Guard Your Mind Quotes

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You're a guardian angel now." I was still too much in awe to wrap my mind around it, but at the same time I felt amazement, curiosity...happiness. "I'm your guardian angel," he said. "I get my very own guardian angel? What, exactly, is your job description?" "Guard your body." His smile tipped higher. "I take my job seriously, which means I'm going to need to get acquainted with the subject matter on a personal level.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
It takes courage to let down your armor, to welcome people to see you as you are. Sometimes I feel the same as you: I can’t risk having people behold me as I truly am. But there’s also a small voice in the back of my mind, a voice that tells me, “You will miss so much by being so guarded.
Rebecca Ross (Divine Rivals (Letters of Enchantment, #1))
Be vigilant; guard your mind against negative thoughts.
Gautama Buddha
It's strange how the people you care about least, sometimes know you the best. You let your guard down with them because you don't mind that they see you, warts and all.
Paige Toon (Chasing Daisy)
Father, I decree and declare that I will be anxious for nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, I will make my requests known to You. I arise in faith today knowing that You hear and answer prayer. Because I bring my needs to You, I will walk in the peace of God that surpasses understanding, and it will guard my heart and mind. In stillness and quietness I will wait for You, and You will lead me in the way I should go. I seal these declarations in the name of Jesus, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
It's not reasonable to love people who are only going to die," she said. Nash thought about that for a moment, stroking Small's neck with great deliberation, as if the fate of the Dells depended on that smooth, careful movement. "I have two responses to that," he said finally. "First, everyone's going to die. Second, love is stupid. It has nothing to do with reason. You love whomever you love. Against all reasons I loved my father." He looked at her keenly. "Did you love yours?" "Yes," she whispered. He stroked Small's nose. "I love you," he said, "even knowing you'll never have me. And I love my brother, more than I ever realized before you came along. You can't help whom you love, Lady. Nor can you know what it's liable to cause you to do." She made a connection then. Surprised she sat back from him and studied his face, soft with shadows and light. She saw a part of him she hadn't seen before. "You came to me for lessons to guard your mind," she said, "and you stopped asking me to marry you, both at the same time. You did those things out of love for your brother." "Well" he said, looking a bit sheepishly at the floor. "I also took a few swings at him, but that's neither here nor there." "You're good at love," she said simply, because it seemed to her that it was true. "I'm not so good at love. I'm like a barbed creature. I push everyone I love away." He shrugged. "I don't mind you pushing me away if it means you love me, little sister.
Kristin Cashore (Fire (Graceling Realm, #2))
Learn to say no to demands, requests, invitations, and activities that leave you with no time for yourself. Until I learned to say no, and mean it, I was always overloaded by stress. You may feel guilty and selfish at first for guarding your down- time, but you’ll soon find that you are a much nicer, more present, more productive person in each instance you do choose to say yes.
Holly Mosier
It’s not mind-reading,’ she said. ‘Not even an empathy link. Just … a temporary wave of exhaustion. Primal emotions. Your pain washes over me. I take on some of your burden.’ Nico’s expression became guarded. He twisted the silver skull ring on his finger, the same way Reyna did with her silver ring when she was thinking. Sharing a habit with the son of Hades made her uneasy.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
Would you like to dance with me?” He laughed. “With you? No.” She looked at the marble floor, her chest tight. “You needn’t be so cruel.” “Cruel? Celaena, Perrington is just over there. I’m sure he’s not happy about you being here, so I wouldn’t risk drawing his attention any more than necessary.” “Coward.” Chaol’s eyes softened. “If he weren’t here, I would have said yes.” (...) “Anyway,” Chaol added, jerking his chin at Dorian, “I think you have far more attractive suitors vying for your attention. I’m boring company to keep.” “I don’t mind being here with you.” “I’m sure you don’t,” Chaol said dryly, though he met her stare. “I mean it. Why aren’t you dancing with anyone? Aren’t there ladies whom you like?” “I’m the Captain of the Guard—I’m not exactly a catch for any of them.” There was some sorrow in his eyes, though it was well concealed. “Are you mad? You’re better than everyone in here. And you’re—you’re very handsome,” she said, taking his hand in her free one. There was beauty in Chaol’s face—and strength, and honor, and loyalty. She stopped hearing the crowd, and her mouth became dry as he stared at her. How had she missed it for so long? “You think so?” he said after a moment, looking at their clasped hands. She tightened her grasp. “Why, if I wasn’t—
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
The emotion of fear often works overtime. Even when there is no immediate threat, our body may remain tight and on guard, our mind narrowed to focus on what might go wrong. When this happens, fear is no longer functioning to secure our survival. We are caught in the trance of fear and our moment-to-moment experience becomes bound in reactivity. We spend our time and energy defending our life rather than living it fully.
Tara Brach (Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha)
You are guarded. You don't show your cards to anyone. There are times that you're impossible to read.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Guard the portals of your mind.
Patricia McCormick (Sold)
I think everyone’s caught up in these narrow-minded worlds and they think their world exists in the center of the universe. Relationships only happen when it’s convenient. You have to walk on eggshells for people because that’s about how strong they are these days. And you can’t confront people, because if you do, that brittle shell of confidence will crack. So we all become passive cowards that carry a fake smile wherever we go because God forbid you let your guard down long enough for people to see your life isn’t perfect. That you have a few flaws. Because who wants to see that? My theory is everybody sucks. So, my conclusion is I don’t need anybody.
Katie Kacvinsky (First Comes Love (First Comes Love, #1))
Tell them you came, and saw, and looked into my eyes and saw the shadow of the guard receding. Thoughts in time and out of season, the hitchinker stood by the side of the road and levelled his thumb in the calm calculus of reason. [...] Why does my mind circle around you? Why do planets wonder what it would be like to be you? All your soft wild promises were words, birds, endlessly in flight.
Jim Morrison (Wilderness: The Lost Writings, Vol. 1)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
My teacher Jim Rohn taught me a simple principle: every day, stand guard at the door of your mind, and you alone decide what thoughts and beliefs you let into your life. For they will shape whether you feel rich or poor, cursed or blessed.
Anthony Robbins (MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom (Tony Robbins Financial Freedom))
If you let your mind dwell on rooms like this, you could end up being oddly sad and full of a strange diffuse compassion which would lead you to believe that it might be a good idea to wipe out the whole human race and start again with amoebas.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch, #1))
If you would protect your body, guard your mind. If you would renew your body, beautify your mind. Thoughts of malice, envy, disappointment, despondency, rob the body of its health and grace.
James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
Take care not to hurt the ruling faculty of your mind. If you were to guard against this in every action, you should enter upon those actions more safely.
Epictetus (The New Enchiridion)
The most sacred place in the world is your mind. Guard it ferociously.
Rick Beneteau
I am filthy. I am riddled with lice. Hogs, when they look at me, vomit. My skin is encrusted with the scabs and scales of leprosy, and covered with yellow pus.[...] A family of toads has taken up residence in my left armpit and, when one of them moves, it tickles. Mind one of them does not escape and come and scratch the inside of your ear with its mouth; for it would then be able to enter your brain. In my right armpit there is a chameleon which is perpetually chasing them, to avoid starving to death: everyone must live.[...] My anus has been penetrated by a crab; encouraged by my sluggishness, he guards the entrance with his pincers, and causes me a lot of pain.
Comte de Lautréamont (Maldoror and Poems)
Lord, set a guard over my lips today and search my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any evil way in me and lead me in the way everlasting (Ps. 139:23–24). If there is anything in my life that displeases You, Father, remove it in Jesus’s name. Circumcise my heart, and cause my desires and my words to line up with Yours. In Jesus’s name, amen. January 8 REAP WHAT YOU SOW For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. —HOSEA 8:7, ESV What occupies your mind determines what eventually fills your mouth. Your outer world showcases all that has dominated—and at times subjugated—your inner world. Are you aware of the true meaning of the things you are speaking out? As the prophet Hosea remarked, each one of us must take responsibility for what we experience in life. We are the sum total of every choice we have ever made or let happen. If you do not like where you are, you are only one thought away from turning toward the life you desire. Father, make me more aware of the power of my words today. I declare that my season of frustration is over. As I guard my tongue, my life is changing for the best. In the name of Jesus I declare that everything this season should bring to me must come forth. Every invisible barrier must be destroyed. I declare that I am a prophetic trailblazer. I am taking new territory spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and professionally. I decree and declare that You are opening
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
Adding anxiety to depression is a bit like adding cocaine to alcohol. It presses fast-forward on the whole experience. If you have depression on its own your mind sinks into a swamp and loses momentum, but with anxiety in the cocktail, the swamp is still a swamp but the swamp now has whirlpools in it. The monsters that are there, in the muddy water, continually move like modified alligators at their highest speed. You are continually on guard. You are on guard to the point of collapse every single moment, while desperately trying to keep afloat, to breathe the air that the people on the bank all around you are breathing as easily as anything.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
The real struggle is in your own mind. You must know you are going to win before you start the fight. You have to see it, smell it, and believe it utterly. It is a form of confidence, but you must guard against overconfidence. You have to be flexible—able to adapt in an instant and never allow yourself to give up. Without this, nothing else is possible.
