Closed Mind Quotes

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

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.
Isaac Asimov
I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.
Johnny Cash
My parents danced together, her head on his chest. Both had their eyes closed. They seemed so perfectly content. If you can find someone like that, someone who you can hold and close your eyes to the world with, then you're lucky. Even if it only lasts for a minute or a day. The image of them gently swaying to the music is how I picture love in my mind even after all these years.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Have you kissed many boys before?" he asked quietly. His question brought my mind back into focus. I raised an eyebrow. "Boys? That's an assumption." Noah laughed, the sound low and husky. "Girls, then?" "No." "Not many girls? Or not many boys?" "Neither," I said. Let him make of that what he would. "How many?" "Why—" "I am taking away that word. You are no longer allowed to use it. How many?" My cheeks flushed, but my voice was steady as I answered. "One." At this, Noah leaned in impossibly closer, the slender muscles in his forearm flexing as he bent his elbow to bring himself nearer to me, almost touching. I was heady with the proximity of him and grew legitimately concerned that my heart might explode. Maybe Noah wasn't asking. Maybe I didn't mind. I closed my eyes and felt Noah's five o' clock graze my jaw, and the faintest whisper of his lips at my ear. "He was doing it wrong.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
There was nothing wrong with fire … as long as you didn’t stand too close. Something to keep in mind.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
For once, he slept first. She lay in the dark, listening to him breathe, stealing a little of his warmth as her own body cooled. Since he was asleep, she stroked his hair. "I love you," she murmured. "I love you so much, I'm stupid about it." With a sigh, she settled down, closed her eyes, and willed her mind to empty. Beside her, Roarke smiled into the dark. He never slept first.
J.D. Robb (Ceremony in Death (In Death, #5))
Clary, Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do. I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I dont want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that. I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you can't have and wanting what you shouldn't want. And I shouldn't want you. All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting its shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I can't look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me. The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's; I can track him to where my father's hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go. I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you. _Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency -- the belief that the here and now is all there is.
Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind)
He whispers, "You have no idea how much I've thought about you. How many times I've dreamt"-he takes a tight breath- "how many times I've dreamt about being this close to you." He moves to run a hand through his hair before he changes his mind. Looks down. Looks up. "God, Juliette, I'd follow you anywhere. You're the only good thing left in this world.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
I'd thought once, actually, of taking your mind, if you asked. I'd thought I could help you fall asleep at night." He opened his mouth to say something. Shut it again. His face closed for a moment, his unreadable mask falling into place. He spoke softly. "But that wouldn't be fair; for after I slept you'd be left awake, with no one to help you sleep.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things--childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves--that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.
Salman Rushdie (Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991)
Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe their husband is about to return and need his shoes.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Somewhere someone is thinking of you. Someone is calling you an angel. This person is using celestial colors to paint your image. Someone is making you into a vision so beautiful that it can only live in the mind. Someone is thinking of the way your breath escapes your lips when you are touched. How your eyes close and your jaw tightens with concentration as you give pleasure a home. These thoughts are saving a life somewhere right now. In some airless apartment on a dark, urine stained, whore lined street, someone is calling out to you silently and you are answering without even being there. So crystalline. So pure. Such life saving power when you smile. You will never know how you have cauterized my wounds. So sad that we will never touch. How it hurts me to know that I will never be able to give you everything I have
Henry Rollins
I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.
Gerry Spence (How to Argue and Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Every Day)
Flashing Lights In My Mind Going Back to The Time Playing Games in the Street Kicking Balls with My Feet Theres a Numb in my toes Standing close to the edge Theres a ball of my clothes at the end of your bed As I feel myself fall Make a joke of it all
One Direction
<…>When I was done speaking I felt his body had gone still again, stone still. And silent. Then he asked quietly, "Nightmare?" "Nightmare," I replied firmly. Ty didn't move. By a miracle, I held it together. Then he moved but it was to rest his chin on my shoulder and I closed my eyes because I needed him to go, go, go so I could fall apart again on my own. Then he said, "Your nightmare, mama, was my dream." My heart clenched. He kept going. "Never had a home until you gave me one." My breath started sticking. "Never had anyone give to me the way you gave to me." My breath stopped sticking and clogged. "Never thought of findin' a woman who I wanted to have my baby." Oh God. "Never had light in my life, never, not once, I lived wild but I didn't burn bright until you shined your light on me." Oh God. "Whacked, fuckin' insane, but, at night, you curled in front of me, didn't mind I did that time that wasn't mine 'cause it meant I walked out to you." He had to stop. He had to. He didn't. "Your nightmare," he whispered, turned his head and against my neck he finished, "my dream."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
Don't watch" the redheaded mind reader whispered. I closed my eyes.
Stephenie Meyer (The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner)
The missing aren't missing, they're only departed, All minds keep all thoughts - so like gold - closely guarded,
Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1))
The most fatal illusion is the settled point of view. Since life is growth and motion, a fixed point of view kills anybody who has one.
Brooks Atkinson
Insecure people often falsify the past, in order to make the future pure.
Shannon L. Alder
Have you ever felt really close to someone? So close that you can't understand why you and the other person have two separate bodies, two separate skins?
Nancy Garden (Annie on My Mind)
It does take great maturity to understand that the opinion we are arguing for is merely the hypothesis we favor, necessarily imperfect, probably transitory, which only very limited minds can declare to be a certainty or a truth.
Milan Kundera (Encounter)
So that’s how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that's stolen from us - that's snatched right out of our hands - even if we are left completely changed, with only the outer layer of skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw ever nearer to the end of our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. Leaving behind a feeling of insurmountable emptiness... Maybe, in some distant place, everything is already, quietly, lost. Or at least there exists a silent place where everything can disappear, melting together in a single, overlapping figure. And as we live our lives we discover - drawing toward us the thin threads attached to each - what has been lost. I closed my eyes and tried to bring to mind as many beautiful lost things as I could. Drawing them closer, holding on to them. Knowing all the while that their lives are fleeting.
Haruki Murakami (Sputnik Sweetheart)
And he leans in, so carefully. Breathing and not breathing and hearts beating between us and he’s so close, he’s so close and I can’t feel my legs anymore. I can’t feel my fingers or the cold or the emptiness of this room because all I feel is him, everywhere,filling everything and he whispers “Please.” He says “Please don’t shoot me for this.” And he kisses me. His lips are softer than anything I've ever known, soft like a first snowfall, like biting into cotton candy, like melting and floating and being weightless in water. It’s sweet, it’s so effortlessly sweet. And then it changes. “Oh God—” He kisses me again, this time stronger, desperate, like he has to have me, like he’s dying to memorize the feel of my lips against his own. The taste of him is making me crazy; he’s all heat and desire and peppermint and I want more. I've just begun reeling him in, pulling him into me when he breaks away. He’s breathing like he’s lost his mind andhe’s looking at me like something has brokeninside of him, like he’s woken up to find that his nightmares were just that, that they never existed, that it was all just a bad dream that felt far too real but now he’s awake and he’s safe and everything is going to be okay and I’m falling. I’m falling apart and into his heart and I’m a disaster.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
Rainer Maria Rilke
The sharpest minds often ruin their lives by overthinking the next step, while the dull win the race with eyes closed.
Bethany Brookbank (Write like no one is reading)
Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world. Faith is, above all, openness - an act of trust in the unknown.
Alan W. Watts (The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are)
What do you want to show me?" "Nothing, really. I just want to be alone with you for a minute." He pulled her to the back of the driveway, where they were almost completely hidden by a line of trees and the RV and the garage. "Seriously?" she said. "That was so lame." "I know," he said, turning to her. "Next time, I'll just say, 'Eleanor, follow me down this dark alley, I want to kiss you.'" She didn't roll her eyes. She took a breath, then closed her mouth. He was learning how to catch her off guard. She pushed her hands deeper in her pockets, so he put his hands on her elbows. "Next time," he said, "I'll just say, 'Eleanor, duck behind these bushes with me, I'm going to lose my mind if I don't kiss you.'" She didn't move, so he thought it was probably okay to touch her face. Her skin was as soft as it looked, white and smooth as freckled porcelain. "I'll just say, 'Eleanor, follow me down this rabbit hole...'" He laid his thumb on her lips to see if she'd pull away. She didn't. He leaned closer. He wanted to close his eyes, but he didn't trust her not to leave him standing there.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
It's the idea that people living close to nature tend to be noble. It's seeing all those sunsets that does it. You can't watch a sunset and then go off and set fire to your neighbor's tepee. Living close to nature is wonderful for your mental health.
Daniel Quinn (Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (Ishmael, #1))
I have lots of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don't worry. It's all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don't know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky way soft cloud innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere: Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes into everything is one thing. It's a dream already ended. There's nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.
Jack Kerouac (The Portable Jack Kerouac)
Living is hard. And every day our feet get heavier and we pick up more baggage. So, we stop and take a breath, close our eyes, reset our minds. It's natural. As lond as you open your eyes and keep going.
Cora Carmack (Faking It (Losing It, #2))
I don't let anyone touch me," I finally said. Why not?" Why not? Because I was tired of men. Hanging in doorways, standing too close, their smell of beer or fifteen-year-old whiskey. Men who didn't come to the emergency room with you, men who left on Christmas Eve. Men who slammed the security gates, who made you love them then changed their minds. Forests of boys, their ragged shrubs full of eyes following you, grabbing your breasts, waving their money, eyes already knocking you down, taking what they felt was theirs. (...) It was a play and I knew how it ended, I didn't want to audition for any of the roles. It was no game, no casual thrill. It was three-bullet Russian roulette.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
Once you've decided that something's absolutely true, you've closed your mind on it, and a closed mind doesn't go anywhere. Question everything. That's what education's all about.
David Eddings (Belgarath the Sorcerer)
This girl is destroying me. A girl who has spent the last year in an insane asylum. A girl who would try to shoot me dead for kissing her. A girl who ran off with another man just to get away from me. Of course this is the girl I would fall for. I close a hand over my mouth. I am losing my mind.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
I kissed him. His arms slid around me and drew me close, and we stayed like that for a while, my hands tangled in his hair, his cool lips on mine. My earlier thoughts in the crypt came back to haunt me, and I shoved them into the darkest corner of my mind. I would not give him up. I would find a way to have a happy ending, for both of us.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
Many people are unhappy and are not experiencing life to its fullest because they’ve closed their hearts to compassion, they are motivated by only what they want and what they think they need. They rarely do anything for anybody else unless they have an ulterior goal in mind. They are self-involved and self-centered.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
Let go of your mind and then be mindful. Close your ears and listen!
Rumi (Love's Ripening: Rumi on the Heart's Journey)
Ultimately — or at the limit — in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes. 'The necessary condition for an image is sight,'Janouch told Kafka; and Kafka smiled and replied: 'We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.
Roland Barthes (Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography)
I closed my eyes. I forced myself to relax, to remember that here, now, and always, I was the predator.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
Do you know what it feels like to be aware of every star, every blade of grass? Yes. You do. You call it 'opening your eyes again.' But you do it for a moment. We have done it for eternity. No sleep, no rest, just endless... endless experience, endless awareness. Of everything. All the time. How we envy you, envy you! Lucky humans, who can close your minds to the endless deeps of space! You have this thing you call... boredom? That is the rarest talent in the universe! We heard a song — it went 'Twinkle twinkle little star....' What power! What wondrous power! You can take a billion trillion tons of flaming matter, a furnace of unimaginable strength, and turn it into a little song for children! You build little worlds, little stories, little shells around your minds, and that keeps infinity at bay and allows you to wake up in the morning without screaming!
Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32; Tiffany Aching, #2))
Sitting down on the bed, my mind went blank again. I laid my head on the pillow and closed my eyes. Dad is dead. My father is dead and I will never be able to talk to him again. I opened my eyes and checked the time. Almost 6am.
Behcet Kaya (Body In The Woods (Jack Ludefance, #2))
The closed mind is a disease. You need to have an open mind; otherwise life will just pass you by.
Danny Wallace
Two girls called me closed minded. I tell them that they are so open-minded their brains leaked out.
Tucker Max
I try not to be surprised. Surprise is the public face of a mind that has been closed.
Bernard Beckett (Genesis)
Alec isn’t happy,” said Magnus, as if she hadn’t spoken. “Of course he isn’t,” Isabelle snapped. “Jace—” “Jace,” said Magnus, and his hands made fists at his sides. Isabelle stared at him. She had always thought that he didn’t mind Jace; liked him, even, once the question of Alec’s affections had been settled. Out loud, she said: “I thought you were friends.” “It’s not that,” said Magnus. “There are some people — people the universe seems to have singled out for special destinies. Special favors and special torments. God knows we’re all drawn toward what’s beautiful and broken; I have been, but some people cannot be fixed. Or if they can be, it’s only by love and sacrifice so great it destroys the giver.” Isabelle shook her head slowly. “You’ve lost me. Jace is our brother, but for Alec — he’s Jace’s parabatai too —” “I know about parabatai,” said Magnus, his voice rising in pitch. “I’ve known parabatai so close they were almost the same person; do you know what happens, when one of them dies, to the one that’s left—” “Stop it!” Isabelle clapped her hands over her ears, then lowered them slowly. “How dare you, Magnus Bane,” she said. “How dare you make this worse than it is —” “Isabelle.” Magnus’ hands loosened; he looked a little wide-eyed, as if his outburst had startled even him. “I am sorry. I forget, sometimes . . . that with all your self-control and strength, you possess the same vulnerability that Alec does.” “There is nothing weak about Alec,” said Isabelle. “No,” said Magnus. “To love as you choose, that takes strength. The thing is, I wanted you here for him. There are things I can’t do for him, can’t give him . . .” For a moment Magnus looked oddly vulnerable. “You have known Jace as long as he has. You can give him understanding I can’t. And he loves you.” “Of course he loves me. I’m his sister.” “Blood isn’t love,” said Magnus, and his voice was bitter. “Just ask Clary.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
Bill Hicks
The door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly.
Ogden Nash
Oh, my dear, if you only knew how strange is the matter regarding which I am here, it is you who would laugh. I have learned not to think little of any one's belief, no matter how strange it may be. I have tried to keep an open mind, and it is not the ordinary things of life that could close it, but the strange things, the extraordinary things, the things that make one doubt if they be mad or sane.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
Horses are “mindful creatures.” When we watch them closely, and we are not endowed with a tin ear, we can hear them thinking. ("I am young and have no dog")
Erik Pevernagie
No spinning," I said. I wasn't sure my head or heart could take it. Up close, he was so warm, and so beautiful. I was already dizzy enough.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
A mind of moderate capacity which closely pursues one study must infallibly arrive at great proficiency in that study.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
He trapped my hand against his chest and yanked my sleeve down past my wrist, covering my hand with it. Just as quickly, he did the same thing with the other sleeve. He held my shirt by the cuffs, my hands captured. My mouth opened in protest. Reeling me closer, he didn’t stop until I was directly in front of him. Suddenly he lifted me onto the counter. My face was level with his. He fixed me with a dark, inviting smile. And that’s when I realized this moment had been dancing around the edge of my fantasies for several days now. "Take off your hat," I said, the words tumbling out before I could stop them. He slid it around, the brim facing backward. I scooted to the edge of the counter, my legs dangling one on either side of him. Something inside of me was telling me to stop—but I swept that voice to the far back of my mind. He spread his hands on the counter, just outside my hips. Tilting his head to one side, he moved closer. His scent, which was all damp dark earth, overwhelmed me. I inhaled two sharp breaths. No. This wasn’t right. Not this, not with Patch. He was frightening. In a good way, yes. But also in a bad way. A very bad way. "You should go," I breathed. "You should definitely go." "Go here?" His mouth was on my shoulder. "Or here?" It moved up my neck. My brain couldn’t process one logical thought. Patch’s mouth was roaming north, up over my jaw, gently sucking at my skin... "My legs are falling asleep," I blurted. It wasn’t a total lie. I was experiencing tingling sensations all through my body, legs included. "I could solve that." Patch’s hands closed on my hips.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
I closed my eyes instead. And Puck kissed me. “If you are going to do that, would you mind not jostling the bed so much?” came a sarcastic voice near the headboard. “Perhaps you could roll around on the floor.” Blushing furiously, I looked up. Grimalkin lay on the pillow, watching us with a bemused, half-lidded stare. Puck followed my gaze and let out an explosive sigh. “Did I ever mention how much I hate cats?” “Do not blame me, Goodfellow.” Grimalkin blinked, managing to sound bored and indignant at the same time. “I was minding my own business long before you and the princess started humping like rabbits.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2))
This pause in time, within time ... When did I first experience the exquisite sense of surrender that is only possible with another person? The peace of mind one experiences on one's own, one's certainty of self in the serenity of solitude, are nothing in comparison to the release and openness and fluency one shares with another, in close companionship ...
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
You’re okay," Zane said quietly but clearly. "Just focus on me for a few minutes. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?" While talking, he was gently wiping away the blood. Ty blinked at him, opening his mouth as he thought the very first thing that came to mind when Zane prompted him. I love you. He snapped his mouth closed and stared at Zane, unable and unwilling to answer.
Abigail Roux (Sticks & Stones (Cut & Run, #2))
Every human being on the face of the earth has a steel plate in his head, but if you lie down now and then and get still as you can, it will slide open like elevator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing the button for a ride to the top. The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
Only a philosopher's mind grows wings, since its memory always keeps it as close as possible to those realities by being close to which the gods are divine.
Plato (Phaedrus)
I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
In my mind are all the tides, their seasons, their ebbs and their flows. In my mind are all the halls, the endless procession of them, the intricate pathways. When this world becomes too much for me, when I grow tired of the noise and the dirt and the people, I close my eyes and I name a particular vestibule to myself; then I name a hall.
Susanna Clarke (Piranesi)
There is a room in the Department of Mysteries, that is kept locked at all times. It contains a force that is at once more wonderful and more terrible than death, than human intelligence, than forces of nature. It is also, perhaps, the most mysterious of the many subjects for study that reside there. It is the power held within that room that you possess in such quantities and which Voldemort has not at all. That power took you to save Sirius tonight. That power also saved you from possession by Voldemort, because he could not bear to reside in a body so full of the force he detests. In the end, it mattered not that you could not close your mind. It was your heart that saved you.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
I close my eyes and I let my body shut itself down and I let my mind wander. It wanders to a familiar place. A place I don’t talk about or acknowledge exists. A place where there is only me. A place that I hate. I am alone. Alone here and alone in the world. Alone in my heart and alone in my mind. Alone everywhere, all the time, for as long as I can remember. Alone with my Family, alone with my friends, alone in a Room full of People. Alone when I wake, alone through each awful day, alone when I finally meet the blackness. I am alone in my horror. Alone in my horror. I don’t want to be alone. I have never wanted to be alone. I fucking hate it. I hate that I have no one to talk to, I hate that I have no one to call, I hate that I have no one to hold my hand, hug me, tell me everything is going to be all right. I hate that I have no one to share my hopes and dreams with, I hate that I no longer have any hopes or dreams, I hate that I have no one to tell me to hold on, that I can find them again. I hate that when I scream, and I scream bloody murder, that I am screaming into emptiness. I hate that there is no one to hear my scream and that there is no one to help me learn how to stop screaming. . . More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to be close to someone. More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to feel as if I wasn’t alone.
James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)
According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify. People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasising about what might have been. The resulting serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it. It is like a man standing for decades on the seashore, embracing certain ‘good’ waves and trying to prevent them from disintegrating, while simultaneously pushing back ‘bad’ waves to prevent them from getting near him. Day in, day out, the man stands on the beach, driving himself crazy with this fruitless exercise. Eventually, he sits down on the sand and just allows the waves to come and go as they please. How peaceful!
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
When we open our minds too wide, we risk closing them.
Romina Russell (Zodiac (Zodiac, #1))
Just close your eyes and keep your mind wide open.
Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia)
It was amazing how our minds crafted stories for strangers who probably needed love more than our close-minded judgments.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Air He Breathes (Elements, #1))
Here you discover that so long as books are kept open, then minds can never be closed.
Ronald Reagan
No one can tell, when two people walk closely together, what unconscious communication one mind may have with another
Robert Barr (Selected Stories Of Robert Barr)
I glared at Shane, who gave me an innocent look. With the most serious expression I could make, I joked, “Some of my close friends have called me Black Widow, because after I sleep with someone, I kill them.” Shane looked at me evenly, matching my serious expression, “I have no doubt in my mind that you have had that effect on men, since I feel like I’ve died every time you’ve smiled at me.
Christine Zolendz (Fall From Grace (Mad World, #1))
A poet once said, 'The whole universe is in a glass of wine.' We will probably never know in what sense he meant it, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflection in the glass; and our imagination adds atoms. The glass is a distillation of the earth's rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe's age, and the evolution of stars. What strange array of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization; all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts -- physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on -- remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure; drink it and forget it all!
Richard P. Feynman
When our inner child is not nurtured and nourished, our minds gradually close to new ideas, unprofitable commitments and the surprises of the Spirit.
Brennan Manning
I think perhaps Hamilton said it better in a letter to Eliza: You engross my thoughts to intirely to allow me to think of anything else- you not only employ my mind all day; but you intrude upon my sleep. I meet you in every dream- and when I wake I cannot close my eyes again for ruminating on your sweetness.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
I hate the way you talk to me And the way you cut your hair I hate the way you drive my car I hate it when you stare I hate your big dumb combat boots And the way you read my mind I hate you so much, that it makes me sick And even makes me rhyme I hate the way you're always right I hate it when you lie I hate it when you make me laugh Even worse when you make me cry I hate it when you not around And the fact that you didn't call But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you Not even close Not even a little bit Not even at all
David Levithan (Ten Things I Hate about You)
Goodbye, Christian," I murmur. "Ana, goodbye," he says softly, and he looks utterly, utterly broken,a man in agonizing pain, reflecting how I feel inside. I tear my gaze away from him before I can change my mind and try to comfort him. The elevator doors close close and it whisks me down to the bowels of the basement and to my own personal hell.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
The only people you have to look out for in life are the people that don't care about anything or anyone. These are the people that end up teaching your children.
Shannon L. Alder
I pledge to set out to live a thousand lives between printed pages. I pledge to use books as doors to other minds, old and young, girl and boy, man and animal. I pledge to use books to open windows to a thousand different worlds and to the thousand different faces of my own world. I pledge to use books to make my universe spread much wider than the world I live in every day. I pledge to treat my books like friends, visiting them all from time to time and keeping them close.
Cornelia Funke
The only life that matters is in your mind. The only truth is the one that lives invisibly, that waits even after you close the book. Silence, too, is a kind of music. Silence will last.
Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing)
The hardest lesson is Clare’s solitude. Sometimes I come home and Clare seems kind of irritated; I’ve interrupted some train of thought, broken into the dreary silence of her day. Sometimes I see an expression on Clare’s face that is like a closed door. She has gone inside the room of her mind and is sitting there knitting or something. I’ve discovered that Clare likes to be alone. But when I return from time traveling she is always relieved to see me.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion — put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie down in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.
Wendell Berry
While parents possess the original key to their offspring's experience, teachers have a spare key. They, too, can open or close the minds and hearts of children.
Haim G. Ginott
You'd think solving mysteries would bring you closure, that closing the loop would comfort and quiet your mind. But it never does. The truth always disappoints.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
That's most interesting. But I was no more a mind-reader then than today. I was weeping for an altogether different reason. When I watched you dancing that day, I saw something else. I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go. That is what I saw. It wasn't really you, what you were doing, I know that. But I saw you and it broke my heart. And I've never forgotten.
Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go)
I’d forgotten to keep blasting a song in my mind. I remedied my mistake, but the lyrics to “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” seemed too close to home at the mo-ment. “Culture Club?” Now his mouth curled downward. “And you accuse me of practicing cruel and unusual punishment.
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
Close your eyes and let the mind expand. Let no fear of death or darkness arrest its course. Allow the mind to merge with Mind. Let it flow out upon the great curve of consciousness. Let it soar on the wings of the great bird of duration, up to the very Circle of Eternity.
Hermes Trismegistus
He's more like me, I think: burdened with the realization that what goes on his mind is somehow different from what goes on everyone else's. Even those close to us. And how you can't think about that for too long, because that thought- the truth of your own isolation- is too much to bear.
Julie Buxbaum (Tell Me Three Things)
His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.
William Golding (Lord of the Flies)
On Writing: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays 1. A beginning ends what an end begins. 2. The despair of the blank page: it is so full. 3. In the head Art’s not democratic. I wait a long time to be a writer good enough even for myself. 4. The best time is stolen time. 5. All work is the avoidance of harder work. 6. When I am trying to write I turn on music so I can hear what is keeping me from hearing. 7. I envy music for being beyond words. But then, every word is beyond music. 8. Why would we write if we’d already heard what we wanted to hear? 9. The poem in the quarterly is sure to fail within two lines: flaccid, rhythmless, hopelessly dutiful. But I read poets from strange languages with freedom and pleasure because I can believe in all that has been lost in translation. Though all works, all acts, all languages are already translation. 10. Writer: how books read each other. 11. Idolaters of the great need to believe that what they love cannot fail them, adorers of camp, kitsch, trash that they cannot fail what they love. 12. If I didn’t spend so much time writing, I’d know a lot more. But I wouldn’t know anything. 13. If you’re Larkin or Bishop, one book a decade is enough. If you’re not? More than enough. 14. Writing is like washing windows in the sun. With every attempt to perfect clarity you make a new smear. 15. There are silences harder to take back than words. 16. Opacity gives way. Transparency is the mystery. 17. I need a much greater vocabulary to talk to you than to talk to myself. 18. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean. 19. Believe stupid praise, deserve stupid criticism. 20. Writing a book is like doing a huge jigsaw puzzle, unendurably slow at first, almost self-propelled at the end. Actually, it’s more like doing a puzzle from a box in which several puzzles have been mixed. Starting out, you can’t tell whether a piece belongs to the puzzle at hand, or one you’ve already done, or will do in ten years, or will never do. 21. Minds go from intuition to articulation to self-defense, which is what they die of. 22. The dead are still writing. Every morning, somewhere, is a line, a passage, a whole book you are sure wasn’t there yesterday. 23. To feel an end is to discover that there had been a beginning. A parenthesis closes that we hadn’t realized was open). 24. There, all along, was what you wanted to say. But this is not what you wanted, is it, to have said it?
James Richardson
A man leaves his great house because he's bored With life at home, and suddenly returns, Finding himself no happier abroad. He rushes off to his villa driving like mad, You'ld think he's going to a house on fire, And yawns before he's put his foot inside, Or falls asleep and seeks oblivion, Or even rushes back to town again. So each man flies from himself (vain hope, because It clings to him the more closely against his will) And hates himself because he is sick in mind And does not know the cause of his disease.
Lucretius
I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It is the ultimate source of success in life.
Dalai Lama XIV
What you did for me, Chaol,” she tried again. “Not even with Cain, but when you—” “I have to go,” he interrupted, and half turned away. “Chaol,” she said, grabbing his hand and whirling him to face her. She only saw the haunted gleam in his eyes before she threw her arms around his neck and held him tightly. He straightened, but she crushed her body into his, even though it still aggravated her wounds to do so. Then, after a moment, his arms wrapped around her, keeping her close to him, so close that as she shut her eyes and breathed him in, she couldn’t tell where he ended and she began. His breath was warm on her neck as he bent his head, resting his cheek against her hair. Her heart beat so quickly, and yet she felt utterly calm—as if she could have stayed there forever and not minded, stayed there forever and let the world fall apart around them. She pictured his fingers, pushing against that line of chalk, reaching for her despite the barrier between them.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation.
Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club)
Toward the end of their relationship she'd told him once, "I wish I could give you what you're looking for, but I don't know what it is. There's a part of you that you keep closed off from everyone, including me. Its as if I'm not the one you're really with. Your mind is on someone else." He tried to deny it, but she didn't believe him. "I'm a woman - I know these things. When you look at me sometimes, I know you're seeing someone else. Its like you keep waiting for her to pop out of thin air to take you away from all this...
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
You want to hear the rules?" My heart jackhammered as I nodded. That same hand slid around my hip, up under my shirt, and felt warm and perfect against my lower back. I closed my eyes as his lips just barely brushed mine. His touch made me feel brave. It pushed the uncertainty back until it couldn't reach me. "The first one is you can't think too hard about it. The second is you say when you want to stop. The third is you do whatever feels good to you. The fourth is-" "-you stop talking," I said, blindly reaching back to pull the door shut, "and kiss me?
Alexandra Bracken (In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds, #3))
Willow, you know that you said you couldn't tell how I felt at the rest stop?" I nodded, and he took my hand, laying it flat on his chest with his own resting over it. "Can you tell now?" he asked. His heart beat firmly under my hand; my own pulse was pounding so hard that I could barely think straight. Closing my eyes, I took a deep, steadying breath, and then another as I tried to clear my mind, to feel what he was feeling. For a moment there was just the softness of our breathing--then all at once it washed over me in a great wave. He was in love with me, too. I opened my eyes. Alex was still holding my hand to his chest, watching me, his expression more serious than I'd ever seen it. Unable to speak, I slowly dropped my hand and wrapped my arms around him. His own arms came around me as he rested his head on my hair. "I really do, you know," he said, his voice rough. "I know," I whispered back. "I do, too.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel (Angel, #1))
He dropped his voice, so low that Tessa wasn’t sure if what he said next was real or part of the dream darkness rising to claim her, though she fought against it. “I’ve never minded it,” he went on. “Being lost, that is. I had always thought one could not be truly lost if one knew one’s own heart. But I fear I may be lost without knowing yours.” He closed his eyes as if he were bone-weary, and she saw how thin his eyelids were, like parchment paper, and how tired he looked. “Wo ai ni, Tessa,” he whispered. “Wo bu xiang shi qu ni.” She knew, without knowing how she knew, what the words meant. I love you. And I don’t want to lose you.
Cassandra Clare
We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love. We must look deeply in order to see and understand the needs, aspirations, and suffering of the person we love. This is the ground of real love. You cannot resist loving another person when you really understand him or her. From time to time, sit close to the one you love, hold his or her hand, and ask, 'Darling, do I understand you enough? Or am I making you suffer? Please tell me so that I can learn to love you properly. I don't want to make you suffer, and if I do so because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, so that you can be happy." If you say this in a voice that communicates your real openness to understand, the other person may cry. That is a good sign, because it means the door of understanding is opening and everything will be possible again. Maybe a father does not have time or is not brave enough to ask his son such a question. Then the love between them will not be as full as it could be. We need courage to ask these questions, but if we don't ask, the more we love, the more we may destroy the people we are trying to love. True love needs understanding. With understanding, the one we love will certainly flower.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life)
Vegas?" I asked. His brow furrowed, unsure of where I was headed. "Yeah?" "Have you thought about going back?" His eyebrows shot up. "I don't think that's a good idea for me." "What if we just went for a night?" He looked around the dark room, confused. "A night?" "Marry me," I said without hesitation. I was surprised at how quickly and easily the words came. His mouth spread into a broad smile. "When?" I shrugged. "We can book a flight tomorrow. It's spring break. I dont't have anything going on tomorrow, do you?" "I'm callin' your bluff," he said, watching my reaction closely as he was connected. "I need two tickets to vegas, please. Tomorrow. Hmmmm...," he looked at me, waiting for me to change my mind. "Two days, round trip. Whatever you have.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
Don’t mind us,” Mack called. “They probably don’t get a lot of foreplay in hospital waiting rooms. You’re breakin’ the monotony of tears and tantrums. “Mack!” Carrie hissed. “Tate just kissed her, that’s hardly foreplay.” “You weren’t watchin’ close enough, honey. That was definitely foreplay.
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
Sometimes I close my eyes and paint these walls a different color. I imagine I’m wearing warm socks and sitting by a fire. I imagine someone’s given me a book to read, a story to take me away form the torture of my own mind. I want to be someone else somewhere else with something else to fill my mind. I want to run, to feel the wind tug at my hair. I want to pretend that this is just a story within a story. That this cell is just a scene, that these hands don’t belong to me, that this window leads to somewhere beautiful if only I could break it. I pretend this pillow is clean, I pretend this bed is soft. I pretend and pretend and pretend until the world becomes so breathtaking behind my eyelids that I can no longer contain it. But then my eyes fly open and I’m caught around the throat by a pair of hands that won’t stop suffocating suffocating suffocating. My thoughts, I think, will soon be sound. My mind, I hope, will soon be found.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
Clary shut her eyes. You didn't say no to an angel, no matter what it had in mind. Her heart pounding, she sat floating in the darkness behind her eyelids, resolutely trying not to think of Jace. But his face appear against the blank screen of her closed eyelids anyway - not smiling at her but looking sidelong, and she could see the scar at his temple, the uneven curl at the corner of his mouth, and the silver line on his throat where Simon had bitten him - all the marks and flaws and imperfections that made up the person she loved most in the world. Jace. A bright light lit her vision to scarlet, and she fell back against the sand, wondering if she was going to pass out - or maybe she was dying - but she didn't want to die, not now that she could see Jace's face so clearly in front of her. She could almost hear his voice, too, saying her name, the way he'd whispered it at Renwick's, over and over again. Clary. Clary. Clary. "Clary," Jace said. "Open your eyes.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
I will tell you why we have these extraordinary minds and souls, Miss Whittaker," he continued, as though he had not heard her. "We have them because there is a supreme intelligence in the universe, which wishes for communion with us. This supreme intelligence longs to be known. It calls out to us. It draws us close to its mystery, and grants us these remarkable minds, in order that we try to reach for it. It wants us to find it. It wants union with us, more than anything.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Signature of All Things)
And I still have other smothered memories, now unfolding themselves into limbless monsters of pain. Once, in a sunset-ending street of Beardsley, she turned to little Eva Rosen (I was taking both nymphets to a concert and walking behind them so close as almost to touch them with my person), she turned to Eva, and so very serenely and seriously, in answer to something the other had said about its being better to die than hear Milton Pinski; some local schoolboy she knew, talk about music, my Lolita remarked: 'You know what's so dreadful about dying is that you're completely on your own'; and it struck me, as my automaton knees went up and down, that I simply did not know a thing about my darling's mind and that quite possibly, behind the awful juvenile cliches, there was in her a garden and a twilight, and a palace gate - dim and adorable regions which happened to be lucidly and absolutely forbidden to me, in my polluted rags and miserable convulsions...
