Goes To Show Quotes

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I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unnerving ease. It begins in your mind, always ... so you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
This goes to show you that sometimes the unseen is not to be feared and that those meant to love us most are not always ones who do.
Leigh Bardugo (The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grishaverse, #0.5, 2.5, 2.6))
Which only goes to show that the best of us must sometimes eat our words,' Dumbledore went on, smiling.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
A man who goes into a restaurant and blatantly disrespects the servers shows a strong discontent with his own being. Deep down he knows that restaurant service is the closest thing he will ever experience to being served like a king.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
It just goes to show you: every baby is born beautiful. It's what we project on them that makes them ugly.
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
Which goes to show that caring about anyone leaves you vulnerable.
Ally Condie (Reached (Matched, #3))
I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while.
Amy Thomas (Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate))
Like the famous mad philosopher said, when you stare into the void, the void stares also; but if you cast into the void, you get a type conversion error. (Which just goes to show Nietzsche wasn't a C++ programmer.)
Charles Stross (Overtime (Laundry Files, #3.5))
The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
This goes to show you that sometimes the unseen is not to be feared and that those meant to love us most are not always the ones who do.
Leigh Bardugo (The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grishaverse, #0.5 & 2.5 & 2.6))
It just goes to show you: you can put nine insane miles between you and another person. You can make a vow to never speak his name. You can surgically remove someone from your life. And still, he'll haunt you.
Jodi Picoult (Lone Wolf)
Listen, I don't care what you say about my race, creed, or religion, Fatty, but don't tell me I'm not sensitive to beauty. That's my Achilles' heel, and don't you forget it. To me, everything is beautiful. Show me a pink sunset, and I'm limp, by God. Anything. Peter Pan. Even before the curtain goes up at Peter Pan I'm a goddamn puddle of tears.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
It just goes to show, if you try to ruin someone's life, it only gets better. You just don't get to be a part of it.
John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
We were aiming for a cross between Kafka and Orwell, which just goes to show how dangerous it can be when your police officers are better read than you are.
Ben Aaronovitch (Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2))
It just goes to show that if you tell a woman her only skill is to be desirable, she will believe you.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
I seem to remember telling you both that I would have to expel you if you broke any more school rules,” said Dumbledore. Ron opened his mouth in horror. “Which goes to show that the best of us must sometimes eat our words,” Dumbledore went on, smiling.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
It’s in English,” I call out as it comes into focus. “It says ‘Made in China.’” At first Sister Loretta thinks I must be wrong, but when she sees the words for herself, she explains to us that God anticipated that the Communists in China would create technology that makes medals, rosaries, and plastic figurines really cheaply, and He was ready to temporarily forgive them for not being a democracy and for being pagans if they were willing to sell these holy goods to us at a fantastic discount, which shows us that God, like everyone else, goes out of His way to get a good deal on something He really needs. Who doesn’t like a bargain?
Kathleen Zamboni McCormick (Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian, Sometimes Awesome, But Mostly Creepy, Childhood)
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.
John C. Maxwell
The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30.
Lorne Michaels
...it just goes to show you can't leave anything behind. You bring it all with you, whether you want to or not.
Stef Penney (The Tenderness of Wolves)
She looks at me, square in the eye. Taking aim. And then she pulls the trigger. “Because I hated you.” The wind, the noise, it all just goes quiet for a second, and I’m left with a dull ringing in my ear, like after a show, like after a heart monitor goes to flatline. “Hated me? Why?” “You made me stay.” She says it quietly, and it almost gets lost in the wind and the traffic and I’m not sure I heard her. But then she repeats it louder this time. “You made me stay!” And there it is. A hollow blown through my heart, confirming what some part of me has always known. She knows.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
Remember particularly that you cannot be a judge of anyone. For no one can judge a criminal until he recognizes that he is just such a criminal as the man standing before him, and that he perhaps is more than all men to blame for that crime. When he understands that, he will be able to be a judge. Though that sounds absurd, it is true. If I had been righteous myself, perhaps there would have been no criminal standing before me. If you can take upon yourself the crime of the criminal your heart is judging, take it at once, suffer for him yourself, and let him go without reproach. And even if the law itself makes you his judge, act in the same spirit so far as possible, for he will go away and condemn himself more bitterly than you have done. If, after your kiss, he goes away untouched, mocking at you, do not let that be a stumbling-block to you. It shows his time has not yet come, but it will come in due course. And if it come not, no matter; if not he, then another in his place will understand and suffer, and judge and condemn himself, and the truth will be fulfilled. Believe that, believe it without doubt; for in that lies all the hope and faith of the saints.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Bad luck with women is a determined man's road to success. For every affliction, he makes, out of indignation, yet another advancement in order to exceed the man that the woman chose over him. This goes to show that great men are made great because they once learned how to fight the feeling of rejection.
Criss Jami (Venus in Arms)
I sure did live in this world.' 'Really? What have you got to show for it?' 'Show? To who? I got my mind. And what goes on in it. Which is to say, I got me.' 'Lonely, ain't it?' 'Yes. But my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else's. Made by somebody else and handed to you.
Toni Morrison (Sula)
Success goes to the ones who do. Get up. Show up. Throw up if you have to. Do it afraid, but do it no matter.
Toni Sorenson
That just goes to show that you never know, although what it is we never know I suspect we'll never know.
Terry Pratchett (Snuff (Discworld, #39; City Watch #8))
What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas'd the moment life appear'd. All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
A man cannot realize that above such shattered bodies there are still human faces in which life goes its daily round. And this is only one hospital, a single station; there are hundreds of thousands in Germany, hundreds of thousands in France, hundreds of thousands in Russia. How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible. It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture chambers in their hundreds of thousands. A hospital alone shows what war is.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
I know how much you grieve over those who are under your care: those you try to help and fail, those you cannot help. Have faith in God and remember that He will is His own way and in His own time complete what we so poorly attempt. Often we do not achieve for others the good that we intend but achieve something, something that goes on from our effort. Good is an overflow. Where we generously and sincerely intend it, we are engaged in a work of creation which may be mysterious even to ourselves - and because it is mysterious we may be afraid of it. But this should not make us draw back. God can always show us, if we will, a higher and a better way; and we can only learn to love by loving. Remember that all our failures are ultimately failures in love. Imperfect love must not be condemned and rejected but made perfect. The way is always forward, never back.
Iris Murdoch (The Bell)
only philosophy can go deep enough to show that literature goes still deeper than philosophy
Michel Serres
Wolves hate werewolves.' 'What? That can't be right! When she's wolf-shaped she's just like a wolf!' 'So? When she's human-shaped she's just like a human. And what's that got to do with anything? Humans don't like werewolves. Wolves don't like werewolves. People don't like wolves that can think like people, an' people don't like people who can act like wolves. Which just goes to show that people are the same everywhere.' said Gaspode. He assessed this sentence and added, 'Even when they're wolves.
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
Does a soldier go to war in order to kill the enemy? no, he goes in order to die for his country. Does a wife want to show her husband how happy she is? no, she wants him to see how she suffers in order to make him happy Does the husband go to work thinking he will find personal fulfillment there? no, he is giving his sweat and tears for the good of the family And so it goes on: sons give up their dreams to please their parents, parents give up their lives in order to please their children; pain and suffering are used to justify the one thing that should bring only LOVE..
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
Intuition goes before you, showing you the way. Emotion follows behind, to let you know when you go astray. Listen to your inner voice. It is the calling of your spiritual GPS system seeking to keep you on track towards your true destiny.
Anthon St. Maarten (Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny)
It just goes to show you: you can put nine thousand miles between you and another person. You can make a vow to never speak his name. You can surgically remove someone from your life. And still, he'll haunt you.
Jodi Picoult (Lone Wolf)
It just goes to show that what one person considers a "bad attitude" might actually just be total frustration over being pushed beyond the brink of one's mental and physical endurance.
Meg Cabot (Party Princess (The Princess Diaries, #7))
then he jumped.. I owe him so much. I needed him. I still do. But he's gone. He told me once that I shouldn't make people into heroes. He said that heroes didn't exist and that even if they did he wouldn't be one of them. which goes to show. he wasn't right about everything..
Guy Adams (Sherlock: The Casebook)
He wanted to show her how to live, even after he was gone.
Kass Morgan (Homecoming (The 100, #3))
she told me her secret. And showed me what darkness was, and is, and how it works, and how it never goes away or ends.
Megan Abbott (Give Me Your Hand)
Shigure:"A summer home like this by the lake, you half expect JASON to show up!" Yuki: "There he goes again..." Kyo: (Thinking to himself) Jieison...Jaysun? Now where have I heard that before? Shigure: "'Jason' is a new species of bear. You're so ignorant, Kyo-Kun." Kyo: "SHUT UP! I KNEW THAT!!" Hatori:"That's not it..." Tohru:"Is it a foreign kind of bear?" Hatori:"....
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 5)
To the untrained eye ego-climbing and selfless climbing may appear identical. Both kinds of climbers place one foot in front of the other. Both breathe in and out at the same rate. Both stop when tired. Both go forward when rested. But what a difference! The ego-climber is like an instrument that’s out of adjustment. He puts his foot down an instant too soon or too late. He’s likely to miss a beautiful passage of sunlight through the trees. He goes on when the sloppiness of his step shows he’s tired. He rests at odd times. He looks up the trail trying to see what’s ahead even when he knows what’s ahead because he just looked a second before. He goes too fast or too slow for the conditions and when he talks his talk is forever about somewhere else, something else. He’s here but he’s not here. He rejects the here, he’s unhappy with it, wants to be farther up the trail but when he gets there will be just as unhappy because then *it* will be “here”. What he’s looking for, what he wants, is all around him, but he doesn’t want that because it *is* all around him. Every step’s an effort, both physically and spiritually, because he imagines his goal to be external and distant.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
The old man had been tanned by the light of too many beer signs, and it just goes to show that you can’t live on three packs of Chesterfields and a fifth of bourbon a day without starting to drift far too fuckin’ wide in the turns.
Daniel Woodrell (The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do)
the universe works in mysterious ways. It just goes to show that sometimes good things have to fall apart in order for better things to fall together.       *
Lacey London (Meet Clara Morgan (Clara Andrews, #3))
Goes to show you can’t judge a fish by the hook in it’s mouth.
Erin Bedford
Genya—” David tried. “Don’t you dare,” she said roughly, tears welling up again. “You never looked at me twice before I was like this, before I was broken. Now I’m just something for you to fix.” I was desperate for words to soothe her, but before I could find any, David bunched up his shoulders and said, “I know metal.” “What does that have to do with anything?” Genya cried. David furrowed his brow. “I … I don’t understand half of what goes on around me. I don’t get jokes or sunsets or poetry, but I know metal.” His fingers flexed unconsciously as if he were physically grasping for words. “Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
What’s wrong? Has Francis been rude? Then you must try to overlook it. I know you wouldn’t think so, but he is thoroughly upset by Tom Erskine’s death; and when Francis is troubled he doesn’t show it, he just goes and makes life wretched for somebody.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Disorderly Knights (The Lymond Chronicles, #3))
I am possibly the world's greatest magician, because I don't just vanish off stage, I vanish from your memory. I'll bet you're probably thinking, "I don't remember seeing you," or "I've never seen you." And that just goes to show you how good I am.
Jarod Kintz (The Days of Yay are Here! Wake Me Up When They're Over.)
How dare she show herself to be everything he was so annoyed with her for not being?
Margaret Atwood (The Heart Goes Last)
She was excited by the idea of having something dedicated to her, but I don't think she really liked it. Just goes to show that you can't have everything you want in one woman.One more argument for polygamy.
Daniel Keyes (Flowers for Algernon)
It just goes to show, if you try to ruin someone's life, it only gets better.
John Green (Will Grayson, Will Grayson)
This story has no moral, this story has no end, this story only goes to show, that there ain’t no good in men…
Charlie Cochet (Roses in the Devil's Garden (Fallen Rose, #1))
Just goes to show, everyone really does have a story to tell. And most people, at least in my experience, are a little more noble than they think they are.
R.J. Palacio (365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Precepts)
The smallest sprout shows there is really no death; And if ever there was, it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas’d the moment life appear’d. All goes onward and outward—nothing collapses; And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
Walt Whitman
Wherever one encounters members of the human race, they always show the traits of a being that is condemned to surrealistic effort. Whoever goes in search of humans will find acrobats.
Peter Sloterdijk (Du mußt dein Leben ändern)
Medicine, and Law, and Philosophy - You've worked your way through every school, Even, God help you, Theology, And sweated at it like a fool. Why labour at it any more? You're no wiser now than you were before. You're Master of Arts, and Doctor too, And for ten years all you've been able to do Is lead your students a fearful dance Through a maze of error and ignorance. And all this misery goes to show There's nothing we can ever know. Oh yes you're brighter than all those relics, Professors and Doctors, scribblers and clerics, No doubts or scruples to trouble you, Defying hell, and the Devil too. But there's no joy in self-delusion; Your search for truth ends in confusion. Don't imagine your teaching will ever raise The minds of men or change their ways. And as for worldly wealth, you have none - What honour or glory have you won? A dog could stand this life no more. And so I've turned to magic lore; The spirit message of this art Some secret knowledge might impart. No longer shall I sweat to teach What always lay beyond my reach; I'll know what makes the world revolve, Its mysteries resolve, No more in empty words I'll deal - Creation's wellsprings I'll reveal!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust)
I stroke her hair, then the side of her face. "I'm sorry it took me so long to get it. It's my faul you had doubts. I promise, there won't be a day that goes by from now on that I won't show you how much you mean to me.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
The ordinary traveler, who never goes off the beaten route and who on this beaten route is carried by others, without himself doing anything or risking anything, does not need to show much more initiative and intelligence than an express package," Roosevelt sneered.
Candice Millard (The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey)
Well...yeah. It just goes to show. (Peabody) Show what (Dallas) You should get dressed up, go dancing, drink grown-up cocktails, and have sex as much as you can before you're dead. (Peabody)
J.D. Robb (Thankless in Death (In Death, #37))
Finch scribbles something and slaps it to the wall. Welcome. He scribbles something else. Freak. He shows it to me before destroying it. He writes Belong, which goes on the wall, and Label, which doesn’t. Warmth, Saturday, Wander, You, Best friend go up, while Cold, Sunday, Stand still, Everyone else go into the heap.
Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)
Quick note here: if this crush-slash-swooning stuff is hard for you to stomach; if you’ve never had a similar experience, then you should come to grips with the fact that you’ve got a TV dinner for a heart and might want to consider climbing inside a microwave and turning it on high for at least an hour, which if you do consider only goes to show what kind of idiot you truly are because microwaves are way too small for anyone, let alone you, to climb into.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
If it is written and read with serious attention, a novel, like a myth or any great work of art, can become an initiation that helps us to make a painful rite of passage from one phase of life, one state of mind, to another. A novel, like a myth, teaches us to see the world differently; it shows us how to look into our own hearts and to see our world from a perspective that goes beyond our own self-interest.
Karen Armstrong (A Short History of Myth)
David furrowed his brow. "I ... I don't understand half of what goes on around me. I don't get jokes or sunsets or poetry, but I know metal." His fingers flexed unconsciously as if he were physically grasping for words. "Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing." He drew in a deep breath then awkwardly stepped forward. He took her face in his hands and kissed her. Genya went regid. I thought she'd push him away. But then she threw her arms around him and kissed him back. Emphatically. Mal cleared his throat, and Tamar gave a low whistle. I had to bite my lip to stifle a nervous laugh. They broke apart. David was blushing furiously. Genya's grin was so dazzling it made my heart twist in my chest.
Leigh Bardugo (Ruin and Rising (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #3))
As the head of an expedition, you can't pussyfoot around being polite to everyone. You have to show your teeth once in a while; a little growling goes a long way.
Tahir Shah (House of the Tiger King: The Quest for a Lost City)
That just goes to show you that parents can do all they can for you, but at the end of the day it’s up to you whether you listen or not.
Shareef Jaudon (Tyce Platinum Box Set)
He’s a lovely guy, but there’s no spark between us whatsoever. It just goes to show, that even with all their fancy assessment tools, the government can’t legislate for chemistry.
Siobhan Davis (True Calling (True Calling #1))
Which just goes to show, I guess, that dinner parties are like everything else - not as fragile as we think they are.
Julie Powell (Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen)
If you think peace is a common goal, that goes to show how little you know
Morrissey
Now is life very solid or very shifting? I am haunted by the two contradictions. This has gone on forever; goes down to the bottom of the world -- this moment I stand on. Also it is transitory, flying, diaphanous. I shall pass like a cloud on the waves. Perhaps it may be that though we change, one flying after another, so quick, so quick, yet we are somehow successive and continuous we human beings, and show the light through. But what is the light?
