Expectant Father Quotes

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Fathers never have exactly the daughters they want because they invent a notion a them that the daughters have to conform to.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Woman Destroyed)
Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.
Andrew Murray
Oh God, I’m a cliché,” he said in despair. “Why do I care? If Dad decides he hates me because I’m not straight, he’s not worth the pain, right?” “Don’t look at me,” said Jace. “My adoptive father was a mass murderer. And I still worried about what he thought. It’s what we’re programmed to do. Your dad always seemed pretty great by comparison. “Sure, he likes you,” said Alec. “You’re heterosexual and have low expectations of father figures.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
My father wrote: "Always question where your loyalties lie. The people you trust will expect it, your greatest enemies will desire it, and those you treasure the most, will, without fail, abuse it.
Emily Thorne
Someone once said that every man is trying to live up to his father's expectations or make up for their father's mistakes....
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
I've been down by the stream collecting berries. Would you care for some?" I would, actually, but I don't want to relent too soon. I do walk over and look at them. I've never seen this type before. No, I have. But not in the arena. These aren't Rue's berries, although they resemble them. Nor do they match any I learned about in training. I lean down and scoop up a few, rolling them between my fingers. My father's voice comes back to me. "Not these, Katniss. Never these. They're nightlock. You'll be dead before they reach your stomach." Just then the cannon fires. I whip around, expecting Peeta to collapseto the ground, but he only raises his eyebrows. The hoovercraft appears a hundred metres or so away.What's left of Foxface's emaciated body is lifted into the air.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
...I've made it my business to observe fathers and daughters. And I've seen some incredible, beautiful things. Like the little girl who's not very cute - her teeth are funny, and her hair doesn't grow right, and she's got on thick glasses - but her father holds her hand and walks with her like she's a tiny angel that no one can touch. He gives her the best gift a woman can get in this world: protection. And the little girl learns to trust the man in her life. And all the things that the world expects from women - to be beautiful, to soothe the troubled spirit, heal the sick, care for the dying, send the greeting card, bake the cake - allof those things become the way we pay the father back for protecting us...
Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1))
The Lord doesn't expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn't (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I realized right then and there, in that hallway, that I wanted no other... I became the man she needed me to be because she had sense enough to have requirements-standards that she needed in her relationship in order to make the relationship work for her. She knew she wanted a monogamous relationship-a partnership with a man who wanted to be a dedicated husband and father. She also knew this man had to be faithful, love God, and be willing to do what it took to keep this family together. On a smaller scale she also made it clear that she expected to be treated like a lady at every turn-I'm talking opening car doors for her, pulling out her seat when she's ready to sit at the table, coming correct on anniversary, Mother's Day, and birthday gifts, keeping the foul talk to a minimum. These requirements are important to her because they lay out a virtual map of what I need to do to make sure she gets what she needs and wants. After all, it's universal knowledge that when mama is happy, everybody is happy. And it is my sole mission in life to make sure Marjorie is happy.
Steve Harvey (Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment)
One of the best things a father can do for his daughter is let her know that she has met his expectations. My father did that for me, and no amount of effort on my part can fully repay the debt.
Lisa Wingate (Before We Were Yours)
never could I expect to be so truly beloved and important; so always first and always right in any man's eyes as I am in my father's...
Jane Austen (Emma)
I feel as if he is judging me, only to find I’ve fallen short of his expectations. I recognize it, because I've seen such a disappointing look before. Father’s.
S.G. Blaise (The Last Lumenian (The Last Lumenian, #1))
You are determined to hate him [Snape], Harry,” said Lupin with a faint smile. “And I understand; with James as your father, with Sirius as your godfather, you have inherited an old prejudice. By all means tell Dumbledore what you have told Arthur and me, but do not expect him to share your view of the matter; do not even expect him to be surprised by what you tell him. It might have been on Dumbledore’s orders that Severus questioned Draco.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
It behooves a father to be blameless if he expects his child to be.
Homer
For all prayer is answered. Don't tell God how to answer it. Make thy wants known to Him. Live as if ye expected them to be answered. For He has given, "What ye ask in my name, believing, that will my Father in heaven give to thee.
Edgar Evans Cayce
We hear a great deal about the rudeness of the ris- ing generation. I am an oldster myself and might be expected to take the oldsters' side, but in fact I have been far more impressed by the bad manners of par- ents to children than by those of children to parents. Who has not been the embarrassed guest at family meals where the father or mother treated their grown-up offspring with an incivility which, offered to any other young people, would simply have termi- nated the acquaintance? Dogmatic assertions on mat- ters which the children understand and their elders don't, ruthless interruptions, flat contradictions, ridicule of things the young take seriously some- times of their religion insulting references to their friends, all provide an easy answer to the question "Why are they always out? Why do they like every house better than their home?" Who does not prefer civility to barbarism?
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
You know what talent is? The curse of expectation. As a kid you have to deal with that, beat it somehow. If you can write, you think God put you on earth to blow Shakespeare away. Or if you can paint, maybe you think--I did--that God put you on earth to blow your father away.
Stephen King (The Mist)
Addiction" might be the best word to explain the lostness that so deeply permeates society. Our addiction make us cling to what the world proclaims as the keys to self-fulfillment: accumulation of wealth and power; attainment of status and admiration; lavish consumption of food and drink, and sexual gratification without distinguishing between lust and love. These addictions create expectations that cannot but fail to satisfy our deepest needs. As long as we live within the world's delusions, our addictions condemn us to futile quests in "the distant country," leaving us to face an endless series of disillusionments while our sense of self remains unfulfilled. In these days of increasing addictions, we have wandered far away from our Father's home. The addicted life can aptly be designated a life lived in "a distant country." It is from there that our cry for deliverance rises up.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming)
[…] his own father told him that talent is sort of a dark gift, that talent is its own expectation: it is there from the start and either lived up to or lost.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
I used to listen to the monks repeating the Lord's Prayer; I wondered how they could continue to pray without misgiving to their heavenly father to give them their daily bread. Do children beseech their earthly father to give them sustenance? They expect him to do it, they neither feel gratitude to him for doing so nor need to, and we have only blame for a man who brings children into the world that he can't or won't provide for. It seemed to me that if an omnipotent creator was not prepared to provide for his creatures with the necessities, material and spiritual, of existence he'd have done better not to create them.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
Dads. It’s time to show our sons how to properly treat a woman. It’s time to show our daughters how a girl should expect be treated. It’s time to show forgiveness and compassion. It’s time to show our children empathy. It’s time to break social norms and teach a healthier way of life! It’s time to teach good gender roles and to ditch the unnecessary ones. Does it really matter if your son likes the color pink? Is it going to hurt anybody? Do you not see the damage it inflicts to tell a boy that there is something wrong with him because he likes a certain color? Do we not see the damage we do in labeling our girls “tom boys” or our boys “feminine” just because they have their own likes and opinions on things? Things that really don’t matter?
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
On Stripping Bark from Myself (for Jane, who said trees die from it) Because women are expected to keep silent about their close escapes I will not keep silent and if I am destroyed (naked tree!) someone will please mark the spot where I fall and know I could not live silent in my own lies hearing their 'how nice she is!' whose adoration of the retouched image I so despise. No. I am finished with living for what my mother believes for what my brother and father defend for what my lover elevates for what my sister, blushing, denies or rushes to embrace. I find my own small person a standing self against the world an equality of wills I finally understand. Besides: My struggle was always against an inner darkness: I carry within myself the only known keys to my death – to unlock life, or close it shut forever. A woman who loves wood grains, the color yellow and the sun, I am happy to fight all outside murderers as I see I must.
Alice Walker (Her Blue Body Everything We Know: Earthling Poems 1965-1990 Complete)
A man inherited a field in which was an accumulation of old stone, part of an older hall. Of the old stone some had already been used in building the house in which he actually lived, not far from the old house of his fathers. Of the rest he took some and built a tower. But his friends coming perceived at once (without troubling to climb the steps) that these stones had formerly belonged to a more ancient building. So they pushed the tower over, with no little labour, and in order to look for hidden carvings and inscriptions, or to discover whence the man's distant forefathers had obtained their building material. Some suspecting a deposit of coal under the soil began to dig for it, and forgot even the stones. They all said: 'This tower is most interesting.' But they also said (after pushing it over): 'What a muddle it is in!' And even the man's own descendants, who might have been expected to consider what he had been about, were heard to murmur: 'He is such an odd fellow! Imagine using these old stones just to build a nonsensical tower! Why did not he restore the old house? he had no sense of proportion.' But from the top of that tower the man had been able to look out upon the sea.
J.R.R. Tolkien (Beowulf and the Critics (Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, #248))
Hope is the greatest madness. What can we expect of a world that we enter with the assurance of seeing our fathers and mothers die? A world where, if two beings love each other and give their lives to each other, both can be sure that one will watch the other perish?
Alfred de Vigny (Stello (Spanish Edition))
she didn’t tell them she’d taken her father for granted and carried her blinkered, self-righteous perspective of him from childhood through to his death, when in fact he’d done nothing wrong except fail to live up to her feminist expectations of him
Bernardine Evaristo (Girl, Woman, Other)
My father’s family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.
Charles Dickens (Great Expectations)
My father greeted me with his usual air of mild regret.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
Treat all men alike.... give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free man...free to travel... free to stop...free to work...free to choose my own teachers...free to follow the religion of my Fathers...free to think and talk and act for myself.
