Clear Your Head Quotes

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You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting – over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Mary Oliver
A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called "leaves") imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time ― proof that humans can work magic.
Carl Sagan
What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." [Cosmos, Part 11: The Persistence of Memory (1980)]
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
You have something on your neck. What Looks like a bite mark, what were you doing out all night, anyway? Nothing. I went walking in the park. Tried to clear my head. And ran into a vampire What? No! I fell. On your neck?
Cassandra Clare
Stop insisting on clearing your head — clear your fucking heart instead.
Charles Bukowski
I? I walk alone; The midnight street Spins itself from under my feet; My eyes shut These dreaming houses all snuff out; Through a whim of mine Over gables the moon's celestial onion Hangs high. I Make houses shrink And trees diminish By going far; my look's leash Dangles the puppet-people Who, unaware how they dwindle, Laugh, kiss, get drunk, Nor guess that if I choose to blink They die. I When in good humour, Give grass its green Blazon sky blue, and endow the sun With gold; Yet, in my wintriest moods, I hold Absolute power To boycott color and forbid any flower To be. I Know you appear Vivid at my side, Denying you sprang out of my head, Claiming you feel Love fiery enough to prove flesh real, Though it's quite clear All your beauty, all your wit, is a gift, my dear, From me. "Soliloquy of the Solipsist", 1956
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
Happiness doesn't lie in conspicuous consumption and the relentless amassing of useless crap. Happiness lies in the person sitting beside you and your ability to talk to them. Happiness is clear-headed human interaction and empathy. Happiness is home. And home is not a house-home is a mythological conceit. It is a state of mind. A place of communion and unconditional love. It is where, when you cross its threshold, you finally feel at peace.
Dennis Lehane
Leaders are not, as we are often led to think, people who go along with huge crowds following them. Leaders are people who go their own way without caring, or even looking to see, whether anyone is following them. "Leadership qualities" are not the qualities that enable people to attract followers, but those that enable them to do without them. They include, at the very least, courage, endurance, patience, humor, flexibility, resourcefulness, stubbornness, a keen sense of reality, and the ability to keep a cool and clear head, even when things are going badly. True leaders, in short, do not make people into followers, but into other leaders.
John C. Holt (Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book Of Homeschooling)
One glance at (a book) and you hear the voice of another person - perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millenia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time.
Carl Sagan (Cosmos)
Come from the heart, the true heart, not the head. When in doubt, choose the heart. This does not mean to deny your own experiences and that which you have empirically learned through the years. It means to trust your self to integrate intuition and experience. There is a balance, a harmony to be nurtured, between the head and the heart. When the intuition rings clear and true, loving impulses are favored.
Brian L. Weiss (Messages from the Masters: Tapping Into the Power of Love)
I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin. And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin. I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies. John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat. The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
And when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight—isn't that a strange thing? That absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you're less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn't it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you've experienced before? You see things more clearly and you know that you're seeing them more clearly. And it comes to you that this is what it means to love life, this is all anybody who talks seriously about God is ever talking about. Moments like this.
Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections)
Now may be a good time to go on a long journey. The stars think you need to clear your head. The stars think you need to run.
Clementine von Radics
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?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Bending his head, Kai pressed his lips to her knuckles. The plating had no nerve endings, and yet the touch sent a tingle of electricity along her arm. “Cinder?” “Mm?” He lifted his gaze. “Just to be clear, you’re not using your mind powers on me right now, are you?” She blinked. “Of course not.” “Just checking.” Then he slid his arms around her waist and kissed her. Cinder gasped, pressing her palms against his chest. Kai pulled her closer. Seconds later, her brain began registering all the new chemicals flooding her system. INCREASED LEVELS OF DOPAMINE AND ENDORPHINS, REDUCED AMOUNTS OF CORTISOL, ERRATIC PULSE, RISING BLOOD PRESSURE … Leaning into him, Cinder sent the messages away. Her hands tentatively made their way to his shoulders, before stringing around his neck.
Marissa Meyer
You have something on your neck," he observed. Alec's hand flew to his throat. "What?" "Looks like a bite mark," said Jace. "What have you been doing all day, anyway?" "Nothing." Beet red, his hand still clamped to his neck, Alec started down the corridor. Jace followed him. "I went walking in the park. Tried to clear my head." "And ran into a vampire?" "What? No! I fell." "On your neck?
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
I will love you with no regard to the actions of our enemies or the jealousies of actors. I will love you with no regard to the outrage of certain parents or the boredom of certain friends. I will love you no matter what is served in the world’s cafeterias or what game is played at each and every recess. I will love you no matter how many fire drills we are all forced to endure, and no matter what is drawn upon the blackboard in blurry, boring chalk. I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table. I will love you no matter what your locker combination was, or how you decided to spend your time during study hall. I will love you no matter how your soccer team performed in the tournament or how many stains I received on my cheerleading uniform. I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you if you cut your hair and I will love you if you cut the hair of others. I will love you if you abandon your baticeering, and I will love you if you if you retire from the theater to take up some other, less dangerous occupation. I will love you if you drop your raincoat on the floor instead of hanging it up and I will love you if you betray your father. I will love you even if you announce that the poetry of Edgar Guest is the best in the world and even if you announce that the work of Zilpha Keatley Snyder is unbearably tedious. I will love you if you abandon the theremin and take up the harmonica and I will love you if you donate your marmosets to the zoo and your tree frogs to M. I will love you as a starfish loves a coral reef and as a kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. I will love you as the pesto loves the fettuccini and as the horseradish loves the miyagi, as the tempura loves the ikura and the pepperoni loves the pizza. I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce and as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as the beard loves the chin, and the crumbs love the beard, and the damp napkin loves the crumbs, and the precious document loves the dampness in the napkin, and the squinting eye of the reader loves the smudged print of the document, and the tears of sadness love the squinting eye as it misreads what is written. I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. i will love you as a child loves to overhear the conversations of its parents, and the parents love the sound of their own arguing voices, and as the pen loves to write down the words these voices utter in a notebook for safekeeping. I will love you as a shingle loves falling off a house on a windy day and striking a grumpy person across the chin, and as an oven loves malfunctioning in the middle of roasting a turkey. I will love you as an airplane loves to fall from a clear blue sky and as an escalator loves to entangle expensive scarves in its mechanisms. I will love you as a wet paper towel loves to be crumpled into a ball and thrown at a bathroom ceiling and as an eraser loves to leave dust in the hairdos of people who talk too much. I will love you as a cufflink loves to drop from its shirt and explore the party for itself and as a pair of white gloves loves to slip delicately into the punchbowl. I will love you as the taxi loves the muddy splash of a puddle and as a library loves the patient tick of a clock.
Lemony Snicket
Clearly the secret of happiness...is a variation on the general principle of banging your head against a wall, and then stopping.
Stef Penney (The Tenderness of Wolves)
My dear if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.
Charles Dickens (Mrs. Lirriper's Legacy)
Clearly angry with himself, Denny shook his head. “You needed me, and I wasn’t there for you. And I’m really sorry. That was pretty shitty of me.” “Are you kidding?” Incredulous, Kellan pointed over at me. “I slept with your girlfriend…repeatedly.” I flinched, and Abby squeezed my hand a little tighter. Denny frowned. “Well, that was pretty shitty of you.
S.C. Stephens (Reckless (Thoughtless, #3))
Clearly," Jason said, "you are not doing nothing. You are most definitely doing something. What it looks like you're doing is pouring packets of sugar on Lauren Moffat's head." Shhh," I said. "It's snowing. But only on Lauren." I shook more sugar out of the packets. "'Merry Christmas, Mr. Potter,'" I called softly down to Lauren in my best Jimmy Stewart imitation. "'Merry Christmas, you old building and Loan.'" Jason started cracking up, and I had to hush him as Becca saw my sugar supply running low and hastened to hand me more packets. Stop laughing so loud," I said to Jason. "You'll spoil this beautiful moment for them." I sprinkled more sugar over the side of the balcony. "'Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Meg Cabot (How to Be Popular)
I believe the ability to think is blessed. If you can think about a situation, you can deal with it. The big struggle is to keep your head clear enough to think.
Richard Pryor
I don't know what's going on with you,' the man says from across the counter, 'but I'm not taking your money.' He blows into a straw and pinches both ends shut. I shake my head and reach back for my wallet. 'No, I'll pay.' He winds the straw tighter and tighter. 'I'm serious. It was only a milkshake. And like I said, I don't know what's going on, and I don't know how I can help, but something's clearly gone wrong in your life, so I want you to keep your money.' His eyes search mine, and I know he means it. I don't know what to say. Even if the words would come, my throat is so tight it won't let them escape.
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face. All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dínen. "You cannot enter here," said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. "Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!" The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter. "Old fool!" he said. "Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!" And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of war nor of wizardry, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn. And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns, in dark Mindolluin's sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
Fearghus entered what he now considered her chamber, but immediately ducked the book flung at his head. Clearly she’d been waiting for him. And she was not happy. “He’s the one supposed to be helping me,” she roared at him. “Did you just throw a book at me? In my own den?” “Yes. And I’d throw it again!” Fearghus scratched his head in confusion. He’d never met a human brave enough—or stupid enough, depending on your point of view—to challenge him. “But,” he croaked out, amazed, “I’m a dragon.” “And I have tits. It means nothing to me!
G.A. Aiken (Dragon Actually (Dragon Kin, #1))
In desperate times, much more than anything else, folks need perspective. For perspective brings calm. Calm leads to clear thinking. Clear thinking yields new ideas. And ideas produce the bloom...of an answer. Keep your head and heart clear. Perspective can just as easily be lost as it can be found.
Andy Andrews (The Noticer: Sometimes, All a Person Needs Is a Little Perspective)
Darcangelo winced, gritted his teeth "Want to tell me why ... you're sitting here cuddling me, Hunter?" "Rossiter says I have to keep you warm. He thinks you're in shock or some shit." Despite his words and the tone of his voice, there was really worry on Hunter's face. "Great. Thanks." Darcangelo's head fell back to rest against Hunter's vest, the big guy's strength clearly spent. A muscle clenched in Hunter's jaw. "Hey, don't mention it--ever.
Pamela Clare (Breaking Point (I-Team, #5))
Disciplined runners consistently clear their heads and focus fully on the journey ahead.. .because their passion and zeal for the goal supersedes the strain. The goal beckons them onward. Passion doesn't negate weariness; it just resolves to press beyond it.
Priscilla Shirer (Gideon: Your Weakness. God's Strength. (DVD Leader Kit))
... What do you want, Ash?" "Your head," Ash answered softly. "On a pike. But what I want doesn't matter this time." He pointed his sword at me. "I've come for her." I gasped as my heart and stomach began careening around my chest. He's here for me, to kill me, like he promised at Elysium. "Over my dead body." Puck smiled, as if this was a friendly conversation on the street, but I felt muscles coiling under his skin. "This was part of the plan." The prince raised his sword, the icy blade wreathed in mist. "I will avenge her today, and put her memory to rest." For a moment, a shadow of anguish flitted across his face, and he closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were cold and glittered with malice. "Prepare yourself." "Stay back, princess," Puck warned, pushing me out of the way. He reached into his boot and pullet out a dagger, the curved blade clear as glass. "This might get a little rough." "Puck, no." I clutched at his sleeve. "Don't fight him. Someone could die." "Duels to the death tend to end that way." Puck grinned, but it was a savage thing, grim and frightening. "But I'm touched that you care. One moment, princeling," he called to Ash, who inclined his head. Taking my wrist, Puck steered me behind the fountain and bent close, his breath warm on my face. "I have to do this, princess," he said firmly. "Ash won't let us go without a fight, and this has been coming for a long time now." For a moment, a shadow of regret flickered across his face, but then it was gone. "So," he murmured, grinning as he tilted my chin up, "before I march off to battle, how 'bout a kiss for luck?" I hesitated, wondering why now, of all times, he would ask for a kiss. He certainly didn't think of me in that way... did he?
