Fragile Person Quotes

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I suppose I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.
Tennessee Williams
People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It's too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat #3))
You're going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It's not your job to change these people, but it's your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can't. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.
C. JoyBell C.
In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the lips and face and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smile and kept moving. If I could have physically passed away, just let it all go, like that, without doing anything, stepped out of life as easily as walking through a door I would have done. But I was going to sleep at night and waking in the morning, disappointed to be there and resigned to existence.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Here’s my heart Shaw. You have it in your hands and I promise you’re the first and last person to ever touch it. You need to be careful with it because it’s far more fragile than I ever thought and if you try and give it back I’m not taking it. I don’t know enough about love to know for sure that’s what this between us is, but I know that for me it’s you and only you from here on out and I can only promise to be careful and not push you away again. Life without you in it is doable, but if I have a choice I want to do it with you by my side and I’m telling you I’m not running away from the work it takes to make that happen. Shaw I’m not scared of us anymore.
Jay Crownover (Rule (Marked Men, #1))
Gansey had always felt as if there were two of him: the Gansey who was in control, able to handle any situation, able to talk to anyone, and then, the other, more fragile Gansey, strung out and unsure, embarrassingly earnest, driven by naive longing.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Babies are soft. Anyone looking at them can see the tender, fragile skin and know it for the rose-leaf softness that invites a finger's touch. But when you live with them and love them, you feel the softness going inward, the round-cheeked flesh wobbly as custard, the boneless splay of the tiny hands. Their joints are melted rubber, and even when you kiss them hard, in the passion of loving their existence, your lips sink down and seem never to find bone. Holding them against you, they melt and mold, as though they might at any moment flow back into your body. But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child. That thing that says "I am," and forms the core of personality. In the second year, the bone hardens and the child stands upright, skull wide and solid, a helmet protecting the softness within. And "I am" grows, too. Looking at them, you can almost see it, sturdy as heartwood, glowing through the translucent flesh. The bones of the face emerge at six, and the soul within is fixed at seven. The process of encapsulation goes on, to reach its peak in the glossy shell of adolescence, when all softness then is hidden under the nacreous layers of the multiple new personalities that teenagers try on to guard themselves. In the next years, the hardening spreads from the center, as one finds and fixes the facets of the soul, until "I am" is set, delicate and detailed as an insect in amber.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t expect a first kiss to be so…life altering. In a few brief moments, the rule book of my universe had been rewritten. Suddenly I was a brand new person. I was as fragile as a newborn, but instead of the doctor placing me in my mother’s arms, he’d put me in Ren’s. What would Ren do with me? Would he draw me near, soothe me, and teach me about this new world or would he reject me and tell the doctor there must be some mistake. There was no way to know. What a breakable and delicate thing a heart was, no wonder I’d kept mine locked away.
Colleen Houck
The human mind is a powerful thing in many ways, but in others it's endlessly fragile—it takes only a single moment of pure terror to tear a hole in it, like a finger through a cobweb, leaving you forever just a shadow, a half-person.
Alexander Gordon Smith (Solitary (Escape from Furnace, #2))
I want you to tell me about every person you've ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn't think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mothers name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mothers joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you've been unkind. Tell me all the ways you've been cruel.Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me, how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? And for all the times you've knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you've asked come true? And if they didn't did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who[m]? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see in the mirror on a day a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who ever taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment, will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds. And if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon that if you wanted to you could pop—but you never would because you’d never want it to stop.
Andrea Gibson
Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity — but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our "biography," our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are? Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn't that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
What is the Absolute? Something that appears to us in fleeting experiences--say, through the gentle smile of a beautiful woman, or even through the warm caring smile of a person who may otherwise seem ugly and rude. In such miraculous but extremely fragile moments, another dimension transpires through our reality. As such, the Absolute is easily corroded;it slips all too easily through our fingers and must be handled as carefully as a butterfly
Slavoj Žižek (The Fragile Absolute: Or, Why Is the Christian Legacy Worth Fighting For?)
You never know what lurks just beneath the surface of my fragile sanity.
Ashly Lorenzana
Challenge a person's beliefs, and you challenge his dignity, standing, and power. And when those beliefs are based on nothing but faith, they are chronically fragile. No one gets upset about the belief that rocks fall down as opposed to up, because all sane people can see it with their own eyes. Not so for the belief that babies are born with original sin or that God exists in three persons or that Ali is the second-most divinely inspired man after Muhammad. When people organize their lives around these beliefs, and then learn of other people who seem to be doing just fine without them--or worse, who credibly rebut them--they are in danger of looking like fools. Since one cannot defend a belief based on faith by persuading skeptics it is true, the faithful are apt to react to unbelief with rage, and may try to eliminate that affront to everything that makes their lives meaningful.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
I’m not Jet so I can’t write you a song that makes you understand how important you are to me.  I’m not Nash so I can’t find a building and paint you a mural that makes see that it all starts and ends with you for me. I’m a tattoo artist, I’ll probably always be a tattoo artist (...) Here’s my heart Shaw.  You have it in your hands and I promise you’re the first and last person to ever touch it.  You need to be careful with it because it’s far more fragile than I ever thought and if you try and give it back I’m not taking it.
Jay Crownover (Rule (Marked Men, #1))
Love can give a person strength to break through glamours and magicks.
Melissa Marr
So what can I do now?" she spoke up a minute later. "Nothing," I said. "Just think about what comes before words. You owe that to the dead. As time goes on, you'll understand. What lasts, lasts; what doesn't, doesn't. Time solves most things. And what time can't solve, you have to solve yourself. Is that too much to ask?" "A little," she said, trying to smile. "Well, of course it is," I said, trying to smile too. "I doubt that this makes sense to most people. But I think I'm right. People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if posible, sincerely. It's too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies. Personally, I don't buy it." Yuki leaned against the car door. "But that's real hard, isn't it?" she said. "Real hard," I said. "But it's worth trying for.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat #3))
there was an assumption that I was personally attacking Sarah Palin by impersonating her on TV. No one ever said it was 'mean' when Chevy Chase played Gerald Ford falling down all the time. No one ever accused Dana Carvey or Darrell Hammond or Dan Aykroyd of 'going too far' in their political impressions. You see what I'm getting at here. I am not mean and Mrs. Palin is not fragile. To imply otherwise is a disservice to us both.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
There is one province in which, sooner or later, virtually everyone gets dealt a leading role--hero, heroine, or villain.... Unlike the slight implications of quotidian dilemmas that confront the average citizen in other areas of life ... the stakes in this realm could not be higher. For chances are that at some point along the line you will hold in your hands another person's heart. There is no greater responsibility on the planet. However you contend with this fragile organ, which pounds or seizes in accordance with your caprice, will take your full measure.
Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World)
Why would you even want to be human? We’re fragile. We die.” “You also live. You don’t spend every day wondering why you exist,but don’t feel real, why you look human, but can’t be. You don’t do everything you can to be a good person only to have it constantly thrown in your face that you’re not a person at all.
Victoria Schwab (This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1))
The self-effacing person is soothing and gracious, while the self-promoting person is fragile and jarring. Humility is freedom from the need to prove you are superior all the time, but egotism is a ravenous hunger in a small space—self-concerned, competitive, and distinction-hungry. Humility is infused with lovely emotions like admiration, companionship, and gratitude.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
A person is never as quiet or unrestrained as they seem, or as bad or good, as vulnerable or as strong, as sweet or as feisty; we are thickly layered, page lying upon page, behind simple covers. And love - it is not the book itself, but the binding. It can rip us apart or hold us together...Layers, by their nature, are fragile things.
Deb Caletti (Honey, Baby, Sweetheart)
Heartache doesn't teach you to be resilient. It teaches you to protect your fragility. It teaches you to fear love. And it draws a bright red circle around all the ways you've failed as a person and laughs while you cry.
Leisa Rayven (Wicked Heart (Starcrossed, #3))
... to be forceful was not the same as being powerful and to be gentle was not the same as being fragile...
Deborah Levy (Swimming Home)
I believe that white progressives cause the most daily damage to people of color. I define a white progressive as any white person who thinks he or she is not racist, or is less racist, or in the “choir,” or already “gets it.” White progressives can be the most difficult for people of color because, to the degree that we think we have arrived, we will put our energy into making sure that others see us as having arrived. None of our energy will go into what we need to be doing for the rest of our lives: engaging in ongoing self-awareness, continuing education, relationship building, and actual antiracist practice. White progressives do indeed uphold and perpetrate racism, but our defensiveness and certitude make it virtually impossible to explain to us how we do so.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
And yet here he was, looking at Jem Carstairs, a boy so fragile-looking that he appeared to be made out of glass, with the hardness of his expression slowly dissolving into tentative uncertainty. "You are not really dying," he said, the oddest tone to his voice, "are you?" Jem nodded. "So they tell me." "I am sorry," Will said. "No", Jem said softly. He drew his jacket aside and took a knife from the belt at his waist. "Don't be ordinary like that. Don't say you're sorry. Say you'll train with me." He held the knife to Will, hilt first. Charlotte held her breath, afraid to move. She felt as if she were watching something very important happen, though she could not have said what. Will reached out and took the knife, his eyes never leaving Jem's face. His fingers brushed the other boy's as he took the weapon from him. It was the first time, Charlotte thought that she had ever seen him touch any other person willingly. "I'll train with you," he said.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
There is a moment, in all my studying of movies and scripts, that I’d realized something elemental about human beings and why I’d been attracted to that imaginary world. Each piece of work was attempting to describe the human condition, in all its good, bad and ugly glory. At first, it’d been an extension of my own life, strangely mirrored in this world of ‘fiction’. Each story wanted, no— needed—to reveal a human fragility, a human bondage which tied people to the things they did and to be the person they held in their heads. Those stories were something true and sometimes horrific but people were people and the parts didn’t just tell the whole story.
C.J. Roberts (Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #1))
Only you and I can help the sun rise each coming morning. If we don't, it may drench itself out in sorrow. You special, miraculous, unrepeatable, fragile, fearful, tender, lost, sparkling ruby emerald jewel, rainbow splendor person. It's up to you.
Joan Baez
So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We are utterly open with no one, in the end -- not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman's second glance, a child's apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words 'I have something to tell you,' a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother's papery ancient hand in a thicket of your hair, the memory of your father's voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children.
Brian Doyle (One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder for the Spiritual and Nonspiritual Alike)
Age makes you notice certain things. For example, I now know that a man’s life is broadly divided into three periods. During the first, it doesn’t even occur to us that one day we will grow old, we don’t think that time passes or that from the day we are born we’re all walking toward a common end. After the first years of youth comes the second period, in which a person becomes aware of the fragility of life and what begins like a simple niggling doubt rises inside you like a flood of uncertainties that will stay with you for the rest of your days. Finally, toward the end of life, the period of acceptance begins, and, consequently, of resignation, a time of waiting.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Prince of Mist (Niebla, #1))
A Ritual to Read to Each Other If you don’t know the kind of person I am and I don’t know the kind of person you are a pattern that others made may prevail in the world and following the wrong god home we may miss our star. For there is many a small betrayal in the mind, a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood storming out to play through the broken dyke. And as elephants parade holding each elephant’s tail, but if one wanders the circus won’t find the park, I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty to know what occurs but not recognize the fact. And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy, a remote important region in all who talk: though we could fool each other, we should consider--- lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark. For it is important that awake people be awake, or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep; the signals we give---yes or no, or maybe--- should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
William Stafford
They become more personable as you head south, the people. You sit in a diner and, along with your coffee and your food, they bring you comments, questions, smiles, and nods.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Doug sees beneath all of her Hope-ness. Her sees her all the way to her white-hot rage, and her fear. What Doug doesn’t see, is that most of the time, it’s much to bear, and that really, when everything is stripped away, she is just as scared as what life dishes up as the next person, that inside she is that Swarovski hummingbird displayed so innocently on her credenza, all light-reflecting surfaces and fragile as glass.
Joan Gelfand (Extreme)
[U]ntil feminists work to empower femininity and pry it away from the insipid, inferior meanings that plague it - weakness, helplessness, fragility, passivity, frivolity, and artificiality - those meanings will continue to haunt every person who is female and/or feminine.
Julia Serano (Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity)
It was one thing to have your own kind of hope, an ember you could nurture inside, something to inspire you when things got dark. If it died, it was on you; no one else even had to know about it, and you were free to reignite it, or to give up and walk away. But when you were carrying it with another person, for another person, it was a dangerous dream. Treacherous as the sea, yet fragile as a bubble.
Sarah Ockler (The Summer of Chasing Mermaids)
Why is it that looking through someone's things is always somehow so sad and also endearing, as if the deep fragility of their person becomes exposed in their absence, through their belongings?
Valeria Luiselli (Lost Children Archive)
When a daughter loses a mother, she learns early that human relationships are temporary, that terminations are beyond her control, and her feelings of basic trust and security are shattered. The result? A sense of inner fragility and overriding vulnerability. She discovers she’s not immune to unfortunate events, and the fear of subsequent similar losses may become a defining characteristic of her personality.
Hope Edelman (Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss)
My first female lover was a Jewish woman. She was butch, but not in a swaggering macho way- she could pass as a yeshiva boy, pale and intense. Small, almost fragile, she exuded a powerful sense of herself. She had not been to a synagogue in years, but kept the law of kashrut, and taught me my first prayers in Hebrew. She cooked, she read, she ironed her dress shirts and polished her boots meticulously, and admired femme women enormously. She was also the first person ever- including myself- to bring me to multiple orgasms. She taught me to ask for what I wanted in bed, then encouraged me to expect it from her and future lovers. She taught me to get her off with fingers, tongue, lips, sex toys, and my voice. She showed me how to masturbate in different positions, and fisted me during my menstrual cramps to provide an internal massage- and to demonstrate that a sexual act without orgasm was also an acceptable, intimate act. She never separated sexuality from the rest of her life; it was as integral to her as her Judaism. This was how I wanted to be. Not just sexually, although certainly that way too. This is how I wanted to move through the world. -- Karen Taylor (from "Daughters of Zelophehad")
Lawrence Schimel (First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far))
If, however, I understand racism as a system into which I was socialized, I can receive feedback on my problematic racial patterns as a helpful way to support my learning and growth. One of the greatest social fears for a white person is being told that something that we have said or done is racially problematic. Yet when someone lets us know that we have just done such a thing, rather than respond with gratitude and relief (after all, now that we are informed, we won’t do it again), we often respond with anger and denial.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
I think the strangest thing that exists, is how there are seven billion people on the planet and yet, so many people can spend their whole lives looking for somebody to love and never, ever find that. There are so many things that we can find in other people— friendship, learning processes, enrichment— so many things, nevertheless, the most elusive and fragile of all the things we can possibly find in another human being, is love. To be the one that someone loves and for that person to be the one that you love. Why is this difficult to find? My answer is that, because out of the seven billion, there really is only one. You don’t find something and make it work; you find the one and when you do, you work until it works. The problem is finding the one. Many, many people are born and die never finding that.
