Console Myself Quotes

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The idea of being strong for someone else having never entered their heads, I find myself in the position of having to console them. Since I'm the person going in to be slaughtered, this is somewhat annoying.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am eking out my days in my corner, taunting myself with the bitter and entirely useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot seriously become anything, that only a fool can become something.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
Now I'm living out my life in a corner, trying to console myself with the stupid, useless excuse that an intelligent man cannot turn himself into anything, that only a fool can make anything he wants out of himself.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
How could I choose someone who would force me to give up my own small reach for meaning? I chose myself, and without consolation.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Invention of Wings)
I have to console myself with the hope that I'd seen Isabeau soften, even hesitate, as if she might actually have taken my arm. It was suddenly very easy to picture her in a gown with petticoats and ringlets in her hair and diamonds at her throat. It was just as easy to picture Magda with horns and pitchfork." - Logan, page 95
Alyxandra Harvey (Blood Feud (Drake Chronicles, #2))
We are all born and someday we’ll all die. Most likely to some degree alone.What if our aloneness isn’t a tragedy? What if our aloneness is what allows us to speak the truth without being afraid? What if our aloneness is what allows us to adventure – to experience the world as a dynamic presence – as a changeable, interactive thing? If I lived in Bosnia or Rwanda or who knows where else, needless death wouldn’t be a distant symbol to me, it wouldn’t be a metaphor, it would be a reality. And I have no right to this metaphor. But I use it to console myself. To give a fraction of meaning to something enormous and needless. This realization. This realization that I will live my life in this world where I have privileges. I can’t cool boiling waters in Russia. I can’t be Picasso. I can’t be Jesus. I can’t save the planet single-handedly. I can wash dishes.
Rachel Corrie
The purpose of art is to console and amuse—myself, and, I hope, others.
Ludwig Bemelmans
Ask yourself my love whether you are not very cruel to have so entrammelled me, so destroyed my freedom. Will you confess this in the Letter you must write immediately, and do all you can to console me in it — make it rich as a draught of poppies to intoxicate me —write the softest words and kiss them that I may at least touch my lips where yours have been. For myself I know not how to express my devotion to so fair a form: I want a brighter word than bright, a fairer word than fair.
John Keats (Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne)
You lie, in faith; for you are call'd plain Kate, And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst; But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate, For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate, Take this of me, Kate of my consolation; Hearing thy mildness praised in every town, Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded, Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs, Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife.
William Shakespeare (The Taming of the Shrew)
I came to the realization that every moment exists in perpetuity regardless of whether it’s remembered. What has happened has happened; it occupies that moment in time forever. I was an eleven-year-old girl lying in the grass one summer. I knew in that moment that was true and recognized that I would blaze through moments for the rest of my life, forgetting things, and becoming ages older, until I forgot everything—so I consoled myself by committing to remember that one moment.
Emily R. Austin (Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead)
I don't try to make sense of suffering. I try to make sense of life...I try each day to see God's will...I console myself with the old Negro spiritual, 'Sooner will be done the troubles of this world. I'm going home to live with God.
Thea Bowman
I tried to console myself with the fact that even if he did choose me, he’d leave me eventually, like every other man in my life.
Carey Corp (Doon (Doon, #1))
After I left here on Saturday, I decided never to see you again.” He was sliding the frittata under the broiler, so she could only see his profile, but damn if he didn’t appear to be smirking. “I know that, darling. It wounds my pride you won’t go out with me, but I can console myself with the knowledge that when you do see me, you can’t keep your knickers on for ten minutes running.” She threw her cookie at him, feigning indignation. “You bastard! Are you calling me easy?” “I like you easy. Besides, you’re not to blame. Who’d want to wear wet knickers?
Ruthie Knox (About Last Night)
Is this how he sees her? As an exotic beauty? I console myself with the knowledge that even the most beautiful flowers wither and die.
Oyinkan Braithwaite (My Sister, the Serial Killer)
I will be your friend,' I said. 'I will go home to my mother's house the way I did when I skinned my knees as a little girl. I'll go and let myself be consoled by my roses, my palm trees, my enormous volcanoes in San Salvador. When you are old, maybe you'll come and see me someday.
Consuelo de Saint-Exupéry (The Tale of the Rose: The Love Story Behind The Little Prince)
I had ways of consoling myself. Yes, there was food but there was beyond food, this idea I had of an oversoul of loneliness. A connectedness among the world's lonely that I could turn to when I was very low. There was a delicious romance in being utterly alone, & I told myself I was nobler for it, & that there was a purpose to my solitude, O there must be.
Liz Moore
I have an unfortunate character; whether it is my upbringing that made me like that or God who created me so, I do not know. I know only that if I cause unhappiness to others, I myself am no less happy. I realize this is poor consolation for them - but the fact remains that it is so. In my early youth, after leaving the guardianship of my parents, I plunged into all the pleasures money could buy, and naturally these pleasures grew distasteful to me. Then I went into high society, but soon enough grew tired of it; I fell in love with beautiful society women and was loved by them, but their love only aggravated my imagination and vanity while my heart remained desolate... I began to read and to study, but wearied of learning, too; I saw that neither fame nor happiness depended on it in the slightest, for the happiest people were the ignorant, and fame was a matter of luck, to achieve which you only had to be shrewd...
Mikhail Lermontov (A Hero of Our Time)
With a beautiful girl I could have consoled myself that she was out of my league; that I was so haunted and stirred even by her plainness suggested—ominously—a love more binding than physical affection, some tar-pit of the soul where I might flop around and malinger for years.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
I received in inheritance neither god nor a given spot on earth from where I can draw the attention of a god: no one either legated me the well disguised fury of the skeptic, the Sioux guiles of the rationalist or the burning innocence of the atheist. So I dare not throw the stone neither at the one who believes in things which inspire me only doubt, nor at the one who cultivates his doubt as if it was not, just as well, surrounded with darkness. This stone would hit me myself because I am well certain about one thing: the need of consolation that dwells within the human being is impossible to satisfy.
Stig Dagerman (Notre besoin de consolation est impossible à rassasier)
I grieved three thousand times. Then I grieved for myself, a lonely woman without the honor given to the wives of the fallen. The reverence for their loss, for their children's loss. It was eloquent and grand. So moving and charged with solidarity...On September eleventh, I faced the last moments of your father's life. I saw him in every person who tried to jump and every body they pulled from the rubble. And I saw myself as I was never allowed to be, consoled, understood, and loved.
Susan Abulhawa (Mornings in Jenin)
I endeavoured to crush these fears and to fortify myself for the trial which in a few months I resolved to undergo; and sometimes I allowed my thoughts, unchecked by reason, to ramble in the fields of Paradise, and dared to fancy amiable and lovely creatures sympathizing with my feelings and cheering my gloom; their angelic countenances breathed smiles of consolation. But it was all a dream; no Eve soothed my sorrows nor shared my thoughts ; I was alone. I remembered Adam's supplication to his Creator. But where was mine? He had abondoned me, and in the bitterness of my heart I cursed him."---Frankenstein's monster, Frankenstein
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein (Illustrated Classic Editions))
Asking me not to break the rules of society is like telling your kid not to eat candy because it’s bad for him. The kid will continue to eat candy until you take it away, or until you prove why he shouldn’t. You also need to provide substitutes for the candy you have denied that child. I was told often enough what was bad, but I was never given a substitute or the opportunity to try another world until I had already become so defiant and twisted, I no longer cared about someone else’s right or wrong. By then I could not see enough honest faces in the world to pattern myself after. Your Bibles didn’t mean anything to me. A Bible had driven my mother from her home. The people you chose to raise me beat and raped me and taught me to hate and fear. From what I have seen throughout my life, the laws of the land are practiced only by the little guy. Those who have money and success abuse every law written and get away with it. I admit my reasoning comes from the wrong side of the tracks, but once these opinions are formed and reinforced a few times, it is hard to believe otherwise. So even if I don’t shed a tear, I console myself: I had some help in becoming the person I am.
Charles Manson (Manson in His Own Words: Destroying a Myth: The True Confessions of Charles Manson)
I had written a book of short stories which was published under the title of "Uncle Tom's Children". When the review of that book began to appear, I realized that I had made an awful naive mistake. I found that I had written a book which even bankers' daughters could read and weep over and feel good about. I swore to myself that if I ever wrote another book, no one would weep over it; that it would be so hard and deep that they would have to face it without the consolation of tears.
Richard Wright (Bigger Thomas)
Like a tide-race, the waves of human mediocrity are rising to the heavens and will engulf this refuge, for I am opening the flood-gates myself, against my will. Ah! but my courage fails me and my heart is sick within me! -- Lord, take pity on the Christian who doubts, on the unbeliever who would fain believe, on the galley-slave of life who puts out to sea alone, in the night, beneath a firmament no longer lit by the consoling beacon-fires of the ancient hope!" (A Rebours, final words)
Joris-Karl Huysmans
books. I would scorn the pointless, haughty posturing, scorn its abstracted way of living. There I go again—pondering the purposelessness of my day-to-day life, wishing I had more ambition, and lamenting all the contradictions in myself—when I know it's just sentimental nonsense. All I'm doing is indulging myself, trying to console myself.
Osamu Dazai (Schoolgirl)
I forgot for a second that he was my ancestral enemy, and felt bad for him; then i consoled myself that bird poop brings good luck
Rob Reger (The Lost Days (Emily the Strange, #1))
But I consoled myself with the reflexion that in spite of everything she was for me the real point of intersection between reality and dream.
Marcel Proust (The Captive / The Fugitive (In Search of Lost Time, #5-6))
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS I. Suffering does exist. II. Suffering arises from "attachment" to desires. III. Suffering ceases when "attachment" to desire ceases. IV. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the eightfold path: 1. Right understanding (view). 2. Right intention (thought). 3. Right speach. 4. Right action. 5. Right livelihood. 6. Right effort. 7. Right mindfulness. 8. Rght meditation (concentration). Buddha's fourfold consolation: With a mind free from greed and unfriendliness, incorruptible, and purified, the noble disciple is already during this lifetime assure of a fourfold consolation: “If there is another world (heaven), and a cause and effect (Karma) of good and bad actions, then it may be that, at the dissolution of the body, after death, I shall be reborn in a happy realm, a heavenly world.” Of this first consolation (s)he is assured. “And if there is no other world, no reward and no punishment of good and bad actions, then I live at least here, in this world, an untroubled and happy life, free from hate and unfriendliness.” Of this second consolation (s)he is assured. “And if bad things happen to bad people, but I do not do anything bad (or have unfriendliness against anyone), how can I, who am doing no bad things, meet with bad things?” Of this third consolation (s)he is assured. “And if no bad things happen to bad people, then I know myself in both ways pure.” Of this fourth consolation (s)he is assured.
Gautama Buddha
As a father now myself, it's sobering to think about how the smallest comments will ripple through your children's lives, with some leaving permanent warps. I must console myself in the certainty that I am helping them and damaging them in other ways I cannot see.
John Hodgman (Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches)
I would be quite content to go to their children's bar mitzvahs, to marvel at their Gothic cathedrals, to 'respect' their belief that the Koran was dictated, though exclusively in Arabic, to an illiterate merchant, or to interest myself in Wicca and Hindu and Jain consolations. And as it happens, I will continue to do this without insisting on the polite reciprocal condition - which is that they in turn leave me alone. But this, religion is ultimately incapable of doing.
Christopher Hitchens
There is an Eastern fable, told long ago, of a traveller overtaken on a plain by an enraged beast. Escaping from the beast he gets into a dry well, but sees at the bottom of the well a dragon that has opened its jaws to swallow him. And the unfortunate man, not daring to climb out lest he should be destroyed by the enraged beast, and not daring to leap to the bottom of the well lest he should be eaten by the dragon, seizes s twig growing in a crack in the well and clings to it. His hands are growing weaker and he feels he will soon have to resign himself to the destruction that awaits him above or below, but still he clings on. Then he sees that two mice, a black one and a white one, go regularly round and round the stem of the twig to which he is clinging and gnaw at it. And soon the twig itself will snap and he will fall into the dragon's jaws. The traveller sees this and knows that he will inevitably perish; but while still hanging he looks around, sees some drops of honey on the leaves of the twig, reaches them with his tongue and licks them. So I too clung to the twig of life, knowing that the dragon of death was inevitably awaiting me, ready to tear me to pieces; and I could not understand why I had fallen into such torment. I tried to lick the honey which formerly consoled me, but the honey no longer gave me pleasure, and the white and black mice of day and night gnawed at the branch by which I hung. I saw the dragon clearly and the honey no longer tasted sweet. I only saw the unescapable dragon and mice, and I could not tear my gaze from them. and this is not a fable but the real unanswerable truth intelligible to all. The deception of the joys of life which formerly allayed my terror of the dragon now no longer deceived me. No matter how often I may be told, "You cannot understand the meaning of life so do not think about it, but live," I can no longer do it: I have already done it too long. I cannot now help seeing day and night going round and bringing me to death. That is all I see, for that alone is true. All else is false. The two drops of honey which diverted my eyes from the cruel truth longer than the rest: my love of family, and of writing -- art as I called it -- were no longer sweet to me. "Family"... said I to myself. But my family -- wife and children -- are also human. They are placed just as I am: they must either live in a lie or see the terrible truth. Why should they live? Why should I love them, guard them, bring them up, or watch them? That they may come to the despair that I feel, or else be stupid? Loving them, I cannot hide the truth from them: each step in knowledge leads them to the truth. And the truth is death.
Leo Tolstoy (A Confession)
The doors to the convenience store slammed open, and I heard frantic footsteps run toward me. I looked up just as Cole rounded the corner of the last aisle. When he saw me,he let out an audible sigh of relief. "Don't scare me like that,Nik." I couldn't answer.I lowered my head and let the tears flow. Cole sat beside me and put his arm around me,and I let him. I cried into the front of his black leather jacket, my tears pooling on the chest pocket. "Careful.I didn't bring a life jacket," Cole said. I sniffled. "Shh.It's okay." I guess that was how low I'd sunk, that Cole was the one person who could console me. We sat like that for a few long minutes,and when I finally had composed myself enough to speak,I said into his jacket, "Why don't you help me?You could be a hero for once." He put his lips against my head. "Heroes don't exist. And if they did,I wouldn't be one of them.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
The attentions of Pasquale Peluso consoled me greatly, I liked that he made me laugh. Maybe I’m not so ugly, I thought, maybe I can’t see myself.
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (L'amica geniale #1))
I have no philosophy in which I can move like a fish in water or a bird on the wing. All I have is an endless struggle, every second of my life, between false consolations that only add to my feeling of powerlessness and deepen my despair, and true consolations that bring me momentary freedom. I should probably say the true consolation, because for me only one exists: the one that allows me to know myself as a free human being, within my own boundaries, untouchable.
Stig Dagerman (Notre besoin de consolation est impossible à rassasier)
I had gained an insight. At great expense, but it was real and important: I was not a writer. What writers had, I did not have. I fought against this insight, I told myself I might be able to have what writers had, it might be attainable provided I persisted for long enough, while knowing in fact this was only a consolation. - Karl Ove Knausgaard, after his year at the Bergen Writing Academy
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 5 (Min kamp #5))
No matter how much I learned about death, I wanted to be able to blindly believe in something that might make me feel better, but I couldn't bring myself to do it because I feel much the same about the Church as I do about dead bodies – that they can both provide consolation, but only if you're willing to ignore some harsh truths. I find no more comfort from whispering in a dead person's ear than I do from whispering to a made-up God in the dark. Though sometimes I envy the fools who can.
Hazel Hayes (Out of Love)
Lord, break the chains that hold me to myself; free me to be Your happy slave—that is, to be the happy foot washer of anyone today who needs his feet washed, his supper cooked, his faults overlooked, his work commended, his failure forgiven, his griefs consoled or his button sewed on. Let me not imagine that my love for You is very great if I am unwilling to do for a human being something very small.
Elisabeth Elliot (A Lamp Unto My Feet: The Bible's Light For Your Daily Walk)
Prayer seems to me a cry of weakness, and an attempt to avoid, by trickery, the rules of the game as laid down. I do not choose to admit weakness. I accept the challenge of responsibility. Life, as it is, does not frighten me, since I have made my peace with the universe as I find it, and bow to its laws. The ever-sleepless sea in its bed, crying out “how long?” to Time; million-formed and never motionless flame; the contemplation of these two aspects alone, affords me sufficient food for ten spans of my expected lifetime. It seems to me that organized creeds are collections of words around a wish. I feel no need for such. However, I would not, by word or deed, attempt to deprive another of the consolation it affords. It is simply not for me. Somebody else may have my rapturous glance at the archangels. The springing of the yellow line of morning out of the misty deep of dawn, is glory enough for me. I know that nothing is destructible; things merely change forms. When the consciousness we know as life ceases, I know that I shall still be part and parcel of the world. I was a part before the sun rolled into shape and burst forth in the glory of change. I was, when the earth was hurled out from its fiery rim. I shall return with the earth to Father Sun, and still exist in substance when the sun has lost its fire, and disintegrated into infinity to perhaps become a part of the whirling rubble of space. Why fear? The stuff of my being is matter, ever changing, ever moving, but never lost; so what need of denominations and creeds to deny myself the comfort of all my fellow men? The wide belt of the universe has no need for finger-rings. I am one with the infinite and need no other assurance.
Zora Neale Hurston (Dust Tracks on a Road)
Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
I sense a hint of bitterness in this letter of yours and in a previous one. Excellent: we are living in a dark period, there is absolutely nothing going right, and the only consolation we have is to think about the brevity of life. I have to say that in this situation I am absolutely fine, and I am giving myself up finally to total misanthropy, which I now discover corresponds fully to my true nature. But you seem to be still anxious about something or other. Ha, ha! Don’t worry, it will just get worse and worse.
Italo Calvino (Italo Calvino: Letters, 1941-1985 - Updated Edition)
Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art. The artist is the only one who knows the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements. It is a materialization, an incarnation of his inner world. Then he hopes to attract others into it, he hopes to impose this particular vision and share it with others. When the second stage is not reached, the brave artist continues nevertheless. The few moments of communion with the world are worth the pain, for it is a world for others, an inheritance for others, a gift to others, in the end. When you make a world tolerable for yourself, you make a world tolerable for others. We also write to heighten our own awareness of life, we write to lure and enchant and console others, we write to serenade our lovers. We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.. We write, like Proust, to render all of it eternal, and to persuade ourselves that it is eternal. We write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it. We write to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth, we write to expand our world, when we feel strangled, constricted, lonely. We write as the birds sing. As the primitive dance their rituals. If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write. Because our culture has no use for any of that. When I don't write I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in prison. I feel I lose my fire, my color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave. I call it breathing.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5: 1947-1955)
You have the right to make this determination, even if I don’t appreciate it. But at times like this, I almost wish I could relax my standards. If I did, I might console myself with the possibility of using a dull, rusty needle on you someday.
Cathy Marie Hake (That Certain Spark (Only In Gooding, #4))
You go on falling in the same ditch every day, deciding every day never to fall again in the same ditch. But when you come near the ditch, the attraction, the fascination with falling in the ditch is so great that you forget all your decisions. You console yourself “Just once more. From tomorrow, I’m going to keep the promise I’ve given to myself.” But this has happened so many times. And you will do it your whole life, unless you allow the watcher to see the ridiculous acts that you are doing. And
Osho (Emotional Wellness: Transforming Fear, Anger, and Jealousy into Creative Energy)
I remember that on the day before you left, I told you that I wanted to change my way of life, and you asked me why I didn’t resign from my company right away. This is no place for me to go into details, but I really do want another kind of life. But here, too, I seem incapable of doing anything. That I myself at times become tired of my own weakness is, I’m afraid, no consolation to you.
Naoya Shiga (A Dark Night's Passing)
They would reach their destinations sooner and merely by sitting down. I would reach my destination later and merely by counting my steps, but someday I would sit down and console myself that we both had reached our destinations, and this was all that mattered.
Legson Kayira (I Will Try)
If you only knew how far short I fall of my own hopes you would know I could never boast. Why, it keeps me busy making over mistakes just like some one using old clothes. I get myself all ready to enjoy a success and find that I have to fit a failure. But one consolation is that I generally have plenty of material to cut generously, and many of my failures have proved to be real blessings.
Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Letters of a Woman Homesteader)
To be human means you can mold situations you are living in the way you want them. But today most people in the world are molded by the situations in which they exist. This is simply because they live in reaction to situations they are placed in. The inevitable question is, “Why was I placed in such a situation? Isn’t it my destiny?” Whatever we do not want to take responsibility for, whatever we cannot make sense of logically, we label “destiny.” It is a consoling word, but disempowering. To mold situations the way you want them you must first know who you are. The crux of the matter is that you don’t yet know who you are. Who you are is not the sum total of accumulations you have made. Everything that you currently know as “myself” is just an accumulation. Your body is just an accumulation of food. Your mind is just an accumulation of impressions gathered through the five senses. What you accumulate can be yours, but it can never be you.