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Do you see, Harry? Do you see the flaw in my brilliant plan now? I had fallen into the trap I had foreseen, that I had told myself I could avoid, that I must avoid.” “I don’t —” “I cared about you too much,” said Dumbledore simply. “I cared more for your happiness than your knowing the truth, more for your peace of mind than my plan, more for your life than the lives that might be lost if the plan failed. In other words, I acted exactly as Voldemort expects we fools who love to act. “Is there a defense? I defy anyone who has watched you as I have — and I have watched you more closely than you can have imagined — not to want to save you more pain than you had already suffered. What did I care if numbers of nameless and faceless people and creatures were slaughtered in the vague future, if in the here and now you were alive, and well, and happy? I never dreamed that I would have such a person on my hands.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
And my own affairs were as bad, as dismal, as the day I had been born. The only difference was that now I could drink now and then, though never often enough. Drink was the only thing that kept a man from feeling forever stunned and useless. Everything else just kept picking and picking, hacking away. And nothing was interesting, nothing. The people were restrictive and careful, all alike. And I've got to live with these fuckers for the rest of my life, I thought. God, they all had assholes and sexual organs and their mouths and their armpits. They shit and they chattered and they were dull as horse dung. The girls looked good from a distance, the sun shining through their dresses, their hair. But get up close and listen to their minds running out of their mouths, you felt like digging in under a hill and hiding out with a tommy-gun. I would certainly never be able to be happy, to get married, I could never have children. Hell, I couldn't even get a job as a dishwasher.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
I am clumsy, drop glasses and get drunk on Monday afternoons. I read Seneca and can recite Shakespeare by heart, but I mess up the laundry, don’t answer my phone and blame the world when something goes wrong. I think I have a dream, but most of the days I’m still sleeping. The grass is cut. It smells like strawberries. Today I finished four books and cleaned my drawers. Do you believe in a God? Can I tell you about Icarus? How he flew too close to the sun? I want to make coming home your favourite part of the day. I want to leave tiny little words lingering in your mind, on nights when you’re far away and can’t sleep. I want to make everything around us beautiful; make small things mean a little more. Make you feel a little more. A little better, a little lighter. The coffee is warm, this cup is yours. I want to be someone you can’t live without. I want to be someone you can’t live without.
Charlotte Eriksson (He loved me some days. I'm sure he did: 99 essays on growth through loss)
The problem with any philosophical consideration is that once you open a door in your mind, you can never close it. Once you learn something, you can never convince your mind that you didn't learn it. If you learn the world is round, you can never fit in with a world that thinks it's flat.
Ted Dekker (The Priest's Graveyard (Danny Hansen, #1))
The first words that are read by seekers of enlightenment in the secret, gong-banging, yeti-haunted valleys near the hub of the world, are when they look into The Life of Wen the Eternally Surprised. The first question they ask is: 'Why was he eternally surprised?' And they are told: 'Wen considered the nature of time and understood that the universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. Therefore, he understood, there is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.' The first words read by the young Lu-Tze when he sought perplexity in the dark, teeming, rain-soaked city of Ankh-Morpork were: 'Rooms For Rent, Very Reasonable.' And he was glad of it.
Terry Pratchett (Thief of Time (Discworld, #26; Death, #5))
Have you ever noticed that? We base our assessment of the intelligence of others almost entirely on how closely their thinking matches our own. I'm sure that there are people out there who violently disagree with me on most things, and I'm broad-minded enough to conceded that they might possibly not be completely idiots, but I much prefer the company of people who agree with me. You might want to think about that.
David Eddings (Belgarath the Sorcerer)
Now it’s high watermark and floodtide in the heart and time to go. The sea-nymphs in the spray will be the chorus now. What’s left to say? Suspect too much sweet-talk but never close your mind. It was a fortunate wind that blew me here. I leave half-ready to believe that a crippled trust might walk and the half-true rhyme is love.
Seamus Heaney (The Cure at Troy: A Version of Sophocles' Philoctetes)
I don't care if she ever makes a basket that can hold grain, but I want her to be here with me. I want her to be close to me as I work or fish, and I want her to lie next to me in the furs at night. In my mind, she is with me always and forever. Finally, its clear to me that I want her for more than children.
Shay Savage (Transcendence (Transcendence, #1))
I'm the train. I'm the one careening out of control. Because sometime you see yourself- you see yourself the way you could be- the way you might be if things were different. And if you look too closely, what you see will scare you, it'll make you wonder what you might do given the opportunity. You know there's a different side of yourself you don't want to recognize, a side you don't want to see in the daylight. You spend your whole life doing everything to push it down and away, out of sight, out of mind. You pretend that a piece of yourself doesn't exist. You live like that for a long time. For a long time, you're safe. And then you're not.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she has lived. You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back, or you can open your eyes and see all she's left. Your heart can be empty because you can't see her, or you can be full of the love you shared. You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday. You can remember her only that she is gone, or you can cherish her memory and let it live on. You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back. Or you can do what she'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.
David Harkins
I am a Jane Austenite, and therefore slightly imbecile about Jane Austen. My fatuous expression, and airs of personal immunity—how ill they sit on the face, say, of a Stevensonian! But Jane Austen is so different. She is my favourite author! I read and reread, the mouth open and the mind closed. Shut up in measureless content, I greet her by the name of most kind hostess, while criticism slumbers.
E.M. Forster
Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect the shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return and need his shoes. In the version of grief we imagine, the model will be "healing." A certain forward movement will prevail. The worst days will be the earliest days. We imagine that the moment to most severely test us will be the funeral, after which this hypothetical healing will take place. When we anticipate the funeral we wonder about failing to "get through it," rise to the occasion, exhibit the "strength" that invariably gets mentioned as the correct response to death. We anticipate needing to steel ourselves the for the moment: will I be able to greet people, will I be able to leave the scene, will I be able even to get dressed that day? We have no way of knowing that this will not be the issue. We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion. Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief was we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
Take a shower. Wash away every trace of yesterday. Of smells. Of weary skin. Get dressed. Make coffee, windows open, the sun shining through. Hold the cup with two hands and notice that you feel the feeling of warmth. 
 You still feel warmth.
Now sit down and get to work. Keep your mind sharp, head on, eyes on the page and if small thoughts of worries fight their ways into your consciousness: threw them off like fires in the night and keep your eyes on the track. Nothing but the task in front of you.  Get off your chair in the middle of the day. Put on your shoes and take a long walk on open streets around people. Notice how they’re all walking, in a hurry, or slowly. Smiling, laughing, or eyes straight forward, hurried to get to wherever they’re going. And notice how you’re just one of them. Not more, not less. Find comfort in the way you’re just one in the crowd. Your worries: no more, no less. Go back home. Take the long way just to not pass the liquor store. Don’t buy the cigarettes. Go straight home. Take off your shoes. Wash your hands. Your face. Notice the silence. Notice your heart. It’s still beating. Still fighting. Now get back to work.
Work with your mind sharp and eyes focused and if any thoughts of worries or hate or sadness creep their ways around, shake them off like a runner in the night for you own your mind, and you need to tame it. Focus. Keep it sharp on track, nothing but the task in front of you. Work until your eyes are tired and head is heavy, and keep working even after that. Then take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes.
Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more. 
You’re doing just fine.
You’re doing fine. I’m doing just fine.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
I wish I were a poet. I've never confessed that to anyone, and I'm confessing it to you, because you've given me reason to feel that I can trust you. I've spent my life observing the universe, mostly in my mind's eye. It's been a tremendously rewarding life, a wonderful life. I've been able to explore the origins of time and space with some of the great living thinkers. But I wish I were a poet. Albert Einstein, a hero of mine, once wrote, 'Our situation is the following. We are standing in front of a closed box which we cannot open.' I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the vast majority of the universe is composed of dark matter. The fragile balance depends on things we'll never be able to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch. Life itself depends on them. What's real? What isn't real? Maybe those aren't the right questions to be asking. What does life depend on? I wish I had made things for life to depend on.
Jonathan Safran Foer
The universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. There is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before. The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it.
Terry Pratchett
And then we jerked to a stop. Jared was blocking the exit. "Have you lost your mind, Ian?" he asked, shocked and outraged. "What are you doing to her?" "Did you know about this?" Ian shouted back, shoving me toward Jared and shaking me at him. "You're going to hurt her!" "Do you know what she's planning?" Ian roared. Jared stared at Ian, his face suddenly closed off. He didn't answer. That was answer enough for Ian. Ian's fist struck Jared so fast that I missed the blow - I just felt the lurch in his body and saw Jared reel back into the dark hall. "Ian, stop," I begged. "You stop," he growled back at me. He yanked me through the arch into the tunnel, then pulled me north. I had to almost run to keep up with his longer stride. "O´Shea!" Jared shouted after us. "I'm going to hurt her?" Ian roared back over his shoulder, not breaking pace. "I am? You hypocritical swine!" There was nothing but silence and blackness behind us now. I stumbled in the dark, trying to keep up. He jerked me along faster, and my breath caught in a moan, almost like a cry of pain. The sound made Ian stumble to a stop. His breathing was hoarse in the darkness. "Ian, Ian, I..." I chocked, unable to finish. I didn't know what to say, picturing his furious face. His arms caught me abruptly, yanking my feet out from under me and then catching my shoulders before I could fall. He started running forward again, carrying me now. His hands were not rough and angry like before; he cradled me against his chest.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
Listen closely. There’s a remote possibility that you might learn something: First, I don’t give a damn if my work is commercial or not…I’m the writer. If what I write is good, then people will read it. That’s why literature exists. An author puts his heart and guts on the page. For your information, a good novel can change the world. Keep that in mind before you attempt to sit down at a typewriter. Never waste time on something you don’t believe in yourself.
John Fante
Simon?” “Yeah?” “Can you tell me a story?” He blinked. “What kind of story?” “Something where the good guys win and the bad guys lose. A nd stay dead.” “So, like a fairy tale?” he said. He racked his brain. He knew only the Disney versions of fairy tales, and the first knew only the Disney versions of fairy tales, and the first image that came to mind was A riel in her seashell bra. He’d had a crush on her when he was eight. Not that this seemed like the time to mention it. “No.” The word was an exhaled breath. “We study fairy tales in school. A lot of that magic is real—but, anyway. No, I want something I haven’t heard yet.” “Okay. I’ve got a good one.” Simon stroked Isabelle’s hair, feeling her lashes flutter against his neck as she closed her eyes. “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
What are my options?" "You could read obscure poetry while I play the triangle, I suppose. Or we can smother ourselves in peanut butter and howl at the moon. Use your imagination." "Fine,"I said. "You take my hand and back up toward the bed." "Excellent choice. What then?" "You sit down, and pull me down with you." "Where are you?" he asked. "You pull me onto your lap." "Where are your legs?" "Around your waist." "Well," Noah said, his voice slightly rough. "This is getting interesting. So I'm on the edge of your bed. I'm holding you on my lap as you straddle me. My arms are around you, bracing you there so you don't fall. What am I wearing?"... "What do you usually wear to bed?" I asked. Noah said nothing. I opened my eyes to an arched brow and a devious grin. Oh my God. "Close. Your. Eyes," he said. I did. "Now, where were we?" "I was straddling you," I said. "Right. And I'm wearing..." "Drawstring pants." "Those are quite thin, you know." I'm aware. ... "Right," he said. "So what are you wearing?" "I don't know. A space suit. Who cares?" "I think this should be as vivid as possible," he said. "For you," he clarified, and I chuckled. "Eyes closed," he reminded me. "I'm going to have to institute a punishment for each time I have to tell you." "What did you have in mind?" "Don't tempt me. Now, what are you wearing?" "A hoodie and drawstring pants too, I guess." "Anything underneath?" "I don't typically walk around without underwear." "Typically?" "Only on special occasions." "Christ. I meant under your hoodie." "A tank top, I guess." "What color?" "White tank. Black hoodie. Gray pants. I'm ready to move on now." I felt him nearer, his words close to my ear. "To the part where I lean back and pull you down with me?" Yes. "Over me," he said. Fuck. "The part where I tell you that I want to feel the softness of the curls at the nape of your neck? To know what your hipbone would feel like against my mouth?" he murmured against my skin. "To memorize the slope of your navel and the arch of your neck and the swell of your-
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
Where there was nature and earth, life and water, I saw a desert landscape that was unending, resembling some sort of crater, so devoid of reason and light and spirit that the mind could not grasp it on any sort of conscious level and if you came close the mind would reel backward, unable to take it in. It was a vision so clear and real and vital to me that in its purity it was almost abstract. This was what I could understand, this was how I lived my life, what I constructed my movement around, how I dealt with the tangible. This was the geography around which my reality revolved: it did not occur to me, ever, that people were good or that a man was capable of change or that the world could be a better place through one’s own taking pleasure in a feeling or a look or a gesture, of receiving another person’s love or kindness. Nothing was affirmative, the term “generosity of spirit” applied to nothing, was a cliche, was some kind of bad joke. Sex is mathematics. Individuality no longer an issue. What does intelligence signify? Define reason. Desire- meaningless. Intellect is not a cure. Justice is dead. Fear, recrimination, innocence, sympathy, guilt, waste, failure, grief, were things, emotions, that no one really felt anymore. Reflection is useless, the world is senseless. Evil is its only permanence. God is not alive. Love cannot be trusted. Surface, surface, surface, was all that anyone found meaning in…this was civilization as I saw it, colossal and jagged…
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you. Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.
Carlos Castaneda (The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge)
Franz Kafka is Dead He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me." The people whispered and nodded among themselves. They put their arms around each other, and touched their children's hair. They took off their hats and raised them to the small, sickly man with the ears of a strange animal, sitting in his black velvet suit in the dark tree. Then they turned and started for home under the canopy of leaves. Children were carried on their fathers' shoulders, sleepy from having been taken to see who wrote his books on pieces of bark he tore off the tree from which he refused to come down. In his delicate, beautiful, illegible handwriting. And they admired those books, and they admired his will and stamina. After all: who doesn't wish to make a spectacle of his loneliness? One by one families broke off with a good night and a squeeze of the hands, suddenly grateful for the company of neighbors. Doors closed to warm houses. Candles were lit in windows. Far off, in his perch in the trees , Kafka listened to it all: the rustle of the clothes being dropped to the floor, or lips fluttering along naked shoulders, beds creaking along the weight of tenderness. It all caught in the delicate pointed shells of his ears and rolled like pinballs through the great hall of his mind. That night a freezing wind blew in. When the children woke up, they went to the window and found the world encased in ice. One child, the smallest, shrieked out in delight and her cry tore through the silence and exploded the ice of a giant oak tree. The world shone. They found him frozen on the ground like a bird. It's said that when they put their ears to the shell of his ears, they could hear themselves.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Westley closed his eyes. There was pain coming and he had to be ready for it. He had to prepare his brain, he had to get his mind controlled and safe from their efforts, so that they could not break him. He would not let them break him. He would hold together against anything and all. If only they gave him sufficient time to make ready, he knew he could defeat pain. It turned out they gave him sufficient time (it was months before the Machine was ready). But they broke him anyway.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
I backed us up against the wall. “How I feel? You want to know?” I ran my hands over his face and tangled them into his messy hair. “This is unlike anything else. I’ve bungeed off buildings, I’ve skateboarded off roofs. I’ve even gone train surfing. Nothing comes close to the high I feel when I’m with you. You’ve been through horrible things, and yet you’re one of the kindest, truest people I’ve ever met. At first I thought it was because you were safe. I could feel something for you because you couldn’t hurt me. Not the way Alex did. But it’s more than that. It’s you. Who you are. The way you are. Everything from your smile to the way you always say exactly what’s on your mind. Your soul, Kale.
