Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
I am running and singing and when it’s raining I’m the only one left on the open street, smiling with my eyes fixed on the sky because it’s cleaning me. I’m the one on the other side of the party, hearing laughter and the emptying of bottles while I peacefully make my way to the river, a lonely road, following the smell of the ocean. I’m the one waking up at 4am to witness the sunrise, where the sky touches the sea, and I hold my elbows, grasping tight to whatever I’ve made of myself.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
There has never been a just [war], never an honorable one--on the part of the instigator of the war. I can see a million years ahead, and this rule will never change in so many as half a dozen instances. The loud little handful--as usual--will shout for the war. The pulpit will--warily and cautiously--object--at first; the great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, 'It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it.' Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded; but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the anti-war audiences will thin out and lose popularity. Before long you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men who in their secret hearts are still at one with those stoned speakers--as earlier--but do not dare say so. And now the whole nation--pulpit and all--will take up the war-cry, and shout itself hoarse, and mob any honest man who ventures to open his mouth; and presently such mouths will cease to open. Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
Mark Twain (The Mysterious Stranger and Other Stories)
Are you enjoying your company so far?"
"Yes! It's been a pleasure getting to know these ladies."
"Are they all the sweet, gentle ladies they appear to be?" Gavril asked. Before Maxon replied, the answer brought a smile to my face. Because I knew that it was yes...sort of.
"Umm..." Maxon looked past Gavril at me. "Almost."
"Almost?" Gavril asked, surprised. He turned to us. "Is someone over there being naughty?"
Mercifully, all the girls let out light giggles, so I blended in. The little traitor!
"What exactly did these girls do that isn't so sweet?" Gavril asked Maxon.
"Oh, well, let me tell you." Maxon crossed his legs and got very comfortable in his chair. It was probably the most relaxed I'd ever seen him, sitting there poking fun at me. I liked this side of him. I wished it would come out more often. "One of them had the nerve to yell at me rather forcefully the first time we met. I was given a very severe scolding."
Above Maxon's head, the king and queen exchanged a glance. It seemed they were hearing this story for the first time, too. Beside me the girls were looking at one another, confused. I didn't get it until Marlee said something.
"I don't remember anyone yelling at him in the Great Room. Do you?"
Maxon seemed to have forgotten that our first meeting was meant to be a secret. "I think he's talking it up to make it funnier. I did say some serious things to him. I think he might mean me."
"A scolding, you say? Whatever for?" Gavril continued.
"Honestly, I wasn't really sure. I think it was a bout of homesickness. Which is why I forgave her, of course." Maxon was loose and easy now, talking to Gavril as if he were the only person in the room. I'd have to tell him later how wonderful he did.
"So she's still with us, then?" Gavril looked over at the collection of girls, grinning widely, and then returned to face his prince.
"Oh, yes. She's still here," Maxon said, not letting his eyes wander from Gavril's face. "And I plan on keeping her here for quite a while.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, UNICEF Executive Director, Excellencies and distinguished guests from across the world.
My name is Kim Nam Jun, also known as RM, the leader of the group BTS. It’s an incredible honour to be invited to an occasion with such significance for today’s young generation.
Last November, BTS launched the “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF, building on our belief that “true love first begins with loving myself.” We have been partnering with UNICEF’s #ENDviolence program to protect children and young people all over the world from violence.
Our fans have become a major part of this campaign with their action and enthusiasm. We truly have the best fans in the world!
I would like to begin by talking about myself.
I was born in Ilsan, a city near Seoul, South Korea. It’s a beautiful place, with a lake, hills, and even an annual flower festival. I spent a happy childhood there, and I was just an ordinary boy.
I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world.
In an intro to one of our early albums, there is a line that says, “My heart stopped…I was maybe nine or ten.”
Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts.
I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name.
Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were hurdles. Most people thought we were hopeless. Sometimes, I just wanted to quit.
I think I was very lucky that I didn’t give it all up.
I’m sure that I, and we, will keep stumbling and falling. We have become artists performing in huge stadiums and selling millions of albums.
But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans.
Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become.
I would like to say one last thing.
After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility.
So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to "speak yourself".
I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat?
Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin colour, gender identity: speak yourself.
Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself.
I’m Kim Nam Jun, RM of BTS.
I’m a hip-hop idol and an artist from a small town in Korea.
Like most people, I made many mistakes in my life.
I have many faults and I have many fears, but I am going to embrace myself as hard as I can, and I’m starting to love myself, little by little.
What is your name? Speak Yourself!
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me.
What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows.
This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
As much as people want to look on the bright side, skip straight to the future when everything will be okay, the truth is that there is this time, where you sometimes have trouble breathing, and you feel powerless. Like you’re screaming and no one hears you, and the myth of the happy future is nothing you can count on, and the only word that makes sense is escape.
Nina LaCour (Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories)
The whiskey was a good start. I got the idea from Dylan Thomas. He's this poet who drank twenty-one straight whiskeys at the White Horse Tavern in New York and then died on the spot from alcohol poisoning. I've always wanted to hear the bartender's side of the story. What was it like watching this guy drink himself out of here? How did it feel handing him number twenty-one and watching his face crumple up before the fall of the stool? And did he already have number twenty-two poured, waiting for this big fat tip, and then have to drink it himself after whoever came took the body away?
Michael Thomas Ford (Suicide Notes)
They said of him, about the city that night, that it was the peacefullest man's face ever beheld there. Many added that he looked sublime and prophetic.
One of the most remarkable sufferers by the same axe---a woman---had asked at the foot of the same scaffold, not long before, to be allowed to write down the thoughts that were inspiring her. If he had given an utterance to his, and they were prophetic, they would have been these:
"I see Barsad, and Cly, Defarge, The Vengeance, the Juryman, the Judge, long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall cease out of its present use. I see a beautiful city and a brilliant people rising from this abyss, and, in their struggles to be truly free, in their triumphs and defeats, through long years to come, I see the evil of this time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually making expiation for itself and wearing out.
"I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. I see Her with a child upon her bosom, who bears my name. I see her father, aged and bent, but otherwise restored, and faithful to all men in his healing office, and at peace. I see the good old man, so long their friend, in ten years' time enriching them with all he has, and passing tranquilly to his reward.
"I see that I hold a sanctuary in their hearts, and in the hearts of their descendants, generations hence. I see her, an old woman weeping for me on the anniversary of this day. I see her and her husband, their course done, lying side by side in their last earthly bed, and I know that each was not more honoured and held sacred in the other's soul, than I was in the souls of both.
"I see that child who lay upon her bosom and who bore my name, a man winning his way up in that path of life which once was mine. I see him winning it so well, that my name is made illustrious there by the light of his. I see the blots I threw upon it, faded away. I see him, foremost of just judges and honoured men, brining a boy of my name, with a forehead that I know and golden hair, to this place---then fair to look upon, with not a trace of this day's disfigurement---and I hear him tell the child my story, with a tender and faltering voice.
"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
I think of a person I haven't seen or thought of for years, and ten minutes later I see her crossing the street. I turn on the radio to hear a voice reading the biblical story of Jael, which is the story that I have spent the morning writing about. A car passes me on the road, and its license plate consists of my wife's and my initials side by side. When you tell people stories like that, their usual reaction is to laugh. One wonders why.
I believe that people laugh at coincidence as a way of relegating it to the realm of the absurd and of therefore not having to take seriously the possibility that there is a lot more going on in our lives than we either know or care to know. Who can say what it is that's going on? But I suspect that part of it, anyway, is that every once and so often we hear a whisper from the wings that goes something like this: "You've turned up in the right place at the right time. You're doing fine. Don't ever think that you've been forgotten.
Frederick Buechner (Wishful Thinking)
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot speak, so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like having a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story , you, upon hearing the words 'soccer' and 'neighbor' in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say, not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
You see and hear that they lie,” said Ivan Ivanovitch, turning over on the other side, “and they call you a fool for putting up with their lying. You endure insult and humiliation, and dare not openly say that you are on the side of the honest and the free, and you lie and smile yourself; and all that for the sake of a crust of bread, for the sake of a warm corner, for the sake of a wretched little worthless rank in the service. No, one can’t go on living like this.
Anton Chekhov (Stories)
history is one sided, none of the stories are wholly true. We only hear the stories the victor wants told. The remaining stories, the plights, justifications and heroics of the losers are gone with time. Ours is such a history. We are stronger, yet rarely
H.K. Savage (Empath (The Empath Trilogy, #1))
Jim Thunder, at seventy-ﬁve the youngest of the speakers, is a round brown man of serious demeanor who spoke only in Potawatomi. He began solemnly, but as he warmed to his subject his voice lifted like a breeze in the birch trees and his hands began to tell the story. He became more and more animated, rising to his feet, holding us rapt and silent although almost no one understood a single word. He paused as if reaching the climax of his story and looked out at the audience with a twinkle of expectation. One of the grandmothers behind him covered her mouth in a giggle and his stern face suddenly broke into a smile as big and sweet as a cracked watermelon. He bent over laughing and the grandmas dabbed away tears of laughter, holding their sides, while the rest of us looked on in wonderment. When the laughter subsided, he spoke at last in English: "What will happen to a joke if no one will hear it any more? How lonely those words will be, when their is power gone. Where will they go? Off to join the stories that can never be told again.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants)
The mate for the wildish woman is the one who has a soulful tenacity and endurance, one who can send his own instinctual nature to peek under the tent of a woman’s soul-life and comprehend what he sees and hears there. The good match is the man who keeps returning to try to understand, who does not let himself be deterred by the side shows on the road.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves)
In The Garret
Four little chests all in a row,
Dim with dust, and worn by time,
All fashioned and filled, long ago,
By children now in their prime.
Four little keys hung side by side,
With faded ribbons, brave and gay
When fastened there, with childish pride,
Long ago, on a rainy day.
Four little names, one on each lid,
Carved out by a boyish hand,
And underneath there lieth hid
Histories of the happy band
Once playing here, and pausing oft
To hear the sweet refrain,
That came and went on the roof aloft,
In the falling summer rain.
'Meg' on the first lid, smooth and fair.
I look in with loving eyes,
For folded here, with well-known care,
A goodly gathering lies,
The record of a peaceful life--
Gifts to gentle child and girl,
A bridal gown, lines to a wife,
A tiny shoe, a baby curl.
No toys in this first chest remain,
For all are carried away,
In their old age, to join again
In another small Meg's play.
Ah, happy mother! Well I know
You hear, like a sweet refrain,
Lullabies ever soft and low
In the falling summer rain.
'Jo' on the next lid, scratched and worn,
And within a motley store
Of headless dolls, of schoolbooks torn,
Birds and beasts that speak no more,
Spoils brought home from the fairy ground
Only trod by youthful feet,
Dreams of a future never found,
Memories of a past still sweet,
Half-writ poems, stories wild,
April letters, warm and cold,
Diaries of a wilful child,
Hints of a woman early old,
A woman in a lonely home,
Hearing, like a sad refrain--
'Be worthy, love, and love will come,'
In the falling summer rain.
My Beth! the dust is always swept
From the lid that bears your name,
As if by loving eyes that wept,
By careful hands that often came.
Death canonized for us one saint,
Ever less human than divine,
And still we lay, with tender plaint,
Relics in this household shrine--
The silver bell, so seldom rung,
The little cap which last she wore,
The fair, dead Catherine that hung
By angels borne above her door.
The songs she sang, without lament,
In her prison-house of pain,
Forever are they sweetly blent
With the falling summer rain.
Upon the last lid's polished field--
Legend now both fair and true
A gallant knight bears on his shield,
'Amy' in letters gold and blue.
Within lie snoods that bound her hair,
Slippers that have danced their last,
Faded flowers laid by with care,
Fans whose airy toils are past,
Gay valentines, all ardent flames,
Trifles that have borne their part
In girlish hopes and fears and shames,
The record of a maiden heart
Now learning fairer, truer spells,
Hearing, like a blithe refrain,
The silver sound of bridal bells
In the falling summer rain.
Four little chests all in a row,
Dim with dust, and worn by time,
Four women, taught by weal and woe
To love and labor in their prime.
Four sisters, parted for an hour,
None lost, one only gone before,
Made by love's immortal power,
Nearest and dearest evermore.
Oh, when these hidden stores of ours
Lie open to the Father's sight,
May they be rich in golden hours,
Deeds that show fairer for the light,
Lives whose brave music long shall ring,
Like a spirit-stirring strain,
Souls that shall gladly soar and sing
In the long sunshine after rain
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
One," said the recording secretary.
"Jesus wept," answered Leon promptly.
There was not a sound in the church. You could almost hear the butterflies pass. Father looked down and laid his lower lip in folds with his fingers, like he did sometimes when it wouldn't behave to suit him.
"Two," said the secretary after just a breath of pause.
Leon looked over the congregation easily and then fastened his eyes on Abram Saunders, the father of Absalom, and said reprovingly: "Give not sleep to thine eyes nor slumber to thine eyelids."
Abram straightened up suddenly and blinked in astonishment, while father held fast to his lip.
"Three," called the secretary hurriedly.
Leon shifted his gaze to Betsy Alton, who hadn't spoken to her next door neighbour in five years.
"Hatred stirreth up strife," he told her softly, "but love covereth all sins."
Things were so quiet it seemed as if the air would snap.
The mild blue eyes travelled back to the men's side and settled on Isaac Thomas, a man too lazy to plow and sow land his father had left him. They were not so mild, and the voice was touched with command: "Go to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise."
Still that silence.
"Five," said the secretary hurriedly, as if he wished it were over. Back came the eyes to the women's side and past all question looked straight at Hannah Dover.
"As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman without discretion."
"Six," said the secretary and looked appealingly at father, whose face was filled with dismay.
Again Leon's eyes crossed the aisle and he looked directly at the man whom everybody in the community called "Stiff-necked Johnny."
I think he was rather proud of it, he worked so hard to keep them doing it.
"Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck," Leon commanded him.
Toward the door some one tittered.
"Seven," called the secretary hastily.
Leon glanced around the room.
"But how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity," he announced in delighted tones as if he had found it out by himself.
"Eight," called the secretary with something like a breath of relief.
Our angel boy never had looked so angelic, and he was beaming on the Princess.
"Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee," he told her.
Laddie would thrash him for that.
Instantly after, "Nine," he recited straight at Laddie: "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?"
More than one giggled that time.
"Ten!" came almost sharply.
Leon looked scared for the first time. He actually seemed to shiver. Maybe he realized at last that it was a pretty serious thing he was doing. When he spoke he said these words in the most surprised voice you ever heard: "I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly."
Perhaps these words are in the Bible. They are not there to read the way Leon repeated them, for he put a short pause after the first name, and he glanced toward our father: "Jesus Christ, the SAME, yesterday, and to-day, and forever!"
Sure as you live my mother's shoulders shook.
Suddenly Leon seemed to be forsaken. He surely shrank in size and appeared abused.
"When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up," he announced, and looked as happy over the ending as he had seemed forlorn at the beginning.
"The Lord is on my side; I will not fear; what can man do unto me?" inquired Leon of every one in the church. Then he soberly made a bow and walked to his seat.
Gene Stratton-Porter (Laddie: A True Blue Story)
Hey, Rhubarb, we may need to rethink our approach.”
“No, we don’t.”
“I’ve only got one hand here, kiddo. Maybe if I grab the middle-”
“If you grab the middle, it’ll be the last thing that hand ever does!”
He pondered that as if it explained something. “So I’m guessing then you don’t get a lot of company down here.”
“Bobby, so help me, I will rip your arm off and beat you with it, do you hear me?”
“Okay, geez. Let me just get a look—” He picked her skirt up and pulled it over his head.
“Bobby!” She was actually too mortified to even scream so it came out like a squeak from a dying rat.
“Dammit, there’s no light under here, can’t see a thing.”
Thank God for small blessings. “Get out of there!”
“Tell you what, how about you use your spare hand and I use mine on either side of your hips and we yank together.
Dee Tenorio (A Wedding Story)
He stared at her a moment, and then one side of his mouth turned up. “You are a harsh negotiator, Mrs. Ackerley—forgive me—Lady Ian. Do the decadent Mackenzies know what has descended among them?”
“I find the decadent Mackenzies quite gentlemanly.
They care deeply about one another, have been kind to me, and love their dogs.”
Fellows looked unimpressed. “Are you certain you wish to hear the story? Some bits are gruesome.”
“Be remorseless, Inspector.
Jennifer Ashley (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1))
As children', wrote Alice Raikes (Mrs. Wilson Fox) in The Times, January 22, 1932, 'we lived in Onslow Square and used to play in the garden behind the houses. Charles Dodgson used to stay with an old uncle there, and walk up and down, his hands behind him, on the strip of lawn. One day, hearing my name, he called me to him saying, "So you are another Alice. I'm very found of Alices. Would you like to come and see something which is rather puzzling?" We followed him into his house which opened, as ours did, upon the garden, into a room full of furniture with a tall mirror standing across one corner.' "Now", he said giving me an orange, "first tell me which hand you have got that in." "The right" I said. "Now", he said, "go and stand before that glass, and tell me which hand the little girl you see there has got it in." After some perplexed contemplation, I said, "The left hand." "Exactly," he said, "and how do you explain that?" I couldn't explain it, but seeing that some solution was expected, I ventured, "If I was on the other side of the glass, wouldn't the orange still be in my right hand?" I can remember his laugh. "Well done, little Alice," he said. "The best answer I've heard yet." "I heard no more then, but in after years was told that he said that had given him his first idea for Through the Looking-Glass, a copy of which, together with each of his other books, he regularly sent me.
You’d think someone as resourceful as Rachel would know whether or not Toraf was the identical twin of a known terrorist. But nooooo. So we wait by our guard in the corridor of the security office of LAX airport while about a dozen people work to verify our identity.
My identity comes back fine and clean and boring.
Toraf’s identity doesn’t come back for a few hours. Which is not cool, because he’s been puking in the trash can next to our bench seats and it’s got to be almost full by now. Because of the regional storms in Jersey, we’d had a rough takeoff. Coupled with the reaction Toraf had to the Dramamine-excitability, no less-it was all I could do to coax him out of the tiny bathroom to get him to sit still and not puke while doing so.
His fingerprints could not be matched and his violet eyes were throwing them for a loop, since they physically verified that they aren’t contacts. A lady security officer asked us several times in several different ways why our tickets would be one-way to Hawaii if we lived in Jersey and only had a carry-on bag full of miscellaneous crap that you don’t really need. Where were we going? What were we doing?
I’d told them we were going to Honolulu to pick a place to get married and weren’t in a hurry to come back, so we only purchased one-way tickets and blah blah blah. It’s a BS story and they know it, but sometimes BS stories can’t be proven false. Finally, I asked for an attorney, and since they hadn’t charged us with anything, and couldn’t charge us with anything, they decided to let us go. For crying out loud.
I can’t decide if I’m relieved or nervous that Toraf’s seat is a couple of rows back on our flight to Honolulu. On the plus side, I don’t have to be bothered every time he goes to the bathroom to upchuck. Then again, I can’t keep my eye on him, either, in case he doesn’t know how to act or respond to nosy strangers who can’t mind their own business. I peek around my seat and roll my eyes.
He’s seated next to two girls, about my age and obviously traveling together, and they’re trying nonstop to start a conversation with him. Poor, poor Toraf. It must be a hard-knock life to have inherited the exquisite Syrena features. It’s all he can do not to puke in their laps. A small part of me wishes that he would, so they’d shut up and leave him alone and I could maybe close my eyes for two seconds. From here I can hear him squirm in his seat, which is about four times too small for a built Syrena male. His shoulder and biceps protrude into the aisle, so he’s constantly getting bumped. Oy.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
If I could put back the pieces and make them right,I’d turn back the hands of time with all my might.You’d never think that things went wrong.If I took the pain away and if I say that you complete me in every single way.If I shout it from the clouds above for everyone to hear.Could you ever believe me?If I whisper to you sweetly,you say you need a reason. But I’ve never gone astray.Now if I can once again persuade you
to say yes to me today.There is just one more question left for me to ask before we throw it all away.What do you say?Please say yes to me today
I gave you my heart, placed it in your hands for our dreams of tomorrow, just like we planned together as one for the rest of our days.But If I’d only showed instead of told you,I would have taken this doubt away.If I scream it from the sky above so everyone is sure to know.Could you ever believe me?If I whisper to you sweetly,you cry out you need a reason.But we’ve never gone astray.Now if I can once again persuade you to say yes to me today
If you give me your hand, I’ll wrap it in golden bands for a long future together, I’d be a happy man.I’ll hold you forever as our story unfolds by my side.You’ve been my only lover, let the truth be told.
If I scream it from the sky above so everyone is sure to know.Could you ever believe me?If I whisper to you sweetly If I say I am your reason and our love will light our way.Now if I can once again persuade you to say yes to me today.There is just one more question left for me to ask Before we throw it all away.What do you say?
Please say yes to me today.
Tina Reber (Love Unscripted (Love, #1))
She’d carried him home, pulled the buckshot pellets out of him, stitched him up, and nursed him back to health. He’d been by her side ever since. “He was lucky you found him,” I said after hearing the story. “Luck had nothing to do with it,” Auntie told me. “He and I were meant for one another.” I never saw such devotion in a dog—or any animal, for that matter. His wounds had healed, but the buckshot left him blind in his right eye, which was milky white. His ghost eye, Auntie called it. “He came so close to death, he’s got one eye back there still,” she explained. I loved Buckshot, but I hated that milky-white moon that seemed to see everything and nothing all at once.
Jennifer McMahon (The Winter People)
Get your sticky fingers away from my cookies,” Ben ordered, without turning his head, to see Jaxton trying to steal one from the cooking tray.
“You weren't saying that last night,” Jaxton retaliated, coming up to Ben's side, to give him a nudge. They were both smiling, while looking down at the counter, where Ben was making his delicious rosemary cookies. “In fact, I seem to remember you grabbing my sticky fingers and putting them in your mouth,” he teased, speaking quietly, so that Lyon wouldn't hear them at the other side of the room.
Ben turned to Jaxton and abandoned his baking, to catch his face in flour covered hands and plant a deep kiss on his lips.
Jaxton opened his mouth, in acceptance of his kiss.
~ From the Heart
Elaine White (Clef Notes)
This act of whistleblowing was not like other acts of whistleblowing. Historically, whistleblowers reveal abuse of power that is surprising and shocking to the public. The Trump-Ukraine story was shocking but in no way surprising: it was in character, and in keeping with a pattern of actions. The incident that the whistleblower chose to report was not the worst thing that Trump had done. Installing his daughter and her husband in the White House was worse. Inciting violence was worse. Unleashing war on immigrants was worse. Enabling murderous dictators the world over was worse. The two realities of Trump’s America—democratic and autocratic—collided daily in the impeachment hearings. In one reality, Congress was following due process to investigate and potentially remove from office a president who had abused power. In the other reality, the proceedings were a challenge to Trump’s legitimate autocratic power. The realities clashed but still did not overlap: to any participant or viewer on one side of the divide, anything the other side said only reaffirmed their reality. The realities were also asymmetrical: an autocratic attempt is a crisis, but the logic and language of impeachment proceedings is the logic and language of normal politics, of vote counting and procedure. If it had succeeded in removing Trump from office, it would have constituted a triumph of institutions over the autocratic attempt. It did not. The impeachment proceedings became merely a part of the historical record, a record of only a small part of the abuse that is Trumpism.
Masha Gessen (Surviving Autocracy)
While thus engaged, I heard in a side-room the softest possible jingle of bracelets, crackle of dress, and footfall; and I felt certain that two curious eyes were watching me through a small opening of the window. All at once there flashed upon my memory a pair of eyes,—a pair of large eyes, beaming with trust, simplicity, and girlhood's love,—black pupils,—thick dark eyelashes,—a calm fixed gaze. Suddenly some unseen force squeezed my heart in an iron grip, and it throbbed with intense pain. I returned to my house, but the pain clung to me. Whether I read, wrote, or did any other work, I could not shake that weight off my heart; a heavy load seemed to be always swinging from my heart-strings. In the evening, calming myself a little, I began to reflect: ‘What ails me?’ From within came the question: ‘Where is your Surabala now?’ I replied: ‘I gave her up of my free will. Surely I did not expect her to wait for me for ever.’ But something kept saying: ‘Then you could have got her merely for the asking. Now you have not the right to look at her even once, do what you will. That Surabala of your boyhood may come very close to you; you may hear the jingle of her bracelets; you may breathe the air embalmed by the essence of her hair,—but there will always be a wall between you two.’ I answered: ‘Be it so. What is Surabala to me?’ My heart rejoined: ‘To-day Surabala is nobody to you. But what might she not have been to you?’ Ah! that's true. What might she not have been to me? Dearest to me of all things, closer to me than the world besides, the sharer of all my life's joys and sorrows,—she might have been. And now, she is so distant, so much of a stranger, that to look on her is forbidden, to talk with her is improper, and to think of her is a sin!—while this Ram Lochan, coming suddenly from nowhere, has muttered a few set religious texts, and in one swoop has carried off Surabala from the rest of mankind! I have not come to preach a new ethical code, or to revolutionise society; I have no wish to tear asunder domestic ties. I am only expressing the exact working of my mind, though it may not be reasonable. I could not by any means banish from my mind the sense that Surabala, reigning there within shelter of Ram Lochan's home, was mine far more than his. The thought was, I admit, unreasonable and improper,—but it was not unnatural.
Rabindranath Tagore (Mashi, And Other Stories)
My, my,” Chloe murmured, studying the chocolate she held. “I do believe this one’s gone off. It stinks like a cesspit.” Her eyes lifted. “Oh, wait. It’s only the guttersnipe.”
“Or perhaps it’s your perfume,” I said cordially. “You always smell like a whore.”
“It’s French,” retorted Runny-Nose, before Chloe could speak.
“Then she smells like a French whore.”
“Aren’t you the eloquent young miss.” Chloe’s gaze cut to Sophia, standing close behind me. “Slumming, little sister? I can’t confess I’m surprised.”
“I’m merely here for the show,” Sophia said breezily. “Something tells me it’s going to be good.”
I took the brooch from my pocket and let it slide down my index finger, giving it a playful twirl. “A fine try. But, alas, no winner’s prize for you, Chloe. I’m sure you’ve been waiting here for Westcliffe to raise the alarm about her missing ring, ready with some well-rehearsed story about how you saw me sneaking into her office and sneaking out again, and oh, look isn’t that Eleanore’s brooch there on the floor? But I’ve news for you, dearie. You’re sloppy. You’re stupid. And the next time you go into my room and steal from me, I’ll make certain you regret it for the rest of your days.”
“How dare you threaten me, you little tart!”
“I’m not threatening. You have no idea how easy it would be to, say, pour glue on your hair while you sleep. Cut up all your pretty dresses into ribbons.”
Chloe dropped her half-eaten chocolate back into its box, turning to her toadies. “You heard her! You all head her! When Westcliffe finds out about this-“
“I didn’t hear a thing,” piped up Sophia. “In fact, I do believe that Eleanore and I aren’t even here right now. We’re both off in my room, diligently studying.” She sauntered to my side, smiling. “And I’ll swear to that, sister. Without hesitation. I have no misgivings about calling you all liars right to Westcliffe’s face.”
“What fun,” I said softly, into the hush. “Shall we give it a go? What d’you say, girls? Up for a bit of blood sport?”
Chloe pushed to her feet, kicking the chocolates out of her way. All the toadies cringed.
“You,” she sneered, her gaze scouring me. “You with your ridiculous clothing and that preposterous bracelet, acting as if you actually belong here! Really, Eleanore, I wonder that you’ve learned nothing of real use yet. Allow me to explain matters to you. You may have duped Sophia into vouching for you, but your word means nothing. You’re no one. No matter what you do here or who you may somehow manage to impress, you’ll always be no one. How perfectly sad that you’re allowed to pretend otherwise.”
“I’m the one he wants,” I said evenly. “No one’s pretending that.”
I didn’t have to say who.
She stared at me, silent, her color high. I saw with interest that real tears began to well in her eyes.
“That’s right.” I gave the barest smile. “Me, not you. Think about that tomorrow, when I’m with him on the yacht. Think about how he watches me. How he listens to me. Another stunt like this”-I held up the circlet-“and you’ll be shocked at what I’m able to convince him about you.”
“As if you could,” she scoffed, but there was apprehension behind those tears.
I brought my foot down on one of the chocolates, grinding it into a deep, greasy smear along the rug.
“Cheerio,” I said to them all, and turned around and left.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
Poet's Note: Kindly do not use my poem without giving me due credit. Do not use bits and pieces to suit your agenda of Kashmir whatever it may be. I, Srividya Srinivasan as the creator of this poem own the right to what I have chosen to feel about the issue and have represented all sides to a complex problem that involves people. I do not believe in war or violence of any kind and this is my compassionate side speaking from all angles to human beings thinking they own only their side to the story. THIS POEM IS THE ORIGINAL WORK OF SRIVIDYA SRINIVASAN and any misuse by you shall be considered as a violation of my copyrights and legally actionable. This poem is dedicated to all those who have suffered in Kashmir and through Kashmir and to not be sliced and interpreted to each one's convenience.
Weep softly O mother,
the walls have ears you know...
The streets are awash o mother!
I cannot go searching for him anymore.
The streets are awash o mother
with blood and tears, pellets and screams.
that silently remain locked in the air,
while they seal our soulless dreams.
The guns are out, O mother,
while our boys go armed with stones,
I cannot go looking for him O mother,
I have no courage to face what I will find.
For, I need to tend to this little one beside,
with bound eyes that see no more.
Weep for the home we lost O mother,
Weep for the valley we left behind,
the hills that once bore our names,
where shoulder to shoulder,
we walked the vales,
proud of our heritage.
Hunted out of our very homes,
flying like thieves in the night,
abandoning it all,
fearful for the lives of our men,
fearful of our being raped,
our children killed,
Kafirs they called us O mother,
they marked our homes to kill.
We now haunt the streets of other cities,
refugees in a country we call our own,
feeling homeless without the land
we once called home.
Weep loudly O mother,
for the nation hears our pain.
As the fresh flag moulds his cold body,
I know his sacrifice was not in vain.
We need to put our chins up, O mother
and face this moment with pride.
For blood is blood, and pain is pain,
and death is final,
The false story we must tell ourselves
is that we are always the right side,
and forget the pain we inflict on the other side.
Until it all stops, it must go on,
the dry tears on either side,
Every war and battle is within and without,
and must claim its wounds and leave its scars,
And, if we need to go on O mother,
it matters we feel we are on the right side.
We need to tell ourselves
we are always the right sight...
We need to repeat it a million times,
We are always the right side...
For god forbid, what if we were not?
Request you to read the full poem on my website.
I’m also frequently asked if I’ve used my abilities for gambling or the lottery. Get your minds out of the gutter. What I do is for the highest good of all concerned, so I’d never do that intentionally! And let’s face it, even if I did try, I’m way too scattered to recognize what I’m being told. My aunt and I went to Belmont Park Race Track for her birthday one year, and I remember hearing “six ten” when I walked in--which is my birthday, June 10. How nice, I thought. Spirit’s acknowledging my birthday too. My uncle asked me what colors I liked best so he could bet on a horse wearing that color, and all the colors I said were losing. It wasn’t until after we left that I realized all the horses that won were a combination of the numbers six and ten! And then there was the time I went to a spa with my sister-in-law Corrinda. We went to Mohegan Sun one night, which was the first time I’d ever been to a casino, and decided to play roulette. Wouldn’t you know, every number we played on the wheel was a loser?
Theresa Caputo (There's More to Life Than This: Healing Messages, Remarkable Stories, and Insight About the Other Side from the Long Island Medium)
And . . . I owe you.” Selene didn’t explain because she knew he’d think she was referring to when Meghan saved her life. That was fine with her. Telling him exactly how she owed him would strip her open too bare and she wasn’t willing to let anyone see that vulnerable side of her.
“Telling the truth again.” He frowned now, true confusion in his gaze. Whether from her words or the fact that she was letting him in on this op. “You plan to try to bring me in after the op?”
“No.” That was actually the truth. Wesley, however, was a different story. But she refused to let her mind go there, knowing Levi would pick up on it.
Levi started to respond when a burst of gunfire from the pool area made them both turn at the noise. Selene automatically moved off the bench, crouching down behind it and to her surprise Levi moved in front of her, blocking her even though they were too far away to be in any danger from what she could hear.
“This is what happens when you get a bunch of criminals under the same roof,” he muttered.
She snorted in agreement. “I’m leaving using the beach. You’re free to join me.” There hadn’t been any more gunfire so likely the guards had the situation under control but she wasn’t heading back up there. She’d already had her meeting so she had no reason to return.
Now he snorted as he turned to face her, still crouching low. He slid his long, callused hands down her bare arms. This time she couldn’t hide the shiver. “Oh, I’m joining you,” he murmured, a seductive note in his voice.
But the timing was all wrong. For once she wished she understood the opposite sex more. What was he doing? She’d already told him he could come on the op with her. Her nipples tightened and her body hummed with a strange anticipation as he lightly held her wrists in both hands, his thumbs rubbing her inner wrist in small circles. She started to pull back and he let go of one of her wrists. As she pushed out a sigh of relief, the feel of cold steel skimmed her skin just as the soft snick of handcuffs clicked into place.
Katie Reus (Shattered Duty (Deadly Ops, #3))
The soldiers had been entrenched in their positions for several weeks but there was little, if any fighting, except for the dozen rounds they ritually exchanged every day. The weather was extremely pleasant. The air was heavy with the scent of wildflowers and nature seem to be following its course, quite unmindful of the soldiers hiding behind rocks and camouflaged by mountain shrubbery. The birds sang as they always had and the flowers were in bloom. Bees buzzed about lazily.
Only when a shot rang out, the birds got startled and took flight, as if a musician had struck a jarring note on his instrument. It was almost the end of September, neither hot nor cold. It seemed as if summer and winter had made their peace. In the blue skies, cotton clouds floated all day like barges on a lake.
The soldiers seemed to be getting tired of this indecisive war where nothing much ever happened. Their positions were quite impregnable. The two hills on which they were placed faced each other and were about the same height, so no one side had an advantage. Down below in the valley, a stream zigzagged furiously on its stony bed like a snake.
The air force was not involved in the combat and neither of the adversaries had heavy guns or mortars. At night, they would light huge fires and hear each other's voices echoing through the hills.
From The Dog of Titwal, a short story.
Saadat Hasan Manto
It is in Keats that the artistic spirit of this century first found its absolute incarnation. And these pre-Raphaelites, what were they? If you ask nine-tenths of the British public what is the meaning of the word aesthetics, they will tell you it is the French for affectation or the German for a dado; and if you inquire about the pre-Raphaelites you will hear something about an eccentric lot of young men to whom a sort of divine crookedness and holy awkwardness in drawing were the chief objects of art. To know nothing about their great men is one of the necessary elements of English education. As regards the pre-Raphaelites the story is simple enough. In the year 1847 a number of young men in London, poets and painters, passionate admirers of Keats all of them, formed the habit of meeting together for discussions on art, the result of such discussions being that the English Philistine public was roused suddenly from its ordinary apathy by hearing that there was in its midst a body of young men who had determined to revolutionise English painting and poetry. They called themselves the pre- Raphaelite Brotherhood. In England, then as now, it was enough for a man to try and produce any serious beautiful work to lose all his rights as a citizen; and besides this, the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood - among whom the names of Dante Rossetti, Holman Hunt and Millais will be familiar to you - had on their side three things that the English public never forgives: youth, power and enthusiasm.
Oscar Wilde (The English Renaissance of Art)
Well, my epic freedom moment was short-lived, because I realized my cell phone was dead. I walked down the road to a gas station and asked if I could use the phone. I called Tracy and told her where I was and asked her to pick me up. When Tracy arrived I hopped in the car and the very first thing I said to her was “I gotta get home. I have to print out some TV guides and I need to write a letter to some of the guys in there.” She started laughing and when she could compose herself enough to talk said, “My sisters and I all said we guarantee Noah is going to come out of jail with new friends. He’s going to be friends with everybody.”
I got home and immediately wrote a letter to Michael Bolton. I put my email address at the bottom. I printed out TV guides. I printed out crossword puzzles. I even printed a couple of pages of jokes and riddles and whatever would be fun to read and do and folded them up and put them in an envelope. All that was left to do was to write the address, put a stamp on the envelope, and put it in the mailbox. I put the envelope in the car in between the seat and the center console to take to the post office.
I must have been distracted or had to do something else because the envelope sat there for months. Every so often I would look at it and go, Oh crap, I haven’t sent that yet. And then at some point I spilled something on it so I knew I would never send it now. I threw it out.
To this day I’m worried that one day I’m going to be at the gas station in line and hear a voice behind me say, “I’m Michael Bolton and you never sent me my damn TV guide. You’re just like the rest.” He’s going to shank me in my side and that will be the end of the Noah Galloway story.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
it’s one of the great sunrises in all literature. Mark Twain: from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn . . . then we set down on the sandy bottom where the water was about knee deep, and watched the daylight come. Not a sound anywheres—perfectly still—just like the whole world was asleep, only sometimes the bull-frogs a-cluttering, maybe. The first thing to see, looking away over the water, was a kind of dull line—that was the woods on t’other side—you couldn’t make nothing else out; then a pale place in the sky; then more paleness, spreading around; then the river softened up, away off, and warn’t black any more, but gray; you could see little dark spots drifting along, ever so far away—trading scows, and such things; and long black streaks—rafts; sometimes you could hear a sweep screaking; or jumbled-up voices, it was so still, and sounds come so far; and by-and-by you could see a streak on the water which you know by the look of the streak that there’s a snag there in a swift current which breaks on it and makes that streak look that way; and you see the mist curl up off of the water, and the east reddens up, and the river, and you make out a log cabin in the edge of the woods, away on the bank on t’other side of the river, being a woodyard, likely, and piled by them cheats so you can throw a dog through it anywheres; then the nice breeze springs up, and comes fanning you from over there, so cool and fresh, and sweet to smell, on account of the woods and the flowers; but sometimes not that way, because they’ve left dead fish laying around, gars, and such, and they do get pretty rank; and next you’ve got the full day, and everything smiling in the sun, and the song-birds just going it!
Ursula K. Le Guin (Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story)
HEART OF TEA DEVOTION
rc t c//'VI/~ L tLP /'V to/ a
My dear, ifyou couldgive me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.
If teacups could talk, my house would be full of conversation ... because my house is full of teacups. My collection of china cups-begun many years ago, when I set up housekeeping as a child bride-has long since outgrown its home in the glass-front armoire and spread out to occupy side tables and shelves and hooks in the kitchen or find safe harbor in the dining-room hutch.
Some of these cups I inherited from women I love-my mother and my aunties. Some are gifts from my husband, Bob, or from my children or from special friends. A few are delightful finds from elegant boutiques or dusty antique shops.
One cup bears telltale cracks and scars; it was the only one I could salvage when a shelf slipped and 14 cups fell and shattered.
Three other cups stand out for their intense color-my aunt was always attracted to that kind of dramatic decoration.
Yet another cup, a gift, is of a style I've never much cared for, but now it makes me smile as I remember the houseguest who "rescued" it from a dark corner of the armoire because it looked "lonely."
Each one of my teacups has a history, and each one is precious to me. I have gladly shared them with guests and told their stories to many people.
Recently, however, I have been more inclined to listen.
I've been wondering what all those cups, with their history and long experience, are trying to say to me.
What I hear from them, over and over, is an invitation-one I want to extend to you: When did you last have a tea party? When was the last time you enjoyed a cup of tea with someone you care about? Isn't it time you did it again?
Emilie Barnes (The Tea Lover's Devotional)
Grey smiled at the naughty light in her gaze. “A full subscription. Perhaps you will discover between the pages other activities you would like to sample with me.”
It wasn’t much of a gift, certainly not an expensive one, but Rose embraced him as though he had given her the world-and he had the wine stains on his cuffs to prove it. “Thank you!” She kissed his cheek. “Oh, Grey, thank you so much!”
“It’s only a magazine, Rose, but you are welcome.”
She pulled back so that he could see her face, the delighted flush in her cheeks. “It’s not just a magazine. It’s a gesture of…trust and respect. Do you know how many husbands would forbid their wives to read such literature?”
Yes, he did, and he would hardly call it literature. “I’m of the opinion that a husband can only benefit from his wife reading this kind of material.”
A coy, seductive-wonderfully wicked-smile curved her full lips. “Perhaps we will both benefit.”
He could shag her senseless right then and there. He gave her back her wine instead, and positioned himself with his back against the headboard. He tugged her close, turning her so that she sat with her back against his chest. “Read to me.”
She looked horrified at the idea. “What? No, I couldn’t.”
Grey trailed his fingers down the side of her neck, smiling smugly as she shivered. “Read it. Please.”
Her fingers trembled slightly as they parted the pages. “What would you like to hear?”
“A story,” he replied, brushing the tip of his finger along the curve of her ear. “Something that will take a while.” Because the longer she read, the longer he could touch at his leisure.
“’Lady Jane’s Confession,’” she read, her voice a little huskier than normal, “’Or, An Adventure in Lust.’”
Grey gently pulled a pin from her hair and set it on the bedside table. “Sounds interesting.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Violet’s not getting out of our sight,” Arion adds.
There’s a moment of just staring…like everyone is trying to silently argue.
“No one naked in my car,” Mom states when I just stand in my spot, waiting on them to hurry through the push and pull.
You really can tell how thick the air is when too many alphas are in the room at one time, but weirdly it never feels this way when it’s just the four of them. Unless punches are thrown. Then it gets a little heavier than normal.
Arion pulls on his clothes, and threads whir in the air as I quickly fashion Emit a lopsided toga that lands on his body. Everyone’s gaze swings to him like it’s weird for him and normal for me to be in a toga.
Damien muffles a sound, Emit arches an eyebrow at me, and Arion remains rigid, staying close to me but never touching me.
All of us squeezing into a car together while most of them hate each other…should be fun.
The storm finally stops before we board the elevator, and it’s one of those super awkward elevator moments where no one is looking at anyone or saying anything, and everyone is trying to stay in-the-moment serious.
We stop on the floor just under us, after the longest thirty-five seconds ever.
The doors open, and two men glance around at Emit and I in our matching togas, even though his is the fitted sheet and riding up in some funny places.
He looks like a caveman who accidentally bleached and shrank his wardrobe.
I palm my face, embarrassed for him.
The next couple of floors are super awkward with the addition of the two new, notably uncomfortable men.
Worst seventy-nine seconds ever. Math doesn’t add up? Yeah. I’m upset about those extra nine seconds as well.
Poor Emit has to duck out of the unusually small elevator, and the bottom of his ass cheek plays peek-a-boo on one side.
Damien finally snorts, and even Mom struggles to keep a straight face. That really pisses her off.
“You’re seeing him on an off day,” I tell the two guys, who stare at my red boots for a second.
I feel the need to defend Emit a little, especially since I now know he overheard all that gibberish Tiara was saying…
I can’t remember all I said, and it’s worrying me now that my mind has gone off on this stupid tangent.
I trip over the hem of my toga, and Arion snags me before I hit the floor, righting me and showing his hands to my mother with a quick grin.
“Can’t just let her fall,” he says unapologetically.
“You’re going to have to learn to deal with that,” she bites out.
She has a very good point. I don’t trip very often, but things and people usually knock me around a good bit of my life.
The two guys look like they want to run, so I hurry to fix this.
“Really, it’s a long story, but I swear Emit—the tallest one in the fitted-sheet-toga—generally wears pants…er…I guess you guys call them trousers over here. Anyway, we had some plane problems,” I carry on, and then realize I have to account for the fact we’re both missing clothing. “Then there was a fire that miraculously only burned our clothes, because Emit put all my flames out by smothering me with his body,” I state like that’s exactly what happened.
Why do they look so scared? I’m not telling a scary lie.
At this point, I’ve just made it worse, and fortunately Damien takes mercy, clamping his hand over my mouth as he starts steering me toward the door before I can make it…whatever comes after worse but before the worst.
“Thank you,” sounds more like “Mmdi ooooo,” against his hand, but he gets the gist, as he grins.
Mom makes a frustrated sound.
“Another minute, and she’d be bragging about his penis size in quest to save his dignity. Did you really want to hear that?” Damien asks her, forcing me to groan against his hand.
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Moon (All The Pretty Monsters, #4))
Be a Listener When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. —PROVERBS 10:19 I’ve heard it said that God gave us two ears and only one mouth because He wants us to listen twice as much as we speak. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had to apologize for something I haven’t said. It’s much easier and really more natural for us to speak rather than listen. We have to learn to listen. It takes discipline to keep from talking. As a parent, spouse, sibling, or friend, we need to be known as good listeners. And while listening, we’d do well to remember that there are always two sides to every story. Postpone any judgment until you’ve heard all the evidence—then wait some more. Eleanor Roosevelt, in one of her many speeches, stated, “A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all-knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.” Our Scripture verse talks to us about being more of a listener than a talker. Too many words can lead to putting one’s foot in one’s mouth. The more we speak, the greater the chance of being offensive. The wise person will restrain her speech. Listening seldom gets us into trouble, but our mouths certainly cause transgressions. When others realize that you are a true listener, they will tell you important matters. They will open up about their lives and their dreams. They will entrust you with a bit of themselves and their hearts. Never violate that trust. You have the best model possible in your relationship with God. Without fail, He listens to your every need and hope. Prayer: Father God, thank You for giving me two good ears to hear. Hold my tongue when I want to lash out. I want to be a better hearer. Amen.
Emilie Barnes (Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women)
For fifteen years, John and Barbara Varian were furniture builders, living on a ranch in Parkfield, California, a tiny town where the welcome sign reads “Population 18.” The idea for a side business came about by accident after a group of horseback riding enthusiasts asked if they could pay a fee to ride on the ranch. They would need to eat, too—could John and Barbara do something about that? Yes, they could. In the fall of 2006, a devastating fire burned down most of their inventory, causing them to reevaluate the whole operation. Instead of rebuilding the furniture business (no pun intended), they decided to change course. “We had always loved horses,” Barbara said, “so we decided to see about having more groups pay to come to the ranch.” They built a bunkhouse and upgraded other buildings, putting together specific packages for riding groups that included all meals and activities. John and Barbara reopened as the V6 Ranch, situated on 20,000 acres exactly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Barbara’s story stood out to me because of something she said. I always ask business owners what they sell and why their customers buy from them, and the answers are often insightful in more ways than one. Many people answer the question directly—“We sell widgets, and people buy them because they need a widget”—but once in a while, I hear a more astute response. “We’re not selling horse rides,” Barbara said emphatically. “We’re offering freedom. Our work helps our guests escape, even if just for a moment in time, and be someone they may have never even considered before.” The difference is crucial. Most people who visit the V6 Ranch have day jobs and a limited number of vacation days. Why do they choose to visit a working ranch in a tiny town instead of jetting off to lie on a beach in Hawaii? The answer lies in the story and messaging behind John and Barbara’s offer. Helping their clients “escape and be someone else” is far more valuable than offering horse rides. Above all else, the V6 Ranch is selling happiness.
Chris Guillebeau (The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future)
What’s the meaning of this?” Papa strode toward us. “You’ve disturbed the entire household, Andrew.”
Mama gripped his arm. “For goodness sake, Henry, don’t frighten the child. Haven’t you done enough damage? I told you not to whip him!”
Papa made an effort to calm down. Taking a deep breath, he squatted in front of me. “What’s troubling you, son?” he asked. “Surely a spanking didn’t cause this.”
Aching with sadness, I put my arms around his neck. I’d won, I’d finally beaten Andrew. I’d thought I’d be happy, but I wasn’t. “I don’t want to leave you and Mama,” I sobbed.
Papa held me tight. “Now, now,” he said. “Where did you get such a silly notion? You aren’t going anywhere.”
While Papa comforted me, Andrew climbed onto his father’s shoulders, piggyback style. No one saw him but me. No one heard him say, “Hush Drew, you’re shaming me in front of everyone.”
Ignorant of Andrew’s presence, Papa shivered. “Fall’s coming. Feel the nip in the air?”
Hannah and Theo were waiting for us at the bottom of the steps. “Mama,” Theo whispered, “is Andrew sick again?”
Mama shook her head, but Theo looked unconvinced. Slipping his hand in Hannah’s, he watched Papa lay me on my bed.
On the other side of the room, Andrew took a seat in the rocking chair. It was obvious he didn’t enjoy being invisible. Staring at Hannah and Theo, he rocked the chair vigorously. When that didn’t get their attention, he sang “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” at the top of his lungs. But no matter what he said or did, he couldn’t make his sister or his brother see or hear him.
I knew Andrew was sad, but I was even sadder. When Mama leaned over to kiss me, I hugged her so tight she could hardly breathe. “I’ll never forget you,” I whispered.
Mama drew back. “What did you say?”
“Nothing,” I mumbled. “I love you, Mama.”
She smiled. “Well, for goodness sake, you little jackanapes, I love you too.”
Smoothing the quilt over me, she turned to the others. “What Andrew needs is a good night’s sleep. In the morning, he’ll be himself again, just wait and see.”
“I hope so,” Andrew said.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
On this side of eternity, Christmas is still a promise. Yes, the Savior has come, and with him peace on earth, but the story is not finished. Yes, there is peace in our hearts, but we long for peace in our world. Every Christmas is still a “turning of the page” until Jesus returns. Every December 25 marks another year that draws us closer to the fulfillment of the ages, that draws us closer to . . . home. When we realize that Jesus is the answer to our deepest longing, even Christmas longings, each Advent brings us closer to his glorious return to earth. When we see him as he is, King of kings and Lord of lords, that will be “Christmas” indeed! Talk about giving Christmas gifts! Just think of this abundance . . . You do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. (1 Cor. 1:7) And carols? You’re about to hear singing like you’ve never heard before. Listen . . . Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.” (Rev. 19:6, nasb) Christmas choirs? Never was there a choir like the one about to be assembled . . . They held harps given them by God and sang . . . the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.” (Rev. 15:2–3) True, Main Street in your town may be beautifully decorated for the season, but picture this . . . The twelve gates [of the city] were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass. (Rev. 21:21) Oh, and yes, we love the glow of candles on a cold winter’s night and the twinkling of Christmas lights in the dark, but can you imagine this? There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Rev. 22:5) Heaven is about to happen. The celebration is about to burst on the scene. We stand tiptoe at the edge of eternity, ready to step into the new heaven and the new earth. And I can hardly wait.
Nancy Guthrie (Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas)
Don’t provoke Cheat,” Arin said as they stepped out of the carriage and onto the dusky path that led to the governor’s palace, which looked eerie to Kestrel because its impressive façade was the same as the night before, but the lights burning in the windows were now few.
“Kestrel, do you hear me? You can’t toy with him.”
“He started it.”
“That’s not the point.” Gravel crunched under Arin’s heavy boots as he stalked up the path. “Don’t you understand that he wants you dead? He’d leap at the chance,” Arin said, hands in pockets, head down, almost talking to himself. He strode ahead, his long legs quicker than hers. “I can’t--Kestrel, you must understand that I would never claim you. Calling you a prize--my prize--it was only words. But it worked. Cheat won’t harm you, I swear that he won’t, but you must…hide yourself a little. Help a little. Just tell us how much time we have before the battle. Give him a reason to decide you’re not better off dead. Swallow your pride.”
“Maybe that’s not as easy for me as it is for you.”
He wheeled on her. “It’s not easy for me,” he said through his teeth. “You know that it’s not. What do you think I have had to swallow, these past ten years? What do you think I have had to do to survive?”
They stood before the palace door. “Truly,” she said, “I haven’t the faintest interest. You may tell your sad story to someone else.”
He flinched as if slapped. His voice came low: “You can make people feel so small.”
Kestrel went hot with shame--then was ashamed of her own shame. Who was he, that she should apologize? He had used her. He had lied. Nothing he said meant anything. If she was to feel shame, it should be for having been so easily fooled.
He ran fingers through his cropped hair, but slowly, anger gone, replaced by something heavier. He didn’t look at her. His breath smoked the chill air. “Do what you want to me. Say anything. But it frightens me how you refuse to see the danger you risk with others. Maybe now you’ll see.” He opened the door to the governor’s home.
The smell struck her first. Blood and decaying flesh. It pushed at Kestrel’s gut. She fought not to gag.
Bodies were piled in the reception hall. Lady Neril was lying facedown, almost in the same place where she had stood the night of the ball, greeting guests. Kestrel recognized her by the scarf in her fist, fabric bright in the guttering torchlight. There were hundreds of dead. She saw Captain Wensan, Lady Faris, Senator Nicon’s whole family, Benix…
Kestrel knelt next to him. His large hand felt like cold clay. She could hear her tears drip to his clothes. They beaded on his skin.
Quietly, Arin said, “He’ll be buried today, with the others.”
“He should be burned. We burn our dead.” She couldn’t look at Benix anymore, but neither could she get to her feet.
Arin helped her, his touch gentle. “I’ll make certain it’s done right.”
Kestrel forced her legs to move, to walk past bodies heaped like rubble. She thought that she must have fallen asleep after all, and that this was an evil dream.
She paused at the sight of Irex. His mouth was the stained purple of the poisoned, but he had sticky gashes in his side, and one final cut to the neck. Even poisoned, he had fought.
Tears came again.
Arin’s hold tightened. He pushed her past Irex. “Don’t you dare weep for him. If he weren’t dead, I would kill him myself.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
Christ was an Aryan, and St. Paul used his doctrine to mobilise the criminal underworld and thus organise a proto-Bolshevism. This intrusion upon the world marks the end of a long reign, that of the clear Graeco-Latin genius.
What is this God who takes pleasure only in seeing men grovel before Him? Try to picture to yourselves the meaning of the following, quite simple story. God creates the conditions for sin. Later on He succeeds, with the help of the Devil, in causing man to sin. Then He employs a virgin to bring into the world a son who, by His death, will redeem humanity!
I can imagine people being enthusiastic about the paradise of Mahomet, but as for the insipid paradise of the Christians ! In your lifetime, you used to hear the music of Richard Wagner. After your death, it will be nothing but hallelujahs, the waving of palms, children of an age for the feeding-bottle, and hoary old men. The man of the isles pays homage to the forces of nature. But Christianity is an invention of sick brains : one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery. A negro with his tabus is crushingly superior to the human being who seriously believes in Transubstantiation.
I begin to lose all respect for humanity when I think that some people on our side, Ministers or generals, are capable of believing that we cannot triumph without the blessing of the Church. Such a notion is excusable in little children who have learnt nothing else.
For thirty years the Germans tore each other to pieces simply in order to know whether or not they should take Communion in both kinds. There's nothing lower than religious notions like that. From that point of view, one can envy the Japanese. They have a religion which is very simple and brings them into contact with nature. They've succeeded even in taking Christianity and turning it into a religion that's less shocking to the intellect.
By what would you have me replace the Christians' picture of the Beyond? What comes naturally to mankind is the sense of eternity and that sense is at the bottom of every man. The soul and the mind migrate, just as the body returns to nature. Thus life is eternally reborn from life. As for the "why?" of all that, I feel no need to rack my brains on the subject. The soul is unplumbable.
If there is a God, at the same time as He gives man life He gives him intelligence. By regulating my life according to the understanding that is granted me, I may be mistaken, but I act in good faith. The concrete image of the Beyond that religion forces on me does not stand up to examination. Think of those who look down from on high upon what happens on earth: what a martyrdom for them, to see human beings indefatigably repeating the same gestures, and inevitably the same errors !
In my view, H. S. Chamberlain was mistaken in regarding Christianity as a reality upon the spiritual level.
Man judges everything in relation to himself. What is bigger than himself is big, what is smaller is small. Only one thing is certain, that one is part of the spectacle. Everyone finds his own rôle. Joy exists for everybody. I dream of a state of affairs in which every man would know that he lives and dies for the preservation of the species. It's our duty to encourage that idea : let the man who distinguishes himself in the service of the species be thought worthy of the highest honours.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
I am here to right a wrong.”
“Do you know what wrong needs to be righted, or are you only hearing one side of the story?
Dominique Eastwick (Seducing Sarka (The Wiccan Haus, #34))
ALTHOUGH writers and publishers like to grumble about the proliferation of libel lawsuits in this country, few would seriously propose that anything be done to reverse the trend. The Ayatollah’s death sentence on Salman Rushdie brings into relief the primitive feeling that lies behind every libel suit, and makes the writer only too grateful for the mechanism the law provides for transforming the displeased subject’s impulse to kill him into the move civilized aim of extracting large sums of money from him. Although the money is rarely collected—most libel suits end in defeat for the plaintiff or in a modest settlement—the lawsuit itself functions as a powerful therapeutic agent, ridding the subject of his feelings of humiliating powerlessness and restoring to him his cheer and amour propre. From the lawyer who takes him into his care he immediately receives the relief that a sympathetic hearing of one’s grievances affords. Conventional psychotherapy would soon veer off into an unpleasurable examination of the holes in one’s story, but the law cure never ceases to be gratifying; in fact, what the lawyer says and writes on his client’s behalf is gratifying beyond the latter’s wildest expectations. The rhetoric of advocacy law is the rhetoric of the late-night vengeful brooding which in life rarely survives the skeptical light of morning but in a lawsuit becomes inscribed, as if in stone, in the bellicose documents that accrue while the lawsuit takes its course, and proclaims with every sentence “I am right! I am right! I am right!” On the other side, meanwhile, the same orgy of self-justification is taking place. The libel defendant, after an initial anxious moment (we all feel guilty of something, and being sued stirs the feeling up), comes to see, through the ministrations of his lawyer-therapist, that he is completely in the right and has nothing to fear. Of pleasurable reading experiences there may be none greater than that afforded by a legal document written on one’s behalf. A lawyer will argue for you as you could never argue for yourself, and, with his lawyer’s rhetoric, give you a feeling of certitude that you could never obtain for yourself from the language of everyday discourse. People who have never sued anyone or been sued have missed a narcissistic pleasure that is not quite like any other.
Janet Malcolm (The Journalist and the Murderer)
begins to shake our airplane as if it were a plaything. People cry out as objects fall on their heads from the open overhead lockers. Bags, flowers, packages, toys, wrapped gifts, jackets and clothing rain down hard on us; sandwich trays and bags soar through the air; half-finished drinks pour on heads and shoulders. People are frightened; they scream and start to cry. “Hopefully, all will be OK,” my mother says. I can feel her nervousness, while I myself am still pretty calm. Yes, I begin to worry, but I simply can’t imagine that… Then I suddenly see a blinding white light over the right wing. I don’t know whether it’s a flash of lightning or an explosion. I lose all sense of time. I can’t tell whether all this lasts minutes or only a fraction of a second: I’m blinded by that blazing light; while at the same time, I hear my mother saying quite calmly: “Now it’s all over.” Today I know that at that moment she had already grasped what would happen. I, on the other hand, have grasped nothing at all. An intense astonishment comes over me, because now my ears, my head, my whole body is completely filled with the deep roar of the plane, while its nose slants almost vertically downwards. We’re falling fast. But this nosedive, too, I experience as if it lasted no longer than the blink of an eye. From one moment to the next, people’s screams go silent. It’s as if the roar of the turbines has been erased. My mother is no longer at my side and I’m no longer in the airplane. I’m still strapped into my seat, but I’m alone.
Juliane Koepcke (When I Fell From The Sky: The True Story of One Woman's Miraculous Survival)
Intermission. Mare Internum.
We will have a brief pause now. If this novel were a theater, you could go out into the lobby, wait in line for a drink, or for the bathroom. Give people a chance to admire your clothes, hair, or jewels. Step outside for some air or a smoke. Backstage the crew would be busy transforming the scenery, actors would change their costumes and redo their makeup, Some would be done until final curtain, others awaiting their first entrance.
But we're not in the theater, and I am not letting you go outside this story, not really. Where we are is more like a pause between breaths. Whether you're inhaling or exhaling, there's a pause just before, like the pause you can feel more than hear before the tide reverses. Where we are is the point of intersection in the figure eight. Turned on its side the eight becomes the symbol of infinity.
You can make this figure with your hips when you dance. Over and over you will return to that moment of balance before your weight shifts from one hip to the other. The balance of this story is about to shift. The scenery is changing, as we make our slow way across Mare Internum. A journey I am not going to describe.
When the story begins again, some of the people you have come to know and love, or not, Dido, Bertha, Paulina, Reginus, and Joseph will appear less frequently...
I don't like it when characters fade form the story, so I am apologizing in advance, but life is like that. We leave people and places and times behind. We encounter new ones. Sometimes we can't see the patterns or connections, but they are there, between one breath and the next. In the ebb and flow of tides. In the rhythm of the dance.
Elizabeth Cunningham (The Passion of Mary Magdalen (Maeve Chronicles, #2))
If I tell you stories of my experiences in newsrooms and dealing with editors and publishers, for example, having a (older, male) publisher say to me, ‘I think you need to stop writing so much about domestic violence; our audience are professional working women, it’s not really relevant to them,’ this tells you a lot more than a list of statistics about perceptions of domestic violence among male publishers. This is particularly true for women from oppressed groups. They break the silence of oppression by speaking about their lives and force change just by this powerful act. The more honest women are about their experiences the more they challenge the norms that have been reinforced by the silencing of marginalised voices. It is even more important to hear about experiences that are shocking to men or other women outside the writer’s demographic. That it is shocking is proof of the silence imposed upon women previously unable to speak. By sharing personal information and stories about their lives, women are able to express the truth of female experience and explain the forces that silence women or cause them to fear for their safety, whether it be personal, professional, financial or sexual. Those forces are often unrecognised because they have been normalised. Memoir exposes them from the side of the oppressed rather than reinforcing them from the side of the oppressors. One of the ways oppression works is by silencing. Speaking about personal experiences of oppression is therefore a revolutionary political act.
Jane Gilmore (Fixed It)
These dumb-money clients, or “muppets,” which bought something and then held on to it for months, maybe years, didn’t fit into the industry’s carnivorous culture and weren’t especially good for the trading business. Brokers, face-to-face with one of these sloths, had the distinct pleasure of finding a predator to take the other side of the trade—and Hayes was increasingly hearing the words I’ve got a gift for you. The lucky trader (in this case, him) would be able to do the deal at a favorable price that a more sophisticated institution, such as a fast-moving hedge fund, would never accept.
David Enrich (The Spider Network: The Wild Story of a Math Genius, a Gang of Backstabbing Bankers, and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History)
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot speak, so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like having a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
Finally John looks back up at me. “Hi, sorry, I had to mute you back there. They were taping. I missed that. What were you saying?” Un-fucking-believable. I’ve been, quite literally, talking to myself. No wonder Margo wants to leave! I should have listened to my gut and had John reschedule an in-person session, but I got sucked in by his urgent plea. “John,” I say, “I really want to help you with this but I think this is too important to talk about on Skype. Let’s schedule a time for you to come in so there aren’t so many distract—” “Oh, no, no, no, no, no,” he interrupts. “This can’t wait. I just had to give you the background first so you can talk to him.” “To . . .” “The idiot therapist! Clearly he’s only hearing one side of the story, and not a very accurate side at that. But you know me. You can vouch for me. You can give this guy some perspective before Margo really goes nuts.” I noodle this scenario around in my head: John wants me to call my own therapist to discuss why my patient isn’t happy with the therapy my therapist is doing with my patient’s wife. Um, no.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
For most of my life I have wondered where souls dwell. Over and over, I have asked, ‘Where is the other side? Where is the in-between?’ What if some or many disincarnates are stuck between here and there and where is ‘there’? I have come to a conclusion and the answer is simple: just beyond the speed of light. I believe this is where souls dwell. It is past our human senses, of sight or sound, but for those of us with the ability to tune in or to connect, it is as real as it gets. We can then vibrate and resonate with them. There is no legitimate separation between science and spirit. We cannot separate science from soul. Each originates with a Creator and is therefore eternally, inextricably linked. The souls of spirits who dwell on the other side or the in-between state of being need and want to be acknowledged, to be understood by mortals as much as we need and want to acknowledge them; to comprehend their existence, so to illuminate our own. I have made a promise, a pact to do whatever possible to keep in touch with two souls who have passed before me. Most contact occurs in dream state. Some happens by synchronicity; synergy during waking hours. When more of us make an effort to remain connected to those who pass on to the other side, perhaps the understanding we gain will cause our fear of them to dissipate; a fear of what we cannot always see or hear, but can feel to the depths of being.” Margie Mersky
Andrea Perron (House of Darkness House of Light: The True Story Volume One)
Hear all sides and you will be enlightened. Hear one side and you will be in the dark. Wei Zheng Everyone perceives things through their own lens. There are very few people who can give you an unbiased opinion on any subject. If you have five people who witness a fight, you will get five different accounts of what happened, maybe not on the main points, but they will differ concerning the details. For this reason, it is always wise to hear all sides of the story before you form any opinions. True life court shows on television demonstrate this fact. They will go through the evidence and present the prosecution’s side of the case, and you think to yourself, “this guy is guilty as sin,” but when the defense presents their case, many times you start to see things in a different light. Don’t be too quick to form a decision. Once you have heard all sides of the issue, then you can form your opinion concerning the matter at hand. Strive to see things as they really are, not as they appear. Look for the truth. Too many people make decisions without having all of the pertinent information needed to come to a wise conclusion. Without all the information, you’re just guessing. Don’t be too quick to totally trust the information that you receive from someone else. Trust but verify. Don’t be duped, hear all sides before you make important decisions. Make sure that what you think is truly what you think, and not simply someone else’s thoughts which have been seeded in your mind. I hear all sides before I act.
Bohdi Sanders (BUSHIDO: The Way of the Warrior)
The little boy stumbled through the forest. He was sure that wild animals were chasing him, and wanted to eat him.
As he crashed through the undergrowth he suddenly emerged into a clearing. He looked around, fearing that he could hear animals, but all was quiet.
The little boy walked further into the clearing. He saw a small stool with a book on it. He stopped, and looked around wondering who had left the stool, and the book there.
He walked over to the stool, and picked up the book to look at it.
Without thinking, he sat down, and opened the book.
He started to read aloud. The only sound in the clearing was the little boy’s voice.
He had forgotten about his earlier fear, and he had also stopped imagining that he could hear animals after him.
Once he had finished reading the story he put the book down, and he said to the clearing, “I’ll come back tomorrow to read again.”
The little boy left the clearing and reentered the forest. He wasn’t afraid anymore. It was if he had a new found confidence, and manner.
The next day he returned, and found a different book on the stool, and as before, he sat down, and started to read.
This went on for a week. After seven days animals started to come through the undergrowth, and entered the clearing. When they saw the boy, and heard his storytelling they would stop, find a place to sit down, and listen to him.
One day he heard a roar behind him, and the little boy turned around, coming face to face with a tiger.
“Shhh!” he told the tiger, and gave it a smack across the nose.
The tiger was taken aback, but he did as he was told and he went to a tree. Then he too, sat and listened to the little boy.
This went on for many years, and some animals died never to return, while others grew old as the little boy did.
One day, when the little boy was no more but a little old man he died as he was reading one of his stories.
The animals looked up, and listened to the silence.
Wild dogs howled, elephants trumpeted their calls, birds tweeted and chirped, monkeys chatted and tigers roared as one.
The tiger, who many years ago the little boy had smacked across the nose, carried the little boy, and laid him to rest under his tree.
The animals lined up to pay their respects to the little boy who had devoted his life to reading to the animals.
As they lined up, they were watched by God, Buddha, Allah and Ganesha, who were standing off to the side. They had tears in their eyes, not because the little boy had died, but because as each animal came to the body of the little boy, each animal would lay their head down on his chest, and shed tears over the boy’s body.
Finally a small baby elephant came, and laid his head, and trunk down on the little boy’s body, and his tears flowed over the little boy’s chest.
When the animals had left, there was an eerie silence over the clearing.
Many, many years passed until one day, a small girl come running through the bushes, with a frightened look on her face. She stopped, and looked around the clearing. She saw a small stool, and so she walked over to it, wondering who would leave such a thing here in the forest.
She sat down on the stool and looked down. She saw a box full of books.
The little boy smiled.
Anthony T. Hincks
What the fuck just happened? As Bryce’s white Audi streaked off the lot, I shook my head and replayed the last five minutes. After a hot cup of coffee with Dad in the office, I’d come out to the garage, ready to get to work on the red ’68 Mustang GT I’d been restoring. My morning had been shaping up pretty damn great when a hot, leggy brunette with a nice rack came in for an oil change. Got even better when she flirted back and flashed me that showstopper smile. Then I hit the jackpot because she turned out to be witty too, and the heat between us was practically blue flame. I should have known something was up. Women too good to be true were always out for trouble. This one was only baiting me for a story. And damn, I’d taken that bait. Hook, line and sinker. How the hell had Bryce known Dad was going to be arrested for murder even before the cops had shown up? Better question. How the hell hadn’t I? Because I was out of touch. Not long ago, when the club was still going strong, I would have been the first to know if the cops were moving in my or my family’s direction. Sure, living on the right side of the law had its advantages. Mostly, it was nice to live a life without the gnawing, constant fear I’d wake up and be either killed or sent to prison for the rest of my life. I’d become content. Lazy. Ignorant. I’d let my guard down. And now Dad was headed for a jail cell. Fuck. “Dash.” Presley punched me in the arm, getting my attention. I shook myself and looked down at her, squinting as her white hair reflected the sunlight. “What?” “What?” she mimicked. “What are you going to do about your dad? Did you know about this?” “Yeah. I let him go about drinking his morning coffee, bullshitting with you, knowing he’d get arrested soon,” I barked. “No, I didn’t know about this.” Presley scowled but stayed quiet. “She said murder.” Emmett swept a long strand of hair out of his face. “Did I hear that right?” Yeah. “She said murder.” Murder, spoken in Bryce’s sultry voice I’d thought was so smooth when it had first hit my ears. Dad had been arrested and I’d been bested by a goddamn nosy reporter. My lip curled. I avoided the press nearly as much as I avoided cops and lawyers. Until we got this shit figured out, I’d be stuck dealing with all three.
Devney Perry (Gypsy King (Clifton Forge, #1))
One bonus you get from having an enemy is a very clear marketing message. People are stoked by conflict. And they also understand a product by comparing it to others. With a chosen enemy, you're feeding people a story they want to hear. Not only will they understand your product better and faster, they'll take sides. And that's a sure-fire way to get attention and ignite passion.
I see rather than hear a guy in a suit and tie knocking on my door. I wave him in, he opens the door and starts strolling toward my desk, he’s followed by two long haired, bearded, overweight, scruffy looking assholes both wearing glasses, short sleeved white shirts with their shirt breast pocket full of pens and little ruler looking things, complete with pocket protectors. He’s wearing a really cheap looking blue suit, that’s been worn shiny slick and had to be right out of the 50’s. The suit is adorned with a greasy looking; really wide tie that had more soup stains than Campbell’s. To complete his ensemble he’s chosen a pair of shit brown shoes that hadn’t seen polish since they were new, which had to be a long time ago. To top it all off, he’s sporting the most massive “Comb Over” on his head I’ve ever seen. On the left side of his head was a “Tuft” of very thin gray hair. He’d allowed this to grow until he could comb it all the way over the top of his bald head and down to his right ear. I couldn’t help but stare. Marines are first impression people and if you present a poor one, they generally will turn you off immediately.
W.R. Spicer (Sea Stories of a U.S. Marine Book 4 Harrier)
On May 4, 1932 (...) the New York Times featured side-by-side front page stories on the world's two most infamous criminals. First, the paper reported that, late the previous evening, a police squad car had whisked Alphonse "Scarface" Capone from the Cook County Jail to the Dearborn Street station, where he and several government agents had boarded the Dixie Flyer, headed for Atlanta and the federal penitentiary there. The adjacent story described the first day of hearings before the federal referee overseeing the bankruptcy of International Match. "Glad to start, he says", was the tagline for the Capone column. the one about Ivar said "Trusted Him Implicitly".
Frank Partnoy (The Match King: Ivar Kreuger, the Financial Genius Behind a Century of Wall Street Scandals)
So, you put in a no-show for the turkey,” Sean said. “What’s up with that? You’re stateside, you’re not that far away….” “I have things to do here, Sean,” he said. “And I explained to Mother—I can’t leave Art and I can’t take him on a trip.” “So I heard. And that’s your only reason?” “What else?” “Oh, I don’t know,” he said, as if he did know what else. “Well then, you’ll be real happy to hear this—I’m bringing Mother to Virgin River for Thanksgiving.” Luke was dead silent for a moment. “What!” Luke nearly shouted into the phone. “Why the hell would you do that?” “Because you won’t come to Phoenix. And she’d like to see this property you’re working on. And the helper. And the girl.” “You aren’t doing this to me,” Luke said in a threatening tone. “Tell me you aren’t doing this to me!” “Yeah, since you can’t make it to Mom’s, we’re coming to you. I thought that would make you sooo happy,” he added with a chuckle in his voice. “Oh God,” he said. “I don’t have room for you. There’s not a hotel in town.” “You lying sack of shit. You have room. You have two extra bedrooms and six cabins you’ve been working on for three months. But if it turns out you’re telling the truth, there’s a motel in Fortuna that has some room. As long as Mom has the good bed in the house, clean sheets and no rats, everything will be fine.” “Good. You come,” Luke said. “And then I’m going to kill you.” “What’s the matter? You don’t want Mom to meet the girl? The helper?” “I’m going to tear your limbs off before you die!” But Sean laughed. “Mom and I will be there Tuesday afternoon. Buy a big turkey, huh?” Luke was paralyzed for a moment. Silent and brooding. He had lived a pretty wild life, excepting that couple of years with Felicia, when he’d been temporarily domesticated. He’d flown helicopters in combat and played it loose with the ladies, taking whatever was consensually offered. His bachelorhood was on the adventurous side. His brothers were exactly like him; maybe like their father before them, who hadn’t married until the age of thirty-two. Not exactly ancient, but for the generation before theirs, a little mature to begin a family of five sons. They were frisky Irish males. They all had taken on a lot: dared much, had no regrets, moved fast. But one thing none of them had ever done was have a woman who was not a wife in bed with them under the same roof with their mother. “I’m thirty-eight years old and I’ve been to war four times,” he said to himself, pacing in his small living room, rubbing a hand across the back of his neck. “This is my house and she is a guest. She can disapprove all she wants, work her rosary until she has blisters on her hands, but this is not up to her.” Okay, then she’ll tell everything, was his next thought. Every little thing about me from the time I was five, every young lady she’d had high hopes for, every indiscretion, my night in jail, my very naked fling with the high-school vice-principal’s daughter…. Everything from speeding tickets to romances. Because that’s the way the typical dysfunctional Irish family worked—they bartered in secrets. He could either behave the way his mother expected, which she considered proper and gentlemanly and he considered tight-assed and useless, or he could throw caution to the wind, do things his way, and explain all his mother’s stories to Shelby later.
Robyn Carr (Temptation Ridge)
Now the children, there, are not born as the children are born in worlds nearer to the sun. For they arrive no one knows how. A maiden, walking alone, hears a cry: for even there a cry is the first utterance; and searching about, she findeth, under an overhanging rock, or within a clump of bushes, or, it may be, betwixt gray stones on the side of a hill, or in any other sheltered and unexpected spot, a little child. This she taketh tenderly, and beareth home with joy, calling out, "Mother, mother"—if so be that her mother lives—"I have got a baby—I have found a child!" All the household gathers round to see;—"WHERE IS IT? WHAT IS IT LIKE? WHERE DID YOU FIND IT?" and such-like questions, abounding. And thereupon she relates the whole story of the discovery; for by the circumstances, such as season of the year, time of the day, condition of the air, and such like, and, especially, the peculiar and never-repeated aspect of the heavens and earth at the time, and the nature of the place of shelter wherein it is found, is determined, or at least indicated, the nature of the child thus discovered. Therefore, at certain seasons, and in certain states of the weather, according, in part, to their own fancy, the young women go out to look for children. They generally avoid seeking them, though they cannot help sometimes finding them, in places and with circumstances uncongenial to their peculiar likings. But no sooner is a child found, than its claim for protection and nurture obliterates all feeling of choice in the matter.
George MacDonald (Phantastes)
It takes me a while to figure out a plan, how to go about this. If she was a normal Dauntless girl and I was a normal Dauntless boy, I would ask her on a date and we would make out by the chasm and I might show off my knowledge of Dauntless headquarters. But that feels too ordinary, after the things we’ve said to each other, after I’ve seen into the darkest parts of her mind.
Maybe that’s the problem--it’s all one-sided right now, because I know her, I know what she’s afraid of and what she loves and what she hates, but all she knows about me is what I’ve told her. And what I’ve told her is so vague as to be negligible, because I have a problem with specificity.
After that I know what to do, it’s just the doing it that’s the problem.
I turn on the computer in the fear landscape room and set it to follow my program. I get two syringes of simulation serum from the storeroom, and put them in the little black box I have for this purpose. Then I set out for the transfer dormitory, not sure how I’ll get her alone long enough to ask her to come with me.
But then I see her with Will and Christina, standing by the railing, and I should call her name and ask her, but I can’t do it. Am I crazy, thinking of letting her into my head? Letting her see Marcus, learn my name, know everything I’ve tried so hard to keep hidden?
I start up the paths of the Pit again, my stomach churning. I reach the lobby, and the city lights are starting to go out all around us. I hear her footsteps on the stairs. She came after me.
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))
And that’s exactly why your ass is pregnant now. You know my mama heard you and Jah in the bedroom before too? She told me that a few weeks ago, but I kept forgetting to tell you,” Shaniqua said laughing. I stopped laughing and my face turned beet red with embarrassment. “Oh my God. That is so fuckin’ embarrassing. When was this? And what did she say?” I asked her, popping off question after question. I hope Mrs. Carter wasn’t mad at me and felt some type of way about me having sex with her son at her house. “Tonia, chill! She wasn’t mad or nothing. In fact, she thought it was funny as hell. She said something about how you were over there one day so that she could teach you how to make a red velvet cake, since that’s Jah’s favorite. I guess he came over, and all of a sudden she said she heard these weird ass noises coming from the bedroom, and that’s when she realized what the hell y’all were in there doing. You got to hear her impersonate you though because the shit was too funny,” Shaniqua said. I guess I had to laugh at it too when I thought about it. I remember that day verbatim and now I understood why Mrs. Carter gave me and Jah the side eye when we had come back inside the kitchen.
Diamond D. Johnson (Little Miami Girl 3: Antonia & Jahiem's Love Story)
I try to crane my neck to see the top of the building from the ground, but all I can see is sky.
“Bet you it’s one of my Dauntless-borns,” she says.
“It’s always a Dauntless-born. No bet.”
They have an unfair advantage, the Dauntless-born. They usually know what’s at the bottom of the jump, though we try to keep it from them as much as possible--the only time we use this entrance to headquarters is on Choosing Day, but the Dauntless are curious, they explore the compound when they think no one is watching. They also grow up cultivating in themselves the desire to make bold moves, to take drastic action, to commit themselves fully to whatever they decide to do. It would take a strange kind of transfer to know how to do that without having been taught.
Then I see her.
Not a black streak like I was expecting, but gray, tumbling through the air. I hear a snap of the net pulling taught around the metal supporters, and it shifts to cradle her. For a second I stare, amazed, at the familiar clothing that she wears. Then I put my hand out, into the net, so she can reach it.
She wraps her fingers around mine, and I pull her across. As she tumbles over the side, I grab her arms to steady her. She’s small, and thin--fragile-looking, like the impact with the net should have shattered her. Her eyes are wide and bright blue.
“Thank you,” she says. She may look fragile, but her voice is steady.
“Can’t believe it,” Lauren says, with more Dauntless swagger than usual. “A Stiff, the first to jump? Unheard of.”
She’s right. It is unheard of. It’s unheard of for a Stiff to join Dauntless, even. There were no Abnegation transfers last year. And before that, for a long time, there was only me.
Veronica Roth (Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #0.1-0.4))
Some have too much noise going on in their world and don’t hear the whisper. Others hear, but the thought dies on the barren ground of their low self-esteem or is suffocated under the avalanche of their fears. Still others rationalize that they have too many problems or situations to face. But some know that they must put everything to one side, and, just do it.
John Mullen (Florencia - An Accidental Story)
On the other side of the tree, a Storyteller sits also resting against the tree trunk. Take a sheet of paper and number from one to five. Tell the Storyteller five things you’d like to hear stories about.
Julia Cameron (The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life)
Life is full of conflicts, disputes, differing perspectives . . . and in all of those, guess whose perspective I hear first? That’s easy: mine. I establish a story line, and I can get angry before I even hear the other side, which is yet another reason to be very suspicious of ourselves.
Brant Hansen (Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better)
Your knuckles hurt from knocking, so now you're slamming the side of your balled up fist on the wood door which rattles dangerously in its frame. You hope the neighbors can't hear as you beat on the door. It’s late, after midnight again, and recently, (you can't recall when) one of the neighbors complained about the noise. She stood outside the door as you lay on the living room floor and joined at the hip. She began yelling profanities through the thin wood. She was sick of listening to you two going at it all the time. You were a couple of “disgusting animals” in her estimation and she was going to call the police if you didn't keep it down from now on. You smile vaguely at the memory while your fist continues to pound the door. You recall how you both started coming simultaneously within only seconds of her banging on the door, how the startling intrusion made the pleasure even more thrilling, forbidden and intense.
Theresa Griffin Kennedy (Talionic Night in Portland: A Love Story)
There are always two or more sides to an issue, so don’t accept any information at face value. Instead, be willing to hear all sides of the story. Take the time to explore both pro and counter–cult sites. Then you can develop your own, informed opinions.
Steven Hassan (Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs)
One day, people I love, came to my life and told me all I did not want to hear about president Bush and his dad, I stopped there, in the uncertainly, without knowing much about them, but forever grateful to be here, in the country and remembering good moments I knew about them. I probably was crazy enough to go in overdrive and stood by their side and i do not regret it, because no matter what others say, the Bush family are one of the most amazing people we have in the country. I invite you to find out for youself, read their books, listen to their stories of life and also the whys behind the choices they made in life.
Was there anything in it?” she asked, not bothering to wipe the tear tracing the rim of her nose. “Our summer here, all those long walks and even longer conversations? When you kissed me that night, did it mean anything to you?”
When he did not answer, she took three paces in his direction. “I know how proud you must be of those enigmatic silences, but I believe I deserve an answer.”
She stood between his icy silence and the heated aura of the fire. Scorched on one side, bitterly cold on the other— like a slice of toast someone had forgotten to turn.
“What sort of answer would you like to hear?”
“An honest one.”
“Are you certain? It’s my experience that young ladies vastly prefer fictions. Little stories, like Portia’s gothic novel.”
“I am as fond of a good tale as anyone,” she replied, “but in this instance, I wish to know the truth.”
“So you say. Let us try an experiment, shall we?” He rose from his chair and sauntered toward her, his expression one of jaded languor. His every movement a negotiation between aristocratic grace and sheer brute strength. Power. He radiated power in every form— physical, intellectual, sensual— and he knew it. He knew that she sensed it. The fire was unbearably warm now. Blistering, really. Sweat beaded at her hairline, but Cecily would not retreat.
“I could tell you,” he said darkly, seductively, “that I kissed you that night because I was desperate with love for you, overcome with passion, and that the color of my ardor has only deepened with time and separation. And that when I lay on a battlefield bleeding my guts out, surrounded by meaningless death and destruction, I remembered that kiss and was able to believe that there was something of innocence and beauty in this world, and it was you.” He took her hand and brought it to his lips. Almost. Warm breath caressed her fingertips. “Do you like that answer?”
She gave a breathless nod. She was a fool; she couldn’t help it.
“You see?” He kissed her fingers. “Young ladies prefer fictions.”
“You are a cad.” Cecily wrenched her hand away and balled it into a fist. “An arrogant, insufferable cad.”
“Yes, yes. Now we come to the truth. Shall I give you an honest answer, then? That I kissed you that night for no other reason than that you looked uncommonly pretty and fresh, and though I doubted my ability to vanquish Napoleon, it was some balm to my pride to conquer you, to feel you tremble under my touch? And that now I return from war, to find everything changed, myself most of all. I scarcely recognize my surroundings, except . . .” He cupped her chin in his hand and lightly framed her jaw between his thumb and forefinger. “Except Cecily Hale still looks at me with stars in her eyes, the same as she ever did. And when I touch her, she still trembles.”
Oh. She was trembling. He swept his thumb across her cheek, and even her hair shivered.
“And suddenly . . .” His voice cracked. Some unrehearsed emotion pitched his dispassionate drawl into a warm, expressive whisper. “Suddenly, I find myself determined to keep this one thing constant in my universe. Forever.”
-Cecily & Luke
Tessa Dare (The Legend of the Werestag)
17There are two sides to every story. The first one to speak sounds true until you hear the other side and they set the record straight.i
Brian Simmons (Proverbs: Wisdom from Above (The Passion Translation))
From behind me came a rattle of brush and then, one of the boars was on me, aiming for my neck. I fell back, and dropped the gun.
I brought my feet up to my chest and prepared to fight for my life.
Then suddenly, there was another growl. But it was a much different sound this time. It was lower than the excited half-squeals of the wild boar and it froze us all. I saw my chance and got to my feet, spotting the gun a few feet away.
As I went for it, I saw him. It was Bandit, my father’s old coonhound. He lurched through the forest, his teeth all fury, showing no fear.
I picked up the gun and ran to him.
Two boars leapt on the dog’s back, their golden eyes now green and focused. Bandit rolled, as he was taught to do.
They fell from his back and the dog was on his feet again, positioned in front of me.
I leveled the gun and aimed. I fired.
The shot was deafening in the still of night and roared up the sides of the hills, echoing through the ravine. The whole herd took off running with Bandit in hot pursuit. I called after him as I ran blindly through the woods, following the loud bawl of the old hound. I was up and over a small hill, into the next ravine. Bandit was getting farther and farther away but I kept on running, trying to keep up. Before I knew it I was in the clearing where I had first started the day, only about 100 yards from the cabin. I could hear my mother’s voice calling for me and I ran to her.
My father was at her side, already putting on his jacket to come and search for me. I hugged my mother and burst out crying, trying to explain what had happened. I could feel my father’s hand on my shoulder, he was telling me to calm down, everything was all right. I looked at him and said, “It was Bandit, Dad. He saved me. He came out of the woods, full speed, he…”
“Bandit?” my father asked. The look on his face was one of confusion and wonder. “David, Bandit’s been dead for two years now, remember? We buried him up past those two hills, by that creek bed in the ravine. It must have been another dog, son.”
I was going to tell him, tell them both, that I saw his face, I knew it was him, but something told me not to. As we all walked into the cabin together, I could hear a wail in the distance, coming from over the hills and down in a small ravine.
Or it could have been the wind.
Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels Among Us: 101 Inspirational Stories of Miracles, Faith, and Answered Prayers)
Spirits that piggyback may not have been connected here in the physical world, but because they are connected to you, they’re connected on the Other Side when preparing for a group reading. I don’t believe a message has to be from just one soul, especially since they’ve shown me that they work really well as a cluster. Spirit can also come forward, recede, and play off each other’s energy. They channel together like old pros. In my largest venue readings, it’s amazing how organized your family’s souls have been! I also believe Spirit will help orchestrate who comes to the readings and sometimes where they sit. You can’t miss how certain types of deaths—which is how I initially validate your loved ones to you—are seated together, which makes piggybacking easier. In one section of a theater, there will be multiple women who’ve lost children, families whose loved ones had Alzheimer’s, or even friends who’ve died from similar freak accidents like a falling object. It sounds wild, because it is. And Spirit’s behind all of it.
What I love most about group readings is that you get to hear so many incredible, compelling messages that you can’t help but feel touched by all of it. I also find that Spirit is a little more fun during group readings, especially during the private, smaller groups. In a room of ten to fifteen people, I can channel anywhere between twenty to forty souls in a two-hour period. But there are so many different, lively, and dynamic personalities around that souls with stronger energy can help those with less to communicate better by letting them use their energy. Sometimes I have souls that channel for an entire hour, and nobody else comes through; other times, a soul might stay for a short time, go away, and then come back and talk a mile a minute! It’s like the soul recharged its batteries.
When a reading is over, I can hardly remember what I’ve said, seen, or felt for too long after, because again, they’re not my feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Unless the message is part of a really mind-blowing or emotionally gripping session, whatever information Spirit sends me isn’t something that’s stuck in my head forever. Know too that you take your dead friends and family with you when you leave a session, show, or my house. For some reason, it’s always the husbands who remind me to take all the Spirits with me, and I’m always like, “Listen, pal, they’re not my Spirits. They’re your dead relatives. They’re staying with you. I got my own problems.
Theresa Caputo (There's More to Life Than This: Healing Messages, Remarkable Stories, and Insight About the Other Side from the Long Island Medium)
When a child says, “I see dead people,” and he or she isn’t quoting from the Bruce Willis movie, hear the kid out. Ditto if the child claims to see a monster, shadow, imaginary friend, or ghost. If they say they’re seeing Spirit or a loved one who’s passed, the best advice is to be open to what they have to say. Don’t make a big deal about it, and ask your questions with subtlety. Don’t cross-examine the poor dears, but let them tell you what’s going on. You want to make sure that what the child’s seeing is real, so you don’t want to lead them on at all. In my family, nobody made a fuss about me talking to Spirit, and that implied support was invaluable. Another big point is to pay attention to your child’s level of fear. Always let sensitive kids know that there’s nothing to be afraid of, and if they’re scared, make it clear that they have the power to tell Spirit to leave.
Theresa Caputo (There's More to Life Than This: Healing Messages, Remarkable Stories, and Insight About the Other Side from the Long Island Medium)
The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) (Johnson, Adam) - Your Highlight on page 112 | Location 2116-2123 | Added on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 9:46:34 PM “Choose the beautiful story, with the bright lights, the one where he can hear us,” she told him. “That’s the true one. Not the scary story, not the sharks.” “But isn’t it more scary to be utterly alone upon the waters, completely cut off from everyone, no friends, no family, no direction, nothing but a radio for solace?” She touched the side of his face. “That’s your story,” she said. “You’re trying to tell me your story, aren’t you?” Jun Do stared at her. “Oh, you poor boy,” she said. “You poor little boy. It doesn’t have to be that way. Come in off the water, things can be different. You don’t need a radio, I’m right here. You don’t have to choose the alone.
Article 10: Whether symbolic logic is superior to Aristotelian logic for philosophizing?
Objection 1 : It seems that it is, for it is a modern development, and would not have become popular if it were not superior. In fact, 99% of all formal logic textbooks in print today use symbolic rather than Aristotelian logic.
Objection 2: It is as superior in efficiency to Aristotelian logic as Arabic numerals to Roman numerals, or a computer to an abacus.
Objection 3: Aristotelian logic presupposes metaphysical and epistemological realism, which are no longer universally accepted. Symbolic logic is ideologically neutral. It is like mathematics not only in efficiency but also in that it carries less “philosophical baggage.”
On the contrary , the authority of common sense is still on the side of Aristotelian rather than symbolic logic. But common sense is the origin, basis, and foundation of all further refinements of reason, including symbolic logic; and a branch should not contradict its trunk, an upper story should not contradict its foundation. All philosophical systems, including symbolic logic, since they are refinements of, begin with, and depend on the validity of common sense, even while they greatly refine and expand this foundation, should not contradict it, as symbolic logic does. (See below.)
I answer that at least two essential principles of symbolic logic contradict common sense: (1) the counter-intuitive “paradox of material implication,” according to which a false proposition materially implies any proposition, false as well as true, including contradictories (see Socratic Logic , pp. 266-369); and (2) the assumption that a particular proposition (like “some elves are evil”) claims more, not less, than a universal proposition (like “all elves are evil'’), since it is assumed to have “existential import” while a universal proposition is assumed to lack it, since symbolic logic assumes the metaphysical position (or “metaphysical baggage”) of Nominalism. See Socratic Logic , pp. 179-81, 262-63 and The Two Logics by Henry Veatch. Furthermore, no one ever actually argues in symbolic logic except professional philosophers. Its use coincides with the sudden decline of interest in philosophy among students. If you believe that is a coincidence, I have a nice timeshare in Florida that I would like to sell to you.
Reply to Objection 1: Popularity is no index of truth. If it were, truth would change, and contradict itself, as popularity changed — including the truth of that statement. And thus it is self-contradictory.
Reply to Objection 2: It is not more efficient in dealing with ordinary language. We never hear people actually argue any of the great philosophical questions in symbolic logic, but we hear a syllogism every few sentences.
Reply to Objection 3: Symbolic logic is not philosophically neutral but presupposes Nominalism, as shown by the references in the “/ answer that ” above.
Peter Kreeft (Summa Philosophica)
We have seen a movement from many deities to two to one. Whether you take that movement to be fact, mythology, or theology, it is the story of how we got to where most (Western) religions are now. And, as I said, it even defines where atheism is at. Have you heard the old joke about the Jewish man who was left on a desert island for years? When a ship found him, they saw two large huts that he had built on a hill. They asked him what they were. He said, "That one's my synagogue." ... And they asked him what the other hut was. He said, "That's the synagogue I don't go to!" (You can change this to churches or any house of worship you like when you tell the joke.) So we hear people say, "Do you believe in God?" But we do not generally hear people say, "Do you believe in the gods?" The religion that atheists don't go to is monotheism--by default. Or, better: by history. ... I have read and heard it said many times that monotheism has done more harm than polytheism. The claim is that monotheism is exclusive--"If my belief is right, then everybody else's belief must be wrong"--so monotheists are more likely than polytheists or atheists to exclude, persecute, and purge others. We can admit there is some logic to that claim, but still the evidence of history goes both ways. Polytheists and atheist nations and empires have done their share of atrocities. I would not want to take a side in a depressing debate over which has done more horrible things. My task here has not been to argue that monotheism is higher or lower than other ideas. It has just been to track how it came about and to recognize that it succeeded. Monotheism won. One won.
Richard Elliott Friedman (The Exodus)
“Can I tell you something and will you promise not to get mad or make me feel bad or irresponsible or reckless?”
“What?” She sat up resting on her elbow, giving him a scrunched-face expression. “I’m having my period.”
He shrugged. “I wasn’t convinced if that’s what it was for sure since a few days ago you accused me of trying to ‘break your vagina.’”
She jabbed him in the side with her fist. He chuckled.
“It’s not funny. A few times I wondered if you were going to rip me straight up the middle in two. You’ve been weird … even kind of angry. That’s it … it’s felt like angry sex. Not even sex at times, more like just effing.”
“Yes, fucking,” she whispered.
He roared a big laugh that only turned her face true crimson. “Why…” he tried to catch his breath through his laughter “…are you whispering? Are you worried about Gunner hearing you or God? Because I’m quite certain that dog has already told me to back the fuck away from you in more than one language, and I know you haven’t been to church in a while, but as far as I know, God can still read minds.”
“Well excuse me, Mr. Vulgar, I didn’t grow up using explicit language, and I had a baby before I had a chance to sow any wild oats and making a habit of using the F-word as an adjective and adverb to every single word in the English language. Don’t people realize it starts to lose its effect after a while? It’s like putting an explanation point at the end of every sentence.
‘I’m going to wake the F up tomorrow and roll the F out of my effing bed, and take an effing hot shower before I effing eat an effing bowl of cereal. Then I’m going to get the F going to my first effing job, then meet my effing amazing boyfriend for an effing good lunch, and then if I’m done with my effing period we might F a few times until we’re effing exhausted.’”
Jackson’s body vibrated with laughter. “Am I the ‘effing amazing boyfriend’ in your little story?”
Ryn kissed along his chest, following the lines of ink. “Maybe.”
“Maybe, huh? I can work with that. So before you went off on your effing tangent, what were you going to tell me?
Jewel E. Ann (Middle of Knight (Jack & Jill, #2))
“Are you well?” She was angry. If the straight-to-voicemail treatment for the last week hadn’t tipped me off, her tone now was a dead giveaway.
“I’m great,” I lied. “And how are you?”
I laughed, silently. If she heard me laugh, she’d have my balls.
“Did you get my messages?”
“Yes. Thank you for calling.”
I waited for a minute, for her to say more. She didn’t.
“I leave you twenty-one messages, three calls a day, and that’s all you got for me?”
“I’m not going to apologize for needing some time to cool off and I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Who do you think I am? Willy Wonka? You missed my birthday.” She sniffed. And these weren’t crocodile tears either. I’d hurt her feelings.
Ahh, there it is. The acrid taste of guilt.
“Ma . . .”
“I don’t ask for a lot. I love you. I love my children. I want you to call me on my birthday.”
“I know.” I was clutching my chest so my heart didn’t fall out and bleed all over the grass.
“What could have been so important that you couldn’t spare a few minutes for your mother? I was so worried.”
“I did call you—”
“Don’t shit on a plate and tell me it’s fudge, Daniel. You called after midnight.”
I hadn’t come up with a plausible lie for why I hadn’t called on her birthday, because I wasn’t a liar. I hated lying. Premeditated lying, coming up with a story ahead of time, crafting it, was Seamus’s game. If I absolutely had to lie, I subscribed to spur-of-the-moment lying; it made me less of a soulless maggot.
“That’s true, Ma. But I swear I—”
“Don’t you fucking swear, Daniel. Don’t you fucking do that. I raised you kids better.”
“What was so important, huh?” She heaved a watery sigh. “I thought you were in a ditch, dying somewhere. I had Father Matthew on standby to give you your last rights. Was your phone broken?”
“Did you forget?” Her voice broke on the last word and it was like being stabbed. The worst.
“No, I sw—ah, I mean, I didn’t forget.” Lie. Lying lie. Lying liar.
I grimaced, shutting my eyes, taking a deep breath and said, “I’m married.”
Complete fucking silence.
I thought maybe she wasn’t even breathing.
Meanwhile, in my brain:
. . . However.
However, on the other hand, I was married. I am married. Not a lie.
Yeah, we hadn’t had the ceremony yet, but the paperwork was filed, and legally speaking, Kat and I were married.
I listened as my mom took a breath, said nothing, and then took another. “Are you pulling my leg with this?” On the plus side, she didn’t sound sad anymore.
“No, no. I promise. I’m married. I—uh—was getting married.”
“Wait a minute, you got married on my birthday?”
Uh . . .
“Uh . . .”
“No. We didn’t get married on your birthday.” Shit. Fuck. “We’ve been married for a month, and Kat had an emergency on Wednesday.” Technically, not lies.
“That’s her name? Cat?”
“Kathleen. Her name is Kathleen.”
“Like your great aunt Kathleen?”
Kat wasn’t a thing like my great aunt. “Yeah, the name is spelled the same.”
“Last month? You got married last month?” She sounded bewildered, like she was having trouble keeping up. “Is she—is she Irish?”
“Oh. That’s okay. Catholic?”
Oh jeez, I really hadn’t thought this through. Maybe it was time for me to reconsider my spur-of-the-moment approach to lying and just surrender to being a soulless maggot.
“No. She’s not Catholic.”
“Oh.” My mom didn’t sound disappointed, just a little surprised and maybe a little worried. “Daniel, I—you were married last month and I’m only hearing about it now? How long have you known this woman?”
I winced. “Two and a half years.”
“Two and a half years?” she screeched...
Penny Reid (Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City, #7))
I blurt out my story, how I had hired Nicola to be the maîtress d'hôtel at our restaurant, Grappa, when I was seven months pregnant. How I suspected Jake and Nicola had begun having an affair when Chloe was just hours old; and how one night, when Chloe woke up and Jake still wasn't home at two-thirty in the morning, I bundled her up and strapped her into the portable infant carrier, walked the three blocks to the restaurant, and snuck in the side door.
The door was locked, but the alarm wasn't on, the first odd thing, because Jake always locks up and sets the alarm before leaving the restaurant. Chloe had fallen back to sleep in her infant seat on the way over, so I carefully nestled the carrier into one of the leather banquettes.
I crept through the dining room and into the darkened kitchen, where I could see the office at the far end was aglow with candlelight. As I moved closer I could hear music. "Nessun dorma," from Turandot, Jake's favorite. How fitting. On the marble pastry station I found an open bottle of wine and two empty glasses. It was, to add insult to what was about to be serious injury, a 1999 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Masseto Toscano- the most expensive wine in our cellar. Three hundred and eighty dollar foreplay.
I picked up the bottle and followed the trail of clothes to the office. Jake's checkered chef's pants and tunic, Nicola's slinky black dress, which I hated her for being able to wear, and a Victoria's Secret lacy, black bra. They were on the leather couch, Nicola on top, her wild, black hair spilling over Jake's chest, humping away like wild dogs. Carried away by their passion, they were oblivious to my approach. I drained the last of the wine from the bottle and hurled it over their backsides where it smashed against the wall, announcing my arrival.
Before Jake could completely extricate himself, I jumped on Nicola's back and grabbed hold of her hair and pulled with all the strength of my hot-blooded Mediterranean ancestors. Nicola screamed, and clawed the air, her flailing hands accidentally swiping Jake squarely on the chin. He squirmed out from under her and tried to tackle me, but I'm not a small woman. Armed with my humiliation and anger, I was a force in motion.
In desperation, Jake butted his head into the middle of my back, wrapped his hands around my waist, and pulled with all his might. He succeeded, pulling so hard that Nicola's hair, which I had resolutely refused to yield, came away in great clumps in my hands. Nicola's screams turned to pathetic whimpers as she reached to cover her burning scalp. She then curled herself into a fetal position, naked and bleeding, and began to keen.
Meredith Mileti (Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses)
The Hardys led Mr. Worth up a side street. They stopped at a wide, steamy window bearing the lettering: CHARLIE’S CLAM HOUSE “I hear the food’s good,” Joe remarked, and the trio entered the restaurant. It was a typical waterfront eating place, with sawdust on the floor. The place was crowded with diners, despite the late hour. In one corner sat a group of well-dressed people who, like the Hardys, had just left a farewell party on board the liner. But most of the customers were rough-looking men of the waterfront district. The noise of lively conversations and the odor of frying fish filled the air. Frank, Joe, and Bart Worth seated themselves at a plain wooden table in the middle of the room. As soon as the waiter had taken a dinner order for Mr. Worth and sandwiches for the Hardys, the Southerner began his story.
Franklin W. Dixon (The Hidden Harbor Mystery (Hardy Boys, #14))
His son wanted to be a firefighter, but didn't get the job. Mr. Neck is convinced that this is some kind of reverse discrimination. He says we should close our borders so that real Americans can get the jobs they deserve. The job test said that I would be a good fire fighter. I wonder if I could take a job away from Mr. Neck's son.
Mr. Neck writes on the board again: "DEBATE: America should have closed her borders in 1900." That strikes a nerve. Several nerves. I can see kids counting backward on their fingers, trying to figure out when their grandparents or great-grandparents were born, when they came to America, if they would have made the Neck Cut. When they figure out they would have been stuck in a country that hated them, or a place with no schools, or a place with no future, their hands shoot up. They beg to differ with Mr. Neck's learned opinion.
The arguments jump back and forth across the room. A few suck-ups quickly figure out which side Mr. Neck is squatting on, so they fight to throw out the 'foreigners.' Anyone whose family immigrated in the last century has a story to tell about how hard their relatives have worked, the contributions they make to the country, the taxes they pay. A member of the Archery Club tries to say that we are all foreigners and we should give the country back to the Native Americans, but she's buried under disagreement. Mr. Neck enjoys the noise, until one kid challenges him directly.
Brave Kid: "Maybe your son didn't get that job because he's not good enough. Or he's lazy. Or the other guy was better than him, no matter what his skin color. I think the white people who have been here for two hundred years are the ones pulling down the country. They don't know how to work - they've had it too easy."
The pro-immigration forces erupt in applause and hooting.
Mr. Neck: "You watch your mouth, mister. You are talking about my son. I don't want to hear any more from you. That's enough debate - get your books out.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
The Lokasenna (Loki's taunts):
Njorth, you were sent from the west
as a hostage for the gods.
The daughters of Hymir
used your mouth as a urinal,
and you’ve tasted plenty of piss.
Freyja, you are a witch,
and have dealt out many curses.
I hear the gods found you
lying with your brother,
and that you farted then.
or don’t you know your own wife
had a son by me?
You poor fool,
I’ll never pay you a penny
in compensation for that.
“Sif, I alone know
how you were unfaithful
to your husband Thor—
and I was the one you slept with.
And you, Odin, you always judge battles
unfairly for humans.
You have often given
defeat to the better side,
when you shouldn’t have.
And Odin said:
“Even if I did judge unfairly,
and made the better side lose,
I know that you,
for eight years,
lived on the earth down below
as a cow in milk, and as a woman,
and you’ve given birth to children—
I call that a pervert’s way of living!
Jackson Crawford (The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes)