Departed Friend Quotes

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And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Who am I? Who am I?” “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way. You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it. You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again. You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you.” "And who are you?" "I'm Willem Ragnarsson. And I will never let you go.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Sometimes he wakes so far from himself that he can’t even remember who he is. “Where am I?” he asks, desperate, and then, “Who am I? Who am I?” And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem’s whispered incantation. “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. “You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. “You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way. “You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it. “You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again. “You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart.
Washington Irving
I suspect that, if we all had perfect memory, we would all grieve the older versions of we used to be the way we grieve departed friends.
Blake Crouch (Upgrade)
Sunsets are loved because they vanish. Flowers are loved because they go. The dogs of the field and the cats of the kitchen are loved because soon they must depart. These are not the sole reasons, but at the heart of morning welcomes and afternoon laughters is the promise of farewell. In the gray muzzle of an old dog we see goodbye. In the tired face of an old friend we read long journeys beyond returns.
Ray Bradbury (From the Dust Returned)
They are enthusiasts, devotees. Addicts. Something about the circus stirs their souls, and they ache for it when it is absent. They seek each other out, these people of such specific like mind. They tell of how they found the circus, how those first few steps were like magic. Like stepping into a fairy tale under a curtain of stars… When they depart, they shake hands and embrace like old friends, even if they have only just met, and as they go their separate ways they feel less alone than they had before.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
Mom’s Israeli. Dad’s Brazilian. What can I say? I am Embassy Row personified. You really lucked out in the best friend department
Ally Carter (All Fall Down (Embassy Row, #1))
Charlotte: "It’s too bad they don’t give out diplomas for what you learn at the mall, because I could graduate with honors in that subject. No really. Since I’ve worked there, I’ve become an expert on all things shopping-related. For example, I can tell you right off who to distrust at the mall: 1) Skinny people who work at Cinnabon. I mean, if they’re not eating the stuff they sell, how good can it be? 2) The salesladies at department store makeup counters. No matter what they tell you, buying all that lip gloss will not make you look like the pouty models in the store posters. 3) And most importantly—my best friend’s boyfriend, Bryant, who showed up at the food court with a mysterious blonde draped on his arm.
Janette Rallison (It's a Mall World After All)
I am SHADOW, and my dwelling is near to the Catacombs of Ptolemais, and hard by those dim plains of Helusion which border upon the foul Charonian canal." And then did we, the seven, start from our seats in horror, and stand trembling, and shuddering, and aghast, for the tones in the voice of the shadow were not the tones of any one being, but of a multitude of beings, and, varying in their cadences from syllable to syllable fell duskly upon our ears in the well-remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends.
Edgar Allan Poe
SEA OF LIFE This is not the end, my friend. Just as the ocean sings songs to infinity Our friendship too will flow onward Until the day one of us Turns and leaves And the seasons will turn too As our shells As they return back to sand And the tides that brought us Forth Will take us back Again. I will never leave you, my friend. Every time you see a wave rushing to Meet another, Two friends unite. Every time you see a wave crashing, Two friends depart. The journey will go on, my friend. Our memories are recorded In seashells To show and tell The lessons learned In these heavens and hells Part of this sea of life - And when the tide is right, We shall cross paths again When the ocean sings our song. Poetry by Suzy Kassem
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
I suspect that, if we all had perfect memory, we would all grieve the older versions of who we used to be the way we grieve departed friends.
Blake Crouch (Upgrade)
What point is there in dying in a ward, listening to the moans and rasps of the terminally ill? Wouldn't it be better to spend the twenty-seven thousand on a banquet, then, after taking poison, depart for the other world to the sound of violins, surrounded by intoxicated beautiful women and dashing friends?
Mikhail Bulgakov
Now. Bram, you are a good friend and an uptanding young man, but I'm afraid that tradition dictates I now attempt to scare you within an inch of your unlife." "Understood," Bram said, taking his arm back as I got myself under control. My father is a gentle-looking man. Thus, why I started laughing again as he attempted to look stern. "What are your intentions concerning my daughter?" Bram cast a look my way, laughing himself, before clearing his throat and doing his best to look scared. "Why, to care for and protect her until I rot away, sir.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
Some people have just rented your body to live in it for sometime and depart. Others consider you as a permanent residence to dwell in forever. Which ever, you must remember to accommodate all those who want to be accommodated. Be each other's keeper
Israelmore Ayivor
If you were not cast into the abyss, you would have never groped, reached as far as you could reach, to grasp for anything that you could possibly touch, anything that you could possibly feel brushing against your fingertips! Funny how in the darkness, we come to find the things that we never saw before all the lights departed! It's like someone needed to turn the lights out, to make us find all the things that we never looked for when the lights were on! And it's in that blackness that we wake up to the true light! My friends, curse not the darkness! It has given you many things!
C. JoyBell C.
The awful daring of a moment's surrender Which an age of prudence can never retract ...
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
Before I lost my father, I never understood the rituals surrounding funerals: the wake, the service itself, the reception afterward,the dinners prepared by well-meaning friends and delivered in plastic containers, even the popular habit of making poster boards filled with photos of the dear departed. But now I know why we do those things. It's busywork, all of it. I had so much to take care of, so many arrangements to make, so many people to inform, I didn't have a moment to be engulfed by the ocean of grief that was lapping at my heels. Instead, I waded through the shallows, performing task after task, grateful to have duties to propel me forward.
Wendy Webb (The Tale of Halcyon Crane)
Ready to meet my best friend, then?" I clipped my vest together in front and smiled tightly. "Should I bring a bottle of wine? Any taboo topics? Politics, life after death?" "Yeah, just stay away from that one entirely.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
Before I took to the road, a friend tried to get me to go to a department store with him. He said it was to improve the place where I lived. He said," I want to know you are reading beneath this lamp. " This fellow was dying. He knew it and I did not. I think he was tucking me in. He was making sure all of his friends had the right lamps, the comfiest pillows, the softest sheets. He was tucking us all in for the night.
Amy Hempel (The Collected Stories)
You should rather suppose that those are involved in worthwhile duties who wish to have daily as their closest friends Zeno, Pythagoras, Democritus and all the other high priests of liberal studies, and Aristotle and Theophrastus. None of these will be too busy to see you, none of these will not send his visitor away happier and more devoted to himself, none of these will allow anyone to depart empty-handed. They are at home to all mortals by night and by day.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))
She was a lover and a lewd cohabitator, a liar and a cherished friend, an aunt and a kindly grandmother, a champion of the fallen, and a late-in-coming fighter for reason over fear. Even in those final hours, quite and rocking, arriving and departing, she knew who she was.
Laura Moriarty (The Chaperone)
Life is like a train ride. The passengers on the train are seemingly going to the same destination as you, but based on their belief in you or their belief that the train will get them to their desired destination they will stay on the ride or they will get off somewhere during the trip. People can and will get off at any stop. Just know that where people get off is more of an reflection on them, than it is on you. There will be a few people in your life that will make the whole trip with you, who believe in you, accept that you are human and that mistakes will be made along the way, and that you will get to your desired destination - together, no matter what. Be very grateful of these people. They are rare and when you find one, don't let go of them - ever. Be blessed for the ones who get on at the worst stops when no one is there. Remember those people, they are special. Always hold them dear to your heart. Be very wary of people sneaking on at certain stops when things are going good and acting like they have been there for the whole ride. For they will be the first to depart. There will be ones who secretly try to get off the ride and there will be those that very publicly will jump off. Don't pay any heed to the defectors. Pay heed to the passengers that are still on the trip. They are the important ones. If someone tries to get back on the train - don't be angry or hold a grudge, let them. Just see where they are around the next hard turn. If they are buckled in - accept them. If they are pulling the hand rail alarm again - then let them off the train freely and waste no space in your head for them again, ever. There will be times that the train will be moving slow, at almost a crawls pace. Appreciate that you can take in the view. There will be times where the train is going so fast that everything is a blur. Enjoy the sense of speed in your life, as it is exhilarating but unsustainable. There will also be the chance that the train derails. If that does happen, it will hurt, a lot, for a long time. But there will be people who will appear out of no where who will get you back on track. Those will be the people that will matter most in your life. Love them forever. For you can never repay these people. The thing is, that even if you could repay them, they wouldn't accept it anyway. Just pay it forward. Eventually your train will get to its final stop and you will need to deboard. At that time you will realize that life is about the journey AND the destination. Know and have faith that at the end of your ride your train will have the right passengers on board and all the passengers that were on board at one time or another were there for a distinct purpose. Enjoy the ride.
JohnA Passaro
We quickly became friends with other art faculty members such as the ceramist Jim Leedy and his wife Jean and art historian/artist Bill Kortlander and his wife Betty. I also began taking classes in Southeast Asian history with John Cady, who had resigned from his position at the U.S.[CB4] [mo5]  State Department because he thought it would be a huge mistake to get involved in a “land war in Southeast Asia.” In 1966, his warnings were starting to become all too obvious as the Vietnam war grew and protests against it emerged. Dr. Cady was in the thick of the protests and was even being shadowed by the F.B.I. After I finished my BFA in art in 1966, I began work on a master’s degree in history at Dr. Cady’s urging. He and his wife became frequent guests at our parties
Mallory M. O'Connor (The Kitchen and the Studio: A Memoir of Food and Art)
Doll-less, invisible friend-less, finally more comfortable in fear than in gladness, Astrid began to live in her head. Or rather inside a small tunnel - a hole - in her head, through which she watched everything gaily depart. She nodded this head and pretended to listen. 'Bye-bye,' she would hear from within.
