Exact Meaning Of Quotes

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I don't exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
You're a guardian angel now." I was still too much in awe to wrap my mind around it, but at the same time I felt amazement, curiosity...happiness. "I'm your guardian angel," he said. "I get my very own guardian angel? What, exactly, is your job description?" "Guard your body." His smile tipped higher. "I take my job seriously, which means I'm going to need to get acquainted with the subject matter on a personal level.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
It doesn't matter what people tell you. It doesn't matter what they might say. Sometimes you have to leave home. Sometimes, running away means you're headed in the exact right direction.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic #1))
I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.
Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret)
My spirit. This is a new thought. I'm not sure exactly what it means, but it suggests I'm a fighter. In a sort of brave way. It's not as if I'm never friendly. Okay, maybe I don't go around loving everybody I meet, maybe my smiles are hard to come by, but i do care for some people.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.
Theodore Roosevelt
Exactly!" said Deep Thought. "So once you do know what the question actually is, you'll know what the answer means.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I mean, like most guys, you carry around this girl in your head, who is exactly who you want her to be. The person you think you will love the most. And every girl you are with gets measured against this girl in your head.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
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)
Lying is easy. But it's lonely." "What do you mean?" "When you lie to everyone about everything, what's left? What's true?" "Nothing," I say. "Exactly.
Victoria Schwab (The Archived (The Archived, #1))
Neel takes a sharp breath and I know exactly what it means. It means: I have waited my whole life to walk through a secret passage built into a bookshelf.
Robin Sloan (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1))
The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody'd move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole, with their pretty antlers and they're pretty, skinny legs, and that squaw with the naked bosom would still be weaving that same blanket. Nobody's be different. The only thing that would be different would be you. Not that you'd be so much older or anything. It wouldn't be that, exactly. You'd just be different, that's all. You'd have an overcoat this time. Or the kid that was your partner in line the last time had got scarlet fever and you'd have a new partner. Or you'd have a substitute taking the class, instead of Miss Aigletinger. Or you'd heard your mother and father having a terrific fight in the bathroom. Or you'd just passed by one of those puddles in the street with gasoline rainbows in them. I mean you'd be different in some way—I can't explain what I mean. And even if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
You’ve spent a morning with him and you’re warning me off. Just wait,’ said Damen, ‘until you’ve spent a full day with him.’ ‘You mean that he improves with time?’ ‘Not exactly,’ said Damen.
C.S. Pacat (Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3))
It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because of what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
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)
Words could betray you if you chose the wrong ones, or mean less if you used too many. Jokes could be grandly miscalculated, or stories deemed boring, and I'd learned early on that my sense of humor and ideas about what sorts of things were fascinating didn't exactly overlap with my friends'.
Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything)
It is always useful to face an enemy who is prepared to die for his country," he read. "This means that both you and he have exactly the same aim in mind.
Terry Pratchett (Jingo (Discworld, #21; City Watch, #4))
Percy," my father said, "what exactly do you mean?" "Kronos couldn't have risen if it hadn't been for a lot of demigods who felt abandoned by their parents," I said. "They felt angry, resentful, and unloved, and they had a good reason.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
You ever seen A Christmas Story? You know toward the end when Ralphie beats the ever-loving shit out of the bully? I hope to God you've seen it. Because then you'll know exactly what I mean when I say I'm about to go real fucking Ralphie on this son of a bitch.
Emma Chase (Tangled (Tangled, #1))
Girls get screwed. Not that kind of screwed, what I mean is, they're always on the short end of things. The way things work, how guys feel great, but make girls feel cheap for doing exactly what they beg for. The way they get to play you, all the while claiming they love you and making you believe it's true. The way it's okay to gift their heart one day, a backhand the next, to move on to the apricot when the peach blushes and bruises. These things make me believe God's a man after all.
Ellen Hopkins (Crank (Crank, #1))
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 looked at her. “We’re meant to be together…” “And this is exactly what I mean.” “Our love is written in the stars.” “And there you go again.” “I love you.” “You bore me.
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
[Ana] “You’re a sadist?” “I’m a Dominant.” His eyes are a scorching gray, intense. “What does that mean?” I whisper. “It means I want you to willingly surrender yourself to me, in all things.” I frown at him as I try to assimilate this idea. “Why would I do that?” “To please me,” he whispers as he cocks his head to one side, and I see a ghost of a smile. Please him! He wants me to please him! I think my mouth drops open. Please Christian Grey. And I realize, in that moment, that yes, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want him to be damned delighted with me. It’s a revelation.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1))
The words we read and words we write never say exactly what we mean. The people we love are never just as we desire them. The two symbola never perfectly match. Eros is in between.
Anne Carson (Eros the Bittersweet)
I can't promise you an ordinary experience, Kate. I wish I could transform myself into a normal man and be there for you, always, without the trauma that defines my life as "the walking dead." Since that isn't possible, I can only reassure you that I will do everything in my power to make it up to you. To give you more than a normal boyfriend could. I have no idea what that will mean, exactly, but I'm looking forward to finding out. With you.
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
Whats the difference between a king and his horse?I dont mean some kiddy shit like one has 4 legs and the other has 2, or ones a person and ones an animal. If their form, ability, and power is exactly the same, then why is it one becomes the king and controls the battle and the other one becomes the horse and carries the king? There's only one answer...INSTINCT!!!
Tite Kubo
If everyone knew exactly what I was going to say, then there would be no point in my saying it, would there?
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
Suffer. You could say it means endure, but that's not exactly right
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
Thermodynamic miracles... events with odds against so astronomical they're effectively impossible, like oxygen spontaneously becoming gold. I long to observe such a thing. And yet, in each human coupling, a thousand million sperm vie for a single egg. Multiply those odds by countless generations, against the odds of your ancestors being alive; meeting; siring this precise son; that exact daughter... Until your mother loves a man she has every reason to hate, and of that union, of the thousand million children competing for fertilization, it was you, only you, that emerged. To distill so specific a form from that chaos of improbability, like turning air to gold... that is the crowning unlikelihood. The thermodynamic miracle. But...if me, my birth, if that's a thermodynamic miracle... I mean, you could say that about anybody in the world!. Yes. Anybody in the world. ..But the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget... I forget. We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from the another's vantage point. As if new, it may still take our breath away. Come...dry your eyes. For you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things leave their fingerprints most clearly. Dry your eyes... and let's go home.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
Maybe the best thing to do with favorite books is to leave them be: to achieve such exalted position means that they entered your life at exactly the right time, in precisely the right place, and those conditions can never be recreated.
Nick Hornby
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
To be born means being compelled to choose an era, a place, a life. To exist here, now, means to lost the possibility of being countless other potential selves.. Yet once being born there is no turning back. And I think that's exactly why the fantasy worlds of cartoon movies so strongly represent our hopes and yearnings. They illustrate a world of lost possibilities for us.
Hayao Miyazaki (Starting Point: 1979-1996)
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
Henry Scott Holland (Death is Nothing at All)
Here's what I mean by the miracle of language. When you're falling into a good book, exactly as you might fall into a dream, a little conduit opens, a passageway between a reader's heart and a writer's, a connection that transcends the barriers of continents and generations and even death ... And here's the magic. You're different. You can never go back to being exactly the same person you were before you disappeared into that book.
Anthony Doerr
I'm payin' and if you even open your mouth to argue with me, I'm gonna be forced to find a way to stop you speaking, and the way I'll pick means Billy's gonna get an eyeful of exactly the kind of friend I intend to be.
Kristen Ashley (Law Man (Dream Man, #3))
If you are happy in a dream, Ammu, does that count? Estha asked. "Does what count?" "The happiness does it count?". She knew exactly what he meant, her son with his spoiled puff. Because the truth is, that only what counts, counts....."If you eat fish in a dream, does it count?" Does it mean you've eaten fish?
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
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)
This is the weird aftermath, when it is not exactly over, and yet you have given it up. You go back and forth in your head, often, about giving it up. It’s hard to understand, when you are sitting there in your chair, having breakfast or whatever, that giving it up is stronger than holding on, that “letting yourself go” could mean you have succeeded rather than failed. You eat your goddamn Cheerios and bicker with the bitch in your head that keeps telling you you’re fat and weak: Shut up, you say, I’m busy, leave me alone. When she leaves you alone, there’s a silence and a solitude that will take some getting used to. You will miss her sometimes...There is, in the end, the letting go.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
Faith is a very personal thing, really. Just because you don’t meet with a group of people once a week who believe everything exactly the way you do doesn’t mean you don’t believe in something.
Charlie N. Holmberg (The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician #1))
In reaction against the age-old slogan, "woman is the weaker vessel," or the still more offensive, "woman is a divine creature," we have, I think, allowed ourselves to drift into asserting that "a woman is as good as a man," without always pausing to think what exactly we mean by that. What, I feel, we ought to mean is something so obvious that it is apt to escape attention altogether, viz: (...) that a woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual. What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.
Dorothy L. Sayers (Are Women Human? Astute and Witty Essays on the Role of Women in Society)
If you want to know the Correct term for me, I'm a Dark-Hunter." Nick digested that word slowly. "Which means what? You hunt darkness?" "Yes, Nick. That's exactly what I do. There's just not enough of it." Now, there was some sarcasm you could cut with a knife.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
What does fighting crime mean, exactly? Does it mean upholding the law when a woman shoplifts to feed her children, or does it mean struggling to uncover the ones who, quite legally, have brought about her poverty?
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
Look. I don’t want to push you into anything, but do you maybe want to —” “Call Magnus? Look, that’s a dead end, I know you’re trying to be helpful, but —” “—kiss me?” Jace finished. Alec looked as if he were about to fall off his chair. “WHAT? What? What?” “Once what would do.” Jace did his best to look as if this were the sort of suggestion one made all the time. “I think it might help.” Alec looked at him with something like horror. “You don’t mean that.” “Why wouldn’t I mean it?” “Because you’re the straightest person I know. Possibly the straightest person in the universe.” “Exactly,” Jace said, and leaned forward, and kissed Alec on the mouth. The kiss lasted approximately four seconds before Alec pulled forcefully away, throwing his hands up as if to ward Jace off from coming at him again. He looked as if he were about to throw up. “By the Angel,” he said. “Don’t ever do that again.” “Oh yeah?” Jace grinned, and almost meant it. “That bad?” “Like kissing my brother,” said Alec, with a look of horror in his eyes. “I thought you might feel that way.” Jace crossed his arms over his chest. “Also, I’m hoping we can just gloss over all the irony in what you just said.” “We can gloss over whatever you want to,” Alec said fervently. “Just don’t kiss me again.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
When I meet a woman who attracts me, I prefer women,' she said. 'And when I meet a man who attracts me, I prefer men.' 'You mean you haven't made up your mind yet.' 'I mean exactly what I said. I told you you wouldn't like it. Most people who ask want me definitely on one side or the other.
Octavia E. Butler (Patternmaster (Patternmaster, #4))
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)
Instruction in world history in the so-called high schools is even today in a very sorry condition. Few teachers understand that the study of history can never be to learn historical dates and events by heart and recite them by rote; that what matters is not whether the child knows exactly when this battle or that was fought, when a general was born, or even when a monarch (usually a very insignificant one) came into the crown of his forefathers. No, by the living God, this is very unimportant. To 'learn' history means to seek and find the forces which are the causes leading to those effects which we subsequently perceive as historical events.
Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)
He froze. “I . . .” Then, as he searched my face with wonder, he slid from his seat and down to one knee. “My sweet, lovely Anna. I love you . . . and I want to marry you. But only if you want to. Do you? I mean, will you? Marry me?” Be still my heart. His proposal was so adorably awkward that I had to laugh, sliding out of my chair so I could face him on my knees, too. I grabbed his face and kissed him for saying exactly what I needed to hear. We kissed once, twice, three times before he pulled back. “Does it always take this long for someone to answer? It’s making me bloody nervous.” I looked into his eyes. “Yes, Kai. I’ll marry you.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Reckoning (Sweet, #3))
If you are eager to find the reason I became the Kvothe they tell stories about, you could look there, I suppose." Chronicler's forehead wrinkled. "What do you mean, exactly?" Kvothe paused for a long moment, looking down at his hands. "Do you know how many times I've been beaten over the course of my life?" Chronicler shook his head. Looking up, Kvothe grinned and tossed his shoulders in a nonchalant shrug. "Neither do I. You'd think that sort of thing would stick in a person's mind. You'd think I would remember how many bones I've had broken. You'd think I'd remember the stitches and bandages." He shook his head. "I don't. I remember that young boy sobbing in the dark. Clear as a bell after all these years." Chronicler frowned. "You said yourself that there was nothing you could have done." "I could have," Kvothe said seriously, "and I didn't. I made my choice and I regret it to this day. Bones mend. Regret stays with you forever.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
This is not to say that I wasn't completely repulsed. I mean, I wasn't exactly proud that my stepbrother was in there tongue wrestling with the second stupidest person in our class, after himself.
Meg Cabot (Ninth Key (The Mediator, #2))
But while everything around us seems to be in a constant state of flux- people at their very core remained exactly the same. All of us still seeking the things we've sought all along—shelter, food, love, greater meaning—" He shakes his head. "A quest that's immune to evolution.
Alyson Noel (Shadowland (The Immortals, #3))
Are zombie girls allowed to talk?” “If they’re cute and willing to do zombie-girl mud fights” “Duuude. Right on.” “That’s a disgusting image” ... “It’s not liked we’d pick the decayed ones, Penryn. Just … fresh from the dead.” “Only, with ripped clothes and stuff.” “And hungry for breeeeasts.” “He means brains.” “That’s exactly what I meant.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
...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))
You’re a guardian angel now.”.... "I’m your guardian angel,” he said. “I get my very own guardian angel? What, exactly, is your job description?” “Guard your body.” His smile tipped higher. “I take my job seriously, which means I’m going to need to get acquainted with the subject matter on a personal level.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
I always hear people talk about 'dysfunctional families.' It annoys me, because it makes you think that somewhere there's this magical family where everyone gets along, and no one ever screams things they don't mean, and there's never a time when sharp objects should be hidden. Well, I'm sorry, but that family doesn't exist. And if you find some neighbors that seem to be the grinning model of 'function,' trust me - that's the family that will get arrested for smuggling arms in their SUV between soccer games. The best you can really hope for is a family where everyone's problems, big and small, work together. Kind of like an orchestra where every instrument is out of tune, in exactly the same way, so you don't really notice.
Neal Shusterman (Antsy Does Time (Antsy Bonano, #2))
I don’t exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Christian stretched out beside her and pulled her close. ʺBut for what itʹs worth, I think youʹd be a great queen too, Princess Dragomir.ʺ ʺYouʹre going to get dirty,ʺ she warned. ʺAlready am. Oh, you mean from your clothes?ʺ He wrapped his arms around her, heedless of her damp and muddy state. ʺI spent most of my childhood hiding in a dusty attic and own exactly one dress shirt. You really think I care about this T-shirt?ʺ
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet. And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more. This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it. Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought. Er, excuse me, who am I? Hello? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach. Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet? No. Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation … Or is it the wind? There really is a lot of that now isn’t it? And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me? And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence. Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
We didn't exactly believe your story.' Then --?' 'We believed your two hundred dollars.' 'You mean --' She seemed not to know what he meant. 'I mean that you paid us more than if you'd been telling the truth,' he explained blandly, 'and enough more to make it all right.
Dashiell Hammett (The Maltese Falcon)
Simon whispered to me, “But is everything okay?” “No,” Tori said. “I kidnapped her and forced her to escape with me. I’ve been using her as a human shield against those guys with guns, and I was just about to strangle her and leave her body here to throw them off my trail. But then you showed up and foiled my evil plans. Lucky for you, though. You get to rescue poor little Chloe again and win her undying gratitude.” “Undying gratitude?” Simon looked at me. “Cool. Does that come with eternal servitude? If so, I like my eggs sunnyside up.” I smiled. “I’ll remember that.” *** “Oh, right. You must be starving.” Simon reached into his pockets. “I can offer one bruised apple and one brown banana. Convenience stores aren’t the place to buy fruit, as I keep telling someone.” “Better than these. For you, anyway, Simon.” Derek passed a bar to Tori. “Because you aren’t supposed to have those, are you?” I said. “Which reminds me…” I took out the insulin. “Derek said it’s your backup.” “So my dark secret is out.” “I didn’t know it was a secret.” “Not really. Just not something I advertise.” ... “Backup?” Tori said. “You mean he didn’t need that?” “Apparently not,” I murmured. Simon looked from her to me, confused, then understanding. “You guys thought…” “That if you didn’t get your medicine in the next twenty-four hours, you’d be dead?” I said. “Not exactly, but close. You know, the old ‘upping the ante with a fatal disease that needs medication’ twist. Apparently, it still works.” “Kind of a letdown, then, huh?” “No kidding. Here we were, expecting to find you minutes from death. Look at you, not even gasping.” “All right, then. Emergency medical situation, take two.” He leaped to his feet, staggered, keeled over, then lifted his head weakly. “Chloe? Is that you?” He coughed. “Do you have my insulin?” I placed it in his outstretched hand. “You saved my life,” he said. “How can I ever repay you?” “Undying servitude sounds good. I like my eggs scrambled.” He held up a piece of fruit. “Would you settle for a bruised apple?” I laughed.
Kelley Armstrong (The Awakening (Darkest Powers, #2))
Remember our friend Mark?” Wylan winced. “Let’s say the mark is a tourist walking through the Barrel. He’s heard it’s a good place to get rolled, so he keeps patting his wallet, making sure it’s there, congratulating himself on just how alert and cautious he’s being. No fool he. Of course every time he pats his back pocket or the front of his coat, what is he doing? He’s telling every thief on the Stave exactly where he keeps his scrub.” “Saints,” grumbled Nina. “I’ve probably done that.” “Everyone does,” said Inej. Jesper lifted a brow. “Not everyone.” “That’s only because you never have anything in your wallet,” Nina shot back. “Mean.” “Factual.” “Facts are for the unimaginative
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Sometimes I come up here at night...just to look at the city. I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.
Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret)
It is our honor," Amelia said, and it was the weirdest thing-it sounded like she really meant it. People don't often say exactly what they really mean.
Lili St. Crow (Betrayals (Strange Angels, #2))
Feminism has had exactly the same problem that "political correctness" has had: people keep using the phrase without really knowing what it means.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
I'll be ready. I'm not sure for what exactly. But maybe that's what being ready really means.
Holly Goldberg Sloan (Counting by 7s)
People say exactly what they mean when they are angry. That's when they are the most free to do so. They may not mean to hurt you, but they always mean what they say.
Jennifer Loren (The Devil's Eyes (The Devil's Eyes, #1))
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
Don't you think I have sense enough to worry about my motives for saying the prayer? That's exactly what's bothering me so. Just because I'm choosy about what I want - in this case, enlightenment or peace, instead or money or prestige or game or any of those things, doesn't mean I'm not as egotistical and self-seeking as everybody else. If anything, I'm more so!
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
Don't you ever feel like, what if the world really IS messed up? What if we COULD Do it all over again from scratch? No more war. Nobody homeless. No more summer reading homework. 'm listening. Annabeth: I mean, the West represents a lot of the best things mankind ever did--that's why the fire is still burning. That's why OlympusIs still around. But sometimes you just see the bad stuff, you know? And you start thinking the way Luke does: 'If I could tear this all down, i would do it better.'. Don't you ever feel that way? Like YOU could do a better job I'd you ran the world? Percy:Um...no. Me running the world would be kind of a nightmare. Annabeth: then you're lucky. Hubris isn't your fatal flaw. Percy: what is? Annabeth: I don't know, Percy, but every hero has one. If you don't find it and learn to control it...well, they don't call it 'fatal' for nothing. Percy(thinking to himself): I thought about that. It didn't exactly cheer me up.
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
Which meant I got left with Quinn yet again. Given the time he was taking to make his decision, I wasn't exactly happy about that. I mean, putting me with him was like flashing chocolate my way then telling me I couldn't have it. It was just plain mean.
Keri Arthur (Kissing Sin (Riley Jenson Guardian #2))
Would you like to dance with me?” He laughed. “With you? No.” She looked at the marble floor, her chest tight. “You needn’t be so cruel.” “Cruel? Celaena, Perrington is just over there. I’m sure he’s not happy about you being here, so I wouldn’t risk drawing his attention any more than necessary.” “Coward.” Chaol’s eyes softened. “If he weren’t here, I would have said yes.” (...) “Anyway,” Chaol added, jerking his chin at Dorian, “I think you have far more attractive suitors vying for your attention. I’m boring company to keep.” “I don’t mind being here with you.” “I’m sure you don’t,” Chaol said dryly, though he met her stare. “I mean it. Why aren’t you dancing with anyone? Aren’t there ladies whom you like?” “I’m the Captain of the Guard—I’m not exactly a catch for any of them.” There was some sorrow in his eyes, though it was well concealed. “Are you mad? You’re better than everyone in here. And you’re—you’re very handsome,” she said, taking his hand in her free one. There was beauty in Chaol’s face—and strength, and honor, and loyalty. She stopped hearing the crowd, and her mouth became dry as he stared at her. How had she missed it for so long? “You think so?” he said after a moment, looking at their clasped hands. She tightened her grasp. “Why, if I wasn’t—
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Justin, honey, you were my very first kiss. My very first hand to hold. But you were nothing more than an average guy. And I don't say that to be mean- I don't. There was just something about you that made me need to be your girlfriend to this day I don't know exactly what that was. But it was there.. and it was amazingly strong. -Thirteen Reasons Why
Jay Asher
You scare me Stella." I looked at him, frowning. "What? Why?" He looks into my eyes his voice serious. "You make me want a life I cant have." I know exactly what he means. He shakes his head his face somber. "That's the scariest thing I've ever felt.
Rachael Lippincott (Five Feet Apart)
There is a fine line between love and hate, or haven't you heard? Sometimes it's hard to decipher exactly which emotion is strongest." I raised my chin. "I don't love you either." He lowered his head and watched me from underneath his dark lashes. "Are you certain? Because the emotion pouring out of you every time I'm near you is certainly not disinterest." "That doesn't mean it's love." "It could be, I promise you. Take off that sweater and give me ten minutes, and you'll believe beyond a shadow of a doubt you're in love.
Darynda Jones (Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4))
But death doesn't scare me. To know exactly when I might expect it, up close and in my face, would actually be a comfort. Because to tell the truth, most of the time dying seems pretty much like my only means of escape.
Ellen Hopkins (Identical)
Memory is a mean thing, slicing at you from the harshest angles, dipping your consciousness into the wrong colors again and again. A moment of humiliation, or devastation, or absolute rage, to be rewound and replayed, spinning a thread that wraps around the brain, knotting itself into something of a noose. It won't exactly kill you, but it makes you feel the squeeze of every horrible moment. How do you stop it? How do you work the mind free?
Emily X.R. Pan (The Astonishing Color of After)
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))
That’s not true. I love you more than my life, Pigeon,” he said, hurt. “That’s exactly what I mean. That’s crazy talk.” “It’s not crazy. It’s the truth.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
It was frankly sort of confusing, the way everyone stared at our bodies exactly as they tried to erase the ideas of our bodies from our minds. We were supposed to get over ourselves but no one was supposed to get over us. The female body was our worst handicap and our best advantage -- the surest means to success, the surest course to failure. (p. 72)
Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
Alec drew his hand back with a low whistle. "The Inquisitor meant business." "Of course she did. I'm a dangerous criminal. Or hadn't you heard?" Jace heard the acid in his own tone, saw Alec flinch, and was meanly, momentarily, glad. "She didn't call you a criminal, exactly..." "No, I'm just a very naughty boy. I do all sorts of bad things. I kick kittens. I make rude gestures at nun
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
Roarke: “Our engines don't run at the same speed.” Eve: “What the hell does that mean?” Roarke: “Just that.” Eve: “It sounds like something that ought to piss me off. But I can't figure out exactly why. When I do, I might have to pop you one.” Roarke: “I'll look forward to it. If you don't sleep, eat. You need something in your stomach. And what are you grinning at?” Eve: “You. You're such a wife.” Roarke: “Now, I'm pissed off.
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling. Now no feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married,’ then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense — love as distinct from ‘being in love’ — is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when they do not like each other; as you love yourself even when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. it is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.
C.S. Lewis
Songs and movies tell us that when you meet the one you love, the planet stops spinning, the clouds open up, and your heart begins to sing. Reality is messier than that. The truth is, we meet new people all the time, but we can never tell exactly what they might mean to us. You never know who you’ll forget, or who you’ll need forever.
Claudia Gray (A Million Worlds with You (Firebird, #3))
When life backs you into a corner and offers you no escape, when your friends, your lover, and your family abandon you, when you're at the end of your rope, panicked, alone, and losing your mind, you know you'd give anything to make your problems go away. Then, desperate and eager, you will come to Unicorn Lane, seeking salvation in its magics and secrets. You'll do anything, pay any price. Unicorn Lane will take you in, shroud you in its power, fix your problems, and exact its price. And then you will learn what 'anything' really means.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1))
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))
Sometimes, running away means you're headed in the exact right direction.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic #1))
Anyway, what does mad mean exactly?" Rami added quickly "Aren't we all a little mad? Don't we have to be somehat mad just to go on living, to go on hoping?
Tabitha Suzuma (A Note of Madness (Flynn Laukonen, #1))
-It's extremely cool how the words can stay the same but their meaning can change. -Because the reader changes. -EXACTLY
Doug Dorst (S.)
Because men are killing the forests the fairy tales are running away. The spindle doesn't know whom to prick, the little girl's hands that her father has chopped off, haven't a single tree to catch hold of, the third wish remains unspoken. King Thrushbeard no longer owns one thing. Children can no longer get lost. The number seven means no more than exactly seven. Because men have killed the forests, the fairy tales are trotting off to the cities and end badly.
Günter Grass (Rat)
Millions of books written on every conceivable subject by all these great minds and in the end, none of them knows anything more about the big questions of life than I do … I read Socrates. This guy knocked off little Greek boys. What the Hell’s he got to teach me? And Nietzsche, with his theory of eternal recurrence. He said that the life we lived we’re gonna live over again the exact same way for eternity. Great. That means I’ll have to sit through the Ice Capades again. It’s not worth it. And Freud, another great pessimist. I was in analysis for years and nothing happened. My poor analyst got so frustrated, the guy finally put in a salad bar. Maybe the poets are right. Maybe love is the only answer.
Woody Allen
You're not gay, are you? What?! I mean you've never had a boyfriend. And you're not exactly...girly. I'm not gay. I'm just unpopular.
Kristin Walker (A Match Made in High School)
You know exactly what I mean. That girl has more cracks in her than the road of yellow brick. Nox will break her in two.” “Or she’ll break him.
Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1))
Wanna bet?” Keefe countered. “Bad idea,” Sophie told him. “You’ve won twice now- that means you’re pretty much guaranteed to lose. Especially since this bet relies on me again.” He grinned. “Exactly, Foster. You’re always the safe bet.
Shannon Messenger (Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #7))
Vic nudged my elbow with his. "You and me are still friends, right? You guys get a joint custody in the divorce. Generous visitations rights." "Divorce?" Despite myself, I laughed. Only Vic could call the aftermath of a bad first date a divorce. We hadn't exactly been friends beforehand, so "still" was an exaggeration, but it would've been mean to point that out. Besides, I liked Vic. "We're still friends." "Excellent. The weirdos have to stick together around here." "Are you calling me a weirdo?" "Highest honor I can bestow.