Dee Brown (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West)
One of the best things a father can do for his daughter is let her know that she has met his expectations.
Lisa Wingate (Before We Were Yours)
Christians who live out of who they really are cannot be crippled by the opinions of others. They no longer work to fit into other people’s expectations; they burn with the realization of who the Father says they are.
Bill Johnson (Spiritual Java)
But her attention was on the prince across from her, who seemed utterly ignored by his father and his own court, shoved down near the end with her and Aedion. He ate so beautifully, she thought, watching him cut into his roast chicken. Not a drop moved out of place, not a scrap fell on the table. She had decent manners, while Aedion was hopeless, his plate littered with bones and crumbs scattered everywhere, even some on her own dress. She’d kicked him for it, but his attention was too focused on the royals down the table. So both she and the Crown Prince were to be ignored, then. She looked at the boy again, who was around her age, she supposed. His skin was from the winter, his blue-black hair neatly trimmed; his sapphire eyes lifted from his plate to meet hers. “You eat like a fine lady,” she told him. His lips thinned and color stained his ivory cheeks. Across from her, Quinn, her uncle’s Captain of the Guard, choked on his water. The prince glanced at his father—still busy with her uncle—before replying. Not for approval, but in fear. “I eat like a prince,” Dorian said quietly. “You do not need to cut your bread with a fork and knife,” she said. A faint pounding started in her head, followed by a flickering warmth, but she ignored it. The hall was hot, as they’d shut all the windows for some reason. “Here in the North,” she went on as the prince’s knife and fork remained where they were on his dinner roll, “you need not be so formal. We don’t put on airs.” Hen, one of Quinn’s men, coughed pointedly from a few seats down. She could almost hear him saying, Says the little lady with her hair pressed into careful curls and wearing her new dress that she threatened to skin us over if we got dirty. She gave Hen an equally pointed look, then returned her attention to the foreign prince. He’d already looked down at his food again, as if he expected to be neglected for the rest of the night. And he looked lonely enough that she said, “If you like, you could be my friend.” Not one of the men around them said anything, or coughed. Dorian lifted his chin. “I have a friend. He is to be Lord of Anielle someday, and the fiercest warrior in the land.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
Once there was a boy,” said Jace. Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?” “Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky. “The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. “He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen. “He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. “Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’ “Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Then my father's features hardened. "You can't expect my blessings on this disastrous mistake." The words were directed at me, but Vlad responded. "I wouldn't insult you by asking. We both know you disapprove and we both know I don't care. Leila's opinion is the only one that matters, and she said yes.
Jeaniene Frost (Twice Tempted (Night Prince, #2))
Cruelty is not the only way fathers can ruin their sons. Expectations can do the same damage.
Sarah MacLean (The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel, #1))
Parents expect only two things from their children, obedience in their childhood and respect in their adulthood.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
He smiled at her. “Now, are you going to thank me properly?” “I said ‘thank you.’ That’s considered in some cultures as thanking you properly.” “I was hoping for a little more than that.” She studied him for a long moment before she nodded. “All right.” She scooted down a bit on the bed, pulled her gown up high on her thighs, and relaxed back into the mattress. “If you could make it quick before the food gets here, that would be great.” Gwenvael felt a small twitch beneath his eye. He often got something similar right on his eyelid but only when he had to deal with his father. Apparently a new one had developed that belonged only to Lady Dagmar. “That’s not what I meant.” “I hope you’re not expecting me to get on my knees because I don’t think the healer—” “No!” Good gods, this woman! “That’s not what I meant, either.” “That’s always what men mean when they ask to be thanked properly.” “Your world frightens me. I want us to be clear on that.” He leaned over and grabbed her waist, lifting her until her back again rested on the propped-up pillows. “I’m unclear as to what you want, then.” “A kiss,” he said, pulling her dress back down to her ankles. “A simple kiss.
G.A. Aiken (What a Dragon Should Know (Dragon Kin, #3))
After spending most of her life scanning the horizon for slights and threats, genuine and imagined, she knew the real threat to her happiness came not from the dot in the distance, but from looking for it. Expecting it. Waiting for it. And in some cases, creating it. Her father had jokingly accused her of living in the wreckage of her future. Until one day she’d looked deep into his eyes and saw he wasn’t joking. He was warning her.
Louise Penny (The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #10))
What then did you expect when you unbound the gag that muted those black mouths? That they would chant your praises? Did you think that when those heads that our fathers had forcibly bowed down to the ground were raised again, you would find adoration in their eyes?
Jean-Paul Sartre (Black Orpheus)
Usually at least once in a person's childhood we lose an object that at the time is invaluable and irreplaceable to us, although it is worthless to others. Many people remember that lost article for the rest of their lives. Whether it was a lucky pocketknife, a transparent plastic bracelet given to you by your father, a toy you had longed for and never expected to receive, but there it was under the tree on Christmas... it makes no difference what it was. If we describe it to others and explain why it was so important, even those who love us smile indulgently because to them it sounds like a trivial thing to lose. Kid stuff. But it is not. Those who forget about this object have lost a valuable, perhaps even crucial memory. Becuase something central to our younger self resided in that thing. When we lost it, for whatever reason, a part of us shifted permanently.
Jonathan Carroll (The Ghost in Love)
My own father had always said the measure of a man wasn't how many times or how hard he got knocked down, but how fast he got back up. I made a pledge to myself that I would get up and emerge from this debacle better for having gone through it. I would live up to the expectation I had for myself. I would be the kind of man I wanted to be.
Joe Biden (Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics)
Our Father in Heaven does not wish us to cower. He does not want us to wallow in our misery. He expects us to square our shoulders, roll up our sleeves, and overcome our challenges.
Joseph B. Wirthlin
Father monks, why do you fast! Why do you expect reward in heaven for that?...No, saintly monk, you try being virtuous in the world, do good to society, without shutting yourself up in a monastery at other people's expense, and without expecting a reward up aloft for it--you'll find that a bit harder.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
The study was slowly lit up as the candle was brought in. The familiar details came out: the stag's horns, the bookshelves, the looking-glass, the stove with its ventilator, which had long wanted mending, his father's sofa, a large table, on the table an open book, a broken ash-tray, a manuscript-book with his handwriting. As he saw all this, there came over him for an instant a doubt of the possibility of arranging this new life, of which he had been dreaming on the road. All these traces of his life seemed to clutch him, and to say to him: 'No, you're not going to get away from us, and you're not going to be different, but you're going to be the same as you've always been; with doubts, everlasting dissatisfaction with yourself, vain efforts to amend, and falls, and everlasting expectations, of a happiness which you won't get, and which isn't possible for you.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Then my mother shocked me. She said, " All those things that you want from your relationship, Liz? I have always wanted those things too." [She] showed me the handful of bullets she'd had to bite over the decades in order to stay happily married (and she was happily married...) to my father. "You have to understand how little I was raised to expect that I desired in life, honey. Remember- I come from a different time and place... and you have to understand how much I love your father.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Son" his father said, leaning forward. "Stories don't always have happy endings." This stopped him. Because they didn't, did they? That's one thing the monster had definitely taught him. Stories were wild, wild animals and went off in directions you couldn't expect.
Patrick Ness (A Monster Calls)
His Presbyterian minster father had believed in a divine design, and Mozasu believed that life was like this game where the player could adjust the dials yet also expect the uncertainty of factors he couldn't control. He understood why his customers wanted to play something that looked fixed but which also left room for randomness and hope.
Min Jin Lee (Pachinko)
It is easy to show that the ego ideal answers to everything that is expected of the higher nature of man. As a substitute for a longing for the father, it contains the germ from which all religions have evolved.
Sigmund Freud (The Ego and the Id)
Because of something she heard in school, Corrie asked her father what "sex sin" was while the two of them were riding on a train together. The father asked the little girl to carry his bag off the train. When she admitted that she could not do so, he said he would not be much of a father to expect this of her. The load was too heavy. This was the case, he said, with some knowledge. She needed to trust her father to give her knowledge at the right time.
Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom)
When his father asked why A wasn't apple or B wasn't bird or C wasn't cat, young Ambrose explained that things didn't always have to be the way you'd expect. Everybody does apples and birds and cats, he said, and it's boring to do what everybody else does.
C.S. Richardson (The End of the Alphabet)
Will glanced over at Cordelia and smiled. “We could ask for no lovelier girl to be his wife.” Alastair looked as if he wished to edge away. Cordelia didn’t blame him. “Thank you, Mr. Herondale,” she said. “I hope to live up to your expectations.” Tessa looked surprised. “Why would you ever worry about that?” “Cordelia worries,” Alastair said unexpectedly, “because of the idiots who mutter about our father, and our family. She should not let them bother her.” Tessa laid a gentle hand on Cordelia’s shoulder. “The cruel will always spread rumors,” she said. “And others who take pleasure in that cruelty will believe them and spread them. But I believe that in the end, truth wins out. Besides,” she added with a smile, “the most interesting women are always the most whispered about.
