Holidays Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Holidays. Here they are! All 200 of them:

It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses)
I want everything with you, America. I want the holidays and the birthdays, the busy season and lazy weekends. I want peanut butter fingertips on my desk. I want inside jokes and fights and everything. I want a life with you.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
If I could believe in myself, why not give other improbabilities the benefit of the doubt?
David Sedaris (Holidays on Ice)
The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.
C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7))
CALVIN: This whole Santa Claus thing just doesn't make sense. Why all the secrecy? Why all the mystery? If the guy exists why doesn't he ever show himself and prove it? And if he doesn't exist what's the meaning of all this? HOBBES: I dunno. Isn't this a religious holiday? CALVIN: Yeah, but actually, I've got the same questions about God.
Bill Watterson
...reality, however utopian, is something from which people feel the need of taking pretty frequent holidays....
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
We just did an awesome job of not dying.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Once you think a thought, it is extremely difficult to unthink it.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
All of us take pride and pleasure in the fact that we are unique, but I'm afraid that when all is said and done the police are right: it all comes down to fingerprints.
David Sedaris (Holidays on Ice)
My experience in Amsterdam is that cyclists ride where the hell they like and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly, the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them. My dream holiday would be a) a ticket to Amsterdam b) immunity from prosecution and c) a baseball bat.
Terry Pratchett
In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it 'Christmas' and went to church; the Jews called it 'Hanukkah' and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say 'Merry Christmas!' or 'Happy Hanukkah!' or (to the atheists) 'Look out for the wall!
Dave Barry
When you're young, you always feel that life hasn't yet begun—that "life" is always scheduled to begin next week, next month, next year, after the holidays—whenever. But then suddenly you're old and the scheduled life didn't arrive. You find yourself asking, 'Well then, exactly what was it I was having—that interlude—the scrambly madness—all that time I had before?
Douglas Coupland (Life After God)
I responded to this development with the kind of sophisticated language for which I am famous. "Crap crap crap crap crap crap crap stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid crap.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Sometimes loneliness makes the loudest noise.
Aaron Ben-Ze'ev
I always had this idea that you should never give up a happy middle in the hopes of a happy ending, because there is no such thing as a happy ending. Do you know what I mean? There is so much to lose.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
After all, the best part of a holiday is perhaps not so much to be resting yourself, as to see all the other fellows busy working.
Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows)
Today is declared an unscheduled holiday.
Lois Lowry (The Giver (The Giver, #1))
How many young college graduates have taken demanding jobs in high-powered firms, vowing that they will work hard to earn money that will enable them to retire and pursue their real interests when they are thirty-five? But by the time they reach that age, they have large mortgages, children to school, houses in the suburbs that necessitate at least two cars per family, and a sense that life is not worth living without really good wine and expensive holidays abroad. What are they supposed to do, go back to digging up roots? No, they double their efforts and keep slaving away.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
The sooner this wedding's over the happier I'll be." [Ron] "Yeah" said Harry, "then we'll have nothing to do except find Horcruxes....It'll be like a holiday, won't it?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season - like all the other seasons - is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them, and that's the end of this particular story.
Lemony Snicket (The Lump of Coal)
And as he drove on, the rainclouds dragged down the sky after him, for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
I may have been a complete lunatic, but I was a complete lunatic with manners.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Christmas is never over,unless you want it to be... Christmas is a state of mind.
Lauren Myracle (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Reading a novel was like returning to a once-beloved holiday destination.
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
We liked to be known as the clever girls. When we decorated our hands with henna for holidays and weddings, we drew calculus and chemical formulae instead of flowers and butterflies.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
One person's crazy is another person's sane, I guess.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Wednesdays were the best thing about Atlantis. The middle of the week was a traditional holiday there. Everyone stopped work and celebrated the fact that half the week was over.
Walter Moers (The 13½ Lives of Captain Bluebear (Zamonia, #1))
Tourists went on holidays while travellers did something else. They travelled.
Alex Garland (The Beach)
Burnett wasn't fooled, that was aparent by his expression, but he didn't argue, either. Well, as long as one didn't call slamming the door an argument. "Jerk" Holiday muttered. "I can hear you" he retorted from the other side of the wall.
C.C. Hunter (Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1))
My birthday is on a holiday. I just have to wait until I die and they commemorate me.
Jarod Kintz (Great Listener Seeks Mute Women)
I" before "E" except after "C" and when sounding like "A" as in neighbor and weigh, and on weekends and holidays and all throughout May, and YOU'LL ALWAYS BE WRONG NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY!!!!
Brian Regan
Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
Erma Bombeck
I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame, they do die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays. But they are murdered children all the same.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
There was a thing called Heaven; but all the same they used to drink enormous quantities of alcohol." ... "There was a thing called the soul and a thing called immortality." ... "But they used to take morphia and cocaine." ... "Two thousand pharmacologists and biochemists were subsidized in A.F. 178." ... "Six years later it was being produced commercially. The perfect drug." ... "Euphoric, narcotic, pleasantly hallucinant." ... "All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects." ... "Take a holiday from reality whenever you like, and come back without so much as a headache or a mythology." ... "Stability was practically assured.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
There is no good or bad without us, there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.
Ricky Gervais
Aelin said to Fenrys, “We’ll only invite him to Orynth on holidays.” “So he can ruin the festivities?” Fenrys scowled. “I, for one, cherish my holidays. I don’t need a misanthrope raining on them.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
Holiday leaned her elbows on her desk. "You can't find one thing that points to his guilt." "He slept with your sister!" Burnett roared. "Guilty of murder, not of being a piece of shit.
C.C. Hunter (Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4))
Impressing people is utterly different from being truly impressive.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
Don't threaten me with love, baby. Let's just go walking in the rain.
Billie Holiday
Sometimes when we forget to do things for others, it's because we're too wrapped up in our own problems.
Lauren Myracle (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
You're a kaleidoscope, you change every time I look away.
Rainbow Rowell (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
when I was four I almost fell down the shaft of a tin mine and when I was five the car rolled over on the motorway and when I was seven we went on holiday and the gas ring blew out in the caravan and nobody noticed I've been dying all my life
Jenny Downham (Before I Die)
Your potential, the absolute best you’re capable of—that’s the metric to measure yourself against. Your standards are. Winning is not enough. People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
Boy trouble, huh?" "Boy catastrophe is more like it. I'm not sure I can do this." "Do what?" Concern sounded in Holiday's voice. "Do Lucas," Kylie said. Holiday made a funny face and raised one eyebrow.
C.C. Hunter (Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4))
Have I missed a national holiday? There must be celebrations in the streets for you to be home at this hour of the day." "I'm calling it Summerset Goes Mute Day. The city's gone mad with joy.
J.D. Robb (Treachery in Death (In Death, #32))
As far as informing the headmaster, Harry had no idea where Dumbledore went during the summer holidays. He amused himself for a moment, picturing Dumbledore, with his long silver beard, full-length wizard's robes, and pointed hat, stretched out on a beach somewhere, rubbing suntan lotion onto his long crooked nose.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
Those who hope, by retiring from the world, to earn a holiday from human frailty, in themselves and others, are usually disappointed.
Iris Murdoch (The Bell)
Because isn’t that what the holidays are all about— letting your family make you wish you were an orphan?