Jus Accardo (Touch (Denazen, #1))
Winder's mind felt even fuzzier than it had done over the past few years, but he was certain about cake. He'd been eating cake, and now there wasn't any. Through the mists he saw it, apparently close but, when he tried to reach it, a long way away. A certain realization dawned on him. "Oh," he said. YES, said Death. "Not even time to finish my cake?" NO. THERE IS NO MORE TIME, EVEN FOR CAKE. FOR YOU, THE CAKE IS OVER. YOU HAVE REACHED THE END OF CAKE.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29; City Watch, #6))
When describing nature, a writer should seize upon small details, arranging them so that the reader will see an image in his mind after he closes his eyes. For instance: you will capture the truth of a moonlit night if you'll write that a gleam like starlight shone from the pieces of a broken bottle, and then the dark, plump shadow of a dog or wolf appeared. You will bring life to nature only if you don't shrink from similes that liken its activities to those of humankind." (Letter to Alexander Chekhov, May 10, 1886)
Anton Chekhov
Take the matter as you find it ask no questions, utter no remonstrances; it is your best wisdom. You expected bread and you have got a stone: break your teeth on it, and don't shriek because the nerves are martyrised; do not doubt that your mental stomach - if you have such a thing - is strong as an ostrich's; the stone will digest. You held out your hand for an egg, and fate put into it a scorpion. Show no consternation; close your fingers firmly upon the gift; let it sting through your palm. Never mind; in time, after your hand and arm have swelled and quivered long with torture, the squeezed scorpion will die, and you will have learned the great lesson how to endure without a sob.
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
99% of all addicts are liars and thieves. This might sound unfair and even close-minded, but it's the truth. There are some exceptions to the rules, but they are incredibly rare. Most people are no match for their addictions. They will be driven to do things they would normally never have considered all in the name of getting high. Sad, but true. So if you're thinking of trying drugs, keep in mind that all the people you will be dealing with are likely to steal from you and lie to you at your own expense.
Ashly Lorenzana
But, of course, putting yourself out there takes vulnerability. Vulnerability is hard, and we, as a rule, tend to go for what’s easy; by that logic, closing ourselves off is the easiest thing in the world. We quote the words of others to do our talking for us, send each other links to articles and stories in lieu of actual conversation, post pretty pictures to adequately convey our current state of mind, all to avoid having to proffer a single identifiable human emotion. We keep in touch with relatives by emailing them mawkishly inspirational chain letters once in a while. We regurgitate memes to approximate the feeling of being in the loop.
Phil Roland
For the longest time I studied revenge to the exclusion of all else. I built my first torture chamber in the dark vaults of imagination. Lying on bloody sheets in the Healing Hall I discovered doors within my mind that I’d not found before, doors that even a child of nine knows should not be opened. Doors that never close again. I threw them wide.
Mark Lawrence
The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices - to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own - for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to The Twilight Zone. [closing narration: "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street", Twilight Zone episode aired March 4, 1960
Rod Serling
She turned suddenly, and before I could react, framed my face with her hands and pressed her lips to mine. I froze, mostly in shock, but after a moment my body uncoiled and I closed my eyes, relaxing into her. I remembered this; the feel of her lips on mine, cool and soft, the touch of her fingers on my skin. I remembered her scent, those long nights when we would lie under the cold, frozen stars, dreaming in each other’s arms. For a second, my body reacted instinctively. I started to pull us closer, to wrap my arms around her and return the kiss with equal passion…but, then I stopped. I remembered this perfectly; every shining moment with Ariella was forever etched into my mind. What we’d had, what we’d shared, everything. I’d built a shrine to her in my memories, carefully tended with grief and anger and regret. I knew every inch of our relationship, the passion, the feeling of emptiness when we weren’t together, the longing and, yes, the love. I had been in love with Ariella. I remembered what she’d meant to me once, what I’d felt for her then… …and what I didn’t feel for her now.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
Like no one else... you share that part of my mind that associates itself mostly with ideal things and places... The impression thinking about you gives me is very closely linked with that given me by a lonely hillside or a sunny afternoon... or books that have meant more to me than I can explain... This is grand, but still it isn't enough for this world... The earthly and obvious part of me longs to see and touch you and realise you as tangible.
Vera Brittain (Testament of Youth)
The greatest damage done by neglect, trauma or emotional loss is not the immediate pain they inflict but the long-term distortions they induce in the way a developing child will continue to interpret the world and her situation in it. All too often these ill-conditioned implicit beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies in our lives. We create meanings from our unconscious interpretation of early events, and then we forge our present experiences from the meaning we’ve created. Unwittingly, we write the story of our future from narratives based on the past...Mindful awareness can bring into consciousness those hidden, past-based perspectives so that they no longer frame our worldview.’Choice begins the moment you disidentify from the mind and its conditioned patterns, the moment you become present…Until you reach that point, you are unconscious.’ …In present awareness we are liberated from the past.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
What?" he whispered. "What are you smiling about?" My fingers brushed against his hair, trying to smooth it down. I realized what I was doing a full minute after Liam had closed his eyes and leaned into my touch. Embarrassment flared up my chest, but he grabbed my hand before I could pull back and tucked it under his chin. "Nope," he whispered, when I tried to tug it away. "Mine now." Dangerous. This is dangerous. The warning was fleeting, banished to the back corners of my mind, where it wouldn't interrupt how good it felt to touch him - how right. "I'm going to need it back eventually," I said, letting him run it along the stubble on his chin. "Too bad." "...crackers..." a voice breathed out behind us, "yessss..." Both of us turned, watching as Chubs twisted around in his seat and settled back down, still fast asleep. I pressed a hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. Liam rolled his eyes, smiling. "He dreams about food," he said. "A lot." "At least they're good dreams." "Yeah," Liam agreed. "I guess he's lucky.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
. . . if you close your eyes and begin to feel your breath, it will instantly become deeper and slower, and your mind will become calmer. Then gradually you'll become aware of your body, or more precisely the subtle sense of energy inside and around your body. At that moment, you exist as Energy-Consciousness, not as names, jobs, duties, roles, desires, and so on.
Ilchi Lee (Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential)
Negativity is totally unnatural. It is a psychic pollutant, and there is a deep link between the poisoning and destruction of nature and the vast negativity that has accumulated in the collective human psyche. No other life-form on the planet knows negativity, only humans, just as no other life-form violates and poisons the Earth that sustains it. Have you ever seen an unhappy flower or a stressed oak tree? Have you some across a depressed dolphin, a frog that has a problem with self-esteem, a cat that cannot relax, or a bird that carries hatred and resentment? The only animals that may occasionally experience something akin to negativity or show signs of neurotic behavior are those that live in close contact with humans and so link into the humans mind and its insanity.
Eckhart Tolle
In all my close friendships, words are the bricks I use to build bridges. To know someone I need to hear her, and to feel known, I need to be heard by her. The process of knowing and loving another person happens for me through conversation. I reveal something to help my friend understand me, she responds in a way that assures me she values my revelation, and then she adds something to help me understand her. This back-and-forth is repeated again and again as we go deeper into each other's hearts, minds, pasts, and dreams. Eventually, a friendship is built - a solid, sheltering structure that exists in the space between us - a space outside of ourselves that we can climb deep into. There is her, there is me, and then there is our friendship - this bridge we've built together.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
Oh, this is a special blend for you." Taking one of the fingers she hadn't licked, he rubbed it along her lips. "What we usually shed is apparently comparable to the most delicious of chocolates or the finest of wines. Decadent, rich, and very expensive." She told herself she wasn't going to lick the glitter off her lips. "And this blend?" The taste was inside her mouth without her having any knowledge of taking it in. And Raphael was incredibly close, his wings creating a white gold wall all around them his hands strong and warm on her hips. "What's so special about it?" "This blend," he murmured, bending his head, "is about sex." She put her hands on his chest but it wasn't a protest. After the blood, the fear, she needed to touch him, to know this glorious creature existed. "Another form of mind control?" He shook his head, his mouth a hairbreadth from hers. "It's only fair." "Fair?" She flicked her tongue along his lower lip. It made his hands clench on her hips. "If I licked you between your thighs, your taste would have the same aphrodisiac effect on me.
Nalini Singh (Angels' Blood (Guild Hunter, #1))
The first thing I noticed when I woke up was that I was covered in blood. The second thing I noticed was that this didn’t bother me the way it should have. I didn’t feel the urge to scream or speak, to beg for help, or even to wonder where I was. Those instincts were dead, and I was calm as my wet fingers slid up the tiled wall, groping for a light switch. I found one without even having to stand. Four lights slammed on above me, one after the other, illuminating the dead body on the floor just a few feet away. My mind processed the facts first. Male. Heavy. He was lying face down in a wide, red puddle that spread out from beneath him. The tips of his curly black hair were wet with it. There was something in his hand. The fluorescent lights in the white room flickered and buzzed and hummed. I moved to get a better view of the body. His eyes were closed. He could have been asleep, really, if it weren’t for the blood. There was so much of it. And by one of his hands it was smeared into a weird pattern. No. Not a pattern. Words. PLAY ME. My gaze flicked to his hand. His fist was curled around a small tape recorder. I moved his fingers—still warm—and pressed play. A male voice started to speak. "Do I have your attention?" the voice said. I knew that voice. But I couldn’t believe I was hearing it.
Michelle Hodkin (The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3))
But though she’s told a longer version of the story a thousand times before to a thousand different people, she gets the feeling that Oliver might understand better than anyone else. It’s something about the way he’s looking at her, his eyes punching a neat little hole in her heart. She’s knows it’s not real: It’s the illusion of closeness, the false confidence of a hushed and darkened plane, but she doesn’t mind. For the moment, at least, it feels real.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
Marry me," I said without hesitation. I was surprised at how quickly and easily the words came. His mouth spread into a broad smile. "When?" I shrugged. "We can book a flight tomorrow. It's Spring Break. I don't have anything going on tomorrow, do you?" "I'm callin' your bluff," he said, reaching for his phone. "America Airlines," he said, watching my reaction closely as he was connected. "I need two tickets to Vegas, please. Tomorrow. Hmmmmm...," he looked at me, waiting for me to change my mind. "Two days, round trip. Whatever you have." I rested my chin on his chest, waiting for him to book the tickets. The longer I let him stay on the phone, the wider his smile became.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.
Dalai Lama XIV
I'm convinced that a lot of people run ultramarathons for the same reason they take mood-altering drugs. I don't mean to minimize the gifts of friendship, achievement, and closeness to nature that I've received in my running carer. But the longer and farther I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind - a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.
Scott Jurek (Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness)
Death is a fascinating thing. The human mind continually returns and returns to death, to mortality, immortality, damnation, salvation. Some fear death, some seek it, but it is in our human nature to wonder at the limits of human life, at least. When you are sick like this you begin to wonder too much. Death is at your shoulder, death is your shadow, your scent, your waking and dreaming companion. You cannot help, when sleep begins to touch your eyes, but to wonder: What if? What if? And in that question, there is a longing, too much like the longing of a young girl in love. The sickness occupies your every thought, breath like a lover at your ear; the sickness stands at your shoulder in the mirror, absorbed with your body, each inch of skin and flesh, and you let it work you over, touch you with rough hands that thrill. Nothing will ever be so close to you again. You will never find a lover so careful, so attentive, so unconditionally present and concerned only with you. Some of us use the body to convey the things for which we cannot find words. Some of us decide to take a shortcut, decide the world is too much or too little, death is so easy, so smiling, so simple; and death is dramatic, a final fuck-you to the world.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
It's 4am again and I'm just getting started. People are boring and I want to burn with excitement or anger and bleed, bleed through my words. I want to get all fucked up and write real and raw and ugly and beautifully. I bet you're sleeping safe and calm, and you can stay there, it's safer there, and you wouldn't stand one night on this journey my mind wanders off to every night you close your eyes. I'll stay here one day and I will never come down. I promise I can fly before I hit the ground. It doesn't even hurt anymore. I swear, it doesn't hurt.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
Unlike any other creature on this planet, human beings can learn and understand without having experienced. They can think themselves into other peoples’ places. Of course, this is a power like my brand of fictional magic that is morally neutral. One might use such a power to manipulate or control, just as much as to understand or sympathize. And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or peer inside cages. They can close their hearts and minds to any suffering that does not touch them personally. They can refuse to know. I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think that they have any fewer nightmares than I do.
J.K. Rowling (Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination)
In captivity, in the shed, Pierre had learned, not with his mind, but with his whole being, his life, that man is created for happiness, that happiness is within him, in the satisfying of natural human needs, and that all unhappiness comes not from lack, but from superfluity; but now, in these last three weeks of the march, he had learned a new and more comforting truth - he had learned that there is nothing frightening in the world. He had learned that, as there is no situation in the world in which a man can be happy and perfectly free, so there is no situation in which he can be perfectly unhappy and unfree. He had learned that there is a limit to suffering and a limit to freedom, and that those limits are very close; that the man who suffers because one leaf is askew in his bed of roses, suffers as much as he now suffered falling asleep on the bare, damp ground, one side getting cold as the other warmed up; that when he used to put on his tight ballroom shoes, he suffered just as much as now, when he walked quite barefoot (his shoes had long since worn out) and his feet were covered with sores.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
It’s the beating of my heart. The way I lie awake, playing with shadows slowly climbing up my wall. The gentle moonlight slipping through my window and the sound of a lonely car somewhere far away, where I long to be too, I think. It’s the way I thought my restless wandering was over, that I’d found whatever I thought I had found, or wanted, or needed, and I started to collect my belongings. Build a home. Safe behind the comfort of these four walls and a closed door. Because as much as I tried or pretended or imagined myself as a part of all the people out there, I was still the one locking the door every night. Turning off the phone and blowing out the candles so no one knew I was home. ’cause I was never really well around the expectations of my personality and I wanted to keep to myself. and because I haven’t been very impressed lately. By people, or places. Or the way someone said he loved me and then slowly changed his mind.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
He had been violently confused by her real presence in the opposite inaccessible corner. For months he had been possessed by the imagination of her. She had been distant and closed away, a princess in a tower, and his imagination’s work had been all to make her present, all of her, to his mind and senses, the quickness of her and the mystery, the whiteness of her, which was part of her extreme magnetism, and the green look of those piercing or occluded eyes. Her presence had been unimaginable, or more strictly, only to be imagined. Yet here she was, and he was engaged in observing the ways in which she resembled, or differed from, the woman he dreamed, or reached for in sleep, or would fight for.
A.S. Byatt
I encourage you to sit in that garden, but when you do, close your eyes and I'll tell you about the real garden, the sacred place. Ninety feet away from where you sit there is a spot, where Brock's knees hit the dirt, where the Swedes tackled him to the ground, yelling 'What the fuck are you doing? Do you think this is okay?'. Put their words on a plaque. Mark that spot, because in my mind I've erected a monument. The place to be remembered is not where I was assaulted, but where he fell, where I was saved, where two men declared stop, no more, not here, not now, not ever.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
It was a mug. And it had a joke printed on it. It said, Engineers don’t cry. They build bridges and get over it.” Someone laughed then. Isabel or perhaps Gonzalo—I wasn’t sure. With all that crazy banging, my heart had somehow moved up my throat and to my temples, so it was hard to focus on anything besides its beating and Aaron’s voice. “And you know what I did?” he continued, bitterness filling his tone. “Instead of laughing like I wanted to, instead of looking up at her and saying something funny that would hopefully make her give me one of those bright smiles I had somehow already seen her give so freely in the short day I had been around her, I pushed it all down and set the mug on my desk. Then, I thanked her and asked her if there was anything else she needed.” I knew I shouldn’t feel embarrassed, but I was. Just as much as I had been back then, if not more. It had been such a silly thing to do, and I had felt so tiny and dumb after he brushed it away so easily. Closing my eyes, I heard him continue, “I pretty much kicked her out of my office after she went out of her way and got me a gift.” Aaron’s voice got low and harsh. “A fucking welcome gift.” I opened my eyes just in time to watch him turn his head in my direction. Our gazes met. “Just like the big jerk I had advertised myself to be, I ran her out. And to this day, I regret it every time it crosses my mind. Every time I look at her.