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
Kenji turns to look at me. He manages a goofy smile. "Aw, you trust me?" "As long as I have a clear shot." I tighten my hold on the gun in my hand. His grin is crooked. "I don't know why, but I kind of like it when you threaten me." "That's because you're an idiot." "Nah." he shakes his head. "You've got a sexy voice. Makes everything sound naughty." Adam stands up so suddenly he nearly knocks over the coffee table.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
I just shook my head, knowing this was him evading the question. You," I said, "have this whole tall, dark stranger thing going on. Not to mention the tortured artist bit." Bit?" You know what I mean." He shook his head, clearly discounting this description. And you," he said, "have that whole blonde, cool and collected, perfect smart girl thing going on." You're the boy all the girls want to rebel with," I said. You," he replied, "are the unattainable girl in homeroom who never gives a guy the time of day.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
What did she say?” asked Matthias. Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.” “That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?” Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.” “No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!” “Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising. “No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.” “It’s a game?” “Not exactly.” “Then what is it?” Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—” “Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?” “In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—” “That would never happen.” “In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.” “He lives in a cave?” “It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.” “Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?” Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.” “How does the story end? Do they fight battles?” Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.” Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?” “You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—” “To civilize him?” “Yes, but that’s not until the third book.” “There are three?” “Matthias, do you need to sit down?” “This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—” “Calm down, Matthias.” “Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.” “Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear. “We most certainly could not.” “At one point he bathes her.” Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—” “She’s tied up, so he has to.” “Be silent.” “Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.” “How about I bite your lip?” “Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own back yard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou
Butch : Two words for you. CYNDI.LAUPER Vishous : Clearly, the paste you ate has gone to your head. Did Marissa like all that lace you glued on ? Oh... and I'm talking to your body, not that ridiculous card you made her. Butch : How does that song go ? *sings song about true colors* Vishous : I have no idea what you are talking about. Butch : Oh.Really. So you deny that shit was playing in the weight room yesterday ? Vishous : Please. Like I listen to crap like that ? Butch : So you deny that song was also playing in the Escalade last night ? Vishous : Don't act the fool. Butch : So you deny that song was ALSO coming out of your shower early this morning.
J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide (Black Dagger Brotherhood))
Peeta and I sit on the damp sand, facing away from each other, my right shoulder and hip pressed against his. ... After a while I rest my head against his shoulder. Feel his hand caress my hair. "Katniss... If you die, and I live, there's no life for me at all back in District Twelve. You're my whole life", he says. "I would never be happy again." I start to object but he puts a finger to my lips. "It's different for you. I'm not sayin it wouldn't be hard. But there are other people who'd make your life worth living." ... "Your family needs you, Katniss", Peeta says. My family. My mother. My sister. And my pretend cousin Gale. But Peeta's intension is clear. That Gale really is my family, or will be one day, if I live. That I'll marry him. So Peeta's giving me his life and Gale at the same time. To let me know I shouldn't ever have doubts about it. Everithing. That's what Peeta wants me to take from him. ... "No one really needs me", he says, and there's no self-pity in his voice. It's true his family doesen't need him. They will mourn him, as will a handful of friends. But they will get on. Even Haymitch, with the help of a lot of white liquor, will get on. I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me. "I do", I say. "I need you." He looks upset, takes a deep breath as if to begin a long argument, and that's no good, no good at all, because he'll start going on about Prim and my mother and everything and I'll just get confused. So before he can talk, I stop his lips with a kiss. I feel that thing again. The thing I only felt once before. In the cave last year, when I was trying to get Haymitch to send us food. I kissed Peeta about a thousand times during those Games and after. But there was only one kiss that made me feel something stir deep inside. Only one that made me want more. But my head wound started bleeding and he made me lie down. This time, there is nothing but us to interrupt us. And after a few attempts, Peeta gives up on talking. The sensation inside me grows warmer and spreads out from my chest, down through my body, out along my arms and legs, to the tips of my being. Instead of satisfying me, the kisses have the opposite effect, of making my need greater. I thought I was something of an expert on hunger, but this is an entirely new kind.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
Lea stood upon a fallen log ahead of us, staring ahead. Mouse walked up to her. Gggrrrr rawf arrrgggrrrrarrrr," I said. Mouse gave me an impatient glance, and somehow--I don't know if it was something in his body language or what--I became aware that he was telling me to sit down and shut up or he'd come over and make me. I sat down. Something in me really didn't like that idea, but when I looked around, I saw that everyone else had done it too, and that made me feel better. Mouse said, again in what sounded like perfectly clear English, "Funny. Now restore them." Lea turned to look at the big dog and said, "Do you dare to give me commands, hound?" Not your hound," Mouse said. I didn't know how he was doing it. His mouth wasn't moving or anything. "Restore them before I rip your ass off. Literally rip it off." The Leanansidhe tilted her head back and let out a low laugh. "You are far from your sources of power here, my dear demon." I live with a wizard. I cheat." He took a step toward her and his lips peeled up from his fangs in unmistakable hostility. "You want to restore them? Or do I kill you and get them back that way?" Lea narrowed her eyes. Then she said, "You're bluffing." One of the big dog's huge, clawed paws dug at the ground, as if bracing him for a leap, and his growl seemed to . . . I looked down and checked. It didn't seem to shake the ground. The ground was actually shaking for several feet in every direction of the dog. Motes of blue light began to fall from his jaws, thickly enough that it looked quite a bit like he was foaming at the mouth. "Try me." The Leanansidhe shook her head slowly. Then she said, "How did Dresden ever win you?" He didn't," Mouse said. "I won him.
Jim Butcher (Changes (The Dresden Files, #12))
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles, Volume One)
Beati bellicosi. Blessed are the warriors.” “Good organization,” said Magnus. “I knew the man who founded it, back in the 1800s. Woolsey Scott. Respectable old werewolf family.” Alec made an ugly sound in the back of his throat. “Did you sleep with him, too?” Magnus’s cat eyes widened. “Alexander!” “Well, I don’t know anything about your past, do I?” Alec demanded. “You won’t tell me anything; you just say it doesn’t matter.” Magnus’s face was expressionless, but there was a dark tinge of anger to his voice. “Does this mean every time I mention anyone I’ve ever met, you’re going to ask me if I had an affair with them?” Alec’s expression was stubborn, but Simon couldn’t help having a flash of sympathy; the hurt behind his blue eyes was clear. “Maybe.” “I met Napoleon once,” said Magnus. “We didn’t have an affair, though. He was shockingly prudish for a Frenchman.” “You met Napoleon?” Jordan, who appeared to be missing most of the conversation, looked impressed. “So it’s true what they said about warlocks, then?” Alec gave him a very unpleasant look. “What’s true?” “Alexander,” said Magnus coldly, and Clary met Simon’s eyes across the table. Hers were wide, green, and full of an expression that said Uh-oh. “You can’t be rude to everyone who talks to me.” Alec made a wide, sweeping gesture. “And why not? Cramping your style, am I? I mean, maybe you were hoping to flirt with werewolf boy here. He’s pretty attractive, if you like the messy-haired, broad-shouldered, chiseled-good looks type.” “Hey, now,” said Jordan mildly. Magnus put his head in his hands. “Or there are plenty of pretty girls here, since apparently your taste goes both ways. Is there anything you aren’t into?” “Mermaids,” said Magnus into his fingers. “They always smell like seaweed.” “It’s not funny,” Alec said savagely, and kicking back his chair, he got up from the table and stalked off into the crowd.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
A pretty girl with butterfly clips in her dreadlocks put her hand on his arm. “You were amazing,” she told him, her voice fluting. “You have the reflexes of a striking snake. You should be a stuntman. Really, with your cheekbones, you should be an actor. A lot of people are looking for someone as pretty as you who’d do his own stunts.” Alec threw Magnus a terrified and beseeching look. Magnus took pity on him, putting a hand on the small of Alec’s back and leaning against him. His attitude and the glance he shot at the girl clearly communicated my date. “No offence,” said the girl, rapidly removing her hand so she could dig in her bag. “Let me give you my card. I work in a talent agency. You could be a star.” “He’s foreign,” Magnus told the girl. “He doesn’t have a social security number. You can’t hire him.” The girl regarded Alec’s bowed head wistfully. “That’s a shame. He could be huge. Those eyes!” “I realize he’s a knockout,” Magnus said. “But I am afraid I have to whisk him away. He is wanted by Interpol.” Alec shot him a strange look. “Interpol?” Magnus shrugged. “Knockout?” Alec said. Magnus raised an eyebrow at him. “You had to know I thought so. Why else would I agree to go on a date with you?
Cassandra Clare (The Course of True Love [and First Dates] (The Bane Chronicles, #10))
Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask. After all, conscious thinking is largely asking and answering questions in your own head. If you want confusion and heartache, ask vague questions. If you want uncommon clarity and results, ask uncommonly clear questions.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe Of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
Nothing about you or Wonderland makes sense. And the ‘one abiding truth’ is that life was so much easier when I’d forgotten your massive ego and that other world ever existed.” A tremor shifts through his features, first fragile, then severe. His muscles twitch under his T-shirt, sending a tingling sensation through my knuckles. “You want me nonexistent?" Before I can respond, he steps back and flips the hat from his head. Then he drags off his vest and his T-shirt, dropping them all on the floor at my feet. Once he’s peeled off his necklace and bracelets, he stands there facing me in only jeans and boots. I watch him warily. “W-w-what are you doing?” “I’m clearing the way for my massive ego.
A.G. Howard (Unhinged (Splintered, #2))
The problem with ideas is that they never come all at once. They emerge like prairie dogs. An edge of ear, or the tip of a nose, and sometimes even the whole head. But if you look straight at an idea too fast, it can vanish back into the ground before you're even sure of what you've seen. Instead, you have to sneak up on it slowly, looking out of the corner of your eye, and then and only then you might glance up to get a clear look.
Maggie Stiefvater (All the Crooked Saints)
DADDY You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time― Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one grey toe Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic When it pours bean green over blue In the waters of beautiful Nauset. I used to pray to recover you. Ach, du. In the German tongue, in the Polish town Scraped flat by the roller Of wars, wars, wars. But the name of the town is common. My Polack friend Says there are a dozen or two. So I never could tell where you Put your foot, your root, I never could talk to you. The tongue stuck in my jaw. It stuck in a barb wire snare. Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak. I thought every German was you. And the language obscene An engine, an engine Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may well be a Jew. The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna Are not very pure or true. With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack I may be a bit of a Jew. I have always been scared of you, With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. And your neat mustache And your Aryan eye, bright blue. Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You― Not God but a swastika So black no sky could squeak through. Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you. You stand at the blackboard, daddy, In the picture I have of you, A cleft in your chin instead of your foot But no less a devil for that, no not And less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two. I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you. I thought even the bones would do. But they pulled me out of the sack, And they stuck me together with glue. And then I knew what to do. I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look And a love of the rack and the screw. And I said I do, I do. So daddy, I’m finally through. The black telephone’s off at the root, The voices just can’t worm through. If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two― The vampire who said he was you And drank my blood for a year, Seven years, if you want to know. Daddy, you can lie back now. There’s a stake in your fat black heart And the villagers never like you. They are dancing and stamping on you. They always knew it was you. Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
All the idylls of youth: beauty manifest in lakes, mountains, people; richness in experience, conversation, friendships. Nights during a full moon, the light flooded the wilderness, so it was possible to hike without a headlamp. We would hit the trail at two A.M., summiting the nearest peak, Mount Tallac, just before sunrise, the clear, starry night reflected in the flat, still lakes spread below us. Snuggled together in sleeping bags at the peak, nearly ten thousand feet up, we weathered frigid blasts of wind with coffee someone had been thoughtful enough to bring. And then we would sit and watch as the first hint of sunlight, a light tinge of day blue, would leak out of the eastern horizon, slowly erasing the stars. The day sky would spread wide and high, until the first ray of the sun made an appearance. The morning commuters began to animate the distant South Lake Tahoe roads. But craning your head back, you could see the day’s blue darken halfway across the sky, and to the west, the night remained yet unconquered—pitch-black, stars in full glimmer, the full moon still pinned in the sky. To the east, the full light of day beamed toward you; to the west, night reigned with no hint of surrender. No philosopher can explain the sublime better than this, standing between day and night. It was as if this were the moment God said, “Let there be light!” You could not help but feel your specklike existence against the immensity of the mountain, the earth, the universe, and yet still feel your own two feet on the talus, reaffirming your presence amid the grandeur.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
You haven’t missed me for one fucking minute. You have never for one single second in your entire pathetic fucking life missed me. You might have missed fucking with my head, and you might have missed the satisfaction you so clearly got from demolishing me, but those are your emotions you’re missing, not mine. I’m afraid I can’t help you.