Michael J. Sullivan (Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2))
Her hands shot up. “See that’s exactly what I’m saying. You’re seeing what you want, and what you see you explain away and excuse things like you’re fixing me. I’m not perfect, Ephraim and I really wish you would see that.” “You drool.” “What?” That caught her off guard. “When you’re asleep you drool. I’ve woken up more than a few times with a little puddle forming on my chest.” After a thought he added. “And you snore. Not a delicate snore either mind you.” “I do not!” Her face colored with indignation. He sighed heavily as if the knowledge pained him. “Oh, but you do. I’ve even heard Jill talk about it. Did you know that’s the main reason she was happy about her room. Actually, she and Joshua thanked your Grandmother for putting you at the other end of the house, something about finally getting a decent night’s sleep. They compared your snore to a chainsaw. I can see why they’d say that.
R.L. Mathewson (Tall, Dark & Lonely (Pyte/Sentinel, #1))
Guard your heart, mind and time. Those three things will determine the health of everything else in your life.
Andrena Sawyer
How ... how fragile situations are. But not tenuous. Delicate, but not flimsy, not indulgent. Delicate, that's why they keep breaking, they must break and you must get the pieces together and show it before it breaks again, or put them aside for a moment when something else breaks and turn to that, and all this keeps going on. That's why most writing now, if you read it they go on one two three four and tell you what happened like newspaper accounts, no adjectives, no long sentences, no tricks they pretend, and they finally believe that they really believe that the way they saw it is the way it is ... it never takes your breath away, telling you things you already know, laying everything out flat, as though the terms and the time, and the nature and the movement of everything were secrets of the same magnitude. They write for people who read with the surface of their minds, people with reading habits that make the smallest demands on them, people brought up reading for facts, who know what's going to come next and want to know what's coming next, and get angry at surprises. Clarity's essential, and detail, no fake mysticism, the facts are bad enough. But we're embarrassed for people who tell too much, and tell it without surprise. How does he know what happened? unless it's one unshaven man alone in a boat, changing I to he, and how often do you get a man alone in a boat, in all this ... all this ... Listen, there are so many delicate fixtures, moving toward you, you'll see. Like a man going into a dark room, holding his hands down guarding his parts for fear of a table corner, and ... Why, all this around us is for people who can keep their balance only in the light, where they move as though nothing were fragile, nothing tempered by possibility, and all of a sudden bang! something breaks. Then you have to stop and put the pieces together again. But you never can put them back together quite the same way. You stop when you can and expose things, and leave them within reach, and others come on by themselves, and they break, and even then you may put the pieces aside just out of reach until you can bring them back and show them, put together slightly different, maybe a little more enduring, until you've broken it and picked up the pieces enough times, and you have the whole thing in all its dimensions. But the discipline, the detail, it's just ... sometimes the accumulation is too much to bear.
William Gaddis (The Recognitions)
You believe that you keep yourself safe, she thought. You lock up your mind and guard your reactions so nobody, not an interrogator or a parent or a friend, will break in. You earn a graduate degree and a good position. You keep your savings in foreign currency and you pay your bills on time. When your colleagues ask you about your home life, you don't answer. You work harder. You exercise. Your clothing flatters. You keep the edge of your affection sharp, a knife, so that those near you know how to handle it carefully. You think you established some protection and then you discover that you endangered yourself to everyone you ever met.
Julia Phillips (Disappearing Earth)
That is what happens when the heart door opens- you become less yourself than part of everything.' Many are the sentinels who guard that door: our fears, our self-importance, our meanness, our greed, our bitterness, and others.
Roger Housden (Ten Poems to Open Your Heart)
I think we all wear armor. I think those who don’t are fools, risking the pain of being wounded by the sharp edges of the world, over and over again. But if I’ve learned anything from those fools, it is that to be vulnerable is a strength most of us fear. It takes courage to let down your armor, to welcome people to see you as you are. Sometimes I feel the same as you: I can’t risk having people behold me as I truly am. But there’s also a small voice in the back of my mind, a voice that tells me, ‘You will miss so much by being so guarded.
Rebecca Ross (Divine Rivals (Letters of Enchantment #1))
so that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again as she sat with the children the words of some old cradle song, murmured by nature, ‘I am guarding you—I am your support," but at other times suddenly and unexpectedly, especially when her mind raised itself slightly from the task actually in hand, had no such kindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll of drums remorsely beat the measure of life, made one think of the destruction of the island and its engulfment in the sea, and warned her whose day had slipped past in one quick doing after another that it was all ephemeral as a rainbow—this sound which had been obscured and concealed under the other sounds suddenly thundered hollow in her ears and made her look up with an impulse of terror.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
True submission is letting go of everything, giving your Dom both your mind and your body and not only trusting, but knowing in the center of your soul that your Dom will be everything you need. Having true faith he'll give you everything you need, protect you and care for you, even when you can't touch him or see him.
S.J.D. Peterson (Pup (Guards of Folsom, #1))
I wondered what my mother would say. She would be happy that I found a guy like Caleb, but she would still be wary of him. My father had gifted us both with a package of suspicion that sat like a teeth baring watchdog in our minds. “Guard your heart, so it doesn’t get broken like mine,” my mother would say as often as twice a week.
Tarryn Fisher (The Opportunist (Love Me with Lies, #1))
Your Greatest Power - The things that you keep silently telling yourself are your most important conversations. Whatever you habitually dwell on in your mind, you will become, express, or experience. Your subconscious mind will be your best friend or your worst enemy. Everything depends on the way you train it and the use you make of it. ... your freedom to think, choose, reason, and decide for yourself. It shapes your destiny and determines the attraction and repulsion in your life. Guard its portals well. It is your hope of heaven.
Elinor MacDonald
You should always aim to be your own mouse, Lieam. In fact...you already are. You are not so quick to jump into danger as Saxon and not as pensive of mind as Kenzie. They rely on each other too much. Saxon knows he can afford to be reckless since Kenzie acts as his conscience. And Kenzie can linger in his thoughts and plans, because he knows Saxon can defend him. I tested Kenzie earlier. I wanted to see if he would be swayed by my advice. It took Saxon's coaxing to make up the greyfur's mind. Be compleete with in yourself young redfur...you will never disappoint. Even in solitude.
David Petersen (Mouse Guard: Winter 1152 (Mouse Guard, #2))
Each person entering our world brings either a contribution or destruction. Trying to be “always nice” is to invite certain disaster. Those with poisonous attitudes, strange opinions, and caustic conversations love to look for someone nice who will listen to them. They love to dump their verbal garbage into the mental factory of anyone willing to listen. A major challenge in life is for each person to learn the art of standing guard at the doorway of their mind. Carefully examine the credentials and authority of those seeking to enter within that place where your attitudes are formed.
Jim Rohn (The Seasons of Life)
What is the point. That is what must be borne in mind. Sometimes the point is really who wants what. Sometimes the point is what is right or kind. Sometimes the point is a momentum, a fact, a quality, a voice, an imitation, a thing that is said or unsaid. Sometimes it's who's at fault, or what will happen if you do not move at once. The point changes and goes out. You cannot be forever watching for the point, or you lose the simplest thing: being a major character in your own life. But if you are, for any length of time, custodian of the point-- in art, in court, in politics, in lives, in rooms-- it turns out there are rear-guard actions everywhere. To see a thing clearly, and when your vision of it dims, or when it goes to someone else, if you have a gentle nature, keep your silence, that is lovely. Otherwise, now and then, a small foray is worthwhile. Just so that being always, complacently, thoroughly wrong does not become the safest position of them all. The point has never quite been entrusted to me.
Renata Adler (Speedboat)
As a beginner, it is most important that you secure your own well-being, guarding your mind in solitude, abandoning distractions and busyness, avoiding unfavorable situations, and subduing the mental afflictions with appropriate antidotes.
Longchenpa
You believe that you keep yourself safe, she thought. You lock up your mind and guard your reactions so nobody, not an interrogator or a parent or a friend, will break in.
Julia Phillips (Disappearing Earth)
Every day, stand guard at the door of your mind.
Jim Rohn
People annoy the crap out of me," he says. "I think people are nervous and loud and rude and selfish and stupid pretty much all the time." [...] "If they're beautiful they know it, so they don't bother having a personality or associating with people that don't fit into their league or can't afford their company. And, somehow these people are the most popular, which makes absolutely no sense. People try so hard to be accepted, they turn into a walking stereotype. They're pathetically easy to predict. They're insecure and try to mask it with whatever product corporate America is currently making and they always let you down. Just give them enough time, and they will." [...] "I think everyone's caught up in these narrow-minded worlds and they think their world exists in the center of the universe. Relationship only happen when it's convenient. You have to walk on eggshells for people because that's how strong they are these days. And you can't confront people, because if you do, that brittle shell of confidence will crack. So we all become passive cowards that carry a fake smile wherever we go because God forbid you let your guard down long enough for people to see your life isn't perfect. That you have a few flaws. Because who wants to see that?
Katie Kacvinsky (First Comes Love (First Comes Love, #1))
Most people guard against going into the fire and so end up in it. Those who love the water of pleasure and make it their devotion are cheated with this reversal. The trickery goes further. The voice of the fire tells the truth, sayin I am not fire. I am fountainhead. Come into me and don’t mind the sparks. If you are a friend of the presence, fire is your water.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi) (A Year With Rumi)
We only need to be To be is all we need Fill your mind with the divine And guard against deceit Feeling generates Proclaim and create Fill your heart with love, And alchemize the hate
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
Guard your heart and mind against double-minded pretentious beings. Do not allow infiltration beyond the surface. If their influence travels on the inside, they become like an incurable disease.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Sweet Destiny)
If I were you, Mr. Lascelles," said Childermass, softly, "I would speak more guardedly. You are in the north now. In John Uskglass's own country. Our towns and cities and abbeys were built by him. Our laws were made by him. He is our minds and hearts and speech. Were it summer you would see a carpet of tiny flowers beneath every hedgerow, of a bluish-white colour. We call them John’s Farthings. When the weather is contrary and we have warm weather in winter or it rains in summer the country people say that John Uskglass is in love again and neglects his business. And when we are sure of something we say it is as safe as a pebble in John Uskglass’s pocket.” Lascelles laughed. “Far be it from me, Mr. Childermass, to disparage your quaint country sayings. But surely it is one thing to pay lip-service to one’s history and quite another to talk of bringing back a King who numbered Lucifer himself among his allies and overlords? No one wants that, do they? I mean apart from a few Jihannites and madmen?” “I am a North Englishman, Mr. Lascelles,” said Childermass. “Nothing would please me better than that my King should come home. It is what I have wished for all my life.
