Childhood Quotes

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

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Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
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Bob Marley
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It's not gray," Clary felt compelled to point out. "It's green." "If there was such a thing as terminal literalism, you'd have died in childhood," said Jace.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
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A childhood without books – that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.
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Astrid Lindgren
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From childhood's hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.
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Edgar Allan Poe
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Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.
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Jane Yolen (Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood)
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All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.
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Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
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When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.
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Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
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Growing apart doesn't change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I'm glad for that.
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Ally Condie (Matched (Matched, #1))
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Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.
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Arthur Rimbaud
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You can go through life and make new friends every year - every month practically - but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.
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Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #1))
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Genius is nothing more nor less than childhood recaptured at will.
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Charles Baudelaire (The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays (Phaidon Arts and Letters))
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Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.
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Dr. Seuss
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What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.
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Cynthia Ozick
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There are a lot of children in Afghanistan, but little childhood.
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Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
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Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning.
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J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
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I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.
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Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
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If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.
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Abraham Sutzkever
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It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
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If only she could be so oblivious again, to feel such love without knowing it, mistaking it for laughter.
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Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
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My ideal goal is to "mature" into childhood. That would be genuine maturity.
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Bruno Schulz
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[Kids] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.
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Jim Henson (It's Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things to Consider)
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If there were such a thing as terminal literalism, you'd have died in childhood.
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Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
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My own sex, I hope, will excuse me, if I treat them like rational creatures, instead of flattering their fascinating graces, and viewing them as if they were in a state of perpetual childhood, unable to stand alone.
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Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
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Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.
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George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
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Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.
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Flannery O'Connor (Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose)
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As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.
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C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)
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Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.
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Laura Ingalls Wilder
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Because never in my entire childhood did I feel like a child. I felt like a person all along―the same person that I am today.
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Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1))
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Children see magic because they look for it.
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Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
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A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own even if she never wants to or needs to... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a youth she's content to leave behind.... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..... a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal that will make her guests feel honored... A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .... a feeling of control over her destiny... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to fall in love without losing herself.. EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... HOW TO QUIT A JOB, BREAK UP WITH A LOVER, AND CONFRONT A FRIEND WITHOUT RUINING THE FRIENDSHIP... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.. EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that her childhood may not have been perfect...but it's over... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... what she would and wouldn't do for love or more... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... where to go... be it to her best friend's kitchen table... or a charming inn in the woods... when her soul needs soothing... EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... what she can and can't accomplish in a day... a month...and a year...
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Pamela Redmond Satran
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How much does one imagine, how much observe? One can no more separate those functions than divide light from air, or wetness from water.
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Elspeth Huxley (The Flame Trees of Thika: Memories of an African Childhood)
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Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age. The child is grown, and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
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Edna St. Vincent Millay
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Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.
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Dave Pelzer (A Child Called "It" (Dave Pelzer, #1))
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We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.
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Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
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Nobody's perfect. Well, there was this one guy, but we killed him....
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Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
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Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.
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Roald Dahl
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Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
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C.S. Lewis
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Kids who don't eavesdrop on adult conversations are doomed to a childhood of ignorance.
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Kelley Armstrong (Men of the Otherworld (Otherworld Stories, #1))
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the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.
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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
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Eddie discovered one of his childhood's great truths. Grownups are the real monsters, he thought.
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Stephen King (It)
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Don't you find it odd," she continued, "that when you're a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you're older, somehow they act offended if you even try.
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Ethan Hawke (The Hottest State)
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For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be.
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John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
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Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.
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F. Scott Fitzgerald
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It's not about how to achieve your dreams, it's about how to lead your life, ... If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.
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Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
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At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a bookβ€”that string of confused, alien ciphersβ€”shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader.
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Alberto Manguel (A History of Reading)
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In so doing, the idea forces itself upon him that religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis, and he is optimistic enough to suppose that mankind will surmount this neurotic phase, just as so many children grow out of their similar neurosis.
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Sigmund Freud (The Future of an Illusion)
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There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived so fully as those we believe we left without having lived them, those we spent with a favorite book.
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Marcel Proust (Days of Reading)
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We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
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Franklin D. Roosevelt (Great Speeches)
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People love to say, β€œGive a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, β€œAnd it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.
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Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
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and when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.
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Ruskin Bond (Scenes from a Writer's Life)
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In my childhood diary I wrote: β€œI have decided that it is better not to love anyone, because when you love people, then you have to be separated from them, and that hurts too much.
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AnaΓ―s Nin (The Diary of AnaΓ―s Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
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I half closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, and maybe even call.
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Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
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I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway... let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.
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C. JoyBell C.
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In a child's eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.
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N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, #1))
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As a girl, she had come to believe in the ideal man -- the prince or knight of her childhood stories. In the real world, however, men like that simply didn't exist.
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Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
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We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.
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Louise GlΓΌck
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The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.
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Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
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Gym should be illegal. It's humiliating.
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Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
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Childhood was a fantastic country to live in.
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Tim Tharp (The Spectacular Now)
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One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. By the time the mind is able to comprehend what has happened, the wounds of the heart are already too deep.
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Carlos Ruiz ZafΓ³n (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
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In life you'll meet a lot of jerks. If they hurt you, tell yourself that it's because they're stupid. That will help keep you from reacting to their cruelty. Because there is nothing worse than bitterness and vengeance... Always keep your dignity and be true to yourself.
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Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1))
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Language, even more than color, defines who you are to people.
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Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
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Growing old is unavoidable, but never growing up is possible. I believe you can retain certain things from your childhood if you protect them - certain traits, certain places where you don’t let the world go.
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Johnny Depp
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Did you know that childhood is the only time in our lives when insanity is not only permitted to us, but expected?
