We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: it's got to be the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have.”
I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way.
Andrew Boyd (Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe)
You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century)
Everyone in the world was programmed by the place they were born, hemmed in by their beliefs, but you had to at least try to grow your own brain.
Scott Westerfeld (Pretties (Uglies, #2))
Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you,
none can make you spiritual.
There is no other teacher but your own soul.
What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing? Every living thing must grow. It can't stand still. It must grow or perish.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.
Part of growing up is making sure your sense of reality isn't entirely grounded in your own mind.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #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.
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)
I can do this… I can start over. I can save my own life and I’m never going to be alone as long as I have stars to wish on and people to still love.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: A stodgy parent is not fun at all! What a child wants - and DESERVES - is a parent who is SPARKY!
He saw you cast into a river of life you didn't request. He saw you betrayed by those you love. He saw you with a body that gets sick and a heart that grows weak. He saw you in your own garden of gnarled trees and sleeping friends. He saw you staring into the pit of your own failures and the mouth of your own grave. He saw you in your own garden of Gethsemane and he didn't want you to be alone ... He would rather go to hell for you than to heaven without you.
Find out who you are and figure out what you believe in. Even if it's different from what your neighbors believe in and different from what your parents believe in. Stay true to yourself. Have your own opinion. Don't worry about what people say about you or think about you. Let the naysayers nay. They will eventually grow tired of naying.
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
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
Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up. If a guy punches you he likes you. Never try to trim your own bangs and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending. Every movie we see, Every story we're told implores us to wait for it, the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. But sometimes we're so focused on finding our happy ending we don't learn how to read the signs. How to tell from the ones who want us and the ones who don't, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. And maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe... it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is... just... moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope.
All teenagers knew this was true. The process of growing up was nothing more than figuring out what doors hadn't yet been slammed in your face. For years, parents tell you that you can be anything, have anything, do anything. That was why she'd been so eager to grow up-until she got to adolescence and hit a big fat wall ofreality. As it turned out, she couldn't have anything she wanted. You didn't get to be pretty or smart or popular just because you wanted it. You didn't control your own destiny, you were too busy trying to fit in.
Jodi Picoult (The Tenth Circle)
I think maybe we die every day. Maybe we're born new each dawn, a little changed, a little further on our own road. When enough days stand between you and the person you were, you're strangers. Maybe that's what growing up is. Maybe I have grown up.
Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1))
Marry me, Kiara,” he blurts out in front of everyone.
“Why?” she asks, challenging him.
“Because I love you,” he says, walking up to her and bending down on one knee while he takes her hand in his, “and I want to go to sleep with you every night and wake up seein’ your face every mornin’, I want you to be the mother of my children, I want to fix cars with you and eat your crappy tofu tacos that you think are Mexican. I want to climb mountains with you and be challenged by you, I want to argue with you just so we can have crazy hot makeup sex. Marry me, because without you I’d be six feet under … and because I love your family like they’re my own … and because you’re my best friend and I want to grow old with you.” He starts tearing up, and it’s shocking because I’ve never seen him cry. “Marry me, Kiara Westford, because when I got shot the only thing I was thinkin’ about was comin’ back here and makin’ you my wife. Say yes, chica.
Simone Elkeles (Chain Reaction (Perfect Chemistry, #3))
Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.
When you're five and you hurt, you make a big noise in the world. At ten you whimper. But by the time you make fifteen you begin to eat the poisoned apples that grow on your own inner tree of pain.
Stephen King (Rage)
Evil begets evil. It grows. It transmutes, so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home. I
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
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))
People say you're born innocent, but it's not true. You inherit all kinds of things that you can do nothing about. You inherit your identity, your history, like a birthmark that you can't wash off. ... We are born with our heads turned back, but my mother says we have to face into the future now. You have to earn your own innocence, she says. You have to grow up and become innocent.
Hugo Hamilton (The Sailor in the Wardrobe)
To win the big stakes in this changed world, you must catch the spirit of the great pioneers of the past, whose dreams have given to civilization all that it has of value, the spirit that serves as the life-blood of our own country – your opportunity and mine, to develop and market our talents.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century)
Often, when we have a crush, when we lust for a person, we see only a small percentage of who they really are. The rest we make up for ourselves. Rather than listen, or learn, we smother them in who we imagine them to be, what we desire for ourselves, we create little fantasies of people and let them grow in our hearts. And this is where the relationship fails. In time, the fiction we scribble onto a person falls away, the lies we tell ourselves unravel and soon the person standing in front of you is almost unrecognisable, you are now complete strangers in your own love. And what a terrible shame it is. My advice: pay attention to the small details of people, you will learn that the universe is far more spectacular an author than we could ever hope to be.
For your own good, for the good of your family and your future, grow a backbone. When something is wrong, stand up and say it is wrong, and don't back down.
Dave Ramsey (The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness)
Mom: A doctor, Lily? AND your own business? I want to be you when I grow up.
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us (It Ends with Us, #1))
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters? I've seen things, angel. There are guerrilla armies that make little boys kill thier own families. Such acts rip out the soul and make space for beasts to grow inside. Armies need beasts, don't they? Pet beasts, to do their terrible work! And the worst part is, it's almost impossible to retrieve a soul that has been ripped away. Almost." He gave Akiva a keen look."But it can be done, if ever... if ever you decide to go looking for yours.
Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1))
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
when you walk, you look like you’re trying to disappear.
your back is gonna be fucked up.
why do you think change is so hard? is it because you’re afraid?
people might think you’re pretty, but they’ll never love you.
you talk like you’re apologizing for your own voice.
find your spine, stop shrinking.
there is nothing brave about keeping silent.
how many times have you been in love? I can’t picture it ever happening for you.
you lie because it makes you feel free. this is a prison.
you’re always gonna think about him. you will never get him out of your system.
I wish I never had to see you again.
you poor thing.
go to hell.
you may be a nice person but you will never be a good person.
no one is ever going to want to touch you.
is there a vision in your head of who you want to be?
you do not have the strength to become her.
there is no boat big enough to keep you from drowning in the sea of yourself.
go to bed, baby.
you are tired from all of this nothing.
I can only hope,” Julie said, turning back to Gus, “they grow into the kind of thoughtful, intelligent young men you’ve become.”
I resisted the urge to audibly gag. “He’s not that smart,” I said to Julie.
“She’s right. It’s just that most really good-looking people are stupid, so I exceed expectations.”
“Right, it’s primarily his hotness,” I said.
“It can be sort of blinding,” he said.
“It actually did blind our friend Isaac,” I said.
“Terrible tragedy, that. But can I help my own deadly beauty?”
“It is my burden, this beautiful face.”
“Not to mention your body.”
“Seriously, don’t even get me started on my hot bod. You don’t want to see me naked, Dave. Seeing me naked actually took Hazel Grace’s breath away,” he said, nodding toward the oxygen tank.
“Okay, enough,” Gus’s dad said.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Who are you?"
"I am Death," said the creature. "I thought that was obvious."
"But you're so small!"
"Only because you are small. You are young and far from your Death, September, so I seem as anything would seem if you saw it from a long way off-very small, very harmless. But I am always closer than I appear. As you grow, I shall grow with you, until at the end, I shall loom huge and dark over your bed, and you will shut your eyes so as not to see me.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
young children are wonderfully confident in their own imaginations ... Most of us lose this confidence as we grow up
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
Everyone loses their class when they travel through hell, but only a few will regain it if they remain humble and accept the part they played in their own misery.
Shannon L. Alder
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)
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry, saying, ``What shall we eat?'' or ``What shall we drink?'' or ``What shall we wear?'' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
- Matthew 6:25-34
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
I believe in knowing who you are but without limiting yourself to your own expectation of who you are.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
Each time you make a good decision or do something nice or take care of yourself; each time you show up to work and work hard and do your best at everything you can do, you’re planting seeds for a life that you can only hope will grow beyond your wildest dreams. Take care of the little things—even the little things that you hate—and treat them as promises to your own future. Soon you’ll see that fortune favors the bold who get shit done.
Sophia Amoruso (#GIRLBOSS)
While we may judge things as good or bad, karma doesn't. It's a simple case of like gets like, the ultimate balancing act, nothing more, nothing less. And if you're deteremined to fix every situation you deem as bad, or difficult, or somehow unsavory, then you rob the person of their own chance to fix it, learn from it, or even grow from it. Some things, no matter how painful, happen for a reason. A reason you or I may not be able to grasp at first sight, not without knowing a person's entire life story—their cumulative past. And to just barge in and interfere, no matter how well-intentioned, would be akin to robbing them of their journey. Something that's better not done.
Alyson Noel (Shadowland (The Immortals, #3))
Needy people are like newborns, I have come to realize. One intoxicated night and BAM! You are stuck with this problem. You finally take it home and it wants to keep you up all night and cries when it isn’t sucking on various parts of your anatomy. It wants you there for everything – rocking, feeding, burping, changing... It’s ridiculous. If I wanted a kid I would have one. Until then, grow the hell up and stand on your own two feet, you little crazy.
Lilacs on a bush are better than orchids. And dandelions and devil grass are better! Why? Because they bend you over and turn you away from all the people in the town for a little while and sweat you and get you down where you remember you got a nose again. And when you’re all to yourself that way, you’re really proud of yourself for a little while; you get to thinking things through, alone. Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1))
Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. Use your memory! Use your memory! It is those bitter seeds alone which might sprout and grow someday.
Look around you - there are people around you. Maybe you will remember one of them all your life and later eat your heart out because you didn't make use of the opportunity to ask him questions. And the less you talk, the more you'll hear.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
Everything that comes to us is a blessing or a test. That’s all you need to know in this life…just the certainty that God’s got His eye on you, that He knows what you are made of, what you need to grow on. Why,questioning’s a sin, it’s pointless. He will show you your path in His own good time. And long as I remember that, I’m fine.
Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina)
In speaking of this desire for our own far off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you—the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence; the secret also which pierces with such sweetness that when, in very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and affect to laugh at ourselves; the secret we cannot hide and cannot tell, though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter. Wordsworth’s expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat. If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past, he would not have found the thing itself, but only the reminder of it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering. The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.
C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
The saddest thing was actually getting fed up with one another. It's like growing up in a family. When you get to a certain age, you want to go off and get your own girl and your own car, split up a bit.
...I believe that you are sincere and good at heart. If you do not attain happiness, always remember that you are on the right road, and try not to leave it. Above all, avoid falsehood, every kind of falsehood, especially falseness to yourself. Watch over your own deceitfulness and look into it every hour, every minute. Avoid being scornful, both to others and to yourself. What seems to you bad within you will grow purer from the very fact of your observing it in yourself. Avoid fear, too, though fear is only the consequence of every sort of falsehood. Never be frightened at your own faint-heartedness in attaining love.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
You get on with your own life. Lettie gave it to you. You just have to grow up and try and be worth it.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
Lieutenant Chatrand: I don’t understand this omnipotent-benevolent thing.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: You are confused because the Bible describes God as an omnipotent and benevolent deity.
Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning.
Lieutenant Chatrand: I understand the concept. It’s just... there seems to be a contradiction.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man’s starvation, war, sickness...
Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly! Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn’t he?
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would He?
Lieutenant Chatrand: Well... if God Loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Do you have children?
Lieutenant Chatrand: No, signore.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Imagine you had an eight-year-old son... would you love him?
Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would you let him skateboard?
Lieutenant Chatrand: Yeah, I guess. Sure I’d let him skateboard, but I’d tell him to be careful.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So as this child’s father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes?
Lieutenant Chatrand: I wouldn’t run behind him and mollycoddle him if that’s what you mean.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: But what if he fell and skinned his knee?
Lieutenant Chatrand: He would learn to be more careful.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child’s pain, you would choose to show you love by letting him learn his own lessons?
Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It’s how we learn.
Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
You can't love anyone or anything until you love your own existence first. Love can only grow out of a respect for your own life.
Terry Goodkind (The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth, #7))
I get so god damn lonely and sad and filled with regrets some days. It overwhelms me as I’m sitting on the bus; watching the golden leaves from a window; a sudden burst of realisation in the middle of the night. I can’t help it and I can’t stop it. I’m alone as I’ve always been and sometimes it hurts…. but I’m learning to breathe deep through it and keep walking. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. To comfort my own heart when I wake up sad. To find small bits of friendship in a crowd full of strangers. To find a small moment of joy in a blue sky, in a trip somewhere not so far away, a long walk an early morning in December, or a handwritten letter to an old friend simply saying ”I thought of you. I hope you’re well.”
No one will come and save you. No one will come riding on a white horse and take all your worries away. You have to save yourself, little by little, day by day. Build yourself a home. Take care of your body. Find something to work on. Something that makes you excited, something you want to learn. Get yourself some books and learn them by heart. Get to know the author, where he grew up, what books he read himself. Take yourself out for dinner. Dress up for no one but you and simply feel nice. it’s a lovely feeling, to feel pretty. You don’t need anyone to confirm it.
I get so god damn lonely and sad and filled with regrets some days, but I’m learning to breathe deep through it and keep walking. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. Slowly building myself a home with things I like. Colors that calm me down, a plan to follow when things get dark, a few people I try to treat right. I don’t sometimes, but it’s my intent to do so. I’m learning.I’m learning to make things nice for myself. I’m learning to save myself.
I’m trying, as I always will.
Charlotte Eriksson (Everything Changed When I Forgave Myself: growing up is a wonderful thing to do)
Take a shower. Wash away every trace of yesterday. Of smells. Of weary skin. Get dressed. Make coffee, windows open, the sun shining through. Hold the cup with two hands and notice that you feel the feeling of warmth.
You still feel warmth.
Now sit down and get to work. Keep your mind sharp, head on, eyes on the page and if small thoughts of worries fight their ways into your consciousness: threw them off like fires in the night and keep your eyes on the track. Nothing but the task in front of you.
Get off your chair in the middle of the day. Put on your shoes and take a long walk on open streets around people. Notice how they’re all walking, in a hurry, or slowly. Smiling, laughing, or eyes straight forward, hurried to get to wherever they’re going. And notice how you’re just one of them. Not more, not less. Find comfort in the way you’re just one in the crowd. Your worries: no more, no less.
Go back home. Take the long way just to not pass the liquor store. Don’t buy the cigarettes. Go straight home. Take off your shoes. Wash your hands. Your face. Notice the silence. Notice your heart. It’s still beating. Still fighting. Now get back to work.
Work with your mind sharp and eyes focused and if any thoughts of worries or hate or sadness creep their ways around, shake them off like a runner in the night for you own your mind, and you need to tame it. Focus. Keep it sharp on track, nothing but the task in front of you.
Work until your eyes are tired and head is heavy, and keep working even after that.
Then take a shower, wash off the day. Drink a glass of water. Make the room dark. Lie down and close your eyes.
Notice the silence. Notice your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it, after all. You made it, another day. And you can make it one more.
You’re doing just fine.
You’re doing fine.
