Darkness Positive Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Darkness Positive. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Once you realize you deserve a bright future, letting go of your dark past is the best choice you will ever make.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age.
H.P. Lovecraft
People say, 'I'm going to sleep now,' as if it were nothing. But it's really a bizarre activity. 'For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I'm going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.' If you didn't know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you'd seen. They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be OK? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the 'mind adventures' got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren't unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.' So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie. And whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
I am an optimist... I choose to be. There is a lot of darkness in our world, there is a lot of pain and you can choose to see that or you can choose to see the joy. If you try to respond positively to the world, you will spend your time better.
Tom Hiddleston
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
H.P. Lovecraft
You like being vague, don't you? (Amanda) It was a choice of being a Dark-Hunter or a prophet. Personally I like the slash-and-kill stuff much more than prayers and the lotus position. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter #1))
Yeah, but I’m the second most fucked up person I know, and when you put two negatives together, you get a positive. That’s math, Caleb. Math is the language of the universe. You can’t argue with the universe.
C.J. Roberts (Epilogue (The Dark Duet, #3))
It's both creepy and out of my control, this ability I have to notice so much about other people when I'm positive no one notices anything at all about me.
Kate Elizabeth Russell (My Dark Vanessa)
I have a dark and dreadful secret. I write poetry... I believe poetry is a primal impulse within all of us. I believe we are all capable of it and furthermore that a small, often ignored corner of us positively yearns to try it.
Stephen Fry (The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within)
The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
H.P. Lovecraft
Most people say about graveyards: "Oh, it's just a bunch of dead people. It's creepy." But for me, there's an energy to it that it not creepy, or dark. It has a positive sense to it.
Tim Burton
The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. It's been said that astronomy is a humbling, and I might add, a character-building experience. To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan
As far as he was concerned, there were only two good positions for a human. A female on her back. And a male facedown not breathing.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
I can't believe they even bothered filling that faculty position again. They might as well rename the class Defense Against the Dark Arts. I mean, seriously, who would answer an ad for this job?
Rachel Vincent (Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6))
As the Dark Lord becomes ever more powerful, your race is set still more firmly above mine! Gringotts falls under Wizarding rule, house-elves are slaughtered, and who amongst the wand-carriers protests?” “We do!” said Hermione. She had sat up straight, her eyes bright. “We protest! And I’m hunted quite as much as any goblin or elf, Griphook! I’m a Mudblood!” “Don’t call yourself —” Ron muttered. “Why shouldn’t I?” said Hermione. “Mudblood, and proud of it! I’ve got no higher position under this new order than you have, Griphook! It was me they chose to torture, back at the Malfoys’!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Not entirely fair?" His voice became that of the inferno: a rushing, booming howl of icy evil that flew around the great cavern, as swift and cold as the Wendigo on skates. "I am Satan, also called Lucifer the Light Bearer..." Cabal winced. What was it about devils that they always had to give you their whole family history? "I was cast down from the presence of God himself into this dark, sulfurous pit and condemned to spend eternity here-" "Have you tried saying sorry?" interrupted Cabal. "No, I haven't! I was sent down for a sin of pride. It rather undermines my position if I say 'sorry'!
Jonathan L. Howard (Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal, #1))
Don't give up when dark times come. The more storms you face in life, the stronger you'll be. Hold on. Your greater is coming.
Germany Kent
I've called in the oracles and they were communing with the Fates. But you know how they are. I'm sure it'll come back as 'When the sky is green,m and the earth turns black, the Daimons will give you lots of flack. To kill the great awful one you seek, you'll have to find something unique.' Or some bullshit like that. I really hate Oracles. If I wanted to play mind games, I'd buy a Rubik's Cube. (Acheron) I don't know, Ash, you're pretty good at that. Sure you don't want to take up an Oracle position? (Kyrian) Picture this, General, my middle finger is extended all the way up, and aimed right at you. Now let me work. I have Daimons to track, Dark-Hunters to antagonize, and women to seduce. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter #1))
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
H.P. Lovecraft (The Call of Cthulhu)
…You see, my dear friend, I am made up of contradictions, and I have reached a very mature age without resting upon anything positive, without having calmed my restless spirit either by religion or philosophy. Undoubtedly I should have gone mad but for music. Music is indeed the most beautiful of all Heaven's gifts to humanity wandering in the darkness. Alone it calms, enlightens, and stills our souls. It is not the straw to which the drowning man clings; but a true friend, refuge, and comforter, for whose sake life is worth living
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
I’m going to have you, little siren. In every position, in every way.
Katee Robert (Neon Gods (Dark Olympus, #1))
I should think that is what anyone would wish- to be loved for themselves and not their position.
Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1))
Trump’s America is not America: not today’s or tomorrow’s, but yesterday’s. Trump’s America is brutal, perverse, regressive, insular and afraid. There is no hope in it; there is no light in it. It is a vast expanse of darkness and desolation. And that is a vision of America that most of the people in this country cannot and will not abide.
Charles M. Blow
William clapped to gain everyone's attention. "All right, listen up. I've got good news and bad news. Because I'm such a positive person, we'll start with the good. Ashlyn survived the birthing, and so did her personal horde." The hallway echoed with breathy sighs of relief...none louder than Maddox's own. "So what's the bad?" someone demanded. After a dramatic pause, the warrior said, "I'm out of conditioner. I need someone to flash out of here and get me some. Hint, I’m looking at you, Lucien. And, yeah, you're welcome for my amazing contrib to your happy family. Little terrors clawed me up but good.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld, #9))
Because people are ever willing to believe the negative over the positive. It’s easier for you to think me corrupt and evil than it is for you to see me for what I really am. No one wants to believe that some people are willing to help others out of the goodness of their hearts because they can’t stand to see someone suffer. So few people are altruistic that they can’t understand or conceive that anyone else in the world could ever put someone else’s good above their own. (Leta)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Upon the Midnight Clear (Dark-Hunter, #12; Dream-Hunter, #2))
I still don’t see why we were fighting when you could have just kicked their asses without us. (Fury) Because I believe in giving everyone a fighting chance…until they piss me off. Bringing in reinforcements was Stryker’s mistake. (Acheron) And be glad it wasn’t yours. I know I’m thrilled it wasn’t mine. Acheron. When it absolutely, positively must be destroyed overnight. (Fury)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
He loved the extensive vaults where you could hear the night birds and the sea breeze; he loved the craggy ruins bound together by ivy, those dark halls, and any appearance of death and destruction. Having fallen so far from so high a position, he loved anything that had also fallen from a great height
Gustave Flaubert
You know I still don’t like your…hobby.” “Didn’t ask your opinion.” Jake rubbed his aching ribs. “If you want mine: anyone using the missionary position twice in a row should serve time.
Cherise Sinclair (Master of the Abyss (Mountain Masters & Dark Haven, #2))
Sometimes, you may think you have fallen into an abyss...when in fact, you've just descended to the roots...of the tree of life! Somewhere along your climb, you got lost amongst the branches, and lost in the darkness of the branches, the only way to find the straight way up would be to return to the roots! And from there amongst the roots, you will be able to look straight up and see the top again! And begin your ascent!