Cassandra Clare (Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1))
All these years I thought a piece of my life was missing. But it was there all along. It was there when I sat beside you in your car and you began to drive. It was there when I sang backwards and you laughed or I made a picnic and you ate every crumb. It was there when you told me you liked my brown suit, when you opened the door for me, when you asked once if I would like to take the long road home. It came later in my garden. When I looked at the sun and saw it glow on my hands. When a rosebud appeared where there had not been one before. It was in the people who stopped and talked of this and that over the garden wall. And just when I thought my life was done, it came time and time again at the hospice. It has been everywhere, my happiness – when my mother sang for me to dance, when my father took my hand to keep me safe – but it was such a small, plain thing that I mistook it for something ordinary and failed to see. We expect our happiness to come with a sign and bells, but it doesn’t.
Rachel Joyce (The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Harold Fry, #2))
Let's say that the consensus is that our species, being the higher primates, Homo Sapiens, has been on the planet for at least 100,000 years, maybe more. Francis Collins says maybe 100,000. Richard Dawkins thinks maybe a quarter-of-a-million. I'll take 100,000. In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 98,000 years, our species suffered and died, most of its children dying in childbirth, most other people having a life expectancy of about 25 years, dying of their teeth. Famine, struggle, bitterness, war, suffering, misery, all of that for 98,000 years. Heaven watches this with complete indifference. And then 2000 years ago, thinks 'That's enough of that. It's time to intervene,' and the best way to do this would be by condemning someone to a human sacrifice somewhere in the less literate parts of the Middle East. Don't lets appeal to the Chinese, for example, where people can read and study evidence and have a civilization. Let's go to the desert and have another revelation there. This is nonsense. It can't be believed by a thinking person. Why am I glad this is the case? To get to the point of the wrongness of Christianity, because I think the teachings of Christianity are immoral. The central one is the most immoral of all, and that is the one of vicarious redemption. You can throw your sins onto somebody else, vulgarly known as scapegoating. In fact, originating as scapegoating in the same area, the same desert. I can pay your debt if I love you. I can serve your term in prison if I love you very much. I can volunteer to do that. I can't take your sins away, because I can't abolish your responsibility, and I shouldn't offer to do so. Your responsibility has to stay with you. There's no vicarious redemption. There very probably, in fact, is no redemption at all. It's just a part of wish-thinking, and I don't think wish-thinking is good for people either. It even manages to pollute the central question, the word I just employed, the most important word of all: the word love, by making love compulsory, by saying you MUST love. You must love your neighbour as yourself, something you can't actually do. You'll always fall short, so you can always be found guilty. By saying you must love someone who you also must fear. That's to say a supreme being, an eternal father, someone of whom you must be afraid, but you must love him, too. If you fail in this duty, you're again a wretched sinner. This is not mentally or morally or intellectually healthy. And that brings me to the final objection - I'll condense it, Dr. Orlafsky - which is, this is a totalitarian system. If there was a God who could do these things and demand these things of us, and he was eternal and unchanging, we'd be living under a dictatorship from which there is no appeal, and one that can never change and one that knows our thoughts and can convict us of thought crime, and condemn us to eternal punishment for actions that we are condemned in advance to be taking. All this in the round, and I could say more, it's an excellent thing that we have absolutely no reason to believe any of it to be true.
Christopher Hitchens
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled. There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation. She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come. I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it. Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?” She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?” She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.” This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment. I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness. When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
You’re wrong about my father,” she said. “I know he’s difficult—but he loves me. And I love him.” “No,” said Ruth firmly. “At best, let’s call it a desire to be loved. At worst, it’s a pathological attachment to a narcissistic man: a melting pot of gratitude, fear, expectation, and dutiful obedience that has nothing to do with love in the true sense of the word. You don’t love him. Nor do you know or love yourself.
Alex Michaelides (The Maidens)
Bullshitting god would be Max's plan in a nutshell. Miles could even guess his father's opening gambit. He'd point out to God that if He expected better results, He ought to have given Max better character to work with, instead of sending him into battle so poorly equipped.
Richard Russo (Empire Falls)
I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another. I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it yet more refined and enduring. And all men of my age, here and over there, throughout the whole world see these things; all my generation is experiencing these things with me. What would our fathers do if we suddenly stood up and came before them and proffered our account? What do they expect of us if a time ever comes when the war is over? Through the years our business has been killing;—it was our first calling in life. Our knowledge of life is limited to death. What will happen afterwards? And what shall come out of us?
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
My father once made us," she began, "keep a diary, in two columns; on one side we were to put down in the morning what we thought would be the course and events of the coming day, and at night we were to put down on the other side what really had happened. It would be to some people rather a sad way of telling their lives," (a tear dropped upon my hand at these words) - "I don't mean that mine has been sad, only so very different to what I expected.
Elizabeth Gaskell (Cranford)
Does your father know you're on this trip with me?” I asked. “No. We spoke for a minute before he left this morning. He knows I'm going on a trip with a particularly stubborn virgin, but that's all I told him. He commended me for my valiant efforts, although he thinks it's too much time to spend with one girl. He expects her to be good and deflowered by the end of our time together.” “Well, he'll be good and disappointed then,” I mumbled, and he smirked.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
There is so much I hope to teach you, little one. I hope that I may do so by example, but I feel the need to put the words to paper as well. It is a quirk of mine, one which I expect you will recognize and find amusing by the time you read this letter. Be strong. Be diligent. Be conscientious. There is never anything to be gained by taking the easy road. (Unless, of course, the road is an easy one to begin with. Roads sometimes are. If that should be the case, do not forge a new, more difficult one. Only martyrs go out looking for trouble.) Love your siblings. You have two already, and God willing, there will be more. Love them well, for they are your blood, and when you are unsure, or times are difficult, they will be the ones to stand by your side. Laugh. Laugh out loud, and laugh often. And when circumstances call for silence, turn your laugh into a smile. Don't settle. Know what you want and reach for it. And if you don't know what you want, be patient. The answers will come to you in time, and you may find that your heart s desire has been right under your nose all the while. And remember, always remember that you have a mother and a father who love each other and love you. I feel you growing restless. Your father is making strange gasping sounds and will surely lose his temper altogether if I do not move from my escritoire to my bed. Welcome to the world, little one. We are all so delighted to make your acquaintance.
Julia Quinn (To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgertons, #5))
Dads. Do you honestly expect anybody to believe that you can’t find 20 minutes to step away from your computer or turn off the television to play with your child? It has to happen every single day. Do you not understand that children will hinge their entire facet of trust on whether or not their dad plays with them and how involved he is when he plays with them? Do you know the damage you do by not playing with your children every day?
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing: The Best of Year One)
As for the use of the bomb, she would say, “It was war and we had to expect it.” And then she would add, “Shikata ga nai,” a Japanese expression as common as, and corresponding to, the Russian word “nichevo”: “It can’t be helped. Oh, well. Too bad.” Dr. Fujii said approximately the same thing about the use of the bomb to Father Kleinsorge one evening, in German: “Da ist nichts zu machen. There’s nothing to be done about it.
John Hersey (Hiroshima)
The baron reminds me of someone, but I can't quite put my finger on who it is," Ramsey remarked. "I swear my own father never talked to me the way Gillian's uncle just did." "Your father died before you were old enough to know him." "It was humiliating, damn it. He sure as certain wasn't what I expected. The way Gillian talked about him, I pictured a mild-mannered gentleman. She thinks he's… gentle. Is the woman blind? How in God's name can she love such a crotchety old…" Ramsey's head snapped up, and he suddenly burst into laughter, breaking Brodick's train of thought. "It's you." "What?" "Morgan… he reminds me of you. My God, Gillian married a man just like her uncle. Look at the baron and you'll see yourself in twenty years." "Are you suggesting I'm going to become a belligerent, foul-tempered old man?" "Hell, you're already belligerent and foul-tempered. No wonder she fell in love with you," he drawled
Julie Garwood (Ransom (Highlands' Lairds, #2))
Nose to nose with her, he gave her his best bad dog snarl. "You've forgotten who and what you're dealing with here, princess. So let me jar your memory. I'm not on your father's short list of men you can bring home to dinner. I'm not a nice man. So if all you're looking for is sex...just keep this up and you're liable to get it. And don't expect some polite little in-and-out and 'oh darling, that was lovely.' You come to my bed, I'm going to fuck you, and there won't be anything polite about it.
Cindy Gerard (To the Edge (The Bodyguards #1))
In the Russian Orthodox Church there is the concept of the Holy Fool. It means someone who is a fool to the ways of the world, but wise to the ways of God. I think that Ted, from the moment he saw the baby, knew that he could not possibly be the father. ...Perhaps he saw in that moment that if he so much as questioned the baby's fatherhood, it would mean humiliation for the child and might jeopardize his entire future. ...Perhaps he understood that he could not reasonably expect an independent and energetic spirit like Winnie to find him sexually exciting and fulfilling. ...And so he decided upon the most unexpected, and yet the simplest course of all. He chose to be such a Fool that he couldn't see the obvious.
Jennifer Worth (The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times)
Modern liberalism suffers unresolved contradictions. It exalts individualism and freedom and, on its radical wing, condemns social orders as oppressive. On the other hand, it expects government to provide materially for all, a feat manageable only by an expansion of authority and a swollen bureaucracy. In other words, liberalism defines government as tyrant father but demands it behave as nurturant mother.
