Heart And Lungs Quotes

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What is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Do you like me?” No answer. Silence bounced, fell off his tongue and sat between us and clogged my throat. It slaughtered my trust. It tore cigarettes out of my mouth. We exchanged blind words, and I did not cry, I did not beg, but blackness filled my ears, blackness lunged in my heart, and something that had been good, a sort of kindly oxygen, turned into a gas oven.
Anne Sexton
We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we begin as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
I used many times to touch my own chest and feel, under its asthmatic quiver, the engine of the heart and lungs and blood and feel amazed at what I sensed was the enormity of the power I possessed. Not magical power, but real power. The power simply to go on, the power to endure, that is power enough, but I felt I had also the power to create, to add, to delight, to amaze and to transform.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir #1))
Do not hold your breath for anyone, Do not wish your lungs to be still, It may delay the cracks from spreading, But eventually they will. Sometimes to keep yourself together You must allow yourself to leave, Even if breaking your own heart Is what it takes to let you breathe.
Erin Hanson
Unfortunately, the coughing drew her attention. "Are you dying or something?" she asked, affecting a perfect sneer as I shook my head. "Well, hacking up a lung out in public isn't all that attractive--just sayin'." My face flamed, but then Benji leaned up and spoke around me. "Um, giving half the class an exhaustive summary every Monday morning--in lurid detail--of how much of an alcoholic skank you are? Isn't all that attractive either. Just sayin'.
Tammara Webber (Easy (Contours of the Heart, #1))
You think that because I am unwanted, because I am neglected and-and discarded-" My voice inches higher with every word, the unrestrained emotions suddenly screaming through my lungs. "You think I don't have a heart? You think I don't feel? You think that because I can inflict pain, that I should? You're just like everyone else. You think I'm a monster just like everyone else. You don't understand me at all.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1))
They lay there for a few seconds, in the dark, in the future, listening to the fabulous clockwork of their hearts and lungs, and loving each other
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
Funny thing, your brain, how it always functions on one level or another. How, even stuck in some sort of subconcious limbo, it works your lungs, your muscle twitches, your heart, in fact, in symphony with your heart, allowing it to feel love. Pain. Jealousy. Guilt. I wonder if it’s the same for people, lost in comas. Is there really such a thing
Ellen Hopkins (Crank (Crank, #1))
How she still thought of Max every day and it was like someone had emptied her lungs of air, and she would catch at her heart, afraid she was dying.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
It’s the leftover humans. The survivors. They’re the ones I can’t stand to look at, although on many occasions I still fail. I deliberately seek out the colors to keep my mind off them, but now and then, I witness the ones who are left behind, crumbling among the jigsaw puzzle of realization, despair, and surprises. They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs. Which in turn brings me to the subject I am telling you about tonight, or today, or whatever the hour and color. It’s the story of one of those perpetual survivors –an expert at being left behind.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
And I do. I do wonder, I think about it all the time. What it would be like to kill myself. Because I never really know, I still can't tell the difference, I'm never quite certain whether or not I'm actually alive. I sit here every single day. Run, I said to myself. Run until your lungs collapse, until the wind whips and snaps at your tattered clothes, until you're a blur that blends into the background. Run, Juliette, run faster, run until your bones break and your shins split and your muscles atrophy and your heart dies because it was always too big for your chest and it beat too fast for too long and you run. Run run run until you can't hear their feet behind you. Run until they drop their fists and their shouts dissolve in the air. Run with your eyes open and your mouth shut and dam the river rushing up behind your eyes. Run, Juliette. Run until you drop dead. Make sure your heart stops before they ever reach you. Before they ever touch you. Run, I said.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
Unconditional love. That's what this is. I love him, as is, fully. I've had to stop arm wrestling with the facts. Why me? Didn't I already have a big love once? And lost it? So why should I get it again? I've had to stop trying to look for cracks and flaws to prove that it's not as good as it seems. Because it's as good as it seems. Even when we fight, we fight inside the container of good. Somehow, through a flip of the coin, I ended up here. Feeling like somebody at the top of the heart-lung transplant recipient list. Damaged but invigorated and fucking lucky.
Augusten Burroughs (Magical Thinking: True Stories)
Jealousy is a horrible thing. The pain of it is almost as consuming as heartbreak, and I would know because I was feeling both at the same time. I felt like someone had ripped open my chest with their bare hands, removed my heart and lungs, and replaced them with a bunch of rocks and stones.
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
We're all one thing, like cells in a body. 'Cept we can't see the body. The way fish can't see the ocean. And so we envy each other. Hurt each other. Hate each other. How silly is that? A heart cell hating a lung cell.
Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation.: The Shooting Script)
My dear, dear girl [. . .] we can't turn back the days that have gone. We can't turn life back to the hours when our lungs were sound, our blood hot, our bodies young. We are a flash of fire--a brain, a heart, a spirit. And we are three-cents-worth of lime and iron--which we cannot get back.
Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward, Angel)
My only grudge against nature was that I could not turn my Lolita inside out and apply voracious lips to her young matrix, her unknown heart, her nacreous liver, the sea-grapes of her lungs, her comely twin kidneys.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
You’re the beat to my heart, the oxygen in my lungs, and the whisper to my soul,” Murdock recited as he stared Heaven in his eyes.
Lynn Hagen
Sex and laughter. The heart and lungs of a relationship.
Rosamund Lupton (Sister)
I often have the fantasy that curly girls are mermaids who have had to adapt to life on dry land. We come from the sea. The ocean is in our blood. It sings through our heart and lungs, our skin and hair. Our curls require the nourishment only a watery environment can provide. Both ocean waves and curly hair are forces of nature that can't be tamed. We can only accept and admire their power and beauty.
Lorraine Massey (Curly Girl)
Does it hurt?' I nodded. 'You know Sekou Sundiata, in a poem, he said the most important part of the body 'ain't the heart or the lungs or the brain. The biggest, most important part of the body is the part that hurts.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
The uncertainty of my own experience is crushing. I am drowning in an infinite sea. Sinking slowly, the weight of the lightless depths forcing me down, forcing the air from my lungs, squeezing the blood from my heart.
Rick Yancey (The Infinite Sea (The 5th Wave, #2))
I am as silent as death. Do this: Go to your bedroom. Your nice, safe, warm bedroom that is not a glass coffin behind a morgue door. Lie down on your bed not made of ice. Stick your fingers in your ears. Do you hear that? The pulse of life from your heart, the slow in-and-out from your lungs? Even when you are silent, even when you block out all noise, your body is still a cacophony of life. Mine is not. It is the silence that drives me mad. The silence that drives the nightmares to me. Because what if I am dead?
Beth Revis (Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1))
I needed Clay as much as he needed me. We existed in this symbiotic relationship where our hearts beat and our lungs breathed only for each other.
A. Meredith Walters (Find You in the Dark (Find You in the Dark, #1))
His heart slowed, winding down like a music box, a season at its end. The last air left Holland's lungs. And then, at last, the world breathed in.
V.E. Schwab (A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3))
Except fang. I glared at him. "Go on, try to stop me, I dare you." It was like the old days when we used to wrestle, each trying to get the better of the other. I was ready to take him down, my hands curled into fist. "I was just going to say be careful," Fang told me. He stepped closer and brushed some hair out of my eyes. "And I've got your back." He motioned with his head toward the torpedo chamber. Oh my God. It hit me like a tsunami then, how perfect he was for me, how no one else would ever, could ever, be so perfect for me, how he was everything I could possibly hope for, as a friend, boyfriend, maybe even more. He was it for me. There would be no more looking. I really, really loved him, with a whole new kind of love I'd never felt before, something that made every other kind of love I'd ever felt feel washed out and wimpy in comparison. I loved him with every cell in my body, every thought in my head, every feather in my wings, every breathe in my lungs. and air sacs. Too bad I was going out to face almost certain death. Right there in front of everyone, I threw my arms around his neck and smashed my mouth against his. He was startled for a second, then his strong arms wrapped around me so tightly I could hardly breathe. "ZOMG," I heard Nudge whisper, but still fang and I kissed slanting our heads this way and that to get closer. I could have stood there and kissed him happily for the next millennium, but Angel, or what was left of her was still out there in the could dark ocean. Reluctantly, I ended the kiss, took a step back. Fang's obsidian eyes were glittering brightly and his stoic face had a look of wonder on it."Gotta go," I said quietly. A half smile quirked his mouth. "Yeah. Hurry back." I nodded and he stepped out of the air lock chamber, keeping his eyes fixed on me, memorizing me as he hit the switch that sealed the chamber. The doors hissed shut with a kind of finality, and I realized that my heart was beating so hard it felt like it was going to start snapping ribs. I was scared. I was crazily, deeply, incredibly, joyously, terrifyingly in love. I was on a death mission. Before my head simply exploded from so much emotion, I hit the large button that pressurized the air lock enough for the doors to open to the ocean outside. I really, really hoped that I would prove somewhat uncrushable, like Angel did. The door cracked open below me and I saw the first dark glint of frigid water.
James Patterson (Maximum Ride Five-Book Set)
The brittle bones beneath my chest cracked, piercing my heart. It was you who breathed new life into my lungs and it was you who would later syphon the life you had given so as to feed your selfish desires
Sonya Watson (The Tide Breaker)
In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don't love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I'm talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. and all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver--love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Perhaps he was afraid as I was that we'd be caught. Or perhaps he was breathing me in just as I was letting him come into my lungs, my eyes, my heart.
Lisa See (Peony in Love)
You're my lifeline," he whispers and kisses my knuckles before pressing my palm against his. With his eyes wide and full of fear, he gently tugs my hand and places it on his chest over his heart- in the forbidden zone. His breathing quickens, his heart is beating a frantic pounding tattoo beneath my fingers. He doesn't take his eyes off mine; his jaw tense, his teeth clenched. I gasp. Oh my Fifty! He's letting me touch him. And it's like all the air in my lungs has vaporized- gone.
E.L. James
Love hasn't got anything to do with the heart, the heart's a disgusting organ, a sort of pump full of blood. Love is primarily concerned with the lungs. People shouldn't say "she's broken my heart" but "she's stifled my lungs." Lungs are the most romantic organs: lovers and artists always contract tuberculosis. It's not a coincidence that Chekhov, Kafka, D.H. Lawrence, Chopin, George Orwell and St Thérèse of Lisieux all died of it; as for Camus, Moravia, Boudard and Katherine Mansfield, would they have written the same books if it werent for TB?
Frédéric Beigbeder (99 francs)
With fire in my lungs forgiveness in my head and desire in my heart.
Sarah Tregay (Love and Leftovers)
Xhex: John, she said softty. He paused and looked over his shoulder toward the bed. I love you.” His handsome face tightened in pain, and he rubbed the middle of his chest, as if someone had fisted up his heart and squeezed it dead. And then he turned away. As she hit the confines of her prison… She was screaming at the top of her lungs.
J.R. Ward (Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8))
Where's your boyfriend, District 12? Still hanging on?" She asks. Well, as long as we're talking I'm alive. "He's out there now. Hunting Cato," I snarl at her. Then I scream at the top of my lungs. "Peeta!" Clove jams her fist into my windpipe, very effectively cutting off my voice. But her head's whipping from side to side, and I know for a moment she's at least considering I'm telling the truth. Since no Peeta appears to save me, she turns back to me. "Liar," she says with a grin. "He's nearly dead. Cato knows where he cut him. You've probably got him strapped up in some tree while you try to keep his heart going. What's in the pretty little backpack? That medicine for Lover Boy? Too bad he'll never get it.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
I still love you like moons love the planets they circle around, like children love recess bells. I still hear the sound of you and think of playgrounds where outcasts who stutter beneath braces and bruises and acne are finally learning that their rich handsome bullies are never gonna grow up to be happy. I think of happy when I think of you. So wherever you are I hope you’re happy, I really do. I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking I hope your lungs are open and breathing this life I hope there’s a kite in your hand that’s flying all the way up to Orion and you still got a thousand yards of string to let out. I hope you’re smiling like God is pulling at the corners of your mouth, ‘cause I might be naked and lonely shaking branches for bones but I’m still time zones away from who I was the day before we met. You were the first mile where my heart broke a sweat, and I wish you were here; I wish you’d never left; but mostly I wish you well. I wish you my very, very best
Andrea Gibson
Ky, my heart...it beats for you. My lungs, they breathe for you. My soul..." Ky's eyes filled with emotion as I spoke. "What sweet cheeks? Tell me," he asked, a hint of desperation in his voice. "My soul...belongs to you. You saved me, baby. You wanted me for the me inside. Even looking like this, you make me believe I am enough.
Tillie Cole (Heart Recaptured (Hades Hangmen, #2))
On my license, it says I'm an organ donor, but the truth is I'd consider being an organ martyr. I'm sure I'm worth a lot more dead than alive - the sum of the parts equal more than the whole. I wonder who might wind up walking around with my liver, my lungs, even my eyeballs. I wonder what poor asshole would get stuck with whatever it is in me that passes for a heart.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
Words are the bones. Writing is the lungs. Reading is like breathing.
T.L. Crain
Something’s happening to me, through me, something dangerous and new. It’s taken root, a poison tree; it’s grown, fanning out, vines winding round my gut, my lungs, my heart.
A.J. Finn (The Woman in the Window)
i swore i could feel my lies slithering inside me like snakes, wrapping themselves around me and constricting. i felt they were squeezing the air from my lungs, tightening around my heart.
Alexandra Adornetto (Halo (Halo, #1))
I realized that the good stories were affecting the organs of my body in various ways, and the really good ones were stimulating more than one organ. An effective story grabs your gut, tightens your throat, makes your heart race and your lungs pump, brings tears to your eyes or an explosion of laughter to your lips.
Christopher Vogler (The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers)
I'm dying. I am dying. I have finally achieved what I set out to do. My heart is splitting open and I breathe in but no air gets into my lungs.
Courtney Summers (This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test, #1))
...clutching the Book to his chest, under his crossed arms, as if trying to press it into his ribs, until his lungs filled with letters and his heart became a pulsing paragraph.
Traci Chee (The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold, #1))
But I have long loved the written word, and come to see in it the power of the sleeping lion. This is my name. This is who I am. This is how I got here. In the absence of an audience, I will write down my story so that it waits like a restful beast with lungs breathing and heart beating.
Lawrence Hill (Someone Knows My Name)
I will go directly to her home, ring the bell, and walk in. Here I am, take me-or stab me to death. Stab the heart, stab the brains, stab the lungs, the kidneys, the viscera, the eyes, the ears. If only one organ be left alive you are doomed-doomed to be mine, forever, in this world and the next and all the worlds to come. I'm a desperado of love, a scalper, a slayer. I'm insatiable. I eat hair, dirty wax, dry blood clots, anything and everything you call yours. Show me your father, with his kites, his race horses, his free passes for the opera: I will eat them all, swallow them alive. Where is the chair you sit in, where is your favorite comb, your toothbrush, your nail file? Trot them out that I may devour them at one gulp. You have a sister more beautiful than yourself, you say. Show her to me-I want to lick the flesh from her bones.
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
I steal into their dreams," he said. "I steal into their most shameful thoughts, I'm in every shiver, every spasm of their souls, I steal into their hearts, I scrutinize their most fundamental beliefs, I scan their irrational impulses, their unspeakable emotions, I sleep in their lungs during the summer and their muscles during the winter, and all of this I do without the least effort, without intending to, without asking or seeking it out, without constraints, driven only by love and devotion.
Roberto Bolaño (2666)
Libraries are lungs, [...] books the fresh air breathed in to keep the heart beating, to keep the brain imagining, to keep hope alive.