C. JoyBell C.
Birthing is never easy or without pain, be it a universe, a child, or a fresh start in life. Contraction precedes expansion. Darkness comes before dawn. Joy follows pain. This is the way of things.
John Mark Green
Don't be a reflection of your depression, your dark, or your ugly. Reflect what you want. Your light, your beauty, & your strength. Aspire for greatness - reflect who you are; not which deficits you maintain. Showcase the hidden treasures.
Tiffany Luard
You are beyond frustrating," she grumbled. "Why can't you do what I ask you to do without issuing a million questions first?" "I could say the same of you." "I don't--Argh." She raised a fist at him. "So maybe I do ask a lot of questions. So what. Anyone in my position would do the same. Besides, I'm a girl and that's my job. You're a boy. You're supposed to pound your chest with your fists and grunt, then do everything in your power to please me." "Hardly. The man you just described is more likely to knock you over the head with a club and drag you away by the hair." -Annabelle and Zacharel
Gena Showalter (Wicked Nights (Angels of the Dark, #1))
If you're not grateful for what you already have, why should you be blessed with more...
Germany Kent
Knowing I wasn't going anywhere, I frantically searched for some way to help her. A dark figure caught my eye. "Christian!" I yelled. He'd been staring at Lissa's retreating figure but glanced up at the sound of his name. One of my escorts shushed me and took my arm. "Be quiet." I ignored her. "Go after her," I called to Christian. "Hurry." He just sat there, and I suppressed a groan. "Go, you idiot!" My guardians snapped at me to be quiet again, but something inside of Christian woke up. Springing up from his lounging position, he tore off in the direction Lissa had traveled.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
Painting is concerned with all the 10 attributes of sight; which are: Darkness and Light, Solidity and Color, Form and Position, Distance and Propinquity, Motion and Rest.
Leonardo da Vinci
Too many people would rather fight to the death to defend their bullhead positions. Tyrone was impressed whenever someone changed their mind. It meant acting on reason, and with reason came self-improvement.
Jack Kilborn (Trapped (The Konrath Dark Thriller Collective #4))
The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. 2. Forgive yourself before you die. Then forgive others. 3. Death ends a life, not a relationship. 4. Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. 5. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too-even when you are in the dark. Even when you're falling. 6. As you grow old, you learn more. If you stayed at twenty-two, you'd always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, its also the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.
Morrie Schwartz
If you want blood, come and get it. If you're here to fuck me, just name your place and position. Otherwise, get out.
Aja James (Pure Healing (Pure/ Dark Ones #1))
Acheron. When it absolutely, positively must be destroyed overnight.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
If people in the position of power are not made to be accountable, then, ungodliness, injustice and oppression will continue to be the order of the day in the society.
Sunday Adelaja (The Mountain of Ignorance)
An entrepreneur is a man who knows he can fail, but he does not accept to fail before he actually fails, and when he fails he learns from his errors and moves on.
Bangambiki Habyarimana (Pearls Of Eternity)
From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
I'll just do a round around of the house and make sure the rest of the family are fast asleep. We don't want that sharp-nosed aunt of yours catching us when we find the diamonds." "What diamonds?" "Think positive for once...Which would you rather, diamonds or the remains of a murdered maidservant? It's all a question of attitude.
Kerstin Gier (Smaragdgrün (Edelstein-Trilogie, #3))
Rather than crying & craving for those who left our path during dark moments of our life, lets spend some time to thank them who stood and helped us to pass those dark paths.
Nehali Lalwani
Will you be at the harvest, Among the gatherers of new fruits? Then you must begin today to remake Your mental and spiritual world, And join the warriors and celebrants Of freedom, realizers of great dreams. You can’t remake the world Without remaking yourself. Each new era begins within. It is an inward event, With unsuspected possibilities For inner liberation. We could use it to turn on Our inward lights. We could use it to use even the dark And negative things positively. We could use the new era To clean our eyes, To see the world differently, To see ourselves more clearly. Only free people can make a free world. Infect the world with your light. Help fulfill the golden prophecies. Press forward the human genius. Our future is greater than our past.
Ben Okri
I’ve found that it’s of some help to think of one’s moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather. Here are some obvious things about the weather: It's real. You can't change it by wishing it away. If it's dark and rainy, it really is dark and rainy, and you can't alter it. It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row. BUT it will be sunny one day. It isn't under one's control when the sun comes out, but come out it will. One day. It really is the same with one's moods, I think. The wrong approach is to believe that they are illusions. Depression, anxiety, listlessness - these are all are real as the weather - AND EQUALLY NOT UNDER ONE'S CONTROL. Not one's fault. BUT They will pass: really they will. In the same way that one really has to accept the weather, one has to accept how one feels about life sometimes, "Today is a really crap day," is a perfectly realistic approach. It's all about finding a kind of mental umbrella. "Hey-ho, it's raining inside; it isn't my fault and there's nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow, and when it does I shall take full advantage.
Stephen Fry
Then she tilted the can and dripped the gasoline throughout the old wooden structure. She didn’t have either time or strength to haul the bodies. In a better world, she would have given One a decent burial, and positioned Four in the driver’s seat of her fashionable vehicle, but alas, neither was possible.
John M. Vermillion (Awful Reckoning: A Cade Chase and Simon Pack Novel)
Damn it. What have we unleashed? (Sin) Doom, destruction...at least he’s not nuclear, right? (Kat) At this point, who knows? (Sin) Oh look, Mr. Positive has come out to play again. Welcome back, Mr. Positive. All the boys and girls have missed you so. (Kat)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
In our day and age, global society has been saturated with the wrong teaching of false positivity. The denial of darkness never equates the abundance of light. And the denial of your actual character never equates to the reality of your best character. People today are afraid to work on themselves and on their actual realities, they believe that outward appearances are enough. Outward appearances have become everything in our current day and age. People don't see what they are actually like, nor who they actually are, in reality. They live in a phantasmic version of reality. It has to stop. In the phantasmic version of reality, there is no chance to experience true love, true goodness, and true metamorphosis. The caterpillar does not become a butterfly by telling everybody it has wings. It actually buries itself in darkness and grows those wings.
C. JoyBell C.
No, no, no, " she says in a sincere, yet malicious tone. "It's not me who should be mad. That would be your father for messing up our lives!" "Goodnight, Paige. Enjoy the dark." "Fuck you!" "Love you too.
M.B. Wynter (The Fetal Position)
A smile is the best way to get oneself out of a tight spot, even if it is a fake one. Surprisingly enough, everyone takes it at face value. I read that in a book." "If you keep staring at me, I'll hit you." "I only became part of your team recently when I replaced Sasuke, so I don't know everything that's going on. I don't really understand people either. But even I can tell that Naruto really loves you. Naruto's been shouldering that promise for a long time...I think he means to shoulder it for the rest of his life. I don't know what you said to him, but it's just like what's been done to me - it feels like a curse. Sasuke causes Naruto pain, but I think you do too." "Sasuke is only helping spread his darkness across the world. Letting him live will only sow the seeds of another war. He's just another criminal now. Sasuke lost all hope of coming back when his group, Akatsuki, attacked our village. Your fellow Konoha shinobi would never accept him now. Sakura's not stupid, either. She understands the position he's put us all in. That's why she came out here, to tell you herself.
