Grow Strong Quotes

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The future is now. It's time to grow up and be strong. Tomorrow may well be too late.
Neil LaBute (Reasons to Be Pretty)
Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors.
Andrew Boyd (Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe)
So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.
Roald Dahl (Matilda)
I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway... let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.
C. JoyBell C.
stay strong through your pain grow flowers from it you have helped me grow flowers out of mine so bloom beautifully dangerously loudly bloom softly however you need just bloom
Rupi Kaur (Milk and Honey)
People always think that happiness is a faraway thing," thought Francie, "something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains - a cup of strong hot coffee when you're blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you're alone - just to be with someone you love. Those things make happiness.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Solitary trees, if they grow at all, grow strong.
Winston S. Churchill
I, too, sing America. I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen When company comes, But I laugh, And eat well, And grow strong. Tomorrow, I'll be at the table When company comes. Nobody'll dare Say to me, "Eat in the kitchen," Then. Besides, They'll see how beautiful I am And be ashamed-- I, too, am America.
Langston Hughes
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
Rainer Maria Rilke
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick)
Who wants to die? Everything struggles to live. Look at that tree growing up there out of that grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It's growing out of sour earth. And it's strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong. My children will be strong that way.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men. Silently and perceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak; and last some crisis shows what we have become.
Brooke Foss Westcott
It's hard at times, but it makes a kid strong in ways that most people can't understand. Teaches them that even though people are left behind, new ones will inevitable take their place; that every place has something good - and bad - to offer. It makes a kid grow up fast.
Nicholas Sparks (The Lucky One)
love wasn't possible in just a couple of days. Love could be set in motion quickly, but true love needed time to grow into something strong and enduring. Love was, above all, about commitment and dedication and a belief that spending years with a certain person would create something greater than the sum of what the two can accomplish separately.
Nicholas Sparks (True Believer (Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell, #1))
Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, we know, Are a substantial world, both pure and good: Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood, Our pastime and our happiness will grow.
William Wordsworth
Laugh and grow strong
Ignatius of Loyola
We are all broken and wounded in this world. Some choose to grow strong at the broken places.
Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt
True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring — once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome… except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners. And, as is true of any other strong and addicting drug, true first love is dangerous.
Stephen King (Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4))
May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true. May you always know the truth and see the lights surrounding you. May you always be courageous, stand upright and be strong. May you stay forever young.
Bob Dylan
When we long for life without difficulty, remind us that oaks grow strong under contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.
Peter Marshall
The curse of mortality. You spend the first portion of your life learning, growing stronger, more capable. And then, through no fault of your own, your body begins to fail. You regress. Strong limbs become feeble, keen senses grow dull, hardy constitutions deteriorate. Beauty withers. Organs quit. You remember yourself in your prime, and wonder where that person went. As your wisdom and experience are peaking, your traitorous body becomes a prison.
Brandon Mull (Fablehaven (Fablehaven, #1))
I am a strong and powerful woman. I am proud to be a woman and I celebrate the qualities that I have as a woman. I am not defined by other people’s opinion of who I should be or what I should do as a woman. I determine that, not anyone else. I am not passed up for a position, title, or promotion because I am a woman. I fully deserve all the good things that comes my way. Irrespective of what anyone might think, being a woman places no boundaries or limits on my abilities. I can do anything I set my mind to. I celebrate my womanhood and I am beautiful both inside and out.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
You can survive on your own; you can grow strong on your own; you can prevail on your own; but you cannot become human on your own.
Frederick Buechner (The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days)
Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.
William Ellery Channing
A girl is like a young tree, she said. You must stand tall and listen to your mother standing next to you. That is the only way to grow strong and straight. But if you bend to listen to other people, you will grow crooked and weak. You will fall to the ground with the first strong wind. And then you will be like a weed, growing wild in any direction, running along the ground until someone pulls you out and throws you away.
Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club)
It's definitely difficult being a woman and growing up a girl. When you're graceful, people say you lack personality; when you're serene, people say you're boring; when you're confident, people say you're arrogant; when you're feminine, people say you're too girly; and when you climb trees, people say you're too much of a tomboy! As a woman, you really need to develop a very strong sense of self and the earlier you can do that, the better! You have to be all the things that you are, without allowing other people's ignorance change you! I realized that they don't know what grace is, they can't identify serenity, they have inferiority complexes, they are incapable of being feminine, and they don't know how to climb trees!
C. JoyBell C.
Her mother told her she could grow up to be anything she wanted to be, so she grew up to become the strongest of the strong, the strangest of the strange, the wildest of the wild, the wolf leading the wolves.
Nikita Gill
Grow strong, my comrade … that you may stand Unshaken when I fall; that I may know The shattered fragments of my song will come At last to finer melody in you; That I may tell my heart that you begin Where passing I leave off, and fathom more.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World's Greatest Philosophers)
Oh, I think not,” Varys said, swirling the wine in his cup. “Power is a curious thing, my lord. Perchance you have considered the riddle I posed you that day in the inn?” “It has crossed my mind a time or two,” Tyrion admitted. “The king, the priest, the rich man—who lives and who dies? Who will the swordsman obey? It’s a riddle without an answer, or rather, too many answers. All depends on the man with the sword.” “And yet he is no one,” Varys said. “He has neither crown nor gold nor favor of the gods, only a piece of pointed steel.” “That piece of steel is the power of life and death.” “Just so… yet if it is the swordsmen who rule us in truth, why do we pretend our kings hold the power? Why should a strong man with a sword ever obey a child king like Joffrey, or a wine-sodden oaf like his father?” “Because these child kings and drunken oafs can call other strong men, with other swords.” “Then these other swordsmen have the true power. Or do they?” Varys smiled. “Some say knowledge is power. Some tell us that all power comes from the gods. Others say it derives from law. Yet that day on the steps of Baelor’s Sept, our godly High Septon and the lawful Queen Regent and your ever-so-knowledgeable servant were as powerless as any cobbler or cooper in the crowd. Who truly killed Eddard Stark, do you think? Joffrey, who gave the command? Ser Ilyn Payne, who swung the sword? Or… another?” Tyrion cocked his head sideways. “Did you mean to answer your damned riddle, or only to make my head ache worse?” Varys smiled. “Here, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.” “So power is a mummer’s trick?” “A shadow on the wall,” Varys murmured, “yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” Tyrion smiled. “Lord Varys, I am growing strangely fond of you. I may kill you yet, but I think I’d feel sad about it.” “I will take that as high praise.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
Friends come and go, clothing is packed and unpacked, households are continually purged of unnecessary items, and as a result, not much sticks. it's hard at times but it makes a kid strongs in ways that most people can't understand. Teaches them that even though people are left behind, new ones will inevitably take their place; that every place has something good and bad to offer. It makes a kid grow up fast.
Nicholas Sparks (The Lucky One)
Focus on faith and grow your roots strong and deep so no one can make you believe in something that is not good for your soul.
Molly Friedenfeld
I love you in–in every kind of way.’ ‘I feel like that too . . .’ His voice is shocked and raw. ‘It’s – it’s a feeling so big I sometimes think it’s going to swalow me. It’s so strong I feel it could kil me. It keeps growing and I can’t – I don’t know what to do to stop it. But – but we’re not supposed to do this – to love each other like this!
Tabitha Suzuma (Forbidden)
Work on your strong qualities and become resplendent like the ruby. Practice self-denial and accept difficulty. Always see infinite life in letting the self die. Your stoniness will decrease; your ruby nature will grow. The signs of self-existence will leave your body, and ecstasy will take you over.
Rumi
You can't grow strong without resistance.
Rick Warren
Solitary Trees if they grow at all, grow strong.
Winston Churchill
The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism – and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong – and lucky – he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death – however mutable man may be able to make them – our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
Stanley Kubrick
Many of us have set out on the path of enlightenment. We long for a release of self-hood in some kind of mystical union with all things. But that moment of epiphany—when we finally see the whole pattern and sense our place in the cosmic web—can be a crushing experience from which we never fully recover. Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. You can not turn away. Your destiny is bound to the destinies of others. You must either learn to carry the Universe or be crushed by it. You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors. To seek enlightenment is to seek annihilation, rebirth, and the taking up of burdens. You must come prepared to touch and be touched by each and every thing in heaven and hell. I am One with the Universe and it hurts.
Andrew Boyd (Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe)
Maybe we all have in us a secret pond where evil and ugly things germinate and grow strong. But this culture is fenced, and the swimming brood climbs up only to fall back. Might it not be that in the dark pools of some men the evil grows strong enough to wriggle over the fence and swim free? Would not such a man be our monster, and are we not related to him in our hidden water? It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils, since we invented them.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. May you grow strong at the broken places.
Tami Hoag (Secrets to the Grave)
Just like in bodybuilding, failure is also a necessary experience for growth in our own lives, for if we're never tested to our limits, how will we know how strong we really are? How will we ever grow?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Love is a seed that we diligently plant and requires tender care and watering in order for the tree to ever grow. Just as we cannot foresee the future and what is to become of this love later in life, the tree cannot tell what the weather will be like in the future. The strongest of winds and pouring rain may befall on the tree, however as long as the foundation and roots remains strong, love is able to exist.
Forrest Curran (Purple Buddha Project: Purple Book of Self-Love)
Sleep little one Sleep Grow strong And grow wings The world is waiting for you
Lisa Schroeder (Far from You)
Endure. In enduring, grow strong.
Chris Avellone
Bond is stronger than blood. The family grows stronger by bond.
Itohan Eghide (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
We're only as strong as our biggest fear...Embrace your fears and grow from them or spend the rest of your life fighting them at every turn.
Lauren Asher (Terms and Conditions (Dreamland Billionaires, #2))
When it came to the home-for-dinner dilemma, I installed new boundaries, ones that worked better for me and the girls. We made our schedule and stuck to it. ...It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and also unaccommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with us.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick (Saddleback Classics))
We a family, carin' for each other. Family make us strong in times of trouble. We all stick together, help each other out. That the real meanin' of family. When you grow up, you take that family feelin' with you.
Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House)
You hurt, you cry, you say goodbye…you move on, you grow strong, you remember how to fly.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman's Sassy Survival Guide: Letting Go and Moving On)
You must have the courage to face what happened today and to live with it in your heart and to use the memory of it to grow and be strong.
Allan Frewin Jones (Warrior Princess (Warrior Princess, #1))
In My Daughter's Eyes Lyrics In my daughter's eyes I am a hero I am strong and wise and I know no fear But the truth is plain to see She was sent to rescue me I see who I want to be In my daughter's eyes In my daughter's eyes Everyone is equal Darkness turns to light And the world is at peace This miracle God gave to me Gives me strength when I'm weak I find reason to believe In my daughter's eyes And when she wraps her hand around my finger Oh it puts a smile in my heart Everything becomes a little clearer I realize what life is all about It's hangin' on when your heart Is had enough It's givin' more when you feel like givin' up I've seen the light It's in my daughter's eyes In my daughter's eyes I can see the future A reflection of who I am And what we'll be And though she'll grow and someday leave Maybe raise a family When I'm gone I hope you'll see How happy she made me For I'll be there In my daughter's eyes
Martina McBride
She didn't struggle and so she didn't grow
Paulo Coelho
I won't die. I won't give those ghouls the pleasure. I'll live and grow strong. I'll escape, then hunt them down and make them suffer.
Darren Shan (The Thin Executioner)
You are a sprout, fighting to take root among the rocks of our world. It’s going to cause a few cracks, but that is the only way for you to grow strong.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
If there's empty spaces in your heart, They'll make you think it's wrong, Like having empty spaces, Means you never can be strong, But I've learned that all these spaces, Means there's room enough to grow, And the people that once filled them, Were always meant to be let go, And all these empty spaces, Create a strange sort of pull, That attract so many people, You wouldn't meet if they were full, So if you're made of empty spaces, Don't ever think it's wrong, Because maybe they're just empty, Until the right person comes along.
Ernest Hemingway
You don't look strong enough to trouble nobody around here.... We grow our own troubles--it would be a novelty to have some we ain't already used to.
Larry McMurtry (Lonesome Dove (Lonesome Dove, #1))
The woman who creates and sustains a home, and under whose hands children grow up to be strong and pure men and women, is a creator second only to God.
Helen Hunt Jackson
people always think that happiness is a far away thing, something complicated and hard to get. yet, little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains - a cup of strong hot coffee when you're blue; for a man, a cigarette for contentment; a book to read when you're alone - just to be with someone you love. those little things make happiness.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
The living may take strength from love and hope, but the dead grow strong on darker things. On pain and anger and regret.
Victoria Schwab (City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake, #1))
Government today is growing too strong to be safe. There are no longer any citizens in the world there are only subjects. They work day in and day out for their masters they are bound to die for their masters at call. Out of this working and dying they tend to get less and less.
H.L. Mencken
I'll never forget the first time Davram took me by the scruff of my neck and showed me he was the stronger of us. It was magnificent! If a woman is stronger than her husband, she comes to despise him. She has the choice of either tyrannizing him or else making herself less in order not to make him less. If the husband is strong enough, though, she can be as strong as she is, as strong as she can grow to be.
Robert Jordan
So Matilda's strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea.
Roald Dahl (Matilda)
We aren't the weeds in the crack of life. We're the strong,amazing flowers that found a way to grow in the most challenging conditions ~
Jeanne McElvaney (Spirit Unbroken: Abby's Story)
The world can be a hard place sometimes... You have to have heart. You have to be strong. Parents want their children to grow up to be strong. Not just any strong, mind you, but loving strong.
Jewell Parker Rhodes (Ninth Ward)
Tears are handy for washing away troubling and sad feelings. But when you grow up, you'll learn that there are things so sad, they can never be washed away by tears. That there are painful memories that should never be washed away. So people who are truly strong laugh when they want to cry. They endure all of the pain and sorrow while laughing with everybody else.
Hideaki Sorachi
Bread – like real love – took time, cultivation, strong loving hands and patience. It lived, rising and growing to fruition only under the most perfect circumstances.