Kate Bernheimer (Horse, Flower, Bird)
It’s not just about staying in touch with your friends, my dear girl. It is about giving yourself the gift of their company too.
Bronnie Ware (The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing)
I could wear color again now. I could dance again, sit in the front row of church again, visit friends again, all with the approval of Those Who Supposedly Knew Better.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
Thoreau, “At death, our friends and relatives either draw nearer to us, and are found out, or depart farther from us, and are forgotten.
Neil Peart (Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road)
You call the police when a robbery takes place. You call the fire department when there is a fire. but, you call a friend when you're down.
Sydney Wilhelmy
When lovely woman stoops to folly and Paces about her room again, alone ...
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
The job of every generation is to discover the flaws of the one that came before it. That's part of growing up, figuring out all the ways your parents and their friends are broken. So pity the first people to reach puberty after a zombie apocalypse, who would have some truly heavy lifting in this department...You become whatever they fear the most. Now THAT'S evolution
Justine Larbalestier (Zombies Vs. Unicorns)
I know we agree that civilisation is presently in its decadent declining phase, and that lurid ugliness is the predominant visual feature of modern life. Cars are ugly, buildings are ugly, mass-produced disposable consumer goods are unspeakably ugly. The air we breathe is toxic, the water we drink is full of microplastics, and our food is contaminated by cancerous Teflon chemicals. Our quality of life is in decline, and along with it, the quality of aesthetic experience available to us. The contemporary novel is (with very few exceptions) irrelevant; mainstream cinema is family-friendly nightmare porn funded by car companies and the US Department of Defense; and visual art is primarily a commodity market for oligarchs. It is hard in these circumstances not to feel that modern living compares poorly with the old ways of life, which have come to represent something more substantial, more connected to the essence of the human condition.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
I believe in movement. I believe in that lighthearted balloon, the world. I believe in midnight and the hour of noon. But what else do I believe in? Sometimes everything. Sometimes nothing. It fluctuates like light flitting over a pond. I believe in life, which one day each of us shall lose. When we are young we think we won’t, that we are different. As a child I thought I would never grow up, that I could will it so. And then I realized, quite recently, that I had crossed some line, unconsciously cloaked in the truth of my chronology. How did we get so damn old? I say to my joints, my iron-colored hair. Now I am older than my love, my departed friends. Perhaps I will live so long that the New York Public Library will be obliged to hand over the walking stick of Virginia Woolf. I would cherish it for her, and the stones in her pocket. But I would also keep on living, refusing to surrender my pen.
Patti Smith
FOR THE DYING May death come gently toward you, Leaving you time to make your way Through the cold embrace of fear To the place of inner tranquillity. May death arrive only after a long life To find you at home among your own With every comfort and care you require. May your leave-taking be gracious, Enabling you to hold dignity Through awkwardness and illness. May you see the reflection Of your life’s kindness and beauty In all the tears that fall for you. As your eyes focus on each face, May your soul take its imprint, Drawing each image within As companions for the journey. May you find for each one you love A different locket of jeweled words To be worn around the heart To warm your absence. May someone who knows and loves The complex village of your heart Be there to echo you back to yourself And create a sure word-raft To carry you to the further shore. May your spirit feel The surge of true delight When the veil of the visible Is raised, and you glimpse again The living faces Of departed family and friends. May there be some beautiful surprise Waiting for you inside death, Something you never knew or felt, Which with one simple touch, Absolves you of all loneliness and loss, As you quicken within the embrace For which your soul was eternally made. May your heart be speechless At the sight of the truth Of all belief had hoped, Your heart breathless In the light and lightness Where each and everything Is at last its true self Within that serene belonging That dwells beside us On the other side Of what we see.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)
It will be no greater miracle that brings us into another world to live forever with our dearest friends than that which has brought us into this one to live a lifetime with them. Or almost a lifetime. Therefore, we weep when they depart. But we will see them again in another world.
Jeff Wheeler (The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #1))
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed. Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed. And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors; 180 Departed, have left no addresses.
T.S. Eliot (The Waste Land)
But it's Atlanta that can lay claim to the best of the best (which is to say worst) chef-friendly dives in America: the legendary Clermont Lounge, a sort of lost-luggage department for strippers, who perform—perfunctorily—on a stage behind the bar.
Anthony Bourdain (The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones)
They seek each other out, these people of such specific like mind. They tell of how they found the circus, how those first few steps were like magic. Like stepping into a fairy tale under a curtain of stars. They pontificate upon the fluffiness of the popcorn, the sweetness of the chocolate. They spend hours discussing the quality of the light, the heat of the bonfire. They sit over their drinks smiling like children and they relish being surrounded by kindred spirits, if only for an evening. When they depart, they shake hands and embrace like old friends, even if they have only just met, and as they go their separate ways they feel less alone than they had before.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
Almost as an article of faith, some individuals believe that conspiracies are either kooky fantasies or unimportant aberrations. To be sure, wacko conspiracy theories do exist. There are people who believe that the United States has been invaded by a secret United Nations army equipped with black helicopters, or that the country is secretly controlled by Jews or gays or feminists or black nationalists or communists or extraterrestrial aliens. But it does not logically follow that all conspiracies are imaginary. Conspiracy is a legitimate concept in law: the collusion of two or more people pursuing illegal means to effect some illegal or immoral end. People go to jail for committing conspiratorial acts. Conspiracies are a matter of public record, and some are of real political significance. The Watergate break-in was a conspiracy, as was the Watergate cover-up, which led to Nixon’s downfall. Iran-contra was a conspiracy of immense scope, much of it still uncovered. The savings and loan scandal was described by the Justice Department as “a thousand conspiracies of fraud, theft, and bribery,” the greatest financial crime in history. Often the term “conspiracy” is applied dismissively whenever one suggests that people who occupy positions of political and economic power are consciously dedicated to advancing their elite interests. Even when they openly profess their designs, there are those who deny that intent is involved. In 1994, the officers of the Federal Reserve announced they would pursue monetary policies designed to maintain a high level of unemployment in order to safeguard against “overheating” the economy. Like any creditor class, they preferred a deflationary course. When an acquaintance of mine mentioned this to friends, he was greeted skeptically, “Do you think the Fed bankers are deliberately trying to keep people unemployed?” In fact, not only did he think it, it was announced on the financial pages of the press. Still, his friends assumed he was imagining a conspiracy because he ascribed self-interested collusion to powerful people. At a World Affairs Council meeting in San Francisco, I remarked to a participant that U.S. leaders were pushing hard for the reinstatement of capitalism in the former communist countries. He said, “Do you really think they carry it to that level of conscious intent?” I pointed out it was not a conjecture on my part. They have repeatedly announced their commitment to seeing that “free-market reforms” are introduced in Eastern Europe. Their economic aid is channeled almost exclusively into the private sector. The same policy holds for the monies intended for other countries. Thus, as of the end of 1995, “more than $4.5 million U.S. aid to Haiti has been put on hold because the Aristide government has failed to make progress on a program to privatize state-owned companies” (New York Times 11/25/95). Those who suffer from conspiracy phobia are fond of saying: “Do you actually think there’s a group of people sitting around in a room plotting things?” For some reason that image is assumed to be so patently absurd as to invite only disclaimers. But where else would people of power get together – on park benches or carousels? Indeed, they meet in rooms: corporate boardrooms, Pentagon command rooms, at the Bohemian Grove, in the choice dining rooms at the best restaurants, resorts, hotels, and estates, in the many conference rooms at the White House, the NSA, the CIA, or wherever. And, yes, they consciously plot – though they call it “planning” and “strategizing” – and they do so in great secrecy, often resisting all efforts at public disclosure. No one confabulates and plans more than political and corporate elites and their hired specialists. To make the world safe for those who own it, politically active elements of the owning class have created a national security state that expends billions of dollars and enlists the efforts of vast numbers of people.
Michael Parenti (Dirty Truths)
There comes a time in your life when you have to choose between giving up and staying strong, when situations will try to predict your fate, when friends will depart from you and your echo will be your only companion. When that time comes, remember just why you fought so hard to get to where you are. What is life that it should threaten your faith and who is man that you should clinch onto for happiness?You have a destination. Remember this!
Chinonye J. Chidolue
GRASS The grass is spreading out across the plain, Each year, it dies, then flourishes again. It's burnt but not destroyed by prairie fires, When spring winds blow they bring it back to life. Afar, its scent invades the ancient road, Its emerald green overruns the ruined town. Again I see my noble friend depart, I find I'm crowded full of parting's feelings.