C. JoyBell C.
We are all just a car crash, a diagnosis, an unexpected phone call, a newfound love, or a broken heart away from becoming a completely different person. How beautifully fragile are we that so many things can take but a moment to alter who we are for forever?
Samuel Decker Thompson
For I have a single definition of success: you look in the mirror every evening, and wonder if you disappoint the person you were at 18, right before the age when people start getting corrupted by life. Let him or her be the only judge; not your reputation, not your wealth, not your standing in the community, not the decorations on your lapel. If you do not feel ashamed, you are successful. All other definitions of success are modern constructions; fragile modern constructions.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms)
I was too tired to think. I merely felt the town as a unique unreality. What was it? I knew -- the moon's picture of a town. These streets with their houses did not exist, they were but a ludicrous projection of the moon's sumptuous personality. This was a city of Pretend, created by the hypnotism of moonnight. -- Yet when I examined the moon she too seemed but a painting of a moon and the sky in which she lived a fragile echo of color. If I blew hard the whole shy mechanism would collapse gently with a neat soundless crash. I must not, or lose all.
E.E. Cummings (The Enormous Room)
How did people get over this? They obviously did. Every day someone fell in love with the wrong person and had to pack up all their fragile, misguided hopes and unwanted affection, and move on to the next picnic table.
Josh Lanyon (Perfect Day (Wyatt & Graham, #1))
You couldn't be more wrong," I said. "You are buying into the cross-stitched sentiments of your parents' throw pillows. You're arguing that the fragile, rare thing is beautiful simply because it is fragile and rare. But that's a lie, and you know it." "You're a hard person to comfort," Augustus said. "Easy comfort isn't comforting," I said.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Do you know what a summer rain is? To start with, pure beauty striking the summer sky, awe-filled respect absconding with your heart, a feeling of insignificance at the very heart of the sublime, so fragile and swollen with the majesty of things, trapped, ravished, amazed by the bounty of the world. And then, you pace up and down a corridor and suddenly enter a room full of light. Another dimension, a certainty just given birth. The body is no longer a prison, your spirit roams the clouds, you possess the power of water, happy days are in store, in this new birth. Just as teardrops, when they are large and round and compassionate, can leave a long strand washed clean of discord, the summer rain as it washes away the motionless dust can bring to a person's soul something like endless breathing.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
In essence, white fragility looks like a white person taking the position of victim when it is in fact that white person who has committed or participated in acts of racial harm.
Layla F. Saad (Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor)
I WANT YOU TO TELL ME ABOUT EVERY PERSON YOU’VE EVER BEEN IN LOVE WITH. TELL ME WHY YOU LOVED THEM, THEN TELL ME WHY THEY LOVED YOU. TELL ME ABOUT A DAY IN YOUR LIFE YOU DIDN’T THINK YOU’D LIVE THROUGH. TELL ME WHAT THE WORD “HOME” MEANS TO YOU AND TELL ME IN A WAY THAT I’LL KNOW YOUR MOTHER’S NAME JUST BY THE WAY YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BED ROOM WHEN YOU WERE 8. SEE, I WANNA KNOW THE FIRST TIME YOU FELT THE WEIGHT OF HATE AND IF THAT DAY STILL TREMBLES BENEATH YOUR BONES. DO YOU PREFER TO PLAY IN PUDDLES OF RAIN OR BOUNCE IN THE BELLIES OF SNOW? AND IF YOU WERE TO BUILD A SNOWMAN, WOULD YOU RIP TWO BRANCHES FROM A TREE TO BUILD YOUR SNOWMAN ARMS? OR WOULD YOU LEAVE THE SNOWMAN ARMLESS FOR THE SAKE OF BEING HARMLESS TO THE TREE? AND IF YOU WOULD, WOULD YOU NOTICE HOW THAT TREE WEEPS FOR YOU BECAUSE YOUR SNOWMAN HAS NO ARMS TO HUG YOU EVERY TIME YOU KISS HIM ON THE CHEEK? DO YOU KISS YOUR FRIENDS ON THE CHEEK? DO YOU SLEEP BESIDE THEM WHEN THEY’RE SAD, EVEN IF IT MAKES YOUR LOVER MAD? DO YOU THINK THAT ANGER IS A SINCERE EMOTION OR JUST THE TIMID MOTION OF A FRAGILE HEART TRYING TO BEAT AWAY ITS PAIN? SEE, I WANNA KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF YOUR FIRST NAME. AND IF YOU OFTEN LIE AWAKE AT NIGHT AND IMAGINE YOUR MOTHER’S JOY WHEN SHE SPOKE IT FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME. I WANT YOU TELL ME ALL THE WAYS YOU’VE BEEN UNKIND. TELL ME ALL THE WAYS YOU’VE BEEN CRUEL. SEE, I WANNA KNOW MORE THAN WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING. I WANNA KNOW HOW MUCH OF YOUR LIFE YOU SPEND JUST GIVING. AND IF YOU LOVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TO ALSO RECEIVE SOMETIMES. I WANNA KNOW IF YOU BLEED SOMETIMES THROUGH OTHER PEOPLE’S WOUNDS.
Andrea Gibson
Don't fall in love with me. Not unless you're ready for a God damn fight. I don't do fragility, or friction and fairy tales. I want you to be irrational because I'm irrational. Be bold. Speak your mind. I want your wildfires and obscenities. I want your passion and priorities. Protect what's yours. I'll defend what's ours. Let us fight against routines and bad habits, and anything typical. And don't you dare quit. Not on us, not on yourself. God help the person who threatens us. Forgive me when I let you down, but don't overlook it, or allow it. We're all insecure about something. Show me yours. We're all terrified sometimes. Turn to me. People come in and out of my life so often and easily that I just look for a love that stays. I don't mind your blemishes or scars, I have a few of my own. Don't be another flash in the pan. Falling for me will be easy. Staying with me will be impossible. But you deserve a love that most people don't believe in anymore.
J. Raymond
She smiled at and spoke to each person. It was as though she couldn't come into contact with anyone or anything without imparting some of her goodness onto them.
Michelle Leighton (Fragile)
Rachel and I, we’d been raised to do what we wanted to do, and we had; we’d been successful, and we’d shown everyone. We didn’t need to wear apocryphal T-shirts because we already knew the secret, which was this: that when you did succeed, when you did outearn and outpace, when you did exceed all expectations, nothing around you really shifted. You still had to tiptoe around the fragility of a man, which was okay for the women who got to shop and drink martinis all day—this was their compensation; they had done their own negotiations—but was absolutely intolerable for anyone who was out there working and getting respect and becoming the person that others had to tiptoe around. That these men could be so delicate, that they could lack any inkling of self-examination when it came time to try to figure out why their women didn’t seem to be batshit enthusiastic over another night of bolstering and patting and fellating every insecurity out of them—this was the thing we’d find intolerable.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Fleishman Is in Trouble)
When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall.
Brian Doyle
You couldn't be more wrong", I said. "You are buying into the cross-stitched sentiments of your parents' throw pillows. You're arguing that the fragile, rare thing is beautiful simply because it is fragile and rare. But that's a lie, and you know it." "You're a hard person to comfort" , Augustus said. "Easy comfort isn't comforting", I said. "You were a rare and fragile flower once. You remember." For a moment he said nothing. "You do know how to shut me up, Hazel Grace." "It's my privilege and responsibility," I answered.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Here's my heart Shaw. You have it in your hands and I promise you're the first and the last person to ever touch it. You need to be careful with it because it's far more fragile than I ever thought and if you try and give it back I'm not taking it.
Jay Crownover
Every person has a heart, but we're not always lucky enough to get a glimpse of it. And every heart, even the hardest, has a fragile spot. If you hit it there, it shatters.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Sister of My Heart (Anju and Sudha #1))
We are punctual, a stressed, marked characteristic. We need order around us, in the house, in the life, although we live by irresistible impulses, as if the order in the closets, in our papers, in our books, in our photographs, in our souvenirs, in our clothes could preserve us from chaos in our feelings, loves, in our work. Indifference to food, sobriety; but this, we admit, is the part of the war against a threatening fragility.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
If someone comes to you with an idea its like he is giving you a fragile glass made by himself. If the glass does not match your preference do not throw it away. Give him back otherwise it may hurt the person who made it.
Osama Bin Noor
Here’s my heart, Shaw. You have it in your hands, and I promise you’re the first and last person to ever touch it. You need to be careful with it because it’s far more fragile than I ever thought, and if you try to give it back I’m not taking it.
Jay Crownover (Rule (Marked Men, #1))
...knowing in his fragile bones that it was the duty of men who aspired to the condition of humanity to protect children and kill for them if necessary. It comes to a person most clearly when he has daughters.
Paulette Jiles (News of the World)
What must be understood is this: attackers attack as a form of defence. It is their instinctive response to threat, real or perceived. It may be desperate or it may be habit, or both, when desperation becomes a way of life. Behind the assault hides a fragile person.
Steven Erikson (Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9))
Creativity is fragile; if you don't nurture it, it can die, leaving you recycling old ideas and pretending they're fresh. It's a sure road to mediocrity.
Lee Silber (Time Management for the Creative Person)
There's more than one way to be a fragile person.
Leah Thomas (Wild and Crooked)
The most profound message of racial segregation may be that the absence of people of color from our lives is no real loss. Not one person who loved me, guided me, or taught me ever conveyed that segregation deprived me of anything of value. I could live my entire life without a friend or loved one of color and not see that as a diminishment of my life. In fact, my life trajectory would almost certainly ensure that I had few, if any, people of color in my life. I might meet a few people of color if I played certain sports in school, or if there happened to be one or two persons of color in my class, but when I was outside of that context, I had no proximity to people of color, much less any authentic relationships. Most whites who recall having a friend of color in childhood rarely keep these friendships into adulthood. Yet if my parents had thought it was valuable to have cross-racial relationships, they would have ensured that I had them, even if it took effort—the same effort so many white parents expend to send their children across town so they can attend a better (whiter) school. Pause for a moment and consider the profundity of this message: we are taught that we lose nothing of value through racial segregation. Consider the message we send to our children—as well as to children of color—when we describe white segregation as good.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Few value just how fragile a person’s psyche is. All those pieces, both the good and bad, the values, the lessons, the beliefs that construct us—they’re all woven into the fabric of our being. Once you start pulling out the first thread, the entire person is in danger of unravelling.
Jessica Dotta (Born of Persuasion (Price of Privilege, #1))
You'll get over it...' It's the cliches that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don't get over it because 'it' is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to greive over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to? I've thought a lot about death recently, the finality of it, the argument ending in mid-air. One of us hadn't finished, why did the other one go? And why without warning? Even death after long illness is without warning. The moment you had prepared for so carefully took you by storm. The troops broke through the window and snatched the body and the body is gone. The day before the Wednesday last, this time a year ago, you were here and now you're not. Why not? Death reduces us to the baffled logic of a small child. If yesterday why not today? And where are you? Fragile creatures of a small blue planet, surrounded by light years of silent space. Do the dead find peace beyond the rattle of the world? What peace is there for us whose best love cannot return them even for a day? I raise my head to the door and think I will see you in the frame. I know it is your voice in the corridor but when I run outside the corridor is empty. There is nothing I can do that will make any difference. The last word was yours. The fluttering in the stomach goes away and the dull waking pain. Sometimes I think of you and I feel giddy. Memory makes me lightheaded, drunk on champagne. All the things we did. And if anyone had said this was the price I would have agreed to pay it. That surprises me; that with the hurt and the mess comes a shaft of recognition. It was worth it. Love is worth it.
Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body)
Marie clasped her hands together and looked vulnerable. Payne flinched. “The only time you don’t tell me something is when you think it’s dangerous, because being a fragile, sheltered noblewoman, I might faint at the thought of experiencing physical harm like a common person.” She sighed, and seemingly from nowhere, produced an enormous cast-iron frying pan easily one hundred centimeters in diameter. “And then,” she said sadly, “I have to damage one of the good pans by smacking it against your thick, common skull until you tell me—
Phil Foglio (Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess (Girl Genius Novels, #2))
You observe what people do with their freedom—what they don’t do—and it’s impossible not to judge them for it. You come to see a mostly peaceful and democratic society as being in a state of incredibly delicate suspension, suspension that requires equilibrium down to the smallest molecule, such that even the tiniest jolt, just one person neglecting its fragility with her complacency or self-absorption, could cause the whole fucking thing to collapse.
Lisa Halliday (Asymmetry)
A friend argues that Americans battle between the “historical self” and the “self self.” By this she means you mostly interact as friends with mutual interest and, for the most part, compatible personalities; however, sometimes your historical selves, her white self and your black self, or your white self and her black self, arrive with the full force of your American positioning. Then you are standing face-to-face in seconds that wipe the affable smiles right from your mouths. What did you say? Instantaneously your attachment seems fragile, tenuous, subject to any transgression of your historical self. And though your joined personal histories are supposed to save you from misunderstandings, they usually cause you to understand all too well what is meant.
Claudia Rankine (Citizen: An American Lyric)
There are, apparently, persons who are deeply afraid of their own emotions, particularly the painful ones. Grief, regret, sadness. Sadness especially, perhaps. Dolores describes these persons as afraid of obliteration, emotional engulfment. As if something truly and thoroughly felt would have no end or bottom. Would become infinite and engulf them. I am saying that such persons usually have a very fragile sense of themselves as persons. As existing at all,
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
If, as a white person, I conceptualize racism as a binary and I place myself on the “not racist” side, what further action is required of me? No action is required, because I am not a racist. Therefore, racism is not my problem; it doesn’t concern me and there is nothing further I need to do. This worldview guarantees that I will not build my skills in thinking critically about racism or use my position to challenge racial inequality.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
She knew - she knew by now - that there really can be a person, one at least, that you can embrace as easily and wholly as though the two of you were one thing, a thing that once upon a time was broken into pieces and is now put back together. And how could she know this unless he knew it too? It was part of the wholeness, that he must; and that too she knew. With her he was for a moment whole, they were whole: as whole as an egg, and as fragile.
