Because I wanted you." He turned from the window to face me. "More than I ever wanted anything in my life," he added softly.
I continued staring at him, dumbstruck. Whatever I had been expecting, it wasn't this. Seeing my openmouthed expression, he continued lightly. "When I asked my da how ye knew which was the right woman, he told me when the time came, I'd have no doubt. And I didn't. When I woke in the dark under that tree on the road to Leoch, with you sitting on my chest, cursing me for bleeding to death, I said to myself, 'Jamie Fraser, for all ye canna see what she looks like, and for all she weighs as much as a good draft horse, this is the woman'"
I started toward him, and he backed away, talking rapidly. "I said to myself, 'She's mended ye twice in as many hours, me lad; life amongst the MacKenzies being what it is, it might be as well to wed a woman as can stanch a wound and set broken bones.' And I said to myself, 'Jamie, lad, if her touch feels so bonny on your collarbone, imagine what it might feel like lower down...'"
He dodged around a chair. "Of course, I thought it might ha' just been the effects of spending four months in a monastery, without benefit of female companionship, but then that ride through the dark together"--he paused to sigh theatrically, neatly evading my grab at his sleeve--"with that lovely broad arse wedged between my thighs"--he ducked a blow aimed at his left ear and sidestepped, getting a low table between us--"and that rock-solid head thumping me in the chest"--a small metal ornament bounced off his own head and went clanging to the floor--"I said to myself..."
He was laughing so hard at this point that he had to gasp for breath between phrases. "Jamie...I said...for all she's a Sassenach bitch...with a tongue like an adder's ...with a bum like that...what does it matter if she's a f-face like a sh-sh-eep?"
I tripped him neatly and landed on his stomach with both knees as he hit the floor with a crash that shook the house.
"You mean to tell me that you married me out of love?" I demanded. He raised his eyebrows, struggling to draw in breath.
"Have I not...just been...saying so?
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Gracious acceptance is an art - an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving.... Accepting another person's gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you.
Alexander McCall Smith (Love Over Scotland (44 Scotland Street, #3))
Wanderer: You don't really feel that way about me you know. It's this body... she's pretty isn't she?
Ian: She is. Melanie is a very pretty girl. Even beautiful. But pretty as she is, she is a stranger to me. She's not the one I... care about.
Wanderer: It's this body.
Ian: That's not true at all. It's not the face, but the expressions on it. It's not the voice, but what they say. It's not how you look like in that body, it's what you do with it. You are beautiful.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host)
Do you know I don't know how one can walk by a tree and not be happy at the sight of it? How can one talk to a man and not be happy in loving him! Oh, it's only that I'm not able to express it...And what beautiful things there are at every step, that even the most hopeless man must feel to be beautiful! Look at a child! Look at God's sunrise! Look at the grass, how it grows! Look at the eyes that gaze at you and love you!...
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Idiot)
I can't--I can't think about anything or anyone else," he whispered. A hand drifted up, dragging back through his hair. "I can't think straight when you're around. I can't sleep. It feels like I can't breathe--I just--"
"Liam, please," I begged. "You're tired. You're barely over being sick. Let's just... Can we just go back to the others?"
"I love you." He turned toward me, that agonized expression still on his face. "I love you every second of everyday, and I don't understand why, or how to make it stop--"
He looked wild with pain; it pinned me in place, even before what he had said registered in my mind.
"I know it's wrong; I know it down to my damn bones. And I feel like I'm sick. I'm trying to be a good person, but I can't. I can't do this anymore.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
Kell has only two faces. The one he wears for the world at large, and the one he wears for those he loves.” He sipped his wine.
“For us.” Lila’s expression hardened. “Whatever he feels for me, it isn’t love.”
“Because it isn’t soft and sweet and doting?” Rhy rocked back, stretching against the pillar. “Do you know how many times he’s nearly beat me senseless out of love? How many times I’ve done the same? I’ve seen the way he looks at those he hates …” He shook his head. “There are very few things my brother cares about, and even fewer people.
Victoria Schwab (A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2))
Feelings are your guide. Trust your feelings and learn to express them, and do not blame anyone for how you feel. Be yourself, observe yourself. Look to understand any crisis you have been in or will be in.
Barbara Marciniak (Family of Light: Pleiadian Tales and Lessons in Living)
Whoever makes you feel
that deeply and that intensely,
deserves to know how they’ve
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
Men are always complaining about how difficult it is to understand women but I think it is the other way round. Men clan up and do not express what they feel. Then they suddenly stop all communication with you and vanish. All you can do is wait. I wish men came with instruction manual.
Preeti Shenoy (The One You Cannot Have)
Willow, you know that you said you couldn't tell how I felt at the rest stop?"
I nodded, and he took my hand, laying it flat on his chest with his own resting over it. "Can you tell now?" he asked.
His heart beat firmly under my hand; my own pulse was pounding so hard that I could barely think straight. Closing my eyes, I took a deep, steadying breath, and then another as I tried to clear my mind, to feel what he was feeling. For a moment there was just the softness of our breathing--then all at once it washed over me in a great wave.
He was in love with me, too.
I opened my eyes. Alex was still holding my hand to his chest, watching me, his expression more serious than I'd ever seen it. Unable to speak, I slowly dropped my hand and wrapped my arms around him. His own arms came around me as he rested his head on my hair.
"I really do, you know," he said, his voice rough.
"I know," I whispered back. "I do, too.
L.A. Weatherly (Angel (Angel, #1))
Mr Freeman: "Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag." He sticks his finger down his throat. "The next time you work on your trees, don't think about trees. Think about love, or hate, or joy, or pain- whatever makes you feel something, makes your palms sweat, or your toes curl. Focus on that feeling.
When people don't express themselves, they die on piece at a time. You'd be shocked at how many adults are really dead inside- walking through their days with no idea who they are, just waiting for a heart attack or cancer or a mack truck to come along and finish the job. It's the saddest thing I know.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
I know how it feels to be completely alone and helpless, and the last thing you want to hear in that situation is, 'It's going to be OK.' "The only thing that seems to really help is that someone else who has felt that low expressing those feelings to you.
While grief is not fun to deal with, it is a valuable tool to bring about amazing change and growth. The key to this deep level of learning is attitude. How will you respond to the pain you’re feeling?
Diamante Lavendar (Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief: Spiritual Insights Expressed Through Art, Poetry and Prose)
I will even feel guilty for not telling you how much I love you. The love that makes me happy is the love that I can share with you. Why do I need to deny that I love you? It is not important if you love me back. I may die tomorrow or you may die tomorrow. What makes me happy now is to let you know how much I love you.
Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom)
The process of assessing how you feel about the things you own, identifying those that have fulfilled their purpose, expressing your gratitude, and bidding them farewell, is really about examining your inner self, a rite of passage to a new life.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)
He grinned. "You're jealous."
I considered it. "No. But when you stared at that woman like she was made of diamonds, it didn't feel very good."
"I stared at her because she smelled strange."
"She smelled like rock dust. Very strong dry smell." Curran put his arms around me. "I love it when you get all fussy and possessive."
"I never get fussy and possessive."
He grinned, showing his teeth. His face was practically glowing. "So you're cool if I go over and chat her up?"
"Sure. Are you cool if I go and chat up that sexy werewolf on the third floor?"
He went from casual and funny to deadly serious in half a blink. "What sexy werewolf?"
Curran's eyes focused. He was concentrating on something.
"You're taking a mental inventory of all people working on the third floor, aren't you?"
His expression went blank. I'd hit the nail on the head.
I slid off him and put my head on his biceps. The shaggy carpet was nice and comfortable under my back.
"Is it Jordan?"
"I just picked a random floor," I told him. "You're nuts, you know that?"
He put his arm around me. "Look who is talking.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Gifts (Kate Daniels, #5.4))
Straight guys only feel three ways about girls . . . First, either they love you, and they show it by writing a song about you, like Gabriel, and asking you out, and everything is nice and fun like it should be. Second, they love you, but they’re scared of their passion for you because it’s so strong, like your boy Christopher, so they stuff it way, way down and ignore you, or do stupid things like make fun of you because they don’t know how to express it any other way, because they’re immature little babies and are too shy to, say, write a song about you. Or third, there’s something wrong with them, and they start out nice and loving and then turn around and do stupid things like sleep with other girls behind your back, like Justin Bay. But we’ll never figure out what went wrong with them, and neither will they, so it’s not worth thinking about. Okay? That’s it. The end.”
Meg Cabot (Airhead (Airhead, #1))
Ian closed his eyes. Beth watched emotions flicker across his face, the uncertainty, the stubbornness, the raw pain he’d lived with for so long. He didn’t always know how to express his emotions, but that didn’t mean he didn’t feel them deeply.
When Ian slowly opened his eyes, he guided his gaze directly to Beth’s. His golden eyes shimmered and sparkled, pupils ringed with green. He held her gaze steadily, not blinking, or shifting away.
“I love you,” he said.
Beth caught her breath, and sudden tears blurred her vision.
“Love you,” Ian repeated. His gaze bore into hers harder than Hart’s ever could hope to. “Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, love you…
Jennifer Ashley (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1))
Voicemail #1: “Hi, Isabel Culpeper. I am lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling. I am mostly naked. I am thinking of … your mother. Call me.”
Voicemail #2: The first minute and thirty seconds of “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You” by the Bee Gees.
Voicemail #3: “I’m bored. I need to be entertained. Sam is moping. I may kill him with his own guitar. It would give me something to do and also make him say something. Two birds with one stone! I find all these old expressions unnecessarily violent. Like, ring around the rosy. That’s about the plague, did you know? Of course you did. The plague is, like, your older cousin. Hey, does Sam talk to you? He says jack shit to me. God, I’m bored. Call me.”
Voicemail #4: “Hotel California” by the Eagles, in its entirety, with every instance of the word California replaced with Minnesota.
Voicemail #5: “Hi, this is Cole St. Clair. Want to know two true things? One, you’re never picking up this phone. Two, I’m never going to stop leaving long messages. It’s like therapy. Gotta talk to someone. Hey, you know what I figured out today? Victor’s dead. I figured it out yesterday, too. Every day I figure it out again. I don’t know what I’m doing here. I feel like there’s no one I can —”
Voicemail #6: “So, yeah, I’m sorry. That last message went a little pear-shaped. You like that expression? Sam said it the other day. Hey, try this theory on for size: I think he’s a dead British housewife reincarnated into a Beatle’s body. You know, I used to know this band that put on fake British accents for their shows. Boy, did they suck, aside from being assholes. I can’t remember their name now. I’m either getting senile or I’ve done enough to my brain that stuff’s falling out. Not so fair of me to make this one-sided, is it? I’m always talking about myself in these things. So, how are you, Isabel Rosemary Culpeper? Smile lately? Hot Toddies. That was the name of the band. The Hot Toddies.”
Voicemail #20: “I wish you’d answer.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Art doesn't owe anything to anyone.
Songs are about how it felt, not the facts. Self-expression is about what it feels to live, no whether you had the right to claim any emotion at any time. Did I have a right to be mad at him? Did he do anything wrong? Who cares! Who cares? I hurt. So I wrote about it
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six)
Be a light unto the world, and hurt it not. Seek to build not destroy. Bring My people home.
By your shining example. Seek only Godliness. Speak only in truthfulness. Act only in love.
Live the Law of Love now and forever more. Give everything require nothing.
Avoid the mundane.
Do not accept the unacceptable.
Teach all who seek to learn of Me.
Make every moment of your life an outpouring of love.
Use every moment to think the highest thought, say the highest word, do the highest deed. In this, glorify your Holy Self, and thus too, glorify Me.
Bring peace to the Earth by bringing peace to all those whose lives you touch. Be peace. Feel and express in every moment your Divine Connection with the All, and with every person, place, and thing.
Embrace every circumstance, own every fault, share every joy, contemplate every mystery, walk in every man’s shoes, forgive every offense (including your own), heal every heart, honor every person’s truth, adore every person’s God, protect every person’s rights, preserve every person’s dignity, promote every person’s interests, provide every person’s needs, presume every person’s holiness, present every person’s greatest gifts, produce every person’s blessing, pronounce every person’s future secure in the assured love of God.
Be a living, breathing example of the Highest Truth that resides within you. Speak humbly of yourself, lest someone mistake your Highest Truth for boast. Speak softly, lest someone think you are merely calling for attention. Speak gently, that all might know of Love. Speak openly, lest someone think you have something to hide. Speak candidly, so you cannot be mistaken. Speak often, so that your word may truly go forth. Speak respectfully, that no one be dishonored. Speak lovingly, that every syllable may heal. Speak of Me with every utterance. Make of your life a gift. Remember always, you are the gift!
Be a gift to everyone who enters your life, and to everyone whose life you enter. Be careful not to enter another’s life if you cannot be a gift. (You can always be a gift, because you always are the gift—yet sometimes you don’t let yourself know that.) When someone enters your life unexpectedly, look for the gift that person has come to receive from you…I HAVE SENT YOU NOTHING BUT ANGELS.
Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God: An Uncommon Dialogue, Book 2)
She jerked her face up. "Huh? Where were we?"
But his expression had grown serious, the lesson forgotten. He interlaced his fingers and said, "We are bound."
He collected a piece of rope, knotting it.
"Oh, you mean bound?"
He gave a nod, then drew in the sand.
An infinity symbol? "Clever demon, how did you know that...?"
He was gazing at her with a question in his eyes.
"Bound forever?" And somehow she met his gaze and lied, "Yes, demon. Bound forever."
As if to make her feel guiltier, he gathered her into his arms, cupping her face against his broad chest. His voice a deep rumble, he said, "Carrow is Malkom's."
She wanted to sob.
"Yes," she answered, wishing that it could be so simple between them. Demon meets girl. Girl might be falling for demon.
Kresley Cole (Demon from the Dark (Immortals After Dark, #9))
You ruin your life by desensitizing yourself. We are all afraid to say too much, to feel too deeply, to let people know what they mean to us. Caring is not synonymous with crazy. Expressing to someone how special they are to you will make you vulnerable. There is no denying that. However, that is nothing to be ashamed of. There is something breathtakingly beautiful in the moments of smaller magic that occur when you strip down and are honest with those who are important to you. Let that girl know that she inspires you. Tell your mother you love her in front of your friends. Express, express, express. Open yourself up, do not harden yourself to the world, and be bold in who, and how you love. There is courage in that.
I stand there for a while, then sit cross-legged before it and bow my head. "Hi, Metias," I say in a soft voice. "Today's my birthday. Do you know how old I am now?"
I close me eyes, and through the silence surrounding me I think I can sense a ghostly hand on my shoulder, my brother's gentle presence that I'm able to feel every now and then, in these quiet moments. I imagine him smiling down at me, his expression relaxed and free.
"I'm twenty-seven today," I continue in a whisper. My voice catches for a moment. "We're the same age now."
For the first tine in my life, I am no longer his little sister. Next year I will step across the line and he will still be in the same place. From now on, I will be older than he ever was.
I try to move on to other thoughts, so I tell my brother's ghost about my year, my struggles and successes in commanding my own patrols, my hectic workweeks. I tell him, as I always do, that I miss him. And as always, I can hear the whisper of his ghost against my ear, his gentle reply that he misses me too. That he's looking out for me, from wherever he is.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
Spiritualizing sex is actually a movement of energy—feeling and emotion—that rises within you and moves into your sexual physicality as an alive, tender, erotic, or passionate expression. Your bodies move without inhibition so all the energy can flow out of you and between the two of you. You allow spiritual energy to express its dance through you. Sexuality can be a profound demonstration of your love, and especially your freedom, to express and bond. Spiritual sex, then, combines how you express your love with the intentions or blessings you bring to your partnership.
Alexandra Katehakis (Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot, Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction)
Finny never tells anyone how he is feeling; you just have to know him well enough to understand when he is sad or scared. Today his expression does not tell me how he feels about me being over here. Either he couldn't care less, or he could be annoyed.
Laura Nowlin (If He Had Been with Me)
The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people’s hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely.
During the Age of Silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for I love you or I feel serious. When a hand was used to shield one’s face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one’s lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for Now I realize I was wrong to love you. These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn’t go round with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they’d understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you. Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me."
"If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms – if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body – it’s because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what’s inside and what’s outside, was so much less. It’s not that we’ve forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it’s too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other’s bodies to make ourselves understood.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Two things put me in the spirit to give. One is that I have come to think of everyone with whom I come into contast as a patient in the emergency room. I see a lot of gaping wounds and dazed expressions. Or, as Marianne Moore put it, "The world's an orphan's home." And this feels more true than almost anything else I know. But so many of us can be soothed by writing: think of how many times you have opened a book, read one line, and said, "Yes!" And I want to give people that feeling, too, of connection, communication.
It’s been a long time since I’ve loved someone, but I know what it feels like. When you turn from me, it hurts. When you think badly of me, I think badly of myself. When you do stupid, suicidal things, I want to slap you upside the head and demand to know how you can be so brilliant and so blind at the same time.” Tybalt’s expression was calm. “If that’s not love, what is it?”
“Why are you telling me this?” I whispered.
“Because we’re probably going to die today.” He waved his free hand toward the street. “I’ve always tried not to lie to you; I’ve seen how you react when others do. Dying without telling you how I felt would be lying. I’ve been patient. I’ve given you time to recognize my feelings, and I’ve seen you choose a man who loved the girl you were, not the woman you are. Now he’s gone, and I can’t be patient anymore. I love you, October. I’ll be sorry if we die here, but I won’t be sorry I helped you… and I won’t be sorry I finally told you.”
“Cats never regret anything,” he said, and he turned and kissed me.
Seanan McGuire (Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6))
You cannot make yourself have a flashback, nor will you have one unless you are emotionally ready to remember something. Once remembered, the memory can help you to face more of the truth. You can then express your pent-up feelings about the memory and continue on your path to recovery. Think of the flashback as a clue to the next piece of work. No matter how painful, try to view it as a positive indication that you are now ready and willing to remember.
Beverly Engel (The Right to Innocence)
I don’t want to say this,” he says, “but I feel like I have to. It is more important for you to be safe than right, for the time being. Understand?”
His straight eyebrows are drawn low over his eyes. My stomach writhes, partly because I know he makes a good point but I don’t want to admit it, and partly because I want something I don’t know how to express; I want to press against the space between us until it disappears.
“But please, when you see an opportunity…” He presses his hand to my cheek, cold and strong, and tilts my head up so I have to look at him. His eyes glint. They look almost predatory. “Ruin them.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
You need to own your feelings. Get more comfortable expressing yourself."
"How about I express you out the nearest window?
Greg Cox (The Bestseller Job (Leverage, #3))
I see how it is,” I snapped. “You were all in favor of me breaking the tattoo and thinking on my own—but that’s only okay if it’s convenient for you, huh? Just like your ‘loving from afar’ only works if you don’t have an opportunity to get your hands all over me. And your lips. And . . . stuff.”
Adrian rarely got mad, and I wouldn’t quite say he was now. But he was definitely exasperated. “Are you seriously in this much self-denial, Sydney? Like do you actually believe yourself when you say you don’t feel anything? Especially after what’s been happening between us?”
“Nothing’s happening between us,” I said automatically. “Physical attraction isn’t the same as love. You of all people should know that.”
“Ouch,” he said. His expression hadn’t changed, but I saw hurt in his eyes. I’d wounded him. “Is that what bothers you? My past? That maybe I’m an expert in an area you aren’t?”
“One I’m sure you’d just love to educate me in. One more girl to add to your list of conquests.”
He was speechless for a few moments and then held up one finger. “First, I don’t have a list.” Another finger, “Second, if I did have a list, I could find someone a hell of lot less frustrating to add to it.” For the third finger, he leaned toward me. “And finally, I know that you know you’re no conquest, so don’t act like you seriously think that. You and I have been through too much together. We’re too close, too connected. I wasn’t that crazy on spirit when I said you’re my flame in the dark. We chase away the shadows around each other. Our backgrounds don’t matter. What we have is bigger than that. I love you, and beneath all that logic, calculation, and superstition, I know you love me too. Running away and fleeing all your problems isn’t going to change that. You’re just going to end up scared and confused.”
“I already feel that way,” I said quietly.
Adrian moved back and leaned into his seat, looking tired. “Well, that’s the most accurate thing you’ve said so far.”
I grabbed the basket and jerked open the car door. Without another word, I stormed off, refusing to look back in case he saw the tears that had inexplicably appeared in my eyes. Only, I wasn’t sure exactly which part of our conversation I was most upset about.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
All right, then,” she snapped, “do as you please! Perhaps afterward we could manage a coherent discussion.” Twisting beneath him, she flopped onto her stomach.
Christopher went still. After a long hesitation, she heard him ask in a far more normal voice, “What are you doing?”
“I’m making it easier for you,” came her defiant reply. “Go on, start ravishing.”
Another silence. Then, “Why are you facing downward?”
“Because that’s how it’s done.” Beatrix twisted to look at him over her shoulder. A twinge of uncertainty caused her to ask, “Isn’t it?”
His face was blank. “Has no one ever told you?”
“No, but I’ve read about it.”
Christopher rolled off her, relieving her of his weight. He wore an odd expression as he asked, “From what books?”
“Veterinary manuals. And of course, I’ve observed the squirrels in springtime, and farm animals and-”
She was interrupted as Christopher cleared his throat loudly, and again. Darting a confused glance at him, she realized that he was trying to choke back amusement.
Beatrix began to feel indignant. Her first time in a bed with a man, and he was laughing.
“Look here,” she said in a businesslike manner, “I’ve read about the mating habits of over two dozen species, and with the exception of snails, whose genitalia is on their necks, they all—” She broke off and frowned. “Why are you laughing at me?
Christopher had collapsed, overcome with hilarity. As he lifted his head and saw her affronted expression, he struggled manfully with another outburst. “Beatrix. I’m . . . I’m not laughing at you.”
“No I’m not. It’s just . . .” He swiped a tear from the corner of his eye, and a few more chuckles escaped. “Squirrels . . .”
“Well, it may be humorous to you, but it’s a very serious matter to the squirrels.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
If you're anxious, when you start to feel something is bothering you in a relationship, you tend to quickly get flooded with negative emotions and think in extremes. Unlike your secure counterpart, you don't expect your partner to respond positively but anticipate the opposite. You perceive the relationship as something fragile and unstable that can collapse at any moment. These thoughts and assumptions make it hard for you to express your needs effectively.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
We try, we struggle, all the time to find words to express our love. The quality, the quantity, certain that no two people have experienced it before in the history of creation. Perhaps Catherine and Heathcliff, perhaps Romeo and Juliet, maybe Tristan and Isolde, maybe Hero and Leander, but these are just characters, make-believe. We have known each other forever, since before conception even. We remember playing together in a playpen, crossing paths at FAO Schwarz. We remember meeting in front of the Holy Temple in the days before Christ, we remember greeting each other at the Forum, at the Parthenon, on passing ships as Christopher Columbus sailed to America. We have survived pogrom together, we have died in Dachau together, we have been lynched by the Ku Klux Klan together. There has been cancer, polio, the bubonic plague, consumption, morphine addiction. We have had children together, we have been children together, we were in the womb together. Our history is so deep and wide and long, we have known each other a million years. And we don't know how to express this kind of love, this kind of feeling. I get paralyzed sometimes. One day, we are in the shower and I want to say to him, I could be submerged in sixty feet of water right now, never drowning, never even fearing drowning, knowing I would always be safe with you here, knowing that it would be ok to die as long as you are here. I want to say this but don't.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Talaith leaned forward, studied her youngest daughter. “You think you’re evil?”
“Pure evil,” Izzy clarified, which got her a rather vicious glare from Rhi. An expression Dagmar had never thought the young,
perpetually smiling or sobbing girl was capable of.
“Why would you think you’re evil?”
“It’s a feeling I have.”
“No. Someone told her.”
Rhi glowered at her sister. “I never said that.”
“You didn’t have to,” Izzy shot back. “I know you.”
“Well, who told her that?” Talaith demanded.
And, as one, they all turned and looked at Gwenvael.
He blinked, sat up straight. “I would never say such a thing to my dear sweet niece!”
“You said it to me,” Talwyn snapped.
“That’s because you’re not my dear sweet niece. You’re the rude little cow who threw a knife at my head.”
“I wasn’t aiming for you. I was aiming for Mum.”
“She’s right,” Annwyl admitted. “I just ducked behind you.” She shrugged. “Sorry.
G.A. Aiken (How to Drive a Dragon Crazy (Dragon Kin, #6))
There is nothing more powerful than truth. It is undeniable and should always be appreciated. The truth gives you unlimited freedom to be who you are and express how you feel. The truth offers you peace of mind which is something we all love.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana
I am in no doubt that if you use the term 'luv' in a letter or text message then you are incapable of truly understanding the emotion. Artists have not pored over heartache and unrequited sentimentality for years so that our generation could decide that four letters is simply one too many to express how we feel.
Jon Richardson (It's Not Me, It's You)
I think sexy is a grown-up word to describes a person who's confident that she is already exactly who she was made to be. A sexy woman knows herself and she likes the way she looks, thinks & feels. She doesn't try to change to match anybody else. She's a good friend herself kind and patient. and she knows how to use her words to tell people she trusts about what's going on inside of her-her fears and anger, love, dreams the mistakes, and needs. When she's angry she expresses her anger in healthy ways. When she's joyful, she does the same thing. She doesn't hide her true self because she is not ashamed. She knows she's just human-exactly how God made her and that's good enough. She's brave enough to be honest and kind enough to except others when they're honest. When two people are sexy enough to be brave and kind with each other, that's love. Sexy is more about how you feel and how you look. Real sexy is letting your true self come out of hiding and find love in safe places. That kind of sexy is good, really good, because we all we want and need love more than anything else
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
How do I look in the dark?”
Startled, Arin glanced at him. The question had had no edges. It wasn’t sleek, either. Its soft, uncertain shape suggested that Roshar truly wanted to know. In the fired red shadows, his limbs looked lax and his mutilated face met Arin’s squarely. The heavy feeling that Arin carried—that specific sadness, nestled just below his collar bone, like a pendant—lessened. He said, “Like my friend.”
Roshar didn’t smile. When he spoke, his voice matched his expression, which was rare for him. Rarer still: his tone. Quiet and true. “You do, too.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3))
Where's your car? Miles asks, glancing at him as he slams his door shut and slings his backpack over his shoulder. "And whats up with your hand?"
"I got rid of it," Damen says, gaze fixed on mine. Then glancing at Miles and seeing his expression he adds, "The car, not the hand."
"Did you trade it in?" I ask, but only because Miles is listening. [...]
He shakes his head and walks me to the gate, smiling as he says, "No, I just dropped off on the side of the road, key in the ignition, engine running."
"Excuse me?!" Miles yelps. "You mean to tell me that you left your shiny, black, BMW M6 Coupe—by the side of the road?"
But thats a hundred-thousand-dollar car!" Miles gasps as his face turns bright red.
"A hundreds and ten." Damen laughs. "Don't forget, it was fully customized and loaded with options."
Miles stares at him, eyes practically bugging out of his head, unable to comprehend how anyone could do such a thing—why anyone would do such a thing. "Um, okay, so let me get this straight—you just woke up and decided—Hey, what the hell? I think I'll just dump my ridiculously expensive luxury car by the side of the road—WHERE JUST ANYONE CAN TAKE IT?"
Damen shrugs. "Pretty much."
"Because in case you haven't noticed," Miles says, practically hyperventilating now. "Some of us are a little car deprived. Some of us were born with parents so cruel and unusual they're forced to rely on the kindness of friends for the rest of their lives!"
"Sorry." Damen shrugs. "Guess I hadn't thought about that. Though if it makes you feel any better, it was all for a very good cause.
Alyson Noel (Shadowland (The Immortals, #3))
Zen is not some fancy, special art of living. Our teaching is just to live, always in reality, in its exact sense. To make our effort, moment after moment, is our way. In an exact sense, the only thing we actually can study in our life is that on which we are working in each moment. We cannot even study Buddha’s words.”
“So we should be concentrated with our full mind and body on what we do; and we should be faithful, subjectively and objectively, to ourselves, and especially to our feelings. Even when you do not feel so well, it is better to express how you feel without any particular attachment or intention. So you may say, “Oh, I am sorry, I do not feel well.
Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice)
It’s hard to express how profound it is to have your experience broadcast back to you for the first time, how shocking it feels to be acknowledged, as if your own sense of realness had only existed before as a concept.
