Feeling Distance Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Feeling Distance. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Your memory feels like home to me. So whenever my mind wanders, it always finds it’s way back to you.
Ranata Suzuki
But nothing makes a room feel emptier than wanting someone in it.
Calla Quinn (All the Time (and Constantly))
There is an ocean of silence between us… and I am drowning in it.
Ranata Suzuki
But what seems like a reasonable distance to one person might feel too far to somebody else.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
If you cannot hold me in your arms, then hold my memory in high regard. And if I cannot be in your life, then at least let me live in your heart.
Ranata Suzuki
Distance never seperates two hearts that really care, for our memories span the miles and in seconds we are there. But whenever I start feeling sad cuz I miss you I remind myself how lucky I am to have someone so special to miss.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Yeah,” he said, eyelashes lowering as his gaze traced the movement of her fingers. “It hurt me being away from you. It feels like there’s a hook dug in under my ribs, and there’s something pulling at the other end. Like I’m tethered to you, no matter the distance.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
It’s difficult for me to imagine the rest of my life without you. But I suppose I don’t have to imagine it... I just have to live it
Ranata Suzuki
Feelings can be the most costly thing in the universe.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us)
Now, as we stand three feet apart and stare at each other, I feel the full distance that comes with spending so much time apart, a moment filled with the electricity of a first meeting and the uncertainty of strangers.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
It’s painful, loving someone from afar. Watching them – from the outside. The once familiar elements of their life reduced to nothing more than occasional mentions in conversations and faces changing in photographs….. They exist to you now as nothing more than living proof that something can still hurt you … with no contact at all.
Ranata Suzuki
Souls" When two souls fall in love, there is nothing else but the yearning to be close to the other. The presence that is felt through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen. Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand the notion of time or distance. They only know it feels right to be with one another. This is the reason why you miss someone so much when they are not there— even if they are only in the very next room. Your soul only feels their absence— it doesn’t realize the separation is temporary.
Lang Leav
There has to be a moment at the beginning where you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lovers’ face.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
Shock is a merciful condition. It allows you to get through disaster with a necessary distance between you and your feelings.
Lisa Kleypas (Sugar Daddy (Travises, #1))
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars, and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance." The night wind whirls in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. On nights like this, I held her in my arms. I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her. To hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass. What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her. The night is full of stars and she is not with me. That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away. My soul is lost without her. As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her. My heart searches for her and she is not with me. The same night that whitens the same trees. We, we who were, we are the same no longer. I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her. My voice searched the wind to touch her ear. Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once belonged to my kisses. Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her. Love is so short and oblivion so long. Because on nights like this I held her in my arms, my soul is lost without her. Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her.
Pablo Neruda
Paris is like a whore. From a distance she seems ravishing, you can't wait until you have her in your arms. And five minutes later you feel empty, disgusted with yourself. You feel tricked.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Sometimes I have the strangest feeling about you. Especially when you are near me as you are now. It feels as though I had a string tied here under my left rib where my heart is, tightly knotted to you in a similar fashion. And when you go to Ireland, with all that distance between us, I am afraid that this cord will be snapped, and I shall bleed inwardly.
Charlotte Brontë
It takes only a split second for life to go horribly wrong. To fix the mess, I need a thousand things to go right. The distance from one bit of luck to the next feels as great as the distance across oceans. But, I decide in this moment, I will bridge that distance, again and again, until I win. I will not fail.
Sabaa Tahir (A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2))
She dreamed of deep soul connections and passionate kisses and daring escapades. She was certain that he simply had to meet her, just once, and he would feel the same way. It would be like those epic love affairs that exploded into existence and burned white hot for all eternity. The type of love that time and distance and even death couldn’t separate.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
At the end of the day your ability to connect with your readers comes down to how you make them feel.
Benjamin J. Carey (Barefoot in November)
She had missed him so long now, that the feeling had become a part of her. As each day passed, the missing distanced itself from her heart. One day she woke, and realized the missing was there but the pain was gone. Missing without pain is tolerable. Pain linked to heartache is intolerable.
Coco J. Ginger
I turn my head so that he doesn't see my smile and secretly curse him for making me feel special.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us (Old Town Shops, #1))
I feel the urge, familiar now, to wrench myself from my body and speak directly into her mind. It is the same urge, I realize, that makes me want to kiss her every time I see her, because even a sliver of distance between us is infuriating. Our fingers, loosely woven a moment ago, now clutch together, her palm tacky with moisture, mine rough in places where I have grabbed too many handles on too many moving trains. Now she looks pale and small, but her eyes make me think of wide-open skies that I have never actually seen, only dreamed of.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
All my adult life I have kept a distance from other people, it has been my way of coping, because I become so incredibly close to others in my thoughts and feelings of course, they only have to look away dismissively for a storm to break inside me.
Karl Ove Knausgård (A Man in Love)
Sensitive people feel so deeply they often have to retreat from the world, in order to dig beneath the layers of pain to find their faith and courage.
Shannon L. Alder
Deep down, I think everybody wants to be ‘the one’ to someone. I don’t know if I’ve ever been that person to anyone else – but I do know you are that person to me. You are the one. The only one. And you always will be.
Ranata Suzuki
When you are young, you think it's going to be solved by love. But it never is. Being close -- as close as you can get -- to another person only makes clear that impassable distance between you.' If being in love only made people more lonely, why would everyone want it so much?' Because of the illusion. You fall in love, it's intoxicating, and for a little while you feel like you've actually become one with the other person. Merged souls and so on. You think you'll never be lonely again.
Nicole Krauss
Though life has fated that we never cross paths again, don’t ever feel alone. For we are parallel …. and I will always be by your side.
Ranata Suzuki
It’s a strange feeling. Everywhere I go, I’m the first. Step outside the rover? First guy ever to be there! Climb a hill? First guy to climb that hill! Kick a rock? That rock hadn’t moved in a million years! I’m the first guy to drive long-distance on Mars. The first guy to spend more than thirty-one sols on Mars. The first guy to grow crops on Mars. First, first, first!
Andy Weir (The Martian)
Tell a wise person, or else keep silent, because the mass man will mock it right away. I praise what is truly alive, what longs to be burned to death. In the calm water of the love-nights, where you were begotten, where you have begotten, a strange feeling comes over you, when you see the silent candle burning. Now you are no longer caught in the obsession with darkness, and a desire for higher love-making sweeps you upward. Distance does not make you falter. Now, arriving in magic, flying, and finally, insane for the light, you are the butterfly and you are gone. And so long as you haven't experienced this: to die and so to grow, you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
You made me feel worthwhile…. like for once it mattered if I was here or not because I actually meant something to someone…. because I meant something to you. I miss that feeling.
Ranata Suzuki
To fall in love with the world isn’t to ignore or overlook suffering, both human or otherwise. For me anyway, to fall in love with the world is to look up at the night sky and feel your mind swim before the beauty and the distance of the stars. It is to hold your children while they cry and watch the sycamore trees leaf out in June. When my breastbone starts to hurt, and my throat tightens and tears well in my eyes, I want to look away from feeling. I want to deflect with irony or anything else that will keep me from feeling directly. We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open. I want to feel what there is to feel while I am here.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
Why is love beyond all measure of other human possibilities so rich and such a sweet burden for the one who has been struck by it? Because we change ourselves into that which we love, and yet remain ourselves. Then we would like to thank the beloved, but find nothing that would do it adequately. We can only be thankful to ourselves. Love transforms gratitude into faithfulness to ourselves and into an unconditional faith in the Other. Thus love steadily expands its most intimate secret. Closeness here is existence in the greatest distance from the other- the distance that allows nothing to dissolve - but rather presents the “thou” in the transparent, but “incomprehensible” revelation of the “just there”. That the presence of the other breaks into our own life - this is what no feeling can fully encompass. Human fate gives itself to human fate, and it is the task of pure love to keep this self-surrender as vital as on the first day.
Martin Heidegger
They say “Follow your heart”…. …. But I can’t follow you where you’re going…
Ranata Suzuki
To reach out to you when I'm in need, and to try to be here for you when you need me back. And to feel such tenderness when I look at you that I want to stand between you and all the world: and yet also to lift you up and carry you above the strong currents of life; and at the same time, I would be glad to stand always like this, at a distance, watching you, the beauty of you.
Orson Scott Card (Children of the Mind (Ender's Saga, #4))
You know, I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. Oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. But I knew it all along. When I was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present and into the future. You probably did too; you just don’t recall it. See, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves. After you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. When a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. That’s what I believe. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks and get crippled. People lose their way, for one reason or another. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. It’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” It just happens. These memories of who I was and where I lived are important to me. They make up a large part of who I’m going to be when my journey winds down. I need the memory of magic if I am ever going to conjure magic again. I need to know and remember, and I want to tell you.
Robert McCammon (Boy's Life)
Everybody wants their own little place in the world. And maybe mine is here… Loving you from a distance…
Ranata Suzuki
A week feels like a year when you’re seventeen and in love. A twenty minute drive might as well be an ocean. But we were together again and the whole world was rejoicing, even the gravel crunched melodiously under our feet as we danced onward through the night.
Chloe Rattray (Sacré Noir)
He's a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package. But I find myself wondering at times like this, when I feel the distance between us, if maybe in his eyes, the real monster is me.
J.M. Darhower (Monster in His Eyes (Monster in His Eyes, #1))
basis, n. There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. If the moment doesn't pass, that's it - you're done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it's even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover's face.
David Levithan (The Lover's Dictionary)
For you are you, and I am I, and once we were we… but as long as I exist and so do you – know that I will always love you.
Ranata Suzuki
Our society is so fragmented, our family lives so sundered by physical and emotional distance, our friendships so sporadic, our intimacies so 'in-between' things and often so utilitarian, that there are few places where we can feel truly safe.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World)
We care. We feel. We think. We do not always miss the absent one. We cannot always come when called. Being friends with a loner requires patience and the wisdom that distance does not mean dislike.
Anneli Rufus (Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto)
He did not run from his grief, nor did he deny its existence. He could study his grief from a distance, like a scientist observing animals. He embraced it, accepted it, acknowledged that it would never go away. It was as much a part of him as any pleasant feeling. Perhaps even more so.
Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1))
He was lovable the way a child is lovable, and he was capable of returning love with a childlike purity. If love is nevertheless excluded from his work, it's because he never quite felt that he deserved to receive it. He was a lifelong prisoner on the island of himself. What looked like gentle contours from a distance were in fact sheer cliffs. Sometimes only a little of him was crazy, sometimes nearly all of him, but, as an adult, he was never entirely not crazy. What he'd seen of his id while trying to escape his island prison by way of drugs and alcohol, only to find himself even more imprisoned by addiction, seems never to have ceased to be corrosive of his belief in his lovability. Even after he got clean, even decades after his late-adolescent suicide attempt, even after his slow and heroic construction of a life for himself, he felt undeserving. And this feeling was intertwined, ultimately to the point of indistinguishability, with the thought of suicide, which was the one sure way out of his imprisonment; surer than addiction, surer than fiction, and surer, finally, than love.
Jonathan Franzen
She loved him. But he didn’t know how to love. He could talk about love. He could see love and feel love. But he couldn’t give love. He could make love. But he couldn’t make promises. She had desperately wanted his promises. She wanted his heart, knew she couldn’t have it so she took what she could get. Temporary bliss. Passionate highs and lows. Withdrawal and manipulation. He only stayed long enough to take what he needed and keep moving. If he stopped moving, he would self-destruct. If he stopped wandering, he would have to face himself. He chose to stay in the dark where he couldn’t see. If he exposed himself and the sun came out, he’d see his shadow. He was deathly afraid of his shadow. She saw his shadow, loved it, understood it. Saw potential in it. She thought her love would change him. He pushed and he pulled, tested boundaries, thinking she would never leave. He knew he was hurting her, but didn’t know how to share anything but pain. He was only comfortable in chaos. Claiming souls before they could claim him. Her love, her body, she had given to him and he’d taken with such feigned sincerity, absorbing every drop of her. His dark heart concealed. She’d let him enter her spirit and stroke her soul where everything is love and sensation and surrender. Wide open, exposed to deception. It had never occurred to her that this desire was not love. It was blinding the way she wanted him. She couldn’t see what was really happening, only what she wanted to happen. She suspected that he would always seek to minimize the risk of being split open, his secrets revealed. He valued his soul’s privacy far more than he valued the intimacy of sincere connection so he kept his distance at any and all costs. Intimacy would lead to his undoing—in his mind, an irrational and indulgent mistake. When she discovered his indiscretions, she threw love in his face and beat him with it. Somewhere deep down, in her labyrinth, her intricacy, the darkest part of her soul, she relished the mayhem. She felt a sense of privilege for having such passion in her life. He stirred her core. The place she dared not enter. The place she could not stir for herself. But something wasn’t right. His eyes were cold and dark. His energy, unaffected. He laughed at her and her antics, told her she was a mess. Frantic, she looked for love hiding in his eyes, in his face, in his stance, and she found nothing but disdain. And her heart stopped.
G.G. Renee Hill (The Beautiful Disruption)
Suddenly we’re not kids anymore, and it feels like it happened overnight, so fast I didn’t have time to notice, to let go of everything that used to matter so much, to see that the old wounds that once felt like gut-level lacerations have faded to small white scars, mixed in among the stretch marks and sunspots and little divots where time has grazed against my body. I’ve put so much time and distance between myself and that lonely girl, and what does it matter? Here is a piece of my past, right in front of me, miles away from home. You can’t outrun yourself. Not your history, not your fears, not the parts of yourself you’re worried are wrong.
Emily Henry (People We Meet on Vacation)
There's a reason why stars can only exist in the sky -- they're just rockets of light traveling through space, so it feels right to admire their form from a distance. People, solid and living and breathing together in the same world, are not meant to be surround by that much darkness.
Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken (Awaken, #1))
Don't hang out with people who are: Ungrateful Unhelpful Unruly Unkindly Unloving Unambitious Unmotivated or make you feel... Uncomfortable
Germany Kent
And my own affairs were as bad, as dismal, as the day I had been born. The only difference was that now I could drink now and then, though never often enough. Drink was the only thing that kept a man from feeling forever stunned and useless. Everything else just kept picking and picking, hacking away. And nothing was interesting, nothing. The people were restrictive and careful, all alike. And I've got to live with these fuckers for the rest of my life, I thought. God, they all had assholes and sexual organs and their mouths and their armpits. They shit and they chattered and they were dull as horse dung. The girls looked good from a distance, the sun shining through their dresses, their hair. But get up close and listen to their minds running out of their mouths, you felt like digging in under a hill and hiding out with a tommy-gun. I would certainly never be able to be happy, to get married, I could never have children. Hell, I couldn't even get a job as a dishwasher.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
You can feel the distance. It carries a weight that's heavier than anything.
Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken (Awaken, #1))
Neither one of them could turn off their feelings, even with so much time and distance between them. The more they were apart, and the more they weren't allowed to be together, the more they loved each other.
Donna Lynn Hope (Willow (Willow Falls Saga, #1))
Sometimes words weren’t enough— they couldn’t cover the feeling. This was one of those times. So I closed the distance and kissed her, putting everything I felt for her, every promise I made her, into that one kiss.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Frigid (Frigid, #1))
Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand the notion of time or distance. They only know it feels right to be with one another.
Lang Leav (Love & Misadventure)
I look at pictures of you because I am afraid that you would notice me staring in real life. I looked at your picture today for countless minutes. It is closer than I’ll ever get to you for real. I felt like I was looking at a captured animal at a safe distance. If you knew I was doing this, you would feel sickened and frightened. That’s why you’ll never know. Years will go by and you’ll never know. I will never say the things that I want to say to you. I know the damage it would do. I love you more than I hate my loneliness and pain.
Henry Rollins (Solipsist)
When we can let go of what other people think and own our story, we gain access to our worthiness—the feeling that we are enough just as we are and that we are worthy of love and belonging. When we spend a lifetime trying to distance ourselves from the parts of our lives that don’t fit with who we think we’re supposed to be, we stand outside of our story and hustle for our worthiness by constantly performing, perfecting, pleasing, and proving. Our sense of worthiness—that critically important piece that gives us access to love and belonging—lives inside of our story.