Sadhguru (Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy)
Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything. Yes, a man in the nineteenth century must and morally ought to be pre-eminently a characterless creature; a man of character, an active man is pre-eminently a limited creature. That is my conviction of forty years.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
I told myself that once I was done ripping the seagull's head off, I would turn around and give a speech so saccharine that even Eddie wouldn't be able to console them when I was finished. I would destroy them, and they would drown in an ocean of their tears. But first the seagull.
T.J. Klune (Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and the Kid, #2))
A feeling struck me one fine day that people call ‘love’, Before that my life was empty, all I had was loneliness and sorrow… I loved the way it felt being with him, for I felt up above, Now everything was complete and nothing remained hollow… That person who cupid made me fall for, was a God descended from heavens, I loved him with all I had, a true heart and a pure soul… I thought I achieved the meaning of life, never did I felt so glad, But when he left me amidst a chaos, I had no one with me to console… I cried, it hurt, I wept and screamed, everyone called me ‘mad’, And still I wonder if in my life, that actually was his role… But a string still binds me to my past of untold vow, Some unsaid promises that linger between us even now, Although I don’t know where he went after that fateful day… I still try to convince myself every day, I know how, Each moment has been tough, each day a new challenge… Each hour passed as if it was my heart that always allowed, One more day to live without him, one more day to cherish… One more day to spend without the love of my life somehow, But he doesn’t know that one day, the girl herself would perish… Who loved him and lived each day of her life in his wait, For the man who never returned, for the man who wasn’t in her fate…
Mehek Bassi (Chained: Can you escape fate?)
Whilst writing all this, I have had in my mind a woman, whose strong and serious mind would not have failed to support me in these contentions. I lost her thirty years ago [I was a child then]--nevertheless, ever living in my memory, she follows me from age to age. She suffered with me in my poverty, and was not allowed to share my better fortune. When young, I made her sad, and now I cannot console her. I know not even where her bones are: I was too poor then to buy earth to bury her! And yet I owe her much. I feel deeply that I am the son of woman. Every instant, in my ideas and words [not to mention my features and gestures], I find again my mother in myself. It is my mother's blood which gives me the sympathy I feel for bygone ages, and the tender remembrance of all those who are now no more. What return then could I, who am myself advancing towards old age, make her for the many things I owe her? One, for which she would have thanked me--this protest in favour of women and mothers.
Samuel Smiles (Character)
I know whether or not I am confused most readily by noticing--being mindful of--my capacity for feeling caring concern. ... when I feel myself in caring connection--encouraging, consoling, or appreciating--I feel the twin pleasures of clarity and goodness. It doesn't matter if the connection I feel is to myself or a person I know or people I don't know or even the whole world. The lively impulse of caring is what counts. [p. 20]
Sylvia Boorstein (Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life)
I flip up my collar and turn my back to him as I pick my way back up toward the cliff base. I don’t think I can watch him disappear into the water. It will break my heart. Puck’s scrubbing her eyes busily as if she has something in them. George Holly bites his lip. The cliffs tower above me and I try to console myself, I will find another capall uisce, I will ride again, I will move to my father’s home and be free. But there’s no comfort in my thoughts. Behind me, the ocean says shhhhhhhh, shhhhhhhhh. There’s a thin, long wail. I keep walking, my bare feet slow on the uneven stones. The wail comes again, low and keening. Puck and Holly are looking past me, so I turn around. Still at the shoreline, Corr has noticed my going, and he stands where I left him, looking back at me. He lifts his head again and keens to me. The irresistible ocean sucks around his hooves. But still he looks over his withers at me and he wails, again and again. The hair on my arms stands with his call. I know he wants me to go to him, but I can’t go with him where he needs to go. Corr falls silent when I do not come to him. He looks back out to the endless horizon. I see him lift a hoof and put it back down. He tests his weight again. Then Corr turns, stepping out of the ocean. His head jerks up when his injured leg touches the ground, but he takes another labored step before keening to me again. Corr takes another step away from the November sea. And another. He is slow, and the sea sings to us both, but he returns to me.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
If I stay in an unhealthy relationship with you, perhaps it’s because I’m too weak-willed and indecisive to leave, but I don’t want to know it. Thus, I continue helping you, and console myself with my pointless martyrdom. Maybe I can then conclude, about myself, “Someone that self-sacrificing, that willing to help someone—that has to be a good person.” Not so. It might be just a person trying to look good pretending to solve what appears to be a difficult problem instead of actually being good and addressing something real. Maybe instead of continuing our friendship I should just go off somewhere, get my act together, and lead by example.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Why the devil couldn’t it have been blue?” I said to myself. And this thought—one of the most profound ever made since the discovery of butterflies—consoled me for my misdeed and reconciled me with myself. I stood there, looking at the corpse with, I confess, a certain sympathy. The butterfly had probably come out of the woods, well-fed and happy, into the sunlight of a beautiful morning. Modest in its demands on life, it had been content to fly about and exhibit its special beauty under the vast cupola of a blue sky, al sky that is always blue for those that have wings. It flew through my open window, entered by room, and found me there. I suppose it had never seen a man; therefore it did not know what a man was. It described an infinite number of circles about my body and saw that I moved, that I had eyes, arms, legs, a divine aspect, and colossal stature. Then it said to itself, “This is probably the maker of butterflies.” The idea overwhelmed it, terrified it; but fear, which is sometimes stimulating, suggested the best way for it to please its creator was to kiss him on the forehead, and so it kissed me on the forehead. When I brushed it away, it rested on the windowpane, saw from there the portrait of my father, and quite possibly perceived a half-truth, i.e., that the man in the picture was the father of the creator of butterflies, and it flew to beg his mercy. Then a blow from a towel ended the adventure. Neither the blue sky’s immensity, nor the flowers’ joy, nor the green leaves’ splendor could protect the creature against a face towel, a few square inches fo cheap linin. Note how excellent it is to be superior to butterflies! For, even if it had been blue, its life would not have been safe; I might have pierced it with a pin and kept it to delight my eyes. It was not blue. This last thought consoled me again. I placed the nail of my middle finger against my thumb, gave the cadaver a flip, and it fell into the garden. It was high time; the provident ants were already gathering around…Yes, I stand by my first idea: I think that it would have been better for the butterfly if it had been born blue.
Machado de Assis (Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas)
by myself, because by myself is all I’ve ever known. I don’t know how to be consoled
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
I have tried to resign myself, and to console myself; and that, I hope, I may have done imperfectly; but what I cannot firmly settle in my mind is, that the end will absolutely come. I hold her hand in mine, I hold her heart in mine, I see her love for me, alive in all its strength. I cannot shut out a pale lingering shadow of belief that she will be spared.
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
SHe's crying in Lily's shoulder while she hugs her close. My heart tears open again, and I have to restrain myself from walking over there and consoling her.
Krista Ritchie (Hothouse Flower (Calloway Sisters #2))
I have always consoled myself that he such as I who is not a genius, can still achieve much that is useful when he does his work right and chooses his work to suit his talents.
Johann Rudolf Wolf
Much later, when I could think about it clearly, I consoled myself that there were many worse ways in which I might have been raped.
Geraldine Brooks (People of the Book)
In it, he pushed the metric of typewriter spaces, and quoted from a poem, "The Catholic Bells," to show us Williams's "mature style at fifty"! This was a memorable phrase, and one that made maturity seem possible, but a long way off. I more or less memorized "The Catholic Bells," and spent months trying to console myself by detecting immaturities in whatever Williams had written before he was fifty.
Robert Lowell
Not just wicked, no, I never even managed to become anything: neither wicked nor good, neither a scoundrel nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect. And now I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and utterly futile consolation that it is even impossible for an intelligent man seriously to become anything, and only fools become something. Yes, sir, an intelligent man of the nineteenth century must be and is morally obliged to be primarily a characterless being; and a man of character, an active figure – primarily a limited being. This is my forty-year-old conviction. I am now
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
Would I fortify myself against the fear of death, it must be at the expense of Seneca: would I extract consolation for myself or my friend, I must borrow it from Cicero.  I might have found it in myself, had I been trained to make use of my own reason.  I do not like this relative and mendicant understanding; for though we could become learned by other men's learning, a man can never be wise but by his own wisdom.
Michel de Montaigne
What’s more, the awareness I have that no matter how ridiculous and humiliated I may seem, there lies within me that treasure of strength which will someday make them all change their opinion of me, this awareness – almost since the humiliated years of my childhood – then constituted the only source of my life, my light and my dignity, my weapon and my consolation, otherwise I might have killed myself while still a child.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Adolescent (Vintage Classics))
I didn’t know what it meant to have a nervous breakdown. I’d heard people jokingly exaggerate that they’d had one. Until that moment on my bathroom floor, I had no concept. Then the frayed strands of my sanity that I’d fought so hard to keep together snapped in two, and I started to free fall into chaos. First, I screamed. I screamed and I screamed until I was hoarse. Then my screams turned over to cries of agony. Pain, both physical and emotional, consumed me. Will tried to console me, but it was useless. He panicked and called my parents. When they heard my sobs in the background, they told him to call the paramedics. So he did. By the time they arrived, I was spent of emotions. Instead, I lay motionless on the floor. They were a hazy blur of blue uniforms and soft voices. I could hear them calling my name from far off—like I was under the surface of water. But I couldn’t muster the strength to reply. I heard crying behind me. It must’ve been Will because one of the paramedics said, “Don’t worry, son, we’re gonna take good care of her.” Then I felt myself floating upwards as they put me on a gurney. I rattled and shook as they pulled me out of the house. The flashing lights hurt my eyes. But then a needle pierced my vein, bringing liquid peace to my soul."--Melanie
Katie Ashley (Nets and Lies)
Now my evenings have the consolation of mugs of emerald-green tea made with fresh mint. It’s not so bad, but the time seems to stretch, and I’m finding myself in bed by nine, perhaps earlier if I can get away with it. It’s a profoundly unsociable way of living, but it gives me those clearheaded early mornings in the inky dark, when I light candles around the house and relish two straight hours when nobody can make any demands on me.
Katherine May (Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times)
I have, I am aware, told this story in a very rambling way so that it may be difficult for anyone to find his path through what may be a sort of maze. I cannot help it. I have stuck to my idea of being in a country cottage with a silent listener, hearing between the gusts of the wind and amidst the noises of the distant sea the story as it comes. And, when one discusses an affair - a long, sad affair - one goes back, one goes forward. One remembers points that one has forgotten and one explains them all the more minutely since one recognizes that one has forgotten to mention them in their proper places and that one may have given, by omitting them, a false impression. I console myself with thinking that this is a real story and that, after all, real stories are probably told best in the way a person telling a story would tell them. They will then seem most real.
Ford Madox Ford (The Good Soldier)
I consoled myself with Granddaddy's words on the fossil record and the Book of Genesis: It was more important to understand something than to like it. Liking wasn't necessary for understanding. Liking didn't enter into it.
Kelly Jacqueline
Granted, I should love my neighbor as myself, the questions which, under modern conditions of large-scale organization, remain for solution are, ''Who precisely is my neighbor?'' and ''How exactly am I to make my love for them effective in practice?''... It had insisted that all men were brethren. But it did not occur to it to point out that, as a result of the new economic imperialism, which was begging to develop in the 17th century, the brethren of the English merchant were the Africans whom he kidnapped for slavery in America, or the American Indians from whom he stripped of their lands, or the Indian craftsmen whom he bought muslin's and silks at starvation prices. Religion had not yet learned to console itself for the practical difficulty of applying its moral principles by clasping the comfortable formula that for the transaction of economic life no moral principles exist.
R.H. Tawney (Religion and the Rise of Capitalism)
It ended by my almost believing (perhaps actually believing) that this was perhaps my normal condition. But at first, in the beginning, what agonies I endured in that struggle! I did not believe it was the same with other people, and all my life I hid this fact about myself as a secret. I was ashamed (even now, perhaps, I am ashamed): I got to the point of feeling a sort of secret abnormal, despicable enjoyment in returning home to my corner on some disgusting Petersburg night, acutely conscious that that day I had committed a loathsome action again, that what was done could never be undone, and secretly, inwardly gnawing, gnawing at myself for it, tearing and consuming myself till at last the bitterness turned into a sort of shameful accursed sweetness, and at last—into positive real enjoyment! Yes, into enjoyment, into enjoyment! I insist upon that. I have spoken of this because I keep wanting to know for a fact whether other people feel such enjoyment? I will explain; the enjoyment was just from the too intense consciousness of one’s own degradation; it was from feeling oneself that one had reached the last barrier, that it was horrible, but that it could not be otherwise; that there was no escape for you; that you never could become a different man; that even if time and faith were still left you to change into something different you would most likely not wish to change; or if you did wish to, even then you would do nothing; because perhaps in reality there was nothing for you to change into. And the worst of it was, and the root of it all, that it was all in accord with the normal fundamental laws of over-acute consciousness, and with the inertia that was the direct result of those laws, and that consequently one was not only unable to change but could do absolutely nothing. Thus it would follow, as the result of acute consciousness, that one is not to blame in being a scoundrel; as though that were any consolation to the scoundrel once he has come to realise that he actually is a scoundrel.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
You are the greatest comfort for exhausted spirits. By the weight of your tenets and the delightfulness of your singing you have so refreshed me that I now think myself capable of facing the blows of Fortune. You were talking of cures that were rather sharp. The thought of them no longer makes me shudder; in fact I'm so eager to hear more, I fervently beg you for them.' 'I knew it,' She replied. 'Once you began to hang onto my words in silent attention, I was expecting you to adopt this attitude, or rather, to be more exact, I myself created it in you. The remedies still to come are, in fact, of such a kind that they taste bitter to the tongue, but grow sweet once they are absorbed. But you say you are eager to hear more. You would be more than eager to hear if you knew the destination I am trying to bring you to.' I asked what it was and she told me that it was true happiness. 'Your mind dreams of it,' she said, 'but your sight is clouded by shadows of happiness and cannot see reality.' I begged her to lead on and show me the nature of true happiness without delay. 'For you,' she said, 'I will do so gladly.
Boethius (The Consolation of Philosophy)
I am therefore Italian, completely and with pride. But if I could, I would descend into all languages and let myself be permeated by them all. Even the terrible Google Translate consoles me. We can be much more than what we happen to be.
Elena Ferrante (Incidental Inventions)
Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything. Yes, a man in the nineteenth century must and morally ought to be pre-eminently a characterless creature; a man of character, an active man is pre-eminently a limited creature. That is my conviction of forty years. I am forty years old now, and you know forty years is a whole lifetime; you know it is extreme old age. To live longer than forty years is bad manners, is vulgar, immoral. Who does live beyond forty? Answer that, sincerely and honestly. I will tell you who do: fools and worthless fellows. I tell all old men that to their face, all these venerable old men, all these silver-haired and reverend seniors! I tell the whole world that to its face! I have a right to say so, for I shall go on living to sixty myself. To seventy! To eighty!... Stay, let me take breath...
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
I would often invent this dream for myself at the edge of sleep, and then it was strange how content it would make me, how it would make peace and consolation flow, and I would close my eyes and float on it into my real dreams which were never so kind [...].
Alice Munro
Worse were the disaster tourists: those whom I didn’t know well but who came out of the woodwork, showing up unannounced at my hospital room door with an overzealous desire to help or to bear witness to the medical carnival that my life had become. They would gape at my bald head, all misty-eyed, and I’d find myself having to console them. Or they’d bombard me with unsolicited medical advice, telling me about a great doctor they knew or a friend of a friend who’d cured their own cancer with things like essential oils, apricot kernels, coffee enemas, or a juice cleanse. I knew that most meant well and were doing the best they knew how, so I smiled and nodded, but I was silently fuming. As I got sicker, fewer and fewer came—and when they did, I began pretending to be asleep.
Suleika Jaouad (Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted)
From the essay on Love, in which he describes as a wilderness experience his daily visits with his wife to a hospital 3,000 miles from home in a strange city, where someone he loves is in danger of dying. “When the worst finally happens, or almost happens, a kind of peace comes. I had passed beyond grief, beyond terror, all but beyond hope, and it was thee, in that wilderness, that for the first time in my life I caught sight of something of what it must be like to love God truly. It was only a glimpse, but it was like stumbling on fresh water in the desert, like remembering something so huge and extraordinary that my memory had been unable to contain it. Though God was nowhere to be clearly seen, nowhere to be clearly heard, I had to be near him—even in the elevator riding up to her floor, even walking down the corridor to the one door among all those doors that had her name taped on it. I loved him because there was nothing else left. I loved him because he seemed to have made himself as helpless in his might as I was in my helplessness. I loved him not so much in spite of there being nothing in it for me but almost because there was nothing in it for me. For the first time in my life, there in that wilderness, I caught a glimpse of what it must be like to love God truly, for his own sake, to love him no matter what. If I loved him with less than all my heart, soul, and will, I loved him with at least as much of them as I had left for loving anything… I did not love God, God knows, because I was some sort of saint or hero. I did not love him because I suddenly saw the light (there was almost no light at all) or because I hoped by loving him to persuade him to heal the young woman I loved. I loved him because I couldn’t help myself. I loved him because the one who commands us to love is the one who also empowers us to love, as there in the wilderness of that dark and terrible time I was, through no doing of my own, empowered to love him at least a little, at least enough to survive. And in the midst of it, these small things happened that were as big as heaven and earth because through them a hope beyond hopelessness happened. “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.”… The final secret, I think, is this: that the words “You shall love the Lord your God” become in the end less a command than a promise.
Frederick Buechner (A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces)
With such reflections as these, I was endeavouring to console myself, as I plodded home from the fields, one cold, damp, cloudy evening towards the close of October. But the gleam of a bright red fire through the parlour window, had more effect in cheering my spirits, and rebuking my thankless repinings, than all the sage reflections and good resolutions I had forced my mind to frame; for I was young then, remember — only four and twenty — and had not acquired half the rule over my own spirit, that I now possess — trifling as that may be.
Anne Brontë (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
I could not even imagine any place of secondary importance for myself, and for that very reason I quite contentedly occupied the most insignificant one in real life. Either a hero or dirt - there was no middle way. That turned out to be my undoing, for while wallowing in dirt I consoled myself with the thought that at other times I was a hero, and the hero overlaid the dirt: an ordinary mortal, as it were, was ashamed to wallow in dirt, but a hero was too exalted a person to be entirely covered in dirt, and hence I could wallow in dirt with an easy conscience.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
I write to understand myself, To comprehend myself, For how deeply I am in love with you. I write to express myself, To communicate myself, For what I have felt in love with you. I write to see myself, To realize myself, For how pure I have become in your love. I write to prove myself, To testify myself, For how much mad I am in love with you. I write to show myself, To confirm myself, For how I became enlightened in your love. I write to enchant myself, To enthral myself, For how much joyous I am in your love. I write to console myself, To solace myself, For a chance in a hope that you may read.
~Sw. Chidananda Tirtha
Bring thy lust to the gospel, not for relief, but for further conviction of its guilt; look on Him whom thou hast pierced, and be in bitterness. Say to thy soul, “What have I done? What love, what mercy what blood, what grace have I despised and trampled on! Is this the return I make to the Father for his love, to the Son for his blood, to the Holy Ghost for his grace? Do I thus requite the Lord? Have I defiled the heart that Christ died to wash, that the blessed Spirit has chosen to dwell in? And can I keep myself out of the dust? What can I say to the dear Lord Jesus? How shall I hold up my head with any boldness before him? Do I account communion with him of so little value, that for this vile lust’s sake I have scarce left him any room in my heart? How shall I escape if I neglect so great a salvation? In the meantime, what shall I say to the Lord? Love, mercy, grace, goodness, peace, joy, consolation… I have despised them all and esteemed them as a thing of nought, that I might harbor a lust in my heart. Have I obtained a view of God’s fatherly countenance, that I might behold his face and provoke him to his face? Was my soul washed, that room might be made for new defilements? Shall I endeavor to disappoint the end of the death of Christ? Shall I daily grieve that Spirit whereby I am sealed to the day of redemption?” Entertain thy conscience daily with this treaty. See if it can stand before this aggravation of its guilt. If this make it not sink in some measure and melt, I fear thy case is dangerous.
John Owen
When you wake raise your soul to God, realising His divine presence; adore the Blessed Trinity, imitating the great St. Francis Xavier, "I adore You, God the Father, who created me, I adore You, God the Son, who redeemed me, I adore You, God the Holy Ghost who have sanctified me, and continue to carry on the work of my sanctification. I consecrate this day entirely to Your love and to Your greater glory. I know not what this day will bring me either pleasant or troublesome, whether I shall be happy or sorrowful, shall enjoy consolation or undergo pain and grief, it shall be as You please; I give myself into Your hands and submit myself to whatever You will.
Jean-Pierre de Caussade (Abandonment to Divine Providence)
I hit my chest with my fist, accusing my body of failing. I’ve had eighty years to adjust and never have. Am I broken? We’ll start there. No. You’re not broken. You are possibly the most loyal and faithful siren I’ve ever had. So, one of the best? Is it bad to tell You that I don’t really want to be good at this job? She swirled around my face and hair, trying to console me. No one with a beating heart could enjoy killing their own. I’m not human, I argued. I’m less than that. Kahlen, my sweet girl, you are still human. Your body may be unchanging, but your soul still bends and sways. I assure you, in the deepest part of yourself, you are still connected to humanity. I kept crying, my tears joining Her waves. Then why can’t I cope with any human contact? Elizabeth has had her lovers. As have many a siren before her. It’s not surprising, considering how beautiful you are. If it’s so typical, then why can’t I do that? She laughed, a motherly sound in my head, as if She knew me better than I knew myself. Because you and Elizabeth are very different people. She’s looking for passion and excitement. In her dark world, those interludes are like fireworks. You long for relationships, for love. It’s why you protect your sisters so fiercely, why you always return to Me even when I don’t call, and why you mourn so heavily at taking lives.
