So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction.
Bessie Anderson Stanley (More Heart Throbs Volume Two in Prose and Verse Dear to the American People And by them contributed as a Supplement to the original $10,000 Prize Book HEART THROBS)
If you gave someone your heart and they died, did they take it with them? Did you spend the rest of forever with a hole inside you that couldn't be filled?
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it -- to be fed so much love I couldn't take any more. Just once.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.
John Keats (Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne)
I'm choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
I was blind and heart broken and didn't want to do anything and Gus burst into my room and shouted, "I have wonderful news!" And I was like, "I don't really want to hear wonderful news right now," and Gus said, "This is wonderful news you want to hear," and I asked him, "Fine, what is it?" and he said, "You are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
A heart filled with anger has no room for love.
Joan Lunden (Wake-Up Calls: Making The Most Out Of Every Day (Regardless Of What Life Throws You))
God wants you to have a good life, a life filled with love, joy, peace, and fulfillment. That doesn’t mean it will always be easy, but it does mean that it will always be good.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
In a child's eyes, a mother is a goddess. She can be glorious or terrible, benevolent or filled with wrath, but she commands love either way. I am convinced that this is the greatest power in the universe.
N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (Inheritance, #1))
We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering... these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love... these are what we stay alive for.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
If you cannot inspire a woman with love of you, fill her above the brim with love of herself ~ all that runs over will be yours.
Charles Caleb Colton
If you truly love a book, you should sleep with it, write in it, read aloud from it, and fill its pages with muffin crumbs.
She absorbed the terror and beauty of him and his world. Of every moment over the past days. All of it, filling her up like the first breath she'd ever taken. And never had she loved life more.
Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1))
Love, whether newly born or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithlessand therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
He was afraid of defiling the love which filled his soul.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Have you ever lost yourself in a kiss? I mean pure psychedelic inebriation. Not just lustful petting but transcendental metamorphosis when you became aware that the greatness of this being was breathing into you. Licking the sides and corners of your mouth, like sealing a thousand fleshy envelopes filled with the essence of your passionate being and then opened by the same mouth and delivered back to you, over and over again - the first kiss of the rest of your life. A kiss that confirms that the universe is aligned, that the world's greatest resource is love, and maybe even that God is a woman. With or without a belief in God, all kisses are metaphors decipherable by allocations of time, circumstance, and understanding
Saul Williams (, said the shotgun to the head.)
I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don’t know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness.
The world is filled with love-play, from animal lust to sublime compassion.
Alan W. Watts
I close my eyes, thinking that there is nothing like an embrace after an absence, nothing like fitting my face into the curve of his shoulder and filling my lungs with the scent of him.
Jodi Picoult (Keeping Faith)
May I share with you a formula that in my judgment will help you and help me to journey well through mortality... First, fill your mind with truth; second, fill your life with service; and third, fill your heart with love.
Thomas S. Monson
you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn't you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can't make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.
When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.
Thich Nhat Hanh
When you're missing a peice of yourself, aching, gut wrenching emptiness begins to take over. Until you find the link that completes your very soul, the feeling will never go away. Most people find a way to fill this void, material possessions, a string of relationships, affairs, food...I bare my soul, with words, for all to see.
Unable to perceive the shape of You, I find You all around me.
Your presence fills my eyes with Your love, It humbles my heart, For You are everywhere.
Guillermo del Toro (Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water: Creating a Fairy Tale for Troubled Times)
Kiss me, k-k-kiss me, infect me with your love, and fill me with your poison, take me, t-t-take me, wanna be your victim, ready for abduction boy, you're a werewolf, your touch is so furry, its supernatural, extra-werewolf-iestrial," Jen sung as loud as she could.
Quinn Loftis (Blood Rites (The Grey Wolves, #2))
The thought filled me with grief, grief for the dreams we'd shared, for the love I'd felt, for the hopeful girl I would never be again.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
Rudyard Kipling (If: A Father's Advice to His Son)
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a new way of living—one without massacres and torn throats and bonfires of the fallen, without revenants or bastard armies or children ripped from their mothers’ arms to take their turn in the killing and dying.
Once, the lovers lay entwined in the moon’s secret temple and dreamed of a world that was a like a jewel-box without a jewel—a paradise waiting for them to find it and fill it with their happiness.
This was not that world.
Laini Taylor (Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2))
You must be filled with expectancy. You must be awash in hope. You must wonder who will love you, whom you will love next.
Kate DiCamillo (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane)
Learning how to discipline your speech is a way of preventing your energies from spilling out of you through the rupture of your mouth, exhausting you and filling the world with words, words, words instead of serenity, peace and bliss.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Do you like me?”
Silence bounced, fell off his tongue
and sat between us
and clogged my throat.
It slaughtered my trust.
It tore cigarettes out of my mouth.
We exchanged blind words,
and I did not cry,
I did not beg,
but blackness filled my ears,
blackness lunged in my heart,
and something that had been good,
a sort of kindly oxygen,
turned into a gas oven.
She was gone, and all that was left was the space you'd grown around her, like a tree that grows around a fence. For a long time, it remained hollow. Years, maybe. And when at last it was filled again, you knew that the new love you felt for a woman would have been impossible without Alma. If it weren't for her, there would never have been an empty space, or the need to fill it.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
My beloved is the sun
And I am the earth that thrives only in her warmth. My beloved is the rain
And I am the grass that thirsts for her quenching kiss. My beloved is the wind
And I am the wings that soar when she fills me with her gentle strength.
My beloved is the rock
Upon which rests the happiness of all my days.
—The Elements of Love, a poem by Aileron v'En Kavali of the Fey
C.L. Wilson (Lord of the Fading Lands (Tairen Soul, #1))
If you can walk with the crowd and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run- Yours is the earth and everything that's in it, And-which is more-you'll be a man my son.
Rudyard Kipling (If: A Father's Advice to His Son)
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))
O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, so that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long.
Love fills everything. It cannot be desired because it is an end in itself. It cannot betray because it has nothing to do with possession. It cannot be held prisoner because it is a river and will overflow its banks. Anyone who tries to imprison love will cut off the spring that feeds it, and the trapped water will grow stagnant.
Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
I ask the impossible: love me forever.
Love me when all desire is gone.
Love me with the single mindedness of a monk.
When the world in its entirety,
and all that you hold sacred advise you
against it: love me still more.
When rage fills you and has no name: love me.
When each step from your door to our job tires you--
love me; and from job to home again, love me, love me.
Love me when you're bored--
when every woman you see is more beautiful than the last,
or more pathetic, love me as you always have:
not as admirer or judge, but with
the compassion you save for yourself
in your solitude.
Love me as you relish your loneliness,
the anticipation of your death,
mysteries of the flesh, as it tears and mends.
Love me as your most treasured childhood memory--
and if there is none to recall--
imagine one, place me there with you.
Love me withered as you loved me new.
Love me as if I were forever--
and I, will make the impossible
a simple act,
by loving you, loving you as I do
Ana Castillo (I Ask the Impossible)
In God there is no hunger that needs to be filled, only plenteousness that desires to give.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
Love is as simple as the absence of self given to another. God, when invited, fills the void of any unrequited love; hence loving is how one is drawn closer to God no matter its most horrific repercussions.
Criss Jami (Venus in Arms)
Sometimes I like you so much I can’t stand it. It fills up inside me, all the way to the brim, and I feel like I could overflow. I like you so much I don’t know what to do with it. My heart beats so fast when I know I’m going to see you again. And then, when you look at me the way you do, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Falling in love, we said; I fell for him. We were falling women. We believed in it, this downward motion: so lovely, like flying, and yet at the same time so dire, so extreme, so unlikely. God is love, they once said, but we reversed that, and love, like heaven, was always just around the corner. The more difficult it was to love the particular man beside us, the more we believed in Love, abstract and total. We were waiting, always, for the incarnation. That word, made flesh.
And sometimes it happened, for a time. That kind of love comes and goes and is hard to remember afterwards, like pain. You would look at the man one day and you would think, I loved you, and the tense would be past, and you would be filled with a sense of wonder, because it was such an amazing and precarious and dumb thing to have done; and you would know too why your friends had been evasive about it, at the time.
There is a good deal of comfort, now, in remembering this.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
alone with everybody
the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and them men drink too
and nobody finds the
but they keep
crawling in and out
the bone and the
for more than
there's no chance
we are all trapped
by a singular
nobody ever finds
the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill
Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
Love can come when you're already who you are, when you're filled with you. Not when you look to someone else to fill the empty space.
Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart)
He had a word, too. Love, he called it. But I had been used to words for a long time. I knew that that word was like the others: just a shape to fill a lack; that when the right time came, you wouldn't need a word for that any more than for pride or fear....One day I was talking to Cora. She prayed for me because she believed I was blind to sin, wanting me to kneel and pray too, because people to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.
William Faulkner (As I Lay Dying)
It's not about surviving. It should be about love. When you know love...that's what makes this life worth it. When you live with it everyday. Wake up with it, hold on to it during the thunder and after a nightmare. When love is your refuge from the death that surrounds us all and when it fills you so tight that you can't express it.
I have named you queen.
There are taller than you, taller.
There are purer than you, purer.
There are lovelier than you, lovelier.
But you are the queen.
When you go through the streets
No one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
At the carpet of red gold
That you tread as you pass,
The nonexistent carpet.
And when you appear
All the rivers sound
In my body, bells
Shake the sky,
And a hymn fills the world.
Only you and I,
Only you and I, my love,
Listen to it.
Pablo Neruda (Love Poems)
Maybe she had it wrong all this time and her empty heart could never be filled by his ingenious broken spirit. Maybe this yearning had nothing to do with him, and everything to do with her.
Coco J. Ginger
Nobody's life is filled with perfect little moments. And if it were, they wouldn't be perfect little moments. They would just be normal. How would you ever know happiness if you never experience downs?
Cecelia Ahern (P.S. I Love You (P.S. I Love You, #1))
If she spoke, she would tell him the truth: she was not okay at all, but horribly empty, now that she knew what it was like to be filled.
Jodi Picoult (Plain Truth)
Even when your heart was hurting, there was something so hopeful about reading a book filled with love. The pages were somewhat of a reminder that maybe one day I would be okay again. Maybe one day I would be all right.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Air He Breathes (Elements, #1))
What is love? There is nothing in the world, neither man nor Devil nor any thing, that I hold as suspect as love, for it penetrates the soul more than any other thing. Nothing exists that so fills and binds the heart as love does. Therefore, unless you have those weapons that subdue it, the soul plunges through love into an immense abyss.
Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose)
The easiest way to get touch with this universal power is through silent Prayer. Shut your eyes, shut your mouth, and open your heart. This is the golden rule of prayer. Prayer should be soundless words coming forth from the centre of your heart filled with love.
Amit Ray (Om Chanting and Meditation)
Love chooses to believe the best about people. It gives them the benefit of the doubt. It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions. And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward. As much as possible, love focuses on the positive.
Stephen Kendrick (The Love Dare)
Love entered in my heart one day
A sad, unwelcome guest.
But when it begged that it might stay
I let it stay and rest
It broke my nights with sorrowing
It filled my heart with fears
And, when my soul was prone to sing,
It filled my eyes with tears.
But...now that it has gone its way,
I miss the dear ole pain.
And, sometimes, in the night I pray
That Love might come again.
