Connections With Others Quotes

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If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Mother Teresa
Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.
Susan Sontag
Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.
Susan Sontag
The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we've lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we've found each other. And maybe each time, we've been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.
John Joseph Powell (The Secret of Staying in Love)
We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.
Andrew Boyd (Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe)
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night.
Allen Ginsberg (Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems)
Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone's hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
I suffer from life and from other people. I can’t look at reality face to face. Even the sun discourages and depresses me. Only at night and all alone, withdrawn, forgotten and lost, with no connection to anything real or useful — only then do I find myself and feel comforted.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action.
Daniel Goleman (Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships)
When we're connected to others, we become better people.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life. So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the universe, we are part of the universe. We are in the universe and the universe is in us.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other - above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.
Albert Einstein
My heart stopped. It just stopped beating. And for the first time in my life, I had that feeling. You know, like the world is moving all around you, all beneath you, all inside you, and you're floating. Floating in midair. And the only thing keeping you from drifting away is the other person's eyes. They're connected to yours by some invisible physical force, and they hold you fast while the rest of the world swirls and twirls and falls completely away.
Wendelin Van Draanen (Flipped)
lot of times love doesn’t work out. Yet even when it fails, it connects you to others and, in the end, that is all you have, the connections.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
Love is not selective, just as the light of the sun is not selective. It does not make one person special. It is not exclusive. Exclusivity is not the love of God but the "love" of ego. However, the intensity with which true love is felt can vary. There may be one person who reflects your love back to you more clearly and more intensely than others, and if that person feels the same toward you, it can be said that you are in a love relationship with him or her. The bond that connects you with that person is the same bond that connects you with the person sitting next to you on a bus, or with a bird, a tree, a flower. Only the degree of intensity with which it is felt differs.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other.
Meryl Streep
Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection)
Being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health; safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives.
Bessel A. van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Soulmates. That was the word. Maggie could sense what it meant. Two people connected, bound to each other forever, soul to soul, in a way that even death couldn't break. Two souls that were destined for each other.
L.J. Smith (Night World, No. 3 (Night World, #7-9))
The connection was so bad, and I couldn’t talk at all during most of the call. How terrible it is when you say I love you and the person at the other end shouts back ‘What?
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
Then why are you here?” Emma demanded. “Oh, is this one of those missed-connections things? We met the other night, you felt a spark? Sorry, but I don’t date trees.” “I am not a tree.” Iarlath looked angry, his bark peeling slightly.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
Love is giving up control. It’s surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two—love and controlling power over the other person—are mutually exclusive. If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all the desires within us to manipulate the relationship.
Rob Bell (Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality)
Who fixes broken people? Is it only other broken people, ones who've already been ruined? And do we need to be fixed? It was the messiness and hurt in our pasts that drove us, and that same hurt connected us at a subdermal level, the kind of scars written so deeply in your cells that you can't even see them anymore, only recognize them in someone else.
Leah Raeder (Unteachable)
The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Nowadays I know the true reason I read is to feel less alone, to make a connection with a consciousness other than my own.
Zadie Smith (Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays)
When two people respect each other, the ability to be vulnerable and to reveal hurt feelings can create a powerful emotional connection that is the source of real intimacy and friendship.
David D. Burns
We're connected, as women. It's like a spiderweb. If one part of that web vibrates, if there's trouble, we all know it, but most of the time we're just too scared, or selfish, or insecure to help. But if we don't help each other, who will?
Sarah Addison Allen (The Peach Keeper)
There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
We stand there for a moment, looking at each other, and in that instant I feel our connection so strongly it's as though it achieves physical existence, becomes a hand all around us, cupping us together, protecting us. This is what people are always talking about when they talk about god: this feeling, of being held and understood and protected. feeling this way seems about as close to saying a prayer as you could get...
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
For all is like an ocean, all flows and connects; touch it in one place and it echoes at the other end of the world.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
In spite of everything I loved you, and will go on loving you―on my knees, with my shoulders drawn back, showing my heels to the headsman and straining my goose neck―even then. And afterwards―perhaps most of all afterwards―I shall love you, and one day we shall have a real, all-embracing explanation, and then perhaps we shall somehow fit together, you and I, and turn ourselves in such a way that we form one pattern, and solve the puzzle: draw a line from point A to point B... without looking, or, without lifting the pencil... or in some other way... we shall connect the points, draw the line, and you and I shall form that unique design for which I yearn. If they do this kind of thing to me every morning, they will get me trained and I shall become quite wooden.
Vladimir Nabokov
Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral.
Charles Darwin
The truth is, everyone likes to look down on someone. If your favorites are all avant-garde writers who throw in Sanskrit and German, you can look down on everyone. If your favorites are all Oprah Book Club books, you can at least look down on mystery readers. Mystery readers have sci-fi readers. Sci-fi can look down on fantasy. And yes, fantasy readers have their own snobbishness. I’ll bet this, though: in a hundred years, people will be writing a lot more dissertations on Harry Potter than on John Updike. Look, Charles Dickens wrote popular fiction. Shakespeare wrote popular fiction—until he wrote his sonnets, desperate to show the literati of his day that he was real artist. Edgar Allan Poe tied himself in knots because no one realized he was a genius. The core of the problem is how we want to define “literature”. The Latin root simply means “letters”. Those letters are either delivered—they connect with an audience—or they don’t. For some, that audience is a few thousand college professors and some critics. For others, its twenty million women desperate for romance in their lives. Those connections happen because the books successfully communicate something real about the human experience. Sure, there are trashy books that do really well, but that’s because there are trashy facets of humanity. What people value in their books—and thus what they count as literature—really tells you more about them than it does about the book.
Brent Weeks
Faith and science, I have learned, are two sides of the same coin, separated by an expanse so small, but wide enough that one side can't see the other. They don't know they are connected.
Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1))
He came up and kissed me on my forehead, and before he stepped away, I closed my eyes and tried hard to memorize this moment. I wanted to remember him exactly as he was right then, how his arms looked brown against his white shirt, the way his hair was cut a little too short in the front. Even the bruise, there because of me. Then he was gone. Just for that moment, the thought that I might never see him again… it felt worse than death. I wanted to run after him. Tell him anything, everything. Just don’t go. Please just never go. Please just always be near me, so I can at least see you. Because it felt final. I always believed that we would find our way back to each other every time. That no matter what, we would be connected—by our history, by this house. But this time, this last time, it felt final. Like I would never see him again, or that when I did, it would be different, there would be a mountain between us. I knew it in my bones. That this time was it. I had finally made my choice, and so had he. He let me go. I was relieved, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was to feel so much grief. Bye bye, Birdie.
Jenny Han (We'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3))
Think of this - that the writer wrote alone, and the reader read alone, and they were alone with each other.
A.S. Byatt (Possession)
The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
Rachel Naomi Remen
When we know ourselves to be connected to all others, acting compassionately is simply the natural thing to do.
Rachel Naomi Remen
She glared at him, feeling the old frustration. Sometimes in his presence she felt the deepest connection to him, and other times she felt completely alone-as though any bond to him was her own bitter imagination.
Ann Brashares
Being in love is a very strange thing. Your thoughts constantly drift towards this other person, no matter what you’re doing. You could be reaching for a glass in the cupboard or brushing your teeth or listening to someone tell a story, and your mind will just start drifting towards their face, their hair, the way they smell, wondering what they’ll wear, and what they’ll say the next time they see you. And on top of the constant dream state you’re in, your stomach feels like it’s connected to a bungee cord, and it bounces and bounces around for hours until it finally lodges itself next to your heart.
Pittacus Lore (The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2))
As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”. As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”. As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”. As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”. As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”. As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”. As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”. As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”. As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”. We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!
Charlie Chaplin
Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that's all that's happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness--life's painful aspect--softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody's eyes because you feel you haven't got anything to lose--you're just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We'd be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn't have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.
Pema Chödrön (Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living)
No single decision you ever made has led in a straight line to where you find yourself now. You peeked down some roads and took a few steps before turning back. You followed some roads that came to a dead end and others that got lost at too many intersections. Ultimately, all roads are connected to all other roads.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a definite proposition... A contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says." No, it's not...
Graham Chapman
I wasn't lonely. Loneliness, I think, has very little to do with location. It's a state of mind. In the centre of every city are some of the loneliest people in the world. If anything, because our whole planet was just outside the window, I felt even more aware of and connected to the seven billion other people who call it home.
Chris Hadfield (An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth)
One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about the natural order than any of the founders of religion, and one would like to think—though the connection is not a fully demonstrable one—that this is why they seem so uninterested in sending fellow humans to hell.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
I wish the whole day were like breakfast, when people are still connected to their dreams, focused inward, and not yet ready to engage with the world around them. I realized this is how I am all day; for me, unlike other people, there doesn't come a moment after a cup of coffee or a shower or whatever when I suddenly feel alive and awake and connected to the world. If it were always breakfast, I would be fine.
Peter Cameron (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You)
God always brings someone into your life that has traveled the same path and knows the rocks you climbed to get to the end of the trail.
Shannon L. Alder
There are gentle souls who would pronounce Lolita meaningless because it does not teach them anything. I am neither a reader nor a writer of didactic fiction...For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
No one was to blame for what happened, but that does not make it any less difficult to accept. It was all a matter of missed connections, bad timing, blundering in the dark. We were always in the right place at the wrong time, the wrong place at the right time, always just missing each other, always just a few inches from figuring the whole thing out. That's what the story boils down to, I think. A series of lost chances. All the pieces were there from the beginning, but no one knew how to put them together.
Paul Auster (Moon Palace)
I watched him, filled with tenderness and ache, wondering what it was that connected us. Was it the wounded places down inside people that sought each other out, that bred a kind of love between them?
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
That's what's so great about the Internet. It allows pompous blow-hards to connect with other pompous blow-hards in a vast circle-jerk of pomposity.
Bill Maher
We know each other in a way that no one else can. We share a history that makes us permanently connected.
Susane Colasanti (Something Like Fate)
You were one person alive and your brain was encased in a skull. There were other people out there. It took effort to be connected.
Tao Lin (Bed)
He often wondered whether it were possible to be more possessed by desire for any other woman. The fact was that they functioned well together, and they had a connection as addictive as heroin.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1))
...the people who move through the streets are all strangers. At each encounter, they imagine a thousand things about one another; meetings which could take place between them, conversations, surprises, caresses, bites. But no one greets anyone; eyes lock for a second, then dart away, seeking other eyes, never stopping...something runs among them, an exchange of glances like lines that connect one figure with another and draw arrows, stars, triangles, until all combinations are used up in a moment, and other characters come on to the scene...
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
[Roland] jerked back too fast to see, and his fist was suddenly connecting with my chin. I didn't pass out, but my body went limp. Part of me was screaming silently. The other part was saying, 'Oh, what pretty trees.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8))
Artists can have greater access to reality; they can see patterns and details and connections that other people, distracted by the blur of life, might miss. Just sharing that truth can be a very powerful thing.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn't care to, or he doesn’t exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely. The only sense to make of tragedies like this is that terrible things can happen to perfectly innocent people. This understanding inspires compassion. Religious faith, on the other hand, erodes compassion. Thoughts like, 'this might be all part of God’s plan,' or 'there are no accidents in life,' or 'everyone on some level gets what he or she deserves' - these ideas are not only stupid, they are extraordinarily callous. They are nothing more than a childish refusal to connect with the suffering of other human beings. It is time to grow up and let our hearts break at moments like this.