I’m doing just fine.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
if you are unwilling to endure your own suffering even for an hour, and continually forestall all possible misfortune, if you regard as deserving of annihilation, any suffering and pain generally as evil, as detestable, and as blots on existence, well, you have then, besides your religion of compassion, yet another religion in your heart (and this is perhaps the mother of the former)-the religion of smug ease. Ah, how little you know of the happiness of man, you comfortable and good-natured ones! For happiness and misfortune are brother and sister, and twins, who grow tall together, or, as with you, remain small together!
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Gay Science)
Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Things not to worry about:
Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions
Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?
With dearest love,
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Interest isn’t just something you feel. It’s something you live.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
What others view as setbacks, Firestarters see as opportunities to learn and grow more.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
Belief that you can act is a powerful motivator. Belief that change can happen in a flash is an even stronger motivator.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
When you travel mentally from a low point to a high point, the ensuing inspiration eclipses the negativity of the initial downfall.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
If you want to make a difference, you must live like no one else and strive to achieve goals that others view as impossible to reach.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
Introspection is a form of self-management. You reflect. You decide. You change. You allow yourself to grow.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
Why kid ourselves, people have nothing to say to one another, they all talk about their own troubles and nothing else. Each man for himself, the earth for us all. They try to unload their unhappiness on someone else when making love, they do their damnedest, but it doesn't work, they keep it all, and then they start all over again, trying to find a place for it. "Your pretty, Mademoiselle," they say. And life takes hold of them again until the next time, and then they try the same little gimmick. "You're very pretty, Mademoiselle..."
And in between they boast that they've succeeded in getting rid of their unhappiness, but everyone knows it's not true and they've simply kept it all to themselves. Since at the little game you get uglier and more repulsive as you grow older, you can't hope to hide your unhappiness, your bankruptcy, any longer. In the end your features are marked with that hideous grimace that takes twenty, thrity years or more to climb form your belly to your face. That's all a man is good for, that and no more, a grimace that he takes a whole lifetime to compose. The grimace a man would need to express his true soul without losing any of it is so heavy and complicated that he doesn't always succeed in completing it.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you’ll find an edge to cut you.” I looked into my own darkness. I knew what it was to be trapped, and to watch ruination. “Each day the memories weigh a little heavier. Each day they drag you down that bit further. You wind them around you, a single thread at a time, and you weave your own shroud, you build a cocoon, and in it madness grows.” The lights pulsed beneath my fingers, ebbing and flowing to the beat of my voice. “You sit here with your yesterdays queuing at your shoulder. You listen to their reproach and curse those that gave you life.
Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1))
I’m learning persistence and the closing of doors, the way the seasons come and go as I keep walking on these roads, back and forth, to find myself in new time zones, new arms with new phrases and new goals. And it hurts to become, hurts to find out about the poverty and gaps, the widow and the leavers. It hurts to accept that it hurts and it hurts to learn how easy it is for people to not need other people. Or how easy it is to need other people but that you can never build a home in someone’s arms because they will let go one day and you must build your own.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
A child isn’t born bitter. I point no fingers as to who tainted the clean, pure pool of my childhood. Let’s just say that when I realized that I didn’t want to grow up, the damage was already done. Knowing that being grown up was no swell place to be means that you are grown up enough to notice. And you can’t go back from there. You have to forge another route, draw your own map.
Lots of my dying patients say they grow in bounds and leaps, and finish all the unfinished business. But assisting a suicide is cheating them of these lessons, like taking a student out of school before final exams. That's not love, it's projecting your own unfinished business
Most adult children of toxic parents grow up feeling tremendous confusion about what love means and how it’s supposed to feel. Their parents did extremely unloving things to them in the name of love. They came to understand love as something chaotic, dramatic, confusing, and often painful—something they had to give up their own dreams and desires for. Obviously, that’s not what love is all about. Loving behaviour doesn’t grind you down, keep you off balance, or create feelings of self-hatred. Love doesn’t hurt, it feels good. Loving behaviour nourishes your emotional well-being. When someone is being loving to you, you feel accepted, cared for, valued, and respected. Genuine love creates feelings of warmth, pleasure, safety, stability, and inner peace.
Susan Forward (Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life)
Why doesn’t every fire once kindled, survive and thrive? Why doesn’t every person accomplish her dreams? The simple answer is that the Firestarter’s life is a constant fight against extinction.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
Loneliness is a drug, a narcotic; it grows through veins, through nerves and muscles; it assumes some right of possession over your body and mind; it feeds itself, and creates its own requirement. Loneliness and solitude are walls.
How can it be, after all this concentrated effort and separation, how can it be that I still resemble, so very closely, my own detestable mother?
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
Flames are not just the end, they are also the beginning. For everything that you have destroyed can be rebuilt. From your own ashes you can grow again.
Douglas Stuart (Shuggie Bain)
Fear, lest, by forgetting what you are by nature, you also forget the need that you have of continual pardon, support, and supplies from the Spirit of grace, and so grow proud of your own abilities, or of what you have received from God.
believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without ever realizing it.
I don’t want to wait anymore. I choose to believe that there is nothing more sacred or profound than this day. I choose to believe that there may be a thousand big moments embedded in this day, waiting to be discovered like tiny shards of gold. The big moments are the daily, tiny moments of courage and forgiveness and hope that we grab on to and extend to one another. That’s the drama of life, swirling all around us, and generally I don’t even see it, because I’m too busy waiting to become whatever it is I think I am about to become. The big moments are in every hour, every conversation, every meal, every meeting.
The Heisman Trophy winner knows this. He knows that his big moment was not when they gave him the trophy. It was the thousand times he went to practice instead of going back to bed. It was the miles run on rainy days, the healthy meals when a burger sounded like heaven. That big moment represented and rested on a foundation of moments that had come before it.
I believe that if we cultivate a true attention, a deep ability to see what has been there all along, we will find worlds within us and between us, dreams and stories and memories spilling over. The nuances and shades and secrets and intimations of love and friendship and marriage an parenting are action-packed and multicolored, if you know where to look.
Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting, and the crackers and peanut butter that you’re having for lunch on the coffee table are as profound, in their own way, as the Last Supper. This is it. This is life in all its glory, swirling and unfolding around us, disguised as pedantic, pedestrian non-events. But pull of the mask and you will find your life, waiting to be made, chosen, woven, crafted.
Your life, right now, today, is exploding with energy and power and detail and dimension, better than the best movie you have ever seen. You and your family and your friends and your house and your dinner table and your garage have all the makings of a life of epic proportions, a story for the ages. Because they all are. Every life is.
You have stories worth telling, memories worth remembering, dreams worth working toward, a body worth feeding, a soul worth tending, and beyond that, the God of the universe dwells within you, the true culmination of super and natural.
You are more than dust and bones.
You are spirit and power and image of God.
And you have been given Today.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
lf you’re going to deal with reality, you’re going to have to make one big discovery: Reality is something that belongs to you as an individual. If you wanna grow up, which most people don’t, the thing to do is take responsibility for your own reality and deal with it on your own terms. Don’t expect that because you pay some money to somebody else or take a pledge or join a club or run down the street or wear a special bunch of clothes or play a certain sport or even drink Perrier water, it’s going to take care of everything for you.
If you fail to control your own mind, you may be sure you will control nothing else.
Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich)
Love is ease, love is comfort, love is support and respect. Love is not punishing or controlling. Love lets you grow and breathe. Love's passion is only good passion -- swirling-leaves-on-a-fall-day passion, a-sky-full-of-magnificent-stars passion -- not angst and anxiety. Love is not hurt and harm. Love is never unsafe. Love is sleeping like puzzle pieces. It's your own garden you protect; it's a field of wildflowers you move about in both freely and together.
Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
I know it hurts. I know it doesn’t feel good.
I know your hunger is different than mine.
I know it doesn’t taste the same as mine.
imagine you could grow up all over again
and pinpoint the millisecond that you started
counting calories like casualties of war,
mourning each one like it had a family.
sometimes I wonder that.
sometimes I wonder if you would go back
and watch yourself reappear and disappear right in front of your own eyes.
and I love you so much.
I am going to hold your little hand through the night.
just please eat. just a little.
you wrote a poem once,
about a city of walking skeletons.
the teacher called home because you
told her you wished it could be like that
let me tell you something about bones, baby.
they are not warm or soft.
the wind whistles through them like they are
holes in a tree.
and they break, too. they break right in half.
they bruise and splinter like wood.
are you hungry?
I know. I know how much you hate that question.
I will find another way to ask it, someday.
I know they are all yelling at you to stretch yourself thinner.
l hear them counting, always counting.
I wish I had been there when the world made you
snap yourself in half.
I would have told you that your body is not a war-zone,
it is okay to leave your plate empty.
Katie is like my calendar, watching her grow
and change. She is growing up so fast, learning to have opinions of her own,
learning that I don’t have the answers to everything. And the moment a child
begins to understand that, you know you’re in trouble.
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
The dark is generous.
Its first gift is concealment: our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from the truths of others.
The dark protects us from what we dare not know.
Its second gift is comforting illusion: the ease of gentle dreams in night’s embrace, the beauty that imagination brings to what would repel in the day’s harsh light. But the greatest of its comforts is the illusion that dark is temporary: that every night brings a new day. Because it’s the day that is temporary.
Day is the illusion.
Its third gift is the light itself: as days are defined by the nights that divide them, as stars are defined by the infinite black through which they wheel, the dark embraces the light, and brings it forth from the center of its own self.
With each victory of the light, it is the dark that wins.
The dark is generous, and it is patient.
It is the dark that seeds cruelty into justice, that drips contempt into compassion, that poisons love with grains of doubt.
The dark can be patient, because the slightest drop of rain will cause those seeds to sprout.
The rain will come, and the seeds will sprout, for the dark is the soil in which they grow, and it is the clouds above them, and it waits behind the star that gives them light.
The dark’s patience is infinite.
Eventually, even stars burn out.
The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins.
It always wins because it is everywhere.
It is in the wood that burns in your hearth, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair and under your table and under the sheets on your bed. Walk in the midday sun, and the dark is with you, attached to the soles of your feet.
The brightest light casts the darkest shadow.
The dark is generous and it is patient and it always wins – but in the heart of its strength lies its weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back.
Love is more than a candle.
Love can ignite the stars.
Matthew Woodring Stover
And if they really fuck it up and do make a horrible mistake, which can happen to anyone, from any culture, you still have to sit back and watch from the sidelines. It's their life. What you need is a life of your own. You can't hang on to them forever and live theirs or stop them from making mistakes. That's the deal. Once they grow up, they belong to themselves, not to us.
Danielle Steel (Family Ties)
Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself.
Bianca Sparacino (Seeds Planted in Concrete)
When you assess your own life, consider it with the eye of a gardener. Underneath the surface lies rich, fertile soil waiting to nurture the seeds you sow. Even more than you can imagine will grow there if given a chance.
Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
We both have a lot of growing-up to do... A lot of the world to see & figure out on our own." -- Leo
keep bees and grow asparagus.
listen to the wind
instead of the politicians,
make up your own stories
and believe them if you want to live
the good life
As you grow, you learn more. If you stayed as ignorant as you were at twenty-two, you'd always be twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth. It's more than the negative that you're going to die, it's the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you live a better life because of it.
Morrie Schwartz (Morrie: In His Own Words)
Growing up in my family meant ambushes on your birthday, crossbows for Christmas, and games of dodge ball where the balls were occasionally rigged to explode. It also meant learning how to work your way out of a wide variety of death traps. Failure to get loose on your own could lead to missing dinner, or worse, being forced to admit that you missed dinner because your baby sister had tied you to the couch. Again.
Seanan McGuire (Discount Armageddon (InCryptid, #1))
Because she knew that something happened to you when your mother didn't hold you close, or tell you all the time that you were the best thing ever, or even notice when you were home: a little part of you sealed over. You didn't need her. You didn't need anyone. And without even knowing you were doing it, you waited. You waited for anyone who got close to you to see something they didn't like in you, something they hadn't initially seen, and to grow cold and disappear, too, like so much sea mist. Because there had to be something wrong, didn't there, if even your own mother didn't really love you?
Jojo Moyes (One Plus One)
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)
A message To the children who have read this book. When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important. A stodgy parent is no fun at all! What a child wants -and DESERVES- is a parent who is SPARKY!" - Danny, the champion of the world.
Roald Dahl (Danny the Champion of the World)
What I know now, my son: Evil begets evil. It grows. It transmutes, so that sometimes you cannot see that the evil in the world began as the evil in your own home. I'm sorry you have suffered. I'm sorry for the way your suffering casts a shadow over your life, over the woman you have yet to marry, the children you have yet to have.
Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing)
But playing your music as loud as you want and coming home drunk aren't real life. Real life, it turns out, is diapers and lawnmowers, decks that need painting, a wife that needs to be listened to, kids that need to be taught right from wrong, a checkbook, an oil change, a sunset behind a mountain, laughter at a kitchen table, too much wine, a chipped tooth, and a screaming child.
Donald Miller (To Own a Dragon: Reflections on Growing Up Without a Father)
here once was a group with Liam and Niall
Vas happenin’ boys? Vas happenin’ boys?
They lived with Zayn and his room was vile
Vas happenin’ boys? Vas happenin’ boys?
Did you know Harry’s such a slob?
He needs to win X-factor ‘cause he can’t get a job
And oh Louis needs a boat
He dresses like he owns one
‘Cause he’s got no other clothes
They really need your vote
Vas happenin’ boys? Vas happenin’ boys?
Mick Jagger could be Harry’s dad
Vas happenin’ mum? Vas happenin’ Mick?
When Liam sings he makes his face look sad
Vas happenin’ song? Vas happenin’ sad?
And Zayn’s the master of echos
And Niall was raised by leprechauns
So he won’t ever grow
And oh Louis needs that boat
He dresses like he owns one
And it’s becoming a joke
They really need your vote
Vas happenin’ boys? Vas happenin’ boys?
Vas happenin’ boys? Vas happenin’ boys?
Vas happenin’ boys? Vas happenin’ boys?
The 7 Steps to Transformation:
1. Dream it.
2. Envision it.
3. Think it.
4. Grow it.
5. Become it.
6. Live it.
7. OWN it.
Also, when you are young, you think you can predict the likely pains and bleaknesses that age might bring. You imagine yourself being lonely, divorced, widowed; children growing away from you, friends dying. You imagine the loss of status, the loss of desire – and desirability. You may go further and consider your own approaching death, which, despite what company you may muster, can only be faced alone. But all this is looking ahead. What you fail to do is look ahead, and then imagine yourself looking back from the future point. Learning the new emotions that time brings. Discovering, for example, that as the witnesses to your life diminish, there is less corroboration, and therefore less certainty, as to what you are or have been. Even if you have assiduously kept records – in words, sound, pictures – you may find that you have attended to the wrong kind of record-keeping. What was the line Adrian used to quote? 'History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
That was the sort of everyday love I had to learn to contend with: if you grow up with it, it's hard to think you'll ever match it. I used to think it was difficult for children of folks who really loved each other, hard to get out from under that skin because sometimes it's just so comfortable you don't want to have to develop your own.
Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin)
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
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
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.
How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?“
Winston thought. “By making him suffer”, he said.
“Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy – everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
George Orwell (1984)
What would happen to our lives, our world, if the parent could unconditionally affirm the child, saying in so many words: “You are precious to us; you will always have our love and support; you are here to be who you are; try never to hurt another, but never stop trying to become yourself as fully as you can; when you fall and fail, you are still loved by us and welcomed to us, but you are also here to leave us, and to go onward toward your own destiny without having to worry about pleasing us.
James Hollis (Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up)
Most parents try really hard to give their kids the best possible life. They give them the best food and clothes they can afford, take their own kind of take on training kids to be honest and polite. But what they don't realize is no matter how much they try, their kids will get out there. Out to this complicated little world. If they are lucky they will survive, through backstabbers, broken hearts, failures and all the kinds of invisible insane pressures out there. But most kids get lost in them. They will get caught up in all kinds of bubbles. Trouble bubbles. Bubbles that continuously tell them that they are not good enough. Bubbles that get them carried away with what they think is love, give them broken hearts. Bubbles that will blur the rest of the world to them, make them feel like that is it, that they've reached the end. Sometimes, even the really smart kids, make stupid decisions. They lose control. Parents need to realize that the world is getting complicated every second of every day. 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 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)
The ability to find sparks may be buried so deep in you that you stop believing there's a God. Until someone comes along, with so much light in her that you can't help but see your own, and when you're together,that light grows even brighter.
Jodi Picoult (Keeping Faith)
If you want your children to grow up to be healthy and independent, you should hold them, hug them, cuddle them, and love them. Give them a secure base and they will explore and then conquer the world on their own.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
I never said it was easy to find your place in this world, but I’m coming to the conclusion that if you seek to please others, you will forever be changing because you will never be yourself, only fragments of someone you could be. You need to belong to yourself, and let others belong to themselves too. You need to be free and detached from things and your surroundings. You need to build your home in your own simple existence, not in friends, lovers, your career or material belongings, because these are things you will lose one day. That’s the natural order of this world. This is called the practice of detachment.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
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)
Throw away my book: you must understand that it represents only one of a thousand attitudes. You must find your own. If someone else could have done something as well as you, don’t do it. If someone else could have said something as well as you, don’t say it—or written something as well as you, don’t write it. Grow fond only of that which you can find nowhere but in yourself, and create out of yourself, impatiently or patiently, ah! that most irreplaceable of beings.
Before you know it you'll be my age telling your own granddaughter the story of your life and you wanna make it an interesting one, don't you? You wanna be able to tell her some adventures, some excitements, some something. How you live your life, little one, is a gift for those who come after you, a kind of inheritance.
Cristina García (I Wanna Be Your Shoebox)
I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
… if you refuse to let your own suffering lie upon you for an hour and if you constantly try to prevent and forestall all possible stress way ahead of time; if you experience suffering and displeasure as evil, hateful, worthy of annihilation, and as a defect of existence, then it is clear that besides your religion of pity you also harbor another religion in your heart that is perhaps the mother of the religion of pity: the religion of comfortableness. How little you know of human happiness, you comfortable and benevolent people, for happiness and unhappiness are sisters and even twins that either grow up together or, as in your case, remain small together.
When you're a child you're the center of everything. Other people? They're only ghosts furnished for you to talk to. But when you grow up you take your place and you're your own size and shape. Things go out of you to others and come in from other people. It's worse, but it's much better too.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
In real life, Snow White stays dead and Rapunzel grows old, alone in her tower. In real life, you gotta have enough sense to stay away from ugly bitches offering you shiny apples and have enough balls to cut off your own hair and use it as a ladder if needs be. In real life, you gotta save yourself and the only happy endings are the ones paid for in massage parlors.
Amy Sumida (Godhunter)
If you never have sex you never gain a sense of power. You never gain a voice or an identity of your own. Sex is the act that separates us from our parents. Children from adults. It's by having sex that adolescents first rebel.
And if you never have sex, you never grow beyond everything else your parents taught you. If you never break the rule against sex, you won't break any other rule.
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
I follow and cultivate my own curiosity. I think curiosity is one of the top two or three human characteristics. It's something that I really like about myself. [...] I want to understand stuff! I want to understand people! Following my curiosity so frequently leads me to better life decisions and better business decisions but also - just feeling better! You're never going to feel bad about your whole life if you loved people and you were curious. I mean, that's kind of all I want!
You digest and absorb your life by turning it into stories,' he says, 'the same way this theater seems to digest people.' With one hand, he points to a carpet stain, this dark stain sticky and growing mold, branched with arms and legs.
Other events—the ones you can’t digest—they poison you. Those worst parts of your life, those moments you can’t talk about, they rot you from the inside out. Until you’re Cassandra’s wet shadow on the ground. Sunk in your own yellow protein mud.
But the stories that you can digest, that you can tell—you can take control of those past moments. You can shape them, craft them. Master them. And use them to your own good. Those are stories as important as food. Those are stories you can use to make people laugh or cry or sick. Or scared. To make people feel the way you felt. To help exhaust that past moment for them and for you. Until that moment is dead.
Consumed. Digested. Absorbed.
Chuck Palahniuk (Haunted)
Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. From this place the snow is less visible, even though closer. These are things you should notice anyway. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.
But of course, without the top you can’t have any sides. It’s the top that defines the sides. So on we go—we have a long way—no hurry—just one step after the next—with a little Chautauqua for entertainment -- .Mental reflection is so much more interesting than TV it’s a shame more people don’t switch over to it. They probably think what they hear is unimportant but it never is.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
Now, I've had boys of my own, and I know boys aren't that way. They don't learn, or grow, or have manners when you're looking at them. But turn away, and turn back, and there they are, smarter, taller, and charming everyone but their own mothers.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1))
Miracles don't have to be big, and they can happen in the unlikeliest places. Sometimes they are so small people don't notice. Sometimes miracles are shy. They brush against your sleeve, they settle on your eyelashes. They wait for you to notice, then melt away. Lots of things start by being small. It's a good way to begin, because no one takes any notice of you. You're just a little thing beetling along, minding your own business. Then you grow.
Grace McCleen (The Land of Decoration)
One of the best gifts you can give to someone, is a wider perspective. It's also one of the best gifts you can receive. So if you have given someone a wider perspective, don't feel bad about it (about taking their blindfolds off and having to watch them cringe in the newfound sunlight); I know it's hard, but you're doing them a lasting favor. And a wider perspective can be difficult for you yourself to accept, in the beginning (during the time that you squint while the sunlight stings your own eyes), but later you'll find yourself coming back to it, even if you abandoned it as something worthless; you'll look for it, one day. Or it will grow on you. Perspective.
C. JoyBell C.
For time and eternity there have been fathers like Nathan who simply can see no way to have a daughter but to own her like a plot of land. To work her, plow her under, rain down a dreadful poison upon her. Miraculously, it causes these girls to grow. They elongate on the pale slender stalks of their longing, like sunflowers with heavy heads. You can shield them with your body and soul, trying to absorb that awful rain, but they'll still move toward him. Without cease they'll bend to his light.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
On occasion, it occurs to adults that they are allowed to do all the things that being a child prevented them from doing. But those desires change when you're not looking. There was a time when your favorite color transferred from purple to blue to whatever shade it is when you realize having a favorite color is a trite personality crutch, an unstable cultivation of quirk and a possible cry for help. You just don't notice the time of your own metamorphosis. Until you do. Every once in a while time dissolves and you remember what you liked as a kid. You jump on your hotel bed, order dessert first, decide to put every piece of jewelry you own on your body and leave the house. Why? Because you can. Because you're the boss. Because . . . Ooooh. Shiny.
Sloane Crosley (How Did You Get This Number: Essays)
We were outside the world, we didn't even own things -- some clothes. . . . This arrangement resembles the prehistoric way to live, and it therefore feels right to us, because our brains recognize it from 3 millions of years practicing it. In essence our brains grew to their current configuration in response to the realities of that life. So as a result people grow powerfully attached to that kind of life, when they get the chance to live it. It allows you to concentrate your attention on the real work, which means everything that is done to stay alive, to make things, or satisfy one's curiosity, or play. That is utopia.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1))
Let me tell you the truth about the world to which you so desperately want to return. It is a place of pain and suffering and grief. When you left it, cities were being attacked. Women and children were being blasted to pieces or burned alive by bombs dropped from planes flown by men with wives and children of their own. People were being dragged from their homes and shot in the street. Your world is tearing itself apart, and the most amusing thing of all is that it was little better before the war started. War merely gives people an excuse to indulge themselves further, to murder with impunity. There were wars before it, and there will be wars after it, and in between people will fight one another and hurt one another and maim one another and betray one another, because that is what they have always done.
And even if you avoid warfare and violent death, little boy, what else do you think life has in store for you? You have already seen what it is capable of doing. It took your mother from you, drained her of health and beauty, and then cast her aside like the withered, rotten husk of a fruit. It will take others from you too, mark me. Those whom you care about--lovers, children--will fall by the wayside, and your love will not be enough to save them. Your health will fail you. You will become old and sick. Your limbs will ache, your eyesight will fade, and your skin will grow lined and aged. There will be pains deep within that no doctor will be able to cure. Diseases will find a warm, moist place inside you and there they will breed, spreading through your system, corrupting it cell by cell until you pray for the doctors to let you die, to put you out of your misery, but they will not. Instead you will linger on, with no one to hold your hand or soothe your brow, as Death comes and beckons you into his darkness. The life you left behind you is no life at all. Here, you can be king, and I will allow you to age with dignity and without pain, and when the time comes for you to die, I will send you gently to sleep and you will awaken in the paradise of your choosing, for each man dreams his own heaven.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
He told me that one of the reasons people are so unhappy is they don't talk to themselves. He said you have to keep a conversation going with yourself throughout your life to see how you're doing, to keep your focus, to remain your own friend. He told me that he talked to himself all the time, and that it helped him to grow stronger and better everyday.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
At last I understood that the way over, or through this dilemma, the unease at writing about 'petty personal problems' was to recognize that nothing is personal, in the sense that it is uniquely one's own. Writing about oneself, one is writing about others, since your problems, pains, pleasures, emotions—and your extraordinary and remarkable ideas—can't be yours alone. [...] Growing up is after all only the understanding that one's unique and incredible experience is what everyone shares.
It'll be when you first learn to walk that I get daily demonstrations of the asymmetry in our relationship. You'll be incessantly running off somewhere, and each time you walk into a door frame or scrape your knee, the pain feels like it's my own. It'll be like growing an errant limb, an extension of myself whose sensory nerves report pain just fine, but whose motor nerves don't convey my commands at all. It's so unfair: I'm going to give birth to an animated voodoo doll of myself. I didn't see this in the contract when I signed up. Was this part of the deal?
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done.
I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer's features as a lip or an eye.
But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face.
“Is it?...is it?” I whispered to my guide.
“Not at all,” said he. “It's someone ye'll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.”
“She seems to be...well, a person of particular importance?”
“Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.”
“And who are these gigantic people...look! They're like emeralds...who are dancing and throwing flowers before here?”
“Haven't ye read your Milton? A thousand liveried angels lackey her.”
“And who are all these young men and women on each side?”
“They are her sons and daughters.”
“She must have had a very large family, Sir.”
“Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.”
“Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?”
“No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.”
“And how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat-two cats-dozens of cats. And all those dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.”
“They are her beasts.”
“Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much.”
“Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.”
I looked at my Teacher in amazement.
“Yes,” he said. “It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough int the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
What?” I cut him off. “That’s not true—I do take this seriously—”
“Bullshit.” He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. “All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You’ve got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo,” he says. “Your parents hate you and it’s so hard but you have to wear gloves for the rest of your life because you kill people when you touch them. Who gives a shit?” He’s breathing hard enough for me to hear him. “As far as I can tell, you’ve got food in your mouth and clothes on your back and a place to pee in peace whenever you feel like it. Those aren’t problems. That’s called living like a king. And I’d really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.” I swallow, so hard. “Now I am trying,” he says, “to give you a chance to fix things. I keep giving you opportunities to do things differently. To see past the sad little girl you used to be—the sad little girl you keep clinging to—and stand up for yourself. Stop crying. Stop sitting in the dark counting out all your individual feelings about how sad and lonely you are. Wake up,” he says. “You’re not the only person in this world who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. You’re not the only one with daddy issues and severely screwed-up DNA. You can be whoever the hell you want to be now.
You’re not with your shitty parents anymore. You’re not in that shitty asylum, and you’re no longer stuck being Warner’s shitty little experiment. So make a choice,” he says. “Make a choice and stop wasting everyone’s time. Stop wasting your own time. Okay?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
You act as if I were your enemy.
“You are my enemy. You seek to end the things I love.”
And is an ending always bad? it asked. Must not all things, even worlds, someday end?
“There is no need to hasten that end,” Vin said. “No reason to force it.”
All things are subject to their own nature, Vin, Ruin said, seeming to flow around her. She could feel its touch on her—wet and delicate, like mist. You cannot blame me for what I am. Without me, nothing would end. Nothing could end. And therefore, nothing could grow. I am life. Would you fight life itself?
Vin fell silent.
Do not mourn because the day of this world’s end has arrived, Ruin said. That end was ordained the very day of the world’s conception. There is a beauty in death—the beauty of finality, the beauty of completion.
For nothing is truly complete until the day it is finally destroyed.
Brandon Sanderson (The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3))
You don't love me, Sebastian. You don't have any idea what love really is. You can't love anyone or anything until you love your own existence, first. Love can only grow out of a respect for your own life. When you love yourself, your own existence, then you love someone who can enhance your existence, share it with you, and make it more pleasurable. When you hate yourself and believe your existence is evil, then you can only hate, you can only experience the shell of love, that longing for something good, but you have nothing to base it in but hatred. You taint the very concept of love, Sebastian, with your corrupted longing for it. You want me only to justify your hatred, to be your partner in self-loathing.
Terry Goodkind (The Pillars of Creation (Sword of Truth, #7))
Often, when we have a crush, when we lust for a person, we see only a small percentage of who they really are. The rest we make up for ourselves. Rather than listen, or learn, we smother them in who we imagine them to be, what we desire for ourselves, we create little fantasies of people and let them grow in our hearts. And this is where the relationship fails. In time, the fiction we scribble onto a person falls away, the lies we tell ourselves unravel and soon the person standing in front of you is almost unrecognizable, you are now complete strangers in your own love. And what a terrible shame it is. My advice: pay attention to the small details of people, you will learn that the universe is far more spectacular an author than we could ever hope to be.
Cindy, have you heard of the second law of thermodynamics?”
“Yes. Something about heat energy can never be created or destroyed?”
“That’s the first law of thermodynamics. The second one is this…all organized systems tend to slide slowly into chaos and disorder. Energy tends to run down. The universe itself heads inevitably towards darkness and stasis. Our own star system eventually will die, the sun will become a red giant, and the earth will be swallowed by the red giant.”
“But mathematics has altered this concept; rather one particular mathematician. His name was Ilya Prigogine, a Belgian mathematician.”
“Who and what does that have to do with your being a PI and a great psychologist?”