Melissa Hill (Something From Tiffany’s)
I could fight with the living but I could not fight the dead. If there was some woman in London that Maxim loved, someone he wrote to, visited, dined with, slept with, I could fight her. We would stand on common ground. I should not be afraid. Anger and jealousy were things that could be conquered. One day the woman would grow old or tired or different, and Maxim would not love her anymore. But Rebecca would never grow old. Rebecca would always be the same. And she and I could not fight. She was too strong for me.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Love could be set in motion quickly, but true love needed time to grow into something strong and enduring.
Nicholas Sparks (True Believer (Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell, #1))
If you find confident women intimidating, then grow some confidence yourself. - Kailin Gow
Kailin Gow
Mother, I am young. Mother, I am just eighteen. I am strong. I will work hard, Mother. But I do not want this child to grow up just to work hard. What must I do, mother, what must I do to make a different world for her? How do I start?" "The secret lies in the reading and the writing. You are able to read. Every day you must read one page from some good book to your child. Every day this must be until the child learns to read. Then she must read every day, I know this is the secret
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
sometimes courage isn’t climbing Mount Everest or changing the world. Sometimes your mountain to climb is made up of weekdays and months, made up of pushing yourself forward even when you want to nestle into the past. Sometimes changing the world means changing your world as gradually as you need to, as gently as you heal, because sometimes courage isn’t made up of war and bloodshed; sometimes courage isn’t made of combat. Sometimes courage is a quiet fight, a dim softness within you, that flickers even on your darkest days and reminds you that you are strong, that you are growing—that there is hope.
Bianca Sparacino (The Strength In Our Scars)
The way surviving hard winters makes a tree grows stronger, the growth rings inside it tighter
Haruki Murakami (Yesterday)
In the enclave, the strong and the physically perfect survived, but if you were strong, you protected the weak until they had an opportunity to grow into their own power.
Ann Aguirre (Enclave (Razorland, #1))
Immediately after birth the calf is separated from its mother and locked inside a tiny cage not much bigger than the calf’s own body. There the calf spends its entire life – about four months on average. It never leaves its cage, nor is it allowed to play with other calves or even walk – all so that its muscles will not grow strong. Soft muscles mean a soft and juicy steak. The first time the calf has a chance to walk, stretch its muscles and touch other calves is on its way to the slaughterhouse. In evolutionary terms, cattle represent one of the most successful animal species ever to exist. At the same time, they are some of the most miserable animals on the planet.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Kids wake up each day believing in the goodness of things, in the magic of what might be. They’re uncynical, believers at their core. We owe it to them to stay strong and keep working to create a more fair and humane world. For them, we need to remain both tough and hopeful, to acknowledge that there’s more growing to be done.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
Betrayal is too kind a word to describe a situation in which a father says he loves his daughter but claims he must teach her about the horrors of the world in order to make her a stronger person; a situation in which he watches or participates in rituals that make her feel like she is going to die. She experiences pain that is so intense that she cannot think; her head spins so fast she can't remember who she is or how she got there. All she knows is pain. All she feels is desperation. She tries to cry out for help, but soon learns that no one will listen. No matter how loud she cries, she can't stop or change what is happening. No matter what she does, the pain will not stop. Her father orders her to be tortured and tells her it is for her own good. He tells her that she needs the discipline, or that she has asked for it by her misbehavior. Betrayal is too simple a word to describe the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming loneliness and isolation this child experiences. As if the abuse during the rituals were not enough, this child experiences similar abuse at home on a daily basis. When she tries to talk about her pain, she is told that she must be crazy. "Nothing bad has happened to you;' her family tells her Each day she begins to feel more and more like she doesn't know what is real. She stops trusting her own feelings because no one else acknowledges them or hears her agony. Soon the pain becomes too great. She learns not to feel at all. This strong, lonely, desperate child learns to give up the senses that make all people feel alive. She begins to feel dead. She wishes she were dead. For her there is no way out. She soon learns there is no hope. As she grows older she gets stronger. She learns to do what she is told with the utmost compliance. She forgets everything she has ever wanted. The pain still lurks, but it's easier to pretend it's not there than to acknowledge the horrors she has buried in the deepest parts of her mind. Her relationships are overwhelmed by the power of her emotions. She reaches out for help, but never seems to find what she is looking for The pain gets worse. The loneliness sets in. When the feelings return, she is overcome with panic, pain, and desperation. She is convinced she is going to die. Yet, when she looks around her she sees nothing that should make her feel so bad. Deep inside she knows something is very, very wrong, but she doesn't remember anything. She thinks, "Maybe I am crazy.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Help)
You are a man of extreme passion, a hungry man not quite sure where his appetite lies, a deeply frustrated man striving to project his individuality against a backdrop of rigid conformity. You exist in a half-world suspended between two superstructures, one self-expression and the other self-destruction. You are strong, but there is a flaw in your strength, and unless you learn to control it the flaw will prove stronger than your strength and defeat you. The flaw? Explosive emotional reaction out of all proportion to the occasion. Why? Why this unreasonable anger at the sight of others who are happy or content, this growing contempt for people and the desire to hurt them? All right, you think they're fools, you despise them because their morals, their happiness is the source of your frustration and resentment. But these are dreadful enemies you carry within yourself--in time destructive as bullets. Mercifully, a bullet kills its victim. This other bacteria, permitted to age, does not kill a man but leaves in its wake the hulk of a creature torn and twisted; there is still fire within his being but it is kept alive by casting upon it faggots of scorn and hate. He may successfully accumulate, but he does not accumulate success, for he is his own enemy and is kept from truly enjoying his achievements.
Truman Capote (In Cold Blood)
Standing in front of him I wipe his liquid from the corner of my mouth and stare deeply. I can see the panic in his eyes. I can smell his fear, deep, rich and growing, and for the first time tonight I’m actually aroused.
Dennis Sharpe (Blood & Spirits (The Coming Storm, #1))
here's the thing about wildflowers they take root wherever they are grow strong through the wind, rain, pain, sunshine, blue skies and starless nights they dance, even when it seems there is nothing worth dancing for they bloom with or without you
Alisha Christensen (Still Growing Wildflowers)
A nation is born stoic, and dies epicurean. At its cradle (to repeat a thoughtful adage) religion stands, and philosophy accompanies it to the grave. In the beginning of all cultures a strong religious faith conceals and softens the nature of things, and gives men courage to bear pain and hardship patiently; at every step the gods are with them, and will not let them perish, until they do. Even then a firm faith will explain that it was the sins of the people that turned their gods to an avenging wrath; evil does not destroy faith, but strengthens it. If victory comes, if war is forgotten in security and peace, then wealth grows; the life of the body gives way, in the dominant classes, to the life of the senses and the mind; toil and suffering are replaced by pleasure and ease; science weakens faith even while thought and comfort weaken virility and fortitude. At last men begin to doubt the gods; they mourn the tragedy of knowledge, and seek refuge in every passing delight. Achilles is at the beginning, Epicurus at the end. After David comes Job, and after Job, Ecclesiastes.
Will Durant (Our Oriental Heritage (The Story of Civilization, #1))
Everywhere means nowhere. When a person spends all his time in foreign travel, he ends by having many acquaintances, but no friends. And the same thing must hold true of men who seek intimate acquaintance with no single author, but visit them all in a hasty and hurried manner. 3. Food does no good and is not assimilated into the body if it leaves the stomach as soon as it is eaten; nothing hinders a cure so much as frequent change of medicine; no wound will heal when one salve is tried after another; a plant which is often moved can never grow strong. There is nothing so efficacious that it can be helpful while it is being shifted about. And in reading of many books is distraction.
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Strong GenerationS Churches do not fight tomorrow’s war with yesterday’s strategies.
Tan Seow How (How to Grow Your Church Younger and Stronger: The Story of the Kids who Built a World-Class Church)
The enemy fights the hardest when you are closest to your breakthrough. Know that your best days are ahead and no weapon formed will prosper.
Germany Kent
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
Herman Melville
The man who never weakens when things are against him will grow stronger and stronger until all things will delight to be for him. He will finally have all the strength he may desire or need. Be always strong and you will always be stronger.Picture in your mind your own best idea of what a strong, well-developed individuality would necessarily be, and then think of yourself as becoming more and more like that picture. In this connection it is well to remember that we gradually grow into the likeness of that which we think of the most. Therefore, if you have a very clear idea of a highly developed individuality, and think a great deal of that individuality with a strong, positive desire to develop such an individuality, you will gradually and surely move towards that lofty ideal.
Christian D. Larson
Beautiful creatures cannot be confined Her wings will grow, she'll find the sky.
Christy Ann Martine
We live in a wondrous time, in which the strong is weak because of his scruples and the weak grows strong because of his audacity.
Otto von Bismarck
We grow in part by confessing our faults and weaknesses to each other (James 5:16; Eccl. 4:10). If we are always being strong and without needs, we are not growing, and we are setting ourselves up for a very dangerous fall.
Henry Cloud (Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't)
There will always be those who say you are too young and delicate to make anything happen for yourself. They don't see the part of you that smolders. Don't let their doubting drown out the sound of your own heartbeat. You are the first drop of rain in a hurricane. Your bravery builds beyond you. You are needed by all the little girls still living in secret, writing oceans made of monsters, and throwing like lightning. You don't need to grow up to find greatness. You are so much stronger than the world has ever believed you could be. The world is waiting for you to set it on fire. Trust in yourself and burn.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
There was a dragon who had a long-standing obsession with a queen's breasts," she said, growing breathless. "The dragon knew the penalty to touch her would mean death, yet he revealed his secret desire to the king's chief doctor. This man promised he could arrange for the dragon to satisfy his desire, but it would cost him one thousand gold coins." She spread her soapy hands over his nipples, then down his arms. "Though he didn't have the money, the dragon readily agreed to the scheme." Grace," Darius moaned, his erection straining against her stomach. She hid her smile, loving that she had this much power over such a strong man. That she, Grace Carlyle, made him ache with longing. "The next day the physician made a batch of itching powder and poured some into the queen's bra… uh, you might call it a brassiere… while she bathed. After she dressed, she began itching and itching and itching. The physician was summoned to the Royal Chambers, and he informed the king and queen that only a special saliva, if applied for several hours, would cure this type of itch. And only a dragon possessed this special saliva." Out of breath, she paused. Continue," Darius said. His arms wound around her so tightly she could barely breathe. His skin blazed hot against hers, hotter than even the steamy water. Are you sure?" Continue." Taut lines bracketed his mouth. Well, the king summoned the dragon. Meanwhile, the physician slipped him the antidote for the itching powder, which the dragon put into his mouth, and for the next few hours, the dragon worked passionately on the queen's breasts. Anyway," she said, reaching around him and lathering the muscled mounds of his butt, "the queen's itching was eventually relieved, and the dragon left satisfied and touted as a hero." This does not sound like a joke," Darius said. I'm getting to the punch line. Hang on. When the physician demanded his payment, the now satisfied dragon refused. He knew that the physician could never report what really happened to the king. So the next day, the physician slipped a massive dose of the same itching powder into the king's loincloth. And the king immediately summoned the dragon." -Heart of the Dragon
Gena Showalter
Today we tell girls to grow up to be or do whatever they want. But the cultural pressure to become a mother remains very strong; rare is she who doesn’t at least occasionally succumb to the nagging fear that if she remains childless, she’ll live to regret it.
Kate Bolick (Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own)
You might say “no, you will never do that, that’s not you, not who I know, not who I thought you were”, and I will say "watch me".
Charlotte Eriksson
If you want to grow up to be a big, strong pea, you have to eat your candy," Papa Pea would say.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal (Little Pea)
...he shrunk more and more from the realities of life and above all from the society of his day which he regarded with an ever growing horror,--a detestation which had reacted strongly on his literary and artistic tastes; he refused, as far as possible, to have anything to do with pictures and books whose subjects were in any way connected with modern existence.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (Against Nature)
A giant octopus living way down deep at the bottom of the ocean. It has this tremendously powerful life force, a bunch of long, undulating legs, and it's heading somewhere, moving through the darkness of the ocean… It takes on all kinds of different shapes—sometimes it's 'the nation,' and sometimes it's 'the law,' and sometimes it takes on shapes that are more difficult and dangerous than that. You can try cutting off its legs, but they just keep growing back. Nobody can kill it. It's too strong, and it lives too far down in the ocean. Nobody knows where its heart is. What I felt then was a deep terror. And a kind of hopelessness, a feeling that I could never run away from this thing, no matter how far I went. And this creature, this thing doesn't give a damn that I'm me or you're you. In its presence, all human beings lose their names and their faces. We all turn into signs, into numbers.
Haruki Murakami (After Dark)
We draw our strength from the great oaks of the forest. As they take their nourishment from the soil, and from the rains that feed the soil, so we find our courage in the pattern of living things around us. They stand through storm and tempest. They grow and renew themselves. Like a grove of young oaks, we remain strong.
Juliet Marillier (Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters, #1))
Each night the black sky and the bright stars were my stunning companions; occasionally Id see their beauty and solemnity so plainly that I'd realize in a piercing way that my mother was right. That someday I WOULD be grateful and that in fact I was grateful now, that I felt something growing in me that was strong and real.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
Your god, sir, is the World. In my eyes, you, too, if not an infidel, are an idolater. I conceive that you ignorantly worship: in all things you appear to me too superstitious. Sir, your god, your great Bel, your fish-tailed Dagon, rises before me as a demon. You, and such as you, have raised him to a throne, put on him a crown, given him a sceptre. Behold how hideously he governs! See him busied at the work he likes best -- making marriages. He binds the young to the old, the strong to the imbecile. He stretches out the arm of Mezentius and fetters the dead to the living. In his realm there is hatred -- secret hatred: there is disgust -- unspoken disgust: there is treachery -- family treachery: there is vice -- deep, deadly, domestic vice. In his dominions, children grow unloving between parents who have never loved: infants are nursed on deception from their very birth: they are reared in an atmosphere corrupt with lies ... All that surrounds him hastens to decay: all declines and degenerates under his sceptre. Your god is a masked Death.