Sam Harris
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix, angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night, who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz, who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated, who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
Allen Ginsberg (Howl and Other Poems)
I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers--hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark--and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful. Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet--for me, anyway--all that's worth living for lies in that charm? A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are. Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart." Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
As we continued to talk, going through the motions of getting to know each other, I realized that we already did know each other, as well as any two people could. We’d known each other for years, in the most intimate way possible. We’d connected on a purely mental level. I understood her, trusted her, and loved her as a dear friend. None of that had changed, or could be changed by anything as inconsequential as her gender, or skin color, or sexual orientation.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
Beginning to think is beginning to be undermined. Society has but little connection with such beginnings. The worm is in man's heart. That is where it must be sought. One must follow and understand this fatal game that leads from lucidity in the face of existence to flight from light.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
You put yourself out there in the truest way you can and hope others do the same. You'll connect or you won't, but you did what you could.
Chris Crutcher (Deadline)
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. I desperately wanted mercy for Jimmy Dill and would have done anything to create justice for him, but I couldn’t pretend that his struggle was disconnected from my own. The ways in which I have been hurt—and have hurt others—are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere, connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
I entered the classroom with the conviction that it was crucial for me and every other student to be an active participant, not a passive consumer...education as the practice of freedom.... education that connects the will to know with the will to become. Learning is a place where paradise can be created.
bell hooks
The truth is you already know what it's like. You already know the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through one of those tiny keyholes you see under the knob in older doors. As if we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes. But it does have a knob, the door can open. But not in the way you think...The truth is you've already heard this. That this is what it's like. That it's what makes room for the universes inside you, all the endless inbent fractals of connection and symphonies of different voices, the infinities you can never show another soul. And you think it makes you a fraud, the tiny fraction anyone else ever sees? Of course you're a fraud, of course what people see is never you. And of course you know this, and of course you try to manage what part they see if you know it's only a part. Who wouldn't? It's called free will, Sherlock. But at the same time it's why it feels so good to break down and cry in front of others, or to laugh, or speak in tongues, or chant in Bengali--it's not English anymore, it's not getting squeezed through any hole. So cry all you want, I won't tell anybody.
David Foster Wallace (Oblivion: Stories)
We can hear others, and we can travel with them without moving, and we can imagine them, and we are all connected one to the other by a crazy root system, like so many leaves of grass. But the game makes me wonder wheter we can really ever fully become another.
John Green (Paper Towns)
It just took some people a little longer than others to realize how few words they needed to get by, how much of life they could negotiate in silence.
Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers)
There’s a difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen. When you are looked at, your eyes can be closed. You suck energy, you steal the spotlight. When you are seen, your eyes must be open, and you are seeing and recognizing your witness. You accept energy and you generate energy. You create light. One is exhibitionism, the other is connection. Not everybody wants to be looked at. Everybody wants to be seen.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
The higher a man stands on the social ladder, the greater the number of people he is connected with, the more power he has over other people, the more obvious is the predestination and inevitability of his every action.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
People have separated from each other with walls of concrete that blocked the roads to connection and love. and Nature has been defeated in the name of development.
Yasunari Kawabata
See, I think there are roads that lead us to each other. But in my family, there were no roads - just underground tunnels. I think we all got lost in those underground tunnels. No, not lost. We just lived there.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Last Night I Sang to the Monster)
human beings need three basic things in order to be content: they need to feel competent at what they do; they need to feel authentic in their lives; and they need to feel connected to others. These values are considered "intrinsic" to human happiness and far outweigh "extrinsic" values such as beauty, money and status.
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
When the mystery of the connection goes, love goes. It's that simple. This suggests that it isn't love that is so important to us but the mystery itself. The love connection may be merely a device to put us in contact with the mystery, and we long for love to last so that the ecstacy of being near the mystery will last. It is contrary to the nature of mystery to stand still. Yet it's always there, somewhere, a world on the other side of the mirror (or the Camel pack), a promise in the next pair of eyes that smile at us. We glimpse it when we stand still. The romance of new love, the romance of solitude, the romance of objecthood, the romance of ancient pyramids and distant stars are means of making contact with the mystery. When it comes to perpetuating it, however, I got no advice. But I can and will remind you of two of the most important facts I know: 1. Everything is part of it. 2. It's never too late to have a happy childhood.
Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
Love is more than just feeling something Syn, it's the connection of two souls that intertwine and cannot be without the other. It's not just saying you love someone, it’s showing them with every fucking breath you take, every look. It just is, simple as that. That kind of love doesn't die. It withers the soul without the other to keep it alive.
Amelia Hutchins (Fighting Destiny (The Fae Chronicles, #1))
Don’t judge the way other people connect to God; to each his own way and his own prayer. God does not take us at our word. He looks deep into our hearts. It is not the ceremonies or rituals that make a difference, but whether our hearts are sufficiently pure or not.
Shams Tabrizi (Rumi's Sun: The Teachings of Shams of Tabriz)
...there was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love *running*. The engineering was certainly the same: both depended on loosening your grip on your own desires, putting aside what you wanted and appreciating what you've got, being patient and forgiving and... undemanding...maybe we shouldn't be surprised that getting better at one could make you better at the other.
Christopher McDougall (Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen)
The past,' he thought, 'is linked with the present by an unbroken chain of events flowing one out of another.' And it seemed to him that he had just seen both ends of that chain; that when he touched one end the other quivered.
Anton Chekhov (The Witch and Other Stories)
SOLIDAO, LONELINESS. What is it that we call loneliness. It can't simply be the absence of others, you can be alone and not lonely, and you can be among people and yet be lonely. So what is it? ... it isn't only that others are there, that they fill up the space next to us. But even when they celebrate us or give advice in a friendly conversation, clever, sensitive advice: even then we can be lonely. So loneliness is not something simply connected with the presence of others or with what they do. Then what? What on earth?
Pascal Mercier (Night Train to Lisbon)
People often silence themselves, or "agree to disagree" without fully exploring the actual nature of the disagreement, for the sake of protecting a relationship and maintaining connection. But when we avoid certain conversations, and never fully learn how the other person feels about all of the issues, we sometimes end up making assumptions that not only perpetuate but deepen misunderstandings, and that can generate resentment.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Loneliness isn’t the physical absence of other people, he said—it’s the sense that you’re not sharing anything that matters with anyone else. If you have lots of people around you—perhaps even a husband or wife, or a family, or a busy workplace—but you don’t share anything that matters with them, then you’ll still be lonely.
Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions)
APD is primarily defined as a lack of empathy,' I said. I'd looked it up too, a few months ago. Empathy is what allows people to interpret emotion, the same way ears interpret sounds; without it you become emotionally deaf. 'It means I don't connect emotionally with other people. I wondered if he was going to pick that one.' 'How do you even know that?' she said. 'You're fifteen years old, for goodness' sake. You should be ... I don't know, chasing girls or playing video games.' 'You're telling a sociopath to chase girls?
Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1))
I had a few other things on my mind. Like if it was going to rain every time I got aroused. That was not cool. I guessed I could handle it so long as it rained other times as well. I didn’t want the connection to be so obvious. Hey, it’s raining! The queen must have gotten laid. Ooh…is that hail? Must have been into some kinky shit today.
Richelle Mead (Thorn Queen (Dark Swan, #2))
There are all these people here I don't know by sight or by name. And we pass alongside each other and don't have any connection. And they don't know me and I don't know them. And now I'm leaving town and there are all these people I will never know.
Carson McCullers (The Member of the Wedding)
A woman or man of value doesn’t love you because of what he or she wants you to be or do for them. He or she loves you because your combined souls understand one another, complements each other, and make sense above any other person in this world. You each share a part of their soul's mirror and see each other’s light reflected in it clearly. You can easily speak from the heart and feel safe doing so. Both of you have been traveling a parallel road your entire life. Without each other's presence, you feel like an old friend or family member was lost. It bothers you, not because you have given it too much meaning, but because God did. This is the type of person you don't have to fight for because you can't get rid of them and your heart doesn't want them to leave anyways.
Shannon L. Alder
You don’t know about the other travellers you meet and they in turn have no idea who you are, and that is truly special, for there isn’t any detrimental preconceived notions about the other, and in this space there is room for understanding and healing. When you backpack, for the first time in a long time, you feel like you belong and are connected to not only with the world, but also with your inner self.
Forrest Curran
Learning to have patience and not forcing the relationship is part of the twin soul process. If you are trying to force your will onto the other person, chances are you’re not ready to really connect yourself. There should be no blame here - only deep and unconditional love.
Chimnese Davids (My Unrequited Love Letters)
For [erotically intelligent couples], love is a vessel that contains both security and adventure, and commitment offers one of the great luxuries of life: time. Marriage is not the end of romance, it is the beginning. They know that they have years in which to deepen their connection, to experiment, to regress, and even to fail. They see their relationship as something alive and ongoing, not a fait accompli. It’s a story that they are writing together, one with many chapters, and neither partner knows how it will end. There’s always a place they haven’t gone yet, always something about the other still to be discovered.
Esther Perel (Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic)
It's not about having things figured out, or about communicating with other people, trying to make them understand what you understand. It's about a chicken dinner at a drive-in. A soft pillow. Things that don't need explaining.
Ann Beattie (Walks with Men)
The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and always will be. Maybe we've lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we've found each other. And maybe each time, we've been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come. 

When I look at you, I see your beauty and grace and know they have grown stronger with every life you have lived. And I know I have spent every life before this on searching for you. Not someone like you, but you, for your soul and mine must always come together. And then, for a reason neither of us understand, we've been forced to say goodbye.

 I would love to tell you that everything will work out for us, and I promise to do all I can to make sure it does. But if we never meet again and this is truly goodbye, I know we will see each other again, and maybe the stars will have changed, and we will not only love each other in that time, but for all the times we've had before.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of other men —above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received and am still receiving.
Albert Einstein (Living Philosophies)
Every breath is a sacrament, an affirmation of our connection with all other living things, a renewal of our link with our ancestors and a contribution to generations yet to come. Our breath is a part of life's breath, the ocean of air that envelopes the earth.
David Suzuki (The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature)
We might not know we are seeking people who best enrich our lives, but somehow on a deep subconscious level we absolutely are. Whether the bond is temporary or permanent, whether it succeeds or fails, fate is simply a configuration of choices that combine with others to shape the relationships that surround us. We cannot choose our family, but we can choose our friends, and we sometimes, before we even meet them.
Simon Pegg (Nerd Do Well)
We are all in search of feeling more connected to reality—to other people, the times we live in, the natural world, our character, and our own uniqueness. Our culture increasingly tends to separate us from these realities in various ways. We indulge in drugs or alcohol, or engage in dangerous sports or risky behavior, just to wake ourselves up from the sleep of our daily existence and feel a heightened sense of connection to reality. In the end, however, the most satisfying and powerful way to feel this connection is through creative activity. Engaged in the creative process we feel more alive than ever, because we are making something and not merely consuming, Masters of the small reality we create. In doing this work, we are in fact creating ourselves.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
You and I have been through too much together. We're too close, too connected. I wasn't that crazy on spirit when I said you're my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don't matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
If you're not happy in life then you need to change, calibrate, readjust...flush your negative energy and fill it with positive energy; How do we do that you might ask? well I would start by making others happy, deseases are not the only thing that spreads easy. We are all connected in some form of unseen energy... think how those around you will impact you and make you feel if they were happy?
Al Munoz
In general, people are not drawn to perfection in others. People are drawn to shared interests, shared problems, and an individual's life energy. Humans connect with humans. Hiding one's humanity and trying to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless, and uninteresting.
Robert Glover (No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life)
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
At first, I’d try to explain that it’s not really negativity or sadness anymore, it’s more just this detached, meaningless fog where you can’t feel anything about anything—even the things you love, even fun things—and you’re horribly bored and lonely, but since you’ve lost your ability to connect with any of the things that would normally make you feel less bored and lonely, you’re stuck in the boring, lonely, meaningless void without anything to distract you from how boring, lonely, and meaningless it is.
Allie Brosh (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened)
Once upon a time there were two countries, at war with each other. In order to make peace after many years of conflict, they decided to build a bridge across the ocean. But because they never learned each other’s language properly, they could never agree on the details, so the two halves of the bridge they started to build never met. To this day the bridge extends far into the ocean from both sides, and simply ends half way, miles in the wrong direction from the meeting point. And the two countries are still at war.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
This last year... I learned something about family. Like it's not about blood alone. It's being connected... it's growing up together and loving each other. It's believing in the same God and knowing you'd do anything for the person across from you at dinner.
Karen Kingsbury (Coming Home)
Experience has taught me that I connect best with others when I connect with the core of myself. When I allow God to liberate me from unhealthy dependence on people, I listen more attentively, love more unselfishly, and am more compassionate and playful. I take myself less seriously, become aware that the breath of the Father is on my face.
Brennan Manning (Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)
It’s all about self-discipline. Like, self-obsession is connected completely with self-loathing, and it’s the same with, if you’ve got a weight problem. It’s all about… finding some worth in yourself, knowing that you’ve got the discipline to do it, and knowing that other people maybe can’t do it. And it’s also, I think, really connected to the fact that you almost feel, like, silent, you have no voice, you’re mute, there’s just no, you’ve got no option. Even if you could express yourself nobody would listen anyway. Things that go on inside you, there’s no other way to get rid of them.
Richey Edwards
While we are curling down in our comfort zone, the perverted talents of connectivity-designers drive us surreptitiously into a blind alley of addiction. If, however, we succeed in impeding mobiles' unlimited rule, we may be able to relish the fragrance of the ‘moment’ but also sense the vital spark and spirit of “otherness”. ("Even if the world goes down, my mobile will save me")
Erik Pevernagie
Spirituality emerged as a fundamental guidepost in Wholeheartedness. Not religiosity but the deeply held belief that we are inextricably connected to one another by a force greater than ourselves--a force grounded in love and compassion. For some of us that's God, for others it's nature, art, or even human soulfulness. I believe that owning our worthiness is the act of acknowledging that we are sacred. Perhaps embracing vulnerability and overcoming numbing is ultimately about the care and feeding of our spirits.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
Cricket removes his hand. I blink at him, and he cautiously offers his arm. I hesitate. And then I take it. And then we're so close that I smell him. I smell him. His scent is clean like a bar of soap, but with a sweet hint of mechanical oil. We don't speak as he leads me across the street to the bus stop. I press against him. Just a little. His other arm jumps, and he lowers it. But then he raises it again, slowly, and his hand comes to rest on top of mine. It scorches. The heat carries a message: I care about you. I want to be connected to you. Don't let go.
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
People aren't just ants rushing around over a crust of bread. Every life, no matter how isolated, touches hundreds of others. It's up to us to decide if those micro connections are positive or negative. But whichever we decide, it does impact the ones we deal with. One word can give someone the strength they needed at that moment or it can shred them down to nothing. A single smile can turn a bad moment good. And one wrong outburst or word could be the tiny push that causes someone to slip over the edge into destruction.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3))
He looks toward the ocean, dark purple with the last rays of light. "My mom says we're all connected--people and plants and animals. We all know one another on the inside. It's what's on the outside that distracts. Our clothes, our words, our actions. Shark attacks. Gunshots. We spend our lives trying to find other people. Sometimes we get confused and turned around by the distractions." He smiles at me. "But we didn't.
Jenn Bennett (Alex, Approximately)
A soul connection is a resonance between two people who respond to the essential beauty of each other's individual natures, behind their facades, and who connect on this deeper level. This kind of mutual recognition provides the catalyst for a potent alchemy. It is a sacred alliance whose purpose is to help both partners discover and realize their deepest potentials. While a heart connection lets us appreciate those we love just as they are, a soul connection opens up a further dimension -- seeing and loving them for who they could be, and for who we could become under their influence. This means recognizing that we both have an important part to play in helping each other become more fully who we are....A soul connection not only inspires us to expand, but also forces us to confront whatever stands in the way of that expansion.
John Welwood
I truly believe we can either see the connections, celebrate them, and express gratitude for our blessings, or we can see life as a string of coincidences that have no meaning or connection. For me, I’m going to believe in miracles, celebrate life, rejoice in the views of eternity and hope my choices will create a positive ripple effect in the lives of others. This is my choice.
Mike Ericksen (Upon Destiny's Song)
They are so caught up in their happiness that they don't realize I'm not really a part of it. I am wandering along the periphery. I am like the people in the Winslow Homer paintings, sharing the same room with them but not really there. I am like the fish in the aquarium, thinking in a different language, adapting to a life that's not my natural habitat. I am the people in the other cars, each with his or her own story, but passing too quickly to be noticed or understood. . . . There are moments I just sit in my frame, float in my tank, ride in my car and say nothing, think nothing that connects me to anything at all.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors...disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.
Rebecca Solnit (Wanderlust: A History of Walking)
The more isolated and disconnected we are, the more shattered and distorted our self-identity. We are not healthy when we are alone. We find ourselves when we connect to others. Without community we don't know who we are... When we live outside of healthy community, we not only lose others. We lose ourselves...Who we understand ourselves to be is dramatically affected for better or worse by those we hold closest to us.
Erwin Raphael McManus
We affect one another quite enough merely by existing. Whenever the stars cross, or is it comets? fragments pass briefly from one orbit to another. On rare occasions there is total collision, but most often the two simply continue without incident, neither losing more than a particle to the other, in passing.
Gore Vidal (The City and the Pillar)
This is another paradox, that many of the most important impressions and thoughts in a person's life are ones that flash through your head so fast that fast isn't even the right word, they seem totally different from or outside of the regular sequential clock time we all live by, and they have so little relation to the sort of linear, one-word-after-another word English we all communicate with each other with that it could easily take a whole lifetime just to spell out the contents of one split-second's flash of thoughts and connections, etc. -- and yet we all seem to go around trying to use English (or whatever language our native country happens to use, it goes without saying) to try to convey to other people what we're thinking and to find out what they're thinking, when in fact deep down everybody knows it's a charade and they're just going through the motions. What goes on inside is just too fast and huge and all interconnected for words to do more than barely sketch the outlines of at most one tiny part of it at any given instant.
David Foster Wallace
Honestly, I cannot understand what people mean when they talk about the freedom of the human will. I have a feeling, for instance, that I will something or other; but what relation this has with freedom I cannot understand at all. I feel that I will to light my pipe and I do it; but how can I connect this up with the idea of freedom? What is behind the act of willing to light the pipe? Another act of willing? Schopenhauer once said: Der Mensch kann was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will (Man can do what he will but he cannot will what he wills).
Albert Einstein
Many of us have set out on the path of enlightenment. We long for a release of self-hood in some kind of mystical union with all things. But that moment of epiphany—when we finally see the whole pattern and sense our place in the cosmic web—can be a crushing experience from which we never fully recover. Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. You can not turn away. Your destiny is bound to the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors. To seek enlightenment is to seek annihilation, rebirth, and the taking up of burdens. You must come prepared to touch and be touched by each and every thing in heaven and hell. I am One with the Universe and it hurts.
Andrew Boyd (Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe)
Every morning brings us news of the globe, and yet we are poor in noteworthy stories. This is because no event comes to us without being already shot through with explanation. In other words, by now almost nothing that happens benefits storytelling; almost everything benefits information. Actually, it is half the art of storytelling to keep a story free from explanation as one reproduces it. . . . The most extraordinary things, marvelous things, are related with the greatest accuracy, but the psychological connection of the event is not forced on the reader. It is left up to him to interpret things the way he understands them, and thus the narrative achieves an amplitude that information lacks.
Walter Benjamin (Illuminations: Essays and Reflections)
Happiness is not something that you can find, acquire, or achieve directly. You have to get the conditions right and then wait. Some of those conditions are within you, such as coherence among the parts and levels of your personality. Other conditions require relationships to things beyond you: Just as plants need sun, water, and good soil to thrive, people need love, work, and a connection to something larger. It is worth striving to get the right relationships between yourself and others, between yourself and your work, and between yourself and something larger than yourself. If you get these relationships right, a sense of purpose and meaning will emerge.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
...he prayed fundamentally as a gesture of love for what had gone and would go and could be loved in no other way. When he prayed he touched his parents, who could not otherwise be touched, and he touched a feeling that we are all children who lose our parents, all of us, every man and woman and boy and girl, and we too will all be lost by those who come after us and love us, and this loss unites humanity, unites every human being, the temporary nature of our being-ness, and our shared sorrow, the heartache we each carry and yet too often refuse to acknowledge in one another, and out of this Saeed felt it might be possible, in the face of death, to believe in humanity's potential for building a better world, so he prayed as a lament, as a consolation, and as a hope....
Mohsin Hamid (Exit West)
The worst thing is not that the world is unfree, but that people have unlearned their liberty. The more indifferent people are to politics, to the interests of others, the more obsessed they become with their own faces. The individualism of our time. Not being able to fall asleep and not allowing oneself to move: the marital bed. If high culture is coming to an end, it is also the end of you and your paradoxical ideas, because paradox as such belongs to high culture and not to childish prattle. You remind me of the young men who supported the Nazis or communists not out of cowardice or out of opportunism but out of an excess of intelligence. For nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of nonthought… You are the brilliant ally of your own gravediggers. In the world of highways, a beautiful landscape means: an island of beauty connected by a long line with other islands of beauty. How to live in a world with which you disagree? How to live with people when you neither share their suffering nor their joys? When you know that you don’t belong among them?... our century refuses to acknowledge anyone’s right to disagree with the world…All that remains of such a place is the memory, the ideal of a cloister, the dream of a cloister… Humor can only exist when people are still capable of recognizing some border between the important and the unimportant. And nowadays this border has become unrecognizable. The majority of people lead their existence within a small idyllic circle bounded by their family, their home, and their work... They live in a secure realm somewhere between good and evil. They are sincerely horrified by the sight of a killer. And yet all you have to do is remove them from this peaceful circle and they, too, turn into murderers, without quite knowing how it happened. The longing for order is at the same time a longing for death, because life is an incessant disruption of order. Or to put it the other way around: the desire for order is a virtuous pretext, an excuse for virulent misanthropy. A long time a go a certain Cynic philosopher proudly paraded around Athens in a moth-eaten coat, hoping that everyone would admire his contempt for convention. When Socrates met him, he said: Through the hole in your coat I see your vanity. Your dirt, too, dear sir, is self-indulgent and your self-indulgence is dirty. You are always living below the level of true existence, you bitter weed, you anthropomorphized vat of vinegar! You’re full of acid, which bubbles inside you like an alchemist’s brew. Your highest wish is to be able to see all around you the same ugliness as you carry inside yourself. That’s the only way you can feel for a few moments some kind of peace between yourself and the world. That’s because the world, which is beautiful, seems horrible to you, torments you and excludes you. If the novel is successful, it must necessarily be wiser than its author. This is why many excellent French intellectuals write mediocre novels. They are always more intelligent than their books. By a certain age, coincidences lose their magic, no longer surprise, become run-of-the-mill. Any new possibility that existence acquires, even the least likely, transforms everything about existence.
Milan Kundera
These are things that only dogs and women understand because we tap into the pain directly, we connect to pain directly from its source, and so it is at once brilliant and brutal and clear, like white-hot metal spraying out of a fire hose, we can appreciate the aesthetic while taking the worst of it straight in the face. Men, on the other hand, are all filters and deflectors and timed release.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
It was lunar symbolism that enabled man to relate and connect such heterogeneous things as: birth, becoming, death, and ressurection; the waters, plants, woman, fecundity, and immortality; the cosmic darkness, prenatal existence, and life after death, followed by the rebirth of the lunar type ("light coming out of darkness"); weaving, the symbol of the "thread of life," fate, temporality, and death; and yet others. In general most of the ideas of cycle, dualism, polarity, opposition, conflict, but also of reconciliation of contraries, of coincidentia oppositorum, were either discovered or clarified by virtue of lunar symbolism. We may even speak of a metaphysics of the moon, in the sense of a consistent system of "truths" relating to the mode of being peculiar to living creatures, to everything in the cosmos that shares in life, that is, in becoming, growth and waning, death and ressurrection.
Mircea Eliade (The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion)
I’ve come to think that flourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-consciousness and become fused with other people, experiences, or tasks. It happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool. It happens sometimes while you’re playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God’s love. And it happens most when we connect with other people. I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year.
David Brooks
No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind. Imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale. But its worst and most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about. Survival in fact is about the connections between things; in Eliot’s phrase, reality cannot be deprived of the “other echoes [that] inhabit the garden.” It is more rewarding - and more difficult - to think concretely and sympathetically, contrapuntally, about others than only about “us.” But this also means not trying to rule others, not trying to classify them or put them in hierarchies, above all, not constantly reiterating how “our” culture or country is number one (or not number one, for that matter).
Edward W. Said (Culture and Imperialism)
You know what I noticed when I was with Jacob? In your world, people can reach each other in an instant. There's the telephone, and the fax - and on the computer you can talk to someone all the way around the world. You've got people telling their secrets on TV talk shows, and magazines that publish pictures of movie stars trying to hide their homes. All those connections, but everyone there seems so lonely.
Jodi Picoult (Plain Truth)
I don’t think I have as many friends as I thought I did, not close ones, not many who I connect with on that deep level of language that doesn’t just allow us to be ourselves with each other but allows us to be understood, even when we’re not saying anything. Silence—awkward or comfortable—is a language too. Awkward silence screams, “We have nothing in common.” Comfortable silence proves just how much we do.
Erin McCahan (Love and Other Foreign Words)
Don't listen to those who say, you are taking too big a chance. Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely be rubbed out by today. Most important, don't listen when the little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly head and says "They are all smarter than you out there. They're more talented, they're taller, blonder, prettier, luckier, and they have connections." I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you, not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others, but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria by which you live, the chances are you'll be a person worthy of your own respects.
Neil Simon
And I was your moon because I shined brighter than any other star in your universe and you were my darkness. Without you I could not see the depth of my light and with you I could set the night a glow. So we needed one another—the dark and the light. Your fear. My courage. Connected, but separated. Different, but the same. A synergy that made no sense, but every bit of sense. We were neither a beginning, nor an end. We were somewhere in between our madness at sunset and the reality we awakened to with each sunrise. We were the ghosts of timing and fate. We were neither fantasy, nor reality--- we were a purpose somewhere in between.
Shannon L. Alder
The person with a secular mentality feels himself to be the center of the universe. Yet he is likely to suffer from a sense of meaninglessness and insignificance because he knows he’s but one human among five billion others - all feeling themselves to be the center of things - scratching out an existence on the surface of a medium-sized planet circling a small star among countless stars in a galaxy lost among countless galaxies. The person with the sacred mentality, on the other hand, does not feel herself to be the center of the universe. She considers the Center to be elsewhere and other. Yet she is unlikely to feel lost or insignificant precisely because she draws her significance and meaning from her relationship, her connection, with that center, that Other.
M. Scott Peck (A World Waiting to Be Born: Civility Rediscovered)
Dispassionately, reasonably, he contemplated the failure that his life must appear to be. He had wanted friendship and the closeness of friendship that might hold him in the race of mankind; he had had two friends, one of whom had died senselessly before he was known, the other of whom had now withdrawn so distantly into the ranks of the living that... He had wanted the singleness and the still connective passion of marriage; he had had that, too, and he had not known what to do with it, and it had died. He had wanted love; and he had had love, and had relinquished it, had let it go into the chaos of potentiality. Katherine, he thought. "Katherine." And he had wanted to be a teacher, and he had become one; yet he knew, he had always known, that for most of his life he had been an indifferent one. He had dreamed of a kind of integrity, of a kind of purity that was entire; he had found compromise and the assaulting diversion of triviality. He had conceived wisdom, and at the end of the long years he had found ignorance. And what else? he thought. What else? What did you expect? he asked himself.
John Williams (Stoner)
The point is, the brain talks to itself, and by talking to itself changes its perceptions. To make a new version of the not-entirely-false model, imagine the first interpreter as a foreign correspondent, reporting from the world. The world in this case means everything out- or inside our bodies, including serotonin levels in the brain. The second interpreter is a news analyst, who writes op-ed pieces. They read each other's work. One needs data, the other needs an overview; they influence each other. They get dialogues going. INTERPRETER ONE: Pain in the left foot, back of heel. INTERPRETER TWO: I believe that's because the shoe is too tight. INTERPRETER ONE: Checked that. Took off the shoe. Foot still hurts. INTERPRETER TWO: Did you look at it? INTERPRETER ONE: Looking. It's red. INTERPRETER TWO: No blood? INTERPRETER ONE: Nope. INTERPRETER TWO: Forget about it. INTERPRETER ONE: Okay. Mental illness seems to be a communication problem between interpreters one and two. An exemplary piece of confusion. INTERPRETER ONE: There's a tiger in the corner. INTERPRETER TWO: No, that's not a tiger- that's a bureau. INTERPRETER ONE: It's a tiger, it's a tiger! INTERPRETER TWO: Don't be ridiculous. Let's go look at it. Then all the dendrites and neurons and serotonin levels and interpreters collect themselves and trot over to the corner. If you are not crazy, the second interpreter's assertion, that this is a bureau, will be acceptable to the first interpreter. If you are crazy, the first interpreter's viewpoint, the tiger theory, will prevail. The trouble here is that the first interpreter actually sees a tiger. The messages sent between neurons are incorrect somehow. The chemicals triggered are the wrong chemicals, or the impulses are going to the wrong connections. Apparently, this happens often, but the second interpreter jumps in to straighten things out.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
The more I read, the more I felt connected across time to other lives and deeper sympathies. I felt less isolated. I wasn’t floating on my little raft in the present; there were bridges that led over to solid ground. Yes, the past is another country, but one that we can visit, and once there we can bring back the things we need. Literature is common ground. It is ground not managed wholly by commercial interests, nor can it be strip-mined like popular culture—exploit the new thing then move on. There’s a lot of talk about the tame world versus the wild world. It is not only a wild nature that we need as human beings; it is the untamed open space of our imaginations. Reading is where the wild things are.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
I like to borrow a metaphor from the great poet and mystic Rumi who talks about living like a drawing compass. One leg of the compass is static. It is fixed and rooted in a certain spot. Meanwhile, the other leg draws a huge wide circle around the first one, constantly moving. Just like that, one part of my writing is based in Istanbul. It has strong local roots. Yet at the same time the other part travels the whole wide world, feeling connected to several cities, cultures, and peoples.
Elif Shafak
Times are difficult globally; awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal. It's becoming critical. We don't need to add more depression, more discouragement, or more anger to what's already here. It's becoming essential that we learn how to relate sanely with difficult times. The earth seems to be beseeching us to connect with joy and discover our innermost essence. This is the best way that we can benefit others.
Pema Chödrön
People that hold onto hate for so long do so because they want to avoid dealing with their pain. They falsely believe if they forgive they are letting their enemy believe they are a doormat. What they don’t understand is hatred can’t be isolated or turned off. It manifests in their health, choices and belief systems. Their values and religious beliefs make adjustments to justify their negative emotions. Not unlike malware infesting a hard drive, their spirit slowly becomes corrupted and they make choices that don’t make logical sense to others. Hatred left unaddressed will crash a person’s spirit. The only thing he or she can do is to reboot, by fixing him or herself, not others. This might require installing a firewall of boundaries or parental controls on their emotions. Regardless of the approach, we are all connected on this "network of life" and each of us is responsible for cleaning up our spiritual registry.
Shannon L. Alder
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.” Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?” “Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.” “Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?” “One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.” He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.” “I already feel that way,” I said quietly. Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.” I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Multiple times he has tried writing his thoughts about Marianne down on paper in an effort to make sense of them. He's moved by a desire to describe in words exactly how she looks and speaks. Her hair and clothing. The copy of Swann's Way she reads at lunchtime in the school cafeteria, with a dark French painting on the cover and a mint-coloured spine. Her long fingers turning the pages. She's not leading the same kind of life as other people. She acts so worldly at times, making him feel ignorant, but then she can be so naive. He wants to understand how her mind works... He writes these things down, long run-on sentences with too many dependent clauses, sometimes connected with breathless semicolons, as if he wants to recreate a precise copy of Marianne in print, as if he can preserve her completely for future review.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.
J.K. Rowling (Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination)
Four wings, two hearts, but only one soul. They connect in the middle, but are separated by a thin line of ash. Its what brings them together, yet rips their feathers apart. They can never truly be together as light and dark. Unless one makes the ultimate sacrifice. Blows out their candle, and joins the other in the dark. Or if the other dares to fly across the line and steals the others light And force them to cross over the line and join the darkness of life. Im not gone, princess. I will come back for you until you give in.
Jessica Sorensen (Ember (Death Collectors, #1))
Peace requires something far more difficult than revenge or merely turning the other cheek; it requires empathizing with the fears and unmet needs that provide the impetus for people to attack each other. Being aware of these feelings and needs, people lose their desire to attack back because they can see the human ignorance leading to these attacks; instead, their goal becomes providing the empathic connection and education that will enable them to transcend their violence and engage in cooperative relationships.
Marshall B. Rosenberg (Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World)
Why should the spread of ideas and people result in reforms that lower violence? There are several pathways. The most obvious is a debunking of ignorance and superstition. A connected and educated populace, at least in aggregate and over the long run, is bound to be disabused of poisonous beliefs, such as that members of other races and ethnicities are innately avaricious or perfidious; that economic and military misfortunes are caused by the treachery of ethnic minorities; that women don't mind to be raped; that children must be beaten to be socialized; that people choose to be homosexual as part of a morally degenerate lifestyle; that animals are incapable of feeling pain. The recent debunking of beliefs that invite or tolerate violence call to mind Voltaire's quip that those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
the ancient sanskirt legends speak of a destined love, a karmic connection between souls that are fated to meet and collide and enrapture one another. the legends say that the loved one is instantly recognised because she's loved in every gesture, every expression of thought, every movement, every sound, and every mood that prays in her eyes. the legends say that we know her by her wings - the wings that only we can see - and because wanting her kills every other desire of love. the same legends also carry warnings that such fated love may, sometimes, be the possession and the obsession of one, and only one, of the two souls twinned by destiny. but wisdom, in one sense, is the opposite of love. love survives in us precisely because it isn't wise.
Gregory David Roberts
I find that when people laugh it's usually because they're connecting and identifying in a way that they hadn't considered. That's my payoff. I'm not interested in other people thinking differently. I don't care. I'm just like yeast - I eat sugar and I shit alcohol. And there's a huge culture that goes with that. Alcohol creates massive shifts in world history, and it changes people's lives. People get pregnant because of alcohol. But the yeast doesn't give a fuck. The yeast isn't going, "I really want to help people loosen up and bring passion into Irish people's lives".
Louis C.K.
It's the best kind of devastating there is. He took his pain and he turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that's what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you. What I'm trying to say is, it's just nice, I guess, knowing that someone else can put into words what I feel. That there are people who have been through things worse than I have, and they came out on the other side okay. Not only that, but they have made some kind of twisted, effed up sense of the completely senseless. They made it mean something. These songs tell me I'm not alone. If you look at it that way, music...music can see you through anything.
Hannah Harrington (Saving June)
I don't mean to be like some old guy from the olden days who says, "I walked thirty miles to school every morning, so you kids should too." That's a statement born of envy and resentment. What I'm saying is something quite different. What I'm saying is that by having very little, I had it good. Children need a sense of pulling their own weight, of contributing to the family in some way, and some sense of the family's interdependence. They take pride in knowing that they're contributing. They learn responsibility and discipline through meaningful work. The values developed within a family that operates on those principles then extend to the society at large. By not being quite so indulged and "protected" from reality by overflowing abundance, children see the bonds that connect them to others.
Sidney Poitier (The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography)
Traumatic events destroy the sustaining bonds between individual and community. Those who have survived learn that their sense of self, of worth, of humanity, depends upon a feeling of connection with others. The solidarity of a group provides the strongest protection against terror and despair, and the strongest antidote to traumatic experience. Trauma isolates; the group re-creates a sense of belonging. Trauma shames and stigmatizes; the group bears witness and affirms. Trauma degrades the victim; the group exalts her. Trauma dehumanizes the victim; the group restores her humanity. Repeatedly in the testimony of survivors there comes a moment when a sense of connection is restored by another person’s unaffected display of generosity. Something in herself that the victim believes to be irretrievably destroyed---faith, decency, courage---is reawakened by an example of common altruism. Mirrored in the actions of others, the survivor recognizes and reclaims a lost part of herself. At that moment, the survivor begins to rejoin the human commonality...
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being "in the know," cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to a creeping bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit... A praying life is just the opposite. It engaged evil. It doesn't take no for an answer. The psalmist was in God's face, hoping, dreaming, asking. Prayer is feisty. Cynicism, on the other hand, merely critiques. It is passive, cocooning itself from the passions of the great cosmic battle we are engaged in. It is without hope.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World)
A floorboard cracked; knuckles tapped once on the open door. Adam looked up to see Niall Lynch standing in the doorway. No, it was Ronan, face lit bright on one side, in stark shadow on the other, looking powerful and at ease with his thumbs tucked in the pockets of his jeans, leather bracelets looped over his wrist, feet bare. He wordlessly crossed the floor and sat beside Adam on the mattress. When he held out his hand, Adam put the model into it. “This old thing,” Ronan said. He turned the front tyre, and again the music played out of it. They sat like that for a few minutes, as Ronan examined the car and turned each wheel to play a different tune. Adam watched how intently Ronan studied the seams, his eyelashes low over his light eyes. Ronan let out a breath, put the model down on the bed beside him, and kissed Adam. Once, when Adam had still lived in the trailer park, he had been pushing the lawn mower around the scraggly side yard when he realized that it was raining a mile away. He could smell it, the earthy scent of rain on dirt, but also the electric, restless smell of ozone. And he could see it: a hazy gray sheet of water blocking his view of the mountains. He could track the line of rain travelling across the vast dry field towards him. It was heavy and dark, and he knew he would get drenched if he stayed outside. It was coming from so far away that he had plenty of time to put the mower away and get under cover. Instead, though, he just stood there and watched it approach. Even at the last minute, as he heard the rain pounding the grass flat, he just stood there. He closed his eyes and let the storm soak him. That was this kiss. They kissed again. Adam felt it in more than his lips. Ronan sat back, his eyes closed, swallowing. Adam watched his chest rise and fall, his eyebrows furrow. He felt as bright and dreamy and imaginary as the light through the window. He did not understand anything. It was a long moment before Ronan opened his eyes, and when he did, his expression was complicated. He stood up. He was still looking at Adam, and Adam was looking back, but neither said anything. Probably Ronan wanted something from him, but Adam didn’t know what to say. He was a magician, Persephone had said, and his magic was making connections between disparate things. Only now he was too full of white, fuzzy light to make any sort of logical connections. He knew that of all the options in the world, Ronan Lynch was the most difficult version of any of them. He knew that Ronan was not a thing to be experimented with. He knew his mouth still felt warm. He knew he had started his entire time at Aglionby certain that all he wanted to do was get as far away from this state and everything in it as possible. He was pretty sure he had just been Ronan’s first kiss. “I’m gonna go downstairs,” Ronan said.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
Boundaries emerge from deep within. They are connected to letting go of guilt and shame, and to changing our beliefs about what we deserve. As our thinking about this becomes clearer, so will our boundaries. Boundaries are also connected to a Higher Timing than our own. We’ll set a limit when we’re ready, and not a moment before. So will others. There’s something magical about reaching that point of becoming ready to set a limit. We know we mean what we say; others take us seriously too. Things change, not because we’re controlling others, but because we’ve changed.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series)
I KNEW IT WAS OVER when tonight you couldn't make the phone ring when you used to make the sun rise when trees used to throw themselves in front of you to be paper for love letters that was how i knew i had to do it swaddle the kids we never had against january's cold slice bundle them in winter clothes they never needed so i could drop them off at my mom's even though she lives on the other side of the country and at this late west coast hour is assuredly east coast sleeping peacefully her house was lit like a candle the way homes should be warm and golden and home and the kids ran in and jumped at the bichon frise named lucky that she never had they hugged the dog it wriggled and the kids were happy yours and mine the ones we never had and my mom was grand maternal, which is to say, with style that only comes when you've seen enough to know grace like when to pretend it's christmas or a birthday so she lit her voice with tiny lights and pretended she didn't see me crying as i drove away to the hotel connected to the bar where i ordered the cheapest whisky they had just because it shares your first name because they don't make a whisky called baby and i only thought what i got was what i ordered i toasted the hangover inevitable as sun that used to rise in your name i toasted the carnivals we never went to and the things you never won for me the ferris wheels we never kissed on and all the dreams between us that sat there like balloons on a carney's board waiting to explode with passion but slowly deflated hung slave under the pin- prick of a tack hung heads down like lovers when it doesn't work, like me at last call after too many cheap too many sweet too much whisky makes me sick, like the smell of cheap, like the smell of the dead like the cheap, dead flowers you never sent that i never threw out of the window of a car i never really owned
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down, you dig, farting out the words. It was unlike anything I ever heard. Bubbly, thick, stagnant sound. A sound you could smell. This man worked for the carnival,you dig? And to start with it was like a novelty ventriloquist act. After a while, the ass started talking on its own. He would go in without anything prepared... and his ass would ad-lib and toss the gags back at him every time. Then it developed sort of teethlike... little raspy incurving hooks and started eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it... but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street... shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags. Nobody loved it. And it wanted to be kissed, same as any other mouth. Finally, it talked all the time, day and night. You could hear him for blocks, screaming at it to shut up... beating at it with his fists... and sticking candles up it, but... nothing did any good, and the asshole said to him... "It is you who will shut up in the end, not me... "because we don't need you around here anymore. I can talk and eat and shit." After that, he began waking up in the morning with transparentjelly... like a tadpole's tail all over his mouth. He would tear it off his mouth and the pieces would stick to his hands... like burning gasoline jelly and grow there. So, finally, his mouth sealed over... and the whole head... would have amputated spontaneously except for the eyes, you dig? That's the one thing that the asshole couldn't do was see. It needed the eyes. Nerve connections were blocked... and infiltrated and atrophied. So, the brain couldn't give orders anymore. It was trapped inside the skull... sealed off. For a while, you could see... the silent, helpless suffering of the brain behind the eyes. And then finally the brain must have died... because the eyes went out... and there was no more feeling in them than a crab's eye at the end of a stalk.
William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)
The best place for discovering what a man is is the heart of the desert. Your plane has broken down, and you walk for hours, heading for the little fort at Nutchott. You wait for the mirages of thirst to gape before you. But you arrive and you find an old sergeant who has been isolated for months among the dunes, and he is so happy to be found that he weeps. And you weep, too. In the arching immensity of the night, each tells the story of his life, each offers the other the burden of memories in which the human bond is discovered. Here two men can meet, and they bestow gifts upon each other with the dignity of ambassadors.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (A Sense Of Life)
What is it that makes you want to write songs? In a way you want to stretch yourself into other people’s hearts. You want to plant yourself there, or at least get a resonance, where other people become a bigger instrument than the one you’re playing. It becomes almost an obsession to touch other people. To write a song that is remembered and taken to heart is a connection, a touching of bases. A thread that runs through all of us. A stab to the heart. Sometimes I think songwriting is about tightening the heartstrings as much as possible without bringing on a heart attack.
Keith Richards (Life)
Dena had always been a loner. She did not feel connected to anything. Or anybody. She felt as if everybody else had come into the world with a set of instructions about how to live and someone had forgotten to give them to her. She had no clue what she was supposed to feel, so she had spent her life faking at being a human being, with no idea how other people felt. What was it like to really love someone? To really fit in or belong somewhere? She was quick, and a good mimic, so she learned at an early age to give the impression of a normal, happy girl, but inside she had always been lonely.
Fannie Flagg
Utopianism also finds a receptive audience among the society's disenchanted, disaffected, dissatisfied, and maladjusted who are unwilling or unable to assume responsibility for their own real or perceived conditions but instead blame their surroundings, 'the system,' and others. They are lured by the false hopes and promises of utopian transformation and the criticisms of the existing society, to which their connection is tentative or nonexistent. Improving the malcontent's lot becomes linked to the utopian cause. Moreover, disparaging and diminishing the successful and accomplished becomes an essential tactic. No one should be better than anyone else, regardless of the merits or values of his contributions. By exploiting human frailties, frustrations, jealousies, and inequities, a sense of meaning and self-worth is created in the malcontent's otherwise unhappy and directionless life. Simply put, equality in misery -- that is, equality of result or conformity -- is advanced as a just, fair, and virtuous undertaking. Liberty, therefore, is inherently immoral, except where it avails equality.
Mark R. Levin (Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America)
I have known many graduates of Bryn Mawr. They are all of the same mold. They have all accepted the same bright challenge: something is lost that has not been found, something's at stake that has not been won, something is started that has not been finished, something is dimly felt that has not been fully realized. They carry the distinguishing mark – the mark that separates them from other educated and superior women: the incredible vigor, the subtlety of mind, the warmth of spirit, the aspiration, the fidelity to past and to present. As they grow in years, they grow in light. As their minds and hearts expand, their deeds become more formidable, their connections more significant, their husbands more startled and delighted. I once held a live hummingbird in my hand. I once married a Bryn Mawr girl. To a large extent they are twin experiences. Sometimes I feel as though I were a diver who had ventured a little beyond the limits of safe travel under the sea and had entered the strange zone where one is said to enjoy the rapture of the deep.
E.B. White
How reprehensible it is when those blessed with commodities insist on ignoring the poor. Better to torment them, force them into indentured servitude, inflict compulsion and blows—this at least produces a connection, fury and a pounding heart, and these too constitute a form of relationship. But to cower in elegant homes behind golden garden gates, fearful lest the breath of warm humankind touch you, unable to indulge in extravagances for fear they might be glimpsed by the embittered oppressed, to oppress and yet lack the courage to show yourself as an oppressor, even to fear the ones you are oppressing, feeling ill at ease in your own wealth and begrudging others their ease, to resort to disagreeable weapons that require neither true audacity nor manly courage, to have money, but only money, without splendor: That’s what things look like in our cities at present
Robert Walser (The Tanners)
Through art alone are we able to emerge from ourselves, to know what another person sees of a universe which is not the same as our own and of which, without art, the landscapes would remain as unknown to us as those that may exist on the moon. Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists, worlds more different one from the other than those which revolve in infinite space, worlds which, centuries after the extinction of the fire from which their light first emanated, whether it is called Rembrandt or Vermeer, send us still each one its special radiance.
Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time, Vol 6: Time Regained and A Guide to Proust)
The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low. But the Gospels actually taught this: Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn’t well connected. So it goes. The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn’t look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again: Oh, boy–they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch _that_ time! And that thought had a brother: “There are right people to lynch.” Who? People not well connected. So it goes. The visitor from outer space made a gift to the Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things he said in the other Gospels. So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn’t possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought. The reader would have to think that, too, since the new Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was. And then, just before the nobody died, the heavens opened up, and there was thunder and lightning. The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son, giving him the full powers and privileges of The Son of the Creator of the Universe throughout all eternity. God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
It was that I had started having sex, and that sex didn't feel like enough, and no emotions were really enough, I didn't feel.... it's like there was always something I wanted to break out of, feel more, be more connected to another person, something more honest... and in kind of a moment of wanting to find something honest, I grabbed a knife, and I cut him and he cut me back, and we had this exchange, and then somehow ...covered in blood and my heart was racing and it was dangerous and life... and... and it suddenly felt more honest than whatever this sex thing was supposed to be, this connection between two people was supposed to be. So I went through a period of when I would feel trapped, I'd cut myself because it felt like I was releasing something, and that it was honest. I had a desperate need, which I think most artists do, to communicate... to feel that whatever it is inside me, cutting or going crazy or whatever it is I'm feeling,... there's something inside of us, we wanna reach out, we wanna talk to each other, we wanna throw our emotions and our thoughts out and hope that we make some sense or we get an answer... we want to just emote and hope there'll be a response.
Angelina Jolie
To understand the world at all, sometimes you could only focus on a tiny bit of it, look very hard at what was close to hand and make it stand in for the whole; but ever since the painting had vanished from under me I’d felt drowned and extinguished by vastness—not just the predictable vastness of time, and space, but the impassable distances between people even when they were within arm’s reach of each other, and with a swell of vertigo I thought of all the places I’d been and all the places I hadn’t, a world lost and vast and unknowable, dingy maze of cities and alleyways, far-drifting ash and hostile immensities, connections missed, things lost and never found, and my painting swept away on that powerful current and drifting out there somewhere: a tiny fragment of spirit, faint spark bobbing on a dark sea.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
We humans may be brilliant and we may be special, but we are still connected to the rest of life. No one reminds us of this better than our dogs. Perhaps the human condition will always include attempts to remind ourselves that we are separate from the rest of the natural world. We are different from other animals; it's undeniably true. But while acknowledging that, we must acknowledge another truth, the truth that we are also the same. That is what dogs and their emotions give us-- a connection. A connection to life on earth, to all that binds and cradles us, lest we begin to feel too alone. Dogs are our bridge-- our connection wo who we really are, and most tellingly, who we want to be. When we call them home to us, it'as as if we are calling for home itself. And that'll do, dogs. That'll do.
Patricia B. McConnell (For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend)
So often this summer I keep thinking: I know I'm holding back. I know I'm waiting. I know I'm afraid to go forward. But I don't know how to get there from here." He was quiet, so she kept going. "Sometimes I see it as a tricky mountain pass between two valleys. Other times, it's like perilous straits connecting two lands. Partly it's the fear of the trip itself, I think, but partly it's the fear that I won't be able to get back. I'll turn around and the clouds will have settled over the mountaintop. Or the waters will have risen and shifted, and there will be no way home." Paul nodded. He took her hand again, which she discovered she appreciated. But that's not even the real fear." He gave her an odd smile. Short on mirth but affectionate. "What's the real fear?" The real fear is that I won't want to go home.
Ann Brashares
I closed my eyes. “Seth—” "And when I was there and Erik sent me wherever he did, I felt…well, it was beyond anything I’d experienced. At first, I was so confused and disoriented. I didn’t get what they were saying about finding you. It seemed surreal. Then, it was the easiest thing in the world. I just looked for you, and there you were. In all that space and all that chaos, reaching you was like looking into myself. We were so close…it defied physics and every rule of nature I knew. It didn’t seem real that I could be together with anyone like that. And when it was over, it’s like I said—I wasn’t sure what I’d just been a part of. But I knew that I had never experienced any bond like that with any other woman. Maybe you’re the only one, maybe there’s another…but regardless, I didn’t have it with Maddie. She’s amazing. I do love her. But in that situation again? I would never find her. And I knew it wasn’t fair to lead her into a life without that connection. You and I…I don’t understand what’s between us, but I’d rather spend my life alone than with someone who isn’t you.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Shadows (Georgina Kincaid, #5))
Our growing dependence on technologies no one seems to understand or control has given rise to feelings of powerlessness and victimization. We find it more and more difficult to achieve a sense of continuity, permanence, or connection with the world around us. Relationships with others are notably fragile; goods are made to be used up and discarded; reality is experienced as an unstable environment of flickering images. Everything conspires to encourage escapist solutions to the psychological problems of dependence, separation, and individuation, and to discourage the moral realism that makes it possible for human beings to come to terms with existential constraints on their power and freedom.
Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations)
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 like the word ‘gumption’ because it’s so homely and so forlorn and so out of style it looks as if it needs a friend and isn’t likely to reject anyone who comes along. I like it also because it describes exactly what happens to someone who connects with Quality. He gets filled with gumption. “A person filled with gumption doesn’t sit around dissipating and stewing about things. He’s at the front of the train of his own awareness, watching to see what’s up the track and meeting it when it comes. That’s gumption. If you’re going to repair a motorcycle, an adequate supply of gumption is the first and most important tool. If you haven’t got that you might as well gather up all the other tools and put them away, because they won’t do you any good.
Robert M. Pirsig
Radical empathy, on the other hand, means putting in the work to educate oneself and to listen with a humble heart to understand another's experience from their perspective, not as we imagine we would feel. Radical empathy is not about you and what you think you would do in a situation you have never been in and perhaps never will. It is the kindred connection from a place of deep knowing that opens your spirit to the pain of another as they perceive it. Empathy is no substitute for the experience itself. We don't get to tell a person with a broken leg or a bullet wound that they are not in pain. And people who have hit the caste lottery are not in a position to tell a person who has suffered under the tyranny of caste what is offensive or hurtful or demeaning to those at the bottom. The price of privilege is the moral duty to act when one sees another person treated unfairly. And the least that a person in the dominant caste can do is not make the pain any worse.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
When two things occur successively we call them cause and effect if we believe one event made the other one happen. If we think one event is the response to the other, we call it a reaction. If we feel that the two incidents are not related, we call it a mere coincidence. If we think someone deserved what happened, we call it retribution or reward, depending on whether the event was negative or positive for the recipient. If we cannot find a reason for the two events' occurring simultaneously or in close proximity, we call it an accident. Therefore, how we explain coincidences depends on how we see the world. Is everything connected, so that events create resonances like ripples across a net? Or do things merely co-occur and we give meaning to these co-occurrences based on our belief system? Lieh-tzu's answer: It's all in how you think.
Liezi (Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living)
You must give me leave to flatter myself, my dear cousin, that your refusal of my addresses is merely words of course. My reasons for believing it are briefly these: -- It does not appear to me that my hand is unworthy your acceptance, or that the establishment I can offer would be any other than highly desirable. My situation in life, my connections with the family of De Bourgh, and my relationship to your own, are circumstances highly in its favor; and you should take it into farther consideration that in spite of your manifold attractions, it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made you. Your portion is unhappily so small that it will in all likelihood undo the effects of your loveliness and amiable qualifications. As I must therefore conclude that you are not serious in your rejection of me, I shall chuse to attribute it to your wish of increasing my love by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females. (Mr. Collins, after proposing to Elizabeth Bennet and being refused, in Pride and Prejudice.)
Jane Austen
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
Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair. When it comes, it degrades one's self and ultimately eclipses the capacity to give or receive affection. It is the aloneness within us made manifest, and it destroys not only connection to others but also the ability to be peacefully alone with oneself. Love, though it is no prophylactic against depression, is what cushions the mind and protects it from itself. Medications and psychotherapy can renew that protection, making it easier to love and be loved, and that is why they work. In good spirits, some love themselves and some love others and some love work and some love God: any of these passions can furnish that vital sense of purpose that is the opposite of depression. Love forsakes us from time to time, and we forsake love. In depression, the meaninglessness of every enterprise and every emotion, the meaninglessness of life itself, becomes self-evident. The only feeling left in this loveless state is insignificance.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
Something I constantly notice is that unembarrassed joy has become rarer. Joy today is increasingly saddled with moral and ideological burdens, so to speak. When someone rejoices, he is afraid of offending against solidarity with the many people who suffer. I don't have any right to rejoice, people think, in a world where there is so much misery, so much injustice. I can understand that. There is a moral attitude at work here. But this attitude is nonetheless wrong. The loss of joy does not make the world better - and, conversely, refusing joy for the sake of suffering does not help those who suffer. The contrary is true. The world needs people who discover the good, who rejoice in it and thereby derive the impetus and courage to do good. Joy, then, does not break with solidarity. When it is the right kind of joy, when it is not egotistic, when it comes from the perception of the good, then it wants to communicate itself, and it gets passed on. In this connection, it always strikes me that in the poor neighborhoods of, say, South America, one sees many more laughing happy people than among us. Obviously, despite all their misery, they still have the perception of the good to which they cling and in which they can find encouragement and strength. In this sense we have a new need for that primordial trust which ultimately only faith can give. That the world is basically good, that God is there and is good. That it is good to live and to be a human being. This results, then, in the courage to rejoice, which in turn becomes commitment to making sure that other people, too, can rejoice and receive good news.
Benedict XVI
We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent. I desperately wanted mercy for Jimmy Dill and would have done anything to create justice for him, but I couldn’t pretend that his struggle was disconnected from my own. The ways in which I have been hurt—and have hurt others—are different from the ways Jimmy Dill suffered and caused suffering. But our shared brokenness connected us. Paul Farmer, the renowned physician who has spent his life trying to cure the world’s sickest and poorest people, once quoted me something that the writer Thomas Merton said: We are bodies of broken bones. I guess I’d always known but never fully considered that being broken is what makes us human. We all have our reasons. Sometimes we’re fractured by the choices we make; sometimes we’re shattered by things we would never have chosen. But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion. We have a choice. We can embrace our humanness, which means embracing our broken natures and the compassion that remains our best hope for healing. Or we can deny our brokenness, forswear compassion, and, as a result, deny our own humanity. I thought of the guards strapping Jimmy Dill to the gurney that very hour. I thought of the people who would cheer his death and see it as some kind of victory. I realized they were broken people, too, even if they would never admit it. So many of us have become afraid and angry. We’ve become so fearful and vengeful that we’ve thrown away children, discarded the disabled, and sanctioned the imprisonment of the sick and the weak—not because they are a threat to public safety or beyond rehabilitation but because we think it makes us seem tough, less broken. I thought of the victims of violent crime and the survivors of murdered loved ones, and how we’ve pressured them to recycle their pain and anguish and give it back to the offenders we prosecute. I thought of the many ways we’ve legalized vengeful and cruel punishments, how we’ve allowed our victimization to justify the victimization of others. We’ve submitted to the harsh instinct to crush those among us whose brokenness is most visible. But simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
But more than anything, as a little girl, I wanted to be exactly like Miss Piggy. She was ma heroine. I was a plucky little girl, but I never related to the rough-and-tumble icons of children's lit, like Pippi Longstocking or Harriet the Spy. Even Ramona Quimby, who seemed cool, wasn't somebody I could super-relate to. She was scrawny and scrappy and I was soft and sarcastic. I connected instead to Miss - never 'Ms.' - Piggy; the comedienne extraordinaire who'd alternate eye bats with karate chops, swoon over girly stuff like chocolate, perfume, feather boas or random words pronounced in French, then, on a dmie, lower her voice to 'Don't fuck with me, fellas' decibel when slighted. She was hugely feminine, boldly ambitious, and hilariously violent when she didn't get way, whether it was in work, love, or life. And even though she was a pig puppet voiced by a man with a hand up her ass, she was the fiercest feminist I'd ever seen.