“Are you being sarcastic? Of course you are. Anyway, what I was trying to say was that Prigogine used the analogy of a walled city and open city. The walled city is isolated from its surroundings and will run down, decay, and die. The open city will have an exchange of materials and energy with its surroundings and will become larger and more complex; capable of dissipating energy even as it grows. So my point is, this analogy very much pertains to a certain female. The walled person versus the open person. The walled person will eventually decline, fade, and decay.
Behcet Kaya (Appellate Judge (Jack Ludefance, #3))
The greatest miracle is to be alive. We can put an end to our suffering just by realizing that our suffering is not worth suffering for! How many people kill themselves because of rage or despair? In that moment, they do not see the vast happiness that is available. Mindfulness puts an end to such a limited perspective. The Buddha faced his own suffering directly and discovered the path of liberation. Don’t run away from things that are unpleasant in order to embrace things that are pleasant. Put your hands in the earth. Face the difficulties and grow new happiness.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Heart Of Buddha's Teaching)
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
(If you read this story out loud, please use the following voices:
ME: as a child, high-pitched, forgettable; as a woman, the same.
THE BOY WHO WILL GROW INTO A MAN, AND BE MY SPOUSE: robust with serendipity.
MY FATHER: kind, booming; like your father, or the man you wish was your father.
MY SON: as a small child, gentle, sounding with the faintest of lisps; as a man, like my husband.
ALL OTHER WOMEN: interchangeable with my own.)
Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties: Stories)
Computers bootstrap their own offspring, grow so wise and incomprehensible that their communiqués assume the hallmarks of dementia: unfocused and irrelevant to the barely-intelligent creatures left behind. And when your surpassing creations find the answers you asked for, you can't understand their analysis and you can't verify their answers. You have to take their word on faith.
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
You should regard each meeting with a friend as a sitting he is unwillingly giving you for a portrait - a portrait that, probably, when you or he die, will still be unfinished. And, though this is an absorbing pursuit, nevertheless, the painters are apt to end pessimists. For however handsome and merry may be the face, however rich may be the background, in the first rough sketch of each portrait, yet with every added stroke of the brush, with every tiny readjustment of the "values," with every modification of the chiaroscuro, the eyes looking out at you grow more disquieting. And, finally, it is your own face that you are staring at in terror, as in a mirror by candlelight, when all the house is still.
Hope Mirrlees (Lud-in-the-Mist)
To learn is as beautiful as to live.
Do not be afraid to lose yourself in minds greater than your own. Do not sit brooding anxiously over your own individuality or shut yourself out from influences that draw you powerfully for fear that they may sweep you along and submerge your innermost pet peculiarities in their mighty surge. Never fear. The individuality that can be lost in the sifting and reshaping of a healthy development is only a flaw; it is a branch grown in the dark, which is distinctive only so long as it retains its sickly pallor. And it is by this sound growth in yourself that you must live. Only the sound can grow great.
Jens Peter Jacobsen (Niels Lyhne)
When you begin to care too much about what everyone else says, your confidence shrinks and you start to feel like insignificant, little Jack in a strange land of intimidating giants. But when you come to realize that opinions are as diverse and plentiful as dried beans, you might reach the conclusion that your own is of the greatest worth. That's when your confidence grows, and soon you find yourself striding like Gandalf the wondrous wizard among common hobbits in the shire. Respecting your own opinion is the magic that transforms both you and your world.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
In 2014, my friend Herbie Hancock was invited to give the prestigious Norton Lectures at Harvard University, where he shared great insights on the topics of mentorship and changing poison into medicine. Herbie related lessons from his jazz mentor, Miles Davis, who taught him that “a great mentor can provide a path to finding your own true answers,” and to always “reach up while reaching down; grow while helping others.
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good)
Fear has a lot of flavors and textures. There's a sharp, silver fear that runs like lightning through your arms and legs, galvanizes you into action, power, motion. There's heavy, leaden fear that comes in ingots, piling up in your belly during the empty hours between midnight and morning, when everything is dark, every problem grows larger, and every wound and illness grows worse. And there is coppery fear, drawn tight as the strings of a violin, quavering on one single note that cannot possibly be sustained for a single second longer—but goes on and on and on, the tension before the crash of cymbals, the brassy challenge of the horns, the threatening rumble of the kettle drums. That's the kind of fear I felt. Horrible, clutching tension that left the coppery flavor of blood on my tongue. Fear of the creatures in the darkness around me, of my own weakness, the stolen power the Nightmare had torn from me. And fear for those around me, for the folk who didn't have the power I had.
Jim Butcher (Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3))
I would never believe that I was better off without the Drakes and they without me. Growing up, I’d seen them more often than my own grandparents. They were part of my landscape. And if that particular landscape suddenly included earthquakes and volcanoes and mudslides, then too bad; I already built a house there and dug the well and planted crops. It was an analogy my parents had to understand. They were homesteaders; they knew that once you found your home, you dug your roots. Period.
Alyxandra Harvey (Bleeding Hearts (Drake Chronicles, #4))
If you’re not certain of the value of mentorship, think of how many elite athletes or professional sports teams train without a coach. Zero. How many of your favorite films are made without a producer or director? Zero. How many of the best schools in the world function without teachers? Zero. It’s safe to say that every great leader, in any field, first had a great mentor. Finding a mentor who inspires and guides your growth is a life-changing experience. Mentors help us to transcend the limits, or perceived limits, of our abilities. A mentor can be anyone who teaches us and helps us to grow in ways we couldn’t have on our own.
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good)
Nay! Alas for us all! And for all that walk in the world in these after-days. For such is the way of it: to find and lose, as it seems to those whose boat is on the running stream. But I count you blessed [...] for your loss you suffer of your own free will, and you might have chosen otherwise. But you have not forsaken your companions, and the least reward that you shall have is that the memory of Lothlórien shall remain ever clear and unstained in your heart, and shall neither fade nor grow stale.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
It’s taboo to admit that you’re lonely. You can make jokes about it, of course. You can tell people that you spend most of your time with Netflix or that you haven’t left the house today and you might not even go outside tomorrow. Ha ha, funny. But rarely do you ever tell people about the true depths of your loneliness, about how you feel more and more alienated from your friends each passing day and you’re not sure how to fix it. It seems like everyone is just better at living than you are.
A part of you knew this was going to happen. Growing up, you just had this feeling that you wouldn’t transition well to adult life, that you’d fall right through the cracks. And look at you now. La di da, it’s happening.
Your mother, your father, your grandparents: they all look at you like you’re some prized jewel and they tell you over and over again just how lucky you are to be young and have your whole life ahead of you. “Getting old ain’t for sissies,” your father tells you wearily.
You wish they’d stop saying these things to you because all it does is fill you with guilt and panic. All it does is remind you of how much you’re not taking advantage of your youth.
You want to kiss all kinds of different people, you want to wake up in a stranger’s bed maybe once or twice just to see if it feels good to feel nothing, you want to have a group of friends that feels like a tribe, a bonafide family. You want to go from one place to the next constantly and have your weekends feel like one long epic day. You want to dance to stupid music in your stupid room and have a nice job that doesn’t get in the way of living your life too much. You want to be less scared, less anxious, and more willing. Because if you’re closed off now, you can only imagine what you’ll be like later.
Every day you vow to change some aspect of your life and every day you fail. At this point, you’re starting to question your own power as a human being. As of right now, your fears have you beat. They’re the ones that are holding your twenties hostage.
Stop thinking that everyone is having more sex than you, that everyone has more friends than you, that everyone out is having more fun than you. Not because it’s not true (it might be!) but because that kind of thinking leaves you frozen. You’ve already spent enough time feeling like you’re stuck, like you’re watching your life fall through you like a fast dissolve and you’re unable to hold on to anything.
I don’t know if you ever get better. I don’t know if a person can just wake up one day and decide to be an active participant in their life. I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that people get better each and every day but that’s not really true. People get worse and it’s their stories that end up getting forgotten because we can’t stand an unhappy ending. The sick have to get better. Our normalcy depends upon it.
You have to value yourself. You have to want great things for your life. This sort of shit doesn’t happen overnight but it can and will happen if you want it.
Do you want it bad enough? Does the fear of being filled with regret in your thirties trump your fear of living today?
We shall see.
On our own, we conclude:
there is not enough to go around
we are going to run short
we should seize the day
seize our goods
seize our neighbours goods
because there is not enough to go around
and in the midst of our perceived deficit
you come giving bread in the wilderness
you come giving children at the 11th hour
you come giving homes to exiles
you come giving futures to the shut down
you come giving easter joy to the dead
you come – fleshed in Jesus.
and we watch while
the blind receive their sight
the lame walk
the lepers are cleansed
the deaf hear
the dead are raised
the poor dance and sing
and we take food we did not grow and
life we did not invent and
future that is gift and gift and gift and
families and neighbours who sustain us
when we did not deserve it.
It dawns on us – late rather than soon-
that you “give food in due season
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.”
By your giving, break our cycles of imagined scarcity
override our presumed deficits
quiet our anxieties of lack
transform our perceptual field to see
the abundance………mercy upon mercy
blessing upon blessing.
Sink your generosity deep into our lives
that your muchness may expose our false lack
that endlessly receiving we may endlessly give
so that the world may be made Easter new,
without greedy lack, but only wonder,
without coercive need but only love,
without destructive greed but only praise
without aggression and invasiveness….
all things Easter new…..
all around us, toward us and
all things Easter new.
Finish your creation, in wonder, love and praise. Amen.
Instead, love them without attachment. Love the lessons they taught you. Wish them well every single time you think about them. Miss them, but do not ache for them to come back. If the people in your life left because they were not ready to value you, or love you, or be there for you, do not wish for them back, do not ask for them to be more than they can be at the moment. Wish for them to figure themselves out. Wish for them to grow. They are on their own journey — a journey you are not a part of. And that is okay. You have to learn that that is okay.
Bianca Sparacino (A Gentle Reminder)
....You should keep dental floss on you at all times; when your eyesight goes, quit driving; don't keep too many secrets, eventually they'll eat away at you. But the most valuable lesson he taught me was this: Every day we get older, and some of us get wiser, but there's no end to our evolution. We are all a mess of contradictions; some of our traits work for us, some against us. And this is what I figured out on my own: Over the course of a lifetime, people change, but not as much as you'd think. Nobody really grows up.
Look. (Grow-ups skip this paragraph.) I'm not about to tell you this book has a tragic ending. I already said in the very first line how it is my favorite in all the world. But there's a lot of bad stuff coming up, torture you've already been prepared for, but there's worse. There's death coming up, and you better understand this: Some of the wrong people die. Be ready for it. This isn't Curious George Uses the Potty. Nobody warned me and it was my own fault (you'll see what I mean in a little) and that was my mistake, so I'm not letting it happen to you. The wrong people die, some of them, and the reason is this: life is not fair. Forget all the garbage your parents put out.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care.
I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.'
I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research.
Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery.
To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be.
Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit.
So, I believed.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
Lord, if I thought you were listening, I'd pray for this above all: that any church set up in your name should remain poor, and powerless, and modest. That it should wield no authority except that of love. That it should never cast anyone out. That it should own no property and make no laws. That it should not condemn, but only forgive. That it should be not like a palace with marble walls and polished floors, and guards standing at the door, but like a tree with its roots deep in the soil, that shelters every kind of bird and beast and gives blossom in the spring and shade in the hot sun and fruit in the season, and in time gives up its good sound wood for the carpenter; but that sheds many thousands of seeds so that new trees can grow in its place. Does the tree say to the sparrow, 'Get out, you don't belong here?' Does the tree say to the hungry man, 'This fruit is not for you?' Does the tree test the loyalty of the beasts before it allows them into the shade?
Philip Pullman (The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ)
The flowers that I left in the ground,
that I did not gather for you,
today I bring them all back,
to let them grow forever,
not in poems or marble,
but where they fell and rotted.
And the ships in their great stalls,
huge and transitory as heroes,
ships I could not captain,
today I bring them back
to let them sail forever,
not in model or ballad,
but where they were wrecked and scuttled.
And the child on whose shoulders I stand,
whose longing I purged
with public, kingly discipline,
today I bring him back
to languish forever,
not in confession or biography,
but where he flourished,
growing sly and hairy.
It is not malice that draws me away,
draws me to renunciation, betrayal:
it is weariness, I go for weariness of thee,
Gold, ivory, flesh, love, God, blood, moon-
I have become the expert of the catalogue.
My body once so familiar with glory,
My body has become a museum:
this part remembered because of someone's mouth,
this because of a hand,
this of wetness, this of heat.
Who owns anything he has not made?
With your beauty I am as uninvolved
as with horses' manes and waterfalls.
This is my last catalogue.
I breathe the breathless
I love you, I love you -
and let you move forever.
Leonard Cohen (Selected Poems, 1956-1968)
For there is a growing apprehension that existence is a rat-race in a trap: living organisms, including people,are merely tubes which put things in at one end and let them out at the other, which both keeps them doing it and in the long run wears them out. So to keep the farce going, the tubes find ways of making new
tubes, which also put things in at one end and let them out at the other. At the input end they even develop ganglia of nerves called brains, with eyes and ears, so that they can more easily scrounge around for things to swallow. As and when they get enough to eat, they use up their surplus energy by wiggling in complicated patterns, making all sorts of noises by blowing air in and out of the input hole, and gathering together in groups to fight with other groups. In time, the tubes grow such an
abundance of attached appliances that they are hardly recognizable as mere tubes, and they manage to do this in a staggering variety of forms. There is a vague rule not to eat tubes of your own form, but in general there is serious competition as to who is going to be the top type of tube. All this seems marvelously futile, and yet, when you begin to think about it, it begins to be more marvelous than futile. Indeed, it seems extremely odd.
Alan W. Watts
People grow apart. Distance doesn’t always mean miles. Sometimes it means two friends going separate ways. The person you poured your heart out to, traveled through new cities with, called at three in the morning just to get ice cream, suddenly becomes someone who can’t even text you back. So, you start to wonder what happened and where it all went wrong. How can this person who was once your lifeline now be a stranger who holds all your memories? But people change and become caught up in their own lives. They may not even realize they are doing it. Sometimes friends disappear and we don’t know why. But you don’t deserve to be ignored. The things you have to say are important; you should never allow someone to make you feel as though they aren’t. You should never tolerate someone who can’t acknowledge the news you have to share. You don’t need this in your life. Let go of people who don’t make you happy.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts II: Healing the Heart)
What would you have me do?
Seek for the patronage of some great man,
And like a creeping vine on a tall tree
Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone?
No thank you! Dedicate, as others do,
Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon
In the vile hope of teasing out a smile
On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad
For breakfast every morning? Make my knees
Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,-
Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust?
No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine
That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns
Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right
Too proud to know his partner's business,
Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire
God gave me to burn incense all day long
Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you!
Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps
And licking fingers?-or-to change the form-
Navigating with madrigals for oars,
My sails full of the sighs of dowagers?
