You're never too young to die.
Anthony Horowitz (Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, #1))
The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm.
Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.
Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.
I'm too young, too smart and too good-looking to die.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
We all didn't come into to the world at the same time so it makes sense that we don't leave it at the same time.
Lurlene McDaniel (Too Young to Die (Melissa & Jory, #1))
No matter how old you are now. You are never too young or too old for success or going after what you want. Here’s a short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages
1) Helen Keller, at the age of 19 months, became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
2) Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he composed from the age of 5.
3) Shirley Temple was 6 when she became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.”
4) Anne Frank was 12 when she wrote the diary of Anne Frank.
5) Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster at the age of 13.
6) Nadia Comăneci was a gymnast from Romania that scored seven perfect 10.0 and won three gold medals at the Olympics at age 14.
7) Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama in November 1950, at the age of 15.
8) Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil.
9) Elvis was a superstar by age 19.
10) John Lennon was 20 years and Paul Mcartney was 18 when the Beatles had their first concert in 1961.
11) Jesse Owens was 22 when he won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936.
12) Beethoven was a piano virtuoso by age 23
13) Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica at age 24
14) Roger Bannister was 25 when he broke the 4 minute mile record
15) Albert Einstein was 26 when he wrote the theory of relativity
16) Lance E. Armstrong was 27 when he won the tour de France
17) Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta” by age 28
18) Alexander the Great, by age 29, had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world
19) J.K. Rowling was 30 years old when she finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter
20) Amelia Earhart was 31 years old when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean
21) Oprah was 32 when she started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind
22) Edmund Hillary was 33 when he became the first man to reach Mount Everest
23) Martin Luther King Jr. was 34 when he wrote the speech “I Have a Dream."
24) Marie Curie was 35 years old when she got nominated for a Nobel Prize in Physics
25) The Wright brothers, Orville (32) and Wilbur (36) invented and built the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight
26) Vincent Van Gogh was 37 when he died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions.
27) Neil Armstrong was 38 when he became the first man to set foot on the moon.
28) Mark Twain was 40 when he wrote "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", and 49 years old when he wrote "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
29) Christopher Columbus was 41 when he discovered the Americas
30) Rosa Parks was 42 when she refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger
31) John F. Kennedy was 43 years old when he became President of the United States
32) Henry Ford Was 45 when the Ford T came out.
33) Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote "The Hunger Games"
34) Charles Darwin was 50 years old when his book On the Origin of Species came out.
35) Leonardo Da Vinci was 51 years old when he painted the Mona Lisa.
36) Abraham Lincoln was 52 when he became president.
37) Ray Kroc Was 53 when he bought the McDonalds Franchise and took it to unprecedented levels.
38) Dr. Seuss was 54 when he wrote "The Cat in the Hat".
40) Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III was 57 years old when he successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived
41) Colonel Harland Sanders was 61 when he started the KFC Franchise
42) J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out
43) Ronald Reagan was 69 when he became President of the US
44) Jack Lalane at age 70 handcuffed, shackled, towed 70 rowboats
45) Nelson Mandela was 76 when he became President
Did you know I always thought you were braver than me? Did you ever guess that that was why I was so afraid? It wasn't that I only loved some of you. But I wondered if you could ever love more than some of me.
I knew I'd miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away, but it's all around me, and you're all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic.
The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn't yours and mine? It does to me. and I'm sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn't change it.
It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It's nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won't.
I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me - of all the particles that will spread everywhere - will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. and for you and me.
P.S. Please give my love to Tink. She was always such a funny little bug.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
You are so young, Lyra, too young to understand this, but I shall tell you anyway and you'll understand it later: men pass in front of our eyes like butterflies, creatures of a brief season. We love them; they are brave, proud, beautiful, clever; and they die almost at once. They die so soon that our hearts are continually racked with pain. We bear their children, who are witches if they are female, human if not; and then in the blink of an eye they are gone, felled, slain, lost. Our sons, too. When a little boy is growing, he thinks he is immortal. His mother knows he isn't. Each time becomes more painful, until finally your heart is broken. Perhaps that is when Yambe-Akka comes for you. She is older than the tundra. Perhaps, for her, witches' lives are as brief as men's are to us.
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
I know too well how dangerous hope can be, how it grows and sometimes dies, taking its host with it. It's more powerful than anything Dr.Fibs keeps in his labs, more precious than all the secrets inside Sublevel Two.
Ally Carter (Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4))
My dear Alicia, of what a mistake were you guilty in marrying a man of his age! Just old enough to be formal, ungovernable, and to have the gout; too old to be agreeable, too young to die.
Jane Austen (Lady Susan)
He stood staring into the wood for a minute, then said: "What is it about the English countryside — why is the beauty so much more than visual? Why does it touch one so?"
He sounded faintly sad. Perhaps he finds beauty saddening — I do myself sometimes. Once when I was quite little I asked father why this was and he explained that it was due to our knowledge of beauty's evanescence, which reminds us that we ourselves shall die. Then he said I was probably too young to understand him; but I understood perfectly.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
It has been remarked (by a lady infinitely cleverer than the present author) how kindly disposed the world in general feels to young people who either die or marry. Imagine then the interest that surrounded Miss Wintertowne! No young lady ever had such advantages before: for she died upon the Tuesday, was raised to life in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and was married upon the Thursday; which some people thought too much excitement for one week.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
Whatever we had is over. It died the minute I walked downstairs and realized the world I'd always known was a lie.- Blaire Wynn
Abbi Glines (Fallen Too Far (Rosemary Beach, #1; Too Far, #1))
Max," she said. He turned and briefly closed his eyes as the girl continued.
There was once a strange, small man,"she said. Her arms were loose but her hands were fists at her side. "But there was a word shaker,too."
One of the Jews on his way to Dachau had stopped walking now. He stood absolutely still as the others swerved morosely around him, leaving him completely alone. His eyes staggered, and it was so simple. The words were given across from the girl to the Jew. They climbed on to him.
The next time she spoke, the questions stumbled from her mouth. Hot tears fought for room in her eyes as she would not let them out. Better to stand resolute and proud. Let the words do all of it. "Is it really you? the young man asked," she said. " Is it from your cheek that I took the seed.?"
Max Vandenburg remained standing.
He did not drop to his knees.
People and Jews and clouds all stopped. They watched.
As he stood, Max looked first at the girl and then stared directly into the sky who was wide and blue and magnificent. There were heavy beams-- planks of son-- falling randomly, wonderfully to the road. Clouds arched their backs to look behind as they started again to move on. "It's such a beautiful day," he said, and his voice was in many pieces. A great day to die. A great day to die,like this.
Liesel walked at him. She was courageous enought to reach out and hold his bearded face. "Is it really you,Max?"
Such a brilliant German day and its attentive crowd.
He let his mouth kiss her palm. "Yes, Liesel, it's me," and he held the girl's hand in his face and cried onto her fingers. He cried as the soldiers came and a small collection of insolent Jews stood and watched.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
Seize the day or die regretting the time you lost
It's empty and cold without you here, too many people to ache over
I see my vision burn, I feel my memories fade with time
But I'm too young to worry
These's streets we traveled on will undergo our same lost past
What the hell am I? I thought. Too old to be a real teenager, too young to drink. Old enough to die in a war, fuck grown men, and be completely confused about what I was doing with my life.
Leah Raeder (Unteachable)
I never got to be in the driver’s seat of my own life,” she’d wept to me once, in the days after she learned she was going to die. “I always did what someone else wanted me to do. I’ve always been someone’s daughter or mother or wife. I’ve never just been me.” “Oh, Mom,” was all I could say as I stroked her hand. I was too young to say anything else.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
Soon after the completion of his college course, his whole nature was kindled into one intense and passionate effervescence of romantic passion. His hour came,—the hour that comes only once; his star rose in the horizon,—that star that rises so often in vain, to be remembered only as a thing of dreams; and it rose for him in vain. To drop the figure,—he saw and won the love of a high-minded and beautiful woman, in one of the northern states, and they were affianced. He returned south to make arrangements for their marriage, when, most unexpectedly, his letters were returned to him by mail, with a short note from her guardian, stating to him that ere this reached him the lady would be the wife of another. Stung to madness, he vainly hoped, as many another has done, to fling the whole thing from his heart by one desperate effort. Too proud to supplicate or seek explanation, he threw himself at once into a whirl of fashionable society, and in a fortnight from the time of the fatal letter was the accepted lover of the reigning belle of the season; and as soon as arrangements could be made, he became the husband of a fine figure, a pair of bright dark eyes, and a hundred thousand dollars; and, of course, everybody thought him a happy fellow.
The married couple were enjoying their honeymoon, and entertaining a brilliant circle of friends in their splendid villa, near Lake Pontchartrain, when, one day, a letter was brought to him in that well-remembered writing. It was handed to him while he was in full tide of gay and successful conversation, in a whole room-full of company. He turned deadly pale when he saw the writing, but still preserved his composure, and finished the playful warfare of badinage which he was at the moment carrying on with a lady opposite; and, a short time after, was missed from the circle. In his room,alone, he opened and read the letter, now worse than idle and useless to be read. It was from her, giving a long account of a persecution to which she had been exposed by her guardian's family, to lead her to unite herself with their son: and she related how, for a long time, his letters had ceased to arrive; how she had written time and again, till she became weary and doubtful; how her health had failed under her anxieties, and how, at last, she had discovered the whole fraud which had been practised on them both. The letter ended with expressions of hope and thankfulness, and professions of undying affection, which were more bitter than death to the unhappy young man. He wrote to her immediately:
I have received yours,—but too late. I believed all I heard. I was desperate. I am married, and all is over. Only forget,—it is all that remains for either of us."
And thus ended the whole romance and ideal of life for Augustine St. Clare. But the real remained,—the real, like the flat, bare, oozy tide-mud, when the blue sparkling wave, with all its company of gliding boats and white-winged ships, its music of oars and chiming waters, has gone down, and there it lies, flat, slimy, bare,—exceedingly real.
Of course, in a novel, people's hearts break, and they die, and that is the end of it; and in a story this is very convenient. But in real life we do not die when all that makes life bright dies to us.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
It may seem to you that your life is over now. Your future without the person you love is no future at all.
Death is a head-on collision with your plans.
But everything in life--the gold fillings of your teeth, the cotton of your sheets, the air you breathe, all the food you will ever eat--everything there is was born from a collision.
Inside every single thing that lives is a debt to a distant star that died.
Nothing new is ever created without one thing colliding into another.
And something new is created when the person you love dies.
Because they are not the only ones who die: you die, too. The person you were when you were with them is gone just as surely as they are.
This is what you should know about losing somebody you love. They do not travel alone. You go with them.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
To get through the night, I sometimes imagined the sky filled with a canopy of stars. I imagined that each star contained the soul of a girl or boy who had died too young, and the light the stars gave off was their brightness.
Jill Bialosky (History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life)
I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
When he was young, he had thought love had something to do with understanding, but with age he knew that no human being understood another. Love was the wish to understand, and presently with constant failure the wish died, and love died too perhaps or changed into this painful affection, loyalty, pity…
Graham Greene (The Heart of the Matter)
If then you do not make yourself equal to God, you cannot apprehend God; for like is known by like.
Leap clear of all that is corporeal, and make yourself grown to a like expanse with that greatness which is beyond all measure; rise above all time and become eternal; then you will apprehend God. Think that for you too nothing is impossible; deem that you too are immortal, and that you are able to grasp all things in your thought, to know every craft and science; find your home in the haunts of every living creature; make yourself higher than all heights and lower than all depths; bring together in yourself all opposites of quality, heat and cold, dryness and fluidity; think that you are everywhere at once, on land, at sea, in heaven; think that you are not yet begotten, that you are in the womb, that you are young, that you are old, that you have died, that you are in the world beyond the grave; grasp in your thought all of this at once, all times and places, all substances and qualities and magnitudes together; then you can apprehend God.
But if you shut up your soul in your body, and abase yourself, and say “I know nothing, I can do nothing; I am afraid of earth and sea, I cannot mount to heaven; I know not what I was, nor what I shall be,” then what have you to do with God?
Hermes Trismegistus (Hermetica: The Greek Corpus Hermeticum and the Latin Asclepius)
And what do you leave behind? .... Who do you leave with only memories of you? How many hearts do you break when you risk too much and die too young?
Shannon Delany (Secrets and Shadows (13 to Life, #2))
He was a good man... No. He was a great man. A maester of the Citadel, chained and sworn, and Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch, ever faithful. When he was born they named him for a hero who had died too young, but though he lived a long long time, his own life was no less heroic. No man was wiser, or gentler, or kinder. At the Wall, a dozen lords commander came and went during his years of service, but he was always there to counsel them. He counseled kings as well. He could have been a king himself, but when they offered him the crown he told them they should give it to his younger brother. How many men would do that? He was the blood of the dragon, but now his fire has gone out. He was Aemon Targaryen. And now his watch is ended.
George R.R. Martin (A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, #4))
I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Young people," McDonald said contemptuously. "You always think there's something to find out."
"Yes, sir," Andrews said.
"Well, there's nothing," McDonald said. "You get born, and you nurse on lies, and you get weaned on lies, and you learn fancier lies in school. You live all your life on lies, and then maybe when you're ready to die, it comes to you — that there's nothing, nothing but yourself and what you could have done. Only you ain't done it, because the lies told you there was something else. Then you know you could of had the world, because you're the only one that knows the secret; only then it's too late. You're too old."
"No," Andrews said. A vague terror crept from the darkness that surrounded them, and tightened his voice. "That's not the way it is."
"You ain't learned, then," McDonald said. "You ain't learned yet. . . .
John Williams (Butcher's Crossing)
Zhi yin. Jem had told her once that it meant understanding music, and also a bond that went deeper than friendship. Jem played, and he played the years of Will's life as he had seen them. He played two little boys in the training room, one showing the other how to throw knives, and he played the ritual of parabatai: the fire and the vows and burning runes. He played two young men running through the streets of London in the dark, stopping to lean up against a wall and laugh together. He played the day in the library when he and Will had jested with Tessa about ducks, and he played the train to Yorkshire on which Jem had said that parabatai were meant to love each other as they loved their own souls. He played that love, and he played their love for Tessa, and hers for them, and he played Will saying, In your eyes I have always found grace. He played the too few times he had seen them since he had joined the Brotherhood- the brief meetings at the Institute; the time when Will had been bitten by a Shax demon and nearly died, and Jem had come from the Silent City and sat with him all night, risking discovery and punishment. And he played the birth of their first son, and the protection ceremony that had been carried out on the child in the Silent City. Will would have no other Silent Brother but Jem perform it. And Jem played the way he had covered his scarred face with his hands and turned away when he'd found out the child's name was James.
He played of love and loss and years of silence, words unsaid and vows unspoken, and all the spaces between his heart and theirs; and when he was done, and he'd set the violin back in its box, Will's eyes were closed, but Tessa's were full of tears. Jem set down his bow, and came toward the bed, drawing back his hood, so she could see his closed eyes and his scarred face. And he had sat down beside them on the bed, and taken Will's hand, the one that Tessa was not holding, and both Will and Tessa heard Jem's voice in their minds.
I take your hand, brother, so that you may go in peace.
Will had opened the blue eyes that had never lost their color over all the passing years, and looked at Jem and then Tessa, and smiled, and died, with Tessa's head on his shoulder and his hand in Jem's.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Don't ever do that to me again. I'm too young to die of a heart attack." (...)
"I would say claiming you're too young is a bit debatable, don't you think?"
The German tilted his head up and cursed something low and long in German. "You were brought to this planet to give me an ulcer, weren't you?
Mariana Zapata (Kulti)
It had been June, the bright hot summer of 1937, and with the curtains thrown back the bedroom had been full of sunlight, sunlight and her and Will's children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews- Cecy's blue eyed boys, tall and handsome, and Gideon and Sophie's two girls- and those who were as close as family: Charlotte, white- haired and upright, and the Fairchild sons and daughters with their curling red hair like Henry's had once been.
The children had spoken fondly of the way he had always loved their mother, fiercely and devotedly, the way he had never had eyes for anyone else, and how their parents had set the model for the sort of love they hoped to find in their own lives. They spoke of his regard for books, and how he had taught them all to love them too, to respect the printed page and cherish the stories that those pages held. They spoke of the way he still cursed in Welsh when he dropped something, though he rarely used the language otherwise, and of the fact that though his prose was excellent- he had written several histories of the Shadowhunters when he's retired that had been very well respected- his poetry had always been awful, though that never stopped him from reciting it.
Their oldest child, James, had spoken laughingly about Will's unrelenting fear of ducks and his continual battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire.
Their grandchildren had reminded him of the song about demon pox he had taught them- when they were much too young, Tessa had always thought- and that they had all memorized. They sang it all together and out of tune, scandalizing Sophie.
With tears running down her face, Cecily had reminded him of the moment at her wedding to Gabriel when he had delivered a beautiful speech praising the groom, at the end of which he had announced, "Dear God, I thought she was marrying Gideon. I take it all back," thus vexing not only Cecily and Gabriel but Sophie as well- and Will, though too tired to laugh, had smiled at his sister and squeezed her hand.
They had all laughed about his habit of taking Tessa on romantic "holidays" to places from Gothic novels, including the hideous moor where someone had died, a drafty castle with a ghost in it, and of course the square in Paris in which he had decided Sydney Carton had been guillotined, where Will had horrified passerby by shouting "I can see the blood on the cobblestones!" in French.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Thinking like a Mountain
We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes - something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.…I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf's job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.
Aldo Leopold (A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There)
I’m too young, too smart, and too good-looking to die. Yeah, and then some. The world needed him to improve the gene pool. Not to mention, at fourteen he hadn’t even had his first date yet. He’d only just, this night, had his first kiss. He should have recognized that alone as a sign that the apocalypse was coming and that his death was imminent.’ – Nick
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
I can't believe
no one else can hear
I am screaming
inside my head.
Things are moving too fast.
I am going to die.
I am going to die.
I am going to die.
My hands are shaking.
I try to squeeze them, try to make it stop,
but now my fists are shaking,
and this shaking is working it's way through me.
It must look like I am having a fit.
I want to let the scream out,
but I think if I start,
I'll never stop.
It's not supposed to be like this.
I am too young to die.
I don't know how to make this end,
and if it doesn't, I'll have to go to the hospital,
be medicated, force-fed soft foods.
I don't want to be that person.
I am not that person.
I am not.
I am not.
Samantha Schutz (I Don't Want To Be Crazy)
I think about your sister a lot. I think about Will too. When people we love die young it’s a nudge, reminding us that we shouldn’t take any of it for granted, that we have a duty to make the most of what we have. I feel like I finally get that.
Jojo Moyes (Still Me (Me Before You #3))
Ahhh-ahh! I'm so sorry! You were right! I am not the box of tomatoes fairies at all! It was all lies, lies, LIES! Please don't shoot me! I'm too young to die, and what if I don't die and but am just mortally wounded and forced to lie there in misery in a pool of my own blood?! Please, I'll do anything--well, I mean within reason-- I don't want to diiiiiiie!"
-Italy's "I don't want to die" rant part one
It was dangerous to go back, at least for him, to even think of those days when he was too young and had no way to save the dying. He could only whisper to them, tell them not to be afraid, and that someday, he would avenge them.
Christine Feehan (Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2))
Their young live were over, too, except they had to die everyday while still breathing.
Terry McMillan (Getting to Happy (Waiting To Exhale #2))
When a mother dies too young, something inside her daughter always feels incomplete. There’s a missing piece she continues to look for, an emptiness she keeps trying to fill. The
Hope Edelman (Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss)
They were all too young to die and always would be.
Paulette Jiles (Simon the Fiddler)
I know too well how dangerous hope can be, how it grows and sometimes dies, taking its host with it.
Ally Carter (Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4))
And when I look around the apartment where I now am,—when I see Charlotte’s apparel lying before me, and Albert’s writings, and all those articles of furniture which are so familiar to me, even to the very inkstand which I am using,—when I think what I am to this family—everything. My friends esteem me; I often contribute to their happiness, and my heart seems as if it could not beat without them; and yet—if I were to die, if I were to be summoned from the midst of this circle, would they feel—or how long would they feel—the void which my loss would make in their existence? How long! Yes, such is the frailty of man, that even there, where he has the greatest consciousness of his own being, where he makes the strongest and most forcible impression, even in the memory, in the heart of his beloved, there also he must perish,—vanish,—and that quickly.
I could tear open my bosom with vexation to think how little we are capable of influencing the feelings of each other. No one can communicate to me those sensations of love, joy, rapture, and delight which I do not naturally possess; and though my heart may glow with the most lively affection, I cannot make the happiness of one in whom the same warmth is not inherent.
Sometimes I don’t understand how another can love her, is allowed to love her, since I love her so completely myself, so intensely, so fully, grasp nothing, know nothing, have nothing but her!
I possess so much, but my love for her absorbs it all. I possess so much, but without her I have nothing.
One hundred times have I been on the point of embracing her. Heavens! what a torment it is to see so much loveliness passing and repassing before us, and yet not dare to lay hold of it! And laying hold is the most natural of human instincts. Do not children touch everything they see? And I!
Witness, Heaven, how often I lie down in my bed with a wish, and even a hope, that I may never awaken again! And in the morning, when I open my eyes, I behold the sun once more, and am wretched. If I were whimsical, I might blame the weather, or an acquaintance, or some personal disappointment, for my discontented mind; and then this insupportable load of trouble would not rest entirely upon myself. But, alas! I feel it too sadly; I am alone the cause of my own woe, am I not? Truly, my own bosom contains the source of all my pleasure. Am I not the same being who once enjoyed an excess of happiness, who at every step saw paradise open before him, and whose heart was ever expanded towards the whole world? And this heart is now dead; no sentiment can revive it. My eyes are dry; and my senses, no more refreshed by the influence of soft tears, wither and consume my brain. I suffer much, for I have lost the only charm of life: that active, sacred power which created worlds around me,—it is no more. When I look from my window at the distant hills, and behold the morning sun breaking through the mists, and illuminating the country around, which is still wrapped in silence, whilst the soft stream winds gently through the willows, which have shed their leaves; when glorious Nature displays all her beauties before me, and her wondrous prospects are ineffectual to extract one tear of joy from my withered heart,—I feel that in such a moment I stand like a reprobate before heaven, hardened, insensible, and unmoved. Oftentimes do I then bend my knee to the earth, and implore God for the blessing of tears, as the desponding labourer in some scorching climate prays for the dews of heaven to moisten his parched corn.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (The Sorrows of Young Werther)
But now I gotta pay,' he said.
For my sin. That's why I'm here, right? Justice?'
The Blue Man smiled. 'No, Edward. You are here so I can teach you something. All the people you meet here have one thing to teach you...That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more seperate a breeze from the wind.'
...'It was my stupidity, running out there like that. Why should you have to die on account of me? It ain't fair.'
The Blue Man held out his hand. 'Fairness,' he said, 'does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young...Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should?
It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed.
You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole.'
... 'I still don't understand,' Eddie whispered. 'What good came from your death?'
You lived,' the Blue Man answered.
But we barely knew each other. I might as well have been a stranger.'
The Blue Man put his arms on Eddie's shoulders. Eddie felt that warm, melting sensation.
Strangers,' the Blue Man said, 'are just family have yet to come to know.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
...These guys totally agree that you're smokin' hot but think you're too young-"
"That means 'flat-chested'. Excuse me. I have to go somewhere and die of embarrassment
Gail Giles (Dark Song)
It doesn t require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder and if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed it won t be U.S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the Senate.