Brené Brown
When two souls fall in love, there is nothing else but the yearning to be close to the other. The presence that is felt through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen. Souls do not have calendars or clocks, nor do they understand the notion of time or distance. They only know it feels right to be with one another. This is the reason why you miss someone so much when they are not there—even if they are only in the very next room. Your soul only feels their absence—it doesn't realize the separation is temporary.
Lang Leav (Love & Misadventure)
Admit it," He insists. "I was right." "No." I sniff. "You were wrong." sniff. "I'm just crying"-sniff- "cause i'm so happy." My tear take that lie as their cue and start streaming down my cheeks. "Come on, Princess," he says, "You don't need to cry over that loser." This only makes me cry harder. We both know who the loser is in this scenario. With a muttered curse, Quince wraps his arms around me and squeezes. It feels remarkably like a hug. "Don't cry," he whispers in my ear. "Please." I don't know if it's his soft words or the fact that my face is now hidden by his broad chest, but i just let go. Three years of longing and loving from a distance have built to the breaking point, and i let it out all over his west coast choppers T-shirt. "shhh," He soothes. "He's not worth it.
Tera Lynn Childs (Forgive My Fins (Fins, #1))
Cricket walks several steps behind me. It's a careful distance. I wonder if he's looking at my butt. WHY DID I JUST THINK THAT? Now my butt feels COLOSSAL. Maybe he's looking at my legs. Is that better? Or worse? Do I want him looking at me? I hold on to the bottom of my dress as I climb into the backseat and crawl to the other side. I'm sure he's looking at my butt. He has to be. It's huge, and it's right there, and it's huge. No. I'm acting crazy. I glance over, and he smiles at me as he buckles his seat belt. My cheeks grow warm. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
Stephanie Perkins (Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2))
Our life is like a land journey, too even and easy and dull over long distances across the plains, too hard and painful up the steep grades; but, on the summits of the mountain, you have a magnificent view--and feel exalted--and your eyes are full of happy tears--and you want to sing--and wish you had wings! And then--you can't stay there, but must continue your journey--you begin climbing down the other side, so busy with your footholds that your summit experience is forgotten.
Lloyd C. Douglas (The Robe)
If a man could taste wind and fire, they would taste like Katherine. When he stood in high places looking down on things made small by distance, he tried to feel what the eagle felt soaring free on the wind. He was an earthbound man. Only his spirit could ever soar, and only Katherine raised him so high.
Ellen O'Connell (Dancing on Coals)
You're enjoying this, aren't you?" I'd feel better if I could guard your back." You're going to do that with a rifle from the closest hill, remember." Night vision and scope, fine, but I can't kill them all from a distance." You couldn't kill them all if you were johnny on the spot, either," I said. No but I'd feel better." Worried about me?" He shrugged. I'm your bodyguard. If you die under my protection, the other bodyguards will make fun of me." It took me a second to realize he was making a joke. Harley looked back at him with an almost surprised look. I don't think either of us heard humor from Edward much.
Laurell K. Hamilton (The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6))
Objectification is a critical reason why an abuser tends to get worse over time. As his conscience adapts to one level of cruelty—or violence—he builds to the next. By depersonalizing his partner, the abuser protects himself from the natural human emotions of guilt and empathy, so that he can sleep at night with a clear conscience. He distances himself so far from her humanity that her feelings no longer count, or simply cease to exist. These walls tend to grow over time, so that after a few years in a relationship my clients can reach a point where they feel no more guilt over degrading or threatening their partners than you or I would feel after angrily kicking a stone in the driveway.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
She edged away from him, trying to put a greater distance between herself and Creepy McCreeperson. She bent down, careful not to let her eyes leave him, and plucked up a hairbrush from where it had fallen on her floor. She held it at arm’s length in front of herself, a stupid weapon feeling better than no weapon at all. At the very least, she could give him style.
Kelly Creagh (Nevermore (Nevermore, #1))
What a powerful feeling, love, able to withstand time and distance and disagreements. No wonder I wanted it so badly.
Jodi Meadows (Asunder (Newsoul, #2))
Human beings, Isao realized, could descend to communicating their feelings like dogs barking in the distance on a cold night.
Yukio Mishima (Runaway Horses (The Sea of Fertility, #2))
There is not much mental distance between a feeling of having been screwed and the ethic of total retaliation, or at least the kind of random revenge that comes with outraging the public decency.
Hunter S. Thompson (Hell's Angels)
It will be a welcome change for her to feel his hands on her hips and his breath in her hair; She's been forlorn, but like all emotions, even loneliness doesn't last. She has fallen in love with the man with the quiet strength, the confident humility and the hands that show the flame of the heart.
Donna Lynn Hope
Thank God for men who manage to hold from afar, wipe tears away with tender words and dish out the life force that is hope. She has never felt so alone but out there, across an ocean, and in a foreign land, there is a man who loves her and would lay down his life just so she could feel the light once again.
Donna Lynn Hope
I had always wanted to hear those words. I had always wanted to be your girl.
Ranata Suzuki
If you love somebody, tell them. If there is conflict, let it go and fight instead for peace. Break the numb false silence and break the distance too. Laugh and cry and apologize and start again. This life is short and fragile but friendship is among the greatest miracles.
Jamie Tworkowski (If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For)
All of the emotions that hit people at times like these, all of them, were coursing through us both like a secret we couldn’t tell. Because if we said everything we were thinking and feeling right then…if we laid it all out for one another…we might not like the way the words strung together. Or the way fear and hope and bitterness and love mashed up into one big mess in the pits of our stomachs.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Perfect Glass)
A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.)
Soon, however, she began to reason with herself, and try to be feeling less. Eight years, almost eight years had passed, since all had been given up. How absurd to be resuming the agitation which such an interval had banished into distance and indistinctness! What might not eight years do? Events of every description, changes, alienations, removals,--all, all must be comprised in it; and oblivion of the past--how natural, how certain too! It included nearly a third part of her own life. Alas! with all her reasonings, she found, that to retentive feelings eight years may be little more than nothing.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
Always in the dream, it seemed as if there were a destination: a something--he could not grasp what-that lay beyond the place where the thickness of snow brought the sled to a stop. He was left, upon awakening, with the feeling that he wanted, even somehow needed, to reach the something that waited in the distance. The feeling that it was good. That it was welcoming. That it was significant. But he did not know how to get there.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
With relationships, I always had a reason why some time in the future would be better for me than it was that day. When I was fat, I thought I'd feel pretty when I was thin, and when I was thin, I thought I'd be happier if I was more toned and muscular and had more money to look more coordinated. I wasn't comfortable in my own skin unless there was a man there to tell me just how radiant that skin looked. I was a victim of low self-esteem and had the Soon syndrome bad. I was running toward a brighter future, unaware of the mirages I'd created in the distance.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
Deep within every human being there still lives the anxiety over the possibility of being alone in the world, forgotten by God, overlooked among the millions and millions in this enormous household. One keeps this anxiety at a distance by looking at the many round about who are related to him as kin and friends, but the anxiety is still there, nevertheless, and one hardly dares think of how he would feel if all this were taken away.
Søren Kierkegaard
When your partner feels s/he has a secure base to fall back on (and doesn't feel the need to work hard to get close), and when you don't feel the need to distance yourself, you'll both be better able to look outward and do your own thing.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Feelings, my dear daughter, you will perhaps learn one day, can be the most costly thing in the universe.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us)
In China, we say: 'There are many dreams in a long night.' It has been a long night, but I don't know if I want to continue the dreams. It feels like I am walking on a little path, both sides are dark mountains and valleys. I am walking towards a little light in the distance. Walking, and walking, I am seeing that light diminishing. I am seeing myself walk towards the end of the love, the sad end. I love you more than I loved you before. I love you more than I should love you. But I must leave. I am losing myself. It is painful that I can't see myself. It is time for me to say those words you kept telling me recently. 'Yes, I agree with you. We can't be together.
Xiaolu Guo (A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers)
Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example,'The night is shattered and the blue stars shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is shattered and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight searches for her as though to go to her. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before. Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.
Pablo Neruda
The monster behind the wall stirred. I'd come to think of it as a monster, but it was just me. Or the darker part of me, at least. You probably think it would be creepy to have a real monster hiding inside of you, but trust me - it's far, far worse when the monster is really just your own mind. Calling it a monster seemed to distance it a little, which made me feel better about it. Not much better, but I take what I can get.
Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1))
I almost panic then. The pleasure-power feeling flees, replaced by humiliation. It's obvious my husband doesn't recognize his own wife. Yet even in this public place, he can't be bothered to hide his admiration for a woman that he finds attractive. He used to stare at me so intently, like I was the only thing in the world. Have I changed so much? Or maybe that mesmerizing gaze was just a weapon in his arsenal of appeal. Maybe he never actually saw. Anger carries me the remaining distance. He is the one who should feel grimy with shame, not me.
Rae Carson (The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1))
He laughs again. “You’re different, Caymen.” “Different than what?” “Than any other girl I’ve met.” Considering most of the girls he’d met probably had fifty times as much money as I did, that wasn’t a hard feat to accomplish. Thinking about that makes my eyes sting. “It’s refreshing. You make me feel normal.” “Huh. I better work on that because you’re far from normal.” He smiles and pushes my shoulder playfully. My heart slams into my ribs. “Caymen.” I take another handful of dirt and smash it against his neck then try to make a quick escape. He grabs me from behind, and I see his hand, full of dirt, coming toward my face when the warning beeps of the tractor start up. “Saved by the gravediggers,” he says.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us (Old Town Shops, #1))
Above all human existence requires stability, the permanence of things. The result is an ambivalence with respect to all great and violent expenditure of strength; such an expenditure, whether in nature or in man, represents the strongest possible threat. The feelings of admiration and of ecstasy induced by them thus mean that we are concerned to admire them from afar. The sun corresponds to that prudent concern. It is all radiance gigantic loss of heat and light, flame, explosion; but remote from men, who can enjoy in safety and quiet the fruits of this cataclysm. To earth belongs the solidity which sustains houses of stone and the steps of men (at least on its surface, for buried within the depths of the earth is the incandescence of lava).
Georges Bataille (Van Gogh As Prometheus)
Sometimes you are more comfortable with a person who gets close without coming close.
Shampa Sharma
Love is not just being with someone, love is feeling someone even if miles separate you
Wordions
Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day the blueprint of your life would begin to glow on earth, illuminating all the faces and voices that would arrive to invite your soul to growth. Praised be your father and mother, who loved you before you were, and trusted to call you here with no idea who you would be. Blessed be those who have loved you into becoming who you were meant to be, blessed be those who have crossed your life with dark gifts of hurt and loss that have helped to school your mind in the art of disappointment. When desolation surrounded you, blessed be those who looked for you and found you, their kind hands urgent to open a blue window in the gray wall formed around you. Blessed be the gifts you never notice, your health, eyes to behold the world, thoughts to countenance the unknown, memory to harvest vanished days, your heart to feel the world’s waves, your breath to breathe the nourishment of distance made intimate by earth. On this echoing-day of your birth, may you open the gift of solitude in order to receive your soul; enter the generosity of silence to hear your hidden heart; know the serenity of stillness to be enfolded anew by the miracle of your being.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)
Childhood is bound like the Gordian knot with my memories of the Black Sea, and I still feel its waters welling up within me today. Sometimes these waters are leaden, as grey as the military ships that sail on their curved expanses, and sometimes they are blue as pigmented cobalt. Then would come dusk, when I would sit and watch the seabirds waver to shore, flitting from open waters to the quiet empty vastlands in darkening spaces behind me, the same birds Ovid once saw during his exile, perhaps; and the same waters the Argonauts crossed searching for the fleece of renewal. And out in the distance, invisible, the towering heights of Caucasus, where once-bright memories of the fire-thief have transmuted into something weird and many-faceted, and beyond these, pitch-black Karabakh in dolorous Armenia.
Paul Christensen (The Heretic Emperor)
Love is not about making promises but it's about believing, no matter how far you are or how frequently you talk, you know you both are made for each other
Anamika Mishra
And then it occurred to her that she was already feeling that she would need to remember this room, her sister, this scene, as though from a distance.
Colm Tóibín (Brooklyn)
And then Serafina understood something for which the witches had no word: it was the idea of pilgrimage. She understood why these beings would wait for thousands of years and travel vast distances in order to be close to something important, and how they would feel differently for the rest of time, having been briefly in its presence. That was how these creatures looked now, these beautiful pilgrims of rarefied light, standing around the girl with the dirty-face and the tartan skirt and the boy with the wounded hand who was frowning in his sleep.
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
It's said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers. That's false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance, it was done by dogma, it was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods. Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known; we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end, the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ: Think it possible you may be mistaken." I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died here, to stand here as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.
Jacob Bronowski
To get some distance from this, you first need to get some perspective. Walk outside on a clear night and just look up into the sky. You are sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Though you can only see a few thousand stars, there are hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy alone. In fact, it is estimated that there are over a trillion stars in the Spiral Galaxy. And that galaxy would look like one star to us, if we could even see it. You’re just standing on one little ball of dirt and spinning around one of the stars. From that perspective, do you really care what people think about your clothes or your car? Do you really need to feel embarrassed if you forget someone’s name? How can you let these meaningless things cause pain? If you want out, if you want a decent life, you had better not devote your life to avoiding psychological pain. You had better not spend your life worrying about whether people like you or whether your car impresses people. What kind of life is that? It is a life of pain. You may not think that you feel pain that often, but you really do. To spend your life avoiding pain means it’s always right behind you.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
She watched the prairies the rivers, the towns slipping past at an untouchable distance below - and she noted that the sense of detachment one feels when looking at the earth from a plane was the same sense she felt when looking at people: only her distance from people seemed longer. - Dagny Taggart
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
A photograph is both a pseudo-presence and a token of absence. Like a wood fire in a room, photographs—especially those of people, of distant landscapes and faraway cities, of the vanished past—are incitements to reverie. The sense of the unattainable that can be evoked by photographs feeds directly into the erotic feelings of those for whom desirability is enhanced by distance.
Susan Sontag (On Photography)
We stand a professional distance apart, as if I can’t feel his pain screaming in my head. Mine amplifies his; they share a joint sound—that of glass breaking—until they swell to a crescendo that deafens.
Ann Aguirre (Aftermath (Sirantha Jax, #5))
I'd never really been very close to other people. I was pretty much a loner. I'd played baseball and done the Cub Scout thing, tried the Boy Scout thing -- but I always kept my distance from the other boys. I never ever felt like I was part of their world. Boys. I watched them. Studied them. In the end, I didn't find most of the guys that surrounded me very interesting. In fact, I was pretty disgusted, Maybe I was a little superior. But I don't think I was superior. I just didn't understand how to talk to them, how to be myself around them. Being around other guys didn't make me feel smarter. Being around other guys made me feel stupid and inadequate. It was like they were all part of this club and I wasn't a member.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
There were so many people, so much to navigate, and as the distance fluctuated between us his hand kept slipping, down my arm to my wrist. And maybe he was going to let go as people pressed in on all sides, but all I could think was how when nothing made sense and hadn't for ages, you just have to grab onto anything you feel sure of. So as I felt his fingers loosening around my wrist, I just wrapped my own around them, right, and held on
Sarah Dessen
Seasons of the heart. To get through what I must I'm often encased in ice and for months he chips away until he can see my face and after a while, I begin to thaw. As warmth and feeling returns, my emotions continue to build until my personality is set on fire. When he leaves, the fire dwindles until there is but a flicker. Then there is stillness and winter returns.
Donna Lynn Hope
I couldn't have gotten through any of this without you. Through all of it, you've been my support, my anchor. I don't know how one man's shoulders can possibly be so strong." ... He tilted her face up to his. "With the love I feel for you, bella, I could lift up the world.