No thank you! Publish verses at my own
Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint
Of a small group of literary souls
Who dine together every Tuesday? No
I thank you! Shall I labor night and day
To build a reputation on one song,
And never write another? Shall I find
True genius only among Geniuses,
Palpitate over little paragraphs,
And struggle to insinuate my name
In the columns of the Mercury?
No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid,
Love more to make a visit than a poem,
Seek introductions, favors, influences?-
No thank you! No, I thank you! And again
I thank you!-But...
To sing, to laugh, to dream
To walk in my own way and be alone,
Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat
Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No,
To fight-or write.To travel any road
Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt
If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne-
Never to make a line I have not heard
In my own heart; yet, with all modesty
To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers,
With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them
In the one garden you may call your own."
So, when I win some triumph, by some chance,
Render no share to Caesar-in a word,
I am too proud to be a parasite,
And if my nature wants the germ that grows
Towering to heaven like the mountain pine,
Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes-
I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
Alice in Darkness
Forget tears. Chasing
white animals with timepieces
in this drug-trip landscape
can only lead to more of same.
Hedgehogs, playing cards, paintbrushes:
full of undisclosed danger.
Didn't your mother tell you
not to kiss strangers?
That Cheshire smile shouldn't fool you.
Pull your skirt down.
Your nails are growing so fast
you're hardly human.
Alice, fight your version of Bedlam
as long as you can.
Sleep the sweet dream away
from that gooey looking glass, or mushrooms,
or the fear of your own body.
Forget what the night tastes like.
Stop wondering through the shadows,
holding your neck out
for the slice of the axe.
Jeannine Hall Gailey (Becoming the Villainess)
Build your house on granite. By granite I mean your nature that you are torturing to death, the love in your child's body, your wife's dream of love, your own dream of life when you were sixteen. Exchange your illusions for a bit of truth. Throw out your politicians and diplomats! Take your destiny into your own hands and build your life on rock. Forget about your neighbor and look inside yourself! Your neighbor, too, will be grateful. Tell you're fellow workers all over the world that you're no longer willing to work for death but only for life. Instead of flocking to executions and shouting hurrah, hurrah, make a law for the protection of human life and its blessings. Such a law will be part of the granite foundation your house rests on. Protect your small children's love against the assaults of lascivious, frustrated men and women. Stop the mouth of the malignant old maid; expose her publicly or send her to a reform school instead of young people who are longing for love. Don;t try to outdo your exploiter in exploitation if you have a chance to become a boss. Throw away your swallowtails and top hat, and stop applying for a license to embrace your woman. Join forces with your kind in all countries; they are like you, for better or worse. Let your child grow up as nature (or 'God') intended. Don't try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice inside you that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don't entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
Of the not very many ways known of shedding one's body, falling, falling, falling is the supreme method, but you have to select your sill or ledge very carefully so as not to hurt yourself or others. Jumping from a high bridge is not recommended even if you cannot swim, for wind and water abound in weird contingencies, and tragedy ought not to culminate in a record dive or a policeman's promotion. If you rent a cell in the luminous waffle, room 1915 or 1959, in a tall business centre hotel browing the star dust, and pull up the window, and gently - not fall, not jump - but roll out as you should for air comfort, there is always the chance of knocking clean through into your own hell a pacific noctambulator walking his dog; in this respect a back room might be safer, especially if giving on the roof of an old tenacious normal house far below where a cat may be trusted to flash out of the way. Another popular take-off is a mountaintop with a sheer drop of say 500 meters but you must find it, because you will be surprised how easy it is to miscalculate your deflection offset, and have some hidden projection, some fool of a crag, rush forth to catch you, causing you to bounce off it into the brush, thwarted, mangled and unnecessarily alive. The ideal drop is from an aircraft, your muscles relaxed, your pilot puzzled, your packed parachute shuffled off, cast off, shrugged off - farewell, shootka (little chute)! Down you go, but all the while you feel suspended and buoyed as you somersault in slow motion like a somnolent tumbler pigeon, and sprawl supine on the eiderdown of the air, or lazily turn to embrace your pillow, enjoying every last instant of soft, deep, death-padded life, with the earth's green seesaw now above, now below, and the voluptuous crucifixion, as you stretch yourself in the growing rush, in the nearing swish, and then your loved body's obliteration in the Lap of the Lord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
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).
Yet Irina had once tucked away, she wasn't sure when or why, that happiness is almost definitionally a condition of which you are not aware at the time. To inhabit your own contentment is to be wholly present, with no orbiting satellite to take clinical readings of the state of the planet. Conventionally, you grow conscious of happiness at the very point that it begins to elude you. When not misused to talk yourself into something - when not a lie - the h-word is a classification applied in retrospect. It is a bracketing assessment, a label only decisively pasted onto an era once it is over.
Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World)
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
There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral - immoral from the scientific point of view.'
'Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here ofr. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one's self. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion - these are the two things that govern us. And yet [...] I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream - I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all maladies of medievalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal - to something finer, richer, than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. [...] We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. ... The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful.
the answer is to just let go
the betrayal is to the past
the cocoon dangles empty
the desire outlasts the object
the effort lingers
the frustration is in how pointless the effort was
the ghost does not make itself transparent
the heart knows nothing except its own mind
the ideas are not enough
the jealousy is always there
the killing blow is sometimes the softest
the life you lead can be detoured
the moment you know cannot be taken back
the new you will try to bury the old me
the opportunity has passed
the past is inopportune
the questions all grow from why
the reality will always be contended
the sadness will ebb
the trouble is the time it might take
the ugly words cannot be erased, only discredited
the versions are never the same
the wonder is that we make it through
the x is the unknown variable
the yesterday cannot be repeated
the zenith is the point when you look down and realize you’re
no longer below
David Levithan (The Realm of Possibility)
My old friend, what are you looking for?
After years abroad you’ve come back
with images you’ve nourished
under foreign skies
far from you own country.’
‘I’m looking for my old garden;
the trees come to my waist
and the hills resemble terraces
yet as a child
I used to play on the grass
under great shadows
and I would run for hours
breathless over the slopes.’
‘My old friend, rest,
you’ll get used to it little by little;
together we will climb
the paths you once knew,
we will sit together
under the plane trees’ dome.
They’ll come back to you little by little,
your garden and your slopes.’
‘I’m looking for my old house,
the tall windows
darkened by ivy;
I’m looking for the ancient column
known to sailors.
How can I get into this coop?
The roof comes to my shoulders
and however far I look
I see men on their knees
as though saying their prayers.’
‘My old friend, don’t you hear me?
You’ll get used to it little by little.
Your house is the one you see
and soon friends and relatives
will come knocking at the door
to welcome you back tenderly.’
‘Why is your voice so distant?
Raise your head a little
so that I understand you.
As you speak you grow
as though you’re sinking into the ground.’
‘My old friend, stop a moment and think:
you’ll get used to it little by little.
Your nostalgia has created
a non-existent country, with laws
alien to earth and man.’
‘Now I can’t hear a sound.
My last friend has sunk.
Strange how from time to time
they level everything down.
Here a thousand scythe-bearing chariots go past
and mow everything down
There are lots of real reasons to decide to leave something or someone, but there are lots of other reasons that are less valid and less real and less about a relationship than our own minds: Fear (of screwing up, of being left, of not being good enough), restlessness, resistance to growing up, PMS, not knowing how to live without drama, fearing that you're getting happy, and happiness is boring.
The thing that scared me the most was the knowledge that if I stayed, something was going to change, and that something was probably me. I didn't know what changed me would look like, or if I would like her more or less than I already did. Would I still recognize myself? Would I still be myself?
Anna White (Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith)
Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning.'
'I understand the concept. It's just . . . there seems to be a contradiction.'
'Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man's starvation, war, sickness . . .'
'Exactly!' Chartrand knew the camerlengo would understand. 'Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn't He?'
The camerlengo frowned. 'Would He?'
Chartrand felt uneasy. Had he overstepped his bounds? Was this one of those religious questions you just didn't ask? 'Well . . . if God loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help.'
'Do you have children, Lieutenant?'
Chartrand flushed. 'No, signore.'
'Imagine you had an eight-year-old son . . . would you love him?'
'Would you let him skateboard?'
Chartrand did a double take. The camerlengo always seemed oddly "in touch" for a clergyman. 'Yeah, I guess,' Chartrand said. 'Sure, I'd let him skateboard, but I'd tell him to be careful.'
'So as this child's father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes?'
'I wouldn't run behind him and mollycoddle him if that's what you mean.'
'But what if he fell and skinned his knee?'
'He would learn to be more careful.'
The camerlengo smiled. 'So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child's pain, you would choose to show your love by letting him learn his own lessons?'
'Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It's how we learn.'
The camerlengo nodded. 'Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
People often say “Just look for the silver lining.” But what do you say to the person surrounded by fog? They don’t see a fluffy object in the sky, blocking the sun for a moment or two. But instead, they see everything as it was before, but through the murky, un-clarity of hopelessness. As if they were standing at the bottom of a grimy lake except able to breathe. But not wanting to because with each breath they grow numb from the cold loneliness. What if they’re surrounded by a dreary blanket of darkness, made up of their own thoughts, too impenetrable for any light to break through? So what do you tell that person who, as far as the eye could see, only sees fog? A place where there is no silver lining peeking around the corner. Imagine a place where your only companion is the confusion you walk around with.
Will looked down at himself, at the knife at his feet, and remembered the knife he had
buried at the base of the tree on the Shrewsbury-Welshpool road, stained with his blood and
Jem’s. “All my life, since I came to the Institute, you were the mirror of my soul. I saw the
good in me in you. In your eyes alone I found grace. When you are gone from me, who will
see me like that?”
There was a silence then. Jem stood as still as a statue. With his gaze Will searched for,
and found, the parabatai rune on Jem’s shoulder; like his own, it had faded to a pale white.
At last Jem spoke. The cool remoteness had left his voice. Will breathed in hard,
remembering how much that voice had shaped the years of his growing up, its steady
kindness a lighthouse beacon in the dark. “Have faith in yourself. You can be your own
“That words have the power to change
us. Your words have changed me, Tess; they have made me a better man than I would have
been otherwise. Life is a book, and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read. I would
read them together with you, as many as I can, before I die—
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
All these beefy Caucasians with guns. Get enough of them together,looking for the America they always believed they'd grow up in, and they glom together like overcooked rice, form integral, starchy little units. With their power tools, portable generators, weapons, four-wheel-drive vehicles, and personal computers, they are like beavers hyped up on crystal meth, manic engineers without a blueprint, chewing through the wilderness, building things and abandoning them, altering the flow of mighty rivers and then moving on because the place ain't what it used to be. The byproduct of the lifestyle is polluted rivers, greenhouse effect, spouse abuse, televangelists, and serial killers. But as long as you have that four-wheel-drive vehicle and can keep driving north, you can sustain it, keep moving just quickly enough to stay one step ahead of your own waste stream. In twenty years, ten million white people will converge on the north pole and park their bagos there. The low-grade waste heat of their thermodynamically intense lifestyle will turn the crystalline icescape pliable and treacherous. It will melt a hole through the polar icecap, and all that metal will sink to the bottom, sucking the biomass down with it.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
CAUSE AND EFFECT
You can give a man who has never given you a good word,
Volumes of knowledge.
And you can give a man who has never given you a gift,
A thousand gifts.
You can give that same man who has never given you a blessing,
A thousand blessings.
And you can offer that same man who has never
Offered a hand to help you grow,
Seeds to help him grow a garden.
And while you have never seen true kindness from his direction,
You still offer to help push him up.
And in the end,
He only wants to be the hand that pulls you down.
Do not worry, my friends.
Cause and effect was written by the stars of the universe.
He who passes suffering onto others
Will also have that suffering passed onto his own children.
Gifts he feels he should have in the next lifetime will be unobtainable.
And the help he needs to grow in the next lifetime will be unavailable.
And the people he cuts down that were good to him,
Will cut him down in the next lifetime.
What goes around does come back again,
Even through your children.
There is a vibrational effect
In every action,
Just as there is
A vibration that rings
From every letter
In every word.
No cause occurs without effect
And no effect occurs without cause.
No unjust action goes without penalty
And no action or thought
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
...it is never safe to classify the souls of one's neighbors; one is apt, in the long run, to be proved a fool. You should regard each meeting with a friend as a sitting he is unwillingly giving you for a portrait -- a portrait that, probably, when you or he die, will still be unfinished. And, though this is an absorbing pursuit, nevertheless, the painters are apt to end pessimists. For however handsome and merry may be the face, however rich the background, in the first rough sketch of each portrait, yet with every added stroke of the brush, with every tiny readjustment of the 'values,' with every modification of the chiaroscuro, the eyes looking out at you grow more disquieting. And, finally, it is your own face that you are staring at in terror, as in a mirror by candle-light, when all the house is still.
Hope Mirrlees (Lud-in-the-Mist)
Reclaiming ourselves usually means coming to recognize and accept that we have in us both sides of everything. We are capable of fear and courage, generosity and selfishness, vulnerability and strength. These things do not cancel each other out but offer us a full range of power and response to life. Life is as complex as we are. Sometimes our vulnerability is our strength, our fear develops our courage, and our woundedness is the road to our integrity. It is not an either/or world. It is a real world. In calling ourselves "heads" or "tails," we may never own and spend our human currency, the pure gold of which our coin is made.
But judgment may heal over time. One of the blessings of growing older is the discovery that many of the things I once believed to be my shortcomings have turned out in the long run to be my strengths, and other things of which I was unduly proud have revealed themselves in the end to be among my shortcomings. Things that I have hidden from others for years turn out to be the anchor and enrichment of my middle age. What a blessing it is to outlive your self-judgments and harvest your failures.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
These are the three stages of enlightenment, the three glimpses of satori.
1. The first stage enlightenment:
A Glimpse of the Whole
The first stage of enlightenment is short glimpse from faraway of the whole. It is a short glimpse of being.
The first stage of enlightenment is when, for the first time, for a single moment the mind is not functioning. The ordinary ego is still present at the first stage of enlightenment, but you experience for a short while that there is something beyond the ego.
There is a gap, a silence and emptiness, where there is not thought between you and existence.
You and existence meet and merge for a moment.
And for the first time the seed, the thirst and longing, for enlightenment, the meeting between you and existence, will grow in your heart.
2. The second stage of enlightenment:
Silence, Relaxation, Togetherness, Inner Being
The second stage of enlightenment is a new order, a harmony, from within, which comes from the inner being. It is the quality of freedom.
The inner chaos has disappeared and a new silence, relaxation and togetherness has arisen.
Your own wisdom from within has arisen.
A subtle ego is still present in the second stage of enlightenment.
The Hindus has three names for the ego:
1. Ahamkar, which is the ordinary ego.
2. Asmita, which is the quality of Am-ness, of no ego. It is a very silent ego, not aggreessive, but it is still a subtle ego.
3. Atma, the third word is Atma, when the Am-ness is also lost. This is what Buddha callas no-self, pure being.
In the second stage of enlightenment you become capable of being in the inner being, in the gap, in the meditative quality within, in the silence and emptiness.
For hours, for days, you can remain in the gap, in utter aloneness, in God.