Janet Skeslien Charles (The Paris Library)
...eventually tides will be the only calendar you believe in… And someone’s face, whom you love, will be as a star Both intimate and ultimate, And you will be heart-shaken and respectful. And you will hear the air itself, like a beloved, whisper Oh let me, for a while longer, enter the two Beautiful bodies of your lungs... Look, and look again. This world is not just a little thrill for your eyes. It’s more than bones. It’s more than the delicate wrist with its personal pulse. It’s more than the beating of a single heart. It’s praising. It’s giving until the giving feels like receiving. You have a life- just imagine that! You have this day, and maybe another, and maybe Still another… And I have become the child of the clouds, and of hope. I have become the friend of the enemy, whoever that is. I have become older and, cherishing what I have learned, I have become younger. And what do I risk to tell you this, which is all I know? Love yourself. Then forget it. Then, love the world.
Mary Oliver (Evidence: Poems)
For Jenn At 12 years old I started bleeding with the moon and beating up boys who dreamed of becoming astronauts. I fought with my knuckles white as stars, and left bruises the shape of Salem. There are things we know by heart, and things we don't. At 13 my friend Jen tried to teach me how to blow rings of smoke. I'd watch the nicotine rising from her lips like halos, but I could never make dying beautiful. The sky didn't fill with colors the night I convinced myself veins are kite strings you can only cut free. I suppose I love this life, in spite of my clenched fist. I open my palm and my lifelines look like branches from an Aspen tree, and there are songbirds perched on the tips of my fingers, and I wonder if Beethoven held his breath the first time his fingers touched the keys the same way a soldier holds his breath the first time his finger clicks the trigger. We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe. But my lungs remember the day my mother took my hand and placed it on her belly and told me the symphony beneath was my baby sister's heartbeat. And I knew life would tremble like the first tear on a prison guard's hardened cheek, like a prayer on a dying man's lips, like a vet holding a full bottle of whisky like an empty gun in a war zone… just take me just take me Sometimes the scales themselves weigh far too much, the heaviness of forever balancing blue sky with red blood. We were all born on days when too many people died in terrible ways, but you still have to call it a birthday. You still have to fall for the prettiest girl on the playground at recess and hope she knows you can hit a baseball further than any boy in the whole third grade and I've been running for home through the windpipe of a man who sings while his hands playing washboard with a spoon on a street corner in New Orleans where every boarded up window is still painted with the words We're Coming Back like a promise to the ocean that we will always keep moving towards the music, the way Basquait slept in a cardboard box to be closer to the rain. Beauty, catch me on your tongue. Thunder, clap us open. The pupils in our eyes were not born to hide beneath their desks. Tonight lay us down to rest in the Arizona desert, then wake us washing the feet of pregnant women who climbed across the border with their bellies aimed towards the sun. I know a thousand things louder than a soldier's gun. I know the heartbeat of his mother. Don't cover your ears, Love. Don't cover your ears, Life. There is a boy writing poems in Central Park and as he writes he moves and his bones become the bars of Mandela's jail cell stretching apart, and there are men playing chess in the December cold who can't tell if the breath rising from the board is their opponents or their own, and there's a woman on the stairwell of the subway swearing she can hear Niagara Falls from her rooftop in Brooklyn, and I'm remembering how Niagara Falls is a city overrun with strip malls and traffic and vendors and one incredibly brave river that makes it all worth it. Ya'll, I know this world is far from perfect. I am not the type to mistake a streetlight for the moon. I know our wounds are deep as the Atlantic. But every ocean has a shoreline and every shoreline has a tide that is constantly returning to wake the songbirds in our hands, to wake the music in our bones, to place one fearless kiss on the mouth of that brave river that has to run through the center of our hearts to find its way home.
Andrea Gibson
Love is when you lost a part of yourself because of an other person who captivates you. You loose a part of yourself but you get an other one.. the one the person offers to you. Love makes you weak but strong at the same time. Happy and melancholic. It puts you in a separate world and makes you feel invicible and so vulnerable at the same time. Love is life. Love brings the air in your lungs, puts the smile on your face, a scar on your heart and a soul in your body.
Margot
A fierce hand gripped my chest, squeezing my lungs. No. it wasn't my lungs. It was my heart. It was breaking. Wasn't I stronger than this?
Anna Sheehan (A Long, Long Sleep (UniCorp #1))
I only know that you are the breath in my lungs, the beat of my heart, the ache in my soul, and without you, I am empty.
Rachel Gibson (Simply Irresistible (Chinooks Hockey Team, #1))
You're leaving, "she said, rising to her feet. "I knew it was coming." "How?" "I'm your mother. You're the breath of my lungs and the beat of my heart. I know you very well.
Lisa See (China Dolls)
Air goes in and out of my nose, throat, lungs, blood, heart brain - and so I am
Matthew Quick (Sorta Like a Rock Star)
The walk felt long, but I kept telling my lungs to shut up, that they were strong, that they could do this. I could see him as I approached: His hair was parted neatly on the left side in a way that he would have found absolutely horrifying, and his face was plasticized. But he was still Gus. My lanky, beautiful Gus.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
It took me many years to realize that it’s hard to live in this world. I don’t mean the mechanics of living, because for most of us, our hearts will beat, our lungs will take in oxygen, without us doing anything at all to tell them to. For most of us, mechanically, physically, it’s harder to die than it is to live. But still we try to die. We drive too fast down winding roads, we have sex with strangers without wearing protection, we drink, we use drugs. We try to squeeze a little more life out of our lives. It’s natural to want to do that. But to be alive in the world, every day, as we are given more and more and more, as the nature of “what we can handle” changes and our methods for how we handle it change, too, that’s something of a miracle.
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
Anxiety felt like a grapnel anchor had been pickaxed into your back, one prong in each lung, one through the heart, one through the spine, the weight curving your posture forward, dragging you down to the murky depths of the sea floor. The good news was that you kind of got used to it after a while. Got used to the gasping, brink-of-heart-attack feeling that followed you everywhere. All you had to do was grab one of the prongs that stuck out from the bottom of your sternum, give it a little shake, and say, “Listen, asshole. We’re not dying. We have shit to do.
Krystal Sutherland (A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares)
When her blue-black eyes lifted to his, everything disappeared. Their bodies dematerialized. The room they were in ceased to exist. Time became nothing. And in the void, in the wormhold, Wrath's chest opened up sure as if he'd been shot, a piercing pain licking over his nerve endings. He knew then that there are many ways for a heart to break. Sometimes it's from the crowding of life, the compression of responsibility and birthright and burden that just squeezed you until you couldn't breathe anymore. Even though your lungs were working just fine. And sometimes it's from the casual cruelty of a fate that took you far from where you had thought you would end up. And sometimes it's age in the face of youth. Or sickness in the face of health. But sometimes it's just because you're looking into the eyes of your lover, and your gratitude for having them in your life overflows...because you showed them what was on the inside and they didn't run scared or turn away: they accepted you and loved you and held you in the midst of your passion or your fear...or your combination of both. Wrath closed his eyes and focused on the soft pulls at his wrist. God, they were just like the beat of his heart. Which made sense. Because she was the center of his chest. And the center of his world.
J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5))
In the absence of an audience, I will write down my story so that it waits like a restful beast with lungs breathing and heart beating.
Lawrence Hill (The Book of Negroes)
sex and humor are the heart and lungs of a good relationship
Rosamund Lupton (Sister)
When he sleeps, the snoring does not bother me: the rhythmic growl, gravel shoved across the sidewalk of his throat. It is the grasping, desperate way in which he takes in air—his gulping lungs as if every dream is filled with water and he is trying to inflate the life jacket under his skin. I babble in my sleep. He believes I am trying to tell him how my heart works, says he will translate the manual one day. I want to ask him: am I the ocean? Are you drowning in everything I don’t say when I’m awake?” —Heart Apnea
Sierra DeMulder (The Bones Below: Poems by Sierra Demulder)
What would happen if you went outside?” “My head would explode. Or my lungs. Or my heart.” “How can you joke…?” I shrug. “How can I not? Besides, I try not to want things I can’t have.
Nicola Yoon (Everything, Everything)
Victor: What does it feel like to be in love? Creature: It feels like everything is boiling over and spilling out of me; it feels like my lungs are on fire, and my heart is a hammer, and I feel like I can do anything...I feel like I can do anything in the world...
Nick Dear (Frankenstein, Based on the Novel by Mary Shelley)
I was mistaken when I said you live in my heart. How absurd I was when you live in my fingertips so that everything I touch is you. How foolish I was when you live in my toes so that everywhere I go there's you. How senseless of me to say you live in my heart when you breathe in my lungs, walk on my mind, and drink in my mouth. I came to pen another poem for you, but even every unwritten poem is you.
Kamand Kojouri
I’m still in love with you,” he repeated walking closer to me. “I’ve tried to stop it. I tried to ignore it. I tried to wish it away, but it won’t leave. Whenever you’re near me, I want you closer. Whenever you laugh, I want the sound to never fade. Whenever you’re sad, I want to kiss your tears away. I know all of the reasons that I shouldn’t want to be with you. I know that I can never be forgiven for what happened all those years ago, but I also know that I still love you. You’re still the fire that keeps me warm when life becomes cold. You’re still the voice that keeps the darkness at bay. You’re still the reason my heart beats. You’re still the air in my lungs. You’re still my greatest high. And I am still truly, madly, painfully in love with you. And I don’t think I’ll ever know how to stop.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Fire Between High & Lo (Elements, #2))
I am as silent as death. Do this: Go to your bedroom. Your nice, safe, warm bedroom that is not a glass coffin behind a morgue door. Lie down on your bed not made of ice. Stick your fingers in your ears. Do you hear that? The pulse of life from your heart, the slow in-and-out from your lungs? Even when you are silent, even when you block out all noise, your body is still a cacophony of life. Mine is not. It is the silence that drives me mad. The silence that drives the nightmares to me. Because what if I am dead? How can someone without a beating heart, without breathing lungs live like I do? I must be dead. And this is my greatest fear: After 301 years, when they pull my glass coffin from this morgue, and they let my body thaw like chicken meat on the kitchen counter, I will be just like I am now. I will spend all of eternity trapped in my dead body. There is nothing beyond this. I will be locked within myself forever. And I want to scream. I want to throw open my eyes wake up and not be alone with myself anymore, but I can't. I can't.
Beth Revis (Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1))
She raises her hands and places them on either side of my face. My skin burns beneath her touch. 'I think you're beautiful.' I smile, thinking she's done. But she releases my face and places her palms on my chest, directly over my heart. 'You're beautiful right here,' she says. I close my eyes, and the breath rushes from my lungs. 'I see the good in you, Dante,' Charlie continues, her words rolling together off her tongue. 'Even if you don't, I do. You have a good heart. You know how I know?' I open my eyes. She's looking at me like nothing else in the world exists. Like the entire planet and all of mankind just vanished. She slowly wraps my hands inside her own as best she can and places them on her chest. 'Because I feel it here.' She taps our hands against her chest. 'I know you're good, Dante. Because I feel it inside of me.
Victoria Scott (The Collector (Dante Walker, #1))
People are…” Mabel wheezed. “Mostly good, you…” Wheeze. “Know? Mostly.” She tried to take a breath. It was hard. Like breathing through layers of gauze. Where were her parents? She loved them so. “Mostly. I believe that with…” A bloody cough tore through Mabel’s lungs. “… With all my… all my heart.
Libba Bray (Before the Devil Breaks You (The Diviners, #3))
And what is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is itone second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst adn her lungs collapsed adn there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Good advice is a toxic gas for hardhearted's lungs.
Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
I felt like my lungs weren’t big enough to breathe her in, and my heart couldn’t beat fast enough to love her the way I wanted to.
Jane Harvey-Berrick (Dazzled)
Guilt was acid in our veins. It corroded everything. Our heart. Our lungs. Our throat.
Kat Zhang (Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles, #2))
You thought you had the choice to stay still or move forward, but your didn't. As long as your heart kept pumping an your blood kept blowing and your lungs kept filling, you didn't. The pang she felt for Tibby carried something like envy. You couldn't stand still for anything short of death, and God knew she had tried.
Ann Brashares (Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood, #5))
You had me at Hello You had me at hello, but now it’s time to say goodbye. Whilst my lungs draw breath and my heart beats a steady beat, beside me, for you there will always be a seat. You my special friend brought laughter and smiles that knew no end. Although physically you may be gone, my memories of you will live on and on. I know within my soul once again that we shall meet and when we do, that seat is still reserved especially for you. You had me at hello, for now my friend I say goodbye.
Michael Tianias
With this ring, I promise you a strong shoulder to cry on. I promise to hold and care for you whenever you need me. I promise to bring you comfort when you’re sad and to defend you to the last. I give you faith, trust and commitment unfailing. I promise to love you with every breath in my lungs and beat of my heart until the end of time. I promise that the only heart I own will always belong to you and it will never beat for another as long I live. I promise picnics in the summer and cozy nights by the fire in winter. I promise to always cherish and appreciate you and everything you do and to show you every day just how much you mean to me. I will always be yours and you will always be mine. This I promise you
Marie Coulson (Bound Together (Bound Together, #1))
I count everything. Even numbers, odd numbers, multiples of 10. I count the ticks of the clock i count the tocks of the clock I count the lines between the lines on a sheet of paper. I count the broken beats of my heart I count my pulse and my blinks and the number of tries it takes to inhale enough oxygen for my lungs. I stay like this I stand like this I count like this until the feeling stops. Until the tears stop spilling, until my fists stop shaking, until my heart stops aching. There are never enough numbers.
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
I tell them dance begins when a moment of hurt combines with a moment of boredom. I tell them it's the body's reaching, bringing air to itself. I tell them that it's the heart's triumph, the victory speech of the feet, the refinement of animal lunge and flight, the purest metaphor of tribe and self. It's life flipping death the bird. I make this stuff up.
Lorrie Moore (Birds of America)
Everyone had some defect, or body or of mind: he thought of all the people he had known (the whole world was like a sick house and there was no rhyme or reason in it), he saw a long procession, deformed in body, warped in mind, some with illness of the flesh, weak hearts or weak lungs, and some with illness of the spirit, languor of will, or craving for liquor. At that moment he felt a holy compassion for them all. …The words of the dying God crossed his memory: Forgive them, for they know not what they do.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
Even when I write about this swan and that orchid, I write about you. Every word of every line is for you. I have drunk you yet you have consumed me. Seeping through every cell from crown to root, you took over heart, mind, and lungs so that every breath I expel leaves a trail of you in the air— the same air that I inhale. I no longer know myself separate from you. But how I long to be with the source!
Kamand Kojouri
...in our own hearts we trust for our salvation, in the men that surround us, in the sights that fill our eyes, in the sounds that fill our ears, and in the air that fill our lungs.
Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim)
Because it seems like a lot of hassle, liking someone. Your brain runs hot, the cogs inside your mind jarring together until all the oil of your thoughts is burned away. The fire spreads to your chest, where it chars your lungs and turns your heart to embers. And right when you think the flames have burned away everything but your skeleton, the spark skips from your bones to immolate not only your flesh, but your entire life.
Krystal Sutherland (Our Chemical Hearts)
And someone's face, whom you love, will be as a star both intimate and ultimate, and you will be both heart-shaken and respectful. And you will hear the air itself, like a beloved, whisper: oh, let me, for a while longer, enter the two beautiful bodies of your lungs.