Pamela Clare (Striking Distance (I-Team, #6))
Idris had been green and gold and russet in the autumn, when Clary had first been there. It had a stark grandeur in the winter: the mountains rose in the distance, capped white with snow, and the trees along the side of the road that led back to Alicante from the lake were stripped bare, their leafless branches making lace-like patterns against the bright sky. Sometimes Jace would slow the horse to point out the manor houses of the richer Shadowhunter families, hidden from the road when the trees were full but revealed now. She felt his shoulders tense as they passed one that nearly melded with the forest around it: it had clearly been burned and rebuilt. Some of the stones still bore the black marks of smoke and fire. “The Blackthorn manor,” he said. “Which means that around this bend in the road is …” He paused as Wayfarer summited a small hill, and reined him in so they could look down to where the road split in two. One direction led back toward Alicante — Clary could see the demon towers in the distance — while the other curled down toward a large building of mellow golden stone, surrounded by a low wall. “ … the Herondale manor,” Jace finished. The wind picked up; icy, it ruffled Jace’s hair. Clary had her hood up, but he was bare-headed and bare-handed, having said he hated wearing gloves when horseback riding. He liked to feel the reins in his hands. “Did you want to go and look at it?” she asked. His breath came out in a white cloud. “I’m not sure.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
He said, “I know somebody you could kiss.” “Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.” He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down. “It’s not like you’re going to kill me. I mean, if you were curious.” She hadn’t thought she was curious. It hadn’t been an option, after all. Not being able to kiss someone was a lot like being poor. She tried not to dwell on the things she couldn’t have. But now— “Okay,” she said. “What?” “I said okay.” He blushed. Or rather, because he was dead, he became normal colored. “Uh.” He propped himself on an elbow. “Well.” She unburied her face from the pillow. “Just, like—” He leaned toward her. Blue felt a thrill for a half a second. No, more like a quarter second. Because after that she felt the too-firm pucker of his tense lips. His mouth mashed her lips until it met teeth. The entire thing was at once slimy and ticklish and hilarious. They both gasped an embarrassed laugh. Noah said, “Bah!” Blue considered wiping her mouth, but felt that would be rude. It was all fairly underwhelming. She said, “Well.” “Wait,” Noah replied, “waitwaitwait.” He pulled one of Blue’s hairs out of his mouth. “I wasn’t ready.” He shook out his hands as if Blue’s lips were a sporting event and cramping was a very real possibility. “Go,” Blue said. This time they only got within a breath of each other’s lips when they both began to laugh. She closed the distance and was rewarded with another kiss that felt a lot like kissing a dishwasher. “I’m doing something wrong?” she suggested. “Sometimes it’s better with tongue,” he replied dubiously. They regarded each other. Blue squinted, “Are you sure you’ve done this before?” “Hey!” he protested. “It’s weird for me, ‘cause it’s you.” “Well, it’s weird for me because it’s you.” “We can stop.” “Maybe we should.” Noah pushed himself up farther on his elbow and gazed at the ceiling vaguely. Finally, he dropped his eyes back to her. “You’ve seen, like, movies. Of kisses, right? Your lips need to be, like, wanting to be kissed.” Blue touched her mouth. “What are they doing now?” “Like, bracing themselves.” She pursed and unpursed her lips. She saw his point. “So imagine one of those,” Noah suggested. She sighed and sifted through her memories until she found one that would do. It wasn’t a movie kiss, however. It was the kiss the dreaming tree had showed her in Cabeswater. Her first and only kiss with Gansey, right before he died. She thought about his nice mouth when he smiled. About his pleasant eyes when he laughed. She closed her eyes. Placing an elbow on the other side of her head, Noah leaned close and kissed her once more. This time, it was more of a thought than a feeling, a soft heat that began at her mouth and unfurled through the rest of her. One of his cold hands slid behind her neck and he kissed her again, lips parted. It was not just a touch, an action. It was a simplification of both of them: They were no longer Noah Czerny and Blue Sargent. They were now just him and her. Not even that. They were only the time that they held between them.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
We should go back inside," she said, in a half whisper. She did not want to go back inside. She wanted to stay here, with Will achingly close, almost leaning into her. She could feel the heat that radiated from his body. His dark hair fell around the mask, into his eyes, tangling with his long eyelashes. "We have only a little time-" She took a step forward-and stumbled into Will, who caught her. She froze-and then her arms crept around him, her fingers lacing themselves behind his neck. Her face was pressed against his throat, his soft hair under her fingers. She closed her eyes, shutting out the dizzying world, the light beyond the French windows, the glow of the sky. She wanted to be here with Will, cocooned in this moment, inhaling the clean sharp scent of him., feeling the beat of his heart against hers, as steady and strong as the pulse of the ocean. She felt him inhale. "Tess," he said. "Tess, look at me." She raised her eyes to his, slow and unwilling, braced for anger or coldness-but his gaze was fixed on hers, his dark blue eyes somber beneath their thick black lashes, and they were stripped of all their usual cool, aloof distance. They were as clear as glass and full of desire. And more than desire-a tenderness she had never seen in them before, had never even associated with Will Herondale. That, more than anything else, stopped her protest as he raised his hands and methodically began to take the pins from her hair, one by one. This is madness, she thought, as the first pin rattled to the ground. They should be running, fleeing this place. Instead she stood, wordless, as Will cast Jessamine's pearl clasps aside as if they were so much paste jewelry. Her own long, curling dark hair fell down around her shoulders, and Will slid his hands into it. She heard him exhale as he did so, as if he had been holding his breath for months and had only just let it out. She stood as if mesmerized as he gathered her hair in his hands, draping it over one of her shoulders, winding her curls between his fingers. "My Tessa," he said, and this time she did not tell him that she was not his. "Will," she whispered as he reached up and unlocked her hands from around his neck. He drew her gloves off, and they joined her mask and Jessie's pins on the stone floor of the balcony. He pulled off his own mask next and cast it aside, running his hands through his damp black hair, pushing it back from his forehead. The lower edge of the mask had left marks across his high cheekbones, like light scars, but when she reached to touch them, he gently caught at her hands and pressed them down. "No," he said. "Let me touch you first. I have wanted...
Cassandra Clare
From a distance,' he says, 'my car looks just like every other car on the freeway, and Sarah Byrnes looks just like the rest of us. And if she's going to get help, she'll get it from herself or she'll get it from us. Let me tell you why I brought this up. Because the other day when I saw how hard it was for Mobe to go to the hospital to see her, I was embarrassed that I didn't know her better, that I ever laughed at one joke about her. I was embarrassed that I let some kid go to school with me for twelve years and turned my back on pain that must be unbearable. I was embarrassed that I haven't found a way to include her somehow the way Mobe has.' Jesus. I feel tears welling up, and I see them running down Ellerby's cheeks. Lemry better get a handle on this class before it turns into some kind of therapy group. So,' Lemry says quietly, 'your subject will be the juxtaposition of man and God in the universe?' Ellerby shakes his head. 'My subject will be shame.
Chris Crutcher (Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes)
Do I, then, belong to the heavens? Why, if not so, should the heavens Fix me thus with their ceaseless blue stare, Luring me on, and my mind, higher Ever higher, up into the sky, Drawing me ceaselessly up To heights far, far above the human? Why, when balance has been strictly studied And flight calculated with the best of reason Till no aberrant element should, by rights, remain- Why, still, should the lust for ascension Seem, in itself, so close to madness? Nothing is that can satify me; Earthly novelty is too soon dulled; I am drawn higher and higher, more unstable, Closer and closer to the sun's effulgence. Why do these rays of reason destroy me? Villages below and meandering streams Grow tolerable as our distance grows. Why do they plead, approve, lure me With promise that I may love the human If only it is seen, thus, from afar- Although the goal could never have been love, Nor, had it been, could I ever have Belonged to the heavens? I have not envied the bird its freedom Nor have I longed for the ease of Nature, Driven by naught save this strange yearning For the higher, and the closer, to plunge myself Into the deep sky's blue, so contrary To all organic joys, so far From pleasures of superiority But higher, and higher, Dazzled, perhaps, by the dizzy incandescence Of waxen wings. Or do I then Belong, after all, to the earth? Why, if not so, should the earth Show such swiftness to encompass my fall? Granting no space to think or feel, Why did the soft, indolent earth thus Greet me with the shock of steel plate? Did the soft earth thus turn to steel Only to show me my own softness? That Nature might bring home to me That to fall, not to fly, is in the order of things, More natural by far than that improbable passion? Is the blue of the sky then a dream? Was it devised by the earth, to which I belonged, On account of the fleeting, white-hot intoxication Achieved for a moment by waxen wings? And did the heavens abet the plan to punish me? To punish me for not believing in myself Or for believing too much; Too earger to know where lay my allegiance Or vainly assuming that already I knew all; For wanting to fly off To the unknown Or the known: Both of them a single, blue speck of an idea?
Yukio Mishima (Sun & Steel)
I smiled sweetly at his embarressment, beginning to walk again, kicking up golden leaves. I heard him scuffling leaves behind me. "And what was the point of this again?" Forget it!" Sam said. "Do you you like this place or not?" I stoped in my tracks, spinning to face him. "Hey." I pointed at him; he raised his eyebrows and stopped in his tracks. "You didn't think Jack would be here at all, did you?" His thick black eyebrows went up even farther. Did you evan intend to look for him at all?" He held his hands up as if a surrender. "What do you want me to say?" You were trying to see if I would reconize it, wern't you?" I took anouther step, colsing the distance between us. I could feel the heat of his body, even without touching him, in the increasing cold of the day. "YOU told me about this wood somehow. How did you show it to me?" I keep trying to tell you. You wont listen. Because you're stubbon. It's how we speek- it's the only words we have. Just pictures. Just simple little picters. You HAVE changed Grace. Just not your skin. I want you to believe me." His hands were still raise, but he was starting to grin at me in the failing light. So you brought me here to see this." I stepped forward again, and he stepped back. Do you like it?" Under false pretence." Anouther step forward; anouther back. The grine widened So do you like it?" When you knew we wouldn't come across anybody else." His teeth flashed in his grin. "Do you like it?" I punched my hands into his chest. "You know I love it. You knew I would." I went to punch him, and he grabed my wrists. For a moment we stood there like that, him looking down at me with a grin half-caught on his face, and me lookingup at him: Still Life with Boy and Girl. It would've been the perfect moment to kiss me, but he didn't. He just looked at me and looked at me, and by the time I relizeed I could just as easily kiss him, I noticed that his grin was slipping away. Sam slowly lowered my wrists and relesed them. "I'm glad." he said very quietly. My arms still hung by my sides, right where Sam had put them. I frowned at him. "You were supposed to kiss me." I thought about it." I just kept looking at the soft, sad shape of his lips, looking just like his voice sounded. I was probably staring, but I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted him to kiss me and how stupide it was to want it so badly. "Why don't you?" He leaned over and gave mr the lightest of kisses. His lips, cool and dry, ever so polite and incredibly maddening. "I have to get inside soon," he whispered "It's getting cold
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
and they shook hands, hit each other on the shoulder, then there was forty feet of distance between them and nothing to do but drive away in opposite directions. Within a mile Ennis felt like someone was pulling his guts out hand over hand a yard at a time. He stopped at the side of the road and, in the whirling new snow, tried to puke but nothing came up. He felt about as bad as he ever had and it took a long time for the feeling to wear off.
Annie Proulx (Brokeback Mountain)
I erupt from the dark, crushing tunnel into a flash of light and noise. A new kind of air surrounds me, dry and cold, as they wipe the last smears of home off my skin. I feel a sharp pain as they snip something, and suddenly I am less. I am no one but myself, tiny and feeble and utterly alone. I am lifted and swungthrough great heights across yawning distances, and given to Her. She wraps around me, so much bigger and softer than I ever imagined from inside,and I strain my eyes open. I see Her. She is immense, cosmic. She is the world. The world smiles down on me, and when She speaks it’s the voice of God, vast and resonant with meaning, but words unknowable, ringing gibberish in my blank white mind.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
Because I have no sense of self. I have no personality, no brilliant color. I have nothing to offer. That’s always been my problem. I feel like an empty vessel. I have a shape, I guess, as a container, but there’s nothing inside. I just can’t see myself as the right person for her. I think that the more time passes, and the more she knows about me, the more disappointed Sara will be, and the more she’ll choose to distance herself from me.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
Wylan’s grin broadened. His brow lifted. If that wasn’t an invitation … “Well, hell,” Jesper muttered. He closed the distance between them and took Wylan’s face in his hands. He moved slowly, deliberately, kept the kiss quiet, the barest brush of his lips, giving Wylan the chance to pull away if he wanted to. But he didn’t. He drew closer. (...) He pulled back, dropped his hands, feeling unspeakably awkward. What did you say after a terrible kiss? He’d never had cause to wonder. That was when he saw Kuwei standing in the doorway, mouth open, eyes wide and shocked. “What?” Jesper asked. “Do the Shu not kiss before noon?” “I wouldn’t know,” Kuwei said sourly. Not Kuwei. “Oh, Saints,” Jesper groaned. That wasn’t Kuwei in the doorway. It was Wylan Van Eck, budding demolitions expert and wayward rich kid. And that meant he’d just kissed … The real Kuwei plunked that same listless note on the piano, grinning shamelessly up at him through thick black lashes.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Therefore the first progressive step for a mind overwhelmed by the strangeness of things is to realize that this feeling of strangeness is shared with all men and that human reality, in its entirety, suffers from the distance which separates it from the rest of the universe. The malady experienced by a single man becomes a mass plague. In our daily trials rebellion plays the same role as does the "cogito" in the realm of thought: it is the first piece of evidence. But this evidence lures the individual from his solitude. It founds its first value on the whole human race. I rebel—therefore we exist.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
I felt my hand curl into a fist. Felt my elbow draw back. Felt my arm dart forward, my knuckles crack into Cole's jaw. I couldn't stop myself. His head whipped to the side, and blood leaked from a cut in his lip. Behind me, gasps of shock abounded. "I'm recovered," I said. "Believe me now?" Those violet eyes slitted when they found me. "Assault and battery is illegal." "So have me arrested." He closed what little distance there was between us. Suddenly I could feel his warmth of his breath caressing my skin. "How about I put you over my lap and spank you instead?" "How about I knee your balls into your throat?" "If you're going to play with that particular area, I'd rather you use your hands." "My hands aren't going near that area ever again." A pause. Then, "I bet I could change your mind," he whispered huskily. "I bet I could bash yours." I drew back another fist, but he was ready and caught me midswing. His pupils dilated, a sign of arousal. Another sign: he began to pant. He was acting like I'd tried to unbuckle his jeans rather than smack fire out of him. "Hit me again," he said, still using the same whispered tone, "and I'll take it as an invitation." I was just as bad. I trembled with longing I couldn't control and struggled to catch my breath. "An invitation to do what?" His grip loosened, his fingers rubbing my skin. A caress, not a warning. "I guess we'll find out together.
Gena Showalter (Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2))
Knowing your true emotions and thoughts probably felt dangerous if it threatened to distance you from the people you depended on. You learned that your goodness or badness lay not only in your behavior, but in your mind as well. In this way, you may have learned the absurd idea that you can be a bad person for having certain thoughts and feelings, and you may still hold that belief.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
To lower your heart rate and drift off on nights when sleep feels impossible, dream of all the adventures that lie ahead of you and the distances you’ve traveled so far. Wrap your arms tightly round your body and, as you hold yourself, hold this one thought in your head: I’ve got you.
Dolly Alderton (Everything I Know About Love: A Memoir)
I can't muster a smile. Even with the knowledge that it's dark outside and light up here, it's hard to believe that he can see us. We should be invisible. We are so alone. Mabel and I are standing side by side, but we can't even see each other. In the distance are the lights of town. People must be finishing their workdays, picking up their kids, figuring out dinner. They're talking to one another in easy voices about things of great significance and things that don't mean much. The distance between us and all of that living feels insurmountable.