Masashi Kishimoto
Your father wasn’t a positive influence on you, was he? (Simone) Being the god of nightmares, he wasn’t a warm fuzzy bunny. Unless you count Happy Bunny. Amazingly the two of them have a lot in common…And I have to say that I’ve developed a fondness for that pissy rodent. (Xypher)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Chaser (Dark-Hunter, #13; Dream-Hunter, #3))
You doom yourselves, Susannah. You seem positively bent on it, and the root is always the same: your faith fails you, and you replace it with rational thought. But there is no love in thought, nothing that lasts in deduction, only death in rationalism.
Stephen King (Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6))
Deep inside her (ih her harrowed soul) she felt a glowing ember of fury at the man responsible for this. Tha man who had put her in this position. She looked at the pistol lying beside the basin, and knew that if he were here, she would use it on him without a moment's hesitation. Knowing that made her feel confused about herself. It also made her feel a little stronger.
Stephen King (Full Dark, No Stars)
We all have thorns in our flesh. All of us. Love is when we stay and help someone pluck out their thorns one-by-one and they do the same for us. Love is also when we pluck the thorns out of our own flesh, one-by-one. But today, the world teaches us that we shouldn’t even see those thorns, that we should only see the petals. As a result, we don’t know how to love ourselves and we don’t know how to love others. Stay with the darkness, and bring that darkness into the light. It’s there, look at it.
C. JoyBell C.
And thus, as a closer and still closer intimacy admitted me more unreservedly into recesses if his spirit, the more bitterly did I perceive the futility of all attempt at cheering a mind from which darkness, as if an inherent positive quality, poured forth upon all objects of the moral and physical universe in one unceasing radiation of gloom.
Edgar Allan Poe
Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognize uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes–you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and knowable, a alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; pessimists take the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting. It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterward either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone.
Rebecca Solnit (Hope in the Dark)
I could do without your sarcasm. (Kat) And I could do without your bleeding heart. (Xypher) Just remember, my bleeding heart is what gained you a shot at freedom. (Kat) Queenie, it was a bleeding heart that put me in that position to begin with. The person I was trying to protect when I was taken didn’t return the favor. The bitch was only using me. So take my advice: whatever compassion you have, kill it off. You’ll thank me for it later. (Xypher)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged (...) Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Gareth sucked in a breath. Hyacinth’s brother wasn’t going to make this easy on him. But that didn’t matter. He had vowed to do this right, and he would not be cowed. He looked up, meeting the viscount’s dark eyes with steady purpose. “I would like to marry Hyacinth,” he said. And then, because the viscount did not say anything, because he didn’t even move, Gareth added, “Er, if she’ll have me.” And then about eight things happened at once. Or perhaps there were merely two or three, and it just seemed like eight, because it was all so unexpected. First, the viscount exhaled, although that did seem to understate the case. It was more of a sigh, actually—a huge, tired, heartfelt sigh that made the man positively deflate in front of Gareth. Which was astonishing. Gareth had seen the viscount on many occasions and was quite familiar with his reputation. This was not a man who sagged or groaned. His lips seemed to move through the whole thing, too, and if Gareth were a more suspicious man, he would have thought that the viscount had said, “Thank you, Lord.” Combined with the heavenward tilt of the viscount’s eyes, it did seem the most likely translation. And then, just as Gareth was taking all of this in, Lord Bridgerton let the palms of his hands fall against the desk with surprising force, and he looked Gareth squarely in the eye as he said, “Oh, she’ll have you. She will definitely have you.” It wasn’t quite what Gareth had expected. “I beg your pardon,” he said, since truly, he could think of nothing else. “I need a drink,” the viscount said, rising to his feet. “A celebration is in order, don’t you think?” “Er…yes?” Lord Bridgerton crossed the room to a recessed bookcase and plucked a cut-glass decanter off one of the shelves. “No,” he said to himself, putting it haphazardly back into place, “the good stuff, I think.” He turned to Gareth, his eyes taking on a strange, almost giddy light. “The good stuff, wouldn’t you agree?” “Ehhhh…” Gareth wasn’t quite sure what to make of this. “The good stuff,” the viscount said firmly. He moved some books to the side and reached behind to pull out what looked to be a very old bottle of cognac. “Have to keep it hidden,” he explained, pouring it liberally into two glasses. “Servants?” Gareth asked. “Brothers.” He handed Gareth a glass. “Welcome to the family.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
Our earth is round, and, among other things, that means that you and I can hold completely different points of view and both be right. The difference of our positions will show stars in your window I cannot even imagine. Your sky may burn with light, while mine, at the same moment, spreads beautiful to darkness. Still we must choose how we separately corner the circling universe of our experience. Once chosen, our cornering will determine the message of any star and darkness we encounter.
June Jordan
Fine. But remember, little rabbit, not a word to anyone." He moved close enough that the dark heat of him lapped against her in a quiet threat that made her glad for the blade. "I'm not a nice man when I'm angry." She held her position, a ragged attempt to erase the humiliation of the panic attack. "I'm fairly certain you're not a nice man at all." His answer was a slow smile that whispered of silk sheets, erotic whispers, and sweat-damp skin. The unhidden intent of it had her heart slamming hard against her ribs. "No" she said. Voice raw. "A challenge.” He wasn't touching her and yet she felt caressed by a thousand ropes of fur, soft and lush and unmistakably sexual. "I accept
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Blade (Guild Hunter, #4))
It was like staring into the face of a familiar stranger. You know, that person you see in a crowd and swear you know, but you really don't? Now she was me - the familiar stranger. She had my eyes. They were the same hazel color that could never decide whether it wanted to be green or brown, but my eyes had never been that big and round. Or had they? She had my hair - long and straight and almost as dark as my grandma’s had been before hers had begun to turn silver. The stranger had my high cheekbones, long, strong nose, and wide mouth - more features from my grandma and her Cherokee ancestors. But my face had never been that pale. I’d always been olive-ish, much darker skinned than anyone else in my family. But maybe it wasn’t that my skin was suddenly so white ... maybe it just looked pale in comparison to the dark blue outline of the crescent moon that was perfectly positioned in the middle of my forehead. Or maybe it was the horrid fluorescent lighting. I hoped it was the lighting. I stared at the exotic-looking tattoo. Mixed with my strong Cherokee features it seemed to brand me with a mark of wildness ... as if I belonged to ancient times when the world was bigger ... more barbaric. From this day on my life would never be the same. And for a moment — just an instant—I forgot about the horror of not belonging and felt a shocking burst of pleasure, while deep inside of me the blood of my grandmother’s people rejoiced.
P.C. Cast
Because the truth is, as committed as I am to clearing my energy and only focusing on the good, positive things that I want, life is still life.It's still tough, complicated, and more than a little messy, with lessons to be learned, mistakes to be made, triumphs and disappointments to be had, and not every day is meant to be a party.