Mary Oliver (Evidence: Poems)
America today is a "save yourself" society if there ever was one. But does it really work? The underdeveloped societies suffer from one set of diseases: tuberculosis, malnutrition, pneumonia, parasites, typhoid, cholera, typhus, etc. Affluent America has virtually invented a whole new set of diseases: obesity, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, strokes, lung cancer, venereal disease, cirrhosis of the liver, drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, battered children, suicide, murder. Take your choice. Labor-saving machines have turned out to be body-killing devices. Our affluence has allowed both mobility and isolation of the nuclear family, and as a result, our divorce courts, our prisons and our mental institutions are flooded. In saving ourselves we have nearly lost ourselves.
John Piper (Don't Waste Your Life)
Pompeii has nothing to teach us, we know crack of volcanic fissure, slow flow of terrible lava, pressure on heart, lungs, the brain about to burst its brittle case (what the skull can endure!)
H.D.
Devoted though we must be to the conservation cause, I do not believe that any of us should give it all of our time or effort or heart. Give what you can, but do not burn yourselves out -- or break your hearts. Let us save at least half of our lives for the enjoyment of this wonderful world which still exists. Leave your dens, abandon your cars and walk out into the great mountains, the deserts, the forests, the seashores. Those treasures still belong to all of us. Enjoy them to the full, stretch your legs, expand your lungs, enliven your hearts -- and we will outlive the greedy swine who want to destroy it all in the name of what they call GROWTH. God bless America -- let's save some of it. Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet!
Edward Abbey (Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast)
Poem from Rev. Jim Cotter, as listed on the opening pages of “Anatomy of the Spirit” by Caroline Myss: ~ God be in my head and in my understanding. God be in my eyes and in my looking. God be in my mouth and in my speaking. God be in my tongue and in my tasting. God be in my lips and in my greeting. ~ God be in my nose and in my smelling/inhaling. God be in my ears and in my hearing. God be in my neck and in my humbling. God be in my shoulders and in my bearing. God be in my back and in my standing. ~ God be in my arms and in my reaching/receiving. God be in my hands and in my working. God be in my legs and in my walking. God be in my feet and in my grounding. God be in my knees and in my relating. ~ God be in my gut and in my feeling. God be in my bowels and in my forgiving. God be in my loins and in my swiving. God be in my lungs and in my breathing. God be in my heart and in my loving. ~ God be in my skin and in my touching. God be in my flesh and in my paining/pining. God be in my blood and in my living. God be in my bones and in my dying. God be at my end and at my reviving.
Caroline Myss (Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing)
Nothing but the sight of blood upon his dark face would ease the pain in her heart. She lunged for him, swift as a cat, but with a light startled movement, he sidestepped, throwing up his arm to ward her off. She was standing on the edge of the freshly waxed top step, and as her arm with the whole weight of her body behind it, struck his out-thrust arm, she lost her balance. She made a wild clutch for the newel post and missed it. She went down the stairs backwards, feeling a sickening dart of pain in her ribs as she landed. And, too dazed to catch herself she rolled over and over to the bottom of the flight.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Here’s the problem. I don’t know how to live if I’m not loving you. It’s like asking my lungs to expand without air, my heart to beat without blood, my eyes to see without light. It’s just not possible.
Jewel E. Ann (Undeniably You)
They're the ones I can't stand to look at, although on occasion I still fail. I deliberately seek out the colors to keep my mind off them, but now and then, I witness the ones who are left behind, crumbling among the jigsaw puzzle of realization, despair, and surprise. They have punctured hearts. They have beaten lungs.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
I am thinking now of old Moses sitting on a mountain - sitting with God - looking across the Jordan into the Promised Land. I am thinking of the lump in his throat, that weary ache in his heart, that nearly bitter longing sweetened by the company of God... And then God - the great eternal God - takes Moses' thin-worn, thread-bare little body into His hands - hands into whose hollows you could pour the oceans of the world, hands whose breadth marked off the heavens - and with these enormous and enormously gentle hands, God folds Moses' pale lifeless arms across his chest for burial. I don't know if God wept at Moses' funeral. I don't know if He cried when He killed the first of His creatures to take its skins to clothe this man's earliest ancestors. I don't know who will bury me - ...Of God, on whose breast old Moses lays his head like John the Beloved would lay his on the Christ's. And God sits there quietly with Moses - for Moses - and lets His little man cry out his last moments of life. But I look back over the events of my life and see the hands that carried Moses to his grave lifting me out of mine. In remembering I go back to these places where God met me and I meet Him again and I lay my head on His breast, and He shows me the land beyond the Jordan and I suck into my lungs the fragrance of His breath, the power of His presence.
Rich Mullins
Could you bring back a man without a head?” Arya asked. “Just the once, not six times. Could you?” “I have no magic, child. Only prayers. That first time, his lordship had a hole right through him and blood in his mouth, I knew there was no hope. So when his poor torn chest stopped moving, I gave him the good god’s own kiss to send him on his way. I filled my mouth with fire and breathed the flames inside him, down his throat to lungs and heart and soul. The last kiss it is called, and many a time I saw the old priests bestow it on the Lord’s servants as they died. I had given it a time or two myself, as all priests must. But never before had I felt a dead man shudder as the fire filled him, nor seen his eyes come open. It was not me who raised him, my lady. It was the Lord. R’hllor is not done with him yet. Life is warmth, and warmth is fire, and fire is God’s and God’s alone.” Arya felt tears well in her eyes. Thoros used a lot of words, but all they meant was no, that much she understood.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Do you ask your heart to beat or your lungs to breathe? Your power serves you because that is it's purpose, because it cannot help but serve you.
Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1))
Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are requiered for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual... Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude - the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are good in the chrysalis.
Elbert Hubbard
Instead of spending so much time thinking about what’s missing from your life, remind yourself (if only for twenty minutes a day), of everything you already have: from a comfortable bed to sleep on, to a roof over your head, to clean air, drinking water, food, clothes, friends, functioning lungs, and a beating heart.
Timber Hawkeye (Buddhist Boot Camp)
Here’s the problem. I don’t know how to live if I’m not loving you. It’s like asking my lungs to expand without air, my heart to beat without blood, my eyes to see without light. It’s just not possible. And yet, you’re so stupid …
Jewel E. Ann (Undeniably You)
I’m in love with him, & I think I’ve known that for a long time, but now I can’t stop myself from admitting it. I love the way he dances for me, trying to make me laugh, not caring if he looks a little like a fool. He is adorable and charming, and the breath leaves my lungs and my heart forgets to beat, moment after moment. I love him. I love him. I love him.
Megan Hart (Tear You Apart)
I was very strange, for I knew we were both in mortal danger. Still, in that instant, I felt well. Whole. I could feel my heart racing in my chest, the blood pulsing hot and fast through my veins again. My lungs filled deep with the sweet scent that came off his skin. It was like there had never been any hole in my chest. I was perfect―not healed, but as if there had been no wound in the first place.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (Twilight, #2))
Her eyes will hold your eyes captive, and she’ll take the air out your lungs with just a smile. Her laugh, well shit……. her laugh will drive you mad and you will try to do everything under the sun to hear it as much as you can. Her tears will rip your heart out, especially if you caused ‘em. Just the sound of her voice will drive you mad. When you find that girl boys, you found love. Not lust….but true love. You’ll have found the girl who you’ll spend the rest of your life loving, taking care of and just trying to make her so goddamn happy that you would gladly die doing it.
Kelly Elliott (Wanted (Wanted, #1))
It felt like being shot with an arrow, and Will jerked back. His wineglass crashed to the floor and shattered. He lurched to his feet, leaning both hands on the table. He was vaguely aware of stares, and the landlords anxious voice in his ear, but the pain was too great to think through, almost too great to breathe through. The tightness in his chest, the one he had thought of as one end of a cord tying him to Jem, had pulled so taut that it was strangling his heart. He stumbled away from his table, pushing through a knot of customers near the bar, and passed to the front door of the inn. All he could think of was air, getting air into his lungs to breathe. He pushed the doors open and half-tumbled out into the night. For a moment the pain in his chest eased, and he fell back against the wall of the inn. Rain was sheeting down, soaking his hair and clothes. He gasped, his heart stuttering with a misture of terror and desperation. Was this just the distance from Jem affecting him? He had never felt anything like this, even when Jem was at his worst, even when he'd been injured and Will had ached with sympathetic pain. The cord snapped. For a moment everything went white, the courtyard bleeching through as if with acid. Will jackknifed to his knees, vomiting up his supper into the mud. When the spasms had passed , he staggard to his feet and blindly away from the inn, as if trying to outpace his own pain. He fetched up against the wall of the stables, beside the horse trough. He dropped to his knees to plunge his hands into the icy water-and saw his own reflection. There was his face, as white as death, and his shirt, and a spreading stain of red across the front. With wet hands he siezed at his lapels and jerked the shirt open. In the dim light that spilled from the inn, he could see that his parabati rune, just over his heart, was bleeding. His hands were covered in blood, blood mixed with rain, the same ran that was washing the blood away from his chest, showing the rune as it began to fade from black to silver, changing all that had been sense in Will's life into nonsense. Jem was dead.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
There, there, sweetin’,” he murmured into her hair. “He loved me, he truly did,” she gasped. “I know he did,” Michael said. “And I loved him.” “Mm-hmm.” She raised her head, glaring angrily. “You don’t even believe in love. Why are you agreeing with me?” He laughed. “Because”—he leaned down and licked at the tears on her cheeks, his lips brushing softly against her sensitive skin as he spoke, “ye’ve bewitched and bespelled me, my sweet Silence, didn’t ye know? I’ll agree that the sky is pink, that the moon is made o’ marzipan and sugared raisins, and that mermaids swim the muddy waters o’ the Thames, if ye’ll only stop weepin’. Me chest breaks apart and gapes wide open when I see tears in yer pretty eyes. Me lungs, me liver, and me heart cannot stand to be thus exposed.” She stopped breathing. She simply inhaled and stopped, looking at him in wonder. His lips were quirked in a mocking smile, but his eyes—his fathomless black eyes—seemed to hold a great pain as if his strong chest really had been split open.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3))
If you ask all the cells in my body, they only answer your name. Follicles push the hair upwards so they may brush against your skin. Nails grow faster as well. Lungs breathe rapidly in hopes of inhaling your scent. Toes curl to smile and knees form dimples when you are near. Brain fireworks. Stomach fills with flies of butter and swallows, and swans swoon. Cattle, rhinos, and walruses too— there’s a stampede when you are near. I love you from the bottom of my liver to the tip of my lashes. One wink from you and heart stops, like a sneeze. Bless you. I cannot even begin to tell you what happens to soul, for soul is off flying with its mate.
Kamand Kojouri
She'd never broken a bone, had surgery. But the worst damage didn't leave a mark. When Hellie died, it was as if someone had cut into Alex's chest, cracked her open like balsa wood. What if it really had been like that and she'd had to walk down the street bleeding, trying to hold her ribs together, her heart and her lungs and every part of her open to the world? Instead, the thing that had broken her had left no mark, no scar for her to point to and say, This is where I ended.
Leigh Bardugo (Ninth House (Alex Stern #1))
If anything is horrible, if there is a reality that surpasses our worst dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun, to be in full possession of manly vigor, to have health and joy, to laugh heartily, to rush toward a glory that lures you on, to feel lungs that breathe, a heart that beats, a mind that thinks, to speak, to hope, to love; to have mother, wife, children, to have sunlight, and suddenly, in less time than it takes to cry out, to plunge into an abyss, to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed, to see the heads of grain, the flowers, the leaves, the branches, unable to catch hold of anything, to feel your sword useless, men under you, horses over you, to struggle in vain, your bones broken by some kick in the darkness, to feel a heel gouging your eyes out of their sockets, raging at the horseshoe between your teeth, to stifle, to howl, to twist, to be under all this, and to say, ‘Just then I was a living man!
Victor Hugo
What spooked him was how the lack of a barrier ratcheted up not only the physical sensation but also the pound of his heart, the inability to get air into his lungs.
Anne Calhoun (Liberating Lacey)
Even though I seem not human, a mute shelf of glucose, bottled blood, machinery to swell the lung and pump the heart—even so, do not put out my life. Let me still glow.
Dudley Randall (For Malcolm: Poems on the Life and Death of Malcolm X)
His arms wrap around me from behind, and my heart rhythm slows to a steady jog. His chin rests on the top of my head, and my breath comes back to me, oxygen filling my lungs.
Mary Kubica (The Good Girl)
There's a place in your mind where any voices you let in slip down your spine and into your lungs and heart, become a thing you breathe and bleed.
Kelly Loy Gilbert (Conviction)
She was perfect. I knew this the moment she emerged from my body, white and wet and wailing. Beyond the requisite ten fingers and ten toes, the beating heart, the lungs inhaling and exhaling oxygen, my daughter knew how to scream. She knew how to make herself heard. She knew how to reach out and latch on. She knew what she needed to do to survive. I didn’t know how it was possible that such perfection could have developed within a body as flawed as my own, but when I looked into her face, I saw that it clearly was.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh (The Language of Flowers)
Television's perfect. You turn a few knobs, a few of those mechanical adjustments at which the higher apes are so proficient, and lean back and drain your mind of all thought. And there you are watching the bubbles in the primeval ooze. You don't have to concentrate. You don't have to react. You don't have to remember. You don't miss your brain because you don't need it. Your heart and liver and lungs continue to function normally. Apart from that, all is peace and quiet. You are in the man's nirvana. And if some poor nasty minded person comes along and says you look like a fly on a can of garbage, pay him no mind. He probably hasn't got the price of a television set.
Raymond Chandler
His own personal siren nightmare. What else could it be when his body only sparked alive when it was her. She made his lungs work, his heart beat. It was a goddamn disease is what it was.
V. Theia (Preacher Man (Renegade Souls MC Romance Saga #2))
Though I myself am an atheist, I openly profess religion in the sense just mentioned, that is, a nature religion. I hate the idealism that wrenches man out of nature; I am not ashamed of my dependency on nature; I openly confess that the workings of nature affect not only my surface, my skin, my body, but also my core, my innermost being, that the air I breathe in bright weather has a salutary effect not only on my lungs but also on my mind, that the light of the sun illumines not only my eyes but also my spirit and my heart. And I do not, like a Christian, believe that such dependency is contrary to my true being or hope to be delivered from it. I know further that I am a finite moral being, that I shall one day cease to be. But I find this very natural and am therefore perfectly reconciled to the thought.
Ludwig Feuerbach (Lectures on the Essence of Religion)
Forty feet long sixty feet high hotel Covered with old gray for buzzing flies Eye like mango flowing orange pus Ears Durga people vomiting in their sleep Got huge legs a dozen buses move inside Calcutta Swallowing mouthfuls of dead rats Mangy dogs bark out of a thousand breasts Garbage pouring from its ass behind alleys Always pissing yellow Hooghly water Bellybutton melted Chinatown brown puddles Coughing lungs Sound going down the sewer Nose smell a big gray Bidi Heart bumping and crashing over tramcar tracks Covered with a hat of cloudy iron Suffering water buffalo head lowered To pull the huge cart of year uphill
Allen Ginsberg
Still have your passport?" I feel my coat once more. "Got it." "Good." And then his hand is inside my pocket.My heart spazzes,but he doesn't notice.He pulls out my passport and flicks it open. WAIT.WHY DOES HE HAVE MY PASSPORT? His eyebrows shoot up.I try to snatch it back,but he holds it out of my reach. "Why are your eyes crossed?" He laughs. "Have you had some kind of ocular surgery I don't know about?" "Give it back?" Another grab and miss, and I change tactics and lunge for his coat instead. I snag his passport. "NO!" I open it up,and it's...baby St. Clair. "Dude.How old is this picture?" He slings my passport at me and snatches his back. "I was in middle school.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
If there’s a physical component to falling in love—the butterflies in your stomach, the roller coaster of your soul—then there’s an equal physical component to falling out of love. It feels like your lungs are sieves, so you can’t get enough air. Your insides freeze solid. Your heart becomes a tiny, bitter pearl, a chemical reaction to one irritating grain of truth.