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell)
Once you get your hopes up, your mind starts acting on its own. And when your hopes are dashed you get disappointed, and disappointment leads to a feeling of helplessness. You get careless and let your guard down.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3))
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. Isaiah 26:3
Joyce Meyer (Battlefield of the Mind (Enhanced Edition): Winning the Battle in Your Mind)
You do not seem to realize that beauty is a liability rather than an asset - that in view of the fact that spirit creates form we are justified in supposing that you must have brains. For you, a symbol of the unit, stiff and sharp, conscious of surpassing by dint of native superiority and liking for everything self-dependent, anything an ambitious civilization might produce: for you, unaided, to attempt through sheer reserve, to confuse presumptions resulting from observation, is idle. You cannot make us think you a delightful happen-so. But rose, if you are brilliant, it is not because your petals are the without-which-nothing of pre-eminence. Would you not, minus thorns, be a what-is-this, a mere perculiarity? They are not proof against a worm, the elements, or mildew; but what about the predatory hand? What is brilliance without co-ordination? Guarding the infinitesimal pieces of your mind, compelling audience to the remark that it is better to be forgotten than to be re- membered too violently, your thorns are the best part of you.
Marianne Moore
. Her sin was that she allowed the serpent to have access to her mind. Guarding your heart does not mean that bad things won’t happen to you. It means that you won’t allow those bad things to take root and produce fruit in your mind. Weeds of fear and insecurity leave only room for internal negativity and hopelessness.
Sarah Jakes Roberts (Don't Settle for Safe: Embracing the Uncomfortable to Become Unstoppable)
November Graveyard (1956) The scene stands stubborn: skinflint trees Hoard last year's leaves, won't mourn, wear sackcloth, or turn To elegiac dryads, and dour grass Guards the hard-hearted emerald of its grassiness However the grandiloquent mind may scorn Such poverty. No dead men's cries Flower forget-me-nots between the stones Paving this grave ground. Here's honest rot To unpick the heart, pare bone Free of the fictive vein. When one stark skeleton Bulks real, all saints' tongues fall quiet: Flies watch no resurrection in the sun. At the essential landscape stare, stare Till your eyes foist a vision dazzling on the wind: Whatever lost ghosts flare, Damned, howling in their shrouds across the moor Rave on the leash of the starving mind Which peoples the bare room, the blank, untenanted air.
Sylvia Plath
Step number four to receiving answered prayer is guard against every evil thought that comes into your mind to try to make you doubt God’s Word. Thoughts are governed by observation, association, and teaching. So this step is closely associated
Kenneth E. Hagin (Bible Prayer Study Course)
saying—” Lady Brice’s next words were lost because, without any warning, Grandma flung the door open. “You really need to ask permission first,” a guard warned her in a hushed tone. She kept walking toward me. “Well, my girl, it’s time for me to head out.” “So soon?” I asked, embracing her. “I can never stay too long. Your mother is recovering from a heart attack, and she still has the audacity to order me around. I know she’s the queen,” she conceded, raising her hands in the air in surrender, “but I’m her mother, and that trumps queen any day.” I laughed. “I’ll remember that for down the road.” “You do that,” she said, rubbing my cheek. “And if you don’t mind, get yourself a husband as soon as you can. I’m not getting any younger, and I’d like to see at least one great-grandchild before I’m dead.” She stared at my stomach and shook her finger. “Don’t let me down.” “Ooooookay, Grandma. 
Kiera Cass (The Crown (The Selection, #5))
Good girl. Now walk away. Turn on your heel—good. Walk toward the door. Keep your chin high. Let the crowd part. One step after another. I listened to him, let him keep me tethered to sanity as I was escorted back to my cell by the guards—who still kept their distance. Rhysand’s words echoed through my mind, holding me together. But when my cell door closed, he went silent, and I dropped to the floor and wept.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
You’re used to difficult women. To struggle. Perhaps you like it when they give you a bad time.” “Every treasure is guarded by dragons. That’s how you can tell it’s valuable.… Do you mind if I unbutton my collar? It seems to be pressing on an artery.
Saul Bellow
Why am I sharing it with you? Because good sex? Really, really good sex? Doesn’t need alcohol. And it’s not about compatibility, or practice, or even being in love. It’s about trust. Letting your guard down. Putting yourself in another person’s hands and letting him lead you to places you’ve never been before. And I trusted Drew. With my mind, my heart, my body. I trusted Drew with everything. At least I did then.
Emma Chase (Twisted (Tangled, #2))
Inej nodded. “I gave your letter to the guard at the door, and it did the trick. They brought me directly to two members of the Triumvirate.” “Who did you meet with?” said Kaz. “Genya Safin and Zoya Nazyalensky.” Wylan sat forward. “The Tailor? She’s at the embassy?” Kaz raised a brow. “What an interesting fact to forget to mention, Nina.” “It wasn’t relevant at the time.” “Of course it’s relevant!” Wylan said angrily. Jesper was a little surprised. Wylan hadn’t seemed to mind wearing Kuwei’s features at first. He’d almost seemed to welcome the distance it gave him from his father. But that had been before they’d gone to Saint Hilde. And before Jesper had kissed Kuwei.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Jennifer Smith (Thirty-One Prayers For My Husband)
How long will I be in here?” I asked. “Varies,” said the guard as he closed the door and locked me in. “Usually until Mrs. Cobrawick thinks you learned your lesson. I hate this job. Try not to lose your mind, girl.” Those were the last words spoken to me for a very long time. The guard had given me good advice, which turned out to be nearly impossible to follow.
Gabrielle Zevin (All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1))
I was sent forth from the power, and I have come to those who reflect upon me, and I have been found among those who seek after me. Look upon me, you who reflect upon me, and you hearers, hear me. You who are waiting for me, take me to yourselves. And do not banish me from your sight. And do not make your voice hate me, nor your hearing. Do not be ignorant of me anywhere or any time. Be on your guard! Do not be ignorant of me. For I am the first and the last. I am the honored one and the scorned one. I am the whore and the holy one. I am the wife and the virgin. I am and the daughter. I am the members of my mother. I am the barren one and many are her sons. I am she whose wedding is great, and I have not taken a husband. I am the midwife and she who does not bear. I am the solace of my labor pains. I am the bride and the bridegroom, and it is my husband who begot me. I am the mother of my father and the sister of my husband and he is my offspring. I am the slave of him who prepared me. I am the ruler of my offspring. But he is the one who begot me before the time on a birthday. And he is my offspring in (due) time, and my power is from him. I am the staff of his power in his youth, and he is the rod of my old age. And whatever he wills happens to me. I am the silence that is incomprehensible and the idea whose remembrance is frequent. I am the voice whose sound is manifold and the word whose appearance is multiple. I am the utterance of my name. -The Thunder, Perfect Mind
George W. MacRae
I think everyone's caught up in these narrow-minded worlds and they think their world exists in the center of the universe. Relationships only happen when it's convenient. You have to walk on eggshells for people because that's about how strong they are these days. And you can't confront people, because if you do, that brittle shell of confidence will crack. So we all become passive cowards that carry a fake smile wherever we go because God forbid you let your guard down long enough for people to see your life isn't perfect. That you have a few flaws. Because who wants to see that?
Katie Kacvinsky (First Comes Love (First Comes Love, #1))
... How would you open my chest if you had a mind to?" Bast's expression grew slightly apprehensive. "Your thrice-locked chest, Reshi?" Kvothe looked at his student, the laughter bubbled up out of him. "My what?" he asked incredulously. Bast blushed and looked down. "That's just how I think of it," he mumbled. "As names go..." Kvothe hesitated, a smile playing around his mouth. "Well it's a little storybook, don't you think?" "You're the one who made the thing, Reshi," Bast said sullenly. "Three locks and fancy wood and all that. It's not my fault if it sounds storybook." Kvothe leaned forward and rested an apologetic hand on Bast's knee. "It's a fine name, Bast. Just caught me off my guard is all." He leaned back again. "So. How would you attempt to plunder the thrice-locked chest of Kvothe the Bloodless?