Camille Paglia (Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism)
Live no longer to the expectation of these deceived and deceiving people with whom we converse. Say to them, O father, O mother, O wife, O brother, O friend, I have lived with you after appearances hitherto. Henceforward I am the truth's. Be it known unto you that henceforward I obey no law less than the eternal law. I will have no covenants but proximities. I shall endeavor to nourish my parents, to nourish my family, to be the chaste husband of one wife, - but these relations I must fill after a new and unprecedented way. I appeal from your customs. I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. I will not hide my tastes or aversions. I will so trust that what is deep is holy, that I will strongly believe before the sun and moon whatever inly rejoices me, and the heart appoints. If you are noble, I will love you; if you are not, I will not hurt you and myself by hypocritical attentions. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly. It is alike your interest, and mine, and all men's, however long we have dwelt in lies, to live in truth. Does this sound harsh to-day? You will soon love what is dictated by your nature as well as mine, and, if we follow the truth, it will bring us out safe at last. --- But so you may give these friends pain. Yes, but I cannot sell my liberty and my power, to save their sensibility.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Something, somewhere, somewhen, must have happened differently... PETUNIA EVANS married Michael Verres, a Professor of Biochemistry at Oxford. HARRY JAMES POTTER-EVANS-VERRES grew up in a house filled to the brim with books. He once bit a math teacher who didn't know what a logarithm was. He's read Godel, Escher, Bach and Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases and volume one of The Feynman Lectures on Physics. And despite what everyone who's met him seems to fear, he doesn't want to become the next Dark Lord. He was raised better than that. He wants to discover the laws of magic and become a god. HERMIONE GRANGER is doing better than him in every class except broomstick riding. DRACO MALFOY is exactly what you would expect an eleven-year-old boy to be like if Darth Vader were his doting father. PROFESSOR QUIRRELL is living his lifelong dream of teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts, or as he prefers to call his class, Battle Magic. His students are all wondering what's going to go wrong with the Defense Professor this time. DUMBLEDORE is either insane, or playing some vastly deeper game which involved setting fire to a chicken. DEPUTY HEADMISTRESS MINERVA MCGONAGALL needs to go off somewhere private and scream for a while. Presenting: HARRY POTTER AND THE METHODS OF RATIONALITY You ain't guessin' where this one's going.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
Because our world is not the same as Othello’s world. You can’t make flivvers without steel-and you can’t make tragedies without social instability. The world’s stable now. People are happy; they get what they want, and they never want what they can’t get. They’re well off; they’re safe; they’re never ill; they’re not afraid of death; they’re blissfully ignorant of passion and old age; they’re plagued with no mothers or fathers; they’ve got no wives, or children, or lovers to feel strongly about; they’re so conditioned that they practically can’t help behaving as they ought to behave. And if anything should go wrong, there’s soma. Which you go and chuck out of the window in the name of liberty, Mr. Savage. Liberty!” He laughed. “Expecting Deltas to know what liberty is! And now expecting them to understand Othello! My good boy!
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
How is he?" "Who?" "Your father." Of all the things Claire had expected, that wasn't it, and it took her a minute of honest puzzlement to try to work out why someone like Frank Collins would even care. She finally said,"He's doing okay. I talked to my mom yesterday; the doctors think they can fix his heart problem. He's feeling a lot better." Frank nodded. "Good. Family's important," he said. "Maybe too important, sometimes. Iknow how much I screwed it up with Shane. Can't blame the kid for hating me now." It was almost a . . . question? And if it was a question, what could Claire say? Yeah, he hates your guts. That probably wasn't what Frank was hoping to hear. "Just take care of him," she said. "That's what you're supposed to do. Stop using him, and start protecting him. I know he thinks he doesn't need it, but sometimes he does. Sometimes we all do." Now Frank did look up, and Claire felt a blush building in her face as he stared at her like he was actually seeing her for a change. "He did okay," Shane's dad finally said. "Picking you.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
After a while, meaning and implication detach themselves from everything. One can be a father and assume no obligations, it follows that one can be a boyfriend and do nothing at all. Pretty soon you can add friend, acquaintance, co-worker, and just about anyone else to the long list of people who seem to be part of your life, though there is no code of conduct that they must adhere to. Pretty soon, it seems unreasonable to be bothered or outraged by much of anything because, well, what did you expect? In a world where the core social unit - the family - is so dispensable, how much can anything else mean?
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
I can’t quite shake this feeling that we live in a world gone wrong, that there are all these feelings you’re not supposed to have because there’s no reason to anymore. But still they’re there, stuck somewhere, a flaw that evolution hasn’t managed to eliminate yet. I want so badly to feel bad about getting pregnant. But I can’t, don’t dare to. Just like I didn’t dare tell Jack that I was falling in love with him, wanting to be a modern woman who’s supposed to be able to handle the casual nature of these kinds of relationships. I’m never supposed to say, to Jack or anyone else, ‘What makes you think I’m so rich that you can steal my heart and it won’t mean a thing?’ Sometimes I think that I was forced to withdraw into depression, because it was the only rightful protest I could throw in the face of a world that said it was all right for people to come and go as they please, that there were simply no real obligations left. Deceit and treachery in both romantic and political relationships is nothing new, but at one time, it was bad, callous, and cold to hurt somebody. Now it’s just the way things go, part of the growth process. Really nothing is surprising. After a while, meaning and implication detach themselves from everything. If one can be a father and assume no obligations, it follows that one can be a boyfriend and do nothing at all. Pretty soon you can add friend, acquaintance, co-worker, and just about anyone else to the long list of people who seem to be part of your life, though there is no code of conduct that they must adhere to. Pretty soon, it seems unreasonable to be bothered or outraged by much of anything because, well, what did you expect?
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
We've also evolved the ability to simply 'pay it forward': I help you, somebody else will help me. I remember hearing a parable when I was younger, about a father who lifts his young son onto his back to carry him across a flooding river. 'When I am older,' said the boy to his father, 'I will carry you across this river as you now do for me.' 'No, you won't,' said the father stoically. 'When you are older you will have your own concerns. All I expect is that one day you will carry your own son across this river as I no do for you.' Cultivating this attitude is an important part of Humanism--to realize that life without God can be much more than a series of strict tit-for-tat transactions where you pay me and I pay you back. Learning to pay it forward can add a tremendous sense of meaning and dignity to our lives. Simply put, it feels good to give to others, whether we get back or not.
Greg M. Epstein (Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe)
To the everlasting credit of the people of District 12, not one person claps. Not even the ones holding betting slips, the ones who are usually beyond caring. Possibly because they know me from the Hob, or knew my father, or have encountered Prim, who no one can help loving. So instead of acknowledging applause, I stand there unmoving while they take part in the boldest from of dissent they can manage. Silence. Which says we do not agree. We do not condone. All of this is wrong. Then something unexpected happens. At least, I don't expect it because I don't think of District 12 as a place that cares about me. But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim's place, and now it seems I have become someone precious. At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touches the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me. It is an old and rarely used gesture of our district, occasionally seen at funerals. It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Some fathers cannot love their children. They find them annoying. Or uninteresting. Or unsettling. They’re irritated by their children because they’ve turned out differently than they had expected. They’re irritated because the children were the wife’s wish to patch up the marriage when there was nothing left to patch up, her means of forcing a loving marriage where there was no love. And such fathers take it out on the children. Whatever they do, their fathers will be nasty and mean to them.” “Please stop.” “And the children, the delicate, little, yearning children,” Perdu continued more softly, because he was terribly moved by Max’s inner turmoil, “do everything they can to be loved. Everything. They think that it must somehow be their fault that their father cannot love them. But Max,” and here Perdu lifted Jordan’s chin, “it has nothing to do with them.
Nina George (The Little Paris Bookshop)
Here is Abraham Lincoln’s touching condolence letter to 22-year-old Fanny McCullough, the daughter of a long-time friend: “Dear Fanny It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and, especially, that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases. In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it. I am anxious to afford some alleviation of your present distress. Perfect relief is not possible, except with time. You can not now realize that you will ever feel better. Is not this so? And yet it is a mistake. You are sure to be happy again. To know this, which is certainly true, will make you some less miserable now. I have had experience enough to know what I say; and you need only to believe it, to feel better at once. The memory of your dear Father, instead of an agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer and holier sort than you have known before. Please present my kind regards to your afflicted mother. Your sincere friend, A. Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
The Puffer Fish: Wherein the author flaunts his vocabulary. His father was IRA and his mother was Quebecois, and they had reliquished their mortal coils in the internecine conflagration that ended their conjoined separatist movement, IRA-Q. The appellation he was given by his progenitors was Ray O'Vaque ("Like the battery," he'd elucidate, with an adamantine stare that proscribed any mirth). In his years of incarceration, however, he had earned the sobriquet "Uncle Milty" for his piscine amatory habits. He had been emancipated from the penitentiary for three weeks, and now his restless peregrinations had conveyed him to this liminal place, seeking compurgation in the permafrost of the hyperborean tundra, which was an apt analogue of the permafrost in his heart. He insinuated himself into the caravansary with nugatory expectations, which were confirmed by the exiguous provisions for comfort. But then the bartender looked up from laving the begrimed bar, his eyes growing luminous as he ejactulated, "Milt!