Shelly Laurenston (The Mane Event (Pride, #1))
Tired, but not the kind of tired that sleep fixes.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Something about me has always liked the drama and inconvience of bad weather. The worse the better, really.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
There is always the risk: something is good and good and good and good, then all at once it gets awkward.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Bloody hell, grandsire," were Bones's first words as he approached. "You've left behind a wreckage of burned bodies, dead vampires, missing persons, threatened Guardians, and video evidence of our race's existence. Then you go on holiday. You really do have a death wish
Jeaniene Frost (Eternal Kiss of Darkness (Night Huntress World, #2))
If by that you mean that I dislike celebrity magazines, prefer food to anorexia, refuse to watch TV shows about models, and hate the color pink, then yes. I am proud to be not really a girl.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
When intelligent people read, they ask themselves a simple question: What do I plan to do with this information?
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
Stuart must have sensed my despair from the way I began lightly banging my forehead on the table.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Valentine's Day is the poet's holiday.
Ted Kooser
I'm suprised he doesn't send Christmas cards," Antonio said. "I can see them now. Tasteful, embossed veilum cards, the best he can steal. Little notes in perfect penmanship,"Happy holidays. Hope everyone is well. I sliced up Ethan Ritter in Miami and scattered his remains in the Atlantic. Best wishes for the new year. Karl.
Kelley Armstrong (Bitten (Otherworld, #1))
Think progress, not perfection.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
Oh, what a day. I will make it a holiday.
Dr. Seuss
Bad architecture is in the end as much a failure of psychology as of design. It is an example expressed through materials of the same tendencies which in other domains will lead us to marry the wrong people, choose inappropriate jobs and book unsuccessful holidays: the tendency not to understand who we are and what will satisfy us.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
I knew it was beautiful, but knowing something is beautiful and caring about it are two very different things, and I didn't care.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
There is nothing about a bad situation that fourteen hyper cheerleaders can't worsen.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Every Valentine's Day, the student council sponsered a holiday fundraiser by selling roses that would be delievered in class. The roses came in four colors:white, yellow, red, pink, and the subtleties of thier meaning were parsed and analyzed by the female population to no end. Mimi had always understood it thus:white for love, yellow for friendship, red for passion, and pink for a secret crush.
Melissa de la Cruz (Masquerade (Blue Bloods, #2))
We forget: In life, it doesn’t matter what happens to you or where you came from. It matters what you do with what happens and what you’ve been given.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
He says presents aren't important, but I think they are - not because of how much they cost, but for the opportunity they provide to say I understand you.
David Levithan (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
If your left leg is Thanksgiving, and your right leg is Christmas, can I visit you between the holidays?
Suzanne Wright
A cluster of giggling women sat nearby, tittering about how the Crown Prince was gone on holiday to the Sorian coast, and how they wished they could join the prince and his dashing friends, and on and on until Celaena contemplated chucking her spoon at them.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
Those who have subdued their ego understand that it doesn’t degrade you when others treat you poorly; it degrades them.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
If all the year were playing holidays; To sport would be as tedious as to work.
William Shakespeare (King Henry IV, Part 1)
The stupid vamp just asked me to marry him. Here, now? As if looking like I just died is how I wanted to be proposed to." Joy did a lap around Kylie's heart. "And you said?" Holiday took a sip of water. "I asked him if we couldn't just live together in sin." "And?" "He told me it wouldn't be a good example to our students. So...I agreed to marry him." She pushed a hand against her forehead. "Dear God, what am I getting myself into?
C.C. Hunter (Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4))
Christmas it seems to me is a necessary festival; we require a season when we can regret all the flaws in our human relationships: it is the feast of failure, sad but consoling.
Graham Greene (Travels with My Aunt)
The holiday season is a time for storytelling, and whether you are hearing the story of a candelabra staying lit for more than a week, or a baby born in a barn without proper medical supervision, these stories often feature miracles. Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you'd see, and this holiday story features any number of miracles, depending on your point of view.
Lemony Snicket (The Lump of Coal)
To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labours, and holidays; to be Whitely within a certain area, providing toys, boots, cakes and books; to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can imagine how this can exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone and narrow to be everything to someone? No, a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute.
G.K. Chesterton
To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings. We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.
Oliver Sacks
Would you rather be great at something you like, or just okay at something you love?
Stephanie Perkins (My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
For the record, folks; I never took a shit on stage and the closest I ever came to eating shit anywhere was at a Holiday Inn buffet in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1973.
Frank Zappa (The Real Frank Zappa Book)
On a busy day twenty-two thousand people come to visit Santa, and I was told that it is an elf's lot to remain merry in the face of torment and adversity. I promised to keep that in mind.
David Sedaris
I felt overstuffed and dull and disappointed, the way I always do the day after Christmas, as if whatever it was the pine boughs and the candles and the silver and gilt-ribboned presents and the birch-log fires and the Christmas turkey and the carols at the piano promised never came to pass.
Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar)
I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.
Fred Rogers
God won’t give you more than you can handle.’” Holiday chuckled. “And we just wish He didn’t trust us so much, right?
C.C. Hunter (Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls, #2))
I'd stay there, or not, and I'd eat, or not, and I'd drink, or not, and go home, or not, and what I did or didn't do wouldn't matter to anyone at all. And I walked for most of the day. Do people get sad on holiday sometimes? I can imagine they do, having all that time to think.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
We study there a lot because... what other choice does society give us, right? It's Starbucks or death, sometimes.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
It's always awkward when someone doesn't realize you're joking and devotes thought time to what you've said. Double that when the person is wearing tinfoil.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
I can’t imagine anything more fun that spending a holiday in the home of the man who wants me dead. Like our own fuckin’ Hallmark movie, but with live ammo.
Joanna Wylde (Devil's Game (Reapers MC, #3))
I think holidays create so much pressure because people feel they should be having a good time. But you shouldn't.
Craig Ferguson
"At Christmas, tea is compulsory. Relatives are optional.
Robert Godden
He was about to go home, about to return to the place where he had had a family. It was in Godric’s Hollow that, but for Voldemort, he would have grown up and spent every school holiday. He could have invited friends to his house. . . . He might even have had brothers and sisters. . . . It would have been his mother who had made his seventeenth birthday cake. The life he had lost had hardly ever seemed so real to him as at this moment, when he knew he was about to see the place where it had been taken from him.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Focus on the moment, not the monsters that may or may not be up ahead.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
I remember a period in late adolescence when my mind would make itself drunk with images of adventurousness. This is how it will be when I grow up. I shall go there, do this, discover that, love her, and then her and her and her. I shall live as people in novels live and have lived. Which ones I was not sure, only that passion and danger, ecstasy and despair (but then more ecstasy) would be in attendance. However...who said that thing about "the littleness of life that art exaggerates"? There was a moment in my late twenties when I admitted that my adventurousness had long since petered out. I would never do those things adolescence had dreamt about. Instead, I mowed my lawn, I took holidays, I had my life. But time...how time first grounds us and then confounds us. We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but we were only being cowardly. What we called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them. Time...give us enough time and our best-supported decisions will seem wobbly, our certainties whimsical.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
You can't copy anybody and end with anything. If you copy, it means you're working without any real feeling. No two people on earth are alike, and it's got to be that way in music or it isn't music.
Billie Holiday
If I'm going to sing like someone else, then I don't need to sing at all.
Billie Holiday
Hedwig didn't return until the end of the Easter holidays. Percy's letter was enclosed in a package of Easter eggs that Mrs. Weasley had sent. Both Harry's and Ron's were the size of dragon eggs, and full of home-made toffee. Hermione's, however, was smaller than a chicken's egg. Her face fell when she saw it. "Your mum doesn't read Witch's Weekly, by any chance, does she, Ron?" she asked quietly. "Yeah," said Ron, whose mouth was full of toffee. "Gets it for the recipes." Hermione looked sadly at her tiny egg.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
Nature is not always tricked in holiday attire, but the same scene which yesterday breathed perfume and glittered as for the frolic of the nymphs, is overspread with melancholy today. Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature and Selected Essays)
Just then, my phone started ringing. The ring must have been damaged by the water as well, so now it had a high, keening note - kind of the sound I imagine a mermaid might make if you punched her in the face.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
I stood under the awning for a moment, but finally I decided that being in a bad mood with your friends beats being in a bad mood without them.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Most successful people are people you’ve never heard of. They want it that way. It keeps them sober. It helps them do their jobs.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
Thank you," he says. "Thank who?" "I don't know. You?" "No, not me. Jesus." "Thank you, Jesus?" "Yes, Toph, Jesus died for your Christmas fun.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
I guess I don't really know what I want to do, either. Sometimes I feel like a shook-up bottle of soda. Like, I have all this passion that wants to explode, but I don't know where to aim it yet.
Matt de la Pena (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
Wherever we are, whatever we’re doing and herever we are going, we owe it to ourselves, to our art, to the world to do it well.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
Your salary is not love and your word is not love. Your clothes are not love and holding hands is not love. Sex is not love and a kiss is not love. Long letters are not love and a text is not love. Flowers are not love and a box of chocolates is not love. Sunsets are not love and photographs are not love. The stars are not love and a beach under the moonlight is not love. The smell of someone else on your pillow is not love and the feeling of their skin touching your skin is not love. Heart-shaped candy is not love and an overseas holiday is not love. The truth is not love and winning an argument is not love. Warm coffee isn't love and cheap cards bought from stores are not love. Tears are not love and laughter is not love. A head on a shoulder is not love and messages written at the front of books given as gifts are not love. Apathy is not love and numbness is not love. A pain in your chest is not love and clenching your fist is not love. Rain is not love. Only you. Only you, are love.
pleasefindthis (I Wrote This For You (I Wrote This For You #4))
I don’t keep a travel diary. I did keep a travel diary once and it was a big mistake. All I remember of that trip is what I bothered to write down. Everything else slipped away, as though my mind felt jilted by my reliance on pen and paper. For exactly the same reason I don’t travel with a camera. My holiday becomes the snapshots and anything I forget to record is lost.
Alex Garland (The Beach)
But people don't need to remember how it felt to be happy and safe in the past. They need to have hope that they can get there again in the future.
Kiersten White (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
He had the kind of real deep tan that rich people spent ages trying to achieve with expensive holidays and bits of tinfoil, when really all you need to do to obtain one is work your arse off in the open air everyday.
Terry Pratchett (Equal Rites (Discworld, #3; Witches, #1))
Do you not like The Beatles?" Frank asked, sounding shocked. "Do you also not like sunshine and laughter and puppies? I don't think the Beatles get enough recognition. I mean, when you look at their body of work and how they changed music forever. I think there should be federal holidays and parades
Morgan Matson (Since You've Been Gone)
I never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own.
Billie Holiday
Almost universally, the kind of performance we give on social media is positive. It’s more “Let me tell you how well things are going. Look how great I am.” It’s rarely the truth: “I’m scared. I’m struggling. I don’t know.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
I can sleep like a champion. I once slept through a smoke alarm going off. For three hours. In my bedroom.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
There is something about Christmas that requires a rug rat. Little kids make Christmas fun. I wonder if could rent one for the holidays. When I was tiny we would by a real tree and stay up late drinking hot chocolate and finding just the right place for the special decorations. It seems like my parents gave up the magic when I figured out the Santa lie. Maybe I shouldn't have told them I knew where the presents really came from. It broke their hearts. I bet they'd be divorced by now if I hadn't been born. I'm sure I was a huge disappointment. I'm not pretty or smart or athletic. I'm just like them- an ordinary drone dressed in secrets and lies. I can't believe we have to keep playacting till I graduate. It's a shame we just can't admit that we have failed at family living, sell the house, split up the money, and get on with our lives. Merry Christmas.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
A fucked-up family's a fucked-up family, whether or not werewolves are involved.
Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville, #3))
Of course not. No one is chosen. Not ever. Not in the real world. You chose to climb out of your window and ride on a leopard. You chose to get a witch’s Spoon back, and to make friends with a wyvern. You chose to trade your shadow for a child’s life. You chose not to let the Marquess hurt your friend--you chose to smash her cages! You chose to face your own Death, not to balk at a great sea to cross and no ship to cross it in. And twice now you have chosen not to go home when you might have, if only you abandoned your friends. You are not the chosen one, September. Fairyland did not choose you--you chose yourself. You could have had a lovely holiday in Fairyland and never met the Marquess, never worried yourself with local politics, had a romp with a few brownies and gone home with enough memories for a lifetime’s worth of novels. But you didn’t. You chose. You chose it all. Just like you chose your path on the beach: to lose your heart is not a path for the faint and fainting.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
John rose to his feet and apologized to Holiday. Her mom seethed. Her dad tried to talk to her seething mom. Holiday tried to touch everyone. Burnett continued to glare green daggers at John, proving how hard it was for a vampire to accept an apology. Not that she blamed him. Kill him. Kill him. She cheered the vampire on. Lucas hadn't stopped scowling at Derek and Derek hadn't stopped ignoring Lucas.
C.C. Hunter (Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4))
Where the head goes, the body follows. Perception precedes action. Right action follows the right perspective.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
Kylie bit down on her lip. Burnett took a step forward. He squared his shoulders, empathy filling his eyes. He took a deep, apparent heartfelt breath and looked at Kylie. She nodded at him as if giving him the lead. He looked back at Holiday and, in a deep voice, said, "Kylie has something to tell you." Kylie's mouth fell open and right then she knew it was official. Men sucked at verbal communication especially where anything emotional was concerned.
C.C. Hunter (Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4))
I need you to be my person. I need to see you. And hear you. I need you to stay alive. And I need you to stop kissing other people just because they're standing next to you when the ball drops.
Rainbow Rowell (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
Sybil tells me your little festival is an annual occurrence," she said, the cadence of her voice swooning like a lullaby. "Yes," Kai said, lifting a shrimp wonton between his chopsticks. "It falls on the ninth full moon if each year." "Ah, how lovely for you to base your holidays on the cycles of my planet." Kai wanted to scoff at the word planet but sucked it back down his throat.
Marissa Meyer (Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1))
[...] Technology has tended to devaluate the traditional vision-inducing materials. The illumination of a city, for example, was once a rare event, reserved for victories and national holidays, for the canonization of saints and the crowning of kings. Now it occurs nightly and celebrates the virtues of gin, cigarettes and toothpaste.
Aldous Huxley (The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell)
In your hands winter is a book with cloud pages that snow pearls of love.
Aberjhani (Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry)
And that’s what is so insidious about talk. Anyone can talk about himself or herself. Even a child knows how to gossip and chatter. Most people are decent at hype and sales. So what is scarce and rare? Silence. The ability to deliberately keep yourself out of the conversation and subsist without its validation. Silence is the respite of the confident and the strong.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
It's hard to believe. Where does the times go?' Betty sighs. 'I've always hated that phrase. It makes it would like time went on a holiday, and is expected back any day now. Time flies is another one I hate. Apparently, time does quite a bit of traveling, though.
Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere)
There is more to life than making a living. Do not work more than you live.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
You're lucky to have a friend who will kill for you." So. I once had a friend who died for me, and now one who killed for me. Why didn't I feel lucky?
Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville, #3))
Were you playing with Stuart?" she asked. The question was loaded. I was a filthy, filthy woman, and even the five-year-old knew it.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
You've recognised a fundamental feature of an addict's life. Maintaining your habit is so important you've no real interest in anything else.
Marian Keyes (Rachel's Holiday (Walsh Family, #2))
Women beg me for it, and not the other way around." "Then you should go to one of them." "Oh, I will. When we return to London, I'm going to embark on a spree of orgiastic debauchery that won't end until someone is arrested for it. But in the meanwhile...do you truly expect that the two of us are going to share a bed tonight-and tomorrow night-as chastely as a pair of nuns on holiday?
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
She loved airports. She loved the smell, she loved the noise, and she loved the whole atmosphere as people walked around happily tugging their luggage, looking forward to going on their holidays or heading back home. She loved to see people arriving and being greeted with a big cheer by their families and she loved to watch them all giving each other emotional hugs. It was a perfect place for people-spotting. The airport always gave her a feeling of anticipation in the pit of her stomach as though she were about to do something special and amazing. Queuing at the boarding gate, she felt like she was waiting to go on a roller coaster ride at a theme park, like an excited little child.
Cecelia Ahern
Over the years I’ve collected a thousand memories of you, every glimpse, every word you’ve ever said to me. All those visits to your family’s home, those dinners and holidays—I could hardly wait to walk through the front door and see you.” The corners of his mouth quirked with reminiscent amusement. “You, in the middle of that brash, bull-headed lot…I love watching you deal with your family. You’ve always been everything I thought a woman should be. And I have wanted you every second of my life since we first met.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
I miss the way he used to kiss my shoulder whenever it was bare and he was nearby. I miss how he cleared his throat before he took a sip of water and scratched his left arm with his right hand when he was nervous. I miss how he tucked my hair behind my ear when it came loose and took my temperature when I was sick or when he was bored. I miss his glasses on my nightstand. I miss watching him take Sunday afternoon naps on my couch, with the newspaper resting on his stomach like a blanket. How his hands stayed clasped, fingers intertwined, while he slept. I miss the cadence of his speech and the stupidity of his puns. I miss playing doctor when we made love, and even when we didn't. I miss his smell, like fresh laundry and honey (because of his shampoo) at his place. Fresh laundry and coconut (because of my shampoo) at mine. I miss that he used to force me to listen to French rap and would sing along in a horrible accent. I miss that he always said "I love you" when he hung up the phone with his sister, never shy or embarassed, regardless of who else was around. I miss that his ideal Friday night included a DVD, eating Chinese food right out of the carton, and cuddling on top of my duvet cover. I miss that he reread books from his childhood and then from mine. I miss that he was the only man that I have ever farted on, and with, freely. I miss that he understood that the holidays were hard for me and that he wanted me to never feel lonely.
Julie Buxbaum (The Opposite of Love)
None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don't understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning--either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in it's inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of Summer.
C.S. Lewis (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1))
I followed your footsteps," he said, in answer to the unspoken question. "Snow makes it easy." I had been tracked, like a bear. "Sorry to make you go to all that trouble," I said. "I didn't have to go that far, really. You're about three streets over. You just kept going in loops." A really inept bear.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
The pretense of knowledge is our most dangerous vice, because it prevents us from getting any better.
Ryan Holiday (Ego is the Enemy: The Fight to Master Our Greatest Opponent)
There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,' returned the nephew. 'Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!
Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
You've got to have something to eat, and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body's sermon on how to behave.
Billie Holiday
Greatness comes from humble beginnings; it comes from grunt work. It means you’re the least important person in the room—until you change that with results.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
It is the apathetic person that sees the cause while the charitable person sees the need.
Shannon L. Alder (300 Questions to Ask Your Parents Before It's Too Late)
Are you ever going to kiss me without swearing first?
Christine Feehan (A Christine Feehan Holiday Treasury (Drake Sisters, #2))
Proximity doesn't breed familiarity.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
The only guarantee, ever, is that things will go wrong. The only thing we can use to mitigate this is anticipation. Because the only variable we control completely is ourselves.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
I do love the beginning of the summer hols,' said Julian. They always seem to stretch out ahead for ages and ages.' 'They go so nice and slowly at first,' said Anne, his little sister. 'Then they start to gallop.
Enid Blyton (Five Go Off in a Caravan)
I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed. And then? I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed. And what next? I get laid, I take a short holiday, but very soon after I fall upon those same thorns with gratification in pain, or suffering in joy - who knows what the mixture is! What good, what lasting good is there in me? Is there nothing else between birth and death but what I can get out of this perversity - only a favorable balance of disorderly emotions? No freedom? Only impulses? And what about all the good I have in my heart - does it mean anything? Is it simply a joke? A false hope that makes a man feel the illusion of worth? And so he goes on with his struggles. But this good is no phony. I know it isn't. I swear it.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
It's more than you think it can be," she heard herself say. "It changes everything, and fixes everything that matters. Maybe you're never going to be the same, and maybe part of you is always afraid of what will happen if...but he's always going to be there. All you have to do is reach out, and he's going to be there.
J.D. Robb (Holiday in Death (In Death, #7))
The only real failure is abandoning your principles. Killing what you love because you can’t bear to part from it is selfish and stupid. If your reputation can’t absorb a few blows, it wasn’t worth anything in the first place.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
I'm so glad you're back. We need you here. I mean...Burnett's okay, but...he's not you." Holiday arched a brow. "I hear he wasn't even himself for a while there." Miranda frowned. "He told you about the whole kangaroo thing, didn't he." "Yeah," Holiday said, and her brows tightened. "And I must say, I'm very disappointed with you, Miranda" she reached out and gripped Miranda's hand. "The next time you turn him into anything, do it when I'm here to enjoy it." -Taken at Dusk
C.C. Hunter
I think that pretty much every form of fiction (I’d include fantasy, obviously) can actually be a real escape from places where you feel bad, and from bad places. It can be a safe place you go, like going on holiday, and it can be somewhere that, while you’ve escaped, actually teaches you things you need to know when you go back, that gives you knowledge and armour and tools to change the bad place you were in. So no, they’re not escapist. They’re escape.
Neil Gaiman
I’d been staying at the Holiday Inn with my girlfriend, honestly the most beautiful woman I’d even known, for three days under a phony name, shooting heroin. We made love in the bed, ate steaks at the restaurant, shot up in the john, puked, cried, accused one another, begged of one another, forgave, promised, and carried one another to heaven.
Denis Johnson (Jesus' Son)
You’re not as good as you think. You don’t have it all figured out. Stay focused. Do better.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
Lady and gentleman, when my parents left Korea with nothing but the clothes on their backs and the considerable wealth they had amassed in the shipping business, they had a dream. They had a dream that one day amid the snowy hilltops of western North Carolina, their son would lose his virginity to a cheerleader in the woman's bathroom of a Waffle House just off the interstate. My parents have sacrificed so much for this dream! And that is why we must journey on, despite all trials and tribulations! Not for me and least of all for the poor cheerleader in question, but for my parents and indeed for all immigrants who came to his great nation in what they themselves could never have: CHEERLEADER SEX.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
February is pitiless, and it is boring. That parade of red numerals on its page adds up to zero: birthdays of politicians, a holiday reserved for rodents, what kind of celebrations are those? The only bubble in the flat champagne of February is Valentine’s Day. It was no accident that our ancestors pinned Valentine’s Day on February’s shirt: he or she lucky enough to have a lover in frigid, antsy February has cause for celebration, indeed.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
Sometimes I felt like I was waiting for my life to begin and more than anything, in that moment, I wanted to force some kind of beginning. I wanted things to be different than usual. I wanted to bend reality.