John Crowley (The Translator)
The article of justification is fragile. Not in itself, of course, but in us. I know how quickly a person can forfeit the joy of the Gospel.
Martin Luther (Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians)
It's not often you encounter the real person behind a good-natured mask, the darkest parts of someone. It's not comfortable when you do.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
The world is changeable, and its ability to change is so fragile that a single person can be responsible for it.
A.J. Darkholme (Rise of the Morningstar (The Morningstar Chronicles, #1))
The only person's heart I'm concerned with protecting is yours. Don't take this the wrong way, but your heart is much more fragile than mine right now and that's okay. There's nothing wrong with that.
Stephanie Kaleto (Disconsolate)
The moment we met, I saw it. I saw you. You are such a wonderfully kind person, but you don't want anyone to know it. You have secret depths of passion that you hide within yourself out of fear. You love too deeply, but you try to deny it, because you know that the deeper you love, the more you hurt. Your heart is so fragile, which is why you keep it locked in an iron cage. But I am pretty sure that this cage has a lock. And if it takes me five years, or ten, or fifty… I am determined to find the key. Because I will never break something so precious, just to find out what is inside. I could give you a thousand words, and describe you a thousand ways. But in the end it is very simple. I want you because I love you. No one else. You are the only one. You are my only one.” “You'd wait that long?” “Forever, mi corazón.
George DeValier
There are people nobody notices, but the world revolves around them. They're the quiet ones, the strong, peaceful ones, who form the unbreakable hub for a bunch of fragile spokes. True families aren't bred, they're spun together. And at their center, at the center of the infinite wheel of every family of every kind, blood or otherwise, there is a hub, that person, those people, who hold the wheel together and keep it turning.
Deborah Smith (The Crossroads Cafe)
Blue, largely against her will, glanced to the booth he pointed to. Three boys sat at it: one was smudgy, just as he said, with a rumpled, faded look about his person, like his body had been laundered too many times. The one who'd hit the light was handsome and his head was shaved; a soldier in a war where the enemy was everyone else. And the third was -- elegant. It was not the right word for him, but it was close. He was fine boned and a little fragile looking, with blue eyes pretty enough for a girl.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
Libraries are core symbols of an ethic of non-commodified knowledge. Anyone, regardless of how much money she or he has, can check out a book, and a book is passed from person to person in a chain of knowledge sharing.
Zeynep Tufekci (Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest)
Like a garden rose she has the delicate fragility of velvety petals, soft to touch, layered, but easily plucked. Yet, I need to be careful because one wrong move and the sharp thorns that protect the truth of her have the ability to make a person bleed, to fucking shred the skin. Like she’s shredding mine now.
Bea Paige (Steps (Finding Their Muse, #1))
People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It's too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies. Personally, I don't buy it." Yuki leaned against the car door. "But that's real hard, isn't it?" she said. "Real hard," I said. "But it's worth trying for.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat #3))
People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It's too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat #3))
Of course, "white tears" does not refer to all pain but to the particular emotional fragility a white person experiences when they find racial stress so intolerable they become hypersensitive and defensive, focusing the stress back to their own bruised ego.
Cathy Park Hong (Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning)
For a second, Hardyy felt sorry for her. She really was messed up. 'Nobody is perfect Cheyenne. We can all do better, but do it for yourself, not for me. Not for anyone else.
Michelle Leighton (Fragile)
There are life events that can destroy the personality, which is a lot more fragile than most people imagine, constructed as it is from bits provided by others in the most haphazard way. People can be torn down to the core, "shattered," as the expression goes, and then they seek sleep. And dreams, which provide the ground for the construction of a new and more integrated self. Providing there's a core, and providing they're willing to do the work.
Michael Gruber (The Good Son)
On good days, which don’t come often, I love my ship and everything it represents. I thrill at the thought of seeing Earth II. There are going to be so many things there that have never been seen by human eyes before. I’ll get to study the planet using priceless, brand-new equipment that’s just waiting to be unpacked. I’ll discover things that might change the fate of humanity for ever. The Infinity is the biggest, most expensive scientific mission in history. I get to be the very first person to see the results. I’m so lucky. On bad days, I worry about my responsibilities until my gut cramps and my head feels full of knives. On my very worst days, I think of nothing but how vulnerable I am out here. I’m balanced on the edge of oblivion with only a fragile skin of metal separating me from the void of space.
Lauren James (The Loneliest Girl in the Universe)
Le belle persone restano sempre belle, anche se passano gli anni. Anche se sono senza trucco. Se sono stanche, se hanno le rughe. Perché la bellezza che è dentro di noi non invecchia mai. Diventa con gli anni più fragile e preziosa. Le belle persone non smettono mai di brillare.
A.Degas
When you truly love another person, you're fragile. Not in the sense that someone's words or actions hurt you, because you can be true to yourself even when you're feeling hurt. When you really love someone, you're willing to lose everything that makes you who you are, and you'd do it in the blink of an eye. And even if it's all in vain, there's nothing in it you'd regret.
Zoya Tessi (Perfect Opposite)
Have you not realised how fragile and brutal the ego is? It will always choose what it perceives as in its best interest for the cheapest price. It may be as blatant as short skirts and lies. It may be more sophisticated and hidden behind ‘kind’ words. But it all comes from the same place of either using people to get what we want or trying to eliminate people who get in our way.
Donna Goddard (Together (Waldmeer, #2))
You couldn’t be more wrong,” I said. “You are buying into the cross-stitched sentiments of your parents’ throw pillows. You’re arguing that the fragile, rare thing is beautiful simply because it is fragile and rare. But that’s a lie, and you know it.” “You’re a hard person to comfort,” Augustus said. “Easy comfort isn’t comforting,” I said. “You were a rare and fragile flower once. You remember.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
If you are filled with hatred, you can hardly enjoy genuine happiness. Hatred makes your personality extremely fragile and you lose your temper on the slightest pretext, which further creates enmity.
Awdhesh Singh (31 Ways to Happiness)
The god of virginity is popular in the Arab world. It doesn’t matter if you’re a person of faith or an atheist, Muslim or Christian—everybody worships the god of virginity. Everything possible is done to keep the hymen—that most fragile foundation upon which the god of virginity sits—intact. At the altar of the god of virginity, we sacrifice not only our girls’ bodily integrity and right to pleasure but also their right to justice in the face of sexual violation. Sometimes we even sacrifice their lives: in the name of “honor,” some families murder their daughters to keep the god of virginity appeased. When that happens, it leaves one vulnerable to the wonderful temptation of imagining a world where girls and women are more than hymens.
Mona Eltahawy (Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution)
More than ever knowing in his fragile bones that it was the duty of men who aspired to the condition of humanity to protect children and kill for them if necessary. It comes to a person most clearly when he has daughters.
Paulette Jiles (News of the World)
Our fragile, perishable bodies are not who we are. We are the sum of fleeting moments that belong to us for eternity. It is our choice and responsibility to create moments of beauty and grace, instead of despair and suffering.
Dorit Brauer
Smiling victoriously, he crushed me against his chest and kissed me again. This time, the kiss was bolder and playful. I ran my hands from his powerful shoulders, up to his neck, and pressed him close to me. When he pulled away, his face brightened with an enthusiastic smile. He scooped me up and spun me around the room, laughing. When I was thoroughly dizzy, he sobered and touched his forehead to mine. Shyly, I reached out to touch his face, exploring the angles of his cheeks and lips with my fingertips. He leaned into my touch like the tiger did. I laughed softly and ran my hands up into his hair, brushing it away from his forehead, loving the silky feel of it. I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t expect a first kiss to be so…life altering. In a few brief moments, the rule book of my universe had been rewritten. Suddenly I was a brand new person. I was as fragile as a newborn, and I worried that the deeper I allowed the relationship to progress, the worse that the deeper I allowed the relationship to progress, the worse it would be if Ren left. What would become of us? There was no way to know, and I realized what a breakable and delicate thing a heart was. No wonder I’d kept mine locked away. He was oblivious to my negative thoughts, and I tried to push them into the back of my mind and enjoy the moment with him. Setting me down, he briefly kissed me again and pressed soft kisses along my hairline and neck. Then, he gathered me into a warm embrace and just held me close. Stroking my hair while caressing my neck, he whispered soft words in his native language. After several moments, he sighed, kissed my cheek, and nudged me toward the bed. “Get some sleep, Kelsey. We both need some.” After one last caress on my cheek with the back of his fingers, he changed into his tiger form and lay down on the mat beside my bed. I climbed into bed, settled under my quilt, and leaned over to stroke his head. Tucking my other arm under my cheek, I softly said, “Goodnight, Ren.” He rubbed his head against my hand, leaned into it, and purred quietly. Then he put his head on his paws and closed his eyes. Mae West, a famous vaudeville actress, once said, “A man’s kiss is his signature.” I grinned to myself. If that was true, then Ren’s signature was the John Hancock of kisses.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Have you ever wondered What happens to all the poems people write? The poems they never let anyone else read? Perhaps they are Too private and personal Perhaps they are just not good enough. Perhaps the prospect of such a heartfelt expression being seen as clumsy shallow silly pretentious saccharine unoriginal sentimental trite boring overwrought obscure stupid pointless or simply embarrassing is enough to give any aspiring poet good reason to hide their work from public view. forever. Naturally many poems are IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED. Burnt shredded flushed away Occasionally they are folded Into little squares And wedged under the corner of An unstable piece of furniture (So actually quite useful) Others are hidden behind a loose brick or drainpipe or sealed into the back of an old alarm clock or put between the pages of AN OBSCURE BOOK that is unlikely to ever be opened. someone might find them one day, BUT PROBABLY NOT The truth is that unread poetry Will almost always be just that. DOOMED to join a vast invisible river of waste that flows out of suburbia. well Almost always. On rare occasions, Some especially insistent pieces of writing will escape into a backyard or a laneway be blown along a roadside embankment and finally come to rest in a shopping center parking lot as so many things do It is here that something quite Remarkable takes place two or more pieces of poetry drift toward each other through a strange force of attraction unknown to science and ever so slowly cling together to form a tiny, shapeless ball. Left undisturbed, this ball gradually becomes larger and rounder as other free verses confessions secrets stray musings wishes and unsent love letters attach themselves one by one. Such a ball creeps through the streets Like a tumbleweed for months even years If it comes out only at night it has a good Chance of surviving traffic and children and through a slow rolling motion AVOIDS SNAILS (its number one predator) At a certain size, it instinctively shelters from bad weather, unnoticed but otherwise roams the streets searching for scraps of forgotten thought and feeling. Given time and luck the poetry ball becomes large HUGE ENORMOUS: A vast accumulation of papery bits That ultimately takes to the air, levitating by The sheer force of so much unspoken emotion. It floats gently above suburban rooftops when everybody is asleep inspiring lonely dogs to bark in the middle of the night. Sadly a big ball of paper no matter how large and buoyant, is still a fragile thing. Sooner or LATER it will be surprised by a sudden gust of wind Beaten by driving rain and REDUCED in a matter of minutes to a billion soggy shreds. One morning everyone will wake up to find a pulpy mess covering front lawns clogging up gutters and plastering car windscreens. Traffic will be delayed children delighted adults baffled unable to figure out where it all came from Stranger still Will be the Discovery that Every lump of Wet paper Contains various faded words pressed into accidental verse. Barely visible but undeniably present To each reader they will whisper something different something joyful something sad truthful absurd hilarious profound and perfect No one will be able to explain the Strange feeling of weightlessness or the private smile that remains Long after the street sweepers have come and gone.
Shaun Tan (Tales from Outer Suburbia)
A therapist who fears dependence will tell his patient, sometimes openly, that the urge to rely is pathologic. In doing so he denigrates a cardinal tool. A parent who rejects a child's desire to depend raises a fragile person. Those children, grown to adulthood, are frequently among those who come for help. Shall we tell them again that no one can find an art to lean on, that each alone must work to ease a private sorrow? Then we shall repeat and experiment already conducted; many know its result only too well. If patient and therapist are to proceed together down a curative path, they must allow limbic regulation and its companion moon, dependence, to make the revolutionary magic. Many therapists believe that reliance fosters a detrimental dependency. Instead, they say, patients should be directed to "do it for themselves" - as if they possess everything but the wit to throw that switch and get on with their lives. But people do not learn emotional modulation as they do geometry or the names of state capitals. They absorb the skill from living in the presence of an adept external modulator, and they learn it implicitly. Knowledge leaps the gap from one mind to the other, but the learner does not experience the transferred information as an explicit strategy. Instead, a spontaneous capacity germinates and becomes a natural part of the self, like knowing how to ride a bike or tie one's shoes. The effortful beginnings fade and disappear from memory. (171)
Thomas Lewis (A General Theory of Love)
Have you seen interviews with the young John Lennon or Bob Dylan, when the reporter tries to ask about their personal selves? The boys deflect these queries with withering sarcasm. Why? Because Lennon and Dylan know that the part of them that writes the songs is not "them," not the personal self that is of such surpassing fascination to their boneheaded interrogators. Lennon and Dylan also know that the part of themselves that does the writing is too sacred, too precious, too fragile to be redacted into sound bites for the titillation of would-be idolators (who are themselves caught up in their own Resistance).
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)
Following Someone is always falling in love with you: men and women, infants and children, octogenarians and adolescents. A tenant of heaven-haven on the pearly doorstep hopes you will wave your hand in passing. Where you stood just now a white bird has flown into a ponderosa pine and a black bee hovers in a bush of yellow flowers. People would like to discuss you, but hold back. Mystery is a fragile substance, too easy to tear. Several persons, however, have noticed that you are followed not by the usual shadow but by a shaft of sunlight. Even on a day of fog or light rain. Even after sunset. When you are not present, you still walk quietly through our minds, and we tell ourselves little stories or small poems about you, like this one. When a bird sings, we listen carefully hoping your name will be mentioned.
Virginia Adair (Living on Fire: A Collection of Poems)
I’m a tattoo artist, I’ll probably always be a tattoo artist and I don’t know how that plays into your future or the future you have planned after school and frankly I don’t care. This is what I have to offer you Shaw and just like you let me be your first, I’m letting you be mine,” I covered her entire palm with a detailed drawing of a sacred heart, it matched the one I had inked on the center of my chest. It had flames dancing up the back, a crown of thorns on top of it, a spray of roses along the bottom and in the center I drew a scrolling banner with my name in the center. “Here’s my heart Shaw. You have it in your hands and I promise you’re the first and last person to ever touch it. You need to be careful with it because it’s far more fragile than I ever thought and if you try and give it back I’m not taking it. I don’t know enough about love to know for sure that’s what this between us is, but I know that for me it’s you and only you from here on out and I can only promise to be careful and not push you away again. Life without you in it is doable, but if I have a choice I want to do it with you by my side and I’m telling you I’m not running away from the work it takes to make that happen. Shaw I’m not scared of us anymore.