Claudia Gray (Evernight (Evernight, #1))
My scientist friends have come up with things like 'principles of uncertainty' and dark holes. They're willing to live inside imagined hypotheses and theories. but many religious folks insist on answers that are always true. We love closure, resolution and clarity, while thinking that we are people of 'faith'! How strange that the very word 'faith' has come to mean its exact opposite.
Richard Rohr
See, the thing about guys is that I didn't really care to be around them. I mean, guys really made me uncomfortable. I don't know why, not exactly. I just, I don't know, I just didn't belong. I think it embarrassed the hell out of me that I was a guy. And it really depressed me that there was the distinct possibility that I was going to grow up and be like one of those assholes.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
Which means that in order to defeat her, I have to think of a way to defeat myself. And how can I be a better fighter than myself, if she knows the same strategies I know, and is exactly as resourceful and clever as I am?
Veronica Roth
CUSTOMER: Which was the first Harry Potter book? BOOKSELLER: The Philosopher’s Stone. CUSTOMER: And the second? BOOKSELLER: The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: I’l take The Chamber of Secrets. I don’t want The Philosopher’s Stone. BOOKSELLER: Have you already read that one? CUSTOMER: No, but with series of books I always find they take a while to really get going. I don’t want to waste my time with the useless introductory stuff at the beginning. BOOKSELLER: The story in Harry Potter actually starts right away. Personally, I do recommend that you start with the first book – and it’s very good. CUSTOMER: Are you working on commission? BOOKSELLER: No. CUSTOMER: Right. How many books are there in total? BOOKSELLER: Seven. CUSTOMER: Exactly. I’m not going to waste my money on the first book when there are so many others to buy. I’l take the second one. BOOKSELLER: . . . If you’re sure. (One week later, the customer returns) BOOKSELLER: Hi, did you want to buy a copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban? CUSTOMER: What’s that? BOOKSELLER: It’s the book after The Chamber of Secrets. CUSTOMER: Oh, no, definitely not. I found that book far too confusing. I ask you, how on earth are children supposed to understand it if I can’t? I mean, who the heck is that Voldemort guy anyway? No. I’m not going to bother with the rest. BOOKSELLER: . . .
Jen Campbell (Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops)
Reyes. Alexander. Farrow," I said. Seconds after I spoke his name, Reyes walked into his bedroom, and I looked across the open space directly from my room into his. He waited for me to continue. "I feel like there's something missing from my bedroom." A dimple appeared at the corner of his mouth. "You don't say." "Any idea what that might be?" He glanced around my room as well, then shrugged. "I can't imagine." "Oh, wait," I said, stepping from my room into his, "wasn't there something here? Like, I don't know, a wall or something?" He looked up. "You could be right. I do seem to remember a barrier of some kind here." "Yep," I said, stepping closer, "I definitely remember a partition separating our apartments." When his only response was a mischievous tilt of his full mouth, I asked, "Where did you put my wall?" He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against his doorframe. "What makes you think I took it?" "It was there this morning." "And that means I took it? Maybe you just misplaced it. Where exactly did you see it last?" I pressed my lips together. "You tore down my wall." The smile he wore could've charmed the panties off a nun. Completely unrepentant, he admitted, "I tore down your wall.
Darynda Jones (Sixth Grave on the Edge (Charley Davidson, #6))
Good begets good; evil begets evil; and even if the good you give is met by evil, you have no choice but to go on giving better than you get. Otherwise-and these were Willy's exact words-why bother to go on living?
Paul Auster (Timbuktu)
Sam: Do you always say exactly what you're thinking? AJ: I try to. I like to know where I stand with people, and I figure I owe them the same courtesy. I mean, I'm never rude or hurtful about it, but I don't see any reason to be fake. That's a lot of work
Tamara Ireland Stone (Every Last Word)
His severe expression faltered as his hand grazed the cape covering her gown. "Scrivener," he said carefully, "I don't mean to be forward, but is that a—" "A sword hidden underneath my dress? Yes, it is." "I see. And how exactly is it—" "I thought you didn't mean to be forward." She squeezed his arm. "Come on.
Margaret Rogerson (Sorcery of Thorns)
He laced his fingers through mine and lifted my hand to his lips. I had gloves on, but he kissed exactly where I wore his ring. “Why are you so sweet?” I asked, my voice small. My heart beat rapidly, and every star peeping through the clouds seemed to be shining just for me. “I don’t think I’m that sweet. I mean, I just told you to be quiet. That’s one step away from asking you to wash my laundry and make me a sandwich.” “You know what I mean.” Seth pressed another kiss to my forehead. “I’m sweet because you make it easy to be sweet.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Dreams (Georgina Kincaid, #3))
I think that cars today are almost the exact equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals; I mean the supreme creation of an era, conceived with passion by unknown artists, and consumed in image if not in usage by a whole population which appropriates them as a purely magical object.
Roland Barthes (Mythologies)
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 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)
Something like that. But you know, there's an upside here. Because when you spend so much time just intensely wanting something, and then you actually get the thing? It's magic.” All of a sudden, I feel like crying. In a good way. In the best way. Because I know exactly what she means. It's butterflies and haziness and heart eyes, but underneath all that, there's this bass line of I can't believe this. I can't believe this is me. I can't quite articulate the sweetness of that feeling. It's finding out the door you were banging on is finally unlocked. Maybe it was unlocked the whole time.
Becky Albertalli (The Upside of Unrequited (Simonverse, #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 saddest you've ever been in your whole life.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
The same two things could happen to two people, but that doesn't mean they would experience the exact same stress over it. We all have different levels of stress that we're accustomed to. You probably felt the same amount of stress over your family situation as I sometimes do about mine, even though they're completely on different levels. But that doesn't make you weaker. It doesn't make you an asshole. We're just two different people with two different experiences.
Colleen Hoover (Without Merit)
Kate, I'm not always the best at expressing myself to you, so I'm taking advantage of the fact that I will be completely unresponsive when you read this, and therefore incapable of messing things up. I want to thank you for giving me a chance. When I first saw you, I knew I had found something incredible. And since then all I've wanted was to be with you as much as possible. When I thought I had lost you, I was torn between wanting you back and wanting the best for you—wanting you to be happy. Seeing you so miserable during the weeks we were apart gave me the courage to fight for us . . . to find a way for things to work. And seeing you happy again in the days we've been back together makes me think I did the right thing. I can't promise you an ordinary experience, Kate. I wish I could transform myself into a normal man and be there for you, always, without the trauma that defines my life as "the walking dead." Since that isn't possible, I can only reassure you that I will do everything in my power to make it up to you. To give you more than a normal boyfriend could. I have no idea what that will mean, exactly, but I'm looking forward to finding out. With you. Thank you for being here, my beauty. Mon ange. My Kate. Yours utterly, Vincent
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
Ironic, isn’t it?” Shawn said. “It’s not ironic at all,” Gus said. “Dude, it’s so like a black fly in your chardonnay.” “How many times do I have to tell you that’s not ironic, either?” “Rain on your wedding day?” “‘Irony’ is the use of words to convey a meaning that’s opposite to their literal meaning,” Gus said. “That stupid song came out fourteen years ago, and we still have this exact conversation at least once a week.” “Yeah,” Shawn said. “Ironic, isn’t it?
William Rabkin (A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read (Psych, #1))
To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome his expression, in which at each instant he overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I, which means exactly: to have the idea of infinity. But this also means: to be taught. The relation with the Other, or Conversation, is a non-allergic relation, an ethical relation; but inasmuch as it is welcomed this conversation is a teaching. Teaching is not reducible to maieutics; it comes from the exterior and brings me more than I contain. In its non-violent transitivity the very epiphany of the face is produced.
Emmanuel Levinas (Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority)
Like...instinct?" At that Laurel flopped down on her back, a frustrated breath whooshing out of her. "Oh man, instinct, that's like the F-word in Avalon.Yeardley kept telling me, 'You are trying to rely on instinct,you need to trust your intuition instead.' But I looked up those two words and they mean the exact same thing.
Aprilynne Pike (Spells (Wings, #2))
However, there is a way to know for certain that Noah’s Flood and the Creation story never happened: by looking at our mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).  Mitochondria are the “cellular power plants” found in all of our cells and they have their own DNA which is separate from that found in the nucleus of the cell.  In humans, and most other species that mitochondria are found in, the father’s mtDNA normally does not contribute to the child’s mtDNA; the child normally inherits its mtDNA exclusively from its mother.  This means that if no one’s genes have mutated, then we all have the same mtDNA as our brothers and sisters and the same mtDNA as the children of our mother’s sisters, etc. This pattern of inheritance makes it possible to rule out “population bottlenecks” in our species’ history.  A bottleneck is basically a time when the population of a species dwindled to low numbers.  For humans, this means that every person born after a bottleneck can only have the mtDNA or a mutation of the mtDNA of the women who survived the bottleneck. This doesn’t mean that mtDNA can tell us when a bottleneck happened, but it can tell us when one didn’t happen because we know that mtDNA has a rate of approximately one mutation every 3,500 years (Gibbons 1998; Soares et al 2009). So if the human race were actually less than 6,000 years old and/or “everything on earth that breathed died” (Genesis 7:22) less than 6,000 years ago, which would be the case if the story of Adam and the story of Noah’s flood were true respectively, then every person should have the exact same mtDNA except for one or two mutations.  This, however, is not the case as human mtDNA is much more diverse (Endicott et al 2009), so we can know for a fact that the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Noah are fictional.   There
Alexander Drake (The Invention of Christianity)
Not exactly. I see a girl who wants to present someone special to the world. Someone beautiful. The pinnacle of beauty. But she has lost her hold on reality. Real beauty isn’t thin. It isn’t size two, unless you happen to be four foot ten. What the world sees when they look at you is someone who believes self-worth is all about how she looks, and that very often means that what she’s missing is love. Not someone else’s love. But love and respect for herself.
Ellen Hopkins (Perfect (Impulse, #2))
Tikkun olam.” Exactly. Basically, it says that the world has been broken into pieces. All this chaos, all this discord. And our job - everyone’s job - is to try to put the pieces back together. To make things whole again.” And you believe that?” I guess I do. I mean, I don’t know how the world broke. And I don’t know if there’s a God who can help us fix it. But the fact that the world is broken - I absolutely believe that. Just look around us. Every minute - every single second - there are a million things you could be thinking about. A million things you could be worrying about. Our world - don’t you feel we’re becoming more and more fragmented? I used to think that when I got older, the world would make so much more sense. But you know what? The older I get, the more confusing it is to me. The more complicated it is. Harder. You’d think we’d be getting better at it. But there’s just more and more chaos. The pieces - they’re everywhere. And nobody knows what to do about it. I find myself grasping, Nick. You know that feeling? That feeling when you just want the right thing to fall into the right place, not only because it’s right, but because it will mean that such a thing is still possible? I want to believe in that.” Do you really think it’s getting worse? I mean, aren’t we better off than we were twenty years ago? Or a hundred?” We’re better off. But I don’t know if the world’s better off. I don’t know if the two are the same thing.” You’re right.” Excuse me?” I said, ‘You’re right.’” But nobody ever says, ‘You’re right.’ Just like that.” Really?” Really.” …Then it hits me. Maybe we’re the pieces,” What?” Maybe that’s it. With what you were talking about before. The world being broken. Maybe it isn’t that we’re supposed to find the pieces and put them back together. Maybe we’re the pieces. Maybe, what we’re supposed to do is come together. That’s how we stop the breaking.” Tikkun olam.
David Levithan (Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist)
He nodded toward the sub. "This is going to be a blow-off day." I dragged my mind away from magical intrigue. After being homeschooled for most of my life, some parts of the "normal" school world was a mystery. "What does that mean, exactly." "Usually teacher leave subs a lesson plan, telling them what to do. I saw Ms. Terwilliger left. It said, 'Distract them.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
SCORPIUS: "We send a memory — like a Pensieve — stand over him and send a message, hope he reaches for the memory at exactly the right moment. I mean, it’s unlikely, but . . . Stand over the baby — and just repeatedly shout HELP. HELP. HELP. I mean, it might traumatize the baby slightly." ALBUS: "Only slightly.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8))
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)
Some burns," Clary said. "Nothing that matters" "Everything that happens to you matters to me." "Well that certainly explains why you haven't called me back once. And the last time I saw you, you ran away without telling me why. It's like dating a ghost." Jace's mouth quirked up slightly at the side. "Not exactly. Isabelle actually dated a ghost. She could tell you--" "No," Clary said. "It was a metaphor. And you know exactly what I mean.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
I didn't know love could leave the lights on all the time. Do you know what I mean?" "Not exactly." "I thought it took more naps. Or blinked. I didn't know it could just go on and on and like this without falling off an edge. Like pi." "What kind of pie?" "No, pi..." "Lincoln... "Lincoln? Are you asleep? "I didn't know someone could love me like this," she said. "Could love me and love me and love without...needing space." "There's no air in space.
Rainbow Rowell (Attachments)
I can never say what I want to say, it's been like this for a while now. I try to say something but all I get are wrong words - the wrong words or the exact opposite words from what I mean. I try to correct myself, and that only makes it worse. I lose track of what I was trying to say to begin with. It's like I'm split in two and playing tag with myself. One half is chasing this big, fat post. The other me has the right words, but this can't catch her.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
He isn’t like most guys, you know?' I know.' No, but do you really know? I mean here’s the deal, what do most guys want from a woman? I’ll tell you what we want. We want a warm body to sleep next to, preferably one with a nice pair of tits, maybe someone who’ll cook for us and fuck us on a regular basis. Pretty simple, huh? Now, what we don’t want is someone who’s going to come in and disrupt our lives and steal our souls. That’s what we fear most. We call it our freedom, but it’s our souls we’re talking about. You following me?' I nodded. Okay, good. Now forget it. Forget all that,' Pete said. 'Because Jacob’s not like that. He’s never been like that. He’s a damn fool and he wants the exact opposite of all that. He wants someone to obsess over, someone to possess his soul, and those are his corny words, by the way, not mine. It’s what he lives for. It’s what he thinks life’s all about. Do you get what I’m saying?' I nodded again.
Tiffanie DeBartolo (God-Shaped Hole)
Charity is the power of defending that which we know to be indefensible. Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances which we know to be desperate. It is true that there is a state of hope which belongs to bright prospects and the morning; but that is not the virtue of hope. The virtue of hope exists only in earthquake and eclipse. It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor; but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice. It is the undeserving who require it, and the ideal either does not exist at all, or exists wholly for them. For practical purposes it is at the hopeless moment that we require the hopeful man, and the virtue either does not exist at all, or begins to exist at that moment. Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.
G.K. Chesterton (Heretics)
I’d imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.
Hugo Cabret
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)
I didn't get to stop missing her. Ever. It was the thing that my life had handed me, and no matter how heavy it was, I was never going to be able to set it down. But that didn't mean I wasn't going to be okay. Or even happy. I couldn't imagine it yet exactly, but maybe a day would come when the hole inside me wouldn't ache quite so badly and I could think about her, and remember, and it would be all right. That day felt light-years away, but right at this moment I was standing on a tower in the middle of Tuscany and the sunrise was so beautiful that it hurt. And that was something.
Jenna Evans Welch (Love & Gelato (Love & Gelato, #1))
Now I don’t see anything evil in a desire to make money. But money is only a means to some end. If a man wants it for a personal purpose — to invest in his industry, to create, to study, to travel, to enjoy luxury — he’s completely moral. But the men who place money first go much beyond that. Personal luxury is a limited endeavor. What they want is ostentation: to show, to stun, to entertain, to impress others… At the price of their own self-respect. In the realm of greatest importance — the realm of values, of judgment, of spirit, of thought — they place others above self, in the exact manner which altruism demands. A truly selfish man cannot be affected by the approval of others. He doesn’t need it.
Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)
I reach out and take his hand. “Well, he probably used up a lot of resources helping me knock you out,” I say mischievously. “Yeah, about that,” says Peeta, entwining his fingers in mine. “Don’t try something like that again.” “Or what?” I ask. “Or . . . or . . .” He can’t think of anything good. “Just give me a minute.” “What’s the problem?” I say with a grin. “The problem is we’re both still alive. Which only reinforces the idea in your mind that you did the right thing,” says Peeta. “I did do the right thing,” I say. “No! Just don’t, Katniss!” His grip tightens, hurting my hand, and there’s real anger in his voice. “Don’t die for me. You won’t be doing me any favors. All right?” I’m startled by his intensity but recognize an excellent opportunity for getting food, so I try to keep up. “Maybe I did it for myself, Peeta, did you ever think of that? Maybe you aren’t the only one who . . . who worries about . . . what it would be like if. . .” I fumble. I’m not as smooth with words as Peeta. And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die. And it’s not about the sponsors. And it’s not about what will happen back home. And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread. “If what, Katniss?” he says softly. I wish I could pull the shutters closed, blocking out this moment from the prying eyes of Panem. Even if it means losing food. Whatever I’m feeling, it’s no one’s business but mine. “That’s exactly the kind of topic Haymitch told me to steer clear of,” I say evasively, although Haymitch never said anything of the kind. In fact, he’s probably cursing me out right now for dropping the ball during such an emotionally charged moment. But Peeta somehow catches it. “Then I’ll just have to fill in the blanks myself,” he says, and moves in to me. This is the first kiss that we’re both fully aware of. Neither of us hobbled by sickness or pain or simply unconscious. Our lips neither burning with fever or icy cold. This is the first kiss where I actually feel stirring inside my chest. Warm and curious. This is the first kiss that makes me want another. But I don’t get it. Well, I do get a second kiss, but it’s just a light one on the tip of my nose because Peeta’s been distracted. “I think your wound is bleeding again. Come on, lie down, it’s bedtime anyway,” he says.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Yeah," he grount out. "I nailed her." "Where?" Luc always wanted the dirty details. "Stockroom. Pay up." Luc snorted and reached for his wallet. "I really got taken on this one , didn't I?" He handed over four hundreds and five twenties. "Yeah, well, you can have the last laugh once the Sem brothers catch up with me. Seems she's their sister." "Dude." Luc streched out the word and then whistled, low and long. "Nice knowing you. So, will it at least have been worth it? Being gutted by Shade, I mean. Was she good ?" His body heated as though remembering. And wanting again. "Of course I was." Fuck. Con spun around to find Sin standing there, hands on hips and fury in her expression. Like a kid caught stealing candy, he whipped the money behind his back. She looked at him as if he was an idiot and grabbed his arm, briging it around. "It's not what you think," he said lamely, because it was exactly what she thought. "Really? So that big asshole behind you didn't bet you five hundred bucks that you couldn't fuck me ?" "Ah..." "That's what I thought. You dick. How stupid do you think I am ? Your name really fits you , Con." She snatched the money from him, took two hundreds and three twenties, and thrust the remaining two hundred and forty dollars back into his hand. Then, smiling broadly, she punched him in the shoulder. "Next time you make a bet like that, don't cheat me out of my half. I owe you a ten." She winked and left him, jaw-dropped and gaping, as she sauntered away.
Larissa Ione (Ecstasy Unveiled (Demonica #4))
I do not understand exactly what you mean by fear," said Tarzan. "Like lions, fear is a different thing in different men, but to me the only pleasure in the hunt is the knowledge that the hunted thing has power to harm me as much as I have to harm him. If I went out with a couple of rifles and a gun bearer, and twenty or thirty beaters, to hunt a lion, I should not feel that the lion had much chance, and so the pleasure of the hunt would be lessened in proportion to the increased safety which I felt." "Then I am to take it that Monsieur Tarzan would prefer to go naked into the jungle, armed only with a jackknife, to kill the king of beasts," laughed the other good naturedly, but with the merest touch of sarcasm in his tone. "And a piece of rope," added Tarzan.
Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan of the Apes (Tarzan, #1))
Sometimes it takes falling apart to see exactly how or what loosened the mortar. Sometimes we find we are responsible for the how & the what. As unpleasant as it is when it happens, one cannot help but appreciate these times for what you learn serves as a beacon. Of course this is only half the battle. Which means you're already half way there.
Colleen Truscott Fry
Really? Screaming?” He shrugged. “It wasn’t that bad. But there were definitely some freak-outs on both sides. Though, to be honest, the silence was worse.” “Worse than screaming?” I said. “Much,” he said, nodding. “I mean, at least with an argument, you know what’s happening. Or have some idea. Silence is… it could be anything. It’s just –” “So freaking loud,” I finished for him. He pointed at me. “Exactly.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
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)
What did she say?” asked Matthias. Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.” “That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?” Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.” “No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!” “Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising. “No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.” “It’s a game?” “Not exactly.” “Then what is it?” Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—” “Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?” “In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—” “That would never happen.” “In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.” “He lives in a cave?” “It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.” “Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?” Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.” “How does the story end? Do they fight battles?” Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.” Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?” “You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—” “To civilize him?” “Yes, but that’s not until the third book.” “There are three?” “Matthias, do you need to sit down?” “This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—” “Calm down, Matthias.” “Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.” “Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear. “We most certainly could not.” “At one point he bathes her.” Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—” “She’s tied up, so he has to.” “Be silent.” “Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.” “How about I bite your lip?” “Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Lothaire to Trehan: “You are related to me by blood and, like me, are a Dacian royal.” “So?” “So that means your ridiculous behavior reflects “upon me.” “What are you talking about? My ridiculous behavior?I’ve done nothing to warrant this summoning, Lothaire. I keep to my library—and to myself. “Exactly. You sit in your room and stroke off to memories of your Bride.
Kresley Cole (Shadow's Claim (Immortals After Dark, #12; The Dacians, #1))
He’s uncertain what’s going to happen next. But he is certain that that’s actually the point. If this is all a story, then that’s what the story means. If it isn’t a story, then the exact same is true. But as his friends begin the final steps, pressing buttons, answering questions on a screen, he thinks that what is forever certain is that there’s always more. Always.
Patrick Ness (More Than This)
Not everything in life is so black and white, but the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and its keystone role in our religion seem to be exactly that. Either Joseph Smith was the prophet he said he was, a prophet who, after seeing the Father and the Son, later beheld the angel Moroni, repeatedly heard counsel from Moroni's lips, and eventually received at his hands a set of ancient gold plates that he then translated by the gift and power of God, or else he did not. And if he did not, he would not be entitled to the reputation of New England folk hero or well-meaning young man or writer of remarkable fiction. No, nor would he be entitled to be considered a great teacher, a quintessential American religious leader, or the creator of great devotional literature. If he had lied about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, he would certainly be none of these... If Joseph Smith did not translate the Book of Mormon as a work of ancient origin, then I would move heaven and earth to meet the "real" nineteenth-century author. After one hundred and fifty years, no one can come up with a credible alternative candidate, but if the book were false, surely there must be someone willing to step forward-if no one else, at least the descendants of the "real" author-claiming credit for such a remarkable document and all that has transpired in its wake. After all, a writer that can move millions can make millions. Shouldn't someone have come forth then or now to cashier the whole phenomenon?
Jeffrey R. Holland
Well, the husband was very depressed for the longest while. Even after he found out that his wife was going to pull through, he was still very depressed. Not about the accident, though. I mean, the accident was one thing, but it wasn't everything. I'd get up to his mouth-hole, you know, and he'd say no, it wasn't the accident exactly but it was because he couldn't see her through his eye-holes. He said that was what was making him feel bad. Can you imagine? I'm telling you, the man's heart was breaking because he couldn't turn his goddamn head and see his goddamn wife.
Raymond Carver (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love)
You know Sven? The man who takes care of the gym?' he asked. He waited till he got a nod from Nicholson. 'Well, if Sven dreamed tonight that his dog died, he'd have a very, very bad night's sleep, because he's very fond of that dog. But when he woke up in the morning, everything would be all right. He'd know it was only a dream.' Nicholson nodded. 'What's the point exactly?' The point is if his dog really died, it would be exactly the same thing. Only he wouldn't know it. I mean he wouldn't wake up till he died himself.
J.D. Salinger (Nine Stories)
I don't know what shit you're working though but I know its there. I know you'd rather not even acknowledge it and definitely don't want me to be a part of the process. I don't care. Princess, this is happening between you and me." "What, exactly, do you mean by 'this'? You fucking me?" I snapped... " Yeah. Me fucking you. In your bed, on your couch, in my bed and anywhere else I can think of. I'm gonna do you on your back, on your knees and you're gonna ride me. And when I've exhausted you and you don't have those fucking shields up, I'm gonna make you talk to me and tell me what this shit is about and then, maybe, I can help you with it.
Kristen Ashley (Rock Chick Renegade (Rock Chick, #4))
Study, along the lines which the theologies have mapped, will never lead us to discovery of the fundamental facts of our existence. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means. The fact that man, for ages, has superstitiously believed in what he calls a God does not prove at all that his theory has been right. There have been many gods – all makeshifts, born of inability to fathom the deep fundamental truth. There must be something at the bottom of existence, and man, in ignorance, being unable to discover what it is through reason, because his reason has been so imperfect, undeveloped, has used, instead, imagination, and created figments, of one kind or another, which, according to the country he was born in, the suggestions of his environment, satisfied him for the time being. Not one of all the gods of all the various theologies has ever really been proved. We accept no ordinary scientific fact without the final proof; why should we, then, be satisfied in this most mighty of all matters, with a mere theory? Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past... The days of miracles have passed. I do not believe, of course, that there was ever any day of actual miracles. I cannot understand that there were ever any miracles at all. My guide must be my reason, and at thought of miracles my reason is rebellious. Personally, I do not believe that Christ laid claim to doing miracles, or asserted that he had miraculous power... Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that. Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals – they are mere aggregates of cells. There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
When we're in pain, people are too quick to say, Get over it, move on, it's not that bad. But we don't get over grief by denying it. We have to feel it. We have to give it its due. Somethings that means doing the exact opposite of "moving on." We have to dive down to the very depths of our sorrow, relive every terrible moment, and endure the torture of asking what could have been - and what will now be. We have to bleed out before our hearts can start beating again.
Claudia Gray (A Million Worlds with You (Firebird, #3))
This is where I would've taken Daniel. I would've told him to write poetry about space rocks and impact craters. The sheer number of actions and reactions it's taken to form our solar system, our galaxy, our universe, is astonishing. The number of things that had to go exactly right is overwhelming. Compared to that, what is falling in love? A series of small coincidences that we say means everything because we want to believe that our tiny lives matter on a galactic scale. But falling in love doesn't even begin to compare to the formation of the universe. It's not even close
Nicola Yoon (The Sun Is Also a Star)
Can I see it?" He blinked, still scowling, "See what?" "Your scar." His expression darkened like a sudden eclipse and I let my gaze grow cold. "You want to hear me scream? Give it your best shot. But until then, every time you take off your shirt, you may as well be handing out my business card. I shoved my blade deep inside you and loved every single inch of it. When I can't sleep at night, the memory of you screaming like a little bitch is my lullaby. And everybody knows exactly what that scar means- that you got your ass handed to you by a little girl. Again.
Rachel Vincent (Alpha (Shifters, #6))
Many writing texts caution against asking friends to read your stuff, suggesting you're not apt to get a very unbiased opinion[.] ... It's unfair, according to this view, to put a pal in such a position. What happens if he/she feels he/she has to say, "I'm sorry, good buddy, you've written some great yarns in the past but this one sucks like a vacuum cleaner"? The idea has some validity, but I don't think an unbiased opinion is exactly what I'm looking for. And I believe that most people smart enough to read a novel are also tactful enough to find a gentler mode of expression than "This sucks." (Although most of us know that "I think this has a few problems" actually means "This sucks," don't we?)
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
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)
Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren't. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist. Now if anyone says that this duty of general enlightenment (even when freed from modern rules and hours, and exercised more spontaneously by a more protected person) is in itself too exacting and oppressive, I can understand the view. I can only answer that our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world. But when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun at Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes. and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.
G.K. Chesterton (What's Wrong with the World)
Why is wisdom so fair? Why is beauty so wise? Because all else is temporary, while beauty and wisdom are the only real and constant aspects of truth that can be perceived by human means. And I don't mean the kind of surface beauty that fades with age, or the sort of shallow wisdom that gets lost in platitudes. True beauty grips your gut and squeezes your lungs, and makes you see with utmost clarity exactly what is before you. True wisdom then steps in, to interpret, illuminate, and form a life-altering insight.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Just as nothing is more foolish than misplaced wisdom, so too, nothing is more imprudent than perverse prudence. And surely it is perverse not to adapt yourself to the prevailing circumstances, to refuse 'to do as the Romans do,' to ignore the party-goer's maxium 'take a drink or take your leave,' to insist that the play should not be a play. True prudence, on the other hand, recognizes human limitations and does not strive to leap beyond them; it is willing to run with the herd, to overlook faults tolerantly or to share them in a friendly spirit. But, they say, that is exactly what we mean by folly. (I will hardly deny it -- as long as they will reciprocate by admitting that this is exactly what is means to perform the play of life.)
Erasmus (Praise of Folly)
Yeah, I get it; you're a vampire," she said. "Creepy. And okay, a little hot, I admit." "You don't mean that." "Come on. I still like you, you know, even if you... crave plasma." Michael blinked and looked at her as if he had never seen her before. "You what?" "Like. You." Eve enunciated slowly, as if Michael might not know the words. "Idiot. I always have. What, you didn't know?" Eve sounded cool and grown-up about it, but Claire saw the hectic color in her cheeks, under the makeup. "How clueless are you? Does it come with the fangs?" "I guess I... I just thought... Hell. I just didn't think... You're kind of intimidating, you know." "I'm intimidating? Me? I run like a rabbit from trouble, mostly," Eve said. "It's all show and makeup. You're the one who's intimidating. I mean, come on. All that talent, and you look... Well, you know how you look." " How do I look?" He sounded fascinated now, and he'd actually moved a little closer to Eve on the couch. She laughed. "Oh come on. You're a total model-babe." "You're kidding." "You don't think you are?" He shook his head. "Then you're kind of an idiot, Glass. Smart, but and idiot." Eve crossed her arms. “So? What exactly do you think about me, except that I’m intimidating?” “I think you’re…you’re…ah, interesting?” Michael was amazingly bad at this, Claire thought, but then he saved it by looking away and continuing. “I think you’re beautiful. And really, really strange.” Eve smiled and looked down, and that looked like a real blush, under the rice powder. “Thanks for that, “ she said, “I never thought you knew I existed, or if you did, that you thought I was anything but Shane’s bratty freak friend.” “Well, to be fair, you are Shane’s bratty freak friend.” “Hey!” “You can be bratty and beautiful,” Michael said. “I think it’s interesting.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
....one of those long, romantic novels, six hundred and fifty pages of small print, translated from French or German or Hungarian or something -- because few of the English ones have the exact feeling I mean. And you read one page of it or even one phrase of it, and then you gobble up all the rest and go about in a dream for weeks afterwards, for months afterwards -- perhaps all your life, who knows? -- surrounded by those six hundred and fifty pages, the houses, the streets, the snow, the river, the roses, the girls, the sun, the ladies' dresses and the gentlemen's voices, the old, wicked, hard-hearted women and the old, sad women, the waltz music -- everything. What is not there you put in afterwards, for it is alive, this book, and it grows in your head. 'The house I was living in when I read that book,' you think, or 'This colour reminds me of that book.
Jean Rhys (Tigers are Better-Looking: With a selection from The Left Bank)
Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. No candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine. If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding form it. Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains unpenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control. Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering. By eliminating the safety net of comforts in your life, you have the opportunity to free fall in this moment between birth and death, right through the hole of your fear, into the unthreatenable openness which is the source of your gifts. The superior man lives as this spontaneous sacrifice of love.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire)
This little theater of mine has as many doors into as many boxes as you please, ten or a hundred thousand, and behind each door exactly what you seek awaits you. It is a pretty cabinet of pictures, my dear friend; but it would be quite useless to go through it as you are. You would be checked and blinded by it at every turn by what you are pleased to call your personality. You have no doubt guessed long since that the conquest of time and the escape from reality, or however else it may be that you choose to describe your longing, means simply the wish to be relieved of your so-called personality. That is the prison where you lie.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
The problem is that children believe what adults say and once they're adults themselves they exact their revenge by deceiving their own children. "Life has meaning and we grown-ups know what it is" is the universal lie that everyone is supposed to believe. Once you become an adult and you realize that's not true it's too late. The mystery remains intact but all your available energy has long ago been wasted on stupid things. All that's left is to anesthetize yourself by trying to hide the fact that you can't find any meaning in your life and then the better to convince yourself you deceive your own children. ... People aim for the stars and they end up like goldfish in a bowl. I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler just to teach children right from the start that life is absurd. That might deprive you of a few good moments in your childhood but it would save you a considerable amount of time as an adultnot to mention the fact that you'd be spared at least one traumatic experience i.e. the goldfish bowl.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
I had made up my mind to find that for which I was searching even if it required the remainder of my life. After innumerable failures I finally uncovered the principle for which I was searching, and I was astounded at its simplicity. I was still more astounded to discover the principle I had revealed not only beneficial in the construction of a mechanical hearing aid but it served as well as means of sending the sound of the voice over a wire. Another discovery which came out of my investigation was the fact that when a man gives his order to produce a definite result and stands by that order it seems to have the effect of giving him what might be termed a second sight which enables him to see right through ordinary problems. What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.
Alexander Graham Bell
Are you enjoying your company so far?" "Yes! It's been a pleasure getting to know these ladies." "Are they all the sweet, gentle ladies they appear to be?" Gavril asked. Before Maxon replied, the answer brought a smile to my face. Because I knew that it was yes...sort of. "Umm..." Maxon looked past Gavril at me. "Almost." "Almost?" Gavril asked, surprised. He turned to us. "Is someone over there being naughty?" Mercifully, all the girls let out light giggles, so I blended in. The little traitor! "What exactly did these girls do that isn't so sweet?" Gavril asked Maxon. "Oh, well, let me tell you." Maxon crossed his legs and got very comfortable in his chair. It was probably the most relaxed I'd ever seen him, sitting there poking fun at me. I liked this side of him. I wished it would come out more often. "One of them had the nerve to yell at me rather forcefully the first time we met. I was given a very severe scolding." Above Maxon's head, the king and queen exchanged a glance. It seemed they were hearing this story for the first time, too. Beside me the girls were looking at one another, confused. I didn't get it until Marlee said something. "I don't remember anyone yelling at him in the Great Room. Do you?" Maxon seemed to have forgotten that our first meeting was meant to be a secret. "I think he's talking it up to make it funnier. I did say some serious things to him. I think he might mean me." "A scolding, you say? Whatever for?" Gavril continued. "Honestly, I wasn't really sure. I think it was a bout of homesickness. Which is why I forgave her, of course." Maxon was loose and easy now, talking to Gavril as if he were the only person in the room. I'd have to tell him later how wonderful he did. "So she's still with us, then?" Gavril looked over at the collection of girls, grinning widely, and then returned to face his prince. "Oh, yes. She's still here," Maxon said, not letting his eyes wander from Gavril's face. "And I plan on keeping her here for quite a while.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
...the qualifications that I have to speak on world affairs are exactly the same ones Henry Kissinger has, and Walt Rostow has, or anybody in the Political Science Department, professional historians—none, none that you don't have. The only difference is, I don't pretend to have qualifications, nor do I pretend that qualifications are needed. I mean, if somebody were to ask me to give a talk on quantum physics, I'd refuse—because I don't understand enough. But world affairs are trivial: there's nothing in the social sciences or history or whatever that is beyond the intellectual capacities of an ordinary fifteen-year-old. You have to do a little work, you have to do some reading, you have to be able to think but there's nothing deep—if there are any theories around that require some special kind of training to understand, then they've been kept a carefully guarded secret.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
Jesper jabbed an accusing finger at Kuwei. “You should have said something!” Kuwei shrugged. “You were very brave on Black Veil. Since we’re all probably going to die—” “Damn it,” Jesper cursed, stalking toward the door. “You’re a very good kisser,” called Kuwei after him. Jesper turned. “How good is your Kerch really?” “Fairly good.” “Okay, then I hope you understand exactly what I mean when I say you are definitely more trouble than you’re worth.” Kuwei beamed, looking entirely too pleased with himself. “Kaz seems to think I’m worth a great deal now.” Jesper rolled his eyes skyward. “You fit right in here.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #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)
Why do you suppose the poets talk about hearts?' he asked me suddenly. 'When they discuss emotional damage? The tissue of hearts is tough as a shoe. Did you ever sew up a heart?' I shook my head. 'No, but I've watched. I know what you mean.' The walls of a heart are thick and strong, and the surgeons use heavy needles. It takes a good bit of strength, but it pulls together neatly. As much as anything it's like binding a book. The seat of human emotion should be the liver,' Doc Homer said. 'That would be an appropriate metaphor: we don't hold love in our hearts, we hold it in our livers.' I understood exactly. Once in ER I saw a woman who'd been stabbed everywhere, most severely in the liver. It's an organ with the consistency of layer upon layer of wet Kleenex. Every attempt at repair just opens new holes that tear and bleed. You try to close the wound with fresh wounds, and you try and you try and you don't give up until there's nothing left.
Barbara Kingsolver
Zooey was in dreamy top form. The announcer had them off on the subject of housing developments, and the little Burke girl said she hated houses that all look alike-meaning a long row of identical 'development' houses. Zooey said they were 'nice.' He said it would be very nice to come home and be in the wrong house. To eat dinner with the wrong people by mistake, sleep in the wrong bed by mistake, and kiss everybody goodbye in the morning thinking they were your own family. He said he even wished everybody in the world looked exactly alike. He said you'd keep thinking everybody you met was your wife or your mother or father, and people would always be throwing their arms around each other wherever they went, and it would look 'very nice.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
Over and over we lose this sense of feeling we are wholly in our skins by means already named as well as through extended duress. Those who toil too long without respite are also at risk. The soulskin vanishes when we are not paying attention to what we are really doing and particularly the cost to us." "We lose the soulskin by becoming too involved with ego, by being too exacting, perfectionistic, or unnecessarily martyred, or driven by a blind ambition, or by being dissatisfied - about self, family, community, culture, world - and not saying or doing anything about it, or by pretending we are an ending source for others, or by not doing all we can to help ourselves. Oh, there are as many ways to lose the soul skin as there are women in the world." "The only way to hold on to this sensual soulskin is to retain an exquisitely pristine consciousness about its value and uses.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
One of the vital things for a writer who’s writing a book, which is a lengthy project and is going to take about a year, is how to keep the momentum going. It is the same with a young person writing an essay. They have got to write four or five or six pages. But when you are writing it for a year, you go away and you have to come back. I never come back to a blank page; I always finish about halfway through. To be confronted with a blank page is not very nice. But Hemingway, a great American writer, taught me the finest trick when you are doing a long book, which is, he simply said in his own words, “When you are going good, stop writing.” And that means that if everything’s going well and you know exactly where the end of the chapter’s going to go and you know just what the people are going to do, you don’t go on writing and writing until you come to the end of it, because when you do, then you say, well, where am I going to go next? And you get up and you walk away and you don’t want to come back because you don’t know where you want to go. But if you stop when you are going good, as Hemingway said…then you know what you are going to say next. You make yourself stop, put your pencil down and everything, and you walk away. And you can’t wait to get back because you know what you want to say next and that’s lovely and you have to try and do that. Every time, every day all the way through the year. If you stop when you are stuck, then you are in trouble!
Roald Dahl
Borderline means you’re one of those girls… …who walk around wearing long sleeves in the summer because you’ve carved up your forearms over your boyfriend. You make pathetic suicidal gestures and write bad poetry about them, listen to Ani DiFranco albums on endless repeat, end up in the emergency room for overdoses, scare off boyfriends by insisting they tell you that they love you five hundred times a day and hacking into their email to make sure they’re not lying, have a police record for shoplifting, and your tooth enamel is eroded from purging. You’ve had five addresses and eight jobs in three years, your friends are avoiding your phone calls, you’re questioning your sexuality, and the credit card companies are after you. It took a lot of years to admit that I was exactly that girl, and that the diagnostic criteria for the disorder were essentially an outline of my life.