George S. McGovern
The die was cast. It was a proud day for the Milligan family as I was taken from the house. "I'm too young to go," I screamed as Military Policemen dragged me from my pram, clutching a dummy. At Victoria Station the R.T.O. gave me a travel warrant, a white feather and a picture of Hitler marked "This is your enemy." I searched every compartment, but he wasn't on the train. At 4.30, June 2nd, 1940, on a summer's day all mare's tails and blue sky we arrived at Bexhill-on-Sea, where I got off. It wasn't easy. The train didn't stop there.
Spike Milligan (Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall (War Memoirs, #1))
What I will tell you, son of sons, is this: shortly, if not already, you will begin noticing the blackness inside us all. You will develop black secrets and commit black actions. You will be shocked at the insensitivities and transgressions you are capable of, yet you will be unable to stop them. And by the time you are thirty, your friends will all have black secrets, too, but it will be years before you learn exactly *what* their black secrets are. Life at that point will become like throwing a Frisbee in a graveyard; much of the pleasure of your dealings with your friends will stem from the contrast between your sparkling youth and the ink you now know lies at your feet.
Later, as you get to be my age, you will see your friends begin to die, to lose their memories, to see their skins turn wrinkled and sick. You will see the effects of dark secrets making themslves know - via their minds and bodies and via the stories your friends - yes, Harmony, Gaia, Mei-lin, Davidson, and the rest - will begin telling you at three-thirty in the morning as you put iodine on their bruises, arrange for tetanus shots, dial 911, and listen to them cry. The only payback for all of this - for the conversion of their once-young hearts into tar - will be that you will love your friends more, even though they have made you see the universe as an emptier and scarier place - and they will love you more, too.
Douglas Coupland (Shampoo Planet)
You too, you took an interest in the world. That was long ago. I want you to cast your mind back to then. The domain of the rules was no longer enough for you; you were unable to love any longer in the domain of the rules; so you had to enter into the domain of the struggle. I ask you to go back to that precise moment. It was long ago, no? Cast your mind back: the water was cold.
You are far from the edge, now. Oh yes! How far from the edge you are! You long believed in the existence of another shore; such is no longer the case. You go on swimming, though, and every movement you make brings you closer to drowning. You are suffocating, your lungs are on fire. The water seems colder and colder to you, more and more galling. You aren't that young anymore. Now you are going to die. Don't worry. I am here. I won't let you sink. Go on with your reading.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
my father always said, “early to bed and
early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy
it was lights out at 8 p.m. in our house
and we were up at dawn to the smell of
coffee, frying bacon and scrambled
my father followed this general routine
for a lifetime and died young, broke,
and, I think, not too
taking note, I rejected his advice and it
became, for me, late to bed and late
now, I’m not saying that I’ve conquered
the world but I’ve avoided
numberless early traffic jams, bypassed some
and have met some strange, wonderful
one of whom
myself—someone my father
I’ve had a lot of sucks in life
My parents died almost four years ago, right after I turned seven
With every day that goes by I remember them less and less
Like my mom…I remember that she used to sing.
She was always happy,
Other than what I’ve seen of her in pictures, I don’t really remember what she looks like.
Or what she smells like
Or what she sounds like
And my Dad
I remember more things about him, but only because I thought he was the most amazing man in the world.
He was smart. He knew the answer to everything.
And he was strong.
And he played the guitar.
I used to love lying in bed at night, listening to the music coming from the living room.
I miss that the most.
After they died, I went to live with my grandma and grandpaul.
Don’t get me wrong…I love my grandparents.
But I loved my home even more.
It reminded me of them.
Of my mom and dad.
My brother had just started college the year they died.
He knew how much I wanted to be home.
He knew how much it meant to me,
so he made it happen.
I was only seven at the time, so I let him do it.
I let him give up his entire life just so I could be home.
Just so I wouldn’t be so sad.
If I could do it all over again, I would have never let him take me.
He deserved a shot, too. A shot at being young.
But sometimes when you’re seven, the world isn’t in 3-D.
I owe a lot to my brother.
A lot of ‘thank you’d’
A lot of ‘I’m sorry’s’
A lot of ‘I love you’s’
I owe a lot to you, Will
For making the sucks in my life a little less suckier
And my sweet?
My sweet is right now.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
I died last night. Seventy years too young.
His mother’s memory tore at his heart because she had died loving him, when he was too young and selfish to love her in return,
George Orwell (1984)
I have a fire under my feet. Ha! Try to put the flames out if you want. The blaze is too strong for anyone who cannot take the heat.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dying on The Inside and Suffocating on The Outside)
It seems like you are used to blowing down my house of cards that I carefully built. I isolate myself and cried a lot of tears because of you. My heart has been battered and broken too many times because of you. Honestly, my self-esteem is shot down as low as I can go because of you.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dying on The Inside and Suffocating on The Outside)
Your accomplishments are important too, but they are things that you’ve worked on for quite some time and completed. However, your trying times are the ones that come out of nowhere, and you have to make a decision right away to give in or thrive.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dying on The Inside and Suffocating on The Outside)
I thought I was going to die right there on the spot. I've never heard anything so terrible in my whole life. I hope she is wrong and I never get a period. I am eleven years old and entirely too young to hear about it. Can you imagine my mother not knowing what Kotex are for and dusting the house with them? Well, her mother can just tell her what they are for. I'm not getting into the facts of life. I haven't heard one fact of life I like yet.
Fannie Flagg (Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man)
Storytelling itself is an activity, not an object. Stories are the closest we can come to shared experience….Like all stories, they are most fundamentally a chance to ride around inside another head and be reminded that being who we are and where we are, and doing what we’re doing, is not the only possibility. —Harriet McBryde Johnson,
Too Late to Die Young: Nearly True Tales from a Life (2006)
Alice Wong (Disability Visibility : First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century)
The master says it's a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it's a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there's anyone in the world who would like us to live. My brothers are dead and my sister is dead and I wonder if they died for Ireland or the Faith. Dad says they were too young to die for anything. Mam says it was disease and starvation and him never having a job. Dad says, Och, Angela, puts on his cap and goes for a long walk
You dont have to know a soul to know what I know --- to expect what I'm expecting --- to feel yourself alive and dying in your chest every minute of the livelong day --- When you're young you wanta cry, when you're old you wanta die. But that's too deep for you now, Ti mon Pousse
Jack Kerouac (Maggie Cassidy)
If You Knew
What if you knew you'd be the last
to touch someone?
If you were taking tickets, for example,
at the theater, tearing them,
giving back the ragged stubs,
you might take care to touch that palm
brush your fingertips
along the lifeline's crease.
When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase
too slowly through the airport, when
the car in front of me doesn't signal,
when the clerk at the pharmacy
won't say thank you, I don't remember
they're going to die.
A friend told me she'd been with her aunt.
They'd just had lunch and the waiter,
a young gay man with plum black eyes,
joked as he served the coffee, kissed
her aunt's powdered cheek when they left.
Then they walked half a block and her aunt
dropped dead on the sidewalk.
How close does the dragon's spume
have to come? How wide does the crack
in heaven have to split?
What would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?
Ellen Bass (The Human Line)
The older you get, the deadlier you have to be and you use age to your advantage. You make it a strenght. Most of us are more dangerous the longer we live. If we didn't care about dying when we were young, we're not going to be too concerned about it when we have two feet in our grave.
Lorenzo Carcaterra (Gangster)
Showing up at a restaurant and hoping for the best is a young person’s game. If I’m going out, I need to know that there is a table with my name on it and a comfortable seat pulled up to it. I’m too old to hover anxiously near the door, sweating under my coat in my good outside clothes, watching people who actually planned ahead be ushered to their awaiting tables and served the foods I am dying to eat.
Samantha Irby (Wow, No Thank You.)
I’m too young to die.”
“Yeah, and I’m too well known.”
-Droma and Han Solo
James Luceno (Hero's Trial (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, #4))
He can’t understand that what I’ve done was to ensure his safety. He thinks I’m a monster. A burden that he has to endure. A danger to the family. He wants nothing to do with me and avoids me. When he can’t avoid me he has a look in his eye that I know well, and the look says, ‘Why won’t she die? Why won’t she just die?’ I’m like that room upstairs; he just wants to close the door and forget any of it happened. He wants to close the door so eventually, like our mother, I’ll become the beautiful woman that died too young and nothing more. All my sins will be forgotten and hidden, locked away never to be spoken of again
Angelique Jones (Michael (The Family #5))
He was a baby once. He must have been sweet and clean and his mother kissed his little pink toes. Maybe when it thundered at night she came to his crib and fixed his blanket better and whispered that he mustn't be afraid, that mother was here. Then she picked him up and put her cheek on his head and said that he was her own sweet baby. He might have been a boy like my brother, running in and out of the house and slamming the door. And while his mother scolded him she was thinking that maybe he'll be president some day. Then he was a young man, strong and happy. When he walked down the street, the girls smiled and turned to watch him. He smiled back and maybe he winked at the prettiest one. I guess he must have married and had children and they thought he was the most wonderful papa in the world the way he worked hard and bought them toys for Christmas. Now his children are getting old too, like him, and they have children and nobody wants the old man any more and they are waiting for him to die. But he don't want to die. He wants to keep living even though he's so old and there's nothing to be happy about anymore.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
She said to me, over the phone
She wanted to see other people
I thought, Well then, look around. They're everywhere
Said that she was confused...
I thought, Darling, join the club
24 years old, Mid-life crisis
Nowadays hits you when you're young
I hung up, She called back, I hung up again
The process had already started
At least it happened quick
I swear, I died inside that night
My friend, he called
I didn't mention a thing
The last thing he said was, Be sound
I contemplated an awful thing, I hate to admit
I just thought those would be such appropriate last words
But I'm still here
So small.. How could this struggle seem so big?
While the palms in the breeze still blow green
And the waves in the sea still absolute blue
But the horror
Every single thing I see is a reminder of her
Never thought I'd curse the day I met her
And since she's gone and wouldn't hear
Who would care? What good would that do?
But I'm still here
So I imagine in a month...or 12
I'll be somewhere having a drink
Laughing at a stupid joke
Or just another stupid thing
And I can see myself stopping short
Drifting out of the present
Sucked by the undertow and pulled out deep
And there I am, standing
Wet grass and white headstones all in rows
And in the distance there's one, off on its own
So I stop, kneel
My new home...
And I picture a sober awakening, a re-entry into this little bar scene
Sip my drink til the ice hits my lip
Order another round
And that's it for now
Never been too good at happy endings...
No, it really isn't, but trust me, getting divorced and having to start over is the least in life that isn't fair. I had to watch the parents of a way too young girl realize that their daughter died for no other reason than people can't figure out how to be nice to each other. It isn't that hard, just be nice and people might not have to suffer needlessly, but that isn't the world we live in, so young girls die. That isn't fair, Mom. People falling out of love is vicious and it sucks, but there are far worse things you could be going through. I know that sounds harsh but it's very true.
Jay Crownover (Nash (Marked Men, #4))
Do not cry to me. I can only cry with you. I will not die for you. I am still too young in the meaning of love. Talk to the Fool, to the one who left a throne to enter an anthill. He will enter your shadow. It cannot taint HIm. He has done it before. His holiness is not fragile. It burns like a father to the sun. Touch His skin, put your hand in His side. He has kept His scars when He did not have to. Give Him your pain and watch it overwhelmed, burned away in the joy He takes in loving. In stooping.
I gave you too much power because I always yearned for your love, but I guess the love card wasn’t meant for me to have in my life. I always thought I was dealt a bad hand because that card never appeared in the deck.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dying on The Inside and Suffocating on The Outside)
For there is merely bad luck in not being loved; there is misfortune in not loving. All of us, today, are dying of this misfortune. For violence and hatred dry up the heart itself; the long fight for justice exhausts the love that nevertheless gave birth to it. In the clamor in which we live, love is impossible and justice does not suffice. This is why Europe hates daylight and is only able to set injustice up against injustice. But in order to keep justice from shriveling up like a beautiful orange fruit containing nothing but a bitter, dry pulp, I discovered once more at Tipasa that one must keep intact in oneself a freshness, a cool wellspring of joy, love the day that escapes injustice, and return to combat having won that light. Here I recaptured the former beauty, a young sky, and I measured my luck, realizing at last that in the worst years of our madness the memory of that sky had never left me. This was what in the end had kept me from despairing. I had always known that the ruins of Tipasa were younger than our new constructions or our bomb damage. There the world began over again every day in an ever new light. O light! This is the cry of all the characters of ancient drama brought face to face with their fate. This last resort was ours, too, and I knew it now. In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.
We hadn’t spoken one word to each other since the death glare last night, and I couldn’t help but check both of her hands for knives and shivs, hoping that if she had one, I would be able to wrestle it away from her before meeting my untimely death.
I was far too young and fun to die at the hands of my mother, and she was way too pretty to end up in prison. It would only take a matter of minutes for her to become someone’s bitch, and I didn’t want the responsibility for that kind of thing on my shoulders.
Laurel Ulen Curtis (A is for Alpha Male (A is for Alpha Male, #1))
Here was intellectual life, he thought, and here was beauty, warm and wonderful as he had never dreamed it could be. He forgot himself and stared at her with hungry eyes. Here was something to live for, to win to, to fight for—ay, and die for. The books were true. There were such women in the world. She was one of them. She lent wings to his imagination, and great, luminous canvases spread themselves before him whereon loomed vague, gigantic figures of love and romance, and of heroic deeds for woman’s sake—for a pale woman, a flower of gold. And through the swaying, palpitant vision, as through a fairy mirage, he stared at the real woman, sitting there and talking of literature and art. He listened as well, but he stared, unconscious of the fixity of his gaze or of the fact that all that was essentially masculine in his nature was shining in his eyes. But she, who knew little of the world of men, being a woman, was keenly aware of his burning eyes. She had never had men look at her in such fashion, and it embarrassed her. She stumbled and halted in her utterance. The thread of argument slipped from her. He frightened her, and at the same time it was strangely pleasant to be so looked upon. Her training warned her of peril and of wrong, subtle, mysterious, luring; while her instincts rang clarion-voiced through her being, impelling her to hurdle caste and place and gain to this traveller from another world, to this uncouth young fellow with lacerated hands and a line of raw red caused by the unaccustomed linen at his throat, who, all too evidently, was soiled and tainted by ungracious existence. She was clean, and her cleanness revolted; but she was woman, and she was just beginning to learn the paradox of woman.
Jack London (Martin Eden)
She was left to beg for mercy only to burn in torment again the next day. She was a weed struggling through cracks of concrete, unwanted, undesired, crushed and abused under trampling feet. She would never see the sun. She would never be free. She would always be a solitary candle in the dark, cold without a flame to warm it, forever peering out at the world through a laminated sheet of glass too thick to penetrate. When she died, if she was ever allowed, no one would ever know. She would pass a faded ghost of a girl abandoned by all.
Airicka Phoenix (Touching Eternity (Touch, #1.5))
The monsters crawling through our heads. All the darkness and evil that others perpetrate upon us, all the things we cannot control because we are too young to stop them-they have all stayed with us through the years, waiting in the wings for us to sink to our lowest. Then they leap, ghuls on a dying victim.
Sabaa Tahir (A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2))
My darling Julie, I know you'll never see this letter, but it helps to write to you every day. It keeps you close to me. G-d, I miss you so. You haunt every hour of my life. I wish I'd never met you. No-I don't mean that! What good would my life be without my memories of you to make me smile.
I keep wondering if you're happy. I want you to be. I want you to have a glorious life. That's why I couldn't say the things I knew you wanted to hear when we were together. I was afraid if I did, you'd wait for me for years. I knew you wanted me to say I loved you. Not saying that to you was the only unselfish thing I did in Colorado, and I now I regret even that.
I love you, Julie. Christ, I love you so much. I'd give up all my life to have one year with you. Six months. Three. Anything.
You stole my heart in just a few days, darling, but you gave me your heart, too. I know you did- I could see it in your eyes every time you looked at me.
I don't regret the loss of my freedom any more or rage at the injustice of the years I spent in prison. Now, my only regret is that I can't have you. You're young, and I know you'll forget about me quickly and go on with your own life. That's exactly what you should do. It's what you must do. I want you to do that, Julie.
That's such a lousy lie. What I really want is to see you again, to hold you in my arms, to make love to you over and over again until I've filled you so completely that there's no room left inside of you for anyone but me, ever. I never thought of sexual intercourse as 'making love' until you. You never knew that.
I wish I had time to write you a better letter or that I'd kept one of the others I've written so I could send that instead. They were all much more coherent than this one. I won't send another letter to you, so don't watch for one. Letters will make us both hope and dream, and if I don't stop doing that, I will die of wanting you.
Before I go--I see from the newspapers that Costner has a new movie coming out in the States. If you dare to start fantasizing over Kevin after you see it, I will haunt you for the rest of your life.
I love you, Julie. I loved in Colorado. I love you here, where I am. I will always love you. Everywhere. Always.
Judith McNaught (Perfect (Second Opportunities, #2))
Somewhere, at some indefinable point, he'd crossed a bridge and the bridge had crumbled behind him. There was no going back. He cared for Lady Phoebe Batten more than anything else in life. More than his family. More than his honor.
More than his freedom, should it come to that.
Bringing her joy was worth more than any amount of money. He knew--without doubt, without fear--that he would kill for her.
That he would die for her.
It was almost a relief, this realization. He might fight intellectually against it, using all those well-worn arguments: he was too old, she was too young, they were too far apart in class, but it simply didn't matter. His heart performed a
coup d'état over his mind and there was nothing more to be done about it.
He loved Phoebe Batter, now and forevermore.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Dearest Rogue (Maiden Lane, #8))
We retire too early and we die too young, our prime of life should be in the 70's and old age should not come until we are almost 100.
Joseph H. Pilates
You might say that is “too young” to die. But what is too young for a life?
Mitch Albom (The Next Person You Meet in Heaven)
everyone lives until they’re old,” I argued, knowing it was all too true. Gram didn’t blink. “Not everyone dies young.
Laurel Ulen Curtis (Hate: A Love Story)
too young to live, too old to die
Jeffrey Rasley (Island Adventures: Disconnecting in the Caribbean and South Pacific)
This is why he never took these jobs anymore, Wes realized. It was too much-he couldn't save everybody-he couldn't even keep his solders alive, let alone in a line. Daran was lost, and while he was a jerk and a lowlife, he had still entrusted his life to Wes and Wes had failed him. He couldn't keep doing this, there were so many . . .and he was too young to watch so many kids die. Now he was being asked to save a few more . . . for what? So he could watch them starve?
Melissa de la Cruz (Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1))
How many times in the past three months have I been reminded of Ruby's two selves, the careful courteous young woman who spoke so sweetly to strangers and the person she let loose at home, where she was safe, where she could be spiky and harsh and uncertain and at sea? I have two selves now, too, the one that goes out in the world and says what sound like the right things and nods and listens and sometimes even smiles, and the real woman, who watches her in wonder, who is nothing but a wound, a wound that will not stop throbbing except when it is anesthetized. I know what the world wants: It wants me to heal. But to heal I would have to forget, and if I forget my family truly dies.
Anna Quindlen (Every Last One)
Sisters forever,” Violetta declared, in her tiny, young voice.
Until death, even in death, even beyond.
“I love you,” Violetta says, hanging fiercely on to me even as my strength dies.
I love you too. I lean against her, exhausted. “Violetta,” I murmur. I feel strange, delirious, as if a fever had wrapped me in a dream. Words emerge, faint and ethereal, from someone who reminds me of myself, but I can no longer be sure I am still here.
Am I good? I am trying to ask her.
Tears fall from Violetta’s eyes. She says nothing. Perhaps she can no longer hear me. I am small in this moment, turning smaller. My lips can barely move.
After a lifetime of darkness, I want to leave something behind that is made of light.
Both of her hands cup my face. Violetta stares at me with a look of determination, and then she brings me to her and hugs me close. “You are a light,” she replies gently. “And when you shine, you shine bright.
Marie Lu (The Midnight Star (The Young Elites, #3))
There’s a young man with a gun.
Young man lost his honey
When she took it on the run.
She took it on the run!
Left her baby lonely
But he baby ain’t done.
The wind’ll blow ya through.
Ya gotta go where ka’s wind blows ya
Cause there’s nothin else to do.
Nothin else to do!
Gotta go where ka’s wind blows ya
Cause there’s nothin else to do.
Can you tell me what ya see?
Is it ghosts or just the mirror
That makes ya wanna flee?
I beg ya, tell me!
Is it ghosts or just your darker self
That makes ya wanna flee?
Whatcha doin at my do’?
If ya doan tell me now, my friend
I’ll lay ya on de flo’.
I can lay ya low!
The things I’ve do to such as you
You never wanna know.
Ain’t it grand to be alive?
To look out on Discordia
When the Demon Moon arrives.
Even when the shadows rise!
To see the world and walk the world
Makes ya glad to be alive.
You’re in a nasty fix!
To take a hand in traitor’s glove
Is to grasp a sheaf of sticks!
Nothing there but thorns and sticks!
When your find your hand in traitor’s glove
You’re in a nasty fix.
They go to hell or up to heaven!
The the guns are shot and the fires hot,
You got to poke em in the oven.
Salt and yow’ for leaven!
Heat em up and knock em down
And poke em in the oven.
You’re in the hands of fate.
No matter if it’s real or not,
The hour groweth late.
The hour groweth late!
No matter what shade ya cast
You’re in the hands of fate.
You have to walk the line.
When you finally get the thing you need
It makes you feel so fine.
It makes ya feel fine!
But if you’d have the thing you need
You have to walk the line.
It’s the other one again.
You may know her name and face
But that don’t make her your friend.
She is not your friend!
If you let her get too close
She’ll cut you up again!
We hail the one who made us all,
Who made the men and made the maids,
Who made the great and small.
He made us great and small!
And yet how great the hand of fate
That rules us one and all.
There’s a time to live and one to die.
With your back against the final wall
Ya gotta let the bullets fly.
Let the bullets fly!
Don’t ‘ee mourn for me, my lads
When it comes my day to die.
The child has come at last!
Sing your song, O sing it well,
The child has come to pass.
The worst has come to pass.
The Tower trembles on its ground;
The child has come at last.
The battle’s now begun!
And all the foes of men and rose
Rise with the setting sun.
Stephen King (Song of Susannah (The Dark Tower, #6))
My second wife left me because she said I was too ambitious. She didn't realize that it is only the dying who are free from ambition. And they probably have the ambition to live. Some men disguise their ambition--that's all. I was in a position to help this young man my wife loved. He soon showed his ambition then. There are different types of ambition - that is all, and my wife found she preferred mine. Because it was limitless. They do not feel the infinite is an unworthy rival, but for a man to prefer the desk of an assistant manager - that is an insult.
Graham Greene (Loser Takes All)
What especially moved him was the corpse of a child of twelve or thirteen. He felt something like envy as he looked at it, recalling such expression as “Those whom the gods love die young.” Both his sister and his half-brother had lost their houses to fire. His sister’s husband, though, was on a suspended sentence for perjury.
Too bad we didn’t all die.
Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (Rashōmon and Seventeen Other Stories)
Young people have a marvelous faculty of either dying or adapting themselves to circumstances. Even if they are unhappy - very unhappy - it is astonishing how easily they can be prevented from finding it out, or at any rate from attributing it to any other cause than their own sinfulness.
To parents who wish to lead a quiet life I would say: Tell your children that they are naughty - much naughtier than most children. Point to the young people of some acquaintances as models of perfection and impress your own children with a deep sense of their own inferiority. You carry so many more guns than they do that they cannot fight you. This is called moral influence, and it will enable you to bounce them as much as you please. They think you know and they will not have yet caught you lying often enough to suspect that you are not the unworldly and scrupulously truthful person which you represent yourself to be; nor yet will they know how great a coward you are, nor how soon you will run away if they fight you with persistency and judgment. You keep the dice and throw them both for your children and yourself. Load them then, for you can easily manage to stop your children from examining them. Tell them how singularly indulgent you are; insist on the incalculable benefit you conferred upon them, firstly in bringing them into the world at all, but more particularly in bringing them into it as your own children rather than anyone else's... You hold all the trump cards, or if you do not you can filch them; if you play them with anything like judgment you will find yourselves heads of happy, united, God-fearing families... True, your children will probably find out all about it some day, but not until too late to be of much service to them or inconvenience to yourself.