Jay Crownover (Rule (Marked Men, #1))
People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It’s too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies. Personally, I don’t buy it.
Haruki Murakami (Dance Dance Dance (The Rat Series, #4))
His very person and appearance were such as to strike the attention of the most casual observer. In height he was rather over six feet, and so excessively lean that he seemed to be considerably taller. His eyes were sharp and piercing, save during those intervals of torpor to which I have alluded; and his thin, hawk-like nose gave his whole expression an air of alertness and decision. His chin, too, had the prominence and squareness which mark the man of determination. His hands were invariably blotted with ink and stained with chemicals, yet he was possessed of extraordinary delicacy of touch, as I frequently had occasion to observe when I watched him manipulating his fragile philosophical instruments.
Arthur Conan Doyle (A Study in Scarlet)
I think every big town should contain artificial waterfalls that people could descend in very fragile canoes, and they should contain bathing pools full of mechanical sharks. Any person found advocating a preventive war should be condemned to two hours a day with these ingenious monsters.
Bertrand Russell (Human Society in Ethics and Politics)
The human heart is fragile. So delicate that it should be protected, taken care of. Nurtured and swaddled among piles of blankets like an infant. Because once it breaks... It´s broken forever. After you heart breaks once, it never heals quite right. There are always cracks, or chipped pieces. And depending on what kind of person you are and what kind personal strenght you have, sometimes after your heart breaks it can feel like you´ve never had a heart at all. Or that it´s hardened. Turned to stone. Then... You change. Become a different person. You become bitter. Cold. Distant. You start to hate things. And people. Pretty much everything around you. You hate the sun for rising every day. You hate the moon for illuminating the night sky. Hate, hate, hate. It consumes you. It eats you alive from the inside out. Until... Hate is the only thing you know. And pretty soon your days stretch on and on and are never ending decades of nothingness. You forget what it´s like to feel. You forget what it´s like to love. And more then anything you feel like you´ll never deserve the kind of love you once had. I´ve been there. I´ve been full of hate.
Lauren Hammond (Beautiful Nightmares (Asylum, #3))
May every man find the softest and most fragile expression of his personality with the right woman who would treasure and honour the beauty of his femininity and not misuse it and may all women find empowering and supportive men who would exult in her self expression and success without fear of being overshadowed by the power of her masculinity and in that beautiful new world, shall we enter as partners, equal and empowering, supporting and caring, vulnerable and strong.
Srividya Srinivasan
Why would you even want to be human? We’re fragile. We die.” “You also live. You don’t spend every day wondering why you exist, but don’t feel real, why you look human, but can’t be. You don’t do everything you can to be a good person only to have it constantly thrown in your face that you’re not a person at all.” He
Victoria Schwab (This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1))
The person you loved, held, and cared for, and were most intimate with, is now nothing but a fragile set of memories that will vanish into the mists of the future.
Howard Bronson (How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days: A Day-by-Day Guide to Saying Good-bye and Getting On With Your Life)
She did not know what sort of person he was. But she thought---she hoped---that he would hold her trust as the fragile, precious thing it was.
Theresa Romain (Fortune Favors the Wicked (Royal Rewards #1))
Peril-ridden and fragile, the imperfect human body, what a shameful thing it was!
Kenzaburō Ōe (A Personal Matter)
Life was fragile and fleeting and one had to be cautious, sure, but I would risk death if it meant I could sleep all day and become a whole new person.
Ottessa Moshfegh (My Year of Rest and Relaxation)
Darling seeing you and holding your face, I would do it all again. But every time I see you in our rifts you give me those sad eyes again.
Snow Liber Dionysus
Remember; The rifts that remain open. For as long as I exist, you can never shut them. As time itself will never forget, those sad eyes you display.
Snow Liber Dionysus
How I still see you in the rifts. The girl who still looks at me the same. No matter the form she wears, I still see you.
Snow Liber Dionysus
Incidentally, if you are a non-racist white person who does not appreciate being accused of supporting white supremacy, you undoubtedly suffer from white fragility
Gad Saad (The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense)
Scoliosis. Such a big word for such a small person; for a young mind, a fragile heart, and a broken girl.
Kaylie Fowler
It's strange, talking about love. I used to hate the word. Hate is too strong. I was sick of reading about it in books, hearing it in songs, watching it in films. It seemed such a huge burden to place on another person - to love them; to give them something so unbelievably fragile and expect them not to break it or lose it or leave it behind on the No.96 bus.
Michael Robotham (The Night Ferry)
Stability allows a person the freedom of choice, my friend. People can pursue their dreams only when they are living in a society where survival is not a daily threat. In a society without security and stability, there are no intellectuals or businessmen or artists or geniuses. Man is constantly in fight or flight mode. nothing better than an animal. Where is the chance then to allow ideas to be nurtured or dreams to be pursued? That is the way all humans were before we formed societies. Civilisation is very fragile. All it takes is a few decades of chaos for us to forget humanity and turn into animals. Our base natures can take over very fast. We can forget that we are sentient beings, with laws and codes and ethics.
Amish Tripathi
I suddenly saw how each life's joy and pain were made just exactly right for that life so that they fit that life perfectly like its own skin. And so no other body could possibly get in and try it on for itself because every other body had its own perfect skin too. And the more you could stand the more you'd be given, so you were always filled right up to your own personal limit where one more drop, which you could count on, would push it over the edge. And so you would somehow have to find the way to contain it too, that one drop too many, and maybe just to see how much you could actually bear. And whether your capacity be a thimbleful or the whole damn ocean, the well of your precious collected humor be it tears today or your life's blood tomorrow will surely drown the fragile flame of your existence given the addition of that inevitable next drop. Unless you grow. Unless you become big enough to still hold it all. And so like it or not, you would learn what you were given the breath of life to learn. You would learn what you unknowingly came here to learn. And your sorrow and grief and your joys and pleasures too would teach you your lessons in a curriculum devised just precisely for you.
Joe Henry (Lime Creek)
The choice to remain faithful to the drive to question (the fertile source of the experience of nothingness) brings with it an obscure joy. For to be faithful to that drive...is to be constantly expanding one's horizon, constantly losing one's life, and constantly regaining it. It is to be as alert to other persons, to situations, and to events as one can: to their fragility and terror, as well as to their obscure coherence and often veiled beauty. To be faithful to the drive to question is to accept despair as one's due, to accept risk as one's condition, and to accept the crumbs of discovery as joy. [...] The darkness is habitable...Those who accept the darkness as their lot are instantly secure, not through some newfound solidity but through the perception that insecurity is man's natural state, a truthful state, a healthy state.
Michael Novak (The Experience of Nothingness)
Many a time since have I noticed, in persons of Ginevra Fanshawe's light, careless temperament, and fair, fragile style of beauty, an entire incapacity to endure: they seem to sour in adversity, like small beer in thunder.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
sentiments of your parents’ throw pillows. You’re arguing that the fragile, rare thing is beautiful simply because it is fragile and rare. But that’s a lie, and you know it.” “You’re a hard person to comfort,” Augustus said. “Easy comfort isn’t comforting,” I said. “You were a rare and fragile flower once. You remember.” For a moment, he said nothing. “You do know how to shut me up, Hazel Grace.” “It’s my privilege and my responsibility,” I answered.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
If you believe that you are being told you are a bad person, all your energy is likely to go toward denying this possibility and invalidating the messenger rather than trying to understand why what you’ve said or done is hurtful.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Mustang speaks more softly. “Are you all right?” “What do you think?” I ask bitterly. She says nothing in reply, not the fragile sort of person to take offense and whimper out how she’s just trying to help. She knows the pain of loss well enough.
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising, #3))
I am just like you. My immediate response to most situations is with reactions of attachment, defensiveness, judgment, control, and analysis. I am better at calculating than contemplating. Let’s admit that we all start there. The False Self seems to have the “first gaze” at almost everything. The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: “How will this affect me?” or “How can I get back in control of this situation?” This leads us to an implosion, a self-preoccupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live “undefended,” can we immediately stand with and for the other, and in the present moment. It takes lots of practice. On my better days, when I am “open, undefended, and immediately present,” as Gerald May says, I can sometimes begin with a contemplative mind and heart. Often I can get there later and even end there, but it is usually a second gaze. The True Self seems to always be ridden and blinded by the defensive needs of the False Self. It is an hour-by-hour battle, at least for me. I can see why all spiritual traditions insist on daily prayer, in fact, morning, midday, evening, and before we go to bed, too! Otherwise, I can assume that I am back in the cruise control of small and personal self-interest, the pitiable and fragile “Richard self.
Richard Rohr (Radical Grace: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr)
Do you remember how it was in Tolstoy? Pierre Bezukhov is so shocked by the war, he thinks that he and the whole world have changed forever. But then some time passes, and he says to himself: “I’m going to keep yelling at the coach-driver just like before, I’m going to keep growling like before.” Then why do people remember? So that they can determine the truth? For fairness? So they can free themselves and forget? Is it because they understand they’re part of a grand event? Or are they looking into the past for cover? And all this despite the fact that memories are very fragile things, ephemeral things, this is not exact knowledge, but a guess that a person makes about himself. It isn’t even knowledge, it’s more like a set of emotions
Svetlana Alexievich (Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster)
God loves what in us is not yet. What has still to come to birth. What we love in a person is what already is: virtue, beauty, courage, and hence our love is self-interested and fragile. God, loving what is not yet and putting faith in us, continually begets us, since love is what begets. By giving us confidence, God helps us to be born, since love is what helps us emerge from our darkness and draws us to the light. And this is such a fine thing to do that God invites us to do the same. CARLO CARRETTO
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Quote from the 2nd book in the Sojourn Series: It's funny how quickly things can change, how fragile life is. I still can't come to terms with those six days. I don't know if I ever will, but I do know that I'm not the same person I used to be. Rayn Mirago
B.D. Messick
In true community we will not choose our companions, for our choices are so often limited by self-serving motives. Instead, our companions will be given to us by grace. Often they will be persons who will upset our settled view of self and world. In fact, we might define true community as that place where the person you least want to live with lives…. Community will teach us that our grip on truth is fragile and incomplete, that we need many ears o hear the fullness of God’s word for our lives. And the disappointments of community life can be transformed by our discovery that the only dependable power for life lies beyond all human structures and relationships. In this religious grounding lies the only real hedge against the risk of disappointment in seeking community. That risk can be borne only if it is not community one seeks, but truth, light, God. Do not commit yourself to community, but commit yourself to God…In that commitment you will find yourself drawn into community. Parker Palmer, A Place Called Community, 1977
Parker J. Palmer
For a person with ADD, tuning out is an automatic brain activity that originated during the period of rapid brain development in infancy when there was emotional hurt combined with helplessness. At one time or another, every infant or young child feels frustration and psychological pain. Episodic experiences of a distressing nature do not induce dissociation, but chronic distress does—the distress of the sensitive infant with unsatisfied attunement needs, for example. The infant has to dissociate chronic emotional pain from consciousness for two reasons. First, it is too overwhelming for his fragile nervous system. He simply cannot exist in what we might call a state of chronic negative arousal, with adrenaline and other stress hormones pumping through his veins all the time. It is physiologically too toxic. He has to block it out. Second, if the parent’s anxiety is the source of the infant’s distress, the infant unconsciously senses that fully expressing his own emotional turmoil will only heighten that anxiety. His distress would then be aggravated—a vicious cycle he can escape by tuning out.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates And What You Can Do About It)
I want to turn every person who has been bullied into their own hero—if I can do it, others can do it too. I am proud of myself. Years ago, I was fragile, buried in broken dreams, and felt hopeless because of what my classmates said and did to me… No, it is not fair, not at all. Nearly every single day, elementary school has been a challenge. I have many wishes that I would love to come true but one wish I would like to be granted is for teachers to understand bullying hurts. Bullying tears a person down, inside and out. It stings and deeply pierces the heart.
Charlena E. Jackson (Teachers Just Don't Understand Bullying Hurts)
What would be my, how should I call it, spontaneous attitude towards the universe? It's a very dark one. The first thesis would have been a kind of total vanity: there is nothing, basically. I mean it quite literally, like… ultimately there are just some fragments, some vanishing things. If you look at the universe, it's one big void. But then how do things emerge? Here, I feel a kind of spontaneous affinity with quantum physics, where, you know, the idea there is that universe is a void, but a kind of a positively charged void. And then particular things appear when the balance of the void is disturbed. And I like this idea of spontaneous very much that the fact that it's just not nothing… Things are out there. It means something went terribly wrong… that what we call creation is a kind of a cosmic imbalance, cosmic catastrophe, that things exist by mistake. And I'm even ready to go to the end and to claim that the only way to counteract it is to assume the mistake and go to the end. And we have a name for this. It's called love. Isn't love precisely this kind of a cosmic imbalance? I was always disgusted with this notion of "I love the world" universal love. I don't like the world. I don't know how… Basically, I'm somewhere in between “I hate the world” or “I'm indifferent towards it.” But the whole of reality, it's just it. It's stupid. It is out there. I don't care about it. Love, for me, is an extremely violent act. Love is not “I love you all.” Love means I pick out something, and it's, again, this structure of imbalance. Even if this something is just a small detail… a fragile individual person… I say “I love you more than anything else.” In this quite formal sense, love is evil.
Slavoj Žižek
They game the system while citizens pay the price. At no point in history have so many non-risk-takers, that is, those with no personal exposure, exerted so much control. The chief ethical rule is the following: Thou shalt not have antifragility at the expense of the fragility of others.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
There is, certainly, an unbreachable chasm between the subjective and objective world. A reasonable person expects subjective facts to be overturned, because subjective facts are not facts; they're just well-considered opinions, held by multiple people at the same time. Whenever the fragility of those beliefs is applied to a specific example, people bristle—if someone says, "It's possible that Abraham Lincoln won't always be considered a great president," every presidential scholar scoffs. But if you remove the specificity and ask, "Is it possible that someone currently viewed as a historically great president will have that view reversed by future generations?" any smart person will agree that such a scenario is not only plausible but inevitable. In other words, everyone concedes we have the potential to be subjectively wrong about anything, as long as we don't explicitly name whatever that something is.
