Immense Sadness Quotes

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How often is immense sadness mistaken for courage?
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars, and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance." The night wind whirls in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. On nights like this, I held her in my arms. I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her. To hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass. What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her. The night is full of stars and she is not with me. That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away. My soul is lost without her. As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her. My heart searches for her and she is not with me. The same night that whitens the same trees. We, we who were, we are the same no longer. I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her. My voice searched the wind to touch her ear. Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once belonged to my kisses. Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her. Love is so short and oblivion so long. Because on nights like this I held her in my arms, my soul is lost without her. Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her.
Pablo Neruda
In trying to escape the fatality of memory, he discovered with an immense sadness that pursuing the past inevitably only leads to greater loss.
Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North)
Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her, And the verse falls to the snow like dew to the pasture.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
The sorrow of war inside a soldier's heart was in a strange way similar to the sorrow of love. It was a kind of nostalgia, like the immense sadness of a world at dusk. It was a daness, a missing, a pain which could send one soaring back into the past. The sorrow of the battlefield could not normally be pinpointed to one particular event, or even one person. If you focused on any one event it would soon become a tearing pain.
Bảo Ninh (The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam)
Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example,'The night is shattered and the blue stars shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is shattered and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight searches for her as though to go to her. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before. Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.
Pablo Neruda
He had been for many years, a quiet silent man, associating but little with other men, and used to companionship with his own thoughts. He had never known before the strength of the want in his heart for the frequent recognition of a nod, a look, a word; or the immense amount of relief that had been poured into it by drops through such small means.
Charles Dickens (Hard Times)
Pain, too, comes from depths that cannot be revealed. We do not know whether those depths are in ourselves or elsewhere, in a graveyard, in a scarcely dug grave, only recently inhabited by withered flesh. This truth, which is banal enough, unravels time and the face, holds up a mirror to me in which I cannot see myself without being overcome by a profound sadness that undermines one's whole being. The mirror has become the route through which my body reaches that state, in which it is crushed into the ground, digs a temporary grave, and allows itself to be drawn by the living roots that swarm beneath the stones. It is flattened beneath the weight of that immense sadness which few people have the privilege of knowing. So I avoid mirrors.
Tahar Ben Jelloun (The Sand Child)
For so long, I’d wanted to hear those words fall from her lips. I’d just had no idea that in those words there would be so much sadness, that they would be tainted by years of her sorrow, and that my own thrill in finally hearing her say them aloud would be tarnished by the immense amount of resentment over what she had done.
A.L. Jackson (Take This Regret (Take This Regret, #1))
There is magic in this sad, hard world. A magic stronger than fate, stronger than chance. And it is seen in the unlikeliest of places. By a hearth at night, as a girl leaves a bit of cheese for a hungry mouse. In a slaughter yard, as the old and infirm, the weak and discarded, are made to matter more than money. In a poor carpenter's small attic room, where three sisters learned that the price of forgiveness is forgiving. And now, on a battlefield, as a mere girl tries to turn the red tide of war. It is the magic of a frail and fallible creature, one capable of both unspeakable cruelty and immense kindness. It lives inside every human being ready to redeem us. To transform us. To save us. If we can only find the courage to listen to it. It is the magic of the human heart.
Jennifer Donnelly (Stepsister)
So this, thought Jan, with a resignation that lay beyond all sadness, was the end of man. It was an end that no prophet had foreseen – an end that repudiated optimism and pessimism alike. Yet it was fitting: it had the sublime inevitability of a great work of art. Jan had glimpsed the universe in all its immensity, and knew now that it was no place for man. He realized at last how vain, in the ultimate analysis, had been the dream that lured him to the stars. For the road to the stars was a road that forked in two directions, and neither led to a goal that took any account of human hopes or fears.
Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End)
If you can't tell your story to another human, find another way: journal, paint, make your grief into a graphic novel with a very dark storyline. Or go out to the woods and tell the trees. It is an immense relief to be able to tell your story without someone trying to fix it. The trees will not ask, "How are you really?" and the wind doesn't care if you cry.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
Tonight I Can Write Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, 'The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is starry and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses. Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
And I was wondering how to depart without self-loathing or sadness, or with as little as possible, when a kind of immense sigh all around me announced it was not I who was departing, but the flock.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (The Trilogy, #1-3))
I thought nothing at all, but I felt an immense sadness, as when two parts of one’s past existence, which have been anchored near to one, and upon which one has perhaps been basing idly from day to day an unacknowledged hope, remove themselves finally, with a joyous flapping of pennants, for unknown destinations, like a pair of ships. As
Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time (The Complete Masterpiece))
...she stood back and wiped the sweat-sting from her eyes. The air was clean. Her hands brown with dirt. Pride surged through her, raw and immense; she had believed happiness to be an absence - of fear, of pain, of grief - but here it roared in her as powerful as any sadness.
Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)
whatever your career may be, do not let yourselves become tainted by a deprecating and barren scepticism, do not let yourselves be discouraged by the sadness of certain hours which pass over nations. Live in the serene peace of laboratories and libraries. Say to yourselves first : ' What have I done for my instruction ? ' and , as you gradually advance, 'What have I done for my country?' until the time comes when you may have the immense happiness of thinking that you have contributed in some way to the progress and to the good of humanity. But, whether our efforts are or not favoured by life, let us be able to say, when we come near the great goal, ' I have done what I could
Louis Pasteur
By the moonlight he watched his wife for the last time. His hand sought the adjacent flesh and sorrow paralleled desire in the immense complexity of love.
