Exact Travel Quotes

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Still, despite all this, traveling is the great true love of my life. I have always felt, ever since I was sixteen years old and first went to Russia with my saved-up babysitting money, that to travel is worth any cost or sacrifice. I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless, newborn baby--I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it's mine. Because it looks exactly like me. It can barf all over me if it wants to--I just don't care.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
He felt as though he were failing in practically every area of his life. Lately, happiness seemed as distant and unattainable to him as space travel. He hadn't always felt this way. There had been a long period of time during which he remembered being very happy. But things change. People change. Change was one of the inevitable laws of nature, exacting its toll on people's lives. Mistakes are made, regrets form, and all that was left were repercussions that made something as simple as rising from the bed seem almost laborious.
Nicholas Sparks (The Choice)
A book travels for days, for years, sometimes for centuries to meet you at an exact point in time.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
Someday, I would like to go home. The exact location of this place, I don't know, but someday I would like to go. There would be a pleasing feeling of familiarity and a sense of welcome in everything I saw. People would greet me warmly. They would remind me of the length of my absence and the thousands of miles I had travelled in those restless years, but mostly, they would tell me that I had been missed, and that things were better now I had returned. Autumn would come to this place of welcome, this place I would know to be home. Autumn would come and the air would grow cool, dry and magic, as it does that time of the year. At night, I would walk the streets but not feel lonely, for these are the streets of my home town. These are the streets that I had thought about while far away, and now I was back, and all was as it should be. The trees and the falling leaves would welcome me. I would look up at the moon, and remember seeing it in countries all over the world as I had restlessly journeyed for decades, never remembering it looking the same as when viewed from my hometown.
Henry Rollins
So often in my life I've been with people and shared beautiful moments like travelling or staying up all night and watching the sunrise, and I knew it was a special moment, but something was always wrong. I wished I'd been with someone else. I knew that what I was feeling - exactly what was so important to me - they didn't understand.
Julie Delpy (Before Sunrise & Before Sunset: Two Screenplays)
Who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of regret?
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
Traveling is the great true love of my life... I am loyal and constant in my love of travel. I feel about travel the way a happy new mother feels about her impossible, colicky, restless newborn baby - I just don't care what it puts me through. Because I adore it. Because it's mine. Because it looks exactly like me.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Most people fail at whatever they attempt because of an undecided heart. Should I? Should I not? Go forward? Go back? Success requires the emotional balance of a committed heart. When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution. The undecided heart searches for an escape. A committed heart does not wait for conditions to be exactly right. Why? Because conditions are never exactly right. Indecision limits the Almighty and His ability to perform miracles in your life. He has put the vision in you -- proceed. To wait, to wonder, to doubt, to be indecisive is to disobey God. -Andy Andrews, The Traveler's Gift
Andy Andrews
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it's the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw, my inability to change. I don't think I'm alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it's kind of everyone's flaw. Staying exactly the same for as long as possible, standing perfectly still... It feels safer somehow. And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took that leap of faith, went outside the box, did something unexpected... Who knows what other pain might be out there, waiting for you. Chances are it could be even worse. So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn't seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You're not a drug addict. You're not killing anyone... Except maybe yourself a little. When we finally do change, I don't think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we're like this different person. I think it's smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn't even notice unless they looked at us really close. Which, thank God, they never do. But you notice it. Inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever... that you'll never have to change again.
Laura J. Burns
In a vacuum all photons travel at the same speed. They slow down when travelling through air or water or glass. Photons of different energies are slowed down at different rates. If Tolstoy had known this, would he have recognised the terrible untruth at the beginning of Anna Karenina? 'All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own particular way.' In fact it's the other way around. Happiness is a specific. Misery is a generalisation. People usually know exactly why they are happy. They very rarely know why they are miserable.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
I don’t keep a travel diary. I did keep a travel diary once and it was a big mistake. All I remember of that trip is what I bothered to write down. Everything else slipped away, as though my mind felt jilted by my reliance on pen and paper. For exactly the same reason I don’t travel with a camera. My holiday becomes the snapshots and anything I forget to record is lost.
Alex Garland (The Beach)
How does it feel? I feels exactly like one of those dreams in which you suddenly realize that you have to take a test you haven't studied for and you aren't wearing any clothes. And you've left your wallet at home. When I am out there, in time, I am inverted, changed into a desperate version of myself. I become a thief, a vagrant, an animal who runs and hides. I startle old women and amaze children. I am a trick, an illusion of the highest order, so incredible that I am actually true.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
What about e-mail? It is e-mail, yes?" Morley asked, leaning even closer. "E-mail is a kind of electronic letter. It travels through the air." He seemed very smug that he knew that. "Well, not exactly, and would you please either BACK OFF or go find a shower?
Rachel Caine (Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8))
I walk outside and scream at the top of my lungs, and it maybe travels two blocks. A whale unleashes his cry, and it travels hundreds or even thousands of miles. Every whale in the ocean will at one time or another run into that song. And I figure whales probably don't edit. If they think it, they say it...Whale talk is the truth, and in a very short period of time, if you're a whale, you know exactly what it is to be you.
Chris Crutcher (Whale Talk)
I, sometimes, fear that probably I'll just keep changing cities, and may be someday I'll also travel the world, but never find another soul who thinks exactly the way I do.
Sanhita Baruah
...she could express her soul with that voice, whenver I listened to her I felt my life meant more than mere biology...she could really hear, she understood structure and she could analyze exactly what it was about a piece of music that had to be rendered just so...she was a very emotional person, Annette. She brought that out in other people. After she died I don't think I ever really felt anything again.
Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife)
Ah, youth! It was a beautiful night... The moon was out of orbit. The stars were awry. But everything else was exactly as it should have been.
Roman Payne
It is the last great minute before he walks into your life, but you don't know that yet, can't know. Later, though, you will try to imagine where he was in this exact instant, when he had turned and started to travel toward you, you to him, and how the world around both of you took no notice. Your life would not be the same, but that was all waiting, up in the air, all fate and chance and inevitability.
J.P. Monninger (The Map That Leads to You)
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)
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
David Attenborough has said that Bali is the most beautiful place in the world, but he must have been there longer than we were, and seen different bits, because most of what we saw in the couple of days we were there sorting out our travel arrangements was awful. It was just the tourist area, i.e., that part of Bali which has been made almost exactly the same as everywhere else in the world for the sake of people who have come all this way to see Bali.
Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)
Your body, which is bonding millions of molecules every second, depends on transformation. Breathing and digestion harness transformation. Food and air aren’t just shuffled about but, rather, undergo the exact chemical bonding needed to keep you alive. The sugar extracted from an orange travels to the brain and fuels a thought. The emergent property in this case is the newness of the thought; no molecules in the history of the universe ever combined to produce that exact thought.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Few travelled in these days, for, thanks to the advance of science, the earth was exactly alike all over. Rapid intercourse, from which the previous civilization had hoped so much, had ended by defeating itself. What was the good of going to Peking when it was just like Shrewsbury? Why return to Shrewsbury when it would all be like Peking? Men seldom moved their bodies; all unrest was concentrated in the soul.
E.M. Forster (The Machine Stops)
Very many people spend money in ways quite different from those that their natural tastes would enjoin, merely because the respect of their neighbors depends upon their possession of a good car and their ability to give good dinners. As a matter of fact, any man who can obviously afford a car but genuinely prefers travel or a good library will in the end be much more respected than if he behaved exactly like everyone else.
Bertrand Russell (The Conquest of Happiness)
What are the dead, anyway, but waves and energy? Light shining from a dead star? That, by the way, is a phrase of Julian's. I remember it from a lecture of his on the Iliad, when Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream. There is a very moving passage where Achilles overjoyed at the sight of the apparition – tries to throw his arms around the ghost of his old friend, and it vanishes. The dead appear to us in dreams, said Julian, because that's the only way they can make us see them; what we see is only a projection, beamed from a great distance, light shining at us from a dead star… Which reminds me, by the way, of a dream I had a couple of weeks ago. I found myself in a strange deserted city – an old city, like London – underpopulated by war or disease. It was night; the streets were dark, bombed-out, abandoned. For a long time, I wandered aimlessly – past ruined parks, blasted statuary, vacant lots overgrown with weeds and collapsed apartment houses with rusted girders poking out of their sides like ribs. But here and there, interspersed among the desolate shells of the heavy old public buildings, I began to see new buildings, too, which were connected by futuristic walkways lit from beneath. Long, cool perspectives of modern architecture, rising phosphorescent and eerie from the rubble. I went inside one of these new buildings. It was like a laboratory, maybe, or a museum. My footsteps echoed on the tile floors.There was a cluster of men, all smoking pipes, gathered around an exhibit in a glass case that gleamed in the dim light and lit their faces ghoulishly from below. I drew nearer. In the case was a machine revolving slowly on a turntable, a machine with metal parts that slid in and out and collapsed in upon themselves to form new images. An Inca temple… click click click… the Pyramids… the Parthenon. History passing beneath my very eyes, changing every moment. 'I thought I'd find you here,' said a voice at my elbow. It was Henry. His gaze was steady and impassive in the dim light. Above his ear, beneath the wire stem of his spectacles, I could just make out the powder burn and the dark hole in his right temple. I was glad to see him, though not exactly surprised. 'You know,' I said to him, 'everybody is saying that you're dead.' He stared down at the machine. The Colosseum… click click click… the Pantheon. 'I'm not dead,' he said. 'I'm only having a bit of trouble with my passport.' 'What?' He cleared his throat. 'My movements are restricted,' he said. 'I no longer have the ability to travel as freely as I would like.' Hagia Sophia. St. Mark's, in Venice. 'What is this place?' I asked him. 'That information is classified, I'm afraid.' 1 looked around curiously. It seemed that I was the only visitor. 'Is it open to the public?' I said. 'Not generally, no.' I looked at him. There was so much I wanted to ask him, so much I wanted to say; but somehow I knew there wasn't time and even if there was, that it was all, somehow, beside the point. 'Are you happy here?' I said at last. He considered this for a moment. 'Not particularly,' he said. 'But you're not very happy where you are, either.' St. Basil's, in Moscow. Chartres. Salisbury and Amiens. He glanced at his watch. 'I hope you'll excuse me,' he said, 'but I'm late for an appointment.' He turned from me and walked away. I watched his back receding down the long, gleaming hall.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
As a therapist, I know a lot about pain, about the ways in which pain is tied to loss. But I also know something less commonly understood: that change and loss travel together. We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same. To help John, I’m going to have to figure out what his loss would be, but first, I’m going to have to understand mine. Because right now, all I can think about is what my boyfriend did last night. The idiot! I look back at John and think: I hear you, brother.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
Holding the space is crucial, and exactly what we are missing. To hold the space is to create a ring of safety around the family and friends of the dead, providing a place where they can grieve openly and honestly, without fear of being judged.
Caitlin Doughty (From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death)
Fai: But... Don't you think they've changed? At the start of our travels, Syaoran-kun never smiled at all. Like he was suffering. And maybe it was because Sakura lost all of her memories but she always seemed so unsure of herself. And Kuro-run, you were always angry. And now you're exactly the same. Kurogane: Huh? Fai: But... During our travels, there are a lot of painful spots, but there are also fun times. And when I see those two giving it their all and smiling... I can't help but think they've changed. Kurogane: If you think that, then you've changed too.
CLAMP
Anyway, solitary people interest me. There are so many different ways of being solitary.' 'I know just what you mean,' said X. 'I know exactly what you're going to say. Different kinds of solitude. Enforced solitude and voluntary solitude.' 'Quite,' said Viktoria. 'There's no need to go into it further. But when people understand one another without speaking, it can often leave them with very little to talk about, don't you think?
Tove Jansson (Travelling Light)
There are friends, I think we can't imagine living without. People who are sisters to us, or brothers. Jimmy was one of those. I never thought I might have to go through life without him. I never thought he might be killed by a drunken driver or anything else. Who thinks about things like that when you're seventeen? If I had known ahead of time what was going to happen to him, I would have gone crazy. I guess I did go a little crazy. My Aunt Lo, who's a hospital psychiatrist, says grief travels a certain route-that if you could plot it out on a map you'd have a line that twists and weaves and eventually ends up near the point of departure. I say "near" because although you may survive the grief, you won't ever be exactly the same. It took me a long time to learn that, and sometimes the whole experience comes back on me and I have to learn it all over again.
Julie Reece Deaver (Say Goodnight, Gracie)
It is a well-known established fact throughout the many-dimensional worlds of the multiverse that most really great discoveries are owed to one brief moment of inspiration. There's a lot of spadework first, of course, but what clinches the whole thing is the sight of, say, a falling apple or a boiling kettle or the water slipping over the edge of the bath. Something goes click inside the observer's head and then everything falls into place. The shape of DNA, it is popularly said, owes its discovery to the chance sight of a spiral staircase when the scientist=s mind was just at the right receptive temperature. Had he used the elevator, the whole science of genetics might have been a good deal different. This is thought of as somehow wonderful. It isn't. It is tragic. Little particles of inspiration sleet through the universe all the time traveling through the densest matter in the same way that a neutrino passes through a candyfloss haystack, and most of them miss. Even worse, most of the ones that hit the exact cerebral target, hit the wrong one. For example, the weird dream about a lead doughnut on a mile-high gantry, which in the right mind would have been the catalyst for the invention of repressed-gravitational electricity generation (a cheap and inexhaustible and totally non-polluting form of power which the world in question had been seeking for centuries, and for the lack of which it was plunged into a terrible and pointless war) was in fact had by a small and bewildered duck. By another stroke of bad luck, the sight of a herd of wild horses galloping through a field of wild hyacinths would have led a struggling composer to write the famous Flying God Suite, bringing succor and balm to the souls of millions, had he not been at home in bed with shingles. The inspiration thereby fell to a nearby frog, who was not in much of a position to make a startling contributing to the field of tone poetry. Many civilizations have recognized this shocking waste and tried various methods to prevent it, most of them involving enjoyable but illegal attempts to tune the mind into the right wavelength by the use of exotic herbage or yeast products. It never works properly.
Terry Pratchett (Sourcery (Discworld, #5; Rincewind #3))
This is, to me, the loveliest and saddest landscape in the world. It is the same as that on the preceding page, but I have drawn it again to impress it on your memory. It is here that the little prince appeared on Earth, and disappeared. Look at it carefully so that you will be sure to recognise it in case you travel some day to the African desert. And, if you should come upon this spot, please do not hurry on. Wait for a time, exactly under the star. Then, if a little man appears who laughs, who has golden hair and who refuses to answer questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
Liesel and Papa made their way through the book, this man was traveling to Amsterdam on business and the snow was shivering outside. The girl loved that- the shivering snow. "That's exactly what it does when it comes down," she told Hans Hubermann.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
After the slowing, every action required a little more force than it used to. The physics had changed. Take, for example, the slightly increased drag of a hand on a knife or a finger on a trigger. From then on, we all had a little more time to decide what not to do. And who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of a regret? But the new gravity was not enough to overcome the pull of certain other forces, more powerful, less known--no law of physics can account for desire.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals.
Caitlin Doughty (From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death)
You fight with dreams as with formless and meaningless life, seeking a pattern, a route that must surely be there, as when you begin to read a book and you don't yet know in which direction it will carry you. What you would like is the opening of an abstract and absolute space and time in which you could move, following an exact, taut trajectory; but when you seem to be succeeding, you realize you are motionless, blocked, forced to repeat everything from the beginning.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
At last, Sturmhond straightened the lapels of his teal frock coat and said, “Well, Brekker, it’s obvious you only deal in half-truths and outright lies, so you’re clearly the man for the job.” “There’s just one thing,” said Kaz, studying the privateer’s broken nose and ruddy hair. “Before we join hands and jump off a cliff together, I want to know exactly who I’m running with.” Sturmhond lifted a brow. “We haven’t been on a road trip or exchanged clothes, but I think our introductions were civilized enough.” “Who are you really, privateer?” “Is this an existential question?” “No proper thief talks the way you do.” “How narrow-minded of you.” “I know the look of a rich man’s son, and I don’t believe a king would send an ordinary privateer to handle business this sensitive.” “Ordinary,” scoffed Sturmhond. “Are you so schooled in politics?” “I know my way around a deal. Who are you? We get the truth or my crew walks.” “Are you so sure that would be possible, Brekker? I know your plans now. I’m accompanied by two of the world’s most legendary Grisha, and I’m not too bad in a fight either.” “And I’m the canal rat who brought Kuwei Yul-Bo out of the Ice Court alive. Let me know how you like your chances.” His crew didn’t have clothes or titles to rival the Ravkans, but Kaz knew where he’d put his money if he had any left. Sturmhond clasped his hands behind his back, and Kaz saw the barest shift in his demeanor. His eyes lost their bemused gleam and took on a surprising weight. No ordinary privateer at all. “Let us say,” said Sturmhond, gaze trained on the Ketterdam street below, “hypothetically, of course, that the Ravkan king has intelligence networks that reach deep within Kerch, Fjerda, and the Shu Han, and that he knows exactly how important Kuwei Yul-Bo could be to the future of his country. Let us say that king would trust no one to negotiate such matters but himself, but that he also knows just how dangerous it is to travel under his own name when his country is in turmoil, when he has no heir and the Lantsov succession is in no way secured.” “So hypothetically,” Kaz said, “you might be addressed as Your Highness.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
The message they give to their children is: “If you don’t do exactly what I want you to do I won’t love you any more, and you can figure out for yourself what that might mean.” It means, of course, abandonment and death.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
Imagine a young Isaac Newton time-travelling from 1670s England to teach Harvard undergrads in 2017. After the time-jump, Newton still has an obsessive, paranoid personality, with Asperger’s syndrome, a bad stutter, unstable moods, and episodes of psychotic mania and depression. But now he’s subject to Harvard’s speech codes that prohibit any “disrespect for the dignity of others”; any violations will get him in trouble with Harvard’s Inquisition (the ‘Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’). Newton also wants to publish Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, to explain the laws of motion governing the universe. But his literary agent explains that he can’t get a decent book deal until Newton builds his ‘author platform’ to include at least 20k Twitter followers – without provoking any backlash for airing his eccentric views on ancient Greek alchemy, Biblical cryptography, fiat currency, Jewish mysticism, or how to predict the exact date of the Apocalypse. Newton wouldn’t last long as a ‘public intellectual’ in modern American culture. Sooner or later, he would say ‘offensive’ things that get reported to Harvard and that get picked up by mainstream media as moral-outrage clickbait. His eccentric, ornery awkwardness would lead to swift expulsion from academia, social media, and publishing. Result? On the upside, he’d drive some traffic through Huffpost, Buzzfeed, and Jezebel, and people would have a fresh controversy to virtue-signal about on Facebook. On the downside, we wouldn’t have Newton’s Laws of Motion.
Geoffrey Miller
Afterwards, we don’t head straight back to work. Instead, we stop at McDonald’s. Kristy gets a Happy Meal. Cora gets like four pies, which doesn’t exactly seem like a healthy, balanced meal to me, but she’s not exactly a healthy, balanced young lady. I get a couple of Big Macs and some fries. Arthur stares at the menu the way a time-traveling seventeenth century Puritan would watch a Lady Gaga music video.
Hannah Johnson (Know Not Why (Know Not Why, #1))
From then on, we all had a little more time to decide what not to do. And who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of regret?
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
When they had finished they made me take notes of whatever conversation they had quoted, so that I might have the exact words, and got up to go, and when I asked them where they were going and what they were doing and by what names I should call them, they would tell me nothing, except that they had been commanded to travel over Ireland continually, and upon foot and at night, that they might live close to the stones and the trees and at the hours when the immortals are awake.
