was then that I realized. She was the fusion. The glue. The cement that bound all my pieces together. The piece that seals my puzzle. The piece that completes my life. The element that makes me who I am. Who I was. Who I'll one day be. You, baby girl. You're my final piece.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
I've sucked way too much cement for this year. Bad juju rising off them city sidewalks. I need to babble with a brook or two, inhale starlight, make friends with some trees.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.
Woodrow Wilson
Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.
Anna Quindlen (A Short Guide to a Happy Life)
There is evil! It's actual, like cement. I can't believe it. I can't stand it. Evil is not a view ... it's an ingredient in us. In the world. Poured over us, filtering into our bodies, minds, hearts, into the pavement itself.
Philip K. Dick (The Man in the High Castle)
You cannot build a dream on a foundation of sand. To weather the test of storms, it must be cemented in the heart with uncompromising conviction.
T.F. Hodge (From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph Over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence")
His whole body shakes with the strain as he tries to lift something he knows he can't lift, something everybody knows he can't lift. But, for just a second, when we hear the cement grind at our feet, we think, by golly, he might do it.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
The love of my life is gone, and I can't just call her and say I'm sorry and have her come back. She's gone forever. So yes, Monique, that is something I do regret. I regret every second I didn't spend with her. I regret every stupid thing I did that caused her an ounce of pain. I should have chased her down the street the day she left me. I should have begged her to stay. I should have apologized and sent roses and stood on top of the Hollywood sign and shouted, 'I'm in love with Celia St. James!' and let them crucify me for it. That's what I should have done. And now that I don't have her, and I have more money than I could ever use in this lifetime, and my name is cemented in Hollywood history, and I know how hollow it is, I am kicking myself for every single second I chose it over loving her proudly.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
There's a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. It grows in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. It grows up out of cellar gratings. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It grows lushly . . . survives without sun, water, and seemingly without earth. It would be considered beautiful except that there are too many of it.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Wherever we go we do harm, forgiving ourselves as wheels do cement for wearing each other out. We set this house on fire, forgetting that we live within. (from "To a Meadowlark," for M.L. Smoker)
Jim Harrison
I feel like I'm being pulled in a hundred different directions and my feet are stuck in cement.
Elizabeth Acevedo (With the Fire on High)
God is not needed to create guilt or to punish. Our fellow men suffice, aided by ourselves. You were speaking of the Last Judgement. Allow me to laugh respectfully. I shall wait for it resolutely, for I have known what is worse, the judgement of men. For them, no extenuating circumstances; even the good intention is ascribed to crime. Have you at least heard of the spitting cell, which a nation recently thought up to prove itself the greatest on earth? A walled-up box in which the prisoner can stand without moving. The solid door that locks him in the cement shell stops at chin level. Hence only his face is visible, and every passing jailer spits copiously on it. The prisoner, wedged into his cell, cannot wipe his face, though he is allowed, it is true. to close his eyes. Well, that, mon cher, is a human invention. They didn't need God for that little masterpiece.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
People easily understand that ‘primitives’ cement their social order by believing in ghosts and spirits, and gathering each full moon to dance together around the campfire. What we fail to appreciate is that our modern institutions function on exactly the same basis.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
I need more than anything right now what is, of course, most impossible, someone to love me, to be with me at night when I wake up in shuddering horror and fear of the cement tunnels leading down to the shock room, to comfort me with an assurance that no psychiatrist can quite manage to convey.
Sylvia Plath (The Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Sometimes, from beyond the skycrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.
Albert Camus
Another one of my mystery skills I can't seem to remember. I really hope cooking is on that list, because I'd like to be able to make cupcakes without turning them into cement.
Courtney Allison Moulton (Angelfire (Angelfire, #1))
Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other's hearts in prayer.
Charles Grandison Finney
The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us.
Alcoholics Anonymous (Alcoholics Anonymous)
1) Work on one thing at a time until finished. 2) Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Black Spring." 3) Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand. 4) Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time! 5) When you can't create you can work. 6) Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers. 7) Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it. 8) Don't be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only. 9) Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude. 10) Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing. 11) Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Henry Miller
I want to tell her that God is not a cement building of stones and sand. That God is not for all that putting inside a house and locking Him there. I want her to know that the only way to know if a person find God and keep Him in their heart is to check how the person is treating other people, if he treats people like Jesus says--with love, patience, kindness, and forgiveness.
Abi Daré (The Girl with the Louding Voice)
sticks and stones might break your bones, but cement pays homage to tradition.
Estelle Getty
Blank-slate friendships were thin and temperamental. She knew that. There was no history there to cement people together, for better or worse.
Sarah Addison Allen (The Girl Who Chased the Moon)
Swear to God, for someone so obsessed with music, she’s borderline tone deaf. But trying to describe how I felt watching her dance around and sing would be like trying to build a skyscraper with my bare hands. It made me want to marry her. Made me want to buy her a magic airplane and fly her away to a place where nothing bad could ever happen. Made me want to pour rubber cement all over my chest and then lay down on top of her so that we’d be stuck together, and so it would hurt like hell if we ever tried to tear ourselves apart.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (How to Kill a Rock Star)
There’s something simmering inside of me. Something I’ve never dared to tap into, something I’m afraid to acknowledge. There’s a part of me clawing to break free from the cage I’ve trapped it in, banging on the doors of my heart, begging to be free. Begging to let go. Every day I feel like I’m reliving the same nightmare. I open my mouth to shout, to fight, to swing my fists, but my vocal cords are cut, my arms are heavy and weighted down as if trapped in wet cement and I’m screaming but no one can hear me, no one can reach me and I’m caught. And it’s killing me. I’ve always had to make myself submissive, subservient, twisted into a pleading, passive mop just to make everyone else feel safe and comfortable. My existence has become a fight to prove I’m harmless, and I’m not a threat, that I’m capable of living among other human beings without hurting them. And I’m so tired I’m so tire I’m so tired I’m so tired and sometimes I get so angry. I don’t know what’s happening to me.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
It was true; always had been. Friendships were like marriages in that way. Routines and patterns were poured early and hardened like cement.
Kristin Hannah (Firefly Lane (Firefly Lane, #1))
My life is routine. I wake up early in the morning. I brush my teeth. I sit on the floor of the cell I do not go to breakfast. I stare at a gray cement wall. I keep my legs crossed my back straight my eyes forward. I take deep breaths in and out, in and out, and I try not to move. I sit for as long as I can I sit until everything hurts I sit until everything stops hurting I sit until I lose myself in the gray wall I sit until my mind becomes as blank as the gray wall. I sit and I stare and I breathe. I sit and I stare. I breathe.
James Frey (My Friend Leonard)
I survived A dreadful accident In the car crash of the century My shattered hopes Collapsed on cold cement But in the back of the ambulance I'd never felt so content.
Owl City
Love binds people too, in matrimony's sacred bonds where chaste lovers are met, and friends cement their trust and friendship. How happy is mankind, if the love that orders the stars above rules, too, in your hearts.
Boethius (The Consolation of Philosophy)
If Clark wanted to, he could use his superspeed and squish me into the cement. But I know how he thinks. Even more than the Kryptonite, he's got one big weakness. Deep down, Clark's essentially a good person... and deep down, I'm not.
Jeph Loeb (Batman: Hush, Vol. 2)
I differ with myself then agree, like the rock that was broken and cemented together. I change my opinion.
China Miéville (Embassytown)
Sometimes words aren't needed for you to know a change has come upon you. You can share a look with a friend that cements a deeper understanding between you, and thus a stronger bond. A touch with a sister or brother or parent that says 'I'm here, no matter what' and suddenly someone who was just a relative, a person you love, turns out to be one of your best friends.
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
But of course there's no logic to San Francisco generally, a city built with putty and pipe cleaners, rubber cement and colored construction paper. It's the work of fairies, elves, happy children with new crayons
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
I've always thought of wholeness and integration as necessary myths. We're fragmented beings who cement ourselves together, but there are always cracks. Living with the cracks is part of being, well, reasonably healthy
Siri Hustvedt (The Sorrows of an American)
It shouldn't have happened at all, but their friendship had been cemented in only the time it took to get to school that morning - Adam demonstrating how to fasten the Camaro's ground wire more securely, Gansey lifting Adam's bike halfway into the trunk so they could ride to school together, Adam confessing he worked at a mechanic's to put himself through Aglionby, and Gansey turning to the passenger seat and asking, "What do you know about Welsh kings?
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Her laughter catches him off guard. As if it’s carbonated and someone has poured it too fast and it’s bubbling over in all directions. It doesn’t fit at all with the gray cement and right-angled garden paving stones. It’s an untidy, mischievous laugh that refuses to go along with rules and prescriptions.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
The summer of 2019 had overstayed its welcome in Florida, lingering well into September. As if to make a point about global warming, the rabid sun scorched the waters of Biscayne Bay for weeks, generating a haze of humidity that blurred the line between the windless sea and the sky above. Not to be accused of playing favorites, the sun’s rays beat down on the land with equal spite, pummeling grass, palms, and bushes into limp submission. The heat weaponized asphalt roads and cement sidewalks, the shimmery mirages above them a clear warning to all living things to stay away or burn.
J.K. Franko (Eye for Eye (Talion #1))
I once had a mind of quicksand, That dragged ideas into its depths, Inhaling specks of sunlight, Every time I drew a breath, But the world thought me a hazard, When every word I spoke, I meant, So around me they put caution tape, And filled me with cement.
Erin Hanson
Beauty without grace is like a fish far displaced from the water and looking at this kind of beauty is like watching that fish die right there on the cement in front of you.
C. JoyBell C.
The difference in the brains of men and women was imposed by nature, and only cemented by culture.
Jean M. Auel (The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1))
Men are sandcastles made out of pebbles and the bucket is patriarchy: if you remove it, we fear we won’t be able to hold ourselves together, we pour in cement to fill the gaps to make ourselves concrete constructions.
Dean Atta (The Black Flamingo)
Every lifetime contains pivot points—sometimes flukes of destiny, sometimes seemingly preordained—that shape and eventually cement one’s path.
Greer Hendricks (An Anonymous Girl)
You have those walls up all around you...Come a day you gonna want to tear them down brick by brick and gonna find that the cement is all hard. What you gonna do then?
Jacqueline Woodson (The Dear One)
Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression. —Haim Ginott
Marti Olsen Laney (The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World)
NATIONS FAIL TODAY because their extractive economic institutions do not create the incentives needed for people to save, invest, and innovate. Extractive political institutions support these economic institutions by cementing the power of those who benefit from the extraction.
Daron Acemoğlu (Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty)
What, in all the world, could I do to earn my living and still live as myself, as I knew myself to be. Temporary masks, I knew, had their place; everyone was wearing them, they were the human rage; but not masks cemented in place until the wearer could not breathe and was eventually suffocated.