Howard Mittelmark (How Not to Write a Novel: 200 Classic Mistakes and How to Avoid Them—A Misstep-by-Misstep Guide)
Do you suppose, gentlemen, that our children as they grow up and begin to reason can avoid such questions? No, they cannot, and we will not impose on them an impossible restriction. The sight of an unworthy father involuntarily suggests tormenting questions to a young creature, especially when he compares him with the excellent fathers of his companions. The conventional answer to this question is: 'He begot you, and you are his flesh and blood, and therefore you are bound to love him.' The youth involuntarily reflects: 'But did he love me when he begot me?' he asks, wondering more and more. 'Was it for my sake he begot me? He did not know me, not even my sex, at that moment, at the moment of passion, perhaps, inflamed by wine, and he has only transmitted to me a propensity to drunkenness- that's all he's done for me.... Why am I bound to love him simply for begetting me when he has cared nothing for me all my life after? Oh, perhaps those questions strike you as coarse and cruel, but do not expect an impossible restraint from a young mind. 'Drive nature out of the door and it will fly in at the window'.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
No, Maximilien, I am not offended," answered she, "but do you not see what a poor, helpless being I am, almost a stranger and an outcast in my father's house, where even he is seldom seen; whose will has been thwarted, and spirits broken, from the age of ten years, beneath the iron rod so sternly held over me; oppressed, mortified, and persecuted, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, no person has cared for, even observed my sufferings, nor have I ever breathed one word on the subject save to yourself. Outwardly and in the eyes of the world, I am surrounded by kindness and affection; but the reverse is the case. The general remark is, `Oh, it cannot be expected that one of so stern a character as M. Villefort could lavish the tenderness some fathers do on their daughters. What though she has lost her own mother at a tender age, she has had the happiness to find a second mother in Madame de Villefort.' The world, however, is mistaken; my father abandons me from utter indifference, while my mother-in-law detests me with a hatred so much the more terrible because it is veiled beneath a continual smile.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
Nina continued staring at Carrie but didn’t say anything. How was it that this woman could shout out every thought running through her head? Why was it that Carrie Soto felt so entitled to scream? In that moment, Nina was not mad or jealous or embarrassed or anything else she might have expected. Nina was sad. Sad that she’d never lived a fraction of a second like Carrie Soto. What a world she must live in, Nina thought, where you can piss and moan and stomp your feet and cry in public and yell at the people who hurt you. That you can dictate what you will and will not accept. Nina, her entire life, had been programmed to accept. Accept that your father left. Accept that your mother is gone. Accept that you must take care of your siblings. Accept that the world wants to lust after you. Accept accept accept. For so long, Nina believed it was her greatest strength - that she could withstand, that she could endure, that she would accept it all and keep going. It was so foreign to her, the idea of declaring that something was unacceptable. Nina thought of herself driving to someone else’s house to scream on their front lawn while a whole party’s worth of people watched. It was so impossible that she couldn’t even summon a mental picture. But Carrie had this fire within her. Where was Nina’s fire? Had it ever been there? And if so, when did it go out? Her husband had slept with Carrie last night and then Nina had taken him back this evening. What was wrong with her? Was she just going to accept it all? Just accept every piece of bullshit thrown at her for the rest of her life?
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Malibu Rising)
Prayer seems to me a cry of weakness, and an attempt to avoid, by trickery, the rules of the game as laid down. I do not choose to admit weakness. I accept the challenge of responsibility. Life, as it is, does not frighten me, since I have made my peace with the universe as I find it, and bow to its laws. The ever-sleepless sea in its bed, crying out “how long?” to Time; million-formed and never motionless flame; the contemplation of these two aspects alone, affords me sufficient food for ten spans of my expected lifetime. It seems to me that organized creeds are collections of words around a wish. I feel no need for such. However, I would not, by word or deed, attempt to deprive another of the consolation it affords. It is simply not for me. Somebody else may have my rapturous glance at the archangels. The springing of the yellow line of morning out of the misty deep of dawn, is glory enough for me. I know that nothing is destructible; things merely change forms. When the consciousness we know as life ceases, I know that I shall still be part and parcel of the world. I was a part before the sun rolled into shape and burst forth in the glory of change. I was, when the earth was hurled out from its fiery rim. I shall return with the earth to Father Sun, and still exist in substance when the sun has lost its fire, and disintegrated into infinity to perhaps become a part of the whirling rubble of space. Why fear? The stuff of my being is matter, ever changing, ever moving, but never lost; so what need of denominations and creeds to deny myself the comfort of all my fellow men? The wide belt of the universe has no need for finger-rings. I am one with the infinite and need no other assurance.
Zora Neale Hurston (Dust Tracks on a Road)
Some of these stories, it is understood, are not to be passed on to my father, because they would upset him. It is well known that women can deal with this sort of thing better than men can. Men are not to be told anything they might find too painful; the secret depths of human nature, the sordid physicalities, might overwhelm or damage them. For instance, men often faint at the sight of their own blood, to which they are not accustomed. For this reason you should never stand behind one in the line at the Red Cross donor clinic. Men, for some mysterious reason, find life more difficult than women do. (My mother believes this, despite the female bodies, trapped, diseased, disappearing, or abandoned, that litter her stories.) Men must be allowed to play in the sandbox of their choice, as happily as they can, without disturbance; otherwise they get cranky and won't eat their dinners. There are all kinds of things that men are simply not equipped to understand, so why expect it of them? Not everyone shares this believe about men; neverthetheless, it has its uses.
Margaret Atwood (Bluebeard's Egg)
I do not consider myself a religious person, because I don't adhere to a particular religion or faith or prescribed beliefs, as did my father, who was a Baptist minister. And I am not an atheist, one who thinks that belief in anything beyond the here and now and the rational is delusion. I love science, but I allow for mystery, things that can never be proven by a rational mind. I am a person who thinks about the nature of the spirit when I write. I think about what can't be known and only imagined. I often sense a spirit or force or meaning beyond myself. I leave it open as to what the spirit is, but I continue to make guesses -- that it could be the universal binding of the emotion of love, or a joyful quality of humanity, or a collective unconscious that turns out to be a unified conscience. The spirit could be all those worshiped by all the religions, even those that deny the validity of others. It could be that we all exist in all ten dimensions of a string-theory universe and are seeding memories in all of them and occupy them simultaneously as memory. Or we exist only as thought and out perception that it is a physical world is a delusion. The nature of spirit could also be my mother and my grandmother and that they really do serve as my muses as I fondly imagine them doing at times. Or maybe the nature of the spirit is a freer imagination. I've often thought that imagination was the conduit to compassion, and compassion is a true spiritual nature. Whatever the spirit might be, I am not basing what I do in this life on any expected reward or punishment in the hereafter or thereafter. It is enough that I feel blessed -- and by whom or what I don't know -- but I receive it with gratitude that I am a writer and my work is to imagine all the possibilities.
Amy Tan
The good ones who listen to women to children and the poor die too soon, their lives bedeviled by opposition: our hearts grieve for them. This was the world my father knew. A poor man he saw good men come and mostly go; leaving behind the stranded and bereft. People of hopes, dreams, and so much hard work! Yearning for a future suddenly foreclosed. But today you write me all is well even though the admirable Hugo Chavez has died this afternoon. Never again will we hear that voice of reasoned anger and disgust of passionate vision and of triumph. This is true. But what a lot he did in his 58 years! You say. What a mighty ruckus Hugo Chavez made! This is also true. Thank you for reminding me. That though life - this never-ending loop - has passed us by today but carried off in death a hero of the masses it is his spirit of fiercely outspoken cariño that is not lost. That inheritance has gone instantly into the people to whom he listened and it is there that we will expect it to rise as early as tomorrow; and there that we will encounter it always soon again.
Alice Walker
I recently consulted to a therapist who felt he had accomplished something by getting his dissociative client to remain in her ANP throughout her sessions with him. His view reflects the fundamental mistake that untrained therapists tend to make with DID and DDNOS. Although his client was properly diagnosed, he assumed that the ANP should be encouraged to take charge of the other parts at all times. He also expected her to speak for them—in other words, to do their therapy. This denied the other parts the opportunity to reveal their secrets, heal their pain, or correct their childhood-based beliefs about the world. If you were doing family therapy, would it be a good idea to only meet with the father, especially if he had not talked with his children or his spouse in years? Would the other family members feel as if their experiences and feelings mattered? Would they be able to improve their relationships? You must work with the parts who are inside of the system. Directly.
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
We read off the ancient Hebrew words, with no idea of what they might mean, and the congregation responds with more words that they don't understand either. We are gathered together on a Saturday morning to speak gibberish to each other, and you would think, in these godless times, that the experience would be empty, but somehow it isn't. The five of us, huddled together shoulder to shoulder over the bima, read the words aloud slowly, and the congregation, these old friends and acquaintances and strangers, all respond, and for reasons I can't begin to articulate, it feels like something is actually happening. It's got nothing to do with God or souls, just the palpable sense of goodwill and support emanating in waves from the pews around us, and I can't help but be moved by it. When we reach the end of the page, and the last "amen" has been said, I'm sorry that' it's over. I could stay up here a while longer. And as we step down to make our way back to the pews, a quick survey of the sadness in my family's wet eyes tells me that I'm not the only one who feels that way. I don't feel any closer to my father than I did before, but for a moment there I was comforted, and that's more than I expected.
Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You)
I had a bizarre rapport with this mirror and spent a lot of time gazing into the glass to see who was there. Sometimes it looked like me. At other times, I could see someone similar but different in the reflection. A few times, I caught the switch in mid-stare, my expression re-forming like melting rubber, the creases and features of my face softening or hardening until the mutation was complete. Jekyll to Hyde, or Hyde to Jekyll. I felt my inner core change at the same time. I would feel more confident or less confident; mature or childlike; freezing cold or sticky hot, a state that would drive Mum mad as I escaped to the bathroom where I would remain for two hours scrubbing my skin until it was raw. The change was triggered by different emotions: on hearing a particular piece of music; the sight of my father, the smell of his brand of aftershave. I would pick up a book with the certainty that I had not read it before and hear the words as I read them like an echo inside my head. Like Alice in the Lewis Carroll story, I slipped into the depths of the looking glass and couldn’t be sure if it was me standing there or an impostor, a lookalike. I felt fully awake most of the time, but sometimes while I was awake it felt as if I were dreaming. In this dream state I didn’t feel like me, the real me. I felt numb. My fingers prickled. My eyes in the mirror’s reflection were glazed like the eyes of a mannequin in a shop window, my colour, my shape, but without light or focus. These changes were described by Dr Purvis as mood swings and by Mother as floods, but I knew better. All teenagers are moody when it suits them. My Switches could take place when I was alone, transforming me from a bright sixteen-year-old doing her homework into a sobbing child curled on the bed staring at the wall. The weeping fit would pass and I would drag myself back to the mirror expecting to see a child version of myself. ‘Who are you?’ I’d ask. I could hear the words; it sounded like me but it wasn’t me. I’d watch my lips moving and say it again, ‘Who are you?
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
I feel completely embarrassed and remember the lock on the door and think: He knows, he knows, it shows, shows completely. “He’s out back,” Mr. Garret tells me mildly, “unpacking shipments.” Then he returns to the papers. I feel compelled to explain myself. “I just thought I’d come by. Before babysitting. You, know, at your house. Just to say hi. So . . . I’m going to do that now. Jase’s in back, then? I’ll just say hi.” I’m so suave. I can hear the ripping sound of the box cutter before I even open the rear door to find Jase with a huge stack of cardboard boxes. His back’s to me and suddenly I’m as shy with him as I was with his father. This is silly. Brushing through my embarrassment, I walk up, put my hand on his shoulder. He straightens up with a wide grin. “Am I glad to see you!” “Oh, really?” “Really. I thought you were Dad telling me I was messing up again. I’ve been a disaster all day. Kept knocking things over. Paint cans, our garden display. He finally sent me out here when I knocked over a ladder. I think I’m a little preoccupied.” “Maybe you should have gotten more sleep,” I offer. “No way,” he says. Then we just gaze at each other for a long moment. For some reason, I expect him to look different, the way I expected I would myself in the mirror this morning . . . I thought I would come across richer, fuller, as happy outside as I was inside, but the only thing that showed was my lips puffy from kisses. Jase is the same as ever also. “That was the best study session I ever had,” I tell him. “Locked in my memory too,” he says, then glances away as though embarrassed, bending to tear open another box. “Even though thinking about it made me hit my thumb with a hammer putting up a wall display.” “This thumb?” I reach for one of his callused hands, kiss the thumb. “It was the left one.” Jase’s face creases into a smile as I pick up his other hand. “I broke my collarbone once,” he tells me, indicating which side. I kiss that. “Also some ribs during a scrimmage freshman year.” I do not pull his shirt up to where his finger points now. I am not that bold. But I do lean in to kiss him through the soft material of his shirt. “Feeling better?” His eyes twinkle. “In eighth grade, I got into a fight with this kid who was picking on Duff and he gave me a black eye.” My mouth moves to his right eye, then the left. He cups the back of my neck in his warm hands, settling me into the V of his legs, whispering into my ear, “I think there was a split lip involved too.” Then we are just kissing and everything else drops away. Mr. Garret could come out at any moment, a truck full of supplies could drive right on up, a fleet of alien spaceships could darken the sky, I’m not sure I’d notice.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
What height is this table?' he said suddenly, just as I was about to go to the bread bin for a slice to wipe my plate with. I turned round and looked at him, wondering why he was bothering with such an easy question. 'Thirty inches,' I told him, and took a crust from the bin. 'Wrong,' he said with an eager grin. 'Two foot six.' I shook my head at him, scowling, and wiped the brown rim of soup from the inside of my plate. There was a time when I was genuinely afraid of these idiotic questions, but now, apart from the fact that I must know the height, length, breadth, area and volume of just about every part of the house and everything in it, I can see my father's obsession for what it is. It gets embarrassing at times when there are guests in the house, even if they are family and ought to know what to expect. They'll be sitting there, probably in the lounge, wondering whether Father's going to feed them anything or just give an impromptu lecture on cancer of the colon or tapeworms, when he'll sidle up to somebody, look round to make sure everybody's watching, then in a conspiratorial stage-whisper say: 'See that door over there? It's eighty-five inches, corner to corner. ' Then he'll wink and walk off, or slide over on his seat, looking nonchalant.
Iain Banks (The Wasp Factory)
I saw what Andrew did in our family. I saw that he came in and listened and watched and understood who we were, each individual one of us. He tried to discover our need and then supply it. He took responsibility for other people and it didn't seem to matter to him how much it cost him. And in the end, while he could never make the Ribeira family normal, he gave us peace and pride and identity. Stability. He married Mother and was kind to her. He loved us all. He was always there when we wanted him, and seemed unhurt by it when we didn't. He was firm with us about expecting civilized behavior, but never indulged his whims at our expense. And I thought: This is so much more important than science. Or politics, either. Or any particular profession or accomplishment or thing you can make. I thought: If I could just make a good family, if I could just learn to be to other children, their whole lives, what Andrew was, coming so late into ours, then that would mean more in the long run, it would be a finer accomplishment than anything I could ever do with my mind or hands." "So you're a career father," said Valentine. "Who works at a brick factory to feed and clothe the family. Not a brick-maker who also has kids. Lini also feels the same way... She followed her own road to the same place. We do what we must to earn our place in the community, but we live for the hours at home. For each other, for the children.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
Did I ever tell you that my mother and father started out as pen pals? They wrote these long, unabashedly affectionate love letters to one another, peppered with clichés and pie-in-the-sky proclamations of eternal devotion. Despite my father’s eventual dishonesty and unfaithfulness, I have to believe he meant every word he wrote at that time, and it was admittedly romantic, uncovering my parents’ yellowed letters, all soft, crumbling corners and black ink stains, one rainy afternoon. Because how can anyone scrawl lies, really, in their own handwriting, the evidence of your own betrayal right in front of you? I sat cross-legged on the floor, holding my breath as I unfolded each letter, fragile and expectant, like a little girl opening her presents on Christmas morning. I sat there and soaked up my parents’ love for each other, and then I wondered where all those feelings had escaped to. I wondered where love went when it was lost—did it travel far, across miles and oceans and forests and deserts, or did it linger somewhere nearby, just waiting for a chance to be summoned again? Wherever it was, I could only hope it had ended up settling somewhere quieter, safer.
Marla Miniano (From This Day Forward)
These are lines from my asteroid-impact novel, Regolith: Just because there are no laws against stupidity doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be punished. I haven’t faced rejection this brutal since I was single. He smelled trouble like a fart in the shower. If this was a kiss of gratitude, then she must have been very grateful. Not since Bush and Cheney have so few spent so much so fast for so long for so little. As a nympho for mind-fucks, Lisa took to politics like a pig to mud. She began paying men compliments as if she expected a receipt. Like the Aerosmith song, his get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went. “You couldn’t beat the crap out of a dirty diaper!” He embraced his only daughter as if she was deploying to Iraq. She was hotter than a Class 4 solar flare! If sex was a weapon, then Monique possessed WMD I haven’t felt this alive since I lost my virginity. He once read that 95% of women fake organism, and the rest are gay. Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but ugly is universal. Why do wives fart, but not girlfriends? Adultery is sex that is wrong, but not necessarily bad. The dinosaurs stayed drugged out, drooling like Jonas Brothers fans. Silence filled the room like tear gas. The told him a fraction of the truth and hoped it would take just a fraction of the time. Happiness is the best cosmetic, He was a whale of a catch, and there were a lot of fish in the sea eager to nibble on his bait. Cheap hookers are less buck for the bang, Men cannot fall in love with women they don’t find attractive, and women cannot fall in love with men they do not respect. During sex, men want feedback while women expect mind-reading. Cooper looked like a cow about to be tipped over. His father warned him to never do anything he couldn’t justify on Oprah. The poor are not free -- they’re just not enslaved. Only those with money are free. Sperm wasn’t something he would choose on a menu, but it still tasted better than asparagus. The crater looked alive, like Godzilla was about to leap out and mess up Tokyo. Bush follows the Bible until it gets to Jesus. When Bush talks to God, it’s prayer; when God talks to Bush, it’s policy. Cheney called the new Miss America a traitor – apparently she wished for world peace. Cheney was so unpopular that Bush almost replaced him when running for re-election, changing his campaign slogan to, ‘Ain’t Got Dick.’ Bush fought a war on poverty – and the poor lost. Bush thinks we should strengthen the dollar by making it two-ply. Hurricane Katrina got rid of so many Democratic voters that Republicans have started calling her Kathleen Harris. America and Iraq fought a war and Iran won. Bush hasn’t choked this much since his last pretzel. Some wars are unpopular; the rest are victorious. So many conservatives hate the GOP that they are thinking of changing their name to the Dixie Chicks. If Saddam had any WMD, he would have used them when we invaded. If Bush had any brains, he would have used them when we invaded. It’s hard for Bush to win hearts and minds since he has neither. In Iraq, you are a coward if you leave and a fool if you stay. Bush believes it’s not a sin to kill Muslims since they are going to Hell anyway. And, with Bush’s help, soon. In Iraq, those who make their constitution subservient to their religion are called Muslims. In America they’re called Republicans. With great power comes great responsibility – unless you’re Republican.