Samuel Butler (The Way of All Flesh)
All of my plays are about people missing the boat, closing down too young, coming to the end of their lives with regret at things not done, as opposed to things done. I find most people spend too much time living as if they’re never going to die.
It was precisely because she had found everything so stupid that she had ended up accepting what life had naturally imposed on her. In adolescence she thought it was too early to choose; now, in young adulthood, she was convinced it was too late to change.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
Too many young girls in this community are dying to get married to get away from their problems at home, or to get a bit of freedom. But let me tell you something: if you rush into marriage to escape your problems, you may find that they follow you anyway.
Na'ima B. Robert (She Wore Red Trainers)
A change in direction was required. The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began. Yes! He would take charge of his life anew, binding his breaking selves together. Those changes in himself that he sought, he himself would initiate and make them. No more of this miasmic, absent drift. How had he ever persuaded himself that his money-mad burg would rescue him all by itself, this Gotham in which Jokers and Penguins were running riot with no Batman (or even Robin) to frustrate their schemes, this Metropolis built of Kryptonite in
which no Superman dared set foot, where wealth was mistaken for riches and the joy of possession for happiness, where people lived such polished lives that the great rough truths of raw existence had been rubbed and buffed away, and in which human souls had wandered so separately for so long that they barely remembered how to touch; this city whose fabled electricity powered the electric fences that were being erected between men and men, and men and women, too? Rome did not fall because her armies weakened but because Romans forgot what
being Roman meant. Might this new Rome actually be more provincial than its provinces; might these new Romans have forgotten what and how to value, or had they never known? Were all empires so undeserving, or was this one particularly crass? Was nobody in all this bustling endeavor and material plenitude engaged, any longer, on the deep quarry-work of the mind and heart? O Dream-America, was civilization's
quest to end in obesity and trivia, at Roy Rogers and Planet Hollywood, in USA Today and on E!; or in million-dollar-game-show greed or fly-on-the-wall voyeurism; or in the eternal confessional booth of Ricki and Oprah and Jerry, whose guests murdered each other after the show; or in a spurt of gross-out dumb-and-dumber comedies
designed for young people who sat in darkness howling their ignorance at the silver screen; or even at the unattainable tables of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse? What of the search for the hidden keys that unlock the doors of exaltation? Who demolished the City on the Hill and put in its place a row of electric chairs,
those dealers in death's democracy, where everyone, the innocent, the mentally deficient, the guilty, could come to die side by side? Who paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Who settled for George W. Gush's boredom and Al Bore's gush? Who let Charlton Heston out of his cage and then asked why children were getting shot? What, America, of the Grail? O ye Yankee Galahads, ye Hoosier Lancelots, O Parsifals of the stockyards, what of the Table Round? He felt a flood bursting in him and did not hold back. Yes, it had seduced him, America; yes, its brilliance aroused him, and its vast potency too, and he was compromised by this seduction. What he opposed in it he must also attack in himself. It made him want what it promised and eternally withheld. Everyone was an American now, or at least Americanized: Indians, Uzbeks, Japanese, Lilliputians, all. America was the world's playing field, its rule book, umpire, and ball. Even anti-Americanism was Americanism in disguise, conceding, as it did, that America was the only game in town and the matter of America the only business at hand; and so, like everyone, Malik Solanka now walked its high corridors cap in hand, a supplicant at its feast; but that did not mean he could not look it in the eye. Arthur had fallen, Excalibur was lost and dark Mordred was king. Beside him on the throne of Camelot sat the queen, his sister, the witch Morgan le Fay.
Salman Rushdie (Fury)
I have a fire under my feet. Ha! Try to put the flames out if you want. The blaze is too strong for anyone who cannot take the heat. My soul is renewed and I am loving the new me! Once upon a time, questions use to haunt me because I never had the answers, but I have a choice. Either I am going to let it kill me or I am going to break free and live the best life I deserve. I chose me. I love me.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dying on The Inside and Suffocating on The Outside)
But what was so great about marriage? I had been married and married. It had its good points, but it also had its bad. The virtues of marriage were mostly negative virtues. Being unmarried in a man's world was such a hassle that anything had to be better. Marriage was better. But not much. Damned clever, I thought, how men had made life so intolerable for single women that most would gladly embrace even bad marriages instead. Almost anything had to be an improvement on hustling for your own keep at some low-paid job and fighting off unattractive men in your spare time while desperately trying to ferret out the attractive ones. Though I've no doubt that being single is just as lonely for a man, it doesn't have the added extra wallop of being downright dangerous, and it doesn't automatically imply poverty and the unquestioned status of a social pariah.
Would most women get married if they knew what it meant? I think of young women following their husbands wherever their husbands follow their jobs. I think of them suddenly finding themselves miles away from friends and family, I think of them living in places where they can't work, where they can't speak the language. I think of them making babies out of their loneliness and boredom and not knowing why. I think of their men always harried and exhausted from being on the make. I think of them seeing each other less after marriage than before. I think of them falling into bed too exhausted to screw. I think of them farther apart in the first year of marriage than they ever imagined two people could be when they were courting. And then I think of the fantasies starting. He is eyeing the fourteen-year-old postnymphets in bikinis. She covets the TV repairman. The baby gets sick and she makes it with the pediatrician. He is fucking his masochistic little secretary who reads Cosmopolitan and things herself a swinger. Not: when did it all go wrong? But: when was it ever right?
I know some good marriages. Second marriages mostly. Marriages where both people have outgrown the bullshit of me-Tarzan, you-Jane and are just trying to get through their days by helping each other, being good to each other, doing the chores as they come up and not worrying too much about who does what. Some men reach that delightfully relaxed state of affairs about age forty or after a couple of divorces. Maybe marriages are best in middle age. When all the nonsense falls away and you realize you have to love one another because you're going to die anyway.
Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)
The young nihilists," Dad called us.
"What are nihilists?"
"Nihilists believe that nothing has any meaning. They believe in nothing."
"Yeah," said Earl. "I'm a nihilist."
"Me, too," I said.
"Good for you," Dad said, grinning. Then he stopped grinning and said, "Don't tell your mom.
Jesse Andrews (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)
They were trying to escape. They asked us "Where's the railway?" We'd never seen a railway. They asked "Where's Moscow? Leningrad?" They were asking the wrong people: we'd never heard of those places. We're Ostyaks. People were running away starving. They were given a handful of flour. They mixed it with water and drank it and then they immediately got diarrhea. The things we saw! People were dying everywhere; they were killing each other.... On the island there was a guard named Kostia Venikov, a young fellow. He was courting a pretty girl who had been sent there. He protected her. One day he had to be away for a while, and he told one of his comrades, "Take care of her," but with all the people there the comrade couldn't do much.... People caught the girl, tied her to a poplar tree, cut off her breasts, her muscles, everything they could eat, everything, everything.... They were hungry, they had to eat. When Kostia came back, she was still alive. He tried to save her, but she had lost too much blood.
Nicolas Werth (Cannibal Island: Death in a Siberian Gulag)
My friend Emma, who likes things to add up neatly, claims that this is because my parents died when I was too young to take it in: they were there one day and gone the next, crashing through that fence so hard and fast they left it splintered for good. When I was Lexie Madison for eight months she turned into a real person to me, a sister I lost or left behind on the way; a shadow somewhere inside me, like the shadows of vanishing twins that show up on people's X-rays once in a blue moon. Even before she came back to find me I knew I owed her something, for being the one who lived.
Tana French (The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad, #2))
---Sansa sat with her hands folded in her lap, watching with a strange fascination. She had never seen a man die before. She ought to be crying too, she thought, but the tears would not come. Perhaps she had used up all her tears for Lady and Bran. It would be different if it had been Jory or Ser Rodrik or Father, she told herself. The young man in the blue cloak was nothing to her, some stranger from the Vale of Arryn whose name she had forgotten as soon as she heard it. And now the world would forget his name too, Sansa realized; there would be no songs sung for him. That was sad.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Why wasn’t I good enough for you? Is it because I intimidated you? Did that give you the right to tear me down mentally and physically? Why did you put hands on me? Was it because you thought I was too weak to fight back? Or did you pick me out of the many women in the world who you made as your prey because I was happy and you were miserable? You are a coward. You are weak. You will never have the ability to hurt me again because I have taken back my power. I am loved, and most importantly, I am loved by me. For decades, I didn’t know that I am the one who is the narrator of my story and that my happy ending is up to me.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dying on The Inside and Suffocating on The Outside)
At a deep, unconscious level, Broud sensed the opposing destinies of the two. Ayla was more than a threat to his masculinity, she was a threat to his existence. His hatred of her was the hatred of the old for the new, of the traditional for the innovative, of the dying for the living. Broud’s race was too static, too unchanging. They had reached the peak of their development; there was no more room to grow. Ayla was part of nature’s new experiment, and though she tried to model herself after the women of the clan, it was only an overlay, a façade only culture-deep, assumed for the sake of survival. She was already finding ways around it, in answer to a deep need that sought an avenue of expression. And though she tried in every way she could to please the overbearing young man, inwardly she began to rebel.
Jean M. Auel (The Clan of the Cave Bear (Earth's Children, #1))
He stood for everything she feared and hated and despised; but she knew she could love him. Nature cared nothing for prejudice. Men and women were like the animals on the farm at Helford, she supposed; there was a common law of attraction for all living things, some similarity of skin or touch, and they would go to one another. This was no choice made with the mind. Animals did not reason, neither did the birds in the air. Mary was no hypocrite; she was bred to the soil, and she had lived too long with birds and beasts, had watched them mate. and bear their young, and die. There was precious little romance in nature, and she would not look for it in her own life.
Daphne du Maurier (Jamaica Inn)
It is no coincidence then that doctors and patients and the entire Lyme community report—anecdotally, of course, as there is still a frustrating scarcity of good data on anything Lyme-related—that women suffer the most from Lyme. They tend to advance into chronic and late-stage forms of the illness most because often it's checked for last, as doctors often treat them as psychiatric cases first. The nebulous symptoms plus the fracturing of articulacy and cognitive fog can cause any Lyme patient to simply appear mentally ill and mentally ill only. This is why we hear that young women—again, anecdotally—are dying of Lyme the fastest. This is also why we hear that chronic illness is a women's burden. Women simply aren't allowed to be physically sick until they are mentally sick, too, and then it is by some miracle or accident that the two can be separated for proper diagnosis. In the end, every Lyme patient has some psychiatric diagnosis, too, if anything because of the hell it takes getting to a diagnosis.
Porochista Khakpour (Sick: A Memoir)
Love is giving, love is learning, love is willing to receive love and love in return, love is not only your bloodline, but love is also everywhere. Love is what you make of it, whether it’s the birds singing you a personal melody or the waves in the ocean washing away the hate and turning it into unconditional, endless love. Love is the people who would never think of giving up on you. Love is the people who put your broken pieces back together. Love is when the storm comes— and the wind isn’t too friendly, but it’s here for a purpose as it blows the branches on the trees. The rain is pounding on the daisy in someone’s front yard, yet the daisy weathers the storm and needs that extra shower—after the storm, the ground is still moist, there are still puddles of water and the rain still lingers on, but when you look up there is a rainbow of love.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dying on The Inside and Suffocating on The Outside)
I’d gladly climb the highest steeple
To escape those middle minded people
Jet Set Wedding
I wake up screaming clutching my wedding band
The garnet ring is still a constant companion on my finger
But what happened to the marriage?
He taught her not to love nor hate
And he my friend was double gate
(On Death and Acceptance)
When he died the funeral took place at her bank
And sadly enough she’s down to her very last frank
He sits on his throne a hilltop alone
For women’s neurosis cause men’s psychosis
Home Sweet Home
The neurotic builds the dreamhouse
The psychotic becomes his spouse
I’d rather be someone’s concubine, smell the honeysuckle
Taste the wine, than end up being a clinging vine
The Gour Maid
I like champagne, and french brie, and camembert
And men that don’t get in my hair
Elissa Eaton (Too Old to be a Hooker, Too Young to be a Madam)
You aren’t Jim Morrison, Ty. You don’t get to be some kind of tragic rock star who died young and everyone builds a shrine to. You get to be a stupid-ass kid. The only people who will remember your ‘statement’ are Mom and me, and that’s just because we hurt too much to forget. Yeah, other people are in pain too, dipshit. Everybody feels pain. You asshole.
Cynthia Hand (The Last Time We Say Goodbye)
As you can see,” Daisy said, “one glass is filled with soap water, one with clear, and one with blue laundry water. The other, of course, is empty. The glasses will predict what kind of man you will marry.”
They watched as Evie felt carefully for one of the glasses. Dipping her finger into the soap water, Evie
waited for her blindfold to be drawn off, and viewed the results with chagrin, while the other girls erupted with giggles.
“Choosing the soap water means she will marry a poor man,” Daisy explained.
Wiping off her fingers, Evie exclaimed good-naturedly, “I s-suppose the fact that I’m going to be m-married at all is a good thing.”
The next girl in line waited with an expectant smile as she was blindfolded, and the glasses were repositioned. She felt for the vessels, nearly overturning one, and dipped her fingers into the blue water. Upon viewing her choice, she seemed quite pleased. “The blue water means she’s going to marry a noted author,” Daisy told Lillian. “You try next!”
Lillian gaveher a speaking glance. “You don’t really believe in this, do you?”
“Oh, don’t be cynical—have some fun!” Daisy took the blindfold and rose on her toes to tie it firmly around Lillian’s head.
Bereft of sight, Lillian allowed herself to be guided to the table. She grinned at the encouraging cries of the young women around her. There was the sound of the glasses being moved in front of her, and she waited with her hands half raised in the air. “What happens if I pick the empty glass?” she asked.
Evie’s voice came near her ear. “You die a sp-spinster!” she said, and everyone laughed.
“No lifting the glasses to test their weight,” someone warned with a giggle. “You can’t avoid the empty glass, if it’s your fate!”
“At the moment I want the empty glass,” Lillian replied, causing another round of laughter. Finding the smooth surface of a glass, she slid her fingers up the side and dipped them into the cool
liquid. A general round of applause and cheering, and she asked, “Am I marrying an author, too?”
“No, you chose the clear water,” Daisy said. “A rich, handsome husband is coming for you, dear!”
“Oh, what a relief,” Lillian said flippantly, lowering the blindfold to peek over the edge. “Is it your turn
Her younger sister shook her head. “I was the first to try. I knocked over a glass twice in a row, and made a dreadful mess.”
“What does that mean? That you won’t marry at all?”
“It means that I’m clumsy,” Daisy replied cheerfully. “Other than that, who knows? Perhaps my fate has
yet to be decided. The good news is that your husband seems to be on the way.”
“If so, the bastard is late,” Lillian retorted, causing Daisy and Evie to laugh.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die.
John died much too young to possibly glimpse a hint of his future fame, but Torgo will endure for as long as Manos is remembered—maybe even longer. Chapter
Jackey Neyman Jones (Growing Up with Manos: The Hands of Fate)
If you put yourself out there, you're going to get hurt at some point. Yes, your boyfriend or husband could leave you. He might stray. He could die way too young like your grandfather. And, at some point, you will both probably say things to one another you immediately want to take back. But, if you remain alone, your heart will ache for all that you never experienced. Love is filled with great beauty and great pain. But there is no beauty to life if you don't put your heart at risk. The ability to love is one of the greatest gifts we're given. It's the reason we're here.
Viola Shipman (The Charm Bracelet)
Sometimes, when I was feeling especially blue, I would imagine what it would have been like if I’d been a different age when my mother died. At ten, I was old enough to understand the terrible thing that had happened to us, but too young to have soaked up so many of the details that I, as an adult, longed to know about her and her life. Now the little I did remember was fading with time.
Camille Pagán (Life and Other Near-Death Experiences)
He wanted to tell her that it was all meaningless, that good people died too young, for no good reason, and that the world was filled with people who would seek to do her harm, and that there was no way of telling what was around the corner or even if there was any corner ahead at all. And yet— As he looked at her, and she looked at the house, something in the way the leaves of the maple caught the sun and illuminated the woman beneath it made his heart ache and expand, and he realized that he wanted to tell her, too, that by some strange twist it was the very meaningless of life that made it all so beautiful and rare and wonderful. That for all its savagery—because of its savagery—war had brightened every color. That without the darkness one would never notice the stars.
Kate Morton (The Clockmaker's Daughter)
What had he done? Something horrible, something terrible, but something he'd done as a child. Can you commit murder in innocence? It's too big a thing for the human mind to take in, that's the problem. And it grew with the ever-larger newspaper pictures of a girl who was near enough an angel, even before she died. Only the young die good. And Angela Milton died young enough to be perfect.
See that?" said Lemon. "The car tracks turn off there."
"How do you know it's not the parks people on a golf cart thingie?"
"You don't golf, do you, Kate?"
"No, I'm too young to die of boredom.
Carsten Stroud (The Homecoming)
The pony preserved his character for independence and principle down to the last moment of his life; which was an unusually long one, and caused him to be looked upon, indeed, as the very Old Parr of ponies. He often went to and fro with the little phaeton between Mr. Garland's and his son's, and, as the old people and the young were frequently together, had a stable of his own at the new establishment, into which he would walk of himself with surprising dignity. He condescended to play with the children, as they grew old enough to cultivate his friendship, and would run up and down the little paddock with them like a dog; but though he relaxed so far, and allowed them such freedoms as caresses, or even to look at his shoes or hang on by his tail, he never permitted anyone among them to mount his back or drive him; thus showing that even their familiarity must have its limits, and that there were points between them far too serious for trifling.
He was not unsusceptible of warm attachments in his later life, for when the good Bachelor came to live with Mr. Garland upon the clergyman's decease, he conceived a great friendship for him, and amiably submitted to be driven by his hands without the least resistance. He did no work for two or three years before he died, but lived on clover; and his last act (like a choleric old gentleman) was to kick his doctor.
Charles Dickens (The Old Curiosity Shop)
Tad they were too young to die…My Mom was a spitfire—a total accident waiting to happen. I’m like her—I can trip over nothing.” Tad chuckled acknowledging the thought. “My father…he was more serious. He used to give me lectures like no tomorrow, he had a strong sense of who I should be—who I wanted to be and how to guide me, and he was my best friend. It seems like everything I love is just out of my reach now.
Cassandra Giovanni (Walking in the Shadows)
The air was icy, Mari came back in, grabbed a coat and went out again. Outside, far from the eyes of everyone, she lit a cigarette. She smoked slowly and guiltlessly, thinking about the young woman, the piano music she could hear and life outside the walls of Villete which was becoming unbearably difficult for everyone.
In Mari's view this difficulty was due not to chaos or disorganization or anarchy but to an excess of order. Society had more and more rules and laws that contradicted the rules and new rules that contradicted the laws. People felt too frightened to take a step outside the invisible regulations that guided everyone's lives.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
One Sufi mystic who had remained happy his whole life—no one had ever seen him unhappy—he was always laughing. He was laughter, his whole being was a perfume of celebration. In his old age, when he was dying—he was on his deathbed, and still enjoying death, laughing hilariously—a disciple asked, “You puzzle us. Now you are dying. Why are you laughing? What is there funny about it? We are feeling so sad. We wanted to ask you many times in your life why you are never sad. But now, confronting death, at least one should be sad. You are still laughing! How are you managing it?” And the old man said, “It is a simple clue. I had asked my master. I had gone to my master as a young man; I was only seventeen, and already miserable. And my master was old, seventy, and he was sitting under a tree, laughing for no reason at all. There was nobody else, nothing had happened, nobody had cracked a joke or anything. And he was simply laughing, holding his belly. And I asked him, ‘What is the matter with you? Are you mad or something?’ “He said, ‘One day I was also as sad as you are. Then it dawned on me that it is my choice, it is my life. Since that day, every morning when I get up, the first thing I decide is, before I open my eyes, I say to myself, “Abdullah”—that was his name—‘what do you want? Misery? Blissfulness? What are you going to choose today? And it happens that I always choose blissfulness.’” It is a choice. Try it. The first moment in the morning when you become aware that sleep has left, ask yourself, “Abdullah, another day! What is your idea? Do you choose misery or blissfulness?” And who would choose misery? And why? It is so unnatural—unless one feels blissful in misery, but then too you are choosing bliss, not misery.
Osho (Meditation: The First and Last Freedom)
His mother’s death, nearly thirty years ago, had been tragic and sorrowful in a way that was no longer possible. Tragedy, he perceived, belonged to the ancient time, to a time when there was still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason. His mother’s memory tore at his heart because she had died loving him, when he was too young and selfish to love her in return, and because somehow, he did not remember how, she had sacrificed herself to a conception of loyalty that was private and unalterable. Such things, he saw, could not happen today. Today there were fear, hatred, and pain, but no dignity of emotion, no deep or complex sorrows. All this he seemed to see in the large eyes of his mother and his sister, looking up at him through the green water, hundreds of fathoms down and still sinking.
George Orwell (1984)
There is at least one species of jellyfish that can grow younger, which is something that pretty much no creature on Earth can do. Don't believe me? Look it up. Turritopsis dohrinii. The immortal jellyfish.
When it's threatened, Turritopsis dohrinii can return from its adult medusa stage, the stage where a jellyfish looks like a jellyfish, all the way back into a younger stage, where it clings to the bottom of the ocean floor for safety. Theoretically, it can do this indefinitely: grow old, then young, old, then young, and never really die.
It would be as if, when everything started going wrong, when it started getting stressful, we could have just gone backward. Imagine that. Imagine if we could have said, "Oops, this is too hard," and shrunk in size, returned to a place of being just kids, the way we always had been.
And we could just stay there, tethered safely, forever.
Ali Benjamin (The Thing About Jellyfish)
Young people," McDonald said contemptuously. "You always think there's something to find out."
"Yes, sir," Andrews said.
"Well, there's nothing," McDonald said. "You get born, and you nurse on lies, and you get weaned on lies, and you learn fancier lies in school. You live all your life on lies, and then maybe when you're ready to die, it comes to you--that there's nothing, nothing but yourself and what you could have done. Only you ain't done it, because the lies told you there was something else. Then you know you could of had the world, because you're the only one that knows the secret; only then it's too late. You're too old."
"No," Andrews said. A vague terror crept from the darkness that surrounded them, and tightened his voice. "That's not the way it is."
"You ain't learned, then," McDonald said. "You ain't learned yet....look. You spend nearly a year of your life and sweat, because you have faith in the dream of a fool. And what have you got? Nothing. You kill three, four thousand buffalo, and stack their skins neat; and the buffalo will rot wherever you left them, and the rats will nest in the skins. What have you got to show? A year gone out of your life, a busted wagon that a beaver might use to make a dam with, some calluses on your hands, and the memory of a dead man."
"No," Andrew said. "That's not all. That's not all I have."
"Then what? What have you got?"
Andrews was silent.
"You can't answer. Look at Miller. Knows the country he was in as well as any man alive, and had faith in what he believed was true. What good did it do him? And Charley Hoge with his Bible and his whisky. Did that make your winter any easier, or save your hides? And Schneider. What about Schneider? Was that his name?
"That was his name," Andrews said.
"And that's all that's left of him," McDonald said. "His name. And he didn't even come out of it with that for himself." McDonald nodded, not looking at Andrews. "Sure, I know. I came out of it with nothing, too. Because I forgot what I learned a long time ago. I let the lies come back. I had a dream, too, and because it was different from yours and Miller's, I let myself think it wasn't a dream. But now I know, boy. And you don't. And that makes all the difference.
