Fingers Are Not Equal Quotes

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She is my mate. And my spy,' I said too quietly. 'And she is the High Lady of the Night Court.' 'What?' Mor whsipered. I caressed a mental finger down that bond now hidden deep, deep within us, and said, 'If they had removed her other glove, they would have seen a second tatoo on her right arm. The twin to the other. Inked last night, when we crept out, found a priestess, and I swore her in as my High Lady.' (...) 'Not consort, not wife. Feyre is High Lady of the Night Court.' My equal in every way; she would wear my crown, sit on a throne beside mine. Never sidelined, never designated to breeding and parties and child rearing. My queen.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond any experience, your eyes have their silence: in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, or which i cannot touch because they are too near your slightest look easily will unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose or if your wish be to close me, i and my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly, as when the heart of this flower imagines the snow carefully everywhere descending; nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals the power of your intense fragility: whose texture compels me with the colour of its countries, rendering death and forever with each breathing (i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens; only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
E.E. Cummings (Selected Poems)
As he slipped the lock into place again he realized his hand was trembling. He held up his shaky fingers where he could see them better and wondered at the equally weak flutter in his chest. Hope was a dangerous, disquieting thing, but he thought perhaps he liked it.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
Not responding is a response--we are equally responsible for what we don't do. In the case of animal slaughter, to throw your hands in the air is to wrap your fingers around a knife handle.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
I was afraid. Of getting hurt in other ways. To be truthful, I still am." His thumb stroked her cheek. "I would never hurt you." "I don't think you can promise me that." She squeezed his bruised fingers. "But it makes things a bit more equal, to know that I can hurt you, too." His gaze fell to her lips. He said simply, without any trace of irony, "You are killing me.
Tessa Dare (One Dance with a Duke (Stud Club, #1))
Close your eyes and picture it. Can you see it?" I nod, eyes closed. "Imagine it right there before you. See its texture, shape, and color—got it?" I smile, holding the image in my head. "Good. Now reach out and touch it. Feel its contours with the tips of your fingers, cradle its weight in the palms of your hands, then combine all of your senses—sight, touch, smell, taste—can you taste it?" I bite my lip and suppress a giggle. "Perfect. Now combine that with feeling. Believe it exists right before you. Feel it, see it, touch it, taste it, accept it, manifest it!" he says. So I do. I do all of those things. And when he groans, I open my eyes to see for myself. "Ever." He shakes his head. "You were supposed to think of an orange. This isn't even close." "Nope, nothing fruity about him." I laugh, smiling ateach of my Damens—the replica I manifested before me, and the flesh and blood version beside me. Both of them equally tall, dark, and so devastatingly handsome they hardly seem real.
Alyson Noel (Blue Moon (The Immortals, #2))
In My Daughter's Eyes Lyrics In my daughter's eyes I am a hero I am strong and wise and I know no fear But the truth is plain to see She was sent to rescue me I see who I want to be In my daughter's eyes In my daughter's eyes Everyone is equal Darkness turns to light And the world is at peace This miracle God gave to me Gives me strength when I'm weak I find reason to believe In my daughter's eyes And when she wraps her hand around my finger Oh it puts a smile in my heart Everything becomes a little clearer I realize what life is all about It's hangin' on when your heart Is had enough It's givin' more when you feel like givin' up I've seen the light It's in my daughter's eyes In my daughter's eyes I can see the future A reflection of who I am And what we'll be And though she'll grow and someday leave Maybe raise a family When I'm gone I hope you'll see How happy she made me For I'll be there In my daughter's eyes
Martina McBride
The wider you spread your fingers apart while clapping is equal to the amount of retarded you look while clapping.
Christy Leigh Stewart
You mean that because I have no name I cannot die and that you cannot be held answerable for death even if you kill me?" "That is about the size of it," said the Sergeant. I felt so sad and so entirely disappointed that tears came into my eyes and a lump of incommunicable poignancy swelled tragically in my throat. I began to feel intensely every fragment of my equal humanity. The life that was bubbling at the end of my fingers was real and nearly painful in intensity and so was the beauty of my warm face and the loose humanity of my limbs and the racy health of my red rich blood. To leave it all without good reason and to smash the little empire into small fragments was a thing too pitiful even to refuse to think about.
Flann O'Brien (The Third Policeman)
Wonder and love and great sorrow shook Schmendrick the Magician then, and came together inside him and filled him, filled him until he felt himself brimming and flowing with something that was none of these. He did not believe it, but it came to him anyway, as it had touched him twice before and left him more barren than he had been. This time, there was too much of it for him to hold; it spilled through his fingers and toes, welled up equally in his eyes and his hair and the hollows of his shoulders. There was too much to hold — too much ever to use; and still he found himself weeping with the pain of his impossible greed. He thought, or said, or sang, I did not know that I was so empty, to be so full.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
Patch's eyes grazed me with silent heat. My reflection swirled in them, red hair and lips aflame. I was connected to him by a force I couldn't control, a tiny thread that tethered my soul to his. With the moon at his back, shadows painted the faint hollows beneath his eyes and cheekbones, making him look breathtakingly handsome and equally diabolical. His hands steadied my face, holding me still before him. The wind tangled my hair around his wrists, twining us together. His thumbs moved across my cheekbones in a slow, intimate caress. Despite the cold, a steady burn coiled up inside me, vulnerable to his touch. His fingers traced lower, lower, leaving behind a hot, delicious ache. I closed my eyes, my joints melting. He lit me up like a flame, light and heat burning at a depth I'd never fathomed. His thumb stroked my lip, a soft, seductive tease. I gave a sharp sigh of pleasure. "Kiss you now?" he asked. I couldn't speak; a wilted no was my reply. His mouth, hot and daring, met mine. All play had left him, and he kissed me with his own black fire, deep and possessive, consuming my body, my soul, and laying waste to all past notions of what it meant to be kissed.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
His fingers briefly touch my cheek as he kisses me back. “The fact is, Ivy, for me, there is one absolute truth. The sum of my existence equals you.
Kristen Callihan (The Friend Zone (Game On, #2))
She turned suddenly, and before I could react, framed my face with her hands and pressed her lips to mine. I froze, mostly in shock, but after a moment my body uncoiled and I closed my eyes, relaxing into her. I remembered this; the feel of her lips on mine, cool and soft, the touch of her fingers on my skin. I remembered her scent, those long nights when we would lie under the cold, frozen stars, dreaming in each other’s arms. For a second, my body reacted instinctively. I started to pull us closer, to wrap my arms around her and return the kiss with equal passion…but, then I stopped. I remembered this perfectly; every shining moment with Ariella was forever etched into my mind. What we’d had, what we’d shared, everything. I’d built a shrine to her in my memories, carefully tended with grief and anger and regret. I knew every inch of our relationship, the passion, the feeling of emptiness when we weren’t together, the longing and, yes, the love. I had been in love with Ariella. I remembered what she’d meant to me once, what I’d felt for her then… …and what I didn’t feel for her now.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
No," I replied testily. "I'm pretty sure 'digital' is Latin for 'fingeral,' so finger cancer equals digital cancer. This is all basic anatomy, Dr. Roland." The Dr. Roland told me that he thought I was overreacting, and the "fingeral" wasn't even a real word. Then I told him that I though he was underreacting, probably because he's embarrassed that he doesn't know how Latin works. Then he claimed that "underrecating" isn't a word either. The man has a terrible bedside manner.
Jenny Lawson (Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir)
Holding something doesn't make it yours. You realize at some point you're just keeping it back for yourself, because it's pulling away with equal force. You've got to cut the string from your finger and leave that wispy thread, like a baby spider on the breeze.
Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones)
She wanted to explain everything to him—how certain notes of the Moonlight Sonata shredded her heart like wind inside a paper bag; how her soul felt as endless and deep as the sea churning on their left; how the sight of the young Muslim couple filled her with an emotion that was equal parts joy and sadness; and above all, how she wanted a marriage that was different from the dead sea of marriages she saw all around her, how she wanted something finer, deeper, a marriage made out of silk and velvet instead of coarse cloth, a marriage made of clouds and stardust and red earth and ocean foam and moonlight and sonatas and books and art galleries and passion and kindness and sorrow and ecstasy and of fingers touching from under a burqua.
Thrity Umrigar (The Space Between Us)
Rosa Parks turned to me sweetly and asked, 'Now, Bryan, tell me who you are and what you're doing.' I looked at Ms. Carr to see if I had permission to speak, and she smiled and nodded at me. I then gave Ms. Parks my rap. 'Yes, ma'am. Well, I have a law project called the Equal Justice Initiative, and we're trying to help people on death row. We're trying to stop the death penalty, actually. We're trying to do something about prison conditions and excessive punishment. We want to free people who've been wrongly convicted. We want to end unfair sentences in criminal cases and stop racial bias in criminal justice...Ms. Parks leaned back smiling. 'Ooooh, honey, all that's going to make you tired, tired, tired.' We all laughed. I looked down, a little embarrassed. Then Ms. Carr leaned forward and put her finger in my face and talked o me just like my grandmother used to talk to me. She said, 'That's why you've got to be brave, brave, brave.' All three women nodded in silent agreement and for just a little while, they made me feel like a young prince.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption)
and just as the table is about to finally ignore him, to look away and start eating, he sits up and loudly says, pointing an accusing finger at his plate, “It moved!” Timothy glares at him with a contempt so total that I can’t fully equal it but I muster enough energy to come close.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
We all share these wishes. But also the way we look for happiness and try to avoid discomfort is the same. Who among us does not enjoy a delicious meal? Who does not wish to sleep in a safe, comfortable bed? Author, monk—or stray kitten—we are all equal in that.” Across the coffee table, the history professor shifted in his seat. “Most of all,” the Dalai Lama said, leaning over and stroking me with his index finger, “all of us just want to be loved.
David Michie (The Dalai Lama's Cat)
I was just reaching for my towel when I heard a muffled thump from my bedroom. My fingers froze and the hair on the back of my neck prickled. In scary movies, this was always the part where the naked girl called out, "Hello?" or "Who's there?" or something equally stupid. But this naked girl wasn't announcing her presence to anyone.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
I heard the bathroom door close and I kept my eyes screwed shut, but my heart skyrocketed into uncharted territories. I folded my arms around me and held my breath. There was the slightest movement behind me. Skin brushed against mine. A fine shiver rolled up my spine. An infinite spark transferred between us, something that couldn’t be replicated or forced. How could I’ve forgotten that when connected with Seth? My heart turned over heavily. Aiden brushed the mass of thick hair over one shoulder and his lips met the space between my neck and shoulder. His hands slid down the slick skin of my arms, cupping over my elbows and then to my wrists. Gently, slowly, he eased my arms to my sides. I bit down on my lip and my legs started trembling. But he was there. Like always, holding me up when I couldn’t stand on and letting me go when he knew I needed him to. He was more than just a shelter. AIden was my other half, my equal. And he needed no weird Apollyon connection. Aiden waited, still as a statue, patient as ever, until my muscles unlocked, one by one. Then his hands dropped to my waist and he turned me toward him. A heartbeat passed and he placed his fingers on my chin, tipping my head back. I opened my eyes, blinking the wetness off my lashes, and the air hitched in my throat. Faint, purplish bruises shadowed his jaw. There was a cut over the bridge of his nose. No doubt injuries I had given him.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Apollyon (Covenant, #4))
He plashed away, like paddles on water, toward the door, and every step he made returned to me gradually my feet, my hands, my fingers. My soul again spread equally throughout my body. I was able to breathe.
Yevgeny Zamyatin (We)
The truth is, Colonel, that there's no divine spark, bless you. There's many a man alive no more value than a dead dog. Believe me, when you've seen them hang each other...Equality? Christ in Heaven. What I'm fighting for is the right to prove I'm a better man than many. Where have you seen this divine spark in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? The Great White Joker in the Sky dooms us all to stupidity or poverty from birth. no two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance, not a leaf nor a tree. There's many a man worse than me, and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice. 'Tis why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I'm Kilrain, and I God damn all gentlemen. I don't know who me father was and I don't give a damn. There's only one aristocracy, and that's right here - " he tapped his white skull with a thick finger - "and YOU, Colonel laddie, are a member of it and don't even know it. You are damned good at everything I've seen you do, a lovely soldier, an honest man, and you got a good heart on you too, which is rare in clever men. Strange thing. I'm not a clever man meself, but I know it when I run across it. The strange and marvelous thing about you, Colonel darlin', is that you believe in mankind, even preachers, whereas when you've got my great experience of the world you will have learned that good men are rare, much rarer than you think.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
And as for equality, are the fingers on one hand equal in length? Each has its place.
Pearl S. Buck (Three Daughters of Madame Liang)
There is a love that equals in its power the love of man for woman and reaches inwards as deeply. It is the love of a man or a woman for their world. For the world of their center where their lives burn genuinely and with a free flame. The love of the diver for his world of wavering light. His world of pearls and tendrils and his breath at his breast. Born as a plunger into the deeps he is at one with every swarm of lime-green fish, with every colored sponge. As he holds himself to the ocean's faery floor, one hand clasped to a bedded whale's rib, he is complete and infinite. Pulse, power and universe sway in his body. He is in love. The love of the painter standing alone and staring, staring at the great colored surface he is making. Standing with him in the room the rearing canvas stares back with tentative shapes halted in their growth, moving in a new rhythm from floor to ceiling. The twisted tubes, the fresh paint squeezed and smeared across the dry on his palette. The dust beneath the easel. The paint has edged along the brushes' handles. The white light in a northern sky is silent. The window gapes as he inhales his world. His world: a rented room, and turpentine. He moves towards his half-born. He is in Love. The rich soil crumbles through the yeoman's fingers. As the pearl diver murmurs, 'I am home' as he moves dimly in strange water-lights, and as the painter mutters, 'I am me' on his lone raft of floorboards, so the slow landsman on his acre'd marl - says with dark Fuchsia on her twisting staircase, 'I am home.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew--or a Quaker--or a Unitarian--or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim- -but tomorrow it may be you--until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril. Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end--where all men and all churches are treated as equal--where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice--where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind--and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood. That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believe--a great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office. ... This is the kind of America I believe in--and this is the kind I fought for in the South Pacific, and the kind my brother died for in Europe. No one suggested then that we may have a "divided loyalty," that we did "not believe in liberty," or that we belonged to a disloyal group that threatened the "freedoms for which our forefathers died.
John F. Kennedy
And - as a woman reconciled in her own body - I feel I can argue with anyone's god about my right to end a pregnancy. My first conception - wanted so badly - ended in miscarriage, three days before my wedding. A kind nurse removed my wedding manicure with nail-polish remover, in order to fit a finger-thermometer for the subsequent D&C operation. I wept as I went in to the operating theatre, and wept as I came out. In that instance, my body had decided that the baby was not to be and had ended it. This time, it was my mind that has decided that this baby was not to be. I don't believe one's decision is more valid than the other. They both know me. They are both equally capable of deciding what is right.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
These thoughts were as familiar to her, and as comforting, as the precise configuration of her knees, their matching but competing, symmetrical and reversible, look. A second thought always followed the first, one mystery bred another: Was everyone else really as alive as she was? For example, did her sister really matter to herself, was she as valuable to herself as Briony was? Was being Cecilia just as vivid an affair as being Briony? Did her sister also have a real self concealed behind a breaking wave, and did she spend time thinking about it, with a finger held up to her face? Did everybody, including her father, Betty, Hardman? If the answer was yes, then the world, the social world, was unbearably complicated, with two billion voices, and everyone’s thoughts striving in equal importance and everyone’s claim on life as intense, and everyone thinking they were unique, when no one was. One could drown in irrelevance. But if the answer was no, then Briony was surrounded by machines, intelligent and pleasant enough on the outside, but lacking the bright and private inside feeling she had. This was sinister and lonely, as well as unlikely. For, though it offended her sense of order, she knew it was overwhelmingly probably that everyone else had thoughts like hers. She knew this, but only in a rather arid way; she didn’t really feel it.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
Being strong is important. But knowing who you can count on is equally important
Niki Burnham (Sticky Fingers)
But what after all is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollow of the wave. Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers. They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness. The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the flash of tattered flags kindling in the gloom of cool cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands. The autumns trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
What I love about wine is that it's open to anyone, no matter how they're dressed or what they look like. Wine is the great equalizer. (John McGregor)
Evan Dawson (Summer in a Glass: The Coming of Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes)
All fingers are not same in length but when they are bent all stands equal. Life becomes easy when we bend and adjust to situations.
For hero-worship often defeats its own ends; the boy who "cannot tell a lie," the boy who kept his finger in the hole in the dike, tend to become myths, admired perhaps but to be neither imitated nor equalled.
León María Guerrero (The Young Rizal)
For there are some… things… which there is no way of obtaining, even by magic. And there are gifts which may not be accepted, if one is unable to… reciprocate them… with something equally precious. Otherwise such a gift will slip through the fingers, melt like a shard of ice gripped in the hand. Then only regret, the sense of loss and hurt will remain…
Andrzej Sapkowski (Sword of Destiny (The Witcher, #0.7))
Sitting here on the steps of the Supreme Court smoking weed, under the “Equal Justice Under Law” motto, staring into the stars, I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with Washington, D.C. It’s that all the buildings are more or less the same height and there’s absolutely no skyline, save for the Washington Monument touching the night sky like a giant middle finger to the world.
Paul Beatty (The Sellout)
Excuse me while I throw this down, I’m old and cranky and tired of hearing the idiocy repeated by people who ought to know better. Real women do not have curves. Real women do not look like just one thing. Real women have curves, and not. They are tall, and not. They are brown-skinned, and olive-skinned, and not. They have small breasts, and big ones, and no breasts whatsoever. Real women start their lives as baby girls. And as baby boys. And as babies of indeterminate biological sex whose bodies terrify their doctors and families into making all kinds of very sudden decisions. Real women have big hands and small hands and long elegant fingers and short stubby fingers and manicures and broken nails with dirt under them. Real women have armpit hair and leg hair and pubic hair and facial hair and chest hair and sexy moustaches and full, luxuriant beards. Real women have none of these things, spontaneously or as the result of intentional change. Real women are bald as eggs, by chance and by choice and by chemo. Real women have hair so long they can sit on it. Real women wear wigs and weaves and extensions and kufi and do-rags and hairnets and hijab and headscarves and hats and yarmulkes and textured rubber swim caps with the plastic flowers on the sides. Real women wear high heels and skirts. Or not. Real women are feminine and smell good and they are masculine and smell good and they are androgynous and smell good, except when they don’t smell so good, but that can be changed if desired because real women change stuff when they want to. Real women have ovaries. Unless they don’t, and sometimes they don’t because they were born that way and sometimes they don’t because they had to have their ovaries removed. Real women have uteruses, unless they don’t, see above. Real women have vaginas and clitorises and XX sex chromosomes and high estrogen levels, they ovulate and menstruate and can get pregnant and have babies. Except sometimes not, for a rather spectacular array of reasons both spontaneous and induced. Real women are fat. And thin. And both, and neither, and otherwise. Doesn’t make them any less real. There is a phrase I wish I could engrave upon the hearts of every single person, everywhere in the world, and it is this sentence which comes from the genius lips of the grand and eloquent Mr. Glenn Marla: There is no wrong way to have a body. I’m going to say it again because it’s important: There is no wrong way to have a body. And if your moral compass points in any way, shape, or form to equality, you need to get this through your thick skull and stop with the “real women are like such-and-so” crap. You are not the authority on what “real” human beings are, and who qualifies as “real” and on what basis. All human beings are real. Yes, I know you’re tired of feeling disenfranchised. It is a tiresome and loathsome thing to be and to feel. But the tit-for-tat disenfranchisement of others is not going to solve that problem. Solidarity has to start somewhere and it might as well be with you and me
Hanne Blank
So then, we are all equally guilty, every day. How, then, does one find and know peace and power in this life when surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses who only pretend to be clean by whitewashing their reputations while pointing fingers of judgment?
Ted Dekker (A.D. 33 (A.D., #2))
The American flag doesn't give her glory on a peaceful, calm day. It's when the winds pick up and become boisterous, do we see her strength. When she unfolds her hand, and shows her frayed fingers, where we see the stretch of red-blood lines of man that fought for this land. The purity of white stripes that strips our sins, and the stars of Abraham's covenant, broad in a midnight blue sky. The rights our forefathers established. As it waves high in the currents of freedom, where the Torch of Liberty shines over the sea, does she give meaning to unity. When we strive as one nation, or when it drops half-mast, to a fallen soldier.
Anthony Liccione
Jules rested the violin and bow on the case and sat down next to Jason. He hesitated for a moment, watching the older man with uncomfortable intensity, then reached for Jason and brushed a single tear from his cheek. For Jason, the touch was electric, and his physical response unexpected. “Bach always touches my soul,” Jules half whispered. His fingers still rested against Jason’s cheek. “He must have known great love, and great pain, to write something so powerful.” Jason realized that his own pain must be showing on his face, because Jules, too, looked sad. "I’ve never been religious,” Jules said, his eyes never leaving Jason’s, “but I played this piece in a tiny church once. It was like God was there with me, speaking through me.” When Jason remained silent, Jules leaned forward and kissed him lightly on the lips. At a loss to explain the intense emotional and sexual response of his own body and equally unable to stop himself, Jason reached for Jules and returned the kiss. The younger man’s lips tasted of wine and musk, and Jason realized that he was hungry for more.
Shira Anthony (Blue Notes (Blue Notes, #1))
The doctor drummed the fingers of his left hand on the edge of the table, a strange gesture which suggested, Isabel thought, an impatient temperment. Perhaps he had been obliged to listen too long to those whom he did not consider his intellectual equal, exhausted patients with long-running complaints, unable to put their views succinctly. Some doctors could become like that, she thought, just as some lawyers could; prolonged exposure to flawed humanity could create a sense of superiority if one was not careful--and perhaps he was not.
Alexander McCall Smith (The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday (Isabel Dalhousie, #5))
Harry's extremities seemed to have gone numb. He stood quite still, holding the miraculous paper in his nerveless fingers while inside him a kind of quiet eruption sent joy and grief thundering in equal measure through his veins. Lurching to the bed, he sat down. He read the letter again, but could not take in any more meaning than he had done the first time, and was reduced to staring at the handwriting itself. She had made her "g's" the same way he did: he searched the letter for every one of them, and each felt like a friendly little wave glimpsed from behind a veil. The letter was an incredible treasure, proof that Lily Potter had lived, really lived, that her warm hand had once moved across this parchment, tracing into these letters, words about him, Harry, her son.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
We could just chill if you want." Emma raises a brow at Rachel. Rachel shrugs her innocence. "Nuh-uh. Don't look at me. I didn't teach him that." "Picked it up all on my own," he says, retrieving his pencil from the floor. "Figures," Emma sneers. "Aww, don't hate on me, boo." "Okay, I'm drawing the line at 'boo.' And don't call me 'shorty' either," Emma says. He laughs. "That was next." "No doubt. So, did anyone explain how you chill?" Galen shrugs. "As far as I can tell, chillin' is the equivalent of being in a coma, only awake." "That's about right." "Yeah. Doesn't sound that appealing. Are all humans lazy?" "Don't push it, Highness." But she's smirking. "If I'm Highness, then you're 'boo.' Period." Emma growls, but it doesn't sound as fierce as she intends. In fact, it's adorable. "Jeez! I won't call you Majesty either. And you Will. Not. Ever Call me 'boo' again." His grin feels like it reaches all the way to his ears as he nods. "Did...did I just win an argument?" She rolls her eyes. "Don't be stupid. We tied." He laughs. "If you say I won, I'll let you open your present." She glances at the gift bag and bites her lip-also adorable. She looks back at him. "Maybe I don't care about the present." "Oh, you definitely care," he says, confident. "No. I definitely do NOT," she says, crossing her arms. He runs a hand through his hair. If she makes it any more difficult, he'll have to tell her where they're going. He gives his best nonchalant shrug. "That changes everything. I just figured since you like history...Anyway, just forget it. I won't bother you about it anymore." He stands and walks over to the bag, fingering the polka-dot tissue paper Rachel engorged it with. "Even if I say you win, it's still a lie, you know." Emma huffs. Galen won't take the bait. Not today. "Fine. It's a lie. I just want to hear you say it." With an expression mixing surprise and suspicion in equal parts, she says it. And it sounds so sweet coming from those lips. "You won.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Don’t try to talk—just breathe. Another long, slow one…another. Good girl.” As Annabelle gradually recovered her breath, the panic began to fade. He was right…it was easier if she didn’t struggle. The sound of her fitful gasping was underlaid by the mesmerizing softness of his voice. “That’s right,” he murmured. “That’s the way of it.” His hand continued to move in a slow, easy rotation over her chest. There was nothing sexual in his touch—in fact, she might have been a child he was trying to soothe. Annabelle was amazed. Who would have ever dreamed that Simon Hunt could be so kind? Filled with equal parts of confusion and gratitude, Annabelle fumbled for the large hand that moved so gently on her chest. She was so feeble that the gesture required all her strength. Assuming that she was trying to push him away, Hunt began to withdraw, but as he felt her fingers curl around two of his, he went very still. “Thank you,” she whispered. The touch made Hunt tense visibly, as if the contact had sent a shock through his body. He stared not at her face but at the delicate fingers entwined with his, in the manner of a man who was trying to solve a complex puzzle. Remaining motionless, he prolonged the moment, his lashes lowering to conceal his expression.