Julie Klausner (I Don't Care About Your Band: Lessons Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated)
There aren't any rules to running away from your problems. No checklist of things to cross off. No instructions. Eeny, meeny, pick a path and go. That's how my dad does it anyway because apparently there's no age limit to running away, either. He wakes up one day, packs the car with everything we own, and we hit the road. Watch all the pretty colors go by until he finds a town harmless enough to hide in. But his problems always find us. Sometimes quicker than others. Sometimes one month and sometimes six. There's no rule when it comes to that, either. Not about how long it takes for the problems to catch up with us. Just that they will—that much is a given. And then it's time to run again to a new town, a new home, and a new school for me. But if there aren't any rules, I wonder why it feels the same every time. Feels like I leave behind a little bit of who I was in each house we've left empty. Scattering pieces of me in towns all over the place. A trail of crumbs dotting the map from everywhere we've left to everywhere we go. And they don't make any pictures when I connect dots. They are random like the stars littering the sky at night.
Brian James (Zombie Blondes)
Third-level, life-long relationships are generally few because “their existence implies that those involved have reached a stage simultaneously in which the teaching-learning balance is actually perfect.” That doesn’t mean, however, that we necessarily recognize our third-level assignments; in fact, generally we don’t. We may even feel hostility toward these particular people. Someone with whom we have a lifetime’s worth of lessons to learn is someone whose presence in our lives forces us to grow. Sometimes it represents someone with whom we participate lovingly all our lives, and sometimes it represents someone who we experience as a thorn in our side for years, or even forever. Just because someone has a lot to teach us, doesn’t mean we like them. People who have the most to teach us are often the ones who reflect back to us the limits to our own capacity to love, those who consciously or unconsciously challenge our fearful positions. They show us our walls. Our walls are our wounds—the places where we feel we can’t love any more, can’t connect any more deeply, can’t forgive past a certain point. We are in each other’s lives in order to help us see where we most need healing, and in order to help us heal.
Marianne Williamson (Return to Love)
It was The Gospel From Outer Space, by Kilgore Trout. It was about a visitor from outer space...[who] made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low. But the Gospels actually taught this: Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well connected. So it goes. The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn't look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought...: "Oh, boy - they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!" And that thought had a brother: "There are right people to lynch." Who? People not well connected. So it goes.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
We're all on our own, aren't we? That's what it boils down to. We come into this world on our own- in Hawaii, as I did, or New York, or China, or Africa or Montana- and we leave it in the same way, on our own, wherever we happen to be at the time- in a plane, in our beds, in a car, in a space shuttle, or in a field of flowers. And between those times, we try to connect along the way with others who are also on their own. If we're lucky, we have a mother who reads to us. We have a teacher or two along the way who make us feel special. We have dogs who do the stupid dog tricks we teach them and who lie on our bed when we're not looking, because it smells like us, and so we pretend not to notice the paw prints on the bedspread. We have friends who lend us their favorite books. Maybe we have children, and grandchildren, and funny mailmen and eccentric great-aunts, and uncles who can pull pennies out of their ears. All of them teach us stuff. They teach us about combustion engines and the major products of Bolivia, and what poems are not boring, and how to be kind to each other, and how to laugh, and when the vigil is in our hands, and when we have to make the best of things even though it's hard sometimes. Looking back together, telling our stories to one another, we learn how to be on our own.
Lois Lowry
Buckley followed the three of them into the kitchen and asked, as he had at least once a day, “Where’s Susie?” They were silent. Samuel looked at Lindsey. “Buckley,” my father called from the adjoining room, “come play Monopoly with me.” My brother had never been invited to play Monopoly. Everyone said he was too young, but this was the magic of Christmas. He rushed into the family room, and my father picked him up and sat him on his lap. “See this shoe?” my father said. Buckley nodded his head. “I want you to listen to everything I say about it, okay?” “Susie?” my brother asked, somehow connecting the two. “Yes, I’m going to tell you where Susie is.” I began to cry up in heaven. What else was there for me to do? “This shoe was the piece Susie played Monopoly with,” he said. “I play with the car or sometimes the wheelbarrow. Lindsey plays with the iron, and when you mother plays, she likes the cannon.” “Is that a dog?” “Yes, that’s a Scottie.” “Mine!” “Okay,” my father said. He was patient. He had found a way to explain it. He held his son in his lap, and as he spoke, he felt Buckley’s small body on his knee-the very human, very warm, very alive weight of it. It comforted him. “The Scottie will be your piece from now on. Which piece is Susie’s again?” “The shoe?” Buckley asked. “Right, and I’m the car, your sister’s the iron, and your mother is the cannon.” My brother concentrated very hard. “Now let’s put all the pieces on the board, okay? You go ahead and do it for me.” Buckley grabbed a fist of pieces and then another, until all the pieces lay between the Chance and Community Chest cards. “Let’s say the other pieces are our friends?” “Like Nate?” “Right, we’ll make your friend Nate the hat. And the board is the world. Now if I were to tell you that when I rolled the dice, one of the pieces would be taken away, what would that mean?” “They can’t play anymore?” “Right.” “Why?” Buckley asked. He looked up at my father; my father flinched. “Why?” my brother asked again. My father did not want to say “because life is unfair” or “because that’s how it is”. He wanted something neat, something that could explain death to a four-year-old He placed his hand on the small of Buckley’s back. “Susie is dead,” he said now, unable to make it fit in the rules of any game. “Do you know what that means?” Buckley reached over with his hand and covered the shoe. He looked up to see if his answer was right. My father nodded. "You won’t see Susie anymore, honey. None of us will.” My father cried. Buckley looked up into the eyes of our father and did not really understand. Buckley kept the shoe on his dresser, until one day it wasn't there anymore and no amount of looking for it could turn up.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Recovery can take place only within then context of relationships; it cannot occur in isolation. In her renewed connection with other people, the survivor re-creates the psychological facilities that were damaged or deformed by the traumatic experience. These faculties include the basic operations of trust, autonomy, initiative, competence, identity, and intimacy. Just as these capabilities are formed in relationships with other people, they must be reformed in such relationships. The first principle of recovery is empowerment of the survivor. She must be the author and arbiter of her own recovery. Others may offer advice, support, assistance, affection, and care, but not cure. Many benevolent and well-intentioned attempts to assist the survivor founder because this basic principle of empowerment is not observed. No intervention that takes power away from the survivor can possibly foster her recovery, no matter how much it appears to be in her immediate best interest.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
It is remarkable that mind enters into our awareness of nature on two separate levels. At the highest level, the level of human consciousness, our minds are somehow directly aware of the complicated flow of electrical and chemical patterns in our brains. At the lowest level, the level of single atoms and electrons, the mind of an observer is again involved in the description of events. Between lies the level of molecular biology, where mechanical models are adequate and mind appears to be irrelevant. But I, as a physicist, cannot help suspecting that there is a logical connection between the two ways in which mind appears in my universe. I cannot help thinking that our awareness of our own brains has something to do with the process which we call "observation" in atomic physics. That is to say, I think our consciousness is not just a passive epiphenomenon carried along by the chemical events in our brains, but is an active agent forcing the molecular complexes to make choices between one quantum state and another. In other words, mind is already inherent in every electron, and the processes of human consciousness differ only in degree but not in kind from the processes of choice between quantum states which we call "chance" when they are made by electrons.
Freeman Dyson
When does a job feel meaningful? Whenever it allows us to generate delight or reduce suffering in others. Though we are often taught to think of ourselves as inherently selfish, the longing to act meaningfully in our work seems just as stubborn a part of our make-up as our appetite for status or money. It is because we are meaning-focused animals rather than simply materialistic ones that we can reasonably contemplate surrendering security for a career helping to bring drinking water to rural Malawi or might quit a job in consumer goods for one in cardiac nursing, aware that when it comes to improving the human condition a well-controlled defibrillator has the edge over even the finest biscuit. But we should be wary of restricting the idea of meaningful work too tightly, of focusing only on the doctors, the nuns of Kolkata or the Old Masters. There can be less exalted ways to contribute to the furtherance of the collective good.... ....An endeavor endowed with meaning may appear meaningful only when it proceeds briskly in the hands of a restricted number of actors and therefore where particular workers can make an imaginative connection between what they have done with their working days and their impact upon others.
Alain de Botton (The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work)
I heard the bathroom door close and I kept my eyes screwed shut, but my heart skyrocketed into uncharted territories. I folded my arms around me and held my breath. There was the slightest movement behind me. Skin brushed against mine. A fine shiver rolled up my spine. An infinite spark transferred between us, something that couldn’t be replicated or forced. How could I’ve forgotten that when connected with Seth? My heart turned over heavily. Aiden brushed the mass of thick hair over one shoulder and his lips met the space between my neck and shoulder. His hands slid down the slick skin of my arms, cupping over my elbows and then to my wrists. Gently, slowly, he eased my arms to my sides. I bit down on my lip and my legs started trembling. But he was there. Like always, holding me up when I couldn’t stand on and letting me go when he knew I needed him to. He was more than just a shelter. AIden was my other half, my equal. And he needed no weird Apollyon connection. Aiden waited, still as a statue, patient as ever, until my muscles unlocked, one by one. Then his hands dropped to my waist and he turned me toward him. A heartbeat passed and he placed his fingers on my chin, tipping my head back. I opened my eyes, blinking the wetness off my lashes, and the air hitched in my throat. Faint, purplish bruises shadowed his jaw. There was a cut over the bridge of his nose. No doubt injuries I had given him.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
But now I gotta pay,' he said. To pay?' For my sin. That's why I'm here, right? Justice?' The Blue Man smiled. 'No, Edward. You are here so I can teach you something. All the people you meet here have one thing to teach you...That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more seperate a breeze from the wind.' ...'It was my stupidity, running out there like that. Why should you have to die on account of me? It ain't fair.' The Blue Man held out his hand. 'Fairness,' he said, 'does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young...Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should? It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole.' ... 'I still don't understand,' Eddie whispered. 'What good came from your death?' You lived,' the Blue Man answered. But we barely knew each other. I might as well have been a stranger.' The Blue Man put his arms on Eddie's shoulders. Eddie felt that warm, melting sensation. Strangers,' the Blue Man said, 'are just family have yet to come to know.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
This poem is very long So long, in fact, that your attention span May be stretched to its very limits But that’s okay It’s what’s so special about poetry See, poetry takes time We live in a time Call it our culture or society It doesn’t matter to me cause neither one rhymes A time where most people don’t want to listen Our throats wait like matchsticks waiting to catch fire Waiting until we can speak No patience to listen But this poem is long It’s so long, in fact, that during the time of this poem You could’ve done any number of other wonderful things You could’ve called your father Call your father You could be writing a postcard right now Write a postcard When was the last time you wrote a postcard? You could be outside You’re probably not too far away from a sunrise or a sunset Watch the sun rise Maybe you could’ve written your own poem A better poem You could have played a tune or sung a song You could have met your neighbor And memorized their name Memorize the name of your neighbor You could’ve drawn a picture (Or, at least, colored one in) You could’ve started a book Or finished a prayer You could’ve talked to God Pray When was the last time you prayed? Really prayed? This is a long poem So long, in fact, that you’ve already spent a minute with it When was the last time you hugged a friend for a minute? Or told them that you love them? Tell your friends you love them …no, I mean it, tell them Say, I love you Say, you make life worth living Because that, is what friends do Of all of the wonderful things that you could’ve done During this very, very long poem You could have connected Maybe you are connecting Maybe we’re connecting See, I believe that the only things that really matter In the grand scheme of life are God and people And if people are made in the image of God Then when you spend your time with people It’s never wasted And in this very long poem I’m trying to let a poem do what a poem does: Make things simpler We don’t need poems to make things more complicated We have each other for that We need poems to remind ourselves of the things that really matter To take time A long time To be alive for the sake of someone else for a single moment Or for many moments Cause we need each other To hold the hands of a broken person All you have to do is meet a person Shake their hand Look in their eyes They are you We are all broken together But these shattered pieces of our existence don’t have to be a mess We just have to care enough to hold our tongues sometimes To sit and listen to a very long poem A story of a life The joy of a friend and the grief of friend To hold and be held And be quiet So, pray Write a postcard Call your parents and forgive them and then thank them Turn off the TV Create art as best as you can Share as much as possible, especially money Tell someone about a very long poem you once heard And how afterward it brought you to them
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
We couldn't bear to be apart. So if Kizuki had lived, I'm sure we would have been together, loving each other, and gradually growing unhappy." Unhappy? Why's that?" With her fingers, Naoko combed her hair back several times. She had taken her barrette off, which made the hair fall over her face when she dropped her head forward. Because we would have had to pay the world back what we owed it," she said, raising her eyes to mine. "The pain of growing up. We didn't pay when we should have, so now the bills are due. Which is why Kizuki did what he did, and why I'm here. We were like kids who grew up naked on a desert island. If we got hungry, we'd just pick a banana; if we got lonely, we'd go to sleep in each other's arms. But that kind of thing doesn't last forever. We grew up fast and had to enter society. Which is why you were so important to us. You were the link connecting us with the outside world. We were struggling through you to fit in with the outside world as best we could. In the end, it didn't work, of course." I nodded. I wouldn't want you to think that we were using you, though. Kizuki really loved you. It just so happened that our connection with you was our first connection with anyone else. And it still is. Kizuki may be dead, but you are still my only link with the outside world. And just as Kizuki loved you, I love you. We never meant to hurt you, but we probably did; we probably ended up making a deep wound in your heart. It never occurred to us that anything like that might happen.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
On a long flight, after periods of crisis and many hours of fatigue, mind and body may become disunited until at times they seem completely different elements, as though the body were only a home with which the mind has been associated but by no means bound. Consciousness grows independent of the ordinary senses. You see without assistance from the eyes, over distances beyond the visual horizon. There are moments when existence appears independent even of the mind. The importance of physical desire and immediate surroundings is submerged in the apprehension of universal values. For unmeasurable periods, I seem divorced from my body, as though I were an awareness spreading out through space, over the earth and into the heavens, unhampered by time or substance, free from the gravitation that binds to heavy human problems of the world. My body requires no attention. It's not hungry. It's neither warm or cold. It's resigned to being left undisturbed. Why have I troubled to bring it here? I might better have left it back at Long Island or St. Louis, while the weightless element that has lived within it flashes through the skies and views the planet. This essential consciousness needs no body for its travels. It needs no plane, no engine, no instruments, only the release from flesh which circumstances I've gone through make possible. Then what am I – the body substance which I can see with my eyes and feel with my hands? Or am I this realization, this greater understanding which dwells within it, yet expands through the universe outside; a part of all existence, powerless but without need for power; immersed in solitude, yet in contact with all creation? There are moments when the two appear inseparable, and others when they could be cut apart by the merest flash of light. While my hand is on the stick, my feet on the rudder, and my eyes on the compass, this consciousness, like a winged messenger, goes out to visit the waves below, testing the warmth of water, the speed of wind, the thickness of intervening clouds. It goes north to the glacial coasts of Greenland, over the horizon to the edge of dawn, ahead to Ireland, England, and the continent of Europe, away through space to the moon and stars, always returning, unwillingly, to the mortal duty of seeing that the limbs and muscles have attended their routine while it was gone.