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
Zhi yin. Jem had told her once that it meant understanding music, and also a bond that went deeper than friendship. Jem played, and he played the years of Will's life as he had seen them. He played two little boys in the training room, one showing the other how to throw knives, and he played the ritual of parabatai: the fire and the vows and burning runes. He played two young men running through the streets of London in the dark, stopping to lean up against a wall and laugh together. He played the day in the library when he and Will had jested with Tessa about ducks, and he played the train to Yorkshire on which Jem had said that parabatai were meant to love each other as they loved their own souls. He played that love, and he played their love for Tessa, and hers for them, and he played Will saying, In your eyes I have always found grace. He played the too few times he had seen them since he had joined the Brotherhood- the brief meetings at the Institute; the time when Will had been bitten by a Shax demon and nearly died, and Jem had come from the Silent City and sat with him all night, risking discovery and punishment. And he played the birth of their first son, and the protection ceremony that had been carried out on the child in the Silent City. Will would have no other Silent Brother but Jem perform it. And Jem played the way he had covered his scarred face with his hands and turned away when he'd found out the child's name was James. He played of love and loss and years of silence, words unsaid and vows unspoken, and all the spaces between his heart and theirs; and when he was done, and he'd set the violin back in its box, Will's eyes were closed, but Tessa's were full of tears. Jem set down his bow, and came toward the bed, drawing back his hood, so she could see his closed eyes and his scarred face. And he had sat down beside them on the bed, and taken Will's hand, the one that Tessa was not holding, and both Will and Tessa heard Jem's voice in their minds. I take your hand, brother, so that you may go in peace. Will had opened the blue eyes that had never lost their color over all the passing years, and looked at Jem and then Tessa, and smiled, and died, with Tessa's head on his shoulder and his hand in Jem's.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I reach out and take his hand. “Well, he probably used up a lot of resources helping me knock you out,” I say mischievously. “Yeah, about that,” says Peeta, entwining his fingers in mine. “Don’t try something like that again.” “Or what?” I ask. “Or . . . or . . .” He can’t think of anything good. “Just give me a minute.” “What’s the problem?” I say with a grin. “The problem is we’re both still alive. Which only reinforces the idea in your mind that you did the right thing,” says Peeta. “I did do the right thing,” I say. “No! Just don’t, Katniss!” His grip tightens, hurting my hand, and there’s real anger in his voice. “Don’t die for me. You won’t be doing me any favors. All right?” I’m startled by his intensity but recognize an excellent opportunity for getting food, so I try to keep up. “Maybe I did it for myself, Peeta, did you ever think of that? Maybe you aren’t the only one who . . . who worries about . . . what it would be like if. . .” I fumble. I’m not as smooth with words as Peeta. And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die. And it’s not about the sponsors. And it’s not about what will happen back home. And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread. “If what, Katniss?” he says softly. I wish I could pull the shutters closed, blocking out this moment from the prying eyes of Panem. Even if it means losing food. Whatever I’m feeling, it’s no one’s business but mine. “That’s exactly the kind of topic Haymitch told me to steer clear of,” I say evasively, although Haymitch never said anything of the kind. In fact, he’s probably cursing me out right now for dropping the ball during such an emotionally charged moment. But Peeta somehow catches it. “Then I’ll just have to fill in the blanks myself,” he says, and moves in to me. This is the first kiss that we’re both fully aware of. Neither of us hobbled by sickness or pain or simply unconscious. Our lips neither burning with fever or icy cold. This is the first kiss where I actually feel stirring inside my chest. Warm and curious. This is the first kiss that makes me want another. But I don’t get it. Well, I do get a second kiss, but it’s just a light one on the tip of my nose because Peeta’s been distracted. “I think your wound is bleeding again. Come on, lie down, it’s bedtime anyway,” he says.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
The return of the voices would end in a migraine that made my whole body throb. I could do nothing except lie in a blacked-out room waiting for the voices to get infected by the pains in my head and clear off. Knowing I was different with my OCD, anorexia and the voices that no one else seemed to hear made me feel isolated, disconnected. I took everything too seriously. I analysed things to death. I turned every word, and the intonation of every word over in my mind trying to decide exactly what it meant, whether there was a subtext or an implied criticism. I tried to recall the expressions on people’s faces, how those expressions changed, what they meant, whether what they said and the look on their faces matched and were therefore genuine or whether it was a sham, the kind word touched by irony or sarcasm, the smile that means pity. When people looked at me closely could they see the little girl in my head, being abused in those pornographic clips projected behind my eyes? That is what I would often be thinking and such thoughts ate away at the façade of self-confidence I was constantly raising and repairing. (describing dissociative identity disorder/mpd symptoms)
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Being right is based upon knowledge and experience and is often provable. Knowledge comes from the past, so it's safe. It is also out of date. It's the opposite of originality. Experience is built from solutions to old situations and problems. The old situations are probably different from the present ones, so that old solutions will have to be bent to fit new problems (and possibly fit badly). Also the likelihood is that, if you've got the experience, you'll probably use it. This is lazy. Experience is the opposite of being creative. If you can prove you're right you're set in concrete. You cannot move with the times or with other people. Being right is also being boring. Your mind is closed. You are not open to new ideas. You are rooted in your own rightness, which is arrogant. Arrogance is a valuable tool, but only if used very sparingly. Worst of all, being right has a tone of morality about it. To be anything else sounds weak or fallible, and people who are right would hate to be thought fallible. So: it's wrong to be right, because people who are right are rooted in the past, rigid-minded, dull and smug. There's no talking to them.
Paul Arden (It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be)
Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention aand innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared. Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people's minds, imagine themselves into other people's places. And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.
J.K. Rowling
There was no way his imagination could feel the impact of the whole Earth having gone, it was too big. He prodded his feelings by thinking that his parent and his sister had gone. No reaction.He thought of all the people he had been close to. No reaction. Then he thought of a complete stranger he had been standing behind in the queue at the supermarket two days before and felt a sudden stab: the supermarket was gone, everyone in it was gone! Nelson’s Column had gone! and there would be no outcry, because there was no one left to make an outcry! From now on Nelson’s Column only existed in his mind. England only existed in his mind. A wave of claustrophobia closed in on him. He tried again: America, he thought, has gone. He couldn’t grasp it, He decided to start smaller again. New York has gone. No reaction. He’d never seriously believed it existed anyway. The dollar, he thought, has sunk for ever. Slight tremor there. Every “Bogart” movie has been wiped, he said to himself, and that gave him a nasty knock. McDonald’s, he thought. There is no longer any such thing as a McDonald’s hamburger. He passed out.
Douglas Adams
What was she thinking?” muttered Alexander, closing his eyes and imagining his Tania. “She was determined. It was like some kind of a personal crusade with her,” Ina said. “She gave the doctor a liter of blood for you—” “Where did she get it from?” “Herself, of course.” Ina smiled. “Lucky for you, Major, our Nurse Metanova is a universal donor.” Of course she is, thought Alexander, keeping his eyes tightly shut. Ina continued. “The doctor told her she couldn’t give any more, and she said a liter wasn’t enough, and he said, ‘Yes, but you don’t have more to give,’ and she said, ‘I’ll make more,’ and he said, ‘No,’ and she said, ‘Yes,’ and in four hours, she gave him another half-liter of blood.” Alexander lay on his stomach and listened intently while Ina wrapped fresh gauze on his wound. He was barely breathing. “The doctor told her, ‘Tania, you’re wasting your time. Look at his burn. It’s going to get infected.’ There wasn’t enough penicillin to give to you, especially since your blood count was so low.” Alexander heard Ina chuckle in disbelief. “So I’m making my rounds late that night, and who do I find next to your bed? Tatiana. She’s sitting with a syringe in her arm, hooked up to a catheter, and I watch her, and I swear to God, you won’t believe it when I tell you, Major, but I see that the catheter is attached to the entry drip in your IV.” Ina’s eyes bulged. “I watch her draining blood from the radial artery in her arm into your IV. I ran in and said, ‘Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? You’re siphoning blood from yourself into him?’ She said to me in her calm, I-won’t-stand-for-any-argument voice, ‘Ina, if I don’t, he will die.’ I yelled at her. I said, ‘There are thirty soldiers in the critical wing who need sutures and bandages and their wounds cleaned. Why don’t you take care of them and let God take care of the dead?’ And she said, ‘He’s not dead. He is still alive, and while he is alive, he is mine.’ Can you believe it, Major? But that’s what she said. ‘Oh, for God’s sake,’ I said to her. ‘Fine, die yourself. I don’t care.’ But the next morning I went to complain to Dr. Sayers that she wasn’t following procedure, told him what she had done, and he ran to yell at her.” Ina lowered her voice to a sibilant, incredulous whisper. “We found her unconscious on the floor by your bed. She was in a dead faint, but you had taken a turn for the better. All your vital signs were up. And Tatiana got up from the floor, white as death itself, and said to the doctor coldly, ‘Maybe now you can give him the penicillin he needs?’ I could see the doctor was stunned. But he did. Gave you penicillin and more plasma and extra morphine. Then he operated on you, to get bits of the shell fragment out of you, and saved your kidney. And stitched you. And all that time she never left his side, or yours. He told her your bandages needed to be changed every three hours to help with drainage, to prevent infection. We had only two nurses in the terminal wing, me and her. I had to take care of all the other patients, while all she did was take care of you. For fifteen days and nights she unwrapped you and cleaned you and changed your dressings. Every three hours. She was a ghost by the end. But you made it. That’s when we moved you to critical care. I said to her, ‘Tania, this man ought to marry you for what you did for him,’ and she said, ‘You think so?’ ” Ina tutted again. Paused. “Are you all right, Major? Why are you crying?
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
But what about human nature? Can it be changed? And if not, will it endure under Anarchism? Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name! Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every heart fettered, wounded, and maimed? John Burroughs has stated that experimental study of animals in captivity is absolutely useless. Their character, their habits, their appetites undergo a complete transformation when torn from their soil in field and forest. With human nature caged in a narrow space, whipped daily into submission, how can we speak of its potentialities? Freedom, expansion, opportunity, and, above all, peace and repose, alone can teach us the real dominant factors of human nature and all its wonderful possibilities. Anarchism, then, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government. Anarchism stands for a social order based on the free grouping of individuals for the purpose of producing real social wealth; an order that will guarantee to every human being free access to the earth and full enjoyment of the necessities of life, according to individual desires, tastes, and inclinations. This is not a wild fancy or an aberration of the mind. It is the conclusion arrived at by hosts of intellectual men and women the world over; a conclusion resulting from the close and studious observation of the tendencies of modern society: individual liberty and economic equality, the twin forces for the birth of what is fine and true in man.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
Rush-hour on the A rain. A blind man staggers forth, his cane tapping lightly own the aisle. He leans against the door, raises a violin to chin, and says I’m sorry to bother you, folks. But please. Just listen. And it kills me, the word sorry. As if something like music should be forgiven. He nuzzles into the wood like a lover, inhales, and at the first slow stroke, the crescendo seeps through our skin like warm water, we who have nothing but destinations, who dream of light but descend into the mouths of tunnels, searching. Beads of sweat fall from his brow, making dark roses on the instrument. His head swooning to each chord exhaled through the hollow torso. The woman beside me has put down her book, closed her eyes, the baby has stopped crying, the cop has sat down, and I know this train is too fast for dreaming, that these iron jaws will always open to swallow a smile already lost. How insufficient the memory, to fail before death. how will hear these notes when the train slides into the yard, the lights turned out, and the song lingers with breaths rising from empty seats? I know I am too human to praise what is fading. But for now, I just want to listen as the train fills completely with warm water, and we are all swimming slowly toward the man with Mozart flowing from his hands. I want nothing but to put my fingers inside his mouth, let that prayer hum through my veins. I want crawl into the hole in his violin. I want to sleep there until my flesh becomes music.
Ocean Vuong
It's not that you have lost touch with these people. You haven't. It's just that they have kept in such close touch with each other. When scrolling through your cell phone, you generally let their numbers be highlighted for a second, hovering, and then move along to people you have spoken to within the last month. It's not that you're a bad friend to these people. It's just that you're not a great one. They know the names of each other's coworkers and the blow-by-blow nature of each other's dramas; they go camping in the Berkshires together and have such sentences in their conversational arsenal as "you left your lip gloss in my bathroom." You have no such sentences. Your connection to your friends is half-baked and you are starting to forget their siblings' names, never mind their coworkers. But you're still in the play even if you're no longer a main character.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
I forget myself sometimes, but then I look up, as I am looking up now, and I see in my mind's eye a sheild, strangely changed by a rich encrusting of jewel-like barnacles and cold-water coral, with an eight foot tooth sticking right out of the middle of it. I reach out and the edge of that tooth is still so bitingly sharp after all these years that just a gentle brush with the fingers might send a rain of blood down on these pages. And I bend my head, not too close, and I am sure I can hear, very faintly: Once I set the sea alight With a single fiery breath.... Once I was so mighty that I thought My name was Death.... Sing out loud until you're eaten, Song of melancholy blisss, For the mighty and the middling All shall come to THIS.... The Supper is still singing.
Cressida Cowell
A dozen candles burned themselves to death on the shelf before me. Each of my breaths made them tremble. To them, I was a behemoth, to frighten and destroy. And yet, if I strayed too close, they could destroy me. My invisible breath, the pulses of life that flowed in and out, could end them freely, while my fingers could not do the same without being repaid in pain.’” “‘I understood in a moment of stillness,’” Litima read. “‘Those candle flames were like the lives of men. So fragile. So deadly. Left alone, they lit and warmed. Let run rampant, they would destroy the very things they were meant to illuminate. Embryonic bonfires, each bearing a seed of destruction so potent it could tumble cities and dash kings to their knees. In later years, my mind would return to that calm, silent evening, when I had stared at rows of living lights. And I would understand. To be given loyalty is to be infused like a gemstone, to be granted the frightful license to destroy not only one’s self, but all within one’s care.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
Do I, then, belong to the heavens? Why, if not so, should the heavens Fix me thus with their ceaseless blue stare, Luring me on, and my mind, higher Ever higher, up into the sky, Drawing me ceaselessly up To heights far, far above the human? Why, when balance has been strictly studied And flight calculated with the best of reason Till no aberrant element should, by rights, remain- Why, still, should the lust for ascension Seem, in itself, so close to madness? Nothing is that can satify me; Earthly novelty is too soon dulled; I am drawn higher and higher, more unstable, Closer and closer to the sun's effulgence. Why do these rays of reason destroy me? Villages below and meandering streams Grow tolerable as our distance grows. Why do they plead, approve, lure me With promise that I may love the human If only it is seen, thus, from afar- Although the goal could never have been love, Nor, had it been, could I ever have Belonged to the heavens? I have not envied the bird its freedom Nor have I longed for the ease of Nature, Driven by naught save this strange yearning For the higher, and the closer, to plunge myself Into the deep sky's blue, so contrary To all organic joys, so far From pleasures of superiority But higher, and higher, Dazzled, perhaps, by the dizzy incandescence Of waxen wings. Or do I then Belong, after all, to the earth? Why, if not so, should the earth Show such swiftness to encompass my fall? Granting no space to think or feel, Why did the soft, indolent earth thus Greet me with the shock of steel plate? Did the soft earth thus turn to steel Only to show me my own softness? That Nature might bring home to me That to fall, not to fly, is in the order of things, More natural by far than that improbable passion? Is the blue of the sky then a dream? Was it devised by the earth, to which I belonged, On account of the fleeting, white-hot intoxication Achieved for a moment by waxen wings? And did the heavens abet the plan to punish me? To punish me for not believing in myself Or for believing too much; Too earger to know where lay my allegiance Or vainly assuming that already I knew all; For wanting to fly off To the unknown Or the known: Both of them a single, blue speck of an idea?
Yukio Mishima (Sun and Steel)
The Search for reason ends at the known; on the immense expanse beyond it only the sense of the ineffable can glide. It alone knows the route to that which is remote from experience and understanding. Neither of them is amphibious: reason cannot go beyond the shore, and the sense of the ineffable is out of place where we measure, where we weigh. We do not leave the shore of the known in search of adventure or suspense or because of the failure of reason to answer our questions. We sail because our mind is like a fantastic seashell, and when applying our ear to its lips we hear a perpetual murmur from the waves beyond the shore. Citizens of two realms, we all must sustain a dual allegiance: we sense the ineffable in one realm, we name and exploit reality in another. Between the two we set up a system of references, but we can never fill the gap. They are as far and as close to each other as time and calendar, as violin and melody, as life and what lies beyond the last breath.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (Man Is Not Alone: A Philosophy of Religion)
There is a kind of sleep that steals upon us sometimes, which, while it holds the body prisoner, does not free the mind from a sense of things about it, and enable it to ramble at its pleasure. So far as an overpowering heaviness, a prostration of strength, and an utter inability to control our thoughts or power of motion, can be called sleep, this is it; and yet we have a consciousness of all that is going on about us; and if we dream at such a time, words which are really spoken, or sounds which really exist at the moment, accommodate themselves with surprising readiness to our visions, until reality and imagination become so strangely blended that it is afterwards almost a matter of impossibilty to separate the two. Nor is this, the most striking phenomenon, incidental to such a state. It is an undoubted fact, that although our senses of touch and sight be for the time dead, yet our sleeping thoughts, and the visionary scenes that pass before us, will be influenced, and materially influenced, by the mere silent presence of some external object: which may not have been near us when we closed our eyes: and of whose vicinity we have had no waking consciousness.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
Picture a thirteen-year-old boy sitting in the living room of his family home doing his math assignment while wearing his Walkman headphones or watching MTV. He enjoys the liberties hard won over centuries by the alliance of philosophic genius and political heroism, consecrated by the blood of martyrs; he is provided with comfort and leisure by the most productive economy ever known to mankind; science has penetrated the secrets of nature in order to provide him with the marvelous, lifelike electronic sound and image reproduction he is enjoying. And in what does progress culminate? A pubescent child whose body throbs with orgasmic rhythms; whose feelings are made articulate in hymns to the joys of onanism or the killing of parents; whose ambition is to win fame and wealth in imitating the drag-queen who makes the music. In short, life is made into a nonstop, commercially prepackaged masturbational fantasy.
