Exact Change Quotes

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I'm unpredictable, I never know where I'm going until I get there, I'm so random, I'm always growing, learning, changing, I'm never the same person twice. But one thing you can be sure of about me; is I will always do exactly what I want to do.
C. JoyBell C.
If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of pretending will alter that reality.
Socrates
If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever.
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
What are you going to do with your life?" In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer... "Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
David Nicholls (One Day)
Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life.
Brian Andreas
Fear isn't so difficult to understand. After all, weren't we all frightened as children? Nothing has changed since Little Red Riding Hood faced the big bad wolf. What frightens us today is exactly the same sort of thing that frightened us yesterday. It's just a different wolf. This fright complex is rooted in every individual.
Alfred Hitchcock
We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed.
Yukio Mishima (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion)
There are times when the actual experience of leaving something makes you wish desperately that you could stay, and then there are times when the leaving reminds you a hundred times over why exactly you had to leave in the first place.
Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
Better by far to be good and courageous and bold and to make difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you.
David Nicholls (One Day)
Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at...something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
David Nicholls (One Day)
After you're gone, people will forget your name, no matter how important it was, and your face, no matter how pretty it was, and what you said, no matter how clever any of it sounded. The things you've done will crumble and fade and the places you once loved, will change and be given new names. You are only here for one moment and it lasts exactly one lifetime.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You (I Wrote This For You #4))
Today I am a woman torn between the terror that everything might change and the equal terror that everything might carry on exactly the same for the rest of my days.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came. [Remarks at the Dinner for the America's Cup Crews, September 14 1962]
John F. Kennedy
Don't exist. Live. Get out, explore. Thrive. Challenge authority. Challenge yourself. Evolve. Change forever. Become who you say you always will. Keep moving. Don't stop. Start the revolution. Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero. Just because everyone doesn't know your name doesn't mean you dont matter. Are you happy? Have you ever been happy? What have you done today to matter? Did you exist or did you live? How did you thrive? Become a chameleon-fit in anywhere. Be a rockstar-stand out everywhere. Do nothing, do everything. Forget everything, remember everyone. Care, don't just pretend to. Listen to everyone. Love everyone and nothing at the same time. Its impossible to be everything,but you can't stop trying to do it all. All I know is that I have no idea where I am right now. I feel like I am in training for something, making progress with every step I take. I fear standing still. It is my greatest weakness. I talk big, but often don't follow through. That's my biggest problem. I don't even know what to think right now. It's about time I start to take a jump. Fuck starting to take. Just jump-over everything. Leap. It's time to be aggressive. You've started to speak your mind, now keep going with it, but not with the intention of sparking controversy or picking a germane fight. Get your gloves on, it's time for rebirth. There IS no room for the nice guys in the history books. THIS IS THE START OF A REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION IS YOUR LIFE. THE GOAL IS IMMORTALITY. LET'S LIVE, BABY. LET'S FEEL ALIVE AT ALL TIMES. TAKE NO PRISONERS. HOLD NO SOUL UNACCOUNTABLE, ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR OWN. IF SOMETHING DOESN'T HAPPEN, IT'S YOUR FAULT. Make this moment your reckoning. Your head has been held under water for too long and now it is time to rise up and take your first true breath. Do everything with exact calculation, nothing without meaning. Do not make careful your words, but make no excuses for what you say. Fuck em' all. Set a goal for everyday and never be tired.
Brian Krans (A Constant Suicide)
The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed. Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can. The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it's a job. Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people. I call the process of doing your art 'the work.' It's possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that's how you become a linchpin. The job is not the work.
Seth Godin (Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?)
I knew exactly what you'd done. I know that feelings. You have to do something. You have to change something radically, because you can't stay like you are for another second, or you're going to explode.
Jennifer Echols (Forget You)
Why not? It's true. My best hope is to not disgrace myself and..." He hesitates. And what?" I say. I don't know how to say it exactly. Only... I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense?" he asks. I shake my head. How could he die as anyone but himself? "I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not." I bite my lip feeling inferior. While I've been ruminating on the availability of trees, Peeta has been struggling with how to maintain his identity. His purity of self. "Do you mean you won't kill anyone?" I ask. No, when the time comes, I'm sure I'll kill just like everybody else. I can't go down without a fight. Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to... to show the Capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games," says Peeta. But you're not," I say. "None of us are. That's how the Games work." Okay, but within that frame work, there's still you, there's still me," he insists. "Don't you see?" A little, Only... no offense, but who cares, Peeta?" I say. I do. I mean what else am I allowed to care about at this point?" he asks angrily. He's locked those blue eyes on mine now, demanding an answer.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
He felt as though he were failing in practically every area of his life. Lately, happiness seemed as distant and unattainable to him as space travel. He hadn't always felt this way. There had been a long period of time during which he remembered being very happy. But things change. People change. Change was one of the inevitable laws of nature, exacting its toll on people's lives. Mistakes are made, regrets form, and all that was left were repercussions that made something as simple as rising from the bed seem almost laborious.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.
Dan Millman
Uh, Darius, I'm thinking that we really need to change clothes before we make a grand entrance in the middle of the cafeteria, or even my dorm. I mean, you're more than a little bloody, and i'm wearing what looks like a green trashbag. We're not exactly inconspicuous.
P.C. Cast
The past is the one thing we are not prisoners of. We can do with the past exactly what we wish. What we can't do is to change its consequences.
John Berger
Change is like that: you are no longer where you were; you are not yet where you will get; you are nowhere exactly.
Lionel Shriver (Checker and the Derailleurs)
One last thing," he said. "Stop looking for me." "I'm not looking for you." I scoffed. He touched his index finger to my forehead, my skin absurdly warming under his touch. It didn't escape me that he couldn't seem to stop finding reasons to touch me. Nor did I miss that I didn't want him to stop. "Under all the layers, a part of you remembers. It's the part that came looking for me tonight. It's that part that's going to get you killed, if you're not careful." We stood face-to-face, both of us breathing hard. The sirens were so close now. "What am I supposed to tell the police?" I said. "You're not going to talk to the police." "Oh, really? Funny, because I plan on telling them exactly how you rammed that tire iron into Gabe's back. Unless you answer my questions." He gave an ironic snort. "Blackmail? You've changed, Angel.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Silence (Hush, Hush, #3))
Sometimes change was good. Sometimes it was even exactly what you needed.
Jenny O'Connell (Plan B)
I love both of you exactly the way you are. I love that you have no filter, and I adore that Gavin can make grown men cry. There is not one thing I would change about either of you, and if anyone doesn’t like it, they can kiss my ass. You guys are my life and my family now. Nothing else matters.
Tara Sivec (Futures and Frosting (Chocolate Lovers, #2))
...[G]reat progress was evident in the last Congress of the American 'Labour Union' in that among other things, it treated working women with complete equality. While in this respect the English, and still more the gallant French, are burdened with a spirit of narrow-mindedness. Anybody who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without the feminine ferment. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex (the ugly ones included).
Karl Marx (Selected Letters: The Personal Correspondence 1844-1877)
He began to trace a pattern on the table with the nail of his thumb. "She kept saying she wanted to keep things exactly the way they were, and that she wished she could stop everything from changing. She got really nervous, like, talking about the future. She once told me that she could see herself now, and she could also see the kind of life she wanted to have - kids, husband, suburbs, you know - but she couldn't figure out how to get from point A to point B.
Jodi Picoult (The Pact)
Perfectly Imperfect We have all heard that no two snowflakes are alike. Each snowflake takes the perfect form for the maximum efficiency and effectiveness for its journey. And while the universal force of gravity gives them a shared destination, the expansive space in the air gives each snowflake the opportunity to take their own path. They are on the same journey, but each takes a different path. Along this gravity-driven journey, some snowflakes collide and damage each other, some collide and join together, some are influenced by wind... there are so many transitions and changes that take place along the journey of the snowflake. But, no matter what the transition, the snowflake always finds itself perfectly shaped for its journey. I find parallels in nature to be a beautiful reflection of grand orchestration. One of these parallels is of snowflakes and us. We, too, are all headed in the same direction. We are being driven by a universal force to the same destination. We are all individuals taking different journeys and along our journey, we sometimes bump into each other, we cross paths, we become altered... we take different physical forms. But at all times we too are 100% perfectly imperfect. At every given moment we are absolutely perfect for what is required for our journey. I’m not perfect for your journey and you’re not perfect for my journey, but I’m perfect for my journey and you’re perfect for your journey. We’re heading to the same place, we’re taking different routes, but we’re both exactly perfect the way we are. Think of what understanding this great orchestration could mean for relationships. Imagine interacting with others knowing that they too each share this parallel with the snowflake. Like you, they are headed to the same place and no matter what they may appear like to you, they have taken the perfect form for their journey. How strong our relationships would be if we could see and respect that we are all perfectly imperfect for our journey.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
I used to lie here like this all summer long,' I tell her. 'I'd come up here and just stare at the sky.' She rolls over on her back so she's staring up as well. 'Bet this view hasn't changed much, has it?' What she says is so simple i almost laugh. She's right, of course. 'No. This looks exactly the same.' I suppose that's the secret, If you're ever wishing for things to go back to the way they were. You just have to look up.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
The dead are never exactly seen by the living, but many people seem acutely aware of something changed around them. They speak of a chill in the air. The mates of the deceased wake from dreams and see a figure standing at the end of thier bed, or in a doorway, or boarding, phantomlike, a city bus.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
It’s funny how one summer can change everything. It must be something about the heat and the smell of chlorine, fresh-cut grass and honeysuckle, asphalt sizzling after late-day thunderstorms, the steam rising while everything drips around it. Something about long, lazy days and whirring air conditioners and bright plastic flip-flops from the drugstore thwacking down the street. Something about fall being so close, another year, another Christmas, another beginning. So much in one summer, stirring up like the storms that crest at the end of each day, blowing out all the heat and dirt to leave everything gasping and cool. Everyone can reach back to one summer and lay a finger to it, finding the exact point when everything changed. That summer was mine.
Sarah Dessen (That Summer)
What if I told you 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same? Doubt you'd be happy. So, why are you afraid of change?
Karen Salmansohn
When you know something’s wrong, but you don’t know exactly what it is, the air around you changes.
Sarah Addison Allen (Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1))
Don’t say you don’t have enough time or enough money to change the world. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Gandhi, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci and Jesus Christ.
Shannon L. Alder
If I had a camera," I said, "I'd take a picture of you every day. That way I'd remember how you looked every single day of your life." "I look exactly the same." "No, you don't. You're changing all the time. Every day a tiny bit. If I could, I'd keep a record of it all." "If you're so smart, how did I change today?" "You got a fraction of a millimeter taller, for one thing. Your hair grew a fraction of a millimeter longer. And your breasts grew a fraction of a—" "They did not!" "Yes, they did." "Did NOT." "Did too." "What else, you big pig?" "You got a little happier and also a little sadder." "Meaning they cancel out each other, leaving me exactly the same." "Not at all. The fact that you got a little happier today doesn't change the fact that you also become a little sadder. Every day you become a little more of both, which means that right now, at this exact moment, you're the happiest and the saddest you've ever been in your whole life." "How do you know?" "Think about it. Have you ever been happier or sadder than right now, lying here in this grass?" "I guess not. No." "And have you ever been sadder?" "No." "It isn't like that for everyone, you know. Some people[...]" "What about you? Are you the happiest and saddest right now that you've ever been?" "Of course I am." "Why?" "Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
That was the exact moment my heart threaded with hers. It was as if someone reached down with a sewing needle and stitched my soul to hers. How could one woman be so sharp and so vulnerable at the same time? Whatever would happen to her would happen to me. Whatever pain she would feel, I would feel it too. I wanted it — that was the surprising part. Selfish, self centered Caleb Drake loved a girl so much he could already feel himself changing to accommodate her needs. I fell. Hard. For the rest of this life and probably the next. I wanted her — every last inch of her stubborn, combative, catty heart.
Tarryn Fisher (Thief (Love Me with Lies, #3))
...as I watched all the problems you were struggling with, I realized how much you meant to me. It changed everything. I was worried about you—so, so worried. You have no idea. And it became useless to try to act like I could ever put any Moroi life above yours. It's not going to happen, no matter how wrong others say it is. And so I decided that's something I have to deal with. Once I made that decision...there was nothing to hold us back." He hesitated, seeming to replay his words as he brushed my hair from my face. "Well, to hold me back. I'm speaking for myself. I don't mean to act like I know exactly why you did it." "I did it because I love you," I said, like it was the most obvious thing in the world. And really, it was.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
The mistake is to assume that rulers who came to power through institutions cannot change or destroy those very institutions—even when that is exactly what they have announced that they will do.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one's own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage alone a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come. I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
So here's the truth - I love you. I love everything about you – the way you stick up for people even when it costs you. The way you keep trying to do the right thing even when you're not exactly sure what the right thing is. I love how you put words together. You're as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what's best in themselves. You've changed my life. You've given me the words I need to become whatever I want. I love how you talk to lytlings. You don't talk down to them. You respect them, and anybody can tell you're actually interested in what they have to say. I love the way you ride a horse – how you stick there like an upland thistle, whooping like a Demonai. I love the way you throw back your head and stomp your feet when you dance. I love how you go after what you want – whether it's kisses or a queendom. I love your skin, like copper dusted over with gold. And your eyes – they're the color of a forest lake shaded by evergreens. One of the secret places that only the Demonai know about. I love the scent of you – when you've been out in the fresh air, and that perfume you put behind your ears sometimes. Believe it or not, I even love your road smell – of sweat and horses and leather and wool. I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life.
Cinda Williams Chima (The Crimson Crown (Seven Realms, #4))
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it's the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw, my inability to change. I don't think I'm alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it's kind of everyone's flaw. Staying exactly the same for as long as possible, standing perfectly still... It feels safer somehow. And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took that leap of faith, went outside the box, did something unexpected... Who knows what other pain might be out there, waiting for you. Chances are it could be even worse. So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn't seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You're not a drug addict. You're not killing anyone... Except maybe yourself a little. When we finally do change, I don't think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we're like this different person. I think it's smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn't even notice unless they looked at us really close. Which, thank God, they never do. But you notice it. Inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever... that you'll never have to change again.
Laura J. Burns
No one else knows exactly what the future holds for you, no one else knows what obstacles you've overcome to be where you are, so don't expect others to feel as passionate about your dreams as you do.
Germany Kent
And so I made the decision to change. It might seem like change was impossible, given my nature and my age, but I understood exactly what there was to lose. It was chemistry all over again. The point wasn’t whether or not I liked it. The point was it had to be done.
Ann Patchett (The Dutch House)
How does it feel? I feels exactly like one of those dreams in which you suddenly realize that you have to take a test you haven't studied for and you aren't wearing any clothes. And you've left your wallet at home. When I am out there, in time, I am inverted, changed into a desperate version of myself. I become a thief, a vagrant, an animal who runs and hides. I startle old women and amaze children. I am a trick, an illusion of the highest order, so incredible that I am actually true.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
I gaze out at the glittering sea, the breathtaking sky above it, and think of birds and the moment before the fall, and how my sister as a child had been strong enough for the both of us, and I wonder when exactly that changed. I don't know when, but it did. Jake was right - I'm strong in a way June never was. Because I know that I want to be here. Even with the pain. Even with the ugliness. I've seen the other side - marching side by side down city streets with people who all believe they can change the world and the view of the sunset from Fridgehenge and Tom Waits lyrics and doing the waltz and kisses so hot they melt into each other and best friends who hold your hand and stretching out underneath a sky draped with stars and everything else. There is so much beauty in just existing. In being alive. I don't want to miss a second.
Hannah Harrington (Saving June)
Neville recommends at the end of every day, before you go to sleep, to think through the events of the day. If any events or moments did not go the way you wanted, replay them in your mind in a way that thrills you. As you recreate those events in your mind exactly as you want, you are cleaning up your frequency from the day and you are emitting a new signal and frequency for tomorrow. You have intentionally created new picture for your future. It is never too late to change the pictures.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret (The Secret, #1))
To argue that the current extinction event could be averted if people just cared more and were willing to make more sacrifices is not wrong, exactly; still, it misses the point. It doesn’t much matter whether people care or don’t care. What matters is that people change the world. This capacity predates modernity,
Elizabeth Kolbert (The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History)
Lieutenant Chatrand: I don’t understand this omnipotent-benevolent thing. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: You are confused because the Bible describes God as an omnipotent and benevolent deity. Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning. Lieutenant Chatrand: I understand the concept. It’s just... there seems to be a contradiction. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man’s starvation, war, sickness... Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly! Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn’t he? Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would He? Lieutenant Chatrand: Well... if God Loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Do you have children? Lieutenant Chatrand: No, signore. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Imagine you had an eight-year-old son... would you love him? Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would you let him skateboard? Lieutenant Chatrand: Yeah, I guess. Sure I’d let him skateboard, but I’d tell him to be careful. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So as this child’s father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes? Lieutenant Chatrand: I wouldn’t run behind him and mollycoddle him if that’s what you mean. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: But what if he fell and skinned his knee? Lieutenant Chatrand: He would learn to be more careful. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child’s pain, you would choose to show you love by letting him learn his own lessons? Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It’s how we learn. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
While times are changing at a lightning-fast pace, new rules exact inexorable adjustments, in line with our encounters, consistent with our experiences, and in step with our needs. If they appear, however, to be incompatible with our inner self, they may raise a hell of a war in our mind and compel us to take to the hills. (“If he doesn't play ball»)
Erik Pevernagie
For one brief, never-ending second, an entirely different path expanded behind the lids of my tear-wet eyes. As if I were looking through the filter of Jacob's thoughts, I could see exactly what I was going to give up, exactly what this new self-knowledge would not save me from losing. I could see Charlie and Renée mixed into a strange collage with Billy and Sam and La Push. I could see years passing, and meaning something as they passed, changing me. I could see the enormous red-brown wolf that I loved, always standing as protector if I needed him. For the tiniest fragment of a second, I saw the bobbing heads of two small, black-haired children, running away from me into the familiar forest. When they disappeared, they took the rest of the vision with them.
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
In Paris the cashiers sit rather than stand. They run your goods over a scanner, tally up the price, and then ask you for exact change. The story they give is that there aren't enough euros to go around. "The entire EU is short on coins." And I say, "Really?" because there are plenty of them in Germany. I'm never asked for exact change in Spain or Holland or Italy, so I think the real problem lies with the Parisian cashiers, who are, in a word, lazy. Here in Tokyo they're not just hard working but almost violently cheerful. Down at the Peacock, the change flows like tap water. The women behind the registers bow to you, and I don't mean that they lower their heads a little, the way you might if passing someone on the street. These cashiers press their hands together and bend from the waist. Then they say what sounds to me like "We, the people of this store, worship you as we might a god.
David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames)
If we want to use forests as a weapon in the fight against climate change, then we must allow them to grow old, which is exactly what large conservation groups are asking us to do.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World)
-It's extremely cool how the words can stay the same but their meaning can change. -Because the reader changes. -EXACTLY
Doug Dorst (S.)
Man is an onion made up of a hundred integuments, a texture made up of many threads. The ancient Asiatics knew this well enough, and in the Buddhist Yoga an exact technique was devised for unmasking the illusion of the personality. The human merry-go-round sees many changes: the illusion that cost India the efforts of thousands of years to unmask is the same illusion that the West has labored just as hard to maintain and strengthen.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
Because the terrible thing about becoming an adult is being forced to realize that absolutely nobody cares about us, we have to deal with everything ourselves now, find out how the whole world works. Work and pay bills, use dental floss and get to meetings on time, stand in line and fill out forms, come to grips with cables and put furniture together, change tires on the car and charge the phone and switch the coffee machine off and not forget to sign the kids up for swimming lessons. We open our eyes in the morning and life is just waiting to tip a fresh avalanche of "Don't Forget!"s and "Remember!"s over us. We don't have time to think or breathe, we just wake up and start digging through the heap, because there will be another one dumped on us tomorrow. We look around occasionally, at our place of work or at parents' meetings or out in the street, and realize with horror that everyone else seems to know exactly what they're doing. We're the only ones who have to pretend. Everyone else can afford stuff and has a handle on other stuff and enough energy to deal with even more stuff. And everyone else's children can swim.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
But things change. People change. Change was one of the inevitable laws of nature, exacting its toll on people’s lives. Mistakes are made, regrets form, and all that was left were repercussions that made something as simple as rising from the bed seem almost laborious.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
The terrible things that happen to us in life never make any sense when we're in the middle of them, floundering, no end in sight. There is no rope to hang on to, it seems. Mothers can soothe children during those times, through their reassurance. No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you'd had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childgood goes with her. Memories are very different and cannot soothe you the same way her touch did.
Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1))
Alone everything changes. Some might call it distorted reality but it's exactly the place I need to be.
Ellen Hopkins (Crank (Crank, #1))
It all matters. How we live matters. Do we choose love or do we choose hate? Do we help or do we harm? Because there is no way to know the exact second your life changes forever. You can only begin to know that moment by looking in the rearview mirror. And trust me when I tell you when you never, ever see it coming.
Anthony Ray Hinton (The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row)
A tale, like the universe, they tell us, expands ceaselessly each time you examine it, until there is finally no telling exactly where it begins, where it ends, or where it places you now.
Chang-rae Lee (On Such a Full Sea)
Funny how time goes on, things change, and yet, some things stay exactly the same.
Lisa Schroeder (Far from You)
I, sometimes, fear that probably I'll just keep changing cities, and may be someday I'll also travel the world, but never find another soul who thinks exactly the way I do.
Sanhita Baruah
I've proved my point. I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... Only you won't admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling! God you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I bet. Something like that... Something like that happened to me, you know. I... I'm not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice! Ha ha ha! But my point is... My point is, I went crazy. When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you? I mean, you're not unintelligent! You must see the reality of the situation. Do you know how many times we've come close to world war three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Do you know what triggered the last world war? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! Telegraph poles! Ha ha ha ha HA! It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing?
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
She still hadn't caught on. Alec sighed. "Change your gown, Jamie, if that's your inclination. I prefer white. Now go and do my bidding. The hour grows late and we must be on our way." He'd deliberately lengthened his speech, giving her time to react to his announcement. He thought he was being most considerate. She thought he was demented. Jamie was, at first, too stunned to do more than stare in horror at the warlord. When she finally gained her voice, she shouted, "It will be a frigid day in heaven before I marry you, milord, a frigid day indeed." "You've just described the Highlands in winter, lass. And you will marry me." "Never." Exactly one hour later, Lady Jamison was wed to Alec Kincaid.
Julie Garwood (The Bride (Lairds' Fiancées, #1))
You know, I'm not sure you picked the right alias. Insomnia is too passive. I vote we change it to Velociraptor." Ruby laughed. "Relatively small, but surprisingly ferocious?" "Exactly. All in favor?
Marissa Meyer (Renegades (Renegades, #1))
The unknown is scary the Unknown can also be exciting. Your life could change in an instant anytime. But sometimes, that change is the best thing that will ever happen to you.Maybe I don’t have to know what my fate is to know that everything will be okay. Maybe the not knowing is how we move forward. Wherever I’m headed, I know it’s exactly where I’m supposed to be.
Susane Colasanti
She certainly did not hate him. No; hatred had vanished long ago, and she had almost as long been ashamed of ever feeling a dislike against him, that could be so called. The respect created by the conviction of his valuable qualities, though at first unwillingly admitted, had for some time ceased to be repugnant to her feelings; and it was now heightened into somewhat of a friendlier nature, by the testimony so highly in his favour, and bringing forward his disposition in so amiable a light, which yesterday had produced. But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive within her of good will which could not be overlooked. It was gratitude.--Gratitude not merely for having once loved her, but for loving her still well enough, to forgive all the petulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him, and all the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. He who, she had been persuaded, would avoid her as his greatest enemy, seemed, on this accidental meeting, most eager to preserve the acquaintance, and without any indelicate display of regard, or any peculiarity of manner, where their two selves only were concerned, was soliciting the good opinion of her friends, and bent on making her known to his sister. Such a change in a man of so much pride, excited not only astonishment but gratitude--for to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not exactly be defined.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
No human face is exactly the same in its lines on each side, no leaf perfect in its lobes, no branch in its symmetry. All admit irregularity as they imply change; and to banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality. All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life may be Effort, and the law of human judgment, Mercy.
John Ruskin
I don't think there are enough words in the world that exist to express exactly just how much I love my son! He's right there in the front of my soul, he can turn me into an eagle, a lioness, a tigress, a swan! A goof or a queen! There's no underestimating just how much I love him; I surround him like the ocean surrounds the ships! I never wanted to change the world, until he came along and showed me that he deserves a better world to live in!
C. JoyBell C.
The world was not like him and was not going to change for him. The trick to getting through life, she'd told him, is not to resent it when it isn't exactly how you think it should be.
Sarah Addison Allen (Lost Lake (Lost Lake, #1))
The fact that you got a little happier today doesn't change the fact that you also became a little sadder. Every day you become a little more of both, which means that right now, at this exact moment, you're the happiest and saddest you've ever been in your whole life.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
GLINDA: Well,I'm a public figure now! People expect me to-- ELPHABA: Lie? GLINDA: (fiercely) Be encouraging! And what exactly have you been doing? Besides riding on around on that filthy thing! ELPHABA: Well, we can't all come and go by bubble. Whose invention was that, the Wizard's? Of course, even if it wasn't, I'm sure he'd still take credit for it. GLINDA: Yes, well, a lot of us are taking things that don't belong to us, aren't we? Uh oh! The two stare daggers at each other, then... ELPHABA: Now, wait just a clock-tick. I know it's difficult for that blissful blonde brain of yours to comprehend that someone like him could actually choose someone like me!But it's happened. It's real. And you can wave that ridiculous wand all you want, you can't change it! He never belonged to you -- he doesn't love you, he never did! He loves me!
Stephen Schwartz (Wicked: The Complete Book and Lyrics of the Broadway Musical)
The Amoeba?" she asked Aiden. "The gang," he said, tossing his hand to indicate all around. "My people. A large amorphous mass that keeps on changing size, hasn't much apparent use, sometimes makes you sick, and occasionally breaks off into smaller parts that act exactly like the parent.
Annette Curtis Klause (Blood and Chocolate)
Live each day as if it's our last', that was the conventional advice, but really who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and you relectric typewriter and work hard at...something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
David Nicholls
Everyone knows that the Internet is changing our lives, mostly because someone in the media has uttered that exact phrase every single day since 1993. However, it certainly appears that the main thing the Internet has accomplished is the normalization of amateur pornography. There is no justification for the amount of naked people on the World Wide Web, many of whom are clearly (clearly!) doing so for non-monetary reasons. Where were these people fifteen years ago? Were there really millions of women in 1986 turning to their husbands and saying, 'You know, I would love to have total strangers masturbate to images of me deep-throating a titanium dildo, but there's simply no medium for that kind of entertainment. I guess we'll just have to sit here and watch Falcon Crest again.
Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto)
And exactly how does a miserable face help the war effort?" he asked sharply, his mood beginning to change. "Will a frown bring back the dead or fortify a town? If I allow myself to laugh in the face of misery, I rest my mind from the stress of it all, and then it'll work the better for you and your war. And if I'm really to be one of your advisers, Your Majesty, accept this piece of advise: Take happiness where and when you find it, because there is going to be precious little of it in the next few months!
Stuart Hill (The Cry of the Icemark)
Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Without much accuracy, with strangely little love at all, your family will decide for you exactly who you are, and they'll keep nudging, coaxing, poking you until you've changed into that very simple shape.
Allan Gurganus (White People)
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.” Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?” “Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.” “Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?” “One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.” He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.” “I already feel that way,” I said quietly. Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.” I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
My entire life has changed in the span of three weeks, but as the seals howl against the Pacific, everything around me remains exactly the same.
Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer)
It's a thought," I said with a grin. "That's exactly what it is, Dan - a thought - no more real than the shadow of a shadow. Consciousness is not In the body; the body is In Consciousness. And you Are that Consciousness - no the phantom mind that troubles you so. You are the body, but you are everything else, too. That is what your visions revealed to you. Only the mind resists change. When you relax mindless into the body, you are happy and content and free, sensing no separation. Immortality is Already yours, but not in the same way you imagined or hope for. You have been immortal since before you were born and will be long after the body dissolves. The body is in Consciousness; never born; never dies; only changes. The mind - your ego, personal beliefs, history, and identity - is all that ends at death. And who needs it?" Socrates leaned back into his chair. "I'm not sure all of that sank in." "Of course not." He laughed. "Words mean little unless you realize the truth of it yourself. And when you do, you'll be free at last.
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you'd had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childhood goes with her.
Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1))
God! You'll do anything to avoid it.' Avoid what?' my mother said. The past,' Caroline said. 'Our past. I'm tired of acting like nothing ever happened, of pretending he was never here, of not seeing his pictures in the house, or his things Just because you're not able to let yourself grieve.' Don't,' my mother said, her voice low, 'talk to me about grief. You have no idea.' I do, though.' Caroline's voice caught, and she swallowed. 'I'm not trying to hide that I'm sad. I'm not trying to forget. You hide here behind all these plans for houses and townhouses because they're new and perfect and don't remind you of anything.' Stop it,' my mother said. And look at Macy,' Caroline continued, ignoring this.' Do you even know what you're doing to her?' My mother looked at me, and I shrank back, trying to stay out of this. 'Macy is fine,' my mother said. No, she's not. God you always say that, but she's not.' Caroline looked at me, as if she wanted me to jump in, but I just sat there. 'Have you even been paying the least bit of attention to what's going on with her? She's been miserable since Dad died, pushing herself so hard to please you. And then, this summer, she finally finds some friends and something she likes to do. But then one tiny slipup, and you take it all away from her.' That has nothing to do with what we're talking about,' my mother said. It has everything to do with it,' Caroline shot back. 'She was finally getting over what happened. Couldn't you see the change in her? I could, and I was berely here. She was different.' Exactly,' my mother said. 'She was-' Happy,' Caroline finished for her. 'She was starting to live her life again, and it scared you. Just like me redoing the beach house scares you. You think you're so strong becasue you never talk about Dad. Anyone can hide. Facing up to things, working through them, that's what makes you strong.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don't allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It's there for your convenience, not the callers. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is. Don't burn bridges. You'll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don't major in minor things. Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don't spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don't waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, 'Gee, if I'd only spent more time at the office'. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don't want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who's right, more time deciding what's right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it's impossible to fail.
Jackson H. Brown Jr.
The technique of a great seducer requires a facility and an indifference in passing from one object of affection to another which I could never have; however that may be, my loves have left me more often than I have left them, for I have never been able to understand how one could have enough of any beloved. The desire to count up exactly the riches which each new love brings us, and to see it change, and perhaps watch it grow old, accords ill with multiplicity of conquests.
Marguerite Yourcenar (Memoirs of Hadrian)
Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess — no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity — back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth — all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death. At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood -- knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children -- the old and young -- the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe -- the young man and the merry maiden -- the loving mother and the laughing child -- because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds -- everything that walked or crawled or flew -- because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power -- an arbitrary mind -- an enthroned God -- a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world -- to which all causes bow? I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man. Is there a God? I do not know. Is man immortal? I do not know. One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be. We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol 1: Lectures)
There’s a scientific phenomenon to describe something that happens when an object is in motion. You think you know exactly what path it will take and where it will end up. Then suddenly, for no reason you can see . . . the arc changes. It goes somewhere you would never have expected.
Cassandra Clare (Born to Endless Night (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #9))
What you call love does not sound very beautiful. Think of the way we adore the Throne. That adoration makes us the best version of ourselves. We feel encouraged to go further with or instincts, not to change ourselves for love. If I were yours and you were mine, I would want you to be exactly as you are. I would never eclipse you with my desires.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
We feel encouraged to go further with our instincts, not to change ourselves for love. If I were yours and you were mine, I would want you to be exactly as you are. I would never eclipse you with my desires.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
... we are so full of apprehensions, fears, that we don't know exactly to what it points... a great change of our psychoglocal attitude is imminent, that is certain...because we need more understanding of human nature because ...the only real danger that exists is man himself... and we know nothing of man - his psyche should be studied because we are the origin of all coming evil...
C.G. Jung
Then I thought of the drive back, late at night, along the starlit river to this rickety antique New England hotel on a shoreline that I hoped would remind us both of the bay of B., and of Van Gogh's starry nights, and of the night I joined him on the rock and kissed him on the neck, and of the last night when we walked together on the coast road, sensing we'd run out of last-minute miracles to put off his leaving. I imagined being in his car asking myself, Who knows, would I want to, would he want to, perhaps a nightcap at the bar would decide, knowing that, all through dinner that evening, he and I would be worrying about the same exact thing, hoping it might happen, praying it might not, perhaps a nightcap would decide - I could just read it on his face as I pictured him looking away while uncorking a bottle of wine or while changing the music, because he too would catch the thought racing through my mind and want me to know he was debating the exact same thing, because, as he'd pour the wine for his wife, for me, for himself, it would finally dawn on us both that he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself. In the weeks we'd been thrown together that summer, our lives had scarcely touched, but we had crossed to the other bank, where time stops and heaven reaches down to earth and gives us that ration of what is from birth divinely ours. We looked the other way. We spoke of everything but. But we've always known, and not saying anything now confirmed it all the more. We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
But I’ve kept first of March as my birthday as I like to tease Zed about dating an older woman. And my parents wouldn’t understand if I told them about the soulfinder bond and tried to change it.” “They don’t know?” “Well, I think they’ve picked up that there’s something special between Zed and me but I’m not sure how I’d even start to explain to non-savants. I was exactly overjoyed when Zed filled me in about it all the first time.” “What did you do?” “Thumped him with a shopping bag and told him he was a jerk.” “Ouch.
Joss Stirling (Stealing Phoenix (Benedicts, #2))
Dimitri: "You're burned in my mind forever. There's nothing, nothing in this world that could ever change that'" Rose: "And it was memories like that that made it hard to even comprehend this quest to kill him, even if he is a Strigoi. Yet . . at the same time, it was exactly memories like that that...i had to destroy him. I needed to remember him as the man who'd love me and held me in bed. I needed to remember that that man would'nt want to stay a monster.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
I don't know how to say it exactly. Only...I want to die as myself. Does that make any sense?' he asks. I shake my head. How could he die as anyone but himself. 'I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
The return of the voices would end in a migraine that made my whole body throb. I could do nothing except lie in a blacked-out room waiting for the voices to get infected by the pains in my head and clear off. Knowing I was different with my OCD, anorexia and the voices that no one else seemed to hear made me feel isolated, disconnected. I took everything too seriously. I analysed things to death. I turned every word, and the intonation of every word over in my mind trying to decide exactly what it meant, whether there was a subtext or an implied criticism. I tried to recall the expressions on people’s faces, how those expressions changed, what they meant, whether what they said and the look on their faces matched and were therefore genuine or whether it was a sham, the kind word touched by irony or sarcasm, the smile that means pity. When people looked at me closely could they see the little girl in my head, being abused in those pornographic clips projected behind my eyes? That is what I would often be thinking and such thoughts ate away at the façade of self-confidence I was constantly raising and repairing. (describing dissociative identity disorder/mpd symptoms)
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Many people say, "Well, I'd love to make a decision like that, but I'm not sure how I could change my life." They're paralyzed by the fear that they don't know exactly how to turn their dreams into reality. And as a result, they never make the decisions that could make their lives into the masterpieces they deserve to be. I'm here to tell you that it's not important initially to know how you're going to create a result. What's important is to decide you will find a way, no matter what.
Anthony Robbins
Public schools were not only created in the interests of industrialism—they were created in the image of industrialism. In many ways, they reflect the factory culture they were designed to support. This is especially true in high schools, where school systems base education on the principles of the assembly line and the efficient division of labor. Schools divide the curriculum into specialist segments: some teachers install math in the students, and others install history. They arrange the day into standard units of time, marked out by the ringing of bells, much like a factory announcing the beginning of the workday and the end of breaks. Students are educated in batches, according to age, as if the most important thing they have in common is their date of manufacture. They are given standardized tests at set points and compared with each other before being sent out onto the market. I realize this isn’t an exact analogy and that it ignores many of the subtleties of the system, but it is close enough.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
Parents don't always like to admit that things have changed. They want the world to be exactly the way it was before their children went away on these life-changing adventures, and when the world doesn't oblige, they try to force it into the boxes they build for us.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1))
I think sexy is a grown-up word to describes a person who's confident that she is already exactly who she was made to be. A sexy woman knows herself and she likes the way she looks, thinks & feels. She doesn't try to change to match anybody else. She's a good friend herself kind and patient. and she knows how to use her words to tell people she trusts about what's going on inside of her-her fears and anger, love, dreams the mistakes, and needs. When she's angry she expresses her anger in healthy ways. When she's joyful, she does the same thing. She doesn't hide her true self because she is not ashamed. She knows she's just human-exactly how God made her and that's good enough. She's brave enough to be honest and kind enough to except others when they're honest. When two people are sexy enough to be brave and kind with each other, that's love. Sexy is more about how you feel and how you look. Real sexy is letting your true self come out of hiding and find love in safe places. That kind of sexy is good, really good, because we all we want and need love more than anything else
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
And along with indifference to space, there was an even more complete indifference to time. "There seems to be plenty of it", was all I would answer when the investigator asked me to say what I felt about time. Plenty of it, but exactly how much was entirely irrelevant. I could, of course, have looked at my watch but my watch I knew was in another universe. My actual experience had been, was still, of an indefinite duration. Or alternatively, of a perpetual present made up of one continually changing apocalypse.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell)
As I would soon learn myself, cleaning up what a parent leaves behind stirs up dust, both literal and metaphorical. It dredges up memories. You feel like you’re a kid again, poking around in your parents’ closet, only this time there’s no chance of getting in trouble, so you don’t have to be so sure that everything gets put back exactly where it was before you did your poking around. Still, you hope to find something, or maybe you fear finding something, that will completely change your conception of the parent you thought you knew.
Roz Chast
I am resolutely opposed to all innovation, all change, but I am determined to understand what’s happening. Because I don’t choose just to sit and let the juggernaut roll over me. Many people seem to think that if you talk about something recent, you’re in favor of it. The exact opposite is true in my case. Anything I talk about is almost certainly something I’m resolutely against. And it seems to me the best way to oppose it is to understand it. And then you know where to turn off the buttons.
Marshall McLuhan (Forward Through The Rearview Mirror: Reflections On And By Marshall Mc Luhan)
To the innocent onlooker it might seem sort of sweet. To me it seems like he's saying "I don't respect your decision not to want to fuck me, and I will manipulate the hell out of your emotions until you change your mind.
Laura Steven (The Exact Opposite of Okay (Izzy O'Neill, #1))
The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a different. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Carona electric typewriter and work hard at ... something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible. East sensibly. Stuff like that.
David Nicholls (One Day)
you should change your Password" "not exactly a priority so I haven't got'round to it" "I'll do it for you"I offered. His arms gave me a squeeze and he grinned. "What'll you chose?" before I could stop my mouth from forming the words, I said "Shebitchfromhell666
Kristen Ashley (The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1))
You know how your eyes can deceive you at times--how a group of shapes and shadows can take on a certain form and then shift into another? It wasn't really like that; there was no physical change in him, he was exactly the same as he'd always been. I knew every line of his long body and every curl on his disheveled black head. I'd just never seen him before. you know what I'm trying to say, don't you? The change is in the heart.
Elizabeth Peters (The Falcon at the Portal (Amelia Peabody, #11))
The Party denied the free will of the individual - and at the same time it exacted his willing self-sacrifice. It denied his capacity to choose between two alternatives - and at the same time it demanded that he should constantly choose the right one. It denied his power to distinguish good and evil - and at the same time spoke pathetically of guilt and treachery. The individual stood under the sign of economic fatality, a wheel in a clockwork which had been wound up for all eternity and could not be stopped or influenced - and the Party demanded that the wheel should revolt against the clockwork and change its course. There was somewhere an error in the calculation; the equation did not work out.
Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon)
Let the tutor not merely require a verbal account of what the boy has been taught but the meaning and the substance of it: let him judge how the child has profited from it not from the evidence of his memory but from that of his life. Let him take what the boy has just learned and make him show him dozens of different aspects of it and then apply it to just as many different subjects, in order to find out whether he has really grasped it and make it part of himself, judging the boy's progress by what Plato taught about education. Spewing up food exactly as you have swallowed it is evidence of a failure to digest and assimilate it; the stomach has not done its job if, during concoction, it fails to change the substance and the form of what it is given.
Michel de Montaigne (The Essays: A Selection)
There are great drifting theatre curtains in the sky, and they change color as she watches: green goes to purple, purple to vermilion, vermilion to a queer bloody shade of red she cannot name. Russet perhaps comes close, but that isn't it exactly. She thinks no one has ever named the shade she's seeing.
Stephen King (Lisey's Story)
If your values correspond completely with the ones prevalent in society currently, or if what you believe as your core values keep changing with time, then it might be possible that you never actually discovered what you value the most.
Prem Jagyasi
Sooner or later, we are bound to discover some things about ourselves that we don't like. But once we see they're there, we can decide what we want to do with them. Do we want to get rid of them completely, change them into other things, or use them in beneficial ways? The last two approaches are often especially Useful, since they avoid head on conflict, and therefore minimize struggle. Also, they allow those transformed characteristics to be added to the list of things we have that help us out. In a similar manner, instead of struggling to erase what are referred to as negative emotions, we can learn to use them in positive ways. We could describe the principle like this: while pounding on the piano keys may produce noise, removing them doesn't exactly further the creation of music.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at … something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible.
David Nicholls
Granny Weatherwax was firmly against fiction. Life was hard enough without lies floating around and changing the way people thought. And because the theater was fiction made flesh, she hated the theater most of all. But that was it—hate was exactly the right word. Hate is a force of attraction. Hate is just love with its back turned.
Terry Pratchett (Maskerade (Discworld, #18))
What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition – tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star… Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I found myself in a strange deserted city – an old city, like London – underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly – past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble. I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below. I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple… click click click… the Pyramids… the Parthenon. History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment. 'I thought I'd find you here,' said a voice at my elbow. It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple. I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know,' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.' He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum… click click click… the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead,' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.' 'What?' He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted,' he said. 'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.' Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him. 'That information is classified, I'm afraid.' 1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor. 'Is it open to the public?' I said. 'Not generally, no.' I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point. 'Are you happy here?' I said at last. He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly,' he said. 'But you're not very happy where you are, either.' St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch. 'I hope you'll excuse me,' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.' He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
As a therapist, I know a lot about pain, about the ways in which pain is tied to loss. But I also know something less commonly understood: that change and loss travel together. We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same. To help John, I’m going to have to figure out what his loss would be, but first, I’m going to have to understand mine. Because right now, all I can think about is what my boyfriend did last night. The idiot! I look back at John and think: I hear you, brother.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
I was the dhampir daughter of the family patriarch, the little known stain on an otherwise immaculate record. Louis-Cesare, on the other hand, was vamp royalty. The only Child of Mircea’s younger, and far stranger, brother Radu, he was a first-level master--the highest and rarest vampire rank. A month ago, the prince and the pariah had crossed paths because we had one thing in common: we were very good at killing things. And Mircea’s bug-eyed crazy brother Vlad had needed killing if anyone ever had. The collaboration hadn’t exactly been stress free, but to my surprise, we eventually sorted things out and got the job done. By the end, I’d even started to think that it was kind of nice, having someone to watch my back for a change. Sometimes, I could be really stupid.
Karen Chance (Death's Mistress (Dorina Basarab, #2))
There had been a long period of time during which he remembered being very happy. But things change. People change. Change was one of the most inevitable laws of nature, exacting its toll on people's lives. Mistakes are made, regrets form, and all that was left were repercussions that made something as simple as rising from the bed seem almost laborious.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
Like a flower pressed flat and dried, we try to hold it still and say, this is exactly how it was the day I first saw it. But like the flower, the past cannot be trapped that way. It loses its fragrance and and its vitality, its fragility becomes brittleness and its colors fade. And when next you look on the flower, you know that it is not at all what you sought to capture, that that moment has fled forever.
Robin Hobb (Fool's Errand (Tawny Man, #1))
Belief is not subject to the will. Men think as they must. Children do not, and cannot, believe exactly as they were taught. They are not exactly like their parents. They differ in temperament, in experience, in capacity, in surroundings. And so there is a continual, though almost imperceptible change. There is development, conscious and unconscious growth, and by comparing long periods of time we find that the old has been almost abandoned, almost lost in the new.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Superstition and Other Essays)
I had a feeling once about Mathematics - that I saw it all. Depth beyond depth was revealed to me - the Byss and Abyss. I saw - as one might see the transit of Venus or even the Lord Mayor's Show - a quantity passing through infinity and changing its sign from plus to minus. I saw exactly why it happened and why the tergiversation was inevitable but it was after dinner and I let it go.
Winston S. Churchill (My Early Life, 1874-1904)
And what are your interests and hobbies, Nicholas?" Annabel asked faintly, sounding like a cross between a television interviewer and a hostage. Nick considered this for a minute, and then said "I like swords." Annabel leaned over her plate and asked, her voice changing "You fence?" "Not exactly," Nick drawled. "I'm more freestyle.
Sarah Rees Brennan (The Demon's Covenant)
Fai: But... Don't you think they've changed? At the start of our travels, Syaoran-kun never smiled at all. Like he was suffering. And maybe it was because Sakura lost all of her memories but she always seemed so unsure of herself. And Kuro-run, you were always angry. And now you're exactly the same. Kurogane: Huh? Fai: But... During our travels, there are a lot of painful spots, but there are also fun times. And when I see those two giving it their all and smiling... I can't help but think they've changed. Kurogane: If you think that, then you've changed too.
CLAMP
Grace is when you aren’t striving or controlling or trying to change or manipulate or make something happen. Grace is when you find yourself carried along, when all that’s left to do is receive. Grace is when you know you’re loved, exactly as you are. Grace is an entirely different way of experiencing life. Another word for grace is gift.
Rob Bell (The Zimzum of Love: A New Way of Understanding Marriage)
In the problem of women was the germ of a solution, not only for their oppression, but for everybody's. The control of women in society was ingeniously effective. It was not done directly by the state. Instead the family was used- men to control women, women to control children, all to be preoccupied with one another , to turn to one another for help, to blame one another for trouble, to do violence to one another when things weren't going right. Why could this not be turned around? Could women liberating themselves, children freeing themselves, men and women beginning to understand one another, find the source of their common oppression outside rather than in one another? Perhaps then they could create nuggets of strength in their own relationships, millions of pockets of insurrection. They could revolutionize thought and behavior in exactly that seclusion of family privacy which the system had counted on to do its work of control and indoctrination. And together, instead of at odds- male, female, parents, children- they could undertake the changing of society itself.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States)
When I was born I became the visible corner of a folded map. The map has more than one route. More than one destination. The map that is the unfolding self is not exactly leading anywhere. The arrow that says YOU ARE HERE is your first coordinate. There is a lot that you can't change when you are a kid. But you can pack for the journey . . .
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
I had had a feeling of freedom because of the sudden change in my life. By comparison to what had come before, I felt immensely free. But then, once I became used to that freedom, even small tasks became more difficult. I placed constraints on myself, and filled the hours of the day. Or perhaps it was even more complicated than that. Sometimes I did exactly what I wanted to do all day—I lay on the sofa and read a book, or I typed up an old diary—and then the most terrifying sort of despair would descend on me: the very freedom I was enjoying seemed to say that what I did in my day was arbitrary, and that therefore my whole life and how I spent it was arbitrary.
Lydia Davis (Can't and Won't)
I need a name for this ink ... A name for the feeling you get when you see someone again. After many years. Someone lost to you. Or so you thought. And you remember them a certain way. In your mind, they never age. But then suddenly, there they are. Older. Changed by time. Different, but exactly the same.
Jennifer Donnelly (Stepsister)
Well, every girl with half a brain knows there’s only one thing to do when you break up with your man—” “No, we didn’t break up—” Luce said, at the exact same time as Shelby said: “Change your hair.” “Change my hair?” “Fresh start,” Shelby said. “I’ve dyed mine orange, chopped it off. Hell, once I even shaved it after this jerk really broke my heart.
Lauren Kate (Torment (Fallen, #2))
The fact that you got a little happier today doesn't change the fact that you also became a little sadder. Every day you become a little more of both, which means that right now, at this exact moment, you're the happiest and the saddest you've ever been in your whole life...Think about it it. Have you ever been happier than right now, lying here in the grass? And have you ever been sadder? It isn't like that for everyone. Some people just get happier and happier every day. And some people just get sadder and sadder. And some people, like you, get both. And what about you, are you the happiest and the saddest right now that you've ever been? Of course I am. Why? Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Small wins are exactly what they sound like, and are part of how keystone habits create widespread changes. A huge body of research has shown that small wins have enormous power, an influence disproportionate to the accomplishments of the victories themselves. “Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage,” one Cornell professor wrote in 1984. “Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favor another small win.”4.14 Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
On my way up the staircase, I tried to imagine myself coming down this very same staircase tomorrow morning. By then I might be someone else. Did I even like this someone else whom I didn’t yet know and who might not want to say good morning then or have anything to do with me for having brought him to this pass? Or would I remain the exact same person walking up this staircase, with nothing about me changed, and not one of my doubts resolved?
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
...for the first time in my life, a voice went off in my head:'You have no power over what happens in your life. Drugs dictate exactly what you're going to do. You've taken your hands off the steering wheel, and you're going wherever the drug world takes you.' That had never changed. The feeling would well up inside of me, and no matter how much I loved my girl or my band or my friends or my family, when that siren song 'Go get high now' started playing in my head, I was off.
Anthony Kiedis (Scar Tissue)
Simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at...something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.
David Nicholls (One Day)
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. —LEWIS CARROLL It’s more important to have the will to grow and stay open to all the infinite possibilities than to know exactly where you’re going. That will change as you change. Goal: Stay open to any and all possibilities that present themselves to you. You never know where success and joy will turn up.
Demi Lovato (Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year)
Of an apartment-building manager who had killed himself I was told he had lost his daughter five years before, that he had changed greatly since, and that the experience had "undermined" him. A more exact word cannot be imagined. Beginning to think is beginning to be undermined. Society has but little connection with such beginnings. The worm is in man's heart - that is where it must be sought.
Albert Camus (The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays)
Whedon: Studios will tell you: A woman cannot headline an action movie. After The Hunger Games they might stop telling you that a little bit. Whatever you think of the movie, it’s done a great service. And after The Avengers, I think it’s changing. Johansson: A lot of the female superhero movies just suck really badly. Whedon: The suck factor is not small. Johansson: They are really not well made, and already you’re fighting against the tide. There are a couple [female-driven action movies] that have worked-ish, don’t you think? Hemsworth: Angelina Jolie tends to do it pretty well, as the dominant female. Jackson: They got to get The Pro to the screen! Whedon: [Groaning] See, that is the problem. Sam is the problem! Jackson: I love that book! Whedon: [Reluctantly] The Pro is hilarious. Jackson: The Pro’s hilarious. [To the group] You ever see or hear of it? Johansson: No, what’s The Pro? Jackson: It’s [a comic book] about a hooker who gets super powers! Johansson: [Pauses] That is exactly the problem right there. Whedon: That’s why I wasn’t going to bring up The Pro! (From an Entertainment Weekly interview)
Joss Whedon
Our destination isn't clear. All I know is that I want to get there together. The Unknown is scary. I'll always have some fear about what's going to happen next. The thing is, the unknown can also be exciting. Your life could change in an instant anytime. But sometimes, that change is the best thing that will ever happen to you. Maybe I dont' have to know what my fate is to know that everything will be okay. Maybe the not knowing is how we move forward. Wherever I'm headed, I know it's exactly where I'm supposed to be.
Susane Colasanti (Something Like Fate)
He could not believe that any of them might actually hit somebody. If one did, what a nowhere way to go: killed by accident; slain not as an individual but by sheer statistical probability, by the calculated chance of searching fire, even as he himself might be at any moment. Mathematics! Mathematics! Algebra! Geometry! When 1st and 3d Squads came diving and tumbling back over the tiny crest, Bell was content to throw himself prone, press his cheek to the earth, shut his eyes, and lie there. God, oh, God! Why am I here? Why am I here? After a moment's thought, he decided he better change it to: why are we here. That way, no agency of retribution could exact payment from him for being selfish.
James Jones (The Thin Red Line)
My darkness reaches out and fumbles at a typewriter with its tongs. Your darkness reaches out with your tongs and grasps a book. There are twenty modes of change, filter and translation between us. What an extravagant coincidence it would be if the exact quality, the translucent sweetness of her cheek, the very living curve of bone between the eyebrow and hair should survive the passage! How can you share the quality of my terror in the blacked-out cell when I can only remember it and not re-create it for myself? No. Not with you. Or only with you, in part. For you were not there.
William Golding (Free Fall)
Don’t put people, or anything else, on pedestals, not even your children. Avoid global labels such as genius or weirdo. Realize those closest get the benefit of the doubt and so do the most beautiful and radiant among us. Know the halo effect causes you to see a nice person as temporarily angry and an angry person as temporarily nice. Know that one good quality, or a memory of several, can keep in your life people who may be doing you more harm than good. Pay attention to the fact that when someone seems nice and upbeat, the words coming out of his or her mouth will change in meaning, and if that same person were depressive, arrogant, or foul in some other way, your perceptions of those same exact words would change along with the person’s other features.
David McRaney (You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself)
Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun, like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now. —FRED ROGERS, MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD One of the hardest things about relationships is accepting the other person for who they are. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to change one thing or another about a friend or a loved one, but then I remember that nobody is perfect, including me. Goal: If you find yourself criticizing someone, be mindful that no one is perfect—yourself included.
Demi Lovato (Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year)
...As she grew older, she was aware of her changing position on mortality. In her youth, the topic of death was philosophical; in her thirties it was unbearable and in her forties unavoidable. In her fifties, she had dealt with it in more rational terms, arranging her last testament, itemizing assets and heirlooms, spelling out the organ donation, detailing the exact words for her living will. Now, in her sixties, she was back to being philosophical. Death was not a loss of life, but the culmination of a series of releases. It was devolving into less and less. You had to release yourself from vanity, desire, ambition, suffering, and frustration - all the accoutrements of the I, the ego. And if you die, you would disappear, leave no trace, evaporate into nothingness...
Amy Tan (Saving Fish from Drowning)
I look at the books on my library shelves. They certainly seem dormant. But what if the characters are quietly rearranging themselves? What if Emma Woodhouse doesn’t learn from her mistakes? What if Tom Jones descends into a sodden life of poaching and outlawry? What if Eve resists Satan, remembering God’s injunction and Adam’s loving advice? I imagine all the characters bustling to get back into their places as they feel me taking the book down from the shelf. “Hurry,” they say, “he’ll expect to find us exactly where he left us, never mind how much his life has changed in the meantime.
Verlyn Klinkenborg
Live each day as if it’s your last’, that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn’t practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at … something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever...
David Nicholls (One Day)
Until i die there will be these moments, moments seeming to rise up out of the ground like Macbeth's witches, when his face will come before me, that face in all its changes, when the exact timbre of his voice and tricks of his speech will nearly burst my ears, when his smell will overpower my nostrils. Sometimes, in the days which are coming--God grant me the grace to live them--in the glare of the grey morning, sour-mouthed, eyelids raw and red, hair tangled and damp from my stormy sleep, facing, over coffee and cigarette smoke, last night's impenetrable, meaningless boy who will shortly rise and vanish like the smoke, I will see Giovanni again, as he was that night, so vivid, so winning, all of the light of that gloomy tunnel trapped around his head.
James Baldwin
After the slowing, every action required a little more force than it used to. The physics had changed. Take, for example, the slightly increased drag of a hand on a knife or a finger on a trigger. From then on, we all had a little more time to decide what not to do. And who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of a regret? But the new gravity was not enough to overcome the pull of certain other forces, more powerful, less known--no law of physics can account for desire.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
Until I die there will be those moments, moments seeming to rise up out of the ground like Macbeth's witches, when his face will come before me, that face in all its changes, when the exact timbre of his voice and tricks of his speech will nearly burst my ears, when his smell will overpower my nostrils. Sometimes, in the days which are coming--God grant me the grace to live them-- in the glare of the grey morning, sour-mouthed, eyelids raw and red, hair tangled and damp from stormy sleep, facing, over coffee and cigarette smoke, last night's impenetrable, meaningless boy who will shortly rise and vanish like the smoke, I will see Giovanni again, as he was that night, so vivid, so winning, all of the light of that gloomy tunnel trapped around his head.
James Baldwin (Giovanni's Room)
Jamie(reading his personal file): "'Patient demonstrates extreme sarcasm and enduring bitterness; sees things in terms of extremes, such as either all good or all bad. His views of others change quickly, leading to intense and unstable relationships. Patient demonstrates conflict about sexual orientation and is preoccupied with the sexual histories of others. Demonstrates a classic pattern of identity disturbance, an unclear,unstable self-image, as well as impulsivity and emotional instability.'" "This is bullshit. We're teenagers, we are supposed to be sarcastic" Mara: "And preoccupied with sex" Noah: "And impulsive" Jamie: "Exactly! But we're in here and they're out there? Everyone's a little crazy. The only difference between us and them is that they hide it better.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
And yet he sometimes wondered if he could ever love anyone as much as he loved Jude. It was the fact of him, of course, but also the utter comfort of life with him, of having someone who had known him for so long and who could be relied upon to always take him as exactly who he was on that particular day. His work, his very life, was one of disguises and charades. Everything about him and his context was constantly changing: his hair, his body, where he would sleep that night. He often felt he was made of something liquid, something that was being continually poured from bright-colored bottle to bright-colored bottle, with a little being lost or left behind with each transfer. But his friendship with Jude made him feel that there was something real and immutable about who he was, that despite his life of guises, there was something elemental about him, something that Jude saw even when he could not, as if Jude's very witness of him made him real.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
We cannot know what time will do to us with its fine, indistinguishable layers upon layers, we cannot know what it might make of us. It advances stealthily, day by day and hour by hour and step by poisoned step, never drawing attention to its surreptitious labours, so respectful and considerate that it never once gives us a sudden prod or a nasty fright. Every morning, it turns up with its soothing, invariable face and tells us exactly the opposite of what is actually happening: that everything is fine and nothing has changed, that everything is just as it was yesterday--the balance of power--that nothing has been gained and nothing lost, that our face is the same, as is our hair and our shape, that the person who hated us continues to hate us and the person who loved us continues to love us.
Javier Marías (Los enamoramientos)
Do you remember that piece of footage on the local news, just as the first tower comes down, woman runs in off the street into a store, just gets the door closed behind her, and here comes this terrible black billowing, ash, debris, sweeping through the streets, gale force past the window. . .that was the moment, Maxi. Not when 'everything changed.' When everything was revealed. No grand Zen illumination, but a rush of blackness and death. Showing us exactly what we've become, what we've been all the time." "And what we've always been is. . .?" "Is living on borrowed time. Getting away cheap. Never caring about who's paying for it, who's starving somewhere else all jammed together so we can have cheap food, a house, a yard in the burbs. . .planetwide, more every day, the payback keeps gathering. And meantime the only help we get from the media is boo hoo the innocent dead. Boo fuckin hoo. You know what? All the dead are innocent. There's no uninnocent dead.
Thomas Pynchon (Bleeding Edge)
I paid you five thousand instead and promised the balance only if you made the match. As it turns out, this is your lucky day because I've decided to write you the full check, whether the match comes from you or from Portia. As long as I have a wife and you've been part of the process, you'll get your money." He toasted her with his beer mug. "Congratulations." She put down her fork. "Why would you do that?" "Because it's efficient." "Not as efficient as having Powers handle her own introductions. You're paying her a fortune to do exactly that." "I'd rather have you." Her pulse kicked. "Why?" He gave her the melty smile he must have been practicing since the cradle, one that made her feel as though she was the only woman in the world. "Because you're easier to bully. Do we have a deal or not?" "You don't want a matchmaker. You want a lackey." "Semantics. My hours are erratic, and my schedule changes without warning. It'll be your job to cope with all that. You'll soothe ruffled feathers when I need to cancel at the last minute. You'll keep my dates company when I'm going to be late, entertain them if I have to take a call. If things are going well, you'll disappear. If not, you'll make the woman disappear. I told you before. I work hard at my job. I don't want to have to work hard at this, too." "Basically, you expect me to find your bride, court her, and hand her over at the altar. Or do I have to come on the honeymoon, too?" "Definitely not." He gave her a lazy smile. "I can take care of that all by myself.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
It is so irresponsible for people in the ‘I want to change the course of my society’ community to not do the damn research into figuring out the latest science of how people change their minds, and under what conditions people change their minds, and what exactly in their minds is being changed. The belief systems people hold are absolutely, in no way, shape, or form the result of any objective evaluation of information. The prejudices are inherited, they’re socially inflicted, they’re propagandized in school, in church, in communities, in families. They are reinforced by endless bouts of patriotic media and all of this nonsense. People are an emotional Gordian knot kaleidoscopic clusterfrack of prior prejudices stuffed into their heads and held aloft by the spears of social approval and ostracism.
Stefan Molyneux
Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning.' 'I understand the concept. It's just . . . there seems to be a contradiction.' 'Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man's starvation, war, sickness . . .' 'Exactly!' Chartrand knew the camerlengo would understand. 'Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn't He?' The camerlengo frowned. 'Would He?' Chartrand felt uneasy. Had he overstepped his bounds? Was this one of those religious questions you just didn't ask? 'Well . . . if God loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help.' 'Do you have children, Lieutenant?' Chartrand flushed. 'No, signore.' 'Imagine you had an eight-year-old son . . . would you love him?' 'Of course.' 'Would you let him skateboard?' Chartrand did a double take. The camerlengo always seemed oddly "in touch" for a clergyman. 'Yeah, I guess,' Chartrand said. 'Sure, I'd let him skateboard, but I'd tell him to be careful.' 'So as this child's father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes?' 'I wouldn't run behind him and mollycoddle him if that's what you mean.' 'But what if he fell and skinned his knee?' 'He would learn to be more careful.' The camerlengo smiled. 'So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child's pain, you would choose to show your love by letting him learn his own lessons?' 'Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It's how we learn.' The camerlengo nodded. 'Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
Hey, comrade,” Dima said, tone, choice of words, everything exactly as it would have been in the eighties, in that forsaken country. Vadim peered at him in the mirror. “Yes?” “Are you guys in trouble?” Dima moved closer, stood within touching distance. “I don’t mean your little crusade a while back. I mean the rest.” Vadim inhaled and lowered his gaze for a few moments. “Life isn’t easy, Dima. That’s our set of rules.” “You know you can change them. If he’s fucking around….” “So am I.” “But you’re not happy with it?” “It’s just sex, Dima.” Dima looked at him for a long time. “It’s never just sex for you, though. Am I wrong?” “No. You’re right.” Vadim shook his head. “Rules, Dima. We’re a different case.” Dima reached out and took him by the shoulders, pulling him up and back against him, which made Vadim look at himself in the mirror. “It’s not easy. I wish it was.
Aleksandr Voinov (Special Forces - Mercenaries Part II (Special Forces, #2 part 2))
I don’t understand why people keep pushing that “Don’t be some random person. BE UNIQUE” message. You’re already incredibly unique. Everyone is incredibly unique. That’s why the police use fingerprints to identify people. So you’re incredibly unique … but in the exact same way that everyone else is. (Which, admittedly, doesn’t really sing and is never going to make it on a motivational T-shirt.) So none of us are unique in being unique because being unique is pretty much the least unique thing you can be, because it comes naturally to everyone. So perhaps instead of “BE UNIQUE” we should be saying, “Be as visibly fucked up as you want to be because being unique is already taken.” By everyone, ironically enough. Or maybe we should change the message to “Don’t just be some random person. Be the MOST random person.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
What exactly was Jesus’ take on violent capitalism? I also have some big ideas for changing the way we think about literary morals as they pertain to legislation. Rather than suffer another attempt by the religious right to base our legalese upon the Bible, I would vote that we found it squarely upon the writings of J. R. R. Tolkien. The citizens of Middle Earth had much more tolerant policies in their governing bodies. For example, Elrond was chosen to lead the elves at Rivendell not only despite his androgynous nature but most likely because of the magical leadership inherent in a well-appointed bisexual elf wizard. That’s the person you want picking shit out for your community. That’s the guy you want in charge. David Bowie or a Mormon? Not a difficult equation.
Nick Offerman (Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Principles for Delicious Living)
Rich loved taking care of women. He would swoop in like Tarzan swinging on a vine, rescue them from whatever situation they found themselves in, and be their hero. He would make all the decisions, and he would be strong and dependable. "What a catch!" they would feel. But they did not see his inability to allow them to disagree or have an opinion. He could not yield to another person. He could not show weakness or vulnerability. He would make up for that inflexibility by being a very attractive "strong man" to women who would want to be swept off their feet more than they wanted a real person. So, they would be a perfect match—until he would see the other side of a passive, compliant woman. She would be sneaky and not tell him exactly what was going on. Then, lo and behold, one day she would really "mess up" and have a wish contrary to somthing he wanted or valued. Then, from his perspective, she had "changed" and had become "selfish." "She used to be nice, and now look!" But in reality, this is not what had happened. She had not changed. When they first met, she showed only half of who she was, hiding the other half, which would come out in sneaky, indirect ways. After a while, it came out directly, such as when she disagreed with him. Then he would cry, "Foul." So they both got what they asked for. In her compliance, she attracted a controller. In his control he attracted an adaptive person who had a secret side and was indirect. They were co-conspirators, and it always blew up.
Henry Cloud (How to Get a Date Worth Keeping)
Grace is the first ingredient necessary for growing up in the image of God. Grace is unbroken, uninterrupted, unearned, accepting relationship. It is the kind of relationship humanity had with God in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were loved and provided for. They knew God’s truth, and they had perfect freedom to do God’s will. In short, they were secure; they had no shame and anxiety. They could be who they truly were. Perhaps you have experienced this kind of love and grace with someone. You can be exactly who you are. You do not need to hide your thoughts or feelings; you do not need to perform; you do not need to do anything to be loved. Someone knows the real you, and loves you anyway.
Henry Cloud (Changes That Heal: The Four Shifts That Make Everything Better…And That Everyone Can Do)
Men learn to regard rape as a moment in time; a discreet episode with a beginning, middle, and end. But for women, rape is thousands of moments that we fold into ourselves over a lifetime. Its' the day that you realize you can't walk to a friend's house anymore or the time when your aunt tells you to be nice because the boy was just 'stealing a kiss.' It's the evening you stop going to the corner store because, the night before, a stranger followed you home. It's the late hour that a father or stepfather or brother or uncle climbs into your bed. It's the time it takes you to write an email explaining that you're changing your major, even though you don't really want to, in order to avoid a particular professor. It's when you're racing to catch a bus, hear a person demand a blow job, and turn to see that it's a police officer. It's the second your teacher tells you to cover your shoulders because you'll 'distract the boys, and what will your male teachers do?' It's the minute you decide not to travel to a place you've always dreamed about visiting and are accused of being 'unadventurous.' It's the sting of knowing that exactly as the world starts expanding for most boys, it begins to shrink for you. All of this goes on all day, every day, without anyone really uttering the word rape in a way that grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles, teachers, and friends will hear it, let alone seriously reflect on what it means.
Soraya Chemaly (Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger)
He kissed me like I was the empire he was sworn to protect and would die a thousand deaths to keep secure. He kissed me like I was a woman with a deep dark wildness that needed to be fed and he knew just how to do it. He kissed me like he was dying and this was the last kiss he would ever taste. Then his kiss changed and his tongue was velvet and silk as he kissed me like I was fine bone china that needed exacting care and gentleness. Then the storm built in both of us and I ground myself against him, and he was searching with his kiss and his hands sliding down to my ass for the part of me that was a savage animal and so was he and we were going to forget the world and “become two primal, uncomplicated beasts fucking as if the universe depended on our passion to fuel it. And I was pretty sure we could. I felt something building in me, a hunger that was exhilarated to be alive and knew it could come out and play as hard as it wanted, because I could never break this man. Not even with all my superpowers. I could dump every bit of myself on him and never have to worry about giving him a heart attack or breaking a bone or giving him a black eye by accident. He could handle anything. My high temper, my need for adventure and stimulation, my intellect, rages, and rants, my sheer physical strength, even the darkness of my shadow-self. He was a broad-shouldered beast. He was hard and capable and permanent and had an immortal heart. A frenzy of lust exploded inside me and I met the savagery of his kiss with all the savagery in my soul, and there is one fuck of a lot of it.
Karen Marie Moning (Feversong (Fever, #9))
People, he had said, were always being looked at as points, and they ought to be looked at as lines. There weren't any points, it was false to assume that a person ever was anything. He was always becoming something, always changing, always continuous and moving, like the wiggly line on a machine used to measure earthquake shocks. He was always what he was in the beginning, but never quite exactly what he was; he moved along a line dictated by his heritage and his environment, but he was subject to every sort of variation within the narrow limits of his capabilities. ... She shut her mind on that too. There was danger in looking at people as lines. The past spread backward and you saw things in perspective that you hadn't seen then, and that made the future ominous, more ominous than if you just looked at the point, at the moment. There might be truth in what Bruce said, but there was not much comfort.
Wallace Stegner (The Big Rock Candy Mountain)
The West Indian is not exactly hostile to change, but he is not much inclined to believe in it. This comes from a piece of wisdom that his climate of eternal summer teaches him. It is that, under all the parade of human effort and noise, today is like yesterday, and tomorrow will be like today; that existence is a wheel of recurring patterns from which no one escapes; that all anybody does in this life is live for a while and then die for good, without finding out much; and that therefore the idea is to take things easy and enjoy the passing time under the sun. The white people charging hopefully around the islands these days in the noon glare, making deals, bulldozing airstrips, hammering up hotels, laying out marinas, opening new banks, night clubs, and gift shops, are to him merely a passing plague. They have come before and gone before.
Herman Wouk (Don't Stop the Carnival)
The existential attitude is one of involvement in contrast to a merely theoretical or detached attitude. “Existential” in this sense can be defined as participating in a situation, especially a cognitive situation, with the whole of one’s existence....There are realms of reality or—more exactly—of abstraction from reality in which the most complete detachment is the adequate cognitive approach. Everything which can be expressed in terms of quantitative measurement has this character. But it is most inadequate to apply the same approach to reality in its infinite concreteness. A self which has become a matter of calculation and management has ceased to be a self. It has become a thing. You must participate in a self in order to know what it is. But by participating you change it. In all existential knowledge both subject and object are transformed by the very act of knowing.
Paul Tillich
MICHAEL BERNARD BECKWITH Creation is always happening. Every time an individual has a thought, or a prolonged chronic way of thinking, they’re in the creation process. Something is going to manifest out of those thoughts. What you are thinking now is creating your future life. You create your life with your thoughts. Because you are always thinking, you are always creating. What you think about the most or focus on the most, is what will appear as your life. Like all the laws of nature, there is utter perfection in this law. You create your life. Whatever you sow, you reap! Your thoughts are seeds, and the harvest you reap will depend on the seeds you plant. If you are complaining, the law of attraction will powerfully bring into your life more situations for you to complain about. If you are listening to someone else complain and focusing on that, sympathizing with them, agreeing with them, in that moment, you are attracting more situations to yourself to complain about. The law is simply reflecting and giving back to you exactly what you are focusing on with your thoughts. With this powerful knowledge, you can completely change every circumstance and event in your entire life, by changing the way you think.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret)
Borges is particularly stimulating to a man who works in the cinema, because the unusual thing about his writing is that it is like a dream, extraordinarily farsighted in calling up from the unconscious complete images in which the thing itself, and its meaning, coexist - exactly as happens in a film. And, just as happens in dreams, in Borges the incongruous, the absurd, the contradictory, the arcane and the repetitive, although as powerfully imaginative as ever, are at the same time illumined like the careful details of something larger, something unknown, and are the faultless elements of a cruelly perfect, indifferent mosaic. Even the fact that Borges's work is strangely fragmentary makes me think of a broken dreamlike flow; and the heterogeneous quality of his work - stories, essays, poems - I prefer to see not as the union of the multiple threads in a greedy, impatient talent, but as a mysterious sign of unending change.
Federico Fellini
There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one’s own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage along a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come. I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
1If it frightens you, do it.   2Don't settle. Every time you settle, you get exactly what you settled for.   3Put yourself first.   4No matter what happens, you will handle it.   5Whatever you do, do it 100%.   6If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.   7You are the only person on this planet responsible for your needs, wants, and happiness.   8Ask for what you want.   9If what you are doing isn't working, try something different. 10Be clear and direct. 11Learn to say "no." 12Don't make excuses. 13If you are an adult, you are old enough to make your own rules. 14Let people help you. 15Be honest with yourself. 16Do not let anyone treat you badly. No one. Ever. 17Remove yourself from a bad situation instead of waiting for the situation to change. 18Don't tolerate the intolerable — ever. 19Stop blaming. Victims never succeed. 20Live with integrity. Decide what feels right to you, then do it. 21Accept the consequences of your actions. 22Be good to yourself. 23Think "abundance." 24Face difficult situations and conflict head on. 25Don't do anything in secret. 26Do it now. 27Be willing to let go of what you have so you can get what you want. 28Have fun. If you are not having fun, something is wrong. 29Give yourself room to fail. There are no mistakes, only learning experiences. 30Control is an illusion. Let go; let life happen. It
Robert A. Glover (No More Mr. Nice Guy)
It's so weird that adults in committed relationships have a problem with something so innocuous as flirting. I would never expect you to walk around with a paper bag over your head to avoid catching the eye of a stranger, nor would I discourage you making friendly conversation with whomever you might encounter during the day. And if you needed to fuck somebody else, we could talk about it. People change, our desires evolve, and it feels foolish to me to expect what you'll want two, five, or ten years from now will be exactly the same thing that fills you up today. I mean, the way I feel about fidelity has evolved over the last ten years of my life. It's a hard-and-fast rule that we don't apply to any other thing in our lives: YOU MUST LOVE THIS [SHOW/BOOK/FOOD/SHIRT] WITH UNWAVERING FERVOR FOR THE REST OF YOUR NATURAL LIFE. Could you imagine being forced to listen to your favorite record from before your music tastes were refined for the rest of your life? Right now I'm pretty sure I could listen to Midnight Snack by HOMESHAKE for the rest of my life, but me ten years ago was really into acoustic Dave Matthews, and I'm not sure how I feel about that today. And yes, I am oversimplifying it, but really, if in seven years you want to have sex with the proverbial milkman, just let me know about it beforehand so I can hide my LaCroix and half eaten wedge of port salut. ('Milkmen' always eat all the good snacks.)
Samantha Irby (We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.)
Over a long time, the coming and passing of several generations, the old farm had settled into its patterns and cycles of work - its annual plowing moving from field to field; its animals arriving by birth or purchase, feeding and growing, thriving and departing. Its patterns and cycles were virtually the farm's own understanding of what it was doing, of what it could do without diminishment. This order was not unintelligent or rigid. It tightened and slackened, shifted and changed in response to the markets and the weather. The Depression had changed it somewhat, and so had the war. But through all changes so far, the farm had endured. Its cycles of cropping and grazing, thought and work, were articulations of its wish to cohere and to last. The farm, so to speak, desired all of its lives to flourish. Athey was not exactly, or not only, what is called a "landowner." He was the farm's farmer, but also its creature and belonging. He lived its life, and it lived his; he knew that, of the two lives, his was meant to be the smaller and the shorter.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
Saying It To Keep It From Happening” Some departure from the norm Will occur as time grows more open about it. The consensus gradually changed; nobody Lies about it any more. Rust dark pouring Over the body, changing it without decay— People with too many things on their minds, but we live In the interstices, between a vacant stare and the ceiling, Our lives remind us. Finally this is consciousness And the other livers of it get off at the same stop. How careless. Yet in the end each of us Is seen to have traveled the same distance—it’s time That counts, and how deeply you have invested in it, Crossing the street of an event, as though coming out of it were The same as making it happen. You’re not sorry, Of course, especially if this was the way it had to happen, Yet would like an exacter share, something about time That only a clock can tell you: how it feels, not what it means. It is a long field, and we know only the far end of it, Not the part we presumably had to go through to get there. If it isn’t enough, take the idea Inherent in the day, armloads of wheat and flowers Lying around flat on handtrucks, if maybe it means more In pertaining to you, yet what is is what happens in the end As though you cared. The event combined with Beams leading up to it for the look of force adapted to the wiser Usages of age, but it’s both there And not there, like washing or sawdust in the sunlight, At the back of the mind, where we live now.
John Ashbery (Houseboat Days)
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it. The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now. “Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.” My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament. “I haven't been wearing any cologne.” “Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.” “What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words. “I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.” His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed. “Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?” “Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.” He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed. “What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.” A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat. “Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again. “People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.” I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone. “Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...” “Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me. My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura. “Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.” He made no attempt to move out of the doorway. “You smell like pears with freesia undertones.” “Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Where's my sister?" "She's setting up the island we found tonight." Galen shakes his head. "You slithering eel. You might have told me what you were up to." Toraf laughs. "Oh sure. 'Hey, Galen, I need to borrow Emma for a few minutes so I can kiss her, okay?' Didn't see that going over very well." "You think your surprise attack went over better?" Toraf shrugs. "I'm satisfied." "I could have killed you today." "Yeah." "Don't ever do that again." "Wasn't planning on it. Thought it was real sweet of you to defend your sister's honor. Very brotherly." Toraf snickers. "Shut up." "I'm just saying." Galen runs a hand through his hair. "I only saw Emma. I forgot all about Rayna." "I know, idiot. That's why I let you hit me fifty-eight times. That's what I would do if someone kissed Rayna." "Fifty-nine times." "Don't get carried away, minnow. By the way, was Emma boiling mad or just a little heated? Should I keep my distance for a while?" Galen snorts. "She laughed so hard I thought she'd pass out. I'm the one in trouble." "Shocker. What'd you do?" "The usual." Hiding his feelings. Blurting out the wrong thing. Acting like a territorial bull shark. Toraf shakes his head. "She won't put up with that forever. She already thinks you only want to change her so she can become another of your royal subjects." "She said that?" Galen scowls. "I don't know what's worse. Letting her think that, or telling her the truth about why I'm helping her to change." "In my opinion, there's nothing to tell her unless she can actually change. And so far, she can't." "You don't think she's one of us?" Toraf shrugs. "Her skin wrinkles. It's kind of gross. Maybe she's some sort of superhuman. You know, like Batman." Galen laughs. "How do you know about Batman?" "I saw him on that black square in your living room. He can do all sorts of things other humans can't do. Maybe Emma is like him." "Batman isn't real. He's just a human acting like that so other humans will watch him." "Looked real to me." "They're good at making it look real. Some humans spend their whole lives making something that isn't real look like something that is." "Humans are creepier than I thought. Why pretend to be something you're not?" Galen nods. To take over a kingdom, maybe? "Actually, that reminds me. Grom needs you." Toraf groans. "Can it wait? Rayna's getting all cozy on our island right about now." "Seriously. I don't want to know." Toraf grins. "Right. Sorry. But you can see my point, right? I mean, if Emma were waiting for you-" "Emma wouldn't be waiting for me. I wouldn't have left." "Rayna made me. You've never hit me that hard before. She wants us to get along. Plus, there's something I need to tell you, but I didn't exactly get a change to." "What?" "Yesterday when we were practicing in front of your house, I sensed someone. Someone I don't know. I made Emma get out of the water while I went to investigate." "And she listened to you?" Toraf nods. "Turns out, you're the only one she disobeys.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
He told me that from now on, everything I did and everything he did was of the utmost importance: any word spoken, the slightest gesture, would take on a meaning, and everything that happened between us would change us continually. 'For that reason,'he said,'I wish I were able to suspend time at this moment and keep things exactly at this point, because I feel this instant is a true beginning. We have a definite but unknown quantity of experience at our disposal. As soon as the hourglass is turned, the sand will begin to run out and once it starts, it cannot stop until it's all gone. That's why I wish I could hold it back at the start. We should make a minimum of gestures, pronounce a minimum of words, even see each other as seldom as possible, if that would prolong things. We don't know how much of everything we have ahead of us so we have to take the greatest precautions not to destroy the beauty of what we have. Everything exists in limited quantity-especially happiness. If a love is to come into being, it is all written down somewhere, and also its duration and content. If you could arrive at the complete intensity the first day, it would be ended the first day. And so if it's something you want so much that you'd like to have it prolonged in time, you must be extremely careful not to make the slightest excessive demand that might prevent it from developing to the greatest extent over the longest period...If the wings of the butterfly are to keep their sheen, you mustn't touch them. We mustn't abuse something which is to bring light into both our lives. Everything else in my life only weighs me down and shuts out the light. This thing wih you seems like a window that is opening up. I want it to remain open...
Françoise Gilot (Life with Picasso)
Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews? I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
There is a plain under a dim sky. It is covered with gentle rolling curves that might remind you of something else if you saw it from a long way away, and if you did see it from a long way away you'd be very glad that you were, in fact, a long way away. Three gray figures floated just above it. Exactly what they were can't be described in normal language. Some people might call them cherubs, although there was nothing rosy-cheeked about them. They might be rumored among those who see to it that gravity operates and that time stays separate from space. Call them auditors. Auditors of reality. They were in conversation without speaking. They didn't need to speak. They just changed reality so that they had spoken. One said, It has never happened before. Can it be done? One said, It will have to be done. There is a personality. Personalities come to an end. Only forces endure. It said this with satisfaction. One said, Besides... there have been irregularities. Where you get personality, you get irregularities. Well-known fact. One said, He has worked inefficiently? One said, No. We can't get him there. One said, That is the point. The word is him. Becoming a personality is inefficient. We don't want it to spread. Supposing gravity developed a personality? Supposing it decided to like people? One said, Got a crush on them, that sort of thing? One said, in a voice that would have been even chillier if it was not already at absolute zero, No. One said, Sorry. Just my little joke. One said, Besides, sometimes he wonders about his job. Such speculation is dangerous. One said, No argument there. One said, Then we are agreed? One, who seemed to have been thinking about something, said, Just one moment. Did you not just use the singular pronoun "my?" Not developing a personality, are you? One said, guiltily, Who? Us? One said, Where there is personality, there is discord. One said, Yes. Yes. Very true. One said, All right. But watch it in future. One said, Then we are agreed? They looked up at the face of Azrael, outlined against the sky. In fact, it was the sky. Azrael nodded, slowly. One said, Very well. Where is this place? One said, It is the Discworld. It rides through space on the back of a giant turtle. One said, Oh, one of that sort. I hate them. One said, You're doing it again. You said "I." One said, No! No! I didn't! I never said "I!"... oh, bugger... It burst into flame and burned in the same way that a small cloud of vapor burns, quickly and with no residual mess. Almost immediately, another one appeared. It was identical in appearance to its vanished sibling. One said, Let that be a lesson. To become a personality is to end. And now... let us go.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
It’s funny, how for an entire lifetime we keep thinking ‘How’ will our life-partner look like, how will he be? How will he react to a particular situation? How will he get angry, and how will we love and pamper him? We have so many questions like if he will accept me the way I am? Or if I have to change for him? We all have made plans for our future, subconsciously. We don’t exactly plan out everything with a pen and paper, it’s something that happens automatically, just like an involuntary action. Whenever we are alone and our mood is good, we usually think about our life with our partner. The days and nights in his arms, and the time that we will reserve for him. But when all that turns into reality, it’s strikingly different. Everything that you thought, seems to be a joke, and life laughs at you from a distance! You are helpless and can’t do anything about it, but have to accept it the way it is. You are totally caught into a web of dilemmas and problems before you realize that this is the time you waited for, and that this is the time you dreamt about! You have to make efforts, compromises, sacrifices and you have to change yourselves too sometimes to make things work. You can never expect to get a partner exactly the way you thought or dreamt about. It’s always different in reality and it’s always tough to make both ends meet for a relationship to work, but you have to! It’s your relationship, if you won’t work for it, who else will?
Mehek Bassi
Remember how I said nothing changes everything? I think I was wrong about that. I'm starting to think that maybe everything changes everything. That we never know what's going to happen next and we're not even supposed to. Maybe 'Z' is the shape of everyone's life. You're going along in what feels like a straight line, headed for one horizon, the only one as far as you know, and then something happens, maybe something good, maybe something terrible, or maybe just something like seeing a guy picking out a cantelope at the store, something that feels like nothing, and all of a sudden you're headed at another horizon altogether. Good things can happen that you did nothing to deserve. Bad things can happen that aren't anyone's fault. And it's sad how, if you let yourself, it's so much easier to think about what you've lost instead of what you have left. I'm not saying everything's okay, because it's not. We will never, ever be the same without you. We have our good days and bad days as a family, and you will always be the invisible center of both. But love is this really powerful thing that everyone's got if they'd just learn how to accept it. I mean, come on. If it's something we all have to give, and it's something we all want, doesn't that mean there's exactly enough to go around?
Philip Beard
Did you ever get fed up?" I said. "I mean did you ever get scared that everything was going to go lousy unless you did something? I mean do you like school and all that stuff?" "It's a terrific bore." "I mean do you hate it? I know it's a terrific bore, but do you hate it, is what I mean." "Well, I don't exactly hate it. You always have to--" "Well, I hate it. Boy, do I hate it," I said. "But it isn't just that. It's everything. I hate living in New York and all. Taxicabs, and Madison Avenue buses, with the drivers and all always yelling at you to get out at the rear door, and being introduced to phony guys that call the Lunts angels, and going up and down in elevators when you just want to go outside, and guys fitting your pants all the time at Brooks, and people always--" "Don't shout, please," old Sally said. Which was very funny, because I wasn't even shouting. "Take cars," I said. I said it in this very quiet voice. "Take most people, they're crazy about cars. They worry if they get a little scratch on them, and they're always talking about how many miles they get to a gallon, and if they get a brand-new car already they start thinking about trading it in for one that's even newer. I don't even like old cars. I mean they don't even interest me. I'd rather have a goddam horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake. A horse you can at least--" "I don't know what you're even talking about," old Sally said. "You jump from one--" "You know something?" I said. You're probably the only reason I'm in New York right now, or anywhere. If you weren't around, I'd probably be someplace way the hell off. In the woods or some goddam place. You're the only reason I'm around, practically." "You're sweet," she said. But you could tell she wanted me to change the damn subject. "You ought to go to a boys' school sometime. Try it sometime," I said. "It's full of phonies, and all you do is study so that you can learn enough to be smart enough to be able to buy a goddam Cadillac some day, and you have to keep making believe you give a damn if the football team loses, and all you do is talk about girls and liquor and sex all day, and everybody sticks together in these dirty little goddam cliques. The guys that are on the basketball team stuck together, the Catholics stick together, the guys that play bridge stick together. Even the guys that belong to the goddam Book-of-the-Month Club stick together. If you try to have a little intelligent--" "Now, listen," old Sally said. "Lots of boys get more out of school that that." "I agree! I agree they do, some of them! But that's all I get out of it. See? That's my point. That's exactly my goddamn point," I said. "I don't get hardly anything out of anything. I'm in bad shape. I'm in lousy shape." "You certainly are.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
There is some confusion as to what magic actually is. I think this can be cleared up if you just look at the very earliest descriptions of magic. Magic in its earliest form is often referred to as “the art”. I believe this is completely literal. I believe that magic is art and that art, whether it be writing, music, sculpture, or any other form is literally magic. Art is, like magic, the science of manipulating symbols, words, or images, to achieve changes in consciousness. The very language about magic seems to be talking as much about writing or art as it is about supernatural events. A grimmoir for example, the book of spells is simply a fancy way of saying grammar. Indeed, to cast a spell, is simply to spell, to manipulate words, to change people's consciousness. And I believe that this is why an artist or writer is the closest thing in the contemporary world that you are likely to see to a Shaman. I believe that all culture must have arisen from cult. Originally, all of the faucets of our culture, whether they be in the arts or sciences were the province of the Shaman. The fact that in present times, this magical power has degenerated to the level of cheap entertainment and manipulation, is, I think a tragedy. At the moment the people who are using Shamanism and magic to shape our culture are advertisers. Rather than try to wake people up, their Shamanism is used as an opiate to tranquilize people, to make people more manipulable. Their magic box of television, and by their magic words, their jingles can cause everyone in the country to be thinking the same words and have the same banal thoughts all at exactly the same moment. In all of magic there is an incredibly large linguistic component. The Bardic tradition of magic would place a bard as being much higher and more fearsome than a magician. A magician might curse you. That might make your hands lay funny or you might have a child born with a club foot. If a Bard were to place not a curse upon you, but a satire, then that could destroy you. If it was a clever satire, it might not just destroy you in the eyes of your associates; it would destroy you in the eyes of your family. It would destroy you in your own eyes. And if it was a finely worded and clever satire that might survive and be remembered for decades, even centuries. Then years after you were dead people still might be reading it and laughing at you and your wretchedness and your absurdity. Writers and people who had command of words were respected and feared as people who manipulated magic. In latter times I think that artists and writers have allowed themselves to be sold down the river. They have accepted the prevailing belief that art and writing are merely forms of entertainment. They’re not seen as transformative forces that can change a human being; that can change a society. They are seen as simple entertainment; things with which we can fill 20 minutes, half an hour, while we’re waiting to die. It’s not the job of the artist to give the audience what the audience wants. If the audience knew what they needed, then they wouldn’t be the audience. They would be the artists. It is the job of artists to give the audience what they need.