Janet Frame (An Angel at my Table, the Complete Autobiography (Autobiography, #1-3))
...stooping very low, He engraves with care His Name, indelible, upon our dust; And from the ashes of our self-despair, Kindles a flame of hope and humble trust. He seeks no second site on which to build, But on the old foundation, stone by stone, Cementing sad experience with grace, Fashions a stronger temple of His own.
Patricia St. John (Patricia St. John Tells Her Own Story)
I dived for it, caught it three inches above the cement, and found myself face-to-face with the salamander. Ruby-red eyes regarded me with mild curiosity, black lips parted, and a long, spiderweb-thin filament of a tongue slithered from the salamander’s mouth and kissed the sphere’s glass in the reflection of my nose. Hi, I love you, too.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Woe to us if we get our satisfaction from the food in the kitchen and the TV in the den and the sex in the bedroom with an occasional tribute to the cement blocks in the basement! God wills to be displayed and known and loved and cherished and worshiped.
John Piper
I looked about me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks. I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as a man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
If grass can grow through cement, love can find you every time.
Cher
I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand.
Rodney Dangerfield
For some, religion is the cement that seals shut their door on the world
Carol Shields (The Stone Diaries)
the world now consumes in one year nearly as much steel as it did during the first post-World War II decade, and (even more incredibly) more cement than it consumed during the first half of the twentieth century.
Vaclav Smil (Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization)
Want your boat, Georgie?' Pennywise asked. 'I only repeat myself because you really do not seem that eager.' He held it up, smiling. He was wearing a baggy silk suit with great big orange buttons. A bright tie, electric-blue, flopped down his front, and on his hands were big white gloves, like the kind Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck always wore. Yes, sure,' George said, looking into the stormdrain. And a balloon? I’ve got red and green and yellow and blue...' Do they float?' Float?' The clown’s grin widened. 'Oh yes, indeed they do. They float! And there’s cotton candy...' George reached. The clown seized his arm. And George saw the clown’s face change. What he saw then was terrible enough to make his worst imaginings of the thing in the cellar look like sweet dreams; what he saw destroyed his sanity in one clawing stroke. They float,' the thing in the drain crooned in a clotted, chuckling voice. It held George’s arm in its thick and wormy grip, it pulled George toward that terrible darkness where the water rushed and roared and bellowed as it bore its cargo of storm debris toward the sea. George craned his neck away from that final blackness and began to scream into the rain, to scream mindlessly into the white autumn sky which curved above Derry on that day in the fall of 1957. His screams were shrill and piercing, and all up and down Witcham Street people came to their windows or bolted out onto their porches. They float,' it growled, 'they float, Georgie, and when you’re down here with me, you’ll float, too–' George's shoulder socked against the cement of the curb and Dave Gardener, who had stayed home from his job at The Shoeboat that day because of the flood, saw only a small boy in a yellow rain-slicker, a small boy who was screaming and writhing in the gutter with muddy water surfing over his face and making his screams sound bubbly. Everything down here floats,' that chuckling, rotten voice whispered, and suddenly there was a ripping noise and a flaring sheet of agony, and George Denbrough knew no more. Dave Gardener was the first to get there, and although he arrived only forty-five seconds after the first scream, George Denbrough was already dead. Gardener grabbed him by the back of the slicker, pulled him into the street...and began to scream himself as George's body turned over in his hands. The left side of George’s slicker was now bright red. Blood flowed into the stormdrain from the tattered hole where his left arm had been. A knob of bone, horribly bright, peeked through the torn cloth. The boy’s eyes stared up into the white sky, and as Dave staggered away toward the others already running pell-mell down the street, they began to fill with rain.
Stephen King (It)
Even though trauma has a way of becoming the wallpaper of my head, watch me drag the art out of my suffering. Watch me plant seeds down my spine and bloom into a garden of poetry from every horrible thing that has ever happened to me, all the nights my voice turned to cement and I couldn't say anything- Watch me build an empire from the ashes of everything that tried to destroy me.
Blythe Baird (If My Body Could Speak)
At the back of my mind I had a sense of us sitting about waiting for some terrible event, and then I would remember that it had already happened.
Ian McEwan (The Cement Garden)
No matter where its seed fell, it made a tree which struggled to reach the sky. It grew in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps, and it was the only tree that grew out of cement. It grew lushly, but only in the tenements districts.... That was the kind of tree it was. It liked poor people.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
We can what if ourselves to death, but it won't do anything. The only thing we can do is keep moving even when it feels like you're walking through a pit of cement.
Chelsea M. Cameron (My Favorite Mistake (My Favorite Mistake, #1))
Look closely and you will see Almost everyone carrying bags Of cement on their shoulders That’s why it takes courage To get out of bed in the morning And climb into the day
Edward Hirsch (Gabriel: A Poem)
In a cement park across the street is this giant sculpture. It is a giant umbrella frame lying on its side. It's green. Stand under it, during a rainstorm, you'll still get wet - that's why it's art.
Peter Hedges (What's Eating Gilbert Grape)
She wore a loose bathrobe that covered up a body that would have won first prize in a beauty contest for cement blocks.....She had a voice that made pearl harbour sound like a lullaby.
Richard Brautigan (در رؤیای بابل)
What do you think you're doing?"..."What does it look like, Blake? I'm obviously having wild sex on a cement bench with my best friend's boyfriend fifteen feet from a yard full of people.
Talia Vance (Silver (Bandia, #1))
  You came and you left and I’m just looking to quick dry cement it, press and bend it, fold it up and tuck it away for safe keeping. I know that it’s reaching but I just want to leave your name on a page somewhere and never need to come back to it.
Trista Mateer (Honeybee)
Her blog was doing well, with thousands of unique visitors each month, and she was earning good speaking fees, and she had a fellowship at Princeton and a relationship with Blaine - "You are the absolute love of my life," he'd written in her last birthday card - and yet there was cement in her soul. It had been there for a while, an early morning disease of fatigue, shapeless desires, brief imaginary glints of other lives she could be living, that over the months melded into a piercing homesickness.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
But what is the philosophy of this generation? Not God is dead, that point was passed long ago. Perhaps it should be stated Death is God. This generation thinks – and this is its thought of thoughts – that nothing faithful, vulnerable, fragile can be durable or have any true power. Death waits for these things as a cement floor waits for a dropping light bulb. The brittle shell of glass loses its tiny vacuum with a burst, and that is that. And this is how we teach metaphysics on each other. "You think history is the history of loving hearts? You fool! Look at these millions of dead. Can you pity them, feel for them? You can nothing! There were too many. We burned them to ashes, we buried them with bulldozers. History is the history of cruelty, not love as soft men think.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
I’ve begun to wonder if perhaps these remarkable molecules might be wasted on the young, that they may have more to offer us later in life, after the cement of our mental habits and everyday behaviors has set. Carl Jung once wrote that it is not the young but people in middle age who need to have an “experience of the numinous” to help them negotiate the second half of their lives.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
If you think a story can be like a kind of cement, the sloppy kind that you put between bricks, the kind that looks like cake frosting before it dries hard, then maybe I thought it would be possible to use what Toby had to hold Finn together, to keep him here with me a little bit longer.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
You think that if you blame, you will then be free of those problems, but blame cements you to your problems.
Bryant McGill (Simple Reminders: Inspiration for Living Your Best Life)
We lived loud and hard against a neighborhood built to contain us. We moved like the earth pushing its way through cement sidewalks.
Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath)
Very often, what is meant to be a stepping stone turns out to be a slab of wet cement that will harden around your foot if you do not take the next step soon enough.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
The other part of me wanted to get out and stay out, but this was the part I never listened to. Because if I ever had I would have stayed in the town where I was born and worked in the hardware store and married the boss's daughter and had five kids and read them the funny paper on Sunday morning and smacked their heads when they got out of line and squabbled with the wife about how much spending money they were to get and what programs they could have on the radio or TV set. I might even get rich - small-town rich, an eight-room house, two cars in the garage, chicken every Sunday and the Reader's Digest on the living room table, the wife with a cast-iron permanent and me with a brain like a sack of Portland cement. You take it, friend. I'll take the big sordid dirty crooked city.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
my final piece We’re born into the world As just one small piece to the puzzle That makes up an entire life. It’s up to us throughout our years, to find all of our pieces that fit. The pieces that connect who we are To who we were To who we’ll one day be. Sometimes pieces will almost fit. They’ll feel right. We’ll carry them around for a while, Hoping they’ll change shape. Hoping they’ll conform to our puzzle. But they won’t. We’ll eventually have to let them go. To find the puzzle that is their home. Sometimes pieces won’t fit at all. No matter how much we want them to. We’ll shove them. We’ll bend them. We’ll break them. But what isn’t meant to be, won’t be. Those are the hardest pieces of all to accept. The pieces of our puzzle That just don’t belong. But occasionally . . . Not very often at all, If we’re lucky, If we pay enough attention, We’ll find a perfect match. The pieces of the puzzle that slide right in The pieces that hug the contours of our own pieces. The pieces that lock to us. The pieces that we lock to. The pieces that fit so well, we can’t tell where our piece begins And that piece ends. Those pieces we call Friends. True loves. Dreams. Passions. Beliefs. Talents. They’re all the pieces that complete our puzzles. They line the edges, Frame the corners, Fill the centers, Those pieces are the pieces that make us who we are. Who we were. Who we’ll one day be. Up until today, When I looked at my own puzzle, I would see a finished piece. I had the edges lined, The corners framed, The center filled. It felt like it was complete. All the pieces were there. I had everything I wanted. Everything I needed. Everything I dreamt of. But up until today, I realized I had collected all but one piece. The most vital piece. The piece that completes the picture. The piece that completes my whole life. I held this girl in my arms She wrapped her tiny fingers around mine. It was then that I realized She was the fusion. The glue. The cement that bound all my pieces together. The piece that seals my puzzle. The piece that completes my life. The element that makes me who I am. Who I was. Who I’ll one day be. You, baby girl. You’re my final piece.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Race you,” I challenged, leaping up. It was a real nice night for a race. The air was clear and cold and so clean it almost sparkled. The moon wasn't out but the stars lit up everything. It was quiet except for the sound of our feet on the cement and the dry, scraping sound of leaves blowing across the street. It was a real nice night. I guess I was still out of shape, because we all thee tied. No. I guess we all just wanted to stay together.
S.E. Hinton (The Outsiders)
There are mornings when it feels as if you rise up to the surface through a mud bath. With your feet stuck in a block of cement. When you know that you’ve expired in the night and have nothing to be happy about except the fact that at least you’ve already died so they can’t transplant your lifeless organs.
Peter Høeg (Smilla's Sense of Snow)
Okay, stand outa the way. Sometimes when I go to exertin' myself I use up all the air nearby and grown men faint from suffocation. Stand back. There's liable to be crackin' cement and flying steel. Get the women and kids someplace safe. Stand back. . . .
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
Yep. The tingle in my groin is unmistakable. I've got the hots for the good reverend. I thought I was going to hell before, but this pretty much cements it.