Bai Juyi
On Rachel's show for November 7, 2012: We're not going to have a supreme court that will overturn Roe versus Wade. There will be no more Antonio Scalias and Samuel Aleatos added to this court. We're not going to repeal health reform. Nobody is going to kill medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get health insurance. We are not going to do that. We are not going to give a 20% tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kid's insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut. We'll not make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you're on. We are not going to redefine rape. We are not going to amend the United States constitution to stop gay people from getting married. We are not going to double Guantanamo. We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or Housing at the federal level. We are not going to spend $2 trillion on the military that the military does not want. We are not scaling back on student loans because the country's new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents. We are not vetoing the Dream Act. We are not self-deporting. We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt. We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January. We are not going to have, as a president, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared, gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors while that kid cried and screamed for help and there was no apology, not ever. We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton. We are not bringing Dick Cheney back. We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq War. We are not going to do it. We had the chance to do that if we wanted to do that, as a country. and we said no, last night, loudly.
Rachel Maddow
Sometimes he wakes so far from himself that he can’t even remember who he is. “Where am I?” he asks, desperate, and then, “Who am I? Who am I?” And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem’s whispered incantation. “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. “You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. “You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way. “You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it. “You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again. “You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you.” ― Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life
Hanya Yanagihara
I’m not going to stand by as the only one who knows about this. You need some backup. What if she does something to you? You know, roofies your drink or something.” “Right. ‘Cause I’m drinking openly tonight.” She was my closest friend, but sometimes she lacked in the intelligence department.
Laurelin Paige (Forever with You (Fixed, #3))
Why were the flowers born so beautiful and yet so hapless? Insects can sting, and even the meekest of beasts will fight when brought to bay. The birds whose plumage is sought to deck some bonnet can fly from its pursuer, the furred animal whose coat you covet for your own may hide at your approach. Alas! The only flower known to have wings is the butterfly; all others stand helpless before the destroyer. If they shriek in their death agony their cry never reaches our hardened ears. We are ever brutal to those who love and serve us in silence, but the time may come when, for our cruelty, we shall be deserted by these best friends of ours. Have you not noticed that the wild flowers are becoming scarcer every year? It may be that their wise men have told them to depart till man becomes more human. Perhaps they have migrated to heaven. Much may be said in favor of him who
Kakuzō Okakura (The Book of Tea)
Modern life, theorists like Derrida explain, is full of atomized individuals, casting about for a center and questioning the engine of their lives. His writing is famously intricate, full of citations and abstruse terminology. Things are always already happening. But reflecting on his own relationships tended to give his thinking and writing a kind of desperate clarity. The intimacy of friendship, he wrote, lies in the sensation of recognizing oneself in the eyes of another. We continue to know our friend, even after they are no longer present to look back at us. From that very first encounter, we are always preparing for the eventuality that we might outlive them, or they us. We are already imagining how we may someday remember them. This isn’t meant to be sad. To love friendship, he writes, “one must love the future.” Writing in the wake of his colleague Jean-François Lyotard’s death, Derrida wonders, “How to leave him alone without abandoning him?” Maybe taking seriously the ideas of our departed friends represents the ultimate expression of friendship, signaling the possibility of a eulogy that doesn’t simply focus attention back on the survivor and their grief. We
Hua Hsu (Stay True: A Memoir (Pulitzer Prize Winner))
All this waiting. Waiting for the rain to stop. Waiting in traffic. Waiting for the bill. Waiting at the airport for an old friend. Waiting to depart. Then, there’s the big waiting: waiting to grow up. Waiting for love. Waiting to show your your parents that when you have kids you’ll be different. Waiting to retire. Waiting for death. Why do we think waiting is the antithesis of life when it is almost all of it?
Kamand Kojouri
In the past when I was younger my friends and relations had known what to do with me: some of them used to advise me to volunteer for the army, others to get a job in a pharmacy, and others in the telegraph department; now that I am over twenty-five, that grey hairs are beginning to show on my temples, and that I have been already in the army, and in a pharmacy, and in the telegraph department, it would seem that all earthly possibilities have been exhausted, and people have given up advising me, and merely sigh or shake their heads.
Anton Chekhov (My Life (The Art of the Novella series))
When the birds were trilling and the leaves were swelling, an Indian came striding into Plymouth. Tall, almost naked, and very handsome, he raised his hand in friendship. “Welcome, Englishmen,” said Samoset, Massasoit’s ambassador. The Pilgrims murmured in astonishment. The “savage” spoke English. He was friendly and dignified. They greeted him warmly, but cautiously. Samoset departed and returned a week later with Massasoit and Squanto. For the next few days, in a house still under construction, Squanto interpreted while Governor Carver and Massasoit worded a peace treaty that would last more than fifty years. After the agreement, Massasoit went back to his home in Rhode Island, but Squanto stayed on at Plymouth. The wandering Pawtuxet had at last come home.
Jean Craighead George (The First Thanksgiving (Picture Puffin Books))
She knew bullshit when it was being tossed at her by the shovelful. "You know, Ms Purcell, I'm at absolute capacity in the friend department. You'll have to apply elsewhere. As for Roarke and his business, that's his deal. As for you, let's get this straight: You don't look stupid, so I don't believe you think you're the first of Roarke's discarded skirts to swing back this way. You don't worry me. In fact, you don't much interest me. So if that's all?" Slowly Magdelana slid off the desk. "The man is just never wrong is he? I don't like you." "Aw." She moved to the door, then stopped, leaned on the jamb as she looked over at Eve again. "Just one thing? He didn't discard me. I discarded him. And since you don't look stupid either, you know that makes all the difference.
J.D. Robb (Innocent in Death (In Death, #24))
There was a man whom Sorrow named his Friend, And he, of his high comrade Sorrow dreaming, Went walking with slow steps along the gleaming And humming Sands, where windy surges wend: And he called loudly to the stars to bend From their pale thrones and comfort him, but they Among themselves laugh on and sing alway: And then the man whom Sorrow named his friend Cried out, Dim sea, hear my most piteous story.! The sea Swept on and cried her old cry still, Rolling along in dreams from hill to hill. He fled the persecution of her glory And, in a far-off, gentle valley stopping, Cried all his story to the dewdrops glistening. But naught they heard, for they are always listening, The dewdrops, for the sound of their own dropping. And then the man whom Sorrow named his friend Sought once again the shore, and found a shell, And thought, I will my heavy story tell Till my own words, re-echoing, shall send Their sadness through a hollow, pearly heart; And my own talc again for me shall sing, And my own whispering words be comforting, And lo! my ancient burden may depart. Then he sang softly nigh the pearly rim; But the sad dweller by the sea-ways lone Changed all he sang to inarticulate moan Among her wildering whirls, forgetting him.
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
But the heavy stroke which most of all distresses me is my dear Mother. I cannot overcome my too selfish sorrow, all her tenderness towards me, her care and anxiety for my welfare at all times, her watchfulness over my infant years, her advice and instruction in maturer age; all, all indear her memory to me, and highten my sorrow for her loss. At the same time I know a patient submission is my Duty. I will strive to obtain it! But the lenient hand of time alone can blunt the keen Edg of Sorrow. He who deignd to weep over a departed Friend, will surely forgive a sorrow which at all times desires to be bounded and restrained, by a firm Belief that a Being of infinite wisdom and unbounded Goodness, will carve out my portion in tender mercy towards me! Yea tho he slay me I will trust in him said holy Job. What tho his corrective Hand hath been streached against me; I will not murmer. Tho earthly comforts are taken away I will not repine, he who gave them has surely a right to limit their Duration, and has continued them to me much longer than deserved. I might have been striped of my children as many others have been. I might o! forbid it Heaven, I might have been left a solitary widow. Still I have many blessing left, many comforts to be thankfull for, and rejoice in. I am not left to mourn as one without hope. My dear parent knew in whom she had Believed...The violence of her disease soon weakned her so that she was unable to converse, but whenever she could speak, she testified her willingness to leave the world and an intire resignation to the Divine Will. She retaind her Senses to the last moment of her Existance, and departed the world with an easy tranquility, trusting in the merrits of a Redeamer," (p. 81 & 82).
Abigail Adams (My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams)
They spend hours discussing the quality of the light, the heat of the bonfire. They sit over their drinks smiling like children and they relish being surrounded by kindred spirits, if only for an evening. When they depart, they shake hands and embrace like old friends, even if they have only just met, and as they go their separate ways they feel less alone than they had before.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
Not much time will be gained, O Athenians, in return for the evil name which you will get from the detractors of the city, who will say that you killed Socrates, a wise man; for they will call me wise even although I am not wise when they want to reproach you. If you had waited a little while, your desire would have been fulfilled in the course of nature. For I am far advanced in years, as you may perceive, and not far from death. I am speaking now only to those of you who have condemned me to death. And I have another thing to say to them: You think that I was convicted through deficiency of words - I mean, that if I had thought fit to leave nothing undone, nothing unsaid, I might have gained an acquittal. Not so; the deficiency which led to my conviction was not of words - certainly not. But I had not the boldness or impudence or inclination to address you as you would have liked me to address you, weeping and wailing and lamenting, and saying and doing many things which you have been accustomed to hear from others, and which, as I say, are unworthy of me. But I thought that I ought not to do anything common or mean in the hour of danger: nor do I now repent of the manner of my defence, and I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet at law ought any man to use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death; and in other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a man is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death. I am old and move slowly, and the slower runner has overtaken me, and my accusers are keen and quick, and the faster runner, who is unrighteousness, has overtaken them. And now I depart hence condemned by you to suffer the penalty of death, and they, too, go their ways condemned by the truth to suffer the penalty of villainy and wrong; and I must abide by my award - let them abide by theirs. I suppose that these things may be regarded as fated, - and I think that they are well.