W.B. Yeats
Sometimes I think my ability to concentrate is being nibbled away by the internet; other times I think it's being gulped down in huge, Jaws-shaped chunks. In those quaint days before the internet, once you made it to your desk there wasn't much to distract you. You could sit there working or you could just sit there. Now you sit down and there's a universe of possibilities – many of them obscurely relevant to the work you should be getting on with – to tempt you. To think that I can be sitting here, trying to write something about Ingmar Bergman and, a moment later, on the merest whim, can be watching a clip from a Swedish documentary about Don Cherry – that is a miracle (albeit one with a very potent side-effect, namely that it's unlikely I'll ever have the patience to sit through an entire Bergman film again). Then there's the outsourcing of memory. From the age of 16, I got into the habit of memorising passages of poetry and compiling detailed indexes in the backs of books of prose. So if there was a passage I couldn't remember, I would spend hours going through my books, seeking it out. Now, in what TS Eliot, with great prescience, called "this twittering world", I just google the key phrase of the half-remembered quote. Which is great, but it's drained some of the purpose from my life. Exactly the same thing has happened now that it's possible to get hold of out-of-print books instantly on the web. That's great too. But one of the side incentives to travel was the hope that, in a bookstore in Oregon, I might finally track down a book I'd been wanting for years. All of this searching and tracking down was immensely time-consuming – but only in the way that being alive is time-consuming.
Geoff Dyer
I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer. I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course. I didn’t feel it happen, the slip. Even if I had, I was so wrapped up in him that I couldn’t imagine pulling back or letting go of his warm skin or that moment. His touch was feather-light, stroking my skin with a kind of reverence, but the instant his lips found mine again, a single thought was enough to rocket me out of the honey-sweet haze. The memory of Clancy’s face as he had leaned in to do exactly what Liam was doing now suddenly flooded my mind, twisting its way through me until I couldn’t ignore it. Until I was seeing it play out glossy and burning like it was someone else’s memory and not mine. And then I realized—I wasn’t the only one seeing it. Liam was seeing it, too. How, how, how? That wasn’t possible, was it? Memories flowed to me, not from me. But I felt him grow still, then pull back. And I knew, I knew by the look on his face, that he had seen it. Air filled my chest. “Oh my God, I’m sorry, I didn’t want—he—” Liam caught one of my wrists and pulled me back to him, his hands cupping my cheeks. I wondered which one of us was breathing harder as he brushed my hair from my face. I tried to squirm away, ashamed of what he’d seen, and afraid of what he’d think of me. When Liam spoke, it was in a measured, would-be-calm voice. “What did he do?” “Nothing—” “Don’t lie,” he begged. “Please don’t lie to me. I felt it…my whole body. God, it was like being turned to stone. You were scared—I felt it, you were scared!” His fingers came up and wove through my hair, bringing my face close to his again. “He…” I started. “He asked to see a memory, and I let him, but when I tried to move away…I couldn’t get out, I couldn’t move, and then I blacked out. I don’t know what he did, but it hurt—it hurt so much.” Liam pulled back and pressed his lips to my forehead. I felt the muscles in his arms strain, shake. “Go to the cabin.” He didn’t let me protest. “Start packing.” “Lee—” “I’m going to find Chubs,” he said. “And the three of us are getting the hell out of here. Tonight.” “We can’t,” I said. “You know we can’t.” But he was already crashing back through the dark path. “Lee!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
The Death of Allegory I am wondering what became of all those tall abstractions that used to pose, robed and statuesque, in paintings and parade about on the pages of the Renaissance displaying their capital letters like license plates. Truth cantering on a powerful horse, Chastity, eyes downcast, fluttering with veils. Each one was marble come to life, a thought in a coat, Courtesy bowing with one hand always extended, Villainy sharpening an instrument behind a wall, Reason with her crown and Constancy alert behind a helm. They are all retired now, consigned to a Florida for tropes. Justice is there standing by an open refrigerator. Valor lies in bed listening to the rain. Even Death has nothing to do but mend his cloak and hood, and all their props are locked away in a warehouse, hourglasses, globes, blindfolds and shackles. Even if you called them back, there are no places left for them to go, no Garden of Mirth or Bower of Bliss. The Valley of Forgiveness is lined with condominiums and chain saws are howling in the Forest of Despair. Here on the table near the window is a vase of peonies and next to it black binoculars and a money clip, exactly the kind of thing we now prefer, objects that sit quietly on a line in lower case, themselves and nothing more, a wheelbarrow, an empty mailbox, a razor blade resting in a glass ashtray. As for the others, the great ideas on horseback and the long-haired virtues in embroidered gowns, it looks as though they have traveled down that road you see on the final page of storybooks, the one that winds up a green hillside and disappears into an unseen valley where everyone must be fast asleep.
Billy Collins
Am I right in suggesting that ordinary life is a mean between these extremes, that the noble man devotes his material wealth to lofty ends, the advancement of science, or art, or some such true ideal; and that the base man does the opposite by concentrating all his abilities on the amassing of wealth?' Exactly; that is the real distinction between the artist and the bourgeois, or, if you prefer it, between the gentleman and the cad. Money, and the things money can buy, have no value, for there is no question of creation, but only of exchange. Houses, lands, gold, jewels, even existing works of art, may be tossed about from one hand to another; they are so, constantly. But neither you nor I can write a sonnet; and what we have, our appreciation of art, we did not buy. We inherited the germ of it, and we developed it by the sweat of our brows. The possession of money helped us, but only by giving us time and opportunity and the means of travel. Anyhow, the principle is clear; one must sacrifice the lower to the higher, and, as the Greeks did with their oxen, one must fatten and bedeck the lower, so that it may be the worthier offering.
Aleister Crowley (Moonchild)
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)
In the pragmatist, streetwise climate of advanced postmodern capitalism, with its scepticism of big pictures and grand narratives, its hard-nosed disenchantment with the metaphysical, 'life' is one among a whole series of discredited totalities. We are invited to think small rather than big – ironically, at just the point when some of those out to destroy Western civilization are doing exactly the opposite. In the conflict between Western capitalism and radical Islam, a paucity of belief squares up to an excess of it. The West finds itself faced with a full-blooded metaphysical onslaught at just the historical point that it has, so to speak, philosophically disarmed. As far as belief goes, postmodernism prefers to travel light: it has beliefs, to be sure, but it does not have faith.
Terry Eagleton (The Meaning of Life)
The idea is still there, unnameable. It waits, peacefully. Now it seems to say: “Yes? Is that what you wanted? Well, that’s exactly what you’ve never had (remember you fooled yourself with words, you called the glitter of travel, the love of women, quarrels, and trinkets adventure) and this is what you’ll never have—and no one other than yourself.” But Why? WHY?
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea (New Directions Paperbook))
Picture time travel as nothing more than knocking your half-read book to the floor and losing your place. You pick up the book and open the pages to a scene too early or late, but never exactly where you’d been reading.
Chuck Palahniuk (Rant)
This is exactly the sort of thing that makes traveling wonderful for me, the reason I defied everyone. The two of us together like we have always been, not saying anything, not doing anything special, just on vacation. I know nothing lasts, but even when you know that things are just about over, sometimes you can run back and take a little bit more and no one will notice.
Michael Zadoorian (The Leisure Seeker)
And if, upon arrival, you find that your destination is not exactly as you had dreamed, do not be disappointed. Think of all you would have missed but for the journey there, and know that the true worth of your travels lies not in where you come to be at journey's end, but in who you come to be along the way.
Linda Staten
One could not but play for a moment with the thought of what might have happened if Charlotte Brontë had possessed say three hundred a year — but the foolish woman sold the copyright of her novels outright for fifteen hundred pounds; had somehow possessed more knowledge of the busy world, and towns and regions full of life; more practical experience, and intercourse with her kind and acquaintance with a variety of character. In those words she puts her finger exactly not only upon her own defects as a novelist but upon those of her sex. at that time. She knew, no one better, how enormously her genius would have profited if it had not spent itself in solitary visions over distant fields; if experience and intercourse and travel had been granted her. But they were not granted; they were withheld; and we must accept the fact that all those good novels, VILLETTE, EMMA, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, MIDDLEMARCH, were written by women without more experience of life than could enter the house of a respectable clergyman; written too in the common sitting-room of that respectable house and by women so poor that they could not afford to, buy more than a few quires of paper at a time upon which to write WUTHERING HEIGHTS or JANE EYRE.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
But while all fear is not laziness, much fear is exactly that. Much of our fear is fear of a change in the status quo, a fear that we might lose what we have if we venture forth from where we are now. In the section on discipline I spoke of the fact
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
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)
Time travel? I believe there are people regularly travelling back from the future and interfering with our lives on a daily basis. The evidence is all around us. I’m talking about how every time we make an insurance claim we discover that somehow mysteriously the exact thing we’re claiming for is now precisely excluded from our policy.
Douglas Adams (The Salmon of Doubt (Dirk Gently, #3))
Each day the sea is exactly the same. We seem no closer, and no farther from anything.
Neal Shusterman (Challenger Deep)
You're from the future, Mr Netherton?" "Not exactly," he said. "I'm in the future that would result from my not being here. But since I am, it isn't your future. Here.
William Gibson (The Peripheral (The Peripheral #1))
if another person got on that elevator to travel eight feet upward, I couldn’t have been responsible for what I did. I had been pushed to the limit. The next time it happens, I swore to myself, I’m going to reach out and pinch that One Floorer and say, “You get out there and walk! You won’t come close to burning a fraction of the three thousand calories you ate at lunch, but maybe by the time you reach the landing, you’ll pass out from exhaustion and get to go home for the rest of the day, you lazy little asshole, because that’s exactly what you want anyway!
Laurie Notaro (I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies))
Saying It To Keep It From Happening” Some departure from the norm Will occur as time grows more open about it. The consensus gradually changed; nobody Lies about it any more. Rust dark pouring Over the body, changing it without decay— People with too many things on their minds, but we live In the interstices, between a vacant stare and the ceiling, Our lives remind us. Finally this is consciousness And the other livers of it get off at the same stop. How careless. Yet in the end each of us Is seen to have traveled the same distance—it’s time That counts, and how deeply you have invested in it, Crossing the street of an event, as though coming out of it were The same as making it happen. You’re not sorry, Of course, especially if this was the way it had to happen, Yet would like an exacter share, something about time That only a clock can tell you: how it feels, not what it means. It is a long field, and we know only the far end of it, Not the part we presumably had to go through to get there. If it isn’t enough, take the idea Inherent in the day, armloads of wheat and flowers Lying around flat on handtrucks, if maybe it means more In pertaining to you, yet what is is what happens in the end As though you cared. The event combined with Beams leading up to it for the look of force adapted to the wiser Usages of age, but it’s both there And not there, like washing or sawdust in the sunlight, At the back of the mind, where we live now.
John Ashbery (Houseboat Days)
It is amazing, is it not, Darcy, how a violent storm can rise up out of calm, idle waters so unexpectedly? I am always surprised, but never caught off guard. We can be travelling through what we think are tranquil waters, believing everything is going exactly as planned, heading in the exact direction we want, when in the blink of an eye, everything around us is jostled, tossed around, and completely shaken up. When it has passed, we are not at all where we thought we would be when we first set out.
Kara Louise (Darcy's Voyage)
Look at it carefully so that you will be sure to recognise it in case you travel some day to the African desert. And, if you should come upon this spot, please do not hurry on. Wait for a time, exactly under the star. Then, if a little man appears who laughs, who has golden hair and who refuses to answer questions, you will know who he is. If this should happen, please comfort me. Send me word that he has come back.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
When parties in a state are violent, he offered a wonderful contrivance to reconcile them. The method is this: You take a hundred leaders of each party; you dispose them into couples of such whose heads are nearest of a size; then let two nice operators saw off the occiput of each couple at the same time, in such a manner that the brain may be equally divided. Let the occiputs, thus cut off, be interchanged, applying each to the head of his opposite party-man. It seems indeed to be a work that requires some exactness, but the professor assured us, "that if it were dexterously performed, the cure would be infallible." For he argued thus: "that the two half brains being left to debate the matter between themselves within the space of one skull, would soon come to a good understanding, and produce that moderation, as well as regularity of thinking, so much to be wished for in the heads of those, who imagine they come into the world only to watch and govern its motion: and as to the difference of brains, in quantity or quality, among those who are directors in faction, the doctor assured us, from his own knowledge, that "it was a perfect trifle.
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels)
And let me tell you something. That first morning, when you are in your country of choice, away from all of the conventions of atypical, everyday lifestyle, looking around at your totally new surroundings, hearing strange languages, smelling strange, new smells, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ll feel like the luckiest person in the world.
Rolf Potts (Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel)
Suppose a hole were dug from one side of Earth, through the center, and out the other side. What would happen to a man if he jumped into the hole? When he got to the middle of the Earth would he keep falling or would he stop? DEBBIE CANDLER RED BUD, ILLINOIS He would be vaporized by the 11,000° Fahrenheit temperature of the pressurized molten iron core. Ignoring this complication, he would gain speed continuously from the moment he jumped into the hole until he reached the center of Earth where the force of gravity is zero. But he will be traveling so fast that he will overshoot the center and slow down continuously until he reached zero velocity at the exact moment he emerges on the other side. Unless somebody grabs him, he will fall back down the hole and repeat his journey indefinitely. A one-way trip through Earth would take about forty-five minutes.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Merlin's Tour of the Universe)
When the radio was on, music has stimulated memory of times and places, complete with characters and stage sets, memories so exact that every word of dialogue is recreated. And I have projected future scenes, just as complete and convincing--scenes that will never take place. I've written short stories in my mind, chuckling at my own humor, saddened or stimulated by structure or content.
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
And yet what she has said--the lying brain--this is familiar; this has happened to him. Not exactly like this, not utter terrifying madness, but he knows his brain has told him things he has traveled around the world to forget. That the mind cannot be trusted is a certainty.
Andrew Sean Greer (Less)
There are map people whose joy is to lavish more attention on the sheets of colored paper than on the colored land rolling by. I have listened to accounts by such travelers in which every road number was remembered, every mileage recalled, and every little countryside discovered. Another kind of traveler requires to know in terms of maps exactly where he is pin-pointed at every moment, as though there were some kind of safety in black and red lines, in dotted indications and squirming blue of lakes and the shadings that indicate mountains. It is not so with me. I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found, nor much identification from shapes which symbolize continents and states.
John Steinbeck
This is your life. This is yours. You can establish an exact inventory of your meager fortune, the precise balance sheet of your first quarter-century. You are twenty-five years old, you have twenty-nine teeth, three shirts and eight socks, a few books you no longer read, a few records you no longer play. You do not want to remember anything else, be it your family or your studies, your friends and lovers, or your holidays and plans. You traveled and you brought nothing back from your travels. Here you sit, and you want only to wait, just to wait until there is nothing left to wait for: for night to fall and the passing hours to chime, for the days to slip away and the memories to fade.
Georges Perec (Un homme qui dort)
Perhaps it goes without saying that I believe in the geographic cure. Of course you can't out-travel sadness. You will find it has smuggled itself along in your suitcase. It coats the camera lens, it flavors the local cuisine. In that different sunlight, it stands out, awkward, yours, honking in the brash vowels of your native tongue in otherwise quiet restaurants. You may even feel proud of its stubbornness as it follows you up the bell towers and monuments, as it pants in your ear while you take in the view. I travel not to get away from my troubles but to see how they look in front of famous buildings or on deserted beaches. I take them for walks. Sometimes I get them drunk. Back at home we generally understand each other better.
Elizabeth McCracken (An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination)
Wanderlust, the very strong or irresistible impulse to travel, is adopted untouched from the German, presumably because it couldn't be improved upon. Workarounds like the French passion du voyage don't quite capture the same meaning. Wanderlust is not a passion for travel exactly; it's something more animal and more fickle - something more like lust. We don't lust after many things in life. We don't need words like worklust or homemakinglust.
Elisabeth Eaves (Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents)
Ten years ago there had been a chance he might have considered a fresh start. Traveling, maybe, or a bold new career move. But these days just having to leave the house left him with an unspecific feeling of anxiety, so hiking to Machu Picchu or retraining as a lion tamer wasn’t exactly on the cards.
Richard Roper (How Not to Die Alone)
When I first took this job at the factory it was not my intention to work there very long, for I once possessed higher hopes for my life, although the exact nature of these hopes remained rather vague in my youthful mind. While the work was not arduous, and my fellow workers congenial enough, I did not imagine myself standing forever at my designated assembly block, fitting together pieces of metal into other pieces of metal, with a few interruptions throughout that day for breaks that were supposed to refresh our minds from the tedium of our work or for meal breaks to allow us to nourish our bodies. Somehow it never occurred to me that the nearby town where I and the others at the factory lived, travelling to and from our jobs along the same fog-strewn road, held no higher opportunities for me or anyone else, which no doubt accounts for the vagueness, the wispy insubstantiality, of my youthful hopes.
Thomas Ligotti (Teatro Grottesco)
They were still out on the sidewalk of West Eighty-sixth Street, the taxi pulling way, when Louise put down her travel bag, raised both arms and declared herself in love with New York City. 'It's exactly as I imagined it!' She let her arms fall and looked out at the street, at the honking, halting parade of cars, headlights bright in the dusking air. She turned to Cora with glistening eyes. 'I've always known it, my whole life. This is where I'm meant to be.
Laura Moriarty (The Chaperone)
In the months to come, I would look back on this time in my life almost as a kind of out-of-body travel, from which I had returned with nothing but a sense memory of having been somewhere inexpressibly exciting and far away. It wasn't like a dream, exactly, although it had a dream's strange internal logic. It was like looking through the window of an airplane at night, the way the city below appears so near, yet untouchable beyond the glass--a network of lights, flames, stars.
Katha Pollitt (Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories)
President Howard W. Hunter once said, 'God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see' (in Conference Report, Oct 1987, 71). None of us knows the wisdom of the Lord. We do not know in advance exactly how He would get us from where we are to where we need to be, but He does offer us broad outlines in our patriarchal blessings. We encounter many bumps, bends, and forks in the road of life that leads to the eternities. There is so much teaching and correction as we travel on that road. Said the Lord, 'He that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom' (D&C 136:31). 'For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth' (Hebrews 12:6).
James E. Faust
Hush!’ said the Cabby. They all listened. In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it… ‘Gawd!’ said the Cabby. ‘Ain’t it lovely?’ Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices; more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out – single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it , as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves who were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing. ‘Glory be!’ said the Cabby. ‘I’d ha’ been a better man all my life if I’d known there were things like this.’ …Far away, and down near the horizon, the sky began to turn grey. A light wind, very fresh, began to stir. The sky, in that one place, grew slowly and steadily paler. You could see shapes of hills standing up dark against it. All the time the Voice went on singing…The eastern sky changed from white to pink and from pink to gold. The Voice rose and rose, till all the air was shaking with it. And just as it swelled to the mightiest and most glorious sound it had yet produced, the sun arose. Digory had never seen such a sun…You could imagine that it laughed for joy as it came up. And as its beams shot across the land the travellers could see for the first time what sort of place they were in. It was a valley through which a broad, swift river wound its way, flowing eastward towards the sun. Southward there were mountains, northward there were lower hills. But it was a valley of mere earth, rock and water; there was not a tree, not a bush, not a blade of grass to be seen. The earth was of many colours: they were fresh, hot and vivid. They made you feel excited; until you saw the Singer himself, and then you forgot everything else. It was a Lion. Huge, shaggy, and bright it stood facing the risen sun. Its mouth was wide open in song and it was about three hundred yards away.
C.S. Lewis (The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6))
MAGNITUDE of EXISTENCE U are a dot A point A speck An image A stillness A shadow A centrifugal force Turning into itself Emanating heat Emanating light You are a transient warmth Wave like u exist Resonating properties As body As mind As heart As human You are One dot in trillions exponentially Sifting through motion Expressed as e=motion You are engulfed in water From the inside out Wrapped in the Arms of giver of air Held ephemerally by the heart of sky In suspended attraction to the wooing of earth You are reflecting ash taken to travel Bathing in sun rays Resting as moonlight You are a resonant echo Given to name matter Bouncing dot like You are a distance timber Specified to forms A mountain A valley A hill A meadow A dune A desert Exacting measure You Are A magnitude of existences © Olivia Chumacero
Olivia Chumacero
It was a different sense of isolation from what he normally felt in Japan. And not such a bad feeling, he decided. Being alone in two senses of the word was maybe like a double negation of isolation. In other words, it made perfect sense for him, a foreigner, to feel isolated here. The thought calmed him. He was in exactly the right place.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
Elsa decides they should begin by taking the bus, like normal knights on normal quests in more or less normal fairytales when there aren’t any horses or cloud animals available. But when all the other people at the bus stop starts eyeing The Monster and the wurse and nervously shuffling as far away from them as it’s possible to be without ending up at the next bus stop, she realises it’s not going to be quite so straightforward. On boarding the bus it becomes immediately clear that wurses are not at all partial to travelling on public transport. After it had snuffled about and stepped on people’s toes and overturned bags with its tail and accidently dribbled a bit on a seat a little too close to The Monster for The Monster to feel entirely comfortable, Elsa decides to forget the whole thing, and then all three of them get off. Exactly one stop later
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
The fun-seekers, I noted, were spontaneous and flexible. They approached each day and each situation with a willingness to ride whatever wave came along, just for the experience of it. The complainers, on the other hand, would only catch a wave if it was exactly to their liking. Anything else drew loud protestations about how it was not what they expected.
