Driving Alone Quotes

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Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.
Eve Ensler
I hear the birds on the summer breeze, I drive fast I am alone in the night Been trying hard not to get into trouble, but I I've got a war in my mind So, I just ride
Lana Del Rey
He leaned his head to me, his neck so close to my lips, I felt the heat coming off his skin. His breath was warm against my ear. His voice was a ragged snarl. "I miss you." This wasn't happening. "I worry about you." He dipped his head and looked into my eyes. "I worry something stupid will happen and I won't be there and you'll be gone. I worry we won't ever get a chance and it's driving me out of my skull." No, no, no, no......... We stared at each other. The tiny space between us felt too hot. Muscles bulged on his naked frame. He looked feral. Mad gold eyes stared into mine. "Do you miss me, Kate?" I closed my eyes trying to shut him out. I could lie then we would be back to square one. Nothing would be resolved. I'd still be alone, hating him and wanting him. He grabbed my shoulders and shook me once. "Do you miss me?" I took the plunge. "Yes.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
It is the secret fear that we are unlovable that isolates us,” the passage goes, “but it is only because we are isolated that we think we are unlovable. Someday, you do not know when, you will be driving down a road. And someday, you do not know when, he, or indeed she, will be there. You will be loved because for the first time in your life, you will truly not be alone. You will have chosen to not be alone.
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
I don’t know if I will have the time to write any more letters, because I might be too busy trying to participate. So, if this does end up being the last letter, I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school, and you helped me. Even if you didn’t know what I was talking about, or know someone who’s gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don’t happen. And there are people who forget what it’s like to be sixteen when they turn seventeen. I know these will all be stories some day, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here, and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song, and that drive with the people who you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
You are all that, Catalina. You are light. And passion. Your laughter alone can lift my mood and effortlessly turn my day around in a matter of seconds. Even when it's not aimed at me. You... can light up entire rooms, Catalina. You hold that kind of power. And it's because of all the different things that make you who you are. Each and every one of them, even the ones that drive me crazy in ways you can't imagine. You should never forget that.
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception (Spanish Love Deception, #1))
Every time you look up at the stars, it’s like opening a door. You could be anyone, anywhere. You could be yourself at any moment in your life. You open that door and you realize you’re the same person under the same stars. Camping out in the backyard with your best friend, eleven years old. Sixteen, driving alone, stopping at the edge of the city, looking up at the same stars. Walking a wooded path, kissing in the moonlight, look up and you’re eleven again. Chasing cats in a tiny town, you’re eleven again, you’re sixteen again. You’re in a rowboat. You’re staring out the back of a car. Out here where the world begins and ends, it’s like nothing ever stops happening.
Bryan Lee O'Malley (Lost at Sea)
When the culture of any organization mandates that it is more important to protect the reputation of a system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of the individuals who serve that system or who are served by that system, you can be certain that the shame is systemic, the money is driving ethics, and the accountability is all but dead.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
But I've learned that intelligence alone doesn't mean a damned thing. Here in your university, intelligence, education, knowledge, have all become great idols. But I know now there's one thing you've all overlooked: intelligent and education that hasn't been tempered by human affection isn't worth a damn...Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love...Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
I’m not laughing.” I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate. ”He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over, Groceries. David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of your marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over. Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby – you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.“But I love him.” “So love him.” “But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Family: the most important thing of all. My siblings may drive me crazy at times but they are my blood. They’re all I’ve known. My family is me. They are my life. Without them I walk the planet alone. Forbidden, Tabitha Suzuma
Tabitha Suzuma (Forbidden)
Have you any idea how much my kingdom has swollen in this past century alone, how many subdivisions I've had to open?" I opened my mouth to respond, but Hades was on a roll now. More security ghouls," he moaned. "Traffic problems at the judgment pavilion. Double overtime for the staff. I used to be a rich god, Percy Jackson. I control all the precious metals under the earth. But my expenses!" Charon wants a pay raise," I blurted, just remembering the fact. As soon as I said it, I wished I could sew up my mouth. Don't get me started on Charon!" Hades yelled. "He's been impossible ever since he discovered Italian suits! Problems everywhere, and I've got to handle all of them personally. The commute time alone from the palace to the gates is enough to drive me insane! And the dead just keep arriving. No, godling. I need no help getting subjects! I did not ask for this war.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
For Ragamuffins, God's name is Mercy. We see our darkness as a prized possession because it drives us into the heart of God. Without mercy our darkness would plunge us into despair - for some, self-destruction. Time alone with God reveals the unfathomable depths of the poverty of the spirit. We are so poor that even our poverty is not our own: It belongs to the mysterium tremendum of a loving God.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Who else is going?" I asked. He shrugged. "Just you and me." My mood promptly shot up past 'cheerful' and went straight to 'estatic.' Me and Dimitri. Alone. In a car. This might very well be worth a surprise test. "How far is it?" Silently, I begged for it to be a really long drive. Like, one that would take a week. And would involve us staying overnight in luxury hotels. Maybe we'd get stranded in a snowbank, and only body heat would keep us alive. "Five hours" "Oh." A bit less than I'd hoped for. Still, five hours was better than nothing. It didn't rule out the snowbank possibility, either.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
It is very normal for one ugly weed to not want to stand alone.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Every adult life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first - the story of our quest for sexual love - is well known and well charted, its vagaries form the staple of music and literature, it is socially accepted and celebrated. The second - the story of our quest for love from the world - is a more secret and shameful tale. If mentioned, it tends to be in caustic, mocking terms, as something of interest chiefly to envious or deficient souls, or else the drive for status is interpreted in an economic sense alone. And yet this second love story is no less intense than the first, it is no less complicated, important or universal, and its setbacks are no less painful. There is heartbreak here too.
Alain de Botton (Status Anxiety)
I'll put a bullet through my own brain. Let alone wait for stark to do it. Your sister will drive me to it, Howard. No offense.
Meg Cabot (Runaway (Airhead, #3))
Ô, the wine of a woman from heaven is sent, more perfect than all that a man can invent.
Roman Payne (The Love of Europa: Limited Time Edition (Only the First Chapters))
Hitch: making rules about drinking can be the sign of an alcoholic,' as Martin Amis once teasingly said to me. (Adorno would have savored that, as well.) Of course, watching the clock for the start-time is probably a bad sign, but here are some simple pieces of advice for the young. Don't drink on an empty stomach: the main point of the refreshment is the enhancement of food. Don't drink if you have the blues: it's a junk cure. Drink when you are in a good mood. Cheap booze is a false economy. It's not true that you shouldn't drink alone: these can be the happiest glasses you ever drain. Hangovers are another bad sign, and you should not expect to be believed if you take refuge in saying you can't properly remember last night. (If you really don't remember, that's an even worse sign.) Avoid all narcotics: these make you more boring rather than less and are not designed—as are the grape and the grain—to enliven company. Be careful about up-grading too far to single malt Scotch: when you are voyaging in rough countries it won't be easily available. Never even think about driving a car if you have taken a drop. It's much worse to see a woman drunk than a man: I don't know quite why this is true but it just is. Don't ever be responsible for it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
One situation – maybe one alone – could drive me to murder: family life, togetherness.
Patricia Highsmith
when I drive the freeways I see the soul of humanity of my city and it's ugly, ugly, ugly: the living have choked the heart away.
Charles Bukowski (You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense)
I'm the one who steps from the shadows, all trenchcoat and cigarette and arrogance, ready to deal with the madness. Oh, I've got it all sewn up. I can save you. If it takes the last drop of your blood, I'll drive your demons away. I'll kick them in the bollocks and spit on them when they're down and then I'll be gone back into darkness, leaving only a nod and a wink and a wisecrack. I walk my path alone... who would walk with me?
Garth Ennis (Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits)
Attitude Is Everything We live in a culture that is blind to betrayal and intolerant of emotional pain. In New Age crowds here on the West Coast, where your attitude is considered the sole determinant of the impact an event has on you, it gets even worse.In these New Thought circles, no matter what happens to you, it is assumed that you have created your own reality. Not only have you chosen the event, no matter how horrible, for your personal growth. You also chose how you interpret what happened—as if there are no interpersonal facts, only interpretations. The upshot of this perspective is that your suffering would vanish if only you adopted a more evolved perspective and stopped feeling aggrieved. I was often kindly reminded (and believed it myself), “there are no victims.” How can you be a victim when you are responsible for your circumstances? When you most need validation and support to get through the worst pain of your life, to be confronted with the well-meaning, but quasi-religious fervor of these insidious half-truths can be deeply demoralizing. This kind of advice feeds guilt and shame, inhibits grieving, encourages grandiosity and can drive you to be alone to shield your vulnerability.
Sandra Lee Dennis
This is what it means to be alone: everyone is connected to everyone else, their bodies are a bright liquid life flowing around you, sharing a single heart that drives them to move all together. If the shark comes they will all escape, and leave you to be eaten.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Lacuna)
After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world. I mean disassociated. Take a top hat. You think you see it as it really is. But you don’t because you associate it with other things and ideas.If you had never heard of one before, and suddenly saw it alone, you’d be frightened, or you’d laugh. That is the effect absinthe has, and that is why it drives men mad. Three nights I sat up all night drinking absinthe, and thinking that I was singularly clear-headed and sane. The waiter came in and began watering the sawdust.The most wonderful flowers, tulips, lilies and roses, sprang up, and made a garden in the cafe. “Don’t you see them?” I said to him. “Mais non, monsieur, il n’y a rien.
Oscar Wilde
You are a child of God, and that alone makes you worthy of care and love. If your guard is up, let it down. If you’ve constructed a defensive wall to protect yourself and keep all the bad guys out, don’t forget who that wall also prevents from getting in—the good guys.
Brendon Burchard (The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive)
Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits in the classic formulation. Now, it's long been understood very well that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist with whatever suffering and injustice it entails as long as it's possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited: that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage-can. At this stage of history, either one of two things is possible: either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community-interests, guided by values of solidarity and sympathy and concern for others; or, alternatively, there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole and, by now, that means the global community. The question is whether privileged elites should dominate mass-communication, and should use this power as they tell us they must, namely, to impose necessary illusions, manipulate and deceive the stupid majority, and remove them from the public arena. The question, in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured, they may well be essential to survival.
Noam Chomsky
I'll tell you how the sun rose A ribbon at a time... It's a living book, this life; it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn't matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll and all your friends will fold out of your funeral and drive back to their homes in cold and still and silence. And they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were . . . and feel a kind of sickness at the idea you never again will be. So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification. And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?
Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)
The three monotheism share a series of identical forms of aversion: hatred of reason and intelligence; hatred of freedom; hatred of all books in the name of one book alone; hatred of sexuality, women,and pleasure; hatred of feminine; hatred of body, of desires, of drives. Instead Judaism, Christianity, and Islam extol faith and belief, obedience and submission, taste for death and longing for the beyond, the asexual angel and chastity, virginity and monogamous love, wife and mother, soul and spirit. In other words, life crucified and nothingness exalted.
Michel Onfray (Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam)
Mademoiselle, I beseech you, do not do what you are doing.” “Leave dear Linnet alone, you mean!” “It is deeper than that. Do not open your heart to evil.” Her lips fell apart; a look of bewilderment came into her eyes. Poirot went on gravely: “Because—if you do—evil will come…Yes, very surely evil will come…It will enter in and make its home within you, and after a little while it will no longer be possible to drive it out.
Agatha Christie (Death on the Nile)
Now you are walking in Paris all alone in the crowd As herds of bellowing buses drive by Love's anguish tightens your throat As if you were never to be loved again If you lived in the old days you would enter a monastery You are ashamed when you discover yourself reciting a prayer You make fun of yourself and like the fire of Hell your laughter crackles The sparks of your laugh gild the depths of your life It's a painting hanging in a dark museum And sometimes you go and look at it close up
Guillaume Apollinaire (Zone)
I spent all night working on it, and I hope Patrick likes it as much as I do. Especially the second side. I hope it's the kind of second side that he can listen to whenever he drives alone and feel like he belongs to something whenever he's sad. I hope it can be that for him.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
It's just the way things are. Take a moment to consider this statement. Really think about it. We send one species to the butcher and give our love and kindness to another apparently for no reason other than because it's the way things are. When our attitudes and behaviors towards animals are so inconsistent, and this inconsistency is so unexamined, we can safely say we have been fed absurdities. It is absurd that we eat pigs and love dogs and don't even know why. Many of us spend long minutes in the aisle of the drugstore mulling over what toothpaste to buy. Yet most of don't spend any time at all thinking about what species of animal we eat and why. Our choices as consumers drive an industry that kills ten billion animals per year in the United States alone. If we choose to support this industry and the best reason we can come up with is because it's the way things are, clearly something is amiss. What could cause an entire society of people to check their thinking caps at the door--and to not even realize they're doing so? Though this question is quite complex, the answer is quite simple: carnism.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism)
Fear drives us to do many things in our lives. For me, the fear of losing a loved one, and all those terrifying thoughts of what it’s like to be left behind and feel alone, drove me to conceive
Cecelia Ahern (PS, I Love You)
And he will have a great aunt called Elinor who tells him there's a world not like this one. A world with neither fairies nor glass men, but with animals who carry their young in a pouch in front of their bellies, and birds with wings that beat so fast it sounds like the humming of a bumblebee, with carriages that drive along without any horses and pictures that move on their own accord... She will tell him that even the most powerful men don't carry swords in the other world, but there are much, much more terrible weapons there...She will even claim that the people there have built coaches that can fly...So the boy will think that perhaps he'll have to go alone one day, if he wants to see that world...Because it must be exciting in that other world, much more exciting than in his own...
Cornelia Funke (Inkdeath (Inkworld, #3))
Inside us all are pieces of that which makes the neagitve. Demons are neither good nor bad. Like you, they have many facets. It is that inner essence, or drive, if you will, that we all have that guides us through our lives. Sometimes those voices that drive us are whispered memories that live deep inside and cause us such pain that we have no choice except to let it out and to hurt those around us. But at other times, the voice is love and compassion, and it guides us to a gentler place. In the end, we, alone, must choose what path to walk. No one can help us with it. (Menyara)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunter #18; Were-Hunter #4; Hellchaser #2))
You'll meet a lot of stupid guys. You'll probably get your heart broken more than once. You might reach a point where life seems worthless without him. Maybe you've already hit that point. I can't tell you to to stop crying, because sometimes, crying helps. I can't ask you to smile, because sometimes, it's all you can do to just breathe. I can't make you happy, because that's something you have to do yourself. But I can promise you one thing. I will be there for you. I will listen if you need to rant. I will hug you if you're feeling alone. I will drive you away if you need to escape. I will buy you coffee, goddammit, if you need some. I will be there for you, because you've always been there for me.
Alysha Speer
I hope it's the kind of second side that he can listen to whenever he drives alone and feel like he belongs to something whenever he's sad. I hope it can be that for him.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
I am as silent as death. Do this: Go to your bedroom. Your nice, safe, warm bedroom that is not a glass coffin behind a morgue door. Lie down on your bed not made of ice. Stick your fingers in your ears. Do you hear that? The pulse of life from your heart, the slow in-and-out from your lungs? Even when you are silent, even when you block out all noise, your body is still a cacophony of life. Mine is not. It is the silence that drives me mad. The silence that drives the nightmares to me. Because what if I am dead? How can someone without a beating heart, without breathing lungs live like I do? I must be dead. And this is my greatest fear: After 301 years, when they pull my glass coffin from this morgue, and they let my body thaw like chicken meat on the kitchen counter, I will be just like I am now. I will spend all of eternity trapped in my dead body. There is nothing beyond this. I will be locked within myself forever. And I want to scream. I want to throw open my eyes wake up and not be alone with myself anymore, but I can't. I can't.
Beth Revis (Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1))
Thinking without acting makes you a coward. Acting without thinking makes you insane. You need both the thoughts and actions; they never walk alone!
Israelmore Ayivor (Daily Drive 365)
Some people believe intuition is the sixth sense, a gift from the soul. And while I think that’s true, my theory goes a step further. Having your heart splintered heightens that sense. Because on instinct alone, you’re constantly looking for the pieces.
Kate Stewart (Drive (The Bittersweet Symphony Duet #1))
A good part of any day in Los Angeles is spent driving, alone, through streets devoid of meaning to the driver, which is one reason the place exhilarates some people, and floods others with an amorphous unease.
Joan Didion
My life is like a trunk stuffed with dirty laundry. It contains more than enough material to drive any one human being to mental aberration - maybe two or three people's worth? My sex life alone would do. It’s nothing I could talk about to anyone. No, I can’t go to a doctor. I have to solve this on my own.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
Now, before I extend this metaphor, let me make a distinction between career and creativity. Creativity is connected to your passion, that light inside you that drives you. That joy that comes when you do something you love. That small voice that tells you, “I like this. Do this again. You are good at it. Keep going.” That is the juicy stuff that lubricates our lives and helps us feel less alone in the world. Your creativity is not a bad boyfriend. It is a really warm older Hispanic lady who has a beautiful laugh and loves to hug. If you are even a little bit nice to her she will make you feel great and maybe cook you delicious food.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I was an anxious driver. I was afraid of highways, and driving alone anywhere more than thirty minutes away scared me. Operating a vehicle is a lesson in individual control and mutual trust. I was skeptical of both.
Ashley C. Ford (Somebody's Daughter)
Stories are bulls. Writers come of age full of vigor, and they feel the need to drive the old stories from the herd. One bull rules the herd awhile but then he loses his vigor and the young bulls take over. Stories are nations, empires. They can last as long as ancient Rome or as short as the Third Reich. Story-nations rise and decline. Governments change, trends rise, and they go on conquering their neighbors. Stories are people. I'm a story, you're a story . . . your father is a story. Our stories go in every direction, but sometimes, if we're lucky, our stories join into one, and for a while, we're less alone.
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
As I ponder my pilgrim’s progress to Orthodoxy, however, I realize that I didn’t make the trip alone, but in a two-seater. And I wasn’t the one driving.
Frederica Mathewes-Green
But what is it that drives haters crazy with rage? Many times, it's being ignored. To a person with pride, being ignored is often worse than out-and-out hate; it's that much more of an insult, that you're not even worth noticing.
Bill Maher (When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism)
In humans (and humans alone), sexuality is embodied in desire--in the primordial desire for life-as-relation. That the sex drive serves the vital desire for relation--that on the level of the primordial process, the desire for life-in-itself clothes itself in the sex drive--belongs to the particularity of being human.
Christos Yannaras (Relational Ontology)
All it needed was me, and my fear. Because alone in the silence, in the unfathomable darkness, I knew that my own thoughts would drive me mad. My own mind would kill me.
Alexander Gordon Smith (Solitary (Escape from Furnace, #2))
The closer you are to the end of your temporal trials, the louder the voice of critics. Close your ears to the heavy downpours of their discouragements. God whispers; “I am with you”!
Israelmore Ayivor (Daily Drive 365)
The morning I drove by and saw you alone, staring at the house. I told myself to keep on driving, but something told me to stop. And when I'd seen how lost and confused you were, something told me I was meant to be there.... I was meant to be there so I could help you find your way
E.L. Montes (Perfectly Damaged)
Art is such an action. It is a kindred form of action to idealism. They are both expressions of the same drive, and the man who fails to fulfill this urge in one form or another is as guilty of escapism as the one who fails to occupy himself with the satisfaction of bodily needs. In fact, the man who spends his entire life turning the wheels of industry so that he has neither time nor energy to occupy himself with any other needs of his human organism is by far a greater escapist than the one who developed his art. For the man who develops his art does make adjustments to his physical needs. He understands that man must have bread to live, while the other cannot understand that you cannot live by bread alone.
Mark Rothko (The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art)
First, it took both of us to kill that thing, and if it reinvents itself again, it will take both of us again. I’m not leaving you alone with it. Second, if you try to physically carry me to the car, I will resist and bleed more. Third, you can possibly stuff me in the car against my will, but you can’t make me drive.” He snarled. “Argh! Why don’t you ever do anything I ask you to?” “Because you don’t ask. You tell me.” We glared at each other.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels, #8))
In a society that is essentially designed to organize, direct, and gratify mass impulses, what is there to minister to the silent zones of man as an individual? Religion? Art? Nature? No, the church has turned religion into standardized public spectacle, and the museum has done the same for art. The Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls have been looked at so much that they've become effete, sucked empty by too many stupid eyes. What is there to minister to the silent zones of man as an individual? How about a cold chicken bone on a paper plate at midnight, how about a lurid lipstick lengthening or shortening at your command, how about a Styrofoam nest abandoned by a 'bird' you've never known, how about a pair of windshield wipers pursuing one another futilely while you drive home alone through a downpour, how about something beneath a seat touched by your shoe at the movies, how about worn pencils, cute forks, fat little radios, boxes of bow ties, and bubbles on the side of a bathtub? Yes, these are the things, these kite strings and olive oil cans and Valentine hearts stuffed with nougat, that form the bond between the autistic vision and the experiential world, it is to show these things in their true mysterious light that is the purpose of the moon.
