How To Reference Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to How To Reference. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.
Ernest Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway: A Literary Reference)
You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it's going with my girlfriend - but I don't give a shit, man, because you're you. My parents have a shit ton of black Santas, but that's okay. They're them. I'm too obsessed with a reference website to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call, or my girlfriend. That's okay, too. That's me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You're funny, and you're smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Einstein was once asked how many feet are in a mile. Einstein's reply was "I don't know, why should I fill my brain with facts I can find in two minutes in any standard reference book?
Albert Einstein
It's not just lies they're referring to. It's life. You can't run to another town, another place, another state. Whatever it is you're running from-it goes with you. It stays with you until you find out how to confront it.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
You can tell whether some misogynistic societal pressure is being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, ‘And are the men doing this, as well?’ If they aren’t, chances are you’re dealing with what we strident feminists refer to as ‘some total fucking bullshit’.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
Be curious about the world in which you live. Look things up. Chase down every reference. Go deeper than anybody else--that's how you'll get ahead.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
You're a Shadowhunter," he said. "You know how to deal with injuries." He slid his stele across the table toward her. "Use it." "No," Clary said, and pushed the stele back across the table at him. Jace slammed his hand down on the stele. "Clary—" "She said she doesn't want it," said Simon. "Ha-ha." "Ha-ha?" Jace looked incredulous. "That's your comeback?" Alec, folding his phone, approached the table with a puzzled look. "What's going on?" "We seem to be trapped in an episode of One Life to Waste," Magnus observed. "It's all very dull.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
There's a reason we refer to "leaps of faith" - because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable, and I don't care how diligently scholars of every religion will try to sit you down with their stacks of books and prove to you through scripture that their faith is indeed rational; it isn't. If faith were rational, it wouldn't be - by definition - faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be... a prudent insurance policy.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
You may be right. I think it was round about Christmas when I got my Welsh dragon tattoo.” At that, Tessa had to try very hard not to blush. “How did that happen?” Will made an airy gesture with his hand. “I was drunk…” “Nonsense. You were never really drunk.” “On the contrary—in order to learn how to pretend to be inebriated, once must become inebriated at least once, as a reference point. Six-Fingered Nigel had been at the mulled cider—“ “You can’t mean there’s truly a Six-Fingered Nigel?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
County library? Reference desk, please. Hello? Yes, I need a word definition. Well, that's the problem. I don't know how to spell it and I'm not allowed to say it. Could you just rattle off all the swear words you know and I'll stop you when...Hello?
Bill Watterson
We live in time - it holds us and molds us - but I never felt I understood it very well. And I'm not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly: tick-tock, click-clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time's malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing - until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.
Julian Barnes (The Sense of an Ending)
How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself and in no instance bypass the discriminations of reason? You have been given the principles that you ought to endorse, and you have endorsed them. What kind of teacher, then, are you still waiting for in order to refer your self-improvement to him? You are no longer a boy, but a full-grown man. If you are careless and lazy now and keep putting things off and always deferring the day after which you will attend to yourself, you will not notice that you are making no progress, but you will live and die as someone quite ordinary. From now on, then, resolve to live as a grown-up who is making progress, and make whatever you think best a law that you never set aside. And whenever you encounter anything that is difficult or pleasurable, or highly or lowly regarded, remember that the contest is now: you are at the Olympic Games, you cannot wait any longer, and that your progress is wrecked or preserved by a single day and a single event. That is how Socrates fulfilled himself by attending to nothing except reason in everything he encountered. And you, although you are not yet a Socrates, should live as someone who at least wants to be a Socrates.
Epictetus
As if they think I don’t already know. I came out of the womb knowing how to do academic references.
Holly Jackson (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1))
In a sense we are all like a Flo Rida song: The more time you spend with us, the more you see how special we are. Social scientists refer to this as the Flo Rida Theory of Acquired Likability Through Repetition.
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance: An Investigation)
When we refer to 'the biblical approach to economics' or the biblical response to politics' or 'biblical womanhood,' we're using the Bible as a weapon disguised as an adjective.
Rachel Held Evans (Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions)
The — the prophecy . . . the prediction . . . Trelawney . . .” “Ah, yes. How much did you relay to Lord Voldemort?” “Everything — everything I heard! That is why — it is for that reason — he thinks it means Lily Evans!” “The prophecy did not refer to a woman. It spoke of a boy born at the end of July —” “You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down — kill them all —” “If she means so much to you, surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?” “I have — I have asked him —” “You disgust me.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
She used that word at some point referring to her family's love, infinite, and I thought about how infinite is not a large number. It is something else entirely. It is boundlessness.
John Green (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
Roarke: "I'll drop you." Eve: "No, better I catch a cab or take the underground. This guy sees me show up in a hot car with a fancy piece behind the wheel, he's not going to like me." Roarke: "You know how I love being referred. to as your fancy piece." Eve: "Sometimes you're my love muffin. He managed a strangled laugh.She could, at the oddest times, surprise him.
J.D. Robb (Imitation in Death (In Death, #17))
Zane glanced toward the stairwell, then back to Nick. "How close are you?" he finally blurted out. "I have no frame of reference, other than the oorah and your tongue down his throat.
Abigail Roux (Armed & Dangerous (Cut & Run, #5))
How Superheroes Make Money: - Spider-Man knits sweaters. - Superman screw the lids on pickle jars. - Iron Man, as you would suspect, just irons.
Jim Benton (Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers (Dear Dumb Diary #11))
In the Western tradition there is a recognized hierarchy of beings, with, of course, the human being on top—the pinnacle of evolution, the darling of Creation—and the plants at the bottom. But in Native ways of knowing, human people are often referred to as “the younger brothers of Creation.” We say that humans have the least experience with how to live and thus the most to learn—we must look to our teachers among the other species for guidance. Their wisdom is apparent in the way that they live. They teach us by example. They’ve been on the earth far longer than we have been, and have had time to figure things out.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)
You act young," he said, "because you are young. But you know things, Roza. Things people older than you don't even know. That day...." I knew instantly which day he referred to. The one up against the wall. "You were right, about how I fight to stay in control. No one else has ever figured that out- and it scared me. You scare me." "Why? Don't you want anyone to know?" He shrugged. "Whether they know that fact or not doesn't matter. What matters is that someone- that you- know me that well. When a person can see into your soul, it's hard. It forces you to be open. Vulnerable. It's much easier being with someone who's just more of a casual friend." "Like Tasha." "Tasha Ozera is an amazing woman. She's beautiful and she's brave. But she doesn't-" "She doesn't get you," I finished. He nodded. "I knew that. But I still wanted the relationship. I knew it would be easy and that she could take me away from you. I thought she could make me forget you." I'd thought the same thing about Mason. "But she couldn't." "Yes. And, so.....that's a problem.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
Because here’s the thing that’s wrong with all of the “How to Be Happy” shit that’s been shared eight million times on Facebook in the past few years—here’s what nobody realizes about all of this crap: The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience. This is a total mind-fuck. So I’ll give you a minute to unpretzel your brain and maybe read that again: Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience. It’s what the philosopher Alan Watts used to refer to as “the backwards law”—the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place. The
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Have you never seen a movie? Read a comic book? That's always how it starts - just a little temptation, just a little taste of evil, and then BAM, your light saber turns red and you're breathing through a big black mask and slicing off your son's hand just to be mean." They looked at him blankly.
Cassandra Clare (The Evil We Love (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #5))
I experienced car creepery at thirteen. I was walking home from middle school past a place called the World’s Largest Aquarium—which, legally, I don’t know how they could call it that, because it was obviously an average-sized aquarium. Maybe I should start referring to myself as the World’s Tallest Man and see how that goes? Anyway, I was walking home alone from school and I was wearing a dress. A dude drove by and yelled, “Nice tits.” Embarrassed and enraged, I screamed after him, “Suck my dick.” Sure, it didn’t make any sense, but at least I don’t hold in my anger.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
You were never really drunk." "On the contrary - in order to learn how to pretend to be inebriated, one must become inebriated at least once, as a reference point. Six-Fingered Nigel had been at the mulled cider-" "You can't mean there's truly a Six-Fingered Nigel?
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
She reached out and touched the king’s face, cupping his cheek in her hand. “Just a nightmare,” he said, his voice still rough. The queen’s voice was cool. “How embarrassing,” she said, looking at his maimed arm. The king looked up then, and followed her gaze. If it was embarrassing to wake like a child screaming from a nightmare, how much more embarrassing to be the reason your husband woke screaming. A quick smile visited the king’s face. “Ouch,” he said, referring to more than the pain in his side. “Ouch,” he said again as the queen gathered him into her arms.