Kiera Cass (The Siren)
I came there again another time. And I looked many times again. I was filled with consolation, with my consolation. The thirty-three abominations were truthful. They were the truth. They were life. The sharp fragments of life, sharp, complete moments. Such are women. They have lovers. Each of these thirty-three (or how many of them were there?) had painted his mistress. Excellent! I grew used to myself being in their presence. Thirty-three mistresses! Thirty-three mistresses! And I was all of them and yet all were not me. I studied the abomination for a long while: before I modeled for them, as well as afterwards. I modelled in order to study. This I felt so keenly. It seemed to me that I was learning about life by pieces, by separate pieces, fragments, but every fragment possessed all its own complexity and power. The abominations began to divide in half. With every day this became clearer. One half became mistresses and the other half queens. Each of the thirty-three created his mistress or his queen. ("Thirty Three Abominations")
Lydia Zinovieva-Annibal (The Silver Age of Russian Culture: An Anthology)
From any point of view, I had rather be what I am, a member of the Negro race, than be able to claim membership with the most favoured of any other race. I have always been made sad when I have heard members of any race claiming rights and privileges, or certain badges of distinction, on the ground simply that they were members of this or that race, regardless of their own individual worth or attainments. I have been made to feel sad for such persons because I am conscious of the fact that mere connection with what is known as a superior race will not permanently carry an individual forward unless he has individual worth, and mere connection with what is regarded as an inferior race will not finally hold an individual back if he possesses intrinsic, individual merit. Every persecuted individual and race should get much consolation out of the great human law, which is universal and eternal, that merit, no matter under what skin found, is, in the long run, recognized and rewarded. This I have said here, not to call attention to myself as an individual, but to the race to which I am proud to belong.
Booker T. Washington (Up from Slavery)
Brisbane continued. “I have led a selfish life, and I have enjoyed it. I cannot imagine a life without my work, and I cannot imagine a life without you, and yet I cannot reconcile the two.” My heart, which had given a joyous leap in the middle of his speech, faltered now as I realised what he was trying to say. “I never thought to ask you to give up your work,” I began. “But how can I ask you to sit idly by and wait for me to return when every time I kiss you goodbye might be the last?” “Oh, don’t!” I told him, fully enraged. “How dare you blame your cowardice upon me?” His lips went white, as did the tiny crescent moon scar high upon his cheekbone. “I beg your pardon?” “Cowardice,” I said distinctly. “You hide behind this pretence of fine feeling because you will not declare yourself directly and this gives you a perfect excuse, does it not? Spare poor Julia the horror of being widowed a second time. Put her up on the shelf and keep her out of harm’s way whilst you amuse yourself with your dashing adventures.” He opened his mouth to speak, but I stepped forward, tipping my head up to rail at him. “I am quite disappointed that you have revealed yourself to be so thoroughly conventional in your philosophy. Have I not proven myself a capable partner?” I demanded. “Have I not stood, side by side, with you, facing peril with equal courage? If you thought for a moment that I would be the meek, quiet, obedient sort of woman who would sit quietly at home mending your socks while you get to venture out into the world on your daring escapades, you have sorely mistaken me.” I turned on my heel and left him then, gaping after me like a landed carp. It was a very small consolation.
Deanna Raybourn (Silent on the Moor (Lady Julia Grey, #3))
I was thinking that it was regrettable that your tastes have grown canalized so young. There it was, raining soup-and you were caught without a spoon. Even three days of what you were offered-urged on you!-would have been something to treasure when you reach my age. And you, you young idiot, let jealousy chase you away! Believe me, at your age I would have gone Eskimo in a big way, thankful that I had been given a free pass instead of having to attend church and study Martian to qualify. I'm so vicariously vexed that my only consolation is the sour one that I know you will live to regret it. Age does not bring wisdom, Ben, but it does give perspective . . . and the saddest perspective of all is to see far, far behind you, the temptations you've passed up. I have such regrets myself but all of them are as nothing to the whopper of a regret I am happily certain you will suffer.
Robert A. Heinlein
Well?” Amelia demanded, clearly unaware of the turn of his thoughts. Which was a good thing, as they likely would have sent her screaming from the room. “Have you discovered anything about my brother’s whereabouts?” “I have.” “And?” “Lord Ramsay visited earlier this evening, lost some money at the hazard table—” “Thank God he’s alive,” Amelia exclaimed. “—and apparently decided to console himself by visiting a nearby brothel.” “Brothel?” She shot Merripen an exasperated glance. “I swear it, Merripen, he’ll die at my hands tonight.” She looked back at Cam. “How much did he lose at the hazard table?” “Approximately five hundred pounds.” The pretty blue eyes widened in outrage. “He’ll die slowly at my hands. Which brothel?” “Bradshaw’s.” Amelia reached for her bonnet. “Come, Merripen. We’re going there to collect him.” Both Merripen and Cam replied at the same time. “No.” “I want to see for myself if he’s all right,” she said calmly. “I very much doubt he is.” She gave Merripen a frosty stare. “I’m not returning home without Leo.” Half amused, half alarmed by her force of will, Cam asked Merripen, “Am I dealing with stubbornness, idiocy, or some combination of the two?” Amelia replied before Merripen had the opportunity. “Stubbornness, on my part. The idiocy may be attributed entirely to my brother.” She settled the bonnet on her head and tied its ribbons beneath her chin.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
The Heiligenstadt Testament" Oh! ye who think or declare me to be hostile, morose, and misanthropical, how unjust you are, and how little you know the secret cause of what appears thus to you! My heart and mind were ever from childhood prone to the most tender feelings of affection, and I was always disposed to accomplish something great. But you must remember that six years ago I was attacked by an incurable malady, aggravated by unskillful physicians, deluded from year to year, too, by the hope of relief, and at length forced to the conviction of a lasting affliction (the cure of which may go on for years, and perhaps after all prove impracticable). Born with a passionate and excitable temperament, keenly susceptible to the pleasures of society, I was yet obliged early in life to isolate myself, and to pass my existence in solitude. If I at any time resolved to surmount all this, oh! how cruelly was I again repelled by the experience, sadder than ever, of my defective hearing! — and yet I found it impossible to say to others: Speak louder; shout! for I am deaf! Alas! how could I proclaim the deficiency of a sense which ought to have been more perfect with me than with other men, — a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, to an extent, indeed, that few of my profession ever enjoyed! Alas, I cannot do this! Forgive me therefore when you see me withdraw from you with whom I would so gladly mingle. My misfortune is doubly severe from causing me to be misunderstood. No longer can I enjoy recreation in social intercourse, refined conversation, or mutual outpourings of thought. Completely isolated, I only enter society when compelled to do so. I must live like art exile. In company I am assailed by the most painful apprehensions, from the dread of being exposed to the risk of my condition being observed. It was the same during the last six months I spent in the country. My intelligent physician recommended me to spare my hearing as much as possible, which was quite in accordance with my present disposition, though sometimes, tempted by my natural inclination for society, I allowed myself to be beguiled into it. But what humiliation when any one beside me heard a flute in the far distance, while I heard nothing, or when others heard a shepherd singing, and I still heard nothing! Such things brought me to the verge of desperation, and well-nigh caused me to put an end to my life. Art! art alone deterred me. Ah! how could I possibly quit the world before bringing forth all that I felt it was my vocation to produce? And thus I spared this miserable life — so utterly miserable that any sudden change may reduce me at any moment from my best condition into the worst. It is decreed that I must now choose Patience for my guide! This I have done. I hope the resolve will not fail me, steadfastly to persevere till it may please the inexorable Fates to cut the thread of my life. Perhaps I may get better, perhaps not. I am prepared for either. Constrained to become a philosopher in my twenty-eighth year! This is no slight trial, and more severe on an artist than on any one else. God looks into my heart, He searches it, and knows that love for man and feelings of benevolence have their abode there! Oh! ye who may one day read this, think that you have done me injustice, and let any one similarly afflicted be consoled, by finding one like himself, who, in defiance of all the obstacles of Nature, has done all in his power to be included in the ranks of estimable artists and men. My brothers Carl and [Johann], as soon as I am no more, if Professor Schmidt be still alive, beg him in my name to describe my malady, and to add these pages to the analysis of my disease, that at least, so far as possible, the world may be reconciled to me after my death. I also hereby declare you both heirs of my small fortune (if so it may be called). Share it fairly, agree together and assist each other. You know that any
Ludwig van Beethoven
I had learned much during those years of hardship and suffering that could be of help to others in their lives. For every man’s life contains its share of suffering; each of us is occasionally driven almost to despair, to ask why God allows evil and suffering to overtake him or those he loves. I had seen a great deal of suffering in the camps and the prisons in those around me, had almost despaired myself, and had learned in those darkest of hours to turn to God for consolation and to trust in him alone.
Walter J. Ciszek (He Leadeth Me: An Extraordinary Testament of Faith)
A man who finds peace in the fume of his work is a man who knows himself and, therefore, knows what he must do. What is it that I would sacrifice myself to achieve? What is it that fills my lonely days and dowdy nights? What work consoles the soul? What action allows the brain to work at a fever, burn like an uncontrollable wildfire? What occupation, craft, or deed can I undertake that will embody a desire to share with other people my intellectual and emotional being? How does one express their worldly aspirations and spiritual yearnings?
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Speaking of full of dirt, I am hardly fit company but in the spirit of wifely tolerance I wonder if you will accompany me to a pool a little ways from here." He meant to bathe. The memory of him emerging from the sauna at the lodge flashed through her mind. Her mouth was suddenly dry. "I thought Vikings liked to boil themselves first." "Ordinarily I would agree with you, but if I get into a sauna now, I will fall asleep." "You are tired from your exertions on the trailing field?" The look he trailed over her was purely male and so evocative as to warm her clear through. "I am tried from my exertions in our bed,lady,as I suspect you well know." "That is a relief!" He looked at her in surprise, prompting a red face and a quick explanation. "I meant that I could not help but think of you toiling as usual while I slept half the day away and felt myself shamed for such sloth." "Oh,well, if it's any consolation to you, I fell asleep under a tree, to the great hilarity of my men, who are not likely to let me forget it anytime soon." She laughed,tension coiling, and without hesitation she held out her hand to him.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
The Work of Art. When I watch the audience at a concert or the crowd in the picture gallery I ask myself sometimes what exactly is their reaction towards the work of art. It is plain that often they feel deeply, but I do not see that their feeling has any effect, and if it has no effect its value is slender. Art to them is only a recreation or a refuge. It rests them from the work which they consider the justification of their existence or consoles them in their disappointment with reality. It is the glass of beer which the labourer drinks when he pauses in his toil or the peg of gin which the harlot takes to snatch a moment's oblivion from the pain of life. Art for art's sake means no more than gin for gin's sake. The dilettante who cherishes the sterile emotions which he receives from the contemplation of works of art has little reason to rate himself higher than the toper. His is the attitude of the pessimist. Life is a struggle or a weariness and in art he seeks repose or forgetfulness. The pessimist refuses reality, but the artist accepts it. The emotion caused by a work of art has value only if it has an effect on character and so results in action. Whoever is so affected is himself an artist. The artist's response to the work of art is direct and reasonable, for in him the emotion is translated into ideas which are pertinent to his own purposes, and to him ideas are but another form of action. But I do not mean that it is only painters, poets and musicians who can respond profitably to the work of art; the value of art would be much diminished; among artists I include the practitioners of the most subtle, the most neglected and the most significant of all the arts, the art of life.
W. Somerset Maugham (A Writer's Notebook)
Talk about something else. Tell me about this book you are writing." "What book?" I say. Then : "Oh, I know what you mean. I am not doing that anymore. I couldn't finish._________ I don't think he knows, not really. Not yet. In my haste to finish this story before death overtakes me, inevitably I have left out many things, and often I have expresses myself inelegantly, and no doubt here and there I have said more than I meant to. When you return, my dear type writer, we will review what we have done, and add this and subtract that. This work has become my hobby and my consolation, and I enjoy it.
Phillip Margulies (Belle Cora)
[...] After this compromising confession of "forgery" I should be obliged to consider myself condemned and annihilated if I had not the consolation of seeing side by side with me in the prisoner's dock hundreds of fellow-culprits, among them many of the most trusted observers and most esteemed biologists. The great majority of all the diagrams in the best biological textbooks, treatises and journals would incur in the same degree the charge of "forgery," for all of them are inexact, and are more or less doctored, schematised and constructed. [Berliner Volks-Zeitung - Haeckel's Frauds and Forgeries - Assmuth and Hull:1915]
Ernst Haeckel
She always surprises you this way, by knowing more than you think she does. Louis wonders if they're calculated, these little demonstrations of self-knowledge that pepper Clarissa's wise, hostessy performance. She seems, at times, to have read your thoughts. She disarms you by saying, essentially, I know what you're thinking and I agree, I'm ridiculous, I'm far less than I could have been and I'd like it to be otherwise but I can't seem to help myself. You find that you move, almost against your will, from being irritated with her to consoling her, helping her back into her performance so that she can be comfortable again and you can resume feeling irritated.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
Christianity . . . does not [simply] stand in the history that we only know and which knowledge we take to ourselves so that we say “Christ died for us and has broken death in us and made it into life. He has paid the debt for us. We need only to comfort ourselves with this and firmly believe that it has happened.” Since we in ourselves find that sin in the flesh is living, desirous and active, that it might work, the new birth out of Christ must be something else that does not work along with the sinful flesh and that does not will sin. . . . Here a Christian is to consider why he calls himself a Christian and is truly to consider whether he is one. Because I may learn to know and understand that I am a sinner, and that Christ has killed my sins on the cross and shed His blood for me, this in no way makes a Christian out of me. The inheritance is only for the children. A maid in the house knows well what the wife would eagerly have. This does not therefore make her an inheritor of the wife’s goods. The devil also knows that there is a God [James 2:19]. That does not therefore make him an angel again. However, if the maid in the household marries the wife’s son, then she can truly come to the inheritance of the wife’s goods. . . . The scorner and the titular Christian is the whore’s son, who must be cast out for he is not to inherit Christ’s inheritance in the kingdom of God (Galatians 4:30). He is no use, and only Babel, a confusion of the one language into many languages. He is only a talker and arguer about the inheritance and wishes to talk and argue to it with his mouth-hypocrisy and appearance of holiness, but he is only a blood-thirsty murderer of Abel his brother who is the true heir. . . . If one says, “I have the will and wish eagerly to do good, but I have earthly flesh that holds me [back] so that I cannot [act]; nevertheless, I shall be blessed by grace because of the merit of Christ. Since I console myself indeed with His suffering and merit, He will take me out of grace, without any merit of mine, and forgive me my sins,” he acts like one who knows of good food for his health and does not eat it, but who eats instead the poison from which he becomes ill and dies. What does it help the soul if it knows the way to God and does not wish to take it, but goes instead on a way of error, and does not reach God? What does it help the soul if it consoles itself with the sonship of Christ, [with] His suffering and death, and is itself hypocritical, but cannot enter into the childlike birth so that it is born a true child out of Christ’s Spirit, out of His suffering, death and resurrection? Certainly and truly, this tickling and hypocrisy about Christ’s merits aside from the true inherited sonship is false and a lie, [regardless of] who teaches. This consolation belongs to the repentant sinner who is in strife with sin and God’s wrath when the temptations come that the devil sets on the soul. Then the soul is to wrap itself completely in the suffering and death of Christ in His merit. [The Way to Christ, trans. Peter Erb, 138-139, 156-158]
Jakob Böhme
Ah sir," replied Caderousse, "we cannot console those who will not be consoled, and he was one of these; besides, I know not why, but he seemed to dislike seeing me. One night, however, I heard his sobs, and I could not resist my desire to go up to him, but when I reached his door he was no longer weeping but praying. I cannot now repeat to you, sir, all the eloquent words and imploring language he made use of; it was more than piety, it was more than grief, and I, who am no canter, and hate the Jesuits, said then to myself, 'It is really well, and I am very glad that I have not any children; for if I were a father and felt such excessive grief as the old man does, and did not find in my memory or heart all he is now saying, I should throw myself into the sea at once, for I could not bear it.
Alexandre Dumas
As to answering, though,” said Sara, trying to console herself, “I don’t answer very often. I never answer when I can help it. When people are insulting you, there is nothing so good for them as not to say a word--just to look at them and think. Miss Minchin turns pale with rage when I do it, Miss Amelia looks frightened, and so do the girls. When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn’t said afterward. There’s nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in--that’s stronger. It’s a good thing not to answer your enemies. I scarcely ever do. Perhaps Emily is more like me than I am like myself. Perhaps she would rather not answer her friends, even. She keeps it all in her heart.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess)
Minutes later, as they lay tangled together, dazed in the aftermath of their loving, Callie began to chuckle silently against Gabriel's side. Lifting his head to find her grinning a wide, silly grin, he drawled, "What is it that has you so amused, lovely?" "I was simply thinking"- she stopped to catch her breath from the laughter and started again- "I was merely thinking that if that is what riding astride is like, the female population is missing out on one of life's finer experiences." The last word was lost as she dissolved once more onto giggles. He caught her against him in a fierce hug and sighed, unable to keep himself from smiling up at the ceiling as he said, "You know, Empress, men do not appreciate laughter at this particular moment. It's devastating to the self-confidence." Her head snapped up and she took in his amused countenance. "Oh, my apologies, good sir," she teased. "I would hate to damage such a fragile ego as that of the Marquess of Ralston." With a playful growl, he pinned her to the mattress. "Minx. You shall pay for that." And he began to kiss down the side of her neck, nibbling across her collarbone until she sighed with pleasure. "If this is how I must pay for it, my lord, you may guarantee I shall tease you a great deal in the coming months." "More than months, I hope," he drawled, distracted by her lovely white breasts. "Years. Decades even." "Decades," she repeated, awestruck. My God. He's going to be my husband. "Mmm-hmm," he murmured against her skin before pulling away from her. "Which is why, despite how very difficult it shall be for me to leave you warm and lush in your bed, I shall console myself with the fact that, very soon, I shan't have to do so ever again.
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
It's a truth universally accepted that a single woman without romantic or professional prospects must be in want of a husband." Stella sneered, paraphrasing an ironic Jane Austen quote. "Come one, Stells." David tried to console her. They sat across from each other in Riley's kitchen, each with a cup of coffee that was quickly going from lukewarm to cold. "You don't honestly believe you don't have prospects." She just shrugged. "I guess part of me thought it was always going to be me with you. But as I see, fairy tale's over." David reached a hand between them and held tight to hers. "I'm sorry." She pulled her hand away, praying she could keep boundaries. "You did everything right. I'm a moronic tool." "No, you're not. You're an amazing person-" "Blah blah blah." Stella interrupted. "You don't have to try to sell me on myself. I might be broken, but I know what I am.
Rebekah Martin (The Truth and the Spy (Spy Sisters #2))
I longed for nothing more than to behold a stormy sea, less as a mighty spectacle than as a momentary revelation of the true life of nature; or rather there were for me no mighty spectacles save those which I knew to be not artificially composed for my entertainment, but necessary and unalterable— the beauty of landscapes or of great works of art. I was curious and eager to know only what I believed to be more real than myself, what had for me the supreme merit of showing me a fragment of the mind of a great genius, or of the force or the grace of nature as it appeared when left entirely to itself, without human interference. Just as the beautiful sound of her voice, reproduced by itself on the gramophone, would never console one for the loss of one's mother, so a mechanical imitation of a storm would have left me as cold as did the illuminated fountains at the Exhibition.
Marcel Proust (Swann’s Way)
All those beings who revealed truths to me and who were no longer there, seemed to me to have lived a life from which I alone profited and as though they had died for me. It was sad for me to think that in my book, my love which was once everything to me, would be so detached from a being that various readers would apply it textually to the love they experienced for other women. But why should I be horrified by this posthumous infidelity, that this man or that should offer unknown women as the object of my sentiment, when that infidelity, that division of love between several beings began with my life and long before I began writing? I had indeed suffered successively through Gilberte, through Mme de Guermantes, through Albertine. Successively also I had forgotten them and only my love, dedicated at different times to different beings, had lasted. I had anticipated the profanation of my memories by unknown readers. I was not far from being horrified with myself as, perhaps, some nationalist party might be in whose name hostilities had been provoked and who alone had benefited from a war in which many noble victims had suffered and died without even knowing the issue of the struggle which, for my grandmother, would have been such a complete reward. And the single consolation she never knew, that at last I had set to work, was, such being the fate of the dead, that though she could not rejoice in my progress she had at least been spared consciousness of my long inactivity, of the frustrated life which had been such a pain to her. And certainly there were many others besides my grandmother and Albertine from whom I had assimilated a word, a glance, but of whom as individual beings I remembered nothing; a book is a great cemetery in which, for the most part, the names upon the tombs are effaced.
