Happens Life Goes On Quotes

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Things end. People leave. And you know what? Life goes on. Besides, if bad things didn't happen, how would you be able to feel the good ones?
Elizabeth Scott (Perfect You)
...nothing ever happens quickly (except when it does). Nothing is ever, ever easy (except when it is). And, most of all, nothing ever goes perfectly according to plan (except in the movies).
Ally Carter (Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4))
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes "What the hell is water?
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
Things change. Stuff happens. Life goes on.
Elizabeth Scott
You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.
Neil Gaiman (Fables & Reflections (The Sandman, #6))
Sweat isn't a bad thing," he said, leaning his head against the wall thoughtfully. "Some of the best things in life happen while your sweating. Yeah, if you get too much of it and it gets old and stale, it turns pretty gross. But on a beautiful women? Intoxicating. If you could smell things like a vampire does, you'd know what I'm talking about. Most people mess it all up and drown themselves in perfume. Perfume can be good...especially if you get one that goes with your chemistry. But you only need a hint. Mix about 20 percent of that with 80 percent of your own perspiration...mmm." He tilted his head to the side and looked at me. "Dead sexy.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7))
Is it dangerous to plan too much? Yes, we all need to plan, to have a plan, but life goes on regardless of our plans and we know only too well what happens to so many of the best laid plans of mice and men!
Leslie Garland (The Golden Tup (The Red Grouse Tales))
...the routine of life goes on, whatever happens, we do the same things, go through the little performance of eating, sleeping, washing. No crisis can break through the crust of habit.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Accidents happen. Our bones shatter, our skin splits, our hearts break. We burn, we drown, we stay alive.
Moïra Fowley-Doyle (The Accident Season)
Tom, don't let anybody kid you. It's all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it's personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightning hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That's what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal Like God. He knows every feather that falls from the tail of a sparrow or however the hell it goes? Right? And you know something? Accidents don't happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult.
Mario Puzo (The Godfather)
There is a difference between saying goodbye and letting go. Goodbye is not permanent. You can meet years later as old friends and share what happened in your life. You can smile and laugh about all the nonsense that you both went through. However, letting go is being okay with never seeing this person ever again…being okay with never knowing how their life turned out…being okay with fifty or more years of silence… being okay with running into that person at a grocery store and having them not acknowledge your presence. This is the part of life that doesn’t sit well with me and never will. It tears my heart in pieces, robs me of gratitude, drains me of anything positive and eats at the faith that holds on. It goes against kindness.
Shannon L. Alder
Grief reunites you with what you've lost. It's a merging; you go with the loved thing or person that's going away. You follow it a far as you can go. But finally,the grief goes away and you phase back into the world. Without him. And you can accept that. What the hell choice is there? You cry, you continue to cry, because you don't ever completely come back from where you went with him -- a fragment broken off your pulsing, pumping heart is there still. A cut that never heals. And if, when it happens to you over and over again in life, too much of your heart does finally go away, then you can't feel grief any more. And then you yourself are ready to die. You'll walk up the inclined ladder and someone else will remain behind grieving for you.
Philip K. Dick (Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said)
Doubt--because doubt is not a sin, it is a sign of your intelligence. You are not responsible to any nation, to any church, to any God. You are responsible only for one thing, and that is self knowledge. And the miracle is, if you can fulfill this responsibility, you will be able to fulfill many other responsibilities without any effort. The moment you come to your own being, a revolution happens in your vision. Your whole outlook about life goes through a radical change. You start feeling new responsibilities--not as some thing to be done, not as a duty to be fulfilled, but as a joy to do.
Osho (The Book of Understanding: Creating Your Own Path to Freedom)
So, imagine we’re all born with a set of feelings. Some are broader or deeper than others, but for everyone, there’s that ground floor, a bottom crust of the pie. That’s the maximum depth of feeling you’ve ever experienced. And then, the worst thing happens to you. The very worst thing that could have happened. The thing you had nightmares about as a child, and you thought, it’s all right because that thing will happen to me when I’m older and wiser, and I’ll have felt so many feelings by then that this one worst feeling, the worst possible feeling, won’t seem so terrible. “But it happens to you when you’re young. It happens when your brain isn’t even fully done cooking—when you’ve barely experienced anything, really. The worst thing is one of the first big things that ever happens to you in your life. It happens to you, and it goes all the way down to the bottom of what you know how to feel, and it rips it open and carves out this chasm down below to make room. And because you were so young, and because it was one of the first big things to happen in your life, you’ll always carry it inside you. Every time something terrible happens to you from then on, it doesn’t just stop at the bottom —it goes all the way down.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
If you want to be happy, you have to let go of the part of you that wants to create melodrama. This is the part that thinks there’s a reason not to be happy. You have to transcend the personal, and as you do, you will naturally awaken to the higher aspects of your being. In the end, enjoying life’s experiences is the only rational thing to do. You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience. You’re going to die anyway. Things are going to happen anyway. Why shouldn’t you be happy? You gain nothing by being bothered by life’s events. It doesn’t change the world; you just suffer. There’s always going to be something that can bother you, if you let it.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
The true optimist not only expects the best to happen, but goes to work to make the best happen. The true optimist not only looks upon the bright side, but trains every force that is in him to produce more and more brightness in his life….
Christian D. Larson
Some people's lives seem to flow in a narrative; mine had many stops and starts. That's what trauma does. It interrupts the plot. You can't process it because it doesn't fit with what came before or what comes afterward. A friend of mine, a soldier, put it this way. In most of our lives, most of the time, you have a sense of what is to come. There is a steady narrative, a feeling of "lights, camera, action" when big events are imminent. But trauma isn't like that. It just happens, and then life goes on. No one prepares you for it.
Jessica Stern (Denial: A Memoir of Terror)
The terrible things that happen to us in life never make any sense when we're in the middle of them, floundering, no end in sight. There is no rope to hang on to, it seems. Mothers can soothe children during those times, through their reassurance. No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you'd had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childgood goes with her. Memories are very different and cannot soothe you the same way her touch did.
Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1))
The hardest thing about being an outcast isn't the love you don't receive. It's the love you long to give that nobody wants. After a while, it backs up into your system like stagnant water and turns toxic, poisoning your spirit. When this happens, you don't have many choices available. You can become a bitter loner who goes through life being pissed off at the world; you can fester with rage until one day you murder your classmates. Or, you can find another outlet for your love, where it will be appreciated and maybe even returned.
Jodee Blanco (Please Stop Laughing at Me... One Woman's Inspirational Story)
Anything can happen. But what goes wrong isn’t your fault. You can’t spend the rest of your life tiptoeing around to try and avert disaster. It won’t work. You’ll just end up missing the life you have.
Kim Edwards (The Memory Keeper's Daughter)
This is another paradox, that many of the most important impressions and thoughts in a person's life are ones that flash through your head so fast that fast isn't even the right word, they seem totally different from or outside of the regular sequential clock time we all live by, and they have so little relation to the sort of linear, one-word-after-another word English we all communicate with each other with that it could easily take a whole lifetime just to spell out the contents of one split-second's flash of thoughts and connections, etc. -- and yet we all seem to go around trying to use English (or whatever language our native country happens to use, it goes without saying) to try to convey to other people what we're thinking and to find out what they're thinking, when in fact deep down everybody knows it's a charade and they're just going through the motions. What goes on inside is just too fast and huge and all interconnected for words to do more than barely sketch the outlines of at most one tiny part of it at any given instant.
David Foster Wallace
Life is good, and there's no reason to think it won't be--right up until the moment when everything explodes into a fireball of tiny, unrecognizable fragments, or it all goes skidding sideways, through the guardrail, over the embankment, and down the mountain. This will happen (and probably more than once).
Michael J. Fox
The stories teach them valuable life lessons. That good things happen to bad people. That it’s possible to make a bad situation even worse if you don’t think it through. That parents are clueless except when they’re not. That it’s good to try new things even when a new thing is kind of disgusting, because new experiences make you a well-rounded person. That art can be transcendent. That lust is all-powerful, that drugs are fun, and that not everyone who does them is a loser. That losing people is part of life. That where comedy goes, tragedy isn’t far behind. That everyone has issues with their bodies, but some take it too far, almost to death. That fear can be exhilarating. That boys are assholes. That it’s important to look forward and never look back…
Megan McCafferty (Perfect Fifths (Jessica Darling, #5))
Things happen in your life that you can’t possibly imagine. But time goes on and time changes you and the times change and the next thing you know, you’re smack in the middle of a life you never saw coming.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Forever, Interrupted)
Nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day. There's genocide, war, corruption. Every fucking day, somewhere in the world, somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else. Every fucking day, someone, somewhere makes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ's sake, a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church. Someone goes hungry. Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can't find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don't know crap about life. And why the FUCK are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don't have any use for it. I don't have any bloody use for it.
Charlie Kaufman
Bad things will happen and good things too. Your life will be full of surprises. Miracles happen only where there has been suffering. So taste your grief to the fullest. Don’t try and press it down. Don’t hide from it. Don’t escape. It is life too. It is truth. But it will pass and time will put a strange honey in the bitterness. That’s the way life goes.
Ben Okri (Dangerous Love)
You don't always get to know what happened, or why things happened a certain way, but it always, always, goes deeper than any one thing.
Abby Fabiaschi (I Liked My Life)
The fact that a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing ... He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths ... There are not a few who are called awake by the summons of the voice, whereupon they are at once set apart from the others, feeling themselves confronted with a problem about which the others know nothing. In most cases it is impossible to explain to the others what has happened, for any understanding is walled off by impenetrable prejudices. "You are no different from anybody else," they will chorus or, "there's no such thing," and even if there is such a thing, it is immediately branded as "morbid"...He is at once set apart and isolated, as he has resolved to obey the law that commands him from within. "His own law!" everybody will cry. But he knows better: it is the law...The only meaningful life is a life that strives for the individual realization — absolute and unconditional— of its own particular law ... To the extent that a man is untrue to the law of his being ... he has failed to realize his own life's meaning.
C.G. Jung
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says "Morning, boys. How's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes "What the hell is water?"..... It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: "This is water." "This is water.
David Foster Wallace (This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life)
If a life goes down the toilet, it comes out in a river and meets the sea.
Carol Plum-Ucci (What Happened to Lani Garver)
What makes life worth living? No child asks itself that question. To children life is self-evident. Life goes without saying: whether it is good or bad makes no difference. This is because children don’t see the world, don’t observe the world, don’t contemplate the world, but are so deeply immersed in the world that they don’t distinguish between it and their own selves. Not until that happens, until a distance appears between what they are and what the world is, does the question arise: what makes life worth living?
Karl Ove Knausgård (Om høsten (Årstidsencyklopedien, #1))
No one worries about you like your mother, and when she is gone, the world seems unsafe, things that happen unwieldy. You cannot turn to her anymore, and it changes your life forever. There is no one on earth who knew you from the day you were born; who knew why you cried, or when you'd had enough food; who knew exactly what to say when you were hurting; and who encouraged you to grow a good heart. When that layer goes, whatever is left of your childhood goes with her.
Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1))
People seem weak, but they’re strong. They seem strong, but they’re weak. No matter how much you cry, you still have to sleep. And you even get hungry. You suddenly realize you’re doing the same things you did yesterday. You say hi to your friends and smile just like you did yesterday. Life goes on as if nothing ever happened… I want to go somewhere… Anywhere… Somewhere where I can forget everything. …where I’ll forget everything …and be reborn. Mars Volume 18
Fuyumi Soryo
...nobody really wants to be a trans woman, i.e. nobody wakes up and goes whoa, maybe my life would be better if I transitioned, alienating most of my friends and my family, I wonder what'll happen at work, I'd love to spend all my money on hormones and surgeries, buying a new wardrobe that I don't even understand right now, probably become unlovable and then ending my short life in a bloody murder.
Imogen Binnie (Nevada)
Most people's reality is an illusion, a great big illusion. You automatically have to succumb to the illusion that 'I am this body'. I am not George. I am not really George. I am this living thing that goes on, always has been, always will be, but at this time I happen to be in 'this' body. The body has changed; was a baby, was a young man, will soon be an old man, and I'll be dead. The physical body will pass but this bit in the middle, that's the only reality. All the rest is the illusion, so to say that somebody thinks we are, the ex- Beatles are removed from reality in their personal concept. It does not have any truth to it just because somebody thinks it. They are the concepts which become layer upon layer of illusion. Why live in the darkness all your life? Why, if you are unhappy, if you are having a miserable time, why not just look at it. Why are you in the darkness? Look for the light. The light is within. That is the big message
George Harrison (I, Me, Mine)
A Great Rabbi stands, teaching in the marketplace. It happens that a husband finds proof that morning of his wife's adultery, and a mob carries her to the marketplace to stone her to death. There is a familiar version of this story, but a friend of mine - a Speaker for the Dead - has told me of two other Rabbis that faced the same situation. Those are the ones I'm going to tell you. The Rabbi walks forward and stands beside the woman. Out of respect for him the mob forbears and waits with the stones heavy in their hands. 'Is there any man here,' he says to them, 'who has not desired another man's wife, another woman's husband?' They murmur and say, 'We all know the desire, but Rabbi none of us has acted on it.' The Rabbi says, 'Then kneel down and give thanks that God has made you strong.' He takes the woman by the hand and leads her out of the market. Just before he lets her go, he whispers to her, 'Tell the Lord Magistrate who saved his mistress, then he'll know I am his loyal servant.' So the woman lives because the community is too corrupt to protect itself from disorder. Another Rabbi. Another city. He goes to her and stops the mob as in the other story and says, 'Which of you is without sin? Let him cast the first stone.' The people are abashed, and they forget their unity of purpose in the memory of their own individual sins. ‘Someday,’ they think, ‘I may be like this woman. And I’ll hope for forgiveness and another chance. I should treat her as I wish to be treated.’ As they opened their hands and let their stones fall to the ground, the Rabbi picks up one of the fallen stones, lifts it high over the woman’s head and throws it straight down with all his might it crushes her skull and dashes her brain among the cobblestones. ‘Nor am I without sins,’ he says to the people, ‘but if we allow only perfect people to enforce the law, the law will soon be dead – and our city with it.’ So the woman died because her community was too rigid to endure her deviance. The famous version of this story is noteworthy because it is so startlingly rare in our experience. Most communities lurch between decay and rigor mortis and when they veer too far they die. Only one Rabbi dared to expect of us such a perfect balance that we could preserve the law and still forgive the deviation. So of course, we killed him. -San Angelo Letters to an Incipient Heretic
Orson Scott Card (Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2))
Smartass Disciple: Master, what did you do to earn wisdom ? Master of Stupidity: Well, I forget. Shit happened, life goes on.
Toba Beta (Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
Growing up is a process that never ends. It isn't a point you attain so you can say, Hooray, I'm grown up. Some people never grow up. And nobody ever finishes growing. Or shouldn't. If you stop you might as well quit. What I have to tell you is that it never gets any easier. It goes right on being rough forever. But nothing that's easy is worth anything. You ought to have learned that by now. What happens as you keep on growing is that all of a sudden you realize that it's more exciting and beautiful than scary and awful.
Madeleine L'Engle
No looking back. Life goes one way only, and whatever opinions you hold about the past having nothing to do with anything but your own damn weakness. Nothing changes what already happened. It will always have happened. You either let it break you down or you don't.
Charles Frazier (Nightwoods)
It's strange, the lack of emotion, the absence of drama in reality. When things happen in real life, extraordinary things, there's no music, there's no dah-dah-daaahhs. There's no close-ups. No dramatic camera angles. Nothing happens. Nothing stops, the rest of the world goes on.
Kevin Brooks (Martyn Pig)
Perhaps you know someone whose heart clutches onto the bittersweet memory of the one who got away. Someone who secretly bears the weight of this imperceptible burden wherever he or she goes, every day of his or her life. Someone who’d gladly travel back in a time machine to a day when paths diverged, to mend together that which has been torn apart, setting destiny back on its rightful track — if only he or she could. Perhaps you know this someone better than you think. And should this someone happen to be you, may you find strength and support in the millions of others who shoulder this burden with you, and may you be reintroduced one day to true love… in this lifetime and whatever comes after.
Sebastian Cole (Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love)
Life is like a Sunset and Sunrise, when sun goes down it will raise back again next day, life is also same way, sometimes we have to face good as well as bad situation which will help us to learn new things which we never excepted that will happen.
Madhu
Things happen. Things that you think you'll never get over. But you do. You move on. It gets better with time. You forget. Forgive. Whatever. Life goes on and you go on with it.
Sophie Jordan (Unleashed (Uninvited, #2))
You could say that life just happens and it's the way it goes, you either accept it or you fight it... Or You can be one of the few that rises above this perception and fights in all their glory to create the life they want, regardless of the struggle. Who do you want to be? Someone to remember or someone easy to forget...
Nikki Rowe
I'd said it before and meant it: Alive or undead, the love of my life was a badass. -Rose, Blood Promise Dimitri:I'd do a lot of things to protect you Roza" Dimitri: "What i say in an entire paragraph you can say in three words" "I set off, off to kill the man I loved" - Rose Hathaway •We try to do what’s right, or rather, what others say is right. But sometimes, when that goes against who we are…you have to choose…. I realized how much you meant to me. It changed everything… And it became useless to try to act like I could ever put any Moroi life above yours. It’s not going to happen, no matter how wrong others say it is. And so I decided that’s something I have to deal with. Once I made that decision … there was nothing to hold us back. – Dimitri •You’re strong-you’re so, so strong. It’s why I love you. – Dimitri
Richelle Mead
I promise that no matter what happens in the future, we will work it out. I vow that no matter how life goes, I’ll be by your side. I’ll always love you because I’ve seen the worst of you and I’ve seen the best, and I know just how lucky I am to have met my perfect match.
Pepper Winters (Final Debt (Indebted, #6))
I want to talk about creating your life. There’s a quote I love, from the poet Mary Oliver, that goes: Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? I so clearly remember what it was like, being young and always in the grip of some big fat daydream. I wanted to be a writer always, but more than that, I wanted to have an extraordinary life. I’m sure I dreamed it a million different ways, and that plenty of them were ridiculous, but I think the daydreams were training for writing, and I also think they spurred me to pursue my dreams for real. Daydreaming, however awesome it is, is passive. It happens in your head. Learning to make dreams real is another matter, and I think it should be the work of your life. Everyone’s life, whatever their dream (unless their dream is to be an axe murderer or something.) It took me a while to finish a book. Too long. And you know, it doesn’t matter how good a writer you are unless you finish what you start! I think this is the hardest part for most people who want to write. I was in my mid-30s before I figured it out. The brain plays tricks. You can be convinced you’re following your dream, or that you’re going to start tomorrow, and years can pass like that. Years. The thing is, there will be pressure to adjust your expectations, always shrinking them, shrinking, shrinking, until they fit in your pocket like a folded slip of paper, and you know what happens to folded slips of paper in your pocket. They go through the wash and get ruined. Don’t ever put your dream in your pocket. If you have to put it somewhere, get one of those holsters for your belt, like my dad has for his phone, so you can whip it out at any moment. Hello there, dream. Also, don’t be realistic. The word “realistic” is poison. Who decides? And “backup plan” is code for, “Give up on your dreams,” and everyone I know who put any energy into a backup plan is now living that backup plan instead of their dream. Put all your energy into your dream. That’s the only way it will ever become real. The world at large has this attitude, “What makes you so special that you think you deserve an extraordinary life?” Personally, I think the passion for an extraordinary life, and the courage to pursue it, is what makes us special. And I don’t even think of it as an “extraordinary life” anymore so much as simple happiness. It’s rarer than it should be, and I believe it comes from creating a life that fits you perfectly, not taking what’s already there, but making your own from scratch. You can let life happen to you, or you can happen to life. It’s harder, but so much better.
Laini Taylor
You're right, Norah, anything can happen, anytime. But what goes wrong isn't your fault. You can't spend the rest of your life tiptoeing around to try and avert disaster. It won't work. You'll just end up missing the life you have.
Kim Edwards (The Memory Keeper's Daughter)
I don't know. I mean, it's not all beautifully harmonic, this world we find ourselves in. Clearly. There's shit music, and sometimes the melody goes away completely. There's silence and dissonant chord that cringe your ears. But the synchronicity of a perfectly created chorus? And the fact that you never know when one is coming? And that amazing feeling, the first time you hear a song and now it's going to be with you forever? I have to think that's worth everything.
Bill Konigsberg (The Music of What Happens)
Each one of us, of course," the Controller meditatively continued, "goes through life inside a bottle. But if we happen to be Alphas, our bottles are, relatively speaking enormous.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
The truth is sealed. Life goes on. Till one day, history changed... Like thief in the night, aliens invade human. Chaos happens prior to the new order of coexistence. The truth is sealed. Life goes on. Till one day, history changed.
Toba Beta (My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut)
The Bible speaks of the Word of God as added. Sometimes it's planted by the wayside, and nothing grows there. Sometimes it's sown among the thorns and represents the person who makes the decision an then goes back to his old life of bars and chasing women or whatever. A third seed is sown among the rocks. There's sand and dirt between the rocks, and when it rains you'll see a stalk of green coming up. But on the first day with sunshine it wilts because there is no room for roots. The fourth seed is planted on fertile soil, and finally it takes hold and has a chance to grow and live. That's what happened to me.
Louis Zamperini (Devil at My Heels: A Heroic Olympian's Astonishing Story of Survival as a Japanese POW in World War II)
Halfway home, the sky goes from dark gray to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain. This is so funny to me, I laugh and laugh, as loud and free as I want. Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn't have to be bad. And what's more, I understand, sadness doesn't have to be bad, either. Come to think of it, I figure you need sadness, just as you need the rain. Thoughts and ideas pour through my awareness. It feels to me that happiness is almost scary, like how I imagine being drunk might feel - real silly and not caring what anybody else says. Plus, that happy feeling always leaves so fast, and you know it's going to go before it even does. Sadness lasts longer, making it more familiar, and more comfortable. But maybe, I wonder, there's a way to find some happiness in the sadness. After all, it's like the rain, something you can't avoid. And so, it seems to me, if you're caught in it, you might as well try to make the best of it. Getting caught in the warm, wet deluge that particular day in that terrible summer full of wars and fires that made no sense was a wonderful thing to have happen. It taught me to understand rain, not to dread it. There were going to be days, I knew, when it would pour without warning, days when I'd find myself without an umbrella. But my understanding would act as my all-purpose slicker and rubber boots. It was preparing me for stormy weather, arming me with the knowledge that no matter how hard it seemed, it couldn't rain forever. At some point, I knew, it would come to an end.
Antwone Quenton Fisher (Finding Fish: A Memoir)
I’ve had a lot of sucks in life A lot My parents died almost four years ago, right after I turned seven With every day that goes by I remember them less and less Like my mom…I remember that she used to sing. She was always happy, always dancing. Other than what I’ve seen of her in pictures, I don’t really remember what she looks like. Or what she smells like Or what she sounds like And my Dad I remember more things about him, but only because I thought he was the most amazing man in the world. He was smart. He knew the answer to everything. And he was strong. And he played the guitar. I used to love lying in bed at night, listening to the music coming from the living room. I miss that the most. His music. After they died, I went to live with my grandma and grandpaul. Don’t get me wrong…I love my grandparents. But I loved my home even more. It reminded me of them. Of my mom and dad. My brother had just started college the year they died. He knew how much I wanted to be home. He knew how much it meant to me, so he made it happen. I was only seven at the time, so I let him do it. I let him give up his entire life just so I could be home. Just so I wouldn’t be so sad. If I could do it all over again, I would have never let him take me. He deserved a shot, too. A shot at being young. But sometimes when you’re seven, the world isn’t in 3-D. So, I owe a lot to my brother. A lot of ‘thank you’d’ A lot of ‘I’m sorry’s’ A lot of ‘I love you’s’ I owe a lot to you, Will For making the sucks in my life a little less suckier And my sweet? My sweet is right now.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
It often happens that men pull in a certain political, social, or familiar harness simply because they never have time to ask themselves whether the position they stand in and the work they accomplish are right; whether their occupations really suit their inner desires and capacities, and give them the satisfaction which everyone has the right to expect from his work. Active men are especially liable to find themselves in such a position. Every day brings with it a fresh batch of work, and a man throws himself into his bed late at night without having completed what he had expected to do; then in the morning he hurries to the unfinished task of the previous day. Life goes, and there is no time left to think, no time to consider the direction that one's life is taking. So it was with me.
Pyotr Kropotkin (Memoirs of a Revolutionist)
Sometimes I stand among the stones and wonder. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I weep. Sometimes nothing at all much happens. Life goes on. The dead are everywhere.
Thomas Lynch (The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade)
Nothing happens by chance no one goes on a quest without a reason without the pull of the magnet there is no action.
Rumi (Rumi's Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit)
But everything changes when you tell about life; it's a change no one notices: the proof is that people talk about true stories. As if there could possibly be true stories; things happen one way and we tell about them in the opposite sense. You seem to start at the beginning: "It was a fine autumn eveningin 1922." And in reality you have started at the end. It was there, invisible and present, it is the one which gives to words the pomp and value of a beginning... And the story goes on in reverse: instants have stopped piling themselves in a lighthearted way one on top of the other, they are snapped up by the end of the story which draws them and each one of them in turn, draws out the preceding instant: "It was night, the street was deserted." The phrase is cast out negligently, it seems superfluous; but we do not let ourselves be caught and we put it aside: this is a piece of information whose value we shall subsequently appreciate. And we feel that the hero has lived all the details of this night like annunciations, promises, or even that he lived only those that were promises, blind and deaf to all that did not herald adventure. We forget that the future was not yet there; the man was walking in a night without forethought, a night which offered him a choice of dull rich prizes, and he did not make his choice. I wanted the moments of my life to follow and order themselves like those of a life remembered. You might as well try and catch time by the tail.
Jean-Paul Sartre (Nausea)
One of the schools of Tlön goes so far as to negate time; it reasons that the present is indefinite, that the future has no reality other than as a present hope, that the past has no reality other than as a present memory. Another school declares that all time has already transpired and that our life is only the crepuscular and no doubt falsified an mutilated memory or reflection of an irrecoverable process. Another, that the history of the universe — and in it our lives and the most tenuous detail of our lives — is the scripture produced by a subordinate god in order to communicate with a demon. Another, that the universe is comparable to those cryptographs in which not all the symbols are valid and that only what happens every three hundred nights is true. Another, that while we sleep here, we are awake elsewhere and that in this way every man is two men.
Jorge Luis Borges (Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings)
I have been hanging here headless for so long that the body has forgotten why or where or when it happened and the toes walk along in shoes that do not care and although the fingers slice things and hold things and move things and touch things such as oranges apples onions books bodies I am no longer reasonably sure what these things are they are mostly like lamplight and fog then often the hands will go to the lost head and hold the head like the hands of a child around a ball a block air and wood - no teeth no thinking part and when a window blows open to a church hill woman dog or something singing the fingers of the hand are senseless to vibration because they have no ears senseless to color because they have no eyes senseless to smell without a nose they country goes by as nonsense the continents the daylights and evenings shine on my dirty fingernails and in some mirror my face a block to vanish scuffed part of a child’s ball while everywhere moves worms and aircraft fires on the land tall violets in sanctity my hands let go let go let go
Charles Bukowski (Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame)
I fell backward onto the grass and stared up at the whole world. A world where parents die and brothers die and nothing stops to respect that fact. The whole universe just goes and goes as if nothing has happened, even when one person's entire life is forced to a complete halt
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
You recently read me a quote by Faulkner: "The past isn't dead, it's not even past." So much of our adult lives is influenced by what happened to us as children. It is all still there, the memories, the feelings, and fears, stored just beneath the surface in the hidden crannies of our cortex.
Anderson Cooper (The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss)
You've got a thing for Dylan whether you're with Austin or not. That's what this all boils down to -- Dylan is here and giving you the attention you crave, and Austin's far away and is barely picking up the phone. It's not your fault. It was bound to happen. I'm sure Austin will be the same way when he goes to camp and..." A catering person walks by with a tray of goodies. "Oh look! Brownies! See you in a few, K!
Jen Calonita (Broadway Lights (Secrets of My Hollywood Life, #5))
Tamina serves coffee and calvados to the customers (there aren't all that many, the room being always half empty) and then goes back behind the bar. Almost always there is someone sitting on a barstool, trying to talk to her. Everyone likes Tamina. Because she knows how to listen to people. But is she really listening? Or is she merely looking at them so attentively, so silently? I don't know, and it's not very important. What matters is that she doesn't interrupt anyone. You know what happens when two people talk. One of them speaks and the other breaks in: "It's absolutely the same with me, I..." and starts talking about himself until the first one manages to slip back in with his own "It's absolutely the same with me, I..." The phrase "It's absolutely the same with me, I..." seems to be an approving echo, a way of continuing the other's thought, but that is an illusion: in reality it is a brute revolt against a brutal violence, an effort to free our own ear from bondage and to occupy the enemy's ear by force. Because all of man's life among his kind is nothing other than a battle to seize the ear of others. The whole secret of Tamina's popularity is that she has no desire to talk about herself. She submits to the forces occupying her ear, never saying: "It's absolutely the same with me, I...
Milan Kundera (The Book of Laughter and Forgetting)
What is the point. That is what must be borne in mind. Sometimes the point is really who wants what. Sometimes the point is what is right or kind. Sometimes the point is a momentum, a fact, a quality, a voice, an imitation, a thing that is said or unsaid. Sometimes it's who's at fault, or what will happen if you do not move at once. The point changes and goes out. You cannot be forever watching for the point, or you lose the simplest thing: being a major character in your own life. But if you are, for any length of time, custodian of the point-- in art, in court, in politics, in lives, in rooms-- it turns out there are rear-guard actions everywhere. To see a thing clearly, and when your vision of it dims, or when it goes to someone else, if you have a gentle nature, keep your silence, that is lovely. Otherwise, now and then, a small foray is worthwhile. Just so that being always, complacently, thoroughly wrong does not become the safest position of them all. The point has never quite been entrusted to me.
Renata Adler (Speedboat)
Thinking of such things like they’d happened years ago already and not just a few weeks back. For once life begins to accelerate it goes faster and faster.
Joyce Carol Oates (We Were the Mulvaneys)
....get a move on, pal, life goes on happening while you're hiding....
Dawn French (According to Yes)
You’re a survivor. Voron put you on the edge of that cliff again and again until he conditioned you to claw onto life. You’ll do whatever you have to do to survive, and I’m your only chance of getting out. At first you’ll balk, but with every passing hour my offer will look better and better. You’ll convince yourself that dying will accomplish nothing and you should at least go out with a bang. You’ll tell yourself that you’re accepting my offer just so you can stick that broken sword into my chest and feel it cut through my heart. Even if you die afterward, the fact that I’ll stop breathing makes your death mean something. So you’ll call me. And you’ll try to kill me. Except you’ve gone three days without food, and that body . . .” He tilted his head and looked me over slowly. “That body burns through calories like fire goes through gasoline. You’re running out of reserves. I can put you down with one hit.” “You’re right about the sword. You broke mine. I owe you one.” He tapped his naked chest over his heart. “This is the spot. Give it a shot, Kate. Let’s see what happens.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels, #7))
Towers’ is the name of the dormitory that I lived in in college; it’s made up of these two towers – North and South – my girlfriend lived in one and I lived in the other. It’s about falling in love, but also about what happens when you’ve long fallen out of love and those reminders are still there. You drive by them, these two buildings, and you look, and you realise that we really built that up. That we really built that love into these things, and for a long time afterward looking at them really made me feel sad; to see these empty buildings that I don’t go in to anymore. But then, as time goes on, they start to become kind of joyous in their own way: you can look at them and think ‘that love was great and these buildings still stand tall’. But there’s also an element of the fact that they’re just buildings – they’re gonna fall down one day, and they’re not that important because there’s new love in your life and you’ve got to break things down that get built up.
Justin Vernon
ON THE DAY I DIE On the day I die, when I'm being carried toward the grave, don't weep. Don't say, He's gone! He's gone. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and the moon sets, but they're not gone. Death is a coming together. The tomb looks like a prison, but it's really release into union. The human seed goes down in the ground like a bucket into the well where Joseph is. It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty. Your mouth closes here, and immediately opens with a shout of joy there. --------------------------------- One who does what the Friend wants done will never need a friend. There's a bankruptcy that's pure gain. The moon stays bright when it doesn't avoid the night. A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn. ---------------------------------- Childhood, youth, and maturity, and now old age. Every guest agrees to stay three days, no more. Master, you told me to remind you. Time to go. ----------------------------------- The angel of death arrives, and I spring joyfully up. No one knows what comes over me when I and that messenger speak! ------------------------------------- When you come back inside my chest no matter how far I've wandered off, I look around and see the way. At the end of my life, with just one breath left, if you come then, I'll sit up and sing. -------------------------------------- Last night things flowed between us that cannot now be said or written. Only as I'm being carried out and down the road, as the folds of my shroud open in the wind, will anyone be able to read, as on the petal-pages of a turning bud, what passed through us last night. ------------------------------------- I placed one foot on the wide plain of death, and some grand immensity sounded on the emptiness. I have felt nothing ever like the wild wonder of that moment. Longing is the core of mystery. Longing itself brings the cure. The only rule is, Suffer the pain. Your desire must be disciplined, and what you want to happen in time, sacrificed.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
KAUFMAN Sir, what if a writer is attempting to create a story where nothing much happens, where people don't change, they don't have any epiphanies. They struggle and are frustrated and nothing is resolved. More a reflection of the real world — MCKEE The real world? KAUFMAN Yes, sir. MCKEE The real fucking world? First of all, you write a screenplay without Conflict or Crisis, you'll bore your audience to tears. Secondly: nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day! There's genocide, war, corruption! Every fucking day somewhere in the world somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else! Every fucking day someone somewhere makes a conscious decision to destroy someone else! People find love! People lose it! For Christ's sake! A child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church! Someone goes hungry! Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman! If you can't find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don't know CRAP about life! And WHY THE FUCK are you wasting my two precious hours with your movie? I don't have any use for it! I don't have any bloody use for it! KAUFMAN Okay, thanks.
Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation.: The Shooting Script)
Well, I will tell you, and you must understand if you can. You belong to a singular race. Every man is a suffering-machine and a happiness- machine combined. The two functions work together harmoniously, with a fine and delicate precision, on the give-and-take principle. For every happiness turned out in the one department the other stands ready to modify it with a sorrow or a pain--maybe a dozen. In most cases the man's life is about equally divided between happiness and unhappiness. When this is not the case the unhappiness predominates--always; never the other. Sometimes a man's make and disposition are such that his misery- machine is able to do nearly all the business. Such a man goes through life almost ignorant of what happiness is. Everything he touches, everything he does, brings a misfortune upon him. You have seen such people? To that kind of a person life is not an advantage, is it? It is only a disaster. Sometimes for an hour's happiness a man's machinery makes him pay years of misery. Don't you know that? It happens every now and then.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger)
This is love, to sit with someone you’ve known forever in a place you’ve been meaning to go, and watching as their life happens to them until you stand up and it’s time to go. You don’t care about yours. Why should it change, the love you feel, no matter how death goes?
Daniel Handler (Adverbs)
Andy was receptive, like a deep vessel into which life was poured. If this terrible particular thing hadn't been poured into her, she would have been happier--it goes without saying--but less of a person. She was filled out by her fate. I actually think that this is quite rare, the capacity to become the whole shape of the accidents that happen to you.
Tessa Hadley
No looking back. Life goes one way only. And whatever opinions you hold about the past have nothing to do with anything but your own damn weakness. Nothing changes what already happened. It will always have happened. You either let it break you down or you don't. A simple enough lesson...
Charles Frazier (Nightwoods)
Life is not a dress rehearsal—this is probably it. Make it count. Time is extremely limited and goes by fast. Do what makes you happy and fulfilled—few people get remembered hundreds of years after they die anyway. Don’t do stuff that doesn’t make you happy (this happens most often when other people want you to do something). Don’t spend time trying to maintain relationships with people you don’t like, and cut negative people out of your life. Negativity is really bad. Don’t let yourself make excuses for not doing the things you want to do.
Sam Altman
When you are in your twenties, even if you're confused and uncertain about your aims and purposes, you have a strong sense of what life itself is, and of what you in life are, and might become. Later...later there is more uncertainty, more overlapping, more backtracking, more false memories. Back then, you can remember your short life in its entirety. Later, the memory becomes a thing of shreds and patches. It's a bit like the black box aeroplanes carry to record what happens in a crash. If nothing goes wrong, the tape erases itself. So if you do crash, it's obvious why you did; if you don't, then the log of your journey is much less clear.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
So, imagine we’re all born with a set of feelings. Some are broader or deeper than others, but for everyone, there’s that ground floor, a bottom crust of the pie. That’s the maximum depth of feeling you’ve ever experienced. And then, the worst thing happens to you. The very worst thing that could have happened. The thing you had nightmares about as a child, and you thought, it’s all right because that thing will happen to me when I’m older and wiser, and I’ll have felt so many feelings by then that this one worst feeling, the worst possible feeling, won’t seem so terrible. “But it happens to you when you’re young. It happens when your brain isn’t even fully done cooking—when you’ve barely experienced anything, really. The worst thing is one of the first big things that ever happens to you in your life. It happens to you, and it goes all the way down to the bottom of what you know how to feel, and it rips it open and carves out this chasm down below to make room. And because you were so young, and because it was one of the first big things to happen in your life, you’ll always carry it inside you. Every time something terrible happens to you from then on, it doesn’t just stop at the bottom—it goes all the way down.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
...Quite the narration in your head, even for a moment, and see for yourself that life is life, and not one minute of it is a retelling or a foretelling. Some things happen; some things don't. That's what makes it all worth seeing, no matter where it goes or how it ends. There is no spinmeister steering it all to a forgone conclusion.
Karen Maezen Miller (Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life)
... the powerful changes that happen in the life of a disciple never come from the disciple working hard at doing anything. They come from arriving at a place where Jesus is everything, and we are simply overwhelmed with the gift. Sometimes it seems as if God loves us too much. His love goes far beyond our ability to stop being moral, religious, obedient, and victorious, and we just collapse in his arms. Out of the gospel that Jesus is the only Mediator between God and humanity comes a Christian life that looks like Jesus, a life Jesus would recognize. It's a life that looks like Jesus, because Jesus does everything, and all we do is accept his gift. And to accept his gift, we have to give up trying to be Jesus. Out of that discovery comes a Christian life that is free from the tyranny of unnecessary adjectives - even my preferred modified, Jesus-shaped - and simply follows after the One who loves us beyond words or repayment.
Michael Spencer (Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality)
You think I like this?” I say defensively. “Trust me, I don’t need this headache in my life.” I swallow a mouthful of beer. “Hey. You know Twilight?” He blinks. “Excuse me?” “Twilight. The vampire book.” His wary eyes study my face. “What about it?” “Okay, so you know how Bella’s blood is extra special? Like how it gives Edward a raging boner every time he’s around her?” “Are you fucking with me right now?” I ignore that. “Do you think it happens in real life? Pheromones and all that crap. Is it a bullshit theory some horndog dreamed up so he could justify why he’s attracted to his mother or some shit? Or is there actually a biological reason why we’re drawn to certain people? Like goddamn Twilight. Edward wants her on a biological level, right?” “Are you seriously dissecting Twilight right now?” God, I am. This is what Allie has reduced me to. A sad, pathetic loser who goes to a bar and forces his friend to participate in a Twilight book club.
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
No looking back. Life goes one way only, and whatever opinions you hold about the past have nothing to do with anything but your own damn weakness. Nothing changes what already happened. It will always have happened. You either let it break you down or you don’t.
Charles Frazier (Nightwoods)
all my life I have never heard a mother call out to her child as he or she goes off to school, “Take a lot of risks today, darling.” She is more likely to convey to her child, “Be careful, darling.” This “Be careful” carries with it a double message: “The world is really dangerous out there” … and … “you won’t be able to handle it.” What Mom is really saying, of course, is, “If something happens to you, I won’t be able to handle it.” You see, she is only passing on her lack of trust in her ability to handle what comes her way.
Susan Jeffers (Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action)
Coco, not a day goes by that I don’t regret what happened between us. I thought I was doing the right thing, but I made a mistake. And it cost me the love of my life.
Melanie Harlow (Forked (Frenched, #2))
So it Goes’ from Slaughterhouse Five to remind myself not to dwell on anything I can’t control – bad shit happens; it’s part of life.
Suzanne Wright (Blaze (The Dark in You, #2))
It is funny how we hurt ourselves, isn’t it? We’re the reason of what happens to us, we’re the reason of our suffering, we choose the wrong people to hang with, to date and to love. The mind blames the heart, the heart blames the lover and that's how the cycle of life and love goes. Sometimes, we’re so afraid to lose people and end up alone. Despite of their hurting, we think that if we chase them away we’ll never be able to fill their places, we fear feeling empty and alone and most of all we fear the fact that they may move on before us.
Yasmine Marouf Araibi (Forget-Me-Not)
From now on, every ghost who enters the world of the dead will have to come with a story, the story of his or her life, and tell it to the harpies. It doesn't have to be a big adventure; it can just be a description of a day playing with the children, like Lyra's, or whatever it might happen to be. In exchange for this true story, the harpies will lead that ghost outside to dissolve into the Universe and be one with everything else. Of course, I stole that, as I stole everything else! I stole that from the Oresteia -- the bargain Aeschylus's characters make with the Furies that are following them about. "You will be the guardians of this place, and we will worship you and we will give you honor," they say. Then the Furies are satisfied, and they leave off their pursuit of Orestes. There's nothing new in stories. It goes round again and again and again. But that was something that I thought was a good way out for Lyra, and it did reassert the value of story. States it fully and clearly, brings it out. And also the value of realistic story. It's got to be true. And there's a moral consequence; for those who have eyes to see, they can see it: you have to live. You have to experience things to have a story to tell, and if you spend all your life playing video games, that will not do.
Philip Pullman
I was reading a book about the cosmos recently,” he says, and then he looks around and goes, “Hold on, trust me, this relates.” The crowd laughs again. “And I was reading about different theories about the universe. I was really taken with this one theory that states that everything that is possible happens. That means that when you flip a quarter, it doesn’t come down heads or tails. It comes up heads and tails. Every time you flip a coin and it comes up heads, you are merely in the universe where the coin came up heads. There is another version of you out there, created the second the quarter flipped, who saw it come up tails. This is happening every second of every day. The world is splitting further and further into an infinite number of parallel universes where everything that could happen is happening. This is completely plausible, by the way. It’s a legitimate interpretation of quantum mechanics. It’s entirely possible that every time we make a decision, there is a version of us out there somewhere who made a different choice. An infinite number of versions of ourselves are living out the consequences of every single possibility in our lives. What I’m getting at here is that I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices that led me somewhere else, led me to someone else.” He looks at Gabby. “And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Maybe in Another Life)
Isn’t that the way life goes? Just when everything seems perfect and nothing could possibly go wrong, then, boom, you’re tossed onto your butt, wondering what in the name of heaven happened.
Debbie Macomber (Twelve Days of Christmas)
So it goes." Unlike many of these quotes, the repeated refrain from Vonnegut's classic Slaughterhouse-Five isn't notable for its unique wording so much as for how much emotion—and dismissal of emotion—it packs into three simple, world-weary words that simultaneously accept and dismiss everything. There's a reason this quote graced practically every elegy written for Vonnegut over the past two weeks (yes, including ours): It neatly encompasses a whole way of life. More crudely put: "Shit happens, and it's awful, but it's also okay. We deal with it because we have to.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Yeah, but you’re lucky, Janey, he said. You have so many good friends. You have people to do stuff with. You have more friends than time to hang out with them, and they’re all near you. Finding love is easy- it’s fate- you just sit back and let it happen, have faith that if it hasn’t yet, it will soon, but then that’s done, and you realize you’re on your own for the rest of your life. It’s up to you to make the rest of it happen because destiny is done with you, at least as far as your social life goes
Laurie Frankel (The Atlas of Love)
Formation may be the best name for what happens in a circle of trust, because the word refers, historically, to soul work done in community. But a quick disclaimer is in order, since formation sometimes means a process quite contrary to the one described in this book----a process in which the pressure of orthodox doctrine, sacred text, and institutional authority is applied to the misshapen soul in order to conform it to the shape dictated by some theology. This approach is rooted in the idea that we are born with souls deformed by sin, and our situation is hopeless until the authorities "form" us properly. But all of that is turned upside down by the principles of a circle of trust: I applaud the theologian who said that "the idea of humans being born alienated from the Creator would seem an abominable concept." Here formation flows from the belief that we are born with souls in perfect form. As time goes on, we subject to powers of deformation, from within as well as without, that twist us into shapes alien to the shape of the soul. But the soul never loses its original form and never stops calling us back to our birhtright integrity.
Parker J. Palmer (A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life)
This is the way it goes. In your mid-forties you have your first crisis of mortality (death will not ignore me); and ten years later you have your first crisis of age (my body whispers that death is already intrigued by me). But something very interesting happens to you in between. As the fiftieth birthday approaches, you get the sense that your life is thinning out, and will continue to thin out, until it thins out into nothing. And you sometimes say to yourself: That went a bit quick. That went a bit quick. In certain moods, you may want to put it rather more forcefully. As in: OY!! THAT went a BIT FUCKING QUICK!!! ... Then fifty comes and goes, and fifty-one, and fifty-two. And life thickens out again. Because there is now an enormous and unsuspected presence within your being, like an undiscovered continent. This is the past.
Martin Amis (The Pregnant Widow)
This is the way that it goes. In your mid forties you have your first crisis of mortality (death will not ignore me); and ten years later you have your first crisis of age (my body whispers that death is already intrigued by me). But something very interesting happens to you in between. As the fiftieth birthday approaches, you get that sense that your life is thinning out, and will continue to thin out, until it thins out into nothing. And you sometimes say to yourself; That went a bit quick. That went a bit quick. In certain moods you may want to put it a bit more forcefully. As in: OY!! That went a BIT FUCKING QUICK!!!.... Then fifty comes and goes, and fifty-one, and fifty-two. And life thickens out again. Because there is now an enormous and unsuspected presence within your being, like an undiscovered continent. This is the past.
Martin Amis
Wherever in life it may be, whether amongst its tough, coarsely poor, and untidily moldering mean ranks, or its monotonously cold and boringly tidy upper classes, a man will at least once meet with a phenomenon which is unlike anything he has happened to see before, which for once at least awakens in him a feeling unlike those he is fated to feel all his life. Wherever, across whatever sorrow sour life is woven of, a resplendent joy will gaily race by, just as a splendid carriage with golden harness, picture-book horses, and a shining brilliance of glass sometimes suddenly and unexpectedly goes speeding by some poor, forsaken hamlet that has never seen anything but a country cart, and for a long time the muzhiks stand gaping open-mouthed, not putting their hats back on, though the wondrous carriage has long since sped away and vanished from sight.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
The only thing that can break the unbreakable is the unthinkable. I knew the moment I saw them alone in the waiting room that my worst fears were confirmed. They were all dead. I turned around and walked out. I didn't want to be there. I had to go outside. I couldn't breathe. When I reached the grass across from the parking lot, I fell to my knees. I didn't cry. Instead, I became physically ill. Over and over, my stomach repelling the truth that I refused to believe. When there was nothing left in me, I fell backward onto the grass and stared up at the sky, the stars staring back at me. Millions of stars staring back at the whole world. A world where parents die and brothers die and nothing stops to respect that fact. The whole universe just goes and goes as if nothing has happened, even when one person's entire life is forced to a complete halt.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
• I am an adult and I can deal with any situation. • Life is not fair. • Everything that happens comes and goes. • Disappointments are tough but they need to be kept in perspective. • Happiness can be found in many ways. • It’s the way you deal with things, not what happens, that gives peace of mind. • Every day is precious.
Steve Peters (The Chimp Paradox: The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness)
We’re going to discuss only four or five different problems the Earth has, though there are multiple different scenarios going on. If any one of these scenarios were to break down, all life on the planet would eventually die. And at the moment, they’re all about to break down — it’s just a matter of which one breaks down first. And whenever one system goes, then all the rest of them will go eventually, and that’s it, there won’t be any more human life. It will be over with, and we’ll end up just like Mars or the dinosaurs. A few years ago, around the turn of this century, there were thirty million species of life forms on Earth — thirty million different species of life. In 1993 there were about fifteen million. It took billions of years to create these life forms, and in less than a blink of an eye, a mere hundred years, half of the life on this dear Earth is dead. Around thirty species a minute are now becoming extinct somewhere. If you were to watch this planet from space, it would appear to be dying very, very rapidly. Yet we’re going on as though nothing’s happening and everything’s great. We’re sticking money in the bank and driving our cars and just wiggling right on. Yet from an honest point of view, we have a real life-and-death problem going on here on Earth, and few people seem to be really serious about it.
Drunvalo Melchizedek (The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life, Vol. 1)
I used to think that destiny was fluid, because isn’t that the point of every Disney movie and Saturday-morning cartoon? You make your own choices. You decide how life goes. I always thought that your fate line would change if something happened, bam, something goes wrong and the line on your palm goes all wonky to reflect that. Nope. It still looks fine.
Amy Zhang (This Is Where the World Ends)
Stop this dwelling on fantasy tragedies and disasters occurring unexpectedly. It is time wasted and leads to a dead end, such pursuits sap and waste energy. You tend to worry much too much over bad things occurring, events that may never happen. You can do this if you put your mind to it. Whenever those thoughts pop up, just give them a swift kick in the ass.
Anderson Cooper (The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss)
...while epic fantasy is based on the fairy tale of the just war, that’s not one you’ll find in Grimm or Disney, and most will never recognize the shape of it. I think the fantasy genre pitches its tent in the medieval campground for the very reason that we even bother to write stories about things that never happened in the first place: because it says something subtle and true about our own world, something it is difficult to say straight out, with a straight face. Something you need tools to say, you need cheat codes for the human brain--a candy princess or a sugar-coated unicorn to wash down the sour taste of how bad things can really get. See, I think our culture has a slash running through the middle of it, too. Past/Future, Conservative/Liberal, Online/Offline. Virgin/Whore. And yes: Classical/Medieval. I think we’re torn between the Classical Narrative of Self and the Medieval Narrative of Self, between the choice of Achilles and Keep Calm and Carry On. The Classical internal monologue goes like this: do anything, anything, only don’t be forgotten. Yes, this one sacrificed his daughter on a slab at Aulis, that one married his mother and tore out his eyes, and oh that guy ate his kids in a pie. But you remember their names, don’t you? So it’s all good in the end. Give a Greek soul a choice between a short life full of glory and a name echoing down the halls of time and a long, gentle life full of children and a quiet sort of virtue, and he’ll always go down in flames. That’s what the Iliad is all about, and the Odyssey too. When you get to Hades, you gotta have a story to tell, because the rest of eternity is just forgetting and hoping some mortal shows up on a quest and lets you drink blood from a bowl so you can remember who you were for one hour. And every bit of cultural narrative in America says that we are all Odysseus, we are all Agamemnon, all Atreus, all Achilles. That we as a nation made that choice and chose glory and personal valor, and woe betide any inconvenient “other people” who get in our way. We tell the tales around the campfire of men who came from nothing to run dotcom empires, of a million dollars made overnight, of an actress marrying a prince from Monaco, of athletes and stars and artists and cowboys and gangsters and bootleggers and talk show hosts who hitched up their bootstraps and bent the world to their will. Whose names you all know. And we say: that can be each and every one of us and if it isn’t, it’s your fault. You didn’t have the excellence for it. You didn’t work hard enough. The story wasn’t about you, and the only good stories are the kind that have big, unignorable, undeniable heroes.
Catherynne M. Valente
Which comes first with you, righteousness and holiness or experiences? There is no more urgently vital test that we can apply to ourselves than that. The proof of the life of God in the soul is that we say, “Though he slay me, yet will I love him.” I do not care what happens to me. If all goes wrong with me, it does not matter. I still desire him above everything else.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Experiencing the New Birth: Studies in John 3)
One thing of great importance can affect a small number of people. Equally so, a thing of little importance can affect a multitude. Either way, a happening - big or small - can affect an entire string of people. Occurrences can join us all together. You see, we're all made up of the same stuff. When something happens, it triggers something inside us that connects us to a situation, connects us to other people, lighting us up and linking us like little lights on a Christmas tree, twisted and turned but still connected to a wire. Some go out, others flicker, others burn strong and bright, yet we are all on the same line. I said at the beginning of this story that this was about people who find out who they are. About people who are unraveled and whose cores are revealed to all who count. And that all that count are revealed to them. You thought I was talking about Lou Suffern and the Turkey Boy, about Raphie, Jessica, and Ruth, didn't you? Wrong. I was talking about each of us. A lesson finds the common denominatior and links us all together, like a chain. At the end of that chain dangles a clock, and on the face of the clock registers the passing of time. We see it and we hear it, the hushed tick-tock, but often we don't feel it. Each second makes its mark on every single person's life - comes and then goes, quietly disappearing without fanfare, evaporating into air like steam from a piping hot Christmas pudding. Enough time leaves us warm; when our time is gone, it leaves us cold. Time is more precious than gold, more precious than diamonds, more precious than oil or any valuable treasures. It is time of which we do not have enough; it is time that causes the war within our hearts, and so we must spend it wisely. Time cannot be packaged and ribboned and left under trees for Christmas morning. Time can't be given. But it can be shared.
Cecelia Ahern
Anyway, most of the chapter is Bella telling us how much pain she's in. First she's about to die because delivering Optimus Beyonce nearly killed her. And then she goes on and on about how hot and awful the vampire venom feels as it takes hold of her body. She's in agony and there's nothing she can do about it. Good! I hope it hurts. This is what you get, Bella Swan. This is what you get for being a greedy, self-centered jerk. This is what happens to people who let thousands die in Italy. This is what you get for ruining Jacob's life and ignoring your human friends because you'd rather spend time with pretty people. This is what happens to selfish brats that have no regard for their family. This is what you get for being weak and dependent. This is what you get for lying to your father. This is what you get for crying and complaining about your perfect life. This is what you get for spending pages and pages describing freaking magnets! THIS IS WHAT YOU GET! I only wish the pain lasted longer than a chapter. An entire book of Bella's torture would be nice. And maybe if the book were illustrated…with Octo-Bears…I would finally sympathize with this, the least likable character in the history of novels. Bella, I do not care one tiny bit that you're in pain.
Dan Bergstein
--what's really unique about maternal anxiety today is our belief that if something goes wrong with or for our children, it's a reflection on us as mothers. Because we believe we should be able to control life so perfectly that we can keep bad things from happening.
Judith Warner (Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety)
We change emotions. We're happy when something good happens,we're sad when something sad happens,and we're mad when something bad happens. Life goes along with these feelings. We shouldn't be stopping it, sometimes these feelings are the things that we need to feel.
Shangel
Between the banks of pain and pleasure the river of life flows. It is only when the mind refuses to flow with life, and gets stuck at the banks, that it becomes a problem. By flowing with life I mean acceptance -- letting come what comes and go what goes. Desire not, fear not, observe the actual, as and when it happens, for you are not what happens, you are to whom it happens. Ultimately even the observer you are not. You are the ultimate potentiality of which the all-embracing consciousness is the manifestation and expression.
Nisargadatta Maharaj (I am that)
What actually happens when you die is that your brain stops working and your body rots, like Rabbit did when he died and we buried him in the earth at the bottom of the garden. And all his molecules were broken down into other molecules and they went into the earth and were eaten by worms and went into the plants and if we go dig in the same place in 10 years there will be nothing except his skeleton left. And in 1,000 years even his skeleton will be gone. But that is all right because he is part of the flowers and the apple tree and the hawthorn bush now. When people die they are sometimes put into coffins which means that they don't mix with the earth for a very long time until the wood of the coffin rots. But Mother was cremated. This means that she was put into a coffin and burnt and ground up and turned into ash and smoke. I do not know what happens to the ash and I couldn't ask at the crematorium because I didn't go to the funeral. But the smoke goes out of the chimney and into the air and sometimes I look up into the sky and I think that there are molecules of Mother up there, or in clouds over Africa or the Antartic, or coming down as rain in rainforests in Brazil, or in snow somewhere.
Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time)
We are all, in the last analysis, alone. And this basic state of solitude is not something we have any choice about. It is, as the poet Rilke says, "not something that one can take or leave. We are solitary. We may delude ourselves and act as though this were not so. That is all. But how much better it is to realize that we are so, yes, even to begin by assuming it. Naturally," he goes on to say, "we will turn giddy." Naturally. How one hates to think of oneself as alone. How one avoids it. It seems to imply rejection or unpopularity. An early wallflower panic still clings to the world. One will be left, one fears, sitting in a straight-backed chair alone, while the popular girls are already chosen and spinning around the dance floor with their hot-palmed partners. We seem so frightened today of being alone that we never let it happen. Even if family, friends and movies should fail, there is still the radio or the television to fill up the void. Women, who used to complain of loneliness, need never be alone any more. We can do our housework with soap-opera heroes at our side. Even day-dreaming was more creative than this; it demanded something of oneself and it fed the inner life. Now, instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place. We must re-learn to be alone.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The Bible is filled with discrepancies, many of them irreconcilable contradictions. Moses did not write the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) and Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not write the Gospels. There are other books that did not make it into the Bible that at one time or another were considered canonical—other Gospels, for example, allegedly written by Jesus’ followers Peter, Thomas, and Mary. The Exodus probably did not happen as described in the Old Testament. The conquest of the Promised Land is probably based on legend. The Gospels are at odds on numerous points and contain nonhistorical material. It is hard to know whether Moses ever existed and what, exactly, the historical Jesus taught. The historical narratives of the Old Testament are filled with legendary fabrications and the book of Acts in the New Testament contains historically unreliable information about the life and teachings of Paul. Many of the books of the New Testament are pseudonymous—written not by the apostles but by later writers claiming to be apostles. The list goes on.
Bart D. Ehrman (Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them))
Just a little sense of humor, a little laughter, a childlike innocence—and what have you got to lose? What is the fear? We don’t have anything. We have come without anything, we will go without anything. Before it happens, just a little adventure inward to see who is this fellow hiding behind the clothes, inside the skeleton; who is this person who is born, becomes a youth, falls in love and one day dies and nobody knows where he goes.… Just a little curiosity to inquire into one’s own being. It is very natural; there is no question of fear.
Osho (Fear: Understanding and Accepting the Insecurities of Life)
I’m learning how to see. I don’t know what the reason is, but everything enters into me more deeply and no longer stops at the point where it used to come to an end. I have an inner self that I knew nothing about. Now everything goes into it. I don’t know what happens there.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
There was no lasting happiness ...You just need to be grateful when it comes ... There was no eternal sadness ...You just need to be patient until it goes So...whatever happens, life must go on .. Just live and love your life ....because we are not immortal .. # andry_lavigne
andry lavigne
Most of us have so few moments like that in our lives. There’s noise everywhere. There are some places we can’t even escape it. Television and radio are probably the worst culprits. They are very seductive. It’s so tempting for some people to turn on the television set or the radio when they first walk into a room or get in the car… to fill any space with noise. I wonder what some people are afraid might happen in the silence. Some of us must have forgotten how nourishing silence can be. That kind of solitude goes by many names. It may be called “meditation” or “deep relaxation,” “quiet time” or “downtime.” In some circles, it may even be criticized as “daydreaming.” Whatever it’s called, it’s a time away from outside stimulation, during which inner turbulence can settle, and we have a chance to become more familiar with ourselves.
Fred Rogers (Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way)
So let’s be kind to the people in our own existence. Let’s occasionally look up from the spot in which we are because, wherever we happen to be standing, the sky above goes on for ever. Yesterday I knew I had no future, and that it was impossible for me to accept my life as it is now. And yet today, that same messy life seems full of hope. Potential. The impossible, I suppose, happens via living. Will my life be miraculously free from pain, despair, grief, heartbreak, hardship, loneliness, depression? No. But do I want to live? Yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes.
Matt Haig (The Midnight Library)
Why is it that, you can only truly love someone if you make out with them or if they are your family? Whatever happened to friendship love? Look. I have never have met anyone on this site. But the love here - that shit is real. I don't care if you're all some random perverted thirty-year old men just wanting to bang some chick. I love you all. You guys gave me the courage to move on in life. You taught me that its okay to cry and feel pity for myself as long as I got back up. And I'll always be greatful to you for that. Look. I don't know what you guys look like, but if its anything like what you're like on the inside - than you are all gorgeous, wonderful, beautiful people and the world just can't handle your awesomeness. Okay? So I just wanted to say thank you. And to anyone who doubts this love, screw you. Because these people saved me when no one else cared to even try. These people are my courage, my legs to stand on, my world. And trust me when I say this. These people are my soul mates. Not 'like my soul mates', no. These people are my soul mates. And this love can't simply be defined in a couple of make out sessions. It goes beyond that. Beyond your imagination. So shut the hell up and don't bother telling me that I can't possible love these people because I never met them. Some feelings reach through the screen, and don't need to have the interaction among one another. Some feelings surpass all. So shut up. I love these people.
Trisscar
Mom always says all sorts of shit goes down in the world, and it’s up to me to decide how to take it. The one way you’re sure to be unhappy is to frown your way through life, she says, and she’s right. Always look for the bright, vibrant color through the darkness. It’s always there, but sometimes hard to see.
Bill Konigsberg (The Music of What Happens)
I used to wish I had an easier life," he mused. "Some families sail through years with nothing touching them. They have no tragedies. They go on about how lucky they are. Yet sometimes it seems to me they're half alive. When something goes wrong for them, and it does for everyone sooner or later, their trauma is much worse. They've had nothing bad happen to them before. In the meantime, they think little problems, like losing a wallet, are big deals. They think it's ruined their day. They have no idea what a hard day's like. It's going to be incredibly tough for them when they find out." He'd also developed his own version of making the most of every minute. "Through Sam I found out how quickly things can change. Because of him I've learned to appreciate each moment and try not to hold on to things. Life's more exciting and intense that way. It's like the yogurt that goes off after three days. It tastes so much better than the stuff that lasts three weeks.
Helen Brown (Cleo: How an Uppity Cat Helped Heal a Family)
When I try to reconstruct the place that I was, at that point in my life, to figure out how I got there, to that punch, to that bed, to that girl—I can't. I can see where some bad decisions led to some other bad decisions, but I can't get all the way there; it's like I imagine a curve, where I'm dropping lower and lower down, and then I'm off the radar screen, invisible, and then, after some time goes by, the line is rising, visible again, and I don't know what happened in between.
Kristen Roupenian (You Know You Want This)
I had discovered something, discovered something by accident. That ewe’s life had been saved not by medicinal therapy but simply by stopping her pain and allowing nature to do its own job of healing. It was a lesson I have never forgotten; that animals confronted with severe continuous pain and the terror and shock that goes with it will often retreat even into death, and if you can remove that pain amazing things can happen. It is difficult to explain rationally but I know that it is so.
James Herriot (Three James Herriot Classics: All Creatures Great and Small / All Things Bright and Beautiful / All Things Wise and Wonderful)
dear samantha i’m sorry we have to get a divorce i know that seems like an odd way to start a love letter but let me explain: it’s not you it sure as hell isn’t me it’s just human beings don’t love as well as insects do i love you.. far too much to let what we have be ruined by the failings of our species i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night i know you would never DO anything, you never do but.. i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night did you know that when a female fly accepts the pheromones put off by a male fly, it re-writes her brain, destroys the receptors that receive pheromones, sensing the change, the male fly does the same. when two flies love each other they do it so hard, they will never love anything else ever again. if either one of them dies before procreation can happen both sets of genetic code are lost forever. now that… is dedication. after Elizabeth and i broke up we spent three days dividing everything we had bought together like if i knew what pots were mine like if i knew which drapes were mine somehow the pain would go away this is not true after two praying mantises mate, the nervous system of the male begins to shut down while he still has control over his motor functions he flops onto his back, exposing his soft underbelly up to his lover like a gift she then proceeds to lovingly dice him into tiny cubes spooning every morsel into her mouth she wastes nothing even the exoskeleton goes she does this so that once their children are born she has something to regurgitate to feed them now that.. is selflessness i could never do that for you so i have a new plan i’m gonna leave you now i’m gonna spend the rest of my life committing petty injustices i hope you do the same i will jay walk at every opportunity i will steal things i could easily afford i will be rude to strangers i hope you do the same i hope reincarnation is real i hope our petty crimes are enough to cause us to be reborn as lesser creatures i hope we are reborn as flies so that we can love each other as hard as we were meant to
Jared Singer
No matter what else happens,' he said,'no matter what else you discover has happened, hold on to work. Work is the last, the most important, the only frontier. Everything else comes and goes - but work stays. The one friend, the one parent, the one child, the one lover. It's the only thread we've got to guide us through this labyrinth we call a life.
Edward Stewart (Privileged Lives)
Life has had to deal with environmental change, especially climate change, since the beginning of its existence on Earth. Species adjust or go extinct, and both have happened. For life-forms with our kinds of cells—eukaryotic, the kind with distinct organelles—the average existence of a species is about 1 million years, and, on average, one species goes extinct a year, at least of the species we have named and know, including those we know only from fossil records." -Dan Botkin, excerpt from THE MOON IN THE NAUTILUS SHELL.
Daniel B. Botkin (Moon in the Nautilus Shell: Discordant Harmonies Reconsidered: From Climate Change to Species Extinction, How Life Persists in an Ever-Changing World)
Despite the perturbations of the world, life goes on. The sky presents an endless canopy of translucent blue. The still air is suffused with sunshine. Perhaps tomorrow the beneficent clouds will gather and it will finally rain. The earth will cool and revive and in that seminal moment all our sins perchance will be washed away. It might happen. But somehow I doubt it.
John Dolan (Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma, #1))
There are several diseases of the memory. Forgetfulness of nouns, for instance, or of numbers. Or there are more complex amnesias. With one, you can lose your entire past; you start afresh, learning how to tie your shoelaces, how to eat with a fork, how to read and sing. You are introduced to your relatives, your oldest friends, as if you’ve never met them before; you get a second chance with them, better than forgiveness because you can begin innocent. With another form, you keep the distant past but lose the present. You can’t remember what happened five minutes ago. When someone you’ve known all your life goes out of the room and then comes back in, you greet them as if they’ve been gone for twenty years; you weep and weep, with joy and relief, as if at a reunion with the dead. I sometimes wonder which of these will afflict me, later; because I know one of them will. For years I wanted to be older, and now I am.
Margaret Atwood (Cat's Eye)
We're really endless in a way. If time goes on forever, then any way you divide it is also forever. A tenth of infinity is infinity. It's only us that think the time is gone. It isn't. We're still there. Still at our wedding. Still on honeymoon. All the good times are still happening. Even in the middle of the bad times to come, we'll still be together. Forever, in a way.
Jason Dias (The Girlfriend Project)
In short, she self-medicated with books. (By the way, as the author of this novel, and one who has herself always self-medicated with books, I cannot rightfully attest or deny whether this is a better way of dealing with 'real life' than any other. In fact, as a reader (all writers are just readers one step to the side), I'm not actually sure I believe in this 'real life'. I know it is a terrible betrayal to say this, but come on, aren't books - whisper it - quite a lot better in real life? In books, baddies get blown up or chopped up or sent to prison. In real life, they're your boss or your ex. In books, you get to know what happened. In real life, sometimes you don't get to know what happened ever. They're not even sure they've found Amelia Earhart. So. Books are absolutely the thing in my opinion, or as the old saying goes: whatever gets you through the night (which I should say is also books. Books get you through the night).)
Jenny Colgan (The Bookshop on the Shore (Scottish Bookshop, #2))
You’re not gonna believe what just happened to me,” Jase says the minute I flip my cell open, taking advantage of break at the B&T. I turn away from the picture window just in case Mr. Lennox, disregarding the break sign, will come dashing out to slap me with my first-ever demerit. “Try me.” His voice lowers. “You know how I put that lock on the door of my room? Well, Dad noticed it. Apparently. So today, I’m stocking the lawn section and he comes up and asks why it’s there.” “Uh-oh.” I catch the attention of a kid sneaking into the hot tub (there’s a strict no-one-under-sixteen policy) and shake my head sternly. He slinks away. Must be my impressive uniform. “So I say I need privacy sometimes and sometimes you and I are hanging out and we don’t want to be interrupted ten million times.” “Good answer.” “Right. I think this is going to be the end of it. But then he tells me he needs me in the back room to have a ‘talk.’” “Uh-oh again.” Jase starts to laugh. “I follow him back and he sits me down and asks if I’m being responsible. Um. With you.” Moving back into the shade of the bushes, I turn even further away from the possible gaze of Mr. Lennox. “Oh God.” “I say yeah, we’ve got it handled, it’s fine. But, seriously? I can’t believe he’s asking me this. I mean, Samantha. Jesus. My parents? Hard not to know the facts of life and all in this house. So I tell him that we’re moving slowly and—” “You told him that?” God, Jase! How am I ever going to look Mr. Garret in the eye again? Help. “He’s my dad, Samantha. Yeah. Not that I didn’t want to exit the conversation right away, but still . . .” “So what happened then?” “Well, I reminded him they’d covered that really thoroughly in school, not to mention at home, and we weren’t irresponsible people.” I close my eyes, trying to imagine having this conversation with my mother. Inconceivable. No pun intended. “So then . . . he goes on about”—Jase’s voice drops even lower—“um . . . being considerate and um . . . mutual pleasure.” “Oh my god! I would’ve died. What did you say?” I ask, wanting to know even while I’m completely distracted by the thought. Mutual pleasure, huh? What do I know about giving that? What if Shoplifting Lindy had tricks up her sleeve I know nothing about? It’s not like I can ask Mom. “State senator suffers heart attack during conversation with daughter.” “I said ‘Yes sir’ a lot. And he went on and on and on and all I could think was that any minute Tim was gonna come in and hear my dad saying things like, ‘Your mom and I find that . . . blah blah blah.’” I can’t stop laughing. “He didn’t. He did not mention your mother.” “I know!” Jase is laughing too. “I mean . . . you know how close I am to my parents, but . . . Jesus.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
I'm the girl that goes backwards, takes wrong turns, stumbles in the dark. I'm also the girl that finds gold where others feared to stray. Perhaps because I follow my heart instead of sage advice thrown my way. I don't want to become numb by always playing it safe. Many of our most cherished times happen when we shatter the damn box, step off the safety zone and listen to the sound of our soul.
Melody Lee (Moon Gypsy)
I promise you that the discovery of your True Self will feel like a thousand pounds of weight have fallen from your back. You will no longer have to build, protect, or promote any idealized self image. Living in the True Self is quite simply a much happier existence, even though we never live there a full twenty-four hours a day. But you henceforth have it as a place to always go back to. You have finally discovered the alternative to your False Self. You are like Jacob awakening from sleep and joining the chorus of mystics in every age. “You were here all along, and I never knew it!” he says (Genesis 28:16). He anoints the stone pillow where this happened and names it Bethel, or “the house of God and gate of heaven” (28:17–18).4 Jacob then carries the presence with him wherever he goes. What was first only there is soon everywhere. The gate of heaven is first of all in one concrete place, better if carried with you, and best when found everywhere. That is the progression of the spiritual life.
Richard Rohr (Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self)
Then Deborah stood at the wicket gate, the boundary, and there was a woman with outstretched hand, demanding tickets. "Pass through," she said when Deborah reached her. "We saw you coming." The wicket gate became a turnstile. Deborah pushed against it and there was no resistance, she was through. "What is it?" she asked. "Am I really here at last? Is this the bottom of the pool?" "It could be," smiled the woman. "There are so many ways. You just happened to choose this one." Other people were pressing to come through. They had no faces, they were only shadows. Deborah stood aside to let them by, and in a moment they had gone, all phantoms. "Why only now, tonight?" asked Deborah. "Why not in the afternoon, when I came to the pool?" "It's a trick," said the woman. "You seize on the moment in time. We were here this afternoon. We're always here. Our life goes on around you, but nobody knows it. The trick's easier by night, that's all." "Am I dreaming, then?" asked Deborah. "No," said the woman, "this isn't a dream. And it isn't death, either. It's the secret world." The secret world... It was something Deborah had always known, and now the pattern was complete. The memory of it, and the relief, were so tremendous that something seemed to burst inside her heart. "Of course..." she said, "of course..." and everything that had ever been fell into place. There was no disharmony. The joy was indescribable, and the surge of feeling, like wings about her in the air, lifted her away from the turnstile and the woman, and she had all knowledge. That was it - the invasion of knowledge. ("The Pool")
Daphne du Maurier (Echoes from the Macabre: Selected Stories)
dear samantha i’m sorry we have to get a divorce i know that seems like an odd way to start a love letter but let me explain: it’s not you it sure as hell isn’t me it’s just human beings don’t love as well as insects do i love you.. far too much to let what we have be ruined by the failings of our species i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night i know you would never DO anything, you never do but.. i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night did you know that when a female fly accepts the pheromones put off by a male fly, it re-writes her brain, destroys the receptors that receive pheromones, sensing the change, the male fly does the same. when two flies love each other they do it so hard, they will never love anything else ever again. if either one of them dies before procreation can happen both sets of genetic code are lost forever. now that… is dedication. after Elizabeth and i broke up we spent three days dividing everything we had bought together like if i knew what pots were mine like if i knew which drapes were mine somehow the pain would go away this is not true after two praying mantises mate, the nervous system of the male begins to shut down while he still has control over his motor functions he flops onto his back, exposing his soft underbelly up to his lover like a gift she then proceeds to lovingly dice him into tiny cubes spooning every morsel into her mouth she wastes nothing even the exoskeleton goes she does this so that once their children are born she has something to regurgitate to feed them now that.. is selflessness i could never do that for you so i have a new plan i’m gonna leave you now i’m gonna spend the rest of my life committing petty injustices i hope you do the same i will jay walk at every opportunity i will steal things i could easily afford i will be rude to strangers i hope you do the same i hope reincarnation is real i hope our petty crimes are enough to cause us to be reborn as lesser creatures i hope we are reborn as flies so that we can love each other as hard as we were meant to.
Jared Singer
XXIV. And more than that - a furlong on - why, there! What bad use was that engine for, that wheel, Or brake, not wheel - that harrow fit to reel Men's bodies out like silk? With all the air Of Tophet's tool, on earth left unaware Or brought to sharpen its rusty teeth of steel. XXV. Then came a bit of stubbed ground, once a wood, Next a marsh it would seem, and now mere earth Desperate and done with; (so a fool finds mirth, Makes a thing and then mars it, till his mood Changes and off he goes!) within a rood - Bog, clay and rubble, sand, and stark black dearth. XXVI. Now blotches rankling, coloured gay and grim, Now patches where some leanness of the soil's Broke into moss, or substances like boils; Then came some palsied oak, a cleft in him Like a distorted mouth that splits its rim Gaping at death, and dies while it recoils. XXVII. And just as far as ever from the end! Naught in the distance but the evening, naught To point my footstep further! At the thought, A great black bird, Apollyon's bosom friend, Sailed past, not best his wide wing dragon-penned That brushed my cap - perchance the guide I sought. XXVIII. For, looking up, aware I somehow grew, Spite of the dusk, the plain had given place All round to mountains - with such name to grace Mere ugly heights and heaps now stolen in view. How thus they had surprised me - solve it, you! How to get from them was no clearer case. XXIX. Yet half I seemed to recognise some trick Of mischief happened to me, God knows when - In a bad dream perhaps. Here ended, then Progress this way. When, in the very nick Of giving up, one time more, came a click As when a trap shuts - you're inside the den. XXX. Burningly it came on me all at once, This was the place! those two hills on the right, Crouched like two bulls locked horn in horn in fight; While to the left a tall scalped mountain ... Dunce, Dotard, a-dozing at the very nonce, After a life spent training for the sight! XXXI. What in the midst lay but the Tower itself? The round squat turret, blind as the fool's heart, Built of brown stone, without a counterpart In the whole world. The tempest's mocking elf Points to the shipman thus the unseen shelf He strikes on, only when the timbers start. XXXII. Not see? because of night perhaps? - why day Came back again for that! before it left The dying sunset kindled through a cleft: The hills, like giants at a hunting, lay, Chin upon hand, to see the game at bay, - Now stab and end the creature - to the heft!' XXXIII. Not hear? When noise was everywhere! it tolled Increasing like a bell. Names in my ears Of all the lost adventurers, my peers - How such a one was strong, and such was bold, And such was fortunate, yet each of old Lost, lost! one moment knelled the woe of years. XXXIV. There they stood, ranged along the hillsides, met To view the last of me, a living frame For one more picture! In a sheet of flame I saw them and I knew them all. And yet Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set, And blew. 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.
Robert Browning
As long as you have food, water, and shelter, all that matters is what goes on inside your mind. A happy mind makes for a happy life. Find the little pleasant moments that happen in your day and summon all the happiness you can from each and every one. There may be bad days but if you can find a tiny speck of happiness then it is not all for nothing. Live in the moment. Let go of the bad in your past and enjoy every happy moment to the fullest extent.
Avina Celeste
Written Exercise #1: Investigating Your Core Complaint Focus on a problem that’s most pressing in your life right now. It might be an issue with your health, your job, your relationship—any issue that disrupts your sense of safety, peace, security, or well-being. What is the deepest issue you want to heal? Maybe it’s a problem that feels overwhelming to you. Maybe it’s a symptom or a feeling you’ve had all your life. What do you want to see shift? Don’t edit yourself. Write down what feels important to you. Write it down as it comes to you. For example, you may carry a fear of something terrible happening to you in the future. It doesn’t matter what comes out; just keep writing. If nothing comes, answer this one question: If the feeling or symptom or condition you have never goes away, what would you be afraid could happen to you? Don’t continue reading until you’ve written down your most pressing concern.
Mark Wolynn (It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle)
He’s ruined that magic,” this aide said of Trump. “The disdain he shows for our country’s foundation and its principles. The disregard he has for right and wrong. Your fist clenches. Your teeth grate. The hair goes up on the back of your neck. I have to remind myself I said an oath to a document in the National Archives. I swore to the Constitution. I didn’t swear an oath to this jackass.” As this aide saw it, there has been a silent understanding within the national security community that diplomatic, military, and intelligence officers were doing the right thing, quietly risking their lives to protect the American way of life. This aide saw Trump’s move against Brennan as one of the first steps of undercutting America’s democratic system of government and the belief system upon which it was founded. According to the aide, it was the president declaring, “It’s not okay to disagree with me. I can remove you from this work and your career. “If he wanted to, how far could he push this?” this aide asked. “Look back. Did people in the 1930s in Germany know when the government started to turn on them? Most Americans are more worried about who is going to win on America’s Got Talent and what the traffic is going to be like on I-95. They aren’t watching this closely. “I like to believe [Trump] is too self-engrossed, too incompetent and disorganized to get us to 1930,” this aide added. “But he has moved the bar. And another president that comes after him can move it a little farther. The time is coming. Our nation will be tested. Every nation is. Rome fell, remember. He is opening up vulnerabilities for this to happen. That is my fear.” —
Philip Rucker (A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America)
It was there, in the parlors of the funeral home---my daily stations with the local lately dead---that the darkness would often give way to light. A fellow citizen outstretched in his casket, surrounded by floral tributes, waiting for the homages and obsequies, would speak to me in the silent code of the dead: "So, you think you're having a bad day?" The gloom would lift inexplicably. Here was one to whom the worst had happened, often in a variety of ways, and yet no word of complaint was heard from out the corpse. Nor did the world end, nor the sky fall, nor his or her people become blighted entirely. Life, it turns out, goes on with or without us. There is at least as much to be thankful for as wary of.
Thomas Lynch (Bodies in Motion and at Rest: On Metaphor and Mortality)
High school is just like the night sky. It's beautiful. Some moments, you're just in awe of it. But it's dark and endless, which can be scary, too. When the stars fall away, what's left?... The sun... Darkness goes away, but the sun shows up and you start over again. So let high school happen, and eventually, you light up the rest of your life. Burn as bright as you want. The wonderful thing about the sun is, it's always there. People don't have to see you to believe you'll be there.
Julian Winters (Running With Lions)
Let me tell you a story,” I say instead. “Once upon a time, there was a girl whose life was saved by the faery king—” “This story sounds distinctly familiar. I think I might have heard it somewhere before.” I shush him and say not to interrupt. “If anyone asked her how she felt about the king, she would have said she loathed him. He ruthlessly trained her to fight his own kind. He taught her to kill. She learned from his lessons how to quiet the rage that burned inside her. But she had already decided that one day, when she had grown strong enough and learned everything she could about battle, she was going to murder him.” Kiaran goes still, his eyes glittering in the darkness. He says nothing. “Her opportunity came one night when he decided she was ready to hunt her first faery. It was a skriker that had been terrorizing a nearby village, slaughtering children in the night. The king handed the girl his sword and ordered her to kill the goblin-like creature. “She barely won. But in the end, as she thrust the sword deep into the monster’s gut, she felt something so profoundly that she thought it would consume her. So she told the king. She whispered the words and meant them with every part of her rage-filled soul: ‘I hate you. I hate all of you.’ When she lifted the sword again, she intended to pierce it right through his heart. “That was the first time the girl had ever seen the faery king smile.” I lift my hand and press my palm to Kiaran’s cheek. “You’ll have to finish the story. She never knew why he smiled. Just that one day, she wanted to see him do it again. So she dropped the sword and spared his life. And she never told the king what really happened that night.” Kiaran looks amused. “The king knew the girl’s plan all along. He smiled because he decided he liked her. She kept things interesting.” I stare at him. “So the faery king is a deranged sort. As the girl always suspected.” “How about his side of this story?” He pulls me close, his lips soft on my shoulder. “He never told the girl that during a hunt, when she ran alongside him with the wind in her hair and the moonlight behind her, that she was the most magnificent thing he had ever seen and he wanted her.” Then Kiaran’s hands are in my hair, lips brushing mine. “And when the king watched her in battle, she’d look over at him with a smile and he desired her. “It was never at once,” he continued. “It was after everything they had gone through and then it was the king and the girl facing an entire army together. And he knew the truth. His heart was hers. It always was. It always will be.” A shadow crosses Kiaran’s irises. A reminder that he’s still fighting. Just to be here. With me. He shuts his eyes, expression strained. Before I can ask if he’s all right, he pulls me against him and holds me close. His next words are spoken under his breath, so low I wonder if I heard them at all. “The girl helps the king keep his darkness at bay.
Elizabeth May (The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer, #3))
[The Devil] "This legend is about paradise. There was, they say, a certain thinker and philospher here on your earth, who 'rejected all--laws, conscience faith, and, above all, the future life. He died and thought he'd go straight into darkness and death, but no--there was the future life before him. He was amazed and indignant. 'This,' he said, 'goes against my convictions.' So for that he was sentenced...I mean, you see, I beg your pardon, I'm repeating what I heard, it's just a legend...you see, he was sentenced to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometers (we also use kilometers now), and once he finished that quadrillion, the doors of paradise would be open to him and he would be forgiven everything...Well, so this man sentenced to the quadrillion stood a while, looked, and then lay down across the road: 'I dont want to go, I refuse to go on principle!' Take the soul of an enlightened Russian atheist and mix it with the soul of the prophet Jonah, who sulked in the belly of a whale for three days and three nights--you'll get the character of this thinker lying in the road...He lay there for nearly a thousand years, and then got up and started walking." "What an ass!" Ivan exclaimed, bursting into nervous laughter, still apparently trying hard to figure something out. "isn't it all the same whether he lies there forever or walks a quadrillion kilometers? It must be about a billion years' walk!" "Much more, even. If we had a pencil and paper, we could work it out. But he arrived long ago, and this is where the anecdote begins." "Arrived! But where did he get a billion years?" "You keep thinking about our present earth! But our present earth may have repeated itself a billion times; it died out, lets say, got covered with ice, cracked, fell to pieces, broke down into its original components, again there were the waters above the firmament, then again a comet, again the sun, again the earth from the sun--all this development may already have been repeated an infinite number of times, and always in the same way, to the last detail. A most unspeakable bore... "Go on, what happened when he arrived?" "The moment the doors of paradise were opened and he went in, before he had even been there two seconds--and that by the watch--before he had been there two seconds, he exclaimed that for those two seconds it would be worth walking not just a quadrillion kilometers, but a quadrillion quadrillion, even raised to the quadrillionth power! In short, he sang 'Hosannah' and oversweetened it so much that some persons there, of a nobler cast of mind, did not even want to shake hands with him at first: he jumped over to the conservatives a bit too precipitously. The Russian character. I repeat: it's a legend.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
I mean, it’s AWESOME, but it’s also a little bit “New York awe­some,” you know? How do I explain how I felt about it? I guess ... well ... in New York City people spend ten years making something amazing happen, something that captures the essence of an idea so perfectly that sud­denly the world becomes ten times clearer. It’s beautiful and it’s powerful and someone devoted a huge piece of their life to it. The local news does a story about it and everyone goes “Neat!” and then tomorrow we forget about it in favor of some other ABSOLUTELY PERFECT AND REMARKABLE THING. That doesn’t make those things un­wonderful or not unique ... It’s just that there are a lot of people doing a lot of amazing things, so eventually you get a little jaded.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
Mere revolt does not answer the problem. What answers the problem is to bring about order within oneself, order which is living, not a routine. Routine is deadly. You go to an office the moment you pass out of your college—if you can get a job. Then for the next forty to fifty years, you go to the office every day. You know what happens to such a mind? You have established a routine, and you repeat that routine; and you encourage your child to repeat that routine. Any man alive must revolt against it. But you will say, “I have responsibility; placed as I am, I cannot leave it even though I would like to.” And so the world goes on, repeating the monotony, the boredom of life, its utter emptiness. Against all this, intelligence is revolting.
Jiddu Krishnamurti (Relationships to Oneself, to Others, to the World)
Buddha said, “Forgive? But I am not the same man to whom you did it. The Ganges goes on flowing, it is never the same Ganges again. Every man is a river. The man you spit upon is no longer here. I look just like him, but I am not the same, much has happened in these twenty-four hours! The river has flowed so much. So I cannot forgive you because I have no grudge against you.” “And you also are new. I can see you are not the same man who came yesterday because that man was angry and he spit, whereas you are bowing at my feet, touching my feet. How can you be the same man? You are not the same man, so let us forget about it. Those two people, the man who spit and the man on whom he spit, both are no more. Come closer. Let us talk of something else.
Gautama Buddha
The trucker was a beefy man in his mid-forties, with arms like logs and a jutting belly, who was hauling fresh fish in a refrigerated truck. "I hope you don't mind the fish smell," the driver said. "Fish are one of Nakata's favorites," Nakata replied. The driver laughed. "You're a strange one, aren't you." "People tell me that sometimes." "I happen to like the strange ones," the driver said. "People who look normal and live a normal life - they're the ones you have to watch out for." "Is that so?" "Believe me, that's how it goes. In my opinion, anyway." "Nakata doesn't have may opinions. Though I do like eel." "Well, that's an opinion. That you like eel." "Eel is an opinion?" "Sure, saying you like eel's an opinion." Thus the two of them drove to Fujigawa.
Hakuri Murakami
Yeah, they told us that time flies, didn't know what it means Now I feel like we just running around tryna Catch it and hoping to cut up its wings But that ain't gon' happen Joy, when was the last time we had it? I don't remember 'cause all that we do Is go backwards but that's what you get When you live in the past And I know we breathing but we not alive Really, is this the way we wanna die? 'Til you got everything bottled inside If only they knew what goes on in our minds I know what you thinking so don't try to hide Why do you look at me like you surprised? If you really mean what you write in these lines Why don't you fix it? 'Cause I'm getting tired Yeah, I can no longer do this Ever since you fell in love with the music See, you find a way to express what you feel But the moment that you get away from the mic You don't know what you doing Is it clear to you yet? I don't know what's going on in your head But eventually, you'll have to deal with the things That you talk about yeah, but I guess until then, we're lost
Nathan Feuerstein (NF)
If the passage absolutely demands cursing, be moderate. A little of it goes a long way. I've seen beginning writers pepper curse words through sentence after sentence. 'If you don't -blanking- get your -blanking-blank-blank- in to this house this -blanking- minute, I'm going to -blank- your -blank- and nail it to the -blanking- door.' Two things happen when I read this junk: I get bored and I get angry. I didn't pick up your book to read garbage. If this is as clever as you can be, I don't want to read your prose. In life if you met someone who spoke like this, you'd want to flee. Then why put this stuff on the page? As near as I can determine, this abomination occurs because a writer is corrupted by the awful -blanking- dialog that movies inflict on us these days. It's also a sign of insecurity. The writer wonders if the dialog is strong enough and decides a lot of -blanking-blank- will do the trick. Someone might object that this kind of dialog is realistic in certain situations--intense scenes involving policemen or soldiers for example. I can only reply that in my research I spend considerable time with policemen and soldiers. Few of them curse any more than a normal person would. This garbage isn't realistic. It merely draws attention to itself and holds back the story. Use it sparingly.
David Morrell (The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing)
Finally there are those who saw at once that the question was a trap. There is no answer. Instead of wasting time grappling with that trap. They decide to act. They look to their childhood and look for what filled them with enthusiasm then and disregarding the advice of their elders, devote their life to it. Because enthusiasm is the sacred fire. They slowly discover, their actions are linked to a mysterious impulse beyond human knowledge. And they bow their heads as a sign of respect for that mystery and pray that they will not be diverted from a path they do not know, a path which they have chosen to travel because of the flame burning in their hearts. They use their intuition when they can and resort to discipline when intuition fails them. They seem quite mad. And sometimes they behave like mad people. But they are not mad. They have discovered true love and will. And those two things reveal the goal and the direction that they should follow. Their will is crystalline, their love is pure and their steps determined. In moments of doubt or sadness they never forget: I am an instrument, allow me to be an instrument capable of manifesting your will. They have chosen their road, and they may understand what their goal is only when they find themselves before the unwanted visitor. That is the beauty of the person who continues onward with enthusiasm and respect for the mystery of life as his only guide. His road is beautiful, and his burden light. The goal will be large or small, it can be far away or right next door. He goes in search of it with respect and honor. He knows what each step means, and how much it costs in effort and training and intuition. He focuses not just on the goal to be reached but on everything happening around him. He often has to stop because his strength fails him. At such moments, love appears and says: You think you're heading toward a specific point, but the whole justification for the goals existence lies in your love for it. Rest a little. But as soon as you can, get up and carry on. Because ever since your goal found out that you were traveling toward it, it has been running to meet you.
Paulo Coelho
Hey. You know Twilight?” He blinks. “Excuse me?” “Twilight. The vampire book.” His wary eyes study my face. “What about it?” “Okay, so you know how Bella’s blood is extra special? Like how it gives Edward a raging boner every time he’s around her?” “Are you fucking with me right now?” I ignore that. “Do you think it happens in real life? Pheromones and all that crap. Is it a bullshit theory some horndog dreamed up so he could justify why he’s attracted to his mother or some shit? Or is there actually a biological reason why we’re drawn to certain people? Like goddamn Twilight. Edward wants her on a biological level, right?” “Are you seriously dissecting Twilight right now?” God, I am. This is what Allie has reduced me to. A sad, pathetic loser who goes to a bar and forces his friend to participate in a Twilight book club.
Elle Kennedy (The Score (Off-Campus, #3))
And there is no harm in loving a stranger. In fact, it is more exciting to love a stranger. When you were not together, there was great attraction. The more you have been together, the more the attraction has become dull. The more you have become known to each other, superficially, the less is the excitement. Life becomes very soon a routine. People go on repeating the same thing, again and again. If you look at the faces of people in the world, you will be surprised: Why do all these people look so sad? Why do their eyes look as if they have lost all hope? The reason is simple; the reason is repetition. Man is intelligent; repetition creates boredom. Boredom brings a sadness because one knows what is going to happen tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow . . . until one goes into the grave, it will be the same, the same story.   Finkelstein
Osho (Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships)
Because of my love of excessive efficiency, my former decluttering efforts went something like this: Oh, this goes in the master bathroom. I’ll make a master bathroom pile here. That goes in the playroom, so I’ll make a playroom pile. These nails should be in the garage, so here’s a garage pile. Six piles later, life happened. I left the decluttering project to go take care of life with every intention of coming back as soon as I could. But I didn’t. Either more life happened, or I forgot. When I finally returned to the project a few hours (or a few days or a few months) later, those totally logical little piles had morphed into one big pile that was no longer the least bit sorted. The clutter that once drove me crazy while it sat behind the cabinet door or inside the drawer? Now it was out in the open, outside the area I was decluttering. I’d created a bigger mess.
Dana K. White (How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing with Your House's Dirty Little Secrets)
Dear Jessa, I’ve started this letter so many times and I’ve never been able to finish it. So here goes again . . . I’m sorry. I’m sorry that Riley is dead. I’m sorry for ignoring your emails and for not being there for you. I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it had been me that died and not Riley. If I could go back in time and change everything I would. I’m sorry I left without a word. There’s no excuse for my behaviour but please know that it had nothing to do with you. I was a mess. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone for months. And I felt too guilty and didn’t know how to tell you the truth about what happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of you knowing. I got all your emails but I didn’t read them until last week. I couldn’t face it and I guess that makes me the biggest coward you’ll ever meet. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I never replied. You needed me and I wasn’t there for you. I don’t even know how to ask your forgiveness because I don’t deserve it. I’m just glad you’re doing better. I’m better too. I’ve started seeing a therapist – twice a week – you’d like her. She reminds me of Didi. I never thought I’d be the kind of guy who needed therapy, but they made it a condition of me keeping my job. She’s helped me a lot with getting the panic attacks under control. Working in a room the size of a janitor’s closet helps too – there aren’t too many surprises, only the occasional rogue paperclip. I asked for the posting. I have to thank your dad ironically. The demotion worked out. Kind of funny that I totally get where your father was coming from all those years. Looks like I’ll be spending the remainder of my marine career behind a desk, but I’m OK with that. I don’t know what else to say, Jessa. My therapist says I should just write down whatever comes into my head. So here goes. Here’s what’s in my head . . . I miss you. I love you. Even though I long ago gave up the right to any sort of claim over you, I can’t stop loving you. I won’t ever stop. You’re in my blood. You’re the only thing that got me through this, Jessa. Because even during the bad times, the worst times, the times I’d wake up in a cold sweat, my heart thumping, the times I’d think the only way out was by killing myself and just having it all go away, I’d think of you and it would pull me back out of whatever dark place I’d fallen into. You’re my light, Jessa. My north star. You asked me once to come back to you and I told you I always would. I’m working on it. It might take me a little while, and I know I have no right to ask you to wait for me after everything I’ve done, but I’m going to anyway because the truth is I don’t know how to live without you. I’ve tried and I can’t do it. So please, I’m asking you to wait for me. I’m going to come back to you. I promise. And I’m going to make things right. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll never stop trying for the rest of my life to make things right between us. I love you. Always. Kit
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
When you are in your twenties, even if you’re confused and uncertain about your aims and purposes, you have a strong sense of what life itself is, and of what you in life are, and might become. Later … later there is more uncertainty, more overlapping, more backtracking, more false memories. Back then, you can remember your short life in its entirety. Later, the memory becomes a thing of shreds and patches. It’s a bit like the black box aeroplanes carry to record what happens in a crash. If nothing goes wrong, the tape erases itself. So if you do crash, it’s obvious why you did; if you don’t, then the log of your journey is much less clear.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
And what does the text inform us about the content of discipleship? Follow me, run along behind me! That is all. To follow in his steps is something which is void of all content. It gives us no intelligible programme for a way of life, no goal or ideal to strive after. It is not a cause which human calculation might deem worthy of our devotion, even the devotion of ourselves. What happens? At the call, Levi leaves all that he has--but not because he thinks that he might be doing something worth while, but simply for the sake of the call. Otherwise he cannot follow in the steps of Jesus. This act on Levi's part has not the slightest value in itself, it is quite devoid of significance and unworthy of consideration. This disciple simply burns his boats and goes ahead. He is called out, and has to forsake his old life in order that he may "exist" in the strictest sense of the word. The old life is left behind, and completely surrendered. The disciple is dragged out of his relative security into a life of absolute insecurity (that is, in truth, into the absolute security and safety of the fellowship of Jesus), from a life which is observable and calculable (it is, in fact, quite incalculable) into a life where everything is unobservable and fortuitous (that is, into one which is necessary and calculable), out of the realm of finite (which is in truth the infinite) into the realm of infinite possibilities (which is the one liberating reality). Again it is no universal law. Rather is it the exact opposite of all legality. It is nothing else than bondage to Jesus Christ alone, completely breaking through every programme, every ideal, every set of laws. No other significance is possible, since Jesus is the only significance. Beside Jesus nothing has any significance. He alone matters.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
In Paris, Julien’s position with regard to Madame de Renal would very soon have been simplified; but in Paris love is the child of the novels. The young tutor and his timid mistress would have found in three or four novels, and even in the lyrics of the Gymnase, a clear statement of their situation. The novels would have outlined for them the part to be played, shown them the model to copy; and this model, sooner or later, albeit without the slightest pleasure, and perhaps with reluctance, vanity would have compelled Julien to follow. In a small town of the Aveyron or the Pyrenees, the slightest incident would have been made decisive by the ardour of the climate. Beneath our more sombre skies, a penniless young man, who is ambitious only because the refinement of his nature puts him in need of some of those pleasures which money provides, is in daily contact with a woman of thirty who is sincerely virtuous, occupied with her children, and never looks to novels for examples of conduct. Everything goes slowly, everything happens by degrees in the provinces: life is more natural.
Stendhal (The Red and the Black)
God is fiercely committed to you, to the restoration and release of your masculine heart. But a wound that goes unacknowledged and unwept is a wound that cannot heal. A wound you’ve embraced is a wound that cannot heal. A wound you think you deserved is a wound that cannot heal. That is why Brennan Manning says, “The spiritual life begins with the acceptance of our wounded self.” Really? How can that be? The reason is simple: “Whatever is denied cannot be healed.” But that’s the problem, you see. Most men deny their wound—deny that it happened, deny that it hurt, certainly deny that it’s shaping the way they live today. And so God’s initiation of a man must take a very cunning course; a course that feels very odd, even cruel.
John Eldredge (Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul)
There are three phrases that make possible the world of writing about the world of not-yet (you can call it science fiction or speculative fiction; you can call it anything you wish) and they are simple phrases: What if . . . ? If only . . . If this goes on . . . “What if . . . ?” gives us change, a departure from our lives. (What if aliens landed tomorrow and gave us everything we wanted, but at a price?) “If only . . .” lets us explore the glories and dangers of tomorrow. (If only dogs could talk. If only I were invisible.) “If this goes on . . .” is the most predictive of the three, although it doesn’t try to predict an actual future with all its messy confusion. Instead, “If this goes on . . .” fiction takes an element of life today, something clear and obvious and normally something troubling, and asks what would happen if that thing, that one thing, became bigger, became all-pervasive, changed the way we thought and behaved. (If this goes on, all communication everywhere will be through text messages or computers, and direct speech between two people, without a machine, will be outlawed.)
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Standing there, the doctor's wife watched the two blind men who were arguing, she noticed they made no gestures, that they barely moved their bodies, having quickly learned that only their voice and hearing now served any purpose, true, they had their arms, that they could fight, grapple, come to blows, as the saying goes, but a bed swapped by mistake was not worth so much fuss, if only all life's deceptions were like this one, and all they had to do was to come to some agreement, Number two is mine, yours is number three, let that be understood once and for all, Were it not for the fact that we're blind this mix-up would never had happened, You're right, our problem is that we're blind. The doctor's wife said to her husband, The whole world is right here.
José Saramago
But how do you develop your intent? “You become extremely clear about what it is you want to do. Why is it you want to do what you do? How is it a reflection of your values? How does it relate to your unique purpose in life? What is it that you want to accomplish in society? Think about all of the inherent contradictions that are there, and then, if possible, reconcile them. This could take anywhere from a week to decades. This process of refinement—thinking about your intention many, many times—is, in a sense, a broadcast of intention. When you broadcast such an intention, there’s very little else you have to do. The broadcast of intention goes out and makes it happen. Your role is to remain keenly aware, patiently expectant, and open to all possibilities.
Peter M. Senge (Presence: An Exploration of Profound Change in People, Organizations, and Society)
We make our lives pleasurable, and therefore bearable, by picturing them as they might be; it is less obvious, though, what these compelling fantasy lives - lives of, as it were, a more complete satisfaction - are a self-cure for. Our solutions tell us what our problems are; our fantasy lives are not - or not necessarily - alternatives to, or refuges from, those real lives but an essential part of them. As some critics of psychoanalysis rightly point out, a lot depends on whether our daydreams - our personal preoccupations - turn into political action (and, indeed, on whether our preferred worlds are shared worlds, and on what kind of sharing goes on in them). There is nothing more obscure than the relationship between the lived and the unloved life. (Each member of a couple, for example, is always having a relationship, wittingly or unwittingly, with their partner's unloved lives; their initial and initiating relationship is between what they assume are their potential selves.) So we may need to think of ourselves as always living a double life, the one that we wish for and the one that we practice; the one that never happens and the one that keeps happening.
Adam Phillips (Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life)
There are situations in life which are beyond one. The sensible man realizes this, and slides out of such situations, admitting himself beaten. Others try to grapple with them, but it never does any good. When affairs get in a real tangle, it is best to sit still and let them straighten themselves out. Or, if one does not do that, simply to think no more about them. This is Philosophy. The true philosopher is the man who says "All right," and goes to sleep in his arm-chair. One's attitude towards Life's Little Difficulties should be that of the gentleman in the fable, who sat down on an acorn one day and happened to doze. The warmth of his body caused the acorn to germinate, and it grew so rapidly that, when he awoke, he found himself sitting in the fork of an oak sixty feet from the ground. He thought he would go home, but, finding this impossible, he altered his plans. "Well, well," he said, "if I cannot compel circumstances to my will, I can at least adapt my will to circumstances. I decide to remain here." Which he did, and had a not unpleasant time. The oak lacked some of the comforts of home, but the air was splendid and the view excellent. Today's Great Thought for Young Readers. Imitate this man.
P.G. Wodehouse
Somehow the realization that nothing was to be hoped for had a salutary effect upon me. For weeks and months, for years, in fact, all my life I had been looking forward to something happening, some intrinsic event that would alter my life, and now suddenly, inspired by the absolute hopelessness of everything, I felt relieved, felt as though a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders. At dawn I parted company with the young Hindu, after touching him for a few francs, enough for a room. Walking toward Montparnasse I decided to let myself drift with the tide, to make not the least resistance to fate, no matter in what form it presented itself. Nothing that had happened to me thus far had been sufficient to destroy me; nothing had been destroyed except my illusions. I myself was intact. The world was intact. Tomorrow there might be a revolution, a plague, an earthquake; tomorrow there might not be left a single soul to whom one could turn for sympathy, for aid, for faith. It seemed to me that the great calamity had already manifested itself, that I could be no more truly alone than at this very moment. I made up my mind that I would hold on to nothing, that I would expect nothing, that henceforth I would live as an animal, a beast of prey, a rover, a plunderer. Even if war were declared, and it were my lot to go, I would grab the bayonet and plunge it, plunge it up to the hilt. And if rape were the order of the day then rape I would, and with a vengeance. At this very moment, in the quiet dawn of a new day, was not the earth giddy with crime and distress? Had one single element of man's nature been altered, vitally, fundamentally altered, by the incessant march of history? By what he calls the better part of his nature, man has been betrayed, that is all. At the extreme limits of his spiritual being man finds himself again naked as a savage. When he finds God, as it were, he has been picked clean: he is a skeleton. One must burrow into life again in order to put on flesh. The word must become flesh; the soul thirsts. On whatever crumb my eye fastens, I will pounce and devour. If to live is the paramount thing, then I will live, even if I must become a cannibal. Heretofore I have been trying to save my precious hide, trying to preserve the few pieces of meat that hid my bones. I am done with that. I have reached the limits of endurance. My back is to the wall; I can retreat no further. As far as history goes I am dead. If there is something beyond I shall have to bounce back. I have found God, but he is insufficient. I am only spiritually dead. Physically I am alive. Morally I am free. The world which I have departed is a menagerie. The dawn is breaking on a new world, a jungle world in which the lean spirits roam with sharp claws. If I am a hyena I am a lean and hungry one: I go forth to fatten myself.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
You must want to be free. It must become first with you before anything else. Everything that you’ve done all your life, is only a game, a game you’re playing with your self, only it seems to be real. The only reality is the Self and you are That. Why look for anything else? Everything else will take care of itself. You’ve got to abide in the Self, just in the Self. Everything else will take care of itself in a beautiful way. You are boundless space, like the ocean, like the sky, all-pervasive. This is your real nature. But for some reason you believe you are a body, confined to a small space. This is not you. It’s illusion. You are all-pervading absolute reality. This is your true nature. This is who you really are. Just by thinking about these things all the time, something begins to happen to you, something wonderful. Do not think about the weather, or about the day’s work or your problems. For all the thinkers, who thinks? Find out who has the problems? Find out who you really are, who am I? It’s up to you to awaken from this mortal dream. You can keep on going like you are right now, with the good things and the bad things. Yet you live in a universe of dualities, which means for every good there is a bad. For every bad there is a good. It’s a false world in which you live. You need to awaken to this truth. Be aware of yourself, always. The world goes through its own karma. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. You belong to God. Everything you see is God. This is why you should be nonjudgemental. Leave everything alone. By practising these things, you become radiantly happy. Everyone wants something. If your mind stops thinking, what happens? Some of you believe you will not have anything, that you will have more problems. But it’s in reverse. You experience bliss, joy and happiness when you don’t want anything. From what we know, people want something and when they get it, they become more miserable than ever before. Nothing is wrong. Everything is right just the way it is. Do not try to understand this or figure it out. Leave it alone. It will happen by itself, by keeping yourself quiet and still. You quiet the mind because of realization. Let it be calm. In all situations be calm. Let it be still and quiet. The world doesn’t need any help from you. Aren’t you the world, aren’t you the Creator? You created the world the way it is. It came out of you, of your mind. The world that you are in, is a creation of your own mind. When the mind becomes still, the world begins to disappear. And you’re in divine harmony and joy. Therefore, happiness comes to you when you stop thinking, when you stop judging, when you stop being afraid. When you begin to contemplate what is happiness. All the answers are within you. Everything you’re looking for is within you, everything. Nobody can help but your Self. Know who you are. You are the power. All the power of the universe is within you. You have all the power you need. All is well, exceedingly well. It has always been well, it will always be well. When you leave here today act like a god or a goddess. Do not act like a human being any longer. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, saying you’re unhappy. Stand up tall. Know the truth about yourself. Become the witness of all phenomena that you see and be free. Peace.
Robert Adams (Silence of the Heart: Dialogues with Robert Adams)
This isn't a courtroom, pal," I said to Nelson, "this is the gutter. No fancy robes, no platitudes engraved in marble, no brass railing dividing the sides. This is the streets and the alleys. this is the Chicago we really live in. Here justice isn't dispensed with a wooden gavel, it's taken with your bare hands. It may be Tubby's world, a part of it, but it's also August Jansen's world, and my world, and yours. Darrow's a great man but this work comes after the fact, after the real battles of life are fought. Lawyers and judges pick up the pieces after the dust settles. Their job is to make sense of what's happened, not make it happen. That occurs in the gutter where blood and bone and horse manure and coal dust and sweat and fear blend and roil. In the end you either have hope or sewage. It can go either way, but it goes on.
James Conroy (Literally Dead)
How are things going with your brothers?” “The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.” “That is awesome!” “Yeah.” “What’s wrong?” “Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.” Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry." I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law." "Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls." I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me." She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin. Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?” “No.” If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.” Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.” “Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better. I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.” “I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.” “That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly. Where did you decide to go to school?” “I don’t know if I’m going to school.” Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?” My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.” Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared. “If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?” "I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.” “I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?” Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.” "I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
The hardest thing to do is watch the one you love , loving someone else? Cliché ,oh damn , it is ,but it’s also entirely true. There is nothing in this world you can do about except fill your heart with more pain while they hope and pray for the best. You’re left fighting an invisible war ,a pure fragment of your imagination that makes you think you can change what you’re going through. All the love all the emotion that you feel for them ,it exists in your loved one too but concentrated towards someone.. someone who is not you. And when you finally decide to face the truth ,you let the anger become complete hurt that eats up parts of your personality and that’s where I come from ,that’s where my most beautiful people are. In the land of pain, where each day and each second change happens. Nobody goes out of there , because every time they do , they’re already another person.
Arta Mekuli
Depression goes through stages, but if left unchecked and not treated, this elevator ride will eventually go all the way to the bottom floor. And finally you find yourself bereft of choices, unable to figure out a way up or out, and pretty soon one overarching impulse begins winning the battle for your mind: “Kill yourself.” And once you get over the shock of those words in your head, the horror of it, it begins to start sounding appealing, even possessing a strange resolve, logic. In fact, it’s the only thing you have left that is logical. It becomes the only road to relief. As if just the planning of it provides the first solace you’ve felt that you can remember. And you become comfortable with it. You begin to plan it and contemplate the details of how best to do it, as if you were planning travel arrangements for a vacation. You just have to get out. O-U-T. You see the white space behind the letter O? You just want to crawl through that O and be out of this inescapable hurt that is this thing they call clinical depression. “How am I going to do this?” becomes the only tape playing. And if you are really, really, really depressed and you’re really there, you’re gonna find a way. I found a way. I had a way. And I did it. I made sure Opal was out of the house and on a business trip. My planning took a few weeks. I knew exactly how I was going to do it: I didn’t want to make too much of a mess. There was gonna be no blood, no drama. There was just going to be, “Now you see me, now you don’t.” That’s what it was going to be. So I did it. And it was over. Or so I thought. About twenty-four hours later I woke up. I was groggy; zoned out to the point at which I couldn’t put a sentence together for the next couple of days. But I was semifunctional, and as these drugs and shit that I took began to wear off slowly but surely, I realized, “Okay, I fucked up. I didn’t make it.” I thought I did all the right stuff, left no room for error, but something happened. And this perfect, flawless plan was thwarted. As if some force rebuked me and said, “Not yet. You’re not going anywhere.” The only reason I could have made it, after the amount of pills and alcohol and shit I took, was that somebody or something decided it wasn’t my time. It certainly wasn’t me making that call. It was something external. And when you’re infused with the presence of this positive external force, which is so much greater than all of your efforts to the contrary, that’s about as empowering a moment as you can have in your life. These days we have a plethora of drugs one can take to ameliorate the intensity of this lack of hope, lack of direction, lack of choice. So fuck it and don’t be embarrassed or feel like you can handle it yourself, because lemme tell ya something: you can’t. Get fuckin’ help. The negative demon is strong, and you may not be as fortunate as I was. My brother wasn’t. For me, despair eventually gave way to resolve, and resolve gave way to hope, and hope gave way to “Holy shit. I feel better than I’ve ever felt right now.” Having actually gone right up to the white light, looked right at it, and some force in the universe turned me around, I found, with apologies to Mr. Dylan, my direction home. I felt more alive than I’ve ever felt. I’m not exaggerating when I say for the next six months I felt like Superman. Like I’m gonna fucking go through walls. That’s how strong I felt. I had this positive force in me. I was saved. I was protected. I was like the only guy who survived and walked away from a major plane crash. I was here to do something big. What started as the darkest moment in my life became this surge of focus, direction, energy, and empowerment.
Ron Perlman (Easy Street: The Hard Way)
I was reading a book about the cosmos recently,” he says, and then he looks around and goes, “Hold on, trust me, this relates.” The crowd laughs again. “And I was reading about different theories about the universe. I was really taken with this one theory that states that everything that is possible happens. That means that when you flip a quarter, it doesn’t come down heads or tails. It comes up heads and tails. Every time you flip a coin and it comes up heads, you are merely in the universe where the coin came up heads. There is another version of you out there, created the second the quarter flipped, who saw it come up tails. This is happening every second of every day. The world is splitting further and further into an infinite number of parallel universes where everything that could happen is happening. This is completely plausible, by the way. It’s a legitimate interpretation of quantum mechanics. It’s entirely possible that every time we make a decision, there is a version of us out there somewhere who made a different choice. An infinite number of versions of ourselves are living out the consequences of every single possibility in our lives. What I’m getting at here is that I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices that led me somewhere else, led me to someone else.” He looks at Gabby. “And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Maybe in Another Life)
Your hair grows by itself, your heart beats by itself, and your breath happens pretty much by itself. Your glands secrete the essences by themselves and you do not have voluntary control over these things, and so we say they happen spontaneously. So, when you go to bed and try to go to sleep you interfere with the spontaneous process of going to sleep. If you try to breathe real hard you will find you get balled-up in your breathing. So if you are to be human, you just have to trust yourself to go to sleep, to digest your food, and to have bowel movements. Of course if something goes seriously wrong and you need a surgeon that is another matter, but by and large the healthy human being does not from the start of life need surgical interference. One lets it happen by itself, and so with the whole picture that is fundamental to it. You have to let go and let it happen, because if you don’t then you are constantly going to be trying to do what happens easily only if you do not try. When you think a bit about what people really want to do with their time, and you ask what they do when they are not being pushed around or somebody is telling them what to do, you find they like to make rhythms. They listen to music and they dance or they sing, or perhaps they do something of a rhythmic nature like playing cards, bowling, or raising their elbows. Given the chance, everybody wants to spend their time swinging.
Alan W. Watts (The Tao of Philosophy (Alan Watts Love of Wisdom))
Everybody needs somebody. Sorry. If you were thinking you could get through life completely on your own, you're wrong. It's a proven fact that people need people. Sure, there are those who try to stuff their lives full of cats in an effort to fill the void, but, for the most part, people thrive, live, and do better if their existences are full of interaction with other humans. Some people find people to interact with at school. Some people run with people they meet at church. Work is a half-decent place to find acquaintances. Or maybe one day last May you were flying a kite in Central Park and a couple of nice people commented on how high the kite was, and that sparked a conversation that led to the three of you having dinner together at a small restaurant in Times Square and then catching a Broadway show about friendly cats. That could have happened -- which just goes to show you that, either way, you are going to end up surround by cats. Let's hope you're not allergic.
Obert Skye (Leven Thumps and the Eyes of the Want (Leven Thumps, #3))
In all of these situations, chances are you won’t literally think, “I’m not enough.” No, the sneaky thing about this model is that if you have it, it’s hard to admit you have it—or even to realize that it’s there. So instead, you bury it and create a model of reality about the person you’re seeking validation from. Your brain’s meaning-making machine goes into overdrive and you decide: My husband’s such an inconsiderate asshole sometimes. That son of mine really doesn’t appreciate me. My sister doesn’t care about her family—how awful of her. My boss is an unappreciative jerk. This is the most disempowering kind of model to have, because you’re blaming outside circumstances for what happens in your life. This model robs you of your own ability to control your life. While you can’t control what others do, you can control how you react to others. In order to be truly unfuckwithable, you need to lose your need to seek validation or love from others and to judge them when you perceive that they are not giving you what you need.
Vishen Lakhiani (The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms)
I do not know whether it is an act of faithfulness to her or a betrayal of the dignity she never lost, to say that she had bitten her tongue, to say that there was blood flowing across her mouth and lips which my brother kept wiping away. I do not know whether I have the right to say, though I will do so, that her body was shaken with epileptic tremors and that she took enormous, terrifying breaths that went on and on until you could not believe she had the strength for them. I do not know whether, as we thought at the time, she could feel our hands on her forehead and cheek, or whether she had waited until we were both there to die. I did not say 'I am here'. I did not say anything. Her mouth was open wide, as in those portraits by Francis Bacon of caged prisoners in their final extremity. I watched and listened to those terrifying, rattling, hoarse breaths, wondering at the strength remaining in her aged body and at the violence it still had to endure. I looked over at my brother as if he might know, as if he might understand whether she had the strength to continue. He was stroking her forehead, whispering soundlessly to her, attempting even at this moment to reach behind the veil and find her. If you believe that she knew we were there, if you believe--I cannot be sure--that she understood what her sons needed at that instant, her eyes which had been shut and which, by being closed, made her seem completely out of our reach, suddenly opened. Blue-grey eyes, staring up into the ceiling above her sons' heads, upwards, ever upwards, fixed like an exhausted swimmer on the shore. Then her eyes closed and she took the largest, most violent breath of all, and we watched and waited, stood and looked at each other, felt for her pulse and slowly, as seconds turned into minutes, realized that she would never breathe again. There is only one reason to tell you this, to present the scene. It is to say that what happens can never be anticipated. What happens escapes anything you can ever say about it. What happens cannot be redeemed. It can never be anything other than what it is. We tell stories as if to refuse this truth, as if to say that we make our fate, rather than simply endure it. But in truth we make nothing. We live, and we cannot shape life. It is much too great for us, too great for any words. A writer must refuse to believe this, must believe there is nothing that cannot somehow be said. Yet there at last in her presence, in the unending unfolding of that silence, which still goes on, which I still expect to be broken by another drawing in of breath, I knew that all my words could only be in vain, and that all that I had feared and all that I had anticipated could only be lived--without their help or hers.
Michael Ignatieff (Scar Tissue)
(...) I don’t remember the way every song goes. I can’t recall ever y person I’ve met. I get names mixed up all the time. I’m terrible with birthdays. But I remember all the ways people have affected me. How our stories became memories. And if you were enough then you’re in there somewhere. Maybe it was a truth or dare kiss, Or a simple act of kindness, one that reminded me to remember this moment and mark it as a memory , so we could both have it to look back on. From this life, I’ve drawn conclusions so big, They can’t fit into the tiny comic book boxes, Because I don’t wanna risk losing the detail, Just so I can make the story fit. It’s not a trick. I remember how things felt. Which in turn makes me remember how things happened. (...) I’m pretty fantastic. It’s not magic. I remember because I make comparisons. Not in terms of better or worse, just different. And not all of these memories are great, but they’re mine. Which lends way to believe, That none of our lives are put together on an assembly line. We’re not pre-packaged with memories or programmed with stories. We have to make our own. (...)
Shane L. Koyczan (Remembrance Year)
We might call this existential paradox the condition of individuality finitude. Man has a symbolic identity that brings him sharply out of nature. He is a symbolic self, a creature with a name, a life history. He is a creator with a mind that soars out to speculate about atoms and infinity, who can place himself imaginatively at a point in space and contemplate bemusedly his own planet. This immense expansion, this dexterity, this ethereality, this self-consciousness gives to man literally the status of a small god in nature, as the Renaissance thinkers knew. Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways-the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is happening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled days-that's something else.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
But this is something you need to know: when you find a place that suits you, where you decide to go back to often, to meet your pals there, if you want to feel at home and not discover some snag at the wrong moment, sit yourself in a corner, write letters, read, try and eat there, and watch what goes on for a whole day. At least twice during the day, and three times if the place is open at night, there’s that moment of “temporal void”. It happens every day, at the very same hour, at the very same minute, but it varies from place to place. People are talking, letting their hair down, having a drink together, and all of a sudden, the moment of silence: everyone turns stock still, with their glasses in the air, their eyes fixed. Immediately afterwards the hubbub resumes. But that moment when nothing’s happening - it can last five, ten minutes. And during that time, outside and everywhere else, for other people life goes on, faster, much faster, like an avalanche. If you’re prepared for it, and take advantage of that moment not to be fazed and to have your say, you’re certain to be heard, and if necessary even obeyed. Try it. You’ll see.
Jacques Yonnet (Paris Noir: The Secret History of a City)
[“... ] Once, I remember, we came upon a man-of-war anchored off the coast. There wasn't even a shed there, and she was shelling the bush. It appears the French had one of their wars going on thereabouts. Her ensign dropped limp like a rag; the muzzles of the long six-inch guns stuck out all over the low hull; the greasy, slimy swell swung her up lazily and let her down, swaying her thin masts. In the empty immensity of earth, sky, and water, there she was, incomprehensible, firing into a continent. Pop, would go one of the six-inch guns; a small flame would dart and vanish, a little white smoke would disappear, a tiny projectile would give a feeble screech—and nothing happened. Nothing could happen. There was a touch of insanity in the proceeding, a sense of lugubrious drollery in the sight; and it was not dissipated by somebody on board assuring me earnestly there was a camp of natives—he called them enemies!—hidden out of sight somewhere. "We gave her her letters (I heard the men in that lonely ship were dying of fever at the rate of three a day) and went on. We called at some more places with farcical names, where the merry dance of death and trade goes on in a still and earthy atmosphere as of an overheated catacomb; all along the formless coast bordered by dangerous surf, as if Nature herself had tried to ward off intruders; in and out of rivers, streams of death in life, whose banks were rotting into mud, whose waters, thickened into slime, invaded the contorted mangroves, that seemed to writhe at us in the extremity of an impotent despair. Nowhere did we stop long enough to get a particularized impression, but the general sense of vague and oppressive wonder grew upon me. It was like a weary pilgrimage amongst hints for nightmares. [..."]
Joseph Conrad (Heart of Darkness)
When you reach our age, Vasily, it all goes by so quickly. Whole seasons seem to pass without leaving the slightest mark on our memory.” “How true…, “ agreed the concierge (as he sorted through an allotment of tickets). “But surely, there is comfort to be taken from that,” continued the Count. “For even as the weeks begin racing by in a blur for us, they are making the greatest of impressions upon our children. When one turns seventeen and begins to experience that first period of real independence, one’s senses are so alert, one’s sentiments so finely attuned that every conversation, every look, every laugh may be writ indelibly upon one’s memory. And the friends that one happens to make in those impressionable years? One will meet them forever after with a welling of affection.”… “Perhaps it is a matter of celestial balance,” he reflected. “A sort of cosmic equilibrium. Perhaps the aggregate experience of Time is a constant and thus for our children to establish such vivid impressions of this particular June, we must relinquish our claims upon it.” “So that they might remember, we must forget,” Vasily summed up. “Exactly!” said the Count. “So that they might remember, we must forget. But should we take umbrage at that fact? Should we feel short-changed by the notion that their experiences for the moment may be richer than ours? I think not. For it is hardly our purpose at this late stage to log a new portfolio of lasting memories. Rather, we should be dedicating ourselves to ensuring that they taste freely of experience. And we must do so without trepidation. Rather than tucking in blankets and buttoning up coats, we must have faith in them to tuck and button on their own. And if they fumble with their newfound liberty, we must remain composed, generous, judicious. We must encourage them to venture out from under our watchful gaze, and then sigh with pride when they pass at last through the revolving door of life…
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
When you come to any town And one comes to any town very late When you come very late to any town In case that town happens to be Valjevo Where I also came You'll come by the path you had to come by Which didn't exist before you But was born with you For you to go by your path And meet her whom you must meet On the path you must go by Who was your life Even before you met her Or knew that she existed Both her and the town to which you came. ***** Until she comes into your life And there forever remains She who started towards you From a great distance From somewhere in the Russian Jerusalem From the Caucasus from Pyatigorsk Where she had never been And her name was what it was For instance Vera Pavlodoljska And looked the way she looked The way no one on earth looks anymore. ***** That will be the only town Where you’ve always been And as soon as you heard her name And before you met her You always knew her And already loved her for centuries. When you come to any town And one comes to any town very late When you come very late to any town In case that town happens to be Valjevo You will come stepping to a double echo Yours and the clatter of another Who travels with you And whose voice blows in the wind On an unusual day for that time of year So even you won’t be sure What town that is Nor which are your steps You’ll only know that voice That doesn’t blow in the wind But appears in you ***** When you come very late to any town The world will become a reminder of her And there won’t be a single place on earth Where she won’t be waiting for you Nor a mirror in which she won’t appear Nor blonde hair that isn’t hers Nor a cloud without her silken smile Space, fields and water have remembered her The way she was when you first met her In any town ***** And nothing would be the way that it is If it could have been the way that it couldn’t Because there exists only one town And only one arrival And only one encounter And each is the first and only And it never happened before or after And all towns are one Parts of one single town Of a town above all towns Of a town that is you Towards which everyone goes ***** And as soon as you saw her You loved her from the beginning And in advance rued the parting Which took place Before you met her Because there exists only one town And only one woman And one single day And one song above all songs And one single word And one town in which you heard it And one mouth that said it And from everything about the way it uttered it You knew it was uttering it for the first time And that you could quietly shut your eyes Because you’d already died and already risen And that which never was had repeated itself.
Matija Bećković
is easy to recall from everyday experience that neither electricity nor magnetism have visual properties. So, on its own, it’s not hard to grasp that there is nothing inherently visual, nothing bright or colored about that candle flame. Now let these same invisible electromagnetic waves strike a human retina, and if (and only if) the waves each happen to measure between 400 and 700 nanometers in length from crest to crest, then their energy is just right to deliver a stimulus to the 8 million cone-shaped cells in the retina. Each in turn sends an electrical pulse to a neighbor neuron, and on up the line this goes, at 250 mph, until it reaches the warm, wet occipital lobe of the brain, in the back of the head. There, a cascading complex of neurons fire from the incoming stimuli, and we subjectively perceive this experience as a yellow brightness occurring in a place we have been conditioned to call “the external world.” Other creatures receiving the identical stimulus will experience something altogether different, such as a perception of gray, or even have an entirely dissimilar sensation. The point is, there isn’t a “bright yellow” light “out there” at all. At most, there is an invisible stream of electrical and magnetic pulses. We are totally necessary for the experience of what we’d call a yellow flame. Again, it’s correlative.