Virginia Woolf (A Writer's Diary)
Everyone living around this lake thinks I’m crazy, and if we go back to the police with this story, then the news that Elinor Loredan has finally flipped will be all over the place. Which just goes to show that a passion for books is extremely unhealthy.
Cornelia Funke (The Inkheart Trilogy: Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath)
Luck comes and goes; you have to seize it. Bad luck comes and goes; it must be overcome. But I will never, never sit at the side of the road showing my wounds and shouting, 'It's destiny'!
Jean Van Hamme (Dutch Connection (Largo Winch, #6))
Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom: that of the creator; to foster such an aim, one must first unequivocally posit oneself as a freedom. The restrictions that education and custom impose on a woman limit her grasp of the universe...Indeed, for one to become a creator, it is not enough to be cultivated, that is, to make going to shows and meeting people part of one's life; culture must be apprehended through the free movement of a transcendence; the spirit with all its riches must project itself in an empty sky that is its to fill; but if a thousand fine bonds tie it to the earth, its surge is broken. The girl today can certainly go out alone, stroll in the Tuileries; but I have already said how hostile the street is: eyes everywhere, hands waiting: if she wanders absentmindedly, her thoughts elsewhere, if she lights a cigarette in a cafe, if she goes to the cinema alone, an unpleasant incident can quickly occur; she must inspire respect by the way she dresses and behaves: this concern rivets her to the ground and self. "Her wings are clipped." At eighteen, T.E. Lawrence went on a grand tour through France by bicycle; a young girl would never be permitted to take on such an adventure...Yet such experiences have an inestimable impact: this is how an individual in the headiness of freedom and discovery learns to look at the entire world as his fief...[The girl] may feel alone within the world: she never stands up in front of it, unique and sovereign.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
What did you do to her?” There were a thousand things he’d done. I didn’t believe her. I didn’t trust her. I didn’t show her how much I loved her. I didn’t protect her. He settled on: “I made a mistake.
Sarah MacLean (No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (The Rules of Scoundrels, #3))
Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer. Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind. Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation’s OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live. Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age. Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific. Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label. Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie. Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey? Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It’s a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict. Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!
Gerard Nolst Trenité (Drop your Foreign Accent)
You'll make bundle of blunders if you consider yourself too clever to look at anothers work.
Michael Bassey Johnson
One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands in the midst of the struggle and says, "I have it," merely shows by doing so that he has just lost it.
Henrik Ibsen
I switched the light out again. The room was totally dark, not even the starlight showing while my eyes adjusted. Perhaps I would ask for one of those LED alarm radios, though I’m very fond of my old brass alarm clock. Once I tied a wasp tot the striking-surface of each of the copper-coloured bells on top, where the little hammer would hit them in the morning when the alarm went off. I always wake up before the alarm goes, so I got to watch.
Iain Banks (The Wasp Factory)
That just goes to show that you never can tell about a person by guessing," Frances informs her niece. "That's why language was invented. Otherwise, we'd all be like dogs, sniffing each other to find out where we stood.
Alice Hoffman (Practical Magic (Practical Magic, #1))
You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix: The Shooting Script)
There must be a glowing light above such houses. The joy they contain must escape in light through the stones of the walls and shine dimly into the darkness. It is impossible that this sacred festival of destiny should not send a celestial radiation to the infinite. Love is the sublime crucible in which is consummated the fusion of man and woman; the one being, the triple being, the final being-- the human trinity springs from it. This birth of two souls into one space must be an emotion for space. The lover is priest; the apprehensive maiden submits. Something of this joy goes to God. Where there really is marriage, that is to say, where there is love, the ideal is mingled with it. A nuptial bed makes a halo in the darkness. Were it given to the eye of the flesh to perceive the fearful and enchanting sights of the superior life, it is likely that we should see the forms of night, the winged stranger, the blue travelers of the invisible, bending, a throng of shadowy heads, over the luminous house, pleased, blessing, showing to one another the sweetly startled maiden bride and wearing the reflection of the human felicity on their divine countenances. If at that supreme hour, the wedded pair, bewildered with pleasure, and believing themselves alone, were to listen, they would hear in their room a rustling of confused wings. Perfect happiness implies the solidarity of the angels. That obscure little alcove has for its ceiling the whole heavens. When two mouths, made sacred by love, draw near to each other to create, it is impossible, that above that ineffable kiss there should not be a thrill in the immense mystery of the stars.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” -John C. Maxwell
John C. Maxwell
Listen. You know what it's like when you're in a room with the light on and then suddenly the light goes out? I'll show you. It's like this." He turns out the light. BLACKOUT
Harold Pinter (No Man's Land)
If you go into darkness, the darkness goes into you.
Michael Connelly (The Late Show (Renée Ballard, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #29))
It’s funny you bring that up,” I said. “In some countries, red hair was considered a sign of witchcraft. They actually burned people at the stake for it. Can you imagine? Just goes to show that a little ignorance can go a long way—if you let it go unchallenged, that is.
Ingrid Paulson (Valkyrie Rising (Valkyrie, #1))
We laughed harder than the humor deserved, which goes to show you no matter your age, you're closer to adolescence than you think.
Lorna Landvik (Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons)
Jess thought for a moment. 'You know those films where people fight up the top of the Empire State Building or up a mountain or whatever? And there's always that bit when the baddie slips off and the hero tries to save him, but, like, the sleeve of this jacket tears off and goes over and you hear him all the way down. Aaaaaaaaagh. That's what I want to do.' 'You want to watch me plunge to my doom.' 'I'd like to know that I've made the effort. I want to show people the torn sleeve.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
As virtuous men pass mildly away, And whisper to their souls to go, Whilst some of their sad friends do say, "The breath goes now," and some say, "No," So let us melt, and make no noise, No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; 'Twere profanation of our joys To tell the laity our love. Moving of the earth brings harms and fears, Men reckon what it did and meant; But trepidation of the spheres, Though greater far, is innocent. Dull sublunary lovers' love (Whose soul is sense) cannot admit Absence, because it doth remove Those things which elemented it. But we, by a love so much refined That our selves know not what it is, Inter-assured of the mind, Care less, eyes, lips, and hands to miss. Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though I must go, endure not yet A breach, but an expansion. Like gold to airy thinness beat. If they be two, they are two so As stiff twin compasses are two: Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show To move, but doth, if the other do; And though it in the center sit, Yet when the other far doth roam, It leans, and hearkens after it, And grows erect, as that comes home. Such wilt thou be to me, who must, Like the other foot, obliquely run; Thy firmness makes my circle just, And makes me end where I begun.
John Donne
Well, it just goes to show you,” the inventor said as he flipped through the pages of notes and ideas, “It is easy to think outside the box when you aren’t smart enough to know where the box is.
Joseph R. Lallo (Bypass Gemini (Big Sigma, #1))
I have my own little sense of style. As far as image goes today for a new artist, you'll find that fashion is really important. I wouldn't want to show up for a performance in something that is absolutely the opposite of who I am as an artist.
Miranda Lambert
I know metal. I... I don't understand half of what goes on around me. I don't get jokes or sunsets or poetry, but I know metal. Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what's inside you? That's steel. It's brave and unbreakable. And it doesn't need fixing.
Leigh Bardugo
mix epic individualism with extreme religion; mix show business with everything else; let all that steep and simmer for a few centuries; run it through the anything-goes 1960s and the Internet age; the result is the America we inhabit today, where reality and fantasy are weirdly and dangerously blurred and commingled.
Kurt Andersen (Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History)
God is the comic shepherd who gets more of a kick out of that one lost sheep once he finds it again than out of the ninety and nine who had the good sense not to get lost in the first place. God is the eccentric host who, when the country-club crowd all turned out to have other things more important to do than come live it up with him, goes out into the skid rows and soup kitchens and charity wards and brings home a freak show. The man with no legs who sells shoelaces at the corner. The old woman in the moth-eaten fur coat who makes her daily rounds of the garbage cans. The old wino with his pint in a brown paper bag. The pusher, the whore, the village idiot who stands at the blinker light waving his hand as the cars go by. They are seated at the damask-laid table in the great hall. The candles are all lit and the champagne glasses filled. At a sign from the host, the musicians in their gallery strike up "Amazing Grace.
Frederick Buechner (Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale)
Although psychology and pedagogy have always maintained the belief that a child is a happy being without any conflicts, and have assumed that the sufferings of adults are the results of the burdens and hardships of reality, it must be asserted that just the opposite is true. What we learn about the child and the adult through psychoanalysis shows that all the sufferings of later life are for the most part repetitions of these earlier ones, and that every child in the first years of life goes through and immeasurable degree of suffering.
Melanie Klein
A man worth being with is one… That never lies to you Is kind to people that have hurt him A person that respects another’s life That has manners and shows people respect That goes out of his way to help people That feels every person, no matter how difficult, deserves compassion Who believes you are the most beautiful person he has ever met Who brags about your accomplishments with pride Who talks to you about anything and everything because no bad news will make him love you less That is a peacemaker That will see you through illness Who keeps his promises Who doesn’t blame others, but finds the good in them That raises you up and motivates you to reach for the stars That doesn’t need fame, money or anything materialistic to be happy That is gentle and patient with children Who won’t let you lie to yourself; he tells you what you need to hear, in order to help you grow Who lives what he says he believes in Who doesn’t hold a grudge or hold onto the past Who doesn’t ask his family members to deliberately hurt people that have hurt him Who will run with your dreams That makes you laugh at the world and yourself Who forgives and is quick to apologize Who doesn’t betray you by having inappropriate conversations with other women Who doesn’t react when he is angry, decides when he is sad or keep promises he doesn’t plan to keep Who takes his children’s spiritual life very seriously and teaches by example Who never seeks revenge or would ever put another person down Who communicates to solve problems Who doesn’t play games or passive aggressively ignores people to hurt them Who is real and doesn’t pretend to be something he is not Who has the power to free you from yourself through his positive outlook Who has a deep respect for women and treats them like a daughter of God Who doesn’t have an ego or believes he is better than anyone Who is labeled constantly by people as the nicest person they have ever met Who works hard to provide for the family Who doesn’t feel the need to drink alcohol to have a good time, smoke or do drugs Who doesn't have to hang out a bar with his friends, but would rather spend his time with his family Who is morally free from sin Who sees your potential to be great Who doesn't think a woman's place has to be in the home; he supports your life mission, where ever that takes you Who is a gentleman Who is honest and lives with integrity Who never discusses your private business with anyone Who will protect his family Who forgives, forgets, repairs and restores When you find a man that possesses these traits then all the little things you don’t have in common don’t matter. This is the type of man worth being grateful for.
Shannon L. Alder
Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that's not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today. But...we seem to like it. Alarming statistics back this observation up, showing that many Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their offices than they do in their own homes. Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure). Americans don't really know how to do NOTHING. This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype-the overstressed executive who goes on vacation but who cannot relax.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
Research shows that while goal visualization is important, after a certain point our mind begins to confuse it with actual progress. The same goes for verbalization. Even
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
Man of an hard heart! Hear me, Proud, Stern, and Cruel! You could have saved me; you could have restored me to happiness and virtue, but would not! You are the destroyer of my Soul; You are my Murderer, and on you fall the curse of my death and my unborn Infant’s! Insolent in your yet-unshaken virtue, you disdained the prayers of a Penitent; But God will show mercy, though you show none. And where is the merit of your boasted virtue? What temptations have you vanquished? Coward! you have fled from it, not opposed seduction. But the day of Trial will arrive! Oh! then when you yield to impetuous passions! when you feel that Man is weak, and born to err; When shuddering you look back upon your crimes, and solicit with terror the mercy of your God, Oh! in that fearful moment think upon me! Think upon your Cruelty! Think upon Agnes, and despair of pardon!
Matthew Gregory Lewis (The Monk)
There are blondes and blondes and it is almost a joke word nowadays. All blondes have their points, except perhaps the metallic ones who are as blond as a Zulu under the bleach and as to disposition as soft as a sidewalk. There is the small cute blonde who cheeps and twitters, and the big statuesque blonde who straight-arms you with an ice-blue glare. There is the blonde who gives you the up-from-under look and smells lovely and shimmers and hangs on your arm and is always very tired when you take her home. She makes that helpless gesture and has that goddamned headache and you would like to slug her except that you are glad you found out about the headache before you invested too much time and money and hope in her. Because the headache will always be there, a weapon that never wears out and is as deadly as the bravo’s rapier or Lucrezia’s poison vial. There is the soft and willing and alcoholic blonde who doesn’t care what she wears as long as it is mink or where she goes as long as it is the Starlight Roof and there is plenty of dry champagne. There is the small perky blonde who is a little pal and wants to pay her own way and is full of sunshine and common sense and knows judo from the ground up and can toss a truck driver over her shoulder without missing more than one sentence out of the editorial in the Saturday Review. There is the pale, pale blonde with anemia of some non-fatal but incurable type. She is very languid and very shadowy and she speaks softly out of nowhere and you can’t lay a finger on her because in the first place you don’t want to and in the second place she is reading The Waste Land or Dante in the original, or Kafka or Kierkegaard or studying Provençal. She adores music and when the New York Philharmonic is playing Hindemith she can tell you which one of the six bass viols came in a quarter of a beat too late. I hear Toscanini can also. That makes two of them. And lastly there is the gorgeous show piece who will outlast three kingpin racketeers and then marry a couple of millionaires at a million a head and end up with a pale rose villa at Cap Antibes, an Alfa-Romeo town car complete with pilot and co-pilot, and a stable of shopworn aristocrats, all of whom she will treat with the affectionate absent-mindedness of an elderly duke saying goodnight to his butler.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye)
Fundamentalist Christianity: fascinating. These people actually believe that the world is twelve thousand years old. Swear to God. Based on what? I asked them. "Well, we looked at all the people in the Bible and we added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages? Twelve thousand years." "Well, how fucking scientific, OK. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble there. That's good. You believe the world's twelve thousand years old?" "That's right." "OK, I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?" "Uh huh." "Dinosaurs." You know, the world's twelve thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and existed in that time, you'd think it would been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point: And O, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in its paw. And the disciples did run a-screamin'. "What a big fucking lizard, Lord!" "I'm sure gonna mention this in my book," Luke said. "Well, I'm sure gonna mention it in my book," Matthew said. But Jesus was unafraid. And he took the splinter from the brontosaurus paw, and the brontosaurus became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch, O so many years, attracting fat American families with their fat fuckin' dollars to look for the Loch Ness Monster. And O the Scots did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" Twelve thousand years old. But I actually asked this guy, "OK, dinosaur fossils-- how does that fit into your scheme of life? What's the deal?" He goes: "God put those here to test our faith." "I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. I think I've figured this out." Does that-- That's what this guy said. Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fucking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: "Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!" You know? You die, you go to St. Peter: "Did you believe in dinosaurs?" "Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!" "You fuckin' idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fuckin' with you!" "It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!" "Enjoy the lake of fire, fucker!" They believe this. But you ever notice how people who believe in Creationism usually look pretty unevolved. Eyes really close together, big furry hands and feet? "I believe God created me in one day." Yeah, looks like he rushed it. Such a weird belief. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he's gonna want to see a fucking cross, man? "Ow." Might be why he hasn't shown up yet. "Man, they're still wearing crosses. Fuck it, I'm not goin' back, Dad. No, they totally missed the point. When they start wearing fishes, I might show up again, but... let me bury fossils with you, Dad. Fuck 'em, let's fuck with 'em! Hand me that brontosaurus head, Dad.
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
Now, some people will bemoan this fact, wag their fingers in your direction, and tell you sternly that you should live every minute of your life as though it were your last, which only goes to show that some people would spend their final ten minutes giving other people dumb advice. The
Daniel Todd Gilbert (Stumbling on Happiness)
Time is valuable in life. You can show someone how much you appreciate them by giving your time. A good amount of time goes by each day. Spending time with the ones you love shows them how much you care.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Release The Ink)
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I'm offering is the truth – nothing more.
Morpheus
Love knows the way, love shows the way, love goes the way, love is the way.
Matshona Dhliwayo
A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he. I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven. Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord, A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropt, Bearing the owner's name someway in the corners, that we may see and remark, and say Whose? Or I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation. Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic, And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow zones, Growing among black folks as among white, Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the same, I receive them the same. And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves. Tenderly will I use you curling grass, It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men, It may be if I had known them I would have loved them, It may be you are from old people, or from offspring taken soon out of their mothers' laps, And here you are the mothers' laps. This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old mothers, Darker than the colorless beards of old men, Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths. O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues, And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths for nothing. ... What do you think has become of the young and old men? And what do you think has become of the women and children? They are alive and well somewhere, The smallest sprout shows there is really no death, And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it, And ceas'd the moment life appear'd. All goes onward and outward, nothing collapses, And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
it’s like the laws of physics—for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. If you go into darkness, the darkness goes into you. You then have to decide what to do with it. How to keep yourself safe from it. How to keep it from hollowing you out.