J. California Cooper
Mara, that's the life I want to give you. That's what I'm offering you. I want to fill you life with color and warmth. I want to fill it with light. Give me a chance
Francine Rivers (Redeeming Love)
His words filled my heart to the brim. I loved him in a way I’d never be able to express in words. He was part of me. And I was part of him. Tethered together for the rest of eternity.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost (Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening)
Sissy Mae Smith...stumbled into the room loaded down with even more bags. "You pack like a woman," she snarled when she finally dropped the luggage to the floor. "How can one man have so much conditioner?"
His mouth filled with French toast, Mitch pointed at his hair and snarled, "Tawny mane! Do you think this shit stays this beautiful on its own? It needs care and love! Which is more than I'm getting from you!
Shelly Laurenston (The Mane Squeeze (Pride, #4))
There are different wells within your heart.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far too deep for that.
In one well
You have just a few precious cups of water,
That "love" is literally something of yourself,
It can grow as slow as a diamond
If it is lost.
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.
There are different wells within us.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far, far too deep
I don't love him, & he definitely doesn't love me. Still, he semi-fills a gaping black hole inside me. That place wants love, maybe even needs love, but love is something I"m pretty sure doesn't exist.
Ellen Hopkins (Identical)
Love is ______ (fill in the blank yourself).
Santosh Kalwar (Quote Me Everyday)
May your life be filled, as mine has been, with love and laughter; and remember, when things are rough all you need is ... Chocolate.
Geraldine Solon (Chocolicious)
And he leans in, so carefully. Breathing
and not breathing and hearts beating
between us and he’s so close, he’s so close and I can’t feel my legs anymore. I can’t feel my fingers or the cold or the emptiness of this room because all I feel is him, everywhere,filling everything and he whispers
He says “Please don’t shoot me for this.”
And he kisses me.
His lips are softer than anything I've ever known, soft like a first snowfall, like biting into cotton candy, like melting and floating and being weightless in water. It’s sweet, it’s
so effortlessly sweet.
And then it changes.
He kisses me again, this time stronger,
desperate, like he has to have me, like he’s dying to memorize the feel of my lips against his own. The taste of him is making me crazy; he’s all heat and desire and peppermint and I want more. I've just begun reeling him in, pulling him into me when he breaks away.
He’s breathing like he’s lost his mind andhe’s looking at me like something has brokeninside of him, like he’s woken up to find that
his nightmares were just that, that they never existed, that it was all just a bad dream that felt far too real but now he’s awake and he’s safe and everything is going to be okay and
I’m falling apart and into his heart and I’m a disaster.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
I will teach you to love death. I will empty you of grief and guilt and self-pity and fill you up with hate and cunning and the spirit of vengeance. I will make my final stand here, Benjamin Thomas Parish.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
If you love someone, truly love them, you should never cause them pain. Never fill their eyes with something so close to grief.
Laurell K. Hamilton (The Killing Dance (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #6))
Sometimes people stop loving you. And that's the kind of darkness that never gets fixed, no matter how many moons rise again, filling the sky with a weak approximation of light.
Lauren Oliver (Vanishing Girls)
We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
N.H. Kleinbaum (Dead Poets Society)
I only share when I have no unmet needs that I'm trying to fill. I firmly believe that being vulnerable with a larger audience is only a good idea if the healing is tied to the sharing, not to the expectations I might have for the response I get.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
I hate when people ask what a book is about. People who read for plot, people who suck out the story like the cream filling in an Oreo, should stick to comic strips and soap operas. . . . Every book worth a damn is about emotions and love and death and pain. It's about words. It's about a man dealing with life. Okay?
There’s so much more to life than finding someone who will want you, or being sad over someone who doesn’t. There’s a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without hoping someone will fall in love with you along the way, and it doesn’t need to be painful or empty. You need to fill yourself up with love. Not anyone else. Become a whole being on your own. Go on adventures, fall asleep in the woods with friends, wander around the city at night, sit in a coffee shop on your own, write on bathroom stalls, leave notes in library books, dress up for yourself, give to others, smile a lot. Do all things with love, but don’t romanticize life like you can’t survive without it. Live for yourself and be happy on your own. It isn’t any less beautiful, I promise.
When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love. Love is the missing factor; there is a lack of affection, of warmth in relationship; and because we lack that love, that tenderness, that generosity, that mercy in relationship, we escape into mass action which produces further confusion, further misery. We fill our hearts with blueprints for world reform and do not look to that one resolving factor which is love.
Love doesn't happen in an instant. It creeps up on you and then it turns your life upside down. It colors your waking moments, and fills your dreams. You begin to walk on air and see life in brilliant new shades. But it also brings with it a sweet agony, a delicious torture.
Vikas Swarup (Q & A)
Her eyes fill up with tears again and she closes them. Even in memory she will find this moment unbearably intense, and she's aware of this now, while it's happening. She has never believed herself fit to be loved by any person. But now she has a new life, of which this is the first moment, and even after many years have passed she will still think: Yes, that was it, the beginning of my life.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
I have so much love for you, I could fill rooms with it. Buildings. You’re surrounded by it wherever you go, you walk through it, breathe it...it’s in your lungs, and under your tongue, and between your fingers and toes...” His mouth moved passionately over hers, urging her lips apart. It was a kiss to level mountains and shake stars from the sky. It was a kiss to make angels faint and demons weep...a passionate, demanding, soul-searing kiss that nearly knocked the earth off its axis. Or at least that was how Poppy felt about it.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
My friend, you thought you lost Him;
that all your life you've been separated from Him.
Filled with wonder, you've always looked outside for Him,
and haven't searched within your own house.
There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.
"Nothing I just wanted to say your name
Kasie West (The Fill-In Boyfriend)
I could still feel the ghost of him hovering in the quiet, dark recess of my heart. It was as if he was just waiting for me to be lonely, or to let my guard down, so that he could surface and fill my mind again with thoughts of him.
I studied every page of this book, and I didn't find enough love to fill a salt shaker. God is not love in the Bible; God is vengeance, from Alpha to Omega.
Ruth Hurmence Green
who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky--filled with pretty people?
( and if you and I should
get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people
than houses and steeples and clouds:
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where
in love and flowers pick themselves
E.E. Cummings (Collected Poems)
Now and then in life, love catches you unawares, illuminating the dark corners of your mind, and filling them with radiance. Once in awhile you are faced with a beauty and a joy that takes your soul, all unprepared, by assault.
Jennifer Worth (The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times)
Our stories are not meant for everyone. Hearing them is a privilege, and we should always ask ourselves this before we share: "Who has earned the right to hear my story?" If we have one or two people in our lives who can sit with us and hold space for our shame stories, and love us for our strengths and struggles, we are incredibly lucky. If we have a friend, or small group of friends, or family who embraces our imperfections, vulnerabilities, and power, and fills us with a sense of belonging, we are incredibly lucky.
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
Elizabeth Bishop (One Art)
We love films because they makes us feel something. They speak to our desires, which are never small. They allow us to escape and to dream and to gaze into the eyes that are impossibly beautiful and huge. They fill us with longing. But also. They tell us to remember; they remind us of life. Remember, they say, how much it hurts to have your heart broken.
Nina LaCour (Everything Leads to You)
There is an emptiness inside of me -- a void that will never be filled. No one in your life will ever love you as your mother does. There is no love as pure, unconditional and strong as a mother's love. And I will never be loved that way again.
Hope Edelman (Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss)
Love is Not All
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Collected Poems)
love one another, but make not a bond of love:
let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
I loved you!” he yelled. He jumped up out of his chair so quickly I never saw it coming. “I loved you, and you destroyed me. You took my heart and ripped it up. You might as well have staked me!” The change in his features also caught me by surprise. His voice filled the room. So much grief, so much anger. So unlike the usual Adrian. He strode toward me, hand clasped over his chest. “I. Loved. You. And you used me the whole time.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
There are many different types of kisses. There’s a passionate kiss of farewell—like the kind Rhett gave Scarlett when he went off to war. The kiss of I-can’t-really-be-with-you-but-I-want-to-be—like with Superman and Lois Lane. There’s the first kiss—one that is gentle and hesitant, warm and vulnerable. And then there’s the kiss of possession—which was how Ren kissed me now.
It went beyond passion, beyond desire. His kiss was full of longing, need, and love, like all those other kisses. But, it was also filled with promises and pledges, some of which seemed sweet and tender while others seemed dangerous and exciting. He was taking me over. Staking a claim.
He seized me as boldly as the tiger captured his prey. There was no escape. And I didn’t want to. I would have happily died in his clutches. I was his. And he made sure I knew it. My heart burst with a thousand beautiful blooms, all tiger lilies. And I knew with a certainty more powerful than anything I’d ever felt before that we belonged together.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga, #2))
I love heavily tattooed women. I imagine their lives are filled with sensuality and excess, madness and generosity, impulsive natures and fights. They look like they have endured much pain and sadness, yet have the ability to transcend all of it by documenting it on the body
I was not supposed to love you. The woman had said that—and then she died. She should not have loved him, and he should not have dared to love her. He deserved this darkness, and once the invisible boundary shattered and the waiting thing pounced, infiltrating and filling him … he’d have earned it.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
I hold the bottle out into the rain and watch as the steady flow slowly fills it. When there is enough, enough that Beth can clearly see, I close the bottle and hand it to her.
She raises a skeptical eyebrow, but accepts the bottle.
"It's our rain Beth."
Her head barely shakes to show her confusion while I rub the back of my neck and search for my courage. "I told you I loved you in this rain and when you doubt my words, I want you to look at this bottle.
Katie McGarry (Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2))
You think you want love, Mary. You think it is this beautiful gift that does nothing but fill you and make you whole. But you are wrong. Love can be cruel and ugly. It can become dark and cause the deepest pain.
Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1))
Imagine what it would be like to have a bookshelf filled only with books that you really love. Isn’t that image spellbinding? For someone who loves books, what greater happiness could there be?
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)
Two seconds later, the sound of an alarm filled my ears.
''What did you do?'' I said over the noise as he backed up towards the bathroom door.
''The girl who gave you the note?''
''I caught her staring at my lighter.''
I blinked. ''You gave a child, in a psych ward , a lighter?''
His eyes crinkled at the corners. ''She seemed trustworthy.''
''You're sick,'' I said, but smiled.
''Hey, nobody's perfect. '' Noah smiled back.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous. Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
You want what you can’t have. I see it in your eyes. The
pain that fills your nights is because of my pack of lies. I’ve
opened up the door for you to walk away. There’s a better
path for you even though I want you to stay. I’ve broken the
rules, I’ve veered from the path but when I met you I knew
to save you was worth the wrath. Let me leave now before
it’s too late. Let me leave now before you know what I am
and your love becomes hate.