Brent Reilly
Who is Aslan?” asked Susan. “Aslan?” said Mr. Beaver, “Why, don’t you know? He’s the King. He’s the Lord of the whole wood, but not often here, you understand. Never in my time or my father’s time. But the word has reached us that he has come back. He is in Narnia at this moment. He’ll settle the White Queen all right. It is he, not you, that will save Mr. Tumnus.” “She won’t turn him into stone too?” said Edmund. “Lord love you, Son of Adam, what a simple thing to say!” answered Mr. Beaver with a great laugh. “Turn him into stone? If she can stand on her two feet and look him in the face it’ll be the most she can do and more than I expect of her. No, no. He’ll put all to rights, as it says in an old rhyme in these parts: Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more, When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again. You’ll understand when you see him.” “But shall we see him?” asked Susan. “Why, Daughter of Eve, that’s what I brought you here for. I’m to lead you where you shall meet him,” said Mr. Beaver. “Is--is he a man?” asked Lucy. “Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion--the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he--quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” “That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver. “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” “Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ’Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.
C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe)
To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Uncommon Prostitues I have nothing to say about prostitues (other than you'd make a terrible prostitute,the profession is much too unclean), I only wanted to type that. Isn't it odd we both have to spend Christmas with our fathers? Speaking of unpleasant matters,have you spoken with Bridge yet? I'm taking the bus to the hospital now.I expect a full breakdown of your Christmas dinner when I return. So far today,I've had a bowl of muesli. How does Mum eat that rubbish? I feel as if I've been gnawing on lumber. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: Christmas Dinner MUESLY? It's Christmas,and you're eating CEREAL?? I'm mentally sending you a plate from my house. The turkey is in the oven,the gravy's on the stovetop,and the mashed potatoes and casseroles are being prepared as I type this. Wait. I bet you eat bread pudding and mince pies or something,don't you? Well, I'm mentally sending you bread pudding. Whatever that is. No, I haven't talked to Bridgette.Mom keeps bugging me to answer her calls,but winter break sucks enough already. (WHY is my dad here? SERIOUSLY. MAKE HIM LEAVE. He's wearing this giant white cable-knit sweater,and he looks like a pompous snowman,and he keeps rearranging the stuff on our kitchen cabinets. Mom is about to kill him. WHICH IS WHY SHE SHOULDN'T INVITE HIM OVER FOR HOLIDAYS). Anyway.I'd rather not add to the drama. P.S. I hope your mom is doing better. I'm so sorry you have to spend today in a hospital. I really do wish I could send you both a plate of turkey. To: Anna Oliphant From: Etienne St. Clair Subject: Re: Christmas Dinner YOU feel sorry for ME? I am not the one who has never tasted bread pudding. The hospital was the same. I won't bore you with the details. Though I had to wait an hour to catch the bus back,and it started raining.Now that I'm at the flat, my father has left for the hospital. We're each making stellar work of pretending the other doesn't exist. P.S. Mum says to tell you "Merry Christmas." So Merry Christmas from my mum, but Happy Christmas from me. To: Etienne St. Clair From: Anna Oliphant Subject: SAVE ME Worst.Dinner.Ever.It took less than five minutes for things to explode. My dad tried to force Seany to eat the green bean casserole, and when he wouldn't, Dad accused Mom of not feeding my brother enough vegetables. So she threw down her fork,and said that Dad had no right to tell her how to raise her children. And then he brought out the "I'm their father" crap, and she brought out the "You abandoned them" crap,and meanwhile, the WHOLE TIME my half-dead Nanna is shouting, "WHERE'S THE SALT! I CAN'T TASTE THE CASSEROLE! PASS THE SALT!" And then Granddad complained that Mom's turkey was "a wee dry," and she lost it. I mean,Mom just started screaming. And it freaked Seany out,and he ran to his room crying, and when I checked on him, he was UNWRAPPING A CANDY CANE!! I have no idea where it came from. He knows he can't eat Red Dye #40! So I grabbed it from him,and he cried harder, and Mom ran in and yelled at ME, like I'd given him the stupid thing. Not, "Thank you for saving my only son's life,Anna." And then Dad came in and the fighting resumed,and they didn't even notice that Seany was still sobbing. So I took him outside and fed him cookies,and now he's running aruond in circles,and my grandparents are still at the table, as if we're all going to sit back down and finish our meal. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY FAMILY? And now Dad is knocking on my door. Great. Can this stupid holiday get any worse??
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Your grandparents are English?" "Grandfather is,but Grandmere is French. And my other grandparents are American,of course." "Wow.You really are a mutt." St. Clair smiles. "I'm told I take after my English grandfather the most, but it's only because of the accent." "I don't know.I think of you as more English than anything else.And you don't just sound like it,you look like it,too." "I do?" He surprised. I smile. "Yeah,it's that...pasty complexion. I mean it in the best possible way," I add,at his alarmed expression. "Honestly." "Huh." St. Clair looks at me sideways. "Anyway.Last summer I couldn't bear to face my father, so it was the first time I spent the whole holiday with me mum." "And how was it? I bet the girls don't tease you about your accent anymore." He laughs. "No,they don't.But I can't help my height.I'll always be short." "And I'll always be a freak,just like my dad. Everyone tells me I take after him.He's sort of...neat,like me." He seems genuinely surprised. "What's wrong with being neat? I wish I were more organized.And,Anna,I've never met your father,but I guarantee you that you're nothing like him." "How would you know?" "Well,for one thing,he looks like a Ken doll.And you're beautiful." I trip and fall down on the sidewalk. "Are you all right?" His eyes fill with worry. I look away as he takes my hand and helps me up. "I'm fine.Fine!" I say, brushing the grit from my palms. Oh my God, I AM a freak. "You've seen the way men look at you,right?" he continues. "If they're looking, it's because I keep making a fool of myself." I hold up my scraped hands. "That guy over there is checking you out right now." "Wha-?" I turn to find a young man with long dark hair staring. "Why is he looking at me?" "I expect he likes what he sees." I flush,and he keeps talking. "In Paris, it's common to acknowledge someone attractive.The French don't avert their gaze like other cultures do. Haven't you noticed?" St. Clair thinks I'm attractive. He called me beautiful. "Um,no," I say. "I hadn't noticed." "Well.Open your eyes." But I stare at the bare tree branches, at the children with balloons, at the Japanese tour group. Anywhere but at him. We've stopped in front of Notre-Dame again.I point at the familiar star and clear my throat. "Wanna make another wish?" "You go first." He's watching me, puzzled, like he's trying to figure something out. He bites his thumbnail. This time I can't help it.All day long, I've thought about it.Him.Our secret. I wish St. Clair would spend the night again.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
His day is done. Is done. The news came on the wings of a wind, reluctant to carry its burden. Nelson Mandela’s day is done. The news, expected and still unwelcome, reached us in the United States, and suddenly our world became somber. Our skies were leadened. His day is done. We see you, South African people standing speechless at the slamming of that final door through which no traveller returns. Our spirits reach out to you Bantu, Zulu, Xhosa, Boer. We think of you and your son of Africa, your father, your one more wonder of the world. We send our souls to you as you reflect upon your David armed with a mere stone, facing down the mighty Goliath. Your man of strength, Gideon, emerging triumphant. Although born into the brutal embrace of Apartheid, scarred by the savage atmosphere of racism, unjustly imprisoned in the bloody maws of South African dungeons. Would the man survive? Could the man survive? His answer strengthened men and women around the world. In the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas, on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, in Chicago’s Loop, in New Orleans Mardi Gras, in New York City’s Times Square, we watched as the hope of Africa sprang through the prison’s doors. His stupendous heart intact, his gargantuan will hale and hearty. He had not been crippled by brutes, nor was his passion for the rights of human beings diminished by twenty-seven years of imprisonment. Even here in America, we felt the cool, refreshing breeze of freedom. When Nelson Mandela took the seat of Presidency in his country where formerly he was not even allowed to vote we were enlarged by tears of pride, as we saw Nelson Mandela’s former prison guards invited, courteously, by him to watch from the front rows his inauguration. We saw him accept the world’s award in Norway with the grace and gratitude of the Solon in Ancient Roman Courts, and the confidence of African Chiefs from ancient royal stools. No sun outlasts its sunset, but it will rise again and bring the dawn. Yes, Mandela’s day is done, yet we, his inheritors, will open the gates wider for reconciliation, and we will respond generously to the cries of Blacks and Whites, Asians, Hispanics, the poor who live piteously on the floor of our planet. He has offered us understanding. We will not withhold forgiveness even from those who do not ask. Nelson Mandela’s day is done, we confess it in tearful voices, yet we lift our own to say thank you. Thank you our Gideon, thank you our David, our great courageous man. We will not forget you, we will not dishonor you, we will remember and be glad that you lived among us, that you taught us, and that you loved us all.