Alyson Noel (Dark Flame (The Immortals, #4))
In Plaster I shall never get out of this! There are two of me now: This new absolutely white person and the old yellow one, And the white person is certainly the superior one. She doesn't need food, she is one of the real saints. 
At the beginning I hated her, she had no personality -- She lay in bed with me like a dead body 
And I was scared, because she was shaped just the way I was 
 Only much whiter and unbreakable and with no complaints. I couldn't sleep for a week, she was so cold. I blamed her for everything, but she didn't answer. 
I couldn't understand her stupid behavior! 
When I hit her she held still, like a true pacifist. 
Then I realized what she wanted was for me to love her: She began to warm up, and I saw her advantages. 

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

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

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

I wasn't in any position to get rid of her. She'd supported me for so long I was quite limp -- I had forgotten how to walk or sit, So I was careful not to upset her in any way 
Or brag ahead of time how I'd avenge myself. Living with her was like living with my own coffin: Yet I still depended on her, though I did it regretfully. I used to think we might make a go of it together -- 
After all, it was a kind of marriage, being so close. 
Now I see it must be one or the other of us. She may be a saint, and I may be ugly and hairy, 
But she'll soon find out that that doesn't matter a bit. I'm collecting my strength; one day I shall manage without her, 
And she'll perish with emptiness then, and begin to miss me. --written 26 Feburary 1961
Sylvia Plath (The Collected Poems)
Here is a universal law: that when it comes to negative and positive, you will always thrive more powerfully in the positive if you have first been immersed in, and have heroically overcome, the polar opposite negative of that thing. To abide in the positive existence of something, without having known and overcome it’s polar opposite— that is to be only a frame of the real structure. Easily toppled down and taken apart. True power is in the hands of the one who thrives in the positive, after having known and conquered the negative. Because when the demons come along, she will say to those demons: “I know you, I have owned you, but now you bow down to me.
C. JoyBell C.
Assembling a coherent portrait of Muhammad’s life required piecing together scattered fragments and structuring them in an organized manner. What emerged from the reconstruction was the realization that Muhammad had endured terrible setbacks and traumatic suffering, only to turn his brokenness into an asset, unlocking latent abilities to improve the world around him. Moved by his own experience in overcoming challenges, Muhammad dedicated himself to inspiring others to see their imperfections as the very source of their potential. Despite all the pain, Muhammad refused to see himself as a victim. His nickname al- Badr Laylat At-Tamam (the fullest moon) referred to illumination of the darkness by his bright shining face.
Mohamad Jebara (Muhammad, the World-Changer: An Intimate Portrait)
I think you can tell by now that I'm not the type of man to beat around the bush. I'll tell you exactly what I want from you." Maxon took a step closer. My breath caught in my throat. I'd just walked into the very situation I feared. No guards, no cameras, no one to stop him from doing whatever he wanted. Knee-jerk reaction. Literally. I kneed His Majesty in the thigh. Hard. Maxon let out a yell and reached down, clutching himself as I backed away from him. "What was that for?" "If you lay a single finger on me, I'll do worse!" I promised. "What?" "I said, if you-" "No, no, you crazy girl, I heard you the first time." Maxon grimaced. "But just what in the world do you mean by it?" I felt the heat run through my body. I'd jumped to the worst possible conclusion and set myself up to fight something that obviously wasn't coming. The guards ran up, alerted by our little squabble. Maxon waved them away from an awkward, half-bent position. We were quiet for a while, and once Maxon was over the worst of his pain, he faced me. "What did you think I wanted?" he asked. I ducked my head and blushed. "America, what did you think I wanted?" He sounded upset. More than upset. Offended. He had obviously guessed what I'd assumed, and he didn't like that one bit. "In public? You thought...for heaven's sake. I'm a gentleman!" He started to walk away but turned back. "Why did you even offer to help if you think so little of me?" I couldn't even look him in the eye. I didn't know how to explain I had been prepped to expect a dog, that the darkness and privacy made me feel strange, that I'd only ever been alone with one other boy and that was how we behaved.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Without warning, David was visited by an exact vision of death: a long hole in the ground, no wider than your body, down which you are drawn while the white faces above recede. You try to reach them but your arms are pinned. Shovels put dirt into your face. There you will be forever, in an upright position, blind and silent, and in time no one will remember you, and you will never be called by any angel. As strata of rock shift, your fingers elongate, and your teeth are distended sideways in a great underground grimace indistinguishable from a strip of chalk. And the earth tumbles on, and the sun expires, and unaltering darkness reigns where once there were stars.
John Updike (Olinger Stories)
It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the expression "as pretty as an airport". Airports are ugly. Some are very ugly. Some attain a degree of ugliness that can only be the result of a special effort. This ugliness arises because airports are full of people who are tired, cross, and have just discovered that their luggage has landed in Murmansk (...) and the architects have on the whole tried to reflect this in their designs. They have sought to highlight the tiredness and crossness motif with brutal shapes and nerve jangling colours, to make effortless the business of separating the traveller from his or her luggage or loved ones, to confuse the traveller with arrows that appear to point at the windows, distant tie racks, or the current position of the Ursa Minor in the night sky, and wherever possible to expose the plumbing on the grounds that it is functional, and conceal the location of the departure gates, presumably on the grounds that they are not".
Douglas Adams (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul (Dirk Gently, #2))
Now, as Crowley would be the first to protest, most demons weren’t deep down evil. In the great cosmic game they felt they occupied the same position as tax inspectors—doing an unpopular job, maybe, but essential to the overall operation of the whole thing. If it came to that, some angels weren’t paragons of virtue; Crowley had met one or two who, when it came to righteously smiting the ungodly, smote a good deal harder than was strictly necessary. On the whole, everyone had a job to do, and just did it. And on the other hand, you got people like Ligur and Hastur, who took such a dark delight in unpleasantness you might even have mistaken them for human.
Terry Pratchett (Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch)
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
Human existence is a penal colony; a sexually transmitted disease; a disappointment; nothing but suffering; “a sky-dive: out of a cunt into the grave”; a one-way ticket to the crematorium. “Nobody gets out of here alive”. Every day is a grim passage, a struggle through moments and hours of loneliness, boredom, emptiness, and self-loathing. I count myself among the pessimists. I believe that life is suffering. I force myself (my contraself) to look at other positions, but this remains my default. More specifically, I am a depressive realist.
Colin Feltham (Keeping Ourselves in the Dark)
The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.
Algernon Blackwood
All of your so-called faults, all the things which you don’t like about yourself are your greatest assets,” she said. “They are simply overamplified. The volume has been turned up a bit too much, that’s all. Just turn down the volume a little. Soon, you—and everyone else—will see your weaknesses as your strengths, your ‘negatives’ as your ‘positives.’ They will become wonderful tools, ready to work for you rather than against you. All you have to do is learn to call on these personality traits in amounts that are appropriate to the moment. Judge how much of your wonderful qualities are needed, and don’t give any more than that.
Debbie Ford (The Dark Side of the Light Chasers)
I didn’t know if you’d want me to come in,” he said. Relief made Emma sag against the doorway. “I do want you to come in.” "I didn’t know if you’d want me to touch you,” he murmured against her skin. “I want you to touch me,” she said. “There’s nothing you could do to me that I wouldn’t want, because it’s you.” “I want to go slowly,” she whispered. “I want to feel everything.” He gripped her hips and flipped their position, rolling over so that he was above her. He grinned down at her wickedly. "Slowly it is,” he said.