Abbi Glines (Existence (Existence, #1))
I think our last kiss was meant to be quick and chaste, but after the first touch of his lips fire leaped up and roared through my belly. My fingers yanked him close, digging into his back, and his arms crushed me to him as if wanting to meld us together. I knotted my fingers in his hair and bit down on his bottom lip, making him groan. His lips parted, and my tongue swept in to dance with his. There was nothing sweet or gentle in our last kiss; it was filled with sorrow and desperation, of the bitter knowledge that we could've had something perfect, but it just wasn't meant to be.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Daughter (The Iron Fey, #2))
Love is a wonderful gift. It's a present so precious words can barely begin to describe it. Love is a feeling, the deepest and sweetest of all. It's incredibly strong and amazingly gentle at the very same time. It is a blessing that should be counted every day. It is nourishment for the soul. It is devotion, constantly letting each person know how supportive it's certainty can be. Love is a heart filled with affection for the most important person in your life. Love is looking at the special someone who makes your world go around and absolutely loving what you see. Love gives meaning to one's world and magic to a million hopes and dreams. It makes the morning shine more brightly and each season seem like it's the nicest one anyone ever had. Love is an invaluable bond that enriches every good thing in life. It gives each hug a tenderness, each heart a happiness, each spirit a steady lift. Love is an invisible connection that is exquisitely felt by those who know the joy, feel the warmth, share the sweetness, and celebrate the gift!
They wordlessly excused each other for not loving each other as much as they had planned to. There were empty rooms in the house where they had meant to put their love, and they worked together to fill these rooms with midcentury modern furniture. ("Birthmark").
Miranda July (No One Belongs Here More Than You)
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.
She didn't understand what it was like to be filled with a love so strong that it made your chest ache—a love you could only feel and not express. Keeping love buried was a lot like keeping anger pent up, I'd learned. It just ate you up inside until you wanted to scream or kick something.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
The most treasured and sacred moments of our lives are those filled with the spirit of love. The greater the measure of our love, the greater is our joy. In the end, the development of such love is the true measure of success in life.
Joseph B. Wirthlin
It always came back to love. More than freedom, more than acceptance—love. True love, like they sang about in the second era. The kind that filled up a person's soul. The kind that lent itself to dramatic gestures and sacrifices. The kind that was irresistible and all-encompassing.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
Half of me is filled with bursting words and half of me is painfully shy. I crave solitude yet also crave people. I want to pour life and love into everything yet also nurture my self-care and go gently. I want to live within the rush of primal, intuitive decision, yet also wish to sit and contemplate. This is the messiness of life - that we all carry multitudes, so must sit with the shifts. We are complicated creatures, and ultimately, the balance comes from this understanding. Be water. Flowing, flexible and soft. Subtly powerful and open. Wild and serene. Able to accept all changes, yet still led by the pull of steady tides. It is enough.
Love, whether it's friendship or more, is like a cup. It fills up drop by drop, until one last drop and the cup is full. The liquid hangs there almost above the rim, hangs there on surface tension alone and you know that one more drop and it will spill over.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Blood Noir (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #16))
Don’t be upset that you can’t attain constant happiness. It’s the quickest way to feel like a failure in life. If each of our lives represented a page in a book, happiness would be the punctuation. It breaks up the parts that are too long. It closes off some things, divides others. But it’s brief—showing up when it’s needed and filling tired paragraphs with breaks.
Tarryn Fisher (F*ck Love)
I like storms. Thunder torrential rain, puddles, wet shoes. When the clouds roll in, I get filled with this giddy expectation. Everything is more beautiful in the rain. Don't ask me why. But it’s like this whole other realm of opportunity. I used to feel like a superhero, riding my bike over the dangerously slick roads, or maybe an Olympic athlete enduring rough trials to make it to the finish line. On sunny days, as a girl, I could still wake up to that thrilled feeling. You made me giddy with expectation, just like a symphonic rainstorm. You were a tempest in the sun, the thunder in a boring, cloudless sky. I remember I’d shovel in my breakfast as fast as I could, so I could go knock on your door. We’d play all day, only coming back for food and sleep. We played hide and seek, you’d push me on the swing, or we’d climb trees. Being your sidekick gave me a sense of home again. You see, when I was ten, my mom died. She had cancer, and I lost her before I really knew her. My world felt so insecure, and I was scared. You were the person that turned things right again. With you, I became courageous and free. It was like the part of me that died with my mom came back when I met you, and I didn’t hurt if I knew I had you. Then one day, out of the blue, I lost you, too. The hurt returned, and I felt sick when I saw you hating me. My rainstorm was gone, and you became cruel. There was no explanation. You were just gone. And my heart was ripped open. I missed you. I missed my mom. What was worse than losing you, was when you started to hurt me. Your words and actions made me hate coming to school. They made me uncomfortable in my own home. Everything still hurts, but I know none of it is my fault. There are a lot of words that I could use to describe you, but the only one that includes sad, angry, miserable, and pitiful is “coward.” I a year, I’ll be gone, and you’ll be nothing but some washout whose height of existence was in high school. You were my tempest, my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour. I loved all those things, and I loved you. But now? You’re a fucking drought. I thought that all the assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.
Penelope Douglas (Bully (Fall Away, #1))
By this point Viviane Lavender had loved Jack Griffith for twelve years, which was far more than half of her life. If she thought of her love as a commodity and were to, say, eat it, it would fill 4,745 cherry pies. If she were to preserve it, she would need 23,725 glass jars and labels and a basement spanning the length of Pinnacle Lane.
If she were to drink it, she'd drown.
Leslye Walton (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender)
If a man truly loves,....He does not consider the obstacles, the restrictions, the reasons why his choice may be flawed or impratical. He gives no heed to what others may think. His heart has no room for that, for it is filled to the brim with the unutterable truth of his feelings.
Juliet Marillier (Cybele's Secret (Wildwood, #2))
She stared at herself in the mirror. Her eyes were dark, almost black, filled with pain. She'd let someone do that to her. She'd known all along she felt things too deeply. She became attached. She didn't want a lover who could walk away from her, because she could never do that - love someone completely and survive intact if her left her.
Christine Feehan (Turbulent Sea (Drake Sisters, #6))
We all have our little solipsistic delusions, ghastly intuitions of utter singularity: that we are the only one in the house who ever fills the ice-cube tray, who unloads the clean dishwasher, who occasionally pees in the shower, whose eyelid twitches on first dates; that only we take casualness terribly seriously; that only we fashion supplication into courtesy; that only we hear the whiny pathos in a dog’s yawn, the timeless sigh in the opening of the hermetically-sealed jar, the splattered laugh in the frying egg, the minor-D lament in the vacuum’s scream; that only we feel the panic at sunset the rookie kindergartner feels at his mother’s retreat. That only we love the only-we. That only we need the only-we. Solipsism binds us together, J.D. knows. That we feel lonely in a crowd; stop not to dwell on what’s brought the crowd into being. That we are, always, faces in a crowd.
David Foster Wallace (Girl with Curious Hair)
Do you know,' he said again softly, addressing his hands, 'what it is to love someone, and never - never! - be able to give them peace, or joy, or happiness?'
He looked up then, eyes filled with pain. 'To know that you cannot give them happiness, not through any fault of yours or theirs, but only because you were not born the right person for them?
Diana Gabaldon (Voyager (Outlander, #3))
The nights you fight best are
when all the weapons are pointed at you,
when all the voices hurl their insults
while the dream is being strangled.
The nights you fight best are
when reason gets kicked in the gut,
when the chariots of gloom encircle you.
The nights you fight best are
when the laughter of fools fills the air,
when the kiss of death is mistaken for love.
The nights you fight best are
when the game is fixed,
when the crowd screams for your blood.
The nights you fight best are
on a night like this
as you chase a thousand dark rats from your brain,
as you rise up against the impossible,
as you become a brother to the tender sister of joy
and move on
A Robin Redbreast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A dove house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders Hell thro’ all its regions.
A Dog starv’d at his Master’s Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus’d upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fiber from the Brain does tear.
I knew then that I had never understood what humans called love. But if that was anything close to the power you held over me, then no wonder they searched for it so passionately."
I reached out and pulled him into bed with me. "You're going to be late."
"Because after hearing that I can't let you leave until I've had my fill. Get naked, Dankmar.
Abbi Glines (Ceaseless (Existence, #3))
We are the people of the book. We love our books. We fill our houses with books. We treasure books we inherit from our parents, and we cherish the idea of passing those books on to our children. Indeed, how many of us started reading with a beloved book that belonged to one of our parents? We force worthy books on our friends, and we insist that they read them. We even feel a weird kinship for the people we see on buses or airplanes reading our books, the books that we claim. If anyone tries to take away our books—some oppressive government, some censor gone off the rails—we would defend them with everything that we have. We know our tribespeople when we visit their homes because every wall is lined with books. There are teetering piles of books beside the bed and on the floor; there are masses of swollen paperbacks in the bathroom. Our books are us. They are our outboard memory banks and they contain the moral, intellectual, and imaginative influences that make us the people we are today.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
what i miss most is how you loved me. but what i didn't know was how you loved me had so much to do with the person i was. it was a reflection of everything i gave you. coming back to me. how did i not see that. how. did i sit here soaking in the idea that no one else would love me that way. when it was i that taught you. when it was i that showed you how to fill. the way i needed to be filled. how cruel i was to myself. giving you credit for my warmth simply because you had felt it. thinking it was you who gave me strength. wit. beauty. simply because you recognized it. as if i was already not these things before i met you. as if i did not remain all these things after you left.
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
In the first place, his startling likeness to Catherine, connected him fearfully with her. That, however, which you may suppose the most potent to arrest my imagination, is actually the least – for what is not connected with her to me? and what does not recall her? I cannot look down to this floor, but her features are shaped on the flags! In every cloud, in every tree – filling the air at night, and caught by glimpses in every object, by day I am surrounded with her image! The most ordinary faces of men, and women – my own features mock me with a resemblance. The entire world is a dreadful collection of memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her!
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
I've loved him my whole life, and somewhere along the way, that love didn't change but grew. It grew to fill the parts of me that I did not have when I was a child. It grew with every new longing of my body and desire until there was not a piece of me that did not love him. And when I look at him, there is no other feeling in me.
Laura Nowlin (If He Had Been with Me)
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with.
Tell me why you loved them,
then tell me why they loved you.
Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through.
Tell me what the word home means to you
and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name
just by the way you describe your bedroom
when you were eight.
See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate,
and if that day still trembles beneath your bones.
Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain
or bounce in the bellies of snow?
And if you were to build a snowman,
would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms
or would leave your snowman armless
for the sake of being harmless to the tree?
And if you would,
would you notice how that tree weeps for you
because your snowman has no arms to hug you
every time you kiss him on the cheek?
Do you kiss your friends on the cheek?
Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad
even if it makes your lover mad?
Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion
or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain?
See, I wanna know what you think of your first name,
and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy
when she spoke it for the very first time.
I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind.
Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel.
Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old
beating up little boys at school.
If you were walking by a chemical plant
where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds
would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud
or would you whisper
“That cloud looks like a fish,
and that cloud looks like a fairy!”
Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin?
Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea?
And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me —
how would you explain the miracle of my life to me?
See, I wanna know if you believe in any god
or if you believe in many gods
or better yet
what gods believe in you.
And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself,
have the prayers you asked come true?
And if they didn’t, did you feel denied?
And if you felt denied,
denied by who?
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling good.
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling bad.
I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty
could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.
If you ever reach enlightenment
will you remember how to laugh?
Have you ever been a song?
Would you think less of me
if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key?
And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry
I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me
who have learned the wisdom of silence.
Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence?
And if you do —
I want you to tell me of a meadow
where my skateboard will soar.
See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living.
I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving,
and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes.
I wanna know if you bleed sometimes
from other people’s wounds,
and if you dream sometimes
that this life is just a balloon —
that if you wanted to, you could pop,
but you never would
‘cause you’d never want it to stop.