Holly Black (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
All worries are less with wine.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
When success begins to slip from your fingers—for whatever reason—the response isn’t to grip and claw so hard that you shatter it to pieces. It’s to understand that you must work yourself back to the aspirational phase. You must get back to first principles and best practices.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
The bragging was the worst. I hear this in schools all over the country, in cafés and restaurants, in bars, on the Internet, for Pete's sake, on buses, on sidewalks: Women yammering about how little they eat. Oh, I'm Starving, I haven't eaten all day, I think I'll have a great big piece of lettuce, I'm not hungry, I don't like to eat in the morning (in the afternoon, in the evening, on Tuesdays, when my nails aren't painted, when my shin hurts, when it's raining, when it's sunny, on national holidays, after or before 2 A.M.). I heard it in the hospital, that terrible ironic whine from the chapped lips of women starving to death, But I'm not hun-greeee. To hear women tell it, we're never hungry. We live on little Ms. Pac-Man power pellets. Food makes us queasy, food makes us itchy, food is too messy, all I really like to eat is celery. To hear women tell it we're ethereal beings who eat with the greatest distaste, scraping scraps of food between our teeth with our upper lips curled. For your edification, it's bullshit.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
But what could I lose by continuing that had not already been lost?
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Holiday's eyes pooled with tears. And that pretty much made it a cry fest. Even Della joined in the tear party. Right then, Burnett walked in the office. His gaze went from one female to the other. Kylie could almost hear him groaning inwardly. "I...I'll be...right out there." Obviously even a hard-bodied vampire trained by the FRU wasn't capable of dealing with four crying women.
C.C. Hunter (Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls, #2))
JP shouted, "TELL THEM WHAT YOU JUST DID TO EACH OTHER!" "Um," I said. "We kissed," the Duke said. "That's kinda gay," Keun said. "I AM A GIRL." "Yeah, I know, but so is Tobin," Keun said.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
It's a really crappy feeling to realize that your entire outook on your life can be controlled by some little pill that looks like a Pez, and that some weird combination of drugs can make your brain think it's on a holiday somewhere really sweet when you're standing naked in the middle of the school cafeteria while everyone takes pictures of you. Metaphorically. Or whatever.
Michael Thomas Ford (Suicide Notes)
Snowflakes swirl down gently in the deep blue haze beyond the window. The outside world is a dream. Inside, the fireplace is brightly lit, and the Yule log crackles with orange and crimson sparks. There’s a steaming mug in your hands, warming your fingers. There’s a friend seated across from you in the cozy chair, warming your heart. There is mystery unfolding.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
There will be no 'one day,'" I yell. "Because holidays are over, Griggs, and you and I are never going to cross paths again. Not in the next ten days. Not ever! Have a fantastic life. [...] "Be careful what you wish for," he says with quiet menace, "because I'm about this close to telling you to get the fuck out of my life." I stare at him. "What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
Maybe you've never fallen into a frozen stream. Here's what happens. 1. It is cold. So cold that the Department of Temperature Acknowledgment and Regulation in you brain gets the readings and says, "I can't deal with this. I'm out of here." It puts up the OUT TO LUNCH sign and passes all responsibility to the... 2. Department of Pain and the Processing Thereof, which gets all this gobbledygook from the temperature department that it can't understand. "This is so not our job," it says. So it just starts hitting random buttons, filling you with strange and unpleasant sensations, and calls the... 3. Office of Confusion and Panic, where there is always someone ready to hop on the phone the moment it rings. This office is at least willing to take some action. The Office of Confusion and Panic loves hitting buttons.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
When we remove ego, we’re left with what is real. What replaces ego is humility, yes—but rock-hard humility and confidence. Whereas ego is artificial, this type of confidence can hold weight. Ego is stolen. Confidence is earned. Ego is self-anointed, its swagger is artifice. One is girding yourself, the other gaslighting. It’s the difference between potent and poisonous.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. When there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended - there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving anyone too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist. And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your mortality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears - that's what soma is.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
This time they picked up their hand luggage and moved away from their son, following Lieges towards the air-van. But instead of changing his stance, Alain Pen just dug in hull-down. “They won’t go without me,” he told Morley confidently. “So what are you really up to, eh? I know we’re not going to Bull Crater on holiday.” “You’ve got a vivid imagination, kid.” “Stop calling me kid,” Alain objected. “I know something’s going on and I’ve reported it to my section leader.
Andrew R. Williams (Samantha's Revenge (Arcadia's Children #1))
It’s okay to be discouraged. It’s not okay to quit. To know you want to quit but to plant your feet and keep inching closer until you take the impenetrable fortress you’ve decided to lay siege to in your own life—that’s persistence.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
In Rome, I really wanted an Audrey Hepburn Roman Holiday experience, but the Trevi Fountain was crowded, there was a McDonald's at the base of the Spanish Steps, and the ruins smelled like cat pee because of all the strays. The same thing happened in Prague, where I'd been yearning for some of the bohemianism of The Unbearable Lightness of Being. But no, there were no fabulous artists, no guys who looked remotely like a young Daniel Day-Lewis. I saw this one mysterious-looking guy reading Sartre in a cafe, but then his cell phone rang and he started talking in aloud Texan twang.
Gayle Forman (Just One Day (Just One Day, #1))
Sometimes this just happens,” Kylie said, much calmer now that she had a sneak preview of his comeuppance. “Just happens?” Burnett bellowed out. “Are you freaking kidding me! If you have sex, you use protection. It’s that simple. This shit doesn’t have to happen! This is nothing but carelessness. It’s irresponsible. It’s unforgivable.” “Burnett!” Holiday rolled her eyes at Kylie and frowned. The fae knew exactly what Kylie was up to now. But Kylie wasn’t finished yet. “Maybe we should put a rule in place. Any male who impregnates a girl should be neutered.” “Enough,” Holiday snapped. “Actually, that’s not a bad plan!” he growled. “Burnett!” Holiday said in a stern voice. “Shut up before you embarrass yourself more than you already have.” When the vampire looked at Holiday, she continued, “Kylie didn’t buy the pregnancy tests for Miranda. She bought them for me.” Kylie flopped back against the seat again, enjoying the look of disbelief on the vampire’s face a little too much. “Would you like a name of a good doctor who will schedule your little snip-snip operation?” she bit out.
C.C. Hunter (Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls, #5))
For all species other than us humans, things just are what they are. Our problem is that we’re always trying to figure out what things mean—why things are the way they are. As though the why matters. Emerson put it best: “We cannot spend the day in explanation.” Don’t waste time on false constructs.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
If an emotion can't change the condition or the situation you're dealing with, it is likely an unhelpful emotion. Or, quite possibly, a destructive one. But it's what I feel. Right, no one said anything about not feeling it. No one said you can't ever cry. Forget "manliness." If you need to take a moment, by all means, go ahead. Real strength lies in the control or, as Nassim Taleb put it, the domestication of one's emotions, not in pretending they don't exist.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph)
This, after all, was the month in which families began tightening and closing and sealing; from Thanksgiving to the New Year, everybody's world contracted, day by day, into the microcosmic single festive household, each with its own rituals and obsessions, rules and dreams. You didn't feel you could call people. They didn't feel they could phone you. How does one cry for help from these seasonal prisons?
Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter, It isn't just one of your holiday games; You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES. First of all, there's the name that the family use daily, Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James, Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey - All of them sensible everyday names. There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter, Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames: Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter - But all of them sensible everyday names. But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular, A name that's peculiar, and more dignified, Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular, Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride? Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum, Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat, Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum - Names that never belong to more than one cat. But above and beyond there's still one name left over, And that is the name that you never will guess; The name that no human research can discover - But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess. When you notice a cat in profound meditation, The reason, I tell you, is always the same: His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name: His ineffable effable Effanineffable Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
T.S. Eliot (Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats)
In the first place it's not true that people improve as you know them better: they don't. That's why one should only have acquaintances and never make friends. An acquaintance shows you only the best of himself, he's considerate and polite, he conceals his defects behind a mask of social convention; but we grow so intimate with him that he throws the mask aside, get to know him so well that he doesn't trouble any longer to pretend; then you'll discover a being of such meanness, of such trivial nature, of such weakness, of such corruption, that you'd be aghast if you didn't realize that that was his nature and it was just as stupid to condemn him as to condemn the wolf because he ravens or the cobra because he strikes.
W. Somerset Maugham (Christmas Holiday)
Go out with me tomorow night," Perry went on. "Let me prove to you that I'm the guy you want." "I...I guess I coul go out tomorrow night," Miranda sounded shocked and a little swept off her feet. Then, from the corner of her eyes. Kylie saw something move at the office window. When she looked back, she spotted Burnett and Holiday standing there high-fiving each other. No doubt Burnett was listening to the coversation and sharing the details with Holiday. Perry nodded, stepped closer, and then pressed a quick kiss on Miranda's cheek. It had to be the most romantic thing Kylie had ever seen. ..."What?" Miranda asked. "You're happy my date [with Todd] wasn't exciting?" "No," Kylie said. "Let's just say we're more excited about tomorrow night's date." A bright smile lit up Miranda's face. "Me too. Can you believ Perry did that? I mean, he was so..." "Romantic," Kylie said. "Hot," Della added. "Sweet," Miranda whispered. "I couldn't stop thinkibng about him all night." And that was the best news Kylie had gotten all day.
C.C. Hunter (Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, #3))
I laughed and pointed out that "Hash Browns Mean Nothing Without You" was a pretty good name for a band. "Or a song," the Duke said, and then she started singing all glam rock, a glove up to her face holding an imaginary mic as she rocked out an a cappella power ballad. "Oh, I deep fried for you / But now I weep 'n' cry for you / Oh, babe, this meal was made for two / And these hash browns mean nothing, oh these hash browns mean nothing, yeah these HASH BROWNS MEAN NOTHIN' without you.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
There is always the risk: something is good and good and good and good, and then all at once it gets awkward. All at once, she sees you looking at her, and then she doesn't want to joke around with you anymore, because she doesn't want to seem flirty, because she doesn't want you to think she likes you. It’s such a disaster, whenever, in the course of human relationships, someone begins to chisel away at the wall of separation between friendship and kissing. Breaking down that wall is the kind of story that might have a happy middle— oh, look, we broke down this wall, I’m going to look at you like a girl and you’re going to look at me like a boy and we’re going to play a fun game called Can I Put My Hand There What About There What About There. And sometimes that happy middle looks so great that you can convince yourself that it’s not the middle but will last forever.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
It was fine," I said stiffly. "We played Mouse Trap." "Is that what they're calling it these days?" she asked, throwing me a terrible grin. "I have to go give Rachel a quick bath. Feel free to make yourself some cocoa or whatever you like!" She stopped short of adding "...future child-bride of my only son.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Sallie Mae sounds like a naive and barefoot hillbilly girl but in fact they are a ruthless and aggressive conglomeration of bullies located in a tall brick building somewhere in Kansas. I picture it to be the tallest building in that state and I have decided they hire their employees straight out of prison.
David Sedaris (Holidays on Ice)
Breaking down that wall is the kind of story that might have a happy middle - oh, look, we broke down this wall, I'm going to look at you like a girl and you're going to look at me like a boy, and we're going to play a fun game called Can I Put My Hand There What About There What About There.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Christmas Amnesty. You can fall out of contact with a friend, fail to return calls, ignore e-mails, avoid eye contact at the Thrifty-Mart, forget birthdays, anniversaries, and reunions, and if you show up at their house during the holidays (with a gift) they are socially bound to forgive you—act like nothing happened. Decorum dictates that the friendship move forward from that point, without guilt or recrimination. If you started a chess game ten years ago in October, you need only remember whose move it is—or why you sold the chessboard and bought an Xbox in the interim. (Look, Christmas Amnesty is a wonderful thing, but it’s not a dimensional shift. The laws of time and space continue to apply, even if you have been avoiding your friends. But don’t try using the expansion of the universe an as excuse—like you kept meaning to stop by, but their house kept getting farther away. That crap won’t wash. Just say, “Sorry I haven’t called. Merry Christmas” Then show the present. Christmas Amnesty protocol dictates that your friend say, “That’s okay,” and let you in without further comment. This is the way it has always been done.)
Christopher Moore (The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Pine Cove, #3))
Tobin," Mom said disapprovingly. She wasn't a particularly funny person. It suited her professionally - I mean, you don't want your cancer surgeon to walk into the examination room and be like, "Guy walks into a bar. Bartender says, 'What'll ya have?' And the guy says, 'Whaddya got?' And the bartender says, 'I don't know what I got, but I know what you got: Stage IV melanoma.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
I know you all, and will awhile uphold The unyoked humour of your idleness. Yet herein will I imitate the sun, Who doth permit the base contagious clouds To smother up his beauty from the world, That when he please again to be himself, Being wanted, he may be more wondered at By breaking through the foul and ugly mists Of vapours that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holidays, To sport would be as tedious as to work; But when they seldom come, they wished-for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. So, when this loose behaviour I throw off And pay the debt I never promisèd, By how much better than my word I am, By so much shall I falsify men’s hopes; And like bright metal on a sullen ground, My reformation, glitt’ring o’er my fault, Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes Than that which hath no foil to set it off. I’ll so offend to make offence a skill, Redeeming time when men think least I will.
William Shakespeare (King Henry IV, Part 1)
It had been June, the bright hot summer of 1937, and with the curtains thrown back the bedroom had been full of sunlight, sunlight and her and Will's children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews- Cecy's blue eyed boys, tall and handsome, and Gideon and Sophie's two girls- and those who were as close as family: Charlotte, white- haired and upright, and the Fairchild sons and daughters with their curling red hair like Henry's had once been. The children had spoken fondly of the way he had always loved their mother, fiercely and devotedly, the way he had never had eyes for anyone else, and how their parents had set the model for the sort of love they hoped to find in their own lives. They spoke of his regard for books, and how he had taught them all to love them too, to respect the printed page and cherish the stories that those pages held. They spoke of the way he still cursed in Welsh when he dropped something, though he rarely used the language otherwise, and of the fact that though his prose was excellent- he had written several histories of the Shadowhunters when he's retired that had been very well respected- his poetry had always been awful, though that never stopped him from reciting it. Their oldest child, James, had spoken laughingly about Will's unrelenting fear of ducks and his continual battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire. Their grandchildren had reminded him of the song about demon pox he had taught them- when they were much too young, Tessa had always thought- and that they had all memorized. They sang it all together and out of tune, scandalizing Sophie. With tears running down her face, Cecily had reminded him of the moment at her wedding to Gabriel when he had delivered a beautiful speech praising the groom, at the end of which he had announced, "Dear God, I thought she was marrying Gideon. I take it all back," thus vexing not only Cecily and Gabriel but Sophie as well- and Will, though too tired to laugh, had smiled at his sister and squeezed her hand. They had all laughed about his habit of taking Tessa on romantic "holidays" to places from Gothic novels, including the hideous moor where someone had died, a drafty castle with a ghost in it, and of course the square in Paris in which he had decided Sydney Carton had been guillotined, where Will had horrified passerby by shouting "I can see the blood on the cobblestones!" in French.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Don't make fun of her," the Duke said. "She needs gentle encouragement. Carla, baby, we love you. You are such a good car. And we believe in you one hundred percent." ... "Don't listen to him, Carla. You're gonna do this." ... "I love you, Carla. You know that, don't you? I wake up every morning and the first thing I think is that I love Tobin's mom's car. I know that's weird, baby, but I do. I love you. And I know you can do this." ... "Carla," the Duke said, "it's time to tell you the truth. I'm in love with you. I want to be with you, Carla. I've never felt this way about a c-
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Work is finding yourself alone at the track when the weather kept everyone else indoors. Work is pushing through the pain and crappy first drafts and prototypes. It is ignoring whatever plaudits others are getting, and more importantly, ignoring whatever plaudits you may be getting. Because there is work to be done. Work doesn’t want to be good. It is made so, despite the headwind.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
A sentimentalist is simply one who wants to have the luxury of an emotion without paying for it. We think we can have our emotions for nothing. We cannot. Even the finest and most self-sacrificing emotions have to be paid for. Strangely enough, that is what makes them fine. The intellectual and emotional life of ordinary people is a very contemptible affair. Just as they borrow their ideas from a sort of circulating library of thought—-the Zeitgeist of an age that has no soul—-and send them back soiled at the end of each week, so they always try to get their emotions on credit, and refuse to pay the bill when it comes in. You should pass out of that conception of life. As soon as you have to pay for an emotion you will know its quality, and be the better for such knowledge. And remember that the sentimentalist is always a cynic at heart. Indeed, sentimentality is merely the bank holiday of cynicism.
Oscar Wilde (De Profundis)
Come live with me and be my love And we will all the pleasures prove Of a marriage conducted with economy In the Twentieth Century Anno Donomy. We’ll live in a dear little walk-up flat With practically room to swing a cat And a potted cactus to give it hauteur And a bathtub equipped with dark brown water. We’ll eat, without undue discouragement, Foods low in cost but high in nouragement And quaff with pleasure, while chatting wittily, The peculiar wine of Little Italy. We’ll remind each other it’s smart to be thrifty And buy our clothes for something-fifty. We’ll bus for miles on holidays For seas at depressing matinees, And every Sunday we’ll have a lark And take a walk in Central Park. And one of these days not too remote You’ll probably up and cut my throat.
Ogden Nash (Hard Lines)
Behold your future, Cavendish the Younger. You will not apply for membership, but the tribe of the elderly will claim you. Your present will not keep pace with the world's. This slippage will stretch your skin, sag your skeleton, erode your hair and memory, make your skin turn opaque so your twitching organs and blue-cheese veins will be semivisible. You will venture out only in daylight, avoiding weekends and school holidays. Language, too, will leave you behind, betraying your tribal affiliations whenever you speak. On escalators, on trunk roads, in supermarket aisles, the living will overtake you, incessantly. Elegant women will not see you. Store detectives will not see you. Salespeople will not see you, unless they sell stair lifts or fraudulent insurance policies. Only babies, cats, and drug addicts will acknowledge your existence. So do not fritter away your days. Sooner than you fear, you will stand before a mirror in a care home, look at your body, and think, E.T., locked in a ruddy cupboard for a fortnight.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
In the land of Gods and Monsters I was an Angel Living in the garden of evil Screwed up, scared, doing anything that I needed Shining like a fiery beacon You got that medicine I need Fame, Liquor, Love give it to me slowly Put your hands on my waist, do it softly Me and God, we don't get along so now I sing No one's gonna take my soul away I'm living like Jim Morrison Headed towards a fucked up holiday Motel sprees sprees and I'm singing 'Fuck yeah give it to me this is heaven, what I truly Want' It's innocence lost Innocence lost In the land of Gods and Monsters I was an Angel Looking to get fucked hard Like a groupie incognito posing as a real singer Life imitates art You got that medicine I need Dope, shoot it up, straight to the heart please I don't really wanna know what's good for me God's dead, I said 'baby that's alright with me' No one's gonna take my soul away I'm living like Jim Morrison Headed towards a fucked up holiday Motel sprees sprees and I'm singing 'Fuck yeah give it to me this is heaven, what I truly Want' It's innocence lost Innocence lost When you talk it's like a movie and you're making me Crazy - Cause life imitates art If I get a little prettier can I be your baby? You tell me, "life isn't that hard" No one's gonna take my soul away I'm living like Jim Morrison Headed towards a fucked up holiday Motel sprees sprees and I'm singing 'Fuck yeah give it to me this is heaven, what I truly Want' It's innocence lost Innocence lost
Lana Del Rey
Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world. To put the matter shortly, woman is generally shut up in a house with a human being at the time when he asks all the questions that there are, and some that there aren't. It would be odd if she retained any of the narrowness of a specialist. Now if anyone says that this duty of general enlightenment (even when freed from modern rules and hours, and exercised more spontaneously by a more protected person) is in itself too exacting and oppressive, I can understand the view. I can only answer that our race has thought it worth while to cast this burden on women in order to keep common-sense in the world. But when people begin to talk about this domestic duty as not merely difficult but trivial and dreary, I simply give up the question. For I cannot with the utmost energy of imagination conceive what they mean. When domesticity, for instance, is called drudgery, all the difficulty arises from a double meaning in the word. If drudgery only means dreadfully hard work, I admit the woman drudges in the home, as a man might drudge at the Cathedral of Amiens or drudge behind a gun at Trafalgar. But if it means that the hard work is more heavy because it is trifling, colorless and of small import to the soul, then as I say, I give it up; I do not know what the words mean. To be Queen Elizabeth within a definite area, deciding sales, banquets, labors and holidays; to be Whiteley within a certain area, providing toys, boots, sheets, cakes. and books, to be Aristotle within a certain area, teaching morals, manners, theology, and hygiene; I can understand how this might exhaust the mind, but I cannot imagine how it could narrow it. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.