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
Life is depressing and hopeless enough, without imbibing further depression and hopelessness through story. I don’t care how realistic people like to think that is. It’s not what inspires me, or makes me love and cherish a book or a television show or a movie. When I am imbibing fiction, I want to be inspired. I want bold tales, told boldly. I want genuine Good People who, while not perfect, are capable of rising beyond their ordinary beginnings. To make a positive difference in their world. Even when all hope or purpose might seem lost. Because this is what I think fiction—as originally told around the campfires, through verbal legend—ought to do, more than anything else: Illuminate the way, shine a spiritual beacon, tell us that there is a bright point in the darkness, a light to guide the way, when all other paths are cast in shadow.
Brad R. Torgersen
So, according to the theory that electrons are in all-possible-positions until they are measured, the cat is both alive and dead until we open the box and find out if it is alive or dead. It seems to me that all the things we keep in sealed boxes are both alive and dead until we open the box, that the unobserved is both there and not. Eventually, they figured out that keeping the box closed doesn't actually keep the cat alive-and-dead. Even if you don't observe the cat in whatever state it's in, the air in the box does. So keeping the box clothes just keeps you in the dark, not the universe.
John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
Truth changes with the season of our emotions. It is the shadow that moves with the phases of our inner sun. When the nights falls, only our perception can guess where it hides in the dark. Within every solar system of the soul lies a plan of what truth is--- the design God has created, in our own unique story. This is as varying as the constellations, and as turning as the tide. It is not one truth we live to, but many. If we ever hope to determine if there is such a thing as truth, apart from cultural and personal preferences, we must acknowledge that we are then aiming to discover something greater than ourselves, something that transcends culture and individual inclinations. Some say that we must look beyond ourselves and outside of ourselves. However, we don’t need to look farther than what is already in each other. If there was any great plan from a higher power it is a simplistic, repetitious theme found in all religions; the basic core importance to unity comes from shared theological and humanistic virtues. Beyond the synagogue, mosques, temples, churches, missionary work, church positions and religious rituals comes a simple “message of truth” found in all of us, that binds theology---holistic virtues combined with purpose is the foundation of spiritual evolution. The diversity among us all is not divided truth, but the opportunity for unity through these shared values. Truth is the framework and roadmap of positive virtues. It unifies diversity when we choose to see it and use it. It is simple message often lost among the rituals, cultural traditions and socializing that goes on behind the chapel doors of any religion or spiritual theology. As we fight among ourselves about what religion, culture or race is right, we often lose site of the simple message any great orator has whispered through time----a simplistic story explaining the importance of virtues, which magically reemphasizes the importance of loving one another through service.
Shannon L. Alder
Plato would hardly need to change a single word of his myth of the cave. Our knowledge would not be able to furnish an answer to his anxiety, his disquietude, his "premonitions." The world would remain for him, "in the light" of our "positive" sciences, what it was - a dark and sorrowful subterranean region - and we would seem to him like chained prisoners. Life would again have to make superhuman efforts, "as in a battle," to break open for himself a path through the truths created by the sciences which "dream of being but cannot see it in waking reality." [1] In brief, Aristotle would bless our knowledge while Plato would curse it.
Lev Shestov (Athens and Jerusalem)
Sometimes life feels a certain way that we call “absurd”: nothing matters, all efforts are for naught, everything seems random and perverse, positive intention is perpetually thwarted. This stance communicates darkness and edginess, which can feel like wisdom. But we don’t live as if life is absurd; we live as if it has meaning and makes sense. We live (or try to) by kindness, loyalty, friendship, aspiration to improvement, believing the best of other people. We assume causality and continuity of logic. And we find, through living, that our actions do matter, very much. We can be a good parent or a bad parent, we can drive safely or like a maniac. Our minds can feel clean and positive and clear or polluted and negative. To have an ambition and pursue it feels healthy. A life without earnest striving is a nightmare. (When desire vanishes from a normal life, that is called depression.)
George Saunders (A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life)
I had to ride slow because I was taking my guerrilla route, the one I follow when I assume that everyone in a car is out to get me. My nighttime attitude is, anyone can run you down and get away with it. Why give some drunk the chance to plaster me against a car? That's why I don't even own a bike light, or one of those godawful reflective suits. Because if you've put yourself in a position where someone has to see you in order for you to be safe--to see you, and to give a fuck--you've already blown it... We had a nice ride through the darkness. On those bikes we were weak and vulnerable, but invisible, elusive, aware of everything within a two-block radius.
Neal Stephenson (Zodiac)
A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look at thousands of working people displaced from their jobs with reduced incomes as a result of automation while the profits of the employers remain intact, and say: “This is not just.” It will look across the oceans and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing to prevent us from paying adequate wages to schoolteachers, social workers and other servants of the public to insure that we have the best available personnel in these positions which are charged with the responsibility of guiding our future generations. There is nothing but a lack of social vision to prevent us from paying an adequate wage to every American citizen whether he be a hospital worker, laundry worker, maid or day laborer. There is nothing except shortsightedness to prevent us from guaranteeing an annual minimum—and livable—income for every American family. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from remolding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy Book 2))
A recurrent question about photography is how much self expression it allows the photographer. There are two standard positions, each corresponding to a different location oh photographic skill. The opposition is neatly summed up in Bioy Casares’s novel The Adventures of a Photographer in La Plata (1989). The hero Nicolasito Almanza declares: ‘I am convinced that all of photography depends on the moment we press the release […] I believe that you’re a photographer if you know exactly when to press the release.’ In making this declaration he is responding to the opinion expressed by Mr Gruter, owner of a photographic laboratory: ‘[…] sometimes I wonder if the true work of the photographer doesn’t begin in the dark room, amid the trays and the enlarger.