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Louis de Bernières (Corelli's Mandolin)
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Think for a minute, darling: in fairy tales it's always the children who have the fine adventures. The mothers have to stay at home and wait for the children to fly in the window.
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Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
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It's wildly irritating to have invented something as revolutionary as sarcasm, only to have it abused by amateurs.
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Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.
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Elizabeth Barrett Browning (Sonnets from the Portuguese)
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I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.
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Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums)
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...so one day my mother sat me down and explained that I couldn't become an explorer because everything in the world had already been discovered. I'd been born in the wrong century, and I felt cheated.
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Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
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Blessed are the dumbfucks.
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Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
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Don't ditch your childhood dreams just because you dreamt them up as a child.
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Carrie Hope Fletcher
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All of us are products of our childhood.
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Michael Jackson
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Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood.
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Pablo Neruda
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I think all of us are always five years old in the presence and absence of our parents.
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Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
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Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a crammed adult closet, but they are never lost for good.
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Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
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In increments both measurable and not, our childhood is stolen from us -- not always in one momentous event but often in a series of small robberies, which add up to the same loss.
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John Irving (Until I Find You)
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Isabelle waved a hand. "No need to worry, big brother. Nothing happened. Of course," she added as Alex's shoulders relaxed, "I was totally passed-out drunk, so he could really have done whatever he wanted and I wouldn't have woken up." "Oh, please," said Simon. "All I did was tell you the entire plot of Star Wars." "I don't think I remember that," said Isabelle, taking a cookie from the plate on the table. "Oh, yeah? Who was Luke Skywalker's best childhood friend?" "Biggs Darklighter," Isabelle said immediately, and then hit the table with the flat of her hand."That is so cheating!
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Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
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Sunsets, like childhood, are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting.
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Richard Paul Evans (The Gift)
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We all have two lives: The true, the one we dreamed of in childhood And go on dreaming of as adults in a substratum of mist; the false, the one we love when we live with others, the practical, the useful, the one we end up by being put in a coffin.
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Fernando Pessoa
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Pet names are a persistant remnant of childhood, a reminder that life is not always so serious, so formal, so complicated. They are a reminder, too, that one is not all things to all people.
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Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)
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It's not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It's our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.
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L.R. Knost (Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages)
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Play is the highest form of research.
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Albert Einstein
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Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will, childhood equipped now with man's physical means to express itself, and with the analytical mind that enables it to bring order into the sum of experience, involuntarily amassed.
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Charles Baudelaire (The Painter Of Modern Life And Other Essays)
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I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t remember what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose.
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P.G. Wodehouse
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I ask the impossible: love me forever. Love me when all desire is gone. Love me with the single mindedness of a monk. When the world in its entirety, and all that you hold sacred advise you against it: love me still more. When rage fills you and has no name: love me. When each step from your door to our job tires you-- love me; and from job to home again, love me, love me. Love me when you're bored-- when every woman you see is more beautiful than the last, or more pathetic, love me as you always have: not as admirer or judge, but with the compassion you save for yourself in your solitude. Love me as you relish your loneliness, the anticipation of your death, mysteries of the flesh, as it tears and mends. Love me as your most treasured childhood memory-- and if there is none to recall-- imagine one, place me there with you. Love me withered as you loved me new. Love me as if I were forever-- and I, will make the impossible a simple act, by loving you, loving you as I do
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Ana Castillo (I Ask the Impossible)
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When you become a teenager, you step onto a bridge. You may already be on it. The opposite shore is adulthood. Childhood lies behind. The bridge is made of wood. As you cross, it burns behind you
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Gail Carson Levine (Writing Magic: Creating Stories that Fly)
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Quite often somebody will say, 'What year do your books take place?' and the only answer I can give is, in childhood.
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Beverly Cleary
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Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things--childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves--that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.
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Salman Rushdie (Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991)
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Being chosen is the greatest gift you can give to another human being.
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Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
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The smells of Christmas are the smells of childhood
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Richard Paul Evans (The Christmas Box (The Christmas Box, #1))
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From the beginning of time, in childhood, I thought that pain meant I was not loved. It meant I loved.
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Louise GlΓΌck
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One can forgive but one should never forget.
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Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1))
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On these magic shores children at play are for ever beaching their coracles. We too have been there; we can still hear the sound of the surf, though we shall land no more.
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J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
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My daughter is seven, and some of the other second-grade parents complain that their children don't read for pleasure. When I visit their homes, the children's rooms are crammed with expensive books, but the parent's rooms are empty. Those children do not see their parents reading, as I did every day of my childhood. By contrast, when I walk into an apartment with books on the shelves, books on the bedside tables, books on the floor, and books on the toilet tank, then I know what I would see if I opened the door that says 'PRIVATE--GROWNUPS KEEP OUT': a child sprawled on the bed, reading.
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Anne Fadiman (Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader)
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It’s harder to talk about, but what I really, really, really want for Christmas is just this: I want to be 5 years old again for an hour. I want to laugh a lot and cry a lot. I want to be picked or rocked to sleep in someone’s arms, and carried up to be just one more time. I know what I really want for Christmas: I want my childhood back. People who think good thoughts give good gifts.
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Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
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The Mother of God. Good-looking. Well-dressed. A good person. Knows how to make the absolute best of a situation. And never uppity about any of it.
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Kathleen Zamboni McCormick (Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian, Sometimes Awesome, But Mostly Creepy, Childhood)
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Be sure to lie to your kids about the benevolent, all-seeing Santa Claus. It will prepare them for an adulthood of believing in God.
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Scott Dikkers (You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin Your Day)
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If you're Native American and you pray to the wolves, you're a savage. If you're African and you pray to your ancestors, you're a primitive. But when white people pray to a guy who turns water into wine, well, that's just common sense.