Plato (Apology)
And then the man whom Sorrow named his friend, Sought once again the shore, and found a shell, And thought, I will my heavy story tell Till my own words, re-echoing, shall send Their sadness through a hollow, pearly heart; And my own tale again for me shall sing, And my own whispering words be comforting, And lo! my ancient burden may depart. Then he sang softly nigh the pearly rim; But the sad dweller by the sea-ways lone Changed all he sang to inarticulate moan Among her wildering whirls, forgetting him. -from "The Sad Shepherd
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
What is so sweet as to awake from a troubled dream and behold a beloved face smiling upon you? I love to believe that such shall be our awakening from earth to heaven. My faith never wavers that each dear friend I have “lost” is a new link between this world and the happier land beyond the morn. My soul is for the moment bowed down with grief when I cease to feel the touch of their hands or hear a tender word from them; but the light of faith never fades from the sky, and I take heart again, glad they are free. I cannot understand why anyone should fear death…Suppose there are a million chances against that one that my loved ones who have gone on are alive. What of it? I will take that one chance and risk mistake, rather than let any doubts sadden their souls, and find out afterward. Since there is that one chance of immortality, I will endeavor not to cast a shadow on the joy of the departed…Certainly it is one of our sweetest experiences that when we are touched by some noble affection or pure joy, we remember the dead most tenderly, and feel more powerfully drawn to them.
Helen Keller (The Open Door)
I don’t think any other retail company in the world could do what I’m going to propose to you. It’s simple. It won’t cost us anything. And I believe it would just work magic, absolute magic on our customers, and our sales would escalate, and I think we’d just shoot past our Kmart friends in a year or two and probably Sears as well. I want you to take a pledge with me. I want you to promise that whenever you come within ten feet of a customer, you will look him in the eye, greet him, and ask him if you can help him. Now I know some of you are just naturally shy, and maybe don’t want to bother folks. But if you’ll go along with me on this, it would, I’m sure, help you become a leader. It would help your personality develop, you would become more outgoing, and in time you might become manager of that store, you might become a department manager, you might become a district manager, or whatever you choose to be in the company. It will do wonders for you. I guarantee it. Now, I want you to raise your right hand—and remember what we say at Wal-Mart, that a promise we make is a promise we keep—and I want you to repeat after me: From this day forward, I solemnly promise and declare that every time a customer comes within ten feet of me, I will smile, look him in the eye, and greet him. So help me Sam.
Sam Walton (Sam Walton: Made In America)
When In The Soul Of The Serene Disciple When in the soul of the serene disciple With no more Fathers to imitate Poverty is a success, It is a small thing to say the roof is gone: He has not even a house. Stars, as well as friends, Are angry with the noble ruin. Saints depart in several directions. Be still: There is no longer any need of comment. It was a lucky wind That blew away his halo with his cares, A lucky sea that drowned his reputation. Here you will find Neither a proverb nor a memorandum. There are no ways, No methods to admire Where poverty is no achievement. His God lives in his emptiness like an affliction. What choice remains? Well, to be ordinary is not a choice: It is the usual freedom Of men without visions.
Thomas Merton (A Thomas Merton Reader)
In times of old when I was new And Hogwarts barely started The founders of our noble school Thought never to be parted: United by a common goal, They had the selfsame yearning, To make the world’s best magic school And pass along their learning. “Together we will build and teach!” The four good friends decided And never did they dream that they Might someday be divided, For were there such friends anywhere As Slytherin and Gryffindor? Unless it was the second pair Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw? So how could it have gone so wrong? How could such friendships fail? Why, I was there and so can tell The whole sad, sorry tale. Said Slytherin, “We’ll teach just those Whose ancestry is purest.” Said Ravenclaw, “We’ll teach those whose Intelligence is surest.” Said Gryffindor, “We’ll teach all those With brave deeds to their name.” Said Hufflepuff, “I’ll teach the lot, And treat them just the same.” These differences caused little strife When first they came to light, For each of the four founders had A House in which they might Take only those they wanted, so, For instance, Slytherin Took only pure-blood wizards Of great cunning, just like him, And only those of sharpest mind Were taught by Ravenclaw While the bravest and the boldest Went to daring Gryffindor. Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest, And taught them all she knew, Thus the Houses and their founders Retained friendships firm and true. So Hogwarts worked in harmony For several happy years, But then discord crept among us Feeding on our faults and fears. The Houses that, like pillars four, Had once held up our school, Now turned upon each other and, Divided, sought to rule. And for a while it seemed the school Must meet an early end, What with dueling and with fighting And the clash of friend on friend And at last there came a morning When old Slytherin departed And though the fighting then died out He left us quite downhearted. And never since the founders four Were whittled down to three Have the Houses been united As they once were meant to be. And now the Sorting Hat is here And you all know the score: I sort you into Houses Because that is what I’m for, But this year I’ll go further, Listen closely to my song: Though condemned I am to split you Still I worry that it’s wrong, Though I must fulfill my duty And must quarter every year Still I wonder whether Sorting May not bring the end I fear. Oh, know the perils, read the signs, The warning history shows, For our Hogwarts is in danger From external, deadly foes And we must unite inside her Or we’ll crumble from within. I have told you, I have warned you. . . . Let the Sorting now begin. The hat became motionless once more;
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Men had only touched him to bruise him. Every contact with them had been a blow. Never, since his infancy, since the days of his mother, of his sister, had he ever encountered a friendly word and a kindly glance. From suffering to suffering, he had gradually arrived at the conviction that life is a war; and that in this war he was the conquered. He had no other weapon than his hate. He resolved to whet it in the galleys and to bear it away with him when he departed.
Victor Hugo (Les Miserables)
They seek each other out, these people of such specific like mind. They tell of how they found the circus, how those first few steps were like magic. Lie stepping into a fairy tale under a curtain of stars. They pontificate upon the fluffiness of the popcorn, the sweetness of the chocolate. They spend hours discussing the quality of the light, the heat of the bonfire. They sit over their drinks and smiling like children and they relish being surrounded by kindred spirits, if only for an evening. When they depart, they shake hands and embrace like old friends, even if they have only just met, and as they go their separate ways they feel less alone than they had before.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
It was a time of hope – a time to shine. The best moment of my life awaited me, with the most loved person calling me to meet her. It was spring in November – it was a blossom in desolation. It was the month of my exams – and exams led to glory. It was the last few days with the best of friends before departing to chase our own dreams. It was the season of jackets and sweaters. And those meant warmth and protection and love. And I stood, with an evening of November promising to be something truly special.
Tshetrim Tharchen (A Play of the Cosmos: Script of the Stars)
IT IS SENSIBLE of me to be aware that I will die one of these days. I will not pass away. Every day millions of people pass away—in obituaries, death notices, cards of consolation, e-mails to the corpse’s friends—but people don’t die. Sometimes they rest in peace, quit this world, go the way of all flesh, depart, give up the ghost, breathe a last breath, join their dear ones in heaven, meet their Maker, ascend to a better place, succumb surrounded by family, return to the Lord, go home, cross over, or leave this world. Whatever the fatuous phrase, death usually happens peacefully (asleep) or after a courageous struggle (cancer). Sometimes women lose their husbands. (Where the hell did I put him?) Some expressions are less common in print: push up the daisies, kick the bucket, croak, buy the farm, cash out. All euphemisms conceal how we gasp and choke turning blue.
Donald Hall (Essays After Eighty)
An eerie aspect of social media is the way the dead’s account lingers in digital space as a floating memorial. Friends post emotional farewells as if the departed will read them. But we all know that those words are for the rest of the world as if to flaunt their bond with the deceased like a new car or engagement ring. Just like any material possession that ceases production, a person’s value amplifies when they are dead. They have no future. They have no present. Their past becomes a limited resource that everyone is desperate to snag a piece of.