Clive Scott (Spoken Image)
I love you,” she said, speaking clearly so that there might be no confusion. “I love you utterly and completely. I love your elegant hands and the way you smile with only one side of your mouth — when you smile at all — and I love how grave your eyes are. I love that you let me invade your house with nearly my entire family and yours, and never even turned a hair. I love that you made love to me when I asked you, purely for politeness’ sake, and I love that you got mad at me later and made me make love to you. I love that you let Her Grace and her puppies construct a nest out of your shirts in your dressing room. I love that you’ve spent years selflessly saving people in St. Giles — although I want you to stop right now. I love that you killed a man for me, even if I’m still mad at you about it. I love that you saved my letters before we even knew each other well, and I love the curt, overly serious letters you wrote to me in return.” She looked at him very seriously. “I love you, Godric St. John, and now I’m breaking my word. I will not leave you. You may either come with me to Laurelwood or I’ll stay here with you in your musty old house in London and drive you mad with all my talking and relatives and… and exotic sexual positions until you break down and love me back, for I’m warning you that I’m not giving up until you love me and we’re a happy family with dozens of children.” She paused at that point because she’d run out of breath and looked at him. His face had gone still and for a moment her heart sank and she had to fortify herself for a battle. But then his mouth quirked like that and he said, “Exotic sexual positions?” And she knew even before he said anything else that it was all going to be fine—more than fine. It was going to be wonderful.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5))
There was nothing worse, Veppers thought, than a loser who’d made it. It was just part of the way things worked – part of the complexity of life, he supposed – that sometimes somebody who absolutely deserved nothing more than to be one of the down-trodden, the oppressed, the dregs of society, lucked out into a position of wealth, power and admiration. At least people who were natural winners knew how to carry themselves in their pomp, whether their ascendancy had come through the luck of being born rich and powerful or the luck of being born ambitious and capable. Losers who’d made it always let the side down. Veppers was all for arrogance – he possessed the quality in full measure himself, as he’d often been informed – but it had to be deserved, you had to have worked for it. Or at the very least, an ancestor had to have worked for it. Arrogance without cause, arrogance without achievement – or that mistook sheer luck for true achievement – was an abomination. Losers made everybody look bad. Worse, they made the whole thing – the great game that was life – appear arbitrary, almost meaningless. Their only use, Veppers had long since decided, was as examples to be held up to those who complained about their lack of status or money or control over their lives: look, if this idiot can achieve something, so can anybody, so can you. So stop whining about being exploited and work harder. Still, at least individual losers were quite obviously statistical freaks. You could allow for that, you could tolerate that, albeit with gritted teeth. What he would not have believed was that you could find an entire society – an entire civilization– of losers who’d made it.
Iain Banks (Surface Detail (Culture, #9))
Brian came in heavy at that moment on his guitar, the rapid, high-pitched squeal ranging back and forth as his fingers flew along the frets. As the intro's tempo grew more rapid, Bekka heard Derek's subtle bass line as it worked its way in. After another few seconds Will came in, slow at first, but racing along to match the others' pace. When their combined efforts seemed unable to get any heavier, David jumped into the mix. As the sound got nice and heavy, Bekka began to rock back-and-forth onstage. In front of her, hundreds of metal-lovers began to jump and gyrate to their music. She matched their movements for a moment, enjoying the connection that was being made, before stepping over to the keyboard that had been set up behind her. Sliding her microphone into an attached cradle, she assumed her position and got ready. Right on cue, all the others stopped playing, throwing the auditorium into an abrupt silence. Before the crowd could react, however, Bekka's fingers began to work the keys, issuing a rhythm that was much softer and slower than what had been built up. The audience's violent thrash-dance calmed at that moment and they began to sway in response. Bekka smiled to herself. This is what she lived for.
Nathan Squiers (Death Metal)
Four times during the first six days they were assembled and briefed and then sent back. Once, they took off and were flying in formation when the control tower summoned them down. The more it rained, the worse they suffered. The worse they suffered, the more they prayed that it would continue raining. All through the night, men looked at the sky and were saddened by the stars. All through the day, they looked at the bomb line on the big, wobbling easel map of Italy that blew over in the wind and was dragged in under the awning of the intelligence tent every time the rain began. The bomb line was a scarlet band of narrow satin ribbon that delineated the forward most position of the Allied ground forces in every sector of the Italian mainland. For hours they stared relentlessly at the scarlet ribbon on the map and hated it because it would not move up high enough to encompass the city. When night fell, they congregated in the darkness with flashlights, continuing their macabre vigil at the bomb line in brooding entreaty as though hoping to move the ribbon up by the collective weight of their sullen prayers. "I really can't believe it," Clevinger exclaimed to Yossarian in a voice rising and falling in protest and wonder. "It's a complete reversion to primitive superstition. They're confusing cause and effect. It makes as much sense as knocking on wood or crossing your fingers. They really believe that we wouldn't have to fly that mission tomorrow if someone would only tiptoe up to the map in the middle of the night and move the bomb line over Bologna. Can you imagine? You and I must be the only rational ones left." In the middle of the night Yossarian knocked on wood, crossed his fingers, and tiptoed out of his tent to move the bomb line up over Bologna.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
We succeeded in taking that picture from [deep space], and, if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. The aggregate of all our joys and sufferings, thousands of confident religions, ideaologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilizations, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every hopeful child, every mother and father, every inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam. The earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and in triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of the dot on scarcely distinguishable inhabitands of some other corner of the dot. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity--in all this vastness-- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us... To my mind, there is perhaps no better demostration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
Carl Sagan (Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space)
Most Western Christians—and most Western non-Christians, for that matter—in fact suppose that Christianity was committed to at least a soft version of Plato’s position. A good many Christian hymns and poems wander off unthinkingly in the direction of Gnosticism. The “just passing through” spirituality (as in the spiritual “This world is not my home, / I’m just a’passin’ through”), though it has some affinities with classical Christianity, encourages precisely a Gnostic attitude: the created world is at best irrelevant, at worst a dark, evil, gloomy place, and we immortal souls, who existed originally in a different sphere, are looking forward to returning to it as soon as we’re allowed to. A massive assumption has been made in Western Christianity that the purpose of being a Christian is simply, or at least mainly, to “go to heaven when you die,” and texts that don’t say that but that mention heaven are read as if they did say it, and texts that say the opposite, like Romans 8:18–25 and Revelation 21–22, are simply screened out as if they didn’t exist.13
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
We stumbled on in the darkness, over big stones and through large puddles, along the one road leading from the camp. The accompanying guards kept shouting at us and driving us with the butts of their rifles. Anyone with very sore feet supported himself on his neighbor's arm. Hardly a word was spoken; the icy wind did not encourage talk. Hiding his mouth behind his upturned collar, the man marching next to me whispered suddenly: "If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don't know what is happening to us." That brought thoughts of my own wife to mind. And as we stumbled on for miles, slipping on icy spots, supporting each other time and again, dragging one another up and onward, nothing was said, but we both knew: each of us was thinking of his wife. Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise. A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. In a position of utter desolation, when man cannot express himself in positive action, when his only achievement may consist in enduring his sufferings in the right way—an honorable way—in such a position man can, through loving contemplation of the image he carries of his beloved, achieve fulfillment. For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.
Viktor E. Frankl
Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective. Everybody in your organization benefits when you delegate responsibilities that fall outside your core competency. Thoughtful delegation will allow someone else in your organization to shine. Your weakness is someone’s opportunity. Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people. The people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault. As a leader, gifted by God to do a few things well, it is not right for you to attempt to do everything. Upgrade your performance by playing to your strengths and delegating your weaknesses. There are many things I can do, but I have to narrow it down to the one thing I must do. The secret of concentration is elimination. Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing. My competence in these areas defines my success as a pastor. A sixty-hour workweek will not compensate for a poorly delivered sermon. People don’t show up on Sunday morning because I am a good pastor (leader, shepherd, counselor). In my world, it is my communication skills that make the difference. So that is where I focus my time. To develop a competent team, help the leaders in your organization discover their leadership competencies and delegate accordingly. Once you step outside your zone, don’t attempt to lead. Follow. The less you do, the more you will accomplish. Only those leaders who act boldly in times of crisis and change are willingly followed. Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there’s no progress, there’s no growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life. Environments void of change are eventually void of life. So leaders find themselves in the precarious and often career-jeopardizing position of being the one to draw attention to the need for change. Consequently, courage is a nonnegotiable quality for the next generation leader. The leader is the one who has the courage to act on what he sees. A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside. The first person to step out in a new direction is viewed as the leader. And being the first to step out requires courage. In this way, courage establishes leadership. Leadership requires the courage to walk in the dark. The darkness is the uncertainty that always accompanies change. The mystery of whether or not a new enterprise will pan out. The reservation everyone initially feels when a new idea is introduced. The risk of being wrong. Many who lack the courage to forge ahead alone yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. It could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for leadership. After all, if the pathway to the future were well lit, it would be crowded. Fear has kept many would-be leaders on the sidelines, while good opportunities paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage. Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change, but they are the first to act. Leadership is about moving boldly into the future in spite of uncertainty and risk. You can’t lead without taking risk. You won’t take risk without courage. Courage is essential to leadership.