Maya Angelou (His Day Is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute)
Then the voice - which identified itself as the prince of this world, the only being who really knows what happens on Earth - began to show him the people around him on the beach. The wonderful father who was busy packing things up and helping his children put on some warm clothes and who would love to have an affair with his secretary, but was terrified on his wife's response. His wife who would like to work and have her independence, but who was terrified of her husband's response. The children who behave themselves because they were terrified of being punished. The girl who was reading a book all on her own beneath the sunshade, pretending she didn't care, but inside was terrified of spending the rest of her life alone. The boy running around with a tennis racuqet , terrified of having to live up to his parents' expectations. The waiter serving tropical drinks to the rich customers and terrified that he could be sacket at any moment. The young girl who wanted to be a dance, but who was studying law instead because she was terrified of what the neighbours might say. The old man who didn't smoke or drink and said he felt much better for it, when in truth it was the terror of death what whispered in his ears like the wind. The married couple who ran by, splashing through the surf, with a smile on their face but with a terror in their hearts telling them that they would soon be old, boring and useless. The man with the suntan who swept up in his launch in front of everybody and waved and smiled, but was terrified because he could lose all his money from one moment to the next. The hotel owner, watching the whole idyllic scene from his office, trying to keep everyone happy and cheerful, urging his accountants to ever greater vigilance, and terrified because he knew that however honest he was government officials would still find mistakes in his accounts if they wanted to. There was terror in each and every one of the people on that beautiful beach and on that breathtakingly beautiful evening. Terror of being alone, terror of the darkness filling their imaginations with devils, terror of doing anything not in the manuals of good behaviour, terror of God's punishing any mistake, terror of trying and failing, terror of succeeding and having to live with the envy of other people, terror of loving and being rejected, terror of asking for a rise in salary, of accepting an invitation, of going somewhere new, of not being able to speak a foreign language, of not making the right impression, of growing old, of dying, of being pointed out because of one's defects, of not being pointed out because of one's merits, of not being noticed either for one's defects of one's merits.
Paulo Coelho (The Devil and Miss Prym)
Higher purpose: I am here to serve. I am here to inspire. I am here to love. I am here to live my truth. Communion: I will appreciate someone who doesn’t know that I feel that way. I will overlook the tension and be friendly to someone who has ignored me. I will express at least one feeling that has made me feel guilty or embarrassed. Awareness: I will spend ten minutes observing instead of speaking. I will sit quietly by myself just to sense how my body feels. If someone irritates me, I will ask myself what I really feel beneath the anger—and I won’t stop paying attention until the anger is gone. Acceptance: I will spend five minutes thinking about the best qualities of someone I really dislike. I will read about a group that I consider totally intolerant and try to see the world as they do. I will look in the mirror and describe myself exactly as if I were the perfect mother or father I wish I had had (beginning with the sentence “How beautiful you are in my eyes”). Creativity: I will imagine five things I could do that my family would never expect—and then I will do at least one of them. I will outline a novel based on my life (every incident will be true, but no one would ever guess that I am the hero). I will invent something in my mind that the world desperately needs. Being: I will spend half an hour in a peaceful place doing nothing except feeling what it is like to exist. I will lie outstretched on the grass and feel the earth languidly revolving under me. I will take in three breaths and let them out as gently as possible. Efficiency: I will let at least two things out of my control and see what happens. I will gaze at a rose and reflect on whether I could make it open faster or more beautifully than it already does—then I will ask if my life has blossomed this efficiently. I will lie in a quiet place by the ocean, or with a tape of the sea, and breathe in its rhythms. Bonding: When I catch myself looking away from someone, I will remember to look into the person’s eyes. I will bestow a loving gaze on someone I have taken for granted. I will express sympathy to someone who needs it, preferably a stranger. Giving: I will buy lunch and give it to someone in need on the street (or I will go to a café and eat lunch with the person). I will compliment someone for a quality that I know the individual values in him- or herself. I will give my children as much of my undivided time today as they want. Immortality: I will read a scripture about the soul and the promise of life after death. I will write down five things I want my life to be remembered for. I will sit and silently experience the gap between breathing in and breathing out, feeling the eternal in the present moment.
Deepak Chopra (The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life)
Much of Chinese society still expected its women to hold themselves in a sedate manner, lower their eyelids in response to men's stares, and restrict their smile to a faint curve of the lips which did not expose their teeth. They were not meant to use hand gestures at all. If they contravened any of these canons of behavior they would be considered 'flirtatious." Under Mao, flirting with./bre/gners was an unspeakable crime. I was furious at the innuendo against me. It had been my Communist parents who had given me a liberal upbringing. They had regarded the restrictions on women as precisely the sort of thing a Communist revolution should put an end to. But now oppression of women joined hands with political repression, and served resentment and petty jealousy. One day, a Pakistani ship arrived. The Pakistani military attache came down from Peking. Long ordered us all to spring-clean the club from top to bottom, and laid on a banquet, for which he asked me to be his interpreter, which made some of the other students extremely envious. A few days later the Pakistanis gave a farewell dinner on their ship, and I was invited. The military attache had been to Sichuan, and they had prepared a special Sichuan dish for me. Long was delighted by the invitation, as was I. But despite a personal appeal from the captain and even a threat from Long to bar future students, my teachers said that no one was allowed on board a foreign ship. "Who would take the responsibility if someone sailed away on the ship?" they asked. I was told to say I was busy that evening. As far as I knew, I was turning down the only chance I would ever have of a trip out to sea, a foreign meal, a proper conversation in English, and an experience of the outside world. Even so, I could not silence the whispers. Ming asked pointedly, "Why do foreigners like her so much?" as though there was something suspicious in that. The report filed on me at the end of the trip said my behavior was 'politically dubious." In this lovely port, with its sunshine, sea breezes, and coconut trees, every occasion that should have been joyous was turned into misery. I had a good friend in the group who tried to cheer me up by putting my distress into perspective. Of course, what I encountered was no more than minor unpleasantness compared with what victims of jealousy suffered in the earlier years of the Cultural Revolution. But the thought that this was what my life at its best would be like depressed me even more. This friend was the son of a colleague of my father's. The other students from cities were also friendly to me. It was easy to distinguish them from the students of peasant backgrounds, who provided most of the student officials.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
You think you know what a man is? You have no idea what a man is. You think you know what a daughter is? You have no idea what a daughter is. You think you know what this country is? You have no idea what this country is. You have a false image of everything. All you know is what a fucking glove is. This country is frightening. Of course she was raped. What kind of company do you think she was keeping? Of course out there she was going to get raped. This isn't Old Rimrock, old buddy - she's out there, old buddy, in the USA. She enters that world, that loopy world out there, with whats going on out there - what do you expect? A kid from Rimrock, NJ, of course she didn't know how to behave out there, of course the shit hits the fan. What could she know? She's like a wild child out there in the world. She can't get enough of it - she's still acting up. A room off McCarter Highway. And why not? Who wouldn't? You prepare her for life milking the cows? For what kind of life? Unnatural, all artificial, all of it. Those assumptions you live with. You're still in your olf man's dream-world, Seymour, still up there with Lou Levov in glove heaven. A household tyrannized by gloves, bludgeoned by gloves, the only thing in life - ladies' gloves! Does he still tell the one about the woman who sells the gloves washing her hands in a sink between each color? Oh where oh where is that outmoded America, that decorous America where a woman had twenty-five pairs of gloves? Your kid blows your norms to kingdom come, Seymour, and you still think you know what life is?" Life is just a short period of time in which we are alive. Meredith Levov, 1964. "You wanted Ms. America? Well, you've got her, with a vengeance - she's your daughter! You wanted to be a real American jock, a real American marine, a real American hotshot with a beautiful Gentile babe on your arm? You longed to belong like everybody else to the United States of America? Well, you do now, big boy, thanks to your daughter. The reality of this place is right up in your kisser now. With the help of your daughter you're as deep in the sit as a man can get, the real American crazy shit. America amok! America amuck! Goddamn it, Seymour, goddamn you, if you were a father who loved his daughter," thunders Jerry into the phone - and the hell with the convalescent patients waiting in the corridor for him to check out their new valves and new arteries, to tell how grateful they are to him for their new lease on life, Jerry shouts away, shouts all he wants if it's shouting he wants to do, and the hell with the rules of hte hospital. He is one of the surgeons who shouts; if you disagree with him he shouts, if you cross him he shouts, if you just stand there and do nothing he shouts. He does not do what hospitals tell him to do or fathers expect him to do or wives want him to do, he does what he wants to do, does as he pleases, tells people just who and what he is every minute of the day so that nothing about him is a secret, not his opinions, his frustrations, his urges, neither his appetite nor his hatred. In the sphere of the will, he is unequivocating, uncompromising; he is king. He does not spend time regretting what he has or has not done or justifying to others how loathsome he can be. The message is simple: You will take me as I come - there is no choice. He cannot endure swallowing anything. He just lets loose. And these are two brothers, the same parents' sons, one for whom the aggression's been bred out, the other for whom the aggression's been bred in. "If you were a father who loved your daughter," Jerry shouts at the Swede, "you would never have left her in that room! You would have never let her out of your sight!
Philip Roth (American Pastoral)