Nina LaCour (We Are Okay)
And it all came to pass, all that she had hoped, but it did not fill her with rapture nor carry her away with the power or the fervor she had expected. She had imagined it all different, and had imagined herself different, too. In dreams and poems everything had been, as it were, beyond the sea; the haze of distance had mysteriously veiled all the restless mass of details and had thrown out the large lines in bold relief, while the silence of distance had lent its spirit of enchantment. It had been easy then to feel the beauty; but now that she was in the midst of it all, when every little feature stood out and spoke boldly with the manifold voices of reality, and beauty was shattered as light in a prism, she could not gather the rays together again, could not put the picture back beyond the sea. Despondently she was obliged to admit to herself that she felt poor, surrounded by riches that she could not make her own.
Jens Peter Jacobsen (Niels Lyhne)
Little sister don't you worry about a thing today Take the heat from the sun Little sister I know that everything is not ok But you're like honey on my tongue True love never can be rent But only true love can keep beauty innocent I could never take a chance Of losing love to find romance In the mysterious distance Between a man and a woman No I could never take a chance 'Cause I could never understand The mysterious distance Between a man and a woman You can run from love And if it's really love it will find you Catch you by the heel But you can't be numb for love The only pain is to feel nothing at all How can I hurt when I'm holding you? I could never take a chance Of losing love to find romance In the mysterious distance Between a man and a woman And you're the one, there's no-one else who makes me want to lose myself In the mysterious distance Between a man and a woman Brown eyed girl across the street On rue Saint Divine I thought this is the one for me But she was already mine You were already mine... Little sister I've been sleeping in the street again Like a stray dog Little sister I've been trying to feel complete again But you're gone and so is God The soul needs beauty for a soul mate When the soul wants...the soul waits ... No I could never take a chance Of losing love to find romance In the mysterious distance Between a man and a woman For love and FAITH AND SEX and fear And all the things that keep us here In the mysterious distance Between a man and a woman How can I hurt when I'm holding you?
U2
My Dearest Love, As I sit here writing, I wish nothing more than to have you with me. The days have gone slowly without your tender gaze upon mine. I am weak without you and do not know how I can survive in this state. The scent of your hair, the touch of your lip, the rose of your cheek all lay engraved in my touch, my sight, my scent, my mind and my heart. I am committed to you with all that I am, and I am nothing without you. Tonight I lay awake recounting our lover’s meets and I agonize over the insignificant distance between us. Yet, it so pains me to have you this short distance away. Might I be a fool to feel this way? And if a fool I am, then it is for you; for you would make any man a king’s fool, my queen. I pray thee sleep well, with dreams of your one true love and may he be me, for the love of my eternal life is the one that breathes life into my soul and that is you and only you. I bid thee sweet dreams and sweet kisses on thy cheek and thy lip and thine eyes, that I should be so fortunate to keep them on mine lip every night. Ceaselessly Yours, David Chios
Nely Cab (Creatura (Creatura, #1))
Tonight I Can Write Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, 'The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is starry and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses. Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
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
Tao Lin
I'm glad you came here and got the help you needed," Neil says, and he shakes my hand in that way that people do in here to remind themselves that you're the patient and they're the doctor/volunteer/ employee. They like you, and they genuinely want you to do better, but when they shake your hand you feel that distance, that slight disconnect because they know that you're still broken somewhere, that you might snap at any moment.
Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story)
At certain times I have no race. I am me. I belong to no race or time. I am the eternal feminine with its string of beads. I do not weep at the world--I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. I have a strong suspicion, but I can't be sure, that much that passes for constant love is a golded-up moment walking in its sleep. Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me. There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
Zora Neale Hurston
Running a race assigns a point to a sport that often feels very pointless. It's an exuberant payoff to months of tedium. It's a way of crafting an end boss for a particularly cumbersome video game. It's a fun, monstrous reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other. So, do yourself a favor: go build a monster.
Matthew Inman (The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances)
It's easiest to judge from distance. That's why the Internet has turned us all into armchair critics, experts at the cold dissection of gesture and syllable, sneering self-righteously from the safety of our screens. There, we can feel good about ourselves, validated that our flaws weren't as bad as theirs, unchallenged in our superiority. Moral high ground is a pleasant place to preach, even if the view turns out to be rather limited in scope.
Janelle Brown (Pretty Things)
At the end of his life, the great picture book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak said on the NPR show Fresh Air, 'I cry a lot because I miss people. I cry a lot because they die, and I can't stop them. They leave me, and I love them more.' He said, 'I'm finding out as I'm aging that I'm in love with the world.' It has taken me all my life up to now to fall in love with the world, but I've started to feel it the last couple of years. To fall in love with the world isn't to ignore or overlook suffering, both human and otherwise. For me anyway, to fall in love with the world is to look up at the night sky and feel your mind swim before the beauty and the distance of the stars. It is to hold your children while they cry, to watch as the sycamore trees leaf out in June. When my breastbone starts to hurt, and my throat tightens, and tears well in my eyes, I want to look away from the feeling. I want to deflect with irony, or anything else that will keep me from feeling directly. We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open. I want to feel what there is to feel while I am here.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
The point is: have you ever noticed how we crush a cockroach without further worry and feel no remorse in spite of being in fact terminating a life? That's it. We do so because we don't identify ourselves with a cockroach. Because it's very diffent from us. [...] Thinking from that side, I suppose some people tend to do the same towards others. I mean, they see from distance those they don't identify with on the spot, do you get me? It's as if the stranger, who doesn't belong to the same group as we do, was seen as an inferior being... Almost a cockroach!
Camilo Gomes Jr. (Em memória)
The recess bell has rung. The teacher is just wrapping up her lecture. Only your body is inside the class. Your mind is already in a different zone. Remember that joyful feeling? When the bell of awareness rings, your body and mind remain in the world, but you see them from a distance, from a different zone altogether. You feel very light, relieved from the unnecessary baggage.
Shunya
Bellamy Plunged Into The Lake and Closed The Distance Between Them With a Few Powerful Strokes. He'd Boasted About Teaching Himself To Swim. During His Treks to The Stream and For Once He Had'nt Been Exaggerating. He Disappeared Under The Water,Just Long Enough for Clarke To Feel a Flicker of Worry then His Hand Grasped Her Wrist and She Squealed as He Spun Her Around. Expecting Him to Splash Her in Retaliation,But Bellamy Just Stared at Her For a Moment Before Raising a Hand and Running His Fingers Along Her Neck "No Gills Yet" He Said Softly
Kass Morgan (Day 21 (The 100, #2))
Do you ever feel lost?” The question hangs between us, intimate, awkward only on my end. He doesn’t scoff as Tactus and Fitchner would, or scratch his balls like Sevro, or chuckle like Cassius might have, or purr as Victra would. I’m not sure what Mustang might have done. But Roque, despite his Color and all the things that make him different, slowly slides a marker into the book and sets it on the nightstand beside the four-poster, taking his time and allowing an answer to evolve between us. Movements thoughtful and organic, like Dancer’s were before he died. There’s a stillness in him, vast and majestic, the same stillness I remember in my father. “Quinn once told me a story.” He waits for me to moan a grievance at the mention of a story, and when I don’t, his tone sinks into deeper gravity. “Once, in the days of Old Earth, there were two pigeons who were greatly in love. In those days, they raised such animals to carry messages across great distances. These two were born in the same cage, raised by the same man, and sold on the same day to different men on the eve of a great war. “The pigeons suffered apart from each other, each incomplete without their lover. Far and wide their masters took them, and the pigeons feared they would never again find each other, for they began to see how vast the world was, and how terrible the things in it. For months and months, they carried messages for their masters, flying over battle lines, through the air over men who killed one another for land. When the war ended, the pigeons were set free by their masters. But neither knew where to go, neither knew what to do, so each flew home. And there they found each other again, as they were always destined to return home and find, instead of the past, their future.
Pierce Brown (Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2))
Alexandra drew her shawl closer about her and stood leaning against the frame of the mill, looking at the stars which glittered so keenly through the frosty autumn air. She always loved to watch them, to think of their vastness and distance, and of their ordered march. It fortified her to reflect upon the great operations of nature, and when she thought of the law that lay behind them, she felt a sense of personal security. That night she had a new consciousness of the country, felt almost a new relation to it. Even her talk with the boys had not taken away the feeling that had overwhelmed her when she drove back to the Divide that afternoon. She had never known before how much the country meant to her. The chirping of the insects down in the long grass had been like the sweetest music. She had felt as if her heart were hiding down there, somewhere, with the quail and the plover and all the little wild things that crooned or buzzed in the sun. Under the long shaggy ridges, she felt the future stirring.
Willa Cather (O Pioneers! (Great Plains Trilogy, #1))
No matter how much long-distance running might suit me, of course there are days when I feel kind of lethargic and don’t want to run. Actually, it happens a lot. On days like that, I try to think of all kinds of plausible excuses to slough it off. Once, I interviewed the Olympic running Toshihiko Seko, just after he retired from running and became manager of the S&B company team. I asked him, “Does a runner at your level ever feel like you’d rather not run today, like you don’t want to run and would rather just sleep in?” He stared at me and then, in a voice that made it abundantly clear how stupid he thought the question was, replied, “Of course. All the time!
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
But now I gotta pay,' he said. To pay?' For my sin. That's why I'm here, right? Justice?' The Blue Man smiled. 'No, Edward. You are here so I can teach you something. All the people you meet here have one thing to teach you...That there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more seperate a breeze from the wind.' ...'It was my stupidity, running out there like that. Why should you have to die on account of me? It ain't fair.' The Blue Man held out his hand. 'Fairness,' he said, 'does not govern life and death. If it did, no good person would ever die young...Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should? It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole.' ... 'I still don't understand,' Eddie whispered. 'What good came from your death?' You lived,' the Blue Man answered. But we barely knew each other. I might as well have been a stranger.' The Blue Man put his arms on Eddie's shoulders. Eddie felt that warm, melting sensation. Strangers,' the Blue Man said, 'are just family have yet to come to know.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
When you are young, you think it's going to be solved by love. But it never is. Being close -- as close as you can get -- to another person only makes clear that impassable distance between you." […] "I don't know. If being in love only made people more lonely, why would everyone want it so much?" "Because of the illusion. You fall in love, it's intoxicating, and for a little while you feel like you've actually become one with the other person. Merged souls, and so on. You thing you'll never be lonely again. Only it doesn't last and soon you realize you can only get so close, and you end up brutally disappointed, more alone that ever, because the illusion - the hope you'd held on to all those years - has been shattered." […] "But see, the incredible thing about people is that we forget." Ray continued. "Time passes and somehow the hope creeps back and sooner or later someone else comes along and we think this is the one. And the whole thing starts all over again. We go through our lives like that, and either we just accept the lesser relationship - it may not be total understanding, but it's pretty good - or we keep trying for that perfect union, trying and failing, leaving behind us a trail of broken hearts, our own included. In the end, we die as alone as we were born, having struggled to understand others, to make ourselves understood, but having failed in what we once imagined was possible.
Nicole Krauss (Man Walks into a Room)
People grow apart. Distance doesn’t always mean miles. Sometimes it means two friends going separate ways. The person you poured your heart out to, traveled through new cities with, called at three in the morning just to get ice cream, suddenly becomes someone who can’t even text you back. So, you start to wonder what happened and where it all went wrong. How can this person who was once your lifeline now be a stranger who holds all your memories? But people change and become caught up in their own lives. They may not even realize they are doing it. Sometimes friends disappear and we don’t know why. But you don’t deserve to be ignored. The things you have to say are important; you should never allow someone to make you feel as though they aren’t. You should never tolerate someone who can’t acknowledge the news you have to share. You don’t need this in your life. Let go of people who don’t make you happy.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts II: Healing the Heart)
Music is a complete evocation – like a smell. It can bring an entire memory and feeling back to you in a rush. Much more complete than even a photograph. You allow yourself a certain visual distance with photos – not music. It envelopes you – there’s no way to escape it. It’s a great test of sensitivity – the degree of reaction to music. I use it all the time. I call it my ‘Music Test.’ People today don’t want to hear the truth. They’re really afraid of tranquility and silence – they’re afraid they might begin to understand their own motivations too well. They keep a steady stream of noise going to protect themselves, to build a wall against the truth. Like African natives, beating on their drums, rattling their gourds, shaking the bells to scare off evil spirits. As long as there’s enough noise, there’s nothing to fear – or hear. But they will listen. Times are changing.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
I saw a meme the other day with a picture of Marilyn Manson and Robin Williams. It said about the former, this isn’t the face of depression, and about the latter, this is. This really struck a chord and it’s been on my mind since then. As someone who has continuously dipped in and out of chronic depression and anxiety for close to three decades now, and I’ve never previously spoken about the subject, I finally thought it was time I did. These days it’s trendy for people to think they’re cool and understanding about mental illness, posting memes and such to indicate so. But the reality is far different to that. It seems most people think if they publicly display such understanding then perhaps a friend will come to them, open up, and calmly discuss their problems. This will not happen. For someone in that seemingly hopeless void of depression and anxiety the last thing they are likely to do is acknowledge it, let alone talk about it. Even if broached by a friend they will probably deny there is a problem and feel even more distanced from the rest of the world. So nobody can do anything to help, right? No. If right now you suspect one of your friends is suffering like this then you’re probably right. If right now you think that none of your friends are suffering like this then you’re probably wrong. By all means make your public affirmations of understanding, but at least take on board that an attempt to connect on this subject by someone you care about could well be cryptic and indirect. When we hear of celebrities who suffered and finally took their own lives the message tends to be that so many close friends had no idea. This is woeful, but it’s also great, right? Because by not knowing there was a problem there is no burden of responsibility on anyone else. This is another huge misconception, that by acknowledging an indirect attempt to connect on such a complex issue that somehow you are accepting responsibility to fix it. This is not the case. You don’t have to find a solution. Maybe just listen. Many times over the years I’ve seen people recoil when they suspect that perhaps that is the direct a conversation is about to turn, and they desperately scramble for anything that can immediately change the subject. By acknowledging you’ve heard and understood doesn’t mean you are picking up their burden and carrying it for them. Anyway, I’ve said my piece. And please don’t think this is me reaching out for help. If this was my current mindset the last thing I’d ever do is write something like this, let alone share it.
R.D. Ronald
Because whenever anyone gets within a ten-foot radius of him, you go insane. Any time someone even dares to suggest there’s anyone in his life other than you, you go insane. Any time he’s not within touching distance, you go insane. And any time you think he’s falling away from you, that he’s not there, you go insane. You’ve put your whole life into him; what do you think that means, Jacob? How can you possibly explain that and not make it sound like he’s the axis your world spins on? Because if you can explain him away, and everything you feel for him away, then I’d like you to tell me how you function without a heart.
Giselle Ellis (Take My Picture)
It sickens me to think of you a prevalence of void unholy immovable damned. gifts. an overblown sense of his own importance. I wish you were dead. forget about you. crow florid with fantasies it's so awful a perfect imitation a liability to love forget you Ingrid Magnussen quite alone masturbating rot disappointment grotesque Your arms cradle poisons garbage grenades Loneliness long-distance cries forever never response. take everything feel me? the human condition Stop plotting murder penitence Cultivate it you forbid appeal rage important I cringe fuck you insane person dissonant and querulous my gas tanks marked FULL
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
On a long flight, after periods of crisis and many hours of fatigue, mind and body may become disunited until at times they seem completely different elements, as though the body were only a home with which the mind has been associated but by no means bound. Consciousness grows independent of the ordinary senses. You see without assistance from the eyes, over distances beyond the visual horizon. There are moments when existence appears independent even of the mind. The importance of physical desire and immediate surroundings is submerged in the apprehension of universal values. For unmeasurable periods, I seem divorced from my body, as though I were an awareness spreading out through space, over the earth and into the heavens, unhampered by time or substance, free from the gravitation that binds to heavy human problems of the world. My body requires no attention. It's not hungry. It's neither warm or cold. It's resigned to being left undisturbed. Why have I troubled to bring it here? I might better have left it back at Long Island or St. Louis, while the weightless element that has lived within it flashes through the skies and views the planet. This essential consciousness needs no body for its travels. It needs no plane, no engine, no instruments, only the release from flesh which circumstances I've gone through make possible. Then what am I – the body substance which I can see with my eyes and feel with my hands? Or am I this realization, this greater understanding which dwells within it, yet expands through the universe outside; a part of all existence, powerless but without need for power; immersed in solitude, yet in contact with all creation? There are moments when the two appear inseparable, and others when they could be cut apart by the merest flash of light. While my hand is on the stick, my feet on the rudder, and my eyes on the compass, this consciousness, like a winged messenger, goes out to visit the waves below, testing the warmth of water, the speed of wind, the thickness of intervening clouds. It goes north to the glacial coasts of Greenland, over the horizon to the edge of dawn, ahead to Ireland, England, and the continent of Europe, away through space to the moon and stars, always returning, unwillingly, to the mortal duty of seeing that the limbs and muscles have attended their routine while it was gone.