Megan Whalen Turner (The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3))
Who-who are you?" Seth asked, hesitantly."Wh-what do you want?" How else was was I supposed to reply? The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.I mean, I'd only seen the movie like seventeen times. "I'm Luke Skywalker," I said. "I'm here to rescue you.
Meg Cabot (Sanctuary (1-800-Where-R-You, #4))
Attachment principles teach us that most people are only as needy as their unmet needs. When their emotional needs are met, and the earlier the better, they usually turn their attention outward. This is sometimes referred to in attachment literature as the “dependency paradox”: The more effectively dependent people are on one another, the more independent and daring they become.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
A human is not a being; he is a becoming. He is an ongoing process – a possibility. For this possibility to be made use of, there is a whole system of understanding the mechanics of how this life functions and what we can do with it, which we refer to as yoga.
Sadhguru (Body the Greatest Gadget)
The jogger sighed. He pulled out his phone and my eyes got big, because it glowed with a bluish light. When he extended the antenna, two creatures began writhing around it-green snakes, no bigger than earthworms. The jogger didn't seem to notice. He checked his LCD display and cursed. "I've got to take this. Just a sec ..." Then into the phone: "Hello?" He listened. The mini-snakes writhed up and down the antenna right next to his ear. Yeah," the jogger said. "Listen-I know, but... I don't care if he is chained to a rock with vultures pecking at his liver, if he doesn't have a tracking number, we can't locate his package....A gift to humankind, great... You know how many of those we deliver-Oh, never mind. Listen, just refer him to Eris in customer service. I gotta go.
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
How come "burbled" gets to be in the Oxford English Dictionary but "tulgy" doesn't? Hm?
Mike Tucker (Doctor Who: The Nightmare of Black Island)
I’m convinced that people come across others in life whose souls are completely compatible with their own. Some refer to them as soul mates. Some refer to it as true love. Some people believe their souls are compatible with more than one person, and I’m beginning to understand how true that might be. I’ve known since the moment I met Maggie years ago that our souls were compatible, and they are. That’s not even a question. However, I also know that my soul is compatible with Sydney’s, but it’s also so much more than that. Our souls aren’t just compatible—they’re perfectly attuned. I
Colleen Hoover (Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1))
I have come to understand that life is composed of a series of coincidences. How we react to these - how we exercise what some refer to as free will - is everything; the choices we make within the boundaries of the twists of fate determine who we are.
John Perkins
Did the men steal the papers?" Reynie asked, fearing her response. No, because they are fools," Sophie said bitterly. "They demanded to see the papers, and when I did not answer fast enough -- they were very frightening, you see -- they hurt me so that I was not awake. . . . When I opened my eyes they were still trying to find the papers. They did not understand how we organize the library, you see. They were angry and creating a bad mess. . . . The police were coming and the men decided they must leave. I shouted at them as they left: 'It is a free and public library! All you had to do was ask!
Trenton Lee Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #2))
He tells her how he worries that none of it means anything. That none of it is important. That who he is, or who he thinks he is, is just a collection of references to other people’s art and he is so focused on story and meaning and structure that he wants his world to have all of it neatly laid out and it never, ever does and he fears it never will. He tells her things he has never told anyone.
Erin Morgenstern (The Starless Sea)
I have an obligation to help eliminate the stigma attached to mental illness. When I’m feeling despondent and someone asks in a sincere way how I am, I have a duty to tell the truth. It’s no different from saying I have a bad cold. By speaking candidly, I give others permission to acknowledge their own mental illness, talk about it, and seek help. I must break the silence instead of treating my depression like a shameful character flaw.
Larry Godwin (Transcending Depression: Quest Without a Compass)
I don’t think I’ve ever referred to any girl I dated as my girlfriend. I think that would freak me out. Even the girl that I dated for two years in college I don’t think I ever referred to her as my girlfriend.” “How would you introduce her?” I asked. “I’m just going to say her name,” he said.
Daniel Amory (Minor Snobs)
How We Gain and Lose Weight To understand how we gain and lose weight, we need to start with insulin. Medical researchers and internal medicine doctors almost universally agree that the amount of insulin a person produces determines weight gain and weight loss. For example, Gary Taubes, a medical researcher and recipient of multiple awards from the National Association of Science Writers, refers to insulin as “the stop-and-go light of weight gain and loss.”    Produce more insulin—you will gain weight. Produce less insulin— you will lose weight.
Rick Mystrom (Glucose Control Eating: Lose Weight Stay Slimmer Live Healthier Live Longer)
We live in a culture that has institutionalized the oppression of animals on at least two levels: in formal structures such as slaughterhouses, meat markets, zoos, laboratories, and circuses, and through our language. That we refer to meat eating rather than to corpse eating is a central example of how our language transmits the dominant culture's approval of this activity.
Carol J. Adams (The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory)
On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.
B.R. Ambedkar (Writings And Speeches: A Ready Reference Manual)
Don't you know how much I hero-worshiped you when I was a kid? You were Marie Curie crossed with Emily Bronte crossed with Joan of Arc to me when I was ten. And when i told you that, you said my cultural references were the sign of a colonized mind.
Kamila Shamsie (Broken Verses)
I'm convinced that people come across others in life whose souls are completely compatible with their own.Some refers to them as soul mates.Some refer to it as true love.Some people believe their souls are compatible with more than one person, and i'm beginning to understand how true that might be
Colleen Hoover (Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1))
how dismal it is to have no one to go to in the morning to share one’s griefs and joys; how hateful when something weighs on you and there’s nowhere to lay it down. You know to what I refer. I often tell to my pianoforte what I want to tell to you.
Frédéric Chopin (Chopin's Letters (Dover Books On Music: Composers))
Indeed, when I came to Italy, I expected to encounter a certain amount of resentment, but have received instead empathy from most Italians. In any reference to George Bush, people only nod to Berlusconi, saying","We understand how it is - we have one, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
When it seems impossible that a deep connection with another person could just go away instead of changing form. It seems impossible that you will one day look up and say the words "I used to date someone who lived in that building," referring to a three-year relationship. As simple as if it was a pizza place that is now a dry cleaner's. It happens. Keep walking.
Sloane Crosley (How Did You Get This Number: Essays)
You know the direct, legitimate fruit of consciousness is inertia, that is, conscious sitting-with-the-hands-folded. I have referred to this already. I repeat, I repeat with emphasis: all “direct” persons and men of action are active just because they are stupid and limited. How explain that? I will tell you:
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
And how old are you, Miss Beckett?” “Seventeen.” “What!” There is no way she’s seventeen. I inspect her face, studying it intently, but don’t know what it is I hope to find. Laugh lines maybe? She watches my face. “Is my age a problem for you?” “Hell, yeah, seventeen is a problem.” I throw my napkin on the table. All of this has been a waste. “Forget it all. This whole thing is off.” “I don’t act seventeen. I’m very mature for my age.” “No way. You’re not even old enough to be drinking that wine.” I lean in and whisper so no one will overhear. “I’m almost twice your age.” “I don’t mind. I have daddy issues.” She breaks into a huge grin and I hear a girlish giggle. That’s when I realize she’s fucking with me and has the ability to lie with a straight face. I’ll have to remember that for future reference. I’m not amused. “I see I have a comedienne on my hands.
Georgia Cates (Beauty from Pain (Beauty, #1))
Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer. Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind. Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation’s OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live. Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age. Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific. Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label. Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie. Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey? Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It’s a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict. Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!
Gerard Nolst Trenité (Drop your Foreign Accent)
Do you play video games, Liv?’ he asked congenially. ‘Uh, yes.’ ‘Well, stop cleaning up the dishes and come play with us,’ he teased. I chuckled. ‘Are you asking me on a playdate?’ As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I regretted them. I wasn’t being flirty. I didn’t know how to be flirty! That was just my sense of humor, and now this guy was going to think I was coming on – Nate laughed, cutting me off. ‘Only because you got the Star Trek reference. Otherwise, girls aren’t allowed to play with us. They’re icky.’ Deadpan, I crossed my arms over my chest. ‘Well, boys are icky too.’ He grinned huge. ‘Ain’t that the truth.