Chuck Klosterman (But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
I ask, “How does this claim function in the conversation?” If we apply this question to these two sets of narratives, one color-blind and the other color-celebrate, we see that all of these claims ultimately function in a similar way; they all exempt the person from any responsibility for or participation in the problem.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
What does it mean that we find victims who suffer with dignity more attractive than victims who don’t? What does it mean that we don’t mind it when perpetrators, torn apart by their own experiences, weep openly—but we are rendered uncomfortable when victims do the same? I don’t mean that each and every person has this experience: many of us feel like weeping when we see the carnage created by a suicide bombing and the grieving and shocked faces of the survivors. I mean instead that in all I have read, I detect a strong cultural bias toward aversion when confronted with victims who act as if they have suffered. […] “Fragile, powerless, and helpless victims make us uncomfortable, evoke complicated responses in us, and make it hard for us to empathize with the humiliation they underwent. […] one claim I make in different ways in the book—and very explicitly in chapter 3—is that to be really credible, a victim has to appear to have mastered his or her suffering.
Carolyn J. Dean
I lie in bed at night, after ending my prayers with the words "Ich danke dir für all das Gute und Liebe und Schöne" and I'm filled with joy. I think of going into hiding, my health and my whole being as das Gute; Peter's love (which is still so new and fragile and which neither of us dares to say aloud), the future, happiness and love as das Liebe; the world, nature and the tremendous beauty of everything, all that splendor, as das Schöne. At such moments I don't think about all the misery, but about the beauty that still remains. This is where Mother and I differ greatly. Her advice in the face of melancholy is: "Think about all the suffering in the world and be thankful you're not part of it." My advice is: "Go outside, to the country, enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer. Go outside and try to recapture the happiness within yourself; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy." I don't think Mother's advice can be right, because what are you supposed to do if you become part of the suffering? You'd be completely lost. On the contrary, beauty remains, even in misfortune. If you just look for it, you discover more and more happiness and regain your balance. A person who's happy will make others happy; a person who has courage and faith will never die in misery!
Anne Frank (Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - Multiple Critical Perspectives)
Whether we can somehow listen in on tree talk is a subject that was recently addressed in the specialized literature. Korean scientists have been tracking older women as they walk through forests and urban areas. The result? When the women were walking in the forest, their blood pressure, their lung capacity, and the elasticity of their arteries improved, whereas an excursion into town showed none of these changes. It's possible that phytoncides have a beneficial effect on our immune systems as well as the trees' health, because they kill germs. Personally, however, I think the swirling cocktail of tree talk is the reason we enjoy being out in the forest so much. At least when we are out in undisturbed forests. Walkers who visit one of the ancient deciduous preserves in the forest I manage always report that their heart feels lighter and they feel right at home. If they walk instead through coniferous forests, which in Central Europe are mostly planted and are, therefore, more fragile, artificial places, they don't experience such feelings. Possibly it's because in ancient beech forests, fewer "alarm calls" go out, and therefore, most messages exchanged between trees are contented ones, and these messages reach our brains as well, via our noses. I am convinced that we intuitively register the forest's health.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World)
On a relatively unfrequented, stony beach there is a great rock which juts out over the sea. After a climb, an ascent from one jagged foothold to another, a natural shelf is reached where one person can stretch at length, and stare down into the tide rising and falling below, or beyond to the bay, where sails catch light, then shadow, then light, as they tack far out near the horizon. The sun has burned these rocks, and the great continuous ebb and flow of the tide has crumbled the boulders, battered them, worn them down to the smooth sun-scalded stones on the beach which rattle and shift underfoot as one walks over them. A serene sense of the slow inevitability of the gradual changes in the earth’s crust comes over me; a consuming love, not of a god, but of the clean unbroken sense that the rocks, which are nameless, the waves which are nameless, the ragged grass, which is nameless, are all defined momentarily through the consciousness of the being who observes them. With the sun burning into rock and flesh, and the wind ruffling grass and hair, there is an awareness that the blind immense unconscious impersonal and neutral forces will endure, and that the fragile, miraculously knit organism which interprets them, endows them with meaning, will move about for a little, then falter, fail, and decompose at last into the anonomous [sic] soil, voiceless, faceless, without identity. From this experience I emerged whole and clean, bitten to the bone by sun, washed pure by the icy sharpness of salt water, dried and bleached to the smooth tranquillity that comes from dwelling among primal things. From this experience also, a faith arises to carry back to a human world of small lusts and deceitful pettiness. A faith, naïve and child like perhaps, born as it is from the infinite simplicity of nature. It is a feeling that no matter what the ideas or conduct of others, there is a unique rightness and beauty to life which can be shared in openness, in wind and sunlight, with a fellow human being who believes in the same basic principles.
Sylvia Plath
Their carefully relaxed demeanors hid a fragile defensiveness, as if they expected to be criticized at any moment and they weren’t going to stand for it. They both seemed to cling so hard to their chosen personalities. I am this sort of person and therefore I believe this, I think this, I do this and I am right, I’m right, I’m sure I’m right!
Liane Moriarty (The Hypnotist's Love Story)
The Awakening You live this sheltered life glass walls around you in a fragile world of other people’s imagination and one day something comes and shake you— a book, an idea a person, a song, or an incident— and it awakens you to life and what it means to live really and so you know how to save the only life you are capable of saving— your own
Neena H Brar
Resiliency comes from a discovered self, not a constructed self. It comes from the gradual emergence of your unique, inborn abilities in a process called individuation. The better you become, the more unique you become as an individual – and it never ends. If your identity is based mostly on external factors, you will feel anxious about change that threatens your identity sources. You will try to keep the world around you frozen in place. If your identity is based on your personal qualities, abilities, and values, you can let parts of your world dissolve away without feeling threats to your existence. With a strong inner sense of who you are, you can easily adapt to and thrive in new environments.
Al Siebert (The Resiliency Advantage: Master Change, Thrive Under Pressure, and Bounce Back from Setbacks)
No,her mother was made for the life. Patient,with a rod of steel beneath the fragile skin. Shelby wouldn't choose it, nor would she let it choose her. She'd love no one who could leave her again so horribly. Letting the conversation flow around her, Shelby tilted back her glass. Her eyes met Alan's. It was there-that quietly brooding patience that promised to last a lifetime.She could almost feel him calmly peeling off layer after layer of whatever bits and pieces made up her personality to get to the tiny core she kept private. You bastard.She nearly said it out loud. Certainly it reflected in her eys for he smiled at her in simple acknowledgement.The siege was definitely under way. She only hoped she had enough provisions to outlast him.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
I have never returned to the mortal realms. Those who make frequent trips do so at great personal sacrifice.” I looked at Reth, who still stood next to me, had been standing next to me this entire time, silent and watching. Reth who never needed to come back to Earth after I freed him from IPCA. Reth who was looking dimmer by the hour after taking the midnight faerie’s attack in my place. The Light Queen followed my gaze. “My golden son has given much because of his love for you and his devotion to me. He may yet give up all.” Well, bleep. It was so much simpler to hate him. “I know you hold depths of anger and bitterness toward the fey, child, but please understand our desperation. And please know my deep respect for humans and human life. Such beautiful, fragile animals, so fleeting and easily broken yet powerful beyond anything faeries can ever hope to be. We cannot create but live forever, unchanging. You change with every breath, dying even as you live, but your thread to eternity and immortality is reborn with every new generation.” I was bust avoiding Reth’s eyes, not wanting to think that, as someone who was nobly sacrificing to be around me and protect me. Not wanting to accept that he really loved me the way he was always saying he did.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
May 27, 1941 Sunday we encountered specimens of the rarely appearing yellow lady's slipper. This orchis is fragilely beautiful. One tends to think of it almost as a phenomenon, without any roots or place in the natural world. And yet it, too, has had its tough old ancestors which have eluded fires and drought and freezes to pass on in this lovely form the boon of existence. If a plant so delicately lovely can at the same time be so toughly persistent and resistant to all natural enemies, can we doubt that hopes for a better an more rational world may not also withstand all assaults, be bequeathed from generation to generation, and come ultimately to flower? President Roosevelt says he has not lost faith in democracy; nor have I lost faith in the transcendent potentialities of LIFE itself. One has but to look about him to become almost wildly imbued with something of the massive, surging vitality of the earth.
Harvey Broome (Out Under Sky Of Great Smokies: A Personal Journal)
I usually enjoy setting up a new kitchen, but this has become a joyless and highly charged task. My mother and I each have our own set of kitchen boxes, which means that if there are two cheese graters between us, only one will make it into a cupboard. The other will be put back in a box or given to Goodwill. Each such little decision has the weight of a Middle East negotiation. While her kitchenware is serviceable, I’m a sucker for the high end: All-Clad saucepans and Emile Henry pie dishes. Before long, I’m shaking my head at pretty much everything my mother removes from her San Diego boxes. She takes each rejected item as a personal slight – which in fact it is. I begrudge her even her lightweight bowls, which she can lift easily with her injured hand. Here she is, a fragile old woman barely able to bend down as she peers into a low cupboard, looking for a place where she can share life with her grown daughter. At such a sight my heart should be big, but it’s small, so small that when I see her start stuffing her serving spoons into the same drawer as my own sturdy pieces, lovingly accumulated over the years, it makes me crazy. Suddenly I’m acting out decades of unvoiced anger about my mother’s parenting, which seems to be materializing in the form of her makeshift collection of kitchenware being unpacked into my drawers. When I became a mother myself, I developed a self-righteous sense of superiority to my mother: I was better than my mother, for having successfully picked myself up and dusted myself off, for never having lain in bed for days on end, too blotto to get my child off to school or even to know if it was a school day. By sheer force of will and strength of character, I believed, I had risen above all that she succumbed to and skirted all that I might have inherited. This, of course, is too obnoxiously smug to say in words. So I say it with flatware.
Katie Hafner (Mother Daughter Me)
So long as you believe yourself to be 'only human' you have accepted life in a prison cell whose door remains locked only by your own mind. By saying, 'well, I'm only human', you have blindly submitted to all the limitations, fears, pettiness, greed and hatreds which make the common person weak and fragile. Most never become aware that another way is possible. You are human, but much more, too. The much-moreness is the vast, brilliant freedom and power which has confined itself in your humanity. If you are willing (and not everyone is, which is also a perfectly valid choice), you can begin to explore your native powers and experience freedom within limitation. When you do this, you live fully while you are here and you are no longer afraid to die. When you are not afraid of death but seek to live in a state of always-discovering, this is when life is transformed and you accept your birthright to choose and create in extraordinary fashion.
Jacob Nordby
Finally he said that in his first years of darkness his dreams had been vivid beyond all expectation and that he had come to thirst for them but that dreams and memories alike had faded one by one until there were no more. Of all that once had been no trace remained. The look of the world. The faces of loved ones. Finally even his own person was lost to him. Whatever he had been he was no more. He said that like every man who comes to the end of something there was nothing to be done but to begin again. I can’t remember the world of light, he said. It has been so long. The world is a fragile world. Ultimately, what can be seen is what endures. What is true. . . . In my first years of blindness, I thought it was a form of death. I was wrong. Losing one’s sight is like falling in a dream. You think there’s no bottom to this abyss. You fall and fall. Light recedes. Memory of light. Memory of the world. Of your own face. Of the grim-faced mask.
Cormac McCarthy
It’s all so goddamn fragile. Your life and the thread you carry it on. And the more love you carry, the more stress you put on that thread, the better chance it will snap. But what choice do any of us have? You take on that love because to live without it is to exist as half a person. You give that love away because it is in you to give, not out of a desire for recompense. And you keep loving even when the world cracks open and reveals a black hole where all that love can get swallowed.
Nick Cutter (Little Heaven)
are. Compassion is not only relevant to those who are blameless victims, but also to those whose suffering stems from failures, personal weakness, or bad decisions. You know, the kind you and I make every day. Compassion, then, involves the recognition and clear seeing of suffering. It also involves feelings of kindness for people who are suffering, so that the desire to help—to ameliorate suffering—emerges. Finally, compassion involves recognizing our shared human condition, flawed and fragile as it is.
Kristin Neff (Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind)
As John Courtney Murray put it, the obligations of society and the state are “not coextensive with the wider and higher range of obligations that rest upon the human person (not to speak of the Christian)”. And thus “the morality proper to the life and action of society and the state is not univocally the morality of personal life, or even of familial life. . . The effort to bring the organized action of politics and the practical art of statecraft under the control of the Christian values that govern personal and familial life is inherently fallacious.
George Weigel (The Fragility of Order: Catholic Reflections on Turbulent Times)
Most appeared to believe that racism ended in 1865 with the end of slavery. There was both knee-jerk defensiveness about any suggestion that being white had meaning and a refusal to acknowledge any advantage to being white. Many participants claimed white people were now the oppressed group, and they deeply resented anything perceived to be a form of affirmative action. These responses were so predictable—so consistent and reliable—I was able to stop taking the resistance personally, get past my own conflict avoidance, and reflect on what was behind them.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
I have a thin skin. I think this is part and parcel of depression and anxiety - to be precise - being a person quite likely to get depression and anxiety … I don’t fight it. I accept things more. This is who I am. And besides, fighting it actually makes it worse. The trick is to befriend depression and anxiety. To be thankful for them, because you can deal with them a lot better. And the way I have befriended them is by thanking them for my thin skin. Sure, without a thin skin I would have never known those terrible days of nothingness. Those days of either panic, or intense, bone-scorching lethargy. The days of self-hate, or drowning under invisible waves. I sometimes felt, in my self-pity, too fragile for a world of speed and right angles and noise. (I love Jonathan Rottenberg’s evolutionary theory of depression, that is to do with the being unable to adapt to the pendent: 'An ancient mood system has collided with a highly novel operating environment created by a remarkable species.’) But would I go along to a magical mind spa and ask for a skin-thickening treatment? Probably not. You need to feel life’s terror to feel its wonder.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
My own heartbeat was slowing under my hand, under the deep rose silk, the color of a baby’s sleep-flushed cheek. When you hold a child to your breast to nurse, the curve of the little head echoes exactly the curve of the breast it suckles, as though this new person truly mirrors the flesh from which it sprang. Babies are soft. Anyone looking at them can see the tender, fragile skin and know it for the rose-leaf softness that invites a finger’s touch. But when you live with them and love them, you feel the softness going inward, the round-checked flesh wobbly as custard, the boneless splay of the tiny hands. Their joints are melted rubber, and even when you kiss them hard, in the passion of loving their existence, your lips sink down and seem never to find bone. Holding them against you, they melt and mold, as though they might at any moment flow back into your body. But from the very start, there is that small streak of steel within each child. That thing that says “I am,” and forms the core of personality. In the second year, the bone hardens and the child stands upright, skull wide and solid, a helmet protecting the softness within. And “I am” grows, too. Looking at them, you can almost see it, sturdy as heartwood, glowing through the translucent flesh. The bones of the face emerge at six, and the soul within is fixed at seven. The process of encapsulation goes on, to reach its peak in the glossy shell of adolescence, when all softness then is hidden under the nacreous layers of the multiple new personalities that teenagers try on to guard themselves. In the next years, the hardening spreads from the center, as one finds and fixes the facets of the soul, until “I am” is set, delicate and detailed as an insect in amber.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
To understand racism, we need to first distinguish it from mere prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice is pre-judgment about another person based on the social groups to which that person belongs.... Discrimination is action based on prejudice. These actions include ignoring, exclusion, threats, ridicule, slander, and violence..... When a racial group’s collective prejudice is backed by the power of legal authority and institutional control, it is transformed into racism, a far-reaching system that functions independently from the intentions or self-images of individual actors.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Here's the core problem we have with the Sermon on the Mount: it isn't that Jesus' teachings are absurd; it's that we don't see the world that Jesus sees. We see a world of injustice and anger and hatred and violence--a world where everything good is in short supply and life itself is fragile. But Jesus saw a world in which his father was in control, in which justice was guaranteed, in which goodness was breaking forth, and in which life itself is without end. And if you see that world through the lens of the gospel, then what Jesus tells us to do and how he informs us to live makes perfect sense.