Stacy Pershall (Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl)
I think you can tell by now that I'm not the type of man to beat around the bush. I'll tell you exactly what I want from you." Maxon took a step closer. My breath caught in my throat. I'd just walked into the very situation I feared. No guards, no cameras, no one to stop him from doing whatever he wanted. Knee-jerk reaction. Literally. I kneed His Majesty in the thigh. Hard. Maxon let out a yell and reached down, clutching himself as I backed away from him. "What was that for?" "If you lay a single finger on me, I'll do worse!" I promised. "What?" "I said, if you-" "No, no, you crazy girl, I heard you the first time." Maxon grimaced. "But just what in the world do you mean by it?" I felt the heat run through my body. I'd jumped to the worst possible conclusion and set myself up to fight something that obviously wasn't coming. The guards ran up, alerted by our little squabble. Maxon waved them away from an awkward, half-bent position. We were quiet for a while, and once Maxon was over the worst of his pain, he faced me. "What did you think I wanted?" he asked. I ducked my head and blushed. "America, what did you think I wanted?" He sounded upset. More than upset. Offended. He had obviously guessed what I'd assumed, and he didn't like that one bit. "In public? You thought...for heaven's sake. I'm a gentleman!" He started to walk away but turned back. "Why did you even offer to help if you think so little of me?" I couldn't even look him in the eye. I didn't know how to explain I had been prepped to expect a dog, that the darkness and privacy made me feel strange, that I'd only ever been alone with one other boy and that was how we behaved.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
we all seem to function in the exact same way: We hurt people, and we are hurt by people. We feel left out, envious, not good enough, sick, and tired. We have unrealized dreams and deep regrets. We are certain that we were meant for more and that we don’t even deserve what we have. We feel ecstatic and then numb. We wish our parents had done better by us. We wish we could do better by our children. We betray and we are betrayed. We lie and we are lied to. We say good-bye to animals, to places, to people we cannot live without. We are so afraid of dying. Also: of living. We have fallen in love and out of love, and people have fallen in love and out of love with us. We wonder if what happened to us that night will mean we can never be touched again without fear. We live with rage bubbling. We are sweaty, bloated, gassy, oily. We love our children, we long for children, we do not want children. We are at war with our bodies, our minds, our souls. We are at war with one another. We wish we’d said all those things while they were still here. They’re still here, and we’re still not saying those things. We know we won’t. We don’t understand ourselves. We don’t understand why we hurt those we love. We want to be forgiven. We cannot forgive. We don’t understand God. We believe. We absolutely do not believe. We are lonely. We want to be left alone. We want to belong. We want to be loved. We want to be loved. We want to be loved.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
Nothing as singular or as important had happened since the day of his birth. She returned his gaze, struck by the sense of her own transformation, and overwhelmed by the beauty in a face which a lifetime's habit had taught her to ignore. She whispered his name with the deliberation of a child trying out the distinct sounds. When he replied with her name, it sounded like a new word - the syllables remained the same, the meaning was different. Finally he spoke the three simple words that no amount of bad art or bad faith can ever quite cheapen. She repeated them, with exactly the same emphasis on the second word, as if she had been the one to say them first. He had no religious belief, but it was impossible not to think of an invisible presence or witness in the room, and that these words spoken aloud were like signatures on an unseen contract
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
I do not mean to say that I viewed those desires of mine that deviated from accepted standards as normal and orthodox; nor do I mean that I labored under the mistaken impression that my friends possessed the same desires. Surprisingly enough, I was so engrossed in tales of romance that I devoted all my elegant dreams to thoughts of love between man and maid, and to marriage, exactly as though I were a young girl who knew nothing of the world. I tossed my love for Omi onto the rubbish heap of neglected riddles, never once searching deeply for its meaning. Now when I write the word love, when I write affection, my meaning is totally different from my understanding of the words at that time. I never even dreamed that such desires as I had felt toward Omi might have a significant connection with the realities of my "life.
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
Imagine that you have to break someone's arm. Right or left, doesn't matter. The point is that you have to break it, because if you don't...well, that doesn't matter either. Let's just say bad things will happen if you don't. Now, my question goes like this: do you break the arm quickly -- snap, whoops, sorry, here let me help you with that improvised splint -- or do you drag the whole business out for a good eight minutes, every now and then increasing the pressure in the tiniest of increments, until the pain becomes pink and green and hot and cold and altogether howlingly unbearable? Well exactly. Of course. The right thing to do, the only thing to do, is to get it over with as quickly as possible. Break the arm, ply the brandy, be a good citizen. There can be no other answer. Unless. Unless unless unless. What if you were to hate the person on the other end of the arm? I mean really, really hate them.
Hugh Laurie (The Gun Seller)
The trouble is that when we get around to solutions, it always seems to come down to Prozac. Or Zoloft. Or Paxil. Deep clinical depression is a disease, one that not only can, but probably should, be treated with drugs. But a low-grade terminal anomie, a sense of alienation or disgust and detachment, the collective horror at a world that seems to have gone so very wrong, is not a job for antidepressants. The trouble is, the big-picture problems that have so many people down are more or less insoluble: As long as people can get divorced they will get divorced; America=s shrinking economy is not reversible; there is no cure for AIDS. So it starts to seem fairly reasonable to anesthetize ourselves in the best possible way. I would like so much to say that Prozac is preventing many people who are not clinically depressed from finding real antidotes to what Hillary Clinton refers to as 'a sleeping sickness of the soul,' but what exactly would those solutions be? I mean, universal health care coverage and a national service draft would be nice, but neither one is going to save us from ourselves. Just as our parents quieted us when we were noisy by putting us in front of the television set, maybe we're now learning to quiet our own adult noise with Prozac.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
So it hadn’t been wrong or dishonest of her to say no this morning, when he asked if she hated him, any more than it had been wrong or dishonest to serve him the elaborate breakfast and to show the elaborate interest in his work, and to kiss him goodbye. The kiss, for that matter, had been exactly right—a perfectly fair, friendly kiss, a kiss for a boy you’d just met at a party, a boy who’d danced with you and made you laugh and walked you home afterwards, talking about himself all the way. The only real mistake, the only wrong and dishonest thing, was ever to have seen him as anything more than that. Oh, for a month or two, just for fun, it might be all right to play a game like that with a boy; but all these years! And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear—until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” What a subtle, treacherous thing it was to let yourself go that way! Because once you’d started it was terribly difficult to stop; soon you were saying “I’m sorry, of course you’re right,” and “Whatever you think is best,” and “You’re the most wonderful and valuable thing in the world,” and the next thing you knew all honesty, all truth, was as far away and glimmering, as hopelessly unattainable as the world of the golden people. Then you discovered you were working at life the way the Laurel Players worked at The Petrified Forest, or the way Steve Kovick worked at his drums—earnest and sloppy and full of pretension and all wrong; you found you were saying yes when you meant no, and “We’ve got to be together on this thing” when you meant the very opposite; then you were breathing gasoline as if it were flowers and abandoning yourself to a delirium of love under the weight of a clumsy, grunting, red-faced man you didn’t even like—Shep Campbell!—and then you were face to face, in total darkness, with the knowledge that you didn’t know who you were. (p.416-7)
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
He leans close and says, "It matters to me," right against my mouth, and then kisses me like he means it. I've thought about what it'd be like to kiss Jake over the past few days, way more than I'd care to admit. But I don't even have time to register the firm press of his lips against mine, without breath, before he pulls back. His face freezes, eyes wide with oh shit written across them. Maybe I'd be offended if I wasn't so sure that my own expression matches his perfectly. "I shouldn't have done that," he blurts out. "I'm an idiot." "Yeah," I agree, "you really are." I grab the collar of his shirt and tug him back to me. He makes a muffled sound of surprise in the back of his throat, hesitating for a heartbeat before his mouth opens against mine. Suddenly, we're kissing for real - clumsy at first as we feel each other out, but then I shirt forward into his lap, fall against his chest and tip my head down, and it's like two puzzle pieces snapping into place. He tastes exactly the way I thought he would, of cigarettes and citrus and salt. The ocean. And he kisses like I thought he would, too, hard and hot and urgent, and way better than anyone I've made out with before.
Hannah Harrington (Saving June)
She came quickly over to me and held out her hand. I looked at her full of distrust. Was she doing this freely, with a light heart? Or was she doing it just to get rid of me? She put her arm around my neck, tears in her eyes. I just stood and looked at her. She offered me her mouth but I couldn't believe her, it was bound to be a sacrifice on her part, a means of getting it over with. She said something, it sounded to me like "I love you anyway!" She said it very softly and indistinctly, I may not have heard it correctly, perhaps she didn't say exactly those words. But she threw herself passionately on my neck, held both arms around my neck a little while, even raised herself on tiptoe to reach well up, and stood thus. Afraid that she was forcing herself to show me this tenderness, I merely said "How beautiful you are now!" That was all I said. I stepped back, bumped against the door and walked out backward. She was left standing inside.
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
Fat Charlie blew his nose. "I never knew I had a brother," he said. "I did," said Spider. "I always meant to look you up, but I got distracted. You know how it is." "Not really." "Things came up." "What kind of things?" "Things. They came up. That's what things do. They come up. I can't be expected to keep track of them all." "Well, give me a f'rinstance." Spider drank more wine. "Okay. The last time I decided that you and I should meet, I, well, I spent days planning it. Wanted it to go perfectly. I had to choose my wardrobe. Then I had to decide what I'd say to you when we met. I knew that the meeting of two brothers, well, it's the subject of epics, isn't it? I decided that the only way to treat it with the appropriate gravity would be to do it in verse. But what kind of verse? Am I going to rap it? Declaim it? I mean, I'm not going to greet you with a limerick. So. It had to be something dark, something powerful, rhythmic, epic. And then I had it. The perfect line: Blood calls to blood like sirens in the night. It says so much. I knew I'd be able to get everything in there - people dying in alleys, sweat and nightmares, the power of free spirits uncrushable. Everything was going to be there. And then I had to come up with a second line, and the whole thing completely fell apart. The best I could come up with was Tum-tumpty-tumpty-tumpty got a fright." Fat Charlie blinked. "Who exactly is Tum-tumpty-tumpty-tumpty?" "It's not anybody. It's just there to show you where the words ought to be. But I never really got any futher on it than that, and I couldn't turn up with just a first line, some tumpties and three words of an epic poem, could I? That would have been disrespecting you." "Well...." "Exactly. So I went to Hawaii for the week instead. Like I said, something came up.
Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys)
Ted: Barney, the 3 days rule is insane. I mean, who even came up with that? Barney: Jesus. Marshall: Barney, don't do this, not with Jesus. Barney: Seriously, Jesus started the whole wait-three-days thing. He waited three days to come back to life. It was perfect. Barney: If he'd have only waited one day, a lotta people wouldn't have even heard that he died. They'd be all "Hey, Jesus. What up?" And Jesus would probably be like, "What up? I died yesterday." Barney: Then they'd be all, "Uh, look pretty alive to me dude." And then Jesus would have to explain how he was resurrected and how it was a miracle. And then the dude would be like "Ah, oh-kay, whatever you say "bro"." Robin: Wow, ancient dialogue sounds so stilted now. Barney: And you're not gonna come back on a Saturday, everybody's busy! Doin' chores, workin' the loom, trimmin' their beards. No, he waits the exact, right number of days - three. Ted: Ok, I promise, I'll wait 3 days. Just please stop talking. Barney: Plus, it's Sunday, so everyone's in church already. They're all in there - "Oh no, Jesus is dead." Barney: Then BAM! He bursts through the back door, runs up the aisle, everyone's totally psyched and FYI, that's when he invented the high-five. Barney: Three days, Ted. We wait three days to call a woman because that's how long Jesus wants us to wait. True story.
Neil Patrick Harris
When I get out of here, if I'm ever able to set this down, in any form, even in the form of one voice to another, it will be a reconstruction then too, yet another remove. It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too may parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many. But if you happen to be a man, sometime in the future, and you've made it this far, please remember: you will never be subject to the temptation or feeling you must forgive, a man, as a woman. It's difficult to resist, believe me. But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold it or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest. Maybe none of this is about control. Maybe it isn't really about who can own whom, who can do what to whom and get away with it, even as far as death. Maybe it isn't about who can sit and who has to kneel or stand or lie down, legs spread open. Maybe it's about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
Speaking of tongues, they are the main reason I'm a nervous wreck. Ryan is a senior and well, sadly, I'm not all that experienced with boys. I mean, I'm a freshman and have been to dances with boys my age and even have gone out with boys, but I've never really kissed them. Not like I hope to kiss Ryan anyway. Bobby Robinson did shove his tongue into my mouth one time, when we were kissing under the bleachers at a football game, but it didn't feel so good. I'm pretty sure he didn't have it exactly right. So I talked to my friends, Katie and Lisa, about how to properly make out. But, well, here is just a bit of their unhelpful advice. Just let him take the lead, do what ever he does. Um, couldn't that get me into a lot of trouble? Just sort of kiss his tongue, but try not to drool. Don't open your mouth too wide. And then, just open your mouth wide. See? Stupid, conflicting information. And this from girls who supposedly know how to do this! I feel like I'm an undercover CIA agent trying to wrestle vital information out of a ruthless double agent, and the fate of the free world depends upon it. All the while, the President is yelling at me in a panic, saying, Somebody! Anybody! Just get me the truth!
Jillian Dodd (That Boy (That Boy, #1))
What can turn us from this deserted future, back into the sphere of our being, the great dance that joins us to our home, to each other and to other creatures, to the dead and unborn? I think it is love. I am perforce aware how baldly and embarrassingly that word now lies on the page—for we have learned at once to overuse it, abuse it, and hold it in suspicion. But I do not mean any kind of abstract love (adolescent, romantic, or "religious"), which is probably a contradiction in terms, but particular love for particular things, places, creatures, and people, requiring stands, acts, showing its successes and failures in practical or tangible effects. And it implies a responsibility just as particular, not grim or merely dutiful, but rising out of generosity. I think that this sort of love defines the effective range of human intelligence, the range within its works can be dependably beneficent. Only the action that is moved by love for the good at hand has the hope of being responsible and generous. Desire for the future produces words that cannot be stood by. But love makes language exact, because one loves only what one knows.