David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
„You're Ned Stark's bastard, aren't you?“ Jon felt a coldness pass right through him. He pressed his lips together and said nothing. „Did I offend you?“ Lannister said. „Sorry. Dwarfs don't have to be tactful. Generations of capering fools in motley have won me the right to dress badly and say any damn thing that comes into my head.“ He grinned. „You are the bastard, though.“ „Lord Eddard Stark is my father,“ Jon admitted stiffly. Lannister studied his face. „Yes,“ he said. „I can see it. You have more of the north in you than your brothers.“ „Half brothers,“ Jon corrected. He was pleased by the dwarf's comment, but he tried not to let it show. „Let me give you some counsel, bastard,“ Lannister said. „Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strenght. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.“ Jon was in no mood for anyone's counsel. „What do you know about being a bastard?“ „All dwarfs are bastards in their father's eyes.“ „You are your mother's trueborn son of Lannister.“ „Am I?“ the dwarf replied, sardonic. „Do tell my lord father. My mother died birthing me, and he's never been sure.“ „I don't even know who my mother was,“ Jon said. „Some woman, no doubt. Most of them are.“ He favored Jon with a rueful grin. „Remember this, boy. All dwarfs may be bastards, yet not all bastards need be dwarfs.“ And with that he turned and sauntered back into the feast, whistling a tune. When he opened the door, the light from within threw his shadow clear across the yard, and for just a moment Tyrion Lannister stood tall as a king.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
You cold or something?' he said. She strained against him; she wanted to pass clear through him: 'It's a chill, it's nothing'; and then, pushing a little away: 'Say you love me.' I said it.' No, oh no. You haven't. I was listening. And you never do.' Well, give me time.' Please.' He sat up and glanced at a clock across the room. It was after five. Then decisively he pulled off his windbreaker and began to unlace his shoes. Aren't you going to, Clyde?' He grinned back at her. 'Yeah, I'm going to.' I don't mean that; and what's more, I don't like it: you sound as though you were talking to a whore.' Come off it, honey. You didn't drag me up here to tell you about love.' You disgust me,' she said. Listen to her! She's sore!' A silence followed that circulated like an aggrieved bird. Clyde said, 'You want to hit me, huh? I kind of like you when you're sore: that's the kind of girl you are,' which made Grady light in his arms when he lifted and kissed her. 'You still want me to say it?' Her head slumped on his shoulder. 'Because I will,' he said, fooling his fingers in her hair. 'Take off your clothes--and I'll tell it to you good.
Truman Capote (Summer Crossing)
You think this is some sort of comedy going on here?” Collins gave him his tough stare. A little red spark flared in Barabas’s eyes. “Excuse me.” He struck with preternatural quickness and yanked a five-foot snake from the counter, an inch away from Tsoi’s elbow. Tsoi jumped, clearing half the room in a single bound. The snake body flailed in my lawyer’s fist. Barabas jerked the snake to his mouth and bit its neck. “Jesus Christ!” Collins took a step back. Tsoi clamped her hand over her mouth. Barabas spat the head onto the counter. “Pit viper—my favorite. Where were we? Ah, yes. You were trying to intimidate me. I apologize for the interruption. Please, resume your staring.
Ilona Andrews (Gunmetal Magic (Kate Daniels, #5.5;World of Kate Daniels, #6 & #6.5; Andrea Nash, #1))
Everything ok here ?" Ryan grunted urging her with a hand on her lower back. "He thinks you should mind your own business,"Makenna told the Beta,translating the grunt. Dominic cocked his head."You understand his grunts?" She lifted her chin."I thought it was crystal clear." Dominic turned to Ryan."Marry her." Ryan grunted again before heading for the door. "What did he say?"Dominic asked her. "Fuck off,"she translated.
Suzanne Wright (Savage Urges (The Phoenix Pack, #5))
I'll understand, of course, if you want to stay with your aunt and uncle,' said Sirius. 'But...well...think about it. Once my name's cleared...if you wanted a...a different home...' Some sort of explosion took place in the pit of Harry's stomach. 'What - live with you?' he said, accidentally cracking his head on a bit of rock protruding from the ceiling. 'Leave the Dursleys?' 'Of course. I thought you wouldn't want to' said Sirius quickly. 'I understand. I just thought I'd -' 'Are you mad?' said Harry, his voice easily as croaky as Sirius. 'Of course I want to leave the Dursleys! Have you got a house? When can I move in?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Wild Geese" You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting - over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Mary Oliver (Dream Work)
Phase one, my dear, is find your inner hoochie mama." "Ahh, I get it." Sally nodded. "It's all about embracing your inner skank." Jen shook her head. "I think the air is thinner here because you two are clearly not getting enough oxygen to the brain." "Oh, come on. Give us a break. Out of all of us, you've got inner skank-embracing down to an art form," Sally told her. "True, very true, Sally. I am expert on all things skank.
Quinn Loftis (Just One Drop (The Grey Wolves, #3))
Tristan followed so close behind her she could feel his hot breath on the back of her neck. Again. “Ten foot rule,” called Nate. “Bite me!” Tristan hollered back, more hot breath caressing her skin with his words. A wonderful shiver ran through her body. Damn him and his beautiful mouth and hot breath and his leather-smelling shirt. She assumed he was headed to his own room in the basement, but when she walked into the guest bedroom, he followed her inside. She turned around to tell him to leave her alone, but his bright green eyes derailed her words. He was so pretty… No! No. He was not pretty. He was in danger of dying. Focus on the danger, Scarlet. She glared at him. “What are you doing?” “I’m sleeping with you.” Was he insane? She lifted a brow. “I thought you were mad at me.” “I’m concerned. Not mad.” “Huh. Well either way you’re not sleeping with me.” “Yes, I am.” He was insane. “No,” Scarlet repeated. “You’re not. You could die, Tristan. We can’t touch and we certainly can’t…sleep together.” She felt her face flush. A look of amusement crossed his face. “I meant sleep, Scar.” “Oh. Well.” She cleared her throat. “I don’t want to wake up next to a corpse, so, like…scram.
Chelsea Fine (Avow (The Archers of Avalon, #3))
I don't believe in an interventionist God But I know, darling, that you do But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him Not to intervene when it came to you Not to touch a hair on your head To leave you as you are And if He felt He had to direct you Then direct you into my arms Into my arms, O Lord Into my arms, O Lord Into my arms, O Lord Into my arms And I don't believe in the existence of angels But looking at you I wonder if that's true But if I did I would summon them together And ask them to watch over you To each burn a candle for you To make bright and clear your path And to walk, like Christ, in grace and love And guide you into my arms Into my arms, O Lord Into my arms, O Lord Into my arms, O Lord Into my arms And I believe in Love And I know that you do too And I believe in some kind of path That we can walk down, me and you So keep your candlew burning And make her journey bright and pure That she will keep returning Always and evermore Into my arms, O Lord Into my arms, O Lord Into my arms, O Lord Into my arms
Nick Cave (Complete Lyrics)
...Tea. There is nothing saner than tea, he thought. ... Tea was the great leveler. It brought calm, quiet, contentment, warmth. And it was something to do. .....Tea-- so normal, so mundane, so hot... ...The heat and scent of it permeated his head and cleared his mind. He understood completely the attraction of ceremonies grounded in the ritual of drinking tea. It required both caution and abandonment of the senses. It demanded that you move into it slowly and savor the moment. And it rewarded you with warmth and delicacy of taste and refreshment. And after you were done, it could parse out your future.
Thea Devine
This explains so much," she said, clucking her tongue in mother-hen fashion. "You're compensating for this withered appendage." Withered appendage? What the devil was she talking about? He shook his head, trying to clear it. Colin's dire predictions of shriveled twigs and dried currants rattled in his skull. Wide awake now, he fought to sit up, wrestling the sheets. "Listen, you. I don't know what sort of liberties you've taken while I was insensible, or just what your spinster imagination prepared you to see. But I'll have you know, that water was damned cold." She blinked at him. "I'm referring to your leg." "Oh." His leg. That withered appendage
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees. After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her. Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Last night... I'm sorry if I was too forward with you." He paused. "Celaena, you're grimacing." Had she been making a face? "Er- sorry." "It did upset you, then!" "What did?" "The kiss!" ... "Oh, it was nothing," she said, thumping her chest as she cleared her throat. "I didn't mind it. But I didn't hate it, if that's what your thinking!" She immediately regretted saying it. "So, you liked it?" He grinned lazily. "No! Oh, go away!" She flung herself onto her pillows, pulling the blankets over her head. She was going to die from embarrassment.
Sarah J. Maas
...you'd be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Things Are As They Are. We will let a selection from the writings of Chuang-tse illustrate: Hui-tse said to Chuang-tse, "I have a large tree which no carpenter can cut into lumber. Its branches and trunk are crooked and tough, covered with bumps and depressions. No builder would turn his head to look at it. Your teachings are the same - useless, without value. Therefore, no one pays attention to them." ... "You complain that your tree is not valuable as lumber. But you could make use of the shade it provides, rest under its sheltering branches, and stroll beneath it, admiring its character and appearance. Since it would not be endangered by an axe, what could threaten its existence? It is useless to you only because you want to make it into something else and do not use it in its proper way.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
I sought a soul that might resemble mine, and I could not find it. I scanned all the crannies of the earth: my perseverance was useless. Yet I could not remain alone. There had to be someone who would approve of my character; there had to be someone with the same ideas as myself. It was morning. The sun in all his magnificence rose on the horizon, and behold, there also appeared before my eyes a young man whose presence made flowers grow as he passed. He approached me and held out his hand: “I have come to you, you who seek me. Let us give thanks for this happy day.” But I replied: “Go! I did not summon you. I do not need your friendship… .” It was evening. Night was beginning to spread the blackness of her veil over nature. A beautiful woman whom I could scarcely discern also exerted her bewitching sway upon me and looked at me with compassion. She did not, however, dare speak to me. I said: “Come closer that I may discern your features clearly, for at this distance the starlight is not strong enough to illumine them.” Then, with modest demeanour, eyes lowered, she crossed the greensward and reached my side. I said as soon as I saw her: “I perceive that goodness and justice have dwelt in your heart: we could not live together. Now you are admiring my good looks which have bowled over more than one woman. But sooner or later you would regret having consecrated your love to me, for you do not know my soul. Not that I shall be unfaithful to you: she who devotes herself to me with so much abandon and trust — with the same trust and abandon do I devote myself to her. But get this into your head and never forget it: wolves and lambs look not on one another with gentle eyes.” What then did I need, I who rejected with disgust what was most beautiful in humanity!