If a tree fell in the forest
and you were the only one there to hear —
if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound,
would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist,
or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness?
And lastly, let me ask you this:
If you and I went for a walk
and the entire walk, we didn’t talk —
do you think eventually, we’d… kiss?
That’s asking too much —
this is only our first date.
You are always new. THe last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest. When you pass'd my window home yesterday, I was fill'd with as much admiration as if I had then seen you for the first time...Even if you did not love me I could not help an entire devotion to you.
John Keats (Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne)
… What about the main thing in life, all its riddles? If you want, I'll spell it out for you right now. Do not pursue what is illusionary -property and position: all that is gained at the expense of your nerves decade after decade, and is confiscated in one fell night. Live with a steady superiority over life -don't be afraid of misfortune, and do not yearn for happiness; it is, after all, all the same: the bitter doesn't last forever, and the sweet never fills the cup to overflowing. It is enough if you don't freeze in the cold and if thirst and hunger don't claw at your insides. If your back isn't broken, if your feet can walk, if both arms can bend, if both eyes can see, if both ears hear, then whom should you envy? And why? Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes and purify your heart -and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well. Do not hurt them or scold them, and never part from any of them in anger; after all, you simply do not know: it may be your last act before your arrest, and that will be how you are imprinted on their memory.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
I recall certain moments, let us call them icebergs in paradise, when after having had my fill of her –after fabulous, insane exertions that left me limp and azure-barred–I would gather her in my arms with, at last, a mute moan of human tenderness (her skin glistening in the neon light coming from the paved court through the slits in the blind, her soot-black lashes matted, her grave gray eyes more vacant than ever–for all the world a little patient still in the confusion of a drug after a major operation)–and the tenderness would deepen to shame and despair, and I would lull and rock my lone light Lolita in my marble arms, and moan in her warm hair, and caress her at random and mutely ask her blessing, and at the peak of this human agonized selfless tenderness (with my soul actually hanging around her naked body and ready to repent), all at once, ironically, horribly, lust would swell again–and 'oh, no,' Lolita would say with a sigh to heaven, and the next moment the tenderness and the azure–all would be shattered.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
Where would we be without tomorrows? What we’d have instead are todays. And if that was the case, with you, I’d hope for the longest day for today. I’d fill today with you, doing everything I’ve ever loved. I’d laugh, I’d talk, I’d listen and learn, I’d love, I’d love, I’d love. I’d make every day today and spend them all with you, and I’d never worry about tomorrow, when I wouldn’t be with you. And when that dreaded tomorrow comes for us, please know that I didn’t want to leave you, or be left behind, that every single moment spent with you were the best times in my life.
Cecelia Ahern (How to Fall in Love)
Jealousy always has been my cross, the weakness and woundedness in me that has most often caused me to feel ugly and unlovable, like the Bad Seed. I’ve had many years of recovery and therapy, years filled with intimate and devoted friendships, yet I still struggle. I know that when someone gets a big slice of pie, it doesn’t mean there’s less for me. In fact, I know that there isn’t even a pie, that there’s plenty to go around, enough food and love and air.
But I don’t believe it for a second.
I secretly believe there’s a pie. I will go to my grave brandishing my fork.
Anne Lamott (Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith)
But he [Depression] just gives me that dark smile, settles into my favorite chair, puts his feet on my table and lights a cigar, filling the place with his awful smoke. Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over himself, fully dressed, shoes and all. He's going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Blood filled my mouth, warm as it dribbled out between my lips. I gazed at Tamlin's masked face one last time.
"Love," I breathed, the world crumbling into a blackness with no end. A pause in Amarantha's magic. "The answer to the riddle...," I got out, chocking on my own blood, "is... love."
Tamlin's eyes went wide before something forever cracked in my spine.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Sooner or later, fate puts us together with all the people, one by one, who show us what we could, and shouldn’t, let ourselves become. Sooner or later we meet the drunkard, the waster, the betrayer, the ruthless mind, and the hate-filled heart. But fate loads the dice, of course, because we usually find ourselves loving or pitying almost all of those people. And it’s impossible to despise someone you honestly pity, and to shun someone you truly love.
Gregory David Roberts
Some catastrophic moments invite clarity, explode in split moments: You smash your hand through a windowpane and then there is blood and shattered glass stained with red all over the place; you fall out a window and break some bones and scrape some skin. Stitches and casts and bandages and antiseptic solve and salve the wounds. But depression is not a sudden disaster. It is more like a cancer: At first its tumorous mass is not even noticeable to the careful eye, and then one day -- wham! -- there is a huge, deadly seven-pound lump lodged in your brain or your stomach or your shoulder blade, and this thing that your own body has produced is actually trying to kill you. Depression is a lot like that: Slowly, over the years, the data will accumulate in your heart and mind, a computer program for total negativity will build into your system, making life feel more and more unbearable. But you won't even notice it coming on, thinking that it is somehow normal, something about getting older, about turning eight or turning twelve or turning fifteen, and then one day you realize that your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live.
In my case, I was not frightened in the least bit at the thought that I might live because I was certain, quite certain, that I was already dead. The actual dying part, the withering away of my physical body, was a mere formality. My spirit, my emotional being, whatever you want to call all that inner turmoil that has nothing to do with physical existence, were long gone, dead and gone, and only a mass of the most fucking god-awful excruciating pain like a pair of boiling hot tongs clamped tight around my spine and pressing on all my nerves was left in its wake.
That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal -- unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space. But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead.
And the scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, 'Gradually and then suddenly.' When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say too
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Child, child, have patience and belief, for life is many days, and each present hour will pass away. Son, son, you have been mad and drunken, furious and wild, filled with hatred and despair, and all the dark confusions of the soul - but so have we. You found the earth too great for your one life, you found your brain and sinew smaller than the hunger and desire that fed on them - but it has been this way with all men. You have stumbled on in darkness, you have been pulled in opposite directions, you have faltered, you have missed the way, but, child, this is the chronicle of the earth. And now, because you have known madness and despair, and because you will grow desperate again before you come to evening, we who have stormed the ramparts of the furious earth and been hurled back, we who have been maddened by the unknowable and bitter mystery of love, we who have hungered after fame and savored all of life, the tumult, pain, and frenzy, and now sit quietly by our windows watching all that henceforth never more shall touch us - we call upon you to take heart, for we can swear to you that these things pass.
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
I used to love the ocean.
Everything about her.
Her coral reefs, her white caps, her roaring waves, the rocks they lap, her pirate legends and mermaid tails,
Treasures lost and treasures held...
Of her fish
In the sea.
Yes, I used to love the ocean,
Everything about her.
The way she would sing me to sleep as I lay in my bed
then wake me with a force
That I soon came to dread.
Her fables, her lies, her misleading eyes,
I'd drain her dry
If I cared enough to.
I used to love the ocean,
Everything about her.
Her coral reefs, her white caps, her roaring waves, the rocks they lap, her pirate legends and mermaid tails, treasures lost and treasures held.
Of her fish
In the sea.
Well, if you've ever tried navigating your sailboat through her stormy seas, you would realize that her white caps
are your enemies. If you've ever tried swimming ashore when your leg gets a cramp and you just had a huge meal of In-n-Out burgers that's weighing you down, and her roaring waves are knocking the wind out of you, filling your lungs with water as you flail your arms, trying to get someone's attention, but your
back at you?
And if you've ever grown up with dreams in your head about life, and how one of these days you would pirate your own ship and have your own crew and that all of the mermaids
Well, you would realize...
Like I eventually realized...
That all the good things about her?
All the beautiful?
It's not real.
So you keep your ocean,
I'll take the Lake.
Just for future reference, don't use words like "love" anymore. It's a very sensitive word and it wears out quickly. Romeo barely says it, but John Hinckley filled up a whole journal with it. To put it into your terms, it's a currency that's easily devalued. Pretty soon you're saying it whenever you hang up the phone or whenever you leave. It turns into an apology. Then it's an excuse. Some assholes want it to be a bulletproof vest: don't hate me; I love you. But mostly it just means--more. More, more--give me something more. A couple of years from now, when you're on your own completely, if you really fall in love, if it really comes to that--and I pity you if it does--you have to look right down into the black of her eyes, right down into the emptiness in there and feel everything, absolutely everything she needs and you have to be willing to drown in it, Kevin. You'd have to want to be crushed, buried alive. Because that's what real love feels like--choking. They used to bury some women in their wedding dresses, you know. I thought it was because all those husbands were too cheap to spring for another gown, but now it makes sense: love is your first foot in the grave. That's why the second most abused word is "forever".
Peter Craig (Hot Plastic)
But I can be alone without Yoko, but I just have no wish to be. There’s no reason on earth why I should be alone without Yoko. There’s nothing more important than our relationship, nothing. And we dig being together all the time. Both of us could survive apart but what for? I’m not going to sacrifice love, real love for any whore or any friend or any business, because in the end you’re alone at night and neither of us want to be. And you can’t fill a bed with groupies. It doesn’t work. I don’t want to be a swinger. I’ve been through it all and nothing works better than to have someone you love hold you.
A strong woman is a woman who craves love like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong in words, in action, in connection, in feeling; she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she enacts it as the wind fills a sail.
Strangers when you meet, strangers when you part -a gymnasium of bodies namelessly masturbating each other. People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or to love. So they became swingers. The dead fucking the dead. There was no gamble or humor in their game -it was corpse fucking corpse. Morals were restrictive, but they were grounded on human experience down through the centuries. Some morals tended to keep people slaves in factories, in churches and true to the State. Other morals simply made good sense. It was like a garden filled with poisoned fruit and good fruit. You had to know which to pick and eat, which to leave alone.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore...But let there be spaces in your togetherness...Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not of the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
I’m not laughing.” I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soul mate. ”He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over, Groceries. David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you out of your marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. That was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over. Problem is, you can’t accept that his relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby – you’re just lickin’ at the empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.“But I love him.”
“So love him.” “But I miss him.” “So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’ll be really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen if she’s really alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with the doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him;
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones,
So let it be with Caesar ... The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answered it ...
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest,
(For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all; all honourable men)
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral ...
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man….
He hath brought many captives home to Rome,
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then to mourn for him?
O judgement! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason…. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me
William Shakespeare (Julius Caesar)
She was still under the spell of her infatuation. She had tried to forget him, realizing the inutility of remembering. But the thought of him was like an obsession, ever pressing itself upon her. It was not that she dwelt upon details of their acquaintance, or recalled in any special or peculiar way his personality; it was his being, his existence, which dominated her thought, fading sometimes as if it would melt into the mist of the forgotten, reviving again with an intensity which filled her with an incomprehensible longing.
Kate Chopin (The Awakening)
Sometimes she'd go a whole day without thinking of him or missing him. Why not? She had quite a full life, and really, he'd often been hard to deal with and hard to live with. A project, the Yankee oldtimers like her very own Dad might have said. And then sometimes a day would come, a gray one (or a sunny one) when she missed him so fiercely she felt empty, not a woman at all anymore but just a dead tree filled with cold November blow. She felt like that now, felt like hollering his name and hollering him home, and her heart turned sick with the thought of the years ahead and she wondered what good love was if it came to this, to even ten seconds of feeling like this.
Stephen King (Lisey's Story)
Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?
Was there another Troy for her to burn?
