Edge Of The World Quotes

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The farther you go...the harder it is to return. The world has many edges and it's easy to fall off.
Anderson Cooper (Dispatches From The Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival)
Alone, I often fall down into nothingness. I must push my foot stealthily lest I should fall off the edge of the world into nothingness. I have to bang my head against some hard door to call myself back to the body.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread through shadows to the edge of night, until the stars are all alight.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Time weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to sleep through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won't be able to escape it. Still, you have to go there- to the edge of the world. There's something you can't do unless you get there.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
I only know now that the scientists are wrong. The world is flat. I know because I was tossed right off the edge and I've been trying to hold on for 17 years. I've been trying to climb back up for 17 years but it's nearly impossible to beat gravity when no one is willing to give you a hand.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Home is behind, the world ahead, And there are many paths to tread Through shadows to the edge of night, Until the stars are all alight. Then world behind and home ahead, We'll wander back and home to bed. Mist and twilight, cloud and shade, Away shall fade! Away shall fade!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world.
Joanne Harris
I see a world on the edge of a blade. Without balance, it will fall.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
It was as if when I looked into his eyes I was standing alone on the edge of the world...on a windswept ocean beach. There was nothing but the soft roar of the waves.
Anne Rice (Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1))
Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop. And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever heard.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
They came to sit & dangle their feet off the edge of the world & after awhile they forgot everything but the good & true things they would do someday.
Brian Andreas
The beauty of the world...has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.
Virginia Woolf
There is no denying that there is evil in this world but the light will always conquer the darkness.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
He danced on the knife’s edge between awareness and sleep. When he dreamt like this, he was a king. The world was his to bend. His to burn.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
The value you demonstrate in the marketplace and to the world determines how much money you make.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places)
I felt myself on the edge of the world; peering over the rim into a fathomless chaos of eternal night.
H.P. Lovecraft
GIRL, write YOUR book dammit. Who cares what people think? If writers in the past cared what other people thought we'd still be glossing over 'inappropriate' kissing scenes. Break the fucking rules. Push yourself to the edge. Show the world what YOU can do. This is YOUR book. YOUR blood and guts. AND, don't you EVER, EVER, write one single line for SOMEONE ELSE.
Madeline Sheehan
The farther you go, however, the harder it is to return. The world has many edges, and it's easy to fall off.
Anderson Cooper
I feel as though the cardboard box of my own reality has been flattened and blown open. Now I can see the edge of the world.
Tom Hiddleston
The sky is already purple; the first few stars have appeared, suddenly, as if someone had thrown a handful of silver across the edge of the world.
Alice Hoffman (Here on Earth)
Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, in a house that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered, and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword, a pebble could be a diamond, a tree, a castle. Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field, from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was queen and he was king. In the autumn light her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls, and when the sky grew dark, they parted with leaves in their hair. Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
It's in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. If change is of the essence of existence one would have thought it only sensible to make it the premise of our philosophy.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
The world seemed to shimmer a little at the edges.
Neil Gaiman (Coraline)
One of the strangest things about life is that it will chug on, blind and oblivious, even as your private world - your little carved-out sphere - is twisting and morphing, even breaking apart. One day you have parents; the next day you're an orphan. One day you have a place and a path. The next day you're lost in the wilderness. And still the sun rises and clouds mass and drift and people shop for groceries and toilets flush and blinds go up and down. That's when you realize that most of it - life, the relentless mechanism of existing - isn't about you. It doesn't include you at all. It will thrust onward even after you've jumped the edge. Even after you're dead.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
Even as a child, she had preferred night to day, had enjoyed sitting out in the yard after sunset, under the star-speckled sky listening to frogs and crickets. Darkness soothed. It softened the sharp edges of the world, toned down the too-harsh colors. With the coming of twilight, the sky seemed to recede; the universe expanded. The night was bigger than the day, and in its realm, life seemed to have more possibilities.
Dean Koontz (Midnight)
My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
Hatred is like a long, dark shadow. Not even the person it falls upon knows where it comes from, in most cases. It is like a two-edged sword. When you cut the other person, you cut yourself. The more violently you hack at the other person, the more violently you hack at yourself. It can often be fatal. But it is not easy to dispose of. Please be careful, Mr.Okada. It is very dangerous. Once it has taken root in your heart, hatred is the most difficult think in the world to shake off.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Sometimes I wish I could photosynthesize so that just by being, just by shimmering at the meadow's edge or floating lazily on a pond, I could be doing the work of the world while standing silent in the sun.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants)
I wonder if the ocean smells different on the other side of the world.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
The moment you tell someone else is the moment you become a whiner and the world’s smallest violin starts to play. The truth is, we all have problems; we all go through hardships and pain, and my pain is paradise compared to a lot of people’s and I really have no right to whine at all.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing - right in the hub of the wheel - not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness - that's your heart. That's where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you'll always find peace.
Elizabeth Gilbert
You’re the world to me,” I whisper onto her lips. “I hope you never forget that.” “I’ll never forget,” she whispers back.. “But if I ever do, for whatever reason, I hope you’ll always find a way to remind me.” ...“Always.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2))
Myths do not happen all at once. They do not spring forth whole into the world. They form slowly, rolled between the hands of time until their edges smooth, until the saying of the story gives enough weight to the words—to the memories—to keep them rolling on their own. But all stories start somewhere, and that night, as Rhy Maresh walked through the streets of London, a new myth was taking shape.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
The disc, being flat, has no real horizon. Any adventurous sailor who got funny ideas from staring at eggs and oranges for too long and set out for the antipodes soon learned that the reason why distant ships sometimes looked as though they were disappearing over the edge of the world was that they were disappearing over the edge of the world.
Terry Pratchett (The Light Fantastic (Discworld, #2; Rincewind, #2))
They weren’t a centuries old hunter and a seventeen year old girl, sitting here at the edge of the world. They were just two people, Bonnie and Damon.
L.J. Smith (Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #4))
There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.
Pema Chödrön (The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World)
You sit at the edge of the world, I am in a crater that's no more. Words without letters Standing in the shadow of the door. The moon shines down on a sleeping lizard, Little fish rain from the sky. Outside the window there are soldiers, steeling themselves to die. (Refrain) Kafka sits in a chair by the shore, Thinking for the pendulum that moves the world, it seems. When your heart is closed, The shadow of the unmoving Sphinx, Becomes a knife that pierces your dreams. The drowning girl's fingers Search for the entrance stone, and more. Lifting the hem of her azure dress, She gazes -- at Kafka on the shore
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
The world was not wheeling anymore. It was just very clear and bright and inclined to blur at the edges.
Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises)
There was something about the music on that tape. It felt different. Like, it set her lungs and her stomach on edge. There was something exciting about it, and something nervous. It made Eleanor feel like everything, like the world, wasn't what she'd thought it was. And that was a good thing. That was the greatest thing.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
I wondered about the explorers who'd sailed their ships to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed to discover, instead, places they had seen only in their dreams.
Jodi Picoult (Handle with Care)
But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time...of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here...It is in the world, but is not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
Some nights, I wake up knowing he is anxious. He is across the world in another woman's arms and the years have spread us like dandelion seeds, sanding down the edges of our jigsaw parts that used to only fit each other
Sarah Kay (No Matter the Wreckage)
I wanted to walk straight on through the red grass and over the edge of the world, which could not be very far away. The light and air abot me told me that the world ended here: only the ground and sun and sky were left, and if one went a little farther there would only be sun and sky, and one would float off into them, like the tawny hawks which sailed over our heads making slow shadows on the grass.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia (Great Plains Trilogy, #3))
I stood at the border, stood at the edge and claimed it as central. l claimed it as central, and let the rest of the world move over to where I was.
Toni Morrison
That's what being shy feels like. Like my skin is too thin, the light too bright. Like the best place I could possibly be is in a tunnel far under the cool, dark earth. Someone asks me a question and I stare at them, empty-faced, my brain jammed up with how hard I'm trying to find something interesting to say. And in the end, all I can do is nod or shrug, because the light of their eyes looking at me, waiting for me, is just too much to take. And then it's over and there's one more person in the world who thinks I'm a complete and total waste of space. The worst thing is the stupid hopefulness. Every new party, every new bunch of people, and I start thinking that maybe this is my chance. That I'm going to be normal this time. A new leaf. A fresh start. But then I find myself at the party, thinking, Oh, yeah. This again. So I stand on the edge of things, crossing my fingers, praying nobody will try to look me in the eye. And the good thing is, they usually don't.
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a magnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves.
John Piper (Don't Waste Your Life)
Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and beauty of the world. And it’s breathtaking.
Carlo Rovelli (Seven Brief Lessons on Physics)
Two people unable to cry finally cry together and in the world ended today, we would be fulfilled.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
I know you lost your partner in crime, but...I want YOU to be MINE. Maybe WE should travel the world together, Camryn...I know I can't replace your ex--" "Andrew...it was always you.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
The more men see of the world, the bigger their hearts
Avi (At the Edge of the World (Crispin, #2))
The world is changing," said Nikolai, the steel edge emerging in his voice. "We change with it, or there will be nothing to remember us but dust.
Leigh Bardugo (Siege and Storm (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #2))
There are not many persons who know what wonders are opened to them in the stories and visions of their youth; for when as children we learn and dream, we think but half-formed thoughts, and when as men we try to remember, we are dulled and prosaic with the poison of life. But some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas, of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests; and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder which was ours before we were wise and unhappy.
H.P. Lovecraft
We are part of the universe that has developed a remarkable ability: We can hold an image of the world in our minds. We are matter contemplating itself.
Sean Carroll (The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World)
I'm stupid," Leo mumbled. "Pi would expand outward, because it's infinite." He reversed the order of the numbers, starting in the center and working toward the edge. When he aligned the last ring, something inside the sphere clicked. The door swung open. Leo beamed at his friends. "That, good people, is how we do things in Leo World. Come on in!" "I hate Leo World," Frank muttered. Hazel laughed.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
Ninety percent of who you are is invisible." - Mrs. Zender
E.L. Konigsburg (The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World)
A bus ride is like being in another world.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
Despite what you’ve read, your sadness is not beautiful. No one will see you in the bookstore, curled up with your Bukowski, and want to save you. Stop waiting for a salvation that will not come from the grey-eyed boy looking for an annotated copy of Shakespeare, for an end to your sadness in Keats. He coughed up his lungs at 25, and flowery words cannot conceal a life barely lived. Your life is fragile, just beginning, teetering on the violent edge of the world. Your sadness will bury you alive, and you are the only one who can shovel your way out with hardened hands and ragged fingernails, bleeding your despair into the unforgiving earth. Darling, you see, no heroes are coming for you. Grab your sword, and don your own armor.
E.P. .
Not so deep down, we all know that safety is an illusion, that only character melds us together. That’s why most of us do everything we can (healthy and unhealthy) to ward off that real feeling of standing alone so close to the edge of the world.
Kiese Laymon (How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America)
You know damn well that it doesn't really matter what's going on in your life, who you just lost, how much you hate the world, or how inappropriate it is to have an attraction to someone before the mending phase has reached the acceptable zone. You're still human and the moment you see someone attractive, you can't help but make a note of it. It's human nature.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
He leaned toward me, murmuring, “I think one-on-one sounds better, don’t you?” His teeth gently caught my earlobe. All my muscles turned to liquid. I dropped the stirring rod and grabbed the edge of the table so I wouldn’t collapse.
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade (Nightshade, #1; Nightshade World, #4))
What was supposed to be so special about a full moon? It was only a big circle of light. And the dark of the moon was only darkness. But halfway between the two, when the moon was between the worlds of light and dark, when even the moon lived on the edge...maybe then a witch could believe in the moon.
Terry Pratchett (Witches Abroad (Discworld, #12; Witches, #3))
If one believes that words are acts, as I do, then one must hold writers responsible for what their words do.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places)
When you have nothing left to lose. When there’s nothing left to gain. You find yourself at the edge of the world, wishing nothing would have changed,” I read and instantly got a twisted feeling in the pit of my stomach. “All you can do is jump.
Monica Alexander (Broken Fairytales (Broken Fairytales, #1))
I tried so hard to fix what I'd ruined. I tried every single day to be what they wanted. I tried all the time to be better but I never really knew how. I only know now that the scientist are wrong. The world is flat. I know because I was tossed right off the edge and I've been trying to hold on for 17 years. I've been trying to climb back up for 17 years but its nearly impossible to beat gravity when no one is willing to give you a hand. When no one wants to risk touching you.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Fuck easy, Ceri. If you love him, fight for him. Nothing worth keeping is free in this world.
Ilona Andrews (Bayou Moon (The Edge, #2))
Knowledge is a rug of a certain size, and the world is larger. It’s not what remains uncovered at the edges that should worry you, rather what is swept beneath.
Mark Lawrence (Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #1))
I worry that, especially as the Millennium edges nearer, pseudoscience and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive. Where have we heard it before? Whenever our ethnic or national prejudices are aroused, in times of scarcity, during challenges to national self-esteem or nerve, when we agonize about our diminished cosmic place and purpose, or when fanaticism is bubbling up around us - then, habits of thought familiar from ages past reach for the controls. The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
When our thoughts are unsettled and our inner world is in a muddle, we may sharpen our wits and try to recognize the invisible edges of our fractured stance. If we seek to figure out, what our life story is all about, we may be able to put the missing pieces in place and identify what is driving us, what we are actually up to and why we are running like mad dogs, sometimes. (“On a doggy day”)
Erik Pevernagie
Time weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won’t be able to escape it. Still, you have to go there – to the edge of the world. There’s something you can’t do unless you get there.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
My inner world seems largely to consist of three rotating emotions: embarrassment, rage, and tension. Sometimes I feel excited, but I think that's just positive tension.
Carrie Fisher (Postcards from the Edge)
See, this was the thing with Qhuinn. He could be out there and he could let his edge get away from him, but he always came back and made you feel like you were the single most important person in the world to him and that he was truly sorry for hurting your feelings.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
one small thing I've learned these years, how to be alone, and at the edge of aloneness how to be found by the world.
David Whyte (River Flow: New & Selected Poems 1984-2007)
Don't be stupid, privacy is an illusion in today's electronic world. And i always investigate the people who interest me
Shannon McKenna (Edge of Midnight (McClouds & Friends #4))
She turned back to the cards and tapped the Ace of Cups. "You're on the verge of a new beginning, a rebirth of great power and emotion. Your life will change, but it will be change that takes you in the direction that, while difficult, will ultimatley illuminate the world." "Whoa," I said. Rhonda then pointed to the Empress. "Power and leadership lie ahead of you, which you will handle with grace and intelligence. The seeds are already in place, though there's an edge of uncertainty-an enigmatic set of influences that hang around you like a mist." Her attention was on the Moon as she said those words. "But my overall impression is that those unknown factors won't deter you from your destiny." Lissa's eyes were wide. "You can teel that just from the cards?" ... After several moments of heavy silence, she said, "You will destroy that which is undead." i waited about thirty seconds for her to continue, but she didn't. "Wait, that's it?" ... Her eyes flickered over the cards, looked at Dimitri, then looked back at the cards. Her expression was blank. "You will lose what you value most, so treasure it while you can." She pointed to the Wheel of Fortune card. "The wheel is turning, always turning.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
The universe may forget us, but our light will brighten the darkness for eons after we've departed this world. The universe may forget us, but it can't forget us until we're gone, and we're still here, our futures still unwritten. We can choose to sit on our (expletive) and wait for the end, or we can live right now. We can march to the edge of the void and scream in defiance. Yell out for all to hear that we do matter. That we are still here, living our absurd...lives, and nothing can take that away from us. Not rogue comets, not black holes, not the heat death of the universe. We may not get to choose how we die, but we can choose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn't matter. Because we are the ants, and we'll keep marching on.
Shaun David Hutchinson (We Are the Ants)
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)
The moment you tell someone else is the moment you become a whiner and the world’s smallest violin starts to play. The truth is, we all have problems.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
The world balanced on the edge of a knife, slipping, slipping, slipping.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.5))
Thomas Merton wrote, “there is always a temptation to diddle around in the contemplative life, making itsy-bitsy statues.” There is always an enormous temptation in all of life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is so self-conscious, so apparently moral, simply to step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; we are raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus. Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too. Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock-more than a maple- a universe. This is how you spend this afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
Joy and sorrow in this world pass into each other, mingling their forms and their murmurs in the twilight of life as mysterious as an overshadowed ocean, while the dazzling brightness of supreme hopes lies far off, fascinating and still, on the distant edge of the horizon
Joseph Conrad
She wanted so to be tranquil, to be someone who took walks in the late-afternoon sun, listening to the birds and crickets and feeling the whole world breathe. Instead, she lived in her head like a madwoman locked in a tower, hearing the wind howling through her hair and waiting for someone to come and rescue her from feeling things so deeply that her bones burned.
Carrie Fisher (Postcards from the Edge)
Why should your Majesty expect it? My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world in some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise and Peepiceek will be head of the talking mice in Narnia.
C.S. Lewis (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3))
At That Moment, it seemed the whole world cared what happened to him. All those people were hugging him and petting his hair. Everybody asked if he was okay. It seemed that moment would last forever. That you had to risk your life to get love. You had to get right to the edge of death to ever be saved.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
Before you came, things were as they should be: the sky was the dead-end of sight, the road was just a road, wine merely wine. Now everything is like my heart, a color at the edge of blood: the grey of your absence, the color of poison, of thorns, the gold when we meet, the season ablaze, the yellow of autumn, the red of flowers, of flames, and the black when you cover the earth with the coal of dead fires. And the sky, the road, the glass of wine? The sky is a shirt wet with tears, the road a vein about to break, and the glass of wine a mirror in which the sky, the road, the world keep changing. Don’t leave now that you’re here— Stay. So the world may become like itself again: so the sky may be the sky, the road a road, and the glass of wine not a mirror, just a glass of wine.
Faiz Ahmad Faiz (100 Poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz: 1911-1984)
Always. In the twilight of the morphling, Peeta whispers the word and I go searching for him. It's a gauzy, violet-tinted world, with no hard edges, and many places to hide. I push through cloud banks, follow faint tracks, catch the scent of cinnamon, of dill. Once I feel his hand on my cheek and try to trap it, but it dissolves like mist through my fingers. When I finally begin to surface into the sterile hospital room in 13, I remember. I was under the influence of sleep syrup. My heel had been injured after I'd climbed out on a branch over the electric fence and dropped back into 12. Peeta had put me to bed and I had asked him to stay with me as I was drifting off. He had whispered something I couldn't quite catch. But some part of my brain had trapped his single word of reply and let it swim up through my dreams to taunt me now. "Always.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Jaime smiled. "I hope you're not thinking of taking the black on us, sweet brother." Tyrion laughed. "What, me, celibate? The whores would go begging from Dorne to Casterly Rock. No, I just want to stand on top of the Wall and piss off the edge of the world.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
The next thing I remembered was Reyes smiling down at me as the sun filtered into his apartment, his hair mussed, his lids hooded with the thick remnants of sleep. I stretched as those three little words that every girl longs to hear slipped from his mouth with effortless ease. As though they did every day. As though they didn't mean the world to me. With one corner of his mouth tipping sensually, he asked, "Want some coffee?" And I fell. I fell hard.
Darynda Jones (Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson, #6))
Our power knows no limits, yet we cannot find food for a starving child, or a home for a refugee. Our knowledge is without measure and we build the weapons that will destroy us. We live on the edge of ourselves, terrified of the darkness within. We have harmed, corrupted and ruined, we have made mistakes and deceived.
John le Carré
Images cluttered the pages, but one tattoo set her nerves on edge; inky black eyes surrounded by wings likes shadows coalescing. Mine. The thought, the need, the reaction was overpowering. Leslie looked up. "This one." she said. "I need this one. But the image is more than just tempting art, and it draws her into a world of shadows and desire- into the world of Faerie.
Melissa Marr
To touch a person...to sleep with a person...is to become a pioneer," she whispered then, "a frontiersman at the edge of their private world, the strange, incomprehensible world of their interior, filled with customs you could never imitate, a language which sounds like your own but is really totally foreign, knowable only to them.
Catherynne M. Valente (Palimpsest)
They know that people need witches; they need the unofficial people who understand the difference between right and wrong, and when right is wrong and when wrong is right. The world needs the people who work around the edges. They need the people who can deal with the little bumps and inconveniences. And little problems. After all, we are almost all human. Almost all of the time.
Terry Pratchett (I Shall Wear Midnight (Discworld, #38; Tiffany Aching, #4))
A world, in which the person you like likes you back...a world which glitters and sparkles this much, really exists.
Io Sakisaka (Strobe Edge, Vol. 10 (Strobe Edge, #10))
The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is the cutting edge of man.
Jacob Bronowski
The poet is at the edge of our consciousness of the world, finding beyond the suspected nothingness which we imagine limits our perception another acre or so of being worth our venturing upon.
Guy Davenport (The Geography of the Imagination: Forty Essays)
But love, sooner or later, forces us out of time. It does not accept that limit. Of all that we feel and do, all the virtues and all the sins, love alone crowds us at last over the edge of the world. For love is always more than a little strange here. It is not explainable or even justifiable. It is itself the justifier. We do not make it. If it did not happen to us, we could not imagine it. It includes the world and time as a pregnant woman includes her child whose wrongs she will suffer and forgive. It is in the world but is not altogether of it. It is of eternity. It takes us there when it most holds us here.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
Keep thinking back about what Mum said about being real and the Velveteen Rabbit book (though frankly have had enough trouble with rabbits in this particular house). My favorite book, she claims of which I have no memory was about how little kids get one toy that they love more than all the others, and even when its fur has been rubbed off, and it's gone saggy with bits missing, the little child still thinks it's the most beautiful toy in the world, and can't bear to be parted from it. That's how it works, when people really love each other, Mum whispered on the way out in the Debenhams lift, as if she was confessing some hideous and embarrassing secret. But, the thing is, darling, it doesn't happen to ones who have sharp edges, or break if they get dropped, or ones made of silly synthetic stuff that doesn't last. You have to be brave and let the other person know who you are and what you feel.
Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason (Bridget Jones #2))
Have you ever seen a little girl run so fast she falls down? There's an instant, a fraction of a second before the world catches hold of her again... A moment when she's outrun every doubt and fear she's ever had about herself and she flies. In that one moment, every little girl flies. I need to find that again. Like taking a car out into the desert to see how fast it can go, I need to find the edge of me... And maybe, if I fly far enough, I'll be able to turn around and look at the world... And see where I belong.
Kelly Sue DeConnick
If we had taken up this habit of kindness long ago, before we fell into darkness, what suffering might we have spared the world and ourselves?
Olivia Hawker (The Ragged Edge of Night)
When one loves all things of the world, when one has that gift of joy, it is not the armour against grief that you might think it to be. Such a person stands balanced on the edge of sadness – there is no other way for it, because to love as he does is to see clearly.
Steven Erikson (Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1))
Utopia is the process of making a better world, the name for one path history can take, a dynamic, tumultuous, agonizing process, with no end. Struggle forever.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Pacific Edge (Three Californias Triptych, #3))
The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye. . . . The hand is the cutting edge of the mind. —J. Bronowski
David Allen (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity)
But you’re the love I chose, Emma. Out of everyone in the world, out of everyone I’ve ever known, I chose you. I’ve always had faith in that choice. At the edge of everything, love and faith have always brought me back, and back to you.
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
I thought I made you up. I thought that I was living in a world of darkness and I imagined you into existence. That somehow my mind crafted you, placing you on that train months ago. But then I realized I could never dream of something so beautiful. “You’re the reason people believe in tomorrow. You’re the voice that scares the shadows away. You’re the love that makes me breathe. So for the next few seconds, I’m going to be selfish. I’m going to say things that I don’t want you to listen to.” My hands ran up and down her back as I pulled her closer, feeling her nerves rocking throughout her. I kissed the edge of her ear. “Don’t go. Stay with me forever. Please, Ashlyn. Let me be your everything. Make me your golden. Don’t. Go.
Brittainy C. Cherry (Loving Mr. Daniels)
You've been on the edge of insanity your entire life, haven't you? So many people called you crazy you actually started to believe it. You wondered if they were right. You wondered if you could fix it. You though if you could just try a little harder, be a little better, smarter, nicer - you thought the world would change its mind about you. You blamed yourself for everything.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
Coyotes have the gift of seldom being seen; they keep to the edge of vision and beyond, loping in and out of cover on the plains and highlands. And at night, when the whole world belongs to them, they parley at the river with the dogs, their higher, sharper voices full of authority and rebuke. They are an old council of clowns, and they are listened to.
N. Scott Momaday (House Made of Dawn)
The fallen autumn leaves were slick beneath Bod's feet, and the mists blurred the edges of the world. Nothing was as clean-cut as he had thought it, a few minutes before.
Neil Gaiman (The Graveyard Book)
The beauty of the world…has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder. —Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (part 3, Pretties)
Scott Westerfeld (Pretties (Uglies, #2))
It is easy to be liked when the world has no jagged edges, when life is electric blankets and peach ice cream. But to be beloved, a man needs a dragon.
Rick Bragg (Ava's Man)
The leaves crisping at their edges. Here is a season Hamnet has not known or touched. Here is a world moving on without him.
Maggie O'Farrell (Hamnet)
I was only then, when I knew I was alone, at least for the moment, that I reached under my gown into the pocket of my dress. As I pulled out my key from the yellow house, which I'd kept on my bureau since the day Nate left, I traced the shape one last time before folding my hand tightly around it. Behind me, Cora was calling again. My family was waiting. Looking down at the pond, all I could think was that it is an incredible thing, how a whole world can rise from what seems like nothing at all. I stepped closer to the edge, keeping my eyes on my reflection as I dropped the key into the water, where it landed with a splash. At first, the fish darted away, but as it began to sink they circled back, gathering around. Together, they followed it down, down until it was gone.<3
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days. And when God has seemed most cruel to me he has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless him more than for anything else it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things the richest tenderest love has been manifested to me. Our Father's wagons rumble most heavily when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of his grace. Love letters from heaven are often sent in black-edged envelopes. The cloud that is black with horror is big with mercy. Fear not the storm. It brings healing in its wings and when Jesus is with you in the vessel the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
See? See what you can do? Never mind you can’t tell one letter from another, never mind you born a slave, never mind you lose your name, never mind your daddy dead, never mind nothing. Here, this here, is what a man can do if he puts his mind to it and his back in it. Stop sniveling,’ [the land] said. ‘Stop picking around the edges of the world. Take advantage, and if you can’t take advantage, take disadvantage. We live here. On this planet, in this nation, in this county right here. Nowhere else! We got a home in this rock, don’t you see! Nobody starving in my home; nobody crying in my home, and if I got a home you got one too! Grab it. Grab this land! Take it, hold it, my brothers, make it, my brothers, shake it, squeeze it, turn it, twist it, beat it, kick it, kiss it, whip it, stomp it, dig it, plow it, seed it, reap it, rent it, buy it, sell it, own it, build it, multiply it, and pass it on – can you hear me? Pass it on!
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
They didn't realize that her clumsiness was not the ordinary kind, not poor coordination. It was just because she wasn't sure where the edges of her body ended and the rest of the world began.
Margaret Atwood (The Robber Bride)
And what do you really do?" asked Tiffany. The thin witch hesitated for a moment, and then: "We look to ... the edges," said Mistress Weatherwax. "There's a lot of edges, more than people know. Between life and death, this world and the next, night and day, right and wrong ... an' they need watchin'. We watch 'em, we guard the sum of things. And we never ask for any reward. That's important.
Terry Pratchett (The Wee Free Men (Discworld, #30; Tiffany Aching, #1))
The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I'm against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list -- yes, even the short skirts and the dancing -- are worth dying for? The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them. How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.
Salman Rushdie (Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002)
Cultural survival is not about preservation, sequestering indigenous peoples in enclaves like some sort of zoological specimens. Change itself does note destroy a culture. All societies are constantly evolving. Indeed a culture survives when it has enough confidence in its past and enough say in its future to maintain its spirit and essence through all the changes it will inevitably undergo.
Wade Davis (Light at the Edge of the World)
One minute you're closer to someone than anyone in the whole world, next minute they need only to say the words 'time apart', 'serious talk' or 'maybe you...' and you're never going to see them again and will have to spend the next six months having imaginary conversations in which they beg to come back, and bursting into tears at the sight of their toothbrush.
Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (Bridget Jones, #2))
I am not a good fighter," I try to explain again, fingering the edge of my shirt. "I mean, I am really bad at fighting, not as bad as my friend Issie, who is possibly the least fightery person in the world. I mean, I'm getting better, but still... I mean-- oh I'm sorry. I'm babbling.
Carrie Jones (Entice (Need, #3))
Aubade I work all day, and get half-drunk at night. Waking at four to soundless dark, I stare. In time the curtain-edges will grow light. Till then I see what’s really always there: Unresting death, a whole day nearer now, Making all thought impossible but how And where and when I shall myself die. Arid interrogation: yet the dread Of dying, and being dead, Flashes afresh to hold and horrify. The mind blanks at the glare. Not in remorse —The good not done, the love not given, time Torn off unused—nor wretchedly because An only life can take so long to climb Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never; But at the total emptiness for ever, The sure extinction that we travel to And shall be lost in always. Not to be here, Not to be anywhere, And soon; nothing more terrible, nothing more true. This is a special way of being afraid No trick dispels. Religion used to try, That vast moth-eaten musical brocade Created to pretend we never die, And specious stuff that says No rational being Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound, No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, Nothing to love or link with, The anaesthetic from which none come round. And so it stays just on the edge of vision, A small unfocused blur, a standing chill That slows each impulse down to indecision. Most things may never happen: this one will, And realisation of it rages out In furnace-fear when we are caught without People or drink. Courage is no good: It means not scaring others. Being brave Lets no one off the grave. Death is no different whined at than withstood. Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape. It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know, Have always known, know that we can’t escape, Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go. Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring Intricate rented world begins to rouse. The sky is white as clay, with no sun. Work has to be done. Postmen like doctors go from house to house.
Philip Larkin (Collected Poems)
Dan: We're looking at World War Three within the WEEK! I mean, what do we DO? The stakes are so high and humanity is so close to the edge... Rorschach: Some of us have always lived on edge, Daniel. It is possible to survive there if you observe rules: Just hang on by fingernails... and never look down.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. —GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Maxims for Revolutionists
Timothy Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated: Expanded And Updated, With Over 100 New Pages Of Cutting Edge Content)
There is a common misunderstanding among all the human beings who have ever been born on earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable. You see this even in insects and animals and birds. All of us are the same. A much more interesting, kind and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our curiosity is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is. If we are committed to comfort at any cost, as soon as we come up against the least edge of pain, we’re going to run; we’ll never know what’s beyond that particular barrier or wall or fearful thing.
Pema Chödrön
I used to listen to the monks repeating the Lord's Prayer; I wondered how they could continue to pray without misgiving to their heavenly father to give them their daily bread. Do children beseech their earthly father to give them sustenance? They expect him to do it, they neither feel gratitude to him for doing so nor need to, and we have only blame for a man who brings children into the world that he can't or won't provide for. It seemed to me that if an omnipotent creator was not prepared to provide for his creatures with the necessities, material and spiritual, of existence he'd have done better not to create them.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
How often since then has she wondered what might have happened if she'd tried to remain with him; if she’d returned Richard's kiss on the corner of Bleeker and McDougal, gone off somewhere (where?) with him, never bought the packet of incense or the alpaca coat with rose-shaped buttons. Couldn’t they have discovered something larger and stranger than what they've got. It is impossible not to imagine that other future, that rejected future, as taking place in Italy or France, among big sunny rooms and gardens; as being full of infidelities and great battles; as a vast and enduring romance laid over friendship so searing and profound it would accompany them to the grave and possibly even beyond. She could, she thinks, have entered another world. She could have had a life as potent and dangerous as literature itself. Or then again maybe not, Clarissa tells herself. That's who I was. This is who I am--a decent woman with a good apartment, with a stable and affectionate marriage, giving a party. Venture too far for love, she tells herself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port. Still, there is this sense of missed opportunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment. Richard had stood beside her at the pond's edge at dusk, wearing cut-off jeans and rubber sandals. Richard had called her Mrs. Dalloway, and they had kissed. His mouth had opened to hers; (exciting and utterly familiar, she'd never forget it) had worked its way shyly inside until she met its own. They'd kissed and walked around the pond together. It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk. The anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been long overshadowed by other writers. What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
I speak to maps. And sometimes they something back to me. This is not as strange as it sounds, nor is it an unheard of thing. Before maps, the world was limitless. It was maps that gave it shape and made it seem like territory, like something that could be possessed, not just laid waste and plundered. Maps made places on the edges of the imagination seem graspable and placable.
Abdulrazak Gurnah (By the Sea)
Our task as image-bearing, God-loving, Christ-shaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to a world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to a world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to a world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion...The gospel of Jesus points us and indeed urges us to be at the leading edge of the whole culture, articulating in story and music and art and philosophy and education and poetry and politics and theology and even--heaven help us--Biblical studies, a worldview that will mount the historically-rooted Christian challenge to both modernity and postmodernity, leading the way...with joy and humor and gentleness and good judgment and true wisdom. I believe if we face the question, "if not now, then when?" if we are grasped by this vision we may also hear the question, "if not us, then who?" And if the gospel of Jesus is not the key to this task, then what is?
N.T. Wright (The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is)
What they say is, life goes on, and that is mostly true. The mail is delivered and the Christmas lights go up and the ladders get put away and you open yet another box of cereal. In time, the volume of my feelings would be turned down in gentle increments to a near quiet, and yet the record would still spin, always spin. There was a place for Rose so deeply within myself that it was another country, another world, with its own light and time and its own language. A lost world. Yet its foundations and edges were permanent-the ruins of Pompeii, the glorious remnants or the Forum. A world that endured, even as it retreated into the past. A world visited, imagined, ever waiting, yet asleep
Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart)
At heart, science is the quest for awesome - the literal awe that you feel when you understand something profound for the first time. It's a feeling we are all born with, although it often gets lost as we grow up and more mundane concerns take over our lives.
Sean Carroll (The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World)
We came from Caladan—a paradise world for our form of life. There existed no need on Caladan to build a physical paradise or a paradise of the mind—we could see the actuality all around us. And the price we paid was the price men have always paid for achieving a paradise in this life—we went soft, we lost our edge.
Frank Herbert (Dune)
If it is a human thing to do to put something you want, because it's useful, edible, or beautiful, into a bag, or a basket, or a bit of rolled bark or leaf, or a net woven of your own hair, or what have you, and then take it home with you, home being another, larger kind of pouch or bag, a container for people, and then later on you take it out and eat it or share it or store it up for winter in a solider container or put it in the medicine bundle or the shrine or the museum, the holy place, the area that contains what is sacred, and then the next day you probably do much the same again—if to do that is human, if that's what it takes, then I am a human being after all. Fully, freely, gladly, for the first time.... [T]he proper, fitting shape of the novel might be that of a sack, a bag. A book holds words. Words hold things. They bear meanings. A novel is a medicine bundle, holding things in a particular, powerful relation to one another and to us." —"The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction
Ursula K. Le Guin (Dancing at the Edge of the World: Thoughts on Words, Women, Places)
That it doesn’t strike us at all when we look around us, move about in space, feel our own bodies, etc. etc., shows how natural these things are to us. We do not notice that we see space perspectivally or that our visual field is in some sense blurred towards the edges. It doesn’t strike us and never can strike us because it is the way we perceive. We never give it a thought and it’s impossible we should, since there is nothing that contrasts with the form of our world.What I wanted to say is it’s strange that those who ascribe reality only to things and not to our ideas move about so unquestioningly in the world as idea and never long to escape from it.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Philosophical Remarks)
To err is to wander and wandering is the way we discover the world and lost in thought it is the also the way we discover ourselves. Being right might be gratifying but in the end it is static a mere statement. Being wrong is hard and humbling and sometimes even dangerous but in the end it is a journey and a story. Who really wants to stay at home and be right when you can don your armor spring up on your steed and go forth to explore the world True you might get lost along get stranded in a swamp have a scare at the edge of a cliff thieves might steal your gold brigands might imprison you in a cave sorcerers might turn you into a toad but what of what To fuck up is to find adventure: it is in the spirit that this book is written.
Kathryn Schulz (Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error)
You know damn well that it doesn’t really matter what’s going on in your life, who you just lost, how much you hate the world, or how inappropriate it is to have an attraction to someone before that mending phase has reached the acceptable zone. You’re still human and the moment you see someone attractive, you can’t help but make note of it. It’s human nature.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
Don't think I'll look after you, though-the world would be better off with one less princess." "I'm not a princess," I huffed, beating my brain for some worthy retort. "A queen then?" "No! That's not what I meant-" "Oh, an empress. I see. Pardon me, Your Majesty." He swooped into a crouched bow, and when his torso sprang back up,a smile floated at the edge of his lips. "N-no, not an empress either. I-I'm just..." The more I stuttered, the more pompous his smile became. "You're exasperating," I finally groaned.
Susan Dennard (Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1))
By now you've probably noticed that except when safely contained by quotes, Zampanò always steers clear of such questionable four-letter language. This instance in particular proves that beneath all that cool psuedo-academic hogwash lurked a very passionate man who knew how important it was to say "fuck" now and then, and say it loud too, relish its syllabic sweetness, its immigrant pride, a great American epic word really, starting at the lower lip, often the very front of the lower lip, before racing all the way to the back of the throat, where it finishes with a great blast, the concussive force of the K catching up then with the hush of the F already on its way, thus loading it with plenty of offense and edge and certainly ambiguity. FUCK. A great by-the-bootstrap prayer or curse if you prefer, depending on how you look at it, or use it, suited perfectly for hurling at the skies or at the world, or sometimes, if said just right, for uttering with enough love and fire, the woman beside you melts inside herself, immersed in all that word-heat.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
I stretched as those three little words that every girl longs to hear slipped from his mouth with effortless ease. As though they did it every day. As Though they didn't mean the world to me. With one corner of his mouth tipping sensually, he asked, "Want some coffee?" And I fell. I fell hard.
Darynda Jones (Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson, #6))
Private Parts The first love of my life never saw me naked - there was always a parent coming home in half an hour - always a little brother in the next room. Always too much body and not enough time for me to show it. Instead, I gave him my shoulder, my elbow, the bend of my knee - I lent him my corners, my edges, the parts of me I could afford to offer - the parts I had long since given up trying to hide. He never asked for more. He gave me back his eyelashes, the back of his neck, his palms - we held each piece we were given like it was a nectarine that could bruise if we weren’t careful. We collected them like we were trying to build an orchid. And the spaces that he never saw, the ones my parents half labeled “private parts” when I was still small enough to fit all of myself and my worries inside a bathtub - I made up for that by handing over all the private parts of me. There was no secret I didn’t tell him, there was no moment I didn’t share - and we didn’t grow up, we grew in, like ivy wrapping, moulding each other into perfect yings and yangs. We kissed with mouths open, breathing his exhale into my inhale - we could have survived underwater or outer space. Breathing only of the breathe we traded, we spelled love, g-i-v-e, I never wanted to hide my body from him - if I could have I would have given it all away with the rest of me - I did not know it was possible. To save some thing for myself. Some nights I wake up knowing he is anxious, he is across the world in another woman’s arms - the years have spread us like dandelion seeds - sanding down the edges of our jigsaw parts that used to only fit each other. He drinks from the pitcher on the night stand, checks the digital clock, it is 5am - he tosses in sheets and tries to settle, I wait for him to sleep. Before tucking myself into elbows and knees reach for things I have long since given up.
Sarah Kay
Children have always tumbled down rabbit holes, fallen through mirrors, been swept away by unseasonal floods or carried off by tornadoes. Children have always traveled, and because they are young and bright and full of contradictions, they haven’t always restricted their travel to the possible. Adulthood brings limitations like gravity and linear space and the idea that bedtime is a real thing, and not an artificially imposed curfew. Adults can still tumble down rabbit holes and into enchanted wardrobes, but it happens less and less with every year they live. Maybe this is a natural consequence of living in a world where being careful is a necessary survival trait, where logic wears away the potential for something bigger and better than the obvious. Childhood melts, and flights of fancy are replaced by rules. Tornados kill people: they don’t carry them off to magical worlds. Talking foxes are a sign of fever, not guides sent to start some grand adventure. But children, ah, children. Children follow the foxes, and open the wardrobes, and peek beneath the bridge. Children climb the walls and fall down the wells and run the razor’s edge of possibility until sometimes, just sometimes, the possible surrenders and shows them the way to go home.
Seanan McGuire (Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children, #3))
Upon the hearth the fire is red, Beneath the roof there is a bed; But not yet weary are our feet, Still round the corner we may meet A sudden tree or standing stone That none have seen but we alone. Tree and flower, leaf and grass, Let them pass! Let them pass! Hill and water under sky, Pass them by! Pass them by! Still round the corner there may wait A new road or a secret gate, And though we pass them by today, Tomorrow we may come this way And take the hidden paths that run Towards the Moon or to the Sun. Apple, thorn, and nut and sloe, Let them go! Let them go! Sand and stone and pool and dell, Fare you well! Fare you well! Home is behind, the world ahead, And there are many paths to tread Through shadows to the edge of night, Until the stars are all alight. Then world behind and home ahead, We'll wander back to home and bed. Mist and twilight, cloud and shade, Away shall fade! Away shall fade! Fire and lamp and meat and bread, And then to bed! And then to bed!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
I will never accept life for what it is. I don't need an easy life. My road was meant to be hard because anything worth having in this world will take me to the very edge of myself. I will overcome everything I have ever gone through and will make my future the one God intended me to have. I will pick up the pieces of this pain and sculpt it into art. I am not ordinary and never was. I walk into my birthright as a queen with her head held high. I was born to do this!
Shannon L. Alder
Discipline I am old and I have had more than my share of good and bad. I've had love and sorrow, seen sudden death and been left alone and of love bereft. I thought I would never love again and I thought my life was grief and pain. The edge between life and death was thin, but then I discovered discipline. I learned to smile when I felt sad, I learned to take the good and the bad, I learned to care a great deal more for the world about me than before. I began to forget the "Me" and "I" and joined in life as it rolled by: this may not mean sheer ecstasy but is better by far than "I" and "Me.
Meryl Gordon
What do you think happens" I said instead. "When we die?" Jin didn't believe in gods. He didn't believe in heavens or hells or worlds after. Just in this world. Just in now. Jin traced my face, like he was trying to remember it. "I think they burn us and we become dust and ash." He ran a finger across the edge of my lips. "And I think that the dust that was me will spend until the end of time trying to get as close as possible the the dust that was you out in that vast desert.
Alwyn Hamilton (Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands, #3))
His daughters watched in the rain. The prettiest, shyest one hid far back in the field to watch and she had good reason because she was absolutely the most beautiful girl Dean and I ever saw in all our lives. She was about sixteen, and had Plains complexion like wild roses, and the bluest eyes, the most lovely hair, and the modesty and quickness of a wild antelope. At every look from us she flinched. She stood there with the immense winds that blew clear down from Saskatchewan knocking her hair about her lovely head like shrouds, living curls of them. She blushed and blushed... 'Oh a girl like that scares me,' I said. 'I'd give up everything and throw myself on her mercy and if she didn't want me I'd just as simply go and throw myself off the edge of the world'.
Jack Kerouac
There are frontiers where we are learning, and our desire for knowledge burns. They are in the most minute reaches of the fabric of space, at the origins of the cosmos, in the nature of time, in the phenomenon of black holes, and in the workings of our own thought processes. Here, on the edge of what we know, in contact with the ocean of the unknown, shines the mystery and the beauty of the world. And it’s breathtaking.
Carlo Rovelli (Seven Brief Lessons on Physics)
You don't notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You're not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room. Grandma Lynn died several years later, but I have yet to see her here. I imagine her tying it on in her heaven, drinking mint juleps with Tennessee Williams and Dean Martin. She'll be here in her own sweet time, I'm sure. If I'm to be honest with you, I still sneak away to watch my family sometimes. I can't help it, and sometimes they still think of me. They can't help it.... It was a suprise to everyone when Lindsey found out she was pregnant...My father dreamed that one day he might teach another child to love ships in bottles. He knew there would be both sadness and joy in it; that it would always hold an echo of me. I would like to tell you that it is beautiful here, that I am, and you will one day be, forever safe. But this heaven is not about safety just as, in its graciousness, it isn't about gritty reality. We have fun. We do things that leave humans stumped and grateful, like Buckley's garden coming up one year, all of its crazy jumble of plants blooming all at once. I did that for my mother who, having stayed, found herself facing the yard again. Marvel was what she did at all the flowers and herbs and budding weeds. Marveling was what she mostly did after she came back- at the twists life took. And my parents gave my leftover possessions to the Goodwill, along with Grandma Lynn's things. They kept sharing when they felt me. Being together, thinking and talking about the dead, became a perfectly normal part of their life. And I listened to my brother, Buckley, as he beat the drums. Ray became Dr. Singh... And he had more and more moments that he chose not to disbelieve. Even if surrounding him were the serious surgeons and scientists who ruled over a world of black and white, he maintained this possibility: that the ushering strangers that sometimes appeared to the dying were not the results of strokes, that he had called Ruth by my name, and that he had, indeed, made love to me. If he ever doubted, he called Ruth. Ruth, who graduated from a closet to a closet-sized studio on the Lower East Side. Ruth, who was still trying to find a way to write down whom she saw and what she had experienced. Ruth, who wanted everyone to believe what she knew: that the dead truly talk to us, that in the air between the living, spirits bob and weave and laugh with us. They are the oxygen we breathe. Now I am in the place I call this wide wide Heaven because it includes all my simplest desires but also the most humble and grand. The word my grandfather uses is comfort. So there are cakes and pillows and colors galore, but underneath this more obvious patchwork quilt are places like a quiet room where you can go and hold someone's hand and not have to say anything. Give no story. Make no claim. Where you can live at the edge of your skin for as long as you wish. This wide wide Heaven is about flathead nails and the soft down of new leaves, wide roller coaster rides and escaped marbles that fall then hang then take you somewhere you could never have imagined in your small-heaven dreams.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
But this is what I know about people getting ready to walk of the edge of their own lives: they want someone to know how they got there. Maybe they want to know that when they dissolve into earth and water, that last fragment will be saved, held in some corner of someone's mind; or maybe all they want is a chance to dump it pulsing and bloody into someone else's hands, so it won't weigh them down on the journey. They want to leave their stories behind. No one in all the world knows that better than I do.
Tana French (Broken Harbour (Dublin Murder Squad, #4))
And Alex’s heart doesn’t spread itself out in his chest, and he doesn’t have to grip the edge of the settee to steady himself. Because that’s what he would do if he were here in this palace to fall in love with Henry, and not just continuing this thing where they fly across the world to touch each other and don’t talk about it. That’s not why he’s here. It’s not.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
Towards midnight the rain ceased and the clouds drifted away, so that the sky was scattered once more with the incredible lamps of stars. Then the breeze died too and there was no noise save the drip and tickle of water that ran out of clefts and spilled down, leaf by leaf, to the brown earth of the island. The air was cool, moist, and clear; and presently even the sound of the water was still. The beast lay huddled on the pale beach and the stains spread, inch by inch. The edge of the lagoon became a streak of phosphorescence which advanced minutely, as the great wave of the tide flowed. The clear water mirrored the clear sky and the angular bright constellations. The line of phosphorescence bulged about the sand grains and little pebbles; it held them each in a dimple of tension, then suddenly accepted them with an inaudible syllable and moved on. Along the shoreward edge of the shallows the advancing clearness was full of strange, moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes. Here and there a larger pebble clung to its own air and was covered with a coat of pearls. The tide swelled in over the rain-pitted sand and smoothed everything with a layer of silver. Now it touched the first of the stains that seeped from the broken body and the creatures made a moving patch of light as they gathered at the edge. The water rose further and dressed Simon's coarse hair with brightness. The line of his cheek silvered and the turn of his shoulder became sculptured marble. The strange, attendant creatures, with their fiery eyes and trailing vapours busied themselves round his head. The body lifted a fraction of an inch from the sand and a bubble of air escaped from the mouth with a wet plop. Then it turned gently in the water. Somewhere over the darkened curve of the world the sun and moon were pulling; and the film of water on the earth planet was held, bulging slightly on one side while the solid core turned. The great wave of the tide moved further along the island and the water lifted. Softly, surrounded by a fringe of inquisitive bright creatures, itself a silver shape beneath the steadfast constellations, Simon's dead body moved out towards the open sea.
William Golding (Lord of the Flies)
A Sanskrit word appeared in the paragraph: ANTEVASIN. It means, ‘one who lives at the border.’ In ancient times, this was a literal description. It indicated a person who had left the bustling center of worldly life to go live at the edge of the forest where the spiritual masters dwelled. The antevasin was not of the villager’s anymore-not a householder with a conventional life. But neither was he yet a transcendent-not one of those sages who live deep in the unexplored woods, fully realized. The antevasin was an in-betweener. He was a border-dweller. He lived in sight of both worlds, but he looked toward the unknown. And he was a scholar.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
The U.S-Mexican border es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country — a border culture. Borders are set up to define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from them. A border is a dividing line, a narrow strip along a steep edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition. The prohibited and forbidden are its inhabitants.
Gloria E. Anzaldúa (Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza)
I know you adore Father, but he isn't the white knight you imagine him to be. He never was. True, he's charming and loving in his way. But he's selfish. He's a limited man determined to bring about his own end-" "But-" Tom grabs both my hands in his and gives them a small squeeze. "Gemma, you can't save him. Why can't you accept that?" I see my reflection on the surface of the Thames. My face is a watery outline, all blurred edges with nothing settled. "Because if I let go of that" - I swallow hard, once, twice - "then I have to accept that I am alone." The ship's horn howls again as it slips out toward sea. Tom's reflection appears beside mine, just as uncertain. "We're every one of us alone in this world, Gemma." He doesn't say it bitterly. "But you have company, if you want.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
We should go back inside," she said, in a half whisper. She did not want to go back inside. She wanted to stay here, with Will achingly close, almost leaning into her. She could feel the heat that radiated from his body. His dark hair fell around the mask, into his eyes, tangling with his long eyelashes. "We have only a little time-" She took a step forward-and stumbled into Will, who caught her. She froze-and then her arms crept around him, her fingers lacing themselves behind his neck. Her face was pressed against his throat, his soft hair under her fingers. She closed her eyes, shutting out the dizzying world, the light beyond the French windows, the glow of the sky. She wanted to be here with Will, cocooned in this moment, inhaling the clean sharp scent of him., feeling the beat of his heart against hers, as steady and strong as the pulse of the ocean. She felt him inhale. "Tess," he said. "Tess, look at me." She raised her eyes to his, slow and unwilling, braced for anger or coldness-but his gaze was fixed on hers, his dark blue eyes somber beneath their thick black lashes, and they were stripped of all their usual cool, aloof distance. They were as clear as glass and full of desire. And more than desire-a tenderness she had never seen in them before, had never even associated with Will Herondale. That, more than anything else, stopped her protest as he raised his hands and methodically began to take the pins from her hair, one by one. This is madness, she thought, as the first pin rattled to the ground. They should be running, fleeing this place. Instead she stood, wordless, as Will cast Jessamine's pearl clasps aside as if they were so much paste jewelry. Her own long, curling dark hair fell down around her shoulders, and Will slid his hands into it. She heard him exhale as he did so, as if he had been holding his breath for months and had only just let it out. She stood as if mesmerized as he gathered her hair in his hands, draping it over one of her shoulders, winding her curls between his fingers. "My Tessa," he said, and this time she did not tell him that she was not his. "Will," she whispered as he reached up and unlocked her hands from around his neck. He drew her gloves off, and they joined her mask and Jessie's pins on the stone floor of the balcony. He pulled off his own mask next and cast it aside, running his hands through his damp black hair, pushing it back from his forehead. The lower edge of the mask had left marks across his high cheekbones, like light scars, but when she reached to touch them, he gently caught at her hands and pressed them down. "No," he said. "Let me touch you first. I have wanted...
Cassandra Clare
I want to be, if I can, as sure of the world--the real world--around me as is possible. Now, you can only attain that to a certain degree, but I want the greatest degree of control. I've never involved myself in narcotics of any kind, I don't smoke, and I don't drink because that can easily just fuzz the edges of my rationality--fuzz the edges of my reasoning powers--and I want to be as aware as I possibly can. That means giving up a lot of fantasies that might be comforting in some ways, but I'm willing to give that up in order to live in an actually real world, or as close as I can get to it.
James Randi
At the edge you will always remember me, at the edge you will last be remembered, where sanity and insanity come together, for the time, then separates. Like leaves on October trees, that color the world, but for a moment, then leave. At the edge, where life losses its edginess, and thoughts we will become one, someday. At the edge the sun drops, the ring falls, and senses of raindrops climb upwards to the gray sky.
Anthony Liccione
Will you look at us by the river! The whole restless mob of us on spread blankets in the dreamy briny sunshine skylarking and chiacking about for one day, one clear, clean, sweet day in a good world in the midst of our living. Yachts run before an unfelt gust with bagnecked pelicans riding above them, the city their twitching backdrop, all blocks and points of mirror light down to the water's edge.
Tim Winton (Cloudstreet)
my final piece We’re born into the world As just one small piece to the puzzle That makes up an entire life. It’s up to us throughout our years, to find all of our pieces that fit. The pieces that connect who we are To who we were To who we’ll one day be. Sometimes pieces will almost fit. They’ll feel right. We’ll carry them around for a while, Hoping they’ll change shape. Hoping they’ll conform to our puzzle. But they won’t. We’ll eventually have to let them go. To find the puzzle that is their home. Sometimes pieces won’t fit at all. No matter how much we want them to. We’ll shove them. We’ll bend them. We’ll break them. But what isn’t meant to be, won’t be. Those are the hardest pieces of all to accept. The pieces of our puzzle That just don’t belong. But occasionally . . . Not very often at all, If we’re lucky, If we pay enough attention, We’ll find a perfect match. The pieces of the puzzle that slide right in The pieces that hug the contours of our own pieces. The pieces that lock to us. The pieces that we lock to. The pieces that fit so well, we can’t tell where our piece begins And that piece ends. Those pieces we call Friends. True loves. Dreams. Passions. Beliefs. Talents. They’re all the pieces that complete our puzzles. They line the edges, Frame the corners, Fill the centers, Those pieces are the pieces that make us who we are. Who we were. Who we’ll one day be. Up until today, When I looked at my own puzzle, I would see a finished piece. I had the edges lined, The corners framed, The center filled. It felt like it was complete. All the pieces were there. I had everything I wanted. Everything I needed. Everything I dreamt of. But up until today, I realized I had collected all but one piece. The most vital piece. The piece that completes the picture. The piece that completes my whole life. I held this girl in my arms She wrapped her tiny fingers around mine. It was then that I realized She was the fusion. The glue. The cement that bound all my pieces together. The piece that seals my puzzle. The piece that completes my life. The element that makes me who I am. Who I was. Who I’ll one day be. You, baby girl. You’re my final piece.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Abraham Zogoiby covered his face that night in August 1939 because he had been assailed by fear, [...] a sudden apprehension that the ugliness of life might defeat its beauty; that love did not make lovers invulnerable. Nevertheless, he thought, even if the world's beauty and love were on the edge of destruction, theirs would still be the only side to be on; defeated love would still be love, hate's victory would not make it other than it was.
Salman Rushdie (The Moor's Last Sigh)
You remember those twin statues of the Buddha that I told you about? Carved out of a mountain in Afghanistan, that got dynamited by the Taliban back in the spring? Notice anything familiar?" "Twin Buddhas, twin towers, interesting coincidence, so what." "The Trade Center towers were religious too. They stood for what this country worships above everything else, the market, always the holy fucking market." "A religious beef, you're saying?" "It's not a religion? These are people who believe the Invisible Hand of the Market runs everything. They fight holy wars against competing religions like Marxism. Against all evidence that the world is finite, this blind faith that resources will never run out, profits will go on increasing forever, just like the world's populations--more cheap labor, more addicted consumers.
Thomas Pynchon (Bleeding Edge)
FINISTERRE The road in the end taking the path the sun had taken, into the western sea, and the moon rising behind you as you stood where ground turned to ocean: no way to your future now but the way your shadow could take, walking before you across water, going where shadows go, no way to make sense of a world that wouldn't let you pass except to call an end to the way you had come, to take out each frayed letter you brought and light their illumined corners, and to read them as they drifted through the western light; to empty your bags; to sort this and to leave that; to promise what you needed to promise all along, and to abandon the shoes that had brought you here right at the water's edge, not because you had given up but because now, you would find a different way to tread, and because, through it all, part of you could still walk on, no matter how, over the waves.
David Whyte
A hero is also someone who, in their day to day interactions with the world, despite all the pain, uncertainty and doubt that can plague us, is resiliently and unashamedly themselves. If you can wake up every day and be emotionally open and honest regardless of what you get back from the world then you can be the hero of your own story. Each and every person who can say that despite life’s various buffetings that they are proud to be the person they are is a hero. Now I do have to mention the real heroes of The Trevor Project, the men and women volunteers, all of whom stand up day after day answering the calls of desperate teens whose circumstances have pushed them to the edge of the abyss. To take that call, and say yes, I will be the one who saves this life takes such courage and compassion. Hemingway’s definition of ‘grace under pressure’ seems fitting as the job they do is every bit as important, and every bit as delicate as a soldier defusing a bomb.
Daniel Radcliffe
The skin is a variety of contingency: in it, through it, with it, the world and my body touch each other, the feeling and the felt, it defines their common edge. Contingency means common tangency: in it the world and the body intersect and caress each other. I do not wish to call the place in which I live a medium, I prefer to say that things mingle with each other and that I am no exception to that. I mix with the world which mixes with me. Skin intervenes between several things in the world and makes them mingle.
Michel Serres (The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies)
We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe and sure future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do. The problems are not all solved and the battles are not all won and we stand today on the edge of a New Frontier - a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats. It has been a long road to this crowded convention city. Now begins another long journey, taking me into your cities and towns and homes all over America. Give me your help. Give me your hand, your voice and your vote.
John F. Kennedy
And Will knew what it was to see his dæmon. As she flew down to the sand, he felt his heart tighten and release in a way he never forgot. Sixty years and more would go by, and as an old man he would still feel some sensations as bright and fresh as ever: Lyra's fingers putting the fruit between his lips under the gold-and-silver trees; her warm mouth pressing against his; his dæmon being torn from his unsuspecting breast as they entered the world of the dead; and the sweet rightfulness of her coming back to him at the edge of the moonlight dunes.
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3))
Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword. A pebble could be a diamond. A tree was a castle. Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was the Queen and he was the King. In the autumn light, her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls. When the sky grew dark, they parted with leaves in their hair. Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering. When they were ten he asked her to marry him. When they were eleven he kissed her for the first time. When they were thirteen they got into a fight and for three weeks they didn't talk. When they were fifteen she showed him the scar on her left breast. Their love was a secret they told no one. He promised her he would never love another girl as long as he lived. "What if I die?" she asked. "Even then," he said. For her sixteenth birthday, he gave her an English dictionary and together they learned the words. "What's this?" he'd ask, tracing his index finger around her ankle and she'd look it up. "And this?" he'd ask, kissing her elbow. "Elbow! What kind of word is that?" and then he'd lick it, making her giggle. "What about this," he asked, touching the soft skin behind her ear. "I don't know," she said, turning off the flashlight and rolling over, with a sigh, onto her back. When they were seventeen they made love for the first time, on a bed of straw in a shed. Later-when things happened that they could never have imagined-she wrote him a letter that said: When will you learn that there isn't a word for everything?
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Thank you for the shoes, Thomas.” I looked at the stack of boxes, teetering precariously close to the edge of the settee now. He caught my stare and nudged them back to safety. “All of them. It was very sweet. And highly unnecessary.” “Your happiness is always necessary to me.” He tilted my chin up and kissed the tip of my nose. “We’ll find new ways of navigating the world together, Wadsworth. If you can no longer wear heels, we’ll design flats you adore. If you ever find those no longer work, I’ll have a wheeled chair made and bejeweled to your liking. Anything at all in the universe you need, we will make it so. And if you’d prefer to do it on your own, I will always step aside. I also promise to keep my opinion mostly to myself.” “Mostly?” He considered that. “Unless it’s vastly inappropriate. Then I’ll share it with gusto.
Kerri Maniscalco (Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #4))
How thin the air felt at the forest's edge, how ghostly the trees that guarded their realm.... The whole world seemed as delicate as a dandelion seed, and as fleeting.... How sad to know that the figment village of my imagination would not vanish when I ended, to understand that it was not I who had invented the moon the first time I realized how lovely it was. To admit that it was not my breath that made the winds blow.... [M]y heart, my heart knew that when I closed my eyes I invented the night sky and the stars too. Wasn't the whole dome of the sky the same shape as the inside of my skull? Didn't I create the sun and the day when I raised my eyelids every morning?
Martine Leavitt (Keturah and Lord Death)
It's all now you see. Yesterday won't be over until tomorrow and tomorrow began ten thousand years ago. For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it's still not yet two o'clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it's all in the balance, it hasn't happened yet, it hasn't even begun yet, it not only hasn't begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstances which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it's going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn't need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago; or to anyone who ever sailed a skiff under a quilt sail, the moment in 1492 when somebody thought This is it: the absolute edge of no return, to turn back now and make home or sail irrevocably on and either find land or plunge over the world's roaring rim.
William Faulkner (Intruder in the Dust)
When compared to the fact that he might very well be dead by this time tomorrow, whether he was courageous or not today was pointless, empty. When compared to the fact that he might be dead tomorrow, everything was pointless. It just didn't make any difference. It was pointless to the tree, it was pointless to every man in his outfit, pointless to everybody in the whole world. Who cared? It was not pointless only to him; and when he was dead, when he ceased to exist, it would be pointless to him too. More important: Not only would it be pointless, it would have been pointless all along. This was an obscure and rather difficult point to grasp. Understanding of it kept slipping in and out on the edges of his mind. It flickered, changing its time sense and tenses. At those moments when he understood it, it left him with a very hollow feeling.
James Jones (The Thin Red Line)
For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains. “Longing,” says the poet Robert Hass, “because desire is full of endless distances.” Blue is the color of longing for the distances you never arrive in, for the blue world.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Perhaps the greatest gift ever bestowed upon us by evolution is the ability to believe we are more powerful than we are . . . You walk around with the fundamental belief that the world is uncaring, that no matter how hard you work there is no promise of success, that you are competing against billions, that you are vulnerable to the elements, and that everything you ever love will eventually be destroyed. A little lie can take the edge off, can help you keep charging forward into the gauntlet of life, where you sometimes, accidentally, prevail.
Lulu Miller (Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life)
Look what I found, Eight!” Eight disappears from the grass and reappears up in the air next to the Chest. He wraps his arms around it and hugs it. Slime and all. Then he teleports back to the edge of the lake, the Chest still in his hands. “I can’t believe it,” Eight finally says. “All this time, it was right here.” He looks stunned. “It was inside a Mog ship at the bottom of the lake,” I say, walking out of the water. Eight disappears again and teleports directly in front of me, our noses practically touching. Before I can register how nice his warm breath feels on my face, he picks me up and kisses me hard on the mouth as he twirls me around. My body stiffens and I suddenly have no idea what to do with my hands. I don’t know what to do at all, so I just let it happen. He tastes salty and sweet at the same time. The whole world disappears and I feel as if I’m floating in darkness. (Rise of the Nine)
Pittacus Lore
Nawat grinned. “I was helping to steal soldiers who couldn't keep up.” “What do you do with them?” she asked, curious. “I haven't heard of bodies being found.” “Nor will you,” Nawat informed her, sitting on a corner of the worktable. “They were still alive when we gave them to my warriors at the edge of the jungle.” He picked up Aly's hand and laced his fingers with hers. “My warriors will be able to say they last saw the missing soldiers alive, when the troops went on a visit to the jungle.” Aly walked her free fingers over their entwined hands. “But why would Crown soldiers visit the jungle?” “They didn't think they would at first,” Nawat admitted. “So my warriors show them the beauties of the deep jungle. They take away all the things the soldiers have of the civilized world, such as clothes and weapons and armor, so the soldiers will appreciate the jungle with their entire bodies. But my warriors have seen jungle before, so they get bored and leave. The soldiers stay longer.” “Like the tax collectors,” Aly whispered, awed by the beauty of what he described. “Take away all they have and leave them to survive the jungle. If you're questioned under truthspell, you can say they were alive when you left them. And the only way they could survive naked out there . . .” Nawat was shaking his head. Aly nodded. “I take it you don't leave them near any trails.” “They are there to appreciate the jungle that has been untouched by humans,” Nawat told her, a teacher to a student who did not quite understand. Aly sighed. “I am limp with envy,” she told him. “Simply limp.
Tamora Pierce (Trickster's Queen (Daughter of the Lioness, #2))
POCKET-SIZED FEMINISM The only other girl at the party is ranting about feminism. The audience: a sea of rape jokes and snapbacks and styrofoam cups and me. They gawk at her mouth like it is a drain clogged with too many opinions. I shoot her an empathetic glance and say nothing. This house is for wallpaper women. What good is wallpaper that speaks? I want to stand up, but if I do, whose coffee table silence will these boys rest their feet on? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if someone takes my spot? I want to stand up, but if I do, what if everyone notices I’ve been sitting this whole time? I am guilty of keeping my feminism in my pocket until it is convenient not to, like at poetry slams or my women’s studies class. There are days I want people to like me more than I want to change the world. There are days I forget we had to invent nail polish to change color in drugged drinks and apps to virtually walk us home at night and mace disguised as lipstick. Once, I told a boy I was powerful and he told me to mind my own business. Once, a boy accused me of practicing misandry. You think you can take over the world? And I said No, I just want to see it. I just need to know it is there for someone. Once, my dad informed me sexism is dead and reminded me to always carry pepper spray in the same breath. We accept this state of constant fear as just another part of being a girl. We text each other when we get home safe and it does not occur to us that our guy friends do not have to do the same. You could saw a woman in half and it would be called a magic trick. That’s why you invited us here, isn’t it? Because there is no show without a beautiful assistant? We are surrounded by boys who hang up our naked posters and fantasize about choking us and watch movies we get murdered in. We are the daughters of men who warned us about the news and the missing girls on the milk carton and the sharp edge of the world. They begged us to be careful. To be safe. Then told our brothers to go out and play.
Blythe Baird
As I reach the grand foyer, I see Jean-Baptiste and Gaspard step through the front door. "You're here!" I cry. "I had planned on taking a couple more hours to rest up," Gaspard explains with a grin, "however, we received this almost indecipherable text message on our mobile telephone..." Jean-Baptiste holds up his cell phone like it's a piece of alien machinery. "And I quote, 'Dudes, it's going down now. Get your sorry asses over here stat.' With such an eloquent request, how could we resist?" he remarks drily. But there is a ghost of a smile at the edge of his lips, and I know that he and Gaspard wouldn't miss this for anything in the world.
Amy Plum (If I Should Die (Revenants, #3))
I know her by her angry air, Her brightblack eyes, her brightblack hair, Her rapid laughters wild and shrill, As laughter of the woodpecker From the bosom of a hill. 'Tis Kate--she sayeth what she will; For Kate hath an unbridled tongue, Clear as the twanging of a harp. Her heart is like a throbbing star. Kate hath a spirit ever strung Like a new bow, and bright and sharp As edges of the scymetar. Whence shall she take a fitting mate? For Kate no common love will feel; My woman-soldier, gallant Kate, As pure and true as blades of steel. Kate saith "the world is void of might". Kate saith "the men are gilded flies". Kate snaps her fingers at my vows; Kate will not hear of lover's sighs. I would I were an armèd knight, Far famed for wellwon enterprise, And wearing on my swarthy brows The garland of new-wreathed emprise: For in a moment I would pierce The blackest files of clanging fight, And strongly strike to left and right, In dreaming of my lady's eyes. Oh! Kate loves well the bold and fierce; But none are bold enough for Kate, She cannot find a fitting mate.
Alfred Tennyson
She shook her head. 'Look. We both know life is short, Macy. Too short to waste a single second with anyone who doesn't appreciate and value you.' 'You said the other day life was long,' I shot back. 'Which is it?' ' It's both,' she said, shrugging. 'IT all depends on how you choose to live it. It's like forever, always changing.' 'Nothing can be two opposite things at once,' I said. 'It's impossible.' 'No,' she replied, squeezing my hand,' what's impossible is that we actually think it could be anything other than that. Look, when I was in the hosptal, right after the accident, they thought I was going to die. I was really fucked up, big time.' 'Uh-huh,' Monica said, looking at her sister. 'Then,' Kristy continued, nodding at her, 'life was very short, literally. but now that I'm better it seems so long I have to squint to see even the edges of it. It's all in the view, Macy. That's what I mean about forever, too. For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You can never know for sure, so you'd better make every second count.' Monica, lighting another cigarette, nodded. 'Mmm-hmm,' she said. 'What you have to decide,' Kristy said to me, leaning foreward, 'is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you'd want to have spent it? It seemed like it was a choice I had already made. I'd spent the last year and a half with Jason, shaping my life to fit his, doing what I had to in order to make sure I had a plae in his perfect world, where things made sense. But it hadn't worked. 'Listen,' Kristy said,' the truth is, nohing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody.' She looed at me hard, making sure I knew what she meant. I did. 'So don't be afraid. Be alive.' But then, I couldn't imagine, after everything that had happened, how you could live and not constantly be worrying about the dangers all around you. Especially when you'd already gotten teh scare of your life. 'It's the same thing,' I told her. 'What is?' 'Being afraid and being alive.' 'No,' she said slowly, and now it was as if she was speaking a language she knew at first I wouldn't understand, the very words, not to mention the concept, being foreign to me. 'Macy, no. It's not.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
There is a love that equals in its power the love of man for woman and reaches inwards as deeply. It is the love of a man or a woman for their world. For the world of their center where their lives burn genuinely and with a free flame. The love of the diver for his world of wavering light. His world of pearls and tendrils and his breath at his breast. Born as a plunger into the deeps he is at one with every swarm of lime-green fish, with every colored sponge. As he holds himself to the ocean's faery floor, one hand clasped to a bedded whale's rib, he is complete and infinite. Pulse, power and universe sway in his body. He is in love. The love of the painter standing alone and staring, staring at the great colored surface he is making. Standing with him in the room the rearing canvas stares back with tentative shapes halted in their growth, moving in a new rhythm from floor to ceiling. The twisted tubes, the fresh paint squeezed and smeared across the dry on his palette. The dust beneath the easel. The paint has edged along the brushes' handles. The white light in a northern sky is silent. The window gapes as he inhales his world. His world: a rented room, and turpentine. He moves towards his half-born. He is in Love. The rich soil crumbles through the yeoman's fingers. As the pearl diver murmurs, 'I am home' as he moves dimly in strange water-lights, and as the painter mutters, 'I am me' on his lone raft of floorboards, so the slow landsman on his acre'd marl - says with dark Fuchsia on her twisting staircase, 'I am home.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
It is a well-known established fact throughout the many-dimensional worlds of the multiverse that most really great discoveries are owed to one brief moment of inspiration. There's a lot of spadework first, of course, but what clinches the whole thing is the sight of, say, a falling apple or a boiling kettle or the water slipping over the edge of the bath. Something goes click inside the observer's head and then everything falls into place. The shape of DNA, it is popularly said, owes its discovery to the chance sight of a spiral staircase when the scientist=s mind was just at the right receptive temperature. Had he used the elevator, the whole science of genetics might have been a good deal different. This is thought of as somehow wonderful. It isn't. It is tragic. Little particles of inspiration sleet through the universe all the time traveling through the densest matter in the same way that a neutrino passes through a candyfloss haystack, and most of them miss. Even worse, most of the ones that hit the exact cerebral target, hit the wrong one. For example, the weird dream about a lead doughnut on a mile-high gantry, which in the right mind would have been the catalyst for the invention of repressed-gravitational electricity generation (a cheap and inexhaustible and totally non-polluting form of power which the world in question had been seeking for centuries, and for the lack of which it was plunged into a terrible and pointless war) was in fact had by a small and bewildered duck. By another stroke of bad luck, the sight of a herd of wild horses galloping through a field of wild hyacinths would have led a struggling composer to write the famous Flying God Suite, bringing succor and balm to the souls of millions, had he not been at home in bed with shingles. The inspiration thereby fell to a nearby frog, who was not in much of a position to make a startling contributing to the field of tone poetry. Many civilizations have recognized this shocking waste and tried various methods to prevent it, most of them involving enjoyable but illegal attempts to tune the mind into the right wavelength by the use of exotic herbage or yeast products. It never works properly.
Terry Pratchett (Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind, #3))
On a long flight, after periods of crisis and many hours of fatigue, mind and body may become disunited until at times they seem completely different elements, as though the body were only a home with which the mind has been associated but by no means bound. Consciousness grows independent of the ordinary senses. You see without assistance from the eyes, over distances beyond the visual horizon. There are moments when existence appears independent even of the mind. The importance of physical desire and immediate surroundings is submerged in the apprehension of universal values. For unmeasurable periods, I seem divorced from my body, as though I were an awareness spreading out through space, over the earth and into the heavens, unhampered by time or substance, free from the gravitation that binds to heavy human problems of the world. My body requires no attention. It's not hungry. It's neither warm or cold. It's resigned to being left undisturbed. Why have I troubled to bring it here? I might better have left it back at Long Island or St. Louis, while the weightless element that has lived within it flashes through the skies and views the planet. This essential consciousness needs no body for its travels. It needs no plane, no engine, no instruments, only the release from flesh which circumstances I've gone through make possible. Then what am I – the body substance which I can see with my eyes and feel with my hands? Or am I this realization, this greater understanding which dwells within it, yet expands through the universe outside; a part of all existence, powerless but without need for power; immersed in solitude, yet in contact with all creation? There are moments when the two appear inseparable, and others when they could be cut apart by the merest flash of light. While my hand is on the stick, my feet on the rudder, and my eyes on the compass, this consciousness, like a winged messenger, goes out to visit the waves below, testing the warmth of water, the speed of wind, the thickness of intervening clouds. It goes north to the glacial coasts of Greenland, over the horizon to the edge of dawn, ahead to Ireland, England, and the continent of Europe, away through space to the moon and stars, always returning, unwillingly, to the mortal duty of seeing that the limbs and muscles have attended their routine while it was gone.
Charles A. Lindbergh (The Spirit of St. Louis)
I suppose it was the end of the world for her when her husband and her baby were killed. I suppose she didn't care what became of her and flung herself into the horrible degradation of drink and promiscuous copulation to get even with life that had treated her so cruelly. She'd lived in heaven and when she lost it she couldn't put up with the common earth of common men, but in despair plunged headlong into hell. I can imagine that if she couldn't drink the nectar of the gods any more she thought she might as well drink bathroom gin.' That's the sort of thing you say in novels. It's nonsense and you know it's nonsense. Sophie wallows in the gutter because she likes it. Other women have lost their husbands and children. It wasn't that that made her evil. Evil doesn't spring from good. The evil was there always. When that motor accident broke her defences it set her free to be herself. Don't waste your pity on her, she's now what at heart she always was.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
You too, you took an interest in the world. That was long ago. I want you to cast your mind back to then. The domain of the rules was no longer enough for you; you were unable to love any longer in the domain of the rules; so you had to enter into the domain of the struggle. I ask you to go back to that precise moment. It was long ago, no? Cast your mind back: the water was cold. You are far from the edge, now. Oh yes! How far from the edge you are! You long believed in the existence of another shore; such is no longer the case. You go on swimming, though, and every movement you make brings you closer to drowning. You are suffocating, your lungs are on fire. The water seems colder and colder to you, more and more galling. You aren't that young anymore. Now you are going to die. Don't worry. I am here. I won't let you sink. Go on with your reading.
Michel Houellebecq (Whatever)
Now consider the tortoise and the eagle. The tortoise is a ground-living creature. It is impossible to live nearer the ground without being under it. Its horizons are a few inches away. It has about as good a turn of speed as you need to hunt down a lettuce. It has survived while the rest of evolution flowed past it by being, on the whole, no threat to anyone and too much trouble to eat. And then there is the eagle. A creature of the air and high places, whose horizons go all the way to the edge of the world. Eyesight keen enough to spot the rustle of some small and squeaky creature half a mile away. All power, all control. Lightning death on wings. Talons and claws enough to make a meal of anything smaller than it is and at least take a hurried snack out of anything bigger. And yet the eagle will sit for hours on the crag and survey the kingdoms of the world until it spots a distant movement and then it will focus, focus, focus on the small shell wobbling among the bushes down there on the desert. And it will leap… And a minute later the tortoise finds the world dropping away from it. And it sees the world for the first time, no longer one inch from the ground but five hundred feet above it, and it thinks: what a great friend I have in the eagle. And then the eagle lets go. And almost always the tortoise plunges to its death. Everyone knows why the tortoise does this. Gravity is a habit that is hard to shake off. No one knows why the eagle does this. There’s good eating on a tortoise but, considering the effort involved, there’s much better eating on practically anything else. It’s simply the delight of eagles to torment tortoises. But of course, what the eagle does not realize is that it is participating in a very crude form of natural selection. One day a tortoise will learn how to fly.
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue. For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go. For the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains.
Rebecca Solnit
Go on," Kell told him without taking his eyes from Lila. " Get some rest." Hastra shifted. "I can't, sir," he said. "I'm to escort Miss Bard--" "I'll take that charge," cut in Kell. Hastra bit his lip and retreated several steps. Lila let her forehead come to rest against his, her face so close the features blurred. And yet, that fractured eye shone with frightening clarity. "You never told me," he whispered. "You never noticed," she answered. And then, "Alucard did." The blow landed, and Kell started to pull away when Lila's eyelids fluttered and she swayed dangerously. He braced her. "Come on," he said gently. "I have a room upstairs. Why don't we--" A sleepy flicker of amusement. "Trying to get me into bed?" Kell mustered a smile. "It's only fair. I've spent enough time in yours." "If I remember correctly," she said, her voice dreamy with fatigue, "you were on top of the bed the entire time." "And tied to it," observed Kell. Her words were soft at the edges. "Those were the days..." she said, right before she fell forward. It happened so fast Kell could do nothing but throw his arms around her. "Lila?" he asked, first gently, and then more urgently. "Lila?" She murmured against his front, something about sharp knives and soft corners, but didn't rouse, and Kell shot a glance at Hastra, who was still standing there, looking thoroughly embarrassed. "What have you done?" demanded Kell. "It was just a tonic, sir," he fumbled, "something for sleep." "You drugged her?" "It was Tieren's order," said Hastra, chastised. "He said she was mad and stubborn and no use to us dead." Hastra lowered his voice when he said this, mimicking Tieren's tone with startling accuracy. "And what do you plan to do when she wakes back up?" Hastra shrank back. "Apologize?" Kell made an exasperated sound as Lila nuzzled-- actually nuzzled-- his shoulder. "I suggest," he snapped at the young man, "you think of something better. Like an escape route." Hastra paled, and Kell swept Lila up into his arms, amazed at her lightness... Kell swept through the halls until he reached his room and lowered Lila onto the couch. Hastra handed him a blanket. "Shouldn't you take off her knives?" "There's not enough tonic in the world to risk it," said Kell.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
The living dead had taken more from us than land and loved ones. They'd robbed us of our confidence as the planet's dominant life form. We were a shaken, broken species, driven to the edge of extinction and grateful only for tomorrow with perhaps a little less suffering than today. Was this the legacy we would leave our children, a level of anxiety and self-doubt not seen since our simian ancestors cowered in the tallest trees? What kind of world would they rebuild? Would they rebuild at all? Could they continue to progress, knowing that they would be powerless to reclaim their future? And what if that future saw another rise of the living dead? Would our descendants rise to meet them in battle, or simply crumple in meek surrender and accept what they believe to be their inevitable extinction? For this alone, we had to reclaim our planet. We had to prove to ourselves that we could do it, and leave that proof as this war's greatest monument. The long, hard road back to humanity, or the regressive ennui of Earth's once-proud primates. That was the choice, and it had to be made now.
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
The Friend of Your Youth is the only friend you will ever have, for he does not really see you. He sees in his mind a face that does not exist anymore, speaks a name – Spike, Bud, Snip, Red, Rusty, Jack, Dave – which belongs to that now nonexistent face but which by some inane doddering confusion of the universe is for the moment attached to a not happily met and boring stranger. But he humors the drooling doddering confusion of the universe and continues to address politely that dull stranger by the name which properly belongs to the boy face and to the time when the boy voice called thinly across the late afternoon water or murmured by a campfire at night or in the middle of a crowded street said, “Gee, listen to this–’On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble; His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves–’” The Friend of Your Youth is your friend because he does not see you anymore. And perhaps he never saw you. What he saw was simply part of the furniture of the wonderful opening world. Friendship was something he suddenly discovered and had to give away as a recognition of and payment for the breathlessly opening world which momently divulged itself like a moonflower. It didn’t matter a damn to whom he gave it, for the fact of giving was what mattered, and if you happened to be handy you were automatically endowed with all the appropriate attributes of a friend and forever after your reality is irrelevant. The Friend of Your Youth is the only friend you will ever have, for he hasn’t the slightest concern with calculating his interest or your virtue. He doesn’t give a damn, for the moment, about Getting Ahead or Needs Must Admiring the Best, the two official criteria in adult friendships, and when the boring stranger appears, he puts out his hand and smiles (not really seeing your face) and speaks your name (which doesn’t really belong to your face), saying, “Well, Jack, damned glad you came, come on in, boy!
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
No,” I hear myself say. “You’re not supposed to be here.” She’s sitting on my bed. She’s leaning back on her elbows, legs outstretched in front of her, crossed at the ankles. And while some part of me understands I must be dreaming, there’s another, overwhelmingly dominant part of me that refuses to accept this. Part of me wants to believe she’s really here, inches away from me, wearing this short, tight black dress that keeps slipping up her thighs. But everything about her looks different, oddly vibrant; the colors are all wrong. Her lips are a richer, deeper shade of pink; her eyes seem wider, darker. She’s wearing shoes I know she’d never wear. And strangest of all: she’s smiling at me. “Hi,” she whispers. It’s just one word, but my heart is already racing. I’m inching away from her, stumbling back and nearly slamming my skull against the headboard, when I realize my shoulder is no longer wounded. I look down at myself. My arms are both fully functional. I’m wearing nothing but a white T-shirt and my underwear. She shifts positions in an instant, propping herself up on her knees before crawling over to me. She climbs onto my lap. She’s now straddling my waist. I’m suddenly breathing too fast. Her lips are at my ear. Her words are so soft. “Kiss me,” she says. “Juliette—” “I came all the way here.” She’s still smiling at me. It’s a rare smile, the kind she’s never honored me with. But somehow, right now, she’s mine. She’s mine and she’s perfect and she wants me, and I’m not going to fight it. I don’t want to. Her hands are tugging at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. Tossing it to the floor. She leans forward and kisses my neck, just once, so slowly. My eyes fall closed. There aren’t enough words in this world to describe what I’m feeling. I feel her hands move down my chest, my stomach; her fingers run along the edge of my underwear. Her hair falls forward, grazing my skin, and I have to clench my fists to keep from pinning her to my bed. Every nerve ending in my body is awake. I’ve never felt so alive or so desperate in my life, and I’m sure if she could hear what I’m thinking right now, she’d run out the door and never come back. Because I want her. Now. Here. Everywhere. I want nothing between us. I want her clothes off and the lights on and I want to study her. I want to unzip her out of this dress and take my time with every inch of her. I can’t help my need to just stare; to know her and her features: the slope of her nose, the curve of her lips, the line of her jaw. I want to run my fingertips across the soft skin of her neck and trace it all the way down. I want to feel the weight of her pressed against me, wrapped around me. I can’t remember a reason why this can’t be right or real. I can’t focus on anything but the fact that she’s sitting on my lap, touching my chest, staring into my eyes like she might really love me. I wonder if I’ve actually died. But just as I lean in, she leans back, grinning before reaching behind her, never once breaking eye contact with me. “Don’t worry,” she whispers. “It’s almost over now.” Her words seem so strange, so familiar. “What do you mean?” “Just a little longer and I’ll leave.” “No.” I’m blinking fast, reaching for her. “No, don’t go—where are you going—” “You’ll be all right,” she says. “I promise.” “No—” But now she’s holding a gun. And pointing it at my heart.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
My arms broke free from my control. My left hand reached for his face, his hair, to wind my fingers in it. My right hand was faster, was not mine. Melanie's fist punched his jaw, knocked his face away from mine with a blunt, low sound. Flesh against flesh, hard and angry. The force of it was not enough to move him far, but he scrambled away from me the instant our lips were no longer connected, gaping with horrorstruck eyes at my horrorstruck expression. I stared down at the still-clenched fist, as repulsed as if I'd found a scorpion growing on the end of my arm. A gasp of revulsion choked its way out of my throat. I grabbed the right wrist with my left hand, desperate to keep Melanie from using my body for violence again. I glanced up at Jared. He was staring at the fist I restrained, too, the horror fading, surprise taking its place. In that second, his expression was entirely defenseless. I could easily read his thoughts as they moved across his unlocked face. This was not what he had expected. And he's had expectations; that was plain to see. This had been a test. A test he'd thought he was prepared to evaluate. But he'd been surprised. Did that mean pass or fail? The pain in my chest was not a surprise. I already knew that a breaking heart was more than an exaggeration. In a flight-or-fight situation, I never had a choice; it would always be flight for me. Because Jared was between me and the darkness of the tunnel exit, I wheeled and threw myself into the box-packed hole. I was sobbing because it had been a test, and, stupid, stupid, stupid, emotional creature that I was, I wanted it to be real. Melanie was writhing in agony inside me, and it was hard to make sense of the double pain. I felt as thought I was dying because it wasn't real; she felt as though she was dying because, to her, it had felt real enough. In all that she'd lost since the end of the world, so long ago, she'd never before felt betrayed. 'No one's betrayed you, stupid,' I railed at her. 'How could he? How?' she ranted, ignoring me. We sobbed beyond control. One word snapped us back from the edge of hysteria. From the mouth of the hole, Jared's low, rough voice - broken and strangely childlike - asked, "Mel?" "Mel?" he asked again, the hope he didn't want to feel colouring his tone. My breath caught in another sob, an aftershock. "You know that was for you, Mel. You know that. Not for h- it. You know I wasn't kissing it." "If you're in there, Mel..." He paused. Melanie hated the "if". A sob burst up through my lungs and I gasped for air. "I love you," Jared said. "Even if you're not there, if you can't hear me, I love you.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host (The Host, #1))
NINA Your life is beautiful. TRIGORIN I see nothing especially lovely about it. [He looks at his watch] Excuse me, I must go at once, and begin writing again. I am in a hurry. [He laughs] You have stepped on my pet corn, as they say, and I am getting excited, and a little cross. Let us discuss this bright and beautiful life of mine, though. [After a few moments' thought] Violent obsessions sometimes lay hold of a man: he may, for instance, think day and night of nothing but the moon. I have such a moon. Day and night I am held in the grip of one besetting thought, to write, write, write! Hardly have I finished one book than something urges me to write another, and then a third, and then a fourth--I write ceaselessly. I am, as it were, on a treadmill. I hurry for ever from one story to another, and can't help myself. Do you see anything bright and beautiful in that? Oh, it is a wild life! Even now, thrilled as I am by talking to you, I do not forget for an instant that an unfinished story is awaiting me. My eye falls on that cloud there, which has the shape of a grand piano; I instantly make a mental note that I must remember to mention in my story a cloud floating by that looked like a grand piano. I smell heliotrope; I mutter to myself: a sickly smell, the colour worn by widows; I must remember that in writing my next description of a summer evening. I catch an idea in every sentence of yours or of my own, and hasten to lock all these treasures in my literary store-room, thinking that some day they may be useful to me. As soon as I stop working I rush off to the theatre or go fishing, in the hope that I may find oblivion there, but no! Some new subject for a story is sure to come rolling through my brain like an iron cannonball. I hear my desk calling, and have to go back to it and begin to write, write, write, once more. And so it goes for everlasting. I cannot escape myself, though I feel that I am consuming my life. To prepare the honey I feed to unknown crowds, I am doomed to brush the bloom from my dearest flowers, to tear them from their stems, and trample the roots that bore them under foot. Am I not a madman? Should I not be treated by those who know me as one mentally diseased? Yet it is always the same, same old story, till I begin to think that all this praise and admiration must be a deception, that I am being hoodwinked because they know I am crazy, and I sometimes tremble lest I should be grabbed from behind and whisked off to a lunatic asylum. The best years of my youth were made one continual agony for me by my writing. A young author, especially if at first he does not make a success, feels clumsy, ill-at-ease, and superfluous in the world. His nerves are all on edge and stretched to the point of breaking; he is irresistibly attracted to literary and artistic people, and hovers about them unknown and unnoticed, fearing to look them bravely in the eye, like a man with a passion for gambling, whose money is all gone. I did not know my readers, but for some reason I imagined they were distrustful and unfriendly; I was mortally afraid of the public, and when my first play appeared, it seemed to me as if all the dark eyes in the audience were looking at it with enmity, and all the blue ones with cold indifference. Oh, how terrible it was! What agony!
Anton Chekhov (The Seagull)
I feel to that the gap between my new life in New York and the situation at home in Africa is stretching into a gulf, as Zimbabwe spirals downwards into a violent dictatorship. My head bulges with the effort to contain both worlds. When I am back in New York, Africa immediately seems fantastical – a wildly plumaged bird, as exotic as it is unlikely. Most of us struggle in life to maintain the illusion of control, but in Africa that illusion is almost impossible to maintain. I always have the sense there that there is no equilibrium, that everything perpetually teeters on the brink of some dramatic change, that society constantly stands poised for some spasm, some tsunami in which you can do nothing but hope to bob up to the surface and not be sucked out into a dark and hungry sea. The origin of my permanent sense of unease, my general foreboding, is probably the fact that I have lived through just such change, such a sudden and violent upending of value systems. In my part of Africa, death is never far away. With more Zimbabweans dying in their early thirties now, mortality has a seat at every table. The urgent, tugging winds themselves seem to whisper the message, memento mori, you too shall die. In Africa, you do not view death from the auditorium of life, as a spectator, but from the edge of the stage, waiting only for your cue. You feel perishable, temporary, transient. You feel mortal. Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death. For me, the illusion of control is much easier to maintain in England or America. In this temperate world, I feel more secure, as if change will only happen incrementally, in manageable, finely calibrated, bite-sized portions. There is a sense of continuity threaded through it all: the anchor of history, the tangible presence of antiquity, of buildings, of institutions. You live in the expectation of reaching old age. At least you used to. But on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, those two states of mind converge. Suddenly it feels like I am back in Africa, where things can be taken away from you at random, in a single violent stroke, as quick as the whip of a snake’s head. Where tumult is raised with an abruptness that is as breathtaking as the violence itself.
Peter Godwin (When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa)
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
An imaginary circle of empathy is drawn by each person. It circumscribes the person at some distance, and corresponds to those things in the world that deserve empathy. I like the term "empathy" because it has spiritual overtones. A term like "sympathy" or "allegiance" might be more precise, but I want the chosen term to be slightly mystical, to suggest that we might not be able to fully understand what goes on between us and others, that we should leave open the possibility that the relationship can't be represented in a digital database. If someone falls within your circle of empathy, you wouldn't want to see him or her killed. Something that is clearly outside the circle is fair game. For instance, most people would place all other people within the circle, but most of us are willing to see bacteria killed when we brush our teeth, and certainly don't worry when we see an inanimate rock tossed aside to keep a trail clear. The tricky part is that some entities reside close to the edge of the circle. The deepest controversies often involve whether something or someone should lie just inside or just outside the circle. For instance, the idea of slavery depends on the placement of the slave outside the circle, to make some people nonhuman. Widening the circle to include all people and end slavery has been one of the epic strands of the human story - and it isn't quite over yet. A great many other controversies fit well in the model. The fight over abortion asks whether a fetus or embryo should be in the circle or not, and the animal rights debate asks the same about animals. When you change the contents of your circle, you change your conception of yourself. The center of the circle shifts as its perimeter is changed. The liberal impulse is to expand the circle, while conservatives tend to want to restrain or even contract the circle. Empathy Inflation and Metaphysical Ambiguity Are there any legitimate reasons not to expand the circle as much as possible? There are. To expand the circle indefinitely can lead to oppression, because the rights of potential entities (as perceived by only some people) can conflict with the rights of indisputably real people. An obvious example of this is found in the abortion debate. If outlawing abortions did not involve commandeering control of the bodies of other people (pregnant women, in this case), then there wouldn't be much controversy. We would find an easy accommodation. Empathy inflation can also lead to the lesser, but still substantial, evils of incompetence, trivialization, dishonesty, and narcissism. You cannot live, for example, without killing bacteria. Wouldn't you be projecting your own fantasies on single-cell organisms that would be indifferent to them at best? Doesn't it really become about you instead of the cause at that point?
Jaron Lanier (You Are Not a Gadget)
Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills--when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It’s only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes--bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses’ virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety--you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade. We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off. And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one’s name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters.
Catherynne M. Valente
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat. “This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand. My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it. Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?” His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet. He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.” “She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.” As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded. Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.” At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag. “Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.” “Are you?” Daemon replied.
 Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
 “Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
 Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
 “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
 In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red— “And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails. The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))