Comte de Lautréamont (Maldoror and the Complete Works)
Is that all?” he blurted out. Crowley and Halt exchanged slightly puzzled glances. Then Crowley pursed his lips thoughtfully. “Um…it seems to be…Listed your trainging, mentioned a few achievements, made sure you know which end of an arrow is the sharp part…decided your new name…I think that’s…” Then it seemed that understanding dawned on him and his eyes opened wide. “Of course! You have to have you Silver…whatsis, don ‘t you?” He took hold of the chain that held his own Silver Oakleaf around his throat and shook it lightly. It was a badge of a Graduate Ranger. Then he began to search through his pockets, frowning. “Had it here! Had it here! Where the devil is it…wait. I heard something fall on the boards as I came in! Must have dropped it. Just check outside the front door, will you, Will?” Too stunned to talk, Will rose and went to the door. As he set his hand on the latch, he looked back at the two Rangers, still seated at the table. Crowley made a small shooing motion with the back of his hand, urging him to go outside. Will was still looking back at them when he opened the door and stepped through on the verandah. “Congratulations!” The massive cry went up from at least forty throats. He swung around in shock to find all his friends gathered in the clearing outside around the table laid for a feast, their faces beaming with smiles. Baron Arald, Sir Rodney, Lady Pauline and Master Chubb were all there. So were Jenny and George, his former wardmates. There were a dozen others in the Ranger uniform – men he had met worked with over the past five years. And wonder of wonders, there were Erak and Svengal , bellowing his name and waving their huge axes overhead in his praise. Close by them stood Horace and Gilan, both brandishing their swords overhead as well. It looked like a dangerous section of the crowd to be in, Will thought. After the first concerted shout, people began cheering and calling his name, laughing and waving to him. Halt and Crowley joined him on the verandah. The Commandant was doubled over with laughter. “Oh, if you could have seen yourself!” he wheezed. “Your face! Your face! It was priceless! ‘Is that all?’” He mimicked Will’s plaintive tones and doubled over again. Will tuned to Halt accusingly. His teacher grinned at him. “Your face was a study,” he said. “Do you so that to all apprentices?” Will asked. Halt nodded vigorously. “Every one. Stops them getting a swelled head at the last minute. You have to swear never to let an apprentice in on the secret.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
Thanks," I mumbled as we crossed the square, heading toward our boardinghouse. "For what?" I rolled my eyes. "For defending my honor, you dullard." He yanked me beneath a shadowed awning. I had a moment's panic when I thought he'd spotted trouble, but then his arms were around me and his lips were on mine. When he finally drew back, my cheeks were warm and my legs had gone wobbly. "Just to be clear," he said, "I'm not really interested in defending your honor." "Understood," I managed, hoping I didn't sound too ridiculously breathless.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
Well, I'm glad you're so amused," I said, running my fingers across the railing. Maxon hopped up to sit on the railing, looking very relaxed. "You're always amusing. Get used to it." Hmm. He was almost being funny. "So...about what you said...," he started tentatively. "Which part? The part about me calling you names or fighting with my mom or saying food was my motivation?" I rolled my eyes. He laughed once. "The part about me being good..." "Oh. What about it?" Those few sentences suddenly seemed more embarrassing than anything else I'd said. I ducked my head down and twisted a piece of my dress. "I appreciate you making things look authentic, but you didn't need to go that far." My head snapped up. How could he think that? "Maxon, that wasn't for the sake of the show. If you had asked me a month ago what my honest opinion of you was, it would have been very different. But now I know you, and I know the truth, and you are everything I said you were. And more." He was quiet, but there was a small smile on his face. "Thank you," he finally said. "Anytime." Maxon cleared his throat. "He'll be lucky, too." He got down from his makeshift seat and walked to my side of the balcony. "Huh?" "Your boyfriend. When he comes to his senses and begs you to take him back," Maxon said matter-of-factly. I had to laugh. No such thing would happen in y world. "he's not my boyfriend anymore. And he made it pretty clear he was gone with me." Even I could hear the tiny bit of hope in my voice. "Not possible. He'll have seen you on TV by now and fallen for you all over again. Though, in my opinion, you're still much too good for the dog." Maxon spoke almost as if he was bored, like he'd seen this happen a million times. "Speaking of which!" he said a bit louder. "If you don't want me to be in love with you, you're going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I'm having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you." I hit his arm. "Shut up, Maxon." "I'm not kidding. You're too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we'll have to send some of the guards with you. You'll never survive on your own, poor thing." He said all this with mock pity. "I can't help it." I sighed. "One can never help being born into perfection." I fanned my face as if being so pretty was exhausting. "No, I don't suppose you can help it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
You are the last Five left in the competition, yes? Do you think that hurts your chances of becoming the princess?" The word sprang from my lips without thought. "No!" "Oh, my! You do have a spirit there!" Gavril seemed pleased to have gotten such an enthusiastic response. "So you think you'll beat out all the others, then? Make it to the end?" I thought better of myself. "No, no. It's not like that. I don't think I'm better than any of the other girls; they're all amazing. It's just...I don't think Maxon would do that, just discount someone because of their caste." I heard a collective gasp. I ran over the sentence in my head. It took me a minute to catch my mistake: I'd called him Maxon. Saying that to another girl behind closed doors was one thing, but to say his name without the word "Prince" in front of it was incredibly informal in public. And I'd said it on live television. I looked to see if Maxon was angry. He had a calm smile on his face. So he wasn't mad...but I was embarrassed. I blushed fiercely. "Ah, so it seems you really have gotten to know our prince. Tell me, what do you think of Maxon?" I ahd thought of several answers while I was waiting for my turn. I was going to make fun of his laugh or talk about the pet name he wanted his wife to call him. It seemed like the only way to save the situation was to get back the comedy. But as I lifted my eyes to make one of my comments, I saw Maxon's face. He really wanted to know. And I couldn't poke fun at him, not when I had a chance to say what I'd really started to think now that he was my friend. I couldn't joke about the person who'd saved me from facing absolute heartbreak at home, who fed my family boxes of sweets, who ran to me worried that I was hurt if I asked for him. A month ago, I had looked at the TV and seen a stiff, distant, boring person-someone I couldn't imagine anyone loving. And while he wasn't anything close to the person I did love, he was worthy of having someone to love in his life. "Maxon Schreave is the epitome of all things good. He is going to be a phenomenal king. He lets girls who are supposed to be wearing dresses wear jeans and doesn't get mad when someone who doesn't know him clearly mislabels him." I gave Gavril a keen look, and he smiled. And behind him, Maxon looked intrigued. "Whoever he marries will be a lucky girl. And whatever happens to me, I will be honored to be his subject." I saw Maxon swallow, and I lowered my eyes. "America Singer, thank you so much." Gavril went to shake my hand. "Up next is Miss Tallulah Bell." I didn't hear what any of the girls said after me, though I stared at the two seats. That interview had become way more personal than I'd intended it to be. I couldn't bring myself to look at Maxon. Instead I sat there replaying my words again and again in my head.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
We use time machines to learn from the past,” Chris continued. “But there are still a few things that have been puzzling some of us, and maybe you can help clear up one of them. There’s a person called Kim Kardashian—someone born in your time, I believe. She has had thousands of regeneration and cybernetic enhancement procedures. But no one can seem to recall her purpose. Does she have any special talent or reason for being kept alive all these centuries?” Heads shook in bafflement. “Anyway,” said Chris, “you’ll be glad to know that Tom Brady is still slinging footballs as far as ever. And Brett Favre is considering another comeback.
Steve Bates (Back To You)
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I want to talk about creating your life. There’s a quote I love, from the poet Mary Oliver, that goes: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? I so clearly remember what it was like, being young and always in the grip of some big fat daydream. I wanted to be a writer always, but more than that, I wanted to have an extraordinary life. I’m sure I dreamed it a million different ways, and that plenty of them were ridiculous, but I think the daydreams were training for writing, and I also think they spurred me to pursue my dreams for real. Daydreaming, however awesome it is, is passive. It happens in your head. Learning to make dreams real is another matter, and I think it should be the work of your life. Everyone’s life, whatever their dream (unless their dream is to be an axe murderer or something.) It took me a while to finish a book. Too long. And you know, it doesn’t matter how good a writer you are unless you finish what you start! I think this is the hardest part for most people who want to write. I was in my mid-30s before I figured it out. The brain plays tricks. You can be convinced you’re following your dream, or that you’re going to start tomorrow, and years can pass like that. Years. The thing is, there will be pressure to adjust your expectations, always shrinking them, shrinking, shrinking, until they fit in your pocket like a folded slip of paper, and you know what happens to folded slips of paper in your pocket. They go through the wash and get ruined. Don’t ever put your dream in your pocket. If you have to put it somewhere, get one of those holsters for your belt, like my dad has for his phone, so you can whip it out at any moment. Hello there, dream. Also, don’t be realistic. The word “realistic” is poison. Who decides? And “backup plan” is code for, “Give up on your dreams,” and everyone I know who put any energy into a backup plan is now living that backup plan instead of their dream. Put all your energy into your dream. That’s the only way it will ever become real. The world at large has this attitude, “What makes you so special that you think you deserve an extraordinary life?” Personally, I think the passion for an extraordinary life, and the courage to pursue it, is what makes us special. And I don’t even think of it as an “extraordinary life” anymore so much as simple happiness. It’s rarer than it should be, and I believe it comes from creating a life that fits you perfectly, not taking what’s already there, but making your own from scratch. You can let life happen to you, or you can happen to life. It’s harder, but so much better.
Laini Taylor
In the very act of writing I felt pleased with what I did. There was the pleasure of having words come to me, and the pleasure of ordering them, re-ordering them, weighing one against another. Pleasure also in the imagination of the story, the feeling that it could mean something. Mostly I was glad to find out that I could write at all. In writing you work toward a result you won't see for years, and can't be sure you'll ever see. It takes stamina and self-mastery and faith. It demands those things of you, then gives them back with a little extra, a surprise to keep you coming. It toughens you and clears your head. I could feel it happening. I was saving my life with every word I wrote, and I knew it.
Tobias Wolff (In Pharaoh's Army: Memories of the Lost War)
Did you send Attolia to me at the farewell?" Eddis asked. "Not I," said Gen quietly. "The magus. I thought you knew that you loved him - the two of you have been like magnets drawing ever nearer to each other since you met - but the magus was concerned. He thought the grief of leave-taking might surprise you." "I feel very stupid." She leaned back into his embrace. "'I look forward to hearing of your adventures.'" She shook her head in disgust and sniffed. "I should have had something better to say, something...more appropriate." He couldn't disagree. Sounis had clearly hoped for some message of her affection to carry with him. "You could write him a letter," he said. "A fast horse will catch him before he reaches the pass.
Megan Whalen Turner (A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4))
Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’ The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe. ‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’ He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’ David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’ ‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things (The Book of Lost Things, #1))
Footsteps approach the kitchen. Garrett wanders in, wiping sweat off his brow. When he notices Sabrina, he brightens. “Oh good. You’re here. Hold on—gotta grab something.” She turns to me as if to say, Is he talking to me? He’s already gone, though, his footsteps thumping up the stairs. At the table, Hannah runs a hand through her hair and gives me a pleading look. “Just remember he’s your best friend, okay?” That doesn’t sound ominous. When Garrett returns, he’s holding a notepad and a ballpoint pen, which he sets on the table as he sits across from Sabrina. “Tuck,” he says. “Sit. This is important.” I’m so baffled right now. Hannah’s resigned expression doesn’t help in lessening the confusion. Once I’m seated next to Sabrina, Garrett flips open the notepad, all business. “Okay. So let’s go over the names.” Sabrina raises an eyebrow at me. I shrug, because I legitimately don’t know what the fuck he’s talking about. “I’ve put together a solid list. I really think you’re going to like these.” But when he glances down at the page, his face falls. “Ah crap. We can’t use any of the boy names.” “Wait.” Sabrina holds up a hand, her brow furrowed. “You’re picking names for our baby?” He nods, busy flipping the page. My baby mama gapes at me. I shrug again. “Just out of curiosity, what were the boy names?” Grace hedges, clearly fighting a smile. He cheers up again. “Well, the top contender was Garrett.” I snicker loud enough to rattle Sabrina’s water glass. “Uh-huh,” I say, playing along. “And what was the runner-up?” “Graham.” Hannah sighs. “But it’s okay. I have some kickass girl names too.” He taps his pen on the pad, meets our eyes, and utters two syllables. “Gigi.” My jaw drops. “Are you kidding me? I’m not naming my daughter Gigi.” Sabrina is mystified. “Why Gigi?” she asks slowly. Hannah sighs again. The name suddenly clicks in my head. Oh for fuck’s sake. “G.G.,” I mutter to Sabrina. “As in Garrett Graham.” She’s silent for a beat. Then she bursts out laughing, triggering giggles from Grace and eventually Hannah, who keeps shaking her head at her boyfriend. “What?” Garrett says defensively. “The godfather should have a say in the name. It’s in the rule book.” “What rule book?” Hannah bursts out. “You make up the rules as you go along!” “So?