W.B. Yeats (The Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats)
Carnal apple, Woman filled, burning moon,
dark smell of seaweed, crush of mud and light,
what secret knowledge is clasped between your pillars?
What primal night does Man touch with his senses?
Ay, Love is a journey through waters and stars,
through suffocating air, sharp tempests of grain:
Love is a war of lightning,
and two bodies ruined by a single sweetness.
Kiss by kiss I cover your tiny infinity,
your margins, your rivers, your diminutive villages,
and a genital fire, transformed by delight,
slips through the narrow channels of blood
to precipitate a nocturnal carnation,
to be, and be nothing but light in the dark.
A lover exists only in fragments, a dozen or so if the romance is new, a thousand if we're married to him, and out of those fragments our heart constructs an entire person. What we each create, since whatever is missing is filled by our imagination, is the person we wish him to be. The less we know him, of course, the more we love him. And that's why we always remember that first rapturous night when he was a stranger, and why this rapture returns only when he's dead.
Andrew Sean Greer (The Story of a Marriage)
Each of us is under a divinely spoken obligation to reach out with pardon and mercy and to forgive one another. There is a great need for this Christlike attribute in our families, in our marriages, in our wards and stakes, in our communities, and in our nations.
We will receive the joy of forgiveness in our own lives when we are willing to extend that joy freely to others. Lip service is not enough. We need to purge our hearts and minds of feelings and thoughts of bitterness and let the light and the love of Christ enter in. As a result, the Spirit of the Lord will fill our souls with the joy accompanying divine peace of conscience.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
I'm living at a peak of clarity and beauty I never knew existed. Every part of me is attuned to the work. I soak it up into my pores during the day, and at night—in the moments before I pass off into sleep—ideas explode into my head like fireworks. There is no greater joy than the burst of solution to a problem. Incredible that anything could happen to take away this bubbling energy, the zest that fills everything I do. It's as if all the knowledge I've soaked in during the past months has coalesced and lifted me to a peak of light and understanding. This is beauty, love, and truth all rolled into one. This is joy.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
I Like For You To Be Still
I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not touch you
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy
I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
It sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a ring
You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid
I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
Distant and full of sorrow
So you would've died
One word then, One smile is enough
And I'm happy;
Happy that it's not true
Now I know grief is a whetstone that sharpens all your love, all your happiest memories, into blades that tear you apart from within. Something has been torn out from inside me that will never be filled up, not ever, no matter how long I live. They say "time heals," but even now, less than a week after my father's death, I know that's a lie. What people really mean is that eventually you'll get used to the pain. You'll forget who you were without it; you'll forget what you looked like without your scars.
Claudia Gray (A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1))
She put a hand on his hip and turned him to her. "But things could go wrong, so i want to tell you something while it's just the two of us, Eddie. I want to tell you how much I love you." She spoke simply, with no drama.
I know you do," he said, "but I'll be damned if I know why."
Because you made me feel whole," she said. "When I was younger, I used to vacillate between thinking love was this great and glorious mystery and thinking it was just something a bunch of Hollywood move producers made up to sell more tickets in the Depression, when Dish Night kind of played out."
Now I think that all of us are born with a hole in our hearts, and we go around looking for the person who can fill it. You...Eddie, you fill me up.
Stephen King (Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5))
It’s the Longing that ultimately undoes you. When it finds you, it gnaws at your bones and tugs at your chest. It fills you up inside like rot and makes you dream dreams and it drowns you. The Longing keeps you in bed, clutching at your sheets while the world goes on outside. It smells like old leaves and cigarette smoke, mixed with the scent of far-off places you will hear of, but never see. It’s the gloss on a lover’s lips the moment you realize you will never kiss those lips again. It is the bittersweet, unrequited love of creation and it will break your heart again and again and again. If you know the Longing the way I do, then these words are redundant. We understand each other perfectly, you and I.
Matthew Sturges (House of Mystery, Volume 1: Room and Boredom)
Half of the time, the Holy Ghost tries to warn us about certain people that come into our life. The other half of the time he tries to tell us that the sick feeling we get in a situation is not the other person’s fault, rather it is our own hang-ups. A life filled with bias, hatred, judgment, insecurity, fear, delusion and self-righteousness can cloud the soul of anyone you meet. Our job is never to assume,instead it is to listen, communicate, ask questions then ask more, until we know the true depth of someone’s spirit.
Shannon L. Alder
My wife's the reason anything gets done, she nudges me towards promise by degrees. She is a perfect symphony of one our son is her most beautiful reprise. We chase the melodies that seem to find us until they're finished songs and start to play. When senseless acts of tragedy remind us that nothing here is promised--not one day. This show is proof that history remembers. We live in times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall and light from dying embers--remembrances that hope and love last longer. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside. I sing Vanessa's symphony. Eliza tells her story. Now, fill the world with music, love, and pride.
Brida’s eyes filled with tears. She was proud of her Soulmate.
That is what the forest taught me. That you will never be mine, and that is why I will never lose you. You were my hope during my days of loneliness, my anxiety during moments of doubt, my certainty during moments of faith.
Knowing that my Soulmate would come one day, I devoted myself to learning the Tradition of the Sun. Knowing that you existed was my one reason for continuing to live.’
Brida could no longer conceal her tears.
Then you came, and I understood all of this. You came to free me from the slavery I myself had created, to tell me that I was free to return to the world and to the things of the world. I understood everything I needed to know, and I love you more than all the women I have ever known, more than I loved the woman who, quite unwittingly, exiled me to the forest. I will always remember now that love is liberty. That was the lesson it took me so many years to learn. That is the lesson that sent me into exile and now sets me free again.’
I will always remember you, and you will remember me, just as we will remember the evening, the rain on the windows, and all the things we’ll always have because we cannot possess them.
Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me"
Photo by Shawn Nystrand
Photo by Shawn Nystrand
spoke to me
to come falling
out of the brisk cloud…
That’s what it said
as it dropped,
smelling of iron,
Then it was over.
The sky cleared.
I was standing
under a tree.
The tree was a tree
with happy leaves,
and I was myself,
and there were stars in the sky
that were also themselves
at the moment
at which moment
my right hand
was holding my left hand
which was holding the tree
which was filled with stars
and the soft rain –
the long and wondrous journeys
still to be ours.
Mary Oliver (What Do We Know)
Maybe you've never fallen into a frozen stream. Here's what happens.
1. It is cold. So cold that the Department of Temperature Acknowledgment and Regulation in you brain gets the readings and says, "I can't deal with this. I'm out of here." It puts up the OUT TO LUNCH sign and passes all responsibility to the...
2. Department of Pain and the Processing Thereof, which gets all this gobbledygook from the temperature department that it can't understand. "This is so not our job," it says. So it just starts hitting random buttons, filling you with strange and unpleasant sensations, and calls the...
3. Office of Confusion and Panic, where there is always someone ready to hop on the phone the moment it rings. This office is at least willing to take some action. The Office of Confusion and Panic loves hitting buttons.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization - black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.... What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.
Robert F. Kennedy
What doesn’t kill you leaves disfiguring scars
What doesn’t kill you fills you with paralyzing self-hatred
What doesn’t kill you makes you an unfit mother
What doesn’t kill you makes it all so hard
What doesn’t kill you wakes you up in the middle of the night
What doesn’t kill you turns you into an alcoholic
What doesn’t kill you makes you do unforgivable things to the people you love
What doesn’t kill you makes you afraid for the rest of your life
What doesn’t kill you might make you kill them
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
It's really going to happen. I really won't ever go back to school. Not ever. I'll never be famous or leave anything worthwhile behind. I'll never go to college or have a job. I won't see my brother grow up. I won't travel, never earn money, never drive, never fall in love or leave home or get my own house.
It's really, really true.
A thought stabs up, growing from my toes and ripping through me, until it stifles everything else and becomes the only thing I'm thinking. It fills me up like a silent scream.
Jenny Downham (Before I Die)
Suffering in the path of Christian obedience, with joy - because the steadfast love of the Lord is better than life (Psalm 63:3) - is the clearest display of the worth of God in our lives. Therefore, faith-filled suffering is essential in this world for the most intense, authentic worship. When we are most satisfied with God in suffering, he will be most glorified in us in worship. Our problem is not styles of music. Our problem is styles of life. When we embrace more affliction for the worth of Christ, there will be more fruit in the worship of Christ.
John Piper (Tested by Fire: The Fruit of Suffering in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper and David Brainerd.)
Wait, for now.
Distrust everything, if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become lovely again.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again,
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. And the desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.
Don't go too early.
You're tired. But everyone's tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a while and listen.
Music of hair,
Music of pain,
music of looms weaving all our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear,
the flute of your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.
The problem about cutting out the best of your heart and giving it to people, is that 1. It hurts to do that; and 2. You never know if they are going to throw it away or not. But then you should still do it. Because any other way is cowardice. At the end of the day, it's about being brave and we are only haunted by the ghosts that we trap within ourselves; we are not haunted by the ghosts that we let out. We are haunted by the ghosts that we cover and hide. So you let those ghosts out in that best piece of your heart that you give to someone. And if the other person throws it away? Or doesn't want it to begin with? Someone else will come along one day, cut out from his/her heart that exact same jagged shape that you cut out of your own heart, and make their piece of heart fit into the rest of yours. Wait for that person. And you can fill their missing piece with your soul.
C. JoyBell C.
HOW ANGELS SLEEP. Unsoundly. They toss and turn, trying to understand the mystery of the living. They know so little about what it's like to fill a new prescription for glasses and suddenly see the world again, with a mixture of disappointment and gratitude ... Also, they don't dream. For this reason, they have one less thing to talk about. In a backward way, when they wake up they feel as if there is something they are forgetting to tell each other. There is disagreement among the angels as to whether this is a result of something vestigial, or whether it is the result of the empathy they feel for the Living, so powerful it sometimes makes them weep. In general, they fall into these two camps on the subject of dreams. Even among the angels, there is the sadness of division.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
Love does that. It makes you feel infinite and invincible, like the whole world is open to you, anything is achievable, and each day will be filled with wonder. Maybe it’s the act of opening yourself up, letting someone else in— or maybe it’s the act of caring so deeply about another person that it expands your heart. I’ve heard so many people say some version of I never knew how much I could love another human being until . . . And after the until is usually something like my niece was born or I gave birth to a child or I adopted a baby. I never knew how much I could love another human being until I met you, Gabe.
I’ll never forget that.
Jill Santopolo (The Light We Lost)
Top 10 Deathbed Regrets:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life other people expected of me.
2. I wish I took time to be with my children more when they were growing up.
3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings, without the fear of being rejected or unpopular.
4. I wish I would have stayed in touch with friends and family.
5. I wish I would have forgiven someone when I had the chance.
6. I wish I would have told the people I loved the most how important they are to me.
7. I wish I would have had more confidence and tried more things, instead of being afraid of looking like a fool.
8. I wish I would have done more to make an impact in this world.
9. I wish I would have experienced more, instead of settling for a boring life filled with routine, mediocrity and apathy.
10. I wish I would have pursued my talents and gifts.
(contributed by Shannon L. Alder, author and therapist that has 17 years of experience working with hospice patients)
Shannon L. Alder
There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate—the genetic and neural fate—of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death. I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.
Oliver Sacks (Gratitude)
I get so god damn lonely and sad and filled with regrets some days. It overwhelms me as I’m sitting on the bus; watching the golden leaves from a window; a sudden burst of realisation in the middle of the night. I can’t help it and I can’t stop it. I’m alone as I’ve always been and sometimes it hurts…. but I’m learning to breathe deep through it and keep walking. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. To comfort my own heart when I wake up sad. To find small bits of friendship in a crowd full of strangers. To find a small moment of joy in a blue sky, in a trip somewhere not so far away, a long walk an early morning in December, or a handwritten letter to an old friend simply saying ”I thought of you. I hope you’re well.”
No one will come and save you. No one will come riding on a white horse and take all your worries away. You have to save yourself, little by little, day by day. Build yourself a home. Take care of your body. Find something to work on. Something that makes you excited, something you want to learn. Get yourself some books and learn them by heart. Get to know the author, where he grew up, what books he read himself. Take yourself out for dinner. Dress up for no one but you and simply feel nice. it’s a lovely feeling, to feel pretty. You don’t need anyone to confirm it.
I get so god damn lonely and sad and filled with regrets some days, but I’m learning to breathe deep through it and keep walking. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. Slowly building myself a home with things I like. Colors that calm me down, a plan to follow when things get dark, a few people I try to treat right. I don’t sometimes, but it’s my intent to do so. I’m learning.I’m learning to make things nice for myself. I’m learning to save myself.
I’m trying, as I always will.
Charlotte Eriksson (Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself: growing up is a wonderful thing to do)
Sometimes, when one is moving silently through such an utterly desolate landscape, an overwhelming hallucination can make one feel that oneself, as an individual human being, is slowly being unraveled. The surrounding space is so vast that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a balanced grip on one's own being. The mind swells out to fill the entire landscape, becoming so diffuse in the process that one loses the ability to keep it fastened to the physical self. The sun would rise from the eastern horizon, and cut it's way across the empty sky, and sink below the western horizon. This was the only perceptible change in our surroundings. And in the movement of the sun, I felt something I hardly know how to name: some huge, cosmic love.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
Franz Kafka is Dead
He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me." The people whispered and nodded among themselves. They put their arms around each other, and touched their children's hair. They took off their hats and raised them to the small, sickly man with the ears of a strange animal, sitting in his black velvet suit in the dark tree. Then they turned and started for home under the canopy of leaves. Children were carried on their fathers' shoulders, sleepy from having been taken to see who wrote his books on pieces of bark he tore off the tree from which he refused to come down. In his delicate, beautiful, illegible handwriting. And they admired those books, and they admired his will and stamina. After all: who doesn't wish to make a spectacle of his loneliness? One by one families broke off with a good night and a squeeze of the hands, suddenly grateful for the company of neighbors. Doors closed to warm houses. Candles were lit in windows. Far off, in his perch in the trees , Kafka listened to it all: the rustle of the clothes being dropped to the floor, or lips fluttering along naked shoulders, beds creaking along the weight of tenderness. It all caught in the delicate pointed shells of his ears and rolled like pinballs through the great hall of his mind.
That night a freezing wind blew in. When the children woke up, they went to the window and found the world encased in ice. One child, the smallest, shrieked out in delight and her cry tore through the silence and exploded the ice of a giant oak tree. The world shone.
They found him frozen on the ground like a bird. It's said that when they put their ears to the shell of his ears, they could hear themselves.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
I spent my entire life waiting for you, Marianne, and I didn't even know it until you arrived. Being burned was the best thing that ever happened to me because it brought you. I wanted to die but you filled me with so much love that it overflowed and I couldn't help but love you back. It happened before I even knew it and now I can't imagine not loving you. You have said that it takes so much for me to believe anything, but I do believe. I believe in your love for me. I believe in my love for you. I believe that every remaining beat of my heart belongs to you, and I believe that when I finally leave this world, my last breath will carry your name. I believe that my final word--Marianne--will be all I need to know that my life was good and full and worthy, and I believe that our love will last forever.
Andrew Davidson (The Gargoyle)
Who am I? And how I wonder, will this story end? . . .
My life? It is'nt easy to explain. It has not been the rip-roaring spectacular I fancied it woulf be, but neither have I burrowed around with the gophers. i suppose it has most resembled a bluechip stock: fairly stable, more ups and downs, and gradually tending over time. A good buy, a lucky buy, and I've learned that not everyone can say this about his life. But do not be misled. I am nothing special; of this I am sure. I am common man with common thought and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me, and my name will soon be forgotten, but I've loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough.
The romantics would call this a love story, the cynics would call it a tragedy. In my mind, it's a little bit of both, and no matter how you choose to view it in the end, it does not change the fact that involves a great deal of my life and the path I've chosen to follow. I have no complaints about the places it has taken me, enough complaints to fill a circus tent about other thins, maybe, but the path I've chosen has always been the right one, and I would'nt have had it any other way.
Time, unfortunatley, does'nt make it easy to stay on course. The path is straight as ever, but now it is strewn with the rocks and gravel that accumulated over a lifetime . . .
There is always a moment right before I begin to read the story when my mind churns, and I wonder, will it happen today? I don't know, for I never know beforehand, and deep down it really doesn't matter. It's the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee, a sort of wager on my part. And though you may call me a dreamer or a fool or any other thing, I believe that anything is possible.
I realize that odds, and science, are againts me. But science is not the answer; this I know, this I have learned in my lifetime. And that leaves me with the belief that miracles, no matter how inexplicable or unbelievable, are real and can occur without regard to the natural order of things. So once again, just as I do ecery day, I begin to read the notebook aloud, so that she can hear it, in the hope that the miracle, that has come to dominate my life will once again prevail.
And maybe, just maybe, it will.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
It may seem to you that your life is over now. Your future without the person you love is no future at all.
Death is a head-on collision with your plans.
But everything in life--the gold fillings of your teeth, the cotton of your sheets, the air you breathe, all the food you will ever eat--everything there is was born from a collision.
Inside every single thing that lives is a debt to a distant star that died.
Nothing new is ever created without one thing colliding into another.
And something new is created when the person you love dies.
Because they are not the only ones who die: you die, too. The person you were when you were with them is gone just as surely as they are.
This is what you should know about losing somebody you love. They do not travel alone. You go with them.
Augusten Burroughs (This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike.)
How very lovable her face was to him. Yet there was nothing ethereal about it; all was real vitality, real warmth, real incarnation. And it was in her mouth that this culminated. Eyes almost as deep and speaking he had seen before, and cheeks perhaps as fair; brows as arched, a chin and throat almost as shapely; her mouth he had seen nothing to equal on the face of the earth. To a young man with the least fire in him that little upward lift in the middle of her red top lip was distracting, infatuating, maddening. He had never before seen a woman’s lips and teeth which forced upon his mind with such persistent iteration the old Elizabethan simile of roses filled with snow.
Perfect, he, as a lover, might have called them off-hand. But no — they were not perfect. And it was the touch of the imperfect upon the would-be perfect that gave the sweetness, because it was that which gave the humanity.
Thomas Hardy (Tess of the D'Urbervilles)
Either way, we both agree that ambivalence is a key to success. I will say it again. Ambivalence is key. You have to care about your work but not the result. You have to care about how good you and how good you feel, but now about how good people think you are or how good people think you look I realize this is extremely difficult. I am not saying I am particularly good at it. I'm like you. Or maybe you'er better at this and I am. You will never climb Career Mountain and get to the top and shout, 'I made it!' You will rarely feel done or complete or even successful Most people I know struggle with that complicated soup of feeling slighted on one hand and like a total fraud on the other. Our ego is a monster that loves to sit at the head of the table, and I have learned that my ego is just as rude and loud and hungry as everyone else's. It doesn't matter how much you get; you are left wanting more. Success is filled with MSG.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
At issue here is the question: "To whom do I belong? God or to the world?" Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. It takes very little to raise me up or thrust me down. Often I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves. All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival: not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.
As long as I keep running about asking: "Do you love me? Do you really love me?" I give all power to the voices of the world and put myself in bondage because the world is filled with "ifs." The world says: "Yes, I love you if you are good-looking, intelligent, and wealthy. I love you if you have a good education, a good job, and good connections. I love you if you produce much, sell much, and buy much." There are endless "ifs" hidden in the world's love. These "ifs" enslave me, since it is impossible to respond adequately to all of them. The world's love is and always will be conditional. As long as I keep looking for my true self in the world of conditional love, I will remain "hooked" to the world-trying, failing,and trying again. It is a world that fosters addictions because what it offers cannot satisfy the deepest craving of my heart.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Until every soul is freely permitted to investigate every book, and creed, and dogma for itself, the world cannot be free. Mankind will be enslaved until there is mental grandeur enough to allow each man to have his thought and say. This earth will be a paradise when men can, upon all these questions differ, and yet grasp each other's hands as friends. It is amazing to me that a difference of opinion upon subjects that we know nothing with certainty about, should make us hate, persecute, and despise each other. Why a difference of opinion upon predestination, or the trinity, should make people imprison and burn each other seems beyond the comprehension of man; and yet in all countries where Christians have existed, they have destroyed each other to the exact extent of their power. Why should a believer in God hate an atheist? Surely the atheist has not injured God, and surely he is human, capable of joy and pain, and entitled to all the rights of man. Would it not be far better to treat this atheist, at least, as well as he treats us?
Christians tell me that they love their enemies, and yet all I ask is—not that they love their enemies, not that they love their friends even, but that they treat those who differ from them, with simple fairness.
We do not wish to be forgiven, but we wish Christians to so act that we will not have to forgive them. If all will admit that all have an equal right to think, then the question is forever solved; but as long as organized and powerful churches, pretending to hold the keys of heaven and hell, denounce every person as an outcast and criminal who thinks for himself and denies their authority, the world will be filled with hatred and suffering. To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
I began my studies with eagerness. Before me I saw a new world opening in beauty and light, and I felt within me the capacity to know all things. In the wonderland of Mind I should be as free as another [with sight and hearing]. Its people, scenery, manners, joys, and tragedies should be living tangible interpreters of the real world. The lecture halls seemed filled with the spirit of the great and wise, and I thought the professors were the embodiment of wisdom... But I soon discovered that college was not quite the romantic lyceum I had imagined. Many of the dreams that had delighted my young inexperience became beautifully less and "faded into the light of common day." Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college. The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures – solitude, books and imagination – outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
It is growing up different. It is extreme hypersensitivity. It is a bottomless pit of feeling you're failing, but three days later, you feel you can do anything, only to end the week where you began. It is not learning from your mistakes. It is distrusting people because you have been hurt enough. It is moments of knowing your pain is self inflicted, followed by blaming the world. It is wanting to listen, but you just can’t anymore because your life has been to full of people that have judged you. It is fighting to be right; so for once in your life someone will respect and hear you for a change. It is a tiring life of endless games with people, in order to seek stimulus. It is a hyper focus, so intense about what bothers you, that you can’t pay attention to anything else, for very long. It is a never-ending routine of forgetting things. It is a boredom and lack of contentment that keeps you running into the arms of anyone that has enough patience to stick around. It wears you out. It wears everyone out. It makes you question God’s plan. You misinterpret everything, and you allow your creative mind to fill the gaps with the same old chains that bind you. It narrows your vision of who you let into your life. It is speaking and acting without thinking. It is disconnecting from the ones you love because your mind has taken you back to what you can’t let go of. It is risk taking, thrill seeking and moodiness that never ends. You hang your hope on “signs” and abandon reason for remedy. It is devotion to the gifts and talents you have been given, that provide temporary relief. It is the latching onto the acceptance of others---like a scared child abandoned on a sidewalk. It is a drive that has no end, and without “focus” it takes you nowhere. It is the deepest anger when someone you love hurts you, and the greatest love when they don't. It is beauty when it has purpose. It is agony when it doesn’t. It is called Attention Deficit Disorder.