Lisa Kleypas (Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers, #1))
With quietism like yours one could fill a hundred years with happiness. Whether one showed you an execution or a little finger, you would extract an equally edifying thought from both of them, and would still be content. That's the way to get on in life.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
With quietism like yours one could fill a hundred years with happiness. Whether one showed you an execution or a little finger, you would extract an equally edifying thought from both of them, and would still be content. That’s the way to get on in life.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
Fuck them all. I ought to have that tattooed on my forehead, for all the times I've thought it. Usually I am in transit, speeding in my Jeep until my lungs give out. Today, I'm driving ninety-five down 95. I weave in and out of traffic, sewing up a scar. People yell at me behind their closed windows. I give them the finger. It would solve a thousand problems if I rolled the Jeep over an embankment. It's not like I haven't thought about it, you know. On my license, it says I'm an organ donor, but the truth is I'd consider being an organ martyr. I'm sure I'm worth a lot more dead than alive--the sum of the parts equals more than the whole. I wonder who might wind up walking around with my liver, my lungs, even my eyeballs. I wonder what poor asshole would get stuck with whatever it is in me that passes for a heart.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
But what after all, is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollow of the waves. Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers. They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
If someone who had given up his whole life to thinking about goodness and rightness and truth and still expected nuns to cook him his fish fingers (because after all, nuns haven't got anything else better to do, and none of them are ever going to be priests or become the Pope, because women aren't good enough for that), then something was very wrong. How could he have missed the bit about everyone being equal in the eyes of God?
Scarlett Thomas (The End of Mr. Y)
And what is this wild summons? What art is asked of us? The gift offered is different for each but all are equal in grandeur. To paint, draw, dance, compose. To write songs, poems, letters, diaries, prayers. To set a violet on the sill, stitch a quilt,; bake bread; plant marigolds, beans, apple trees. To follow the track of the forest elk, the neighborhood coyote, the cupboard mouse. To open the windows, air beds, sweep clean the corners. To hold the child’s hand, listen to the vagrant’s story, paint the elder friend's fingernails a delightful shade of pink while wrapped in a blanket she knit with deft young fingers of her past. To wander paths, nibble purslane, notice spiders. To be rained upon. To listen with changed ears and sing back what we hear.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Mozart's Starling)
Years before this country had a significant black and immigrant presence, there was an entrenched class hierarchy. The people who maintain these class divisions didn't care about those on the bottom rung then, and they don't care now. But immigration blamers encourage you to point to your neighbour and convince yourself that they are the problem, rather than question where wealth is concentrated in this country and exactly why resources are so scarce. And the people who push this rhetoric couldn't care less either way, just as long as you're not pointing the finger at them. It isn't right to suggest that every win for race equality results in a loss for white working-class people.
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race)
Not all family bonds are equal. The lie so assiduously propagated by mothers – ‘How can you ask who is my favourite? They are all my children, I love all of them equally. Are you partial to one finger of your hand over another?’ – is disbelieved by everyone, yet it is quite astonishing what pervasive currency it has in the outward show of lives. Everyone
Neel Mukherjee (The Lives of Others)
Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice And could of men distinguish, her election Hath seal’d thee for herself; for thou hast been As one, in suffering all, that suffers nothing, A man that Fortune’s buffets and rewards Hast ta’en with equal thanks: and blest are those Whose blood and judgment are so well commingled, That they are not a pipe for Fortune’s finger To sound what stop she please. Give me that man That is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him In my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart, As I do thee.
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
to the horizon, a trick they’d learned to know when the sun would be setting. Each finger equaled about fifteen minutes.
Adi Alsaid (Never Always Sometimes)
Whether one showed you and execution or a little finger, you would extract an equally edifying thought from both of them, and would still be content. That's the way to get on in life.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Just because I’m a reporter doesn’t mean I don’t get to have an opinion about people.” “And your opinion of me is?” “Very low.” His eyes narrowed infinitesimally. “Is it my hair?” I flinched back, automatically checking out his hair. “No. There’s nothing wrong with your hair.” “You don’t like Star Wars?” He gestured to his shirt. “You’re a Trekkie? You should know, I’m an equal opportunity space drama aficionado, whether it be BattleSTAR Galactica, STAR Trek, or STAR—” “I get it, you like science fiction.” “Ah ha!” He lifted his index finger between us. “Ah ha, what?” “You’re a fantasy reader, aren’t you? That’s what’s going on. What’s your favorite TV show? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, right?” I lifted an eyebrow and crossed my arms, disliking that he’d guessed correctly. “What I read and watch isn’t the central issue.” “Have you received your Hogwarts letter?” he asked, and his tone was so serious, I almost mistook it for a real question
Penny Reid (Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6))
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
It is sad that this country is condemned by a generational curse of centuries and decades of hate. The pollution of hate will end when we speak the truth without everyone thinking the fingers are being pointed at them.
Charlena E. Jackson (Why Are You Obsessed with My Race?)
For my number-one favorite kill, I almost went with Johnny Depp being eaten alive and then regurgitated by his own bed in A Nightmare on Elm Street, but the winner, by a finger blade’s width, has to be the death of that feisty Tina (Amanda Wyss), who put up such a fight while I thrashed her about on the ceiling of her bedroom. Freddy loves a worthy adversary, especially if it’s a nubile teenaged girl. A close second goes to my hearing-impaired victim Carlos (Ricky Dean Logan) in Nightmare 6. In these uber-politically-correct times, it’s refreshing to remember what an equal opportunity killer Freddy always was. Not only does he pump up the volume on the hearing aid from hell, but he also adds a nice Latino kid to his body count. Today they probably wouldn’t even let Freddy force-feed a fat kid junk food. Dream death number three is found in a sequence from Nightmare 3. Freddy plays puppet master with victim Phillip (Bradley Gregg), converting his arm and leg tendons into marionette strings, then cutting them in a Freddy meets Verigo moment. The kiss of death Profressor Freddy gives Sheila (Toy Newkirk) is great, but not as good as Al Pacino’s in The Godfather, so my fourth pick is Freddy turning Debbie (Brooke Theiss) into her worst nightmare, a cockroach, and crushing her in a Roach Motel. A classic Kafka/Krueger kill. For my final fave, you will have to check out Freddy vs. Jason playing at a Hell’s Octoplex near you. Here’s a hint: the hockey-puck guy and I double team a member of Destiny’s Child. Yummy! Now where’s that Beyonce…
Robert Englund (Hollywood Monster: A Walk Down Elm Street with the Man of Your Dreams)
You accepted like a beast of burden the whip of a stranger's curse and the mindless menace it holds along with the scar it leaves as a definition you spend your life refuting although that hateful word is only a slim line drawn on a shore and quickly dissolved in a seaworld any moment when an equally mindless wave fondles it like the accidental touch of a finger on a clarinet stop that the musician converts into silence in order to let the true note ring out loud.
Toni Morrison (God Help the Child)
Diffugere Nives Horace, Odes, iv, 7 The snows are fled away, leaves on the shaws And grasses in the mead renew their birth, The river to the river-bed withdraws, And altered is the fashion of the earth. The Nymphs and Graces three put off their fear And unapparelled in the woodland play. The swift hour and the brief prime of the year Say to the soul, Thou wast not born for aye. Thaw follows frost; hard on the heel of spring Treads summer sure to die, for hard on hers Comes autumn with his apples scattering; Then back to wintertide, when nothing stirs. But oh, whate'er the sky-led seasons mar, Moon upon moon rebuilds it with her beams; Come we where Tullus and where Ancus are And good Aeneas, we are dust and dreams. Torquatus, if the gods in heaven shall add The morrow to the day, what tongue has told? Feast then thy heart, for what thy heart has had The fingers of no heir will ever hold. When thou descendest once the shades among, The stern assize and equal judgment o'er, Not thy long lineage nor thy golden tongue, No, nor thy righteousness, shall friend thee more. Night holds Hippolytus the pure of stain, Diana steads him nothing, he must stay; And Theseus leaves Pirithous in the chain The love of comrades cannot take away.
A.E. Housman
No one tells you this, but when you enter your thirties, you will find vaguely in-shape bodies ridiculously attractive as opposed to your Chris Hemsworth predilections of the past. This is not to say that ripped dudes turn you off. It’s just that the DadBod signifies comfort—in one’s skin, in throwing a middle finger to vanity, and in eating what tastes good as opposed to what makes one look good—and for me, comfort equals home. DadBod is a home that smells like cinnamon and plush carpeting that you can massage your toes in.
Phoebe Robinson (You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain)
He waited for her to say something. Anything. But she only watched him watching her, their equally ragged breathing fighting for dominance. With a flick of his fingers, he slipped beneath the cotton and absorbed the feel of her delicate skin, now way past warm. Past even hot. She burned for him. Skating lower, he brushed her thatch of damp curls. His heartbeat kicked up and that lightheaded sensation overtook him again, stealing his attention from her face for as long as it took him to get control. Then he met her eyes once more before he slid into the steam.
Cari Quinn (Heart Signs)
All Kellhus could see of his father were two fingers and a thumb lying slack upon a bare thigh. The thumbnail gleamed. “As Dûnyain,” the disembodied voice continued, “you had no choice. To command yourself, you had to master circumstance. And to master circumstance, you had to bind the actions of the worldborn to your will. You had to make limbs of nations. So you made their beliefs the object of your relentless scrutiny. It was axiomatic. “You realized those truths that cut against the interests of the powerful were called lies, and that those lies that served those interests were called truths. And you understood that it had to be this way, since it is the function of belief, not the veracity, that preserved nations. Why call an emperor’s blood divine? Why tell slaves that suffering is grace? It is what beliefs do, the actions they license and prohibit, that is important. If men believed all blood was equal, the caste-nobility would be overthrown. If men believed all coin was oppression, the caste-merchants would be turned out. “Nations tolerate only those beliefs that conserve the great system of interlocking actions that makes them possible. For the worldborn, you realized, truth is largely irrelevant. Why else would they all dwell in delusion? “Your first decision was elementary. You claimed to be a member of the caste-nobility, a prince, knowing that, once you convinced some, you could demand that all act accordingly. And through this simple deception, you secured your independence. No other would command you, because they believed they had no right to command you. “But how might you convince them of your right? One lie had made you their equal; what further lie might make you their master?
R. Scott Bakker (The Thousandfold Thought (The Prince of Nothing, #3))
immigration blamers encourage you to point to your neighbour and convince yourself that they are the problem, rather than question where wealth is concentrated in this country, and exactly why resources are so scarce. And the people who push this rhetoric couldn’t care less either way, just as long as you’re not pointing the finger at them. It isn’t right to suggest that every win for race equality results in a loss for white working-class people. When socially mobile black people manage to penetrate white-dominated spheres, they often try to put provisions in place (like diversity schemes) to bring others up with them.
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race)
Not all family bonds are equal. The lie so assiduously propagated by mothers – ‘How can you ask who is my favourite? They are all my children, I love all of them equally. Are you partial to one finger of your hand over another?’ – is disbelieved by everyone, yet it is quite astonishing what pervasive currency it has in the outward show of lives.
Neel Mukherjee (The Lives of Others)
Your water is in the bottles, and my water is in the bucket, but we are brothers? I am collecting garbage, and you are in the bed, but we are sisters? My fingers are broken, and your hands are so soft, but we are family? Your God is like an angel, and my God is like an evil, but we are equal? My stomach is empty, and your stomach is so big, but we are humans?
...And you probably have little idea of how delicious - how toothsome - how scrumptious - they are when eaten fresh. Of course, I have my worm larder -" He corrected himself. "Worm larders, well stocked, but the earthworm pursued, or promptly pounced upon, and eaten fresh - as I've said - Ah! the earthworm, there's nothing like it! You can have your slugs and your wireworms and your leatherjackets and as many ground beetles as you like to eat - snap! crackle! crunch! You can have them all! There's nothing to equal the near liquefaction of worm meat as I pass its length through my fingers, sieving out the earth granules from the creature's incessant feeding. Or alternatively tear it to eat at once in great guzzling, gulping chunks.
Philippa Pearce (The Little Gentleman)
It is very dangerous out there, Cathy. In the mists. Anything… I cannot–” “What cannot you do, Laon?” I could feel my fingers growing numb. “Have you not done it all? Have you not gone to university? Have you not left England? Have you not made yourself a grand explorer, triumphant conqueror and–” It stung. I knew it stung. “Do not blame your confinement on me.” His voice was very cold, very slow. “I am not your gaoler.” “Do not shame me for knowledge that has been denied me. Do not patronise me over the position to which I have been born.” I saw him flinch, but I continued. “I had thought the respect you had for me was mine by right, as your sister and equal. Not granted to me on your whim. To be begged and earned, however tenderly.
Jeannette Ng (Under the Pendulum Sun)
Biassou raised his hand, and as if by enchantment the tumult was stilled, and each negro returned to his place in the ranks in silence. The discipline which Biassou had imposed upon his equals by the exercise of his power of will struck me, I may say, with admiration. All the soldiers of the force seemed to exist only to obey the wishes of their chief, as the notes of the harpsichord under the fingers of the musician.
Victor Hugo (Complete Works of Victor Hugo)
Do these past days mean nothing?” he asked, so gently that my weak self curled around his words. But I would no longer be weak. I tapped into that power in my veins and a shimmering wall of flames sprang up between us. Amar jumped back, shocked and then…amused. “A little ruthlessness is to be admired, but it’s cruel to play with a powerless heart.” “Crueler still to promise equality and hide a person’s true self.” “I thought it was best for you,” he repeated. “Strange how something that only affected me was decided by you.” Amar’s smile turned cold. “My promises were true. You seek to punish an illusion without fully knowing. What were your kisses, then? Vengeance?” The wall of flames shimmered away. Anger still flared inside me, but now it was mixed with something else. Something I couldn’t push away, despite fury. Want. “They were nothing,” I lied. “They meant nothing.” I didn’t look at him. And then, a bloom of cold erupted beside me and Amar was at my side. His fingers traced a secret calligraphy along my arms. “Nothing at all?” My heart twisted. I reached forward, my hands tangling in his hair as I kissed him. It was a kiss meant to devour, to summon war. And when I broke it, my voice was harsh: “My kisses mean nothing.” “Cruel queen,” he murmured, tilting my head back. His lips skimmed down my neck. Amar’s hands gripped my waist, before tracing the outline of my hips. Heat flared through my body. But just as I pulled him closer, a sudden clash echoed in the hallway, and we sprang apart.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
I do love a good tree. There it stands so strong and sturdy, and yet so beautiful, a very type of the best sort of man. How proudly it lifts its bare head to the winter storms, and with what a full heart it rejoices when the spring has come again! How grand its voice is, too, when it talks with the wind: a thousand aeolian harps cannot equal the beauty of the sighing of a great tree in leaf. All day it points to the sunshine and all night to the stars, and thus passionless, and yet full of life, it endures through the centuries, come storm, come shine, drawing its sustenance from the cool bosom of its mother earth, and as the slow years roll by, learning the great mysteries of growth and of decay. And so on and on through generations, outliving individuals, customs, dynasties -- all save the landscape it adorns and human nature -- till the appointed day when the wind wins the long battle and rejoices over a reclaimed space, or decay puts the last stroke to his fungus-fingered work. Ah, one should always think twice before one cuts down a tree!
H. Rider Haggard (Allan Quatermain)
Love was a wasteland. That's the way it went, Danica knew. "You want to be a strong woman? she asked the visitors who wandered by, oblivious to her. "Then you will never find a man who treats you as an equal. You have to play the little games. Oh, giggling, cooking, making them think they have such a huge cock every time they put it near you. The truth is that men are the empty ones. And women are meant to fill them up. I could count on a few fingers the men I ever truly admired. Give them long enough and men are always disappointing.
Heather Rose (The Museum of Modern Love)
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] said the South we might remember is gone. There was a new South. A more violent and ugly South, a country where our white brothers and sisters were terrified of change, inevitable change. They would rather scratch up the land with bloody fingers and take their most precious document, the Declaration of Independence, and throw it in the deepest ocean, bury it under the highest mountain, or burn it in the most flagrant blaze, than admit justice into a seat at the welcome table, and fair-play room in a vacant inn.
Maya Angelou (The Heart of a Woman)
Kevin gestured feebly to Neil, so Neil pressed the bandage back into place over swollen, reddened skin. Neil dropped his hand back to his side and clenched his fingers into a fist to hide the excited tremor. He doubted either Kevin or Andrew noticed; they were too busy staring each other down. At length Andrew smiled, slow and cold. It was the first time he'd smiled since coming off his drugs, and Neil couldn't help but stare. "Now it's getting fun," Andrew said. "Finally," Kevin said, equal parts exhaustion and exasperation. It took both of them to get ...Neil felt completely recharged as he stared up at Kevin's bunk. He was unsteady on his feet, too buzzed to stand still. The darkness should have hidden the jittery wreck he'd become, but Andrew wasn't fooled. He jabbed Neil's shoulder on his way back out of the room. Neil tore his gaze away from Kevin's unconscious form and followed. Andrew pushed him up against the wall with heavy hands and hard kisses. "Junkie." "I've been waiting for that since June," Neil said. "You've been waiting longer." Andrew didn't bother denying it.
Nora Sakavic (The King's Men (All for the Game, #3))
In a private room down the hall, a tired but delighted Cecily was watching her husband with his brand-new son. Cecily had thought that the expression on Tate’s face at their wedding would never be duplicated. But when they placed the tiny little boy in his father’s gowned arms in the delivery room, and he saw his child for the first time, the look on his face was indescribable. Tears welled in his eyes. He’d taken the tiny little fist in his big, dark hand and smoothed over the perfect little fingers and then the tiny little face, seeking resemblances. “Generations of our families,” he said softly, “all there, in that face.” He’d looked down at his wife with unashamedly wet eyes. “In our son’s face.” She wiped her own tears away with a corner of the sheet and coaxed Tate’s head down so that she could do the same for him where they were, temporarily, by themselves. Now she was cleaned up, like their baby, and drowsy as she lay on clean white sheets and watched her husband get acquainted with his firstborn. “Isn’t he beautiful?” he murmured, still awed by the child. “Next time, we have to have a little girl,” he said with a tender smile, “so that she can look like you.” Her heart felt near to bursting as she stared up at that beloved face, above the equally beloved face of their firstborn. “My heart is happy when I see you,” she whispered in Lakota. He chuckled, having momentarily forgotten that he’d taught her how to say it. “Mine is equally happy when I see you,” he replied in English. She reached out and clasped his big hand with her small one. On the table beside her was a bouquet of roses, red and crisp with a delightful soft perfume. Her eyes traced them, and she remembered the first rose he’d ever given her, when she was seventeen: a beautiful red paper rose that he’d brought her from Japan. Now the roses were real, not imitation. Just as her love for him, and his for her, had become real enough to touch. He frowned slightly at her expression. “What is it?” he asked softly. “I was remembering the paper rose you brought me from Japan, just after I went to live with Leta.” She shrugged and smiled self-consciously. He smiled back. “And now you’re covered in real ones,” he discerned. She nodded, delighted to see that he understood exactly what she was talking about. But, then, they always had seemed to read each others’ thoughts-never more than now, with the baby who was a living, breathing manifestation of their love. “Yes,” she said contentedly. “The roses are real, now.” Outside the window, rain was coming down in torrents, silver droplets shattering on the bright green leaves of the bushes. In the room, no one noticed. The baby was sleeping and his parents were watching him, their eyes full of warm, soft dreams.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
But we're not very good at building them. The forced matings of minds and electrons succeed and fail with equal spectacle. Our hybrids become as brilliant as savants, and as autistic. We graft people to prosthetics, make their overloaded motor strips juggle meat and machinery, and shake our heads when their fingers twitch and their tongues stutter. Computers bootstrap their own offspring, grow so wise and incomprehensible that their communiqués assume the hallmarks of dementia: unfocused and irrelevant to the barely-intelligent creatures left behind.
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
You have gone too far,” said Amar. Nritti grinned. “You have not even begun to witness the destruction I can wreak.” “We won’t give you that chance,” I said. Amar moved to my side. He didn’t crouch behind or run in front. He stood by my side as an equal. He laced his fingers in mine, his expression handsomely severe. “What should we do, jaani?” “Restore the light,” I said. Amar grinned. He wrung his hands like he was balancing an invisible sphere, his face drawn in focus. In the space between his fingers, a small pinprick of light began to whirl faster and faster.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
It was slow at first, dead things slowly mouldering away. The flies in the corners, the dried flowers in their clay pots. The stuffed bird Alfie bought, only because he was both fascinated and disgusted by it in equal measures, was molting on it's perch. It's feathers falling like leaves then laying, parched and cracking dry. The sea shells I kept on my windowsill turned slowly back into sand and the wind filtering through the curtains blew the pieces into the creases of my bedsheets. When I pulled them over my head at night they felt like waves crashing against my ears. It made my thoughts sodden and heavy like impalpable clay, they dredged through my mind like half-forgotten things. Wave: a face, a feeling, the ghost of a name balancing on my teeth and ready to- crash: and now gone, like a dream I once tried to remember though it was already evaporating quick from my morning-shaking fingers. I started dreaming of crumbling sandcastles and the ocean lapping at my feet. I woke in waves and lay, rocking, until I got up to place my feet in the quiet carpet and watch through my down-turned, dream-filled lashes, as it exhaled dust at every step.
KI (The Dust Book)
But what after all is one night? A short space, especially when the darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollows of the wave. Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers. They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets, plates of brightness. The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take on the flesh of tattered flags kindling in the doom of cool cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands. The autumn trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore. It seemed now as if, touched by human penitence and all its toil, divine goodness had parted the curtain and displayed behind it, single, distinct, the hare erect; the wave falling; the boat rocking; which, did we deserve them, should be ours always. But alas, divine goodness, twitching the cord, draws the curtain; it does not please him; he covers his treasures in a drench of hail, and so breaks them, so confuses them that it seems impossible that their calm should ever return or that we should ever compose from their fragments a perfect whole or read in the littered pieces the clear words of truth. For our penitence deserves a glimpse only; our toil respite only. The nights now are full of wind and destruction; the trees plunge and bend and their leaves fly helter skelter until the lawn is plastered with them and they lie packed in gutters and choke rain pipes and scatter damp paths. Also the sea tosses itself and breaks itself, and should any sleeper fancying that he might find on the beach an answer to his doubts, a sharer of his solitude, throw off his bedclothes and go down by himself to walk on the sand, no image with semblance of serving and divine promptitude comes readily to hand bringing the night to order and making the world reflect the compass of the soul. The hand dwindles in his hand; the voice bellows in his ear. Almost it would appear that it is useless in such confusion to ask the night those questions as to what, and why, and wherefore, which tempt the sleeper from his bed to seek an answer.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Which all boils down to: Happiness equals reality minus expectations. Apparently, you can make people happy by delivering bad news and then taking it back (which, personally, would just make me mad). Still, I knew I could put together some interesting studies, but I felt I’d just be scratching the surface of something else I wanted to say but couldn’t quite put my finger on. And in my new career, and in my life more generally, scratching the surface no longer felt satisfying. You can’t go through psychotherapy training and not be changed in some way, not become, without even noticing, oriented toward the core.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
Let us not underestimate the privileges of the mediocre. Life is always harder as one mounts the heights—the cold increases, responsibility increases. A high civilization is a pyramid: it can stand only on a broad base; its primary prerequisite is a strong and soundly consolidated mediocrity. The handicrafts, commerce, agriculture, science, the greater part of art, in brief, the whole range of occupational activities, are compatible only with mediocre ability and aspiration; such callings would be out of place for exceptional men; the instincts which belong to them stand as much opposed to aristocracy as to anarchism. The fact that a man is publicly useful, that he is a wheel, a function, is evidence of a natural predisposition; it is not society, but the only sort of happiness that the majority are capable of, that makes them intelligent machines. To the mediocre mediocrity is a form of happiness; they have a natural instinct for mastering one thing, for specialization. It would be altogether unworthy of a profound intellect to see anything objectionable in mediocrity in itself. It is, in fact, the first prerequisite to the appearance of the exceptional: it is a necessary condition to a high degree of civilization. When the exceptional man handles the mediocre man with more delicate fingers than he applies to himself or to his equals, this is not merely kindness of heart—it is simply his duty.... Whom do I hate most heartily among the rabbles of today? The rabble of Socialists, the apostles to the Chandala, who undermine the workingman’s instincts, his pleasure, his feeling of contentment with his petty existence—who make him envious and teach him revenge.... Wrong never lies in unequal rights; it lies in the assertion of “equal” rights.... What is bad? But I have already answered: all that proceeds from weakness, from envy, from revenge.—The anarchist and the Christian have the same ancestry....