Marcel Proust (Time Regained)
What do you see when you look at me?” “I see you,” he answered as if it was obvious. “It’s not like I see a place, or a time, or a name: just you. Your essence. Your soul. That’s how I find you every time you come back. I know it’s hard to understand, but your soul calls me…and I’m drawn to it. I couldn’t keep away if I tried.” Sage raised his hand to my cheek, cupping it gently. I closed my eyes, resting against the warmth of his palm. When I opened them he had moved closer. I closed the distance between us and kissed him. I felt dizzy and hot and floaty, like every cliché…but it was true. I couldn’t feel my feet. I finally felt like I was where my soul belonged. There was only one problem. The gearshift was digging into my side. “Ow!” I winced. “You okay?” “Yeah…it’s just…” I gestured down, feeling like an idiot for ruining the moment. Sage didn’t seem to mind. He reached down and moved his seat back to its maximum leg room, then held out his hand. I grabbed it and clambered over the center console, clumsily ducking and folding myself until I finally settled onto his lap, straddling his legs. It was the least coordinated act of seduction ever. “Better?” he asked. “Better.” He kissed me, sliding his hands up the back of my shirt. It felt incredible. Without breaking away from his lips, I reached underneath his tee and felt his bare, sleek chest. My breath came faster, caught up in the frenzy of finally letting go and doing what I’d been dying to do from the second I’d seen Sage on the beach. “Wait,” he said. He reached down and pulled a lever. I let out a little scream as his seat back dropped all the way and I fell on top of him. I loved the feel of his body under mine. I didn’t want a single part of us not touching. “Better now?” Sage murmured into my ear. It wasn’t fair of him to ask me a question when he was doing that. I could barely function, never mind put together an answer. “Much better,” I said. “It’s practically a bed.” “Is it?” Sage agreed, and in his eyes I saw exactly what that could mean. “Oh,” I said, suddenly nervous. “But…we can’t. I mean, we don’t have…” “I do,” he said, leaning down to kiss the hollow where my neck met my shoulder. “You do?” I tensed up. Why did he have one? For who? The corner of Sage’s mouth turned up. “For us, Clea. The drugstore in Rio? I kind of had a feeling…” He moved his lips back to my neck. He nibbled on my earlobe, and I whimpered. “Oh,” I managed. “Well…then…” “I love you, Clea.” Everything tunneled in, and I heard the words echo in my head. Sage loved me. Me. I didn’t even realize I’d stopped breathing until he said my name, concerned. “Clea?” I looked at him and immediately relaxed. “I love you, too.” We kissed, and I actually felt myself melting into him as my last coherent thoughts gave way to pure sensation.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
I leave it in writing for those who will come after me that I do not believe in anything and that forgetfulness is the only salvation. I would like to forget everything, to forget myself and to forget the world. True confessions are written with tears only. But my tears would drown the world, as my inner fire would reduce it to ashes. I don't need any support, encouragement, or consolation because, although I am the lowest of men, I feel nonetheless so strong, so hard, so savage! For I am the only man who lives without hope, the apex of heroism and paradox. The ultimate madness! I should channel my chaotic and unbridled passion into forgetfulness, escaping spirit and consciousness. I too have a hope: a hope for absolute forgetfulness. But is it hope or despair? Is it not the negation of all future hopes? I want not to know, not to know even that I do not know. Why so many problems, arguments, vexations? Why the consciousness of death? How much longer all this thinking and philosophizing?
Emil M. Cioran
The idea of becoming an anonymous nun came to me much later. In that period of my life, I felt different from my brothers, and other children. I never saw the world as they did; to me, things and people tended to become transparent, and dreams and stories in books were more real than reality. At times I had moments of terrifying lucidity and believed that I could divine the future and the remote past, long before I was born; it was as if all times were occurring simultaneously in one space, and suddenly, through a small window that opened for a fraction of a second, I traveled to other dimensions. In my adolescence, I would have given anything to belong to the boisterous clique that danced to rock ‘n’ roll and smoked behind adults’ backs, but I didn’t try, because I knew I wasn’t one of them. The sense of loneliness that had plagued me since childhood became even more acute, but I consoled myself with the vague hope that I was cut out for a special destiny that someday would be revealed to me.
Paula Allende
Jason, it’s a pleasure.” Instead of being in awe or “fangirling” over one of the best catchers in the country, my dad acts normal and doesn’t even mention the fact that Jason is a major league baseball player. “Going up north with my daughter?” “Yes, sir.” Jason sticks his hands in his back pockets and all I can focus on is the way his pecs press against the soft fabric of his shirt. “A-plus driver here in case you were wondering. No tickets, I enjoy a comfortable position of ten and two on the steering wheel, and I already established the rule in the car that it’s my playlist we’re listening to so there’s no fighting over music. Also, since it’s my off season, I took a siesta earlier today so I was fresh and alive for the drive tonight. I packed snacks, the tank is full, and there is water in reusable water bottles in the center console for each of us. Oh, and gum, in case I need something to chew if this one falls asleep.” He thumbs toward me. “I know how to use my fists if a bear comes near us, but I’m also not an idiot and know if it’s brown, hit the ground, if it’s black, fight that bastard back.” Oh my God, why is he so adorable? “I plan on teaching your daughter how to cook a proper meal this weekend, something she can make for you and your wife when you’re in town.” “Now this I like.” My dad chuckles. Chuckles. At Jason. I think I’m in an alternate universe. “I saw this great place that serves apparently the best pancakes in Illinois, so Sunday morning, I’d like to go there. I’d also like to hike, and when it comes to the sleeping arrangements, I was informed there are two bedrooms, and I plan on using one of them alone. No worries there.” Oh, I’m worried . . . that he plans on using the other one. “Well, looks like you’ve covered everything. This is a solid gentleman, Dottie.” I know. I really know. “Are you good? Am I allowed to leave now?” “I don’t know.” My dad scratches the side of his jaw. “Just from how charismatic this man is and his plans, I’m thinking I should take your place instead.” “I’m up for a bro weekend,” Jason says, his banter and decorum so easy. No wonder he’s loved so much. “Then I wouldn’t have to see the deep eye-roll your daughter gives me on a constant basis.” My dad leans in and says, “She gets that from me, but I will say this, I can’t possibly see myself eye-rolling with you. Do you have extra clothes packed for me?” “Do you mind sharing underwear with another man? Because I’m game.” My dad’s head falls back as he laughs. “I’ve never rubbed another man’s underwear on my junk, but never say never.” “Ohhh-kay, you two are done.” I reach up and press a kiss to my dad’s cheek. “We are leaving.” I take Jason by the arm and direct him back to the car. From over his shoulder, he mouths to my dad to call him, which my dad replies with a thumbs up. Ridiculous. Hilarious. When we’re saddled up in the car, I let out a long breath and shift my head to the side so I can look at him. Sincerely I say, “Sorry about that.” With the biggest smile on his face, his hand lands on my thigh. He gives it a good squeeze and says, “Don’t apologize, that was fucking awesome.
Meghan Quinn (The Lineup)
If it’s any consolation,” he murmured, “I had a miserable time last night.” “Good. You deserved to.” She smiled. “Not that I care one way or the other.” “Stop pretending that you don’t care,” he said hoarsely. “We both care, and you know it. I care more than you can possibly imagine.” She wanted to believe him, but how could she? “You say that only to coax me into your bed.” He smiled mirthlessly. “I don’t need to coax women into my bed, my dear. They usually leap there of their own accord.” His smile faded. “This is the first time I’ve apologized to a woman. I’ve never given a damn what any woman thought of me, though plenty of them tried to make me do so. So please forgive me if I’m not handling this to your satisfaction. It’s not a situation I’m accustomed to.” He was holding her so tenderly, it made her want to weep. Every move they made was a seduction-his leg advancing as hers went back, his hand gripping her waist, the waltz beating a rhythm that made her want to whirl around the ballroom with him forever. Her mind told her she should resist him, but her heart didn’t want to listen. Her heart was a fool. She gazed past his shoulder. “My father used to go to a brothel. He never remarried, so he went there to…er…feed his needs. I had to go fetch him a few times when my cousins were working and my aunt was looking after my grandmother, who lived nearby.” She didn’t know why she was telling him this, but it was a relief to speak of it to someone. Even her aunt and cousins preferred to pretend it never happened. “It was mortifying. He would…forget to come home, and we would need money for something, so I would have to go after him.” “Good God.” Her gaze locked with his. “I swore I’d never let myself be put in such a position again.” She tipped up her chin. “That’s why I’m happy to have Nathan as my fiancé. He’s genteel and proper. He would never frequent a brothel.” Oliver’s eyes glittered darkly at her. “No. He would just abandon you to the tender mercies of men who do.” She forced a smile. “There’s more than one way to be abandoned. If a woman’s husband is forever at a brothel, he might as well be halfway across the sea. The result is the same.” A stricken expression crossed his face as he stared at her. Then he glanced away.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
When I finally calmed down, I saw how disappointed he was and how bad he felt. I decided to take a deep breath and try to think this thing through. “Maybe it’s not that bad,” I said. (I think I was trying to cheer myself up as much as I was trying to console Chip.) “If we fix up the interior and just get it to the point where we can get it onto the water, at least maybe then we can turn around, sell it, and get our money back.” Over the course of the next hour or so, I really started to come around. I took another walk through the boat and started to picture how we could make it livable--maybe even kind of cool. After all, we’d conquered worse. We tore a few things apart right then and there, and I grabbed some paper and sketched out a new layout for the tiny kitchen. I talked to him about potentially finishing an accent wall with shiplap--a kind of rough-textured pine paneling that fans of our show now know all too well. “Shiplap?” Chip laughed. “That seems a little ironic to use on a ship, doesn’t it?” “Ha-ha,” I replied. I was still not in the mood for his jokes, but this is how Chip backs me off the ledge--with his humor.
Joanna Gaines (The Magnolia Story)
I had long wanted to see “true” indigo, and thought that drugs might be the way to do this. So one sunny Saturday in 1964, I developed a pharmacologic launchpad consisting of a base of amphetamine (for general arousal), LSD (for hallucinogenic intensity), and a touch of cannabis (for a little added delirium). About twenty minutes after taking this, I faced a white wall and exclaimed, “I want to see indigo now—now!” And then, as if thrown by a giant paintbrush, there appeared a huge, trembling, pear-shaped blob of the purest indigo. Luminous, numinous, it filled me with rapture: It was the color of heaven, the color, I thought, which Giotto had spent a lifetime trying to get but never achieved—never achieved, perhaps, because the color of heaven is not to be seen on earth. But it had existed once, I thought—it was the color of the Paleozoic sea, the color the ocean used to be. I leaned toward it in a sort of ecstasy. And then it suddenly disappeared, leaving me with an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness that it had been snatched away. But I consoled myself: Yes, indigo exists, and it can be conjured up in the brain. For months afterward, I searched for indigo. I turned over little stones and rocks near my house, looking for it. I examined specimens of azurite in the natural history museum—but even they were infinitely far from the color I had seen. And then, in 1965, when I had moved to New York, I went to a concert in the Egyptology gallery of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In the first half, a Monteverdi piece was performed, and I was utterly transported. I had taken no drugs, but I felt a glorious river of music, four hundred years long, flowing from Monteverdi’s mind into my own. In this ecstatic mood, I wandered out during the intermission and looked at the ancient Egyptian objects on display—lapis lazuli amulets, jewelry, and so forth—and I was enchanted to see glints of indigo. I thought: Thank God, it really exists! During the second half of the concert, I got a bit bored and restless, but I consoled myself, knowing that I could go out and take a “sip” of indigo afterward. It would be there, waiting for me. But when I went out to look at the gallery after the concert was finished, I could see only blue and purple and mauve and puce—no indigo. That was nearly fifty years ago, and I have never seen indigo again.
Oliver Sacks (Hallucinations)
When other birds are still, the screech owls take up the strain, like mourning women their ancient u-lu-lu. Their dismal scream is truly Ben Jonsonian.( Wise midnight hags! It is no honest and blunt tu-whit tu-who of the poets, but, without jesting, a most solemn graveyard ditty, the mutual consolations of suicide lovers remembering the pangs and the delights of supernal love in the infernal groves. Yet I love to hear their wailing, their doleful responses, trilled along the woodside; reminding me sometimes of music and singing birds; as if it were the dark and tearful side of music, the regrets and sighs that would fain be sung. They are the spirits, the low spirits and melancholy forebodings, of fallen souls that once in human shape night-walked the earth and did the deeds of darkness, now expiating their sins with their wailing hymns or threnodies in the scenery of their transgressions. They give me a new sense of the variety and capacity of that nature which is our common dwelling. Oh-o-o-o-o that I never had been bor-r-r-r-n! sighs one on this side of the pond, and circles with the restlessness of despair to some new perch on the gray oaks. Then — that I never had been bor-r-r-r-n! echoes another on the farther side with tremulous sincerity, and — bor-r-r-r-n! comes faintly from far in the Lincoln woods. I was also serenaded by a hooting owl. Near at hand you could fancy it the most melancholy sound in Nature, as if she meant by this to stereotype and make permanent in her choir the dying moans of a human being — some poor weak relic of mortality who has left hope behind, and howls like an animal, yet with human sobs, on entering the dark valley, made more awful by a certain gurgling melodiousness — I find myself beginning with the letters gl when I try to imitate it — expressive of a mind which has reached the gelatinous, mildewy stage in the mortification of all healthy and courageous thought. It reminded me of ghouls and idiots and insane howlings. But now one answers from far woods in a strain made really melodious by distance — Hoo hoo hoo, hoorer hoo; and indeed for the most part it suggested only pleasing associations, whether heard by day or night, summer or winter. I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and undeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all have. All day the sun has shone on the surface of some savage swamp, where the double spruce stands hung with usnea lichens, and small hawks circulate above, and the chickadee lisps amid the evergreens, and the partridge and rabbit skulk beneath; but now a more dismal and fitting day dawns, and a different race of creatures awakes to express the meaning of Nature there.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
But my dreaming self refuses to be consoled. It continues to wander, aimless, homeless, alone. It cannot be convinced of its safety by any evidence drawn from my waking life. I know this because I continue to have the same dream, over and over. I’m in the other place, a place that’s very familiar to me, although I’ve never lived in it or even seen it except in this dream. Details vary – the space has many different rooms, mostly bare of furniture, some with only the sub-flooring – but it always contains the steep, narrow stairway of that distant apartment. Somewhere in it, I know – as I open door after door, walk through corridor after corridor – I’ll come upon the gold mirror, and also the green satin bedspread, which has taken on a life of its own and is able to morph into cushions, or sofas, or armchairs, or even – once – a hammock. It’s always dusk, in this place; it’s always a cool dank summer evening. This is where I’ll have to live, I think in the dream. I’ll have to be all by myself, forever. I’ve missed the life that was supposed to be mine. I’ve shut myself off from it. I don’t love anyone. Somewhere, in one of the rooms I haven’t yet entered, a small child is imprisoned. It isn’t crying or wailing, it stays completely silent, but I can feel its presence there. Then I wake up, and retrace the steps of my dream, and try to shake off the sad feeling it’s left me with. Oh yes, the other place, I say to myself. That again. There was quite a lot of space in it, this time. It wasn’t so bad.
Margaret Atwood (Moral Disorder and Other Stories)
There was a note on the table.” “Bring it here,” Van Eck barked. The boy strode down the aisle, and Van Eck snatched the note from his hand. “What does it … what does it say?” asked Bajan. His voice was tremulous. Maybe Inej had been right about Alys and the music teacher. Van Eck backhanded him. “If I find out you knew anything about this—” “I didn’t!” Bajan cried. “I knew nothing. I followed your orders to the letter!” Van Eck crumpled the note in his fist, but not before Inej made out the words in Kaz’s jagged, unmistakable hand: Noon tomorrow. Goedmedbridge. With her knives. “The note was weighted down with this.” The boy reached into his pocket and drew out a tie pin—a fat ruby surrounded by golden laurel leaves. Kaz had stolen it from Van Eck back when they’d first been hired for the Ice Court job. Inej hadn’t had the chance to fence it before they left Ketterdam. Somehow Kaz must have gotten hold of it again. “Brekker,” Van Eck snarled, his voice taut with rage. Inej couldn’t help it. She started to laugh. Van Eck slapped her hard. He grabbed her tunic and shook her so that her bones rattled. “Brekker thinks we’re still playing a game, does he? She is my wife. She carries my heir.” Inej laughed even harder, all the horrors of the past week rising from her chest in giddy peals. She wasn’t sure she could have stopped if she wanted to. “And you were foolish enough to tell Kaz all of that on Vellgeluk.” “Shall I have Franke fetch the mallet and show you just how serious I am?” “Mister Van Eck,” Bajan pleaded. But Inej was done being frightened of this man. Before Van Eck could take another breath, she slammed her forehead upward, shattering his nose. He screamed and released her as blood gushed over his fine mercher suit. Instantly, his guards were on her, pulling her back. “You little wretch,” Van Eck said, holding a monogrammed handkerchief to his face. “You little whore. I’ll take a hammer to both your legs myself—” “Go on, Van Eck, threaten me. Tell me all the little things I am. You lay a finger on me and Kaz Brekker will cut the baby from your pretty wife’s stomach and hang its body from a balcony at the Exchange.” Ugly words, speech that pricked her conscience, but Van Eck deserved the images she’d planted in his mind. Though she didn’t believe Kaz would do such a thing, she felt grateful for each nasty, vicious thing Dirtyhands had done to earn his reputation—a reputation that would haunt Van Eck every second until his wife was returned. “Be silent,” he shouted, spittle flying from his mouth. “You think he won’t?” Inej taunted. She could feel the heat in her cheek from where his hand had struck her, could see the mallet still resting in the guard’s hand. Van Eck had given her fear and she was happy to return it to him. “Vile, ruthless, amoral. Isn’t that why you hired Kaz in the first place? Because he does the things that no one else dares? Go on, Van Eck. Break my legs and see what happens. Dare him.” Had she really believed a merch could outthink Kaz Brekker? Kaz would get her free and then they’d show this man exactly what whores and canal rats could do. “Console yourself,” she said as Van Eck clutched the ragged corner of the table for support. “Even better men can be bested.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I understand you.—You do not suppose that I have ever felt much.—For four months, Marianne, I have had all this hanging on my mind, without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature; knowing that it would make you and my mother most unhappy whenever it were explained to you, yet unable to prepare you for it in the least.— It was told me,—it was in a manner forced on me by the very person herself, whose prior engagement ruined all my prospects; and told me, as I thought, with triumph.— This person's suspicions, therefore, I have had to oppose, by endeavouring to appear indifferent where I have been most deeply interested;—and it has not been only once;—I have had her hopes and exultation to listen to again and again.— I have known myself to be divided from Edward for ever, without hearing one circumstance that could make me less desire the connection.—Nothing has proved him unworthy; nor has anything declared him indifferent to me.— I have had to contend against the unkindness of his sister, and the insolence of his mother; and have suffered the punishment of an attachment, without enjoying its advantages.— And all this has been going on at a time, when, as you know too well, it has not been my only unhappiness.— If you can think me capable of ever feeling—surely you may suppose that I have suffered NOW. The composure of mind with which I have brought myself at present to consider the matter, the consolation that I have been willing to admit, have been the effect of constant and painful exertion;—they did not spring up of themselves;—they did not occur to relieve my spirits at first.— No, Marianne.—THEN, if I had not been bound to silence, perhaps nothing could have kept me entirely—not even what I owed to my dearest friends—from openly shewing that I was VERY unhappy.
Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)
I close my eyes, groaning softly as I slowly work myself with my fingers. "You got undressed so fast. I'm impressed." I move quicker, savoring the ache between my legs as it slowly intensifies. When I open my eyes, he leans so close to my face, I can feel the hot breath from his mouth coat my lips. "I can do a lot of things quickly if I'm tempted. And you, Joelle..." He shudders as he works himself in his hand, his eyes never leaving mine. "Seeing you touch yourself is the ultimate temptation." My mouth is on him instantly. With my free hand, I claw at his hair, and we kiss each other breathless. Soon we're moaning into each other's mouths. Max's hand is on my waist, and then he slides down to squeeze my ass. Something inside me takes hold. I grab his hand and push it between my legs to take over. "Please," I whine. "I know we can't have each other the way we want right now, but I just... I need you to touch me." He nods at me, jaw clenched, like he's determined to take this task and run with it. And run with it he does. His massive hand works me into a tizzy, and soon all of the muscles in my body are tense with pleasure. "Joelle," he rasps against my mouth. "I want you any way I can have you. Always." Even though I'm lying down on my side, I'm dizzy with arousal. God, even just his words are enough to send me over the edge. I clutch his bulging arm as the ache inside me builds. When I burst, he's right there to absorb it all: my screams with his mouth, my thrashing body with his own. When I finally come down, I set my sights on what's between his legs. I reach down and take my time with him, relishing his ragged breaths and growls, how his muscles go tense, how his eyes focus when he breaks apart, and how shy his gaze turns when he's finished. I press a kiss to his lips, then lean up to grab napkins from the center console to help him clean up. When we're through, we're a sweaty, panting mess, and the inside of the car feels ten degrees warmer.