Carson McCullers (The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories)
In trying to escape the fatality of memory, he discovered with an immense sadness that pursuing the past inevitably only leads to greater loss. To hold a gesture, a smell, a smile was to cast it as one fixed thing, a plaster death mask, which as soon as it was touched crumbled in his figures back into dust.
Richard Flanagan (The Narrow Road to the Deep North)
Vimes, listening with his mouth open, wondered why the hell it was that dwarfs believed that they had no religion and no priests. Being a dwarf was a religion. People went into the dark for the good of the clan, and heard things, and were changed, and came back to tell… And then, fifty years ago, a dwarf tinkering in Ankh-Morpork had found that if you put a simple fine mesh over your lantern flame it'd burn blue in the presence of the gas but wouldn't explode. It was a discovery of immense value to the good of dwarfkind and, as so often happens with such discoveries, almost immediately led to a war. "And afterwards there were two kinds of dwarf," said Cheery sadly. "There's the Copperheads, who all use the lamp and the patent gas exploder, and the Schmaltzbergers, who stick to the old ways. Of course we're all dwarfs," she said, "but relations are strained.
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24; City Watch, #5))
I worship you like night's pavilion, O vase of sadness, o great silent one, And love you more since you escape from me, And since you seem, my night's sublimity, To mock me and increase the leagues that lie Between my arms and blue immensity. I move to the attack, besiege, assail, Like eager worms after a funeral. I even love, o beast implacable, The coldness which makes you more beautiful.
Charles Baudelaire
Then again, there’s nothing simple about Will. I think back to what he can do—bend earth, resist shading, his immense strength—and it’s glaringly inaccurate to consider him a human. But then I can’t think of him as a draki either. And this strikes me as sad. Will doesn’t belong anywhere. Not among humans. Not among draki. But he belongs with me. The conviction is still there, as senseless and dangerous as always, seeping into my bones, my heart. A fact I wouldn’t change even if I could.
Sophie Jordan (Hidden (Firelight, #3))
The joy of small that makes life large. Hadn't I personally experienced it before too, that vantage point that gave a sense of smallness before grandeur? At the tip of the Grand Canyon, peering into the carved earth, the vastness of the hewn and many-hued chasm. A late June night peering into the expanse of heavens nailed up with the named and known stars. A moon field. I hardly dare brush the limitlessness with my vaporous humanity. But the irony: Don't I often desperately want to wriggle free of the confines of a small life? Yet when I stand before immensity that heightens my smallness - I have never felt sadness. Only burgeoning wonder.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
I seem to wish to have some importance In the play of time. If not, Then sad was my mother's pain, my breath, my bones, My web of nerves, my wondering brain, to be shaped and quickened with such anticipation Only to feed the swamp of space. What is deep, as love is deep, I'll have Deeply. What is good, as love is good, I'll have well. Then if time and space Have any purpose, I shall belong to it. If not, if all is a pretty fiction To distract the cherubim and seraphim Who so continually do cry, the least I can do is to fill the curled shell of the world With human deep-sea sound, and hold it to The ear of God, until he has appetite To taste our salt sorrow on his lips. And so you see it might be better to die. Though, on the other hand, I admit it might Be immensely foolish.
Christopher Fry (The Lady's Not for Burning)
He was only for the joyous days, the days of courage, when she could share with him all the good things he brought with his passion for novelty and change. But he knew nothing of her; he was no companion to her sadness. He could never imagine anyone else’s mood, only his own. His own were so immense and loud, they filled his world and deafened him to all others. He was not concerned to know whether she could live or breathe within the dark caverns of his whale-like being, within the whale belly of his ego.
Anaïs Nin (Ladders to Fire)
According to Buddhism, most people identify happiness with pleasant feelings, while identifying suffering with unpleasant feelings. People consequently ascribe immense importance to what they feel, craving to experience more and more pleasures, while avoiding pain. Whatever we do throughout our lives, whether scratching our leg, fidgeting slightly in the chair, or fighting world wars, we are just trying to get pleasant feelings. The problem, according to Buddhism, is that our feelings are no more than fleeting vibrations, changing every moment, like the ocean waves. If five minutes ago I felt joyful and purposeful, now these feelings are gone, and I might well feel sad and dejected. So if I want to experience pleasant feelings, I have to constantly chase them, while driving away the unpleasant feelings. Even if I succeed, I immediately have to start all over again, without ever getting any lasting reward for my troubles.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Blindness to larger contexts is a constitutional defect of human thinking imposed by the painful necessity of being able to concentrate on only one thing at a time. We forget as we virtuously concentrate on that one thing that hundreds of other things are going on at the same time and on every side of us, things that are just as important as the object of our study and that are all interconnected in ways that we cannot even guess. Sad to say, our picture of the world to the degree to which it has that neatness, precision, and finality so coveted by scholarship is a false one. I once studied with a famous professor who declared that he deliberately avoided the study of any literature east of Greece lest the new vision destroy the architectonic perfection of his own celebrated construction of the Greek mind. His picture of that mind was immensely impressive but, I strongly suspect, completely misleading.