Allan Bloom (The Closing of the American Mind)
Did you know sometimes it frightens me-- when you say my name and I can't see you? will you ever learn to materialize before you speak? impetuous boy, if that's what you really are. how many centuries since you've climbed a balcony or do you do this every night with someone else? you tell me that you'll never leave and I am almost afraid to believe it. why is it me you've chosen to follow? did you like the way I look when I am sleeping? was my hair more fun to tangle? are my dreams more entertaining? do you laugh when I'm complaining that I'm all alone? where were you when I searched the sea for a friend to talk to me? in a year where will you be? is it enough for you to steal into my mind filling up my page with music written in my hand you know I'll take the credit for I must have made you come to me somehow. but please try to close the curtains when you leave at night, or I'll have to find someone to stay and warm me. will you always attend my midnight tea parties-- as long as I set it at your place? if one day your sugar sits untouched will you have gone forever? would you miss me in a thousand years-- when you will dry another's tears? but you say you'll never leave me and I wonder if you'll have the decency to pass through my wall to the next room while I dress for dinner but when I'm stuck in conversation with stuffed shirts whose adoration hurts my ears, where are you then? can't you cut in when I dance with other men? it's too late not to interfere with my life you've already made me a most unsuitable wife for any man who wants to be the first his bride has slept with and you can't just fly into people's bedrooms then expect them to calmly wave goodbye you've changed the course of history and didn't even try where are you now-- standing behind me, taking my hand? come and remind me who you are have you traveled far are you made of stardust too are the angels after you tell me what I am to do but until then I'll save your side of the bed just come and sing me to sleep
Emilie Autumn
I felt my hand curl into a fist. Felt my elbow draw back. Felt my arm dart forward, my knuckles crack into Cole's jaw. I couldn't stop myself. His head whipped to the side, and blood leaked from a cut in his lip. Behind me, gasps of shock abounded. "I'm recovered," I said. "Believe me now?" Those violet eyes slitted when they found me. "Assault and battery is illegal." "So have me arrested." He closed what little distance there was between us. Suddenly I could feel his warmth of his breath caressing my skin. "How about I put you over my lap and spank you instead?" "How about I knee your balls into your throat?" "If you're going to play with that particular area, I'd rather you use your hands." "My hands aren't going near that area ever again." A pause. Then, "I bet I could change your mind," he whispered huskily. "I bet I could bash yours." I drew back another fist, but he was ready and caught me midswing. His pupils dilated, a sign of arousal. Another sign: he began to pant. He was acting like I'd tried to unbuckle his jeans rather than smack fire out of him. "Hit me again," he said, still using the same whispered tone, "and I'll take it as an invitation." I was just as bad. I trembled with longing I couldn't control and struggled to catch my breath. "An invitation to do what?" His grip loosened, his fingers rubbing my skin. A caress, not a warning. "I guess we'll find out together.
Gena Showalter (Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2))
At the core of every addiction is an emptiness based in abject fear. The addict dreads and abhors the present moment; she bends feverishly only toward the next time, the moment when her brain, infused with her drug of choice, will briefly experience itself as liberated from the burden of the past and the fear of the future—the two elements that make the present intolerable. Many of us resemble the drug addict in our ineffectual efforts to fill in the spiritual black hole, the void at the center, where we have lost touch with our souls, our spirit—with those sources of meaning and value that are not contingent or fleeting. Our consumerist, acquisition-, action-, and image-mad culture only serves to deepen the hole, leaving us emptier than before. The constant, intrusive, and meaningless mind-whirl that characterizes the way so many of us experience our silent moments is, itself, a form of addiction—and it serves the same purpose. “One of the main tasks of the mind is to fight or remove the emotional pain, which is one of the reasons for its incessant activity, but all it can ever achieve is to cover it up temporarily. In fact, the harder the mind struggles to get rid of the pain, the greater the pain.”14 So writes Eckhart Tolle. Even our 24/7 self-exposure to noise, e-mails, cell phones, TV, Internet chats, media outlets, music downloads, videogames, and nonstop internal and external chatter cannot succeed in drowning out the fearful voices within.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, 'the United States of America.' But it is hardly strange. Paine's teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind. We never had a sounder intelligence in this Republic. He was the equal of Washington in making American liberty possible. Where Washington performed Paine devised and wrote. The deeds of one in the Weld were matched by the deeds of the other with his pen. Washington himself appreciated Paine at his true worth. Franklin knew him for a great patriot and clear thinker. He was a friend and confidant of Jefferson, and the two must often have debated the academic and practical phases of liberty. I consider Paine our greatest political thinker. As we have not advanced, and perhaps never shall advance, beyond the Declaration and Constitution, so Paine has had no successors who extended his principles. Although the present generation knows little of Paine's writings, and although he has almost no influence upon contemporary thought, Americans of the future will justly appraise his work. I am certain of it. Truth is governed by natural laws and cannot be denied. Paine spoke truth with a peculiarly clear and forceful ring. Therefore time must balance the scales. The Declaration and the Constitution expressed in form Paine's theory of political rights. He worked in Philadelphia at the time that the first document was written, and occupied a position of intimate contact with the nation's leaders when they framed the Constitution. Certainly we may believe that Washington had a considerable voice in the Constitution. We know that Jefferson had much to do with the document. Franklin also had a hand and probably was responsible in even larger measure for the Declaration. But all of these men had communed with Paine. Their views were intimately understood and closely correlated. There is no doubt whatever that the two great documents of American liberty reflect the philosophy of Paine. ...Then Paine wrote 'Common Sense,' an anonymous tract which immediately stirred the fires of liberty. It flashed from hand to hand throughout the Colonies. One copy reached the New York Assembly, in session at Albany, and a night meeting was voted to answer this unknown writer with his clarion call to liberty. The Assembly met, but could find no suitable answer. Tom Paine had inscribed a document which never has been answered adversely, and never can be, so long as man esteems his priceless possession. In 'Common Sense' Paine flared forth with a document so powerful that the Revolution became inevitable. Washington recognized the difference, and in his calm way said that matters never could be the same again. It must be remembered that 'Common Sense' preceded the declaration and affirmed the very principles that went into the national doctrine of liberty. But that affirmation was made with more vigor, more of the fire of the patriot and was exactly suited to the hour... Certainly [the Revolution] could not be forestalled, once he had spoken. {The Philosophy of Paine, June 7, 1925}
Thomas A. Edison (Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison)
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
Humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages upon its naive self-love. The first was when it realized that our earth was not the center of the universe, but only a tiny speck in a world-system of a magnitude hardly conceivable; this is associated in our minds with the name of Copernicus, although Alexandrian doctrines taught something very similar. The second was when biological research robbed man of his peculiar privilege of having been specially created, and relegated him to a descent from the animal world, implying an ineradicable animal nature in him: this transvaluation has been accomplished in our own time upon the instigation of Charles Darwin, Wallace, and their predecessors, and not without the most violent opposition from their contemporaries. But man's craving for grandiosity is now suffering the third and most bitter blow from present-day psychological research which is endeavoring to prove to the ego of each one of us that he is not even master in his own house, but that he must remain content with the veriest scraps of information about what is going on unconsciously in his own mind. We psycho-analysts were neither the first nor the only ones to propose to mankind that they should look inward; but it appears to be our lot to advocate it most insistently and to support it by empirical evidence which touches every man closely.
Sigmund Freud (Introduction à la psychanalyse)
He was shockingly easy to follow. The pressure of his hand, the step of his foot, the angle of his frame... it was like reading his mind. When he leaned right, they turned in perfect unison. He swept her across the gallery in a quick three, a dizzying pace. Gilded frames and glass cases and the window blurred in her vision, and Azalea spun out, her skirts pulling and poofing around her, before he caught her and brought her back into dance position. She could almost hear music playing, swelling inside of her. Mother had once told her about this perfect twining into one. She called it interweave, and said it was hard to do, for it took the perfect matching of the partners’ strengths to overshadow each other’s weaknesses, meshing into one glorious dance. Azalea felt the giddiness of being locked in not a pairing, but a dance. So starkly different than dancing with Keeper. Never that horrid feeling that she owed him something; no holding her breath, wishing for the dance to end. Now, spinning from Mr. Bradford’s hand, her eyes closed, spinning back and feeling him catch her, she felt the thrill of the dance, of being matched, flow through her. ”Heavens, you’re good!” said Azalea, breathless. ”You’re stupendous,” said Mr. Bradford, just as breathless. “It’s like dancing with a top!
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
How could I not fall in love with him," she asked. And on the tail end of her words, her bedroom door flew open and closed just as fast. Jen bent over, panting heavily as she looked up at Sally. "Hey Sally girl. Who we falling in love with?" Jen asked breathlessly. "Jen, what's wrong?" Sally paused and then decided on a better question. "What have you done now?" Jen stood up and took two deep breaths. Seeming to have regained her wind, she spoke quickly. "First off, I've changed my mind. I don't want you to name your first born after me." Sally interrupted. "Thank goodness for that," she muttered. "I want you to name your entire freaking litter after me," Jen growled. "Do you know what I've been through?" Jen's arms were flinging around as she glared at Sally. "I did that little strip tease to try and keep things from escalating with the rest of the pack and Decebel was beyond pissed. I had to sneak out of the gathering room and make a run for it. I've been running through the freaking forest trying to throw him off by changing back and forth so that I could place my clothes that I carried in my freaking muzzle. CARRIED IN MY MUZZLE SALLY! I put them in different places to throw off him off my scent." Jen went over to Sally's window and was trying to judge the danger of using it as an exit.
Quinn Loftis
When does the enchantment start? We were sitting side by side, facing the mountains. "It started when the earth was born." Her eyes was closed. Her face was golden in the setting sun. "It never stops. It is, always. It's just here." So what do we do?" She smiled. "That's the secret." Her cupped hands rested in her lap. "We do nothing. Or as close to nothing as we can." Her face turned slowly to me, though her eyes remained closed. "Have you ever done nothing?" I laughed. "My mother thinks I do it all the time." "Don't tell her I said so, but your mother is wrong." She turned back to the sun. "It's really hard to do nothing totally. Even just sitting here, like this, our bodies are churning, our minds are chattering. There's a whole commotion going on inside of us." "That's bad?" I said. "It's bad if we want to know what's going on outside ourselves." "Don't we have eyes and ears for that?" She nodded. "They're okay most of the time. But sometimes they just get in the way. The earth is speaking to us, but we can't hear because of all the racket our senses are making. Sometimes we need to erase them, erase our senses. Then maybe the earth will touch us. The universe will speak. The stars will whisper.
Jerry Spinelli (Stargirl (Stargirl, #1))
Kaitlyn remebered the things he'd given her, the sun-flooded afternoons, and the cool healing ocean waves, and the music he'd written. He'd given her everything that was best in him, everything he was. She wanted to give him the same thing back. I don't know how you can love me. The words came soflty, as if he were thinking them to himself. You've seen what I am. That's why I do love you, Kaitlyn told him. I hope you'll still love me when you see what I am. "I know what you are, Kait. Everything beautiful and brave and gallant and..." He stopped as if his throat had closed. "Everything that makes me want to be better for you. That makes me sorry I'm such a stupid mess..." You looked like a knight with that shard, Kaitlyn said, moving toward him. "Really?" He laughed shakily. My knight. And I never said thank you. She was almost touching him, now. Looking up into his eyes. What she could feel in him was something she'd only felt before when she gave him her life energy. Childlike, marveling joy. Trust and vulnerability. And such love... Then she was in his arms and they weren't separate beings any longer. Their minds were together, sharing thoughts, sharing happiness beyond thought. Sharing everything. She never even knew whether he kissed her.
L.J. Smith (Dark Visions (Dark Visions, #1-3))
In Plaster I shall never get out of this! There are two of me now: This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one, And the white person is certainly the superior one. She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints. 
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality -- She lay in bed with me like a dead body 
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was 
 Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints. I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold. I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer. 
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior! 
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist. 
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her: She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages. 

Without me, she wouldn't exist, so of course she was grateful. 
I gave her a soul, I bloomed out of her as a rose 
Blooms out of a vase of not very valuable porcelain, And it was I who attracted everybody's attention, 
Not her whiteness and beauty, as I had at first supposed. 
I patronized her a little, and she lapped it up -- 
You could tell almost at once she had a slave mentality. 

I didn't mind her waiting on me, and she adored it. 
In the morning she woke me early, reflecting the sun 
From her amazingly white torso, and I couldn't help but notice 
Her tidiness and her calmness and her patience: She humored my weakness like the best of nurses, 
Holding my bones in place so they would mend properly. In time our relationship grew more intense. 

She stopped fitting me so closely and seemed offish. 
I felt her criticizing me in spite of herself, 
As if my habits offended her in some way. She let in the drafts and became more and more absent-minded. 
And my skin itched and flaked away in soft pieces 
Simply because she looked after me so badly. Then I saw what the trouble was: she thought she was immortal. She wanted to leave me, she thought she was superior, 
And I'd been keeping her in the dark, and she was resentful -- Wasting her days waiting on a half-corpse! 
And secretly she began to hope I'd die. Then she could cover my mouth and eyes, cover me entirely, 
And wear my painted face the way a mummy-case Wears the face of a pharaoh, though it's made of mud and water. 

I wasn't in any position to get rid of her. She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp -- I had forgotten how to walk or sit, So I was careful not to upset her in any way 
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself. Living with her was like living with my own coffin: Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully. I used to think we might make a go of it together -- 
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close. 
Now I see it must be one or the other of us. She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy, 
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit. I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her, 
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me. --written 26 Feburary 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
It is worth saying something about the social position of beggars, for when one has consorted with them, and found that they are ordinary human beings, one cannot help being struck by the curious attitude that society takes towards them. People seem to feel that there is some essential difference between beggars and ordinary 'working' men. They are a race apart--outcasts, like criminals and prostitutes. Working men 'work', beggars do not 'work'; they are parasites, worthless in their very nature. It is taken for granted that a beggar does not 'earn' his living, as a bricklayer or a literary critic 'earns' his. He is a mere social excrescence, tolerated because we live in a humane age, but essentially despicable. Yet if one looks closely one sees that there is no ESSENTIAL difference between a beggar's livelihood and that of numberless respectable people. Beggars do not work, it is said; but, then, what is WORK? A navvy works by swinging a pick. An accountant works by adding up figures. A beggar works by standing out of doors in all weathers and getting varicose veins, chronic bronchitis, etc. It is a trade like any other; quite useless, of course--but, then, many reputable trades are quite useless. And as a social type a beggar compares well with scores of others. He is honest compared with the sellers of most patent medicines, high-minded compared with a Sunday newspaper proprietor, amiable compared with a hire-purchase tout--in short, a parasite, but a fairly harmless parasite. He seldom extracts more than a bare living from the community, and, what should justify him according to our ethical ideas, he pays for it over and over in suffering. I do not think there is anything about a beggar that sets him in a different class from other people, or gives most modern men the right to despise him. Then the question arises, Why are beggars despised?--for they are despised, universally. I believe it is for the simple reason that they fail to earn a decent living. In practice nobody cares whether work is useful or useless, productive or parasitic; the sole thing demanded is that it shall be profitable. In all the modem talk about energy, efficiency, social service and the rest of it, what meaning is there except 'Get money, get it legally, and get a lot of it'? Money has become the grand test of virtue. By this test beggars fail, and for this they are despised. If one could earn even ten pounds a week at begging, it would become a respectable profession immediately. A beggar, looked at realistically, is simply a businessman, getting his living, like other businessmen, in the way that comes to hand. He has not, more than most modem people, sold his honour; he has merely made the mistake of choosing a trade at which it is impossible to grow rich.
George Orwell (Down and Out in Paris and London)
I saw a meme the other day with a picture of Marilyn Manson and Robin Williams. It said about the former, this isn’t the face of depression, and about the latter, this is. This really struck a chord and it’s been on my mind since then. As someone who has continuously dipped in and out of chronic depression and anxiety for close to three decades now, and I’ve never previously spoken about the subject, I finally thought it was time I did. These days it’s trendy for people to think they’re cool and understanding about mental illness, posting memes and such to indicate so. But the reality is far different to that. It seems most people think if they publicly display such understanding then perhaps a friend will come to them, open up, and calmly discuss their problems. This will not happen. For someone in that seemingly hopeless void of depression and anxiety the last thing they are likely to do is acknowledge it, let alone talk about it. Even if broached by a friend they will probably deny there is a problem and feel even more distanced from the rest of the world. So nobody can do anything to help, right? No. If right now you suspect one of your friends is suffering like this then you’re probably right. If right now you think that none of your friends are suffering like this then you’re probably wrong. By all means make your public affirmations of understanding, but at least take on board that an attempt to connect on this subject by someone you care about could well be cryptic and indirect. When we hear of celebrities who suffered and finally took their own lives the message tends to be that so many close friends had no idea. This is woeful, but it’s also great, right? Because by not knowing there was a problem there is no burden of responsibility on anyone else. This is another huge misconception, that by acknowledging an indirect attempt to connect on such a complex issue that somehow you are accepting responsibility to fix it. This is not the case. You don’t have to find a solution. Maybe just listen. Many times over the years I’ve seen people recoil when they suspect that perhaps that is the direct a conversation is about to turn, and they desperately scramble for anything that can immediately change the subject. By acknowledging you’ve heard and understood doesn’t mean you are picking up their burden and carrying it for them. Anyway, I’ve said my piece. And please don’t think this is me reaching out for help. If this was my current mindset the last thing I’d ever do is write something like this, let alone share it.