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
I reflected how many satisfied, happy people there really are! What a suffocating force it is! You look at life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, incredible poverty all about us, overcrowding, degeneration, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lying... Yet all is calm and stillness in the houses and in the streets; of the fifty thousand living in a town, there s not one who would cry out, who would give vent to his indignation aloud. We see the people going to market for provisions, eating by day, sleeping by night, talking their silly nonsense, getting married, growing old, serenely escorting their dead to the cemetery; but we do not see and we do not hear those who suffer, and what is terrible in life goes on somewhere behind the scenes...Everything is so quiet and peaceful, and nothing protests but mute statistics: so many people gone out of their minds, so many gallons of vodka drunk, so many children dead from malnutrition... And this order of things s evidently necessary; evidently the happy man only feels at ease because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and without that silence happiness would be impossible.
Anton Chekhov (Ward No. 6 and Other Stories)
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially when my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to a bookstore as soon as I can. That is my substitute for the pistol and ball.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
If I grew up in the simple-minded belief that women were as strong and intelligent as men, it was because I came from a society that had once believed it.
Shirley Abbott (Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South)
Romance is a bubble which will burst. True love is a seed which will grow into a tree, something strong and beautiful to lean on.
Loretta Livingstone
Our path dictates how strong we will be and how tall we will grow. Will our life grow into something beautiful, or will we develop thorns for protection.
Chanda Hahn (Forever (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #5))
United Nations should be like a caring mother having many children. Its role is to grow trust and respect among the siblings with strong emotional bonds.
Amit Ray (Nuclear Weapons Free World - Peace on the Earth)
I think maybe God was trying to tell me that gentleness begins with strength, quietness with security. A great tree is both moved and unmoved, for it changes with the seasons, but its roots keep it anchored in the ground. Mastering a gentle and quiet spirit didn’t mean changing my personality, just regaining control of it, growing strong enough to hold back and secure enough to soften.
Rachel Held Evans (A Year of Biblical Womanhood)
Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off - then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.
Herman Melville
Pity, I knew, was just disrespect wrapped in kindness. I had to address it early, or it would grow unwieldy in time.
Veronica Roth (Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1))
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
Hermann Hesse (Wandering)
She laughed at him then, because he sounded like a small boy, not like a very large grown-up Beast with a voice so deep it made the hair on the back of your neck stir when you heard it. 'But vegetables are good for you,' she said, and added caressingly, 'They make you grow up big and strong.' He smiled, showing a great many teeth. 'You see why I wish to eat no more vegetables.
Robin McKinley (Rose Daughter)
We know – it has been measured in many experiments – that children with strong impulse control grow to be better adjusted, more dependable, achieve higher grades in school and college and have more success in their careers than others. Success depends on the ability to delay gratification, which is precisely what a consumerist culture undermines. At every stage, the emphasis is on the instant gratification of instinct. In the words of the pop group Queen, “I want it all and I want it now.” A whole culture is being infantilised.
Jonathan Sacks
Having happy families because of happy and prosperous individuals and businesses will fuel world economies. Helping more businesses grow and prosper is good for the economy. What is good for the economy is good for families. What is good for families is good for the consumer. Be good to small businesses for that is best for the consumers. - Strong by Kailin Gow on Strong Economies
Kailin Gow
Every time you feel lost, confused, think about trees, remember how they grow. Remember that a tree with lots of branches and few roots will get toppled by the first strong wind, while the sap hardly moves in a tree with many roots and few branches. Roots and branches must grow in equal measure, you have to stand both inside of things and above them, because only then will you be able to offer shade and shelter, only then will you be able to cover yourself with leaves and fruit at the proper season. And later on, when so many roads open up before you, you don't know which to take, don't pick one at random; sit down and wait. Breathe deeply, trustingly, the way you breathed on the day when you came into the world, don't let anything distract you, wait and wait some more. Stay still, be quiet, and listen to your heart. Then, when it speaks, get up and go where it takes you.
Susanna Tamaro (Follow Your Heart)
...a choice had to be made when your husband said something unkind. Specifically: be cruel, be strong, or sulk. 'Be cruel' by saying an unkind thing back. 'Be strong' by choosing not to mind. But to do this, you have to use up a piece of your love. You have to shave off enough of the love to forgive. After a while, the piece might grow back, but sometimes not. And if you shave off all the soft curves, you'll be left with a sharp-edged love. 'Sulk' by sulking. Sulking is simply delaying the choice to be cruel or strong.
Jaclyn Moriarty (The Spell Book of Listen Taylor)
It faded slowly, ebbing like the tide. He rolled onto his back, staring up, his head still aching. The black clouds were beginning to roll back, showing a widening strip of blue; the Angel was gone, the lake surging under the growing light as if the water were boiling. Simon began to sit up slowly, his eyes squinted painfully against the sun. He could see someone racing down the path from the farmhouse to the lake. Someone with long black hair, and a purple jacket that flew out behind her like wings. She hit the end of the path and leaped onto the lakeside, her boots kicking up puffs of sand behind her. She reached him and threw herself sand behind her. She reached him and threw herself down, wrapping her arms around him. “Simon,” she whispered. He could feel the strong, steady beat of Isabelle’s heart. “I thought you were dead,” she went on. “I saw you fall down, and—I thought you were dead.” Simon let her hold him, propping himself up on his hands. He realized he was listing like a ship with a hole in the side, and tried not to move. He was afraid that if he did, he would fall over. “I am dead.” “ I know,” Izzy snapped. “I mean more dead than usual.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
... because one day, maybe one day, if I learned how to write clear enough, sing loud enough, be strong enough, I could explain myself in a way that made sense and then maybe one day, one day, someone out there would hear and recognise her or himself and I could let them know that they are not alone. Just like that song I had on repeat for several nights as I walked lonely on empty streets, let me know that I was not alone and that’s how it starts.
Charlotte Eriksson
They're all gone, my tribe is gone. Those blankets they gave us, infected with smallpox, have killed us. I'm the last, the very last, and I'm sick, too. So very sick. Hot. My fever burning so hot. I have to take off my clothes, feel the cold air, splash water across my bare skin. And dance. I'll dance a Ghost Dance. I'll bring them back. Can you hear the drums? I can hear them, and it's my grandfather and grandmother singing. Can you hear them? I dance one step and my sister rises from the ash. I dance another and a buffalo crashes down from the sky onto a log cabin in Nebraska. With every step, an Indian rises. With every other step, a buffalo falls. I'm growing, too. My blisters heal, my muscles stretch, expand. My tribe dances behind me. At first they are no bigger than children. Then they begin to grow, larger than me, larger than the trees around us. The buffalo come to join us and their hooves shake the earth, knock all the white people from their beds, send their plates crashing to the floor. We dance in circles growing larger and larger until we are standing on the shore, watching all the ships returning to Europe. All the white hands are waving good-bye and we continue to dance, dance until the ships fall off the horizon, dance until we are so tall and strong that the sun is nearly jealous. We dance that way.
Sherman Alexie (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven)
He felt . . . he didn’t know how he felt, except stunned. Filled with joy and confusion and what felt like a flickering light, growing brighter by the second. He felt strong. He felt ready. He felt like his abs were still pretty much only a two-pack, but he supposed even a magic cup could get you only so far.
Cassandra Clare (Angels Twice Descending (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #10))
Lucy, a girl's name for Lucifer. That my mother would have found me devil-like did not surprise me, for I often thought of her as god-like, and are not the children of gods devils? I did not grow to like the name Lucy-I would have much preferred to be called Lucifer outright-but whenever I saw my name I always reached out to give it a strong embrace.
Jamaica Kincaid (Lucy)
Gulls wheel through spokes of sunlight over gracious roofs and dowdy thatch, snatching entrails at the marketplace and escaping over cloistered gardens, spike topped walls and treble-bolted doors. Gulls alight on whitewashed gables, creaking pagodas and dung-ripe stables; circle over towers and cavernous bells and over hidden squares where urns of urine sit by covered wells, watched by mule-drivers, mules and wolf-snouted dogs, ignored by hunch-backed makers of clogs; gather speed up the stoned-in Nakashima River and fly beneath the arches of its bridges, glimpsed form kitchen doors, watched by farmers walking high, stony ridges. Gulls fly through clouds of steam from laundries' vats; over kites unthreading corpses of cats; over scholars glimpsing truth in fragile patterns; over bath-house adulterers, heartbroken slatterns; fishwives dismembering lobsters and crabs; their husbands gutting mackerel on slabs; woodcutters' sons sharpening axes; candle-makers, rolling waxes; flint-eyed officials milking taxes; etiolated lacquerers; mottle-skinned dyers; imprecise soothsayers; unblinking liars; weavers of mats; cutters of rushes; ink-lipped calligraphers dipping brushes; booksellers ruined by unsold books; ladies-in-waiting; tasters; dressers; filching page-boys; runny-nosed cooks; sunless attic nooks where seamstresses prick calloused fingers; limping malingerers; swineherds; swindlers; lip-chewed debtors rich in excuses; heard-it-all creditors tightening nooses; prisoners haunted by happier lives and ageing rakes by other men's wives; skeletal tutors goaded to fits; firemen-turned-looters when occasion permits; tongue-tied witnesses; purchased judges; mothers-in-law nurturing briars and grudges; apothecaries grinding powders with mortars; palanquins carrying not-yet-wed daughters; silent nuns; nine-year-old whores; the once-were-beautiful gnawed by sores; statues of Jizo anointed with posies; syphilitics sneezing through rotted-off noses; potters; barbers; hawkers of oil; tanners; cutlers; carters of night-soil; gate-keepers; bee-keepers; blacksmiths and drapers; torturers; wet-nurses; perjurers; cut-purses; the newborn; the growing; the strong-willed and pliant; the ailing; the dying; the weak and defiant; over the roof of a painter withdrawn first from the world, then his family, and down into a masterpiece that has, in the end, withdrawn from its creator; and around again, where their flight began, over the balcony of the Room of Last Chrysanthemum, where a puddle from last night's rain is evaporating; a puddle in which Magistrate Shiroyama observes the blurred reflections of gulls wheeling through spokes of sunlight. This world, he thinks, contains just one masterpiece, and that is itself.
David Mitchell (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet)
The wish of death had been palpably hanging over this otherwise idyllic paradise for a good many years. All business and politics is personal in the Philippines. If it wasn't for the cheap beer and lovely girls one of us would spend an hour in this dump. They [Jehovah's Witnesses] get some kind of frequent flyer points for each person who signs on. I'm not lazy. I'm just motivationally challenged. I'm not fat. I just have lots of stored energy. You don't get it do you? What people think of you matters more than the reality. Marilyn. Despite standing firm at the final hurdle Marilyn was always ready to run the race. After answering the question the woman bent down behind the stand out of sight of all, and crossed herself. It is amazing what you can learn in prison. Merely through casual conversation Rick had acquired the fundamentals of embezzlement, fraud and armed hold up. He wondered at the price of honesty in a grey world whose half tones changed faster than the weather. The banality of truth somehow always surprises the news media before they tart it up. You've ridden jeepneys in peak hour. Where else can you feel up a fourteen-year-old schoolgirl without even trying? [Ralph Winton on the Philippines finer points] Life has no bottom. No matter how bad things are or how far one has sunk things can always get worse. You could call the Oval Office an information rain shadow. In the Philippines, a whole layer of criminals exists who consider that it is their right to rob you unhindered. If you thwart their wicked desires, to their way of thinking you have stolen from them and are evil. There's honest and dishonest corruption in this country. Don't enjoy it too much for it's what we love that usually kills us. The good guys don't always win wars but the winners always make sure that they go down in history as the good guys. The Philippines is like a woman. You love her and hate her at the same time. I never believed in all my born days that ideas of truth and justice were only pretty words to brighten a much darker and more ubiquitous reality. The girl was experiencing the first flushes of love while Rick was at least feeling the methadone equivalent. Although selfishness and greed are more ephemeral than the real values of life their effects on the world often outlive their origins. Miriam's a meteor job. Somewhere out there in space there must be a meteor with her name on it. Tsismis or rumours grow in this land like tropical weeds. Surprises are so common here that nothing is surprising. A crooked leader who can lead is better than a crooked one who can't. Although I always followed the politics of Hitler I emulate the drinking habits of Churchill. It [Australia] is the country that does the least with the most. Rereading the brief lines that told the story in the manner of Fox News reporting the death of a leftist Rick's dark imagination took hold. Didn't your mother ever tell you never to trust a man who doesn't drink? She must have been around twenty years old, was tall for a Filipina and possessed long black hair framing her smooth olive face. This specter of loveliness walked with the assurance of the knowingly beautiful. Her crisp and starched white uniform dazzled in the late-afternoon light and highlighted the natural tan of her skin. Everything about her was in perfect order. In short, she was dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk. Suddenly, she stopped, turned her head to one side and spat comprehensively into the street. The tiny putrescent puddle contrasted strongly with the studied aplomb of its all-too-recent owner, suggesting all manner of disease and decay.
John Richard Spencer
I call the high and light aspects of my being SPIRIT and the dark and heavy aspects SOUL. Soul is at home in the deep shaded valleys. Heavy torpid flowes saturated with black grow there. The rivers flow like arm syrup. They empty into huge oceans of soul. Spirit is a land of high,white peaks and glittering jewel-like lakes and flowers. Life is sparse and sound travels great distances. There is soul music, soul food, and soul love. People need to climb the mountain not because it is there But because the soulful divinity need to be mated with the Spirit. Deep down we must have a rel affection for each other, a clear recognition of our shared human status. At the same time we must openly accept all ideologies and systems as means of solving humanity's problems. No matter how strong the wind of evil may blow, the flame of truth cannot be extinguished.