Lisa Desrochers (A Little Too Far (A Little Too Far, #1))
I believe that my observations have always led me to find that the so-called realist moves about the world with a closed mind, ringed as it were with concrete and cement, and that the so-called romantic is like an unfenced garden in and out of which truth can wander at will.
Joseph Roth (The Emperor's Tomb (Von Trotta Family, #2))
To cement my point, Dire Straits came on and after Perry proclaimed her sudden (and surprising) love for the band, the douchefucker stood up and asked her to dance like he was a Cajun Rhett Butler.
Karina Halle (The Dex-Files (Experiment in Terror, #5.6))
It was about the inestimable burden of their lives: the work, the houses, the friendships, the marriages, the children, as if all the things they’d wanted and worked for had cemented the impossibility of any sort of happiness. The
Ann Patchett (Commonwealth)
It's 5:22pm you're in the grocery checkout line. Your three-year-old is writhing on the floor, screaming, because you have refused to buy her a Teletubby pinwheel. Your six-year-old is whining, repeatedly, in a voice that could saw through cement, "But mommy, puleeze, puleeze" because you have not bought him the latest "Lunchables," which features, as the four food groups, Cheetos, a Snickers, Cheez Whiz, and Twizzlers. Your teenager, who has not spoken a single word in the past foor days, except, "You've ruined my life," followed by "Everyone else has one," is out in the car, sulking, with the new rap-metal band Piss on the Parentals blasting through the headphones of a Discman. To distract yourself, and to avoid the glares of other shoppers who have already deemed you the worst mother in America, you leaf through People magazine. Inside, Uma thurman gushes "Motherhood is Sexy." Moving on to Good Housekeeping, Vanna White says of her child, "When I hear his cry at six-thirty in the morning, I have a smile on my face, and I'm not an early riser." Another unexpected source of earth-mother wisdom, the newly maternal Pamela Lee, also confides to People, "I just love getting up with him in the middle of the night to feed him or soothe him." Brought back to reality by stereophonic whining, you indeed feel as sexy as Rush Limbaugh in a thong.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
Four p.m. is like a basement. Wholly innocent in theory. But if you really think about a basement, it is cement poured over restless earth. It has smelly, unfinished spaces, and wooden beams that cast too-sharp shadows. It is something that says almost, but not quite. Four p.m. feels that way, too. Almost, but not quite afternoon anymore. Almost, but not quite evening yet. And it is the way of magic and nightmares to choose those almost-but-not-quite moments and wait.
Roshani Chokshi (Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava, #1))
Pull himself together? This was a man who looked permanently cemented together.
Maya Banks (Echoes at Dawn (KGI, #5))
In my mind, Martha, you are buried in cement right up to your neck. No… right up to your nose… that’s much quieter.
Edward Albee
In the future, violence would clearly become a valuable form of social cement.
J.G. Ballard
Making things (cement, steel, plastic) 31% Plugging in (electricity) 27% Growing things (plants, animals) 19% Getting around (planes, trucks, cargo ships) 16% Keeping warm and cool (heating, cooling, refrigeration) 7%
Bill Gates (How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need)
I did not know the work of mourning Is like carrying a bag of cement Up a mountain at night The mountaintop is not in sight Because there is no mountaintop Poor Sisyphus grief I did not know I would struggle Through a ragged underbrush Without an upward path ... Look closely and you will see Almost everyone carrying bags Of cement on their shoulders That’s why it takes courage To get out of bed in the morning And climb into the day.
Edward Hirsch (Gabriel: A Poem)
Love doesn't happen because you find the right bricks and cement to build it. Love really is...pure magic. It comes from" - she gestured toward the heavens - "out there. And if falls like pixie dust where it wants. And when id does...you can fly." (Rosemary)
Dan Skinner (Memorizing You)
I feel a shaking in me, and it's the ground. It's like the ground is shaking and I will slip through. Then, in a flash, his hands reach out and, like in a movie, really, the coffee cup falls to the cement steps with a sharp crack, and he grabs my arms and his face is filled with everything that is urgent and loving and meaningful in the world. I feel so powerful, like a god, thunderbolt in hand. And my thunderbolt hit.
Megan Abbott (The End of Everything)
I realised I really was shy. And once I was in it, I couldn't escape. I'd go to talk and find my face was made of cement. Nothing would come out. On winter days, I'd feel myself turning grey at the edges and fading into the walls. Was this defensive strategy? It was paralysing. And it went on for years.
Janet E. Cameron (Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World)
Shards of emotional green shot through Talen’s golden eyes. “He did it for my mate. Eating a virus that might kill him. For my mate.” A pebble skipped across the cement when Talen kicked it. “I don’t know whether to hug him or punch him in the face.” Dage grinned. “Hell. It’s Kane. Do both.” Talen returned the grin, then quickly sobered.
Rebecca Zanetti (Claimed (Dark Protectors, #2))
You don’t have a soul, so you can’t be baptized. All animals are like that. I think it’s unfair and sometimes I don’t believe it. After all, what would heaven be without birds or dogs or horses? And what about trees and flowers? They don’t have souls either. Does that mean heaven looks like a cement parking lot? I suppose this is what the nuns call a theological problem.
Nancy Farmer (The House of the Scorpion (Matteo Alacran, #1))
The truth is that the masses grew out of the fragments of a highly atomized society whose competitive structure and concomitant loneliness of the individual had been held in check only through membership in a class. The chief characteristic of the mass man is not brutality and backwardness, but his isolation and lack of normal social relationships. Coming from the class-ridden society of the nation-state, whose cracks had been cemented with nationalistic sentiment, it is only natural that these masses, in the first helplessness of their new experience, have tended toward an especially violent nationalism, to which mass leaders have yielded against their own instincts and purposes for purely demagogic reasons.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
People who refuse to let go often make small requests that appear reasonable, like Tommy’s letter of reference, though the real purpose of such requests is to cement attachment or gain new reasons for contact.
Gavin de Becker (The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence)
To create, and to confront, one has to be an outcast.
Masha Gessen (Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot)
Steam was rising weirdly from his clothes. His hangover was visible. It heaved itself to his shoulders and sat there like a bag of wet cement.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
This fact is that the heaviest and more burdensome load ever is neither the cement bag nor the iron rod. It is hatred.
Israelmore Ayivor (Leaders' Frontpage: Leadership Insights from 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Thoughts)
A soul that is unbound is as mad as one with cemented borders.
Gillian Rose
The fact is that our Union rests upon public opinion and can never be cemented by the blood of its citizens...If it can not live in the affections of its people, it must die.
James Buchanan
Frustration, too evident in the cement clench of his jaw. Distance, the ethereal detached from the flesh and bone. Impatience, in the soft thrum of his heel as we sit in silence.
Ellen Hopkins (Triangles)
When your heart cries because it wants to be free, But your mind feels as though it is stuck in cement. This is the reality of those who suffer depression and mental health issues.
Gillian Duce
It wasn't always like this. There was a time when I imagined my life could happen in another way. It's true that early on I became used to the long hours I spent alone. I discovered that I did not need people as others did. After writing all day it took an effort to make conversation, like wading through cement, and often I simply chose not to make it, eating at a restaurant with a book or going for long walks alone instead, unwinding the solitude of the day through the city. But loneliness, true loneliness, is impossible to accustom oneself to, and while I was still young I thought of my situation as somehow temporary, and did not stop hoping and imagining that I would meet someone and fall in love... Yes, there was a time before I closed myself off to others.
Nicole Krauss (Great House)
You’re not going to walk through life, Amara,” he uttered roughly, each word a vow that cemented itself in her heart. “You’ll dance through it. And I’ll fucking remove anyone who tries to break your rhythm. I promise you.
RuNyx (The Emperor (Dark Verse, #3))
Most houses were crammed with immovable objects in their proper places, and each object told you what to do - here you ate, here you slept, here you sat. I tried to imagine carpets, wardrobes, pictures, chairs, a sewing machine, in these gaping, smashed-up rooms. I was pleased by how irrelevant, how puny such objects now appeared.
Ian McEwan (The Cement Garden)
They have both loved you with a child’s love, and now a man’s. It is the child’s love that holds you together . . . cemented by the moments you shared with them that they treasure most.
A.G. Howard (Ensnared (Splintered, #3))
-Let respect be the foundation, affection the first floor, love the superstructure; Mdlle Reuters is a skillful architect. - And interest? -yes, no doubt; it will be the cement between every stone!
Charlotte Brontë (The Professor)
Grow up with me,Let’s run in fields and through the dark together,Fall off swings and burn special things,And both play outside in bad weather,Let’s eat badly,Let’s watch adults drink wine and laugh at their idiocy,Let’s sit in the back of the car making eye contact with strangers driving past,Making them uncomfortable,Not caring, not swearing, don’t look,Let’s both reclaim our superpowers, The ones we all have and lose with our milk teeth,The ability not to fear social awkwardness,The panic when locked in the cellar, still sure there’s something down there,And while picking through pillows each feather,Let’s both stay away from the edge of the bed,Forcing us closer together,Let’s sit in public, with ice-cream all over both our faces,Sticking our tongues out at passers-by,Let’s cry, let’s swim, let’s everything,Let’s not find it funny, lest someone falls over,Classical music is boring,Poetry baffles us both,There’s nothing that’s said is what’s meant,Plays are long, tiresome, sullen and filled With hours that could be spent rolling down hills and grazing our knees on cement,Let’s hear stories and both lose our innocence,Learn about parents and forgiveness,Death and morality,Kindness and heart,Thus losing both of our innocent hearts,But at least we wont do it apart,Grow up with me.
Keaton Henson
I felt stifled. Everything I looked at reminded me of myself.
Ian McEwan (The Cement Garden)
Male leads in love stories need to be devoted, need to chase trains, cross continents, give up fortunes and thrones, defy convention, face prosecution, take apart rooms and break the backs of angels, sketch the beloved all over the cement walls of their studios, build sculptures as homages. They don't flirt shamelessly with the likes of me when they have Transylvanian girlfriends. What an effing jerk.
Jandy Nelson (I'll Give You the Sun)
Religious people tend to encounter, among those who are not, a cemented certainty that belief in God is a crutch for the weak and the fearful...Now the belief in God may turn out at the last trump to be a mistake. Meantime, let us be quite clear, it is not merely the comfort of the simple--though it is that too, much to its glory--it is a formidable intellectual position with which most of the first-class minds of the human race, century in and century out, have concurred, each in his own way....speaking of crutches--Freud can be a crutch, Marx can be a crutch, rationalism can be a crutch, and atheism can be two canes and a pair of iron braces. We none of us have all the answers, nor are we likely to have. But in the country of the halt, the man who is surest he has no limp may be the worst-crippled.
Herman Wouk (This Is My God: The Jewish Way of Life (This is My God))
Don’t you see, Maximoff? There’s a cement wall in front of you, and you’ve just been told to be satisfied with staring at it … And so you just stand there, not able to see the other side.” ... “It’s my job to help you over the wall ... I’m going to give you what you’ve never been given.