Hugh Nibley (Of All Things!: A Nibley Quote Book)
Hard Times Music is silenced, the dark descending slowly Has stripped unending skies of all companions. Weariness grips your limbs and within the locked horizons Dumbly ring the bells of hugely gathering fears. Still, O bird, O sightless bird, Not yet, not yet the time to furl your wings. It's not melodious woodlands but the leaps and falls Of an ocean's drowsy booming, Not a grove bedecked with flowers but a tumult flecked with foam. Where is the shore that stored your buds and leaves? Where the nest and the branch's hold? Still, O bird, my sightless bird, Not yet, not yet the time to furl your wings. Stretching in front of you the night's immensity Hides the western hill where sleeps the distant sun; Still with bated breath the world is counting time and swimming Across the shoreless dark a crescent moon Has thinly just appeared upon the dim horizon. -But O my bird, O sightless bird, Not yet, not yet the time to furl your wings. From upper skies the stars with pointing fingers Intently watch your course and death's impatience Lashes at you from the deeps in swirling waves; And sad entreaties line the farthest shore With hands outstretched and crooning 'Come, O come!' Still, O bird, O sightless bird, Not yet, not yet the time to furl your wings. All that is past: your fears and loves and hopes; All that is lost: your words and lamentation; No longer yours a home nor a bed composed of flowers. For wings are all you have, and the sky's broadening countryard, And the dawn steeped in darkness, lacking all direction. Dear bird, my sightless bird, Not yet, not yet the time to furl your wings!
Rabindranath Tagore
Wasn't one of the goals of life to comfortable in your own skin and in your own bed and on your own land? But as soon as you achieved it, you felt an immense sadness, and then you wanted to wreck everything around you, just because you could. Comfort was the best thing, and maybe the worst.
Meg Wolitzer (The Uncoupling)
The confused medley of meditations on art and literature in which he had indulged since his isolation, as a dam to bar the current of old memories, had been rudely swept away, and the onrushing, irresistible wave crashed into the present and future, submerging everything beneath the blanket of the past, filling his mind with an immensity of sorrow, on whose surface floated, like futile wreckage, absurd trifles and dull episodes of his life.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (Against Nature (À Rebours))
On this thanksgiving, I would like to thank that one girl, who never lost hope despite all odds were against her, who always worked, and moved on, despite losing all friends just after leaving school, a time when you need friends the most! Who had immense strength and will-power and so much inspiration inside her that she ended up being happy, satisfied, and successful, all alone. That one girl who always smiles in the mirror, and says, 'Bitch, you have a long way to go, and you gotta travel all alone, depending upon anyone will make you weak, so buck up, there's a lot you gotta do!' On this thanksgiving, I thank myself, my soul for being so majestically robust! I would have thanked other people, but sadly, nobody ever helped me, more than I helped myself...
Mehek Bassi
She is an immense presence in the world. Tragedy and strength have so perfectly coalesced in her, as if one fed off the other. When she cries, it is not out of sorrow but out of a complex mass of emotions that address the trade-offs of life, the risks and the inevitable losses. Joy and sadness are two sides of the same thing.
Barbara Bode (No Bells To Toll: Destruction And Creation In The Andes)
When I could look beyond the external beauty.....I found immense ental love in the world
Anshu Pal (My Experiments with Love: A collection of Poems)
It was only in the middle—between the immense and the minute—that sadness seemed to exist.
Alex Latimer (The Space Race)
It always made me both immensely sad and elated to listen to a town sleep, wondering what sorts of stories were being lived behind closed doors, what sorts of stories I could have lived had I chosen another path.
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
He was really quite addicted to her face, and yet for the longest time he could not remember it at all, it being so much brighter than sunlight on a pool of water that he could only recall that blinding brightness; then after awhile, since she refused to give him her photograph, he began to practice looking away for a moment when he was still with her, striving to uphold in his inner vision what he had just seen (her pale, serious, smooth and slender face, oh, her dark hair, her dark hair), so that after immense effort he began to retain something of her likeness although the likeness was necessarily softened by his fallibility into a grainy, washed-out photograph of some bygone court beauty, the hair a solid mass of black except for parallel streaks of sunlight as distinct as the tines of a comb, the hand-tinted costume sweetly faded, the eyes looking sadly, gently through him, the entire image cob-webbed by a sheet of semitranslucent Thai paper whose white fibers twisted in the lacquered space between her and him like gorgeous worms; in other words, she remained eternally elsewhere.
William T. Vollmann (Europe Central)
that Rome (if one does not yet know it) has an oppressingly sad effect for the first few days: through the lifeless and doleful museum atmosphere it exhales, through the abundance of its pasts, fetched-forth and laboriously upheld pasts (on which a small present subsists), through the immense overestimation, sustained by savants and philologists and copied by the average traveler in Italy, of all these disfigured and dilapidated things, which at bottom are after all no more than chance remains of another time and of a life that is not and must not be ours. Finally, after weeks of being daily on the defensive, one finds oneself again, if still somewhat confused, and one says to oneself: no, there is not more beauty here than elsewhere, and all these objects, continuously admired by generations and patched and mended by workmen's hands, signify nothing, are nothing, and have no heart and no value; -- but there is much beauty here, because there is much beauty everywhere.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
There was a time when he'd envied anyone who left Acker's Gap, when he watched them go and felt a kind of wild yearning--but something was shifting inside him. There was a certain solace to knowing a world this well. You knew its flaws, its shortcomings, just as you knew its beauties. And you learned to love it all. You loved the abundance of it, the sweep and immensity of the land, and you loved the sadness and the lack, too.To walk each day on ground that had given rise to you: that was a privilege. Not a curse.