Sarah Echavarre Smith (The Boy With the Bookstore)
When I finally calmed down, I saw how disappointed he was and how bad he felt. I decided to take a deep breath and try to think this thing through. “Maybe it’s not that bad,” I said. (I think I was trying to cheer myself up as much as I was trying to console Chip.) “If we fix up the interior and just get it to the point where we can get it onto the water, at least maybe then we can turn around, sell it, and get our money back.” Over the course of the next hour or so, I really started to come around. I took another walk through the boat and started to picture how we could make it livable--maybe even kind of cool. After all, we’d conquered worse. We tore a few things apart right then and there, and I grabbed some paper and sketched out a new layout for the tiny kitchen. I talked to him about potentially finishing an accent wall with shiplap--a kind of rough-textured pine paneling that fans of our show now know all too well. “Shiplap?” Chip laughed. “That seems a little ironic to use on a ship, doesn’t it?” “Ha-ha,” I replied. I was still not in the mood for his jokes, but this is how Chip backs me off the ledge--with his humor. Then I asked him to help me lift something on the deck, and he said, “Aye, aye, matey!” in his best pirate voice, and slowly but surely I came around. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but by the end of that afternoon I was actually a little bit excited about taking on such a big challenge. Chip was still deflated that he’d allowed himself to get duped, but he put his arm around me as we started walking back to the truck. I put my head on his shoulder. And the camera captured the whole thing--just an average, roller-coaster afternoon in the lives of Chip and Joanna Gaines. The head cameraman came jogging over to us before we drove away. Chip rolled down his window and said sarcastically, “How’s that for reality TV?” We were both feeling embarrassed that this is how we had spent our last day of trying to get this stinkin’ television show. “Well,” the guy said, breaking into a great big smile, “if I do my job, you two just landed yourself a reality TV show.” What? We were floored. We couldn’t believe it. How was that a show? But lo and behold, he was right. That rotten houseboat turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Joanna Gaines (The Magnolia Story)
Marlboro Man opened the passenger door of the semi and allowed me to climb out in front of him, while Tim exited the driver-side door to see us off. That wasn’t so bad, I thought as I made my way down the steps. Aside from the manicure remark and my sweating problem, meeting Marlboro Man’s brother had gone remarkably well. I looked okay that evening, had managed a couple of witty remarks, and had worn just the right clothing to conceal my nervousness. Life was good. Then, because the Gods of Embarrassment seemed hell-bent on making me look bad, I lost my balance on the last step, hooking the heel of my stupid black boots on the grate of the step and awkwardly grabbing the handlebar to save myself from falling to my death onto the gravel driveway below. But though I stopped myself from wiping out, my purse flew off my arm and landed, facedown, on Tim’s driveway, violently spilling its contents all over the gravel. Only a woman can know the dreaded feeling of spilling her purse in the company of men. Suddenly my soul was everywhere, laid bare for Marlboro Man and his brother to see: year-old lip gloss, a leaky pen, wadded gum wrappers, and a hairbrush loaded up with hundreds, if not thousands, of my stringy auburn hairs. And men don’t understand wads of long hair--for all they knew, I had some kind of follicular disorder and was going bald. There were no feminine products, but there was a package of dental floss, with a messy, eight-inch piece dangling from the opening and blowing in the wind. And there were Tic Tacs. Lots and lots of Tic Tacs. Orange ones. Then there was the money. Loose ones and fives and tens and twenties that had been neatly folded together and tucked into a pocket inside my purse were now blowing wildly around Tim’s driveway, swept away by the strengthening wind from an approaching storm. Nothing in my life could have prepared me for the horror of watching Marlboro Man, my new love, and his brother, Tim, whom I’d just met, chivalrously dart around Tim’s driveway, trying valiantly to save my wayward dollars, all because I couldn’t keep my balance on the steps of their shiny new semi. I left my car at Tim’s for the evening, and when we pulled away in Marlboro Man’s pickup, I stared out the window, shaking my head and apologizing for being such a colossal dork. When we got to the highway, Marlboro Man glanced at me as he made a right-hand turn. “Yeah,” he said, consoling me. “But you’re my dork.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
6. In the first place, because the light and wisdom of contemplation is most pure and bright, and because the soul, on which it beats, is in darkness and impure, that soul which is the recipient must greatly suffer. As eyes weakened and clouded by humors suffer pain when the clear light beats upon them, so the soul, by reason of its impurity, suffers exceedingly when the divine light really shines upon it. And when the rays of this pure light strike upon the soul, in order to expel its impurities, the soul perceives itself to be so unclean and miserable that it seems as if God had set Himself against it, and itself were set against God. So grievous and painful is this feeling—for it thinks now that God has abandoned it—that it was one of the heaviest afflictions of Job during his trial. “Why hast Thou set me contrary to Thee, and I become burdensome to myself?”8 The soul seeing distinctly in this bright and pure light, though dimly, its own impurity, acknowledges its own unworthiness before God and all creatures. 7. That which pains it still more is the fear it has that it never will be worthy, and that all its goodness is gone. This is the fruit of that deep impression, made on the mind, in the knowledge and sense of its own wickedness and misery. For now the divine and dim light reveals to it all its wretchedness, and it sees clearly that of itself it can never be other than it is. In this sense we can understand the words of the Psalmist: “For iniquities Thou hast chastised man, and Thou hast made his soul pine away and wither9 as a spider.”10 8. In the second place, the pain of the soul comes from its natural,11 moral, and spiritual weakness; for when this divine contemplation strikes it with a certain vehemence, in order to strengthen it and subdue it, it is then so pained in its weakness as almost to faint away, particularly at times when the divine contemplation strikes it with greater vehemence; for sense and spirit, as if under a heavy and gloomy burden, suffer and groan in agony so great that death itself would be a desired relief. 9. This was the experience of Job, and he says, “I will not that He contend with me with much strength, nor that He oppress me with the weight of His greatness.”12 The soul under the burden of this oppression feels itself so removed out of God’s favor that it thinks—and so it is—that all things which consoled it formerly have utterly failed it, and that no one is left to pity it. Job also speaks to the same purport, “Have mercy upon me, have mercy upon me, at the least you my friends, because the hand of our Lord hath touched me.”13 Wonderful and piteous sight! So great are the weakness and impurity of the soul that the hand of God, so soft and so gentle, is felt to be so heavy and oppressive,14 though neither pressing nor resting on it, but merely touching it, and that, too, most mercifully; for He touches the soul not to chastise it, but to load it with His graces.
Juan de la Cruz (Dark Night of the Soul)
You okay?” Marlboro Man called out. I didn’t answer. I just kept on walking, determined to get the hell out of Dodge. It took him about five seconds to catch up with me; I wasn’t a very fast walker. “Hey,” he said, grabbing me around the waist and whipping me around so I was facing him. “Aww, it’s okay. It happens.” I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted him to let go of me and I wanted to keep on walking. I wanted to walk back down the hillside, start my car, and get out of there. I didn’t know where I’d go, I just knew I wanted to go. I wanted away from all of it--riding horses, saddles, reins, bridles--I didn’t want it anymore. I hated everything on that ranch. It was all stupid, dumb…and stupid. Wriggling loose of his consoling embrace, I squealed, “I seriously can’t do this!” My hands trembled wildly and my voice quivered. The tip of my nose began to sting, and tears welled up in my eyes. It wasn’t like me to display such hysteria in the presence of a man. But being driven to the brink of death had brought me to this place. I felt like a wild animal. I was powerless to restrain myself. “I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life!” I cried. I turned to leave again but decided instead to give up, choosing to sit down on the ground and slump over in defeat. It was all so humiliating--not just my rigid, freakish riding style or my near collision with the ground, but also my crazy, emotional reaction after the fact. This wasn’t me. I was a strong, confident woman, for Lord’s sake; I don’t slump on the ground in the middle of a pasture and cry. What was I doing in a pasture, anyway? Knowing my luck, I was probably sitting on a pile of manure. But I couldn’t even walk anymore; my knees were even trembling by now, and I’d lost all feeling in my fingertips. My heart pounded in my cheeks. If Marlboro Man had any sense, he would have taken the horses and gotten the hell out of there, leaving me, the hysterical female, sobbing on the ground by myself. She’s obviously in the throes of some hormonal fit, he probably thought. There’s nothing you can say to her when she gets like this. I don’t have time for this crap. She’s just gonna have to learn to deal with it if she’s going to marry me. But he didn’t get the hell out of there. He didn’t leave me sobbing on the ground by myself. Instead he joined me on the grass, sitting beside me and putting his hand on my leg, reassuring me that this kind of thing happens, and there wasn’t anything I did wrong, even though he was probably lying. “Now, did you really mean that about not wanting to do this the rest of your life?” he asked. That familiar, playful grin appeared in the corner of his mouth. I blinked a couple of times and took a deep breath, smiling back at him and reassuring him with my eyes that no, I hadn’t meant it, but I did hate his horse. Then I took a deep breath, stood up, and dusted off my Anne Klein straight-leg jeans. “Hey, we don’t have to do this now,” Marlboro Man said, standing back up. “I’ll just do it later.” “No, I’m fine,” I answered, walking back toward my horse with newfound resolve.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
I would be quite content to go to their children's bar mitzvahs, to marvel at their Gothic cathedrals, to "respect" their belief that the Koran was dictated, though exclusively in Arabic, to an illiterate merchant, or to interest myself in Wicca and Hindu and Jain consolations. And as it happens, I will continue to do this without insisting on polite reciprocal condition - which is that they in turn leave me alone. But this, religion is ultimately incapable of doing. As I write these words, and as you read them, people of faith are in their different ways planning your and my destruction, and the destruction of all the hard-won human attainments that I have touched upon.
Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything)
There are such vague feelings singing inside me, I don't know what I want myself. Or what I have the right to want. But when I remember our consolation, that great saying 'Things have been worse', I always cheer up straight away. We aren't ones to hang our heads! We'll muddle along somehow! Elena Alexandrovna says she has written ten letters in two evenings. It made me think what a wonderful thing it is - this sympathetic, steadfast consideration you have for people. Who nowadays remembers distant friends and gives up evening after evening for them? This is why it's so pleasant writing you long letters, because I know you will be reading them aloud, and then reading them again, and then going over them sentence by sentence and answering each point. So may you continue to flourish, my friends, and may your light shine.
Solzhenitsyn Aleksandr Isaevich
I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from the Underground)
No,’ she answered, wondering at the harsh simplicity of life. ‘My father was a scoundrel then? cried the lad, clenching his fists. She shook her head. ‘I knew he was not free. We loved each other very much. If he had lived, he would have made provision for us. Don’t speak against him, my son. He was your father, and a gentleman. Indeed he was highly connected.’ An oath broke from his lips. ‘I don’t care for myself,’ he exclaimed, ‘but don’t let Sibyl… It is a gentleman, isn’t it, who is in love with her, or says he is? Highly connected, too, I suppose?’ For a moment a hideous sense of humiliation came over the woman. Her head drooped. She wiped her eyes with shaking hands. ‘Sibyl has a mother,’ she murmured; ‘I had none.’ The lad was touched. He went towards her, and stooping down he kissed her. ‘I am sorry if I have pained you by asking about my father,’ he said, ‘but I could not help it. I must go now. Good-bye. Don’t forget that you will only have one child how to look after, and believe me that if this man wrongs my sister, I will find out who he is, track him down, and kill him like a dog. I swear it.’ The exaggerated folly of the threat, the passionate gesture that accompanied it, the mad melodramatic words, made life seem more vivid to her. She was familiar with the atmosphere. She breathed more freely, and for the first time for many months she really admired her son. She would have liked to have continued the scene on the same emotional scale, but he cut her short. Trunks had to be carried down, and mufflers looked for. The lodging-house drudge bustled in and out. There was the bargaining with the cabman. The moment was lost in vulgar details. It was with a renewed feeling of disappointment that she waved the tattered lace handkerchief from the window, as her son drove away. She was conscious that a great opportunity had been wasted. She consoled herself by telling Sibyl how desolate she felt her life would be, now that she had only one child to look after. She remembered the phrase. It had pleased her. Of the threat she said nothing. It was vividly and dramatically expressed. She felt that they would all laugh at it some day.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
I do my intellectual work within myself, and once with other people, it's more or less irrelevant to me that they're intelligent, as long as they are kind, sincere, etc.
Alain de Botton (The Consolations of Philosophy)
You will learn on the job, in the process of repairing many different kinds of equipment and seeing how the designers solved various problems, or failed to solve them in some cases. For every repair, you will fill out a log describing the cause of the failure and what you did to rectify it. If you don’t understand something, you may consult the more experienced Technicians, including myself.” He led the group down a wide hallway, and they crowded into a soundproofed studio. “This is the backup broadcast studio, which kept operational at all times in case of a major failure in the main studio. The first item in the signal chain is the microphone. We use dynamic mics for DJ’s and guests, and various ribbons and condensers for radio plays and orchestral broadcasts. For pre-recorded sound sources, we have direct-drive turntables, cassette decks, open-reel decks, and cart machines. All machines are wired for remote start from the console. “The consoles are vacuum tube type, fully balanced with input, output, and interstage transformers, and completely modular. They were designed in-house for absolute reliability. Channel modules can be hot-swapped without powering down the console, so that breakdowns can be fixed in a matter of seconds. “The output of the console is wired to a stereo compressor, variable mu type, to regulate the overall volume. The studio switcher selects the currently active studio and routes it to the transmitter. The output passes through an additional compressor, VCA type, with sophisticated circuitry for leveling, peak limiting, soft clipping, filtering, and pre-emphasis, in order to maximize the station’s loudness without overmodulating the transmitter.
Fenton Wood (Five Million Watts (Yankee Republic Book 2))
You have them in your power it is true; but my consolation is, that your power is only a temporary authority over their bodies: you may destroy the mortal part, but their immortal souls are out of your reach, and will live hereafter to bear testimony against you for your cruelties. I therefore recommend them and myself to God, and pray for a reformation in your heart. Joshua Gianavel.
John Foxe (Fox's Book of Martyrs Or A History of the Lives, Sufferings, and Triumphant Deaths of the Primitive Protestant Martyrs)
There is a dark cloud that is hiding the Beloved of my heart and I long to plunge myself into His divine Being, but I am unable to do so." She experienced no consolation. Nor did that matter. What really counted was that her heavenly Bridegroom was with her still
Michael D. Griffin (God, The Joy of My Life: A Biography of Saint Teresa of the Andes With the Saint's Spiritual Diary)
No, no Jane! You must not go! No, I have touched you, heard you, felt the comfort of your presence, the sweetness of your consolation. I cannot give up those joys. I have little left in myself, I must have you. The world may laugh, may call me absurd, selfish, but it does not signify. My very soul demands you. It will be satisfied or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
had long wanted to see “true” indigo, and thought that drugs might be the way to do this. So one sunny Saturday in 1964, I developed a pharmacologic launchpad consisting of a base of amphetamine (for general arousal), LSD (for hallucinogenic intensity), and a touch of cannabis (for a little added delirium). About twenty minutes after taking this, I faced a white wall and exclaimed, “I want to see indigo now—now!” And then, as if thrown by a giant paintbrush, there appeared a huge, trembling, pear-shaped blob of the purest indigo. Luminous, numinous, it filled me with rapture: It was the color of heaven, the color, I thought, which Giotto had spent a lifetime trying to get but never achieved—never achieved, perhaps, because the color of heaven is not to be seen on earth. But it had existed once, I thought—it was the color of the Paleozoic sea, the color the ocean used to be. I leaned toward it in a sort of ecstasy. And then it suddenly disappeared, leaving me with an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness that it had been snatched away. But I consoled myself: Yes, indigo exists, and it can be conjured up in the brain.
Oliver Sacks (Hallucinations)
It was this. My father had left a small collection of books in a little room upstairs, to which I had access (for it adjoined my own) and which nobody else in our house ever troubled. From that blessed little room, Roderick Random, Peregrine Pickle, Humphrey Clinker, Tom Jones, the Vicar of Wakefield, Don Quixote, Gil Blas, and Robinson Crusoe, came out, a glorious host, to keep me company. They kept alive my fancy, and my hope of something beyond that place and time,—they, and the Arabian Nights, and the Tales of the Genii,—and did me no harm; for whatever harm was in some of them was not there for me; I knew nothing of it. It is astonishing to me now, how I found time, in the midst of my porings and blunderings over heavier themes, to read those books as I did. It is curious to me how I could ever have consoled myself under my small troubles (which were great troubles to me), by impersonating my favourite characters in them—as I did—and by putting Mr. and Miss Murdstone into all the bad ones—which I did too. I have been Tom Jones (a child's Tom Jones, a harmless creature) for a week together. I have sustained my own idea of Roderick Random for a month at a stretch, I verily believe. I had a greedy relish for a few volumes of Voyages and Travels—I forget what, now—that were on those shelves; and for days and days I can remember to have gone about my region of our house, armed with the centre-piece out of an old set of boot-trees—the perfect realization of Captain Somebody, of the Royal British Navy, in danger of being beset by savages, and resolved to sell his life at a great price. The Captain never lost dignity, from having his ears boxed with the Latin Grammar. I did; but the Captain was a Captain and a hero, in despite of all the grammars of all the languages in the world, dead or alive. This was my only and my constant comfort. When I think of it, the picture always rises in my mind, of a summer evening, the boys at play in the churchyard, and I sitting on my bed, reading as if for life. Every barn in the neighbourhood, every stone in the church, and every foot of the churchyard, had some association of its own, in my mind, connected with these books, and stood for some locality made famous in them. I have seen Tom Pipes go climbing up the church-steeple; I have watched Strap, with the knapsack on his back, stopping to rest himself upon the wicket-gate; and I know that Commodore Trunnion held that club with Mr. Pickle, in the parlour of our little village alehouse.
Charles Dickens (David Copperfield)
had to console myself with being Rochester guying the scene on paper. Just as I had begun the first line (‘Oh damn these empty pleasures’) which I thought very strong, a kindly woman came up and asked me my name, and I said ‘Rochester’ – I didn’t mean to be impertinent, but I was getting interested – and what I was writing, and I said ‘A scurrilous lampoon upon the foibles of the age’, which was a line I had memorized from a large Stuart biography, and just then Charles II came a heavy purler on his behind and I hurried up to get a better view, while the woman, moving off, said to her companion, ‘That little Rochester girl’s nurse ought to be spoken to’.
Rachel Ferguson (A Harp in Lowndes Square)
I had allowed myself to murmur a few impatient and hurtful words, which, I had sensed from the way her face contracted, had struck home, had wounded her; it was I whom they were lacerating, now that the consolation of a thousand kisses was forever impossible.
Marcel Proust (Sodom and Gomorrah)
When I occasionally begin to worry about how much wine I drink each day I console myself – or excuse myself – with the thought that I drink wine like a French person. It seems to me almost sinful to sit down to eat food without a glass of wine. And how does one signal the end of the working day without opening a bottle?
William Boyd (Bamboo)
It’d been a while since my mother last warned me about a dream. She often transcribed them in her journals and consulted her notes at a later date. Though she was a devout Christian most of the time, she also covered her bases. She noted dates murmured by ancestors, and after an earthquake, burglary, mugging, the LA Riots, or one of Chris’s more upsetting episodes, she’d consult this almanac of predetermined disaster and cluck her tongue. I asked her why she didn’t take extra care on those days if she knew something was going to happen. She explained, “We can’t live in fear, waiting for tragedy. I write these dates not to warn myself, but to console myself after the fact, that there was nothing I could do to prevent it.
Angela Mi Young Hur (Folklorn)
If I stay in an unhealthy relationship with you, perhaps it’s because I’m too weak-willed and indecisive to leave, but I don’t want to know it. Thus, I continue helping you, and console myself with my pointless martyrdom. Maybe I can then conclude, about myself, “Someone that self-sacrificing, that willing to help someone—that has to be a good person.” Not so. It might be just a person trying to look good pretending to solve what appears to be a difficult problem instead of actually being good and addressing something real.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
It was not only that I could not become spiteful, I did not know how to become anything; neither spiteful nor kind, neither a rascal nor an honest man, neither a hero nor an insect. Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from the Underground)
I've forged my own way alone while you were consoling and fighting with one another, i faced everything myself, head on now look how strong i am.