Friedrich Nietzsche
Is there a bird among them, dear boy?” Charity asked innocently, peering not at the things on the desk, but at his face, noting the muscle beginning to twitch at Ian’s tense jaw. “No.” “Then they must be in the schoolroom! Of course,” she said cheerfully, “that’s it. How like me, Hortense would say, to have made such a silly mistake.” Ian dragged his eyes from the proof that his grandfather had been keeping track of him almost from the day of his birth-certainly from the day when he was able to leave the cottage on his own two legs-to her face and said mockingly, “Hortense isn’t very perceptive. I would say you are as wily as a fox.” She gave him a little knowing smile and pressed her finger to her lips. “Don’t tell her, will you? She does so enjoy thinking she is the clever one.” “How did he manage to have these drawn?” Ian asked, stopping her as she turned away. “A woman in the village near your home drew many of them. Later he hired an artist when he knew you were going to be somewhere at a specific time. I’ll just leave you here where it’s nice and quiet.” She was leaving him, Ian knew, to look through the items on the desk. For a long moment he hesitated, and then he slowly sat down in the chair, looking over the confidential reports on himself. They were all written by one Mr. Edgard Norwich, and as Ian began scanning the thick stack of pages, his anger at his grandfather for this outrageous invasion of his privacy slowly became amusement. For one thing, nearly every letter from the investigator began with phrases that made it clear the duke had chastised him for not reporting in enough detail. The top letter began, I apologize, Your Grace, for my unintentional laxness in failing to mention that indeed Mr. Thornton enjoys an occasional cheroot… The next one opened with, I did not realize, Your Grace, that you would wish to know how fast his horse ran in the race-in addition to knowing that he won. From the creases and holds in the hundreds of reports it was obvious to Ian that they’d been handled and read repeatedly, and it was equally obvious from some of the investigator’s casual comments that his grandfather had apparently expressed his personal pride to him: You will be pleased to know, Your Grace, that young Ian is a fine whip, just as you expected… I quite agree with you, as do many others, that Mr. Thornton is undoubtedly a genius… I assure you, Your Grace, that your concern over that duel is unfounded. It was a flesh wound in the arm, nothing more. Ian flipped through them at random, unaware that the barricade he’d erected against his grandfather was beginning to crack very slightly. “Your Grace,” the investigator had written in a rare fit of exasperation when Ian was eleven, “the suggestion that I should be able to find a physician who might secretly look at young Ian’s sore throat is beyond all bounds of reason. Even if I could find one who was willing to pretend to be a lost traveler, I really cannot see how he could contrive to have a peek at the boy’s throat without causing suspicion!” The minutes became an hour, and Ian’s disbelief increased as he scanned the entire history of his life, from his achievements to his peccadilloes. His gambling gains and losses appeared regularly; each ship he added to his fleet had been described, and sketches forwarded separately; his financial progress had been reported in minute and glowing detail.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Do you realize,' Dr. Ramzi says, smiling broadly, 'when you speak of a political programme, that your programme now is the same that Mahmoud Sami Al-Baroudi's government tried to establish more than a hundred years ago?' 'Is that right?' Isabel says. 'Yes. Yes, for sure,' Dr. Ramzi says. 'Listen: the ending of foreign influence, the payment of the Egyptian debt -' he counts them off on his fingers - 'an elected parliament, a national industry, equality of all men before the law, reform of education, and allowing a free press to reflect all shades of opinion. Those were the seven points of their programme. These young people -' the wave of his hand takes in the group - 'they still ask for this.' He shrugs.
Ahdaf Soueif (The Map of Love)
Do you have any idea how much it turns me on, knowing something of mine has been cradling your sweet pussy all day long?” Without warning, he thrust two thick fingers inside her with just enough force to make her cry out, bring her up on her toes. He didn’t move them, only held them there, high and tight inside her. Ruby’s head fell forward on a moan that was equal parts frustrated and relieved. He’d finally filled her. But she needed so much more from him, and he seemed determined to take his time. “You walked around with your naughty secret all day, didn’t you? Did you think of me while you sat in class wearing my underwear? Did the thought of me get you all wet, baby?” His thrust his fingers deeper. “Answer me or you’ll get no more.
Tessa Bailey (His Risk to Take (Line of Duty, #2))
Maybe the real question to ask yourself is, do you forgive me? And really, darling, there is no one to forgive, because we signed up to do this dance together before we were born. We weren't acting out some type of I-did-somethingwrong-to-you-in-another-life-and-I'm-paying-for-itnow kind of thing. It doesn't really work like that. That concept of an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth karmic equalizing of the score isn't the real deal, at least not where I am. It's more a kind of experiment chosen for soul-type reasons that humans have an almost impossible time understanding. And not understanding is an important part of the experiment. If people knew the workings of the experiment, it would lose some of its punch, and that losing of punch, well, that's a little bit of what enlightenment is all about.
Annie Kagan (The Afterlife of Billy Fingers: How My Bad-Boy Brother Proved to Me There's Life After Death)
Monday ushers in a particularly impressive clientele of red-eyed people properly pressed into dry-cleaned suits in neutral tones. They leave their equally well-buttoned children idling in SUVs while dashing to grab double-Americanos and foamy sweet lattes, before click-clacking hasty escapes in ass-sculpting heels and polished loafers with bowl-shaped haircuts that age every face to 40. My imagination speed evolves their unfortunate offspring from car seat-strapped oxygen-starved fast-blooming locusts, to the knuckle-drag harried downtown troglodytes they’ll inevitably become. One by one I capture their flat-formed heads between index finger and thumb for a little crush-crush-crushing, ever aware that if I’m lucky one day their charitable contributions will fund my frown-faced found art project to baffle someone’s hallway.
Amanda Sledz (Psychopomp Volume One: Cracked Plate)
And then there are colors. The truth is that the brain knows far less about colors than one might suppose. It sees more or less clearly what the eyes show it, but when it comes to converting what it has seen into knowledge, it often suffers from one might call difficulties in orientation. Thanks to the unconscious confidence of a lifetime's experience, it unhesitatingly utters the names of the colors it calls elementary and complementary, but it immediately lost, perplexed and uncertain when it tries to formulate words that might serve as labels or explanatory markers for the things that verge on the ineffable, that border on the incommunicable, for the still nascent color which, with the eyes' other bemused approval and complicity, the hands and fingers are in the process of inventing and which will probably never even have its own name. Or perhaps it already does -- a name known only to the hands, because they mixed the paint as if they were dismantling the constituent parts of a note of music, because they became smeared with the color and kept the stain deep inside the dermis, and because only with the invisible knowledge of the fingers will one ever be able to paint the infinite fabric of dreams. Trusting in what the eyes believe they have seen, the brain-in-the-head states that, depending on conditions of light and shade, on the presence or absence of wind, on whether it is wet or dry, the beach is white or yellow or olden or gray or purple or any other shade in between, but then along comes the fingers and, with a gesture of gathering in, as if harvesting a wheat field, they pluck from the ground all the colors of the world. What seemed unique was plural, what is plural will become more so. It is equally true, though, that in the exultant flash of a single tone or shade, or in its musical modulation, all the other tones and shades are also present and alive, both the tones or shades of colors that have already been name, as well as those awaiting names, just as an apparently smooth, flat surface can both conceal and display the traces of everything ever experience in the history of the world. All archaeology of matter is an archaeology of humanity. What this clay hides and shows is the passage of a being through time and space, the marks left by fingers, the scratches left by fingernails, the ashes and the charred logs of burned-out bonfires, our bones and those of others, the endlessly bifurcating paths disappearing off into the distance and merging with each other. This grain on the surface is a memory, this depression the mark left by a recumbent body. The brain asked a question and made a request, the hand answered and acted.
José Saramago (The Cave)
Have you ever been in a place where history becomes tangible? Where you stand motionless, feeling time and importance press around you, press into you? That was how I felt the first time I stood in the astronaut garden at OCA PNW. Is it still there? Do you know it? Every OCA campus had – has, please let it be has – one: a circular enclave, walled by smooth white stone that towered up and up until it abruptly cut off, definitive as the end of an atmosphere, making room for the sky above. Stretching up from the ground, standing in neat rows and with an equally neat carpet of microclover in between, were trees, one for every person who’d taken a trip off Earth on an OCA rocket. It didn’t matter where you from, where you trained, where your spacecraft launched. When someone went up, every OCA campus planted a sapling. The trees are an awesome sight, but bear in mind: the forest above is not the garden’s entry point. You enter from underground. I remember walking through a short tunnel and into a low-lit domed chamber that possessed nothing but a spiral staircase leading upward. The walls were made of thick glass, and behind it was the dense network you find below every forest. Roots interlocking like fingers, with gossamer fungus sprawled symbiotically between, allowing for the peaceful exchange of carbon and nutrients. Worms traversed roads of their own making. Pockets of water and pebbles decorated the scene. This is what a forest is, after all. Don’t believe the lie of individual trees, each a monument to its own self-made success. A forest is an interdependent community. Resources are shared, and life in isolation is a death sentence. As I stood contemplating the roots, a hidden timer triggered, and the lights faded out. My breath went with it. The glass was etched with some kind of luminescent colourant, invisible when the lights were on, but glowing boldly in the dark. I moved closer, and I saw names – thousands upon thousands of names, printed as small as possible. I understood what I was seeing without being told. The idea behind Open Cluster Astronautics was simple: citizen-funded spaceflight. Exploration for exploration’s sake. Apolitical, international, non-profit. Donations accepted from anyone, with no kickbacks or concessions or promises of anything beyond a fervent attempt to bring astronauts back from extinction. It began in a post thread kicked off in 2052, a literal moonshot by a collective of frustrated friends from all corners – former thinkers for big names gone bankrupt, starry-eyed academics who wanted to do more than teach the past, government bureau members whose governments no longer existed. If you want to do good science with clean money and clean hands, they argued, if you want to keep the fire burning even as flags and logos came down, if you understand that space exploration is best when it’s done in the name of the people, then the people are the ones who have to make it happen.
Becky Chambers (To Be Taught, If Fortunate)
Nobody can return to you something that was never yours, to begin with. Let’s trace back to the history of your race: the humans were made for slavery and were found faulty for that purpose. They showed immense energy and willpower only when confronted against tremendous obstacles with no weapons in their hands. With those bare hands, and the wits that exceeded even those of their creators and equalled the ones of mighty gods, they could break mountains. Once the humans earned at least a bit of benevolence from their creators, though, they’d immediately turn into lazy drunkards feasting upon the luxuries of life. They were quite haughty creatures, at that – one could never make them work without posing a certain purpose before their eyes. They should be given an aim they approved of, or else, they’d move no finger! Yet, if such necessities were met, they’d begin to loaf around. Forbidding them to taste those luxuries? Nay, they obeyed not! Hence, their creators cast them down on Earth – a planet inhabited by many other faulty experiments of different alien species, so that their lives would end. Yet even here, the humans defied their creators – instead of dying out, they adapted to the environment they were cast in, due to their boundless wits and the unexplainable willpower that no other species could ever possess. They mated the local species whom they could more or less find a common language with, killed off the obstacles, and conquered the planet as their own. The conquering ambitions of their creators, the boundless wisdom of their gods, and the primal instincts of Earthly nature – all of it meddled in these extraordinary creatures. They were full of instability, unpredictability, wild dreams, and rotten primitivism. Which side they would develop, depended entirely upon their choice. Aye, they had proven faulty to their creators, yet had attained the perfect treasure they required – the freedom. Could they make use of it? – Nay, certainly not… at least not many of them. There are certain individuals among the human race, who are able to well balance their mixed-up nature and grow into worthy people that merit our godly benevolence. However, most of them are quite an interesting bunch whom an ambitious man like me can make good use of. I am half-human with godly and angelic descendance, so I guess, I am worthy to be their sole ruler, their only saviour, their treasured shepherd… The shepherds too make use of their sheep – they guide them, then to consume some of them for wool and meat. Shepherds do not help the sheep for granted – they use their potential to its fullest. I shall be the same kind of a god – I shall help these magnificent creatures to achieve the wildest of their dreams but will use their powers for my own benefit. These poor creatures cannot define their potential alone, they cannot decide what’s the best and the fittest for them! I can achieve that. Free human souls? – Nay, they need no freedom. What they need, is to serve the rightful master, and that rightful master I shall be.
Tamuna Tsertsvadze (Galaxy Pirates)
This Sarah Perez had the most beautiful eyes in the world, those green eyes spangled with gold that you love so much: the eyes of Antinous. In Rome, such eyes would have made her a concubine of Adrian; in Madrid they helped her become the princess of Eboli ensconced in the bed of the king. But Philip II was extremely jealous of those wonderful emerald eyes and their delicate transparency, and the princess - who was bored with the funereal palace and the even more funereal society of the king - had the fancy and the misfortune to cast her admirable gaze upon the Marquis de Posa while she was leaving church one day. It was on the threshold of the chapel, and the princess believed herself to be alone with her camarera mayor, but the vigilance of the clergy was equal to the challenge. She was betrayed, and that very evening, in the intimacy of their bedroom, in the course of some violent argument or tempestuous tussle, Philip threw his mistress to the floor. Blind with rage he leapt upon her, tore out her eye and devoured it in a single gulp. 'Thus was the princess covered in blood - a good title for a conte cruel, that, which Villiers de l'Isle Adam has somehow omitted to write! The princess was henceforth one-eyed: the royal pet had a gaping hole in her face. Philip II, who had the Jewess in his blood, could not cleave so closely to a princess who had only one eye. He made amends to her with some new titles and estates in the provinces and - regretful of the beautiful green eye that he had spoiled - he caused to be inserted into the empty and bloody orbit a superb emerald enshrined in silver, upon which surgeons then inscribed the semblance of a gaze. Oculists have made progress since then; the Princess of Eboli, already hurt by the ruination of her eye, died some little time afterwards, of the effects of the operation. The ways of love and surgery were equally barbarous in the time of Philip II! 'Philip, the inconsolable lover, gave the order to remove the emerald from the face of the dead princess before she was laid in the tomb, and had it mounted in a ring. He wore it about his finger, and would never take it off, even when he went to sleep - and when he died in his turn, he had the ring bearing the green tear clasped in his right hand.
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)
My dad gets mad pissed at us for lighting fireworks on the Fourth. Not ’cause they can turn our fingers into knobs but because he doesn’t fuck with July 4th or Christmas or Easter or Presidents’ Day or any other holiday. Too white for Pops—white Christmas, all white on Easter, dead white presidents. He comes outside. “Whose independence are you celebrating?” He pulls out a book and reads while the M-80 smoke swirls over our heads: “ ‘What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.’ ” Roach
M.K. Asante (Buck: A Memoir)
All this is equally exasperating for the person who is doing the pointing, for he wants to show me something which, to him, is so obvious that one would think any fool could see it. He must feel as we all feel when trying to explain to a thick-headed child that two times zero is zero and not two, or some other perfectly simple little fact. And there is something even more exasperating than this. I am sure that many of you may, for a fleeting moment, have had one clear glimpse of what the finger was pointing at—a glimpse in which you shared the pointer’s astonishment that you had never seen it before, in which you saw the whole thing so plainly that you knew you could never forget it . . . and then you lost it. After this, there may be a tormenting nostalgia that goes on for years. How to find the way back, back to the door in the wall that no longer seems to be there, back to the turning which led into paradise—which wasn’t on the map, which you saw for sure right here. But now there is nothing. It is like trying to trace someone with whom you fell in love at first sight, and then lost touch; and you go back to the original place of meeting again and again, trying in vain to pick up the threads. If
Alan W. Watts (Become What You Are)
She has always said that talking makes everyone feel better. He says talking is the equivalent of grooming. The tongue and fingers are governed by the same parts of the brain. He marvels at how close they can be some nights on the phone and how words really are the equal of touch. Bakelite pressed hard against his ear. She says it's not just the freedom from him and from their daughter. I feel some sort of opening. I saw things so clearly today. He thinks about the solitary figure in every religion, the monks, saints and shamans in every tradition who walk out into wilderness on their own and find revelation. It's what solitude does to a social animal he says. People talk of recognizing something greater than themselves when they're alone because we finally have to realize how helpless we are as individuals. There's a freedom, a sense of wonder in feeling for a moment that we don't have to please anyone or adjust to the needs of others. And there's a fear in realizing how small we are, how much those distant others normally insulate us from seeing the limits of our mostly incompetent bodies. When we're on our own we seek solutions and speculate and fictionalize because that's what we do when we're confronted with survival. That's revelation. Maybe she says, I'm just saying I'd like to eat less meat. We could have fish.
Colin McAdam (A Beautiful Truth)
I want to lie beside you and know the weight of your dreams,” he said, brushing his lips against my knuckles. “I want to share whole worlds with you and write your name in the stars.” He moved closer and a chorus of songbirds twittered silver melodies. “I want to measure eternity with your laughter.” Now, he stood inches from me; his rough hands encircled my waist. “Be my queen and I promise you a life where you will never be bored. I promise you more power than a hundred kings. And I promise you that we will always be equals.” I grinned. “Not my soul then, Dharma Raja?” “Would you entrust me with something so precious?” I was silent for a moment before reaching for my foot and slipping off the worn slipper. “Here, my love, the dowry of a sole.” I began to laugh, giddily, drunkenly, before he swallowed my laughter in a kiss. I melted against him, arcing into the enclosure of his arms, my breath catching as his fingers entwined in the down of my hair. The music of the songbirds could not compare to the euphony billowing inside me, pressing against my bones and manifesting in a language of gentle touch. In Naraka, he drew me into the small universe of his embrace, laying kisses at my neck, the inside of my wrists, the dip in my abdomen. Now, the hum had settled to a lustrous melody, ribboning us like silk. And when we clung together, we drank in the other’s gaze, reveling in the secret hope and happiness that blossomed in the space between our lips.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
Her heartbeat went from fear-frantic to lust-induced, manic tom-tom in a tenth of a second. “Sebastian.” A frisson ran from her temple to her toes and the tight place inside her chest unfurled as she breathed his name. “Are you real?” In response he plunged his fingers into her wet hair. Gripping her head in a hard palm, he took her mouth in a rough, carnal kiss that left nothing to the imagination. She knew precisely what he wanted because ever since that night, she’d been wanting it, too. She responded with equal passion, snaking her hand around to the back of his neck and holding him in place as she thoroughly enjoyed her first real-world kiss in way, way too long. His mouth left hers, and she whimpered in protest. “Come back; I wasn’t done.” “Patience is a virtue.” He nibbled her earlobe, making her shudder, then swirled his hot, wet tongue in her ear until she arched her neck with a thick moan. His mouth, tongue, and teeth made her forget where she was for just a little while. Made her forget where she was and what was about to transpire. Sebastian shifted his head the few inches required to plunder her mouth again. She saw fireworks behind her closed lids as he dragged his firm mouth back and forth across hers before plunging his tongue back to duel with hers. Dizzy with lust and longing, heart about to burst out of her chest, Michaela couldn’t—forgot to—draw a breath and ripped her lips from his to drag in lifesaving oxygen. “You’re t-torturing me—” “Breathing is highly overrated.
Cherry Adair (The Bodyguard (Includes: T-FLAC, #14.5))
Even if his talk carried him to Paris, for example, to a place like the Faubourg Montmartre, he spiced and flavored it with his Attic ingredients, with thyme, sage, tufa, asphodel, honey, red clay, blue roofs; acanthus trimmings, violet light, hot rocks, dry winds, dust, rezina, arthritis and the electrical crackle that plays over the low hills like a swift serpent with a broken spine. He was a strange contradiction, even in his talk. With his snake-like tongue which struck like lightning, with fingers moving nervously, as though wandering over an imaginary spinet, with pounding, brutal gestures which somehow never smashed anything but simply raised a din, with all the boom of surf and the roar and sizzle and razzle-dazzle, if you suddenly observed him closely you got the impression that he was sitting there immobile, that only the round falcon's eye was alert, that he was a bird which had been hypnotized, or had hypnotized itself, and that his claws were fastened to the wrist of an invisible giant, a giant like the earth. All this flurry and din, all these kaleidoscopic prestidigitations of his, was only a sort of wizardry which he employed to conceal the fact that he was a prisoner—that was the impression he gave me when I studied him, when I could break the spell for a moment and observe him attentively. But to break the spell, required a power and a magic almost equal to his own; it made one feel foolish and impotent, as one always does when one succeeds in destroying the power of illusion. Magic is never destroyed —the most we can do is to cut ourselves off, amputate the mysterious antennae which serve to connect us with forces beyond our power of understanding.
Henry Miller (The Colossus of Maroussi)
AUTHOR’S NOTE Dear reader: This story was inspired by an event that happened when I was eight years old. At the time, I was living in upstate New York. It was winter, and my dad and his best friend, “Uncle Bob,” decided to take my older brother, me, and Uncle Bob’s two boys for a hike in the Adirondacks. When we left that morning, the weather was crisp and clear, but somewhere near the top of the trail, the temperature dropped abruptly, the sky opened, and we found ourselves caught in a torrential, freezing blizzard. My dad and Uncle Bob were worried we wouldn’t make it down. We weren’t dressed for that kind of cold, and we were hours from the base. Using a rock, Uncle Bob broke the window of an abandoned hunting cabin to get us out of the storm. My dad volunteered to run down for help, leaving my brother Jeff and me to wait with Uncle Bob and his boys. My recollection of the hours we spent waiting for help to arrive is somewhat vague except for my visceral memory of the cold: my body shivering uncontrollably and my mind unable to think straight. The four of us kids sat on a wooden bench that stretched the length of the small cabin, and Uncle Bob knelt on the floor in front of us. I remember his boys being scared and crying and Uncle Bob talking a lot, telling them it was going to be okay and that “Uncle Jerry” would be back soon. As he soothed their fear, he moved back and forth between them, removing their gloves and boots and rubbing each of their hands and feet in turn. Jeff and I sat beside them, silent. I took my cue from my brother. He didn’t complain, so neither did I. Perhaps this is why Uncle Bob never thought to rub our fingers and toes. Perhaps he didn’t realize we, too, were suffering. It’s a generous view, one that as an adult with children of my own I have a hard time accepting. Had the situation been reversed, my dad never would have ignored Uncle Bob’s sons. He might even have tended to them more than he did his own kids, knowing how scared they would have been being there without their parents. Near dusk, a rescue jeep arrived, and we were shuttled down the mountain to waiting paramedics. Uncle Bob’s boys were fine—cold and exhausted, hungry and thirsty, but otherwise unharmed. I was diagnosed with frostnip on my fingers, which it turned out was not so bad. It hurt as my hands were warmed back to life, but as soon as the circulation was restored, I was fine. Jeff, on the other hand, had first-degree frostbite. His gloves needed to be cut from his fingers, and the skin beneath was chafed, white, and blistered. It was horrible to see, and I remember thinking how much it must have hurt, the damage so much worse than my own. No one, including my parents, ever asked Jeff or me what happened in the cabin or questioned why we were injured and Uncle Bob’s boys were not, and Uncle Bob and Aunt Karen continued to be my parents’ best friends. This past winter, I went skiing with my two children, and as we rode the chairlift, my memory of that day returned. I was struck by how callous and uncaring Uncle Bob, a man I’d known my whole life and who I believed loved us, had been and also how unashamed he was after. I remember him laughing with the sheriff, like the whole thing was this great big adventure that had fortunately turned out okay. I think he even viewed himself as sort of a hero, boasting about how he’d broken the window and about his smart thinking to lead us to the cabin in the first place. When he got home, he probably told Karen about rubbing their sons’ hands and feet and about how he’d consoled them and never let them get scared. I looked at my own children beside me, and a shudder ran down my spine as I thought about all the times I had entrusted them to other people in the same way my dad had entrusted us to Uncle Bob, counting on the same naive presumption that a tacit agreement existed for my children to be cared for equally to their own.