Tom Robbins
EDMUND *Then with alcoholic talkativeness You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and signing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping looking, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. the peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like a veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason! *He grins wryly. It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a a little in love with death! TYRONE *Stares at him -- impressed. Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right. *Then protesting uneasily. But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death. EDMUND *Sardonically The *makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Don’t be a coward, driving away anyone who cares enough to see you for yerself. It’s easy to live yer life alone, son. It takes courage to live with another. But in the end, yer life can be so much richer for it
Sabrina Jeffries (Beware a Scot's Revenge (School for Heiresses, #3))
The Old Man at the Wheel Measured against the immeasurable universe, no word you have spoken brought light. Brought light to what, as a child, you thought too dark to be survived. By exorcism you survived. By submission, then making. You let all the parts of that thing you would cut out of you enter your poem because enacting there all its parts allowed you the illusion you could cut it from your soul. Dilemmas of choice given what cannot change alone roused you to words. As you grip the things that were young when you were young, they crumble in your hand. Now you must drive west, which in November means driving directly into the sun.
Frank Bidart (Watching the Spring Festival)
Many of us spend long minutes in the aisle of the drugstore mulling over what toothpaste to buy. Yet most of us don't spend any time at all thinking about what species of animal we eat and why. Our choices as consumers drive an industry that kills ten billion* animals per year in the United States alone. If we choose to support this industry and the best reason we can come up with is because it's the way things are, clearly something is amiss.
Melanie Joy (Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism)
My name is Ferrum. I was the first, born of the forges, when mankind first began to experiment with iron. I rose from their imagination, from their ambition to conquer the world with a metal that could slice through bronze like paper. I was there when the world started to shift, when humans took their first steps out of the Dark Ages into civilization. For many years, I thought I was alone. But mankind is never satisfied. Others came, risen from these dreams of a new world... Then, with the invention of computers, the gremlins came, and the bugs. Given life by the fear of monsters lurking in machines, these were more chaotic than the other fey, violent and destructive. They spread to every part of the world. As technology became a driving force in every country, powerful new fey rose into existence. Virus. Glitch. And Machina, the most powerful of all.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
I hear You saying to me: "I will give you what you desire. I will lead you into solitude. I will lead you by the way that you cannot possibly understand, because I want it to be the quickest way. "Therefore all the things around you will be armed against you, to deny you, to hurt you, to give you pain, and therefore to reduce you to solitude. "Because of their enmity, you will soon be left alone. They will cast you out and forsake you and reject you and you will be alone. "Everything that touches you shall burn you, and you will draw your hand away in pain, until you have withdrawn yourself from all things. Then you will be all alone. "Everything that can be desired will sear you, and brand you with a cautery, and you will fly from it in pain, to be alone. Every created joy will only come to you as pain, and you will die to all joy and be left alone. All the good things that other people love and desire and seek will come to you, but only as murderers to cut you off from the world and its occupations. "You will be praised, and it will be like burning at the stake. You will be loved, and it will murder your heart and drive you into the desert. "You will have gifts, and they will break you with their burden. You will have pleasures of prayer, and they will sicken you and you will fly from them. "And when you have been praised a little and loved a little I will take away all your gifts and all your love and all your praise and you will be utterly forgotten and abandoned and you will be nothing, a dead thing, a rejection. And in that day you shall being to possess the solitude you have so long desired. And your solitude will bear immense fruit in the souls of men you will never see on earth. "Do not ask when it will be or where it will be or how it will be: On a mountain or in a prison, in a desert or in a concentration camp or in a hospital or at Gethsemani. It does not matter. So do not ask me, because I am not going to tell you. You will not know until you are in it. "But you shall taste the true solitude of my anguish and my poverty and I shall lead you into the high places of my joy and you shall die in Me and find all things in My mercy which has created you for this end and brought you from Prades to Bermuda to St. Antonin to Oakham to London to Cambridge to Rome to New York to Columbia to Corpus Christi to St. Bonaventure to the Cistercian Abbey of the poor men who labor in Gethsemani: "That you may become the brother of God and learn to know the Christ of the burnt men.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
The Emperor, you see, protects... He protects mankind, through the Legions, through the Martial corps, through the war machines of the Mechanicum. He understands the dangers. The inconsistencies. He uses you, and all the instruments like you, to protect us from harm. To protect our physical bodies from murder and damage, to protect our minds from madness, to protect our souls... There are insane dangers in the cosmos, dangers that mankind is fundamentally unable to comprehend, let alone survive. So he protects us. There are truths out there that would drive us mad by one fleeting glimpse of them. So he chooses not to share them with us. That's why he made you... Remember, Garviel. The Emperor is our truth and out light. If we trust in him, he will protect.
Dan Abnett (Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy, #1))
your voice alone drives me to tears
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
Humility is the recognition of your limitations, and it is from this understanding, and this understanding alone, that the drive comes to work hard at overcoming them.
John Carlin, Rafael Nadal (Rafa)
Masks! I see them everywhere. That dreadful vision of the other night - the deserted town with its masked corpses in every doorway; that nightmare product of morphine and ether - has taken up residence within me. I see masks in the street, I see them on stage in the theatre, I find yet more of them in the boxes. They are on the balcony and in the orchestra-pit. Everywhere I go I am surrounded by masks. The attendants to whom I give my overcoat are masked; masks crowd around me in the foyer as everyone leaves, and the coachman who drives me home has the same cardboard grimace fixed upon his face! It is truly too much to bear: to feel that one is alone and at the mercy of all those enigmatic and deceptive faces, alone amid all the mocking laughs and the threats embodied in those masks. I have tried to persuade myself that I am dreaming, and that I am the victim of a hallucination, but all the powdered and painted faces of women, all the rouged lips and kohl-blackened eyelids... all of that has created around me an atmosphere of trance and mortal agony. Cosmetics: there is the root cause of my illness! But I am happy, now, when there are only masks! Sometimes, I detect the cadavers beneath, and remember that beneath the masks there is a host of spectres.
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)
I’m such a negative person, and always have been. Was I born that way? I don’t know. I am constantly disgusted by reality, horrified and afraid. I cling desperately to the few things that give me some solace, that make me feel good. I hate most of humanity. Though I might be very fond of particular individuals, humanity in general fills me with contempt and despair. I hate most of what passes for civilization. I hate the modern world. For one thing there are just too Goddamn many people. I hate the hordes, the crowds in their vast cities, with all their hateful vehicles, their noise and their constant meaningless comings and goings. I hate cars. I hate modern architecture. Every building built after 1955 should be torn down! I despise modern music. Words cannot express how much it gets on my nerves – the false, pretentious, smug assertiveness of it. I hate business, having to deal with money. Money is one of the most hateful inventions of the human race. I hate the commodity culture, in which everything is bought and sold. No stone is left unturned. I hate the mass media, and how passively people suck up to it. I hate having to get up in the morning and face another day of this insanity. I hate having to eat, shit, maintain the body – I hate my body. The thought of my internal functions, the organs, digestion, the brain, the nervous system, horrify me. Nature is horrible. It’s not cute and loveable. It’s kill or be killed. It’s very dangerous out there. The natural world is filled with scary, murderous creatures and forces. I hate the whole way that nature functions. Sex is especially hateful and horrifying, the male penetrating the female, his dick goes into her hole, she’s impregnated, another being grows inside her, and then she must go through a painful ordeal as the new being pushes out of her, only to repeat the whole process in time. Reproduction – what could be more existentially repulsive? How I hate the courting ritual. I was always repelled by my own sex drive, which in my youth never left me alone. I was constantly driven by frustrated desires to do bizarre and unacceptable things with and to women. My soul was in constant conflict about it. I never was able to resolve it. Old age is the only relief. I hate the way the human psyche works, the way we are traumatized and stupidly imprinted in early childhood and have to spend the rest of our lives trying to overcome these infantile mental fixations. And we never ever fully succeed in this endeavor. I hate organized religions. I hate governments. It’s all a lot of power games played out by ambition-driven people, and foisted on the weak, the poor, and on children. Most humans are bullies. Adults pick on children. Older children pick on younger children. Men bully women. The rich bully the poor. People love to dominate. I hate the way humans worship power – one of the most disgusting of all human traits. I hate the human tendency towards revenge and vindictiveness. I hate the way humans are constantly trying to trick and deceive one another, to swindle, to cheat, and take unfair advantage of the innocent, the naïve and the ignorant. I hate the vacuous, false, banal conversation that goes on among people. Sometimes I feel suffocated; I want to flee from it. For me, to be human is, for the most part, to hate what I am. When I suddenly realize that I am one of them, I want to scream in horror.
Robert Crumb
My mother's suffering grew into a symbol in my mind, gathering to itself all the poverty, the ignorance, the helplessness; the painful, baffling, hunger-ridden days and hours; the restless moving, the futile seeking, the uncertainty, the fear, the dread; the meaningless pain and the endless suffering. Her life set the emotional tone of my life, colored the men and women I was to meet in the future, conditioned my relation to events that had not yet happened, determined my attitude to situations and circumstances I had yet to face. A somberness of spirit that I was never to lose settled over me during the slow years of my mother's unrelieved suffering, a somberness that was to make me stand apart and look upon excessive joy with suspicion, that was to make me keep forever on the move, as though to escape a nameless fate seeking to overtake me. At the age of twelve, before I had one year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering. At the age of twelve I had an attitude toward life that was to endure, that was to make me seek those areas of living that would keep it alive, that was to make me skeptical of everything while seeking everything, tolerant of all and yet critical. The spirit I had caught gave me insight into the sufferings of others, made me gravitate toward those whose feelings were like my own, made me sit for hours while others told me of their lives, made me strangely tender and cruel, violent and peaceful. It made me want to drive coldly to the heart of every question and it open to the core of suffering I knew I would find there. It made me love burrowing into psychology, into realistic and naturalistic fiction and art, into those whirlpools of politics that had the power to claim the whole of men's souls. It directed my loyalties to the side of men in rebellion; it made me love talk that sought answers to questions that could help nobody, that could only keep alive in me that enthralling sense of wonder and awe in the face of the drama of human feeling which is hidden by the external drama of life.
Richard Wright (Black Boy (American Hunger))
Ashoke suspects that Mrs. Jones (the secretary at his new job as a professor) ...is about his own mother's age. Mrs. Jones leads a life that Ashoke's mother would consider humiliating: eating alone, driving herself to work in snow and sleet, seeing her children and grandchildren, at most, three or four times a year.
Jhumpa Lahiri
Oh teach the mind t' aetherial heights to rise, And view familiar, in its native skies, Thy source of good; thy splendor to descry, And on thy self, undazled, fix her eye. Oh quicken this dull mass of mortal clay; Shine through the soul, and drive its clouds away! For thou art Light. In thee the righteous find Calm rest, and soft serenity of mind; Thee they regard alone; to thee they tend; At once our great original and end, At once our means, our end, our guide, our way, Our utmost bound, and our eternal stay!
Boethius
But if you judge safety to be the paramount consideration in life you should never, under any circumstances, go on long hikes alone. Don’t take short hikes alone, either – or, for that matter, go anywhere alone. And avoid at all costs such foolhardy activities as driving, falling in love, or inhaling air that is almost certainly riddled with deadly germs. Wear wool next to the skin. Insure every good and chattel you possess against every conceivable contingency the future might bring, even if the premiums half-cripple the present. Never cross an intersection against a red light, even when you can see all roads are clear for miles. And never, of course, explore the guts of an idea that seems as if it might threaten one of your more cherished beliefs. In your wisdom you will probably live to be a ripe old age. But you may discover, just before you die, that you have been dead for a long, long time.
Colin Fletcher (Complete Walker III)
She needs to leave him alone when he wants to be left alone. But then, do they meet in order for him to be left alone? Do they take trains and aeroplanesand drive for hours so that he should be left alone? If what he wants is to be left alone, then why do they meet at all? Everybody worries so about separation, but the problem is not the separations; it is how they are when they're together.
Ahdaf Soueif
I wanted so badly to believe that love could conquer all. That Bones and I could make things work based on sheer feelings alone, but life wasn’t that easy. “If neither of us can change,” I said, my heart squeezing, “sooner or later, we’ll drive each other away again.
Jeaniene Frost (Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4))
My friends, tonight we bring you something entirely different. Something special. The poets will rest, the sonnets will be silent, and what words of love there are will not be spoken. Tonight, my friends, and I can hear you out there, sitting alone, like me, in your chairs, your beds, driving down an empty street with no one but me to listen to your weeping; tonight, I'm going to bring you Armageddon.
Charles Grant
So I'll keep you wondering what time I'm arriving And you'll drive me crazy with your backseat driving And I'll talk in my sleep and you'll steal all the covers We'll argue it out and we'll call ourselves lovers And I'll stay in my body and you'll stay in your own 'Cause we know that we're born and we're dying alone. So we turn out the light while the sirens are screaming And we kiss for the waking, and then join the dreaming.
Dar Williams
That's how life works. You know it when you know it. They're nineteen and in love. Alone except for each other. Jobless and homeless, looking for something, somewhere, anywhere here. They're on a sixteen-line highway. Driving west.
James Frey (Bright Shiny Morning)
And all my friends are tired Of hearing how much I miss you, but I kinda feel sorry for them 'Cause they'll never know you the way that I do, yeah Today I drove through the suburbs And pictured I was driving home to you And I know we weren't perfect But I've never felt this way for no one, oh And I just can't imagine how you could be so okay, now that I'm gone I guess you didn't mean what you wrote in that song about me 'Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street.
Hearts Can Break and Never Make a Sound
We feel love and we know pain. We feel hope and we know struggle. We see beauty and we survive trauma. We don’t all have the protection of privilege and the luxury of anonymity. We’re trying to build connected and loving lives while we pack lunches, drive carpools, go to jobs, and push into as many moments of joy as we can.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
Creation is built upon the promise of hope, that things will get better, that tomorrow will be better than the day before. But it's not true. Cities collapse. Populations expand. Environments decay. People get ruder. You can't go to a movie without getting in a fight with the guy in the third row who won't shut up. Filthy streets. Drive-by shootings. Irradiated corn. Permissible amounts of rat-droppings per hot dog. Bomb blasts, and body counts. Terror in the streets, on camera, in your living room. Aids and Ebola and Hepatitis B and you can't touch anyone because you're afraid you'll catch something besides love and nothing tastes as good anymore and Christopher Reeve is [dead] and love is statistically false. Pocket nukes and subway anthrax. You grow up frustrated, you live confused, you age frightened, you die alone. Safe terrain moves from your city to your block to your yard to your home to your living room to the bedroom and all you want is to be allowed to live without somebody breaking in to steal your tv and shove an ice-pick in your ear. That sound like a better world to you? That sound to you like a promise kept?
J. Michael Straczynski (Midnight Nation)
Isabel took a drive alone that afternoon; she wished to be far away, under the sky, where she could descend from her carriage and tread upon the daisies. She had long before this taken old Rome into her confidence, for in a world of ruins the ruin of her happiness seemed a less unnatural catastrophe. She rested her weariness upon things that had crumbled for centuries and yet still were upright; she dropped her secret sadness into the silence of lonely places, where its very modern quality detached itself and grew objective, so that as she sat in a sun-warmed angle on a winter's day, or stood in a mouldy church to which no one came, she could almost smile at it and think of its smallness. Small it was, in the large Roman record, and her haunting sense of the continuity of the human lot easily carried her from the less to the greater. She had become deeply, tenderly acquainted with Rome; it interfused and moderated her passion. But she had grown to think of it chiefly as the place where people had suffered. This was what came to her in the starved churches, where the marble columns, transferred from pagan ruins, seemed to offer her a companionship in endurance and the musty incense to be a compound of long-unanswered prayers. There was no gentler nor less consistent heretic than Isabel; the firmest of worshippers, gazing at dark altar-pictures or clustered candles, could not have felt more intimately the suggestiveness of these objects nor have been more liable at such moments to a spiritual visitation.
Henry James (The Portrait of a Lady)
The time came to put Iris Duarte back on the plane. It was a morning flight which made it difficult. I was used to rising at noon; it was a fine cure for hangovers and would add 5 years to my life. I felt no sadness while driving her to L.A. International. The sex had been fine; there had been laughter. I could hardly remember a more civilized time, neither of us making any demands, yet there had been warmth, it had not been without feeling, dead meat coupled with dead meat. I detested that type of swinging, the Los Angeles, Hollywood, Bel Air, Malibu, Laguna Beach kind of sex. Strangers when you meet, strangers when you part—a gymnasium of bodies namelessly masturbating each other. People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or to love. So they became swingers. The dead fucking the dead. There was no gamble or humor in their game—it was corpse fucking corpse. Morals were restrictive, but they were grounded on human experience down through the centuries. Some morals tended to keep people slaves in factories, in churches and true to the State. Other morals simply made good sense. It was like a garden filled with poisoned fruit and good fruit. You had to know which to pick and eat, which to leave alone.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
And when I'd lost him this time, to the sea, I'd remembered the sense of him beside me, warm and solid in my bed, and the rhythm of his breathing. The light across the bones of his face in moonlight and the flush of his skin in the rising sun. I could hear him breathe when I lay in bed alone in my room at Chestnut Street -- slow, regular, never stopping -- even though I knew it HAD stopped. The sound would comfort me, then drive me mad with the knowledge of loss, so I pulled the pillow hard over my head in a futile attempt to shut it out -- only to emerge into the night of the room, thick with woodsmoke and candle wax and vanished light, and be comforted to hear it once more.
Diana Gabaldon (Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, #8))
One of the sicknesses of the twentieth century? I'll tell you the worst one. People can't stand to be alone. Can't tolerate it! So they go to the movies, get drive-in hamburgers, put their home telephone numbers in the crapsheets and say 'Please call me up!' It's sick. People hate their own company --- they cry when they see themselves in mirrors. It scares them, the way their faces look. Maybe that's a clue to the whole thing...
Paul Theroux (The Mosquito Coast)
I cannot drive hundreds of miles with a total stranger,” I said. “It’s a fuck of a lot safer than driving alone.” “Not if you’re a serial killer!” “Look who’s talking. You’re the one who decapitated a U.S. president.” I couldn’t help but laugh. This situation was seriously insane. “Holy shit, Princess, is that a laugh at your own expense, I see?
Penelope Ward (Cocky Bastard)
Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair; but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you into the haven of peace.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening, Based on the English Standard Version)
Years of backseat drives full of noise and sounds that seem random until you're alone in your room with headphones on; so you can truly get the whole picture.
Waldo Austin (Diary of a Compulsive Madness)
Your voice alone drives me to tears.
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
It isn't about the welfare check. It never was. It isn't about sexual permissiveness, or personal morality, or failures in parenting, or lack of family planning. All of these are inherent in the disaster, but the purposefulness with which babies make babies in places like West Baltimore goes far beyond accident and chance, circumstance and misunderstanding. It's about more than the sexual drives of adolescents, too, though that might be hard to believe in a country where sex alone is enough of an argument to make anyone do just about anything. In Baltimore, a city with the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation, the epidemic is, at root, about human expectation, or more precisely, the absence of expectation.
David Simon (The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood)
Humanity would sink into eternal darkness, it would fall into a dull and primitive state, were the Jews to win this war. They are the incarnation of that destructive force that in these terrible years has guided the enemy war leadership in a fight against all that we see as noble, beautiful, and worth keeping. For that reason alone the Jews hate us. They despise our culture and learning, which they perceive as towering over their nomadic worldview. They fear our economic and social standards, which leave no room for their parasitic drives.
Joseph Goebbels
Mademoiselle, I beseech you, do not do what you are doing.” “Leave dear Linnet alone, you mean!” “It is deeper than that. Do not open your heart to evil.” Her lips fell apart; a look of bewilderment came into her eyes. Poirot went on gravely: “Because—if you do—evil will come…Yes, very surely evil will come…It will enter in and make its home within you, and after a little while it will no longer be possible to drive it out.” Jacqueline stared at him. Her glance seemed to waver, to flicker uncertainly. She said: “I—don’t know—” Then she cried out definitely, “You can’t stop me.” “No,” said Hercule Poirot. “I cannot stop you.” His voice was sad.
Agatha Christie (Death on the Nile)
It was fun. Sort of. The reason it was only sort of fun was that my life had collapsed. Unlike the people at the party, with their homes full of spouses and children, I was as alone and unmoored as I’d been twenty years ago, in these same suburbs, hanging out with the same boys. In the intervening decades, I’d thought I was going somewhere. But I had just been driving around.
Ariel Levy (The Rules Do Not Apply)
I’m fucking stupid in love with you. I know you’re scared, but I’ll work with that, I’ll build everything around what you want. I want you to choose me. Choose us. Take a fucking chance on the unknown for once in your life and trust I'm there with you, that I will never hurt you in any way you expect from people and I'll always do my best for us. You are not alone. I’d never leave you alone. I'm fucking crazy in love with you, so fucking crazy it drives me mad wanting you to choose me back, I’d chase you to the goddamn end of the world, that’s how much I want you.
V. Theia (Preacher Man (Renegade Souls MC Romance Saga #2))
you aren't alone, though, are you? The strength of your character, the drive in you- it draws those to you that will fight for you, with you, and perhaps even smack you upside the head when you get mouthy.
Shannon Mayer (Raising Innocence (Rylee Adamson, #3))
If thousand people say you can't, and you alone believe you can, you will make it happen! But if million people say you can, and you alone believe you can't, you can't make it happen. It all depends on you!