Hachiman Hikigaya - My Teen Romantic Comedy Snafu
MORNING PLEADING FOR BLESSINGS Keep your servant, O God, that I may do no evil to anyone this day. Let it be your blessed will not to allow the devil nor his wicked angels, nor any of his evil members, or my enemies, to have any power to do me hurt or violence. Watch over me for good and not for evil, and command your holy angels to pitch their tents around me, for my defense and safety in my going out and coming in, as you have promised they should do for those who fear your name. Into your hands, O Father, I do here commit my soul and body, my actions, and all that I ever have, to be guided, defended, and protected by you. I am assured that whatever you take into your custody cannot perish, nor suffer any hurt or harm. And if I at any time this day will through frailty forget you, even so Lord, I beg you, in mercy—remember me. And I pray not for myself alone, but I beg you also to be merciful to your whole church, your chosen people, wherever they live upon the earth. Defend them from the rage and tyranny of the devil, the world, and the antichrist. Give your gospel a free and a joyful passage through the world, for the conversion of those you have chosen. Bless the churches and countries we live in with the peace, justice, and true faith. Bless our country’s leaders, and increase in them the gifts and spiritual graces which make them fit for those jobs where you have placed them. Direct the leaders of our country and our churches to lead the people in true faith, justice, obedience, and peace. Be merciful to the believers who fear you and call upon your name. And comfort as many among them as are sick and comfortless in body or mind. Especially be favorable to all who suffer any trouble or persecution for the testimony of your truth and your holy gospel. In your grace, deliver them out of all their troubles—however is best in your wisdom, for the glory of your name, for the further expansion of the truth, and for the increase of their own comfort and consolation. Hasten your coming, blessed Savior, and end these sinful days. Give me grace, that like a wise virgin I may be prepared with oil in my lamp to meet you, the blessed bridegroom, at your coming. Whether it be by my day of death, or at the day of judgment, Lord Jesus, come when you will; come quickly! These, and all other graces which you know I need, this day and evermore, I humbly beg and crave at your hands, O Father. I give you the glory, amen. —Lewis Bayly
Robert Elmer (Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans (Prayers of the Church))
If you only knew how far short I fall of my own hopes, you would know I could never boast. Why, it keeps me busy making over mistakes just like someone using old clothes. I get myself all ready to enjoy a success and find that I have to fit a failure. But one consolation is that I generally have plenty of material to cut generously, and many of my failures have proved to be real blessings.
Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Letters of a Woman Homesteader)
Thus the surface of all my virtues had a less imposing reverse side. It is true that, in another sense, my shortcomings turned to my advantage. For example, the obligation I felt to conceal the vicious part of my life gave me a cold look that was confused with the look of virtue; my indifference made me loved; my selfishness wound up in my generosities. I stop there, for too great a symmetry would upset my argument. But after all, I presented a harsh exterior and yet could never resist the offer of a glass or of a woman! I was considered active, energetic, and my kingdom was the bed. I used to advertise my loyalty and I don’t believe there is a single person I loved that I didn’t eventually betray. Of course, my betrayals didn’t stand in the way of my fidelity; I used to knock off a considerable pile of work through successive periods of idleness; and I had never ceased aiding my neighbor, thanks to my enjoyment in doing so. But however much I repeated such facts to myself, they gave me but superficial consolations. Certain mornings, I would get up the case against myself most thoroughly, coming to the conclusion that I excelled above all in scorn. The very people I helped most often were the most scorned. Courteously, with a solidarity charged with emotion, I used to spit daily in the face of all the blind.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
The blonde was staring at herself in the mirror, taking on a thoughtful, reflective tone. “Well, it isn’t easy. And his mood changes in an instant. But he collects different girls for different flavors – so one girl doesn’t have to be everybody and everything.” “Oh.” I splashed water on my face and stared for a moment at the mask in the mirror. “You’re just his type, totally. With all the tattoos, you are utterly monstrous, if you don’t mind my saying so. Punk-Goth gone mad.” She swung around to take a close, direct look. “I never saw the point of tattoos, mind you, just fad and fashion. But,” she focused on me, stared, grinned, and rolled her eyes. “My God, darling, you really are perfect! How could you do that to yourself?” She licked her lips. “I think you will be a success. As I said, Sergei loves tattoos. He’s totally into the weird and the monstrous. He adores freaks – and kid, you are about as freakish as they come.” “You think so.” I turned my mask towards her and gave her an extra big smile – I was even more grotesque, Martine told me, when I smiled. “Oh, Gwen, how totally utterly horrible!” she declared and then kissed me to console me for having become a monster. As I grinned at Sergei’s girl, the metal rings in my ears clanked against each other. I could feel the large ring nose, warm, smooth steel, against my curled upper lip. “Yes, you look like a masterpiece of self-loathing.” “It’s called body art,” I said, “It’s a statement.” “A statement?” “Absolutely,” I hiccupped. Everything was fuzzy; I forced myself to focus. “Whatever it is, you’ll be a big success. Sergei collects waifs who suffer from extreme self-hatred. Self-destructive and self-hating girls are one of his hobbies. You can do so much with them.
Gwendoline Clermont (Gwendoline Goes Underground)
Jesus, my God, my Redeemer, my Friend, my intimate Friend, my Heart, my Darling: here I come to tell you, from the depths of my heart and with the greatest sincerity and affection of which I am capable, that there is nothing in the world that attracts me except you alone, my Jesus. I do not want the things of the world. I do not want to console myself with creatures. I want only to empty myself and be free of all things in order to love you alone. For you, Lord, is all my heart with all its affections, all its loves, and all its delights. O Lord, I do not tire of repeating to you: I want nothing but your love and your trust. I swear to you, Lord: I promise to hear all your inspirations and to live your very own life. Speak very frequently in the depths of my soul, and demand much of me, for I swear always to do whatever your heart desires, as easy or as hard as it may be. How can I deny you anything if the only consolation of my heart is waiting for a word to fall from your lips, in order to satisfy your wishes. Lord, behold my misery, my weakness. Kill me before I deny you anything you wish of me. Lord, by your Mother! Lord, by your souls! Give me this grace. As the years went by, Arrupe’s prayers became more sober and profound, but not less ardent or sincere. We see in them his enormous joy and confidence: “I have great confidence in God, for we are in his hands. Things can never turn out badly if one follows the will of God, though one might have to suffer.” 8 Iturrioz, “Pedro Arrupe.” When
Pedro Miguel Lamet (Pedro Arrupe: Witness of the Twentieth Century, Prophet of the Twenty-First)
For Albertine’s death to have suppressed my suffering, the mortal blow would have had to kill her not only in Touraine, but within me. There, she had never been more alive. To enter inside us, people have been obliged to take on the form and to fit into the framework of time; appearing to us only in successive instants, they have never managed to reveal to us more than one aspect, print more than a single photograph of themselves at a time. This is no doubt a great weakness in human beings, to consist in a simple collection of moments; yet a great strength too; they depend on memory, and our memory of a moment is not informed of everything that has happened since, the moment which it registered still lives on and, with it, the person whose form was sketched within it. And then this fragmentation not only makes the dead person live on, it multiplies her forms. In order to console myself, I would have had to forget not one but innumerable Albertines. When I had succeeded in accepting the grief of having lost one of them, I would have to begin again with another, with a hundred others.
Marcel Proust (The Fugitive: In Search of Lost Time, Volume 6 (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition))
Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do. Give me your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your will.
Larry Richards (Be A Man!: Becoming the Man God Created You to Be)
Goodbye Damini" (A Tribute to Jyoti Panday) Once I was a little Girl Once i could freely swim through the air I could laugh , i could play I was all bright colors in array But one dark night Wolves played with my plight Tore me inside out And burnt me with their hateful sight I screamed, I yelled, I cried, I plead For hours that I couldn't breath From the pain I couldn't bear From the pain I wanted to share There were many to watch There were many to see But was none there Who cared to help but not stare I was just another object I was just another soul Once I was a woman Next, another ragdoll Today I gasped, Today I choked I wanted to stay strong but then I broke I hugged myself, consoled my own pride Now life deceives me and so does the prayer Goodbye honor, so long morality I take my leave now, don't worry I am fine I was in pain but now i'm at ease Today I died world, hope you rest in peace.
Mona Hassan
Kalinske said. “I’ve just been trying to take some time to myself and figure things out a little.” “Ah, yes,” Nakayama said. “But don’t you know that this is why I called?” Then, right there in the middle of Kalinske’s family vacation,
Blake J. Harris (Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation)
EVAN I try to get into online gaming every now and then, and I constantly find there’s young kids out there who are so much better than me I can’t even participate. SETH Yeah. It’s weird to think we are thirty-one and already we can’t keep up. EVAN Eventually we won’t even understand the images on the screen. SETH Like how my grandmother would view death metal. EVAN I’m not a huge fan of death metal myself. SETH “Death Metal” ’s a great name for a videogame.
Blake J. Harris (Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation)
It started when I read this great book called The Founding, which was from the POV of a humpback whale. Then I got into reading all this stuff from John Lilly about taking LSD and going into a sensory deprivation tank. The guy spent his entire life trying to communicate with dolphins. And then one day I just asked myself: how can I translate all that into a side-scrolling game?
Blake J. Harris (Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation)
Talk about something else. Tell me about this book you are writing." "What book?" I say. Then : "Oh, I know what you mean. I am not doing that anymore. I couldn't finish._________ I don't think he knows, not really. Not yet. In my haste to finish this story before death overtakes me, inevitably I have left out many things, and often I have expressed myself inelegantly, and no doubt here and there I have said more than I meant to. When you return, my dear type writer, we will review what we have done, and add this and subtract that. This work has become my hobby and my consolation, and I enjoy it.
Phillip Margulies (Belle Cora)
Now, I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and useless consolation that an in- telligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything. Yes, a man in the nine- teenth century must and morally ought to be pre-eminently a characterless creature; a man of character, an active man is pre-eminently a limited creature.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
One of them said to me once, “I believe in the immortality of the soul for six months at a time; my opinions depend entirely upon my bodily condition: I am a Spinozist, a Socinian, a Catholic, ungodly or devout, according to the state of my animal spirits, the quality of my digestion, the rarity or heaviness of the air I breathe, the lightness or solidity of the food I eat. When the doctor is at my bedside, the confessor has me at a disadvantage. I know very well how to prevent religion from annoying me when I am in good health; but I allow myself to be consoled by it when I am ill: when I have nothing more to hope for here below, religion offers itself, and gains me by its promises; I am glad to give myself up to it, and to die with hope on my side.
Montesquieu (Persian Letters (Penguin Classics))
My convictions, positive and negative, on all the matters of which you speak, are of long and slow growth and are firmly rooted. But the great blow which fell upon me seemed to stir them to their foundation, and had I lived a couple of centuries earlier I could have fancied a devil scoffing at me and them and asking me what profit it was to have stripped myself of the hopes and consolations of the mass of mankind? To which my only reply was and is Oh devil! Truth is better than much profit. I have searched over the grounds of my belief, and if wife and child and name and fame were all to be lost to me one after the other as the penalty, still I will not lie.
Dale McGowan (Parenting Beyond Belief- Abridged Ebook Edition: On Raising Ethical, Caring Kids without Religion)
Archer stared at the floor, tapping the end of his bow against the hard wood. Thinking. “I’m going to Queen Roen’s fortress,” he said. Fire glanced at him sharply. “Why?” “I need to beg more soldiers of her, and I want the information of her spies. She might have thoughts about whether these strangers have anything to do with Mydogg or Gentian. I want to know what’s going on in my forest, Fire, and I want this archer.” “I’m going with you,” Fire said. “No,” Archer said flatly. “I am.” “No. You can’t defend yourself. You can’t even ride.” “It’s only a day’s journey. Wait a week. Let me rest, and then I’ll go with you.” Archer held up a hand and turned away from her. “You’re wasting your breath. Why would I ever allow such a thing?” Because Roen is always unaccountably kind to me when I visit her northern fortress, Fire wanted to say. Because Roen knew my mother. Because Roen is a strong-minded woman, and there’s something consoling in the regard of a woman. Roen never desires me, or if she ever does, it’s not the same. “Because,” she said out loud, “Roen and her spies will have questions for me about what happened when the poacher shot me, and what little I managed to sense from his mind. And because,” she added, as Archer moved to object, “you are neither my husband nor my father; I am a woman of seventeen, I have my own horses and my own money, and I decide for myself where I go and when. This is not yours to forbid.
Kristin Cashore (Fire)
I rolled my eyes at her image, grinning back at me from the hair dye box, and consoled myself with the thought that even the Brontë sisters must have got sick of the words Wuthering Heights from time to time. And it’s quite plausible that, undercover of candlelight, Emily sneered at the mere mention of Jane Eyre, and stuck two fingers up in Charlotte’s direction before getting back to her poetry.
Patricia Caliskan (Awful By Comparison)
I knew a boy in school who rolled out of his bunk in his sleep, struck his head, and never woke up again. I console myself with this terrible memory whenever I look down at the chasm that follows me like a shadow. We are, all of us, living at a deadly height.
Josiah Bancroft (Arm of the Sphinx (The Books of Babel, #2))
A man shapes his desire according to his woman, and thus loves her only as much as he respects her, I told myself in consolation. So reasoning, I quickly
Marie Vieux-Chauvet (Love, Anger, Madness: A Haitian Triptych (Modern Library Torchbearers))
It felt as though I had died and was starting over with a new life. I mentally reviewed my years as a child growing up in Oregon, as an adult running my own business, then meeting Steve, becoming his wife and the mother of our children. Now, at age forty-two, I was starting again. I kept going over and over what had happened. I wanted to talk to everyone who had been there with Steve on the day of his accident. But I thought it more important to focus on our life together instead. Often, while we were on an adventure, it struck me as almost surreal for us to be in a tropical rain forest, for example, or on a South Pacific island, visiting the Galapagos, or trekking in snow-capped wilderness in America. I felt like I had been living in a movie. I lay there while the clock ticked on. Here is another minute I have survived without Steve. I consoled myself with the thought that the clock was ticking for all of us. None of us could know when it was going to be our time. I resolved that I would celebrate the people who were still here and apply myself to the work that still had to be done. My resolution was all well and good, but what really sustained me during those dark, lonely hours of the night was another deeper, more persistent thought. With every tick of the clock, I was one moment closer to being with Steve again. As strong as Steve was in this life, I knew without a doubt he would be a force to be reckoned with in the next.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
I lay there while the clock ticked on. Here is another minute I have survived without Steve. I consoled myself with the thought that the clock was ticking for all of us. None of us could know when it was going to be our time. I resolved that I would celebrate the people who were still here and apply myself to the work that still had to be done. My resolution was all well and good, but what really sustained me during those dark, lonely hours of the night was another deeper, more persistent thought. With every tick of the clock, I was one moment closer to being with Steve again. As strong as Steve was in this life, I knew without a doubt he would be a force to be reckoned with in the next.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
My baby is four years old. I know that calling her a baby is really only a matter of semantics now. It’s true, she still sucks her thumb; I have a hard time discouraging this habit. John and I are finally confident that we already enjoy our full complement of children, so the crib is in the crawlspace, awaiting nieces, nephews, or future grandchildren. I cried when I took it down, removing the screws so slowly and feeling the maple pieces come apart in my hands. Before I dismantled it, I spent long vigils lingering in Annie’s darkened room, just watching her sleep, the length of her curled up small. What seems like permanence, the tide of daily life coming in and going out, over and over, is actually quite finite. It is hard to grasp this thought even as I ride the wave of this moment, but I will try. This time of tucking into bed and wiping up spilled milk is a brief interlude. Quick math proves it. Let me take eleven years - my oldest girl’s age - as an arbitrary endpoint to mothering as I know it now. Mary, for instance, reads her own stories. To her already I am becoming somewhat obsolete. That leaves me roughly 2.373 days, the six and half years until Annie’s eleventh birthday, to do this job. Now that is a big number, but not nearly as big as forever, which is how the current moment often seems. So I tuck Annie in every night. I check on Peter and Tommy, touch their crew-cut heads as they dream in their Star Wars pajamas, my twin boys who still need me. I steal into Mary’s room, awash with pink roses, and turn out the light she has left on, her fingers still curled around the pages of her book. She sleeps in the bed that was mine when I was a child. Who will she grow up to be? Who will I grow up to be? I think to myself, Be careful what you wish for. The solitude I have lost, the time and space I wish for myself, will come soon enough. I don’t want to be surprised by its return. Old English may be a dead language, but scholars still manage to find meaning and poetry in its fragments. And it is no small consolation that my lost letters still manage, after a thousand years, to find their way to an essay like this one. They have become part of my story, one I have only begun to write. - Essay 'Mother Tongue' from Brain, Child Magazine, Winter 2009
Gina P. Vozenilek
Hundreds of ladybugs had taken shelter from the winter in the crevices of the decayed windows. From there, they broke into the apartment in commando squads. My joy at that first sighting of the ladybug spreading its lower winglets on the rim of the jam glass, flashing three spots of fortune, soon turned into something tragic and Greek, a bloodied slaughter. Like in Ajax, I had to pluck ladybugs from my toothbrush every evening and in the morning shake out my shirt that, overnight, was infested with too much luck, and at lunch, I'd fish kamikazee-ladybugs out of my soup bowl, their Etna's crater in the middle of the round kitchen table. When I shut my eyes and held the hose to my ear and heard the little crackle of tiny bodies sucked into the eye of the tornado, I couldn't remain neutral. Putting away the vacuum, I consoled myself with sentences of friends who, after a beer or three, like to repeat to me the axiom that sooner or later, living in the city, each person discovers himself to be the murder of his own happiness. They were genuine Berlin ladybugs, they'd occupied the windows illegally like my friends in apartments from which they were later evicted.
Aleš Šteger (Berlin)
I’ll call a cab and go to my car. I’ll sleep there for the night and figure out what to do in the light of day.” He’d started shaking his head about halfway through her proclamation and hadn’t stopped. “Do you honestly think I’m going to let you sleep in a car abandoned in some ditch on the side of the highway?” She scowled, hackles rising. “There’s no letting me. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.” I think. No, screw that. I know. “Hey,” he said, voice soft. He wrapped his fingers around her wrist and, when she tried to yank away, held tight. “I know you can. You’ve already proven yourself.” Her frown deepening, she cast a suspicious glance in his direction. She was stuck in the middle of nowhere with no resources. Any idiot could see that. “I’ve proven nothing other than I can land myself in a huge mess.” One brow rose. “Oh? How long did you walk tonight? By yourself, in the dark?” “I didn’t have a choice, and I don’t have a choice now.” “There are always choices, Maddie. Don’t forget, you made a hell of a big one today.” “That doesn’t count,” she said, voice rising. Temper, temper, Maddie. She shook the voice away. “I know my options, and I’m going back to my car.” He studied her. Summing her up like the lawyer he used to be. “I don’t want to ask, but I’m going to anyway. Why don’t you want to call your family?” “Because I don’t want to.” The words shot out of her mouth, surprising her with their force. “What about friends?” Penelope and Sophie would walk through fire for her, but they weren’t an option, at least not tonight. “They’re probably at my mom’s house, consoling my family.” He scrubbed a hand over his stubbled jaw. “Won’t they be worried?” “I’m sure they are,” she said. Her voice had taken on an edge that she hoped would pass for determined, but she feared that it bordered on petulance. “But I’m not calling them. I wrote a note and stole my own car from the parking lot, so it’s not like they’ll think I’ve been kidnapped.” “What did you do, hotwire the thing?” Amusement was plain in the deep tone of his voice. “If you must know, I have three extremely overprotective older brothers, a worrywart mother, and a . . .” She paused, trying out the words in her mind and deciding she wanted to own them. “. . . suffocating ex-fiancé. They insisted I have one of those industrial-strength, military-grade, combination-lock hideaway keys. My uncle brought my car to the church because his was in the shop. So really, it’s their fault this happened.” That was the moment she’d known she was going to run. Surrounded by the smell of gardenias that made her want to gag, she’d pushed her bridesmaids out the door, begging for a few minutes of peace and quiet. She’d gone over to the window, desperate for the smell of fresh air, and there sat her little Honda. The cherry red of the car had glowed in the sun like a gift from heaven. A sudden, almost reverent calm descended on her. It had felt like peace: a feeling so foreign to her that it had taken a moment to recognize it. Mitch laughed, pulling her away from those last minutes in the church and back to the temptation sitting next to her. “Princess, you really are something,” he said, still chuckling.