Michael Connelly (The Late Show (Renée Ballard, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #29))
The tide goes out imperceptibly. The boulders show and seem to rise up and the ocean recedes leaving little pools, leaving wet weed and moss and sponge, iridescence and brown and blue and China red. On the bottoms lie the incredible refuse of the sea, shells broken and chipped and bits of skeleton, claws, the whole sea bottom a fantastic cemetery on which the living scamper and scramble.
John Steinbeck (Cannery Row (Cannery Row #1))
Though she has always the words to kill and the strength to hit back. She chooses to let karma does its thing. And sooner or later karma will show those who did her wrong and drew obstacles among her path how damn hell looks like…
Samiha Totanji
You are well aware that it is not numbers or strength that bring the victories in war. No, it is when one side goes against the enemy with the gods' gift of a stronger morale that their adversaries, as a rule, cannot withstand them. I have noticed this point too, my friends, that in soldiering the people whose one aim is to keep alive usually find a wretched and dishonorable death, while the people who, realizing that death is the common lot of all men, make it their endeavour to die with honour, somehow seem more often to reach old age and to have a happier life when they are alive. These are facts which you too should realize (our situation demands it) and should show that you yourselves are brave men and should call on the rest to do likewise.
Xenophon (The Persian Expedition)
There will never be another Dark-Hunter who goes free. Your happiness comes at the expense of their freedom because there’s no one else I want to barter with. No one else to pay the fee you set up centuries ago. Knowing that, I hope you sleep well at night. (Artemis) (Artemis leaves.) But what about the Dark-Hunters? (Acheron) The one thing I’ve learned most out of all this is that it’s not over until all the cards are played. She laid down her ace, thinking we can’t beat it. But there are fifty-one other cards in the deck and the game isn’t over yet. We’ll figure something out. Her little fit fight now just shows that she’s played her best hand. That was all she’s capable of doing to hurt you, which is exactly why she did it. Don’t let her ruin your day, baby, and don’t let her take from us what we have. We’ve gotten this far together. What’s another bitter goddess to us? Like my papou always says, over, under, around, or through. There’s always a way and we’ll find it. (Tory)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
...a novel, like a myth or any great work of art, can become an initiation that helps us to make a painful rite of passage from one phase of life, one state of mind, to another. A novel, like a myth, teaches us to see the world differently; it shows us how to look into our own hearts and to see our world from a perspective that goes beyond our own self-interest.
Karen Armstrong (A Short History of Myth / The Penelopiad / Weight / Dream Angus (I - IV))
The purpose of a thought-experiment, as the term was used by Schrödinger and other physicists, is not to predict the future - indeed Schrödinger most famous thought experiment goes to show that the "future," on the quantum level, cannot be predicted - but to describe reality, the present world. Science fiction is not predictive; it is descriptive. Predictions are uttered by prophets (free of charge), by clairvoyants (who usually charge a fee, and are therefore mor honored in their day than prophets), and by futurologists (salaried). Prediction is the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurologists. It is not the business of novelists. A novelist's business is lying. Science fiction is not predictive; it is descriptive. Predictions are uttered by prophets (free of charge), by clairvoyants (who usually charge a fee, and are therefore mor honored in their day than prophets), and by futurologists (salaried). Prediction is the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurologists. It is not the business of novelists. A novelist's business is lying.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
For me, it goes without saying that much of the dogma of many religions is harmful. Thinking other people will burn forever because they love the wrong person or worship the wrong god has done a whole lot of bad. What I wanted was the part where people were asked to get together once a week to talk about how to be a good person and, like, hang out with their neighbors. It's pretty amazing that apparently the only way to get people to do that is to invent an all-seeing, kindhearted sky dad who will be super disappointed/burn you for eternity if you don't show up.
Hank Green (A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor (The Carls, #2))
And now the birds were singing overhead, and there was a soft rustling in the undergrowth, and all the sounds of the forest that showed that life was still being lived blended with the souls of the dead in a woodland requiem. The whole forest now sang for Granny Weatherwax.
Terry Pratchett
I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
I was also sick of my neighbors, as most Parisians are. I now knew every second of the morning routine of the family upstairs. At 7:00 am alarm goes off, boom, Madame gets out of bed, puts on her deep-sea divers’ boots, and stomps across my ceiling to megaphone the kids awake. The kids drop bags of cannonballs onto the floor, then, apparently dragging several sledgehammers each, stampede into the kitchen. They grab their chunks of baguette and go and sit in front of the TV, which is always showing a cartoon about people who do nothing but scream at each other and explode. Every minute, one of the kids cartwheels (while bouncing cannonballs) back into the kitchen for seconds, then returns (bringing with it a family of excitable kangaroos) to the TV. Meanwhile the toilet is flushed, on average, fifty times per drop of urine expelled. Finally, there is a ten-minute period of intensive yelling, and at 8:15 on the dot they all howl and crash their way out of the apartment to school.” (p.137)
Stephen Clarke (A Year in the Merde)
As she grew older, Maddy discovered that she had disappointed almost everyone. An awkward girl with a sullen mouth, a curtain of hair, and a tendency to slouch, she had neither Mae's sweet nature nor sweet face. Her eyes were rather beautiful, but few people ever noticed this, and it was widely believed Maddy was ugly, a troublemaker, too clever for her own good, too stubborn - or too slack - to change. Of course, folk agreed that it was not her fault she was so brown or her sister so pretty, but a smile costs nothing, as the saying goes, and if only the girl had made an effort once in a while, or even showed a little gratitude for all the help and free advice, then maybe she would have settled down.
Joanne Harris (Runemarks (Runemarks, #1))
John lifted his head and looked down at her. His eyes were worried and he was careful as he brushed at her hair. She smiled. "Nah, I'm fine. I'm more than fine." A sly grin bloomed as he mouthed, ain't that the truth. "Hold up there, big man. You think you can make me blush like I'm some girl ? Pulling that sweet talk?" As he nodded, she rolled her eyes. "I'll have you know I'm not the kind of female who goes all dizzy, popping a stiletto off the floor just because some guy kisses her deep." John was all male as he cocked a brow. And damn it if she didn't feel a tingle in her cheeks. " Listen, John Matthew." She took his chin in her hand. "You're not turning me into one of these females who goes gaga over her lover. Not happening. I'm not hard-wired for that." Her voice was stern and she meant every word, except the instant he rolled his hips and that huge arousal pushed into her, she purred. She purred. The sound was utterly foreign and she'd have sucked it back down her throat if she could have. Instead, she just left out another of those decidedly non-tough-guy moans. John bowed his head to her breast and started suckling on her as he somehow manage to keep thrusting in slow, even penetrations. Swept away, her hands found his hair again, spearing through the thick softness. " Oh, John..." And then he stopped dead, lifted his lips from her nipple, and smiled so wide it was a wonder he didn't bust off his front teeth. His expression was one of total and complete gotcha. " You are a bastard, " she said on a laugh. He nodded. And pressed into her with his full lenght again. It was perfect that he was giving her shit and showing her a little of who was boss. Just perfect. Somehow it made her respect him even more, but then, she'd always loved strength in all its forms. Even the teasing kind. "I'm not surrendering , you know." He pursed his lips and shook his head, all oh, no, of course not. And then he started to pull out of her. As she growled low in her throat, she sank her nails into his ass. "Where do you think you're going ?
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
when she was 7, a boy pushed her on the playground she fell headfirst into the dirt and came up with a mouthful of gravel and lines of blood chasing each other down her legs when she told her teacher what happened, she laughed and said ‘boys will be boys honey don’t let it bother you he probably just thinks you’re cute’ but the thing is, when you tell a little girl who has rocks in her teeth and scabs on her knees that hurt and attention are the same you teach her that boys show their affection through aggression and she grows into a young woman who constantly mistakes the two because no one ever taught her the difference ‘boys will be boys’ turns into ‘that’s how he shows his love’ and bruises start to feel like the imprint of lips she goes to school with a busted mouth in high school and says she was hit with a basketball instead of his fist the one adult she tells scolds her ‘you know he loses his temper easily why the hell did you have to provoke him?’ so she shrinks folds into herself, flinches every time a man raises his voice by the time she’s 16 she’s learned her job well be quiet, be soft, be easy don’t give him a reason but for all her efforts, he still finds one ‘boys will be boys’ rings in her head ‘boys will be boys he doesn’t mean it he can’t help it’ she’s 7 years old on the playground again with a mouth full of rocks and blood that tastes like copper love because boys will be boys baby don’t you know that’s just how he shows he cares she’s 18 now and they’re drunk in the split second it takes for her words to enter his ears they’re ruined like a glass heirloom being dropped between the hands of generations she meant them to open his arms but they curl his fists and suddenly his hands are on her and her head hits the wall and all of the goddamn words in the world couldn’t save them in this moment she touches the bruise the next day boys will be boys aggression, affection, violence, love how does she separate them when she learned so early that they’re inextricably bound, tangled in a constant tug-of-war she draws tally marks on her walls ratios of kisses to bruises one entire side of her bedroom turns purple, one entire side of her body boys will be boys will be boys will be boys when she’s 20, a boy touches her hips and she jumps he asks her who the hell taught her to be scared like that and she wants to laugh doesn’t he know that boys will be boys? it took her 13 years to unlearn that lesson from the playground so I guess what I’m trying to say is i will talk until my voice is hoarse so that my little sister understands that aggression and affection are two entirely separate things baby they exist in different universes my niece can’t even speak yet but I think I’ll start with her now don’t ever accept the excuse that boys will be boys don’t ever let him put his hands on you like that if you see hate blazing in his eyes don’t you ever confuse it with love baby love won’t hurt when it comes you won’t have to hide it under long sleeves during the summer and the only reason he should ever reach out his hand is to hold yours
Fortesa Latifi
Denial is a stage she goes through very quickly indeed, because her reason strikes down the demeaning, treacherous thought as quickly as it rises. There’s no point in denying the truth when the truth is self-evident. There’s no point in denying the truth even if you have to wade through thorn thickets and minefields to get to it. The truth is the truth, the only prize worth having. If you deny it, you’re only showing that you’re unworthy of it.
M.R. Carey (The Girl with All the Gifts)
I do not just want you at your best. I almost do not care where your Happiness lives, but please, let me visit your pain? Take me to the place where your sadness goes, and show me the tragedy that no one knows.
Meraaqi (Divine Trouble)
How many happy, satisfied people there are, after all, I said to myself. What an overwhelming force! Just consider this life--the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and bestiality of the weak, all around intolerable poverty, cramped dwellings, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying...and yet peace and order apparently prevail in all those homes and in the streets. Of the fifty thousand inhabitants of a town, not one will be found to cry out, to proclaim his indignation aloud. We see those who go to the market to buy food, who eat in the daytime and sleep at night, who prattle away, marry, grow old, carry their dead to the cemeteries. But we neither hear nor see those who suffer, and the terrible things in life are played out behind the scenes. All is calm and quiet, and statistics, which are dumb, protest: so many have gone mad, so many barrels of drink have been consumed, so many children died of malnutrition...and apparently this is as it should be. Apparently those who are happy can only enjoy themselves because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and but for this silence happiness would be impossible. It is a kind of universal hypnosis. There ought to be a man with a hammer behind the door of every happy man, to remind him by his constant knocks that there are unhappy people, and that happy as he himself may be, life will sooner or later show him its claws, catastrophe will overtake him--sickness, poverty, loss--and nobody will see it, just as he now neither sees nor hears the misfortunes of others. But there is no man with a hammer, the happy man goes on living and the petty vicissitudes of life touch him lightly, like the wind in an aspen-tree, and all is well.
Anton Chekhov
I'd wander for days in the fog, scared I'd never see another thing, then there'd be that door, opening to show me the mattress padding on the other side to stop out the sounds, the men standing in a line like zombies among shiny copper wires and tubes pulsing light, and the bright scrape of arcing electricity. I'd take my place in the line and wait my turn at the table. The table shaped like a cross, with shadows of a thousand murdered men printed on it, silhouette wrists and ankles running under leather straps sweated green with use, a silhouette neck and head running up to a silver band goes across the forehead. And a technician at the controls beside the table looking up from his dial and down the line and pointing at me with a rubber glove.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
The true spirit of conversation consists more in bringing out the cleverness of others than in showing a great deal of it yourself; he who goes away pleased with himself and his own wit is also greatly pleased with you. Most men would rather please than admire you; they seek less to be instructed, and even to be amused, than to be praised and applauded.
Jean de La Bruyère
How can you be so wrong about someone? It just goes to show that we let people into our lives without really knowing just how much chaos they are going to cause whilst they’re there. As children, our parents teach us that monsters aren’t real, but the older you get you start to realise that they are all around us and sometimes they are even closer than we think.                                                                             Chapter
Lacey London (Meet Clara Morgan (Clara Andrews, #3))
So far as it goes, a small thing may give analogy of great things, and show the tracks of knowledge.
Lucretius
I remember the first time I saw you,” Allie said. “I thought you smelled me first.” “Right,” said Allie. “The chocolate. But then I saw you as I sat up in the dead forest, thinking I knew you. At the time, I thought I must have seen you through the windshield when our cars crashed…. But that wasn’t it. I think, way back then, I was seeing you as you are now. Isn’t that funny?” “Not as funny as the way I always complained, and the way you always bossed me around!” They embraced and held each other for a long time. “Don’t forget me,” Nick said. “No matter where your life goes, no matter how old you get. And if you ever get the feeling that someone is looking over your shoulder, but there’s nobody there, maybe it’ll be me.” “I’ll write to you,” said Allie, and Nick laughed. “No really. I’ll write the letter then burn it, and if I care just enough it will cross into Everlost.” “And,” added Nick, “it will show up as a dead letter at that the post office Milos made cross into San Antonio!” Allie could have stood there saying good-bye forever, because it was more than Nick she was saying good-bye to. She was leaving behind four years of half-life in a world that was both stunningly beautiful, and hauntingly dark. And she was saying good-bye to Mikey. I’ll be waiting for you, he had said…. Well, if he was, maybe she wasn’t saying good-bye at all. Nick hefted the backpack on his shoulder. “Shouldn’t you be heading off to Memphis?” he said. “You’d better hit the road…. Jack.” Then he chuckled by his own joke, and walked off.
Neal Shusterman (Everfound (Skinjacker, #3))
Before I went to college I read two books. I read a book “Moral Mazes” by Robert Jackall which is a study of how corporations work, and it’s actually a fascinating book, this sociologist, he just picks a corporation at random and just goes and studies the middle managers, not the people who do any of the grunt work and not the big decision makers, just the people whose job is to make sure that things day to day get done, and he shows how even though they’re all perfectly reasonable people, perfectly nice people you’d be happy to meet any of them, all the things that they were accomplishing were just incredibly evil. So you have these people in this average corporation, they were making decisions to blow out their worker’s eardrums in the factory, to poison the lakes and the lagoons nearby, to make these products that are filled with toxic chemicals that poisoned their customers, not because any of them were bad people and wanted to kill their workers and their neighbourhood and their customers, but just because that was the logic of the situation they were in. Another book I read was a book “Understanding Power” by Noam Chomsky which kind of took the same sort of analysis but applied it to wider society which you know we’re in a situation where it may be filled with perfectly good people but they’re in these structures that cause them to continually do evil, to invade countries, to bomb people, to take money from poor people and give it to rich people, to do all these things that are wrong. These books really opened my eyes about just how bad the society we were living in really is.
Aaron Swartz
Without ever exactly putting his mind to it, he's come to believe that loss is the standard trajectory. Something new appears in the world-a baby, say, or a car or a house, or an individual shows some special talent-with luck and huge expenditures of soul and effort you might keep the project stoked for a while, but eventually, ultimately, its going down. This is a truth so brutally self-evident that he can't fathom why it's not more widely percieved, hence his contempt for the usual public shock and outrage when a particular situation goes to hell. The war is fucked? Well, duh. Nine-eleven? Slow train coming. They hate our freedoms? Yo, they hate our actual guts! Billy suspects his fellow Americans secretly know better, but something in the land is stuck on teenage drama, on extravagant theatrics of ravaged innocence and soothing mud wallows of self-justifying pity.
Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
It didn't take long. In that despondent changeless heat the entire human content of the ship congealed into a massive drunkenness. People moved flabbily about like squid in a tank of tepid smelly water. From that moment on we saw, rising to the surface, the terrifying nature of white men, exasperated, freed from constraint, absolutely unbuttoned, their true nature, same as in the war. That tropical steam bath called forth the instincts as August breeds toads and snakes on the fissured walls of prisons. In the European cold, under gray, puritanical northern skies, we seldom get to see our brothers' festering cruelty except in times of carnage, but when roused by the foul fevers of the tropics, their rottenness rises to the surface. That's when the frantic unbuttoning sets in, when filth triumphs and covers us entirely. It's a biological confession. Once work and cold weather cease to constrain us, once they relax their grip, the white man shows you the same spectacle as a beautiful beach when the tide goes out: the truth, fetid pools, crabs, carrion, and turds.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
The primary math of the real world is one and one equals two. The layman (as, often, do I) swings that every day. He goes to the job, does his work, pays his bills and comes home. One plus one equals two. It keeps the world spinning. But artists, musicians, con men, poets, mystics and such are paid to turn that math on its head, to rub two sticks together and bring forth fire. Everybody performs this alchemy somewhere in their life, but it’s hard to hold on to and easy to forget. People don’t come to rock shows to learn something. They come to be reminded of something they already know and feel deep down in their gut. That's when the world is at its best, when we are at our best, when life feels fullest, one and one equals three. It’s the essential equation of love, art, rock ’n’ roll and rock ’n’ roll bands. It’s the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible, love will continue to be ecstatic, confounding, and true rock ’n’ roll will never die.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
I want to feel calm and at ease. Like someone who lives in Half Moon Bay, California, and makes hummus from scratch. Instead, I feel like I'm a contestant on some awful supermarket game show where I've got sixty seconds to hurl my shopping cart down the aisles, piling it with as much as possible before the buzzer goes off.
Augusten Burroughs (Dry)
Some scholars of literature claim that a book is really that virtual place your mind goes to when you are reading. It is a conceptual state of imagination that one might call “literature space.” According to these scholars, when you are engaged in this reading space, your brain works differently than when you are screening. Neurological studies show that learning to read changes the brain’s circuitry. Instead of skipping around distractedly gathering bits, when you read you are transported, focused, immersed.
Kevin Kelly (The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future)
My father had died when I was young, before I learned that there was anything stronger than he was. I'd been operating without that kind of support for my whole life. Molly was only now realizing that, in some ways, she was on her own. I wondered if my daughter even knew that she had a father, if she knew that there was someone who wanted, desperately, to Show Up. "You get yourself an apartment and your plumbing goes bad, he'll still be there," I said quietly. "Some guy breaks your heart, he'll come over with ice cream. A lot of people never have a dad willing to do that stuff. Most of the time, it matters a hell of a lot more.
Jim Butcher
Gilan,” she said, “you’re looking well.” And apart from those wrinkles, he was. He smiled at her. “And you grow more beautiful every day, Pauline,” he replied. “What about me?” Halt said, with mock severity. “Do I grow more handsome every day? More impressive, perhaps?” Gilan eyed him critically, his head to one side. Then he announced his verdict. “Scruffier,” he said. Halt raised his eyebrows. “’Scruffier’?” he demanded. Gilan nodded. I’m not sure if you’re aware of recent advances in technology, Halt,” he said. “But there a wonderful new invention called scissors. People use them for trimming beards and hair.” “Why?” Gilan appealed to Pauline. “Still using his saxe knife to do his barbering, is he?” Pauline nodded, slipping her hand inside her husband’s arm. “Unless I can catch him at it,” she admitted. Halt regarded them both with a withering look. They both refused to wither, so he abandoned the expression. “You show a fine lack of respect for your former mentor,” he told Gilan. The younger man shrugged. “It goes with my exalted position as your commander.” “Not mine,” Halt said. “I’ve retired.” “So I can expect little in the way of deference from you?” Gilan grinned. “No. I’ll show proper deference….the day you train your horse to fly back around the castle’s turrets.
John Flanagan (The Royal Ranger (Ranger's Apprentice #12 Ranger's Apprentice: The Royal Ranger #1))
The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30. This is something Lorne [Michaels] has said often about Saturday Night Live, but I think it’s a great lesson about not being too precious about your writing. You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke you can until the last possible second, and then you have to let it go. You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute. (And I’m from a generation where a lot of people died on waterslides, so this was an important lesson for me to learn.) You have to let people see what you wrote. It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring on live TV. What I learned about ‘bombing’ as an improviser at Second City was that bombing is painful, but it doesn’t kill you. No matter how badly an improv set goes, you will still be physically alive when it’s over. What I learned about bombing as a writer at Saturday Night is that you can’t be too worried about your ‘permanent record.’ Yes, you’re going to write some sketches that you love and are proud of forever—your golden nuggets. But you’re also going to write some real shit nuggets. And unfortunately, sometimes the shit nuggets will make it onto the air. You can’t worry about it. As long as you know the difference, you can go back to panning for gold on Monday.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
GONE TO STATIC it sounds better than it is, this business of surviving, making it through the wrong place at the wrong time and living to tell. when the talk shows and movie credits wear off, it's just me and my dumb luck. this morning I had that dream again: the one where I'm dead. I wake up and nothing's much different. everything's gone sepia, a dirty bourbon glass by the bed, you're still dead. I could stumble to the shower, scrub the luck of breath off my skin but it's futile. the killer always wins. it's just a matter of time. and I have time. I have grief and liquor to fill it. tonight, the liquor and I are talking to you. the liquor says, 'remember' and I fill in the rest, your hands, your smile. all those times. remember. tonight the liquor and I are telling you about our day. we made it out of bed. we miss you. we were surprised by the blood between our legs. we miss you. we made it to the video store, missing you. we stopped at the liquor store hoping the bourbon would stop the missing. there's always more bourbon, more missing tonight, when we got home, there was a stray cat at the door. she came in. she screams to be touched. she screams when I touch her. she's right at home. not me. the whisky is open the vcr is on. I'm running the film backwards and one by one you come back to me, all of you. your pulses stutter to a begin your eyes go from fixed to blink the knives come out of your chests, the chainsaws roar out from your legs your wounds seal over your t-cells multiply, your tumors shrink the maniac killer disappears it's just you and me and the bourbon and the movie flickering together and the air breathes us and I am home, I am lucky I am right before everything goes black
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
I must say a word about fear. It's is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. it begins in your mind, always.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
The way we were first loved and the ways we have been loved ever since form our definition of what love means to us. Some people really feel loved when someone gives them a gift. Others experience it when people stand up for them. Still others feel loved when someone goes the extra mile to help them. If our mother showed love by holding us in our pain or joy, without engulfing or controlling us, that will be the behavior that always feels like love to us. We feel love now as we first received it; we give love the way others gave it to us. Thus, since love is unique to each person, we read and write love, receive and give it, in the style designed by our past experience. Yet, like good handwriting, our unique signature can be read by others.
David Richo (How to Be an Adult in Love: Letting Love in Safely and Showing It Recklessly)
Been thinking of my grandfather, whose wayward brilliance skipped my father’s generation. Once, he showed me an aquatint of a certain Siamese temple. Don’t recall its name, but ever since a disciple of the Buddha preached on the spot centuries ago, every bandit king, tyrant, and monarch of that kingdom has enhanced it with marble towers, scented arboretums, gold-leafed domes, lavished murals on its vaulted ceilings, set emeralds into the eyes of its statuettes. When the temple finally equals its counterpart in the Pure Land, so the story goes, that day humanity shall have fulfilled its purpose, and Time itself shall come to an end. To men like Ayrs, it occurs to me, this temple is civilization. The masses, slaves, peasants, and foot soldiers exist in the cracks of its flagstones, ignorant even of their ignorance. Not so the great statesmen, scientists, artists, and most of all, the composers of the age, any age, who are civilization’s architects, masons, and priests. Ayrs sees our role is to make civilization ever more resplendent. My employer’s profoundest, or only, wish is to create a minaret that inheritors of Progress a thousand years from now will point to and say, “Look, there is Vyvyan Ayrs!” How vulgar, this hankering after immortality, how vain, how false. Composers are merely scribblers of cave paintings. One writes music because winter is eternal and because, if one didn’t, the wolves and blizzards would be at one’s throat all the sooner.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
Music matters,” he told me once. “Pop fiction goes away, TV shows go away, and I defy you to tell me what you saw at the movies two years ago. But music lasts, even pop music. Especially pop music. Sneer at ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’ if you want to, but people will still be listening to that silly piece of shit fifty
Stephen King (Revival)
... In a ROWE* people don't have schedules. They show up when they want. They don't have to be in the office at certain time, or anytime. They just have to get their work done. How they do it ? When they do it ? Where they do it ? It's totally up to them. Meetings & this kind of environments are Optional. What happens ... ? Almost across the board ! - Productivity goes up - Worker Engagement goes up - Worker Satisfaction goes up - Turnovers goes down - Autonomy .. Mastery .. Purpose - these are the building blocks of new way of doing things." ______________________________________________________________ *ROWE: results-only work environment
Daniel H. Pink
Time’s Flying,” said Dad. He Smiled. He pointed to the air. “There it is, flying past! Catch it!” And he jumped, and caught Time in his hands, and showed it to Lizzie. She took it from him, and threw it up again. “There it goes,” she called. “Bye-bye. Bye-bye, Time!
David Almond (My Dad's a Birdman)
Dear friend…' The Witcher swore quietly, looking at the sharp, angular, even runes drawn with energetic sweeps of the pen, faultlessly reflecting the author’s mood. He felt once again the desire to try to bite his own backside in fury. When he was writing to the sorceress a month ago he had spent two nights in a row contemplating how best to begin. Finally, he had decided on “Dear friend.” Now he had his just deserts. 'Dear friend, your unexpected letter – which I received not quite three years after we last saw each other – has given me much joy. My joy is all the greater as various rumours have been circulating about your sudden and violent death. It is a good thing that you have decided to disclaim them by writing to me; it is a good thing, too, that you are doing so so soon. From your letter it appears that you have lived a peaceful, wonderfully boring life, devoid of all sensation. These days such a life is a real privilege, dear friend, and I am happy that you have managed to achieve it. I was touched by the sudden concern which you deigned to show as to my health, dear friend. I hasten with the news that, yes, I now feel well; the period of indisposition is behind me, I have dealt with the difficulties, the description of which I shall not bore you with. It worries and troubles me very much that the unexpected present you received from Fate brings you worries. Your supposition that this requires professional help is absolutely correct. Although your description of the difficulty – quite understandably – is enigmatic, I am sure I know the Source of the problem. And I agree with your opinion that the help of yet another magician is absolutely necessary. I feel honoured to be the second to whom you turn. What have I done to deserve to be so high on your list? Rest assured, my dear friend; and if you had the intention of supplicating the help of additional magicians, abandon it because there is no need. I leave without delay, and go to the place which you indicated in an oblique yet, to me, understandable way. It goes without saying that I leave in absolute secrecy and with great caution. I will surmise the nature of the trouble on the spot and will do all that is in my power to calm the gushing source. I shall try, in so doing, not to appear any worse than other ladies to whom you have turned, are turning or usually turn with your supplications. I am, after all, your dear friend. Your valuable friendship is too important to me to disappoint you, dear friend. Should you, in the next few years, wish to write to me, do not hesitate for a moment. Your letters invariably give me boundless pleasure. Your friend Yennefer' The letter smelled of lilac and gooseberries. Geralt cursed.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Krew elfów (Saga o Wiedźminie, #1))
We got passes, till midnight after the parade. I met Muriel at the Biltmore at seven. Two drinks, two drugstore tuna-fish sandwiches, then a movie she wanted to see, something with Greer Garson in it. I looked at her several times in the dark when Greer Garson’s son’s plane was missing in action. Her mouth was opened. Absorbed, worried. The identification with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer tragedy complete. I felt awe and happiness. How I love and need her undiscriminating heart. She looked over at me when the children in the picture brought in the kitten to show to their mother. M. loved the kitten and wanted me to love it. Even in the dark, I could sense that she felt the usual estrangement from me when I don’t automatically love what she loves. Later, when we were having a drink at the station, she asked me if I didn’t think that kitten was ‘rather nice.’ She doesn’t use the word ‘cute’ any more. When did I ever frighten her out of her normal vocabulary? Bore that I am, I mentioned R. H. Blyth’s definition of sentimentality: that we are being sentimental when we give to a thing more tenderness than God gives to it. I said (sententiously?) that God undoubtedly loves kittens, but not, in all probability, with Technicolor bootees on their paws. He leaves that creative touch to script writers. M. thought this over, seemed to agree with me, but the ‘knowledge’ wasn’t too very welcome. She sat stirring her drink and feeling unclose to me. She worries over the way her love for me comes and goes, appears and disappears. She doubts its reality simply because it isn’t as steadily pleasurable as a kitten. God knows it is sad. The human voice conspires to desecrate everything on earth.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
I Won’t Fly Today Too much to do, despite the snow, which made all local schools close their doors. What a winter! Usually, I love watching the white stuff fall. But after a month with only short respites, I keep hoping for a critical blue sky. Instead, amazing waves of silvery clouds sweep over the crest of the Sierra, open their obese bellies, and release foot upon foot of crisp new powder. The ski resorts would be happy, except the roads are so hard to travel that people are staying home. So it kind of boggles the mind that three guys are laying carpet in the living room. Just goes to show the power of money. In less than an hour, the stain Conner left on the hardwood will be a ghost.
Ellen Hopkins (Perfect (Impulse, #2))
You see, even then, I knew. It wasn't a trick. It wasn't a show. Sometimes day and night reverse. Sometimes up goes down and down goes up, and love turns into hate, and the things you counted on get washed out from under your feet, leaving you pedaling in the air. Sometimes people stop loving you. And that's the kind of darkness that never gets fixed, no matter how many moons rise again, filling the sky with a weak approximation of light.
Lauren Oliver (Vanishing Girls)
Around the corner I have a friend, In this great city that has no end, Yet the days go by and weeks rush on, And before I know it, a year is gone. And I never see my old friends face, For life is a swift and terrible race, He knows I like him just as well, As in the days when I rang his bell. And he rang mine but we were younger then, And now we are busy, tired men. Tired of playing a foolish game, Tired of trying to make a name. "Tomorrow" I say! "I will call on Jim Just to show that I'm thinking of him", But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes, And distance between us grows and grows. Around the corner, yet miles away, "Here's a telegram sir," "Jim died today." And that's what we get and deserve in the end. Around the corner, a vanished friend.
Charles Hanson Towne
In actual fact, conventions are the death of real tradition as they are of all real life. They are parasites which attach themselves to the living organism of tradition and devour all its reality, turning it into a hollow formality. Tradition is living and active, but convention is passive and dead. Tradition does not form us automatically: we have to work to understand it. Convention is accepted passively, as a matter of routine. Therefore, convention easily becomes an evasion of reality. It offers us only pretended ways of solving the problems of living - a system of gestures and formalities. Tradition really teaches us to live and shows us how to take full responsibility for our own lives. Thus tradition is often flatly opposed to what is ordinary, to what is mere routine. But convention, which is a mere repetition of familiar routines, follows the line of least resistance. One goes through an act, without trying to understand the meaning of it all, merely because everyone else does the same. Tradition, which is always old, is at the same time ever new because it is always reviving - born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in a new and particular way. Convention is simply the ossification of social customs. The activities of conventional people are merely excuses for NOT acting in a more integrally human way. Tradition nourishes the life of the spirit; convention merely disguises its interior decay.
Thomas Merton (No Man Is an Island)
In every possibility of a mind May you travel, yet not blind. As a head filled with imagination, Goes a heart full of gold creation, It's never late to have a dream. Nor is it so far away as it seems, And, like a rearview mirror reveals, Thus a fantasy soon becomes real. It may be closer than it appears. Or at least it will show up clear. Never give up a dream for fear!
Ana Claudia Antunes (ACross Tic)
Girls like her, my grandfather once warned me, girls like her turn into women with eyes like bullet holes and mouths made of knives. They are always restless. They are always hungry. They are bad news. They will drink you down like a shot of whisky. Falling in love with them is like falling down a flight of stairs. What no one told me, with all those warnings, is that even after you’ve fallen, even after you know how painful it is, you’d still get in line to do it again. A girl like that, Grandad said, perfumes herself with ozone and metal filings. She wears trouble like a crown. If she ever falls in love, she’ll fall like a comet, burning the sky as she goes. She was the epic crush of my childhood. She was the tragedy that made me look inside myself and see my corrupt heart. She was my sin and my salvation, come back from the grave to change me forever. Again. Back then, when she sat on my bed and told me she loved me, I wanted her as much as I have ever wanted anything. There are no words for how much I will miss her, but I try to kiss her so that she’ll know. I try to kiss her to tell her the whole story of my love, the way I dreamed of her when she was dead, the way that every other girl seemed like a mirror that showed me her face. The way my skin ached for her. The way that kissing her made me feel like I was drowning and like I was being saved all at the same time. I hope she can taste all that, bittersweet, on my tongue.