Charles A. Lindbergh (The Spirit of St. Louis)
Religious despair is often a defense against boredom and the daily grind of existence. Lacking intensity in our lives, we say that we are distant from God and then seek to make that distance into an intense experience. It is among the most difficult spiritual ailments to heal, because it is usually wholly illusory. There are definitely times when we must suffer God’s absence, when we are called to enter the dark night of the soul in order to pass into some new understanding of God, some deeper communion with him and with all creation. But this is very rare, and for the most part our dark nights of the soul are, in a way this is more pathetic than tragic, wishful thinking. God is not absent. He is everywhere in the world we are too dispirited to love. To feel him — to find him — does not usually require that we renounce all worldly possessions and enter a monastery, or give our lives over to some cause of social justice, or create some sort of sacred art, or begin spontaneously speaking in tongues. All to often the task to which we are called is simply to show a kindness to the irritating person in the cubicle next to us, say, or to touch the face of a spouse from whom we ourselves have been long absent, letting grace wake love from our intense, self-enclosed sleep.
Christian Wiman (My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer)
Love is awful. It’s awful. It’s painful. It’s frightening. It makes you doubt yourself, judge yourself, distance yourself from the other people in your life. Makes you selfish. Makes you creepy. It makes you obsessed with your hair. Makes you cruel. Makes you say and do things you never thought you would do. It’s all any of us want, and it’s hell when we get there. So no wonder it’s something we don’t want to do on our own. I was taught if we’re born with love, then life is about choosing the right place to put it. People talk about that a lot. It 'feeling right'. 'When it feels right, it’s easy.' But I’m not sure that’s true. It takes strength to know what’s right. And love isn’t something that weak people do. Being a romantic takes a hell of a lot of hope. I think what they mean is... When you find somebody that you love... it feels like hope.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag: The Scriptures)
Have we not all, amid life's petty strife, Some pure ideal of a noble life That once seemed possible? Did we not hear The flutter of its wings, and feel it near, And just within our reach? It was. And yet We lost it in this daily jar and fret, And now live idle in a vague regret. But still our place is kept, and it will wait, Ready for us to fill it, soon or late: No star is ever lost we once have seen, We always may be what we might have been. Since Good, though only thought, has life and breath, God's life--can always be redeemed from death; And evil, in its nature, is decay, And any hour can blot it all away; The hopes that lost in some far distance seem, May be the truer life, and this the dream.
Adelaide Anne Procter (The Poems of Adelaide A. Procter)
The 'Dance of Love' is much more of a dialogue, one takes the lead and the other follows. One dictates a step and the other carries it out. One determines the direction, the other determines the distance travelled in a given figure. One sets the pace, the other reveals the grace. One understands the language of the other and knows what is coming next. The one leading leads with love and respect; never seeing the follower as being weak or inferior. And in the same manner, the one following follows with Trust and Submission; never feeling too big to be led or scared to jump. There is a blind assurance that someone is there to catch.
Olaotan Fawehinmi
So quietly flows the Seine that one hardly notices its presence. It is always there, quiet and unobtrusive, like a great artery running through the human body. In the wonderful peace that fell over me itseemed as if I had climbed to the top of a high mountain; for a little while I would be able to look around me, to take in the meaning of the landscape. Human beings make a strange fauna and flora. From a distance they appear negligible; close up they are apt to appear ugly and malicious. More than anything they need to be surrounded with sufficient space – space even more than time. The sun is setting. I feel this river flowing through meits past, its ancient soil, the changing climate. The hills gently girdle it about: its course is fixed.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
What can the love in my soul be compared to another wonderful soul which is so far and yet so close of my self? What can this symbiosis between two souls can be? What can love be when you feel you cannot sleep at night, that every drop of dew becomes a crystal in your heart, when every breeze of wind has magical meanings? What can love be when you feel that you want nothing more in this world that to be with the soul you love? But what can love be in other transcendental realities? What about our souls? Are our souls a waterfall, a true Niagara or a smile, a flirt of an angel? Are our souls a mere mood of a fairy or a lightening in a summer rain? Our souls could be all of this and much more. But what really happens in that transcendental reality when we feel we are truly in love, that we love so much that it hurts? That the air in the room is unbreathable, that the sentimental, spiritual or physical distances kill us? What happens when dawn find us sadder than ever, looking for an excuse or an argument for the person we love so much, our Great Love? What are all thses? What are the looks lost in the desert horizons of unfulfilment or those in the eyes that deeply loose each other in the others inside the souls?
Sorin Cerin
Narcissistic Supply You get discarded as supply for one of two reason: They find you too outspoken about their abuse. They prefer someone that will keep stroking their ego and remain their silent doormat. Or, they found new narcissistic supply. Either way, you can count on the fact that they planned your devaluation phase and smear campaign in advance, so they could get one more ego stroke with your reaction. Narcissists are angry, spiteful takers that don't have empathy, remorse or conscience. They are incapable of unconditional love. Love to them is giving only when it serves them. They gaslight their victims by minimizing the trauma they have caused by blaming others or stating you are too sensitive. They never feel responsible or will admit to what they did to you. They have disordered thinking that is concerned with their needs and ego. It is not uncommon for them to hack their targets, in order to gain information about them. They enjoy mind games and control. This is their dopamine high. The sooner you distance yourself the healthier you will become. Narcissism can't be cured or prayed away. It is a mental disorder that turns the victims of its abuse into mental patients because it causes so much psychological manipulation.
Shannon L. Alder
What a Crazy Woman Thinks About While Walking Down the Street She tries to walk not too fast and not too slow. She doesn’t want to attract any attention. She pretends she doesn’t hear the whistles and catcalls and lewd comments. Sometimes she forgets and leaves her house in a skirt or a tank top because it’s a warm day and she wants to feel warm air on her bare skin. Before long, she remembers. She keeps her keys in her hand, three of them held between her fingers, like a dull claw. She makes eye contact only when necessary and if a man should catch her eye, she juts her chin forward, makes sure the line of her jaw is strong. When she leaves work or the bar late, she calls a car service and when the car pulls up to her building, she quickly scans the street to make sure it’s safe to walk the short distance from the curb to the door. She once told a boyfriend about these considerations and he said, “You are completely out of your mind.” She told a new friend at work and she said, “Honey, you’re not crazy. You’re a woman.
Roxane Gay (Difficult Women)
There are hurts. I feel them all over, like stab wounds: the distance that we both allowed to settle in, ruining what should have been the happiest year of our lives. The ring that makes me feel like a fraud because it’s so huge. As ridiculous as it might sound, in my mind he gave me such a big diamond as a way of saying I love you THIS much!; but how could he have loved me THAT much when we still didn’t completely know each other? When we’d never argued before and didn’t live together and it was such smooth sailing. Way too good to be true.
Sarah Hogle (You Deserve Each Other)
Tell the world what scares you the most” says Brandy. She gives us each an Aubergine Dreams eyebrow pencil and says “Save the world with some advice from the future” Seth writes on the back of a card and hands the card to Brandy for her to read. On game shows, Brandy reads, some people will take the trip to France, but most people will take the washer dryer pair.” Brandy puts a big Plumbago kiss in the little square for the stamp and lets the wind lift and card and sail it off toward the towers of downtown Seattle. Seth hands her another, and Brandy reads: Game shows are designed to make us feel better about the random useless facts that are all we have left from our education” A kiss and the card’s on it’s way toward Lake Washington. From Seth: When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?” A kiss and it’s off on the wind toward Ballard. Only when we eat up this planet will God give us another. We’ll be remembered more for what we destroy than what we create.” Interstate 5 snakes by in the distance. From high atop the Space Needle, the southbound lanes are red chase lights, and the northbound lanes are white chase lights. I take a card and write: I love Seth Thomas so much I have to destroy him. I overcompensate by worshipping the queen supreme. Seth will never love me. No one will ever love me ever again. Beandy is waiting to rake the card and read it out loud. Brandy’s waiting to read my worst fears to the world, but I don’t give her the card. I kiss it myself with the lips I don’t have and let the wind take it out of my hand. The card flies up, up, up to the stars and then falls down to land in the suicide net. While I watch my future trapped in the suicide net Brandy reads another card from Seth. We are all self-composting” I write another card from the future and Brandy reads it: When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves” An updraft lifts up my worst fears from the suicide net and lifts them away. Seth writes and Brandy reads. You have to keep recycling yourself”. I write and Brandy reads. Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.” I write and Brandy reads. The one you love and the one who loves you are never ever the same person.
Chuck Palahniuk (Invisible Monsters)
The sky in Seattle is so low, it felt like God had lowered a silk parachute over us. Every feeling I ever knew was up in that sky. Twinkling joyous sunlight; airy, giggle cloud wisps; blinding columns of sun. Orbs of gold, pink. flesh, utterly cheesy in their luminosity. Gigantic puffly clouds, welcoming, forgiving, repeating infinitely across the horizon as if between mirrors; and slices of rain, pounding wet misery in the distance now, but soon on us, and in another part of the sky, a black stain, rainless.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
It is inspiriting without doubt to whizz in a motor-car round the earth, to feel Arabia as a whirl of sand or China as a flash of rice-fields. But Arabia is not a whirl of sand and China is not a flash of rice-fields. They are ancient civilizations with strange virtues buried like treasures. If we wish to understand them it must not be as tourists or inquirers, it must be with the loyalty of children and the great patience of poets. To conquer these places is to lose them. The man standing in his own kitchen-garden, with fairyland opening at the gate, is the man with large ideas. His mind creates distance; the motor-car stupidly destroys it....
G.K. Chesterton (Heretics)
Is that … chocolate cake?” “I thought you might need some.” “Need, not want?” A ghost of a smile was on her lips, and he almost sagged in relief as he said, “For you, I’d say that chocolate cake is most definitely a need.” She crossed from the fireplace to where he stood, stopping a hand’s breadth away and staring up at him. Some of the color had returned to her face. He should step back, put more distance between them. But instead, he found himself reaching for her, a hand slipping around her waist and the other twining itself through her hair as he held her tightly to him. His heart thundered through him so hard he knew she could feel it. After a second, her arms came up around him, her fingers digging into his back in a way that made him realize how close they stood. He shoved that feeling down, even as the silken texture of her hair against his fingers made him want to bury his face in it, and the smell of her, laced with mist and night, had him grazing his nose against her neck. There were other kinds of comfort that he could give her than mere words, and if she needed that kind of distraction … He shoved down that thought, too, swallowing it until he nearly choked on it. Her fingers were moving down his back, still digging into his muscles with a fierce kind of possession. If she kept touching him like that, his control was going to slip completely. And then she pulled back, just far enough to look up at him again, still so close their breath mingled. He found himself gauging the distance between their lips, his eyes flicking between her mouth and her eyes, the hand he had entwined in her hair stilling. Desire roared through him, burning down every defense he’d put up, erasing every line he’d convinced himself he had to maintain.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
Let me advise you, then, to form the habit of taking some of your solitude with you into society, to learn to be to some extent alone even though you are in company; not to say at once what you think, and, on the other hand, not to attach too precise a meaning to what others say; rather, not to expect much of them, either morally or intellectually, and to strengthen yourself in the feeling of indifference to their opinion, which is the surest way of always practicing a praiseworthy toleration. If you do that, you will not live so much with other people, though you may appear to move amongst them: your relation to them will be of a purely objective character. This precaution will keep you from too close contact with society, and therefore secure you against being contaminated or even outraged by it.[1] Society is in this respect like a fire—the wise man warming himself at a proper distance from it; not coming too close, like the fool, who, on getting scorched, runs away and shivers in solitude, loud in his complaint that the fire burns. [Footnote
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Counsels and Maxims)
I have come to teach you that there are no random acts. That we are all connected. That you can no more separate one life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind. ... Did you ever wonder? Why people gather when others die? Why people feel that they should? It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between taken and being missed, lives are changed. ...there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole. ... The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
It is a way now, approximately, of being at home. The forum has become one of the most consistent places of her life, like a familiar cafe that exists someone outside geography and beyond time zones. There are perhaps twenty regular posters on F:F:F:, and some muchlarger and uncounted number of lurkers. And right now there are three people in Chat. But there's no way of knowing exactly who until you are in there, and the chat room she finds not so comforting. It's strange even with friends, like sitting in a pitch-dark cellar conversing with people at a distance of about fifteen feet. the hectic speed, and the brevity of the lines in the thread, plus the feeling that everyone is talking at once, at counmter-purposes, deter her.
William Gibson (Pattern Recognition (Blue Ant, #1))
No more quickly can a person rob you of your joy and peace than when that individual succeeds at making you feel like you're less than worthy of God as compared to his/her own self. The old adage "You're on your way to hell, and I'm on my way to heaven" spoken or implied to another, is the most predominantly effective way to make someone feel better about himself; and he doesn't even have to prove he's better in this life on earth because now he can just say "Wait 'til I'm looking down at you while you're in hell!" But don't be robbed of your joy and peace, individuals or groups of people like that don't know where God is; He is a whisper-distance away from you, is all.
C. JoyBell C.
Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background and your duties in the middle distance and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow men are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not waht you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness - are you willing to do these things for even a day? Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front of you so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open - are you willing to do these things for even a day? Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world, - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death, - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas. And if you keep it for a day, why not always? But you can never keep it alone.
Caroline Kennedy (A Family Christmas)
If you live with fear and consider yourself as something special then automatically, emotionally, you are distanced from others. You then create the basis for feelings of alienation from others and loneliness. So, I never consider, even when giving a talk to a large crowd, that I am something special, I am 'His Holiness the Dalai Lama' . . . I always emphasize that when I meet people, we are all the same human beings. A thousand people -- same human being. Ten thousand or a hundred thousand -- same human being -- mentally, emotionally, and physically. Then, you see, no barrier. Then my mind remains completely calm and relaxed. If too much emphasis on myself, and I start to think I'm something special, then more anxiety, more nervousness.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World)
I closed what little distance was left between us, one hand sliding through his soft hair, the other gathering the back of his shirt into my fist. When my lips finally pressed against his, I felt something coil deep inside of me. There was nothing outside of him, not even the grating of cicadas, not even the gray-bodied trees. My heart thundered in my chest. More, more, more—a steady beat. His body relaxed under my hands, shuddering at my touch. Breathing him in wasn’t enough, I wanted to inhale him. The leather, the smoke, the sweetness. I felt his fingers counting up my bare ribs. Liam shifted his legs around mine to draw me closer. I was off-balance on my toes; the world swaying dangerously under me as his lips traveled to my cheek, to my jaw, to where my pulse throbbed in my neck. He seemed so sure of himself, like he had already plotted out this course. I didn’t feel it happen, the slip. Even if I had, I was so wrapped up in him that I couldn’t imagine pulling back or letting go of his warm skin or that moment. His touch was feather-light, stroking my skin with a kind of reverence, but the instant his lips found mine again, a single thought was enough to rocket me out of the honey-sweet haze. The memory of Clancy’s face as he had leaned in to do exactly what Liam was doing now suddenly flooded my mind, twisting its way through me until I couldn’t ignore it. Until I was seeing it play out glossy and burning like it was someone else’s memory and not mine. And then I realized—I wasn’t the only one seeing it. Liam was seeing it, too. How, how, how? That wasn’t possible, was it? Memories flowed to me, not from me. But I felt him grow still, then pull back. And I knew, I knew by the look on his face, that he had seen it. Air filled my chest. “Oh my God, I’m sorry, I didn’t want—he—” Liam caught one of my wrists and pulled me back to him, his hands cupping my cheeks. I wondered which one of us was breathing harder as he brushed my hair from my face. I tried to squirm away, ashamed of what he’d seen, and afraid of what he’d think of me. When Liam spoke, it was in a measured, would-be-calm voice. “What did he do?” “Nothing—” “Don’t lie,” he begged. “Please don’t lie to me. I felt it…my whole body. God, it was like being turned to stone. You were scared—I felt it, you were scared!” His fingers came up and wove through my hair, bringing my face close to his again. “He…” I started. “He asked to see a memory, and I let him, but when I tried to move away…I couldn’t get out, I couldn’t move, and then I blacked out. I don’t know what he did, but it hurt—it hurt so much.” Liam pulled back and pressed his lips to my forehead. I felt the muscles in his arms strain, shake. “Go to the cabin.” He didn’t let me protest. “Start packing.” “Lee—” “I’m going to find Chubs,” he said. “And the three of us are getting the hell out of here. Tonight.” “We can’t,” I said. “You know we can’t.” But he was already crashing back through the dark path. “Lee!
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
I can write the saddest lines tonight. Write for example: ‘The night is fractured and they shiver, blue, those stars, in the distance’ The night wind turns in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest lines tonight. I loved her, sometimes she loved me too. On nights like these I held her in my arms. I kissed her greatly under the infinite sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could I not have loved her huge, still eyes. I can write the saddest lines tonight. To think I don’t have her, to feel I have lost her. Hear the vast night, vaster without her. Lines fall on the soul like dew on the grass. What does it matter that I couldn’t keep her. The night is fractured and she is not with me. That is all. Someone sings far off. Far off, my soul is not content to have lost her. As though to reach her, my sight looks for her. My heart looks for her: she is not with me The same night whitens, in the same branches. We, from that time, we are not the same. I don’t love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the breeze to reach her. Another’s kisses on her, like my kisses. Her voice, her bright body, infinite eyes. I don’t love her, that’s certain, but perhaps I love her. Love is brief: forgetting lasts so long. Since, on these nights, I held her in my arms, my soul is not content to have lost her. Though this is the last pain she will make me suffer, and these are the last lines I will write for her.
Pablo Neruda
The Line makes itself felt,-- thro' some Energy unknown, ever are we haunted by that Edge so precise, so near. In the Dark, one never knows. Of course I am seeking the Warrior Path, imagining myself as heroick Scout. We all feel it Looming, even when we're awake, out there ahead someplace, the way you come to feel a River or Creek ahead, before anything else,-- sound, sky, vegetation,-- may have announced it. Perhaps 'tis the very deep sub-audible Hum of its Traffic that we feel with an equally undiscover'd part of the Sensorium,-- does it lie but over the next Ridge? the one after that? We have mileage Estimates from Rangers and Runners, yet for as long as its Distance from the Post Mark'd West remains unmeasur'd, nor is yet recorded as Fact, may it remain, a-shimmer, among the few final Pages of its Life as Fiction.
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
What must I do, to tame you?" asked the little prince. "You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me--like that--in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . ." The next day the little prince came back. "It would have been better to come back at the same hour," said the fox. "If, for example, you come at four o'clock in the afternoon, then at three o'clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o'clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you...
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (The Little Prince)
I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time. Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage. A lot of cheap seats in the arena are filled with people who never venture onto the floor. They just hurl mean-spirited criticisms and put-downs from a safe distance. The problem is, when we stop caring what people think and stop feeling hurt by cruelty, we lose our ability to connect. But when we’re defined by what people think, we lose the courage to be vulnerable. Therefore, we need to be selective about the feedback we let into our lives. For me, if you’re not in the arena getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.
Brené Brown (Rising Strong)
There was a feeling of inevitability when I met you. The sense that we would be together; that there would be a moment when you would look at me in a certain way, and we could cross the threshold from friendship into something so much more. We spoke once about lovers who kept finding each other, no matter how many times the world came between them. And I think I had to break your heart, and you had to break mine. How else could we know the worth of what we were given? I think you were always meant to know me a little better than anyone else. And our lives were fated to converge like some cosmic dance. I know there is terrible distance between us. But our bodies are made of celestial light, and we are hurtling through space and time, toward the most beautiful collision.
Lang Leav (The Universe of Us)
In the cage is the lion. She paces with her memories. Her body is a record of her past. As she moves back and forth, one may see it all: the lean frame, the muscular legs, the paw enclosing long sharp claws, the astonishing speed of her response. She was born in this garden. She has never in her life stretched those legs. Never darted farther than twenty yards at a time. Only once did she use her claws. Only once did she feel them sink into flesh. And it was her keeper's flesh. Her keeper whom she loves, who feeds her, who would never dream of harming her, who protects her. Who in his mercy forgave her mad attack, saying this was in her nature, to be cruel at a whim, to try to kill what she loves. He had come into her cage as he usually did early in the morning to change her water, always at the same time of day, in the same manner, speaking softly to her, careful to make no sudden movement, keeping his distance, when suddenly she sank down, deep down into herself, the way wild animals do before they spring, and then she had risen on all her strong legs, and swiped him in one long, powerful, graceful movement across the arm. How lucky for her he survived the blow. The keeper and his friends shot her with a gun to make her sleep. Through her half-open lids she knew they made movements around her. They fed her with tubes. They observed her. They wrote comments in notebooks. And finally they rendered a judgment. She was normal. She was a normal wild beast, whose power is dangerous, whose anger can kill, they had said. Be more careful of her, they advised. Allow her less excitement. Perhaps let her exercise more. She understood none of this. She understood only the look of fear in her keeper's eyes. And now she paces. Paces as if she were angry, as if she were on the edge of frenzy. The spectators imagine she is going through the movements of the hunt, or that she is readying her body for survival. But she knows no life outside the garden. She has no notion of anger over what she could have been, or might be. No idea of rebellion. It is only her body that knows of these things, moving her, daily, hourly, back and forth, back and forth, before the bars of her cage.
Susan Griffin (Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her)
Nothing has changed, Claire. You're still as beautiful as you were when we met first and I am still in love with everything about you. We may be worlds apart but this doesn't keep our hearts at distance. I feel your breath in every breath of mine and I hear your heartbeat in every beat of my heart. I traveled to far away lands, rivers, forests, mountains, glaciers, deserts and skyscrapers but wherever I go I find you there. My dreams aren't illusions but visions of a beautiful yesterday; I play with your hair-locks, I kiss your eyes, I embrace your hands and you giggle in my arms blossoming like a flower. My love, you're my only reality, my only fantasy, my only celebration and my only refuge. I have waited a thousands suns and I can wait a thousand more to witness the moment you call out to me. That day you'll find me and even if I don't live up to see that day I will be with you forever, just remember me.
Huseyn Raza
Get married, my friend, you don't know what it means to live alone, at my age. Nowadays feeling alone fills me with appalling anguish; being alone at home, by the fire, in the evening. It seems to me then that I'm alone on the earth, dreadfully alone, but surrounded by indeterminate dangers, by unknown, terrible things; and the wall, which divides me from my neighbour, whom I do not know, separates me from him by as great a distance as that which separates me from the stars I see through my window. A kind of fever comes over me, a fever of pain and fear, and the silence of the walls terrifies me. It is so profound, so sad, the silence of the room in which you live alone. It isn't just a silence of the body, but a silence of the soul, and, when a piece of furniture creaks, a shiver runs through your whole body, for in that dismal place you expect to hear no sound.
Guy de Maupassant (Bel-Ami)
The park is high. And as out of a house I step out of its glimmering half-light into openness and evening. Into the wind, the same wind that the clouds feel, the bright rivers and the turning mills that stand slowly grinding at the sky's edge. Now I too am a thing held in its hand, the smallest thing under the sky. --Look: Is that one sky?: Blissfully lucid blue, into which ever purer clouds throng, and under it all white in endless changes, and over it that huge, thin-spun gray, pulsing warmly as on red underpaint, and over everything this silent radiance of a setting sun. Miraculous structure, moved within itself and upheld by itself, shaping figures, giant wings, faults and high mountain ridges before the first star and suddenly, there: a gate into such distances as perhaps only birds know...
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Book of Images)
My funeral," the Blue Man said. "Look at the mourners. Some did not even know me well, yet they came. Why? Did you ever wonder? Why people gather when others die? Why people feel they should? "It is because the human spirit knows, deep down, that all lives intersect. That death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. "You say you should have died instead of me. But during my time on earth, people died instead of me, too. It happens every day. When lightning strikes a minute after you are gone, or an airplane crashes that you might have been on. When your colleague falls ill and you do not. We think such things are random. But there is a balance to it all. One withers, another grows. Birth and death are part of a whole. "It is why we are drawn to babies . . ." He turned to the mourners. "And to funerals.
Mitch Albom (The Five People You Meet in Heaven)
I mean, by such flightiness, something that feels unsatisfied at the center of my life — that makes me shaky, fickle, inquisitive, and hungry. I could call it a longing for home and not be far wrong. Or I could call it a longing for whatever supersedes, if it cannot pass through, understanding. Other words that come to mind: faith, grace, rest. In my outward appearance and life habits I hardly change — there’s never been a day that my friends haven’t been able to say, and at a distance, “There’s Oliver, still standing around in the weeds. There she is, still scribbling in her notebook.” But, at the center: I am shaking; I am flashing like tinsel. Restless. I read about ideas. Yet I let them remain ideas. I read about the poet who threw his books away, the better to come to a spiritual completion. Yet I keep my books. I flutter; I am attentive, maybe I even rise a little, balancing; then I fall back.
Mary Oliver (Long Life: Essays and Other Writings)
Cauldron save me," she began whispering, her voice lovely and even-like music. "Mother hold me," she went on, reciting a prayer similar to one I'd heard once before, when Tamlin eased the passing of that lesser faerie who'd died in the foyer. Another of Amarantha's victims. "Guide me to you." I was unable to raise my dagger, unable to take the step that would close the distance between us. "Let me pass through the gates; let me smell that immortal land of milk and honey." Silent tears slide down my face and neck, where they dampened the filthy collar of my tunic. As she spoke, I knew I would be forever barred from that immortal land. I knew that whatever Mother she meant would never embrace me. In saving Tamlin, I was to damn myself. I couldn't do this-couldn't lift that dagger again. "Let me fear no evil," she breathed, staring at me-into me, into the soul that was cleaving itself apart."Let me feel no pain." A sob broke from my lips. "I'm sorry," I moaned. "Let me enter eternity," She breathed. I wept as I understood. >i/i< she was saying. >ii/< Her bronze eyes were steady, if not sorrowful. Infinitely, infinitely worse than the pleading of the dead faerie beside her. I couldn't do it. But she held my gaze-held my gaze and nodded.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
I realize that people still read books now and some people actually love them, but in 1946 in the Village our feelings about books--I’m talking about my friends and myself--went beyond love. It was as if we didn’t know where we ended and books began. Books were our weather, our environment, our clothing. We didn’t simply read books; we became them. We took them into ourselves and made them into our histories. While it would be easy to say that we escaped into books, it might be truer to say that books escaped into us. Books were to us what drugs were to young men in the sixties. They showed us what was possible. We had been living with whatever was close at hand, whatever was given, and books took us great distances. We had known only domestic emotions and they showed us what happens to emotions when they are homeless. Books gave us balance--the young are so unbalanced that anything can make them fall. Books steadied us; it was as if we carried a heavy bag of them in each hand and they kept us level. They gave us gravity.
Anatole Broyard (Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir)
I have never created anything in my life that did not make me feel, at some point or another, like I was the guy who just walked into a fancy ball wearing a homemade lobster costume. But you must stubbornly walk into that room, regardless, and you must hold your head high. You made it; you get to put it out there. Never apologize for it, never explain it away, never be ashamed of it. You did your best with what you knew, and you worked with what you had, in the time that you were given. You were invited, and you showed up, and you simply cannot do more that that. They might throw you out - but then again, they might not. They probably won't throw you out, actually. The ballroom is often more welcoming and supportive than you could ever imagine. Somebody might even think you're brilliant and marvelous. You might end up dancing with royalty. Or you might just end up having to dance alone in the corner of the castle with your big, ungainly red foam claws waving in the empty air. that's fine, too. Sometimes it's like that. What you absolutely must not do is turn around and walk out. Otherwise, you will miss the party, and that would be a pity, because - please believe me - we did not come all this great distance, and make all this great effort, only to miss the party at the last moment.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
The free spirit again draws near to life - slowly, to be sure, almost reluctantly, almost mistrustfully. It again grows warmer about him, yellower as it were; feeling and feeling for others acquire depth, warm breezes of all kind blow across him. It seems to him as if his eyes are only now open to what is close at hand. he is astonished and sits silent: where had he been? These close and closest things: how changed they seem! what bloom and magic they have acquired! He looks back gratefully - grateful to his wandering, to his hardness and self-alienation, to his viewing of far distances and bird-like flights in cold heights. What a good thing he had not always stayed "at home," stayed "under his own roof" like a delicate apathetic loafer! He had been -beside himself-: no doubt about that. Only now does he see himself - and what surprises he experiences as he does so! What unprecedented shudders! What happiness even in the weariness, the old sickness, the relapses of the convalescent! How he loves to sit sadly still, to spin out patience, to lie in the sun! Who understands as he does the joy that comes in winter, the spots of sunlight on the wall! They are the most grateful animals in the world, also the most modest, these convalescents and lizards again half-turned towards life: - there are some among them who allow no day to pass without hanging a little song of praise on the hem of its departing robe. And to speak seriously: to become sick in the manner of these free spirits, to remain sick for a long time and then, slowly, slowly, to become healthy, by which I mean "healthier," is a fundamental cure for all pessimism.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
This is an ode to life. The anthem of the world. For as there are billions of different stars that make up the sky so, too, are there billions of different humans that make up the Earth. Some shine brighter but all are made of the same cosmic dust. O the joy of being in life with all these people! I speak of differences because they are there. Like the different organs that make up our bodies. Earth, itself, is one large body. Listen to how it howls when one human is in misery. When one kills another, the Earth feels the pang in its chest. When one orgasms, the Earth craves a cigarette. Look carefully, these animals are beauty spots that make the Earth’s face lovelier and more loveable. These oceans are the Earth’s limpid eyes. These trees, its hair. This is an ode to life. The anthem of the world. I will no longer speak of differences, for the similarities are larger. Look even closer. There may be distances between our limbs but there are no spaces between our hearts. We long to be one. We long to be in nature and to run wild with its wildlife. Let us celebrate life and living, for it is sacrilegious to be ungrateful. Let us play and be playful, for it is sacrilegious to be serious. Let us celebrate imperfections and make existence proud of us, for tomorrow is death, and this is an ode to life. The anthem of the world.
Kamand Kojouri
That's the famous vampire Helgarson you're riding with, isn't it? Is he fond of lattes?" "I don't know." I looked over at Leif, who was grinning-he was hearing both sides of the conversation, of course-and said, "Malina wants to know if you like lattes, and I want to know if you're famous." "No to both," he said, as we screamed onto the 202 on-ramp. "Sorry, Malina," I said to the phone. "He's not famous." "Perhaps it would be better to call infamous. It is irrelevant at this point. What is relevant is that my sisters and I are not great warriors. Were the odds even and they did not cheat with modern weapons, I would say, yes, we could walk in and win a magical battle against most opponents. But we are outnumbered more than three to one." "How many are there?" "Twenty-two. Some of them have firearms, but they are not great warriors either. And while they may be expecting you, Mr. O'Sullivan, they will not be expecting Mr. Helgarson to get involved. I imagine the two of you together will be quite formidable." "She's complimenting our martial prowess, Leif," I said to him. "I feel more manly already," He said. The short distance on the 202 was already covered and we were merging onto the southbound 101. "Hey, Malina, tell me how much you want to see us play with our swords.
Kevin Hearne (Hexed (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #2))
Quinn once told me a story.” He waits for me to moan a grievance at the mention of a story, and when I don’t, his tone sinks into deeper gravity. “Once, in the days of Old Earth, there were two pigeons who were greatly in love. In those days, they raised such animals to carry messages across great distances. These two were born in the same cage, raised by the same man, and sold on the same day to different men on the eve of a great war. “The pigeons suffered apart from each other, each incomplete without their lover. Far and wide their masters took them, and the pigeons feared they would never again find each other, for they began to see how vast the world was, and how terrible the things in it. For months and months, they carried messages for their masters, flying over battle lines, through the air over men who killed one another for land. When the war ended, the pigeons were set free by their masters. But neither knew where to go, neither knew what to do, so each flew home. And there they found each other again, as they were always destined to return home and find, instead of the past, their future.” He folds his hands gently, a teacher arriving at his point. “So do I feel lost? Always. When Lea died at the Institute …” His lips slip gently downward. “… I was in a dark woods, blind and lost as Dante before Virgil. But Quinn helped me. Her voice calling me out of misery. She became my home. As she puts it, ‘Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.’ ” He grasps the top of my hand. “Find your home, Darrow. It may not be in the past. But find it, and you’ll never be lost again.
Pierce Brown (Golden Son (Red Rising Saga, #2))
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))
Then, he angled his large body toward me, eating a big chunk of the distance that had been separating us. The motion had been unexpected, and my breath hitched with surprise. Hyperaware of how close he had come, I stuttered. Suddenly not knowing what to say or if I was expected to say anything at all. Aaron’s arm reached out, the backs of his fingers gracing my temple. My lips parted, tingles spreading down my skin. It was him who lowered his voice then. “Always fighting me.” I looked up at his handsome and stern face, his assessing blue eyes surveying my reaction. “Resisting me.” My heart tripped, making my chest feel like I had just sprinted a mile or two. Aaron’s head dipped, his mouth coming close to where his fingers had been a few seconds ago. Almost as close as it had been when we danced. “It’s like you want me to beg. Is that something you’d enjoy? Me begging?” His voice sounded so … intimate. Hushed. But it was his next words that scattered my thoughts all over the place. “Is that what this is? You like bringing me to my knees?” Whoa.
Elena Armas (The Spanish Love Deception)
As the native drum kept rhythm with the nighttime symphony of the African bush, the cry of a hyrax (a small, furry animal that sounded a lot scarier than it looked) pierced the night. A hyena howled. A warthog ran through our camp. What was he running from? Sitting in front of my tent, I tried to figure everything out. I wouldn’t have called what I did prayer but maybe wonder.    Night after night, I’d listened to the rush of a river or watched my own personal light show as lightning spider-webbed across the heavens, danced in the distance, and serenaded me with a muffled growl. Until a crash—so loud it seemed to break the sky—caused me to twitch as a shiver ran up my spine.    “You know how it is when you feel someone staring at you from across the room?” I said to Truth. “You turn to meet the gaze. It was like that, but I saw no one. I just felt a comforting presence as we sat together in silence.”    “You think it was God?” she asked.    “Yeah, but I called him Fred. Not so overwhelming, more personal.” 
Elizabeth Bristol (Mary Me: One Woman’s Incredible Adventure with God)
Cauldron save me," she began whispering, her voice lovely and even-like music. "Mother hold me," she went on, reciting a prayer similar to one I'd heard once before, when Tamlin eased the passing of that lesser faerie who'd died in the foyer. Another of Amarantha's victims. "Guide me to you." I was unable to raise my dagger, unable to take the step that would close the distance between us. "Let me pass through the gates; let me smell that immortal land of milk and honey." Silent tears slide down my face and neck, where they dampened the filthy collar of my tunic. As she spoke, I knew I would be forever barred from that immortal land. I knew that whatever Mother she meant would never embrace me. In saving Tamlin, I was to damn myself. I couldn't do this-couldn't lift that dagger again. "Let me fear no evil," she breathed, staring at me-into me, into the soul that was cleaving itself apart."Let me feel no pain." A sob broke from my lips. "I'm sorry," I moaned. "Let me enter eternity," She breathed. I wept as I understood. Kill me now, she was saying. Do it fast. Don't make it hurt. Kill me now. Her bronze eyes were steady, if not sorrowful. Infinitely, infinitely worse than the pleading of the dead faerie beside her. I couldn't do it. But she held my gaze-held my gaze and nodded. As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it. No matter how many years passed, no matter how many times I might try to paint her face.” As I lifted the ash dagger, something inside me fractured so completely that there would be no hope of ever repairing it. No matter how many years passed, no matter how many times I might try to paint her face. More faeries wailed now-her kinsmen and friends. The dagger was a weight in my hand-my hand, shining and coated with the blood of the first faerie. It would be more honorable to refuse-to die, rather than murder innocents. But... but... "Let me enter eternity," she repeated, lifting her chin. "Fear no evil," she whispered-just for me. "Feel no pain." I gripped her delicate, bony shoulder and drove the dagger into her heart. She gasped, and blood spilled onto the ground like a splattering of rain. Her eyes were closed when I looked at her face again. She slumped to the floor and didn't move. I went somewhere far, far away from myself.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Where's my sister?" "She's setting up the island we found tonight." Galen shakes his head. "You slithering eel. You might have told me what you were up to." Toraf laughs. "Oh sure. 'Hey, Galen, I need to borrow Emma for a few minutes so I can kiss her, okay?' Didn't see that going over very well." "You think your surprise attack went over better?" Toraf shrugs. "I'm satisfied." "I could have killed you today." "Yeah." "Don't ever do that again." "Wasn't planning on it. Thought it was real sweet of you to defend your sister's honor. Very brotherly." Toraf snickers. "Shut up." "I'm just saying." Galen runs a hand through his hair. "I only saw Emma. I forgot all about Rayna." "I know, idiot. That's why I let you hit me fifty-eight times. That's what I would do if someone kissed Rayna." "Fifty-nine times." "Don't get carried away, minnow. By the way, was Emma boiling mad or just a little heated? Should I keep my distance for a while?" Galen snorts. "She laughed so hard I thought she'd pass out. I'm the one in trouble." "Shocker. What'd you do?" "The usual." Hiding his feelings. Blurting out the wrong thing. Acting like a territorial bull shark. Toraf shakes his head. "She won't put up with that forever. She already thinks you only want to change her so she can become another of your royal subjects." "She said that?" Galen scowls. "I don't know what's worse. Letting her think that, or telling her the truth about why I'm helping her to change." "In my opinion, there's nothing to tell her unless she can actually change. And so far, she can't." "You don't think she's one of us?" Toraf shrugs. "Her skin wrinkles. It's kind of gross. Maybe she's some sort of superhuman. You know, like Batman." Galen laughs. "How do you know about Batman?" "I saw him on that black square in your living room. He can do all sorts of things other humans can't do. Maybe Emma is like him." "Batman isn't real. He's just a human acting like that so other humans will watch him." "Looked real to me." "They're good at making it look real. Some humans spend their whole lives making something that isn't real look like something that is." "Humans are creepier than I thought. Why pretend to be something you're not?" Galen nods. To take over a kingdom, maybe? "Actually, that reminds me. Grom needs you." Toraf groans. "Can it wait? Rayna's getting all cozy on our island right about now." "Seriously. I don't want to know." Toraf grins. "Right. Sorry. But you can see my point, right? I mean, if Emma were waiting for you-" "Emma wouldn't be waiting for me. I wouldn't have left." "Rayna made me. You've never hit me that hard before. She wants us to get along. Plus, there's something I need to tell you, but I didn't exactly get a change to." "What?" "Yesterday when we were practicing in front of your house, I sensed someone. Someone I don't know. I made Emma get out of the water while I went to investigate." "And she listened to you?" Toraf nods. "Turns out, you're the only one she disobeys.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The repetitive phases of cooking leave plenty of mental space for reflection, and as I chopped and minced and sliced I thought about the rhythms of cooking, one of which involves destroying the order of the things we bring from nature into our kitchens, only to then create from them a new order. We butcher, grind, chop, grate, mince, and liquefy raw ingredients, breaking down formerly living things so that we might recombine them in new, more cultivated forms. When you think about it, this is the same rhythm, once removed, that governs all eating in nature, which invariably entails the destruction of certain living things, by chewing and then digestion, in order to sustain other living things. In The Hungry Soul Leon Kass calls this the great paradox of eating: 'that to preserve their life and form living things necessarily destroy life and form.' If there is any shame in that destruction, only we humans seem to feel it, and then only on occasion. But cooking doesn't only distance us from our destructiveness, turning the pile of blood and guts into a savory salami, it also symbolically redeems it, making good our karmic debts: Look what good, what beauty, can come of this! Putting a great dish on the table is our way of celebrating the wonders of form we humans can create from this matter--this quantity of sacrificed life--just before the body takes its first destructive bite.
Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
Saying It To Keep It From Happening” Some departure from the norm Will occur as time grows more open about it. The consensus gradually changed; nobody Lies about it any more. Rust dark pouring Over the body, changing it without decay— People with too many things on their minds, but we live In the interstices, between a vacant stare and the ceiling, Our lives remind us. Finally this is consciousness And the other livers of it get off at the same stop. How careless. Yet in the end each of us Is seen to have traveled the same distance—it’s time That counts, and how deeply you have invested in it, Crossing the street of an event, as though coming out of it were The same as making it happen. You’re not sorry, Of course, especially if this was the way it had to happen, Yet would like an exacter share, something about time That only a clock can tell you: how it feels, not what it means. It is a long field, and we know only the far end of it, Not the part we presumably had to go through to get there. If it isn’t enough, take the idea Inherent in the day, armloads of wheat and flowers Lying around flat on handtrucks, if maybe it means more In pertaining to you, yet what is is what happens in the end As though you cared. The event combined with Beams leading up to it for the look of force adapted to the wiser Usages of age, but it’s both there And not there, like washing or sawdust in the sunlight, At the back of the mind, where we live now.
John Ashbery (Houseboat Days)
When you find human society disagreeable and feel yourself justified in flying to solitude, you can be so constituted as to be unable to bear the depression of it for any length of time, which will probably be the case if you are young. Let me advise you, then, to form the habit of taking some of your solitude with you into society, to learn to be to some extent alone even though you are in company; not to say at once what you think, and, on the other hand, not to attach too precise a meaning to what others say; rather, not to expect much of them, either morally or intellectually, and to strengthen yourself in the feeling of indifference to their opinion, which is the surest way of always practicing a praiseworthy toleration. If you do that, you will not live so much with other people, though you may appear to move amongst them: your relation to them will be of a purely objective character. This precaution will keep you from too close contact with society, and therefore secure you against being contaminated or even outraged by it. Society is in this respect like a fire—the wise man warming himself at a proper distance from it; not coming too close, like the fool, who, on getting scorched, runs away and shivers in solitude, loud in his complaint that the fire burns.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Essays and Aphorisms)
Sight isolates, sound incorporates. Whereas sight situates the observer outside what he views, at a distance, sound pours into the hearer. Vision dissects, as Merleau-Ponty has observed (1961). Vision comes to a human being from one direction at a time: to look at a room or a landscape, I must move my eyes around from one part to another. When I hear, however, I gather sound simultaneously from every directions at once; I am at the center of my auditory world, which envelopes me, establishing me at a kind of core of sensation and existence... You can immerse yourself in hearing, in sound. There is no way to immerse yourself similarly in sight. By contrast with vision, the dissecting sense, sound is thus a unifying sense. A typical visual ideal is clarity and distinctness, a taking apart. The auditory ideal, by contrast, is harmony, a putting together. Interiority and harmony are characteristics of human consciousness. The consciousness of each human person is totally interiorized, known to the person from the inside and inaccessible to any other person directly from the inside. Everyone who says 'I' means something different by it from what every other person means. What is 'I' to me is only 'you' to you... In a primary oral culture, where the word has its existence only in sound... the phenomenology of sound enters deeply into human beings' feel for existence, as processed by the spoken word. For the way in which the word is experienced is always momentous in psychic life.
Walter J. Ong (Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word)
Everything surrounding the ship is gray or dark blue and nothing is particularly hip, and once or maybe twice a day this thin strip of white appears at the horizon line but its so far in the distance you cant be sure whether its land or more sky. Its impossible to believe that any kind of life sustains itself beneath this flat, slate-gray sky or in an ocean so calm and vast, that anything breathing could exist in such limbo, and any movement that occurs below the surface is so faint its like some kind of small accident, a tiny indifferent moment, a minor incident that shouldnt have happened, and in the sky there's never any trace of sun - the air seems vaguely transparent and disposable, with the texture of Kleenex - yet its always bright in a dull way, the wind usually constant as we drift through it, weightless, and below us the trail the ship leaves behind is a Jacuzzi blue that fades within minutes into the same boring gray sheet that blankets everything else surrounding the ship. One day a normal looking rainbow appears and you vaguely notice it, thinking about the enormous sums of money the Kiss reunion tour made over the summer, or maybe a whale swims along the starboard side, waving its fin, showing off. It's easy to feel safe, for people to look at you and think someone's going somewhere. Surrounded by so much boring space, five days is a long time to stay unimpressed.
Bret Easton Ellis
What is love? Is it a lightning bolt that instantaneously unites two souls in utter infatuation and admiration through the meeting of a simple innocent stare? Or is it a lustful seed that is sown in a dark dingy bar one sweaty summer's night only to be nurtured with romantic rendezvous as it matures into a beautiful flower? Is it a river springing forth, creating lifelong bonds through experiences, heartaches, and missed opportunities? Or is it a thunderstorm that slowly rolls in, climaxing with an awesome display of unbridled passion, only to succumb to its inevitable fade into the distance? I define love as education.... It teaches us to learn from our opportunities, and made the stupidest of decisions for the rightest of reasons. It gives us a hint of what "it" should be and feel like, but then encourages us to think outside the box and develop our own understanding of what "it" could be. Those that choose to embrace and learn from love's educational peaks and valleys are the ones that will eventually find true love, that one in a million. Those that don't are destined to be consumed with the inevitable ring around the rosy of fake I love you's and failed relationships. I have been lucky enough to have some of the most amazing teachers throughout my romantic evolution and it is to them that I dedicate this book. The lessons in life, passion and love they taught me have helped shape who I am today and who I will be tomorrow. To the love that stains my heart, but defines my soul....I thank you.....
Ivan Rusilko (Appetizers (The Winemaker's Dinner, #1))
In all these assaults on the senses there is a great wisdom — not only about the addictiveness of pleasures but about their ephemerality. The essence of addiction, after all, is that pleasure tends to desperate and leave the mind agitated, hungry for more. The idea that just one more dollar, one more dalliance, one more rung on the ladder will leave us feeling sated reflects a misunderstanding about human nature — a misunderstanding, moreover, that is built into human nature; we are designed to feel that the next great goal will bring bliss, and the bliss is designed to evaporate shortly after we get there. Natural selection has a malicious sense of humor; it leads us along with a series of promises and then keeps saying ‘Just kidding.’ As the Bible puts it, ‘All the labour of man is for his mouth, and yet the appetite is not filled.’ Remarkably, we go our whole lives without ever really catching on. The advice of the sages — that we refuse to play this game — is nothing less than an incitement to mutiny, to rebel against our creator. Sensual pleasures are the whip natural selection uses to control us to keep us in the thrall of its warped value system. To cultivate some indifference to them is one plausible route to liberation. While few of us can claim to have traveled far on this route, the proliferation of this scriptural advice suggests it has been followed some distance with some success.