Suzanne Redfearn (In an Instant)
Did you eat?” he asked as he backed out of the parking lot. “No.” “Do you want to stop somewhere?” “Like Burger King?” “I was thinking something a little nicer.” “I’m wearing sweaty clothes and sneakers.” Briefly taking his eyes off the road, he glanced at her. “I think you look nice.” “Says the man in a dress shirt and tie.” “Trust me, you could wear a sack and I’d still be the inappropriate factor in the equation. Let’s stop and have dinner. We’ll go someplace small and quiet.” She sighed. “Fine. But you have to take off your tie and un-tuck your shirt.” “What?” “Either that or I’m not going. I look like a slob.” His fingers noticeably tightened on the wheel. “Fine.” When they arrived at the restaurant, a little corner place with outdoor seating and Italian cuisine, Elliot stood at the car door and loosened his tie. After unclasping the top button of his shirt, he frowned at his hips. “My shirttails will be wrinkled. Can’t this be enough?” She laughed at how uncomfortable the idea of wrinkles made him. “Fine.” Untwisting the clip in her hair, she flipped her head over and shook out her waves, hoping to hide the fact that she was in an old tank top with a bleach stain on the side. Flipping back, she paused as she caught him staring. “What?” His eyes were wide behind his glasses. “Nothing.” He shook his head and looked away. He took her hand and escorted her into the restaurant. The smell of delicious pasta cranked up her hunger. The hostess greeted them, and before Nadia could manage a word, Elliot asked for a private table in the back. They were escorted to the rear of the restaurant, far away from all other patrons. “Do they know you here?” He seemed to have some pull. “No, but if you make a direct request people don’t often tell you no.” She raised a brow. “I’ll have to remember that trick.” For as gentle as he was, he had a knack for being equally commanding. His clout was subtle but undeniable. She wondered if he even realized the influence he held over others. He wore authority very well.
Lydia Michaels (Untied (Mastermind, #2))
When we were finished, the Prince said, “Have you any further questions concerning the matter we discussed last night?” “One.” While I felt no qualms about being rude to his son, I was reluctant to treat the elderly man the same. “You really have been planning this for a long time?” “For most of my life.” “Then why didn’t you respond? Offer to help us--at least offer a place in your alliance--when Bran and I sent our letter to the King at the start of winter?” The Prince paused to take a sip of his coffee. I noted idly that he had long, slim hands like his son’s. Had the Prince ever wielded a sword? Oh yes--wasn’t he wounded in the Pirate Wars? “There was much to admire in your letter,” he said with a faint smile. “Your forthright attitude, the scrupulous care with which you documented each grievance, bespoke an earnestness, shall we say, of intent. What your letter lacked, however, was an equally lucid plan for what to do after Galdran’s government was torn down.” “But we did include one,” I protested. He inclined his head. “In a sense. Your description of what the government ought to be was truly enlightened. Yet…as the military would say, you set out a fine strategy, but failed to supplement it with any kind of tactical carry-through.” His eyes narrowed slightly, and he added, “It is always easiest to judge where one is ignorant--a mistake we made about you, and that we have striven to correct--but it seemed that you and your adherents were idealistic and courageous, yet essentially foolhardy, folk. We were very much afraid you would not last long against the sheer weight of Galdran’s army, its poor leadership notwithstanding.” I thought this over, looking for hidden barbs--and for hidden meanings. He said, “If you should change your mind, or if you simply need to communicate with us, please be assured you shall be welcome.” It seemed that, after all, I was about to go free. “I confess I’ll feel a lot more grateful for your kindness after I get home.” He set his cup down and steepled his fingers. “I understand,” he murmured. “Had I lived through your recent experiences, I expect I might have a similar reaction. Suffice it to say that we wish you well, my child, whatever transpires.” “Thank you for that,” I said awkwardly, getting to my feet. He also rose. “I wish you a safe, swift journey.” He bowed over my hand with graceful deliberation. I left then, but for the first time in days I didn’t feel quite so bad about recent events.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
After midnight, I’ve set the cookies on the cooling rack and put on my cat pajamas, and I’m climbing into bed to read when there’s a knock at my window. I think it’s Chris, and I go to the window to check and see if I’ve locked it, but it’s not--it’s Peter! I push the window up. “Oh my God, Peter! What are you doing here?” I whisper, my heart pounding. “My dad’s home!” Peter climbs in. He’s wearing a navy beanie on his head and a thermal with a puffy vest. Taking off the hat, he grins and says, “Shh. You’re gonna wake him up.” I run to my door and lock it. “Peter! You can’t be in here!” I am equal parts panicky and excited. I don’t know if a boy has ever been in my room before, not since Josh, and that was ages ago. He’s already taking off his shoes. “Just let me stay for a few minutes.” I cross my arms because I’m not wearing a bra and say, “If it’s only a few minutes, why are you taking off your shoes?” He dodges this question. Plopping down on my bed, he says, “Hey, why aren’t you wearing your Amish bikini? It’s so hot.” I move to slap him upside the head, and he grabs my waist and hugs me to him. He buries his head in my stomach like a little boy. His voice muffled, he says, “I’m sorry all this is happening because of me.” I touch the top of his head; his hair feels soft and silky against my fingers. “It’s okay, Peter. I know it’s not your fault.” I glance at my moonbeam alarm clock. “You can stay for fifteen minutes, but then you have to go.” Peter nods and releases me. I sink down on the bed next to him and put my head on his shoulder. I hope the minutes go slow. “How was the party?” “Boring without you.” “Liar.” He laughs an easy kind of laugh. “What did you bake tonight?” “How do you know I baked?” Peter breathes me in. “You smell like sugar and butter.” “Chai sugar cookies with eggnog icing.” “Can I take some with me?” I nod, and we lean our backs against the wall. He slides his arm around me, safe and secure. “Twelve minutes left,” I say into his shoulder, and I feel rather than see him smile. “Then let’s make it good.” We start to kiss, and I’ve definitely never kissed a boy in my bed before. This is brand-new. I doubt I’ll ever be able to think of my bed the same way again. Between kisses he says, “How much time do I have left?” I glance over at my clock. “Seven minutes.” Maybe I should tack on an extra five… “Can we lie down, then?” he suggests. I shove him in the shoulder. “Peter!” “I just want to hold you for a little bit! If I was going to try to do more, I’d need more than seven minutes, trust me.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Don’t look so grim. When you get home, I’m sure Randall will buy you all the rings you want. One for every day of the week,” Oscar said, thick with sarcasm, as they walked back toward the harbor. “I don’t care about the ring!” Camille shouted. She stopped walking and turned to Oscar. “I’m sorry, it’s just that…” Oscar patiently waited for her to finish her sentence. Camille looked away, embarrassed. She had scraped Randall’s skin with the ring, too. It had been one of their rare moments alone. He’d run his fingers down her back, nibbled on her neck, and she’d waited for her legs to turn to warm butter. She’d waited to feel the desire to kiss him. But the feelings hadn’t come. Camille had swept her hand up to stop him, and the ring had left a puffy red scratch on his arm. Oscar watched her fumble for words, his expression one of concern. “Never mind,” she said quickly and stepped up onto a raised sidewalk, out of the mud. “Never mind what?” “It’s private.” He continued walking in the street, his head level with hers. “Private between who?” “Between me and Randall. You wouldn’t understand,” she said and lifted her skirt as she descended back down into the muddy street where the sidewalk ran out. “And why is that?” he asked, sounding put off. Daphne’s place came into view. The air smelled of bitter salt water and of wood smoke curling up from the kitchen chimney. “Oh, Oscar, you’re a man of the sea. What could you possibly know about relationships?” He’d never courted a woman as far as Camille knew. She slowed her pace. Or had he? Oscar stopped in the middle of the cobblestoned walkway leading to Daphne’s front door. His eyes blazed with hurt and resentment. “I do apologize, Miss Rowen, I forgot mere sailors aren’t worthy of marriage. Isn’t that what your father always said?” Camille’s cheeks seared with heat. It was a stance her father had never parted from, but she hadn’t known he’d also impressed it upon Oscar. She fidgeted with her hands and fumbled for an apology. “No, that’s not what I meant. You’re a bachelor, that’s all.” Oscar shook his head, unable to meet her eyes. She’d sounded so patronizing. Oscar was handsome, young, and single, and for a man of his class, he made a decent living. Enough to attract an equally decent amount of attention from women, she supposed. Why hadn’t she ever thought of that? He retreated to the street. “I’m going for a walk.” “Oscar, wait-“ He pivoted on his heel. “You know, you’re wrong, Camille. And your father was wrong, too.” Oscar turned and disappeared behind the boxwood hedges. Camille clenched two fistfuls of her skirt and stomped up the steps, aggravated over her careless words. She’d been pompous and arrogant, and she hated that she’d hurt him. She cringed at the wounded way he’d looked at her.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
If we do not stop these mar-makers not, will soon be too late. We are the only nation that can halt this crusade. It might be too late in America, but it isn't too late here. Without British support the whole scheme would collapse. For that reason the future of all nations depends upon the policy which is decided in this House. More than that, the final position of Britain in the world is being decided. If we support these anti-Communist crusades through the world as we have supported it in Greece, then our good name and existence will be threatened by the hatred of all free-thinking men. We cannot suppress all desire in Europe and Asia for social change by branding it communism from Russia and persecuting its supporters. Social change doesn't have to come from Russia, whatever the Foreign Office or the Americans say. It is a product of the miserable conditions under which the majority of the earth's population exist. There are fighters for social change in every land, here as well as anywhere.... We Socialists are among them. That is the reason for our predominance in the House to-day. The very men that we try to suppress in other countries are asking for far less liberty than we enjoy here, far less social change than we Socialists hope to initiate in Great Britain. Are we going to betray these men by labelling them Communists and crushing them wherever we find them until we have launched ourselves at Russia herself in a war that will wipe this island off the face of the earth? The American imperialists say that this is the American Century. ARe we to sacrifice ourselves for that great ideal, or are we to stand beside the people of Europe and Asia and other lands who seek independence, economic stability, self-determination, and the right to conduct their own affairs? Are we going to partake in an anti-Red campaign when we ourselves are Reds? ...... Some among us might think that there is political expediency in following this anti-Russian crusade without really getting enmeshed in it, creating a Third Force in Europe of their friends, a balancing force for power politics. In that you have the real policy of our Government to-day. But how can we avoid final involvement? Our American vanguard will stop at nothing. They hold their atom bomb aloft with nervous fingers. It has become their talisman and their faith. It is their new weapon of anti-Communism, a more efficient Belsen and Maidenek. Its first usage was morally anti-Russian. It was used to end Japan quickly so that Russia would play no part in the final settlement with that country. No doubt they would have used it on Russia already if they could be certain that Russian did not have an equal or better atomic weapon. That terrible uncertainty goads them into fiercer political and economic activity against the world's grim defenders of great liberties. In that you have the heart of this American imperial desperation. They cannot defeat the people of Europe and Asia with the atomic bomb alone. They cannot win unless we lend them our name and our support and our political cunning. To-day they have British support, in policy as well as in international councils where the decisions of peace and security are being made. With our support America is undermining every international conference with its anti-Russian politics.
James Aldridge (The Diplomat)
Branaric came in. “Ready?” “Nearly,” I said, my fingers quickly starting the braid. I suppose you don’t have extra gloves, or another hat?” I eyed the battered object he held in his hand. “No, obviously not. Well, I can ride bareheaded. Who’s to see me that I care about?” He smiled briefly, then gave me a serious look. “Are you certain you don’t want to join the alliance?” “Yes.” He sank down heavily onto the bed and pulled from his tunic a flat-woven wallet. “I don’t know, Mel. What’s toward? You wouldn’t even listen yesterday, or hardly. Isn’t like you, burn it!” “I don’t trust these cream-voiced courtiers as far as I can spit into a wind,” I said as I watched him pull from the wallet a folded paper. “And I don’t see why we should risk any of our people, or our scarce supplies, to put one of them on the throne. If he wants to be king, let him get it on his own.” Bran sighed, his fingers working at the shapeless brim of his hat. “I think you’re wrong.” “You’re the one who was willed the title,” I reminded him. “I’m not legally a countess--I haven’t sworn anything at Court. Which means it’s just a courtesy title until you marry. You can do whatever you want, and you have a legal right to it.” “I know all that. Why are you telling me again? I remember we both promised when Papa died that we’d be equals in war and in peace. You think I’ll renege, just because we disagree for the first time? If so, you must think me as dishonest as you paint them.” He jerked his thumb back at the rest of the Renselaeus palace. I could see that he was upset. “I don’t question you, Bran. Not at all. What’s that paper?” Instead of answering, he tossed it to me. I unfolded it carefully, for it was so creased and battered it was obvious it had seen a great deal of travel. Slowly and painstakingly I puzzled out the words--then looked up in surprise. “This is Debegri’s letter about the colorwoods!” “Shevraeth asked about proof that the Merindar’s were going to break the Covenant. I brought this along, thinking that--if we were to join them--they could use it to convince the rest of Court of Galdran’s treachery.” “You’d give it to them?” I demanded. Bran sighed. “I thought it a good notion, but obviously you don’t. Here. You do whatever you think best. I’ll bide by it.” He dropped the wallet onto my lap. “But I wish you’d give them a fair listen.” I folded the letter up, slid it inside the waterproof wallet, and then put it inside my tunic. “I guess I’ll have to listen to the father, at any rate, over breakfast.” As I wrapped my braid around my head and tucked the end under, I added, “Which we’d better get to as soon as possible, so we have a full day of light on the road.” “You go ahead--it was you the Prince invited. I’ll chow with Shevraeth. And be ready whenever you are.” It was with a great sense of relief that I went to the meal, knowing that I’d only have to face one of them. And for the last time ever, I vowed as the ubiquitous servants bowed me into a small dining room. The Prince was already seated in a great chair. With a graceful gesture he indicated the place opposite him, and when I was seated, he said, “My wife will regret not having had a chance to meet you, Lady Meliara.” Wondering what this was supposed to mean, I opened my hands. I hoped it looked polite--I was not going to lie and say I wished I might have met her, for I didn’t, even if it was true that she had aided my palace escape.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
The "kindness of giving you a body" means that, at first, our bodies are not fully matured nor are our pleasant complexions. We started in the mother's womb as just an oval spot and oblong lump, and from there we developed through the vital essence of the mother's blood and flesh. We grew through the vital essence of her food while she endured embarrassment, pain, and suffering. After we were born, from a small worm until we were fully grown, she developed our body. The "kindness of undergoing hardships for you" means that, at first, we were not wearing any clothes with all their ornamentation, did not possess any wealth, and did not bring any provisions. We just came with a mouth and stomach-empty-handed, without any material things. When we came to this place where we knew no one, she gave food when we were hungry, she gave drink when we were thirsty, she gave clothes when we were cold, she gave wealth when we had nothing. Also, she did not just give us things she did not need. Rather, she has given us what she did not dare use for herself, things she did not dare eat, drink, or wear for herself, things she did not dare employ for the happiness of this life, things she did not dare use for her next life's wealth. In brief, without looking for happiness in this life or next, she nurtured her child. She did not obtain these things easily or with pleasure. She collected them by creating various negative karmas, by sufferings and hardships, and gave them all to the child. For example, creating negative karma: she fed the child through various nonvirtuous actions like fishing, butchering, and so forth. For example, suffering: to give to the child, she accumulated wealth by working at a business or farm and so forth, wearing frost for shoes, wearing stars as a hat, riding on the horse of her legs, her hem like a whip, giving her legs to the dogs and her face to the people. Furthermore, she loved the unknown one much more than her father, mother, and teachers who were very kind to her. She watched the child with eyes of love, and kept it warm in soft cloth. She dandled the child in her ten fingers, and lifted it up in the sky. She called to it in a loving, pleasant voice, saying, "Joyful one, you who delight Mommy. Lu, lu, you happy one," and so forth. The "kindness of giving you life" means that, at first, we were not capable of eating with our mouth and hands nor were we capable of enduring all the different hardships. We were like feeble insects without strength; we were just silly and could not think anything. Again, without rejection, the mother served us, put us on her lap, protected us from fire and water, held us away from precipices, dispelled all harmful things, and performed rituals. Out of fear for our death or fear for our health, she did divinations and consulted astrologers. Through many ritual ceremonies and many other different things, in inconceivable ways, she protected the life of her child. The "kindness of showing you the world" means that, at first, we did not come here knowing various things, seeing broadly, and being talented. We could only cry and move our legs and hands. Other than that, we knew nothing. The mother taught us how to eat when we did not know how. She taught us how to wear clothes when we did not know how. She taught us how to walk when we did not know how. She taught us how to talk when we did not know how to say "Mama," or "Hi," and so forth. She taught us various skills, creative arts, and so forth. She tried to make us equal when we were unequal, and tried to make the uneven even for us. Not only have we had a mother in this lifetime, but from beginningless samsara she served as a mother countless times.
Gampopa (The Jewel Ornament of Liberation: The Wish-Fulfilling Gem of the Noble Teachings)
you'll wonder again, later, why so many psychologists remain so vocal about having more and better training than anyone else in the field when every psychologist you've ever met but one will also have lacked these identification skills entirely when it seems nearly every psychologist you meet has no real ability to detect deception. You will wonder, later, why the assessment training appears to have been reserved for the CIA and the FBI is it because we as a society don't want to imagine that any other professionals will need the skills? And what about attorneys? What about training programs for guardian ad litems or anyone involved in approving care for all the already traumatized and marginalized children? You'll have met enough of those children after they grow up to know that when a small girl experiences repeated rapes in a series of households throughout her childhood, then that little girl is pretty likely to have some sort of "dysfunction" when she grows up. And you won't have any tolerance for the people who point their fingers at her and demand that she be as capable as they are it is, after all, a free country. We all get the same opportunities. You'll want to scream at all those equality people that you can't ignore the rights of this nation's children you can't ignore them and then get pissed when any raped and beaten little girls and boys grow up to be traumatized and perhaps hurtful or addicted adults. No more pointing fingers only a few random traumatized people stand up later as some miraculous example of perfectly acceptable societal success and if every judgmental person imagines that I would be like that I would be the one to break through the barriers then all those judgmental people need to go back in time and prove it, prove to everyone that life is a choice and we all get equal chances. You'll want anyone who talks about equal chances to go back and be born addicted to drugs in complete poverty and then to be dropped into a foster system that's designed for good but exploited by people who lack a conscience by people who rape and molest and whip and beat tiny little six year olds and then you will want all those people to come out of all that still talking about equal chances and their personal tremendous success. Thank you, dear God, for writing my name on the palm of your hand. You will be angry and yet you still won't understand the concept of evil. You'll learn enough to know that it's not politically correct to call anyone evil, especially when many terrible acts might actually stem from a physiological deficit I would never use the word evil, it's not professional but you will certainly come to understand that many of the very worst crimes are committed by people who lack the capacity to feel remorse for what they've done on any level. But when you gain that understanding, you still will not have learned that these individuals are more likable than most people that they aren't cool and distant that they aren't just a select few creepy murderers or high-profile con artists you won't know how to look for a lack of conscience in noncriminal and quite normal looking populations no clinical professors will have warned you about people who exude charm and talk excessively about protecting the family or protecting the community or protecting our way of life and you won't know that these types would ever stick around to raise kids you will have falsely believed that if they can't form real attachments, they won't bother with raising children and besides most of them will end up in prison you will not know that your assumptions are completely erroneous you won't understand that many who lack a conscience keep their kids close and tight for their own purposes.
H.G. Beverly (The Other Side of Charm: Your Memoir)
Two observations take us across the finish line. The Second Law ensures that entropy increases throughout the entire process, and so the information hidden within the hard drives, Kindles, old-fashioned paper books, and everything else you packed into the region is less than that hidden in the black hole. From the results of Bekenstein and Hawking, we know that the black hole's hidden information content is given by the area of its event horizon. Moreover, because you were careful not to overspill the original region of space, the black hole's event horizon coincides with the region's boundary, so the black hole's entropy equals the area of this surrounding surface. We thus learn an important lesson. The amount of information contained within a region of space, stored in any objects of any design, is always less than the area of the surface that surrounds the region (measured in square Planck units). This is the conclusion we've been chasing. Notice that although black holes are central to the reasoning, the analysis applies to any region of space, whether or not a black hole is actually present. If you max out a region's storage capacity, you'll create a black hole, but as long as you stay under the limit, no black hole will form. I hasten to add that in any practical sense, the information storage limit is of no concern. Compared with today's rudimentary storage devices, the potential storage capacity on the surface of a spatial region is humongous. A stack of five off-the-shelf terabyte hard drives fits comfortable within a sphere of radius 50 centimeters, whose surface is covered by about 10^70 Planck cells. The surface's storage capacity is thus about 10^70 bits, which is about a billion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion terabytes, and so enormously exceeds anything you can buy. No one in Silicon Valley cares much about these theoretical constraints. Yet as a guide to how the universe works, the storage limitations are telling. Think of any region of space, such as the room in which I'm writing or the one in which you're reading. Take a Wheelerian perspective and imagine that whatever happens in the region amounts to information processing-information regarding how things are right now is transformed by the laws of physics into information regarding how they will be in a second or a minute or an hour. Since the physical processes we witness, as well as those by which we're governed, seemingly take place within the region, it's natural to expect that the information those processes carry is also found within the region. But the results just derived suggest an alternative view. For black holes, we found that the link between information and surface area goes beyond mere numerical accounting; there's a concrete sense in which information is stored on their surfaces. Susskind and 'tHooft stressed that the lesson should be general: since the information required to describe physical phenomena within any given region of space can be fully encoded by data on a surface that surrounds the region, then there's reason to think that the surface is where the fundamental physical processes actually happen. Our familiar three-dimensional reality, these bold thinkers suggested, would then be likened to a holographic projection of those distant two-dimensional physical processes. If this line of reasoning is correct, then there are physical processes taking place on some distant surface that, much like a puppeteer pulls strings, are fully linked to the processes taking place in my fingers, arms, and brain as I type these words at my desk. Our experiences here, and that distant reality there, would form the most interlocked of parallel worlds. Phenomena in the two-I'll call them Holographic Parallel Universes-would be so fully joined that their respective evolutions would be as connected as me and my shadow.
Brian Greene (The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos)
All fingers are not equal
Lanre Ladele
The materials we provide from 0 to 3 determine what finger grips children will use and what stories they will tell. The purpose is not to create “artsy” products but to develop the hand skills that are required for any endeavor, because movement occupies the same real estate in the brain as thinking. Because each material causes children to move the hand in different ways, materials powerfully stimulate thinking (Ratey, 2002). Diverse materials are equally important to awaken interest in different children. From birth each child is unique; each group and each individual has different interests. Having varied materials ensures that there is something for everyone.
Ann Lewin-Benham (Infants and Toddlers at Work: Using Reggio-Inspired Materials to Support Brain Development (Early Childhood Education Series))
Once I'd cunt licked these assemblages to orgasm - mother, daughter, yoghurt - we began cock fucking. OK, so I can't prove that the yoghurt had an orgasm but it is equally impossible to state definitively that it didn't. Amid all that woman becoming dog moaning, who is to say there wasn't yoghurt becoming woman moaning? Dog, woman, yoghurt, tongue, cunt, all played innumerable polymorphously perverse roles in our oral fucking. I got on top of one woman becoming man assemblage and battered my way into his twat, as I did this the other woman becoming man assemblage stroked, squeezed and caressed me. We moved around, ground around, prick penetrated new cunt. At some point arse became cunt and finger became prick. Cunt arse, prick finger, orgasm.