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Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
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That's the difference between irony and sarcasm. Irony can be spontaneous, while sarcasm requires volition. You have to create sarcasm.
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Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
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Fairy tales had been her first experience of the magical universe, and more than once she had wondered why people ended up distancing themselves from that world, knowing the immense joy that childhood had brought to their lives.
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Paulo Coelho (Brida)
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Fear isn't so difficult to understand. After all, weren't we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It's just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.
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Alfred Hitchcock
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Like any child, I slid into myself perfectly fitted, as a diver meets her reflection in a pool. Her fingertips enter the fingertips on the water, her wrists slide up her arms. The diver wraps herself in her reflection wholly, sealing it at the toes, and wears it as she climbs rising from the pool, and ever after.
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Annie Dillard (An American Childhood)
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We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it, if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass, the same hips and haws on the autumn hedgerows, the same redbreasts that we used to call β€˜God’s birds’ because they did no harm to the precious crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known and loved because it is known?
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George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
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That's what makes it so right. Your eyesβ€”your soul is there, but the rest of you is still so undefined. That's the beauty of childhood. The eyes show everything you've seen so far, but the rest of you is still so open to possibility, to whatever you might become.
”
”
Bree Despain (The Dark Divine (The Dark Divine, #1))
β€œ
There is no escape. You can't be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don't try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much have you lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!
”
”
Hermann Hesse
β€œ
Everyone is guilty of something, and everyone still harbors a memory of childhood innocence, no matter how many layers of life wrap around it. Humanity is innocent; humanity is guilty, and both states are undeniably true.
”
”
Neal Shusterman (Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1))
β€œ
May and I are sisters. We'll always fight, but we'll always make up as well. That's what sisters do: we argue, we point out each other's frailties, mistakes, and bad judgment, we flash the insecurities we've had since childhood, and then we come back together. Until the next time.
”
”
Lisa See (Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1))
β€œ
Language is my whore, my mistress, my wife, my pen-friend, my check-out girl. Language is a complimentary moist lemon-scented cleansing square or handy freshen-up wipette. Language is the breath of God, the dew on a fresh apple, it's the soft rain of dust that falls into a shaft of morning sun when you pull from an old bookshelf a forgotten volume of erotic diaries; language is the faint scent of urine on a pair of boxer shorts, it's a half-remembered childhood birthday party, a creak on the stair, a spluttering match held to a frosted pane, the warm wet, trusting touch of a leaking nappy, the hulk of a charred Panzer, the underside of a granite boulder, the first downy growth on the upper lip of a Mediterranean girl, cobwebs long since overrun by an old Wellington boot.
”
”
Stephen Fry
β€œ
We all have our moments of brilliance and glory, and this was mine.
”
”
Roald Dahl (Boy: Tales of Childhood (Roald Dahl's Autobiography, #1))
β€œ
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
”
”
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
β€œ
Being in a foreign country means walking a tightrope high above the ground without the net afforded a person by the country where he has his family, colleagues, and friends, and where he can easily say what he has to say in a language he has known from childhood.
”
”
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
β€œ
Wait for me.” The words come out choked and pained. β€œI need you to wait for me.
”
”
Krista Ritchie (Addicted to You (Addicted, #1))
β€œ
You can go other places, all right - you can live on the other side of the world, but you can't ever leave home
”
”
Sue Monk Kidd (The Mermaid Chair)
β€œ
Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
”
”
Paul Bowles (The Sheltering Sky)
β€œ
I cannot for the life of me understand why small children take so long to grow up. I think they do it deliberately, just to annoy me.
”
”
Roald Dahl (Matilda)
β€œ
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple β€œI must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
”
”
Rainer Maria Rilke
β€œ
To stand up straight with your shoulders back is to accept the terrible responsibility of life, with eyes wide open. It means deciding to voluntarily transform the chaos of potential into the realities of habitable order. It means adopting the burden of self-conscious vulnerability, and accepting the end of the unconscious paradise of childhood, where finitude and mortality are only dimly comprehended. It means willingly undertaking the sacrifices necessary to generate a productive and meaningful reality (it means acting to please God, in the ancient language).
”
”
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
β€œ
Relationships are built in the silences. You spend time with people, you observe them and interact with them, and you come to know themβ€”and that is what apartheid stole from us: time.
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to.
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
Do you remember what Darwin says about music? He claims that the power of producing and appreciating it existed among the human race long before the power of speech was arrived at. Perhaps that is why we are so subtly influenced by it. There are vague memories in our souls of those misty centuries when the world was in its childhood.' That's a rather broad idea,' I remarked. One's ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature,' he answered.
”
”
Arthur Conan Doyle (A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes, #1))
β€œ
Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom. But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood――establishing independence and intimacy――burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships. She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she reencounters the trauma.
”
”
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
β€œ
The first thing I learned about having money was that it gives you choices. People don’t want to be rich. They want to be able to choose. The richer you are, the more choices you have. That is the freedom of money.
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
It’s sarcasm, Josh.” β€œSarcasm?” β€œIt’s from the Greek, sarkasmos. To bite the lips. It means that you aren’t really saying what you mean, but people will get your point. I invented it, Bartholomew named it.” β€œWell, if the village idiot named it, I’m sure it’s a good thing.” β€œThere you go, you got it.” β€œGot what?” β€œSarcasm.” β€œNo, I meant it.” β€œSure you did.” β€œIs that sarcasm?” β€œIrony, I think.” β€œWhat’s the difference?” β€œI haven’t the slightest idea.” β€œSo you’re being ironic now, right?” β€œNo, I really don’t know.” β€œMaybe you should ask the idiot.” β€œNow you’ve got it.” β€œWhat?” β€œSarcasm.