Maggie Georgiana Young (Just Another Number)
Magnus, his silver mask pushed back into his hair, intercepted the New York vampires before they could fully depart. Alec heard Magnus pitch his voice low. Alec felt guilty for listening in, but he couldn’t just turn off his Shadowhunter instincts. “How are you, Raphael?” asked Magnus. “Annoyed,” said Raphael. “As usual.” “I’m familiar with the emotion,” said Magnus. “I experience it whenever we speak. What I meant was, I know that you and Ragnor were often in contact.” There was a beat, in which Magnus studied Raphael with an expression of concern, and Raphael regarded Magnus with obvious scorn. “Oh, you’re asking if I am prostrate with grief over the warlock that the Shadowhunters killed?” Alec opened his mouth to point out the evil Shadowhunter Sebastian Morgenstern had killed the warlock Ragnor Fell in the recent war, as he had killed Alec’s own brother. Then he remembered Raphael sitting alone and texting a number saved as RF, and never getting any texts back. Ragnor Fell. Alec felt a sudden and unexpected pang of sympathy for Raphael, recognizing his loneliness. He was at a party surrounded by hundreds of people, and there he sat texting a dead man over and over, knowing he’d never get a message back. There must have been very few people in Raphael’s life he’d ever counted as friends. “I do not like it,” said Raphael, “when Shadowhunters murder my colleagues, but it’s not as if that hasn’t happened before. It happens all the time. It’s their hobby. Thank you for asking. Of course one wishes to break down on a heart-shaped sofa and weep into one’s lace handkerchief, but I am somehow managing to hold it together. After all, I still have a warlock contact.” Magnus inclined his head with a slight smile. “Tessa Gray,” said Raphael. “Very dignified lady. Very well-read. I think you know her?” Magnus made a face at him. “It’s not being a sass-monkey that I object to. That I like. It’s the joyless attitude. One of the chief pleasures of life is mocking others, so occasionally show some glee about doing it. Have some joie de vivre.” “I’m undead,” said Raphael. “What about joie de unvivre?” Raphael eyed him coldly. Magnus gestured his own question aside, his rings and trails of leftover magic leaving a sweep of sparks in the night air, and sighed. “Tessa,” Magnus said with a long exhale. “She is a harbinger of ill news and I will be annoyed with her for dumping this problem in my lap for weeks. At least.” “What problem? Are you in trouble?” asked Raphael. “Nothing I can’t handle,” said Magnus. “Pity,” said Raphael. “I was planning to point and laugh. Well, time to go. I’d say good luck with your dead-body bad-news thing, but . . . I don’t care.” “Take care of yourself, Raphael,” said Magnus. Raphael waved a dismissive hand over his shoulder. “I always do.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
... As for me, I taught the lad the real character of a rifle; and well has he paid me for it. I have fought at his side in many a bloody scrimmage; and so long as I could hear the crack of his piece in one ear, and that of the Sagamore in the other, I knew no enemy was on my back. Winters and summers, nights and days, have we roved the wilderness in company, eating of the same dish, one sleeping while the other watched; and afore it shall be said that Uncas was taken to the torment, and I at hand - There is but a single ruler of us all, whatever maybe the color of the skin, and him I call to witness - that before the Mohican boy shall perish for the want of a friend, good faith shall depart the 'arth and 'Kill-deer' become as harmless as the tooting we'pon of the singer!
James Fenimore Cooper (The Last of the Mohicans (The Leatherstocking Tales, #2))
Thrice happy she that is so well assured Unto herself and settled so in heart That neither will for better be allured Ne fears to worse with any chance to start, But like a steddy ship doth strongly part The raging waves and keeps her course aright; Ne aught for tempest doth from it depart, Ne aught for fairer weather's false delight. Such self-assurance need not fear the spight Of grudging foes; ne favour seek of friends; But in the stay of her own stedfast might Neither to one herself nor other bends. Most happy she that most assured doth rest, But he most happy who such one loves best.
Edmund Spenser
Bit by bit, it comes over us that we shall never hear this laughter again, and that this one garden is forever locked against us, and at that moment begins our true mourning. For nothing in truth can replace that true companion. Old friends cannot be created out of hand. Nothing can match the treasure of common memories. . . . It is idle having planted an acorn in the morning to expect that afternoon to sit by an oak, so life goes on. For years we plant the seed, we feel ourselves rich, and then comes other years when time does its work and our plantation is sparse. One by one, our comrades depart, deprive us of their shade.
Candice Bergen (A Fine Romance)
His heart is weak, but his will is strong-more so now than ever,” he continued, shrugging into the light cape Ormsley was putting over his shoulders. “What do you mean, ‘more now than ever’?” The physician smiled in surprise. “Why, I meant that your coming here has meant a great deal to him, my lord. It’s had an amazing effect on him-well, not amazing, really. I should say a miraculous effect. Normally he rails at me when he’s ill. Today he almost hugged me in his eagerness to tell me you were here, and why. Actually, I was ordered to “have a look at you,” he continued in the confiding tone of an old family friend, “although I wasn’t supposed to tell you I was doing so, of course.” Grinning, he added, “He thinks you are a ‘handsome devil.’” Ian refused to react to that admonishing information with any emotion whatsoever. “Good day, my lord,” the doctor said. Turning to the duke’s sisters, who’d been hovering worriedly in the hall, he tipped his hat. “Ladies,” he said, and he departed. “I’ll just go up and look in on him,” Hortense announced. Turning to Charity, she said sternly, “Do not bore Ian with too much chatter,” she admonished, already climbing the stairs. In an odd, dire voice, she added, “And do not meddle.” For the next hour Ian paced the floor, with Charity watching him with great interest. The one thing he did not have was time, and time was what he was losing. At this rate Elizabeth would be giving birth to her first child before he got back to London.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
What gives modern society a superficial appearance of individualism, independence, and self-reliance is the vanishing of the ties that formerly linked individuals into small-scale communities. Today, nuclear families commonly have little connection to their next-door neighbors or even to their cousins. Most people have friends, but friends nowadays tend to use each other only for entertainment. They do not usually cooperate in economic or other serious, practical activities, nor do they offer each other much physical or economic security. If you become disabled, you don’t expect your friends to support you. You depend on insurance or on the welfare department.
Theodore J. Kaczynski (Technological Slavery)
There was, of course, a whole complex range of people in the ghettoside world. Some men liked hurting people. Some didn't. Some men started out not liking it but became brutalized and sadistic. Maybe the mix would differ in other groups of Americans. Maybe some other racial or ethnic cohort would contain a higher ratio of regular guys, or a lower ratio of men susceptible to becoming violent. Maybe the gnawing fear of getting murdered-- estimated as high as one in thirty-five by a Justice Department report in the 1990s-- would influence another group of men differently. But this was hairsplitting. Take a bunch of teenage boys from the whitest, safest suburb in America and plunk them down in a place where their friends are murdered and they are constantly attacked and threatened. Signal that no one cares, and fail to solve murders. Limit their options for escape. Then see what happens.
Jill Leovy (Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America)
Outside, on the other side of a black iron grill, was another crowd, just as anxious, just as sweaty and frightened. These were the parents and friends of those departing. They all waited for deliverance. When all the customs procedures had been completed, when the crowd of travelers had passed through the last security booths and were walking toward the tarmac, you could see, on the faces of those left behind, the relief, the joy, the pride of vicarious success. The vision of a happier future elsewhere, anywhere but here. Smiles of contentment, faces radiant with happiness. Nowhere else in the world does separation bear the hideous face of joy. This was a grotesque face, a deviation from all rules of human nature.
Dương Thu Hương (Paradise of the Blind)
The police state We now have well over 100,000 domestic federal law enforcement agents armed and ready to enforce the laws to “make everyone safe and secure.” We also have our TSA “friends” at the airports protecting us with an army of over 50,000 bureaucrats. The Department of Homeland Security has more than 240,000 employees. The FBI has about 35,000 employees. Around 90,000 IRS employees enforce draconian tax laws that limit self-sufficiency, put people in fear, and are used as a political tool to help suppress dissenters to the empire. There are many thousands of others “making sure we’re safe and secure from our foreign enemies” while our domestic enemies, including politicians, bureaucrats, and government profiteers, are ignored.
Ron Paul (Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity)
Each of these people has an extreme version of what we call a high-conflict personality. Unlike most of us, who normally try to resolve or defuse conflicts, people with high-conflict personalities (HCPs) respond to conflicts by compulsively increasing them. They usually do this by focusing on Targets of Blame, whom they mercilessly attack—verbally, emotionally, financially, reputationally, litigiously, and sometimes violently—often for months or years, even if the initial conflict was minor. Their Targets of Blame are usually someone close (a coworker, neighbor, friend, partner, or family member) or someone in a position of authority (boss, department head, police, government agent). Sometimes, though, the Target of Blame can be completely random.
Bill Eddy (5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life: Identifying and Dealing with Narcissists, Sociopaths, and Other High-Conflict Personalities)
She was every Cora she'd ever been: Cora X, Cora Kaufmann, Cora Carlisle. She was an orphan on a roof, a lucky girl on a train, a dearly loved daughter by chance. She was a blushing bride of seventeen, a sad and stoic wife, a loving mother, an embittered chaperone, and a daughter pushed away. She was a lover and a lewd cohabitator, a liar and a cherished friend, and aunt and a kindly grandmother, a champion of the fallen, and a late-in-coming fighter for reason over fear. Even in those final hours, quiet and rocking, arriving and departing, she knew who she was.
Laura Moriarty (The Chaperone)
And how easy it was to leave this life, after all - this life that could feel so present and permanent that departing from it must seem to require a tear into a different dimension. There the bunch of them were, young hopefuls, decorating their annually purged dorm rooms with postcards and prints and favorite photographs of friends, filling them with hot pots and dried flowers, throw rugs and stereos. Houseplants, a lamp, maybe some furniture brought up by encouraging parents. They nested there like miniature grownups. As if this provisional student life - with its brushfire friendships and drink-addled intimacies, its gorging on knowledge and blind sexual indulgences - could possibly last. As if it were a home, of any kind at all: someplace to gather one's sense of self. Flannery had never felt for a minute that these months of shared living took place on anything other than quicksand, and it had given this whole year (these scant seven or eight months, into which an aging decade or so had been condensed) a sliding, wavery feel. She came from earthquake country and knew the dangers of building on landfill. That was, it seemed to Flannery, the best description of this willed group project of freshman year: construction on landfill. A collective confusion of impressions and tendencies, mostly castoffs with a few keepers. What was there to count on in any of it? What structure would remain, founded on that?