Robert Wright (The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are - The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology)
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))
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known. After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine. I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that. I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull. “What are you doing?” “Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me. He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?” “Is that what it is?” I feign innocence. He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites. It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him. But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going. I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies. It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it. He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?” I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it. I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
You’re sure you want to do this,” Galen says, eyeing me like I’ve grown a tiara of snakes on my head. “Absolutely.” I unstrap the four-hundred-dollar silver heels and spike them into the sand. When he starts unraveling his tie, I throw out my hand. “No! Leave it. Leave everything on.” Galen frowns. “Rachel would kill us both. In our sleep. She would torture us first.” “This is our prom night. Rachel would want us to enjoy ourselves.” I pull the thousand-or-so bobby pins from my hair and toss them in the sand. Really, both of us are right. She would want us to be happy. But she would also want us to stay in our designer clothes. Leaning over, I shake my head like a wet dog, dispelling the magic of hairspray. Tossing my hair back, I look at Galen. His crooked smile almost melts me where I stand. I’m just glad to see a smile on his face at all. The last six months have been rough. “Your mother will want pictures,” he tells me. “And what will she do with pictures? There aren’t exactly picture frames in the Royal Caverns.” Mom’s decision to mate with Grom and live as his queen didn’t surprise me. After all, I am eighteen years old, an adult, and can take care of myself. Besides, she’s just a swim away. “She keeps picture frames at her house though. She could still enjoy them while she and Grom come to shore to-“ “Okay, ew. Don’t say it. That’s where I draw the line.” Galen laughs and takes off his shoes. I forget all about Mom and Grom. Galen, barefoot in the sand, wearing an Armani tux. What more could a girl ask for? “Don’t look at me like that, angelfish,” he says, his voice husky. “Disappointing your grandfather is the last thing I want to do.” My stomach cartwheels. Swallowing doesn’t help. “I can’t admire you, even from afar?” I can’t quite squeeze enough innocence in there to make it believable, to make it sound like I wasn’t thinking the same thing he was. Clearing his throat, he nods. “Let’s get on with this.” He closes the distance between us, making foot-size potholes with his stride. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to the water. At the edge of the wet sand, just out of reach of the most ambitious wave, we stop. “You’re sure?” he says again. “More than sure,” I tell him, giddiness swimming through my veins like a sneaking eel. Images of the conference center downtown spring up in my mind. Red and white balloons, streamers, a loud, cheesy DJ yelling over the starting chorus of the next song. Kids grinding against one another on the dance floor to lure the chaperones’ attention away from a punch bowl just waiting to be spiked. Dresses spilling over with skin, matching corsages, awkward gaits due to six-inch heels. The prom Chloe and I dreamed of. But the memories I wanted to make at that prom died with Chloe. There could never be any joy in that prom without her. I couldn’t walk through those doors and not feel that something was missing. A big something. No, this is where I belong now. No balloons, no loud music, no loaded punch bowl. Just the quiet and the beach and Galen. This is my new prom. And for some reason, I think Chloe would approve.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
At some time all cities have this feel: in London it's at five or six on a winer evening. Paris has it too, late, when the cafes are closing up. In New York it can happen anytime: early in the morning as the light climbs over the canyon streets and the avenues stretch so far into the distance that it seems the whole world is city; or now, as the chimes of midnight hang in the rain and all the city's longings acquire the clarity and certainty of sudden understanding. The day coming to an end and people unable to evade any longer the nagging sense of futility that has been growing stronger through the day, knowing that they will feel better when they wake up and it is daylight again but knowing also that each day leads to this sense of quiet isolation. Whether the plates have been stacked neatly away or the sink is cluttered with unwashed dishes makes no difference because all these details--the clothes hanging in the closet, the sheets on the bed--tell the same story--a story in which they walk to the window and look out at the rain-lit streets, wondering how many other people are looking out like this, people who look forward to Monday because the weekdays have a purpose which vanishes at the weekend when there is only the laundry and the papers. And knowing also that these thoughts do not represent any kind of revelation because by now they have themselves become part of the same routine of bearable despair, a summing up that is all the time dissolving into everyday. A time in the day when it is possible to regret everything and nothing in the same breath, when the only wish of all bachelors is that there was someone who loved them, who was thinking of them even if she was on the other side of the world. When a woman, feeling the city falling damp around her, hearing music from a radio somewhere, looks up and imagines the lives being led behind the yellow-lighted windows: a man at his sink, a family crowded together around a television, lovers drawing curtains, someone at his desk, hearing the same tune on the radio, writing these words.
Geoff Dyer (But Beautiful: A Book about Jazz)
Justin: I am falling so in love with you. Her body electrified. Celeste wiped her eyes and read his text again. The drone of the plane disappeared; the turbulence was no more. There was only Justin and his words. Justin: I lose myself and find myself at the same time with you. Justin: I need you, Celeste. I need you as part of my world, because for the first time, I am connected to someone in a way that has meaning. And truth. Maybe our distance has strengthened what I feel between us since we’re not grounded in habit or daily convenience. We have to fight for what we have. Justin: I don’t know if I can equate what I feel for you with anything else. Except maybe one thing, if this makes any sense. Justin: I go to this spot at Sunset Cliffs sometimes. It’s usually a place crowded with tourists, but certain times of year are quieter. I like it then. And there’s a high spot on the sandstone cliff, surrounded by this gorgeous ice plant, and it overlooks the most beautiful water view you’ve ever seen. I’m on top of the world there, it seems. Justin: And everything fits, you know? Life feels right. As though I could take on anything, do anything. And sometimes, when I’m feeling overcome with gratitude for the view and for what I have, I jump so that I remember to continue to be courageous because not every piece of life will feel so in place. Justin: It’s a twenty-foot drop, the water is only in the high fifties, and it’s a damn scary experience. But it’s a wonderful fear. One that I know I can get through and one that I want. Justin: That’s what it’s like with you. I am scared because you are so beyond anything I could have imagined. I become so much more with you beside me. That’s terrifying, by the way. But I will be brave because my fear only comes from finally having something deeply powerful to lose. That’s my connection with you. It would be a massive loss. Justin: And now I am in the car and about to see you, so don’t reply. I’m too flipping terrified to hear what you think of my rant. It’s hard not to pour my heart out once I start. If you think I’m out of mind, just wave your hands in horror when you spot the lovesick guy at the airport. Ten minutes went by. He had said not to reply, so she hadn’t. Justin: Let’s hope I don’t get pulled over for speeding… but I’m at a stoplight now. Justin: God, I hope you aren’t… aren’t… something bad. Celeste: Hey, Justin? Justin: I TOLD YOU NOT TO REPLY! Justin: I know, I know. But I’m happy you did because I lost it there for a minute. Celeste: HEY, JUSTIN? Justin: Sorry… Hey, Celeste? Celeste: I am, unequivocally and wholly falling in love with you, too. Justin: Now I’m definitely speeding. I will see you soon.
Jessica Park (Flat-Out Celeste (Flat-Out Love, #2))
home, alone in my room, with the sounds of #2 and #5 trains rumbling in the distance, I started with a letter to myself. Dear Juliet, Repeat after me: You are a bruja. You are a warrior. You are a feminist. You are a beautiful brown babe. Surround yourself with other beautiful brown and black and indigenous and morena and Chicana, native, Indian, mixed race, Asian, gringa, boriqua babes. Let them uplift you. Rage against the motherfucking machine. Question everything anyone ever says to you or forces down your throat or makes you write a hundred times on the blackboard. Question every man that opens his mouth and spews out a law over your body and spirit. Question every single thing until you find the answer in a daydream. Don’t question yourself unless you hurt someone else. When you hurt someone else, sit down, and think, and think, and think, and then make it right. Apologize when you fuck up. Live forever. Consult the ancestors while counting stars in the galaxy. Hold wisdom under tongue until it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Do not be afraid. Do not doubt yourself. Do not hide Be proud of your inhaler, your cane, your back brace, your acne. Be proud of the things that the world uses to make you feel different. Love your fat fucking glorious body. Love your breasts, hips, and wide-ass if you have them and if you don’t, love the body you do have or the one you create for yourself. Love the fact that you have ingrown hairs on the back of your thighs and your grandma’s mustache on your lips. Read all the books that make you whole. Read all the books that pull you out of the present and into the future. Read all the books about women who get tattoos, and break hearts, and rob banks, and start heavy metal bands. Read every single one of them. Kiss everyone. Ask first. Always ask first and then kiss the way stars burn in the sky. Trust your lungs. Trust the Universe. Trust your damn self. Love hard, deep, without restraint or doubt Love everything that brushes past your skin and lives inside your soul. Love yourself. In La Virgen’s name and in the name of Selena, Adiosa.
Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath)
Touching the copper of the ankh reminded me of another necklace, a necklace long since lost under the dust of time. That necklace had been simpler: only a string of beads etched with tiny ankhs. But my husband had brought it to me the morning of our wedding, sneaking up to our house just after dawn in a gesture uncharacteristically bold for him. I had chastised him for the indiscretion. "What are you doing? You're going to see me this afternoon... and then every day after that!" "I had to give you these before the wedding." He held up the string of beads. "They were my mother's. I want you to have them, to wear them today.” He leaned forward, placing the beads around my neck. As his fingers brushed my skin, I felt something warm and tingly run through my body. At the tender age of fifteen, I hadn't exactly understood such sensations, though I was eager to explore them. My wiser self today recognized them as the early stirrings of lust, and . . . well, there had been something else there too. Something else that I still didn't quite comprehend. An electric connection, a feeling that we were bound into something bigger than ourselves. That our being together was inevitable. "There," he'd said, once the beads were secure and my hair brushed back into place. "Perfect.” He said nothing else after that. He didn't need to. His eyes told me all I needed to know, and I shivered. Until Kyriakos, no man had ever given me a second glance. I was Marthanes' too-tall daughter after all, the one with the sharp tongue who didn't think before speaking. (Shape-shifting would eventually take care of one of those problems but not the other.) But Kyriakos had always listened to me and watched me like I was someone more, someone tempting and desirable, like the beautiful priestesses of Aphrodite who still carried on their rituals away from the Christian priests. I wanted him to touch me then, not realizing just how much until I caught his hand suddenly and unexpectedly. Taking it, I placed it around my waist and pulled him to me. His eyes widened in surprise, but he didn't pull back. We were almost the same height, making it easy for his mouth to seek mine out in a crushing kiss. I leaned against the warm stone wall behind me so that I was pressed between it and him. I could feel every part of his body against mine, but we still weren't close enough. Not nearly enough. Our kissing grew more ardent, as though our lips alone might close whatever aching distance lay between us. I moved his hand again, this time to push up my skirt along the side of one leg. His hand stroked the smooth flesh there and, without further urging, slid over to my inner thigh. I arched my lower body toward his, nearly writhing against him now, needing him to touch me everywhere. "Letha? Where are you at?” My sister's voice carried over the wind; she wasn't nearby but was close enough to be here soon. Kyriakos and I broke apart, both gasping, pulses racing. He was looking at me like he'd never seen me before. Heat burned in his gaze. "Have you ever been with anyone before?" he asked wonderingly. I shook my head. "How did you ... I never imagined you doing that...” "I learn fast.” He grinned and pressed my hand to his lips. "Tonight," he breathed. "Tonight we ...” "Tonight," I agreed. He backed away then, eyes still smoldering. "I love you. You are my life.” "I love you too." I smiled and watched him go.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
Why have you done all this for me?" She turned her head to look at him. "Tell me the truth." He shook his head slowly. "I don't think I could have been more terrified of the devil than I was of you," she said, "when it was happening and in my thoughts and nightmares afterward. And when you came home to Willoughby and I realized that the Duke of Ridgeway was you, I thought I would die from the horror of it." His face was expressionless. "I know," he said. "I was afraid of your hands more than anything," she said. "They are beautiful hands." He said nothing. "When did it all change?" she asked. She turned completely toward him and closed the distance between them. "You will not say the words yourself. But they are the same words as the ones on my lips, aren't they?" She watched him swallow. "For the rest of my life I will regret saying them," she said. "But I believe I would regret far more not saying them." "Fleur," he said, and reached out a staying hand. "I love you," she said. "No." "I love you." "It is just that we have spent a few days together," he said, "and talked a great deal and got to know each other. It is just that I have been able to help you a little and you are feeling grateful to me." "I love you," she said. "Fleur." She reached up to touch his scar. "I am glad I did not know you before this happened," she said. "I do not believe I would have been able to stand the pain." "Fleur," he said, taking her wrist in his hand. "Are you crying?" she said. She lifted both arms and wrapped them about his neck and laid her cheek against his shoulder. "Don't, my love. I did not mean to lay a burden on you. I don't mean to do so. I only want you to know that you are loved and always will be." "Fleur," he said, his voice husky from his tears, "I have nothing to offer you, my love. I have nothing to give you. My loyalty is given elsewhere. I didn't want this to happen. I don't want it to happen. You will meet someone else. When I am gone you will forget and you will be happy." She lifted her head and looked into his face. She wiped away one of his tears with one finger. "I am not asking anything in return," she said. "I just want to give you something, Adam. A free gift. My love. Not a burden, but a gift. To take with you when you go, even though we will never see each other again." He framed her face with his hands and gazed down into it. "I so very nearly did not recognize you," he said. "You were so wretchedly thin, Fleur, and pale. Your lips were dry and cracked, your hair dull and lifeless. But I did know you for all that. I think I would still be in London searching for you if you had not gone to that agency. But it's too late, love. Six years too late.
Mary Balogh (The Secret Pearl)
Jesus Christ is not a cosmic errand boy. I mean no disrespect or irreverence in so saying, but I do intend to convey the idea that while he loves us deeply and dearly, Christ the Lord is not perched on the edge of heaven, anxiously anticipating our next wish. When we speak of God being good to us, we generally mean that he is kind to us. In the words of the inimitable C. S. Lewis, "What would really satisfy us would be a god who said of anything we happened to like doing, 'What does it matter so long as they are contented?' We want, in fact, not so much a father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven--a senile benevolence who as they say, 'liked to see young people enjoying themselves,' and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, 'a good time was had by all.'" You know and I know that our Lord is much, much more than that. One writer observed: "When we so emphasize Christ's benefits that he becomes nothing more than what his significance is 'for me' we are in danger. . . . Evangelism that says 'come on, it's good for you'; discipleship that concentrates on the benefits package; sermons that 'use' Jesus as the means to a better life or marriage or job or attitude--these all turn Jesus into an expression of that nice god who always meets my spiritual needs. And this is why I am increasingly hesitant to speak of Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. As Ken Woodward put it in a 1994 essay, 'Now I think we all need to be converted--over and over again, but having a personal Savior has always struck me as, well, elitist, like having a personal tailor. I'm satisfied to have the same Lord and Savior as everyone else.' Jesus is not a personal Savior who only seeks to meet my needs. He is the risen, crucified Lord of all creation who seeks to guide me back into the truth." . . . His infinity does not preclude either his immediacy or his intimacy. One man stated that "I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone." . . . Christ is not "my buddy." There is a natural tendency, and it is a dangerous one, to seek to bring Jesus down to our level in an effort to draw closer to him. This is a problem among people both in and outside the LDS faith. Of course we should seek with all our hearts to draw near to him. Of course we should strive to set aside all barriers that would prevent us from closer fellowship with him. And of course we should pray and labor and serve in an effort to close the gap between what we are and what we should be. But drawing close to the Lord is serious business; we nudge our way into intimacy at the peril of our souls. . . . Another gospel irony is that the way to get close to the Lord is not by attempting in any way to shrink the distance between us, to emphasize more of his humanity than his divinity, or to speak to him or of him in casual, colloquial language. . . . Those who have come to know the Lord best--the prophets or covenant spokesmen--are also those who speak of him in reverent tones, who, like Isaiah, find themselves crying out, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). Coming into the presence of the Almighty is no light thing; we feel to respond soberly to God's command to Moses: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5). Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained, "Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns, maintain a reverential barrier between themselves and all the members of the Godhead.
Robert L. Millet