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
Who else knows about this besides us?” “Just Patti...” “Okay. That should be okay. Is that it?” “And Kaidan,” I added. My eyes darted everywhere but his face. I was in for it. “Who?” There was an edge to his voice. His eyes searched mine. I didn't want to tell him a single thing about Kaidan. I knew how it would sound. I took my hands from his, pulling the braid over my shoulder to mess with it. “He's my friend. He's the one who drove me here to see you.” “You told some human kid?” I coughed, buying time. “He's Neph, too.” Jonathan LaGray went rigid and his ruddy cheeks paled. I squirmed as his eyes bored into mine. “Which one's his father?” he asked through clenched teeth. “Richard Rowe. I guess you'd know him as Pharzuph.” Oh, boy. He wasn't pale anymore. “You came across the country—” “Shhh!” I warned him as people looked over. He lowered his voice to a shouted whisper. “-with the son of the Duke of Lust? Son of a—” He pounded a fist down on the table and a guard stepped toward us. I waved and nodded at the man, trying to reassure him it was fine, and my father pulled his balled hands down into his lap. After a moment the guard walked back to the wall and looked away. “Don't worry!” I whispered. “I told you; we're just friends.” He closed his eyes and massaged his forehead with his fingers to calm his temper. “You tell him that his father is never to know about you or whatever Sister Ruth tells you. Understand?” “He would never tell his father anything. But, um...” I swallowed. “Unfortunately, Pharzuph already knows about me.” His eyes flashed red again and it nearly stopped my heart. I pressed my back into the seat, causing it to wobble. “Aren't you worried people will see your eyes when you do that?” I asked, sure that my own eyes were gigantic at that moment. “Humans can't see it. And don't try to change the subject. I know Pharzuph,” he growled. “He's a real bastard on earth and in hell. He'd do anything to gain favour.” “Kaidan thinks he'll forget about me if I lie low.” “Maybe momentarily, while he's busy or distracted with his work, but you'll cross his mind again someday.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
Let me make a clean breast of it here, and frankly admit that I kept but sorry guard. With the problem of the universe revolving in me, how could I- being left completely to myself at such a thought-engendering altitude- how could I but lightly hold my obligations to observe all whaleships' standing orders, "Keep your weather eye open, and sing out every time." And let me in this place movingly admonish you, ye ship-owners of Nantucket! Beware of enlisting in your vigilant fisheries any lad with lean brow and hollow eye; given to unseasonable meditativeness...: your whales must be seen before they can be killed; and this sunken-eyed young Platonist will tow you ten wakes round the world, and never make you one pint of sperm the richer. Nor are these monitions at all unneeded. For nowadays, the whale-fishery furnishes an asylum for many romantic, melancholy, and absent-minded young men, disgusted with the corking care of earth, and seeking sentiment in tar and blubber. Childe Harold not unfrequently perches himself upon the mast-head of some luckless disappointed whale-ship, and in moody phrase ejaculates:- "Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll! Ten thousand blubber-hunters sweep over thee in vain. " ... "Why, thou monkey," said a harpooneer to one of these lads, "we've been cruising now hard upon three years, and thou hast not raised a whale yet. Whales are scarce as hen's teeth whenever thou art up here." Perhaps they were; or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon; but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it. In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space; like Crammer's sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over. There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gentle rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch; slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps, at midday, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever. Heed it well, ye Pantheists!
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
How do people get to this clandestine Archipelago? Hour by hour planes fly there, ships steer their course there, and trains thunder off to it--but all with nary a mark on them to tell of their destination. And at ticket windows or at travel bureaus for Soviet or foreign tourists the employees would be astounded if you were to ask for a ticket to go there. They know nothing and they've never heard of the Archipelago as a whole or any one of its innumerable islands. Those who go to the Archipelago to administer it get there via the training schools of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Those who go there to be guards are conscripted via the military conscription centers. And those who, like you and me, dear reader, go there to die, must get there solely and compulsorily via arrest. Arrest! Need it be said that it is a breaking point in your life, a bolt of lightning which has scored a direct hit on you? That it is an unassimilable spiritual earthquake not every person can cope with, as a result of which people often slip into insanity? The Universe has as many different centers as there are living beings in it. Each of us is a center of the Universe, and that Universe is shattered when they hiss at you: "You are under arrest." If you are arrested, can anything else remain unshattered by this cataclysm? But the darkened mind is incapable of embracing these dis­placements in our universe, and both the most sophisticated and the veriest simpleton among us, drawing on all life's experience, can gasp out only: "Me? What for?" And this is a question which, though repeated millions and millions of times before, has yet to receive an answer. Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somer­sault from one state into another. We have been happily borne—or perhaps have unhappily dragged our weary way—down the long and crooked streets of our lives, past all kinds of walls and fences made of rotting wood, rammed earth, brick, concrete, iron railings. We have never given a thought to what lies behind them. We have never tried to pene­trate them with our vision or our understanding. But there is where the Gulag country begins, right next to us, two yards away from us. In addition, we have failed to notice an enormous num­ber of closely fitted, well-disguised doors and gates in these fences. All those gates were prepared for us, every last one! And all of a sudden the fateful gate swings quickly open, and four white male hands, unaccustomed to physical labor but none­theless strong and tenacious, grab us by the leg, arm, collar, cap, ear, and drag us in like a sack, and the gate behind us, the gate to our past life, is slammed shut once and for all. That's all there is to it! You are arrested! And you'll find nothing better to respond with than a lamblike bleat: "Me? What for?" That's what arrest is: it's a blinding flash and a blow which shifts the present instantly into the past and the impossible into omnipotent actuality. That's all. And neither for the first hour nor for the first day will you be able to grasp anything else.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation V-VII)
I don’t want your prayers,” he said. “What do you want, then?” The old answers came easily to mind. Money. Vengeance. Jordie’s voice in my head silenced forever. But a different reply roared to life inside him, loud, insistent, and unwelcome. You, Inej. You. He shrugged and turned away. “To die buried under the weight of my own gold.” Inej sighed. “Then I’ll pray you get all you ask for.” “More prayers?” he asked. “And what do you want, Wraith?” “To turn my back on Ketterdam and never hear that name again.” Good. He’d need to find a new spider, but he’d be rid of this distraction. “Your share of thirty million kruge can grant that wish.” He pushed to his feet. “So save your prayers for good weather and stupid guards. Just leave me out of it.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
We want them to have appropriate conversations. They need to live appropriate lives. We are guarding against all inappropriate ideas and thoughts that may arise inside their criminal minds. They are reborn here, they are like little fetuses, and we must raise these fetuses. Everything is gone.
Noah Cicero (Go to work and do your job. Care for your children. Pay your bills. Obey the law. Buy products.)
It will catch you off guard one day. You’ll be so surprised by it you may even lose your concentration. One moment you are living idly by and the next they are on your mind nearly every moment. You’ll lose sleep over the next time you’ll hear their voice. You might even find yourself daydreaming about a future together. One day you are ordering coffee every morning and the next you can’t even order coffee without thinking about ordering theirs too.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts (Pillow Thoughts, #1))
Be you therefore, a wise gardener. Cultivate a deep love and respect for yourself, for you are not here to “fix” the world. You are not here to “fix” your brother or sister. It is only love that heals. And until you have loved yourself wholly by having purified the mind of every erroneous thought you have ever held—until you have loved yourself—you do not, in truth, love anyone or anything. Save in those brief moments when you let your guard down and the Love of God shines forth through you so quickly you do not even know what happened! The wise gardener cultivates a state of consciousness in which the Love of God is unimpeded.
Shanti Christo Foundation (The Way of Mastery ~ Part One: The Way of the Heart (The Way of Mastery))
You actually believe that you have no effect on me huh? You think that I don’t actually feel the need you do. I find it hard to think about you without feeling insanely hungry. I have thought about your body every f$$king day since I got my first taste. I control my hunger for you but it is there Sam. Every damn second it is there. I told you that you are under my skin and I meant it. I crave you so badly. Your soft skin, feeling your body and the taste of you, Sam you are so addicting. I want you so badly and today not being able to make love to you drove me out of my mind. I want to bury myself deep inside of you and forget about everything else.
C.A. Harms (Guarded Heart)
Jessilyn, ain't no man can't get someplace he never thought he'd get to. You let enough bad thoughts into your head, you can end up doin' all sorts of things you never thought possible. Otis let evil into his mind and it took over his heart. We best be on our guard and keep our minds on what's right and true so we don't become things we'll regret. His words scared me. I wanted to always be able to trust people, to know that good people stayed good people, but I was realizing all too quickly that the human heart is fragile and needs constant attention. I'd seen enough bleakness in my own heart to know my daddy was speaking the truth. That's why we all need to know Jesus in our hearts, Daddy said. Ain't no one else who can keep watch over our hearts like He can. Ain't no one else who can take the bad and replace it with good.
Jennifer Erin Valent (Fireflies in December (Calloway Summers #1))
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow? And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city? And what is fear of need but need itself? Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable? There are those who give little of the much which they have--and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome. And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty. There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward. And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism. And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space. Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth. It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving. And is there aught you would withhold? All you have shall some day be given; Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'. You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving." The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights, is worthy of all else from you. And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream. And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving? And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed? See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving. For in truth it is life that gives unto life while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness. And you receivers... and you are all receivers... assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives. Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the freehearted earth for mother, and God for father.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Hey, guard!” Ian hollered out loud. “Do you think we could get a bathroom break?” The guard seemed to snicker as he pointed to the grass outside the cell. Eena smirked at how dead-on her thoughts had been after all. “Come on,” Ian complained. “She can’t do that, she’s a girl.” The soldier smiled wryly, a shrug communicating his indifference. Eena laughed in her mind. (I don’t know what you think’s so funny. You’re the one who’s gotta pee.) Oddly enough, that fact just made her laugh even more.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Eena, The Curse of Wanyaka Cave (The Harrowbethian Saga #3))
Kim Jong Il: Hans Brix? Oh no! Oh, herro. Great to see you again, Hans! Hans Blix: Mr. Il, I was supposed to be allowed to inspect your palace today, but your guards won't let me enter certain areas. Kim Jong Il: Hans, Hans, Hans! We've been frew this a dozen times. I don't have any weapons of mass destwuction, OK Hans? Hans Blix: Then let me look around, so I can ease the UN's collective mind. I'm sorry, but the UN must be firm with you. Let me in, or else. Kim Jong Il: Or else what? Hans Blix: Or else we will be very angry with you... and we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are.