Israelmore Ayivor (Daily Drive 365)
Linger now with me, thou Beauty, On the sharp archaic shore. Surely 'tis a wastrel's duty And the gods could ask no more. If thou lingerest when I linger, If thou tread'st the stones I tread, Thou wilt stay my spirit's hunger And dispel the dreams I dread. Come thou, love, my own, my only, Through the battlements of Groan; Lingering becomes so lonely When one lingers on one's own. I have lingered in the cloisters Of the Northern Wing at night, As the sky unclasped its oysters On the midnight pearls of light; For the long remorseless shadows Chilled me with exquisite fear. I have lingered in cold meadows Through a month of rain, my dear. Come, my Love, my sweet, my Only, Through the parapets of Groan. Lingering can be very lonely When one lingers on one's own. In dark alcoves I have lingered Conscious of dead dynasties; I have lingered in blue cellars And in hollow trunks of trees. Many a traveler through moonlight Passing by a winding stair Or a cold and crumbling archway Has been shocked to see me there. I have longed for thee, my Only, Hark! the footsteps of the Groan! Lingering is so very lonely When one lingers all alone. Will thou come with me, and linger? And discourse with me of those Secret things the mystic finger Points to, but will not disclose? When I'm all alone, my glory Always fades, because I find Being lonely drives the splendour Of my vision from my mind. Come, oh, come, my own! my Only! Through the Gormenghast of Groan. Lingering has become so lonely As I linger all alone!
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
Happiness is not something that can not be precisely measured, discussed in plebiscites or analyzed by specialists. We Don't even ask what kind of car someone drives, let alone so personal and impossible to define.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
If you killl yourself, Comorra, it will wreck him. Utterly. Believe me on this one. So there you go - there's another casualty of war. And sure, in the grand scheme of things, whoop-dee-doo, who gives a crap about some dude's broken heart. But what about the not-so-grand scheme? Doesn't love count for something? Do you think all this...this carnage would have happened if the Romans hadn't taken Prasutagus away from your mother? If she hadn't been so blinded by grief maybe she would have found a way to work things out with the governor instead of goading him to war." Clare shrugged helplessly. "I don't know. Maybe not. Maybe two people alone in the darkness can't generate enough light to drive it back. But maybe they can be a beacon for others. A candle in the window at midnight, you know? I mean, they can at least be there for each other, right?
Lesley Livingston (Once Every Never (Never, #1))
but it is only because we are isolated that we think we are unlovable. Someday, you do not know when, you will be driving down a road. And someday, you do not know when, he, or indeed she, will be there. You will be loved because for the first time in your life, you will truly not be alone. You will have chosen to not be alone.
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
Ténéré Tree Famously the most isolated tree on the planet, alone in the middle of the Sahara Desert – until 1973, when despite it being the only tree for 250 miles, a drunk driver still managed to drive his truck into it.
Tom Phillips (Humans: A Brief History of How We F*cked It All Up)
The Yogic path is about disentangling the built-in glitches of the human condition, which I'm going to over-simply define here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment. Different schools of thought over the centuries have found different explanation for man's apparently inherently flawed state. Taoists call it imbalance, Buddism calls it ignorance, Islam blames our misery on rebellion against God, and the Judeo-Christian tradition attributes all our suffering to original sin. Freudians say that unhappiness is the inevitable result of the clash between our natural drives and civilization's needs. (As my friend Deborah the psychologist explains it: "Desire is the design flaw.") The Yogis, however, say that human discontentment is a simple case of mistaken identity. We're miserable because we think that we are mere individuals, alone with our fears and flaws and resentments and mortality. We wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature. We have failed to recognize our deeper divine character. We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme Self who is eternally at peace. That supreme Self is our true identity, universal and divine. Before you realize this truth, say the Yogis, you will always be in despair, a notion nicely expressed in this exasperated line from the Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus: "You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Love hurts. Think back over romance novels you’ve loved or the genre-defining books that drive our industry. The most unforgettable stories and characters spring from crushing opposition. What we remember about romance novels is the darkness that drives them. Three hundred pages of folks being happy together makes for a hefty sleeping pill, but three hundred pages of a couple finding a way to be happy in the face of impossible odds makes our hearts soar. In darkness, we are all alone. So don’t just make love, make anguish for your characters. As you structure a story, don’t satisfy your hero’s desires, thwart them. Make sure your solutions create new problems. Nurture your characters doubts and despair. Make them earn the happy ending they want, even better…make them deserve it. Delay and disappointment charge situations and validate character growth. Misery accompanies love. It’s no accident that many of the stories we think of as timeless romances in Western Literature are fiercely tragic: Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Cupid and Psyche… the pain in them drags us back again and again, hoping that this time we’ll find a way out of the dark. Only if you let your characters get lost will we get lost in them. And that, more than anything else, is what romance can and should do for its protagonists and its readers: lead us through the labyrinth, skirt the monstrous despair roaming its halls, and find our way into daylight.
Damon Suede
But “empowerment” is a tricky word. It’s also a decidedly neoliberal word that places the responsibility for combating systems on individuals. Neoliberalism is endlessly concerned with “personal responsibility” and individual self-regulation. It tells us that in a free market, devoid of any regulation or accountability at the top, what happens to those on the bottom is entirely our fault. Did we have enough drive? Enough vision? Enough hustle to change our condition? The politics of personal empowerment suggests to us that if we simply “free our minds, then our asses will follow.” I’m not convinced that this is true. Why? Have you ever noticed that people who have real “power”—wealth, job security, influence—don’t attend “empowerment” seminars? Power is not attained from books and seminars. Not alone, anyway. Power is conferred by social systems. Empowerment and power are not the same thing. We must quit mistaking the two. Better yet, we must quit settling for one when what we really need is the other.
Brittney Cooper (Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower)
Horror, terror, fear, panic: these are the emotions which drive wedges between us, split us off from the crowd, and make us alone. It is paradoxical that feelings and emotions we associate with the “mob instinct” should do this, but crowds are lonely places to be, we’re told, a fellowship with no love in it. The melodies of the horror tale are simple and repetitive, and they are melodies of disestablishment and disintegration . . . but another paradox is that the ritual outletting of these emotions seems to bring things back to a more stable and constructive state again.
Stephen King (Danse macabre)
Perhaps it is to fulfill this primal urge that runners and joggers get up every morning and pound the streets in cities all over the world. To feel the stirring of something primeval deep down in the pits of our bellies. To feel "a little bit wild." Running is not exactly fun. Running hurts. It takes effort. Ask any runner why he runs, and he will probably look at you with a wry smile and say, "I don't know." But something keeps us going. We may obsess about our PBs and mileage count, but these things alone are not enough to get us out running... What really drives us is something else, this need to feel human, to reach below the multitude of layers of roles and responsibilites that societ y has placed on us, down below the company name tags, and even the father, husband, and son, labels, to the pure, raw human being underneath. At such moments, our rational mind becomes redundant. We move from thought to feeling.
Adharanand Finn (Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth)
The dried yellow petals of St. John's wort, which Old Marie called 'chase-devil' for the way it could drive the megrims away. Gaudy calendula, bright as the sun. Sweet-smelling lemon balm, guaranteed to lift the spirits with its aroma alone.
Kate Forsyth (The Wild Girl)
All those summer drives, no matter where I was going, to a person, a project, an adventure, or home, alone in the car with my social life all before and behind me, I was suspended in the beautiful solitude of the open road, in a kind of introspection that only outdoor space generates, for inside and outside are more intertwined than the usual distinctions allow. The emotion stirred by the landscape is piercing, a joy close to pain when the blue is deepest on the horizon or the clouds are doing those spectacular fleeting things so much easier to recall than to describe. Sometimes I thought of my apartment in San Francisco as only a winter camp and home as the whole circuit around the West I travel a few times a year and myself as something of a nomad (nomads, contrary to current popular imagination, have fixed circuits and stable relationships to places; they are far from beign the drifters and dharma bums that the word nomad often connotes nowadays). This meant that it was all home, and certainly the intense emotion that, for example, the sequence of mesas alongside the highway for perhaps fifty miles west of Gallup, N.M., and a hundred miles east has the power even as I write to move me deeply, as do dozens of other places, and I have come to long not to see new places but to return and know the old ones more deeply, to see them again. But if this was home, then I was both possessor of an enchanted vastness and profoundly alienated.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
I’ve always liked to drive alone at night. There is a sentimental brightness to things—it’s a good deal like being drunk. I always see the world perfectly then, see it in all its great pathetic clarity. I become invincible, beyond life and death. With the hum of wheels under me, I can love the human race, as I never can at any other time. I can think great cloudy thoughts, and tremble with the power of life surging in me. I resolve then to have a dozen children and live forever. It seems possible.
Shirley Ann Grau
Instead of turning our heads from pain, we merge with it, neither holding on to it nor pushing it away, becoming instead an instrument of transformation. Recently, on my early morning drive to a health club, I saw a deer in the middle lane, trying to get up, but obviously crippled. Her eyes looked confused and frightened. As I drove by, I breathed in her pain and breathed out a blessing. I could feel a dark cloud swirling inside of me, but I also had an image of a deer running freely in the woods. I can never know if it helped her, but something loosened inside of me. Instead of turning away from her pain, I joined her. It was then I realized more deeply the power of Tonglin... When you feel hurt, confused, lonely, or sad, breathe into your pain, feel it, be with it, then breathe out an image of clarity, light, and a blessing. This alone will start to change your life.
Charlotte Kasl (If the Buddha Dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path)
Here’s the stark truth about the person who is right for you: They want the same lifestyle that you do. How do I know this? Because that is, by definition, what makes them right for you. To be with someone whose eyes light up when yours do, whose heart races when your blood also pounds, who is enticed and inspired by the same forces that drive you forward, is a gift many of us never truly get to experience. Because we settle. We settle for the person we love over the person who could push us – to be bigger, stronger, greater versions of ourselves. We tell ourselves that love is enough. That it conquers everything. But we forget that love shouldn’t be the thing that conquers our lives – we should be. And we should do it deliberately, triumphantly, by the side of somebody who shares all of our joys and successes. So how do we meet such a person? That’s simple – we do more of what we love. We give ourselves up to uncertainty, to searching, to pursuing what we want out of life without the certainty of having someone beside us while we do it. We throw ourselves wholeheartedly into the things that we love and we consequently attract the people who love what we love. Who value what we prioritize. Who appreciate all that we are. We throw ourselves into the heart of possibility instead of staying comfortably settled inside of certainty. Because we owe it to ourselves to do so. We owe it to ourselves to live the greatest life that we’re capable of living, even if that means that we have to be alone for a very long time. At the end of the day, love is wonderful but it isn’t enough to make up for an entire lifetime of compromising your core values. You don’t want to spend forever gazing into somebody’s eyes expecting to find all of the answers you need inside of them. Wait for the person who is gazing outward in the same direction as you are. It’s going to make all of the difference in the world
Heidi Priebe
Inside us all are pieces of that which makes the negative. We have many facets. It is that inner essence we all have that guides us through our lives. Sometimes those voices that drive us are whispered memories that live deep inside and cause us such pain that we have no choice except to let it out and to hurt those around us. But at other times, the voice is love and compassion, and it guides us to a gentler place. In the end, we, alone, must choose what path to walk. No one can help us with it. (Menyara)
Sherrilyn Kenyon
I had a bizarre rapport with this mirror and spent a lot of time gazing into the glass to see who was there. Sometimes it looked like me. At other times, I could see someone similar but different in the reflection. A few times, I caught the switch in mid-stare, my expression re-forming like melting rubber, the creases and features of my face softening or hardening until the mutation was complete. Jekyll to Hyde, or Hyde to Jekyll. I felt my inner core change at the same time. I would feel more confident or less confident; mature or childlike; freezing cold or sticky hot, a state that would drive Mum mad as I escaped to the bathroom where I would remain for two hours scrubbing my skin until it was raw. The change was triggered by different emotions: on hearing a particular piece of music; the sight of my father, the smell of his brand of aftershave. I would pick up a book with the certainty that I had not read it before and hear the words as I read them like an echo inside my head. Like Alice in the Lewis Carroll story, I slipped into the depths of the looking glass and couldn’t be sure if it was me standing there or an impostor, a lookalike. I felt fully awake most of the time, but sometimes while I was awake it felt as if I were dreaming. In this dream state I didn’t feel like me, the real me. I felt numb. My fingers prickled. My eyes in the mirror’s reflection were glazed like the eyes of a mannequin in a shop window, my colour, my shape, but without light or focus. These changes were described by Dr Purvis as mood swings and by Mother as floods, but I knew better. All teenagers are moody when it suits them. My Switches could take place when I was alone, transforming me from a bright sixteen-year-old doing her homework into a sobbing child curled on the bed staring at the wall. The weeping fit would pass and I would drag myself back to the mirror expecting to see a child version of myself. ‘Who are you?’ I’d ask. I could hear the words; it sounded like me but it wasn’t me. I’d watch my lips moving and say it again, ‘Who are you?
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Not so long ago, I spent a period in New York City, that teeming island of gneiss and concrete and glass, inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Though it wasn't by any means a comfortable experience, I began to wonder if Woolf wasn't right, if there wasn't more to the experience than meets the eye -- if, in fact, it didn't drive one to consider some of the larger questions of what it is to be alive.
Olivia Laing (The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone)
Unless we're alone in the middle of nowhere, there are very few times in our days when our actions are not affecting someone's soul. The way we drive, the way we treat our waitress, how many items are in our cart when we pick the "express" lane, what we post online, the expression on our face, how we dress, and whether we pay our bills on time are all being thoughtfully scrutinized by an unbelieving world.
Sarah Hawkes Valente (31 Days to Lovely: A Journey of Forgiveness)
I haven't forgotten one second of how good it felt to hold you, but I wasn't the one who pulled away. You don't want me to be more, do you? I just keep pushing against your walls, and to tell you the truth, baby, my hands are starting to bleed. do you want me gone for good? Look at me, tell me to leave you alone, and I will. I swear I'll get in my truck, drive off, and never bother you again." --Tommy to Shea
Jo Davis (Line of Fire (Firefighters of Station Five, #4))
You go to Hawaii alone, buy the way?" "Who goes to Hawaii alone? I went with a girl. She's only thirteen, though." "You slept with a thirteen-year-old girl?" "What Do you think I am? The kid doesn't even wear a bra yet." "Then why'd you go with her?" "To teach her table manners, interpret the mysteries of the sex-drive, bad-mouth Boy George, go see E.T. You know, the usual." "Gotanda gave me a long look. Then he skewed his lips into a smile. "You really are a little odd, you know?" Now everyone seemed to think so. Motion passed by unanimous vote.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat #4))
Walking away from people we know and love, because of our support for strangers we really don’t know, can barely believe, and definitely don’t love, who FOR SURE won’t be there to drive us to chemo or bring food over when the kids are sick; that is the shadow side of sorting.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
How are you holding up?" "I'm good.And still untouched," she added. "Are you alone in that bed?" "Except for the six members of the all-girl Swedish volleyball team.Helga's got a hell of a spike.Aren't you going to ask what I'm wearing?" "Black Speedos,sweat,and a big smile." "How'd you guess?So,what are you wearing?" Slowly,she ran a tongue around her teeth. "Oh,just this little..very little..white lace teddy." "And stiletto heels." "Naturally.With a pair of sheer hose.They have little pink roses around the tops. It matches the one I'm tucking between my breasts right now. I should add I've just gotten out of the tub.I'm still a little..wet." "Jesus.You're too good at this.I'm hanging up." Her response was a long, throaty laugh."I'm going to love driving the Jag.let me know when to expect the shipment." When the phone clicked in her ear,she laughed again,turned, and found herself nearly face to face wth Kate. "how long have you been standing there?" "Long enough to be confused.Were you just having [hone sex with Josh? Our Josh?" Carelessly,Margo brushed her hair behind her ear. "It was more foreplay really.
Nora Roberts (Daring to Dream (Dream Trilogy, #1))
Alone, with tremendous empty longing and dread. The whole room for my thoughts. Nothing but myself and what I think, what I fear. Could think the most fanastic thoughts, could dance, grimace, curse, wail-nobody would ever know, nobody would ever hear. The thought of such absolute privacy is enough to drive me mad. It's like a clean birth. Everything cut away. Separate, naked, alone. Bliss and agony simultaneously. Time on your hands. Each second weighing on you like a mountain. You drown in it. Deserts, seas, lakes, oceans. Time beating away like a meat ax. Nothingness. The world. The me and the not-me. Oomaharumooma. Everything has to have a name. Everything has to be learned, tested, experencied.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
drive through hell the people are weary, unhappy and frustrated, the people are bitter and vengeful, the people are deluded and fearful, the people are angry and uninventive and I drive among them on the freeway and they project what is left of themselves in their manner of driving— some more hateful, more thwarted than others— some don’t like to be passed, some attempt to keep others from passing —some attempt to block lane changes —some hate cars of a newer, more expensive model —others in these cars hate the older cars. the freeway is a circus of cheap and petty emotions, it’s humanity on the move, most of them coming from some place they hated and going to another they hate just as much or more. the freeways are a lesson in what we have become and most of the crashes and deaths are the collision of incomplete beings, of pitiful and demented lives. when I drive the freeways I see the soul of humanity of my city and it’s ugly, ugly, ugly: the living have choked the heart away.
Charles Bukowski (You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense)
PLEASE TELL ME YOU KNOW OF SYLVIA PLATH Conventions bleed my soul squeeze me old wear me grey like a headstone in transit. It’s tradition and form— fear of the unknown— driving me dead in tight spaces darkly. I cry aloud but who can hear when I stand alone in the middle of an art show….
Chila Woychik (On Being a Rat and Other Observations)
What is Destiny? Is it a doctrine formulated by aristocrats and philosophers arguing that there is some unseen driving force predicting the outcomes of every minuscule and life altering moment in one's life? Or is it the artistry illustrated by those under-qualifed and over-eager to give their future meaning and their ambitions hope? Is it a declaration by those who refuse to accept that we are alone in this universe, spinning randomly through a matrix of accidental coincidences? Or is it the assumptions made by those who concede that there is a divine plan or pre-ordained path for each human being,regardless of their current station? I think destiny is a bit of a tease.... It's syndical taunts and teases mock those naive enough to believe in its black jack dealing of inevitable futures. Its evolution from puppy dogs and ice cream to razor blades and broken mirrors characterizes the fickle nature of its sordid underbelly. Those relying on its decisive measures will fracture under its harsh rules. Those embracing the fact that life happens at a million miles a minute will flourish in its random grace. Destiny has afforded me the most magical memories and unbelievably tragic experiences that have molded and shaped my life into what it is today...beautiful. I fully accept the mirage that destiny promises and the reality it can produce. Without the invisible momentum carried with its sincere fabrication of coming attraction, destiny is the covenant we rely on to get ourselves through the day. To the destiny I know awaits me, I thank you in advance. Don't cry because it's over....smile because it happened.
Ivan Rusilko (Dessert (The Winemaker's Dinner, #3))
He didn't disagree with me, but he seemed to feel that I have a perfection complex of some kind. Much talk from him, and quite intelligent, on the virtues of living the imperfect life, of accepting one's own and others' weaknesses. I agree with him, but only in theory. I'll champion indiscrimination till doomsday, on the grounds that it leads to health and a kind of very real, enviable happiness. Followed purely it's the way of the Tao, and undoubtedly the highest way. But for a discriminating man to achieve this, it would mean that he would have to dispossess himself of poetry, go beyond poetry. That is, he couldn't possibly learn or drive himself to like bad poetry in the abstract, let alone equate it with good poetry. He would have to drop poetry altogether. I said it would be no easy thing to do. Dr Sims said I was putting it too stringently – putting it, he said, as only a perfectionist would.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
Love does the job. travelling too. writing does it. music. Also art, whisky, dark-coloured flowers and watching the landscape change in October. Driving on a small road somewhere in Italy with a beautiful boy and I don’t want to be anywhere else in the whole wide world than right there, with him, that very car, smiling. But I close my eyes for one second and the moment is gone. I’m back to getting high on empty roads somewhere in Sweden and I’m the loneliest girl in the whole damn world and I just want all things beautiful. I just want the music, the literature, the art and the moments of driving in a car with a beautiful boy in Italy. but here, alone, I have no cares in the world. I have no cares in the world. I just want it all to be beautiful.
Charlotte Eriksson (Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself: growing up is a wonderful thing to do)
To the extent that propaganda is based on current news, it cannot permit time for thought or reflection. A man caught up in the news must remain on the surface of the event; he is carried along in the current, and can at no time take a respite to judge and appreciate; he can never stop to reflect. There is never any awareness -- of himself, of his condition, of his society -- for the man who lives by current events. Such a man never stops to investigate any one point, any more than he will tie together a series of news events. We already have mentioned man's inability to consider several facts or events simultaneously and to make a synthesis of them in order to face or to oppose them. One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones. Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but be does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man's capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandist, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks. Moreover, there is a spontaneous defensive reaction in the individual against an excess of information and -- to the extent that he clings (unconsciously) to the unity of his own person -- against inconsistencies. The best defense here is to forget the preceding event. In so doing, man denies his own continuity; to the same extent that he lives on the surface of events and makes today's events his life by obliterating yesterday's news, he refuses to see the contradictions in his own life and condemns himself to a life of successive moments, discontinuous and fragmented. This situation makes the "current-events man" a ready target for propaganda. Indeed, such a man is highly sensitive to the influence of present-day currents; lacking landmarks, he follows all currents. He is unstable because he runs after what happened today; he relates to the event, and therefore cannot resist any impulse coming from that event. Because he is immersed in current affairs, this man has a psychological weakness that puts him at the mercy of the propagandist. No confrontation ever occurs between the event and the truth; no relationship ever exists between the event and the person. Real information never concerns such a person. What could be more striking, more distressing, more decisive than the splitting of the atom, apart from the bomb itself? And yet this great development is kept in the background, behind the fleeting and spectacular result of some catastrophe or sports event because that is the superficial news the average man wants. Propaganda addresses itself to that man; like him, it can relate only to the most superficial aspect of a spectacular event, which alone can interest man and lead him to make a certain decision or adopt a certain attitude. But here we must make an important qualification. The news event may be a real fact, existing objectively, or it may be only an item of information, the dissemination of a supposed fact. What makes it news is its dissemination, not its objective reality.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
I convinced myself that I'm brave enough for all of this Well, I spent this whole year in airports And the floor feels like home Oh, at least we're never alone I lost track of the time zones and I'd call but you know I'm running on empty The late nights and the long drives start to get to me I'm just so tired
The Wonder Years
Seeing everything that goes on in your daily life, your daily activities - when you pick up a pen, when you talk, when you go out for a drive or when you are walking alone in the woods - can you with one breath, with one look, know yourself very simply as you are? When you know yourself as you are, then you understand the whole structure of man's endeavour, his deceptions, his hypocrisies, his search. To do this you must be tremendously honest with yourself throughout your being.
J. Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)
As we get ready to leave, Georgina announces that she wants to keep the kitten. But of course she can't. We walk up and down looking for its mother, calling for its siblings. But the nearby kraals are deserted, of both people and animals. And eventually we have to leave it at the gate of an empty kraal, the closest one to where it found us, hoping that this might be its home. As we start to drive away, the kitten totters down the dirt road after us, a furry ball of khaki with irregular black spots, and Georgina bursts into tears. 'Over the kitten? Really?' I ask, gesturing around the ruins of the torture base and the mass graves. 'With all of this?' 'No,' she sniffs. 'It's not just the kitten. It's everyone here. They've all been abandoned. No one gives a **** about what happened to them. They're completely alone.
Peter Godwin (The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe)
I had a dream We were back to seventeen Summer nights and The Libertines Never growing up Somewhere along the lines We stopped seeing eye to eye You were staying out all night And I had enough So, I'll take with me The Polaroids and the memories But you know I'm gonna leave Behind the worst of us No, I don't wanna know Where you been or where you're going But I know I won't be home And you'll be on your own Who's gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning? Who's gonna rock you when the sun won't let you sleep? Who's waking up to drive you home when you're drunk and all alone? Who's gonna walk you through the dark side of the morning? It ain't me.
EJR
I got my driver's license last week Just like we always talked about 'Cause you were so excited for me To finally drive up to your house But today I drove through the suburbs Crying 'cause you weren't around And you're probably with that blonde girl Who always made me doubt She's so much older than me She's everything I'm insecure about Yeah, today I drove through the suburbs 'Cause how could I ever love someone else? And I know we weren't perfect but I've never felt this way for no one And I just can't imagine how you could be so okay now that I'm gone Guess you didn't mean what you wrote in that song about me 'Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street.
Hearts Can Break and Never Make a Sound
It is not biology alone but heroism too that drives women to find the will and grit and creativity to put one’s own impulses aside to serve the needs of a tiny creature around the clock—especially in an environment in which that heroic choice is only casually acknowledged, much less honored, cherished, or assisted. I believe the myth about the ease and naturalness of mothering—the ideal of the effortlessly ever-giving mother—is propped up, polished, and promoted as a way to keep women from thinking clearly and negotiating forcefully about what they need from their partners and from society at large in order to mother well, without having to sacrifice themselves in the process.
Naomi Wolf (Misconceptions: Truth, Lies, and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood)
There was music from my neighbor's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars. At high tide in the afternoon I watched his guests diving from the tower of his raft, or taking the sun on the hot sand of his beach while his two motor-boats slit the waters of the Sound, drawing aquaplanes over cataracts of foam. On week-ends his Rolls-Royce became an omnibus, bearing parties to and from the city between nine in the morning and long past midnight, while his station wagon scampered like a brisk yellow bug to meet all trains. And on Mondays eight servants, including an extra gardener, toiled all day with mops and scrubbing-brushes and hammers and garden-shears, repairing the ravages of the night before. Every Friday five crates of oranges and lemons arrived from a fruiterer in New York--every Monday these same oranges and lemons left his back door in a pyramid of pulpless halves. There was a machine in the kitchen which could extract the juice of two hundred oranges in half an hour if a little button was pressed two hundred times by a butler's thumb. At least once a fortnight a corps of caterers came down with several hundred feet of canvas and enough colored lights to make a Christmas tree of Gatsby's enormous garden. On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d'oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. In the main hall a bar with a real brass rail was set up, and stocked with gins and liquors and with cordials so long forgotten that most of his female guests were too young to know one from another. By seven o'clock the orchestra has arrived, no thin five-piece affair, but a whole pitful of oboes and trombones and saxophones and viols and cornets and piccolos, and low and high drums. The last swimmers have come in from the beach now and are dressing up-stairs; the cars from New York are parked five deep in the drive, and already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colors, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names. The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word. The groups change more swiftly, swell with new arrivals, dissolve and form in the same breath; already there are wanderers, confident girls who weave here and there among the stouter and more stable, become for a sharp, joyous moment the centre of a group, and then, excited with triumph, glide on through the sea-change of faces and voices and color under the constantly changing light. Suddenly one of the gypsies, in trembling opal, seizes a cocktail out of the air, dumps it down for courage and, moving her hands like Frisco, dances out alone on the canvas platform. A momentary hush; the orchestra leader varies his rhythm obligingly for her, and there is a burst of chatter as the erroneous news goes around that she is Gilda Gray's understudy from the FOLLIES. The party has begun.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
frantic as my arousal built. The feel of Gideon’s finger in that darkly sexual place, thrusting in that gentle rhythm, had me rocking backward to meet his inward drives. “You’re so beautiful,” he murmured, his voice infinitely gentle. “I love making you feel good. Love watching an orgasm move through your body.” “Gideon.” I was lost, drowning in the powerful joy of being held by him, loved by him. Four days alone had taught me how miserable I’d be if we couldn’t work things out, how dull and colorless my world would be without him in it. “I need
Sylvia Day (Bared to You (Crossfire, #1))
The difference between the good and the great is the difference between your mindset and your skill set. In a world where skills are bountiful, and increasingly outsourced to cheaper parts of the world, we need more than skills to survive, let alone thrive. Mindset separates the best from the rest: the right mindset drives the right habits, which drive the right performance.
Jo Owen (The Mindset of Success: From Good Management to Great Leadership)
We live in hope that the good we do here on earth will be rewarded in heaven. We also hope to win the war. We hope that right and goodness will triumph, and that when the war is won, we shall have a better world. And we work toward that end. We buy war bonds and put out incendiaries and knit stockings---" And pumpkin-colored scarves, Polly thought. "---and volunteer to take in evacuated children and work in hospitals and drive ambulances" - here Alf grinned and nudged Eileen sharply in the ribs - "and man anti-aircraft guns. We join the Home Guard and the ATS and the Civil Defence, but we cannot know whether the scrap metal we collect, the letter we write to a solider, the vegetables we grow, will turn out in the end to have helped win the war or not. We act in faith. "But the vital thing is that we act. We do not rely on hope alone, thought hope is our bulwark, our light through dark days and darker nights. We also work, and fight, and endure, and it does not matter whether the part we play is large or small. The reason that God marks the fall of the sparrow is that he knows that it is as important to the world as the bulldog or the wolf. We all, all must do 'our bit'. For it is through our deeds that the war will be won, through our kindness and devotion and courage that we make that better world for which we long.
Connie Willis (All Clear (All Clear, #2))
EDMUND (with alcoholic talkativeness): You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and singing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping lookout, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. The peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
When I think of it as happening to somebody else, it seems that the idea of me soaked to the skin, surrounded by countless driving streaks of silver, and moving through when I completely forget my material existence, and view myself from a purely objective standpoint, can I, as a figure in a painting, blend into the beautiful harmony of my natural surroundings. The moment, however, I feel annoyed because of the rain, or miserable because my legs are weary because of the rain, or miserable because my legs are weary with walking, then I have already ceased to be a character in a poem, or a figure in a painting, and I revert to the uncomprehending, insensitive man in the street I was before. I am then even blind to the elegance of the fleeting clouds; unable even to feel any bond of sympathy with a falling petal or the cry of a bird, much less appreciate the great beauty in the image of myself, completely alone, walking through the mountains in spring.
Natsume Sōseki (The Three-Cornered World)
You’re just going to leave me here?” I shout after her. “I’m not leaving you here, Emma. You’re keeping yourself here.” She leaves me with those crazy words, and then she’s gone. I am paralyzed on the beach in my school clothes. I can’t help but feel that I’m in huge trouble. But why should I? She was babysitting me, not the other way around, right? It’s not like I can chase her down and follow her. Her fins have already gone a distance I can’t cover with my puny human legs. Besides, these are my favorite jeans; the salt water would be unforgiving. Except…There is that shiny new jet ski sitting there. I could close the distance between us, put my foot in the water, and find her. She would sense me, come back to see why I was in the water. Wouldn’t she? Of course she would. Then I could talk her into staying here, not leaving me alone to drive myself crazy. I could manipulate her into feeling sorry for me. Unless she’s the complete sociopath I think she is.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
But what I would like to know," says Albert, "is whether there would not have been a war if the Kaiser had said No." "I'm sure there would," I interject, "he was against it from the first." "Well, if not him alone, then perhaps if twenty or thirty people in the world had said No." "That's probable," I agree, "but they damned well said Yes." "It's queer, when one thinks about it," goes on Kropp, "we are here to protect our fatherland. And the French are over there to protect their fatherland. Now who's in the right?" "Perhaps both," say I without believing it. "Yes, well now," pursues Albert, and I see that he means to drive me into a corner, "but our professors and parsons and newspapers say that we are the only ones that are right, and let's hope so;--but the French professors and parsons and newspapers say that the right is on their side, now what about that?" "That I don't know," I say, "but whichever way it is there's war all the same and every month more countries coming in." Tjaden reappears. He is still quite excited and again joins the conversation, wondering just how a war gets started. "Mostly by one country badly offending another," answers Albert with a slight air of superiority. Then Tjaden pretends to be obtuse. "A country? I don't follow. A mountain in Germany cannot offend a mountain in France. Or a river, or a wood, or a field of wheat." "Are you really as stupid as that, or are you just pulling my leg?" growls Kropp, "I don't mean that at all. One people offends the other--" "Then I haven't any business here at all," replies Tjaden, "I don't feel myself offended." "Well, let me tell you," says Albert sourly, "it doesn't apply to tramps like you." "Then I can be going home right away," retorts Tjaden, and we all laugh, "Ach, man! he means the people as a whole, the State--" exclaims Mller. "State, State"--Tjaden snaps his fingers contemptuously, "Gendarmes, police, taxes, that's your State;--if that's what you are talking about, no, thank you." "That's right," says Kat, "you've said something for once, Tjaden. State and home-country, there's a big difference." "But they go together," insists Kropp, "without the State there wouldn't be any home-country." "True, but just you consider, almost all of us are simple folk. And in France, too, the majority of men are labourers, workmen, or poor clerks. Now just why would a French blacksmith or a French shoemaker want to attack us? No, it is merely the rulers. I had never seen a Frenchman before I came here, and it will be just the same with the majority of Frenchmen as regards us. They weren't asked about it any more than we were." "Then what exactly is the war for?" asks Tjaden. Kat shrugs his shoulders. "There must be some people to whom the war is useful." "Well, I'm not one of them," grins Tjaden. "Not you, nor anybody else here." "Who are they then?" persists Tjaden. "It isn't any use to the Kaiser either. He has everything he can want already." "I'm not so sure about that," contradicts Kat, "he has not had a war up till now. And every full-grown emperor requires at least one war, otherwise he would not become famous. You look in your school books." "And generals too," adds Detering, "they become famous through war." "Even more famous than emperors," adds Kat. "There are other people back behind there who profit by the war, that's certain," growls Detering. "I think it is more of a kind of fever," says Albert. "No one in particular wants it, and then all at once there it is. We didn't want the war, the others say the same thing--and yet half the world is in it all the same.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Bella Swan: Jasper? Are you sure there's nothing I can do to help? Jasper Hale: Well just your presence alone, your scent, will distract the newborns. Their hunting instinct will take over, and drive 'em crazy. Bella Swan: Good, I'm glad. [Jasper nods and begins to walk away] Bella Swan: . Bella Swan: Hey, [Jasper turns around] Bella Swan: how do you know so much about this? Jasper Hale: I didn't have quite the same upbringing as my adopted siblings. [Rolls up sleeves and shows Bella his arms, which have bite marks on them] Jasper Hale: . Bella Swan: [Hops off Jeep] Those bites are like mine. Jasper Hale: Battle scars [smiles] Jasper Hale: . All the training the Confederate Army gave me was useless against the newborns, but still, I never lost a fight. Bella Swan: Hey, this - this happened during the Civil War? Jasper Hale: I was the youngest major in the Texas Calvary, all without having seen any real battle. Bella Swan: Until...? Jasper Hale: Till I met a certain immortal... Maria
David Slade
Three years ago, on a night like this I would have been driving my old car home alone, praying it didn’t die a noble death in some snow drift. When I rolled up to the house, it would be dark. My heat would be off to save money, my bed would be cold, and if I wanted to tell someone about my day, I’d have to talk to my sword and pretend it listened. Slayer was an excellent weapon, but it never laughed at my jokes.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
Work without ceasing. If you remember in the night as you go to sleep, "I have not done what I ought to have done," rise up at once and do it. If the people around you are spiteful and callous and will not hear you, fall down before them and beg their forgiveness; for in truth you are to blame for their not wanting to hear you. And if you cannot speak to them in their bitterness, serve them in silence and in humility, never losing hope. If all men abandon you and even drive you away by force, then when you are left alone fall on the earth and kiss it, water it with your tears and it will bring forth fruit even though no one has seen or heard you in your solitude.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
But the boy protected Yorda from the shadows-that-walk-alone. He took her hand, defended her, swung his thin arm, and fought with his tiny frame, driving them back. If the shades dragged her into their realm, she would once again become a prisoner, and the boy would turn to stone, a sad adornment in the castle. Yorda knew this. But the boy did not--even as he did not know that Yorda was the property of the queen of the castle--and he protected her.
Miyuki Miyabe (Ico: Castle in the Mist)
Hello?” “Hey.” She sounded pissed. “What the hell happened to you tonight? Jess said the three of us were meeting for Valentine’s Day, but you never showed.” “Sorry,” I said. “Something came up.” “Bianca, you’ve been saying that a lot lately. Something is always coming up or you have plans or…” Suddenly, I felt Wesley’s breath hit the back of my neck. He’d gotten up from the floor and slid up behind me without me realizing it. His arms slid around my waist from behind, his fingers undoing the button of my jeans before I could stop him. “… and Jess had her hopes up that we’d do something fun…” I couldn’t focus on a word Casey was saying as Wesley’s hand slid beneath the waistband of my pants, his fingers moving lower and lower. I couldn’t say a word. I couldn’t tell him to stop or show any reaction at all. If I did, Casey would know I wasn’t alone. But, God, I could feel my whole body turning into a ball of fire. Wesley was laughing against my neck, knowing he was driving me crazy. “… I just don’t understand what’s up with you.” I bit my lip to keep from gasping as Wesley’s fingers slipped to places that made my knees shake. I could feel the smirk on his lips as they moved to my ear. Asshole. He was trying to torture me. I couldn’t handle it much longer. “Bianca, are you there?” Wesley bit my earlobe and pushed my jeans even lower with his free hand as the other continued to make me shiver.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
It is an amazing contradiction: a society that frowns on a woman going out without a man; that forces you to use separate entrances for universities, banks, restaurants, and mosques; that divides restaurants with partitions so that unrelated males and females cannot sit together; that same society expects you to get into a car with a man who is not your relative, with a man who is a complete stranger, by yourself and have him take you somewhere inside a locked car, alone.
Manal Al-Sharif (Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening)
That morning I sat in the front row with my head in my hands, totally stressed, praying, God, please don’t let my sermon be bad. I’m sure people thought I was in deep prayer for people in the room to have a fresh encounter with Jesus, but unfortunately I was only praying for myself. I desperately didn’t want to look like an idiot in front of the guest speaker who had been so amazing the night before. Then the Lord spoke to my heart: Banning, you have a choice. You can either be a preacher or you can be a son. If you decide to be a preacher, you’ll be good sometimes and at other times you won’t be that good. But if you decide to be a son, you’ll be great all the time, because you are a fantastic son. Everything changed for me in that moment. I said, God, I want to be a son. I don’t want to be anything else. I don’t want to be a preacher. I want to be a son. From that point on, something shifted for me. I was motivated by something different. Now, of course, I do want to be a good pastor, a good preacher, and a good leader. But none of that stuff is what drives me, because when I step off a stage and get alone with Jesus, I don’t want to hear Him say, Banning, you’re a great preacher. I want Him to say, Banning, you’re a great son.
Banning Liebscher (Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You)
The next time you drive into a Walmart parking lot, pause for a second to note that this Walmart—like the more than five thousand other Walmarts across the country—costs taxpayers about $1 million in direct subsidies to the employees who don’t earn enough money to pay for an apartment, buy food, or get even the most basic health care for their children. In total, Walmart benefits from more than $7 billion in subsidies each year from taxpayers like you. Those “low, low prices” are made possible by low, low wages—and by the taxes you pay to keep those workers alive on their low, low pay. As I said earlier, I don’t think that anyone who works full-time should live in poverty. I also don’t think that bazillion-dollar companies like Walmart ought to funnel profits to shareholders while paying such low wages that taxpayers must pick up the ticket for their employees’ food, shelter, and medical care. I listen to right-wing loudmouths sound off about what an outrage welfare is and I think, “Yeah, it stinks that Walmart has been sucking up so much government assistance for so long.” But somehow I suspect that these guys aren’t talking about Walmart the Welfare Queen. Walmart isn’t alone. Every year, employers like retailers and fast-food outlets pay wages that are so low that the rest of America ponies up a collective $153 billion to subsidize their workers. That’s $153 billion every year. Anyone want to guess what we could do with that mountain of money? We could make every public college tuition-free and pay for preschool for every child—and still have tens of billions left over. We could almost double the amount we spend on services for veterans, such as disability, long-term care, and ending homelessness. We could double all federal research and development—everything: medical, scientific, engineering, climate science, behavioral health, chemistry, brain mapping, drug addiction, even defense research. Or we could more than double federal spending on transportation and water infrastructure—roads, bridges, airports, mass transit, dams and levees, water treatment plants, safe new water pipes. Yeah, the point I’m making is blindingly obvious. America could do a lot with the money taxpayers spend to keep afloat people who are working full-time but whose employers don’t pay a living wage. Of course, giant corporations know they have a sweet deal—and they plan to keep it, thank you very much. They have deployed armies of lobbyists and lawyers to fight off any efforts to give workers a chance to organize or fight for a higher wage. Giant corporations have used their mouthpiece, the national Chamber of Commerce, to oppose any increase in the minimum wage, calling it a “distraction” and a “cynical effort” to increase union membership. Lobbyists grow rich making sure that people like Gina don’t get paid more. The
Elizabeth Warren (This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class)
As I speak, his fingers trail down my arm. I’m just so relieved he’s willing to touch me after I’ve told him this. He turns my hand over and traces the fine lines on my palm. “And?” He looks up beneath heavy lids. “What else should I know about you?” “My skin—” I stop, swallow. He leans down, presses his lips to my wrist in a feathery kiss. “What about your skin?” “You know. You’ve seen it,” I rasp. “It changes. The color becomes—” “Like fire.” His gaze lifts from my wrist and he says that word he said so long ago surrounded in cold mists, tucked on a ledge above a whispering pool of water. “Beautiful.” “You said that before. In the mountains.” “I meant it. Still do.” I laugh weakly. “I guess this means you’re not mad at me.” “I would be mad, if I could.” He frowns. “I should be.” He inches closer to me on the couch. We sink deeper into the tired cushions. “This is impossible.” “This what?” I clutch the collar of his shirt in my fingers. His face is so close I study the varying color of his eyes. For a long time, he says nothing. Stares at me in that way that makes me want to squirm. For a moment, it seems that his irises glow and the pupils shrink to slits. Then, he mutters, “A hunter in love with his prey.” My chest squeezes. I suck in a breath. Pretty wonderful, I think, but am too embarrassed to say it. Even after what he just admitted. He loves me? Studying him, I let myself consider this and whether he can possibly mean it. But what else could it be? What else could drive him to this moment with me? To turn his back on his family’s way of life? As he looks at me in that desperate, devouring way, I’m reminded of those moments in his car when he tended the cut on my palm and ran his hand over my leg. My belly twists. I glance around, see how seriously, dangerously alone we are. More alone than in the stairwell. Or even the first time together, on that ledge. I lick my lips. Now we’re alone with no school bell ready to rip us apart. Even more alarming, no more secrets stand between us. No barriers. Nothing to stop us at all. I hold my breath until I feel the first press of his lips, certain I’ve never been this close to another soul, this vulnerable. We kiss until we’re both breathless, warm and flushed, twisting against each other on the couch. His hands brush my bare back beneath my shirt, trace every bump of my spine. My back tingles, wings vibrating just beneath the surface. I drink the cooler air from his lips, drawing it into my fiery lungs. I don’t even mind when he stops and watches my skin change colors, or touches my face as it blurs in and out. He kisses my changing face. Cheeks, nose, the corners of my eyes, sighing my name it like a benediction between each caress. His lips slide to my neck and I moan, arch, lost to everything but him. In this, with him . . . I’m as close to the sky as I’ve ever been.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
Leave off driving your composers. It might prove to be as dangerous as it is generally unnecessary. After all, composing cannot be turned out like spinning or sewing. Some respected colleagues (Bach, Mozart, Schubert) have spoilt the world terribly. But if we can’t imitate them in the beauty of their writing, we should certainly beware of seeking to match the speed of their writing. It would also be unjust to put all the blame on idleness alone. Many factors combine to make writing harder for us (my contemporaries), and especially me. If, incidentally, they would use us poets for some other purpose, they would see that we are thoroughly and naturally industrious dispositions . . . . I have no time: otherwise I should love to chat on the difficulty of composing and how irresponsible publishers are.
Johannes Brahms (Johannes Brahms: Life and Letters)
Ma raised her eyes to the girl’s face. Ma’s eyes were patient, but the lines of strain were on her forehead…. “When you’re young, Rosasharn, ever’thing that happens is a thing all by itself. It’s a lonely thing. I know, I ‘member, Rosasharn.” Her mouth loved the name of her daughter. “You’re gonna have a baby, Rosasharn, and that’s somepin to you lonely and away. That’s gonna hurt you, an’the hurt’ll be lonely hurt, an’ this here tent is alone in the worl’, Rosasharn.” She whipped the air for a moment to drive a buzzing blow fly on, and the big shining fly circled the tent twice and zoomed out into the blinding sunlight. And Ma went on, “They’s a time of change, and when that comes, dyin’ is a piece of all dyin’, and bearin’ is a piece of all bearin’, an bearin’ an’ dyin’ is two pieces of the same thing. An’ then things ain’t lonely any more. An’ then a hurt don’t hurt so bad, ’cause it ain’t a lonely hurt no more, Rosasharn. I wisht I could tell you so you’d know, but I can’t.” And her voice was so soft, so full of love, that tears crowded into Rose of Sharon’s eyes, and flowed over eyes and blinded her.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Corruption, it made plain, was not solely a humanitarian affair, an issue touching on principles or values alone. It was a matter of national security—Afghan national security and, by extension, that of the United States. And if corruption was driving people to violent revolt in Afghanistan, it was probably doing likewise in other places. Acute government corruption may in fact lie at the root of some of the world’s most dangerous and disruptive security challenges—among them the spread of violent extremism. That basic fact, elusive to this day, is what this book seeks to demonstrate.
Sarah Chayes (Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security)
I want to crawl to her feet, whimper to be forgiven, for loving her, for needing her more than my own life, for belonging to her more than my own soul." "If he loved you with all the power of his soul for a whole lifetime, he couldn't love you as much as I do in a single day." "...he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." "If you ever looked at me once with what I know is in you, I would be your slave." "Be with me always. Take any form, drive me mad, only do not leave me in this dark alone where I cannot find you." ~ Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë
I didn’t until I was older and she was diagnosed and the possibility of her leaving us became real. But she used to tell me how the moment I was born, she knew she had found her light in the dark. That one lighthouse that, no matter what, was always up. Lighting up the night and signaling her way home. And as a kid, I thought that was either corny or very dramatic.” A low and humorless chuckle left him. My heart broke all over again for him, hurting and begging me to turn around and give him any comfort I could. But I stayed put. “You must miss her so much.” “I do, every day. When she passed and my nights got a little darker, I started to understand what she’d meant.” That was a loss I hoped I wouldn’t experience in a long time. “But what your dad said—about you having this fire inside, that lightness and life, and how it dulled for a period of time …” He paused, and I swore I heard him swallow. “It just …” He trailed off, as if he was scared of his next words. And Aaron never feared speaking his mind. Aaron was never scared. “You are all that, Catalina. You are light. And passion. Your laughter alone can lift my mood and effortlessly turn my day around in a matter of seconds. Even when it’s not aimed at me. You … can light up entire rooms, Catalina. You hold that kind of power. And it’s because of all the different things that make you who you are. Each and every one of them, even the ones that drive me crazy in ways you can’t imagine. You should never forget that.
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
There's not much to say about loneliness, for it's not a broad subject. Any child, alone in her room, can journey across its entire breadth, from border to border, in an hour. Though not broad, our subject is deep. Loneliness is deeper than the ocean. But here, too, there is no mystery. Our intrepid child is liable to fall quickly to the very bottom without even trying. And since the depths of loneliness cannot sustain human life, the child will swim to the surface again in short order, no worse for wear. Some of us, though, can bring breathing aids down with us for longer stays: imaginary friends, drugs and alcohol, mind-numbing entertainment, hobbies, ironclad routine, and pets. (Pets are some of the best enablers of loneliness, your own cuddlesome Murphy notwithstanding.) With the help of these aids, a poor sap can survive the airless depths of loneliness long enough to experience its true horror -- duration. Did you know, Myren Vole, that when presented with the same odor (even my own) for a duration of only several minutes, the olfactory nerves become habituated -- as my daughter used to say -- to it and cease transmitting its signal to the brain? Likewise, most pain loses its edge in time. Time heals all -- as they say. Even the loss of a loved one, perhaps life's most wrenching pain, is blunted in time. It recedes into the background where it can be borne with lesser pains. Not so our friend loneliness, which grows only more keen and insistent with each passing hour. Loneliness is as needle sharp now as it was an hour ago, or last week. But if loneliness is the wound, what's so secret about it? I submit to you, Myren Vole, that the most painful death of all is suffocation by loneliness. And by the time I started on my portrait of Jean, I was ten years into it (with another five to go). It is from that vantage point that I tell you that loneliness itself is the secret. It's a secret you cannot tell anyone. Why? Because to confess your loneliness is to confess your failure as a human being. To confess would only cause others to pity and avoid you, afraid that what you have is catching. Your condition is caused by a lack of human relationship, and yet to admit to it only drives your possible rescuers farther away (while attracting cats). So you attempt to hide your loneliness in public, to behave, in fact, as though you have too many friends already, and thus you hope to attract people who will unwittingly save you. But it never works that way. Your condition is written all over your face, in the hunch of your shoulders, in the hollowness of your laugh. You fool no one. Believe me in this; I've tried all the tricks of the lonely man.
David Marusek (Counting Heads (Counting Heads, #1))
That reminded him of how thrifty she was, and he promptly decided-at least for the moment-that her thriftiness was one of her most endearingly amusing qualities. “What are you thinking about?” she asked. He tipped his chin down so that he could better see her and brushed a stray lock of golden hair off her cheek. “I was thinking how wise I must be to have known within minutes of meeting you that you were wonderful.” She chuckled, thinking his words were teasing flattery. “How soon did my qualities become apparent?” “I’d say,” he thoughtfully replied, “I knew it when you took sympathy on Galileo.” She’d expected him to say something about her looks, not her conversation or her mind. “Truly?” she asked with unhidden pleasure. He nodded, but he was studying her reaction with curiosity. “What did you think I was going to say?” Her slim shoulders lifted in an embarrassed shrug. “I thought you would say it was my face you noticed first. People have the most extraordinary reaction to my face,” she explained with a disgusted sigh. “I can’t imagine why,” he said, grinning down at what was, in his opinion-in anyone’s opinion-a heartbreakingly beautiful face belonging to a young woman who was sprawled across his chest looking like an innocent golden goddess. “I think it’s my eyes. They’re an odd color.” “I see that now,” he teased, then he said more solemnly, “but as it happens it was not your face which I found so beguiling when we met in the garden, because,” he added when she looked unconvinced, “I couldn’t see it.” “Of course you could. I could see yours well enough, even though night had fallen.” “Yes, but I was standing near a torch lamp, while you perversely remained in the shadows. I could tell that yours was a very nice face, with the requisite features in the right places, and I could also tell that your other-feminine assets-were definitely in all the right places, but that was all I could see. And then later that night I looked up and saw you walking down the staircase. I was so surprised, it took a considerable amount of will to keep from dropping the glass I was holding.” Her happy laughter drifted around the room and reminded him of music. “Elizabeth,” he said dryly, “I am not such a fool that I would have let a beautiful face alone drive me to madness, or to asking you to marry me, or even to extremes of sexual desire.” She saw that he was perfectly serious, and she sobered, “Thank you,” she said quietly. “That is the nicest compliment you could have paid me, my lord.” “Don’t call me ‘my lord,’” he told her with a mixture of gentleness and gravity, “unless you mean it. I dislike having you address me that way if it’s merely a reference to my title.” Elizabeth snuggled her cheek against his hard chest and quietly replied, “As you wish. My lord.” Ian couldn’t help it. He rolled her onto her back and devoured her with his mouth, claimed her with his hands and then his body.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Error regarding life necessary to life. - Every belief in the value and dignity of life rests on false thinking; it is possible only through the fact that empathy with the universal life and suffering of mankind is very feebly developed in the individual. Even those rarer men who think beyond themselves at all have an eye, not for this universal life, but for fenced-off portions of it. If one knows how to keep the exceptions principally in view, I mean the greatly gifted and pure of soul, takes their production for the goal of world-evolution and rejoices in the effects they in turn produce, one may believe in the value of life, because the one is overlooking all other men: thinking falsely, that is to say. And likewise if, though one does keep in view all mankind, one accords validity only to one species of drives, the less egoistical, and justifies them in face of all the others, then again one can hope for something of mankind as a whole and to this extent believe in the value of life: thus, in this case too, through falsity of thinking. Whichever of these attitudes one adopts, however, one is by adopting in an exception among men. The great majority endure life without complaining overmuch; they believe in the value of existence, but they do so precisely because each of them exists for himself alone, refusing to step out of himself as those exceptions do: everything outside themselves they notice not at all or at most as a dim shadow. Thus for the ordinary, everyday man the value of life rests solely on the fact that regards himself more highly than he does the world. The great lack of imagination from which he suffers means he is unable to feel his way into other beings and thus he participates as little as possible in their fortunes and sufferings. He, on the other hand, who really could participate in them would have to despair of the value of life; if he succeeded in encompassing and feeling within himself the total consciousness of mankind he would collapse with a curse on existence - for mankind has as a whole no goal, and the individual man when he regards its total course cannot derive from it any support or comfort, but must be reduced to despair. If in all he does he has before him the ultimate goallessness of man, his actions acquire in his own eyes the character of useless squandering. But to feel thus squandered, not merely as an individual fruits but as humanity as a whole, in the way we behold the individual fruits of nature squandered, is a feeling beyond all other feelings. - But who is capable of such a feeling? Certainly only a poet: and poets always know how to console themselves.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
He crushed me against the wall, bracing me with his body. I strained, trying to break free. He might have been made of stone for all the good it did me. Except he was made of flesh and he was stark naked. I strained every muscle I had. Nothing. Outmuscling him was beyond me. “Feel better?” he inquired. “Lean over to the left, Your Majesty.” “Want a shot at my jugular with your teeth?” He leaned to the right, exposing his thick neck. “Carotid’s better.” “My teeth are too small. I wouldn’t cause enough damage for you to bleed out. Jugular is better—if I rip it a bit and get air bubbles into the bloodstream, they’ll be in your heart in two breaths. You would pass out at my feet.” A normal human would die, but it took more than an air embolism to bring a shapeshifter down permanently. “Here you go.” He leaned his head to me, his neck so close to my lips, I felt the heat coming off his skin. His breath was warm against my ear. His voice was a ragged snarl. “I miss you.” This wasn’t happening. “I worry about you.” He dipped his head and looked into my eyes “I worry something stupid will happen and I won’t be there and you’ll be gone. I worry we won’t ever get a chance and it’s driving me out of my skull.” No, no, no, no . . . We stared at each other. The tiny space between us felt too hot. Muscles bulged on his naked frame. He looked feral. Mad gold eyes stared into mine. “Do you miss me, Kate?” I closed my eyes, trying to shut him out. I could lie and then we’d be back to square one. Nothing would be resolved. I’d still be alone, hating him and wanting him. He grabbed my shoulders and shook me once. “Do you miss me?” I took the plunge. “Yes.” He kissed me. The taste of him was like an explosion of color in a gray room. It was a fierce, possessive kiss and I melted into it. His tongue brushed mine, eager and hot. I licked at it, tasting him again. My arms slid around his neck. He growled, pulling me to him, and kissed my lips, my cheeks, my neck . . . “Don’t make me leave.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
When on that shivering winter’s night, the Pequod thrust her vindictive bows into the cold malicious waves, who should I see standing at her helm but Bulkington! I looked with sympathetic awe and fearfulness upon the man, who in mid-winter just landed from a four years’ dangerous voyage, could so unrestingly push off again for still another tempestuous term. The land seemed scorching to his feet. Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs; this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington. Let me only say that it fared with him as with the storm-tossed ship, that miserably drives along the leeward land. The port would fain give succor; the port is pitiful; in the port is safety, comfort, hearthstone, supper, warm blankets, friends, all that’s kind to our mortalities. But in that gale, the port, the land, is that ship’s direst jeopardy; she must fly all hospitality; one touch of land, though it but graze the keel, would make her shudder through and through. With all her might she crowds all sail off shore; in so doing, fights ’gainst the very winds that fain would blow her homeward; seeks all the lashed sea’s landlessness again; for refuge’s sake forlornly rushing into peril; her only friend her bitterest foe! Know ye now, Bulkington? Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore? But as in landlessness alone resides highest truth, shoreless, indefinite as God—so, better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety! For worm-like, then, oh! who would craven crawl to land! Terrors of the terrible! is all this agony so vain? Take heart, take heart, O Bulkington! Bear thee grimly, demigod! Up from the spray of thy ocean-perishing—straight up, leaps thy apotheosis!
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” This community of strangers possesses no inherent right of its own to protect its members in the world, nor do they claim such rights, for they are meek, they renounce every right of their own and live for the sake of Jesus Christ. When reproached, they hold their peace; when treated with violence they endure it patiently; when men drive them from their presence, they yield their ground. They will not go to law to defend their rights, or make a scene when they suffer injustice, nor do they insist on their legal rights. They are determined to leave their rights to God alone—non cupidi vindictae, as the ancient Church paraphrased it. Their right is in the will of their Lord—that and no more. They show by every word and gesture that they do not belong to this earth. Leave heaven to them, says the world in its pity, that is where they belong.1 But Jesus says: “They shall inherit the earth.” To these, the powerless and the disenfranchised, the very earth belongs.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
There have been ample opportunities since 1945 to show that material superiority in war is not enough if the will to fight is lacking. In Algeria, Vietnam and Afghanistan the balance of economic and military strength lay overwhelmingly on the side of France, the United States, and the Soviet Union, but the will to win was slowly eroded. Troops became demoralised and brutalised. Even a political solution was abandoned. In all three cases the greater power withdrew. The Second World War was an altogether different conflict, but the will to win was every bit as important - indeed it was more so. The contest was popularly perceived to be about issues of life and death of whole communities rather than for their fighting forces alone. They were issues, wrote one American observer in 1939, 'worth dying for'. If, he continued, 'the will-to-destruction triumphs, our resolution to preserve civilisation must become more implacable...our courage must mount'. Words like 'will' and 'courage' are difficult for historians to use as instruments of cold analysis. They cannot be quantified; they are elusive of definition; they are products of a moral language that is regarded sceptically today, even tainted by its association with fascist rhetoric. German and Japanese leaders believed that the spiritual strength of their soldiers and workers in some indefinable way compensate for their technical inferiority. When asked after the war why Japan lost, one senior naval officer replied that the Japanese 'were short on spirit, the military spirit was weak...' and put this explanation ahead of any material cause. Within Germany, belief that spiritual strength or willpower was worth more than generous supplies of weapons was not confined to Hitler by any means, though it was certainly a central element in the way he looked at the world. The irony was that Hitler's ambition to impose his will on others did perhaps more than anything to ensure that his enemies' will to win burned brighter still. The Allies were united by nothing so much as a fundamental desire to smash Hitlerism and Japanese militarism and to use any weapon to achieve it. The primal drive for victory at all costs nourished Allied fighting power and assuaged the thirst for vengeance. They fought not only because the sum of their resources added up to victory, but because they wanted to win and were certain that their cause was just. The Allies won the Second World War because they turned their economic strength into effective fighting power, and turned the moral energies of their people into an effective will to win. The mobilisation of national resources in this broad sense never worked perfectly, but worked well enough to prevail. Materially rich, but divided, demoralised, and poorly led, the Allied coalition would have lost the war, however exaggerated Axis ambitions, however flawed their moral outlook. The war made exceptional demands on the Allied peoples. Half a century later the level of cruelty, destruction and sacrifice that it engendered is hard to comprehend, let alone recapture. Fifty years of security and prosperity have opened up a gulf between our own age and the age of crisis and violence that propelled the world into war. Though from today's perspective Allied victory might seem somehow inevitable, the conflict was poised on a knife-edge in the middle years of the war. This period must surely rank as the most significant turning point in the history of the modern age.
Richard Overy (Why the Allies Won)
Do we ever stop dreaming? I know I haven't. I must have been at least twenty-five when the Spice Girls happened, and I distinctly remember imagining my way into the group. I was going to be the sixth Spice, 'Massive Spice', who, against all the odds, would become the most popular and lusted-after Spice. The Spice who sang the vast majority of solo numbers in the up-tempo tracks. The Spice who really went the distance. And I still haven't quite given up on the Wimbledon Ladies' Singles Championship. I mean, it can't be too late, can it? I've got a lovely clean T-shirt, and I've figured out exactly how I'd respond to winning the final point (lie on floor wailing, get up, do triumphant lap of the ring slapping crowd members' box). It can't be just me who does this. I'm convinced that most adults, when travelling alone in a car, have a favourite driving CD of choice and sing along to it quite seriously, giving it as much attitude and effort as they can, due to believing – in that instant – that they're the latest rock or pop god playing to a packed Wembley stadium. And there must be at least one man, one poor beleaguered City worker, who likes to pop into a phone box then come out pretending he's Superman. Is there someone who does this? Anyone? If so, I'd like to meet you and we shall marry in the spring (unless you're really, really weird and the Superman thing is all you do, in which case BACK OFF).
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
So walk across the street, or drive across town, or fly across the country, but don’t let really intimate loving friendships become the last item on a long to-do list. Good friendships are like breakfast. You think you’re too busy to eat breakfast, but then you find yourself exhausted and cranky halfway through the day, and discover that your attempt to save time totally backfired. In the same way, you can try to go it alone because you don’t have time or because your house is too messy to have people over, or because making new friends is like the very worst parts of dating. But halfway through a hard day or a hard week, you’ll realize in a flash that you’re breathtakingly lonely, and that the Christmas cards aren’t much company.
Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
I pushed myself up onto my hands and knees, ignoring the bite of the frosty air on my bare skin. I launched myself in the direction of the door, fumbling around until I found it. I tried shaking the handle, jiggling it, still thinking, hoping, praying that this was some big birthday surprise, and that by the time I got back inside, there would be a plate of pancakes at the table and Dad would bring in the presents, and we could—we could—we could pretend like the night before had never happened, even with the evidence in the next room over. The door was locked. “I’m sorry!” I was screaming. Pounding my fists against it. “Mommy, I’m sorry! Please!” Dad appeared a moment later, his stocky shape outlined by the light from inside of the house. I saw Mom’s bright-red face over his shoulder; he turned to wave her off and then reached over to flip on the overhead lights. “Dad!” I said, throwing my arms around his waist. He let me keep them there, but all I got in return was a light pat on the back. “You’re safe,” he told me, in his usual soft, rumbling voice. “Dad—there’s something wrong with her,” I was babbling. The tears were burning my cheeks. “I didn’t mean to be bad! You have to fix her, okay? She’s…she’s…” “I know, I believe you.” At that, he carefully peeled my arms off his uniform and guided me down, so we were sitting on the step, facing Mom’s maroon sedan. He was fumbling in his pockets for something, listening to me as I told him everything that had happened since I walked into the kitchen. He pulled out a small pad of paper from his pocket. “Daddy,” I tried again, but he cut me off, putting down an arm between us. I understood—no touching. I had seen him do something like this before, on Take Your Child to Work Day at the station. The way he spoke, the way he wouldn’t let me touch him—I had watched him treat another kid this way, only that one had a black eye and a broken nose. That kid had been a stranger. Any hope I had felt bubbling up inside me burst into a thousand tiny pieces. “Did your parents tell you that you’d been bad?” he asked when he could get a word in. “Did you leave your house because you were afraid they would hurt you?” I pushed myself up off the ground. This is my house! I wanted to scream. You are my parents! My throat felt like it had closed up on itself. “You can talk to me,” he said, very gently. “I won’t let anyone hurt you. I just need your name, and then we can go down to the station and make some calls—” I don’t know what part of what he was saying finally broke me, but before I could stop myself I had launched my fists against him, hitting him over and over, like that would drive some sense back into him. “I am your kid!” I screamed. “I’m Ruby!” “You’ve got to calm down, Ruby,” he told me, catching my wrists. “It’ll be okay. I’ll call ahead to the station, and then we’ll go.” “No!” I shrieked. “No!” He pulled me off him again and stood, making his way to the door. My nails caught the back of his hand, and I heard him grunt in pain. He didn’t turn back around as he shut the door. I stood alone in the garage, less than ten feet away from my blue bike. From the tent that we had used to camp in dozens of times, from the sled I’d almost broken my arm on. All around the garage and house were pieces of me, but Mom and Dad—they couldn’t put them together. They didn’t see the completed puzzle standing in front of them. But eventually they must have seen the pictures of me in the living room, or gone up to my mess of the room. “—that’s not my child!” I could hear my mom yelling through the walls. She was talking to Grams, she had to be. Grams would set her straight. “I have no child! She’s not mine—I already called them, don’t—stop it! I’m not crazy!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
The practical joker despises his victims, but at the same time he envies them because their desires, however childish and mistaken, are real to them, whereas he has no desire which he can call his own. His goal, to make game of others, makes his existence absolutely dependent upon theirs; when he is alone, he is a nullity. Iago’s self-description, I am not what I am, is correct and the negation of the Divine I am that I am. If the word motive is given its normal meaning of a positive purpose of the self like sex, money, glory, etc., then the practical joker is without motive. Yet the professional practical joker is certainly driven, like a gambler, to his activity, but the drive is negative, a fear of lacking concrete self, of being nobody.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
When Lebanese Muslims and Palestinians declared jihad on Christians in 1975, we didn’t even know what that word meant. We had taken the Palestinians in, giving them refuge in our country, allowing them to study side by side with us in our schools and universities. We gave them jobs and shared our way of life with them. What started as political war spiraled very fast into a religious war between Muslims and Christians, with Lebanese Muslims joining the PLO fighting the Christians. We didn’t realize the depth of their hatred and resentment toward us as infidels. The more that Christians refused to get involved in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to allow the Palestinians to use Lebanon as a launching pad from which to attack Israel, the more the Palestinians looked at us as the enemy. Muslims started making statements such as “First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday,” meaning first we fight the Jews, then we come for the Christians. Christian presence, influence, and democracy became an obstacle in the Palestinians' fight against Israel. Koranic verses such as sura 5:51—"Believers, take not Jews and Christians for your friends. They are but friends and protectors to each other"—became the driving force in recruiting Muslim youth. Many Christians barely knew the Bible, let alone the Koran and what it taught about us, the infidels. We should have seen the long-simmering tension between Muslims and Christians beginning to erupt, but we refused to believe that such hatred and such animosity existed. America also failed to recognize this hatred throughout all the attacks launched against it, beginning with the marine barracks bombing in Beirut in 1983 all the way up to September 11, 2001. It was that horrible day that made Americans finally ask, What is jihad? And why do they hate us? I have a very simple answer for them: because you are “infidels.
Brigitte Gabriel (Because They Hate)
He paused, then, I behind him, arms locked around the powerful ribs, fingers caressing him. To lie with him, to lie with him, burning forgetful in the delicious animal fire. Locked first upright, thighs ground together, shuddering, mouth to mouth, breast to breast, legs enmeshed, then lying full length, with the good heavy weight of body upon body, arching, undulating, blind, growing together, force fighting force: to kill? To drive into burning dark of oblivion? To lose identity? Not love, this, quite. But something else rather. A refined hedonism. Hedonism: because of the blind sucking mouthing fingering quest for physical gratification. Refined: because of the desire to stimulate another in return, not being quite only concerned for self alone, but mostly so. An easy end to arguments on the mouth: a warm meeting of mouths, tongues quivering, licking, tasting. An easy substitute for bad slashing with angry hating teeth and nails and voice: the curious musical tempo of hands lifting under breasts, caressing throat, shoulders, knees, thighs. And giving up to the corrosive black whirlpool of mutual necessary destruction. - Once there is the first kiss, then the cycle becomes inevitable. Training, conditioning, make a hunger burn in breasts and secrete fluid in vagina, driving blindly for destruction. What is it but destruction? Some mystic desire to beat to sensual annihilation - to snuff out one’s identity on the identity of the other - a mingling and mangling of identities? A death of one? Or both? A devouring and subordination? No, no. A polarization rather - a balance of two integrities, changing, electrically, one with the other, yet with centers of coolness, like stars. And there it is: when asked what role I will plan to fill, I say “What do you mean role? I plan not to step into a part on marrying - but to go on living as an intelligent mature human being, growing and learning as I always have. No shift, no radical change in life habits.” Never will there be a circle, signifying me and my operations, confined solely to home, other womenfolk, and community service, enclosed in the larger worldly circle of my mate, who brings home from his periphery of contact with the world the tales only of vicarious experience to me. No, rather, there will be two over-lapping circles, with a certain strong riveted center of common ground, but both with separate arcs jutting out in the world. A balanced tension; adaptible to circumstances, in which there is an elasticity of pull, tension, yet firm unity. Two stars, polarized; in moments of communication that is complete, almost fusing onto one. But fusion is an undesirable impossibility - and quite non-durable. So there will be no illusion of that. So he accuses me of “struggling for dominance”? Sorry, wrong number. Sure, I’m a little scared of being dominated. (Who isn’t? Just the submissive, docile, milky type of individual. And that is Not he, Not me.) But that doesn’t mean I, ipso facto, want to dominate. No, it is not a black-and-white choice or alternative like: “Either-I’m-victorious on-top-or-you-are.” It is only balance that I ask for.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Besides the neutral expression that she wore when she was alone, Mrs. Freeman had two others, forward and reverse, that she used for all her human dealings. Her forward expression was steady and driving like the advance of a heavy truck. Her eyes never swerved to left or right but turned as the story turned as if they followed a yellow line down the center of it. She seldom used the other expression because it was not often necessary for her to retract a statement, but when she did, her face came to a complete stop, there was an almost imperceptible movement of her black eyes, during which they seemed to be receding, and then the observer would see that Mrs. Freeman, though she might stand there as real as several grain sacks thrown on top of each other, was no longer there in spirit.
Flannery O'Connor
On the switchboard of my memory two pair of gloves have crossed wires - those leather gloves of Omi's and a pair of white ceremonial gloves. I never seem to be able to decide which memory might be real, which false. Perhaps the leather gloves were more in harmony with his coarse features. And yet again, precisely because of his coarse features, perhaps it was the white pair which became him more. Coarse features - even though I use the words, actually such a description is nothing more than that of the impression created by the ordinary face of one lone young man mixed in among boys. Unrivaled though his build was, in height he was by no means the tallest among us. The pretentious uniform our school required, resembling a naval officer's, could scarely hang well on our still-immature bodies, and Omi alone filled his with a sensation of solid weight and a sort of sexuality. Surely I was not the only one who looked with envious and loving eyes at the muscles of his shoulder and chest, that sort of muscle which can be spied out even beneath a blue-serge uniform. Something like a secret feeling of superiority was always hovering about his face. Perhaps it was that sort of feeling which blazes higher and higher the more one's pride is hurt. It seemed that, for Omi, such misfortunes as failures in examinations and expulsions were the symbols of a frustrated will. The will to what? I imagined vaguely that it must be some purpose toward which his 'evil genius' was driving him. And i was certain that even he did not yet know the full purport of this vast conspiracy against him.
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
You’ve got to listen! She would come back to me after a night all over the city and lie down beside me and she would say, ‘I want to make everyone happy,’ and her mouth was drawn down. ‘I want everyone to be gay, gay. Only you,’ she said, holding me, ‘only you, you mustn’t be gay or happy, not like that, it’s not for you, only for everyone else in the world.’ She knew she was driving me insane with misery and fright; only,” she went on, “she couldn’t do anything because she was a long way off and waiting to begin. It’s for that reason she hates everyone near her. It’s why she falls into everything, like someone in a dream. It’s why she wants to be loved and left alone, all at the same time. She would kill the world to get at herself if the world were in the way, and it is in the way. A shadow was falling on her—mine—and it was driving her out of her wits.
Djuna Barnes (Nightwood)
Love is un-natural. Do any of these traits come naturally? Granted, we know how to turn them all on when we’re winning and wooing. But love does not sustain itself naturally. What come naturally are passion, lust, chemistry, and that “can’t wait to get you alone” feeling. But over time, all of that is eventually squashed by our unbridled, selfish, self-preserving natures. The brand of love Paul describes is a nonnegotiable for those desiring to sustain the chemistry and romance that make the early days of a relationship so exhilarating. Romance is sustained by patience, kindness, humility, and a short memory. While none of those things come naturally, every one of them is necessary. Otherwise our wounds, insecurities, and parental implants will become the driving forces and send the relationship in a bad direction. When that happens, good-bye, chemistry. Good-bye, romance. Hello, I guess I just haven’t met the right person. It’s that kind of thinking that creates the myth. It’s a myth to think that once you meet the right person, you will become a different person. The love of your life should bring out the best in you. But only you can prevent forest fires. Sorry. Only you can prevent your impatience, unkindness, pride, anger, and record keeping from undermining your relationship.
Andy Stanley (The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating)
The Truth the Dead Know For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959 and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959 Gone, I say and walk from church, refusing the stiff procession to the grave, letting the dead ride alone in the hearse. It is June. I am tired of being brave. We drive to the Cape. I cultivate myself where the sun gutters from the sky, where the sea swings in like an iron gate and we touch. In another country people die. My darling, the wind falls in like stones from the whitehearted water and when we touch we enter touch entirely. No one's alone. Men kill for this, or for as much. And what of the dead? They lie without shoes in the stone boats. They are more like stone than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone. Anne Sexton was a model who became a confessional poet, writing about intimate aspects of her life, after her doctor suggested that she take up poetry as a form of therapy. She studied under Robert Lowell at Boston University, where Sylvia Plath was one of her classmates. Sexton won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1967, but later committed suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning. Topics she covered in her poems included adultery, masturbation, menstruation, abortion, despair and suicide.
Anne Sexton
You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that thing, that empty—forever empty. That knowledge that it’s all for nothing and that you’re alone. It’s down there. And sometimes when things clear away, you’re not watching anything, you’re in your car, and you start going, ‘oh no, here it comes. That I’m alone.’ It’s starts to visit on you. Just this sadness. Life is tremendously sad, just by being in it… That’s why we text and drive. I look around, pretty much 100 percent of the people driving are texting. And they’re killing, everybody’s murdering each other with their cars. But people are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard.
Louise C.K.
Okay, okay . . . where do you hear it coming from?” “Around here somewhere.” “Always in this spot?” “No. Not always. You are going to think I am even more insane, but I swear it is following me around.” “Maybe it is my new powers. The power to drive you mad.” She wriggled her fingers at him theatrically as if she were casting a curse on him. “You already drive me mad,” he teased, dragging her up against him and nibbling her neck with a playful growling. “Ah hell,” he broke off. “I really am going mad. I cannot believe you cannot hear that. It is like a metronome set to some ridiculously fast speed.” He turned and walked into the living room, looking around at every shelf. “The last person to own this place probably had a thing for music and left it running. Listen. Can you hear that?” “No,” she said thoughtfully, “but I can hear you hearing it if I concentrate on your thoughts. What in the world . . . ?” Gideon turned, then turned again, concentrating on the rapid sound, following it until it led him right up to his wife. “It is you!” he said. “No wonder it is following me around. Are you wearing a watch?” He grabbed her wrist and she rolled her eyes. “A Demon wearing a watch? Now I have heard everything.” Suddenly Gideon went very, very still, the cold wash of chills that flooded through him so strong that she shivered with the overflow of sensation. He abruptly dropped to his knees and framed her hips with his hands. “Oh, Legna,” he whispered, “I am such an idiot. It is a baby. It is our baby. I am hearing it’s heartbeat!” “What?” she asked, her shock so powerful she could barely speak. “I am with child?” “Yes. Yes, sweet, you most certainly are. A little over a month. Legna, you conceived, probably the first time we made love. My beautiful, fertile, gorgeous wife.” Gideon kissed her belly through her dress, stood up, and caught her up against him until she squeaked with the force of his hug. Legna went past shock and entered unbelievable joy. She laughed, not caring how tight he held her, feeling his joy on a thousand different levels. “I never thought I would know this feeling,” he said hoarsely. “Even when we were getting married, I never thought . . . It did not even enter my mind!” Gideon set her down on her feet, putting her at arm’s length as he scanned her thoroughly from head to toe. “I cannot understand why I did not become aware of this sooner. The chemical changes, the hormone levels alone . . .” “Never mind. We know now,” she said, throwing herself back up against him and hugging him tightly. “Come, we have to tell Noah . . . and Hannah! Oh, and Bella! And Jacob, of course. And Elijah. And we should inform Siena—” She was still rattling off names as she teleported them to the King’s castle.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Sometimes your gaze alone scares me. Sometimes I've never seen you before. I no longer know what you're doing here, in this popular seaside resort, in this dull, crowded season, where you are even more alone than in your regional capital. The better to kill you, perhaps, or to drive you away, I don't know. I sometimes manage to feel I've never seen you before. That I don't know you, to the point of horror. That I have no idea why you're here, what you want from me, or what will become of you. Becoming is the only subject we never, ever broach. You must not know what you're doing here either, with this woman who is already old, mad with writing. Maybe this is just normal, maybe it's the same all over; it's nothing, you came simply because you were desperate, as you are every day of your life. And also during certain summers at certain times of day or night when the sun quits the sky and slips into the sea, every evening, always, you cannot help wanting to die. This I know. I see the two of us lost in similar natures. I can sometimes be overwhelmed by tenderness for the kind of people we are. Unstable, they say, a bit nutty. 'People who never go to the movies, or the theater, or parties.' Leftists are like that, you know, they have no clue how to enjoy life. Cannes makes them sick and so do the grand hotels of Morocco. Movies and theaters, it's all the same.
Marguerite Duras (Yann Andréa Steiner)
The first time I understood this I was talking with a man who had killed some thirty-odd wolves himself from a plane, alone, and flown hunters who had killed almost four hundred more. As he described with his hands the movement of the plane, the tack of its approach, his body began to lean into the movement and he shook his head as if to say no words could tell it. For him the thing was not the killing; it was that moment when the blast of the shotgun hit the wolf and flattened him—because the wolf’s legs never stopped driving. In that same instant the animal was fighting to go on, to stay on its feet, to shake off the impact of the buckshot. The man spoke with awed respect of the animal’s will to live, its bone and muscle shattered, blood streaking the snow, but refusing to fall. “When the legs stop, you know he’s dead. He doesn’t quit until there’s nothing left.” He spoke as though he himself would never be a quitter in life because he had seen this thing. Four hundred times.
Barry Lopez (Of Wolves and Men (Scribner Classics))
The Corinthians began by blaming the Spartans for the Athenian long walls. Their “bluntness of perception” had allowed Themistocles’ trickery decades earlier, from which Athens concluded that the Spartans “see, but do not care.” You, Spartans, of all the Hellenes are alone inactive, and defend yourselves not by doing anything but by looking as if you would do something; you alone wait till the power of an enemy is becoming twice its original size, instead of crushing it in its infancy. And yet the world used to say that you were to be depended upon; but in your case, we fear, it said more than the truth. The Athenians, in contrast, were “adventurous beyond their power, and daring beyond their judgment.” The speed with which they acted enabled them “to call a thing hoped for a thing got.” They “take no rest themselves and . . . give none to others.” For these reasons, the Spartans should aid the Potidaeans by invading Attica. Not to do so would “drive the rest of us in despair to some other alliance.” 27
John Lewis Gaddis (On Grand Strategy)
...I maintain that cosmic religiousness is the strongest and most noble driving force of scientific research. Only the man who can conceive the gigantic effort and above all the devotion, without which original scientific thought cannot succeed, can measure the strength of the feeling from which alone such work...can grow. What a deep belief in the intelligence of Creation and what longing for understanding, even if only of a meagre reflection in the revealed intelligence of this world, must have flourished in Kepler and Newton, enabling them as lonely men to unravel over years of work the mechanism of celestial mechanics....Only the man who devotes his life to such goals has a living conception of what inspired these men and gave them strength to remain steadfast in their aims in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religiousness that bestows such strength. A contemporary has said, not unrightly, that the serious research scholar in our generally materialistic age is the only deeply religious human being.
Albert Einstein
I have said that people are rendered sociable by their ability to endure solitude, that is to say, their own society. They become sick of themselves. It is this vacuity of soul which drives them to intercourse with others,—to travels in foreign countries. Their mind is wanting in elasticity; it has no movement of its own, and so they try to give it some,—by drink, for instance. How much drunkenness is due to this cause alone! They are always looking for some form of excitement, of the strongest kind they can bear—the excitement of being with people of like nature with themselves; and if they fail in this, their mind sinks by its own weight, and they fall into a grievous lethargy.[1] Such people, it may be said, possess only a small fraction of humanity in themselves; and it requires a great many of them put together to make up a fair amount of it,—to attain any degree of consciousness as men. A man, in the full sense of the word,—a man par excellence—does not represent a fraction, but a whole number: he is complete in himself. [Footnote
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Counsels and Maxims)
Evolutionarily, the function of attachment has been to protect the organism from danger. The attachment figure, an older, kinder, stronger, wiser other (Bowlby, 1982), functions as a safe base (Ainsworth et al., 1978), and is a presence that obviates fear and engenders a feeling of safety for the younger organism. The greater the feeling of safety, the wider the range of exploration and the more exuberant the exploratory drive (i.e., the higher the threshold before novelty turns into anxiety and fear). Thus, the fundamental tenet of attachment theory: security of attachment leads to an expanded range of exploration. Whereas fear constricts, safety expands the range of exploration. In the absence of dyadically constructed safety, the child has to contend with fear-potentiating aloneness. The child will devote energy to conservative, safety enhancing measures, that is, defense mechanisms, to compensate for what's missing. The focus on maintaining safety and managing fear drains energy from learning and exploration, stunts growth, and distorts personality development.
Daniel J. Siegel (Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body and Brain)
Driving my daughter to a friend’s house one evening, she asked me about God. “Why doesn’t God stop bad things from happening?” I glanced back at her in the seat. Her eyes were big, her expression pensive. “I’m sure he could, but that would break his promise to us,” I said, working the answer out. “Because he promised to give us free will, and that means that we are free to do bad things as well as good.” “But other people?” “Other people, too. All people have free will.” I worked to explain it, not just to her but to myself. “God promised not to leave us alone,” I said, coming back to an idea that has often comforted me. “It doesn’t mean we’ll always be happy. But He will always support us.” Angel was thinking about her father and his death. I wondered if she was going to cry. “It’s okay to cry,” I told her. “I’m not going to cry,” she said. “I have a lot of questions about God. But I can’t think about them now.” “You can always ask.” “I know.” “Are you angry with God?” “No. He didn’t do this to us.” “It’s okay to be mad at God,” I admitted finally--to myself. “He can handle it.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
The history of New England, and especially of Massachusetts, is full of the horrors that have turned life into gloom, joy into despair, naturalness into disease, honesty and truth into hideous lies and hypocrisies. The ducking-stool and whipping post, as well as numerous other devices of torture, were the favorite English methods for American purification. Boston, the city of culture, has gone down in the annals of Puritanism as the “Bloody Town.” It rivaled Salem, even, in her cruel persecution of unauthorized religious opinions. On the now famous Common a half-naked woman, with a baby in her arms, was publicly whipped for the crime of free speech; and on the same spot Mary Dyer, another Quaker woman, was hanged in 1659. In fact, Boston has been the scene of more than one wanton crime committed by Puritanism. Salem, in the summer of 1692, killed eighteen people for witchcraft. Nor was Massachusetts alone in driving out the devil by fire and brimstone. As Canning justly said: “The Pilgrim fathers infested the New World to redress the balance of the Old.” The horrors of that period have found their most supreme expression in the American classic, THE SCARLET LETTER.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
They had not been long there before Lord Dumbello did group himself. 'Fine day,' he said, coming up and occupying the vacant position by Miss Grantly's elbow. 'We were driving to-day and we thought it rather cold,' said Griselda. 'Deuced cold,' said Lord Dumbello, and then he adjusted his white cravat and touched up his whiskers. Having got so far, he did not proceed to any other immediate conversational efforts; nor did Griselda. But he grouped himself again as became a marquis, and gave very intense satisfaction to Mrs. Proudie. 'This is so kind of you, Lord Dumbello,' said that lady, coming up to him and shaking his hand warmly; 'so very kind of you to come to my poor little tea-party.' 'Uncommonly pleasant, I call it,' said his lordship. 'I like this sort of thing--no trouble, you know.' 'No; that is the charm of it: isn't it? no trouble or fuss, or parade. That's what I always say. According to my ideas, society consists in giving people facility for an interchange of thoughts--what we call conversation.' 'Aw, yes, exactly.' 'Not in eating and drinking together--eh, Lord Dumbello? And yet the practice of our lives would seem to show that the indulgence of those animal propensities can alone suffice to bring people together. The world in this has surely made a great mistake.' 'I like a good dinner all the same,' said Lord Dumbello. 'Oh, yes, of course--of course. I am by no means one of those who would pretend to preach that our tastes have not been given to us for our enjoyment. Why should things be nice if we are not to like them?' 'A man who can really give a good dinner has learned a great deal,' said Lord Dumbello, with unusual animation. 'An immense deal. It is quite an art in itself; and one which I, at any rate, by no means despise. But we cannot always be eating -- can we?' 'No,' said Lord Dumbello, 'not always.' And he looked as though he lamented that his powers should be so circumscribed.