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger; if your wish is farther to the thought; if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise -why, be that as it may, the more fool you , for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut tut! For goodness' sake! What the dickens! But me no buts! - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.
Bernard Levin
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? 'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I'll rise. Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard 'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin' in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise. Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I've got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs? Out of the huts of history's shame I rise Up from a past that's rooted in pain I rise I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
Maya Angelou (And Still I Rise)
He rolled his eyes and took my hand. His hand was hard and calloused, tough with muscle and old scars. The night settled around us like a blanket. I could hear the water lapping against the dock. We were totally alone. “You’re . . . ,” he began, and I waited, heart throbbing in my throat. “Such a pain,” he concluded. “What?” I asked, just as his head swooped in and his mouth touched mine. I tried to speak, but one of Fang’s hands held the back of my head, and he kept his lips pressed against me, kissing me softly but with a Fanglike determination. Oh, jeez, I thought distractedly. Jeez, this is Fang, and me, and . . . Fang tilted his head to kiss me more deeply, and I felt totally lightheaded. Then I remembered to breathe through my nose, and the fog cleared a tiny bit. Somehow we were pressed together, Fang’s arms around me now, sliding under my wings, his hands flat against my back. It was incredible. I loved it. I loved him. It was a total disaster. Gasping, I pulled back. “I, uh—,” I began oh so coherently, and then I jumped up, almost knocking him over, and raced down the dock. I took off, flying fast, like a rocket.
James Patterson (The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, #4))
Then what do you want?" she asked softly. He shook his head without answering. But Sara knew. He wanted to be safe. If he were rich and powerful enough, he would never be hurt, lonely, or abandoned. He would never have to trust anyone. She continued to stroke his hair, playing lightly with the thick raven locks. 'Take a chance on me," she urged. "Do you really have so much to lose?" He gave a harsh laugh and loosened his arms to release her. "More than you know." Clinging to him desperately, Sara kept her mouth at his ear. "Listen to me." All she could do was play her last card. Her voice trembled with emotion. "You can't change the truth. You can act as though you're deaf and blind, you can walk away from me forever, but the truth will still be there, and you can't make it go away. I love you." She felt an involuntary tremor run through him. "I love you," she repeated. "Don't lie to either of us by pretending you're leaving for my good. All you'll do is deny us both a chance at happiness. I'll long for you every day and night, but at least my conscience will be clear. I haven't held anything back from you, out of fear or pride or stubbornness." She felt the incredible tautness of his muscles, as if he were carved from marble. "For once have the strength not to walk away," she whispered. "Stay with me. Let me love you, Derek." He stood there frozen in defeat, with all the warmth and promise of her in his arms ... and he couldn't allow himself to take what she offered. He'd never felt so worthless, so much a fraud. Perhaps for a day, a week, he could be what she wanted. But no longer than that. He had sold his honor, his conscience, his body, anything he could use to escape the lot he'd been given in life. And now, with all his great fortune, he couldn't buy back what he'd sacrificed. Were he capable of tears, he would have shed them. Instead he felt numbing coldness spread through his body, filling up the region where his heart should have been. It wasn't difficult to walk away from her. It was appallingly easy. Sara made an inarticulate sound as he extricated himself from her embrace. He left her as he had left the others, without looking back.
Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You (The Gamblers of Craven's, #2))
It was a tale well known to children all over Africa: Abu Kassem, a miserly Baghdad merchant, had held on to his battered, much repaired pair of slippers even though they were objects of derision. At last, even he couldn't stomach the sight of them. But his every attempt to get rid of his slippers ended in disaster: when he tossed them out of his window they landed on the head of a pregnant woman who miscarried, and Abu Kassem was thrown in jail; when he dropped them in the canal, the slippers choked off the main drain and caused flooding, and off Abu Kassem went to jail... 'One night when Tawfiq finished, another prisoner, a quiet dignified old man, said, 'Abu Kassem might as well build a special room for his slippers. Why try to lose them? He'll never escape.' The old man laughed, and he seemed happy when he said that. That night the old man died in his sleep. We all saw it the same way. the old man was right. The slippers in the story mean that everything you see and do and touch, every seed you sow, or don't sow, becomes part of your destiny... In order to start to get rid of your slippers, you have to admit they are yours, and if you do, then they will get rid of themselves. Ghosh sighed. 'I hope one day you see this as clearly as I did in Kerchele. The key to your happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don't. If you keep saying your slippers aren't yours, then you'll die searching, you'll die bitter, always feeling you were promised more. Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny.
Abraham Verghese (Cutting for Stone)
Although 'jumping to conclusions' is an expression, rather than an activity, it is as dangerous as jumping off a cliff, jumping in front of a moving train, and jumping for joy. If you jump off a cliff, you have a very good chance of experiencing a painful landing unless there is something below you to cushion your fall, such as a body of water or an immense pile of tissue paper, If you jump in front of moving train, you have a very good chance of experiencing a painful voyage unless you are wearing some sort of train-proof suit. And if you jump for joy, you have a very good chance of experiencing a painful bump on the head, unless you make sure you are standing someplace with very high ceilings, which joyous people rarely do. Clearly, the solution to anything involving jumping is either to make sure you are jumping to a safe place, or not jumping at all. But it is hard not to jump at all when you are jumping to conclusions, and it is impossible to make sure that you are jumping to a safe place, because all 'jumping to conclusions' means is that you are believing something is true even though you don't actually know whether it is or not.
Lemony Snicket (The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7))
The night following the reading, Gansey woke up to a completely unfamiliar sound and fumbled for his glasses. It sounded a little like one of his roommates was being killed by a possum, or possibly the final moments of a fatal cat fight. He wasn’t certain of the specifics, but he was sure death was involved. Noah stood in the doorway to his room, his face pathetic and long-suffering. “Make it stop,” he said. Ronan’s room was sacred, and yet here Gansey was, twice in the same weak, pushing the door open. He found the lamp on and Ronan hunched on the bed, wearing only boxers. Six months before, Ronan had gotten the intricate black tattoo that covered most of his back and snaked up his neck, and now the monochromatic lines of it were stark in the claustrophobic lamplight, more real than anything else in the room. It was a peculiar tattoo, both vicious and lovely, and every time Gansey saw it, he saw something different in the pattern. Tonight, nestled in an inked glen of wicked, beautiful flowers, was a beak where before he’d seen a scythe. The ragged sound cut through the apartment again. “What fresh hell is this?” Gansey asked pleasantly. Ronan was wearing headphones as usual, so Gansey stretched forward far enough to tug them down around his neck. Music wailed faintly into the air. Ronan lifted his head. As he did, the wicked flowers on his back shifted and hid behind his sharp shoulder blades. In his lap was the half-formed raven, its head tilted back, beak agape. “I thought we were clear on what a closed door meant,” Ronan said. He held a pair of tweezers in one hand. “I thought we were clear that night was for sleeping.” Ronan shrugged. “Perhaps for you.” “Not tonight. Your pterodactyl woke me. Why is it making that sound?” In response, Ronan dipped the tweezers into a plastic baggy on the blanket in front of him. Gansey wasn’t certain he wanted to know what the gray substance was in the tweezers’ grasp. As soon as the raven heard the rustle of the bag, it made the ghastly sound again—a rasping squeal that became a gurgle as it slurped down the offering. At once, it inspired both Gansey’s compassion and his gag reflex. “Well, this is not going to do,” he said. “You’re going to have to make it stop.” “She has to be fed,” Ronan replied. The ravel gargled down another bite. This time it sounded a lot like vacuuming potato salad. “It’s only every two hours for the first six weeks.” “Can’t you keep her downstairs?” In reply, Ronan half-lifted the little bird toward him. “You tell me.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
There's your problem," Leo announced. Jason scratched his head. "Uh.... what are we looking at?" Leo thought it was pretty obvious, but Piper looked confused too. "Okay," Leo sighed, " you want the full explanation or the short explanation?" "Short," Piper and Jason said in unison. Leo gestured to the empty core. "The syncopator goes here. It's a multi-access gyro-valve to regulate flow. The doxen glass tubes on the outside? Those are filled with powerful,dangerous stuff. That glowing red one is Lemnos fire from my dad's forges. This murky stuff here? That's water from the River Styx. The stuff in the tubes is going to power the ship, right? Like radioactive rods in a nuclear reactor. But the mix ratio has to be controlled, and the timer is already operational.... That means without the syncopator, this stuff is all going to vent into the chamber at the same time, in sixty-five minutes. At that point, we'll get a very nasty reaction." Jason and Piper stared at him. Leo wondered if he'd been speaking English. Sometimes when he was agitated he slipped into Spanish, like his mom used to do in her workshop. But he was pretty sure he'd used English. "Um..." Piper cleared her throat." Could you make the short explanation shorter?" Leo palm-smacked his forehead. "Fine. One hour. Fluids mix. Bunker goes ka-boom. One square mile of forest tuns into a smoking crater." "Oh," Piper said in a small voice. "Can't you just..... turn it off?" "Gee, I didn't think of that!" Leo said. "Let me just hit this switch and - No, Piper. I can't turn it off.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus))
Like I said, when I get pissed I say a lotta shit I don't mean and what I said about you I didn't mean," he repeated, beginning to look as impatient as he sounded. "And like I said, you're old enough to learn you shouldn't do that," I repeated too, probably also looking impatient. "That isn't me," he replied. "Well, then, this obviously is eating you and that's your consequence because I have feelings and you walked all over them and you can't order me to shake it off so you can feel better. It's there, burned in my brain and I can't just forget it because you tell me to. So you have to live with that. You can't and want me gone, say it now because I'm beginning to like Betty and I met Shambles and Sunny and I'm having dinner with them tomorrow night and I'd rather not make ties when I'm going to need to hit the road because my boss is going to get rid of me." "Shambles and Sunny?" he asked. "Shambles and Sunny," I answered but didn't share more. "Now, can we just move on and do our best to work together and all other times avoid each other or do you want me to go?" He moved forward an inch and I again fought the urge to retreat. "Forgiveness is divine," he said softly and I'd never heard him talk soft. He had a very nice voice but when it went soft, it was beautiful. This also sucked. (BTW, in the beginning a lot of things sucked! :D) I mean Lauren uses this word 'sucks'. "I'm not divine," I returned. "I'm also not Ace and I'm not Babe. I'm Lauren. You don't like my name, don't call me anything at all. Now can I clean the danged table?" I had my head tipped back to look him in the eye but I could tell he was expending effort to hold his whole body still. Then he said in that soft voice, "I'm sorry, Ace." "Me too," I replied instantly being clear I didn't accept his apology...