”
”
Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
β€œ
Learn from your past and be better because of your past,” she would say, β€œbut don’t cry about your past. Life is full of pain. Let the pain sharpen you, but don’t hold on to it. Don’t be bitter.
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
Are not lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it.
”
”
C.S. Lewis
β€œ
My parents are going to kill me!" "That seems rather harsh...
”
”
Garth Nix (Sir Thursday (The Keys to the Kingdom, #4))
β€œ
Nelson Mandela once said, 'If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.' He was so right. When you make the effort to speak someone else's language, even if it's just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, 'I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, in a house that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered, and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword, a pebble could be a diamond, a tree, a castle. Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field, from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was queen and he was king. In the autumn light her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls, and when the sky grew dark, they parted with leaves in their hair. Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.
”
”
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
β€œ
Religion is an attempt to get control over the sensory world, in which we are placed, by means of the wish-world, which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessities. But it cannot achieve its end. Its doctrines carry with them the stamp of the times in which they originated, the ignorant childhood days of the human race. Its consolations deserve no trust. Experience teaches us that the world is not a nursery. The ethical commands, to which religion seeks to lend its weight, require some other foundations instead, for human society cannot do without them, and it is dangerous to link up obedience to them with religious belief. If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man’s evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity.
”
”
Sigmund Freud (Moses and Monotheism)
β€œ
My dad had limitations. That's what my good-hearted mom always told us. He had limitations, but he meant no harm. It was kind of her to say, but he did do harm.
”
”
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
β€œ
Comfort can be dangerous. Comfort provides a floor but also a ceiling.
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
From childhood's hour I have not been As others were; I have not seen As others saw; I could not bring My passions from a common spring. From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved, I loved alone. Then- in my childhood, in the dawn Of a most stormy life- was drawn From every depth of good and ill The mystery which binds me still: From the torrent, or the fountain, From the red cliff of the mountain, From the sun that round me rolled In its autumn tint of gold, From the lightning in the sky As it passed me flying by, From the thunder and the storm, And the cloud that took the form (When the rest of Heaven was blue) Of a demon in my view.
”
”
Edgar Allan Poe (Alone)
β€œ
Later, when you're grown up, you realize you never really get to hang out with your family. You pretty much have only eighteen years to spend with them full time, and that's it.
”
”
Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns))
β€œ
Nonsense. Young boys should never be sent to bed. They always wake up a day older, and then before you know it, they're grown.
”
”
J.M. Barrie
β€œ
I'll always be yours. No distance or time apart will change that, Lily.
”
”
Krista Ritchie
β€œ
I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. β€œWhat if…” β€œIf only…” β€œI wonder what would have…” You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day.
”
”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
β€œ
Trevor, remember a man is not determined by how much he earns. You can still be a man of the house and earn less than your woman. Being a man is not what you have, it's who you are. Being more of a man doesn't mean your woman has to be less than you.
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
You think you know how this story is going to end, but you don't.
”
”
Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
β€œ
My mom did what school didn't. She taught me how to think.
”
”
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
Often men who have been emotionally neglected and abused as children by dominating mothers bond with assertive women, only to have their childhood feelings of being engulfed surface. While they could not 'smash their mommy' and still receive love, they find that they can engage in intimate violence with partners who respond to their acting out by trying harder to connect with them emotionally, hoping that the love offered in the present will heal the wounds of the past. If only one party in the relationship is working to create love, to create the space of emotional connection, the dominator model remains in place and the relationship just becomes a site for continuous power struggle.
”
”
bell hooks
β€œ
Josh: "What is this thing?" Gasper: "It's a Yeti. An abominable snowman." Biff: "This is what happens when you fuck a sheep?" Josh: "Not an abomination, abominable.
”
”
Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
β€œ
He loved her. Jay Heaton, her best friend since childhood was in love with her. He didn't say it but she knew that it was true. And the part that really freaked her out, the part that caught her completely off guard, is that he wasn't alone. Because even though she'd been denying it for a long, long time, it had always been there... waiting beneath the surface of their friendship. And now that it was out there was no going back. And it was so weird to even be thinking it but...... she was in love with him too.
”
”
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
β€œ
So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation which, in the midst of civilization, artificially creates a hell on earth, and complicates with human fatality a destiny that is divine; so long as the three problems of the century - the degradation of man by the exploitation of his labour, the ruin of women by starvation and the atrophy of childhood by physical and spiritual night are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words and from a still broader point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, there should be a need for books such as this.
”
”
Victor Hugo (Les MisΓ©rables)
β€œ
It has always seemed to me. ever since early childhood, amid all the commonplaces of life, i was very near to a kingdom of ideal beauty. Between it and me hung only a thin veil. I could never draw it quite aside, but sometimes a wind fluttered it and I caught a glimpse of the enchanting realms beyond-only a glimpse-but those glimpses have always made life worthwhile.
”
”
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables)
β€œ
From this experience, I understood the danger of focusing only on what isn't there. What if I came to the end of my life and realized that I'd spent every day watching for a man who would never come to me? What an unbearable sorrow it would be, to realize I'd never really tasted the things I'd eaten, or seen the places I'd been, because I'd thought of nothing but the Chairman even while my life was drifting away from me. And yet if I drew my thoughts back from him, what life would I have? I would be like a dancer who had practiced since childhood for a performance she would never give.
”
”
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
β€œ
Nothing's worse than saying goodbye. It's a little like dying.
”
”
Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1))
β€œ
the wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others. When men and women punish each other for truth telling, we reinforce the notion that lies are better. To be loving we willingly hear the other’s truth, and most important, we affirm the value of truth telling. Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love.