Julia Keller
There were no houses, no palace, no constructions of any sort; it was rather an immense sea, though the waters were invisible and the shore had disappeared. In this city, seated far from all things, sad last dream lost among the shadows, while the day faded and sobbing rose gently in the perspective of a strange horizon, Anne, like something which could not be represented, no longer a human being but simply a being, marvelously a being, among the mayflies and the falling suns, with the agonizing atoms, doomed species, wounded illnesses, ascended the course of waters where obscure origins floundered. She alas had no means of knowing where she arrived, but when the prolonged echoes of this enormous night were melting together into a dreary and vague unconsciousness, searching and wailing a wail which was like the tragic destruction of something nonliving, empty entities awoke and, like monsters constantly exchanging their absence of shape for other absences of shape and taming silence by terrible reminiscences of silence, they went out in a mysterious agony.
Maurice Blanchot (Thomas the Obscure)
Baudelaire" When I fall asleep, and even during sleep, I hear, quite distinctly, voices speaking Whole phrases, commonplace and trivial, Having no relation to my affairs. Dear Mother, is any time left to us In which to be happy? My debts are immense. My bank account is subject to the court’s judgment. I know nothing. I cannot know anything. I have lost the ability to make an effort. But now as before my love for you increases. You are always armed to stone me, always: It is true. It dates from childhood. For the first time in my long life I am almost happy. The book, almost finished, Almost seems good. It will endure, a monument To my obsessions, my hatred, my disgust. Debts and inquietude persist and weaken me. Satan glides before me, saying sweetly: “Rest for a day! You can rest and play today. Tonight you will work.” When night comes, My mind, terrified by the arrears, Bored by sadness, paralyzed by impotence, Promises: “Tomorrow: I will tomorrow.” Tomorrow the same comedy enacts itself With the same resolution, the same weakness. I am sick of this life of furnished rooms. I am sick of having colds and headaches: You know my strange life. Every day brings Its quota of wrath. You little know A poet’s life, dear Mother: I must write poems, The most fatiguing of occupations. I am sad this morning. Do not reproach me. I write from a café near the post office, Amid the click of billiard balls, the clatter of dishes, The pounding of my heart. I have been asked to write “A History of Caricature.” I have been asked to write “A History of Sculpture.” Shall I write a history Of the caricatures of the sculptures of you in my heart? Although it costs you countless agony, Although you cannot believe it necessary, And doubt that the sum is accurate, Please send me money enough for at least three weeks.
Delmore Schwartz
In my humdrum life I was exalted one day by perfumes exhaled by a world that had been so bland. They were the troubling heralds of love. Suddenly love itself had come, with its roses and its flutes, sculpting, papering, closing, perfuming everything around it. Love had blended with the most immense breath of the thoughts themselves, the respiration that, without weakening love, had made it infinite. But what did I know about love itself? Did I, in any way, clarify its mystery, and did I know anything about it other than the fragrance of its sadness and the smell of its fragrances? Then, love went away, and the perfumes, from shattered flagons, were exhaled with a purer intensity. The scent of a weakened drop still impregnates my life.
Marcel Proust (The Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust)
There is magic in this sad, hard world. A magic stronger than fate, stronger than chance. And it is seen in the unlikeliest of places... It is the magic of a frail and falliable creature, one capable of both unspeakable cruelty and immense kindness. It lives inside every human being ready to redeem us. To transform us. To save us. If we can only find the courage to listen to it. It is the magic of the human heart.
Jennifer Donnelly (Stepsister)
Under the trimmed willows, where brown children are playing And leaves tumbling, the trumpets blow. A quaking of cemeteries. Banners of scarlet rattle through a sadness of maple trees, Riders along rye-fields, empty mills. Or shepherds sing during the night, and stags step delicately Into the circle of their fire, the grove’s sorrow immensely old, Dancing, they loom up from one black wall; Banners of scarlet, laughter, insanity, trumpets
Georg Trakl
Above us, where the lights of the sky flared up and streaked in all directions, where the scale of stars and galaxies were beyond our comprehension, there was no sadness. And below us, where the ants went about their work late into the night, too small to even be considered by creatures many times their size, there was no sadness. It was only in the middle – between the immense and the minute – that sadness seemed to exist. A sadness we ignored by either looking up or looking down.