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
By the following morning, Anthony was drunk. By afternoon, he was hungover. His head was pounding, his ears were ringing, and his brothers, who had been surprised to discover him in such a state at their club, were talking far too loudly. Anthony put his hands over his ears and groaned.Everyone was talking far too loudly. “Kate boot you out of the house?” Colin asked, grabbing a walnut from a large pewter dish in the middle their table and splitting it open with a viciously loud crack. Anthony lifted his head just far enough to glare at him. Benedict watched his brother with raised brows and the vaguest hint of a smirk. “She definitely booted him out,” he said to Colin. “Hand me one of those walnuts, will you?” Colin tossed one across the table. “Do you want the crackers as well?” Benedict shook his head and grinned as he held up a fat, leather-bound book. “Much more satisfying to smash them.” “Don’t,” Anthony bit out, his hand shooting out to grab the book, “even think about it.” “Ears a bit sensitive this afternoon, are they?” If Anthony had had a pistol, he would have shot them both, hang the noise. “If I might offer you a piece of advice?” Colin said, munching on his walnut. “You might not,” Anthony replied. He looked up. Colin was chewing with his mouth open. As this had been strictly forbidden while growing up in their household, Anthony could only deduce that Colin was displaying such poor manners only to make more noise. “Close your damned mouth,” he muttered. Colin swallowed, smacked his lips, and took a sip of his tea to wash it all down. “Whatever you did, apologize for it. I know you, and I’m getting to know Kate, and knowing what I know—” “What the hell is he talking about?” Anthony grumbled. “I think,” Benedict said, leaning back in his chair, “that he’s telling you you’re an ass.” “Just so!” Colin exclaimed. Anthony just shook his head wearily. “It’s more complicated than you think.” “It always is,” Benedict said, with sincerity so false it almost managed to sound sincere. “When you two idiots find women gullible enough to actually marry you,” Anthony snapped, “then you may presume to offer me advice. But until then ...shut up.” Colin looked at Benedict. “Think he’s angry?” Benedict quirked a brow. “That or drunk.” Colin shook his head. “No, not drunk. Not anymore, at least. He’s clearly hungover.” “Which would explain,” Benedict said with a philosophical nod, “why he’s so angry.” Anthony spread one hand over his face and pressed hard against his temples with his thumb and middle finger. “God above,” he muttered. ‘‘What would it take to get you two to leave me alone?” “Go home, Anthony,” Benedict said, his voice surprisingly gentle.
Julia Quinn (The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons, #2))
Oh,Mercer," he murmured against my temple once we'd come up for air, "we are so screwed." I pressed my face against his neck, breathing him in. "I know." "So what do we do?" Reluctantly, I tried to move away. It was hard to think when he was so close to me. "If we were good people, we'd never see each other again." His arms locked around my waist, pulling me back. "Okay,well, that's not happening. Plan B?" I smiled up at him, feeling ridiculously giddy for someone on the verge of ruining her life. "I don't have one.You?" He shook his head. "Nothing.But...look. I've spent basically my whole life pretending to be someone I'm not, faking some feelings, hiding others." Reaching down, he clasped my hand and lifted it so that our joined hands were trapped between our chests. "This thing with us is the only real thing I've had in a long time.You're the only real thing." He raised our hands and kissed my knuckles. "And I'm done pretending I don't want you." I had read a lot about swooning in the romance novels Mom had tried to hide from me,but I'd never felt in danger of doing it until now. Which was why a snarky comment was definitely called for. "Wow,Cross.I think you missed your calling.Screw demon hunting: you should clearly be writing Hallmark cards." His face broke into that crooked grin that was maybe my favorite sight in the whole world. "Shut up," he muttered before lowering his head and kissing me again. "Why is it," I said against his lips several moments later, "that we're always kissing in gross, dirty places like cellars and abandoned mills?" He laughed, pressing kisses to my jaw, then my neck. "Next time it'll be a castle, I promise.This is England, after all. Can't be too hard to find one.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
Life While-You-Wait. Performance without rehearsal. Body without alterations. Head without premeditation. I know nothing of the role I play. I only know it’s mine. I can’t exchange it. I have to guess on the spot just what this play’s all about. Ill-prepared for the privilege of living, I can barely keep up with the pace that the action demands. I improvise, although I loathe improvisation. I trip at every step over my own ignorance. I can’t conceal my hayseed manners. My instincts are for happy histrionics. Stage fright makes excuses for me, which humiliate me more. Extenuating circumstances strike me as cruel. Words and impulses you can’t take back, stars you’ll never get counted, your character like a raincoat you button on the run — the pitiful results of all this unexpectedness. If only I could just rehearse one Wednesday in advance, or repeat a single Thursday that has passed! But here comes Friday with a script I haven’t seen. Is it fair, I ask (my voice a little hoarse, since I couldn’t even clear my throat offstage). You’d be wrong to think that it’s just a slapdash quiz taken in makeshift accommodations. Oh no. I’m standing on the set and I see how strong it is. The props are surprisingly precise. The machine rotating the stage has been around even longer. The farthest galaxies have been turned on. Oh no, there’s no question, this must be the premiere. And whatever I do will become forever what I’ve done.
Wisława Szymborska (Map: Collected and Last Poems)
I never knew I never knew that everything was falling through That everyone I knew was waiting on a cue To turn and run when all I needed was the truth But that's how it's got to be It's coming down to nothing more than apathy I'd rather run the other way than stay and see The smoke and who's still standing when it clears Everyone knows I'm in Over my head Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind She's on your mind Let's rearrange I wish you were a stranger I could disengage Just say that we agree and then never change Soften a bit until we all just get along But that's disregard Find another friend and you discard As you lose the argument in a cable car Hanging above as the canyon comes between Everyone knows I'm in Over my head Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind She's on your mind Everyone knows I'm in Over my head Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind She's on your ... And suddenly I become a part of your past I'm becoming the part that don't last I'm losing you and its effortless Without a sound we lose sight of the ground In the throw around Never thought that you wanted to bring it down I won't let it go down till we torch it ourselves And everyone knows I'm in Over my head Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind She's on your mind Everyone knows She's on your mind Everyone knows I'm in over my head I'm in over my head I'm over my... Everyone knows I'm in Over my head Over my head With eight seconds left in overtime She's on your mind She's on your mind.
The Fray
[Adapted and condensed Valedictorian speech:] I'm going to ask that you seriously consider modeling your life, not in the manner of the Dalai Lama or Jesus - though I'm sure they're helpful - but something a bit more hands-on, Carassius auratus auratus, commonly known as the domestic goldfish. People make fun of the goldfish. People don't think twice about swallowing it. Jonas Ornata III, Princeton class of '42, appears in the Guinness Book of World Records for swallowing the greatest number of goldfish in a fifteen-minute interval, a cruel total of thirty-nine. In his defense, though, I don't think Jonas understood the glory of the goldfish, that they have magnificent lessons to teach us. If you live like a goldfish, you can survive the harshest, most thwarting of circumstances. You can live through hardships that make your cohorts - the guppy, the neon tetra - go belly-up at the first sign of trouble. There was an infamous incident described in a journal published by the Goldfish Society of America - a sadistic five-year-old girl threw hers to the carpet, stepped on it, not once but twice - luckily she'd done it on a shag carpet and thus her heel didn't quite come down fully on the fish. After thirty harrowing seconds she tossed it back into its tank. It went on to live another forty-seven years. They can live in ice-covered ponds in the dead of winter. Bowls that haven't seen soap in a year. And they don't die from neglect, not immediately. They hold on for three, sometimes four months if they're abandoned. If you live like a goldfish, you adapt, not across hundreds of thousands of years like most species, having to go through the red tape of natural selection, but within mere months, weeks even. You give them a little tank? They give you a little body. Big tank? Big body. Indoor. Outdoor. Fish tanks, bowls. Cloudy water, clear water. Social or alone. The most incredible thing about goldfish, however, is their memory. Everyone pities them for only remembering their last three seconds, but in fact, to be so forcibly tied to the present - it's a gift. They are free. No moping over missteps, slip-ups, faux pas or disturbing childhoods. No inner demons. Their closets are light filled and skeleton free. And what could be more exhilarating than seeing the world for the very first time, in all of its beauty, almost thirty thousand times a day? How glorious to know that your Golden Age wasn't forty years ago when you still had all you hair, but only three seconds ago, and thus, very possibly it's still going on, this very moment." I counted three Mississippis in my head, though I might have rushed it, being nervous. "And this moment, too." Another three seconds. "And this moment, too." Another. "And this moment, too.
Marisha Pessl
He wanted you to be the small, quiet girl from Abnegation," Four says softly. "He hurt you because your strength made him feel weak. No other reason." I nod and try to believe him. "The others won't be as jealous if you show some vulnerability. Even if it isn't real." "You think I have to pretend to be vulnerable?" I ask, raising an eyebrow. "Yes,I do." He takes the ice pack from me, his fingers brushing mine, and holds it against my head himself. I put my hand down, too eager to relax my arm to object. Four stands up. I stare at the hem of his T-shirt. Sometimes I see him as just another person, and sometimes I feel the sight of him in my gut, like a deep ache. "You're going to want to march into breakfast tomorrow and show your attackers they had no effect on you," he adds, "but you should let that bruise on your cheek show, and keep your head down." The idea nauseates me. "I don't think I can do that," I say hollowly. I lift my eyes to his. "You have to." "I don't think you get it." Heat rises into my face. "They touched me." His entire body tightens at my words, his hand clenching around the ice pack. "Touched you," he repeates, his dark eyes cold. "Not...in the way you're thinking." I clear my throat. I didn't realize when I said it how awkward it would be to talk about. "But...almost." I look away. He is silent and still for so long that eventually,I have to say something. "What is it?" "I don't want to say this," he says, "but I feel like I have to.It is more important for you to be safe than right, for the time being. Understand?" His straight eyebrows are drawn low over his eyes. My stomach writhes, partly because I know he makes a good point but I don't want to admit it, and partly because I want something I don't know how to express; I want to press against te space between us until it disappears. I nod. "But please,when you see an opportunity..." He pesses his hand to my cheek,cold and strong, and tilts my head up so I have to look at him. His eyes glint. They look almost predatory. "Ruin them." I laugh shakily. "You're a little scary, Four." "Do me a favor," he says, "and don't call me that." "What should I call you,then?" "Nothing." He takes his hand from my face. "Yet.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
With a deliberate shrug, he stepped free of the hold on his shoulder. “Tell me something, boys,” he drawled. “Do you wear that leather to turn each other on? I mean, is it a dick thing with you all?” Butch got slammed so hard against the door that his back teeth rattled. The model shoved his perfect face into Butch’s. “I’d watch your mouth, if I were you.” “Why bother, when you’re keeping an eye on it for me? You gonna kiss me now?” A growl like none Butch had ever heard came out of the guy. “Okay, okay.” The one who seemed the most normal came forward. “Back off, Rhage. Hey, come on. Let’s relax.” It took a minute before the model let go. “That’s right. We’re cool,” Mr. Normal muttered, clapping his buddy on the back before looking at Butch. “Do yourself a favor and shut the hell up.” Butch shrugged. “Blondie’s dying to get his hands on me. I can’t help it.” The guy launched back at Butch, and Mr. Normal rolled his eyes, letting his friend go this time. The fist that came sailing at jaw level snapped Butch’s head to one side. As the pain hit, Butch let his own rage fly. The fear for Beth, the pent-up hatred of these lowlifes, the frustration about his job, all of it came out of him. He tackled the bigger man, taking him down onto the floor. The guy was momentarily surprised, as if he hadn’t expected Butch’s speed or strength, and Butch took advantage of the hesitation. He clocked Blondie in the mouth as payback and then grabbed the guy’s throat. One second later, Butch was flat on his back with the man sitting on his chest like a parked car. The guy took Butch’s face into his hand and squeezed, crunching the features together. It was nearly impossible to breathe, and Butch panted shallowly. “Maybe I’ll find your wife,” the guy said, “and do her a couple of times. How’s that sound?" “Don’t have one.” “Then I’m coming after your girlfriend.” Butch dragged in some air. “Got no woman.” “So if the chicks won’t do you, what makes you think I’d want to?” “Was hoping to piss you off.” “Now why’d you want to do that?” Blondie asked. “If I attacked first”—Butch hauled more breath into his lungs—“your boys wouldn’t have let us fight. Would’ve killed me first. Before I had a chance at you.” Blondie loosened his grip a little and laughed as he stripped Butch of his wallet, keys, and cell phone. “You know, I kind of like this big dummy,” the guy drawled. Someone cleared a throat. Rather officiously. Blondie leaped to his feet, and Butch rolled over, gasping. When he looked up, he was convinced he was hallucinating. Standing in the hall was a little old man dressed in livery. Holding a silver tray. “Pardon me, gentlemen. Dinner will be served in about fifteen minutes.” “Hey, are those the spinach crepes I like so much?” Blondie said, going for the tray. “Yes, Sire.” “Hot damn.” The other men clustered around the butler, taking what he offered. Along with cocktail napkins. Like they didn’t want to drop anything on the floor. What the hell was this? “Might I ask a favor?” the butler said. Mr. Normal nodded with vigor. “Bring out another tray of these and we’ll kill anything you want for you.” Yeah, guess the guy wasn’t really normal. Just relatively so. The butler smiled as if touched. “If you’re going to bloody the human, would you be good enough to do it in the backyard?” “No problem.” Mr. Normal popped another crepe in his mouth. “Damn, Rhage, you’re right. These are awesome.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
People are always thinking they can use the Lord to get their own way-- all they have to do is pray and God's gonna take away all their suffering and give them what they whatever they ask for. But it don't work that way. God's doing His business, and it's up to us to be serving Him, not the other way around." Then why do people pray at all? My papa asked Jesus to help him escape with me when I was just a little girl. But Jesus didn't help us." Praying ain't about asking for your own way. It's all about talking things over with God, just like you and me are talking things over. In the end, you have to be trusting the Lord to do what's best." So the Lord thought it was best that my papa died and my mama was sold?" Delia slowly shook her head. "I don't know, honey, I just don't know. The hardest thing of all to understand is why a loving God keeps letting us suffer... I don't know all the answers myself. I seen my share of suffering, believe me. But there two things I do know for sure. One is that God loves us... And the second thing is that God's always in control of everything that happens. When bad things come our way and it starts looking like He don't love us, all I can say is that maybe we ain't knowing everything He knows." Kitty's tears started falling again. "I still don't understand." Remember what you told me about the fighting up in Charleston? How you was standing on that porch, not able to see what's going on? This here's the same thing. We're standing in the smoke, hearing the noise [of the battle] all around us, and we don't know what God's doing because we can't see things clearly as He sees them. But He's gonna make everything turn our okay when the smoke clears. When it does, God's gonna be the winner and all our suffering here on earth is gonna finall make sense. We're gonna look in Jesus' face and say, 'O Lord, it was worth it all.