Anthony Trollope (Framley Parsonage (Chronicles of Barsetshire #4))
Imagine you live on a planet where the dominant species is far more intellectually sophisticated than human beings but often keeps humans as companion animals. They are called the Gorns. They communicate with each other via a complex combination of telepathy, eye movements & high-pitched squeaks, all completely unintelligible & unlearnable by humans, whose brains are prepared for verbal language acquisition only. Humans sometimes learn the meaning of individual sounds by repeated association with things of relevance to them. The Gorns & humans bond strongly but there are many Gorn rules that humans must try to assimilate with limited information & usually high stakes. You are one of the lucky humans who lives with the Gorns in their dwelling. Many other humans are chained to small cabanas in the yard or kept in outdoor pens of varying size. They are so socially starved they cannot control their emotions when a Gorn goes near them. The Gorns agree that they could never be House-Humans. The dwelling you share with your Gorn family is filled with water-filled porcelain bowls.Every time you try to urinate in one,nearby Gorn attack you. You learn to only use the toilet when there are no Gorns present. Sometimes they come home & stuff your head down the toilet for no apparent reason. You hate this & start sucking up to the Gorns when they come home to try & stave this off but they view this as evidence of your guilt. You are also punished for watching videos, reading books, talking to other human beings, eating pizza or cheesecake, & writing letters. These are all considered behavior problems by the Gorns. To avoid going crazy, once again you wait until they are not around to try doing anything you wish to do. While they are around, you sit quietly, staring straight ahead. Because they witness this good behavior you are so obviously capable of, they attribute to “spite” the video watching & other transgressions that occur when you are alone. Obviously you resent being left alone, they figure. You are walked several times a day and left crossword puzzle books to do. You have never used them because you hate crosswords; the Gorns think you’re ignoring them out of revenge. Worst of all, you like them. They are, after all, often nice to you. But when you smile at them, they punish you, likewise for shaking hands. If you apologize they punish you again. You have not seen another human since you were a small child. When you see one you are curious, excited & afraid. You really don’t know how to act. So, the Gorn you live with keeps you away from other humans. Your social skills never develop. Finally, you are brought to “training” school. A large part of the training consists of having your air briefly cut off by a metal chain around your neck. They are sure you understand every squeak & telepathic communication they make because sometimes you get it right. You are guessing & hate the training. You feel pretty stressed out a lot of the time. One day, you see a Gorn approaching with the training collar in hand. You have PMS, a sore neck & you just don’t feel up to the baffling coercion about to ensue. You tell them in your sternest voice to please leave you alone & go away. The Gorns are shocked by this unprovoked aggressive behavior. They thought you had a good temperament. They put you in one of their vehicles & take you for a drive. You watch the attractive planetary landscape going by & wonder where you are going. You are led into a building filled with the smell of human sweat & excrement. Humans are everywhere in small cages. Some are nervous, some depressed, most watch the goings on on from their prisons. Your Gorns, with whom you have lived your entire life, hand you over to strangers who drag you to a small room. You are terrified & yell for your Gorn family to help you. They turn & walk away.You are held down & given a lethal injection. It is, after all, the humane way to do it.
Jean Donaldson (The Culture Clash)
He held me much closer than Carl had. His grip was firm and possessive. It left no doubt in anyone’s mind who I belonged to and that alone sent a thrill through me that I knew was wrong. He imprisoned me in the unwavering chains of his gaze, leaving me powerless to break away while he scrutinized my soul. I wondered what he was looking for. “You came.” The hand on my waist slid over the swell in my spine where it connected to the rise of my backside. His palm flattened against the spot and I was drawn even closer, eliminating what modicum of space there had been between us. My soft frame was cradled seamlessly into the unyielding length of his in all the places that counted, thighs, pelvis, stomach … breasts. I couldn’t even breathe without feeling the skim of my hardened nipples against his chest. I couldn’t move without feeling his cock reaching for me through miles of fabric to prod into my midsection. He was long and hard and I grew wet from that knowledge alone. “Gabriel…” “I couldn’t leave without having this dance with you.” My fingers tightened around his shoulder. “Why?” His quiet exhalation whispered over the curve of my cheeks, smelling of mint and despair. “Because the further away I got from you, the more it felt like if I kept driving, I would lose you for good and that scared me like nothing else.
Airicka Phoenix (The Voyeur Next Door)
But the greatest human problems are not social problems, but decisions that the individual has to make alone. The most important feelings of which man is capable emphasise his separateness from other people, not his kinship with them. The feelings of a mountaineer towards a mountain emphasise his kinship with the mountain rather than with the rest of mankind. The same goes for the leap of the heart experienced by a sailor when he smells the sea, or for the astronomer’s feeling about the stars, or for the archaeologist’s love of the past. My feeling of love for my fellowmen makes me aware of my humanness; but my feeling about a mountain gives me an oddly nonhuman sensation. It would be incorrect, perhaps, to call it ‘superhuman’; but it nevertheless gives me a sense of transcending my everyday humanity. Maslow’s importance is that he has placed these experiences of ‘transcendence’ at the centre of his psychology. He sees them as the compass by which man gains a sense of the magnetic north of his existence. They bring a glimpse of ‘the source of power, meaning and purpose’ inside himself. This can be seen with great clarity in the matter of the cure of alcoholics. Alcoholism arises from what I have called ‘generalised hypertension’, a feeling of strain or anxiety about practically everything. It might be described as a ‘passively negative’ attitude towards existence. The negativity prevents proper relaxation; there is a perpetual excess of adrenalin in the bloodstream. Alcohol may produce the necessary relaxation, switch off the anxiety, allow one to feel like a real human being instead of a bundle of over-tense nerves. Recurrence of the hypertension makes the alcoholic remedy a habit, but the disadvantages soon begin to outweigh the advantage: hangovers, headaches, fatigue, guilt, general inefficiency. And, above all, passivity. The alcoholics are given mescalin or LSD, and then peak experiences are induced by means of music or poetry or colours blending on a screen. They are suddenly gripped and shaken by a sense of meaning, of just how incredibly interesting life can be for the undefeated. They also become aware of the vicious circle involved in alcoholism: misery and passivity leading to a general running-down of the vital powers, and to the lower levels of perception that are the outcome of fatigue. ‘The spirit world shuts not its gates, Your heart is dead, your senses sleep,’ says the Earth Spirit to Faust. And the senses sleep when there is not enough energy to run them efficiently. On the other hand, when the level of will and determination is high, the senses wake up. (Maslow was not particularly literary, or he might have been amused to think that Faust is suffering from exactly the same problem as the girl in the chewing gum factory (described earlier), and that he had, incidentally, solved a problem that had troubled European culture for nearly two centuries). Peak experiences are a by-product of this higher energy-drive. The alcoholic drinks because he is seeking peak experiences; (the same, of course, goes for all addicts, whether of drugs or tobacco.) In fact, he is moving away from them, like a lost traveller walking away from the inn in which he hopes to spend the night. The moment he sees with clarity what he needs to do to regain the peak experience, he does an about-face and ceases to be an alcoholic.
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
Popular authors do not and apparently cannot appreciate the fact that true art is obtainable only by rejecting normality and conventionality in toto, and approaching a theme purged utterly of any usual or preconceived point of view. Wild and “different” as they may consider their quasi-weird products, it remains a fact that the bizarrerie is on the surface alone; and that basically they reiterate the same old conventional values and motives and perspectives. Good and evil, teleological illusion, sugary sentiment, anthropocentric psychology—the usual superficial stock in trade, and all shot through with the eternal and inescapable commonplace…. Who ever wrote a story from the point of view that man is a blemish on the cosmos, who ought to be eradicated? As an example—a young man I know lately told me that he means to write a story about a scientist who wishes to dominate the earth, and who to accomplish his ends trains and overdevelops germs … and leads armies of them in the manner of the Egyptian plagues. I told him that although this theme has promise, it is made utterly commonplace by assigning the scientist a normal motive. There is nothing outré about wanting to conquer the earth; Alexander, Napoleon, and Wilhelm II wanted to do that. Instead, I told my friend, he should conceive a man with a morbid, frantic, shuddering hatred of the life-principle itself, who wishes to extirpate from the planet every trace of biological organism, animal and vegetable alike, including himself. That would be tolerably original. But after all, originality lies with the author. One can’t write a weird story of real power without perfect psychological detachment from the human scene, and a magic prism of imagination which suffuses theme and style alike with that grotesquerie and disquieting distortion characteristic of morbid vision. Only a cynic can create horror—for behind every masterpiece of the sort must reside a driving demonic force that despises the human race and its illusions, and longs to pull them to pieces and mock them.
H.P. Lovecraft
Yes. Do you remember?” Once more a shrug of the shoulders. “How should I remember? We have questioned thousands—” “Questioned! Beaten into unconsciousness, kidneys crushed, bones broken, thrown into cellars like sacks, dragged up again, faces torn, testicles crushed—that was what you called questioning! The hot frightful moaning of those who were no longer able to cry—questioned! The whimpering between unconsciousness and consciousness, kicks in the belly, rubber clubs, whips—yes, all that you innocently called ‘questioning’!” “Don’t move your hands! Or I’ll shoot you down! Do you remember little Max Rosenberg who lay beside me in the cellar with his torn body and who tried to smash his head on the cement wall to keep from being questioned again—questioned, why? Because he was a democrat! And Willmann who passed blood and had no teeth and only one eye left after he had been questioned by you for two hours—questioned, why? Because he was a Catholic and did not believe your Fuehrer was the new Messiah. And Riesenfeld whose head and back looked like raw lumps of flesh and who implored us to bite open his arteries because he was toothless and no longer able to do it himself after he had been questioned by you—questioned, why? Because he was against war and did not believe that culture is most perfectly expressed by bombs and flame throwers. Questioned! Thousands have been questioned, yes—don’t move your hands, you swine! And now finally I’ve got you and we are driving to a house with thick walls and we will be all alone and I’ll question you—slowly, slowly, for days, the Rosenberg treatment
Erich Maria Remarque (Arch of Triumph: A Novel of a Man Without a Country)
In my opinion the basic cause for the relative failure of the two greatest revolutions in history resides not, to borrow again from Voline, in "historic inevitability," or simply in the subjective "errors" of revolutionary actors. The revolution bears within itself a serious contradiction (a contradiction which fortunately—and we will return to the subject —is not irremediable and is attenuated with time): it can only arise, it can only vanquish if it issues from the depths of the popular masses, from their irresistible spontaneous uprising; but although the class instinct drives the popular masses to break their chains, they are yet lacking in education and consciousness. And since, in their formidable but tumultuous and blind drive towards liberty, they run up against privileged, conscious, educated, organized, and tested social classes, they can only vanquish the resistance they meet if they succeed in obtaining in the heat of the struggle, the consciousness, the science, the organization, and the experience they lack. But the very fact of forging the weapons I have just listed summarily, and which alone can ensure their superiority over the enemy, bears an immense peril within it: that of killing the spontaneity that is the very spirit of the revolution; that of compromising freedom through organization; that of allowing the movement to be confiscated by an elite minority of more educated, more conscious, more experienced militants who, to begin with, offer themselves as guides in order, in the end, to impose themselves as chiefs and to subject the masses to new forms of the oppression of man by man.
Daniel Guérin (For a Libertarian Communism)
If spirituality means seeking ['Self'-Realization], why do I need a Guru?' Let's say, all that you're seeking is to go to Kedarnath right now. Somebody is driving; the roads are laid out. If you came alone and there were no proper directions, definitely you would have wished, "I wish there was a map to tell me how to get there." On one level, a Guru is just a map. He's a live map. If you can read the map, you know the way, you can go. A Guru can also be your bus driver. You sit here and doze and he will take you to Kedarnath; but to sit in this bus and doze off, or to sit in this bus joyfully, you need to trust the bus driver. If every moment, with every curve in this road, you go on thinking, "Will this man kill me? Will this man go off the road? What intention does he have for my life?" then you will only go mad sitting here. We're talking about trust, not because a Guru needs your trust, it's just that if there's no trust you will drive yourself mad. This is not just for sitting on a bus or going on a spiritual journey. To live on this planet, you need trust. Right now, you trust unconsciously. You're sitting on this bus, which is just a bundle of nuts and bolts and pieces of metal. Look at the way you're going through the mountains. Unknowingly, you trust this vehicle so much. Isn't it so? You have placed your life in the hands of this mechanical mess, which is just nuts and bolts, rubbers and wires, this and that. You have placed your life in it, but you trust the bus consciously. The same trust, if it arises consciously, would do miracles to you. When we say trust, we're not talking about anything new to life. To be here, to take every breath in and out, you need trust, isn't it? Your trust is unconscious. I am only asking you to bring a little consciousness to your trust. It's not something new. Life is trust, otherwise nobody can exist here.
Sadhguru (Mystic's Musings)
When she finally reached it, she bent forward and looked through the peephole. Jay was grinning back at her from outside. Her heart leaped for a completely different reason. She set aside her crutches and quickly unbolted the door to open it. "What took you so long?" Her knee was bent and her ankle pulled up off the ground. She balanced against the doorjamb. "What d'you think, dumbass?" she retorted smartly, keeping her voice down so she wouldn't alert her parents. "You scared the crap out of me, by the way. My parents are already in bed, and I was all alone down here." "Good!" he exclaimed as he reached in and grabbed her around the waist, dragging her up against him and wrapping his arms around her. She giggled while he held her there, enjoying everything about the feel of him against her. "What are you doing here? I thought I wouldn't see you till tomorrow." "I wanted to show you something!" He beamed at her, and his enthusiasm reached out to capture her in its grip. She couldn't help smiling back excitedly. "What is it?" she asked breathlessly. He didn't release her; he just turned, still holding her gently in his arms, so that she could see out into the driveway. The first thing she noticed was the officer in his car, alert now as he kept a watchful eye on the two of them. Violet realized that it was late, already past eleven, and from the look on his face, she thought he must have been hoping for a quiet, uneventful evening out there. And then she saw the car. It was beautiful and sleek, painted a glossy black that, even in the dark, reflected the light like a polished mirror. Violet recognized the Acura insignia on the front of the hood, and even though she could tell it wasn't brand-new, it looked like it had been well taken care of. "Whose is it?" she asked admiringly. It was way better than her crappy little Honda. Jay grinned again, his face glowing with enthusiasm. "It's mine. I got it tonight. That's why I had to go. My mom had the night off, and I wanted to get it before..." He smiled down at her. "I didn't want to borrow your car to take you to the dance." "Really?" she breathed. "How...? I didn't even know you were..." She couldn't seem to find the right words; she was envious and excited for him all at the same time. "I know right?" he answered, as if she'd actually asked coherent questions. "I've been saving for...for forever, really. What do you think?" Violet smiled at him, thinking that he was entirely too perfect for her. "I think it's beautiful," she said with more meaning than he understood. And then she glanced back at the car. "I had no idea that you were getting a car. I love it, Jay," she insisted, wrapping her arms around his neck as he hoisted her up, cradling her like a small child." "I'd offer to take you for a test-drive, but I'm afraid that Supercop over there would probably Taser me with his stun gun. So you'll have to wait until tomorrow," he said, and without waiting for an invitation he carried her inside, dead bolting the door behind him. He settled down on the couch, where she'd been sitting by herself just moments before, without letting her go. There was a movie on the television, but neither of them paid any attention to it as Jay reclined, stretching out and drawing her down into the circle of his arms. They spent the rest of the night like that, cradled together, their bodies fitting each other perfectly, as they kissed and whispered and laughed quietly in the darkness. At some point Violet was aware that she was drifting into sleep, as her thoughts turned dreamlike, becoming disjointed and fuzzy and hard to hold on to. She didn't fight it; she enjoyed the lazy, drifting feeling, along with the warmth created by the cocoon of Jay's body wrapped protectively around her. It was the safest she'd felt in days...maybe weeks... And for the first time since she'd been chased by the man in the woods, her dreams were free from monsters.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Jason, it’s a pleasure.” Instead of being in awe or “fangirling” over one of the best catchers in the country, my dad acts normal and doesn’t even mention the fact that Jason is a major league baseball player. “Going up north with my daughter?” “Yes, sir.” Jason sticks his hands in his back pockets and all I can focus on is the way his pecs press against the soft fabric of his shirt. “A-plus driver here in case you were wondering. No tickets, I enjoy a comfortable position of ten and two on the steering wheel, and I already established the rule in the car that it’s my playlist we’re listening to so there’s no fighting over music. Also, since it’s my off season, I took a siesta earlier today so I was fresh and alive for the drive tonight. I packed snacks, the tank is full, and there is water in reusable water bottles in the center console for each of us. Oh, and gum, in case I need something to chew if this one falls asleep.” He thumbs toward me. “I know how to use my fists if a bear comes near us, but I’m also not an idiot and know if it’s brown, hit the ground, if it’s black, fight that bastard back.” Oh my God, why is he so adorable? “I plan on teaching your daughter how to cook a proper meal this weekend, something she can make for you and your wife when you’re in town.” “Now this I like.” My dad chuckles. Chuckles. At Jason. I think I’m in an alternate universe. “I saw this great place that serves apparently the best pancakes in Illinois, so Sunday morning, I’d like to go there. I’d also like to hike, and when it comes to the sleeping arrangements, I was informed there are two bedrooms, and I plan on using one of them alone. No worries there.” Oh, I’m worried . . . that he plans on using the other one. “Well, looks like you’ve covered everything. This is a solid gentleman, Dottie.” I know. I really know. “Are you good? Am I allowed to leave now?” “I don’t know.” My dad scratches the side of his jaw. “Just from how charismatic this man is and his plans, I’m thinking I should take your place instead.” “I’m up for a bro weekend,” Jason says, his banter and decorum so easy. No wonder he’s loved so much. “Then I wouldn’t have to see the deep eye-roll your daughter gives me on a constant basis.” My dad leans in and says, “She gets that from me, but I will say this, I can’t possibly see myself eye-rolling with you. Do you have extra clothes packed for me?” “Do you mind sharing underwear with another man? Because I’m game.” My dad’s head falls back as he laughs. “I’ve never rubbed another man’s underwear on my junk, but never say never.” “Ohhh-kay, you two are done.” I reach up and press a kiss to my dad’s cheek. “We are leaving.” I take Jason by the arm and direct him back to the car. From over his shoulder, he mouths to my dad to call him, which my dad replies with a thumbs up. Ridiculous. Hilarious. When we’re saddled up in the car, I let out a long breath and shift my head to the side so I can look at him. Sincerely I say, “Sorry about that.” With the biggest smile on his face, his hand lands on my thigh. He gives it a good squeeze and says, “Don’t apologize, that was fucking awesome.
Meghan Quinn (The Lineup)
After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of the world. But their wallets always waited cold sober in the cloakroom while the Icelandic purse lay open for all in the middle of the table. Our men were the greater Vikings in this regard. “Reputation is king, the rest is crap!” my Bæring from Bolungarvík used to say. Every evening had to be legendary, anything else was a defeat. But the morning after they turned into weak-willed doughboys. But all the same I did succeed in loving them, those Icelandic clodhoppers, at least down as far as their knees. Below there, things did not go as well. And when the feet of Jón Pre-Jón popped out of me in the maternity ward, it was enough. The resemblances were small and exact: Jón’s feet in bonsai form. I instantly acquired a physical intolerance for the father, and forbade him to come in and see the baby. All I heard was the note of surprise in the bass voice out in the corridor when the midwife told him she had ordered him a taxi. From that day on I made it a rule: I sacked my men by calling a car. ‘The taxi is here,’ became my favourite sentence.
Hallgrímur Helgason
I’m happy here, Tate. I’ll let you know when the baby comes,” she added quietly. “Certainly, you’ll have access to him any time you like.” Doors were closing. Walls were going up around her. He clenched his teeth together in impotent fury. “I want you,” he said forcefully, which was not at all what he wanted to say. “I don’t want you,” she replied, lying through her teeth. She wasn’t about to become an obligation again. She even smiled. “Thanks for coming to see about me. I’ll phone Leta when she and Matt come home from Nassau.” “They’re already home,” he said flatly. “I’ve been to make peace with them.” “Have you?” She smiled gently. “I’m glad. I’m so glad. It broke Leta’s heart that you wouldn’t speak to her.” “What do you think it’s going to do to her when she hears that you won’t marry the father of your child?” She gaped at him. “She…knows?” “They both know, Cecily,” he returned. “They were looking forward to making a fuss over you.” He turned toward the door, bristling with hurt pride and rejection. “You can call my mother and tell her yourself that you aren’t coming back. Then you can live here alone in the middle of ‘blizzard country,; and I wish you well.” He turned at the door with his black eyes flashing. “As for me, hell will freeze over before I come near you again!” He went out and slammed the door. Cecily stared after him with her heart in her throat. Why was he so angry that she’d relieved him of any obligations about the baby? He couldn’t want her for herself. If he had, if he’d had any real feeling for her, he’d have married her years ago. It was only the baby. She let the tears rush down her face again with pure misery as she heard the four-wheel drive roar out of the driveway and accelerate down the road. She hoped he didn’t run over anybody. Her hand went to her stomach and she remembered with anguish the look on his face when he’d put his big, strong hand over his child. She’d sent him away for the sake of his own happiness, didn’t he know that? She supposed it was just hurt pride that had caused his outburst. But she wished he hadn’t come. It would be so much harder to live here now that she could see him in this house, in these rooms, and be haunted by the memory of him all over again. He wouldn’t come back. She’d burned her bridges. There was no way to rebuild them.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Saint John Paul II wrote, “when its concepts and conclusions can be integrated into the wider human culture and its concerns for ultimate meaning and value.”7 Religion, too, develops best when its doctrines are not abstract and fixed in an ancient past but integrated into the wider stream of life. Albert Einstein once said that “science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind.”8 So too, John Paul II wrote: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.”9 Teilhard de Chardin saw that dialogue alone between the disciplines is insufficient; what we need is a new synthesis of science and religion, drawing insights from each discipline into a new unity. In a remarkable letter to the director of the Vatican Observatory, John Paul II wrote: The church does not propose that science should become religion or religion science. On the contrary, unity always presupposes the diversity and integrity of its elements. Each of these members should become not less itself but more itself in a dynamic interchange, for a unity in which one of the elements is reduced to the other is destructive, false in its promises of harmony, and ruinous of the integrity of its components. We are asked to become one. We are not asked to become each other. . . . Unity involves the drive of the human mind towards understanding and the desire of the human spirit for love. When human beings seek to understand the multiplicities that surround them, when they seek to make sense of experience, they do so by bringing many factors into a common vision. Understanding is achieved when many data are unified by a common structure. The one illuminates the many: it makes sense of the whole. . . . We move towards unity as we move towards meaning in our lives. Unity is also the consequence of love. If love is genuine, it moves not towards the assimilation of the other but towards union with the other. Human community begins in desire when that union has not been achieved, and it is completed in joy when those who have been apart are now united.10 The words of the late pope highlight the core of catholicity: consciousness of belonging to a whole and unity as a consequence of love.