Alex Latimer (The Space Race)
When the angels of the Bible spoke to human beings, did they speak in words? I don’t think so. I think the angels said nothing, but they were heard in the purest silence of the human spirit, and were understood beyond words. On a more human scale there are many things beyond. A mother watches her child leave home. Her heart is still. Her eyes are full of tears and prayer. That is beyond. An old man with wrinkled hands is carrying his grandchild. With startled eyes the baby regards his grandfather. The old man, with the knowledge of Time’s sadness in his heart, and with love in his eyes, looks down at the child. The meeting of their eyes. That is beyond. A famous writer, feeling his life coming to an end, writes these words: ‘My soul looks back and wonders – just how I got I got over.’ A young woman, standing on a shore, looks out into an immense azure sea rimmed with the silver line of the horizon. She looks out into the obscure heart of destiny, and is overwhelmed by a feeling both dark and oddly joyful. She may be thinking something like this: ‘My soul looks forward and wonders- just how am I to get across.’ That is beyond.
Ben Okri (Birds of Heaven)
Happiness, Michael. I gave that first man a small sliver of happiness for what he gazed upon. Had I known how things would turn out, I would have never done so. If we’re being honest it was a female gazing upon a fruit. So there is some truth to the original Adam and Eve story, though she was not tempted, the gift was given to her without her knowledge or consent really. I wonder if she knew the cost, would she still have accepted?” “Happiness? Not free will?” “No, that came later and was born from that fateful decision of mine.” He looked sad, immensely so. “How could something like that cause you such misery?
Mark Tufo (Tattered Remnants (Zombie Fallout, #9))
Between the brown hands of a server-lad The silver cross was offered to be kissed. The men came up, lugubrious, but not sad, And knelt reluctantly, half-prejudiced. (And kissing, kissed the emblem of a creed.) Then mourning women knelt; meek mouths they had, (And kissed the Body of the Christ indeed.) Young children came, with eager lips and glad. (These kissed a silver doll, immensely bright.) Then I, too, knelt before that acolyte. Above the crucifix I bent my head: The Christ was thin, and cold, and very dead: And yet I bowed, yea, kissed - my lips did cling. (I kissed the warm live hand that held the thing.)
Wilfred Owen (The Complete Wilfred Owen: The Collected Poetic Works)
The science that we are doing is a threat to the world’s most powerful and wealthiest special interests. The most powerful and wealthiest special interest that has ever existed: the fossil fuel industry. They have used their immense resources to create fake scandals and to fund a global disinformation campaign aimed at vilifying the scientists, discrediting the science, and misleading the public and policymakers. Arguably, it is the most villainous act in the history of human civilisation, because it is about the short-term interests of a small number of plutocrats over the long-term welfare of this planet and the people who live on it.
Michael E. Mann
Azrael raised his finger to a face that filled the sky, lit by the faint glow of dying galaxies. There are a billion Deaths, but they are all aspects of the one Death: Azrael, the Great Attractor, the Death of Universes, the beginning and end of time. Most of the universe is made up of dark matter, and only Azrael knows who it is. Eyes so big that a supernova would be a mere suggestion of a gleam on the iris turned slowly and focused on the tiny figure on the immense whorled plains of his fingertips. Beside Azrael the big Clock hung in the center of the entire web of the dimensions, and ticked onward. Stars glittered in Azrael's eyes. The Death of the Discworld stood up. LORD I ASK FOR - Three of the servants of oblivion slid into existence alongside him. One said, Do not listen. He stands accused of meddling. One said, And morticide. One said, And pride. And living with intent to survive. One said, And siding with chaos against good order. Azrael raised an eyebrow. The servants drifted away from Death, expectantly. LORD, WE KNOW THERE IS NO GOOD ORDER EXCEPT THAT WHICH WE CREATE.... Azrael's expression did not change. THERE IS NO HOPE BUT US. THERE IS NO MERCY BUT US. THERE IS NO JUSTICE. THERE IS JUST US. The dark, sad face filled the sky. ALL THINGS THAT ARE ARE OURS. BUT WE MUST CARE. FOR IF WE DO NOT CARE, WE DO NOT EXIST. IF WE DO NOT EXIST, THEN THERE IS NOTHING BUT BLIND OBLIVION. AND EVEN OBLIVION MUST END SOMEDAY. LORD, WILL YOU GRANT ME JUST A LITTLE TIME? FOR THE PROPER BALANCE OF THINGS. TO RETURN WHAT WAS GIVEN. FOR THE SAKE OF PRISONERS AND THE FLIGHT OF BIRDS. Death took a step backwards. It was impossible to read expression in Azrael's features. Death glanced sideways at the servants. LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPER MAN? He waited. LORD? said Death. In the time it took to answer, several galaxies unfolded, whirled around Azrael like paper streamers, impacted, then were gone. Then Azrael said: Yes.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
Thus spoke the Beauty and her voice had a cheerful ring, and her face was aflame with a great rejoicing. She finished her story and began to laugh quietly, but not cheerfully. The Youth bowed down before her and silently kissed her hands, inhaling the languid fragrance of myrrh, aloe and musk which wafted from her body and her fine robes. The Beauty began to speak again. 'There came to me streams of oppressors, because my evil, poisonous beauty bewitches them. I smile at them, they who are doomed to death, and I feel pity for each of them, and some I almost loved, but I gave myself to no one. Each one I gave but one single kiss — and my kisses were innocent as the kisses of a tender sister. And whomsoever I kissed, died.' The soul of the troubled Youth was caught in agony, between two quite irresolvable passions, the terror of death and an inexpressible ecstasy. But love, conquering all, overcoming even the anguish of death's grief, was triumphant once again today. Solemnly stretching out his trembling hands to the tender and terrifying Beauty, the Youth exclaimed, 'If death is in your kiss, o beloved, let me revel in the infinity of death. Cling to me, kiss me, love me, envelop me with the sweet fragrance of your poisonous breath, death after death pour into my body and into my soul before you destroy everything that once was me!' 'You want to! You are not afraid!' exclaimed the Beauty. The face of the Beauty was pale in the rays of the lifeless moon, like a guttering candle, and the lightning in her sad and joyful eyes was trembling and blue. With a trusting movement, tender and passionate, she clung to the Youth and her naked, slender arms were entwined about his neck. 'We shall die together!' she whispered. 'We shall die together. All the poison of my heart is afire and flaming streams are rushing through my veins, and I am all enveloped in some great holocaust.' 'I am aflame!' whispered the Youth, 'I am being consumed in your embraces and you and I are two flaming fires, burning with the immense ecstasy of a poisonous love.' The sad and lifeless moon grew dim and fell in the sky — and the black night came and stood watch. It concealed the secret of love and kisses, fragrant and poisonous, with gloom and solitude. And it listened to the harmonious beating of two hearts growing quieter, and in the frail silence it watched over the final delicate sighs. And so, in the poisonous Garden, having breathed the fragrances which the Beauty breathed, and having drunk the sweetness of her love so tenderly and fatally compassionate, the beautiful Youth died. And on his breast the Beauty died, having delivered her poisonous but fragrant soul up to sweet ecstasies. ("The Poison Garden")
Valery Bryusov (The Silver Age of Russian Culture: An Anthology)
You feel like a leaf at the mercy of the wind, don’t you?” he finally said, staring at me. That was exactly the way I felt. He seemed to empathize with me. He said that my mood reminded him of a song and began to sing in a low tone; his singing voice was very pleasing and the lyrics carried me away: “I’m so far away from the sky where I was born. Immense nostalgia invades my thoughts. Now that I am so alone and sad like a leaf in the wind, sometimes I want to weep, sometimes I want to laugh with longing.” (Que lejos estoy del cielo donde he nacido. Immensa nostalgia invade mi pensamiento. Ahora que estoy tan solo y triste cual hoja al viento, quisiera llorar, quisiera reir de sentimiento.) We did not speak for a long while. He finally broke the silence. “Since the day you were born, one way or another, someone has been doing something to you,” he said. “That’s correct,” I said. “And they have been doing something to you against your will.” “True.” “And by now you’re helpless, like a leaf in the wind.” “That’s correct. That’s the way it is.” I said that the circumstances of my life had sometimes been devastating. He listened attentively but I could not figure out whether he was just being agreeable or genuinely concerned until I noticed that he was trying to hide a smile. “No matter how much you like to feel sorry for yourself, you have to change that,” he said in a soft tone. “It doesn’t jibe with the life of a warrior.
Carlos Castaneda (Journey To Ixtlan)
You have a quote that I love. You say, ‘Most of one’s own troubles, worries, and sadness come from self-cherishing, self-centeredness.’ But don’t we need to be somewhat self-centered in order to succeed in life?” “Self-cherishing, that’s by nature,” he said (by which I assumed he meant it’s “natural”). “Without that, we human beings become like robots, no feeling. But now, practice for development of concern for well-being of others, that actually is immense benefit to oneself.” A light went off in my head. “It seems like you’re saying that there is a self-interested, or selfish, case for being compassionate?” “Yes. Practice of compassion is ultimately benefit to you. So I usually describe: we are selfish, but be wise selfish rather than foolish selfish.” This was an entirely new spin for me. Don’t be nice for the sake of it, he was saying. Do it because it would redound to your own benefit, that it would make you feel good by eroding the edges of the ego. Yoked to self-interest, the compassion thing suddenly became something I could relate to—maybe even something I could do.
Dan Harris (10% Happier)
In 1919, 1920, 1921, the entire Jewish press was assaulting the Romanian state, unleashing disorder everywhere, urging violence against the regime, the form of government, the church, Romanian order, the national idea, patriotism. Now, as if by a miracle, the same press, controlled by the same men, changed into a defender of the state’s order, of laws; declares itself against violence. While we become: ‘the country’s enemies’, ‘extremists of the Right’, ‘in the pay and service of Romania’s enemies’, etc. And in the end we will hear also this: that we are financed by the Jews. ... We have endured outrage after outrage, ridicule after ridicule, slap after slap, until we have come to see ourselves in this frightening situation: Jews are considered to be defenders of Romanianism, sheltered from any unpleasantness, leading a life of peace and plenty, while we are considered enemies of our nation, with our liberty and life endangered, and we are hunted down like rabid dogs by all the Romanian authorities. I witnessed with my own eyes these times and lived through them, and I was saddened to the depths of my soul. It is dreadful to fight for years on end for your fatherland, your heart as pure as tears, while enduring misery and hunger, then find yourself suddenly declared an enemy of your country, persecuted by your own kind, told that you fight because you are in the pay of foreigners, and see the entire Jewry master your land, assuming the role of defender of Romanianism and caretaker of the Romanian state, menaced by you, the youth of the country. Night after night we were troubled by these thoughts, occasionally feeling disgusted and immensely ashamed and we were seized by sadness.
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu (The Prison Notes)
There is no God, and man is his prophet," replied Niels bitterly and rather sadly. "Exactly," scoffed Hjerrild. "After all, atheism is unspeakably tame. Its end and aim is nothing but a disillusioned humanity. The belief in a God who rules everything and judges everything is humanity's last great illusion, and when that is gone, what then? Then you are wiser; but richer, happier? I can't see it." "But don't you see," exclaimed Niels Lyhne, "that on the day when men are free to exult and say: 'There is no God!' on that day a new heaven and a new earth will be created as if by magic. Then and not till then will heaven be a free infinite space instead of a spying, threatening eye. Then the earth will be ours and we the earth's, when the dim world of bliss or damnation beyond has burst like a bubble. The earth will be our true mother country, the home of our hearts, where we dwell, not as strangers and wayfarers a short time, but all our time. Think what intensity it will give to life, when everything must be concentrated within it and nothing left for a hereafter. The immense stream of love that is now rising up to the God of men's faith will bend to earth again and flow lovingly among all those beautiful human virtues with which we have endowed and embellished the godhead in order to make it worthy of our love. Goodness, justice, wisdom--who can name them all? Don't you see what nobility it will give men when they are free to live their life and die their death, without fear of hell or hope of heaven, but fearing themselves, hoping for themselves? How their consciences will grow, and what a strength it will give them when inactive repentance and humility cannot atone any more, when no forgiveness is possible except to redeem with good what they sinned with evil.
Jens Peter Jacobsen (Niels Lyhne)
When I received this Andalusian letter I collapsed: Tehran came flooding back to me, the memories of Damascus too, Paris, Vienna, suddenly tinted, the way a simple ray of light is enough to give its tonality to the immense sky of evening, sadness and bitterness. Dr.
Mathias Énard (Compass)
The candy-colored pavillions and exhibit halls, fitted out with Saturn rings, lightning bolts, shark's fins, golden grilles and honeycombs, the Italian pavillion with its entire facade dissolving in a perpetual cascade of water, the gigantic cash register, the austere and sinuous temples of the Detroit gods, the fountains, the pylons and sundials, the statues of George Washington and Freedom of Speech and Truth Showing the Way to Freedom had been peeled, stripped, prized apart, knocked down, bulldozed into piles, loaded onto truck beds, dumped into barges, towed out past the mouth of the harbor, and sent to the bottom of the sea. It made him sad, not because he saw some instructive allegory or harsh sermon on the vanity of all human hopes and Utopian imaginings in this translation of a bright summer dream into an immense mud puddle freezing over at the end of a September afternoon - he was too young to have such inklings - but because he had so loved the Fair, and seeing it this way, he felt in his heart what he had known all along, that, like childhood, the Fair was over, and he would never be able to visit again.
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
9 Surefire Signs Your Colleagues Are Toxic Resigned specialist Greg Baer, M.D. once oversaw one of the busiest eye-surgery hones in the nation. However regardless of every one of his achievements and riches, he felt unfilled and miserable which prompted his close suicide. In his look for enduring satisfaction, he took in the extraordinary rule that have prompted the respectable mission of The Real Love® Company which he established: “We educate the genuine significance of adoration, supplanting annoyance and perplexity with peace and trust in singular lives and connections.” Presently a fruitful writer, speaker and business visionary for about two decades, the book that truly got my consideration is Real Love in the Workplace: Eight Principles for Consistently Effective Leadership in Business. In his second standard of “Individuals Behave Badly Because They Don’t Feel Loved,” Dr. Baer says that an absence of bona fide cherish in individuals, particularly those in administration parts, prompts an unfortunate quest for power and control over others. “When we can control the conduct of other individuals, we encounter an impression of energy that quickly gives us a snapshot of alleviation from our deplorable feeling of sadness.” He includes, “The vast majority of us mishandle control each day, yet we don’t remember it since this conduct is so regular in our way of life. Dangerous work practices to know. With a specific end goal to recognize the harsh practices of energy that upsets steadfast laborers and transforms the working environment into a smothering, fear-based weight cooker, Dr. Baer records a few dangerous practices that we may as of now know about, however don’t commonly connect with the power he discusses. It’s a great opportunity to give careful consideration – do any of these look commonplace? 1. Chatter. At the point when individuals discuss others behind their backs, says Dr. Baer, they’re in a position to hurt them and apply control over their notorieties. While you’re tattling companions or associates won’t let it be known, they appreciate that sentiment control and ought to be managed quickly. 2. Withholding data. Dr. Baer cautions of such a person who controls or accumulates data: “You’ve had the experience of requiring data from somebody who delighted in keeping it from you, or who distributed out one piece at any given moment. Your disappointment gave the other individual a sentiment control.” 3. Spilling privileged insights. Dr. Baer expresses, “Huge numbers of us want to share insider facts, in light of the fact that in those minutes we control the discussion.” As soon as you hear the words “Need to hear a mystery?” leave a colleague’s mouth, that is a reasonable cautioning sign you’re working with a dangerous individual. 4. Manhandle of expert. Focus on your administrator. Many mishandle their positional specialist to scare individuals into doing what they need, or to concur with them notwithstanding when the group knows there’s a superior game-plan. A few chiefs neglect to appoint intentionally to control every one of the choices, even the littlest ones. Dr. Baer says, “That approach is wasteful and a misuse of administration, however it gives the supervisor a sentiment (control). 5. Smothering inventiveness. At the point when chiefs pound the immense thoughts originating from their workers that will enhance an item or the business in some respect, it gives them a genuine feeling of energy, at the cost of withdrawing and demotivating their representatives. 6. Feedback. Dr. Baer states, “Discovering deficiency with others is such a simple hobby, and for those with a requirement for control, each twisted incurred is a wellspring of awesome fulfillment.