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
I'm sorry." Her voice cracked. "McKenna-" "Not sorry enough." He pressed his wet face to hers, his mouth rubbing over her cheeks and chin in feverish, rough half kisses, as if he wanted to devour her. "Not nearly enough. You say you've had to live without your heart...how would you like to lose your soul as well? I've cursed every day I've had to live without you, and every night that I spent with another woman, wishing that it was you in my arms-" "NO-" she moaned. "Wishing," he continued fiercely, "for some way to stop the memories of you from eating away at me until there was nothing left inside. I've found no peace anywhere, not even in sleep. Not even in dreams..." He broke off and assaulted her with hungry, shuddering kisses. The taste of his tears, his mouth, made Aline disoriented and hot, her head reeling from shocks of pleasure. McKenna seemed possessed by a passion that bordered on violence, his lungs wracked with hard breaths, his hands tightening with a force that threatened to leave bruises on her tender flesh. "By God," he said with the vehemence of a man to whom entirely too much had happened, "In the past few days I've suffered the torments of the damned, and I've had enough!
Lisa Kleypas (Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5))
I was living my own future and my brother's lost one as well. I represented him here just as he represented me there, in some unguessable other place. His move from life to death might resemble my stepping into the kitchen - into its soft nowhere quality and foggy hum. I breathed the dark air. If I had at that moment a sense of calm kindly death while my heart beat and my lungs expanded, he might know a similar sense of life in the middle of his ongoing death.
Michael Cunningham (A Home at the End of the World)
And if I were to open you up - would you see anything less remarkable? Less intricately dazzling, in its squelching, spongy way? Lungs and heart and spleen, and all the rest - ticking away, as it were? Yet you walk down the boulevard, and pass any number of such wonderful devices, all ticking away as they walk, and think it no great marvel.
K.W. Jeter (Infernal Devices (Infernal Devices, #1))
A fire had begun to spread in me. It was burning now in my stomach and my lungs were dry as old leaves, my heart had a herded pressure which gave promise to explode.
Norman Mailer (An American Dream)
Raphael shrugged away the facad of humanity that he wore like a cloak, releasing the bonds that kept his power concealed and let if low out of him like a river of molten silver. It warmed his veins and sped the pumping of his heart, pushing his lungs to expand more fully with every breath. It was a heady rush that had his lips drawing back in a vicious smile of pure exhilaration, his fangs emerging from his gums as he became the purest form of what he was....Vampire".
D.B. Reynolds (Sophia (Vampires in America, #4))
Oftentimes your conscious mind interferes with the normal rhythm of the heart, lungs, and functioning of the stomach and intestines by worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. These patterns of thought interfere with the harmonious functioning of your subconscious mind. When mentally disturbed, the best procedure is to let go, relax, and still the wheels of your thought processes. Speak to your subconscious mind, telling it to take over in peace, harmony, and divine order. You will find that all the functions of your body will become normal again. Be sure to speak to your subconscious mind with authority and conviction, and it will conform to your command.
Joseph Murphy (The Power of Your Subconscious Mind)
no disease suffered by a live man can be known, for every living person has his own peculiarities and always has his own peculiar, personal, novel, complicated disease, unknown to medicine -- not a disease of the lungs, liver, skin, heart, nerves, and so on mentioned in medical books, but a disease consisting of one of the innumerable combinations of the maladies of those organs. This simple thought could not occur to the doctors (as it cannot occur to a wizard that he is unable to work his charms) because the business of their lives was to cure, and they received money for it and had spent the best years of their lives on that business. But above all that thought was kept out of their minds by the fact that they saw they were really useful [...] Their usefulness did not depend on making the patient swallow substances for the most part harmful (the harm was scarcely perceptible because they were given in small doses) but they were useful, necessary, and indispensable because they satisfied a mental need of the invalid and those who loved her -- and that is why there are, and always will be, pseudo-healers, wise women, homoeopaths, and allopaths. They satisfied that eternal human need for hope of relief, for sympathy, and that something should be done, which is felt by those who are suffering.
Leo Tolstoy
I used to think love was two people sucking on the same straw to see whose thirst was stronger, but then I whiffed the crushed walnuts of your nape, traced jackals in the snow-covered tombstones of your teeth. I used to think love was a non-stop saxophone solo in the lungs, till I hung with you like a pair of sneakers from a phone line, and you promised to always smell the rose in my kerosene. I used to think love was terminal pelvic ballet, till you let me jog beside while you pedaled all over hell on the menstrual bicycle, your tongue ripping through my prairie like a tornado of paper cuts. I used to think love was an old man smashing a mirror over his knee, till you helped me carry the barbell of my spirit back up the stairs after my car pirouetted in the desert. You are my history book. I used to not believe in fairy tales till I played the dunce in sheep’s clothing and felt how perfectly your foot fit in the glass slipper of my ass. But then duty wrapped its phone cord around my ankle and yanked me across the continent. And now there are three thousand miles between the u and s in esophagus. And being without you is like standing at a cement-filled wall with a roll of Yugoslavian nickels and making a wish. Some days I miss you so much I’d jump off the roof of your office building just to catch a glimpse of you on the way down. I wish we could trade left eyeballs, so we could always see what the other sees. But you’re here, I’m there, and we have only words, a nightly phone call - one chance to mix feelings into syllables and pour into the receiver, hope they don’t disassemble in that calculus of wire. And lately - with this whole war thing - the language machine supporting it - I feel betrayed by the alphabet, like they’re injecting strychnine into my vowels, infecting my consonants, naming attack helicopters after shattered Indian tribes: Apache, Blackhawk; and West Bank colonizers are settlers, so Sharon is Davey Crockett, and Arafat: Geronimo, and it’s the Wild West all over again. And I imagine Picasso looking in a mirror, decorating his face in war paint, washing his brushes in venom. And I think of Jenin in all that rubble, and I feel like a Cyclops with two eyes, like an anorexic with three mouths, like a scuba diver in quicksand, like a shark with plastic vampire teeth, like I’m the executioner’s fingernail trying to reason with the hand. And I don’t know how to speak love when the heart is a busted cup filling with spit and paste, and the only sexual fantasy I have is busting into the Pentagon with a bazooka-sized pen and blowing open the minds of generals. And I comfort myself with the thought that we’ll name our first child Jenin, and her middle name will be Terezin, and we’ll teach her how to glow in the dark, and how to swallow firecrackers, and to never neglect the first straw; because no one ever talks about the first straw, it’s always the last straw that gets all the attention, but by then it’s way too late.
Jeffrey McDaniel
He strangles me, squeezing my lungs with his smile, his words, and his beautiful face. He make me shiver with delight, feel safe, and sets my heart ablaze with a passionate fire that I can’t put out.
Lauren Hammond
Then he saw that the normal was the rarest thing in the world. Everyone had some defect, of body or of mind: he thought of all the people he had known (the whole world was like a sick-house, and there was no rhyme or reason in it), he saw a long procession, deformed in body and warped in mind, some with illness of the flesh, weak hearts or weak lungs, and some with illness of the spirit, languor of will, or a craving for liquor. At this moment he could feel a holy compassion for them all. They were the helpless instruments of blind chance. He could pardon Griffiths for his treachery and Mildred for the pain she had caused him. They could not help themselves. The only reasonable thing was to accept the good of men and be patient with their faults. The words of the dying God crossed his memory: Forgive them, for they know not what they do.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
Instinctively, and against my better judgement, I pull her closer to me. She rests her head on my shoulder as if it is the most natural thing in all the worlds to do. But it's a mistake. I become aware of her heart beating, her lungs expanding with every breath, her skin beneath my touch. She moves, and her head slides to my chest. Shifting into sleep, she wraps her arm around my waist. Now I'm aware of my heart beating too, slowly, in sync with hers. I know I should push her away. But if my life depended on it, right now, that would be impossible.
Marianne Curley (The Dark)
When the first fine spring days come, and the earth awakes and assumes its garment of verdure, when the perfumed warmth of the air blows on our faces and fills our lungs, and even appears to penetrate to our heart, we feel vague longings for undefined happiness, a wish to run, to walk at random, to inhale the spring.
Guy de Maupassant (The Complete Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant, Part One)
You don't need this prep but I'm going to give it to you anyway. I can tell, I don't know any of you that well, but I can see it in your faces that and some of you have faces that remind me of what my face looked like when I was younger. I see some of you young people out there and I remember how hard it is to be young. And I remember how hard it is to be rejected the first time when you're young. And so what I want you to do is close your eyes. And I can see you, so don't cheat me here. Close those eyes of yours. Put 'em, real tight. And I want you to imagine the first person who broke you heart. The first person that didn't like you back, the first person that said shitty stuff about you. The first person that dumped you. The first person that changed their phone number because you called them 62 times in one day. The first person that didn't know how good you were and they missed you, they passed you by. Imagine that person and then I want you to sing at the top of your fucking lungs. I want you to sing. I want to heal that with you right now. (sings): Look me in the eye and tell me you dont find me attractive. Look me in the heart and tell me that you wont go. Look me in the eye and promise no love is like our love look me in the heart and unbreak broken it wont happen.
Tegan Quin
Could you say it once," he entreated, "like they say people do?" Her heart beat like the wings of an eagle, taking her soaring as she spoke the words. "I love you, Will Parker." The sting hit his eyelids and he hung his head because nobody had prepared him for this, nobody had said, When it happens you'll be resurrected. All that you were you will not be. All that you weren't, you are. He lunged against her, burying his face above her breasts, holding fast. "Oh, God..." he groaned. "Oh, God.
LaVyrle Spencer (Morning Glory)
I lay in my bed a few minutes later, resigned as the pain finally made its appearance. It was a crippling thing, this sensation that a huge hole had been pushed through my chest, excising my most vital organs and leaving ragged, unhealed gashes around the edges that continued to throb and bleed despite the passage of time. Rationally, I knew my lungs must still be intact, yet I gasped for air and my head spun like my efforts yielded me nothing. My heart must have been beating, too, but I couldn't hear the sound of my pulse in my ears; my hands felt blue with cold. I curled inward, hugging my ribs to hold myself together. I scrambled for my numbness, my denial, but it evaded me. And yet, I found I could survive. I was alert, I felt the pain--the aching loss that radiated out from my chest, sending wracking waves of hurt through my limbs and head--but it was managable. I could live through it. It didn't feel like the pain had weakened over time, rather that I'd grown strong enough to bear it.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (Twilight, #2))
My respiration and inspiration...the beating of my heart...the passing of blood and air through my lungs, the sniff of green leaves and dry leaves and of the short and dark colored sea-rocks and of hay in the barn...the delight alone or in the rush of the streets, or along the fields and hillsides, the feeling of health...the full moon trill...the song of me rising from bed and meeting the sun.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
Man’s mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without a knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch – or build a cyclotron – without a knowledge of his aim and of the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think. “But to think is an act of choice. The key to what you so recklessly call ‘human nature,’ the open secret you live with, yet dread to name, is the fact that man is a being of volitional consciousness. Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs, or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not. In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort. But you are not free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival – so that for you, who are a human being, the question ‘to be or not to be’ is the question ‘to think or not to think.’ . . . “Man has no automatic code of survival. His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice. . . Man must obtain his knowledge and choose his actions by a process of thinking, which nature will not force him to perform. Man has the power to act as his own destroyer – and that is the way he has acted through most of his history (pages 1012-1013).
Ayn Rand
Black was the without eye Black the within tongue Black was the heart Black the liver, black the lungs Unable to suck in light Black the blood in its loud tunnel Black the bowels packed in furnace Black too the muscles Striving to pull out into the light Black the nerves, black the brain With its tombed visions Black also the soul, the huge stammer Of the cry that, swelling, could not Pronounce its sun.
Ted Hughes (Crow: From the Life and Songs of the Crow (Faber Library))
Kittridge closed his eyes. So, the end. It would happen instantaneously, a painless departure, quicker than thought. he felt the presence of his body one last time: the taste of air in his lungs, the blood surging in his veins, the drumlike beating of his heart. The bomb was dropping toward them. "I've got you," he said, hugging Tim fiercely; and again, over and over, so that the boy would be hearing these words. "I've got you, I've got you, I've got you, I've got you.
Justin Cronin (The Twelve (The Passage, #2))
It hurts more than anything in the world because even though it might not be the case, it feels like you've chosen your child over me. 'I haven't there is no choice. She's part of me. You're part of me too. It's like...I don't know...asking me to pick between my heart and my lungs.' 'I know, but the thing is, you are my heart and my lungs. You're everything to me. And what hurts is that I know i used to be everything to you.
Mike Gayle
When he ran, he even loved the pain, the hurt of the running, the burning in his lungs and the spasms that sometimes gripped his calves. He loved it because he knew he could endure the pain, and even go beyond it. He had never pushed himself to the limit but he felt all this reserve strength inside of him: more than strength actually—determination. And it sang in him as he ran, his heart pumping blood joyfully through his body.
Robert Cormier (The Chocolate War (Chocolate War, #1))
Cassidy's heart tried to leap out through his taught skin and hop into his wet hands. But outwardly it was all very calm, very serene, just as always, and it seemed to last a tiny forever, just like that, a snapshot of them all on the curved parabola of a starting line, eight giant hearts attached to eight pairs of bellows-like lungs mounted on eight pairs of supercharged stilts. They were poised on the edge of some howling vortex they had run 10,000 miles to get to. Now they had to run one more
John L. Parker Jr. (Once a Runner)
He knew then that there are many ways for a heart to break. Sometimes it’s from the crowding of life, the compression of responsibility and birth right and burden that just squeezed you until you couldn’t breathe anymore. Even though your lungs were working just fine. And sometimes it’s from the casual cruelty of a fate that took you far from where you had thought you would end up. And sometimes it’s age in the face of youth. Or sickness in the face of health. But sometimes it’s just because you’re looking into the eyes of your lover and your gratitude for having them in your life overflows... because you showed them what was on the inside and they didn’t run scared or turn away, they accepted you and loved you and held you in the midst of your passion or your fear... or your combination of both.
J.R. Ward
Something to remember when fighting me, Sardothien,” he panted. The sun caught in his golden-brown eyes. “Hmm?” she grunted, lunging to deflect his newest attack. “I don’t lose.” He grinned at her, and before she could comprehend the words, something cut into her feet and— She had the sickening feeling of falling. She gasped as her spine collided with marble, the rapier flying from her hand. Chaol pointed his blade at her heart. “I win,” he breathed.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
In the pause that followed, Shane understood why people said their hearts broke. She always thought it was a weak metaphor of strong emotion. She could feel each bit of shrapnel from her heart stab at her stomach and lungs. Her knees gave out beneath her as she heard the voice tell her what she already knew in her fragments of cardiac tissue.
Thomm Quackenbush (We Shadows (Night's Dream, #1))
Empires die, like all of us dancers in the strobe-lit dark. See how the light needs shadows. Look: wrinkles spread like mildew over our peachy sheen; beat-by-beat-by-beat-by-beat-by-beat-by-beat, varicose veins worm through plucked calves; torsos and breasts fatten and sag...as last year's song hurtles into next year's song and the year after that, and the dancers' hairstyles frost, wither, and fall in chemotherapeutic tufts; cancer spatters inside this tarry lung, in that ageing pancreas, in this aching bollock; DNA frays like wool, and down we tumble; a fall on the stairs, a heart-attack, a stroke; not dancing but twitching...They knew it in the Middle Ages. Life is a terminal illness.
David Mitchell (The Bone Clocks)
Ivar grabbed hold of my shoulders, swung me into a strung-up fishing net, and then smashed me into a set of shelves. Clutter rained down on me, and I fought my way to the surface, clawing free of the net. Ivar's fingers curled around my shirt and lifted me until I was eye level with her. "I'm going to enjoy killing you," she sneered. "And when you come back, I'll enjoy killing you again. If the Enshi doesn't eat your soul, I'll gladly eat your heart." Instead of replying, I stabbed her in the gut with a Khopesh. Her eyes bulged and she dropped me. I pulled the flaming sword out and slashed, but she caught my wrist before my blade could catch her skin, and she hissed, pulling her lips back viciously. "Wrong move." Her flesh healed shut with only an ugly marbled scar left behind. She lashed her black power at me, striking me across the chest like a whip, and I staggered back. I shook off the blow and saw her lunge for me through the smoky remains of her attack. My own power detonated in a deafening explosion of white and collided with her. It blew her through the cabin, and she crashed through the wall and flew back out on the other side of the deck in a storm of fiberglass and steel.
Courtney Allison Moulton (Angelfire (Angelfire, #1))
She dared to cry? On this day of all days? I was the one who would be married at sunset, and I hadn't let myself cry in five years. There was ice in my lungs and in my heart. I was floating. I was swept away, and out of the cold I spoke to her in a voice as soft as snow, the gentle and obedient voice I had used to consent to every order that Father and Aunt Telomache ever gave me, every order that they would never give Astraia because they actually loved her. "You know, that Rhyme is a lie that Aunt Telomache only told you because you weren't strong enough to bear the truth." I had thought the words so often, they felt like nothing in my mouth, like no more than a breath of air, and as easily as breathing I went on. "The truth is, Mother died because of you, and now I have to die for your sake, too. And neither one of us will ever forgive you." Then I shoved her aside and strode out of the room.
Rosamund Hodge (Cruel Beauty)
Decide to be happy Render others happy Proclaim your joy Love passionately your miraculous life Do not listen to promises Do not wait for a better world Be grateful for every moment of life Switch on and keep on the positive buttons in yourself, those marked optimism, serenity, confidence, positive thinking, love, Pray and thank God every day Meditate Smile Laugh Whistle Sing Dance Look with fascination at everything Fill your lungs and heart with liberty Be yourself fully and immensely Act like a king unto Death Feel God in your body, mind, heart, and soul And be convinced of eternal life and resurrection.
Robert Muller (Most of All They Taught Me Happiness)
Humans are built to move. We evolved under conditions that required daily intense physical activity, and even among individuals with lower physical potential, that hard-earned genotype is still ours today. The modern sedentary lifestyle leads to the inactivation of the genes related to physical performance, attributes that were once critical for survival and which are still critical for the correct, healthy expression of the genotype. The genes are still there, they just aren't doing anything because the body is not stressed enough to cause a physiological adaptation requiring their activation. The sedentary person's heart, lungs, muscles, bones, nerves and brain all operate far below the level at which they evolved to function, and at which they still function best.
Mark Rippetoe (Practical Programming for Strength Training)
Eyes and ears are two. Lungs and kidneys, too. I wonder then why we're born with one heart that skips a beat when hay is here, and beats quickly when you are near. One heart that cracks when you are far, lie to me and leave a scar. I wonder then why we're born with one heart that gets broken. Was I supposed to find you then? So your heart would make one plus one is two for me and two for you.
Kamand Kojouri
In retrospect, I came to Nagasaki for the regenerative properties. The second atomic bomb blast so many years ago, which had swept up most of the city in a plutonium cloud, had made the city radioactively peace-loving. Reversing the usual cycle that turns victim into perpetrator, the people who stepped from the rubble filled their hearts with a fervent devotion to peace in all its forms. In my mind's eye I see them: wounded and dying, their lungs filled with ash and smoke. The ash sits there for some time, and when they exhale, miraculously, something akin to love comes out.
Daniel Clausen (The Ghosts of Nagasaki)
I think we're the only ones in the building," he says. "Then no one will mind when I do this!" I jump onto the desk and parade back and forth. St. Clair belts out a song, and I shimmy to the sound of his voice. When he finishes,I bow with a grand flourish. "Quick!" he says. "What?" I hop off the desk. Is Nate here? Did he see? But St. Clair runs to the stairwell. He throws open the door and screams. The ehco makes us both jump, and then together we scream again at the top of our lungs. It's exhilarating. St. Clair chases me to the elevator,and we ride it to the rooftop. He hangs back but laughs as I spit off the side, trying to hit a lingerie advertisement. The wind is fierce,and my aim is off,so I race back down two flights of stairs. Our staircase is wide and steady, so he's only a few feet behind me. We reach his floor. "Well," he says. Our conversation halts for the first time in hours. I look past him. "Um.Good night." "See you tomorrow? Late breakfast at the creperie?" "That'd be nice." "Unless-" he cuts himself off. Unless what? He's hesitant, changed his mind. The moment passes. I give him one more questioning look, but he turns away. "Okay." It's hard to keep the disappointment out of my voice. "See you in the morning." I take the steps down and glance back.He's staring at me. I lift my hand and wave. He's oddly statuesque. I push through the door to my floor,shaking my head. I don't understand why things always go from perfect to weird with us. It's like we're incapable of normal human interaction. Forget about it,Anna. The stairwell door bursts open. My heart stops. St. Clair looks nervous. "It's been a good day. This was the first good day I've had in ages." He walks slowly toward me. "I don't want it to end. I don't want to be alone right now." "Uh." I can't breathe. He stops before me,scanning my face. "Would it be okay if I stayed with you? I don't want to make you uncomfortable-" "No! I mean..." My head swims. I can hardly think straight. "Yes. Yes, of course,it's okay." St. Clair is still for a moment. And then he nods. I pull off my necklace and insert my key into the lock. He waits behind me. My hand shakes as I open the door.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Megan noisily sucked in air for a scream that froze in her lungs. The cat stood in front of the open fire escape window, tail twitching, eyes focused intently on her face. Cursing inwardly at the stupidity of leaving the window open even a little bit, she made a mental note to never do it again…if she lived. The sheer size of the body under that sleek black coat was breathtaking, not to mention the power evident in those muscles. Megan whimpered as she caught sight of the sharp claws just visible on its feet. “Holy crap, someone up there has a really sick sense of humor. When I said I should get a cat, this is not what I meant!” she whispered. The cat snorted and her heart lodged in her throat.
Cait Miller (Stray Magic)
I’m begging you. Stop pushing me away, because I’m not going anywhere. I love you, and it’s not the kind of love that wavers. It’s the scary kind that doesn’t fade. I look at you, and I see not just everything I want for my life, but everything I am, because you took the emptiest, darkest pits of my soul and filled them with you. You are as much a part of me as my own heart, and it doesn’t beat without you. You pump through my veins and you fill my lungs. I may have saved you, but you’re the one who breathes for me every day.
Rebecca Yarros (Eyes Turned Skyward (Flight & Glory, #2))
I don’t wake up in the morning and think, ‘Wow, I’m on a planet in the Milky Way, in infinite space, bestowed with the gift of consciousness, which I did not give myself, with the gift of language, with lungs that breathe and a heart that beats, none of which I gave myself, with no concrete understanding of the Great Mysteries, knowing only that I was born and will die and nothing of what’s on either side of this brief material and individualized glitch in the limitless expanse of eternity and, I feel, I feel love and pain and I have senses, what a glorious gift! I can relate, and create and serve others or I can lose myself in sensuality and pleasure. What a phenomenal mystery!’ Most days I just wake up feeling a bit anxious and plod a solemn, narrow path of survival, coping. ‘I’ll have a coffee’, ‘I’ll try not to reach for my phone as soon as I stir, simpering and begging like a bad dog at a table for some digital tidbit, some morsel of approval, a text, that’ll do
Russell Brand (Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions)
They stared at each other. Every ocean, every river, every minute they had walked together was in their gaze. He said nothing and she said nothing. She kneeled by him, her hands on him, on his chest, on his heart, on his lungs that took air in but could not move air out, on his open wound; her eyes were on him, and in their eyes was every block of uncounted, unaccounted-for time, every moment they had lived since June 22, 1941, the day war started for the Soviet Union. Her eyes were filled with everything she felt for him. Her eyes were true.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
My arms broke free from my control. My left hand reached for his face, his hair, to wind my fingers in it. My right hand was faster, was not mine. Melanie's fist punched his jaw, knocked his face away from mine with a blunt, low sound. Flesh against flesh, hard and angry. The force of it was not enough to move him far, but he scrambled away from me the instant our lips were no longer connected, gaping with horrorstruck eyes at my horrorstruck expression. I stared down at the still-clenched fist, as repulsed as if I'd found a scorpion growing on the end of my arm. A gasp of revulsion choked its way out of my throat. I grabbed the right wrist with my left hand, desperate to keep Melanie from using my body for violence again. I glanced up at Jared. He was staring at the fist I restrained, too, the horror fading, surprise taking its place. In that second, his expression was entirely defenseless. I could easily read his thoughts as they moved across his unlocked face. This was not what he had expected. And he's had expectations; that was plain to see. This had been a test. A test he'd thought he was prepared to evaluate. But he'd been surprised. Did that mean pass or fail? The pain in my chest was not a surprise. I already knew that a breaking heart was more than an exaggeration. In a flight-or-fight situation, I never had a choice; it would always be flight for me. Because Jared was between me and the darkness of the tunnel exit, I wheeled and threw myself into the box-packed hole. I was sobbing because it had been a test, and, stupid, stupid, stupid, emotional creature that I was, I wanted it to be real. Melanie was writhing in agony inside me, and it was hard to make sense of the double pain. I felt as thought I was dying because it wasn't real; she felt as though she was dying because, to her, it had felt real enough. In all that she'd lost since the end of the world, so long ago, she'd never before felt betrayed. 'No one's betrayed you, stupid,' I railed at her. 'How could he? How?' she ranted, ignoring me. We sobbed beyond control. One word snapped us back from the edge of hysteria. From the mouth of the hole, Jared's low, rough voice - broken and strangely childlike - asked, "Mel?" "Mel?" he asked again, the hope he didn't want to feel colouring his tone. My breath caught in another sob, an aftershock. "You know that was for you, Mel. You know that. Not for h- it. You know I wasn't kissing it." "If you're in there, Mel..." He paused. Melanie hated the "if". A sob burst up through my lungs and I gasped for air. "I love you," Jared said. "Even if you're not there, if you can't hear me, I love you.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host)
Emma felt frightened, apprehensive, yes, but also elated and excited, her feelings all tumbled and mixed together like a stew of varied ingredients tossed into the same pot. She was aware of the blood coursing through her veins, the beat of her heart, the breath in her lungs. Was aware, too, of that clenched knot that hung in the pit of her stomach. This was what it was to be alive, to be at the edge, facing survival eye to eye, knowing, KNOWING, you would win.
Helen Hollick (The Forever Queen (Saxon #2))
refers to the many branches of the vagus nerve—Darwin’s “pneumogastric nerve”—which connects numerous organs, including the brain, lungs, heart, stomach, and intestines.) The Polyvagal Theory provided us with a more sophisticated understanding of the biology of safety and danger, one based on the subtle interplay between the visceral experiences of our own bodies and the voices and faces of the people around us. It explained why a kind face or a soothing tone of voice can dramatically alter the way we feel. It clarified why knowing that we are seen and heard by the important people in our lives can make us feel calm and safe, and why being ignored or dismissed can precipitate rage reactions or mental collapse. It helped us understand why focused attunement with another person can shift us out of disorganized and fearful states.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
Magic is life,’ and that’s not quite right. You think that the study of magic, the understanding of it, gives you some sort of better grasp of life. Unfortunately, even I worked out that this isn’t quite true; it’s a bit skewed, see? We understand this. Magic is not life. Life is magic. Even the boring, plodding, painful, cold, cruel parts, even the mundane automatic reflexes, heart pumping, lungs breathing, stomach digesting, even the uninteresting dull processes of walking, swinging the knees and seeing with eyes, this is magic. This is what makes magic.
Kate Griffin (A Madness of Angels (Matthew Swift, #1))
He cupped my face gently in his hands, holding it in place. My breath hitched in my lungs as he leaned in to drop a soft kiss on my lips. Where the other kisses we had shared ignited the lust we felt for each other, this kiss was something entirely different. The softness of his lips caressed mine as his tongue slowly slid into my mouth. He explored my mouth leisurely, never increasing the intensity. It was as if he was trying to memorize every detail and was meticulous with his mission. The tenderness of his mouth made my heart ache and I wished it would never end.
Tiffany King (No Attachments (Woodfalls Girls, #1))
With morning came visitors. An hour after the Colonel left, resident stoner Hank Walsten dropped by to offer me some weed, which I graciously turned down. Hank hugged me and said, "At least it was instant. At least there wasn't any pain." I knew he was only trying to help, but he didn't get it. There was pain. A dull endless pain in my gut that wouldn't go away even when I knelt on the stingingly frozen tile of the bathroom, dry-heaving. And what is an "instant" death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
All at once it was just too much, and Harvey felt something about to snap. He drew back into the shadowy side of the doorway, out of site. Then he slid down the wall to the ground and put his palm over his mouth to hold in his breath and his feelings both. He'd forced in more air then he could hold, and his lungs were burning. More importantly, his heart hurt... He wished he hadn't eavesdropped.
Yukako Kabei (Kieli, Volume 7: As the Deep Ravine's Wind Howls)
Not a fire of passion, not a ravaging fire, but something paralyzing, like the fire of cluster bombs that suck up the oxygen around them and leave you panting, because you’ve been kicked in the gut and a vacuum has ripped every living lung tissue and dried your mouth, and you hope nobody speaks, because you can’t talk, and you pray no one asks you to move, because your heart is clogged and beats so fast it would sooner spit out shards of glass than let anything else flow through its narrowed chambers.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
She has the kind of beauty that takes your breath from your lungs, tears from your eyes and speeds your heart each time you look at her. She has the kind of beauty reserved for works of art, where men spend years of their life mastering their craft to replicate. She is beauty, stunning, transcendent, right down through to the bone, the unfathomable depth of her heart. She is Muse. She is wonder. She is sublime.
Kirk Diedrich (Junk Shop Heart)
God, it would never go away, this anger, this rage that was like the ceaseless movement of the spring winds through the desert, this knot in his guts, this splinter in his heart that shot a pain through him that eventually found its way into his lungs, then out of his mouth and into the open air, the sound making the whole world turn away from him. It would never go away, never, never, and there would never be any peace. [...] Maybe he had it all wrong, maybe he wasn't a victim at all, not at all, because he had decided that this was the only thing that would ever be truly his, and so he clung to it, would cling to it forever.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (In Perfect Light)
The woman who later became his wife was sleeping in his bed, her face buried in the pillows and her feet crossed on top of each other like a child's. He watched her sleep and struggled to see her as she was, but what he saw instead were her muscles and bones. He saw right through the skin to where her femur connected to her tibia by way of the ligaments, to the hair web of nerves and the delicate forest of her lungs, to the abstract heart pumping blood through her arteries. It terrified him how easily these systems could fail her.
Nicole Krauss (Man Walks into a Room)
Bear in mind that since medications do not fix anything, they allow the underlying problem to continue uncorrected and actually accelerate. Meanwhile, new symptoms and new seemingly unrelated diseases are the inevitable consequence of this biochemical faux pas. Furthermore, drug side effects are the leading cause of death. NSAIDs as an example of only one group of medications, are fatally toxic to thousands of people each year by damaging joints, lungs, kidneys, eyes, hearts, and intestines. And they are covered by insurance. You and your doctor have been screwed into believing every symptom is a deficiency of some drug or surgery. You've been led to believe you have no control, when in truth you're the one who must take control. Unfortunately, the modus operandi in medicine is to find a drug to turn off the damaged part that is producing symptoms.