Still you need effort to remain in the gap, and if you drop the effort, the gap will disappear.
Love, meditation and prayer becomes the way to increase the effort in the search for God.
Then the second stage becomes a more conscious effort. Now you know the way, you now the direction.
3. The third stage of enlightenment:
Ocean, Wholeness, No-self, Pure being
At the third stage of enlightenment, at the third step of Satori, our individual river flowing silently, suddenly reaches to the Ocean and becomes one with the Ocean.
At the third Satori, the ego is lost, and there is Atma, pure being. You are, but without any boundaries. The river has become the Ocean, the Whole.
It has become a vast emptiness, just like the pure sky.
The third stage of enlightenment happens when you have become capable of finding the inner being, the meditative quality within, the gap, the inner silence and emptiness, so that it becomes a natural quality.
You can find the gap whenever you want.
This is what tantra callas Mahamudra, the great orgasm, what Buddha calls Nirvana, what Lao Tzu calls Tao and what Jesus calls the kingdom of God.
You have found the door to God.
You have come home.
Swami Dhyan Giten
Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background and your duties in the middle distance and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow men are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not waht you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness - are you willing to do these things for even a day?
Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front of you so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open - are you willing to do these things for even a day?
Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world, - stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death, - and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas. And if you keep it for a day, why not always?
But you can never keep it alone.
Caroline Kennedy (A Family Christmas)
Keep creating new chapters in your personal book and never stop re-inventing and perfecting yourself. Try new things. Pick up new hobbies and books. Travel and explore other cultures. Never stay in the same city or state for more than five years of your life. There are many heavens on earth waiting for you to discover. Seek out people with beautiful hearts and minds, not those with just beautiful style and bodies. The first kind will forever remain beautiful to you, while the other will grow stale and ugly. Learn a new language at least twice. Change your career at least thrice, and change your location often. Like all creatures in the wild, we were designed to keep moving. When a snake sheds its old skin, it becomes a more refined creature. Never stop refining and re-defining yourself. We are all beautiful instruments of God. He created many notes in music so we would not be stuck playing the same song. Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your journey and play on. Nobody will ever reach ultimate perfection in this lifetime, but trying to achieve it is a full-time job. Start now and don't stop. Make your book of life a musical. Never abandon obligations, but have fun leaving behind a colorful legacy. Never allow anybody to be the composer of your own destiny. Take control of your life, and never allow limitations implanted by society, tell you how your music is supposed to sound — or how your book is supposed to be written.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up: if a boy punches you he likes you, never try to trim your own bangs, and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending. Every movie we see, every story we're told implores us to wait for it: the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule. But sometimes we're so focused on finding our happy ending we don't learn how to read the signs. How to tell the ones who want us from the ones who don't, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. And maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe it's you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future. Maybe the happy ending is just moving on. Or maybe the happy ending is this: knowing after all the unreturned phone calls and broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment... You never gave up hope.
It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own. You may not appreciate them at first. You may pine for your novel of crude and unadulterated adventure. You may, and will, give it the preference when you can. But the dull days come, and the rainy days come, and always you are driven to fill up the chinks of your reading with the worthy books which wait so patiently for your notice. And then suddenly, on a day which marks an epoch in your life, you understand the difference. You see, like a flash, how the one stands for nothing, and the other for literature. From that day onwards you may return to your crudities, but at least you do so with some standard of comparison in your mind. You can never be the same as you were before. Then gradually the good thing becomes more dear to you; it builds itself up with your growing mind; it becomes a part of your better self, and so, at last, you can look, as I do now, at the old covers and love them for all that they have meant in the past.
Arthur Conan Doyle (Through The Magic Door)
Do not despise your inner world. That is the first and most general piece of advice I would offer… Our society is very outward-looking, very taken up with the latest new object, the latest piece of gossip, the latest opportunity for self-assertion and status. But we all begin our lives as helpless babies, dependent on others for comfort, food, and survival itself. And even though we develop a degree of mastery and independence, we always remain alarmingly weak and incomplete, dependent on others and on an uncertain world for whatever we are able to achieve. As we grow, we all develop a wide range of emotions responding to this predicament: fear that bad things will happen and that we will be powerless to ward them off; love for those who help and support us; grief when a loved one is lost; hope for good things in the future; anger when someone else damages something we care about. Our emotional life maps our incompleteness: A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger. But for that very reason we are often ashamed of our emotions, and of the relations of need and dependency bound up with them. Perhaps males, in our society, are especially likely to be ashamed of being incomplete and dependent, because a dominant image of masculinity tells them that they should be self-sufficient and dominant. So people flee from their inner world of feeling, and from articulate mastery of their own emotional experiences. The current psychological literature on the life of boys in America indicates that a large proportion of boys are quite unable to talk about how they feel and how others feel — because they have learned to be ashamed of feelings and needs, and to push them underground. But that means that they don’t know how to deal with their own emotions, or to communicate them to others. When they are frightened, they don’t know how to say it, or even to become fully aware of it. Often they turn their own fear into aggression. Often, too, this lack of a rich inner life catapults them into depression in later life. We are all going to encounter illness, loss, and aging, and we’re not well prepared for these inevitable events by a culture that directs us to think of externals only, and to measure ourselves in terms of our possessions of externals.
What is the remedy of these ills? A kind of self-love that does not shrink from the needy and incomplete parts of the self, but accepts those with interest and curiosity, and tries to develop a language with which to talk about needs and feelings. Storytelling plays a big role in the process of development. As we tell stories about the lives of others, we learn how to imagine what another creature might feel in response to various events. At the same time, we identify with the other creature and learn something about ourselves. As we grow older, we encounter more and more complex stories — in literature, film, visual art, music — that give us a richer and more subtle grasp of human emotions and of our own inner world. So my second piece of advice, closely related to the first, is: Read a lot of stories, listen to a lot of music, and think about what the stories you encounter mean for your own life and lives of those you love. In that way, you will not be alone with an empty self; you will have a newly rich life with yourself, and enhanced possibilities of real communication with others.
Martha C. Nussbaum
Without solitude, Love will not stay long by your side.
Because Love needs to rest, so that it can journey through the heavens and reveal itself in other forms.
Without solitude, no plant or animal can survive, no soil can remain productive, no child can learn about life, no artist can create, no work can grow and be transformed.
Solitude is not the absence of Love, but its complement.
Solitude is not the absence of company, but the moment when our soul is free to speak to us and help us decide what to do with our life.
Therefore, blessed are those who do not fear solitude, who are not afraid of their own company, who are not always desperately looking for something to do, something to amuse themselves with, something to judge.
If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.
And if you do not know yourself, you will begin to fear the void.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
She was struck by the selfish thought that this was not fair to her. That she’d been in the middle of a different story, one that had nothing to do with this. She was a person who was finding her daughter, making things right with her daughter, and there was no room in that story for the idiocy of extreme religion, the violence of men she’d never met. Just as she’d been in the middle of a story about divorce when the towers fell in New York City, throwing everyone’s careful plans to shit. Just as she’d once been in a story about raising her own brother, growing up with her brother in the city on their own, making it in the world, when the virus and the indifference of greedy men had steamrolled through. She thought of Nora, whose art and love were interrupted by assassination and war. Stupid men and their stupid violence, tearing apart everything good that was ever built. Why couldn’t you ever just go after your life without tripping over some idiot’s dick?
Rebecca Makkai (The Great Believers)
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?'
Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?'
'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?'
'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...'
'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.'
Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks:
'There was Manicheanism...'
'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...'
Snow pondered for a while:
'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.'
I kept on:
'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...'
'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.'
'If you're going to take what I say literally...'
...Snow asked abruptly:
'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?'
'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
I am sorry that I cannot make it okay. I am sorry that I cannot save you -- but not that sorry. Part of me thinks that your very vulnerability brings you closer to the meaning of life, just as for others, the quest to believe oneself white divides them from it. The fact is that despite their dreams, their lives are also not inviolable. When their own vulnerability becomes real -- when the police decide that tactics for the ghetto should enjoy wider usage, when their armed society shoots down their children, when nature sends hurricanes against their cities -- they are shocked in a way that those of us who were born and bred to understand cause and effect can never be. And I would not have you like them. You have been cast into a race in which the wind is always at your face and the hounds are always at your heels. And to varying degrees this is true of all life. The difference is that you do not have the privilege of living in ignorance of this essential fact. I am speaking to you as I always have -- as the sober and serious man I have always wanted you to be, who does not apologize for his human feelings, who does not make excuses for his height, his long arms, his beautiful smile. You are growing into consciousness, and my wish for you is that you feel no need to constrict yourself to make other people comfortable. None of that can change the math anyway. I never wanted you to be twice as good as them, so much as I have always wanted you to attack every day of your brief bright life in struggle. The people who must believe they are white can never be your measuring stick. I would not have you descend into your own dream. I would have you be a conscious citizen of this terrible and beautiful world.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
Everybody tries to protect this vulnerable two three four five six seven eight year old inside, and to acquire skills and aptitudes for dealing with the situations that threaten to overwhelm it... Usually, that child is a wretchedly isolated undeveloped little being. It’s been protected by the efficient armour, it’s never participated in life, it’s never been exposed to living and to managing the person’s affairs, it’s never been given responsibility for taking the brunt. And it’s never properly lived. That’s how it is in almost everybody. And that little creature is sitting there, behind the armour, peering through the slits. And in its own self, it is still unprotected, incapable, inexperienced...
And in fact, that child is the only real thing in them. It’s their humanity, their real individuality, the one that can’t understand why it was born and that knows it will have to die, in no matter how crowded a place, quite on its own. That’s the carrier of all the living qualities. It’s the centre of all the possible magic and revelation. What doesn’t come out of that creature isn’t worth having, or it’s worth having only as a tool—for that creature to use and turn to account and make meaningful...
And so, wherever life takes it by surprise, and suddenly the artificial self of adaptations proves inadequate, and fails to ward off the invasion of raw experience, that inner self is thrown into the front line—unprepared, with all its childhood terrors round its ears.
And yet that’s the moment it wants. That’s where it comes alive—even if only to be overwhelmed and bewildered and hurt. And that’s where it calls up its own resources—not artificial aids, picked up outside, but real inner resources, real biological ability to cope, and to turn to account, and to enjoy.
That’s the paradox: the only time most people feel alive is when they’re suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world. That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember.
But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster. So when you realise you’ve gone a few weeks and haven’t felt that awful struggle of your childish self—struggling to lift itself out of its inadequacy and incompetence—you’ll know you’ve gone some weeks without meeting new challenge, and without growing, and that you’ve gone some weeks towards losing touch with yourself.
Ted Hughes (Letters of Ted Hughes)
Dear Madam Vorsoisson, I am sorry.
This is the eleventh draft of this letter. They’ve all started with those three words, even the horrible version in rhyme, so I guess they stay.
You once asked me never to lie to you. All right, so. I’ll tell you the truth now even if it isn’t the best or cleverest thing, and not abject enough either.
I tried to be the thief of you, to ambush and take prisoner what I thought I could never earn or be given. You were not a ship to be hijacked, but I couldn’t think of any other plan but subterfuge and surprise. Though not as much of a surprise as what happened at dinner. The revolution started prematurely because the idiot conspirator blew up his secret ammo dump and lit the sky with his intentions. Sometimes these accidents end in new nations, but more often they end badly, in hangings and beheadings. And people running into the night. I can’t be sorry that I asked you to marry me, because that was the one true part in all the smoke and rubble, but I’m sick as hell that I asked you so badly.
Even though I’d kept my counsel from you, I should have at least had the courtesy to keep it from others as well, till you’d had the year of grace and rest you’d asked for. But I became terrified that you’d choose another first. So I used the garden as a ploy to get near you. I deliberately and consciously shaped your heart’s desire into a trap. For this I am more than sorry, I am ashamed.
You’d earned every chance to grow. I’d like to pretend I didn’t see it would be a conflict of interest for me to be the one to give you some of those chances, but that would be another lie. But it made me crazy to watch you constrained to tiny steps, when you could be outrunning time. There is only a brief moment of apogee to do that, in most lives.
I love you. But I lust after and covet so much more than your body. I wanted to possess the power of your eyes, the way they see form and beauty that isn’t even there yet and draw it up out of nothing into the solid world. I wanted to own the honor of your heart, unbowed in the vilest horrors of Komarr. I wanted your courage and your will, your caution and your serenity. I wanted, I suppose, your soul, and that was too much to want.
I wanted to give you a victory. But by their essential nature triumphs can’t be given. They must be taken, and the worse the odds and the fiercer the resistance, the greater the honor. Victories can’t be gifts.
But gifts can be victories, can’t they. It’s what you said. The garden could have been your gift, a dowry of talent, skill, and vision.
I know it’s too late now, but I just wanted to say, it would have been a victory most worthy of our House.
Yours to command,
Lois McMaster Bujold (A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12))
Contemplations on the belly
When pregnant with our first, Dean and I attended a child birth class. There were about 15 other couples, all 6-8 months pregnant, just like us. As an introduction, the teacher asked us to each share what had been our favorite part of pregnancy and least favorite part. I was surprised by how many of the men and women there couldn't name a favorite part. When it was my turn, I said, "My least favorite has been the nausea, and my favorite is the belly."
We were sitting in the back of the room, so it was noticeable when several heads turned to get a look at me. Dean then spoke. "Yeah, my least favorite is that she was sick, and my favorite is the belly too."
Now nearly every head turned to gander incredulously at the freaky couple who actually liked the belly.
Dean and I laughed about it later, but we were sincere. The belly is cool. It is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, an unmistakable sign of what's going on inside, the wigwam for our little squirmer, the mark of my undeniable superpower of baby-making. I loved the belly and its freaky awesomeness, and especially the flutters, kicks, and bumps from within.
Twins belly is a whole new species. I marvel at the amazing uterus within and skin without with their unceasing ability to stretch (Reed Richards would be impressed). I still have great admiration for the belly, but I also fear it. Sometimes I wonder if I should build a shrine to it, light some incense, offer up gifts in an attempt both to honor it and avoid its wrath. It does seem more like a mythic monstrosity you'd be wise not to awaken than a bulbous appendage. It had NEEDS. It has DEMANDS. It will not be taken lightly (believe me, there's nothing light about it). I must give it its own throne, lying sideways atop a cushion, or it will CRUSH MY ORGANS. This belly is its own creature, is subject to different laws of growth and gravity. No, it's not a cute belly, not a benevolent belly. It would have tea with Fin Fang Foom; it would shake hands with Cthulhu. It's no wonder I'm so restless at night, having to sleep with one eye open.
Nevertheless, I honor you, belly, and the work you do to protect and grow my two precious daughters inside. Truly, they must be even more powerful than you to keep you enslaved to their needs. It's quite clear that out of all of us, I'm certainly not the one in control. I am here to do your bidding, belly and babies. I am your humble servant.
Yesterday it was sun outside. The sky was blue and people were lying under blooming cherry trees in the park. It was Friday, so records were released, that people have been working on for years. Friends around me find success and level up, do fancy photo shoots and get featured on big, white, movie screens. There were parties and lovers, hand in hand, laughing perfectly loud,
but I walked numbly through the park, round and round,
40 times for 4 hours
just wanting to make it through the day.