Samantha Young (Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3))
We have not noticed how fast the rest has risen. Most of the industrialized world--and a good part of the nonindustrialized world as well--has better cell phone service than the United States. Broadband is faster and cheaper across the industrial world, from Canada to France to Japan, and the United States now stands sixteenth in the world in broadband penetration per capita. Americans are constantly told by their politicians that the only thing we have to learn from other countries' health care systems is to be thankful for ours. Most Americans ignore the fact that a third of the country's public schools are totally dysfunctional (because their children go to the other two-thirds). The American litigation system is now routinely referred to as a huge cost to doing business, but no one dares propose any reform of it. Our mortgage deduction for housing costs a staggering $80 billion a year, and we are told it is crucial to support home ownership, except that Margaret Thatcher eliminated it in Britain, and yet that country has the same rate of home ownership as the United States. We rarely look around and notice other options and alternatives, convinced that "we're number one.
Fareed Zakaria (The Post-American World)
There was no manifestation of contemporary culture that did not indicate to my grandmother how steadfast was the nation's decline, how merciless our mental and moral deterioration, how swiftly all-embracing our final decadence. I never saw her read a book again; but she referred to books often - as if they were shrines and cathedrals of learning that television had plundered and then abandoned.
John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
It is tragic to see how the religious sentiment of the West has become so individualized that concepts such as "a contrite heart," have come to refer only to the personal experiences of guilt and willingness to do penance for it. The awareness of our impurity in thoughts, words and deeds can indeed put us in a remorseful mood and create in us the hope for a forgiving gesture. But if the catastrophical events of our days, the wars, mass murders, unbridled violence, crowded prisons, torture chambers, the hunger and the illness of millions of people and he unnamable misery of a major part of the human race is safely kept outside the solitude of our hearts, our contrition remains no more than a pious emotion.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life)
For optimists, human life never needs justification, no matter how much hurt piles up, because they can always tell themselves that things will get better. For pessimists, there is no amount of happiness—should such a thing as happiness even obtain for human beings except as a misconception—that can compensate us for life’s hurt. As a worst-case example, a pessimist might refer to the hurt caused by some natural or human-made cataclysm. To adduce a hedonic counterpart to the horrors that attach to such cataclysms would require a degree of ingenuity from an optimist, but it could be done. And the reason it could be done, the reason for the eternal stalemate between optimists and pessimists, is that no possible formula can be established to measure proportions and types of hurt and happiness in the world. If such a formula could be established, then either pessimists or optimists would have to give in to their adversaries.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
The world shrinking down about a raw core of parsible entities. The names of things slowly following those things into oblivion. Colors. The names of birds. Things to eat. Finally the name of things one believed to be true. More fragile than he would have thought. How much was gone already? The sacred idiom shorn of its referents and so of its reality. Drawing down like something trying to preserve heat. In time to wink out forever.
Cormac McCarthy (로드)
The intensive and concerted effort to exclude references to religion or God from public places is an attack on our founding principles. It's an attempt to bolster a growing reliance on the government--especially the judiciary--as the source of our rights. But if our rights are not unalienable, if they don't come from a source higher than ourselves, then they're malleable at the will of the state. This is a prescription for tyranny.
Mark R. Levin (Men in Black: How Judges are Destroying America)
The denizens of Feyland find the absence of magic to be quite funny. I mean no offense. ” “None taken.” “For example – In the Land Over the Crystal River (for that's how we refer to humans), there was once a man and a woman. And the man was in love with the woman, and wanted her for himself. But because he had no magic, he couldn't feel whether or not there was a “pull” towards her or not, so he didn't know whether she loved him or not. So what did he do?” “What?” “He had to ASK her!” Kian couldn't help laughing. “I don't get it!” “Ask her!” said Kian. “It's funny – because he didn't have magic.” His laughter grew louder and less controlled, tinkling like bells in the winter snow. “He had to ask her!” I realized that there were some cultural barriers Kian and I might never transcend.
Kailin Gow (Bitter Frost (Frost, #1))
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't rightly see how somebody who claims to have had -What'd you say? One partner?-can be welled trained." He had a point. Her brain clicked away. "I was referring to the instructional videotapes my agency has all its new employees watch." "They train you by watching videos?" His eyes narrowed reminding her of a hunter looking down a gun sight,"Now, ain't that interesting." She felt a little surge of pleasure as her child lost another few points on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Even a computer couldn't have picked a more perfect match.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Nobody's Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3))
I really only write about inner landscapes and most people don’t see them, because they see practically nothing within, because they think that because it’s inside, it’s dark, and so they don’t see anything. I don’t think I’ve ever yet, in any of my books, described a landscape. There's really nothing of the kind in any of them. I only ever write concepts. And so I’m always referring to "mountains" or "a city" or "streets." But as to how they look: I've never produced a description of a landscape. That's never even interested me.
Thomas Bernhard
In Jungian circles, shame is often referred to as the swampland of the soul. I’m not suggesting that we wade out into the swamp and set up camp. I’ve done that and I can tell you that the swampland of the soul is an important place to visit, but you would not want to live there. What I’m proposing is that we learn how to wade through it. We need to see that standing on the shore and catastrophisizing about what could happen if we talked honestly about our fears is actually more painful than grabbing the hand of a trusted companion and crossing the swamp. And, most important, we need to learn why constantly trying to maintain our footing on the shifting shore as we gaze across to the other side of the swamp—where our worthiness waits for us—is much harder work than trudging across.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
Every time the song looped, all I heard was the part about the lies - and how they weigh you down. Tonight, as I drive toward Detroit in my Jeep, I know what those words really mean. It's not just the lies they're referring to. It's life. You can't run to another town, another place, another state. Whatever it is you're running from - it goes with you. It stays with you until you find out how to confront it.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
If our children are unable to voice what they mean, no one will know how they feel. If they can’t imagine a different world, they are stumbling through a darkness made all the more sinister by its lack of reference points. For a young person growing up in America’s alienated neighborhoods, there can be no greater empowerment than to dare to speak from the heart — and then to discover that one is not alone in ones feelings.
Rita Dove
I defy you to try it, Princess. Go ahead. I don’t even know how to sweep a floor. All I know how to do is use my body to please others. I was sick and alone with no references, friends, family, or money. I was so weak from hunger that even a beggar stole your himation from me while I lay on the ground, wanting to die and unable to stop him from taking it. So don’t come here now with your disdainful eyes and look at me like I’m beneath you. I don’t need your charity and I don’t need your pity. I know exactly what you see when you look at me. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
Calling something exotic emphasizes its distance from the reader. We don’t refer to things as exotic if we think of them as ordinary. We call something exotic if it’s so different that we see no way to emulate it or understand how it came to be. We call someone exotic if we aren’t especially interested in viewing them as people — just as objects representing their culture.
N.K. Jemisin
Once again Bobby Tom glanced at her over the top of Cheryl Lynn’s fluffy blond curls. “How was the spaghetti you ordered?” “It was excellent.” “I’m not much for the green stuff they poured over it.” “Are you referring to the pesto?” “Whatever. I like a nice meat sauce.” “Of course you do. With a double rack of greasy ribs on the side, I’ll bet.” “You’re making my mouth water just thinking about it.” Cheryl Lynn lifted her head from his shoulder. “You’re doin’ it again, B.T.” “Doing what, sweetheart?” “Talkin’ to her.” “Oh, I don’t think so darlin’. Not when I got you on my mind.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Heaven, Texas (Chicago Stars, #2))
Devotion is diligence without assurance. Faith is a way of saying, 'Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I am voicing in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding.' There is a reason that we refer to leaps-of-faith, because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable, and I don't care how diligently scholars of every religion will try to sit you down with their stacks of books and prove that their faith is rational; it isn't. If they were rational, it wouldn't be - by definition - faith. Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face first and full speed into the dark.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
You wouldn't understand my works. You wouldn't have the faintest idea of what they were about. You wouldn't appreciate the points of reference. You're way behind. All of you. There's no point in sending you my works. You'd be lost. It's nothing to do with a question of intelligence. It's a way of being able to look at the world. It's a question of how far you can operate on things and not in things. I mean it's a question of your capacity to ally the two, to relate the two, to balance the two. To see, to be able to see! I'm the one who can see. That's why I can write my critical works. Might do you good...have a look at them...see how certain people can view...things...how certain people can maintain...intellectual equilibrium. Intellectual equilibrium. You're just objects. You just...move about. I can observe it. I can see what you do. It's the same as I do. But you're lost in it. You won't get me being...I won't be lost in it.