Dalai Lama XIV
When it comes to raising daughters, especially strong daughters, who will grow up to be strong women; fathers can and do play a very important role in their development and growth. - Raising A Strong Daughter: What Fathers Should Know by Finlay Gow JD and Kailin Gow MA
Kailin Gow
My daughter isn’t going to grow up as fragile flower, incapable of taking care of herself. She will train as she fights, and she will fight as she trains. She will be raised to be total bad ass. Because everyone loves a bad ass. - Raising A Strong Daughter: What Fathers Should Know by Finlay Gow JD and Kailin Gow MA
Kailin Gow
people leave because unlike matter that has firm, solid, strong molecules people are made up of air, fire, earth and water that change shapes that keep moving that cannot stop and let them be the things they want the shapes they like because in the end you too will grow into something entirely new so let them go
Noor Unnahar (Yesterday I Was the Moon)
If there's empty spaces in your heart, They'll make you think it's wrong, Like having empty spaces, Means you never can be strong, But I've learned that all these spaces, Means there's room enough to grow, And the people that once filled them, Were always meant to be let go, And all these empty spaces, Create a strange sort of pull, That attract so many people, You wouldn't meet if they were full, So if you're made of empty spaces, Don't ever think it's wrong, Because maybe they're just empty, Until the right person comes along.
Erin Hanson (Reverie (The Poetic Underground #1))
Those who boggle at strong language are cowards, because it is real life which is shocking them, and weaklings like that are the very people who cause most harm to culture and character. They would like to see the nation grow up into a group of over-sensitive little people--masturbators of false culture...
Jaroslav Hašek (The Good Soldier Švejk)
I am the darker brother. They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes, but I laugh and I eat well, and I grow strong. Tomorrow I'll sit in the table when company comes, nobody will dare say to me "eat in the kitchen" then. Besides they'll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed.
Langston Hughes (I, Too, Am America)
I sought a soul that might resemble mine, and I could not find it. I scanned all the crannies of the earth: my perseverance was useless. Yet I could not remain alone. There had to be someone who would approve of my character; there had to be someone with the same ideas as myself. It was morning. The sun in all his magnificence rose on the horizon, and behold, there also appeared before my eyes a young man whose presence made flowers grow as he passed. He approached me and held out his hand: “I have come to you, you who seek me. Let us give thanks for this happy day.” But I replied: “Go! I did not summon you. I do not need your friendship… .” It was evening. Night was beginning to spread the blackness of her veil over nature. A beautiful woman whom I could scarcely discern also exerted her bewitching sway upon me and looked at me with compassion. She did not, however, dare speak to me. I said: “Come closer that I may discern your features clearly, for at this distance the starlight is not strong enough to illumine them.” Then, with modest demeanour, eyes lowered, she crossed the greensward and reached my side. I said as soon as I saw her: “I perceive that goodness and justice have dwelt in your heart: we could not live together. Now you are admiring my good looks which have bowled over more than one woman. But sooner or later you would regret having consecrated your love to me, for you do not know my soul. Not that I shall be unfaithful to you: she who devotes herself to me with so much abandon and trust — with the same trust and abandon do I devote myself to her. But get this into your head and never forget it: wolves and lambs look not on one another with gentle eyes.” What then did I need, I who rejected with disgust what was most beautiful in humanity!
Comte de Lautréamont (Maldoror and the Complete Works)
Soon the trees affected not only her mood but her understanding. Each year a trunk put on a new ring of growth, and within those rings she found the tree's own story. She listened to the scent of it, the feel, the sound, and her mind gave it words- soil, water, sap, light...and before, night and rain, dry and sun, wind and night...the drowsy stillness of leaves in a rainfall, the sparkling eagerness of leaves in the sun, and always the pulling up of the branches, the tugging down of the roots, the forever growing in tow directions, joing sky and soil, and a center to keep it strong... -Rin, Forest Born
Shannon Hale
All life is rife with possibilities. Seeds have possibilities, but all their tomorrows are caught by the patterning of their life cycle. Animals have possibilities that are greater than that of a fir tree or a blade of grass. Still, though, for most animals, the pattern of instinct, the patterns of their lives, are very strong. Humanity has a far greater range of possibilities, especially the very young. Who will children grow up to be? Who will they marry, what will they believe, what will they create? Creation is a very powerful seed of possibility.
Patricia Briggs (River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6))
A person is strong only when he stands upon his own truth, when he speaks and acts with his deepest convictions. Then, whatever the situation he may be in, he always knows what he must say and do. He may fall, but he cannot bring shame upon himself or his cause. If we seek the liberation of the people by means of a lie, we will surely grow confused, go astray, and loose sight of our objective, and if we have any influence at all on the people we will lead them astray as well—in other words, we will be acting in the spirit of reaction and to its benefit.
Mikhail Bakunin (Statism and Anarchy)
Think of hope the minute you feel miserable with your life. Take up the habit of finding joy in the smallest of things in life. The misery you feel now will be a strong foundation for your future and you will become someone with an invaluable life. Also, hold the hand of the person next to you. Don’t think that you’re the only one living in this world. Don’t grow your sorrow on your own and ask for help from the person next to you.
Jaejoong
Everything changed when I learned to honour my body instead of fighting it. When I learned to take care of it, like a precious castle to protect this weary heart. To stop harming it, punishing it for looking like this or that, feeling like this or that. I don't look like they all told me I had to do, but I'm healthy and strong and vital. That is enough.
Charlotte Eriksson (Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself: growing up is a wonderful thing to do)
Resilient strength is the opposite of helplessness. The tree is made strong and resilient by its grounded root system. These roots take nourishment from the ground and grow strong. Grounding also allows the tree to be resilient so that it can yield to the winds of change and not be uprooted. Springiness is the facility to ground and ‘unground’ in a rhythmical way. This buoyancy is a dynamic form of grounding. Aggressiveness is the biological ability to be vigorous and energetic, especially when using instinct and force. In the immobility (traumatized) state, these assertive energies are inaccessible. The restoration of healthy aggression is an essential part in the recovery from trauma. Empowerment is the acceptance of personal authority. It derives from the capacity to choose the direction and execution of one’s own energies. Mastery is the possession of skillful techniques in dealing successfully with threat. Orientation is the process of ascertaining one’s position relative to both circumstance and environment. In these ways the residue of trauma is renegotiated.
Peter A. Levine (Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma)
I don't think you can get really out of anorexia (or any addiction, for that matter) until you simply have no other choice, until the sense that your back's against the wall grows too strong and too irrefutable, until you are simply in too much pain - too desperate and deeply bored and unhappy - to go on.
Caroline Knapp (Drinking: A Love Story)
Each night the black sky and the bright stars were my stunning companions; occasionally I'd see their beauty and solemnity so plainly that I'd realize in a piercing way that my mother was right. That someday I would be grateful and that in fact I was grateful now, that I felt something growing in me that was strong and real.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
I am becoming the woman I've wanted, grey at the temples, soft body, delighted, cracked up by life with a laugh that's known bitter but, past it, got better, knows she's a survivor-- that whatever comes, she can outlast it. I am becoming a deep weathered basket. I am becoming the woman I've longed for, the motherly lover with arms strong and tender, the growing up daughter who blushes surprises. I am becoming full moons and sunrises. I find her becoming, this woman I've wanted, who knows she'll encompass, who knows she's sufficient, knows where she's going and travels with passion. Who remembers she's precious, but knows she's not scarce-- who knows she is plenty, plenty to share.
Jayne Brown
Ah well, so be it. The compensation of growing old, Peter Walsh thought, coming out of Regent’s Park, and holding his hat in hand, was simply this; that the passions remain as strong as ever, but one has gained — at last! — the power which adds the supreme flavour to existence — the power of taking hold of experience, of turning it round, slowly, in the light.
Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway)
Theirs was that substantial affection which arises (if any arises at all) when the two who are thrown together begin first by knowing the rougher sides of each other's character, and not the best till further on, the romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality. This good-fellowship—camaraderie—usually occurring through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom superadded to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labours, but in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstance permits its development, the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death—that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name is evanescent as steam.
Thomas Hardy (Far from the Madding Crowd)
There is so much I hope to teach you, little one. I hope that I may do so by example, but I feel the need to put the words to paper as well. It is a quirk of mine, one which I expect you will recognize and find amusing by the time you read this letter. Be strong. Be diligent. Be conscientious. There is never anything to be gained by taking the easy road. (Unless, of course, the road is an easy one to begin with. Roads sometimes are. If that should be the case, do not forge a new, more difficult one. Only martyrs go out looking for trouble.) Love your siblings. You have two already, and God willing, there will be more. Love them well, for they are your blood, and when you are unsure, or times are difficult, they will be the ones to stand by your side. Laugh. Laugh out loud, and laugh often. And when circumstances call for silence, turn your laugh into a smile. Don't settle. Know what you want and reach for it. And if you don't know what you want, be patient. The answers will come to you in time, and you may find that your heart s desire has been right under your nose all the while. And remember, always remember that you have a mother and a father who love each other and love you. I feel you growing restless. Your father is making strange gasping sounds and will surely lose his temper altogether if I do not move from my escritoire to my bed. Welcome to the world, little one. We are all so delighted to make your acquaintance.
Julia Quinn (To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgertons, #5))
Your growing antlers,' Bambi continued, 'are proof of your intimate place in the forest, for of all the things that live and grow only the trees and the deer shed their foliage each year and replace it more strongly, more magnificently, in the spring. Each year the trees grow larger and put on more leaves. And so you too increase in size and wear a larger, stronger crown.
Felix Salten (Bambi's Children)
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. —LEWIS CARROLL It’s more important to have the will to grow and stay open to all the infinite possibilities than to know exactly where you’re going. That will change as you change. Goal: Stay open to any and all possibilities that present themselves to you. You never know where success and joy will turn up.
Demi Lovato (Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year)
In the Christian community thankfulness is just what it is anywhere else in the Christian life. Only he who gives thanks for little things receives the big things. We prevent God from giving us the great spiritual gifts He has in store for us, because we do not give thanks for daily gifts. We think we dare not be satisfied with the small measure of spiritual knowledge, experience, and love that has been given to us, and that we must constantly be looking forward eagerly for the highest good. Then we deplore the fact that we lack the deep certainty, the strong faith, and the rich experience that God has given to others, and we consider this lament to be pious. We pray for the big things and forget to give thanks for the ordinary, small (and yet really not small) gifts. How can God entrust great things to one who will not thankfully receive from Him the little things? If we do not give thanks daily for the Christian fellowship in which we have been placed, even where there is no great experience, no discoverable riches, but much weakness, small faith, and difficulty; if on the contrary, we only keep complaining to God that everything is so paltry and petty, so far from what we expected, then we hinder God from letting our fellowship grow according to the measure and riches which are there for us all in Jesus Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
As he rose to his feet he noticed that he was neither dripping nor panting for breath as anyone would expect after being under water. His clothes were perfectly dry. He was standing by the edge of a small pool—not more than ten feet from side to side in a wood. The trees grew close together and were so leafy that he could get no glimpse of the sky. All the light was green light that came through the leaves: but there must have been a very strong sun overhead, for this green daylight was bright and warm. It was the quietest wood you could possibly imagine. There were no birds, no insects, no animals, and no wind. You could almost feel the trees growing. The pool he had just got out of was not the only pool. There were dozens of others—a pool every few yards as far as his eyes could reach. You could almost feel the trees drinking the water up with their roots. This wood was very much alive.
C.S. Lewis (The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6))
Empowered Women 101: If they made you an option you will always be an option vs. the person they really wanted. Don't ever settle for someone that makes you go through hell only to stay with you because they don't have the confidence to go get what they really want. Fear will always follow your rules when they know they don't have options that make them stay comfortable. You won't grow real love in this type of a relationship. You will water weeds and call it a garden.
Shannon L. Alder
One historical note that I just love: When the suffragettes were marching, at one point they started wearing red lipstick so they would all be wearing the same bold color and stand in solidarity with one another. I love how this little thing many women had in their purses became a powerful political symbol. It's a reminder that we don't have to diminish ourselves as women to be seen as strong. You can push for societal change and you can love getting dressed up. You don't have to choose.
Reese Witherspoon (Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits)
When trees grow together, nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be. If you "help" individual trees by getting rid of their supposed competition, the remaining trees are bereft. They send messages out to their neighbors in vain, because nothing remains but stumps. Every tree now muddles along on its own, giving rise to great differences in productivity. Some individuals photosynthesize like mad until sugar positively bubbles along their trunk. As a result, they are fit and grow better, but they aren't particularly long-lived. This is because a tree can be only as strong as the forest that surrounds it. And there are now a lot of losers in the forest. Weaker members, who would once have been supported by the stronger ones, suddenly fall behind. Whether the reason for their decline is their location and lack of nutrients, a passing malaise, or genetic makeup, they now fall prey to insects and fungi. But isn't that how evolution works? you ask. The survival of the fittest? Their well-being depends on their community, and when the supposedly feeble trees disappear, the others lose as well. When that happens, the forest is no longer a single closed unit. Hot sun and swirling winds can now penetrate to the forest floor and disrupt the moist, cool climate. Even strong trees get sick a lot over the course of their lives. When this happens, they depend on their weaker neighbors for support. If they are no longer there, then all it takes is what would once have been a harmless insect attack to seal the fate even of giants.
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate: Discoveries from a Secret World)
Evening Solace The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed;­ The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed. And days may pass in gay confusion, And nights in rosy riot fly, While, lost in Fame's or Wealth's illusion, The memory of the Past may die. But, there are hours of lonely musing, Such as in evening silence come, When, soft as birds their pinions closing, The heart's best feelings gather home. Then in our souls there seems to languish A tender grief that is not woe; And thoughts that once wrung groans of anguish, Now cause but some mild tears to flow. And feelings, once as strong as passions, Float softly back-­a faded dream; Our own sharp griefs and wild sensations, The tale of others' sufferings seem. Oh ! when the heart is freshly bleeding, How longs it for that time to be, When, through the mist of years receding, Its woes but live in reverie ! And it can dwell on moonlight glimmer, On evening shade and loneliness; And, while the sky grows dim and dimmer, Feel no untold and strange distress­ Only a deeper impulse given By lonely hour and darkened room, To solemn thoughts that soar to heaven, Seeking a life and world to come.