There's a weight that inhabits my chest some times. Like a lock in my throat, making it hard to breathe. A little less air got through
and the sky was so blue I couldn’t look at it because it made me sad, swelling tears in my eyes and they dripped quietly on the floor as I got on with my day. I tried to keep my focus, ticked off the to-do list, did my chores. Packed orders, wrote emails, paid bills and rewrote stories,
but the panic kept growing, exploding in my chest. Tears falling on the desk
tick tick tick
me not making a sound
and some days I just don't know what to do. Where to go or who to see and I try to be gentle, soft and kind,
but anxiety eats you up and I just want to be fine.
This is not beautiful. This is not useful. You can not do anything with it and it tries to control you, throw you off your balance and lovely ways
but you can not let it.
I cleaned up. Took myself for a walk. Tried to keep my eyes on the sky. Stayed away from the alcohol, stayed away from the destructive tools we learn to use.
the smoking and the starving, the running, the madness,
thinking it will help but it only feeds the fire
and I don't want to hurt myself anymore.
I made it through and today I woke up, lighter and proud because I'm still here. There are flowers growing outside my window. The coffee is warm, the air is pure. In a few hours I'll be on a train on my way to sing for people who invited me to come, to sing, for them. My own songs, that I created. Me—little me. From nowhere at all.
And I have people around that I like and can laugh with, and it's spring again.
It will always be spring again.
And there will always be a new day.
Blow on, ye death fraught whirlwinds! blow,
Around the rocks, and rifted caves;
Ye demons of the gulf below!
I hear you, in the troubled waves.
High on this cliff, which darkness shrouds
In night's impenetrable clouds,
My solitary watch I keep,
And listen, while the turbid deep
Groans to the raging tempests, as they roll
Their desolating force, to thunder at the pole.
Eternal world of waters, hail!
Within thy caves my Lover lies;
And day and night alike shall fail
Ere slumber lock my streaming eyes.
Along this wild untrodden coast,
Heap'd by the gelid' hand of frost;
Thro' this unbounded waste of seas,
Where never sigh'd the vernal breeze;
Mine was the choice, in this terrific form,
To brave the icy surge, to shiver in the storm.
Yes! I am chang'd - My heart, my soul,
Retain no more their former glow.
Hence, ere the black'ning tempests roll,
I watch the bark, in murmurs low,
(While darker low'rs the thick'ning' gloom)
To lure the sailor to his doom;
Soft from some pile of frozen snow
I pour the syren-song of woe;
Like the sad mariner's expiring cry,
As, faint and worn with toil, he lays him down to die.
Then, while the dark and angry deep
Hangs his huge billows high in air ;
And the wild wind with awful sweep,
Howls in each fitful swell - beware!
Firm on the rent and crashing mast,
I lend new fury to the blast;
I mark each hardy cheek grow pale,
And the proud sons of courage fail;
Till the torn vessel drinks the surging waves,
Yawns the disparted main, and opes its shelving graves.
When Vengeance bears along the wave
The spell, which heav'n and earth appals;
Alone, by night, in darksome cave,
On me the gifted wizard calls.
Above the ocean's boiling flood
Thro' vapour glares the moon in blood:
Low sounds along the waters die,
And shrieks of anguish fill the' sky;
Convulsive powers the solid rocks divide,
While, o'er the heaving surge, the embodied spirits glide.
Thrice welcome to my weary sight,
Avenging ministers of Wrath!
Ye heard, amid the realms of night,
The spell that wakes the sleep of death.
Where Hecla's flames the snows dissolve,
Or storms, the polar skies involve;
Where, o'er the tempest-beaten wreck,
The raging winds and billows break;
On the sad earth, and in the stormy sea,
All, all shall shudd'ring own your potent agency.
To aid your toils, to scatter death,
Swift, as the sheeted lightning's force,
When the keen north-wind's freezing breath
Spreads desolation in its course,
My soul within this icy sea,
Fulfils her fearful destiny.
Thro' Time's long ages I shall wait
To lead the victims to their fate;
With callous heart, to hidden rocks decoy,
And lure, in seraph-strains, unpitying, to destroy.
Anne Bannerman (Poems by Anne Bannerman.)
You have the lovers,
they are nameless, their histories only for each other,
and you have the room, the bed, and the windows.
Pretend it is a ritual.
Unfurl the bed, bury the lovers, blacken the windows,
let them live in that house for a generation or two.
No one dares disturb them.
Visitors in the corridor tip-toe past the long closed door,
they listen for sounds, for a moan, for a song:
nothing is heard, not even breathing.
You know they are not dead,
you can feel the presence of their intense love.
Your children grow up, they leave you,
they have become soldiers and riders.
Your mate dies after a life of service.
Who knows you? Who remembers you?
But in your house a ritual is in progress:
It is not finished: it needs more people.
One day the door is opened to the lover's chamber.
The room has become a dense garden,
full of colours, smells, sounds you have never known.
The bed is smooth as a wafer of sunlight,
in the midst of the garden it stands alone.
In the bed the lovers, slowly and deliberately and silently,
perform the act of love.
Their eyes are closed,
as tightly as if heavy coins of flesh lay on them.
Their lips are bruised with new and old bruises.
Her hair and his beard are hopelessly tangled.
When he puts his mouth against her shoulder
she is uncertain whether her shoulder
has given or received the kiss.
All her flesh is like a mouth.
He carries his fingers along her waist
and feels his own waist caressed.
She holds him closer and his own arms tighten around her.
She kisses the hand besider her mouth.
It is his hand or her hand, it hardly matters,
there are so many more kisses.
You stand beside the bed, weeping with happiness,
you carefully peel away the sheets
from the slow-moving bodies.
Your eyes filled with tears, you barely make out the lovers,
As you undress you sing out, and your voice is magnificent
because now you believe it is the first human voice
heard in that room.
The garments you let fall grow into vines.
You climb into bed and recover the flesh.
You close your eyes and allow them to be sewn shut.
You create an embrace and fall into it.
There is only one moment of pain or doubt
as you wonder how many multitudes are lying beside your body,
but a mouth kisses and a hand soothes the moment away.
They had to die. They were killing innocent people. (Wulf)
They were surviving, Wulf. You never had to face the choice of being dead at twenty-seven. When most people’s lives are just beginning, we are looking at a death sentence. Have you any idea what it’s like to know you can never see your children grow up? Never see your own grandchildren? My mother used to say we were spring flowers who are only meant to bloom for one season. We bring our gifts to the world and then recede to dust so that others can come after us. When our loved ones die, we immortalize them like this. I have one for my mother and the other four are my sisters. No one will ever know the beauty of my sisters’ laughter. No one will remember the kindness of my mother’s smile. In eight months, my father won’t even have enough of me left to bury. I will become scattered dust. And for what? For something my great-great-great-whatever did? I’ve been alone the whole of my life because I dare not let anyone know me. I don’t want to love for fear of leaving someone like my father behind to mourn me. I will be a vague dream, and yet here you are, Wulf Tryggvason. Viking cur who once roamed the earth raiding villages. How many people did you kill in your human lifetime while you sought treasure and fame? Were you any better than the Daimons who kill so that they can live? What makes you better than us? (Cassandra)
It’s not the same thing. (Wulf)
Isn’t it? You know, I went to your Web site and saw the names listed there. Kyrian of Thrace, Julian of Macedon, Valerius Magnus, Jamie Gallagher, William Jess Brady. I’ve studied history all my life and know each of those names and the terror they wrought in their day. Why is it okay for the Dark-Hunters to have immortality even though most of you were killers as humans, while we are damned at birth for things we never did? Where is the justice in this? (Cassandra)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
To all who walk the dark path, and to those who walk in the sunshine but hold out a hand in the darkness to travel beside us: Brighter days are coming. Clearer sight will arrive. And you will arrive too. No, it might not be forever. The bright moments might be for a few days at a time, but hold on for those days. Those days are worth the dark. In the dark you find yourself, all bones and exhaustion and helplessness. In the dark you find your basest self. In the dark you find the bottom of watery trenches the rest of the world only sees the surface of. You will see things that no normal person will ever see. Terrible things. Mysterious things. Things that try to burrow into your mind like a bad seed. Things that whisper dark and horrid secrets that you want to forget. Things that scream lies. Things that want you dead. Things that will stop at nothing to pull you down further and kill you in the most terrible way of all … by your own trembling hand. These things are fearsome monsters … the kind you always knew would sink in their needle-sharp teeth and pull you under the bed if you left a dangling limb out. You know they aren’t real, but when you’re in that black, watery hole with them they are the realest thing there is. And they want us dead. And sometimes they succeed. But not always. And not with you. You are alive. You have fought and battled them. You are scarred and worn and sometimes exhausted and were perhaps even close to giving up, but you did not. You have won many battles. There are no medals given out for these fights, but you wear your armor and your scars like an invisible skin, and each time you learn a little more. You learn how to fight. You learn which weapons work. You learn who your allies are. You learn that those monsters are exquisite liars who will stop at nothing to get you to surrender. Sometimes you fight valiantly with fists and words and fury. Sometimes you fight by pulling yourself into a tiny ball, blotting out the monsters along with the rest of the world. Sometimes you fight by giving up and turning it over to someone else who can fight for you. Sometimes you just fall deeper. And in the deepest, night-blind fathoms you’re certain that you’re alone. You aren’t. I’m there with you. And I’m not alone. Some of the best people are here too … feeling blindly. Waiting. Crying. Surviving. Painfully stretching their souls so that they can learn to breathe underwater … so that they can do what the monsters say is impossible. So that they can live. And so that they can find their way back to the surface with the knowledge of things that go bump in the night. So that they can dry themselves in the warm light that shines so brightly and easily for those above the surface. So that they can walk with others in the sunlight but with different eyes … eyes that still see the people underwater, allowing them to reach out into the darkness to pull up fellow fighters, or to simply hold their cold hands and sit beside the water to wait patiently for them to come up for air. Ground zero is where the normal people live their lives, but not us. We live in the negatives so often that we begin to understand that life when the sun shines should be lived full throttle, soaring. The invisible tether that binds the normal people on their steady course doesn’t hold us in the same way. Sometimes we walk in sunlight with everyone else. Sometimes we live underwater and fight and grow. And sometimes … … sometimes we fly.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
I touched Loki's chest, running my fingers over the bumps of his scar. I didn't know why exactly, but I felt compelled to, as if the scar connected us somehow.
"You just couldn't wait to get me naked, could you, Princess?" Loki asked tiredly. I started to pull my hand back, but he put his own hand over it, keeping it in pace.
"No,I-I was checking for wounds," I stumbled. I wouldn't meet his gaze.
"I'm sure." He moved his thumb, almost caressing my hand, until it hit my ring. "What's that?" He tried to sit up to see it, so I lifted my hand, showing him the emerald-encrusted oval on my finger. "Is that a wedding ring?"
"No, engagement." I lowered my hand, resting it on the bed next to him. "I'm not married yet."
"I'm not too late, then." He smiled and settled back in the bed.
"Too late for what?" I asked.
"To stop you, of course." Still smiling, he closed his eyes.
"Is that why you're here?" I asked, failing to point out how near we were to my nuptials.
"I told you why I'm here," Loki said.
"What happened to you, Loki?" I asked, my voice growing thick when I thought about what he had to have gone through to get all those marks and bruises.
"Are you crying?" Loki asked and opened his eyes.
"No, I'm not crying." I wasn't, but my eyes were moist.
"Don't cry." He tried to sit up, but he winced when he lifted his head, so I put my hand gently on his chest to keep him down.
"You need to rest," I said.
"I will be fine." He put his hand over mine again, and I let him. "Eventually."
"Can you tell me what happened?" I asked. "Why do you need amnesty?"
"Remember when we were in the garden?" Loki asked.
Of course I remembered. Loki had snuck in over the wall and asked me to run away with him. I had declined, but he'd stolen a kiss before he left, a rather nice kiss. My cheeks reddened slightly at the memory, and that make Loki smile wider.
"I see you do." He grinned.
"What does that have to do with anything?" I asked.
"That doesn't," Loki said, referring to the kiss. "I meant when I told you that the King hates me. He really does, Wendy." His eyes went dark for a minute.
"The Vittra King did this to you?" I asked, and my stomach tightened. "You mean Oren? My father?"
"Don't worry about it now," he said, trying to calm the anger burning in my eyes. "I'll be fine."
"Why?" I asked. "Why does the King hate you? Why did he do this to you?"
"Wendy, please." He closed his eyes. "I'm exhausted. I barely made it here. Can we have this conversation when I'm feeling a bit better? Say, in a month or two?"
"Loki," I said with a sigh, but he had a point. "Rest. But we will talk tomorrow. All right?"
"As you wish, Princess," he conceded, and he was already drifting back to sleep again.
I sat beside him for a few minutes longer, my hand still on his chest so I could feel his heartbeat pounding underneath. When I was certain he was asleep, I slid my hand out from under his, and I stood up.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
So what's your doll's name?" Boo asked me.
"Barbie," I said. "All their names are Barbie."
"I see," she said. "Well, I'd think that would get boring, everyone having the same
I thought about this, then said, "Okay, then her name is Sabrina."
"Well, that's a very nice name," Boo said. I remember she was baking bread,
kneading the dough
between her thick fingers. "What does she do?"
"Do?" I said.
"Yes." She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. "What
does she do?"
"She goes out with Ken," I said.
"And what else?"
"She goes to parties," I said slowly. "And shopping."
"Oh," Boo said, nodding.
"She can't work?"
"She doesn't have to work," I said.
"Because she's Barbie."
"I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town house
and the Corvette,"
Boo said cheerfully. "Unless Barbie has a lot of family money."
I considered this while I put on Ken's pants.
Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top.
"You know what I
think, Caitlin?" Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me.
"I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have a
productive and satisfying
career of her own." She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting its
position on the rack.
"But what can she do?" My mother didn't work and spent her time cleaning the
house and going to PTA.
I couldn't imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots,
doing s.uch things.
Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always remember
her being on my level; she'd sit
on the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened to
"Well," she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique.
"What do you want to
do when you grow up?"
I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross-
legged, holding my
Ken and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother's
PTA and Boo's
strange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina,
and led right to me.
"Well," I said abruptly, "I want to be in advertising." I have no idea where this came
"Advertising," Boo repeated, nodding. "Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to go
to work every day,
coming up with ideas for commercials
and things like that."
"She works in an office," I went on. "Sometimes she has to work late."
"Sure she does," Boo said. "It's hard to get ahead. Even if you're Barbie."
"Because she wants to get promoted," I added. "So she can pay off the town house.
And the Corvette."
"Very responsible of her," Boo said.
"Can she be divorced?" I asked. "And famous for her commercials
"She can be anything," Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckled
face so solemn, as if
she knew she was the first to tell me. "And so can you.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
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.
Jennifer Ashley (Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (MacKenzies & McBrides, #2))
He slouches,' DeeDee contributes.