Charles A. Lindbergh (The Spirit of St. Louis)
We believe in the wrong things. That's what frustrates me the most. Not the lack of belief, but the belief in the wrong things. You want meaning? Well, the meanings are out there. We're just so damn good at reading them wrong. I don't think meaning is something that can be explained. You have to understand it on your own. It's like when you're starting to read. First, you learn the letters. Then, once you know what sounds the letters make, you use them to sound out words. You know that c-a-t leads to cat and d-o-g leads to dog. But then you have to make that extra leap, to understand that the word, the sound, the "cat" is connected to an actual cat , and that "dog" is connected to an actual dog. It's that leap, that understanding, that leads to meaning. And a lot of the time in life, we're still just sounding things out. We know the sentences and how to say them. We know the ideas and how to present them. We know the prayers and which words to say in what order. But that's only spelling" It's much harder to lie to someone's face. But. It is also much harder to tell the truth to someone's face. The indefatigable pursuit of an unattainable perfection, even though it consist in nothing more than in the pounding of an old piano, is what alone gives a meaning to our life on this unavailing star. (Logan Pearsall Smith) Being alone has nothing to do with how many people are around. (J.R. Moehringer) You could be standing a few feet away...I could have sat next to you on the subway, or brushed beside you as we went through the turnstiles. But whether or not you are here, you are here- because these words are for you, and they wouldn't exist is you weren't here in some way. At last I had it--the Christmas present I'd wanted all along, but hadn't realized. His words. The dream was obviously a sign: he was too enticing to resist. Wow. You must have a lot of faith in me. Which I appreciate. Even if I'm not sure I share it. I could do this on my own, and not freak out that I had no idea what waited for me on the other side of this night. Hope and belief. I'd always wanted hope, but never believed that I could have such an adventure on my own. That I could own it. And love it. But it happened. Because I'm So uncool and so afraid. If there was a clue, that meant the mystery was still intact I fear you may have outmatched me, because not I find these words have nowhere to go. It's hard to answer a question you haven't been asked. It's hard to show that you tried unless you end up succeeding. This was not a haystack. We were people, and people had ways of finding eachother. It was one of those moments when you feel the future so much that is humbles the present. Don't worry. It's your embarrassment at not having the thought that counts. You think fairy tales are only for girls? Here's ahint- ask yourself who wrote them. I assure you, it wasn't just the women. It's the great male fantasy- all it takes is one dance to know that she's the one. All it takes is the sound of her song from the tower, or a look at her sleeping face. And right away you know--this is the girl in your head, sleeping or dancing or singing in front of you. Yes, girls want their princes, but boys want their princesses just as much. And they don't want a very long courtship. They want to know immediately. Be careful what you;re doing, because no one is ever who you want them to be. And the less you really know them, the more likely you are to confuse them with the girl or boy in your head You should never wish for wishful thinking
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
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))
EDMUND *Then with alcoholic talkativeness You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and signing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping looking, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. the peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like a veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason! *He grins wryly. It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a a little in love with death! TYRONE *Stares at him -- impressed. Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right. *Then protesting uneasily. But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death. EDMUND *Sardonically The *makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
It's ridiculous. Here I sit in my little room, I, Brigge, who have got to be twenty-eight years old and about whom no one knows. I sit here and am nothing. And yet this nothing begins to think and thinks, up five flights of stairs, these thoughts on a gray Paris afternoon: Is it possible, this nothing thinks, that one has not yet seen, recognized, and said anything real and important? Is it possible that one has had thousands of years of time to look, reflect, and write down, and that one has let the millennia pass away like a school recess in which one eats one's sandwich and an apple? Yes, it is possible. ...Is it possible that in spite of inventions and progress, in spite of culture, religion, and worldly wisdom, that one has remained on the surface of life? Is it possible that one has even covered this surface, which would at least have been something, with an incredibly dull slipcover, so that it looks like living-room furniture during the summer vacation? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that the whole history of the world has been misunderstood? Is it possible that the past is false because one has always spoken of its masses, as if one was telling about a coming together of many people, instead of telling about the one person they were standing around, because he was alien and died? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that one believed one has to make up for everything that happened before one was born? Is it possible one would have to remind every single person that he arose from all earlier people so that he would know it, and not let himself be talked out of it by the others, who see it differently? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that all these people know very precisely a past that never was? Is it possible that everything real is nothing to them; that their life takes its course, connected to nothing, like a clock in an empty room? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that one knows nothing about girls, who are nevertheless alive? Is it possible that one says "the women", "the children", "the boys", and doesn't suspect (in spite of all one's education doesn't suspect) that for the longest time these words have no longer had a plural, but only innumerable singulars? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible that there are people who say "God" and think it is something they have in common? Just look at two schoolboys: one buys himself a knife, and the same day his neighbor buys one just like it. And after a week they show each other their knives and it turns out that they bear only the remotest resemblance to each other-so differently have they developed in different hands (Well, the mother of one of them says, if you boys always have to wear everything out right away). Ah, so: is it possible to believe that one could have a God without using him? Yes, it is possible. But, if all this is possible, has even an appearance of possibility-then for heaven's sake something has to happen. The first person who comes along, the one who has had this disquieting thought, must begin to accomplish some of what has been missed; even if he is just anyone, not the most suitable person: there is simply no one else there. This young, irrelevant foreigner, Brigge, will have to sit himself down five flights up and write, day and night, he will just have to write, and that will be that.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
You know someone is special to you when you're literally captivated by them in even the little moments. The slightest thing they say or do, is like watching the universe unfold. And nothing else matters in those moments. Where you go about your day, & the most capricious of things send you into a whirlwind of thoughts connected to them. And a plethora of thoughts flood into your mind, for no apparent reason other than its them. Or perhaps, you randomly see a picture of them in your news feed & you just pause & look, & the world melts away & all time seems to stop, & there's a radiance that illuminates your life. And you focus on the little details, & wish you could just capture every single detail vividly. And you see their eyes, & though they're merely a moment in time, their eyes are so beautiful, that they transcend the medium & are as if they're there looking back. And all you can do it look into them. Knowing those eyes are what you could look into endlessly. And you know that it's all you could ever want, if for just a single moment in time. Or they share their thoughts, & you rack your brain around how they think. An you just want to understand & know more of their thoughts, simply because they're theirs. They, to you, are a more elegant work of art than even the finest painting, songs or poems of the great artists. And you know that even the most renowned artist couldn't conceive of a more perfect image of beauty. Leonardo, Van Gough, Rembrandt, Picasso, the most renowned artist of time would go mad in attempts to capture even a fraction of such a beautiful sight. That even Shakespeare couldn't put such a person into words. Though there's no doubt they're worthy of being the subject of a Shakespearean sonnet. But it could do no justice to their reality, that because there are no words that truly could ever describe them, even such an attempt would be like trying to describe the complex, wondrous & marvelous nature of the universe in but a single word. That no words, paintings, pictures, or thought could describe them & encapsulate the essence of their grace. And that though no one is truly perfect, they as a person through your eyes, reach a state as near perfect as you could imagine. And even dreams couldn't conceive of a greater wonder of life. It's as if the sum of all the beauty in the world can be found within this one person. It's wonderful, inspiring, breathtaking. Or rather, it's a whirlwind of emotions. Where the wonder & awe bleed into & merge with the disheartening longing, utter belief that you could not for a second touch that with you so desperately struggle & grasp for & an inability to even breath in the moments you're interacting with them. But it's all the more maddening because with all the wanting of your heart, you know it's wanting for something it could never have. That for all your wanting, you know such things are simply & purely unobtainable. And all you can do is hold to adoration & hopes. Hopes that you in your heart know fully are hopeless, but which you can't help but maintain. I think few things are more maddening than that feelings. Most people, when face with such a situation, might despair & grow cynical. But so seldom do we ever meet someone who so maddeningly captivates us, so seldom someone who's very existence throws your world upside down. In a time in which genuine emotion is a scarcity. And pseudo-emotions, frivolous & quick to fade, are rampant. The genuine article is something I cherish. When something makes you feel anything, it's something amazing. Regardless if it's a fervent concoction of the greatest good & the saddest sad. The experience of meeting such a person, who can spark such thoughts & feeling, is a genuine rarity. One in which a given person could go a lifetime without experiencing, but which is worth experiencing. And something that, though ultimately heartbreaking, I wouldn't give up experiencing.
Trevor Driggers
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)