John Williams (Butcher's Crossing)
It seemed to her many years since he had begun to prepare her mind for "the place," as she always called it. Her mother had died when she was born, so she had never known or missed her. Her young, handsome, rich, petting father seemed to be the only relation she had in the world. They had always played together and been fond of each other. She only knew he was rich because she had heard people say so when they thought she was not listening, and she had also heard them say that when she grew up she would be rich, too. She did not know all that being rich meant. She had always lived in a beautiful bungalow, and had been used to seeing many servants who made salaams to her and called her "Missee Sahib," and gave her her own way in everything. She had had toys and pets and an ayah who worshipped her, and she had gradually learned that people who were rich had these things. That, however, was all she knew about it.
Frances Hodgson Burnett (A Little Princess)
The Biden's have another belief as well:" If you have to ask, it's too late." When someone is in need, when they're hurting, when they're overwhelmed, you don't wait until they tell you they need your help. You give it before they have to ask. So when Neilia died and Joe was left with two young boys, trying to father them and get through his own grief, all while juggling the new hectic life of a senator, Val didn't ask if there was something she could do. She moved in. And for three years, through her own career ambitions, through her courtship and eventual marriage to her husband, Jack, she lived with Joe and the boys and made sure they had the love and support they needed to keep going.
Jill Biden (Where the Light Enters: Building a Family, Discovering Myself)
A child is born with no state of mind Blind to the ways of mankind God is smilin' on you but he's frownin' too Because only God knows what you'll go through You'll grow in the ghetto livin' second-rate And your eyes will sing a song called deep hate The places you play and where you stay Looks like one great big alleyway You'll admire all the number-book takers Thugs, pimps and pushers and the big money-makers Drivin' big cars, spendin' twenties and tens And you'll wanna grow up to be just like them, huh Smugglers, scramblers, burglars, gamblers Pickpocket peddlers, even panhandlers You say I'm cool, huh, I'm no fool But then you wind up droppin' outta high school Now you're unemployed, all non-void Walkin' round like you're Pretty Boy Floyd Turned stick-up kid, but look what you done did Got sent up for a eight-year bid Now your manhood is took and you're a Maytag Spend the next two years as a undercover fag Bein' used and abused to serve like hell 'til one day, you was found hung dead in the cell It was plain to see that your life was lost You was cold and your body swung back and forth But now your eyes sing the sad, sad song Of how you lived so fast and died so young
We are not martyrs or heroes, nor do we wish to be. We do not want to die. We are young, too young, for death. We long to see our two young sons, Michael and Robert, grown to full
manhood...We desire some day to be restored to a society where we can contribute
our energies toward building a world where all shall have peace, bread and roses.
Yes, we wish to live, but in the simple dignity that clothes only those who have been
honest with themselves and their fellow men.
The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first; get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating …and you finish off as an orgasm.
More seriously-and this is probably why there has been a lot of garbage talked about a lost generation-it was easy to see, all over the landscape of contemporary fiction, the devastating effect of the Thatcher years. So many of these writers wrote without hope. They had lost all ambition, all desire to to wrestle with the world. Their books dealt with tiny patches of the world, tiny pieces of human experience-a council estate, a mother, a father, a lost job. Very few writers had the courage or even the energy to bite off a big chunk of the universe and chew it over. Very few showed any linguistic or formal innovation. Many were dulled and therefore dull. (And then, even worse, there were the Hooray Henries and Sloanes who evidently thought that the day of the yuppie novel, and the Bellini-drinking, okay-yah fiction had dawned. Dukedoms and country-house bulimics abounded. It was plain that too may books were being published; that too many writers had found their way into print without any justification for it at all; that too many publishers had adopted a kind of random, scattergun policy of publishing for turnover and just hoping that something would strike a cord.
When the general picture is so disheartening, it is easy to miss the good stuff. I agreed to be a judge for "Best of Young British Novelists II" because I wanted to find out for myself if the good stuff really was there. In my view, it is...One of my old schoolmasters was fond of devising English versions of the epigrams of Martial. I remember only one, his version of Martial's message to a particularly backward-looking critic:
"You only praise the good old days
We young 'uns get no mention.
I don't see why I have to die
To gain your kind attention.
Salman Rushdie (Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002)
The genius of the Gospel was that it included the problem inside the solution. The falling became the standing. The stumbling became the finding. The dying became the rising. The raft became the shore. The small self cannot see this very easily, because it doubts itself too much, is still too fragile, and is caught up in the tragedy of it all. It has not lived long enough to see the big patterns. No wonder so many of our young commit suicide. This is exactly why we need elders and those who can mirror life truthfully and foundationally for the young. Intimate I-Thou relationships are the greatest mirrors of all, so we dare not avoid them, but for the young they have perhaps not yet taken place at any depth, so young people are always very fragile.
Richard Rohr (Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life)
His mother stared into his eyes and paused for a moment. She stood completely still, as if she'd transformed into a statue. Joseph found himself thinking again about the end of The Winter's Tale and the queen's return to life. He still felt angry that the young prince Mamillius hadn't been saved, too, and he thought about Marcus, but as he looked up at his mother's face, a new thought came to him. Maybe the play wasn't about miracles. No, maybe it was about the passage of time, and the need for patience, and the ability to forgive. Maybe Shakespeare was saying that even in a world where miracles can happen, there's still going to pain, and lost, and regret. Because sometimes people die and you can't bring them back. That's what life is Joseph realized, miracles and sadness, side by side.
Brian Selznick (The Marvels)
I heard a young city boy ask an elderly Papago woman if, lacking a harvesting pole, one could ever collect fruit off the tall cacti by throwing rocks at the tops to knock the fruit down.
'NO!' Marquita replied with a strain of horror in her voice. 'The saguaros- they are Indians too. You don't EVER throw ANYTHING at them. If you hit them on the head with rocks you could kill them. You don't ever stick anything sharp into their skin either, or they will just dry up and die. You don't do anything to hurt them. They are Indians.
Gary Paul Nabhan (The Desert Smells Like Rain: A Naturalist in Papago Indian Country)
All these years, I thought the first Watchers were a bit dense for giving power to only one girl. One Slayer to fight everything? One Slayer to make impossible choices? But... that's the beauty of it. Because the Slayer is young. The Slayer is a girl. The Slayer isn't some rich dude, insulated from life and pain and struggle, sitting in his Mr. Darcy house deciding who gets to live and die.
The Slayer is on the streets, in the dark, in the night, walking right alongside the things she hunts. So when she makes life-or-death choices - they're life-or-death choices for her, too. Not just for the things she's hunting. She's not a committee, a council, a group working at a remove.
She'd part of the darkness.
And when you're already in the dark, you can see the subtle differences in the shadows.
Kiersten White (Chosen (Slayer, #2))
My Childhood Home I See Again
by Abraham Lincoln
My childhood home I see again,
And sadden with the view;
And still, as memory crowds my brain,
There's pleasure in it too.
O Memory! thou midway world
'Twixt earth and paradise,
Where things decayed and loved ones lost
In dreamy shadows rise,
And, freed from all that's earthly vile,
Seem hallowed, pure, and bright,
Like scenes in some enchanted isle
All bathed in liquid light.
As dusky mountains please the eye
When twilight chases day;
As bugle-notes that, passing by,
In distance die away;
As leaving some grand waterfall,
We, lingering, list its roar--
So memory will hallow all
We've known, but know no more.
Near twenty years have passed away
Since here I bid farewell
To woods and fields, and scenes of play,
And playmates loved so well.
Where many were, but few remain
Of old familiar things;
But seeing them, to mind again
The lost and absent brings.
The friends I left that parting day,
How changed, as time has sped!
Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray,
And half of all are dead.
I hear the loved survivors tell
How nought from death could save,
Till every sound appears a knell,
And every spot a grave.
I range the fields with pensive tread,
And pace the hollow rooms,
And feel (companion of the dead)
I'm living in the tombs.
Finally I end up snapping 'I'm too old for young idealisms like that, I ben through all that! - all over again I gotta go through all that?'
'But it's real, it's truth!' yells Simon. 'The world is a place of infinite charm! Give everybody love and they'll give it right back! I seen it!'
'I know it's true but I'm bored'
'But you can't be bored, if you get bored we all get bored, if we all get bored and tired we all give it up, then the world falls down and dies!'
'And it's as it should be!'
'No! It should be life!'
'That's no difference!
Jack Kerouac (Desolation Angels)
our civilization is very young. None of us live long enough to cope with too much. About the time we begin to get our thoughts straightened out we begin to go senile. Or, in the mean time, we've been knocked over by a taxicab or died of the plague or something else. We don't live that long.
J. Neil Schulman (The Robert Heinlein Interview And Other Heinleiniana)
There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards where, in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above the green fields. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines. Then foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed the fields, half hidden in the mists of the fall mornings.
Along the roads, laurel, viburnum, and alder, great ferns and wildflowers delighted the traveler's eye through much of the year. Even in winter the roadsides were places of beauty, where countless birds came to feed on the berries and on the seed heads of the dried weeds rising above the snow. The countryside was, in fact, famous for the abundance and variety of its bird life, and when the flood of migrants was pouring through in spring and fall people traveled from great distances to observe them. Others came to fish the streams, which flowed clear and cold out of the hills and contained shady pools where trout lay. So it had been from the days many years ago when the first settlers raised their homes, sank their wells, and built their barns.
Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change. Some evil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens, the cattle, and sheep sickened and died. Everywhere was a shadow of death. The farmers spoke of much illness among their families. In the town the doctors had become more and more puzzled by new kinds of sickness appearing among their patients. There had been sudden and unexplained deaths, not only among adults but even among children whoe would be stricken suddently while at play and die within a few hours.
There was a strange stillness. The birds, for example--where had they gone? Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed. The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices. On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there was no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh.
On the farms the hens brooded, but no chicks hatched. The farmers complained that they were unable to raise any pigs--the litters were small and the young survived only a few days. The apple trees were coming into bloom but no bees droned among the blossoms, so there was no pollination and there would be no fruit.
The roadsides, once so attractive, were now lined with browned and withered vegetation as though swept by fire. These, too, were silent, deserted by all living things. Even the streams were not lifeless. Anglers no longer visited them, for all the fish had died.
In the gutters under the eaves and between the shingles of the roofs, a white granular powder still showed a few patches; some weeks before it had fallen like snow upon the roofs and the lawns, the fields and streams.
No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of life in this stricken world. The people had done it to themselves.
There's one big difference between the poor and the rich,' Kite says, taking a drag from his cigarette. We are in a pub, at lunch-time. John Kite is always, unless stated otherwise, smoking a fag, in a pub, at lunch-time.
'The rich aren't evil, as so many of my brothers would tell you. I've known rich people -- I have played on their yachts -- and they are not unkind, or malign, and they do not hate the poor, as many would tell you. And they are not stupid -- or at least, not any more than the poor are. Much as I find amusing the idea of a ruling class of honking toffs, unable to put their socks on without Nanny helping them, it is not true. They build banks, and broker deals, and formulate policy, all with perfect competency.
'No -- the big difference between the rich and the poor is that the rich are blithe. They believe nothing can ever really be so bad, They are born with the lovely, velvety coating of blitheness -- like lanugo, on a baby -- and it is never rubbed off by a bill that can't be paid; a child that can't be educated; a home that must be left for a hostel, when the rent becomes too much.
'Their lives are the same for generations. There is no social upheaval that will really affect them. If you're comfortably middle-class, what's the worst a government policy could do? Ever? Tax you at 90 per cent and leave your bins, unemptied, on the pavement. But you and everyone you know will continue to drink wine -- but maybe cheaper -- go on holiday -- but somewhere nearer -- and pay off your mortgage -- although maybe later.
'Consider, now, then, the poor. What's the worst a government policy can do to them? It can cancel their operation, with no recourse to private care. It can run down their school -- with no escape route to a prep. It can have you out of your house and into a B&B by the end of the year. When the middle-classes get passionate about politics, they're arguing about their treats -- their tax breaks and their investments. When the poor get passionate about politics, they're fighting for their lives.
'Politics will always mean more to the poor. Always. That's why we strike and march, and despair when our young say they won't vote. That's why the poor are seen as more vital, and animalistic. No classical music for us -- no walking around National Trust properties, or buying reclaimed flooring. We don't have nostalgia. We don't do yesterday. We can't bear it. We don't want to be reminded of our past, because it was awful; dying in mines, and slums, without literacy, or the vote. Without dignity. It was all so desperate, then. That's why the present and the future is for the poor -- that's the place in time for us: surviving now, hoping for better, later. We live now -- for our instant, hot, fast treats, to prep us up: sugar, a cigarette, a new fast song on the radio.
'You must never, never forget, when you talk to someone poor, that it takes ten times the effort to get anywhere from a bad postcode, It's a miracle when someone from a bad postcode gets anywhere, son. A miracle they do anything at all.
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl (How to Build a Girl, #1))
There is a whole generation of young people just like us wandering around Europe and the rest of the world, trying to find some meaning for why they are alive and what they should choose to do with their time. When Martha leaves and we sit in front of the fire in the living room, I look to Lily until she turns to me and I can see the grief that hides just under the surface of her expression. We are, or at least were, two of those lost souls: wanderers, backpackers, season workers, Wwoofers, Workawayers, travellers: searching the world for something or someplace to hold on to. And we have come home not because we have retired from trying to find answers and are ready to settle into adulthood, but because my death has come upon us fast and unexpected. I am not the first person of this generation of travellers- or any person who lives in this godless, superficial society- to die. But I think that it feels to Lily and to me, my mother too perhaps, that I may very well be.
Annie Fisher (The Greater Picture)
Before I met Tommy, I would not have day-tripped to the spot where James Dean died. There would have been too many critical voices in my head telling me how dumb and pointless such a trip would be. Tommy, though, made me realize I could drive to James Dean’s crash site for the simple reason that I felt like doing it. He made me realize that doing such things was the whole point of being young. This was not an attitude that came easily to me, but I could say or do anything around Tommy and he wouldn’t judge me. How could he? He was the weirdest person I’d ever met—but lovably weird. Around Tommy I could be who I wanted to be—and to me that felt like freedom.
Greg Sestero (The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made)
I believe that there is one story in the world, and only one, that has frightened and inspired us, so that we live in a Pearl White serial of continuing thought and wonder. Humans are caught—in their lives, in their thoughts, in their hungers and ambitions, in their avarice and cruelty, and in their kindness and generosity too—in a net of good and evil. I think this is the only story we have and that it occurs on all levels of feeling and intelligence. Virtue and vice were warp and woof of our first consciousness, and they will be the fabric of our last, and this despite any changes we may impose on field and river and mountain, on economy and manners. There is no other story. A man, after he has brushed off the dust and chips of his life, will have left only the hard, clean questions: Was it good or was it evil? Have I done well—or ill?
In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
And they were always young, Air Corps pilots and ensigns, and good-looking girls in fur coats, and always the government secretary or two, the working girl as a carry-over from the fraternity parties when she was always the girl who could be made because in some mysterious way the women of the lower classes could be depended upon to copulate like jack rabbits. And they all knew they were going to die soon with a sentimental and unstated English attitude which was completely phony. It came from books they had never read, and movies they shouldn’t have seen; it was fed by the tears of their mothers, and the knowledge quite shocking, quite unbelievable, that a lot of them did die when they went overseas. Its origins were spurious; they never could connect really the romance of their impending deaths with the banal mechanical process of flying an airplane and landing and living in the barren eventless Army camps that surrounded their airfields. But nevertheless they had discovered it was a talisman, they were going to die soon, and they wore it magically until you believed in it when you were with them. And they did magical things like pouring whisky on each other’s hair, or setting mattresses afire, or grabbing hats on the fly from the heads of established businessmen. Of all the parties those were perhaps the best, but he had come to them too old.
Norman Mailer (The Naked and the Dead)
Meg slashed through the last of Tarquin’s minions. That was a good thing, I thought distantly. I didn’t want her to die, too. Hazel stabbed Tarquin in the chest. The Roman king fell, howling in pain, ripping the sword hilt from Hazel’s grip. He collapsed against the information desk, clutching the blade with his skeletal hands.
Hazel stepped back, waiting for the zombie king to dissolve. Instead, Tarquin struggled to his feet, purple gas flickering weakly in his eye sockets.
“I have lived for millennia,” he snarled. “You could not kill me with a thousand tons of stone, Hazel Levesque. You will not kill me with a sword.”
I thought Hazel might fly at him and rip his skull off with her bare hands. Her rage was so palpable I could smell it like an approaching storm. Wait…I did smell an approaching storm, along with other forest scents: pine needles, morning dew on wildflowers, the breath of hunting dogs.
A large silver wolf licked my face. Lupa? A hallucination? No…a whole pack of the beasts had trotted into the store and were now sniffing the bookshelves and the piles of zombie dust.
Behind them, in the doorway, stood a girl who looked about twelve, her eyes silver-yellow, her auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail. She was dressed for the hunt in a shimmering gray frock and leggings, a white bow in her hand. Her face was beautiful, serene, and as cold as the winter moon.
She nocked a silver arrow and met Hazel’s eyes, asking permission to finish her kill. Hazel nodded and stepped aside. The young girl aimed at Tarquin.
“Foul undead thing,” she said, her voice hard and bright with power. “When a good woman puts you down, you had best stay down.”
Her arrow lodged in the center of Tarquin’s forehead, splitting his frontal bone. The king stiffened. The tendrils of purple gas sputtered and dissipated. From the arrow’s point of entry, a ripple of fire the color of Christmas tinsel spread across Tarquin’s skull and down his body, disintegrating him utterly. His gold crown, the silver arrow, and Hazel’s sword all dropped to the floor.
I grinned at the newcomer. “Hey, Sis.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
Life is short, people say. Live each day likes it’s your last. Those who are young don’t understand the meaning of those words because their whole life is in front of them, their dreams yet to be realized. Those who are old or aging quickly understand it well, for in a blink of an eye their best years are behind them. Those who are dying from some disease that ravages their bodies, shortening what should have been long and fruitful lives, understand those words with every breath they struggle to take. And some, unfortunately, understand it all too well when a heinous monster takes what doesn’t belong to him, ending the life of someone close to them who never hurt a single soul in her entire life.
C.P. Smith (Property Of)
If seasons diseases be, consider human's too, his fate same it's true
Rudest time steels, and murders through fever, pain, amid all in woe.
Swelling then cold, yet numb, in young and old, fearing wildest swell,
See it turns the sweetest singers throats, and morrow, a garland will.
On ‘Seasons A Dirge’-A Dirge
For A Diseased Friend Who Died Of Fever In 2013
Nithin Purple (Halcyon Wings: 'these Passions Feathers Are Gathering on a Winged Vision')
There is so much silence all around
that I think I can hear
moonlight crashing against the
A foreign voice
awakes inside my breast,
singing a longing which is not my
They say that ancestors, who died
before their time,
with young blood in their veins,
with great passions in their blood,
with living sun in passions,
return to live
their unspent lives.
There is so much silence all around
that I think I can hear
moonlight crashing against the
Oh, who knows, my soul -in whose
breast you too will sing, in centur-
ies to come,
on sweet strings of silence
on a harp of darkness,
your smothered longing and your
broken joy of life? Who knows?
Lucian Blaga (Poems of Light (Interbellum Series Book 1))
Let, then, thy soul by faith be exercised with such thoughts and apprehensions as these: “I am a poor, weak creature; unstable as water, I cannot excel. This corruption is too hard for me, and is at the very door of ruining my soul; and what to do I know not. My soul is become as parched ground, and an habitation of dragons. I have made promises and broken them; vows and engagements have been as a thing of nought. Many persuasions have I had that I had got the victory and should be delivered, but I am deceived; so that I plainly see, that without some eminent succour and assistance, I am lost, and shall be prevailed on to an utter relinquishment of God. But yet, though this be my state and condition, let the hands that hang down be lifted up, and the feeble knees be strengthened. Behold, 32the Lord Christ, that hath all fulness of grace in his heart, all fulness of power in his hand, he is able to slay all these his enemies. There is sufficient provision in him for my relief and assistance. He can take my drooping, dying soul and make me more than a conqueror.33 ‘Why sayest thou, O my soul, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint,’ Isa. xl. 27–31. He can make the ‘dry, parched ground of my soul to become a pool, and my thirsty, barren heart as springs of water;’ yea, he can make this ‘habitation of dragons,’ this heart, so full of abominable lusts and fiery temptations, to be a place for ‘grass’ and fruit to himself,” Isa. xxxv. 7. So God staid Paul, under his temptation, with the consideration of the sufficiency of his grace: “My grace is sufficient for thee,” 2 Cor. xii. 9. Though he were not immediately so far made partaker of it as to be freed from his temptation, yet the sufficiency of it in God, for that end and purpose, was enough to stay his spirit. I say, then, by faith, be much in the consideration of that supply and the fulness of it that is in Jesus Christ, and how he can at any time give thee strength and deliverance. Now, if hereby thou dost not find success to a conquest, yet thou wilt be staid in the chariot, that thou shalt not fly out of the field until the battle be ended; thou wilt be kept from an utter despondency and a lying down under thy unbelief, or a turning aside to false means and remedies, that in the issue will not relieve thee. The efficacy of this consideration will be found only in the practice.
John Owen (Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers)
The ones who are always on your side, or so they think, are the ones who keep you down. Everything they do keeps you down. They'll forgive you for anything. Rob, rape, pillage, and kill, and they'll defend you to yourself. They understand all outrages, and all your failings and faults, too. Perfect! You can go on that way forever. What do they care? Excuse me: they do care. They want it that way.
How would they make a living, these servants of the poor, if there were no poor? What enabled me to rise above all the people who don't know enough to come in out of the rain is that one day I looked face to face at a man who hated half of everything I was and had the courage to tell me so. I remember his very words. He said, 'What you're doing is hideous--a perfect way to die young. Unless you want to live sweetly only in the hereafter, you ought to learn how to do the right thing.'" The doctor stopped what he was doing, dropped his hand to his sides, and looked directly at Peter Lake. "I hate the poor. Look what they do to themselves. How could you not hate them, unless you thought that they should be like this.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
SELF-HELP FOR FELLOW REFUGEES
If your name suggests a country where bells
might have been used for entertainment,
or to announce the entrances and exits of the seasons
and the birthdays of gods and demons,
it's probably best to dress in plain clothes
when you arrive in the United States.
And try not to talk too loud.
If you happen to have watched armed men
beat and drag your father
out the front door of your house
and into the back of an idling truck,
before your mother jerked you from the threshold
and buried your face in her skirt folds,
try not to judge your mother too harshly.
Don't ask her what she thought she was doing,
turning a child's eyes
away from history
and toward that place all human aching starts.
And if you meet someone
in your adopted country
and think you see in the other's face
an open sky, some promise of a new beginning,
it probably means you're standing too far.
Or if you think you read in the other, as in a book
whose first and last pages are missing,
the story of your own birthplace,
a country twice erased,
once by fire, once by forgetfulness,
it probably means you're standing too close.
In any case, try not to let another carry
the burden of your own nostalgia or hope.
And if you're one of those
whose left side of the face doesn't match
the right, it might be a clue
looking the other way was a habit
your predecessors found useful for survival.
Don't lament not being beautiful.
Get used to seeing while not seeing.
Get busy remembering while forgetting.
Dying to live while not wanting to go on.
Very likely, your ancestors decorated
their bells of every shape and size
with elaborate calendars
and diagrams of distant star systems,
but with no maps for scattered descendants.
And I bet you can't say what language
your father spoke when he shouted to your mother
from the back of the truck, "Let the boy see!"
Maybe it wasn't the language you used at home.