Stewart Home (Cunt)
The traditional reluctance in this country to confront the real nature of racism is once again illustrated by the manner in which the majority of American whites interpreted what the Kerner Commission had to say about white racism. It seems that they have taken the Kerner Report as a call merely to examine their individual attitudes. The examination of individual attitudes is, of course, an indispensable requirement if the influence of racism is to be neutralized, but it is neither the only nor the basic requirement. The Kerner Report took great pains to make a distinction between racist attitudes and racist behavior. In doing so, it was trying to point out that the fundamental problem lies in the racist behavior of American institutions toward Negroes, and that the behavior of these institutions is influenced more by overt racist actions of people than by their private attitudes. If so, then the basic requirement is for white Americans, while not ignoring the necessity for a revision of their private beliefs, to concentrate on actions that can lead to the ultimate democratization of American institutions. By focusing upon private attitudes alone, white Americans may come to rely on token individual gestures as a way of absolving themselves personally of racism, while ignoring the work that needs to be done within public institutions to eradicate social and economic problems and redistribute wealth and opportunity. I mean by this that there are many whites sitting around in drawing rooms and board rooms discussing their consciences and even donating a few dollars to honor the memory of Dr. King. But they are not prepared to fight politically for the kind of liberal Congress the country needs to eradicate some of the evils of racism, or for the massive programs needed for the social and economic reconstruction of the black and white poor, or for a revision of the tax structure whereby the real burden will be lifted from the shoulders of those who don't have it and placed on the shoulders of those who can afford it. Our time offers enough evidence to show that racism and intolerance are not unique American phenomena. The relationship between the upper and lower classes in India is in some ways more brutal than the operation of racism in America. And in Nigeria black tribes have recently been killing other black tribes in behalf of social and political privilege. But it is the nature of the society which determines whether such conflicts will last, whether racism and intolerance will remain as proper issues to be socially and politically organized. If the society is a just society, if it is one which places a premium on social justice and human rights, then racism and intolerance cannot survive —will, at least, be reduced to a minimum. While working with the NAACP some years ago to integrate the University of Texas, I was assailed with a battery of arguments as to why Negroes should not be let in. They would be raping white girls as soon as they came in; they were dirty and did not wash; they were dumb and could not learn; they were uncouth and ate with their fingers. These attitudes were not destroyed because the NAACP psychoanalyzed white students or held seminars to teach them about black people. They were destroyed because Thurgood Marshall got the Supreme Court to rule against and destroy the institution of segregated education. At that point, the private views of white students became irrelevant. So while there can be no argument that progress depends both on the revision of private attitudes and a change in institutions, the onus must be placed on institutional change. If the institutions of this society are altered to work for black people, to respond to their needs and legitimate aspirations, then it will ultimately be a matter of supreme indifference to them whether white people like them, or what white people whisper about them in the privacy of their drawing rooms.
Bayard Rustin (Down The Line)
…the epithet rosy-finger'd, which Homer hath given to the morning. … Aristotle hath observed the effect solely in respect of beauty, but the remark holds equally true of these epithets in respect of vivacity. … It at once gratifies two of the senses, the nose by its fragrance, and the eye by its beauty.
George Campbell (The Philosophy of Rhetoric)
Of course, thoughts never passed through Mouchette's head in such a logical way. She was vague and jumped quickly from one thing to another. If the very poor could associate the various images of their poverty they would be overwhelmed by it, but their wretchedness seems to them to consist simply of an endless succession of miseries, a series of unfortunate chances. They are like blind men who with trembling fingers count out the coins whose value they cannot calculate. For the poor, the idea of poverty is enough. Their poverty is faceless. Now that she had abandoned the struggle Mouchette returned to her instinctive, unconscious, animal-like resignation. As she had never been ill, the cold which chilled her was scarcely a suffering, but rather a discomfort like so many others. It was not threatening, and did not suggest death. In any case, Mouchette thought of death as something as strange and unlikely as winning a big prize in the lottery. At her age, dying and becoming a lady were equally fantastic adventures.
Georges Bernanos (Mouchette)
Ash?" she whispered. He released her wrist and closed both arms around her, crushing her against him. His mouth caught hers, wild and desperate. She grabbed his head, hooking her fingers over his horns, and ground her mouth against his, as equally out of control. Tears streaked her cheeks as she held him tighter. Kissed him harder. It wasn't hard enough.
Annette Marie (Bind the Soul (Steel & Stone, #2))
Perhaps you would care to wear it. While we are in this chamber,” he added hastily. She lifted her eyebrows. “Why?” “Because then you would be lord.” “Why would I want that?” “Then you would rule over me. As I rule over you when I wear this ring.” He looked at her earnestly. “To give you a feeling of power. At least while we are inside.” She slowly folded her fingers over the ring and Richard was sure he’d appeased her. Then she shook her head. “You don’t understand.” She looked up at him. “I don’t want to rule you.” “But . . .” “Richard, I just want you to stop thinking of me as someone who isn’t your equal. That’s all.” “But you’re a woman!” “And you’re a man.” “You cannot fight.” “You can’t bear children.” He frowned. “You couldn’t defend the keep.” “You couldn’t build one.” “And you could?” “I could.” This wasn’t proceeding as he had planned it should.
Lynn Kurland (The More I See You (de Piaget, #7; de Piaget/MacLeod, #6))
With Lincoln, the line between their two selves is blurred. She bathes him and wipes off every bodily fluid, and he sticks his fingers in her mouth or catches his balance with a hand on the top of her head. He catalogues her freckles and moles as carefully as he keeps track of his own scrapes and bruises. He does not quite know that he is a being apart from her. Not yet. For now, her arm is as accessible as his arm—her limbs are equally his limbs. They are interchangeable.
Gin Phillips (Fierce Kingdom)
A flash of light came from deep inside the trees and pulled me to the present. It was so bright the glow kissed the treetops. Within seconds, Torin screeched to a stop beside me. His eyes burned under the glowing runes. “What are you doing?” His voice whipped through the night, and I winced. “Trying to get your attention,” I said. “See, I fixed all the trees you destroyed. Cool, right?” “You do not want to be around me right now, Freckles.” “I disagree. I plan to be around you when you are happy, sad, pissed off, hurting, acting like a jackass, goofing off, or showing off. Whatever and whenever. You and I are a package deal, pal. Equal partners and all that jazz.” I pointed at a nearby tree and moved my finger left and right. The tree swayed. “Any time you want to destroy nature, get me first.” He leaned in until we were eye level. “Go home, Raine.” His voice was mean. “Only if you come with me. You want to stay out here, then I’m staying, too. You want pull a Flash move and sprint to Portland and back, then I’ll either run with you or wait out here until you come back. But I’m not going anywhere without you, Torin St. James.
Ednah Walters (Seeress (Runes, #4))
Principle 1: Leaders Embrace Extreme Ownership. "On any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. The leader must own everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame." Principle 2: There Are No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders. "When leaders drive their teams to achieve a higher standard of performance, they must recognize that when it comes to standards, as a leader, it’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate." Principle 3: Mission Clarity. "Everyone on the team must understand not only what do to, but why." Principle 4: Keep Your Ego in Check. "Ego clouds and disrupts everything: the planning process, the ability to take good advice, and the ability to accept constructive criticism." Principle 5: Teamwork. "Each member of the team is critical to success, though the main effort and supporting efforts must be clearly identified. If the overall team fails, everyone fails, even if a specific member or an element within the team did their job successfully. Pointing fingers and placing blame on others contributes to further dissension between teams and individuals. These individuals and teams must instead find a way to work together, communicate with each other, and mutually support one another. The focus must always be on how to best accomplish the mission." Principle 6: Simplicity and Clarity. "Leaders eliminate complexity in problems and in situations. Leaders bring clarity to a situation. They keep plans simple, clear, and concise." Principle 7: Prioritize and Execute. "Leaders must determine the highest priority task and execute. Prioritize and Execute." Principle 8: Decentralized Command. "Good leaders delegate. They trust their teams to execute. They provide freedom to execute by giving them clarity in the mission and clear boundaries." Principle 9: Manage Up and Manage Down. "As leader, if you don’t understand why decisions are being made, requests denied, or support allocated elsewhere, you must ask those questions up the chain. Then, once understood, you can pass that understanding down to your team." Principle 10: Discipline Equals Freedom.
Jocko Willink (Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win)
Principle 1: Leaders Embrace Extreme Ownership. "On any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. The leader must own everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame." Principle 2: There Are No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders. "When leaders drive their teams to achieve a higher standard of performance, they must recognize that when it comes to standards, as a leader, it’s not what you preach, it’s what you tolerate." Principle 3: Mission Clarity. "Everyone on the team must understand not only what do to, but why." Principle 4: Keep Your Ego in Check. "Ego clouds and disrupts everything: the planning process, the ability to take good advice, and the ability to accept constructive criticism." Principle 5: Teamwork. "Each member of the team is critical to success, though the main effort and supporting efforts must be clearly identified. If the overall team fails, everyone fails, even if a specific member or an element within the team did their job successfully. Pointing fingers and placing blame on others contributes to further dissension between teams and individuals. These individuals and teams must instead find a way to work together, communicate with each other, and mutually support one another. The focus must always be on how to best accomplish the mission." Principle 6: Simplicity and Clarity. "Leaders eliminate complexity in problems and in situations. Leaders bring clarity to a situation. They keep plans simple, clear, and concise." Principle 7: Prioritize and Execute. "Leaders must determine the highest priority task and execute. Prioritize and Execute." Principle 8: Decentralized Command. "Good leaders delegate. They trust their teams to execute. They provide freedom to execute by giving them clarity in the mission and clear boundaries." Principle 9: Manage Up and Manage Down. "As leader, if you don’t understand why decisions are being made, requests denied, or support allocated elsewhere, you must ask those questions up the chain. Then, once understood, you can pass that understanding down to your team." Principle 10: Discipline Equals Freedom.
Jocko Willink (Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win)
His lips replaced his finger, equally soft as it explored the contour of my cheek, down to the corner of my lips. I had never been so aware of my mouth before. My lips were buzzing. Just kiss me, damn it. I parted them and heard the answering intake of his breath. Jacob’s gaze, inexpressibly warm, bored into mine, saw past my prickly outer surface. I closed my eyes, then decided I didn’t want to hide anymore. So I opened them. Only then did he lower his lips onto mine. That first kiss was so gentle, a fleeting touch, barely there. It was a kiss meant to tease, to leave me wanting more. More. His mouth hovered above mine, for one breath, then two. My lips swelled from wanting him. Just as I pulled urgently on his shoulders, his lips came down hard on mine. Mine, I thought. And I swear, in his kiss, I heard his echo: Mine.
Justina Chen (North of Beautiful)
Entering the room, Lily was struck by the changes that had been wrought since she had last been there on the night of her abduction. Though his massive four-poster bed remained, the coverings were now a mixture of midnight blue and a mysterious smoky gray. In fact, various shades of gray had been added throughout the room. The two heavy leather chairs had been beautifully reupholstered in a dove-gray damask, a plush rug in a light and misty color was laid before the fireplace, and on a delicate table between them stood a large vase of lilies, infusing the room with their delicate scent. "Do you see?" the earl asked from behind her. Once they entered the bedroom, he had released her hand to close the door, ensconcing them together in the private space. Lily turned to watch him walk toward one of the new chairs. He ran his fingers over the fabric. "The color of your eyes when you are quiet and content," he stated in a low voice, then he crossed to the bed where he smoothed his palm over a velvet coverlet. "This is the darker shade your eyes become when you are aroused- with emotion or desire." He looked at her, and Lily's world expanded on a sudden breath at what she saw in the depth of his gaze. They both seemed rooted in place, standing in the center of his bedroom, staring at each other with their breaths coming fast and their focus locked upon each other, as though they were equally afraid the other might disappear. "You exist in everything. You have become a part of me," he murmured thickly. "I cannot breathe without you.
Amy Sandas (The Untouchable Earl (Fallen Ladies, #2))
Colin and Edmund were here. How embarrassing. “She’s alive. Conscious too,” Edmund said in the bluff pretend-nothing’s-really-wrong tone she’d only heard him take about horses and hounds before. Colin said something rough. He said it in a foreign tongue—not French or German—and it had a number of syllables, but Reggie knew an oath when she heard one. “. . . gonna hope,” she managed, though her tongue was as swollen as her brain from the feel of it, “you’re not mad ’m alive.” “For the love of God, woman,” said Colin, “don’t talk.” Close up—and he was close up now—his voice didn’t sound normal. His accent was very thick now. More to the point, his voice had dropped at least an octave, and it sounded almost sibilant. Reggie heard more swishing grass and felt a shadow fall over her, then a hand on her arm. It was Colin’s, she thought, but even hotter than he normally was. “…’s wrong w’ you?” she asked. She didn’t want to open her eyes to find out, because of the light needles. “A damned fine question” he said. “Do not move. Do what I say this time.” As Reggie wasn’t inclined to move anyhow, she held still while an equally warm set of fingers travelled gently but urgently over her head, at first avoiding the sticky place on one side and then probing lightly around its edges. No amount of gentleness could have made that not hurt, and she couldn’t manage to control herself. She cried out and batted at Colin’s arm. “Stoppit. Go ’way.” “Damned if I will.” He caught her fingers in his free hand. “There’s a bloody great lump here,” he said, not to her, “but nothing feels broken. But she’s bleeding. Quite a bit, and would you for the love of God go get a doctor? Make yourself useful, man!” “I—” Edmund started to retort angrily, and Reggie wondered if she’d have to get up and deal with the two of them, because she’d quite cheerfully kill both if so. Moving hurt. Thinking hurt. Edmund and Colin shouting hurt. Luckily for everyone, she heard Edmund take a long breath. “I’ll go down to the village and get Dr. Brant if you take Reggie back to the house. We can’t bring him out here, and I don’t want to leave you both waiting—not when she might come back.” She? Reggie was puzzled for a moment, then remembered: Janet Morgan. Ghost, witch, and generally unpleasant person. Quite possibly the reason she was lying on the ground with spikes in her brain. “Stupid cow,” she said. “Stupid? I’d love it if she were,” said Edmund.
Isabel Cooper (The Highland Dragon's Lady (Highland Dragon, #2))
No risk,” said Chuck, wagging one finger in the air, “equals no freedom.
Matthew Mather (CyberStorm (Cyberstorm, #1))
Schiacciata (Tuscan flat bread) This recipe will make 2-3 cookie sheets of schiacciata (skee-ah-CHA-ta). You can halve it if you would like less. But it’s so yummy, why would you want to? The dough will keep in the fridge for up 5 days, so make a full recipe and have some now and later.   1 c. Warm water 1 t. Honey 2 t. Yeast   2 c. Warm water 1 T. Salt or garlic salt (I opt for the non-traditional garlic salt.) 4 T. Extra-virgin olive oil 6-8 c. White bread flour Additional olive oil and salt for baking   Proof the yeast in the cup of warm water and honey. Mix with the rest of the ingredients, adding enough flour to make a nice bread dough (just slightly tacky). Knead for five minutes (preferably in a mixer with a dough hook, though you can obvious do this by hand). Let sit for five minutes. Knead for another five minutes until you have a smooth dough. At this point, you can proof the dough until it doubles in size. Or you can put it in the fridge overnight and let it slow proof. In either case, it will take longer than normal to rise, given the low amount of yeast in this recipe. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide it into 2 or 3 equal size balls. Coat a cookie sheet with 1-2 T. olive oil. Roll each ball out into a thin layer about 1/4” thick (if you can). This can be frustrating, because the dough will be super elastic and will resist being rolled out. I find it best to roll it out on a lightly floured surface and let the dough sit stretched-out for several minutes before transferring it to a cookie sheet for baking. Drizzle the top with another 1-2 T. olive oil. Let the dough rise until a little puffy. Taking all 10 fingers, press firmly into the top of the dough, pushing all the way down to the pan. Make finger-sized holes every inch or two over the surface. Sprinkle the top with a light dusting of salt or garlic salt (this is optional and go light on it). Bake @ 400 degrees (preferably convection bake, if you have it) for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Buon appetito!
Nichole Van (Gladly Beyond (Brothers Maledetti #1))
turning his head and coming around to his side, she bent, bringing her cheek to his cheek, her temple to his temple, and let the tears come. And it was then, with her damp face pressed to his, that she felt the tremulous fluttering of a pulse, soft as a butterfly's wings, beating in his temple. She pulled back. "Adam?" she whispered, barely daring to speak. Another moment passed.  And then his shoulders rose on an inhalation of Herculean proportions, rising up, up, up, only to settle back down on an equally huge exhalation. "Breathe, Adam!  Oh, please, breathe!"  And then, when he didn't, Amy put her lips next to his ear and yelled, straight into his head, "Breathe!" Adam breathed.  Plummer came charging back in, Sylvanus right behind him.  Seeing the rise and fall of Adam's shoulders, Plummer hurried forward, opening his bag as he went.  Adam was coming back to life — literally — beneath Amy's bloodstained fingers. 
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
What's this?" I asked, putting her cup on the counter next to the plate. "Rocky Road Bars," she supplied with a shrug. "Is that some kind of message?" I asked, head dipped. "Message?" she asked, her brows drawing together and proving that it wasn't. "Never mind," I said, shaking my head, feeling a small wave of relief even if she was standing there wound like a clock for some untold reason. Maybe that was the reason that when she shrugged at me and went to reach for her coffee, I reached over the counter, snagged her chin in my thumb and forefinger and leaned in to lick a small bit of chocolate from beside her lips from where she had smudged it. Her entire body stiffened then trembled at the contact. It was all the encouragement I needed. So right there, a dozen eyes no doubt on us, I framed her face in my hands and pressed my lips to hers. There was nothing sweet or chaste about it. I fucking devoured her mouth, my tongue moving to invade, drawing a quiet whimper from her as her hands slammed down on the counter. The sound was enough to remind me that I couldn't take it any further right then and there and better stop before either of us got too worked up. But as I pulled away and her eyes fluttered open and all I could see was a deep desire there, I knew she was a little bit more worked up than I intended. There were a couple chuckles and one brave soul let out a loud whistle as we pulled apart, making my smile tip up slightly, knowing I had just, whether I truly intended it or not, staked a claim. I let the whole town know that I was messing around with one of their favorite daughters. "I hate you right now," she said, her voice airy, her cheeks pink, her lips swollen. "No you don't," I countered, shaking my head. "You just hate that you can't climb over this counter and let me fuck you right here and now. Don't worry, you can have me all to yourself in just a couple of hours. If you can control yourself until then..." "Control myself," she hissed, both looking slightly outraged and equally amused. "I believe you were the one half-mauling me in public." "And I'm pretty sure it was your tongue moving over mine and your whimper I heard, right? Or was that Old Mildred. Hey, Milly..." I started to call, making Maddy's eyes bulge comically as she slammed her hand into my shoulder hard enough to send me back a foot. "Shut up!" she hissed, making me let out a chuckle. "Alright fine. You made your point," she said, shaking her head as she reached for her coffee. "What was my point, exactly?" I asked, curious. "You just like... marked your territory or whatever," she said, rolling her eyes at the very idea, but a small smile pulled at her lips. "So, what, you're mine now?" "Oh, I, well... I thought..." she fumbled, shaking her head at her lack of explanations. "Relax, sweetheart," I said, saving her from her misery. "Like I said last night, I'm in. You were the one who came in all anti-social this morning." "That had nothing to do with you," she informed me, looking almost pained. "Alice?" "My mom needs to find some friends to talk to about sex, Brant. I can't take it. I can't," she said, looking horrified. "I thought I was a cool, mature, experienced, metropolitan woman. But when your mom starts talking about blowjobs, it makes you really, really want to stick your fingers in your ears and scream 'I'm not hearing this, I'm not hearing this' until she shuts up." "Traumatized for life, huh?" "He's coming over tonight. Did I mention that part? He's coming to dinner and then, ah, staying the night. Because apparently it's... serious. Do they still sell earplugs at the pharmacy? I think I might actually die if I have to listen to them doing it.'' I laughed at that, finding myself charmed by her embarrassment. "Tell you what, why don't you come to my place for dinner.
Jessica Gadziala (Peace, Love, & Macarons)
I didn’t get a chance to say it earlier,” Delia said in a whisper loud enough to be heard…well, almost two stories up on a rope ladder anyway, making Kerry wince a little. “We really do like him. We’re happy for you.” Kerry wanted to hiss who’s we? but refrained. As far as she could tell, Cooper had spent the past three days befriending every man, woman, and lobster in Blueberry Cove. And every single one of them had managed to find a moment to tell her so. She was happy--truly--that everyone liked him but not surprised. He was a likeable guy. And she was equally happy folks were happy for her. Now she just wished they’d butt out and let her get on with being happy with Cooper. She managed to give Delia a little salute with half of one hand while still clutching the rope, and Delia gave her another enthusiastic wave, eyes sparkling. Kerry waited until Delia had scooted on back toward the café before turning her attention to the trapdoor. And almost had her second heart attack when she looked up, only to find Cooper staring down at her, his chin propped on folded arms, meaning he was lying flat on the balcony deck. He smiled and lifted his fingers in a little wave. “Nice of you to drop up,” he said, a smile curving his lips but the glittering light in his blue eyes telling a different story. His voice was deep and just a shade rough, which made her skin tingle in delicious anticipation. “I got waylaid by another of your throng of supporters and well-wishers so you only have yourself to blame.” “So I heard,” he said. “I’ll be sure to thank her later and tip double the usual when we order breakfast in tomorrow morning.” “Awfully sure of yourself, mister.” “Finish climbing that ladder and I’ll be happy to explain the source of my confidence.” He wiggled his eyebrows. “Or, better yet, I’ll show you.” “Well, if I’d known there was going to be show and tell, I’d have gotten up here sooner.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
We were standing in a row at the counter, with Patsy in the middle, when she shifted slightly and whispered to [Detective] Gosage, “Will this help find who killed my baby?” He carefully replied, equally softly, “I hope so.” Patsy looked at her inked fingers and spoke again. “I didn’t kill my baby.” The [Ramsey] lawyer apparently did not hear her, but my head snapped around as if on a swivel. Colorado Revised Statute Procedure 41.1 spelled out that we couldn’t ask investigative questions during this evidence collection, but we could certainly listen if anything was said voluntarily, and the mother of the murder victim had blurted out something totally unexpected. I directed my comment to Gosage. “What did she just say?” Patsy Ramsey repeated, to me this time, “I didn’t kill my baby.” The lawyer lurched away from the wall, placed his hands on her shoulders, brought his face to within inches of her ear, and whispered emphatically. She didn’t say another word during the entire session, but what she had already said hung like thunder. I didn’t kill my baby. No one suggested that she had.
A. James Kolar (Foreign Faction: Who Really Kidnapped JonBenet?)
Did she ask about anyone else?” “Oh, everyone,” Brendan said, rushing on. “Names, friendships, hobbies. She was really interested in our hobbies. When we talked about the teams and stuff, she asked why Rafe and Sam aren’t on any. I said Rafe just moved here, and I don’t know what he’s into.” “And me?” Sam said. “I said you’re antisocial.” “Thanks.” “She asked whether you were good at any of the school’s specialties--singing, track, swimming, wrestling…I said all I know is you like to hit people.” She flipped him the finger. “What? It’s true. Then she asked if they let girls on the boxing team and I said Mr. Barnes tried to get you on it, but you weren’t interested. Then--get this--she starts asking if you’ve got a hate-on for certain people.” Sam looked worried, almost alarmed, but when she saw me watching, she tried to hide it and said, “So what’d you tell her?” “That you’re an equal opportunity hater.
Kelley Armstrong (The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1))
He passed the rutabaga and duck terrine toward me with the tips of his fingers. "Isn't this a little odd?" I wanted to like it, I did. I pushed the ingredients around with my knife and fork, trying to understand it and formulate an opinion. Then Felix swooped in. "Oh, miss. Pardon me, I was helping another table. That's supposed to be served with something else." He looked at Michael Saltz sheepishly, and Michael Saltz turned his toupeed head away. "We added this dish today, and I'm still getting used to serving it. The proper preparation includes just a bit of truffle." He took out a fist-size beige knot from underneath a white napkin. The shavings rained down in ruffled, translucent strands. Felix backed away as I poked my fork through the tangle of truffles, into the terrine. I had read about truffles- their taste, their hormonal, almost sexual aromas, their exorbitant cost- but I had never even seen a truffle in person before, and had a hard time understanding why people paid thousands of dollars an ounce for something so humble-looking. But at Tellicherry, I understood. I melted in my chair. "Mmm..." I couldn't stop saying it. "Mmmm." Michael Saltz, excited too, picked up a large pinch of truffle shavings and held them to his nose. "These are very good. The finest." "Oh God," I said, in a state of delirium. "This makes the dish so much better. Why aren't truffles on everything?" I had forgotten about the funky terrine. Now it was just a vehicle for the magical urgings of the truffle. A few minutes later, Felix came out again. "Here's your next dish, potato pearls with black, green, and crimson caviar in a cauliflower cream nage." The caviar shined like little jewels among the equal-sized potatoes. They bobbed around in the soup, glistening as if illuminated from within. I took a spoonful and in surged a soft, sweet ribbon of cauliflower essence. I popped the caviar eggs one by one. Pop, went one, a silken fishiness. Pop, went another, a sharp, tangy brine. Pop, went a seductive one, dark and mysterious and deep.