Charlotte Brontë (Poems)
Tristan?” He turned his face to me, and it was streaked with tears. I wanted to wipe them away, tell him that everything would be all right, but my body was locked stiff with pain. “Promise me you’ll get better,” he whispered. “Tell me you’ll grow strong again. That you’ll gallop on horseback through summer meadows. Dance in spring rains and let snowflakes melt on your tongue in winter. That you’ll travel wherever the wind takes you. That you’ll live.” He stroked my hair. “Promise me.” Confusion crept over me. “You’ll be with me, though. You’ll do those things too?” He kissed my lips, silencing my questions. “Promise me.” “No,” I said, struggling against him.. “No, you said you were coming with me. You said. You promised.” He had to be coming with me - he said he was and Tristan couldn’t lie. Wouldn’t lie. He got to his feet and stepped into the water. I tried to struggle, but he was too strong. “Tristian, no, no, no!” I tried to scream, but I couldn’t. I tried to hold on to him, but my fingers wouldn’t work. The cold of the water bit into my skin and I sobbed, terrified. “You said you would never leave me!” He stopped, the weight of his sorrow greater than any mountain. “And if I had the choice, I never would. I love you, Cécile. I will love you until the day I take my last breath and that is the truth. “ He kissed me hard. “Forgive me.
Danielle L. Jensen (Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1))
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
Going back to the basis, the phrase ‘Fight Like A Girl’, and we’ve all heard that growing up. And by that they mean that you’re some kind of weakling and have no skills as a male. It’s said to little boys when they can’t fight yet, and it ridicules us. By the time we were born, the most of us hear things which program you to accept and know that you are less than your male counter part. It comes apparent in the way you’re paid for your job, it comes apparent when yóu are not allowed to go outside after a certain hour because you stand a good chance of getting raped while no one says that to your boyfriend. While women, anywhere, live in some kind of fear, there is no equality and that is mathematically impossible. We cannot see that change or solved in our lifetimes, but we have to do everything that we can. We should remind ourselves that we are fifty-one percent. Everyone should know that fighting like a girl is a positive thing and that there is not inherently anything wrong with us by the fact that we are born like ladies. That is a beautiful thing that we should never be put down because of. Being compared to a woman should only make a man feel stronger. It should be a compliment. In this world we’re creating it actually is. I remember this one guy who came to our show in Texas or something and he had painted his shirt “real men fight like a girl”, and I cried, because he was going away in the army next day. He bought my book because he wanted something he could read over there. I just hoped that this men, fully straight and fully male can maintain and retain all of those things that make him understand us, and what makes him so beautiful. A lot of military training is step one: you take all those guys and put them in front of bunch of hardcore videogames where you kill a bunch of people and become desensitised. But that is NOT power! I will not do that. I will not become less of a human being and I refuse to give up my femininity because that’s bullshit. I’m not going to have to shave my head and become all buff and all that to be able to say “now I’m powerful” because that’s bullshit. All of this, all of us, we are power. You don’t have to change anything to be strong.
Emilie Autumn
I'm also old... and my own gift for writing fantasy grows out of very literal-minded, pragmatic soil: the things I do when I'm not telling stories have always been pretty three-dimensional. I used to say that the only strong attraction reality ever had for me was horses and horseback riding, but I've also been cooking and going for long walks since I was a kid (yes, the two are related), and I'm getting even more three dimensionally biased as I get older — gardening, bell ringing... piano playing... And the stories I seem to need to write seem to need that kind of nourishment from me — how you feed your story telling varies from writer to writer. My story-telling faculty needs real-world fresh air and experiences that create calluses (and sometimes bruises).
Robin McKinley
I sit on the steps in the heat of the sun and listen as one by one these car alarms extinguish themselves until once more only the muted roar of the city is audible, and the city, bathed in sunlight, once again resumes dreaming its collective dream. Cars roll down the city's roads, plants grow from its soil, wealth is generated in its rooms, hope is created and lost and recreated in the minds and souls of its inhabitants, and the city continues its dream and searches for those ideas that will make it strong.
Douglas Coupland (Shampoo Planet)
You will never be able to end any battle if the people involved are unable to see their own hypocrisy, or how their insecurity contributed to their problems. Wounded people often choose to play the victim, so they can restore their dignity in unhealthy ways. Sadly, they do this through feeling justified, by making bad choices or actions (that honestly no diety would want them to do). This inability to accept their part in their unhappiness keeps them from growing. They need your prayers more than your anger. Just walk away. Let it go and pray that one day they will understand your pain, as much as you do theirs. Remember: The sexiest woman alive is one that can walk away from a place that God doesn't want them to be. Do so with your head held high and forgive yourself and others. When you can do this, you will know what God's definition of class is-- YOU!
Shannon L. Alder
Who wants to die? Everything struggles to live. Look at that tree growing up there out of that grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It's growing out of sour earth. And it's strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong. My children will be strong that way," said Katie. Aw, somebody ought to cut that tree down, the homely thing," said the midwife. If there was only one tree like that in the whole world, you would think it was beautiful," said Katie. "But because there are so many, you just can't see how beautiful it really is. Look at those children." She pointed to a swarm of dirty children playing in the gutter. "You could take any one of them and wash him good and dress him up and sit him in a fine house and you would think he was beautiful.
Betty Smith
He was one whose power was akin to, and as strong as, the Old Powers of the earth; one who talked with dragons, and held off earthquakes with his word. And there he lay asleep on the dirt, with a little thistle growing by his hand. It was very strange. Living, being in the world, was a much greater and stranger thing than she had ever dreamed. The glory of the sky touched his dusty hair, and turned the thistle gold for a little while.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Tombs of Atuan (Earthsea Cycle, #2))
When I was a young man and very well thought of, I couldn't ask aught that the ladies denied. I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins, And I never spoke love but I knew that I lied. But I said to myself, 'Ah, they none of them know The secret I shelter and savor and save I wait for the one who will see through my seeming, And I'll know when I love by the way I behave.' The years drifted over like clouds in the heavens; The ladies went by me like snow on the wind. I charmed and I cheated, deceived and dissembled, And I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned, and I sinned. But I said to myself, 'Ah, they none of them see There's part of me pure as the whisk of a wave. My lady is late but she'll find I've been faithful, And I'll know when I love by the way I behave.' At last came a lady both knowing and tender, Saying, 'you're not at all what they take you to be.' I betrayed her before she had quite finished speaking, And she swallowed cold poison and jumped in the sea. And I say to myself when there's time for a word, As I gracefully grow more debauched and depraved, 'Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger And I knew when I loved by the way I behaved.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
So often, we're told that women's stories are unimportant. After all, what does it matter what happens in the main room, in the kitchen, or in the bedroom? Who cares about the relationships between mother, daughter, and sister? A baby's illness, the sorrows and pains of childbirth, keeping the family together during war, poverty, or even in the best of days are considered small and insignificant compared with the stories of men, who fight against nature to grow their crops, who wage battles to secure their homelands, who struggle to look inward in search of the perfect man. We're told that men are strong and brave, but I think women know how to endure, accept defeat, and bear physical and mental agony much better than men. The men in my life—my father, Z.G., my husband, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, and my son—faced, to one degree or another, those great male battles, but their hearts—so fragile—wilted, buckled, crippled, corrupted, broke, or shattered when confronted with the losses women face every day...Our men try to act strong, but it is May, Yen-yen, Joy, and I who must steady them and help them bear their pain, anguish, and shame.
Lisa See (Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls, #1))
I went to the springs while the sun was still up, and sitting on a rocky outcrop above the cave mouth I watched the light grow reddish across the misty pools, and listened to the troubled voice of the water. After a while I moved farther up the hill, where I could hear birds singing near and far in the silence of the trees. The presence of the trees was very strong...The big oaks stood so many, so massive in their other life, in their deep, rooted silence: the awe of them came on me, the religion.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Lavinia)
Said the lion to the lioness - "when you are amber dust - No more a raging fire like the heat of the sun (no liking but all lust) - Remember still the flowering of the amber blood and bone, the rippling of bright muscles like a sea, Remember the rose-prickles of bright paws Though we shall mate no more Till the fire of that sun and the moon - Cold bone are one" Said the skeleton lying upon the sands of time - "The great gold planet that is the mourning heat of the sun Is greater than all gold, more powerful Than the tawny body of a lion that fire consumes Like all that grows or leaps...so is the heart. More powerful than all dust. Once I was hercules Or Samson, strong as the pillars of the seas: But the flames of the heart Consumed me, and the mind Is but a foolish wind.
Edith Sitwell
He was a baby once. He must have been sweet and clean and his mother kissed his little pink toes. Maybe when it thundered at night she came to his crib and fixed his blanket better and whispered that he mustn't be afraid, that mother was here. Then she picked him up and put her cheek on his head and said that he was her own sweet baby. He might have been a boy like my brother, running in and out of the house and slamming the door. And while his mother scolded him she was thinking that maybe he'll be president some day. Then he was a young man, strong and happy. When he walked down the street, the girls smiled and turned to watch him. He smiled back and maybe he winked at the prettiest one. I guess he must have married and had children and they thought he was the most wonderful papa in the world the way he worked hard and bought them toys for Christmas. Now his children are getting old too, like him, and they have children and nobody wants the old man any more and they are waiting for him to die. But he don't want to die. He wants to keep living even though he's so old and there's nothing to be happy about anymore.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
We lose our ability to live fully if we neglect or ignore our responsibility to the other people who share this planet with us. We simply cannot reach our full potential without the insights and observations that other people--our teachers--have to give us. We cannot feel whole until we are helping other people to reach for their potential and to grow as strong as they can grow. We do need down time, and we do need time to ourselves, but we very much need to acknowledge our ties to our fellow human beings and act as if those people meant more to us than our jobs or pets or cars do. They are much more important than anything material that we ever can get our hands on or strive for.
Tom Walsh
I knew that some victims of powerful self-loathing turn out to be dangerous, violent, reproducing the enemy who has humiliated them over and over. Others surrender their identity; melt into a structure that delivers the strong persona they lack. Most others, however, grow beyond it. But there are some who collapse, silently, anonymously, with no voice to express or acknowledge it. They are invisible. The death of self-esteem can occur quickly, easily in children, before their ego has “legs,” so to speak. Couple the vulnerability of youth with indifferent parents, dismissive adults, and a world, which, in its language, laws, and images, re-enforces despair, and the journey to destruction is sealed.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
Such a study indicates that the greatest investment reward comes to those who by good luck or good sense find the occasional company that over the years can grow in sales and profits far more than industry as a whole. It further shows that when we believe we have found such a company we had better stick with it for a long period of time. It gives us a strong hint that such companies need not necessarily be young and small. Instead, regardless of size, what really counts is a management having both a determination to attain further important growth and an ability to bring its plans to completion.
Philip A. Fisher (Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings (Wiley Investment Classics))
Just look at this life: the insolence and idleness of the strong, the ignorance and brutishness of the weak, impossible poverty all around us, overcrowding, degeneracy, drunkenness, hypocrisy, lies...Yet in all the houses and streets it's quiet, peaceful; of the fifty thousand people who live in town there is not one who would cry out or become loudly indignant. We see those who go to the market to buy food, eat during the day, sleep during the night, who talk their nonsense, get married, grow old, complacently drag their dead to the cemetery; but we don't see or hear those who suffer, and the horrors of life go on somewhere behind the scenes. Everything is quiet, peaceful, and only mute statistics protest: so many gone mad, so many buckets drunk, so many children dead of malnutrition... And this order is obviously necessary; obviously the happy man feels good only because the unhappy bear their burden silently, and without that silence happiness would be impossible. It's a general hypnosis. At the door of every happy, contented man somebody should stand with a little hammer, constantly tapping, to remind him that unhappy people exist, that however happy he may be, sooner or later life will show him its claws, some calamity will befall him--illness, poverty, loss--and nobody will hear or see, just as he doesn't hear or see others now. But there is nobody with a little hammer, the happy man lives on, and the petty cares of life stir him only slightly, as wind stirs an aspen--and everything is fine.
Anton Chekhov (Five Great Short Stories)
They spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty phrases and warm expressions being probably unnecessary between such tried friends. Theirs was that substantial affection which arises (if any arises at all) when the two who are thrown together begin first by knowing the rougher sides of each other's character, and not the best till further on, the romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality. This good-fellowship—camaraderie—usually occurring through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom superadded to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labours, but in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstance permits its development, the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death—that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name is evanescent as steam.
Thomas Hardy (Far from the Madding Crowd)
Parents need to realize that the world is getting complicated every second. With new problems, new diseases, new habits. They have to realize the vast probability of their kids being victims of this age, this complicated era. Your kids could be exposed to problems that no kind of therapy can help. Your kids could be brainwashed by themselves to believe in insane theories that drive them crazy. Most kids will go through this stage. The lucky ones will understand. They will grow out of them. The most unlucky ones will live in these problems. Grow in them and never move forward. They will cut themselves, overdose on drugs, take up excessive drinking and smoking, for the slightest problems in their lives. You can't blame these kids for not being thankful or satisfied with what they have. Their mentality eludes them from the reality.