Andy Stanley (Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future)
The child was left alone to die in the hallway. Here, in the dawn, was mortality itself. In the city were places to fall from which one could never emerge -- dark dreams and slow death, the death of children, suffering without grace or redemption, ultimate and eternal loss. The memory of the child stayed with Peter. But that was not to be the end of it, for reality went around in a twisting ring. Even the irredeemable would be redeemed, and there was a balance for everything. There had to be. The old man said, "Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, or the position of the electron. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, do exactly as they are told. Of this, one is certain. And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined, it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given - so we track it, in linear fashion piece by piece. Time however can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was, is. Everything that ever will be, is. In all possible combinations. Though we imagine that it is in motion and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. So any event is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible. And, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
What would be my, how should I call it, spontaneous attitude towards the universe? It's a very dark one. The first thesis would have been a kind of total vanity: there is nothing, basically. I mean it quite literally, like… ultimately there are just some fragments, some vanishing things. If you look at the universe, it's one big void. But then how do things emerge? Here, I feel a kind of spontaneous affinity with quantum physics, where, you know, the idea there is that universe is a void, but a kind of a positively charged void. And then particular things appear when the balance of the void is disturbed. And I like this idea of spontaneous very much that the fact that it's just not nothing… Things are out there. It means something went terribly wrong… that what we call creation is a kind of a cosmic imbalance, cosmic catastrophe, that things exist by mistake. And I'm even ready to go to the end and to claim that the only way to counteract it is to assume the mistake and go to the end. And we have a name for this. It's called love. Isn't love precisely this kind of a cosmic imbalance? I was always disgusted with this notion of "I love the world" universal love. I don't like the world. I don't know how… Basically, I'm somewhere in between “I hate the world” or “I'm indifferent towards it.” But the whole of reality, it's just it. It's stupid. It is out there. I don't care about it. Love, for me, is an extremely violent act. Love is not “I love you all.” Love means I pick out something, and it's, again, this structure of imbalance. Even if this something is just a small detail… a fragile individual person… I say “I love you more than anything else.” In this quite formal sense, love is evil.
Slavoj Žižek
Do I need to check up on you guys later? You know the rules.No sleeping in opposite-sex rooms." My face flames,and St. Clair's cheeks grow blotchy. It's true.It's a rule. One that my brain-my rule-loving, rule-abiding brain-conveniently blocked last night. It's also one notoriously ignored by the staff. "No,Nate," we say. He shakes his shaved head and goes back in his apartment. But the door opens quickly again,and a handful of something is thrown at us before it's slammed back shut. Condoms.Oh my God, how humiliating. St. Clair's entire face is now bright red as he picks the tiny silver squares off the floor and stuffs them into his coat pockets. We don't speak,don't even look at each other,as we climb the stairs to my floor. My pulse quickens with each step.Will he follow me to my room,or has Nate ruined any chance of that? We reach the landing,and St. Clair scratches his head. "Er..." "So..." "I'm going to get dressed for bed. Is that all right?" His voice is serious,and he watches my reaction carefully. "Yeah.Me too.I'm going to...get ready for bed,too." "See you in a minute?" I swell with relief. "Up there or down here?" "Trust me,you don't want to sleep in my bed." He laughs,and I have to turn my face away,because I do,holy crap do I ever. But I know what he means.It's true my bed is cleaner. I hurry to my room and throw on the strawberry pajamas and an Atlanta Film Festival shirt. It's not like I plan on seducing him. Like I'd even know how. St. Clair knocks a few minutes later, and he's wearing his white bottoms with the blue stripes again and a black T-shirt with a logo I recognize as the French band he was listening to earlier. I'm having trouble breathing. "Room service," he says. My mind goes...blank. "Ha ha," I say weakly. He smiles and turns off the light. We climb into bed,and it's absolutely positively completely awkward. As usual. I roll over to my edge of the bed. Both of us are stiff and straight, careful not to touch the other person. I must be a masochist to keep putting myself in these situations. I need help. I need to see a shrink or be locked in a padded cell or straitjacketed or something. After what feels like an eternity,St. Clair exhales loudly and shifts. His leg bumps into mine, and I flinch. "Sorry," he says. "It's okay." "..." "..." "Anna?" "Yeah?" "Thanks for letting me sleep here again. Last night..." The pressure inside my chest is torturous. What? What what what? "I haven't slept that well in ages." The room is silent.After a moment, I roll back over. I slowly, slowly stretch out my leg until my foot brushes his ankle. His intake of breath is sharp. And then I smile,because I know he can't see my expression through the darkness.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
I wiped my eyes on my sleeve and jumped when I turned and found Ren’s brother standing behind me as a man. Ren got up, alert, and watched him carefully, suspicious of Kishan’s every move. Ren’s tail twitched back and forth, and a deep grumble issued from his chest. Kishan look down at Ren, who had crept even closer to keep an eye on him, and then looked back at me. He reached out his hand, and when I placed mine in it, he lifted it to his lips and kissed it, then bowed deeply with great aplomb. “May I ask your name?” “My name is Kelsey. Kelsey hayes.” “Kelsey. Well, I, for one, appreciate all the efforts you have made on our behalf. I apologize if I frightened you earlier. I am,” he smiled, “out of practice in conversing with young ladies. These gifts you will be offering to Durga. Would you kindly tell me more about them?” Ren growled unhappily. I nodded. “Is Kishan your given name?” “My full name is actually Sohan Kishan Rajaram, but you can call me Kishan if you like.” He smiled a dazzling white smile, which was even more brilliant due to the contrast with his dark skin. He offered an arm. “Would you please sit and talk with me, Kelsey?” There was something very charming about Kishan. I surprised myself by finding I immediately trusted and liked him. He had a quality similar to his brother. Like Ren, he had the ability to set a person completely at ease. Maybe it was their diplomatic training. Maybe it was how their mother raised them. Whatever it was made me respond positively. I smiled at him. “I’d love to.” He tucked my arm under his and walked with me over to the fire. Ren growled again, and Kishan shot a smirk in his direction. I noticed him wince when he sat, so I offered him some aspirin. “Shouldn’t we be getting you two to a doctor? I really think you might need stitches and Ren-“ “Thank you, but no. You don’t need to worry about our minor pains.” “I wouldn’t exactly call your wounds minor, Kishan.” “The curse helps us to heal quickly. You’ll see. We’ll both recover swiftly enough on our own. Still, it was nice to have such a lovely young woman tending to my injuries.” Ren stood in front of us and looked like he was a tiger suffering from apoplexy. I admonished, “Ren, be civil.” Kishan smiled widely and waited for me to get comfortable. Then he scooted closer to me and rested his arm on the log behind my shoulders. Ren stepped right between us, nudged his brother roughly aside with his furry head, creating a wider space, and maneuvered his body into the middle. He dropped heavily to the ground and rested his head in my lap. Kishan frowned, but I started talking, sharing the story of what Ren and I had been through. I told him about meeting Ren at the circus and about how he tricked me to get me to India. I talked about Phet, the Cave of Kanheri, and finding the prophecy, and I told him that we were on our way to Hampi. As I lost myself in our story, I stroked Ren’s head. He shut his eyes and purred, and then he fell asleep. I talked for almost an hour, barely registering Kishan’s raised eyebrow and thoughtful expression as he watched the two of us together. I didn’t even notice when he’d changed back into a tiger.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