Sylvia Brownrigg (Pages for You (Pages for You, #1))
...it turned out to be only our former chauffeur, Tsiganov, who had thought nothing of riding all the way from St. Petersburg, on buffers and freight cars, through the immense, frosty and savage expanse of revolutionary Russia, for the mere purpose of bringing us a very welcome sum of money sent us by good friends of ours. After a month's stay, Tsiganov declared the Crimean scenary bored him and departed---to go all the way back north, with a big bag over his shoulder, containing various articles which we would have gladly given him had we thought he coveted them (such as a tourser press, tennis shoes, a nigthshirt, an alarm clock, a flat iron, several other ridiculous things I have forgotten) and the absence of which only gradually came to light if not pointed out, with vindictive zeal, by an anemic servant girl whose pale charms he had also rifled.
Vladimir Nabokov
What Hurts the People There are five things that hurt the people: There are local officials who use public office for personal benefit, taking improper advantage of their authority, holding weapons in one hand and people’s livelihood in the other, corrupting their offices, and bleeding the people. There are cases where serious offenses are given light penalties; there is inequality before the law, and the innocent are subjected to punishment, even execution. Sometimes serious crimes are pardoned, the strong are supported, and the weak are oppressed. Harsh penalties are applied, unjustly torturing people to get at facts. Sometimes there are officials who condone crime and vice, punishing those who protest against this, cutting off the avenues of appeal and hiding the truth, plundering and ruining lives, unjust and arbitrary. Sometimes there are senior officials who repeatedly change department heads so as to monopolize the government administration, favoring their friends and relatives while treating those they dislike with unjust harshness, oppressive in their actions, prejudiced and unruly. They also use taxation to reap profit, enriching themselves and their families by exactions and fraud. Sometimes local officials extensively tailor awards and fines, welfare projects, and general expenditures, arbitrarily determining prices and measures, with the result that people lose their jobs. These five things are harmful to the people, and anyone who does any of these should be dismissed from office.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: Complete Texts and Commentaries)
I went for a walk outside. Maybe I was fooling myself, but I was surprised how I didn’t feel what I thought people would expect to feel under the circumstances. I wasn’t delighted, but I didn’t feel terribly upset, perhaps because I had known for seven years that something like this was going to happen. I didn’t know how I was going to face all my friends up at Los Alamos. I didn’t want people with long faces talking to me about it. When I got back (yet another tire went flat on the way), they asked me what happened. “She’s dead. And how’s the program going?” They caught on right away that I didn’t want to moon over it. (I had obviously done something to myself psychologically: Reality was so important—I had to understand what really happened to Arlene, physiologically—that I didn’t cry until a number of months later, when I was in Oak Ridge. I was walking past a department store with dresses in the window, and I thought Arlene would like one of them. That was too much for me.)
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character)
Plunged up to the ears in work, good friend!" thought Oblomov as he watched him depart. "Yes, and blind and deaf and dumb to everything else in the world! Yet by going into society and, at the same time, busying yourself about your affairs you will yet win distinction and promotion. Such is what they call 'a career'! Yet of how little use is a man like that! His intellect, his will, his feelings--what do they avail him? So many luxuries is what they are--nothing more. Such an individual lives out his little span without achieving a single thing worth mentioning; and meanwhile he works in an office from morning till night--yes, from morning till night, poor wretch!
Ivan Goncharov (Oblomov)
All practical jokes, friendly, harmless or malevolent, involve deception, but not all deceptions are practical jokes. The two men digging up the street, for example, might have been two burglars who wished to recover some swag which they knew to be buried there. But, in that case, having found what they were looking for, they would have departed quietly and never been heard of again, whereas, if they are practical jokers, they must reveal afterwards what they have done or the joke will be lost. The practical joker must not only deceive but also, when he has succeeded, unmask and reveal the truth to his victims. The satisfaction of the practical joker is the look of astonishment on the faces of others when they learn that all the time they were convinced that they were thinking and acting on their own initiative, they were actually the puppets of another’s will. Thus, though his jokes may be harmless in themselves and extremely funny, there is something slightly sinister about every practical joker, for they betray him as someone who likes to play God behind the scenes. […] The success of a practical joker depends upon his accurate estimate of the weaknesses of others, their ignorances, their social reflexes, their unquestioned presuppositions, their obsessive desires, and even the most harmless practical joke is an expression of the joker’s contempt for those he deceives.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays)
When everybody was, you know, pushing for multiculturalism in lead institutions, it really meant filtering a few people of color or women into university departments or newsrooms, while carrying out this savage economic assault against the working poor and, in particular, poor people of color in deindustrialized pockets of the United States. Very few of these multiculturalists even noticed. I am all for diversity, but not when it is devoid of economic justice. Cornel West has been one of the great champions, not only of the black prophetic tradition, the most important intellectual tradition in our history, but the clarion call for justice in all its forms. There is no racial justice without economic justice. And while these elite institutions sprinkled a few token faces into their hierarchy, they savaged the working class and the poor, especially poor people of color. Much of the left was fooled by the identity politics trick. It was a boutique activism. It kept the corporate system, the one we must destroy, intact. It gave it a friendly face.
Chris Hedges
Did I Not Say To You Did I not say to you, “Go not there, for I am your friend; in this mirage of annihilation I am the fountain of life?” Even though in anger you depart a hundred thousand years from me, in the end you will come to me, for I am your goal. Did I not say to you, “Be not content with worldly forms, for I am the fashioner of the tabernacle of your contentment?” Did I not say to you, “I am the sea and you are a single fish; go not to dry land, for I am your crystal sea?” Did I not say to you, “ Go not like birds to the snare; come, for I am the power of flight and your wings and feet?” Did I not say to you, “ They will waylay you and make you cold, for I am the fire and warmth and heat of your desire?” Did I not say to you, “ They will implant in you ugly qualities so that you will forget that I am the source of purity to you?” Did I not say to you, “Do not say from what direction the ser- vant’s affairs come into order?” I am the Creator without directions. If you are the lamp of the heart, know where the road is to the house; and if you are godlike of attribute, know that I am your Maser.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
Loving or not loving should be like coffee or tea; people should be allowed to decide. How else are we to get over all our dead and the women we've lost?" Cunco whispered dejectedly. "Maybe we shouldn't." "You think so? Not get over it. but...then? What then? What task do the departed want us to do?" That was the question that Jean Perdu had been unable to answer for all these years. Until now. Now he knew. "To carry them within us—that is our task. We carry them all inside us, all our dead and shattered loves. Only they make us whole. If we begin to forget or cast aside those we've lost, then...then we are no longer present either. " Jean looked at the Allier River, glittering in the moonlight. "All the love, all the dead, all the people we've known. They are the rivers that feed our sea of souls. If we refuse to remember them, that sea will dry up too." He felt an overwhelming inner thirst to seize life with both hands before time sped past even faster. He didn't want to die of thirst, he wanted to be as wide and free as the sea—full and deep. He longed for friends. He wanted to love. He wanted to feel the marks that Manon had left inside him. He still wanted to feel her coursing through him, mingling with him. Manon had changed him forever—why deny it? That was how he had become the man whom Catherine had allowed to approach her. Jean Perdu suddenly realized that Catherine could never taken Mann's place. She took her own place. No worse, no better, simply different. He longed to show Catherine the full expanse of his sea!