Skye Jethani (The Road We Must Travel: A Personal Guide for Your Journey)
...people living in unrecovered trauma often behave in very similar ways to the people who traumatized them. Over and over I have seen traumatized people refuse to hear or engage information that would alter their self-concepts, even in ways that could bring them more happiness and integrity... the undiscovered traumatized persons refusal is rooted in a panic that their fragile self cannot bear interrogation; that whatever is keeping them together is not flexible. Perhaps because Supremacy in some produces Trauma in others, they can become mirror images. And of course, many perpetrators were/are victims themselves.
Sarah Schulman (Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair)
As John Courtney Murray put it, the obligations of society and the state are “not coextensive with the wider and higher range of obligations that rest upon the human person (not to speak of the Christian)”. And thus “the morality proper to the life and action of society and the state is not univocally the morality of personal life, or even of familial life. . . The effort to bring the organized action of politics and the practical art of statecraft under the control of the Christian values that govern personal and familial life is inherently fallacious. It makes wreckage not only of public policy but of morality itself.
George Weigel (The Fragility of Order: Catholic Reflections on Turbulent Times)
In my experiences with racial reconciliation conversations, there usually comes a moment when superficial talk gets real. Often this comes about because a person of color takes the risk to share how racism and white supremacy have impacted her life. And then, almost invariably, in response to this vulnerable testimony, a white person begins to speak, usually through tears. This person shares about how overwhelming this experience has been, how he hadn’t known the extent of our racialized society and its racist history, about how sad, angry, or confused he is feeling now. I’ve watched this happen so many times that I can almost predict it: the move away from a person of color’s experience to a white person’s emotions. I have experienced these strong emotions myself, but as Austin Channing Brown points out, focusing on white emotions rather than the experiences of people of color can be dangerous. She writes, “If Black people are dying in the street, we must consult with white feelings before naming the evils of police brutality. If white family members are being racist, we must take Grandpa’s feelings into account before we proclaim our objections to such speech. . . . White fragility protects whiteness and forces Black people to fend for themselves.
David W Swanson (Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity)
People of color may also hold prejudices and discriminate against white people, but they lack the social and institutional power that transforms their prejudice and discrimination into racism; the impact of their prejudice on whites is temporary and contextual. Whites hold the social and institutional positions in society to infuse their racial prejudice into the laws, policies, practices, and norms of society in a way that people of color do not. A person of color may refuse to wait on me if I enter a shop, but people of color cannot pass legislation that prohibits me and everyone like me from buying a home in a certain neighborhood.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
The good/ bad frame is a false dichotomy. All people hold prejudices, especially across racial lines in a society deeply divided by race. I can be told that everyone is equal by my parents, I can have friends of color, and I may not tell racist jokes. Yet I am still affected by the forces of racism as a member of a society in which racism is the bedrock. I will still be seen as white, treated as white, and experience life as a white person. My identity, personality, interests, and investments will develop from a white perspective. I will have a white worldview and a white frame of reference. In a society in which race clearly matters, our race profoundly shapes us.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
there has to be somebody whom you adore who adores you. Someone whom you cannot but praise who praises and loves you—that is the foundation of identity. The praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards.3 However, if we put this power in the hands of a fallible, changeable person, it can be devastating. And if this person’s regard is based on your fallible and changeable life efforts, your self-regard will be just as fleeting and fragile. Nor can this person be someone you can lose, because then you will have lost your very self. Obviously, no human love can meet these standards. Only love of the immutable can bring tranquillity. Only the unconditional love of God will do.
Timothy J. Keller (Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical)
For so long, maybe all my life, I thought only a house could make you whole. I thought I was nothing without an interesting address. I thought I was only as good as my color scheme, my drawer pulls, my floors....it's the knowledge that a house can be as fragile as life itself. You'd think it would be stronger, since it can stand in one spot for centuries while generations of humans run through its rooms, grow up, move out, and eventually die. But a house is an inherently limited entity. It can't do everything, or even most things. It cannot give you a personality. It cannot bring you love. It cannot cure loneliness. It can provide comfort, safety, a sense of pride--that much I know.
Meghan Daum (Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House)
We have considered the problem of mental fragmentation and arbitrariness that results when our contact with the world is mediated by representations: representations collapse the basic axis of proximity and distance by which an embodied being orients in the world and draws a horizon of relevance around itself. We noted the prominence of a design philosophy that severs the bonds between action and perception, as in contemporary automobiles that insulate us from the sensorimotor contingencies by which an embodied being normally grasps reality. The case of machine gambling gave us a heightened example of this kind of abstraction, and made clear how such a design philosophy can be turned to especially disturbing purposes in the darker precincts of “affective capitalism,” where our experiences are manufactured for us. We saw that the point of these experiences is often to provide a quasi-autistic escape from the frustrations of life, and that they are especially attractive in a world that lacks a basic intelligibility because it seems to be ordered by “vast impersonal forces” that are difficult to bring within view on a first-person, human scale. I argued that all of this tends to sculpt a certain kind of contemporary self, a fragile one whose freedom and dignity depend on its being insulated from contingency, and who tends to view technology as magic for accomplishing this. For such a self, choosing from a menu of options replaces the kind of adult agency that grapples with things in an unfiltered way.
Matthew B. Crawford (The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction)
Hypothetically, then, you may be picking up in someone a certain very strange type of sadness that appears as a kind of disassociation from itself, maybe, Love-o.’ ‘I don’t know disassociation.’ ‘Well, love, but you know the idiom “not yourself” — “He’s not himself today,” for example,’ crooking and uncrooking fingers to form quotes on either side of what she says, which Mario adores. ‘There are, apparently, persons who are deeply afraid of their own emotions, particularly the painful ones. Grief, regret, sadness. Sadness especially, perhaps. Dolores describes these persons as afraid of obliteration, emotional engulfment. As if something truly and thoroughly felt would have no end or bottom. Would become infinite and engulf them.’ ‘Engulf means obliterate.’ ‘I am saying that such persons usually have a very fragile sense of themselves as persons. As existing at all. This interpretation is “existential,” Mario, which means vague and slightly flaky. But I think it may hold true in certain cases. My own father told stories of his own father, whose potato farm had been in St. Pamphile and very much larger than my father’s. My grandfather had had a marvelous harvest one season, and he wanted to invest money. This was in the early 1920s, when there was a great deal of money to be made on upstart companies and new American products. He apparently narrowed the field to two choices — Delaware-brand Punch, or an obscure sweet fizzy coffee substitute that sold out of pharmacy soda fountains and was rumored to contain smidgeons of cocaine, which was the subject of much controversy in those days. My father’s father chose Delaware Punch, which apparently tasted like rancid cranberry juice, and the manufacturer of which folded. And then his next two potato harvests were decimated by blight, resulting in the forced sale of his farm. Coca-Cola is now Coca-Cola. My father said his father showed very little emotion or anger or sadness about this, though. That he somehow couldn’t. My father said his father was frozen, and could feel emotion only when he was drunk. He would apparently get drunk four times a year, weep about his life, throw my father through the living room window, and disappear for several days, roaming the countryside of L’Islet Province, drunk and enraged.’ She’s not been looking at Mario this whole time, though Mario’s been looking at her. She smiled. ‘My father, of course, could himself tell this story only when he was drunk. He never threw anyone through any windows. He simply sat in his chair, drinking ale and reading the newspaper, for hours, until he fell out of the chair. And then one day he fell out of the chair and didn’t get up again, and that was how your maternal grandfather passed away. I’d never have gotten to go to University had he not died when I was a girl. He believed education was a waste for girls. It was a function of his era; it wasn’t his fault. His inheritance to Charles and me paid for university.’ She’s been smiling pleasantly this whole time, emptying the butt from the ashtray into the wastebasket, wiping the bowl’s inside with a Kleenex, straightening straight piles of folders on her desk.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Do not fear the ghosts in this house; they are the least of your worries. Personally I find the noises they make reassuring. The creaks and footsteps in the night, their little tricks of hiding things, or moving them, I find endearing, not upsettling. It makes the place feel so much more like a home. Inhabited. Apart from ghosts nothing lives here for long. No cats no mice, no flies, no dreams, no bats. Two days ago I saw a butterfly, a monarch I believe, which danced from room to room and perched on walls and waited near to me. There are no flowers in this empty place, and, scared the butterfly would starve, I forced a window wide, cupped my two hands around her fluttering self, feeling her wings kiss my palms so gentle, and put her out, and watched her fly away. I've little patience with the seasons here, but your arrival eased this winter's chill. Please, wander round. Explore it all you wish. I've broken with tradition on some points. If there is one locked room here, you'll never know. You'll not find in the cellar's fireplace old bones or hair. You'll find no blood. Regard: just tools, a washing-machine, a drier, a water-heater, and a chain of keys. Nothing that can alarm you. Nothing dark. I may be grim, perhaps, but only just as grim as any man who suffered such affairs. Misfortune, carelessness or pain, what matters is the loss. You'll see the heartbreak linger in my eyes, and dream of making me forget what came before you walked into the hallway of this house. Bringing a little summer in your glance, and with your smile. While you are here, of course, you will hear the ghosts, always a room away, and you may wake beside me in the night, knowing that there's a space without a door, knowing that there's a place that's locked but isn't there. Hearing them scuffle, echo, thump and pound. If you are wise you'll run into the night, fluttering away into the cold, wearing perhaps the laciest of shifts. The lane's hard flints will cut your feet all bloody as you run, so, if I wished, I could just follow you, tasting the blood and oceans of your tears. I'll wait instead, here in my private place, and soon I'll put a candle in the window, love, to light your way back home. The world flutters like insects. I think this is how I shall remember you, my head between the white swell of your breasts, listening to the chambers of your heart.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Ka-Be is the Lager without the physical discomforts. So that, whoever still has some seeds of conscience, feels his conscience re-awaken; and in the long empty days, one speaks of other things than hunger and work and one begins to consider what they have made us become, how much they have taken away from us, what this life is. In this Ka-Be, an enclosure of relative peace, we have learnt that our personality is fragile, that it is much more in danger than our life; and the old wise ones, instead of warning us 'remember that you must die', would have done much better to remind us of this great danger that threatens us. If from inside the Lager, a message could have seeped out to free men, it would have been this: take care not to suffer in your own homes what is inflicted on us here.
Primo Levi (Survival in Auschwitz)
I'm not claiming that Stanley wasn't self-absorbed, but I don't think that just because he was obsessive-retentive he was a monomaniac, or even any more egocentric than anybody else in the movies. And I suppose that he was selfish, which doesn't exactly make him a freak in the Director's Guild (or the Writer's Guild either), nor was his particular selfishness uncharacteristic of artists in general, especially when they've acquired the reputation for genius. A powerful vision can be very fragile while it's still only in the mind, and people have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect it. He didn't think he was the only person in the world, or the only director, or even the only great director. I just think that he thought he was the greatest director, although he never said so in so many words.
Michael Herr
While making racism bad seems like a positive change, we have to look at how this functions in practice. Within this paradigm, to suggest that I am racist is to deliver a deep moral blow—a kind of character assassination. Having received this blow, I must defend my character, and that is where all my energy will go—to deflecting the charge, rather than reflecting on my behavior. In this way, the good/bad binary makes it nearly impossible to talk to white people about racism, what it is, how it shapes all of us, and the inevitable ways that we are conditioned to participate in it. If we cannot discuss these dynamics or see ourselves within them, we cannot stop participating in racism. The good/bad binary made it effectively impossible for the average white person to understand—much less interrupt—racism.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
No matter how often Kathryn observed the phenomenon, she found it hard to comprehend: the way nothing could remain as it had been, not a house that was falling down, not a woman's face that had once been beautiful, not childhood, not a marriage, not love. You have to let this happen to you, he said quietly. It has its own momentum. But how do you ever know that you know a person? Aren't we enough? she asks again. Odd she thought, how a fact, seen one way, was one thing. And then, seen from a different angle, was something else entirely. Or perhaps not so odd. Of all people, he said, this should not have happened to you. She thought about the impossibility of ever knowing another person. About the fragility of the constructs people make. A marriage, for example. A family. To be relieved of love, she thought, was to give up a terrible burden.
Anita Shreve (The Pilot's Wife)
Au contraire, he's the person you wanted to be. One who was less arrogant, and undisciplined as a youth. One who was less like me. The Jean-Luc Picard you wanted to be, the one who did not fight the Nausicaan, had quite a different career from the one you remember. That Picard never had a brush with death, never came face to face with his own mortality, never realised how fragile life is or how important each moment must be. So his life never came into focus. He drifted for much of his career, with no plan or agenda, going from one assignment to the next, never seizing the opportunities that presented themselves. He never lead the away team on Milika Three to save the ambassador, or take charge of the Stargazer's Bridge when its Captain was killed. And no one ever offered him a command. He learned to play it safe. And he never, ever got noticed by anyone.
Q.