Maybe it was a forbidden language.
Or maybe there was too much screaming
and weeping and the noise of guns in the streets.
It doesn't matter. What matters is this:
The kingdom of heaven is good.
But heaven on earth is better.
Thinking is good.
But living is better.
Alone in your favorite chair
with a book you enjoy
is fine. But spooning
is even better.
Li-Young Lee (Behind My Eyes [With CD])
Bring Cecily home,” he said curtly. “I won’t have her at risk, even in the slightest way.”
“I’ll take care of Cecily,” came the terse reply. “She’s better off without you in her life.”
Tate’s eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” he asked, affronted.
“You know what I mean,” Holden said. “Let her heal. She’s too young to consign herself to spinsterhood over a man who doesn’t even see her.”
“Infatuation dies,” Tate said.
Holden nodded. “Yes, it does. Goodbye.”
“So does hero worship,” he continued, laboring the point.
“And that’s why after eight years, Cecily has had one raging affair after the other,” he said facetiously.
The words had power. They wounded.
“You fool,” Holden said in a soft tone. “Do you really think she’d let any man touch her except you?” He went to his office door and gestured toward the desk. “Don’t forget your gadget,” he added quietly.
Holden paused with his hand on the doorknob and turned. “What?”
Tate held the device in his hands, watching the lights flicker on it. “Mixing two cultures when one of them is all but extinct is a selfish thing,” he said after a minute. “It has nothing to do with personal feelings. It’s a matter of necessity.”
Holden let go of the doorknob and moved to stand directly in front of Tate. “If I had a son,” he said, almost choking on the word, “I’d tell him that there are things even more important than lofty principles. I’d tell him…that love is a rare and precious thing, and that substitutes are notoriously unfulfilling.”
Tate searched the older man’s eyes. “You’re a fine one to talk.”
Holden’s face fell. “Yes, that’s true.” He turned away.
Why should he feel guilty? But he did. “I didn’t mean to say that,” Tate said, irritated by his remorse and the other man’s defeated posture. “I can’t help the way I feel about my culture.”
“If it weren’t for the cultural difference, how would you feel about Cecily?”
Tate hesitated. “It wouldn’t change anything. She’s been my responsibility. I’ve taken care of her. It would be gratitude on her part, even a little hero worship, nothing more. I couldn’t take advantage of that. Besides, she’s involved with Colby.”
“And you couldn’t live with being the second man.”
Tate’s face hardened. His eyes flashed.
Holden shook his head. “You’re just brimming over with excuses, aren’t you? It isn’t the race thing, it isn’t the culture thing, it isn’t even the guardian-ward thing. You’re afraid.”
Tate’s mouth made a thin line. He didn’t reply.
“When you love someone, you give up control of yourself,” he continued quietly. “You have to consider the other person’s needs, wants, fears. What you do affects the other person. There’s a certain loss of freedom as well.” He moved a step closer. “The point I’m making is that Cecily already fills that place in your life. You’re still protecting her, and it doesn’t matter that there’s another man. Because you can’t stop looking out for her. Everything you said in this office proves that.” He searched Tate’s turbulent eyes. “You don’t like Colby Lane, and it isn’t because you think Cecily’s involved with him. It’s because he’s been tied to one woman so tight that he can’t struggle free of his love for her, even after years of divorce. That’s how you feel, isn’t it, Tate? You can’t get free of Cecily, either. But Colby’s always around and she indulges him. She might marry him in an act of desperation. And then what will you do? Will your noble excuses matter a damn then?
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Dear Reader Once and its sequel Then are two parts of the same story, but they were written and published as two separate books. In this edition they are together for the first time. Felix and Zelda’s story came from my imagination, but it was inspired by a period of history that was all too real. My grandfather was a Jew from Krakow in Poland. He left there long before that time, but his extended family didn’t and most of them perished. Fifteen years ago I read a book about Janusz Korczak, a Polish Jewish doctor and children’s author who devoted his life to caring for young people. Over many years he helped run an orphanage for two hundred Jewish children. In 1942, when the Nazis murdered these orphans, Janusz Korczak was offered his freedom but chose to die
Morris Gleitzman (Once and Then)
Lord, I don't know what came over me, sweetheart. I hope I wasn't too rough with you." He inched her away from him and searched her rosy face.
"Stop babbling, Mr. Sinclair. I loved every minute of it." Her lips curved in a seductive smile that made Rider's Mr. Happy rear to attention again.
"Lord, woman, you keep this up and I'm going to die a young man."
"But a very,very happy young man!
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
The father was dry-eyed but the mother kept erupting, like loudly, unprovoked, in a keening foreign wail that was almost like song; it sounded strangely ceremonial and impersonal, like a lament for an idea. Walter went alone to the morgue, without any idea. His love was resting beneath a sheet on a gurney of an awkward height, too high to be knelt by. Her hair was as ever, silky and black and thick, as ever, but there was something wrong with her jaw, some outrageously cruel and unforgivable injury, and her forehead, when he kissed it, was colder than any just universe could have allowed such a young person's forehead to be. The coldness entered him through his lips and didn't leave. What was over was over. His delight in the world had died, and there was no point in anything.
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
The Future is an illusion because, at the most fundamental level, Choice is an illusion. I am a believer in the theory, popular among physicists, that every time there is a Choice, the universe splits: both choices come to pass, but in now-separate universes. And so on, and on, with every choice of every particle, every atom, every molecule, every cell, every being, coming into being. In this universe of universes, everything happens, and every combination of things happens. Our universe is a mote of dust in an ever-growing dust-storm of possibilities, but each mote of dust in that storm is generating its own dust-storm of possibilities every instant, the motes of which in turn... But you get the general impression. Indeed to think of ourselves as single selves, and our universe as a single universe, is to be blinded, by the limitations of our senses and our consciousness, to the infinite-faceted truth: that we are infinite in a universe of universes that are each infinitely infinite..."
"An intriguingly intricate view of the world," I said (...)
Pat Sheeran nodded. "And it is astonishing how little practical difference it makes," he said. "All my other lives are as inaccessible to me as if they did not exist at all. No doubt in other universes I am a beggar, a revolutionary thinker, an academic, an accountant; a drinker, a thinker, a writer of books; I lose a freckle, gain a mole, shade off into men nothing like me at all; I have sons, fire guns, live forever, die too young. Whenever any particle in this universe changes state, I am split and travel in both directions, multiplied. But here I am, suffering the illusion of unity in this endlessly bifurcating moment.
Yet sometimes, I wave my arms for the joy of creating a spray of universes."
I said startled at the implications, “Though it may make no practical difference, the implications are nonetheless startling."
"Indeed," said Pat Sheeran. "I had immediately to file all the fiction on my shelves under Non-Fiction. For it is an unavoidable corollary of this theory, that Fiction is impossible. For all novels are true histories of worlds as real as ours, but which we cannot see. All stories are possible, all histories have happened. I, billion-bodied, live a trillion lives every quantum instant. Those trillion lives branch out, a quintillion times a second, as every particle in every atom in each mote of dust on land, in sea, and sky, and space, and star, flickering in and out of being in the void, hesitates and decides its next stage. All tragedies, all triumphs, are mine, are yours."
"It is a curious and difficult thing, to think that all is possible. No, probable. No, certain," I said, attempting to grasp the largeness of the thought."That nothing is improbable."
"It is a comforting thought, some nights, to this version of me, now," said Pat Sheeran, and we roared on.
Julian Gough (Jude: Level 1)
On Growing Old
Be with me, Beauty, for the fire is dying;
My dog and I are old, too old for roving.
Man, whose young passion sets the spindrift flying,
Is soon too lame to march, too cold for loving.
I take the book and gather to the fire,
Turning old yellow leaves; minute by minute
The clock ticks to my heart. A withered wire,
Moves a thin ghost of music in the spinet.
I cannot sail your seas, I cannot wander
Your cornland, nor your hill-land, nor your valleys
Ever again, nor share the battle yonder
Where the young knight the broken squadron rallies.
Only stay quiet while my mind remembers
The beauty of fire from the beauty of embers.
Beauty, have pity! for the strong have power,
The rich their wealth, the beautiful their grace,
Summer of man its sunlight and its flower.
Spring-time of man, all April in a face.
Only, as in the jostling in the Strand,
Where the mob thrusts, or loiters, or is loud,
The beggar with the saucer in his hand
Asks only a penny from the passing crowd,
So, from this glittering world with all its fashion,
Its fire, and play of men, its stir, its march,
Let me have wisdom, Beauty, wisdom and passion,
Bread to the soul, rain when the summers parch.
Give me but these, and though the darkness close
Even the night will blossom as the rose.
John Masefield (Enslaved and Other Poems)
Hic Jacet Arthurus Rex Quondam Rexque Futurus
Arthur is gone…Tristram in Careol
Sleeps, with a broken sword - and Yseult sleeps
Beside him, where the Westering waters roll
Over drowned Lyonesse to the outer deeps.
Lancelot is fallen . . . The ardent helms that shone
So knightly and the splintered lances rust
In the anonymous mould of Avalon:
Gawain and Gareth and Galahad - all are dust.
Where do the vanes and towers of Camelot
And tall Tintagel crumble? Where do those tragic
Lovers and their bright eyed ladies rot?
We cannot tell, for lost is Merlin's magic.
And Guinevere - Call her not back again
Lest she betray the loveliness time lent
A name that blends the rapture and the pain
Linked in the lonely nightingale's lament.
Nor pry too deeply, lest you should discover
The bower of Astolat a smokey hut
Of mud and wattle - find the knightliest lover
A braggart, and his lilymaid a slut.
And all that coloured tale a tapestry
Woven by poets. As the spider's skeins
Are spun of its own substance, so have they
Embroidered empty legend - What remains?
This: That when Rome fell, like a writhen oak
That age had sapped and cankered at the root,
Resistant, from her topmost bough there broke
The miracle of one unwithering shoot.
Which was the spirit of Britain - that certain men
Uncouth, untutored, of our island brood
Loved freedom better than their lives; and when
The tempest crashed around them, rose and stood
And charged into the storm's black heart, with sword
Lifted, or lance in rest, and rode there, helmed
With a strange majesty that the heathen horde
Remembered when all were overwhelmed;
And made of them a legend, to their chief,
Arthur, Ambrosius - no man knows his name -
Granting a gallantry beyond belief,
And to his knights imperishable fame.
They were so few . . . We know not in what manner
Or where they fell - whether they went
Riding into the dark under Christ's banner
Or died beneath the blood-red dragon of Gwent.
But this we know; that when the Saxon rout
Swept over them, the sun no longer shone
On Britain, and the last lights flickered out;
And men in darkness muttered: Arthur is gone…
Francis Brett Young
Why, Daddy?” she asked. She still had that strange look on her face. “Why do dogs die so young? Shadow was only seventeen. He was not even as old as my babysitter.”
“To teach us,” he said.
“Teach us what, Daddy?”
“Compassion,” he replied.
“But why, Daddy?” she asked.
“So that we might be kinder. So we might make the world kinder. They leave, but they leave us with their lesson. All great teachers do that.”
“Yes,” said Emma. “He was a good teacher to me too. He was also a wonderful runway model.”
He handed her the polaroid. She examined its rivulets and splotches. She put her thumb on the smudges, rubbing them. To Theo, it seemed she knew of the eyes and mouth that once had been. Then the full gravity of the circumstance fell upon her. Emma wept. She was now a girl with a crack in her heart. The sorrows of the world were now available to her. Soon, she would know their beauty.
Steven James Taylor (The Dog)
The master says it’s a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it’s a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there’s anyone in the world who would like us to live. My brothers are dead and my sister is dead and I wonder if they died for Ireland or the Faith. Dad says they were too young to die for anything. Mam says it was disease and starvation and him never having a job. Dad says, Och, Angela, puts on his cap and goes for a long walk.
Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes)
Ah, I believe Schacht. Only too willingly; that’s to say, I think what he says is absolutely true, for the world is incomprehensibly crass, tyrannical, moody, and cruel to sickly and sensitive people. Well, Schacht will stay here for the time being. We laughed at him a bit, when he arrived, that can’t be helped either, Schacht is young and after all can’t be allowed to think there are special degrees, advantages, methods, and considerations for him. He has now had his first disappointment, and I’m convinced that he’ll have twenty disappointments, one after the other. Life with its savage laws is in any case for certain people a succession of discouragements and terrifying bad impressions. People like Schacht are born to feel and suffer a continuous sense of aversion. He would like to admit and welcome things, but he just can’t. Hardness and lack of compassion strike him with tenfold force, he just feels them more acutely. Poor Schacht. He’s a child and he should be able to revel in melodies and bed himself in kind, soft, carefree things. For him there should be secret splashings and birdsong. Pale and delicate evening clouds should waft him away in the kingdom of Ah, What’s Happening to Me? His hands are made for light gestures, not for work. Before him breezes should blow, and behind him sweet, friendly voices should be whispering. His eyes should be allowed to remain blissfully closed, and Schacht should be allowed to go quietly to sleep again, after being wakened in the morning in the warm, sensuous cushions. For him there is, at root, no proper activity, for every activity is for him, the way he is, improper, unnatural, and unsuitable. Compared with Schacht I’m the trueblue rawboned laborer. Ah, he’ll be crushed, and one day he’ll die in a hospital. or he’ll perish, ruined in body and soul, inside one of our modern prisons.
Robert Walser (Jakob von Gunten)
Girls aside, the other thing I found in the last few years of being at school, was a quiet, but strong Christian faith – and this touched me profoundly, setting up a relationship or faith that has followed me ever since.
I am so grateful for this. It has provided me with a real anchor to my life and has been the secret strength to so many great adventures since.
But it came to me very simply one day at school, aged only sixteen.
As a young kid, I had always found that a faith in God was so natural. It was a simple comfort to me: unquestioning and personal.
But once I went to school and was forced to sit through somewhere in the region of nine hundred dry, Latin-liturgical, chapel services, listening to stereotypical churchy people droning on, I just thought that I had got the whole faith deal wrong.
Maybe God wasn’t intimate and personal but was much more like chapel was … tedious, judgemental, boring and irrelevant.
The irony was that if chapel was all of those things, a real faith is the opposite. But somehow, and without much thought, I had thrown the beautiful out with the boring. If church stinks, then faith must do, too.
The precious, natural, instinctive faith I had known when I was younger was tossed out with this newly found delusion that because I was growing up, it was time to ‘believe’ like a grown-up.
I mean, what does a child know about faith?
It took a low point at school, when my godfather, Stephen, died, to shake me into searching a bit harder to re-find this faith I had once known.
Life is like that. Sometimes it takes a jolt to make us sit and remember who and what we are really about.
Stephen had been my father’s best friend in the world. And he was like a second father to me. He came on all our family holidays, and spent almost every weekend down with us in the Isle of Wight in the summer, sailing with Dad and me. He died very suddenly and without warning, of a heart attack in Johannesburg.
I was devastated.
I remember sitting up a tree one night at school on my own, and praying the simplest, most heartfelt prayer of my life.
‘Please, God, comfort me.’
Blow me down … He did.
My journey ever since has been trying to make sure I don’t let life or vicars or church over-complicate that simple faith I had found. And the more of the Christian faith I discover, the more I realize that, at heart, it is simple. (What a relief it has been in later life to find that there are some great church communities out there, with honest, loving friendships that help me with all of this stuff.)
To me, my Christian faith is all about being held, comforted, forgiven, strengthened and loved – yet somehow that message gets lost on most of us, and we tend only to remember the religious nutters or the God of endless school assemblies.
This is no one’s fault, it is just life. Our job is to stay open and gentle, so we can hear the knocking on the door of our heart when it comes.
The irony is that I never meet anyone who doesn’t want to be loved or held or forgiven. Yet I meet a lot of folk who hate religion. And I so sympathize. But so did Jesus. In fact, He didn’t just sympathize, He went much further. It seems more like this Jesus came to destroy religion and to bring life.
This really is the heart of what I found as a young teenager: Christ comes to make us free, to bring us life in all its fullness. He is there to forgive us where we have messed up (and who hasn’t), and to be the backbone in our being.
Faith in Christ has been the great empowering presence in my life, helping me walk strong when so often I feel so weak. It is no wonder I felt I had stumbled on something remarkable that night up that tree.
I had found a calling for my life.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
At first glance, young John Adams’s obsession with recognition seems odd. In contrast to the great mass of his contemporaries, his yearning was exceptional. Yet when Adams is compared to other high achievers of his generation, his behavior appears more normal. Young Washington sought recognition just as fervently, and he impatiently pursued a commission in the British army during the French and Indian War as the most rapid means of procuring attention. The youthful Thomas Jefferson dreamed of someday sitting on the King’s Council in Virginia, while Alexander Hamilton, born too late to soldier in the war in the 1750s, announced: “I contemn the grovling and condition of a Clerk or the like, to which my Fortune, &c., contemns me.” He wished for war, through which he could be catapulted into notoriety; his hero was James Wolfe, the British general who died in the assault on Quebec in 1759. Benjamin Franklin, who grew up earlier in Boston, exhibited the same industriousness and ambition that Adams would evince. He mapped out an extensive regimen of self-improvement, as did Adams, and found his role models in Jesus and Socrates. Adams, and many others who would subsequently play an important role in the affairs of early America, were the sort of men that historian Douglass Adair aptly describes as “passionately selfish and self-interested,” men who shared a common attribute, a love of fame.23
John Ferling (John Adams: A Life)
Another site of Leftist struggle [other than Detroit] that has parallels to New Orleans: Palestine. From the central role of displacement to the ways in which culture and community serve as tools of resistance, there are illuminating comparisons to be made between these two otherwise very different places.
In the New Orleans Black community, death is commemorated as a public ritual (it's often an occasion for a street party), and the deceased are often also memorialized on t-shirts featuring their photos embellished with designs that celebrate their lives. Worn by most of the deceased's friends and family, these t-shirts remind me of the martyr posters in Palestine, which also feature a photo and design to memorialize the person who has passed on. In Palestine, the poster's subjects are anyone who has been killed by the occupation, whether a sick child who died at a checkpoint or an armed fighter killed in combat. In New Orleans, anyone with family and friends can be memorialized on a t-shift. But a sad truth of life in poor communities is that too many of those celebrate on t-shirts lost their lives to violence. For both New Orleans and Palestine, outsiders often think that people have become so accustomed to death by violence that it has become trivialized by t-shirts and posters.
While it's true that these traditions wouldn't manifest in these particular ways if either population had more opportunities for long lives and death from natural causes, it's also far from trivial to find ways to celebrate a life. Outsiders tend to demonize those killed--especially the young men--in both cultures as thugs, killers, or terrorists whose lives shouldn't be memorialized in this way, or at all. But the people carrying on these traditions emphasize that every person is a son or daughter of someone, and every death should be mourned, every life celebrated.
Jordan Flaherty (Floodlines: Community and Resistance from Katrina to the Jena Six)
Ladies and gentlemen,
I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work - a life's work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust. It will not be difficult to find a dedication for the money part of it commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin. But I would like to do the same with the acclaim too, by using this moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand here where I am standing.
Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.
He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed - love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.
Until he relearns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking.
I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.
Whatever any of us may have thought about Hatsumomo, she was like an empress in our okiya since she earned the income be which we all lived. And being an empress she would have been very displeased, upon returning late at night, to find her palace dark and all the servants asleep. That is to say, when she came home too drunk to unbutton her socks, someone had to unbutton them for her; and if she felt hungry, she certainly wasn't going to stroll into the kitchen and prepare something by herself--such as an umeboshi ochazuke, which was a favorite snack of hers, made with leftover rice and pickled sour plums, soaked in hot tea. Actually our okiya wasn't at all unusual in this respect. The job of waiting up to bow and welcome the geisha home almost always fell to the most junior of the "cocoons"--as the young geisha-in-training were often called. And from the moment I began taking lessons at the school, the most junior cocoon in our okiya was me. Long before midnight, Pumpkin and the two elderly maids were sound asleep on their futons only a meter or so away on the wood floor of the entrance hall; but I had to go on kneeling there, struggling to stay awake until sometimes as late as two o'clock in the morning. Granny's room was nearby and she slept with her light on and her door opened a crack. The bar of light that fell across my empty futon made me think of a day, not long before Satsu [Chiyo's sister] and I were taken away from our village, when I'd peered into the back room of our house to see my mother asleep there. My father had draped fishing nets across the paper screens to darken the room, but it looked so gloomy I decided to open one of the windows; and when I did, a strip of bright sunlight fell across my mother's futon and showed her hand so pale and bony. To see the yellow lights streaming from Granny's room onto my futon...I had to wonder if my mother was still alive. We ere so much alike, I felt sure I would have known if she'd died; but of course, I'd had no sign one way or the other.
Arthur Golden (Memoirs of a Geisha)
We began before words, and we will end beyond them.
It sometimes seems to me that our days are poisoned with too many words. Words said and not meant. Words said ‘and’ meant. Words divorced from feeling. Wounding words. Words that conceal. Words that reduce. Dead words.
If only words were a kind of fluid that collects in the ears, if only they turned into the visible chemical equivalent of their true value, an acid, or something curative – then we might be more careful. Words do collect in us anyway. They collect in the blood, in the soul, and either transform or poison people’s lives. Bitter or thoughtless words poured into the ears of the young have blighted many lives in advance. We all know people whose unhappy lives twist on a set of words uttered to them on a certain unforgotten day at school, in childhood, or at university.
We seem to think that words aren’t things. A bump on the head may pass away, but a cutting remark grows with the mind. But then it is possible that we know all too well the awesome power of words – which is why we use them with such deadly and accurate cruelty.
We are all wounded inside one way or other. We all carry unhappiness within us for some reason or other. Which is why we need a little gentleness and healing from one another. Healing in words, and healing beyond words. Like gestures. Warm gestures. Like friendship, which will always be a mystery. Like a smile, which someone described as the shortest distance between two people.
Yes, the highest things are beyond words.
That is probably why all art aspires to the condition of wordlessness. When literature works on you, it does so in silence, in your dreams, in your wordless moments. Good words enter you and become moods, become the quiet fabric of your being. Like music, like painting, literature too wants to transcend its primary condition and become something higher. Art wants to move into silence, into the emotional and spiritual conditions of the world. Statues become melodies, melodies become yearnings, yearnings become actions.
When things fall into words they usually descend. Words have an earthly gravity. But the best things in us are those that escape the gravity of our deaths. Art wants to pass into life, to lift it; art wants to enchant, to transform, to make life more meaningful or bearable in its own small and mysterious way. The greatest art was probably born from a profound and terrible silence – a silence out of which the greatest enigmas of our life cry: Why are we here? What is the point of it all? How can we know peace and live in joy? Why be born in order to die? Why this difficult one-way journey between the two mysteries?
Out of the wonder and agony of being come these cries and questions and the endless stream of words with which to order human life and quieten the human heart in the midst of our living and our distress.
The ages have been inundated with vast oceans of words. We have been virtually drowned in them. Words pour at us from every angle and corner. They have not brought understanding, or peace, or healing, or a sense of self-mastery, nor has the ocean of words given us the feeling that, at least in terms of tranquility, the human spirit is getting better.
At best our cry for meaning, for serenity, is answered by a greater silence, the silence that makes us seek higher reconciliation.
I think we need more of the wordless in our lives. We need more stillness, more of a sense of wonder, a feeling for the mystery of life. We need more love, more silence, more deep listening, more deep giving.