Holly Black (Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3))
Why do magazines do this to women?” Miranda complains now, glaring at Vogue. “It’s all about creating insecurity. Trying to make women feel like they’re not good enough. And when women don’t feel like they’re good enough, guess what?” “What?” I ask, picking up the grocery bag. “Men win. That’s how they keep us down,” she concludes. “Except the problem with women’s magazines is that they’re written by women,” I point out. “That only shows you how deep this thing goes. Men have made women coconspirators in their own oppression. I mean, if you spend all your time worrying about leg hair, how can you possibly have time to take over the world?
Candace Bushnell (Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries, #2))
I don’t have any regrets,” a famous movie actor said in an interview I recently witnessed. “I’d live everything over exactly the same way.” “That’s really pathetic,” the talk show host said. “Are you seeking help?” “Yeah. My shrink says we’re making progress. Before, I wouldn’t even admit that I would live it all over,” the actor said, starting to choke up. “I thought one life was satisfying enough.” “My God,” the host said, cupping his hand to his mouth. “The first breakthrough was when I said I would live it over, but only in my dreams. Nocturnal recurrence.” “You’re like the character in that one movie of yours. What’s it called? You know, the one where you eat yourself.” “The Silence of Sam.” “That’s it. Can you do the scene?” The actor lifts up his foot to stick it in his mouth. I reach over from my seat and help him to fit it into his bulging cheeks. The audience goes wild.
Benson Bruno (A Story That Talks about Talking Is Like Chatter to Chattering Teeth, and Every Set of Dentures Can Attest to the Fact That No..)
The Big Nurse is able to set the wall clock at whatever speed she wants by just turning one of those dials in the steel door; she takes a notion to hurry things up, she turns the speed up, and those hands whip around that disk like spokes in a wheel. The scene in the picture-screen windows goes through rapid changes of light to show morning, noon, and night - throb off and on furiously with day and dark, and everybody is driven like mad to keep up with that passing of fake time; awful scramble of shaves and breakfasts and appointments and lunches and medications and ten minutes of night so you barely get your eyes closed before the dorm light's screaming at you to get up and start the scramble again, go like a sonofabitch this way, going through the full schedule of a day maybe twenty times an hour, till the Big Nurse sees everybody is right up to the breaking point, and she slacks off on the throttle, eases off the pace on that clock-dial, like some kid been fooling with the moving-picture projection machine and finally got tired watching the film run at ten times its natural speed, got bored with all that silly scampering and insect squeak of talk and turned it back to normal.
Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
The attitude which the man in the street unconsciously adopts towards science is capricious and varied. At one moment he scorns the scientist for a highbrow, at another anathematizes him for blasphemously undermining his religion; but at the mention of a name like Edison he falls into a coma of veneration. When he stops to think, he does recognize, however, that the whole atmosphere of the world in which he lives is tinged by science, as is shown most immediately and strikingly by our modern conveniences and material resources. A little deeper thinking shows him that the influence of science goes much farther and colors the entire mental outlook of modern civilised man on the world about him.
Percy Williams Bridgman (Reflections of a Physicist)
I'm pretty strong," he says. "I could cart you around on my back all day long. Hey, I could even teach you to swim." 'Tisn't true," she replies haughtily. "How could you do that?" I know how--with floats, to keep your feet up." She shakes her head. He puffs out his cheeks and whistles soundlessly. "I go fishing with my father on Sundays. I can bring you back a hake big as this!" He spreads his arms to show a fish about the size of a whale. "You like hake?" She shakes her head. Bass?" Same response. Crab claws? We got a lot of them, in the nets." She turns her chair around and pushes the wheels along--now she's the one who goes away. Snobby Parisienne!" he yells after her. "And to think I almost fell for you! I smell too fishy is that it?
Sébastien Japrisot
Speransky, either because he appreciated Prince Andrey's abilities or because he thought it as well to secure his adherence, showed off his calm, impartial sagacity before Prince Andrey, and flattered him with that delicate flattery that goes hand in hand with conceit, and consists in a tacit assumption that one's companion and oneself are the only people capable of understanding all the folly of the rest of the world and the sagacity and profundity of their own ideas.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Immortal existence.. Sometimes Living is not such an easy task.. Being here or there.. The spirit is the same.. Only changes the place where shows.. Here, the make-up is of meat.. There is infinite LIGHT.. In the flesh, or out of it , what does order is what thinks and what creates.. Each thought, a vibration.. Each action, a reaction.. That doesn't change with the death of the body.. Because actually nobody dies.. We are immortal divine existences.. Believing or not.. So many lives.. So many experiences.. So many faces.. So many dreams.. To each life new opportunities.. New learnings.. The soul Request.. Thirsty to experiment, feels, develop, evolve, grow and so it goes.. The spirit Obeys.. Enters and exit the perishable bodies.. Gets right and misses.. rehearses, Conquers and proceeds.. The spirit is a gift of the architect of the universe for the benefit of all.. It's light.. it's love.. it's eternal.. In the Astral or in the Earth.. There is to educate the thought and to clean the energies around yourself.. Gives some work to do that spiritual maintenance, but it is worthwhile. It is Light that cleans the Light! So never forget you are imperishable consciousness.. May a light circle involves and illuminate each soul.. Much light and love in each heart that pulses in the heart of the whole.. Namaste, Dave
Dave Zebian
put it up for sale at an asking price of $25 million. I first looked at Mar-a-Lago while vacationing in Palm Beach in 1982. Almost immediately I put in a bid of $15 million, and it was promptly rejected. Over the next few years, the foundation signed contracts with several other buyers at higher prices than I’d offered, only to have them fall through before closing. Each time that happened, I put in another bid, but always at a lower sum than before. Finally, in late 1985, I put in a cash offer of $5 million, plus another $3 million for the furnishings in the house. Apparently, the foundation was tired of broken deals. They accepted my offer, and we closed one month later. The day the deal was announced, the Palm Beach Daily News ran a huge front-page story with the headline MAR-A-LAGO’S BARGAIN PRICE ROCKS COMMUNITY. Soon, several far more modest estates on property a fraction of Mar-a-Lago’s size sold for prices in excess of $18 million. I’ve been told that the furnishings in Mar-a-Lago alone are worth more than I paid for the house. It just goes to show that it pays to move quickly and decisively when the time is right. Upkeep
Donald J. Trump (Trump: The Art of the Deal)
She tries to move toward him, but the path is covered with gravel, which slows her down. Then he turns his head and sees her. He puts down his brush and comes closer, and the closer he comes, the closer he comes, the happier she is she didn't put on mascara, she doesn't want to cry but she can't help it, she can hardly see him through the welling tears. She quickly wipes her eyes. She looks at him. He's standing two steps away. She could stretch out her hand, he'd come even closer, she could touch him. He's the same, thinner, the most beautiful man in the world, with the eyes Germain Pire described to her, a very pale blue, almost gray, quiet and gentle, with something struggling in their depths, a child, a soul of agony. His voice hasn't changed. The first thing she hears him say--it's terrible--he asks her, "You can't walk?" She shakes her head. He sighs, goes back to his painting. She pushes the wheels, moves toward the shed. He looks over at her again, he smiles. "You want to see what I'm doing?" She nods her head. "I'll show you in a little bit," he says. "But not right now, it's not finished." So while she waits, she sits up straight in her scooter, she crosses her hands in her lap, she looks at him. Yes, she looks at him, she looks at him, life is long and can still carry a great deal more on its back. She looks at him.
Sébastien Japrisot
An important dictum of cultural psychology is that each culture develops expertise in some aspects of human existence, but no culture can be expert in all aspects. The same goes for the two ends of the political spectrum. My research3 confirms the common perception that liberals are experts in thinking about issues of victimization, equality, autonomy, and the rights of individuals, particularly those of minorities and nonconformists. Conservatives, on the other hand, are experts in thinking about loyalty to the group, respect for authority and tradition, and sacredness.4 When one side overwhelms the other, the results are likely to be ugly. A society without liberals would be harsh and oppressive to many individuals. A society without conservatives would lose many of the social structures and constraints that Durkheim showed are so valuable. Anomie would increase along with freedom. A good place to look for wisdom, therefore, is where you least expect to find it: in the minds of your opponents. You already know the ideas common on your own side. If you can take off the blinders of the myth of pure evil, you might see some good ideas for the first time.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
He is wretched indeed, who goes up and down in the world, without a God to take care of him, to be his guide and protector, and to bless him in his affairs [. . .] That unconverted men are without God shows that they are liable to all manner of evil [. . .] liable to the power of the devil, to the power of all manner of temptation [. . .] to be deceived and seduced into erroneous opinions [. . .] to embrace damnable doctrines [. . .] to be given up of God to judicial hardness of heart [. . .] to commit all manner of sin, and even the unpardonable sin itself. They cannot be sure they shall not commit that sin. They are liable to build up a false hope of heaven, and so to go hoping to hell [. . .] to die senseless and stupid, as many have died [. . .] to die in such a case as Saul and Judas did, fearless of hell. They have no security from it. They are liable to all manner of mischief, since they are without God. They cannot tell what shall befall them, nor when they are secure from anything. They are not safe one moment. Ten thousand fatal mischiefs may befall them, that may make them miserable forever. They, who have God for their God, are safe from all such evils. It is not possible that they should befall them. God is their covenant God, and they have his faithful promise to be their refuge.
Jonathan Edwards (The Works of Jonathan Edwards)
I don't know where to go, I stay planted in front of the cardboard chef. I don't need to turn around to know they are watching me through the windows: they are watching my back with surprise and disgust; they thought I was like them, that I was a man, and I deceived them. I suddenly lost the appearance of a man and they saw a crab running backwards out of this human room. Now the unmasked intruder has fled: the show goes on.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
As for us,Etienne was right.Our schools are only a twenty-minute transit ride away.He'll stay with me on the weekends, and we'll visit each other as often as possible during the week. We'll be together.We both got our Point Zero wishes-each other.He said he wished for me every time.He was wishing for me when I entered the tower. "Mmm," I say.He's kissing my neck. "That's it," Rashmi says. "I'm outta here.Enjoy your hormones." Josh and Mer follow her exit,and we're alone.Just the way I like it. "Ha!" Ettiene says. "Just the way I like it." He pulls me onto his lap,and I wrap my legs around his waist.His lips are velvet soft,and we kiss until the streetlamps flicker on outside. Until the opera singer begins her evening routine. "I'm going to miss her," I say. "I'll sing to you." He tucks my stripe behind my ear. "Or I'll take you to the opera.Or I'll fly you back here to visit. Whatever you want.Anything you want." I lace my fingers through his. "I want to stay right here,in this moment." "Isn't that the name of the latest James Ashley bestseller? In This Moment?" "Careful.Someday you'll meet him, and he won't be nearly as amusing in person." Etienne grins. "Oh,so he'll only be mildly amusing? I suppose I can handle mildly amusing." "I'm serious! You have to promise me right now,this instant,that you won't leave me once you meet him.Most people would run." "I'm not most people." I smile. "I know.But you still have to promise." His eyes lock on mine. "Anna,I promise that I will never leave you." My heart pounds in response.And Etienne knows it,because he takes my hand and holds it against his chest,to show me how hard his heart is pounding, too. "And now for yours," he says. I'm still dazed. "My what?" He laughs. "Promise you won't flee once I introduce you to my father.Or, worse, leave me for him." I pause. "Do you think he'll object to me?" "Oh,I'm sure he will." Okay.Not the answer I was looking for. Etienne sees my alarm. "Anna.You know my father dislikes anything that makes me happy.And you make me happier than anyone ever has." He smiles. "Oh,yes. He'll hate you." "So....that's a good thing?" "I don't care what he thinks.Only what you think." He holds me tighter. "Like if you think I need to stop biting my nails." "You've worn your pinkies to nubs," I say cheerfully. "Or if I need to start ironing my bedspread." "I DO NOT IRON MY BEDSPREAD." "You do.And I love it." I blush,and Etienne kisses my warm cheeks. "You know,my mum loves you." "She goes?" "You're the only thing I've talked about all year.She's ecstatic we're together." I'm smiling inside and out. "I can't wait to meet her.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
The entire life of the human soul is mere motions in the shadows. We live in a twilight of consciousness, never in accord with whom we are or think we are. Everyone harbours some kind of vanity, and there’s an error whose degree we can’t determine. We’re something that goes on during the show’s intermission; sometimes, through certain doors, we catch a glimpse of what may be no more than scenery. The world is one big confusion, like voices in the night.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
shows the destructive forces that affect young women. As a girl, Ophelia is happy and free, but with adolescence she loses herself. When she falls in love with Hamlet, she lives only for his approval. She has no inner direction ; rather she struggles to meet the demands of Hamlet and her father. Her value is determined utterly by their approval. Ophelia is torn apart by her efforts to please. When Hamlet spurns her because she is an obedient daughter, she goes mad with grief. Dressed in elegant clothes that weigh her down, she drowns in a stream filled with flowers.
Mary Pipher (Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls)
I just want to say one thing. If I ever write a novel again, it's going to be in defense of weak women, inept and codependent women. I'm going to talk about all the great movies and songs and poetry that focus on such women. I'm going to toast Blanche DuBois. I'm going to celebrate women who aren't afraid to show their need and their vulnerabilities. To be honest about how hard it can be to plow your way through a life that offers no guarantees about anything. I'm going to get on my metaphorical knees and thank women who fall apart, who cry and carry on and wail and wring their hands because you know what, Midge? We all need to cry. Thank God for women who can articulate their vulnerabilities and express what probably a lot of other people want to say and feel they can't. Those peoples' stronghold against falling apart themselves is the disdain they feel for women who do it for them. Strong. I'm starting to think that's as much a party line as anything else ever handed to women for their assigned roles. When do we get respect for our differences from men? Our strength is our weakness. Our ability to feel is our humanity. You know what? I'll bet if you talk to a hundred strong women, 99 of them would say 'I'm sick of being strong. I would like to be cared for. I would like someone else to make the goddamn decisions, I'm sick of making decisions.' I know this one woman who's a beacon of strength. A single mother who can do everything - even more than you, Midge. I ran into her not long ago and we went and got a coffee and you know what she told me? She told me that when she goes out to dinner with her guy, she asks him to order everything for her. Every single thing, drink to dessert. Because she just wants to unhitch. All of us dependent, weak women have the courage to do all the time what she can only do in a restaurant.
Elizabeth Berg (Home Safe)
Some individuals have what can be considered to be an ‘abusive personality.’ Although they can be somewhat charming at times and sometimes manage to put on a false front in public when it is absolutely necessary, their basic personality is characterized by: 1. A need to dominate and control others 2. A tendency to blame others for all their problems and to take all their frustrations out on other people. 3. Verbal abuse 4. Frequent emotional and sometimes physical outbursts, and 5. An overwhelming need to retaliate and hurt other for real and imagined slights or affronts They insist on being ‘respected’ while giving no respect to others. Their needs are paramount, and they show a blatant disregard for the needs and feelings of others. These people wreak havoc with the lives of nearly every person they come in contact with. They verbally abuse their coworkers or employees, they are insulting and obnoxious to service people, they constantly blame others when something goes wrong. When this type of person becomes intimately involved with a partner, there is absolutely nothing that partner can do to prevent abuse from occurring. Their only hope is to get as far away from the person as possible.
Beverly Engel The Emotionally Abusive Relationship How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing
Father of the fatherless children, how dare you blame a child for your wrong-doing? How dare you continue to blame the mother of your child? Correct yourself and own up to the mess you made in your life and your child’s life. This is not your child’s fault. They are innocent. You have nobody to blame but yourself. Either you are going to get on the bus or get left behind. Remember, one person doesn’t stop the show, and life goes on whether you are in your child’s life or not. It is your choice. Whatever decision you make, know, it will be a decision you will have to live with for the rest of your life.