Lynn Austin (A Light to My Path (Refiner's Fire, #3))
Contemplations on the belly When pregnant with our first, Dean and I attended a child birth class. There were about 15 other couples, all 6-8 months pregnant, just like us. As an introduction, the teacher asked us to each share what had been our favorite part of pregnancy and least favorite part. I was surprised by how many of the men and women there couldn't name a favorite part. When it was my turn, I said, "My least favorite has been the nausea, and my favorite is the belly." We were sitting in the back of the room, so it was noticeable when several heads turned to get a look at me. Dean then spoke. "Yeah, my least favorite is that she was sick, and my favorite is the belly too." Now nearly every head turned to gander incredulously at the freaky couple who actually liked the belly. Dean and I laughed about it later, but we were sincere. The belly is cool. It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, an unmistakable sign of what's going on inside, the wigwam for our little squirmer, the mark of my undeniable superpower of baby-making. I loved the belly and its freaky awesomeness, and especially the flutters, kicks, and bumps from within. Twins belly is a whole new species. I marvel at the amazing uterus within and skin without with their unceasing ability to stretch (Reed Richards would be impressed). I still have great admiration for the belly, but I also fear it. Sometimes I wonder if I should build a shrine to it, light some incense, offer up gifts in an attempt both to honor it and avoid its wrath. It does seem more like a mythic monstrosity you'd be wise not to awaken than a bulbous appendage. It had NEEDS. It has DEMANDS. It will not be taken lightly (believe me, there's nothing light about it). I must give it its own throne, lying sideways atop a cushion, or it will CRUSH MY ORGANS. This belly is its own creature, is subject to different laws of growth and gravity. No, it's not a cute belly, not a benevolent belly. It would have tea with Fin Fang Foom; it would shake hands with Cthulhu. It's no wonder I'm so restless at night, having to sleep with one eye open. Nevertheless, I honor you, belly, and the work you do to protect and grow my two precious daughters inside. Truly, they must be even more powerful than you to keep you enslaved to their needs. It's quite clear that out of all of us, I'm certainly not the one in control. I am here to do your bidding, belly and babies. I am your humble servant.
Shannon Hale
Friendship is a difficult thing to define. Oscar here is my oldest friend. How would you define friendship, Oscar?" Oscar grunts slightly, as though the answer is obvious. "Friendship is about choice and chemistry. It cannot be defined." "But surely there's something more to it than that." "It is a willingness to overlook faults and to accept them. I would let a friend hurt me without striking back," he says, smiling. "But only once." De Souza laughs. "Bravo, Oscar, I can always rely on you to distill an argument down to its purest form. What do you think, Dayel?" The Indian rocks his head from side to side, proud that he has been asked to speak next. "Friendship is different for each person and it changes throughout our lives. At age six it is about holding hands with your best friend. At sixteen it is about the adventure ahead. At sixty it is about reminiscing." He holds up a finger. "You cannot define it with any one word, although honesty is perhaps the closest word-" "No, not honesty," Farhad interrupts. "On the contrary, we often have to protect our friends from what we truly think. It is like an unspoken agreement. We ignore each other's faults and keep our confidences. Friendship isn't about being honest. The truth is too sharp a weapon to wield around someone we trust and respect. Friendship is about self-awareness. We see ourselves through the eyes of our friends. They are like a mirror that allows us to judge how we are traveling." De Souza clears his throat now. I wonder if he is aware of the awe that he inspires in others. I suspect he is too intelligent and too human to do otherwise. "Friendship cannot be defined," he says sternly. "The moment we begin to give reasons for being friends with someone we begin to undermine the magic of the relationship. Nobody wants to know that they are loved for their money or their generosity or their beauty or their wit. Choose one motive and it allows a person to say, 'is that the only reason?'" The others laugh. De Souza joins in with them. This is a performance. He continues: "Trying to explain why we form particular friendships is like trying to tell someone why we like a certain kind of music or a particular food. We just do.
Michael Robotham (The Night Ferry)
Thank you for inviting me here today " I said my voice sounding nothing like me. "I'm here to testify about things I've seen and experienced myself. I'm here because the human race has become more powerful than ever. We've gone to the moon. Our crops resist diseases and pests. We can stop and restart a human heart. And we've harvested vast amounts of energy for everything from night-lights to enormous super-jets. We've even created new kinds of people, like me. "But everything mankind" - I frowned - "personkind has accomplished has had a price. One that we're all gonna have to pay." I heard coughing and shifting in the audience. I looked down at my notes and all the little black words blurred together on the page. I just could not get through this. I put the speech down picked up the microphone and came out from behind the podium. "Look " I said. "There's a lot of official stuff I could quote and put up on the screen with PowerPoint. But what you need to know what the world needs to know is that we're really destroying the earth in a bigger and more catastrophic was than anyone has ever imagined. "I mean I've seen a lot of the world the only world we have. There are so many awesome beautiful tings in it. Waterfalls and mountains thermal pools surrounded by sand like white sugar. Field and field of wildflowers. Places where the ocean crashes up against a mountainside like it's done for hundreds of thousands of years. "I've also seen concrete cities with hardly any green. And rivers whose pretty rainbow surfaces came from an oil leak upstream. Animals are becoming extinct right now in my lifetime. Just recently I went through one of the worst hurricanes ever recorded. It was a whole lot worse because of huge worldwide climatic changes caused by... us. We the people." .... "A more perfect union While huge corporations do whatever they want to whoever they want and other people live in subway tunnels Where's the justice of that Kids right here in America go to be hungry every night while other people get four-hundred-dollar haircuts. Promote the general welfare Where's the General welfare in strip-mining toxic pesticides industrial solvents being dumped into rivers killing everything Domestic Tranquility Ever sleep in a forest that's being clear-cut You'd be hearing chain saws in your head for weeks. The blessings of liberty Yes. I'm using one of the blessings of liberty right now my freedom of speech to tell you guys who make the laws that the very ground you stand on the house you live in the children you tuck in at night are all in immediate catastrophic danger.
James Patterson (The Final Warning (Maximum Ride, #4))
You were in business making meth? Do you have any idea what that drug does to people?" We weren't givin' it away," Concise snaps. "If someone was fool enough to mess himself up, that was his problem." I shake my head, disgusted. "If you build it, they will come." If you build it," Concise says, "you cover your rent. If you build it, you pay off the loan sharks. If you build it, you put shoes on your kid's feet and food in his belly and maybe even show up every now and then with a toy that every other goddamn kid in the school already has." He looks up at me. "If you build it, maybe your son don't have to, when he grow up." It is amazing -- the secrets you can keep, even when you are living in close quarters. "You didn't tell me." Concise gets up and braces his hands against the upper bunk. "His mama OD'd. He lives with her sister, who can't always be bothered to take care of him. I try to send money so that I know he's eatin' breakfast and gettin' school lunch tickets. I got a little bank account for him, too. Jus' in case he don't want to be part of a street gang, you know? Jus' in case he want to be an astronaut or a football player or somethin'." He digs out a small notebook from his bunk. "I'm writin' him. A diary, like. So he know who his daddy is, by the time he learn to read." It is always easier to judge someone than to figure out what might have pushed him to the point where he might do something illegal or morally reprehensible, because he honestly believes he'll be better off. The police will dismiss Wilton Reynolds as a drug dealer and celebrate one more criminal permanently removed from society. A middle-class father who meets Concise on the street, with his tough talk and his shaved head, will steer clear of him, never guessing that he, to, has a little boy waiting for him at home. The people who read about me in the paper, stealing my daughter during a custody visit, will assume I am the worst sort of nightmare.
Jodi Picoult (Vanishing Acts)
Coddly slammed a fist on the table. “No one will take you seriously if you do not act decisively.” There was a beat of silence after his voice stopped echoing around the room, and the entire table sat motionless. “Fine,” I responded calmly. “You’re fired.” Coddly laughed, looking at the other gentlemen at the table. “You can’t fire me, Your Highness.” I tilted my head, staring at him. “I assure you, I can. There’s no one here who outranks me at the moment, and you are easily replaceable.” Though she tried to be discreet, I saw Lady Brice purse her lips together, clearly determined not to laugh. Yes, I definitely had an ally in her. “You need to fight!” he insisted. “No,” I answered firmly. “A war would add unnecessary strain to an already stressful moment and would cause an upheaval between us and the country we are now bound to by marriage. We will not fight.” Coddly lowered his chin and squinted. “Don’t you think you’re being too emotional about this?” I stood, my chair screeching behind me as I moved. “I’m going to assume that you aren’t implying by that statement that I’m actually being too female about this. Because, yes, I am emotional.” I strode around the opposite side of the table, my eyes trained on Coddly. “My mother is in a bed with tubes down her throat, my twin is now on a different continent, and my father is holding himself together by a thread.” Stopping across from him, I continued. “I have two younger brothers to keep calm in the wake of all this, a country to run, and six boys downstairs waiting for me to offer one of them my hand.” Coddly swallowed, and I felt only the tiniest bit of guilt for the satisfaction it brought me. “So, yes, I am emotional right now. Anyone in my position with a soul would be. And you, sir, are an idiot. How dare you try to force my hand on something so monumental on the grounds of something so small? For all intents and purposes, I am queen, and you will not coerce me into anything.” I walked back to the head of the table. “Officer Leger?” “Yes, Your Highness?” “Is there anything on this agenda that can’t wait until tomorrow?” “No, Your Highness.” “Good. You’re all dismissed. And I suggest you all remember who’s in charge here before we meet again.