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem’s whispered incantation. “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. “You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. “You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way. “You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it. “You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again. “You were treated horribly. You came out on
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone. My rapture was widely shared. Like many of my countrymen, I went out to buy the best liquors for a celebration with my family and friends, only to find the shops out of stock there was so much spontaneous rejoicing. There were official celebrations as well exactly the same kinds of rallies as during the Cultural Revolution, which infuriated me. I was particularly angered by the fact that in my department, the political supervisors and the student officials were now arranging the whole show, with unperturbed self-righteousness. The new leadership was headed by Mao's chosen successor, Hua Guofeng, whose only qualification, I believed, was his mediocrity. One of his first acts was to announce the construction of a huge mausoleum for Mao on Tiananmen Square. I was outraged: hundreds of thousands of people were still homeless after the earthquake in Tangshan, living in temporary shacks on the pavements. With her experience, my mother had immediately seen that a new era was beginning. On the day after Mao's death she had reported for work at her depas'uuent. She had been at home for five years, and now she wanted to put her energy to use again. She was given a job as the number seven deputy director in her department, of which she had been the director before the Cultural Revolution. But she did not mind. To me in my impatient mood, things seemed to go on as before. In January 1977, my university course came to an end. We were given neither examinations nor degrees. Although Mao and the Gang of Four were gone, Mao's rule that we had to return to where we had come from still applied. For me, this meant the machinery factory. The idea that a university education should make a difference to one's job had been condemned by Mao as 'training spiritual aristocrats.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Sometimes he wakes so far from himself that he can't even remember who he is. 'Where am I?' he asks, desperate, and then, 'Who am I? Who am I?' And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem's whispered incantation. 'You're Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You're the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You're the friend of Malcolm Irvine, Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. You're a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. You're a swimmer. You're a baker. You're a cook. You're a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You're an excellent pianist. You're an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I'm away. You're patient. You're generous. You're the best listener I know. You're the smartest person I know, in every way. You're the bravest person I know, in every way. You're a lawyer. You're the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job, you work hard at it. You're a mathematician. You're a logician. You've tried to teach me, again and again. You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you. On and on Willem talks, chanting him back to himself, and in the daytime - sometimes days later - he remembers pieces of what Willem has said and holds them close to him, as much as for what he said as for what he didn't, for how he hadn't defined him. But in the nighttime he is too terrified, he is too lost to recognize this. His panic is too real, too consuming. 'And who are you?' he asks, looking at the man who is holding him, who is describing someone he doesn't recognize, someone who seems to have so much, someone who seems like such an enviable, beloved person. 'Who are you?' The man has an answer to this question as well. 'I'm Willem Ragnarsson,' he says. 'And I will never let you go.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem’s whispered incantation. “You’re Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You’re the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You’re the friend of Malcolm Irvine, of Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. “You’re a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. “You’re a swimmer. You’re a baker. You’re a cook. You’re a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You’re an excellent pianist. You’re an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I’m away. You’re patient. You’re generous. You’re the best listener I know. You’re the smartest person I know, in every way. You’re the bravest person I know, in every way. “You’re a lawyer. You’re the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job; you work hard at it. “You’re a mathematician. You’re a logician. You’ve tried to teach me, again and again. “You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
My friend Wicker once said to be careful what and how you say what you’re really thinking to a woman. After much screwing up in that department with Emma, I’ve learned it’s not what you should hide, but what you say that makes her react the way she does. If I am unable to make myself clear, as I so often do, it’s more likely going to go to pot if I try to explain how I really feel. Instead, I rework in my brain what she needs to hear. I don’t always nail it, but I’m getting better at it. And it’s always the truth even if it isn’t how I see it. Is it deceiving? No. It’s being considerate and aware that she is an emotional creature, and that for some crazy reason, craves my attention. I love to make her happy. My jumbled up mess of a mind isn’t important in the long run if it just confuses her. So I chose words carefully. When something goes right, I use it over and over again. -Ames
Cyndi Goodgame (Yield (Goblin's Kiss Series, # 2))
When Leonardo was painting The Last Supper (fig. 74), spectators would visit and sit quietly just so they could watch him work. The creation of art, like the discussion of science, had become at times a public event. According to the account of a priest, Leonardo would “come here in the early hours of the morning and mount the scaffolding,” and then “remain there brush in hand from sunrise to sunset, forgetting to eat or drink, painting continually.” On other days, however, nothing would be painted. “He would remain in front of it for one or two hours and contemplate it in solitude, examining and criticizing to himself the figures he had created.” Then there were dramatic days that combined his obsessiveness and his penchant for procrastination. As if caught by whim or passion, he would arrive suddenly in the middle of the day, “climb the scaffolding, seize a brush, apply a brush stroke or two to one of the figures, and suddenly depart.”1 Leonardo’s quirky work habits may have fascinated the public, but they eventually began to worry Ludovico Sforza. Upon the death of his nephew, he had become the official Duke of Milan in early 1494, and he set about enhancing his stature in a time-honored way, through art patronage and public commissions. He also wanted to create a holy mausoleum for himself and his family, choosing a small but elegant church and monastery in the heart of Milan, Santa Maria delle Grazie, which he had Leonardo’s friend Donato Bramante reconstruct. For the north wall of the new dining hall, or refectory, he had commissioned Leonardo to paint a Last Supper, one of the most popular scenes in religious art. At first Leonardo’s procrastination led to amusing tales, such as the time the church prior became frustrated and complained to Ludovico. “He wanted him never to lay down his brush, as if he were a laborer hoeing the Prior’s garden,” Vasari wrote. When Leonardo was summoned by the duke, they ended up having a discussion of how creativity occurs. Sometimes it requires going slowly, pausing, even procrastinating. That allows ideas to marinate, Leonardo explained. Intuition needs nurturing. “Men of lofty genius sometimes accomplish the most when they work least,” he told the duke, “for their minds are occupied with their ideas and the perfection of their conceptions, to which they afterwards give form.
Walter Isaacson (Leonardo Da Vinci)
I decided early in graduate school that I needed to do something about my moods. It quickly came down to a choice between seeing a psychiatrist or buying a horse. Since almost everyone I knew was seeing a psychiatrist, and since I had an absolute belief that I should be able to handle my own problems, I naturally bought a horse. Not just any horse, but an unrelentingly stubborn and blindingly neurotic one, a sort of equine Woody Allen, but without the entertainment value. I had imagined, of course, a My Friend Flicka scenario: my horse would see me in the distance, wiggle his ears in eager anticipation, whinny with pleasure, canter up to my side, and nuzzle my breeches for sugar or carrots. What I got instead was a wildly anxious, frequently lame, and not terribly bright creature who was terrified of snakes, people, lizards, dogs, and other horses – in short, terrified of anything that he might reasonably be expected to encounter in life – thus causing him to rear up on his hind legs and bolt madly about in completely random directions. In the clouds-and-silver-linings department, however, whenever I rode him I was generally too terrified to be depressed, and when I was manic I had no judgment anyway, so maniacal riding was well suited to the mood. Unfortunately, it was not only a crazy decision to buy a horse, it was also stupid. I may as well have saved myself the trouble of cashing my Public Health Service fellowship checks, and fed him checks directly: besides shoeing him and boarding him – with veterinary requirements that he supplement his regular diet with a kind of horsey granola that cost more than a good pear brandy – I also had to buy him special orthopedic shoes to correct, or occasionaly correct, his ongoing problems with lameness. These shoes left Guicci and Neiman-Marcus in the dust, and, after a painfully aquired but profound understanding of why people shoot horse traders, and horses, I had to acknowledge that I was a graduate student, not Dr. Dolittle; more to the point, I was neither a Mellon nor a Rockefeller. I sold my horse, as one passes along the queen of spades, and started showing up for my classes at UCLA.
Kay Redfield Jamison (An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness)
They were living to themselves: self, with its hopes, and promises, and dreams, still had hold of them; but the Lord began to fulfill their prayers. They had asked for contrition, and He sent them sorrow; they had asked for purity, and He sent them thrilling anguish; they had asked to be meek, and He had broken their hearts; they has asked to be dead to the world, and He slew all their living hopes; they had asked to be made like unto Him, and He placed them in the furnace, sitting by "as a refiner of silver," till they should reflect His image; they had asked to lay hold of His cross, and when He had reached it out to them, it lacerated their hands. They had asked they knew not what, nor how; but He had taken them at their word, and granted them all their petitions. They were hardly willing to follow so far, or to draw so nigh to Him. They had upon them an awe and fear, as Jacob at Bethel, or Eliphaz in the night visions, or as the apostles when they thought they had seen the spirit, and knew not that it was Jesus. They could almost pray Him to depart from them, or to hide His awefulness. They found it easier to obey than to suffer--to do than to give up--to bear the cross than to hang upon it: but they cannot go back, for they have come too near the unseen cross, and its virtues have pierced too deeply within them. He is fulfilling to them his promise, "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me. But now, at last, their turn is come. Before, they had only heard of the mystery, but now they feel it. He has fastened on them His look of love, as He did on Mary and Peter, and they cannot but choose to follow. Little by little, from time to time, by flitting gleams the mystery of His cross shines upon them. They behold Him lifted up--they gaze upon the glory which rays forth from the wound of His holy passion; and as they gaze, they advance, and are changed into His likeness, and His name shines out through them, for he dwells in them. They live alone with Him above, in unspeakable fellowship; willing to lack what others own, and to be unlike all, so that they are only like him. "Such are they in all ages who follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. Had they chosen for themselves, or their friends chosen for them, they would have chosen otherwise. They would have been brighter here, but less glorious in His kingdom. They would have had Lot's portion, not Abraham's. If they had halted anywhere--if He had taken off His hand, and let them stray back--what would they have lost? What forfeits in the morning of the resurrection? But He stayed them up, even against themselves. Many a time their foot had well-nigh slipped; but He, in mercy, held them up; now, even in this life, they know all he did was done well. It was good for them to suffer here, for they shall reign hereafter--to bear the cross below, for they shall wear the crown above; and that not their will but His was done on them.
Elizabeth Payson Prentiss
We have been waiting for an hour when we see a squad of German soldiers line up on the roadbed alongside the train. Next comes a column of people in civilian clothes. Surely they are Jews. All of them are rather well dressed, with suitcases in their hands as if departing peacefully on vacation. They climb aboard the train while a sergeant major keeps them moving along, “Schnell, schnell.” There are men and women of all ages, even children. Among them I see one of my former students, Jeanine Crémieux. She got married in 1941 and had a baby last spring. She is holding the infant in her left arm and a suitcase in her right hand. The first step is very high above the rocky roadbed. She puts the suitcase on the step and holds on with one hand to the doorjamb, but she can’t quite hoist herself up. The sergeant major comes running, hollers, and kicks her in the rear. Losing her balance, she screams as her baby falls to the ground, a pathetic little white wailing heap. I will never know if it was hurt, because my friends pulled me back and grabbed my hand just as I was about to shoot. Today I know what hate is, real hate, and I swear to myself that these acts will be paid for.
Lucie Aubrac (Outwitting the Gestapo)
More recently, Dallas Willard put it this way: Desire is infinite partly because we were made by God, made for God, made to need God, and made to run on God. We can be satisfied only by the one who is infinite, eternal, and able to supply all our needs; we are only at home in God. When we fall away from God, the desire for the infinite remains, but it is displaced upon things that will certainly lead to destruction.5 Ultimately, nothing in this life, apart from God, can satisfy our desires. Tragically, we continue to chase after our desires ad infinitum. The result? A chronic state of restlessness or, worse, angst, anger, anxiety, disillusionment, depression—all of which lead to a life of hurry, a life of busyness, overload, shopping, materialism, careerism, a life of more…which in turn makes us even more restless. And the cycle spirals out of control. To make a bad problem worse, this is exacerbated by our cultural moment of digital marketing from a society built around the twin gods of accumulation and accomplishment. Advertising is literally an attempt to monetize our restlessness. They say we see upward of four thousand ads a day, all designed to stoke the fire of desire in our bellies. Buy this. Do this. Eat this. Drink this. Have this. Watch this. Be this. In his book on the Sabbath, Wayne Muller opined, “It is as if we have inadvertently stumbled into some horrific wonderland.”6 Social media takes this problem to a whole new level as we live under the barrage of images—not just from marketing departments but from the rich and famous as well as our friends and family, all of whom curate the best moments of their lives. This ends up unintentionally playing to a core sin of the human condition that goes all the way back to the garden—envy. The greed for another person’s life and the loss of gratitude, joy, and contentment in our own.
John Mark Comer (The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry: How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World)
Sometimes he wakes so far from himself that he can't even remember who he is. 'Where am I?' he asks, desperate, and then, 'Who am I? Who am I?' "And then he hears, so close to his ear that it is as if the voice is originating inside his own head, Willem's whispered incantation. 'You're Jude St. Francis. You are my oldest, dearest friend. You're the son of Harold Stein and Julia Altman. You're the friend of Malcolm Irvine, Jean-Baptiste Marion, of Richard Goldfarb, of Andy Contractor, of Lucien Voigt, of Citizen van Straaten, of Rhodes Arrowsmith, of Elijah Kozma, of Phaedra de los Santos, of the Henry Youngs. "You're a New Yorker. You live in SoHo. You volunteer for an arts organization; you volunteer for a food kitchen. "You're a swimmer. You're a baker. You're a cook. You're a reader. You have a beautiful voice, though you never sing anymore. You're an excellent pianist. You're an art collector. You write me lovely messages when I'm away. You're patient. You're generous. You're the best listener I know. You're the smartest person I know, in every way. You're the bravest person I know, in every way. "You're a lawyer. You're the chair of the litigation department at Rosen Pritchard and Klein. You love your job, you work hard at it. "You're a mathematician. You're a logician. You've tried to teach me, again and again. "You were treated horribly. You came out on the other end. You were always you. "On and on Willem talks, chanting him back to himself, and in the daytime - sometimes days later - he remembers pieces of what Willem has said and holds them close to him, as much as for what he said as for what he didn't, for how he hadn't defined him. "But in the nighttime he is too terrified, he is too lost to recognize this. His panic is too real, too consuming. 'And who are you?' he asks, looking at the man who is holding him, who is describing someone he doesn't recognize, someone who seems to have so much, someone who seems like such an enviable, beloved person. 'Who are you?' "The man has an answer to this question as well. 'I'm Willem Ragnarsson,' he says. 'And I will never let you go.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Obviously, in those situations, we lose the sale. But we’re not trying to maximize each and every transaction. Instead, we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an Internet company is so focused on the telephone, when only about 5 percent of our sales happen through the telephone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory. The majority of phone calls don’t result in an immediate order. Sometimes a customer may be calling because it’s her first time returning an item, and she just wants a little help stepping through the process. Other times, a customer may call because there’s a wedding coming up this weekend and he wants a little fashion advice. And sometimes, we get customers who call simply because they’re a little lonely and want someone to talk to. I’m reminded of a time when I was in Santa Monica, California, a few years ago at a Skechers sales conference. After a long night of bar-hopping, a small group of us headed up to someone’s hotel room to order some food. My friend from Skechers tried to order a pepperoni pizza from the room-service menu, but was disappointed to learn that the hotel we were staying at did not deliver hot food after 11:00 PM. We had missed the deadline by several hours. In our inebriated state, a few of us cajoled her into calling Zappos to try to order a pizza. She took us up on our dare, turned on the speakerphone, and explained to the (very) patient Zappos rep that she was staying in a Santa Monica hotel and really craving a pepperoni pizza, that room service was no longer delivering hot food, and that she wanted to know if there was anything Zappos could do to help. The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused by the request, but she quickly recovered and put us on hold. She returned two minutes later, listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time. Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza. But I just think it’s a fun story to illustrate the power of not having scripts in your call center and empowering your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter how unusual or bizarre the situation. As for my friend from Skechers? After that phone call, she’s now a customer for life. Top 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company   1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.   2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.   3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.   4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.   5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell, and don’t use scripts.   6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.   7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.   8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.   9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service. 10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.
Tony Hsieh (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose)
Truly, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he has deceived you. The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his friends. One pays back a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar. And why will you not pluck at my wreath? You venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day col- lapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you! You say, you believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra! you are my believers: but of what account are all believers! You had not yet sought yourselves: then did you find me. So do all believers; therefore all belief is of so little account. Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me, will I return to you. Truly, with other eyes, my brothers, shall I then seek my lost ones; with another love shall I then love you. And once again shall you have become friends to me, and children of one hope: then will I be with you for the third time, to celebrate the great noontide with you. And it is the great noontide, when man is in the middle of his course between animal and overman, and celebrates his advance to the evening as his highest hope: for it is the advance to a new morning. At such time will the down-goer bless himself, that he should be an over-goer; and the sun of his knowledge will be at noontide. "Dead are all the Gods: now do we desire the overman to live." - Let this be our final will at the great noontide! - Thus spoke Zarathustra.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
Mr. Duffy Napp has just transmitted a nine-word e-mail asking that I immediately send a letter of reference to your firm on his behalf; his request has summoned from the basement of my heart a star-spangled constellation of joy, so eager am I to see Mr. Napp well established at Maladin IT. As for the basis of our acquaintanceship: I am a professor in an English department whose members consult Tech Help—aka Mr. Napp—only in moments of desperation. For example, let us imagine that a computer screen, on the penultimate page of a lengthy document, winks coyly, twice, and before the “save” button can be deployed, adopts a Stygian façade. In such a circumstance one’s only recourse—unpalatable though it may be—is to plead for assistance from a yawning adolescent who will roll his eyes at the prospect of one’s limited capabilities and helpless despair. I often imagine that in olden days people like myself would crawl to the doorway of Tech Help on our knees, bearing baskets of food, offerings of the harvest, the inner organs of neighbors and friends— all in exchange for a tenuous promise from these careless and inattentive gods that the thoughts we entrusted to our computers will be restored unharmed. Colleagues have warned me that the departure of Mr. Napp, our only remaining Tech Help employee, will leave us in darkness. I am ready. I have girded my loins and dispatched a secular prayer in the hope that, given the abysmal job market, a former mason or carpenter or salesman—someone over the age of twenty-five—is at this very moment being retrained in the subtle art of the computer and will, upon taking over from Mr. Napp, refrain (at least in the presence of anxious faculty seeking his or her help) from sending text messages or videos of costumed dogs to both colleagues and friends. I can almost imagine it: a person who would speak in full sentences—perhaps a person raised by a Hutterite grandparent on a working farm.
Julie Schumacher (Dear Committee Members)
The Poet" The riches of the poet are equal to his poetry His power is his left hand It is idle weak and precious His poverty is his wealth, a wealth which may destroy him like Midas Because it is that laziness which is a form of impatience And this he may be destroyed by the gold of the light which never was On land or sea. He may be drunken to death, draining the casks of excess That extreme form of success. He may suffer Narcissus' destiny Unable to live except with the image which is infatuation Love, blind, adoring, overflowing Unable to respond to anything which does not bring love quickly or immediately. ...The poet must be innocent and ignorant But he cannot be innocent since stupidity is not his strong point Therefore Cocteau said, "What would I not give To have the poems of my youth withdrawn from existence? I would give to Satan my immortal soul." This metaphor is wrong, for it is his immortal soul which he wished to redeem, Lifting it and sifting it, free and white, from the actuality of youth's banality, vulgarity, pomp and affectation of his early works of poetry. So too in the same way a Famous American Poet When fame at last had come to him sought out the fifty copies of his first book of poems which had been privately printed by himself at his own expense. He succeeded in securing 48 of the 50 copies, burned them And learned then how the last copies were extant, As the law of the land required, stashed away in the national capital, at the Library of Congress. Therefore he went to Washington, therefore he took out the last two copies Placed them in his pocket, planned to depart Only to be halted and apprehended. Since he was the author, Since they were his books and his property he was reproached But forgiven. But the two copies were taken away from him Thus setting a national precedent. For neither amnesty nor forgiveness is bestowed upon poets, poetry and poems, For William James, the lovable genius of Harvard spoke the terrifying truth: "Your friends may forget, God may forgive you, But the brain cells record your acts for the rest of eternity." What a terrifying thing to say! This is the endless doom, without remedy, of poetry. This is also the joy everlasting of poetry. Delmore Schwartz
Delmore Schwartz