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
I guess there’s nothing else to say.” “Oh, I don’t know about that,” he said, crooking a finger. “Come here.” Her throat went dry, and her heart gave a thud. On instinct, she shook her head. His expression turned ruthlessly intent. “Maddie, I’ve been thinking about that mouth of yours for almost twenty-four hours straight. You don’t think I’m going to let you go without touching you, do you?” Had it only been one day? How was that even possible? It seemed as though a lifetime had passed since she’d run out on her wedding. “Um . . .” She swallowed hard and squeaked out, “Yes?” A long pause filled with sexual awareness so thick it practically coated the air. How did he do it, flip the mood? Only moments ago, she’d felt bereft, but with one wicked glance she’d forgotten everything dogging her. “I’ll tell you what.” He smiled, and it was so filled with cunning that the fine hairs on her neck rose in anticipation. “Tell me you won’t regret it and we can end things right here with a friendly pat on the back.” “I-I d-don’t know what you mean,” she lied, loving and hating the direction the conversation had taken. “Do I need to spell it out?” “No?” The word was a question instead of the statement she’d intended. “You want to take care of yourself, right?” She nodded, sensing a trap but unable to stop playing into his hands. He leaned close, placing his elbow on the console, taking up every spare inch of breathing room. “You’re ready to ditch the good Catholic girl and start doing what you want?” The strange mixture of lust and irritation he evoked pulled in her stomach. “Well, when you put it that way.” The curve of his lips held a distinct sexual tilt. “If you get out of this car untouched, tell me you won’t lie in bed late at night and regret it. Tell me you won’t wonder and wish you’d done things differently.” Her pulse hammered and her throat dried up, leaving her unable to breathe, let alone speak. He stroked a path over the line of her jaw, and Maddie forced her eyes to stay open instead of fluttering closed from sheer desire. Why did it feel like an eternity since he’d touched her? Even more troubling, why did his hands feel so right? The slightly rough pads of his fingers trailed down the curve of her neck, leaving an explosion of tingles coursing through her. “And remember, Princess,” he said, in a deep rumble of a voice that vibrated through her as though he were her own personal tuning fork. “Lying is a sin.” She gasped, sucking in the last available bit of air left in the car. “That’s a low blow.” He gave a seductive laugh, filled with heat and promise and the kind of raw passion she’d always dreamed about. “I’m not above playing dirty.” A sly smirk as he rubbed a lazy circle over skin she hadn’t known was sensitive. “In fact, I think you prefer it that way.” “I do not!” Her heart beating far too fast, she clutched at the credit card hard enough to snap it in two. “Liar.” He slipped under the collar of her T-shirt to wrap a possessive hand around the nape of her neck. “I’m waiting.” She gritted her teeth to keep from moaning. How did one man feel so good? Hot and sinful. Irresistible. She whispered, “For what?” “My answer,” he said, inching closer. Their mouths mere inches away. She swallowed hard. The truth sat on the tip of her tongue, and for once in her life, she decided to speak it instead of stuffing it back down. “I’d regret it.” “Exactly,” he said, the word a soft breath against her skin. The pad of his thumb brushed over her bottom lip, sliding over the dampness until it felt swollen. Needy. “I can’t live with myself unless I’ve tasted this mouth.” This
Jennifer Dawson (Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1))
So you give up your life and your death for them?” she said. “I thought you believed in justice.” “I give them up so I may protect.” Juliet’s mouth twitched up. “I thought you believed in prices.” “I believe you’re stupid,” Runajo said, “if you can for one moment reverence something that treats you so unjustly.” Juliet snorted. “The Paths of Light are not a person. They did not decide to cast me out.” Then she looked Runajo in the eyes. “Confess to me and tell no lies. If there were such beauty—you don’t have to believe in it, but if there were—you’d not despise it, would you, though you could never touch it?” “I could never accept,” said Runajo, “that there was such injustice at the heart of the world.” “Yes, you do,” said Juliet. “You still agree with your sages, don’t you, that your soul goes out like a candle when you die? You love that beauty you glimpsed as a child, though you don’t believe it will save you.” “That’s different,” said Runajo. “That was . . . that is just the way of things.” “It is the way of things that I cannot walk the Paths of Light,” said Juliet, “and yet I count myself more blessed than you, because at least I know they exist.” I count myself blessed that my family never tried to destroy me, thought Runajo, but she didn’t say anything. She could feel Juliet’s belief, passionate and overflowing, and she couldn’t entirely want that to go away. It seemed to be her only consolation, and soon she would be dead
Rosamund Hodge (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1))
Pursuing a family history beyond a simple catalogue of names is always evidence of separation, of severing ties at least to the extent of holding one’s relations at arm’s length. The family member who want to make a private gift of a family tree to a close circle of relatives soon becomes the historian who estranges her antecedents by locating them “in history”. I found that family history, which humanizes those who might otherwise be mere faces in a crowd, also defamiliarized those closest to me, giving their lives a larger pattern than they had when they were lived. They became both more and less themselves. I consoled myself by thinking that this is what history does to us too. As we grow older we see not how unique our lives have been, but how representative we were and are; that we are part of the figure in the carpet woven by events, by chance and accident, and by the play of forces more powerful than us.
Alison Light (Common People: The History of An English Family)
Yeah, I guess the science that excited me was about twenty-year projects. Without that kind of time frame, I’m not sure I’m all that interested in being a scientist.” I tried to console myself. “You can’t get much done in a couple of years.” “Right. And just remember, you’re doing great. You’re working again. You’ve got a baby on the way. You’re finding your values, and that’s not easy.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
Thanks for not pulling out Diplomatic Felix,” Becky whispered. “You’re showing admirable restraint. They really are very nice people. The more sane ones are being polite and giving you space while the others . . . Well, they’re just . . . they’re . . . we’re not used to . . . if Tom Selleck showed up here, I’d probably make a complete idiot out of myself.” myself.” “And why didn’t meeting me cause the same effect?” “Come on, sweetie. You’re great and all, but you’re no Tom Sell-eck.” “What does he do? He smiles with dimples and grows a mustache.” Becky patted his arm consolingly. “Someday you’ll be able to grow a mustache too. Just give it time.
Shannon Hale (The Actor and the Housewife)
We had been looking at some land adjoining the zoo and decided to purchase it in order to expand. There was a small house on the new property, nothing too grand, just a modest home built of brick, with three bedrooms and one bathroom. We liked the seclusion of the place most of all. The builder had tucked it in behind a macadamia orchard, but it was still right next door to the zoo. We could be part of the zoo yet apart from it at the same time. Perfect. “Make this house exactly the way you want it,” Steve told me. “This is going to be our home.” He dedicated himself to getting us moved in. I knew this would be our last stop. We wouldn’t be moving again. We laid new carpet and linoleum and installed reverse-cycle air-conditioning and heat. Ah, the luxury of having a climate-controlled house. I installed stained-glass windows in the bathroom with wildlife-themed panes, featuring a jabiru, a crocodile, and a big goanna. We also used wildlife tiles throughout, of dingoes, whales, and kangaroos. We made the house our own. We worked on the exterior grounds as well. Steve transplanted palm trees from his parents’ place on the Queensland coast and erected fences for privacy. He designed a circular driveway. As he laid the concrete, he put his own footprints and handprints in the wet cement. Then he ran into the house to fetch Bindi and me. “Come on,” he said. “Let’s all do it.” We grabbed Sui, too, and put her paw prints in, and then did Bindi, who was just eight months old. It took a couple of tries, but we got her handprints and her footprints as well, and then my own. We stood back and admired the time capsule we had created. That afternoon the rains came. The Sunshine Coast is usually bright and dry, but when it rains, the heavens open. We worried about all the concrete we had worked on getting pitted and ruined. “Get something,” Steve shouted, scrambling to gather up his tools. I ran into the house. I couldn’t find a plastic drop cloth quickly enough, so I grabbed one of my best sheets off the bed. As I watched the linen turn muddy and gray in the rain, I consoled myself. In the future I won’t care that I ruined the sheet, I thought. I’ll just be thankful that I preserved our footprints and handprints. “It’s our cave,” Steve said of our new home. We never entertained. The zoo was our social place. Living so close by, we could have easily gotten overwhelmed, so we made it a practice never to have people over. It wasn’t unfriendliness, it was simple self-preservation. Our brick residence was for our family: Steve and me, Bindi, Sui, and Shasta.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
On this account I feel always, on a Saturday night, as though I also were released from some yoke of labour, had some wages to receive, and some luxury of repose to enjoy. For the sake, therefore, of witnessing, upon as large a scale as possible, a spectacle with which my sympathy was so entire, I used after, on Saturday nights, after I had taken opium, to wander forth, without much regarding the direction or the sistance, to all the markets, and other parts of London, to which the poor resort on a Saturday night, for laying out their wages. Many a family party, consisting of a man, his wife, and sometimes one or two of his children, have I listened to, as they stood consulting on their ways and means, or the strength of their exchequer, or the price of household articles. Gradually I became familiar with their wishes, their difficulties, and their opinions. Sometimes there might be heard murmers of discontent: but far oftener expressions on the countenance, or uttered in words, of patience, hope, and tranquillity. And taken generally, I must say, that, in this point at least, the poor are far more philosophic than the rich - that they show a more ready and cheerful submission to what they consider as irremediable evils, or irreparable losses. Whenever I saw occasion, or could do it without appearing to be intrusive, I joined their parties; and gave my opinion upon the matter in discussion, which, if not always judicious, was always received indulgently. If wages were a little higher, or expected to be so, or the quartern loaf a little lower, or it was reported that onions and butter were expected to fall, I was glad: yet, if the contrary were true, I drew from opium some means of consoling myself. For opium (like the bee, that extracts its materials indiscriminately from roses and from the soot of chimneys) can overrule all feelings into a compliance with the master key. Some of these rambles lead me to great distances: for an opium-eater is too happy to observe the motion of time.
Thomas de Quincey (Confessions of an English Opium Eater and Analects From John Paul Richter)
Under the Sun" The days are my consolation. I take one home each night and put it in the case beside my bed and watch it fade in the dark, no matter how shiny it seems at first, no matter how high it stands behind the glass. I keep a few polished for memory's sake, but even they grow tarnished and lost among the others. "Thank you," I say to the dusk each night for another trophy engraved with the cloud code of that particular day—April l0, June 19 ... As for the diamond- studded chalice I glimpsed in a dream, I no longer want it, although I live as if I do to fool myself, throwing quarters at a wall, playing the numbers, singing, "Grief is happy with a stone. See how bright it shines on the dull cold ground.
Chard deNiord
I consoled myself that if we hadn’t built this first product—mistakes and all—we never would have learned these important insights about customers. We never would have learned that our strategy was flawed. There is truth in this excuse: what we learned during those critical early months set IMVU on a path that would lead to our eventual breakout success. For a time, this “learning” consolation made me feel better, but my relief was short-lived. Here’s the question that bothered me most of all: if the goal of those months was to learn these important insights about customers, why did it take so long? How much of our effort contributed to the essential lessons we needed to learn? Could we have learned those lessons earlier if I hadn’t been so focused on making the product “better” by adding features and fixing bugs?
Eric Ries (The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses)
My threshold for being respectful to this lucky, absent bastard was evaporating. I was going to make a move on her. If I didn’t, I’d never forgive myself for not trying. If there was even the slightest chance she might be into me, I had to try. But how? Should I just try to kiss her? Would she tell me to go to hell? Probably. What if I slid my hand over hers? Would she yank it away? She would. I knew she would. I needed something else. Something less. More subtle. Something that could go either way to test the waters. Something that could lead to something else. “Hey, I give a decent foot massage if your feet hurt.” I nodded to the center console where her heels still sat after being dropped through the sunroof. To my surprise, she pivoted until her back was against the door, and she swung her legs over into my lap. She put an arm behind her head and leaned back. “Go for it. Those heels were killing me today.” I grinned inwardly that my strategy worked and put my back to the door while I took her tiny foot in my hand. “I’m a foot massage master. ‘I don’t be tickling or nothing,’” I said, giving her a Pulp Fiction line. She snorted. “I’m exfoliated and pedicured. Someone should touch them.” I thought about what Vincent Vega says in the movie, that foot massages mean something. That men act like they don’t, but they do and that’s why they’re so cool. This meant something, and I knew she knew it. She was as familiar with that movie as I was. She had to be making the connection. And she’d allowed it. I reveled in the chance to touch her and at the unspoken meaning behind her letting me do it. “So, Foot Massage Master, what other tricks do you have in your bag?” she asked, giving me a sideways smile. I pressed a thumb into her arch and circled it around with a smirk. “I’m not giving you my trade secrets.” What if I need them? She scoffed. “Your gender doesn’t have any secrets that every woman hasn’t already seen by the time they’re twenty.” I arched an eyebrow. “Ever heard of the naked man?” She rolled her eyes. “Oh God, the naked man. That one’s the worst.” I laughed. “Why? Because it works?” She scrunched up her face. “I have to admit it has worked on me in the past. I mean, the guy’s naked. Half the work is done for you already. It’s kind of hard to say no. But when it doesn’t work, it’s so cringey.” I tipped my head from side to side. “It’s risky. I’ll give you that. You have to know your audience. But big risks can reap big rewards.” “Waiting for your girlfriend to leave the room and then stripping naked to surprise her when she gets back is so unoriginal though. You men have no new material. I swear you could go back twenty thousand years and peek into a cave and find cavemen drawing penises on everything and doing the naked man and the helicopter.” I pulled her foot closer and laughed. “Hey, don’t knock the helicopter. It’s the first move we learn. It can be a good icebreaker.” “The helicopter should be banned over the age of eight. I’m just going to spare you the illusion right now. No woman is sitting around with her girlfriends going, ‘Gurl, it was the sexiest helicopter I’ve ever seen. Totally broke the ice.’” I chuckled and ran my hand up her smooth calf, rubbing the muscle. I pictured that delicate ankle on my shoulder where I could kiss it, run my palm down the outside of her thigh, pull down those light-blue lace panties…
Abby Jimenez
Others he never could persuade; his attempts to do so angered them, producing a flood of vituperation and acrimonious mockery. A witty Italian summed it up in a burlesque interview with Picasso, who is here supposed to be speaking: “In art, the mass of people no longer seek consolation and exaltation … but whatever is new, odd, original, extravagant, or scandalous. I myself, since Cubism and even before, have satisfied these masters and critics with whatever bizarre extravagances passed through my head, and the less they understood the more they admired me. By amusing myself with all these games, rebuses, and arabesques I became famous, famous very quickly. And for a painter fame means selling, making money, making a fortune, growing wealthy. So today, as you know, I am famous and I am rich. But when I am quite alone I have not the courage to think of myself as an artist in the ancient, splendid sense of the word. Giotto and Titian, Rembrandt and Goya, were true painters; I am only a public entertainer who has understood his times and to the utmost of his powers has exploited the silliness, the vanity, and the stupidity of his contemporaries. Mine is a bitter confession, more painful than it may seem; but it has the merit of being sincere.
Patrick O'Brian (Picasso: A Biography)
Ram and Lakshman had joined their father, who had been housed in a separate palace, at the edge of the royal grounds because it was considered inauspicious for brides and grooms to meet in the days that preceded the wedding. I had to console myself with the fact that in a few days we'd belong to each other. We'd spend the rest of our lives together, and we wouldn't allow any of society's foolish dictates to separate us.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (The Forest of Enchantments)
Kristen had dreamed of having children since she was herself a child and had always thought that she would love motherhood as much as she would love her babies. “I know that being a mom will be demanding,” she told me once. “But I don’t think it will change me much. I’ll still have my life, and our baby will be part of it.” She envisioned long walks through the neighborhood with Emily. She envisioned herself mastering the endlessly repeating three-hour cycle of playing, feeding, sleeping, and diaper changing. Most of all, she envisioned a full parenting partnership, in which I’d help whenever I was home—morning, nighttime, and weekends. Of course, I didn’t know any of this until she told me, which she did after Emily was born. At first, the newness of parenthood made it seem as though everything was going according to our expectations. We’ll be up all day and all night for a few weeks, but then we’ll hit our stride and our lives will go back to normal, plus one baby. Kristen took a few months off from work to focus all of her attention on Emily, knowing that it would be hard to juggle the contradicting demands of an infant and a career. She was determined to own motherhood. “We’re still in that tough transition,” Kristen would tell me, trying to console Emily at four A.M. “Pretty soon, we’ll find our routine. I hope.” But things didn’t go as we had planned. There were complications with breast-feeding. Emily wasn’t gaining weight; she wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t sleep, wouldn’t play. She was born in December, when it was far too cold to go for walks outdoors. While I was at work, Kristen would sit on the floor with Emily in the dark—all the lights off, all the shades closed—and cry. She’d think about her friends, all of whom had made motherhood look so easy with their own babies. “Mary had no problem breast-feeding,” she’d tell me. “Jenny said that these first few months had been her favorite. Why can’t I get the hang of this?” I didn’t have any answers, but still I offered solutions, none of which she wanted to hear: “Talk to a lactation consultant about the feeding issues.” “Establish a routine and stick to it.” Eventually, she stopped talking altogether. While Kristen struggled, I watched from the sidelines, unaware that she needed help. I excused myself from the nighttime and morning responsibilities, as the interruptions to my daily schedule became too much for me to handle. We didn’t know this was because of a developmental disorder; I just looked incredibly selfish. I contributed, but not fully. I’d return from work, and Kristen would go upstairs to sleep for a few hours while I’d carry Emily from room to room, gently bouncing her as I walked, trying to keep her from crying. But eventually eleven o’clock would roll around and I’d go to bed, and Kristen would be awake the rest of the night with her. The next morning, I would wake up and leave for work, while Kristen stared down the barrel of another day alone. To my surprise, I grew increasingly disappointed in her: She wanted to have children. Why is she miserable all the time? What’s her problem? I also resented what I had come to recognize as our failing marriage. I’d expected our marriage to be happy, fulfilling, overflowing with constant affection. My wife was supposed to be able to handle things like motherhood with aplomb. Kristen loved me, and she loved Emily, but that wasn’t enough for me. In my version of a happy marriage, my wife would also love the difficulties of being my wife and being a mom. It hadn’t occurred to me that I’d have to earn the happiness, the fulfillment, the affection. Nor had it occurred to me that she might have her own perspective on marriage and motherhood.
David Finch (The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband)
I consoled myself with the knowledge that if I were any good at pool I’d run the table quickly and not be able to play as long. As with so many things, there was utility in avoiding excellence.
Moby (Porcelain: A Memoir)
APRIL 29 I WILL NOT PERMIT THE PROUD TO OPPRESS YOU I WILL NOT leave you to your oppressors, and I will not let the proud oppress you. I will bless you because you put your trust in Me and do not respect the proud, nor those who turn aside to lies. Meditate on My precepts. Do not fear the oppressors, for I will put them to shame and revive you according to My loving-kindness. I will destroy the house of the proud, but I hear every prayer of the righteous. I will resist the proud, but I will give My grace to you if you remain humble. Behold, I have released you from the oppression of the wicked. I will multiply your life, and you will not be diminished. I will glorify you with My righteousness, and your children will be established. But I will punish all who seek to oppress you. PSALMS 119:122; 40:4; 119:88; 1 PETER 5:5; JEREMIAH 30:19–20 Prayer Declaration Because I have placed my trust in You, O Lord, and have humbled myself and resisted the wicked intentions of the proud, You have blessed my life and set me free from the bondage of oppression. Because of Your loving-kindness to me, I will seek to bring Your consolation and encouragement to others by becoming a servant to them and developing the same attitude as that of Your Son, Christ Jesus.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
Prayer for All Things Necessary for Salvation O MY God! I believe in Thee; do Thou strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee; do Thou secure them. I love Thee with my whole heart; teach me to love Thee more and more. I am sorry that I have offended Thee; do Thou increase my sorrow. I adore Thee as my first beginning; I aspire after Thee as my last end. I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor; I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector. Vouchsafe, O my God, to conduct me by Thy wisdom, to restrain me by Thy justice, to comfort me by Thy mercy, to defend me by Thy power. To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, my actions, and my sufferings, that I henceforward may think only of Thee, speak only of Thee, and ever refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint. O Lord, I desire that in all things Thy will be done, because it is Thy will, and in the manner that Thou willest. I beg of Thee to enlighten my understanding, to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul. Give me strength, O my God, to expiate my offenses, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, to acquire the virtues proper for my state. Fill my heart with tender affection for Thy goodness, a hatred of my faults, a love for my neighbor, and a contempt for the world. Let me always be submissive to my superiors, condescending to my inferiors, faithful to my friends, and charitable to my enemies. Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification, avarice by almsdeeds, anger by meekness, and tepidity by zeal. O my God, make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in dangers, patient in affliction, and humble in prosperity. Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers, temperate at my meals, diligent in my employments, and constant in my resolutions. Let my conscience be ever upright and pure, my exterior modest, my conversation edifying, my comportment regular. Assist me, that I may continually labor to overcome nature, correspond with Thy grace, keep Thy commandments, and work out my salvation. Discover to me, O my God, the nothingness of this world, the greatness of heaven, the shortness of time, the length of eternity. Grant that I may be prepared for death, fear Thy judgments, escape hell, and, in the end, obtain heaven. All that I have asked for myself I confidently ask for others; for my family, my relations, my benefactors, my friends, and also for my enemies. I ask it for the whole Church, for all the orders of which it is composed; more especially for our Holy Father, the Pope; for our bishop, for our pastors, and for all who are in authority; also for all those for whom Thou desirest that I should pray. Give them, O Lord, all that Thou knowest to be conducive to Thy glory and necessary for their salvation. Strengthen the just in virtue, convert sinners, enlighten infidels, heretics, and schismatics; console the afflicted, give to the faithful departed rest and eternal life; that together we may praise, love, and bless Thee for all eternity. Amen.
Bonaventure Hammer (General Catholic Devotions)
A succession of caves unfolds before me, honeycombed beneath the earth, and I wonder, vaguely, how it is that the system bears up before such excavation. Surely, some crawlspace, some chamber to come, will crumble in to bury me. And I see myself now, burrowing through the strata, mute and intense, like an ant in a farm, consoled by the knowledge that where I am headed is where, at last, I’ll want to be.