Trey Parker
Zits,” I said. “Z-I-T-S. Actually, I don’t think you even need electric bolts. You could just breathe on us.” I looked him in the eyes and smiled. “Seriously, dude, when was the last time you brushed your teeth?” “Shut up!” “No, really. Did you eat a diaper?” “Shut up!” he shouted. He squinted. “Do you know how much I enjoyed guarding your mother? I shocked her at least a dozen times just to watch her squeal.” “Yeah, well you could have just sat next to her and let her smell you. That would have been much worse. I’ve had hamsters with better hygiene.” “Enough! Don’t think I won’t electrocute you, Vey!” Taylor looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. “It’s his Tourette’s, he can’t help it.” “I’m scared, Zits,” I said. “You know Hatch would have your head if you did. But here’s my promise: after I’m in charge, my first command is to make you my shoeshine boy. You’ll be following me around with a towel.” “You’ll never be in charge.” “No, that’s what Hatch said. You heard him. He wants my power. I’m not kidding, Zits. When Hatch was trying to get me to join you guys, he promised me that you would be my servant.” Zeus looked at me with a worried expression. After a moment he shouted, “Shut up! And stop calling me Zits!” “I don’t think I will. In fact, it’s going to be the first rule I make. I’m going to have everyone else call you that.” “I don’t care what Hatch says. I’m gonna fry you, Vey.” “Oooh, now I’m really shaking. You don’t have enough juice in you to light a flashlight.” “Michael!” Taylor shouted. “Stop it. He’s got a temper. I’ve seen it.” “You should listen to the cheerleader, Vey.” He stepped toward me. “You think you’re so cool. But you can’t shoot electricity like me, can you? You’re just a flesh-covered battery.” “And you’re a flesh-covered outhouse. You should tie a couple hundred of those car air fresheners around your neck.” “Last warning!” Zeus shouted. “I’m not kidding, Zits. There are porta-potties with better aromas. Would a little deodorant kill you? What was the last year you took a bath?
Richard Paul Evans (The Prisoner of Cell 25 (Michael Vey, #1))
I called Matt from Columbia when I needed help." "Yeah," Nicky said, unimpressed. "So we all heard. You called Matt, gave him your 'I'm fine' song and dance routine, and then hitchhiked with strangers back to campus. Maybe you remember?" Nicky waited, but Neil couldn't defend himself against an accusation like that. "Anyway, you're welcome. I just saved you at least two hundred dollars in intensive therapy." Neil didn't think Nicky wearing down his guard was something to be grateful for, but he obediently said, "Thank you." "You ever say that like it's not a question?" Nicky asked, looking pained. "Oh well. I'll take my victories where I can. Focus on the battles first, then win the war, right? I don't know how the quote actually goes but you know what I mean. So where was I?" It didn't take him long to remember. He chattered away a mile a minute about his upcoming presentation. Neil let it go in one ear and out the other. His mind was more on the phone still sitting in his hands than the put-upon tone of Nicky's voice. When Nicky finally turned away to harass Aaron about something, Neil flipped his phone open. He went past his packed inbox to his call history. It hadn't changed; Andrew's name was still the only one there.
Nora Sakavic (The Raven King (All for the Game, #2))
The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts. For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes. But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.
George Washington (George Washington's Farewell Address (Books of American Wisdom))
Step number four to receiving answered prayer is guard against every evil thought that comes into your mind to try to make you doubt God’s Word. Thoughts are governed by observation, association, and teaching. So this step is closely associated with step number three. The Bible says we are to cast down every imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Cor. 10:5). That’s why you should stay away from all places and things that do not support your affirmation that God has answered your prayer. Your thoughts are governed and affected by observations, associations, and teaching. That means that sometimes you will have to stay away from the kind of churches that can put more unbelief in you than anything else. Also, be sure to enjoy fellowship with those who contribute to your faith.   2 CORINTHIANS 10:5 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.   PHILIPPIANS 4:8 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are OF GOOD REPORT; if there be ANY VIRTUE, and if there be ANY PRAISE, think on these things.   The Bible tells us in Philippians exactly what to think on. Many people are thinking on the wrong things, and they’re defeated in life as a result. But if you will guard against every evil thought and think only on those things which affirm that God has heard and answered your prayers, you will be cooperating with God in faith. You will have to guard your mind in order to develop in faith. And as you stand your ground firm in faith, your faith will see you through to victory.
Kenneth E. Hagin (Bible Prayer Study Course)
But narratives are not the only instruments within Scripture that can help us integrate our minds and lives. Poetry is another powerful literary tool. It has several distinct features:    By activating our sense of rhythm, poetry accesses our right-mode operations and systems.    Reading poetry has the effect of catching us off guard. Our imaginations are invigorated when our usual linear expectations of prose (that one word will follow obediently behind another on the way to a predictable end) don’t apply. This can stimulate buried emotional states and layers of memory.    Finally, poetry not only appeals to right-mode processing, but to left mode as well, given its use of language. This makes it a powerful integrative tool.
Curt Thompson (Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices That Can Transform Your Life and Relationships)
This is an unpopular yet essential truth. All ships that land at the shore of grace weigh anchor from the port of sin. We must start where God starts. We won’t appreciate what grace does until we understand who we are. We are rebels. We are Barabbas. Like him, we deserve to die. Four prison walls, thickened with fear, hurt, and hate, surround us. We are incarcerated by our past, our low-road choices, and our high-minded pride. We have been found guilty. We sit on the floor of the dusty cell, awaiting the final moment. Our executioner’s footsteps echo against stone walls. Head between knees, we don’t look up as he opens the door; we don’t lift our eyes as he begins to speak. We know what he is going to say. “Time to pay for your sins.” But we hear something else. “You’re free to go. They took Jesus instead of you.” The door swings open, the guard barks, “Get out,” and we find ourselves in the light of the morning sun, shackles gone, crimes pardoned, wondering, What just happened? Grace happened.
Anonymous (Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine)
You have to have money these days. The roads are falling apart, so you need a Pajero or a Land Cruiser. The phone lines are erratic, so you need a mobile. The colleges are overrun with fundos who have no interest in getting an education, so you have to go abroad. And that’s ten lakhs a year, mind you. Thanks to electricity theft there will always be shortages, so you have to have a generator. The police are corrupt and ineffective, so you need private security guards. It goes on and on. People are pulling their pieces out of the pie, and the pie is getting smaller, so if you love your family, you’d better take your piece now, while there’s still some left. That’s what I’m doing. And if anyone isn’t doing it, it’s because they’re locked out of the kitchen.
Mohsin Hamid (Moth Smoke)
I think we all wear armor. I think those who don’t are fools, risking the pain of being wounded by the sharp edges of the world, over and over again. But if I’ve learned anything from those fools, it’s that to be vulnerable is a strength most of us fear. It takes courage to let down your armor, to welcome people to see you as you are. Sometimes I feel the same as you: I can’t risk having people behold me as I truly am. But there’s also a small voice in the back of my mind, a voice that tells me, “You will miss so much by being so guarded.” Perhaps it begins with one person. Someone you trust. You remove a piece of armor for them; you let the light stream in, even if it makes you wince. Perhaps that is how you learn to be soft yet strong, even in fear and uncertainty. One person, one piece of steel.
Rebecca Ross (Divine Rivals (Letters of Enchantment #1))
I need to ask, are you afraid of spiders?" Nicholas blinked, suddenly caught off guard, "Yes, I'm afraid of spiders." "Were you always?" "What are you, a psychiatrist?" Pritam took a breath. He could feel Laine's eyes on him, appraising his line of questioning. "Is it possible that the trauma of losing your best friend as a child and the trauma of losing your wife as an adult and the trauma of seeing Laine's husband take his life in front of you just recently..." Pritam shrugged and raised his palms, "You see where I'm going?" Nicholas looked at Laine. She watched back. Her gray eyes missed nothing. "Sure," agreed Nicholas, standing. "And my sister's nuts, too, and we both like imagining that little white dogs are big nasty spiders because our daddy died and we never got enough cuddles." "Your father died?" asked Laine. "When?" "Who cares?" Pritam sighed. "You must see this from our point of - " "I'd love to!" snapped Nicholas. "I'd love to see it from your point of view, because mine is not that much fun! It's insane! It's insane that I see dead people, Pritam! It's insane that this," he flicked out the sardonyx necklace,"stopped me from kidnapping a little girl!" "That's what you believe," Pritam said carefully. "That's what I fucking believe!" Nicholas stabbed his finger through the air at the dead bird talisman lying slack on the coffee table.
Stephen M. Irwin (The Dead Path)
What if it was Jamie?" Dorea looked very briefly caught off guard, but her expression was shielded away almost instantly. She drew in a slow and calculated breath before firmly insisting, "My answer remains the same. I have faith that however long your brother's life is, it will be filled with meaning and love." "How can you know that?" Mia broke down again, wishing, pleading for Dorea to change her mind and let her confess everything. The burden was too much. "Because you wear our words," Dorea whispered, touching the golden bracelet on Mia's wrist. "James is currently the last of the Potters. Which means that in the future, he is either alive to give you this bracelet himself, or he has had children or grandchildren and they have placed this in your care. Therefore the Potter name continues, and James lived with meaning and love in his life.
Shaya Lonnie (The Debt of Time)
You’re right,” said Colon. “The thing about the captain, see, I read this book once… you know we’ve all got alcohol in our bodies… sort of natural alcohol? Even if you never touch a drop in your life, your body sort of makes it anyway… but Captain Vimes, see, he’s one of those people whose body doesn’t do it naturally. Like, he was born two drinks below normal.” “Gosh,” said Carrot. “Yes… so, when he’s sober, he’s really sober. Knurd, they call it. You know how you feel when you wake up if you’ve been on the piss all night, Nobby? Well, he feels like that all the time.” “Poor bugger,” said Nobby. “I never realized. No wonder he’s always so gloomy.” “So he’s always trying to catch up, see. It’s just that he doesn’t always get the dose right. And, of course—” Colon glanced at Carrot—“he was brung low by a woman. Mind you, just about anything brings him low.
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8; City Watch, #1))
It is a great wonder How Almighty God in his magnificence Favors our race with rank and scope And the gift of wisdom; His sway is wide. Sometimes He allows the mind of a man Of distinguished birth to follow its bent, Grants him fulfillment and felicity on earth And forts to command in his own country. He permits him to lord it in many lands Until the man in his unthinkingness Forgets that it will ever end for him. He indulges his desires; illness and old age Mean nothing to him; his mind is untroubled By envy or malice or thought of enemies With their hate-honed swords. The whole world Conforms to his will, he is kept from the worst Until an element of overweening Enters him and takes hold While the soul’s guard, its sentry, drowses, Grown too distracted. A killer stalks him, An archer who draws a deadly bow. And then the man is hit in the heart, The arrow flies beneath his defenses, The devious promptings of the demon start. His old possessions seem paltry to him now. He covets and resents; dishonors custom And bestows no gold; and because of good things That the Heavenly powers gave him in the past He ignores the shape of things to come. Then finally the end arrives When the body he was lent collapses and falls Prey to its death; ancestral possessions And the goods he hoarded and inherited by another Who lets them go with a liberal hand. “O flower of warriors, beware of that trap. Choose, dear Beowulf, the better part, Eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride. For a brief while your strength is in bloom But it fades quickly; and soon there will follow Illness or the sword to lay you low, Or a sudden fire or surge of water Or jabbing blade or javelin from the air Or repellent age. Your piercing eye Will dim and darken; and death will arrive, Dear warrior, to sweep you away.
Seamus Heaney
Perhaps some wine will wash things clean,’ suggested Bugg. ‘Won’t hurt. Pour us some, please. You, guard, come and join us—standing there doing nothing must be a dreadful bore. No need to gape like that, I assure you. Doff that helm and relax—there’s another guard just like you on the other side of that door, after all. Let him bear the added burden of diligence. Tell us about yourself. Family, friends, hobbies, scandals—’ ‘Sire,’ warned Bugg. ‘Or just join us in a drink and feel under no pressure to say anything at all. This shall be one of those interludes swiftly glossed over in the portentous histories of great and mediocre kings. We sit in the desultory aftermath, oblivious to omens and whatever storm waits behind yonder horizon. Ah, thank you, Bugg—my Queen, accept that goblet and come sit on my knee—oh, don’t make that kind of face, we need to compose the proper scene. I insist and since I’m King I can do that, or so I read somewhere. Now, let’s see . . . yes, Bugg, stand right over there—oh, massaging your brow is the perfect pose. And you, dearest guard—how did you manage to hide all that hair? And how come I never knew you were a woman? Never mind, you’re an unexpected delight—ow, calm down, wife—oh, that’s me who needs to calm down. Sorry. Women in uniforms and all that. Guard, that dangling helm is exquisite by the way, take a mouthful and do pass judgement on the vintage, yes, like that, oh, most perfect! ‘Now, it’s just occurred to me that we’re missing something crucial. Ah, yes, an artist. Bugg, have we a court artist? We need an artist! Find us an artist! Nobody move!
Steven Erikson (Dust of Dreams (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #9))
Why are you making that face?” he asked suddenly. I blinked up at him, caught off guard. I raised my eyebrows, trying to play dumb. “What face?” It didn’t work. With a fork hanging out of his mouth, he narrowed his dark eyes just the slightest bit. “That one.” He gestured toward me with his chin. I shrugged in an ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ expression. “Is there something you want to say?” There were a hundred things I wanted to tell him on a regular basis, but I knew him too well. He didn’t really care if there was something I wanted to say or not. He didn’t care if my opinion was different from his or if I thought he should do something differently. He was just reminding me who the boss was. AKA not me. Asswipe. “Me?” I blinked. “Nope.” He gave me a lazy glare before his eyes lowered to focus on the hand I had hidden on the other side of the kitchen island. “Then quit flipping me off. I’m not changing my mind about the signing,” he said in a deceptively casual voice. I pressed my lips together as I dropped my hand. He was a goddamn witch. I swear on my life, he was a freaking witch. A wizard. An oracle. A person with a third eye. Every single time I had ever flipped him off, he’d been aware of it. I didn’t think I was that obvious about it either.
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
A man is NOT weak if he cries. A man is NOT a punk if he cries. A man is NOT acting like a little b*tch if he cries. He’s a Man! And he’s allowed to have and show his true feelings without feeling less than. Ladies, some of you need to do better. Learn to be compassionate, loving, supportive, and understanding. There’s NOTHING wrong with a man being vulnerable. I encourage you to be his joy, peace, and his safe place. Lift him up and be mindful NOT to tear him down. If you truly care for and love your man, do and say everything with love. Let him know that it’s okay to cry and that he doesn’t have to pretend to be okay when he’s not. Real men DO cry! They experience sadness, disappointments, pain, and many other feelings. A man shouldn’t have to suppress his emotions. That’s pure nonsense! A man that can cry, smile, and let his guards down is a keeper in my book. I couldn’t imagine acting hard all of the time. That’s so unfair! Ladies, strive to be a Queen of substance. PEACE.
Stephanie Lahart
The wise man … does not need to walk about timidly or cautiously: for he possesses such self-confidence that he does not hesitate to go to meet fortune nor will he ever yield his position to her: nor has he any reason to fear her, because he considers not only slaves, property, and positions of honor, but also his body, his eyes, his hands, — everything which can make life dearer, even his very self, as among uncertain things, and lives as if he had borrowed them for his own use and was prepared to return them without sadness whenever claimed. Nor does he appear worthless in his own eyes because he knows that he is not his own, but he will do everything as diligently and carefully as a conscientious and pious man is accustomed to guard that which is entrusted in his care. Yet whenever he is ordered to return them, he will not complain to fortune, but will say: “I thank you for this which I have had in my possession. I have indeed cared for your property, — even to my great disadvantage, — but, since you command it, I give it back to you and restore it thankfully and willingly…” If nature should demand of us that which she has previously entrusted to us, we will also say to her: “Take back a better mind than you gave: I seek no way of escape nor flee: I have voluntarily improved for you what you gave me without my knowledge; take it away.” What hardship is there in returning to the place whence one has come? That man lives badly who does not know how to die well.
Moses Hadas (The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters)
I beg your pardon, Mrs. Graham - but you get on too fast. I have not yet said that a boy should be taught to rush into the snares of life, - or even wilfully to seek temptation for the sake of exercising his virtue by overcoming it; - I only say that it is better to arm and strengthen your hero, than to disarm and enfeeble the foe; - and if you were to rear an oak sapling in a hothouse, tending it carefully night and day, and shielding it from every breath of wind, you could not expect it to become a hardy tree, like that which has grown up on the mountain-side, exposed to all the action of the elements, and not even sheltered from the shock of the tempest.' 'Granted; - but would you use the same argument with regard to a girl?' 'Certainly not.' 'No; you would have her to be tenderly and delicately nurtured, like a hot-house plant - taught to cling to others for direction and support, and guarded, as much as possible, from the very knowledge of evil. But will you be so good as to inform me why you make this distinction? Is it that you think she has no virtue?' 'Assuredly not.' 'Well, but you affirm that virtue is only elicited by temptation; - and you think that a woman cannot be too little exposed to temptation, or too little acquainted with vice, or anything connected therewith. It must be either that you think she is essentially so vicious, or so feeble-minded, that she cannot withstand temptation, - and though she may be pure and innocent as long as she is kept in ignorance and restraint, yet, being destitute of real virtue, to teach her how to sin is at once to make her a sinner, and the greater her knowledge, the wider her liberty, the deeper will be her depravity, - whereas, in the nobler sex, there is a natural tendency to goodness, guarded by a superior fortitude, which, the more it is exercised by trials and dangers, is only the further developed - ' 'Heaven forbid that I should think so!' I interrupted her at last." 'Well, then, it must be that you think they are both weak and prone to err, and the slightest error, the merest shadow of pollution, will ruin the one, while the character of the other will be strengthened and embellished - his education properly finished by a little practical acquaintance with forbidden things. Such experience, to him (to use a trite simile), will be like the storm to the oak, which, though it may scatter the leaves, and snap the smaller branches, serves but to rivet the roots, and to harden and condense the fibres of the tree. You would have us encourage our sons to prove all things by their own experience, while our daughters must not even profit by the experience of others. Now I would have both so to benefit by the experience of others, and the precepts of a higher authority, that they should know beforehand to refuse the evil and choose the good, and require no experimental proofs to teach them the evil of transgression. I would not send a poor girl into the world, unarmed against her foes, and ignorant of the snares that beset her path; nor would I watch and guard her, till, deprived of self-respect and self-reliance, she lost the power or the will to watch and guard herself; - and as for my son - if I thought he would grow up to be what you call a man of the world - one that has "seen life," and glories in his experience, even though he should so far profit by it as to sober down, at length, into a useful and respected member of society - I would rather that he died to-morrow! - rather a thousand times!' she earnestly repeated, pressing her darling to her side and kissing his forehead with intense affection. He had already left his new companion, and been standing for some time beside his mother's knee, looking up into her face, and listening in silent wonder to her incomprehensible discourse. Anne Bronte, "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" (24,25)
Anne Brontë
Few humans frequented the deep forest there because of its wild lands, wild animals, and wild legends. In the chamber below the earth, Gregori roused himself several times, always on guard, always aware, asleep or awake, of those around him and the region surrounding them. In his mind he sought the child. She was brave and intelligent, a warm, living creature shedding a glow of light into his unrelenting darkness. His silver eyes pierced the veil of sleep to stare up at the dirt above his head. He was so close to turning, far closer than either Raven or Mikhail suspected he was holding on by his fingernails. ..All feeling had left him so long ago that he could not remember warmth or happiness. He had only the power of the kill and his memories of Mikhail’s friendship to keep him going. He turned his head to look at Raven’s slight form. You must live, small one. You must live to save our race, to save all of mankind. There is no one alive on this earth who could stop me. Live for me, for your parents. Something stirred in his mind. Shocked that an unborn child could exhibit such power and intelligence, he nonetheless felt its presence, tiny, wavering, unsure. All the same the being was there, and he latched on to it, sheltered it close to his heart for a long while before he reluctantly allowed himself to sleep again.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
I draw myself up next to her and look at her profile, making no effort to disguise my attention, here, where there is only Puck to see me. The evening sun loves her throat and her cheekbones. Her hair the color of cliff grass rises and falls over her face in the breeze. Her expression is less ferocious than usual, less guarded. I say, “Are you afraid?” Her eyes are far away on the horizon line, out to the west where the sun has gone but the glow remains. Somewhere out there are my capaill uisce, George Holly’s America, every gallon of water that every ship rides on. Puck doesn’t look away from the orange glow at the end of the world. “Tell me what it’s like. The race.” What it’s like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It’s the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It’s speed, if you’re lucky. It’s life and it’s death or it’s both and there’s nothing like it. Once upon a time, this moment — this last light of evening the day before the race — was the best moment of the year for me. The anticipation of the game to come. But that was when all I had to lose was my life. “There’s no one braver than you on that beach.” Her voice is dismissive. “That doesn’t matter.” “It does. I meant what I said at the festival. This island cares nothing for love but it favors the brave.” Now she looks at me. She’s fierce and red, indestructible and changeable, everything that makes Thisby what it is. She asks, “Do you feel brave?” The mare goddess had told me to make another wish. It feels thin as a thread to me now, that gift of a wish. I remember the years when it felt like a promise. “I don’t know what I feel, Puck.” Puck unfolds her arms just enough to keep her balance as she leans to me, and when we kiss, she closes her eyes. She draws back and looks into my face. I have not moved, and she barely has, but the world feels strange beneath me. “Tell me what to wish for,” I say. “Tell me what to ask the sea for.” “To be happy. Happiness.” I close my eyes. My mind is full of Corr, of the ocean, of Puck Connolly’s lips on mine. “I don’t think such a thing is had on Thisby. And if it is, I don’t know how you would keep it.” The breeze blows across my closed eyelids, scented with brine and rain and winter. I can hear the ocean rocking against the island, a constant lullaby. Puck’s voice is in my ear; her breath warms my neck inside my jacket collar. “You whisper to it. What it needs to hear. Isn’t that what you said?” I tilt my head so that her mouth is on my skin. The kiss is cold where the wind blows across my cheek. Her forehead rests against my hair. I open my eyes, and the sun has gone. I feel as if the ocean is inside me, wild and uncertain. “That’s what I said. What do I need to hear?” Puck whispers, “That tomorrow we’ll rule the Scorpio Races as king and queen of Skarmouth and I’ll save the house and you’ll have your stallion. Dove will eat golden oats for the rest of her days and you will terrorize the races each year and people will come from every island in the world to find out how it is you get horses to listen to you. The piebald will carry Mutt Malvern into the sea and Gabriel will decide to stay on the island. I will have a farm and you will bring me bread for dinner.” I say, “That is what I needed to hear.” “Do you know what to wish for now?” I swallow. I have no wishing-shell to throw into the sea when I say it, but I know that the ocean hears me nonetheless. “To get what I need.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
When I look at him, I don’t see the cowardly young man who sold me out to Jeanine Matthews, and I don’t hear the excuses he gave afterward. When I look at him, I see the boy who held my hand in the hospital when our mother broke her wrist and told me it would be all right. I see the brother who told me to make my own choices, the night before the Choosing Ceremony. I think of all the remarkable things he is--smart and enthusiastic and observant, quiet and earnest and kind. He is a part of me, always will be, and I am a part of him, too. I don’t belong to Abnegation, or Dauntless, or even the Divergent. I don’t belong to the Bureau or the experiment or the fringe. I belong to the people I love, and they belong to me--they, and the love and loyalty I give them, form my identity far more than any word or group ever could. I love my brother. I love him, and he is quaking with terror at the thought of death. I love him and all I can think, all I can hear in my mind, are the words I said to him a few days ago: I would never deliver you to your own execution. “Caleb,” I say. “Give me the backpack.” “What?” he says. I slip my hand under the back of my shirt and grab my gun. I point it at him. “Give me the backpack.” “Tris, no.” He shakes his head. “No, I won’t let you do that.” “Put down your weapon!” the guard screams at the end of the hallway. “Put down your weapon or we will fire!” “I might survive the death serum,” I say. “I’m good at fighting off serums. There’s a chance I’ll survive. There’s no chance you would survive. Give me the backpack or I’ll shoot you in the leg and take it from you.” Then I raise my voice so the guards can hear me. “He’s my hostage! Come any closer and I’ll kill him!” In that moment he reminds me of our father. His eyes are tired and sad. There’s a shadow of a beard on his chin. His hands shake as he pulls the backpack to the front of his body and offers it to me. I take it and swing it over my shoulder. I keep my gun pointed at him and shift so he’s blocking my view of the soldiers at the end of the hallway. “Caleb,” I say, “I love you.” His eyes gleam with tears as he says, “I love you, too, Beatrice.” “Get down on the floor!” I yell, for the benefit of the guards. Caleb sinks to his knees. “If I don’t survive,” I say, “tell Tobias I didn’t want to leave him.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
The gruff murmur, irregularly broken by the taking out of pipes and the putting in of pipes which had kept on assuring her, though she could not hear what was said (as she sat in the window which opened on the terrace), that the men were happily talking; this sound, which had lasted now half an hour and had taken its place soothingly in the scale of sounds pressing on top of her, such as the tap of balls upon bats, the sharp, sudden bark now and then, "How's that? How's that?" of the children playing cricket, had ceased; so that the monotonous fall of the waves on the beach, which for the most part beat a measured and soothing tattoo to her thoughts and seemed consolingly to repeat over and over again as she sat with the children the words of some old cradle song, murmured by nature, "I am guarding you––I am your support," but at other times suddenly and unexpectedly, especially when her mind raised itself slightly from the task actually in hand, had no such kindly meaning, but like a ghostly roll of drums remorselessly beat the measure of life, made one think of the destruction of the island and its engulfment in the sea, and warned her whose day had slipped past in one quick doing after another that it was all ephemeral as a rainbow––this sound which had been obscured and concealed under the other sounds suddenly thundered hollow in her ears and made her look up with an impulse of terror.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Groups have powerful self-reinforcing mechanisms at work. These can lead to group polarization—a tendency for members of the group to end up in a more extreme position than they started in because they have heard the views repeated frequently. At the extreme limit of group behavior is groupthink. This occurs when a group makes faulty decisions because group pressures lead to a deterioration of “mental efficiency, reality testing, and moral judgment.” The original work was conducted with reference to the Vietnam War and the Bay of Pigs fiasco. However, it rears its head again and again, whether it is in connection with the Challenger space shuttle disaster or the CIA intelligence failure over the WMD of Saddam Hussein. Groupthink tends to have eight symptoms: 1 . An illusion of invulnerability. This creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks. [...] 2. Collective rationalization. Members of the group discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions. [...] 3. Belief in inherent morality. Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions. 4. Stereotyped views of out-groups. Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary. Remember how those who wouldn't go along with the dot-com bubble were dismissed as simply not getting it. 5. Direct pressure on dissenters. Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views. 6. Self-censorship. Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed. 7. Illusion of unanimity. The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous. 8. "Mind guards" are appointed. Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group's cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions. This is confirmatory bias writ large.
James Montier (The Little Book of Behavioral Investing: How not to be your own worst enemy)
It wasn’t until Clay felt the sand under his talons and heard the roaring of the dragons in the stands that he realized he hadn’t quite thought this plan through. He had no idea what his fighting skills would be like against an unknown dragon. His mind went blank as the SkyWing guards dropped a hissing IceWing onto the ground opposite him. Did he know anything about IceWings? The sun was high in the sky, and it was much warmer in the arena than up on their prison spires. Clay could see beads of silvery liquid dripping through the IceWing’s glacier-blue scales. Above them, Queen Scarlet smirked from her balcony, with Glory sleeping serenely beside her. The same SkyWing announcer from the day before strutted to the center of the arena and bellowed at the crowd. “After last month’s battle with Blaze’s army, our queen’s dungeons were stuffed with IceWing prisoners of war. Only nine have survived. After two wins, I give you — Fjord of the IceWings!” Fjord lashed his tail and snarled at Clay. “And in this corner, an unusual case — a MudWing, but not one of our allies. No, this dragonet was found hiding under our mountains, protected by the Talons of Peace. Is he one of the dragonets of destiny? Not if he loses this battle!” A murmur of laughter rippled around the seats, but in the closest faces Clay could see expressions of uneasiness and, he thought, concern. He spotted a large MudWing in one of the balconies, frowning down at him. Try to stop this, Clay thought at him, praying hard. Do something! I’m one of you! But the MudWing shifted his gaze away, as if he didn’t want to watch but couldn’t afford to leave. The SkyWing announcer went on. “If these prophesied dragonets are as wonderful and legendary as they’re supposed to be, this should be a showdown to remember. I hope you’re prepared to impress us, dragon of the mud. I present to you … Clay of the MudWings! Claws up, teeth ready! Fight!” Clay
Tui T. Sutherland (The Dragonet Prophecy (Wings of Fire, #1))
There was a note on the table.” “Bring it here,” Van Eck barked. The boy strode down the aisle, and Van Eck snatched the note from his hand. “What does it … what does it say?” asked Bajan. His voice was tremulous. Maybe Inej had been right about Alys and the music teacher. Van Eck backhanded him. “If I find out you knew anything about this—” “I didn’t!” Bajan cried. “I knew nothing. I followed your orders to the letter!” Van Eck crumpled the note in his fist, but not before Inej made out the words in Kaz’s jagged, unmistakable hand: Noon tomorrow. Goedmedbridge. With her knives. “The note was weighted down with this.” The boy reached into his pocket and drew out a tie pin—a fat ruby surrounded by golden laurel leaves. Kaz had stolen it from Van Eck back when they’d first been hired for the Ice Court job. Inej hadn’t had the chance to fence it before they left Ketterdam. Somehow Kaz must have gotten hold of it again. “Brekker,” Van Eck snarled, his voice taut with rage. Inej couldn’t help it. She started to laugh. Van Eck slapped her hard. He grabbed her tunic and shook her so that her bones rattled. “Brekker thinks we’re still playing a game, does he? She is my wife. She carries my heir.” Inej laughed even harder, all the horrors of the past week rising from her chest in giddy peals. She wasn’t sure she could have stopped if she wanted to. “And you were foolish enough to tell Kaz all of that on Vellgeluk.” “Shall I have Franke fetch the mallet and show you just how serious I am?” “Mister Van Eck,” Bajan pleaded. But Inej was done being frightened of this man. Before Van Eck could take another breath, she slammed her forehead upward, shattering his nose. He screamed and released her as blood gushed over his fine mercher suit. Instantly, his guards were on her, pulling her back. “You little wretch,” Van Eck said, holding a monogrammed handkerchief to his face. “You little whore. I’ll take a hammer to both your legs myself—” “Go on, Van Eck, threaten me. Tell me all the little things I am. You lay a finger on me and Kaz Brekker will cut the baby from your pretty wife’s stomach and hang its body from a balcony at the Exchange.” Ugly words, speech that pricked her conscience, but Van Eck deserved the images she’d planted in his mind. Though she didn’t believe Kaz would do such a thing, she felt grateful for each nasty, vicious thing Dirtyhands had done to earn his reputation—a reputation that would haunt Van Eck every second until his wife was returned. “Be silent,” he shouted, spittle flying from his mouth. “You think he won’t?” Inej taunted. She could feel the heat in her cheek from where his hand had struck her, could see the mallet still resting in the guard’s hand. Van Eck had given her fear and she was happy to return it to him. “Vile, ruthless, amoral. Isn’t that why you hired Kaz in the first place? Because he does the things that no one else dares? Go on, Van Eck. Break my legs and see what happens. Dare him.” Had she really believed a merch could outthink Kaz Brekker? Kaz would get her free and then they’d show this man exactly what whores and canal rats could do. “Console yourself,” she said as Van Eck clutched the ragged corner of the table for support. “Even better men can be bested.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
Though all the brilliant intellects of the ages were to concentrate upon this one theme, never could they adequately express their wonder at this dense darkness of the human mind. Men do not suffer anyone to seize their estates, and they rush to stones and arms if there is even the slightest dispute about the limit of their lands, yet they allow others to trespass upon their life—nay, they themselves even lead in those who will eventually possess it. No one is to be found who is willing to distribute his money, yet among how many does each one of us distribute his life! In guarding their fortune men are often closefisted, yet, when it comes to the matter of wasting time, in the case of the one thing in which it is right to be miserly, they show themselves most prodigal. And so I should like to lay hold upon someone from the company of older men and say: "I see that you have reached the farthest limit of human life, you are pressing hard upon your hundredth year, or are even beyond it; come now, recall your life and make a reckoning. Consider how much of your time was taken up with a moneylender, how much with a mistress, how much with a patron, how much with a client, how much in wrangling with your wife, how much in punishing your slaves, how much in rushing about the city on social duties. Add the diseases which we have caused by our own acts, add, too, the time that has lain idle and unused; you will see that you have fewer years to your credit than you count. Look back in memory and consider when you ever had a fixed plan, how few days have passed as you had intended, when you were ever at your own disposal, when your face ever wore its natural expression, when your mind was ever unperturbed, what work you have achieved in so long a life, how many have robbed you of life when you were not aware of what you were losing, how much was taken up in useless sorrow, in foolish joy, in greedy desire, in the allurements of society, how little of yourself was left to you; you will perceive that you are dying before your season!"7 What, then, is the reason of this? You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last. You have all the fears of mortals and all the desires of immortals. You will hear many men saying: "After my fiftieth year I shall retire into leisure, my sixtieth year shall release me from public duties." And what guarantee, pray, have you that your life will last longer? Who will suffer your course to be just as you plan it? Are you not ashamed to reserve for yourself only the remnant of life, and to set apart for wisdom only that time which cannot be devoted to any business? How late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life: Life Is Long if You Know How to Use It (Penguin Great Ideas))
You have something to say to me, Cassidy, say it. Or shut the fuck up.” “All right,” Jules said. “I will.” He took a deep breath. Exhaled. “Okay, see, I, well, I love you. Very, very much, and . . .” Where to go from here . . .? Except, his plain-spoken words earned him not just a glance but Max’s sudden full and complete attention. Which was a little alarming. But it was the genuine concern in Max’s eyes that truly caught Jules off-guard. Max actually thought . . . Jules laughed his surprise. “Oh! No, not like that. I meant it, you know, in a totally platonic, non-gay way.” Jules saw comprehension and relief on Max’s face. The man was tired if he was letting such basic emotions show. “Sorry.” Max even smiled. “I just . . .” He let out a burst of air. “I mean, talk about making things even more complicated . . .” It was amazing. Max hadn’t recoiled in horror at the idea. His concern had been for Jules, about potentially hurting his tender feelings. And even now, he wasn’t trying to turn it all into a bad joke. And he claimed they weren’t friends. Jules felt his throat tighten. “You can’t know,” he told his friend quietly, “how much I appreciate your acceptance and respect.” “My father was born in India,” Max told him, “in 1930. His mother was white—American. His father was not just Indian, but lower caste. The intolerance he experienced both there and later, even in America, made him a . . . very bitter, very hard, very, very unhappy man.” He glanced at Jules again. “I know personality plays into it, and maybe you’re just stronger than he was, but . . . People get knocked down all the time. They can either stay there, wallow in it, or . . . Do what you’ve done—what you do. So yeah. I respect you more than you know.” Holy shit. Weeping was probably a bad idea, so Jules grabbed onto the alternative. He made a joke. “I wasn’t aware that you even had a father. I mean, rumors going around the office have you arriving via flying saucer—” “I would prefer not to listen to aimless chatter all night long,” Max interrupted him. “So if you’ve made your point . . .?” Ouch. “Okay,” Jules said. “I’m so not going to wallow in that. Because I do have a point. See, I said what I said because I thought I’d take the talk-to-an-eight-year-old approach with you. You know, tell you how much I love you and how great you are in part one of the speech—” “Speech.” Max echoed. “Because part two is heavily loaded with the silent-but-implied ‘you are such a freaking idiot.’” “Ah, Christ,” Max muttered. “So, I love you,” Jules said again, “in a totally buddy-movie way, and I just want to say that I also really love working for you, and I hope to God you’ll come back so I can work for you again. See, I love the fact that you’re my leader not because you were appointed by some suit, but because you earned very square inch of that gorgeous corner office. I love you because you’re not just smart, you’re open-minded—you’re willing to talk to people who have a different point of view, and when they speak, you’re willing to listen. Like right now, for instance. You’re listening, right?” “No.” “Liar.” Jules kept going. “You know, the fact that so many people would sell their grandmother to become a part of your team is not an accident. Sir, you’re beyond special—and your little speech to me before just clinched it. You scare us to death because we’re afraid we won’t be able to live up to your high standards. But your back is strong, you always somehow manage to carry us with you even when we falter. “Some people don’t see that; they don’t really get you—all they know is they would charge into hell without hesitation if you gave the order to go. But see, what I know is that you’d be right there, out in front—they’d have to run to keep up with you. You never flinch. You never hesitate. You never rest.
Suzanne Brockmann (Breaking Point (Troubleshooters, #9))