Jessica Tom (Food Whore: A Novel of Dining and Deceit)
So it is necessary that we have a means of monitoring the tension developed by muscular activity, and equally necessary that the threshold of response for the inhibitory function of that monitor be a variable threshold that can be readily adjusted to suit many purposes, from preventing tissue damage due to overload, to providing a smooth and delicate twist of the tuning knob of a sensitive shortwave receiver. And such a marvelously adaptable tension-feedback system we do have in our Golgi tendon organs, reflex arcs which connect the sensory events in a stretching tendon directly to the motor events which control that degree of stretch, neural feed-back loops whose degree of sensory and motor stimulation may be widely altered according to our intent, our conscious training, and our unconscious habits. This ingenious device does, however, contain a singular danger, a danger unfortunately inherent in the very features of the Golgi reflex which are the cleverest, and the most indispensable to its proper function. The degree of facilitation of the feed-back loop, which sets the threshold value for the “required tension,” is controlled by descending impulses from higher brain centers down into the loop’s internuncial network in the brain stem and the spinal cord. In this way, conscious judgements and the fruits of practice are translated into precise neuromuscular values. But judgement and practice are not the only factors that can be involved in this facilitating higher brain activity. Relative levels of overall arousal, our attitudes towards our past experience, the quality of our present mood, neurotic avoidances and compulsions of all kinds, emotional associations from all quarters—any of these things can color descending messages, and do in fact cause considerable alterations in the Golgi’s threshold values. It is possible, for instance, to be so emotionally involved in an effort—either through panic or through exhilaration—that we do not even notice that our exertions have torn us internally until the excitement has receded, leaving the painful injury behind to surprise us. Or acute anxiety may drive the value of the “required tension” so high that our knuckles whiten as we grip the steering wheel, the pencil suddenly snaps in our fingers, or the glass shatters as we set it with too much force onto the table. On the other hand, timidity or the fear of being rejected can so sap us of “required tension” that it is difficult for us to produce a loud, clear knock upon a door that we tremble to enter.
Deane Juhan (Job's Body: A Handbook for Bodywork)
a baby. No wonder it meant so much to Sirius to give Harry the Firebolt. He learned that they had had a cat, that Petunia had sent a hideous vase, that James had been proud of his baby’s ability on a broom . . .  ordinary things that Harry would have given anything to have in his life growing up. The letter was an “incredible treasure” to Harry, as it would have been to anyone: “He stood quite still, holding the miraculous paper in his nerveless fingers while inside him a kind of quiet eruption sent joy and grief thundering in equal measure through his veins.” (HP/DH, 181) This is blood magic, this uncontrolled rush of painful love for and from his mother flooding all Harry’s being, changing him, bathing him in the oxytocin that is the Muggle name for the magic of love flowing in the blood to create more love, to help infants grow, to hasten healing, to create empathy and protectiveness. This is what Harry craved, having known 15 months of it and then no more until he gained his friends at Hogwarts. This is what child Snape craved when he gazed greedily at Lily, who had been raised with such love. This is what Voldemort craved so badly that he didn’t even know he craved it until he saw Lily’s love for baby Harry and then the force of his craving sent him howling into nothingness, unable to regenerate a human body until he stole the oxytocin in Harry’s blood with Lily’s love still in it.
Lorrie Kim (Snape: A Definitive Reading)
A diamond 6.5 cm long and weighing 185 carats (or 37 g) of pale yellow color was sold in 1450 to the Shah's court in the city of Ahmednagar. In 1591, Shah Burhan Nizam the second named him “The Finger of Allah” for a transparent and yellowish color and ordered the court stone-cutting and lapidary workshop to cut the diamond into two equal parts and cut the same Farsi inscription on one of the diamond faces on two sawn parts: “Burhan- Nizam Shah the Second. 1000 year." So, one and the second parts of the diamond were polished and began to have a length of 3 cm each and weighing 90 carats with the same inscription.
For a moment I feel the weight of every one of those eyes that constantly bear down on Drew. And it's crushing. My fingers tighten around the phone. "Are you afraid to lose?" At first I think he won't answer, but he does and his voice carries a strange, almost secretive tone. "You want to know what winning really is?" "Tell me." "It isn't about talent. Not at the top level. That's almost equal. And it's not even about who wants it more. It's about who believes with the most conviction they can take it. Fear, doubt, hesitation, that's what kills you." "So are you afraid?" "In the dark, late at night? Yeah. Sometimes. On the field? No. Hell no. It's just in me. Knowing I can do it.
Kristen Callihan (The Hook Up (Game On, #1))
Walking behind Warren, I’m approaching execution, till he stops and draws from his breast pocket a small blue velvet box. It holds a platinum ring with a sapphire the size of a chiclet flanked by diamonds of equal size, which—with all the drinks in me—makes me wobble. He slides it onto my shaking finger, saying, They’re family stones. Mother had it made. I joke I’ll need a bodyguard to wear it in public. When I lean back to stare into his green eyes, I resist the urge to kiss him—a public display he’d hate. But our gazes are so interwoven, I feel neither Texas trash nor WASP-itude can touch us. It doesn’t matter that my mother-in-law sobs through much of the meal, not—I’m guessing—from joy. Warren’s brother Dev says with genuine puzzlement as we head down the grand staircase, She was crying? And I think How do they block this stuff out? Nor does it matter that Mother offered to paint Mr. Whitbread in the nude and quote fix anything you need fixed close quote.
Mary Karr (Lit)
[It] cannot be disputed that there is some benevolence, however small, infused into our bosom; some spark of friendship for human kind; some particle of the dove, kneaded into our frame, along with the elements of the wolf and serpent. Let these generous sentiments be supposed ever so weak; let them be insufficient to move even a hand or finger of our body; they must still direct the determinations of our mind, and where every thing else is equal, produce a cool preference of what is useful and serviceable to mankind, above what is pernicious and dangerous. —D avid Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
As though following his train of thought, Lada said, “He can never love you. Not the way you love him.” Radu laughed, but it sounded old and brittle. “Do you think I do not know that? And still this is better than what we can ever hope for in Wallachia. How can you not see that? You have him, Lada. You have his heart and his eyes and his soul. I have seen the way you wait for him to look at you, the way you relish his attentions. You pretend you do not love him, but you cannot lie to me.” He paused. Then, unable to stop himself, he slipped into a goading tone. “No one will ever love you as he does—as an equal—and you know it. You will not leave that. You cannot.” She stiffened. Radu saw her fingers curl into fists, ready for a fight. “I can. I have already started. He will never forgive me for admitting my betrayal.” Radu was reminded of her beating the boyar sons in the forest outside Tirgoviste. Those same fists had always defied everything expected of her. Now he had made her love of Mehmed a challenge to be overcome. His heart sank as he realized that by taunting her that she could not leave, he had virtually guaranteed she would do exactly that. Maybe he had known that all along.
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
Measures of Length To give a brief account of matters. In point of measurements, there is first of all the yojana (yu-shen-na); this from the time of the holy kings of old has been regarded as a day’s march for an army. The old accents say it is equal to 40 li; according to the common reckoning in India it is 30 li, but in the sacred books (of Buddha) the yojana is only 16 li. In the subdivision of distances, a yojana is equal to eight krosas (keu-lu-she); a krosa is the distance that the lowing of a cow can be heard; a krosa is divided into 500 bows (dhanus); a bow is divided into four cubits (hastas); a cubit is divided into 24 fingers (angulis); a finger is divided into seven barleycorns (javas); and so on to a louse (yuka), a nit (liksha), a dust grain, a cow’s hair, a sheep’s hair, a hare’s down, copper-water,315 and so on for seven divisions, till we come to a small grain of dust; this is divided sevenfold till we come to an excessively small grain of dust (anu); this cannot be divided further without arriving at nothingness, and so it is called the infinitely small (paramanu).
Sandhya Jain (The India They Saw (Volume 1))
Can it really be true that one letter in our 3-billion-letter books of human life could be equally important? Well, yes. Boys with just a single letter change in a specific gene6 develop a devastating condition characterised by gout, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and self-mutilation of lips and fingers.7
Nessa Carey (Hacking the Code of Life: How gene editing will rewrite our futures)
When confronted with healings like this that we don’t understand, most of us seem to respond with one of two reactions: “There must be forces out there beyond our comprehension” or the equally vague, but slightly more scientific “The mind is a powerful thing.” Both these statements are true. But neither is good enough for me, and shouldn’t be for you either. In an era when we can beam real-time images of a working brain across the world—where a man missing his arm can use his mind to operate mechanical fingers to grip and even feel a plastic cup—it’s time to expect a better answer.
Erik Vance (Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform, and Heal)
From what I've heard, others can recall the exact time in their lives when they lost their virginity. Not so with Catholics. Ours was wrapped beneath layers of guilt. Cautiously, slowly, and hoping that God was too busy with other things to notice, our logic and lust would unravel quilts of Sunday morning sermons, catechism lessons, confessional admonitions, and parental warnings. Such apprehensive behavior would often overflow into other activities. A devout Catholic would never completely open his Christmas gifts until August. Catholics also did very well on bomb squads. By the time we got through all the wrappings, we would often discover that our virginity had simply melted away. Ask a non-Catholic when they lost their virginity and they recall a specific moment. Ask a Catholic the same question and they begin counting the years on their fingers. Sitting in the library trying to figure out mathematical equations for a statistics course. I looked up from my pad of scribblings to see Denise Meyers, a girl I vaguely knew from around school, straining to reach a book that was on one of the higher shelves. She was wearing a short skirt. Discovering a new mathematical equation: Arousal equals the distance of the short skirt above the knees times the shapeliness of the legs. Denise Meyers was a reasonably attractive girl but, under the gaze of someone being affected by "library lunacy," she looked incredibly provocative. "Library lunacy" was a state of mind reached by sitting in the library and concentrating on material so boring that, after a few minutes, even the seventy-year-old librarian begins looking good. One sure indication that your mind was slipping
John R. Powers (The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice-Cream God (Loyola Classics))
Grilled Chicken Wings with Burnt-Scallion Barbeque Sauce ____________ Makes 12 pieces I am borderline obsessed with chicken wings. It’s the perfect food after a long work shift or on a chill day with your friends, crushin’ cheap American beers in the backyard. It’s food that allows you to let your guard down. After all, you’re eating food cooked on the bone with your hands and licking the sauce from your fingers in between chugs of ice-cold beer. Pure heaven. Note that the wings must be brined overnight. Brine 8 cups water ¼ cup kosher salt 1 tablespoon sorghum (see Resources) Wings 6 chicken wings, cut into tips and drumettes 3 tablespoons green peanut oil (see Resources) 1 tablespoon Husk BBQ Rub ¾ cup thinly sliced scallions (white and green in equal parts) ½ cup dry-roasted peanuts, preferably Virginia peanuts, chopped Sauce 10 scallions, trimmed 1 tablespoon peanut oil Kosher salt 1 cup Husk BBQ Sauce 1 tablespoon Bourbon Barrel Foods Bluegrass Soy Sauce (see Resources) 1 cup cilantro leaves Equipment 1 pound hickory chips Charcoal chimney starter 3 pounds hardwood charcoal Kettle grill For the brine: Combine the ingredients for the brine. I brine the wings using either a heavy-duty plastic bag that the wing tips can’t puncture or a Cryovac machine (you use a lot less brine this way). Place the wings in the brine and turn to cover well. Refrigerate overnight. Soak the wood chips in water for a minimum of 30 minutes but preferably overnight. For the sauce: Toss the scallions in the peanut oil and season with salt. Lay them out on the grill rack and heavily char them on one side, about 8 minutes (the charred side should be black). Remove them from the grill and cool for about 5 minutes. Clean the grill rack if necessary. Put the scallions and the remaining sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, about 3 minutes. Set aside at room temperature. For the wings: Fill a chimney starter with 3 pounds hardwood charcoal, ignite the charcoal, and allow to burn until the coals are evenly lit and glowing. Distribute the coals in an even layer in the bottom of a kettle grill. Place the grill rack as close to the coals as possible. Drain the wings; discard the brine. Dry the wings with paper towels, toss in the peanut oil, and season with the BBQ rub. Place the wings in a single layer on the grill rack over the hot coals and grill until they don’t stick to the rack anymore, about 5 minutes. Turn the wings over and grill for 8 minutes more. Transfer the wings to a baking sheet. Drain the wood chips. Lift the rack from the grill and push the coals to one side. Place the wood chips on the coals and replace the rack. After about 2 minutes, place the wings in a single layer over the side of the grill where there are no coals. Place the lid on the grill, with the lid’s vents slightly open; the vents on the bottom of the grill should stay closed. Smoke the wings for 10 minutes. It’s important to monitor the airflow of the grill: keeping the lid’s vents slightly open allows a nice steady flow of subtle smoke. Remove the wings from the grill, toss them in the sauce, and place them on a platter or in a serving pan. Top with the chopped scallions and peanuts and serve.
Sean Brock (Heritage)
Beethoven.” Ivy breathed the name as her fingers traced Opus 27, the Moonlight Sonata. A vague memory returned to her. Andrew, years before, whispering in strict confidence to her and to Joel that on one of his nighttime escapades, he heard Beethoven’s haunting melody floating across the wind from Foster Hill House. They’d teased him mercilessly for his superstition, while being equally as intrigued.
Jaime Jo Wright (The House on Foster Hill)
She searched out her pulse: there it was, beating slowly under her fingers, even and calm. She exhaled equally slow. How her body could be so rhythmic and regular when her brain was scrambled to the point of madness was beyond her.
Rebecca Barrow (You Don't Know Me but I Know You)
Look at this. Do you know what this says?” “Travis and Etty, surrounded by little glittery hearts?” he answers. “No, it says we are safe. We need to do something that is unsafe.” The frown on Travis’s face makes me think he isn’t getting it. “The best love stories have action… adventure!” I argue. Also, action usually raises tension. And tension usually equals a good argument. So, that’s it. That’s my answer. We go to the Congo; we stumble upon some drug lords and bam− if that’s not conflict I don’t know what is. Except, I can’t go the Congo because I have to work tomorrow. But the theory is still valid. “I would suggest skydiving, but I know because of the height issue that’s out,” I put my finger to my mouth in concentration. “Because that’s the only reason why that wouldn’t be a good idea,” Travis says. “Should we go to the casino and bet it all on red?” I ask. “Have you forgotten you’re still taking overtime shifts to pay off the inflatable day of fun?” Travis argues. “I’ve got it!” I exclaim, shooting my arms up in victory. “Let’s go drive down to the docks and see if we can witness a crime.” “Where are ‘the docks’?” Travis says, smiling indulgently at my new idea. “I’ve heard people say that in movies,” I say, shrugging. “I was hoping you would know where it is.
Emily Harper (My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero)
Mick?” she whispered. “Yeah?” “Are you feeling something?” “You could say that,” he murmured. “You?” She licked her lips and he nearly groaned. “I think so,” she whispered. “That’s good.” “Are you going to kiss me?” He cupped her face, let his thumbs trace her jawbone, his fingers sinking into her silky waves. “No,” he said quietly. “And not because I don’t want to, but because when I do, I want to know you’re ready. That you’ll feel it.” She sighed. “Guys do whatever they want all the time, no emotions necessary. I want that skill.” Another shaky breath escaped her, and since they were literally an inch apart, they shared air for a single heartbeat during which neither of them moved. Her gaze dropped to his mouth. “Okay, so I’m definitely feeling things.” She hesitated and then her hands came up to his chest. “Maybe we should test it out to be sure.” God, she was the sweetest temptation he’d ever met, and he wanted nothing more than to cover her mouth with his. Instead, he brushed his mouth to her cheek. “Please, Mick,” she whispered, her exhale warming his throat. He loved the “please,” and he wanted to do just that more than anything. But when she tried to turn her head into his, to line up their mouths, he gently tightened his grip, dragging his mouth along her smooth skin instead, making his way to her ear. “Not yet,” he whispered, letting his lips brush over her earlobe and the sensitive skin beneath it. She moaned and clutched him. “Why not?” It took every ounce of control he had to lift his head and meet her gaze. “Because I want to make sure you’re really with me, that you’re feeling everything I’m feeling. That there’ll be no doubt, no regrets.” “You sure have a lot of requirements.” He laughed. And she was right, it was all big talk for a guy who didn’t do relationships anymore. Still, he forced himself to step back and shut the passenger door. As he rounded the hood to the driver’s side, he tried to remind himself of all the reasons she was a bad idea. He lived two hundred miles away and he was hoping to move his mom up by him and never come back here. Not to mention that Quinn lived an equal two hundred miles in the opposite direction and she was in a deeply vulnerable place. No way would he even think about taking advantage of that. But when he slid behind the wheel and their eyes locked, he realized that while his mind could stand firm, the rest of his body wasn’t on board with the in-control program.
Jill Shalvis
Mick?” she whispered. “Yeah?” “Are you feeling something?” “You could say that,” he murmured. “You?” She licked her lips and he nearly groaned. “I think so,” she whispered. “That’s good.” “Are you going to kiss me?” He cupped her face, let his thumbs trace her jawbone, his fingers sinking into her silky waves. “No,” he said quietly. “And not because I don’t want to, but because when I do, I want to know you’re ready. That you’ll feel it.” She sighed. “Guys do whatever they want all the time, no emotions necessary. I want that skill.” Another shaky breath escaped her, and since they were literally an inch apart, they shared air for a single heartbeat during which neither of them moved. Her gaze dropped to his mouth. “Okay, so I’m definitely feeling things.” She hesitated and then her hands came up to his chest. “Maybe we should test it out to be sure.” God, she was the sweetest temptation he’d ever met, and he wanted nothing more than to cover her mouth with his. Instead, he brushed his mouth to her cheek. “Please, Mick,” she whispered, her exhale warming his throat. He loved the “please,” and he wanted to do just that more than anything. But when she tried to turn her head into his, to line up their mouths, he gently tightened his grip, dragging his mouth along her smooth skin instead, making his way to her ear. “Not yet,” he whispered, letting his lips brush over her earlobe and the sensitive skin beneath it. She moaned and clutched him. “Why not?” It took every ounce of control he had to lift his head and meet her gaze. “Because I want to make sure you’re really with me, that you’re feeling everything I’m feeling. That there’ll be no doubt, no regrets.” “You sure have a lot of requirements.” He laughed. And she was right, it was all big talk for a guy who didn’t do relationships anymore. Still, he forced himself to step back and shut the passenger door. As he rounded the hood to the driver’s side, he tried to remind himself of all the reasons she was a bad idea. He lived two hundred miles away and he was hoping to move his mom up by him and never come back here. Not to mention that Quinn lived an equal two hundred miles in the opposite direction and she was in a deeply vulnerable place. No way would he even think about taking advantage of that. But when he slid behind the wheel and their eyes locked, he realized that while his mind could stand firm, the rest of his body wasn’t on board with the in-control program.
Jill Shalvis (Lost and Found Sisters (Wildstone, #1))
A modest frugal retirement for a loyal Imperial bureaucrat?” said Pidge. “And yet your mother so wealthy.” “Doesn’t bother her,” Ivan said stoutly. “But does it bother him?” About to deny this with equal vehemence, Ivan realized that among the many things he didn’t know about Simon . . . that was another. “I am sure he has more important things on his mind.” Pidge smiled at him. “Fascinating.” With a little Shiv-like wave of her fingers, she trailed away toward the party; Byerly, with one of his less-comprehensible grimaces, promptly trailed after.
Lois McMaster Bujold (Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga, #15))
So what boon would you ask of the Crown?” she asked. That had come out of nowhere. Karish seemed equally surprised. “Your Majesty?” The Empress held out a hand to one of her ladies-in-waiting. A goblet was filled with wine and placed in her fingers. “A good ruler knows when to reward her subjects,” she drawled, r’s a-rollin’. “And when to punish them.” She took a long sip from her goblet, her eyes never leaving Karish. “This time, I choose to give a reward.” But watch yourself, because next time I might choose to cut your heart out with a spoon.
Moira J. Moore (Resenting the Hero (Hero, #1))
if Newton is the finger, Leibniz is the stone, and they press against each other with equal and opposite force, a little bit harder every day. RAVENSCAR:
Neal Stephenson (Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, #1))
He brought his hand up and pressed her head to his shoulder, then sifted his fingers through the soft, silky abundance. “Why is your hair not yet braided?” “I do it last thing. My schedule yet called for drinks with the earl, creation of a dreadful stain on his carpet, and a fit of the weeps like nothing I can recall.” “You are entitled to cry. Sit forward, and I’ll see to your hair.” His hands were gently taking down her bun, then finger combing through her long blond hair before she could protest. “One braid or two?” “One.” Which disappointed him, as two would take a few moments longer. “Will you be able to sleep now?” he asked as he began to plait her hair. “The storm is moving on. What of you?” “I don’t need much sleep.” His answer was a dodge; he took his time with her hair. He hadn’t looked for this interlude with her tonight, but after that exchange with Douglas, it eased him to know he could provide comfort to another. And it angered him such a decent woman was so in need of simple affection. “I cannot think of you as Miss Farnum,” he said as he worked his way down her plait. “May I call you Miss Emmie as Winnie does?” “You liken your status to that of a little girl?” Some of the starch had come back into her voice, and the earl knew she was rebuilding her defenses. “Emmie.” He wrapped his arms around her from behind and pulled her against his chest, his cheek resting against hers. “There is no loss of dignity in what has gone between us here. I will keep your confidences, as you will keep mine.” “And what confidences of yours have passed to me?” “You knew I was unnerved by the thunder. Douglas knew it, too, and offered to read me a bedtime story. You let me hold you.” “I should not have.” She sighed, but for just the smallest increment of time, she let her cheek rest against his, as well, and he felt her accept the reality of what he’d said: Maybe not in equal increments, maybe not to the same degree, but the comfort had been shared, and that was simply good. “I
Grace Burrowes (The Soldier (Duke's Obsession, #2; Windham, #2))
I was hoping Lady Anders might do me the honor of the supper waltz,” Hazlit said. The smile he aimed at Helene dazzled, for all it didn’t reach his eyes. “I promised this set to my brother,” Lady Helene replied, her show of regret equally superficial. “Perhaps you’d lead Miss Windham out in my stead? She’s been sitting here this age, good enough to keep a widow company amid all this gaiety.” Maggie glanced at her friend but saw only devilment in Helene’s eyes. “Lady Magdalene?” Hazlit held out a gloved hand. “May I have this dance?” The smile dimmed on his handsome face, and his gaze held hers. As much to get away from his inspection as anything, Maggie put her hand in his and rose. “I would be honored.” “Lady Helene, my thanks,” he said, holding up his left hand for Maggie to place her fingers over his knuckles. And it would be a blasted waltz. “You do not look honored,” he said, leading her to a position on the floor. “You look like you’re plotting the end of an association with Lady Anders.” “Helene has a peculiar sense of humor, but she knows I will retaliate at some point. I’ll make her dance with His Grace or perhaps with Deene.” “That would set tongues wagging.” He held out his left hand for Maggie to place her right in it. When she hesitated, he put her left hand on his shoulder, and took her right in his. “Really, Lady Magdalene, am I so offensive as all that? Your parents allow me under their roof, and your sister was happy enough to marry my half brother.” His hand at her waist was warm, even through her gown and stays. “You enjoy being difficult,” Maggie said as the orchestra began the introduction. “It isn’t becoming in a grown man. I’d take offense but I suspect you’re like this with most everybody.” “I can be charming.” “When it suits your purpose,” she said as the music began. “That isn’t charm, Mr. Hazlit. That is guile.” His
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
I pull out my phone and text her really quickly. Me: Hayley has a recital tomorrow. She wants to know if you’re coming. I wait with my fingers poised over the phone. Nothing. I get nothing. I lay it down on the bed and pound my fist into my pillow, jamming it into a ball beneath my head. Suddenly, my phone dings, and I reach for it like I’m an addict reaching for a fix. Her: Don’t use Hayley as collateral. Me: I’ll use anything I can. Quiet. No response. Me: Please forgive me. Come back home. Her: I don’t think that’s a good idea. Me: I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had. Her: What time is her recital? Yes! Thank God! Me: Seven. Will you come? Her: I’ll come. But only because Hayley asked me to. I take a deep breath because I suddenly can. I feel like the belt that was wrapped around my chest just loosened. Me: I’ll take you however I can get you. She doesn’t send more messages and my eyelids are getting heavy, so I send one last message. Me: I’ve been taking care of people my whole life. My job was to solve everyone’s problems and make sure that everything was okay. You weren’t my responsibility, and I should have realized that. I want you to be my equal, not someone I have to take care of. I promise not to do that again. And when I make a promise, I mean it. I’ll talk to you and listen when you talk. I won’t always do what you want. But I’ll try not to steamroll you again. She’s not going to reply. I knew that before I sent the message. I tuck my phone under my pillow, just in case she does, and I close my eyes. I dream about her red lips and that perfect smile. And for the first time all week, I don’t wake up grasping for something I don’t have.