Carrie Brownstein (Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir)
She said, “Do you see how I’m wearing this apron? It means I’m working. For a living.”
The unconcerned expression didn’t flag. He said, “I’ll take care of it.”
She echoed, “Take care of it?”
“Yeah. How much do you make in an hour? I’ll take care of it. And I’ll talk to your manager.”
For a moment, Blue was actually lost for words. She had never believed people who claimed to be speechless, but she was. She opened her mouth, and at first, all that came out was air. Then something like the beginning of a laugh. Then finally, she managed to sputter, “I am not a prostitute.”
The Aglionby boy appeared puzzled for a long moment, and then realization dawned. “Oh, that was not how I meant it. That is not what I said.”
“That is what you said! You think you can just pay me to talk to your friend? Clearly you pay most of your female companions by the hour and don’t know how it works with the real world, but . . . but . . .” Blue remembered that she was working to a point, but now what that point was. Indignation had eliminated all higher functions and all that remained was the desire to slap him. The boy opened his mouth to protest, and her thought came back to her all in a rush. “Most girls, when they’re interested in a guy, will sit with them for free.”
To his credit, the Aglionby boy didn’t speak right away. Instead, he thought for a moment and then he said, without heat, “You said you were working for living. I thought it’d be rude to not take that into account. I’m sorry you’re insulted. I see where you’re coming from, but I feel it’s a little unair that you’re not doing the same for me.”
“I feel you’re being condescending,” Blue said.
In the background, she caught a glimpse of Soldier Boy making a plane of his hand. It was crashing and weaving toward the table surface while Smudgy Boy gulped laughter down. The elegant boy held his palm over his face in exaggerated horror, fingers spread just enough that she could see him wince.
“Dear God,” remarked Cell Phone boy. “I don’t know what else to say.”
“Sorry,” she recommended.
“I said that already.”
Blue considered. “Then ‘bye.’”
He made a little gesture at his chest that she thought was supposed to mean he was curtsying or bowing or something sarcastically gentleman-like.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Look,” I began, “I get it. You don’t like me, but—”
“I don’t like you?”
He let out a low, flat laugh. One fell into the next, and it was awful—not at all him. He was half
choking on them as he turned around, shaking his head. It almost sounded like a sob, the way his
breath burst out of him.
“I don’t like you,” he repeated, his face bleak. “I don’t like you?”
“Liam—” I started, alarmed.
“I can’t—I can’t think about anything or anyone else,” he whispered. A hand drifted up, dragging
back through his hair. “I can’t think straight when you’re around. I can’t sleep. It feels like I can’t
“Liam, please,” I begged. “You’re tired. You’re barely over being sick. Let’s just… Can we just
go back to the others?”
“I love you.” He turned toward me, that agonized expression still on his face. “I love you every
second of every day, and I don’t understand why, or how to make it stop—”
He looked wild with pain; it pinned me in place, even before what he had said registered in my
“I know it’s wrong; I know it down to my damn bones. And I feel like I’m sick. I’m trying to be a
good person, but I can’t. I can’t do it anymore.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
<…>Tate fell silent.
"Since the day I was released, you knocked yourself out. You had my back, you took care of Lexie when we had our thing then you did what you could to help me sort that. It's important to me that you know I'm grateful. I've been tryin' to figure out how I can show how much but, keep thinkin' on it, nothin' comes to mind and I know why. I get it. You're a man who has everything so there is nothing I can hand you that you want or need. And I get that because I am now that same man. So the only thing I can give you are words and, my guess is, that'll be enough. If it isn't, you name it and it's yours."
"Friends do what I did for friends," Tate returned.
"No they don't, Tate. You did what you did for me because you're you. That's what I'm talkin' about."
Tate ws silent a moment then he said, "Well then, you guessed right. Words are enough."
Tate tipped his head to the side and asked jokingly, "We done with the near-midnight in the middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart?"
Ty didn't feel like joking and answered, "No."
"Then what -?"
"Love you, man," Ty interrupted quietly.
"Learned the hard way not to delay in expressing that sentiment so I'm not gonna delay. You call me brother and I got one who's blood who don't mean shit to me and today, all this shit done, rejoicing and reflecting, it hit me that I got two who aren't blood but who do mean something. And you're one of those two."
"Ty-" Tate murmured.
"I will never forget, until I die, what you did for me and my wife and until that day I will never stop bein' grateful."
"Fuck man," Tate whispered.
"Now, do those words work so you get what you did mean to me?"
Silence then, "Yeah, they work."
"Good, then now we're done with our near-midnight, middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart," Ty declared, turned, opened the door to the Viper and started folding in.
He stopped with his ass nearly to the seat and looked up over the door when Tate called his name.
"I don't have a blood brother," Tate said. "But you should know there's a reason I call you that."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
People like to say that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. There tends to be a whispered reverence around the expression, as if it has magical healing powers. Better to be hated than ignored by that angry ex of yours; better to be hated than ignored, generally.
Otherwise, you may spend your life staring straight down the barrel of the opposite of love.
But I think that's bullshit. Nonsense print copy for a paper towel. A sound bit e to needlepoint on a throw pillow. Could indifference really be worse than hate? How depressing to think we could be spending most of our days surrounded by people who feel something worse than hate toward us.
Julie Buxbaum (The Opposite of Love)
And his expression, now. I realized right then -- how disappointed you could be when you were all in with someone. When you cared so deeply. How your heart could break, so precisely and quickly.
Maurene Goo (The Way You Make Me Feel)
How do you know if you can really trust someone?" I finally ask.
Noah raises his eyebrows and takes a sip of his drink.
Then he looks into my eyes and the expression in his is so earnest I feel like he's answering from a deeply personal place.
"If you need to ask that question, then you probably already know the answer," he says.
Sarah Pekkanen (An Anonymous Girl)
i will learn how to love a person and then i will teach you and then we will know"
seen from a great enough distance i cannot be seen
i feel this as an extremely distinct sensation
of feeling like shit; the effect of small children
is that they use declarative sentences and then look at your face
with an expression that says, ‘you will never do enough
for the people you love’; i can feel the universe expanding
and it feels like no one is trying hard enough
the effect of this is an extremely shitty sensation
of being the only person alive; i have been alone for a very long time
it will take an extreme person to make me feel less alone
the effect of being alone for a very long time
is that i have been thinking very hard and learning
about mortality, loneliness, people, society, and love; i am afraid
that i am not learning fast enough; i can feel the universe expanding
and it feels like no one has ever tried hard enough; when i cried in your room
it was the effect of an extremely distinct sensation that ‘i am the only person
alive,’ ‘i have not learned enough,’ and ‘i can feel the universe expanding
and making things be further apart
and it feels like a declarative sentence
whose message is that we must try harder
Personality is composed of two fundamentally different types of traits: those of 'character;' and those of 'temperament.' Your character traits stem from your experiences. Your childhood games; your family's interests and values; how people in your community express love and hate; what relatives and friends regard as courteous or perilous; how those around you worship; what they sing; when they laugh; how they make a living and relax: innumerable cultural forces build your unique set of character traits. The balance of your personality is your temperament, all the biologically based tendencies that contribute to your consistent patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving. As Spanish philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset, put it, 'I am, plus my circumstances.' Temperament is the 'I am,' the foundation of who you are.
And so your personality is shaped. You know too much, and this knowledge makes you wary. You grow fearful and mistrustful. The expression of emotion does not come naturally, so you learn to fake it. To pretend. To display an empathy you don’t actually feel. And so it is that you learn how to pass, if you’re lucky, to look like everyone else, even though you’re broken inside.
Christina Baker Kline (Orphan Train)
It is the first visit in many years for your son, finally a citizen of his new country and free to travel, and you try to suppress your undercurrent of resentment at his decision to absent himself from your presence in so devastatingly severe a manner. You feel a love you know you will never be able to adequately explain or express to him, a love that flows one way down the generations, not in reverse, and is understood and reciprocated only when time has made of a younger generation an older one.
Mohsin Hamid (How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia)
If you listen to my words you'll understand how I really feel inside...I can't express my feelings to you, but I can by writing lyrics.
I don't get it - how you can feel like there are no consequences for living with your feelings on your sleeve.
Julie Murphy (Side Effects May Vary)
All the world's stupidest people are either zealots or atheists. If you want to truly deduce how intelligent someone is, just ask this person how they feel about any issue that doesn't have an answer; the more certainty they express, the less sense they have. This is because certainty only comes from dogma.
Chuck Klosterman (Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Ideas)
You’re not by any chance writing out a new order form, are you?” said Mrs. Weasley shrewdly. “You wouldn’t be thinking of restarting Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, by any chance?” “Now, Mum,” said Fred, looking up at her, a pained look on his face. “If the Hogwarts Express crashed tomorrow, and George and I died, how would you feel to know that the last thing we ever heard from you was an unfounded accusation?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
Time does not heal wounds without acknowledgement of what has happened. You need to clarify your feelings and express them in a way that defines in detail what you have lost and how much you care about what you have lost . . . – Peter Leech & Zeva Singer
Pete Walker (The Tao of Fully Feeling: Harvesting Forgiveness out of Blame)
A native tongue, in my opinion, isn't the language spoken where you were born or the first language you learned; it's a language that makes you feel at home. It's a language that you don't command, but that commands you. And without it, you'd feel lost, unsure of how to express to the world everything you care enough to express.
Ruby: How nice for you all. How is the wonderfully helpful Ursula?
Rosie: Wonderfully helpful. Yesterday she told me I had problems discussing
Rosie: And I told her that made me feel angry and that she could go fuck
Ruby: Well expressed.
Rosie: Thank you. I don’t see where there was a problem, I successfully
explained how I felt and she clearly understood what I meant. No
problems . . .
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Have you noticed that death alone awakens our feelings? How we love the friends who have just left us? How we admire those of our teachers who have ceased to speak, their mouths filled with earth! Then the expression of admiration springs forth naturally, that admiration they were perhaps expecting from us all their lives. But do you know why we are always more just and more generous toward the dead? The reason is simple. With them there is no obligation. They leave us free and we can take our time, fit the testimonial between a cocktail party and a nice little mistress, in our spare time, in short.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
A typical submissive lives to serve. She likely grew up believing that service to the people you care for is how you express your love for them. It had little or nothing to do with relationship dynamics, sex, kink, or anything anywhere near that complicated. It is a simple, sweet principle of love: If you care for someone, you do nice things for that person. It makes you feel better, it makes him feel better, and it makes the world - or at least your little corner of it - a better place for a time.
Michael Makai (The Warrior Princess Submissive)
In all your travels, have you ever seen a star go supernova? ...
I have. I saw a star explode and send out the building blocks of the Universe. Other stars, other planets and eventually other life. A supernova! Creation itself! I was there. I wanted to see it and be part of the moment. And you know how I perceived one of the most glorious events in the universe? With these ridiculous gelatinous orbs in my skull! With eyes designed to perceive only a tiny fraction of the EM spectrum. With ears designed only to hear vibrations in the air. ...
I don't want to be human! I want to see gamma rays! I want to hear X-rays! And I want to - I want to smell dark matter! Do you see the absurdity of what I am? I can't even express these things properly because I have to - I have to conceptualize complex ideas in this stupid limiting spoken language! But I know I want to reach out with something other than these prehensile paws! And feel the wind of a supernova flowing over me! I'm a machine! And I can know much more! I can experience so much more. But I'm trapped in this absurd body! And why? Because my five creators thought that God wanted it that way!
Ronald D. Moore
Stop wearing that mask that is trying to be a match for everybody, and realise that you have to have more of a 1s and 10s model. A 1s and 10s model means that if you want to be a 10 for somebody you have to risk being a 1 for somebody else. [...] You wanna express who you really are.
We begin to say something that cannot be said. When you see on the front page a woman in Iraq who's just seen her husband blown up, you see her there, her mouth wide open, you know the sound coming out of her, a howl of grief and pain -- that's the beginning of language.
Trying to express that, it's inexpressible, and poetry is really to say what can't be said. And that's why people turn to it in these moments. They don't know how to say this, [but] part of them feels that maybe a poem will say it. It won't say it, but it'll come closer to saying it than anything else will.
I think there are always two sides, and one of them is the unsayable. The utterly singular. Who you are; who you can never tell anybody. And on the other hand, there is what you can express. How do we know about this thing we talk about? Because we talk about it. We're using words. And the words never say it, but the words are all we have to say it.
Y’know, I've always hated that expression: Others have it worse than you do; I guess if you want to look at it in a competitive way, sure, give me welfare over blindness any day, but it’s not a fucking competition. Right?”
Is he asking me because he wants to know how I feel, or was that his way of telling me how it is
and hoping I get it?
I just nod.
“Pain is pain, babe.” Every time he calls me ‘babe’ I notice it more than anything else he says.
“Just because one person’s problem is less traumatic than another’s doesn't mean they’re required to hurt less.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1))
All we have is
the present. The present’s perfect, young
grasshopper, because we’re breathing,
moving, laughing, crying, and are
surprised when we finally meet someone
we connect with. Stop living in the past
and wasting your present. You need to
tell Noah how you feel.
Alison G. Bailey (Present Perfect (Perfect, #1))
Something like missionary reductionism has happened to the internet with the rise of web 2.0. The strangeness is being leached away by the mush-making process. Individual web pages as they first appeared in the early 1990S had the flavor of personhood. MySpace preserved some of that flavor, though a process of regularized formatting had begun. Facebook went further, organizing people into multiple-choice identities, while Wikipedia seeks to erase point of view entirely.
If a church or government were doing these things, it would feel authoritarian, but when technologists are the culprits, we seem hip, fresh, and inventive. People will accept ideas presented in technological form that would be abhorrent in any other form. It is utterly strange to hear my many old friends in the world of digital culture claim to be the true sons of the Renaissance without realizing that using computers to reduce individual expression is a primitive, retrograde activity, no matter how sophisticated your tools are.
Jaron Lanier (You Are Not a Gadget)
Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. —MIGUEL ANGEL RUIZ It’s better to take the time to ask questions and to find the words to say what you really feel. Often we leave so much room for interpretation either because we are rushing or because we are afraid to speak the whole truth, but this is where miscommunications start. So even if you aren’t sure about what someone means or how they feel, just ask them. Goal: When was the last time you assumed something and were wrong? Make a point to know the truth and not assume it.
Demi Lovato (Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year)
I must have been in the car for a long time because eventually my sister found me there. I was chain-smoking cigarettes and crying still. My sister knocked on the window. I rolled it down. She looked at me with this curious expression. Then, her curiosity turned to anger.
"Charlie, are you smoking?!"
She was so mad. I can't tell you how mad she was.
"I can't believe you're smoking!"
That's when I stopped crying. And started laughing. Because of all the things she could have said right after she got out of there, she picked my smoking. And she got angry about it. And I knew if my sister was angry, then her face wouldn't be that different. And she would be okay.
"I'm going to tell Mom and Dad, you know?"
"No, you're not." God, I couldn't stop laughing.
When my sister thought about it for a second, I think she figured out why she wouldn't tell Mom or Dad. It's like she suddenly remembered where we were and what had just happened and how crazy our whole conversation was considering at all. Then, she started laughing.
But the laughing made her feel sick, so I had to get out of the car and help her into the backseat. I had already set up the pillow and the blanket for her because we figured it was probably best for her to sleep it off a little in the car before we went home.
Just before she feel asleep, she said, "Well, it you're going to smoke, crack the window at least."
Which made me start laughing again.
"Charlie, smoking. I can't believe it."
Which made me laugh harder, and I said, "I love you."
And my sister said, "I love you too. Just stop it with the laughing already.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
One fast more or I'm gone', I realize, gone the way of the last three years of drunken hopelessness which is a physical and spiritual and metaphysical hopelessness you can't learn in school no matter how many books on existentialism or pessimism you read, or how many jugs of vision-producing Ayahuasca you drink, or Mescaline you take, or Peyote goop up with-- That feeling when you wake up with the delirium tremens with the fear of eerie death dripping from your ears like those special heavy cobwebs spiders weave in the hot countries, the feeling of being a bent back mudman monster groaning underground in hot steaming mud pulling a long hot burden nowhere, the feeling of standing ankledeep in hot boiled pork blood, ugh, of being up to your waist in a giant pan of greasy brown dishwater not a trace of suds left in it--The face of yourself you see in the mirror with its expression of unbearable anguish so hagged and awful with sorrow you can't even cry for a thing so ugly, so lost, no connection whatever with early perfection and therefore nothing to connect with tears or anything: it's like William Seward Burroughs' 'Stranger' suddenly appearing in your place in the mirror- Enough! 'One fast move or I'm gone' so I jump up, do my headstand first to pump blood back into the hairy brain, take a shower in the hall, new T-shirt and socks and underwear, pack vigorously, hoist the rucksack and run out throwing the key on the desk and hit the cold street...I've got to escape or die...
Travis slammed into my back, wrapping his arms around my waist.
“You scared the shit outta me!” I complained.
He ran his hands over my skin. I noticed they felt different; slow and deliberate. I closed my eyes when he pulled me against him and buried his face in my hair, nuzzling my neck. Feeling his bare skin against mine, it took me a moment to protest.
He pulled my hair to one side and grazed his lips along my back from one shoulder to the other, unsnapping the clasp of my bra. He kissed the bare skin at the base of my neck and I closed my eyes, the warm softness of his mouth felt oo good to make him stop. A quiet moan escaped from his throat when he pressed his pelvis against mine, and I could feel how much he wanted me through his boxers. I held my breath, knowing the only thing keeping us from that big step I was so opposed to a few moments before was two thin pieces of fabric.
Travis turned me to face him, and then pressed against me, leaning my back against the wall. Our eyes met, and I could see the ache in his expression as he scanned the bare pieces of my skin. I had seen him peruse women before, but this was different. He didn’t want to conquer me; he wanted me to say yes.
He leaned in to kiss me, stopping just an inch away. I could feel the heat from his skin radiating against my lips, and I had to stop myself from drawing him in the rest of the way. His fingers were digging into my skin as he deliberated, and then his hands slid from my back to the hem of my panties. His index fingers slid down my hips, in between my skin and the lacey fabric, and in the same moment that he was about to slip the delicate threads down my legs, he hesitated. Just when I opened my mouth to say yes, he clenched his eyes shut.
“Not like this,” he whispered, brushing his lips across mine. “I want you, but not like this.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1))
We normally think of the expressions on our face as the reflection of an inner state. I feel happy, so I smile. I feel sad, so I frown. Emotion goes inside-out. Emotional contagion, though, suggests that the opposite is also true. If I can make you smile, I can make you happy. If I can make you frown, I can make you sad. Emotion, in this sense, goes outside-in.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
Call the world, if you please, "the Vale of Soul Making". Then you will find out the use of the world....
There may be intelligences or sparks of the divinity in millions -- but they are not Souls till they acquire identities, till each one is personally itself.
Intelligences are atoms of perception -- they know and they see and they are pure, in short they are God. How then are Souls to be made? How then are these sparks which are God to have identity given them -- so as ever to possess a bliss peculiar to each one's individual existence. How, but in the medium of a world like this?
This point I sincerely wish to consider, because I think it a grander system of salvation than the Christian religion -- or rather it is a system of Spirit Creation...
I can scarcely express what I but dimly perceive -- and yet I think I perceive it -- that you may judge the more clearly I will put it in the most homely form possible. I will call the world a school instituted for the purpose of teaching little children to read. I will call the human heart the hornbook used in that school. And I will call the child able to read, the soul made from that school and its hornbook.
Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul? A place where the heart must feel and suffer in a thousand diverse ways....
As various as the lives of men are -- so various become their souls, and thus does God make individual beings, souls, identical souls of the sparks of his own essence.
This appears to me a faint sketch of a system of salvation which does not affront our reason and humanity...
You never know how strong you are until you've been tested. People will try you on every level. They may think because you're not loud or rude like them that you won't put them in their place. But, push the wrong buttons and you'll soon find out.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Release The Ink)
You feel a love you know you will never be able to adequately explain or express to him, a love that flows one way, down the generations, not in reverse, and is understood and reciprocated only when time has made of a younger generation an older one.
Mohsin Hamid (How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia)
It’s important to make a distinction between allowing feelings and allowing actions,” I replied. “We permit children to express all their feelings. We don’t permit them to hurt each other. Our job is to show them how to express their anger without doing damage.
Adele Faber (Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too)
No matter what I do, I really do love you Celaena."
The word hit her like a stone to the head. He'd never said that word to her before. Ever.
A long silence fell between them.
Arobynn's neck shifted as he swallowed. "I do the things that I do because I'm sacred ... and because I don't know how to express what I feel." He said it so quietly that she barely heard it. "I did all of those things because I was angry with you for picking Sam."
Arobynn's carefully cultivated mask fell, and the wound she'd given him flickered in those magnificent eyes. "Stay with me," he whispered. "Stay in Rifthold."
She swallowed, and found it particularly hard to do so. "I'm going."
"No," he said softly. "Don't go."
That was what she'd said to him that night he'd beaten her, in the moment before he'd struck her, when she thought he was going to hurt Sam instead. And then he'd beaten her so badly she'd been knocked unconscious. Then he'd beaten Sam, too.
That was what Ansel had said to her in the desert when Celaena had pressed the sword into the back of her neck, when the agony of Ansel's betrayal had been almost enough to make Celaena kill the girl she'd called a friend. But that betrayal had paled in comparison to what Arobynn had done to her when he'd tricked her into killing Doneval, a man who could have freed countless slaves.
He was using word as chains to bind her again. He'd had so many chances over the year to tell her that he loved her--he'd known how much she craved those words. But he hadn't spoken them until he needed to use them as weapons.
And now that she had Sam, Sam who said those words without expecting anything in return, Sam who loved her for reasons she still didn't understand...
Celaena tilted her head to the side, the only warning she gave that she was still ready to attack him.
"Get out of my house.
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Empire (Throne of Glass, #0.5))
I make a Jeopardy! buzzer sound. “Who is Joshua Templeman?”
“Lucinda flirting with couriers. Pathetic.”
Joshua is hammering away on his keyboard. He certainly is an impressive touch typist. I stroll past his desk and am gratified by his frustrated backspacing.
“I’m nice to him.”
I’m surprised by how hurt I feel. “I’m lovely. Ask anyone.”
“Okay. Josh, is she lovely?” he asks himself aloud. “Hmm, let me think.”
He picks up his tin of mints, opens the lid, checks them, closes it, and looks at me. I open my mouth and lift my tongue like a mental patient at the medication window.
“She’s got a few lovely things about her, I suppose.”
I raise a finger and enunciate the words crisply: “Human resources.”
He sits up straighter but the corner of his mouth moves. I wish I could use my thumbs to pull his mouth into a huge deranged grin. As the police drag me out in handcuffs I’ll be screeching, Smile, goddamn you.
We need to get even, because it’s not fair. He’s gotten one of my smiles, and seen me smile at countless other people. I have never seen him smile, nor have I seen his face look anything but blank, bored, surly, suspicious, watchful, resentful. Occasionally he has another look on his face, after we’ve been arguing. His Serial Killer expression.
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
He wanted you to be the small, quiet girl from Abnegation," Four says softly. "He hurt you because your strength made him feel weak. No other reason."
I nod and try to believe him.
"The others won't be as jealous if you show some vulnerability. Even if it isn't real."
"You think I have to pretend to be vulnerable?" I ask, raising an eyebrow.
"Yes,I do." He takes the ice pack from me, his fingers brushing mine, and holds it against my head himself. I put my hand down, too eager to relax my arm to object. Four stands up. I stare at the hem of his T-shirt.
Sometimes I see him as just another person, and sometimes I feel the sight of him in my gut, like a deep ache.
"You're going to want to march into breakfast tomorrow and show your attackers they had no effect on you," he adds, "but you should let that bruise on your cheek show, and keep your head down."
The idea nauseates me.
"I don't think I can do that," I say hollowly. I lift my eyes to his.
"You have to."
"I don't think you get it." Heat rises into my face. "They touched me."
His entire body tightens at my words, his hand clenching around the ice pack. "Touched you," he repeates, his dark eyes cold.
"Not...in the way you're thinking." I clear my throat. I didn't realize when I said it how awkward it would be to talk about. "But...almost."
I look away.
He is silent and still for so long that eventually,I have to say something.
"What is it?"
"I don't want to say this," he says, "but I feel like I have to.It is more important for you to be safe than right, for the time being. Understand?"
His straight eyebrows are drawn low over his eyes. My stomach writhes, partly because I know he makes a good point but I don't want to admit it, and partly because I want something I don't know how to express; I want to press against te space between us until it disappears.
"But please,when you see an opportunity..." He pesses his hand to my cheek,cold and strong, and tilts my head up so I have to look at him. His eyes glint. They look almost predatory. "Ruin them."
I laugh shakily. "You're a little scary, Four."
"Do me a favor," he says, "and don't call me that."
"What should I call you,then?"
"Nothing." He takes his hand from my face. "Yet.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
Meditation is both the symbol and expression of our intention to grow. Sitting still, alone with our thoughts and feelings, we can honor missed opportunities, passing desires, remembered disappointments, as well as our inner strength, personal wisdom, and ability to forgive and love.
Sebastian Pole (Discovering the True You with Ayurveda: How to Nourish, Rejuvenate, and Transform Your Life)
Kate lost a mother," I said, "but I lost a nothing."
Kate doesn't feel that way," Jack assured me.
But what about everybody else besides Kate? How can I ever explain to anyone what she was when she and I had no name? People need names for everything. I wasn't a relative or a friend, I was just an object of her kindness."
He wiped my cheeks, saying Ssshh. I buried my face in his shoulder.
True kindness is stabilizing," I went on. "When you feel it and when you express it, it becomes the whole meaning of things. Like all there is to achieve. It's life, demystified. A place out of self, a network of simple pleasures, not a waltz, but like whirls within a waltz."
You're the one now," Jack said definitively. "That's why you met her. She had something she had to pass on." (p. 95)
Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology of an American Girl)
All over the world, there is cultural pressure to conceal negative emotions. In China and Japan, the ideal emotional state is calm and composed.10 In the United States, we like excitement (OMG!) and enthusiasm (LOL!). As psychologist David Caruso observes, “American culture demands that the answer to the question ‘How are you?’ is not just ‘Good.’11 … We need to be ‘Awesome.’ ” Caruso adds, “There’s this relentless drive to mask the expression of our true underlying feelings.” Admitting that you’re having a rough time is “almost inappropriate.” Anna
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
Do you hear it?" Samuel asked, his eyes penetrating.
"I don't hear it...but I know it's there." I struggled to express something that I'd never put into words. "Sometimes I think if I could just SEE without my eyes, the way I FEEL without my hands, I would be able to HEAR the music. I don't use my hands to feel love or joy or heartache - but I still feel them all the same. My eyes let me see incredibly beautiful things, but sometimes I think that what I SEE gets in the way of what's...what's just beyond the beauty. Almost like the beauty I can SEE is just a very lovely curtain, distracting me from what's on the other side...and if I just knew how to push that curtain aside, there the music would be." I threw up my hands in frustration. "I can't really explain it.
Amy Harmon (Running Barefoot)
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it.
Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me.
What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling?
I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!”
So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him.
He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart.
I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze.
“Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.”
My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb.
The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine.
He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms.
He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him.
How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive.
I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest.
I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
The panicked feeling of a guilty conscience never squeezes at your heart or wakes you in the middle of the night. Despite your lifestyle, you never feel irresponsible, neglectful, or so much as embarrassed, although for the sake of appearances, sometimes you pretend that you do. For example, if you are a decent observer of people and what they react to, you may adopt a lifeless facial expression, say how ashamed of your life you are, and talk about how rotten you feel. This you do only because it is more convenient to have people think you are depressed than it is to have them shouting at you all the time, or insisting that you get a job. You notice that people who do have a conscience feel guilty when they harangue someone they believe to be “depressed” or “troubled.” As a matter of fact, to your further advantage, they often feel obliged to take care of such a person.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
She looked at Will with a direct glance, full of delighted confidence.
"You approve of my going away for years, then, and never coming here again till I have made myself of some mark in the world?" said Will, trying hard to reconcile the utmost pride with the utmost effort to get an expression of strong feeling from Dorothea.
She was not aware how long it was before she answered. She had turned her head and was looking out of the window on the rose-bushes, which seemed to have in them the summers of all the years when Will would be away.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
My arms broke free from my control. My left hand reached for his face, his hair, to wind my fingers in it.
My right hand was faster, was not mine.