Shannon L. Alder
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for, and if you
dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for your dreams,
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of future pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own,
without moving to hide it,
or fade it,
or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy,
mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful,
to be realistic,
the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling
me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul;
if you can be faithless and therefore
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty,
and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure,
yours or mine,
and still stand on the
edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon, "yes!"
It doesn't interest me who you know, or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you,
from the inside,
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
with your and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Like the most of you, I was raised among people who knew - who were certain. They did not reason or investigate. They had no doubts. They knew that they had the truth. In their creed there was no guess — no perhaps. They had a revelation from God. They knew the beginning of things. They knew that God commenced to create one Monday morning, four thousand and four years before Christ. They knew that in the eternity — back of that morning, he had done nothing. They knew that it took him six days to make the earth — all plants, all animals, all life, and all the globes that wheel in space. They knew exactly what he did each day and when he rested. They knew the origin, the cause of evil, of all crime, of all disease and death.
At the same time they knew that God created man in his own image and was perfectly satisfied with his work... They knew all about the Flood -- knew that God, with the exception of eight, drowned all his children -- the old and young -- the bowed patriarch and the dimpled babe -- the young man and the merry maiden -- the loving mother and the laughing child -- because his mercy endureth forever. They knew too, that he drowned the beasts and birds -- everything that walked or crawled or flew -- because his loving kindness is over all his works. They knew that God, for the purpose of civilizing his children, had devoured some with earthquakes, destroyed some with storms of fire, killed some with his lightnings, millions with famine, with pestilence, and sacrificed countless thousands upon the fields of war. They knew that it was necessary to believe these things and to love God. They knew that there could be no salvation except by faith, and through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
Then I asked myself the question: Is there a supernatural power -- an arbitrary mind -- an enthroned God -- a supreme will that sways the tides and currents of the world -- to which all causes bow?
I do not deny. I do not know - but I do not believe. I believe that the natural is supreme - that from the infinite chain no link can be lost or broken — that there is no supernatural power that can answer prayer - no power that worship can persuade or change — no power that cares for man.
Is there a God?
I do not know.
Is man immortal?
I do not know.
One thing I do know, and that is, that neither hope, nor fear, belief, nor denial, can change the fact. It is as it is, and it will be as it must be.
We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know. We can tell the truth, and we can enjoy the blessed freedom that the brave have won. We can destroy the monsters of superstition, the hissing snakes of ignorance and fear. We can drive from our minds the frightful things that tear and wound with beak and fang. We can civilize our fellow-men. We can fill our lives with generous deeds, with loving words, with art and song, and all the ecstasies of love. We can flood our years with sunshine — with the divine climate of kindness, and we can drain to the last drop the golden cup of joy.
Robert G. Ingersoll (The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll, Vol 1: Lectures)
At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon
and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts.
I fought with my knuckles white as stars,
and left bruises the shape of Salem.
There are things we know by heart,
and things we don't.
At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke.
I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos,
but I could never make dying beautiful.
The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself
veins are kite strings you can only cut free.
I suppose I love this life,
in spite of my clenched fist.
I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree,
and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers,
and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath
the first time his fingers touched the keys
the same way a soldier holds his breath
the first time his finger clicks the trigger.
We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.
But my lungs remember
the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly
and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat.
And I knew life would tremble
like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek,
like a prayer on a dying man's lips,
like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone…
just take me just take me
Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much,
the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood.
We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways,
but you still have to call it a birthday.
You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess
and hope she knows you can hit a baseball
further than any boy in the whole third grade
and I've been running for home
through the windpipe of a man who sings
while his hands playing washboard with a spoon
on a street corner in New Orleans
where every boarded up window is still painted with the words
We're Coming Back
like a promise to the ocean
that we will always keep moving towards the music,
the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain.
Beauty, catch me on your tongue.
Thunder, clap us open.
The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks.
Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert,
then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women
who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun.
I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun.
I know the heartbeat of his mother.
Don't cover your ears, Love.
Don't cover your ears, Life.
There is a boy writing poems in Central Park
and as he writes he moves
and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart,
and there are men playing chess in the December cold
who can't tell if the breath rising from the board
is their opponents or their own,
and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway
swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn,
and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun
with strip malls and traffic and vendors
and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it.
Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect.
I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon.
I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic.
But every ocean has a shoreline
and every shoreline has a tide
that is constantly returning
to wake the songbirds in our hands,
to wake the music in our bones,
to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river
that has to run through the center of our hearts
to find its way home.
Good morning, good morning, good morning," Loki chirped, wheeling in a table covered with silver domes.
"What are you doing?" I asked, squinting at him. He'd pulled up the shades. I was tired a hell, and I was not happy.
"I thought you two lovebirds would like breakfast," Loki said. "So I had the chef whip you up something fantastic." As he set up the table in the sitting area, he looked over at us. "Although you two are sleeping awfully far apart for newly weds."
"Oh my god." I groaned and pulled the covers over my head.
"You know, I think you're being a dick," Tove told him as he got out of bed. "But I'm starving. So I'm willing to overlook it. This time."
"A dick?" Loki pretended to be offended. "I'm merely worried about your health. If your bodies aren't used to strenous activities, like a long night of love making, you could waste away if you don't get plenty of protein and rehydrate. I'm concerned for you."
"Yes we both believe that's why you're here," Tove said sarcastically and took a glass of orange juice that Loki had just poured for him.
"What about you princess?" Loki's gaze cut to me as he filled another glass.
"I'm not hungry."I sighed and sat up.
"Oh really?" Loki arched an eyebrow. "Does that mean that last night-"
"It means last night is none of your business," I snapped.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle #3))
To generalize about war is like generalizing about peace. Almost everything is true. Almost nothing is true. At its core, perhaps, war is just another name for death, and yet any soldier will tell you, if he tells the truth, that proximity to death brings with it a corresponding proximity to life. After a firefight, there is always the immense pleasure of aliveness. The trees are alive. The grass, the soil—everything. All around you things are purely living, and you among them, and the aliveness makes you tremble. You feel an intense, out-of-the-skin awareness of your living self—your truest self, the human being you want to be and then become by the force of wanting it. In the midst of evil you want to be a good man. You want decency. You want justice and courtesy and human concord, things you never knew you wanted. There is a kind of largeness to it, a kind of godliness. Though it’s odd, you’re never more alive than when you’re almost dead. You recognize what’s valuable. Freshly, as if for the first time, you love what’s best in yourself and in the world, all that might be lost. At the hour of dusk you sit at your foxhole and look out on a wide river turning pinkish red, and at the mountains beyond, and although in the morning you must cross the river and go into the mountains and do terrible things and maybe die, even so, you find yourself studying the fine colors on the river, you feel wonder and awe at the setting of the sun, and you are filled with a hard, aching love for how the world could be and always should be, but now is not.
Tim O'Brien (The Things They Carried)
My “Best Woman” speech
Good evening everyone, my name is Rosie and as you can see Alex has
decided to go down the non-traditional route of asking me to be his best
woman for the day. Except we all know that today that title does not belong
to me. It belongs to Sally, for she is clearly his best woman.
I could call myself the “best friend” but I think we all know that today
that title no longer refers to me either. That title too belongs to Sally.
But what doesn’t belong to Sally is a lifetime of memories of Alex the
child, Alex the teenager, and Alex the almost-a-man that I’m sure he would
rather forget but that I will now fill you all in on. (Hopefully they all will
I have known Alex since he was five years old. I arrived on my first day
of school teary-eyed and red-nosed and a half an hour late. (I am almost sure
Alex will shout out “What’s new?”) I was ordered to sit down at the back of
the class beside a smelly, snotty-nosed, messy-haired little boy who had the
biggest sulk on his face and who refused to look at me or talk to me. I hated
this little boy.
I know that he hated me too, him kicking me in the shins under the table
and telling the teacher that I was copying his schoolwork was a telltale sign.
We sat beside each other every day for twelve years moaning about school,
moaning about girlfriends and boyfriends, wishing we were older and wiser and out of school, dreaming for a life where we wouldn’t have double maths
on a Monday morning.
Now Alex has that life and I’m so proud of him. I’m so happy that he’s
found his best woman and his best friend in perfect little brainy and annoying
I ask you all to raise your glasses and toast my best friend Alex and his
new best friend, best woman, and wife, Sally, and to wish them luck and
happiness and divorce in the future.
To Alex and Sally!
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
They say that people who live next to waterfalls don't hear the water. It was terrible at first. We couldn't stand to be in the house for more than a few hours at a time. The first two weeks were filled with nights of intermittent sleep and quarreling for the sake of being heard over the water. We fought so much just to remind ourselves that we were in love, and not in hate. But the next weeks were a little better. It was possible to sleep a few good hours each night and eat in only mild discomfort. [We] still cursed the water, but less frequently, and with less fury. Her attacks on me also quieted. It's your fault, she would say. You wanted to live here. Life continued, as life continues, and time passed, as time passes, and after a little more than two months: Do you hear that? I asked her one of the rare mornings we sat at the table together. Hear it? I put down my coffee and rose from my chair. You hear that thing? What thing? she asked. Exactly! I said, running outside to pump my fist at the waterfall. Exactly! We danced, throwing handfuls of water in the air, hearing nothing at all. We alternated hugs of forgiveness and shouts of human triumph at the water. Who wins the day? Who wins the day, waterfall? We do! We do! And this is what living next to a waterfall is like. Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night's sleep and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn't hear her husband's ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great-great-great-grandchildren's will be. But we learn to live in that love.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
You weren’t meant for the ice, you weren’t made for the pain.
The world that lives inside of me was not the world you were meant to contain.
You were meant for castles and living in the sun. Thecold running through me should have made you run.
Yet you stay. Holding onto me, yet you stay, reachingout a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you.
The ice fills my veins and I can’t feel the pain, yet you’re there like the heat that sends me screaming in fear.
I can’t feel the warmth I need to feel the ice. I want to hold it all in and numb it till I can’t feel the knife.
Your heat threatens to melt it all and I know I can’t bear the pain if the ice melts away.
So I push you away and I scream out your name and I know I can’t need you yet you give anyway and I run wishing you would run too.
Yet you stay. Holding onto me yet you stay reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you.
The blackness is my shield. I pull it closer still.
You’re the light that I hide from, the light that I hate.
You’re the light to this darkness and I can’t let you stay.
I need the dark around me like I need the ice in my veins.
The cold is my healer. The cold is my safe place. Youaren’t welcome with your heat you don’t belong beside me.
I hate you yet I love, I don’t want you yet I need you.
The dark will always be my cloak and you are the threat to unveil my pain, so leave. Leave and erase the memories.
I need to face the life that’s meant for me. Don’t stay and ruin all my plans.
You can’t have my soul I’m not a man.