Ilia Delio (Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness (Catholicity in an Evolving Universe Series))
It is not a war, it is a lesson of life (first part) It's a life lesson. It's not a war. War brings hatred, violence, destruction, while we are called, at this particular moment, to rediscover values ​​such as solidarity, fraternity, neighborliness and nature. The war metaphor, so dear to journalists and politicians, has the unique purpose of amplifying the context of a narrative, framing it perfectly for the use of Tg and Talk shows to remind us, rather than to inform us, which are meant to sell news, gaining a broad audience. To say that we are at war is, in my humble opinion, a pure example of lexical inclination. Don't fight at war on the couch at home or by repeatedly posting stories on your favorite social network. No border is in danger, there is no enemy out there to shoot down. And then, to understand it sincerely and serenely: we, as human beings, have been waging wars since the dawn of time. We are so brutal that for thousands of years we have killed each other with stones, sticks, swords, spears, cannons, machine guns and atomic bombs. Imagine if we needed a pandemic to declare war ... who are we? A stupid virus that's part of the nature of things? However, at this time there is a disease that affects and does so without distinguishing borders, nationalities, skin color or social status. And this is already a great first lesson in life. He tells us - as it should - that we are all the same. Diversity and distinctions are the fruit of our limited and limiting mind, the apotheosis of our finitude. We are facing a pandemic that, in order to be addressed, requires a strong sense of personal responsibility and collaboration between communities. It requires a counter-current gesture, of altruism, in an individualistic society, in which everyone thinks for himself and defends his goods. And this is a second life lesson. Let's stop looking at our little miserable garden made of selfishness, greed and spiritual misery. Do you know how this pandemic will end? With mutual help! We will have to help each other! Either the sense of community will predominate, or we will be doomed to eat each other. The message "No one is saved alone" launched by the Pope. This virus, in its way of being contagious, in making us stay a little alone with ourselves, tells us that the error was probably the first. The naiveté in believing that our way of life was right, the blindness in believing that we are happy and not superficial, the folly of seeing a world that burns and gets stuck on itself - and on us - pretending that it is normal. The mistake of considering the law of profit as the driving force of all. Instead of investing in healthcare, for our care, in solidarity, to strengthen the sense of community, we preferred to spend in the armament, to defend ourselves from others, from our fellow citizens. Isn't that a life lesson too? We wake up from the heat of a time when possession was more important than knowledge, it was deception and not truth, inhumanity and not benevolence. But not only that, it was the moment of insensitivity, blindness, selfishness, cowardice, appearance, mediocrity, misunderstanding and especially evil, in all its forms. Maybe, dear readers, it's time to acknowledge that the disease is not the virus. We are the disease! So far we have lived convinced that life, in a subtle way, has deceived us. That she was unfair and cruel. We forgot about ourselves watching the clock, with our all-powerful feeling, convinced that we can control the passage of time. As we were convinced that there is still time, that nothing will happen tomorrow and everything can be postponed. I was wrong. An invisible being, transported into the air we breathe and which, in just over a month, has traversed the seas, mountains and entire continents, was enough to bring to our knees all our beliefs and customs.
Corina Abdulahm Negura
So many synapses,' Drisana said. 'Ten trillion synapses in the cortex alone.' Danlo made a fist and asked, 'What do the synapses look like?' 'They're modelled as points of light. Ten trillion points of light.' She didn't explain how neurotransmitters diffuse across the synapses, causing the individual neurons to fire. Danlo knew nothing of chemistry or electricity. Instead, she tried to give him some idea of how the heaume's computer stored and imprinted language. 'The computer remembers the synapse configuration of other brains, brains that hold a particular language. This memory is a simulation of that language. And then in your brain, Danlo, select synapses are excited directly and strengthened. The computer speeds up the synapses' natural evolution.' Danlo tapped the bridge of his nose; his eyes were dark and intent upon a certain sequence of thought. 'The synapses are not allowed to grow naturally, yes?' 'Certainly not. Otherwise imprinting would be impossible.' 'And the synapse configuration – this is really the learning, the essence of another's mind, yes?' 'Yes, Danlo.' 'And not just the learning – isn't this so? You imply that anything in the mind of another could be imprinted in my mind?' 'Almost anything.' 'What about dreams? Could dreams be imprinted?' 'Certainly.' 'And nightmares?' Drisana squeezed his hand and reassured him. 'No one would imprint a nightmare into another.' 'But it is possible, yes?' Drisana nodded her head. 'And the emotions ... the fears or loneliness or rage?' 'Those things, too. Some imprimaturs – certainly they're the dregs of the City – some do such things.' Danlo let his breath out slowly. 'Then how can I know what is real and what is unreal? Is it possible to imprint false memories? Things or events that never happened? Insanity? Could I remember ice as hot or see red as blue? If someone else looked at the world through shaida eyes, would I be infected with this way of seeing things?' Drisana wrung her hands together, sighed, and looked helplessly at Old Father. 'Oh ho, the boy is difficult, and his questions cut like a sarsara!' Old Father stood up and painfully limped over to Danlo. Both his eyes were open, and he spoke clearly. 'All ideas are infectious, Danlo. Most things learned early in life, we do not choose to learn. Ah, and much that comes later. So, it's so: the two wisdoms. The first wisdom: as best we can, we must choose what to put into our brains. And the second wisdom: the healthy brain creates its own ecology; the vital thoughts and ideas eventually drive out the stupid, the malignant and the parasitical.
David Zindell (The Broken God (A Requiem for Homo Sapiens, #1))
I know I said this before, but it bears repeating. You know Tate won’t like you staying with me.” “I don’t care,” she said bitterly. “I don’t tell him where to sleep. It’s none of his business what I do anymore.” He made a rough sound. “Would you like to guess what he’s going to assume if you stay the night in my apartment?” She drew in a long breath. “Okay. I don’t want to cause problems between you, not after all the years you’ve been friends. Take me to a hotel instead.” He hesitated uncharacteristically. “I can take the heat, if you can.” “I don’t know that I can. I’ve got enough turmoil in my life right now. Besides, he’ll look for me at your place. I don’t want to be found for a couple of days, until I can get used to my new situation and make some decisions about my future. I want to see Senator Holden and find another apartment. I can do all that from a hotel.” “Suit yourself.” “Make it a moderately priced one,” she added with graveyard humor. “I’m no longer a woman of means. From now on, I’m going to have to be responsible for my own bills.” “You should have poured the soup in the right lap,” he murmured. “Which was?” “Audrey Gannon’s,” he said curtly. “She had no right to tell you that Tate was your benefactor. She did it for pure spite, to drive a wedge between you and Tate. She’s nothing but trouble. One day Tate is going to be sorry that he ever met her.” “She’s lasted longer than the others.” “You haven’t spent enough time talking to her to know what she’ s like. I have,” he added darkly. “She has enemies, among them an ex-husband who’s living in a duplex because she got his house, his Mercedes, and his Swiss bank account in the divorce settlement.” “So that’s where all those pretty diamonds came from,” she said wickedly. “Her parents had money, too, but they spent most of it before they died in a plane crash. She likes unusual men, they say, and Tate’s unusual.” “She won’t go to the reservation to see Leta,” she commented. “Of course not.” He leaned toward her as he stopped at a traffic light. “It’s a Native American reservation!” She stuck her tongue out at him. “Leta’s worth two of Audrey.” “Three,” he returned. “Okay. I’ll find you a hotel. Then I’m leaving town before Tate comes looking for me!” “You might hang a crab on your front door,” she said, tongue-in-cheek. “It just might ward him off.” “Ha!” She turned her eyes toward the bright lights of the city. She felt cold and alone and a little frightened. But everything would work out. She knew it would. She was a grown woman and she could take care of herself. This was her chance to prove it.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
I always had trouble with the feet of Jón the First, or Pre-Jón, as I called him later. He would frequently put them in front of me in the evening and tell me to take off his socks and rub his toes, soles, heels and calves. It was quite impossible for me to love these Icelandic men's feet that were shaped like birch stumps, hard and chunky, and screaming white as the wood when the bark is stripped from it. Yes, and as cold and damp, too. The toes had horny nails that resembled dead buds in a frosty spring. Nor can I forget the smell, for malodorous feet were very common in the post-war years when men wore nylon socks and practically slept in their shoes. How was it possible to love these Icelandic men? Who belched at the meal table and farted constantly. After four Icelandic husbands and a whole load of casual lovers I had become a vrai connaisseur of flatulence, could describe its species and varieties in the way that a wine-taster knows his wines. The howling backfire, the load, the gas bomb and the Luftwaffe were names I used most. The coffee belch and the silencer were also well-known quantities, but the worst were the date farts, a speciality of Bæring of Westfjord. Icelandic men don’t know how to behave: they never have and never will, but they are generally good fun. At least, Icelandic women think so. They seem to come with this inner emergency box, filled with humour and irony, which they always carry around with them and can open for useful items if things get too rough, and it must be a hereditary gift of the generations. Anyone who loses their way in the mountains and gets snowed in or spends the whole weekend stuck in a lift can always open this special Icelandic emergency box and get out of the situation with a good story. After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of
Hallgrímur Helgason
some older people who need to sit down, Barb. We can’t put chairs out. I don’t want them to get too comfy or we’ll never get rid of them.’ ‘Oh, you’re being ridiculous.’ Henry is thinking that this is a fine time to call him ridiculous. He never wanted the stupid vigil. In bed last night they had another spit-whispered row about it. We could have it at the front of the house, Barbara had said when the vicar called by. Henry had quite explicitly said he would not support anything churchy – anything that would feel like a memorial service. But the vicar had said the idea of a vigil was exactly the opposite. That the community would like to show that they have not given up. That they continue to support the family. To pray for Anna’s safe return. Barbara was delighted and it was all agreed. A small event at the house. People would walk from the village, or park on the industrial estate and walk up the drive. ‘This was your idea, Barbara.’ ‘The vicar’s, actually. People just want to show support. That is what this is about.’ ‘This is ghoulish, Barb. That’s what this is.’ He moves the tractor across the yard again, depositing two more bales of straw alongside the others. ‘There. That should be enough.’ Henry looks across at his wife and is struck by the familiar contradiction. Wondering how on earth they got here. Not just since Anna disappeared, but across the twenty-two years of their marriage. He wonders if all marriages end up like this. Or if he is simply a bad man. For as Barbara sweeps her hair behind her ear and tilts up her chin, Henry can still see the full lips, perfect teeth and high cheekbones that once made him feel so very differently. It’s a pendulum that still confuses him, makes him wish he could rewind. To go back to the Young Farmers’ ball, when she smelled so divine and everything seemed so easy and hopeful. And he is wishing, yes, that he could go back and have another run. Make a better job of it. All of it. Then he closes his eyes. The echo again of Anna’s voice next to him in the car. You disgust me, Dad. He wants the voice to stop. To be quiet. Wants to rewind yet again. To when Anna was little and loved him, collected posies on Primrose Lane. To when he was her hero and she wanted to race him back to the house for tea. Barbara is now looking across the yard to the brazier. ‘You’re going to light a fire, Henry?’ ‘It will be cold. Yes.’ ‘Thank you. I’m doing soup in mugs, too.’ A pause then. ‘You really think this is a mistake, Henry? I didn’t realise it would upset you quite so much. I’m sorry.’ ‘It’s OK, Barbara. Let’s just make the best of it now.’ He slams the tractor into reverse and moves it out of the yard and back into its position inside the barn. There, in the semi-darkness, his heartbeat finally begins to settle and he sits very still on the tractor, needing the quiet, the stillness. It was their reserve position, to have the vigil under cover in this barn, if the weather was bad. But it has been a fine day. Cold but with a clear, bright sky, so they will stay out of doors. Yes. Henry rather hopes the cold will drive everyone home sooner, soup or no soup. And now he thinks he will sit here for a while longer, actually. Yes. It’s nice here alone in the barn. He finds
Teresa Driscoll (I Am Watching You)
In attunement, it is the infant who leads and the mother who follows. “Where their roles differ is in the timing of their responses,” writes John Bowlby, one of the century’s great psychiatric researchers. The infant initiates the interaction or withdraws from it according to his own rhythms, Bowlby found, while the “mother regulates her behaviour so that it meshes with his... Thus she lets him call the tune and by a skillful interweaving of her own responses with his creates a dialogue.” The tense or depressed mothering adult will not be able to accompany the infant into relaxed, happy spaces. He may also not fully pick up signs of the infant’s emotional distress, or may not be able to respond to them as effectively as he would wish. The ADD child’s difficulty reading social cues likely originates from her relationship cues not being read by the nurturing adult, who was distracted by stress. In the attunement interaction, not only does the mother follow the child, but she also permits the child to temporarily interrupt contact. When the interaction reaches a certain stage of intensity for the infant, he will look away to avoid an uncomfortably high level of arousal. Another interaction will then begin. A mother who is anxious may react with alarm when the infant breaks off contact, may try to stimulate him, to draw him back into the interaction. Then the infant’s nervous system is not allowed to “cool down,” and the attunement relationship is hampered. Infants whose caregivers were too stressed, for whatever reason, to give them the necessary attunement contact will grow up with a chronic tendency to feel alone with their emotions, to have a sense — rightly or wrongly — that no one can share how they feel, that no one can “understand.” Attunement is the quintessential component of a larger process, called attachment. Attachment is simply our need to be close to somebody. It represents the absolute need of the utterly and helplessly vulnerable human infant for secure closeness with at least one nourishing, protective and constantly available parenting figure. Essential for survival, the drive for attachment is part of the very nature of warm-blooded animals in infancy, especially. of mammals. In human beings, attachment is a driving force of behavior for longer than in any other animal. For most of us it is present throughout our lives, although we may transfer our attachment need from one person — our parent — to another — say, a spouse or even a child. We may also attempt to satisfy the lack of the human contact we crave by various other means, such as addictions, for example, or perhaps fanatical religiosity or the virtual reality of the Internet. Much of popular culture, from novels to movies to rock or country music, expresses nothing but the joys or the sorrows flowing from satisfactions or disappointments in our attachment relationships. Most parents extend to their children some mixture of loving and hurtful behavior, of wise parenting and unskillful, clumsy parenting. The proportions vary from family to family, from parent to parent. Those ADD children whose needs for warm parental contact are most frustrated grow up to be adults with the most severe cases of ADD. Already at only a few months of age, an infant will register by facial expression his dejection at the mother’s unconscious emotional withdrawal, despite the mother’s continued physical presence. “(The infant) takes delight in Mommy’s attention,” writes Stanley Greenspan, “and knows when that source of delight is missing. If Mom becomes preoccupied or distracted while playing with the baby, sadness or dismay settles in on the little face.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
Sometimes our need clouds our ability to develop perspective. Being needy is kind of like losing your keys. You become desperate and search everywhere. You search in places you know damn well what you are looking for could never be. The more frantic you become in trying to find them the less rational you are in your search. The less rational you become the more likely you'll be searching in a way that actually makes finding what you want more difficult. You go back again and again to where you want them to be, knowing that there is no way in hell that they are there. There is a lot of wasted effort. You lose perspective of your real goal, let's say it's go to the grocery store, and instead of getting what you need -nourishment, you frantically chase your tail growing more and more confused and angry and desperate. You are mad at your keys, you are mad at your coat pockets for not doing their job. You are irrational. You could just grab the spare set, run to the grocery store and get what you need, have a sandwich, calm down and search at your leisure. But you don't. Where ARE your keys?! Your desperation is skewing your judgement. But you need to face it, YOUR keys are not in HIS pocket. You know your keys are not there. You have checked several times. They are not there. He is not responsible for your keys. You are. He doesn't want to be responsible for your keys. Here's the secret: YOU don't want to be responsible for your keys. If you did you would be searching for them in places they actually have a chance of being. Straight boys don't have your keys. You have tried this before. They may have acted like they did because they wanted you to get them somewhere or you may have hoped they did because you didn't want to go alone but straight boys don't have your keys. Straight boys will never have your keys. Where do you really want to go? It sounds like not far. If going somewhere was of importance you would have hung your keys on the nail by the door. Sometimes it's pretty comfortable at home. Lonely but familiar. Messy enough to lose your keys in but not messy enough to actually bother to clean house and let things go. Not so messy that you can't forget about really going somewhere and sit down awhile and think about taking a trip with that cute guy from work. Just a little while longer, you tell yourself. His girlfriend can sit in the backseat as long as she stays quiet. It will be fun. Just what you need. And really isn't it much safer to sit there and think about taking a trip than accepting all the responsibility of planning one and servicing the car so that it's ready and capable? Having a relationship consists of exposing yourself to someone else over and over, doing the work and sometimes failing. It entails being wrong in front of someone else and being right for someone too. Even if you do find a relationship that other guy doesn't want to be your chauffeur. He wants to take turns riding together. He may occasionally drive but you'll have to do some too. You will have to do some solo driving to keep up your end of the relationship. Boyfriends aren't meant to take you where you want to go. Sometimes they want to take a left when you want to go right. Being in a relationship is embarking on an uncertain adventure. It's not a commitment to a destination it is just a commitment to going together. Maybe it's time to stop telling yourself that you are a starcrossed traveler and admit you're an armchair adventurer. You don't really want to go anywhere or you would venture out. If you really wanted to know where your keys were you'd search in the most likely spot, down underneath the cushion of that chair you've gotten so comfortable in.
Tim Janes
When the time comes, & I hope it comes soon, to bury this era of moral rot & the defiling of our communal, social, & democratic norms, the perfect epitaph for the gravestone of this age of unreason should be Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley's already infamous quote: "I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing... as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Grassley's vision of America, quite frankly, is one I do not recognize. I thought the heart of this great nation was not limited to the ranks of the plutocrats who are whisked through life in chauffeured cars & private jets, whose often inherited riches are passed along to children, many of whom no sacrifice or service is asked. I do not begrudge wealth, but it must come with a humility that money never is completely free of luck. And more importantly, wealth can never be a measure of worth. I have seen the waitress working the overnight shift at a diner to give her children a better life, & yes maybe even take them to a movie once in awhile - and in her, I see America. I have seen the public school teachers spending extra time with students who need help & who get no extra pay for their efforts, & in them I see America. I have seen parents sitting around kitchen tables with stacks of pressing bills & wondering if they can afford a Christmas gift for their children, & in them I see America. I have seen the young diplomat in a distant foreign capital & the young soldier in a battlefield foxhole, & in them I see America. I have seen the brilliant graduates of the best law schools who forgo the riches of a corporate firm for the often thankless slog of a district attorney or public defender's office, & in them I see America. I have seen the librarian reshelving books, the firefighter, police officer, & paramedic in service in trying times, the social worker helping the elderly & infirm, the youth sports coaches, the PTA presidents, & in them I see America. I have seen the immigrants working a cash register at a gas station or trimming hedges in the frost of an early fall morning, or driving a cab through rush hour traffic to make better lives for their families, & in them I see America. I have seen the science students unlocking the mysteries of life late at night in university laboratories for little or no pay, & in them I see America. I have seen the families struggling with a cancer diagnosis, or dementia in a parent or spouse. Amid the struggles of mortality & dignity, in them I see America. These, & so many other Americans, have every bit as much claim to a government working for them as the lobbyists & moneyed classes. And yet, the power brokers in Washington today seem deaf to these voices. It is a national disgrace of historic proportions. And finally, what is so wrong about those who must worry about the cost of a drink with friends, or a date, or a little entertainment, to rephrase Senator Grassley's demeaning phrasings? Those who can't afford not to worry about food, shelter, healthcare, education for their children, & all the other costs of modern life, surely they too deserve to be able to spend some of their “darn pennies” on the simple joys of life. Never mind that almost every reputable economist has called this tax bill a sham of handouts for the rich at the expense of the vast majority of Americans & the future economic health of this nation. Never mind that it is filled with loopholes written by lobbyists. Never mind that the wealthiest already speak with the loudest voices in Washington, & always have. Grassley’s comments open a window to the soul of the current national Republican Party & it it is not pretty. This is not a view of America that I think President Ronald Reagan let alone President Dwight Eisenhower or Teddy Roosevelt would have recognized. This is unadulterated cynicism & a version of top-down class warfare run amok. ~Facebook 12/4/17
Dan Rather