Homesickness Standing under a million stars screaming up at them, PLEASE JUST TAKE ME HOME, with a voice rusty like the underside of boats, feeling it scratch at a throat like swallowed fish-bones. Making petitions to get the universe to care more, signing our names on any scrap of paper passed along like a single name could change the whole wide world. Could change galaxies. Tearing clothes, ripping skin, pleading, TAKE ME BACK, JUST TAKE ME BACK, I’m not willing to be a person any more. Science says I was part of a star once and I just— I want to be back there, always burning. These atoms could have been a lioness but here I am instead, these fragile limbs, and I never found out the returns policy. Take me back, take me back, I want to go home. Broken glass catching at my feet and the air too hot in my lungs. If I could have been anything why am I this?
Elisabeth Hewer (Wishing for Birds)
Personal reflections on my own racism, a more critical view of media and other aspects of culture, and exposure to the perspectives of many brilliant and patient mentors of color all helped me to see how these pillars of racism worked. It became clear that if I believed that only bad people who intended to hurt others because of race could ever do so, I would respond with outrage to any suggestion that I was involved in racism. Of course that belief would make me feel falsely accused of something terrible, and of course I would want to defend my character (and I had certainly had many of my own moments of responding in just those ways to reflect on). I came to see that the way we are taught to define racism makes it virtually impossible for white people to understand it. Given our racial insulation, coupled with misinformation, any suggestion that we are complicit in racism is a kind of unwelcome and insulting shock to the system.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Rachel and I, we’d been raised to do what we wanted to do, and we had; we’d been successful, and we’d shown everyone. We didn’t need to wear apocryphal T-shirts because we already knew the secret, which was this: that when you did succeed, when you did outearn and outpace, when you did exceed all expectations, nothing around you really shifted. You still had to tiptoe around the fragility of a man, which was okay for the women who got to shop and drink martinis all day—this was their compensation; they had done their own negotiations—but was absolutely intolerable for anyone who was out there working and getting respect and becoming the person that others had to tiptoe around. That these men could be so delicate, that they could lack any inkling of self-examination when it came time to try to figure out why their women didn’t seem to be batshit enthusiastic over another night of bolstering and patting and fellating every insecurity out of them—this was the thing we’d find intolerable. I
Taffy Brodesser-Akner (Fleishman Is in Trouble)
Conventional transitory happiness carries a subtle undercurrent not only of loneliness but also of fear. When things are going well, when we are experiencing pleasure and are getting what we want, we feel obliged to defend our happiness because it seems so fragile, unstable. As though our happiness needed constant protection, we deny the very possibility of suffering; we cut ourselves off from facing it in ourselves and in others because we fear that it will undermine or destroy our good fortune. Thus, in order to hold on to our pleasure, we refuse to recognize the humanity of a homeless person on the street. We decide that the suffering of others is not relevant to our own lives. We cut ourselves off from facing the world’s suffering because we fear it will undermine or destroy our own happiness. In that highly defended state, we withdraw into so terrible an aloneness that we cannot experience true joy. How strange our conditioning is: to feel so alone in our pain, and to feel so vulnerable and isolated in our happiness.
Sharon Salzberg (Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness (Shambhala Library))
Disease has no intent. It doesn't want anything. It has no malevolent desire to kill. If it could talk it would not say "I want to make you ill. I want to bring you to the brink of death. I want to kill." It would say only "I make people ill. I bring them to the brink of death. I can kill." The disease is like machine that does what it does, but has no cognizance of self. When a machine stops working, it does not care, and it doesn't celebrate when it starts working again. To those that have it, and to their loved ones, the disease seems heinous, deliberate,and personal. And of course I know why they feel this way... when you are in a fight for your life, then surely there is an adversary. There is something opposed to you. Something that desires to defeat you. You want to believe the enemy is the disease. You don't want to believe, even for a minute, that the enemy is your own body. This weak tent of flesh, that cannot stand up against a speck of contagion. This fragile weave of muscle, bone, and soul, that also cannot resist the power of flame, nor the pull of the ground below it.
Susan Meissner (A Fall of Marigolds)
While it is a convenient construct to divide hope into a cognitive and an affective component, the two are tightly coupled. Feelings and emotions mold logical thinking and eliberate decision making...True hope, then, is not initiated and sustained by completely erasing the emotions, like fear and anxiety, that are often its greatest obstacles. An equilibrium needs to be established, integrating the genuine threats and dangers that exist into the proposed strategies to subsume them. So when a person tells me that he doesn't want to know about the problems and risks, that he believes ignorance is necessary for bliss, I acknowledge that yes, yunbridled fear can shatter a fragile sense of hope. But I assert that he still needs to know a minimum amount of information about his diagnosis and the course of his problem; otherwise his hope is false, and false hope is an insubstantial foundation upon which to stand and weather the vicissitudes of difficult circumstances. It is only true hope that carries its companions, courage and resilience, through. False hope causes them to ultimately fall by the wayside as reality intervenes and overpowers illusion.
Jerome Groopman (The Anatomy of Hope: How People Prevail in the Face of Illness)
Eliot's own reflections on the primitive mind as a model for nondualistic thinking and on the nature and consequences of different modes of consciousness were informed by an excellent education in the social sciences and philosophy. As a prelude to our guided tour of the text of The Waste Land, we now turn to a brief survey of some of his intellectual preoccupations in the decade before he wrote it, preoccupations which in our view are enormously helpful in understanding the form of the poem. Eliot entered Harvard as a freshman in 1906 and finished his doctoral dissertation in 1916, with one of the academic years spent at the Sorbonne and one at Oxford. At Harvard and Oxford, he had as teachers some of modern philosophy's most distinguished individuals, including George Santayana, Josiah Royce, Bertrand Russell, and Harold Joachim; and while at the Sorbonne, he attended the lectures of Henri Bergson, a philosophic star in Paris in 1910-11. Under the supervision of Royce, Eliot wrote his dissertation on the epistemology of F. H. Bradley, a major voice in the late-nineteenth-, early-twentieth-century crisis in philosophy. Eliot extended this period of concentration on philosophical problems by devoting much of his time between 1915 and the early twenties to book reviewing. His education and early book reviewing occurred during the period of epistemological disorientation described in our first chapter, the period of "betweenness" described by Heidegger and Ortega y Gasset, the period of the revolt against dualism described by Lovejoy. 2 Eliot's personal awareness of the contemporary epistemological crisis was intensified by the fact that while he was writing his dissertation on Bradley he and his new wife were actually living with Bertrand Russell. Russell as the representative of neorealism and Bradley as the representative of neoidealism were perhaps the leading expositors of opposite responses to the crisis discussed in our first chapter. Eliot's situation was extraordinary. He was a close student of both Bradley and Russell; he had studied with Bradley's friend and disciple Harold Joachim and with Russell himself. And in 1915-16, while writing a dissertation explaining and in general defending Bradley against Russell, Eliot found himself face to face with Russell across the breakfast table. Moreover, as the husband of a fragile wife to whom both men (each in his own way) were devoted, Eliot must have found life to be a kaleidoscope of brilliant and fluctuating patterns.
Jewel Spears Brooker (Reading the Waste Land: Modernism and the Limits of Interpretation)
Presumably, it won’t be only one way. Even before the age of climate change, the literature of conservation furnished many metaphors to choose from. James Lovelock gave us the Gaia hypothesis, which conjured an image of the world as a single, evolving quasi-biological entity. Buckminster Fuller popularized “spaceship earth,” which presents the planet as a kind of desperate life raft in what Archibald MacLeish called “the enormous, empty night”; today, the phrase suggests a vivid picture of a world spinning through the solar system barnacled with enough carbon capture plants to actually stall out warming, or even reverse it, restoring as if by magic the breathability of the air between the machines. The Voyager 1 space probe gave us the “Pale Blue Dot”—the inescapable smallness, and fragility, of the entire experiment we’re engaged in, together, whether we like it or not. Personally, I think that climate change itself offers the most invigorating picture, in that even its cruelty flatters our sense of power, and in so doing calls the world, as one, to action. At least I hope it does. But that is another meaning of the climate kaleidoscope. You can choose your metaphor. You can’t choose the planet, which is the only one any of us will ever call home.
David Wallace-Wells (The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming)
To Shankara the existence of God is no problem, for he defines God as existence, and identifies all real being with God. But of the existence of a personal God, creator or redeemer, there may, he thinks, be some question; such a deity, says this pre-plagiarist of Kant, cannot be proved by reason, he can only be postulated as a practical necessity, offering peace to our limited intellects, and encouragement to our fragile morality. The philosopher, though he may worship in every temple and bow to every god, will pass beyond these forgivable forms of popular faith; feeling the illusoriness of plurality, and the monistic unity of all things, he will adore as the Supreme Being, Being itself - indescribable, limitless, spaceless, time-less, causeless, changeless Being, the source and substance of all reality. We may apply the adjectives "conscious," "intelligent," even "happy" to Brahman, since Brahman includes all selves, and these may have such qualities; but all other adjectives would be applicable to Brahman equally, since It includes all qualities of all things. Essentially Brahman is neuter, raised above personality and gender, beyond good and evil, above all moral distinctions, all differences and attributes, all desires and ends. Brahman is the cause and effect, the timeless and secret essence, of the world.
Will Durant (Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, #1))
Mikhail, I don’t know what you want.” She didn’t know what she wanted either. He stood up then, power and grace combined. His shadow reached her before he did. His strength was enormous, but his touch was gentle as he pulled her to her feet. His hands slid up her arms, rested lightly on her shoulders, thumbs stroking the pulse in her neck. His touch sent warmth curling in her abdomen. She was so small beside him, so fragile and vulnerable. “Do not try to leave me, little one. We need one another.” His dark head bent lower, his mouth brushing her eyelids, sending little darts of fire licking along her skin. “You make me remember what living is,” he whispered in his mesmerizing voice. His mouth found the corner of hers, and a jolt of electricity sizzled through her body. Raven reached up to touch the shadowed line of his jaw, to place a hand on the heavy muscles of his chest in an attempt to put space between them. “Listen to me, Mikhail.” Her voice was husky. “We both know what loneliness is, what real isolation can do to a person. It’s beyond my imagination that I can be this close to you, physically touch you, and not be swamped with unwanted burdens. But we can’t do this.” Amusement crept into the dark fire of his eyes, a hint of tenderness. His fingers curled around the nape of her neck. “Oh, I think we can.” His black velvet voice was pure seduction, his smile frankly sensual.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
If someone publishes an essay, or tells a joke, or performs a play that forwards a problematic idea the U.S. government generally wouldn't try to stop that person from doing so. Even if they could. If the expression doesn't involve national security the government generally doesn't give a shit. But, if enough vocal consumers are personally offended, they can silence that artist just as effectively. They can petition advertisers and marginalize the artist's reception and economically remove that individual from whatever platform he or she happens to utilize simply because there are no expression based platforms that don't have an economic underpinning. It's one of those situations where the practical manifestation is the opposite of the technical intention. As Americans we tend to look down on European countries that impose legal limitations on speech. Yet as long as speakers in those countries stay within the specified boundaries discourse is allowed relatively unfettered, even when it's unpopular. In the U.S., there are absolutely no speech boundaries imposed by the government. So the citizenry creates its own limitations based on the arbitrary values of whichever activist group is most successful at inflicting its worldview upon an economically fragile public sphere. As a consequence, the United States is a safe space for those who want to criticize the government, but a dangerous place for those who want to advance unpopular thoughts about any other subject that could be deemed insulting or discomforting. Some would argue that this trade off is worth it. Time may prove otherwise.
Chuck Klosterman (But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
So many people now call themselves 'students of the University of life' as if experience theorized with lack of knowledge led to any wisdom or even less, such as the capacity to think and process information outside personal validation models. It's very easy to explain what you see. It's what humanity has done throughout history. However, real education ends in the last book you finished. And you can evaluate yourself by the amount of books you were able to read, understand and appreciate. Anything below that can only lead one to be certified in stupidity. And that's what the 'students of life' really are; fragile egos trying to justify their stupidity with arrogance, crystalizing their state of ignorance in time with pride. Because, even though humanity has confused itself with its own mechanics, the transitory fact remains, that knowledge, in any shape or form, comes from books. And more than 99% of all the books ever produced in human history are now, thanks to internet, available for free, in the public domain, and wherever a computer and electricity are present. This truth also extensively contributes to the fact, that humans are now, for the first time ever, deliberately choosing to remain ignorant. And that's what the "students of life" are; proud manifestos of ignorance. They don't know that, if you read enough to be smart, you're too smart to explain what you read, and too busy to share it. So what can we then say about the ones who obsess over their physical appearance whenever they have time for something. The premise is self-explanatory: The only real student is the 'student of self'.
Robin Sacredfire
Let's try an experiment. Pick up a coin. Imagine that it represents the object at which you are grasping. Hold it tightly clutched in your fist and extend your arm, with the palm of your hand facing the ground. Now if you let go or relax your grip, you will lose what you are clinging onto. That's why you hold on. But there's another possibility: You can let go and yet keep REFLECTION AND CHANGE 35 hold of it. With your arm still outstretched, turn your hand over so that it faces the sky. Release your hand and the coin still rests on your open palm. You let go. And the coin is still yours, even with all this space around it. So there is a way in which we can accept impermanence and still relish life, at one and the same time, without grasping. Let us now think of what frequently happens in relationships. So often it is only when people suddenly feel they are losing their partner that they realize that they love them. Then they cling on even tighter. But the more they grasp, the more the other person escapes them, and the more fragile their relationship becomes. So often we want happiness, but the very way we pursue it is so clumsy and unskillful that it brings only more sorrow. Usually we assume we must grasp in order to have that something that will ensure our happiness. We ask ourselves: How can we possibly enjoy anything if we cannot own it? How often attachment is mistaken for love! Even when the relationship is a good one, love is spoiled by attachment, with its insecurity, possessiveness, and pride; and then when love is gone, all you have left to show for it are the "souvenirs" of love, the scars of attachment.
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
Housman would not have appealed so deeply to the people who were young in 1920 if it had not been for another strain in him, and that was his blasphemous, antinomian, "cynical" strain. The fight that always occurs between the generations was exceptionally bitter at the end of the Great War; this was partly due to the war itself, and partly it was an indirect result of the Russian Revolution, but an intellectual struggle was in any case due at about that date. Owing probably to the ease and security of life in England, which even the war hardly disturbed, many people whose ideas were formed in the 'eighties or earlier had carried them quite unmodified into the nineteen-twenties. Meanwhile, so far as the younger generation was concerned, the official beliefs were dissolving like sand-castles. The slump in religious belief, for instance, was spectacular. For several years the old—young antagonism took on a quality of real hatred. What was left of the war generation had crept out of the massacre to find their elders still bellowing the slogans of 1914, and a slightly younger generation of boys were writhing under dirty-minded celibate schoolmasters. It was to these that Housman appealed, with his implied sexual revolt and his personal grievance against God. He was patriotic, it was true, but in a harmless old-fashioned way, to the tune of red coats and "God save the Queen" rather than steel helmets and "Hang the Kaiser." And he was satisfyingly anti-Christian—he stood for a kind of bitter, defiant paganism, a conviction that life is short and the gods are against you, which exactly fitted the prevailing mood of the young; and all in charming fragile verse that was composed almost entirely of words of one syllable.
George Orwell (All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays)
From the beginning, the gospel message has had a profound eschatological component. The compelling challenge for every person is the inevitability of the ultimate catastrophe of death. It haunts us particularly as we age and realize as parents die and out peers depart that we are, in some sense, “next.” Man was not created to die. God placed eternity in his heart and an immortal spirit that cannot comprehend the end of life. Fear of our mortality lurks in the background of our lives, dampening our joys, and in sober moments, bringing us to an awareness of our overwhelming fragility. Much of modern life is an attempt to live as though we will be here forever. It is a fantasy of denial, supported by the pleasures of the moment, which collectively serve as a narcotic, dulling the awareness of death’s certainty and near proximity. The message of the gospel is the message of life for us, a life out of death, provided in the person of our substitute, Jesus Christ. As the only one qualified to face the foe, He took all that death could give – energized by Satan’s rage – and came out the victor, providing immortality to all who would believe in Him. His victory was not simply the means of our return to Eden’s joys, with their attendant vulnerability to the possibility of yet another fall. It closed the door forever to another intrusion of sin and death by giving perfect, sinless immortality to those who are His own. He gave them the absolute promise of eternal perfection, the ultimate cure for our desperate condition. The immeasurable value of this offer is set against the absolute terror of hell, the almost unimaginable reality that death is not simply ceasing to exist of blending into the infinite, it is the conscious experience of the most horrible suffering forever. To think for any length of time on this possibility and the utter hopelessness of those whose end it is will bring one to insanity.
John E. Hartman
This is related to the phenomenon of the Professional Smile, a national pandemic in the service industry; and noplace in my experience have I been on the receiving end of as many Professional Smiles as I am on the Nadir, maître d’s, Chief Stewards, Hotel Managers’ minions, Cruise Director—their P.S.’s all come on like switches at my approach. But also back on land at banks, restaurants, airline ticket counters, on and on. You know this smile—the strenuous contraction of circumoral fascia w/ incomplete zygomatic involvement—the smile that doesn’t quite reach the smiler’s eyes and that signifies nothing more than a calculated attempt to advance the smiler’s own interests by pretending to like the smilee. Why do employers and supervisors force professional service people to broadcast the Professional Smile? Am I the only consumer in whom high doses of such a smile produce despair? Am I the only person who’s sure that the growing number of cases in which totally average-looking people suddenly open up with automatic weapons in shopping malls and insurance offices and medical complexes and McDonald’ses is somehow causally related to the fact that these venues are well-known dissemination-loci of the Professional Smile? Who do they think is fooled by the Professional Smile? And yet the Professional Smile’s absence now also causes despair. Anybody who’s ever bought a pack of gum in a Manhattan cigar store or asked for something to be stamped FRAGILE at a Chicago post office or tried to obtain a glass of water from a South Boston waitress knows well the soul-crushing effect of a service worker’s scowl, i.e. the humiliation and resentment of being denied the Professional Smile. And the Professional Smile has by now skewed even my resentment at the dreaded Professional Scowl: I walk away from the Manhattan tobacconist resenting not the counterman’s character or absence of goodwill but his lack of professionalism in denying me the Smile. What a fucking mess.
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: An Essay)
Then, as if he’d figured out what produced the maximum reaction in her, he switched back to Chopin. Just like that night in her childhood, the music slipped past her defenses and produced a deep contraction inside her, equal parts pain and pleasure. It went deeper still, until the tears began to rise, and she could only sit there, crying, trying to display only her expressionless left side so he wouldn’t notice. She’d been numb and it had felt good. Okay, not good. But safe. Manageable. He kept playing, soulful, stirring pieces that seemed chosen for their ability to pierce her heart deeper, deeper. She was crying audibly now, and he stopped and regarded her impassively. It couldn’t have been more awkward. She worked to compose herself and only then did she look up and meet his eyes. “Well,” he said, “I think it’s safe to say that dance is not done with you yet.” She stared at him in disbelief. “You did this on purpose. Tried to provoke a reaction.” “I suppose I did.” What a horrible, disreputable person he was. No wonder Misha had seemed anxious about having him around this weekend. “That was a pretty shitty thing to do.” “Not at all,” he replied. “I was just helping you see where you stand with your art. You need it. It nourishes you. That’s not going to go away just because you’re sidelined for a year or two.” “Two years?” She wasn’t sure which appalled her more, his words or his casual attitude. “Whatever. Point being, you’re still a dancer. It couldn’t be more obvious. That gorgeous body of yours, the way it moves. The way you’re sitting there now, all swept away by the music. You’re a dancer. You can’t not be one. Ever.” The truth of this, the twin emotions of fragile hope and crushing despair, crashed into her. He was right. And right then, the truth hurt. Now that the numbness was gone, it all hurt. The tears rose up again and spilled out. She heard Misha come in through the front door. David looked anxious. “Look, Dena. I just want to make sure you’re looking at the issue clearly.” Misha
Terez Mertes Rose (Outside the Limelight (Ballet Theatre Chronicles, #2))
How about when you feel as if you are at a treacherous crossing, facing an area of life that hasn’t even been on the map until recently. Suddenly there it is, right in front of you. And so the time and space in between while you first get over the shock of it, and you have to figure out WHAT must be done feels excruciating. It’s a nightmare you can’t awaken from. You might remember this time as a kind of personal D-day, as in damage, devastation, destruction, damnation, desolation – maybe a difficult divorce, or even diagnosis of some formidable disease. These are the days of our lives that whole, beautiful chapters of life go up in flames. And all you can do is watch them burn. Until you feel as though you are left only with the ashes of it all. It is at this moment you long for the rescue and relief that only time can provide. It is in this place, you must remember that in just 365 days – you're at least partially healed self will be vastly changed, likely for the better. Perhaps not too unlike a caterpillar’s unimaginable metamorphosis. Better. Stronger. Wiser. Tougher. Kinder. More fragile, more firm, all at the same time as more free. You will have gotten through the worst of it – somehow. And then it will all be different. Life will be different. You will be different. It might or might not ever make sense, but it will be more bearable than it seems when you are first thrown, with no warning, into the kilns of life with the heat stoked up – or when you get wrapped up, inexplicably, through no choice of your own, in a dark, painfully constricting space. Go ahead, remind yourself as someone did earlier, who was trying miserably to console you. It will eventually make you a better, stronger person. How’d they say it? More beautiful on the inside… It really will, though. That’s the kicker. Even if, in the hours of your agony, you would have preferred to be less beautiful, wise, strong, or experienced than apparently life, fate, your merciless ex, or a ruthless, biological, or natural enemy that has attacked silently, and invisibly - has in mind for you. As will that which your God feels you are capable of enduring, while you, in your pitiful anguish, are yet dubious of your own ability to even endure, not alone overcome. I assure you now, you will have joy and beauty, where there was once only ashes. In time. Perhaps even more than before. It’s so hard to imagine and believe it when it’s still fresh, and so, so painful. When it hurts too much to even stand, or think, or feel anything. When you are in the grip of fear, and you remember the old familiar foe, or finally understand, firsthand, in your bones, what that actually means.
Connie Kerbs (Paths of Fear: An Anthology of Overcoming Through Courage, Inspiration, and the Miracle of Love (Pebbled Lane Books Book 1))
Father will bury us with both hands. He boasts of me to his so-called friends, telling them I’m the next queen of this kingdom. I don’t think he’s ever paid so much attention to me before, and even now, it is minuscule, not for my own benefit. He pretends to love me now because of another, because of Tibe. Only when someone else sees worth in me does he condescend to do the same. Because of her father, she dreamed of a Queenstrial she did not win, of being cast aside and returned to the old estate. Once there, she was made to sleep in the family tomb, beside the still, bare body of her uncle. When the corpse twitched, hands reaching for her throat, she would wake, drenched in sweat, unable to sleep for the rest of the night. Julian and Sara think me weak, fragile, a porcelain doll who will shatter if touched, she wrote. Worst of all, I’m beginning to believe them. Am I really so frail? So useless? Surely I can be of some help somehow, if Julian would only ask? Are Jessamine’s lessons the best I can do? What am I becoming in this place? I doubt I even remember how to replace a lightbulb. I am not someone I recognize. Is this what growing up means? Because of Julian, she dreamed of being in a beautiful room. But every door was locked, every window shut, with nothing and no one to keep her company. Not even books. Nothing to upset her. And always, the room would become a birdcage with gilded bars. It would shrink and shrink until it cut her skin, waking her up. I am not the monster the gossips think me to be. I’ve done nothing, manipulated no one. I haven’t even attempted to use my ability in months, since Julian has no more time to teach me. But they don’t believe that. I see how they look at me, even the whispers of House Merandus. Even Elara. I have not heard her in my head since the banquet, when her sneers drove me to Tibe. Perhaps that taught her better than to meddle. Or maybe she is afraid of looking into my eyes and hearing my voice, as if I’m some kind of match for her razored whispers. I am not, of course. I am hopelessly undefended against people like her. Perhaps I should thank whoever started the rumor. It keeps predators like her from making me prey. Because of Elara, she dreamed of ice-blue eyes following her every move, watching as she donned a crown. People bowed under her gaze and sneered when she turned away, plotting against their newly made queen. They feared her and hated her in equal measure, each one a wolf waiting for her to be revealed as a lamb. She sang in the dream, a wordless song that did nothing but double their bloodlust. Sometimes they killed her, sometimes they ignored her, sometimes they put her in a cell. All three wrenched her from sleep. Today Tibe said he loves me, that he wants to marry me. I do not believe him. Why would he want such a thing? I am no one of consequence. No great beauty or intellect, no strength or power to aid his reign. I bring nothing to him but worry and weight. He needs someone strong at his side, a person who laughs at the gossips and overcomes her own doubts. Tibe is as weak as I am, a lonely boy without a path of his own. I will only make things worse. I will only bring him pain. How can I do that? Because of Tibe, she dreamed of leaving court for good. Like Julian wanted to do, to keep Sara from staying behind. The locations varied with the changing nights. She ran to Delphie or Harbor Bay or Piedmont or even the Lakelands, each one painted in shades of black and gray. Shadow cities to swallow her up and hide her from the prince and the crown he offered. But they frightened her too. And they were always empty, even of ghosts. In these dreams, she ended up alone. From these dreams, she woke quietly, in the morning, with dried tears and an aching heart.
Victoria Aveyard (Queen Song (Red Queen, #0.1))
There are, apparently, persons who are deeply afraid of their own emotions, particularly the painful ones. Grief, regret, sadness. Sadness especially, perhaps. Dolores describes these persons as afraid of obliteration, emotional engulfment. As if something truly and thoroughly felt would have no end or bottom. Would become infinite and engulf them. I am saying that such persons usually have a very fragile sense of themselves as persons. As existing at all
David Foster Wallace
Habitus includes a person’s internalized awareness of his or her status,
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
If, as a white person, I conceptualize racism as a binary and I place myself on the “not racist” side, what further action is required of me? No action is required, because I am not a racist. Therefore, racism is not my problem; it doesn’t concern me and there is nothing further I need to do.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
There is a great amount of misinformation about affirmative action, as evidenced in the idea of special rights. For example, people commonly believe that if a person of color applies for a position, he or she must be hired over a white person; that black people are given preferential treatment in hiring; and that a specific number of people of color must be hired to fill a quota. All these beliefs are patently untrue. Affirmative action is a
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
This book is intended for us, for white progressives who so often—despite our conscious intentions—make life so difficult for people of color. I believe that white progressives cause the most daily damage to people of color. I define a white progressive as any white person who thinks he or she is not racist, or is less racist, or in the “choir,” or already “gets it.” White progressives can be the most difficult for people of color because, to the degree that we think we have arrived, we will put our energy into making sure that others see us as having arrived. None of our energy will go into what we need to be doing for the rest of our lives: engaging in ongoing self-awareness, continuing education, relationship building, and actual antiracist practice. White progressives do indeed uphold and perpetrate racism, but our defensiveness and certitude make it virtually impossible to explain to us how we do so.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
We make sense of perceptions and experiences through our particular cultural lens. This lens is neither universal nor objective, and without it, a person could not function in any human society. But exploring these cultural frameworks can be particularly challenging in Western culture precisely because of two key Western ideologies: individualism and objectivity. Briefly, individualism holds that we are each unique and stand apart from others, even those within our social groups. Objectivity tells us that it is possible to be free of all bias.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
To understand racism, we need to first distinguish it from mere prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice is pre-judgment about another person based on the social groups to which that person belongs. Prejudice consists of thoughts and feelings, including stereotypes, attitudes, and generalizations that are based on little or no experience and then are projected onto everyone from that group.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
The example of a child publicly calling out a black man’s race and embarrassing the mother illustrates several aspects of white children’s racial socialization. First, children learn that it is taboo to openly talk about race. Second, they learn that people should pretend not to notice undesirable aspects that define some people as less valuable than others (a large birthmark on someone’s face, a person using a wheelchair). These lessons manifest themselves later in life, when white adults drop their voices before naming the race of someone who isn’t white (and especially so if the race being named is black), as if blackness were shameful or the word itself were impolite. If we add all the comments we make about people of color privately, when we are less careful, we may begin to recognize how white children are taught to navigate race.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
At the minimum, this idealization of the past is another example of white experiences and perceptions positioned as universal. How might this nostalgia sound to any person of color who is aware of this country’s history? The ability to erase this racial history and actually believe that the past was better than the present “for everybody” has inculcated a false consciousness for me personally and as a national citizen.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
Many whites believe that if they are not talking about racism with their friends of color or if their friends are not giving them feedback about racism, then racism is a non-issue. But just because you and your friend don’t talk about racism does not mean it isn’t at play. Indeed, this silence is one of the ways that racism is manifest, for it is an imposed silence. Many people of color have told me that they initially tried to talk about racism with their white friends, but their friends got defensive or invalidated their experiences, so they stopped sharing their experiences. If racism is not a topic of discussion between a white person and a person of color who are friends, this absence of conversation may indicate a lack of cross-racial trust.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)