Wendell Berry
What happened was, I got the idea in my head-and I could not get it out ㅡ that college was just one more dopey, inane place in the world dedicated to piling up treasure on earth and everything. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven's sake. What's the difference whether the treasure is money, or property, or even culture, or even just plain knowledge? It all seemed like exactly the same thing to me, if you take off the wrapping ㅡ and it still does! Sometimes I think that knowledge ㅡ when it's knowledge for knowledge's sake, anyway ㅡ is the worst of all. The least excusable, certainly. [...] I don't think it would have all got me quite so down if just once in a while ㅡ just once in a while ㅡ there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn't, it's just a disgusting waste of time! But there never is! You never even hear any hints dropped on a campus that wisdom is supposed to be the goal of knowledge. You hardly ever even hear the word 'wisdom' mentioned! Do you want to hear something funny? Do you want to hear something really funny? In almost four years of college ㅡ and this is the absolute truth ㅡ in almost four years of college, the only time I can remember ever even hearing the expression 'wise man' being used was in my freshman year, in Political Science! And you know how it was used? It was used in reference to some nice old poopy elder statesman who'd made a fortune in the stock market and then gone to Washington to be an adviser to President Roosevelt. Honestly, now! Four years of college, almost! I'm not saying that happens to everybody, but I just get so upset when I think about it I could die.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
Now, for example, people with freckles aren’t thought of as a minority by the nonfreckled. They aren’t a minority in the sense we’re talking about. And why aren’t they? Because a minority is only thought of as a minority when it constitutes some kind of a threat to the majority, real or imaginary. And no threat is ever quite imaginary. Anyone here disagree with that? If you do, just ask yourself, What would this particular minority do if it suddenly became the majority overnight? You see what I mean? Well, if you don’t – think it over! “All right. Now along come the liberals – including everybody in this room, I trust – and they say, ‘Minorities are just people, like us.’ Sure, minorities are people – people, not angels. Sure, they’re like us – but not exactly like us; that’s the all-too- familiar state of liberal hysteria in which you begin to kid yourself you honestly cannot see any difference between a Negro and a Swede….” (Why, oh why daren’t George say “between Estelle Oxford and Buddy Sorensen”? Maybe, if he did dare, there would be a great atomic blast of laughter, and everybody would embrace, and the kingdom of heaven would begin, right here in classroom. But then again, maybe it wouldn’t.) “So, let’s face it, minorities are people who probably look and act and – think differently from us and hay faults we don’t have. We may dislike the way they look and act, and we may hate their faults. And it’s better if we admit to disliking and hating them than if we try to smear our feelings over with pseudo liberal sentimentality. If we’re frank about our feelings, we have a safety valve; and if we have a safety valve, we’re actually less likely to start persecuting. I know that theory is unfashionable nowadays. We all keep trying to believe that if we ignore something long enough it’ll just vanish…. “Where was I? Oh yes. Well, now, suppose this minority does get persecuted, never mind why – political, economic, psychological reasons. There always is a reason, no matter how wrong it is – that’s my point. And, of course, persecution itself is always wrong; I’m sure we all agree there. But the worst of it is, we now run into another liberal heresy. Because the persecuting majority is vile, says the liberal, therefore the persecuted minority must be stainlessly pure. Can’t you see what nonsense that is? What’s to prevent the bad from being persecuted by the worse? Did all the Christian victims in the arena have to be saints? “And I’ll tell you something else. A minority has its own kind of aggression. It absolutely dares the majority to attack it. It hates the majority–not without a cause, I grant you. It even hates the other minorities, because all minorities are in competition: each one proclaims that its sufferings are the worst and its wrongs are the blackest. And the more they all hate, and the more they’re all persecuted, the nastier they become! Do you think it makes people nasty to be loved? You know it doesn’t! Then why should it make them nice to be loathed? While you’re being persecuted, you hate what’s happening to You, you hate the people who are making it happen; you’re in a world of hate. Why, you wouldn’t recognize love if you met it! You’d suspect love! You’d think there was something behind it – some motive – some trick…
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
A beast is just what you want. A big, dark medieval brute to throw you to the ground, tear the clothes from your body, and have his wicked way with you. I know I’m right. I haven’t forgotten how excited you were in the aftermath of that blast." The nerve of him! How could he tell? She lifted her chin. "Well, I haven't forgotten the sound you made when I first touched your brow. It wasn't even a moan, it was more like . . . like a whimper." He made a dismissive sound. "Oh yes. A plaintive, yearning whimper. Because you want an angel. A sweet, tender virgin to hold you and stroke you and whisper precious promises and make you feel human." "That's absurd," he scoffed. "You're just begging to be taught a hard, fast lesson in what it means to please a man." "You're just longing to put your head in my lap and feel my fingers in your hair. He backed her up against a rock. "You need a good ravaging." "You," she breathed, "need a hug." They stared at each other for long, tense moments. At first, looking each other in the eye. Then looking each other in the lips. "You know what I think?" he said, coming closer. So close she could feel his breath wash warm against her cheek. "I think we’re having one of those vexing arguments again." "The kind where both sides are right?" "Hell, yes." And this time, when they kissed, they both made that sound. That deep, moaning, yearning, whimpering sound. That sound that said yes. And at last. And you are exactly what I need.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
The hoopoe said: 'Your heart's congealed like ice; When will you free yourself from cowardice? Since you have such a short time to live here, What difference does it make? What should you fear? The world is filth and sin, and homeless men Must enter it and homeless leave again. They die, as worms, in squalid pain; if we Must perish in this quest, that, certainly, Is better than a life of filth and grief. If this great search is vain, if my belief Is groundless, it is right that I should die. So many errors throng the world - then why Should we not risk this quest? To suffer blame For love is better than a life of shame. No one has reached this goal, so why appeal To those whose blindness claims it is unreal? I'd rather die deceived by dreams than give My heart to home and trade and never live. We've been and heard so much - what have we learned? Not for one moment has the self been spurned; Fools gather round and hinder our release. When will their stale, insistent whining cease? We have no freedom to achieve our goal Until from Self and fools we free the soul. To be admitted past the veil you must Be dead to all the crowd considers just. Once past the veil you understand the Way From which the crowd's glib courtiers blindly stray. If you have any will, leave women's stories, And even if this search for hidden glories Proves blasphemy at last, be sure our quest Is not mere talk but an exacting test. The fruit of love's great tree is poverty; Whoever knows this knows humility. When love has pitched his tent in someone's breast, That man despairs of life and knows no rest. Love's pain will murder him and blandly ask A surgeon's fee for managing the task - The water that he drinks brings pain, his bread Is turned to blood immediately shed; Though he is weak, faint, feebler than an ant, Love forces him to be her combatant; He cannot take one mouthful unaware That he is floundering in a sea of care.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
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))
- The Azan story - The five daily ritual prayers were regularly performed in congregation, and when the time for each prayer came the people would assemble at the site where the Mosque was being built. Everyone judged of the time by the position of the sun in the sky, or by the first signs of its light on the eastern horizon or by the dimming of its glow in the west after sunset; but opinions could differ, and the Prophet felt the need for a means of summoning the people to prayer when the right time had come. At first he thought of appointing a man to blow a horn like that of the Jews, but later he decided on a wooden clapper, ndqiis, such as the Oriental Christians used at that time, and two pieces of wood were fashioned together for that purpose. But they were never destined to be used; for one night a man of Khazraj, 'Abd Allah ibn Zayd, who had been at the Second 'Aqabah, had a dream whieh the next day he recounted to the Prophet: "There passed by me a man wearing two green garments and he carried in his hand a ndqiis, so I said unto him: "0 slave of God, wilt thou sell me that naqusi" "What wilt thou do with it?" he said. "We will summon the people to prayer with it," I answered. "Shall I not show thee a better way?" he said. "What way is that?" I asked, and he answered: "That thou shouldst say: God is most Great, Alldhu Akbar." The man in green repeated this magnification four times, then each of the following twice: I testify that there is no god but God; I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God; come unto the prayer; come unto salvation; God is most Great; and then once again there is no god but God. The Prophet said that this was a true vision, and he told him to go to Bilal, who had an excellent voice, and teach him the words exactly as he had heard them in his sleep. The highest house in the neighbourhood of the Mosque belonged to a woman of the clan of Najjar, and Bilal would come there before every dawn and would sit on the roof waiting for the daybreak. When he saw the first faint light in the east he would stretch out his arms and say in supplication: "0 God I praise Thee, and I ask Thy Help for Quraysh, that they may accept Thy religion." Then he would stand and utter the call to prayer.
Martin Lings (Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources)
We cannot repeat too often the great lesson of freudian psychology: that repression is normal self-protection and creative self-restriction-in a real sense, man's natural substitute for instinct. Rank has a perfect, key term for this natural human talent: he calls it "partialization" and very rightly sees that life is impossible without it. What we call the well-adjusted man has just this capacity to partialize the world for comfortable action. I have used the term "fetishization," which is exactly the same idea: the "normal" man bites off what he can chew and digest of life, and no more. In other words, men aren't built to be gods, to take in the whole world; they are built like other creatures, to take in the piece of ground in front of their noses. Gods can take in the whole of creation because they alone can make sense of it, know what it is all about and for. But as soon as a man lifts his nose from the ground and starts sniffing at eternal problems like life and death, the meaning of a rose or a star cluster-then he is in trouble. Most men spare themselves this trouble by keeping their minds on the small problems of their lives just as their society maps these problems out for them. These are what Kierkegaard called the "immediate" men and the "Philistines." They "tranquilize themselves with the trivial"- and so they can lead normal lives.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
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)
Are you all right?" A crease appears between his eyebrows, and he touches my cheek gently.I bat his hand away. "Well," I say, "first I got reamed out in front of everyone,and then I had to chat with the woman who's trying to destroy my old faction,and then Eric almost tossed my friends out of Dauntless,so yeah,it's shaping up to be a pretty great day,Four." He shakes his head and looks at the dilapidated building to his right, which is made of brick and barely resembles the sleek glass spire behind me. It must be ancient.No one builds with brick anymore. "Why do you care,anyway?" I say. "You can be either cruel instructor or concerned boyfriend." I tense up at the word "boyfriend." I didn't mean to use it so flippantly,but it's too late now. "You can't play both parts at the same time." "I am not cruel." He scowls at me. "I was protecting you this morning. How do you think Peter and his idiot friends would have reacted if they discovered that you and I were..." He sighs. "You would never win. They would always call your ranking a result of my favoritism rather than your skill." I open my mouth to object,but I can't. A few smart remarks come to mind, but I dismiss them. He's right. My cheeks warm, and I cool them with my hands. "You didn't have to insult me to prove something to them," I say finally. "And you didn't have to run off to your brother just because I hurt you," he says. He rubs at the back of his neck. "Besides-it worked,didn't it?" "At my expense." "I didn't think it would affect you this way." Then he looks down and shrugs. "Sometimes I forget that I can hurt you.That you are capable of being hurt." I slide my hands into my pockets and rock back on my heels.A strange feeling goes through me-a sweet,aching weakness. He did what he did because he believed in my strength. At home it was Caleb who was strong,because he could forget himself,because all the characteristics my parents valued came naturally to him. No one has ever been so convinced of my strength. I stand on my tiptoes, lift my head, and kiss him.Only our lips touch. "You're brilliant,you know that?" I shake my head. "You always know exactly what to do." "Only because I've been thinking about this for a long time," he says, kissing my briefly. "How I would handle it, if you and I..." He pulls back and smiles. "Did I hear you call me your boyfriend,Tris?" "Not exactly." I shrug. "Why? Do you want me to?" He slips his hands over my neck and presses his thumbs under my chin, tilting my head back so his forehead meets mine. For a moment he stands there, his eyes closed, breathing my air. I feel the pulse in his fingertips. I feel the quickness of his breath. He seems nervous. "Yes," he finally says. Then his smile fades. "You think we convinced him you're just a silly girl?" "I hope so," I say.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
For half a century now, a new consciousness has been entering the human world, a new awareness that can only be called transcendent, spiritual. If you find yourself reading this book, then perhaps you already sense what is happening, already feel it inside. It begins with a heightened perception of the way our lives move forward. We notice those chance events that occur at just the right moment, and bring forth just the right individuals, to suddenly send our lives in a new and important direction. Perhaps more than any other people in any other time, we intuit higher meaning in these mysterious happenings. We know that life is really about a spiritual unfolding that is personal and enchanting an unfolding that no science or philosophy or religion has yet fully clarified. And we know something else as well: know that once we do understand what is happening, how to engage this allusive process and maximize its occurrence in our lives, human society will take a quantum leap into a whole new way of life one that realizes the best of our tradition and creates a culture that has been the goal of history all along. The following story is offered toward this new understanding. If it touches you, if it crystalizes something that you perceive in life, then pass on what you see to another for I think our new awareness of the spiritual is expanding in exactly this way, no longer through hype nor fad, but personally, through a kind of positive psychological contagion among people. All that any of us have to do is uspend our doubts and distractions just long enough... and miraculously,this reality can be our own.