The empty vessel I dwell in is not meant to feel the heat you bring. I push you away and I push you away.
Yet you stay.
Abbi Glines (Existence (Existence, #1))
His body was urgent against her, and she didn't have the heart anymore to fight...She saw his eyes, tense and brilliant, fierce, not loving. But her will had left her. A strange weight was on her limbs. She was giving way. She was giving up...she had to lie down there under the boughs of the tree, like an animal, while he waited, standing there in his shirt and breeches, watching her with haunted eyes...He too had bared the front part of his body and she felt his naked flesh against her as he came into her. For a moment he was still inside her, turgid there and quivering. Then as he began to move, in the sudden helpless orgasm, there awoke in her new strange thrills rippling inside her. Rippling, rippling, rippling, like a flapping overlapping of soft flames, soft as feathers, running to points of brilliance, exquisite and melting her all molten inside. It was like bells rippling up and up to a culmination. She lay unconscious of the wild little cries she uttered at the last. But it was over too soon, too soon, and she could no longer force her own conclusion with her own activity. This was different, different. She could do nothing. She could no longer harden and grip for her own satisfaction upon him. She could only wait, wait and moan in spirit and she felt him withdrawing, withdrawing and contracting, coming to the terrible moment when he would slip out of her and be gone. Whilst all her womb was open and soft, and softly clamouring, like a sea anenome under the tide, clamouring for him to come in again and make fulfillment for her. She clung to him unconscious in passion, and he never quite slipped from her, and she felt the soft bud of him within her stirring, and strange rhythms flushing up into her with a strange rhythmic growing motion, swelling and swelling til it filled all her cleaving consciousness, and then began again the unspeakable motion that was not really motion, but pure deepening whirlpools of sensation swirling deeper and deeper through all her tissue and consciousness, til she was one perfect concentric fluid of feeling, and she lay there crying in unconscious inarticulate cries.
D.H. Lawrence (Lady Chatterley's Lover)
my final piece
We’re born into the world
As just one small piece to the puzzle
That makes up an entire life.
It’s up to us throughout our years,
to find all of our pieces that fit.
The pieces that connect who we are
To who we were
To who we’ll one day be.
Sometimes pieces will almost fit.
They’ll feel right.
We’ll carry them around for a while,
Hoping they’ll change shape.
Hoping they’ll conform to our puzzle.
But they won’t.
We’ll eventually have to let them go.
To find the puzzle that is their home.
Sometimes pieces won’t fit at all.
No matter how much we want them to.
We’ll shove them.
We’ll bend them.
We’ll break them.
But what isn’t meant to be,
Those are the hardest pieces of all to
The pieces of our puzzle
That just don’t belong.
But occasionally . . .
Not very often at all,
If we’re lucky,
If we pay enough attention,
We’ll find a
The pieces of the puzzle that slide right in
The pieces that hug the contours of our own
The pieces that lock to us.
The pieces that we lock to.
The pieces that fit so well, we can’t tell
where our piece begins
And that piece ends.
Those pieces we call
They’re all the pieces that complete our
They line the edges,
Frame the corners,
Fill the centers,
Those pieces are the pieces that make us
who we are.
Who we were.
Who we’ll one day be.
Up until today,
When I looked at my own puzzle,
I would see a finished piece.
I had the edges lined,
The corners framed,
The center filled.
It felt like it was complete.
All the pieces were there.
I had everything I wanted.
Everything I needed.
Everything I dreamt of.
But up until today,
I realized I had collected all
but one piece.
The most vital piece.
The piece that completes the picture.
The piece that completes my whole life.
I held this girl in my arms
She wrapped her tiny fingers around mine.
It was then that I realized
She was the fusion.
The cement that bound all my pieces
The piece that seals my puzzle.
The piece that completes my life.
The element that makes me who I am.
Who I was.
Who I’ll one day be.
You, baby girl.
You’re my final piece.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Youth was the time for happiness, its only season; young people, leading a lazy, carefree life, partially occupied by scarcely absorbing studies, were able to devote themselves unlimitedly to the liberated exultation of their bodies. They could play, dance, love, and multiply their pleasures. They could leave a party, in the early hours of the morning, in the company of sexual partners they had chosen, and contemplate the dreary line of employees going to work. They were the salt of the earth, and everything was given to them, everything was permitted for them, everything was possible. Later on, having started a family, having entered the adult world, they would be introduced to worry, work, responsibility, and the difficulties of existence; they would have to pay taxes, submit themselves to administrative formalities while ceaselessly bearing witness--powerless and shame-filled--to the irreversible degradation of their own bodies, which would be slow at first, then increasingly rapid; above all, they would have to look after children, mortal enemies, in their own homes, they would have to pamper them, feed them, worry about their illnesses, provide the means for their education and their pleasure, and unlike in the world of animals, this would last not just for a season, they would remain slaves of their offspring always, the time of joy was well and truly over for them, they would have to continue to suffer until the end, in pain and with increasing health problems, until they were no longer good for anything and were definitively thrown into the rubbish heap, cumbersome and useless. In return, their children would not be at all grateful, on the contrary their efforts, however strenuous, would never be considered enough, they would, until the bitter end, be considered guilty because of the simple fact of being parents. From this sad life, marked by shame, all joy would be pitilessly banished. When they wanted to draw near to young people's bodies, they would be chased away, rejected, ridiculed, insulted, and, more and more often nowadays, imprisoned. The physical bodies of young people, the only desirable possession the world has ever produced, were reserved for the exclusive use of the young, and the fate of the old was to work and to suffer. This was the true meaning of solidarity between generations; it was a pure and simple holocaust of each generation in favor of the one that replaced it, a cruel, prolonged holocaust that brought with it no consolation, no comfort, nor any material or emotional compensation.
Michel Houellebecq (The Possibility of an Island)
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You:
Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage!
Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all.
Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you.
Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love.
Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to.
Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them.
Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Maria, lonely prostitute on a street of pain,
You, at least, hail me and speak to me
While a thousand others ignore my face.
You offer me an hour of love,
And your fees are not as costly as most.
You are the madonna of the lonely,
The first-born daughter in a world of pain.
You do not turn fat men aside,
Or trample on the stuttering, shy ones,
You are the meadow where desperate men
Can find a moment's comfort.
Men have paid more to their wives
To know a bit of peace
And could not walk away without the guilt
That masquerades as love.
You do not bind them, lovely Maria, you comfort them
And bid them return.
Your body is more Christian than the Bishop's
Whose gloved hand cannot feel the dropping of my blood.
Your passion is as genuine as most,
Your caring as real!
But you, Maria, sacred whore on the endless pavement of pain,
You, whose virginity each man may make his own
Without paying ought but your fee,
You who know nothing of virgin births and immaculate conceptions,
You who touch man's flesh and caress a stranger,
Who warm his bed to bring his aching skin alive,
You make more sense than stock markets and football games
Where sad men beg for virility.
You offer yourself for a fee--and who offers himself for less?
At times you are cruel and demanding--harsh and insensitive,
At times you are shrewd and deceptive--grasping and hollow.
The wonder is that at times you are gentle and concerned,
Warm and loving.
You deserve more respect than nuns who hide their sex for eternal love;
Your fees are not so high, nor your prejudice so virtuous.
You deserve more laurels than the self-pitying mother of many children,
And your fee is not as costly as most.
Man comes to you when his bed is filled with brass and emptiness,
When liquor has dulled his sense enough
To know his need of you.
He will come in fantasy and despair, Maria,
And leave without apologies.
He will come in loneliness--and perhaps
Leave in loneliness as well.
But you give him more than soldiers who win medals and pensions,
More than priests who offer absolution
And sweet-smelling ritual,
More than friends who anticipate his death
Or challenge his life,
And your fee is not as costly as most.
You admit that your love is for a fee,
Few women can be as honest.
There are monuments to statesmen who gave nothing to anyone
Except their hungry ego,
Monuments to mothers who turned their children
Into starving, anxious bodies,
Monuments to Lady Liberty who makes poor men prisoners.
I would erect a monument for you--
who give more than most--
And for a meager fee.
Among the lonely, you are perhaps the loneliest of all,
You come so close to love
But it eludes you
While proper women march to church and fantasize
In the silence of their rooms,
While lonely women take their husbands' arms
To hold them on life's surface,
While chattering women fill their closets with clothes and
Their lips with lies,
You offer love for a fee--which is not as costly as most--
And remain a lonely prostitute on a street of pain.
You are not immoral, little Maria, only tired and afraid,
But you are not as hollow as the police who pursue you,
The politicians who jail you, the pharisees who scorn you.
You give what you promise--take your paltry fee--and
Wander on the endless, aching pavements of pain.
You know more of universal love than the nations who thrive on war,
More than the churches whose dogmas are private vendettas made sacred,
More than the tall buildings and sprawling factories
Where men wear chains.
You are a lonely prostitute who speaks to me as I pass,
And I smile at you because I am a lonely man.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
is a broken man an outlaw?"
"More or less." Brienne answered.
Septon Meribald disagreed. "More less than more. There are many sorts of outlaws, just as there are many sorts of birds. A sandpiper and a sea eagle both have wings, but they are not the same. The singers love to sing of good men forced to go outside the law to fight some wicked lord, but most outlaws are more like this ravening Hound than they are the lightning lord. They are evil men, driven by greed, soured by malice, despising the gods and caring only for themselves. Broken men are more deserving of our pity, though they may be just as dangerous. Almost all are common-born, simple folk who had never been more than a mile from the house where they were born until the day some lord came round to take them off to war. Poorly shod and poorly clad, they march away beneath his banners, ofttimes with no better arms than a sickle or a sharpened hoe, or a maul they made themselves by lashing a stone to a stick with strips of hide. Brothers march with brothers, sons with fathers, friends with friends. They've heard the songs and stories, so they go off with eager hearts, dreaming of the wonders they will see, of the wealth and glory they will win. War seems a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know.
"Then they get a taste of battle.
"For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after they've been gutted by an axe.
"They see the lord who led them there cut down, and some other lord shouts that they are his now. They take a wound, and when that's still half-healed they take another. There is never enough to eat, their shoes fall to pieces from the marching, their clothes are torn and rotting, and half of them are shitting in their breeches from drinking bad water.
"If they want new boots or a warmer cloak or maybe a rusted iron halfhelm, they need to take them from a corpse, and before long they are stealing from the living too, from the smallfolk whose lands they're fighting in, men very like the men they used to be. They slaughter their sheep and steal their chicken's, and from there it's just a short step to carrying off their daughters too. And one day they look around and realize all their friends and kin are gone, that they are fighting beside strangers beneath a banner that they hardly recognize. They don't know where they are or how to get back home and the lord they're fighting for does not know their names, yet here he comes, shouting for them to form up, to make a line with their spears and scythes and sharpened hoes, to stand their ground. And the knights come down on them, faceless men clad all in steel, and the iron thunder of their charge seems to fill the world...
"And the man breaks.
"He turns and runs, or crawls off afterward over the corpses of the slain, or steals away in the black of night, and he finds someplace to hide. All thought of home is gone by then, and kings and lords and gods mean less to him than a haunch of spoiled meat that will let him live another day, or a skin of bad wine that might drown his fear for a few hours. The broken man lives from day to day, from meal to meal, more beast than man. Lady Brienne is not wrong. In times like these, the traveler must beware of broken men, and fear them...but he should pity them as well
George R.R. Martin