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
I am not my uncle. I am not my father, but I do subscribe to the twenty rules he taught me from the cradle. One, if you’re afraid to fight, then you’ll never win. Two, in times of tragedy and turmoil, you’ll learn who your true friends are. Treasure them because they are few and far between. Three, know your enemies, and never become your own worst one. Four, be grateful for those enemies. They will keep you honest and ever striving to better yourself. Five, listen to all good advice, but never substitute someone else’s judgment for your own. Six, all men and women lie. But never lie to yourself. Seven, many will flatter you. Befriend the ones who don’t, for they will remind you that you’re human and not infallible. Eight, never fear the truth. It’s the lies that will destroy you. Nine, your worst decisions will always be those that are made out of fear. Think all matters through with a clear head. Ten, your mistakes won’t define you, but your memories, good and bad, will. Eleven, be grateful for your mistakes as they will tell you who and what you’re not. Twelve, don’t be afraid to examine the past, it’s how you learn what you don’t want to do again. Thirteen, there’s a lot to be said for not knowing better. Fourteen, all men die. Not everyone lives. Fifteen, on your deathbed, your greatest regrets will be what you didn’t do. Sixteen, don’t be afraid to love. Yes, it’s a weakness that can be used against you. But it’s also a source of the greatest strength you will ever know. Seventeen, the past is history written in stone that can’t be altered. The future is transitory and never guaranteed. Today is the only thing you can change for certain. Have the courage to do so and make the most of it because it could be all you’ll ever have. Eighteen, you can be in a crowd, surrounded by people, and still be lonely. Nineteen, love all, regardless of what they do. Trust only those you have to. Harm none until they harm you. And twenty… Never be afraid to kill or destroy your enemies. They won’t hesitate to kill or destroy you.” - Darling Cruel
Sherrilyn Kenyon
As Harry Potter was the only other thing I was passionate about, the doctors gave consent for me to leave the hospital and collect the fifth Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, from the local book shop. I was so ecstatic to have the book and excited to begin reading it, but there was never any hint of your imminent arrival and the way you would change my life so drastically. Luna, you instantly captivated me. I didn’t know why but there was something about you with your upside-down magazine, straggly blonde hair, and the honest, abashed way you stared at people without blinking that fascinated and perplexed me at once. You laughed hysterically at one of Ron’s quips and didn’t stop to excuse yourself and feel ashamed when it became clear that everyone found you strange. Throughout the book, I found myself waiting for your brief appearances and wanting to know more about you and why you were the way you were. You baffled me, not because you were odd (though indeed you were), but because you were… perfect. But it was a different kind of perfect to the perfectly thin, smiling magazine girls I simultaneously idolised and reviled. It was the way you carried your oddness like it was the most natural thing in the world. You didn’t market your oddness as your defining feature the way some insecure teenagers do, in guise of confidence and security. And nor were you oblivious to the awkward and uncomfortable feelings your oddness provoked in others. When, unable to comprehend how you wore your oddness so honestly and unashamedly, your peers reverted to mockery and bullying, you recognized this as a reflection of their own deep-seated insecurity and calmly let them carry on, quite above your head. You weren’t trying hard to present a certain aspect of yourself that would boldly identify you in the world. And that’s when it occurred to me how bizarre and positively ridiculous it was to apply the word “weird” to describe you, when you represented the most natural and unpretentious state possible to be; you were yourself.
Evanna Lynch
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it. The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now. “Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.” My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament. “I haven't been wearing any cologne.” “Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.” “What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words. “I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.” His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed. “Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?” “Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.” He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed. “What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.” A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat. “Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again. “People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.” I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone. “Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...” “Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me. My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura. “Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.” He made no attempt to move out of the doorway. “You smell like pears with freesia undertones.” “Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
He slouches,' DeeDee contributes. 'True--he needs to work on his posture,' Thelma says. 'You guys,' I say. 'I'm serious,' Thelma says. 'What if you get married? Don't you want to go to fancy dinners with him and be proud?' 'You guys. We are not getting married!' 'I love his eyes,' Jolene says. 'If your kids get his blue eyes and your dark hair--wouldn't that be fabulous?' 'The thing is,' Thelma says, 'and yes, I know, this is the tricky part--but I'm thinking Bliss has to actually talk to him. Am I right? Before they have their brood of brown-haired, blue-eyed children?' I swat her. "I'm not having Mitchell's children!' 'I'm sorry--what?' Thelma says. Jolene is shaking her head and pressing back laughter. Her expressing says, Shhh, you crazy girl! But I don't care. If they're going to embarrass me, then I'll embarrass them right back. 'I said'--I raise my voice--'I am not having Mitchell Truman's children!' Jolene turns beet red, and she and DeeDee dissolve into mad giggles. 'Um, Bliss?' Thelma says. Her gaze travels upward to someone behind me. The way she sucks on her lip makes me nervous. 'Okaaay, I think maybe I won't turn around,' I announce. A person of the male persuasion clears his throat. 'Definitely not turning around,' I say. My cheeks are burning. It's freaky and alarming how much heat is radiating from one little me. 'If you change your mind, we might be able to work something out,' the person of the male persuasion says. 'About the children?' DeeDee asks. 'Or the turning around?' 'DeeDee!' Jolene says. 'Both,' says the male-persuasion person. I shrink in my chair, but I raise my hand over my head and wave. 'Um, hi,' I say to the person behind me whom I'm still not looking at. 'I'm Bliss.' Warm fingers clasp my own. 'Pleased to meet you,' says the male-persuasion person. 'I'm Mitchell.' 'Hi, Mitchell.' I try to pull my hand from his grasp, but he won't let go. 'Um, bye now!' I tug harder. No luck. Thelma, DeeDee, and Jolene are close to peeing their pants. Fine. I twist around and give Mitchell the quickest of glances. His expressions is amused, and I grow even hotter. He squeezes my hand, then lets go. 'Just keep me in the loop if you do decide to bear my children. I'm happy to help out.' With that, he stride jauntily to the food line. Once he's gone, we lost it. Peals of laughter resound from our table, and the others in the cafeteria look at us funny. We laugh harder. 'Did you see!' Thelma gasps. 'Did you see how proud he was?' 'You improve his posture!' Jolene says. 'I'm so glad, since that was my deepest desire,' I say. 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to quit school and become a nun.' 'I can't believe you waved at him,' DeeDee says. 'Your hand was like a little periscope,' Jolene says. 'Or, no--like a white surrender flag.' 'It was a surrender flag. I was surrendering myself to abject humiliation.' 'Oh, please,' Thelma says, pulling me into a sideways hug. 'Think of it this way: Now you've officially talked to him.
Lauren Myracle (Bliss (Crestview Academy, #1))
The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright-- And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night. The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done-- "It's very rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!" The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry. You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky: No birds were flying over head-- There were no birds to fly. The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away," They said, "it WOULD be grand!" "If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year, Do you suppose," the Walrus said, "That they could get it clear?" "I doubt it," said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear. "O Oysters, come and walk with us!" The Walrus did beseech. "A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, Along the briny beach: We cannot do with more than four, To give a hand to each." The eldest Oyster looked at him. But never a word he said: The eldest Oyster winked his eye, And shook his heavy head-- Meaning to say he did not choose To leave the oyster-bed. But four young oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were clean and neat-- And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn't any feet. Four other Oysters followed them, And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last, And more, and more, and more-- All hopping through the frothy waves, And scrambling to the shore. The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low: And all the little Oysters stood And waited in a row. "The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax-- Of cabbages--and kings-- And why the sea is boiling hot-- And whether pigs have wings." "But wait a bit," the Oysters cried, "Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" "No hurry!" said the Carpenter. They thanked him much for that. "A loaf of bread," the Walrus said, "Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed-- Now if you're ready Oysters dear, We can begin to feed." "But not on us!" the Oysters cried, Turning a little blue, "After such kindness, that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said "Do you admire the view? "It was so kind of you to come! And you are very nice!" The Carpenter said nothing but "Cut us another slice: I wish you were not quite so deaf-- I've had to ask you twice!" "It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick, After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!" The Carpenter said nothing but "The butter's spread too thick!" "I weep for you," the Walrus said. "I deeply sympathize." With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size. Holding his pocket handkerchief Before his streaming eyes. "O Oysters," said the Carpenter. "You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?" But answer came there none-- And that was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.
Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2))
I will love you with no regard to the actions of our enemies or the jealousies of actors. I will love you with no regard to the outrage of certain parents or the boredom of certain friends. I will love you no matter what is served in the world’s cafeterias or what game is played at each and every recess. I will love you no matter how many fire drills we are all forced to endure, and no matter what is drawn upon the blackboard in a blurring, boring chalk. I will love you no matter how many mistakes I make when trying to reduce fractions, and no matter how difficult it is to memorize the periodic table. I will love you no matter what your locker combination was, or how you decided to spend your time during study hall. I will love you no matter how your soccer team performed in the tournament or how many stains I received on my cheerleading uniform. I will love you if I never see you again, and I will love you if I see you every Tuesday. I will love you if you cut your hair and I will love you if you cut the hair of others. I will love you if you abandon your baticeering, and I will love you if you retire from the theater to take up some other, less dangerous occupation. I will love you if you drop your raincoat on the floor instead of hanging it up and I will love you if you betray your father. I will love you even if you announce that the poetry of Edgar Guest is the best in the world and even if you announce that the work of Zilpha Keatley Snyder is unbearably tedious. I will love you if you abandon the theremin and take up the harmonica and I will love you if you donate your marmosets to the zoo and your tree frogs to M. I will love you as the starfish loves a coral reef and as kudzu loves trees, even if the oceans turn to sawdust and the trees fall in the forest without anyone around to hear them. I will love you as the pesto loves the fetuccini and as the horseradish loves the miyagi, as the tempura loves the ikura and the pepperoni loves the pizza. I will love you as the manatee loves the head of lettuce and as the dark spot loves the leopard, as the leech loves the ankle of a wader and as a corpse loves the beak of the vulture. I will love you as the doctor loves his sickest patient and a lake loves its thirstiest swimmer. I will love you as the beard loves the chin, and the crumbs love the beard, and the damp napkin loves the crumbs, and the precious document loves the dampness in the napkin, and the squinting eye of the reader loves the smudged print of the document, and the tears of sadness love the squinting eye as it misreads what is written. I will love you as the iceberg loves the ship, and the passengers love the lifeboat, and the lifeboat loves the teeth of the sperm whale, and the sperm whale loves the flavor of naval uniforms. I will love you as a child loves to overhear the conversations of its parents, and the parents love the sound of their own arguing voices, and as the pen loves to write down the words these voices utter in a notebook for safekeeping. I will love you as a shingle loves falling off a house on a windy day and striking a grumpy person across the chin, and as an oven loves malfunctioning in the middle of roasting a turkey. I will love you as an airplane loves to fall from a clear blue sky and as an escalator loves to entangle expensive scarves in its mechanisms. I will love you as a wet paper towel loves to be crumpled into a ball and thrown at a bathroom ceiling and an eraser loves to leave dust in the hairdos of the people who talk too much. I will love you as a taxi loves the muddy splash of a puddle and as a library loves the patient tick of a clock. I will love you as a thief loves a gallery and as a crow loves a murder, as a cloud loves bats and as a range loves braes. I will love you as misfortune loves orphans, as fire loves innocence and as justice loves to sit and watch while everything goes wrong.
Lemony Snicket (The Beatrice Letters)