Harold Pinter (The Homecoming)
You religious men who boast so much that you live on charity including what the poor manage to scrape together out of their meagre income - how can you justify your actions? How can your moral conscience be clear when you acknowledge that in no way do you contribute to the society that is maintaining you, day after day? In your self complacent conceit, you denigrate and harshly condemn, those who, with their sweat and hard work, provide you with a life fit for a king. What is the reason you spend your lives living comfortably in some ashram or isolated monastery when life only makes sense if it is experienced with your fellow brothers and sisters by showing compassion to them? It is easy and simple enough to spend your lives meditating in the Himalayas being irritated by nothing and no one if not the occasional goat, rather than placing yourselves in the midst of your fellow men and living an ordinary life of toil as they do. Do not delude yourselves, because what you refer to as a state of internal peace represents nothing but the personal satisfaction of the conscious ego that is admiring and adoring itself..
Anton Sammut (The Secret Gospel Of Jesus AD 0-78)
How dare you tell me 'I am not like most girls,' when those 'girls' you refer to are my sisters and mothers, my friends, the very solace and the kindness I have sought when the worst things in my life have happened? How dare you assume I should take that as a compliment, and beam at you like it is praise when you are alienating me from the very core of my proudly female being? There are a thousand ways to tell me you love me, and making my sisters small to make me big isn't one of them. Tell me you love me, but not because I am different. Tell me you love me, just because you do.
Nikita Gill
Understanding America for the Non-American Black: Thoughts on the Special White Friend One great gift for the Zipped-Up Negro is The White Friend Who Gets It. Sadly, this is not as common as one would wish, but some are lucky to have that white friend who you don’t need to explain shit to. By all means, put this friend to work. Such friends not only get it, but also have great bullshit-detectors and so they totally understand that they can say stuff that you can’t. So there is, in much of America, a stealthy little notion lying in the hearts of many: that white people earned their place at jobs and schools while black people got in because they were black. But in fact, since the beginning of America, white people have been getting jobs because they were white. Many whites with the same qualifications but Negro skin would not have the jobs they have. But don’t ever say this publicly. Let your white friend say it. If you make the mistake of saying this, you will be accused of a curiosity called “playing the race card.” Nobody quite knows what this means. When my father was in school in my NAB (Non American Black) country, many American Blacks could not vote or go to good schools. The reason? Their skin color. Skin color alone was the problem. Today, many Americans say that skin color cannot be part of the solution. Otherwise it is referred to as a curiosity called “reverse racism.” Have your white friend point out how the American Black deal is kind of like you’ve been unjustly imprisoned for many years, then all of a sudden you’re set free, but you get no bus fare. And, by the way, you and the guy who imprisoned you are now automatically equal. If the “slavery was so long ago” thing comes up, have your white friend say that lots of white folks are still inheriting money that their families made a hundred years ago. So if that legacy lives, why not the legacy of slavery? And have your white friend say how funny it is, that American pollsters ask white and black people if racism is over. White people in general say it is over and black people in general say it is not. Funny indeed. More suggestions for what you should have your white friend say? Please post away. And here’s to all the white friends who get it.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
I hope this book will end the practice of referring to Donald’s “strategies” or “agendas,” as if he operates according to any organizing principles. He doesn’t. Donald’s ego has been and is a fragile and inadequate barrier between him and the real world, which, thanks to his father’s money and power, he never had to negotiate by himself. Donald has always needed to perpetuate the fiction my grandfather started that he is strong, smart, and otherwise extraordinary, because facing the truth—that he is none of those things—is too terrifying for him to contemplate.
Mary L. Trump (Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man)
That's why I wanted to use Supper at Six to teach chemistry. Because when women understand chemistry, they begin to understand how things work." Roth looked confused. "I'm referring to atoms and molecules, Roth," she explained. "The real rules that govern the physical world. When women understand these basic concepts, they can begin to see the false limits that have been created for them." "You mean by men." "I mean by artificial cultural and religious policies that put men in the highly unnatural role of single-sex leadership. Even a basic understanding of chemistry reveals the danger of such a lopsided approach." "Well," he said, realizing he'd never seen it that way before, "I agree that society leaves much to be desired, but when it comes to religion, I tend to think it humbles us--teaches us our place in the world." "Really?" she said, surprised. "I think it lets us off the hook. I think it teachers us that nothing is really our fault; that something or someone else is pulling the strings; that ultimately, we're not to blame for the way things are; that to improve things, we should pray. But the truth is, we are very much responsible for the badness of the world. And we have the power to fix it.
Bonnie Garmus (Lessons in Chemistry)
The shirt was a screen print of a famous Surrealist artwork by René Magritte in which he drew a pipe and then beneath it wrote in cursive Ceci n’est pas une pipe. (“This is not a pipe.”) “I just don’t get that shirt,” Mom said. “Peter Van Houten will get it, trust me. There are like seven thousand Magritte references in An Imperial Affliction.” “But it is a pipe.” “No, it’s not,” I said. “It’s a drawing of a pipe. Get it? All representations of a thing are inherently abstract. It’s very clever.” “How did you get so grown up that you understand things that confuse your ancient mother?” Mom asked. “It seems like just yes-terday that I was telling seven-year-old Hazel why the sky was blue. You thought I was a genius back then.” “Why is the sky blue?” I asked. “Cuz,” she answered. I laughed.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
If I may be pardoned for suggesting the obvious, I do so only because the obvious is not observed in so many instances. The obvious includes four imperatives with reference to children: (1) love them, (2) teach them, (3) respect them, and (4) pray with them and for them... How much more beautiful would be the world and the society in which we live if every father looked upon his children as the most precious of his assets, if he led them by the power of his example in kindness and love, and if in times of stress he blessed them by the authority of the holy priesthood; and if every mother regarded her children as the jewels of her life, as gifts from the God of heaven, who is their Eternal Father, and brought them up with true affection in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord...
Gordon B. Hinckley
we, with our propensity for murder, torture, slavery, rape, cannibalism, pillage, advertising jingles, shag carpets, and golf, how could we be seriously considered as the perfection of a four-billion-year-old grandiose experiment? perhaps as a race, we have evolved as far as we are capable, yet that by no means suggests that evolution has called it quits. in all likelihood, it has something beyond human on the drawing board. we tend to refer to our most barbaric and crapulous behavior as "inhuman," whereas, in point of fact, it is exactly human, definitively and quintessentially human, since no other creature habitually indulges in comparable atrocities. this negates neither our occasional virtues nor our aesthetic triumphs, but if a being at least a little bit more than human is not waiting around the bend of time then evolution has suffered a premature ejaculation.
Tom Robbins (Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas)
George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
What happened was, I got the idea in my head-and I could not get it out ㅡ that college was just one more dopey, inane place in the world dedicated to piling up treasure on earth and everything. I mean treasure is treasure, for heaven's sake. What's the difference whether the treasure is money, or property, or even culture, or even just plain knowledge? It all seemed like exactly the same thing to me, if you take off the wrapping ㅡ and it still does! Sometimes I think that knowledge ㅡ when it's knowledge for knowledge's sake, anyway ㅡ is the worst of all. The least excusable, certainly. [...] I don't think it would have all got me quite so down if just once in a while ㅡ just once in a while ㅡ there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn't, it's just a disgusting waste of time! But there never is! You never even hear any hints dropped on a campus that wisdom is supposed to be the goal of knowledge. You hardly ever even hear the word 'wisdom' mentioned! Do you want to hear something funny? Do you want to hear something really funny? In almost four years of college ㅡ and this is the absolute truth ㅡ in almost four years of college, the only time I can remember ever even hearing the expression 'wise man' being used was in my freshman year, in Political Science! And you know how it was used? It was used in reference to some nice old poopy elder statesman who'd made a fortune in the stock market and then gone to Washington to be an adviser to President Roosevelt. Honestly, now! Four years of college, almost! I'm not saying that happens to everybody, but I just get so upset when I think about it I could die.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
The long poem of walking manipulates spatial organizations, no matter how panoptic they may be: it is neither foreign to them (it can take place only within them) nor in conformity with them (it does not receive its identity from them). It creates shadows and ambiguities within them. It inserts its multitudinous references and citations into them (social models, cultural mores, personal factors). Within them it is itself the effect of successive encounters and occasions that constantly alter it and make it the other's blazon: in other words, it is like a peddler carrying something surprising, transverse or attractive compared with the usual choice. These diverse aspects provide the basis of a rhetoric. They can even be said to define it.
Michel de Certeau (The Practice of Everyday Life)
A beam or pillar can be used to batter down a city wall, but it is no good for stopping up a little hole - this refers to a difference in function. Thoroughbreds like Qiji and Hualiu could gallop a thousand li in one day, but when it came to catching rats they were no match for the wildcat or the weasel - this refers to a difference in skill. The horned owl catches fleas at night and can spot the tip of a hair, but when daylight comes, no matter how wide it opens its eyes, it cannot see a mound or a hill - this refers to a difference in nature. Now do you say, that you are going to make Right your master and do away with Wrong, or make Order your master and do away with Disorder? If you do, then you have not understood the principle of heaven and earth or the nature of the ten thousand things. This is like saying that you are going to make Heaven your master and do away with Earth, or make Yin your master and do away with Yang. Obviously it is impossible.
Zhuangzi (The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu)
Above them, one of the blackened television screens brightens, and there's an announcement about the in-flight movie. It's an animated film about a family of ducks, one that Hadley's actually see, and when Oliver groans, shes about to deny the whole thing. But then she twists around in her seat and eyes him critically. "There's nothing wrong with ducks," she tells him, and he rolls his eyes. "Talking ducks?" Hadley grins. "They sing, too." "Don't tell me," he says. "You've already seen it." She holds up two fingers. "Twice." "You do know it's meant for five-year-olds, right?" "Five- to eight-year-olds, thank you very much." "And how old are you again?" "Old enough to appreciate our web-footed friends." "You," he says, laughing in spite of himself, "are a mad as a hatter." "Wait a second," Hadley says in mock horror. "Is that a reference to a...cartoon?" No, genius. It's a reference to a famous work of literature by Lewis Carroll. But once again, I can see how well that American education is working for you.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
The historical problems with Luke are even more pronounced. For one thing, we have relatively good records for the reign of Caesar Augustus, and there is no mention anywhere in any of them of an empire-wide census for which everyone had to register by returning to their ancestral home. And how could such a thing even be imagined? Joesph returns to Bethlehem because his ancestor David was born there. But David lived a thousand years before Joseph. Are we to imagine that everyone in the Roman Empire was required to return to the homes of their ancestors from a thousand years earlier? If we had a new worldwide census today and each of us had to return to the towns of our ancestors a thousand years back—where would you go? Can you imagine the total disruption of human life that this kind of universal exodus would require? And can you imagine that such a project would never be mentioned in any of the newspapers? There is not a single reference to any such census in any ancient source, apart from Luke. Why then does Luke say there was such a census? The answer may seem obvious to you. He wanted Jesus to be born in Bethlehem, even though he knew he came from Nazareth ... there is a prophecy in the Old Testament book of Micah that a savior would come from Bethlehem. What were these Gospel writer to do with the fact that it was widely known that Jesus came from Nazareth? They had to come up with a narrative that explained how he came from Nazareth, in Galilee, a little one-horse town that no one had ever heard of, but was born in Bethlehem, the home of King David, royal ancestor of the Messiah.
Bart D. Ehrman (Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible & Why We Don't Know About Them)
And the plunder was not just of Prince alone. Think of all the love poured into him. Think of the tuitions for Montessori and music lessons. Think of the gasoline expended, the treads worn carting him to football games, basketball tournaments, and Little League. Think of all the time spent regulating sleepovers. Think of the surprise birthday parties, the daycare, and the reference checks on babysitters. Think of World Book and Childcraft. Think of checks written for family photos. Think of credit cards charged for vacations. Think of soccer balls, science kits, chemistry sets, racetracks, and model trains. Think of all the embraces, all the private jokes, customs, greetings, names, dreams, all the shared knowledge and capacity of a black family injected into that vessel of flesh and bone. And think of how that vessel was taken, shattered on the concrete, and all its holy contents, all that had gone into him, sent flowing back to the earth.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
Stop that Stuart," Patty said as Stuart struggled with the suitcases, which were too heavy for him, she thought. (Almost everything was way too heavy for Stuart.)" Just put those down. Besides," Patty said, "where will you go? You don't have anyplace to go." But Stuart took her hand and held it for a moment against his closed eyes, and despite the many occasions when Patty had wanted him to go, and the several occasions when she had tried to make him go, despite the fact that he was at his most enragingly pathetic, for once she could think of nothing, nothing at all that he could be trying to shame her into or shame her out of, and so it occurred to her that this he would really leave---that he was simply saying good-bye. All along, Patty had been unaware that time is as adhesive as love, and that the more time you spend with someone the greater the likelihood of finding yourself with a permanent sort of thing to deal with that people casually refer to as "friendship," as if that were the end of the matter,when the truth is that even if "your friend" does something annoying, or if you and "your friend" decided that you hate each other, or if "your friend" moves away and you lose each other's address, you still have a friendship, and although it can change shape, look different in different lights, become an embarrassment or an encumbrance or a sorrow, it can't simply cease to have existed, no matter how far into the past it sinks, so attempts to disavow or destroy it will not merely constitute betrayals of friendship but, more practically, are bound to be fruitless, causing damage only to the humans involved rather than to that gummy jungle(friendship)in which those humans have entrapped themselves, so if sometime in the future you're not going to want to have been a particular person's friend, or if you're not going to want to have had that particular friendship you and that person can make with one another, then don't be friends with that person at all, don't talk to that person, don't go anywhere near that person, because as soon as you start to see something from that person's point of view (which, inevitably, will be as soon as you stand next to that person) common ground is sure to slide under your feet.
Deborah Eisenberg (The Stories (So Far))
Bear one another’s burdens, the Bible says. It is a lesson about pain that we all can agree on. Some of us will not see pain as a gift; some will always accuse God of being unfair for allowing it. But, the fact is, pain and suffering are here among us, and we need to respond in some way. The response Jesus gave was to bear the burdens of those he touched. To live in the world as his body, his emotional incarnation, we must follow his example. The image of the body accurately portrays how God is working in the world. Sometimes he does enter in, occasionally by performing miracles, and often by giving supernatural strength to those in need. But mainly he relies on us, his agents, to do his work in the world.We are asked to live out the life of Christ in the world, not just to refer back to it or describe it.We announce his message, work for justice, pray for mercy . . . and suffer with the sufferers.
Philip Yancey (Where Is God When It Hurts?)
One of the most frustrating words in the human language, as far as I could tell, was love. So much meaning attached to this one little word. People bandied it about freely, using it to describe their attachments to possessions, pets, vacation destinations, and favorite foods. In the same breath they then applied this word to the person they considered most important in their lives. Wasn’t that insulting? Shouldn’t there be some other term to describe deeper emotion? Humans were so preoccupied with love. They were all desperate to form an attachment to one person they could refer to as their “other half.” It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved’s entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray. I lay in bed, wondering about the intensity of this emotion that was so irrational and so irrefutably human. What if a person’s face was so sacred to you it was permanently inscribed in your memory? What if their smell and touch were dearer to you than life itself? Of course, I knew nothing about human love, but the idea had always been intriguing to me. Celestial beings never pretended to understand the intensity of human relationships; but I found it amazing how humans could allow another person to take over their hearts and minds. It was ironic how love could awaken them to the wonders of the universe, while at the same time confine their attention to one another.
Alexandra Adornetto
Those who are aware of their condition and experience themselves as "multiple" might refer to themselves as "we" rather than "I." I shall use the term "multiple" at times, in respect for their internal experience. It is important to point out, however, that I recognize that someone who is multiple is actually a single fragmented person rather than many people. On the outside, a multiple is probably not visibly different from anyone else. But that image is only an imitation: people who are multiple cannot think like the rest of us, and we cannot think like them. (In fact, since it is difficult for the multiple to understand how singletons think, some of them might think that is is you who are strange). Just as a singleton cannot become a multiple at will, a multiple cannot become a singleton until and unless the barriers between the parts of the self are removed. Those barriers were put up to enable the child to tolerate, and so survive, unavoidable abuse. p20 [Multiple: a person with dissociative identity disorder (DID) or DDNOS. Singleton: a person without DID or DDNOS, i.e with a single, unified personality]
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
If you have read this far in the chronicle of the Baudelaire orphans - and I certainly hope you have not - then you know we have reached the thirteenth chapter of the thirteenth volume in this sad history, and so you know the end is near, even though this chapter is so lengthy that you might never reach the end of it. But perhaps you do not yet know what the end really means. "The end" is a phrase which refers to the completion of a story, or the final moment of some accomplishment, such as a secret errand, or a great deal of research, and indeed this thirteenth volume marks the completion of my investigation into the Baudelaire case, which required much research, a great many secret errands, and the accomplishments of a number of my comrades, from a trolley driver to a botanical hybridization expert, with many, many typewriter repairpeople in between. But it cannot be said that The End contains the end of the Baudelaires' story, any more than The Bad Beginning contained its beginning. The children's story began long before that terrible day on Briny Beach, but there would have to be another volume to chronicle when the Baudelaires were born, and when their parents married, and who was playing the violin in the candlelit restaurant when the Baudelaire parents first laid eyes on one another, and what was hidden inside that violin, and the childhood of the man who orphaned the girl who put it there, and even then it could not be said that the Baudelaires' story had not begun, because you would still need to know about a certain tea party held in a penthouse suite, and the baker who made the scones served at the tea party, and the baker's assistant who smuggled the secret ingredient into the scone batter through a very narrow drainpipe, and how a crafty volunteer created the illusion of a fire in the kitchen simply by wearing a certain dress and jumping around, and even then the beginning of the story would be as far away as the shipwreck that leftthe Baudelaire parents as castaways on the coastal shelf is far away from the outrigger on which the islanders would depart. One could say, in fact, that no story really has a beginning, and that no story really has an end, as all of the world's stories are as jumbled as the items in the arboretum, with their details and secrets all heaped together so that the whole story, from beginning to end, depends on how you look at it. We might even say that the world is always in medias res - a Latin phrase which means "in the midst of things" or "in the middle of a narrative" - and that it is impossible to solve any mystery, or find the root of any trouble, and so The End is really the middle of the story, as many people in this history will live long past the close of Chapter Thirteen, or even the beginning of the story, as a new child arrives in the world at the chapter's close. But one cannot sit in the midst of things forever. Eventually one must face that the end is near, and the end of The End is quite near indeed, so if I were you I would not read the end of The End, as it contains the end of a notorious villain but also the end of a brave and noble sibling, and the end of the colonists' stay on the island, as they sail off the end of the coastal shelf. The end of The End contains all these ends, and that does not depend on how you look at it, so it might be best for you to stop looking at The End before the end of The End arrives, and to stop reading The End before you read the end, as the stories that end in The End that began in The Bad Beginning are beginning to end now.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
Every good-to-great company had Level 5 leadership during the pivotal transition years. • “Level 5” refers to a five-level hierarchy of executive capabilities, with Level 5 at the top. Level 5 leaders embody a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will. They are ambitious, to be sure, but ambitious first and foremost for the company, not themselves. • Level 5 leaders set up their successors for even greater success in the next generation, whereas egocentric Level 4 leaders often set up their successors for failure. • Level 5 leaders display a compelling modesty, are self-effacing and understated. In contrast, two thirds of the comparison companies had leaders with gargantuan personal egos that contributed to the demise or continued mediocrity of the company. • Level 5 leaders are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results. They are resolved to do whatever it takes to make the company great, no matter how big or hard the decisions. • Level 5 leaders display a workmanlike diligence—more plow horse than show horse. • Level 5 leaders look out the window to attribute success to factors other than themselves. When things go poorly, however, they look in the mirror and blame themselves, taking full responsibility. The comparison CEOs often did just the opposite—they looked in the mirror to take credit for success, but out the window to assign blame for disappointing results.
James C. Collins (Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't)
I touched Loki's chest, running my fingers over the bumps of his scar. I didn't know why exactly, but I felt compelled to, as if the scar connected us somehow. "You just couldn't wait to get me naked, could you, Princess?" Loki asked tiredly. I started to pull my hand back, but he put his own hand over it, keeping it in pace. "No,I-I was checking for wounds," I stumbled. I wouldn't meet his gaze. "I'm sure." He moved his thumb, almost caressing my hand, until it hit my ring. "What's that?" He tried to sit up to see it, so I lifted my hand, showing him the emerald-encrusted oval on my finger. "Is that a wedding ring?" "No, engagement." I lowered my hand, resting it on the bed next to him. "I'm not married yet." "I'm not too late, then." He smiled and settled back in the bed. "Too late for what?" I asked. "To stop you, of course." Still smiling, he closed his eyes. "Is that why you're here?" I asked, failing to point out how near we were to my nuptials. "I told you why I'm here," Loki said. "What happened to you, Loki?" I asked, my voice growing thick when I thought about what he had to have gone through to get all those marks and bruises. "Are you crying?" Loki asked and opened his eyes. "No, I'm not crying." I wasn't, but my eyes were moist. "Don't cry." He tried to sit up, but he winced when he lifted his head, so I put my hand gently on his chest to keep him down. "You need to rest," I said. "I will be fine." He put his hand over mine again, and I let him. "Eventually." "Can you tell me what happened?" I asked. "Why do you need amnesty?" "Remember when we were in the garden?" Loki asked. Of course I remembered. Loki had snuck in over the wall and asked me to run away with him. I had declined, but he'd stolen a kiss before he left, a rather nice kiss. My cheeks reddened slightly at the memory, and that make Loki smile wider. "I see you do." He grinned. "What does that have to do with anything?" I asked. "That doesn't," Loki said, referring to the kiss. "I meant when I told you that the King hates me. He really does, Wendy." His eyes went dark for a minute. "The Vittra King did this to you?" I asked, and my stomach tightened. "You mean Oren? My father?" "Don't worry about it now," he said, trying to calm the anger burning in my eyes. "I'll be fine." "Why?" I asked. "Why does the King hate you? Why did he do this to you?" "Wendy, please." He closed his eyes. "I'm exhausted. I barely made it here. Can we have this conversation when I'm feeling a bit better? Say, in a month or two?" "Loki," I said with a sigh, but he had a point. "Rest. But we will talk tomorrow. All right?" "As you wish, Princess," he conceded, and he was already drifting back to sleep again. I sat beside him for a few minutes longer, my hand still on his chest so I could feel his heartbeat pounding underneath. When I was certain he was asleep, I slid my hand out from under his, and I stood up.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
Most people are afflicted with an inability to say what they see or think. They say there’s nothing more difficult than to define a spiral in words; they claim it is necessary to use the unliterary hand, twirling it in a steadily upward direction, so that human eyes will perceive the abstract figure immanent in wire spring and a certain type of staircase. But if we remember that to say is to renew, we will have no trouble defining a spiral; it’s a circle that rises without ever closing. I realize that most people would never dare to define it this way, for they suppose that defining is to say what others want us to say rather than what’s required for the definition. I’ll say it more accurately: a spiral is a potential circle that winds round as it rises, without ever completing itself. But no, the definition is still abstract. I’ll resort to the concrete, and all will become clear: a spiral is a snake without a snake, vertically wound around nothing. All literature is an attempt to make life real. All of us know, even when we act on what we don’t know, life is absolutely unreal in its directly real form; the country, the city and our ideas are absolutely fictitious things, the offspring of our complex sensation of our own selves. Impressions are incommunicable unless we make them literary. Children are particularly literary, for they say what they feel not what someone has taught them to feel. Once I heard a child, who wished to say that he was on the verge of tears, say not ‘I feel like crying’, which is what an adult, i.e., an idiot, would say but rather, ’ I feel like tears.’ And this phrase -so literary it would seem affected in a well-known poet, if he could ever invent it - decisively refers to the warm presence of tears about to burst from eyelids that feel the liquid bitterness. ‘I feel like tears’! The small child aptly defined his spiral. To say! To know how to say! To know how to exist via the written voice and the intellectual image! This is all that matters in life; the rest is men and women, imagined loves and factitious vanities, the wiles of our digestion and forgetfulness, people squirming- like worms when a rock is lifted - under the huge abstract boulder of the meaningless blue sky.
Fernando Pessoa (The Book of Disquiet)
In the statistical gargon used in psychology, p refers to the probability that the difference you see between two groups (of introverts and extroverts, say, or males and females) could have occurred by chance. As a general rule, psychologists report a difference between two groups as 'significant' if the probability that it could have occurred by chance is 1 in 20, or less. The possibility of getting significant results by chance is a problem in any area of research, but it's particularly acute for sex differences research. Supppose, for example, you're a neuroscientist interested in what parts of the brain are involved in mind reading. You get fifteen participants into a scanner and ask them to guess the emotion of people in photographs. Since you have both males and females in your group, you rin a quick check to ensure that the two groups' brains respond in the same way. They do. What do you do next? Most likely, you publish your results without mentioning gender at all in your report (except to note the number of male and female participants). What you don't do is publish your findings with the title "No Sex Differences in Neural Circuitry Involved in Understanding Others' Minds." This is perfectly reasonable. After all, you weren't looking for gender difference and there were only small numbers of each sex in your study. But remember that even if males and females, overall, respond the same way on a task, five percent of studies investigating this question will throw up a "significant" difference between the sexes by chance. As Hines has explained, sex is "easily assessed, routinely evaluated, and not always reported. Because it is more interesting to find a difference than to find no difference, the 19 failures to observe a difference between men and women go unreported, whereas the 1 in 20 finding of a difference is likely to be published." This contributes to the so-called file-drawer phenomenon, whereby studies that do find sex differences get published, but those that don't languish unpublished and unseen in a researcher's file drawer.