Krista Ritchie (Damaged Like Us (Like Us, #1))
Nonetheless, gazing out the train window at a random sample of the Western world, I could not avoid noticing a kind of separation between human beings and all other species. We cut ourselves off by living in cement blocks, moving around in glass-and-metal bubbles, and spending a good part of our time watching other human beings on television. Outside, the pale light of an April sun was shining down on a suburb. I opened a newspaper and all I could find were pictures of human beings and articles about their activities. There was not a single article about another species.
Jeremy Narby (The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge)
What would ever become of Tilly-Valley's religion in that world, with headlights flashing along cemented highways, and all existence dominated by electricity? What would become of old women reading by candlelight? What would become of his own life-illusion, his secret 'mythology,' in such a world?
John Cowper Powys (Wolf Solent)
Walking along past the store windows, into which she peers with her usual eagerness, her usual sense that maybe, today, she will discover behind them something that will truly be worth seeing, she feels as if her feet are not on cement at all but on ice. The blade of the skate floats, she knows, on a thin film of water, which it melts by pressure and which freezes behind it. This is the freedom of the present tense, this sliding edge.
Margaret Atwood (Bluebeard's Egg)
The wind plays the world like an instrument. Blows through trees like flutes. But trees won’t grow in cement. And as heart beats bring percussion fallen trees bring repercussions. Cities play upon our souls like broken drums.
Saul Williams (The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop)
With me living forty-five minutes away, Tumblr is supposed to be sacred ground where our friendship is cemented. Unfollowing me is the same as saying, ‘I don’t like you anymore.
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
Which is that there's too much weight improperly distributed: towers and elevators; steel, stone and cement. So much mass up so high that gravity itself could end up being warped--
Douglas Coupland (Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture)
Your dreams are like the cement. If you water it with actions, it becomes a hard concrete mass. But if you leave it exposed and unwatered, the air will easily blow it away!
Israelmore Ayivor
It was like watching an angsty hormone-fueled train wreck and firmly cemented my resolve to be at least twenty-five before I considered getting hitched.
Stacey Jay (You Are So Undead to Me (Megan Berry, #1))
It's an unfortunate word, 'depression', because the illness has nothing to do with feeling sad, sadness is on the human palette. Depression is a whole other beast. It's when your old personality has left town and been replaced by a block of cement with black tar oozing through your veins and mind. This is when you can't decide whether to get a manicure or jump off a cliff. It's all the same. When I was institutionalised I sat on a chair unable to move for three months, frozen in fear. To take a shower was inconceivable. What made it tolerable was while I was inside, I found my tribe - my people. They understood and unlike those who don't suffer, never get bored of you asking if it will ever go away? They can talk medication all hours, day and night; heaven to my ears.
Ruby Wax
I used to think love was two people sucking on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger, but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape, traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth. I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers from a phone line, and you promised to always smell the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts. I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord around my ankle and yanked me across the continent. And now there are three thousand miles between the u and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much I’d jump off the roof of your office building just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there, and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver, hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire. And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants, naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes: Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers, so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo, and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint, washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes, like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth, like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste, and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin, and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers, and to never neglect the first straw; because no one ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
Jeffrey McDaniel
Because if I break, they'll break too. It's a responsibility I'd never really felt before, or at least I never thought about enough to name. But, Bo's actions just cement my place in my family. He can walk away from the dinner table. I can't.
Beth Revis (A World Without You)
In love afairs, there is no mediator like a merry, simple-hearted child - ever ready to cement divided hearts, to span the unfriendly gulf of custom, to melt the ice of cold reserve, and overthrow the separating walls of dread formality and pride.
Anne Brontë
Your mere presence makes me wish for a fifty-story window to jump out of and a cement sidewalk below. Or a moat. A moat with a dozen hungry alligators in it.” He smirked. “You always paint such lovely pictures with your words, little bird.” “I’m going to paint lovely pictures with your intestines,” I shot back. Drake laughed. I hated him. Seriously.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Torn (A Wicked Trilogy, #2))
Don't only learn from the rich and successful men, also learn from the poor and those that failed woefully, for in their failures lies the secret of success as well.
Ikechukwu Izuakor (Great Reflections on Success)
Then there were no more houses, just the burnt foothills and the cement ribbon and a sheer drop on the left into the coolness of a nameless canyon, and on the right heat bouncing off the seared clay bank at whose edge a few unbeatable wild flowers clawed and hung on like naughty children who won’t go to bed.
Raymond Chandler (Mandarin's Jade and Other Stories)
I also happened to identify with Julien Sorel. Sorel's basic character flaws had all cemented by the age of fifteen, a fact which further elicited my sympathy. To have all the building blocks of your life in place by that age was, by any standard, a tragedy.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
We are limited by our agreements on possibility. Agreement is a common exclusion of alternate possibilities. Agreement is the cement of social structure. Two or three gathered together, agreeing on what they are after, may create a subset in which their goals can be achieved, even though folly in the eyes of the world. The world in this case means a set of expectancies agreed upon, a set excluding other possibilities.
Joseph Chilton Pearce (The Crack in the Cosmic Egg: New Constructs of Mind and Reality)
He wanted to roar like a lion on a cement floor. And bellow like a polar bear with yellow fur worn down to pink skin against the tiles of an enclosure in a zoo. The disgust must come. Let it drip down the walls. Scorch the ceiling black with hatred. Liberate rage.
Adam Nevill (Apartment 16)
Learning to live, in the end, is learning to live with imperfection in this way, and even to embrace it. Our being is cemented with sickly qualities … Whoever should remove the seeds of these qualities from man would destroy the fundamental conditions of our life.
Sarah Bakewell (How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer)
He built her a bookshelf and she filled it with books by people who wrote page after page about their feelings. Ove understood things he could see and touch. Cement and concrete. Glass and steel. Tools. Things one could figure out. He understood right angles and clear instruction manuals. Assembly models and drawings. Things one could draw on paper. He was a man of black and white. And she was colour. All the colour he had.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
I wanted to kick Bruce in the taint. No one is just one thing. Many things contribute to the whole of a person, and just because vodka accounts for 50 percent of my body weight, that doesn't mean I walk around with a vodka drip, forcing every plant, person, or animal to imbibe. I've always had a disliking for animal trainers, and this guy cemented my theory that people who chaperone animals for a living have never had a girl sit on their face.
Chelsea Handler (Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang)
Ortiz is now synonymous with walk-off homers. After all, he hit a total of nine game-ending blasts from 2002-07. And that was just in the regular season. It was his blasts in the 2004 postseason that cemented his legacy in Boston.
Tucker Elliot (Boston Red Sox: An Interactive Guide to the World of Sports)
a silent concave of puppet buffoons neither eagles nor jaguars buzzard lawyers locuses wings of ink sawing mindibles ventriloquist coyotes peddlers of shadows beneficent satraps the cacomistle thief of hens the monument to the Rattle and its snake the altar to the mauser and the machete the mausoleum of the epauletted cayman rhetoric sculpted in phrases of cement
Octavio Paz
There is a larger lesson here, because the book encompasses not just the lives of prisoners in a Soviet prison camp, but every one of us. Shukhov squeezes everything he can out of a mouthful of soup or a bite of bread…So frozen that he can’t even feel his feet, he trowels cement and lays a cinder block wall with care and patience…Shukhov takes pride in his work. In fact, even though he is starving, he can barely tear himself away at the end of the long day to go eat. He cares about his work and in that way he remains a man. Isn’t this kind of pride and gratitude and ironic detachment valuable for all people?
Eric Bogosian (One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich)
Only two hours earlier she was telling me how great I was because I could cook eggs. Now my egg-making means I'm a homicidal maniac. Now I might wipe out random people at a mall because I don't smile enough. Why are the adults in my life so determined to bring me down when I'm feeling good? I find myself thinking that it would be nice to be able to fix my life the way I'm fixing the patio. I wonder, is there enough terracotta-colored cement to fill the hole where my father should be? Or where my mother's spine should be? Or where my guts should be?
A.S. King (Everybody Sees the Ants)
We were friends back then, in the way that everyone is friends in kindergarten, before sociopolitical alliances begin to cement, and then, by the time third grade rolls around, you find yourself spending every game of Heads Down, Thumbs Up with your head down and your thumb up, completely ignored by your entire class until you begin to wonder if you've turned invisible.
Adib Khorram (Darius the Great Is Not Okay (Darius The Great, #1))
Reader, do you remember that ridiculous movie Volcano, the one with Tommy Lee Jones? Do you remember how they stopped eruption in the middle of downtown Los Angeles? They diverted it with cement roadblocks and pointed fire hoses at it, and rerouted the lava to the ocean, and everything was fine? Sweet reader, that is not how lava works. Anyone can tell you that. Here is the truth: I keep waiting for my anger to go dormant, but it won’t. I keep waiting for someone to reroute my anger into the ocean, but no one can. My heart is closer to Dante’s Peak of Dante’s Peak. My anger dissolves grandmas in acid lakes and razes quaint Pacific Northwest towns with ash and asphyxiates jet engines with its grit. Lava keeps leaking down my slopes. You should have listened to the scientist. You should have evacuated earlier.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
[And while people ran about proclaiming such things,] I could only think that everything exists because of loss. From the bricks of our buildings, from cement to human cells, everything exists because of chemical transformation, and every chemical transformation is accompanied by loss. And when I look up at the night sky I think: The astronomers have given every star a number.
Anne Michaels (The Winter Vault)
Fate, they say, fate- the clay that molds the events of your life, and it was the same fate that had thrown the stone of her heart on the building of his expectations. But then wasn't it his fault that he had constructed the building of glass? Hadn't he failed to cement the bricks of his love with trust and colour them with security? There was no insurance for broken hearts, no ointment for wounded souls and there would never be one, he knew.
Faraaz Kazi (Truly, Madly, Deeply)
Follow the loglo outward, to where the growth is enfolded into the valleys and the canyons, and you find the land of the refugees. They have fled from the true America, the America of atomic bombs, scalpings, hip-hop, chaos theory, cement overshoes, snake handlers, spree killers, space walks, buffalo jumps, drive-bys, cruise missiles; Sherman's March, gridlock, motorcycle gangs, and bungee jumping. They have parallel-parked their bimbo boxes in identical computer-designed Burbclave street patterns and secreted themselves in symmetrical sheetrock shitholes with vinyl floors and ill-fitting woodwork and no sidewalks, vast house farms out in the loglo wilderness, a culture medium for a medium culture.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
Only a few more steps, I kept telling myself, just a few more steps and I--The box slipped out of my grasp. My knees bent as I tried to regain my grip but it was too late. The box full of totally breakable stuff started to fall. “Son of a bitch-ass, rat bastard, mother fu—” The box halted suddenly, a foot from the cement, startling me so strongly that my string of curses was cut off. The weight of the heavy box was completely gone, and my obviously weak arm muscles wept with relief. At first I wondered if I’d developed some kind of superpower, but then I saw two very large hands that weren’t mine on either side of the box. “I admire anyone who can successfully use the word ‘rat bastard’ in a sentence.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Forever with You (Wait for You, #5))
We all have cracks, the little dents and blemishes that life makes in our hearts and minds, cemented by fear and anxiety, sometimes plastered over with fragile hope. I choose to hide the vulnerable sides of myself as well as I’m able at all times. I choose to hide a lot of things. The only people with no regrets are liars.