R.D. Ronald
What about me?’ said Grantaire. ‘I’m here.’ ‘You?’ ‘Yes, me.’ ‘You? Rally Republicans! You? In defence of principles, fire up hearts that have grown cold!’ ‘Why not?’ ‘Are you capable of being good for something?’ ‘I have the vague ambition to be,’ said Grantaire. ‘You don’t believe in anything.’ ‘I believe in you.’ ‘Grantaire, will you do me a favour?’ ‘Anything. Polish your boots.’ ‘Well, don’t meddle in our affairs. Go and sleep off the effects of your absinthe.’ ‘You’re heartless, Enjolras.’ ‘As if you’d be the man to send to the Maine gate! As if you were capable of it!’ ‘I’m capable of going down Rue des Grès, crossing Place St-Michel, heading off along Rue Monsieur-le-Prince, taking Rue de Vaugirard, passing the Carmelite convent, turning into Rue d’Assas, proceeding to Rue du Cherche-Midi, leaving the Military Court behind me, wending my way along Rue des Vieilles-Tuileries, striding across the boulevard, following Chaussée du Maine, walking through the toll-gate and going into Richefeu’s. I’m capable of that. My shoes are capable of that.’ ‘Do you know them at all, those comrades who meet at Richefeu’s?' ‘Not very well. But we’re on friendly terms.’ ‘What will you say to them?’ ‘I’ll talk to them about Robespierre, of course! And about Danton. About principles.’ ‘You?’ ‘Yes, me. But I’m not being given the credit I deserve. When I put my mind to it, I’m terrific. I’ve read Prudhomme, I’m familiar with the Social Contract, I know by heart my constitution of the year II. “The liberty of the citizen ends where the liberty of another citizen begins.” Do you take me for a brute beast? I have in my drawer an old promissory note from the time of the Revolution. The rights of man, the sovereignty of the people, for God’s sake! I’m even a bit of an Hébertist. I can keep coming out with some wonderful things, watch in hand, for a whole six hours by the clock.’ ‘Be serious,’ said Enjolras. ‘I mean it,’ replied Grantaire. Enjolras thought for a few moments, and with the gesture of a man who had come to a decision, ‘Grantaire,’ he said gravely, ‘I agree to try you out. You’ll go to the Maine toll-gate.’ Grantaire lived in furnished lodgings very close to Café Musain. He went out, and came back five minutes later. He had gone home to put on a Robespierre-style waistcoat. ‘Red,’ he said as he came in, gazing intently at Enjolras. Then, with an energetic pat of his hand, he pressed the two scarlet lapels of the waistcoat to his chest. And stepping close to Enjolras he said in his ear, ‘Don’t worry.’ He resolutely jammed on his hat, and off he went.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Whenever any kind of deep loss occurs in your life — such as loss of possessions, your home, a close relationship; or loss of your reputation, job, or physical abilities — something inside you dies. You feel diminished in your sense of who you are. There may also be a certain disorientation. “Without this...who am I?” When a form that you had unconsciously identified with as part of yourself leaves you or dissolves, that can be extremely painful. It leaves a hole, so to speak, in the fabric of your existence. When this happens, don't deny or ignore the pain or the sadness that you feel. Accept that it is there. Beware of your mind's tendency to construct a story around that loss in which you are assigned the role of victim. Fear, anger, resentment, or self-pity are the emotions that go with that role. Then become aware of what lies behind those emotions as well as behind the mind-made story: that hole, that empty space. Can you face and accept that strange sense of emptiness? If you do, you may find that it is no longer a fearful place. You may be surprised to find peace emanating from it. Whenever death occurs, whenever a life form dissolves, God, the formless and unmanifested, shines through the opening left by the dissolving form. That is why the most sacred thing in life is death. That is why the peace of God can come to you through the contemplation and acceptance of death.
Eckhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks)
However, the majority of women are neither harlots nor courtesans; nor do they sit clasping pug dogs to dusty velvet all through the summer afternoon. But what do they do then? and there came to my mind’s eye one of those long streets somewhere south of the river whose infinite rows are innumerably populated. With the eye of the imagination I saw a very ancient lady crossing the street on the arm of a middle-aged woman, her daughter, perhaps, both so respectably booted and furred that their dressing in the afternoon must be a ritual, and the clothes themselves put away in cupboards with camphor, year after year, throughout the summer months. They cross the road when the lamps are being lit (for the dusk is their favourite hour), as they must have done year after year. The elder is close on eighty; but if one asked her what her life has meant to her, she would say that she remembered the streets lit for the battle of Balaclava, or had heard the guns fire in Hyde Park for the birth of King Edward the Seventh. And if one asked her, longing to pin down the moment with date and season, but what were you doing on the fifth of April 1868, or the second of November 1875, she would look vague and say that she could remember nothing. For all the dinners are cooked; the plates and cups washed; the children sent to school and gone out into the world. Nothing remains of it all. All has vanished. No biography or history has a word to say about it. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie. All these infinitely obscure lives remain to be recorded, I said, addressing Mary Carmichael as if she were present; and went on in thought through the streets of London feeling in imagination the pressure of dumbness, the accumulation of unrecorded life, whether from the women at the street corners with their arms akimbo, and the rings embedded in their fat swollen fingers, talking with a gesticulation like the swing of Shakespeare’s words; or from the violet-sellers and match-sellers and old crones stationed under doorways; or from drifting girls whose faces, like waves in sun and cloud, signal the coming of men and women and the flickering lights of shop windows. All that you will have to explore, I said to Mary Carmichael, holding your torch firm in your hand.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
Her room was warm and lightsome. A huge doll sat with her legs apart in the copious easy-chair beside the bed. He tried to bid his tongue speak that he might seem at ease, watching her as she undid her gown, noting the proud conscious movements of her perfumed head. As he stood silent in the middle of the room she came over to him and embraced him gaily and gravely. Her round arms held him firmly to her and he, seeing her face lifted to him in serious calm and feeling the warm calm rise and fall of her breast, all but burst into hysterical weeping. Tears of joy and relief shone in his delighted eyes and his lips parted though they would not speak. She passed her tinkling hand through his hair, calling him a little rascal. —Give me a kiss, she said. His lips would not bend to kiss her. He wanted to be held firmly in her arms, to be caressed slowly, slowly, slowly. In her arms he felt that he had suddenly become strong and fearless and sure of himself. But his lips would not bend to kiss her. With a sudden movement she bowed his head and joined her lips to his and he read the meaning of her movements in her frank uplifted eyes. It was too much for him. He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to her, body and mind, conscious of nothing in the world but the dark pressure of her softly parting lips. They pressed upon his brain as upon his lips as though they were the vehicle of a vague speech; and between them he felt an unknown and timid pressure, darker than the swoon of sin, softer than sound or odour.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
The problem is, it's just not enough to live according to the rules. Sure, you manage to live according to the rules. Sometimes it's tight, extremely tight, but on the whole you manage it. Your tax papers are up to date. Your bills paid on time. You never go out without your identity card (and the special little wallet for your Visa!). Yet you haven’t any friends. The rules are complex, multiform. There’s the shopping that needs doing out of working hours, the automatic dispensers where money has to be got (and where you so often have to wait). Above all there are the different payments you must make to the organizations that run different aspects of your life. You can fall ill into the bargain, which involves costs, and more formalities. Nevertheless, some free time remains. What’s to be done? How do you use your time? In dedicating yourself to helping people? But basically other people don’t interest you. Listening to records? That used to be a solution, but as the years go by you have to say that music moves you less and less. Taken in its widest sense, a spot of do-it-yourself can be a way out. But the fact is that nothing can halt the ever-increasing recurrence of those moments when your total isolation, the sensation of an all-consuming emptiness, the foreboding that your existence is nearing a painful and definitive end all combine to plunge you into a state of real suffering. And yet you haven’t always wanted to die. You have had a life. There have been moments when you were having a life. Of course you don't remember too much about it; but there are photographs to prove it. This was probably happening round about the time of your adolescence, or just after. How great your appetite for life was, then! Existence seemed so rich in new possibilities. You might become a pop singer, go off to Venezuela. More surprising still, you have had a childhood. Observe, now, a child of seven, playing with his little soldiers on the living room carpet. I want you to observe him closely. Since the divorce he no longer has a father. Only rarely does he see his mother, who occupies an important post in a cosmetics firm. And yet he plays with his little soldiers and the interest he takes in these representations of the world and of war seems very keen. He already lacks a bit of affection, that's for sure, but what an air he has of being interested in the world! You too, you took an interest in the world. That was long ago. I want you to cast your mind back to then. The domain of the rules was no longer enough for you; you were unable to live any longer in the domain of the rules; so you had to enter into the domain of the struggle. I ask you to go back to that precise moment. It was long ago, no? Cast your mind back: the water was cold.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
The Trial By Existence Even the bravest that are slain Shall not dissemble their surprise On waking to find valor reign, Even as on earth, in paradise; And where they sought without the sword Wide fields of asphodel fore’er, To find that the utmost reward Of daring should be still to dare. The light of heaven falls whole and white And is not shattered into dyes, The light for ever is morning light; The hills are verdured pasture-wise; The angel hosts with freshness go, And seek with laughter what to brave;— And binding all is the hushed snow Of the far-distant breaking wave. And from a cliff-top is proclaimed The gathering of the souls for birth, The trial by existence named, The obscuration upon earth. And the slant spirits trooping by In streams and cross- and counter-streams Can but give ear to that sweet cry For its suggestion of what dreams! And the more loitering are turned To view once more the sacrifice Of those who for some good discerned Will gladly give up paradise. And a white shimmering concourse rolls Toward the throne to witness there The speeding of devoted souls Which God makes his especial care. And none are taken but who will, Having first heard the life read out That opens earthward, good and ill, Beyond the shadow of a doubt; And very beautifully God limns, And tenderly, life’s little dream, But naught extenuates or dims, Setting the thing that is supreme. Nor is there wanting in the press Some spirit to stand simply forth, Heroic in its nakedness, Against the uttermost of earth. The tale of earth’s unhonored things Sounds nobler there than ’neath the sun; And the mind whirls and the heart sings, And a shout greets the daring one. But always God speaks at the end: ’One thought in agony of strife The bravest would have by for friend, The memory that he chose the life; But the pure fate to which you go Admits no memory of choice, Or the woe were not earthly woe To which you give the assenting voice.’ And so the choice must be again, But the last choice is still the same; And the awe passes wonder then, And a hush falls for all acclaim. And God has taken a flower of gold And broken it, and used therefrom The mystic link to bind and hold Spirit to matter till death come. ‘Tis of the essence of life here, Though we choose greatly, still to lack The lasting memory at all clear, That life has for us on the wrack Nothing but what we somehow chose; Thus are we wholly stripped of pride In the pain that has but one close, Bearing it crushed and mystified.
Robert Frost
We aren't fighting right now." I blurted out. He gave me a sidelong look. "Do you want to fight?" "No. I hate fighting with you. Verbally, I mean. I don't mind in the gym." I thought I detected the hint of a smile. Always a half-smile for me. Rarely a full one. "I don't like fighting with you either." Sitting next to him there, I marveled at the warm and happy emotions springing up inside me. There was something about being around him that felt so good, that moved me in a way Mason couldn't. You can't force love, I realized, It's there or it isn't. If it's not there, you've got to be able to admit it. If it is there, you've got to do whatever it takes to protect the ones you love. The next words that came out of my mouth astonished me, both because they were completely unselfish and because I actually meant them. "You should take it." He flinched. "What?" "Tasha's offer. You should take her up on it. It's a really great chance." I remembered my mom's words about being ready for children. I wasn't. Maybe she hadn't been. But Tasha was. And I knew Dimitri was too. They got along really well. He could go be her guardian, have some kids with her...it would be a good deal for both of them. "I never expected to hear you say anything like that," he told me, voice tight. "Especially after-" "What a bitch I've been? Yeah." I tugged his coat tighter against the cold. It smelled like him. It was intoxicating, and I could half-imagine being wrapped in his embrace. Adrian might have been onto something about the power of scent. "Well. Like I said, I don't want to fight anymore. I don't want us to hate each other. And...well..." I squeezed my eyes shut and then opened them. "No matter how I feel about us...I want you to be happy." Silence yet again. I noticed then that my chest hurt. Dimitri reached out and put his arm around me. He pulled me to him, and I rested my head on his chest. "Roza," was all he said. It was the first time he'd really touched me since the night of the lust charm. The practice room had been something different...more animal. This wasn't even about sex. It was just about being close to someone you cared about, about the emotion that kind of connection flooded you with. Dimitri might run off with Tasha, but I would still love him. I would probably always love him. I cared about Mason. But I would probably never love him. I sighed into Dimitri, just wishing I could stay like that forever. It felt right being with him. And-no matter how much the thought of him and Tasha made me ache-doing what was best for him felt right. Now, I knew, it was time to stop being a coward and do something else that was right. Mason had said I needed to learn something about myself. I just had. Reluctantly, I pulled away and handed Dimitri his coat. I stood up. He regarded me curiously, sensing my unease. "Where you going?" he asked. "To break someone's heart," I replied. I admired Dimitri for a heartbeat more-the dark, knowing eyes and silken hair. The I headed inside. I had to apologize to Mason...and tell him there'd never be anything between us.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
I circled the site before I came in. If there's anyone within five kilometers, I'll eat my quiver." Halt regarded him, eyebrow arched once more. "Anyone?" "Anyone other than Crowley," Will amended, making a dismissive gesture. "I saw him watching me from that hide he always uses about two kilometers out. I assumed he'd be back in here by now." Halt cleared his throat loudly. "Oh, you saw him, did you?" he said. "I imagine he'll be overjoyed to hear that." Secretly, he was pleased with his former pupil. In spite of his curiosity and obvious excitement, he hadn't forgotten to take the precautions that had been drilled into him. THat augured well for what lay ahead, Halt thought, a sudden grimness settling onto his manner. Will didn't notice the momentary change of mood. He was loosening Tug saddle girth. As he spoke, his voice was muffled against the horses's flank. "he's becoming too much a creature of habit," he said. "he's used that hide for the last three Gatherings. It's time he tried something new. Everyone must be onto it by now." Rangers constantly competed with each other to see before being seen and each year's Gathering was a time of heightened competition. Halt nodded thoughtfully. Crowley had constructed teh virtually invisible observation post some four years previously. Alone among the younger Rangers, Will had tumbled to it after one year. Halt had never mentioned to him that he was the only one who knew of Crowley's hide. The concealed post was the Ranger Commandant's pride and joy. "Well, perhaps not everyone," he said. Will emerged from behind his horse, grinning at the thought of the head of the Ranger Corps thinking he had remained hidden from sight as he watched Will's approach. "All the same, perhaps he's getting a bit long in the tooth to be skulking around hiding in the bushes, don't you think?" he said cheerfully. Halt considered the question for a moment. "Long in the tooth? Well, that's one opinion. Mind you, his silent movement skills are still as good as ever," he said meaningfully. The grin on Will's face slowly faded. He resisted the temptation to look over his shoulder. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" he asked Halt. THe older Ranger nodded. "He's standing behind me, isn't he?" Will continued and Halt nodded once more. "Is he...close enough to have heard what I said?" Will finally managed to ask, fearin teh worst. This time, Halt didn't have to answer. "Oh, good grief no," came a familiar voice from behind him. "he's so old and decrepit these days he's as deaf as a post." Will's shoulders sagged and he turned to see the sandy-haired Commandant standing a few meters away. The younger man's eyes dropped. "Hullo, Crowley," he said, then mumbled, "Ahhh...I'm sorry about that." Crowley glared at teh young Ranger for a few more seconds, then he couldn't help teh grin breaking out on his face. "No harm done," he said, adding with a small note of triumph, "It's not often these days I amange to get the better of one of you young ones." Secretly, he was impressed at teh news that Will had spotted his hiding place. Only the sarpest eyes could have picked it. Crowley had been in the business of seeing without being seen for thirty years or more, and despite what Will believed, he was still an absolute master of camouflage and unseen movement.