'True--he needs to work on his posture,' Thelma says.
'You guys,' I say.
'I'm serious,' Thelma says. 'What if you get married? Don't you want to go to fancy dinners with him and be proud?'
'You guys. We are not getting married!'
'I love his eyes,' Jolene says. 'If your kids get his blue eyes and your dark hair--wouldn't that be fabulous?'
'The thing is,' Thelma says, 'and yes, I know, this is the tricky part--but I'm thinking Bliss has to actually talk to him. Am I right? Before they have their brood of brown-haired, blue-eyed children?'
I swat her. "I'm not having Mitchell's children!'
'I'm sorry--what?' Thelma says.
Jolene is shaking her head and pressing back laughter. Her expressing says, Shhh, you crazy girl!
But I don't care. If they're going to embarrass me, then I'll embarrass them right back.
'I said'--I raise my voice--'I am not having Mitchell Truman's children!'
Jolene turns beet red, and she and DeeDee dissolve into mad giggles.
'Um, Bliss?' Thelma says. Her gaze travels upward to someone behind me. The way she sucks on her lip makes me nervous.
'Okaaay, I think maybe I won't turn around,' I announce.
A person of the male persuasion clears his throat.
'Definitely not turning around,' I say. My cheeks are burning. It's freaky and alarming how much heat is radiating from one little me.
'If you change your mind, we might be able to work something out,' the person of the male persuasion says.
'About the children?' DeeDee asks. 'Or the turning around?'
'DeeDee!' Jolene says.
'Both,' says the male-persuasion person.
I shrink in my chair, but I raise my hand over my head and wave.
'Um, hi,' I say to the person behind me whom I'm still not looking at. 'I'm Bliss.'
Warm fingers clasp my own.
'Pleased to meet you,' says the male-persuasion person. 'I'm Mitchell.'
'Hi, Mitchell.' I try to pull my hand from his grasp, but he won't let go. 'Um, bye now!'
I tug harder. No luck. Thelma, DeeDee, and Jolene are close to peeing their pants.
Fine. I twist around and give Mitchell the quickest of glances. His expressions is amused, and I grow even hotter.
He squeezes my hand, then lets go. 'Just keep me in the loop if you do decide to bear my children. I'm happy to help out.' With that, he stride jauntily to the food line.
Once he's gone, we lost it. Peals of laughter resound from our table, and the others in the cafeteria look at us funny. We laugh harder.
'Did you see!' Thelma gasps. 'Did you see how proud he was?'
'You improve his posture!' Jolene says.
'I'm so glad, since that was my deepest desire,' I say. 'Oh my God, I'm going to have to quit school and become a nun.'
'I can't believe you waved at him,' DeeDee says.
'Your hand was like a little periscope,' Jolene says. 'Or, no--like a white surrender flag.'
'It was a surrender flag. I was surrendering myself to abject humiliation.'
'Oh, please,' Thelma says, pulling me into a sideways hug. 'Think of it this way: Now you've officially talked to him.
Lauren Myracle (Bliss (Crestview Academy, #1))
Some things you carry around inside you as though they were part of your blood and bones, and when that happens, there’s nothing you can do to forget
…But I had never been much of a believer. If anything, I believed that things got worse before they got better. I believed good people suffered... people who have faith were so lucky; you didn’t want to ruin it for them. You didn’t want to plant doubt where there was none. You had to treat suck individuals tenderly and hope that some of whatever they were feeling rubs off on you
Those who love you will love you forever, without questions or boundaries or the constraints of time. Daily life is real, unchanging as a well-built house. But houses burn; they catch fire in the middle of the night.
The night is like any other night of disaster, with every fact filtered through a veil of disbelief. The rational world has spun so completely out of its orbit, there is no way to chart or expect what might happen next
At that point, they were both convinced that love was a figment of other people’s imaginations, an illusion fashioned out of smoke and air that really didn’t exist
Fear, like heat, rises; it drifts up to the ceiling and when it falls down it pours out in a hot and horrible rain
True love, after all, could bind a man where he didn’t belong. It could wrap him in cords that were all but impossible to break
Fear is contagious. It doubles within minutes; it grows in places where there’s never been any doubt before
The past stays with a man, sticking to his heels like glue, invisible and heartbreaking and unavoidable, threaded to the future, just as surely as day is sewn to night
He looked at girls and saw only sweet little fuckboxes, there for him to use, no hearts involved, no souls, and, most assuredly no responsibilities.
Welcome to the real world. Herein is the place where no one can tell you whether or not you’ve done the right thing.
I could tell people anything I wanted to, and whatever I told them, that would be the truth as far as they were concerned. Whoever I said I was, well then, that’s who id be
The truths by which she has lived her life have evaporated, leaving her empty of everything except the faint blue static of her own skepticism. She has never been a person to question herself; now she questions everything
Something’s, are true no matter how hard you might try to bloc them out, and a lie is always a lie, no matter how prettily told
You were nothing more than a speck of dust, good-looking dust, but dust all the same
Some people needed saving
She doesn’t want to waste precious time with something as prosaic as sleep. Every second is a second that belongs to her; one she understands could well be her last
Why wait for anything when the world is so cockeyed and dangerous? Why sit and stare into the mirror, too fearful of what may come to pass to make a move?
At last she knows how it feels to take a chance when everything in the world is at stake, breathless and heedless and desperate for more
She’ll be imagining everything that’s out in front of them, road and cloud and sky, all the elements of a future, the sort you have to put together by hand, slowly and carefully until the world is yours once more
Alice Hoffman (Blue Diary)
Do you even feel anything, Chad? Will you for once stop walking around, all in control and f'ing calm? Do you have any idea what you all have done. I lost everything, Chad. Everything, when Kyle died. I lost myself. I had finally begun to build a new life with new friends. With people I thought cared about me. I have started to be just a little bit happy again. Was it too much to ask? Did I ask for too much by just wanting to have a little bit of a life again? Now, it’s all screwed up again and you walk around here like you don’t feel anything about what’s happened.”
Chad spun around, and for only the second time since she’d known him, she saw the flash of anger so fierce her breath caught in her throat and she took an involuntary step back, away from him. Jennie knew Chad would never hurt her on purpose, but the anger rolling off of him was palpable. It seemed to force her backwards as if it had a life of its own, a power of its own.
“Not feel anything, Jennie? Are you f'ing kidding me? I walk around here every day and I ache every f'ing minute I’m with you. I’m so twisted up with loving you and hating you, I can’t breathe. I can’t keep my hands off you, but I can’t let myself kiss you because I might lose myself in you. I can’t make love to you because I’m afraid you’ll pretend I’m him. I know you want his arms around you, not mine. I know you want it to be his baby inside you, not mine. And I know you can’t love me back, no matter what I do, because you’re still so in love with your husband, you can’t even begin to see me.”
Chad didn’t stop and Jennie didn’t try to stop him.
“And every day, I have to sit here and wonder how I’ll be a part of my baby’s life. I wonder if you’ll let me be in the delivery room, if you’ll let me help you name the baby. I wonder how much money I’d have to offer the people who live across the street from you to get them to sell me their house, just so I can see my child grow up. If you’ll let me...” Chad stopped as if he’d run out of steam.
They stood in uneasy silence for a long time before Chad spoke again. He sounded worn out and bitter and angry, mirroring Jennie’s chaos of emotions.
“Am I feeling anything? Yeah. I’m feeling some f'ing sh**, Jen.
Lori Ryan (Negotiation Tactics (Sutton Capital #3))
We take it for granted that life moves forward. You build memories; you build momentum.You move as a rower moves: facing backwards.
You can see where you've been, but not where you’re going. And your boat is steered by a younger version of you.
It's hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way. Avenoir.
You'd see your memories approaching for years, and watch as they slowly become real.
You’d know which friendships will last, which days are important, and prepare for upcoming mistakes. You'd go to school, and learn to forget.
One by one you'd patch things up with old friends, enjoying one last conversation before you
meet and go your separate ways.
And then your life would expand into epic drama. The colors would get sharper, the world would feel bigger.
You'd become nothing other than yourself, reveling in your own weirdness.
You'd fall out of old habits until you could picture yourself becoming almost anything.
Your family would drift slowly together, finding each other again.
You wouldn't have to wonder how much time you had left with people, or how their lives would turn out.
You'd know from the start which week was the happiest you’ll ever be, so you could relive it again and again.
You'd remember what home feels like,
and decide to move there for good.
You'd grow smaller as the years pass, as if trying to give away everything you had before leaving.
You'd try everything one last time, until it all felt new again.
And then the world would finally earn your trust, until you’d think nothing of jumping freely into things, into the arms of other people.
You'd start to notice that each summer feels longer than the last.
Until you reach the long coasting retirement of childhood.
You'd become generous, and give everything back.
Pretty soon you’d run out of things to give, things to say, things to see.
By then you'll have found someone perfect; and she'll become your world.
And you will have left this world just as you found it.
Nothing left to remember, nothing left to regret, with your whole life laid out in front of you, and your whole life left behind.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
What do think about abortion?”
“I could feel the tension growing in the plane. I dropped my head, acknowledging that we had very different value systems for our lives. Then I thought of a way to respond to his question.
“You’re Jewish, right?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said defensively. “I told you I was!”
“Do you know how Hitler persuaded the German people to destroy more than six million of your Jewish ancestors?” The man looked at me expectantly, so I continued. ”He convinced them that Jews were not human and then exterminated your people like rats.”
I could see that I had his attention, so I went on. “Do you understand how Americans enslaved, tortured, and killed millions of Africans? We dehumanized them so our constitution didn’t apply to them, and then we treated them worse than animals.”
“How about the Native Americans?” I pressed. “Do you have any idea how we managed to hunt Indians like wild animals, drive them out of their own land, burn their villages, rape their women, and slaughter their children? Do you have any clue how everyday people turned into cruel murderers?”
My Jewish friend was silent, and his eyes were filling with tears as I made my point. “We made people believe that the Native Americans were wild savages, not real human beings, and then we brutalized them without any conviction of wrongdoing! Now do you understand how we have persuaded mothers to kill their own babies? We took the word fetus, which is the Latin word for ‘offspring,’ and redefined it to dehumanize the unborn. We told mothers, ‘That is not really a baby you are carrying in your belly; it is a fetus, tissue that suddenly forms into a human being just seconds before it exits the womb.’ In doing so, we were able to assert that, in the issue of abortion, there is only one person’s human rights to consider, and then we convinced mothers that disposing of fetal tissue (terminating the life of their babies) was a woman’s right. Our constitution no longer protects the unborn because they are not real people. They are just lifeless blobs of tissue.”
By now, tears were flowing down his cheeks. I looked right into his eyes and said, “Your people, the Native Americans, and the African Americans should be the greatest defenders of the unborn on the planet. After all, you know what it’s like for society to redefine you so that they can destroy your races. But ironically, your races have the highest abortion rates in this country! Somebody is still trying to exterminate your people, and you don’t even realize it. The names have changed, but the plot remains the same!”
Finally he couldn’t handle it anymore. He blurted out, “I have never heard anything like this before. I am hanging out with the wrong people. I have been deceived!
The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler are like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart. It's been said that the thing that makes rap special, that makes it different both from pop music and from written poetry, is that it's built around two kinds of rhythm. The first kind of rhythm is the meter. In poetry, the meter is abstract, but in rap, the meter is something you literally hear: it's the beat. The beat in a song never stops, it never varies. No matter what other sounds are on the track, even if it's a Timbaland production with all kinds of offbeat fills and electronics, a rap song is usually built bar by bar, four-beat measure by four-beat measure. It's like time itself, ticking off relentlessly in a rhythm that never varies and never stops.
When you think about it like that, you realize the beat is everywhere, you just have to tap into it. You can bang it out on a project wall or an 808 drum machine or just use your hands. You can beatbox it with your mouth. But the beat is only one half of a rap song's rhythm. The other is the flow. When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow cops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch. The flow isn't like time, it's like life. It's like a heartbeat or the way you breathe, it can jump, speed up, slow down, stop, or pound right through like a machine. If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow.
Just like beats and flows work together, rapping and hustling, for me at least, live through each other. Those early raps were beautiful in their way and a whole generation of us felt represented for the first time when we heard them. But there's a reason the culture evolved beyond that playful, partying lyrical style. Even when we recognized the voices, and recognized the style, and even personally knew the cats who were on the records, the content didn't always reflect the lives we were leading. There was a distance between what was becoming rap's signature style - the relentlessness, the swagger, the complex wordplay - and the substance of the songs. The culture had to go somewhere else to grow.
It had to come home.
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well--or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader-- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such.
But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few...
Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life--not the end or accomplished goals in it--that matter. Well. Easier said than lived!
Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking--about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity.
Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels--many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man--and it feels like our own stories at the same time.
Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy--don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.
I miss you, my darling, as I always do, but today is especially hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together. I can almost feel you beside me as I write this letter, and I can smell the scent of wildflowers that always reminds me of you. But at this moment, these things give me no pleasure. Your visits have been coming less often, and I feel sometimes as if the greatest part of who I am is slowly slipping away.
I am trying, though. At night when I am alone, I call for you, and whenever my ache seems to be the greatest, you still seem to find a way to return to me. Last night, in my dreams, I saw you on the pier near Wrightsville Beach. The wind was blowing through your hair, and your eyes held the fading sunlight. I am struck as I see you leaning against the rail. You are beautiful, I think as I see you, a vision that I can never find in anyone else. I slowly begin to walk toward you, and when you finally turn to me, I notice that others have been watching you as well. “Do you know her?” they ask me in jealous whispers, and as you smile at me, I simply answer with the truth. “Better than my own heart.”
I stop when I reach you and take you in my arms. I long for this moment more than any other. It is what I live for, and when you return my embrace, I give myself over to this moment, at peace once again.
I raise my hand and gently touch your cheek and you tilt your head and close your eyes. My hands are hard and your skin is soft, and I wonder for a moment if you’ll pull back, but of course you don’t. You never have, and it is at times like this that I know what my purpose is in life.
I am here to love you, to hold you in my arms, to protect you. I am here to learn from you and to receive your love in return. I am here because there is no other place to be.
But then, as always, the mist starts to form as we stand close to one another. It is a distant fog that rises from the horizon, and I find that I grow fearful as it approaches. It slowly creeps in, enveloping the world around us, fencing us in as if to prevent escape. Like a rolling cloud, it blankets everything, closing, until there is nothing left but the two of us.
I feel my throat begin to close and my eyes well up with tears because I know it is time for you to go. The look you give me at that moment haunts me. I feel your sadness and my own loneliness, and the ache in my heart that had been silent for only a short time grows stronger as you release me. And then you spread your arms and step back into the fog because it is your place and not mine. I long to go with you, but your only response is to shake your head because we both know that is impossible.
And I watch with breaking heart as you slowly fade away. I find myself straining to remember everything about this moment, everything about you. But soon, always too soon, your image vanishes and the fog rolls back to its faraway place and I am alone on the pier and I do not care what others think as I bow my head and cry and cry and cry.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
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, 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.