Adrian Van Young (The Man Who Noticed Everything)
Fanon had learned that freedom was not indivisible. He was a black soldier in a white man’s army. Writing to his mother that same month, Fanon tried to hide his true feelings, and spoke longingly of the punch and blaff he was looking forward to when he got back to Martinique, but another letter written to both his parents on 12 April 1945 tells a different story: Today, 12 April. It is a year since I left Fort-de-France. Why? To defend an obsolete ideal. I don’t think I’ll make it this time. During all the scraps I’ve been in, I’ve been anxious to get back to you, and I’ve been lucky. But today, I’m wondering whether I might not soon have to face the ordeal. I’ve lost confidence in everything, even myself. If I don’t come back, and if one day you should learn that I died facing the enemy, console each other, but never say: he died for the good cause. Say: God called him back to him. This false ideology that shields the secularists and the idiot politicians must not delude us any longer. I was wrong!
David Macey (Frantz Fanon: A Biography)
What about you?” he asked, ready to take the focus off himself and his parents. “What kind of mom did you have?” She hesitated. Her hair was unraveled and lay in a glorious display of long dark curls around her face. The muscles in his hands tensed with the need to thread his fingers through the thick locks. Instead he grabbed his ax and poked the fire, sending more sparks flying. “I don’t remember much about my mother,” she said. He stared at the flames, trying to keep a rein on his thoughts about Lily. “She died giving birth to Daisy.” Her voice dipped. “I’m sorry.” He stilled and glanced at her again. Her forehead crinkled above eyes that radiated pain. “My father couldn’t take care of us, and for a few years we were shuffled between relatives. Until he got into an accident at work and died within a few days.” An ache wound around his heart. “After that, no one wanted us anymore. I suppose without the money my father had provided them, they couldn’t afford to take care of two more children—not when they struggled enough without us. So they dropped us off at the New York Foundling Hospital.” She paused, and he didn’t say anything, although part of him wished he could curse the family that gave up two girls with such ease. “We lived at the hospital in New York City until there was no longer room for us. Then we moved to other orphanages.” She turned to look at the fire, embarrassment reflected in her face. “I made sure they never separated Daisy and me. I kept us together all those years, no matter where we were. And finally we had the option of moving here to Michigan. They said families needed boys and girls. We’d get to live in real homes.” The grip on his heart cinched tighter. “When we got here, I thought I was doing the best thing for Daisy by giving her a real family to live with. The Wretchams seemed nice. They lived on a big farm. Needed some extra help—” “So you and Daisy didn’t stay together?” “There weren’t any families needing two almost-grown girls. But I consoled myself that it was only temporary, that we’d only be apart until I could find a good job and a place for us to live.” “That must have been hard on both of you.” “Letting her go was like ripping out a piece of my heart.” He wanted to reach for her, pull her into his arms, and comfort her. But everything within him warned him against even a move as innocent as that. “When I learned she’d run away from the Wretchams, she ripped out the rest of my heart, and it hasn’t stopped bleeding since.
Jody Hedlund (Unending Devotion (Michigan Brides, #1))
I have had too much personal evidence of the presence of the dead, too many clear hints of a glorious after-life, to ignore. I would not make these up to comfort myself but they are an inexpressible consolation in the face of death. Would I deny them in the face of the sneers and jeers of others? If I did, I would be untrue to myself and my own experiences. I respect the unbelief of others. They should respect my faith.
Susan Hill (Jacob's Room is Full of Books: A Year of Reading)
Dear and vast country, which I admire, and which moves me so much, you, whose low sky caresses and consoles me; you, whose deep clouds and green hills almost bring me the memory of a happy childhood in a world where happiness and innocence are unknown; you take weakness from my mind. The mournful sound of your waters today speaks of death and melancholy; awake in me strength and confidence. Oh sadness, infinite grace, secret and aristocratic ardor, loftiness, pride spreading out from your wounds; there is strong confidence to be found at the very source of this pain, when it is gentle and without anger. Oh mountains, the small man climbing you is lost in your immensity you will never be divided; your domain belongs to all. Your borders, so high, so close to those beautiful clouds, that caress your highest peaks, are next to the sky, where everyone can be inspired and uplifted. Mountains and clouds, region of both the ideal and of dreams.
Odilon Redon (To Myself: Notes on Life, Art and Artists (English and French Edition))
And a saint put it a saintly way: [The arranging of funerals, the choosing of tombs and the pomp of obsequies are consolations for the living rather than supports for the dead.] That is why Socrates (when Crito asked him in his final moments how he wanted to be buried) replied, ‘Just as you wish.’ If I had to trouble myself further, I would find it more worthy to imitate those who set about enjoying the disposition and honour of their tombs while they are still alive and breathing, and who take pleasure in seeing their dead faces carved in marble. Happy are they who can please and delight their senses with things insensate – and who can live off their death.
Michel de Montaigne (Essays of Michel de Montaigne — Complete)
Having been through prep with Flavius, Venia, and Octavia numerous times, it should just be an old routine to survive. But I haven’t anticipated the emotional ordeal that awaits me. At some point during the prep, each of them bursts into tears at least twice, and Octavia pretty much keeps up a running whimper throughout the morning. It turns out they really have become attached to me, and the idea of my returning to the arena has undone them. Combine that with the fact that by losing me they’ll be losing their ticket to all kinds of big social events, particularly my wedding, and the whole thing becomes unbearable. The idea of being strong for someone else having never entered their heads, I find myself in the position of having to console them. Since I’m the person going in to be slaughtered, this is somewhat annoying. It’s interesting, though, when I think of what Peeta said about the attendant on the train being unhappy about the victors having to fight again. About people in the Capitol not liking it. I still think all of that will be forgotten once the gong sounds, but it’s something of a revelation that those in the Capitol feel anything at all about us. They certainly don’t have a problem watching children murdered every year. But maybe they know too much about the victors, especially the ones who’ve been celebrities for ages, to forget we’re human beings. It’s more like watching your own friends die. More like the Games are for those of us in the districts. By the time Cinna shows up, I am irritable and exhausted from comforting the prep team, especially because their constant tears are reminding me of the ones undoubtedly being shed at home. Standing there in my thin robe with my stinging skin and heart, I know I can’t bear even one more look of regret. So the moment he walks in the door I snap, “I swear if you cry, I’ll kill you here and now.” Cinna just smiles. “Had a damp morning?” “You could wring me out,” I reply.
Suzanne Collins (Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2))
How could you be so toxic and think you'd win against logic? I fought the war of trying to keep us together, not realizing my enemy was you. You used and abused me. You really deeply and permanently bruised me. I gave you my all and it was never enough. Instead of making my life easy, you made it even more tough. Why didn't you have the decency to stop doing the atrocities you did to my soul? How is it that when I was surrounded by darkness, you never tried to console? What did I do to deserve all of this? Seems you never were the road ahead, just a soon-to-be memory causing a fall on the abyss. You're supposed to help me up when I'm down, not break me down when I'm falling. Your way of trying to control me , by trying to lower me down never worked. All you received is a fight to make you see, that I loved you too much and that you should better use your influence on me. But being stuck-up gauged your eyes out. Although I was blinded by love , finally I see... I gave it my all but it seems you didn't deserve this side of me. I never requested much of you, just a bit of love to keep us going... while your superficial nonsense destroyed it all. You want nothing of what's within. Just fame and glory. Instead of striving and sacrificing for family, you say "fuck it"... but not with me. Your warped sense of reality, cut nearly all the strings attached. Now it's just reflexes and my broken soul that turn my mind-view toward you. Nothing have you become, and again have I allowed myself to become numb by someone. But it's better to feel the hurt brewing inside the deepest pit of my soul, than to continue having my soul devoured by superficial and superfluous nothingness. Money is made to serve you, not you to be a slave of money. Money, fame and power is all you seek. I just want love, empathy and peace. Family will always be my priority.
Klaudio Marashi
The landscape in every direction appeared to be primarily flat tundra, the sky and sun choked by a smoggy haze of gray clouds. I consoled myself with a single thought. At least I’m not in New Jersey.
Jason Kasper (Terminal Objective (American Mercenary, #6))
And now I am living out my life in my corner, taunting myself with the spiteful and utterly futile consolation that it is even impossible for an intelligent man seriously to become anything, and only fools become something. Yes, sir, an intelligent man of the nineteenth century must be and is morally obliged to be primarily a characterless being; and a man of character, an active figure – primarily a limited being.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
Then I felt a slight pain in the heart and such love toward Jesus Christ that I wished I could throw myself at His feet, lovingly embrace them, and thank Him for this great consolation which He gives in His mercy and love to His unworthy and sinful creatures through His name. Then I experienced a kind of blessed warmth in the heart which spread throughout my whole breast.
Anonymous 19th Century Peasant (The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues on His Way)
I must not allow myself to dwell on the personal – there is no room for it here. Also it is demoralising. But I do not want to die. Not that I mind for myself. If it be that I am to go, I am ready. But the thought that I may never see you or our darling baby again turns my bowels to water. I cannot think of it with even the semblance of equanimity. My one consolation is the happiness that has been ours. Also my conscience is clear that I have always tried to make life a joy to you. I know at least that if I go you will not want. That is something. But it is the thought that we may be cut off from one another which is so terrible and that our babe may grow up without my knowing her and without her knowing me. It is difficult to face. And I know your life without me would be a dull blank. Yet you must never let it become wholly so. For to you will be left the greatest charge in all the world: the upbringing of our baby. God bless that child, she is the hope of life to me. My darling, au revoir. It may well be that you will only have to read these lines as ones of passing interest. On the other hand, they may well be my last message to you. If they are, know through all your life that I loved you and baby with all my heart and soul, that you two sweet things were just all the world to me. I pray God I may do my duty, for I know, whatever that may entail, you would not have it otherwise.17 Captain Charles May, 22nd Manchester Regiment
Peter Hart (The Great War: A Combat History of the First World War)
Some go to church looking for consolation. We are encouraged to go to church to find peace and consolation. But the church is not a place to find consolation; it is a place to hear the gospel preached so you can find salvation. A big difference exists between being consoled and being saved. A man can find consolation and end up finally in hell. A man can be under blistering, terrifying conviction, get converted, and go finally to heaven. We demand that our preachers console us all the time. We want to be consoled and comforted as though we were little boys and girls. Personally, I want to know the worst about myself now so I can do something about it while there is still time. If I do not know what is wrong, I will never be able to correct it, which will have an adverse effect on my life.
A.W. Tozer (Delighting in God (AW Tozer Series Book 1))
As to answering, though," said Sara, trying to console herself, "I don't answer very often. I never answer when I can help it. When people are insulting you, there is nothing so good for them as not to say a word—just to look at them and THINK. Miss Minchin turns pale with rage when I do it, Miss Amelia looks frightened, and so do the girls. When you will not fly into a passion people know you are stronger than they are, because you are strong enough to hold in your rage, and they are not, and they say stupid things they wish they hadn't said afterward. There's nothing so strong as rage, except what makes you hold it in—that's stronger. It's a good thing not to answer your enemies. I scarcely ever do. Perhaps Emily is more like me than I am like myself. Perhaps she would rather not answer her friends, even. She keeps it all in her heart.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess)
I didn’t invent anything, of course, I just discovered it for myself, which is an incredibly empowering way to learn. Years later my wife and I spent a small fortune sending our kids to a Montessori grade school where they were taught how to learn, not what to learn, and I found myself envious. I would console myself with the notion that if I had been encouraged to embrace that style of learning when I was young, I might not have been driven into the arms of antisocial behavior and rockish redemption. Instead of teaching myself guitar, I might have learned a foreign language or become a scientist or a doctor and been able to really help people. Honestly, I feel guilty about it, like it was my fault. I guess I did somehow save myself, though, and that ain’t nothing.
Jeff Tweedy (Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc.)
In my early years as a developer, I was privileged to work on a project managed by Sharon Weinberg, later to become president of the Codd and Date Consulting Group. She was a walking example of much of what I now think of as enlightened management. One snowy day, I dragged myself out of a sickbed to pull together our shaky system for a user demo. Sharon came in and found me propped up at the console. She disappeared and came back a few minutes later with a container of soup. After she’d poured it into me and buoyed up my spirits, I asked her how she found time for such things with all the management work she had to do. She gave me her patented grin and said, “Tom, this is management.
Tom DeMarco (Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams)
There’s something else, too, Miss Emmie.” Stevens had gone bashful now, and Emmie was intrigued. “Here.” Stevens beckoned her to follow him out the back of the stables, to where a separate entrance led to a roomy foaling stall. “He said you needed summat other’n t’mule, and you’re to limber her up, as Miss Winnie will be getting a pony soon.” A sturdy dapple-gray mare stood regarding Emmie from over a pile of hay. She turned a soft eye on Emmie and came over to the half door to greet her visitors. “Oh, Stevens.” Emmie’s eyes teared up again. “She is so pretty… so pretty.” “He left ye a message.” Stevens disappeared back into the barn and came out with a sealed envelope. “I can tack her up if ye like.” Emmie tore open the envelope with shaking fingers. How dare he be so thoughtful and generous and kind? Oh, how dare he… She couldn’t keep the horse, of course; it would not be in the least proper, but dear Lord, the animal was lovely… My dear Miss Farnum, Her name is Petunia, and she is yours. I have taken myself to points distant, so by the time I return, you will have fallen in love with her, and I will be spared your arguments and remonstrations. She is as trustworthy and reliable a lady as I have met outside your kitchen, and at five years of age, has plenty of service yet to give. Bothwell has been alerted you will be joining him on his rides, should it please you to do so. And if you are still determined not to keep the horse, dear lady, then consider her my attempt at consolation to you for inflicting Scout on the household in my absence. St. Just He’d drawn a sketch in the corner of Scout, huge paws splayed, tongue hanging, his expression bewildered, and broken crockery scattered in every direction. The little cartoon made Emmie smile through her tears even as Winnie tugged Scout out behind the stables to track Emmie down. “Are you crying, Miss Emmie?” Winnie picked up Emmie’s hand. “You mustn’t be sad, as we have Scout now to protect us and keep us company.” “It isn’t Scout, Winnie.” Emmie waved a hand toward the stall where Petunia was still hanging her head over the door, placidly watching the passing scene. “Oh.” Winnie’s eyes went round. “There’s a new horse, Scout.” She picked up her puppy and brought him over to the horse. The mare sniffed at the dog delicately, then at the child, then picked up another mouthful of hay. “Her name’s Petunia,” Emmie said, finding her handkerchief. “The earl brought her from York so I can ride out with the vicar.” “She’s very pretty,” Winnie said, stroking the velvety gray nose. “And not too big.” The mare was fairly good size, at least sixteen and a half hands, and much too big for Winnie. “Maybe once I get used to her, I can take you up with me, Winnie. Would you like that?” “Would I?” Winnie squealed, setting the dog down. “Did you hear that, Scout? Miss Emmie says we can go for a ride. Oh… We must write to the earl and thank him, Miss Emmie, and I must tell Rose I have a puppy, too. I can knight Scout, can’t I?” “Of course you may,” Emmie said, reaching for Winnie’s hand. “Though you must know knights would never deign to be seen in the castle kitchens, except perhaps in the dead of winter, when it’s too cold to go charging about the kingdom.” “Did knights sleep in beds?” “Scout can stay with Stevens above the carriage house when you have repaired to your princess tower for your beauty sleep.” “I’ll ask Scout.” It
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
Christopher Phelan was talking with Prudence Mercer. The scheme of formal black and white was becoming to any man. On someone like Christopher, it was literally breathtaking. He wore the clothes with natural ease, his posture relaxed but straight, his shoulders broad. The crisp white of his starched cravat provided a striking contrast to his tawny skin, while the light of chandeliers glittered over his golden-bronze hair. Following her gaze, Amelia lifted her brows. “What an attractive man,” she said. Her attention returned to Beatrix. “You like him, don’t you?” Before Beatrix could help herself, she sent her sister a pained glance. Letting her gaze drop to the floor, she said, “There have been a dozen times in the past when I should have liked a particular gentleman. When it would have been convenient, and appropriate, and easy. But no, I had to wait for someone special. Someone who would make my heart feel as if it’s been trampled by elephants, thrown into the Amazon, and eaten by piranhas.” Amelia smiled at her compassionately. Her gloved hand slipped over Beatrix’s. “Darling Bea. Would it console you to hear that such feelings of infatuation are perfectly ordinary?” Beatrix turned her palm upward, returning the clasp of her sister’s hand. Since their mother had died when Bea was twelve, Amelia had been a source of endless love and patience. “Is it infatuation?” she heard herself asking softly. “Because it feels much worse than that. Like a fatal disease.” “I don’t know, dear. It’s difficult to tell the difference between love and infatuation. Time will reveal it, eventually.” Amelia paused. “He is attracted to you,” she said. “We all noticed the other night. Why don’t you encourage him, dear?” Beatrix felt her throat tighten. “I can’t.” “Why not?” “I can’t explain,” Beatrix said miserably, “except to say that I’ve deceived him.” Amelia glanced at her in surprise. “That doesn’t sound like you. You’re the least deceptive person I’ve ever known.” “I didn’t mean to do it. And he doesn’t know that it was me. But I think he suspects.” “Oh.” Amelia frowned as she absorbed the perplexing statement. “Well. This does seem to be a muddle. Perhaps you should confide in him. His reaction may surprise you. What is it that Mother used to say whenever we pushed her to the limits of her patience?...’Love forgives all things.’ Do you remember?” “Of course,” Beatrix said. She had written that exact phrase to Christopher in one of her letters. Her throat went very tight. “Amelia, I can’t discuss this now. Or I’ll start weeping and throw myself to the floor.” “Heavens, don’t do that. Someone might trip over you.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Eloise, I love you. And I missed you so bad, it was torture. So I consoled myself by trying to make your dreams come true. I don’t want to do any of this without you, so if you say no to a second chance, I’ll understand and it’s all yours. No hard feelings. No resentment. No debt to be paid back. I just want you to have the dream.” Ellie stares at me, then her beautiful face scrunches up. “No hard feelings? Well… I’m kind of disappointed in that, McAllister.” “What?” I say, caught off guard. “Well,” she says, looking at me sideways with a coy grin on her face. “A man should fight for the woman he loves. Maybe you don’t love me?” “Hell.” I laugh. “I’m a lying fuck, Miss Hatcher. I have a dungeon in the basement where I plan to tie you up and never let you go if you tell me to get lost.” She bursts out laughing,
J.A. Huss (Mr. Perfect (Mister, #1))
She'd have the two of them eating out of her shoe. I've watched her in action, but I could never get away with it. And, I console myself, being cute hasn't made her all that happy.
Michael Dorris (A Yellow Raft in Blue Water)
positioned myself. I once described the people I tend to hear from as “borderlanders,” those caught in a no-person’s-land between faith and disbelief. Some approach the church cautiously, attracted to Jesus but turned off by his followers. Some have fled the church due to bad experiences, yet still yearn for the consolation they felt there. I’ve spent time in the borderlands myself and want to honor those wandering on the edges, the misfits.
Philip Yancey (Grace Notes: Daily Readings with Philip Yancey)
April 21 MORNING “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” — Job 19:25 THE marrow of Job’s comfort lies in that little word “My” — “My Redeemer,” and in the fact that the Redeemer lives. Oh! to get hold of a living Christ. We must get a property in Him before we can enjoy Him. What is gold in the mine to me? Men are beggars in Peru, and beg their bread in California. It is gold in my purse which will satisfy my necessities, by purchasing the bread I need. So a Redeemer who does not redeem me, an avenger who will never stand up for my blood, of what avail were such? Rest not content until by faith you can say “Yes, I cast myself upon my living Lord; and He is mine.” It may be you hold Him with a feeble hand; you half think it presumption to say, “He lives as my Redeemer;” yet, remember if you have but faith as a grain of mustard seed, that little faith entitles you to say it. But there is also another word here, expressive of Job’s strong confidence, “I know.” To say, “I hope so, I trust so” is comfortable; and there are thousands in the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to reach the essence of consolation you must say, “I know.” Ifs, buts, and perhapses, are sure murderers of peace and comfort. Doubts are dreary things in times of sorrow. Like wasps they sting the soul! If I have any suspicion that Christ is not mine, then there is vinegar mingled with the gall of death; but if I know that Jesus lives for me, then darkness is not dark: even the night is light about me. Surely if Job, in those ages before the coming and advent of Christ, could say, “I know,” we should not speak less positively. God forbid that our positiveness should be presumption. Let us see that our evidences are right, lest we build upon an ungrounded hope; and then let us not be satisfied with the mere foundation, for it is from the upper rooms that we get the widest prospect. A living Redeemer, truly mine, is joy unspeakable.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
In fact, I sometimes think Keynes wrote his book with his tongue in his cheek. He was doubtless often surprised at the seriousness with which his colleagues took his theses. And if to all this one should remark that I am incapable of grasping the Keynesian intricacies, I would have to console myself with what an old Berlin banker said to an apprentice who was desperate because he was unable to comprehend what a client had written: "Young man, if you are not able to understand his letter, it is probably because it is not understandable.
L. Albert Hahn (The Economics of Illusion)
Father, behold the suffering of your Son, Jesus. I lift him up to you. Although I’m weak and don’t have much to offer by myself, dear Father, your Son’s merits are infinite. So, behold, to your Son’s suffering, I unite my own, and I ask you to save all those poor, unrepentant sinners who have no one else to pray for them. Yes, Father, I believe that your Son’s infinite merits can accomplish this.
Michael E. Gaitley (Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius)