I Think I Was Designed To Be Alone Quotes

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If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it's within your reach. And it'll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. It'll be worth it, I promise.
Steve Wozniak
Hitch: making rules about drinking can be the sign of an alcoholic,' as Martin Amis once teasingly said to me. (Adorno would have savored that, as well.) Of course, watching the clock for the start-time is probably a bad sign, but here are some simple pieces of advice for the young. Don't drink on an empty stomach: the main point of the refreshment is the enhancement of food. Don't drink if you have the blues: it's a junk cure. Drink when you are in a good mood. Cheap booze is a false economy. It's not true that you shouldn't drink alone: these can be the happiest glasses you ever drain. Hangovers are another bad sign, and you should not expect to be believed if you take refuge in saying you can't properly remember last night. (If you really don't remember, that's an even worse sign.) Avoid all narcotics: these make you more boring rather than less and are not designed—as are the grape and the grain—to enliven company. Be careful about up-grading too far to single malt Scotch: when you are voyaging in rough countries it won't be easily available. Never even think about driving a car if you have taken a drop. It's much worse to see a woman drunk than a man: I don't know quite why this is true but it just is. Don't ever be responsible for it.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Well, I drank enough to sustain a small Spanish village, I haven't had an orgasm in a thousand years, and I will probably die old and alone in a beautifully designed apartment with all of Clive's illegitimate children swarming around me...How do you think I feel?
Alice Clayton (Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1))
I hope you're as lucky as I am. The world needs inventors--great ones. You can be one. If you love what you do and are willing to do what it really takes, it's within your reach. And it'll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build. It'll be worth it, I promise.
Steve Wozniak (iWoz)
ERANNA TO SAPPHO O You wild adept at throwing! Like a spear by other things, I'd lain there beside my next of kin. Your strain flung me far. To where's beyond my knowing. None can bring me back again. Sisters think upon me as they twine, and the house is full of warm relation. I alone am out of the design, and I tremble like a supplication; for the lovely goddess all creation bowers in legend lives this life of mine. SAPPHO TO ERANNA With unrest I want to inundate you, want to brandish you, you vine-wreathed stave. Want, like death itself, to penetrate you and to pass you onwards like the grave to the All: to all these things that wait you.
Rainer Maria Rilke
...I continued to sit there hour after hour watching the unrelenting rain slosh against the glass, thinking of our life together, Lotte's and mine, how everything in it was designed to give a sense of permanence, the chair against the wall that was there when we went to sleep and there again when we awoke, the little habits that quoted from the day before and predicted the day to come, though in truth it was all just an illusion, just as solid matter is an illusion, just as our bodies are an illusion, pretending to be one thing when really they are millions upon millions of atoms coming and going, some arriving while others are leaving us forever, as if each of us were only a great train station, only not even that since at least in a train station the stones and the tracks and the glass roof stay still while everything else rushes through it, no, it was worse than that, more like a giant empty field where every day a circus erected and dismantled itself, the whole thing from top to bottom, but never the same circus, so what hope did we really have of ever making sense of ourselves, let alone one another?
Nicole Krauss (Great House)
If you’re a manager, remember that one third to one half of your workforce is probably introverted, whether they appear that way or not. Think twice about how you design your organization’s office space. Don’t expect introverts to get jazzed up about open office plans or, for that matter, lunchtime birthday parties or team-building retreats. Make the most of introverts’ strengths—these are the people who can help you think deeply, strategize, solve complex problems, and spot canaries in your coal mine. Also, remember the dangers of the New Groupthink. If it’s creativity you’re after, ask your employees to solve problems alone before sharing their ideas. If you want the wisdom of the crowd, gather it electronically, or in writing, and make sure people can’t see each other’s ideas until everyone’s had a chance to contribute. Face-to-face contact is important because it builds trust, but group dynamics contain unavoidable impediments to creative thinking. Arrange for people to interact one-on-one and in small, casual groups. Don’t mistake assertiveness or eloquence for good ideas. If you have a proactive work force (and I hope you do), remember that they may perform better under an introverted leader than under an extroverted or charismatic one.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
As observers of totalitarianism such as Victor Klemperer noticed, truth dies in four modes, all of which we have just witnessed. The first mode is the open hostility to verifiable reality, which takes the form of presenting inventions and lies as if they were facts. The president does this at a high rate and at a fast pace. One attempt during the 2016 campaign to track his utterances found that 78 percent of his factual claims were false. This proportion is so high that it makes the correct assertions seem like unintended oversights on the path toward total fiction. Demeaning the world as it is begins the creation of a fictional counterworld. The second mode is shamanistic incantation. As Klemperer noted, the fascist style depends upon “endless repetition,” designed to make the fictional plausible and the criminal desirable. The systematic use of nicknames such as “Lyin’ Ted” and “Crooked Hillary” displaced certain character traits that might more appropriately have been affixed to the president himself. Yet through blunt repetition over Twitter, our president managed the transformation of individuals into stereotypes that people then spoke aloud. At rallies, the repeated chants of “Build that wall” and “Lock her up” did not describe anything that the president had specific plans to do, but their very grandiosity established a connection between him and his audience. The next mode is magical thinking, or the open embrace of contradiction. The president’s campaign involved the promises of cutting taxes for everyone, eliminating the national debt, and increasing spending on both social policy and national defense. These promises mutually contradict. It is as if a farmer said he were taking an egg from the henhouse, boiling it whole and serving it to his wife, and also poaching it and serving it to his children, and then returning it to the hen unbroken, and then watching as the chick hatches. Accepting untruth of this radical kind requires a blatant abandonment of reason. Klemperer’s descriptions of losing friends in Germany in 1933 over the issue of magical thinking ring eerily true today. One of his former students implored him to “abandon yourself to your feelings, and you must always focus on the Führer’s greatness, rather than on the discomfort you are feeling at present.” Twelve years later, after all the atrocities, and at the end of a war that Germany had clearly lost, an amputated soldier told Klemperer that Hitler “has never lied yet. I believe in Hitler.” The final mode is misplaced faith. It involves the sort of self-deifying claims the president made when he said that “I alone can solve it” or “I am your voice.” When faith descends from heaven to earth in this way, no room remains for the small truths of our individual discernment and experience. What terrified Klemperer was the way that this transition seemed permanent. Once truth had become oracular rather than factual, evidence was irrelevant. At the end of the war a worker told Klemperer that “understanding is useless, you have to have faith. I believe in the Führer.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
The Yogic path is about disentangling the built-in glitches of the human condition, which I'm going to over-simply define here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment. Different schools of thought over the centuries have found different explanation for man's apparently inherently flawed state. Taoists call it imbalance, Buddism calls it ignorance, Islam blames our misery on rebellion against God, and the Judeo-Christian tradition attributes all our suffering to original sin. Freudians say that unhappiness is the inevitable result of the clash between our natural drives and civilization's needs. (As my friend Deborah the psychologist explains it: "Desire is the design flaw.") The Yogis, however, say that human discontentment is a simple case of mistaken identity. We're miserable because we think that we are mere individuals, alone with our fears and flaws and resentments and mortality. We wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature. We have failed to recognize our deeper divine character. We don't realize that, somewhere within us all, there does exist a supreme Self who is eternally at peace. That supreme Self is our true identity, universal and divine. Before you realize this truth, say the Yogis, you will always be in despair, a notion nicely expressed in this exasperated line from the Greek stoic philosopher Epictetus: "You bear God within you, poor wretch, and know it not.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I think I was rather designed to be alone.
J.A. Rock (A Sanctuary for Soulden (The Lords of Bucknall Club, #4))
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Because I was never alone, I had no comprehension of the impact my music and I were making on the outside world. I never had time to think or reflect. I now believe that this was completely by design. Did Tommy know I would be easier to control if I were kept ignorant of the full scope of my power?
Mariah Carey (The Meaning of Mariah Carey)
Examples out of History, of People free and in the State of Nature, that being met together incorporated and began a Common-wealth. And if the want of such instances be an argument to prove that Government were not, nor could not be so begun, I suppose the contenders for Parernal Empire were better let it alone, than urge it against natural Liberty. For if they can give so many instances out of History, of Governments begun upon Paternal Right, I think (though at best an Argument from what has been, to what should of right be, has no great force) one might, without any great danger, yield them the cause. But if I might advise the Original of Governments, as they have begun de facto, lest they should find at the foundation of most of them, something very little favourable to the design they promote, and such a power as they contend for.
John Locke (Second Treatise of Government (Hackett Classics))
Examples of unintelligent design in nature are so numerous that an entire book could be written simply listing them. I will permit myself just one more example. The human respiratory and digestive tracts share a little plumbing at the pharynx. In the United States alone, this intelligent design feature lands tens of thousands of children in the emergency room each year. Some hundreds choke to death. Many others suffer irreparable brain injury. What compassionate purpose does this serve? Of course, we can imagine a compassionate purpose: perhaps the parents of these children needed to be taught a lesson; perhaps God has prepared a special reward in heaven for every child who chokes to death on a bottle cap. The problem, however, is that such imaginings are compatible with any state of the world. What horrendous mishap could not be rationalized in this way? And why would you be inclined to think like this? How is it moral to think like this?
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
Phaethon asked: “Do you think there is something wrong with the Sophotechs? We are Manorials, father! We let Rhadamanthus control our finances and property, umpire our disputes, teach our children, design our thoughtscapes, and even play matchmaker to find us wives and husbands!” “Son, the Sophotechs may be sufficient to advise the Parliament on laws and rules. Laws are a matter of logic and common sense. Specially designed human-thinking versions, like Rhadamanthus, can tell us how to fulfill our desires and balance our account books. Those are questions of strategy, of efficient allocation of resources and time. But the Sophotechs, they cannot choose our desires for us. They cannot guide our culture, our values, our tastes. That is a question of the spirit.” “Then what would you have us do? Would you change our laws?” “Our mores, not our laws. There are many things which are repugnant, deadly to the spirit, and self-destructive, but which law should not forbid. Addiction, self-delusion, self-destruction, slander, perversion, love of ugliness. How can we discourage such things without the use of force? It was in response to this need that the College of Hortators evolved. Peacefully, by means of boycotts, public protests, denouncements, and shunnings, our society can maintain her sanity against the dangers to our spirit, to our humanity, to which such unboundried liberty, and such potent technology, exposes us.” (...) But Phaethon certainly did not want to hear a lecture, not today. “Why are you telling me all this? What is the point?” “Phaethon, I will let you pass through those doors, and, once through, you will have at your command all the powers and perquisites I myself possess. The point of my story is simple. The paradox of liberty of which you spoke before applies to our entire society. We cannot be free without being free to harm ourselves. Advances in technology can remove physical dangers from our lives, but, when they do, the spiritual dangers increase. By spiritual danger I mean a danger to your integrity, your decency, your sense of life. Against those dangers I warn you; you can be invulnerable, if you choose, because no spiritual danger can conquer you without your own consent. But, once they have your consent, those dangers are all-powerful, because no outside force can come to your aid. Spiritual dangers are always faced alone. It is for this reason that the Silver-Gray School was formed; it is for this reason that we practice the exercise of self-discipline. Once you pass those doors, my son, you will be one of us, and there will be nothing to restrain you from corruption and self-destruction except yourself. “You have a bright and fiery soul, Phaethon, a power to do great things; but I fear you may one day unleash such a tempest of fire that you may consume yourself, and all the world around you.
John C. Wright (The Golden Age (Golden Age, #1))
Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3) My soul was hand designed to be richly satisfied in deep places by the Word of God. When I go without the nourishment of truth, I will crave filling my spiritual hunger with temporary physical pleasures, thinking they will somehow treat the loneliness inside. These physical pleasures can’t fill me, but they can numb me. Numb souls are never growing souls. They wake up one day feeling so very distant from God and wondering how in the world they got there.
Lysa TerKeurst (Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely)
Caroline, my dear, you just got turned down by a man who once made a woman meow for thirty minutes straight. how do you feel?' the naked woman in the mirror asked me, turning my thumb into a little microphone. She gestured toward me, holding out her thumb. 'Well I drank enough wine to sustain a small Spanish village, I haven't had an orgasm in a thousand years, and I will probably die old and alone in a beautifully designed apartment with all of Clive's illegitimate children swarming around me... How do you think I feel?' I asked back, offering Mirror Caroline her thumb.
Alice Clayton (Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1))
In this section I have tried to demonstrate that Darwinian thinking does live up to its billing as universal acid: it turns the whole traditional world upside down, challenging the top-down image of designs flowing from that genius of geniuses, the Intelligent Designer, and replacing it with the bubble-up image of mindless, motiveless cyclical processes churning out ever-more robust combinations until they start replicating on their own, speeding up the design process by reusing all the best bits over and over. Some of these earliest offspring eventually join forces (one major crane, symbiosis), which leads to multicellularity (another major crane), which leads to the more effective exploration vehicles made possible by sexual reproduction (another major crane), which eventually leads in one species to language and cultural evolution (cranes again), which provide the medium for literature and science and engineering, the latest cranes to emerge, which in turn permits us to “go meta” in a way no other life form can do, reflecting in many ways on who and what we are and how we got here, modeling these processes in plays and novels, theories and computer simulations, and ever-more thinking tools to add to our impressive toolbox. This perspective is so widely unifying and at the same time so generous with detailed insights that one might say it’s a power tool, all on its own. Those who are still strangely repelled by Darwinian thinking must consider the likelihood that if they try to go it alone with only the hand tools of tradition, they will find themselves laboring far from the cutting edge of research on important phenomena as diverse as epidemics and epistemology, biofuels and brain architecture, molecular genetics, music, and morality.
Daniel C. Dennett (Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking)
who could blame them if they said "the hell with the rest of the world." Let somebody else buy the bonds. Let somebody else build or repair foreign dams, or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in earthquakes." When the railways of France, and Germany, and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both of 'em are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name to me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They'll come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they're entitled to thumb their noses at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke. This year's disasters -- with the year less than half-over -- has taken it all. And nobody, but nobody, has helped. -  Gordon Sinclair via Radio Broadcast June 5, 1973 from Ontario, Canada
David Nordmark (America: Understanding American Exceptionalism (America, democracy in america, politics in america Book 1))
Remember, every relationship is an opportunity to either discover more of your individuality and expand as a human being or do the pretzel dance and twist yourself into a smaller version of you based on who you think your partner wants you to be. Despite what your mind tells you, your partner is attracted to the real you—the authentic you that he first met—not the twisted version you think he wants. When you commit to being yourself from the start and to communicating your truth no matter what, you’ll avoid virtually all the drama, angst, and anxiety of not knowing where things stand that many other women experience on a daily basis. Most women are afraid to be real because they mistakenly believe that they’re not enough as they are. This “I’m not enough” mind-set not only is inaccurate but also destroys your well-being and ability to have a loving and satisfying relationship. Being yourself and speaking your truth from the moment you meet is the secret to having relationships unfold naturally and authentically. It is also the key to maintaining your irresistibility. Be yourself. Communicate what works you and what doesn’t. Do it from day one and never stop. This is the most powerful step you can take at the beginning of any relationship to set it up for long-term success. Speaking of relationship success, don’t confuse relationship longevity with relationship success. Just because a relationship lasts for many years does not mean it’s a success. Many couples cling to a lifeless and miserable existence they call a relationship because they are too afraid to be alone or to face the uncertainty of the unknown. Living a life of quiet desperation devoid of true love, passion, and spiritual partnership is not my idea of success. Relationships, again, are life’s grandest opportunity for spiritual growth and evolution. They exist so that we may discover ourselves, awaken our hearts, and heal our barriers to love. Every relationship you’ve ever had, or you ever will have, is designed to bring you closer to your divinity and ability to experience and express the very best of who you are.
Marie Forleo (Make Every Man Want You: How to Be So Irresistible You'll Barely Keep from Dating Yourself!)
Oh! you are a great deal too apt you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in any body. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in my life.” “I would wish not to be hasty in censuring any one; but I always speak what I think.” “I know you do; and it is that which makes the wonder. With your good sense, to be so honestly blind to the follies and nonsense of others! Affectation of candour is common enough;—one meets it every where. But to be candid without ostentation or design—to take the good of every body’s character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad—belongs to you alone. And so, you like this man’s sisters too, do you? Their manners are not equal to his.
Jane Austen (Pride & Predjudice)
Before the troops left Rome, the consul Varro made a number of extremely arrogant speeches. The nobles, he complained, were directly responsible for the war on Italian soil, and it would continue to prey upon the country's vitals if there were any more commanders on the Fabian model. He himself, on the contrary, would bring it to an end on the day he first caught sight of the enemy. His colleague Paullus spoke only once before the army marched, and in words which though true were hardly popular. His only harsh criticism of Varro was to express his surprise about how any army commander, while still at Rome, in his civilian clothes, could possibly know what his task on the field of battle would be, before he had become acquainted either with his own troops or the enemy's or had any idea of the lie and nature of the country where he was to operate--or how he could prophesy exactly when a pitched battle would occur. As for himself, he refused to recommend any sort of policy prematurely; for policy was moulded by circumstance, not circumstance by policy. . . . [T]o strengthen [Paullus'] determination Fabius (we are told) spoke to him at his departure in the following words. 'If, Lucius Aemilius, you were like your colleague, or if--which I should much prefer--you had a colleague like yourself, anything I could now say would be superfluous. Two good consuls would serve the country well in virtue of their own sense of honour, without any words from me; and two bad consuls would not accept my advice, nor even listen to me. But as things are, I know your colleague's qualities and I know your own, so it is to you alone I address myself, understanding as I do that all your courage and patriotism will be in vain, if our country must limp on one sound leg and one lame one. With the two of you equal in command, bad counsels will be backed by the same legal authority as good ones; for you are wrong, Paullus, if you think to find less opposition from Varro than from Hannibal. Hannibal is your enemy, Varro your rival, but I hardly know which will prove the more hostile to your designs; with the former you will be contending only on the field of battle, but with the latter everywhere and always. . . . [I]t is not the enemy who will make it difficult and dangerous for you to tread, but your fellow-countrymen. Your own men will want precisely what the enemy wants; the wishes of Varro, the Roman consul, will play straight into the hands of Hannibal, commander-in-chief of the Carthaginian armies. You will have two generals against you; but you will stand firm against both, if you can steel yourself to ignore the tongues of men who will defame you--if you remain unmoved by the empty glory your colleague seeks and the false infamy he tries to bring upon yourself. . . . Never mind if they call your caution timidity, your wisdom sloth, your generalship weakness; it is better that a wise enemy should fear you than that foolish friends should praise. Hannibal will despise a reckless antagonist, but he will fear a cautious one. Not that I wish you to do nothing--all I want is that your actions should be guided by a reasoned policy, all risks avoided; that the conduct of the war should be controlled by you at all times; that you should neither lay aside your sword nor relax your vigilance but seize the opportunity that offers, while never giving the enemy a chance to take you at a disadvantage. Go slowly, and all will be clear and sure. Haste is always improvident and blind.
Livy (The History of Rome, Books 21-30: The War with Hannibal)
Before I visited the marriage teacher, I was just a girl, and then I was a girl with a mekor. I had made the sudden and shocking discovery that my body had been designed for sex. Someone had fashioned a place in my body specifically for sexual activity. Growing up in Williamsburg, I had been effectively sheltered from anything in any way associated with sex. We were spiritual beings, bodies carrying souls. The idea that I would now have to confront an area of my body I had never even thought about, let alone wanted to think about, on a constant basis for the rest of my life was in stark contrast to the chaste lifestyle I had been living until now. It was a lifestyle I had grown comfortably accustomed to, and my body rebelled against this change. That rebellion would soon cost me my happiness and would sow the first seeds of destruction that eventually tore my marriage apart.
Deborah Feldman (Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots)
I now pronounce you husband and wife. I hadn’t considered the kiss. Not once. I suppose I’d assumed it would be the way a wedding kiss should be. Restrained. Appropriate. Mild. A nice peck. Save the real kisses for later, when you’re deliciously alone. Country club girls don’t make out in front of others. Like gum chewing, it should always be done in private, where no one else can see. But Marlboro Man wasn’t a country club boy. He’d missed the memo outlining the rules and regulations of proper ways to kiss in public. I found this out when the kiss began--when he wrapped his loving, protective arms around me and kissed me like he meant it right there in my Episcopal church. Right there in front of my family, and his, in front of Father Johnson and Ms. Altar Guild and our wedding party and the entire congregation, half of whom were meeting me for the first time that night. But Marlboro Man didn’t seem to care. He kissed me exactly the way he’d kissed me the night of our first date--the night my high-heeled boot had gotten wedged in a crack in my parents’ sidewalk and had caused me to stumble. The night he’d caught me with his lips. We were making out in church--there was no way around it. And I felt every bit as swept away as I had that first night. The kiss lasted hours, days, weeks…probably ten to twelve seconds in real time, which, in a wedding ceremony setting, is a pretty long kiss. And it might have been longer had the passionate moment not been interrupted by the sudden sound of a person clapping his hands. “Woohoo! All right!” the person shouted. “Yes!” It was Mike. The congregation broke out in laughter as Marlboro Man and I touched our foreheads together, cementing the moment forever in our memory. We were one; this was tangible to me now. It wasn’t just an empty word, a theological concept, wishful thinking. It was an official, you-and-me-against-the-world designation. We’d both left our separateness behind. From that moment forward, nothing either of us did or said or planned would be in a vacuum apart from the other. No holiday would involve our celebrating separately at our respective family homes. No last-minute trips to Mexico with friends, not that either of us was prone to last-minute trips to Mexico with friends. But still. The kiss had sealed the deal in so many ways. I walked proudly out of the church, the new wife of Marlboro Man. When we exited the same doors through which my dad and I had walked thirty minutes earlier, Marlboro Man’s arm wriggled loose from my grasp and instinctively wrapped around my waist, where it belonged. The other arm followed, and before I knew it we were locked in a sweet, solidifying embrace, relishing the instant of solitude before our wedding party--sisters, cousins, brothers, friends--followed closely behind. We were married. I drew a deep, life-giving breath and exhaled. The sweating had finally stopped. And the robust air-conditioning of the church had almost completely dried my lily-white Vera.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Far be it from a poor friar to deny that you have these dazzling diamonds in your head, all designed in the most perfect mathematical shapes and shining with a purely celestial light; all there, almost before you begin to think, let alone to see or hear or feel. But I am not ashamed to say that I find my reason fed by my senses; that I owe a great deal of what I think to what I see and smell and taste and handle; and that so far as my reason is concerned, I feel obliged to treat all this reality as real. To be brief, in all humility, I do not believe that God meant Man to exercise only that peculiar, uplifted and abstracted sort of intellect which you are so fortunate as to possess: but I believe that there is a middle field of facts which are given by the senses to be the subject matter of the reason; and that in that field the reason has a right to rule, as the representative of God in Man. It is true that all this is lower than the angels; but it is higher than the animals, and all the actual material objects Man finds around him. True, man also can be an object; and even a deplorable object. But what man has done man may do; and if an antiquated old heathen called Aristotle can help me to do it I will thank him in all humility.
G.K. Chesterton (Saint Thomas Aquinas)
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods--though the work was suppressed--'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses ,alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
Lies flee in the presence of truth. And the Devil turns powerless when our minds turn to our all-powerful God. Here’s where I become quite fascinated. Jesus had access to thousands of scriptures from the Old Testament. He knew them. He could have used any of them. But He chose three specific ones. I’ve decided I want these three to be at the top of my mind. I Want a Promise for My Problem of Feeling Empty Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3) My soul was hand designed to be richly satisfied in deep places by the Word of God. When I go without the nourishment of truth, I will crave filling my spiritual hunger with temporary physical pleasures, thinking they will somehow treat the loneliness inside. These physical pleasures can’t fill me, but they can numb me. Numb souls are never growing souls. They wake up one day feeling so very distant from God and wondering how in the world they got there. Since Satan’s goal is to separate us from the Lord, this is exactly where he wants us to stay. But the minute we turn to His Word is the minute the gap between us and God is closed. He is always near. His Word is full and fully able to reach those deep places inside us desperate for truth. I Want a Promise for My Problem of Feeling Deprived “Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name” (Deuteronomy 6:13). Another version of this verse says, “Worship Him, your True God, and serve Him.” (THE VOICE) When we worship God, we reverence Him above all else. A great question to ask: Is my attention being held by something sacred or something secret? What is holding my attention the most is what I’m truly worshipping. Sacred worship is all about God. Is my attention being held by something sacred or something secret? Secret worship is all about something in this world that seems so attractive on the outside but will devour you on the inside. Pornography, sex outside of marriage, trading your character to claw your way to a position of power, fueling your sense of worth with your child’s successes, and spending outside of your means to constantly dress your life in the next new thing—all things we do to counteract feelings of being left out of and not invited to the good things God has given others—these are just some of the ways lust sneaks in and wreaks havoc. Two words that characterize misplaced worship or lust are secret excess. God says if we will direct our worship to Him, He will give us strength to turn from the mistakes of yesterday and provide portions for our needs of today. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (PSALM 73:25–26) And I Certainly Want a Promise for My Problem of Feeling Rejected Do not put the LORD your God to the test. (Deuteronomy 6:16)
Lysa TerKeurst (Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely)
Yes. Exactly. Everyone thinks that it’s simple. New, invasive species comes in and it has an advantage and it outcompetes, right? That’s the story, but there’s another part to that. Always, always, the local environment resists. Yes, yes, maybe badly. Maybe without a clear idea of coping with novelty. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but I am saying it’s there. Even when an invasive species takes over, even when it wins, there is a counterbalancing process it has to overcome to do that. And—” The tall man was scowling, and his discomfort made Prax want to speak faster. To say everything he had in his heart before the hammer fell. “And that counterprocess is so deep in the fabric of living systems, it can never be absent. However well the new species is designed, however overwhelming its advantages seem to be, the pushback will always be there. If one native impulse is overcome, there will be another. You understand? Conspecifics are outcompeted? Fine, the bacterial and viral microecologies will push back. Adapt to those, and it’ll be micronutrient levels and salinity and light. And the thing is, the thing is, even when the novel species does win? Even when it takes over every niche there is, that struggle alone changes what it is. Even when you wipe out or co-opt the local environment completely, you’re changed by the pushback. Even when the previous organisms are driven to extinction, they leave markers behind. What they are can never, never be completely erased.
James S.A. Corey (Babylon's Ashes (Expanse, #6))
For years before the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps won the gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he followed the same routine at every race. He arrived two hours early.1 He stretched and loosened up, according to a precise pattern: eight hundred mixer, fifty freestyle, six hundred kicking with kickboard, four hundred pulling a buoy, and more. After the warm-up he would dry off, put in his earphones, and sit—never lie down—on the massage table. From that moment, he and his coach, Bob Bowman, wouldn’t speak a word to each other until after the race was over. At forty-five minutes before the race he would put on his race suit. At thirty minutes he would get into the warm-up pool and do six hundred to eight hundred meters. With ten minutes to go he would walk to the ready room. He would find a seat alone, never next to anyone. He liked to keep the seats on both sides of him clear for his things: goggles on one side and his towel on the other. When his race was called he would walk to the blocks. There he would do what he always did: two stretches, first a straight-leg stretch and then with a bent knee. Left leg first every time. Then the right earbud would come out. When his name was called, he would take out the left earbud. He would step onto the block—always from the left side. He would dry the block—every time. Then he would stand and flap his arms in such a way that his hands hit his back. Phelps explains: “It’s just a routine. My routine. It’s the routine I’ve gone through my whole life. I’m not going to change it.” And that is that. His coach, Bob Bowman, designed this physical routine with Phelps. But that’s not all. He also gave Phelps a routine for what to think about as he went to sleep and first thing when he awoke. He called it “Watching the Videotape.”2 There was no actual tape, of course. The “tape” was a visualization of the perfect race. In exquisite detail and slow motion Phelps would visualize every moment from his starting position on top of the blocks, through each stroke, until he emerged from the pool, victorious, with water dripping off his face. Phelps didn’t do this mental routine occasionally. He did it every day before he went to bed and every day when he woke up—for years. When Bob wanted to challenge him in practices he would shout, “Put in the videotape!” and Phelps would push beyond his limits. Eventually the mental routine was so deeply ingrained that Bob barely had to whisper the phrase, “Get the videotape ready,” before a race. Phelps was always ready to “hit play.” When asked about the routine, Bowman said: “If you were to ask Michael what’s going on in his head before competition, he would say he’s not really thinking about anything. He’s just following the program. But that’s not right. It’s more like his habits have taken over. When the race arrives, he’s more than halfway through his plan and he’s been victorious at every step. All the stretches went like he planned. The warm-up laps were just like he visualized. His headphones are playing exactly what he expected. The actual race is just another step in a pattern that started earlier that day and has been nothing but victories. Winning is a natural extension.”3 As we all know, Phelps won the record eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. When visiting Beijing, years after Phelps’s breathtaking accomplishment, I couldn’t help but think about how Phelps and the other Olympians make all these feats of amazing athleticism seem so effortless. Of course Olympic athletes arguably practice longer and train harder than any other athletes in the world—but when they get in that pool, or on that track, or onto that rink, they make it look positively easy. It’s more than just a natural extension of their training. It’s a testament to the genius of the right routine.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
Reaching out, Andrew crooked his little finger with mine. “If I live, I’ll find a way to let you know, Drew,” he promised. “I owe you that much--and a whole lot more.” After a little silence, Andrew’s face brightened. “You don’t suppose you could stay, do you? Just think of the fun we’d have playing tricks on Edward and Mrs. Armiger.” He laughed at his own thoughts. “Why, we’d make their heads spin, Drew. They wouldn’t know one of us from the other.” For a moment, it seemed possible. My mother and father were away, they wouldn’t miss me. As for Aunt Blythe--well, we’d think of some way to let her know I was all right. We were bouncing on the bed, singing “Yip-I-Addy-I-Ay,” when the door opened and Mama appeared. It was Andrew she looked at, not me. “Why are you still awake?” she asked. “I told you to go to sleep.” As Mama approached the bed, Andrew flung his arms around her. “You can see me, Mama,” he cried. “Oh, thank the Lord! It’s me, your own true son, back again for keeps.” She stared at him, perplexed. “What nonsense is this? Of course I can see you. Of course it’s you. Who else would it be, you silly goose?” I slid off the bed and ran to her side. “Me,” I shouted, “it could be me.” When Mama didn’t even blink, I tugged at her nightgown. “Look at me,” I begged. “I’m here too, we both are. Andrew and me. Can’t you see us both?” I hugged her, but all she did was shiver. “No wonder this room is so drafty,” she murmured. “The attic door is wide open.” Andrew and I stared at each other, his face reflecting my disappointment. He was visible, I was invisible. Like the design on his quilt, the pattern had reversed. Sadly I released Mama. As I turned away, Andrew whispered, “We’ll meet again, Drew. I swear it.” Mama looked at him. “What did you say?” “Oh, nothing.” Hiding his face from his mother, Andrew winked at me and said, “I was just talking to myself, Mama.” I took one long last look at Andrew. Much as I wanted to stay, it was time to leave. When Mama reached out to close the attic door, I slipped through it like a ghost. The door shut behind me. I was alone at the bottom of the dark stairs with nowhere to go but home.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
I stared through the front door at Barrons Books and Baubles, uncertain what surprised me more: that the front seating cozy was intact or that Barrons was sitting there, boots propped on a table, surrounded by piles of books, hand-drawn maps tacked to the walls. I couldn’t count how many nights I’d sat in exactly the same place and position, digging through books for answers, occasionally staring out the windows at the Dublin night, and waiting for him to appear. I liked to think he was waiting for me to show. I leaned closer, staring in through the glass. He’d refurnished the bookstore. How long had I been gone? There was my magazine rack, my cashier’s counter, a new old-fashioned cash register, a small flat-screen TV/DVD player that was actually from this decade, and a sound dock for my iPod. There was a new sleek black iPod Nano in the dock. He’d done more than refurnish the place. He might as well have put a mat out that said WELCOME HOME, MAC. A bell tinkled as I stepped inside. His head whipped around and he half-stood, books sliding to the floor. The last time I’d seen him, he was dead. I stood in the doorway, forgetting to breathe, watching him unfold from the couch in a ripple of animal grace. He crammed the four-story room full, dwarfed it with his presence. For a moment neither of us spoke. Leave it to Barrons—the world melts down and he’s still dressed like a wealthy business tycoon. His suit was exquisite, his shirt crisp, tie intricately patterned and tastefully muted. Silver glinted at his wrist, that familiar wide cuff decorated with ancient Celtic designs he and Ryodan both wore. Even with all my problems, my knees still went weak. I was suddenly back in that basement. My hands were tied to the bed. He was between my legs but wouldn’t give me what I wanted. He used his mouth, then rubbed himself against my clitoris and barely pushed inside me before pulling out, then his mouth, then him, over and over, watching my eyes the whole time, staring down at me. What am I, Mac? he’d say. My world, I’d purr, and mean it. And I was afraid that, even now that I wasn’t Pri-ya, I’d be just as out of control in bed with him as I was then. I’d melt, I’d purr, I’d hand him my heart. And I would have no excuse, nothing to blame it on. And if he got up and walked away from me and never came back to my bed, I would never recover. I’d keeping waiting for a man like him, and there were no other men like him. I’d have to die old and alone, with the greatest sex of my life a painful memory. So, you’re alive, his dark eyes said. Pisses me off, the wondering. Do something about that. Like what? Can’t all be like you, Barrons. His eyes suddenly rushed with shadows and I couldn’t make out a single word. Impatience, anger, something ancient and ruthless. Cold eyes regarded me with calculation, as if weighing things against each other, meditating—a word Daddy used to point out was the larger part of premeditation. He’d say, Baby, once you start thinking about it, you’re working your way toward it. Was there something Barrons was working his way toward doing? I shivered.
Karen Marie Moning (Shadowfever (Fever, #5))
Somehow he released her hand and pulled his free. He wrapped his arms around her and hauled her against him so her entire body pressed against his. The man was a rock. Big, unyielding and warmed by the sun. She wanted to snuggle even closer. She wanted to rip off her clothes and give the goats something to talk about. She wanted-- He licked her lower lip. The unexpected moist heat made her gasp as fire raced through her. Every singed nerve ending vibrated with need for more. The masculine, slightly piney scent of him surrounded her. Operating only on instinct, she parted her lips to allow him entry. She had a single heartbeat to brace herself for the power of his tongue touching hers. Then he swept inside and blew her away. It was like being inside the space shuttle on take-off. Phoebe might not have any personal experience with space flight, but she could imagine. The powerful force between them left her weak and clinging to his broad shoulders. She trembled and needed and ached with equal intensity. His tongue brushed against hers again. He tasted of coffee and mint and something wonderfully sensual and sweet. His mouth seemed designed for kissing. Maybe it was all that non-conversation. Maybe talking too much undermined a man’s ability to kiss. She didn’t know and didn’t care. All that mattered was the way he stroked her, touched her, teased her. He cupped her head with one hand and ran his other up and down her back. If only this moment would never end. But it did. A sharp bark from somewhere in the distance brought Phoebe back to earth with a rude thunk. She suddenly became aware of being pressed up against a really good-looking stranger, kissing in front of a goat pen. Apparently Zane got a similar wake-up call, because he stepped back at the same second she did. At least the man was breathing hard. She would hate to think she was the only one who had been affected. “Okay, then,” she said when she realized that all feelings to the contrary, she still could breathe. Zane continued to stare at her. She swallowed. “Did you want to say something?” Anything would be fine. Just any old reaction. As long as he wasn’t going to say it was all a mistake. That would really annoy her. Or maybe she was making a big deal out of nothing. Maybe he kissed lots of women out here by the goat pens. “I have to get back to work. Can you find your way to the house?” She blinked at him. That was it? Okay. Fine. As long as she didn’t try to walk on legs that were still trembling, she could pretend nothing had happened. “Sure,” she muttered. “No problem.” He nodded, then bent down and picked up his hat. She frowned. When exactly had that fallen off? He straightened, opened his mouth, then closed it. She wasn’t even surprised when he turned and left without saying a word. It was just so typical. When she was alone, Phoebe tried to work up a case of righteous indignation. When that didn’t work, she went for humor. If nothing else, she had to give Maya credit for the promised distraction. Oh. She also had to remember that as soon as she found out what constituted a treat on the baby-goat food hit list, she would be sure to send a thank-you gift.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
Think about it,” Obama said to us on the flight over. “The Republican Party is the only major party in the world that doesn’t even acknowledge that climate change is happening.” He was leaning over the seats where Susan and I sat. We chuckled. “Even the National Front believes in climate change,” I said, referring to the far-right party in France. “No, think about it,” he said. “That’s where it all began. Once you convince yourself that something like that isn’t true, then…” His voice trailed off, and he walked out of the room. For six years, Obama had been working to build what would become the Paris agreement, piece by piece. Because Congress wouldn’t act, he had to promote clean energy, and regulate fuel efficiency and emissions through executive action. With dozens of other nations, he made climate change an issue in our bilateral relationship, helping design their commitments. At international conferences, U.S. diplomats filled in the details of a framework. Since the breakthrough with China, and throughout 2015, things had been falling into place. When we got to Paris, the main holdout was India. We were scheduled to meet with India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi. Obama and a group of us waited outside the meeting room, when the Indian delegation showed up in advance of Modi. By all accounts, the Indian negotiators had been the most difficult. Obama asked to talk to them, and for the next twenty minutes, he stood in a hallway having an animated argument with two Indian men. I stood off to the side, glancing at my BlackBerry, while he went on about solar power. One guy from our climate team came over to me. “I can’t believe he’s doing this,” he whispered. “These guys are impossible.” “Are you kidding?” I said. “It’s an argument about science. He loves this.” Modi came around the corner with a look of concern on his face, wondering what his negotiators were arguing with Obama about. We moved into the meeting room, and a dynamic became clear. Modi’s team, which represented the institutional perspective of the Indian government, did not want to do what is necessary to reach an agreement. Modi, who had ambitions to be a transformative leader of India, and a person of global stature, was torn. This is one reason why we had done the deal with China; if India was alone, it was going to be hard for Modi to stay out. For nearly an hour, Modi kept underscoring the fact that he had three hundred million people with no electricity, and coal was the cheapest way to grow the Indian economy; he cared about the environment, but he had to worry about a lot of people mired in poverty. Obama went through arguments about a solar initiative we were building, the market shifts that would lower the price of clean energy. But he still hadn’t addressed a lingering sense of unfairness, the fact that nations like the United States had developed with coal, and were now demanding that India avoid doing the same thing. “Look,” Obama finally said, “I get that it’s unfair. I’m African American.” Modi smiled knowingly and looked down at his hands. He looked genuinely pained. “I know what it’s like to be in a system that’s unfair,” he went on. “I know what it’s like to start behind and to be asked to do more, to act like the injustice didn’t happen. But I can’t let that shape my choices, and neither should you.” I’d never heard him talk to another leader in quite that way. Modi seemed to appreciate it. He looked up and nodded.
Ben Rhodes (The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House)
Word has been spread to our accomplices within the city, London has armed the villagers and all are waiting for our signal.” Koranis stooped to hoist up a canvas bag, which he dropped on the rickety table before us. “The rockets,” he said, pulling a long, slender tube from the bag. “The King of Sarterad had to send all the way to Alidovia for these--they only arrived yesterday. Prop them up facing skyward, light the wick at the bottom and we have our signal.” He tossed the strange tube he held to Steldor, then removed two more from the bag for Galen and Temerson. “Set them off as planned, in the designated areas of the city, and be ready,” Cannan ordered. “I’ll certainly have to be,” said a new voice--one with an accent. We all leaped backward to face the cellar stairs, where we could hear methodical footsteps descending. Knives had appeared in the hands of the men around me; they were small, but they would be effective. The Cokyrian commander emerged into the torchlight, calm and unarmed. “Oh, good Lord,” King Adrik breathed, but everyone else stood silently, rigidly, their eyes assessing the enemy. Addressing the captain, Narian declared, “This stops now.” Cannan clenched his jaw and I slipped behind Steldor, hoping he could protect me. Maybe if I hid…but there was nowhere to conceal myself. I certainly had a knack for stumbling into the most compromising and dangerous of situations. I hadn’t been involved in this at all, but was sure to be sentenced for it now. Taking a breath, I forced myself to step into the open. After all, I had wanted to be here. And if I had to die, I stood in good company. “What is it you think you know?” Steldor demanded, but Narian ignored him, speaking only to Cannan. “You have the ability to be the voice of reason here. Don’t let these men walk to their deaths.” “Should I have them die by execution instead?” the captain ground out, but Narian did not flinch, continuing to stare at him, steely conviction in his eyes. “I’m alone, Cannan. I’ve been following your movements and the movements of your men since Shaselle was caught with that dagger, and I haven’t said a word to the High Priestess, to my comrades, not even to Alera. I’m giving you a chance to walk away, to live. Don’t be a fool--take it.” Cannan tucked his knife into the shaft of his boot, then cast his eyes over Steldor, Galen, Adrik and Koranis. All resolutely met his gaze. “I don’t see fear in this room, Narian,” he said, shaking his head. “Do what you must, as will we.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
I would not care to fly in an aircraft designed by people who focused only on an image of a flying airplane and never considered modes of failure. Nevertheless, the doctrine that one can impose one’s visions and desires on the world by the force of thought alone retains a powerful appeal to many people. Its acceptance displaces critical thinking and good strategy.
Richard P. Rumelt (Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters)
designate two or three days each month as “X” days, during which they wouldn’t schedule any meetings. I’d spend some of those days alone thinking about our businesses.
David Cote (Winning Now, Winning Later: How Companies Can Succeed in the Short Term While Investing for the Long Term)
All this, in addition to each day’s walking and pushing, is making me a kind of tired I didn’t know existed. But tonight feels different. I have a sense of gratitude I haven’t felt before. The challenge of the day with so much traffic, the fact of Ted leaving us tomorrow, and the communal dinner we experienced tonight have me thinking about what it means to face the challenges of life alone, to take on the unexpected in isolation. I wasn’t designed for a solitary existence. Though I am so very tired, there is an underlying energy in my bones, an energy that comes from the presence and help of others. The unexpected is just that—unexpected! We can’t plan for it . . . we can’t predict it . . . we can’t be ready for it in any way. Often the unforeseen events in life come with few answers or no clear way out. Deborah’s MS offers no way out, and Justin’s disease will eventually take his life. But just like the highway, these unexpected challenges can be faced and life can be lived, despite the darkness. We just have to make sure we don’t face them alone. Ted has helped us get this far. Christie, Lynda, and John have offered to help in the coming days. The many pilgrims sitting, breaking bread, and enjoying wine tonight remind me of what the church is supposed to mean, what it is supposed to represent. We are a community—or at least we should be—where all are welcome, all are loved, and the unexpected challenges of life are faced with others at our side.
Patrick Gray (I'll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair)
This is why murder and suicide are both sins. It is God's prerogative alone, as Creator, to give and take innocent life..asserts human beings are the ones who control life and death..A moral duty to honor life supersedes the personal hardship that might come due to pregnancy..Jesus reveals that this man was born blind so that one day he might see, know, declare, and delight in the glory of Christ..If the rapist were caught, would we encourage this woman to murder him in order to get emotional relief?..the God of the gospel has a proven track record of working all things, including evil things, for his good purposes..he has the power, love, goodness, and grace to give you and me all that we need to persevere through difficulty..It's moral silliness and cultural suicide to say that government shouldn't take away people's right to choose. What matters is what we're choosing..Of course we are pro-choice on these and thousands of other things..I plead for you to step out of a muddled middle road that says, "I may not choose abortion, but I don't think we should take away others' right to choose it"..Such thinking is not enlightened tolerance; it is sinful indifference..God does not desire for you or anyone else to live with the pain of regret. It is altogether right to hate sin in your history. The pain of past sin is often a powerful deterrent to future sin, but don't let it rob you of the peace God has designed for you in the present.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Like the team at the FDA, the EIR team enlisted entrepreneurs familiar with the obstacles, including SoftLayer senior executive Paul Ford, to work alongside the USCIS personnel committed to removing or clearing them. “You get fresh thinking, you get a very low-cost way of trying to impact the situation because the people doing this are committed to try to find what’s not working and propose solutions, rather than take a partisan or political or hierarchical or structural view to the environment,” Feld said. “They’re short-timers, so they’re committed for a period of time to come do something, but they’re not here for career advancement, so they are going to speak their mind.” Feld also believed that the presence of Ford and other outside entrepreneurs made the participants feel more comfortable to speak freely than if they had been working with government officials alone. In the spring of 2012, the team began building a prototype of an alternative application process for entrepreneurs and by fall had achieved a significant breakthrough: the launch of the Entrepreneurship Pathways web portal, designed to close the information gap between USCIS and those in the entrepreneurial community, by letting them know which visa may be most appropriate—including the O-1—for their situation.24 While the results of this exercise were not empirically conclusive at the time of an interview for this book, Feld did offer his anecdotal assessment “that there’s an increased number of people who I know have been able to get into the country and get valid visas who are entrepreneurs. I’ve definitely heard a decrease in the negative.
Aneesh Chopra (Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government)
I now pronounce you husband and wife. I hadn’t considered the kiss. Not once. I suppose I’d assumed it would be the way a wedding kiss should be. Restrained. Appropriate. Mild. A nice peck. Save the real kisses for later, when you’re deliciously alone. Country club girls don’t make out in front of others. Like gum chewing, it should always be done in private, where no one else can see. But Marlboro Man wasn’t a country club boy. He’d missed the memo outlining the rules and regulations of proper ways to kiss in public. I found this out when the kiss began--when he wrapped his loving, protective arms around me and kissed me like he meant it right there in my Episcopal church. Right there in front of my family, and his, in front of Father Johnson and Ms. Altar Guild and our wedding party and the entire congregation, half of whom were meeting me for the first time that night. But Marlboro Man didn’t seem to care. He kissed me exactly the way he’d kissed me the night of our first date--the night my high-heeled boot had gotten wedged in a crack in my parents’ sidewalk and had caused me to stumble. The night he’d caught me with his lips. We were making out in church--there was no way around it. And I felt every bit as swept away as I had that first night. The kiss lasted hours, days, weeks…probably ten to twelve seconds in real time, which, in a wedding ceremony setting, is a pretty long kiss. And it might have been longer had the passionate moment not been interrupted by the sudden sound of a person clapping his hands. “Woohoo! All right!” the person shouted. “Yes!” It was Mike. The congregation broke out in laughter as Marlboro Man and I touched our foreheads together, cementing the moment forever in our memory. We were one; this was tangible to me now. It wasn’t just an empty word, a theological concept, wishful thinking. It was an official, you-and-me-against-the-world designation. We’d both left our separateness behind. From that moment forward, nothing either of us did or said or planned would be in a vacuum apart from the other. No holiday would involve our celebrating separately at our respective family homes. No last-minute trips to Mexico with friends, not that either of us was prone to last-minute trips to Mexico with friends. But still. The kiss had sealed the deal in so many ways.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Human consciousness is just about the last surviving mystery. A mystery is a phenomenon that people don't know how to think about - yet. There have been other great mysteries: the mystery of the origin of the universe, the mystery of life and reproduction, the mystery of the design to be found in nature, the mysteries of time, space and gravity. These were not just areas of scientific ignorance, but of utter bafflement and wonder. We do not yet have the final answers to any of the questions of cosmology and particle physics, molecular genetics and evolutionary theory, but we do know how to think about them. The mysteries haven't vanished, but they have been tamed. They no longer overwhelm our efforts to think about the phenomena, because now we know how to tell the misbegotten questions from the right questions, and even if we turn out to be dead wrong about some of the currently accepted answers, we know how to go about looking for better answers. With consciousness, however, we are still in a terrible muddle. Consciousness stands alone today as a topic that often leaves even the most sophisticated thinkers tongue-tied and confused. And, as with all the earlier mysteries, there are many who insist - and hope - that there will never be a demystification of consciousness. Mysteries are exciting, after all, part of what makes life fun. No one appreciates the spoilsport who reveals whodunit to the moviegoers waiting in line. Once the cat is out of the bag, you can never regain the state of delicious mystification that once enthralled you. So let the reader beware. If I succeed in my attempt to explain consciousness, those who read on will trade mystery for the rudiments of scientific knowledge of consciousness, not a fair trade for some tastes. Since some people view demystification as a desecration, I expect them to view this book at the outset as an act of intellectual vandalism, an assault on the last sanctuary of humankind. I would like to change their minds.
Daniel Dennett
But that, I am afraid, was my mistake from the very beginning, the fatal flaw in my design. I thought that I could suffocate the Old Man with shovelfuls of dirt and mud. But with his body in the soil, in the specific silt of this family's land, everything on it was bound to die. Rancor seeped from his eyelids, his mouth, his ears, his ass, where his head had been all the days of his life. I should have never made him one with the land. I should have thrown his body into the sea, expelled it and not me. My anger keeps me digging into the earth, pulling at its protective mantle, eager to see his body decaying deep inside. The Old Man has refused to cooperate. His body is wholly intact. Years of alcohol can do that to a person, make him dead but not departed, make him indelible to those who have had the misfortune of sharing his name. Pickled and preserved is another way of thinking about it. All the water that is normally found inside a body had been in his displaced by alcohol, of a proof strong enough to kill anything that comes in contact with it. The tiny animals, the grubs, the worms that help to bring about the decomposition of the body before it can be returned to the earth, had with him no hope of doing their work. So they left him alone, left his hate to poison the land, a process so gradual, so obedient to this still functioning will, that it would take my lifetime to complete. If I had a son, it might take his lifetime as well. This is as close to being immortal as the Old Man ever had the right to be, and I am the one, the only one who keeps him that way.
Monique Truong (The Book of Salt)
the mantra of an innovative educator. I am an educator. I am an innovator. I am an innovative educator and I will continue to ask, “What is best for learners?” With this empathetic approach, I will create and design learning experiences. I believe that my abilities, intelligence, and talents can be developed, leading to the creation of new and better ideas. I recognize that there are obstacles in education, but, as an innovator, I will focus on what is possible today and where I can push to lead towards tomorrow. I will utilize the tools that are available to me today, and I will continue to search for new and better ways to grow, develop, and share my thinking, while creating and connecting my learning. I focus not only on where I can improve, but where I am already strong, and I look to develop those strengths in myself and in others. I build upon what I already know, but I do not limit myself. I’m open to and willing to embrace new learning, while continuously asking questions that help me move forward. I question thinking, challenge ideas, and do not accept, “This is the way we have always done it” as an acceptable answer for our students or myself. I model the learning and leadership I seek in others. I take risks, try new things to develop, and explore new opportunities. I ask others to take risks in their learning, and I openly model that I’m willing to do the same. I believe that isolation is the enemy of innovation, and I will learn from others to create better learning opportunities for others and myself. I connect with others both locally and globally to tap into ideas from all people and spaces. I will use those ideas, along with my professional judgment, to adapt the ideas to meet the needs of the learners in my community. I believe in my voice and experiences, as well as the voice and experiences of others, as they are important for moving education forward. I share because the learning I create and the experiences I have help others. I share to push my own thinking and to make an impact on learners, both young and old, all over the world. I listen and learn from different perspectives because I know we are much better together than we could ever be alone. I can learn from anyone and any situation. I actively reflect on my learning because I know looking back is crucial to moving forward. If we all embrace this mindset, imagine what education could become.
George Couros (The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity)
I think it is interesting that God designed people to need other people. We see those cigarette advertisements with the rugged cowboy riding around alone on a horse, and we think that is strength, when really, it is like setting your soul down on a couch and not exercising it. The soul needs to interact with other people to be healthy.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality (Paperback))
Taking a deep breath, Sailor decided to lay himself at her feet. "I was imagining the future and thinking of how if everything went according to plan, I'd have a very successful business with a high turnover." He made sure his hands were locked behind Ísa's back--just in case she decided to leave him in her dust a fourth time. "And since I'd be rich, I'd be able to buy houses and other nice things for my family." Ísa frowned. "I don't think your family expects that." "They don't exactly need my largess either," Sailor muttered. "But in my future fantasy, I'm buying everyone fancy cars and houses. Go with it." Ísa's lips twitched. "Okay, big spender. What else is fantasy Sailor doing?" "He's building a ginormous mansion. Swimming pool, tennis court, the works." "Is he hiring a buff personal masseuse named Sven?" "Hell no." He glared at her. "The masseuse is a fifty-year-old forner bodybuilder named Helga. Now, can I carry on?" Pretending to zip up her lips and throw away the key, Ísa made a "go on" motion. "Future Sailor is also creating a huge walk-in closet for you and filling it with designer shoes and clothes. He's giving you everything your heart desires." A flicker of darkness in Ísa's gaze, but she didn't interrupt... though her hands went still on his shoulders. "And there's a tricked-out nursery too," he added. "Plus a private playground for our rug rats." Throat moving, Ísa said, "How many?" It was a husky question. "Seven, I think." "Very funny, mister." "I'm not done." Sailor was the one who swallowed this time. "And in this fantasy house, future Sailor walks in late for dinner again because of a board meeting, and he has a gorgeous, sexy, brilliant wife and adorable children. But his redhead doesn't look at him the same anymore. And it doesn't matter how many shoes he buys her or how many necklaces he gives her, she's never again going to look at him the way she did before he stomped on her heart. Ísa's lower lip began to quiver, but she didn't speak. "I'm so sorry, baby." Sailor cupped her face, made sure she saw the sheer terror he felt at the thought of losing her. "I've been so tied to this idea of becoming a grand success that I forgot what it was all about in the first place--being there for the people I love. Sticking through the good and the bad. Never abandoning them." Silent tears rolled own Ísa's face. "But that great plan of mine?" he said, determined not to give himself any easy outs. "It'd have mean abandoning everyone. How can I be there for anyone when all I do is work? When I shove aside all other commitments? When the people I love hesitate to ask for my time because I'm too tired and too busy?" Using his thumbs, he rubbed away her tears. More splashed onto the backs of his hands, her hurt as hot as acid. "Spitfire, please," he begged, breaking. "I'll let you punch me as many times as you want if you stop crying. With a big red glove. And you can post photos online." Ísa pressed her lips together, blinked rapidly several times. And pretended to punch him with one fist, the touch a butterfly kiss. Catching her hand, he pressed his lips to it. "That's more like my Ísa." He wrapped his arms around her again. And then he told her the most important thing. "I realized that I could become a multimillionaire, but it would mean nothing if my redhead didn't look at me the way she does now, if she expected to have to take care of everything alone like she's always done--because her man was a selfish bastard who was never there." Ísa rubbed her nose against his. "You're being very hard on future Sailor," she whispered, her voice gone throaty. "That dumbass deserves it," Sailor growled. "He was going to put his desire to be a big man above his amazing, smart, loving redhead.
Nalini Singh (Cherish Hard (Hard Play, #1))
Broken means: does not function as it was designed to function. A broken human is one who does not function the way humans are designed to function. when I think about my own human experiences, and the experiences of every historical and contemporary human being I've ever studies, we all seem to function in the exact same way: We hurt people and we are hurt by people. We feel left out, envious, not good enough, sick, and tired. we have unrealized dreams and deep regrets. We are certain that we were meant for more and that we don't even deserve what we have. We feel ecstatic and then numb. We wish our parents had done better by us. We wish we could do better by our children. We betray and we are betrayed. We lie and we are lied to. We say goodbye to animals, to places, to people we cannot live without. We are so afraid of dying. Also: of living. We have fallen in love and out of love, and people have fallen in love and out of love with us. We wonder if what happened us that night will mean we can never be touched again without fear. We live with rage bubbling. We are sweaty, bloated, gassy, oily. We love our children, we long for children, we do not want children. We are at war with out bodies, our minds, our souls. We are at war with one another. We wish we'd said all those things while they were still here. They're still here, and we're still not saying those things. We know we won't. We don't understand ourselves. We don't understand why we hurt those we love. We want to be forgiven. We cannot forgive. We don't understand God. We believe. We absolutely do not believe. We are lonely. We want to be left alone. We want to belong. We want to be loved. We want to be loved. We want to be loved.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
There are signs, however, that a good time was had all last night. Jo might have found herself caught in the middle of a love triangle, but she clearly didn't mind staying around when she thought that one of the angles had been dispensed with. The remains of dinner still grace the table---dirty dishes, rumpled napkins, a champagne flute bearing a lipstick mark. There's even one of the Chocolate Heaven goodies left in the box---which is absolute sacrilege in my book, so I pop it in my mouth and enjoy the brief lift it gives me. I huff unhappily to myself. If they left chocolate uneaten, that must be because they couldn't wait to get down to it. Two of the red cushions from the sofa are on the floor, which shows a certain carelessness that Marcus doesn't normally exhibit. They're scattered on the white, fluffy sheepskin rug, which should immediately make me suspicious---and it does. I walk through to the bedroom and, of course, it isn't looking quite as pristine as it did yesterday. Both sides of the bed are disheveled and I think that tells me just one thing. But, if I needed confirmation, there's a bottle of champagne and two more flutes by the side of the bed. It seems that Marcus didn't sleep alone. Heavy of heart and footstep, I trail back through to the kitchen. More devastation faces me. Marcus had made no attempt to clear up. The dishes haven't been put into the dishwasher and the congealed remnants of last night's Moroccan chicken with olives and saffron-scented mash still stand in their respective saucepans on the cooker. Tipping the contents of one pan into the other, I then pick up a serving spoon and carry them both through the bedroom. I slide open the wardrobe doors and the sight of Marcus's neatly organized rows of shirts and shoes greet me. Balancing the pan rather precariously on my hip, I dip the serving spoon into the chicken and mashed potatoes and scoop up as much as I can. Opening the pocket of Marcus's favorite Hugo Boss suit, I deposit the cold mash into it. To give the man credit where credit is due, his mash is very light and fluffy. I move along the row, garnishing each of his suits with some of his gourmet dish, and when I've done all of them, find that I still have some food remaining. Seems as if the lovers didn't have much of an appetite, after all. I move onto Marcus's shoes---rows and rows of lovely designer footwear---casual at one end, smart at the other. He has a shoe collection that far surpasses mine. Ted Baker, Paul Smith, Prada, Miu Miu, Tod's... I slot a full spoon delicately into each one, pressing it down into the toe area for maximum impact. I take the saucepan back into the kitchen and return it to the hob. With the way I'm feeling, Marcus is very lucky that I don't just burn his flat down. Instead, I open the freezer. My boyfriend---ex-boyfriend---has a love of seafood. (And other women, of course.) I take out a bag of frozen tiger prawns and rip it open. In the living room, I remove the cushions from the sofa and gently but firmly push a couple of handfuls of the prawns down the back. Through to the bedroom and I lift the mattress on Marcus's lovely leather bed and slip the remaining prawns beneath it, pressing them as flat as I can. In a couple of days, they should smell quite interesting. As my pièce de résistance, I go back to the kitchen and take the half-finished bottle of red wine---the one that I didn't even get a sniff at---and pour it all over Marcus's white, fluffy rug. I place my key in the middle of the spreading stain. Then I take out my lipstick, a nice red one called Bitter Scarlet---which is quite appropriate, if you ask me---and I write on his white leather sofa, in my best possible script: MARCUS CANNING, YOU ARE A CHEATING BASTARD.
Carole Matthews (The Chocolate Lovers' Club)
I honestly don’t believe that design is the most important matter today. Instead, I believe we should focus first on understanding computation. Because when we combine design with computation, a kind of magic results; when we combine business with computation, great financial opportunities can emerge. What is computation? That’s the question I would get asked anytime I stepped off the MIT campus when I was in my twenties and thirties, and then whenever I left any technology company I worked with in my forties and fifties. Computation is an invisible, alien universe that is infinitely large and infinitesimally detailed. It’s a kind of raw material that doesn’t obey the laws of physics, and it’s what powers the internet at a level that far transcends the power of electricity. It’s a ubiquitous medium that experienced software developers and the tech industry control to a degree that threatens the sovereignty of existing nation-states. Computation is not something you can fully grasp after training in a “learn to code” boot camp, where the mechanics of programming can be easily learned. It’s more like a foreign country with its own culture, its own set of problems, and its own language—but where knowing the language is not enough, let alone if you have only a minimal understanding of it.
John Maeda (How to Speak Machine: Computational Thinking for the Rest of Us)
Please allow me to wax philosophical. The purpose of eyesight, as well as insight for that matter, is for you and I to be in awe of not just creation itself but of the very One who created it. I will confidently propose that this is the purpose behind creation. Consider this: Evolution cannot explain purpose. It can only explain function. Science can explain how and why you and I function. It might even suggest your function within society. However, science alone will never give you the answer to your ultimate purpose for being on this Earth. “Let’s suppose you go to an art museum. While pursuing the halls of art, your eyes are directed to a certain painting. You become fixated on that painting. It is beautiful. The painting is so mesmerizing and beautiful that you are taken with the image it conveys. You begin to speculate on the story behind the painting. You become emotional and even shed a tear as you stare at it in wonder. For a brief moment in time you become immersed in the essence of this work of art. What is happening here? The one who designed and created the painting did so in order to perhaps bring about an emotional response from the viewer. You didn’t look at the painting and wonder about the chemical makeup of paint or the composition of the canvas mat or what type of device was used to apply those chemical compounds to the mat. You didn’t measure the dimensions of the frame. No. The painter gave that painting a purpose. While the painting itself is remarkable and beautiful, the ultimate purpose of it is to direct you to the one who created it. We give honor to Rembrandt, Monet, Goya, Van Gogh, and Picasso. Why does evolution deny that we give honor to the One who designed, created, and gave beauty to you and me, or to any other created thing? For sure, some evolutionists will try to say that the method the grand Creator used in His creation was evolution but will continue to ignore any mention of His creative hand and minimize other accounts such as the evidence for the origin of life in Scripture. They suppress the truth as they give high honor to their evolutionary theories that they guard with defiance. “The appearance of design isn’t just a common sense factor; it comes from a scientific explanation to which I have spoken here tonight. “Each one of you has the ability to hear, read, study, and think on everything that goes into your mind. While we do well to consider objective theory, we still must then decide for ourselves what it is we are going to believe. We are not just lab rats responding to stimuli. We have the ability to reason, love, express emotions, think deeply on matters, and create things—not just as an evolutionary function but from our innate giftedness and developed talents. “Give much consideration to what is true. Consider what is splendid and beautiful and magnificent. Think on things that are right or lovely or worthy of your admiration. Reflect on those things, not just as some facts of science but on the effect these things have on your very heart and soul. There is a word for those thoughts and feelings that penetrate deep within the depths of your soul. The word is visceral. No other creature on this privileged terrestrial ball has this ability. Visceral feelings are not merely a product of our DNA or the chemical and electrical impulses within our brain. Evolution offers no explanation for these deeply rooted expressions of artistic and creative thoughts and ideas. These things come from our Creator. May we not merely skim the surface of wisdom and knowledge without ever going deep. These things are meant to propel you to a deeper awareness of the world around you. They are even meant to propel us to the eternal realm.
Richlon Merrill (Skimming Eternity: The Astonishing and Revelatory Discovery from Neutrinos and Thought Transmission)
IF you live alone, you’d be a fucking masochistic freak to buy an opaque shower curtain. I started thinking about this in the Silver Seahorse, where the shower curtain was white, save a few spots of mold on the bottom. It’s like they were trying to make the rooms feel like Psycho. I thought buying a shower curtain would be the easiest fucking thing in the world but you go to Bed Bath & Beyond and they have like six hundred opaque shower curtains that are obviously not an option. And then you go online and there are thousands to choose from. I didn’t buy a totally clear one because you need something to look at while you’re on the can, but when you think about it, this shower curtain is something you are going to look at Every. Fucking. Day. So I started going through hundreds of options online. Most of the designs are bullshit you could never stomach every day (a map of the world, go fuck yourself, fish, a map of Brooklyn, really go fuck yourself, snowmen, the Eiffel Tower, nautical signs—I mean, I’m not some fucker who buys scarves at Urban Outfitters and rates movies on IMDB).
Caroline Kepnes (You (You, #1))
If you see me doing harm to anyone, please point your finger in my face and tell me off. If I don't give you hearing, don't think twice and expose me to the entire community as a hypocrite who doesn't practice what he preaches. But if you see me doing what is honorable, pure, and pious for any living being, I beg you to keep it to yourself, this will be our secret. If by divine design my name acquires good fame and irreproachable reputation, remind those who speak so well of me, that the Lord rescued this miserable man from darkness, and all the good things that our God patiently has done to this sinner. If I look at someone with disdain or run the risk of thinking that I am better than my neighbor, I cry out to you, Lord, that you humble me and remind me how small I am. If the work of my hands succeeds, the credit is certainly yours alone. if there is a shameful mark in my biography, it is not your fault Lord and I do not accuse anyone else, but I assume my wrong actions, I confess my transgressions and thank you for your forgiveness that makes me clean and worthy. From the dust I came from and to dust I will return; I was nothing and I will return to nothing very soon. But your servant will live by faith alone, by faith in the cross of my redeemer who died that I might have eternal life. Thank you, God, thank you Jesus. Brother Pedro
Brother Pedro
The calendar gave him unmoving pools of quiet in which to rest. He spent hours looking at the calendar. It was time past and time to come, divided into neat little boxes, and the boxes named and numbered. He would look at a box ahead, say, February 25, 1917, and think, Inside that box, I and everyone else on earth, minus a few who will die before then and plus a few who will be born, will have our lives. Inside that box, each of my acts and feelings for that twenty-four hours awaits me. And because he was sick, there was not much he could do to prepare for or to control those acts which waited for him to become their center. . . . Most of the time, he was alone. He took deep breaths of the raw smell of seed potatoes, newly cut and bleeding their milky starch. He inhaled the sun-warmed scent of the creosote-stained redwood planks. The top quilt on his bed was pieced in a star design. Each star was made up of God knows how many pieces, and each piece was of a different color and design. The designs were a tanglewood maze of leaves and flowers and stars and branches. When he got tired of calendar quiet and of cataloging smells, he took up quilt-gazing. He didn't need a world a minute bigger than his room, an inch wider than his calendar, or an iota sweeter than his own breath. But he was the only one who knew this.
Jessamyn West (South of the Angels)
But I think I’d rather be alone than be hurt all the time.’ ‘Loneliness hurts, too,’ he said quietly.
Marius Gabriel (The Designer)
You may still have to design this spaceship, even though you shouldn’t have to, but do not let them make you think you have to be grateful for being allocated this patch of emptiness, for being permitted to find a way to exist. Don’t think, when I said to design your own spaceship, I meant you must think it is okay that you have to use every last piece of your precious energy to cobble together a ship from old parts. Don’t think that this means you must carve out your own space because you will never belong in theirs, that you have the right—grudgingly offered—to fly and breathe and eat, but not to pilot and explore and maintain and repair and upgrade. You can fly alone if you like, and you can fly alone if you have to. But we’re not just designing spaceships here, we’re designing whole universes. Universes where you make that choice rather than it being made for you.
Lynne M. Thomas (Uncanny Magazine Issue 24 September/October 2018: Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction! Special Issue)
I look at the augusteum and I think that perhaps my life has not actually been so chaotic after all it is merely this world that is chaotic b ringing changes to us all threat nobody could have anticipated. The augusteum warns me not to get attached to any obsolete ideas about who i am what i represent whom i belong to or what function I may once have intended to serve. Yesterday i might have been a glorious monument to somebody, true enough but tomorrow i could be a firework's depository, even in the eternal city says the silent augusteum . one must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation. pizzaeria da michele Passato remoto In her world the roman forum is not remote nor is it past. It is exactly as present and close to her as i am. The bhagavata Gita that ancient Indian yogic test says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection. So now i have started living my own life, perfected clumsy as it may look it is resembling me now thoroughly. It was in a bathtub back in new York reading Italian words aloud from a dictionary that i first started mending my soul. My life had gone to bits, and I was so unrecognizable to myself that i probably couldn't have picked me out of a police lineup. But i felt a glimmer of happiness when i started studying Italian, and when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grip onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face first out of the dirt this is not selfishness but obligation you were given life it is your duty and also your entitlement as a human being to find somehtign beautiful within life no mattter how slight But i do know that i have collected me of late through the enjoyment of harmless pleasures into somebody much more intact . I have e put on weight I exist more now than i did four months ago. I will leave Italy noticeably bigger than when i arrived here. And i will leave with the hope that the expansion of one person the magnification of one life is indeed an act of worth in this world, Even if that life, just this one time, happens to be nobody s but my own . Hatha yoga one limb of the philosophy the ancients developed these physical stretches not for personal fitness but to loosen up their muscles and minds in order to prepare them for meditation, Yoga can also mean trying to find God through meditation through scholarly study. The yogic path is about disentangling the built-in glitches of the human condition which i[m going to very simply define here as the heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment. Taoists call it imbalance Buddhism calls it ignorance Islam blames our misery on rebellion against god and the jedio Christian tradition attributes all our suffering to original sin, Graduands say that unhappiness is that inevitable result of the clash between our natural drives and civilization needs and my friend Deborah the psychologist explains it desire is the design flaw the yogis however say that human discontentment is a simple case of mistaken identity we're miserable because we think that we are mere individuals alone with our fears and flaws an d resentment sand mortality we wrongly believe that our limited little egos constitute our whole entire nature, We have failed to recognize our deeper divine character we don't realize that somewhere within us all there does exist a supreme self is our true identity universal and divine . you bear God within your poor wretch and know it not.
Elizabeth Gilbert
Eliot is wrong,” Akiko said, undeterred. “Maybe the Jews have a right to have their own state, but I see no need for Mirah and Daniel to have to leave England. I think this nobility argument or a greater nation for a persecuted people is a pretext to eject all the unwanted foreigners.” Noa did not look up. He found himself writing down everything Akiko said, because it upset him to think that this could be true. He had admired Daniel’s courage and goodness throughout the book, and he had not thought much about Eliot’s political design. Was it possible that Eliot was suggesting that foreigners, no matter how much she admired them, should leave England? At this point in the course, everyone in the room despised Akiko, but suddenly he admired her courage to think so differently and to suggest such a difficult truth. He felt lucky to be at a university and not in most other settings, where the person in charge was always right. Nevertheless, until he really listened to Akiko disagree with the professor, he had not thought for himself fully, and it had never occurred to him to disagree in public. After class, he walked home alone, deep in thoughts of her, and he knew that he wanted to be with her, even if it would not be easy. The following Tuesday, before the seminar began, Noa went early to class to claim the chair next to hers. The professor tried not to show that she was hurt by this defection, but of course, she was.
Min Jin Lee (Pachinko)
You are not ruined. Something terrible happened to you and you've been alone in this for so long, I think you've forgotten what if feels like to be loved and cared for, despite the darkness tainting your past. We are not the greatest people in the world to remind you of that, but we will try. As for being whole? Emery, no one is whole. No one in this entire world is whole, we're designed like that. We're designed to crave people and things and passion to fill up the voids we all have in our lives and maybe we never will fill them, but we have to at least try. We have to try or we're nothing. We're just...floating sacks of bones and heartbreak begging for the gods to help us, but you know what? They have been helping, we're just too bitter and hurt to see what's right in front of us.
Hannah Grace (Throne of Blood (Kingdoms of Alaria #1))
What If I Love Someone With a Serious Trauma History? This is seriously tough, isn’t it? You have someone that you care about so much that is really struggling with their trauma recovery. You want to HELP. And feeling unable to do so is the worst feeling in the world. You’re at risk of serious burnout and secondary traumatization. Because yeah, watching someone live out their trauma can be a traumatic experience in and of itself. Two things to remember, here: This is not your battle. …but people do get better in supportive relationships. This is not your battle. You don’t get to design the parameters, you don’t get to determine what makes something better, what makes something worse. No matter how well you know someone, you don’t know their inner processes. They may not even know their inner processes. If you know someone well, you may know a lot. But you aren’t the one operating that life. Telling someone what they should be doing, feeling, or thinking, won’t help. Even if you are right. Even if they do what you say…you have just taken away their power to do the work they need to do to take charge of their life. There are limits to how much better they can really be if they are continually rescued by you. …but people do get better in supportive relationships. The best thing to do is to ask your loved one how to best support them when they are struggling. This is the type of action plan you can create with a therapist (if either or both of you are seeing one) or ask them in a private conversation. Ask them. Ask if they want help grounding when they are triggered, if they need time alone, a hot bath, a mug of tea. Ask what you can do and do those things, if they are healthy things to provide. It may be helpful for them to have a formal safety plan for themselves (there are resources for sample safety plans at the end of this book), with what your specific role will be. This will help boundary your role, and keep you from setting up scenarios when you rescue or enable dangerous and/or self-sabotaging behavior. You may need to set hard limits. You may need to protect yourself. This isn’t just for your well-being, but will help you model the importance of doing so to your loved one. Love the entirety of them. Remind them that their trauma doesn’t define them. Allow them consequences of their behavior and celebrate the successes of newer, healthier ways of being. Be the relationship that helps the healing journey.
Faith G. Harper (Unfuck Your Brain: Using Science to Get Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-outs, and Triggers)
In 1974, San Francisco newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by a radical group called the Symbionese Liberation Army, whose goals included “death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of the people.” After being kept in a closet for a while, she came to identify with her new peer group. Before long, she was enthusiastically helping them generate income, at one point brandishing a machine gun during a bank robbery. When left alone, with an opportunity to escape, she didn’t take it. She later described the experience: “I had virtually no free will until I was separated from them for about two weeks. And then it suddenly, you know, slowly began to dawn that they just weren’t there anymore. I could actually think my own thoughts.” Hearst didn’t just accept her captors’ “subjective” beliefs, such as ideology; she bought into their views about how the physical world works. One of her captors “didn’t want me thinking about rescue because he thought that brain waves could be read or that, you know, they’d get a psychic in to find me. And I was even afraid of that.” Hearst’s condition of coerced credulity is called the Stockholm syndrome, after a kidnapping in Sweden. But the term “syndrome” may be misleading in its suggestion of abnormality. Hearst’s response to her circumstances was probably an example of human nature functioning properly; we seem to be “designed” by natural selection to be brainwashed. Some people find this prospect a shocking affront to human autonomy, but they tend not to be evolutionary psychologists. In Darwinian terms, it makes sense that our species could contain genes encouraging blind credulity in at least some situations. If you are surrounded by a small group of people on whom your survival depends, rejecting the beliefs that are most important to them will not help you live long enough to get your genes into the next generation. Confinement with a small group of people may sound so rare that natural selection would have little chance to take account of it, but it is in a sense the natural human condition. Humans evolved in small groups—twenty, forty, sixty people—from which emigration was often not a viable option. Survival depended on social support: sharing food, sticking together during fights, and so on. To alienate your peers by stubbornly contesting their heartfelt beliefs would have lowered your chances of genetic proliferation. Maybe that explains why you don’t have to lock somebody in a closet to get a bit of the Stockholm syndrome. Religious cults just offer aimless teenagers a free bus ride to a free meal, and after the recruits have been surrounded by believers for a few days, they tend to warm up to the beliefs. And there doesn’t have to be some powerful authority figure pushing the beliefs. In one famous social psychology experiment, subjects opined that two lines of manifestly different lengths were the same length, once a few of their “peers” (who were in fact confederates) voiced that opinion.
Robert Wright
I asked my wife Noël if there was anything she wanted me to say at this point when I was preaching on this subject. She said, “You cannot say too often that marriage is a model of Christ and the church.” I think she is right, and there are at least three reasons: 1) This lifts marriage out of the sordid sitcom images and gives it the magnificent meaning God meant it to have; 2) this gives marriage a solid basis in grace, since Christ obtained and sustains his bride by grace alone; and 3) this shows that the husband’s headship and the wife’s submission are crucial and crucified. That is, they are woven into the very meaning of marriage as a display of Christ and the church, but they are both defined by Christ’s self-denying work on the cross so that their pride and slavishness are canceled. We spent the first two chapters on the first of these reasons: giving the foundation for marriage as a display of the covenant love of God. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a woman in which they promise to be a faithful husband and a faithful wife in a new one-flesh union as long as they both shall live. This covenant, sealed with solemn vows, is designed to showcase the covenant-keeping grace of God.
John Piper (This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence)
Last year, I was teaching a group of executives who were arguing about whether it was possible to do creative work with people who had poor social skills and who preferred to work alone. One executive from a computer hardware firm squirmed and turned red, finally blurting out, “These are exactly the kind of people I manage.” He went on to say: They hide in their offices, and don’t come out. We divide the work so they each have a separate part. We slide their assignment under the door and run away. They ignore us when we tell them it is good enough—they won’t let us build it until it meets their standards for elegant designs—they don’t care what we think.
Robert I. Sutton (Weird Ideas That Work: 11 1/2 Practices for Promoting, Managing, and Sustaining Innovation)
book The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction as a jumping off point, he takes care to unpack the various cultural mandates  that have infected the way we think and feel about distraction. I found his ruminations not only enlightening but surprisingly emancipating: There are two big theories about why [distraction is] on the rise. The first is material: it holds that our urbanized, high-tech society is designed to distract us… The second big theory is spiritual—it’s that we’re distracted because our souls are troubled. The comedian Louis C.K. may be the most famous contemporary exponent of this way of thinking. A few years ago, on “Late Night” with Conan O’Brien, he argued that people are addicted to their phones because “they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard.” (David Foster Wallace also saw distraction this way.) The spiritual theory is even older than the material one: in 1887, Nietzsche wrote that “haste is universal because everyone is in flight from himself”; in the seventeenth century, Pascal said that “all men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”… Crawford argues that our increased distractibility is the result of technological changes that, in turn, have their roots in our civilization’s spiritual commitments. Ever since the Enlightenment, he writes, Western societies have been obsessed with autonomy, and in the past few hundred years we have put autonomy at the center of our lives, economically, politically, and technologically; often, when we think about what it means to be happy, we think of freedom from our circumstances. Unfortunately, we’ve taken things too far: we’re now addicted to liberation, and we regard any situation—a movie, a conversation, a one-block walk down a city street—as a kind of prison. Distraction is a way of asserting control; it’s autonomy run amok. Technologies of escape, like the smartphone, tap into our habits of secession. The way we talk about distraction has always been a little self-serving—we say, in the passive voice, that we’re “distracted by” the Internet or our cats, and this makes us seem like the victims of our own decisions. But Crawford shows that this way of talking mischaracterizes the whole phenomenon. It’s not just that we choose our own distractions; it’s that the pleasure we get from being distracted is the pleasure of taking action and being free. There’s a glee that comes from making choices, a contentment that settles after we’ve asserted our autonomy. When
I know Martin sometimes watches pornography, we don’t have secrets from each other, and if he didn’t watch it he probably would be the only man in Germany who didn’t—I think Internet pornography was designed for German men, because they like to be alone and control things and have fantasies of power. But he says he only watches it because I have so many female Internet friends.
Jonathan Franzen (Purity)
Human bodies are extremely complicated and over the years I learned three important things about them, none of which I had been taught by lecturers or professors at my medical school. First, I learned that no two bodies are identical and there are an infinite number of variations. Not even twins are truly identical. When I first started to study medicine I used to think how much easier it would be for us all (doctors and patients) if bodies came with an owner's manual, but the more I learned about medicine the more I realised that such a manual would have to contain so many variations, footnotes and appendices that it wouldn't fit into the British Museum let alone sit comfortably on the average bookshelf. Even if manuals were individually prepared they would still be too vast for practical use. However much we may think we know about illness and health there will always be exceptions; there will always be times when our prognoses and predictions are proved wrong. Second, I learned that the human body has enormous, hidden strengths, and far greater power than most of us ever realise. We tend to think of ourselves as being delicate and vulnerable. But, in practice, our bodies are tougher than we imagine, far more capable of coping with physical and mental stresses than most of us realise. Very few of us know just how strong and capable we can be. Only if we are pushed to our limits do we find out precisely what we can do. Third, I learned that our bodies are far better equipped for selfdefence than most of us imagine, and are surprisingly well-equipped with a wide variety of protective mechanisms and self-healing systems which are designed to keep us alive and to protect us when we find ourselves in adverse circumstances. The human body is designed for survival and contains far more automatic defence mechanisms, designed to protect its occupant when it is threatened, than any motor car. To give the simplest of examples, consider what happens when you cut yourself. First, blood will flow out of your body for a few seconds to wash away any dirt. Then special proteins will quickly form a protective net to catch blood cells and form a clot to seal the wound. The damaged cells will release special substances into the tissues to make the area red, swollen and hot. The heat kills any infection, the swelling acts as a natural splint - protecting the injured area. White cells are brought to the injury site to swallow up any bacteria. And, finally, scar tissue builds up over the wounded site. The scar tissue will be stronger than the original, damaged area of skin. Those were the three medical truths I discovered for myself. Over the years I have seen many examples of these three truths. But one patient always comes into my mind when I think about the way the human body can defy medical science, prove doctors wrong and exhibit its extraordinary in-built healing power.
Vernon Coleman (The Young Country Doctor Book 7: Bilbury Pudding)
Free-will is thus a general cosmological theory of PROMISE, just like the Absolute, God, Spirit or Design. Taken abstractly, no one of these terms has any inner content, none of them gives us any picture, and no one of them would retain the least pragmatic value in a world whose character was obviously perfect from the start. Elation at mere existence, pure cosmic emotion and delight, would, it seems to me, quench all interest in those speculations, if the world were nothing but a lubberland of happiness already. Our interest in religious metaphysics arises in the fact that our empirical future feels to us unsafe, and needs some higher guarantee. If the past and present were purely good, who could wish that the future might possibly not resemble them? Who could desire free-will? Who would not say, with Huxley, "let me be wound up every day like a watch, to go right fatally, and I ask no better freedom." 'Freedom' in a world already perfect could only mean freedom to BE WORSE, and who could be so insane as to wish that? To be necessarily what it is, to be impossibly aught else, would put the last touch of perfection upon optimism's universe. Surely the only POSSIBILITY that one can rationally claim is the possibility that things may be BETTER. That possibility, I need hardly say, is one that, as the actual world goes, we have ample grounds for desiderating. Free-will thus has no meaning unless it be a doctrine of RELIEF. As such, it takes its place with other religious doctrines. Between them, they build up the old wastes and repair the former desolations. Our spirit, shut within this courtyard of sense-experience, is always saying to the intellect upon the tower: 'Watchman, tell us of the night, if it aught of promise bear,' and the intellect gives it then these terms of promise. Other than this practical significance, the words God, free-will, design, etc., have none. Yet dark tho they be in themselves, or intellectualistically taken, when we bear them into life's thicket with us the darkness THERE grows light about us. If you stop, in dealing with such words, with their definition, thinking that to be an intellectual finality, where are you? Stupidly staring at a pretentious sham! wherein is such a definition really instructive? It means less, than nothing, in its pompous robe of adjectives. Pragmatism alone can read a positive meaning into it, and for that she turns her back upon the intellectualist point of view altogether. 'God's in his heaven; all's right with the world!'—THAT'S the heart of your theology, and for that you need no rationalist definitions. Why shouldn't we all of us, rationalists as well as pragmatists, confess this? Pragmatism, so far from keeping her eyes bent on the immediate practical foreground, as she is accused of doing, dwells just as much upon the world's remotest perspectives. See then how all these ultimate questions turn, as it were, up their hinges; and from looking backwards upon principles, upon an erkenntnisstheoretische Ich, a God, a Kausalitaetsprinzip, a Design, a Free-will, taken in themselves, as something august and exalted above facts,—see, I say, how pragmatism shifts the emphasis and looks forward into facts themselves. The really vital question for us all is, What is this world going to be? What is life eventually to make of itself? The centre of gravity of philosophy must therefore alter its place. The earth of things, long thrown into shadow by the glories of the upper ether, must resume its rights. To shift the emphasis in this way means that philosophic questions will fall to be treated by minds of a less abstractionist type than heretofore, minds more scientific and individualistic in their tone yet not irreligious either.
Will James
Then I had an exhilarating thought: I could design the kind of relationship I wanted! I could think up what I wanted, and if my commitment was strong enough, it would come into being. I quickly sketched out my desires on a piece of paper. I wanted someone who was honest and loving, someone for whom taking responsibility was no struggle. I wanted a woman who would be willing and able to join me in a relationship where both of us expressed our full creativity. I didn’t have any requirements as to size, shape, or age: All I was really interested in was the quality of our ongoing interactions. If there was honesty, if there was responsibility, if there was a mutual commitment to creativity and spiritual growth, I would be happy. I really wanted a spiritual partner for the journey, someone for whom relationship itself could be integral to our unfolding evolution. It took me less than ten minutes to clarify what I wanted. Then I added a radical clause: If it was not in the cosmic plan for me to have this high-quality relationship, I would gladly be alone. I vowed never to settle for anything less than what I really wanted, (...). I figured I would be better off by myself than I would be replaying these old dramas for the next fifty years. I vowed this deep in my soul. It was a done deal.
Gay Hendricks (The Conscious Heart: Seven Soul-Choices That Create Your Relationship Destiny)
We often struggle to conceive of and describe the scope and scale of new technologies, meaning that we have trouble even thinking them. What is needed is not new technology, but new metaphors: a metalanguage for describing the world that complex systems have wrought. A new shorthand is required, one that simultaneously acknowledges and addresses the reality of a world in which people, politics, culture and technology are utterly enmeshed. We have always been connected - unequally, illogically, and some more than others - but entirely and inevitably. What changes in the network is that this connection is visible and undeniable. We are confronted at all times by the radical interconnectedness of things and our selves, and we must reckon with this realization in new ways. It is insufficient to speak of the internet or amorphous technologies, alone and unaccountable, as causing or accelerating the chasm in our understanding and agency. For want of a better term, I use the word 'network' to include us and our technologies in one vast system - to include human and nonhuman agency and understanding, knowing and unknowing, within the same agential soup. The chasm is not between us and our technologies, but within the network itself, and it is through the network that we come to know it. Finally, systemic literacy permits, performs, and responds to critique. The systems that we will be discussing are too critical to be thought, understood, designed and enacted by the few, especially when those few all too easily align themselves with, or are subsumed by, older elites and power structures. There is a concrete and causal relationship between the complexity of the systems we encounter every day; the opacity with which most of those systems are constructed or described; and fundamental, global issues of inequality, violence, populism and fundamentalism, All too often, new technologies are presented as inherently emancipatory. But this is itself an example of computational thinking, of which we are all guilty. Those of us who have been early adopters and cheerleaders of new technologies, who have experienced their manifold pleasures and benefitted from their opportunities, and who have consequently argued, often naively, for their wider implementation, are in no less danger from their uncritical deployment. But the argument for critique cannot be made from individual threats, nor from identification with the less fortunate or less knowledgeable. Individualism and empathy are both insufficient in the network. Survival and solidarity must be possible without understanding.
James Bridle (New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future)
The bottom line is that assumptions of character based on race alone are bullshit of the highest order. The first teaching of any real spiritual practice is Ahaṁ Brahmāsmīti, which in sanskrit means 'I am spirit.' You are not the material body but the spiritual spark within. People who think they are white are trapped in a cage of illusion. People who think they are black are trapped in the same cage. The soul has no material designation or color.
John Joseph
Yeah, either that or he's going to put two in the back of my fuckin' head. A few minutes later, I see headlights coming around the bend and feel my balls tighten instantly in response. He's here. Shit. “Get a grip,” I mutter to myself. “He can't kill you. Otherwise he gets nothing.” It's something I've repeated to myself a million times already. And even now, after saying it one million and one times, it doesn't make me feel one iota better. Trujillo is a wild card. He's unpredictable and I never know what he's going to do, let alone what he’s thinking. He very well could decide that I’m more trouble than it’s worth. That he'll eat the money I owe him just to wash his hands of me. I just don't know. And it's that uncertainty that has my balls climbing up into my throat. The black SUV pulls into the rest stop, as I’m trying to avoid comparing the sound of gravel crunching beneath the tires with the sound my bones would make beneath those same tires. The SUV pulls to a stop in front of me and the driver cuts the lights. After being nearly blinded by the headlights, it takes my eyes a minute to re-adjust to the darkness. I hear the door open. Blinking away the spots, I watch as the driver walks around to the rear door and opens it. Gabriel Trujillo steps out of the vehicle and makes his way over to me. His dark hair is slicked back, and his thick beard neatly trimmed. The dark designer suit is well-fitted to his frame, with a vibrant blue pocket square, complete with matching tie - providing the only bit of color. Trujillo looks the part of a respectable businessman. He's anything but respectable though. Gabriel Trujillo is the head of one of the most notorious, violent, and brutal drug cartels in Mexico. Like most of the cartels, he's expanded his business operations into the U.S., moving drugs, guns, and girls. He's also eliminating his competitors along the way. The mass graves that seem almost commonplace south of the border these days, have been cropping up in places like Arizona and New Mexico. Recently, a couple had even been found in southern Colorado.
R.R. Banks (Accidentally Married (Anderson Brothers, #1))
Consider contemporary Christian radio for a moment. No doubt you’ve preset a few of your dials to your local contemporary Christian stations. A sad and tattered promotion for churches shows up on the radio in every city in America. We’ve all heard it. It goes something like this. Are you tired of traditional church? Do you feel out of place when you attend? Do the messages make you feel guilty? Are you looking for something positive? Are you looking for messages that are relevant? Are you looking for a place where you can belong? You’re not alone in your frustration. Church does not have to be boring. Church does not have to be complicated. Come and join us at the Suburban Church, where you can come as you are. It’s a church designed with you in mind. We have six service times, including two on Saturday night. Or you can stay home and watch in your pajamas. This stuff is like catnip for suburban evangelical Christians. It drives me crazy. It makes me shout at my steering wheel. Seriously, it’s absurd. Unrelenting offers like this make up the bizarre Christian subculture I’m describing. This ad is opposed to a biblical view of the church in every possible way. You should not find it appealing. You should find it offensive. Just think through it. Consider the logic of removing a sense of conviction from church. It’s convoluted. The only way a church can avoid causing feelings of conviction is to avoid the gospel all together.
Byron Forrest Yawn (Suburbianity)
How did your research go?” “Oh, that.” Alejandro waved a hand. “The people recover from the fit after a few minutes of being removed from the environment. And they’re perfectly fine afterwards. I’m assuming that means that if they hear the same song or see the same movie again it has no effect.” “Hmm,” Max said. Crystal looked at him. “What?” Max asked. “You said ‘hmm’.” Alejandro snorted. “You’ll get used to him saying ‘hmm’. He does it to sound wise.” “The way I designed the beat structures,” Max said, ignoring Alejandro. “People are supposed to be affected but not know it. The more I think about it, the more certain I am that these fits are because I did not complete my work and had only tested it on a limited number of people.” Alejandro rolled his eyes. “Can I continue to give my feedback or do you want to bore us all about your scientific research?” “Your feedback is about my research.” “No it’s about the effects of your research, which, might I add, was highly unethical and inimical.” “He just said inimical,” Max said, clapping. “He knows a word that’s more than two syllables.” “Unethical is more than two syllables, too,” Alejandro retorted. “Two words!” Max snorted. “He’s a genius.” “Going back to my findings,” Alejandro said, glaring at Max, and then turning to Crystal. “I don’t trust them. I don’t trust anything I read in the papers or see in the media. Especially when it’s something related to the SOT. Luke is too powerful. The truth about these fits will never be reported. If we want to know what’s really going on, we will have to go out and find out for ourselves.” “Agreed,” Crystal said slowly. “He actually sounded pretty intelligent then,” Max whispered to Donovan. “I propose that—” “He has a proposal!” Max said. Alejandro gave Max a dismissive look. “Those with brains alone always envy and persecute those possessing both beauty and brains.” Crystal held back a snort of laughter. Even Donovan looked amused despite the deep frown of strain on his forehead. Juda’s expression didn’t change. Max glowered at Alejandro. “Why would a man refer to himself as beautiful?
Dayo Benson (The Crystal Series Boxed Set: Searchlight, Surrender & Insurrection (The Crystal Series #1-3))