Robert Lanza (Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness Are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe)
[For the Sake of a Single Poem] … Ah, poems amount to so little when you write them too early in your life. You ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness for a whole lifetime, and a lone one if possible, and then, at the very end, you might perhaps be able to write ten good lines. For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences. For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and Things, you must understand animals, must feel how birds fly, and know the gesture which small flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you had long seen coming; to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained, to parents whom you had to hurt when they brought in a joy and you didn’t pick it up (it was a joy meant for somebody else—); to childhood illnesses that began so strangely with so many profound and difficult transformations, to days in quiet, restrained rooms and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along high overhead and went flying with all the stars, and it is still not enough to be able to think of all that. You must have memories of many nights of love, each one different from all the others, memories of women screaming in labor, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and are closing again. But you must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the scattered noises. And it is not yet enough to have memories. You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the memories themselves are not important. Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves—only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke)
Jay came over as soon as Violet called him; she didn’t even have to give him a reason. He was there in less than ten minutes. Of course, he’d heard about what had happened to Hailey. Everyone had. Buckley was a small town, and news traveled fast . . . especially bad news. When he got there she told him what she was thinking about doing. It was nothing dangerous, at least as far as she was concerned, and she hadn’t expected Jay to disagree with her about it. So when he did, she was more than a little bit surprised by his stubborn reaction. “No way,” he insisted, and his voice left little room for argument. “There is no way you’re going to go around looking for this guy.” Violet was shocked by the tone of his voice, and by the harsh look he shot at her. She thought maybe he misunderstood her plan, so she tried to explain it to him again. “Jay, I’m only going to public places, like malls and parks, to see if I can get a feeling for who this guy is. Who knows, maybe he goes to places like that to find them, maybe he hands out there waiting to pick out a girl to . . . you know, kidnap.” She tried to make her argument sound logical, but there was a desperate edge to her voice. “I’m not going out alone . . . you can go with me. We’ll just hang out at different places to see if we can find him. And if we do, we’ll call my uncle. It’s not like we’d do anything stupid.” “’Anything stupid’ would be going out to look for a killer. I won’t let you go looking for trouble, Violet. This guy is dangerous, and you need to leave it to the cops. They know what they’re doing. And they’re armed.” He sounded like he thought she’d lost her mind, and maybe she had, but she had already made her decision. “Look, I’m doing this. I was just asking you to come along with me.” “You’re not,” he insisted. “Even if I have to tell your uncle and your parents what you’re planning. I promise you, you’re not doing it.” She could feel her temper flaring. “You can’t stop me, Jay. If you tell on me, then I’ll lie. I’ll bat my eyes innocently and promise not to go looking for this guy. But I swear to you that every chance I get, even if I have to sneak out of the house to do it, I will be trying to find him.” She stood up, meaning to glare back at him, but instead found herself craning her neck just so she could see his face. The awkward position didn’t steal nay of her thunder. She refused to back down. “I mean it, Jay. You can’t stop me.” Jay glared incredulously back at her. Emotions ranging from disbelief to frustration and back to disbelief again flashed darkly across his face. He seemed to be fighting with himself now. But when she heard him sigh, and then saw him raking his hand restlessly through his hair, she knew she’d won. His icy determination seemed to melt right before her eyes. “Damn it, Violet.” He sighed brusquely, wrapping his arms around her and holding her tightly. “What choice do I have?” he asked as he practically squeezed the life out of her. She wasn’t sure how to react to him now. It definitely wasn’t a tender hug, but the close contact made her undisclosed desires stir all the same. She couldn’t help wondering if he felt even a fraction of what she did. His arms were strong, and she felt safe in the circle of them. She’d never imaged that she could feel so comfortable and so uncomfortable at the same time. She waited within the space of his embrace to see where this was going. “So, how is this going to work?” he demanded roughly against the top of her head.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
to know that the Universe is conspiring in our favor, even though we may not understand how. I ask myself: are defeats necessary? Well, necessary or not, they happen. When we first begin fighting for our dream, we have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times. So, why is it so important to live our personal calling if we are only going to suffer more than other people? Because, once we have overcome the defeats—and we always do—we are filled by a greater sense of euphoria and confidence. In the silence of our hearts, we know that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of life. Each day, each hour, is part of the good fight. We start to live with enthusiasm and pleasure. Intense, unexpected suffering passes more quickly than suffering that is apparently bearable; the latter goes on for years and, without our noticing, eats away at our soul, until, one day, we are no longer able to free ourselves from the bitterness and it stays with us for the rest of our lives. Having disinterred our dream, having used the power of love to nurture it and spent many years living with the scars, we suddenly notice that what we always wanted is there, waiting for us, perhaps the very next day. Then comes the fourth obstacle: the fear of realizing the dream for which we fought all our lives. Oscar Wilde said: “Each man kills the thing he loves.” And it’s true. The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Which philosophers would Alain suggest for practical living? Alain’s list overlaps nearly 100% with my own: Epicurus, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Plato, Michel de Montaigne, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Bertrand Russell. * Most-gifted or recommended books? The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, Essays of Michel de Montaigne. * Favorite documentary The Up series: This ongoing series is filmed in the UK, and revisits the same group of people every 7 years. It started with their 7th birthdays (Seven Up!) and continues up to present day, when they are in their 50s. Subjects were picked from a wide variety of social backgrounds. Alain calls these very undramatic and quietly powerful films “probably the best documentary that exists.” TF: This is also the favorite of Stephen Dubner on page 574. Stephen says, “If you are at all interested in any kind of science or sociology, or human decision-making, or nurture versus nature, it is the best thing ever.” * Advice to your 30-year-old self? “I would have said, ‘Appreciate what’s good about this moment. Don’t always think that you’re on a permanent journey. Stop and enjoy the view.’ . . . I always had this assumption that if you appreciate the moment, you’re weakening your resolve to improve your circumstances. That’s not true, but I think when you’re young, it’s sort of associated with that. . . . I had people around me who’d say things like, ‘Oh, a flower, nice.’ A little part of me was thinking, ‘You absolute loser. You’ve taken time to appreciate a flower? Do you not have bigger plans? I mean, this the limit of your ambition?’ and when life’s knocked you around a bit and when you’ve seen a few things, and time has happened and you’ve got some years under your belt, you start to think more highly of modest things like flowers and a pretty sky, or just a morning where nothing’s wrong and everyone’s been pretty nice to everyone else. . . . Fortune can do anything with us. We are very fragile creatures. You only need to tap us or hit us in slightly the wrong place. . . . You only have to push us a little bit, and we crack very easily, whether that’s the pressure of disgrace or physical illness, financial pressure, etc. It doesn’t take very much. So, we do have to appreciate every day that goes by without a major disaster.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Nietzsche’s words that relate to this with respect to masks and the processes of life. He speaks of three stages in the life of the spirit incarnate in each of us. Three transformations of the spirit, he calls it. The first is that of the camel which gets down on its knees and asks, “Put a load on me.” That’s the period of these dear little children. This is the just-born life that has come in and is receiving the imprint of the society. The primary mask. “Put a load on me. Teach me what I must know to live in this society.” Once heavily loaded, the camel struggles to its feet and goes out into the desert — into the desert of the realization of its own individual nature. This must follow the reception of the culture good. It must not precede it. First is humility, and obedience, and the reception of the primary mask. Then comes the turning inward, which happens automatically in adolescence, to find your own inward life. Nietzsche calls this the transformation of the camel into a lion. Then the lion attacks a dragon; and the dragon’s name is Thou Shalt. The dragon is the concretization of all those imprints that the society has put upon you. The function of the lion is to kill the dragon Thou Shalt. On every scale is a “Thou Shalt,” some of them dating from 2000 b.c., others from this morning’s newspaper. And, when the dragon Thou Shalt has been killed — that is to say, when you have made the transition from simple obedience to authority over your own life — the third transformation is to that of being a child moving spontaneously out of the energy of its own center. Nietzsche calls it a wheel rolling out of its own center.
Joseph Campbell (Trick or Treat: Hallowe'en, Masks, and Living Your Myth (E-Singles))
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert talks about this phenomenon in his 2006 book, Stumbling on Happiness. “The greatest achievement of the human brain is its ability to imagine objects and episodes that do not exist in the realm of the real,” he writes. “The frontal lobe—the last part of the human brain to evolve, the slowest to mature, and the first to deteriorate in old age—is a time machine that allows each of us to vacate the present and experience the future before it happens.” This time travel into the future—otherwise known as anticipation—accounts for a big chunk of the happiness gleaned from any event. As you look forward to something good that is about to happen, you experience some of the same joy you would in the moment. The major difference is that the joy can last much longer. Consider that ritual of opening presents on Christmas morning. The reality of it seldom takes more than an hour, but the anticipation of seeing the presents under the tree can stretch out the joy for weeks. One study by several Dutch researchers, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010, found that vacationers were happier than people who didn’t take holiday trips. That finding is hardly surprising. What is surprising is the timing of the happiness boost. It didn’t come after the vacations, with tourists bathing in their post-trip glow. It didn’t even come through that strongly during the trips, as the joy of travel mingled with the stress of travel: jet lag, stomach woes, and train conductors giving garbled instructions over the loudspeaker. The happiness boost came before the trips, stretching out for as much as two months beforehand as the holiday goers imagined their excursions. A vision of little umbrella-sporting drinks can create the happiness rush of a mini vacation even in the midst of a rainy commute. On some level, people instinctively know this. In one study that Gilbert writes about, people were told they’d won a free dinner at a fancy French restaurant. When asked when they’d like to schedule the dinner, most people didn’t want to head over right then. They wanted to wait, on average, over a week—to savor the anticipation of their fine fare and to optimize their pleasure. The experiencing self seldom encounters pure bliss, but the anticipating self never has to go to the bathroom in the middle of a favorite band’s concert and is never cold from too much air conditioning in that theater showing the sequel to a favorite flick. Planning a few anchor events for a weekend guarantees you pleasure because—even if all goes wrong in the moment—you still will have derived some pleasure from the anticipation. I love spontaneity and embrace it when it happens, but I cannot bank my pleasure solely on it. If you wait until Saturday morning to make your plans for the weekend, you will spend a chunk of your Saturday working on such plans, rather than anticipating your fun. Hitting the weekend without a plan means you may not get to do what you want. You’ll use up energy in negotiations with other family members. You’ll start late and the museum will close when you’ve only been there an hour. Your favorite restaurant will be booked up—and even if, miraculously, you score a table, think of how much more you would have enjoyed the last few days knowing that you’d be eating those seared scallops on Saturday night!
Laura Vanderkam (What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off (A Penguin Special from Portfo lio))
Narrative horror, disgust. That's what drives him mad, I'm sure of it, what obsesses him. I've known other people with the same aversion, or awareness, and they weren't even famous, fame is not a deciding factor, there are many individuals who experience their life as if it were the material of some detailed report, and they inhabit that life pending its hypothetical or future plot. They don't give it much thought, it's just a way of experiencing things, companionable, in a way, as if there were always spectators or permanent witnesses, even of their most trivial goings-on and in the dullest of times. Perhaps it's a substitute for the old idea of the omnipresence of God, who saw every second of each of our lives, it was very flattering in a way, very comforting despite the implicit threat and punishment, and three or four generations aren't enough for Man to accept that his gruelling existence goes on without anyone ever observing or watching it, without anyone judging it or disapproving of it. And in truth there is always someone: a listener, a reader, a spectator, a witness, who can also double up as simultaneous narrator and actor: the individuals tell their stories to themselves, to each his own, they are the ones who peer in and look at and notice things on a daily basis, from the outside in a way; or, rather, from a false outside, from a generalised narcissism, sometimes known as "consciousness". That's why so few people can withstand mockery, humiliation, ridicule, the rush of blood to the face, a snub, that least of all ... I've known men like that, men who were nobody yet who had that same immense fear of their own history, of what might be told and what, therefore, they might tell too. Of their blotted, ugly history. But, I insist, the determining factor always comes from outside, from something external: all this has little to do with shame, regret, remorse, self-hatred although these might make a fleeting appearance at some point. These individuals only feel obliged to give a true account of their acts or omissions, good or bad, brave, contemptible, cowardly or generous, if other people (the majority, that is) know about them, and those acts or omissions are thus encorporated into what is known about them, that is, into their official portraits. It isn't really a matter of conscience, but of performance, of mirrors. One can easily cast doubt on what is reflected in mirrors, and believe that it was all illusory, wrap it up in a mist of diffuse or faulty memory and decide finally that it didn't happen and that there is no memory of it, because there is no memory of what did not take place. Then it will no longer torment them: some people have an extraordinary ability to convince themselves that what happened didn't happen and what didn't exist did.
Javier Marías (Fever and Spear (Your Face Tomorrow, #1))
Ah! but verses amount to so little when one writes them young. One ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness a whole life long, and a long life if possible, and then, quite at the end, one might perhaps be able to write ten lines that were good. For verses are not, as people imagine, simply feelings (those one has early enough),–they are experiences. For the sake of a single verse, one must see many cities, men and things, one must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the little flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents whom one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was a joy for someone else); to childhood illnesses that so strangely begin with such a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to the mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars–and it is not yet enough if one may think of all this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labour, and of light, white sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not yet enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not till they have turned to blood within us, to glance and gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves–not till then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Life, in short, just wants to be. But—and here’s an interesting point—for the most part it doesn’t want to be much. This is perhaps a little odd because life has had plenty of time to develop ambitions. If you imagine the 4.5 billion odd years of Earth’s history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flashbulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It’s a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummeled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long. Perhaps an even more effective way of grasping our extreme recentness as a part of this 4.5-billion-year-old picture is to stretch your arms to their fullest extent and imagine that width as the entire history of the Earth. On this scale, according to John McPhee in Basin and Range, the distance from the fingertips of one hand to the wrist of the other is Precambrian. All of complex life is in one hand, “and in a single stroke with a medium-grained nail file you could eradicate human history.” Fortunately, that moment hasn’t happened, but the chances are good that it will. I don’t wish to interject a note of gloom just at this point, but the fact is that there is one other extremely pertinent quality about life on Earth: it goes extinct. Quite regularly. For all the trouble they take to assemble and preserve themselves, species crumple and die remarkably routinely. And the more complex they get, the more quickly they appear to go extinct. Which is perhaps one reason why so much of life isn’t terribly ambitious.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
On the next floor below are the abdominal and spine cases, head wounds and double amputations. On the right side of the wing are the jaw wounds, wounds in the joints, wounds in the kidneys, wounds in the testicles, wounds in the intestines. Here a man realizes for the first time in how many places a man can get hit. Two fellows die of tetanus. Their skin turns pale, their limbs stiffen, at last only their eyes live—stubbornly. Many of the wounded have their shattered limbs hanging free in the air from a gallows; underneath the wound a basin is placed into which drips the pus. Every two or three hours the vessel is emptied. Other men lie in stretching bandages with heavy weights hanging from the end of the bed. I see intestine wounds that are constantly full of excreta. The surgeon’s clerk shows me X-ray photographs of completely smashed hipbones, knees and shoulders. A man cannot realize that above such shattered bodies there are still human faces in which life goes its daily round. And this is only one hospital, one single station; there are hundreds of thousands in Germany, hundreds of thousands in France, hundreds of thousands in Russia. How senseless is everything that can ever be written, done, or thought, when such things are possible. It must be all lies and of no account when the culture of a thousand years could not prevent this stream of blood being poured out, these torture-chambers in their hundreds of thousands. A hospital alone shows what war is. I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another. I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it yet more refined and enduring. And all men of my age, here and over there, throughout the whole world see these things; all my generation is experiencing these things with me. What would our fathers do if we suddenly stood up and came before them and proffered our account? What do they expect of us if a time ever comes when the war is over? Through the years our business has been killing;—it was our first calling in life. Our knowledge of life is limited to death. What will happen afterwards? And what shall come out of us?
Erich Maria Remarque (All Quiet on the Western Front)
Marriage is a paradox second only to life itself. That at the age of twenty or so, with little knowledge of each other and a dangerous overdose of self-confidence, two human beings should undertake to commit themselves for life – and that church and state should receive their vows with a straight face – all this is absurd indeed. And it is tolerable only if it is reveled in as such. A pox on all the neat little explanations as to why it is reasonable that two teenagers should be bound to each other until death. It is not reasonable. It happens to be true to life, but it remains absurd. Down with the books that moralize reasonably on the subject of why divorce is wrong. Divorce is not a wrong; it is a metaphysical impossibility. It is an attempt to do something about life rather than with it - to work out the square root of –I rather than to use it. Up with the absurdity of marriage then. Let the peasant rejoice. He is a very odd ball on a very odd pool table, and his marriage is one of the few things left to him that will roll properly in this game. And up with the marriage service. Let the peasant go back and read it while he rejoices - preferably in the old unbowdlerized version still used by the Church of England. It is full of death and cast iron. And it is one of the great remaining sanity markers. The world is going mad because it has too many reasonable options, and not enough interest or nerve to choose anything for good. In such a world, the marriage service is not reasonable, but it is sane; which is quite another matter. The lunatic lives in a world of reason, and he goes mad without making sense; it is precisely paradox that keeps the rest of us sane. To be born, to love a woman, to cry at music, to catch a cold, to die – these are not excursions on the narrow road of logic; they are blind launchings on a trackless sea. They are not bargains, they are commitments, and for ordinary people, marriage is the very keel of their commitment, the largest piece of ballast in their small and storm-tossed boat. Its unqualified hurling of two people into their deathbead is absurd, but so is the rest of that welter of unqualified hurlings we call life. You cannot contract out of being born, out of crying, out of loving, out of dying; you cannot contract out of marriage. It may be uncomfortable, it certainly is absurd; but it is not abnormal.
Robert Farrar Capon (Bed And Board: Plain Talk About Marriage)
Every day we have plenty of opportunities to be upset, to be frustrated, and to be offended. Maybe the day’s plans didn’t work out, or somebody was rude at the office, or a job that should have taken one hour took three. Life is full of inconveniences. There will always be interruptions and difficult people. We can’t control all our circumstances, but we can control our reactions. I’ve heard it said that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond. Go into each day positive, hopeful, and expecting God’s favor. But at the same time be realistic, knowing that most days will not go exactly as you planned. If you become stressed because you are off schedule, frustrated because someone offended you, or upset because your child wouldn’t eat breakfast, you are giving away your power. It’s good to have plans, but at the first part of every day submit those plans to God and just say, “God, this is what I would like to accomplish today. But I know You’re in control, so I submit my plans to You. And I’ve decided in advance that no matter what comes my way, I will stay in peace, knowing You are directing my steps and that all things will work together for my good.” But too many people these days have the wrong approach to life. They think they can’t be happy unless they control all their circumstances and everything goes their way. But that’s not realistic. You have to come to the place where you can say, “I don’t have to have my way to have a good day. My plans don’t have to work out for me to be happy. Everybody doesn’t have to treat me right for life to be enjoyable. I have already made up my mind: No matter what does or doesn’t happen, I will stay in peace and enjoy this day.” The Scripture says that “no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22 NIV). No circumstance can take your peace. No interruption can take your enthusiasm. You have to give it away. The next time you’re tempted to be upset and frustrated, ask yourself, Is this worth giving my power away? Or, This man is rude to me on the phone. I don’t even know him. Is it worth giving him my joy? Or, This coworker left me out of a meeting; is it worth giving away my peace? You may not have the victory, not because you can’t, but because you keep giving it away. Life is too short to be upset and offended. If you allow your circumstances to control your joy, there will always be some reason to be discouraged.
Joel Osteen (Every Day a Friday: How to Be Happier 7 Days a Week)
Take the oft-repeated injunction to get “its” and “it’s” straight. Everyone claims it’s remarkably easy to remember that “its” is possessive and “it’s” is a contraction. But logic tells us that in English, ’s attached to a noun signals possession: the dog’s dish, the cat’s toy, the lexicographer’s cry. So if English is logical, and there are simple rules to follow, why doesn’t “it’s” signal possession? We know that ’s also signals a contraction, but we don’t have any problems with differentiating between “the dog’s dish” and “the dog’s sleeping”—why should we suddenly have problems with “it’s dish” and “it’s sleeping”? This type of grammar often completely ignores hundreds (and, in some cases, well over a thousand) years of established use in English. For “it’s,” the rule is certainly easy to memorize, but it also ignores the history of “its” and “it’s.” At one point in time, “it” was its own possessive pronoun: the 1611 King James Bible reads, “That which groweth of it owne accord…thou shalt not reape”; Shakespeare wrote in King Lear, “It had it head bit off by it young.” They weren’t the first: the possessive “it” goes back to the fifteenth century. But around the time that Shakespeare was shuffling off this mortal coil, the possessive “it” began appearing as “it’s.” We’re not sure why the change happened, but some commentators guess that it was because “it” didn’t appear to be its own possessive pronoun, like “his” and “her,” but rather a bare pronoun in need of that possessive marker given to nouns: ’s. Sometimes this possessive appeared without punctuation as “its.” But the possessive “it’s” grew in popularity through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries until it was the dominant form of the word. It even survived into the nineteenth century: you’ll find it in the letters of Thomas Jefferson and Jane Austen and the speechwriting notes of Abraham Lincoln. This would be relatively simple were it not for the fact that “it’s” was also occasionally used as a contraction for “it is” or “it has” (“and it’s come to pass,” Shakespeare wrote in Henry VIII, 1.2.63). Some grammarians noticed and complained—not that the possessive “it’s” and the contractive “it’s” were confusing, but that the contractive “it’s” was a misuse and mistake for the contraction “ ’tis,” which was the more standard contraction of “it is.” This was a war that the pedants lost: “ ’tis” waned while “it’s” waxed.
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
Every entry, whether revised or reviewed, goes through multiple editing passes. The definer starts the job, then it’s passed to a copy editor who cleans up the definer’s work, then to a bunch of specialty editors: cross-reference editors, who make sure the definer hasn’t used any word in the entry that isn’t entered in that dictionary; etymologists, to review or write the word history; dating editors, who research and add the dates of first written use; pronunciation editors, who handle all the pronunciations in the book. Then eventually it’s back to a copy editor (usually a different one from the first round, just to be safe), who will make any additional changes to the entry that cross-reference turned up, then to the final reader, who is, as the name suggests, the last person who can make editorial changes to the entry, and then off to the proofreader (who ends up, again, being a different editor from the definer and the two previous copy editors). After the proofreaders are done slogging through two thousand pages of four-point type, the production editors send it off to the printer or the data preparation folks, and then we get another set of dictionary pages (called page proofs) to proofread. This process happens continuously as we work through a dictionary, so a definer may be working on batches in C, cross-reference might be in W, etymology in T, dating and pronunciation in the second half of S, copy editors in P (first pass) and Q and R (second pass), while the final reader is closing out batches in N and O, proofreaders are working on M, and production has given the second set of page proofs to another set of proofreaders for the letter L. We all stagger our way through the alphabet until the last batch, which is inevitably somewhere near G, is closed. By the time a word is put in print either on the page or online, it’s generally been seen by a minimum of ten editors. Now consider that when it came to writing the Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, we had a staff of about twenty editors working on it: twenty editors to review about 220,000 existing definitions, write about 10,000 new definitions, and make over 100,000 editorial changes (typos, new dates, revisions) for the new edition. Now remember that the 110,000-odd changes made were each reviewed about a dozen times and by a minimum of ten editors. The time given to us to complete the revision of the Tenth Edition into the Eleventh Edition so production could begin on the new book? Eighteen months.
Kory Stamper (Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries)
Christianity . . . does not [simply] stand in the history that we only know and which knowledge we take to ourselves so that we say “Christ died for us and has broken death in us and made it into life. He has paid the debt for us. We need only to comfort ourselves with this and firmly believe that it has happened.” Since we in ourselves find that sin in the flesh is living, desirous and active, that it might work, the new birth out of Christ must be something else that does not work along with the sinful flesh and that does not will sin. . . . Here a Christian is to consider why he calls himself a Christian and is truly to consider whether he is one. Because I may learn to know and understand that I am a sinner, and that Christ has killed my sins on the cross and shed His blood for me, this in no way makes a Christian out of me. The inheritance is only for the children. A maid in the house knows well what the wife would eagerly have. This does not therefore make her an inheritor of the wife’s goods. The devil also knows that there is a God [James 2:19]. That does not therefore make him an angel again. However, if the maid in the household marries the wife’s son, then she can truly come to the inheritance of the wife’s goods. . . . The scorner and the titular Christian is the whore’s son, who must be cast out for he is not to inherit Christ’s inheritance in the kingdom of God (Galatians 4:30). He is no use, and only Babel, a confusion of the one language into many languages. He is only a talker and arguer about the inheritance and wishes to talk and argue to it with his mouth-hypocrisy and appearance of holiness, but he is only a blood-thirsty murderer of Abel his brother who is the true heir. . . . If one says, “I have the will and wish eagerly to do good, but I have earthly flesh that holds me [back] so that I cannot [act]; nevertheless, I shall be blessed by grace because of the merit of Christ. Since I console myself indeed with His suffering and merit, He will take me out of grace, without any merit of mine, and forgive me my sins,” he acts like one who knows of good food for his health and does not eat it, but who eats instead the poison from which he becomes ill and dies. What does it help the soul if it knows the way to God and does not wish to take it, but goes instead on a way of error, and does not reach God? What does it help the soul if it consoles itself with the sonship of Christ, [with] His suffering and death, and is itself hypocritical, but cannot enter into the childlike birth so that it is born a true child out of Christ’s Spirit, out of His suffering, death and resurrection? Certainly and truly, this tickling and hypocrisy about Christ’s merits aside from the true inherited sonship is false and a lie, [regardless of] who teaches. This consolation belongs to the repentant sinner who is in strife with sin and God’s wrath when the temptations come that the devil sets on the soul. Then the soul is to wrap itself completely in the suffering and death of Christ in His merit. [The Way to Christ, trans. Peter Erb, 138-139, 156-158]
Jakob Böhme
She was interviewing one of my favorite television actors, Don Johnson of Miami Vice. As he reclined on a couch in his lovely home, Don told Barbara about the joys and difficulties in his life. He talked of past struggles with drug and alcohol abuse and work addiction. Then he spoke of his relationships with women—how exciting and attractive he found them. I could see his energy rise and his breath quicken as he spoke. An air of intoxication seemed to fill the room. Don said his problem was he liked women too much and found it hard to be with one special partner over a long period. He would develop a deep friendship and intimacy, but then his eyes would wander. I thought to myself, this man has been sexually abused! His problems sounded identical to those of adult survivors I counsel in my practice. But then I reconsidered: Maybe I’ve been working too hard. Perhaps I’m imagining a sexual abuse history that isn’t really there. Then it happened. Barbara leaned forward and, with a smile, asked, “Don, is it true that you had your first sexual relationship when you were quite young, about twelve years old, with your seventeen-year-old baby-sitter?” My jaw dropped. Don grinned back at Barbara. He cocked his head to the side; a twinkle came into his blue eyes. “Yeah,” he said, “and I still get excited just thinking about her today.” Barbara showed no alarm. The next day I wrote Barbara Walters a letter, hoping to enlighten her about the sexual abuse of boys. Had Don been a twelve-year-old girl and the baby-sitter a seventeen-year-old boy, we wouldn’t hesitate to call what had happened rape. It would make no difference how cooperative or seemingly “willing” the victim had been. The sexual contact was exploitive and premature, and would have been whether the twelve-year-old was a boy or a girl. This past experience and perhaps others like it may very well be at the root of the troubles Don Johnson has had with long-term intimacy. Don wasn’t “lucky to get a piece of it early,” as some people might think. He was sexually abused and hadn’t yet realized it.   Acknowledging past sexual abuse is an important step in sexual healing. It helps us make a connection between our present sexual issues and their original source. Some survivors have little difficulty with this step: They already see themselves as survivors and their sexual issues as having stemmed directly from sexual abuse. A woman who is raped sees an obvious connection if she suddenly goes from having a pleasurable sex life to being terrified of sex. For many survivors, however, acknowledging sexual abuse is a difficult step. We may recall events, but through lack of understanding about sexual abuse may never have labeled those experiences as sexual abuse. We may have dismissed experiences we had as insignificant. We may have little or no memory of past abuse. And we may have difficulty fully acknowledging to ourselves and to others that we were victims. It took me years to realize and admit that I had been raped on a date, even though I knew what had happened and how I felt about it. I needed to understand this was in fact rape and that I had been a victim. I needed to remember more and to stop blaming myself before I was able to acknowledge my experience as sexual abuse.
Wendy Maltz (The Sexual Healing Journey: A Guide for Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Third Edition))
O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who turn to you. Amen. . When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. I saw this happen today as the sun went down. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! No herons, no distant music, not even the taste of his lips. How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? . Life moves very fast. It rushes us from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds. . I smile and say nothing, . If I must be faithful to someone or something, then I have, first of all, to be faithful to myself. . Everything is an illusion - and that applies to material as well as spiritual things. . She had spent a lot of her life saying 'no' to things to which she would have liked to say 'yes', . My dear, it's better to be unhappy with a rich man than happy with a poor man, and over there you'll have far more chance of becoming an unhappy rich woman. . Love isn't that important. I didn't love your father at first, but money buys everything, even true love. . Hail Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who turn to you. Amen. . She would never find what she was looking for if she couldn't express herself. . At the moment, I'm far too lonely to think about love, but I have to believe that it will happen, that I will find a job and that I am here because I chose this fate. . Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant. . A writer once said that it is not time that changes man, nor knowledge; the only thing that can change someone's mind is love. What nonsense! The person who wrote that clearly knew only one side of the coin. Love was undoubtedly one of the things capable of changing a person's whole life, from one moment to the next. . Again, she seemed like a stranger to herself. . I let fate choose which route I should take. . Some people were born to face life alone, and this is neither good nor bad, it is simply life. . I'm not a body with a soul, I'm a soul that has a visible part called the body. . She was doing it because she had nothing to lose, because her life was one of constant, day-to-day frustration. . Human beings can withstand a week without water, two weeks without food, many years of homelessness, but not loneliness. It is the worst of all tortures, the worst of all sufferings. . We are each of us responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel. . No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. . However tempted she was to continue, however prepared she was for the challenges she had met on her path, all these months living alone with herself had taught her that there is always a right moment to stop something. . He knew everything about her, although she knew nothing about him. . She had opened a door which she didn't know how to close. . Our experiences have been entirely different, but we are both desperate people. . Free yourself from something that cost your heart even more. . One moment, you have nothing, the next, you have more than you can cope with. . Does a soldier go to war in order to kill the enemy? No, he goes in order to die for his country. . What the eyes don't see, the heart doesn't grieve over. . Because we don't want to forget who we are - nor can we. . This was simply a place where people gathered to worship something they could not understand.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
Consider a world in which cause and effect are erratic. Sometimes the first precedes the second, sometimes the second the first. Or perhaps cause lies forever in the past while effect in the future, but future and past are entwined. On the terrace of the Bundesterrasse is a striking view: the river Aare below and the Bernese Alps above. A man stands there just now, absently emptying his pockets and weeping. Without reason, his friends have abandoned him. No one calls any more, no one meets him for supper or beer at the tavern, no one invites him to their home. For twenty years he has been the ideal friend to his friends, generous, interested, soft-spoken, affectionate. What could have happened? A week from this moment on the terrace, the same man begins acting the goat, insulting everyone, wearing smelly clothes, stingy with money, allowing no one to come to his apartment on Laupenstrasse. Which was cause and which effect, which future and which past? In Zürich, strict laws have recently been approved by the Council. Pistols may not be sold to the public. Banks and trading houses must be audited. All visitors, whether entering Zürich by boat on the river Limmat or by rail on the Selnau line, must be searched for contraband. The civil military is doubled. One month after the crackdown, Zürich is ripped by the worst crimes in its history. In daylight, people are murdered in the Weinplatz, paintings are stolen from the Kunsthaus, liquor is drunk in the pews of the Münsterhof. Are these criminal acts not misplaced in time? Or perhaps the new laws were action rather than reaction? A young woman sits near a fountain in the Botanischer Garten. She comes here every Sunday to smell the white double violets, the musk rose, the matted pink gillyflowers. Suddenly, her heart soars, she blushes, she paces anxiously, she becomes happy for no reason. Days later, she meets a young man and is smitten with love. Are the two events not connected? But by what bizarre connection, by what twist in time, by what reversed logic? In this acausal world, scientists are helpless. Their predictions become postdictions. Their equations become justifications, their logic, illogic. Scientists turn reckless and mutter like gamblers who cannot stop betting. Scientists are buffoons, not because they are rational but because the cosmos is irrational. Or perhaps it is not because the cosmos is irrational but because they are rational. Who can say which, in an acausal world? In this world, artists are joyous. Unpredictability is the life of their paintings, their music, their novels. They delight in events not forecasted, happenings without explanation, retrospective. Most people have learned how to live in the moment. The argument goes that if the past has uncertain effect on the present, there is no need to dwell on the past. And if the present has little effect on the future, present actions need not be weighed for their consequence. Rather, each act is an island in time, to be judged on its own. Families comfort a dying uncle not because of a likely inheritance, but because he is loved at that moment. Employees are hired not because of their résumés, but because of their good sense in interviews. Clerks trampled by their bosses fight back at each insult, with no fear for their future. It is a world of impulse. It is a world of sincerity. It is a world in which every word spoken speaks just to that moment, every glance given has only one meaning, each touch has no past or no future, each kiss is a kiss of immediacy.
Alan Lightman (Einstein's Dreams)
In the night I awoke. Was this my own voice reciting what was written? “ ‘And every secret thing shall be opened, and every dark place illuminated.’ ” Dear God, no, do not let them know this, do not let them know the great accumulation of all of this, this agony and joy, this misery, this solace, this reaching, this gouging pain, this . . . But they will know, each and every one of them will know. They will know because what you are remembering is what has happened to each and every one of them. Did you think this was more or less for you? Did you think—? And when they are called to account, when they stand naked before God and every incident and utterance is laid bare—you, you will know all of it with each and every one of them! I knelt in the sand. Is this possible, Lord, to be with each of them when he or she comes to know? To be there for every single cry of anguish? For the grief-stricken remembrance of every incomplete joy? Oh, Lord, God, what is judgment and how can it be, if I cannot bear to be with all of them for every ugly word, every harsh and desperate cry, for every gesture examined, for every deed explored to its roots? And I saw the deeds, the deeds of my own life, the smallest, most trivial things, I saw them suddenly in their seed and sprout and with their groping branches; I saw them growing, intertwining with other deeds, and those deeds come to form a thicket and a woodland and a great roving wilderness that dwarfed the world as we hold it on a map, the world as we hold it in our minds. Dear God, next to this, this endless spawning of deed from deed and word from word and thought from thought—the world is nothing. Every single soul is a world! I started to cry. But I would not close off this vision—no, let me see, and all those who lifted the stones, and I, I blundering, and James' face when I said it, I am weary of you, my brother, and from that instant outwards a million echoes of those words in all present who heard or thought they heard, who would remember, repeat, confess, defend . . . and so on it goes for the lifting of a finger, the launching of the ship, the fall of an army in a northern forest, the burning of a city as flames rage through house after house! Dear God, I cannot . . . but I will. I will. I sobbed aloud. I will. O Father in Heaven, I am reaching to You with hands of flesh and blood. I am longing for You in Your perfection with this heart that is imperfection! And I reach up for You with what is decaying before my very eyes, and I stare at Your stars from within the prison of this body, but this is not my prison, this is my Will. This is Your Will. I collapsed weeping. And I will go down, down with every single one of them into the depths of Sheol, into the private darkness, into the anguish exposed for all eyes and for Your eyes, into the fear, into the fire which is the heat of every mind. I will be with them, every solitary one of them. I am one of them! And I am Your Son! I am Your only begotten Son! And driven here by Your Spirit, I cry because I cannot do anything but grasp it, grasp it as I cannot contain it in this flesh-and-blood mind, and by Your leave I cry. I cried. I cried and I cried. “Lord, give me this little while that I may cry, for I've heard that tears accomplish much. . . .” Alone? You said you wanted to be alone? You wanted this, to be alone? You wanted the silence? You wanted to be alone and in the silence. Don't you understand the temptation now of being alone? You are alone. Well, you are absolutely alone because you are the only One who can do this! What judgment can there ever be for man, woman, or child—if I am not there for every heartbeat at every depth of their torment?
Anne Rice (Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana (Life of Christ))
Take the famous slogan on the atheist bus in London … “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” … The word that offends against realism here is “enjoy.” I’m sorry—enjoy your life? Enjoy your life? I’m not making some kind of neo-puritan objection to enjoyment. Enjoyment is lovely. Enjoyment is great. The more enjoyment the better. But enjoyment is one emotion … Only sometimes, when you’re being lucky, will you stand in a relationship to what’s happening to you where you’ll gaze at it with warm, approving satisfaction. The rest of the time, you’ll be busy feeling hope, boredom, curiosity, anxiety, irritation, fear, joy, bewilderment, hate, tenderness, despair, relief, exhaustion … This really is a bizarre category error. But not necessarily an innocent one … The implication of the bus slogan is that enjoyment would be your natural state if you weren’t being “worried” by us believer … Take away the malignant threat of God-talk, and you would revert to continuous pleasure, under cloudless skies. What’s so wrong with this, apart from it being total bollocks? … Suppose, as the atheist bus goes by, that you are the fifty-something woman with the Tesco bags, trudging home to find out whether your dementing lover has smeared the walls of the flat with her own shit again. Yesterday when she did it, you hit her, and she mewled till her face was a mess of tears and mucus which you also had to clean up. The only thing that would ease the weight on your heart would be to tell the funniest, sharpest-tongued person you know about it: but that person no longer inhabits the creature who will meet you when you unlock the door. Respite care would help, but nothing will restore your sweetheart, your true love, your darling, your joy. Or suppose you’re that boy in the wheelchair, the one with the spasming corkscrew limbs and the funny-looking head. You’ve never been able to talk, but one of your hands has been enough under your control to tap out messages. Now the electrical storm in your nervous system is spreading there too, and your fingers tap more errors than readable words. Soon your narrow channel to the world will close altogether, and you’ll be left all alone in the hulk of your body. Research into the genetics of your disease may abolish it altogether in later generations, but it won’t rescue you. Or suppose you’re that skanky-looking woman in the doorway, the one with the rat’s nest of dreadlocks. Two days ago you skedaddled from rehab. The first couple of hits were great: your tolerance had gone right down, over two weeks of abstinence and square meals, and the rush of bliss was the way it used to be when you began. But now you’re back in the grind, and the news is trickling through you that you’ve fucked up big time. Always before you’ve had this story you tell yourself about getting clean, but now you see it isn’t true, now you know you haven’t the strength. Social services will be keeping your little boy. And in about half an hour you’ll be giving someone a blowjob for a fiver behind the bus station. Better drugs policy might help, but it won’t ease the need, and the shame over the need, and the need to wipe away the shame. So when the atheist bus comes by, and tells you that there’s probably no God so you should stop worrying and enjoy your life, the slogan is not just bitterly inappropriate in mood. What it means, if it’s true, is that anyone who isn’t enjoying themselves is entirely on their own. The three of you are, for instance; you’re all three locked in your unshareable situations, banged up for good in cells no other human being can enter. What the atheist bus says is: there’s no help coming … But let’s be clear about the emotional logic of the bus’s message. It amounts to a denial of hope or consolation, on any but the most chirpy, squeaky, bubble-gummy reading of the human situation. St Augustine called this kind of thing “cruel optimism” fifteen hundred years ago, and it’s still cruel.
Francis Spufford
Unchopping a Tree. Start with the leaves, the small twigs, and the nests that have been shaken, ripped, or broken off by the fall; these must be gathered and attached once again to their respective places. It is not arduous work, unless major limbs have been smashed or mutilated. If the fall was carefully and correctly planned, the chances of anything of the kind happening will have been reduced. Again, much depends upon the size, age, shape, and species of the tree. Still, you will be lucky if you can get through this stages without having to use machinery. Even in the best of circumstances it is a labor that will make you wish often that you had won the favor of the universe of ants, the empire of mice, or at least a local tribe of squirrels, and could enlist their labors and their talents. But no, they leave you to it. They have learned, with time. This is men's work. It goes without saying that if the tree was hollow in whole or in part, and contained old nests of bird or mammal or insect, or hoards of nuts or such structures as wasps or bees build for their survival, the contents will have to repaired where necessary, and reassembled, insofar as possible, in their original order, including the shells of nuts already opened. With spider's webs you must simply do the best you can. We do not have the spider's weaving equipment, nor any substitute for the leaf's living bond with its point of attachment and nourishment. It is even harder to simulate the latter when the leaves have once become dry — as they are bound to do, for this is not the labor of a moment. Also it hardly needs saying that this the time fro repairing any neighboring trees or bushes or other growth that might have been damaged by the fall. The same rules apply. Where neighboring trees were of the same species it is difficult not to waste time conveying a detached leaf back to the wrong tree. Practice, practice. Put your hope in that. Now the tackle must be put into place, or the scaffolding, depending on the surroundings and the dimension of the tree. It is ticklish work. Almost always it involves, in itself, further damage to the area, which will have to be corrected later. But, as you've heard, it can't be helped. And care now is likely to save you considerable trouble later. Be careful to grind nothing into the ground. At last the time comes for the erecting of the trunk. By now it will scarcely be necessary to remind you of the delicacy of this huge skeleton. Every motion of the tackle, every slightly upward heave of the trunk, the branches, their elaborately reassembled panoply of leaves (now dead) will draw from you an involuntary gasp. You will watch for a lead or a twig to be snapped off yet again. You will listen for the nuts to shift in the hollow limb and you will hear whether they are indeed falling into place or are spilling in disorder — in which case, or in the event of anything else of the kind — operations will have to cease, of course, while you correct the matter. The raising itself is no small enterprise, from the moment when the chains tighten around the old bandages until the boles hands vertical above the stump, splinter above splinter. How the final straightening of the splinters themselves can take place (the preliminary work is best done while the wood is still green and soft, but at times when the splinters are not badly twisted most of the straightening is left until now, when the torn ends are face to face with each other). When the splinters are perfectly complementary the appropriate fixative is applied. Again we have no duplicate of the original substance. Ours is extremely strong, but it is rigid. It is limited to surfaces, and there is no play in it. However the core is not the part of the trunk that conducted life from the roots up to the branches and back again. It was relatively inert. The fixative for this part is not the same as the one for the outer layers and the bark, and if either of these is involved
W.S. Merwin