Cordelia Fine (Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference)
Why did you defect now? Why here? There are other troll tribes and hundreds of cities that aren't at war with your King." "But only the Trylle have Wendy." Loki's smile returned but his eyes ere pained. "And how could I pass on that?" "She is married, you know," Finn said. "So it might be a good idea if you stopped trying to flirt with her. She's not interested." "It's up to her to decide who she's interested in," Loki said, with an edge to his voice. "And it's not exactly like you're following your own advice." "I am her tracker." Finn sat up in bed, but this time I didn't try to stop him. His eyes were burning. "It's my job to protect her." "No, Duncan is her tracker." Loki pointed to where Duncan stood in the doorway, staring wide-eyed at their confrontation. "And Wendy's stronger than the both of you combined. You're not protecting her. You're protecting yourself because you're a lovesick ex-boyfriend." "You think you have everything figured out, but you don't know anything," Finn growled. "If it were up to me I'd have you sent back to the Vittra in a flash." "But it's not up to you!" I snapped. "It's up to me. And this conversation is over. Finn needs to rest, and you are not helping anything, Loki." "Sorry," Loki said and rubbed his hands on his pants. "Why don't you go back to your room?" I asked Loki. "I'll be over to talk to you in a minute." He nodded and got up. "Feel better," Loki said to Finn, and he actually sounded sincere. Finn grunted in response, and Loki and Duncan left. I wanted to reach out and touch Finn, comfort him in some way, because I felt like he needed it. Maybe I needed it too. "Get some sleep," I told Finn, since I could think of nothing better to say to him. I got up, but he reached out and grabbed my wrist. "Wendy, I don't trust him," he said, referring to Loki. "I know. But I do." "Be careful," Finn said simply and let go of me.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians. When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer. Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
Terry Tempest Williams
The corridor dissolved, and the scene took a little longer to reform: Harry seemed to fly through shifting shapes and colors until his surroundings solidified again and he stood on a hilltop, forlorn and cold in the darkness, the wind whistling through the branches of a few leafless trees. The adult Snape was panting, turning on the spot, his wand gripped tightly in his hand, waiting for something or for someone… His fear infected Harry too, even though he knew that he could not be harmed, and he looked over his shoulder, wondering what it was that Snape was waiting for — Then a blinding, jagged jet of white light flew through the air. Harry thought of lightning, but Snape had dropped to his knees and his wand had flown out of his hand. “Don’t kill me!” “That was not my intention.” Any sound of Dumbledore Apparating had been drowned by the sound of the wind in the branches. He stood before Snape with his robes whipping around him, and his face was illuminated from below in the light cast by his wand. “Well, Severus? What message does Lord Voldemort have for me?” “No — no message — I’m here on my own account!” Snape was wringing his hands. He looked a little mad, with his straggling black hair flying around him. “I — I come with a warning — no, a request — please —” Dumbledore flicked his wand. Though leaves and branches still flew through the night air around them, silence fell on the spot where he and Snape faced each other. “What request could a Death Eater make of me?” “The — the prophecy… the prediction… Trelawney…” “Ah, yes,” said Dumbledore. “How much did you relay to Lord Voldemort?” “Everything — everything I heard!” said Snape. “That is why — it is for that reason — he thinks it means Lily Evans!” “The prophecy did not refer to a woman,” said Dumbledore. “It spoke of a boy born at the end of July —” “You know what I mean! He thinks it means her son, he is going to hunt her down — kill them all —” “If she means so much to you,” said Dumbledore, “surely Lord Voldemort will spare her? Could you not ask for mercy for the mother, in exchange for the son?” “I have — I have asked him —” “You disgust me,” said Dumbledore, and Harry had never heard so much contempt in his voice. Snape seemed to shrink a little, “You do not care, then, about the deaths of her husband and child? They can die, as long as you have what you want?” Snape said nothing, but merely looked up at Dumbledore. “Hide them all, then,” he croaked. “Keep her — them — safe. Please.” “And what will you give me in return, Severus?” “In — in return?” Snape gaped at Dumbledore, and Harry expected him to protest, but after a long moment he said, “Anything.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Picture it. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, speed up your camera. Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests, Tabloids. Everything boils down to the gag, the snap ending.” “Snap ending.” Mildred nodded. “Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill a two-minute book column, winding up at last as a ten- or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries were for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag; it is probably only a faint rumor of a title to you, Mrs. Montag), whose sole knowledge, as I say, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: now at last you can read all the classics; keep up with your neighbors. Do you see? Out of the nursery into the college and back to the nursery; there’s your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.” Mildred arose and began to move around the room, picking things up and putting them down. Beatty ignored her and continued: “Speed up the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, Now, Flick, Here, There, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, Why, How, Who, What, Where, Eh? Uh! Bang! Smack! Wallop, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest-digests, digest-digest-digests. Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought!” Mildred smoothed the bedclothes. Montag felt his heart jump and jump again as she patted his pillow. Right now she was pulling at his shoulder to try to get him to move so she could take the pillow out and fix it nicely and put it back. And perhaps cry out and stare or simply reach down her hand and say, “What’s this?” and hold up the hidden book with touching innocence. “School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well--or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader-- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such. But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few... Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life--not the end or accomplished goals in it--that matter. Well. Easier said than lived! Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking--about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity. Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels--many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man--and it feels like our own stories at the same time. Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy--don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Wanting his mind on other matters, she deliiberately challenged his statement. "You don't know so much about me. There was a man once. He was crazy about me." She tried to look wordly. "Absolutely crazy for me." His answering laughter was warm against her neck, her throat. His lips touched the skin over her pulse and skimmed lightly up to her ear. "Are you, by any chance, referring to that foppish boy with the orange hair and spiked collar? Dragon something?" Savannah gasped and pulled away to glare at im. "How could you possibly know about him? I dated him last year." Gregori nuzzled her neck, inhaling her fragrance, his hand sliding over her shoulder, moving gently over her satin skin to take possession of her breast. "He wore boots and rode a Harley." His breath came out in a rush as his palm cupped the soft weight, his thumb brushing her nipple into a hard peak. The feel of his large hand-so strong, so warm and possessive on her-sent heat curling through her body. Desire rose sharply. He was seducing her with tenderness. Savannah didn't want it to happen. Her body felt better, but the soreness was there to remind her where this could all lead. Her hand caught at his wrist. "How did you find out about Dragon?" she asked, desperate to distract him, to distract herself. How could he make her body burn for his when she was so afraid of him, of having sex with him? "Making love," he corrected, his voice husky, caressing, betraying the ease with which his mind moved like a shadow through hers."And to answer your question, I live in you, can touch you whenever I wish.I knew about all of them. Every damn one." He growled the worrds, and her breath caught in her throat. "He was the only one you thought of kissing." His mouth touched hers. Gently. Lightly. Returned for more. Coaxing, teasing, until she opened to him. He stole her breath, her reason, whirling her into a world of feeling.Bright colors and white-hot heat, the room falling away until there was only his broad shoulders,strong arms, hard body, and perfect,perfect mouth. When he lifted his head, Savannah nearly pulled him back to her.He watched her face,her eyes cloudy with desire, her lips so beautiful, bereft of his. "Do you have any idea how beautiful you are, Savannah? There is such beauty in your soul,I can see it shining in your eyes." She touched his face, her palm molding his strong jaw. Why couldn't she resist his hungry eyes? "I think you're casting a spell over me. I can't remember what we were talking about." Gregori smiled. "Kissing." His teeth nibbled gently at her chin. "Specifically,your wanting to kiss that orange-bearded imbecile." "I wanted to kiss every one of them," she lied indignantly. "No,you did not.You were hoping that silly fop would wipe my taste from your mouth for all eternity." His hand stroked back the fall of hair around her face.He feathered kisses along the delicate line of her jaw. "It would not have worked,you know.As I recall,he seemed to have a problem getting close to you." Her eyes smoldered dangerously. "Did you have anything to do with his allergies?" She had wanted someone, anyone,to wipe Gregori's taste from her mouth,her soul. He raised his voice an octave. "Oh, Savannah, I just have to taste your lips," he mimicked. Then he went into a sneezing fit. "You haven't ridden until you've ridden on a Harley,baby." He sneezed, coughed, and gagged in perfect imitation. Savannah pushed his arm, forgetting for a moment her bruised fist. When it hurt, she yelped and glared accusingly at him. "It was you doing all that to him! That poor man-you damaged his ego for life. Each time he touched me, he had a sneezing fit." Gregori raised an eyebrow, completely unrepentant. "Technically,he did not lay a hand on you.He sneezed before he could get that close.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Filth, filth, filth, from morning to night. I know they're poor but they could wash. Water is free and soap is cheap. Just look at that arm, nurse.' The nurse looked and clucked in horror. Francie stood there with the hot flamepoints of shame burning her face. The doctor was a Harvard man, interning at the neighborhood hospital. Once a week, he was obliged to put in a few hours at one of the free clinics. He was going into a smart practice in Boston when his internship was over. Adopting the phraseology of the neighborhood, he referred to his Brooklyn internship as going through Purgatory, when he wrote to his socially prominent fiancee in Boston. The nurse was as Williamsburg girl... The child of poor Polish immigrants, she had been ambitious, worked days in a sweatshop and gone to school at night. Somehow she had gotten her training... She didn't want anyone to know she had come from the slums. After the doctor's outburst, Francie stood hanging her head. She was a dirty girl. That's what the doctor meant. He was talking more quietly now asking the nurse how that kind of people could survive; that it would be a better world if they were all sterilized and couldn't breed anymore. Did that mean he wanted her to die? Would he do something to make her die because her hands and arms were dirty from the mud pies? She looked at the nurse... She thought the nurse might say something like: Maybe this little girl's mother works and didn't have time to wash her good this morning,' or, 'You know how it is, Doctor, children will play in the dirt.' But what the nurse actuallly said was, 'I know, Isn't it terrible? I sympathize with you, Doctor. There is no excuse for these people living in filth.' A person who pulls himself up from a low environment via the bootstrap route has two choices. Having risen above his environment, he can forget it; or, he can rise above it and never forget it and keep compassion and understanding in his heart for those he has left behind him in the cruel upclimb. The nurse had chosen the forgetting way. Yet, as she stood there, she knew that years later she would be haunted by the sorrow in the face of that starveling child and that she would wish bitterly that she had said a comforting word then and done something towards the saving of her immortal soul. She had the knowledge that she was small but she lacked the courage to be otherwise. When the needle jabbed, Francie never felt it. The waves of hurt started by the doctor's words were racking her body and drove out all other feeling. While the nurse was expertly tying a strip of gauze around her arm and the doctor was putting his instrument in the sterilizer and taking out a fresh needle, Francie spoke up. My brother is next. His arm is just as dirty as mine so don't be suprised. And you don't have to tell him. You told me.' They stared at this bit of humanity who had become so strangely articulate. Francie's voice went ragged with a sob. 'You don't have to tell him. Besides it won't do no godd. He's a boy and he don't care if he is dirty.'... As the door closed, she heard the doctor's suprised voice. I had no idea she'd understand what I was saying.' She heard the nurse say, 'Oh, well,' on a sighing note.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
I was extremely curious about the alternatives to the kind of life I had been leading, and my friends and I exchanged rumors and scraps of information we dug from official publications. I was struck less by the West's technological developments and high living standards than by the absence of political witch-hunts, the lack of consuming suspicion, the dignity of the individual, and the incredible amount of liberty. To me, the ultimate proof of freedom in the West was that there seemed to be so many people there attacking the West and praising China. Almost every other day the front page of Reference, the newspaper which carded foreign press items, would feature some eulogy of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. At first I was angered by these, but they soon made me see how tolerant another society could be. I realized that this was the kind of society I wanted to live in: where people were allowed to hold different, even outrageous views. I began to see that it was the very tolerance of oppositions, of protesters, that kept the West progressing. Still, I could not help being irritated by some observations. Once I read an article by a Westerner who came to China to see some old friends, university professors, who told him cheerfully how they had enjoyed being denounced and sent to the back end of beyond, and how much they had relished being reformed. The author concluded that Mao had indeed made the Chinese into 'new people' who would regard what was misery to a Westerner as pleasure. I was aghast. Did he not know that repression was at its worst when there was no complaint? A hundred times more so when the victim actually presented a smiling face? Could he not see to what a pathetic condition these professors had been reduced, and what horror must have been involved to degrade them so? I did not realize that the acting that the Chinese were putting on was something to which Westerners were unaccustomed, and which they could not always decode. I did not appreciate either that information about China was not easily available, or was largely misunderstood, in the West, and that people with no experience of a regime like China's could take its propaganda and rhetoric at face value. As a result, I assumed that these eulogies were dishonest. My friends and I would joke that they had been bought by our government's 'hospitality." When foreigners were allowed into certain restricted places in China following Nixon's visit, wherever they went the authorities immediately cordoned off enclaves even within these enclaves. The best transport facilities, shops, restaurants, guest houses and scenic spots were reserved for them, with signs reading "For Foreign Guests Only." Mao-tai, the most sought-after liquor, was totally unavailable to ordinary Chinese, but freely available to foreigners. The best food was saved for foreigners. The newspapers proudly reported that Henry Kissinger had said his waistline had expanded as a result of the many twelve-course banquets he enjoyed during his visits to China. This was at a time when in Sichuan, "Heaven's Granary," our meat ration was half a pound per month, and the streets of Chengdu were full of homeless peasants who had fled there from famine in the north, and were living as beggars. There was great resentment among the population about how the foreigners were treated like lords. My friends and I began saying among ourselves: "Why do we attack the Kuomintang for allowing signs saying "No Chinese or Dogs" aren't we doing the same? Getting hold of information became an obsession. I benefited enormously from my ability to read English, as although the university library had been looted during the Cultural Revolution, most of the books it had lost had been in Chinese. Its extensive English-language collection had been turned upside down, but was still largely intact.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
The unexamined life is surely worth living, but is the unloved life worth examining? It seems a strange question until one realizes how much of our so-called mental life is about the lives we are not living, the lives we are missing out on, the lives we could be leading but for some reason are not. What we fantasize about, what we long for, are the experiences, the things and the people that are absent. It is the absence of what we need that makes us think, that makes us cross and sad. We have to be aware of what is missing in our lives - even if this often obscures both what we already have and what is actually available - because we can survive only if our appetites more or less work for us. Indeed, we have to survive our appetites by making people cooperate with our wanting. We pressurize the world to be there for our benefit. And yet we quickly notice as children - it is, perhaps, the first thing we do notice - that our needs, like our wishes, are always potentially unmet. Because we are always shadowed by the possibility of not getting what we want, we lean, at best, to ironize our wishes - that is, to call our wants wishes: a wish is only a wish until, as we say, it comes true - and, at worst, to hate our needs. But we also learn to live somewhere between the lives we have and the lives we would like.(…) There is always what will turn out to be the life we led, and the life that accompanied it, the parallel life (or lives) that never actually happened, that we lived in our minds, the wished-for life (or lives): the risks untaken and the opportunities avoided or unprovided. We refer to them as our unloved lives because somewhere we believe that they were open to us; but for some reason - and we might spend a great deal of our lived lives trying to find and give the reason - they were not possible. And what was not possible all too easily becomes the story of our lives. Indeed, our lived lives might become a protracted mourning for, or an endless tantrum about, the lives we were unable to live. But the exemptions we suffer, whether forced or chosen, make us who we are. As we know more now than ever before about the kinds of lives it is possible to live - and affluence has allowed more people than ever before to think of their lives in terms of choices and options - we are always haunted by the myth of our potential, of what we might have it in ourselves to be or do. So when we are not thinking, like the character in Randall Jarrell's poem, that "The ways we miss our lives is life", we are grieving or regretting or resenting our failure to be ourselves as we imagine we could be. We share our lives with the people we have failed to be. We discover these unloved lives most obviously in our envy of other people, and in the conscious 9and unconscious) demands we make on our children to become something that was beyond us. And, of course, in our daily frustrations. Our lives become an elegy to needs unmet and desires sacrificed, to possibilities refused, to roads not taken. The myth of our potential can make of our lives a perpetual falling-short, a continual and continuing loss, a sustained and sometimes sustaining rage; though at its best it lures us into the future, but without letting us wonder why such lures are required (we become promising through the promises made to us). The myth of potential makes mourning and complaining feel like the realest things we eve do; and makes of our frustration a secret life of grudges. Even if we set aside the inevitable questions - How would we know if we had realized our potential? If we don't have potential what do we have? - we can't imagine our lives without the unloved lives they contain. We have an abiding sense, however obscure and obscured, that the lives we do lead are informed by the lives that escape us. That our lives are defined by loss, but loss of what might have been; loss, that is, of things never experienced.
Adam Phillips (Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life)