”
”
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
β€œ
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called β€œHell Drop,” β€œTower of Torture,” or β€œThe Death Spiral Rock β€˜N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. β€œMy mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. β€œMy mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
”
”
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
β€œ
Remember that you own what happened to you. If your childhood was less than ideal, you may have been raised thinking that if you told the truth about what really went on in your family, a long bony white finger would emerge from a cloud and point to you, while a chilling voice thundered, "We *told* you not to tell." But that was then. Just put down on paper everything you can remember now about your parents and siblings and relatives and neighbors, and we will deal with libel later on.
”
”
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
β€œ
We looked at each other. And it occurred to me that despite his faults, which were numerous and spectacular, the reason I’d liked Boris and felt happy around him from almost the moment I’d met him was that he was never afraid. You didn’t meet many people who moved freely through the world with such a vigorous contempt for it and at the same time such oddball and unthwartable faith in what, in childhood, he had liked to call β€œthe Planet of Earth.
”
”
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
β€œ
One thing you who had secure or happy childhoods should understand about those of us who did not. We who control our feelings, who avoid conflicts at all costs, or seem to seek them. Who are hypersensitive, self-critical, compulsive, workaholic, and above all survivors. We are not that way from perversity, and we cannot just relax and let it go. We’ve learned to cope in ways you never had to.
”
”
Piers Anthony
β€œ
People give you a hard time about being a kid at twelve. They didn't want to give you Halloween candy anymore. They said things like, "If this were the Middle Ages, you'd be married and you'd own a farm with about a million chickens on it." They were trying to kick you out of childhood. Once you were gone, there was no going back, so you had to hold on as long as you could.
”
”
Heather O'Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals)
β€œ
Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.
”
”
Danielle Bernock (Emerging With Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, And The LOVE that Heals)
β€œ
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.
”
”
Paul Bowles
β€œ
Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability. Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.
”
”
Michio Kaku
β€œ
As a child there's a horror in discovering the limitations of the ones you love. The time you find that your mother cannot keep you safe, that your tutor makes a mistake, that the wrong path must be taken because the grown-ups lack the strength to take the right one...each of those moments is the theft of your childhood, each of them a blow that kills some part of the child you were, leaving another part of the man exposed, a new creature, tougher but tempered with bitterness and disappointment.
”
”
Mark Lawrence (King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2))
β€œ
MEMORY'S SO TREACHEROUS. ONE MOMENT YOU'RE LOST IN A CARNIVAL OF DELIGHTS, WITH POIGNANT CHILDHOOD AROMAS , THE FLASHING NEON OF PUBERTY, ALL THAT SENTIMENTAL CANDY-FLOSS ... THE NEXT , IT LEADS YOU SOMEWHERE YOU DON'T WANT TO GO... ...SOMEWHERE DARK AND COLD, FILLED WITH THE DAMP, AMBIGUOUS SHAPES OF THINKS YOU'D HOPED WERE FORGOTTEN. MEMORIES CAN BE VILE, REPULSIVE LITTLE BRUTES. LIKE CHILDREN, I SUPPOSE. HAHA. BUT CAN WE LIVE WITHOUT THEM? MEMORIES ARE WHAT OUR REASON IS BASED UPON. IF WE CAN'T FACE THEM, WE DENY REASON ITSELF! ALGHOUGH, WHY NOT? WE AREN'T CONTRACTUALLY TIED DOWN TO RATIONALITY! THERE IS NO SANITY CLAUSE! SO WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF LOCKED ONTO AN UNPLEASANT TRAIN OF THOUGHT, HEADING FOR THE PLACES IN YOUR PAST WHERE THE SCREAMING IS UNBEARABLE, REMEMBER THERE'S ALWAYS MADNESS. MADNESS IS THE EMERGENCY EXIT... YOU CAN JUST STEP OUTSIDE, AND CLOSE THE DOOR ON ALL THOSE DREADFUL THINGS THAT HAPPENED. YOU CAN LOCK THEM AWAY... FOREVER.
”
”
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
β€œ
That was the only time, as I stood there, looking at that strange rubbish, feeling the wind coming across those empty fields, that I started to imagine just a little fantasy thing, because this was Norfolk after all, and it was only a couple of weeks since I’d lost him. I was thinking about the rubbish, the flapping plastic in the branches, the shore-line of odd stuff caught along the fencing, and I half-closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field, and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, maybe even call. The fantasy never got beyond that --I didn't let it-- and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn't sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.
”
”
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
β€œ
Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it's not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you've been to. I'm not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don't have to be like anyone else. I'm walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.
”
”
Hugo Hamilton (The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood)
β€œ
What fabrications they are, mothers. Scarecrows, wax dolls for us to stick pins into, crude diagrams. We deny them an existence of their own, we make them up to suit ourselves -- our own hungers, our own wishes, our own deficiencies.
”
”
Margaret Atwood (The Blind Assassin)
β€œ
We hug, but there are no tears. For every awful thing that's been said and done, she is my sister. Parents die, daughters grow up and marry out, but sisters are for life. She is the only person left in the world who shares my memories of our childhood, our parents, our Shanghai, our struggles, our sorrows, and, yes, even our moments of happiness and triumph. My sister is the one person who truly knows me, as I know her. The last thing May says to me is 'When our hair is white, we'll still have our sister love.
”
”
Lisa See (Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1))
β€œ
You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one's heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us.
”
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
β€œ
Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he'd had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, "Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.
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Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
β€œ
I have an idea that some men are born out of their due place. Accident has cast them amid certain surroundings, but they have always a nostalgia for a home they know not. They are strangers in their birthplace, and the leafy lanes they have known from childhood or the populous streets in which they have played, remain but a place of passage. They may spend their whole lives aliens among their kindred and remain aloof among the only scenes they have ever known. Perhaps it is this sense of strangeness that sends men far and wide in the search for something permanent, to which they may attach themselves. Perhaps some deep-rooted atavism urges the wanderer back to lands which his ancestors left in the dim beginnings of history.
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W. Somerset Maugham (The Moon and Sixpence)
β€œ
So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of the adult. I wasβ€”and amβ€”innocent.” The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis
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Ellen Bass (The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse)
β€œ
Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.
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Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
β€œ
You must have had such a great childhood with a man like that for your father. (Delphine) Yeah. All puppy dogs and rainbows and those weird furry people with padded coat hangers on their heads that look like space aliens on acid. (Jericho) You mean the Teletubbies? (Berith) The fact that you know what they're called, Berith, truly scares me. (Jericho) As a demon of torture, it behooves me to know all things that are deeply annoying. You'd be amazed how many people in the modern age no longer fear zombies as much as Teletubbies. (Berith) Not really. I'd rather battle a brain-eating zombie any day than hear them sing. (Jericho)
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Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter #4; Dark-Hunter #17))
β€œ
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
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Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
β€œ
A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life. Her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another.... One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object -- and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.
”
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John Berger (Ways of Seeing)
β€œ
The truth is that the heroism of your childhood entertainments was not true valor. It was theatre. The grand gesture, the moment of choice, the mortal danger, the external foe, the climactic battle whose outcome resolves all--all designed to appear heroic, to excite and gratify and audience. Gentlemen, welcome to the world of reality--there is no audience. No one to applaud, to admire. No one to see you. Do you understand?Here is the truth--actual heroism receives no ovation, entertains no one. No one queues up to see it. No one is interested.
”
”
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
β€œ
If you have come to these pages for laughter, may you find it. If you are here to be offended, may your ire rise and your blood boil. If you seek an adventure, may this song sing you away to blissful escape. If you need to test or confirm your beliefs, may you reach comfortable conclusions. All books reveal perfection, by what they are or what they are not. May you find that which you seek, in these pages or outside them. May you find perfection, and know it by name.
”
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Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
β€œ
Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one, a moment, in childhood, when it first occurred to you that you don't go on forever. It must have been shattering, stamped into one's memory. And yet I can't remember it. It never occurred to me at all. We must be born with an intuition of mortality. Before we know the word for it, before we know that there are words,out we come, bloodied and squalling...with the knowledge that for all the points of the compass, there's only one direction and time is its only measure.
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”
Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead)
β€œ
I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers--hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark--and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful. Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet--for me, anyway--all that's worth living for lies in that charm? A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are. Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart." Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?
”
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Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
β€œ
I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be... This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages...the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide... Far too many people misunderstand what *putting away childish things* means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I'm with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don't ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child's awareness and joy, and *be* fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.
”
”
Madeleine L'Engle
β€œ
And so seated next to my father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, "Father, what is sexsin?" He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor. Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?" he said. I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning. It's too heavy," I said. Yes," he said, "and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.
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Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom)
β€œ
You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw -- but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of -- something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat's side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it -- tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest -- if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself -- you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say "Here at last is the thing I was made for". We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.
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C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
β€œ
You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing's sake, back home to aestheticism, to one's youthful idea of 'the artist' and the all-sufficiency of 'art' and 'beauty' and 'love,' back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermude, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time--back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.
”
”
Thomas Wolfe
β€œ
What struck me as I began to study history was how nationalist fervor--inculcated from childhood on by pledges of allegiance, national anthems, flags waving and rhetoric blowing--permeated the educational systems of all countries, including our own. I wonder now how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own. Then we could never drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, or napalm on Vietnam, or wage war anywhere, because wars, especially in our time, are always wars against children, indeed our children.
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Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
β€œ
He fell to the seat, she by his side. There were no more words. The stars were beginning to shine. How was it that the birds sing, that the snow melts, that the rose opens, that May blooms, that the dawns whitens behind the black trees on the shivering summit of the hills? One kiss, and that was all. Both trembled, and they looked at each other in the darkness with brilliant eyes. They felt neither the cool night, nor the cold stone, nor the damp ground, nor the wet grass; they looked at each other, and their hearts were full of thought. They had clasped hands, without knowing it. She did not ask him; did not even think where and how he had managed to get into the garden. It seemed so natural to her that he should be there. From time to time Marius’ knee touched Cosette’s. A touch that thrilled. At times, Cosette faltered out a word. Her soul trembled on her lips like a drop of dew on a flower. Gradually, they began to talk. Overflow succeeded to silence, which is fullness. The night was serene and glorious above their heads. These two beings, pure as spirits, told each other everything, their dreams, their frenzies, their ecstasies, their chimeras, their despondencies, how they had adored each other from afar, how they had longed for each other, their despair when they had ceased to see each other. They had confided to each other in an intimacy of the ideal, which already, nothing could have increased, all that was most hidden and most mysterious in themselves. They told each other, with a candid faith in their illusions, all that love, youth and the remnant of childhood that was theirs, brought to mind. These two hearts poured themselves out to each other, so that at the end of an hour, it was the young man who had the young girl’s soul and the young girl who had the soul of the young man. They interpenetrated, they enchanted, they dazzled each other. When they had finished, when they had told each other everything, she laid her head on his shoulder, and asked him: "What is your name?" My name is Marius," he said. "And yours?" My name is Cosette.