Ben Okri (Birds of Heaven)
And I am overwhelmed now by the awfulness of over-simplification. For now I realize that not only have I been guilty of it through this long and burning day but also through most of my yet young life and it is only now that I am doubly its victim that I begin to vaguely understand. For I had somehow thought that ‘going away’ was but a physical thing. And that it had only to do with movement and with labels like the silly ‘Vancouver’ that I had glibly rolled from off my tongue; or with the crossing of bodies of water or with the boundaries of borders. And because my father told me I was ‘free’ I had foolishly felt that it was really so. Just like that. And I realize now that the older people of my past are more complicated than perhaps I had ever thought. And that there are distinctions between my sentimental, romantic grandfather and his love for coal, and my stern and practical grandmother her hatred of it; and my quietly strong but passive mother and the souring extremes of my father’s passionate violence and the quiet power of his love. They are all so different. Perhaps it is possible I think now to be both and yet to see only one. For the man in whose glassed-in car I now sit sees only similarity. For him the people of this multi-scarred little town are reduced to but a few phrases and the act of sexual intercourse. They are only so many identical goldfish leading identical, incomprehensible lives within the glass prison of their bowl. And the people on the street view me from behind my own glass in much the same way and it is the way that I have looked at others in their ‘foreign licence’ cars and it is the kind of judgment that I myself have made. And yet it seems that neither these people nor this man are in any way unkind and not to understand does not necessarily mean that one is cruel. But one should at least be honest. And perhaps I have tried too hard to be someone else without realizing at first what I presently am. I do not know. I am not sure. But I do know that I cannot follow this man into a house that is so much like the one I have left this morning and go down into the sexual embrace of a woman who might well be my mother. And I do not know what she, my mother, may be like in the years to come when she is deprived of the lighting movement of my father’s body and the hammered pounding of his heart. For I do not know when he may die. And I do not know in what darkness she may cry out his name nor to whom. I do not know very much of anything, it seems, except that I have been wrong and dishonest with others and myself. And perhaps this man has left footprints on a soul I did not even know that I possessed.
Alistair MacLeod (The Lost Salt Gift of Blood)
...The underlying motive for the French wars [of 1562-1598] was not religious, but dynastic. By the mid-16th century, the Valois family of kings, who had ruled France since 1328, was losing its grasp on political power. Valois King Henry II died in 1559, leaving four sons, all too young or too feeble to rule alone, and three rival noble families, all eager to seize power. One, the Guise (who had married into the royal family), were Catholic; their enemies, the Bourbon and the (more moderate) Montmerency, were Protestant. The Bourbon, in particular, were supported by the many small local Protestant churches that had been set up in France by supporters of Calvin's teachings. Unlike Protestants in England or Germany, they were not controlled by powerful rulers or city councils; some were prepared to use violence and other forms of lawlessness to further Protestant reform. Concerned by this threat to public order, and continuing the Valois' kings generally hostile policy toward reform, in 1562 the Guise ordered the massacre of 74 Protestants at a church service.
Fiona MacDonald (The Reformation (Events & Outcomes))
There is one in this tribe too often miserable - a child bereaved of both parents. None cares for this child: she is fed sometimes, but oftener forgotten: a hut rarely receives her: the hollow tree and chill cavern are her home. Forsaken, lost, and wandering, she lives more with the wild beast and bird than with her own kind. Hunger and cold are her comrades: sadness hovers over, and solitude besets her round. Unheeded and unvalued, she should die: but she both lives and grows: the green wilderness nurses her, and becomes to her a mother: feeds her on juicy berry, on saccharine root and nut.
There is something in the air of this clime which fosters life kindly: there must be something, too, in its dews, which heals with sovereign balm. Its gentle seasons exaggerate no passion, no sense; its temperature tends to harmony; its breezes, you would say, bring down from heaven the germ of pure thought, and purer feeling. Not grotesquely fantastic are the forms of cliff and foliage; not violently vivid the colouring of flower and bird: in all the grandeur of these forests there is repose; in all their freshness there is tenderness.
The gentle charm vouchsafed to flower and tree, - bestowed on deer and dove, - has not been denied to the human nursling. All solitary, she has sprung up straight and graceful. Nature cast her features in a fine mould; they have matured in their pure, accurate first lines, unaltered by the shocks of disease. No fierce dry blast has dealt rudely with the surface of her frame; no burning sun has crisped or withered her tresses: her form gleams ivory-white through the trees; her hair flows plenteous, long, and glossy; her eyes, not dazzled by vertical fires, beam in the shade large and open, and full and dewy: above those eyes, when the breeze bares her forehead, shines an expanse fair and ample, - a clear, candid page, whereon knowledge, should knowledge ever come, might write a golden record. You see in the desolate young savage nothing vicious or vacant; she haunts the wood harmless and thoughtful: though of what one so untaught can think, it is not easy to divine.
On the evening of one summer day, before the Flood, being utterly alone - for she had lost all trace of her tribe, who had wandered leagues away, she knew not where, - she went up from the vale, to watch Day take leave and Night arrive. A crag, overspread by a tree, was her station: the oak-roots, turfed and mossed, gave a seat: the oak-boughs, thick-leaved, wove a canopy.
Slow and grand the Day withdrew, passing in purple fire, and parting to the farewell of a wild, low chorus from the woodlands. Then Night entered, quiet as death: the wind fell, the birds ceased singing. Now every nest held happy mates, and hart and hind slumbered blissfully safe in their lair.
The girl sat, her body still, her soul astir; occupied, however, rather in feeling than in thinking, - in wishing, than hoping, - in imagining, than projecting. She felt the world, the sky, the night, boundlessly mighty. Of all things, herself seemed to herself the centre, - a small, forgotten atom of life, a spark of soul, emitted inadvertent from the great creative source, and now burning unmarked to waste in the heart of a black hollow. She asked, was she thus to burn out and perish, her living light doing no good, never seen, never needed, - a star in an else starless firmament, - which nor shepherd, nor wanderer, nor sage, nor priest, tracked as a guide, or read as a prophecy? Could this be, she demanded, when the flame of her intelligence burned so vivid; when her life beat so true, and real, and potent; when something within her stirred disquieted, and restlessly asserted a God-given strength, for which it insisted she should find exercise?
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
As you’re creating your goals and crossing them off, don’t forget to think about WHY you have those specific goals, and whether crossing them off will really bring you happiness. We’ve all heard the stories of famous people who died far too young, whether it’s Michael Jackson, Robin Williams, or Janis Joplin—people who seemingly had everything and yet struggled to find happiness. We often think the end result will produce happiness, when in fact happiness is not an end goal that we chase, but rather a consequence of the things we are chasing.
Steve Kamb (Level Up Your Life: How to Unlock Adventure and Happiness by Becoming the Hero of Your Own Story)
Duroy, who felt light hearted that evening, said with a smile: "You are gloomy to-day, dear master."
The poet replied: "I am always so, young man, so will you be in a few years. Life is a hill. As long as one is climbing up one looks towards the summit and is happy, but when one reaches the top one suddenly perceives the descent before one, and its bottom, which is death. One climbs up slowly, but one goes down quickly. At your age a man is happy. He hopes for many things, which, by the way, never come to pass. At mine, one no longer expects anything - but death."
Duroy began to laugh: "You make me shudder all over."
Norbert de Varenne went on: "No, you do not understand me now, but later on you will remember what I am saying to you at this moment. A day comes, and it comes early for many, when there is an end to mirth, for behind everything one looks at one sees death. You do not even understand the word. At your age it means nothing; at mine it is terrible. Yes, one understands it all at once, one does not know how or why, and then everything in life changes its aspect. For fifteen years I have felt death assail me as if I bore within me some gnawing beast. I have felt myself decaying little by little, month by month, hour by hour, like a house crumbling to ruin. Death has disfigured me so completely that I do not recognize myself. I have no longer anything about me of myself - of the fresh, strong man I was at thirty. I have seen death whiten my black hairs, and with what skillful and spiteful slowness. Death has taken my firm skin, my muscles, my teeth, my whole body of old, only leaving me a despairing soul, soon to be taken too. Every step brings me nearer to death, every movemebt, every breath hastens his odious work. To breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work, dream, everything we do is to die. To live, in short, is to die. Oh, you will realize this. If you stop and think for a moment you will understand. What do you expect? Love? A few more kisses and you will be impotent. Then money? For what? Women? Much fun that will be! In order to eat a lot and grow fat and lie awake at night suffering from gout? And after that? Glory? What use is that when it does not take the form of love? And after that? Death is always the end. I now see death so near that I often want to stretch my arms to push it back. It covers the earth and fills the universe. I see it everywhere. The insects crushed on the path, the falling leaves, the white hair in a friend's head, rend my heart and cry to me, 'Behold it!' It spoils for me all I do, all I see, all that I eat and drink, all that I love; the bright moonlight, the sunrise, the broad ocean, the noble rivers, and the soft summer evening air so sweet to breath."
He walked on slowly, dreaming aloud, almost forgetting that he had a listener: "And no one ever returns - never. The model of a statue may be preserved, but my body, my face, my thoughts, my desires will never reappear again. And yet millions of beings will be born with a nose, eyes, forehead, cheeks, and mouth like me, and also a soul like me, without my ever returning, without even anything recognizable of me appearing in these countless different beings. What can we cling to? What can we believe in? All religions are stupid, with their puerile morality and their egotistical promises, monstrously absurd. Death alone is certain."
"Think of that, young man. Think of it for days, and months and years, and life will seem different to you. Try to get away from all the things that shut you in. Make a superhuman effort to emerge alive from your own body, from your own interests, from your thoughts, from humanity in general, so that your eyes may be turned in the opposite direction. Then you understand how unimportant is the quarrel between Romanticism and Realism, or the Budget debates.
Guy de Maupassant
I would do anything – absolutely anything,’ he was thinking, ‘if only you would be nice to me. If you would be nice to me, I would gladly die for you this moment. It doesn’t really matter whether you know what I feel for you or not. Just be nice to me, then at least we shall be a little closer to each other, instead of so horribly far apart.’ At the same time Dai-yu was thinking: ‘Never mind me. Just be your own natural self. If you were all right, I should be all right too. All these manoeuvrings to try and anticipate my feelings don’t bring us any closer together; they merely draw us farther apart.’ The percipient reader will no doubt observe that these two young people were already of one mind, but that the complicated procedures by which they sought to draw together were in fact having precisely the opposite effect. Complacent reader! Permit us to remind you that your correct understanding of the situation is due solely to the fact that we have been revealing to you the secret, innermost thoughts of those two young persons, which neither of them had so far ever felt able to express.
Cao Xueqin (The Crab-Flower Club (The Story of the Stone #2))
Ah! Lord Henry, I wish you would tell me how to become young again."
He thought for a moment. "Can you remember any great error that you committed in your early days, Duchess?" he asked, looking at her across the table.
"A great many, I fear," she cried.
"Then commit them over again," he said gravely. "To get back one's youth, one has merely to repeat one's follies. Yes," he continued, "that is one of the great secrets of life. Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
To the enormous majority of persons who risk themselves in literature, not even the smallest measure of success can fall. They had better take to some other profession as quickly as may be, they are only making a sure thing of disappointment, only crowding the narrow gates of fortune and fame. Yet there are others to whom success, though easily within their reach, does not seem a thing to be grasped at. Of two such, the pathetic story may be read, in the Memoir of A Scotch Probationer, Mr. Thomas Davidson, who died young, an unplaced Minister of the United Presbyterian Church, in 1869. He died young, unaccepted by the world, unheard of, uncomplaining, soon after writing his latest song on the first grey hairs of the lady whom he loved. And she, Miss Alison Dunlop, died also, a year ago, leaving a little work newly published, Anent Old Edinburgh, in which is briefly told the story of her life. There can hardly be a true tale more brave and honourable, for those two were eminently qualified to shine, with a clear and modest radiance, in letters. Both had a touch of poetry, Mr. Davidson left a few genuine poems, both had humour, knowledge, patience, industry, and literary conscientiousness. No success came to them, they did not even seek it, though it was easily within the reach of their powers. Yet none can call them failures, leaving, as they did, the fragrance of honourable and uncomplaining lives, and such brief records of these as to delight, and console and encourage us all. They bequeath to us the spectacle of a real triumph far beyond the petty gains of money or of applause, the spectacle of lives made happy by literature, unvexed by notoriety, unfretted by envy. What we call success could never have yielded them so much, for the ways of authorship are dusty and stony, and the stones are only too handy for throwing at the few that, deservedly or undeservedly, make a name, and therewith about one-tenth of the wealth which is ungrudged to physicians, or barristers, or stock-brokers, or dentists, or electricians. If literature and occupation with letters were not its own reward, truly they who seem to succeed might envy those who fail. It is not wealth that they win, as fortunate men in other professions count wealth; it is not rank nor fashion that come to their call nor come to call on them. Their success is to be let dwell with their own fancies, or with the imaginations of others far greater than themselves; their success is this living in fantasy, a little remote from the hubbub and the contests of the world. At the best they will be vexed by curious eyes and idle tongues, at the best they will die not rich in this world’s goods, yet not unconsoled by the friendships which they win among men and women whose faces they will never see. They may well be content, and thrice content, with their lot, yet it is not a lot which should provoke envy, nor be coveted by ambition.
Andrew Lang (How to Fail in Literature: A Lecture)
Young man,” he went on, raising his head again, “in your face I seem to read some trouble of mind. When you came in I read it, and that was why I addressed you at once. For in unfolding to you the story of my life, I do not wish to make myself a laughing-stock before these idle listeners, who indeed know all about it already, but I am looking for a man of feeling and education. Know then that my wife was educated in a high-class school for the daughters of noblemen, and on leaving, she danced the shawl dance before the governor and other personages for which she was presented with a gold medal and a certificate of merit. The medal … well, the medal of course was sold—long ago, hm … but the certificate of merit is in her trunk still and not long ago she showed it to our landlady. And although she is most continually on bad terms with the landlady, yet she wanted to tell some one or other of her past honours and of the happy days that are gone. I don’t condemn her for it. I don’t blame her, for the one thing left her is recollection of the past, and all the rest is dust and ashes. Yes, yes, she is a lady of spirit, proud and determined. She scrubs the floors herself and has nothing but black bread to eat, but won’t allow herself to be treated with disrespect. That’s why she would not overlook Mr. Lebeziatnikov’s rudeness to her, and so when he gave her a beating for it, she took to her bed more from the hurt to her feelings than from the blows. She was a widow when I married her, with three children, one smaller than the other. She married her first husband, an infantry officer, for love, and ran away with him from her father’s house. She was exceedingly fond of her husband; but he gave way to cards, got into trouble and with that he died. He used to beat her at the end: and although she paid him back, of which I have authentic documentary evidence, to this day she speaks of him with tears and she throws him up at me; and I am glad, I am glad that, though only in imagination, she should think of herself as having once been happy.… And she was left at his death with three children in a wild and remote district where I happened to be at the time; and she was left in such hopeless poverty that, although I have seen many ups and downs of all sorts, I don’t feel equal to describing it even. Her relations had all thrown her off. And she was proud, too, excessively proud.… And then, honoured sir, and then, I, being at the time a widower, with a daughter of fourteen left me by my first wife, offered her my hand, for I could not bear the sight of such suffering. You can judge the extremity of her calamities, that she, a woman of education and culture and distinguished family, should have consented to be my wife. But she did! Weeping and sobbing and wringing her hands, she married me! For she had nowhere to turn! Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn? No, that you don’t understand yet…
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)
And when they start talking, and they always do, you find that each of them has a story they want to tell. Everyone, no matter how old or young, has some lesson they want to teach. And I sit there and listen and learn all about life from people who have no idea how to live it. Nobody knows how to just shut the fuck up and look out the window anymore. The bathrooms are tiny and filthy and you have no choice but to piss all over yourself when the bus swerves, but the streetlights look like blurred stars exploding in the window when it rains at night, and you can sleep knowing that if there’s an accident and everyone on the bus dies it wasn’t your fault. Someone fat and snoring will sometimes sit beside you and sweat on your shoulder even though it’s twelve degrees outside, and someone else with a big head shaped like an onion and dirty hair that smells like fish sticks will sit in front of you and recline their seat into your lap. And you’ll be trapped and sleepless and sad for the entire ride. But then other times you get two whole seats to yourself, and when that becomes your idea of luxury you know you’ve found something that no one else is even looking for, and if you gave it to them for Christmas they’d return it the next morning as soon as the stores opened. And then you get to think of yourself like the little drummer boy, playing for Jesus even though he’s too young to understand, even though nobody in Bethlehem really likes percussion and they think you’re a cheap ass for not bringing gold or frankincense. And it’s a shame when you realize that you won’t get to be in the Bible, and it doesn’t seem right. But then nobody gets to be in the Bible anymore, no matter who they are or what they do, and the sooner you realize that the easier it all becomes. But it’s still a shame.
Paul Neilan (Apathy and Other Small Victories)
Nick's number waited impatiently on the screen, tapping its foot. I could press the red button to cancel the call. Without pressing anything, I set the phone down on my bedside table, crossed my arms,and glared at it.
Good:Nick wouldn't think I was chasing him.
Bad:Nick would die alone in his house from complications related to his stupendous wipeout.The guilt of knowing I could have saved his life if not for my outsized ego would be too much for me to bear.I would retreat from public life.I would join a nearby convent and knit potholders from strands of my own hair.No,I would crochet Christmas ornaments in the shape of delicate snowflakes.Red snowflakes! They would be sold in the souvenir shops around town.I would support a whole orphanage from the proceeds of snowflakes I crocheted from my hair.All the townspeople of Snowfall would tell tourists the story of Crazy Sister Hayden and the tragedy of her lost love.
Or I could call Nick.Jesus! I snatched up the phone and pressed the green button.
His phone switched straight to voice mail.Great,I hadn't found out whether he was dying,and if he recovered later,he would see my number on his phone and roll his eyes.
Damage control: Beeeeep!
"Hey,Nick,it's Hayden.Just,ah, wanted to know how a crash like that feels." Wait,I was trying to get him to call me back,right?He would not return my call after a message like that. "Actually just wondering whether you're ready to make out again and then have another argument." He might not return that call,either. "Actually,I remembered your mother isn't home,and I wanted to make sure you're okay.Please give me a call back."
Pressed red button.Set phone on nightstand.Folded arms.Glared at phone. Picked it up. "Freaking stupid young love!" I hollered,slamming it into the pillows on my bed. Doofus jumped up, startled.
Jennifer Echols (The Ex Games)
And, even now, as he paced the streets, and listlessly looked round on the gradually increasing bustle and preparation for the day, everything appeared to yield him some new occasion for despondency. Last night, the sacrifice of a young, affectionate, and beautiful creature, to such a wretch, and in such a cause, had seemed a thing too monstrous to succeed; and the warmer he grew, the more confident he felt that some interposition must save her from his clutches. But now, when he thought how regularly things went on, from day to day, in the same unvarying round; how youth and beauty died, and ugly griping age lived tottering on; how crafty avarice grew rich, and manly honest hearts were poor and sad; how few they were who tenanted the stately houses, and how many of those who lay in noisome pens, or rose each day and laid them down each night, and lived and died, father and son, mother and child, race upon race, and generation upon generation, without a home to shelter them or the energies of one single man directed to their aid; how, in seeking, not a luxurious and splendid life, but the bare means of a most wretched and inadequate subsistence, there were women and children in that one town, divided into classes, numbered and estimated as regularly as the noble families and folks of great degree, and reared from infancy to drive most criminal and dreadful trades; how ignorance was punished and never taught; how jail-doors gaped, and gallows loomed, for thousands urged towards them by circumstances darkly curtaining their very cradles' heads, and but for which they might have earned their honest bread and lived in peace; how many died in soul, and had no chance of life; how many who could scarcely go astray, be they vicious as they would, turned haughtily from the crushed and stricken wretch who could scarce do otherwise, and who would have been a greater wonder had he or she done well, than even they had they done ill; how much injustice, misery, and wrong, there was, and yet how the world rolled on, from year to year, alike careless and indifferent, and no man seeking to remedy or redress it; when he thought of all this, and selected from the mass the one slight case on which his thoughts were bent, he felt, indeed, that there was little ground for hope, and little reason why it should not form an atom in the huge aggregate of distress and sorrow, and add one small and unimportant unit to swell the great amount.
Charles Dickens (Nicholas Nickleby)
Cecily let her cheek fall to Leta’s shoulder and hugged her back. It felt so nice to be loved by someone in the world. Since her mother’s death, she’d had no one of her own. It was a lonely life, despite the excitement and adventure her work held for her. She wasn’t openly affectionate at all, except with Leta.
“For God’s sake, next you’ll be rocking her to sleep at night!” came a deep, disgusted voice at Cecily’s back, and Cecily stiffened because she recognized it immediately.
“She’s my baby girl,” Leta told her tall, handsome son with a grin. “Shut up.”
Cecily turned a little awkwardly. She hadn’t expected this. Tate Winthrop towered over both of them. His jet-black hair was loose as he never wore it in the city, falling thick and straight almost to his waist. He was wearing a breastplate with buckskin leggings and high-topped mocassins. There were two feathers straight up in his hair with notches that had meaning among his people, marks of bravery.
Cecily tried not to stare at him. He was the most beautiful man she’d ever known. Since her seventeenth birthday, Tate had been her world. Fortunately he didn’t realize that her mad flirting hid a true emotion. In fact, he treated her exactly as he had when she came to him for comfort after her mother had died suddenly; as he had when she came to him again with bruises all over her thin, young body from her drunken stepfather’s violent attack. Although she dated, she’d never had a serious boyfriend. She had secret terrors of intimacy that had never really gone away, except when she thought of Tate that way. She loved him…
“Why aren’t you dressed properly?” Tate asked, scowling at her skirt and blouse. “I bought you buckskins for your birthday, didn’t I?”
“Three years ago,” she said without meeting his probing eyes. She didn’t like remembering that he’d forgotten her birthday this year. “I gained weight since then.”
“Oh. Well, find something you like here…”
She held up a hand. “I don’t want you to buy me anything else,” she said flatly, and didn’t back down from the sudden menace in his dark eyes. “I’m not dressing up like a Lakota woman. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m blond. I don’t want to be mistaken for some sort of overstimulated Native American groupie buying up artificial artifacts and enthusing over citified Native American flute music, trying to act like a member of the tribe.”
“You belong to it,” he returned. “We adopted you years ago.”
“So you did,” she said. That was how he thought of her-a sister. That wasn’t the way she wanted him to think of her. She smiled faintly. “But I won’t pass for a Lakota, whatever I wear.”
“You could take your hair down,” he continued thoughtfully.
She shook her head. She only let her hair loose at night, when she went to bed. Perhaps she kept it tightly coiled for pure spite, because he loved long hair and she knew it.
“How old are you?” he asked, trying to remember. “Twenty, isn’t it?”
“I was, give years ago,” she said, exasperated. “You used to work for the CIA. I seem to remember that you went to college, too, and got a law degree. Didn’t they teach you how to count?”
He looked surprised. Where had the years gone? She hadn’t aged, not visibly.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Palo's three older brothers had died in the Paraguayan War, conscripted by the Argentinian government, taken off by force along with all the black men of their generation, because, Palo told young Santiago, they needed a way to not only win their war but also rid this country of us in the process, two birds with one stone. Buenos Aires was too black for them, one third of the population, that's enough blackness to swallow you up! to get strong on you! and so they sent our fathers off to war and opened floodgates to European steamships so that white men would pour into the city to replace us, and their plan worked, the bastarda, look at our city now.