Alan Moore
To my lovely starling, Maybe there are magical words that will make you understand, but if so, I do not know them. Words are your domain. I've always been better with pictures. I fear you think I am a monster. It's true I've disrupted many graves. The way I see it, the dead are dead. If, after their death, we can learn things from the about the human form - things that will increase the sum of human knowledge and the possibilities of art - what harm is that? After death, new life, new beauty. How can that be wrong? My friends and I have made use of some of the bodies as models. some we sell to surgeons who study them with the hopes of learning something about the frail mechanisms of the human body. I don't know exactly what Dottor de Gradi does in his workshop on the Rialto, and I was as surprised as you were to stumble on it. He couldn't - he wouldn't tell me if your friend's body ended up there. But he did assure me all of his work is focused solely on extending human life. I won't lie. I did it for the money as well. Don Loredan is holding a private exhibition in his palazzo tomorrow. The entry fee was quite steep but two of my paintings were accepted. This could be the beginning for me. I could find my own patrons. I could be more than just a peasant. Tommaso's assistant. So yes; a little for money. But mostly I did for the art. I don't expect these words to change how you feel. I simply want you not to see me as a monster. I don't want to be a monster. Not anymore. Not after meeting you. I know that we disrupted you dear friend's body, and for that I am deeply regretful. But if we had not done so, if I had not lingered in the San Domenico churchyard after standing guard for my friends, you and I might never have met. Meeting you is one thing I will never regret. I hope you like the painting. Consider tit a wedding gift. How stupid of me to let my heart go. It was a lovely fantasy while it lasted, though, wasn't it? Yours, Falco
Fiona Paul (Venom (Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1))
You burn to have your photograph in a tennis magazine.” “I’m afraid so.” “Why again exactly, now?” “I guess to be felt about as I feel about those players with their pictures in magazines.” “Why?” “Why? I guess to give my life some sort of meaning, Lyle.” “And how would this do this again?” “Lyle, I don’t know. I do not know. It just does. Would. Why else would I burn like this, clip secret pictures, not take risks, not sleep or pee?” “You feel these men with their photographs in magazines care deeply about having their photographs in magazines. Derive immense meaning.” “I do. They must. I would. Else why would I burn like this to feel as they feel?” “The meaning they feel, you mean. From the fame.” “Lyle, don’t they?” “LaMont, perhaps they did at first. The first photograph, the first magazine, the gratified surge, the seeing themselves as others see them, the hagiography of image, perhaps. Perhaps the first time: enjoyment. After that, do you trust me, trust me: they do not feel what you burn for. After the first surge, they care only that their photographs seem awkward or unflattering, or untrue, or that their privacy, this thing you burn to escape, what they call their privacy is being violated. Something changes. After the first photograph has been in a magazine, the famous men do not enjoy their photographs in magazines so much as they fear that their photographs will cease to appear in magazines. They are trapped, just as you are.” “Is this supposed to be good news? This is awful news.” “LaMont, are you willing to listen to a Remark about what is true?” “Okey-dokey.” “The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.” “Maybe I ought to be getting back.” “LaMont, the world is very old. You have been snared by something untrue. You are deluded. But this is good news. You have been snared by the delusion that envy has a reciprocal. You assume that there is a flip-side to your painful envy of Michael Chang: namely Michael Chang’s enjoyable feeling of being-envied-by-LaMont-Chu. No such animal.” “Animal?” “You burn with hunger for food that does not exist.” “This is good news?” “It is the truth. To be envied, admired, is not a feeling. Nor is fame a feeling. There are feelings associated with fame, but few of them are any more enjoyable than the feelings associated with envy of fame.” “The burning doesn’t go away?” “What fire dies when you feed it? It is not fame itself they wish to deny you here. Trust them. There is much fear in fame. Terrible and heavy fear to be pulled and held, carried. Perhaps they want only to keep it off you until you weigh enough to pull toward yourself.” “Would I sound ungrateful if I said this doesn’t make me feel very much better at all?” “LaMont, the truth is that the world is incredibly, incredibly, unbelievably old. You suffer with the stunted desire caused by one of its oldest lies. Do not believe the photographs. Fame is not the exit from any cage.” “So I’m stuck in the cage from either side. Fame or tortured envy of fame. There’s no way out.” “You might consider how escape from a cage must surely require, foremost, awareness of the fact of the cage.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
After dinner, I went upstairs and found Ren standing on the veranda again, looking at the sunset. I approached him shyly and stood behind him. “Hello, Ren.” He turned and openly studied my appearance. His gaze drifted ever so slowly down my body. The longer he looked, the wider his smile got. Eventually, his eyes worked their way back up to my bright red face. He sighed and bowed deeply. “Sundari. I was standing here thinking nothing could be more beautiful than this sunset tonight, but I was mistaken. You standing here in the setting sun with your hair and skin aglow is almost more than a man can…fully appreciate.” I tried to change the subject. “What does sundari mean?” “It means ‘most beautiful.’” I blushed again, which made him laugh. He took my hand, tucked it under his arm, and led me to the patio chairs. Just then, the sun dipped below the trees leaving its tangerine glow in the sky for just a few more moments. We sat again, but this time he sat next to me on the swinging patio seat and kept my hand in his. I ventured shyly, “I hope you don’t mind, but I explored your house today, including your room.” “I don’t mind. I’m sure you found my room the least interesting.” “Actually, I was curious about the note I found. Did you write it?” “A note? Ah, yes. I just scribbled a few notes to help me remember what Phet had said. It just says seek Durga’s prophecy, the Cave of Kanheri, Kelsey is Durga’s favored one, that sort of thing.” “Oh. I…also noticed a ribbon. Is it mine?” “Yes. If you’d like it back, you can take it.” “Why would you want it?” He shrugged, looking embarrassed. “I wanted a memento, a token from the girl who saved my life.” “A token? Like a fair maiden giving her handkerchief to a knight in shining armor?” He grinned. “Exactly.” I jested wryly, “Too bad you didn’t wait for Cathleen to get a little older. She’s going to be very pretty.” He frowned. “Cathleen from the circus?” He shook his head. “You were the chosen one, Kelsey. And if I had the option of choosing the girl to save me, I still would have picked you.” “Why?” “A number of reasons. I liked you. You are interesting. I enjoyed listening to your voice. I felt like you saw through the tiger skin to the person underneath. When you spoke, it felt like you were saying exactly the things I needed to hear. You’re smart. You like poetry, and you’re very pretty.” I laughed at his statement. Me, pretty? He can’t be serious. I was average in so many ways. I didn’t really concern myself with current makeup, hairstyles, or fashionable, but uncomfortable, clothes like other teenagers. My complexion was pale, and my eyes were so brown that they were almost black. By far, my best feature was my smile, which my parents paid dearly for and so did I-with three years of metal braces. Still, I was flattered. “Okay, Prince Charming, you can keep your memento.” I hesitated, and then said softly, “I wear those ribbons in memory of my mom. She used to brush out my hair and braid ribbons through it while we talked.” Ren smiled understandingly. “Then it means even more to me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Hush!’ said the Cabby. They all listened. In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it… ‘Gawd!’ said the Cabby. ‘Ain’t it lovely?’ Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices; more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out – single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it , as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves who were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing. ‘Glory be!’ said the Cabby. ‘I’d ha’ been a better man all my life if I’d known there were things like this.’ …Far away, and down near the horizon, the sky began to turn grey. A light wind, very fresh, began to stir. The sky, in that one place, grew slowly and steadily paler. You could see shapes of hills standing up dark against it. All the time the Voice went on singing…The eastern sky changed from white to pink and from pink to gold. The Voice rose and rose, till all the air was shaking with it. And just as it swelled to the mightiest and most glorious sound it had yet produced, the sun arose. Digory had never seen such a sun…You could imagine that it laughed for joy as it came up. And as its beams shot across the land the travellers could see for the first time what sort of place they were in. It was a valley through which a broad, swift river wound its way, flowing eastward towards the sun. Southward there were mountains, northward there were lower hills. But it was a valley of mere earth, rock and water; there was not a tree, not a bush, not a blade of grass to be seen. The earth was of many colours: they were fresh, hot and vivid. They made you feel excited; until you saw the Singer himself, and then you forgot everything else. It was a Lion. Huge, shaggy, and bright it stood facing the risen sun. Its mouth was wide open in song and it was about three hundred yards away.
C.S. Lewis (The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6))
Don’t strive to be a well-rounded leader. Instead, discover your zone and stay there. Then delegate everything else. Admitting a weakness is a sign of strength. Acknowledging weakness doesn’t make a leader less effective. Everybody in your organization benefits when you delegate responsibilities that fall outside your core competency. Thoughtful delegation will allow someone else in your organization to shine. Your weakness is someone’s opportunity. Leadership is not always about getting things done “right.” Leadership is about getting things done through other people. The people who follow us are exactly where we have led them. If there is no one to whom we can delegate, it is our own fault. As a leader, gifted by God to do a few things well, it is not right for you to attempt to do everything. Upgrade your performance by playing to your strengths and delegating your weaknesses. There are many things I can do, but I have to narrow it down to the one thing I must do. The secret of concentration is elimination. Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing. My competence in these areas defines my success as a pastor. A sixty-hour workweek will not compensate for a poorly delivered sermon. People don’t show up on Sunday morning because I am a good pastor (leader, shepherd, counselor). In my world, it is my communication skills that make the difference. So that is where I focus my time. To develop a competent team, help the leaders in your organization discover their leadership competencies and delegate accordingly. Once you step outside your zone, don’t attempt to lead. Follow. The less you do, the more you will accomplish. Only those leaders who act boldly in times of crisis and change are willingly followed. Accepting the status quo is the equivalent of accepting a death sentence. Where there’s no progress, there’s no growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life. Environments void of change are eventually void of life. So leaders find themselves in the precarious and often career-jeopardizing position of being the one to draw attention to the need for change. Consequently, courage is a nonnegotiable quality for the next generation leader. The leader is the one who has the courage to act on what he sees. A leader is someone who has the courage to say publicly what everybody else is whispering privately. It is not his insight that sets the leader apart from the crowd. It is his courage to act on what he sees, to speak up when everyone else is silent. Next generation leaders are those who would rather challenge what needs to change and pay the price than remain silent and die on the inside. The first person to step out in a new direction is viewed as the leader. And being the first to step out requires courage. In this way, courage establishes leadership. Leadership requires the courage to walk in the dark. The darkness is the uncertainty that always accompanies change. The mystery of whether or not a new enterprise will pan out. The reservation everyone initially feels when a new idea is introduced. The risk of being wrong. Many who lack the courage to forge ahead alone yearn for someone to take the first step, to go first, to show the way. It could be argued that the dark provides the optimal context for leadership. After all, if the pathway to the future were well lit, it would be crowded. Fear has kept many would-be leaders on the sidelines, while good opportunities paraded by. They didn’t lack insight. They lacked courage. Leaders are not always the first to see the need for change, but they are the first to act. Leadership is about moving boldly into the future in spite of uncertainty and risk. You can’t lead without taking risk. You won’t take risk without courage. Courage is essential to leadership.
Andy Stanley (Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future)
When he was finished, he set his plate down, looked at me, and raised an eyebrow. I leaned forward and whispered angrily, “I am not going to sit on your lap, so don’t get your hopes up, Mister.” He still waited until I picked up a fork and took a few bites. I speared a bite of macadamia nut crusted ruby snapper and said, “Whew. Time’s up. Isn’t it? The clock is ticking. You must be sweating it, huh? I mean, you could turn any second.” He just took a bite of curried lamb and then some saffron rice and sat there chewing as cool as a cucumber. I watched him closely for a full two minutes and then folded up my napkin. “Okay, I give. Why are you acting so smug and confident? When are you going to tell me what’s going on?” He wiped his mouth carefully and took a sip of water. “What’s going on, my prema, is that the curse has been lifted.” My mouth dropped open. “What? If it was lifted, why were you a tiger for the last two days?” “Well, to be clear, the curse is not completely gone. I seem to have been granted a partial removal of the curse.” “Partial? Partial meaning what, exactly?” “Partial, meaning a certain number of hours per day. Six hours to be exact.” I recited the prophecy in my mind and remembered that there were four sides to the monolith, and four times six was…”Twenty-four.” He paused. “Twenty-four what?” “Well, six hours makes sense because there are four gifts to obtain for Durga and four sides of the monolith. We’ve only completed one of the tasks, so you only get six hours.” He smiled. “I guess I get to keep you around then, at least until the other tasks are finished.” I snorted. “Don’t hold your breath, Tarzan. I might not need to be present for the other tasks. Now that you’re a man part of the time, you and Kishan can resolve this problem yourselves, I’m sure.” He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes at me. “Don’t underestimate your level of…involvement, Kelsey. Even if you weren’t needed anymore to break the curse, do you think I’d simply let you go? Let you walk out of my life without a backward glance?” I nervously began toying with my food and decided to say nothing. That was exactly what I’d been planning to do. Something had changed. The hurt and confused Ren that made me feel guilty for rejecting him in Kishkindha was gone. He was now supremely confident, almost arrogant, and very sure of himself.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Having DID is, for many people, a very lonely thing. If this book reaches some people whose experiences resonate with mine and gives them a sense that they aren't alone, that there is hope, then I will have achieved one of my goals. A sad fact is that people with DID spend an average of almost seven years in the mental health system before being properly diagnosed and receiving the specific help they need. During that repeatedly misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated, simply because clinicians fail to recognize the symptoms. If this book provides practicing and future clinicians certain insight into DID, then I will have accomplished another goal. Clinicians, and all others whose lives are touched by DID, need to grasp the fundamentally illusive nature of memory, because memory, or the lack of it, is an integral component of this condition. Our minds are stock pots which are continuously fed ingredients from many cooks: parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, teachers, schoolmates, strangers, acquaintances, radio, television, movies, and books. These are the fixings of learning and memory, which are stirred with a spoon that changes form over time as it is shaped by our experiences. In this incredibly amorphous neurological stew, it is impossible for all memories to be exact. But even as we accept the complex of impressionistic nature of memory, it is equally essential to recognize that people who experience persistent and intrusive memories that disrupt their sense of well-being and ability to function, have some real basis distress, regardless of the degree of clarity or feasibility of their recollections. We must understand that those who experience abuse as children, and particularly those who experience incest, almost invariably suffer from a profound sense of guilt and shame that is not meliorated merely by unearthing memories or focusing on the content of traumatic material. It is not enough to just remember. Nor is achieving a sense of wholeness and peace necessarily accomplished by either placing blame on others or by forgiving those we perceive as having wronged us. It is achieved through understanding, acceptance, and reinvention of the self.
Cameron West (First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple)
I was acutely aware of him, and the thought that he was walking me back to my room and would most likely try to kiss me again sent shivers down my spine. For self-preservation purposes, I had to get away. Every minute I spent with him just made me want him more. Since merely annoying him wasn’t working, I’d have to up the ante. Apparently, I needed him not only to fall out-of-like with me, but to hate me as well. I’d frequently been told that I was an all-or-nothing kind of girl. If I were going to push him away, it was going to be so far away that there would be absolutely no change of him ever coming back. I tried to wrench my elbow out of his grasp, but he just held on more tightly. I grumbled at him, “Stop using your tiger strength on me, Superman.” “Am I hurting you?” “No, but I’m not a puppet to be dragged around.” He trailed his fingers down my arm and took my hand instead. “Then you play nice, and I will too.” “Fine.” He grinned. “Fine.” I hissed back. “Fine!” We walked to the elevator, and he pushed the button to my floor. “My room is on the same floor,” Ren edxplained. I scowled and then grinned lopsidedly and just a little bit evilly, “And umm, how exactly is that going to work for you in the morning, Tiger? You really shouldn’t get Mr. Kadam in trouble for having a rather large…pet.” Ren returned my sarcasm as he walked me to my door. “Are you worried about me, Kells? Well, don’t. I’ll be fine.” “I guess there’s no point in asking how you knew which door belong to me, huh, Tiger Nose?” He looked at me in a way that turned my insides to jelly. I spun around but awareness of him shot through my limbs, and I could feel him standing close behind me watching, waiting. I put my key in the lock, and he moved closer. My hand started shaking, and I couldn’t twist the key the right way. He took my hand and gently turned me around. He then put both hands on the door on either side of my head and leaned in close, pinning me against it. I trembled like a downy rabbit caught in the clutches of a wolf. The wolf came closer. He bent his head and began nuzzling my cheek. The problem was…I wanted the wolf to devour me. I began to get lost in the thick sultry fog that overtook me every time Ren put his hands on me. So much for asking for permission…and so much for sticking to my guns, I thought as I felt all my defenses slip away. He whispered warmly, “I can always tell where you are, Kelsey. You smell like peaches and cream.” I shivered and put my hands on his chest to push him away, but I ended up grabbing fistfuls of shirt and held on for dear life. He trailed kisses from my ear down my cheek and then pressed soft kisses along the arch of my neck. I pulled him closer and turned my head so he could really kiss me. He smiled and ignored my invitation, moving instead to the other ear. He bit my earlobe lightly, moved from there to my collarbone, and trailed kisses out to my shoulder. Then he lifted his head and brought his lips about one inch from mine and the only thought in my head was…more. With a devastating smile, he reluctantly pulled away and lightly ran his fingers through the strands of my hair. “By the way, I forgot to mention that you look beautiful tonight.” He smiled again then turned and strolled off down the hall.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Here we come to the central question of this book: What, precisely, does it mean to say that our sense of morality and justice is reduced to the language of a business deal? What does it mean when we reduce moral obligations to debts? What changes when the one turns into the other? And how do we speak about them when our language has been so shaped by the market? On one level the difference between an obligation and a debt is simple and obvious. A debt is the obligation to pay a certain sum of money. As a result, a debt, unlike any other form of obligation, can be precisely quantified. This allows debts to become simple, cold, and impersonal-which, in turn, allows them to be transferable. If one owes a favor, or one’s life, to another human being-it is owed to that person specifically. But if one owes forty thousand dollars at 12-percent interest, it doesn’t really matter who the creditor is; neither does either of the two parties have to think much about what the other party needs, wants, is capable of doing-as they certainly would if what was owed was a favor, or respect, or gratitude. One does not need to calculate the human effects; one need only calculate principal, balances, penalties, and rates of interest. If you end up having to abandon your home and wander in other provinces, if your daughter ends up in a mining camp working as a prostitute, well, that’s unfortunate, but incidental to the creditor. Money is money, and a deal’s a deal. From this perspective, the crucial factor, and a topic that will be explored at length in these pages, is money’s capacity to turn morality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic-and by doing so, to justify things that would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene. The factor of violence, which I have been emphasizing up until now, may appear secondary. The difference between a “debt” and a mere moral obligation is not the presence or absence of men with weapons who can enforce that obligation by seizing the debtor’s possessions or threatening to break his legs. It is simply that a creditor has the means to specify, numerically, exactly how much the debtor owes.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
Her partner now drew near, and said, "That gentleman would have put me out of patience, had he stayed with you half a minute longer. He has no business to withdraw the attention of my partner from me. We have entered into a contract of mutual agreeableness for the space of an evening, and all our agreeableness belongs solely to each other for that time. Nobody can fasten themselves on the notice of one, without injuring the rights of the other. I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbours." But they are such very different things!" -- That you think they cannot be compared together." To be sure not. People that marry can never part, but must go and keep house together. People that dance only stand opposite each other in a long room for half an hour." And such is your definition of matrimony and dancing. Taken in that light certainly, their resemblance is not striking; but I think I could place them in such a view. You will allow, that in both, man has the advantage of choice, woman only the power of refusal; that in both, it is an engagement between man and woman, formed for the advantage of each; and that when once entered into, they belong exclusively to each other till the moment of its dissolution; that it is their duty, each to endeavour to give the other no cause for wishing that he or she had bestowed themselves elsewhere, and their best interest to keep their own imaginations from wandering towards the perfections of their neighbours, or fancying that they should have been better off with anyone else. You will allow all this?" Yes, to be sure, as you state it, all this sounds very well; but still they are so very different. I cannot look upon them at all in the same light, nor think the same duties belong to them." In one respect, there certainly is a difference. In marriage, the man is supposed to provide for the support of the woman, the woman to make the home agreeable to the man; he is to purvey, and she is to smile. But in dancing, their duties are exactly changed; the agreeableness, the compliance are expected from him, while she furnishes the fan and the lavender water. That, I suppose, was the difference of duties which struck you, as rendering the conditions incapable of comparison." No, indeed, I never thought of that." Then I am quite at a loss. One thing, however, I must observe. This disposition on your side is rather alarming. You totally disallow any similarity in the obligations; and may I not thence infer that your notions of the duties of the dancing state are not so strict as your partner might wish? Have I not reason to fear that if the gentleman who spoke to you just now were to return, or if any other gentleman were to address you, there would be nothing to restrain you from conversing with him as long as you chose?" Mr. Thorpe is such a very particular friend of my brother's, that if he talks to me, I must talk to him again; but there are hardly three young men in the room besides him that I have any acquaintance with." And is that to be my only security? Alas, alas!" Nay, I am sure you cannot have a better; for if I do not know anybody, it is impossible for me to talk to them; and, besides, I do not want to talk to anybody." Now you have given me a security worth having; and I shall proceed with courage.
Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey)
EPILOGUE This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you. You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth. No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own. And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful follower, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real. Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good. Let Him prepare you further. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end. The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us. We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.
Foundation for Inner Peace (A Course in Miracles)
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN we pray? Have you ever really thought about that? When you bow your knee and fold your hands or walk the floor with your eyes closed, opening your heart to heaven, what exactly happens? There are very few references in the Bible about the proper procedures for how to pray, and I believe that is because prayer is more about the heart’s attitude and focus than it is about whether we stand, sit, close our eyes, or any other practice we normally associate with prayer. The truth be told, if we are supposed to pray without ceasing, we should also be able to work on an engine, write an e-mail, give a presentation, change a diaper, write a report, have coffee with a friend, encourage a coworker, pay our bills, and any of the other myriad of things we do in a day while still keeping the communication lines open with heaven. I believe that every day we need focused times of prayer, but at all other times we should be in an attitude of prayer with our spiritual ears open to the thoughts of heaven. There should be seasons of intense, concentrated prayer and fasting with specified hours set aside for intercession, and there should be times when prayer is simply a regular part of our daily routine. A great interest has arisen in the last decade around 24-7 prayer rooms where different church members pray in hour-long blocks so that unbroken intercession is raised up for their city and our world. Other churches dedicate evenings solely to prayer and worship and gather believers to lift their voices in song and petition to the Lord. While all of these are wonderful things to do, at its essence prayer is simply conversation with God. Because we have changed passports from the kingdom of this world to the kingdom of heaven, we are members of God’s family and therefore have the right to talk with our Father anytime we want because He is not limited by time and space. Yet while it isn’t difficult to speak to Him, even as a babe in faith, it does take some maturity to discern His voice from the voice of our own thoughts, dreams, and desires. This is why, when I speak about prayer, I get more questions about hearing the voice of God than anything else.
Cindy Trimm (The Prayer Warrior's Way: Strategies from Heaven for Intimate Communication with God)
I wiped my eyes on my sleeve and jumped when I turned and found Ren’s brother standing behind me as a man. Ren got up, alert, and watched him carefully, suspicious of Kishan’s every move. Ren’s tail twitched back and forth, and a deep grumble issued from his chest. Kishan look down at Ren, who had crept even closer to keep an eye on him, and then looked back at me. He reached out his hand, and when I placed mine in it, he lifted it to his lips and kissed it, then bowed deeply with great aplomb. “May I ask your name?” “My name is Kelsey. Kelsey hayes.” “Kelsey. Well, I, for one, appreciate all the efforts you have made on our behalf. I apologize if I frightened you earlier. I am,” he smiled, “out of practice in conversing with young ladies. These gifts you will be offering to Durga. Would you kindly tell me more about them?” Ren growled unhappily. I nodded. “Is Kishan your given name?” “My full name is actually Sohan Kishan Rajaram, but you can call me Kishan if you like.” He smiled a dazzling white smile, which was even more brilliant due to the contrast with his dark skin. He offered an arm. “Would you please sit and talk with me, Kelsey?” There was something very charming about Kishan. I surprised myself by finding I immediately trusted and liked him. He had a quality similar to his brother. Like Ren, he had the ability to set a person completely at ease. Maybe it was their diplomatic training. Maybe it was how their mother raised them. Whatever it was made me respond positively. I smiled at him. “I’d love to.” He tucked my arm under his and walked with me over to the fire. Ren growled again, and Kishan shot a smirk in his direction. I noticed him wince when he sat, so I offered him some aspirin. “Shouldn’t we be getting you two to a doctor? I really think you might need stitches and Ren-“ “Thank you, but no. You don’t need to worry about our minor pains.” “I wouldn’t exactly call your wounds minor, Kishan.” “The curse helps us to heal quickly. You’ll see. We’ll both recover swiftly enough on our own. Still, it was nice to have such a lovely young woman tending to my injuries.” Ren stood in front of us and looked like he was a tiger suffering from apoplexy. I admonished, “Ren, be civil.” Kishan smiled widely and waited for me to get comfortable. Then he scooted closer to me and rested his arm on the log behind my shoulders. Ren stepped right between us, nudged his brother roughly aside with his furry head, creating a wider space, and maneuvered his body into the middle. He dropped heavily to the ground and rested his head in my lap. Kishan frowned, but I started talking, sharing the story of what Ren and I had been through. I told him about meeting Ren at the circus and about how he tricked me to get me to India. I talked about Phet, the Cave of Kanheri, and finding the prophecy, and I told him that we were on our way to Hampi. As I lost myself in our story, I stroked Ren’s head. He shut his eyes and purred, and then he fell asleep. I talked for almost an hour, barely registering Kishan’s raised eyebrow and thoughtful expression as he watched the two of us together. I didn’t even notice when he’d changed back into a tiger.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and Bridgette...you know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Things I Used to Get Hit For: Talking back. Being smart. Acting stupid. Not listening. Not answering the first time. Not doing what I’m told. Not doing it the second time I’m told. Running, jumping, yelling, laughing, falling down, skipping stairs, lying in the snow, rolling in the grass, playing in the dirt, walking in mud, not wiping my feet, not taking my shoes off. Sliding down the banister, acting like a wild Indian in the hallway. Making a mess and leaving it. Pissing my pants, just a little. Peeing the bed, hardly at all. Sleeping with a butter knife under my pillow. Shitting the bed because I was sick and it just ran out of me, but still my fault because I’m old enough to know better. Saying shit instead of crap or poop or number two. Not knowing better. Knowing something and doing it wrong anyway. Lying. Not confessing the truth even when I don’t know it. Telling white lies, even little ones, because fibbing isn’t fooling and not the least bit funny. Laughing at anything that’s not funny, especially cripples and retards. Covering up my white lies with more lies, black lies. Not coming the exact second I’m called. Getting out of bed too early, sometimes before the birds, and turning on the TV, which is one reason the picture tube died. Wearing out the cheap plastic hole on the channel selector by turning it so fast it sounds like a machine gun. Playing flip-and-catch with the TV’s volume button then losing it down the hole next to the radiator pipe. Vomiting. Gagging like I’m going to vomit. Saying puke instead of vomit. Throwing up anyplace but in the toilet or in a designated throw-up bucket. Using scissors on my hair. Cutting Kelly’s doll’s hair really short. Pinching Kelly. Punching Kelly even though she kicked me first. Tickling her too hard. Taking food without asking. Eating sugar from the sugar bowl. Not sharing. Not remembering to say please and thank you. Mumbling like an idiot. Using the emergency flashlight to read a comic book in bed because batteries don’t grow on trees. Splashing in puddles, even the puddles I don’t see until it’s too late. Giving my mother’s good rhinestone earrings to the teacher for Valentine’s Day. Splashing in the bathtub and getting the floor wet. Using the good towels. Leaving the good towels on the floor, though sometimes they fall all by themselves. Eating crackers in bed. Staining my shirt, tearing the knee in my pants, ruining my good clothes. Not changing into old clothes that don’t fit the minute I get home. Wasting food. Not eating everything on my plate. Hiding lumpy mashed potatoes and butternut squash and rubbery string beans or any food I don’t like under the vinyl seat cushions Mom bought for the wooden kitchen chairs. Leaving the butter dish out in summer and ruining the tablecloth. Making bubbles in my milk. Using a straw like a pee shooter. Throwing tooth picks at my sister. Wasting toothpicks and glue making junky little things that no one wants. School papers. Notes from the teacher. Report cards. Whispering in church. Sleeping in church. Notes from the assistant principal. Being late for anything. Walking out of Woolworth’s eating a candy bar I didn’t pay for. Riding my bike in the street. Leaving my bike out in the rain. Getting my bike stolen while visiting Grandpa Rudy at the hospital because I didn’t put a lock on it. Not washing my feet. Spitting. Getting a nosebleed in church. Embarrassing my mother in any way, anywhere, anytime, especially in public. Being a jerk. Acting shy. Being impolite. Forgetting what good manners are for. Being alive in all the wrong places with all the wrong people at all the wrong times.
Bob Thurber (Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel)
Reality, at first glance, is a simple thing: the television speaking to you now is real. Your body sunk into that chair in the approach to midnight, a clock ticking at the threshold of awareness. All the endless detail of a solid and material world surrounding you. These things exist. They can be measured with a yardstick, a voltammeter, a weighing scale. These things are real. Then there’s the mind, half-focused on the TV, the settee, the clock. This ghostly knot of memory, idea and feeling that we call ourself also exists, though not within the measurable world our science may describe. Consciousness is unquantifiable, a ghost in the machine, barely considered real at all, though in a sense this flickering mosaic of awareness is the only true reality that we can ever know. The Here-and-Now demands attention, is more present to us. We dismiss the inner world of our ideas as less important, although most of our immediate physical reality originated only in the mind. The TV, sofa, clock and room, the whole civilisation that contains them once were nothing save ideas. Material existence is entirely founded on a phantom realm of mind, whose nature and geography are unexplored. Before the Age of Reason was announced, humanity had polished strategies for interacting with the world of the imaginary and invisible: complicated magic-systems; sprawling pantheons of gods and spirits, images and names with which we labelled powerful inner forces so that we might better understand them. Intellect, Emotion and Unconscious Thought were made divinities or demons so that we, like Faust, might better know them; deal with them; become them. Ancient cultures did not worship idols. Their god-statues represented ideal states which, when meditated constantly upon, one might aspire to. Science proves there never was a mermaid, blue-skinned Krishna or a virgin birth in physical reality. Yet thought is real, and the domain of thought is the one place where gods inarguably ezdst, wielding tremendous power. If Aphrodite were a myth and Love only a concept, then would that negate the crimes and kindnesses and songs done in Love’s name? If Christ were only ever fiction, a divine Idea, would this invalidate the social change inspired by that idea, make holy wars less terrible, or human betterment less real, less sacred? The world of ideas is in certain senses deeper, truer than reality; this solid television less significant than the Idea of television. Ideas, unlike solid structures, do not perish. They remain immortal, immaterial and everywhere, like all Divine things. Ideas are a golden, savage landscape that we wander unaware, without a map. Be careful: in the last analysis, reality may be exactly what we think it is.
Alan Moore
As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-color joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side, and that’s why most people can’t stand me. Oh, I can be an amusing clown for an afternoon, but after that everyone’s had enough of me to last a month. Actually, I’m what a romantic movie is to a profound thinker—a mere diversion, a comic interlude, something that is soon forgotten: not bad, but not particularly good either. I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true? My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne—to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why. I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “lighthearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared. So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am … on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why—no, I’m sure that’s the reason why—I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether. As I’ve told you, what I say is not what I feel, which is why I have a reputation for being boy-crazy as well as a flirt, a smart aleck and a reader of romances. The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I’m trying very hard to change myself, but that I’m always up against a more powerful enemy. A voice within me is sobbing, “You see, that’s what’s become of you. You’re surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don’t listen to the advice of your own better half.” Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world. Yours, Anne M. Frank ANNE’S DIARY ENDS HERE.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)