This was not going the way I wanted it to. I felt a desperate need to escape before I said something that would screw up my plans. Ren was the dark side, the forbidden fruit, my personal Delilah-the ultimate temptation. The question was…could I resist? I gave his knee a friendly pat and played my trump card…”I’m leaving.” “You’re what?” “I’m going home to Oregon. Mr. Kadam thinks it will be safer for me anyway, with Lokesh out there looking to kill us and all. Besides, you need time to figure out…stuff.” “If you’re leaving, then I’m going with you!” I smiled at him wryly. “That kind of defeats the purpose of me leaving. Don’t you think?” He slicked back his hair, let out a deep breath, then took my hand and looked intently into my eyes. “Kells, when are you going to accept the fact that we belong together?” I felt sick, like I was kicking a faithful puppy who only wanted to be loved. I looked out at the pool. After a moment, he sat back scowling and said menacingly, “I won’t let you leave.” Inside, I desperately wanted to take his hand and beg him to forgive me, to love me, but I steeled myself, dropped my hands in my lap, then implored, “Ren, please. You have to let me go. I need…I’m afraid…look, I just can’t be here, near you, when you change your mind.” “It’s not going to happen.” “it might. There’s a good chance.” He growled angrily. “There’s no chance!” “Well, my heart can’t take that risk, and I don’t want to put you in what can only be an awkward position. I’m sorry, Ren. I really am. I do want to be your friend, but I understand if you don’t want that. Of course, I’ll return when you need me, if you need me, to help you find the other three gifts. I wouldn’t abandon you or Kishan in that way. I just can’t stay here with you feeling obligated to pity-date me because you need me. But I’d never abandon your cause. I’ll always be there for you both, no matter what.” He spat out, “Pity-date! You? Kelsey, you can’t be serious!” “I am. Very, very serious. I’ll ask Mr. Kadam to make arrangements to send me back in the next few days.” He didn’t say another word. He just sat back in his chair. I could tell he was fuming mad, but I felt that, after a week or two, when he started getting back out in the world, he would come to appreciate my gesture. I looked away from him. “I’m very tired now. I’d like to go to bed.” I got up and headed to my room. Before I closed the sliding door, I asked, “Can I make one last request?” He sat there tight-lipped, his arms folded over his chest, with a tense, angry face. I sighed. Even infuriated he was beautiful. He said nothing so I went on, “It would be a lot easier on me if I didn’t see you, I mean as a man. I’ll try to avoid most of the house. It is yours after all, so I’ll stay in my room. If you see Mr. Kadam, please tell him I’d like to speak with him.” He didn’t respond. “Well, good-bye, Ren. Take care of yourself.” I tore my eyes away from him, shut the door, and drew the curtains. Take care of yourself? That was a lame goodbye. Tears welled in my eyes and blurred my vision. I was proud that I’d gotten through it without showing emotion. But, now, I felt like a steamroller had come along and flattened me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Exoneration of Jesus Christ If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future. Before Him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto da fe. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groans—saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him. He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would be waged, and-he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross. He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crowned—that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason’s holy light and leave the world without a star. He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain. He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women’s breasts unbabed for gold. And yet he died with voiceless lips. Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: “You shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men.” Why did he not plainly say: “I am the Son of God,” or, “I am God”? Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain? Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt? I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know.
Robert G. Ingersoll
the six of us are supposed to drive to the diner in Hastings for lunch. But the moment we enter the cavernous auditorium where the girls told us to meet them, my jaw drops and our plans change. “Holy shit—is that a red velvet chaise lounge?” The guys exchange a WTF look. “Um…sure?” Justin says. “Why—” I’m already sprinting toward the stage. The girls aren’t here yet, which means I have to act fast. “For fuck’s sake, get over here,” I call over my shoulder. Their footsteps echo behind me, and by the time they climb on the stage, I’ve already whipped my shirt off and am reaching for my belt buckle. I stop to fish my phone from my back pocket and toss it at Garrett, who catches it without missing a beat. “What is happening right now?” Justin bursts out. I drop trou, kick my jeans away, and dive onto the plush chair wearing nothing but my black boxer-briefs. “Quick. Take a picture.” Justin doesn’t stop shaking his head. Over and over again, and he’s blinking like an owl, as if he can’t fathom what he’s seeing. Garrett, on the other hand, knows better than to ask questions. Hell, he and Hannah spent two hours constructing origami hearts with me the other day. His lips twitch uncontrollably as he gets the phone in position. “Wait.” I pause in thought. “What do you think? Double guns, or double thumbs up?” “What is happening?” We both ignore Justin’s baffled exclamation. “Show me the thumbs up,” Garrett says. I give the camera a wolfish grin and stick up my thumbs. My best friend’s snort bounces off the auditorium walls. “Veto. Do the guns. Definitely the guns.” He takes two shots—one with flash, one without—and just like that, another romantic gesture is in the bag. As I hastily put my clothes back on, Justin rubs his temples with so much vigor it’s as if his brain has imploded. He gapes as I tug my jeans up to my hips. Gapes harder when I walk over to Garrett so I can study the pictures. I nod in approval. “Damn. I should go into modeling.” “You photograph really well,” Garrett agrees in a serious voice. “And dude, your package looks huge.” Fuck, it totally does. Justin drags both hands through his dark hair. “I swear on all that is holy—if one of you doesn’t tell me what the hell just went down here, I’m going to lose my shit.” I chuckle. “My girl wanted me to send her a boudoir shot of me on a red velvet chaise lounge, but you have no idea how hard it is to find a goddamn red velvet chaise lounge.” “You say this as if it’s an explanation. It is not.” Justin sighs like the weight of the world rests on his shoulders. “You hockey players are fucked up.” “Naah, we’re just not pussies like you and your football crowd,” Garrett says sweetly. “We own our sex appeal, dude.” “Sex appeal? That was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever—no, you know what? I’m not gonna engage,” Justin grumbles. “Let’s find the girls and grab some lunch
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))