Sherry A. Rogers (Detoxify or Die)
I love you more than words can say. I love you more than what you can imagine. I love you more than what your senses can perceive. I love you more than all the mortals’ feelings, emotions, love, and passion combined. You became part of my blood cells’ contents. You became my white blood cells that protect me from getting sick. You became my blood plasma that I will die without. You became my red blood cells that I can’t breathe without. You became my heart, that through it, I can survive. You became my lungs, that without them, I would die. You became my brain that is the only hope for life if my heart stops functioning. You became my eyes that see you and were created only to see you. You became my limbs that I can’t do anything without. You became my nose that smells your musk, even if you are amid millions of mortals. You became my lips that touch your flesh and paint their signature on every inch of your body. I am your love who cannot live without you.
Amany Al-Hallaq (Between Your Ribs: Love Poems)
I know you. I see into you. Your heart is my heart. Your breath is my breath. Your soul is my soul. Your pain… your pain is my fucking pain. So don’t expect me to believe you when you say you stopped loving me, because I looked you in the eye when you said goodbye to me, bluebird. My heart broke when yours did. My lungs stopped breathing when yours did. My soul hurt when yours did. My pain felt like it was killing me, just like yours did. You loved me then. You never stopped. You still love me now, the same way I still fucking love you.
Callie Hart (Calico)
Giving Birth by Marcus Amaker do you remember when the earth was just a baby, settling in its skin, safe in the arms of mother nature with fire breathing from within. you were not shackled by time and life roamed around your heart with the weight of dinosaurs, leaving footprints in your lungs. and the first time you saw the sun you could barely breathe because the possibility of endless light planted a seed so you admire the strength of trees, who naturally grew into unwavering beauty, staring down the mouth of time. do you remember being 11 years old when your mother told you “birth is more painful than dying” and you burst with dreams without even trying, seeking light in your heart, where shadows now rest comfortably next to fear. but you come out of the woods clear, with nature’s breath under your tongue, and a weightless bliss, no longer scared of death.
Marcus Amaker
What do you know about somebody not being good enough for somebody else? And since when did you care whether Corinthians stood up or fell down? You've been laughing at us all your life. Corinthians. Mama. Me. Using us, ordering us, and judging us: how we cook your food; how we keep your house. But now, all of a sudden, you have Corinthians' welfare at heart and break her up from a man you don't approve of. Who are you to approve or disapprove anybody or anything? I was breathing air in the world thirteen years before your lungs were even formed. Corinthians, twelve. . . . but now you know what's best for the very woman who wiped the dribble from your chin because you were too young to know how to spit. Our girlhood was spent like a found nickel on you. When you slept, we were quiet; when you were hungry, we cooked; when you wanted to play, we entertained you; and when you got grown enough to know the difference between a woman and a two-toned Ford, everything in this house stopped for you. You have yet to . . . move a fleck of your dirt from one place to another. And to this day, you have never asked one of us if we were tired, or sad, or wanted a cup of coffee. . . . Where do you get the RIGHT to decide our lives? . . . I'll tell you where. From that hog's gut that hangs down between your legs. . . . I didn't go to college because of him. Because I was afraid of what he might do to Mama. You think because you hit him once that we all believe you were protecting her. Taking her side. It's a lie. You were taking over, letting us know you had the right to tell her and all of us what to do. . . . I don't make roses anymore, and you have pissed your last in this house.
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
Then Hermione’s voice came out of the blackness for the third time, sharp and clear from a few yards away. “Harry, they’re here…right here.” And he knew by her tone that it was his mother and father this time: He moved toward her, feeling as if something heavy were pressing on his chest, the same sensation he had had right after Dumbledore had died, a grief that had actually weighed on his heart and lungs. The headstone was only two rows behind Kendra and Ariana’s. It was made of white marble, just like Dumbledore’s tomb, and this made it easy to read, as it seemed to shine in the dark. Harry did not need to kneel or even approach very close to it to make out the words engraved upon it. JAMES POTTER BORN 27 MARCH 1960 DIED 31 OCTOBER 1981 LILY POTTER BORN 30 JANUARY 1960 DIED 31 OCTOBER 1981 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. Harry read the words slowly, as though he would have only one chance to take in their meaning, and he read the last of them aloud. “‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death’…” A horrible thought came to him, and with it a kind of panic. “Isn’t that a Death Eater idea? Why is that there?” “It doesn’t mean defeating death in the way the Death Eaters mean it, Harry,” said Hermione, her voice gentle. “It means…you know…living beyond death. Living after death.” But they were not living, though Harry: They were gone. The empty words could not disguise the fact that his parents’ moldering remains lay beneath snow and stone, indifferent, unknowing. And tears came before he could stop them, boiling hot then instantly freezing on his face, and what was the point in wiping them off or pretending? He let them fall, his lips pressed hard together, looking down at the thick snow hiding from his eyes the place where the last of Lily and James lay, bones now, surely, or dust, not knowing or caring that their living son stood so near, his heart still beating, alive because of their sacrifice and close to wishing, at this moment, that he was sleeping under the snow with them.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Now That I Am in Madrid I Can Think " I think of you and the continents brilliant and arid and the slender heart you are sharing my share of with the American air as the lungs I have felt sonorously subside slowly greet each morning and your brown lashes flutter revealing two perfect dawns colored by New York see a vast bridge stetching to the humbled outskirts with only you Standing on the edge of the purple like an only tree and in Toledo the olive groves’ soft blue look at the hills with silver like glasses like an old ladies hair It’s well known that God and I don’t get along together It’s just a view of the brass works for me, I don’t care about the Moors seen through you the great works of death, you are greater you are smiling, you are emptying the world so we can be alone together.
Frank O'Hara (The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara)
If there is anything terrible, if there exists a reality which surpasses dreams, it is this: to live, to see the sun; to be in full possession of virile force; to possess health and joy; to laugh valiantly; to rush towards a glory which one sees dazzling in front of one; to feel in one’s breast lungs which breathe, a heart which beats, a will which reasons; to speak, think, hope, love; to have a mother, to have a wife, to have children; to have the light—and all at once, in the space of a shout, in less than a minute, to sink into an abyss; to fall, to roll, to crush, to be crushed; to see ears of wheat, flowers, leaves, branches; not to be able to catch hold of anything; to feel one’s sword useless, men beneath one, horses on top of one; to struggle in vain, since one’s bones have been broken by some kick in the darkness; to feel a heel which makes one’s eyes start from their sockets; to bite horses’ shoes in one’s rage; to stifle, to yell, to writhe; to be beneath, and to say to one’s self, “But just a little while ago I was a living man!
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Jack fell to his knees on the bench,his eyes rolling back in ecstasy as he clutched both hands to his heart. "Oh, heavens above,to have seen such beauty with my own eyes! It's more than I ever hoped for. But how can I live now, knowing that you're not mine? Please." He crawled forward to the edge of the bench. "Marry me. Nay,marriage will cost us precious moments together. Let us make sweet, passionate love right here.Let me bear your children." A primal growl signaled Miss Lynn getting over her shock at being thus addressed. She lunged forward; Jack deftly rolled off the bench, jumping up out of her reach. "Goodness, I didn't expect you to be quite this enthusiastic about my advances. If I don't play hard to get, how will I ever know whether or not you respect me?" Another growl,this one sounding like "you!" Or prehaps "eew!" because that's certainly how I felt about the whole exchange. Everyone stopped laughing and watched, wide-eyed with horror, unsure whether to stay or distance themselves from the inevitable outcome, which would quite possibly involve jack's dismemberment. I didn't know who to root for.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
The only trouble at first was that one small, cold-sober part of her mind floated free of the rest of her; it was able to observe how solemn a man could be at times like this, how earnest in his hairy nakedness, and how predictable. You had only to offer up your breasts and there was his hungering mouth on one and then the other of them, drawing the nipples out hard; you had only to open your legs and there was his hand at work on you, tirelessly burrowing. Then you got his mouth again, and then you got the whole of him, boyishly proud of his first penetration, lunging and thrusting and ready to love you forever, if only to prove that he could.
Richard Yates (Young Hearts Crying)
She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. "Here," she said, "in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don’t love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don't love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I'm talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. And all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver--love it, love it, and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet.More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize." Saying no more, she stood up then and danced with her twisted hip the rest of what her heart had to say while the others opened heir mouths and gave her the music.
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
That's how I read the Bible. There are more than sixty references in Scripture to celebration and all but one or two of them are positive. Most of them are divine commands to go and party. Exodus and Deuteronomy and Numbers read like a string of invitations to a nonstop whirlwind of festival: "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread...Celebrate the Feast of Harvest...Celebrate the Feast of Weeks...Celebrate the Passover...Celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles...Celebrate." These were not quiet, sedate, well-mannered little tea parties. They were raucous, shout-at-the-top-of-your-lungs and dance-in-the-streets, weeklong shindigs. The heart of the prodigal home, shouting to His servants, "Bring the fatted calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate!" That's our God. You read this stuff enough, you start to get the sense that God is looking for just about any excuse to fire up the barbecue and invite the neighborhood over.
Mark Buchanan (Your God Is Too Safe: Rediscovering the Wonder of a God You Can't Control)
home, alone in my room, with the sounds of #2 and #5 trains rumbling in the distance, I started with a letter to myself. Dear Juliet, Repeat after me: You are a bruja. You are a warrior. You are a feminist. You are a beautiful brown babe. Surround yourself with other beautiful brown and black and indigenous and morena and Chicana, native, Indian, mixed race, Asian, gringa, boriqua babes. Let them uplift you. Rage against the motherfucking machine. Question everything anyone ever says to you or forces down your throat or makes you write a hundred times on the blackboard. Question every man that opens his mouth and spews out a law over your body and spirit. Question every single thing until you find the answer in a daydream. Don’t question yourself unless you hurt someone else. When you hurt someone else, sit down, and think, and think, and think, and then make it right. Apologize when you fuck up. Live forever. Consult the ancestors while counting stars in the galaxy. Hold wisdom under tongue until it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Do not be afraid. Do not doubt yourself. Do not hide Be proud of your inhaler, your cane, your back brace, your acne. Be proud of the things that the world uses to make you feel different. Love your fat fucking glorious body. Love your breasts, hips, and wide-ass if you have them and if you don’t, love the body you do have or the one you create for yourself. Love the fact that you have ingrown hairs on the back of your thighs and your grandma’s mustache on your lips. Read all the books that make you whole. Read all the books that pull you out of the present and into the future. Read all the books about women who get tattoos, and break hearts, and rob banks, and start heavy metal bands. Read every single one of them. Kiss everyone. Ask first. Always ask first and then kiss the way stars burn in the sky. Trust your lungs. Trust the Universe. Trust your damn self. Love hard, deep, without restraint or doubt Love everything that brushes past your skin and lives inside your soul. Love yourself. In La Virgen’s name and in the name of Selena, Adiosa.
Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath)
Fuck them all. I ought to have that tattooed on my forehead, for all the times I've thought it. Usually I am in transit, speeding in my Jeep until my lungs give out. Today, I'm driving ninety-five down 95. I weave in and out of traffic, sewing up a scar. People yell at me behind their closed windows. I give them the finger. It would solve a thousand problems if I rolled the Jeep over an embankment. It's not like I haven't thought about it, you know. On my license, it says I'm an organ donor, but the truth is I'd consider being an organ martyr. I'm sure I'm worth a lot more dead than alive--the sum of the parts equals more than the whole. I wonder who might wind up walking around with my liver, my lungs, even my eyeballs. I wonder what poor asshole would get stuck with whatever it is in me that passes for a heart.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
Several years ago, researchers at the University of Minnesota identified 568 men and women over the age of seventy who were living independently but were at high risk of becoming disabled because of chronic health problems, recent illness, or cognitive changes. With their permission, the researchers randomly assigned half of them to see a team of geriatric nurses and doctors—a team dedicated to the art and science of managing old age. The others were asked to see their usual physician, who was notified of their high-risk status. Within eighteen months, 10 percent of the patients in both groups had died. But the patients who had seen a geriatrics team were a quarter less likely to become disabled and half as likely to develop depression. They were 40 percent less likely to require home health services. These were stunning results. If scientists came up with a device—call it an automatic defrailer—that wouldn’t extend your life but would slash the likelihood you’d end up in a nursing home or miserable with depression, we’d be clamoring for it. We wouldn’t care if doctors had to open up your chest and plug the thing into your heart. We’d have pink-ribbon campaigns to get one for every person over seventy-five. Congress would be holding hearings demanding to know why forty-year-olds couldn’t get them installed. Medical students would be jockeying to become defrailulation specialists, and Wall Street would be bidding up company stock prices. Instead, it was just geriatrics. The geriatric teams weren’t doing lung biopsies or back surgery or insertion of automatic defrailers. What they did was to simplify medications. They saw that arthritis was controlled. They made sure toenails were trimmed and meals were square. They looked for worrisome signs of isolation and had a social worker check that the patient’s home was safe. How do we reward this kind of work? Chad Boult, the geriatrician who was the lead investigator of the University of Minnesota study, can tell you. A few months after he published the results, demonstrating how much better people’s lives were with specialized geriatric care, the university closed the division of geriatrics.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
I must say a word about fear. It is life's only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread. Fear next turns fully to your body, which is already aware that something terribly wrong is going on. Already your lungs have flown away like a bird and your guts have slithered away like a snake. Now your tongue drops dead like an opossum, while your jaw begins to gallop on the spot. Your ears go deaf. Your muscles begin to shiver as if they had malaria and your knees to shake as though they were dancing. Your heart strains too hard, while your sphincter relaxes too much. And so with the rest of your body. Every part of you, in the manner most suited to it, falls apart. Only your eyes work well. They always pay proper attention to fear. Quickly you make rash decisions. You dismiss your last allies: hope and trust. There, you've defeated yourself. Fear, which is but an impression, has triumphed over you. The matter is difficult to put into words. For fear, real fear, such as shakes you to your foundation, such as you feel when you are brought face to face with your mortal end, nestles in your memory like a gangrene: it seeks to rot everything, even the words with which to speak of it. So you must fight hard to express it. You must fight hard to shine the light of words upon it. Because if you don't, if your fear becomes a wordless darkness that you avoid, perhaps even manage to forget, you open yourself to further attacks of fear because you never truly fought the opponent who defeated you.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
Their other hands flipped up, palm to palm, and Merik’s only consolation as he and the domna slid into the next movement of the dance was that her chest heaved as much as his did. Merik’s right hand gripped the girl’s, and with no small amount of ferocity, he twisted her around to face the same direction as he before wrenching her to his chest. His hand slipped over her stomach, fingers splayed. Her left hand snapped up—and he caught it. Then the real difficulty of the dance began. The skipping of feet in a tide of alternating hops and directions. The writhing of hips countered the movement of their feet like a ship upon stormy seas. The trickling tap of Merik’s fingers down the girl’s arms, her ribs, her waist—like the rain against a ship’s sail. On and on, they moved to the music until they were both sweating. Until they hit the third movement. Merik flipped the girl around to face him once more. Her chest slammed against his—and by the Wells, she was tall. He hadn’t realized just how tall until this precise moment when her eyes stared evenly into his and her panting breaths fought against his own. Then the music swelled once more, her legs twined into his, and he forgot all about who she was or what she was or why he had begun the dance in the first place. Because those eyes of hers were the color of the sky after a storm. Without realizing what he did, his Windwitchery flickered to life. Something in this moment awoke the wilder parts of his power. Each heave of his lungs sent a breeze swirling in. It lifted the girl’s hair. Kicked at her wild skirts. She showed no reaction at all. In fact, she didn’t break her gaze from Merik, and there was a fierceness there—a challenge that sent Merik further beneath the waves of the dance. Of the music. Of those eyes. Each leap backward of her body—a movement like the tidal tug of the sea against the river—led to a violent slam as Merik snatched her back against him. For each leap and slam, the girl added in an extra flourishing beat with her heels. Another challenge that Merik had never seen, yet rose to, rose above. Wind crashed around them like a growing hurricane, and he and this girl were at its eye. And the girl never looked away. Never backed down. Not even when the final measures of the song began—that abrupt shift from the sliding cyclone of strings to the simple plucking bass that follows every storm—did Merik soften how hard he pushed himself against this girl. Figuratively. Literally. Their bodies were flush, their hearts hammering against each other’s rib cages. He walked his fingers down her back, over her shoulders, and out to her hands. The last drops of a harsh rain. The music slowed. She pulled away first, slinking back the required four steps. Merik didn’t look away from her face, and he only distantly noticed that, as she pulled away, his Windwitchery seemed to settle. Her skirts stopped swishing, her hair fluttered back to her shoulders. Then he slid backward four steps and folded his arms over his chest. The music came to a close. And Merik returned to his brain with a sickening certainty that Noden and His Hagfishes laughed at him from the bottom of the sea.
Susan Dennard (Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1))
in the Bhagavad Gita. One stanza reads: “Offering the inhaling breath into the exhaling breath and offering the exhaling breath into the inhaling breath, the yogi neutralizes both breaths; thus he releases prana from the heart and brings life force under his control.”2 The interpretation is: “The yogi arrests decay in the body by securing an additional supply of prana (life force) through quieting the action of the lungs and heart; he also arrests mutations of growth in the body by control of apana (eliminating current). Thus neutralizing decay and growth, the yogi learns life-force control.” Another Gita stanza states: “That meditation-expert (muni) becomes eternally free who, seeking the Supreme Goal, is able to withdraw from external phenomena by fixing his gaze within the mid-spot of the eyebrows and by neutralizing the even currents of prana and apana [that flow] within the nostrils and lungs; and to control his sensory mind and intellect; and to banish desire, fear, and anger.”3
Paramahansa Yogananda (Autobiography of a Yogi (Complete Edition))
Small reason was there to doubt, then, that ever since that almost fatal encounter, Ahab had cherished a wild vindictiveness against the whale, all the more fell for that in his frantic morbidness he at last came to identify with him, not only all his bodily woes, but all his intellectual and spiritual exasperations. The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and a lung. All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
Whenever you go out-of-doors, draw the chin in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual . . . Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude – the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
Run, I said to myself.” Warner has picked up my notebook again. “Please.” I’m begging him. “Please s-stop—” He looks up, looks at me like he can really see me, see into me, like he wants me to see into him and then he drops his eyes, he clears his throat, he starts over, he reads from my journal. “Run, I said to myself. Run until your lungs collapse, until the wind whips and snaps at your tattered clothes, until you’re a blur that blends into the background. “Run, Juliette, run faster, run until your bones break and your shins split and your muscles atrophy and your heart dies because it was always too big for your chest and it beat too fast for too long and run. “Run run run until you can’t hear their feet behind you. Run until they drop their fists and their shouts dissolve in the air. Run with your eyes open and your mouth shut and dam the river rushing up behind your eyes. Run, Juliette. “Run until you drop dead. “Make sure your heart stops before they ever reach you. Before they ever touch you. “Run, I said.
Tahereh Mafi
In her memoir of living among the Bushmen, The Old Way: A Story of the First People, my friend Liz lovingly invokes an image first coined by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins: “You are standing beside your mother, holding her hand. She is holding her mother’s hand, who is holding her mother’s hand. . . . ” Eventually the line stretches three hundred miles long and goes back five million years, and the clasping hand of the ancestor looks like that of a chimpanzee. I loved picturing one of Octavia’s arms stretching out to meet one of her mother’s arms, and one of her mother’s mother’s arms, and her mother’s mother’s mother’s. . . . Suckered, elastic arms, reaching back through time: an octopus chorus line stretching not just hundreds, but many thousands of miles long. Back past the Cenozoic, the time when our ancestors descended from the trees; back past the Mesozoic, when dinosaurs ruled the land; back past the Permian and the rise of the ancestors of the mammals; back, past the Carboniferous’s coal-forming swamp forests; back past the Devonian, when amphibians emerged from the water; back past the Silurian, when plants first took root on land—all the way to the Ordovician, to a time before the advent of wings or knees or lungs, before the fishes had bony jaws, before blood pumped from a multichambered heart. More than 500 million years ago, the tides would have been stronger, the days shorter, the year longer, and the air too high in carbon dioxide for mammals or birds to breathe. All the earth’s continents huddled in the Southern Hemisphere. And yet still, the arm of Octavia’s ancestor, sensitive, suckered, and supple, would have been recognizable as one of an octopus.
Sy Montgomery (The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness)
The Goober was beautiful when he ran. His long arms and legs moved flowingly and flawlessly, his body floating as if his feet weren’t touching the ground. When he ran, he forgot about his acne and his awkwardness and the shyness that paralyzed him when a girl looked his way. Even his thoughts became sharper, and things were simple and uncomplicated—he could solve math problems when he ran or memorize football play patterns. Often he rose early in the morning, before anyone else, and poured himself liquid through the sunrise streets, and everything seemed beautiful, everything in its proper orbit, nothing impossible, the entire world attainable. When he ran, he even loved the pain, the hurt of the running, the burning in his lungs and the spasms that sometimes gripped his calves. He loved it because he knew he could endure the pain, and even go beyond it. He had never pushed himself to the limit but he felt all this reserve strength inside of him: more than strength actually—determination. And it sang in him as he ran, his heart pumping blood joyfully through his body.
Robert Cormier (The Chocolate War (Chocolate War, #1))
I don't think this place was everything my mother hoped for that day when she asked God where she should go to give her son the world. Though she didn't ford a river or hike across mountains, she still did what so many pioneers before had done, traveled recklessly, curiously, into the unknown of finding something just a little bit better. And like them she suffered and persevered, perhaps in equal measure. Whenever I looked at her, a castaway on the island of my queen-sized bed, it was hard for me to look past the suffering. It was hard for me not to take inventory of all that she had lost -- her home country, her husband, her son. The losses just kept piling up. It was hard for me to see her there, hear her ragged breath, and think of how she had persevered, but she had. Just lying there in my bed was a testament to her perseverance, to the fact that she survived, even when she wasn't sure she wanted to. I used to believe that God never gives us more than we can handle, but then my brother died and my mother and I were left with so much more; it crushed us. It took me many years to realize that it's hard to live in this world. I don't mean the mechanics of living, because for most of us, our hearts will beat, our lungs will take in oxygen, without us doing anything at all to tell them to. For most of us, mechanically, physically, it's hard to die than it is to live. But still we try to die. We drive too fast down winding roads, we have sex with strangers without wearing protection, we drink, we use drugs. We try to squeeze a little more life out of our lives. It's natural to want to do that. But to be alive in the world, every day, as we are given more and more and more, as the nature of "what we can handle" changes and our methods for how we handle it change, too, that's something of a miracle.
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
in, carry the crown of the head high, and fill the lungs to the utmost; drink in the sunshine; greet your friends with a smile, and put soul into every handclasp. Do not fear being misunderstood and do not waste a minute thinking about your enemies. Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding away, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual . . . Thought is supreme. Preserve a right mental attitude – the attitude of courage, frankness, and good cheer. To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed. Carry your chin in and the crown of your head high. We are gods in the chrysalis.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
My relationship had ended and Red had taken my son. My life was my own and I could do anything I wanted, yet I felt nothing. As I stood staring at the walls, searching inside myself for some kind of emotional response, the nothingness suddenly welled up inside me, like a physical mass, so vast and empty and infinite I was terrified. The very first time I went running, it was from that terror, from the possibility of being sucked down into emptiness for ever, and as I ran I discovered I was able to feel; pressure in my lungs, pain in my legs, my skin perspiring, the pounding of my heart. My routine was erratic, I ran when I felt like it, usually five or six times a month. So was my style. It was nothing like that of the runners I grew accustomed to seeing, the ones who regulated themselves, jogged two or three times a week, who did a warm-up first and stretching exercises afterwards, the people for whom the activity was a hobby. I ran like my life depended on it, as fast and as hard as I could. Sometimes, passers-by would look beyond me as I ran towards them, with fear in their eyes, trying to see who or what was pursuing me, trying to work out whether they should be running too. As long as I was feeling, I didn’t care.
Yvvette Edwards (A Cupboard Full of Coats)
Perched upon the stones of a bridge The soldiers had the eyes of ravens Their weapons hung black as talons Their eyes gloried in the smoke of murder To the shock of iron-heeled sticks I drew closer in the cripple’s bitter patience And before them I finally tottered Grasping to capture my elusive breath With the cockerel and swift of their knowing They watched and waited for me ‘I have come,’ said I, ‘from this road’s birth, I have come,’ said I, ‘seeking the best in us.’ The sergeant among them had red in his beard Glistening wet as he showed his teeth ‘There are few roads on this earth,’ said he, ‘that will lead you to the best in us, old one.’ ‘But you have seen all the tracks of men,’ said I ‘And where the mothers and children have fled Before your advance. Is there naught among them That you might set an old man upon?’ The surgeon among this rook had bones Under her vellum skin like a maker of limbs ‘Old one,’ said she, ‘I have dwelt In the heat of chests, among heart and lungs, And slid like a serpent between muscles, Swum the currents of slowing blood, And all these roads lead into the darkness Where the broken will at last rest. ‘Dare say I,’ she went on,‘there is no Place waiting inside where you might find In slithering exploration of mysteries All that you so boldly call the best in us.’ And then the man with shovel and pick, Who could raise fort and berm in a day Timbered of thought and measured in all things Set the gauge of his eyes upon the sun And said, ‘Look not in temples proud, Or in the palaces of the rich highborn, We have razed each in turn in our time To melt gold from icon and shrine And of all the treasures weeping in fire There was naught but the smile of greed And the thick power of possession. Know then this: all roads before you From the beginning of the ages past And those now upon us, yield no clue To the secret equations you seek, For each was built of bone and blood And the backs of the slave did bow To the laboured sentence of a life In chains of dire need and little worth. All that we build one day echoes hollow.’ ‘Where then, good soldiers, will I Ever find all that is best in us? If not in flesh or in temple bound Or wretched road of cobbled stone?’ ‘Could we answer you,’ said the sergeant, ‘This blood would cease its fatal flow, And my surgeon could seal wounds with a touch, All labours will ease before temple and road, Could we answer you,’ said the sergeant, ‘Crows might starve in our company And our talons we would cast in bogs For the gods to fight over as they will. But we have not found in all our years The best in us, until this very day.’ ‘How so?’ asked I, so lost now on the road, And said he, ‘Upon this bridge we sat Since the dawn’s bleak arrival, Our perch of despond so weary and worn, And you we watched, at first a speck Upon the strife-painted horizon So tortured in your tread as to soak our faces In the wonder of your will, yet on you came Upon two sticks so bowed in weight Seeking, say you, the best in us And now we have seen in your gift The best in us, and were treasures at hand We would set them humbly before you, A man without feet who walked a road.’ Now, soldiers with kind words are rare Enough, and I welcomed their regard As I moved among them, ’cross the bridge And onward to the long road beyond I travel seeking the best in us And one day it shall rise before me To bless this journey of mine, and this road I began upon long ago shall now end Where waits for all the best in us. ―Avas Didion Flicker Where Ravens Perch
Steven Erikson (The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10))
You've a sentimental streak along with that iron,Keeley." "Yes,I do.And a latent romantic one." "Is that so?" he murmured, a little surprised when she turned and ran her hands up his chest. "Apparently.I didn't think you for riding to my rescue last night." "I don't recall riding anywhere." His lips twitched as she backed him out of the box. "In a manner of speaking.You cut a bully down to size for me.I was upset and worried about the gelding, so I didn't really think about it at the time.But I did later,and I wanted to thank you." "Well, you're welcome." "I haven't finished thanking you." She bit lightly on his bottom lip, heard his quick indrawn breath. "If that's what you have in mind, you could finish thanking me up in my bedroom." "Why don't I just show you what I have in mind? Right here." She had his shirt unbuttoned before he realized they were standing in an empty stall, freshly bedded with hay. "Here?" He laughed, taking both her hands to tug her out again. "I don't think so." "Here." She countered his move by ramming his back against the side wall. "I know so." "Don't be ridiculous." His lungs were clogged, and his mind insisted on following suit. "Anyone could come along?" "Live dangerously." She pulled the stall door shut behind them. "I have been,since I first set eyes on you.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
Which was why he reflexively turned when a flash of iridescence caught his eye. His first thought was: Morpho rhetenor Helena. The extraordinary tropical butterfly with wings of shifting colors: blues, lavenders, greens. It proved to be a woman’s skirt. The color was blue, but by the light of the legion of overhead candles, he saw purples and even greens shivering in its weave. A bracelet of pale stones winked around one wrist, a circlet banded her dark head. The chandelier struck little beams from that, too. She’s altogether too shiny for a woman, he decided, and began to turn away. Which was when she tipped her face up into the light. Everything stopped. The beat of his heart, the pump of his lungs, the march of time. Seconds later, thankfully, it all resumed. Much more violently than previously. And then absurd notions roman-candled in his mind. His palms ached to cradle her face—it was a kitten’s face, broad and fair at the brow, stubborn at the chin. She had kitten’s eyes, too: large and a bit tilted and surely they weren’t actually the azure of calm southern seas? Surely he, Miles Redmond, hadn’t entertained such a florid thought? Her eyebrows were wicked: fine, slanted, very dark. Her hair was probably brown, but it was as though he’d never learned the word “brown.” Burnished. Silk. Copper. Azure. Delicate. Angel. Hallelujah. Suddenly these were the only words he knew.
Julie Anne Long
It was getting late, but sleep was the furthest thing from my racing mind. Apparently that was not the case for Mr. Sugar Buns. He lay back, closed his eyes, and threw an arm over his forehead, his favorite sleeping position. I could hardly have that. So, I crawled on top of him and started chest compressions. It seemed like the right thing to do. "What are you doing?" he asked without removing his arm. "Giving you CPR." I pressed into his chest, trying not to lose count. Wearing a red-and-black football jersey and boxers that read, DRIVERS WANTED. SEE INSIDE FOR DETAILS, I'd straddled him and now worked furiously to save his life, my focus like that of a seasoned trauma nurse. Or a seasoned pot roast. It was hard to say. "I'm not sure I'm in the market," he said, his voice smooth and filled with a humor I found appalling. He clearly didn't appreciate my dedication. "Damn it, man! I'm trying to save your life! Don't interrupt." A sensuous grin slid across his face. He tucked his arms behind his head while I worked. I finished my count, leaned down, put my lips on his, and blew. He laughed softly, the sound rumbling from his chest, deep and sexy, as he took my breath into his lungs. That part down, I went back to counting chest compressions. "Don't you die on me!" And praying. After another round, he asked, "Am I going to make it?" "It's touch-and-go. I'm going to have to bring out the defibrillator." "We have a defibrillator?" he asked, quirking a brow, clearly impressed. I reached for my phone. "I have an app. Hold on." As I punched buttons, I realized a major flaw in my plan. I needed a second phone. I could hardly shock him with only one paddle. I reached over and grabbed his phone as well. Started punching buttons. Rolled my eyes. "You don't have the app," I said from between clenched teeth. "I had no idea smartphones were so versatile." "I'll just have to download it. It'll just take a sec." "Do I have that long?" Humor sparkled in his eyes as he waited for me to find the app. I'd forgotten the name of it, so I had to go back to my phone, then back to his, then do a search, then download, then install it, all while my patient lay dying. Did no one understand that seconds counted? "Got it!" I said at last. I pressed one phone to his chest and one to the side of his rib cage like they did in the movies, and yelled, "Clear!" Granted, I didn't get off him or anything as the electrical charge riddled his body, slammed his heart into action, and probably scorched his skin. Or that was my hope, anyway. He handled it well. One corner of his mouth twitched, but that was about it. He was such a trouper. After two more jolts of electricity--it had to be done--I leaned forward and pressed my fingertips to his throat. "Well?" he asked after a tense moment. I released a ragged sigh of relief,and my shoulders fell forward in exhaustion. "You're going to be okay, Mr. Farrow." Without warning, my patient pulled me into his arms and rolled me over, pinning me to the bed with his considerable weight and burying his face in my hair. It was a miracle!