Alice Feeney (His & Hers)
I stood there, my head bowed, my shoulders hunched. This is how it feels to be dragged from the cement shoes of a comfortable rut. The slow, steady strain on my legs became an excruciating amputation. My ankles pulled free from my feet. Bones snapped, cartilage tore, veins pulsed blood onto the soft brown clay of the yard.
Deborah Smith (The Crossroads Cafe)
...When our thoughts revolve we are so often deceived into supposing that their violent movement is an indication of their vigorous originality, the upheaval of prejudice and fixed ideas, when all the time it is more likely that the machine which contains them is only an elaborate cement-mixer, and when the thinking is finished, those whirling thoughts are smoothed into the unchanged conventional mould and seeing them set solid enough to dance, to build, to travel upon, we would never dream of their first deceit, of the hope once roused by their apparently violent reorganisation...
Janet Frame (Towards Another Summer)
We built a perfect little cottage out of sand with the help of Farley's tin and the rusting bucket, and some lichen we peeled from rocks for window-box flowers. We left it there all day, and when the tide came up, the waves refused to disturb it, only lapping away at the foundation enough to cement it more firmly to the beach.
Rita Murphy (Bird)
Many bureaucracies have petty authoritarians within them, generating unnecessary rules and procedures simply to express and cement power. Such people produce powerful undercurrents of resentment around them which, if expressed, would limit their expression of pathological power. It is in this manner that the willingness of the individual to stand up for him or herself protects everyone from the corruption of society.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Our schools will not improve if we continue to focus only on reading and mathematics while ignoring the other studies that are essential elements of a good education. Schools that expect nothing more of their students than mastery of basic skills will not produce graduates who are ready for college or the modern workplace. *** Our schools will not improve if we value only what tests measure. The tests we have now provide useful information about students' progress in reading and mathematics, but they cannot measure what matters most in education....What is tested may ultimately be less important that what is untested... *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to close neighborhood schools in the name of reform. Neighborhood schools are often the anchors of their communities, a steady presence that helps to cement the bond of community among neighbors. *** Our schools cannot improve if charter schools siphon away the most motivated students and their families in the poorest communities from the regular public schools. *** Our schools will not improve if we continue to drive away experienced principals and replace them with neophytes who have taken a leadership training course but have little or no experience as teachers. *** Our schools cannot be improved if we ignore the disadvantages associated with poverty that affect children's ability to learn. Children who have grown up in poverty need extra resources, including preschool and medical care.
Diane Ravitch (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education)
When you lose your freedom, you lose, first and foremost, the opportunity to choose the company you keep.
Masha Gessen (Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot)
The sidewalk was all cracked and wavy, like little hills, and the weeds pushed their way up through the cement. I had to roller-skate there anyway, because they wouldn't let me out of their sight, and they could watch me from the swing on the front porch of the old house. It was hard to skate there, and I kept falling down and getting sores on my knees...Sometimes, when they left me alone in 102 to go to the store, I'd turn on the radio and dance all around the room. I'd get on the furniture and jump from couch to the bed to the chair, leaping and twirling the whole time.
Carol Burnett (One More Time)
Whether people need nature or not, it was clear that nature needed people. But perhaps nature needs us like a hostage needs her captors: nature needs us not to annihilate her, not to run her over, not to cover her with cement, not to chop her down. We can hardly admire ourselves, then, when we stop to accommodate nature's needs: we are dubious heroes who create peril and then save it's victims, we who rescue the animals and the trees from ourselves.
Amy Leach (Things That Are)
What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks! Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men! Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jail-house and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments! Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!
Allen Ginsberg (Collected Poems, 1947-1997)
Seth and I used to like to picture how our world would look to visitors someday, maybe a thousand years in the future, after all the humans are gone and all the asphalt has crumbled and peeled away. We wondered what thise visitors would find here. We liked to guess at what would last. Here the indentations suggesting a vast network of roads. Here the deposits of iron where giant steel structures once stood, shoulder to shoulder in rows, a city. Here the remnants of clothing and dishware, here the burial grounds, here the mounds of earth that were once people's homes. But among the artifacts that will never be found - among the objects that will disintegrate long before anyone from elsewhere arrives - is a certain patch of sidewalk on a Californian street where once, on a dark afternoon in summer at the waning end of the year of the slowing, two kids knelt down together on the cold ground. We dipped our fingers in the wet cement, and we wrote the truest, simplest things we knew - our names, the date, and these words: We were here.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
Stalin gothic was not so much an architectural style as a form of worship. Elements of Greek, French, Chinese and Italian masterpieces had been thrown into the barbarian wagon and carted to Moscow and the Master Builder Himself, who had piled them one on the other into the cement towers and blazing torches of His rule, monstrous skyscrapers of ominous windows, mysterious crenellations and dizzying towers that led to the clouds, and yet still more rising spires surmounted by ruby stars that at night glowed like His eyes. After His death, His creations were more embarrassment than menace, too big for burial with Him, so they stood, one to each part of town, great brooding, semi-Oriental temples, not exorcised but used.
Martin Cruz Smith (Gorky Park (Arkady Renko, #1))
Identity. That's my elephant. The thought came with certainty, without the question mark on the end this time. Not fame, exactly, though recognition was some kind of important cement for it. But what you were was what you did. And I did more, oh yes. If a hunger for identity were translated into, say, a hunger for food, he'd be a more fantastic glutton than Mark ever dreamed of being. Is it irrational, to want to be so much, to want so hard it hurts? And how much, then, was enough?
Lois McMaster Bujold (Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10))
Due to this dualist legacy, every journey on which we doubt the conventions and deals of the mundane world and walk towards an unknown destination is called ‘a spiritual journey’. Such journeys are fundamentally different from religions, because religions seek to cement the worldly order whereas spirituality seeks to escape it.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
The more closely the author thinks of why he wrote, the more he comes to regard his imagination as a kind of self-generating cement which glued his facts together, and his emotions as a kind of dark and obscure designer of those facts. Reluctantly, he comes to the conclusion that to account for his book is to account for his life.
Richard Wright
Fathers are… The teeth on a saw, The head of a nail, The blades on a mower. Fathers are… The grit in a tumbler, The cement in the pit, The coin for the machine. Fathers are… The air in the tires, The spring in the suspension, The key to the ignition. Fathers are... the confidence in a dare, The energy of a command, The boots for the trail. Tis true you might make things work without them, but not at all like they were meant to.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
You are such a dork,” I exclaim as my fingers flit over the multitude of images and videos of Will Smith. Pinned quotes and sayings are highlighted, and I chuckle when I recognize a few. “Oh. My. God. Did you actually learn these on purpose?” He reels me into his arms and kisses the top of my head. “Will I be cementing my dork status if I answer affirmatively?” “Absolutely.” I look up into his beautiful eyes. “But I only love you more for it.
Siobhan Davis (Saven Defiance (Saven #4))
In the bottom right-hand corner was a decent-sized color photo of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Trudeau posing with their new acquisition. Brianna, ever photogenic, as she damned well be, emanated glamour. Carl looked rich, thin, and young, he thought, and Imelda was as baffling in print as she was in person. Was she really a work of art? Or was she just a hodgepodge of bronze and cement thrown together by some confused soul working hard to appear tortured?
John Grisham (The Appeal)
Courage was no that hard to come by for children. No matter the hardships they faced, given a little love and encouragement, their spirits rebounded and thrived. Adults were different. Their habits and experiences made them inflexible, welding their routines into place, cementing their joys and hurts to create expectations of life that were not in line with the new realities. All around her, Cass saw the dazed expressions and the blank weariness.
Sophie Littlefield (Horizon (Aftertime, #3))
Poetic Terrorism WEIRD DANCING IN ALL-NIGHT computer-banking lobbies. Unauthorized pyrotechnic displays. Land-art, earth-works as bizarre alien artifacts strewn in State Parks. Burglarize houses but instead of stealing, leave Poetic-Terrorist objects. Kidnap someone & make them happy. Pick someone at random & convince them they're the heir to an enormous, useless & amazing fortune--say 5000 square miles of Antarctica, or an aging circus elephant, or an orphanage in Bombay, or a collection of alchemical mss. ... Bolt up brass commemorative plaques in places (public or private) where you have experienced a revelation or had a particularly fulfilling sexual experience, etc. Go naked for a sign. Organize a strike in your school or workplace on the grounds that it does not satisfy your need for indolence & spiritual beauty. Graffiti-art loaned some grace to ugly subways & rigid public monuments--PT-art can also be created for public places: poems scrawled in courthouse lavatories, small fetishes abandoned in parks & restaurants, Xerox-art under windshield-wipers of parked cars, Big Character Slogans pasted on playground walls, anonymous letters mailed to random or chosen recipients (mail fraud), pirate radio transmissions, wet cement... The audience reaction or aesthetic-shock produced by PT ought to be at least as strong as the emotion of terror-- powerful disgust, sexual arousal, superstitious awe, sudden intuitive breakthrough, dada-esque angst--no matter whether the PT is aimed at one person or many, no matter whether it is "signed" or anonymous, if it does not change someone's life (aside from the artist) it fails. PT is an act in a Theater of Cruelty which has no stage, no rows of seats, no tickets & no walls. In order to work at all, PT must categorically be divorced from all conventional structures for art consumption (galleries, publications, media). Even the guerilla Situationist tactics of street theater are perhaps too well known & expected now. An exquisite seduction carried out not only in the cause of mutual satisfaction but also as a conscious act in a deliberately beautiful life--may be the ultimate PT. The PTerrorist behaves like a confidence-trickster whose aim is not money but CHANGE. Don't do PT for other artists, do it for people who will not realize (at least for a few moments) that what you have done is art. Avoid recognizable art-categories, avoid politics, don't stick around to argue, don't be sentimental; be ruthless, take risks, vandalize only what must be defaced, do something children will remember all their lives--but don't be spontaneous unless the PT Muse has possessed you. Dress up. Leave a false name. Be legendary. The best PT is against the law, but don't get caught. Art as crime; crime as art.
Hakim Bey (TAZ: The Temporary Autonomous Zone (New Autonomy))
Michael wasn't on the pool deck, which was hard for me. None of my old Coral Springs teammates were around. Still, that old plane of cement felt like home. I folded my clothes and put them on the bench. I placed my water bottle under my starting block, and I dove in. Once again, I felt that ultimate state of transition, my feet no longer on the ground, my hands not yet in the water.