Alice Steinbach (Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman)
Your way of not bothering looks exactly like bothering, if you ask me.
Theodora Goss (European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman (The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club, #2))
Is there any phrase more ominous than "you need to see exactly what you've done"?
Stephen King (11/22/63)
The closer one gets to the speed of light, the slower time travels. The exact thing is true when completing a book.
Daniel Ionson
She could understand and analyze and predict the exact outcome of her crazy, self-destructive behavior and then go ahead and do it anyway.
Ann Brashares (Girls In Pants: The Third Summer Of The Sisterhood (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, #3))
Most of the travel was purposeless, carried out in exactly the desperate spirit of fleeing from pursuers. It was romantic, in a certain sense. Especially if you’re not the one doing it.
Charles Frazier (Thirteen Moons)
I was not able to light on any map or work giving the exact locality of the Castle Dracula, as there are no maps of this country as yet to compare with our own Ordnance Survey Maps; but I found that Bistritz, the post town named by Count Dracula, is a fairly well-known place. I shall enter here some of my notes, as they may refresh my memory when I talk over my travels with Mina.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
mania for exact change can be off-putting for a traveler, what with getting yelled at by cashiers and cab drivers all day long for the crime of paying a sixteen-euro fare with a twenty-euro note. She said that it was nothing personal, that the French are naturally aggressive, especially with one another. Which I suppose is a form of equality, but not the sweet kind experienced by Lafayette.
Sarah Vowell (Lafayette in the Somewhat United States)
But how to establish the exact moment in which a story begins? Everything has already begun before, the first line of the first page of every novel refers to something that has already happened outside the book. Or else the real story is the one that begins ten or a hundred pages further on, and everything that precedes it is only a prologue. The lives of individuals of the human race form a constant plot, in which every attempt to isolate one piece of living that has a meaning separate from the rest—for example, the meeting of two people, which will become decisive for both— must bear in mind that each of the two brings with himself a texture of events, environments, other people, and that from the meeting, in turn, other stories will be derived which will break off from their common story.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Sometimes I wonder if, having the ability to time travel back to certain moments in which our fear or impulsiveness got the best of us and resulted in an unsatisfying outcome, we would actually alter our behavior knowing what we know now, or if we would end up repeating exactly what we did the first time, surrendering to those elemental directives, incapable of deviating from some preordained essence of our character.
Teddy Wayne (Loner)
You travel all over," the woman said. "Do you write about your travels?" I said, Yes, I did. Articles. Books. Whatever. "You must write Paul Theroux-type travel books," she said. I said, Exactly, and told her why.
Paul Theroux (The Happy Isles of Oceania: Paddling the Pacific)
Very many people spend money in ways quite different from those that their natural tastes would enjoin, merely because the respect of their neighbors depends upon their possession of a good car and their ability to give good dinners. As a matter of fact, any man who can obviously afford a car but genuinely prefers travels or a good library will in the end be much more respected than if he behaved exactly like everyone else.
Seneca (The Tim Ferriss Book Club Bundle #1 - Practical, Real World Insights from Vagabonding, Daily Rituals, The Art of Learning, The Obstacle is the Way and Letters From a Stoic)
On an ordinary journey, one designed for sheer entertainment, diversion, or self-reward for a year of hard work, there would be no obvious need to go out of your way to strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger. But a pilgrimage asks us to do exactly that. The path needs more light. To shine the light of your own natural curiosity into the world of another traveler can reveal wonders. To remember the mysteries you forgot at home.
Phil Cousineau (The Art of Pilgrimage: A Seeker's Guide to Making Travel Sacred)
Postmodern critics argue, with some justification, that travel and tourism often have the exact opposite effect, transforming the experience into an exploitative commercial affair - a kind of voyeuristic form of entertainment in which the native population and their culture becomes a purchasable commodity to satisfy hedonistic pursuits. The relationship between tourist and native is reduced to a kind of neocolonial "experiential commerce." [...]
Jermy Rifkin
In many ways, a book is, in itself, a tiny universe. Each page is like a newly formed galaxy, fashioned from a single, pulsing thought. A book travels for days, for years, sometimes for centuries to meet you at an exact point in time.
Lang Leav
Memories are infinitely richer than their origins, I discovered; to travel back can only estrange one even from memory itself. And because memory is often all that a life or a self is built on, returning home can take away exactly that.
David Vann (Legend of a Suicide)
Like all men endowed with great mental mobility, I have an irrevocable, organic love of settledness. I abhor new ways of life and unfamiliar places. 122. The idea of travelling nauseates me. I’ve already seen what I’ve never seen. I’ve already seen what I have yet to see. The tedium of the forever new, the tedium of discovering – behind the specious differences we see in things and ideas – the unrelenting sameness of everything, the absolute similarity of a mosque and a temple and a church, the exact equivalence of a cabin and a castle, the same structural body for a king in robes and for a naked savage, the eternal concordance of life with itself, the stagnation of everything that lives just because it moves* … Landscapes
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
There’s something else I’m curious about, Kelsey.” I smiled at him. “Sure, what else do you want to know?” “What exactly is going on between you and Ren?” A vise clamped down on my chest, but I tried to play it cool. “What do you mean?” “I mean, are you two more than just traveling companions? Are you together?” I clipped off a fast, “No. Definitely not.” He grinned. “Good!” He grabbed my hand and kissed it. “Then that means you’re free to go out with me. No girl in her right mind would want to be with Ren, anyway. He’s very…stuffy. Cold, as far as relationships go.” My mouth hung open for a minute, shocked, and then I felt anger shove the shock aside and take over. “First of all, I am not going to be with either one of you. Second, a girl would have to be crazy not to want Ren. You’re wrong about him. He’s not stuffy or cold. In fact, he’s considerate, warm, drop-dead gorgeous, dependable, loyal, sweet, and charming.” He raised an eyebrow and measure me thoughtfuly for a minute. I squirmed under his gaze, knowing that I had spoken too quickly and said way too much. He ventured carefully. “I see. You may be right. The Dhiren I know has surely changed in the past couple of hundred years. However, despite that and your insistent claim that you will not be with either one of us, I would like to propose that we go out and celebrate tonight, if not as my..what is the correct word?” “The word is date.” “Date. If not as my date…then, as my friend.” I grimaced. Kishan continued, pressing his point, “Surely, you won’t leave me to fend for myself on my first night back in the real world?” He smiled at me, encouraging my acceptance. I did want to be his friend, but I wasn’t sure what to say to his request. And for just a moment, I wondered how Ren would feel about it and what the consequences might be. I questioned, “Where exactly do you want to go to celebrate?” “Mr. Kadam said there’s a nightclub in town nearby with dinner and dancing. I thought we could celebrate there, maybe get something to eat, and you can teach me how to dance.” I laughed nervously. “This is my first time in India, and I don’t know a thing about dancing or the music here.” Kisham seemed even more delighted by that news. “Fantastic! Then we will learn together. I won’t take no for an answer.” He jumped up to rush off. I yelled, “Wait, Kishan! I don’t even know what to wear!” He shouted back over his shoulder, “Ask Kadam. He knows everything!
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The basic principle of structural analysis, I was explaining, is that the terms of a symbolic system do not stand in isolation—they are not to be thought of in terms of what they 'stand for,' but are defined by their relations to each other. One has to first define the field, and then look for elements in that field that are systematic inversions of each other. Take vampires. First you place them: vampires are stock figures in American horror movies. American horror movies constitute a kind of cosmology, a universe unto themselves. Then you ask: what, within this cosmos, is the opposite of a vampire? The answer is obvious. The opposite of a vampire is a werewolf. On one level they are the same: they are both monsters that can bite you and, biting you, turn you, too, into one of their own kind. In most other ways each is an exact inversion of the other. Vampires are rich. They are typically aristocrats. Werewolves are always poor. Vampires are fixed in space: they have castles or crypts that they have to retreat to during the daytime; werewolves are usually homeless derelicts, travelers, or otherwise on the run. Vampires control other creatures (bats, wolves, humans that they hypnotize or render thralls). Werewolves can't control themselves. Yet—and this is really the clincher in this case—each can be destroyed only by its own negation: vampires, by a stake, a simple sharpened stick that peasants use to construct fences; werewolves, by a silver bullet, something literally made from money.
David Graeber (The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy)
The Crow country is good country. The Great Spirit has put it exactly in the right place; while you are in it you fare well; whenever you go out of it, which ever way you travel, you fare worse . . . There is no country like Crow country. —ARAPOOSH, CROW, 1833
Terri Jean (365 Days Of Walking The Red Road: The Native American Path to Leading a Spiritual Life Every Day (Religion and Spirituality))
I don’t know exactly what life has in store for me, but my travels have helped me formulate a better idea of my immediate next move. Europe is where my heart lies, now; here in Paris, at a gallery or museum, or possibly Rome, where Alexander took me last winter.
Pippa Croft (Fourth Time Forever (Oxford Blue, #3.5))
A girl who travels knows that deep down she is escaping reality. So she’ll want someone to give her hope and land back to the idea that reality isn’t as bad as it seems in the end. And if she tells you she loves you - it is exactly because you give her that hope
lauren klarfeld
There is no pain - just travel. On her knees, she stays still as a supplicant ready for communion. It is very quiet. All of a sudden there is no hurry. There will be time for everything. For the breezes that blow and for the rainwater drying in the gutters, for Maury to find a place of safety in the world, for Malcolm to come back from the dead and ask her about birds and jets. For the big things too, things like beauty and vengeance and honor and righteousness and the grace of God and the slow spilling of the earth from day to night and back to day again. It is spread out before her, compressed into one single moment. She will be able to see it all -- if she can keep her sleepy eyes open. It's like a dream where she is. Like a dream where you find yourself underwater and you are panicked for a moment until you realize you no longer need to breathe, and you can stay under the surface forever. She feels her body falling sideways to the ground. It happens slow - and she expects a crash that never comes because her mind is jumping and it doesn't know which way is up anymore, like the moon above her and the fish below her and her in between floating, like on the surface of the river, floating between sea and sky, the world all skin, all meniscus, and she a part of it too. Moses Todd told her if you lean over the rail at Niagara Falls it takes your breath away, like turning yourself inside out -- and Lee the hunter told her that one time people used to stuff themselves in barrels and ride over the edge. And she is there too, floating out over the edge of the falls, the roar of the water so deafening it's like hearing nothing at all, like pillows in your ears, and the water exactly the temperature of your skin, like you are falling and the water is falling, and the water is just more of you, like everything is just more of you, just different configurations of the things that make you up. She is there, and she's sailing out and down over the falls, down and down, and it takes a long time because the falls are one of God's great mysteries and so high they are higher than any building, and so she is held there, spinning in the air, her eyes closed because she's spinning on the inside too, down and down. She wonders if she will ever hit the bottom, wonders will the splash ever come. Maybe not - because God is a slick god, and he knows things about infinities. Infinities are warm places that never end. And they aren't about good and evil, they're just peaceful-like and calm, and they're where all travelers go eventually, and they are round everywhere you look because you can't have any edges in infinities. And also they make forever seem like an okay thing.
Alden Bell (The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers, #1))
And that’s exactly what had happened. Power traveled from the drill line’s positive lead, through the workbench, through the Mylar, through Pathfinder’s hull, through a bunch of extremely sensitive and irreplaceable electronics, and out the negative lead of Pathfinder’s power line.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
Twelve Monkeys makes a lot of references to the “Cassandra complex” (named for a Greek myth about a young woman’s inability to convince others that her prophetic warnings are accurate), but it’s mostly about predestination—in Twelve Monkeys, the assumption is that anyone who travels into the past will do exactly what history dictates. Nothing can be altered. What this implies is that everything about life (including the unforeseen future) is concrete and predetermined. There is no free will. So if you’ve seen Twelve Monkeys more than twice, you’re probably a Calvinist.
Chuck Klosterman (Eating the Dinosaur)
But more usually I find that age has bestowed a kind of comfortable anonymity. We are not especially interesting, by and large--waiting for a bus, walking along the street; younger people are busy sizing up one another, in the way that children in a park will only register other children. We are not exactly invisible, but we are not noticed, which I rather like; it leaves me free to do what a novelist does anyway, listen and watch, but with the added spice of feeling a little as though I am some observant time-traveller, on the edge of things, bearing witness to the customs of another age.
Penelope Lively (Ammonites and Leaping Fish: A Life in Time)
As a therapist, I know a lot about pain, about the ways in which pain is tied to loss. But I also know something less commonly understood: that change and loss travel together. We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
Wouldn’t we all love that simple summing up? Do it well and put it out there and doors will open, eventually some fairy editor will descend, recognize something, lead you on exactly the path you’ve been wanting to travel down since you were a child writing stories about giants and talking chipmunks. Sometimes
Manjula Martin (Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living)
Relationships are physics. Time transforms things- it has to, because the change from me to we means clearing away the fortifications you'r put up around your old personality. Living with Susannah made me feel as if I started riding Einstein's famous theoretical bus. Here's my understanding of that difficult idea, nutshelled: if you're riding a magic Greyhound, equipped for light-speed travel, you'll actually live though less time than will any pedestrians whom the bus passes by. So, for a neighbor on the street with a stopwatch, the superfast bus will take two hours to travel from Point A to Point B. But where you're on that Greyhound, and looking at the wipe of the world out those rhomboidial coach windows, the same trip will take just under twenty-four minutes. Your neighbor, stopwatch under thumb, will have aged eighty-six percent more than you have. It's hard to fathom. But I think it's exactly what adult relationships do to us: on the outside, years pass, lives change. But inside, it's just a day that repeats. You and your partner age at the same clip; it seems not time has gone by. Only when you look up from your relationship- when you step off the bus, feel the ground under your shoes- do you sense the sly, soft absurdity of romance physics.
Darin Strauss (Half a Life)
Is it anything to do with this?” she said. The thing she took out of her bag was battered and travel-worn as if it had been hurled into prehistoric rivers, baked under the sun that shines so redly on the deserts of Kakrafoon, half buried in the marbled sands that fringe the heady vapored oceans of Santraginus V, frozen on the glaciers of the moon of Jaglan Beta, sat on, kicked around spaceships, scuffed and generally abused, and since its makers had thought that these were exactly the sorts of things that might happen to it, they had thoughtfully encased it in a sturdy plastic cover and written on it, in large friendly letters, the words “Don’t Panic.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1-5))
When he was about fourteen years of age, Leonardo would have left the fondaco and most likely traveled with an older merchant, a form of apprenticeship system common in those days. Around that time his father summoned him to Bugia. No one knows exactly when he made this voyage. In the introduction to Liber abbaci, he later wrote: “When my father, who had been appointed by his country as public notary in the customs at Bugia acting for the Pisan merchants going there, was in charge, he summoned me to him while I was still a child, and having an eye to usefulness and future convenience, desired me to stay there and receive instruction in the school of accounting.
Keith Devlin (The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci's Arithmetic Revolution)
How shall I know, unless I go To Cairo and Cathay, Whether or not this blessed spot Is blest in every way? Now it may be, the flower for me Is this beneath my nose; How shall I tell, unless I smell The Carthaginian rose? The fabric of my faithful love No power shall dim or ravel Whilst I stay here,—but oh, my dear, If I should ever travel!
Edna St. Vincent Millay
For centuries, pilgrims have travelled to Ayodhya identifying it as a birthplace of Ram. But the exact location is a subject of dispute and political turmoil. Ever since colonial times, Hinduism has felt under siege, forced to explain itself using European templates, make itself more tangible, more structured, more homogenous, more historical, more geographical, less psychological, less emotional, to render itself as valid as the major religions of the world like Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The fallout of this pressure is the need to locate matters of faith in a particular spot. What used to be once a matter of faith becomes a territorial war zone where courts have to intervene
Devdutt Pattanaik
Travelling in other’s shoes is a complex process. Everyone carries loads of inherited virtues and then, heaps of experience acquired while travelling their own exclusive path of life. One’s personality, particularly the way one thinks, beholds both inborn traits and learned knowledge. Unless one is born to the same parents as the other, exactly at same time, beholding same blend of inherent traits and travelled the same path the other has travelled so far—a biological and pragmatic impossibility—it is imprudent to claim having knowledge of other’s thought process. One’s uniqueness is not constrained to the physical form, but is pertinent, too, to intellectual, emotional and spiritual forms.
Hari Parameshwar (Chase of Choices)
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in Russia, Hermann Olberth in Germany, and Robert Goddard in the United States all came up with an eerily similar concept for using liquid fuel to power rockets for human spaceflight. I've seen this pointed out as an odd coincidence, one of those moments when an idea inexplicably emerges in multiple places at once. But when I read through each of these three men's biographies I discovered why they all had the same idea: all three of them were obsessed with Jules Verne's 1865 novel "De la terre a la lune (From the Earth to the Moon)." The novel details the strange adventures of three space explorers who travel to the moon together. What sets Verne's book apart from the other speculative fiction of the time was his careful attention to the physics involved in space travel -- his characters take pains to explain to each other exactly how and why each concept would work. All three real-life scientists -- the Russian, the German, and the American -- were following what they had learned from a French science fiction writer.
Margaret Lazarus Dean (Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight)
Do we ever stop dreaming? I know I haven't. I must have been at least twenty-five when the Spice Girls happened, and I distinctly remember imagining my way into the group. I was going to be the sixth Spice, 'Massive Spice', who, against all the odds, would become the most popular and lusted-after Spice. The Spice who sang the vast majority of solo numbers in the up-tempo tracks. The Spice who really went the distance. And I still haven't quite given up on the Wimbledon Ladies' Singles Championship. I mean, it can't be too late, can it? I've got a lovely clean T-shirt, and I've figured out exactly how I'd respond to winning the final point (lie on floor wailing, get up, do triumphant lap of the ring slapping crowd members' box). It can't be just me who does this. I'm convinced that most adults, when travelling alone in a car, have a favourite driving CD of choice and sing along to it quite seriously, giving it as much attitude and effort as they can, due to believing – in that instant – that they're the latest rock or pop god playing to a packed Wembley stadium. And there must be at least one man, one poor beleaguered City worker, who likes to pop into a phone box then come out pretending he's Superman. Is there someone who does this? Anyone? If so, I'd like to meet you and we shall marry in the spring (unless you're really, really weird and the Superman thing is all you do, in which case BACK OFF).
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
There's a fortune of Authentic Vintage French Linen Tea Towels on every clothes line. These are the exact kind of linens that specialty shops in America sell for top dollar to affluent customers who pay dearly to add that touch of French Farmhouse Fabulousness to their million-dollar McMansions. Flaubert is so wrong. Even wash day in Normandy is achingly chic.
Vivian Swift (Le Road Trip: A Traveler's Journal of Love and France)
Lorean? The Doctor’s TARDIS?” “Whose TARDIS?” Thomas asked. “That’s right.” Mr. Pianova smiled.“Blue box and every interior the Doctor has roamed in.” “Doctor who?” Thomas asked again, He had never heard anything about a time travelling doctor, and he doubted Mr. Pianova referred to Doctor Franco. “Exactly,” Mr. Pianova said, deepening his confusion. So Thomas decided to let it go.
Julian Rosado-Machain (Thundersword (Guardians Inc., #2))
There is no doubt that creative work is itself done under a compulsion often indistinguishable from a purely clinical obsession. In this sense, what we call a creative gift is merely the social license to be obsessed. And what we call “cultural routine” is a similar license: the proletariat demands the obsession of work in order to keep from going crazy. I used to wonder how people could stand the really demonic activity of working behind those hellish ranges in hotel kitchens, the frantic whirl of waiting on a dozen tables at one time, the madness of the travel agent’s office at the height of the tourist season, or the torture of working with a jack-hammer all day on a hot summer street. The answer is so simple that it eludes us: the craziness of these activities is exactly that of the human condition. They are “right” for us because the alternative is natural desperation. The daily madness of these jobs is a repeated vaccination against the madness of the asylum. Look at the joy and eagerness with which workers return from vacation to their compulsive routines. They plunge into their work with equanimity and lightheartedness because it drowns out something more ominous.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
Poetry: that can mean an Atemwende, a breathturn. Who knows, perhaps poetry travels this route—also the route of art—for the sake of such a breathturn? Perhaps it will succeed, as the strange, I mean the abyss and the Medusa’s head, the abyss and the automatons, seem to lie in one direction—perhaps it will succeed here to differentiate between strange and strange, perhaps it is exactly here that the Medusa’s head shrinks, perhaps it is exactly here that the automatons break down—for this single short moment? Perhaps here, with the I—with the estranged I set free here and in this manner—perhaps here a further Other is set free? Perhaps the poem is itself because of this … and can now, in this art-less, art-free manner, walk its other routes, thus also the routes of art—time and again? Perhaps.
Paul Celan (Breathturn into Timestead: The Collected Later Poetry)
Evil people relate more to the black pole. It's - this is not exact, of course, as the science of magic is as complex as the magic of electronics - it's like traveling past a mountain. The white pole is at the apex, and it is an exhilarating height, but it takes a lot of work and few missteps to ascend it. The black pole is at the nadir, and it is easy to walk downhill; sometimes you can just sit down and slide or roll and, if you fall, you can get there very fast indeed. If you don't pay attention to where you're going, you'll tend to go down, because it is the course of least resistance. Since the average person has only the vaguest notion where he is going and tends to shut out awareness of the consequence of evil, he inevitably drifts downward. There is much more space at the base of the mountain than at the peak!
Piers Anthony
Margaret Atwood started writing The Handmaid’s Tale in West Berlin in the spring of 1984. Like Orwell when he began Nineteen Eighty-Four, she was in her early forties and she knew exactly what she wanted to say. The novel originated with a file of newspaper cuttings she had begun collecting while living in England, covering such topics as the religious right, prisons in Iran, falling birth rates, Nazi sexual politics, polygamy and credit cards. She let these diverse observations ferment, like compost, until a story grew out of them. Her travels in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, where she experienced “the wariness, the feeling of being spied on, the silences, the changes of subject, the oblique ways in which people might convey information,” nourished the novel, too, as did her adolescent obsession with dystopias and World War Two.
Dorian Lynskey (The Ministry of Truth: A Biography of George Orwell's 1984)
body by the help of a quadrant, and finding it to exceed theirs in the proportion of twelve to one, they concluded from the similarity of their bodies, that mine must contain at least 1724 of theirs, and consequently would require as much food as was necessary to support that number of Lilliputians. By which the reader may conceive an idea of the ingenuity of that people, as well as the prudent and exact economy of so great a prince., ,
Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels)
Depression goes through stages, but if left unchecked and not treated, this elevator ride will eventually go all the way to the bottom floor. And finally you find yourself bereft of choices, unable to figure out a way up or out, and pretty soon one overarching impulse begins winning the battle for your mind: “Kill yourself.” And once you get over the shock of those words in your head, the horror of it, it begins to start sounding appealing, even possessing a strange resolve, logic. In fact, it’s the only thing you have left that is logical. It becomes the only road to relief. As if just the planning of it provides the first solace you’ve felt that you can remember. And you become comfortable with it. You begin to plan it and contemplate the details of how best to do it, as if you were planning travel arrangements for a vacation. You just have to get out. O-U-T. You see the white space behind the letter O? You just want to crawl through that O and be out of this inescapable hurt that is this thing they call clinical depression. “How am I going to do this?” becomes the only tape playing. And if you are really, really, really depressed and you’re really there, you’re gonna find a way. I found a way. I had a way. And I did it. I made sure Opal was out of the house and on a business trip. My planning took a few weeks. I knew exactly how I was going to do it: I didn’t want to make too much of a mess. There was gonna be no blood, no drama. There was just going to be, “Now you see me, now you don’t.” That’s what it was going to be. So I did it. And it was over. Or so I thought. About twenty-four hours later I woke up. I was groggy; zoned out to the point at which I couldn’t put a sentence together for the next couple of days. But I was semifunctional, and as these drugs and shit that I took began to wear off slowly but surely, I realized, “Okay, I fucked up. I didn’t make it.” I thought I did all the right stuff, left no room for error, but something happened. And this perfect, flawless plan was thwarted. As if some force rebuked me and said, “Not yet. You’re not going anywhere.” The only reason I could have made it, after the amount of pills and alcohol and shit I took, was that somebody or something decided it wasn’t my time. It certainly wasn’t me making that call. It was something external. And when you’re infused with the presence of this positive external force, which is so much greater than all of your efforts to the contrary, that’s about as empowering a moment as you can have in your life. These days we have a plethora of drugs one can take to ameliorate the intensity of this lack of hope, lack of direction, lack of choice. So fuck it and don’t be embarrassed or feel like you can handle it yourself, because lemme tell ya something: you can’t. Get fuckin’ help. The negative demon is strong, and you may not be as fortunate as I was. My brother wasn’t. For me, despair eventually gave way to resolve, and resolve gave way to hope, and hope gave way to “Holy shit. I feel better than I’ve ever felt right now.” Having actually gone right up to the white light, looked right at it, and some force in the universe turned me around, I found, with apologies to Mr. Dylan, my direction home. I felt more alive than I’ve ever felt. I’m not exaggerating when I say for the next six months I felt like Superman. Like I’m gonna fucking go through walls. That’s how strong I felt. I had this positive force in me. I was saved. I was protected. I was like the only guy who survived and walked away from a major plane crash. I was here to do something big. What started as the darkest moment in my life became this surge of focus, direction, energy, and empowerment.
Ron Perlman (Easy Street: The Hard Way)
One last point here, and I’ll give you this as a caveat. When Carefree Scamps let their guard down and find themselves telling others about their life, they’re invariably not believed. To a Carefree Scamp, his/her life is just normal talk. To a Rag, Tag & Bobtail, who hasn’t yet lived, it’s unbelievable. When I was living on the Algarve I once had someone say to me, “Is there anywhere you haven’t been? You reckon you’ve lived here for two or three years, and you were also in America for eight years, travelling around America for five years. Where else have you lived?” And I experienced that not uncommon feeling that I should have kept my mouth shut. Clearly jealous, because although spending 12 years in Portugal and America is hardly exceptional, the Rag Tag wanted desperately to disbelieve that I’d made it happen. But as I say, it’s not exactly notable, is it? I hadn’t told him I’d travelled with a circus for 15 years, or explored the Amazon (although I do have a very good friend who did that for a couple of years), I just mentioned a couple of things that happened when I lived in such-and-such a place. Rag, Tag & Bobtail, who no doubt lived in Tunbridge-Wells-in-Antipathy his whole life hated the fact that he’d never left, and rather than berating himself for not being bold enough to bring out the daring and gutsy poetry of his own life, he hated me because I was.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
Charles Lindbergh’s achievement in finding his way alone from Long Island to an airfield outside Paris deserves a moment’s consideration. Maintaining your bearings by means of dead reckoning means taking close note of compass headings, speed of travel, time elapsed since the last calculation, and any deviations from the prescribed route induced by drifting. Some measure of the difficulty is shown by the fact that the Byrd expedition the following month—despite having a dedicated navigator and radio operator, as well as pilot and copilot—missed their expected landfall by two hundred miles, were often only vaguely aware of where they were, and mistook a lighthouse on the Normandy coast for the lights of Paris. Lindbergh by contrast hit all his targets exactly—Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, Cap de la Hague in France, Le Bourget in Paris—and did so while making the calculations on his lap while flying an unstable plane.
Bill Bryson (One Summer: America, 1927)
Death avoidance is not an individual failing; it's a cultural one. Facing death is not for the faint-hearted. It is far too challenging to expect that each citizen will do so on his or her own. Death acceptance is the responsibility of all death professionals--funeral directors, cemetery managers, hospital workers. It is the responsibility of those who have been tasked with creating physical and emotional environments where safe, open interaction with death and dead bodies is possible. Nine years ago, when I began working with the dead, I heard other practitioners speak about holding the space for the dying person and their family. With my secular bias, "holding the space" sounded like saccharine hippie lingo. This judgment was wrong. Holding the space is crucial, and exactly what we are missing. To hold the space is to create a ring of safety around the family and friends of the dead, providing a place where they can grieve openly and honestly, without fear of being judged.
Caitlin Doughty (From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death)
Part of what kept him standing in the restive group of men awaiting authorization to enter the airport was a kind of paralysis that resulted from Sylvanshine’s reflecting on the logistics of getting to the Peoria 047 REC—the issue of whether the REC sent a van for transfers or whether Sylvanshine would have to take a cab from the little airport had not been conclusively resolved—and then how to arrive and check in and where to store his three bags while he checked in and filled out his arrival and Post-code payroll and withholding forms and orientational materials then somehow get directions and proceed to the apartment that Systems had rented for him at government rates and get there in time to find someplace to eat that was either in walking distance or would require getting another cab—except the telephone in the alleged apartment wasn’t connected yet and he considered the prospects of being able to hail a cab from outside an apartment complex were at best iffy, and if he told the original cab he’d taken to the apartment to wait for him, there would be difficulties because how exactly would he reassure the cabbie that he really was coming right back out after dropping his bags and doing a quick spot check of the apartment’s condition and suitability instead of it being a ruse designed to defraud the driver of his fare, Sylvanshine ducking out the back of the Angler’s Cove apartment complex or even conceivably barricading himself in the apartment and not responding to the driver’s knock, or his ring if the apartment had a doorbell, which his and Reynolds’s current apartment in Martinsburg most assuredly did not, or the driver’s queries/threats through the apartment door, a scam that resided in Claude Sylvanshine’s awareness only because a number of independent Philadelphia commercial carriage operators had proposed heavy Schedule C losses under the proviso ‘Losses Through Theft of Service’ and detailed this type of scam as prevalent on the poorly typed or sometimes even handwritten attachments required to explain unusual or specific C-deductions like this, whereas were Sylvanshine to pay the fare and the tip and perhaps even a certain amount in advance on account so as to help assure the driver of his honorable intentions re the second leg of the sojourn there was no tangible guarantee that the average taxi driver—a cynical and ethically marginal species, hustlers, as even their smudged returns’ very low tip-income-vs.-number-of-fares-in-an-average-shift ratios in Philly had indicated—wouldn’t simply speed away with Sylvanshine’s money, creating enormous hassles in terms of filling out the internal forms for getting a percentage of his travel per diem reimbursed and also leaving Sylvanshine alone, famished (he was unable to eat before travel), phoneless, devoid of Reynolds’s counsel and logistical savvy in the sterile new unfurnished apartment, his stomach roiling in on itself in such a way that it would be all Sylvanshine could do to unpack in any kind of half-organized fashion and get to sleep on the nylon travel pallet on the unfinished floor in the possible presence of exotic Midwest bugs, to say nothing of putting in the hour of CPA exam review he’d promised himself this morning when he’d overslept slightly and then encountered last-minute packing problems that had canceled out the firmly scheduled hour of morning CPA review before one of the unmarked Systems vans arrived to take him and his bags out through Harpers Ferry and Ball’s Bluff to the airport, to say even less about any kind of systematic organization and mastery of the voluminous Post, Duty, Personnel, and Systems Protocols materials he should be receiving promptly after check-in and forms processing at the Post, which any reasonable Personnel Director would expect a new examiner to have thoroughly internalized before reporting for the first actual day interacting with REC examiners, and which there was no way in any real world that Sylvanshine could expect
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
For so long now I have waited to get back to baseline and I have to go to exactly the same point from which I originally set out on these travels. My criterion for healing was to be able to go right where I left off, like midpage in a novel. I have aited and waited, but I'm still not back to that page. Kay and Lew try to tell me, in their own gentle ways, to stop waiting. I think they're trying to tell me that i'm never going to get that page. That I'm in an entirely new book now, most of it unwritten
Martha Manning (Undercurrents: A Life Beneath the Surface)
raising chickens. It was almost as hard for Eisman to imagine himself raising chickens as it was for people who knew him, but he’d agreed. “The idea of it was so unbelievably unappealing to him,” says his wife, “that he started to work harder.” Eisman traveled all over Europe and the United States searching for people willing to invest with him and found exactly one: an insurance company, which staked him to $50 million. It wasn’t enough to create a sustainable equity fund, but it was a start. Instead of money, Eisman
Michael Lewis (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine)
So how many tattoos do you have exactly?" she asked as Travis met her at the front of her car. It was a question she'd been dying to ask but she couldn't believe she'd just blurted it out all of a sudden. What was it about this man that made her so nervous that she spoke before she thought? He'd been blowing on the top of the travel mug that she'd let him use, but he stopped and faced her, his eyes darkening. "I'll let you find out on your own." There was a sensual note in his voice that she felt all the way to her toes.
Katie Reus (Miami, Mistletoe & Murder (Red Stone Security, #4))
I had never seen this type of clock, carved from hardwood into the shape of our homeland (...) Some craftsman in exile had understood that this was exactly the timepiece his countrymen desired. We were displaced persons, but it was time more than space that defined us. While the distance to return to our lost country was far but finite, the number of years it would take to close that distance was potentially infinite. Thus, for displaced people, the first question was always about time: When can I return? Refugee, exile, immigrant — whatever species of displaced human we were, we did not simply live in two cultures, as celebrants of the great American melting pot imagined. Displaced people also lived in two time zones, the here and the there, the present and the past, being as we were reluctant time-travelers. But while science fiction imagined time-travelers as moving forwards and backwards in time, this timepiece demonstrated a different chronology. The open secret of the clock, naked for all to see, was that we were only going in circles
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
I’ve heard that when you’re in a life-or-death situation, like a car accident or a gunfight, all your senses shoot up to almost superhuman level, everything slows down, and you’re hyper-aware of what’s happening around you. As the shuttle careens toward the earth, the exact opposite is true for me. Everything silences, even the screams and shouts from the people on the other side of the metal door, the crashes that I pray aren’t bodies, the hissing of rockets, Elder’s cursing, my pounding heartbeat. I feel nothing—not the seat belt biting into my flesh, not my clenching jaw, nothing. My whole body is numb. Scent and taste disappear. The only thing about my body that works is my eyes,and they are filled with the image before them. The ground seems to leap up at us as we hurtle toward it. Through the blurry image of the world below us, I see the outline of land—a continent. And at once, my heart lurches with the desire to know this world, to make it our home. My eyes drink up the image of the planet—and my stomach sinks with the knowledge that this is a coastline I’ve never seen before. I could spin a globe of Earth around and still be able to recognize the way Spain and Portugal reach into the Atlantic, the curve of the Gulf of Mexico, the pointy end of India. But this continent—it dips and curves in ways I don’t recognize, swirls into an unknown sea, creating peninsulas in shapes I do not know, scattering out islands in a pattern I cannot connect. And it’s not until I see this that I realize: this world may one day become our home,but it will never be the home I left behind.
Beth Revis (Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3))
I don’t know,” Mom said. “A boy in the house…” Her voice trailed off as though her thoughts were traveling into R-rated territory. “It’s not like we’re going to date him, Mom. Worse than seeing Tiff without her clothes, he may see her without her makeup.” “No way!” Tiffany screeched. “I don’t leave my room without makeup.” “Exactly. It would be kinda icky dating a guy who was living with us, who wouldn’t always see us at our best. So, getting involved with him isn’t even an issue.” Getting involved with one of his teammates, yes, but him, no.
Rachel Hawthorne (The Boyfriend League)
Yet the people who cry, “What about the presumption of innocence?” often behave as though there is no objective answer to “Did he do it?” until the trial is over. As though they think people accused of crimes are literally “innocent until proven guilty.” I’m not sure how that would work, exactly—once the verdict comes in, would the accused and the victim travel back in time, so the rape in question could either happen or not happen, based on what the jury decided? If you can’t grasp that any person accused of a crime has already either done it or not done it, regardless of what a future jury has to say, you have a very interesting understanding not only of time and space but of the law. How are police supposed to investigate suspects and make arrests if no one is allowed to draw a reasonable inference that someone is guilty until a jury has officially said so? How are prosecutors supposed to meet their burden of proof, so a jury can officially say so? In reality, lots of people within the justice system—let alone outside it—start to presume guilt after a certain point, because that’s their job
Kate Harding (Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture--and What We Can Do about It)
We rescued the first two paintings and I've been tracking down more of them, while you've been here. You travelled all the way across Europe to get that notebook and spyglass, and nearly got yourself shot in the process. We've done the hard work - and I've had more than enough of the Chief keeping us in the dark. So when we get back to London, things are going to change. We're going to insist on knowing exactly what is going on. If we're going to keep working for the Bureau, he can't go on treating us like a couple of little girls who don't matter. I've had quite enough of that. - Lil, to Sophie
Katherine Woodfine (Spies in St Petersburg (Taylor and Rose: Secret Agents, #2))
NO ONE COULD say exactly when the great celebration erupted. There were those who claimed it kicked off as soon as the war was over, straight after the Japanese surrender on 14 August 1945, when everyone danced in the streets and a Jewish refugee, Alfred Eisenstaedt of Life magazine, took the photograph of his life on Times Square: a sailor, delirious with joy, kissing a nurse on the lips. These were the months when GIs returned from all corners of the globe, the years when people suddenly had money in their pockets. Even in America, luxuries had been scarce and rationed for years; now you could buy washing
Geert Mak (In America: Travels with John Steinbeck)
But the launching had been a great success and now that the Space Hotel was safely in orbit, there was a tremendous hustle and bustle to send up the first guests. It was rumored that the President of the United States himself was going to be among the first to stay in the hotel, and of course there was a mad rush by all sorts of other people across the world to book rooms. Several kings and queens had cabled the White House in Washington for reservations, and a Texas millionaire called Orson Cart, who was about to marry a Hollywood starlet called Helen Highwater, was offering one hundred thousand dollars a day for the honeymoon suite. But you cannot send guests to a hotel unless there are lots of people there to look after them, and that explains why there was yet another interesting object orbiting the earth at that moment. This was the large Commuter Capsule containing the entire staff for Space Hotel “U.S.A.” There were managers, assistant managers, desk clerks, waitresses, bellhops, chambermaids, pastry chefs and hall porters. The capsule they were traveling in was manned by the three famous astronauts, Shuckworth, Shanks and Showler, all of them handsome, clever and brave. “In exactly one hour,” said Shuckworth,
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator (Charlie Bucket, #2))
Throwing is hard.1 In order to deliver a baseball to a batter, a pitcher has to release the ball at exactly the right point in the throw. A timing error of half a millisecond in either direction is enough to cause the ball to miss the strike zone. To put that in perspective, it takes about five milliseconds for the fastest nerve impulse to travel the length of the arm. That means that when your arm is still rotating toward the correct position, the signal to release the ball is already at your wrist. In terms of timing, this is like a drummer dropping a drumstick from the tenth story and hitting a drum on the ground on the correct beat.
Randall Munroe (What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions)
In the middle of my depression, somebody told me about a self-help group for people who wanted to persue personal visions, and I thought that might be just the thing for me, since I no longer had any. So I went to this Goals Meeting. It was in an Episcopal church in the leafy suburbs, and when I walked inside, a nice lady was explaing that her Goal was to get out of debt and buy a pony for her little daughter. Then this other fellow got up to share. He was a white boy in a dashiki. He said, "My name is Ira and I have a Goal. Right now I'm unemployed and in debt and I'm living with my parents, who don't understand me at all. But my faith in this program is so huge that I know that one year from today I'm going to be traveling across the United States with my Spirit Guide. My Spirit Guide is going to be a while malamute dog named Isis. I mean, I know this as clearly as I've known anything in my life. My Goal is for Isis to guide me to the homes of my favorite self-help authoers. Isis is going to take me to meet John Bradshaw and Louise Hay and M. Scott Peck, and I'm going to get them to mentor me!" He kind of bellowed this. And I wasn't sure whether Ira was exactly what John Bradshaw and Louise Hay and M. Scott Peck deserved or whether I hoped they kept shotguns in their homes. I was honestly torn.
Peter Trachtenberg (7 Tattoos: A Memoir in the Flesh)
Some people sailed through life, as if riding one of those gliders her brother Gary liked to fly, taking off from the highest hill, not knowing where the wind would take him, but enjoying the ride the whole way. Sara wasn't the gliding type. She always had to make things a little harder for herself. "You're always getting in your own way," Gary had told her after she had lost her job in New York and confided to him she didn't know what to do next. It wasn't exactly the advice she wanted to hear. But the words had remained with her. She spent more time thinking about things than doing them. Another pearl of wisdom from brother Gary. Gary the freelance journalist. Gary the traveler. The glider.
R.L. Stine (Superstitious)
This is textbook Bad Idea. We're driving with a stranger, no one knows where we are, and we have no way of getting in touch with anyone. This is exactly how people become statistics." "Exactly?" I asked, thinking of all the bizarre twists and turns that had led us to this place. Ben ceded the point with a sideways shrug. "Maybe not exactly. But still..." He let it go, and the cab eventually stopped at the edge of a remote, forested area. Sage got out and paid. "Everybody out!" Ben looked at me, one eyebrow raised. He was leaving the choice to me. I gave his knee a quick squeeze before I opened the door and we piled out of the car. Sage waited for the cab to drive away, then ducked onto a forest path, clearly assuming we'd follow. The path through the thick foliage was stunning in the moonlight, and I automatically released my camera from its bag. "I wish you wouldn't," Sage said without turning around. "You know I'm not one for visitors." "I'll refrain from selling the pictures to Travel and Leisure, then," I said, already snapping away. "Besides, I need something to take my mind off my feet." My shoes were still on the beach, where I'd kicked them off to dance. "Hey, I offered to carry you," Sage offered. "No, thank you." I suppose I should have been able to move swiftly and silently without my shoes, but I only managed to stab myself on something with every other footfall, giving me a sideways, hopping gait. Every few minutes Sage would hold out his arms, offering to carry me again. I grimaced and denied him each time. After what felt like about ten miles, even the photos weren't distracting enough. "How much farther?" I asked. "We're here." There was nothing in front of us but more trees. "Wow," Ben said, and I followed his eyes upward to see that several of the tree trunks were actually stilts supporting a beautifully hidden wood-and-glass cabin, set high among the branches. I was immediately charmed. "You live in a tree house," I said. I aimed my camera the façade, answering Sage's objection before he even said it. "For me, not for Architectural Digest." "Thank you," Sage said.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
Hated France when I first got over here. Got on the train at Le Havre, and looked out of the window and thought it looked so exactly like America, I wanted to cry. The scenery flying past, the hills and barns and cows, were just the sort of things you keep coming across through a train window in the States. The Untrained Eye, I told myself, training it enough to see that all the signs were written in French, at the same time letting the untrained nose get its first exotic whiff of garlic from my traveling companions, and the untrained stomach its first attack of French dysentery. But still, these were the only differences. I asked myself finally what exactly did I expect France to look like? No answer.
Elaine Dundy (The Dud Avocado (Virago Modern Classics))
These waves, predicted by Einstein, are ripples moving at the speed of light across the fabric of space-time, and are generated by severe gravitational disturbances, such as the collision of two black holes. And that’s exactly what was observed. The gravitational waves of the first detection were generated by a collision of black holes in a galaxy 1.3 billion light-years away, and at a time when Earth was teeming with simple, single-celled organisms. While the ripple moved through space in all directions, Earth would, after another 800 million years, evolve complex life, including flowers and dinosaurs and flying creatures, as well as a branch of vertebrates called mammals. Among the mammals, a sub-branch would evolve frontal lobes and complex thought to accompany them. We call them primates. A single branch of these primates would develop a genetic mutation that allowed speech, and that branch—Homo sapiens—would invent agriculture and civilization and philosophy and art and science. All in the last ten thousand years. Ultimately, one of its twentieth-century scientists would invent relativity out of his head, and predict the existence of gravitational waves. A century later, technology capable of seeing these waves would finally catch up with the prediction, just days before that gravity wave, which had been traveling for 1.3 billion years, washed over Earth and was detected. Yes, Einstein was a badass.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
Life sometimes is like tossing a coin in the air calling heads or tails, but it doesn’t matter what side it lands on; life goes on. It is hard when you’ve lost the will to fight because you’ve been fighting for so long. You are smothered by the pain. Mentally, you are drained. Physically, you are weak. Emotionally, you are weighed down. Spiritually, you do not have one tiny mustard seed of faith. The common denominator is that other people’s problems have clouded your mind with all of their negativity. You cannot feel anything; you are numb. You do not have the energy to surrender, and you choose not to escape because you feel safe when you are closed in. As you move throughout the day, you do just enough to get by. Your mindset has changed from giving it your all to—well, something is better than nothing. You move in slow motion like a zombie, and there isn’t any color, just black and white, with every now and then a shade of gray. You’ve shut everyone out and crawled back into the rabbit hole. Life passes you by as you feel like you cannot go on. You look around for help; for someone to take the pain away and to share your suffering, but no one is there. You feel alone, you drift away when you glance ahead and see that there are more uphill battles ahead of you. You do not have the option to turn around because all of the roads are blocked. You stand exactly where you are without making a step. You try to think of something, but you are emotionally bankrupt. Where do you go from here? You do not have a clue. Standing still isn’t helping because you’ve welcomed unwanted visitors; voices are in your head, asking, “What are you waiting for? Take the leap. Jump.” They go on to say, “You’ve had enough. Your burdens are too heavy.” You walk towards the cliff; you turn your head and look at the steep hill towards the mountain. The view isn’t helping; not only do you have to climb the steep hill, but you have to climb up the mountain too. You take a step; rocks and dust fall off the cliff. You stumble and you move forward. The voices in your head call you a coward. You are beginning to second-guess yourself because you want to throw in the towel. You close your eyes; a tear falls and travels to your chin. As your eyes are closed the Great Divine’s voice is louder; yet, calmer, soothing; and you feel peace instantly. Your mind feels light, and your body feels balanced. The Great Divine whispers gently and softly in your ear: “Fallen Warrior, I know you have given everything you’ve got, and you feel like you have nothing left to give. Fallen Warrior, I know it’s been a while since you smiled. Fallen Warrior, I see that you are hurting, and I feel your pain. Fallen Warrior, this is not the end. This is the start of your new beginning. Fallen Warrior, do not doubt My or your abilities; you have more going for you than you have going against you. Fallen Warrior, keep moving, you have what it takes; perseverance is your middle name. Fallen Warrior, you are not the victim! You are the victor! You step back because you know why you are here. You know why you are alive. Sometimes you have to be your own Shero. As a fallen warrior, you are human; and you have your moments. There are days when you have more ups than downs, and some days you have more downs than ups. I most definitely can relate. I was floating through life, but I had to change my mindset. During my worst days, I felt horrible, and when I started to think negatively I felt like I was dishonoring myself. I felt sick, I felt afraid, fear began to control my every move. I felt like demons were trying to break in and take over my life.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
The path that you’re traveling upon right now, may lead you astray. This is what scares us the most. What if fantasies are the truth and facts are fictional. What if everything takes a 360-degree turn only to tell you that whatever scares you is the exact opposite of scary and whatever you’re living right now is the actual scary. The part that you seamlessly embrace. A fact doesn’t stand any chance if doubt isn’t there to give it support. It is easy to find an answer to a certain question, the difficult part is to formulate the correct question. The world is formally divided into two parts; facts and fiction. The facts are seen and fiction is what helps us believe in the unseen. A little bit of magic and a lot of madness is what keeps the heart alive.
Jazbia S. (It Has Magic)
But the greatest human problems are not social problems, but decisions that the individual has to make alone. The most important feelings of which man is capable emphasise his separateness from other people, not his kinship with them. The feelings of a mountaineer towards a mountain emphasise his kinship with the mountain rather than with the rest of mankind. The same goes for the leap of the heart experienced by a sailor when he smells the sea, or for the astronomer’s feeling about the stars, or for the archaeologist’s love of the past. My feeling of love for my fellowmen makes me aware of my humanness; but my feeling about a mountain gives me an oddly nonhuman sensation. It would be incorrect, perhaps, to call it ‘superhuman’; but it nevertheless gives me a sense of transcending my everyday humanity. Maslow’s importance is that he has placed these experiences of ‘transcendence’ at the centre of his psychology. He sees them as the compass by which man gains a sense of the magnetic north of his existence. They bring a glimpse of ‘the source of power, meaning and purpose’ inside himself. This can be seen with great clarity in the matter of the cure of alcoholics. Alcoholism arises from what I have called ‘generalised hypertension’, a feeling of strain or anxiety about practically everything. It might be described as a ‘passively negative’ attitude towards existence. The negativity prevents proper relaxation; there is a perpetual excess of adrenalin in the bloodstream. Alcohol may produce the necessary relaxation, switch off the anxiety, allow one to feel like a real human being instead of a bundle of over-tense nerves. Recurrence of the hypertension makes the alcoholic remedy a habit, but the disadvantages soon begin to outweigh the advantage: hangovers, headaches, fatigue, guilt, general inefficiency. And, above all, passivity. The alcoholics are given mescalin or LSD, and then peak experiences are induced by means of music or poetry or colours blending on a screen. They are suddenly gripped and shaken by a sense of meaning, of just how incredibly interesting life can be for the undefeated. They also become aware of the vicious circle involved in alcoholism: misery and passivity leading to a general running-down of the vital powers, and to the lower levels of perception that are the outcome of fatigue. ‘The spirit world shuts not its gates, Your heart is dead, your senses sleep,’ says the Earth Spirit to Faust. And the senses sleep when there is not enough energy to run them efficiently. On the other hand, when the level of will and determination is high, the senses wake up. (Maslow was not particularly literary, or he might have been amused to think that Faust is suffering from exactly the same problem as the girl in the chewing gum factory (described earlier), and that he had, incidentally, solved a problem that had troubled European culture for nearly two centuries). Peak experiences are a by-product of this higher energy-drive. The alcoholic drinks because he is seeking peak experiences; (the same, of course, goes for all addicts, whether of drugs or tobacco.) In fact, he is moving away from them, like a lost traveller walking away from the inn in which he hopes to spend the night. The moment he sees with clarity what he needs to do to regain the peak experience, he does an about-face and ceases to be an alcoholic.
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
On the plane, I wondered if there was an exact point when we were no longer in one country and inside another, or if there was ever a moment when I occupied no country. If ever that was possible, it was possible up in the air. There was no clear correlation between what was happening down below and up above. I had heard that at the official port of entry there were turnstiles, just like the subway, ushering the travelers forward. If such turnstiles existed, you could map the precise moment when half of your body was here and the other half was there. I could measure; all I wanted was that little gold stamp that said I clicked past onto the other side, I entered, I returned, I was measured, counted for, recorded. Would a sudden coldness come over us when our bodies moved over the actual line of the border? Wasn’t that how loneliness began, with the coldness of our bodies?
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (Children of the Land)
He couldn’t have known it, but among the original run of The History of Love, at least one copy was destined to change a life. This particular book was one of the last of the two thousand to be printed, and sat for longer than the rest in a warehouse in the outskirts of Santiago, absorbing the humidity. From there it was finally sent to a bookstore in Buenos Aires. The careless owner hardly noticed it, and for some years it languished on the shelves, acquiring a pattern of mildew across the cover. It was a slim volume, and its position on the shelf wasn’t exactly prime: crowded on the left by an overweight biography of a minor actress, and on the right by the once-bestselling novel of an author that everyone had since forgotten, it hardly left its spine visible to even the most rigorous browser. When the store changed owners it fell victim to a massive clearance, and was trucked off to another warehouse, foul, dingy, crawling with daddy longlegs, where it remained in the dark and damp before finally being sent to a small secondhand bookstore not far from the home of the writer Jorge Luis Borges. The owner took her time unpacking the books she’d bought cheaply and in bulk from the warehouse. One morning, going through the boxes, she discovered the mildewed copy of The History of Love. She’d never heard of it, but the title caught her eye. She put it aside, and during a slow hour in the shop she read the opening chapter, called 'The Age of Silence.' The owner of the secondhand bookstore lowered the volume of the radio. She flipped to the back flap of the book to find out more about the author, but all it said was that Zvi Litvinoff had been born in Poland and moved to Chile in 1941, where he still lived today. There was no photograph. That day, in between helping customers, she finished the book. Before locking up the shop that evening, she placed it in the window, a little wistful about having to part with it. The next morning, the first rays of the rising sun fell across the cover of The History of Love. The first of many flies alighted on its jacket. Its mildewed pages began to dry out in the heat as the blue-gray Persian cat who lorded over the shop brushed past it to lay claim to a pool of sunlight. A few hours later, the first of many passersby gave it a cursory glance as they went by the window. The shop owner did not try to push the book on any of her customers. She knew that in the wrong hands such a book could easily be dismissed or, worse, go unread. Instead she let it sit where it was in the hope that the right reader might discover it. And that’s what happened. One afternoon a tall young man saw the book in the window. He came into the shop, picked it up, read a few pages, and brought it to the register. When he spoke to the owner, she couldn’t place his accent. She asked where he was from, curious about the person who was taking the book away. Israel, he told her, explaining that he’d recently finished his time in the army and was traveling around South America for a few months. The owner was about to put the book in a bag, but the young man said he didn’t need one, and slipped it into his backpack. The door chimes were still tinkling as she watched him disappear, his sandals slapping against the hot, bright street. That night, shirtless in his rented room, under a fan lazily pushing around the hot air, the young man opened the book and, in a flourish he had been fine-tuning for years, signed his name: David Singer. Filled with restlessness and longing, he began to read.
Nicole Krauss
famous example is the so-called two-slit experiment (Fig. 4.2). Consider a partition with two narrow parallel slits in it. On one side of the partition one places a source of light of a particular color (that is, of a particular wavelength). Most of the light will hit the partition, but a small amount will go through the slits. Now suppose one places a screen on the far side of the partition from the light. Any point on the screen will receive waves from the two slits. However, in general, the distance the light has to travel from the source to the screen via the two slits will be different. This will mean that the waves from the slits will not be in phase with each other when they arrive at the screen: in some places the waves will cancel each other out, and in others they will reinforce each other. The result is a characteristic pattern of light and dark fringes. The remarkable thing is that one gets exactly the same kind of fringes if one replaces the source of light by a source of particles such as electrons with a definite speed (this means that the corresponding waves have a definite length). It seems the more peculiar because if one only has one slit, one does not get any fringes, just a uniform distribution of electrons across the screen. One might therefore think that opening another slit would just increase the number of electrons hitting each point of the screen, but, because of interference, it actually decreases it in some places. If electrons are sent through the slits one at a time, one would expect each to pass through one slit or the other, and so behave just as if the slit it passed through were the only one there – giving a uniform distribution on the screen. In reality, however, even when the electrons are sent one at a time, the fringes still appear. Each electron, therefore, must be passing through both slits at the same time!
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
I THINK IT IS POSSIBLE to track the onset of middle age exactly. It is the moment when you examine your life and instead of a field of possibility opening out, an increase in scope, you have a sense of waking from sleep or being washed up onshore, newly conscious of your surroundings. So this is where I am, you say to yourself. This is what I have become. It is when you first understand that your condition—physically, intellectually, socially, financially—is not absolutely mutable, that what has already happened will, to a great extent, determine the rest of the story. What you have done cannot be undone, and much of what you have been putting off for “later” will never get done at all. In short, your time is a finite and dwindling resource. From this moment on, whatever you are doing, whatever joy or intensity or whirl of pleasure you may experience, you will never shake the almost-imperceptible sensation that you are traveling on a gentle downward slope into darkness.
Hari Kunzru (Red Pill)
For centuries, pilgrims have travelled to Ayodhya identifying it as the birthplace of Ram. But the exact location of the birthplace of Ram, in Ayodhya, is the subject of great dispute and political turmoil in India. Ever since colonial times, Hinduism has felt under siege, forced to explain itself using European templates, make itself more tangible, more concrete, more structured, more homogeneous, more historical, more geographical, less psychological, less emotional, to render itself as valid as the major religions of the Eurocentric world like Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The fallout of this pressure is the need to locate matters of faith in a particular spot. The timeless thus becomes time-bound and the universal becomes particular. What used to once be a matter of faith becomes a territorial war zone where courts now have to intervene. Everyone wants to be right in a world where adjustment, allowance, accommodation and affection are seen as signs of weakness, even corruption.
Devdutt Pattanaik (Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana)
For all of our enormous geographic range, for all of our sectionalism, for all of our interwoven breeds drawn from every part of the ethnic world, we are a nation, a new breed. Americans are much more American than they are Northerners, Southerners, Westerners, or Easterners. And descendants of English, Irish, Italian, Jewish, German, Polish are essentially American. This is not patriotic whoop-de-do; it is carefully observed fact. California Chinese, Boston Irish, Wisconsin German, yes, and Alabama Negroes, have more in common than they have apart. And this is the more remarkable because it has happened so quickly. It is a fact that Americans from all sections and of all racial extractions are more alike than the Welsh are like the English, the Lancashireman like the Cockney, or for that matter the Lowland Scot like the Highlander. It is astonishing that this has happened in less than two hundred years and most of it in the last fifty. The American identity is an exact and provable thing.
John Steinbeck (Travels With Charley: In Search of America)
My arm reaches up. I don't know if I'm reaching for the pipe or for him. I want to touch his skin. I want to breathe in what he breathes. The yellow swirl. I want to be the yellow swirl. I want him to breathe me in, be sent riding on oxygen molecules deep into lungs. I want to travel through his body, seeing what makes him happy, attaching myself to whatever place in him sparks to life on my arrival. His blood. His tissues. His muscles. I want to burrow inside the folds like a wind-blown dusting of snow so that each time I melt away, he seeks me out again. There's no delineation between the pipe and the smoke and his body. It's all whole, I want in. I want him. 'Please,' I say softly, 'let me try.' Without letting go of the pipe, he swings his hand holding the lighter with incredible force, backhanding my face. My jaw pops. The lighter swings back under the pipe undulating back and forth, inhaling the curl as it rises from the tar, exactly the same as before he hit me, only now he's staring at me, hating me.
Josh Kilmer-Purcell (I Am Not Myself These Days)
Findings such as these can change the way we handle chronic stress. When we are mired in stress, what we desperately need to do is minimize the novelty in our lives. We need familiarity. But quite often we seek out the exact opposite, responding to chronic stress at work, for example, by taking a vacation in some exotic place, thinking that the change of scenery will do us good. And under normal circumstances it does. But not when we are highly stressed, because then the novelty we encounter abroad can just add to our physiological load. Instead of traveling, we may be better off remaining on home turf, surrounding ourselves with family and friends, listening to familiar music, watching old films. Exercise, of course, can help, in fact there are few things better at preparing our physiology for stress. But when someone is this far into chronic stress its effects, suggests Stephen Porges, are mostly analgesic, possibly because exercise treats us to a shot of natural opioids. Again, what we really need is familiarity.
John Coates (The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: How Risk Taking Transforms Us, Body and Mind)
Rather, I found through this experience that there is significant similarity between meditating under a waterfall and tidying. When you stand under a waterfall, the only audible sound is the roar of water. As the cascade pummels your body, the sensation of pain soon disappears and numbness spreads. Then a sensation of heat warms you from the inside out, and you enter a meditative trance. Although I had never tried this form of meditation before, the sensation it generated seemed extremely familiar. It closely resembled what I experience when I am tidying. While not exactly a meditative state, there are times when I am cleaning that I can quietly commune with myself. The work of carefully considering each object I own to see whether it sparks joy inside me is like conversing with myself through the medium of my possessions. For this reason, it is essential to create a quiet space in which to evaluate the things in your life. Ideally, you should not even be listening to music. Sometimes I hear of methods that recommend tidying in time to a catchy song, but personally, I don’t encourage this. I feel that noise makes it harder to hear the internal dialogue between the owner and his or her belongings. Listening to the TV is, of course, out of the question. If you need some background noise to relax, choose environmental or ambient music with no lyrics or well-defined melodies. If you want to add momentum to your tidying work, tap the power of the atmosphere in your room rather than relying on music. The best time to start is early morning. The fresh morning air keeps your mind clear and your power of discernment sharp. For this reason, most of my lessons commence in the morning. The earliest lesson I ever conducted began at six thirty, and we were able to clean at twice the usual speed. The clear, refreshed feeling gained after standing under a waterfall can be addictive. Similarly, when you finish putting your space in order, you will be overcome with the urge to do it again. And, unlike waterfall meditation, you don’t have to travel long distances over hard terrain to get there. You can enjoy the same effect in your own home. That’s pretty special, don’t you think?
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
You’re saying our lives are like light waves/quanta?” JB asked. “We have fate and free will all at once?” “Exactly!” Jonah said. JB was rubbing his forehead. “I’d have to double-check to see what scientists in this time period think about light, to really know how to answer you without ruining time,” JB said. “The problem is, if you don’t know if you’re riding a wave or a quantum packet of light, how do you make your choices? How do you decide how to live your life? How do you know what’s important?” “Well, it seems like things work out best when time travelers try to help people,” Jonah said, shrugging. He thought about how long it’d taken him to realize that he should give Mileva the Elucidator. Back in 1611 he’d been slow about figuring out how to help too. And in 1600 he’d been a total idiot about his priorities. “But which people are you supposed to help?” JB asked, sounding as if he really wanted to know. “I’ll go back to the Einstein analogy you used before, about the bowling ball on the trampoline, changing the paths of the little marbles around it. Time travelers always thought Einstein was
Margaret Peterson Haddix (Caught (The Missing, #5))
It is a strange, nonintuitive fact of existence that photons of light have no color, sound waves no sound, olfactory molecules no odors. As James Le Fanu has put it, “While we have the overwhelming impression that the greenness of the trees and the blueness of the sky are streaming through our eyes as through an open window, yet the particles of light impacting on the retina are colourless, just as the waves of sound impacting on the eardrum are silent and scent molecules have no smell. They are all invisible, weightless, subatomic particles of matter travelling through space.” All the richness of life is created inside your head. What you see is not what is but what your brain tells you it is, and that’s not the same thing at all. Consider a bar of soap. Has it ever struck you that soap lather is always white no matter what color the soap is? That isn’t because the soap somehow changes color when it is moistened and rubbed. Molecularly, it’s exactly as it was before. It’s just that the foam reflects light in a different way. You get the same effect with crashing waves on a beach—greeny-blue water, white foam—and lots of other phenomena. That is because color isn’t a fixed reality but a perception.
Bill Bryson
And that’s exactly what was observed. The gravitational waves of the first detection were generated by a collision of black holes in a galaxy 1.3 billion light-years away, and at a time when Earth was teeming with simple, single-celled organisms. While the ripple moved through space in all directions, Earth would, after another 800 million years, evolve complex life, including flowers and dinosaurs and flying creatures, as well as a branch of vertebrates called mammals. Among the mammals, a sub-branch would evolve frontal lobes and complex thought to accompany them. We call them primates. A single branch of these primates would develop a genetic mutation that allowed speech, and that branch—Homo sapiens—would invent agriculture and civilization and philosophy and art and science. All in the last ten thousand years. Ultimately, one of its twentieth-century scientists would invent relativity out of his head, and predict the existence of gravitational waves. A century later, technology capable of seeing these waves would finally catch up with the prediction, just days before that gravity wave, which had been traveling for 1.3 billion years, washed over Earth and was detected. Yes, Einstein was a badass.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
At noontime in midsummer, when the sun is at its highest and everything is in a state of embroiled repose, flashes may be seen in the southern sky. Into the radiance of daylight come bursts of light even more radiant. Exactly half a year later, when the fjord is frozen over and the land buried in snow, the very same spirit taunts creation. At night cracks in the ice race from one end of the fjord to the other, resounding like gunshots or like the roaring of a mad demon. The peasants dig tunnels from their door through the drifts over to the cow shed. Where are the trolls and the elves now, and where are the sounds of nature? Even the Beast may well be dead and forgotten. Life itself hangs in suspension - existence has shrunk to nothingness. Now it is only a question of survival. The fox thrashes around in a blizzard in the oak thicket and fights his way out, mortally terrified. It is a time of stillness. Hoarfrost lies in a timeless shroud over the fjord. All day long a strange, sighing sound is heard from out on the ice. It is a fisherman, standing alone at his hole and spearing eel. One night it snows again. The air is sheer snow and the wind a frigid blast. No living creature is stirring. Then a rider comes to the crossing at Hvalpsund. There is no difficulty in getting over­ - he does not even slacken his speed, but rides at a brisk trot from the shore out onto the ice. The hoofbeats thunder beneath him and the ice roars for miles around. He reaches the other side and rides up onto the land. The horse — a mighty steed not afraid to shake its shanks - cleaves the storm with neck outstretched. The blizzard blows the rider's ashen cape back and he sits naked, with his bare bones sticking out and the snow whistling about his ribs. It is Death that is out riding. His crown sits on three hairs and his scythe points triumphantly backward. Death has his whims. He takes it into his head to dis­mount when he sees a light in the winter night. He gives his horse a slap on the haunch and it leaps into the air and is gone. For the rest of the way Death walks like a carefree man, sauntering absentmindedly along. In the snow-streaked night a crow is sitting on a wayside branch. Its head is much too large for its body. Its beady eyes sparkle when it sees the wanderer's familiar face, and its cawing turns into silent laughter as it throws its beak wide open, with its spear-like tongue sticking far out. It seems almost ready to fall off the branch with its laughter, but it keeps on looking at Death with consuming merriment. Death moves on. Suddenly he finds himself beside a man. He raps the man on the back with his fingers and leaves him lying there. There is a light. Death keeps his eye on the light and walks toward it. He moves into the shaft of light and labors his way over a frozen field. But when he comes close enough to make out the house a strange fervor grips him. He has finally come home - yes, this has been his true home from the beginning. Thank goodness he has now found it again after so much difficulty. He goes in, and a solitary old couple make him welcome. They cannot know that he is anything more than a traveling tradesman, spent and sick. He lies down quickly on the bed without a word. They can see that he is really far gone. He lies on his back while they move about the room with the candle and chat. He forgets them. For a long time he lies there, quiet but awake. Finally there are a few low moans, faltering and tentative. He begins to cry, and then quickly stops. But now the moans continue, becoming louder, and then going over to tearless sobs. His body arches up, resting only on head and heels. He stares in anguish at the ceiling and screams, screams like a woman in labor. Finally he collapses, and his cries begin to subside. Little by little he falls silent and lies quiet.
Johannes V. Jensen (Kongens fald)
A Conversation with the Author What was your inspiration for The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle? Inspiration is a flash-of-lightning kind of word. What happens to me is more like sediment building. I love time travel, Agatha Christie, and the eighties classic Quantum Leap, and over time a book emerged from that beautiful quagmire. Truthfully, having the idea was the easy part, keeping track of all the moving parts was the difficulty. Which character was the most interesting to write, and in which host do you feel Aiden truly flourishes? Lord Cecil Ravencourt, by miles. He occupies the section of the book where the character has to grapple with the time travel elements, the body swapping elements, and the murder itself. I wanted my most intelligent character for that task, but I thought it would be great to hamper him in some way, as well. Interestingly, I wanted to make him really loathsome—which is why he’s a banker. And yet, for some reason, I ended up quite liking him, and feeding a few laudable qualities into his personality. I think Derby ended up getting a double dose of loathsome instead. Other than that, it’s just really nice seeing the evolution of his relationship with Cunningham. Is there a moral lesson to Aiden’s story or any conclusion you hope the reader walks away with as they turn the final page? Don’t be a dick! Kind, funny, intelligent, and generous people are behind every good thing that’s ever happened to me. Everybody else you just have to put up with. Like dandruff. Or sunburn. Don’t be sunburn, people. In one hundred years, do you believe there will be something similar to Blackheath, and would you support such a system? Yes, and not exactly. Our prison system is barbaric, but some people deserve it. That’s the tricky part of pinning your flag to the left or right of the moral spectrum. I think the current system is unsustainable, and I think personality adjustment and mental prisons are dangerous, achievable technology somebody will abuse. They could also solve a lot of problems. Would you trust your government with it? I suppose that’s the question. The book is so contained, and we don’t get to see the place that Aiden is escaping to! Did you map that out, and is there anything you can share about the society beyond Blackheath’s walls? It’s autocratic, technologically advanced, but they still haven’t overcome our human weaknesses. You can get everywhere in an hour, but television’s still overrun with reality shows, basically. Imagine the society that could create something as hateful as Annabelle Caulker.
Stuart Turton (The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle)
THROUGH THE BREADTH and scope of existence, the essence of your being has traveled, gathering experiences of every human emotion, situation, nationality, race, gender, and type of death and birth. This indefinable essence, which has traveled across time, is a vast storehouse of unlimited knowledge and possibilities contained in a collection of memories that are locked deep inside you. What exactly is this pearl of great price? It is your soul. Over the years, I have received many messages from Spirit describing the nature of the soul. Descriptions range from it being the nucleus of our being, to the power within, to the core of freedom. Scientists, metaphysicians, and psychologists have referred to the soul as the “super conscious.” I know it as the source of all intelligent energy wherein our true selves reside. Only a thin veil of human amnesia hides our own truth from us. The soul exists on many different levels of consciousness. It can be present on the physical plane and coexist on another dimension simultaneously. The soul is not human; therefore it does not possess human chemistry. However, it is colored by an accumulation of human lifetimes. The soul is always evolving, growing, and expanding based on the choices we make during the situations that come upon us.
James Van Praagh (Growing Up in Heaven: The Eternal Connection Between Parent and Child)
You’re mad.” “No, I’m just plagued with a grandmother who thinks that forcing me and my siblings into marriage will settle her mind about our futures-an idea that I mean to show her is absurd.” “By pretending to be engaged to a perfect stranger?” He shrugged. “I came here looking for a whore to do the job. But they’re expensive, and why should I settle for a whore when you’ll do nicely?” His gaze traveled down her body with thorough insolence. “You’re exactly the sort my grandmother would find unacceptable as a wife for me: an American of low birth, with an impudent manner and a reckless tongue. And you’re just pretty enough to convince her that I might actually contemplate marriage to you.” Shock held her motionless. She didn’t know which was worse-his nonchalant attitude toward hiring a whore to fool his poor grandmother, or the insults he’d lobbed at her with insufferable arrogance. “Now that you’ve offended me in every possible way, do you think I’d agree to this insanity?” Amusement flickered in his black eyes. “Given that your other choice is to take your chances with the gentlemen in the hall…yes, I do. Of course, if you want to watch your cousin hang-“ He headed for the door. “Stop!” He paused with his hand on the handle, one eyebrow arched in question. The curst man had her trapped, and he knew it.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
And now Snape stood again in the headmaster’s study as Phineas Nigellus came hurrying into his portrait. “Headmaster! They are camping in the Forest of Dean! The Mudblood--” “Do not use that word!” “--the Granger girl, then, mentioned the place as she opened her bag and I heard her!” “Good. Very good!” cried the portrait of Dumbledore behind the headmaster’s chair. “Now, Severus, the sword! Do not forget that it must be taken under conditions of need and valor--and he must not know that you give it! If Voldemort should read Harry’s mind and see you acting for him--” “I know,” said Snape curtly. He approached the portrait of Dumbledore and pulled at its side. It swung forward, revealing a hidden cavity behind it from which he took the sword of Gryffindor. “And you still aren’t going to tell me why it’s so important to give Potter the sword?” said Snape as he swung a traveling cloak over his robes. “No, I don’t think so,” said Dumbledore’s portrait. “He will know what to do with it. And Severus, be very careful, they may not take kindly to your appearance after George Weasley’s mishap--” Snape turned at the door. “Don’t worry, Dumbledore,” he said coolly. “I have a plan…” And Snape left the room. Harry rose up out of the Pensieve, and moments later he lay on the carpeted floor in exactly the same room: Snape might just have closed the door.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
He brought them a lot of joy, whether by tossing a ball around or tickling them, teaching them how to hunt or just watching TV. Angel loved to climb into his lap and cuddle. His tensions and cares would melt away as he held her. I know there’s a saying about “Daddy’s little girl wrapping him around her finger.” Chris and Angel didn’t have that kind of relationship, exactly. She was definitely his girl--he was closer to her than probably any other female on the planet, including me. But he also held her to high standards. She couldn’t get away with being bad or taking advantage of him. She could see in his face that he was absolutely delighted by her. He “got” her humor, and he definitely got her. One day he had to leave on an overnight trip. We said good-bye and closed the door; Angel and I went into the kitchen. She had tears in her eyes. “Okay, honey?” I asked. “Yeah. I know he’s coming back tomorrow,” she said. “I guess I just miss him already.” I told Chris what she’d said later on that night when he called to check in. It was something cute she’d done. “Wow,” he said. “I feel like I’ve just been punched in the stomach.” He slid down the wall to the floor, hand to his face, devastated by his daughter’s simple statement of love. “I wasn’t trying to make you feel bad,” I told him. “I’m sorry.” “It’s okay.” We talked a little more, then he hung up the phone. The man he was traveling with said later that he looked wounded the whole rest of the trip.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has this to say about the planet of Golgafrincham: it is a planet with an ancient and mysterious history, rich in legend, red, and occasionally green with the blood of those who sought in times gone by to conquer her; a land of parched and barren landscapes, of sweet and sultry air heady with the scent of the perfumed springs that trickle over its hot and dusty rocks and nourish the dark and musky lichens beneath; a land of fevered brows and intoxicated imaginings, particularly among those who taste the lichens; a land also of cool and shaded thoughts among those who have learned to forswear the lichens and find a tree to sit beneath; a land also of steel and blood and heroism; a land of the body and of the spirit. This was its history. And in all this ancient and mysterious history, the most mysterious figures of all were without doubt those of the Great Circling poets of Arium. These Circling Poets used to live in remote mountain passes where they would lie in wait for small bands of unwary travelers, circle around them, and throw rocks at them. And when the travelers cried out, saying why didn’t they go away and get on with writing some poems instead of pestering people with all this rock-throwing business, they would suddenly stop, and then break into one of the seven hundred and ninety-four great Song Cycles of Vassillian. These songs were all of extraordinary beauty, and even more extraordinary length, and all fell into exactly the same pattern.
Douglas Adams (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #2))
A modern example of this stunning knowledge of nature that Einstein has gifted us, comes from 2016, when gravitational waves were discovered by a specially designed observatory tuned for just this purpose.† These waves, predicted by Einstein, are ripples moving at the speed of light across the fabric of space-time, and are generated by severe gravitational disturbances, such as the collision of two black holes. And that’s exactly what was observed. The gravitational waves of the first detection were generated by a collision of black holes in a galaxy 1.3 billion light-years away, and at a time when Earth was teeming with simple, single-celled organisms. While the ripple moved through space in all directions, Earth would, after another 800 million years, evolve complex life, including flowers and dinosaurs and flying creatures, as well as a branch of vertebrates called mammals. Among the mammals, a sub-branch would evolve frontal lobes and complex thought to accompany them. We call them primates. A single branch of these primates would develop a genetic mutation that allowed speech, and that branch—Homo sapiens—would invent agriculture and civilization and philosophy and art and science. All in the last ten thousand years. Ultimately, one of its twentieth-century scientists would invent relativity out of his head, and predict the existence of gravitational waves. A century later, technology capable of seeing these waves would finally catch up with the prediction, just days before that gravity wave, which had been traveling for 1.3 billion years, washed over Earth and was detected. Yes, Einstein was a badass.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
Starting probably with those conversations so long ago with Aunt Sarah Jane, I have learned to understand the old structure of racism as a malevolent convention, the malevolence of which is hard to locate in the conscious intentions of most people. It was a circumstance that was mostly taken for granted. It was inexcusable, and yet we had the formidable excuse of being used to it. It was an injustice both accommodated and varyingly obscured not only by daily custom, but also by the exigencies and preoccupations of daily life. We left the issue alone, not exactly by ignoring it, but by observing an elaborate etiquette that permitted us to ignore it. White people who wished to think well of themselves did not use the language of racial insult in front of black people. But the problem for us white people, as we had finally to understand, was that we could not be selectively complicit. To be complicit at all, even thoughtlessly by custom, was to be complicit in the whole extent and reach of the injustice. It is hard for a customary indifference to unstick itself from the abominations to which it tacitly consents. But we were used to it. What is hardest to get used to maybe, once you are aware, is the range of things humans are able to get used to. I was more used to this once than I am now. Aunt Sarah Jane’s plain talk of racial injustice as she knew it, thereby introducing the fester of it into the conscience of a small boy, who knew it only as the accepted way and a mandatory etiquette, was by the measure of that time remarkable. To the extent that her talk was a discomfort and an instruction, it was a service.
Wendell Berry (Port William Novels & Stories (The Civil War to World War II): Nathan Coulter / Andy Catlett: Early Travels / A World Lost / A Place on Earth / Stories)
I had become something of a bird man – a passion that has remained with me – and could tell a Himalayan griffon from a bearded vulture and could identify the streaked laughing thrush, the orange bullfinch, Tytler’s leaf warbler and the Kashmir flycatcher, which was threatened then, and must surely by now be extinct. The trouble with being in Dachigam was that it had the effect of unsettling one’s resolve. It underlined the futility of it all. It made one feel that Kashmir really belonged to those creatures. That none of us who were fighting over it – Kashmiris, Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese (they have a piece of it too – Aksai Chin, which used to be part of the old Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir), or for that matter Pahadis, Gujjars, Dogras, Pashtuns, Shins, Ladakhis, Baltis, Gilgitis, Purikis, Wakhis, Yashkuns, Tibetans, Mongols, Tatars, Mon, Khowars – none of us, neither saint nor soldier, had the right to claim the truly heavenly beauty of that place for ourselves. I was once moved to say so, quite casually, to Imran, a young Kashmiri police officer who had done some exemplary undercover work for us. His response was, ‘It’s a very great thought, Sir. I have the same love for animals as yourself. Even in my travels in India I feel the exact same feeling – that India belongs not to Punjabis, Biharis, Gujaratis, Madrasis, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, but to those beautiful creatures – peacocks, elephants, tigers, bears . . .’ He was polite to the point of being obsequious, but I knew what he was getting at. It was extraordinary; you couldn’t – and still cannot – trust even the ones you assumed were on your side. Not even the damn police.
Arundhati Roy (The Ministry of Utmost Happiness)
Hey." Her host grabbed her by the back of the jacket and hauled her upright. "I'm not fishing you out again if you fall overboard." Their eyes met. He wasn't kidding. "Not exactly a people person, are you?" she said. He grimaced and released her. Tally turned back to the rail, oddly disconcerted by his touch, even through the jacket. She didn't lean as far out this time, but she strained to see in the growing darkness. Tally suspected Arnaud's boat was probably Trevor Church's boat, and if that was the case, her father was not only going to be absolutely livid about the loss of property, he was also going to blow his stack if she didn't at least make an attempt to find Bouchard. Damn it. "I'll pay you to help me find him," Tally said briskly, turning to face him. An eyebrow rose. "Yeah? How much?" "A thousand dollars." He didn't so much as blink at the offer. "Are you for real? Okay, two thousand." "Only two? He couldn't've been very important to you." She considered Bouchard a slimy turd, a necessary evil. On the other hand, the pirate wasn't going to risk his life and boat if he knew she felt that way. "Five? Ten? Twenty thousand? How much will it take?" "How much you got on you?" She held her arms out. "Not a whole hell of a lot. But I have traveler's checks back at-I'll buy your boat from you." She narrowed her eyes when he didn't answer. This was nuts. She was standing out here in the middle of a typhoon negotiating with a pirate to save the life of a man she'd just as soon drown herself. "You rat. Okay. I'll pay you to captain it. And I'll pay you to help me find Arnaud." He folded his arms across his massive, hairy chest. "Hmmm." "Is that a yes?" He paused for so long, she thought he'd gone into a coma with his eyes-eye-open.