John Flanagan (The Sorcerer of the North (Ranger's Apprentice, #5))
I have met only a very few people - and most of these were not Americans - who had any real desire to be free. Freedom is hard to bear. It can be objected that I am speaking of political freedom in spiritual terms, but the political institutions of any nation are always menaced and are ultimately controlled by the spiritual state of that nation. We are controlled here by our confusion, far more than we know, and the American dream has therefore become something much more closely resembling a nightmare, on the private, domestic, and international levels. Privately, we cannot stand our lives and dare not examine them; domestically, we take no responsibility for (and no pride in) what goes on in our country; and, internationally, for many millions of people, we are an unmitigated disaster. Whoever doubts this last statement has only to open his ears, his heart, his mind, to the testimony of - for example - any Cuban peasant or any Spanish poet, and ask himself what he would feel about us if he were the victim of our performance in pre-Castro Cuba or in Spain. We defend our curious role in Spain by referring to the Russian menace and the necessity of protecting the free world. It has not occurred to us that we have simply been mesmerized by Russia, and that the only real advantage Russia has in what we think of as a struggle between the East and the West is the moral history of the Western world. Russia's secret weapon is the bewilderment and despair and hunger of millions of people of whose existence we are scarecely aware. The Russian Communists are not in the least concerned about these people. But our ignorance and indecision have had the effect, if not of delivering them into Russian hands, of plunging them very deeply in the Russian shadow, for which effect - and it is hard to blame them - the most articulate among them, and the most oppressed as well, distrust us all the more... We are capable of bearing a great burden, once we discover that the burden is reality and arrive where reality is. Anyway, the point here is that we are living in an age of revolution, whether we will or no, and that America is the only Western nation with both the power, and, as I hope to suggest, the experience that may help to make these revolutions real and minimize the human damage.
James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time)
Music was a kind of penetration. Perhaps absorption is a less freighted word. The penetration or absorption of everything into itself. I don't know if you have ever taken LSD, but when you do so the doors of perception, as Aldous Huxley, Jim Morrison and their adherents ceaselessly remind us, swing wide open. That is actually the sort of phrase, unless you are William Blake, that only makes sense when there is some LSD actually swimming about inside you. In the cold light of the cup of coffee and banana sandwich that are beside me now it appears to be nonsense, but I expect you to know what it is taken to mean. LSD reveals the whatness of things, their quiddity, their essence. The wateriness of water is suddenly revealed to you, the carpetness of carpets, the woodness of wood, the yellowness of yellow, the fingernailness of fingernails, the allness of all, the nothingness of all, the allness of nothing. For me music gives access to everyone of these essences, but at a fraction of the social or financial cost of a drug and without the need to cry 'Wow!' all the time, which is LSD's most distressing and least endearing side effects. ...Music in the precision of its form and the mathematical tyranny of its laws, escapes into an eternity of abstraction and an absurd sublime that is everywhere and nowhere at once. The grunt of rosin-rubbed catgut, the saliva-bubble blast of a brass tube, the sweaty-fingered squeak on a guitar fret, all that physicality, all that clumsy 'music making', all that grain of human performance...transcends itself at the moment of its happening, that moment when music actually becomes, as it makes the journey from the vibrating instrument, the vibrating hi-fi speaker, as it sends those vibrations across to the human tympanum and through to the inner ear and into the brain, where the mind is set to vibrate to frequencies of its own making. The nothingness of music can be moulded by the mood of the listener into the most precise shapes or allowed to float as free as thought; music can follow the academic and theoretical pattern of its own modality or adhere to some narrative or dialectical programme imposed by a friend, a scholar or the composer himself. Music is everything and nothing. It is useless and no limit can be set to its use. Music takes me to places of illimitable sensual and insensate joy, accessing points of ecstasy that no angelic lover could ever locate, or plunging me into gibbering weeping hells of pain that no torturer could ever devise. Music makes me write this sort of maundering adolescent nonsense without embarrassment. Music is in fact the dog's bollocks. Nothing else comes close.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir #1))
I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer. I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course. I didn’t feel it happen, the slip. Even if I had, I was so wrapped up in him that I couldn’t imagine pulling back or letting go of his warm skin or that moment. His touch was feather-light, stroking my skin with a kind of reverence, but the instant his lips found mine again, a single thought was enough to rocket me out of the honey-sweet haze. The memory of Clancy’s face as he had leaned in to do exactly what Liam was doing now suddenly flooded my mind, twisting its way through me until I couldn’t ignore it. Until I was seeing it play out glossy and burning like it was someone else’s memory and not mine. And then I realized—I wasn’t the only one seeing it. Liam was seeing it, too. How, how, how? That wasn’t possible, was it? Memories flowed to me, not from me. But I felt him grow still, then pull back. And I knew, I knew by the look on his face, that he had seen it. Air filled my chest. “Oh my God, I’m sorry, I didn’t want—he—” Liam caught one of my wrists and pulled me back to him, his hands cupping my cheeks. I wondered which one of us was breathing harder as he brushed my hair from my face. I tried to squirm away, ashamed of what he’d seen, and afraid of what he’d think of me. When Liam spoke, it was in a measured, would-be-calm voice. “What did he do?” “Nothing—” “Don’t lie,” he begged. “Please don’t lie to me. I felt it…my whole body. God, it was like being turned to stone. You were scared—I felt it, you were scared!” His fingers came up and wove through my hair, bringing my face close to his again. “He…” I started. “He asked to see a memory, and I let him, but when I tried to move away…I couldn’t get out, I couldn’t move, and then I blacked out. I don’t know what he did, but it hurt—it hurt so much.” Liam pulled back and pressed his lips to my forehead. I felt the muscles in his arms strain, shake. “Go to the cabin.” He didn’t let me protest. “Start packing.” “Lee—” “I’m going to find Chubs,” he said. “And the three of us are getting the hell out of here. Tonight.” “We can’t,” I said. “You know we can’t.” But he was already crashing back through the dark path. “Lee!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment. The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. 'It is possible,' answers the doorkeeper, 'but not at this moment.' Since the door leading into the Law stands open as usual and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man bends down to peer through the entrance. When the doorkeeper sees that, he laughs and says: 'If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful. And I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall keepers stand at every door, one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.' These are difficulties which the man from the country has not expected to meet, the Law, he thinks, should be accessible to every man and at all times, but when he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his furred robe, with his huge pointed nose and long, thin, Tartar beard, he decides that he had better wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at the side of the door. There he sits waiting for days and years. He makes many attempts to be allowed in and wearies the doorkeeper with his importunity. The doorkeeper often engages him in brief conversation, asking him about his home and about other matters, but the questions are put quite impersonally, as great men put questions, and always conclude with the statement that the man cannot be allowed to enter yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, parts with all he has, however valuable, in the hope of bribing the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts it all, saying, however, as he takes each gift: 'I take this only to keep you from feeling that you have left something undone.' During all these long years the man watches the doorkeeper almost incessantly. He forgets about the other doorkeepers, and this one seems to him the only barrier between himself and the Law. In the first years he curses his evil fate aloud; later, as he grows old, he only mutters to himself. He grows childish, and since in his prolonged watch he has learned to know even the fleas in the doorkeeper's fur collar, he begs the very fleas to help him and to persuade the doorkeeper to change his mind. Finally his eyes grow dim and he does not know whether the world is really darkening around him or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. But in the darkness he can now perceive a radiance that streams immortally from the door of the Law. Now his life is drawing to a close. Before he dies, all that he has experienced during the whole time of his sojourn condenses in his mind into one question, which he has never yet put to the doorkeeper. He beckons the doorkeeper, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend far down to hear him, for the difference in size between them has increased very much to the man's disadvantage. 'What do you want to know now?' asks the doorkeeper, 'you are insatiable.' 'Everyone strives to attain the Law,' answers the man, 'how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?' The doorkeeper perceives that the man is at the end of his strength and that his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: 'No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.
Franz Kafka (The Trial)
ALONE One of my new housemates, Stacy, wants to write a story about an astronaut. In his story the astronaut is wearing a suit that keeps him alive by recycling his fluids. In the story the astronaut is working on a space station when an accident takes place, and he is cast into space to orbit the earth, to spend the rest of his life circling the globe. Stacy says this story is how he imagines hell, a place where a person is completely alone, without others and without God. After Stacy told me about his story, I kept seeing it in my mind. I thought about it before I went to sleep at night. I imagined myself looking out my little bubble helmet at blue earth, reaching toward it, closing it between my puffy white space-suit fingers, wondering if my friends were still there. In my imagination I would call to them, yell for them, but the sound would only come back loud within my helmet. Through the years my hair would grow long in my helmet and gather around my forehead and fall across my eyes. Because of my helmet I would not be able to touch my face with my hands to move my hair out of my eyes, so my view of earth, slowly, over the first two years, would dim to only a thin light through a curtain of thatch and beard. I would lay there in bed thinking about Stacy's story, putting myself out there in the black. And there came a time, in space, when I could not tell whether I was awake or asleep. All my thoughts mingled together because I had no people to remind me what was real and what was not real. I would punch myself in the side to feel pain, and this way I could be relatively sure I was not dreaming. Within ten years I was beginning to breathe heavy through my hair and my beard as they were pressing tough against my face and had begun to curl into my mouth and up my nose. In space, I forgot that I was human. I did not know whether I was a ghost or an apparition or a demon thing. After I thought about Stacy's story, I lay there in bed and wanted to be touched, wanted to be talked to. I had the terrifying thought that something like that might happen to me. I thought it was just a terrible story, a painful and ugly story. Stacy had delivered as accurate a description of a hell as could be calculated. And what is sad, what is very sad, is that we are proud people, and because we have sensitive egos and so many of us live our lives in front of our televisions, not having to deal with real people who might hurt us or offend us, we float along on our couches like astronauts moving aimlessly through the Milky Way, hardly interacting with other human beings at all.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
Are you all right?" A crease appears between his eyebrows, and he touches my cheek gently.I bat his hand away. "Well," I say, "first I got reamed out in front of everyone,and then I had to chat with the woman who's trying to destroy my old faction,and then Eric almost tossed my friends out of Dauntless,so yeah,it's shaping up to be a pretty great day,Four." He shakes his head and looks at the dilapidated building to his right, which is made of brick and barely resembles the sleek glass spire behind me. It must be ancient.No one builds with brick anymore. "Why do you care,anyway?" I say. "You can be either cruel instructor or concerned boyfriend." I tense up at the word "boyfriend." I didn't mean to use it so flippantly,but it's too late now. "You can't play both parts at the same time." "I am not cruel." He scowls at me. "I was protecting you this morning. How do you think Peter and his idiot friends would have reacted if they discovered that you and I were..." He sighs. "You would never win. They would always call your ranking a result of my favoritism rather than your skill." I open my mouth to object,but I can't. A few smart remarks come to mind, but I dismiss them. He's right. My cheeks warm, and I cool them with my hands. "You didn't have to insult me to prove something to them," I say finally. "And you didn't have to run off to your brother just because I hurt you," he says. He rubs at the back of his neck. "Besides-it worked,didn't it?" "At my expense." "I didn't think it would affect you this way." Then he looks down and shrugs. "Sometimes I forget that I can hurt you.That you are capable of being hurt." I slide my hands into my pockets and rock back on my heels.A strange feeling goes through me-a sweet,aching weakness. He did what he did because he believed in my strength. At home it was Caleb who was strong,because he could forget himself,because all the characteristics my parents valued came naturally to him. No one has ever been so convinced of my strength. I stand on my tiptoes, lift my head, and kiss him.Only our lips touch. "You're brilliant,you know that?" I shake my head. "You always know exactly what to do." "Only because I've been thinking about this for a long time," he says, kissing my briefly. "How I would handle it, if you and I..." He pulls back and smiles. "Did I hear you call me your boyfriend,Tris?" "Not exactly." I shrug. "Why? Do you want me to?" He slips his hands over my neck and presses his thumbs under my chin, tilting my head back so his forehead meets mine. For a moment he stands there, his eyes closed, breathing my air. I feel the pulse in his fingertips. I feel the quickness of his breath. He seems nervous. "Yes," he finally says. Then his smile fades. "You think we convinced him you're just a silly girl?" "I hope so," I say.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Dear Daniel, How do you break up with your boyfriend in a way that tells him, "I don't want to sleep with you on a regular basis anymore, but please be available for late night booty calls if I run out of other options"? Lily Charlotte, NC Dear Lily, The story's so old you can't tell it anymore without everyone groaning, even your oldest friends with the last of their drinks shivering around the ice in their dirty glasses. The music playing is the same album everyone has. Those shoes, everybody has the same shoes on. It looked a little like rain so on person brought an umbrella, useless now in the starstruck clouded sky, forgotten on the way home, which is how the umbrella ended up in her place anyway. Everyone gets older on nights like this. And still it's a fresh slap in the face of everything you had going, that precarious shelf in the shallow closet that will certainly, certainly fall someday. Photographs slipping into a crack to be found by the next tenant, that one squinter third from the left laughing at something your roommate said, the coaster from that place in the city you used to live in, gone now. A letter that seemed important for reasons you can't remember, throw it out, the entry in the address book you won't erase but won't keep when you get a new phone, let it pass and don't worry about it. You don't think about them; "I haven't thought about them in forever," you would say if anybody brought it up, and nobody does." You think about them all the time. Close the book but forget to turn off the light, just sit staring in bed until you blink and you're out of it, some noise on the other side of the wall reminding you you're still here. That's it, that's everything. There's no statue in the town square with an inscription with words to live by. The actor got slapped this morning by someone she loved, slapped right across the face, but there's no trace of it on any channel no matter how late you watch. How many people--really, count them up--know where you are? How many will look after you when you don't show up? The churches and train stations are creaky and the street signs, the menus, the writing on the wall, it all feels like the wrong language. Nobody, nobody knows what you're thinking of when you lean your head against the wall. Put a sweater on when you get cold. Remind yourself, this is the night, because it is. You're free to sing what you want as you walk there, the trees rustling spookily and certainly and quietly and inimitably. Whatever shoes you want, fuck it, you're comfortable. Don't trust anyone's directions. Write what you might forget on the back of your hand, and slam down the cheap stuff and never mind the bad music from the window three floors up or what the boys shouted from the car nine years ago that keeps rattling around in your head, because you're here, you are, for the warmth of someone's wrists where the sleeve stops and the glove doesn't quite begin, and the slant of the voice on the punch line of the joke and the reflection of the moon in the water on the street as you stand still for a moment and gather your courage and take a breath before stealing away through the door. Look at it there. Take a good look. It looks like rain. Love, Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
What are you doing here?" He takes a deep breath. "I came for you." "And how on EARTH did you know I was up here?" "I saw you." He pauses. "I came to make another wish,and I was standing on Point Zero when I saw you enter the tower. I called your name,and you looked around,but you didn't see me." "So you decided to just...come up?" I'm doubtful,despite the evidence in front of me.It must have taken superhuman strength for him to make it past the first flight of stairs alone. "I had to.I couldn't wait for you to come down,I couldn't wait any longer. I had to see you now.I have to know-" He breaks off,and my pulse races. What what what? "Why did you lie to me?" The question startles me.Not what I was expecting.Nor hoping.He's still on the ground,but he stares up at me.His brown eyes are huge and heartbroken. I'm confused. "I'm sorry, I don't know what-" "November.At the creperie. I asked you if we'd talked about anything strange that night I was drunk in your room.If I had said anything about our relationship,or my relationship with Ellie.And you said no." Oh my God. "How did you know?" "Josh told me." "When?" "November." I'm stunned. "I...I..." My throat is dry. "If you'd seen the look on your face that day.In the restaurant. How could I possibly tell you? With your mother-" "But if you had,I wouldn't have wasted all of these months.I thought you were turning me down.I thought you weren't interested." "But you were drunk! You had a girlfriend! What was I supposed to do? God,St. Clair,I didn't even know if you meant it." "Of course I meant it." He stands,and his legs falter. "Careful!" Step.Step.Step. He toddles toward me,and I reach for his hand to guide him.We're so close to the edge. He sits next to me and grips my hand harder. "I meant it,Anna.I mean it." "I don't under-" He's exasperated. "I'm saying I'm in love with you! I've been in love with you this whole bleeding year!" My mind spins. "But Ellie-" "I cheated on her every day.In my mind, I thought of you in ways I shouldn't have,again and again. She was nothing compared to you.I've never felt this way about anybody before-" "But-" "The first day of school." He scoots closer. "We weren't physics partners by accident.I saw Professeur Wakefield assigning lab partners based on where people were sitting,so I leaned forward to borrow a pencil from you at just the right moment so he'd think we were next to each other.Anna,I wanted to be your partner the first day." "But..." I can't think straight. "I doubt you love poetry! 'I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly,between the shadow and the soul.'" I blink at him. "Neruda.I starred the passage.God," he moans. "Why didn't you open it?" "Because you said it was for school." "I said you were beautiful.I slept in your bed!" "You never mave a move! You had a girlfriend!" "No matter what a terrible boyfriend I was,I wouldn't actually cheat on her. But I thought you'd know.With me being there,I thought you'd know." We're going in circles. "How could I know if you never said anything?" "How could I know if you never said anyting?" "You had Ellie!" "You had Toph! And Dave!
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))