Dara Torres (Age Is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life)
I’ve been cut down, destroyed, and demolished. Someone once told me that the human mind is like a temple. A sound structure. Compiled by bricks, cement, and straw. Built by sweating slaves after hours and hours of back-breaking labor. But I disagree… I disagree because even the most sound and well-built structures can crumble. I’ve had days where I felt like my mind was crumbling in the palms of my hands and I was frantic, with fear and desperate with trembling fingers to put the pieces back together. I felt like that until my husband saved me. I want to cherish the way I feel about Elijah forever.
Lauren Hammond (Beautiful Nightmares (Asylum, #3))
BEFORE THE HUMANS came we didn’t speak so much of certain things. Before the humans came we didn’t speak so much. Before the humans came we didn’t speak.” He glanced at me. “We didn’t walk on our wings. We didn’t walk. We didn’t swallow earth. We didn’t swallow.” Scile was reading nervously, quickly. “‘There’s a Terre who swims with fishes, one who wore no clothes, one who ate what was given her, one who walks backwards. There’s a rock that was broken and cemented together. I differ with myself then agree, like the rock that was broken and cemented together. I change my opinion. I’m like the rock that was broken and cemented together. I wasn’t not like the rock that was broken and cemented together. “‘I do what I always do, I’m like the Terre who swims with fishes. I’m not unlike that Terre. I’m very like it. ‘I’m not water. I’m not water. I’m water.
China Miéville (Embassytown)
On the road to success, there is always room to share appreciation and gratitude for other people’s successes. Feeling gratitude for other people raises our own vibration, while adding cement to the bricks we lay. Finding the best qualities in others allows us to build those qualities within ourselves. And when we focus on our personal growth with open hearts and minds, the speed with which we construct dramatically increases, because all the while, we are attracting more like energy and like-minded people into our lives to assist us.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life)
The night-noises of the metro night: harbor-wind skirling on angled cement, the shush and sheen of overpass traffic, TPs' laughter in interior rooms, the yowl of unresolved cat-life. Horns blatting off in the harbor. Receding sirens. Confused inland gulls' cries. Broken glass from far away. Car horns in gridlock, arguments in languages, more broken glass, running shoes, a woman's either laugh or scream from who can tell how far, coming off the grid. Dogs defending whatever dog-yards they pass by, the sounds of chains and risen hackles.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Here is what I was trying to figure out: how a miracle happens. A great work of art -- something that makes people pay attention, return to the work again and again, and reexamine their assumptions, something that infuriates, hurts, and confronts -- a great work of art is always a miracle.
Masha Gessen (Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot)
It is odd that we have so little relationship with nature, with the insects and the leaping frog and the owl that hoots among the hills calling for its mate. We never seem to have a feeling for all living things on the earth. If we could establish a deep abiding relationship with nature we would never kill an animal for our appetite, we would never harm, vivisect, a monkey, a dog, a guinea pig for our benefit. We would find other ways to heal our wounds, heal our bodies. But the healing of the mind is something totally different. That healing gradually takes place if you are with nature, with that orange on the tree, and the blade of grass that pushes through the cement, and the hills covered, hidden, by the clouds.
J. Krishnamurti (Krishnamurti to Himself: His Last Journal)
Why is he trapping himself in this place he hates and fears when there are other places he could go? This, he thinks, is his punishment for depending on others: one by one, they will leave him, and he will be alone again, and this time it will be worse because he will remember it had once been better. He has the sense, once again, that his life is moving backward, that it is becoming smaller and smaller, the cement box shrinking around him until he is left with a space so cramped that he must fold himself into a crouch, because if he lies down, the ceiling will lower itself upon him and he will be smothered.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
But in a society with no central motivation, so far adrift and puzzled with itself that its President feels called upon to appoint a Committee on National Goals, a sense of alienation is likely to be very popular--especially among people young enough to shrug off the guilt they're suppose to feel for deviating from a goal or purpose they never understood in the first place. Let the old people wallow in the shame of having failed. The laws they made to preserve a myth are no longer pertinent; the so called American Way begins to seem like a dike made of cheap cement, with many more leaks than the law has fingers to plug. America has been breeding mass anomie since the end of World War II. It is not a political thing, but the sense of new realities, or urgency, anger and sometimes desperation in a society where even the highest authorities seem to be grasping at straws.
Hunter S. Thompson
In all societies, public rhetoric involves some measure of lying, and history -- political history and art history -- is made when someone effectively confronts the lie. But in really scary societies all public conversation is an exercise in using words to mean their opposites -- in describing the brave as traitorous, the weak as frightening, and the good as bad -- and confronting these lies is the most scary and lonely thing a person can do.
Masha Gessen (Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot)
Like That" Love me like a wrong turn on a bad road late at night, with no moon and no town anywhere and a large hungry animal moving heavily through the brush in the ditch. Love me with a blindfold over your eyes and the sound of rusty water blurting from the faucet in the kitchen, leaking down through the floorboards to hot cement. Do it without asking, without wondering or thinking anything, while the machinery’s shut down and the watchman’s slumped asleep before his small TV showing the empty garage, the deserted hallways, while the thieves slice through the fence with steel clippers. Love me when you can’t find a decent restaurant open anywhere, when you’re alone in a glaring diner with two nuns arguing in the back booth, when your eggs are greasy and your hash browns underdone. Snick the buttons off the front of my dress and toss them one by one into the pond where carp lurk just beneath the surface, their cold fins waving. Love me on the hood of a truck no one’s driven in years, sunk to its fenders in weeds and dead sunflowers; and in the lilies, your mouth on my white throat, while turtles drag their bellies through slick mud, through the footprints of coots and ducks. Do it when no one’s looking, when the riots begin and the planes open up, when the bus leaps the curb and the driver hits the brakes and the pedal sinks to the floor, while someone hurls a plate against the wall and picks up another, love me like a freezing shot of vodka, like pure agave, love me when you’re lonely, when we’re both too tired to speak, when you don’t believe in anything, listen, there isn’t anything, it doesn’t matter; lie down with me and close your eyes, the road curves here, I’m cranking up the radio and we’re going, we won’t turn back as long as you love me, as long as you keep on doing it exactly like that.
Kim Addonizio (Tell Me)
Interest did not naturally belong to such anecdotes. For the most part, only Chloe and I appreciated them, because of the subsidiary associations we attached to them. Yet these leitmotifs were important because they gave us the feeling that we were far from strangers to one another, that we had lived through things together, and remembered the joint meanings we had derived from them. However slight these leitmotifs were, they acted like cement. The language of intimacy they helped to create was a reminder that (without clearing our way through jungles, slaying dragons, or even sharing apartments) Chloe and I had created something of a world together.
Alain de Botton (On Love)
I met Jose Angelico the way I meet many of my customers. I have a workshop on the cemetery road, just past the coffin makers. I specialize in the small, simple stone. I am very aware that my clients have next to nothing, and renting the grave has often taken most of their money. So I modify and modify and get down to the very lowest cost. The dead, however, must have that stone: the reminder, the eternal reminder, that this man, this woman, this child---existed. On some of the graves the name is marked in paint, or even pen, and everyone knows how sad that is. Make something out of stone, I say, and noone touches the grave.The poor are not buried, you see. There is not enough ground here any more, so in the Naravo they build upwards. The graves of the poor are concrete boxes, each just big enough for the coffin. They go up and up---in some parts twenty boxes high. A funeral here is to slide the coffin in and watch the sealing of the compartment. Part of my service is that I cement the stone that I've made into place, and thus seal the chamber.
Andy Mulligan (Trash)
The central ideas of Christianity — an angry God and vicarious atonement — are contrary to every fact in nature, as also to the better aspirations of the human heart; they are, in our present stage of enlightenment, absurd, preposterous, and blasphemous propositions. Christians well know that the much-decorated statue of the Church, as it now stands, is not of pure chiseled marble, but of clay, cemented together by blood and tears and hardened in the fires of hatred and persecution. And still we hear the cry, 'The whole world for Christ'.
Virchand Gandhi (The Monist (Volume 5))
How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms. No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …) The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful. Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it. When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…) And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we. And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…) The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: 'Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away' (Ezechiel 24, 12). But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind. He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church.
Carlo Carretto
I watch these kids. They don't seem entirely unhappy. A few times I've even circled the Free Clinic on foot, trying to catch a closer glimpse of these kids and their lives as they pop in and out of the clinic's Sputnik-era, gone-to-seed building--Lancaster's future trolls and Popeyes loitering out back having hushed paranoid conversations. And once I even went to have a look where they hang out in a big way, out in the delivery bay behind the now-closed Donut Hut, the delivery bay grotto out back with a floor spongy with pigeon shit, chewing gum, cigarette ashes, and throat oysters--dank and sunless. I went to visit this place once when all the druggies were away, having their druggy lives downtown doing their druggy things: yelling at parked cars and having conversations with amber lights. I visited this place and I was confused: confused and attracted. Who do these people think they are? How can they not care about the future or hot running water or clean sheets or cable TV? These people. And on the walls down at the delivery bay, do you know what they had written? Written in letters several hands high, letters built of IV needles attached to the cement with soiled bandages and wads of chewing gum? They had written the words WE LIKE IT.
Douglas Coupland
Quentin took a deep breath. “My true name,” he said, “ . . . is SUN WUKONG.” A cold wind passed through the open window, rustling my loose papers like tumbleweed. “I have no idea who that is,” I said. Quentin was still trying to cement his “look at me being serious” face. It took him a few seconds to realize I wasn’t flipping out over whoever he was. “The Sun Wukong,” he said, scooping the air with his fingers. “Sun Wukong the Monkey King.” “I said, I don’t know who that is.” His jaw dropped. Thankfully his teeth were still normal-size. “You’re Chinese and you don’t know me?” he sputtered. “That’s like an American child not knowing Batman!” “You’re Chinese Batman?” “No! I’m stronger than Batman, and more important, like—like. Tian na, how do you not know who I am!?” I didn’t know why he expected me to recognize him. He couldn’t have been a big-time actor or singer from overseas. I never followed mainland pop culture, but a lot of the other people at school did; word would have gotten around if we had a celebrity in our midst. Plus that was a weird stage name. Monkey King? Was that what passed for sexy among the kids these days?
F.C. Yee (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #1))
Self-respect is the very cement of character, without which character will not form nor stand; a personal ideal is the only possible foundation for self-respect, without which self-respect degenerates into vanity or conceit, or is lost entirely, its place being taken by worthlessness and the consciousness of worthlessness; and that is the end of all character. It is often said that if we do not respect ourselves no one else will respect us; this is rather a dangerous way to put it; let us rather say that if we are not worthy of our own respect we cannot claim the respect of others. True self-respect is a matter of being and never of mere seeming. As Paulsen says, "It is vanity that desires first of all to be seen and admired, and then, if possible, really to be something; whereas proper self esteem desires first of all to be something, and' then, if possible, to have its worth recognized.