James Redfield
Miss Bingley was very deeply mortified by Darcy's marriage; but as she thought it advisable to retain the right of visiting at Pemberley, she dropt all her resentment; was fonder than ever of Georgiana, almost as attentive to Darcy as heretofore, and paid off every arrear of civility to Elizabeth. Pemberley was now Georgiana's home; and the attachment of the sisters was exactly what Darcy had hoped to see. They were able to love each other, even as well as they intended. Georgiana had the highest opinion in the world of Elizabeth; though at first she often listened with an astonishment bordering on alarm at her lively, sportive manner of talking to her brother. He, who had always inspired in herself a respect which almost overcame her affection, she now saw the object of open pleasantry. Her mind received knowledge which had never before fallen in her way. By Elizabeth's instructions she began to comprehend that a woman may take liberties with her husband which a brother will not always allow in a sister more than ten years younger than himself. Lady Catherine was extremely indignant on the marriage of her nephew; and as she gave way to all the genuine frankness of her character, in her reply to the letter which announced its arrangement, she sent him language so very abusive, especially of Elizabeth, that for some time all intercourse was at an end. But at length, by Elizabeth's persuasion, he was prevailed on to overlook the offence, and seek a reconciliation; and, after a little farther resistance on the part of his aunt, her resentment gave way, either to her affection for him, or her curiosity to see how his wife conducted herself: and she condescended to wait on them at Pemberley, in spite of that pollution which its woods had received, not merely from the presence of such a mistress, but the visits of her uncle and aunt from the city. With the Gardiners they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
My darling Julie, I know you'll never see this letter, but it helps to write to you every day. It keeps you close to me. G-d, I miss you so. You haunt every hour of my life. I wish I'd never met you. No-I don't mean that! What good would my life be without my memories of you to make me smile. I keep wondering if you're happy. I want you to be. I want you to have a glorious life. That's why I couldn't say the things I knew you wanted to hear when we were together. I was afraid if I did, you'd wait for me for years. I knew you wanted me to say I loved you. Not saying that to you was the only unselfish thing I did in Colorado, and I now I regret even that. I love you, Julie. Christ, I love you so much. I'd give up all my life to have one year with you. Six months. Three. Anything. You stole my heart in just a few days, darling, but you gave me your heart, too. I know you did- I could see it in your eyes every time you looked at me. I don't regret the loss of my freedom any more or rage at the injustice of the years I spent in prison. Now, my only regret is that I can't have you. You're young, and I know you'll forget about me quickly and go on with your own life. That's exactly what you should do. It's what you must do. I want you to do that, Julie. That's such a lousy lie. What I really want is to see you again, to hold you in my arms, to make love to you over and over again until I've filled you so completely that there's no room left inside of you for anyone but me, ever. I never thought of sexual intercourse as 'making love' until you. You never knew that. .... I wish I had time to write you a better letter or that I'd kept one of the others I've written so I could send that instead. They were all much more coherent than this one. I won't send another letter to you, so don't watch for one. Letters will make us both hope and dream, and if I don't stop doing that, I will die of wanting you. Before I go--I see from the newspapers that Costner has a new movie coming out in the States. If you dare to start fantasizing over Kevin after you see it, I will haunt you for the rest of your life. I love you, Julie. I loved in Colorado. I love you here, where I am. I will always love you. Everywhere. Always.
Judith McNaught (Perfect (Second Opportunities, #2))
Today Means Amen Dear you, whoever you are, however you got here, this is exactly where you are supposed to be. This moment has waited its whole life for you. This moment is your lover and you are a soldier. Come home, baby, it's over. You don't need to suffer anymore. Dear you, this moment is your surprise party. You are both hiding in the dark and walking through the door. This moment is a hallelujah. This moment is your permission slip to finally open that love letter you've been hiding from yourself, the one you wrote when you were little when you still danced like a sparkler at dusk. Do you remember the moment you realized they were watching? When you became ashamed of how much light you were holding? When you first learned how to unlove yourself? Dear you, the word today means amen in every language. Today, we made it. Today, I'm going to love you. Today, I'm going to love myself. Today, the boxcutter will rust in the garbage. The noose will forget how to hold you, today, today-- Dear you, and I have always meant you, nothing would be the same if you did not exist. You, whose voice is someone's favorite voice, someone's favorite face to wake up to. Nothing would be the same if you did not exist. You, the teacher, the starter's gun, the lantern in the night who offers not a way home, but the courage to travel farther into the dark. You, the lover, who worships the taste of her body, who is the largest tree ring in his heart, who does not let fear ration your love. You, the friend, the sacred chorus of how can I help. You, who have felt more numb than holy, more cracked than mosaic. Who have known the tiles of a bathroom by heart, who have forgotten what makes you worth it. You, the forgiven, the forgiver, who belongs right here in this moment. You, this clump of cells, this happy explosion that happened to start breathing, and by the grace of whatever is up there, you got here. You made it this whole way: through the nights that swallowed you whole, the mornings that arrived in pieces. The scabs, the gravel, the doubt, the hurt, the hurt, the hurt is over. Today, you made it. You made it. You made it here.
Sierra DeMulder (Today Means Amen)
At the end of that class Demian said to me thoughtfully: "There’s something I don’t like about this story, Sinclair. Why don’t you read it once more and give it the acid test? There’s something about it that doesn’t taste right. I mean the business with the two thieves. The three crosses standing next to each other on the hill are almost impressive, to be sure. But now comes this sentimental little treatise about the good thief. At first he was a thorough scoundrel, had committed all those awful things and God knows what else, and now he dissolves in tears and celebrates such a tearful feast of self-improvement and remorse! What’s the sense of repenting if you’re two steps from the grave? I ask you. Once again, it’s nothing but a priest’s fairy tale, saccharine and dishonest, touched up with sentimentality and given a high edifying background. If you had to pick a friend from between the two thieves or decide which one you’d rather trust, you most certainly wouldn’t choose the sniveling convert. No, the other fellow, he’s a man of character. He doesn’t give a hoot for ‘conversion’, which to a man in his position can’t be anything but a pretty speech. He follows his destiny to it’s appointed end and does not turn coward and forswear the devil, who has aided and abetted him until then. He has character, and people with character tend to receive the short end of the stick in biblical stories. Perhaps he’s even a descendant of Cain. Don’t you agree?" I was dismayed. Until now I had felt completely at home in the story of the Crucifixion. Now I saw for the first time with how little individuality, with how little power of imagination I had listened to it and read it. Still, Demian’s new concept seemed vaguely sinister and threatened to topple beliefs on whose continued existence I felt I simply had to insist. No, one could not make light of everything, especially not of the most Sacred matters. As usual he noticed my resistance even before I had said anything. "I know," he said in a resigned tone of voice, "it’s the same old story: don’t take these stories seriously! But I have to tell you something: this is one of the very places that reveals the poverty of this religion most distinctly. The point is that this God of both Old and New Testaments is certainly an extraordinary figure but not what he purports to represent. He is all that is good, noble, fatherly, beautiful, elevated, sentimental—true! But the world consists of something else besides. And what is left over is ascribed to the devil, this entire slice of world, this entire half is hushed up. In exactly the same way they praise God as the father of all life but simply refuse to say a word about our sexual life on which it’s all based, describing it whenever possible as sinful, the work of the devil. I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely this artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil. I feel that would be right. Otherwise you must create for yourself a God that contains the devil too and in front of which you needn’t close your eyes when the most natural things in the world take place.
Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
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))
Jonathan Safran Foer’s 10 Rules for Writing: 1.Tragedies make great literature; unfathomable catastrophes (the Holocaust, 9/11) are even better – try to construct your books around them for added gravitas but, since those big issues are such bummers, make sure you do it in a way that still focuses on a quirky central character that’s somewhat like Jonathan Safran Foer. 2. You can also name your character Jonathan Safran Foer. 3. If you’re writing a non-fiction book you should still make sure that it has a strong, deep, wise, and relatable central character – someone like Jonathan Safran Foer. 4. If you reach a point in your book where you’re not sure what to do, or how to approach a certain scene, or what the hell you’re doing, just throw in a picture, or a photo, or scribbles, or blank pages, or some illegible text, or maybe even a flipbook. Don’t worry if these things don’t mean anything, that’s what postmodernism is all about. If you’re not sure what to put in, you can’t go wrong with a nice photograph of Jonathan Safran Foer. 5. If you come up with a pun, metaphor, or phrase that you think is really clever and original, don’t just use it once and throw it away, sprinkle it liberally throughout the text. One particularly good phrase that comes to mind is “Jonathan Safran Foer.” 6. Don’t worry if you seem to be saying the same thing over and over again, repetition makes the work stronger, repetition is good, it drives the point home. The more you repeat a phrase or an idea, the better it gets. You should not be afraid of repeating ideas or phrases. One particularly good phrase that comes to mind is “Jonathan Safran Foer.” 7. Other writers are not your enemies, they are your friends, so you should feel free to borrow some of their ideas, words, techniques, and symbols, and use them completely out of context. They won’t mind, they’re your friends, just like my good friend Paul Auster, with whom I am very good friends. Just make sure you don’t steal anything from Jonathan Safran Foer, it wouldn’t be nice, he is your friend. 8. Make sure you have exactly three plots in your novel, any more and it gets confusing, any less and it’s not postmodern. At least one of those plots should be in a different timeline. It often helps if you name these three plots, I often use “Jonathan,” “Safran,” and “Foer.” 9. Don’t be afraid to make bold statements in you writing, there should always be a strong lesson to be learned, such as “don’t eat animals,” or “the Holocaust was bad,” or “9/11 was really really sad,” or “the world would be a better place if everyone was just a little bit more like Jonathan Safran Foer.” 10. In the end, don’t worry if you’re unsuccessful as a writer, it probably wasn’t meant to be. Not all of us are chosen to become writers. Not all of us can be Jonathan Safran Foer.
Jonathan Safran Foer
I touched Loki's chest, running my fingers over the bumps of his scar. I didn't know why exactly, but I felt compelled to, as if the scar connected us somehow. "You just couldn't wait to get me naked, could you, Princess?" Loki asked tiredly. I started to pull my hand back, but he put his own hand over it, keeping it in pace. "No,I-I was checking for wounds," I stumbled. I wouldn't meet his gaze. "I'm sure." He moved his thumb, almost caressing my hand, until it hit my ring. "What's that?" He tried to sit up to see it, so I lifted my hand, showing him the emerald-encrusted oval on my finger. "Is that a wedding ring?" "No, engagement." I lowered my hand, resting it on the bed next to him. "I'm not married yet." "I'm not too late, then." He smiled and settled back in the bed. "Too late for what?" I asked. "To stop you, of course." Still smiling, he closed his eyes. "Is that why you're here?" I asked, failing to point out how near we were to my nuptials. "I told you why I'm here," Loki said. "What happened to you, Loki?" I asked, my voice growing thick when I thought about what he had to have gone through to get all those marks and bruises. "Are you crying?" Loki asked and opened his eyes. "No, I'm not crying." I wasn't, but my eyes were moist. "Don't cry." He tried to sit up, but he winced when he lifted his head, so I put my hand gently on his chest to keep him down. "You need to rest," I said. "I will be fine." He put his hand over mine again, and I let him. "Eventually." "Can you tell me what happened?" I asked. "Why do you need amnesty?" "Remember when we were in the garden?" Loki asked. Of course I remembered. Loki had snuck in over the wall and asked me to run away with him. I had declined, but he'd stolen a kiss before he left, a rather nice kiss. My cheeks reddened slightly at the memory, and that make Loki smile wider. "I see you do." He grinned. "What does that have to do with anything?" I asked. "That doesn't," Loki said, referring to the kiss. "I meant when I told you that the King hates me. He really does, Wendy." His eyes went dark for a minute. "The Vittra King did this to you?" I asked, and my stomach tightened. "You mean Oren? My father?" "Don't worry about it now," he said, trying to calm the anger burning in my eyes. "I'll be fine." "Why?" I asked. "Why does the King hate you? Why did he do this to you?" "Wendy, please." He closed his eyes. "I'm exhausted. I barely made it here. Can we have this conversation when I'm feeling a bit better? Say, in a month or two?" "Loki," I said with a sigh, but he had a point. "Rest. But we will talk tomorrow. All right?" "As you wish, Princess," he conceded, and he was already drifting back to sleep again. I sat beside him for a few minutes longer, my hand still on his chest so I could feel his heartbeat pounding underneath. When I was certain he was asleep, I slid my hand out from under his, and I stood up.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
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)
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)
Reader: Will you not admit that you are arguing against yourself? You know that what the English obtained in their own country they obtained by using brute force. I know you have argued that what they have obtained is useless, but that does not affect my argument. They wanted useless things and they got them. My point is that their desire was fulfilled. What does it matter what means they adopted? Why should we not obtain our goal, which is good, by any means whatsoever, even by using violence? Shall I think of the means when I have to deal with a thief in the house? My duty is to drive him out anyhow. You seem to admit that we have received nothing, and that we shall receive nothing by petitioning. Why, then, may we do not so by using brute force? And, to retain what we may receive we shall keep up the fear by using the same force to the extent that it may be necessary. You will not find fault with a continuance of force to prevent a child from thrusting its foot into fire. Somehow or other we have to gain our end. Editor: Your reasoning is plausible. It has deluded many. I have used similar arguments before now. But I think I know better now, and I shall endeavour to undeceive you. Let us first take the argument that we are justified in gaining our end by using brute force because the English gained theirs by using similar means. It is perfectly true that they used brute force and that it is possible for us to do likewise, but by using similar means we can get only the same thing that they got. You will admit that we do not want that. Your belief that there is no connection between the means and the end is a great mistake. Through that mistake even men who have been considered religious have committed grievous crimes. Your reasoning is the same as saying that we can get a rose through planting a noxious weed. If I want to cross the ocean, I can do so only by means of a vessel; if I were to use a cart for that purpose, both the cart and I would soon find the bottom. "As is the God, so is the votary", is a maxim worth considering. Its meaning has been distorted and men have gone astray. The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. I am not likely to obtain the result flowing from the worship of God by laying myself prostrate before Satan. If, therefore, anyone were to say : "I want to worship God; it does not matter that I do so by means of Satan," it would be set down as ignorant folly. We reap exactly as we sow. The English in 1833 obtained greater voting power by violence. Did they by using brute force better appreciate their duty? They wanted the right of voting, which they obtained by using physical force. But real rights are a result of performance of duty; these rights they have not obtained. We, therefore, have before us in English the force of everybody wanting and insisting on his rights, nobody thinking of his duty. And, where everybody wants rights, who shall give them to whom? I do not wish to imply that they do no duties. They don't perform the duties corresponding to those rights; and as they do not perform that particular duty, namely, acquire fitness, their rights have proved a burden to them. In other words, what they have obtained is an exact result of the means they adapted. They used the means corresponding to the end. If I want to deprive you of your watch, I shall certainly have to fight for it; if I want to buy your watch, I shall have to pay you for it; and if I want a gift, I shall have to plead for it; and, according to the means I employ, the watch is stolen property, my own property, or a donation. Thus we see three different results from three different means. Will you still say that means do not matter?
Mahatma Gandhi
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))
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)