Thisuri Wanniarachchi (COLOMBO STREETS)
Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment. The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. 'It is possible,' answers the doorkeeper, 'but not at this moment.' Since the door leading into the Law stands open as usual and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man bends down to peer through the entrance. When the doorkeeper sees that, he laughs and says: 'If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful. And I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall keepers stand at every door, one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.' These are difficulties which the man from the country has not expected to meet, the Law, he thinks, should be accessible to every man and at all times, but when he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his furred robe, with his huge pointed nose and long, thin, Tartar beard, he decides that he had better wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at the side of the door. There he sits waiting for days and years. He makes many attempts to be allowed in and wearies the doorkeeper with his importunity. The doorkeeper often engages him in brief conversation, asking him about his home and about other matters, but the questions are put quite impersonally, as great men put questions, and always conclude with the statement that the man cannot be allowed to enter yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, parts with all he has, however valuable, in the hope of bribing the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts it all, saying, however, as he takes each gift: 'I take this only to keep you from feeling that you have left something undone.' During all these long years the man watches the doorkeeper almost incessantly. He forgets about the other doorkeepers, and this one seems to him the only barrier between himself and the Law. In the first years he curses his evil fate aloud; later, as he grows old, he only mutters to himself. He grows childish, and since in his prolonged watch he has learned to know even the fleas in the doorkeeper's fur collar, he begs the very fleas to help him and to persuade the doorkeeper to change his mind. Finally his eyes grow dim and he does not know whether the world is really darkening around him or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. But in the darkness he can now perceive a radiance that streams immortally from the door of the Law. Now his life is drawing to a close. Before he dies, all that he has experienced during the whole time of his sojourn condenses in his mind into one question, which he has never yet put to the doorkeeper. He beckons the doorkeeper, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend far down to hear him, for the difference in size between them has increased very much to the man's disadvantage. 'What do you want to know now?' asks the doorkeeper, 'you are insatiable.' 'Everyone strives to attain the Law,' answers the man, 'how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?' The doorkeeper perceives that the man is at the end of his strength and that his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: 'No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.
Franz Kafka (The Trial)
All people of broad, strong sense have an instinctive repugnance to the men of maxims; because such people early discern that the mysterious complexity of our life is not to be embraced by maxims, and that to lace ourselves up in formulas of that sort is to repress all the divine promptings and inspirations that spring from growing insight and sympathy. And the man of maxims is the popular representative of the minds that are guided in their moral judgment solely by general rules, thinking that these will lead them to justice by a ready-made patent method, without the trouble of exerting patience, discrimination, impartiality, without any care to assure themselves whether they have the insight that comes from a hardly-earned estimate of temptation, or from a life vivid and intense enough to have created a wide fellow-feeling with all that is human.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
I will run every mile, i will save every line, i will say i reached the top and i will fall back down standing. I will write down every thing, the good and the bad,I will wake up one day and go back to the start. I will notice that the good ones were nothing but my beautiful lines, were everything painted by my mind. I will notice that the bad ones were nothing but pieces of my pain that should have been crumbled and thrown away the first time i started to rain. I will leave home and i won't mind, i will miss some beating pieces but i will survive.the sky will stay in place, mountains won't shake and my mind will go nowhere.the stars will  take my side not yours, and the new air in your chest will feel forever cold. I will donate a piece of my heart to hurt you forever and a lifelong lasting question about what you have lost.My hands won't ever fit in yours and my faith says that crown on your head will hurt you the most. One day i won't overlook anything anymore. One day i won't remember anything anymore.I will stop pretending i'm ice cold and i will learn how to be strong.one day I will grow out of this, i will grow out of us.
Mennah al Refaey
Give yourself to me, Gemma, and you will never be alone again. You'll be worshiped. Adored. Loved. But you must give yourself to me- a willing sacrifice.' Tears slip down my face. 'Yes,' I murmur. Gemma, don't listen,' Circe says hoarsely, and for a moment, I don't see Eugenia; I see only the tree, the blood pumping beneath its pale skin, the bodies of the dead hanging from it like chimes. I gasp, and Eugenia is before me again. 'Yes, this is what you want, Gemma. Try as you might, you cannot kill this part of yourself. The solitude of the self taht waits just under the stairs of your soul. Always there, no matter how much you've tried to get rid of it. I understand. I do. Stay with me and never be lonely again.' Don't listen... to that... bitch,' Circe croaks, and the vines tighten around her neck. No, you're wrong,' I say to Eugenia as if coming out of a long sleep. 'You couldn't kill this part of yourself. And you couldn't accept it, either.' I'm sure I don't know what you mean.' she says, sounding uncertain for the first time. That's why they were able to take you. They found your fear.' And what, pray, was it?' Your pride. You couldn't believe you might have some of the same qualities as the creatures themselves.' I am not like them. I am their hope. I sustain them.' No. You tell yourself that. That's why CIrce told me to search my dark corners. So I wouldn't be caught off guard.' Circe laughts, a splintered cackle that finds a way under my skin. And what about you, Gemma?' Eugenia purrs. 'Have you "searched" yourself, as you say?' I've done things I'm not proud of. I've made mistakes,' I say, my voice growing stronger, my fingers feeling for the dagger again. 'But I've done good, too.' And yet, you're alone. All that trying and still you stand apart, watching from the other side of the grass. Afraid to have what you truly want because what if it's not enough after all? What if you get it and you still feel alone and apart? So much better to wrap yourself in the longing. The yearning. The restlessness. Poor Gemma. She doesn't quite fit, does she? Poor Gemma- all alone. It's as if she's delivered a blow to my heart. My hand falters. 'I-I...' Gemma, you're not alone,' Circe gasps, and my hand touches metal. No. I'm not. I'm like everyone else in this stupid, bloody, amazing world. I'm flawed. Impossibly so. But hopeful. I'm still me.' I've got it now. Sure and strong in my grip. 'I see through you. I see the truth.
Libba Bray (The Sweet Far Thing (Gemma Doyle, #3))
I don't eat healthy because I'm trying to avoid death. Death does not scare me. I am, however, terrified of dying before I am dead. I have a strong desire to make the best of the time I have here. Living foods straight from the Earth help my body thrive, my imagination soar and my mind stay clear. It's about quality of life for me. I feel the best when I eat a diet free of pesticides, chemicals, GMOs and refined sugars. Growing herbs and making my own medicine helps me stay connected to the Earth; hence, helping me connect with my true purpose here. I have work to do here! I choose to leave this planet more beautiful than I found it and eating magical foods gives me the energy and inspiration I need to do my work.
Brooke Hampton
They wanted their girls to be safe. To do what they had to do to conform, to defer, to survive, to grow up. They wanted their girls never to grow up. Never to stop burning. They wanted their girls to say fuck it, to see through the lies, to know their own strength. They wanted their girls to believe the things could be different this time, and they wanted it to be true. They wondered, sometimes, if they'd made a mistake. If it was dangerous, taming the wild, stealing away the words a girl might use to name her secret self. They wondered at the consequences of teaching a girl she was weak instead of warning her she was strong. They wondered, if knowing was power, what happened to power that refused to know itself; they wondered what happened that couldn't be satisfied, to pain that couldn't be felt, a rage that couldn't be spoken.
Robin Wasserman (Girls on Fire)
I had been continually exhorted to define my purpose in life, but I was now beginning to doubt whether life might not be too complex a thing to be kept within the bounds of a single formulated purpose, whether it would not burst its way out, or if the purpose were too strong, perhaps grow distorted like an oak whose trunk has been encircled with an iron band. I began to guess that my self’s need was for an equilibrium, for sun, but not too much, for rain, but not always… So I began to have an idea of my life, not as the slow shaping of achievement to fit my preconceived purposes, but as the gradual discovery and growth of a purpose which I did not know. I wrote: “It will mean walking in a fog for a bit, but it’s the only way which is not a presumption, forcing the self into a theory.
Marion Milner (A Life of One's Own)
I know better than to not trust God. But sometimes, I forget that. When we are in the midst of an experience, it is easy to forget that there is a Plan. Sometimes, all we can see is today. If we were to watch only two minutes of the middle of a television program, it would make little sense. It would be a disconnected event. If we were to watch a weaver sewing a tapestry for only a few moments, and focused on only a small piece of the work, it would not look beautiful. It would look like a few peculiar threads randomly placed. How often we use that same, limited perspective to look at our life—especially when we are going through a difficult time. We can learn to have perspective when we are going through those confusing, difficult learning times. When we are being pelleted by events that make us feel, think, and question, we are in the midst of learning something important. We can trust that something valuable is being worked out in us—even when things are difficult, even when we cannot get our bearings. Insight and clarity do not come until we have mastered our lesson. Faith is like a muscle. It must be exercised to grow strong. Repeated experiences of having to trust what we can’t see and repeated experiences of learning to trust that things will work out are what make our faith muscles grow strong. Today, I will trust that the events in my life are not random. My experiences are not a mistake. The Universe, my Higher Power, and life are not picking on me. I am going through what I need to go through to learn something valuable, something that will prepare me for the joy and love I am seeking.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Hazelden Meditation Series)
How strange, extraordinary, and joyful it was to her to think that her son - the little son, whose tiny limbs had faintly stirred within her twenty years ago, for whose sake she had so often quarreled with the count, who would spoil him, the little son, who had first learnt to say grusha, and then had learnt to say baba - that that son was now in a foreign land, in strange surroundings, a manly warrior, alone without help or guidance, doing there his proper manly work. All the world-wide experience of ages, proving that children do imperceptibly from the cradle grow up into men, did not exist for the countess. The growth of her son had been for her at every strage of his growth just as extraordinary as though millions of millions of men had not grown up in the same way. Just as, twenty years before, she could not believe that the little creature that was lying somewhere under her heart, would one day cry and learn to talk, now she could not believe that the same little creature could be that strong, brave man, that paragon of sons and of men that, judging by this letter, he was now.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Me" ( Notice Me) I was sent here on a journey that has no end. I hear you joke of going nowhere fast. Well, maybe life’s a joke and I’m the fool That dreams of being first but ends up last. Life’s a trial—a sentence I can’t escape. Confusion and desperation tear me down and turn to hate. There’s so much more to figure out, But it’s growing way too late. If I could answer half the questions in my mind, If I could find the place where I belong, If words were near as strong and deep as the wall of emotions I climb Then sorrow wouldn’t be so wrong. There’s no way to make you understand. An entire symphony could not play the broken notes in one child’s soul. That child screams and no one hears her, Until the tears have dried and now she’s just too old. I don’t want to hear the philosophies, the opinions, The remarks, the horrible reasonings. Words are to pad the mind and fight with the solitude of the heart. Still, silence chills to the bone and tears the soul apart. She never means to hurt or harm, only to belong. To find the truth ‘mid mortal lies, to sing her only song. But someday this race will end, and if she comes in last, I pray the first will look deeper than the others, smile, and then pass. "Copyright 1985
Richelle E. Goodrich
You'll never raise that one,' they told her. 'Her color ain't good. If the good Lord takes her, it will be for the best.'... Don't say that,' Katie held her baby tightly. 'It's not better to die. Who wants to die? Everything struggles to live. Look at that tree growing up there out of that grating. It gets no sun, and water only when it rains. It's grwoing out of sour earth. And it's strong because its hard struggle to live is making it strong. My children will be strong that way...If there was only one tree like that in the world, you would think it was beautiful...But because there are so many, you just can't see how beautiful it really is. Look at those children...You could take any one of them and wash him good and dress him up and sit him in a fine house and you would think he was beautiful.' You've got fine ideas but a very sick baby, Katie,' they told her. This baby will live,' said Katie fiercely. 'I'll make it live.' And Francie lived, choking and whimpering her way through that first year.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Certainly those determining acts of her life were not ideally beautiful. They were the mixed result of young and noble impulse struggling amidst the conditions of an imperfect social state, in which great feelings will often take the aspect of error, and great faith the aspect of illusion. For there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it. A new Theresa will hardly have the opportunity of reforming a conventual life, any more than a new Antigone will spend her heroic piety in daring all for the sake of a brother's burial: the medium in which their ardent deeds took shape is forever gone. But we insignificant people with our daily words and acts are preparing the lives of many Dorotheas, some of which may present a far sadder sacrifice than that of the Dorothea whose story we know. Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
It is easier to teach saints than to learn from sinners. It is easier to teach young students than to guide old fools. It is easier to chastise saints than to caution sinners. It is easier to shine in the dark than to glow in the light. It is easier to multiply enemies than to accumulate friends. It is easier to embrace your angel than to face your demons. It is easier to fight an army of opinions than a single truth. It is easier to rise with enemies than to fall with friends. It is easier to fall into sin than to rise into virtue. It is easier to rise from defeat than to rise from ignorance. It is easier to survive a blow from a friend than a kiss from an enemy. It is easier to conquer a thousand devils than a single angel. It is easier to rise from love than to soar from hate. It is easier to move mountains by faith than hills by your hands. It is easier for stars to shine than for truth to glow. It is easier to resist pain than to defy pleasure. It is easier to appease the strong than to wrestle the mighty. It is easier to tame the mind than to bridle the soul. It is easier to fight an army than to grapple with your conscience. It is easier to embrace the future than to understand the past. It is easier for the sun to shine than for the moon to glow. It is easier for small seeds to rise than for big trees to grow. It is easier to heal a wounded heart than a broken soul. It is easier to rule the mind than to conquer the soul. It is easier to conquer your enemies than to master your fears.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Dearest Mac, I love you. I will always love you. But I can live with you no longer. I've tried to be strong for you, for three years I have tried. I have failed. You tried to remake me in your image, dear Mac, and I tried to be what you wanted, but I no longer can. I am sorry. I want to write that my heart is breaking, but it is not. It broke some time ago, and I have just now realised that I can leave me heartbreak behind and go on. The decision to live without you was a painful one and not lightly made. I realise you can legally cause me much harm for taking this step, and I ask you, for the love we once shared, not to. It could be that I will not need to leave forever, but I know that I need time apart, alone, to heal. You have explained that you sometimes leave me for my own good, so I will have a chance to recover from life with you. Now I am doing the same, leaving so that both of us have a chance to breath, a chance to cool. Living with you is like being with a shooting star, one that burns so brightly that it scorches me. And I am watching the star burn out. In the end, Mac, I fear there will be nothing left of you. I know you will be angry when you read this, because you can grow so angry! But when you stop being angry, you will realize that my decision is sound. Together, we are destroying each other. Apart, I can remember my love for you. But you are burning me. You have exhausted me, and I have nothing left to give. Ian has agreed to bring this letter to you, and he will inform me of what steps you decide to take. I trust Ian to help us through. Please do not try to seek me yourself. I love you, Mac. I will always love you. Please be well. Isabella
Jennifer Ashley (Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (MacKenzies & McBrides, #2))
Modern cultish groups also feel comforting in part because they help alleviate the anxious mayhem of living in a world that presents almost too many possibilities for who to be (or at least the illusion of such). I once had a therapist tell me that flexibility without structure isn’t flexibility at all; it’s just chaos. That’s how a lot of people’s lives have been feeling. For most of America’s history, there were comparatively few directions a person’s career, hobbies, place of residence, romantic relationships, diet, aesthetic—everything—could easily go in. But the twenty-first century presents folks (those of some privilege, that is) with a Cheesecake Factory–size menu of decisions to make. The sheer quantity can be paralyzing, especially in an era of radical self-creation, when there’s such pressure to craft a strong “personal brand” at the very same time that morale and basic survival feel more precarious for young people than they have in a long time. As our generational lore goes, millennials’ parents told them they could grow up to be whatever they wanted, but then that cereal aisle of endless “what ifs” and “could bes” turned out to be so crushing, all they wanted was a guru to tell them which to pick.