Cherry Adair (In Too Deep (T-FLAC #4; Wright Family #3))
Elizabeth’s concern that Ian might insult them, either intentionally or otherwise, soon gave way to admiration and then to helpless amusement as he sat for the next half-hour, charming them all with an occasional lazy smile or interjecting a gallant compliment, while they spent the entire time debating whether to sell the chocolates being donated by Gunther’s for $5 or $6 per box. Despite Ian’s outwardly bland demeanor, Elizabeth waited uneasily for him to say he’d buy the damned cartload of chocolates for $10 apiece, if it would get them on to the next problem, which she knew was what he was dying to say. But she needn’t have worried, for he continued to positively exude pleasant interest. Four times, the committee paused to solicit his advice; four times, he smilingly made excellent suggestions; four times, they ignored what he suggested. And four times, he seemed not to mind in the least or even notice. Making a mental note to thank him profusely for his incredible forbearance, Elizabeth kept her attention on her guests and the discussion, until she inadvertently glanced in his direction, and her breath caught. Seated on the opposite side of the gathering from her, he was now leaning back in his chair, his left ankle propped atop his right knee, and despite his apparent absorption in the topic being discussed, his heavy-lidded gaze was roving meaningfully over her breasts. One look at the smile tugging at his lips and Elizabeth realized that he wanted her to know it. Obviously he’d decided that both she and he were wasting their time with the committee, and he was playing an amusing game designed to either divert her or discomfit her entirely, she wasn’t certain which. Elizabeth drew a deep breath, ready to blast a warning look at him, and his gaze lifted slowly from her gently heaving bosom, traveled lazily up her throat, paused at her lips, and then lifted to her narrowed eyes. Her quelling glance earned her nothing but a slight, challenging lift of his brows and a decidedly sensual smile, before his gaze reversed and began a lazy trip downward again. Lady Wiltshire’s voice rose, and she said for the second time, “Lady Thornton, what do you think?” Elizabeth snapped her gaze from her provoking husband to Lady Wiltshire. “I-I agree,” she said without the slightest idea of what she was agreeing with. For the next five minutes, she resisted the tug of Ian’s caressing gaze, firmly refusing to even glance his way, but when the committee reembarked on the chocolate issue again, she stole a look at him. The moment she did, he captured her gaze, holding it, while he, with an outward appearance of a man in thoughtful contemplation of some weighty problem, absently rubbed his forefinger against his mouth, his elbow propped on the arm of his chair. Elizabeth’s body responded to the caress he was offering her as if his lips were actually on hers, and she drew a long, steadying breath as he deliberately let his eyes slide to her breasts again. He knew exactly what his gaze was doing to her, and Elizabeth was thoroughly irate at her inability to ignore its effect. The committee departed on schedule a half-hour later amid reminders that the next meeting would be held at Lady Wiltshire’s house. Before the door closed behind them, Elizabeth rounded on her grinning, impenitent husband in the drawing room. “You wretch!” she exclaimed. “How could you?” she demanded, but in the midst of her indignant protest, Ian shoved his hands into her hair, turned her face up, and smothered her words with a ravenous kiss. “I haven’t forgiven you,” she warned him in bed an hour later, her cheek against his chest. Laughter, rich and deep, rumbled beneath her ear. “No?” “Absolutely not. I’ll repay you if it’s the last thing I do.” “I think you already have,” he said huskily, deliberately misunderstanding her meaning.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
In short the only fully rational world would be the world of wishing-caps, the world of telepathy, where every desire is fulfilled instanter, without having to consider or placate surrounding or intermediate powers. This is the Absolute's own world. He calls upon the phenomenal world to be, and it IS, exactly as he calls for it, no other condition being required. In our world, the wishes of the individual are only one condition. Other individuals are there with other wishes and they must be propitiated first. So Being grows under all sorts of resistances in this world of the many, and, from compromise to compromise, only gets organized gradually into what may be called secondarily rational shape. We approach the wishing-cap type of organization only in a few departments of life. We want water and we turn a faucet. We want a kodak-picture and we press a button. We want information and we telephone. We want to travel and we buy a ticket. In these and similar cases, we hardly need to do more than the wishing—the world is rationally organized to do the rest. But this talk of rationality is a parenthesis and a digression. What we were discussing was the idea of a world growing not integrally but piecemeal by the contributions of its several parts. Take the hypothesis seriously and as a live one. Suppose that the world's author put the case to you before creation, saying: "I am going to make a world not certain to be saved, a world the perfection of which shall be conditional merely, the condition being that each several agent does its own 'level best.' I offer you the chance of taking part in such a world. Its safety, you see, is unwarranted. It is a real adventure, with real danger, yet it may win through. It is a social scheme of co-operative work genuinely to be done. Will you join the procession? Will you trust yourself and trust the other agents enough to face the risk?" Should you in all seriousness, if participation in such a world were proposed to you, feel bound to reject it as not safe enough? Would you say that, rather than be part and parcel of so fundamentally pluralistic and irrational a universe, you preferred to relapse into the slumber of nonentity from which you had been momentarily aroused by the tempter's voice? Of course if you are normally constituted, you would do nothing of the sort. There is a healthy- minded buoyancy in most of us which such a universe would exactly fit. We would therefore accept the offer—"Top! und schlag auf schlag!" It would be just like the world we practically live in; and loyalty to our old nurse Nature would forbid us to say no. The world proposed would seem 'rational' to us in the most living way. Most of us, I say, would therefore welcome the proposition and add our fiat to the fiat of the creator. Yet perhaps some would not; for there are morbid minds in every human collection, and to them the prospect of a universe with only a fighting chance of safety would probably make no appeal. There are moments of discouragement in us all, when we are sick of self and tired of vainly striving. Our own life breaks down, and we fall into the attitude of the prodigal son. We mistrust the chances of things. We want a universe where we can just give up, fall on our father's neck, and be absorbed into the absolute life as a drop of water melts into the river or the sea. The peace and rest, the security desiderated at such moments is security against the bewildering accidents of so much finite experience. Nirvana means safety from this everlasting round of adventures of which the world of sense consists. The hindoo and the buddhist, for this is essentially their attitude, are simply afraid, afraid of more experience, afraid of life. And to men of this complexion, religious monism comes with its consoling words: "All is needed and essential—even you with your sick soul and heart. All are one
William James (Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking)
Visible over Madame’s shoulder was a clock, hanging on the wall between a flag and a poster. The poster was for a new brand of beer, featuring three bikini-clad young women sprouting breasts the size and shape of children’s balloons; the flag was of the defeated Republic of Vietnam, three bold red horizontal stripes on a vivid field of yellow. This was the flag, as the General had noted more than once to me, of the free Vietnamese people. I had seen the flag countless times before, and posters like that one often, but I had never seen this type of clock, carved from hardwood into the shape of our homeland. For this clock that was a country, and this country that was a clock, the minute and hour hands pivoted in the south, the numbers of the dial a halo around Saigon. Some craftsman in exile had understood that this was exactly the timepiece his refugee countrymen desired. We were displaced persons, but it was time more than space that defined us. While the distance to return to our lost country was far but finite, the number of years it would take to close that distance was potentially infinite. Thus, for displaced people, the first question was always about time: When can I return? Speaking of punctuality, I said to Madame, your clock is set to the wrong time. No, she said, rising to fetch the beer. It’s set to Saigon time. Of course it was. How could I not have seen it? Saigon time was fourteen hours off, although if one judged time by this clock, it was we who were fourteen hours off. Refugee, exile, immigrant—whatever species of displaced human we were, we did not simply live in two cultures, as celebrants of the great American melting pot imagined. Displaced people also lived in two time zones, the here and the there, the present and the past, being as we were reluctant time travelers. But while science fiction imagined time travelers as moving forward or backward in time, this timepiece demonstrated a different chronology. The open secret of the clock, naked for all to see, was that we were only going in circles.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
I DON'T WANT to talk about me, of course, but it seems as though far too much attention has been lavished on you lately-that your greed and vanities and quest for self-fulfillment have been catered to far too much. You just want and want and want. You believe in yourself excessively. You don't believe in Nature anymore. It's too isolated from you. You've abstracted it. It's so messy and damaged and sad. Your eyes glaze as you travel life's highway past all the crushed animals and the Big Gulp cups. You don't even take pleasure in looking at nature photographs these days. Oh, they can be just as pretty as always, but don't they make you feel increasingly ... anxious? Filled with more trepidation than peace? So what's the point? You see the picture of the baby condor or the panda munching on a bamboo shoot, and your heart just sinks, doesn't it? A picture of a poor old sea turtle with barnacles on her back, all ancient and exhausted, depositing her five gallons of doomed eggs in the sand hardly fills you with joy, because you realize, quite rightly, that just outside the frame falls the shadow of the condo. What's cropped from the shot of ocean waves crashing on a pristine shore is the plastics plant, and just beyond the dunes lies a parking lot. Hidden from immediate view in the butterfly-bright meadow, in the dusky thicket, in the oak and holly wood, are the surveyors' stakes, for someone wants to build a mall exactly there-some gas stations and supermarkets, some pizza and video shops, a health club, maybe a bulimia treatment center. Those lovely pictures of leopards and herons and wild rivers-well, you just know they're going to be accompanied by a text that will serve only to bring you down. You don't want to think about it! It's all so uncool. And you don't want to feel guilty either. Guilt is uncool. Regret maybe you'll consider. Maybe. Regret is a possibility, but don't push me, you say. Nature photographs have become something of a problem, along with almost everything else. Even though they leave the bad stuff out-maybe because you know they're leaving all the bad stuff out-such pictures are making you increasingly aware that you're a little too late for Nature. Do you feel that? Twenty years too late? Maybe only ten? Not way too late, just a little too late? Well, it appears that you are. And since you are, you've decided you're just not going to attend this particular party.
Joy Williams (Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals)
Diddy, not really alive, had a life. Hardly the same. Some people are their lives. Others, like Diddy, merely inhabit their lives. Like insecure tenants, never knowing exactly the extent of their property or when the lease will expire. Like unskilled cartographers, drawing and redrawing erroneous maps of an exotic continent. Eventually, for such a person, everything is bound to run dow. The walls sag. Empty spaces bulge between objects. The surfaces of objects sweat, thin out, buckle. The hysterical fluids of fear deposited at the core of objects ooze out along the seams. Deploying things and navigating through space becomes laborious. Too much effort to amble from kitchen to living room, serving drinks, turning on the hi-fi, pretending to be cheerful . . . Everything running down: suffusing the whole of Diddy's well-tended life. Like a house powered by one large generator in the basement. Diddy has an almost palpable sense of the decline of the generator's energy. Or, of the monstrous malfunctioning of that generator, gone amok. Sending forth a torrent of refuse that climbs up into Diddy's life, cluttering all his floor space and overwhelming his pleasant furnishings, so that he's forced to take refuge. Huddle in a narrow corner. But however small the space Diddy means to keep free for himself, it won't remain safe. If solid material can't invade it, then the offensive discharge of the failing or rebellious generator will liquefy; so that it can travel everywhere, spread like a skin. The generator will spew forth a stream of crude oil, grimy and malodorous, that coats all things and persons and objects, the vulgar as well as the precious, the ugly as well as what little still remains beautiful. Befouling Diddy's world and rendering it unusable. Uninhabitable. This deliquescent running-down of everything becomes coexistent with Diddy's entire span of consciousness, undermines his most minimal acts. Getting out of bed is an agony unpromising as the struggles of a fish cast up on the beach, trying to extract life from the meaningless air. Persons who merely have a life customarily move in a dense fluid. That's how they're able to conduct their lives at all. Their living depends on not seeing. But when this fluid evaporates, an uncensored, fetid, appalling underlife is disclosed. Lost continents are brought to view, bearing the ruins of doomed cities, the sparsely fleshed skeletons of ancient creatures immobilized in their death throes, a landscape of unparalleled savagery.
Susan Sontag (Death Kit)
I suppose it means that I will be free to travel with my maid, or to live in the country while you are in town, or I may live in town while you are in the country if I wish. I mean if I find your company...er...unpleasant." "I see," Daniel said dryly. "And if we are always apart, how exactly are we to gain heirs?" "Oh." Suzette flushed. "Well, I suppose we could arrange for occasional visits for...er...procreative purposes." "Occasional visits for procreative purposes?" he achoed with disbelief, and then muttered dryly, "My, how scintillating that sounds." Suzette frowned, for really it did sound rather cold, nothing like the passionate delirium she had read about in one of Lisa's novels. But then, truthfully,she simply couldn't fathom the ecstasies described in that book. She'd never even been kissed and what if she didn't enjoy his kisses? Just because he didn't have bad breath didn't mean she would enjoy these visits she spoke of so boldly. Coming to a decision, she straightened abruptly, and said, "We must kiss." That caught his attention and he asked with amazement, "What?" "Well, we should see if we would deal well together in...er...that regard," she muttered, blushing hotly. Swallowing, she forced herself to add firmly, "You should kiss me. Then we will know." "My dear young lady," Daniel began seeming half amused and half horrified, "I really do not think-" "Oh,for pity's sake," Suzette interuppted impatiently, and then leaned forward again,this time pressing her lips to his. In her rush to get it over with, she lost her balance a bit and had to catch a hold of his jacket to steady herself as she smooshed her mouth against his. She then waited for the warm and wonderful commotion she'd read about to assault her. Unfortunately, there wasn't any commotion. Really this was no more exciting than pressing her mouth to a cup, Suzette thought with dismay, and released him to sit back again with a most disappointed sigh. "Oh dear, I fear you're no good at this." "Excuse me? I am no good at this?" Daniel asked with amazed disbelief. "My dear girl, if you think that was a kiss-" "Do stop calling me a girl," Suzette snapped a bit impatiently and got to her feet, too agitated now to sit. "You sound like you're old enough to be my father and you aren't quite that old." "Not quite that old? For pity's sake! What a charmer you are," he said with irritation, and then stood up as well and informed her with some dignity, "That was not a proper kiss." "Well if you are such an expert, why do you not show me how to do it right?" she suggested, glowering with frustration at this turn of events.
Lynsay Sands (The Heiress (Madison Sisters #2))
The phone rang and Chassie excused herself to answer it. Silence hung between them as heavy as snow clouds in a winter sky. Eventually, Edgard said, "She doesn't know anything about me. Not even that we were roping partners. Not that we were..." He looked at Trevor expectantly. "No." Trevor quickly glanced at the living room where Chassie was chattering away. "You surprised?" "Maybe that she isn't aware of our official association as roping partners. There was no shame in that. We were damn good together, Trev." The word shame echoed like a slap. As good as they were together, it'd never been enough, in an official capacity or behind closed doors. "What are you really doin' here?" Edgard didn't answer right away. "I don't know. Feeling restless. Had the urge to travel." "Wyoming ain't exactly an exotic port of call." "You think I don't realize that? You think I wouldn't rather be someplace else? But something..." Edgard lowered his voice. "Ah, fuck it." "What?" "Want the truth? Or would you rather I lie?" "The truth." "Truth between us? That's refreshing." Edgard's gaze trapped his. "I'm here because of you." Trevor's heart alternately stopped and soared, even when his answer was an indiscernible growl. "For Christsake, Ed. What the hell am I supposed to say to that? With my wife in the next room?" "You're making a big deal out of this. She thinks we're friends, which ain't a lie. We were partners before we were..." Edgard gestured distractedly. "If she gets the wrong idea, it won't be from me." "Maybe I'm gettin' the wrong idea. The last thing you said to me when you fuckin' left me was that you weren't ever comin' back. And you made it goddamn clear you didn't want to be my friend. So why are you here?" Pause. He traced the rim of his coffee cup with a shaking fingertip. "I heard about you gettin' married." "That happened over a year ago and you came all the way from Brazil to congratulate me in person? Now?" "No." Edgard didn't seem to know what to do with his hands. He raked his fingers through his hair. His voice was barely audible. "Will it piss you off if I admit I was curious about whether you're really happy, meu amore?" My love. My ass. Trevor snapped, "Yes." "Yes, you're pissed off? Or yes, you're happy?" "Both." "Then this is gonna piss you off even more." "What?" "Years and miles haven't changed anything between us and you goddamn well know it." Trevor looked up; Edgard's golden eyes were laser beams slicing him open. "It don't matter. If you can't be my friend while you're in my house, walk out the fuckin' door. I will not allow either one of us to hurt my wife. Got it?" "Yeah." "Good. And I'm done talkin' about this shit so don't bring it up again. Ever.