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Victor Hugo (Les MisΓ©rables)
β€œ
Here's a secret: Everyone, if they live long enough, will lose their way at some point. You will lose your way, you will wake up one morning and find yourself lost. This is a hard, simple truth. If it hasn't happened to you yet, consider yourself lucky. When it does, when one day you look around and nothing is recognizable, when you find yourself alone in a dark wood having lost the way, you may find it easier to blame it on someone else -- an errant lover, a missing father, a bad childhood -- or it may be easier to blame the map you were given -- folded too many times, out-of-date, tiny print -- but mostly, if you are honest, you will only be able to blame yourself. One day I'll tell my daughter a story about a dark time, the dark days before she was born, and how her coming was a ray of light. We got lost for a while, the story will begin, but then we found our way.
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Nick Flynn (The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009)
β€œ
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.
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Fred Rogers
β€œ
But the hearts of small children are delicate organs. A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes. The heart of a hurt child can shrink so that forever afterward it is hard and pitted as the seed of a peach. Or again, the heart of such a child may fester and swell until it is a misery to carry within the body, easily chafed and hurt by the most ordinary things.
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Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad CafΓ© and Other Stories)
β€œ
We live in a world where we don’t see the ramifications of what we do to others because we don’t live with them. It would be a whole lot harder for an investment banker to rip off people with subprime mortgages if he actually had to live with the people he was ripping off. If we could see one another’s pain and empathize with one another, it would never be worth it to us to commit the crimes in the first place.
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Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
When the mystery of the connection goes, love goes. It's that simple. This suggests that it isn't love that is so important to us but the mystery itself. The love connection may be merely a device to put us in contact with the mystery, and we long for love to last so that the ecstacy of being near the mystery will last. It is contrary to the nature of mystery to stand still. Yet it's always there, somewhere, a world on the other side of the mirror (or the Camel pack), a promise in the next pair of eyes that smile at us. We glimpse it when we stand still. The romance of new love, the romance of solitude, the romance of objecthood, the romance of ancient pyramids and distant stars are means of making contact with the mystery. When it comes to perpetuating it, however, I got no advice. But I can and will remind you of two of the most important facts I know: 1. Everything is part of it. 2. It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
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Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
β€œ
[...] I grew up out of that strange, dreamy childhood of mine and went into the world of reality. I met with experiences that bruised my spirit - but they never harmed my ideal world. That was always mine to retreat into at will. I learned that that world and the real world clashed hopelessly and irreconcilably; and I learned to keep them apart so that the former might remain for me unspoiled. I learned to meet other people on their own ground since there seemed to be no meeting place on mine. I learned to hide the thoughts and dreams and fancies that had no place in the strife and clash of the market place. I found that it was useless to look for kindred souls in the multitude; one might stumble on such here and there, but as a rule it seemed to me that the majority of people lived for the things of time and sense alone and could not understand my other life. So I piped and danced to other people's piping - and held fast to my own soul as best I could.
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L.M. Montgomery (My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. Macmillan from L.M. Montgomery)
β€œ
[Think] of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all you really were there at the time, weren't you? How else could you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren't there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Every bit of you has been replaced many times over (which is why you eat, of course). You are not even the same shape as you were then. The point is that you are like a cloud: something that persists over long periods, while simultaneously being in flux. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that does not make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.
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Steve Grand (Creation: Life and How to Make It)
β€œ
That was when it was all made painfully clear to me. When you are a child, there is joy. There is laughter. And most of all, there is trust. Trust in your fellows. When you are an adult...then comes suspicion, hatred, and fear. If children ran the world, it would be a place of eternal bliss and cheer. Adults run the world; and there is war, and enmity, and destruction unending. Adults who take charge of things muck them up, and then produce a new generation of children and say, "The children are the hope of the future." And they are right. Children are the hope of the future. But adults are the damnation of the present, and children become adults as surely as adults become worm food. Adults are the death of hope.
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Peter David (Tigerheart)
β€œ
The only problem with her is that she is too perfect. She is bad in a way that entices, and good in a way that comforts. She is mischief but then she is the warmth of home. The dreams of the wild and dangerous but the memories of childhood and gladness. She is perfection. And when given something perfect, it is the nature of man to dedicate his mind to finding something wrong with it and then when he is able to find something wrong with it, he rejoices in his find, and sees only the flaw, becoming blind to everything else! And this is why man is never given anything that is perfect, because when given the imperfect and the ugly, man will dedicate his mind to finding what is good with the imperfect and upon finding one thing good with the extremely flawed, he will only see the one thing good, and no longer see everything that is ugly. And so....man complains to God for having less than what he wants... but this is the only thing that man can handle. Man cannot handle what is perfect. It is the nature of the mortal to rejoice over the one thing that he can proudly say that he found on his own, with no help from another, whether it be a shadow in a perfect diamond, or a faint beautiful reflection in an extremely dull mirror.
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”
C. JoyBell C.
β€œ
I was blessed with another trait I inherited from my mother, her ability to forget the pain in life. I remember the thing that caused the trauma, but I don't hold onto the trauma. I never let the memory of something painful prevent me from trying something new. If you think too much about the ass kicking your mom gave you or the ass kicking that life gave you, you’ll stop pushing the boundaries and breaking the rules. It’s better to take it, spend some time crying, then wake up the next day and move on. You’ll have a few bruises and they’ll remind you of what happened and that’s ok. But after a while, the bruises fade and they fade for a reason. Because now, it’s time to get up to some shit again.
