Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.
Maxim Gorky (The Lower Depths and Other Plays)
Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... There are just some kind of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
A star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you. And then you have to put it back into the sky. And it's the most painful thing you'll ever have to do and that you've ever done. But what's yours is yours. Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands. And one day, it'll fall from the sky and hit you in the head real hard and that time, you won't have to put it back in the sky again.
C. JoyBell C.
To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. But most of all, I learned that life is about sitting on benches next to ancient creeks with my hand on her knee and sometimes, on good days, for falling in love.
I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.
All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
"So we can believe the big ones?"
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
"They're not the same at all!"
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"
MY POINT EXACTLY.
Terry Pratchett (Hogfather (Discworld, #20; Death, #4))
She whirled when the monster was almost on top of her. I thought the thing in her hands was an umbrella until she cranked the pump and the shotgun blast blew the giant twenty feet backwards, right into Nico's sword.
"Nice one," Paul said.
"When did you learn to fire a shotgun?" I demanded.
My mom blew the hair out of her face. "About two seconds ago. Percy, we'll be fine. Go!
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.
We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.
We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.
These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...
Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.
Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.
Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.
Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday.
It is not so much about what life hands you, but what you do with what you get.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
I’ve had many enemies over the years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never engage in a fight you’re sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you’re in a position of strength—even if you no longer need to strike back.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1))
That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife's slain body in his arms.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
Sometimes life gets in your
it gets all up in your damn
But it doesn't get all up in your damn way
because it wants you to just
and let it
Life doesn't get all up in your damn way because it just wants you to
Life wants you to
Learn how to make it your
it wants you to grab and
It wants you to get a
It wants you to grab a
through the metal and
until you can reach through and
Life wants you to
It wants you to mix it all
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
the year of letting go, of understanding loss. grace. of the word ‘no’ and also being able to say ‘you are not kind’. the year of humanity/humility. when the whole world couldn’t get out of bed. everyone i’ve met this year, says the same thing ‘you are so easy to be around, how do you do that?’. the year i broke open and dug out all the rot with own hands. the year i learnt small talk. and how to smile at strangers. the year i understood that i am my best when i reach out and ask ‘do you want to be my friend?’. the year of sugar, everywhere. softness. sweetness. honey honey. the year of being alone, and learning how much i like it. the year of hugging people i don’t know, because i want to know them. the year i made peace and love, right here.
He took something out of his jacket and handed it to her. It was a long thin dagger in a leather sheath. The hilt of the dagger was set with a single red stone carved in the shape of a rose.
She shook her head. "I wouldn't even know how to use that--"
He pressed it into her hand, curling her fingers around it. "You'd learn." He dropped his voice. "It's in your blood."
She drew her hand back slowly. "All right."
"I could give you a thigh sheath to put that in," Isabelle offered. "I've got tons."
"CERTAINLY NOT," said Simon.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
Xenophilius Lovegood," he said, extending a hand to Harry. "My daughter and I live over the hill, so kind of the Weasleys to invite us. I think you know my Luna?" he added to Ron.
"Yes" said Ron. "Isn't she with you?"
"She lingered in that charming little garden to say hello to the gnomes, such a glorious infestation! How few wizards realize just how much we can learn from the wise little gnomes — or, to give then their correct names, the Gernumbli gardensi."
"Ours do know a lot of excellent swear words," said Ron, "but I think Fred and George taught them those.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten):
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
3. Don't hit people.
4. Put things back where you found them.
5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
6. Don't take things that aren't yours.
7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody.
8. Wash your hands before you eat.
10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
12. Take a nap every afternoon.
13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
No killing,” Jordan said. “We’re trying to make you feel peaceful, so you don’t go up in flames. Blood, killing, war, those are all non-peaceful things. Isn’t there anything else you like? Rainforests? Chirping birds?”
“Weapons,” said Jace. “I like weapons.”
“I’m starting to think we have a problematic issue of personal philosophy here.”
Jace leaned forward, his palms flat on the ground. “I’m a warrior,” he said. “I was brought up as a warrior. I didn’t have toys, I had weapons. I slept with a wooden sword until I was five. My first books were medieval demonologies with illuminated pages. The first songs I learned were chants to banish demons. I know what brings me peace, and it isn’t sandy beaches or chirping birds in rainforests. I want a weapon in my hand and a strategy to win.”
Jordan looked at him levelly. “So you’re saying that what brings you peace … is war.”
“Now you get it.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
It was the pure Language of the World. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it's easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it's in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one's dreams would have no meaning.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
This is a long goodbye, yet not time enough. I have no aptitude for this. I cannot learn this. I would hold on, and hold on, until my hands clutch at emptiness.
Juliet Marillier (Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters, #2))
It is our suffering that brings us together. It is not love. Love does not obey the mind, and turns to hate when forced. The bond that binds us is beyond choice. We are brothers. We are brothers in what we share. In pain, which each of us must suffer alone, in hunger, in poverty, in hope, we know our brotherhood. We know it, because we have had to learn it. We know that there is no help for us but from one another, that no hand will save us if we do not reach out our hand. And the hand that you reach out is empty, as mine is. You have nothing. You possess nothing. You own nothing. You are free. All you have is what you are, and what you give.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Dispossessed (Hainish Cycle, #6))
If I should have a daughter…“Instead of “Mom”, she’s gonna call me “Point B.” Because that way, she knows that no matter what happens, at least she can always find her way to me. And I’m going to paint the solar system on the back of her hands so that she has to learn the entire universe before she can say “Oh, I know that like the back of my hand.”
She’s gonna learn that this life will hit you, hard, in the face, wait for you to get back up so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air. There is hurt, here, that cannot be fixed by band-aids or poetry, so the first time she realizes that Wonder-woman isn’t coming, I’ll make sure she knows she doesn’t have to wear the cape all by herself. Because no matter how wide you stretch your fingers, your hands will always be too small to catch all the pain you want to heal. Believe me, I’ve tried.
And “Baby,” I’ll tell her “don’t keep your nose up in the air like that, I know that trick, you’re just smelling for smoke so you can follow the trail back to a burning house so you can find the boy who lost everything in the fire to see if you can save him. Or else, find the boy who lit the fire in the first place to see if you can change him.”
But I know that she will anyway, so instead I’ll always keep an extra supply of chocolate and rain boats nearby, ‘cause there is no heartbreak that chocolate can’t fix. Okay, there’s a few heartbreaks chocolate can’t fix. But that’s what the rain boots are for, because rain will wash away everything if you let it.
I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.
You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.
And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.
“Baby,” I’ll tell her “remember your mama is a worrier but your papa is a warrior and you are the girl with small hands and big eyes who never stops asking for more.”
Remember that good things come in threes and so do bad things and always apologize when you’ve done something wrong but don’t you ever apologize for the way your eyes refuse to stop shining.
Your voice is small but don’t ever stop singing and when they finally hand you heartbreak, slip hatred and war under your doorstep and hand you hand-outs on street corners of cynicism and defeat, you tell them that they really ought to meet your mother.
What do you want to show me?"
"Nothing, really. I just want to be alone with you for a minute."
He pulled her to the back of the driveway, where they were almost completely hidden by a line of trees and the RV and the garage.
"Seriously?" she said. "That was so lame."
"I know," he said, turning to her. "Next time, I'll just say, 'Eleanor, follow me down this dark alley, I want to kiss you.'"
She didn't roll her eyes. She took a breath, then closed her mouth. He was learning how to catch her off guard.
She pushed her hands deeper in her pockets, so he put his hands on her elbows. "Next time," he said, "I'll just say, 'Eleanor, duck behind these bushes with me, I'm going to lose my mind if I don't kiss you.'"
She didn't move, so he thought it was probably okay to touch her face. Her skin was as soft as it looked, white and smooth as freckled porcelain.
"I'll just say, 'Eleanor, follow me down this rabbit hole...'"
He laid his thumb on her lips to see if she'd pull away. She didn't. He leaned closer. He wanted to close his eyes, but he didn't trust her not to leave him standing there.
Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park)
Think what a better world it would be if we all-the whole world-had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are-when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
You may be right. I think it was round about Christmas when I got my Welsh dragon tattoo.”
At that, Tessa had to try very hard not to blush. “How did that happen?”
Will made an airy gesture with his hand. “I was drunk…”
“Nonsense. You were never really drunk.”
“On the contrary—in order to learn how to pretend to be inebriated, once must become inebriated at least once, as a reference point. Six-Fingered Nigel had been at the mulled cider—“
“You can’t mean there’s truly a Six-Fingered Nigel?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
1. I’m brilliant
2. I’m charming
3. I’m hung like a thoroughbred
4. I’ve stopped all philandering
5. I’m highly skilled, as you’ve learned the other night.
P.S. Stop staring at my hands. I know what you want me to with them.
K.A. Tucker (One Tiny Lie (Ten Tiny Breaths, #2))
I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don't know. I don't really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life. If it hadn't... I might have become as awful as that prick we're going to face today. If I had not met an Illyrian warrior-in-training," he said to Cassian, "I would not have known the true depths of strength, of resilience, of honor and loyalty." Cassian's eyes gleamed bright. Rhys said to Azriel, "If I had not met a shadowsinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair." Azriel bowed his head in thanks.
Mor was already crying when Rhys spoke to her. "If I had not met my cousin, I would neer have learned that light can be found in even the darkest of hells. That kidness can thrive even amongst cruelty." She wiped away her teas as she nodded.
I waited for Amren to offer a retort. But she was only waiting.
Rhys bowed his head to her. "If I had not met a tiny monster who hoards jewels more fiercely than a firedrake..." A quite laugh from all of us at that. Rhys smiled softly. "My own power would have consumed me long ago."
Rhys squeezed my hand as he looked to me at last. "And if I had not met my mate..." His words failed him as silver lined his eyes.
He said down the bond, I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have... The wait was worth it.
He wiped away the tears sliding down my face. "I believe that everything happened, exactly the way it had to... so I could find you." He kissed another tear away.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
When a baby comes into the world, its hands are clenched, right? Like this?" He made a fist. "Why? Because a baby not knowing any better, wants to grab everything, to say the whole world is mine. But when an old person dies, how does he do so? With his hands open. Why? Because he has learned his lesson." "What lesson?" I asked. He stretched open his empty fingers. "We can take nothing with us.
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
Abe held my gaze a bit longer and then broke into an easy smile. ʺOf course, of course. This is a family gathering. A celebration. And look: hereʹs our newest member.ʺ
Dimitri had joined us and wore black and white like my mother and me. He stood beside me, conspicuously not touching. ʺMr. Mazur,ʺ he said formally, nodding a greeting to both of them. ʺGuardian Hathaway.ʺ
Dimitri was seven years older than me, but right then, facing my parents, he looked like he was sixteen and about to pick me up for a date.
ʺAh, Belikov,ʺ said Abe, shaking Dimitriʹs hand. ʺIʹd been hoping weʹd run into each other. Iʹd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. Thatʹs what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. Iʹve certainly got a lot of questions Iʹd like to ask you. A lot of things Iʹd like to tell you too.ʺ
I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved.
ʺActually,ʺ said my mom casually. ʺIʹd like to come along. I also have a number of questions—especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimirʹs.ʺ
ʺDonʹt you guys have somewhere to be?ʺ I asked hastily. ʺWeʹre about to start.ʺ
That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. ʺOf course,ʺ said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. ʺIʹm glad youʹre back.ʺ Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri:
ʺLooking forward to our chat.ʺ
ʺRun,ʺ I said when they were gone. ʺIf you slip out now, maybe they wonʹt notice. Go back to Siberia."
"Actually," said Dimitri, "I'm pretty sure Abe would notice. Don't worry, Roza. I'm not afraid. I'll take whatever heat they give me over being with you. It's worth it.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.
George Orwell (1984)
I feel a resurgence of my 6-year-old self… that little warrior, goddess of a girl reminding me of who I was when I was little, before the world got its hands on me.
Jennifer Elisabeth (Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl)
With one day's reading a man may have the key in his hands.
There are four things that lead to wisdom. You ready for them?'
She nodded, wondering when the police work would begin.
"They are four sentences we learn to say, and mean." Gamache held up his hand as a fist and raised a finger with each point. "I don't know. I need help. I'm sorry. I was wrong'.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1))
Then I learned that I could bend the world to my will, as a bow is bent for an arrow. I would have done that toil a thousand times to keep such power in my hands.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.
Mary Jean Irion
I’ve learned that a storm isn’t always just bad weather, and a fire can be the start of something. I’ve found out that there are a lot more shades of gray in this world than I ever knew about. I’ve learned that sometimes, when you´re afraid but you keep on moving forward, that’s the biggest kind of courage there is. And finally, I’ve learned that life isn’t really about failure and success. It’s about being present, in the moment when big things happen, when everything changes, including yourself.
Cynthia Hand (Hallowed (Unearthly, #2))
For such is the nature of man, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; Yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves: For they see their own wit at hand, and other mens at a distance.
Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan)
Your thoughts about your circumstances have you down. On the other hand, you can be in one of the biggest battles of your life, and still be filled with joy and peace and victory - if you simply learn how to choose the right thought. It’s time to think about what you’re thinking about.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
I have never seen much point in getting heavy with stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I... And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (The Gonzo Papers, #1))
I am learning peacefulness, lying by myself quietly, as the light lies on these white walls, this bed, these hands. I am nobody; I have nothing to do with explosions.
Sylvia Plath (Ariel)
It’s the spirit here that counts. The time may be long, the vehicle may be strange or unexpected. But if the dream is held close to the heart, and imagination is applied to what there is close at hand, everything is still possible.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
He couldn’t say the words, had spent too long in Silence, but he’d learned other ways to speak. Taking the paperweight she’d knocked off her desk out of his pocket, he put it in her hands. “It’s fixed. As long as you don’t mind more than a few scars.
Nalini Singh (Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling, #10))
Suddenly, all I can think about are all the things I don't know about him. All the things I never had time to learn. I don't know if his feet are ticklish or how long his toes are. I don't know what nightmares he had as a child. I don't know which stars are his favorites, what shapes he sees in the clouds. I don't know what he is truly afraid of or what memories he holds closest.
And I don't have enough time now, never enough time. I want to be in the moment with him, feel his body against mine and think of nothing else, but my mind explodes with grief for all that I am missing. All that I will miss. All that I have wasted.
Carrie Ryan (The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1))
Those prancing little pants-wetters come here to learn the colorful and gentlemanly art of fencing, with its many sporting limitations and its proscriptions against dishonorable engagements. You on the other hand, you are going to learn how to kill men with a sword.
Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1))
No chance. It'd be like cutting off our hands."
"Then learn to live without your hands."
"No, because then we won't be able to do this," Ben says, giving him the finger [...]
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
I would traverse not once more, but often the hell of my inner being. One day I would be a better hand at the game. One day I would learn how to laugh. Pablo was waiting for me, and Mozart too.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
The letter had been crumpled up and tossed onto the grate. It had burned all around the edges, so the names at the top and bottom had gone up in smoke. But there was enough of the bold black scrawl to reveal that it had indeed been a love letter. And as Hannah read the singed and half-destroyed parchment, she was forced to turn away to hide the trembling of her hand.
—should warn you that this letter will not be eloquent. However, it will be sincere, especially in light of the fact that you will never read it. I have felt these words like a weight in my chest, until I find myself amazed that a heart can go on beating under such a burden.
I love you. I love you desperately, violently, tenderly, completely. I want you in ways that I know you would find shocking. My love, you don't belong with a man like me. In the past I've done things you wouldn't approve of, and I've done them ten times over. I have led a life of immoderate sin. As it turns out, I'm just as immoderate in love. Worse, in fact.
I want to kiss every soft place of you, make you blush and faint, pleasure you until you weep, and dry every tear with my lips. If you only knew how I crave the taste of you. I want to take you in my hands and mouth and feast on you. I want to drink wine and honey from you.
I want you under me. On your back.
I'm sorry. You deserve more respect than that. But I can't stop thinking of it. Your arms and legs around me. Your mouth, open for my kisses. I need too much of you. A lifetime of nights spent between your thighs wouldn't be enough.
I want to talk with you forever. I remember every word you've ever said to me.
If only I could visit you as a foreigner goes into a new country, learn the language of you, wander past all borders into every private and secret place, I would stay forever. I would become a citizen of you.
You would say it's too soon to feel this way. You would ask how I could be so certain. But some things can't be measured by time. Ask me an hour from now. Ask me a month from now. A year, ten years, a lifetime. The way I love you will outlast every calendar, clock, and every toll of every bell that will ever be cast. If only you—
And there it stopped.
Lisa Kleypas (A Wallflower Christmas (Wallflowers, #4.5))
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
Naomi Shihab Nye (Words Under the Words: Selected Poems)
He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
The barrier during self-improvement is not so much that we hate learning, rather we hate being taught. To learn entails that the knowledge was achieved on one's own accord - it feels great - but to be taught often leaves a feeling of inferiority. Thus it takes a bit of determination and a lot of humility in order for one to fully develop.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
I want men to admire me, but that's a trick you learn at school--a movement of the eyes, a tone of voice, a touch of the hand on the shoulder or the head. If they think you admire them, they will admire you because of your good taste, and when they admire you, you have an illusion for a moment that there's something to admire.
Graham Greene (The End of the Affair)
When you see the Crooked Warden," said Locke, twisting something in his hands, "tell him that Locke Lamora learns slowly, but he learns well. And when you see my friends, you tell them that there are more of you on the way.
If I should have a daughter… I’m gonna paint the solar system on the backs of her hands so she has to learn the entire universe before she can say ‘oh I know that like the back of my hand.
I close my eyes and I let my body shut itself down and I let my mind wander. It wanders to a familiar place. A place I don’t talk about or acknowledge exists. A place where there is only me. A place that I hate. I am alone. Alone here and alone in the world. Alone in my heart and alone in my mind. Alone everywhere, all the time, for as long as I can remember. Alone with my Family, alone with my friends, alone in a Room full of People. Alone when I wake, alone through each awful day, alone when I finally meet the blackness. I am alone in my horror. Alone in my horror. I don’t want to be alone. I have never wanted to be alone. I fucking hate it. I hate that I have no one to talk to, I hate that I have no one to call, I hate that I have no one to hold my hand, hug me, tell me everything is going to be all right. I hate that I have no one to share my hopes and dreams with, I hate that I no longer have any hopes or dreams, I hate that I have no one to tell me to hold on, that I can find them again. I hate that when I scream, and I scream bloody murder, that I am screaming into emptiness. I hate that there is no one to hear my scream and that there is no one to help me learn how to stop screaming. . . More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to be close to someone. More than anything, all I have ever wanted is to feel as if I wasn’t alone.
James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)
And I want to play hide-and-seek and give you my clothes and tell you I like your shoes and sit on the steps while you take a bath and massage your neck and kiss your feet and hold your hand and go for a meal and not mind when you eat my food and meet you at Rudy's and talk about the day and type up your letters and carry your boxes and laugh at your paranoia and give you tapes you don't listen to and watch great films and watch terrible films and complain about the radio and take pictures of you when you're sleeping and get up to fetch you coffee and bagels and Danish and go to Florent and drink coffee at midnight and have you steal my cigarettes and never be able to find a match and tell you about the tv programme I saw the night before and take you to the eye hospital and not laugh at your jokes and want you in the morning but let you sleep for a while and kiss your back and stroke your skin and tell you how much I love your hair your eyes your lips your neck your breasts your arse your
and sit on the steps smoking till your neighbour comes home and sit on the steps smoking till you come home and worry when you're late and be amazed when you're early and give you sunflowers and go to your party and dance till I'm black and be sorry when I'm wrong and happy when you forgive me and look at your photos and wish I'd known you forever and hear your voice in my ear and feel your skin on my skin and get scared when you're angry and your eye has gone red and the other eye blue and your hair to the left and your face oriental and tell you you're gorgeous and hug you when you're anxious and hold you when you hurt and want you when I smell you and offend you when I touch you and whimper when I'm next to you and whimper when I'm not and dribble on your breast and smother you in the night and get cold when you take the blanket and hot when you don't and melt when you smile and dissolve when you laugh and not understand why you think I'm rejecting you when I'm not rejecting you and wonder how you could think I'd ever reject you and wonder who you are but accept you anyway and tell you about the tree angel enchanted forest boy who flew across the ocean because he loved you and write poems for you and wonder why you don't believe me and have a feeling so deep I can't find words for it and want to buy you a kitten I'd get jealous of because it would get more attention than me and keep you in bed when you have to go and cry like a baby when you finally do and get rid of the roaches and buy you presents you don't want and take them away again and ask you to marry me and you say no again but keep on asking because though you think I don't mean it I do always have from the first time I asked you and wander the city thinking it's empty without you and want what you want and think I'm losing myself but know I'm safe with you and tell you the worst of me and try to give you the best of me because you don't deserve any less and answer your questions when I'd rather not and tell you the truth when I really don't want to and try to be honest because I know you prefer it and think it's all over but hang on in for just ten more minutes before you throw me out of your life and forget who I am and try to get closer to you because it's beautiful learning to know you and well worth the effort and speak German to you badly and Hebrew to you worse and make love with you at three in the morning and somehow somehow somehow communicate some of the overwhelming undying overpowering unconditional all-encompassing heart-enriching mind-expanding on-going never-ending love I have for you.
Sarah Kane (Crave)
In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don't believe that.
The gods rule us still, they have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.
Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen (Red Queen, #1))
If the dream is held close to the heart, and imagination is applied to what there is close at hand. Everything is still possible.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
A gun I had been brought down by a gun. It was practically comical. Cheaters, I thought. I’d spent my life focusing on hand to hand combat, learning to dodge fangs and powerful hands that could snap my neck. A gun? It was so… well, easy. Should I be insulted? I didn’t know. Did it matter? I didn’t know that either. All I knew in that moment was that I was going to die, regardless.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
Trying to remember, I have learned, is like trying to clutch a handful of fog. Trying to forget, like trying to hold back the monsoon.
Patricia McCormick (Sold)
Memoir is about handing over you life to someone and saying, This is what I went through, this is who I am, and maybe you can learn something from it.
I’ll bet opening a store called Boobs and Books would increase literacy. I prefer a hands-on approach to learning.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
The problem isn't to learn to love humanity, but to learn to love those members of it who happen to be at hand.
Samuel R. Delany (Dhalgren)
If you would have your son to walk honorably through the world, you must not attempt to clear the stones from his path, but teach him to walk firmly over them - not insist upon leading him by the hand, but let him learn to go alone.
Anne Brontë (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall)
He kissed the palm of her hand. "It means, you stupid woman, that I am learning too. Now you listen to me. I never stop thinking about you. You're with me everywhere I go but I miss you when we're apart. I've already shown that I will kill for you. I would also die for you. You make me laugh. You make me happy. You're my miracle and my home...I will always come for you, always want you, and always need you. We clear?"
She had begun to glow. "Sounds a lot love love to me.
Thea Harrison (Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1))
Everything I’ve learned about handshakes is from hands-on experience. Due to hygiene, I only network with rubber glove manufacturers.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Hands learn. More than minds do.
Sarah Kay (No Matter the Wreckage)
I'm learning there is no one way for life to be lived, no one way to be strong or brave or kind or good. Rather there are many people doing the best they can with the heart they are given and the hand they are dealt. Our best is all we can do, and all we can hold on to is each other.
Mackenzi Lee (The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2))
Be of good courage all is before you, and time passed in the difficult is never lost...What is required of us is that we live the difficult and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us.
Rainer Maria Rilke
What I've learnt - to my cost - on several occasions in my life, is that people will put up with all manner of bad behaviour so long as you're giving them what they want. They'll laugh and get into it and enjoy the anecdotes and the craziness and the mayhem as long as you're going your job well, but the minute you're not, you're fucked. They'll wipe their hands of you without a second glance.
Russell Brand (My Booky Wook)
...I've made it my business to observe fathers and daughters. And I've seen some incredible, beautiful things. Like the little girl who's not very cute - her teeth are funny, and her hair doesn't grow right, and she's got on thick glasses - but her father holds her hand and walks with her like she's a tiny angel that no one can touch. He gives her the best gift a woman can get in this world: protection. And the little girl learns to trust the man in her life. And all the things that the world expects from women - to be beautiful, to soothe the troubled spirit, heal the sick, care for the dying, send the greeting card, bake the cake - allof those things become the way we pay the father back for protecting us...
Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1))
Taylor’s dating Scott Casey?” He began to laugh. He held up one hand, clutching his side with the other. “Wait, wait.” He gasped for breath. “This really is too good. I gotta write this down to use one day.”
Jeremy turned to his computer, reading out loud as he typed. “ ‘And then the evil, arrogant movie star learned that lying does not pay.
Julie James (Just the Sexiest Man Alive)
He cannot "tempt" to virtue as we do to vice. He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles.
The church is not a theological classroom. It is a conversion, confession, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness and sanctification center, where flawed people place their faith in Christ, gather to know and love him better, and learn to love others as he designed.
Paul David Tripp (Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change)
If you want to know what's in motherhood for you, as a woman, then - in truth - it's nothing you couldn't get from, say, reading the 100 greatest books in human history; learning a foreign language well enough to argue in it; climbing hills; loving recklessly; sitting quietly, alone, in the dawn; drinking whisky with revolutionaries; learning to do close-hand magic; swimming in a river in winter; growing foxgloves, peas and roses; calling your mum; singing while you walk; being polite; and always, always helping strangers. No one has ever claimed for a moment that childless men have missed out on a vital aspect of their existence, and were the poorer, and crippled by it.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
And so gentlemen, I learned. Oh, if you have to learn, you learn; if you’re desperate for a way out, you learn; you learn pitilessly. You stand over yourself with a whip in your hand; if there’s the least resistance, you lash yourself.
Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis and Other Stories)
We are taught to treat a practice sword with all the respect of a real weapon, so no thoughtless mistakes are made"
"Oh... In Eddis, we learn to keep tack of the weapon we have in our hand.
Megan Whalen Turner (The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3))
For now, he and Meg were going to have the adventure of seeing a new place and having a new experience. Together.
He wasn't human. Would never be human. And Meg didn't expect him to be. But feeling her hand in his, Simon thought maybe he could learn to be human enough.
Anne Bishop (Vision in Silver (The Others, #3))
Of all the recruits in his cohort, he had learned the quickest. How to hold the spear, how to stand to
spar. He’d done it almost without instruction. That had shocked Tukks. But why should it have? You
were not shocked when a child knew how to breathe. You were not shocked when a skyeel took flight
for the first time. You should not be shocked when you hand Kaladin Stormblessed a spear and he
knows how to use it.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
At times God puts us through the discipline of darkness to teach us to heed Him. Song birds are taught to sing in the dark, and we are put into the shadow of God's hand until we learn to hear Him...Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet...When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else when you get into the light.
Ryuu stepped forward. "Meryn, listen carefully. Elizabeth is not only your new sister, she will also be your Yoda. She will teach you and guide you in the ways of using the force, so that you will master paranormal politics. Learn well, young padawan." He clapped a hand on Meryn's shoulder.
Alanea Alder (My Protector (Bewitched and Bewildered, #2))
This I think I have learned: where there is love, the form does not matter, and the gods are pleased. This I have observed: what occurs in nature, comes by the hand of nature, and if the gods did not approve, it would not be there
~ Moondance k'Treva (Magic's Pawn)
Much stronger boys in her class soon learned that it could be quite unpleasant to fight with that skinny girl. Unlike other girls in the class, she never backed down, and she would not for a second hesitate to use her fists or any weapon at hand to protect herself. She went around with the attitude that she would rather be beaten to death than take any shit.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1))
You have to resign yourself to the fact that you waste a lot of trees before you write anything you really like, and that's just the way it is. It's like learning an instrument, you've got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot, cause I wrote an awful lot before I wrote anything I was really happy with. And read a lot. Reading really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.
He stopped me with his hand at my jaw, thumb against my chin. “Sometimes, people must adapt. Immortality doesn’t make the things we love less important; it means we must learn to treasure them.Protect them.”
I swallowed hard and made myself lift my gaze to him, fear and joy and more fear bursting in my chest.
Chloe Neill (Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3))
There was consolation: The people you loved, they were always there with you, she had learned. Sometimes, she could be in front of a train kiosk or the window of a bookstore, and she could feel Noa's small hand when he was a boy, and she would close her eyes and think of his sweet grassy smell and remember that he had always tried his best. At those moments, it was good to be alone to hold on to him.
Min Jin Lee (Pachinko)
Then come to realize that you're making mountains out of molehills. Realize how petty you've become. Sure, it may feel like you can't get a grip on this town. It may seem that every time someone offers you a hand up, they just let go and you slip further down. But you must stop being so pessimistic, Hannah, and learn to trust those around you. So I do. One more time.
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it on to your children.
Albert Einstein (Ideas and Opinions)
Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick', whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.
'But how?' we ask.
Then the voice says, 'They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'
There they are. There *we* are - the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.
My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
I often wonder what drives people to do things. Whether it's put into their minds at birth, or if it is learned as they grow. Maybe it's even forced upon them by circumstances that are out of their hands. Does anyone have control over their lives or are we all helpless?
Jessica Sorensen (The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence, #1))
Ah! how little knowledge does a man acquire in his life. He gathers it up like water, but like water it runs between his fingers, and yet, if his hands be but wet as though with dew, behold a generation of fools call out, 'See, he is a wise man!' Is it not so?
H. Rider Haggard (She: A History of Adventure (She, #1))
The letter said that they were two feet high, and green, and shaped like plumber's friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky. At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm. The creatures were friendly, and they could see in four dimensions. They pitied Earthlings for being able to see only three. They had many wonderful things to teach Earthlings, especially about time. Billy promised to tell what some of those wonderful things were in his next letter.
Billy was working on his second letter when the first letter was published. The second letter started out like this:
The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just that way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.
When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "so it goes.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slaughterhouse-Five)
I. Those of us born by water are never afraid enough of drowning. Bruises used to trophy my knees from my death-defying tree climb jumps. Growing up, my backyard was a forest of blackberry bushes. I learned early nothing sweet will come to you unthorned.
II. At twelve your body becomes a currency. So Jenny and I sat down and cut up all our clothes into nothing. That year I failed math class but knew the exact number of calories in a carrot stick. I learned early being desired goes hand in hand with hunger.
III. The last time I tried to scream I felt my father climbing up through my throat and into my mouth.
IV. There is a certain kind of girl who reads Lolita at fourteen and finds religion. I painted my eyes black and sucked barroom cherries to red my tongue. There was a boy who promised Judas really did love Jesus. I learned early every kiss and betrayal are up for interpretation.
V. I think he must have conferenced with my nightmares on exactly how to hurt me.
VI. He never broke my heart. He only turned it into a compass that always points me back to him.
Clementine von Radics
You can’t learn to write in college. It’s a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do—and they don’t. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don’t want to write like Henry James? They may like John Irving, for instance, who’s the bore of all time. A lot of the people whose work they’ve taught in the schools for the last thirty years, I can’t understand why people read them and why they are taught. The library, on the other hand, has no biases. The information is all there for you to interpret. You don’t have someone telling you what to think. You discover it for yourself.
I've often thought there ought to be a manual to hand to little kids, telling them what kind of planet they're on, why they don't fall off it, how much time they've probably got here, how to avoid poison ivy, and so on. I tried to write one once. It was called Welcome to Earth. But I got stuck on explaining why we don't fall off the planet. Gravity is just a word. It doesn't explain anything. If I could get past gravity, I'd tell them how we reproduce, how long we've been here, apparently, and a little bit about evolution. I didn't learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn't a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society. Cultural relativity is defensible and attractive. It's also a source of hope. It means we don't have to continue this way if we don't like it.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
I want to learn how to speak to anyone at any time and make us both feel a little bit better, lighter, richer, with no commitments of ever meeting again. I want to learn how to stand wherever with whoever and still feel stable. I want to learn how to unlock the locks to our minds, my mind, so that when I hear opinions or views that don’t match up with mine, I can still listen and understand. I want to burn up lifeless habits of following maps and to-do lists, concentrated liquids to burn my mind and throat
and I want to go back to the way nature shaped me. I want to learn to go on well with whatever I have in my hands at the moment
in a natural state of mind,
certain like the sea.
I will find comfort in the rhythm of the sea.
One's life is more formed, I sometimes think, by books than by human beings: it is out of books one learns about love and pain at second hand. Even if we have the happy chance to fall in love, it is because we have been conditioned by what we have read, and if I had never known love at all, perhaps it was because my father's library had not contained the right books.
Graham Greene (Travels with My Aunt)
We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love. We must look deeply in order to see and understand the needs, aspirations, and suffering of the person we love. This is the ground of real love. You cannot resist loving another person when you really understand him or her.
From time to time, sit close to the one you love, hold his or her hand, and ask, 'Darling, do I understand you enough? Or am I making you suffer? Please tell me so that I can learn to love you properly. I don't want to make you suffer, and if I do so because of my ignorance, please tell me so that I can love you better, so that you can be happy." If you say this in a voice that communicates your real openness to understand, the other person may cry.
That is a good sign, because it means the door of understanding is opening and everything will be possible again.
Maybe a father does not have time or is not brave enough to ask his son such a question. Then the love between them will not be as full as it could be. We need courage to ask these questions, but if we don't ask, the more we love, the more we may destroy the people we are trying to love. True love needs understanding. With understanding, the one we love will certainly flower.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life)
So you'll teach me?" Val asked.
Ravus nodded agin. "I will make you as terrible as you desire."
"I don't want to be - ," she started, but he held up his hand.
"I know you're very brave," he said.
"And stupid. Brave and Stupid." Ravus smiled, but then his smile sagged. "But nothing can stop you from being terrible once you've learned how.
Holly Black (Valiant (Modern Faerie Tales #2))
My mind has touched the farthest horizons of mortal imagination and reaches ever outward to embrace infinity. There is no knowledge beyond my comprehension, no art or skill upon this entire planet that lies beyond the mastery of my hand. And yet, like Faust, I look in vain, I learn in vain. . . . For as long as I live, no woman will ever look on me in love.
Susan Kay (Phantom)
Parents, she thought, learned to survive touching their children less and less. As a baby Pearl had clung to her; she’d worn Pearl in a sling because whenever she’d set her down, Pearl would cry. There’d scarcely been a moment in the day when they had not been pressed together. As she got older, Pearl would still cling to her mother’s leg, then her waist, then her hand, as if there was something in her mother she needed to absorb through the skin. Even when she had her own bed, she would often crawl into Mia’s in the middle of the night and burrow under the old patchwork quilt, and in the morning they would wake up tangled, Mia’s arm pinned beneath Pearl’s head, or Pearl’s legs thrown across Mia’s belly. Now, as a teenager, Pearl’s caresses had become rare—a peck on the cheek, a one-armed, half-hearted hug—and all the more precious because of that. It was the way of things, Mia thought to herself, but how hard it was. The occasional embrace, a head leaned for just a moment on your shoulder, when what you really wanted more than anything was to press them to you and hold them so tight you fused together and could never be taken apart. It was like training yourself to live on the smell of an apple alone, when what you really wanted was to devour it, to sink your teeth into it and consume it, seeds, core, and all.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
I learned the first rule of repentance: that repentance requires greater intimacy with God than with our sin. How much greater? About the size of a mustard seed. Repentance requires that we draw near to Jesus, no matter what. And sometimes we all have to crawl there on our hands and knees. Repentance is an intimate affair. And for many of us, intimacy with anything is a terrifying prospect.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor's Journey Into Christian Faith)
But Jace", Clary said. "Valentine taught him more than just fighting. He taught him languages, and how to play the piano"
"That was Jocelyn's influence." Sebastian said her name unwillingly, as if he hated the sound of it. "She thought Valentine ought to be able to talk about books, art, music...not just killing things. He passed that on to Jace."
A wrought iron blue gate rose to their left. Sebastian ducked under it and beckoned Clary to follow him. She didn't have to duck but went after him, her hands stuffed into her pockets. "What about you?" she asked.
He held up his hands. They were unmistakably her mother's hands - dexterous, long-fingered, meant for holding a brush or a pen. "I learned to play the instruments of war, " he said, "and paint in blood. I am not like Jace.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Nearly everyone underestimates how powerful the touch of another person's hand can be. The need to be touched is something so primal, so fundamentally a part of our existence as human beings that its true impact upon us can be difficult to put into words. That power doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sex, either. From the time we are infants, we learn to associate the touch of a human hand with safety, with comfort, with love.
Jim Butcher (Dead Beat (The Dresden Files, #7))
Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:
1) They respect human beings as individuals and are therefore always tolerant, gentle, courteous and amenable ... They do not create scenes over a hammer or a mislaid eraser; they do not make you feel they are conferring a great benefit on you when they live with you, and they don't make a scandal when they leave. (...)
2) They have compassion for other people besides beggars and cats. Their hearts suffer the pain of what is hidden to the naked eye. (...)
3) They respect other people's property, and therefore pay their debts.
4) They are not devious, and they fear lies as they fear fire. They don't tell lies even in the most trivial matters. To lie to someone is to insult them, and the liar is diminished in the eyes of the person he lies to. Civilized people don't put on airs; they behave in the street as they would at home, they don't show off to impress their juniors. (...)
5) They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others. They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted ... that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false. (...)
6) They are not vain. They don't waste time with the fake jewellery of hobnobbing with celebrities, being permitted to shake the hand of a drunken [judicial orator], the exaggerated bonhomie of the first person they meet at the Salon, being the life and soul of the bar ... They regard prases like 'I am a representative of the Press!!' -- the sort of thing one only hears from [very minor journalists] -- as absurd. If they have done a brass farthing's work they don't pass it off as if it were 100 roubles' by swanking about with their portfolios, and they don't boast of being able to gain admission to places other people aren't allowed in (...) True talent always sits in the shade, mingles with the crowd, avoids the limelight ... As Krylov said, the empty barrel makes more noise than the full one. (...)
7) If they do possess talent, they value it ... They take pride in it ... they know they have a responsibility to exert a civilizing influence on [others] rather than aimlessly hanging out with them. And they are fastidious in their habits. (...)
8) They work at developing their aesthetic sensibility ... Civilized people don't simply obey their baser instincts ... they require mens sana in corpore sano.
And so on. That's what civilized people are like ... Reading Pickwick and learning a speech from Faust by heart is not enough if your aim is to become a truly civilized person and not to sink below the level of your surroundings.
[From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886]
Anton Chekhov (A Life in Letters)
Shut up!" Henry says, "You're going to wake up Jerry Rice."
"Jerry Rice?" Carter says, covering his mouth with a hand. I don't think I've ever seen Carter laugh so hard.
"Carter, would you like to be the godfather?" Henry asks. "You know, in case anything happens to me and Woods this week?"
"Charming," Carter says. "I''d be honored. Does JJ get to be godmother?"
"Obviously," I say.
"Can I hold Jerry Rice?" JJ asks. "He''s so cute."
"No way, man," I reply. "I don't want to wake that thing up before practice. We'll be late if we have to feed it."
"What does it eat?" Carter asks.
"I have to breast-feed, cause I'm the mom," Henry says, continuing to push the stroller toward the locker room.
"Actually," I say, "It eats a metal rod, made out of, like, lead. So basically, we're learning how to poison babies."
"Radical," JJ says as we approach the gym,
Miranda Kenneally (Catching Jordan)
I never got to be in the driver’s seat of my own life,” she’d wept to me once, in the days after she learned she was going to die. “I always did what someone else wanted me to do. I’ve always been someone’s daughter or mother or wife. I’ve never just been me.” “Oh, Mom,” was all I could say as I stroked her hand. I was too young to say anything else.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
Gwenvael looked down at his body. Horrified, he sat up. “What is this? What’s happened to me?”
“Calm down. It’ll heal quick enough, I’m sure.”
“Heal? I’m hideous!”
“Hideously alive!” He covered her face with his hands. “Don’t look at me! Look away!”
“Stop it!” She pulled at his hands. “Have you lost your mind?”
Gwenvael dropped back to the bed, turned his face toward the wall. “You know what this means, don’t you?”
“I’ll have to live alone, at the top of a castle somewhere. I’ll hide from the daylight and only come out at night.”
“Please stop this.”
“I’ll be alone but not for long because you’ll all want me more. You’ll lust for the beautiful warrior I once was and pity the hideous creature I’ve become. Most importantly, you’ll want to soothe my pain.” He looked at her again. “Don’t you want to soothe my pain? Right now? Without that dress on?”
“No. I do not.”
Dagmar tried to stand, and Gwenvael caught her hand, pulling her back down. “You can’t leave me. I’m tortured and brooding. You need to show me how much you adore me so I can learn to love myself again.”
“You’ve never stopped loving yourself.”
“Because I’m amazing.
G.A. Aiken (What a Dragon Should Know (Dragon Kin, #3))
Now that child reminds me of something our sages taught. When a baby comes into the world, it's hands are clenched, right? Like this?"
He made a fist.
"Why? Because a baby, not knowing any better, wants to grab everything, to say 'The whole world is mine.'
"But when an old person dies, how does he do so? With his hands open. Why? Because he has learned the lesson."
What lesson? I asked.
He stretched open his empty fingers.
"We can take nothing with us.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
Aunt Prue was holding one of the squirrels in her hand, while it sucked ferociously on the end of the dropper. 'And once a day, we have ta clean their little private parts with a Q-tip, so they'll learn ta clean themselves.' That was a visual I didn't need. 'How could you possibly know that?' 'We looked it up on the E-nternet.' Aunt Mercy smiled proudly. I couldn't imagine how my aunts knew anything about the Internet. The Sisters didn't even own a toaster oven. 'How did you get on the Internet?' 'Thelma took us ta the library and Miss Marian helped us. They have computers over there. Did you know that?
Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1))
To be an atheist is to maintain God. His existence or his non existence, it amounts to much the same, on the plane of proof. Thus proof is a word not often used among the Handdarata, who have chosen not to treat God as a fact, subject either to proof or to belief: and they have broken the circle, and go free.
To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness (Hainish Cycle, #4))
Shigure: "Lemme guess; you lost your temper and yelled at her again, right? You know, you shouldn't do that if you're just going to regret it. Not too bright, now is it?"
Kyo: "Save your breath. I'm just not meant to get along with other people. Period. End of story."
Shigure: "Oh sure, some people just aren't. But you're not one of them. You lack experience, that's all. For example, I'm sure you could smash this table to bits with your bare hands. But I'm equally sure you could punch the table without breaking it. And why is that? Because I know your training has taught you to control your fists... at least I should hope so, after four months of fighting bears and-"
Kyo: "I didn't fight bears!"
Shigure: "My point is, it takes just as much training to get along with people. Only, training by yourself in the mountains won't do you any good. You need to surround yourself with others. As you get to know them, of course you take the chance that you'll end up hurting them, or they'll end up hurting you. One of those things might very well happen. That's the only way we learn... about others, and about ourselves. You're a black-belt in martial arts, but I'd guess you still a white-belt in social skills. Someday, you're going to meet someone that truly wants to be your friend, and you, theirs. But it if you don't keep training, you won't be ready when that happens."
Kyo: "It'll never happen, anyways!"
Shigure: "Uh-uh! Never say never."
Kyo: "Ok, fine. Maybe if I meet someone with brain-damage... or something."
Shigure: "That's the spirit!
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 1)
Hey!" I yell. Everyone turns around and looks at us. I glance at Six and her eyes are wide. I inhale a deep breath, then turn back to the table. Specifically to Holder. "She fist bumped me,"I say, pointing at Six. "It's not my fault. She hates purses and she fist bumped me, then she made me push her on the damn merry-go-round. After that, she demanded to see where I had sex in the park, then she forced me to sneak into my own bedroom. She's weird and half the time I can't keep up with her, but she thinks I'm funny as hell. And Chunk asked me this morning if I wanted to love her someday, and I realized I've never hoped I could love someone more than I want to love her. So every single one of you who has an issue with us dating is going to have to get over it because..." I pause and turn toward Six. "Because you fist bumped me and I could care less who knows we're together. I'm not going anywhere and I don't want to go anywhere so stop thinking I'm into you because I'm not supposed to be into you." I lift my hands and tilt her face toward mine. "I'm into you because you're awesome. And because you let me accidentally touch your boob." She's smiling wider than I've ever seen her smile. "Daniel Wesley, where'd you learn those smooth moves?" I laugh. "Not moves, Six. Charisma.
Colleen Hoover (Finding Cinderella (Hopeless, #2.5))
Take the matter as you find it ask no questions, utter no remonstrances; it is your best wisdom. You expected bread and you have got a stone: break your teeth on it, and don't shriek because the nerves are martyrised; do not doubt that your mental stomach - if you have such a thing - is strong as an ostrich's; the stone will digest. You held out your hand for an egg, and fate put into it a scorpion. Show no consternation; close your fingers firmly upon the gift; let it sting through your palm. Never mind; in time, after your hand and arm have swelled and quivered long with torture, the squeezed scorpion will die, and you will have learned the great lesson how to endure without a sob.
Charlotte Brontë (Shirley)
Can I tell you a boring science fact?" she whispered. "I bet you didn't learn it in Shadowhunter history class."
"If you're trying to distract me from talking about my feelings, you're not being very subtle about it." He touched her face. "You know I make speeches. It's okay. You don't have to make them back. Just tell me you love me,"
"I'm not trying to distract you." She held up her hand and wiggles the fingers. "There are a hundred trillion cells in the human body," she said. "And every single one of the cells of my body loves you. We shed cells, and grow new ones, and my new cells love you more than the old ones, which is why I love you more every day than I did before. It's science. And when I die and they burn my body and I become ashes that mix with the air, and part of the ground and the trees and the stars, everyone who breathes air of sees the flowers that grow out of the ground or looks up at the stars will remember you and love you, because I love you that much," She smiled. "How was that for a speech?
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
SHE is neither pink nor pale,
And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine.
She has more hair than she needs;
In the sun ’tis a woe to me!
And her voice is a string of colored beads,
Or steps leading into the sea.
She loves me all that she can,
And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
And she never will be all mine.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Renascence and Other Poems)
Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles & smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun & he's guilty. And all men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors & smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others & look to wonder if he didn't just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt & sin, why, often that's your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it & sometimes break in two. I've known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it's thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him sometimes wilts his spine. He can't let himself alone, won't let himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
You are aware of only one unrest;
Oh, never learn to know the other!
Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast,
And one is striving to forsake its brother.
Unto the world in grossly loving zest,
With clinging tendrils, one adheres;
The other rises forcibly in quest
Of rarefied ancestral spheres.
If there be spirits in the air
That hold their sway between the earth and sky,
Descend out of the golden vapors there
And sweep me into iridescent life.
Oh, came a magic cloak into my hands
To carry me to distant lands,
I should not trade it for the choicest gown,
Nor for the cloak and garments of the crown.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, First Part)
There’s power in the touch of another person’s hand. We acknowledge it in little ways, all the time. There’s a reason human beings shake hands, hold hands, slap hands, bump hands.
“It comes from our very earliest memories, when we all come into the world blinded by light and color, deafened by riotous sound, flailing in a suddenly cavernous space without any way of orienting ourselves, shuddering with cold, emptied with hunger, and justifiably frightened and confused. And what changes that first horror, that original state of terror?
“The touch of another person’s hands.
“Hands that wrap us in warmth, that hold us close. Hands that guide us to shelter, to comfort, to food. Hands that hold and touch and reassure us through our very first crisis, and guide us into our very first shelter from pain. The first thing we ever learn is that the touch of someone else’s hand can ease pain and make things better.
“That’s power. That’s power so fundamental that most people never even realize it exists.
Jim Butcher (Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15))
Being alone is not the most awful thing in the world. You visit your museums and cultivate your interests and remind yourself how lucky you are not to be one of those spindly Sudanese children with flies beading their mouths. You make out To Do lists - reorganise linen cupboard, learn two sonnets. You dole out little treats to yourself - slices of ice-cream cake, concerts at Wigmore Hall. And then, every once in a while, you wake up and gaze out of the window at another bloody daybreak, and think, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pull myself together again and spend the next fifteen hours of wakefulness fending off the fact of my own misery.
People like Sheba think that they know what it's like to be lonely. They cast their minds back to the time they broke up with a boyfriend in 1975 and endured a whole month before meeting someone new. Or the week they spent in a Bavarian steel town when they were fifteen years old, visiting their greasy-haired German pen pal and discovering that her hand-writing was the best thing about her. But about the drip drip of long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. They don't know what it is to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the laundrette. Or to sit in a darkened flat on Halloween night, because you can't bear to expose your bleak evening to a crowd of jeering trick-or-treaters. Or to have the librarian smile pityingly and say, ‘Goodness, you're a quick reader!’ when you bring back seven books, read from cover to cover, a week after taking them out. They don't know what it is to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand on your shoulder sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin. I have sat on park benches and trains and schoolroom chairs, feeling the great store of unused, objectless love sitting in my belly like a stone until I was sure I would cry out and fall, flailing, to the ground. About all of this, Sheba and her like have no clue.
Zoë Heller (What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal])
Everything had changed suddenly--the tone, the moral climate; you didn't know what to think, whom to listen to. As if all your life you had been led by the hand like a small child and suddenly you were on your own, you had to learn to walk by yourself. There was no one around, neither family nor people whose judgment you respected. At such a time you felt the need of committing yourself to something absolute--life or truth or beauty--of being ruled by it in place of the man-made rules that had been discarded. You needed to surrender to some such ultimate purpose more fully, more unreservedly than you had ever done in the old familiar, peaceful days, in the old life that was now abolished and gone for good.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
When I die, I want your hands on my eyes.
I want the light and wheat of your beloved hands to pass their freshness over me once moreL
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.
I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you to sniff the sea's aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on.
I want what I love to continue to live,
and you whom I love and sang above everything else.
to continue to flourish, full-flowered.
So that you can reach everything my love directs you to.
So that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
so that everything can learn the reason for my song.
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Start by pulling him out of the fire and
hoping that he will forget the smell.
He was supposed to be an angel but they took him
from that light and turned him into something hungry,
something that forgets what his hands are for when they
He will lose so much, and you will watch it all happen
because you had him first, and you would let the world
break its own neck if it means keeping him.
Start by wiping the blood off of his chin and
pretending to understand.
Repeat to yourself
“I won’t leave you, I won’t leave you”
until you fall asleep and dream of the place
where nothing is red.
When is a monster not a monster?
Oh, when you love it.
Oh, when you used to sing it to sleep.
Here are your upturned hands.
Give them to him and watch how he prays
like he is learning his first words.
Start by pulling him out of another fire,
and putting him back together with the pieces
you find on the floor.
There is so much to forgive, but you do not
know how to forget.
When is a monster not a monster?
Oh, when you are the reason it has become so mangled.
Here is your humble offering,
obliterated and broken in the mouth
of this abandoned church.
He has come back to stop the world
from turning itself inside out, and you love him, you do,
so you won’t let him.
Tell him that you will never know any better.
It is too often the quality of happiness that you feel at every moment its fragility, while depression seems when you are in it to be a state that will never pass. Even if you accept that moods change, that whatever you feel today will be different tomorrow, you cannot relax into happiness like you can into sadness. For me, sadness has always been and still is a more powerful feeling; and if that is not a universal experience, perhaps it is the base from which depression grows. I hated being depressed, but it was also in depression that I learned my own acreage, the full extent of my soul. When I am happy, I feel slightly distracted by happiness, as though it fails to use some part of my mind and brain that wants the exercise. Depression is something to do. My grasp tightens and becomes acute in moments of loss: I can see the beauty of glass objects fully at the moment when they slip from my hand toward the floor
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
Do you see how an act is not, as young men think, like a rock that one picks up and throws, and it hits or misses, and that's the end of it. When that rock is lifted, the earth is lighter; the hand that bears it heavier. When it is thrown, the circuits of the stars respond, and where it strikes or falls, the universe is changed. On every act the balance of the whole depends. The winds and seas, the powers of water and earth and light, all that these do, and all that the beasts and green things do, is well done, and rightly done. All these act within the Equilibrium. From the hurricane and the great whale's sounding to the fall of a dry leaf and the gnat's flight, all they do is done within the balance of the whole.
But we, insofar as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3))
Everyone needs a place. It shouldn't be inside of someone else. -Richard Siken
If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at,
you can let them look at you. But do not mistake eyes for hands.
Let them see what a woman looks like.
They may not have ever seen one before.
If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch,
you can let them touch you.
Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for.
Sometimes it is a bottle. A door. A sandwich. A Pulitzer. Another woman.
But their hands found you first. Do not mistake yourself for a guardian.
Or a muse. Or a promise. Or a victim. Or a snack.
You are a woman. Skin and bones. Veins and nerves. Hair and sweat.
You are not made of metaphors. Not apologies. Not excuses.
If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold,
you can let them hold you.
All day they practice keeping their bodies upright--
even after all this evolving, it still feels unnatural, still strains the muscles,
holds firm the arms and spine. Only some men will want to learn
what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you,
admit they do not have the answers
they thought they would have by now;
some men will want to hold you like The Answer.
You are not The Answer.
You are not the problem. You are not the poem
or the punchline or the riddle or the joke.
Woman. If you grow up the type men want to love,
You can let them love you.
Being loved is not the same thing as loving.
When you fall in love, it is discovering the ocean
after years of puddle jumping. It is realizing you have hands.
It is reaching for the tightrope when the crowds have all gone home.
Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman
men will hurt. If he leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along.
It is hard to stop loving the ocean. Even after it has left you gasping, salty.
Forgive yourself for the decisions you have made, the ones you still call
mistakes when you tuck them in at night. And know this:
Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours.
Let the statues crumble.
You have always been the place.
You are a woman who can build it yourself.
You were born to build.
When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer.
To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means. As Thomas Merton put it, "A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God."
The gospel of grace nullifies our adulation of televangelists, charismatic superstars, and local church heroes. It obliterates the two-class citizenship theory operative in many American churches. For grace proclaims the awesome truth that all is gift. All that is good is ours not by right but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God. While there is much we may have earned--our degree and our salary, our home and garden, a Miller Lite and a good night's sleep--all this is possible only because we have been given so much: life itself, eyes to see and hands to touch, a mind to shape ideas, and a heart to beat with love. We have been given God in our souls and Christ in our flesh. We have the power to believe where others deny, to hope where others despair, to love where others hurt. This and so much more is sheer gift; it is not reward for our faithfulness, our generous disposition, or our heroic life of prayer. Even our fidelity is a gift, "If we but turn to God," said St. Augustine, "that itself is a gift of God."
My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Let's give the world to the children just for one day
like a balloon in bright and striking colours to play with
let them play singing among the stars
let's give the world to the children
like a huge apple like a warm loaf of bread
at least for one day let them have enough
let's give the world to the children
at least for one day let the world learn friendship
children will get the world from our hands
they'll plant immortal trees
- "Let's Give the World to the Children
people used to tell me that i had beautiful hands
told me so often, in fact, that one day i started to believe them until i asked my photographer father, “hey daddy could i be a hand model”
to which he said no way,
i dont remember the reason he gave me and i wouldve been upset,
but there were far too many stuffed animals to hold
too many homework assignment to write,
too many boys to wave at
too many years to grow,
we used to have a game, my dad and i about holding hands cus we held hands everywhere, and every time either he or i would whisper a great
big number to the other, pretending that we were keeping track of how many times we had held hands that we were sure, this one had to be 8 million 2 thousand 7 hundred and fifty three.
hands learn more than minds do,
hands learn how to hold other hands,
how to grip pencils and mold poetry,
how to tickle pianos and dribble a basketball,
and grip the handles of a bicycle
how to hold old people, and touch babies ,
i love hands like i love people,
they're the maps and compasses in which we navigate our way through life, some people read palms to tell your future,
but i read hands to tell your past,
each scar marks the story worth telling,
each calloused palm,
each cracked knuckle is a missed punch
or years in a factory,
now ive seen middle eastern hands clenched in middle eastern fists pounding against each other like war drums, each country sees theyre fists as warriors and others as enemies.
even if fists alone are only hands. but this is not about politics, no hands arent about politics, this is a poem about love, and fingers. fingers interlock like a beautiful zipper of prayer.
one time i grabbed my dads hands so that our fingers interlocked perfectly but he changed positions, saying no that hand hold is for your mom.
kids high five, but grown ups, we learn how to shake hands, you need a firm hand shake,but dont hold on too tight, but dont let go too soon, but dont hold down for too long,
but hands are not about politics, when did it become so complicated. i always thought its simple.
the other day my dad looked at my hands, as if seeing them for the first time, and with laughter behind his eye lids, with all the seriousness a man of his humor could muster, he said you know you got nice hands, you could’ve been a hand model, and before the laughter can escape me, i shake my head at him, and squeeze his hand, 8 million 2 thousand 7hundred and fifty four.
I still love you like moons love the planets they circle around,
like children love recess bells.
I still hear the sound of you
and think of playgrounds
where outcasts who stutter
beneath braces and bruises and acne
are finally learning that their rich handsome bullies
are never gonna grow up to be happy.
I think of happy when I think of you.
So wherever you are I hope you’re happy,
I really do.
I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight
I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking
I hope your lungs are open and breathing this life
I hope there’s a kite in your hand
that’s flying all the way up to Orion
and you still got a thousand yards of string to let out.
I hope you’re smiling
like God is pulling at the corners of your mouth,
‘cause I might be naked and lonely
shaking branches for bones
but I’m still time zones away
from who I was the day before we met.
You were the first mile
where my heart broke a sweat,
and I wish you were here;
I wish you’d never left;
but mostly I wish you well.
I wish you my very, very best
Sometimes, when people have a low opinion of their own worth—or, perhaps, when they refuse responsibility for their lives—they choose a new acquaintance, of precisely the type who proved troublesome in the past. Such people don’t believe that they deserve any better—so they don’t go looking for it. Or, perhaps, they don’t want the trouble of better. Freud called this a “repetition compulsion.” He thought of it as an unconscious drive to repeat the horrors of the past—sometimes, perhaps, to formulate those horrors more precisely, sometimes to attempt more active mastery and sometimes, perhaps, because no alternatives beckon. People create their worlds with the tools they have directly at hand. Faulty tools produce faulty results. Repeated use of the same faulty tools produces the same faulty results. It is in this manner that those who fail to learn from the past doom themselves to repeat it. It’s partly fate. It’s partly inability. It’s partly … unwillingness to learn? Refusal to learn? Motivated refusal to learn?
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
My soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you - are you there? I have returned, I am here again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you, I am with you. After long years of long wandering, I have come to you again. Should I tell you everything I have seen, experienced, and drunk in? Or do you not want to hear about all the noise of life and the world? But one thing you must know: the one thing I have learned is that one must live this life. Do you still know me? How long the separation lasted! Everything has become so different. And how did I find you? How strange my journey was! What words should I use to tell you on what twisted paths a good star has guided me to you? Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul. How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long disavowed soul. Life has led me back to you. Let us thank the life I have lived for all the happy and all the sad hours, for every joy, for every sadness. My soul, my journey should continue with you. I will wander with you and ascend to my solitude.
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: Liber Novus)
Either way, we both agree that ambivalence is a key to success. I will say it again. Ambivalence is key. You have to care about your work but not the result. You have to care about how good you and how good you feel, but now about how good people think you are or how good people think you look I realize this is extremely difficult. I am not saying I am particularly good at it. I'm like you. Or maybe you'er better at this and I am. You will never climb Career Mountain and get to the top and shout, 'I made it!' You will rarely feel done or complete or even successful Most people I know struggle with that complicated soup of feeling slighted on one hand and like a total fraud on the other. Our ego is a monster that loves to sit at the head of the table, and I have learned that my ego is just as rude and loud and hungry as everyone else's. It doesn't matter how much you get; you are left wanting more. Success is filled with MSG.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
Oh,you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your tops hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
Y ou might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell brave of heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet wise old Ravenclaw,
If you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achive their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And you won't get in a flap!
You're safe in my hands(though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
-We need more love, to supersede hatred, -We need more strength,
to resist our weaknesses,
-We need more inspiration,
to lighten up our innermind.
-We need more learning,
to erase our ignorance,
-We need more wisdom,
to live longer and happier,
-We need more truths, to suppress deceptions,
-We need more health,
to enjoy our wealth,
-We need more peace, to stay in harmony with our brethren
-We need more smiles,
to brighten up our day,
-We need more hero's, and not zero's,
-We need more change of ourselves, to change the lives of others,
-We need more understanding,
to tackle our misunderstanding,
-We need more sympathy,
-We need more forgiveness,
-We need more humility to be lifted up,
-We need more patience and not undue eagerness,
-We need more focus, to avoid distraction,
-We need more optimism,
-We need more justice,
-We need more facts, not fiction,
-We need more education,
to curb illiteracy,
-We need more skills, not incompetence,
-We need more challenges,
to make attempts,
-We need more talents,
to create the extraordinary,
-We need more helping hands,
not stingy folks,
-We need more efforts,
-We need more jokes, to forget our worries, -We need more spirituality,
not mean religion,
-We need more freedom,
-We need more peacemakers,
not revolutionaries...with these, we create an heaven on earth.
Michael Bassey Johnson
An isolated person requires correspondence as a means of seeing his ideas as others see them, and thus guarding against the dogmatisms and extravagances of solitary and uncorrected speculation. No man can learn to reason and appraise from a mere perusal of the writing of others. If he live not in the world, where he can observe the public at first hand and be directed toward solid reality by the force of conversation and spoken debate, then he must sharpen his discrimination and regulate his perceptive balance by an equivalent exchange of ideas in epistolary form.
It killed humans, therefore it was a weapon. But radiation killed humans, and a medical X-ray machine wasn’t intended as a weapon. Holden was starting to feel like they were all monkeys playing with a microwave. Push a button, a light comes on inside, so it’s a light. Push a different button and stick your hand inside, it burns you, so it’s a weapon. Learn to open and close the door, it’s a place to hide things. Never grasping what it actually did, and maybe not even having the framework necessary to figure it out. No monkey ever reheated a frozen burrito.
James S.A. Corey (Abaddon's Gate (Expanse, #3))
Parents think they can hand children permanent confidence—like a gift—by praising their brains and talent. It doesn’t work, and in fact has the opposite effect. It makes children doubt themselves as soon as anything is hard or anything goes wrong. If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.
Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential)
I have hope
in who I am becoming.
I have belief in every scar and disgraceful word
I have ever spoken
or been told
because it is still teaching me
and I have hope in who I am becoming.
They say it takes 756 days to run to someone you love
and they also say that the only romance worth fighting for
is the one with yourself
and I know by now
that they say a lot of things,
people talking everywhere
without saying a word,
but if it took me all those years to learn myself
or teach myself
how to look into the mirror
without breaking it
I know for a fact that it was a fight worth fighting.
I stood up for my own head and so did my heart
and we are coming to terms with ourselves.
Shaking hands, saying ”let’s make this work
for we have places to go
and people to see
and we will need each other”
So I have hope
in who I am becoming.
and I have hope in who I am becoming.
Well, yes, ma'am, I do... I mean, I got everything I need right here with me. I got air in my lungs, a few blank sheets of paper. I mean, I love waking up in the morning not knowing what's gonna happen or, who I'm gonna meet, where I'm gonna wind up. Just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am on the grandest ship in the world having champagne with you fine people. I figure life's a gift and I don't intend on wasting it. You don't know what hand you're gonna get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you... to make each day count.
It was a very ordinary day, the day I realised that my becoming is my life and my home and that I don't have to do anything but trust the process, trust my story and enjoy the journey. It doesn't really matter who I've become by the finish line, the important things are the changes from this morning to when I fall asleep again, and how they happened, and who they happened with. An hour watching the stars, a coffee in the morning with someone beautiful, intelligent conversations at 5am while sharing the last cigarette. Taking trains to nowhere, walking hand in hand through foreign cities with someone you love. Oceans and poetry.
It was all very ordinary until my identity appeared, until my body and mind became one being. The day I saw the flowers and learned how to turn my daily struggles into the most extraordinary moments. Moments worth writing about. For so long I let my life slip through my fingers, like water.
I'm holding on to it now,
and I'm not letting go.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
I'll try to communicate, Taylor said. She spoke slowly and deliberately. Hello! We need help. Is your village close?
My village is Denver. And I think it's a long way from here. I'm Nicole Ade. Miss Colorado.
We have a Colorado where we're from too! Tiara said. She swiveled her hips, spread her arms wide, then brought her hands together prayer-style and bowed. Kipa aloha.
Nicole stared. I speak English. I'm American. Also, did you learn those moves from Barbie's Hawaiian Vacation DVD?
Ohmigosh, yes! Do your people have that, too?
Libba Bray (Beauty Queens)
After some time, you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand
and imprisoning a soul;
You learn that love does not equal sex,
and that company does not equal security,
and you start to learn….
That kisses are not contracts and gifts are not promises,
and you start to accept defeat with the head up high
and open eyes,
and you learn to build all roads on today,
because the terrain of tomorrow is too insecure for plans…
and the future has its own way of falling apart in half.
And you learn that if it’s too much
even the warmth of the sun can burn.
So you plant your own garden and embellish your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to bring flowers to you.
And you learn that you can actually bear hardship,
that you are actually strong,
and you are actually worthy,
and you learn and learn…and so every day.
Over time you learn that being with someone
because they offer you a good future,
means that sooner or later you’ll want to return to your past.
Over time you comprehend that only who is capable
of loving you with your flaws, with no intention of changing you
can bring you all happiness.
Over time you learn that if you are with a person
only to accompany your own solitude,
irremediably you’ll end up wishing not to see them again.
Over time you learn that real friends are few
and whoever doesn’t fight for them, sooner or later,
will find himself surrounded only with false friendships.
Over time you learn that words spoken in moments of anger
continue hurting throughout a lifetime.
Over time you learn that everyone can apologize,
but forgiveness is an attribute solely of great souls.
Over time you comprehend that if you have hurt a friend harshly
it is very likely that your friendship will never be the same.
Over time you realize that despite being happy with your friends,
you cry for those you let go.
Over time you realize that every experience lived,
with each person, is unrepeatable.
Over time you realize that whoever humiliates
or scorns another human being, sooner or later
will suffer the same humiliations or scorn in tenfold.
Over time you learn to build your roads on today,
because the path of tomorrow doesn’t exist.
Over time you comprehend that rushing things or forcing them to happen
causes the finale to be different form expected.
Over time you realize that in fact the best was not the future,
but the moment you were living just that instant.
Over time you will see that even when you are happy with those around you,
you’ll yearn for those who walked away.
Over time you will learn to forgive or ask for forgiveness,
say you love, say you miss, say you need,
say you want to be friends, since before
a grave, it will no longer make sense.
But unfortunately, only over time…
Jorge Luis Borges
In the hours that followed, I learned that Ademic hand gestures did not actually represent facial expressions. It was nothing so simple as that. For example a smile can mean you're amused, happy, grateful, or satisfied. You can smile to comfort someone. You can smile because you're content or because you're in love. A grimace or a grin look similar to a smile, but they mean entirely different things.
Imagine trying to teach someone how to smile. Imagine trying to describe what different smiles mean and when, precisely, to use them in conversation. It's harder than learning to walk.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
I'll tell you how the sun rose
A ribbon at a time...
It's a living book, this life; it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn't matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll and all your friends will fold out of your funeral and drive back to their homes in cold and still and silence. And they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were . . . and feel a kind of sickness at the idea you never again will be.
So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification.
And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?
Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)
Kid, when will you learn.”
“You’d be amazed the things I know.”
“You might be able thrash your way out of a spider-web, but thrashing in quicksand doesn’t work. The harder you fight, the more ground you lose. Struggling merely expedites your inevitable defeat.”
“Never been defeated. Never will be.”
“Rowena was a spider web.” He touches my cheek with the hand holding the knife. The silver glints an inch from my eye. “Do you know what I am.”
“A great big pain in my ass.”
“Quicksand. And you’re dancing on it.”
“Dude, what’s with the knife?”
“I’m not interested in ink anymore. You’re going to sign my contract in blood.”
“Thought you said it was an application,” I say pissily.
“It is, Dani. To a very exclusive club. What’s Mine.”
“Ain’t nobody’s. “
“Or Jo dies. Slowly and painfully.”
“Dude, why you still talking? Unchain me and give me the fecking contract already.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
Cam starts laughing, "Oh, I love it when she reads." He turns to Lucy who's face is starting to contort and turn to a bright shade of red, "She reads these smutty books, like full on dirty shit, full of sex and like... bdsm shit."
"I'm not joking boys, they're like full on pornographic. Talking about silky shafts and veiny dicks and shit," Logan is now on the ground holding his side from the pain of laughing too hard.
"Sometimes she'll be reading, then all of sudden she'll put her book down and look at me like she wants to eat me, literally eat me!" he yells, laughing harder, still swatting away her hands that are trying to shut him up, "I mean I don't mind it, not at all. It's hot as fuck. And she wants to try everything she reads in these books. Like... everything. She learns everything from these books... so I don't give a shit when, of how much she reads, I get rewards.
Jay McLean (More Than This (More Than, #1))
what love looks like
what does love look like the therapist asks
one week after the breakup
and i’m not sure how to answer her question
except for the fact that i thought love
looked so much like you
that’s when it hit me
and i realized how naive i had been
to place an idea so beautiful on the image of a person
as if anybody on this entire earth
could encompass all love represented
as if this emotion seven billion people tremble for
would look like a five foot eleven
medium-sized brown-skinned guy
who likes eating frozen pizza for breakfast
what does love look like the therapist asks again
this time interrupting my thoughts midsentence
and at this point i’m about to get up
and walk right out the door
except i paid too much money for this hour
so instead i take a piercing look at her
the way you look at someone
when you’re about to hand it to them
lips pursed tightly preparing to launch into conversation
eyes digging deeply into theirs
searching for all the weak spots
they have hidden somewhere
hair being tucked behind the ears
as if you have to physically prepare for a conversation
on the philosophies or rather disappointments
of what love looks like
well i tell her
i don’t think love is him anymore
if love was him
he would be here wouldn’t he
if he was the one for me
wouldn’t he be the one sitting across from me
if love was him it would have been simple
i don’t think love is him anymore i repeat
i think love never was
i think i just wanted something
was ready to give myself to something
i believed was bigger than myself
and when i saw someone
who probably fit the part
i made it very much my intention
to make him my counterpart
and i lost myself to him
he took and he took
wrapped me in the word special
until i was so convinced he had eyes only to see me
hands only to feel me
a body only to be with me
oh how he emptied me
how does that make you feel
interrupts the therapist
well i said
it kind of makes me feel like shit
maybe we’re looking at it wrong
we think it’s something to search for out there
something meant to crash into us
on our way out of an elevator
or slip into our chair at a cafe somewhere
appear at the end of an aisle at the bookstore
looking the right amount of sexy and intellectual
but i think love starts here
everything else is just desire and projection
of all our wants needs and fantasies
but those externalities could never work out
if we didn’t turn inward and learn
how to love ourselves in order to love other people
love does not look like a person
love is our actions
love is giving all we can
even if it’s just the bigger slice of cake
love is understanding
we have the power to hurt one another
but we are going to do everything in our power
to make sure we don’t
love is figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve
and when someone shows up
saying they will provide it as you do
but their actions seem to break you
rather than build you
love is knowing who to choose
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
As a result of his experiments he concluded that imitation was a real evil that had to be broken before real rhetoric teaching could begin. This imitation seemed to be an external compulsion. Little children didn’t have it. It seemed to come later on, possibly as a result of school itself.
That sounded right, and the more he thought about it the more right it sounded. Schools teach you to imitate. If you don’t imitate what the teacher wants you get a bad grade. Here, in college, it was more sophisticated, of course; you were supposed to imitate the teacher in such a way as to convince the teacher you were not imitating, but taking the essence of the instruction and going ahead with it on your own. That got you A’s. Originality on the other hand could get you anything – from A to F. The whole grading system cautioned against it.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
The Cyclops was about to roll the stone back into place, when from somewhere outside Annabeth shouted, "Hello, ugly!"
Polyphemus stiffened. "Who said that?"
"Nobody!" Annabeth yelled.
That got exactl;y the reaction she'd been hoping for. The monster's face turned red with rage.
"Nobody!" Polyphemus yelled back. "I remember you!"
"You're too stupid to remember anybody," Annabeth taunted. "Much less Nobody."
I hoped to the gods she was already moving when she said that, because Polyphemus bellowed furiously, grabbed the nearest boulder (which happened to be his front door) and threw it toward the sound of Annabeth's voice. I heard the rock smash into a thousand fragments.
To a terrible moment, there was silence. Then Annabeth shouted, "You haven't learned to throw any better, either!"
Polyphemus howled. "Come here! Let me kill you, Nobody!"
"You can't kill Nobody, you stupid oaf," she taunted. "Come find me!"
Polyphemus barreled down the hill toward her voice.
Now, the "Nobody" thing would have confused anybody, but Annabeth had explained to me that it was the name Odysseus had used to trick Polyphemus centuries ago, right before he poked the Cyclops's eye out with a large hot stick. Annabeth had figured Polyphemus would still have a grudge about that name, and she was right. In his frenzy to find his old enemy, he forgot about resealing the cave entrance. Apparently, he did even stop to consider that Annabeth's voice was female, whereas the first Nobody had been male. On the other hand, he'd wanted to marry Grover, so he couldn't have been all that bright about the whole male/female thing.
I just hoped Annabeth could stay alive and keep distracting him long enough for me to find Grover and Clarisse.
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
Life is messy, Ren. It's not easy and it's definitely not for the timid. Everyone has a past. Things that stab them right between the eyes. Old grudges. Old shame. Regrets that steal your sleep and leave you awake until you fear for your own sanity. Betrayals that make your soul scream so loud you wonder why no one else hears it. In the end, we are all alone in that private hell. But life isn't about learning to forgive those who have hurt you or forgetting the past. It's about learning to forgive yourself for being human and making mistakes. Yes, people disappoint us all the time. But the harshest lessons come when we disappoint ourselves. When we put our trust and our hearts into the hands of the wrong person and they do us wrong. And while we may hate them for what they did, the one we hate most is ourself for allowing them into our private circle. How could I have been so stupid? How could I let them deceive me? We all go through that. It's humanity's brotherhood of misery.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Time Untime (Dark-Hunter #21; Hellchaser, #4; Were-Hunter, #7))
Life's greatest philosophy is not handed down in stoic texts and dusty tomes, but lived, in each breath and act of human compassion. For love has always demanded sacrifice, and no greater love is there than that for which our lives are traded. And in this great cause of spiritual evolution we are all called to be martyrs, to die each of us, in the quest of a higher realm and loftier ideals, that we may know God. And what if there is nothing else? What if all life ends in the silent void of death? Then is it all in vain? I think not, for love, for the sake of love, will always be enough. And if our lives are but a single flash in the dark hollow of eternity, then if, but for the briefest of moments, we shine - then how brilliantly our light has burned. And as starlight knows no boundary of space or time, so too, our illumination will shine forth throughout all eternity, for darkness has no power to quell such light. And this is a lesson we must all learn and take to heart - that all light is eternal and all love is light. And it must forever be so.
Richard Paul Evans (The Letter (The Christmas Box, #3))
A man doesn't have time in his life
to have time for everything.
He doesn't have seasons enough to have
a season for every purpose. Ecclesiastes
Was wrong about that.
A man needs to love and to hate at the same moment,
to laugh and cry with the same eyes,
with the same hands to throw stones and to gather them,
to make love in war and war in love.
And to hate and forgive and remember and forget,
to arrange and confuse, to eat and to digest
takes years and years to do.
A man doesn't have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
he begins to forget.
And his soul is seasoned, his soul
is very professional.
Only his body remains forever
an amateur. It tries and it misses,
gets muddled, doesn't learn a thing,
drunk and blind in its pleasures
and its pains.
He will die as figs die in autumn,
Shriveled and full of himself and sweet,
the leaves growing dry on the ground,
the bare branches pointing to the place
where there's time for everything.
Yehuda Amichai (The Selected Poetry of Yehuda Amichai)
Feminism and femininity are not mutually exclusive. It is misogynistic to suggest that they are. Sadly, women have learned to be ashamed and apologetic about pursuits that are seen as traditionally female, such as fashion and makeup. But our society does not expect men to feel ashamed of pursuits considered generally male - sports cars, certain professional sports. In the same way, men's grooming is never suspect in the way women's grooming is - a well-dressed man does not worry that, because he is dressed well, certain assumptions might be made about his intelligence, his ability, or his seriousness. A woman, on the other hand, is always aware of how a bright lipstick or a carefully-put-together outfit might very well make others assume her to be frivolous.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions)
[Martin Luther King, Jr.] concluded the learned discourse that came to be known as the 'loving your enemies' sermon this way: 'So this morning, as I look into your eyes and into the eyes of all my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you,'I love you. I would rather die than hate you.''
Go ahead and reread that. That is hands down the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical thing a human being can say. And it comes from reading the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical civics lesson ever taught, when Jesus of Nazareth went to a hill in Galilee and told his disciples, 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.
Sarah Vowell (The Wordy Shipmates)
You must be completely awake in the present to enjoy the tea.
Only in the awareness of the present, can your hands feel the pleasant warmth of the cup.
Only in the present, can you savor the aroma, taste the sweetness, appreciate the delicacy.
If you are ruminating about the past, or worrying about the future, you will completely miss the experience of enjoying the cup of tea.
You will look down at the cup, and the tea will be gone.
Life is like that.
If you are not fully present, you will look around and it will be gone.
You will have missed the feel, the aroma, the delicacy and beauty of life.
It will seem to be speeding past you. The past is finished.
Learn from it and let it go.
The future is not even here yet. Plan for it, but do not waste your time worrying about it.
Worrying is worthless.
When you stop ruminating about what has already happened, when you stop worrying about what might never happen, then you will be in the present moment.
Then you will begin to experience joy in life.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Perhaps our dreams are there to be broken, and our plans are there to crumble, and our tomorrows are there to dissolve into todays, and perhaps all of this is all a giant invitation to wake up from the dream of separation, to awaken from the mirage of control, and embrace whole-heartedly what is present. Perhaps it is all a call to compassion, to a deep embrace of this universe in all its bliss and pain and bitter-sweet glory. Perhaps we were never really in control of our lives, and perhaps we are constantly invited to remember this, since we constantly forget it. Perhaps suffering is not the enemy at all, and at its core, there is a first-hand, real-time lesson we must all learn, if we are to be truly human, and truly divine. Perhaps breakdown always contains breakthrough. Perhaps suffering is simply a right of passage, not a test or a punishment, nor a signpost to something in the future or past, but a direct pointer to the mystery of existence itself, here and now. Perhaps life cannot go 'wrong' at all.
They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the America of the coming years will be a place where — because of our past excesses — it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true. I don't believe that. And, I don't believe you do either. That is why I am seeking the presidency. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don't agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.
Once there was a boy,” said Jace.
Clary interrupted immediately. “A Shadowhunter boy?”
“Of course.” For a moment a bleak amusement colored his voice. Then it was gone. “When the boy was six years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. Falcons are raptors – killing birds, his father told him, the Shadowhunters of the sky.
“The falcon didn’t like the boy, and the boy didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. It would slash at him with beak and talons when he came near: For weeks his wrists and hands were always bleeding. He didn’t know it, but his father had selected a falcon that had lived in the wild for over a year, and thus was nearly impossible to tame. But the boy tried, because his father told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father.
“He stayed with the falcon constantly, keeping it awake by talking to it and even playing music to it, because a tired bird was meant to be easier to tame. He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. He was meant to keep the falcon blind, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it – instead he tried to sit where the bird could see him as he touched and stroked its wings, willing it to trust him. Hee fed it from his hand, and at first it would not eat. Later it ate so savagely that its beak cut the skin of his palm. But the boy was glad, because it was progress, and because he wanted the bird to know him, even if the bird had to consume his blood to make that happen.
“He began to see that the falcon was beautiful, that its slim wings were built for the speed of flight, that it was strong and swift, fierce and gentle. When it dived to the ground, it moved like likght. When it learned to circle and come to his wrist, he neary shouted with delight Sometimes the bird would hope to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud.
“Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands and broke its neck. ‘I told you to make it obedient,’ his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. ‘Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets: They are fierce and wild, savage and cruel. This bird was not tamed; it was broken.’
“Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until eventually his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
No people in all history paid a higher price for freedom. And no people have done so much to advance the dignity of man. We are called materialistic. May be so…but our materialism has made our children the biggest, tallest, most handsome, and intelligent generations of Americans yet. They will live longer with fewer illnesses, learn more, see more of the world, and have more success in realizing their personal dreams and ambitions than any other people in any other period of our history - because of our materialism…I think on our side of civilization and on the other side is the law of the jungle…We all have to recognize that this country has been handed the responsibility, greater than any nation, to preserve some 6000 years of civilization against the barbarians.
Our leaders strain every nerve and with success, to get the next war going, while the rest of us, meanwhile, dance the fox trot, earn money and eat chocolates...And perhaps...it has always been the same and always will be, and what is called history at school, and all we learn by heart there about heroes and geniuses and great deeds and fine emotions, is all nothing but a swindle invented by the schoolmasters for educational reasons to keep children occupied for a given number of years. It has always been so and always will be. Time and the world, money and power belong to the small people and shallow people. To the rest, to the real men belongs nothing...eternity...it isn't fame. Fame exists in that sense only for the schoolmasters. No, it isn't fame. It is what I call eternity...The music of Mozart belongs there and the poetry of your great poets. The saints, too, belong there, who have worked wonders and suffered martyrdom and given a great example to men. But the image of every true act, the strength of every true feeling, belongs to eternity just as much, even though no one knows of it or sees it or records it or hands it down to posterity. In eternity there is no posterity...It is the kingdom on the other side of time and appearances. It is there we belong. There is our home. It is that which our heart strives for...And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
They say that people who live next to waterfalls don't hear the water. It was terrible at first. We couldn't stand to be in the house for more than a few hours at a time. The first two weeks were filled with nights of intermittent sleep and quarreling for the sake of being heard over the water. We fought so much just to remind ourselves that we were in love, and not in hate. But the next weeks were a little better. It was possible to sleep a few good hours each night and eat in only mild discomfort. [We] still cursed the water, but less frequently, and with less fury. Her attacks on me also quieted. It's your fault, she would say. You wanted to live here. Life continued, as life continues, and time passed, as time passes, and after a little more than two months: Do you hear that? I asked her one of the rare mornings we sat at the table together. Hear it? I put down my coffee and rose from my chair. You hear that thing? What thing? she asked. Exactly! I said, running outside to pump my fist at the waterfall. Exactly! We danced, throwing handfuls of water in the air, hearing nothing at all. We alternated hugs of forgiveness and shouts of human triumph at the water. Who wins the day? Who wins the day, waterfall? We do! We do! And this is what living next to a waterfall is like. Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night's sleep and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn't hear her husband's ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great-great-great-grandchildren's will be. But we learn to live in that love.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
Art, literature, and philosophy are attempts to found the world anew on a human freedom: that of the creator; to foster such an aim, one must first unequivocally posit oneself as a freedom. The restrictions that education and custom impose on a woman limit her grasp of the universe...Indeed, for one to become a creator, it is not enough to be cultivated, that is, to make going to shows and meeting people part of one's life; culture must be apprehended through the free movement of a transcendence; the spirit with all its riches must project itself in an empty sky that is its to fill; but if a thousand fine bonds tie it to the earth, its surge is broken. The girl today can certainly go out alone, stroll in the Tuileries; but I have already said how hostile the street is: eyes everywhere, hands waiting: if she wanders absentmindedly, her thoughts elsewhere, if she lights a cigarette in a cafe, if she goes to the cinema alone, an unpleasant incident can quickly occur; she must inspire respect by the way she dresses and behaves: this concern rivets her to the ground and self. "Her wings are clipped." At eighteen, T.E. Lawrence went on a grand tour through France by bicycle; a young girl would never be permitted to take on such an adventure...Yet such experiences have an inestimable impact: this is how an individual in the headiness of freedom and discovery learns to look at the entire world as his fief...[The girl] may feel alone within the world: she never stands up in front of it, unique and sovereign.
Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex)
A child's reading is guided by pleasure, but his pleasure is undifferentiated; he cannot distinguish, for example, between aesthetic pleasure and the pleasures of learning or daydreaming. In adolescence we realize that there are different kinds of pleasure, some of which cannot be enjoyed simultaneously, but we need help from others in defining them. Whether it be a matter of taste in food or taste in literature, the adolescent looks for a mentor in whose authority he can believe. He eats or reads what his mentor recommends and, inevitably, there are occasions when he has to deceive himself a little; he has to pretend that he enjoys olives or War and Peace a little more than he actually does. Between the ages of twenty and forty we are engaged in the process of discovering who we are, which involves learning the difference between accidental limitations which it is our duty to outgrow and the necessary limitations of our nature beyond which we cannot trespass with impunity. Few of us can learn this without making mistakes, without trying to become a little more of a universal man than we are permitted to be. It is during this period that a writer can most easily be led astray by another writer or by some ideology. When someone between twenty and forty says, apropos of a work of art, 'I know what I like,'he is really saying 'I have no taste of my own but accept the taste of my cultural milieu', because, between twenty and forty, the surest sign that a man has a genuine taste of his own is that he is uncertain of it. After forty, if we have not lost our authentic selves altogether, pleasure can again become what it was when we were children, the proper guide to what we should read.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand)
I'd hoped the language might come on its own, the way it comes to babies, but people don't talk to foreigners the way they talk to babies. They don't hypnotize you with bright objects and repeat the same words over and over, handing out little treats when you finally say "potty" or "wawa." It got to the point where I'd see a baby in the bakery or grocery store and instinctively ball up my fists, jealous over how easy he had it. I wanted to lie in a French crib and start from scratch, learning the language from the ground floor up. I wanted to be a baby, but instead, I was an adult who talked like one, a spooky man-child demanding more than his fair share of attention.
Rather than admit defeat, I decided to change my goals. I told myself that I'd never really cared about learning the language. My main priority was to get the house in shape. The verbs would come in due time, but until then I needed a comfortable place to hide.
Mom." I couldn't believe she was doing this again. She was taking this moment, this time when I was strongest, away from me.
"I don't care what I have to do," she said, her voice low and even. "I don't care if I have to send you away or switch schools. I don't care if I have to follow you twenty-four hours a day, you will not see him, Halley. You will not destroy yourself this way."
"Why are you just assuming I'm going back to him?" I asked her, just as she was drawing in breath to make another point.
"Why don't you ask me what I said to him out there?"
She shut her mouth, caught off guard. "What?"
"Why don't you ever wait a second and see what I'm planning, or thinking, before you burst in with your opinions and ideas? You never even give me a chance."
"Yes, I do," she said indignantly.
"No," I said. "You don't. And then you wonder why I never tell you anyone or share anything with you. I can never trust you with anything or share anything with you. I can never trust you with anything, give you any piece of me without you grabbing it to keep for yourself."
"That's not true," she said slowly, but it was just now hitting her, I could see it. "Halley, you don't always know what's at stake, and I do."
"I will never learn," I said to her slowly, "until you let me."
And so we stood there in the kitchen, my mother and I, facing off over everything that had built up since June, when I was willing to hand myself over free and clear. Now I needed her to return it all to me, with the faith that I could make my own way.
Sarah Dessen (Someone Like You)
Water splashed over my jeans, and I yelped as something burned my skin.
We examined my leg. Tiny holes marred my jeans where the drops had hit, the material seared away, the skin underneath red and burned. It throbbed as if I’d jabbed needles into my flesh.
“What the heck?” I muttered, glaring into the storm. It looked like ordinary rain—gray, misty, somewhat depressing. Almost compulsively, I stuck my hand toward the opening, where water dripped over the edge of the tube.
Ash grabbed my wrist, snatching it back. “Yes, it will burn your hand as well as your leg,” he said in a bland voice. “And here I thought you learned your lesson with the chains.”
Embarrassed, I dropped my hand and scooted farther into the tube, away from the rim and the acid rain dripping from it. “Guess I’m staying up all night,” I muttered, crossing my arms. “Wouldn’t want to doze off and find half my face melted off when I wake up.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
they're good fighters, i think proudly as i watch them duke it out. But as the oldest male in the house, it's my duty to break it up. I grab the collar of Carlos's shirt but on Louis's leg and land on the floor with them.
Before I can regain my balance, icy cold water is pored on my back. Turning quickly, I catch mi'ama dousing us all, a bucket poised in her fist abouve us while she is wearing her work uniform. She works as a checker for the local grocery store a couple blocks from our house. It doesn't pay a whole heck of a lot, but we don't need much.
"Get up" she orders, her fiery attitude out in full force.
"Shit, Ma" Carlos says, standing
Mi'ama takes what's left in her bucket, sticks her fingers in the icy water, and flicks the liquid in Carlos's face.
Luis laughs and before he knows it, he gets flicked with water as well. Will they ever learn?
"Any More attitude, Lous?" She asks.
"No, ma'am" Louis says, standing as straight as a soilder.
"You have any more filthy words to come out of that boca of yours, Carlos?" She dips her hand in the water as a warning.
"No, ma'am" echos soldier number two.
"And what abot you, Alejandro?" her eyes narrow into slits as she focuses on me
"What? I was try'in to break it up" I say innocently, giving her my you-can't-resist-me smile.
She flicks water in my face. "That's for not breaking it up sooner. Now get dressed, all of you, and come eat breakfast before school."
So much for my you-can't-resist-me smile
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
When you got captured, I didn't know..." He trailed off, had to chug whiskey before he could continue. "If it'd be like..."
"Like it was with Clotile."
"Oh, Jackson, no. I was okay. I'm unharmed."
"Didn't know if I'd get there too late," he said with a shudder. Then he crossed over to me, until we stood toe-to-toe. "Evie, if you ever get taken from me again, you better know that I'll be coming for you." He cupped my face with a bloodstained hand. "So you stay the hell alive! You don't do like Clotile, you doan take that way out. You and me can get through anything, just give me a chance."--his voice broke lower "just give me a chance to get to you." He buried his face in my hair, inhaling deeply. "There is nothing that can happen to you that we can't get past."
"When you say we...?"
He pulled back, gazing down at me, his eyes blazing. "I'm goan to lay it all out there for you. Laugh in my face--I don't care. But I'm goan to get this off my chest."
"I won't laugh. I'm listening."
"Evie, I've wanted you from the first time I saw you. Even when I hated you, I wanted you." He raked his fingers through his hair. "I got it bad, me."
My heart felt like it'd stopped--so that I could hear him better.
"For as long as you've been looking down your nose at me, I've been craving you, an envie like I've never known."
"I don't look down at you! I'm too busy looking up to you."
"The corners of his lips curled for an instant before he grew serious again. "You asked me if I had that phone with your pictures, if I'd looked at it. Damn right, I did! I saw you playing with a dog at the beach, and doing a crazy-ass flip off a high dive, and making faces for the camera. I learned about you"- his voice grew hoarse -"and I wanted more of you. To see you every day." With a humourless laugh, he admitted, "After the Flash, I was constantly sourcing ways to charge a goddamned phone--that would never make a call."
I murmured, "I didn't know...I couldn't be sure."
"It's you for me, peekon.
Kresley Cole (Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1))
As your perspective of the world increases not only is the pain it inflicts on you less but also its meaning. Understanding the world requires you to take a certain distance from it. Things that are too small to see with the naked eye, such as molecules and atoms, we magnify. Things that are too large, such as cloud formations, river deltas, constellations, we reduce. At length we bring it within the scope of our senses and we stabilize it with fixer. When it has been fixed we call it knowledge. Throughout our childhood and teenage years, we strive to attain the correct distance to objects and phenomena. We read, we learn, we experience, we make adjustments. Then one day we reach the point where all the necessary distances have been set, all the necessary systems have been put in place. That is when time begins to pick up speed. It no longer meets any obstacles, everything is set, time races through our lives, the days pass by in a flash and before we know that is happening we are fort, fifty, sixty... Meaning requires content, content requires time, time requires resistance. Knowledge is distance, knowledge is stasis and the enemy of meaning. My picture of my father on that evening in 1976 is, in other words, twofold: on the one hand I see him as I saw him at that time, through the eyes of an eight-year-old: unpredictable and frightening; on the other hand, I see him as a peer through whose life time is blowing and unremittingly sweeping large chunks of meaning along with it.
Karl Ove Knausgård (Min kamp 1 (Min kamp #1))
He puts down the pen, folds the sheet of paper, and slips it inside an envelope. He stands up, takes from his trunk a mahogany box, lifts the lid, lets the letter fall inside, open and unaddressed. In the box are hundreds of identical envelopes, open and unaddressed. He thinks that somewhere in the world he will meet a woman who has always been his woman. Every now and again he regrets that destiny has been so stubbornly determined to make him wait with such indelicate tenacity, but with time he has learned to consider the matter with great serenity. Almost every day, for years now, he has taken pen in hand to write to her. He has no names or addresses to put on the envelopes: but he has a life to recount. And to whom, if not to her? He thinks that when they meet it will be wonderful to place the mahogany box full of letters on her lap and say to her, 'I was waiting for you.'
"She will open the box and slowly, when she so desires, read the letters one by one. As she works her way back up the interminable thread of blue ink she will gather up the years-- the days, the moments-- that that man, before he ever met her, had already given to her. Or perhaps more simply, she will overturn the box and astonished at that comical snowstorm of letters, she will smile, saying to that man, 'You are mad.' And she will love him forever.
I believe in political equality. But there are two opposite reasons for being a democrat. You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth, and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice. That is, in my opinion, the false, romantic doctrine of democracy. On the other hand, you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows.
That I believe to be the true ground of democracy. I do not believe that God created an egalitarian world. I believe the authority of parent over child, husband over wife, learned over simple to have been as much a part of the original plan as the authority of man over beast. I believe that if we had not fallen...patriarchal monarchy would be the sole lawful government. But since we have learned sin, we have found, as Lord Acton says, that 'all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.' The only remedy has been to take away the powers and substitute a legal fiction of equality. The authority of father and husband has been rightly abolished on the legal plane, not because this authority is in itself bad (on the contrary, it is, I hold, divine in origin), but because fathers and husbands are bad. Theocracy has been rightly abolished not because it is bad that learned priests should govern ignorant laymen, but because priests are wicked men like the rest of us. Even the authority of man over beast has had to be interfered with because it is constantly abused.
C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America.
You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand.
I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House.
You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down.
Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too.
The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms.
We were not afforded that liberty.
But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice.
Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us.
If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election.
And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
I was on a mission. I had to learn to comfort myself, to see what others saw in me and believe it. I needed to discover what the hell made me happy other than being in love. Mission impossible.
When did figuring out what makes you happy become work? How had I let myself get to this point, where I had to learn me..? It was embarrassing. In my college psychology class, I had studied theories of adult development and learned that our twenties are for experimenting, exploring different jobs, and discovering what fulfills us. My professor warned against graduate school, asserting, "You're not fully formed yet. You don't know if it's what you really want to do with your life because you haven't tried enough things." Oh, no, not me.." And if you rush into something you're unsure about, you might awake midlife with a crisis on your hands," he had lectured it. Hi. Try waking up a whole lot sooner with a pre-thirty predicament worm dangling from your early bird mouth.
"Well to begin," Phone Therapist responded, "you have to learn to take care of yourself. To nurture and comfort that little girl inside you, to realize you are quite capable of relying on yourself. I want you to try to remember what brought you comfort when you were younger."
Bowls of cereal after school, coated in a pool of orange-blossom honey. Dragging my finger along the edge of a plate of mashed potatoes. I knew I should have thought "tea" or "bath," but I didn't. Did she want me to answer aloud?
"Grilled cheese?" I said hesitantly.
"Okay, good. What else?"
I thought of marionette shows where I'd held my mother's hand and looked at her after a funny part to see if she was delighted, of brisket sandwiches with ketchup, like my dad ordered. Sliding barn doors, baskets of brown eggs, steamed windows, doubled socks, cupcake paper, and rolled sweater collars. Cookouts where the fathers handled the meat, licking wobbly batter off wire beaters, Christmas ornaments in their boxes, peanut butter on apple slices, the sounds and light beneath an overturned canoe, the pine needle path to the ocean near my mother's house, the crunch of snow beneath my red winter boots, bedtime stories. "My parents," I said. Damn. I felt like she made me say the secret word and just won extra points on the Psychology Game Network. It always comes down to our parents in therapy.
Stephanie Klein (Straight Up and Dirty)
I want to be able to listen to recording of piano sonatas and know who's playing. I want to go to classical concerts and know when you're meant to clap. I want to be able to 'get' modern jazz without it all sounding like this terrible mistake, and I want to know who the Velvet Underground are exactly. I want to be fully engaged in the World of Ideas, I want to understand complex economics, and what people see in Bob Dylan. I want to possess radical but humane and well-informed political ideals, and I want to hold passionate but reasoned debates round wooden kitchen tables, saying things like 'define your terms!' and 'your premise is patently specious!' and then suddenly to discover that the sun's come up and we've been talking all night. I want to use words like 'eponymous' and 'solipsistic' and 'utilitarian' with confidence. I want to learn to appreciate fine wines, and exotic liquers, and fine single malts, and learn how to drink them without turning into a complete div, and to eat strange and exotic foods, plovers' eggs and lobster thermidor, things that sound barely edible, or that I can't pronounce...Most of all I want to read books; books thick as brick, leather-bound books with incredibly thin paper and those purple ribbons to mark where you left off; cheap, dusty, second-hand books of collected verse, incredibly expensive, imported books of incomprehensible essays from foregin universities.
At some point I'd like to have an original idea...And all of these are the things that a university education's going to give me.
David Nicholls (Starter for Ten)
I need not describe the feelings of those whose dearest ties are rent by that most irreparable evil, the void that presents itself to the soul, and the despair that is exhibited on the countenance. It is so long before the mind can persuade itself that she whom we saw every day and whose very existence appeared a part of our own can have departed forever—that the brightness of a beloved eye can have been extinguished and the sound of a voice so familiar and dear to the ear can be hushed, never more to be heard. These are the reflections of the first days; but when the lapse of time proves the reality of the evil, then the actual bitterness of grief commences. Yet from whom has not that rude hand rent away some dear connection? And why should I describe a sorrow which all have felt, and must feel? The time at length arrives when grief is rather an indulgence than a necessity; and the smile that plays upon the lips, although it may be deemed a sacrilege, is not banished. My mother was dead, but we had still duties which we ought to perform; we must continue our course with the rest and learn to think ourselves fortunate whilst one remains whom the spoiler has not seized.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
It’s the chemicals in our brains, they say. I got the wrong chemicals, Ma. Or rather, I don’t get enough of one or the other. They have a pill for it. They have an industry. They make millions. Did you know people get rich off of sadness? I want to meet the millionaire of American sadness. I want to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and say, “it’s been an honor to serve my country.”
The thing is, I don’t want my sadness to be othered from me just as I don’t want my happiness to be othered. They’re both mine. I made them, dammit. What if the elation I feel is not another “bipolar episode” but something I fought hard for? Maybe I jump up and down and kiss you too hard on the neck when I learn, upon coming home, that it’s pizza night because sometimes pizza night is more than enough, is my most faithful and feeble beacon. What if I’m running outside because the moon tonight is children’s-book huge and ridiculous over the pines, the sight of it a strange sphere of medicine?
It’s like when all you’ve been seeing before you is a cliff and then this bright bridge appears out of nowhere, and you run fast across it knowing, sooner or later, there’ll be another cliff on the other side. What if my sadness is actually my most brutal teacher? And the lesson is always this: you don’t have to be like the buffaloes.
You can stop.
Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous)
Ah, Belikov," said Abe, shaking Dimitri's hand. "I'd been hoping we'd run into each other. I'd really like to get to know you better. Maybe we can set aside some time to talk, learn more about life, love, et cetera. Do you like to hunt? You seem like a hunting man. That's what we should do sometime. I know a great spot in the woods. Far, far away. We could make a day of it. I've certainly got a lot of question to ask you. A lot of things I'd like to tell you."
I shot a panicked look at my mother, silently begging her to stop this. Abe had spent a good deal of time talking to Adrian when we dated, explaining in vivid and gruesome detail exactly how Abe expected his daughter to be treated. I did not want Abe taking Dimitri off alone into the wilderness, especially if firearms were involved.
"Actually," said my mum casually."I'd like to come along. I also have a number of questions-especially about when you two were back at St. Vladimir's."
"Don't you guys have somewhere to be?" I asked hastily. "We're about to start."
That, at least, was true. Nearly everyone was in formation, and the crowd was quieting. "of course," said Abe. To my astonishment, he brushed a kiss over my forehead before stepping away. "I'm glad you're back." Then, with a wink, he said to Dimitri:"Looking forward to our chat."
"Run," I said when they were gone. "If you slip out now, maybe they won't notice. Go back to Siberia.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked:
‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’
His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’
Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.
‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’
‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.’
‘First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us according to His will.’
‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpner. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.
‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.’
‘Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.’
‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action
Paulo Coelho (Like the Flowing River)
Did you know sometimes it frightens me--
when you say my name and I can't see you?
will you ever learn to materialize before you speak?
impetuous boy, if that's what you really are.
how many centuries since you've climbed a balcony
or do you do this every night with someone else?
you tell me that you'll never leave
and I am almost afraid to believe it.
why is it me you've chosen to follow?
did you like the way I look when I am sleeping?
was my hair more fun to tangle?
are my dreams more entertaining?
do you laugh when I'm complaining that I'm all alone?
where were you when I searched the sea
for a friend to talk to me?
in a year where will you be?
is it enough for you to steal into my mind
filling up my page with music written in my hand
you know I'll take the credit for I must have made you come to me somehow.
but please try to close the curtains when you leave at night,
or I'll have to find someone to stay and warm me.
will you always attend my midnight tea parties--
as long as I set it at your place?
if one day your sugar sits untouched
will you have gone forever?
would you miss me in a thousand years--
when you will dry another's tears?
but you say you'll never leave me
and I wonder if you'll have the decency
to pass through my wall to the next room
while I dress for dinner
but when I'm stuck in conversation
with stuffed shirts whose adoration
hurts my ears,
where are you then?
can't you cut in when I dance with other men?
it's too late not to interfere with my life
you've already made me a most unsuitable wife
for any man who wants to be the first his bride has slept with
and you can't just fly into people's bedrooms
then expect them to calmly wave goodbye
you've changed the course of history
and didn't even try
where are you now--
standing behind me,
taking my hand?
come and remind me
who you are
have you traveled far
are you made of stardust too
are the angels after you
tell me what I am to do
but until then I'll save your side of the bed
just come and sing me to sleep
Some sleepers have intelligent faces even in sleep, while other faces, even intelligent ones, become very stupid in sleep and therefore ridiculous. I don't know what makes that happen; I only want to say that a laughing man, like a sleeping one, most often knows nothing about his face. A great many people don't know how to laugh at all. However, there's nothing to know here: it's a gift, and it can't be fabricated. It can only be fabricated by re-educating oneself, developing oneself for the better, and overcoming the bad instincts of one's character; then the laughter of such a person might quite possibly change for the better. A man can give himself away completely by his laughter, so that you suddenly learn all of his innermost secrets. Even indisputably intelligent laughter is sometimes repulsive. Laughter calls first of all for sincerity, and where does one find sincerity? Laughter calls for lack of spite, but people most often laugh spitefully. Sincere and unspiteful laughter is mirth. A man's mirth is a feature that gives away the whole man, from head to foot. Someone's character won't be cracked for a long time, then the man bursts out laughing somehow quite sincerely, and his whole character suddenly opens up as if on the flat of your hand. Only a man of the loftiest and happiest development knows how to be mirthful infectiously, that is, irresistibly and goodheartedly. I'm not speaking of his mental development, but of his character, of the whole man. And so, if you want to discern a man and know his soul, you must look, not at how he keeps silent, or how he speaks, or how he weeps, or even how he is stirred by the noblest ideas, but you had better look at him when he laughs. If a man has a good laugh, it means he's a good man. Note at the same time all the nuances: for instance, a man's laughter must in no case seem stupid to you, however merry and simplehearted it may be. The moment you notice the slightest trace of stupidity in someone's laughter, it undoubtedly means that the man is of limited intelligence, though he may do nothing but pour out ideas. Or if his laughter isn't stupid, but the man himself, when he laughs, for some reason suddenly seems ridiculous to you, even just slightly—know, then, that the man has no real sense of dignity, not fully in any case. Or finally, if his laughter is infectious, but for some reason still seems banal to you, know, then, that the man's nature is on the banal side as well, and all the noble and lofty that you noticed in him before is either deliberately affected or unconsciously borrowed, and later on the man is certain to change for the worse, to take up what's 'useful' and throw his noble ideas away without regret, as the errors and infatuations of youth.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Adolescent)
<…>Tate fell silent.
"Since the day I was released, you knocked yourself out. You had my back, you took care of Lexie when we had our thing then you did what you could to help me sort that. It's important to me that you know I'm grateful. I've been tryin' to figure out how I can show how much but, keep thinkin' on it, nothin' comes to mind and I know why. I get it. You're a man who has everything so there is nothing I can hand you that you want or need. And I get that because I am now that same man. So the only thing I can give you are words and, my guess is, that'll be enough. If it isn't, you name it and it's yours."
"Friends do what I did for friends," Tate returned.
"No they don't, Tate. You did what you did for me because you're you. That's what I'm talkin' about."
Tate ws silent a moment then he said, "Well then, you guessed right. Words are enough."
Tate tipped his head to the side and asked jokingly, "We done with the near-midnight in the middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart?"
Ty didn't feel like joking and answered, "No."
"Then what -?"
"Love you, man," Ty interrupted quietly.
"Learned the hard way not to delay in expressing that sentiment so I'm not gonna delay. You call me brother and I got one who's blood who don't mean shit to me and today, all this shit done, rejoicing and reflecting, it hit me that I got two who aren't blood but who do mean something. And you're one of those two."
"Ty-" Tate murmured.
"I will never forget, until I die, what you did for me and my wife and until that day I will never stop bein' grateful."
"Fuck man," Tate whispered.
"Now, do those words work so you get what you did mean to me?"
Silence then, "Yeah, they work."
"Good, then now we're done with our near-midnight, middle of fuckin' nowhere heart-to-heart," Ty declared, turned, opened the door to the Viper and started folding in.
He stopped with his ass nearly to the seat and looked up over the door when Tate called his name.
"I don't have a blood brother," Tate said. "But you should know there's a reason I call you that."<…>
Kristen Ashley (Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3))
[How do I do it?] Well, it's always a mystery, because you don't know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I've learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don't cripple myself, I don't tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.
Here you sit on your high-backed chair
Wonder how the view is from there
I wouldn't know 'cause I like to sit
Upon the floor, yeah upon the floor
If you like we could play a game
Let's pretend that we are the same
But you will have to look much closer
Than you do, closer than you do
And I'm far too tired to stay here anymore
And I don't care what you think anyway
'Cause I think you were wrong about me
Yeah what if you were, what if you were
And what if I'm a snowstorm burning
What if I'm a world unturning
What if I'm an ocean, far too shallow, much too deep
What if I'm the kindest demon
Something you may not believe in
What if I'm a siren singing gentlemen to sleep
I know you've got it figured out
Tell me what I am all about
And I just might learn a thing or two
Hundred about you, maybe about you
I'm the end of your telescope
I don't change just to suit your vision
'Cause I am bound by a fraying rope
Around my hands, tied around my hands
And you close your eyes when I say I'm breaking free
And put your hands over both your ears
Because you cannot stand to believe I'm not
The perfect girl you thought
Well what have I got to lose
And what if I'm a weeping willow
Laughing tears upon my pillow
What if I'm a socialite who wants to be alone
What if I'm a toothless leopard
What if I'm a sheepless shepherd
What if I'm an angel without wings to take me home
You don't know me
Never will, never will
I'm outside your picture frame
And the glass is breaking now
You can't see me
Never will, never will
If you're never gonna see
What if I'm a crowded desert
Too much pain with little pleasure
What if I'm the nicest place you never want to go
What if I don't know who I am
Will that keep us both from trying
To find out and when you have
Be sure to let me know
What if I'm a snowstorm burning
What if I'm a world unturning
What if I'm an ocean, far too shallow, much too deep
What if I'm the kindest demon
Something you may not believe in
What if I'm a siren singing gentlemen to sleep
Once upon a time, there was a boy. He lived in a village that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered and everything was possible. A stick could be a sword. A pebble could be a diamond. A tree was a castle.
Once upon a time, there was a boy who lived in a house across the field from a girl who no longer exists. They made up a thousand games. She was the Queen and he was the King. In the autumn light, her hair shone like a crown. They collected the world in small handfuls. When the sky grew dark, they parted with leaves in their hair.
Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering. When they were ten he asked her to marry him. When they were eleven he kissed her for the first time. When they were thirteen they got into a fight and for three weeks they didn't talk. When they were fifteen she showed him the scar on her left breast. Their love was a secret they told no one. He promised her he would never love another girl as long as he lived. "What if I die?" she asked. "Even then," he said. For her sixteenth birthday, he gave her an English dictionary and together they learned the words. "What's this?" he'd ask, tracing his index finger around her ankle and she'd look it up. "And this?" he'd ask, kissing her elbow. "Elbow! What kind of word is that?" and then he'd lick it, making her giggle. "What about this," he asked, touching the soft skin behind her ear. "I don't know," she said, turning off the flashlight and rolling over, with a sigh, onto her back. When they were seventeen they made love for the first time, on a bed of straw in a shed. Later-when things happened that they could never have imagined-she wrote him a letter that said: When will you learn that there isn't a word for everything?
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
MY MOTHER GETS DRESSED
It is impossible for my mother to do even
the simplest things for herself anymore
so we do it together,
get her dressed.
I choose the clothes without
zippers or buckles or straps,
clothes that are simple
but elegant, and easy to get into.
Otherwise, it's just like every other day.
After bathing, getting dressed.
The stockings go on first.
This time, it's the new ones,
the special ones with opaque black triangles
that she's never worn before,
bought just two weeks ago
at her favorite department store.
We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toes
into the stocking tip
then a smooth yank past the knob of her ankle
and over her cool, smooth calf
then the other toe
cool ankle, smooth calf
up the legs
and the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist.
You're doing great, Mom,
I tell her
as we ease her body
against mine, rest her whole weight against me
to slide her black dress
with the black empire collar
over her head
struggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve.
I reach from the outside
deep into the dark for her hand,
grasp where I can't see for her touch.
You've got to help me a little here, Mom
I tell her
then her fingertips touch mine
and we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouth
together, then we rest, her weight against me
before threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep
and now over the head.
I gentle the black dress over her breasts,
thighs, bring her makeup to her,
put some color on her skin.
Green for her eyes.
Coral for her lips.
I get her black hat.
She's ready for her company.
I tell the two women in simple, elegant suits
waiting outside the bedroom, come in.
They tell me, She's beautiful.
Yes, she is, I tell them.
I leave as they carefully
zip her into
the black body bag.
Three days later,
I dream a large, green
When I unzip it,
my mother is inside.
Her dress matches
her eyeshadow, which matches
perfectly. She's wearing
"I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, waving
and I wake up.
Four days later, she comes home
in a plastic black box
that is heavier than it looks.
In the middle of a meadow,
I learn a naked
more than naked.
I learn a new way to hug
as I tighten my fist
around her body,
my hand filled with her ashes
and the small stones of bones.
I squeeze her tight
then open my hand
and release her
into the smallest, hottest sun,
a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
Damon spoke without moving. “I’m not like you.”
“You’re not as different from us as you want to think,” Matt said. “Look,” he added, an odd note of challenge in his voice, “I know you killed Mr. Tanner in self-defense, because you told me. And I know you didn’t come here to Fell’s Church because Bonnie’s spell dragged you here, because I sorted the hair and I didn’t make any mistakes. You’re more like us than you admit, Damon. The only thing I don’t know is why you didn’t go into Vickie’s house to help her.”
Damon snapped, almost automatically, “Because I wasn’t invited!”
Memory swept over Bonnie. Herself standing outside Vickie’s house, Damon standing beside her. Stefan’s voice: Vickie, invite me in. But no one had invited Damon.
“But how did Klaus get in, then—?” she began, following her own thoughts.
“That was Tyler’s job, I’m sure,” Damon said tersely. “What Tyler did for Klaus in return for learning how to reclaim his heritage. And he must have invited Klaus in before we ever started guarding the house—probably before Stefan and I came to Fell’s Church. Klaus was well prepared. That night he was in the house and the girl was dead before I knew what was happening.”
“Why didn’t you call for Stefan?” Matt said. There was no accusation in his voice. It was a simple question.
“Because there was nothing he could have done! I knew what you were dealing with as soon as I saw it. An Old One. Stefan would only have gotten himself killed—and the girl was past caring, anyway.”
Bonnie heard the thread of coldness in his voice, and when Damon turned back to Stefan and Elena, his face had hardened. It was as if some decision had been made.
“You see, I’m not like you,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter.” Stefan had still not withdrawn his hand. Neither had Elena.
L.J. Smith (Dark Reunion (The Vampire Diaries, #4))
At that moment it seemed to him that time stood still and the soul of the world surged within him. When he looked into her dark eyes and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke. The language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well. She smiled, and that was certainly an omen. The omen he had been awaiting without even knowing he was for all his life. The omen he sought to find in his sheep and in his books. In the crystals and in the silence of the desert... It was the pure language of the world. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life. And that, with no need for words she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it, than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before becoming committed. But maybe people who felt that way never learned the universal language. Because when you know that language, its easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you. Whether its in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love and makes a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one's dreams would have no meaning. Maktub..
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life--daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.
These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. “Life” does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response. Sometimes the situation in which a man finds himself may require him to shape his own fate by action. At other times it is more advantageous for him to make use of an opportunity for contemplation and to realize assets in this way. Sometimes man may be required simple to accept fate, to bear his cross. Every situation is distinguished by its uniqueness, and there is always only one right answer to the problem posed by the situation at hand.
When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.
Viktor E. Frankl
Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem
Thunder rumbles in the mountain passes
And lightning rattles the eaves of our houses.
Flood waters await us in our avenues.
Snow falls upon snow, falls upon snow to avalanche
Over unprotected villages.
The sky slips low and grey and threatening.
We question ourselves.
What have we done to so affront nature?
We worry God.
Are you there? Are you there really?
Does the covenant you made with us still hold?
Into this climate of fear and apprehension, Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from rancor,
Come the way of friendship.
It is the Glad Season.
Thunder ebbs to silence and lightning sleeps quietly in the corner.
Flood waters recede into memory.
Snow becomes a yielding cushion to aid us
As we make our way to higher ground.
Hope is born again in the faces of children
It rides on the shoulders of our aged as they walk into their sunsets.
Hope spreads around the earth. Brightening all things,
Even hate which crouches breeding in dark corridors.
In our joy, we think we hear a whisper.
At first it is too soft. Then only half heard.
We listen carefully as it gathers strength.
We hear a sweetness.
The word is Peace.
It is loud now. It is louder.
Louder than the explosion of bombs.
We tremble at the sound. We are thrilled by its presence.
It is what we have hungered for.
Not just the absence of war. But, true Peace.
A harmony of spirit, a comfort of courtesies.
Security for our beloveds and their beloveds.
We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.
It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.
On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.
At this Holy Instant, we celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ
Into the great religions of the world.
We jubilate the precious advent of trust.
We shout with glorious tongues at the coming of hope.
All the earth's tribes loosen their voices
To celebrate the promise of Peace.
We, Angels and Mortal's, Believers and Non-Believers,
Look heavenward and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at our world and speak the word aloud.
Peace. We look at each other, then into ourselves
And we say without shyness or apology or hesitation.
Peace, My Brother.
Peace, My Sister.
Peace, My Soul.
Maya Angelou (Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem)
You, Doctor Martin, walk
from breakfast to madness. Late August,
I speed through the antiseptic tunnel
where the moving dead still talk
of pushing their bones against the thrust
of cure. And I am queen of this summer hotel
or the laughing bee on a stalk
of death. We stand in broken
lines and wait while they unlock
the doors and count us at the frozen gates
of dinner. The shibboleth is spoken
and we move to gravy in our smock
of smiles. We chew in rows, our plates
scratch and whine like chalk
in school. There are no knives
for cutting your throat. I make
moccasins all morning. At first my hands
kept empty, unraveled for the lives
they used to work. Now I learn to take
them back, each angry finger that demands
I mend what another will break
tomorrow. Of course, I love you;
you lean above the plastic sky,
god of our block, prince of all the foxes.
The breaking crowns are new
that Jack wore. Your third eye
moves among us and lights the separate boxes
where we sleep or cry.
What large children we are
here. All over I grow most tall
in the best ward. Your business is people,
you call at the madhouse, an oracular
eye in our nest. Out in the hall
the intercom pages you. You twist in the pull
of the foxy children who fall
like floods of life in frost.
And we are magic talking to itself,
noisy and alone. I am queen of all my sins
forgotten. Am I still lost?
Once I was beautiful. Now I am myself,
counting this row and that row of moccasins
waiting on the silent shelf.
Anne Sexton (To Bedlam and Part Way Back)
Marya put down her fork. “Why are you doing this, Koschei? I have had lovers before. You have, too. Remember Marina? The rusalka? She and I swam together every morning. We raced the salmon. You called us your little sharks.”
The Tsar of Life held his knife so tightly Marya could see his knucklebones bulging. “Were any of them called Ivan? Were any of them human boys all sticky with their own innocence? I know you. I know you because you are like me, as much like me as two spoons nested in each other.” Her husband leaned close to her, the candlelight sparking in his dark, shaggy hair. “When you steal them, they mean so much more, Marousha. Trust me. I know. What did I do wrong? Was I boring? Did I ignore you? Did I not give you enough pretty dresses? Enough emeralds? I’m sure I have more, somewhere.”
Marya lifted her hand and laid it on her husband’s cheek. With a blinking quickness, she drove her nails deep into his face. “Don’t you dare speak to me like that. I have worn nothing but blood and death for years. I have fought all your battles for you, just as you asked me. I have learned all the tricks you said I must learn. I have learned not to cry when I strangle a man. I have learned to lay my finger aside my nose and disappear. I have learned to watch everything die. I am not a little girl anymore, dazzled by your magic. It is my magic, now, too. And if I have watched all my soldiers die in front of me, if I have only been saved by my rifle and my own hands, if I have drunk more blood than water for weeks, then I take the human boy who stumbled into my tent and hold him between my legs until I stop screaming, you will not punish me for it. Are we not chyerti? Are we not devils? I will not even hear your punishment, old man.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless)
Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You're an orphan right?
Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting)
In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve?
The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you're going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.
Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business.
When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic.
Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway. Forget motivation. Just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward.
Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.
Life is playing a poor hand well. The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside.
Why worry about things you can't control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?
Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem.
Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living.
Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you're not failing, you're probably not really moving forward.
Everything in life brings risk. It's true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it. But you also risk failure if you stand still and don't try anything new.
The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure. Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success.
If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you're not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve.
The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get.
Determining what went wrong in a situation has value. But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward. Don't let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action.
The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying?
Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline.
Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Nothing worth achieving comes easily. The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence.
Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Integrity is a must. Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might.
If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it. Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error. You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail.
The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface.
Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.
John C. Maxwell (Failing Forward)
Their [girls] sexual energy, their evaluation of adolescent boys and other girls goes thwarted, deflected back upon the girls, unspoken, and their searching hungry gazed returned to their own bodies. The questions, Whom do I desire? Why? What will I do about it? are turned around: Would I desire myself? Why?...Why not? What can I do about it?
The books and films they see survey from the young boy's point of view his first touch of a girl's thighs, his first glimpse of her breasts. The girls sit listening, absorbing, their familiar breasts estranged as if they were not part of their bodies, their thighs crossed self-consciously, learning how to leave their bodies and watch them from the outside. Since their bodies are seen from the point of view of strangeness and desire, it is no wonder that what should be familiar, felt to be whole, become estranged and divided into parts. What little girls learn is not the desire for the other, but the desire to be desired. Girls learn to watch their sex along with the boys; that takes up the space that should be devoted to finding out about what they are wanting, and reading and writing about it, seeking it and getting it. Sex is held hostage by beauty and its ransom terms are engraved in girls' minds early and deeply with instruments more beautiful that those which advertisers or pornographers know how to use: literature, poetry, painting, and film.
This outside-in perspective on their own sexuality leads to the confusion that is at the heart of the myth. Women come to confuse sexual looking with being looked at sexually ("Clairol...it's the look you want"); many confuse sexually feeling with being sexually felt ("Gillete razors...the way a woman wants to feel"); many confuse desiring with being desirable. "My first sexual memory," a woman tells me, "was when I first shaved my legs, and when I ran my hand down the smooth skin I felt how it would feel to someone else's hand." Women say that when they lost weight they "feel sexier" but the nerve endings in the clitoris and nipples don't multiply with weight loss. Women tell me they're jealous of the men who get so much pleasure out of the female body that they imagine being inside the male body that is inside their own so that they can vicariously experience desire.
Could it be then that women's famous slowness of arousal to men's, complex fantasy life, the lack of pleasure many experience in intercourse, is related to this cultural negation of sexual imagery that affirms the female point of view, the culture prohibition against seeing men's bodies as instruments of pleasure? Could it be related to the taboo against representing intercourse as an opportunity for a straight woman actively to pursue, grasp, savor, and consume the male body for her satisfaction, as much as she is pursued, grasped, savored, and consumed for his?
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
What - what - what are you doing?" he demanded.
"I am almost six hundred years old," Magnus claimed, and Ragnor snorted, since Magnus changed his age to suit himself every few weeks. Magnus swept on. "It does seem about time to learn a musical instrument." He flourished his new prize, a little stringed instrument that looked like a cousin of the lute that the lute was embarrassed to be related to. "It's called a charango. I am planning to become a charanguista!"
"I wouldn't call that an instrument of music," Ragnor observed sourly. "An instrument of torture, perhaps."
Magnus cradled the charango in his arms as if it were an easily offended baby. "It's a beautiful and very unique instrument! The sound box is made from an armadillo. Well, a dried armadillo shell."
"That explains the sound you're making," said Ragnor. "Like a lost, hungry armadillo."
"You are just jealous," Magnus remarked calmly. "Because you do not have the soul of a true artiste like myself."
"Oh, I am positively green with envy," Ragnor snapped.
"Come now, Ragnor. That's not fair," said Magnus. "You know I love it when you make jokes about your complexion."
Magnus refused to be affected by Ragnor's cruel judgments. He regarded his fellow warlock with a lofty stare of superb indifference, raised his charango, and began to play again his defiant, beautiful tune.
They both heard the staccato thump of frantically running feet from within the house, the swish of skirts, and then Catarina came rushing out into the courtyard. Her white hair was falling loose about her shoulders, and her face was the picture of alarm.
"Magnus, Ragnor, I heard a cat making a most unearthly noise," she exclaimed. "From the sound of it, the poor creature must be direly sick. You have to help me find it!"
Ragnor immediately collapsed with hysterical laughter on his windowsill. Magnus stared at Catarina for a moment, until he saw her lips twitch.
"You are conspiring against me and my art," he declared. "You are a pack of conspirators."
He began to play again. Catarina stopped him by putting a hand on his arm.
"No, but seriously, Magnus," she said. "That noise is appalling."
Magnus sighed. "Every warlock's a critic."
"Why are you doing this?"
"I have already explained myself to Ragnor. I wish to become proficient with a musical instrument. I have decided to devote myself to the art of the charanguista, and I wish to hear no more petty objections."
"If we are all making lists of things we wish to hear no more . . . ," Ragnor murmured.
Catarina, however, was smiling.
"I see," she said.
"Madam, you do not see."
"I do. I see it all most clearly," Catarina assured him. "What is her name?"
"I resent your implication," Magnus said. "There is no woman in the case. I am married to my music!"
"Oh, all right," Catarina said. "What's his name, then?"
His name was Imasu Morales, and he was gorgeous.
Cassandra Clare (The Bane Chronicles)
You will not remember much from school.
School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly "right" way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. "The early bird catches the worm" does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been.
(People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
We aren't fighting right now." I blurted out.
He gave me a sidelong look. "Do you want to fight?"
"No. I hate fighting with you. Verbally, I mean. I don't mind in the gym."
I thought I detected the hint of a smile. Always a half-smile for me. Rarely a full one. "I don't like fighting with you either."
Sitting next to him there, I marveled at the warm and happy emotions springing up inside me. There was something about being around him that felt so good, that moved me in a way Mason couldn't. You can't force love, I realized, It's there or it isn't. If it's not there, you've got to be able to admit it. If it is there, you've got to do whatever it takes to protect the ones you love.
The next words that came out of my mouth astonished me, both because they were completely unselfish and because I actually meant them.
"You should take it."
He flinched. "What?"
"Tasha's offer. You should take her up on it. It's a really great chance."
I remembered my mom's words about being ready for children. I wasn't. Maybe she hadn't been. But Tasha was. And I knew Dimitri was too. They got along really well. He could go be her guardian, have some kids with her...it would be a good deal for both of them.
"I never expected to hear you say anything like that," he told me, voice tight. "Especially after-"
"What a bitch I've been? Yeah." I tugged his coat tighter against the cold. It smelled like him. It was intoxicating, and I could half-imagine being wrapped in his embrace. Adrian might have been onto something about the power of scent. "Well. Like I said, I don't want to fight anymore. I don't want us to hate each other. And...well..." I squeezed my eyes shut and then opened them. "No matter how I feel about us...I want you to be happy."
Silence yet again. I noticed then that my chest hurt.
Dimitri reached out and put his arm around me. He pulled me to him, and I rested my head on his chest. "Roza," was all he said.
It was the first time he'd really touched me since the night of the lust charm. The practice room had been something different...more animal. This wasn't even about sex. It was just about being close to someone you cared about, about the emotion that kind of connection flooded you with.
Dimitri might run off with Tasha, but I would still love him. I would probably always love him.
I cared about Mason. But I would probably never love him.
I sighed into Dimitri, just wishing I could stay like that forever. It felt right being with him. And-no matter how much the thought of him and Tasha made me ache-doing what was best for him felt right. Now, I knew, it was time to stop being a coward and do something else that was right. Mason had said I needed to learn something about myself. I just had.
Reluctantly, I pulled away and handed Dimitri his coat. I stood up. He regarded me curiously, sensing my unease.
"Where you going?" he asked.
"To break someone's heart," I replied.
I admired Dimitri for a heartbeat more-the dark, knowing eyes and silken hair. The I headed inside. I had to apologize to Mason...and tell him there'd never be anything between us.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))