Carolina De Robertis (The Gods of Tango)
If there’s one thing I regret it’s not having told my father how much I admired and loved him. My only gesture of affection was a quick kiss on the forehead two days before he died. The kiss tasted like sugar and I felt like a thief who furtively stole something that no longer belong to anybody. Why do we hide our feelings? Out of cowardice? Out of egotism? With a mother it’s different: we cover her with flowers, gifts and sweet phrases. What is it that prevents us from affectionately confronting our father and telling him, face to face, how much we love or admire him? On the other hand, why do we curse him under our breath when he puts us in our place? Why do we react with wickedness and not affection when the occasion presents itself? Why are we brave with taunts and cowards with affection? Why did I never tell my father these things but I tell them to you, who are probably too young to understand them yet? One night I wanted to speak to my father ion his room but found him asleep. As I quietly began to leave the room, I heard my sleeping father, in a desperate voice, say: “No, papa, no!” What strange, agitated dream was my father experiencing with his father? And if one thing caught my attention, beyond the enigma of the dream, was that my father was seventy-eight years old at that time and my grandfather had been dead for at least a quarter of a century. Does a man have to die to speak to his father?
Juan Gabriel Vásquez (La forma de las ruinas)
Yet each man kills the thing he loves, By each let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword! Some kill their love when they are young, And some when they are old; Some strangle with the hands of Lust, Some with the hands of Gold: The kindest use a knife, because The dead so soon grow cold. Some love too little, some too long, Some sell, and others buy; Some do the deed with many tears, And some without a sigh: For each man kills the thing he loves, Yet each man does not die. He does not die a death of shame On a day of dark disgrace, Nor have a noose about his neck, Nor a cloth upon his face, Nor drop feet foremost through the floor Into an empty space.
Oscar Wilde (Selected Poems)
Everything did change, faster than his fingers could type. What he had been too cautious to hope for was pulled from his dreams and made real on the television screen. At that momentous hour on December 26, 1991, as he watched the red flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics—the empire “empire extending eleven times zones, from the Sea of Japan to the Baltic coast, encompassing more than a hundred ethnicities and two hundred languages; the collective whose security demanded the sacrifice of millions, whose Slavic stupidity had demanded the deportation of Khassan’s entire homeland; that utopian mirage cooked up by cruel young men who gave their mustaches more care than their morality; that whole horrid system that told him what he could be and do and think and say and believe and love and desire and hate, the system captained by Lenin and Zinoviev and Stalin and Malenkov and Beria and Molotov and Khrushchev and Kosygin and Mikoyan and Podgorny and Brezhnev and Andropov and Chernenko and Gorbachev, all of whom but Gorbachev he hated with a scorn no author should have for his subject, a scorn genetically encoded in his blood, inherited from his ancestors with their black hair and dark skin—as he watched that flag slink down the Kremlin flagpole for the final time, left limp by the windless sky, as if even the weather wanted to impart on communism this final disgrace, he looped his arms around his wife and son and he held them as the state that had denied him his life quietly died.
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
At that time, a number of myths were created by the young people of the smoking carriages and forests of hallucinogenic mushrooms, the hungry for the thirst of lysergic acid, who were too tired of the suffering they grew up in and needed to take refuge in dreams. In these children's universe there were unbelievable stories about places in the mountains that women sought to retreat to, places where people were united by music and love for a mutual spiritual growth. For Aunt Jeanine, who had grown up with the image of her father, an amputee due to the war, feeding on such stories was like a haven, one she would later try to turn into her home. And one of those stories, one particular one, stood in her memory until the last stage of her life, when she passed away at eighty-one, burned with fire. (...) At that time, kid, they said that if we searched enough, we would find a place where the world wouldn't end. Men would never know what hell of a place that was, totally unconquerable! A place where the dirty hands of men would never arrive. A place men would never know about . Don't you think I could find it? To have my body disappearing in the woods, as I saw happening to kids in Japan, in that forest that swallows them to its core. Flesh turned to powder, my essence disappearing in the middle of life. They said that, when you die at a place, you'll stay at that place forever. That was why everyone was afraid to go to war. They weren't afraid of dying, kid, they were afraid of dying there.
Pat R (Os Homens Nunca Saberão Nada Disto)
Matt’s housekeeper let him in with a grimace.
“I’m harmless today,” Tate assured the woman as she led the way to where Matt Holden was standing just outside the study door.
“Right. You and two odd species of cobra,” Matt murmured sarcastically, glaring at his son from a tanned face. “What do you want, a bruise to match the other one?”
Tate held up both hands. “Don’t start,” he said.
Matt moved out of the way with reluctance and closed the study door behind them. “Your mother’s gone shopping,” he said.
“Good. I don’t want to talk to her just yet.”
Matt’s eyebrows levered up. “Oh?”
Tate dropped into the wing chair across from the senator’s bulky armchair. “I need some advice.”
Matt felt his forehead. “I didn’t think a single malt whiskey was enough to make me hallucinate,” he said to himself.
Tate glowered at him. “You’re not one of my favorite people, but you know Cecily a little better than I seem to lately.”
“Cecily loves you,” Matt said shortly, dropping into his chair.
“That’s not the problem,” Tate said. He leaned forward, his hands clasped loosely between his splayed knees. “Although I seem to have done everything in my power to make her stop.”
The older man didn’t speak for a minute or two. “Love doesn’t die that easily,” he said. “Your mother and I are a case in point. We hadn’t seen each other for thirty-six years, but the instant we met again, the years fell away. We were young again, in love again.”
“I can’t wait thirty-six years,” Tate stated. He stared at his hands, then he drew in a long breath. “Cecily’s pregnant.”
The other man was quiet for so long that Tate lifted his eyes, only to be met with barely contained rage in the older man’s face.
“Is it yours?” Matt asked curtly.
Tate glowered at him. “What kind of woman do you think Cecily is? Of course it’s mine!”
Matt chuckled. He leaned back in the easy chair and indulged the need to look at his son, to find all the differences and all the similarities in that younger version of his face. It pleased him to find so many familiar things.
“We look alike,” Tate said, reading the intent scrutiny he was getting. “Funny that I never noticed that before.”
Matt smiled. “We didn’t get along very well.”
“Both too stubborn and inflexible,” Tate pointed out.
Tate chuckled dryly. “Maybe.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Have you ever been too old, too young, too big, too small, too smart, too dumb?
Have you ever been too fat, too thin, too shy, too loud, too slow to win?
Have you ever been too scared to try, too small to play, too young to die?
Have you ever been too weak to fight, too little yet, or not quite right?
Have you ever been too dark, too light, too black, too brown, too red, too white?
Have you ever been put off ’til last, the odd man out, the jerk they sassed?
Have you ever been the one black sheep, the naughty child, the nerdy geek?
Have you ever been the butt of jokes, the timid soul, the oddest folk?
Have you ever been left out of fun, forgotten when the day is done?
Have you ever been afraid to lose? Afraid to try? Afraid to choose?
Have you ever been too rich, too poor, too venturesome, or just a bore?
Have you ever had no clue at all? Nowhere to go? No one to call?
Have you ever been without a friend? Have you ever wished the day would end?
Have you ever had the biggest nose, the longest arms, the funny toes?
Have you ever had the flattest chest? Have you ever had the biggest breasts?
Have you ever prayed your luck would change? Have you ever felt your life was strange?
Have you ever wished for something more, or something less than what you were?
If you have ever felt this way, you're one of us I’m here to say.
We've all been there a time or two because we're human, me and you.
We've all felt different in some way because we are, and that’s okay.
We've all been hurt; we've all been scarred. That's life. And frankly, life is hard.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Being Bold: Quotes, Poetry, & Motivations for Every Day of the Year)
ODE TO STEPHEN DOWLING BOTS, DEC’D And did young Stephen sicken, And did young Stephen die? And did the sad hearts thicken, And did the mourners cry? No; such was not the fate of Young Stephen Dowling Bots; Though sad hearts round him thickened, ’Twas not from sickness’ shots. No whooping-cough did rack his frame, Nor measles drear with spots; Not these impaired the sacred name Of Stephen Dowling Bots. Despised love struck not with woe That head of curly knots, Nor stomach troubles laid him low, Young Stephen Dowling Bots. O no. Then list with tearful eye, Whilst I his fate do tell. His soul did from this cold world fly By falling down a well. They got him out and emptied him; Alas it was too late; His spirit was gone for to sport aloft In the realms of the good and great. If
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
Mrs. Indianapolis was in town again. She looked like a can of Sprite in her green and yellow outfit. She always likes to come down to the front desk just to chat. It was 4:04 am and thankfully I was awake and at the front desk when she got off the elevator and walked towards me.
“Good morning, Jacob,” she said.
“My name is Jarod,” I replied.
“When did you change your name?”
“I was born Jarod, and I’ll probably die. Maybe.”
“You must be new here. You look like a guy named Jacob that used to work at the front desk.”
“Nope, I’m not new. And there’s no Jacob that’s worked the front desk, nor anybody who looks or looked like me. How can I assist you, Mrs. Indianapolis?”
“I’d like to inform you that the pool is emitting a certain odor.”
“What sort of odor?”
“Ah, that’s what we like to call chlorine. It’s the latest craze in the sanitation of public pools. Between you and me, though, I think it’s just a fad.”
“Don’t get sassy with me, young man. I know what chlorine is. I expect a clean pool when I go swimming. But what I don’t expect is enough bleach to get the grass stain out of a shirt the size of Kentucky.”
“That’s not our policy, ma’am. We only use about as much chlorine as it would take to remove a coffee stain the size of Seattle from a light gray shirt the size of Washington.”
“Jerry, I don’t usually give advice to underlings, but I’m feeling charitable tonight. So I’ll tell you that if you want to get ahead in life, you have to know when to talk and when not to talk. And for a guy like you, it’d be a good idea if you decided not to talk all the time. Or even better, not to talk at all.”
“Some people say some people talk too much, and some people, the second some people, say the first some people talk to much and think too little. Who is first and who is second in this case? Well, the customer—that’s you, lady—always comes first.”
“There you go again with the talking. I’d rather talk to a robot than to you.”
“If you’d rather talk to a robot, why don’t you just find your husband? He’s got all the personality and charm of a circuit board. Forgive me, I didn’t mean that.”
“I should hope not!”
“What I meant to say was fried circuit board. It’d be quite absurd to equate your husband’s banter to a functioning circuit board.”
“I’m going to have a talk to your manager about your poor guest service.”
“Go ahead. Tell him that Jerry was rude and see what he says. And by the way, the laundry room is off limits when no lifeguard is on duty.
Jarod Kintz (Gosh, I probably shouldn't publish this.)
Screams died in them and floated belly up, like dead fish. Cowering on the floor, rocking between dread and disbelief, they realized that the man being beaten was Velutha. Where had he come from? What had he done? Why had the policemen brought him here?
They heard the thud of wood on flesh. Boot on bone. On teeth. The muffled grunt when a stomach is kicked in The muted crunch of skull on cement. The gurgle of blood on a man's breath when his lung is torn by the jagged end of a broken rib.
Blue-lipped and dinner-plate-eyed, they watched, mesmerized by something that they sensed but didn't understand: the absence of caprice in what the policemen did. The abyss where anger should have been. The sober, steady brutality, the economy of it all.
They were opening a bottle.
Or shutting a tap.
Cracking an egg to make an omelette.
The twins were too young to know that these were only history’s henchmen. Sent to square the books and collect the dues from those who broke its laws. Impelled by feelings that were primal yet paradoxically wholly impersonal. Feelings of contempt born of inchoate, unacknowledged fear — civilization’s fear of nature, men’s fear of women, power’s fear of powerlessness.
Man’s subliminal urge to destroy what he could neither subdue nor deify.
What Esthappen and Rahel witnessed that morning, though they didn’t know it then, was a clinical demonstration in controlled conditions (this was not war after all, or genocide) of human nature’s pursuit of ascendancy. Structure. Order Complete monopoly. It was human history, masquerading as God’s Purpose, revealing herself to an under-age audience.
There was nothing accidental about what happened that morning. Nothing incidental. It was no stray mugging or personal settling of scores. This was an era imprinting itself on those who lived in it.
History in live performance.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
Sugar substitutes aren’t any better. Many people (including me when I was overweight) turn to artificial sugars to quell their cravings without packing on the pounds. Back then I would have happily performed heart surgery with a Diet Coke in my hand if only I could have found a way to sterilize it! But ironically, although these products are supposed to aid in weight loss, they do just the opposite. That’s because products such as sucralose, saccharin, aspartame, and other nonnutritive artificial sweeteners kill your gut buddies and allow the bad bugs to multiply. Believe it or not, a Duke University study28 showed that a single Splenda packet kills 50 percent of normal intestinal flora! It’s sad but true: if you eat too much of anything sweet, your gut buddies will starve to death, and your bad bugs will live long and prosper—and multiply. Even fructose, the sugar in fruit, has been shown to be a mitochrondrial poison! There goes the neighborhood.
Steven R. Gundry (The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age (The Plant Paradox Book 4))
up for it, and I’m sorry. That’s not enough. You’re going to search until you find something, and you’re going to tell me. Right now. Sheri. Please. You do it now or we’re gone. You give me some way to have some sympathy for you as I stand in this nice house, all lovingly redone, and think about the broken house you left us in, with its leaky roof and no heat and no insulation and nothing. Tell your sob story about the fucking war, whatever it was that my mom thought you were so broken about. My grandfather closed his eyes. No story ever explains. But I’ll give you what you want. I think I know the moment you want, because I made a kind of decision. There was some change. But I can’t start the story at the beginning. I’ve never been able to do that. I have to start at the end and then go back, and it doesn’t finish, because you can go back forever. Do it, my mother said. I don’t think Caitlin should hear. She can hear. Okay. You’re her mother. That’s right. So I won’t give the awful details, but I was lying in a pile of bodies. My friends. The closest friends I’ve ever had. Not piled there on purpose, but just the way it ended up because I had been working on the axle, lying on the ground. And the thing is, the war was over. It had been over for days, and we were laughing and a bit drunk, telling jokes. There was something unbearable about the fact that we’d all be going our separate ways now. The truth is that we didn’t want to leave. We wanted the war over, but we didn’t want what we had together to be over. I think we all had some sense that this was the closest we’d ever be to anyone, and that our families might feel like strangers now. So that’s it? You couldn’t be a father and husband because you weren’t done being a buddy? No. No. It’s the way it happened, in a moment that was supposed to be safe. After every moment of every day in fear for years, we were finally safe, and that’s when the slugs came and I watched my friends torn apart and landing on me, dying. That’s the point. We were supposed to be safe. And with your mother, too, I was supposed to be safe. A wife, a family. The story doesn’t make any sense unless you know every moment before it, every time we thought we were going to die, all the times we weren’t safe. You can’t just be told about that. You have to feel it, how long one night can be, and then all of them put together, hundreds of nights and then more, and there’s a kind of deal that’s made, a deal with god. You do certain terrible things, you endure things, because there’s a bargain made. And then when god says the deal’s off later, after you’ve already paid, and you see your friends ripped through, yanked like puppets on a day that was safe, and you find out your wife is going to die young, and you get to watch her dying, something that again is going to be for years, hundreds of nights more, all deals are off.
David Vann (Aquarium)
But it wasn't all bad. Sometimes things wasn't all bad. He used to come home easing into bed sometimes, not too drunk. I make out like I'm asleep, 'casue it's late, and he taken three dollars out of my pocketbook that morning or something. I hear him breathing, but I don't look around. I can see in my mind's eye his black arms thrown back behind his head, the muscles like a great big peach stones sanded down, with veins running like little swollen rivers down his arms. Without touching him I be feeling those ridges on the tips of my fingers. I sees the palms of his hands calloused to granite, and the long fingers curled up and still. I think about the thick, knotty hair on his chest, and the two big swells his breast muscles make. I want to rub my face hard in his chest and feel the hair cut my skin. I know just where the hair growth slacks out-just above his navel- and how it picks up again and spreads out. Maybe he'll shift a little, and his leg will touch me, or I feel his flank just graze my behind. I don't move even yet. Then he lift his head, turn over, and put his hand on my waist. If I don't move, he'll move his hand over to pull and knead my stomach. Soft and slow-like. I still don't move, because I don't want him to stop. I want to pretend sleep and have him keep rubbing my stomach. Then he will lean his head down and bite my tit. Then I don't want him to rub my stomach anymore. I want him to put his hand between my legs. I pretend to wake up, and turn to him, but not opening my legs. I want him to open them for me. He does, and I be soft and wet where his fingers are strong and hard. I be softer than I ever been before. All my strength in his hand. My brain curls up like wilted leaves. A funny, empty feeling is in my hands. I want to grab holt of something, so I hold his head. His mouth is under my chin. Then I don't want his hands between my legs no more, because I think I am softening away. I stretch my legs open, and he is on top of me. Too heavy to hold, too light not to. He puts his thing in me. In me. In me. I wrap my feet around his back so he can't get away. His face is next to mine. The bed springs sounds like them crickets used to back home. He puts his fingers in mine, and we stretches our arms outwise like Jesus on the cross. I hold tight. My fingers and my feet hold on tight, because everything else is going, going. I know he wants me to come first. But I can't. Not until he does. Not until I feel him loving me. Just me. Sinking into me. Not until I know that my flesh is all that be on his mind. That he couldnt stop if he had to. That he would die rather than take his thing our of me. Of me. Not until he has let go of all he has, and give it to me. To me. To me. When he does, I feel a power. I be strong, I be pretty, I be young. And then I wait. He shivers and tosses his head. Now I be strong enough, pretty enough, and young enough to let him make me come. I take my fingers out of his and put my hands on his behind. My legs drop back onto the bed. I don't make a noise, because the chil'ren might hear. I begin to feel those little bits of color floating up into me-deep in me. That streak of green from the june-bug light, the purple from the berries trickling along my thighs, Mama's lemonade yellow runs sweet in me. Then I feel like I'm laughing between my legs, and the laughing gets all mixed up with the colors, and I'm afraid I'll come, and afraid I won't. But I know I will. And I do. And it be rainbow all inside. And it lasts ad lasts and lasts. I want to thank him, but dont know how, so I pat him like you do a baby. He asks me if I'm all right. I say yes. He gets off me and lies down to sleep. I want to say something, but I don't. I don't want to take my mind offen the rainbow. I should get up and go to the toilet, but I don't. Besides Cholly is asleep with his leg thrown over me. I can't move and I don't want to.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
Patriotism comes from the same Latin word as father. Blind patriotism is collective transference. In it the state becomes a parent and we citizens submit our loyalty to ensure its protection. We may have been encouraged to make that bargain from our public school education, our family home, religion, or culture in general. We associate safety with obedience to authority, for example, going along with government policies. We then make duty, as it is defined by the nation, our unquestioned course. Our motivation is usually not love of country but fear of being without a country that will defend us and our property. Connection is all-important to us; excommunication is the equivalent of death, the finality we can’t dispute. Healthy adult loyalty is a virtue that does not become blind obedience for fear of losing connection, nor total devotion so that we lose our boundaries. Our civil obedience can be so firm that it may take precedence over our concern for those we love, even our children. Here is an example: A young mother is told by the doctor that her toddler is allergic to peanuts and peanut oil. She lets the school know of her son’s allergy when he goes to kindergarten. Throughout his childhood, she is vigilant and makes sure he is safe from peanuts in any form. Eighteen years later, there is a war and he is drafted. The same mother, who was so scrupulously careful about her child’s safety, now waves goodbye to him with a tear but without protest. Mother’s own training in public school and throughout her life has made her believe that her son’s life is expendable whether or not the war in question is just. “Patriotism” is so deeply ingrained in her that she does not even imagine an alternative, even when her son’s life is at stake. It is of course also true that, biologically, parents are ready to let children go just as the state is ready to draft them. What a cunning synchronic-ity. In addition, old men who decide on war take advantage of the timing too. The warrior archetype is lively in eighteen-year-olds, who are willing to fight. Those in their mid-thirties, whose archetype is being a householder and making a mark in their chosen field, will not show an interest in battlefields of blood. The chiefs count on the fact that young braves will take the warrior myth literally rather than as a metaphor for interior battles. They will be willing to put their lives on the line to live out the collective myth of societies that have not found the path of nonviolence. Our collective nature thus seems geared to making war a workable enterprise. In some people, peacemaking is the archetype most in evidence. Nature seems to have made that population smaller, unfortunately. Our culture has trained us to endure and tolerate, not to protest and rebel. Every cell of our bodies learned that lesson. It may not be virtue; it may be fear. We may believe that showing anger is dangerous, because it opposes the authority we are obliged to appease and placate if we are to survive. This explains why we so admire someone who dares to say no and to stand up or even to die for what he believes. That person did not fall prey to the collective seduction. Watching Jeopardy on television, I notice that the audience applauds with special force when a contestant risks everything on a double-jeopardy question. The healthy part of us ardently admires daring. In our positive shadow, our admiration reflects our own disavowed or hidden potential. We, too, have it in us to dare. We can stand up for our truth, putting every comfort on the line, if only we can calm our long-scared ego and open to the part of us that wants to live free. Joseph Campbell says encouragingly, “The part of us that wants to become is fearless.” Religion and Transference Transference is not simply horizontal, from person to person, but vertical from person to a higher power, usually personified as God. When
David Richo (When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds That Sabotage Our Relationships)
Did you know I always thought you were braver than me? Did you ever guess that that was why I was so afraid? It wasn’t that I only loved some of you. But I wondered if you could ever love more than some of me. I knew I’d miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn’t happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn’t seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away. But it’s all around me, and you’re all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic. The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn’t yours and mine? It does to me. And I’m sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn’t change it. It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It’s nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won’t. I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me—of all the particles that will spread everywhere—will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing’s final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don’t, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I’ll see you sometime again, even if it’s not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the way things go after all—that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. And for you and me. Always, Your Peter P.S. Please give my love to Tink. She was always such a funny little bug.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
I have been so great a lover: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of Love's praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and still content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair,
For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear
Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife
Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far,
My night shall be remembered for a star
That outshone all the suns of all men's days.
Shall I not crown them with immortal praise
Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me
High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see
The inenarrable godhead of delight?
Love is a flame; -- we have beaconed the world's night.
A city: -- and we have built it, these and I.
An emperor: -- we have taught the world to die.
So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence,
And the high cause of Love's magnificence,
And to keep loyalties young, I'll write those names
Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames,
And set them as a banner, that men may know,
To dare the generations, burn, and blow
Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming....
These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such --
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year's ferns....
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water's dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the ground; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body's pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass; --
All these have been my loves. And these shall pass,
Whatever passes not, in the great hour,
Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power
To hold them with me through the gate of Death.
They'll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath,
Break the high bond we made, and sell Love's trust
And sacramented covenant to the dust.
---- Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake,
And give what's left of love again, and make
New friends, now strangers....
But the best I've known,
Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown
About the winds of the world, and fades from brains
Of living men, and dies.
O dear my loves, O faithless, once again
This one last gift I give: that after men
Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed,
Praise you, "All these were lovely"; say, "He loved.
From outside the shelter came children's voices. The shrill squeals brought the excitement of their unseen game into the opaque quiet of Setsuko's world and made her smile. "No war can go on forever. And human beings are the toughest creatures on earth, you know. There's no sense in being in a hurry to die. You MUST LIVE, whatever happens." Shoichi Wakui had squeezed her hand and told her this with an almost violent urgency, though his grasp was weak and his voice halting. Were those the Sugiwaras' children she could hear? The barber had had the presence of mind to rescue his kit when he fled through the flames of his burning shop, and now he was doing a brisk trade, seating his customers on cushions atop piled stones from the foundations. To house his family he'd put a lean-to against the railway embankment, barely enough to keep out the weather, but at least the children were no longer starving. Even in defeat the locally garrisoned soldiers all had some supplies of food, and while waiting to board trains for their hometowns from Yokohama Station they'd sit on the stone seat of the Sugawara Barbershop and have a good shave, leaving the children something to eat as payment.
Setsuko no longer felt the rage that had overwhelmed her at the disbanding ceremony. If they had fought on home ground, one hundred million Japanese sworn to die before they would surrender, those children would have had to die too. Those young lives and spirits would have been extinguished in terror and pain and they wouldn't even have understood why. They have a right to go on living, and the strength to do it, Setsuko thought. For their sakes, if no one else's, I should rejoice that the war ended before an invasion reached the home front. Shoichi Wakui's words came back clearly: "Even when a war is lost, people's lives still go on." And Naomis, in the gray notebook: "Every war comes to an end, and when peace is restored Paris rises like a phoenix." But what about those who'd already died? It was agony to think of those who would not rise: the dead would be left where they fell at the ends of the earth while the living would come home with their knapsacks of clothing and food. Whether they had gone to the front or stayed at home, the people had staked their lives for country and Emperor, and after they had lost, the country and the Emperor were still there. Then what had it all meant? Adrift and floundering in despair, Setsuko slipped back into a restless sleep.
Shizuko Gō (Requiem)
Anne Sexton, who died forty-two years ago today, did her best to respond to the legions of fans who wrote to her. The letter below, from August 1965, finds her dispensing unvarnished advice to an aspiring poet from Amherst. Read more of her correspondence in Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters.
Your letter was very interesting, hard to define, making it hard on me somehow to set limits for you, advise or help in any real way. First of all let me tell you that I find your poems fascinating, terribly uneven … precious perhaps, flashes of brilliance … but the terrible lack of control, a bad use of rhyme and faults that I feel sure you will learn not to make in time. I am not a prophet but I think you will make it if you learn to revise, if you take your time, if you work your guts out on one poem for four months instead of just letting the miracle (as you must feel it) flow from the pen and then just leave it with the excuse that you are undisciplined.
Hell! I’m undisciplined too, in everything but my work … Everyone in the world seems to be writing poems … but only a few climb into the sky. What you sent shows you COULD climb there if you pounded it into your head that you must work and rework these uncut diamonds of yours.
If this is impossible for you my guess is that you will never really make it …
As for madness … hell! Most poets are mad. It doesn’t qualify us for anything. Madness is a waste of time. It creates nothing. Even though I’m often crazy, and I am and I know it, still I fight it because I know how sterile, how futile, how bleak … nothing grows from it and you, meanwhile, only grow into it like a snail.
Stop writing letters to the top poets in America. It is a terrible presumption on your part. I never in my life would have the gall (sp?) to write Randall Jarrell out of the blue that way and all my life I have wanted to do so. It’s out of line … it isn’t done. I mean they get dozens of fan letters a day that they have no time to respond to and I’m sure dozens of poems. Meanwhile, these poets (fans of whatever) should be contacting other young poets on their way—not those who have made it, who sit on a star and then have plenty of problems, usually no money, usually the fear their own writing is going down the sink hole … make contact with others such as you. They are just as lonely, just as ready, and will help you far more than the distant Big Name Poet … I’m not being rejecting, Jon, I’m being realistic.
Now Siddhartha also got some idea of why he had fought this self in vain as a Brahman, as a penitent. Too much knowledge had held him back, too many holy verses, too many sacrificial rules, to much self-castigation, so much doing and striving for that goal! Full of arrogance, he had been, always the smartest, always working the most, always one step ahead of all others, always the knowing and spiritual one, always the priest or wise one. Into being a priest, into this arrogance, into this spirituality, his self had retreated, there it sat firmly and grew, while he thought he would kill it by fasting and penance. Now he saw it and saw that the secret voice had been right, that no teacher would ever have been able to bring about his salvation. Therefore, he had to go out into the world, lose himself to lust and power, to woman and money, had to become a merchant, a dice-gambler, a drinker, and a greedy person, until the priest and Samana in him was dead. Therefore, he had to continue bearing these ugly years, bearing the disgust, the teachings, the pointlessness of a dreary and wasted life up to the end, up to bitter despair, until Siddhartha the lustful, Siddhartha the greedy could also die. He had died, a new Siddhartha had woken up from the sleep. He would also grow old, he would also eventually have to die, mortal was Siddhartha, mortal was every physical form. But today he was young, was a child, the new Siddhartha, and was full of joy.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
You see,” she explained slowly, “I anticipated that you might send me away until you got over your anger, or that you’d live with me and retaliate in private-things that an ordinary man might do. But I never imagined you would try to put a permanent end to our marriage. And to me. I should have anticipated that, knowing what Duncan had told me about you, but I was counting too much on the fact that, before I ran away, you’d said you loved me-“
“You know damned well I did. And I do. For God’s sake, if you don’t believe anything else I’ve ever said to you, at least believe that.”
He expected her to argue, but she didn’t, and Ian realized that she might be young, and inexperienced, but she was also very wise. “I know you did,” she told him, softly. “If you hadn’t loved me so deeply, I could never have hurt you as much as I did-and you wouldn’t have needed to put an end to the possibility I could ever do it again. I realized that was what you were doing, when I stood in your study and you told me you were divorcing me. If I hadn’t understood it, and you, I could never have kept fighting for you all this time.”
“I won’t argue with your conclusion, but I will swear to you not to ever do anything like that again to you.”
“Thank you. I don’t think I could bear it another time.”
“Could you enlighten me as to what Duncan told you to make you arrive at all that?”
Her smile was filled with tenderness and understanding. “He told me what you did when you returned home and discovered your family had died.”
“What did I do?”
“You severed yourself from the only other thing you loved-a black Labrador named Shadow. You did it so that you couldn’t be hurt anymore-at least not by anything over which you had control. You did essentially the same thing, although far more drastically, when you tried to divorce me.”
“In your place,” Ian said, his voice rough with emotion as he laid his hand against her cheek, “I think I’d hate me.”
His wife turned her face into his hand and kissed his palm. “Do you know,” she said with a teary smile, “how it feels to know I am loved so much…” She shook her head as if trying to find a better way to explain, and began again, her voice shaking with love. “Do you know what I notice whenever we are out in company?”
Unable to restrain himself, Ian pulled her into his arms, holding her against his heart. “No,” he whispered, “what do you notice?”
“I notice the way other men treat their wives, the way they look at them, or speak to them. And do you know what?”
“I am the only wife,” she whispered achingly, “with the exception of Alex, whose husband adores her and doesn’t care if the whole world knows it. And I absolutely know,” she added with a soft smile, “that I am the only wife whose husband has ever tried to seduce her in front of the Hospital Fund Raising Committee.”
His arms tightened around her, and with a groaning laugh, Ian tried, very successfully, to seduce his wife on the sofa.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
To love is to lose, Sam. Unfortunately, it’s just that simple. Maybe not today but someday. Maybe not when she’s too young and you’re too young, but you see that being old doesn’t help. Maybe not your wife or your girlfriend or your mother, but you see that friends die, too. I could not spare you this any more than I could spare you puberty. It is the inevitable condition of humanity. It is exacerbated by loving but also simply by leaving your front door, by seeing what’s out there in the world, by inventing computer programs that help people. You are afraid of time, Sam. Some sadness has no remedy. Some sadness you can’t make better.” “So what the hell do I do?” “Be sad.” “For how long?” “Forever.” “But then why isn’t everyone walking around miserable all the time?” “Because ice cream still tastes good. And sunny and seventy-five is still a lovely day. And funny movies make you laugh, and work is sometimes fulfilling, and a beer with a friend is nice. And other people love you too.” “And that’s enough?” “There is no enough. You are the paragon of animals, my love. You aspire to such greatness, to miracle, to newness and wonder. And that’s great. I’m so proud of you. But you forgot about the part that’s been around for time immemorial. Love, death, loss. You’ve run up against it. And there’s no getting around or over it. You stop and build your life right there at the base of that wall. But it’s okay. That’s where everyone else is too. Everyone else is either there or on their way. There is no other side, but there’s plenty of space there to build a life and plenty of company. Welcome to the wall, Sam.
Laurie Frankel (Goodbye for Now)
1. As long as there is life, there is hope-Cicero
2. Living It is a fierce battle. -Romanrot
3. If you walk three hours a day, you can go around the earth after seven years. Samuel Johnson
액상떨(신의눈물) 정품으로 판매하고있습니다
좋은 수박을 얻으려거든 일단 좋은땅부터 찾으세요
제품구입도 마찬가지가 아닐까요
믿고 주문해주시는것만큼은 저희도 그에대한 보답을 해드리겠습니다
제품은 품질 효과가 제일중요합니다
수익금은 작을지라도 고객님들께 만족과 행복감을 드리면서 한분의 구매자분이라도 단골분으로 모셔셔 안전하고 깔끔한장기간거래 원합니다
클릭해주셔셔 감사하구요 24시간 언제든지문의주세요
4. You will always be happy if you can concentrate on the present. Paulo Coelho
5. To laugh truly, you must endure pain and know how to enjoy it. -Charlie Chaplin
6. Find happiness in your job. Or you will never know what happiness is-Albert Hubbard
7. God Never Discards Courage-Kenker
8. If one door of happiness is closed, the other door opens, but we often look at the closed door blankly.
9. We do not see doors open to us – Helen Keller
10. Enjoy If You Can't Avoid It – Robert Elliot
11. Live simple. How complex lives do modern man live because of useless procedures and work?
12. Laugh at yourself first. Before others laugh at you – Elsa Maxwell
13. First, the pink flower goes first. I will not rush to set up the ball before others.
14. Very little is needed to live a happy life. -Marcus Aurelius Antonius
15. Never regret yesterday. Life is in me today and tomorrow is self-made L. Ronherbad
16. The foolish find happiness from afar, The wise grow happiness at his feet-James Oppenheim
17. Don't be too timid and picky about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more you experiment, the better-Ralph Waldo Emerson
18. Do not confuse one failure with one eternal failure-Scott Fitzgerald
19. Tomorrow's sun rises tomorrow
20. Enjoy If You Can't Avoid It-Robert Elliot
21. Never regret yesterday. Life is in me today and tomorrow is what you make yourself. L Ron Hubbard
22. You must step on the stairs to climb on the stairs, Turkey proverb
23. The person who dreams for a long time finally resembles that dream, in Andre's words.
24. Step by step must be strong and faithful for good results-Dante
25. Happiness is a habit, and it is in the body-Hubbard
26. The secret to success is to focus on one thing, a fanatical thing you can do well-Tom Monaghan
27. Having a confident look builds confidence-Charles Darwin
28. Dream as if you will live forever, and live today as if you will die tomorrow. – James Dean
29. Your faith becomes your thoughts. Your thoughts make sense. Your words become your actions Your actions become your habits. Your habits are your value. Your value becomes your destiny – Gandhi
30. Make a clear distinction between working time and playing time. Understand the importance of time and enjoy every moment. This will make your young days full of joy, and you will have less to regret when you are old, and you can live life beautifully even when you are poor – Luisa Mayolcott
31. Never give up. If you have something you want to be, take pride in it. Give yourself a chance. Do not think that you are bad. You have nothing to gain. Set your goals high, life should live like that. – Mike McLaren
32. One percent probability, that's my way. -Napoleon
33. Explore your own soul, do not depend on anyone else, but on your own. Do not let others intervene on your journey. Keep in mind that this path is your own path and that you must go alone. Although you can walk with others, know that no one else can go your chosen path.
Powerful quotes collection
It's hard to form a lasting connection when your permanent address is an eight-inch mailbox in the UPS store.
Still,as I inch my way closer, I can't help the way my breath hitches, the way my insides thrum and swirl. And when he turns,flashing me that slow, languorous smile that's about to make him world famous,his eyes meeting mine when he says, "Hey,Daire-Happy Sweet Sixteen," I can't help but think of the millions of girls who would do just about anything to stand in my pointy blue babouches.
I return the smile, flick a little wave of my hand, then bury it in the side pocket of the olive-green army jacket I always wear. Pretending not to notice the way his gaze roams over me, straying from my waist-length brown hair peeking out from my scarf, to the tie-dyed tank top that clings under my jacket,to the skinny dark denim jeans,all the way down to the brand-new slippers I wear on my feet.
"Nice." He places his foot beside mine, providing me with a view of the his-and-hers version of the very same shoe. Laughing when he adds, "Maybe we can start a trend when we head back to the States.What do you think?"
There is no we.
I know it.He knows it.And it bugs me that he tries to pretend otherwise.
The cameras stopped rolling hours ago, and yet here he is,still playing a role. Acting as though our brief, on-location hookup means something more.
Acting like we won't really end long before our passports are stamped RETURN.
And that's all it takes for those annoyingly soft girly feelings to vanish as quickly as a flame in the rain. Allowing the Daire I know,the Daire I've honed myself to be, to stand in her palce.
"Doubtful." I smirk,kicking his shoe with mine.A little harder then necessary, but then again,he deserves it for thinking I'm lame enough to fall for his act. "So,what do you say-food? I'm dying for one of those beef brochettes,maybe even a sausage one too.Oh-and some fries would be good!"
I make for the food stalls,but Vane has another idea. His hand reaches for mine,fingers entwining until they're laced nice and tight. "In a minute," he says,pulling me so close my hip bumps against his. "I thought we might do something special-in honor of your birthday and all.What do you think about matching tattoos?"
I gape.Surely he's joking.
"Yeah,you know,mehndi. Nothing permanent.Still,I thought it could be kinda cool." He arcs his left brow in his trademark Vane Wick wau,and I have to fight not to frown in return.
Nothing permanent. That's my theme song-my mission statement,if you will. Still,mehndi's not quite the same as a press-on. It has its own life span. One that will linger long after Vane's studio-financed, private jet lifts him high into the sky and right out of my life.
Though I don't mention any of that, instead I just say, "You know the director will kill you if you show up on set tomorrow covered in henna."
Vane shrugs. Shrugs in a way I've seen too many times, on too many young actors before him.He's in full-on star-power mode.Think he's indispensable. That he's the only seventeen-year-old guy with a hint of talent,golden skin, wavy blond hair, and piercing blue eyes that can light up a screen and make the girls (and most of their moms) swoon. It's a dangerous way to see yourself-especially when you make your living in Hollywood. It's the kind of thinking that leads straight to multiple rehab stints, trashy reality TV shows, desperate ghostwritten memoirs, and low-budget movies that go straight to DVD.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
He’d mentioned it a month before. A month. Not a good month, admittedly, but still—a month. That was enough time for him to have written something, at least. There was still something of him, or by him at least, floating around out there. I needed it. “I’m gonna go to his house,” I told Isaac. I hurried out to the minivan and hauled the oxygen cart up and into the passenger seat. I started the car. A hip-hop beat blared from the stereo, and as I reached to change the radio station, someone started rapping. In Swedish. I swiveled around and screamed when I saw Peter Van Houten sitting in the backseat. “I apologize for alarming you,” Peter Van Houten said over the rapping. He was still wearing the funeral suit, almost a week later. He smelled like he was sweating alcohol. “You’re welcome to keep the CD,” he said. “It’s Snook, one of the major Swedish—” “Ah ah ah ah GET OUT OF MY CAR.” I turned off the stereo. “It’s your mother’s car, as I understand it,” he said. “Also, it wasn’t locked.” “Oh, my God! Get out of the car or I’ll call nine-one-one. Dude, what is your problem?” “If only there were just one,” he mused. “I am here simply to apologize. You were correct in noting earlier that I am a pathetic little man, dependent upon alcohol. I had one acquaintance who only spent time with me because I paid her to do so—worse, still, she has since quit, leaving me the rare soul who cannot acquire companionship even through bribery. It is all true, Hazel. All that and more.” “Okay,” I said. It would have been a more moving speech had he not slurred his words. “You remind me of Anna.” “I remind a lot of people of a lot of people,” I answered. “I really have to go.” “So drive,” he said. “Get out.” “No. You remind me of Anna,” he said again. After a second, I put the car in reverse and backed out. I couldn’t make him leave, and I didn’t have to. I’d drive to Gus’s house, and Gus’s parents would make him leave. “You are, of course, familiar,” Van Houten said, “with Antonietta Meo.” “Yeah, no,” I said. I turned on the stereo, and the Swedish hip-hop blared, but Van Houten yelled over it. “She may soon be the youngest nonmartyr saint ever beatified by the Catholic Church. She had the same cancer that Mr. Waters had, osteosarcoma. They removed her right leg. The pain was excruciating. As Antonietta Meo lay dying at the ripened age of six from this agonizing cancer, she told her father, ‘Pain is like fabric: The stronger it is, the more it’s worth.’ Is that true, Hazel?” I wasn’t looking at him directly but at his reflection in the mirror. “No,” I shouted over the music. “That’s bullshit.” “But don’t you wish it were true!” he cried back. I cut the music. “I’m sorry I ruined your trip. You were too young. You were—” He broke down. As if he had a right to cry over Gus. Van Houten was just another of the endless mourners who did not know him, another too-late lamentation on his wall. “You didn’t ruin our trip, you self-important bastard. We had an awesome trip.” “I am trying,” he said. “I am trying, I swear.” It was around then that I realized Peter Van Houten had a dead person in his family. I considered the honesty with which he had written about cancer kids; the fact that he couldn’t speak to me in Amsterdam except to ask if I’d dressed like her on purpose; his shittiness around me and Augustus; his aching question about the relationship between pain’s extremity and its value. He sat back there drinking, an old man who’d been drunk for years.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Her hand just above my knee, the palm flat and soft against my jeans and her index finger making slow, lazy circles that crept toward the inside of my thigh, and with one layer between us, God I wanted her. And lying there, amid the tall, still grass and beneath the star-drunk sky, listening to the just-this-side-of-inaudible sound of her rhythmic breathing and the noisy silence of the bullfrogs, the grasshoppers, the distant cars rushing endlessly on I-65, I thought it might be a fine time to say the Three Little Words. And I steeled myself to say them as I stared up at that starriest night, convinced myself that she felt it, too, that her hand so alive and vivid against my leg was more than playful, and fuck Lara and fuck Jake because I do, Alaska Young, I do love you and what else matters but that and my lips parted to speak and before I could even begin to breathe out the words, she said, “It’s not life or death, the labyrinth.”
“Um, okay. So what is it?”
“Suffering,” she said. “Doing wrong and having wrong things happen to you. That’s the problem. Bolívar was talking about the pain, not about the living or dying. How do you get out of the labyrinth of suffering?”
“What’s wrong?” I asked. And I felt the absence of her hand on me.
“Nothing’s wrong. But there’s always suffering, Pudge. Homework or malaria or having a boyfriend who lives far away when there’s a good-looking boy lying next to you. Suffering is universal. It’s the one thing Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims are all worried about.”
I turned to her. “Oh, so maybe Dr. Hyde’s class isn’t total bullshit.” And both of us lying on our sides, she smiled, our noses almost touching, my unblinking eyes on hers, her face blushing from the wine, and I opened my mouth again but this time not to speak, and she reached up and put a finger to my lips and said, “Shh. Shh. Don’t ruin it.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Another woman catches sight of Fischerle's hump on the ground and runs screaming into the street: 'Murder! Murder!' She takes the hump for a corpse. Further details - she knows none. The murderer is very thin, a poor sap, how he came to do it, you shouldn't have thought it of him. Shot may be, someone suggests. Of course, everyone heard the shot. Three streets off, the shot had been heard. Not a bit of it, that was a motor tyre. No, it was a shot! The crowd won't be done out of its shot. A threatening attitude is assumed towards the doubters. Don't let him go. An accessory. Trying to confuse the trail! Out of the building comes more news. The woman's statements are revised. The thin man has been murdered. And the corpse on the floor? It's alive. It's the murderer, he had hidden himself. He was tring to creep away between the corpse's legs when he was caught. The more recent information is more detailed. The little man is a dwarf. What do you expect, a cripple! The blow was actually struck by another. A redheaded man. Ah, those redheads. The dwarf put him up to it. Lynch him! The woman gave the alarm. Cheers for the woman! She screamed and screamed. A Woman! Doesn't know what fear is. The murderer had threatened her. The redhead. It's always the Reds. He tore her collar off. No shooting. Of course not. What did he say? Someone must have invented the shot. The dwarf. Where is he? Inside. Rush the doors! No one else can get in. It's full up. What a murder! The woman had a plateful. Thrashed her every day. Half dead, she was. What did she marry a dwarf for? I wouldn't marry a dwarf. And you with a big man to yourself. All she could find. Too few men, that's what it is. The war! Young people to-day...Quite young he was too. Not eighteen. And a dwarf already. Clever! He was born that way. I know that. I've seen him. Went in there. Couldn't stand it. Too much blood. That's why he's so thin. An hour ago he was a great, fat man. Loss of blood, horrible! I tell you corpses swell. That's drowned ones. What do you know about corpses? Took all the jewellery off the corpse he did. Did it for the jewellery. Just outside the jewellery department it was. A pearl necklace. A baroness. He was her footman. No, the baron. Ten thousand pounds. Twenty thousand! A peer of the realm! Handsome too. Why did she send him? Should he have let his wife? It's for her to let him. Ah, men. She's alive though. He's the corpse. Fancy dying like that! A peer of the realm too Serve him right. The unemployed are starving. What's he want with a pearl necklace. String 'em up I say! Mean it too. The whole lot of them. And the Theresianum too. Burn it! Make a nice blaze.
Elias Canetti (Auto-da-Fé)
Someone shakes my shoulder. I jerk awake, my eyes wide and searching, and I see Tobias kneeling over me. He wears a Dauntless traitor jacket, and one side of his head is coated with blood. The blood streams from a wound on his ear--the top of his hear is gone. I wince.
“What happened?” I say.
“Get up. We have to run.”
“It’s too soon. It hasn’t been two weeks.”
“I don’t have time to explain. Come on.”
“Oh God. Tobias.”
I sit up and wrap my arms around him, pressing my face into his neck. His arms tighten around me and squeeze. Warmth courses through me, and comfort. If he is here, that means I’m safe. My tears make his skin slippery.
He stands and pulls me to my feet, which makes my wounded shoulder throb.
“Reinforcements will be here soon. Come on.”
I let him lead me out of the room. We make it down the first hallway without difficulty, but in the second hallway, we encounter two Dauntless guards, one a young man and one a middle-aged woman. Tobias fires twice in a matter of seconds, both hits, one in the head and one in the chest. The woman, who was hit in the chest, slumps against the wall but doesn’t die.
We keep moving. One hallway, then another, all of them look the same. Tobias’s grip on my hand never falters. I know that if he can throw a knife so that it hits just the tip of my ear, he can fire accurately at the Dauntless soldiers who ambush us. We step over fallen bodies--the people Tobias killed in the way in, probably--and finally reach a fire exit.
Tobias lets go of my hand to open the door, and the fire alarm screeches in my ears, but we keep running. I am gasping for air but I don’t care, not when I’m finally escaping, not when this nightmare is finally over. My vision starts to go black at the edges, so I grab Tobias’s arm and hold on tight, trusting him to lead me safely to the bottom of the stairs.
I run out of steps to run down, and I open my eyes. Tobias is about to open the exit door, but I hold him back. “Got to…catch my breath…”
He pauses, and I put my hands on my knees, leaning over. My shoulder still throbs. I frown, and look up at him.
“Come on, let’s get out of here,” he says insistently.
My stomach sinks. I stare into his eyes. They are dark blue, with a patch of light blue on his right iris.
I take his chin in hand and pull his lips down to mine, kissing him slowly, sighing as I pull back.
“We can’t get out of here,” I say. “Because this is a simulation.”
He pulled me to my feet with my right hand. The real Tobias would have remembered the wound in my shoulder.
“What?” He scowls at me. “Don’t you think I would know if I was under a simulation?”
“You aren’t under a simulation. You are the simulation.” I look up and say in a loud voice, “You’ll have to do better than that, Jeanine.”
All I have to do now is wake up, and I know how--I have done it before, in my fear landscape, when I broke a glass tank just by touching my palm to it, or when I made a gun appear in the grass to shoot descending birds. I take a knife from my pocket--a knife that wasn’t there a moment ago--and will my leg to be hard as diamond.
I thrust the knife toward my thigh, and the blade bends.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))