Charlena E. Jackson (Dear fathers of the fatherless children)
...while epic fantasy is based on the fairy tale of the just war, that’s not one you’ll find in Grimm or Disney, and most will never recognize the shape of it. I think the fantasy genre pitches its tent in the medieval campground for the very reason that we even bother to write stories about things that never happened in the first place: because it says something subtle and true about our own world, something it is difficult to say straight out, with a straight face. Something you need tools to say, you need cheat codes for the human brain--a candy princess or a sugar-coated unicorn to wash down the sour taste of how bad things can really get. See, I think our culture has a slash running through the middle of it, too. Past/Future, Conservative/Liberal, Online/Offline. Virgin/Whore. And yes: Classical/Medieval. I think we’re torn between the Classical Narrative of Self and the Medieval Narrative of Self, between the choice of Achilles and Keep Calm and Carry On. The Classical internal monologue goes like this: do anything, anything, only don’t be forgotten. Yes, this one sacrificed his daughter on a slab at Aulis, that one married his mother and tore out his eyes, and oh that guy ate his kids in a pie. But you remember their names, don’t you? So it’s all good in the end. Give a Greek soul a choice between a short life full of glory and a name echoing down the halls of time and a long, gentle life full of children and a quiet sort of virtue, and he’ll always go down in flames. That’s what the Iliad is all about, and the Odyssey too. When you get to Hades, you gotta have a story to tell, because the rest of eternity is just forgetting and hoping some mortal shows up on a quest and lets you drink blood from a bowl so you can remember who you were for one hour. And every bit of cultural narrative in America says that we are all Odysseus, we are all Agamemnon, all Atreus, all Achilles. That we as a nation made that choice and chose glory and personal valor, and woe betide any inconvenient “other people” who get in our way. We tell the tales around the campfire of men who came from nothing to run dotcom empires, of a million dollars made overnight, of an actress marrying a prince from Monaco, of athletes and stars and artists and cowboys and gangsters and bootleggers and talk show hosts who hitched up their bootstraps and bent the world to their will. Whose names you all know. And we say: that can be each and every one of us and if it isn’t, it’s your fault. You didn’t have the excellence for it. You didn’t work hard enough. The story wasn’t about you, and the only good stories are the kind that have big, unignorable, undeniable heroes.
Catherynne M. Valente
Though we might have precious little It's still precious I like that song about this wonderful world It's got a sunny point of view And sometimes I feel it's true At least for a few of us I like that world, it makes a wonderful song But there's a darker point of view But sadly just as true For so many among us Though we might have precious little It's still precious In the sweetest child there's a vicious streak In the strongest man there's a child so weak In the whole wide world there's no magic place So you might as well rise put on your bravest face I like that show where they solve all the murders An heroic point of view It's got justice and vengeance too At least so the story goes I like that story, makes a satisfying case But there's a messy point of view That's sadly just as true For so many among us In softest voice there's an acid tongue In the oldest eyes there's a soul so young In the shakiest will there's a core of steel On the smoothest ride there's a squeaky wheel Though we might have precious little It's still precious
Rush
Because I questioned myself and my sanity and what I was doing wrong in this situation. Because of course I feared that I might be overreacting, overemotional, oversensitive, weak, playing victim, crying wolf, blowing things out of proportion, making things up. Because generations of women have heard that they’re irrational, melodramatic, neurotic, hysterical, hormonal, psycho, fragile, and bossy. Because girls are coached out of the womb to be nonconfrontational, solicitous, deferential, demure, nurturing, to be tuned in to others, and to shrink and shut up. Because speaking up for myself was not how I learned English. Because I’m fluent in Apology, in Question Mark, in Giggle, in Bowing Down, in Self-Sacrifice. Because slightly more than half of the population is regularly told that what happens doesn’t or that it isn’t the big deal we’re making it into. Because your mothers, sisters, and daughters are routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied, harassed, threatened, punished, propositioned, and groped, and challenged on what they say. Because when a woman challenges a man, then the facts are automatically in dispute, as is the speaker, and the speaker’s license to speak. Because as women we are told to view and value ourselves in terms of how men view and value us, which is to say, for our sexuality and agreeability. Because it was drilled in until it turned subconscious and became unbearable need: don’t make it about you; put yourself second or last; disregard your feelings but not another’s; disbelieve your perceptions whenever the opportunity presents itself; run and rerun everything by yourself before verbalizing it—put it in perspective, interrogate it: Do you sound nuts? Does this make you look bad? Are you holding his interest? Are you being considerate? Fair? Sweet? Because stifling trauma is just good manners. Because when others serially talk down to you, assume authority over you, try to talk you out of your own feelings and tell you who you are; when you’re not taken seriously or listened to in countless daily interactions—then you may learn to accept it, to expect it, to agree with the critics and the haters and the beloveds, and to sign off on it with total silence. Because they’re coming from a good place. Because everywhere from late-night TV talk shows to thought-leading periodicals to Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Wall Street to Congress and the current administration, women are drastically underrepresented or absent, missing from the popular imagination and public heart. Because although I questioned myself, I didn’t question who controls the narrative, the show, the engineering, or the fantasy, nor to whom it’s catered. Because to mention certain things, like “patriarchy,” is to be dubbed a “feminazi,” which discourages its mention, and whatever goes unmentioned gets a pass, a pass that condones what it isn’t nice to mention, lest we come off as reactionary or shrill.
Roxane Gay (Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture)
A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point. We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep them unscathed through the most devastating attacks. But man’s resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.
Leon Festinger (When Prophecy Fails: A Social & Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World)
It’s funny, but when I talk about this business of my father and Valentina with my women friends, they’re absolutely appalled. They see a vulnerable old man who’s being exploited. Yet all the men I talk to—without any exception, Mike” (I wag my finger) “they respond with these wry knowing smiles, these little admiring chuckles. Oh, what a lad he is. What an achievement, pulling this much younger bird. Best of luck to him. Let him have his bit of fun.” “You must admit, it’s done him good.” “I don’t admit anything.” (It’s much less satisfying arguing with Mike than with Vera or Pappa. He’s always so irritatingly reasonable.) “Are you sure you’re not just being a bit puritanical?” “Of course I’m not!” (So what if I am?) “It’s because he’s my father—I just want him to be grown up.” “He is being grown up, in his way.” “No he’s not, he’s being a lad. An eighty-four-year-old lad. You’re all being lads together. Wink wink. Nudge nudge. What a great pair of knockers. For goodness’ sake!” My voice has risen to a shriek. “But you can see it’s doing him good, this new relationship. It’s breathed new life into him. Just goes to show that you’re never too old for love.” “You mean for sex.” “Well, maybe that as well. Your Dad is just hoping to fulfil every man’s dream—to lie in the arms of a beautiful younger woman.” “Every man’s dream?” That night Mike and I sleep in separate beds.
Marina Lewycka (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian)
It’s like we've been flung back in time," he said. "Here we are in the Stone Age, knowing all these great things after centuries of progress but what can we do to make life easier for the Stone Agers? Can we make a refrigerator? Can we even explain how it works? What is electricity? What is light? We experience these things every day of our lives but what good does it do if we find ourselves hurled back in time and we can’t even tell people the basic principles much less actually make something that would improve conditions. Name one thing you could make. Could you make a simple wooden match that you could strike on a rock to make a flame? We think we’re so great and modern. Moon landings, artificial hearts. But what if you were hurled into a time warp and came face to face with the ancient Greeks. The Greeks invented trigonometry. They did autopsies and dissections. What could you tell an ancient Greek that he couldn’t say, ‘Big Deal.’ Could you tell him about the atom? Atom is a Greek word. The Greeks knew that the major events in the universe can’t be seen by the eye of man. It’s waves, it’s rays, it’s particles." “We’re doing all right.” “We’re sitting in this huge moldy room. It’s like we’re flung back.” “We have heat, we have light.” “These are Stone Age things. They had heat and light. They had fire. They rubbed flints together and made sparks. Could you rub flints together? Would you know a flint if you saw one? If a Stone Ager asked you what a nucleotide is, could you tell him? How do we make carbon paper? What is glass? If you came awake tomorrow in the Middle Ages and there was an epidemic raging, what could you do to stop it, knowing what you know about the progress of medicines and diseases? Here it is practically the twenty-first century and you’ve read hundreds of books and magazines and seen a hundred TV shows about science and medicine. Could you tell those people one little crucial thing that might save a million and a half lives?” “‘Boil your water,’ I’d tell them.” “Sure. What about ‘Wash behind your ears.’ That’s about as good.” “I still think we’re doing fairly well. There was no warning. We have food, we have radios.” “What is a radio? What is the principle of a radio? Go ahead, explain. You’re sitting in the middle of this circle of people. They use pebble tools. They eat grubs. Explain a radio.” “There’s no mystery. Powerful transmitters send signals. They travel through the air, to be picked up by receivers.” “They travel through the air. What, like birds? Why not tell them magic? They travel through the air in magic waves. What is a nucleotide? You don’t know, do you? Yet these are the building blocks of life. What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
But what if your kid runs into the street in front of a car? Don't you have to use Method I?" ... If a child develops a habit of running into the street, a parent might first try to talk to the child about the dangers of cars, walk her around the edge of the yard, and tell her that anything beyond is not safe, show her a picture of a child hit by a car, build a fence around the yard, or watch her when she is playing in the front yard for a couple of days, reminding her each time she goes beyond the limits. Even if I took the punishment approach, I would never risk my child's life on the assumption that punishment alone would keep her from going into the street. I would want to employ more certain methods in any event.
Thomas Gordon (Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children)
A man cannot realize that above such shattered bodies there are still human faces in which life goes its daily round. And this is only one hospital, one single station; there are hundreds of thousands in Germany, hundreds of thousands in France, hundreds of thousands in Russia. How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible. It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture-chambers in their hundreds of thousands. A hospital alone shows what war is.
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread. Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear. Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you've defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you. The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Almost every girl goes through this weird living nightmare, where you show up at school and realize people have grown to hate you overnight. It’s a Twilight Zone moment when you can’t figure out what is real. It is a group mind-fuck of the highest kind, and it makes or breaks you. I got through it by keeping my head down, and a few weeks passed and all the girls liked me again. We all pretended it never happened. There should be manuals passed out to teach girls how to handle that inevitable one-week stretch when up is down and the best friend who just slept over at your house suddenly pulls your hair in front of everyone and laughs.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I suspect if we were as familiar with our bones as with our skin, we'd never bury dead but shrine them in their rooms, arranged as we might like to find them on a visit; and our enemies, if we could steal their bodies from the battle sites, would be museumed as they died, the steel still eloquent in their sides, their metal hats askew, the protective toes of their shoes unworn, and friend and enemy would be so wondrously historical that in a hundred years we'd find the jaws still hung for the same speech and all the parts we spent our life with titled as they always were - rib cage, collar, skull - still repetitious, still defiant, angel light, still worthy of memorial and affection. After all, what does it mean to say that when our cat has bitten through the shell and put confusion in the pulp, the life goes out of them? Alas for us, I want to cry, our bones are secret, showing last, so we must love what perishes: the muscles and the waters and the fats.
William H. Gass (In the Heart of the Heart of the Country and Other Stories)
The primary math of the real world is one and one equals two. The layman (as, often, do I) swings that every day. He goes to the job, does his work, pays his bills and comes home. One plus one equals two. It keeps the world spinning. But artists, musicians, con men, poets, mystics and such are paid to turn that math on its head, to rub two sticks together and bring forth fire. Everybody performs this alchemy somewhere in their life, but it’s hard to hold on to and easy to forget. People don’t come to rock shows to learn something. They come to be reminded of something they already know and feel deep down in their gut. That when the world is at its best, when we are at our best, when life feels fullest, one and one equals three. It’s the essential equation of love, art, rock ’n’ roll and rock ’n’ roll bands. It’s the reason the universe will never be fully comprehensible, love will continue to be ecstatic, confounding, and true rock ’n’ roll will never die.
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
You are always afraid that somebody may think you a fool. You are afraid that if others think you to be a fool, you will start suspecting it. If so many people think you a fool your self-confidence will be lost. And if everybody goes on repeating that you are a fool, sooner or later you will come to believe it. Only a wise man cannot be deceived, he can appear as a fool. Have you observed yourself? You are always trying to exhibit your wisdom, always in search of a victim to whom you can show your knowledge, just searching, hunting for somebody weaker than you – then you will jump in and you will show your wisdom. A wise man need not be an exhibitionist. Whatsoever is, is. He is not aware of it, he is not in any hurry to show it. If you want to find it, you will have to make efforts. If you have to know whether he is gentle or not, that is going to be your discovery.
Osho (The Empty Boat: Talks on the Sayings of Chuang Tzu)
Style is not how you write. It is how you do not write like anyone else. * * * How do you know if you're a writer? Write something everyday for two weeks, then stop, if you can. If you can't, you're a writer. And no one, no matter how hard they may try, will ever be able to stop you from following your writing dreams. * * * You can find your writer's voice by simply listening to that little Muse inside that says in a low, soft whisper, "Listen to this... * * * Enter the writing process with a childlike sense of wonder and discovery. Let it surprise you. * * * Poems for children help them celebrate the joy and wonder of their world. Humorous poems tickle the funny bone of their imaginations. * * * There are many fine poets writing for children today. The greatest reward for each of us is in knowing that our efforts might stir the minds and hearts of young readers with a vision and wonder of the world and themselves that may be new to them or reveal something already familiar in new and enlightening ways. * * * The path to inspiration starts Beyond the trails we’ve known; Each writer’s block is not a rock, But just a stepping stone. * * * When you write for children, don't write for children. Write from the child in you. * * * Poems look at the world from the inside out. * * * The act of writing brings with it a sense of discovery, of discovering on the page something you didn't know you knew until you wrote it. * * * The answer to the artist Comes quicker than a blink Though initial inspiration Is not what you might think. The Muse is full of magic, Though her vision’s sometimes dim; The artist does not choose the work, It is the work that chooses him. * * * Poem-Making 101. Poetry shows. Prose tells. Choose precise, concrete words. Remove prose from your poems. Use images that evoke the senses. Avoid the abstract, the verbose, the overstated. Trust the poem to take you where it wants to go. Follow it closely, recording its path with imagery. * * * What's a Poem? A whisper, a shout, thoughts turned inside out. A laugh, a sigh, an echo passing by. A rhythm, a rhyme, a moment caught in time. A moon, a star, a glimpse of who you are. * * * A poem is a little path That leads you through the trees. It takes you to the cliffs and shores, To anywhere you please. Follow it and trust your way With mind and heart as one, And when the journey’s over, You’ll find you’ve just begun. * * * A poem is a spider web Spun with words of wonder, Woven lace held in place By whispers made of thunder. * * * A poem is a busy bee Buzzing in your head. His hive is full of hidden thoughts Waiting to be said. His honey comes from your ideas That he makes into rhyme. He flies around looking for What goes on in your mind. When it is time to let him out To make some poetry, He gathers up your secret thoughts And then he sets them free.