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Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood)
β€œ
Because children grow up, we think a child's purpose is to grow up. But a child's purpose is to be a child. Nature doesn't disdain what lives only for a day. It pours the whole of itself into the each moment. We don't value the lily less for not being made of flint and built to last. Life's bounty is in its flow, later is too late. Where is the song when it's been sung? The dance when it's been danced? It's only we humans who want to own the future, too. We persuade ourselves that the universe is modestly employed in unfolding our destination. We note the haphazard chaos of history by the day, by the hour, but there is something wrong with the picture. Where is the unity, the meaning, of nature's highest creation? Surely those millions of little streams of accident and wilfulness have their correction in the vast underground river which, without a doubt, is carrying us to the place where we're expected! But there is no such place, that's why it's called utopia. The death of a child has no more meaning than the death of armies, of nations. Was the child happy while he lived? That is a proper question, the only question. If we can't arrange our own happiness, it's a conceit beyond vulgarity to arrange the happiness of those who come after us.
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”
Tom Stoppard (The Coast of Utopia (Box Set))
β€œ
For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities, men and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the small flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings which one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents that one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was joy for someone else); to childhood illness that so strangely began with a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars-and it is not enough if one may think all of this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.
”
”
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
β€œ
The name Hitler does not offend a black South African because Hitler is not the worst thing a black South African can imagine. Every country thinks their history is the most important, and that’s especially true in the West. But if black South Africans could go back in time and kill one person, Cecil Rhodes would come up before Hitler. If people in the Congo could go back in time and kill one person, Belgium’s King Leopold would come way before Hitler. If Native Americans could go back in time and kill one person, it would probably be Christopher Columbus or Andrew Jackson. I
”
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Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
β€œ
I don’t want to be little again. But at the same time I do. I want to be me like I was then, and me as I am now, and me like I’ll be in the future. I want to be me and nothing but me. I want to be crazy as the moon, wild as the wind and still as the earth. I want to be every single thing it’s possible to be. I’m growing and I don’t know how to grow. I’m living but I haven’t started living yet. Sometimes I simply disappear from myself. Sometimes it’s like I’m not here in the world at all and I simply don’t exist. Sometimes I can hardly think. My head just drifts, and the visions that come seem so vivid.
”
”
David Almond (Jackdaw Summer)
β€œ
Joshua's ministry was three years of preaching, sometimes three times a day, and although there were some high and low points, I could never remember the sermons word for word, but here's the gist of almost every sermon I ever heard Joshua give. You should be nice to people, even creeps. And if you: a) believed that Joshua was the Son of God (and) b) he had come to save you from sin (and) c) acknowledged the Holy Spirit within you (became as a little child, he would say) (and) d) didn't blaspheme the Holy Ghost (see c) then you would: e) live forever f) someplace nice g) probably heavan However, if you: h) sinned (and/or) i) were a hypocrite (and/or) j) valued things over people (and) k) didn't do a, b, c, and d, then you were: l) fucked
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”
Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
β€œ
I miss the way he used to kiss my shoulder whenever it was bare and he was nearby. I miss how he cleared his throat before he took a sip of water and scratched his left arm with his right hand when he was nervous. I miss how he tucked my hair behind my ear when it came loose and took my temperature when I was sick or when he was bored. I miss his glasses on my nightstand. I miss watching him take Sunday afternoon naps on my couch, with the newspaper resting on his stomach like a blanket. How his hands stayed clasped, fingers intertwined, while he slept. I miss the cadence of his speech and the stupidity of his puns. I miss playing doctor when we made love, and even when we didn't. I miss his smell, like fresh laundry and honey (because of his shampoo) at his place. Fresh laundry and coconut (because of my shampoo) at mine. I miss that he used to force me to listen to French rap and would sing along in a horrible accent. I miss that he always said "I love you" when he hung up the phone with his sister, never shy or embarassed, regardless of who else was around. I miss that his ideal Friday night included a DVD, eating Chinese food right out of the carton, and cuddling on top of my duvet cover. I miss that he reread books from his childhood and then from mine. I miss that he was the only man that I have ever farted on, and with, freely. I miss that he understood that the holidays were hard for me and that he wanted me to never feel lonely.
”
”
Julie Buxbaum (The Opposite of Love)
β€œ
It’s in English,” I call out as it comes into focus. β€œIt says β€˜Made in China.’” At first Sister Loretta thinks I must be wrong, but when she sees the words for herself, she explains to us that God anticipated that the Communists in China would create technology that makes medals, rosaries, and plastic figurines really cheaply, and He was ready to temporarily forgive them for not being a democracy and for being pagans if they were willing to sell these holy goods to us at a fantastic discount, which shows us that God, like everyone else, goes out of His way to get a good deal on something He really needs. Who doesn’t like a bargain?
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Kathleen Zamboni McCormick (Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian, Sometimes Awesome, But Mostly Creepy, Childhood)
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You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you β€œsir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
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Robert R. McCammon (Boy's Life)
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The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims. The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom. The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .
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Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
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A song of despair The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea. Deserted like the dwarves at dawn. It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one! Cold flower heads are raining over my heart. Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked. In you the wars and the flights accumulated. From you the wings of the song birds rose. You swallowed everything, like distance. Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank! It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss. The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse. Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver, turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank! In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded. Lost discoverer, in you everything sank! You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire, sadness stunned you, in you everything sank! I made the wall of shadow draw back, beyond desire and act, I walked on. Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost, I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you. Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness. and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar. There was the black solitude of the islands, and there, woman of love, your arms took me in. There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit. There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle. Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms! How terrible and brief my desire was to you! How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid. Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs, still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds. Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs, oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies. Oh the mad coupling of hope and force in which we merged and despaired. And the tenderness, light as water and as flour. And the word scarcely begun on the lips. This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing, and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank! Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you, what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned! From billow to billow you still called and sang. Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel. You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents. Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well. Pale blind diver, luckless slinger, lost discoverer, in you everything sank! It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour which the night fastens to all the timetables. The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore. Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands. Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything. It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!
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Pablo Neruda