Liz Andrews
What’ll it be?” Steve asked me, just days after our wedding. “Do we go on the honeymoon we’ve got planned, or do you want to go catch crocs?” My head was still spinning from the ceremony, the celebration, and the fact that I could now use the two words “my husband” and have them mean something real. The four months between February 2, 1992--the day Steve asked me to marry him--and our wedding day on June 4 had been a blur. Steve’s mother threw us an engagement party for Queensland friends and family, and I encountered a very common theme: “We never thought Steve would get married.” Everyone said it--relatives, old friends, and schoolmates. I’d smile and nod, but my inner response was, Well, we’ve got that in common. And something else: Wait until I get home and tell everybody I am moving to Australia. I knew what I’d have to explain. Being with Steve, running the zoo, and helping the crocs was exactly the right thing to do. I knew with all my heart and soul that this was the path I was meant to travel. My American friends--the best, closest ones--understood this perfectly. I trusted Steve with my life and loved him desperately. One of the first challenges was how to bring as many Australian friends and family as possible over to the United States for the wedding. None of us had a lot of money. Eleven people wound up making the trip from Australia, and we held the ceremony in the big Methodist church my grandmother attended. It was more than a wedding, it was saying good-bye to everyone I’d ever known. I invited everybody, even people who may not have been intimate friends. I even invited my dentist. The whole network of wildlife rehabilitators came too--four hundred people in all. The ceremony began at eight p.m., with coffee and cake afterward. I wore the same dress that my older sister Bonnie had worn at her wedding twenty-seven years earlier, and my sister Tricia wore at her wedding six years after that. The wedding cake had white frosting, but it was decorated with real flowers instead of icing ones. Steve had picked out a simple ring for me, a quarter carat, exactly what I wanted. He didn’t have a wedding ring. We were just going to borrow one for the service, but we couldn’t find anybody with fingers that were big enough. It turned out that my dad’s wedding ring fitted him, and that’s the one we used. Steve’s mother, Lyn, gave me a silk horseshoe to put around my wrist, a symbol of good luck. On our wedding day, June 4, 1992, it had been eight months since Steve and I first met. As the minister started reading the vows, I could see that Steve was nervous. His tuxedo looked like it was strangling him. For a man who was used to working in the tropics, he sure looked hot. The church was air-conditioned, but sweat drops formed on the ends of his fingers. Poor Steve, I thought. He’d never been up in front of such a big crowd before. “The scariest situation I’ve ever been in,” Steve would say later of the ceremony. This from a man who wrangled crocodiles! When the minister invited the groom to kiss the bride, I could feel all Steve’s energy, passion, and love. I realized without a doubt we were doing the right thing.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
to look at Louisa, stroked her cheek, and was rewarded by a dazzling smile. She had been surprised by how light-skinned the child was. Her features were much more like Eva’s than Bill’s. A small turned-up nose, big hazel eyes, and long dark eyelashes. Her golden-brown hair protruded from under the deep peak of her bonnet in a cascade of ringlets. “Do you think she’d come to me?” Cathy asked. “You can try.” Eva handed her over. “She’s got so heavy, she’s making my arms ache!” She gave a nervous laugh as she took the parcel from Cathy and peered at the postmark. “What’s that, Mam?” David craned his neck and gave a short rasping cough. “Is it sweets?” “No, my love.” Eva and Cathy exchanged glances. “It’s just something Auntie Cathy’s brought from the old house. Are you going to show Mikey your flags?” The boy dug eagerly in his pocket, and before long he and Michael were walking ahead, deep in conversation about the paper flags Eva had bought for them to decorate sand castles. Louisa didn’t cry when Eva handed her over. She seemed fascinated by Cathy’s hair, and as they walked along, Cathy amused her by singing “Old MacDonald.” The beach was only a short walk from the station, and it wasn’t long before the boys were filling their buckets with sand. “I hardly dare open it,” Eva said, fingering the string on the parcel. “I know. I was desperate to open it myself.” Cathy looked at her. “I hope you haven’t built up your hopes, too much, Eva. I’m so worried it might be . . . you know.” Eva nodded quickly. “I thought of that too.” She untied the string, her fingers trembling. The paper fell away to reveal a box with the words “Benson’s Baby Wear” written across it in gold italic script. Eva lifted the lid. Inside was an exquisite pink lace dress with matching bootees and a hat. The label said, “Age 2–3 Years.” Beneath it was a handwritten note:   Dear Eva, This is a little something for our baby girl from her daddy. I don’t know the exact date of her birthday, but I wanted you to know that I haven’t forgotten. I hope things are going well for you and your husband. Please thank him from me for what he’s doing for our daughter: he’s a fine man and I don’t blame you for wanting to start over with him. I’m back in the army now, traveling around. I’m due to be posted overseas soon, but I don’t know where yet. I’ll write and let you know when I get my new address. It would be terrific if I could have a photograph of her in this little dress, if your husband doesn’t mind. Best wishes to you all, Bill   For several seconds they sat staring at the piece of paper. When Eva spoke, her voice was tight with emotion. “Cathy, he thinks I chose to stay with Eddie!” Cathy nodded, her mind reeling. “Eddie showed me the letter he sent. Bill wouldn’t have known you were in Wales, would he? He would have assumed you and Eddie had already been reunited—that he’d written with your consent on behalf of you both.” She was afraid to look at Eva. “What are you going to do?” Eva’s face had gone very pale. “I don’t know.” She glanced at David, who was jabbing a Welsh flag into a sand castle. “He said he was going to be posted overseas. Suppose they send him to Britain?” Cathy bit her lip. “It could be anywhere, couldn’t it? It could be the other side of the world.” She could see what was going through Eva’s mind. “You think if he came here, you and he could be together without . . .” Her eyes went to the boys. Eva gave a quick, almost imperceptible nod, as if she was afraid someone might see her. “What about Eddie?” “I don’t know!” The tone of her voice made David look up. She put on a smile, which disappeared the
Lindsay Ashford (The Color of Secrets)
THE VISION EXERCISE Create your future from your future, not your past. WERNER ERHARD Erhard Founder of EST training and the Landmark Forum The following exercise is designed to help you clarify your vision. Start by putting on some relaxing music and sitting quietly in a comfortable environment where you won’t be disturbed. Then, close your eyes and ask your subconscious mind to give you images of what your ideal life would look like if you could have it exactly the way you want it, in each of the following categories: 1. First, focus on the financial area of your life. What is your ideal annual income and monthly cash flow? How much money do you have in savings and investments? What is your total net worth? Next . . . what does your home look like? Where is it located? Does it have a view? What kind of yard and landscaping does it have? Is there a pool or a stable for horses? What does the furniture look like? Are there paintings hanging in the rooms? Walk through your perfect house, filling in all of the details. At this point, don’t worry about how you’ll get that house. Don’t sabotage yourself by saying, “I can’t live in Malibu because I don’t make enough money.” Once you give your mind’s eye the picture, your mind will solve the “not enough money” challenge. Next, visualize what kind of car you are driving and any other important possessions your finances have provided. 2. Next, visualize your ideal job or career. Where are you working? What are you doing? With whom are you working? What kind of clients or customers do you have? What is your compensation like? Is it your own business? 3. Then, focus on your free time, your recreation time. What are you doing with your family and friends in the free time you’ve created for yourself? What hobbies are you pursuing? What kinds of vacations do you take? What do you do for fun? 4. Next, what is your ideal vision of your body and your physical health? Are you free of all disease? Are you pain free? How long do you live? Are you open, relaxed, in an ecstatic state of bliss all day long? Are you full of vitality? Are you flexible as well as strong? Do you exercise, eat good food, and drink lots of water? How much do you weigh? 5. Then, move on to your ideal vision of your relationships with your family and friends. What is your relationship with your spouse and family like? Who are your friends? What do those friendships feel like? Are those relationships loving, supportive, empowering? What kinds of things do you do together? 6. What about the personal arena of your life? Do you see yourself going back to school, getting training, attending personal growth workshops, seeking therapy for a past hurt, or growing spiritually? Do you meditate or go on spiritual retreats with your church? Do you want to learn to play an instrument or write your autobiography? Do you want to run a marathon or take an art class? Do you want to travel to other countries? 7. Finally, focus on the community you’ve chosen to live in. What does it look like when it is operating perfectly? What kinds of community activities take place there? What charitable, philanthropic, or volunteer work? What do you do to help others and make a difference? How often do you participate in these activities? Who are you helping? You can write down your answers as you go, or you can do the whole exercise first and then open your eyes and write them down. In either case, make sure you capture everything in writing as soon as you complete the exercise. Every day, review the vision you have written down. This will keep your conscious and subconscious minds focused on your vision, and as you apply the other principles in this book, you will begin to manifest all the different aspects of your vision.
Jack Canfield (The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be)
Aorist rods were devices used in a now happily abandoned form of energy production. When the hunt for new sources of energy had at one point got particularly frantic, one bright young chap suddenly spotted that one place which had never used up all its available energy was – the past. And with the sudden rush of blood to the head that such insights tend to induce, he invented a way of mining it that very same night, and within a year huge tracts of the past were being drained of all their energy and simply wasting away. Those who claimed that the past should be left unspoilt were accused of indulging in an extremely expensive form of sentimentality. The past provided a very cheap, plentiful, and clean source of energy, there could always be a few Natural Past Reserves set up if anyone wanted to pay for their upkeep, and as for the claim that draining the past impoverished the present, well, maybe it did, slightly, but the effects were immeasurable and you really had to keep a sense of proportion. It was only when it was realised that the present really was being impoverished, and that the reason for it was that those selfish plundering wastrel bastards up in the future were doing exactly the same thing, that everyone realised that every single aorist rod, and the terrible secret of how they were made, would have to be utterly and forever destroyed.
Ann VanderMeer (The Time Traveler's Almanac)
Where is hell, anyway? Ancient man believed that hell was underground, in the center of the earth, where it was hot. This belief was based on the erroneous notion that the earth was the center of the universe. When science proved that the sun was the center of the solar system, then what? Well, the Bible and Sacred Tradition never again tried to define the exact location of hell. Because God created hell as a place to incarcerate the devil and all the bad angels who rebelled with him, and because angels are pure spirits and have no bodies that take up space, hell isn’t a physical place. It’s as real as heaven or purgatory, but you can’t travel to it anymore than a spaceship can reach heaven. The essence of hell isn’t a million degrees of heat from fire but from the heat that comes from hatred and bitterness. Hell is a lonely and selfish place; no matter how many souls it contains, not one of them cares about anyone else. It’s utter isolation as well as eternal torment, which is why everyone should want to avoid it at all cost. Heaven, on the other hand, is a place of happiness and joy because everyone there knows and loves each other. And, most of all, heaven is desirable because of what’s called beatific vision — seeing God face to face for eternity. Being in the presence of the Supreme Being who is all truth and all goodness ought to be the desire of every person.
John Trigilio Jr. (Catholicism and Catholic Mass For Dummies, Two eBook Bundle: Catholicism For Dummies and Catholic Mass For Dummies)
Chapter One: The world is flat. I know it is, because for the last five hours the view has been exactly the same. Only the sun has done any traveling, working its long shadows through straight lines of harvested cotton. A few crows shop the furrowed rows for worms, weevils, and grasshoppers. One hops over to inspect the truck I'm lying under, cocks a beady black eye, probably attracted to the shiny metal police-issued handcuffs, my hand in one of the cuffs, dangling from wrist to arm, and finally down to me, Lalla Bains, aero-ag pilot, sometime busybody, meddling where I shouldn't—again. I'm dirt smeared and sweaty, thinking if I get out of this alive, if the killer doesn't return to finish me off, I'll foreswear all future sleuthing. My dad, Caleb my fiancé, my best friend Roxanne, and half of Stanislaus County will be pleased to bear witness to that promise.
R.P. Dahlke (A Dead Red Oleander (A Dead Red, #3))
So what can we generalize about Victorian vampires? They are already dead, yet not exactly dead, and clammy-handed. They can be magnetically repelled by crucifixes and they don’t show up in mirrors. No one is safe; vampires prey upon strangers, family, and lovers. Unlike zombies, vampires are individualists, seldom traveling in packs and never en masse. Many suffer from mortuary halitosis despite our reasonable expectation that they would no longer breathe. But our vampires herein also differ in interesting ways. Some fear sunlight; others do not. Many are bound by a supernatural edict that forbids them to enter a home without some kind of invitation, no matter how innocently mistaken. Dracula, for example, greets Jonathan Harker with this creepy exclamation that underlines another recurring theme, the betrayal of innocence (and also explains why I chose Stoker’s story “Dracula’s Guest” as the title of this anthology): “Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will.” Yet other vampires seem immune to this hospitality prohibition. One common bit of folklore was that you ought never to refer to a suspected vampire by name, yet in some tales people do so without consequence. Contrary to their later presentation in movies and television, not all Victorian vampires are charming or handsome or beautiful. Some are gruesome. Some are fiends wallowing in satanic bacchanal and others merely contagious victims of fate, à la Typhoid Mary. A few, in fact, are almost sympathetic figures, like the hero of a Greek epic who suffers the anger of the gods. Curious bits of other similar folklore pop up in scattered places. Vampires in many cultures, for example, are said to be allergic to garlic. Over the centuries, this aromatic herb has become associated with sorcerers and even with the devil himself. It protected Odysseus from Circe’s spells. In Islamic folklore, garlic springs up from Satan’s first step outside the Garden of Eden and onion from his second. Garlic has become as important in vampire defense as it is in Italian cooking. If, after refilling your necklace sachet and outlining your window frames, you have some left over, you can even use garlic to guard your pets or livestock—although animals luxuriate in soullessness and thus appeal less to the undead. The vampire story as we know it was born in the early nineteenth century. As
Michael Sims (Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories)
Ah, well—this is why we live—to travel up and down life’s currents together, whether or not the timing is exactly right. 
Debora Geary (Witches Under Way (WitchLight Trilogy, #2))
Descriptive research may have first been used to document need for change by John Howard, who began to fret in 1773 over the inhumane conditions of the prisons in Bedford, England. In order to prove what he was saying, he traveled all over England, visiting jails and noting the exact number of prisoners, what crimes they had committed, the conditions under which they were held, and other matters concerning the prison system. After completing his descriptive study, he stood before the House of Commons and gave a detailed and precise report that became the basis for important prison reforms. Howard later compared English prisons with jails in other European countries. His book The State of Prisons (1777) was one of the first comparative-descriptive studies. After studying the prisons of the land, he went on to investigate the conditions in hospitals. In one of these places he contracted
Nancy Jean Vyhmeister (Quality Research Papers: For Students of Religion and Theology)
And I couldn't help wondering where the hell the fatherland was, what exactly were we fighting for? Did I find out? Ah, that's a good point. It may sound strange, but from talking to the other militiamen I realised it was our childhood memories we were fighting for.
Andrés Neuman (Traveler of the Century)
How would life be if we just existed without being altered, or if all our faults were the exact thing that made us beautiful? How would life be?
Malik Will (Lucifer Travels)
An ordinary travel agency took care of the practicalities of chartering trains in exactly the same way as they dealt with such matters normally. Ordinary railway staff were deployed to organise the logistics of the transport, plotting train times into schedules, passing information on through the system. The camps were built, personnel received their orders, the industry began. Some of the soldiers must have been picked out on account of their brutality, many being obvious sadists who could find outlet and indulge themselves here, while others were ordinary and, in any context, considerate men doing a job for work. Two years later they tried to remove all traces; having demolished Teblinka’s every structure they built a farm on the site and instructed the Ukrainian family they installed in it to say they had lived there always. The same occurred in Sobibor, Belzec and Chelmno, all traces gone. All around, life went on as nothing had happened.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 6 (Min kamp #6))
I believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours: The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all and then stands back to see if we can find them. Bravery means doing something scary. Fearlessness means not even understanding what the word scary means. If you can't travel comfortably along your fear, then you'll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting. Pure creativity is something better than a necessity; it's a gift. Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from the universe. As a songwriter, the only thing I really do is make jewelry for the inside of other people's minds. The essential ingredients for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust and those elements are universally accessible. I think perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear. We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is ever beyond criticism. Far too many creative people have been taught to distrust pleasure and to put their faith in struggle alone. Too many artists still believe that anguish is the only truly authentic emotional experience. Don't rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you. Your ego is a wonderful servant, but it's a terrible master - because the only thing your ego ever wants is reward, reward and more reward. And since there's never enough reward to satisfy, your ego will always be disappointed. Left unmanaged, that kind of disappointment will rot you from the inside out. An unchecked ego is what the Buddhists call a "hungry ghost" - forever famished, eternally howling with need and greed.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
THE DREAM OF back-to-nature surfing solitude had a predictable by-product: rank nostalgia. A high percentage of the stories I wrote in my journals involved time travel, most often back to an earlier California. Imagine going back to the days of the Chumash Indians, or the Spanish missions, if you could just take a modern surfboard with you. Malibu had been breaking exactly like this, unridden, for centuries, eons. You would probably be worshipped as a god by the locals once they saw you surf, and they would feed you, and you could ride great waves with perfect concentration—uncontested ownership, accumulating mastery—for the rest of your days. There were a couple of photos in Surfing Guide to Southern California that illustrated, to my mind, just how narrow a margin in time we had all missed paradise by. One was of Rincon, taken in 1947 from the mountain behind the point on a sheet-glass, ten-foot day. The caption, unnecessarily, invited the reader to note “a tantalizing absence of people.” The other was of Malibu in 1950. It showed a lone surfer streaking across an eight-foot wall, with members of the public playing obliviously on the sand in the foreground. The surfer was Bob Simmons, a brilliant recluse who essentially invented the modern finned surfboard. He drowned while surfing alone in 1954.
William Finnegan (Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life)
who knows how fast a second-guess can travel? Who has ever measured the exact speed of regret
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
Know what you really want to have in life: “Is it wealth, friends, travel, husband or wife?” Unless you can exactly point them out, you may already have them, still you pout.
Rodolfo Martin Vitangcol
But where did the watch come from? This watch is a jinni—elderly Miss McKenna gives it to the young playwright, who takes it back in time to deliver it to her as a young woman. She keeps it all her life until it is time to return it to him. So who made the watch? No one. The watch never went anywhere near a watch factory. Its world line is circular. Novikov has noted that in the case of a macroscopic jinni like this the outside world must always expend energy to repair any wear-and-tear (entropy) it has accumulated so it can be returned exactly to its original condition as it completes its loop. Permissible in theory, macroscopic jinn are improbable. The whole story in Somewhere in Time could have taken place without the watch. The watch seems particularly unlikely since it appears to keep good time. One could have imagined finding a nonworking watch or perhaps a paper clip that passes back and forth between the couple. How lucky to encounter a watch that works! According to quantum mechanics, if one has enough energy, one can always make a macroscopic object spontaneously appear (along with associated antiparticles, which have equal mass but opposite electric charge)—it’s just extremely unlikely. Similarly with jinn, it would be more improbable to find a watch than a paper clip and more improbable to find a paper clip than an electron. The more massive and more complex the macroscopic jinni, the rarer it will be.
J. Richard Gott III (Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time)
He then pointed to the right, and I turned to look. Exactly on cue, something massive came around the corner: a snaking, vehicular army that included a phalanx of police cars and motorcycles, a number of black SUVs, two armored limousines with American flags mounted on their hoods, a hazmat mitigation truck, a counterassault team riding with machine guns visible, an ambulance, a signals truck equipped to detect incoming projectiles, several passenger vans, and another group of police escorts. The presidential motorcade. It was at least twenty vehicles long, moving in orchestrated formation, car after car after car, before finally the whole fleet rolled to a quiet halt, and the limos stopped directly in front of Barack’s parked plane. I turned to Cornelius. “Is there a clown car?” I said. “Seriously, this is what he’s going to travel with now?” He smiled. “Every day for his entire presidency, yes,” he said. “It’s going to look like this all the time.” I took in the spectacle: thousands and thousands of pounds of metal, a squad of commandos, bulletproof everything. I had yet to grasp that Barack’s protection was still only half-visible. I didn’t know that he’d also, at all times, have a nearby helicopter ready to evacuate him, that sharpshooters would position themselves on rooftops along the routes he traveled, that a personal physician would always be with him in case of a medical problem, or that the vehicle he rode in contained a store of blood of the appropriate type in case he ever needed a transfusion. In a matter of weeks, just ahead of Barack’s inauguration, the presidential limo would be upgraded to a newer model—aptly named the Beast—a seven-ton tank disguised as a luxury vehicle, tricked out with hidden tear-gas cannons, rupture-proof tires, and a sealed ventilation system meant to get him through a biological or chemical attack.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
As the physical body becomes less dense, there is an increasing sensibility and awareness to the subtle elements of the ether which were once unknown to the perceptive senses. The being then becomes knowledgeable of things that to others are not yet part of their reality. This new elevated state leads him to be seen by those others as crazy and out of touch with common sense. For the one who reaches such stage, however, there is an overwhelming sensation of lone wonder, where beauty is found in nothing but an empty garden of extraordinary flowers with different fragrances and colors. To this individual, the world has ceased to exist in its meanings for it is a world of brute ignorance and dark unconsciousness, guided by self-deceptive impulses. He is like a traveler in time stuck in the past. He has evolved but cannot escape the time-line in which he is in. He is blessed while led to think by fools that he is cursed. And the only thing he needs to do, in order to close the gap between his new self and the physical world, consists in looking inwards and appreciate the decadence around him from the perspective of the Observer. Once he can do that, he can be one with the Great Architect and start thinking like a god. In that precise moment, he is freed from any time-line and all the secrets are revealed unto him. His soul becomes boundless and his personality as fluid as water. He can be anything with a burning fire, and nothing like air, at the exact same time; he can love everyone like fertile soil for growth, and no one, as if he was just air; he can be everywhere and nowhere, like darkness, but also attach and detach at will, like light. And he can also have the power to unroot himself from any will produced by any thought that he might or not have chosen to have.
Dan Desmarques (Codex Illuminatus: Quotes & Sayings of Dan Desmarques)
Follow the ones that have once traveled the same path you do, because history repeats itself. In every generation, we have exactly the same kind of people we had in the past, in new stages of expression. The ones that created the television represent now the ones creating the iPad, the one that created the first plane is now like the one making satellites, and the one that once travelled around the unexplored sea, is as the one now traveling around the unexplored space. If you learn from the ones that have done what you do, you can learn much in order to move faster in your field than anyone else.
Dan Desmarques (Codex Illuminatus: Quotes & Sayings of Dan Desmarques)
Over a year ago, Heather had read an article on quantum twins. Quantum theory predicted and experimentation had shown it possible to produce a pair of particles that shared the same quantum state. If something was done to one of the particles that changed its state, the state of the other particle changed at exactly the same time. This was true no matter how much distance separated the pair, something that at first glance appeared to violate the special theory of relativity’s prohibition on any information traveling faster than the speed of light. But the twin particles were bound together as if by magic.
Richard Phillips (The Second Ship (The Rho Agenda, #1))
The problem with police officers and firefighters isn’t a public-sector problem; it isn’t a problem with government; it’s a problem with the entire society. It’s what happened on Wall Street in the run-up to the subprime crisis. It’s a problem of people taking what they can, just because they can, without regard to the larger social consequences. It’s not just a coincidence that the debts of cities and states spun out of control at the same time as the debts of individual Americans. Alone in a dark room with a pile of money, Americans knew exactly what they wanted to do, from the top of the society to the bottom. They’d been conditioned to grab as much as they could, without thinking about the long-term consequences. Afterward, the people on Wall Street would privately bemoan the low morals of the American people who walked away from their subprime loans, and the American people would express outrage at the Wall Street people who paid themselves a fortune to design the bad loans.
Michael Lewis (Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World)