G.K. Chesterton (What's Wrong with the World)
I am, and always have been - first, last, and always - a child of America. You raised me. I grew up in the pastures and hills of Texas, but I had been to thirty-four states before I learned how to drive. When I caught the stomach flu in the fifth grade, my mother sent a note to school written on the back of a holiday memo from Vice President Biden. Sorry, sir—we were in a rush, and it was the only paper she had on hand. I spoke to you for the first time when I was eighteen, on the stage of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, when I introduced my mother as the nominee for president. You cheered for me. I was young and full of hope, and you let me embody the American dream: that a boy who grew up speaking two languages, whose family was blended and beautiful and enduring, could make a home for himself in the White House. You pinned the flag to my lapel and said, “We’re rooting for you.” As I stand before you today, my hope is that I have not let you down. Years ago, I met a prince. And though I didn’t realize it at the time, his country had raised him too. The truth is, Henry and I have been together since the beginning of this year. The truth is, as many of you have read, we have both struggled every day with what this means for our families, our countries, and our futures. The truth is, we have both had to make compromises that cost us sleep at night in order to afford us enough time to share our relationship with the world on our own terms. We were not afforded that liberty. But the truth is, also, simply this: love is indomitable. America has always believed this. And so, I am not ashamed to stand here today where presidents have stood and say that I love him, the same as Jack loved Jackie, the same as Lyndon loved Lady Bird. Every person who bears a legacy makes the choice of a partner with whom they will share it, whom the American people will “hold beside them in hearts and memories and history books. America: He is my choice. Like countless other Americans, I was afraid to say this out loud because of what the consequences might be. To you, specifically, I say: I see you. I am one of you. As long as I have a place in this White House, so will you. I am the First Son of the United States, and I’m bisexual. History will remember us. If I can ask only one thing of the American people, it’s this: Please, do not let my actions influence your decision in November. The decision you will make this year is so much bigger than anything I could ever say or do, and it will determine the fate of this country for years to come. My mother, your president, is the warrior and the champion that each and every American deserves for four more years of growth, progress, and prosperity. Please, don’t let my actions send us backward. I ask the media not to focus on me or on Henry, but on the campaign, on policy, on the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans at stake in this election. And finally, I hope America will remember that I am still the son you raised. My blood still runs from Lometa, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Mexico City. I still remember the sound of your voices from that stage in Philadelphia. I wake up every morning thinking of your hometowns, of the families I’ve met at rallies in Idaho and Oregon and South Carolina. I have never hoped to be anything other than what I was to you then, and what I am to you now—the First Son, yours in actions and words. And I hope when Inauguration Day comes again in January, I will continue to be.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
Stuart's a wizard with those kinds of things," she said. "What kinds of things?" "Oh, he can find anything online." Debbie was obviously one of those parents who still hadn't quite grasped that using the Internet was not exactly wizardry, and that we could all find anything online. I didn't say this, because you don't want people to feel that they've missed something really obvious, even when they have.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Hey you, dragging the halo- how about a holiday in the islands of grief? Tongue is the word I wish to have with you. Your eyes are so blue they leak. Your legs are longer than a prisoner's last night on death row. I'm filthier than the coal miner's bathtub and nastier than the breath of Charles Bukowski. You're a dirty little windshield. I'm standing behind you on the subway, hard as calculus. My breath be sticking to your neck like graffiti. I'm sitting opposite you in the bar, waiting for you to uncross your boundaries. I want to rip off your logic and make passionate sense to you. I want to ride in the swing of your hips. My fingers will dig in you like quotation marks, blazing your limbs into parts of speech. But with me for a lover, you won't need catastrophes. What attracted me in the first place will ultimately make me resent you. I'll start telling you lies, and my lies will sparkle, become the bad stars you chart your life by. I'll stare at other women so blatantly you'll hear my eyes peeling, because sex with you is like Great Britain: cold, groggy, and a little uptight. Your bed is a big, soft calculator where my problems multiply. Your brain is a garage I park my bullshit in, for free. You're not really my new girlfriend, just another flop sequel of the first one, who was based on the true story of my mother. You're so ugly I forgot how to spell. I'll cheat on you like a ninth grade math test, break your heart just for the sound it makes. You're the 'this' we need to put an end to. The more you apologize, the less I forgive you. So how about it?
Jeffrey McDaniel
Each holiday tradition acts as an exercise in cognitive development, a greater challenge for the child. Despite the fact most parents don't recognize this function, they still practice the exercise. Rant also saw how resolving the illusions is crucial to how the child uses any new skills. A child who is never coached with Santa Claus may never develop an ability to imagine. To him, nothing exists except the literal and tangible. A child who is disillusioned abruptly, by his peers or siblings, being ridiculed for his faith and imagination, may choose never to believe in anything- tangible or intangible- again. To never trust or wonder. But a child who relinquishes the illusions of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, that child may come away with the most important skill set. That child may recognize the strength of his own imagination and faith. He will embrace the ability to create his own reality. That child becomes his own authority. He determines the nature of his world. His own vision. And by doing so, by the power of his example, he determines the reality of the other two types: those who can't imagine, and those who can't trust.
Chuck Palahniuk (Rant)
One thing," I said, when we had broken apart and the swirling feeling in my head subsided. "Maybe...don't tell your mom too much about this. I think she has ideas." "What?" he asked, all innocence, as he put an arm around my shoulders and led me back toward his house. "Don't your parents cheer and stare when you make out with someone? Is that weird where you come from? I guess they don't get to see it much, though. From jail, I mean." "Shut it, Weintraub. If I knock you down in the snow, these kids will swarm and eat you.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Tarquin turned from the table, just as the tent flaps parted for a pair of broad shoulders— Varian. He didn’t so much as look at his High Lord, his focus going right to where Amren sat at the head of the table. As if he’d sensed she was here—or someone had reported. And he’d come running. Amren’s eyes flicked up from the Book as Varian halted. A coy smile curved her red lips. There was still blood and dirt splattered on Varian’s brown skin, coating his silver armor and close-cropped white hair. He didn’t seem to notice or care as he strode for Amren. And none of us dared to speak as Varian dropped to his knees before Amren’s chair, took her shocked face in his broad hands, and kissed her soundly. ... None of us lasted long after dinner. Amren and Varian didn’t even bother to join us. No, she’d just wrapped her legs around his waist, right there in front of us, and he’d stood, lifting her in one swift movement. I wasn’t entirely sure how Varian managed to walk them out of the tent while still kissing her, Amren’s hands dragging through his hair, letting out noises that were unnervingly like purring as they vanished into the camp. Rhys had let out a low laugh as we all gawked in their wake. “I suppose that’s how Varian decided he’d tell Amren he was feeling rather grateful she ordered us to go to Adriata.” Tarquin cringed. “We’ll alternate who has to deal with them on holidays.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
Mrs. Nightwing glances at the box in my hands. She clears her throat."I understand you've decided against Mr. Middleton."... It's best to be sure, through and through," she says, keeping her eyes steadfastly on the girls running and playing on the lawn. "Else you could find yourself one day coming home to an empty house, save for a note: I've gone out. You could wait all night for him to return. Nights turn into weeks, to years. It's horrible, the waiting. You can scarcely bear it. And perhaps years later on holiday in Brighton, you see him, walking along the boardwalk as if out of some dream. No longer lost. Your heartbeat quickens. You must call out to him. Someone else calls first. A pretty young woman with a child. He stops and bends to lift the child into his arms. His child. He gives a furtive kiss to his young wife. He hands her a box of candy, which you know to be Chollier's chocolates. He and his family stroll on. Something in you falls away. You will never be as you were. What is left to you is the chance to become something new and unsure. But at least the waiting is over.
Libba Bray (Rebel Angels (Gemma Doyle, #2))
But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D. And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.
Milton Sanford Mayer (They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-45)
In the age of Facebook and Instagram you can observe this myth-making process more clearly than ever before, because some of it has been outsourced from the mind to the computer. It is fascinating and terrifying to behold people who spend countless hours constructing and embellishing a perfect self online, becoming attached to their own creation, and mistaking it for the truth about themselves.20 That’s how a family holiday fraught with traffic jams, petty squabbles and tense silences becomes a collection of beautiful panoramas, perfect dinners and smiling faces; 99 per cent of what we experience never becomes part of the story of the self. It is particularly noteworthy that our fantasy self tends to be very visual, whereas our actual experiences are corporeal. In the fantasy, you observe a scene in your mind’s eye or on the computer screen. You see yourself standing on a tropical beach, the blue sea behind you, a big smile on your face, one hand holding a cocktail, the other arm around your lover’s waist. Paradise. What the picture does not show is the annoying fly that bites your leg, the cramped feeling in your stomach from eating that rotten fish soup, the tension in your jaw as you fake a big smile, and the ugly fight the happy couple had five minutes ago. If we could only feel what the people in the photos felt while taking them! Hence if you really want to understand yourself, you should not identify with your Facebook account or with the inner story of the self. Instead, you should observe the actual flow of body and mind. You will see thoughts, emotions and desires appear and disappear without much reason and without any command from you, just as different winds blow from this or that direction and mess up your hair. And just as you are not the winds, so also you are not the jumble of thoughts, emotions and desires you experience, and you are certainly not the sanitised story you tell about them with hindsight. You experience all of them, but you don’t control them, you don’t own them, and you are not them. People ask ‘Who am I?’ and expect to be told a story. The first thing you need to know about yourself, is that you are not a story.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)