Edward O. Sisson
What could he say that might make sense to them? Could he say love was, above all, common cause, shared experience? That was the vital cement, wasn't it? Could he say how he felt about their all being here tonight on this wild world running around a big sun which fell through a bigger space falling through yet vaster immensities of space, maybe toward and maybe away from Something? Could he say: we share this billion-mile-an-hour rid. We have common cause against the night. You start with little common causes. Why love the boy in a March field with his kite braving the sky? Because our fingers burn with the hot string singeing our hands. Why love some girl viewed from a train bent to a country well? The tongue remembers iron water cool on some long lost noon. Why weep at strangers dead by the road? They resemble friends unseen in forty years. Why laugh when clowns are hot by pies? We taste custard we taste life. Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience. Billions of prickling textures. Cut one sense away, cut part of life away. Cut two senses; life halves itself on the instant. We love what we know, we love what we are. Common cause, common cause, common cause of mouth, eye, ear, tongue, hand, nose, flesh, heart, and soul. But... how to say it?
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
Essentially a compromise between Roman and common law, the Code Napoléon consisted of a reasoned and harmonious body of laws that were to be the same across all territories administered by France, for the first time since the Emperor Justinian. The rights and duties of the government and its citizens were codified in 2,281 articles covering 493 pages in prose so clear that Stendhal said he made it his daily reading.38 The new code helped cement national unity, not least because it was based on the principles of freedom of person and contract. It confirmed the end of ancient class privileges, and (with the exception of primary education) of ecclesiastical control over any aspect of French civil society.39 Above all, it offered stability after the chaos of the Revolution.
Andrew Roberts (Napoleon: A Life)
A journalist's job is to collect information," Ovid said to Pete. "Nope," Pete said. "That's what we do. It's not what they do." Dellarobia was unready to be pushed out of the conversation just like that. "Then what do you think the news people drive their Jeeps all the way out here for?" "To shore up the prevailing view of their audience and sponsors." "Pete takes a dim view of his fellow humans," Ovid said. "He prefers insects. Dellarobia turned her chair halfway around to face Pete, scraping noisily against the cement floor. "You're saying people only tune in to news they know they're going to agree with?" "Bingo," said Pete.
Barbara Kingsolver (Flight Behavior)
On death row, in some ways, I feel like I did become the astronaut of my childhood aspirations. I live suspended, distant and hyperaware of all existence. I’m alien, yet affiliated, living like a satellite, away from all that I have ever known. I know more about human life now that I have moved my research on planetary existence from the streets of Harlem and Philadelphia to my Spartan spaceship of four cement walls, steel commode, and a cot. The space travelers of my felonious legion are drafted from our streets, vulnerable and afraid, some innocent, some guilty, all trained and broken in this system. We are sensitive scientists of the soul who stumble into a laboratory of the self we can’t figure out how to escape. We spend our days rereading our star maps, trying to understand how we ended up at this unintended destination. The solitude of these walls allows us the time to explore the vastness inside of us in ways that our survival on planet Earth never could. I don’t glorify this irony.
Junauda Petrus (The Stars and the Blackness Between Them)
An army cannot be built without reprisals. Masses of men cannot be led to death unless the army command has the death-penalty in its arsenal. So long as those malicious tailless apes that are so proud of their technical achievements—the animals that we call men—will build armies and wage wars, the command will always be obliged to place the soldiers between the possible death in the front and the inevitable one in the rear. And yet armies are not built on fear. The Tsar's army fell to pieces not because of any lack of reprisals. In his attempt to save it by restoring the death-penalty, Kerensky only finished it. Upon the ashes of the great war, the Bolsheviks created a new army. These facts demand no explanation for any one who has even the slightest knowledge of the language of history. The strongest cement in the new army was the ideas of the October revolution, and the train supplied the front with this cement.
Leon Trotsky
SCREE! the strix yelled, ruffling its feathers. "What do you mean 'you need to kill us'?" Grover asked. Meg scowled. "You can talk to it?" "Well, yes," Grover said. "It's an animal." "Why didn't you tell us what it was saying before now?" Meg asked. "Because it was just yelling scree!" Grover said. "Now it's saying scree as in, it needs to kill us." I tried to move my legs. They seemed to have turned into sacks of cement, which I found vaguely amusing. I could still move my arms and had some feeling in my chest, but I wasn't sure how long that would last. "Perhaps ask the strix why it needs to kill us?" I suggested. "Scree!" Grover said. I was getting tired of the strix language. The bird replied in a series of squawks and clicks. Meanwhile, out in the corridor, the other strixes shrieked and bashed against the net of plants. Black talons and gold beaks poked out, snapping tomatoes into pico de gallo. I figured we had a few minutes at most until the birds burst through and killed us all, but their razor-sharp beaks sure were cute! Grover wrung his hands. "The strix says he's been sent to drink our blood, eat our flesh and disembowel us, not necessarily in that order. He says he's sorry, but it's a direct command from the emperor." "Stupid emperors," Meg grumbled. "Which one?" "I don't know," Grover said. "The strix just calls him Scree." "You can translate disembowel," she noted, "but you can't translate the emperor's name?
Rick Riordan (The Burning Maze (The Trials of Apollo, #3))
Filling Station Oh, but it is dirty! --this little filling station, oil-soaked, oil-permeated to a disturbing, over-all black translucency. Be careful with that match! Father wears a dirty, oil-soaked monkey suit that cuts him under the arms, and several quick and saucy and greasy sons assist him (it's a family filling station), all quite thoroughly dirty. Do they live in the station? It has a cement porch behind the pumps, and on it a set of crushed and grease- impregnated wickerwork; on the wicker sofa a dirty dog, quite comfy. Some comic books provide the only note of color-- of certain color. They lie upon a big dim doily draping a taboret (part of the set), beside a big hirsute begonia. Why the extraneous plant? Why the taboret? Why, oh why, the doily? (Embroidered in daisy stitch with marguerites, I think, and heavy with gray crochet.) Somebody embroidered the doily. Somebody waters the plant, or oils it, maybe. Somebody arranges the rows of cans so that they softly say: ESSO--SO--SO--SO to high-strung automobiles. Somebody loves us all.
Elizabeth Bishop
No surprises" is the motto of the franchise ghetto, its Good Housekeeping seal, subliminally blazoned on every sign and logo that make up the curves and grids of light that outline the Basin. The people of America, who live in the world's most surprising and terrible country, take comfort in that motto. Follow the loglo outward, to where the growth is enfolded into the valleys and the canyons, and you find the land of the refugees. They have fled from the true America, the America of atomic bombs, scalpings, hip-hop, chaos theory, cement overshoes, snake handlers, spree killers, space walks, buffalo jumps, drive-bys, cruise missiles, Sherman's March, gridlock, motorcycle gangs, and bun-gee jumping. They have parallel-parked their bimbo boxes in identical computer-designed Burbclave street patterns and secreted themselves in symmetrical sheetrock shitholes with vinyl floors and ill-fitting woodwork and no sidewalks, vast house farms out in the loglo wilderness, a culture medium for a medium culture. The only ones left in the city are street people, feeding off debris; immigrants, thrown out like shrapnel from the destruction of the Asian powers; young bohos; and the technomedia priesthood of Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong. Young smart people like Da5id and Hiro, who take the risk of living in the city because they like stimulation and they know they can handle it.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
If there is one ruler that can harmonize and unify the mob of characters [in our astral body], it is the Ego (the Higher Ego, or Self, or Spirit). The more the Ego shines like a sun at the center of gravity of the astral body, the more the different characters start orbiting around it. Instead of working only to satisfy their own selfish desires, the characters start manifesting the purposes of the light and of the Spirit. Instead of plotting for the success of their own ambitions, they start accomplishing the works of the Higher Self... The unveiling of the Self begins a process of unification--a new astral body slowly develops. In this new, or transformed, astral body, the different parts are penetrated by the light of the Self. Therefore they are not only united around the Self, but are also cemented to it... [Before this process], one is nothing more than an appearance: it is the illusion of being one person...
Samuel Sagan (Entity Possession: Freeing the Energy Body of Negative Influences)
This new science of performance argues that you get better at a skill as you develop more myelin around the relevant neurons, allowing the corresponding circuit to fire more effortlessly and effectively. To be great at something is to be well myelinated. This understanding is important because it provides a neurological foundation for why deliberate practice works. By focusing intensely on a specific skill, you’re forcing the specific relevant circuit to fire, again and again, in isolation. This repetitive use of a specific circuit triggers cells called oligodendrocytes to begin wrapping layers of myelin around the neurons in the circuits—effectively cementing the skill. The reason, therefore, why it’s important to focus intensely on the task at hand while avoiding distraction is because this is the only way to isolate the relevant neural circuit enough to trigger useful myelination. By contrast, if you’re trying to learn a complex new skill (say, SQL database management) in a state of low concentration (perhaps you also have your Facebook feed open), you’re firing too many circuits simultaneously and haphazardly to isolate the group of neurons you actually want to strengthen. In
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Hey.’ Annabeth slid next to me on the bench. ‘Happy birthday.’ She was holding a huge misshapen cupcake with blue icing. I stared at her. ‘What?’ ‘It’s August eighteenth,’ she said. ‘Your birthday, right?’ I was stunned. It hadn’t even occurred to me, but she was right. I had turned sixteen this morning – the same morning I’d made the choice to give Luke the knife. The prophecy had come true right on schedule, and I hadn’t even thought about the fact that it was my birthday. ‘Make a wish,’ she said. ‘Did you bake this yourself?’ I asked. ‘Tyson helped.’ ‘That explains why it looks like a chocolate brick,’ I said. ‘With extra-blue cement.’ Annabeth laughed. I thought for a second then blew out the candle. We cut it in half and shared, eating with our fingers. Annabeth sat next to me and we watched the ocean. Crickets and monsters were making noise in the woods, but otherwise it was quiet. ‘You saved the world,’ she said. ‘We saved the world.’ ‘And Rachel is the new Oracle, which means she won’t be dating anybody.’ ‘You don’t sound disappointed,’ I noticed. Annabeth shrugged. ‘Oh, I don’t care.’ ‘Uh-huh.’ She raised an eyebrow. ‘You got something to say to me, Seaweed Brain?’ ‘You’d probably kick my butt.’ ‘You know I’d kick your butt.’ I brushed the cake off my hands. ‘When I was at the River Styx, turning invulnerable … Nico said I had to concentrate on one thing that kept me anchored to the world, that made me want to stay mortal.’ Annabeth kept her eyes on the horizon. ‘Yeah?’ ‘Then up on Olympus,’ I said, ‘when they wanted to make me a god and stuff, I kept thinking –’ ‘Oh, you so wanted to.’ ‘Well, maybe a little. But I didn’t, because I thought – I didn’t want things to stay the same for eternity, because things could always get better. And I was thinking …’ My throat felt really dry. ‘Anyone in particular?’ Annabeth asked, her voice soft. I looked over and saw that she was trying not to smile. ‘You’re laughing at me,’ I complained. ‘I am not!’ ‘You are so not making this easy.’ Then she laughed for real, and she put her hands around my neck. ‘I am never, ever going to make things easy for you, Seaweed Brain. Get used to it.’ When she kissed me, I had the feeling my brain was melting right through my body.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
So it was that the Red Tower put into production its new, more terrible and perplexing, line of unique novelty items. Among the objects and constructions now manufactured were several of an almost innocent nature. These included tiny, delicate cameos that were heavier than their size would suggest, far heavier, and lockets whose shiny outer surface flipped open to reveal a black reverberant abyss inside, a deep blackness roaring with echoes. Along the same lines was a series of lifelike replicas of internal organs and physiological structures, many of them evidencing an advanced stages of disease and all of them displeasingly warm and soft to the touch. There was a fake disembodied hand on which fingernails would grow several inches overnight and insistently grew back should one attempt to clip them. Numerous natural objects, mostly bulbous gourds, were designed to produce a long, deafening scream whenever they were picked up or otherwise disturbed in their vegetable stillness. Less scrutable were such things as hardened globs of lava into whose rough, igneous forms were sent a pair of rheumy eyes that perpetually shifted their gaze from side to side like a relentless pendulum. And there was also a humble piece of cement, a fragment broken away from any street or sidewalk, that left a most intractable stain, greasy and green, on whatever surface it was placed. But such fairly simple items were eventually followed, and ultimately replaced, by more articulated objects and constructions. One example of this complex type of novelty item was an ornate music box that, when opened, emitted a brief gurgling or sucking sound in emulation of a dying individual's death rattle. Another product manufactured in great quantity at the Red Tower was a pocket watch in a gold casing which opened to reveal a curious timepiece whose numerals were represented by tiny quivering insects while the circling 'hands' were reptilian tongues, slender and pink. But these examples hardly begin to hint at the range of goods that came from the factory during its novelty phase of production. I should at least mention the exotic carpets woven with intricate abstract patterns that, when focused upon for a certain length of time, composed themselves into fleeting phantasmagoric scenes of a kind which might pass through a fever-stricken or even permanently damaged brain.
Thomas Ligotti (Teatro Grottesco)
It seemed as if nothing were to break that tie — as if the years were merely to compact and cement it; and as if those years were to be all the years of their natural lives. Eighteen-forty-two turned into eighteen-forty-three; eighteen-forty-three into eighteen- forty-four; eighteen-forty-four into eighteen-forty-five. Flush was no longer a puppy; he was a dog of four or five; he was a dog in the full prime of life — and still Miss Barrett lay on her sofa in Wimpole Street and still Flush lay on the sofa at her feet. Miss Barrett’s life was the life of “a bird in its cage.” She sometimes kept the house for weeks at a time, and when she left it, it was only for an hour or two, to drive to a shop in a carriage, or to be wheeled to Regent’s Park in a bath-chair. The Barretts never left London. Mr. Barrett, the seven brothers, the two sisters, the butler, Wilson and the maids, Catiline, Folly, Miss Barrett and Flush all went on living at 50 Wimpole Street, eating in the dining-room, sleeping in the bedrooms, smoking in the study, cooking in the kitchen, carrying hot-water cans and emptying the slops from January to December. The chair-covers became slightly soiled; the carpets slightly worn; coal dust, mud, soot, fog, vapours of cigar smoke and wine and meat accumulated in crevices, in cracks, in fabrics, on the tops of picture-frames, in the scrolls of carvings. And the ivy that hung over Miss Barrett’s bedroom window flourished; its green curtain became thicker and thicker, and in summer the nasturtiums and the scarlet runners rioted together in the window-box. But one night early in January 1845 the postman knocked. Letters fell into the box as usual. Wilson went downstairs to fetch the letters as usual. Everything was as usual — every night the postman knocked, every night Wilson fetched the letters, every night there was a letter for Miss Barrett. But tonight the letter was not the same letter; it was a different letter. Flush saw that, even before the envelope was broken. He knew it from the way that Miss Barrett took it; turned it; looked at the vigorous, jagged writing of her name.
Virginia Woolf (Flush)
So it was that the Red Tower put into production its terrible and perplexing line of unique novelty items. Among the objects and constructions now manufactured were several of an almost innocent nature. These included tiny, delicate cameos that were heavier than their size would suggest, far heavier, and lockets whose shiny outer surface flipped open to reveal a black reverberant abyss inside, a deep blackness roaring with echoes. Along the same lines was a series of lifelike replicas of internal organs and physiological structures, many of them evidencing an advanced stage of disease and all of them displeasingly warm and soft to the touch. There was a fake disembodied hand on which fingernails would grow several inches overnight, every night like clockwork. Numerous natural objects, mostly bulbous gourds, were designed to produce a long deafening scream whenever they were picked up or otherwise disturbed in their vegetable stillness. Less scrutable were such things as hardened globs of lava into whose rough igneous forms were set a pair of rheumy eyes that perpetually shifted their gaze from side to side like a relentless pendulum. And there was also a humble piece of cement, a fragment broken away from any street or sidewalk, that left a most intractable stain, greasy and green, on whatever surface it was placed. But such fairly simple items were eventually followed, and ultimately replaced, by more articulated objects and constructions. One example of this complex type of novelty item was an ornate music box that, when opened, emitted a brief gurgling or sucking sound in emulation of a dying individual's death rattle. Another product manufactured in great quantity at the Red Tower was a pocket watch in gold casing which opened to reveal a curious timepiece whose numerals were represented by tiny quivering insects while the circling "hands" were reptilian tongues, slender and pink. But these examples hardly begin to hint at the range of goods that came from the factory during its novelty phase of production. I should at least mention the exotic carpets woven with intricate abstract patterns that, when focused upon for a certain length of time, composed themselves into fleeting phantasmagoric scenes of the kind which might pass through a fever-stricken or even permanently damaged brain.
Thomas Ligotti (The Nightmare Factory)
I went up the stairs of the little hotel, that time in Bystřice by Benešov, and at the turn of the stairs there was a bricklayer at work, in white clothes; he was chiselling channels in the wall to cement in two hooks, on which in a little while he was going to hang a Minimax fire-extinguisher; and this bricklayer was already and old man, but he had such an enormous back that he had to turn round to let me pass by, and then I heard him whistling the waltz from The Count of Luxembourg as I went into my little room. It was afternoon. I took out two razors, and one of them I scored blade-up into the top of the bathroom stool, and the other I laid beside it, and I, too, began to whistle the waltz from The Count of Luxembourg while I undressed and turned on the hot-water tap, and then I reflected, and very quietly I opened the door a crack. And the bricklayer was standing there in the corridor on the other side of the door, and it was as if he also had opened the door a crack to have a look at me and see what I was doing, just as I had wanted to have a look at him. And I slammed the door shut and crept into the bath, I had to let myself down into it gradually, the water was so hot; I gasped with the sting of it as carefully and painfully I sat down. And then I stretched out my wrist, and with my right hand I slashed my left wrist ... and then with all my strength I brought down the wrist of my right hand on the upturned blade I'd grooved into the stool for that purpose. And I plunged both hands into the hot water, and watched the blood flow slowly ouf of me, and the water grew rosy, and yet al the time the pattern of the red blood flowing remained so clearly perceptible, as though someone was drawing out from my wrists a long, feathery red bandage, a film, dancing veil ... and presently I thickened there in the bath, as that red paint thickened when we were painting the fence all round the state workshops, until we had to thin it with turpentine - and my head sagged, and into my mouth flowed pink raspberryade, except that it tasted slightly salty .. and then those concentric circles in blue and violet, trailing feathery fronds like coloured spirals in motion ... and then there was a shadow stooping over me, and my face was brushed lightly by a chin overgrown with stubble. It was that bricklayer in the white clothes. He hoisted me out and landed me like a red fish with delicate red fins sprouting from its wrists. I laid my head on his smock, and I heard the hissing of lime as my wet face slaked it, and that smell was the last thing of which I was conscious.
Bohumil Hrabal (Closely Observed Trains: A Film)
I don’t like stories. I like moments. I like night better than day, moon better than sun, and here-and-now better than any sometime-later. I also like birds, mushrooms, the blues, peacock feathers, black cats, blue-eyed people, heraldry, astrology, criminal stories with lots of blood, and ancient epic poems where human heads can hold conversations with former friends and generally have a great time for years after they’ve been cut off. I like good food and good drink, sitting in a hot bath and lounging in a snowbank, wearing everything I own at once, and having everything I need close at hand. I like speed and that special ache in the pit of the stomach when you accelerate to the point of no return. I like to frighten and to be frightened, to amuse and to confound. I like writing on the walls so that no one can guess who did it, and drawing so that no one can guess what it is. I like doing my writing using a ladder or not using it, with a spray can or squeezing the paint from a tube. I like painting with a brush, with a sponge, and with my fingers. I like drawing the outline first and then filling it in completely, so that there’s no empty space left. I like letters as big as myself, but I like very small ones as well. I like directing those who read them here and there by means of arrows, to other places where I also wrote something, but I also like to leave false trails and false signs. I like to tell fortunes with runes, bones, beans, lentils, and I Ching. Hot climates I like in the books and movies; in real life, rain and wind. Generally rain is what I like most of all. Spring rain, summer rain, autumn rain. Any rain, anytime. I like rereading things I’ve read a hundred times over. I like the sound of the harmonica, provided I’m the one playing it. I like lots of pockets, and clothes so worn that they become a kind of second skin instead of something that can be taken off. I like guardian amulets, but specific ones, so that each is responsible for something separate, not the all-inclusive kind. I like drying nettles and garlic and then adding them to anything and everything. I like covering my fingers with rubber cement and then peeling it off in front of everybody. I like sunglasses. Masks, umbrellas, old carved furniture, copper basins, checkered tablecloths, walnut shells, walnuts themselves, wicker chairs, yellowed postcards, gramophones, beads, the faces on triceratopses, yellow dandelions that are orange in the middle, melting snowmen whose carrot noses have fallen off, secret passages, fire-evacuation-route placards; I like fretting when in line at the doctor’s office, and screaming all of a sudden so that everyone around feels bad, and putting my arm or leg on someone when asleep, and scratching mosquito bites, and predicting the weather, keeping small objects behind my ears, receiving letters, playing solitaire, smoking someone else’s cigarettes, and rummaging in old papers and photographs. I like finding something lost so long ago that I’ve forgotten why I needed it in the first place. I like being really loved and being everyone’s last hope, I like my own hands—they are beautiful, I like driving somewhere in the dark using a flashlight, and turning something into something completely different, gluing and attaching things to each other and then being amazed that it actually worked. I like preparing things both edible and not, mixing drinks, tastes, and scents, curing friends of the hiccups by scaring them. There’s an awful lot of stuff I like.
Mariam Petrosyan (Дом, в котором...)