Tammy Falkner (Proving Paul's Promise (The Reed Brothers, #5))
Human AF isn't just about being authentic. It's not just about posting a photo with messy hair and #therealme. It's not about sharing a teeny bit of struggle on Facebook. "Guys, my creativity is blocked. See, even people like me have tough days." That still has a tone of I have my shit together. Being Human AF is about being authentic about where we're being inauthentic. Like saying "You know what guys? I've been saying that I'm totally on board this climate change thing. But behind the scenes, I've made zero changes in my life." Cos you're human AF. It's about recognizing the parts of us, thoughts, behaviours, or feelings that are so in opposition of who we think we are, that we barely even admit them to ourselves. Like how you're a spiritually sound lightworker who meditates wearing white in the mornings and practises reiki to heal others, but 10 minutes later pulls the finger at someone who cuts you off on the freeway yelling, "Fuck off dickhead!" Cos you're human AF. And because road rage is real. Human AF is being honest about where we are being hypocritical, where we're saying one thing and practising another, where we're still really struggling ourselves in an area we claim to have nailed. Like being a really powerful health and wellness coach and preaching healthy habits, yet in the evening you still eat 45g of sugar before bed cos you just haven't quite nailed the harmonious relationship with food you're teaching to others. These so called dualities — good vs. bad, positive vs. negative — are not dualities at all. The reiki and the road rage are equal parts magic and human.
Peta Kelly (Earth is Hiring: The New way to live, lead, earn and give for millennials and anyone who gives a sh*t)
Finn slams the book shut, huffing in frustration. It immediately poofs into a mess of feathers, Sir Bird cawing angrily and jabbing his beak at Finn's fingers. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I forgot you're both." "Take better care of my friend," I say, trying not to laugh at their equally grouchy expressions.
Kiersten White (Illusions of Fate)
The hard length of his arousal pressed against her stomach, no longer a weapon to be feared but an instrument of pleasure. Lara reached for it cautiously, encircling the shaft with her fingers, sliding them along the hot silken skin. Her touch made him shiver, his body responding eagerly to the caress. She sensed that there were things he wanted to show her, teach her, but for now he let her explore him as she liked. She moved down to the pouch between his legs, testing the pendulous weight, and slid her fingers up the shaft to the smooth, broad tip. He groaned and lowered his mouth to her throat, kissing her, telling her in guttural murmurs how much he wanted her. Pushing her knees upward and apart, he settled in the lee of her thighs and took her, sheathing himself in a deep slide. Lara gasped and wriggled to accommodate him. There was only an instant of discomfort before her body accepted him in dewy welcome. He began a steady rhythm, driving straight and sure within her, angling himself to press against her sex with each stroke. She lifted herself up to him, cradling him with her hips, her hands gripping the dense muscles of his back. He was hard, delicious, riding her just as she wanted, covering her with his masculine weight, plunging deeper, deeper... The pleasure of it was overwhelming. She cried out at the height of it, her body filled with a liquid rush of delight, a shudder of satisfaction. It was equally pleasurable to share Hunter's fulfillment, to hold him in her arms and feel him shake with sensations he could no longer control. He remained inside her for a long time while his mouth covered hers, caressing and tasting.
Lisa Kleypas (Stranger in My Arms)
BILL: That moment of slaughter, for me, in my experience—and I would suspect for most sensitive animal husbandry farmers—that’s when you understand destiny and dominion. Because you have brought that animal to its death. It’s alive, and you know when that door goes up and it goes in there that it’s over. It’s the most troubling moment for me, that moment when they are lined up at the slaughterhouse. I don’t know quite how to explain it. That’s the marriage of life and death. That’s when you realize, “God, do I really want to exercise dominion and transform this wonderful living creature into commodity, into food?” “And how do you resolve that?” BILL: Well, you just take a deep breath. It doesn’t get easier with numbers. People think it gets easier. You take a deep breath? For a moment that sounds like a perfectly reasonable response. It sounds romantic. For a moment, ranching feels more honest: facing the hard issues of life and death, dominion and destiny. Or is the deep breath really just a resigned sigh, a halfhearted promise to think about it later? Is the deep breath confrontation or shallow avoidance? And what about the exhalation? It isn’t enough to breathe the world’s pollution in. Not responding is a response—we are equally responsible for what we don’t do. In the case of animal slaughter, to throw your hands in the air is to wrap your fingers around a knife handle.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
The line from the Obamas was “When they go low, we go high.” It’s a dignified and impressive mantra, if only because for the most part, whether you liked them or not, it’s hard to deny that they followed it. But the now cliché remark should not be taken conclusively, for it makes one dangerous omission. It forgets that from time to time in life, we might have to take someone out behind the woodshed. How we have lost this. How squeamish we have become. We now blindly demonize what is often one of the most effective forms of action. How vulnerable this ignorance has made us to the few real conspiracies, successful or not, that exist in the world. In this rare occasion, though, we got a glimpse, a peek behind the curtain, as the title of Gawker’s last post put it, of how things work. Now we know. Peter showed us. And yet our instinct is to turn away, to put our fingers in our ears. It’s why not once in nearly a decade of concentrated effort and scheming directed at a single enemy—at an entity who was obsessively covered and followed by the media—by an opponent who publicly stated his undying hatred of that enemy, did a single spectator, victim, or even many of the participants suspect any of what you read in the pages of this book. There is no question that what Thiel did over those years was brilliant, cunning, and ruthless. It is equally true that Gawker mostly beat itself. Denton and company allowed this to happen. Even the most cynical and aggressive media site on the planet had missed what was happening right in front of them; they did nothing to save themselves. “The idea of a conspiracy,” Thiel would say to me, “is linked with intentionality, with planning, working towards longer-term goals. In a world where you don’t have conspiracies maybe also those things disappear.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
Paul tells us: “because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:4 – 5). The gospel they believed and received wasn’t just a theological construct or a churchy platitude. Sure, it came through spoken and written words, and it was preached, taught, and shared. But it also came in power. Often Christians are either “word” people or “power” people. On the one hand, we may lean toward a rationalized Christianity. This type of Christianity holds to the gospel Word without gospel power. It preaches, teaches, catechizes, studies, memorizes, and shares the word but with little effect. It possesses “wise and persuasive words” but not “demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). This kind of Christianity can master systematic, biblical, and historical theology without being mastered by Christ. It can identify idols but remains powerless to address their power. Why? Because it replaces the power of the Spirit with the power of knowledge. On the other hand, there is an equal danger in spiritualized Christianity. Such Christianity prays, sings, shouts, and claims victory over a lost world without lifting a finger to share God’s gospel. It is not enough to pray for power; we must proclaim God’s Word. The power of the Spirit works through the proclaimed Word. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. My pastor during college, Tom Nelson, always said: “Don’t just stand on a shovel and pray for a hole.” Spiritualized Christianity tends to stand and pray, emphasizing private or emotional experiences with God. What we need is prayer and proclamation, power and Word. The Thessalonians had word and power, they grew in understanding and experience, but they also had full conviction. It is not enough to have spiritual power and good theology. These must also be coupled with faith, an active embrace of God’s promises in Christ, which brings about conviction. Full conviction comes when we are set free from false forms of security and experience Spirit-empowered faith in the word of Christ. It springs from genuine encounter with Christ. Full conviction transcends intellectual doubt and emotional experiences, and in the silence of persecution it says: “Christ is enough.” True security, deep security, comes through the reasonable, powerful, Christ-centered conviction that Jesus is enough, not only for us but for the world. When we falter, the church is present to exhort, encourage, and pray for one another to set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts. May we toss out the penny stocks of the fear of man to invest deeply in the limitless riches of Christ.
Jonathan K. Dodson (The Unbelievable Gospel: Say Something Worth Believing)
Is the diameter of your index finger equal to or greater than the diameter of a super absorbency tampon?
Julie Cross (Return to Us (Letters to Nowhere, #4))
Don’t crowd me, Daniel-‘ ‘The hell I will! I’ll do more than crowd. You’ve had your fun tonight, Kathleen. Now it’s my turn .. .’ There was a rough, cold, aggressive passion in the threat that prompted her to struggle until he put his mouth against hers. The contact burned so much that the recoil was instant and mutual. There was no sound but Kat’s ragged breath. Daniel wasn’t breathing at all. Oh, dear heaven, no! was her last thought before the face above her cleared of its dark, rigid shock and displayed instead a hungry curiosity that swept resistance before it. The second kiss was equally tumultuous, but this time there was no drawing back. The thrust of his tongue in her mouth allowed no polite preliminaries; it was a furious battle for ascendancy, Kat’s arms rising stiffly to lock around his neck, her fingers sliding up into the thick black hair at his nape as he wrapped her breasts and hips against his lean hardness. His hands spanning her waist, Daniel suddenly swung her around, pushing her backwards over the thick carpet until Kat walked into the side of the padded brown leather couch half-way across the room. He arched her over the high back, tipping her hips into his until she gasped into the dark, echoing cavern of his mouth.
Susan Napier (The Love Conspiracy)
Larry Kudlow hosted a business talk show on CNBC and is a widely published pundit, but he got his start as an economist in the Reagan administration and later worked with Art Laffer, the economist whose theories were the cornerstone of Ronald Reagan’s economic policies. Kudlow’s one Big Idea is supply-side economics. When President George W. Bush followed the supply-side prescription by enacting substantial tax cuts, Kudlow was certain an economic boom of equal magnitude would follow. He dubbed it “the Bush boom.” Reality fell short: growth and job creation were positive but somewhat disappointing relative to the long-term average and particularly in comparison to that of the Clinton era, which began with a substantial tax hike. But Kudlow stuck to his guns and insisted, year after year, that the “Bush boom” was happening as forecast, even if commentators hadn’t noticed. He called it “the biggest story never told.” In December 2007, months after the first rumblings of the financial crisis had been felt, the economy looked shaky, and many observers worried a recession was coming, or had even arrived, Kudlow was optimistic. “There is no recession,” he wrote. “In fact, we are about to enter the seventh consecutive year of the Bush boom.”19 The National Bureau of Economic Research later designated December 2007 as the official start of the Great Recession of 2007–9. As the months passed, the economy weakened and worries grew, but Kudlow did not budge. There is no recession and there will be no recession, he insisted. When the White House said the same in April 2008, Kudlow wrote, “President George W. Bush may turn out to be the top economic forecaster in the country.”20 Through the spring and into summer, the economy worsened but Kudlow denied it. “We are in a mental recession, not an actual recession,”21 he wrote, a theme he kept repeating until September 15, when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Wall Street was thrown into chaos, the global financial system froze, and people the world over felt like passengers in a plunging jet, eyes wide, fingers digging into armrests. How could Kudlow be so consistently wrong? Like all of us, hedgehog forecasters first see things from the tip-of-your-nose perspective. That’s natural enough. But the hedgehog also “knows one big thing,” the Big Idea he uses over and over when trying to figure out what will happen next. Think of that Big Idea like a pair of glasses that the hedgehog never takes off. The hedgehog sees everything through those glasses. And they aren’t ordinary glasses. They’re green-tinted glasses—like the glasses that visitors to the Emerald City were required to wear in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Now, wearing green-tinted glasses may sometimes be helpful, in that they accentuate something real that might otherwise be overlooked. Maybe there is just a trace of green in a tablecloth that a naked eye might miss, or a subtle shade of green in running water. But far more often, green-tinted glasses distort reality. Everywhere you look, you see green, whether it’s there or not. And very often, it’s not. The Emerald City wasn’t even emerald in the fable. People only thought it was because they were forced to wear green-tinted glasses! So the hedgehog’s one Big Idea doesn’t improve his foresight. It distorts it. And more information doesn’t help because it’s all seen through the same tinted glasses. It may increase the hedgehog’s confidence, but not his accuracy. That’s a bad combination.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
Matthew knew it was wrong the instant their lips met. Because nothing would ever equal the perfection of Daisy in his arms. He was ruined for life. God help him, he didn’t care. Her mouth was soft and hot, like sunshine, like the white blaze of a heartwood fire. She gasped as he touched her lower lip with the tip of his tongue. Slowly her hands came to his shoulders, and then he felt her fingers at the back of his head, sliding into his hair to keep him from pulling away. There wasn’t a chance in hell of that happening. Nothing could have made him stop. A tremor shook his fingers as he bracketed the exquisite line of her jaw in the open framework of his hand, gently angling her face upward. The flavor of her mouth, sweet and elusive, fueled a hunger that threatened to rage out of control… he searched the damp silk beyond her lips, deeper, harder, until she began to breathe in long sighs, her body molding against his. He let her feel how much stronger he was, how much heavier, one muscular arm clamped along her back, his feet spread to hold her between the powerful length of his thighs. Her upper half was bound in a laced and padded corset. He was almost overcome by a savage desire to tear away the stays and quilting and find the tender flesh beneath. Instead he sank his fingers into her pinned-up hair and tugged it backward until the weight of her head was cradled in his hand, and her pale throat was exposed. He searched for the pulse he had seen earlier, his lips dragging softly along the secret pathway of nerves beneath her skin. When he reached a senstive spot, he felt the vibration of her suppressed moan against his mouth. This was what it would be like to make love to her, he thought dazedly… the sweet shivering of her flesh as he entered her, the delicate chaos of her breath, the helpless sounds that rustled in her throat. Her skin, warm and female, scented like tea and talcum and a trace of salt. He found her mouth again, opened it, delving into wet silk, heat, and an intimate flavor that drove him mad. She should have struggled, but there was only yielding and more softness, driving him past all limits. He began to ravish her mouth with deep, twisting kisses, bringing her body rhythmically against his. He felt her legs part beneath her gown, his thigh fitting neatly between them. She squirmed with innocent desire, her face blooming with the color of late summer poppies. Had she understood exactly what he wanted from her, she would have done more than blush. She would have fainted on the spot. Lifting his mouth from hers, Matthew pressed his jaw against the side of her head. “I think,” he said raggedly, “this puts to rest any question of whether I find you desirable or not.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
During these uninterrupted peregrinations of mine from place to place, and almost continuous and intense reflection about this, I at last formed a preliminary plan in my mind.   Liquidating all my affairs and mobilizing all my material and other possibilities, I began to collect all kinds of written literature and oral information, still surviving among certain Asiatic peoples, about that branch of science, which was highly developed in ancient times and called " Mehkeness ", a name signifying the " taking away-of-responsibility ", and of which contemporary civilisation knows but an insignificant portion under the name of " hypnotism ", while all the literature extant upon the subject was already as familiar to me as my own five fingers.   Collecting all I could, I went to a certain Dervish monastery, situated likewise in Central Asia and where I had already stayed before, and, settling down there, I devoted myself wholly to the study of the material in my possession.   After two years of thorough theoretical study of this branch of science, when it became necessary to verify practically certain indispensable details, not as yet sufficiently elucidated by me in theory, of the mechanism of the functioning of man's subconscious sphere, I began to give myself out to be a " healer " of all kinds of vices and to apply the results of my theoretical studies to them, affording them at the same time, of course, real relief.   This continued to be my exclusive preoccupation and manifestation for four or five years in accordance with the essential oath imposed by my task, which consisted in rendering conscientious aid to sufferers, in never using my knowledge and practical power in that domain of science except for the sake of my investigations, and never for personal or egotistical ends, I not only arrived at unprecedented practical results without equal in our day, but also elucidated almost everything necessary for me.   In a short time, I discovered many details which might contribute to the solution of the same cardinal question, as well as many secondary facts, the existence of which I had scarcely suspected.   At the same time, I also became convinced that the greater number of minor details necessary for the final elucidation of this question must be sought not only in the sphere of man's subconscious mentation, but in various aspects of the manifestations in his state of waking consciousness.   After establishing this definitely, thoughts again began from time to time to " swarm " in my mind, as they had done years ago, sometimes automatically, sometimes directed by my consciousness,—thoughts as to the means of adapting myself now to the conditions of ordinary life about me with a view to elucidating finally and infallibly this question, which obviously had become a lasting and inseparable part of my Being.   This time my reflections, which recurred periodically during the two years of my wanderings on the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, resulted in a decision to make use of my exceptional, for the modern man, knowledge of the so-called " supernatural sciences ", as well as of my skill in producing different " tricks " in the domain of these so-called " sciences ", and to give myself out to be, in these pseudo-scientific domains, a so-called " professor-instructor ".
G.I. Gurdjieff (The Herald of Coming Good)
Who speaks of the old ones who live no more - who stands in the tent and calls their name? The mark of fingers in the clay of the cave wall, a stone made smooth by feet that walked upon it, the ashes of fire on the far trails where meat was eaten, an arrow fine-flaked that no living hand can equal, a stone carried from the river and left high on the hill - these signs alone will speak of the hidden ones.
Peter B. McCord (Wolf: The Memoirs of a Cave-dweller)
Maddy pressed her fingers to her lips, a smile blooming there. The man could kiss like the devil. Hot, passionate, demanding. Holy hell. Ronan McGuire was a force of nature, and equally dangerous.
Sara Humphreys (Trouble Walks In (The McGuire Brothers, #2))
Carefully leaning across the table so the candle would not singe her sleeve, she met that challenging stare with an equally challenging one of her own and placed the morsel of cheese against her husband's lips. His sensuous, lazily smiling lips. His gaze locked on hers, but he did not open his mouth. He merely gave her a warm, assessing look that melted every bone in her body. And then his lips parted, and his tongue came out to lazily circle the edge of the cheese. Raw desire shot through Juliet's blood, centered between her legs. Her hand shook. Her heart pounded. His lips, soft and warm, feathered against her fingers as he slowly took the cheese, his gaze still holding hers. He finally began to chew, and Juliet — trembling — started to pull away, but his hand came up and closed warmly around her own, trapping her fingers within his strong, hard grasp. He brought her hand to his lips, and, watching her from above her knuckles, slowly licked each fingertip clean. Juliet gasped and yanked her hand back. "I — think I've had enough food for tonight," she said shakily, pushing her chair back. Laughing, he leaned an elbow against the table, propped his dimpled chin in his palm, and calmly swallowed the cheese. "Coward." "I am not!  It's just that ... well, this is —" "Wicked?" "Well, yes!" "Unseemly?" "It's —" "Juliet." She froze. Her insides were hot and shaking, her throat as dry as cinders. Her bones were suddenly so weak she didn't know if she could stand up, anyhow. She clenched her hands to still her wildly pounding heart and forced herself to meet his amused gaze. "Y-yes?" "You, my dear, do not know how to have fun.
Danelle Harmon (The Wild One (The de Montforte Brothers, #1))
I’m surprised you’re here.” Her mouth curved upward. “I warned you I’d be joining you.” He ignored the heat that spread inside him at the sight of her smile. “That’s just it.” Her smile grew wider. “A politician who keeps his word—what a remarkable aberration in the species.” “How could I have forgotten that keen wit of yours?” he marveled. “Yeah, I’m full of surprises. Might want to remember that.” Then, throwing caution to the wind, he let his eyes roam slowly over her, lingering. She’d have to be blind not to see the hunger in them. Which she clearly wasn’t. She retreated a step. He followed, his longer legs closing the distance, until his body almost brushed hers. That cool composer of Lily’s was unraveling, no matter how hard she struggled to pretend otherwise. The signs were there, in the fine trembling of her limbs, in the flush that stole over her porcelain smooth cheeks. Fierce satisfaction filled Sean at her involuntary reaction. He dipped his head until his lips hovered, a soft whisper away. “Lily?” “Yes?” There was a husky catch to her voice. Sean’s fingers reached up and traced the rosy bloom on her cheek. Was it the sweet flush of desire that made her skin so soft? he wondered, his eyes and fingers memorizing every detail, every sensation. God, he’d die for a taste of her. But Sean denied himself the pleasure. He raised his head, putting distance between himself and his greatest temptation, and forced himself to lower his hand. At the loss of contact, Lily’s head jerked, as if coming out of a trance. Sean stepped back before she could flay him alive. “You’re looking a little pink, Lily. I’ve got some zinc oxide in my bag. I’d be happy to put some on you. Especially on those hard to reach places.” He gave her a casual smile and pulled his sunglasses from the breast pocket of his T-shirt, ignoring the violent thudding of his heart against the cotton fabric. His hands shook, too, racked with tremors of need. Somehow, he managed to settle his shades across the slightly crooked bridge of his nose, before shoving them deep into his pocket, out of sight. Damn Sean and his effect on me, Lily swore silently. He had only to bestow the paltriest of caresses and she nearly swooned. Even more galling was the fact that she was equally helpless before Sean’s verbal taunts. The thought of Sean’s hands, slick with lotion, gliding over her body in long, sweeping caresses had her pulse racing. Lily’s voice was filled with contempt—never mind that it was self-directed—as she spoke. “You know, you and John Granger should get to know each other. You could compare notes on really great pickup lines. By the way, Sean, your nose? Does it trouble you still? I hope so.
Laura Moore (Night Swimming)
Maddy pressed her fingers to her lips, a smile blooming there. The man could kiss like the devil. Hot, passionate, demanding. Holy hell. Ronan McGuire was a force of nature, and equally dangerous.
Sara Humphreys (Trouble Walks In (The McGuire Brothers, #2))
TWO VOICES I own the dawn! the cockerel claims. The light still loiters with intent to take the night. Wind steals through woods, the democratic dew gives equal weight to everything. A few blank seconds and he starts again. He yawns and voice possesses him. I own all dawns! I stand on dignity! he shouts out, shut in the dark kingdom of his one-room flat. More pained possessive crazed each time he crows he has to wrench his larynx, curl his claws to let that shout surge through him. Glancing out I notice nothing answers except light, whose answer makes the earth's hairs stand on end and shadows fall full-length without a sound. What is the word for wordless, when the ground bursts into crickets? There's a creaking sound like speaking speeded up. A skeleton crawls across leaves, still in its cramped position. one minute stooping on a bending blade rubbing its painful elbows, next minute made of pinged elastic, flying hypertense, speaking in several languages at once. not like a mouth might speak, more like two hands make whispered contact through their finger-ends, like light itself which absent-mindedly brushes the grass and speaks by letting be, but when you duck down suddenly and stare into the startled stems, there's nothing there.