Charles Ghigna
Flint's pond! Such is the poverty of our nomenclature. What right had the unclean and stupid farmer, whose farm abutted on this sky water, whose shores he has ruthlessly laid bare, to give his name to it? Some skin-flint, who loved better the reflecting surface of a dollar, or a bright cent, in which he could see his own brazen face; who regarded even the wild ducks which settled in it as trespassers; his fingers grown into crooked and bony talons from the long habit of grasping harpy-like; — so it is not named for me. I go not there to see him nor to hear of him; who never saw it, who never bathed in it, who never loved it, who never protected it, who never spoke a good word for it, nor thanked God that He had made it. Rather let it be named from the fishes that swim in it, the wild fowl or quadrupeds which frequent it, the wild flowers which grow by its shores, or some wild man or child the thread of whose history is interwoven with its own; not from him who could show no title to it but the deed which a like-minded neighbor or legislature gave him who thought only of its money value; whose presence perchance cursed — him all the shores; who exhausted the land around it, and would fain have exhausted the waters within it; who regretted only that it was not English hay or cranberry meadow — there was nothing to redeem it, forsooth, in his eyes — and would have drained and sold it for the mud at its bottom. It did not turn his mill, and it was no privilege to him to behold it. I respect not his labors, his farm where everything has its price, who would carry the landscape, who would carry his God, to market, if he could get anything for him; who goes to market for his god as it is; on whose farm nothing grows free, whose fields bear no crops, whose meadows no flowers, whose trees no fruits, but dollars; who loves not the beauty of his fruits, whose fruits are not ripe for him till they are turned to dollars. Give me the poverty that enjoys true wealth.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden & Civil Disobedience)
As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race, I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place. Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all. We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn: But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind, So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind. We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace, Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place, But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome. With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch, They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch; They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings; So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things. When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace. They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease. But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know." On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife) Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death." In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die." Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more. As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man There are only four things certain since Social Progress began. That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire; And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Rudyard Kipling
He’s ruined that magic,” this aide said of Trump. “The disdain he shows for our country’s foundation and its principles. The disregard he has for right and wrong. Your fist clenches. Your teeth grate. The hair goes up on the back of your neck. I have to remind myself I said an oath to a document in the National Archives. I swore to the Constitution. I didn’t swear an oath to this jackass.” As this aide saw it, there has been a silent understanding within the national security community that diplomatic, military, and intelligence officers were doing the right thing, quietly risking their lives to protect the American way of life. This aide saw Trump’s move against Brennan as one of the first steps of undercutting America’s democratic system of government and the belief system upon which it was founded. According to the aide, it was the president declaring, “It’s not okay to disagree with me. I can remove you from this work and your career. “If he wanted to, how far could he push this?” this aide asked. “Look back. Did people in the 1930s in Germany know when the government started to turn on them? Most Americans are more worried about who is going to win on America’s Got Talent and what the traffic is going to be like on I-95. They aren’t watching this closely. “I like to believe [Trump] is too self-engrossed, too incompetent and disorganized to get us to 1930,” this aide added. “But he has moved the bar. And another president that comes after him can move it a little farther. The time is coming. Our nation will be tested. Every nation is. Rome fell, remember. He is opening up vulnerabilities for this to happen. That is my fear.” —
Philip Rucker (A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America)
A small story: A man was in prison for 20 years. On the day of his release, he appeared very worried and tense. His friend in the prison asked him, 'What has happened to you? Why are you so worried?' The man replied, 'I am afraid. What will I do when I go out?' The prison has created such a solid pattern of security for the man that he does not know what he will do when he goes outside! This is the danger of getting caught in patterns and security. A master will never offer you the security you are looking for. He will never offer you the patterns you are looking for. When you don't get the security you are looking for, you will grow with deep centering within yourself. You will grow fearlessly because you know there is nothing to lose. And when you know there is nothing to lose, you have no fear. To show you that there is nothing to lose, the master throws you upon utter insecurity. Out of his deep compassion for you, out of deep concern for your growth, he doesn't offer you security. When you don't find the mundane security, you will find God! All your fears are because you don't clearly know that there is nothing to lose. Just one encounter with near death can show you that there is nothing to lose and that all your fears are baseless. The master simply makes you understand this in his own way. So don't try to escape from the master. Understand that he is here only to show you what you actually are. Your inherent nature is fearlessness. Over years, you have been instilled with fear. The master tries to break the layers of conditioning that you have taken upon yourself. If you just allow him to work upon you, with trust and love, you will see yourself transform in front of your own eyes.
Paramahamsa Nithyananda (Guaranteed Solutions)
By Jove, it's great! Walk along the streets on some spring morning. The little women, daintily tripping along, seem to blossom out like flowers. What a delightful, charming sight! The dainty perfume of violet is everywhere. The city is gay, and everybody notices the women. By Jove, how tempting they are in their light, thin dresses, which occasionally give one a glimpse of the delicate pink flesh beneath! "One saunters along, head up, mind alert, and eyes open. I tell you it's great! You see her in the distance, while still a block away; you already know that she is going to please you at closer quarters. You can recognize her by the flower on her hat, the toss of her head, or her gait. She approaches, and you say to yourself: 'Look out, here she is!' You come closer to her and you devour her with your eyes. "Is it a young girl running errands for some store, a young woman returning from church, or hastening to see her lover? What do you care? Her well-rounded bosom shows through the thin waist. Oh, if you could only take her in your arms and fondle and kiss her! Her glance may be timid or bold, her hair light or dark. What difference does it make? She brushes against you, and a cold shiver runs down your spine. Ah, how you wish for her all day! How many of these dear creatures have I met this way, and how wildly in love I would have been had I known them more intimately. "Have you ever noticed that the ones we would love the most distractedly are those whom we never meet to know? Curious, isn't it? From time to time we barely catch a glimpse of some woman, the mere sight of whom thrills our senses. But it goes no further. When I think of all the adorable creatures that I have elbowed in the streets of Paris, I fairly rave. Who are they! Where are they? Where can I find them again? There is a proverb which says that happiness often passes our way; I am sure that I have often passed alongside the one who could have caught me like a linnet in the snare of her fresh beauty.
Guy de Maupassant (Selected Short Stories)
I used to imagine life divided into separate compartments, consisting, for example, of such dual abstractions as pleasure and pain, love and hate, friendship and enmity; and more material classifications like work and play: a profession or calling being, according to that concept—one that seemed, at least on the surface, unequivocally assumed by persons so dissimilar from one another as Widmerpool and Archie Gilbert, something entirely different from “spare time.” That illusion, as such a point of view was, in due course, to appear—was closely related to another belief: that existence fans out indefinitely into new areas of experience, and that almost every additional acquaintance offers some supplementary world with its own hazards and enchantments. As time goes on, of course, these supposedly different worlds, in fact, draw closer, if not to each other, then to some pattern common to all; so that, at last, diversity between them, if in truth existent, seems to be almost imperceptible except in a few crude and exterior ways: unthinkable, as formerly appeared, any single consummation of cause and effect. In other words, nearly all the inhabitants of these outwardly disconnected empires turn out at last to be tenaciously inter-related; love and hate, friendship and enmity, too, becoming themselves much less clearly defined, more often than not showing signs of possessing characteristics that could claim, to say the least, not a little in common; while work and play merge indistinguishably into a complex tissue of pleasure and tedium.
Anthony Powell (A Buyer's Market (A Dance to the Music of Time #2))
a stunning glimpse of Buddy, at a later date by innumerable years, quite bereft of my dubious, loving company, writing about this very party on a very large, jet-black, very moving, gorgeous typewriter. He is smoking a cigarette, occasionally clasping his hands and placing them on the top of his head in a thoughtful, exhausted manner. His hair is gray; he is older than you are now, Les! The veins in his hands are slightly prominent in the glimpse, so I have not mentioned the matter to him at all, partially considering his youthful prejudice against veins showing in poor adults’ hands. So it goes. You would think this particular glimpse would pierce the casual witness’s heart to the quick, disabling him utterly, so that he could not bring himself to discuss the glimpse in the least with his beloved, broadminded family. This is not exactly the case; it mostly makes me take an exceedingly deep breath as a simple, brisk measure against getting dizzy. It is his room that pierces me more than anything else. It is all his youthful dreams realized to the full! It has one of those beautiful windows in the ceiling that he has always, to my absolute knowledge, fervently admired from a splendid reader’s distance! All round about him, in addition, are exquisite shelves to hold his books, equipment, tablets, sharp pencils, ebony, costly typewriter, and other stirring, personal effects. Oh, my God, he will be overjoyed when he sees that room, mark my words! It is one of the most smiling, comforting glimpses of my entire life and quite possibly with the least strings attached. In a reckless manner of speaking, I would far from object if that were practically the last glimpse of my life.
J.D. Salinger (Hapworth 16, 1924)
THE FORTRESS Under the pink quilted covers I hold the pulse that counts your blood. I think the woods outdoors are half asleep, left over from summer like a stack of books after a flood, left over like those promises I never keep. On the right, the scrub pine tree waits like a fruit store holding up bunches of tufted broccoli. We watch the wind from our square bed. I press down my index finger -- half in jest, half in dread -- on the brown mole under your left eye, inherited from my right cheek: a spot of danger where a bewitched worm ate its way through our soul in search of beauty. My child, since July the leaves have been fed secretly from a pool of beet-red dye. And sometimes they are battle green with trunks as wet as hunters' boots, smacked hard by the wind, clean as oilskins. No, the wind's not off the ocean. Yes, it cried in your room like a wolf and your pony tail hurt you. That was a long time ago. The wind rolled the tide like a dying woman. She wouldn't sleep, she rolled there all night, grunting and sighing. Darling, life is not in my hands; life with its terrible changes will take you, bombs or glands, your own child at your breast, your own house on your own land. Outside the bittersweet turns orange. Before she died, my mother and I picked those fat branches, finding orange nipples on the gray wire strands. We weeded the forest, curing trees like cripples. Your feet thump-thump against my back and you whisper to yourself. Child, what are you wishing? What pact are you making? What mouse runs between your eyes? What ark can I fill for you when the world goes wild? The woods are underwater, their weeds are shaking in the tide; birches like zebra fish flash by in a pack. Child, I cannot promise that you will get your wish. I cannot promise very much. I give you the images I know. Lie still with me and watch. A pheasant moves by like a seal, pulled through the mulch by his thick white collar. He's on show like a clown. He drags a beige feather that he removed, one time, from an old lady's hat. We laugh and we touch. I promise you love. Time will not take away that.
Anne Sexton (Selected Poems)
That voice that talks badly to you is a demon voice. This very patient and determined demon shows up in your bedroom one day and refuses to leave. You are six or twelve or fifteen and you look in the mirror and you hear a voice so awful and mean that it takes your breath away. It tells you that you are fat and ugly and you don’t deserve love. And the scary part is the demon is your own voice. But it doesn’t sound like you. It sounds like a strangled and seductive version of you. Think Darth Vader or an angry Lauren Bacall. The good news is there are ways to make it stop talking. The bad news is it never goes away. If you are lucky, you can live a life where the demon is generally forgotten, relegated to a back shelf in a closet next to your old field hockey equipment. You may even have days or years when you think the demon is gone. But it is not. It is sitting very quietly, waiting for you. This motherfucker is patient. It says, “Take your time.” It says, “Go fall in love and exercise and surround yourself with people who make you feel beautiful.” It says, “Don’t worry, I’ll wait.” And then one day, you go through a breakup or you can’t lose your baby weight or you look at your reflection in a soup spoon and that slimy bugger is back. It moves its sour mouth up to your ear and reminds you that you are fat and ugly and don’t deserve love. This demon is some Stephen King from-the-sewer devil-level shit.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
(There is always another country and always another place. There is always another name and another face. And the name and the face are you, and you The name and the face, and the stream you gaze into Will show the adoring face, show the lips that lift to you As you lean with the implacable thirst of self, As you lean to the image which is yourself, To set the lip to lip, fix eye on bulging eye, To drink not of the stream but of your deep identity, But water is water and it flows, Under the image on the water the water coils and goes And its own beginning and its end only the water knows. There are many countries and the rivers in them -Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio, Colorado, Pecos, Little Big Horn, And Roll, Missouri, roll. But there is only water in them. And in the new country and in the new, place The eyes of the new friend will reflect the new face And his mouth will speak to frame The syllables of the new name And the name is you and is the agitation of the air And is the wind and the wind runs and the wind is everywhere. The name and the face are you. And they are you. Are new. For they have been dipped in the healing flood. For they have been dipped in the redeeming blood. For they have been dipped in Time And Time is only beginnings Time is only and always beginnings And is the redemption of our crime And is our Saviour's priceless blood. For Time is always the new place, And no-place. For Time is always the new name and the new face, And no-name and no-face. For Time is motion For Time is innocence For Time is West.)
Robert Penn Warren (Selected Poems)
How are things going with your brothers?” “The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.” “That is awesome!” “Yeah.” “What’s wrong?” “Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.” Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry." I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law." "Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls." I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me." She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin. Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?” “No.” If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.” Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.” “Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better. I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.” “I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.” “That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly. Where did you decide to go to school?” “I don’t know if I’m going to school.” Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?” My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.” Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared. “If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?” "I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.” “I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?” Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.” "I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
To enter a wood is to pass into a different world in which we ourselves are transformed. It is no accident that in the comedies of Shakespeare, people go into the greenwood to grow, learn and change. It is where you travel to find yourself, often, paradoxically, by getting lost. Merlin sends the future King Arthur as a boy into the greenwood to fend for himself in The Sword and the Stone. There, he falls asleep and dreams himself, like a chameleon, into the lives of the animals and trees. "In As You Like It, the banished Duke Senior goes to live in the Forest of Arden like Robin Hood, and in A Midsummer Night's Dream the magical metamorphosis of the lovers takes place in a wood 'outside Athens' that is quite obviously an English wood, full of the faeries and Robin Goodfellows of our folklore. "Pinned on my study wall is a still from Truffaut's L'Enfant Sauvage. It shows Victor, the feral boy, clambering through the tangle of branches of the dense deciduous woods of the Aveyron. The film remains one of my touchstones for thinking about our relations with the natural world: a reminder that we are not so far away as we would like to think from our cousins the gibbons, who swing like angels through the forest canopy, at such headlong speed that they almost fly like the tropical birds they envy and emulate in the music of their marriage-songs at dawn in the tree-tops.... "The Chinese count wood as the fifth element, and Jung considers trees an archetype. Nothing can compete with these larger-than-life organisms for signalling the changes in the natural world. They are our barometers of the weather and of the changing seasons. We tell the time of year by them. Trees have the capacity to rise to the heavens and connect us to the sky, to endure, to renew, to bear fruit, and to burn and warm us through the winter. I know of nothing quite as elemental as the log fire glowing in my hearth, nothing that excites the imagination and the passions quite as much as its flames. To Keats, the gentle cracklings of the fire were whisperings of the household gods 'that keep / A gentle reminder o'er fraternal souls.' "Most of the world still cooks on wood fires, and the vast majority of the world's wood is used as firewood. In so far as 'Western' people have forgotten how to lay a wood fire, or its fossil equivalent in coal, they have lost touch with nature. Aldous Huxley wrote of D.H. Lawrence that 'He could cook, he could sew, he could darn a stocking and milk a cow, he was an efficient woodcutter and a good hand at embroidery, fires always burned when he had laid them and a floor after he had scrubbed it was thoroughly clean.' As it burns, wood releases the energies of the earth, water and sunshine that grew it. Each species expresses its character in its distinctive habits of combustion. Willow burns as it grows, very fast, spitting like a firecracker. Oak glows reliably, hard and long. A wood fire in the hearth is a little household sun. "When Auden wrote, 'A culture is no better than its woods,' he knew that, having carelessly lost more of their woods than any other country in Europe, the British take a correspondingly greater interest in what trees and woods they still have left. Woods, like water, have been suppressed by motorways and the modern world, and have come to look like the subconscious of the landscape. They have become the guardians of our dreams of greenwood liberty, of our wildwood, feral, childhood selves, of Richmal Crompton's Just William and his outlaws. They hold the merriness of Merry England, of yew longbows, of Robin Hood and his outlaw band. But they are also repositories of the ancient stories, of Icelandic myths of Ygdrasil the Tree of Life, Robert Graves's 'The Battle of the Trees' and the myths of Sir James Frazer's Golden Bough. The enemies of the woods are always enemies of culture and humanity.
Roger Deakin (Wildwood: A Journey through Trees)
Thus engaged, with her right elbow supported by her left hand, Madame Defarge said nothing when her lord came in, but coughed just one grain of cough. This, in combination with the lifting of her darkly defined eyebrows over her toothpick by the breadth of a line, suggested to her husband that he would do well to look round the shop among the customers, for any new customer who had dropped in while he stepped over the way. The wine-shop keeper accordingly rolled his eyes about, until they rested upon an elderly gentleman and a young lady, who were seated in a corner. Other company were there: two playing cards, two playing dominoes, three standing by the counter lengthening out a short supply of wine. As he passed behind the counter, he took notice that the elderly gentleman said in a look to the young lady, "This is our man." "What the devil do you do in that galley there?" said Monsieur Defarge to himself; "I don't know you." But, he feigned not to notice the two strangers, and fell into discourse with the triumvirate of customers who were drinking at the counter. "How goes it, Jacques?" said one of these three to Monsieur Defarge. "Is all the spilt wine swallowed?" "Every drop, Jacques," answered Monsieur Defarge. When this interchange of Christian name was effected, Madame Defarge, picking her teeth with her toothpick, coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. "It is not often," said the second of the three, addressing Monsieur Defarge, "that many of these miserable beasts know the taste of wine, or of anything but black bread and death. Is it not so, Jacques?" "It is so, Jacques," Monsieur Defarge returned. At this second interchange of the Christian name, Madame Defarge, still using her toothpick with profound composure, coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. The last of the three now said his say, as he put down his empty drinking vessel and smacked his lips. "Ah! So much the worse! A bitter taste it is that such poor cattle always have in their mouths, and hard lives they live, Jacques. Am I right, Jacques?" "You are right, Jacques," was the response of Monsieur Defarge. This third interchange of the Christian name was completed at the moment when Madame Defarge put her toothpick by, kept her eyebrows up, and slightly rustled in her seat. "Hold then! True!" muttered her husband. "Gentlemen--my wife!" The three customers pulled off their hats to Madame Defarge, with three flourishes. She acknowledged their homage by bending her head, and giving them a quick look. Then she glanced in a casual manner round the wine-shop, took up her knitting with great apparent calmness and repose of spirit, and became absorbed in it. "Gentlemen," said her husband, who had kept his bright eye observantly upon her, "good day. The chamber, furnished bachelor- fashion, that you wished to see, and were inquiring for when I stepped out, is on the fifth floor. The doorway of the staircase gives on the little courtyard close to the left here," pointing with his hand, "near to the window of my establishment. But, now that I remember, one of you has already been there, and can show the way. Gentlemen, adieu!" They paid for their wine, and left the place. The eyes of Monsieur Defarge were studying his wife at her knitting when the elderly gentleman advanced from his corner, and begged the favour of a word. "Willingly, sir," said Monsieur Defarge, and quietly stepped with him to the door. Their conference was very short, but very decided. Almost at the first word, Monsieur Defarge started and became deeply attentive. It had not lasted a minute, when he nodded and went out. The gentleman then beckoned to the young lady, and they, too, went out. Madame Defarge knitted with nimble fingers and steady eyebrows, and saw nothing.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
In fact this desire for consonance in the apocalyptic data, and our tendency to be derisive about it, seem to me equally interesting. Each manifests itself, in the presence of the other, in most of our minds. We are all ready to be sceptical about Father Marystone, but we are most of us given to some form of 'centurial mysticism,' and even to more extravagant apocalyptic practices: a point I shall be taking up in my fourth talk. What it seems to come to is this. Men in the middest make considerable imaginative investments in coherent patterns which, by the provision of an end, make possible a satisfying consonance with the origins and with the middle. That is why the image of the end can never be permanently falsified. But they also, when awake and sane, feel the need to show a marked respect for things as they are; so that there is a recurring need for adjustments in the interest of reality as well as of control. This has relevance to literary plots, images of the grand temporal consonance; and we may notice that there is the same co-existence of naïve acceptance and scepticism here as there is in apocalyptic. Broadly speaking, it is the popular story that sticks most closely to established conventions; novels the clerisy calls 'major' tend to vary them, and to vary them more and more as time goes by. I shall be talking about this in some detail later, but a few brief illustrations might be useful now. I shall refer chiefly to one aspect of the matter, the falsification of one's expectation of the end. The story that proceeded very simply to its obviously predestined end would be nearer myth than novel or drama. Peripeteia, which has been called the equivalent, in narrative, of irony in rhetoric, is present in every story of the least structural sophistication. Now peripeteia depends on our confidence of the end; it is a disconfirmation followed by a consonance; the interest of having our expectations falsified is obviously related to our wish to reach the discovery or recognition by an unexpected and instructive route. It has nothing whatever to do with any reluctance on our part to get there at all. So that in assimilating the peripeteia we are enacting that readjustment of expectations in regard to an end which is so notable a feature of naïve apocalyptic. And we are doing rather more than that; we are, to look at the matter in another way, re-enacting the familiar dialogue between credulity and scepticism. The more daring the peripeteia, the more we may feel that the work respects our sense of reality; and the more certainly we shall feel that the fiction under consideration is one of those which, by upsetting the ordinary balance of our naïve expectations, is finding something out for us, something real. The falsification of an expectation can be terrible, as in the death of Cordelia; it is a way of finding something out that we should, on our more conventional way to the end, have closed our eyes to. Obviously it could not work if there were not a certain rigidity in the set of our expectations.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert talks about this phenomenon in his 2006 book, Stumbling on Happiness. “The greatest achievement of the human brain is its ability to imagine objects and episodes that do not exist in the realm of the real,” he writes. “The frontal lobe—the last part of the human brain to evolve, the slowest to mature, and the first to deteriorate in old age—is a time machine that allows each of us to vacate the present and experience the future before it happens.” This time travel into the future—otherwise known as anticipation—accounts for a big chunk of the happiness gleaned from any event. As you look forward to something good that is about to happen, you experience some of the same joy you would in the moment. The major difference is that the joy can last much longer. Consider that ritual of opening presents on Christmas morning. The reality of it seldom takes more than an hour, but the anticipation of seeing the presents under the tree can stretch out the joy for weeks. One study by several Dutch researchers, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010, found that vacationers were happier than people who didn’t take holiday trips. That finding is hardly surprising. What is surprising is the timing of the happiness boost. It didn’t come after the vacations, with tourists bathing in their post-trip glow. It didn’t even come through that strongly during the trips, as the joy of travel mingled with the stress of travel: jet lag, stomach woes, and train conductors giving garbled instructions over the loudspeaker. The happiness boost came before the trips, stretching out for as much as two months beforehand as the holiday goers imagined their excursions. A vision of little umbrella-sporting drinks can create the happiness rush of a mini vacation even in the midst of a rainy commute. On some level, people instinctively know this. In one study that Gilbert writes about, people were told they’d won a free dinner at a fancy French restaurant. When asked when they’d like to schedule the dinner, most people didn’t want to head over right then. They wanted to wait, on average, over a week—to savor the anticipation of their fine fare and to optimize their pleasure. The experiencing self seldom encounters pure bliss, but the anticipating self never has to go to the bathroom in the middle of a favorite band’s concert and is never cold from too much air conditioning in that theater showing the sequel to a favorite flick. Planning a few anchor events for a weekend guarantees you pleasure because—even if all goes wrong in the moment—you still will have derived some pleasure from the anticipation. I love spontaneity and embrace it when it happens, but I cannot bank my pleasure solely on it. If you wait until Saturday morning to make your plans for the weekend, you will spend a chunk of your Saturday working on such plans, rather than anticipating your fun. Hitting the weekend without a plan means you may not get to do what you want. You’ll use up energy in negotiations with other family members. You’ll start late and the museum will close when you’ve only been there an hour. Your favorite restaurant will be booked up—and even if, miraculously, you score a table, think of how much more you would have enjoyed the last few days knowing that you’d be eating those seared scallops on Saturday night!
Laura Vanderkam (What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off (A Penguin Special from Portfo lio))
I'm going to throw some suggestions at you now in rapid succession, assuming you are a father of one or more boys. Here we go: If you speak disparagingly of the opposite sex, or if you refer to females as sex objects, those attitudes will translate directly into dating and marital relationships later on. Remember that your goal is to prepare a boy to lead a family when he's grown and to show him how to earn the respect of those he serves. Tell him it is great to laugh and have fun with his friends, but advise him not to be "goofy." Guys who are goofy are not respected, and people, especially girls and women, do not follow boys and men whom they disrespect. Also, tell your son that he is never to hit a girl under any circumstances. Remind him that she is not as strong as he is and that she is deserving of his respect. Not only should he not hurt her, but he should protect her if she is threatened. When he is strolling along with a girl on the street, he should walk on the outside, nearer the cars. That is symbolic of his responsibility to take care of her. When he is on a date, he should pay for her food and entertainment. Also (and this is simply my opinion), girls should not call boys on the telephone-at least not until a committed relationship has developed. Guys must be the initiators, planning the dates and asking for the girl's company. Teach your son to open doors for girls and to help them with their coats or their chairs in a restaurant. When a guy goes to her house to pick up his date, tell him to get out of the car and knock on the door. Never honk. Teach him to stand, in formal situations, when a woman leaves the room or a table or when she returns. This is a way of showing respect for her. If he treats her like a lady, she will treat him like a man. It's a great plan. Make a concerted effort to teach sexual abstinence to your teenagers, just as you teach them to abstain from drug and alcohol usage and other harmful behavior. Of course you can do it! Young people are fully capable of understanding that irresponsible sex is not in their best interest and that it leads to disease, unwanted pregnancy, rejection, etc. In many cases today, no one is sharing this truth with teenagers. Parents are embarrassed to talk about sex, and, it disturbs me to say, churches are often unwilling to address the issue. That creates a vacuum into which liberal sex counselors have intruded to say, "We know you're going to have sex anyway, so why not do it right?" What a damning message that is. It is why herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases are spreading exponentially through the population and why unwanted pregnancies stalk school campuses. Despite these terrible social consequences, very little support is provided even for young people who are desperately looking for a valid reason to say no. They're told that "safe sex" is fine if they just use the right equipment. You as a father must counterbalance those messages at home. Tell your sons that there is no safety-no place to hide-when one lives in contradiction to the laws of God! Remind them repeatedly and emphatically of the biblical teaching about sexual immorality-and why someone who violates those laws not only hurts himself, but also wounds the girl and cheats the man she will eventually marry. Tell them not to take anything that doesn't belong to them-especially the moral purity of a woman.
James C. Dobson (Bringing Up Boys)
But you must admit,it's taking up an inordinate amount of your time. Why it's taken us six months to have dinner together." "Is that all?" He misinterpreted the quiet response, and the gleam in her eyes.And leaned toward her. She slapped a hand on his chest. "Don't even think about it.Let me tell you something,pal.I do more in one day with my school than you do in a week of pushing papers in that office your grandfather gave you between your manicures and amaretto lattes and soirees. Men like you hold no interest for me whatsoever,which is why it's taken six months for this tedious little date.And the next time I have dinner with you,we'll be slurping Popsicles in hell.So take your French tie and your Italian shoes and stuff them." Utter shock had him speechless as she shoved open her door.As insult trickled in,his lips thinned. "Obviously spending so much time in the stables has eroded your manners, and your outlook." "That's right, Chad." She leaned back in the door. "You're too good for me. I'm about to go up and weep into my pillow over it." "Rumor is you're cold," he said in a quiet, stabbing voice. "But I had to find out for myself." It stung,but she wasn't about to let it show. "Rumor is you're a moron. Now we've both confirmed the local gossip." He gunned the engine once,and she would have sworn she saw him vibrate. "And it's a British tie." She slammed the car door, then watched narrow-eyed as he drove away. "A British tie." A laugh gurgled up,deep from the belly and up into the throat so she had to stand, hugging herself, all but howling at the moon. "That sure told me." Indulging herself in a long sigh, she tipped her head back,looked up at the sweep of stars. "Moron," she murmured. "And that goes for both of us." She heard a faint click, spun around and saw Brian lighting up a slim cigar. "Lover's spat?" "Why yes." The temper Chad had roused stirred again. "He wants to take me to Antigua and I simply have my heart set on Mozambique.Antigua's been done to death." Brian took a contemplative puff of his cigar.She looked so damn beautiful standing there in the moonlight in that little excuse of a black dress, her hair spilling down her back like fire on silk.Hearing her long, gorgeous roll of laughter had been like discovering a treasure.Now the temper was back in her eyes,and spitting at him. It was almost as good. He took another lazy puff, blew out a cloud of smoke. "You're winding me up, Keeley." "I'd like to wind you up, then twist you into small pieces and ship them all back to Ireland." "I figured as much." He disposed of the cigar and walked to her. Unlike Chad, he didn't misinterpret the glint in her eyes. "You want to have a pop at someone." He closed his hand over the one she'd balled into a fist, lifted it to tap on his own chin. "Go ahead." "As delightful as I find that invitation, I don't solve my disputes that way." When she started to walk away, he tightened his grip. "But," she said slowly, "I could make an exception." "I don't like apologizing, and I wouldn't have to-again-of you'd set me straight right off." She lifted an eyebrow.Trying to free herself from that big, hard hand would only be undignified.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
few years later, Demeter took a vacation to the beach. She was walking along, enjoying the solitude and the fresh sea air, when Poseidon happened to spot her. Being a sea god, he tended to notice pretty ladies walking along the beach. He appeared out of the waves in his best green robes, with his trident in his hand and a crown of seashells on his head. (He was sure that the crown made him look irresistible.) “Hey, girl,” he said, wiggling his eyebrows. “You must be the riptide, ’cause you sweep me off my feet.” He’d been practicing that pickup line for years. He was glad he finally got to use it. Demeter was not impressed. “Go away, Poseidon.” “Sometimes the sea goes away,” Poseidon agreed, “but it always comes back. What do you say you and me have a romantic dinner at my undersea palace?” Demeter made a mental note not to park her chariot so far away. She really could’ve used her two dragons for backup. She decided to change form and get away, but she knew better than to turn into a snake this time. I need something faster, she thought. Then she glanced down the beach and saw a herd of wild horses galloping through the surf. That’s perfect! Demeter thought. A horse! Instantly she became a white mare and raced down the beach. She joined the herd and blended in with the other horses. Her plan had serious flaws. First, Poseidon could also turn into a horse, and he did—a strong white stallion. He raced after her. Second, Poseidon had created horses. He knew all about them and could control them. Why would a sea god create a land animal like the horse? We’ll get to that later. Anyway, Poseidon reached the herd and started pushing his way through, looking for Demeter—or rather sniffing for her sweet, distinctive perfume. She was easy to find. Demeter’s seemingly perfect camouflage in the herd turned out to be a perfect trap. The other horses made way for Poseidon, but they hemmed in Demeter and wouldn’t let her move. She got so panicky, afraid of getting trampled, that she couldn’t even change shape into something else. Poseidon sidled up to her and whinnied something like Hey, beautiful. Galloping my way? Much to Demeter’s horror, Poseidon got a lot cuddlier than she wanted. These days, Poseidon would be arrested for that kind of behavior. I mean…assuming he wasn’t in horse form. I don’t think you can arrest a horse. Anyway, back in those days, the world was a rougher, ruder place. Demeter couldn’t exactly report Poseidon to King Zeus, because Zeus was just as bad. Months later, a very embarrassed and angry Demeter gave birth to twins. The weirdest thing? One of the babies was a goddess; the other one was a stallion. I’m not going to even try to figure that out. The baby girl was named Despoine, but you don’t hear much about her in the myths. When she grew up, her job was looking after Demeter’s temple, like the high priestess of corn magic or something. Her baby brother, the stallion, was named Arion. He grew up to be a super-fast immortal steed who helped out Hercules and some other heroes, too. He was a pretty awesome horse, though I’m not sure that Demeter was real proud of having a son who needed new horseshoes every few months and was constantly nuzzling her for apples. At this point, you’d think Demeter would have sworn off those gross, disgusting men forever and joined Hestia in the Permanently Single Club. Strangely, a couple of months later, she fell in love with a human prince named Iasion (pronounced EYE-son, I think). Just shows you how far humans had come since Prometheus gave them fire. Now they could speak and write. They could brush their teeth and comb their hair. They wore clothes and occasionally took baths. Some of them were even handsome enough to flirt with goddesses.
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
A businessman buys a business and tries to operate it. He does everything that he knows how to do but just cannot make it go. Year after year the ledger shows red, and he is not making a profit. He borrows what he can, has a little spirit and a little hope, but that spirit and hope die and he goes broke. Finally, he sells out, hopelessly in debt, and is left a failure in the business world. A woman is educated to be a teacher but just cannot get along with the other teachers. Something in her constitution or temperament will not allow her to get along with children or young people. So after being shuttled from one school to another, she finally gives up, goes somewhere and takes a job running a stapling machine. She just cannot teach and is a failure in the education world. I have known ministers who thought they were called to preach. They prayed and studied and learned Greek and Hebrew, but somehow they just could not make the public want to listen to them. They just couldn’t do it. They were failures in the congregational world. It is possible to be a Christian and yet be a failure. This is the same as Israel in the desert, wandering around. The Israelites were God’s people, protected and fed, but they were failures. They were not where God meant them to be. They compromised. They were halfway between where they used to be and where they ought to be. And that describes many of the Lord’s people. They live and die spiritual failures. I am glad God is good and kind. Failures can crawl into God’s arms, relax and say, “Father, I made a mess of it. I’m a spiritual failure. I haven’t been out doing evil things exactly, but here I am, Father, and I’m old and ready to go and I’m a failure.” Our kind and gracious heavenly Father will not say to that person, “Depart from me—I never knew you,” because that person has believed and does believe in Jesus Christ. The individual has simply been a failure all of his life. He is ready for death and ready for heaven. I wonder if that is what Paul, the man of God, meant when he said: [No] other foundation can [any] man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he should receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire (1 Cor. 3:11-15). I think that’s what it means, all right. We ought to be the kind of Christian that cannot only save our souls but also save our lives. When Lot left Sodom, he had nothing but the garments on his back. Thank God, he got out. But how much better it would have been if he had said farewell at the gate and had camels loaded with his goods. He could have gone out with his head up, chin out, saying good riddance to old Sodom. How much better he could have marched away from there with his family. And when he settled in a new place, he could have had “an abundant entrance” (see 2 Pet. 1:11). Thank God, you are going to make it. But do you want to make it in the way you have been acting lately? Wandering, roaming aimlessly? When there is a place where Jesus will pour “the oil of gladness” on our heads, a place sweeter than any other in the entire world, the blood-bought mercy seat (Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:9)? It is the will of God that you should enter the holy of holies, live under the shadow of the mercy seat, and go out from there and always come back to be renewed and recharged and re-fed. It is the will of God that you live by the mercy seat, living a separated, clean, holy, sacrificial life—a life of continual spiritual difference. Wouldn’t that be better than the way you are doing it now?
A.W. Tozer (The Crucified Life: How To Live Out A Deeper Christian Experience)