Amanda Montell (Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism)
Prayer before Birth I am not yet born; O hear me. Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the club-footed ghoul come near me. I am not yet born, console me. I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me, with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me, on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me. I am not yet born; provide me With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light in the back of my mind to guide me. I am not yet born; forgive me For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me, my treason engendered by traitors beyond me, my life when they murder by means of my hands, my death when they live me. I am not yet born; rehearse me In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white waves call me to folly and the desert calls me to doom and the beggar refuses my gift and my children curse me. I am not yet born; O hear me, Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God come near me. I am not yet born; O fill me With strength against those who would freeze my humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton, would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with one face, a thing, and against all those who would dissipate my entirety, would blow me like thistledown hither and thither or hither and thither like water held in the hands would spill me. Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me. Otherwise kill me.
Louis MacNeice
I’m riding a tram and, as is my habit, slowly absorbing every detail of the people around me. By ‘detail’ I mean things, voices, words. In the dress of the girl directly in front of me, for example, I see the material it’s made of, the work involved in making it – since it’s a dress and not just material – and I see in the delicate embroidery around the neck the silk thread with which it was embroidered and all the work that went into that. And immediately, as if in a primer on political economy, I see before me the factories and all the different jobs: the factory where the material was made; the factory that made the darker coloured thread that ornaments with curlicues the neck of the dress’ and I see the different workshops in the factories, the machines, the workmen, the seamstresses. My eyes’ inward gaze even penetrates into the offices, where I see the managers trying to keep calm and the figures set out in the account books, but that’s not all: beyond that I see into the domestic lives of all those who spend their working hours in these factories and offices...A whole world unfolds before my eyes all because the regularly irregular dark green edging to a pale green dress worn by the girl in front of me of whom I see only her brown neck. ‘A whole way of life lies before me. I sense the loves, the secrets, the souls of all those who worked just so that this woman in front of me on the tram should wear around her mortal neck the sinuous banality of a thread of dark green silk on a background of light green cloth. I grow dizzy. The seats on the tram, of fine, strong cane, carry me to distant regions, divide into industries, workmen, houses, lives, realities, everything. I leave the tram exhausted, like a sleepwalker, having lived a whole life.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Dear my strong girls, you will all go through that phase of life making a mistake of helping a toxic girl whose friendship with you turns into her self-interest. This kind of girls is a real burden towards the empowerment of other females as they can never get past their own insecurity and grow out of high-school-like drama. Despite how advanced we are in educating modern women, this type will still go through life living in identity crisis, endlessly looking for providers of any kind at the end of the day. They can never stand up for others or things that matter because they can't stand up for themselves. They care what everyone thinks only doing things to impress men, friends, strangers, everyone in society except themselves, while at the same time can't stand seeing other women with purpose get what those women want in life. But let me tell you, this is nothing new, let them compete and compare with you as much as they wish, be it your career, love or spirit. You know who you are and you will know who your true girls are by weeding out girls that break our girlie code of honor, but do me a favor by losing this type of people for good. Remind yourself to never waste time with a person who likes to betray others' trust, never. Disloyalty is a trait that can't be cured. Bless yourself that you see a person's true colors sooner than later. With love, your mama. XOXO
Shannon L. Alder
My name is CRPS, or so they say But I actually go by; a few different names. I was once called causalgia, nearly 150 years ago And then I had a new name It was RSD, apparently so. I went by that name because the burn lived inside of me. Now I am called CRPS, because I have so much to say I struggle to be free. I don't have one symptom and this is where I change, I attack the home of where I live; with shooting/burning pains. Depression fills the mind of the body I belong, it starts to speak harsh to self, negativity growing strong. Then I start to annoy them; with the issues with sensitivity, You'd think the pain enough; but no, it wants to make you aware of its trembling disability. I silently make my move; but the screams are loud and clear, Because I enter your physical reality and you can't disappear. I confuse your thoughts; I contain apart of your memory, I cover your perspective, the fog makes it sometimes unbearable to see. I play with your temperature levels, I make you nervous all the time - I take away your independance and take away your pride. I stay with you by the day & I remind you by the night, I am an awful journey and you will struggle with this fight. Then there's a side to me; not many understand, I have the ability to heal and you can be my friend. Help yourself find the strength to fight me with all you have, because eventually I'll get tired of making you grow mad. It will take some time; remember I mainly live inside your brain, Curing me is hard work but I promise you, You can beat me if you feed love to my pain. Find the strength to carry on and feed the fears with light; hold on to the seat because, like I said, it's going to be a fight. But I hope to meet you, when your healthy and healed, & you will silenty say to me - I did this, I am cured is this real? That day could possibly come; closer than I want- After all I am a disease and im fighting for my spot. I won't deny from my medical angle, I am close to losing the " incurable " battle.
Nikki Rowe
There were days so clear and skies so brilliant blue, with white clouds scudding across them like ships under full sail, and she felt she could lift right off the ground. One moment she was ambling down a path, and the next thing she knew, the wind would take hold of her, like a hand pushing against her back. Her feet would start running without her even willing it, even knowing it. And she would run faster and faster across the prairie, until her heart jumped like a rabbit and her breath came in deep gasps and her feet barely skimmed the ground. It felt good to spend herself this way. The air tasted fresh and delicious; it smelled like damp earth, grass, and flowers. And her body felt strong, supple, and hungry for more of everything life could serve up. She ran and felt like one of the animals, as though her feet were growing up out of the earth. And she knew what they knew, that sometimes you ran just because you could, because of the way the rush of air felt on your face and how your legs reached out, eating up longer and longer patches of ground. She ran until the blood pounded in her ears, so loud that she couldn't hear the voices that said, You're not good enough, You're not old enough, You're not beautiful or smart or loveable, and you will always be alone. She ran because there were ghosts chasing her, shadows that pursued her, heartaches she was leaving behind. She was running for her life, and those phantoms couldn't catch her, not here, not anywhere. She would outrun fear and sadness and worry and shame and all those losses that had lined up against her like a column of soldiers with their guns shouldered and ready to fire. If she had to, she would outrun death itself. She would keep on running until she dropped, exhausted. Then she would roll over onto her back and breathe in the endless sky above her, sun glinting off her face. To be an animal, to have a body like this that could taste, see hear, and fly through space, to lie down and smell the earth and feel the heat of the sun on your face was enough for her. She did not need anything else but this: just to be alive, cool air caressing her skin, dreaming of Ivy and what might be ahead.
Pamela Todd (The Blind Faith Hotel)
PRAYER BEFORE BIRTH I am not yet born; O hear me. Let not the bloodsucking bat or the rat or the stoat or the club-footed ghoul come near me. I am not yet born; console me. I fear that the human race may with tall walls wall me, with strong drugs dope me, with wise lies lure me, on black racks rack me, in blood-baths roll me. I am not yet born; provide me With water to dandle me, grass to grow for me, trees to talk to me, sky to sing to me, birds and a white light in the back of my mind to guide me. I am not yet born; forgive me For the sins that in me the world shall commit, my words when they speak me, my thoughts when they think me, my treason engendered by traitors beyond me, my life when they murder by means of my hands, my death when they live me. I am not yet born; rehearse me In the parts I must play and the cues I must take when old men lecture me, bureaucrats hector me, mountains frown at me, lovers laugh at me, the white waves call me to folly and the desert calls me to doom and the beggar refuses my gift and my children curse me. I am not yet born; O hear me, Let not the man who is beast or who thinks he is God come near me. I am not yet born; O fill me With strength against those who would freeze my humanity, would dragoon me into a lethal automaton, would make me a cog in a machine, a thing with one face, a thing, and against all those who would dissipate my entirety, would blow me like thistledown hither and thither or hither and thither like water held in the hands would spill me. Let them not make me a stone and let them not spill me. Otherwise kill me.
Louis Macniece (Oracion Antes De Nacer/ Prayers Before to Born (Poesia))
If he wasn't angry, he certainly did a good imitation. His voice was clipped and as hard as stone. She wrung her hands together. "I love you. Clay." "No, you don't." Meg felt as though he'd just slapped her. "Yes, I do. When you leave this town, I'll go with you." Narrowing his eyes, he studied her. "Will you marry me?" "Yes." "Will you give me children?" "If I can. Kirk and I were never able to conceive, but if I can have children, I want to have yours." "In this town that we move to, wherever it is, will you walk down the street with me?" "Of course." "Holding my hand?" "Yes." "And the hands of my children?" "Yes." He unfolded his arms and took a step toward her. She wanted to fling herself into his embrace, but something hard in his eyes stopped her. "And what happens, Mrs. Warner, when someone you know rides through town and points at me and calls me a yellow-bellied coward? What will you do then? Will you let go of my hand and take my children to the other side of the street? Will you pretend that you haven't kissed me, that you haven't lain with me beneath the stars?" With disgust marring his features, he turned away. "You think I'm a coward. Go home." "I don't think that. I love you." He spun around. "You don't believe in that love, you don't believe in me." "Yes, I do." He stalked toward her. She backed into the corner and bent her head to meet his infuriated gaze. "How strongly do you believe in our love?" he asked, his voice ominously low. "If they threatened to strip off your clothes unless you denied our love, would you deny our love?" He gave her no chance to respond, but continued on, his voice growing deeper and more ragged, as though he were dredging up events from the past. "If they wouldn't let you sleep until you denied our love, would you deny our love so you could lay your head on a pillow? "If they stabbed a bayonet into your backside every time your eyes drifted closed, would you deny our love so your flesh wouldn't be pierced? "If they applied a hot brand to your flesh until you screamed in agony, would you deny our love so they'd take away the iron? "If they placed you before a firing squad, would you say you didn't love me so they wouldn't shoot you?" He stepped back and plowed his hands through his hair. "You think I'm a coward. You don't think I have the courage to stand beside you and risk the anger of your father. I'd die before I turned away from anyone or anything I believed in. You won't even walk by my side." He looked the way she imagined soldiers who had lost a battle probably looked: weary, tired of the fight, disillusioned. "You don't believe in me," he said quietly. "How can you believe in our love?
Lorraine Heath (Always to Remember)
There needs to be an intersection of the set of people who wish to go, and the set of people who can afford to go...and that intersection of sets has to be enough to establish a self-sustaining civilisation. My rough guess is that for a half-million dollars, there are enough people that could afford to go and would want to go. But it’s not going to be a vacation jaunt. It’s going to be saving up all your money and selling all your stuff, like when people moved to the early American colonies...even at a million people you’re assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars. You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.Excluding organic growth, if you could take 100 people at a time, you would need 10,000 trips to get to a million people. But you would also need a lot of cargo to support those people. In fact, your cargo to person ratio is going to be quite high. It would probably be 10 cargo trips for every human trip, so more like 100,000 trips. And we’re talking 100,000 trips of a giant spaceship...If we can establish a Mars colony, we can almost certainly colonise the whole Solar System, because we’ll have created a strong economic forcing function for the improvement of space travel. We’ll go to the moons of Jupiter, at least some of the outer ones for sure, and probably Titan on Saturn, and the asteroids. Once we have that forcing function, and an Earth-to-Mars economy, we’ll cover the whole Solar System. But the key is that we have to make the Mars thing work. If we’re going to have any chance of sending stuff to other star systems, we need to be laser-focused on becoming a multi-planet civilisation. That’s the next step.
Elon Musk
TJ frowns; she can’t write about willing wind and water in the official report. Voicing elements is a rumor. However, she remembers what her grandmother said five decades ago when she was a child; (it was shortly after the war): “Anyone who trains hard can be a Grade A by the time they’re forty or fifty. But it takes decades more to become strong enough to voice one element.” “One element?” TJ asked. “Do you want to voice the entire universe then?” “Can’t I?” Grandmother didn’t answer, not directly anyway, as most great masters do. They never say you can’t do this or no one can do that or that thing is impossible just because they couldn’t do it, or because they hadn’t found it yet. True masters answer differently. Wisely. Like her grandmother answered that day. “Do you know why we evolve, Tirity?” “Because we’re supposed to?” TJ replied. “Yes. It’s in the grand design. We’re ‘supposed to’ evolve. Not just in body, but also in mind,” she said. “In time. You see, time is the key. If given infinite time, you can evolve your mind infinitely. But we live only for a hundred years or so.” “A hundred years is ‘only’?” “You’re so young, Tirity! But yes, it is little for a complete cognitive evolution. Most hard trainers can prolong it to a couple of hundred years. They even get to call the wind or grow a giant plant that could touch the clouds. But voicing everything in the universe? I think only God can do it, the God who created everything with only words. And if God created the world so that he could see how far the humans can evolve, then I’d say, yes, even a human could get godly power. Godlier than voicing one or two elements. If. Given. The. Time.” “How much time?” “More than thousands of years, maybe. Could even need millions, who knows? …” TJ smiles drily; she remembers how her eyes sparkled at the thought of becoming a goddess who could voice everything. She dreamed of flying in the air or walking in space. She thought of making her own garden full of giant flowers where only enormous butterflies would dance. Some days, when she played video games in VR, she even dreamed of voicing the thunder and lightning to join her wooden sword. She thought time could help her do it. But she didn’t know then, time only makes you grow up. Time steals your dreams. Time only turns you into an adult.
Misba (The High Auction (Wisdom Revolution, #1))
an empathic and patient listener, coaxing each of us through the maze of our feelings, separating out our weapons from our wounds. He cautioned us when we got too lawyerly and posited careful questions intended to get us to think hard about why we felt the way we felt. Slowly, over hours of talking, the knot began to loosen. Each time Barack and I left his office, we felt a bit more connected. I began to see that there were ways I could be happier and that they didn’t necessarily need to come from Barack’s quitting politics in order to take some nine-to-six foundation job. (If anything, our counseling sessions had shown me that this was an unrealistic expectation.) I began to see how I’d been stoking the most negative parts of myself, caught up in the notion that everything was unfair and then assiduously, like a Harvard-trained lawyer, collecting evidence to feed that hypothesis. I now tried out a new hypothesis: It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be. I was too busy resenting Barack for managing to fit workouts into his schedule, for example, to even begin figuring out how to exercise regularly myself. I spent so much energy stewing over whether or not he’d make it home for dinner that dinners, with or without him, were no longer fun. This was my pivot point, my moment of self-arrest. Like a climber about to slip off an icy peak, I drove my ax into the ground. That isn’t to say that Barack didn’t make his own adjustments—counseling helped him to see the gaps in how we communicated, and he worked to be better at it—but I made mine, and they helped me, which then helped us. For starters, I recommitted myself to being healthy. Barack and I belonged to the same gym, run by a jovial and motivating athletic trainer named Cornell McClellan. I’d worked out with Cornell for a couple of years, but having children had changed my regular routine. My fix for this came in the form of my ever-giving mother, who still worked full-time but volunteered to start coming over to our house at 4:45 in the morning several days a week so that I could run out to Cornell’s and join a girlfriend for a 5:00 a.m. workout and then be home by 6:30 to get the girls up and ready for their days. This new regimen changed everything: Calmness and strength, two things I feared I was losing, were now back. When it came to the home-for-dinner dilemma, I installed new boundaries, ones that worked better for me and the girls. We made our schedule and stuck to it. Dinner each night was at 6:30. Baths were at 7:00, followed by books, cuddling, and lights-out at 8:00 sharp. The routine was ironclad, which put the weight of responsibility on Barack to either make it on time or not. For me, this made so much more sense than holding off dinner or having the girls wait up sleepily for a hug. It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and also unaccommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
The Native Americans, whose wisdom Thoreau admired, regarded the Earth itself as a sacred source of energy. To stretch out on it brought repose, to sit on the ground ensured greater wisdom in councils, to walk in contact with its gravity gave strength and endurance. The Earth was an inexhaustible well of strength: because it was the original Mother, the feeder, but also because it enclosed in its bosom all the dead ancestors. It was the element in which transmission took place. Thus, instead of stretching their hands skyward to implore the mercy of celestial divinities, American Indians preferred to walk barefoot on the Earth: The Lakota was a true Naturist – a lover of Nature. He loved the earth and all things of the earth, the attachment growing with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. It was good for the skin to touch the earth and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. Their tipis were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The birds that flew in the air came to rest on the earth and it was the final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing. That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life-giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him. Walking, by virtue of having the earth’s support, feeling its gravity, resting on it with every step, is very like a continuous breathing in of energy. But the earth’s force is not transmitted only in the manner of a radiation climbing through the legs. It is also through the coincidence of circulations: walking is movement, the heart beats more strongly, with a more ample beat, the blood circulates faster and more powerfully than when the body is at rest. And the earth’s rhythms draw that along, they echo and respond to each other. A last source of energy, after the heart and the Earth, is landscapes. They summon the walker and make him at home: the hills, the colours, the trees all confirm it. The charm of a twisting path among hills, the beauty of vine fields in autumn, like purple and gold scarves, the silvery glitter of olive leaves against a defining summer sky, the immensity of perfectly sliced glaciers … all these things support, transport and nourish us.
Frédéric Gros (A Philosophy of Walking)
A few months ago on a school morning, as I attempted to etch a straight midline part on the back of my wiggling daughter's soon-to-be-ponytailed blond head, I reminded her that it was chilly outside and she needed to grab a sweater. "No, mama." "Excuse me?" "No, I don't want to wear that sweater, it makes me look fat." "What?!" My comb clattered to the bathroom floor. "Fat?! What do you know about fat? You're 5 years old! You are definitely not fat. God made you just right. Now get your sweater." She scampered off, and I wearily leaned against the counter and let out a long, sad sigh. It has begun. I thought I had a few more years before my twin daughters picked up the modern day f-word. I have admittedly had my own seasons of unwarranted, psychotic Slim-Fasting and have looked erroneously to the scale to give me a measurement of myself. But these departures from my character were in my 20s, before the balancing hand of motherhood met the grounding grip of running. Once I learned what it meant to push myself, I lost all taste for depriving myself. I want to grow into more of a woman, not find ways to whittle myself down to less. The way I see it, the only way to run counter to our toxic image-centric society is to literally run by example. I can't tell my daughters that beauty is an incidental side effect of living your passion rather than an adherence to socially prescribed standards. I can't tell my son how to recognize and appreciate this kind of beauty in a woman. I have to show them, over and over again, mile after mile, until they feel the power of their own legs beneath them and catch the rhythm of their own strides. Which is why my parents wake my kids early on race-day mornings. It matters to me that my children see me out there, slogging through difficult miles. I want my girls to grow up recognizing the beauty of strength, the exuberance of endurance, and the core confidence residing in a well-tended body and spirit. I want them to be more interested in what they are doing than how they look doing it. I want them to enjoy food that is delicious, feed their bodies with wisdom and intent, and give themselves the freedom to indulge. I want them to compete in healthy ways that honor the cultivation of skill, the expenditure of effort, and the courage of the attempt. Grace and Bella, will you have any idea how lovely you are when you try? Recently we ran the Chuy's Hot to Trot Kids K together as a family in Austin, and I ran the 5-K immediately afterward. Post?race, my kids asked me where my medal was. I explained that not everyone gets a medal, so they must have run really well (all kids got a medal, shhh!). As I picked up Grace, she said, "You are so sweaty Mommy, all wet." Luke smiled and said, "Mommy's sweaty 'cause she's fast. And she looks pretty. All clean." My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me--my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along.
Kristin Armstrong
I’ve been in your skin,” he taunted. “I know you inside and out. There’s nothing there. Do us all a favor and die so we can start working on another plan and quit thinking maybe you’ll grow the fuck up and be capable of something.” Okay, enough! “You don’t know me inside and out,” I snarled. “You may have gotten in my skin, but you have never gotten inside my heart. Go ahead, Barrons, make me slice and dice myself. Go ahead, play games with me. Push me around. Lie to me. Bully me. Be your usual constant jackass self. Stalk around all broody and pissy and secretive, but you’re wrong about me. There’s something inside me you’d better be afraid of. And you can’t touch my soul. You will never touch my soul!” I raised my hand, drew back the knife, and let it fly. It sliced through the air, straight for his head. He avoided it with preternatural grace, a mere whisper of a movement, precisely and only as much as was required to not get hit. The hilt vibrated in the wood of the ornate mantel next to his head. “So, fuck you, Jericho Barrons, and not the way you like it. Fuck you—as in, you can’t touch me. Nobody can.” I kicked the table at him. It crashed into his shins. I picked up a lamp from the end table. Flung it straight at his head. He ducked again. I grabbed a book. It thumped off his chest. He laughed, dark eyes glittering with exhilaration. I launched myself at him, slammed a fist into his face. I heard a satisfying crunch and felt something in his nose give. He didn’t try to hit me back or push me away. Merely wrapped his arms around me and crushed me tight to his body, trapping my arms against his chest. Then, when I thought he might just squeeze me to death, he dropped his head forward, into the hollow where my shoulder met my neck. “Do you miss fucking me, Ms. Lane?” he purred against my ear. Voice resonated in my skull, pressuring a reply. I was tall and strong and proud inside myself. Nobody owned me. I didn’t have to answer any questions I didn’t want to, ever again. “Wouldn’t you just love to know?” I purred back. “You want more of me, don’t you, Barrons? I got under your skin deep. I hope you got addicted to me. I was a wild one, wasn’t I? I bet you never had sex like that in your entire existence, huh, O Ancient One? I bet I rocked your perfectly disciplined little world. I hope wanting me hurts like hell!” His hands were suddenly cruelly tight on my waist. “There’s only one question that matters, Ms. Lane, and it’s the one you never get around to asking. People are capable of varying degrees of truth. The majority spend their entire lives fabricating an elaborate skein of lies, immersing themselves in the faith of bad faith, doing whatever it takes to feel safe. The person who truly lives has precious few moments of safety, learns to thrive in any kind of storm. It’s the truth you can stare down stone-cold that makes you what you are. Weak or strong. Live or die. Prove yourself. How much truth can you take, Ms. Lane?” Dreamfever
Karen Marie Moning
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me. There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs--commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there. Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?--Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster--tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here? But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand--miles of them--leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues--north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither? Once more. Say you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
Secondly, it is the very nature of spiritual life to grow. Wherever they principle of this life is to be found, it can be no different for it must grow. "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18); "The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger" (Job 17:9). This refers to the children of GOd, who are compared to palm and cedar trees (Psa. 92:12). As natural as it is for children and trees to grow, so natural is growth for the regenerated children of God. Thirdly, the growth of His children is the goal and objective God has in view by administering the means of grace to them. "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints...that we henceforth be no more children...but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head" (Eph. 4:11-15). This is also to be observed in 1 Peter 2:2: "as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby, " God will reach His goal and His word will not return to Him void; thus God's children will grow in grace. Fourthly, is is the duty to which God's children are continually exhorted, and their activity is to consist in a striving for growth. That it is their duty is to be observed in the following passages: "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18); "He that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev. 22:11). The nature of this activity is expressed as follows: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after" (Phil. 3:12). If it were not necessary for believers to grow the exhortations to that end would be in vain. Some remain feeble, having but little life and strength. this can be due to a lack of nourishment, living under a barren ministry, or being without guidance. It can also be that they naturally have a slow mind and a lazy disposition; that they have strong corruptions which draw them away; that they are without much are without much strife; that they are too busy from early morning till late evening, due to heavy labor, or to having a family with many children, and thus must struggle or are poverty-stricken. Furthermore, it can be that they either do not have the opportunity to converse with the godly; that they do not avail themselves of such opportunities; or that they are lazy as far as reading in God's Word and prayer are concerned. Such persons are generally subject to many ups and downs. At one time they lift up their heads out of all their troubles, by renewal becoming serious, and they seek God with their whole heart. It does not take long, however , and they are quickly cast down in despondency - or their lusts gain the upper hand. Thus they remain feeble and are, so to speak, continually on the verge of death. Some of them occasionally make good progress, but then grieve the Spirit of God and backslide rapidly. For some this lasts for a season, after which they are restored, but others are as those who suffer from consumption - they languish until they die. Oh what a sad condition this is! (Chapter 89. Spiritual Growth, pg. 140, 142-143)
Wilhelmus à Brakel (The Christian's Reasonable Service, Vol. 4)
What you describe is parasitism, not love. When you require another individual for your survival, you are a parasite on that individual. There is no choice, no freedom involved in your relationship. It is a matter of necessity rather than love. Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other. We all-each and every one of us-even if we try to pretend to others and to ourselves that we don't have dependency needs and feelings, all of us have desires to be babied, to be nurtured without effort on our parts, to be cared for by persons stronger than us who have our interests truly at heart. No matter how strong we are, no matter how caring and responsible and adult, if we look clearly into ourselves we will find the wish to be taken care of for a change. Each one of us, no matter how old and mature, looks for and would like to have in his or her life a satisfying mother figure and father figure. But for most of us these desires or feelings do not rule our lives; they are not the predominant theme of our existence. When they do rule our lives and dictate the quality of our existence, then we have something more than just dependency needs or feelings; we are dependent. Specifically, one whose life is ruled and dictated by dependency needs suffers from a psychiatric disorder to which we ascribe the diagnostic name "passive dependent personality disorder." It is perhaps the most common of all psychiatric disorders. People with this disorder, passive dependent people, are so busy seeking to be loved that they have no energy left to love…..This rapid changeability is characteristic of passive dependent individuals. It is as if it does not matter whom they are dependent upon as long as there is just someone. It does not matter what their identity is as long as there is someone to give it to them. Consequently their relationships, although seemingly dramatic in their intensity, are actually extremely shallow. Because of the strength of their sense of inner emptiness and the hunger to fill it, passive dependent people will brook no delay in gratifying their need for others. If being loved is your goal, you will fail to achieve it. The only way to be assured of being loved is to be a person worthy of love, and you cannot be a person worthy of love when your primary goal in life is to passively be loved. Passive dependency has its genesis in lack of love. The inner feeling of emptiness from which passive dependent people suffer is the direct result of their parents' failure to fulfill their needs for affection, attention and care during their childhood. It was mentioned in the first section that children who are loved and cared for with relative consistency throughout childhood enter adulthood with a deep seated feeling that they are lovable and valuable and therefore will be loved and cared for as long as they remain true to themselves. Children growing up in an atmosphere in which love and care are lacking or given with gross inconsistency enter adulthood with no such sense of inner security. Rather, they have an inner sense of insecurity, a feeling of "I don't have enough" and a sense that the world is unpredictable and ungiving, as well as a sense of themselves as being questionably lovable and valuable. It is no wonder, then, that they feel the need to scramble for love, care and attention wherever they can find it, and once having found it, cling to it with a desperation that leads them to unloving, manipulative, Machiavellian behavior that destroys the very relationships they seek to preserve. In summary, dependency may appear to be love because it is a force that causes people to fiercely attach themselves to one another. But in actuality it is not love; it is a form of antilove. Ultimately it destroys rather than builds relationships, and it destroys rather than builds people.
M. Scott Peck