Alice Oswald (Falling Awake)
How does it feel? I'm asked. I think, as if enormous is not enough? Now, I'm supposed to feel it? Become the blind man and the braille he reads. Somehow, outside myself, feeling legs, arms, chest, cleft in my huge jaw, eyes that are mine and, at once, eyes of the beholder. My body is no one's history. Trace fingers over every joint and scar. Run hands across my skin, through hair. Feel my nose. There is nothing there I've not grown into like the slow unnoticed rising of trees. It's only now, bulk that I am, heaving into someone's light, I must endure questions. Should I answer? The truth or a lie? Perhaps in a voice equal to my size: I suffer from this uncommonness. I'm growing from the outside in. My soul has not yet caught up. - Giant's Fourth Complaint
Tom Meschery
How does it feel? I'm asked. I think, as if enormous is not enough? Now, I'm supposed to feel it? Become the blind man and the braille he reads. Somehow, outside myself, feeling legs, arms, chest, cleft in my huge jaw, eyes that are mine and, at once, eyes of the beholder. My body is no one's history. Trace fingers over every joint and scar. Run hands across my skin, through hair. Feel my nose. There is nothing there I've not grown into like the slow unnoticed rising of trees. It's only now, bulk that I am, heaving into someone's light, I must endure questions. Should I answer? The truth or a lie? Perhaps in a voice equal to my size: I suffer from this uncommonness. I'm growing from the outside in. My soul has not yet caught up. - Giant's Fourth Complaint
Tom Meschery
So I loved you because I thought you would be fat. I thought you would increase, multiply, develop a big belly, double cheeks, triple chins, dimpled knees. I thought there would be more of you. You'd stand out in a crowd, flaunt fashion. We'd have to buy clothes in stores catering to the big fellow. In your hands birds would nest. On your knees children would perch. You would rock marvelously— better than any rocking chair, better than any row boat. You would conjure up the sound and feel of water, the expanse of sea—its waves and calms, its storms under control. In your arms I would be sailing without the bother of shipwreck. All our gardens would grow if you dropped the seeds. Pumpkins would explode for fullness. Tomatoes so heavy would collapse their vines. Cauliflowers sprouting the size of streetlights. Your voice would fill the house— raise the ceilings, flood the windows. I'd hear you in every room. Over storms your voice would carry, lightning would not diminish you. What happened? You are no larger than me. Our voices fill the same small space. No soft flesh to press my fingers into deeply before I hit the road of your body. Your bones are as clear to find as mine, neither distinct nor hidden. They are simply the usual set— they suffice. They hold us together with no genius. The self you offer me is not unlike my self— no great dimensions, no extraordinary appetite. I don't live in the tower of your sound. Trees are outside our human scale and birds belong more properly in them. The only nest we can build is a nest for ourselves. In short, my dear you are my equal. We can only grow what every other can grow— the seeds we have been given.
Marcia Aldrich
Chicken Salad à la Danny Kaye YIELD: 4 SERVINGS TO MOST AMERICANS, Danny Kaye is remembered as a splendid comedian and actor. I think of him as a friend and one of the finest cooks I have ever known. In every way, Danny was equal to or better than any trained chef. His technique was flawless. The speed at which he worked was on par with what you’d find in a Parisian brigade de cuisine. Danny taught me a great deal, mostly about Chinese cuisine, his specialty. Whenever I traveled to Los Angeles, Danny picked me up at the airport and took me to his house, where we cooked Chinese or French food. His poached chicken was the best I have ever had. His method was to put the chicken in a small stockpot, cover it with tepid water seasoned with salt, peppercorns, and vegetables, and cook it at a gentle boil for only 10 minutes, then set it aside off the heat for 45 minutes. As an added touch, he always stuck a handful of knives, forks, and spoons into the cavity of the chicken, to keep it submerged. The result is so moist, tender, and flavorful that I have used the recipe—minus the flatware—ever since. CHICKEN 1 chicken, about 3½ pounds ½ cup sliced carrot 1 cup sliced onion 1 small leek, washed and left whole 1 rib celery, washed and left whole 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns 2 sprigs thyme 2 bay leaves About 7 cups tepid water, or more if needed DRESSING 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ½ teaspoon Tabasco hot pepper sauce 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil GARNISHES 1 dozen Boston lettuce leaves, cleaned 2 dozen fresh tarragon leaves FOR THE CHICKEN: Place the chicken breast side down in a tall, narrow pot, so it fits snugly at the bottom. Add the remaining poaching ingredients. The chicken should be submerged, and the water should extend about 1 inch above it. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and let boil gently for two minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, and set it aside to steep in the hot broth for 45 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot, and set it aside on a platter to cool for a few minutes. (The stock can be strained and frozen for up to 6 months for use in soup.) Pick the meat from the chicken bones, discarding the skin, bones, and fat. Shred the meat with your fingers, following the grain and pulling it into strips. (The meat tastes better shredded than diced with a knife.) FOR THE DRESSING: Mix together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken salad. Add the chicken shreds to the dressing and toss well. Arrange the Boston lettuce leaves in a “nest” around the periphery of a platter, and spoon the room-temperature chicken salad into the center. Sprinkle with the tarragon leaves and serve.
Jacques Pépin (The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen)
you can lay your finger on the particular group of principles which made Henry Ford rich, you can equal his achievements in almost any calling for which you are suited. You are “the Master of Your Fate, the Captain of Your Soul” When poet William Ernest Henley wrote the prophetic lines, “I am the Master of my Fate, I am the Captain of my Soul,” he should have informed us that we are the Masters of our
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich!:The Original Version, Restored and Revised™)
In Sardis her thoughts turn constantly to us here, to you like a goddess. She was happiest in your song. Now she shines among Lydian women as after sunset the rosy-fingered moon surpasses all the stars, and her light reaches equally across the salt sea and over meadows steeped in flowers. Lucent dew pours out profusely on blooming roses. on frail starflowers and florid honey clover. But wandering back and forth she remembers gentle Atthis and for your pain a heavy yearning consumes her but to go there the mind endlessly is singing
Yet another reason Jamie was willing to pay out for expensive, hard-capped boots. You never knew where you’d be stepping. Right in the centre of the settlement a side-path led down a narrow little alley between the backs of two squats made out of shipping pallets, and opened into a little square where three tents all opened towards each other. Two of them looked ancient, propped up by sticks and other rigid objects, tied off and hanging from the bridge overhead with their support strings.  But the third tent looked pretty new.  It was a modest green and orange striped thing — big enough to fit no more than two people. But it matched the description that Reggie had given. He said that it looked too nice to be there, and this one did.  ‘Grace?’ Jamie called softly. Roper was right at her shoulder. She could smell the cigarettes on his breath. There was no answer. She stepped forward a little. ‘Grace? Are you in there? Can you hear me?’ There was an equal chance that the tent was empty, or that Grace was strung out and unresponsive. Either way, she needed to take a look. Jamie glanced at Roper, whose face she couldn’t read. His nose was wrinkled in disgust, but his flushed cheeks told her that he was as nervous as she was.  As much as she hated to generalise — confronting homeless people was never an easy thing to do. They could be unpredictable at best, and it was always smart to tread lightly. She steadied her heart, took a breath and then clenched her hand to stop it from shaking. The zipper toggle hung at the top of the entrance, shimmering gently in the half-light. Jamie couldn’t tell if it was from movement inside, or from vibrations coming through the other squats around them.  She swallowed and reached for it, taking it lightly between her fingers, not wanting to startle whoever was inside. Roper’s breath was short and sharp in her ear. ‘Grace?’ she tried again, but there was no response. She tugged left and the zipper began to unfurl, grinding its way along the teeth. Roper exhaled behind her, filling the already ripe gap with hot air.  Jamie craned her neck to look through the widening gap as the flap began to fold down, but inside was shaded and dark. The smell of urine wafted out and stung her nostrils. She was aware of her boots in the mud, aware of the sounds around her, of the closeness of Roper as he looked over her head.  Everything was still, the zipper not seeming to move at all.
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
Trina leans forward and kisses me. I wasn’t expecting it, but I’m not about to complain. I return her kiss and slip my tongue between her lips. My fingers tangle in her curly brown hair. “I want you, Carter,” Trina says. Her hands find my belt and start to take off my pants. “Wow, you’re a frisky one.” Trina giggles. “I just always go for what I want.” “I’m not complaining.” My jeans fall to the floor and Trina slides down on the couch until her head is equal with my crotch. She slowly licks up and down my hard cock before taking the entire thing down her throat. “Shit, Trina,” I moan. I only let her go down on me for a few minutes. There’s somewhere else I’d rather be. I kiss her again, our tongues engaging in a sensual dance. I slowly remove all of Trina’s clothes and my shirt, leaving us both naked on my couch. I’m glad I don’t have a roommate because there’s no way I’m stopping now. Moving to my room might ruin the mood. “Are you ready for me?” Trina nods. “Please, give it to me.” My cock enters Trina’s wet slit easily. I start off slow until she begs me to go faster. We kiss and paw at each other as I fuck her hard right there on the couch. “I’m gonna…” Trina warns. Her pussy tightens around my cock. “Fuck, baby, I’m close.” “Cum inside me. I’m on birth control, it’s okay.” I’m glad she says it, because I don’t want to pull out. I plunge deep inside her one last time before exploding, filling Trina with my seed.
Shae Sullivan (Jock Blocked)
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love quotes
I wince upon realizing he’s torn some stitches. “A hero would carry his queen right out of here,” he says with a grunt, his fingers brushing through my tangled hair. I grip his hand with mine and tug him toward the door. “Good thing we’re villains because we’re going to walk out of here together. Equals. King and queen. Heroes are for fairytales.” I rest my head on his shoulder. “Our story is one from the horror section.” He kisses the top of my head. “With a little erotica thrown in?” I laugh as we slowly make our way into the bright sunlight. “With a lot of erotica thrown in.” His palm finds my face and he kisses me hard. “I love you.” “I love you more.
K. Webster (This Isn't Fair, Baby (War & Peace, #6))
Self-taught fiction writer Octavia Butler once noted, “Forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” (Emphasis mine.) Yes, inspiration might contain the spark and life of your idea, but habit gets the writing done. Inspiration resides in your heart; habit resides in your fingers. Inspiration propels; habit completes. Art equals habit plus inspiration. It’s a simple equation.
Sarah Domet (The 90-Day Novel: A Day-by-Day Plan for Outlining & Writing Your Book)
You're not the boy they knew; you're a man they don't recognize. Something marks you as separate, and they won't ever understand it." "Because I was cursed." It wasn't a question, and Belle knew she had to tread carefully. "It's more than that. The curse forced you to change, but the transformation was yours alone." "Not just mine." He stepped to her and brought her hands to his chest. Heat rose to her cheeks, but she leaned into the warmth. Lio tilted her chin up and kissed her, sending a shiver down her spine despite the summer heat. She pulled her hands from his and wrapped them around his neck, twining her fingers in his hair, trying to close any distance between them. Every kiss was like their first- capable of wrecking her and healing her in equal measure. A soft growl escaped his lips. She pulled away and looked up, watching as his blue eyes softened. "I was in that darkness for ten years before you gave me a reason to seek the light," he whispered.
Emma Theriault (Rebel Rose (The Queen's Council, #1))
Each time I visited the DPRK, I was shocked anew by their bastardization of the Korean language. Curses had taken root not only in their conversation and speeches but in their written language. They were everywhere—in poems, newspapers, in official Workers’ Party speeches, even in the lyrics of songs performed on this most hallowed day. It was like finding the words fuck and shit in a presidential speech or on the front page of the New York Times. Their spoken language was equally crude, no matter the occasion. For example, during the previous day’s speech, Lee Myung-bak and his administration were referred to as nom and paetguhri-dul (that bastard and his thugs). I was relieved that I did not hear my students speak Korean often enough to know whether they had inherited this legacy. Yet I would sometimes hear expressions that warmed my heart—archaic, innocent-sounding words that made me feel as though the entire country were a small village undisturbed by time. Instead of the prosaic soohwa, meaning sign language, North Koreans said “finger talk,” and instead of “developing photos” they said “images waking up,” which I found lovely and poetic.
Suki Kim (Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite)
Love has three dimensions. One is animal-like; it is only lust, a physical phenomenon. The other is manlike; it is higher than lust, than sexuality, than sensuality. It is not just exploitation of the other as a means. The first is only an exploitation; the other is used as a means in the first. In the second the other is not used as a means, the other is equal to you. The other is as much an end unto herself or himself as you are, and love is not an exploitation but a mutual sharing of your being, of your joys, of your music, of your pure poetry of life. It is sharing and mutual. The first is possessive, the second is nonpossessive. The first creates a bondage, the second gives freedom. And the third dimension of love is godly, godlike: when there is no object to love, when love is not a relationship at all, when love becomes a state of your being. You are simply loving—not in love with somebody in particular, but simply a state of love, so whatsoever you do, you do it lovingly; whomsoever you meet, you meet lovingly. Even if you touch a rock, you touch the rock as if you are touching your beloved; even if you look at the trees, your eyes are full of love. The first uses the other as a means; in the second, the other is no longer a means; in the third the other has completely disappeared. The first creates bondage, the second gives freedom, the third goes beyond both; it is transcendence of all duality. There is no lover and no beloved, there is only love. That’s the ultimate state of love, and that’s the goal of life to be attained. The majority of people remain confined to the first. Only very rare people enter into the second, and rarest is the phenomenon I am calling the third. Only a Buddha, a Jesus . . . There are a few people here and there, they can be counted on one’s fingers, who have entered the third dimension of love. But if you keep your eyes fixed on the faraway star, it is possible. And when it becomes possible, you are fulfilled. Then life lacks nothing, and in that fulfillment is joy, eternal joy. Even death cannot destroy it.
Osho (Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships)
applies the principles of success. One of these is desire: knowing what one wants. Remember this Ford story as you read, and pick out the lines in which the secret of his stupendous achievement has been described. If you can do this, if you can lay your finger on the particular group of principles which made Henry Ford rich, you can equal his achievements
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
He steeples his long fingers. “Someday, I will ask your king for a favor.” “You want me to agree to something without even knowing what it is?” I blurt out. His stoic face gives little away. “Now we understand each other exactly.” I nod. What choice do I have? “Something of equal value,” I clarify. “And within our power.” “This has been a most interesting meeting,” Lord Roiben says with a small, inscrutable smile. As I stand to leave, Kaye winks an inkdrop eye at me. “Luck, mortal.
Holly Black (The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1))
My fingers danced above the open box as I tried to anticipate which flavor would be the very best. Lionel, equal parts benevolent and impatient, steered me to a dusty rose-colored one; it was the famous Ispahan flavor. I bit into the shell that, poof, crunched ever so delicately before collapsing in a delightfully chewy and moist mouthful. And then the storm of flavors hit me. Bright raspberry, exotic lychee, and a whiff of rose. There was so much power in that pretty little thing. It was a delicacy packed with skill, imagination, poetry, and, God, give me another one!
Amy Thomas (Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate))
He had liquor in about any color you could ask for, except the one I liked best, standard whiskey brown. I told him no thanks. He poured himself three fingers of emerald green and added equal portions of lemon yellow, sky blue, and sunset orange. I half expected him to stir it with a' Crayola.
Gary K. Wolf
What, she wondered, could be the reason for such persistent attention? Had she, in her haste in the taxi, put her hat on backwards? Guardedly she felt at it. No. Perhaps there was a streak of powder somewhere on her face. She made a quick pass over it with her handkerchief. Something wrong with her dress? She shot a glance over it. Perfectly all right. What was it? Again she looked up, and for a moment her brown eyes politely returned the stare of the other’s black ones, which never for an instant fell or wavered. Irene made a little mental shrug. Oh well, let her look! She tried to treat the woman and her watching with indifference, but she couldn’t. All her efforts to ignore her, it, were futile. She stole another glance. Still looking. What strange languorous eyes she had! And gradually there rose in Irene a small inner disturbance, odious and hatefully familiar. She laughed softly, but her eyes flashed. Did that woman, could that woman, somehow know that here before her very eyes on the roof of the Drayton sat a Negro? Absurd! Impossible! White people were so stupid about such things for all that they usually asserted that they were able to tell; and by the most ridiculous means, finger-nails, palms of hands, shapes of ears, teeth, and other equally silly rot. They always took her for an Italian, a Spaniard, a Mexican, or a gipsy. Never, when she was alone, had they even remotely seemed to suspect that she was a Negro. No, the woman sitting there staring at her couldn’t possibly know. Nevertheless, Irene felt, in turn, anger, scorn, and fear slide over her. It wasn’t that she was ashamed of being a Negro, or even of having it declared. It was the idea of being ejected from any place, even in the polite and tactful way in which the Drayton would probably do it, that disturbed her.
Nellla Larson
Although it can and at times almost certainly should be, compassion need not be synonymous with what might generally be considered agreeableness, rather the compassion being referred to here more suggests a sympathetic understanding of others’ lack of agreeableness. An awareness serving to help calibrate our easily incited impatience or anger or finger-pointing or disdain towards others over mostly nothing, or things that we can’t really know or understand. There is a suffering and confusion a part of existence that we all know and feel yet seem to so often struggle to grant others. To not see the so obviously unobvious thing behind everything. To hate. To seek vengeance. To frequently act on anger. To declare certainty in almost anything. All contradict the very struggle and confusion of life that we feel such a pain over in the first place. How often do we turn minor inconveniences into major ones over this lack of consideration? Or worse yet, turn tragedies of random circumstance into tragedies of hatred? It’s not that if one is annoyed by or disagrees with another person or group, they shouldn’t. Nor should they not try to work for what they believe in or against what they disagree with. But it is perhaps worth approaching all instances as often as we can. With the awareness that the ignorance and annoyance and sometimes cruelty we find in others is sometimes found by others in us. Sometimes at the same time and with equally valid reasons. Who is right in such cases? Perhaps in some of them, no one is. And perhaps not even the person who thinks they’ve trumped such an occurrence by realizing it’s happening and determining that they are superior to both parties by realizing how foolish both are. Even here, if one acts in such a way, one is exhibiting a conceit and smugness over others by thinking that they have superiorly realized the foolishness of being conceited and smug. Everyone is absurd in their attempt to trump their own absurd relationship with everything. And everyone is more the more so when they do not realize that they, even here, are also a part of everyone.
Robert Pantano
She couldn't understand the books I read ot he music I listen to, so we couldn't talk as equals on these topics.[...] But when I sat beside her and touched her fingers, a natural warmth welled up inside me.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
Visitors to the exhibit were instructed to place a finger on a sensor that detected their pulse; the readout of the sensor was visible only to Ainley. “Please tell me when your heart beats,” she would say to each patron who stepped forward. An elderly couple who stopped by the booth had very different reactions to Ainley’s request. “How on earth would I know what my heart is doing?” the woman asked incredulously. Her husband turned and stared at her, equally dumbfounded. “But of course you know,” he exclaimed. “Don’t be so stupid, everyone knows what their heartbeat is!” “He had always been able to hear his heart, and she had never been able to hear hers,” Ainley observed in an interview, smiling at the memory. “They had been married for decades, but they had never talked of or even recognized this difference between them.
Annie Murphy Paul (The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain)
neil found everything where it was supposed to be. as he slipped the lock into place again he realized his hand was trembling. he held up his shaky fingers where he could see them better and wondered at the equally weak flutter in his chest. hope was a dangerous, disquieting thing, but he thought perhaps he liked it. - narrator
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
throughout my life, using skills or talents or a person’s raw physical power to help them rise to the top of their society came and went. In the beginning, it was the strength in their arms to swing their swords. Then the tongue to sway large groups to accomplish something together. It became those who developed the sciences, and then—to a degree—it was those again who had physical prowess and could run or shoot a ball into a hoop. Yet, it was those who produced the food, built the homes, protected society, or taught the children or young adults who often weren’t supported. They would do their jobs, punch their time cards, and do what needed to get done to keep society going. My suggestion is to consider all work—if done well—equal. Government needs to be in place, but we’ll require some form of service as your debt to society. Perhaps you are a musician but can test into working with an R&D lab in the future. Can that be your service?” “That,” Bethany Anne replied, “could be a nightmare. Just think about the ongoing effort for some of Jean Dukes’ stuff. There’s no way we could place a person into a project for two weeks and then they leave.” Michael tapped a finger on the table. “I understand. However, let me give you a quote from a worker to Jack Welch.” “Who?” Peter interrupted. Stephen answered, “Jack Welch. He was the CEO of General Electric—GE—back on Earth in the twentieth century.” Michael continued, “He was talking to the assembly line workers at one of their businesses and one of the men spoke up, telling Welch that ‘for twenty-five years you paid for my hands when you could have had my brain as well for nothing.’” The table was quiet a moment, thinking about that. Peter was the first to break it. “Makes sense. We use that concept in the Guardians all the time. Everyone has a role to play, but if you have ideas you need to speak up.” “It would,” Addix added, “allow those interacting to bring new ways of thinking to perhaps old and worn-out strategies.” “What about those who truly hated the notion?” Stephen asked. “I can think of a few.” “I’m tempted to say ‘fuck ‘em.’” Bethany Anne snorted. “However, I know people, and they might fuck up the works. What about a ten-percent charge of their annual wealth if they wish to forego service?” “Two weeks,” Michael interjected, “is at best four percent of their time.” “Right,” Bethany Anne agreed, “so I’d suggest they do the two weeks. But if they want to they can lose ten percent of their annual wealth—which is not their annual income, because that shit can be hidden.” The Admiral asked, “So a billionaire who technically made nothing during the year would owe a hundred million to get out of two weeks’ service?” “Right,” Bethany Anne agreed. “And someone with fifty thousand owes five thousand.” “Where does the money go?” Peter asked. Admiral Thomas grinned. “I suggest the military.” “Education?” Peter asked. “It’s just a suggestion, because that is what we are talking about.” Stephen scratched his chin. “I can imagine large corporations putting income packages together for their upper-level executives to pay for this.” “I suggest,” Bethany Anne added, “putting the names of those who opt out on a public list so everyone knows who isn’t working.” “What about sickness, or a family illness they need to deal with?” Stephen countered. “With Pod-docs we shouldn’t have that issue, but there would have to be some sort of schedule. Further, we will always have public projects. There are always roads to be built, gardens to be tended, or military
Michael Anderle (The Kurtherian Endgame Boxed Set (The Kurtherian Endgame #1-4))
Do tell the story,” says Shadow. Cal taps a finger against his cup. “It was almost as if she just appeared in my room one day, out of the blue.” “Oh! Who is she?” cries the duchess. “A lady I met in Renovia,” he answers, as Shadow’s cheeks burn. “In a castle.” “Renovian,” says the duchess with distaste. “What is she like?” “Shadow is about to answer when Cal cuts her off. He looks right at her when he speaks. “She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met. Brave, courageous, loyal. In all the kingdoms of Avantine I have never met her equal.” “And how did you propose, brother? Seeing that you had sworn off marriage and children to look after Mother’s estate,” says Shadow softly. “Ah, but she too had vowed not to marry,” Cal answers. “So we promised to be unmarried to each other, but together forever.” “What an atypical arrangement,” says Shadow, not quite meeting his eye. The duchess was fully agitated by now. “Sworn off marriage and children? How strange! What kind of engagement is this?” She takes an aggressive bite of toast. “A promise between two souls,” he says, but he only has eyes for Shadow. “A promise can be broken,” Shadow replies. “Not mine,” he says, so quietly that he’s not sure she can hear him. “Nor mine,” she says, which means that she did. They catch each other’s eye, and Cal wants nothing more than to reach across the table for her hand and to pull her to him. But they are at the Duke and Duchess of Girt’s table, and must conform to propriety.
Melissa de la Cruz (The Queen's Assassin (The Queen's Secret, #1))
The old man held out a paper scroll, not mere parchment. It was a clear sign of wealth and status. Not every noble family could afford to use paper for invitations. The very fact that Hadjar was being visited by the clan’s attorney, and not by a simple servant, spoke volumes. “Thank-” Hadjar reached out, almost closing his fingers around the scroll, but the old man suddenly loosened his grip. Caught in the wind, the invitation, decorated with monograms and tied with a scarlet ribbon, fell to the dirt at Hadjar’s feet. The old man didn’t apologize. He stood there, with his hand still outstretched, a sneer on his lips, radiating complete confidence in his superiority. A clear example that old age didn’t mean one also gained intelligence or wisdom. He’d lived long enough for his hair to turn gray, but not long enough to acquire a brain. He didn’t even realize how simply and blatantly he was being used. Hadjar, just as the old man had expected, bent down to pick up the invitation, dusted it off, and held it without putting it away in his spatial artifact, as was required by etiquette. “You didn’t have to bow to me, young man,” the old man grunted. This was quite a serious insult. Being the personal disciple of a great hero made Hadjar equal in status to the senior heirs of aristocratic families. He was at the very top of the social structure of Dahanatan. But Hadjar didn’t really care about any of that. The power he possessed was insignificant in his opinion, and ever since he’d eaten those first scraps in Primus’ dungeon, he’d stopped caring about whether he was a Prince or a circus freak. Titles didn’t matter. The important thing was that the old man was a servant, and Hadjar was almost an aristocrat. The lawyer’s words were akin to the old man throwing a glove in Hadjar’s face. Hadjar looked behind his visitor, at the dark carriage emblazoned with the white coat of arms of the Predatory Blades clan. Brustor would have to try a little harder. So far, his provocations weren’t even a match for the insults that Hadjar had received during his meetings with Emperor Morgan. Shocking the old man, Hadjar bowed deeply. “Only a silly young man,” he said, straightening back up, “doesn’t feel respect toward someone whose hair is whiter than his.
Kirill Klevanski (Path to the Unknown (Dragon Heart, #11))