Darynda Jones (The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10))
And so I make my way across the room steadily, carefully. Hands shaking, I pull the string, lifting my blinds. They rise slowly, drawing more moonlight into the room with every inch And there he is, crouched low on the roof. Same leather jacket. The hair is his, the cheekbones, the perfect nose . . . the eyes: dark and mysterious . . . full of secrets. . . . My heart flutters, body light. I reach out to touch him, thinking he might disappear, my fingers disrupted by the windowpane. On the other side, Parker lifts his hand and mouths: “Hi.” I mouth “Hi” back. He holds up a single finger, signalling me to hold on. He picks up a spiral-bound notebook and flips open the cover, turning the first page to me. I recognize his neat, block print instantly: bold, black Sharpie. I know this is unexpected . . . , I read. He flips the page. . . . and strange . . . I lift an eyebrow. . . . but please hear read me out. He flips to the next page. I know I told you I never lied . . . . . . but that was (obviously) the biggest lie of all. The truth is: I’m a liar. I lied. I lied to myself . . . . . . and to you. Parker watches as I read. Our eyes meet, and he flips the page. But only because I had to. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with you, Jaden . . . . . . but it happened anyway. I clear my throat, and swallow hard, but it’s squeezed shut again, tight. And it gets worse. Not only am I a liar . . . I’m selfish. Selfish enough to want it all. And I know if I don’t have you . . . I hold my breath, waiting. . . . I don’t have anything. He turns another page, and I read: I’m not Parker . . . . . . and I’m not going to give up . . . . . . until I can prove to you . . . . . . that you are the only thing that matters. He flips to the next page. So keep sending me away . . . . . . but I’ll just keep coming back to you. Again . . . He flips to the next page. . . . and again . . . And the next: . . . and again. Goose bumps rise to the surface of my skin. I shiver, hugging myself tightly. And if you can ever find it in your (heart) to forgive me . . . There’s a big, black “heart” symbol where the word should be. I will do everything it takes to make it up to you. He closes the notebook and tosses it beside him. It lands on the roof with a dull thwack. Then, lifting his index finger, he draws an X across his chest. Cross my heart. I stifle the happy laugh welling inside, hiding the smile as I reach for the metal latch to unlock my window. I slowly, carefully, raise the sash. A burst of fresh honeysuckles saturates the balmy, midnight air, sickeningly sweet, filling the room. I close my eyes, breathing it in, as a thousand sleepless nights melt, slipping away. I gather the lavender satin of my dress in my hand, climb through the open window, and stand tall on the roof, feeling the height, the warmth of the shingles beneath my bare feet, facing Parker. He touches the length of the scar on my forehead with his cool finger, tucks my hair behind my ear, traces the edge of my face with the back of his hand. My eyes close. “You know you’re beautiful? Even when you cry?” He smiles, holding my face in his hands, smearing the tears away with his thumbs. I breathe in, lungs shuddering. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, black eyes sincere. I swallow. “I know why you had to.” “Doesn’t make it right.” “Doesn’t matter anymore,” I say, shaking my head. The moon hangs suspended in the sky, stars twinkling overhead, as he leans down and kisses me softly, lips meeting mine, familiar—lips I imagined, dreamed about, memorized a mil ion hours ago. Then he wraps his arms around me, pulling me into him, quelling every doubt and fear and uncertainty in this one, perfect moment.
Katie Klein (Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1))
The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20) The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his brow… “On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warrior’s continued existence. The man swings. As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe. But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot. His Father! He must face his Father like this! From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes His mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross.Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes. “Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, over-spent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held a razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who moles young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath? Of course the Son is innocent He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed. The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction. “Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!” But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply. The Trinity had planned it. The Son had endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.
Joni Eareckson Tada (When God Weeps Kit: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty)
And why can't I have an ignore button like my phone? As I hit it, his calls disappear from the screen and the ringing stops. But the tingles are still at my fingertips, as if he sent them through the phone to grab me. Shoving it in my purse-the pockets on skinny jeans must just be for show 'cause nothing else is fitting in there-I smile at Mark. Ah, Mark. The blue-eyed, blond-haired, all-American quarterback. Who knew he had a crush on me all these years? Not Emma McIntosh, that's for dang sure. And not Chloe. Which is weird, because Chloe was a collector of this kind of information. Maybe it's not true. Maybe Mark's only interested in me because Galen was-who wouldn't want to date the girl who dated the hottest guy in school? But that's just fine with me. Mark is...well, Mark isn't as fantabulous as I always imagined he would be. Still, he's good-looking, a star quarterback, and he's not trying to hook me up with his brother. So why am I not excited? The question must be all over my face because Mark's got his eyebrow raised. Not in a judgmental arch, more like an arch of expectation. If he's waiting for an explanation, his puny human lungs can't hold their breath long enough for an answer. Aside from not being his business, I can't exactly explain the details of my relationship with Galen-fake or otherwise. The truth is, I don't know where we can go from here. He ripped holes in my pride like buckshot. And did I mention he broke my heart? He's not just a crush. Not just a physical attraction, someone who can make me forget my own name by pretending to kiss me. Not just a teacher or a snobby fish with Royal blood. Sure, he's all of those things. But he's more than that. He's who I want. Possibly forever.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Two large trials of antioxidants were set up after Peto’s paper (which rather gives the lie to nutritionists’ claims that vitamins are never studied because they cannot be patented: in fact there have been a great many such trials, although the food supplement industry, estimated by one report to be worth over $50 billion globally, rarely deigns to fund them). One was in Finland, where 30,000 participants at high risk of lung cancer were recruited, and randomised to receive either ß-carotene, vitamin E, or both, or neither. Not only were there more lung cancers among the people receiving the supposedly protective ß-carotene supplements, compared with placebo, but this vitamin group also had more deaths overall, from both lung cancer and heart disease. The results of the other trial were almost worse. It was called the ‘Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial’, or ‘CARET’, in honour of the high p-carotene content of carrots. It’s interesting to note, while we’re here, that carrots were the source of one of the great disinformation coups of World War II, when the Germans couldn’t understand how our pilots could see their planes coming from huge distances, even in the dark. To stop them trying to work out if we’d invented anything clever like radar (which we had), the British instead started an elaborate and entirely made-up nutritionist rumour. Carotenes in carrots, they explained, are transported to the eye and converted to retinal, which is the molecule that detects light in the eye (this is basically true, and is a plausible mechanism, like those we’ve already dealt with): so, went the story, doubtless with much chortling behind their excellent RAF moustaches, we have been feeding our chaps huge plates of carrots, to jolly good effect. Anyway. Two groups of people at high risk of lung cancer were studied: smokers, and people who had been exposed to asbestos at work. Half were given 3-carotene and vitamin A, while the other half got placebo. Eighteen thousand participants were due to be recruited throughout its course, and the intention was that they would be followed up for an average of six years; but in fact the trial was terminated early, because it was considered unethical to continue it. Why? The people having the antioxidant tablets were 46 per cent more likely to die from lung cancer, and 17 per cent more likely to die of any cause,* than the people taking placebo pills. This is not news, hot off the presses: it happened well over a decade ago.
Ben Goldacre (Bad Science)
167 It’s one of those days when the monotony of everything oppresses me like being thrown into jail. The monotony of everything is merely the monotony of myself, however. Each face, even if seen just yesterday, is different today, because today isn’t yesterday. Each day is the day it is, and there was never another one like it in the world. Only our soul makes the identification – a genuinely felt but erroneous identification – by which everything becomes similar and simplified. The world is a set of distinct things with varied edges, but if we’re near-sighted, it’s a continual and indecipherable fog. I feel like fleeing. Like fleeing from what I know, fleeing from what’s mine, fleeing from what I love. I want to depart, not for impossible Indias or for the great islands south of everything, but for any place at all – village or wilderness – that isn’t this place. I want to stop seeing these unchanging faces, this routine, these days. I want to rest, far removed, from my inveterate feigning. I want to feel sleep come to me as life, not as rest. A cabin on the seashore or even a cave in a rocky mountainside could give me this, but my will, unfortunately, cannot. Slavery is the law of life, and it is the only law, for it must be observed: there is no revolt possible, no way to escape it. Some are born slaves, others become slaves, and still others are forced to accept slavery. Our faint-hearted love of freedom – which, if we had it, we would all reject, unable to get used to it – is proof of how ingrained our slavery is. I myself, having just said that I’d like a cabin or a cave where I could be free from the monotony of everything, which is the monotony of me – would I dare set out for this cabin or cave, knowing from experience that the monotony, since it stems from me, will always be with me? I myself, suffocating from where I am and because I am – where would I breathe easier, if the sickness is in my lungs rather than in the things that surround me? I myself, who long for pure sunlight and open country, for the ocean in plain view and the unbroken horizon – could I get used to my new bed, the food, not having to descend eight flights of stairs to the street, not entering the tobacco shop on the corner, not saying good-morning to the barber standing outside his shop? Everything that surrounds us becomes part of us, infiltrating our physical sensations and our feeling of life, and like spittle of the great Spider it subtly binds us to whatever is close, tucking us into a soft bed of slow death which is rocked by the wind. Everything is us, and we are everything, but what good is this, if everything is nothing? A ray of sunlight, a cloud whose shadow tells us it is passing, a breeze that rises, the silence that follows when it ceases, one or another face, a few voices, the incidental laughter of the girls who are talking, and then night with the meaningless, fractured hieroglyphs of the stars.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
Quote from Father Tim during a sermon given after the former priest was found after a suicide attempt. "      'Father Talbot has charged me to tell you that he is deeply repentant for not serving you as God appointed him to do, and as you hoped and needed him to do.         'He wished very much to bring you this message himself, but he could not.  He bids you goodbye with a love he confesses he never felt toward you...until this day.  He asks--and I quote him--that you might find it in your hearts to forgive him his manifold sins against God and this parish.'         He felt the tears on his face before he knew he was weeping, and realized instinctively that he would have no control over the display.  He could not effectively carry on, no even turn his face away or flee the pulpit.  He was in the grip of a wild grief that paralyzed everything but itself.          He wept face forward, then, into the gale of those aghast at what was happening, wept for the wounds of any clergy gone out into a darkness of self-loathing and beguilement; for the loss and sorrow of those who could not believe, or who had once believed but lost all sense of shield and buckler and any notion of God's radical tenderness, for the ceaseless besettings of the flesh, for the worthless idols of his own and of others; for those sidetracked, stumped, frozen, flung away, for those both false and true, the just and the unjust, the quick and the dead.           He wept for himself, for the pain of the long years and the exquisite satisfactions of the faith, for the holiness of the mundane, for the thrashing exhaustions and the endless dyings and resurrectings that malign the soul incarnate.           It had come to this, a thing he had subtly feared for more than forty years--that he would weep before the many--and he saw that his wife would not try to talk him down from this precipice, she would trust him to come down himself without falling or leaping.         And people wept with him, most of them.  Some turned away, and a few got up and left in a hurry, fearful of the swift and astounding movement of the Holy Spirit among them, and he, too, was afraid--of crying aloud in a kind of ancient howl and humiliating himself still further.  But the cry burned out somewhere inside and he swallowed down what remained and the organ began to play, softly, piously.  He wished it to be loud and gregarious, at the top of its lungs--Bach or Beethoven, and not the saccharine pipe that summoned the vagabond sins of thought, word, and deed to the altar, though come to think of it, the rail was the very place to be right now, at once, as he, they, all were desperate for the salve of the cup, the Bread of Heaven.             And then it was over.  He reached into the pocket of his alb and wondered again how so many manage to make in this world without carrying a handkerchief.  And he drew it out and wiped his eyes and blew his nose as he might at home, and said, 'Amen.'                 And the people said, 'Amen.
Jan Karon
His breath fell in a warm, even rhythm on the curve of her cheek. “Some people think of the bee as a sacred insect,” he said. “It’s a symbol of reincarnation.” “I don’t believe in reincarnation,” she muttered. There was a smile in his voice. “What a surprise. At the very least, the bees’ presence in your home is a sign of good things to come.” Her voice was buried in the fine wool of his coat. “Wh-what does it mean if there are thousands of bees in one’s home?” He shifted her higher in his arms, his lips curving gently against the cold rim of her ear. “Probably that we’ll have plenty of honey for teatime. We’re going through the doorway now. In a moment I’m going to set you on your feet.” Amelia kept her face against him, her fingertips digging into the layers of his clothes. “Are they following?” “No. They want to stay near the hive. Their main concern is to protect the queen from predators.” “She has nothing to fear from me!” Laughter rustled in his throat. With extreme care, he lowered Amelia’s feet to the floor. Keeping one arm around her, he reached with the other to close the door. “There. We’re out of the room. You’re safe.” His hand passed over her hair. “You can open your eyes now.” Clutching the lapels of his coat, Amelia stood and waited for a feeling of relief that didn’t come. Her heart was racing too hard, too fast. Her chest ached from the strain of her breathing. Her lashes lifted, but all she could see was a shower of sparks. “Amelia … easy. You’re all right.” His hands chased the shivers that ran up and down her back. “Slow down, sweetheart.” She couldn’t. Her lungs were about to burst. No matter how hard she worked, she couldn’t get enough air. Bees … the sound of buzzing was still in her ears. She heard his voice as if from a great distance, and she felt his arms go around her again as she sank into layers of gray softness. After what could have been a minute or an hour, pleasant sensations filtered through the haze. A tender pressure moved over her forehead. The gentle brushes touched her eyelids, slid to her cheeks. Strong arms held her against a comfortingly hard surface, while a clean, salt-edged scent filled her nostrils. Her lashes fluttered, and she turned into the warmth with confused pleasure. “There you are,” came a low murmur. Opening her eyes, Amelia saw Cam Rohan’s face above her. They were on the hallway floor—he was holding her in his lap. As if the situation weren’t mortifying enough, the front of her bodice was gaping, and her corset was unhooked. Only her crumpled chemise was left to cover her chest. Amelia stiffened. Until that moment she had never known there was a feeling beyond embarrassment, that made one wish one could crumble into a pile of ashes. “My … my dress…” “You weren’t breathing well. I thought it best to loosen your corset.” “I’ve never fainted before,” she said groggily, struggling to sit up. “You were frightened.” His hand came to the center of her chest, gently pressing her back down. “Rest another minute.” His gaze moved over her wan features. “I think we can conclude you’re not fond of bees.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))