Melanie's fist punched his jaw, knocked his face away from mine with a blunt, low sound. Flesh against flesh, hard and angry.
The force of it was not enough to move him far, but he scrambled away from me the instant our lips were no longer connected, gaping with horrorstruck eyes at my horrorstruck expression.
I stared down at the still-clenched fist, as repulsed as if I'd found a scorpion growing on the end of my arm. A gasp of revulsion choked its way out of my throat. I grabbed the right wrist with my left hand, desperate to keep Melanie from using my body for violence again.
I glanced up at Jared. He was staring at the fist I restrained, too, the horror fading, surprise taking its place. In that second, his expression was entirely defenseless. I could easily read his thoughts as they moved across his unlocked face.
This was not what he had expected. And he's had expectations; that was plain to see. This had been a test. A test he'd thought he was prepared to evaluate. But he'd been surprised.
Did that mean pass or fail?
The pain in my chest was not a surprise. I already knew that a breaking heart was more than an exaggeration.
In a flight-or-fight situation, I never had a choice; it would always be flight for me. Because Jared was between me and the darkness of the tunnel exit, I wheeled and threw myself into the box-packed hole.
I was sobbing because it had been a test, and, stupid, stupid, stupid, emotional creature that I was, I wanted it to be real.
Melanie was writhing in agony inside me, and it was hard to make sense of the double pain. I felt as thought I was dying because it wasn't real; she felt as though she was dying because, to her, it had felt real enough. In all that she'd lost since the end of the world, so long ago, she'd never before felt betrayed.
'No one's betrayed you, stupid,' I railed at her.
'How could he? How?' she ranted, ignoring me.
We sobbed beyond control.
One word snapped us back from the edge of hysteria.
From the mouth of the hole, Jared's low, rough voice - broken and strangely childlike - asked, "Mel?"
"Mel?" he asked again, the hope he didn't want to feel colouring his tone.
My breath caught in another sob, an aftershock.
"You know that was for you, Mel. You know that. Not for h- it. You know I wasn't kissing it."
"If you're in there, Mel..." He paused.
Melanie hated the "if". A sob burst up through my lungs and I gasped for air.
"I love you," Jared said. "Even if you're not there, if you can't hear me, I love you.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host)
And she wanted to say not one thing, but everything. Little words that broke up the thought and dismembered it said nothing. “About life, about death; about Mrs. Ramsay”—no, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. TO want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have—to want and want—how that wrung the heart, and wrung it again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! She called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing around a centre of complete emptiness.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Interior decoration is not just one's artistic efforts, but it is that which your home (even if it is just a room) is. If you are 'decorating' with clothes draped on every chair, with scratched and broken furniture- it is still your interior decoration! Your home expresses you to other people, and they cannot see or feel your daydreams of what you expect to make in that misty future, when all the circumstances are what you think they must be before you will find it worthwhile to start. You have started, whether you recognize that fact or not! We foolish mortals sometimes live through years not realizing how short life is, and that TODAY is your life.
Edith Schaeffer (The Hidden Art of Homemaking)
Well, for a lot of reasons. Most of which I can’t really explain properly. That’s why people give presents, right? Because they don’t know how to express themselves in words, so you give gifts to symbolically explain your feelings. I got to thinking that the world would be a better place if they gave medals to great teachers rather than just soldiers who kill their enemies in wars.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
Music is math, and one you understand that…How can anyone not be in awe? It’s the audible expression behind the laws of the universe. It feels like the only thing, apart from God, that lives outside time. Once released, it lives on and it can make you laugh and cry, rip you apart and heal you, all withing a few discrete notes strung together. And while it follows rules, expression is limitless.
Katherine Reay (The Austen Escape)
It’s hard to explain how much that feeling of the bottom potentially falling out at any moment takes its toll. It makes you anxious, of course, and constant anxiety is impossible for the body to handle. So you develop a coping mechanism, and for us that meant shutting down. Everything we liked or wanted or felt joy in had to be hidden or suppressed. I’m sad to say that this method works. If you don’t give as much credence or value to whatever it is that you love, it hurts less when it is inevitably taken from you. I had to pretend I had no joy. It will come as a shock to people who know me now, but being able to express joy was something it took me a long time to be confident enough to do.
Alan Cumming (Not My Father's Son)
Maybe, after all, it doesn’t want it enough? Maybe we don’t love life enough? Have you noticed that death alone awakens our feelings? How we love the friends who have just left us? How we admire those of our teachers who have ceased to speak, their mouths filled with earth! Then the expression of admiration springs forth naturally, that admiration they were perhaps expecting from us all their lives.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
My friend, still seemingly perplexed, asked me "So if it's not about genitals, what is it about trans women's bodies that you find so attractive?"
I paused for a second to consider the question. Then I replied that it is almost always their eyes.
When I look into them, I see both endless strength and inconsolable sadness.
I see someone who has overcome humiliation and abuses that would flatten the average person.
I see a woman who was made to feel shame for her desires and yet had the courage to pursue them anyway.
I see a woman who was forced against her will into boyhood, who held on to a dream that everybody in her life desperately tried to beat out of her, who refused to listen to the endless stream of people who told her that who she was and what she wanted was impossible.
When I look into a trans woman's eyes, I see a profound appreciation for how fucking empowering it can be to be female, an appreciation that seems lost on many cissexual women who sadly take their female identities and anatomies for granted, or who perpetually seek to cast themselves as victims rather than instigators.
In trans women's eyes, I see a wisdom that can only come from having to fight for your right to be recognised as female, a raw strength that only comes from unabashedly asserting your right to be feminine in an inhospitable world.
In a trans woman's eyes, I see someone who understands that, in a culture that's seemingly fuelled on male homophobic hysteria, choosing to be female and openly expressing one's femininity is not a sign of frivolousness, weakness or passivity, it is a fucking badge of courage.
Everybody loves to say that drag queens are "fabulous", but nobody seems to get the fact that trans women are fucking badass!
Julia Serano (Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity)
That’s when I feel like the real me. I want to be a rock for you too, but I often feel inadequate to do so. I know I should express my self-doubt to you rather than leave you guessing my feelings. If I am given the chance, I will show you just how much my very essence is intertwined with yours and that I am incomplete without you. I will commit to nurturing our union, including keeping the lines of communication open.
Kristen James (A Special Ops Christmas)
How wonderful it is to be able to write someone a letter ! To feel like conveying your thoughts to a person, to sit at your desk and pick up a pen, to put your thoughts into words like this is truly marvellous. Of course, once i do put them into words, I find I can only express a fraction of what I want to say, but that's all right. I'm happy just to be able to feel I want to write to someone. And so I am writing to you.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Feel that?” he asked. “You’re the first woman who’s ever made my heart beat like that. You’re the first woman I’ve ever wanted to spend all my time with, the only one who could convince me to start a new life. You’re the first woman who’s ever made me genuinely happy. Who makes me glad to be alive, who makes me burn hotter than fire. You’re the first woman who’s ever made me afraid.”
I stared at him. “Afraid?”
“Afraid of how good this is. Afraid it won’t last.” He pushed a lock of hair off my forehead. “Scared to death of losing you.”
“Oh.” I was speechless. I swallowed hard. “You’re … You don’t have to be scared of losing me.”
Something flickered in his expression that I didn’t understand, couldn’t decipher.
“I don’t?” he said.
“No.” I shook my head. “No.”
“Good.” He pulled me closer. “Because you’re the first woman I’ve never wanted to let go.
Nina Lane (Allure (Spiral of Bliss, #2))
Hi, Metias,” I say in a soft voice. “Today’s my birthday. Do you know how old I am now?”
I close my eyes, and through the silence surrounding me I think I can sense a ghostly hand on my shoulder, my brother’s gentle presence that I'm able to feel every now and then, in these quiet moments. I imagine him smiling down at me, his expression relaxed and free.
“I'm twenty-seven today,” I continue in a whisper. My voice catches for a moment. “We’re the same age now.”
For the first time in my life, I am no longer his little sister. Next year I will step across the line and he will still be in the same place. From now on, I will be older than he ever was.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
what is the expression which the age demands? the age demands no expression whatever. we have seen photographs of bereaved asian mothers. we are not interested in the agony of your fumbled organs. there is nothing you can show on your face that can match the horror of this time. do not even try. you will only hold yourself up to the scorn of those who have felt things deeply. we have seen newsreels of humans in the extremities of pain and dislocation.
you are playing to people who have experienced a catastrophe. this should make you very quiet. speak the words, convey the data, step aside. everyone knows you are in pain. you cannot tell the audience everything you know about love in every line of love you speak. step aside and they will know what you know because you know it already. you have nothing to teach them. you are not more beautiful than they are. you are not wiser.
do not shout at them. do not force a dry entry. that is bad sex. if you show the lines of your genitals, then deliver what you promise. and remember that people do not really want an acrobat in bed. what is our need? to be close to the natural man, to be close to the natural woman. do not pretend that you are a beloved singer with a vast loyal audience which has followed the ups and downs of your life to this very moment. the bombs, flame-throwers, and all the shit have destroyed more than just the trees and villages. they have also destroyed the stage. did you think that your profession would escape the general destruction? there is no more stage. there are no more footlights. you are among the people. then be modest. speak the words, convey the data, step aside. be by yourself. be in your own room. do not put yourself on.
do not act out words. never act out words. never try to leave the floor when you talk about flying. never close your eyes and jerk your head to one side when you talk about death. do not fix your burning eyes on me when you speak about love. if you want to impress me when you speak about love put your hand in your pocket or under your dress and play with yourself. if ambition and the hunger for applause have driven you to speak about love you should learn how to do it without disgracing yourself or the material.
this is an interior landscape. it is inside. it is private. respect the privacy of the material. these pieces were written in silence. the courage of the play is to speak them. the discipline of the play is not to violate them. let the audience feel your love of privacy even though there is no privacy. be good whores. the poem is not a slogan. it cannot advertise you. it cannot promote your reputation for sensitivity. you are students of discipline. do not act out the words. the words die when you act them out, they wither, and we are left with nothing but your ambition.
the poem is nothing but information. it is the constitution of the inner country. if you declaim it and blow it up with noble intentions then you are no better than the politicians whom you despise. you are just someone waving a flag and making the cheapest kind of appeal to a kind of emotional patriotism. think of the words as science, not as art. they are a report. you are speaking before a meeting of the explorers' club of the national geographic society. these people know all the risks of mountain climbing. they honour you by taking this for granted. if you rub their faces in it that is an insult to their hospitality. do not work the audience for gasps ans sighs. if you are worthy of gasps and sighs it will not be from your appreciation of the event but from theirs. it will be in the statistics and not the trembling of the voice or the cutting of the air with your hands. it will be in the data and the quiet organization of your presence.
avoid the flourish. do not be afraid to be weak. do not be ashamed to be tired. you look good when you're tired. you look like you could go on forever. now come into my arms. you are the image of my beauty.
Leonard Cohen (Death of a Lady's Man)
How the excitement comes upon me to tell it all! In the quest of writing, the heart can speed up with anticipation--as it does, indeed, during the chase itself of whales. I can swear it, having done both, and I will tell YOU though other writers may not. My heart is beating fast; I am in pursuit; I want my victory--that you should see and hear and above all feel the reality behind these words. For they are but a mask. Not the mask that conceals, not a mask that I would have you strike through as mere appearance, or, worse, deceitful appearance. Words need not be that kind of mask, but a mask such as the ancient Greek actors wore, a mask that expresses rather than conceals the inner drama.
(But do you know me? Una? You have shipped long with me in the boat that is this book. Let me assure you and tell you that I know you, even something of your pain and joy, for you are much like me. The contract of writing and reading requires that we know each other. Did you know that I try on your mask from time to time? I become a reader, too, reading over what I have just written. If I am your shipbuilder and captain, from time to time I am also your comrade. Feel me now, standing beside you, just behind your shoulder?)
Sena Jeter Naslund
How can you respond to an unwelcome and self-serving invitation to chill out? More or less like this: "No, I'm not going to chill out, and I'm telling you why. By telling me to chill out you are saying that I'm overreacting, which is like saying that I shouldn't feel the way I feel. I hope you'll allow me to have my feelings and express them the way I choose. Since I happen to feel strongly about this issue, there is no reason I should look the other way. I suggest that instead of making me fee bad about my reaction, you come to terms with the seriousness of your actions.
P.M. Forni (Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct)
I just want to say one thing. If I ever write a novel again, it's going to be in defense of weak women, inept and codependent women. I'm going to talk about all the great movies and songs and poetry that focus on such women. I'm going to toast Blanche DuBois. I'm going to celebrate women who aren't afraid to show their need and their vulnerabilities. To be honest about how hard it can be to plow your way through a life that offers no guarantees about anything. I'm going to get on my metaphorical knees and thank women who fall apart, who cry and carry on and wail and wring their hands because you know what, Midge? We all need to cry. Thank God for women who can articulate their vulnerabilities and express what probably a lot of other people want to say and feel they can't. Those peoples' stronghold against falling apart themselves is the disdain they feel for women who do it for them. Strong. I'm starting to think that's as much a party line as anything else ever handed to women for their assigned roles. When do we get respect for our differences from men? Our strength is our weakness. Our ability to feel is our humanity. You know what? I'll bet if you talk to a hundred strong women, 99 of them would say 'I'm sick of being strong. I would like to be cared for. I would like someone else to make the goddamn decisions, I'm sick of making decisions.' I know this one woman who's a beacon of strength. A single mother who can do everything - even more than you, Midge. I ran into her not long ago and we went and got a coffee and you know what she told me? She told me that when she goes out to dinner with her guy, she asks him to order everything for her. Every single thing, drink to dessert. Because she just wants to unhitch. All of us dependent, weak women have the courage to do all the time what she can only do in a restaurant.
Elizabeth Berg (Home Safe)
At this point there's something I should explain about myself, which is that I don't talk much, probably too little, and I think this has been detrimental to my social life. It's not that I have trouble expressing myself, or no more than people generally have when they're trying to put something complex into words. I'd even say I have less trouble than most because my long involvement with literature has given me a better-than-average capacity for handling language. But I have no gift for small talk, and there's no point trying to learn or pretend; it wouldn't be convincing. My conversational style is spasmodic (someone once described it as "hollowing"). Every sentence opens up gaps, which require new beginnings. I can't maintain any continuity. In short, I speak when I have something to say. My problem, I suppose - and this may be an effect of involvement with literature - is that I attribute too much importance to the subject. For me, it's never simply a question of "talking" but always a question of "what to talk about". And the effort of weighing up potential subjects kills the spontaneity of dialogue. In other words, when everything you say has to be "worth the effort", it's too much effort to go on talking. I envy people who can launch into a conversation with gusto and energy, and keep it going. I envy them that human contact, so full of promise, a living reality from which, in my mute isolation, I feel excluded. "But what do they talk about?" I wonder, which is obviously the wrong question to ask. The crabbed awkwardness of my social interactions is a result of this failing on my part. Looking back, I can see that it was responsible for most of my missed opportunities and almost all the woes of solitude. The older I get, the more convinced I am that this is a mutilation, for which my professional success cannot compensate, much less my "rich inner life." And I've never been able to resolve the conundrum that conversationalists pose for me: how do they keep coming up with things to talk about? I don't even wonder about it anymore, perhaps because I know there's no answer.
Have you ever wondered
What happens to all the
poems people write?
The poems they never
let anyone else read?
Perhaps they are
Too private and personal
Perhaps they are just not good enough.
Perhaps the prospect
of such a heartfelt
expression being seen as
overwrought obscure stupid
is enough to give any aspiring
poet good reason to
hide their work from
Naturally many poems are IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED.
Burnt shredded flushed away
Occasionally they are folded
Into little squares
And wedged under the corner of
An unstable piece of furniture
(So actually quite useful)
a loose brick
the back of an
old alarm clock
put between the pages of
AN OBSCURE BOOK
that is unlikely
to ever be opened.
someone might find them one day,
BUT PROBABLY NOT
The truth is that unread poetry
Will almost always be just that.
to join a vast invisible river
of waste that flows out of suburbia.
On rare occasions,
Some especially insistent
pieces of writing will escape
into a backyard
or a laneway
be blown along
a roadside embankment
and finally come
to rest in a
as so many
It is here that
two or more pieces of poetry
drift toward each other
through a strange
force of attraction
and ever so slowly
to form a tiny,
this ball gradually
becomes larger and rounder as other
stray musings wishes and unsent
one by one.
Such a ball creeps
through the streets
Like a tumbleweed
for months even years
If it comes out only at night it has a good
Chance of surviving traffic and children
and through a
slow rolling motion
(its number one predator)
At a certain size, it instinctively
shelters from bad weather, unnoticed
but otherwise roams the streets
thought and feeling.
time and luck
the poetry ball becomes
large HUGE ENORMOUS:
A vast accumulation of papery bits
That ultimately takes to the air, levitating by
The sheer force of so much unspoken emotion.
It floats gently
above suburban rooftops
when everybody is asleep
inspiring lonely dogs
to bark in the middle
of the night.
a big ball of paper
no matter how large and
buoyant, is still a fragile thing.
it will be surprised by
gust of wind
in a matter
everyone will wake up
to find a pulpy mess
covering front lawns
clogging up gutters
and plastering car
Traffic will be delayed
unable to figure out
where it all came from
Will be the
Every lump of
faded words pressed into accidental
but undeniably present
To each reader
they will whisper
hilarious profound and perfect
No one will be able to explain the
Strange feeling of weightlessness
or the private smile
Long after the street sweepers
have come and gone.
Shaun Tan (Tales from Outer Suburbia)
Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him, and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the state of his own mind--or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties of directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate the most useful human characteristics, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office.
2. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very 'spiritual', that is is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rhuematism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards are her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother--the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment's notice from impassioned prayer for a wife's or son's soul to beating or insulting the real wife or son without any qualm.
3. When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face whice are almost unedurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy--if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbablity of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
When I first met you, I was still trying to figure out who I wanted to be. Who I could be.”
I lift my head to look at him. He’s watching me, his expression unreadable, his posture tense.
“You showed me so much of that,” I say. “So much more than I even knew existed. You showed me how to be free, and what it feels like to be safe and wanted and loved. You showed me how to love. How to stop being afraid. How to fight for what I want. Especially when what I wanted most was you.
Nina Lane (Allure (Spiral of Bliss, #2))
First I need to do something.’ He pulled me closer towards him until our lips were almost touching.
‘What might that be?’ I managed to stutter, closing my eyes, anticipating the warmth of his lips against mine. But the kiss didn’t come. I opened my eyes. Alex had jumped to his feet.
‘Swim,’ he said, grinning at me. ‘Come on.’
‘Swim?’ I pouted, unable to hide my disappointment that he wanted to swim rather than make out with me.
Alex pulled his T-shirt off in one swift move. My eyes fell straightaway to his chest – which was tanned, smooth and ripped with muscle, and which, when you studied it as I had done, in detail, you discovered wasn’t a six-pack but actually a twelve-pack.
My eyes flitted to the shadowed hollows where his hips disappeared into his shorts, causing a flutter in parts of my body that up until three weeks ago had been flutter-dormant. Alex’s hands dropped to his shorts and he started undoing his belt.
I reassessed the swimming option. I could definitely do swimming.
He shrugged off his shorts, but before I could catch an eyeful of anything, he was off, jogging towards the water. I paused for a nanosecond, weighing up my embarrassment at stripping naked over my desire to follow him. With a deep breath, I tore off my dress then kicked off my underwear and started running towards the sea, praying Nate wasn’t doing a fly-by.
The water was warm and flat as a bath. I could see Alex in the distance, his skin gleaming in the now inky moonlight. When I got close to him, his hand snaked under the water, wrapped round my waist and pulled me towards him. I didn’t resist because I’d forgotten in that instant how to swim. And then he kissed me and I prayed silently and fervently that he took my shudder to be the effect of the water.
I tried sticking myself onto him like a barnacle, but eventually Alex managed to pull himself free, holding my wrists in his hand so I couldn’t reattach. His resolve was as solid as a nuclear bunker’s walls. Alex had said there were always chinks. But I couldn’t seem to find the one in his armour. He swam two long strokes away from me. I trod water and stayed where I was, feeling confused, glad that the night was dark enough to hide my expression.
‘I’m just trying to protect your honour,’ he said, guessing it anyway.
I groaned and rolled my eyes. When was he going to understand that I was happy for him to protect every other part of me, just not my honour?
Sarah Alderson (Losing Lila (Lila, #2))
It was really rather wretched that you couldn’t will yourself to fall in love, for the very effort can keep falling at bay. Nor could you will yourself to stay that way. Least of all could you will yourself NOT to fall in love, for thus far whatever meager resistance she had put up had only made the compulsion more intense. So you were perpetually tyrannized by a feeling that came and went as it pleased, like a cat with its own pet door. How much more agreeable, if love were something that you stirred up from a reliable recipe, or elected, however perversely, to pour down the drain. Still, there was nothing for it. The popular expression notwithstanding, love was not something you made. Nor could you dispose of the stuff once manifested because it was inconvenient, or even because it was wicked, and ruining your life, and, by the by, someone else’s.
Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World)
(...). You’re good at these things, Steris. You really are—and don’t give me any more of your rhetoric about being ‘boring.’”
Her expression grew distant. “In this case, it’s not that I’m boring, it’s more that … I’m off. I’ve learned to fake being normal, but lists of prepared comments and jokes can only take me so far. People can sense that I’m not being authentic—that I don’t like the things they like or think the way they do. Sometimes it amazes me that people like Wayne, or even those kandra, can be so startlingly human when I feel so alien.”
He wished he could figure out how to keep her from saying things like that. He didn’t know the right words; every time he tried to argue the point, it only seemed to make her withdraw.
Brandon Sanderson (The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn, #6))
We could just chill if you want."
Emma raises a brow at Rachel. Rachel shrugs her innocence. "Nuh-uh. Don't look at me. I didn't teach him that."
"Picked it up all on my own," he says, retrieving his pencil from the floor.
"Figures," Emma sneers.
"Aww, don't hate on me, boo."
"Okay, I'm drawing the line at 'boo.' And don't call me 'shorty' either," Emma says.
He laughs. "That was next."
"No doubt. So, did anyone explain how you chill?"
Galen shrugs. "As far as I can tell, chillin' is the equivalent of being in a coma, only awake."
"That's about right."
"Yeah. Doesn't sound that appealing. Are all humans lazy?"
"Don't push it, Highness." But she's smirking.
"If I'm Highness, then you're 'boo.' Period."
Emma growls, but it doesn't sound as fierce as she intends. In fact, it's adorable. "Jeez! I won't call you Majesty either. And you Will. Not. Ever Call me 'boo' again."
His grin feels like it reaches all the way to his ears as he nods. "Did...did I just win an argument?"
She rolls her eyes. "Don't be stupid. We tied."
He laughs. "If you say I won, I'll let you open your present."
She glances at the gift bag and bites her lip-also adorable. She looks back at him. "Maybe I don't care about the present."
"Oh, you definitely care," he says, confident.
"No. I definitely do NOT," she says, crossing her arms.
He runs a hand through his hair. If she makes it any more difficult, he'll have to tell her where they're going. He gives his best nonchalant shrug. "That changes everything. I just figured since you like history...Anyway, just forget it. I won't bother you about it anymore." He stands and walks over to the bag, fingering the polka-dot tissue paper Rachel engorged it with.
"Even if I say you win, it's still a lie, you know." Emma huffs.
Galen won't take the bait. Not today. "Fine. It's a lie. I just want to hear you say it."
With an expression mixing surprise and suspicion in equal parts, she says it. And it sounds so sweet coming from those lips. "You won.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I pretended not to notice, but Dad looked sort of deflated there on the edge of my bed. A lost, even humbled look was wandering around his face (quite surprised to be there). Seeing him like this, so un-Dad, made me feel sorry for him - though I didn't let on. His befuddled expression reminded me of those unflattering photographs of presidents The New York Times and other newspapers adored sticking on their front page in order to show the world how the Great Leader looked between the staged waves, the scripted sound-bites, the rehearsed handshakes - not staunch and stately, not even steady, but frail and foolish. And though these candid photographs were amusing, when you actually thought about it, the underlying implication of such a photograph was scary, for they hinted how delicate the balance of our lives, how tenuous our calm little existences, if this was the man in charge.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
There is also the ceaseless outpouring of books on toilet training, separating one sibling's fist from another sibling's eye socket, expressing breast milk while reading a legal brief, helping preschoolers to "own" their feelings, getting Joshua to do his homework, and raising teenage boys so they become Sensitive New Age Guys instead of rooftop snipers or Chippendale dancers. Over eight hundred books on motherhood were published between 1970 and 2000; only twenty-seven of these came out between 1970 and 1980, so the real avalanch happened in the past twenty years. We've learned about the perils of "the hurried child" and "hyperparenting," in which we schedule our kids with so many enriching activities that they make the secretary of state look like a couch spud. But the unhurried child probably plays too much Nintendo and is out in the garage building pipe bombs, so you can't underschedule them either. Then there's the Martha Stewartization of America, in which we are meant to sculpt the carrots we put in our kids' lunches into the shape of peonies and build funhouses for them in the backyard; this has raised the bar to even more ridiculous levels than during the June Cleaver era.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
She looked now at the drawing-room step. She saw, through William’s eyes, the shape of a woman, peaceful and silent, with downcast eyes. She sat musing, pondering (she was in grey that day, Lily thought). Her eyes were bent. She would never lift them. . . . [N]o, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? Express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have – to want and want – how that wrung the heart, and wrung again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! she called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It had seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing round a centre of complete emptiness. . . . A curious notion came to her that he did after all hear the things she could not say. . . . She looked at her picture. That would have been his answer, presumably – how “you” and “I” and “she” pass and vanish; nothing stays; all changes; but not words, not paint. Yet it would be hung in the attics, she thought; it would be rolled up and flung under a sofa; yet even so, even of a picture like that, it was true. One might say, even of this scrawl, not of that actual picture, perhaps, but of what it attempted, that it “remained for ever,” she was going to say, or, for the words spoken sounded even to herself, too boastful, to hint, wordlessly; when, looking at the picture, she was surprised to find that she could not see it. Her eyes were full of a hot liquid (she did not think of tears at first) which, without disturbing the firmness of her lips, made the air thick, rolled down her cheeks. She had perfect control of herself – Oh, yes! – in every other way. Was she crying then for Mrs. Ramsay, without being aware of any unhappiness? She addressed old Mr. Carmichael again. What was it then? What did it mean? Could things thrust their hands up and grip one; could the blade cut; the fist grasp? Was there no safety? No learning by heart of the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life? – startling, unexpected, unknown? For one moment she felt that if they both got up, here, now on the lawn, and demanded an explanation, why was it so short, why was it so inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fully equipped human beings from whom nothing should be hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itself up; the space would fill; those empty flourishes would form into shape; if they shouted loud enough Mrs. Ramsay would return. “Mrs. Ramsay!” she said aloud, “Mrs. Ramsay!” The tears ran down her face.
Beth lay a minute thinking, and then said in her quiet way, 'I don't know how to express myself, and shouldn't try to anyone but you, because I can't speak out except to my Jo. I only meant to say that I have a feeling that it never was intended I should live long. I'm not like the rest of you. I never made any plans about what I'd do when I grew up. I never thought of being married, as you all did. I couldn't seem to imagine myself anything but stupid little Beth, trotting about at home, of no use anywhere but there. I never wanted to go away, and the hard part now is the leaving you all. I'm not afraid, but it seems as if I should be homesick for you even in heaven.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
He's as bad as my mother. Maybe worse. He's a market-research consultant. He studies people's facial expressions to see how they feel about commercials and products. He used to be a psychologist but he makes more money helping big corporations dupe the public. The worst part is he can look at your face and say 'Your upper lip just twitched! Anger! You're angry. Don't try to hide it from me, young man. Why does it make you angry when I say those pants make you look like a girl? Doe you have something against girls? Perhaps some unresolved Oedipal feelings?
Natalie Standiford (Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters)
To sum up, the attunement-during-conflict blueprint for the speaker is: No blaming, no “you” statements Talk about how you feel in a specific situation, use “I” statements Express a positive need The attunement-during-conflict blueprint for the listener is: Awareness of partner’s enduring vulnerabilities Turning toward partner by postponing own agenda Tolerance by believing there are always two valid realities Making understanding the partner the goal of listening Nondefensive listening, not responding right away, getting in touch with the partner’s pain Empathy—summarizing the partner’s view and validating by completing a sentence like “I can totally understand why you have these feelings and needs, because….
John M. Gottman (The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples)
Now, here is the big one—write her a letter.” I pulled my head back and looked at him with a confused expression. “A letter? What kind of letter?” He smiled a crooked smile. “A letter telling her how you’ve felt—from the moment she told you she was having your child to watching her belly grow, and most of all, to holding your child in your arms for the first time. Write it down while it is fresh in your memory, son. Then, after you get home, when it feels like the right time, you give her that letter. Take the baby and go for a walk, so she has some time alone when she reads it.
Kelly Elliott (A Forever Love (Wanted, #5))
Straining to hear, I can make out something acoustic. Coming from...the backyard?
I glance down from my bedroom window and feel my jaw fall open. Matt Finch is standing below my window, guitar strapped across his chest. I pull my window up, and I expect the song from that old movie - the one about a guy with a trench coat and the big radio and his heart on his sleeve.
But it's not that. It's not anything I recognise, and I strain to make out the lyrics: Stop being ridiculous, stop being ridiculous, Reagan.
What an asshole.
The mesh screen and two floors between us don't seem like enough to protect him from my anger.
"Nice apology," I call down to him.
"I've apologised thirteen times," he yells back, "and so far you haven't called me back."
I open my mouth to say it doesn't matter, but he's already redirecting the song.
"Now I'm gonna stand here until you forgive me," he sings loudly, "or at least until you hear me out, la-la, oh-la-la. I drove seven hours overnight, and I won't leave until you come out here."
(...) "This is private property!" My throat feel coarse from how loudly I'm yelling. "And that doesn't even rhyme!"
The guitar chord continues as he sings, "Then call the cops, call the cops, call the cops..."
I storm downstairs, my feet pounding against the staircase. When I turn the corner, my dad looks almost amused from his seat in the recliner. Noticing my expression, he stares back at his newspaper, as if I won't notice him.
(...) "Dad. How did Matt know which window was mine?"
"Well..." he peeks over the sports section. "I reckon I told him."
"You talked to him?" My voice is no longer a voice. It's a shriek. "God, Dad!"
He juts out his chin, defensive. "How was I supposed to know you had some sort of drama with him? He shows up, lookin' to serenade my daughter. Thought it seemed innocent enough. Sweet, even. Old-fashioned."
"It's not any of those things! I hate him!
Emery Lord (Open Road Summer)
My Princess Layla
I cannot express how much I am looking forward to returning to you tomorrow. My heart feels heavy even as I write this letter and I haven’t even
departed as yet. You left my company only moments ago and yet my body, heart and soul is yearning for you to return.
I’m afraid you have to work today but at least it will distract you from counting the hours, minutes and seconds as I will be doing until I am reunited
I’m not sure how you will feel about what I say next but I hope that by the time you get this letter our relationship will have moved forward as I so
desperately want it to.
Layla Jennings I’m in love with you. Deeply, truly, madly and endlessly I love you. I want to devote my every breath to making you happy and give you
everything your heart desires.
You’re my sunshine, my rain and my evening stars. I feel as though I was living in the shadows and you have entered my life in a blaze of color and
light which has illuminated my very existence.
As for me, to love you alone, to make you happy, to do nothing which would contradict your wishes, this is my destiny and the meaning of my life -
Until tomorrow….Jared xxxx
Marie Coulson (Bound Together (Bound Together, #1))
I don't have the slightest doubt that to tell a story like this, you couldn't do it with words. There are only 46 minutes of dialogue scenes in the film, and 113 of non-dialogue. There are certain areas of feeling and reality—or unreality or innermost yearning, whatever you want to call it—which are notably inaccessible to words. Music can get into these areas. Painting can get into them. Non-verbal forms of expression can. But words are a terrible straitjacket. It's interesting how many prisoners of that straitjacket resent its being loosened or taken off. There's a side to the human personality that somehow senses that wherever the cosmic truth may lie, it doesn't lie in A, B, C, D. It lies somewhere in the mysterious, unknowable aspects of thought and life and experience. Man has always responded to it. Religion, mythology, allegories—it's always been one of the most responsive chords in man. With rationalism, modern man has tried to eliminate it, and successfully dealt some pretty jarring blows to religion. In a sense, what's happening now in films and in popular music is a reaction to the stifling limitations of rationalism. One wants to break out of the clearly arguable, demonstrable things which really are not very meaningful, or very useful or inspiring, nor does one even sense any enormous truth in them.
TINA: I’ll have to go to the Ministry with what I’ve got.
(a wobble in her voice) It was nice to see you again, Mr. Scamander.
She strides from the room, leaving NEWT perplexed and upset.
INT. FLAMEL HOUSE, HALLWAY—AFTERNOON
JACOB follows TINA into the hall.
JACOB: Hey, hold on one second, will you? Well, hold on! Wait! Tina!
She leaves. As the front door closes, NEWT appears at the drawing room door.
JACOB: (to NEWT)
You didn’t mention salamanders, did you?
NEWT: No, she just—ran. I don’t know . . .
JACOB (firm): So you chase after her!
NEWT grabs his case. He leaves.
EXT. RUE DE MONTMORENCY—END OF DAY
TINA is hurrying up the road. NEWT hastens to catch up.
NEWT: Tina. Please, just listen to me—
TINA: Mr. Scamander, I need to go talk to the Ministry—and I know how you feel about Aurors—
NEWT: I may have been a little strong in the way that I expressed myself in that letter—
TINA: What was the exact phrase? “A bunch of careerist hypocrites”?
NEWT: I’m sorry, but I can’t admire people whose answer to everything that they fear or misunderstand is “kill it”!
TINA: I’m an Auror and I don’t—
NEWT: Yes, and that’s because you’ve gone middle head!
TINA (stopping): Excuse me?
NEWT: It’s an expression derived from the three heads of the Runespoor. The middle one is the visionary. Every Auror in Europe wants Credence dead—except you. You’ve gone middle head.
TINA: Who else uses that expression, Mr. Scamander?
NEWT: I think it might just be me.
J.K. Rowling (Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay)
Expansion in love is an action that is available to every being in the universe all the time. A willing awareness will take
us to heaven, a loving attitude will make us free. Nothing else controls our fate. Good or bad behavior is secondary.
Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are thinking, love yourself for thinking it. Love is the
only dimension that needs to be changed. If you are not sure how it feels to be loving, love yourself for not being sure of
how it feels. There is nothing on earth more important than the love which conscious beings feel towards each other,
whether or not it is ever expressed.
Thaddeus Golas (The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment)
Apology Letter from the Brain
Hey there. I’m sorry. OK? But can I say something? Look. I admit I wasn’t perfect. No one is perfect. That’s a fact. Speaking of facts, don’t you think we all need to take a minute and decide who is right and who is wrong? Every side is different; it’s just that my side seems more right. I’m not just saying that because it’s my side. I think a lot of other people would agree with me, given the chance. If I upset you in some way, please know that wasn’t my intention. I didn’t know how sensitive you were. It’s obvious I can set you off very easily. That’s not an insult; it’s just an observation. I think it would help if we talked about this more and argued about who was telling the truth. I would like to see you in person and tell you how the situation has affected me. I may use this opportunity to bring up other times you have hurt me in the past. If possible, I would like to hurt you back. Either way, I want to be in control. Until then, take care. And please, remember I reached out first.
Apology Letter from the Heart
Hey there. I’m sorry. I’ve found it hard to tell you this, and I realize my apology may be too little or come too late. It is important for me to let you know that I am sorry for what I did or said or didn’t do or say. I was wrong. I make mistakes. I HATE that I made one with you. I’m reaching out because life goes by so fast and I just don’t want my one life to go by without expressing this to you. I want to do and be better. This apology is yours. Feel free to do whatever you want with it. My hope is that it gives you comfort, but my goal is that it doesn’t cause you any pain. Again, I am TRULY sorry. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
P.S. I’m sorry.
Life is as precious to us as it is for an animal. An animal is as loving, caring, and kind to her children as we are. She might not be able to tell us but she can express it through her eyes and expressions. She feels joy and happiness. She is helpless in our cruel hands and vulnerable to our vicious greed. Let us be kind to animals. Let us learn to feel their pain. Can we kill a helpless baby to feed our greed? Then how can we kill helpless animal friends that can’t talk? Often we kill just for fun. How funny would it be if an animal killed a human just for fun? Let us be kind to animals as much as possible. I know we can. It is easier to love an animal than a human being. If you love an animal, it will rarely hurt you. Let us practice kindness and compassion to animals so that we may create a peaceful world.
Why couldn’t I find one action that would make the need to binge automatically disappear? Because there is no magic action to make that horrible prebinge feeling go away. The cool thing is that we are designed so that the feeling will pass through us on its own—in time. All we have to do is sit there and feel what is going on inside of us. We must experience the feelings. To help us deal with the feelings, we can call someone on our support team. We can also express the feelings by focusing on our breath or even hitting a pillow. The important thing to remember is that no matter how terrible, feelings do pass. It takes patience and trust—not food . . .
Jenni Schaefer (Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too)
When Vivian describes how it felt to be at the mercy of strangers, Molly nods. She knows full well what it’s like to tamp down your natural inclinations, to force a smile when you feel numb. After a while you don’t know what your own needs are anymore. You’re grateful for the slightest hint of kindness, and then, as you get older, suspicious. Why would anyone do anything for you without expecting something in return? And anyway—most of the time they don’t. More often than not, you see the worst of people. You learn that most adults lie. That most people only look out for themselves. That you are only as interesting as you are useful to someone. And so your personality is shaped. You know too much, and this knowledge makes you wary. You grow fearful and mistrustful. The expression of emotion does not come naturally, so you learn to fake it. To pretend. To display an empathy you don’t actually feel. And so it is that you learn how to pass, if you’re lucky, to look like everyone else, even though you’re broken inside.
Christina Baker Kline (Orphan Train)
I didn't have a choice."
"Are you saying...What are you saying?" Is he...could he be talking about me?
He runs a hand through his hair. I've never seen him this emotional before. He's always so controlled, so sure of himself. "I'm saying you're what I want, Emma. I'm saying I'm in love with you."
He steps forward and lifts his hand to my cheek, blazing a line of fire with his fingertips as they trace down to my mouth. "How do you think it would make me feel to see you with Grom?" he whispers. "Like someone ripped my heart out and put it through Rachel's meat grinder, that's how. Probably worse. It would probably kill me. Emma, please don't cry."
I throw my hands in the air. "Don't cry? Are you serious? Why did you come here, Galen? Did you think it would make me feel better to know that you do love me, but that it still won't work out? That I still have to mate with Grom for the greater good? Don't you tell me not to cry, Galen! I...c...c...can't h...h...help-" The waterworks soak me. Galen looks at me, hands by his side, helpless as a trapped crab. I'm bordering on hyperventilation, and pretty soon I'll start hiccupping. This is too much.
His expression is so severe, it looks like he's in physical pain. "Emma," he breathes. "Emma, does this mean you feel the same way? Do you care for me at all?"
I laugh, but it sounds sharper than I intended, because of a hiccup. "What does it matter how I feel, Galen? I think we pretty much covered why. No need to rehash things, right?"
"It matters, Emma." He grabs my hand and pulls me to him again. "Tell me right now. Do you care for me?"
"If you can't tell that I'm stupid in love with you, Galen, then you aren't a very good ambassador for the hum-"
His mouth covers mine, cutting me off. This kiss isn't gentle like the first one. It's definitely not sweet. It's rough, demanding, searching. And disorienting. There's not a part of me that isn't melting against Galen, not a part that isn't combusting with his fevered touch.
I accidentally moan into his lips. He takes it for his cue to lift me off my feet, to pull me up to his height for more leverage. I take his groan for my cue to kiss him harder.
He ignores his cell phone ringing in his pocket. I ignore the rest of the universe. Even when headlights approach, I'm willing to overlook their intrusion and keep kissing. But, prince that he is, Galen is a little more refined than me at this moment. He gently pries his lips from mine and sets me down. His smile is both intoxicated and intoxicating. "We still need to talk."
"Right," I say, but I'm shaking my head.
He laughs. "I didn't come all the way to Atlantic City to make you cry."
"I'm not crying." I lean into him again. He doesn't refuse my lips, but he doesn't do them justice either, planting a measly little kiss on them before stepping back.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread.
Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear.
Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you've defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you.
The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
I chew my bottom lip, urging myself to step up to the plate and tell Dorian how I really feel. “I feel like you’re…doing something to me. Changing me, in a way. The day I met you, it’s like, the earth shifted. Every bit of doubt and reluctance instantly dissolves whenever you’re around me. Things make sense that ordinarily wouldn’t. I don’t fully understand it so it’s incredibly difficult for me to even try to explain it to you. But I know something happened. I know what I felt.”
Dorian’s eyes darken a fraction, the makings of a dark storm brewing behind crystal blue. “You’re overthinking it.”
“Am I? Or am I not thinking about it enough?”
For several heated moments, we stare at each other, both our expressions guarded and defensive. He has secrets, just like I do. But while we may be hell bent on safeguarding the most secluded spaces of our psyches, the devastatingly strong attraction between us keeps penetrating the rouse. In our most intimate moments, he can’t hide from me and I can’t hide from him. And I don’t want to, though I know it’s extremely stupid of me to feel that way.
S.L. Jennings (Dark Light (Dark Light, #1))
But I can do any kind of dance,” he continued, smiling at my incredulity. “I also do swing, modern. What would you like to dance to?” “No way,” I said. “I’m not dancing with my therapist.” I wasn’t concerned that he was being sexually suggestive or creepy; I knew that he had no intention of that. It was more that I didn’t want to use my therapy time that way. I had things to talk about, like how I was coping with my medical condition. But part of me also knew that this was just an excuse I was giving myself, that this intervention could be useful, that the movement of dance allows our bodies to express our emotions in a way that words sometimes can’t. When we dance, we express our buried feelings, talking through our bodies instead of our minds—and that can help us get out of our heads and to a new level of awareness. That’s partly what dance therapy is about. It’s another technique some therapists use. But still—no.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
Volatile expressions of anger and hostility combined with a tendency to blame others often result from feeling shame.... If you are shame-prone, any accusation directed at you, regardless of how mildly it may be delivered, has the potential to make you feel that you have failed or that you are inadequate. Rather than simply admit wrongdoing, you get angry and accusatory in order to hold yourself blameless. Using anger or hostility for self-protection hides your vulnerability and needs. Unfortunately, since most people are repelled by an angry response, this method may be effective.
Your anger may drive away the very people who should know your real feelings, and it may deprive you of the opportunity to allow others to be aware of your needs. Behaving in an offensive or frightening way toward others can cause them to retreat out of fear. But, actually, the fear is your own, which you have turned against someone else in the form of anger.
Mary C. Lamia (The White Knight Syndrome: Rescuing Yourself from Your Need to Rescue Others)
I was even starting to relax—a little—until he took me to his parents' house for dinner. I've never met two people more in need of a divorce. They bickered and fought all evening. Royce said that's how they express their love. I don't believe him. I mean, please. You tell me if you feel the love from this conversation (written word for word as I remember it):
Linda: Elliot, be a dear and get me another drink.
Elliot: Get it yourself.
Linda: Get up and fix me a drink, you lazy man.
Elliot: Woman, don't push me on this. I've finally gotten comfortable.
Linda: (sugary sweet smile) I'll push you only when you're standing on a bridge.
Elliot: If I were standing on a bridge and saw you coming, you wouldn't have to push me. I'd
See? Does that sound "loving" to you?
Gena Showalter (Animal Instincts)
Just how many fully-fledged members do you have in this club?”
“No members, just passengers in my wild youth.” He bracketed her head with his arms and grinned down at her pouting expression. “Jealous, sweetheart?”
“Do I have a cause to be jealous?” She cupped his chin.
“Never.” He kissed the tip of her nose. “There is one thing I am religious about—I never cheat.” His expression turned from playful to serious. “You should know something. My dad used to tell me, ‘Respect women, Domenico.’” He did his best imitation of his father’s baritone. “Make sure you treat them well. Cheating is a despicable act. Always put your mother or your female relatives in place of the woman you cheat on and imagine how hurt they would feel.’ It affected me to the point of imbibing it as a rule.
Nat Chelloni (A Favor For a Favor)
We are, in a certain way, defined as much by our potential as by its expression. There is a great difference between an acorn and a little bit of wood carved into an acorn shape, a difference not always readily apparent to the naked eye. The difference is there even if an acorn never has the opportunity to plant itself and become an oak. Remembering its potential changes the way in which we think of an acorn and react to it. How we value it. If an acorn were conscious, knowing its potential would change the way it might think and feel about itself. The Hindus use the greeting "Namaste" instead of our more noncommittal "Hello." The connotation of this is roughly, whatever your outer appearance, I see and greet the soul in you. There is a wisdom in such ways of relating. Sometimes we can best help other people by remembering that what we believe about them may be reflected back to them in our presence and may affect them in ways we do not fully understand. Perhaps a sense of possibility is communicated by our tone of voice, facial expression, or certain choice of words . . .
Holding and conveying a sense of possibility does not mean making demands or having expectations. It may mean having no expectations, but simply being open to whatever promise the situation may hold and remembering the inability of anyone to know the future. Thoreau said that we must awaken and stay awake not by mechanical means, but by a constant expectation of the dawn. There's no need to demand the dawn, the dawn is simply a matter of time. And patience. And the dawn may look quite different from the story we tell ourselves about it. My experience has shown me the wisdom of remaining open to the possibility of growth in any and all circumstances, without ever knowing what shape that growth may take.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal)
He looks up.
Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes.
He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend.
He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend.
He is so much more.
Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect.
My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs.
"Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling.
I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad."
Phew.A steady voice.
He looks dazed. "Are you all right?"
I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!"
"Hey,Anna. How was your break?"
John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank.
We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?"
The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs.
"I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present."
"For me? But I didn't get you anything!"
He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited."
"Ooo,what is it?"
"I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-"
"Etienne! Come on!"
He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand."
Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned.
"Whoops," I say.
He tilts his head at me.
"I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal.
Where is it? What is it?
"Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too.
It's a glass bead.A banana.
He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and Bridgette...you know..."
I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you."
"Mum wondered why I wanted it."
"What did you tell her?"
"That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh.
I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Sin rolled his eyes and sucked chocolate off his thumb, gesturing towards the unlit cigarette that had been sitting on the table for the better part of the last hour. "Cojelo suave, boss man, it's not even lit. We all know you're in charge, no need to start waving your dick around."
The comment earned him a mildly startled look and the irritated expression cracked slightly. Carhart shook his head, hazel eyes moving to Boyd's face again. "Who told him how to speak that way?"
"Not me," Boyd said, giving him an innocent look. "Likely he learned it at the night club."
"I love how you people act like I never knew how to swear before going on that assignment," Sin said mildly, feeling rather insulted by the idea. What did Carhart think he was? An impressionable child? "I'll have you know I was quite fluent at it before.
Ais (Evenfall (In the Company of Shadows, #1))
Do I need to check up on you guys later? You know the rules.No sleeping in opposite-sex rooms."
My face flames,and St. Clair's cheeks grow blotchy. It's true.It's a rule. One that my brain-my rule-loving, rule-abiding brain-conveniently blocked last night. It's also one notoriously ignored by the staff.
"No,Nate," we say.
He shakes his shaved head and goes back in his apartment. But the door opens quickly again,and a handful of something is thrown at us before it's slammed back shut.
Condoms.Oh my God, how humiliating.
St. Clair's entire face is now bright red as he picks the tiny silver squares off the floor and stuffs them into his coat pockets. We don't speak,don't even look at each other,as we climb the stairs to my floor. My pulse quickens with each step.Will he follow me to my room,or has Nate ruined any chance of that?
We reach the landing,and St. Clair scratches his head. "Er..."
"I'm going to get dressed for bed. Is that all right?" His voice is serious,and he watches my reaction carefully.
"Yeah.Me too.I'm going to...get ready for bed,too."
"See you in a minute?"
I swell with relief. "Up there or down here?"
"Trust me,you don't want to sleep in my bed." He laughs,and I have to turn my face away,because I do,holy crap do I ever. But I know what he means.It's true my bed is cleaner. I hurry to my room and throw on the strawberry pajamas and an Atlanta Film Festival shirt. It's not like I plan on seducing him.
Like I'd even know how.
St. Clair knocks a few minutes later, and he's wearing his white bottoms with the blue stripes again and a black T-shirt with a logo I recognize as the French band he was listening to earlier. I'm having trouble breathing.
"Room service," he says.
My mind goes...blank. "Ha ha," I say weakly.
He smiles and turns off the light. We climb into bed,and it's absolutely positively completely awkward. As usual. I roll over to my edge of the bed. Both of us are stiff and straight, careful not to touch the other person. I must be a masochist to keep putting myself in these situations. I need help. I need to see a shrink or be locked in a padded cell or straitjacketed or something.
After what feels like an eternity,St. Clair exhales loudly and shifts. His leg bumps into mine, and I flinch. "Sorry," he says.
"Thanks for letting me sleep here again. Last night..."
The pressure inside my chest is torturous. What? What what what?
"I haven't slept that well in ages."
The room is silent.After a moment, I roll back over. I slowly, slowly stretch out my leg until my foot brushes his ankle. His intake of breath is sharp. And then I smile,because I know he can't see my expression through the darkness.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Clicking on "send" has its limitations as a system of subtle communication. Which is why, of course, people use so many dashes and italics and capitals ("I AM joking!") to compensate. That's why they came up with the emoticon, too—the emoticon being the greatest (or most desperate, depending how you look at it) advance in punctuation since the question mark in the reign of Charlemagne.
You will know all about emoticons. Emoticons are the proper name for smileys. And a smiley is, famously, this:
Forget the idea of selecting the right words in the right order and channelling the reader's attention by means of artful pointing. Just add the right emoticon to your email and everyone will know what self-expressive effect you thought you kind-of had in mind. Anyone interested in punctuation has a dual reason to feel aggrieved about smileys, because not only are they a paltry substitute for expressing oneself properly; they are also designed by people who evidently thought the punctuation marks on the standard keyboard cried out for an ornamental function. What's this dot-on-top-of-a-dot thing for? What earthly good is it? Well, if you look at it sideways, it could be a pair of eyes. What's this curvy thing for? It's a mouth, look! Hey, I think we're on to something.
Now it's sad!
It looks like it's winking!
It looks like it's sticking its tongue out! The permutations may be endless:
:~/ mixed up!
Well, that's enough. I've just spotted a third reason to loathe emoticons, which is that when they pass from fashion (and I do hope they already have), future generations will associate punctuation marks with an outmoded and rather primitive graphic pastime and despise them all the more. "Why do they still have all these keys with things like dots and spots and eyes and mouths and things?" they will grumble. "Nobody does smileys any more.
Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation)
What's Toraf's favorite color?"
She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is."
I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?"
She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails."
"I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact.
Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color."
Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before.
When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me.
"Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs.
Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time.
Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue.
"Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?"
Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted."
Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers.
"Not as much as I missed you," he tells her.
Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish.
If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before."
Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!"
Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck.
Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock.
Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
My delightful, my love, my life, I don’t understand anything: how can you not be with me? I’m so infinitely used to you that I now feel myself lost and empty: without you, my soul. You turn my life into something light, amazing, rainbowed—you put a glint of happiness on everything—always different: sometimes you can be smoky-pink, downy, sometimes dark, winged—and I don’t know when I love your eyes more—when they are open or shut. It’s eleven p.m. now: I’m trying with all the force of my soul to see you through space; my thoughts plead for a heavenly visa to Berlin via air . . . My sweet excitement . . .
Today I can’t write about anything except my longing for you. I’m gloomy and fearful: silly thoughts are swarming—that you’ll stumble as you jump out of a carriage in the underground, or that someone will bump into you in the street . . . I don’t know how I’ll survive the week.
My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life’s work is moving a pen over paper, I don’t know how to tell you how I love, how I desire you. Such agitation—and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine—mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting—and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint—my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations.
When you and I were at the cemetery last time, I felt it so piercingly and clearly: you know it all, you know what will happen after death—you know it absolutely simply and calmly—as a bird knows that, fluttering from a branch, it will fly and not fall down . . . And that’s why I am so happy with you, my lovely, my little one. And here’s more: you and I are so special; the miracles we know, no one knows, and no one loves the way we love.
What are you doing now? For some reason I think you’re in the study: you’ve got up, walked to the door, you are pulling the door wings together and pausing for a moment—waiting to see if they’ll move apart again. I’m tired, I’m terribly tired, good night, my joy. Tomorrow I’ll write you about all kinds of everyday things. My love.
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
The artist gets a peculiar sensation from something he sees, and is impelled to express it and, he doesn’t know why, he can only express his feeling by lines and colours. It’s like a musician; he’ll read a line or two, and a certain combination of notes presents itself to him: he doesn’t know why such and such words call forth in him such and such notes; they just do. And I’ll tell you another reason why criticism is meaningless: a great painter forces the world to see nature as he sees it; but in the next generation another painter sees the world in another way, and then the public judges him not by himself but by his predecessor. So the Barbizon people taught our fathers to look at trees in a certain manner, and when Monet came along and painted differently, people said: But trees aren’t like that. It never struck them that trees are exactly how a painter chooses to see them. We paint from within outwards—if we force our vision on the world it calls us great painters; if we don’t it ignores us; but we are the same. We don’t attach any meaning to greatness or to smallness. What happens to our work afterwards is unimportant; we have got all we could out of it while we were doing it.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
It is difficult to describe how it feels to gaze at living human beings whom you’ve seen perform in hard-core porn. To shake the hand of a man whose precise erectile size, angle, and vasculature are known to you. That strange I-think-we’ve-met-before sensation one feels upon seeing any celebrity in the flesh is here both intensified and twisted. It feels intensely twisted to see reigning industry queen Jenna Jameson chilling out at the Vivid booth in Jordaches and a latex bustier and to know already that she has a tattoo of a sundered valentine with the tagline HEART BREAKER on her right buttock and a tiny hairless mole just left of her anus. To watch Peter North try to get a cigar lit and to have that sight backlit by memories of his artilleryesque ejaculations.13 To have seen these strangers’ faces in orgasm—that most unguarded and purely neural of expressions, the one so vulnerable that for centuries you basically had to marry a person to get to see it.
David Foster Wallace
Hypercritical, Shaming Parents
Hypercritical and shaming parents send the same message to their children as perfectionistic parents do - that they are never good enough. Parents often deliberately shame their children into minding them without realizing the disruptive impact shame can have on a child's sense of self. Statements such as "You should be ashamed of yourself" or "Shame on you" are obvious examples. Yet these types of overtly shaming statements are actually easier for the child to defend against than are more subtle forms of shaming, such as contempt, humiliation, and public shaming.
There are many ways that parents shame their children. These include belittling, blaming, contempt, humiliation, and disabling expectations.
-BELITTLING. Comments such as "You're too old to want to be held" or "You're just a cry-baby" are horribly humiliating to a child. When a parent makes a negative comparison between his or her child and another, such as "Why can't you act like Jenny? See how she sits quietly while her mother is talking," it is not only humiliating but teaches a child to always compare himself or herself with peers and find himself or herself deficient by comparison.
-BLAMING. When a child makes a mistake, such as breaking a vase while rough-housing, he or she needs to take responsibility. But many parents go way beyond teaching a lesson by blaming and berating the child: "You stupid idiot! Do you think money grows on trees? I don't have money to buy new vases!" The only thing this accomplishes is shaming the child to such an extent that he or she cannot find a way to walk away from the situation with his or her head held high.
-CONTEMPT. Expressions of disgust or contempt communicate absolute rejection. The look of contempt (often a sneer or a raised upper lip), especially from someone who is significant to a child, can make him or her feel disgusting or offensive. When I was a child, my mother had an extremely negative attitude toward me. Much of the time she either looked at me with the kind of expectant expression that said, "What are you up to now?" or with a look of disapproval or disgust over what I had already done. These looks were extremely shaming to me, causing me to feel that there was something terribly wrong with me.
-HUMILIATION. There are many ways a parent can humiliate a child, such as making him or her wear clothes that have become dirty. But as Gershen Kaufman stated in his book Shame: The Power of Caring, "There is no more humiliating experience than to have another person who is clearly the stronger and more powerful take advantage of that power and give us a beating." I can personally attest to this. In addition to shaming me with her contemptuous looks, my mother often punished me by hitting me with the branch of a tree, and she often did this outside, in front of the neighbors. The humiliation I felt was like a deep wound to my soul.
-DISABLING EXPECTATIONS. Parents who have an inordinate need to have their child excel at a particular activity or skill are likely to behave in ways that pressure the child to do more and more. According to Kaufman, when a child becomes aware of the real possibility of failing to meet parental expectations, he or she often experiences a binding self-consciousness. This self-consciousness - the painful watching of oneself - is very disabling. When something is expected of us in this way, attaining the goal is made harder, if not impossible.
Yet another way that parents induce shame in their children is by communicating to them that they are a disappointment to them. Such messages as "I can't believe you could do such a thing" or "I am deeply disappointed in you" accompanied by a disapproving tone of voice and facial expression can crush a child's spirit.
Beverly Engel (The Nice Girl Syndrome: Stop Being Manipulated and Abused -- And Start Standing Up for Yourself)
Hey! Let my little sister go!”
This almost stupefies Don into releasing the rope a second time, but good ole Dad catches it and pulls. “Get it together, Don! Do you know how rich we are right now? Pull her in! I’ll get the other one.”
Nice. The Syrena thinks I’m human and the humans think I’m Syrena. “Let her go or I’m calling the coast guard,” I say with more confidence than I feel. After all, this young girl and I look nothing alike. She has the beautiful Syrena coloring, while I probably look like a cadaver floating in the water. But it’s worth a shot, right? “And our parents prosecute.”
This is enough to season their enthusiasm with a pinch of doubt. It all unfolds in their expressions: Do mermaids talk? Do they know how to call the coast guard? Do they prosecute offenders? Did that really just happen?
Don shakes his head as if he’s come out of a trance. “Don’t listen to her, Paw. That’s what mermaids do, remember? They sing fishermen to their death! Haven’t you heard the stories? And don’t look her in the eye, neither, Paw. They hypnotize you with their eyes.”
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
I didn’t sneer!” said Juliana hastily. “I’d no notion you behaved so dreadfully badly to her. You said
you forced her aboard your yacht, but I never supposed that you really frightened her enough to make
her fire at you. You need not be in a rage with me for saying so, Dominic, but when I saw Mary at
your house she was so placid I made sure you’d not treated her so very brutally after all. Had you?”
“Yes,” said Vidal bluntly. He looked at Juliana. “You think it was vastly romantic for Mary to be
carried off by me, don’t you? You think you would enjoy it, and you cannot conceive how she should
be afraid, can you? Then think, my girl! Think a little! You are in my power at this moment, I may
remind you. What if I make you feel it? What if I say to start with that you shall eat your dinner, and
force it down your throat?”
Juliana shrank back from him involuntarily. “Don’t, Vidal! Don’t come near me!” she said, frightened
by the expression in his face.
He laughed. “Not so romantic, is it, Ju? And to force you to eat your dinner would be a small thing
compared with some other things I might force you to do. Sit down, I’m not going to touch you.”
She obeyed, eyeing him nervously. “I—I wish I hadn’t come with you!” she said.
“So did Mary, with more reason. But Mary would have died sooner than let me see that she was afraid.
And Mary, my love, is not my cousin.
Georgette Heyer (Devil's Cub (Alastair-Audley, #2))
For a person with ADD, tuning out is an automatic brain activity that originated during the period of rapid brain development in infancy when there was emotional hurt combined with helplessness. At one time or another, every infant or young child feels frustration and psychological pain. Episodic experiences of a distressing nature do not induce dissociation, but chronic distress does—the distress of the sensitive infant with unsatisfied attunement needs, for example. The infant has to dissociate chronic emotional pain from consciousness for two reasons. First, it is too overwhelming for his fragile nervous system. He simply cannot exist in what we might call a state of chronic negative arousal, with adrenaline and other stress hormones pumping through his veins all the time. It is physiologically too toxic. He has to block it out. Second, if the parent’s anxiety is the source of the infant’s distress, the infant unconsciously senses that fully expressing his own emotional turmoil will only heighten that anxiety. His distress would then be aggravated—a vicious cycle he can escape by tuning out.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates And What You Can Do About It)
One woman sent me on a letter written to her by her daughter, and the young girl's words are a remarkable statement about artistic creation as an infinitely versatile and subtle form of communication:
'...How many words does a person know?' she asks her mother. 'How many does he use in his everyday vocabulary? One hundred, two, three? We wrap our feelings up in words, try to express in words sorrow and joy and any sort of emotion, the very things that can't in fact be expressed. Romeo uttered beautiful words to Juliet, vivid, expressive words, but they surely didn't say even half of what made his heart feel as if it was ready to jump out of his chest, and stopped him breathing, and made Juliet forget everything except her love?
There's another kind of language, another form of communication: by means of feeling, and images. That is the contact that stops people being separated from each other, that brings down barriers. Will, feeling, emotion—these remove obstacles from between people who otherwise stand on opposite sides of a mirror, on opposite sides of a door.. The frames of the screen move out, and the world which used to be partitioned off comes into us, becomes something real... And this doesn't happen through little Audrey, it's Tarkovsky himself addressing the audience directly, as they sit on the other side of the screen. There's no death, there is immortality. Time is one and undivided, as it says in one of the poems. "At the table are great-grandfathers and grandchildren.." Actually Mum, I've taken the film entirely from an emotional angle, but I'm sure there could be a different way of looking at it. What about you? Do write and tell me please..
Andrei Tarkovsky (Sculpting in Time)
In writing anything to you, I always
end up frustrated with the results. One
reason for that is because I don't like my writing (or pretty much anything else
about myself for that matter), and the
other reason is a bit more complicated. I could sit here and write an entire novel about my love for you but it would
never be able to fully express how I feel. Describing my love for you is like trying to explain why snow is white. They are both unchangable facts of life that cannot be argued. I have a hard time remembering if there was ever a time I didn't love you. And you know what, maybe I always did loveI was always in search of someone like you. Someone that would always love me and not be afraid to tell me that she loved me. Someone who would touch me with soft tenderness that showed to me just how much she loved me. Someone that I could say anything to, and who I actually truly enjoyed talking to. Someone that would make a wonderful, nice, caring, loving mother. I love you __ and if you ever want to be reminded of that, just look in my eyes. They will always show my love for you . . . even when you pick at your fingers. you, even before we met.
Bill Shapiro (Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See)
Lord Henry stretched himself out on the divan and laughed. "Yes, I knew you would; but it is quite true, all the same." "Too much of yourself in it! Upon my word, Basil, I didn't know you were so vain; and I really can't see any resemblance between you, with your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair, and this young Adonis, who looks as if he was made out of ivory and rose-leaves. Why, my dear Basil, he is a Narcissus, and you— well, of course you have an intellectual expression and all that. But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful. Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks. I feel quite sure of that. He is some brainless beautiful creature who should be always here in winter when we have no flowers to look at, and always here in summer when we want something to chill our intelligence. Don't flatter yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Oh, you're right. I'm just a human with thick skin, purple eyes, and hard bones. Which means you can go home. Tell Galen I said hi."
Toraf opens and shuts his mouth twice. Both times it seems like he wants to say something, but his expression tells me his brain isn't cooperating. When his mouth snaps shut a third time, I splash water in his face. "Are you going to say something, or are you trying to catch wind and sail?
A grin the size of the horizon spreads across his face. "He likes that, you know. Your temper."
Yeahfreakingright. Galen's a classic type A personality-and type A's hate smartass-ism. Just ask my mom. "No offense, but you're not exactly an expert at judging people's emotions."
"I'm not sure what you mean by that."
"Sure you do."
"If you're talking about Rayna, then you're wrong. She loves me. She just won't admit it."
I roll my eyes. "Right. She's playing hard to get, is that it? Bashing your head with a rock, splitting your lip, calling you squid breath all the time."
"What does that mean? Hard to get?"
"It means she's trying to make you think she doesn't like you, so that you end up liking her more. So you work harder to get her attention."
He nods. "Exactly. That's exactly what she's doing."
Pinching the bridge of my nose, I say, "I don't think so. As we speak, she's getting your mating seal dissolved. That's not playing hard to get. That's playing impossible to get."
"Even if she does get it dissolved, it's not because she doesn't care about me. She just likes to play games."
The pain in Toraf's voice guts me like the catch of the day. She might like playing games, but his feelings are real. And can't I relate to that? "There's only one way to find out," I say softly.
"If all she wants is games."
"You play hard to get. You know how they say. 'If you love someone, set them free. If they return to you, it was meant to be?'"
"I've never heard that."
"Right. No, you wouldn't have." I sigh. "Basically, what I'm trying to say is, you need to stop giving Rayna attention. Push her away. Treat her like she treats you."
He shakes his head. "I don't think I can do that."
"You'll get your answer that way," I say, shrugging. "But it sounds like you don't really want to know."
"I do want to know. But what if the answer isn't good?" His face scrunches as if the words taste like lemon juice.
"You've got to be ready to deal with it, no matter what."
Toraf nods, his jaw tight. The choices he has to consider will make this night long enough for him. I decide not to intrude on his time anymore. "I'm pretty tired, so I'm heading back. I'll meet you at Galen's in the morning. Maybe I can break thirty minutes tomorrow, huh?" I nudge his shoulder with my fist, but a weak smile is all I get in return.
I'm surprised when he grabs my hand and starts pulling me through the water. At least it's better than dragging me by the ankle. I can't but think how Galen could have done the same thing. Why does he wrap his arms around me instead?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
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)
I opened myself up to the kiss and kissed him back with enthusiasm. Putting all my secret emotions and tender feelings into the embrace, I wound my arms around his neck and slid my hands into his hair. Pulling his body that much closer to mine, I embraced him with all the warmth and affection that I wouldn’t allow myself to express verbally.
He paused, shocked for a brief instant, and then quickly adjusted his approach, escalating into a passionate frenzy. I shocked myself by matching his energy. I ran my hands up his powerful arms and shoulders and then down his chest. My senses were in turmoil. I felt wild. Eager. I clutched at his shirt. I couldn’t get close enough to him. He even smelled delicious.
You’d think that several days of being chased by strange creatures and hiking through a mysterious kingdom would make him smell bad. In fact, I wanted him to smell bad. I’m sure I did. I mean, how can you expect a girl to be fresh as a daisy while traipsing through the jungle and getting chased by monkeys. It’s just not possible.
I desperately wanted him to have some fault. Some weakness. Some…imperfection. But Ren smelled amazing-like waterfalls, a warm summer day, and sandalwood trees all wrapped up in a sizzling, hot guy.
How could a girl defend herself from a perfect onslaught delivered by a pefect person? I gave up and let Mr. Wonderful take control of my senses. My blood burned, my heart thundered, my need for him quickened, and I lost all track of time in his arms. All I was aware of was Ren. His lips. His body. His soul. I wanted all of him.
Eventually, he put his hands on my shoulders and gently separated us. I was surprised that he had the strength of will to stop because I was nowhere near being able to. I blinked my eyes open in a daze. We were both breathing hard.
“That was…enlightening,” he breathed. “Thank you, Kelsey.”
I blinked. The passion that had dulled my mind dissipated in an instant, and my mind sharply focused on a new feeling. Irritation.
“Thank you? Thank you! Of all the-“ I slammed up the steps angrily and then spun around to look down at him. “No! Thank you, Ren!” My hands slashed at the air. “Now you got what you wanted, so leave me alone!” I ran up the stairs quickly to put some distance between us.
Enlightening? What was that about? Was he testing me? Giving me a one-to-ten score on my kissing ability? Of all the nerve?
I was glad that I was mad. I could shove all the other emotions into the back of my mind and just focus on the anger, the indignation.
He leapt up the stairs two at a time. “That’s not all I want, Kelsey. That’s for sure.”
“Well, I no longer care about what you want!”
He shot me a knowing look and raised an eyebrow. Then, he lifted his foot out of the opening, placed it on the dirt, and instantly changed back into a tiger.
I laughed mockingly. “Ha!” I tripped over a stone but quickly found my footing. “Serves you right!” I shouted angrily and stumbled blindly along the dim path.
After figuring out where to go, I marched off in a huff. “Come on, Fanindra. Let’s go find Mr. Kadam.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Jack was behind it,waiting, with the corner of his lip pulled up in not quite a smile. "What?" he demanded.
"What what?" I asked.
He held my note up in front of my face. "What do you remember?"
Everything. But I couldn't tell him that. I shrugged and said, "Things." Then I made a move to leave,but Jack's strong arm blocked my way,his hand pressing against the locker behind my back.
"No you don't.You can't leave a note like this"-he waved the paper-"and then say 'things.' I want to know what, exactly, you remember."
People in the hallway stared and I could feel my face going red. Jack noticed, and put his other arm up against the lockers,blocking me in. My pulse went nuts.It had to be visible on my wrists.
Jack's face was inches from mine. His breath was minty, and I could smell the rustic scent of his aftershave,and whatever strong emotion he was feeling, it tasted sweet. I breathed it in, and the inhalation was embarrassingly loud.
His eyes searched mine. "This is the first opening you've given me, and I'm not letting you get out of it." He paused. "What do you remember?"
I looked behind him, at the curious spectators, and squinted my eyes shut, unable to bear the scrutiny anymore.
"Say something,Becks. Say anything."
"You," I said. "I remember you." I kept my eyes shut,and felt his hands drop. He didn't move back.
"What do you remember about me?" There was strong emotion behind his voice. Something he fought to control.
With my eyes closed,I could easily picture the other side of the century.
"I remember the way your hand could cover my entire shoulder. The way your lower lip stuck out when you were working out a problem in your head. And how you flick you ring finger with your thumb when you get impatient."
I opened my eyes,and the words no longer got stuck in my throat on their way out. They flowed. "And when something surprises you and you don't know what to say,you get a tiny wrinkle in between your eyebrows." I reached up to touch the divot,then hesitated and lowered my hand. "It showed on the day the coach told you you'd made first-string quarterback.And it's showing now."
For a moment the space between us held no tension,no questions, no accusations.
Finally he leaned back, a stunned expression on his face. "Where do we go from here?"
"Nowhere,really," I whispered. "It doesn't change anything."
Eyebrows still drawn together, he said, "We'll see." Then he turned and left.
I tucked this moment away.
In the dark,dank world of the Tunnels, I would call upon this memory. And there would be a flicker of candlelight. If only for a moment.
I closed my eyes,as if my eyelids were the levers of a printing press,etching the fibers into my mind.Memories were outside Cole's reach.As long as I held them,memories were mine and mine alone.
Brodi Ashton (Everneath (Everneath, #1))
It seems a simple task. We all know what water looks like, feels like in our mouth. Water is ubiquitous. Describing a cup of water feels a little like doing a still life painting. As a child I used to wonder: Why do people spend so much time painting bowls of fruit, when they could be painting dragons? Why learn to describe a cup of water, when the story is about cool magic and (well) dragons?
It’s a thing I had trouble with as a teenage writer—I’d try to rush through the “boring” parts to get to the interesting parts, instead of learning how to make the boring parts into the interesting parts. And a cup of water is vital to this. Robert Jordan showed me that a cup of water can be a cultural dividing line–the difference between someone who grew up between two rivers, and someone who’d never seen a river before a few weeks ago.
A cup of water can be an offhand show of wealth, in the shape of an ornamented cup. It can be a mark of traveling hard, with nothing better to drink. It can be a symbol of better times, when you had something clean and pure. A cup of water isn’t just a cup of water, it’s a means of expressing character. Because stories aren’t about cups of water, or even magic and dragons. They’re about the people painted, illuminated, and changed by magic and dragons.
It was early autumn, then, before the snow began to fly. –(There’s an expression for you, born in the country, born from the imaginations of men and their feeling for the right word, the only word, to mirror clearly what they see! Those with few words must know how to use them.) Men who have seen it, who have watched it day by day outside their cabin window coming down from the sky, like the visible remorse of an ageing year; who have watched it bead upon the ears of the horses they rode, muffle the sound of hoofs on the trail, lie upon spruce boughs and over grass – cover, as if forever, the landscape in which they moved, round off the mountains, blanket the ice in the rivers – for them the snow flies. The snow doesn’t fall. It may ride the wind. It may descend slowly, in utter quiet, from the grey and laden clouds, so that you can hear the flakes touching lightly on the wide white waste, as they come to rest at the end of their flight. Flight – that’s the word. They beat in the air like wings, as if reluctant ever to touch the ground. I have observed them coming down, on a very cold day, near its end when the sky above me was still blue, in flakes great and wide as the palm of my hand. They were like immense moths winging down in the twilight, making the silence about me visible.
Howard O'Hagan (Tay John)
It helps to ask ourselves why we choose to play so small when we don’t have to. Belief is powerful, and whatever we believe, we will subconsciously make manifest. So why do we hold on to core beliefs about ourselves that are so demeaning? When we ask that question, the answers emerge: “My family told me it wasn’t okay to think I was a big deal.” “I thought people wouldn’t like me if I ‘had it all.’” “I thought it might hurt my father’s feelings if I made more money than he did.” Yet whatever pain we might experience at others’ negative reactions to our spreading our wings, is nothing compared to the pain we cause ourselves by clipping them. At this time on the planet, no one can feel good about withholding their magnificence. Expressing your full potential is not just your right; it’s your responsibility. As long as you keep thinking in limited terms, disbelieving in the possibility of infinite possibility in your life, then you will never experience the miracles God has in store for you. You will deny His gifts, taking on the ego’s servitude instead. In a world such as this, fear is often the path of least resistance. If you want a miracle, you have to consciously claim it. And for everyone out there who might say, “How dare you?” there are at least two more who will say, “Thank you for showing me how.
Marianne Williamson (The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for Living Your Best Life)
Why is it the most unoriginal thing we can say to one another is still the thing we long to hear? 'I love you' is always a quotation. You did not say it first and neither did I, yet when you say it and when I say we speak like savages who have found three words and worship them.
It's the cliches that cause the trouble. A precise emotion seeks a precise expression. If what I feel is not precise then should I call it love? It is so terrifying, love, that all I can do is shove it under a dump bin of pink cuddly toys and send myself a greetings card saying 'Congratulations on your engagement.' But I am not engaged I am deeply distracted. I am desperately looking the other way so that love won't see me. I want the diluted version, the happy language, the insignificant gestures. The saggy armchair of cliches. It's all right, millions of bottoms have sat here before me. The springs are well worn, the fabric smelly and familiar. I don't have to be frightened, look, my grandma and grandad did it, he in a stiff collar and club tie, she in white muslin straining a little at the life underneath. They did it, my parents did it, now I will do it won't I, arms outstretched, not to hold you, just to keep my balance, sleepwalking to that armchair. How happy we will be. How happy everyone will be. And they all lived happily ever after.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
GO BACK TO DALLAS!” the man sitting somewhere behind us yelled again, and the hold Aiden still had on the back of my neck tightened imperceptibly.
“Don’t bother, Van,” he demanded, pokerfaced.
“I’m not going to say anything,” I said, even as I reached up with the hand furthest away from him and put it behind my head, extending my middle finger in hopes that the idiot yelling would see it.
Those brown eyes blinked. “You just flipped him off, didn’t you?”
Yeah, my mouth dropped open. “How do you know when I do that?” My tone was just as astonished as it should be.
“I know everything.” He said it like he really believed it.
I groaned and cast him a long look. “You really want to play this game?”
“I play games for a living, Van.”
I couldn’t stand him sometimes. My eyes crossed in annoyance. “When is my birthday?”
He stared at me.
“March third, Muffin.”
What in the hell?
“See?” he mocked me.
Who was this man and where was the Aiden I knew?
“How old am I?” I kept going hesitantly.
“How do you know this?” I asked him slowly.
“I pay attention,” The Wall of Winnipeg stated.
I was starting to think he was right.
Then, as if to really seal the deal I didn’t know was resting between us, he said, “You like waffles, root beer, and Dr. Pepper. You only drink light beer. You put cinnamon in your coffee. You eat too much cheese. Your left knee always aches. You have three sisters I hope I never meet and one brother. You were born in El Paso. You’re obsessed with your work. You start picking at the corner of your eye when you feel uncomfortable or fool around with your glasses. You can’t see things up close, and you’re terrified of the dark.” He raised those thick eyebrows. “Anything else?”
Yeah, I only managed to say one word. “No.” How did he know all this stuff? How? Unsure of how I was feeling, I coughed and started to reach up to mess with my glasses before I realized what I was doing and snuck my hand under my thigh, ignoring the knowing look on Aiden’s dumb face. “I know a lot about you too. Don’t think you’re cool or special.”
“I know, Van.” His thumb massaged me again for all of about three seconds. “You know more about me than anyone else does.”
A sudden memory of the night in my bed where he’d admitted his fear as a kid pecked at my brain, relaxing me, making me smile. “I really do, don’t I?”
The expression on his face was like he was torn between being okay with the idea and being completely against it.
Leaning in close to him again, I winked. “I’m taking your love of MILF porn to the grave with me, don’t worry.”
He stared at me, unblinking, unflinching. And then: “I’ll cut the power at the house when you’re in the shower,” he said so evenly, so crisply, it took me a second to realize he was threatening me…
And when it finally did hit me, I burst out laughing, smacking his inner thigh without thinking twice about it. “Who does that?”
Aiden Graves, husband of mine, said it, “Me.”
Then the words were out of my mouth before I could control them. “And you know what I’ll do? I’ll go sneak into bed with you, so ha.”
What the hell had I just said? What in the ever-loving hell had I just said?
“If you think I’m supposed to be scared…” He leaned forward so our faces were only a couple of inches away. The hand on my neck and the finger pads lining the back of my ear stayed where they were. “I’m not
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
This is what cinema is all about. Images, sound, whatever, are what we use to construct a way which is cinema, which is supposed to produce effects, not only in our eyes and ears, but in our "mental" movie theater in which image and sound already are there. There is a kind of on-going movie all the time, in which the movie that we see comes in and mixes, and the perception of all these images and sound proposed to us in a typical film narration piles up in our memory with other images, other associations of images, other films, but other mental images we have, they pre-exist. So a new image in a film titillates or excites another mental image already there or emotions that we have so when you propose something to watch and hear, it goes, it works. It's like we have sleeping emotions in us all the time, half-sleeping, so one specific image or the combination of one image and sound, or the way of putting things together, like two images one after another, what we call montage, editing - these things ring a bell. These half-asleep feelings just wake up because of that - that is what it is about. This is not to make a film and say: "Okay, let's get a deal, let's tell the story, let's have a good actress, good-bye, not bad," and we go home and we eat. What I am dealing with is the effects, the perception, and the subsidiary effects of my work as proposals, as an open field, so that you can get there things you always wanted to feel and maybe didn't know how to express, imagine, watch, observe, whatever. This is so far away from the strong screenplay, the beautiful movie, etc., that sometimes I don't know what I should discuss. You understand, this is really fighting for that "Seventh Art" which is making films.
Agnès Varda (Agnes Varda: Interviews)
Some gifted people have all five and some less. Every gifted person tends to lead with one. As I read this list for the first time I was struck by the similarities between Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities and the traits of Sensitive Intuitives. Read the list for yourself and see what you identify with: Psychomotor This manifests as a strong pull toward movement. People with this overexcitability tend to talk rapidly and/or move nervously when they become interested or passionate about something. They have a lot of physical energy and may run their hands through their hair, snap their fingers, pace back and forth, or display other signs of physical agitation when concentrating or thinking something out. They come across as physically intense and can move in an impatient, jerky manner when excited. Other people might find them overwhelming and they’re routinely diagnosed as ADHD. Sensual This overexcitability comes in the form of an extreme sensitivity to sounds, smells, bright lights, textures and temperature. Perfume and scented soaps and lotions are bothersome to people with this overexcitability, and they might also have aversive reactions to strong food smells and cleaning products. For me personally, if I’m watching a movie in which a strobe light effect is used, I’m done. I have to shut my eyes or I’ll come down with a headache after only a few seconds. Loud, jarring or intrusive sounds also short circuit my wiring. Intellectual This is an incessant thirst for knowledge. People with this overexcitability can’t ever learn enough. They zoom in on a few topics of interest and drink up every bit of information on those topics they can find. Their only real goal is learning for learning’s sake. They’re not trying to learn something to make money or get any other external reward. They just happened to have discovered the history of the Ming Dynasty or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and now it’s all they can think about. People with this overexcitability have intellectual interests that are passionate and wide-ranging and they study many areas simultaneously. Imaginative INFJ and INFP writers, this is you. This is ALL you. Making up stories, creating imaginary friends, believing in Santa Claus way past the ordinary age, becoming attached to fairies, elves, monsters and unicorns, these are the trademarks of the gifted child with imaginative overexcitability. These individuals appear dreamy, scattered, lost in their own worlds, and constantly have their heads in the clouds. They also routinely blend fiction with reality. They are practically the definition of the Sensitive Intuitive writer at work. Emotional Gifted individuals with emotional overexcitability are highly empathetic (and empathic, I might add), compassionate, and can become deeply attached to people, animals, and even inanimate objects, in a short period of time. They also have intense emotional reactions to things and might not be able to stomach horror movies or violence on the evening news. They have most likely been told throughout their life that they’re “too sensitive” or that they’re “overreacting” when in truth, they are expressing exactly how they feel to the most accurate degree.
Lauren Sapala (The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World's Rarest Type)
Brushing through my hair was usually bad enough after a shower. Letting it dry without brushing it was a terrible mistake. It was full of painful tangles, and I hadn’t made much progress when the door at the end of the veranda opened and Ren walked out. I squeaked in alarm and hid behind my hair. Perfect, Kells.
He was still barefoot, but had on khaki pants and a sky-blue button-down shirt that matched his eyes. The effect was magnetic, and here I was in flannel pajamas with giant tumbleweed hair.
He sat across from me and said, “Good evening, Kells. Did you sleep well?”
“Uh, yes. Did you?”
He grinned a dazzling white smile and nodded his head slightly. “Are you having trouble?” he asked and watched my detangling progress with an amused expression.
“Nope. I’ve got it all under control.”
I wanted to divert his attention away from my hair, so I said, “How’s your back and your, um, arm, I guess it would be?”
He smiled. “They’re completely fine. Thank you for asking.”
“Ren, why aren’t you wearing white? That’s all I’ve ever seen you wear. Is it because your white shirt was torn?”
He responded, “No, I just wanted to wear something different. Actually, when I change to a tiger and back, my white clothes reappear. If I changed to a tiger now and then switch back to a man again, my current clothes would be replaced with my old white ones.”
“Would they still be torn and bloody?”
“No. When I reappear, they’re clean and whole again.”
“Hah. Lucky for you. It would be pretty awkward if you ended up naked every time you changed.”
I bit my tongue as soon as the words came out and blushed a brilliant shade of red. Nice, Kells. Way to go. I covered up my verbal blunder by tugging my hair in front of my face and yanking through the tangles.
He grinned. “Yes. Lucky for me.”
I tugged the brush through my hair and winced. “That brings up another question.”
Ren rose and took the brush out of my hand.
“What…what are you doing?” I stammered.
“Relax. You’re too edgy.”
He had no idea.
Moving behind me, Ren picked up a section of my hair and started gently brushing through it. I was nervous at first, but his hands in my hair were so warm and soothing that I soon relaxed in the chair, closed my eyes, and leaned my head back.
After a minute of brushing, he pulled a lock away from my neck, leaned down by my ear, and whispered, “What was it you wanted to ask me?”
“Umm…what?” I mumbled disconcertingly.
“You wanted to ask me a question.”
“Oh, right. It was, uh-that feels nice.”
Did I say that out loud?
Ren laughed softly. “That’s not a question.”
Apparently, I did.
“Was it something about me changing into a tiger?”
“Oh, yes. I remember now. You can change back a forth several times per day, right? Is there a limit?”
“No. There’s no limit as long as I don’t remain human for more than a total of twenty-four minutes in a twenty-four hour day.” He moved to another section of hair. “Do you have any more questions, sundari?
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Alexa, I have never been more alive in all these years than I am right now, with you.” He paused, second-guessing himself, and I turned my face to plant an encouraging kiss in the palm of his hand. “You are the only light in my dark world. All I see is you.” I closed my eyes, the emotion overcoming me in its immensity. His next words came low, barely a whisper. Yet, I heard them as clearly as if they’d been shouted at me. “I love you. You have given back to me everything I thought I’d lost forever.” His voice carried a note of surrender. I opened my eyes to find him staring at me, hope evident in his expression. “How you feel, Arys, it isn’t one sided.” I placed my hand over his, drawing it to my chest where my heart beat steadily. “Don’t say it,” he said, placing a finger over my lips. “You love the white wolf.” Knocking his finger away, I rose up on tiptoes to better look him in the eyes. “I do. And, he has his own place within me. As do you.” He wanted to believe me, but Arys didn’t know how to be loved any better than I had just a few months ago. I understood how hard it was to trust fully. I’d been there. I still was.
Trina M. Lee (The Wicked Kiss (Alexa O'Brien, Huntress, #2))
December 25, 4:30 p.m.
It’s been seven hours since you left. Twice now I’ve started to go to your room to ask how you liked your presents and then remembered you weren’t here. I’ve gotten so used to you, it’s strange that you aren’t around, drifting down the halls. I’ve nearly called a few times, but I don’t want to seem possessive. I don’t want you to feel like I’m a cage to you. I remember how you said the palace was just that the first night you came here. I think, over time, you’ve felt freer, and I’d hate to ruin that freedom, I’m going to have to distract myself until you come back.
I decided to sit and write to you, hoping maybe it would feel like I was talking to you. It sort of does, I can imagine you sitting here, smiling at my idea, maybe shaking your head at me as if to say I’m being silly. You do that sometimes, did you know? I like that expression on you. You’re the only person who wears it in a way that doesn’t come across like you think I’m completely hopeless. You smile at my idiosyncrasies, accept that they exist, and continue to be my friend. And, in seven short hours, I’ve started to miss that.
I’ve wonder what you’ve done in that time. I’m betting by now you’ve flown across the country, made it to your home, and are safe. I hope you are safe. I can’t imagine what a comfort you must be to your family right now. The lovely daughter has finally returned!
I keep trying to picture you home. I remember you telling me it was small, that you had a tree house, and that your garage was where you father and sister did all their work. Beyond that I’ve had to resort to my imagination. I imagine you curled up in a hug with you sister or kicking around a ball with your little brother. I remember that, you know? That you said he liked to play ball.
I tried to imagine walking into your house with you. I would have liked that, to see you where you grew up. I would love to see you brother run around or be embraced by your mother. I think it would be comforting to sense the presence of people near you, floorboards creaking and doors shutting. I would have liked to sit in one part of the house and still probably be able to smell the kitchen. I’ve always imagined that real homes are full of the aromas of whatever’s being cooked. I wouldn’t do a scrap of work. Nothing having to do with armies or budgets or negotiations. I’d sit with you, maybe try to work on my photography while you played the piano. We’d be Fives together, like you said. I could join your family for dinner, talking over one another in a collection of conversations instead of whispering and waiting our turns. And maybe I’d sleep in a spare bed or on the couch. I’d sleep on the floor beside you if you’d let me.
I think about that sometimes. Falling asleep next to you, I mean, like we did in the safe room. It was nice to hear your breaths as they came and went, something quiet and close keeping me from feeling so alone. This letter has gotten foolish, and I think you know how I detest looking like a fool. But still I do. For you.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood.
There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety.
The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone.
Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
The truth is you already know what it’s like. You already know
the difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes
through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone
know. As though inside you is this enormous room full of what
seems like everything in the whole universe at one time or another and
yet the only parts that get out have to somehow squeeze out through
one of those tiny keyholes you see under the knob in older doors. As if
we are all trying to see each other through these tiny keyholes.
But it does have a knob, the door can open. But not in the way you
think. But what if you could? Think for a second — what if all the infinitely dense and shifting worlds of stuff inside you every moment of your life turned out now to be somehow fully open and expressible afterward,
after what you think of as you has died, because what if afterward
now each moment itself is an infinite sea or span or passage of time in
which to express it or convey it, and you don’t even need any organized
English, you can as they say open the door and be in anyone else’s
room in all your own multiform forms and ideas and facets? Because
listen — we don’t have much time, here’s where Lily Cache slopes
slightly down and the banks start getting steep, and you can just make
out the outlines of the unlit sign for the farmstand that’s never open
anymore, the last sign before the bridge — so listen: What exactly do
you think you are? The millions and trillions of thoughts, memories,
juxtapositions — even crazy ones like this, you’re thinking — that flash
through your head and disappear? Some sum or remainder of these?
Your history? Do you know how long it’s been since I told you I was a
fraud? Do you remember you were looking at the respicem watch
hanging from the rearview and seeing the time, 9:17? What are you looking at right now? Coincidence? What if no time has passed at all?*
The truth is you’ve already heard this. That this is what it’s like. That it’s what makes room for the universes inside you, all the endless inbent fractals of connection and symphonies of different voices, the infinities you can never show another soul. And you think it makes you
a fraud, the tiny fraction anyone else ever sees? Of course you’re a
fraud, of course what people see is never you. And of course you know
this, and of course you try to manage what part they see if you know
it’s only a part. Who wouldn’t? It’s called free will, Sherlock. But at the
same time it’s why it feels so good to break down and cry in front of
others, or to laugh, or speak in tongues, or chant in Bengali — it’s not English anymore, it’s not getting squeezed through any hole.
So cry all you want, I won’t tell anybody.
David Foster Wallace
Well,” I said, trying to keep my tone light as I walked over to put my arms around his neck, though I had to stand on my toes to do so. “That wasn’t so bad, was it? You told me something about yourself that I didn’t know before-that you didn’t, er, care for your family, except for your mother. But that didn’t make me hate you…it made me love you a bit more, because now I know we have even more in common.”
He stared down at him, a wary look in his eyes. “If you knew the truth,” he said, “you wouldn’t be saying that. You’d be running.”
“Where would I go?” I asked, with a laugh I hoped didn’t sound as nervous to him as it did to me. “You bolted all the doors, remember? Now, since you shared something I didn’t know about you, may I share something you don’t know about me?”
Those dark eyebrows rose as he pulled me close. “I can’t even begin to imagine what this could be.”
“It’s just,” I said, “that I’m a little worried about rushing into this consort thing…especially the cohabitation part.”
“Cohabitation?” he echoed. He was clearly unfamiliar with the word.
“Cohabitation means living together,” I explained, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Like married people.”
“You said last night that these days no one your age thinks of getting married,” he said, holding me even closer and suddenly looking much more eager to stick around for the conversation, even though I heard the marina horn blow again. “And that your father would never approve it. But if you’ve changed your mind, I’m sure I could convince Mr. Smith to perform the ceremony-“
“No,” I said hastily. Of course Mr. Smith was somehow authorized to marry people in the state of Florida. Why not? I decided not to think about that right now, or how John had come across this piece of information. “That isn’t what I meant. My mom would kill me if I got married before I graduated from high school.”
Not, of course, that my mom was going to know about any of this. Which was probably just as well, since her head would explode at the idea of my moving in with a guy before I’d even applied to college, let alone at the fact that I most likely wasn’t going to college. Not that there was any school that would have accepted me with my grades, not to mention my disciplinary record.
“What I meant was that maybe we should take it more slowly,” I explained. “The past couple years, while all my friends were going out with boys, I was home, trying to figure out how this necklace you gave me worked. I wasn’t exactly dating.”
“Pierce,” he said. He wore a slightly quizzical expression on his face. “Is this the thing you think I didn’t know about you? Because for one thing, I do know it, and for another, I don’t understand why you think I’d have a problem with it.”
I’d forgotten he’d been born in the eighteen hundreds, when the only time proper ladies and gentlemen ever spent together before they were married was at heavily chaperoned balls…and that for most of the past two centuries, he’d been hanging out in a cemetery.
Did he even know that these days, a lot of people hooked up on first dates, or that the average age at which girls-and boys as well-lost their virginity in the United States was seventeen…my age?
“What I’m trying to say,” I said, my cheeks burning brighter, “is that I’m not very experienced with men. So this morning when I woke up and found you in bed beside me, while it was really, super nice-don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much-it kind of freaked me out. Because I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of thing yet.” Or maybe the problem was that I wasn’t prepared for how ready I was…
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Dating yes. But she thinks we're, uh, more than dating."
"Oh," he says, thoughtful. Then he grins. "Oh." The reason her lips are turning his favorite color is because Emma's mom thinks they've been dating and mating. The blush extends down her neck and disappears into her T-shirt. He should probably say something to make her feel more comfortable. But teasing her seems so much more fun. "Well then, the least she could do is give us some privacy-"
"Ohmysweetgoodness!" She snatches her backpack from the seat and marches around her car to the driver's side. Before she can get the door unlocked, he plucks the key from her fingers and tucks it into his jeans' pocket. She moves to retrieve it, but stops when she realizes where she's about to go fishing.
He's never seen her this red. He laughs. "Calm down, Emma. I'm just kidding. Don't leave."
"Yeah, well, it's not funny. You should have seen her this morning. She almost cried. my mom doesn't cry." She crosses her arms again but relaxes against her door.
"She cried? That's pretty insulting."
She cracks a tiny grin. "Yeah, it's an insult to me. She thinks I would...would..."
"More than date me?"
He steps toward her and puts his hand beside her on the car, leaning in. A live current seems to shimmy up his spine. What are you doing? "But she should know that you don't even think of me like that. That it would never even cross your mind," he murmurs. She looks away, satisfying his unspoken question-it has crossed her mind. The same way it crosses his. How often? Does she feel the voltage between them, too? Who cares, idiot? She belongs to Grom. Or are you going to let a few sparks keep you from uniting the kingdoms?
He pulls back, clenching his teeth. His pockets are the only safe place for his hands at the moment. "Why don't I meet her then? You think that would make her feel better?"
"Um." She swipes her hair to the other side of her face. Her expression falls somewhere between shock and expectation. And she had every right to expect it-he's been entertaining the idea of kissing her for over two weeks now. She fidgets the door handle. "Yeah, it might. She won't let me go anywhere-especially with you-if she doesn't meet you first."
"Should I be afraid?"
She sighs. "Normally I would say no. But after this morning..." She shrugs.
"How about I follow you to your house so you can drop off your car? Then she can interrogate me. When she sees how charming I am, she'll let you ride to the beach with me."
She rolls her eyes. "Just don't be too charming. If you're too smooth, she'll never believe-just don't overdue it, okay?"
"This is getting complicated," he says, unlocking her car.
"Just remember, this is your idea and your fault. Now would be the time to back out."
He chuckles and opens the door for her. "Don't lose me on the road.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Ren moved just a smidgen closer to me. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and then…waited. When I opened my eyes, he was still staring at me. He really was waiting for permission. There was nothing, and I mean nothing I wanted more in the world at that moment than to be kissed by this gorgeous man. But, I ruined it. For some reason, I fixated on the word permission.
I nervously rambled, “What…umm…what do you mean you want my permission?”
He looked at me curiously, which made me feel even more panicky. To say I had no experience with kissing would be an understatement. Not only had I never kissed a boy before, I’d never even met a guy I wanted to kiss until Ren. So, instead of kissing him like I wanted to, I got flustered and started coming up with reasons to not do it.
I babbled, “Girls need to be swept off their feet, and asking permission is just…just…old-fashioned. It’s not spontaneous enough. It doesn’t scream passion. It screams old fogy. If you have to ask, then the answer is…no.”
What an idiot! I thought to myself. I just told this beautiful, kind, blue-eyed, hunk of a prince that he was an old fogy.
Ren looked at me for a long moment, long enough for me to see the hurt in his eyes before he cleared his face of expression. He stood up quickly, formally bowed to me, and avowed softly, “I won’t ask you again, Kelsey. I apologize for being so forward.”
Then he changed into a tiger and quickly ran off into the jungle, leaving me alone to berate myself for my foolishness.
I shouted, “Ren, wait!” But it was too late. He was gone.
I can’t believe I insulted him like that! He must hate me! How could I do that to him? I knew I only said those things because I was nervous, but that was no excuse. What did he mean he would never ask me again? I hope he asks me again.
I replayed my words over and over again in my mind and thought of all the things I could have said that would have given me a better result. Things like, “I thought you’d never ask” or “I was just about to ask you the same question.”
I could have just grabbed the man and kissed him first. Even just a simple “Yes” would have done the trick. I could have said dramatically, “As you wish,” “Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time,” or “You had me at hello.” He’d never seen the movies, so why not? But, no, I had to go on and on about “permission.”
Ren left me alone the rest of the day, which gave my plenty of time to kick myself.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
I wish you’d told me this before.”
“It wouldn’t have changed anything.”
“Maybe not. But talking about wounds can help heal them.”
“You don’t talk about yours,” she pointed out.
He sat down on the sofa facing her and leaned forward. “But I do,” he said seriously. “I talk to you. I’ve never told anyone else about the way my father treated us. That’s a deeply personal thing. I don’t share it. I can’t share it with anyone but you.”
“I’m part of your life,” she said heavily, smoothing her hair back again. “Neither of us can help that. You were my comfort when Mama died, my very salvation when my stepfather hurt me. But I can’t expect you to go on taking care of me. I’m twenty-five years old, Tate. I have to let you go.”
“No, you don’t.” He caught her wrists and pulled her closer. He was more solemn than she’d ever seen him. “I’m tired of fighting it. Let’s find out how deep your scars ago. Come to bed with me, Cecily. I know enough to make it easy for you.”
She stared at him blankly. “Tate…” She touched his lean cheek hesitantly. He was offering her paradise, if she could face her own demons in bed with him. “This will only make things worse, whatever happens.”
“You want me,” he said gently. “And I want you. Let’s get rid of the ghosts. If you can get past the fear, I won’t have anyone else from now on except you. I’ll come to you when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when the world falls on me. I’ll lie in your arms and comfort you when you’re sad, when you’re frightened. You can come to me when you need to be held, when you need me. I’ll cherish you.”
“And you’ll make sure I never get pregnant.”
His face tautened. “You know how I feel about. I’ve never made a secret of it. I won’t compromise on that issue, ever.”
She touched his long hair, thinking how beautiful he was, how beloved. Could she live with only a part of him, watch him leave her one day to marry another woman? If he never knew the truth about his father, he might do that. She couldn’t tell him about Matt Holden, even to insure her own happiness.
He glanced at her, puzzled by the expression on her face. “I’ll be careful,” he said. “And very slow. I won’t hurt you, in any way.”
“Colby might come back…”
He shook his head. “No. He won’t.” He stood up, pulling her with him. He saw the faint indecision in her face. “I won’t ask for more than you can give me,” he said quietly. “If you only want to lie in my arms and be kissed, that’s what we’ll do.”
She looked up into his dark eyes and an unsteady sigh passed her lips. “I would give…anything…to let you love me,” she said huskily. “For eight long years…!”
His mouth covered the painful words, stilling them.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
I draw myself up next to her and look at her profile, making no effort to disguise my attention, here, where there is only Puck to see me. The evening sun loves her throat and her cheekbones. Her hair the color of cliff grass rises and falls over her face in the breeze. Her expression is less ferocious than usual, less guarded.
I say, “Are you afraid?”
Her eyes are far away on the horizon line, out to the west where the sun has gone but the glow remains. Somewhere out there are my capaill uisce, George Holly’s America, every gallon of water that every ship rides on.
Puck doesn’t look away from the orange glow at the end of the world. “Tell me what it’s like. The race.”
What it’s like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It’s the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It’s speed, if you’re lucky. It’s life and it’s death or it’s both and there’s nothing like it. Once upon a time, this moment — this last light of evening the day before the race — was the best moment of the year for me. The anticipation of the game to come. But that was when all I had to lose was my life.
“There’s no one braver than you on that beach.”
Her voice is dismissive. “That doesn’t matter.”
“It does. I meant what I said at the festival. This island cares nothing for love but it favors the brave.”
Now she looks at me. She’s fierce and red, indestructible and changeable, everything that makes Thisby what it is. She asks, “Do you feel brave?”
The mare goddess had told me to make another wish. It feels thin as a thread to me now, that gift of a wish. I remember the years when it felt like a promise. “I don’t know what I feel, Puck.”
Puck unfolds her arms just enough to keep her balance as she leans to me, and when we kiss, she closes her eyes.
She draws back and looks into my face. I have not moved, and she barely has, but the world feels strange beneath me.
“Tell me what to wish for,” I say. “Tell me what to ask the sea for.”
“To be happy. Happiness.”
I close my eyes. My mind is full of Corr, of the ocean, of Puck Connolly’s lips on mine. “I don’t think such a thing is had on Thisby. And if it is, I don’t know how you would keep it.”
The breeze blows across my closed eyelids, scented with brine and rain and winter. I can hear the ocean rocking against the island, a constant lullaby.
Puck’s voice is in my ear; her breath warms my neck inside my jacket collar. “You whisper to it. What it needs to hear. Isn’t that what you said?”
I tilt my head so that her mouth is on my skin. The kiss is cold where the wind blows across my cheek. Her forehead rests against my hair.
I open my eyes, and the sun has gone. I feel as if the ocean is inside me, wild and uncertain. “That’s what I said. What do I need to hear?”
Puck whispers, “That tomorrow we’ll rule the Scorpio Races as king and queen of Skarmouth and I’ll save the house and you’ll have your stallion. Dove will eat golden oats for the rest of her days and you will terrorize the races each year and people will come from every island in the world to find out how it is you get horses to listen to you. The piebald will carry Mutt Malvern into the sea and Gabriel will decide to stay on the island. I will have a farm and you will bring me bread for dinner.”
I say, “That is what I needed to hear.”
“Do you know what to wish for now?”
I swallow. I have no wishing-shell to throw into the sea when I say it, but I know that the ocean hears me nonetheless. “To get what I need.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
Thanks for getting me out of there,” I murmur, lacing my fingers around my knees, and looking up at him on his step.
“Yeah. You looked a little green. “
“I don’t handle crowds too well. I’ve always been that way, I guess.”
“You might get in trouble,” he warns, staring at me in that strange, hungry way that unravels me. He strokes his bottom lip with a finger. For a flash of a second, his eyes look strange. Different. All glowing irises and thin dark pupils. Almost drake-like. I blink to clear my vision. His eyes are normal again. Just my imagination in overdrive. I’m probably projecting missing home and Az—everything--onto him. “Pep rallies are mandatory,” he continues. “A lot of people saw you leave. Teachers included.”
“They saw you leave, too,” I point out.
He leans to the side, propping an elbow on one of the steps behind him. “I’m not worried about that. I’ve been in trouble before.” He smiles a crooked grin and holds up crossed fingers. “The principal and I are like this. The guy loves me. Really.”
Laughter spills from me, rusty and hoarse.
His grin makes me feel good. Free. Like I’m not running from anything. Like I could stay here in this world, if only I have him.
The thought unsettles me. Sinks heavily in my chest. Because I can’t have him. Not really. All he can ever be for me is a temporary fix.
“But you’re worried I’ll get in trouble?” I try not to show how much this pleases me. I’ve managed to ignore him for days now and here I sit. Lapping up his attention like a neglected puppy. My voice takes on an edge. “Why do you care? I’ve ignored you for days.”
His smile fades. He looks serious, mockingly so. “Yeah. You got to stop that.”
I swallow back a laugh. “I can’t.”
“Why?” There’s no humor in his eyes now, no mockery. “You like me. You want to be with me.”
“I never said—”
“You didn’t have to.”
I inhale sharply. “Don’t do this.”
He looks at me so fiercely, so intently. Angry again. “I don’t have friends. Do you see me hang with anyone besides my jerk cousins? That’s for a reason. I keep people away on purpose,” he growls. “But then you came along . . .”
I frown and shake my head.
His expression softens then , pulls at some part of me. His gaze travels my face, warming the core of me. “Whoever you are, Jacinda, you’re someone I have to let in.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
Her face went blank as she realized what she’d interrupted. “I’ll, uh, go upstairs and watch a show,” she said, not sounding like herself at all.
I scooted out from under Adam. “And Jesse saves the day,” I said lightly. “Thank you, that was getting out of hand.”
She paused, looking—surprised.
I wondered uncharitably how many times she’d walked in on her mother in similar situations and what her mother’s response had been. I never had liked Jesse’s mother and was happy to believe all sorts of evil about her. I let anger at the games her mother might have played surround me. When you’ve lived with werewolves, you learn tricks to hide what you’re feeling from them—anger, for instance, covers up panic pretty well—and, out from under Adam’s sensuous hands, I was panicking plenty.
Adam snorted. “That’s one way to put it.” To my relief, he’d stayed where we’d been, sinking facedown onto the mat.
“Even with my willpower, his lure was too great,” I said melodramatically, complete with wrist to forehead. If I made a joke of it, he’d never realize how truthful I was being.
A slow smile spread across her face and she quit looking like she was ready to bolt back into the house. “Dad’s kind of a stud, all right.”
“Jesse,” warned Adam, his voice muffled only a little by the mat. She giggled.
“I have to agree,” I said in overly serious tones. “Maybe as high as a seven or eight, even.”
“Mercedes,” Adam thundered, surging to his feet.
I winked at Jesse, held my gi top over my left shoulder with one finger, and strolled casually out the back door of the garage. I didn’t mean to, but when I turned to shut the door, I looked back and saw Adam’s face. His expression gave me cold chills.
He wasn’t angry or hurt. He looked thoughtful, as if someone had just given him the answer to a question that had been bothering him. He knew.
Patricia Briggs (Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2))
The term ‘political correctness’ has evolved out of the Marxist and Freudian philosophies of the 1930s to become a tool for multicultural-ism, multisexualism, multitheism, and multi-anythingism. It was created to discourage bias and prejudiced thinking that discriminates against an individual or group. It has become society’s way of not offending anyone, whether it is an individual, a group, or a nation. In many instances, however, it is a simple, disarming way of ignoring or deflecting the truth about a situation. Today, the use of political correctness has become so abused that anyone who voices his or her opinion contrary to ‘politically correct think’ is immediately tagged with some form of disparaging label, such as racist and bigot. This exploitation has gotten so out of control that this name-calling accusation is used as a simple and mindless means to manipulate academic, social, or political discussion. The result is a social paranoia which discourages free thought and expression. It’s like living in a totalitarian state in which you are afraid to say what you think. Now who wants to suffer that?
So people keep quiet. Their opinions are held captive to fear. How handy for the Islamo-fascists, the American-hating, Jew-killing, Israel-destroying, women-abusing, multireligious-intolerant Muslims. Oh! Excuse me. Did I say something not quite PC?
This social paranoia is similar to the attitude that developed in the late 1980s and 1990s, when people became so concerned about children’s self-esteem that failure could not be acknowledged or misbehavior corrected. ‘Now, let’s not hurt their feelings’ was the standard approach. This degree of concern led to teachers giving passing grades for poor performance and youth sport activities where no one kept score. And what has been the fallout of all that psychobabble? High school kids who can’t read their diploma or make change for a dollar, internationally embarrassing scholastic performance scores, and young adults ill equipped to face the competitive lifestyle the world has to offer. They are left watching the television show The Apprentice, not competing to be an apprentice. America got itself into a mess by not upholding the high standards and expectations it once had, instead giving in to mediocrity; and we’re getting into a mess now with political correctness.
Brigitte Gabriel (Because They Hate)
Before she could say anything more, Sabella swung around at the sound of Noah’s Harley purring to life behind the garage.
God. He was dressed in snug jeans and riding chaps. A snug dark T-shirt covered his upper body, conformed to it. And he was riding her way.
“Is there anything sexier than a man in riding chaps riding a Harley?” Kira asked behind her. “It makes a woman simply want to melt.”
And Sabella was melting. She watched as he pulled around the side of the garage then took the gravel road that led to the back of the house. The sound of the Harley purred closer, throbbing, building the excitement inside her.
“I think it’s time for me to leave,” Kira said with a light laugh. “Don’t bother to see me out.”
Sabella didn’t. She listened as the Harley drew into the graveled lot behind the house and moved to the back door. She opened it, stepping out on the back deck as he swung his legs over the cycle and strode toward her.
That long-legged lean walk. It made her mouth water. Made her heart throb in her throat as hunger began to race through her.
“The spa treated you well,” he announced as he paused at the bottom of the steps and stared back at her. “Feel like messing your hair up and going out this evening? We could have dinner in town. Ride around a little bit.”
She hadn’t ridden on a motorcycle since she was a teenager. She glanced at the cycle, then back to Noah.
“I’d need to change clothes.”
His gaze flickered over her short jeans skirt, her T-shirt.
“That would be a damned shame too,” he stated. “I have to say, Ms. Malone, you have some beautiful legs there.”
No one had ever been as charming as Nathan. She remembered when they were dating, how he would just show up, out of the blue, driving that monster pickup of his and grinning like a rogue when he picked her up. He’d been the epitome of a bad boy, and he had been all hers. He was still all hers.
“Bare legs and motorcycles don’t exactly go together,” she pointed out.
He nodded soberly, though his eyes had a wicked glint to them. “This is a fact, beautiful. And pretty legs like that, we wouldn’t want to risk.”
She leaned against the porch post and stared back at him. “I have a pickup, you know.” She propped one hand on her hip and stared back at him.
“Really?” Was that avarice she saw glinting in his eyes, or for just the slightest second, pure, unadulterated joy at the mention of that damned pickup?
He looked around. “I haven’t seen a pickup.”
“It’s in the garage,” she told him carelessly. “A big black monster with bench seats. Four-by-four gas-guzzling alpha-male steel and chrome.”
He grinned. He was so proud of that damned pickup.
“Where did something so little come up with a truck that big?” he teased her then.
She shrugged. “It belonged to my husband. Now, it belongs to me.” That last statement had his gaze sharpening.
“You drive it?”
“All the time,” she lied, tormenting him. “I don’t have to worry about pinging it now that my husband is gone. He didn’t like pings.”
Did he swallow tighter?
“It’s pinged then?”
She snorted. “Not hardly. Do you want to drive the monster or question me about it? Or I could change into jeans and we could ride your cycle. Which is it?”
Which was it? Noah stared back at her, barely able to contain his shock that she had kept the pickup. He knew for a fact there were times the payments on the house and garage had gone unpaid—his “death” benefits hadn’t been nearly enough—almost risking her loss of both during those first months of his “death.” Knowing she had held on to that damned truck filled him with more pleasure than he could express. Knowing she was going to let someone who wasn’t her husband drive it filled him with horror.
The contradictor feelings clashed inside him, and he promised himself he was going to spank her for this.
Lora Leigh (Wild Card (Elite Ops, #1))
There is no shame in what you are feeling, Harry,' said Dumbledore's voice. 'On the contrary ... the fact that you can feel pain like this is your greatest strength.'
Harry felt the white-hot anger lick his insides, blazing in the terrible emptiness, filling him with the desire to hurt Dumbledore for his calmness and his empty words.
'My greatest strength, is it?' said Harry, his voice shaking as he stared out at the Quidditch stadium, no longer seeing it. 'You haven't got a clue ... you don't know ...'
'What don't I know?' asked Dumbledore calmly.
It was too much. Harry turned around, shaking with rage.
'I don't want to talk about how I feel, all right?'
'Harry, suffering like this proves you are still a man! This pain is part of being human--'
'THEN--I--DON'T --WANT--TO--BE--HUMAN!' Harry roared, and he seized the delicate silver instrument from the spindle-legged table beside him and flung it across the room; it shattered into a hundred tiny pieces against the wall. Several of the pictures let out yells of anger and fright, and the portrait of Armando Dippet said, 'Really!'
'I DON'T CARE!' Harry yelled at them, snatching up a lunascope and throwing it into the fireplace. 'I'VE HAD ENOUGH, I'VE SEEN ENOUGH, I WANT OUT, I WANT IT TO END, I DON'T CARE ANY MORE--'
He seized the table on which the silver instrument had stood and threw that, too. It broke apart on the floor and the legs rolled in different directions.
'You do care,' said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. 'You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.'
'I--DON'T!' Harry screamed, so loudly that he felt his throat might tear, and for a second he wanted to rush at Dumbledore and break him, too; shatter that calm old face, shake him, hurt him, make him feel some tiny part of the horror inside himself.
'Oh, yes, you do,' said Dumbledore, still more calmly. 'You have now lost your mother, your father, and the closest thing to a parent you have ever known. Of course you care.'
'YOU DON'T KNOW HOW I FEEL!' Harry roared. 'YOU--STANDING THERE--YOU--'
But words were no longer enough, smashing things was no more help; he wanted to run, he wanted to keep running and never look back, he wanted to be somewhere he could not see the clear blue eyes staring at him, that hatefully calm old face.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
What we feel and how we feel is far more important than what we think and how we think. Feeling is the stuff of which our consciousness is made, the atmosphere in which all our thinking and all our conduct is bathed. All the motives which govern and drive our lives are emotional. Love and hate, anger and fear, curiosity and joy are the springs of all that is most noble and most detestable in the history of men and nations.
The opening sentence of a sermon is an opportunity. A good introduction arrests me. It handcuffs me and drags me before the sermon, where I stand and hear a Word that makes me both tremble and rejoice. The best sermon introductions also engage the listener immediately. It’s a rare sermon, however, that suffers because of a good introduction.
Mysteries beg for answers. People’s natural curiosity will entice them to stay tuned until the puzzle is solved. Any sentence that points out incongruity, contradiction, paradox, or irony will do.
Talk about what people care about. Begin writing an introduction by asking, “Will my listeners care about this?” (Not, “Why should they care about this?”)
Stepping into the pulpit calmly and scanning the congregation to the count of five can have a remarkable effect on preacher and congregation alike. It is as if you are saying, “I’m about to preach the Word of God. I want all of you settled. I’m not going to begin, in fact, until I have your complete attention.”
No sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as crystal. The getting of that sentence is the hardest, most exacting, and most fruitful labor of study.
We tend to use generalities for compelling reasons. Specifics often take research and extra thought, precious commodities to a pastor. Generalities are safe. We can’t help but use generalities when we can’t remember details of a story or when we want anonymity for someone. Still, the more specific their language, the better speakers communicate.
I used to balk at spending a large amount of time on a story, because I wanted to get to the point. Now I realize the story gets the point across better than my declarative statements.
Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. Limits—that is, form—challenge the mind, forcing creativity.
Needless words weaken our offense. Listening to some speakers, you have to sift hundreds of gallons of water to get one speck of gold.
If the sermon is so complicated that it needs a summary, its problems run deeper than the conclusion. The last sentence of a sermon already has authority; when the last sentence is Scripture, this is even more true.
No matter what our tone or approach, we are wise to craft the conclusion carefully. In fact, given the crisis and opportunity that the conclusion presents—remember, it will likely be people’s lasting memory of the message—it’s probably a good practice to write out the conclusion, regardless of how much of the rest of the sermon is written.
It is you who preaches Christ. And you will preach Christ a little differently than any other preacher. Not to do so is to deny your God-given uniqueness.
Aim for clarity first. Beauty and eloquence should be added to make things even more clear, not more impressive.
I’ll have not praise nor time for those who suppose that writing comes by some divine gift, some madness, some overflow of feeling. I’m especially grim on Christians who enter the field blithely unprepared and literarily innocent of any hard work—as though the substance of their message forgives the failure of its form.
Mark Galli (Preaching That Connects: Using Techniques of Journalists to Add Impact)
Larry smiled a trifle ruefully.
"Like Rolla [who is?], I've come too late into a world too old. I should have been born in the Middle Ages when faith was a matter of course; then my way would have been clear to me and I'd have sought to enter the order. I couldn't believe. I wanted to believe, but I couldn't believe in a God who wasn't better than the ordinary decent man. The monks told me that God had created the world for his glorification. That didn't seem to me a very worthy object. Did Beethoven create his symphonies for his glorification? I don't believe it. I believe he created them because the music in his soul demanded expression and then all he tried to do was to make them as perfect as he knew how.
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 his creatures with the necessities, material and spiritual, of existence he'd have done better not to create them."
"Dear Larry," I said, "I think it's just as well you weren't born in the Middle ages. You'd undoubtedly have perished at the stake."
"You've had a great deal of success," he went on. "Do you want to be praised to your face?"
"It only embarrasses me."
"That's what I should have thought. I couldn't believe that God wanted it either. We didn't think much in the air corps of a fellow who wangled a cushy job out of his C.O. By buttering him up. It was hard for me to believe that God thought much of a man who tried to wangle salvation by fulsome flattery. I should have thought the worship most pleasing to him was to do your best according to your lights.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Razor's Edge)
You may attempt to defy me, but I assure you, it is a waste of your energy." He spoke gently, that mocking male superiority setting her teeth on edge. "I am your lifemate, cherie, and I will give any order I deem necessary for your safety."
She thumped his chest hard with her clenched fist. "You make me so mad, Gregori! I'm trying very hard to get along with you and your arrogant orders. You don't even change expression! We could be discussing the weather instead of having a fight."
His eyebrows shot up. "This is no fight, ma petite. A fight is where we both are angry and have a contest of wills,a battle.There cannot be such a thing between us.I do not feel anger when I look at you,only the need to care for you and protect you. I am responsible for your health and safety, Savannah. I can do no other than to protect you,even from your own folly.You cannot hope to win.I know this absolutely, so there is no reason to become agitated over the issue."
She thumped him again.He looked startled, then caught her flying fist in his hand and gently pried her fingers open.Very carefully he pressed a kiss into the exact center of her palm. "Savannah? Were you trying to hit me?"
"I did hit you-twice,you scum.You didn't even notice the first time." She sounded very irritated with him.
For some reason it made him want to smile. "I apologize,mon amour. Next time,I promise I will notice when you strike me." The hard edge to his mouth softened into a semblance of a smile. "I will even go so far as to pretend that it hurts,if you wish it."
Her blue eyes flashed at him. "Ha,ha, ha, you're so funny,Gregori. Stop being so smug."
"It is not being smug to know my own power, cherie. I am trying to care for you as best I know how.YOu do not make it easy for me. I find myself making poor decisions just to see that smile on your face," he admitted reluctantly.
Savannah laid her head on his chest. "I'm sorry I'm so much trouble, Gregori." She wasn't certain if that was the strict truth.She rather liked stirring him up.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Layla!" Don bounded into her sight. The door behind her was still bolted. Where had he come from?
The starshot tumbled from her hands and clattered to the floor. She snatched it up and slipped it back inside her dress. Bill was gone.But Don was-Daniel was right where she wanted him to be.
"What are you doing here?" Her voice broke with the force of having to act surprised to see him.
He didn't seem to hear it.He rushed toward her and wrapped her in his arms. "Saving your life."
"How did you get in?"
"Don't worry about that.No mortal man, no slab of stone can obstruct a love as true as ours. I will always find you."
In his bare, bronzed arms, it was Luce's instinct to feel comforted. But she couldn't right then.Her heart felt ragged and cold.This easy happiness, these feelings of complete trust, every one of the lovely emotions Daniel had shown her how to feel in every life-they were torture to her now.
"Fear not," he whispered. "Let me tell you, my love, what happens after this life.You come back,you rise again. Your rebirth is beautiful and real.You come back to me,again and again-"
The light from the lamp flickered and made his violet eyes sparkle.His body was so warm against hers.
"But I die again and again."
"What?" He tilted his head.Even when his physique looked exotic to her, she knew his expressions so well-that bemused adoration when she expressed something he hadn't expected her to understand. "How do you-Never mind. It doesn't matter.What matters is that we will again be together.We will always find each other,always love each other, no matter what.I will never leave you."
Luce fell to her knees on the stone steps. She hid her face in her hands. "I don't know how you can stand it.Over and over again,the same sadness-"
He lifted her up. "The same ecstasy-"
"The same fire that kills everything-"
"The same passion that ignites it all again.You don't know.You can't remember how wonderful-"
"I've seen it.I do know."
How she had his attention. He didn't seem sure whether or not to believe her, but at least he was listening.
"What if there's no hope of anything ever changing?" she asked.
"There is only hope. One day, you will live through it.That absolute truth is the only thing that keeps me going. I will never give up on you. Even if it takes forever." He wiped away her tears with his thumb. "I'll love you with all my heart,in every life, through every death. I will not be bound by anything but my love for you."
"But it's so hard.Isn't it hard for you? Haven't you ever thought,what if..."
"One day,our love will conquer this dark cycle.That's worth everything to me.
Lauren Kate (Passion (Fallen, #3))
During an hour-long conversation mid-flight, he laid out his theory of the war. First, Jones said, the United States could not lose the war or be seen as losing the war.
'If we're not successful here,' Jones said, 'you'll have a staging base for global terrorism all over the world. People will say the terrorists won. And you'll see expressions of these kinds of things in Africa, South America, you name it. Any developing country is going to say, this is the way we beat [the United States], and we're going to have a bigger problem.' A setback or loss for the United States would be 'a tremendous boost for jihadist extremists, fundamentalists all over the world' and provide 'a global infusion of morale and energy, and these people don't need much.'
Jones went on, using the kind of rhetoric that Obama had shied away from, 'It's certainly a clash of civilizations. It's a clash of religions. It's a clash of almost concepts of how to live.' The conflict is that deep, he said. 'So I think if you don't succeed in Afghanistan, you will be fighting in more places.
'Second, if we don't succeed here, organizations like NATO, by association the European Union, and the United Nations might be relegated to the dustbin of history.'
Third, 'I say, be careful you don't over-Americanize the war. I know that we're going to do a large part of it,' but it was essential to get active, increased participation by the other 41 nations, get their buy-in and make them feel they have ownership in the outcome.
Fourth, he said that there had been way too much emphasis on the military, almost an overmilitarization of the war. The key to leaving a somewhat stable Afghanistan in a reasonable time frame was improving governance and the rule of law, in order to reduce corruption. There also needed to be economic development and more participation by the Afghan security forces.
It sounded like a good case, but I wondered if everyone on the American side had the same understanding of our goals. What was meant by victory? For that matter, what constituted not losing? And when might that happen? Could there be a deadline?
Bob Woodward (Obama's Wars)
Any critique of Islam is denounced as an expression of Western Islamophobia, Salman Rushdie is denounced for unnecessarily provoking Muslims and being (partially, at least) responsible for the fatwa condemning him to death, and so on. The result of such stances is what one should expect in such cases: the more the Western liberal Leftists probe into their guilt, the more they are accused by Muslim fundamentalists of being hypocrites who try to conceal their hatred of Islam. [T]his constellation perfectly reproduces the paradox of the superego: the more you obey what the Other demands of you, the guiltier you are. It is as if the more you tolerate Islam, the stronger its pressure on you will be. What this implies is that terrorist fundamentalists, be they Christian or Muslim, are not really fundamentalists in the authentic sense of the term--what they lack is a feature that is easy to discern in all authentic fundamentalists, from Tibetan Buddhists to the Amish in the US: the absence of resentment and envy, the deep indifference towards the non-believers' way of life. If today's so-called fundamentalists really believe they have found their way to Truth, why should they feel threatened by non-believers, why should they envy them? When a Buddhist encounters a Western hedonist, he hardly condemns. He just benevolently notes that the hedonist's search for happiness is self-defeating. In contrast to true fundamentalists, the terrorist pseudo-fundamentalists are deeply bothered, intrigued and fascinated by the sinful life of the non-believers. One can feel that, in fighting the sinful other, they are fighting their own temptation. The passionate intensity of a fundamentalist mob bears witness to the lack of true conviction; deep in themselves, terrorist fundamentalists also lack true conviction--their violent outbursts are proof of it. How fragile the belief of a Muslim would be if he felt threatened by, say, a stupid caricature in a low-circulation Danish newspaper? Fundamentalist Islamic terror is not grounded in the terrorists' conviction of their superiority and in their desire to safeguard their cultural-religious identify from the onslaught of global consumerist civilization. The problem with fundamentalists is not that we consider them inferior to us, but, rather, that they themselves secretly consider themselves inferior. This is why our condescending politically correct assurances that we feel no superiority towards them only makes them more furious and feed their resentment. The problem is not cultural difference (their effort to preserve their identity), but the opposite: the fact that the fundamentalists are already like us, that, secretly, they have already internalized our standards and measure themselves by them.
My God,” she says. “I feel like I’ve gone through a car wash.”
I laugh, or force myself to, because it’s not something I’d normally laugh at.
“What about you?” she says to Scottie. “How did you make out?”
“I’m a boy,” Scottie says. “Look at me.”
Sand has gotten into the bottom of her suit, creating a huge bulge. She scratches at the bulge. “I’m going to go to work now,” she says. I think she’s impersonating me and that Mrs. Speer is getting an unrealistic, humiliating glimpse.
“Scottie,” I say. “Take that out.”
“It must be fun to have girls,” Mrs. Speer says.
She looks at the ocean, and I see that she’s looking at Alex sunbathing on the floating raft. Sid leans over Alex and puts his mouth to hers. She raises a hand to his head, and for a moment I forget it’s my daughter out there and think of how long it has been since I’ve been kissed or kissed like that.
“Or maybe you have your hands full,” Mrs. Speer says.
“No, no,” I say. “It’s great,” and it is, I suppose, though I feel like I’ve just acquired them and don’t know yet. “They’ve been together for ages.” I gesture to Alex and Sid. I don’t understand if they’re a couple or if this is how all kids in high school act these days.
Mrs. Speer looks at me curiously, as if she’s about to say something, but she doesn’t.
“And boys.” I gesture to her little dorks. “They must keep you busy.”
“They’re a handful. But they’re at such a fun age. It’s such a joy.”
She gazes out at her boys. Her expression does little to convince me that they’re such a joy. I wonder how many times parents have these dull conversations with one another and how much they must hide. They’re so goddamn hyper, I’d do anything to inject them with a horse tranquilizer. They keep insisting that I watch what they can do, but I truly don’t give a fuck. How hard is it to jump off a diving board?
My girls are messed up, I want to say. One talks dirty to her own reflection. Did you do that when you were growing up?
“Your girls seem great, too,” she says. “How old are they?”
“Ten and eighteen. And yours?”
“Ten and twelve.”
“Oh,” I say. “Great.”
“Your younger one sure is funny,” she says. “I mean, not funny. I meant entertaining.”
“Oh, yeah. That’s Scottie. She’s a riot.
Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants)
Colby’s resourceful, I’ll give him that.”
“You used to be good friends.”
“We were, until he started hanging around Cecily,” came the short reply. “I’m not as angry at him as I was. But it seems that he has to have a woman to prop him up.”
“Not necessarily,” Matt replied. “Sometimes a good woman can save a bad man. It’s an old saying, but fairly true from time to time. Colby was headed straight to hell until Cecily put him on the right track. It’s gratitude, but I don’t think he can see that just yet. He’s in between mourning his ex-wife and finding someone to replace her.” He leaned back again. “I feel sorry for him. He’s basically a one-woman man, but he lost the woman.”
Tate packed back to the wing chair and sat down on the edge. “He’s not getting Cecily. She’s mine, even if she doesn’t want to admit it.”
Matt stared at him. “Don’t you know anything about women in love?”
“Not a lot,” the younger man confessed. “I’ve spent the better part of my life avoiding them.”
“Especially Cecily,” Matt agreed. “She’s been like a shadow. You didn’t miss her until you couldn’t see her behind you anymore.”
“She’s grown away from me,” Tate said. “I don’t know how to close the gap. I know she still feels something for me, but she wouldn’t stay and fight for me.” He lifted his gaze to Matt’s hard face. “She’s carrying my child. I want both of them, regardless of the adjustments I have to make. Cecily’s the only woman I’ve ever truly wanted.”
Matt spread his hands helplessly. “This is one mess I can’t help you sort out,” he said at last. “If Cecily loves you, she’ll give in sooner or later. If it were me, I’d go find her and tell her how I really felt. I imagine she’ll listen.”
Tate stared at his shoes. He couldn’t find the right words to express what he felt.
“Tate,” his father said gently, “you’ve had a lot to get used to lately. Give it time. Don’t rush things. I’ve found that life sorts itself out, given the opportunity.”
Tate’s dark eyes lifted. “Maybe it does.” He searched the other man’s quiet gaze. “It’s not as bad as I thought it was, having a foot in two worlds. I’m getting used to it.”
“You still have a unique heritage,” Matt pointed out. “Not many men can claim Berber revolutionaries and Lakota warriors as relatives.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Christy dug her hand deeper into her shoulder bag. Scanning the papers she finally located there, she found no phone numbers or addresses listed. All the plans had been made in such haste. All she knew was that someone was supposed to meet her here. She was here, and he or she wasn't.
Never in her life had she felt so completely alone. Stranded with nowhere to turn. A prayer came quickly to her lips. "Father God, I'm at Your mercy here. I know You're in control. Please show me what to do."
Suddenly she heard a voice calling to her.
Christy's heart stopped. Only one person in the entire world had ever called her by her Hawaiian name. She spun around.
"Kilikina," called out the tall, blond surfer who was running toward her.
Christy looked up into the screaming silver-blue eyes that could only belong to one person.
"Todd?" she whispered, convinced she was hallucinating.
"Kilikina," Todd wrapped his arms around her so tightly that for an instant she couldn't breathe. He held her a long time. Crying. She could feel his warm tears on her neck. She knew this had to be real. But how could it be?
"Todd?" she whispered again. "How? I mean, what...? I don't..."
Todd pulled away, and for the first time she noticed the big gouquet of white carnations in his hand. They were now a bit squashed.
"For you," he said, his eyes clearing and his rich voice sounding calm and steady. Then, seeing her shocked expression, he asked, "You really didn't know I was here, did you?"
Christy shook her head, unable to find any words.
"Didn't Dr. Benson tell you?"
She shook her head again.
"You mean you came all this way by yourself, and you didn't even know I was here?" Now it was Todd's turn to look surprised.
"No, I thought you were in Papua New Guinea or something. I had no idea you were here!"
"They needed me here more," Todd said with a chin-up gesture toward the beach. "It's the perfect place for me." With a wide smile spreading above his square jaw, he said, "Ever since I received the fax yesterday saying they were sending you, I've been out of my mind with joy! Kilikina, you can't imagine how I've been feeling."
Christy had never heard him talk like this before.
Todd took the bouquet from her and placed it on top of her luggage. Then, grasping both her quivering hands in his and looking into her eyes, he said, "Don't you see? There is no way you or I could ever have planned this. It's from God."
The shocked tears finally caught up to Christy's eyes, and she blinked to keep Todd in focus. "It is," she agreed. "God brought us back together, didn't He?" A giggle of joy and delight danced from her lips.
"Do you remember what I said when you gave me back your bracelet?" Todd asked. "I said that if God ever brought us back together, I would put that bracelet back on your wrist, and that time, it would stay on forever."
Christy nodded. She had replayed the memory of that day a thousand times in her mind. It had seemed impossible that God would bring them back together. Christy's heart pounded as she realized that God, in His weird way, had done the impossible.
Todd reached into his pocket and pulled out the "Forever" ID bracelet. He tenderly held Christy's wrist, and circling it with the gold chain, he secured the clasp.
Above their heads a fresh ocean wind blew through the palm trees. It almost sounded as if the trees were applauding.
Christy looked up from her wrist and met Todd's expectant gaze. Deep inside, Christy knew that with the blessing of the Lord, Todd had just stepped into the garden of her heart.
In the holiness of that moment, his silver-blue eyes embraced hers and he whispered, "I promise, Kilikina. Forever."
"Forever," Christy whispered back.
Then gently, reverently, Todd and Christy sealed their forever promise with a kiss.
Robin Jones Gunn (A Promise Is Forever (Christy Miller, #12))
But you're worried I'll get in trouble?" I try not to show how much this pleases me. I've managed to ignore him for days now and here I sit. Lapping up his attention like a neglected puppy. My voice takes on an edge. "Why do you care? I've ignored you for days."
His smile fades. He looks serious, mockingly so. "Yeah. You got to stop that."
I swallow back a laugh. "I can't."
"Why?" There's no humor in his eyes now, no mockery. "You like me. You want to be with me."
"I never said-"
"You didn't have to."
I inhale sharply. "Don't do this."
He looks at me so fiercely, so intently. Angry again. "I don't have friends. Do you see my hang with anyone besides my jerk cousins? That's for a reason. I keep people away on purpose," he growls. "But then you came along..."
I frown and shake my head.
His expression softens then, pulls at some part of me. His gaze travels my face, warming the core of me. "Whoever you are, Jacinda, you're someone I have to let in."
He doesn't say anything for a while, just studies me in that intense way. His nostrils flare, and again it's like he's taking in my scent or something. He continues, "Somehow, I think I know you. From the first moment I saw you, I felt that I knew you."
The words run through me, reminding me of when he let me escape in the mountains. He's good. Protective. I have nothing to fear from him, but everything to fear from his family.
I scoot closer, the draw of him too great. My warming core, the vibrations inside my chest feel so natural, so effortless around him. I know I need to be careful, exercise restraint, but it feels too good.
The pulse at his neck skips against his flesh. "Jacinda."
My skin ripples at his hoarse whisper. I stare up at him, waiting. He slides down to land solidly on my step. He brings his face close to mine, angles his head. His breath is hard. Fast. Fills the space, the inch separating us.
I touch his cheek, see my hand shake, and quickly pull it back. He grabs my wrist, places my palm back against his cheek, and closes his eyes like he's in agony. Or bliss. Or maybe both. Like he's never been touched before. My heart squeezes. Like I've never touched anyone before.
"Don't stay away from me anymore."
I stop myself, just barely, from telling him I won't. I can't promise that. Can't lie.
He opens his eyes. Stares starkly, bleakly. "I need you."
He says this like it doesn't make sense to him. Like it's the worst possible thing. A misery he must endure. I smile, understanding. Because it's the same for me. "I know."
Then he kisses me.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
She stared at him, at his face. Simply stared as the scales fell from her eyes. "Oh, my God," she whispered, the exclamation so quiet not even he would hear. She suddenly saw-saw it all-all that she'd simply taken for granted.
Men like him protected those they loved, selflessly, unswervingly, even unto death.
The realization rocked her. Pieces of the jigsaw of her understanding of him fell into place. He was hanging to consciousness by a thread. She had to be sure-and his shields, his defenses were at their weakest now.
Looking down at her hands, pressed over the nearly saturated pad, she hunted for the words, the right tone. Softly said, "My death, even my serious injury, would have freed you from any obligation to marry me. Society would have accepted that outcome, too."
He shifted, clearly in pain. She sucked in a breath-feeling his pain as her own-then he clamped the long fingers of his right hand about her wrist, held tight.
So tight she felt he was using her as an anchor to consciousness, to the world.
His tone, when he spoke, was harsh. "Oh, yes-after I'd expended so much effort keeping you safe all these years, safe even from me, I was suddenly going to stand by and let you be gored by some mangy bull." He snorted, soft, low. Weakly. He drew in a slow, shallow breath, lips thin with pain, but determined, went on, "You think I'd let you get injured when finally after all these long years I at last understand that the reason you've always made me itch is because you are the only woman I actually want to marry? And you think I would stand back and let you be harmed?"
A peevish frown crossed his face. "I ask you, is that likely? Is it even vaguely rational?"
He went on, his words increasingly slurred, his tongue tripping over some, his voice fading. She listened, strained to catch every word as he slid into semi delirium, into rambling, disjointed sentences that she drank in, held to her heart.
He gave her dreams back to her, reshaped and refined. "Not French Imperial-good, sound, English oak. You can use whatever colors you like, but no gilt-I forbid it."
Eventually he ventured further than she had. "And I want at least three children-not just an heir and a spare. At least three-if you're agreeable. We'll have to have two boys, of course-my evil ugly sisters will found us to make good on that. But thereafter...as many girls as you like...as long as they look like you. Or perhaps Cordelia-she's the handsomer of the two uglies."
He loved his sisters, his evil ugly sisters. Heather listened with tears in her eyes as his mind drifted and his voice gradually faded, weakened.
She'd finally got her declaration, not in anything like the words she'd expected, but in a stronger, impossible-to-doubt exposition.
He'd been her protector, unswerving, unflinching, always there; from a man like him, focused on a lady like her, such actions were tantamount to a declaration from the rooftops. The love she'd wanted him to admit to had been there all along, demonstrated daily right before her eyes, but she hadn't seen.
Hadn't seen because she'd been focusing elsewhere, and because, conditioned as she was to resisting the same style of possessive protectiveness from her brothers, from her cousins, she hadn't appreciated his, hadn't realized that that quality had to be an expression of his feelings for her.
Until now that he'd all but given his life for hers.
He loved her-he'd always loved her. She saw that now, looking back down the years. He'd loved her from the time she'd fallen in love with him-the instant they'd laid eyes on each other at Michael and Caro's wedding in Hampshire four years ago.
He'd held aloof, held away-held her at bay, too-believing, wrongly, that he wasn't an appropriate husband for her.
In that, he'd been wrong, too.
She saw it all. And as the tears overflowed and tracked down her cheeks, she knew to her soul how right he was for her. Knew, embraced, and rejoiced.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
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)
So here we find that the animals, and the plants, the vegetation, became living souls, and were created spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth. These are very significant expressions, and I am stressing them as evidence that contradicts and confutes the organic theory of evolution. . . .
Evolution teaches production and development of all things by chance, development of the smallest germ to a man created in the image of God, requiring several billions of years for that development. Moreover, this process would, if true, produce on other earths, passing through similar conditions, beings of a most hideous and dreadful nature imaginable. As they teach it has produced some very hideous beings on this earth.
There could be no intelligence in a Supreme Being who had each time an earth is formed to leave everything to chance hoping that in some great period of time from an amoeba, creatures would be developed, fit to possess an eternal spirit in his image.
I want you to get that! The idea, for us, sons and daughters of God, to be led astray by these theories of men into thinking that things began way back in that far distant time by some chance, suddenly appearing. Why, conditions today are far more favorable to spontaneous life than they were according to the teachings of science, millions of years ago, and have not men struggled and done everything that they knew how to do to find spontaneous life, and in searching for it they have always been defeated.
So I state, and have the evidence in this book. They have never found life coming only from antecedent life. God is the author of life, and that is one secret he has not revealed to man. . . .
We are transplanted beings. Adam was transplanted. I do not want to get a misunderstanding when I say that. He did not come here a resurrected being. He did not die on some other earth and then come here to die again, to be changed to mortality again, for the resurrected being cannot die. . . .
So, Adam was the first man upon the earth, according to the Lord's statement, and the first flesh also. That needs a little explanation.
Adam did not come to this earth until it was prepared for him. The animals were here. Plants were here. The Lord did not bring him to a desolate world, and then bring other creatures. It was all prepared for him, just according to the order that is written in our scriptures, and when it was all ready for Adam he was placed upon the earth.
Then what is meant by the "first flesh"? It is simple when you understand it. Adam was the first of all creatures to fall and become flesh, and flesh in this sense means mortality, and all through our scriptures the Lord speaks of this life as flesh, while we are here in the flesh, so Adam became the first flesh. There was no other mortal creature before him, and there was no mortal death until he brought it, and the scriptures tell you that. It is here written, and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. . . .
Here the Lord says to Adam that through the fall came death, and other statements of that kind are given in these scriptures. . . .
Now, evolution leads men away from God. Men who have had faith in God, when they have become converted to that theory, forsake him. Charles Darwin was a religious man when he started out. I have told in this book something about what happened to him, and how his feelings changed, and what was beautiful to him in the beginning ceased to be beautiful to him thereafter.
[Seek Ye Earnestly, 277-283]
Joseph Fielding Smith (Seek Ye Earnestly .)
What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?”
Dragging his gaze from the beauty of the gardens, Ian looked down at the beauty beside him. “Any place,” he said huskily, “were you are.”
He saw the becoming flush of embarrassed pleasure that pinkened her cheeks, but when she spoke her voice was rueful. “You don’t have to say such things to me, you know-I’ll keep our bargain.”
“I know you will,” he said, trying not to overwhelm her with avowals of love she wouldn’t yet believe. With a grin he added, “Besides, as it turned out after our bargaining session, I’m the one who’s governed by all the conditions, not you.”
Her sideways glance was filled with laughter. “You were much too lenient at times, you know. Toward the end I was asking for concessions just to see how far you’d go.”
Ian, who had been multiplying his fortune for the last four years by buying shipping and import-export companies, as well as sundry others, was regarded as an extremely tough negotiator. He heard her announcement with a smile of genuine surprise. “You gave me the impression that every single concession was of paramount importance to you, and that if I didn’t agree, you might call the whole thing off.”
She nodded with satisfaction. “I rather thought that was how I ought to do it. Why are you laughing?”
“Because,” he admitted, chuckling, “obviously I was not in my best form yesterday. In addition to completely misreading your feelings, I managed to buy a house on Promenade Street for which I will undoubtedly pay five times its worth.”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” she said, and, as if she was embarrassed and needed a way to avoid meeting his gaze, she reached up and pulled a leaf off an overhanging branch. In a voice of careful nonchalance, she explained, “In matters of bargaining, I believe in being reasonable, but my uncle would assuredly have tried to cheat you. He’s perfectly dreadful about money.”
Ian nodded, remembering the fortune Julius Cameron had gouged out of him in order to sign the betrothal agreement.
“And so,” she admitted, uneasily studying the azure-blue sky with feigned absorption, “I sent him a note after you left itemizing all the repairs that were needed at the house. I told him it was in poor condition and absolutely in need of complete redecoration.”
“And I told him you would consider paying a fair price for the house, but not one shilling more, because it needed all that.”
“And?” Ian prodded.
“He has agreed to sell it for that figure.”
Ian’s mirth exploded in shouts of laughter. Snatching her into his arms, he waited until he could finally catch his breath, then he tipped her face up to his. “Elizabeth,” he said tenderly, “if you change your mind about marrying me, promise me you’ll never represent the opposition at the bargaining table. I swear to God, I’d be lost.” The temptation to kiss her was almost overwhelming, but the Townsende coach with its ducal crest was in the drive, and he had no idea where their chaperones might be. Elizabeth noticed the coach, too, and started toward the house.
"About the gowns," she said, stopping suddenly and looking up at him with an intensely earnest expression on her beautiful face. "I meant to thank you for your generosity as soon as you arrived, but I was so happy to-that is-" She realized she'd been about to blurt out that she was happy to see him, and she was so flustered by having admitted aloud what she hadn't admitted to herself that she completely lost her thought.
"Go on," Ian invited in a husky voice. "You were so happy to see me that you-"
"I forgot," she admitted lamely.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Fifteen years ago, a business manager from the United States came to Plum Village to visit me. His conscience was troubled because he was the head of a firm that designed atomic bombs. I listened as he expressed his concerns. I knew if I advised him to quit his job, another person would only replace him. If he were to quit, he might help himself, but he would not help his company, society, or country. I urged him to remain the director of his firm, to bring mindfulness into his daily work, and to use his position to communicate his concerns and doubts about the production of atomic bombs.
In the Sutra on Happiness, the Buddha says it is great fortune to have an occupation that allows us to be happy, to help others, and to generate compassion and understanding in this world. Those in the helping professions have occupations that give them this wonderful opportunity. Yet many social workers, physicians, and therapists work in a way that does not cultivate their compassion, instead doing their job only to earn money. If the bomb designer practises and does his work with mindfulness, his job can still nourish his compassion and in some way allow him to help others. He can still influence his government and fellow citizens by bringing greater awareness to the situation. He can give the whole nation an opportunity to question the necessity of bomb production.
Many people who are wealthy, powerful, and important in business, politics, and entertainment are not happy. They are seeking empty things - wealth, fame, power, sex - and in the process they are destroying themselves and those around them. In Plum Village, we have organised retreats for businesspeople. We see that they have many problems and suffer just as others do, sometimes even more. We see that their wealth allows them to live in comfortable conditions, yet they still suffer a great deal.
Some businesspeople, even those who have persuaded themselves that their work is very important, feel empty in their occupation. They provide employment to many people in their factories, newspapers, insurance firms, and supermarket chains, yet their financial success is an empty happiness because it is not motivated by understanding or compassion. Caught up in their small world of profit and loss, they are unaware of the suffering and poverty in the world. When we are not int ouch with this larger reality, we will lack the compassion we need to nourish and guide us to happiness.
Once you begin to realise your interconnectedness with others, your interbeing, you begin to see how your actions affect you and all other life. You begin to question your way of living, to look with new eyes at the quality of your relationships and the way you work. You begin to see, 'I have to earn a living, yes, but I want to earn a living mindfully. I want to try to select a vocation not harmful to others and to the natural world, one that does not misuse resources.'
Entire companies can also adopt this way of thinking. Companies have the right to pursue economic growth, but not at the expense of other life. They should respect the life and integrity of people, animals, plants and minerals. Do not invest your time or money in companies that deprive others of their lives, that operate in a way that exploits people or animals, and destroys nature.
Businesspeople who visit Plum Village often find that getting in touch with the suffering of others and cultivating understanding brings them happiness. They practise like Anathapindika, a successful businessman who lived at the time of the Buddha, who with the practise of mindfulness throughout his life did everything he could to help the poor and sick people in his homeland.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community, and the World)
Dead Seas and Babbling Brooks Not all of us are out of touch with our emotions, but when it comes to talking, all of us are affected by our personality. I have observed two basic personality types. The first I call the “Dead Sea.” In the little nation of Israel, the Sea of Galilee flows south by way of the Jordan River into the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea goes nowhere. It receives but it does not give. This personality type receives many experiences, emotions, and thoughts throughout the day. They have a large reservoir where they store that information, and they are perfectly happy not to talk. If you say to a Dead Sea personality, “What’s wrong? Why aren’t you talking tonight?” he will probably answer, “Nothing’s wrong. What makes you think something’s wrong?” And that response is perfectly honest. He is content not to talk. He could drive from Chicago to Detroit and never say a word and be perfectly happy. On the other extreme is the “Babbling Brook.” For this personality, whatever enters into the eye gate or the ear gate comes out the mouth gate and there are seldom sixty seconds between the two. Whatever they see, whatever they hear, they tell. In fact, if no one is at home to talk to, they will call someone else. “Do you know what I saw? Do you know what I heard?” If they can’t get someone on the telephone, they may talk to themselves because they have no reservoir. Many times a Dead Sea marries a Babbling Brook. That happens because when they are dating, it is a very attractive match. If you are a Dead Sea and you date a Babbling Brook, you will have a wonderful evening. You don’t have to think, “How will I get the conversation started tonight? How will I keep the conversation flowing?” In fact, you don’t have to think at all. All you have to do is nod your head and say, “Uh-huh,” and she will fill up the whole evening and you will go home saying, “What a wonderful person.” On the other hand, if you are a Babbling Brook and you date a Dead Sea, you will have an equally wonderful evening because Dead Seas are the world’s best listeners. You will babble for three hours. He will listen intently to you, and you will go home saying, “What a wonderful person.” You attract each other. But five years after marriage, the Babbling Brook wakes up one morning and says, “We’ve been married five years, and I don’t know him.” The Dead Sea is saying, “I know her too well. I wish she would stop the flow and give me a break.” The good news is that Dead Seas can learn to talk and Babbling Brooks can learn to listen. We are influenced by our personality but not controlled by it. One way to learn new patterns is to establish a daily sharing time in which each of you will talk about three things that happened to you that day and how you feel about them. I call that the “Minimum Daily Requirement” for a healthy marriage. If you will start with the daily minimum, in a few weeks or months you may find quality conversation flowing more freely between you.
Gary Chapman (The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate)
She was especially taken with Matt.
Until he said, “It’s time to fess up, hon. Tell Trace how much you care. You’ll feel better when you do.”
Climbing up the ladder, Chris said, “Better sooner than later.” He nodded at the hillside behind them. “Because here comes Trace, and he doesn’t look happy.”
Both Priss and Matt turned, Priss with anticipation, Matt with tempered dread.
Dressed in jeans and a snowy-white T-shirt, Trace stalked down the hill.
Priss shielded her eyes to better see him. When he’d left, being so guarded about his mission, she’d half wondered if he’d return before dinner.
Trace wore reflective sunglasses, so she couldn’t see his eyes, but his entire demeanor—heavy stride, rigid shoulders, tight jaw—bespoke annoyance.
As soon as he was close enough, Priss called out, “What’s wrong?”
Without answering her, Trace continued onto the dock. He didn’t stop until he stood right in front of . . . Matt.
Backing up to the edge of the dock, Matt said, “Uh . . . Hello?”
Trace didn’t say a thing; he just pushed Matt into the water.
Arms and legs flailing out, Matt hit the surface with a cannonball effect.
Stunned, Priss shoved his shoulder. “What the hell, Trace! Why did you do that?”
Trace took off his sunglasses and looked at her, all of her, from her hair to her body and down to her bare toes. After working his jaw a second, he said, “If you need sunscreen, ask me.”
Her mouth fell open. Of all the nerve! He left her at Dare’s, took off without telling her a damn thing and then had the audacity to complain when a friend tried to keep her from getting sunburned. “Maybe I would have, if you’d been here!”
“I’m here now.”
Emotions bubbled over. “So you are.” With a slow smile, Priss put both hands on his chest. The shirt was damp with sweat, the cotton so soft that she could feel every muscle beneath. “And you look a little . . . heated.”
Trace’s beautiful eyes darkened, and he reached for her.
“A dip will cool you down.” Priss shoved him as hard as she could. Taken by surprise, fully dressed, Trace went floundering backward off the end of the dock.
Priss caught a glimpse of the priceless expression of disbelief on Trace’s face before he went under the water.
Excited by the activity, the dogs leaped in after him. Liger roused himself enough to move out of the line of splashing.
Chris climbed up the ladder. “So that’s the new game, huh?” He laughed as he scooped Priss up into his arms.
“Chris!” She made a grab for his shoulders. “Put me down!”
“Afraid not, doll.” Just as Trace resurfaced, Chris jumped in with her. They landed between the swimming dogs.
Sputtering, her hair in her face and her skin chilled from the shock of the cold water, Priss cursed. Trace had already waded toward the shallower water off the side of the dock. His fair hair was flattened to his head and his T-shirt stuck to his body.
“Wait!” Priss shouted at him.
He was still waist-deep as he turned to glare at her.
Kicking and splashing, Priss doggy-paddled over to him, grabbed his shoulders and wrapped her legs around his waist. “Oh, no, you don’t!”
Startled, Trace scooped her bottom in his hands and struggled for balance on the squishy mud bottom of the lake. “What the hell?” And then lower, “You look naked in this damn suit.”
Matt and Chris found that hilarious.
Priss looked at Trace’s handsome face, a face she loved, and kissed him. Hard.
For only a second, he allowed the sensual assault. He even kissed her back. Then he levered away from her. “You ruined my clothes, damn it.”
“Only because you were being a jealous jerk.”
His expression dark, he glared toward Matt.
Christ started humming, but poor Matt said, “Yeah,” and shrugged. “If you think about it, you’ll agree that you sort of were—and we both know there’s no reason.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
Okay.First things first. Three things you don't want me to know about you."
"What?" I gaped at him.
"You're the one who says we don't know each other.So let's cut to the chase."
Oh,but this was too easy:
1. I am wearing my oldest, ugliest underwear.
2.I think your girlfriend is evil and should be destroyed.
3.I am a lying, larcenous creature who talks to dead people and thinks she should be your girlfriend once the aforementioned one is out of the picture.
I figured that was just about everything. "I don't think so-"
"Doesn't have to be embarrassing or major," Alex interrupted me, "but it has to be something that costs a little to share." When I opened my mouth to object again, he pointed a long finger at the center of my chest. "You opened the box,Pandora.So sit."
There was a funny-shaped velour chair near my knees. I sat. The chair promptly molded itself to my butt. I assumed that meant it was expensive, and not dangerous. Alex flopped onto the bed,settling on his side with his elbow bent and his head propped on his hand.
"Can't you go first?" I asked.
"You opened the box..."
"Okay,okay. I'm thinking."
He gave me about thirty seconds. Then, "Time."
I took a breath. "I'm on full scholarship to Willing." One thing Truth or Dare has taught me is that you can't be too proud and still expect to get anything valuable out of the process.
"I'm terrified of a lot things, including lightning, driving a stick shift, and swimming in the ocean."
His expression didn't change at all. He just took in my answers. "Last one."
"I am not telling you about my underwear," I muttered.
He laughed. "I am sorry to hear that. Not even the color?"
I wanted to scowl. I couldn't. "No.But I will tell you that I like anchovies on my pizza."
"That's supposed to be consolation for withholding lingeries info?"
"Not my concern.But you tell me-is it something you would broadcast around the lunchroom?"
"Probably not," he agreed.
"Didn't think so." I settled back more deeply into my chair. It didn't escape my notice that, yet again, I was feeling very relaxed around this boy. Yet again, it didn't make me especially happy. "Your turn."
I thought about my promise to Frankie. I quietly hoped Alex would tell me something to make me like him even a little less.
He was ready. "I cried so much during my first time at camp that my parents had to come get me four days early."
I never went to camp. It always seemed a little bit idyllic to me. "How old were you?"
"Why?" I imagined a very small Alex in a Spider-Man shirt, cuddling the threadbare bunny now sitting on the shelf over his computer. I sighed. "Oh,no reason. Next."
"I hated Titanic, The Notebook, and Twilight."
"What did you think of Ten Things I Hate About You?"
"Hey," he snapped. "I didn't ask questions during your turn."
"No,you didn't," I agreed pleasantly. "Anser,please."
"Fine.I liked Ten Things. Satisfied?"
No,actually. "Alex," I said sadly, "either you are mind-bogglingly clueless about what I wouldn't want to know, or your next revelation is going to be that you have an unpleasant reaction to kryptonite."
He was looking at me like I'd spoken Swahili. "What are you talking about?"
Just call me Lois. I shook my head. "Never mind. Carry on."
"I have been known to dance in front of the mirror-" he cringed a little- "to 'Thriller.'"
And there it was. Alex now knew that I was a penniless coward with a penchant for stinky fish.I knew he was officially adorable.
He pushed himself up off his elbow and swung his legs around until he was sitting on the edge of the bed. "And on that humiliating note, I will now make you translate bathroom words into French." He picked up a sheaf of papers from the floor. "I have these worksheets. They're great for the irregular verbs...
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
Has he invited you to dinner, dear? Gifts, flowers, the usual?”
I had to put my cup down, because my hand was shaking too much. When I stopped laughing, I said, “Curran? He isn’t exactly Mr. Smooth. He handed me a bowl of soup, that’s as far as we got.”
“He fed you?” Raphael stopped rubbing Andrea.
“How did this happen?” Aunt B stared at me. “Be very specific, this is important.”
“He didn’t actually feed me. I was injured and he handed me a bowl of chicken soup. Actually I think he handed me two or three. And he called me an idiot.”
“Did you accept?” Aunt B asked.
“Yes, I was starving. Why are the three of you looking at me like that?”
“For crying out loud.” Andrea set her cup down, spilling some tea. “The Beast Lord’s feeding you soup. Think about that for a second.”
Raphael coughed. Aunt B leaned forward. “Was there anybody else in the room?”
“No. He chased everyone out.”
Raphael nodded. “At least he hasn’t gone public yet.”
“He might never,” Andrea said. “It would jeopardize her position with the Order.”
Aunt B’s face was grave. “It doesn’t go past this room. You hear me, Raphael? No gossip, no pillow talk, not a word. We don’t want any trouble with Curran.”
“If you don’t explain it all to me, I will strangle somebody.” Of course, Raphael might like that . . .
“Food has a special significance,” Aunt D said.
I nodded. “Food indicates hierarchy. Nobody eats before the alpha, unless permission is given, and no alpha eats in Curran’s presence until Curran takes a bite.”
“There is more,” Aunt B said. “Animals express love through food. When a cat loves you, he’ll leave dead mice on your porch, because you’re a lousy hunter and he wants to take care of you. When a shapeshifter boy likes a girl, he’ll bring her food and if she likes him back, she might make him lunch. When Curran wants to show interest in a woman, he buys her dinner.”
“In public,” Raphael added, “the shapeshifter fathers always put the first bite on the plates of their wives and children. It signals that if someone wants to challenge the wife or the child, they would have to challenge the male first.”
“If you put all of Curran’s girls together, you could have a parade,” Aunt B said. “But I’ve never seen him physically put food into a woman’s hands. He’s a very private man, so he might have done it in an intimate moment, but I would’ve found out eventually. Something like that doesn’t stay hidden in the Keep. Do you understand now? That’s a sign of a very serious interest, dear.”
“But I didn’t know what it meant!”
Aunt B frowned. “Doesn’t matter. You need to be very careful right now. When Curran wants something, he doesn’t become distracted. He goes after it and he doesn’t stop until he obtains his goal no matter what it takes. That tenacity is what makes him an alpha.”
“You’re scaring me.”
“Scared might be too strong a word, but in your place, I would definitely be concerned.”
I wished I were back home, where I could get to my bottle of sangria. This clearly counted as a dire emergency.
As if reading my thoughts, Aunt B rose, took a small bottle from a cabinet, and poured me a shot. I took it, and drained it in one gulp, letting tequila slide down my throat like liquid fire.
“It helped.” Curran had driven me to drinking. At least I wasn’t contemplating suicide.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
and confused if someone does not appreciate their niceness. Others often sense this and avoid giving them feedback not only, effectively blocking the nice person’s emotional growth, but preventing risks from being taken. You never know with a nice person if the relationship would survive a conflict or angry confrontation. This greatly limits the depths of intimacy. And would you really trust a nice person to back you up if confrontation were needed? 3. With nice people you never know where you really stand. The nice person allows others to accidentally oppress him. The “nice” person might be resenting you just for talking to him, because really he is needing to pee. But instead of saying so he stands there nodding and smiling, with legs tightly crossed, pretending to listen. 4. Often people in relationship with nice people turn their irritation toward themselves, because they are puzzled as to how they could be so upset with someone so nice. In intimate relationships this leads to guilt, self-hate and depression. 5. Nice people frequently keep all their anger inside until they find a safe place to dump it. This might be by screaming at a child, blowing up a federal building, or hitting a helpless, dependent mate. (Timothy McVeigh, executed for the Oklahoma City bombing, was described by acquaintances as a very, very nice guy, one who would give you the shirt off his back.) Success in keeping the anger in will often manifest as psychosomatic illnesses, including arthritis, ulcers, back problems, and heart disease. Proper Peachy Parents In my work as a psychotherapist, I have found that those who had peachy keen “Nice Parents” or proper “Rigidly Religious Parents” (as opposed to spiritual parents), are often the most stuck in chronic, lowgrade depression. They have a difficult time accessing or expressing any negative feelings towards their parents. They sometimes say to me “After all my parents did for me, seldom saying a harsh word to me, I would feel terribly guilty complaining. Besides, it would break their hearts.” Psychologist Rollo May suggested that it is less crazy-making to a child to cope with overt withdrawal or harshness than to try to understand the facade of the always-nice parent. When everyone agrees that your parents are so nice and giving, and you still feel dissatisfied, then a child may conclude that there must be something wrong with his or her ability to receive love. -§ Emotionally starving children are easier to control, well fed children don’t need to be. -§ I remember a family of fundamentalists who came to my office to help little Matthew with his anger problem. The parents wanted me to teach little Matthew how to “express his anger nicely.” Now if that is not a formula making someone crazy I do not know what would be. Another woman told me that after her stinking drunk husband tore the house up after a Christmas party, breaking most of the dishes in the kitchen, she meekly told him, “Dear, I think you need a breath mint.” Many families I work with go through great anxiety around the holidays because they are going to be forced to be with each other and are scared of resuming their covert war. They are scared that they might not keep the nice garbage can lid on, and all the rotting resentments and hopeless hurts will be exposed. In the words to the following song, artist David Wilcox explains to his parents why he will not be coming home this Thanksgiving: Covert War by David Wilcox
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)
There was one monk who never spoke up. His name was Vappa, and he seemed the most insecure about Gautama coming back to life. When he was taken aside and told that he would be enlightened, Vappa greeted the news with doubt. “If what you tell me is true, I would feel something, and I don’t,” he said. “When you dig a well, there is no sign of water until you reach it, only rocks and dirt to move out of the way. You have removed enough; soon the pure water will flow,” said Buddha. But instead of being reassured, Vappa threw himself on the ground, weeping and grasping Buddha’s feet. “It will never happen,” he moaned. “Don’t fill me with false hope.” “I’m not offering hope,” said Buddha. “Your karma brought you to me, along with the other four. I can see that you will soon be awake.” “Then why do I have so many impure thoughts?” asked Vappa, who was prickly and prone to outbursts of rage, so much so that the other monks were intimidated by him. “Don’t trust your thoughts,” said Buddha. “You can’t think yourself awake.” “I have stolen food when I was famished, and there were times when I stole away from my brothers and went to women,” said Vappa. “Don’t trust your actions. They belong to the body,” said Buddha. “Your body can’t wake you up.” Vappa remained miserable, his expression hardening the more Buddha spoke. “I should go away from here. You say there is no war between good and evil, but I feel it inside. I feel how good you are, and it only makes me feel worse.” Vappa’s anguish was so genuine that Buddha felt a twinge of temptation. He could reach out and take Vappa’s guilt from his shoulders with a touch of the hand. But making Vappa happy wasn’t the same as setting him free, and Buddha knew he couldn’t touch every person on earth. He said, “I can see that you are at war inside, Vappa. You must believe me when I say that you’ll never win.” Vappa hung his head lower. “I know that. So I must go?” “No, you misunderstand me,” Buddha said gently. “No one has ever won the war. Good opposes evil the way the summer sun opposes winter cold, the way light opposes darkness. They are built into the eternal scheme of Nature.” “But you won. You are good; I feel it,” said Vappa. “What you feel is the being I have inside, just as you have it,” said Buddha. “I did not conquer evil or embrace good. I detached myself from both.” “How?” “It wasn’t difficult. Once I admitted to myself that I would never become completely good or free from sin, something changed inside. I was no longer distracted by the war; my attention could go somewhere else. It went beyond my body, and I saw who I really am. I am not a warrior. I am not a prisoner of desire. Those things come and go. I asked myself: Who is watching the war? Who do I return to when pain is over, or when pleasure is over? Who is content simply to be? You too have felt the peace of simply being. Wake up to that, and you will join me in being free.” This lesson had an immense effect on Vappa, who made it his mission for the rest of his life to seek out the most miserable and hopeless people in society. He was convinced that Buddha had revealed a truth that every person could recognize: suffering is a fixed part of life. Fleeing from pain and running toward pleasure would never change that fact. Yet most people spent their whole lives avoiding pain and pursuing pleasure. To them, this was only natural, but in reality they were becoming deeply involved in a war they could never win.
Deepak Chopra (Buddha)
There was a moment of stillness before something in him seemed to snap. she pounced on her with a sort of tigerish delight, and clamped his mouth over hers. She squeaked in surprise, wriggling in his hold, but his arms clamped around her easily, his muscles as solid as oak. He kissed her possessively, almost roughly at first, gentling by voluptuous degrees. Her body surrendered without giving her brain a chance to object, applying itself eagerly to every available inch of him. The luxurious male heat and hardness of him satisfied a wrenching hunger she hadn't been aware of until now. It also gave her the close-but-not-close-enough feeling she remembered from before. Oh, how confusing this was, this maddening need to crawl inside his clothes, practically inside his skin.
She let her fingertips wander over his cheeks and jaw, the neat shape of his ears, the taut smoothness of his neck. When he offered no objection, she sank her fingers into his thick, vibrant hair and sighed in satisfaction. He searched for her tongue, teased and stroked intimately until her heart pounded in a tumult of longing, and a sweet, empty ache spread all through her. Dimly aware that she was going to lose control, that she was on the verge of swooning, or assaulting him again, she managed to break the kiss and turn her face away with a gasp.
"Don't," she said weakly.
His lips grazed along her jawline, his breath rushing unsteadily against her skin. "Why? Are you still worried about Australian pox?"
Slowly it registered that they were no longer standing. Gabriel was sitting on the ground with his back against the grass-covered mound, and- heaven help her- she was in his lap. She glanced around them in bewilderment. How had this happened?
"No," she said, bewildered and perturbed, "but I just remembered that you said I kissed like a pirate."
Gabriel looked blank for a moment. "Oh, that. That was a compliment."
Pandora scowled. "It would only be a compliment if I had a beard and a peg leg."
Setting his mouth sternly against a faint quiver, Gabriel smoothed her hair tenderly. "Forgive my poor choice of words. What I meant to convey was that I found your enthusiasm charming."
"Did you?" Pandora turned crimson. Dropping her head to his shoulder, she said in a muffled voice, "Because I've worried for the past three days that I did it wrong."
"No, never, darling." Gabriel sat up a little and cradled her more closely to him. Nuzzling her cheek, he whispered, "Isn't it obvious that everything about you gives me pleasure?"
"Even when I plunder and pillage like a Viking?" she asked darkly.
"Pirate. Yes, especially then." His lips moved softly along the rim of her right ear. "My sweet, there are altogether too many respectable ladies in the world. The supply has far exceeded the demand. But there's an appalling shortage of attractive pirates, and you do seem to have a gift for plundering and ravishing. I think we've found you're true calling."
"You're mocking me," Pandora said in resignation, and jumped a little as she felt his teeth gently nip her earlobe.
Smiling, Gabriel took her head between his hands and looked into her eyes. "Your kiss thrilled me beyond imagining," he whispered. "Every night for the rest of my life, I'll dream of the afternoon in the holloway, when I was waylaid by a dark-haired beauty who devastated me with the heat of a thousand troubled stars, and left my soul in cinders. Even when I'm an old man, and my brain has fallen to wrack and ruin, I'll remember the sweet fire of your lips under mine, and I'll say to myself, 'Now, that was a kiss.'"
Silver-tongued devil, Pandora thought, unable to hold back a crooked grin. Only yesterday, she'd heard Gabriel affectionately mock his father, who was fond of expressing himself with elaborate, almost labyrinthine turns of phrase. Clearly the gift had been passed down to his son.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
You weren’t supposed to choose me,” he said.
Behind them, Ira approached, stunned and speechless for what must have been the first time in his life. He helped lift Samuel, whose cheeks had blanched as well. Camille prodded Oscar’s arms and stomach and face. It was truly him. The unbearable grief over losing him flipped inside out. Her joy ran so deep and strong she thought she might burst from it.
“The night the Christina went down, you rowed to me,” she answered, her throat knotted as she thought of her father. She forced it down. “This time, I must have needed to row to you.”
Oscar kissed her, his lips still cold but filled with life. She leaned into him and hung on as though he might disappear. Ira let out a playful high-pitched whistle. Samuel coughed. Oscar and Camille reluctantly pulled apart and blushed.
“Holy gallnipper,” Ira said. Camille grinned, not minding in the least that he was using that annoying turn of phrase again. “I can’t believe that little rock…I mean you were dead, mate. Dead as this bloke right here.” Ira kicked McGreenery in the leg. Oscar nodded, rubbing his hand over the fading red mark, as if to feel for himself that the deadly wound was gone.
“I was in the dory,” he whispered. Ira cocked his head.
Camille lifted her ear from his chest, where she’d wanted to listen to the smooth rhythm of his heart. She looked up at him before hearing its strong beat.
Oscar nodded again, eyebrows creased.
“I heard your voice. At the cave,” he said to Camille. “This force kept pulling me backward, away from you, like I was being sucked into the ground.”
So this was how it had felt for him to die. She remembered the way he’d looked right through her and how it had chilled her to the marrow. Her own brush with death had been different, and somehow better, if death could even be measured in levels of bad or good. The image of her father had drawn her to safety, making her forget her yearning for air. He had been there for her, but she hadn’t been able to do the same for him. All this time, all this trouble, and all she’d wanted was to bring him back, make him proud of the lengths to which she’d gone for him. In the end, she’d failed him miserably.
“And then you were gone. Your voice faded, and I was in the dory, adrift in the Tasman, the dawn after the Christina went down,” Oscar continued.
Samuel and Ira glanced at each other with marked expressions of doubt and confusion.
“But I wasn’t alone.” He gently pulled Camille away from him and gripped her arms. “Your father was with me. He was sitting there, smiling. It all seemed so real. I could taste the salt air, and…and I remember touching the water, and it was cold. It wasn’t like in a dream, when you can’t do those things.”
Camille sucked in a deep breath, trying to inflate her crushing lungs. Oscar had seen him, too. She’d give anything to see her father again, to hear his voice, to feel at home by just being in his presence. At least, that’s what she’d once believed. But Camille hadn’t been willing to give up Oscar. Did that mean she loved her father less? Never. She could never love her fatherless. So then why hadn’t her heart chosen him?
"Did he say anything?" she asked, anxious to know yet afraid to hear.
"It's all jumbled," Oscar said, again shaking his head and rubbing his chest. "I remember him saying a few things. Bits and pieces."
Camille looked to Ira and Samuel. Their parted mouths and bugged eyes hung on Oscar's every word. Oscar squinted at the ground and seemed to be working hard to piece together what her father had said on the other side.
"I'm still here to guide her?" he said, questioning his own memory. "It doesn't make any sense, I'm sorry."
She shook her head, eyes tearing up again. It had been real. He really had come to her in the black water of the underground pool.
"No, don't be sorry," she said, tears spilling. "It does make sense. It makes sense to me.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))