Businessplans
Human consciousness has grown highly complex. And because of that our pleasures are immense, as are our sadnesses. Our breadth of emotion is the greatest among all living things because of our high level of consciousness. But in the end we will die. Even though we've known such great pleasures in this world, we will die. Trillions of humans have died. Trillions more will probably die.
Fuminori Nakamura (Cult X)
XVII. Thinking, Tangling Shadows" Thinking, tangling shadows in the deep solitude. You are far away too, oh farther than anyone. Thinking, freeing birds, dissolving images, burying lamps. Belfry of fogs, how far away, up there! Stifling laments, milling shadowy hopes, taciturn miller, night falls on you face downward, far from the city. You presence is foreign, as strange to me as a thing. I think, I explore great tracts of my life before you. My life before anyone, my harsh life. The shout facing the sea, among the rocks, running free, mad, in the sea-spray. The sad rage, the shout, the solitude of the sea. Headlong, violent, stretched towards the sky. You, woman, what were you there, what ray, what vane of that immense fan? You were as far as you are now. Fire in the forest! Burn in blue crosses. Burn, burn, flame up, sparkle in trees of light. It collapses, crackling. Fire. Fire. And my soul dances, seared with curls of fire. Who calls? What silence peopled with echoes? Hour of nostalgia, hour of happiness, hour of solitude, hour that is mine from among them all! Hunting horn through which the wind passes singing. Such a passion of weeping tied to my bedy. Shaking of all the roots, attack of all the waves! My soul wandered, happy, sad, unending. Thinking, burying lamps in the deep solitude. Who are you, who are you?
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
But the irony: Don't I often want to desperately wriggle free of the confines of a small life? Yet when I stand before immensity that heightens my smallness--I have never felt sadness. Only burgeoning wonder. Is it because within each frame of finite flesh lies the likeness of infinite God? In all things large and spectacular, we recognize glimpses of home and the call to our own deeper chemistry. Do we writhe to peel out of our smallness and into the big life because that fits our inborn God-image?
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
Dear and vast country, which I admire, and which moves me so much, you, whose low sky caresses and consoles me; you, whose deep clouds and green hills almost bring me the memory of a happy childhood in a world where happiness and innocence are unknown; you take weakness from my mind. The mournful sound of your waters today speaks of death and melancholy; awake in me strength and confidence. Oh sadness, infinite grace, secret and aristocratic ardor, loftiness, pride spreading out from your wounds; there is strong confidence to be found at the very source of this pain, when it is gentle and without anger. Oh mountains, the small man climbing you is lost in your immensity you will never be divided; your domain belongs to all. Your borders, so high, so close to those beautiful clouds, that caress your highest peaks, are next to the sky, where everyone can be inspired and uplifted. Mountains and clouds, region of both the ideal and of dreams.
Odilon Redon (To Myself: Notes on Life, Art, and Artists)
Acceptance does not necessarily help you solve a problem. But acceptance helps you immensely in dealing with it, in making you non-suffering. When you resist a situation, you are fighting it. Whatever you resist, will fight back. Such is Life. All your suffering comes from wishing that your Life is different from what it is. So, in addition to the intense pain that the situation has thrown up, you have now invited suffering into your Life by wishing that the painful situation did not exist in the first place. Instead, embrace the situation. Gracefully accept your Life for what it is. Then, slowly, very slowly, time heals, peeling off layer after layer of suffering, as you understand the futility of prolonged sadness. As your suffering and sadness dissolve, you feel repaired, happy and at peace with your new reality.
AVIS Viswanathan
To their right, a strange fog glowed eerily, streamed through the rain and wound through the trees. It moved forward at knee level coming straight toward them now. Shea felt her heart in her throat. She touched Jacques’ back for reassurance. He stopped, seemingly relaxed, his muscles coiled and ready, like a panther awaiting its moment. She could feel it in him, his readiness, so still and confident. As the fog grew closer, only several yards away now, the moisture began to stack itself higher and higher, the droplets connecting and forming the shape of a man. Shea wanted to scream with fear, but she stayed very still, afraid of distracting Jacques. Byron’s form shimmered for a moment. She could actually see the tree behind the mist, and then he was solid, standing with the curious elegance of the Carpathian male. He lifted his eyes from the ground to meet Jacques’ icy-black gaze. “We have been friends for centuries, Jacques. I cannot remember a time in my life that we did not run together. It is strange and sad to me that you can look at me and not know me.” Shea, behind Jacques, stirred uncomfortably. Byron’s sorrow appeared more than he could bear. She wanted to reach out to him, make an attempt to ease his obvious suffering. Do not! The command was sharp in her mind, clear and in a tone that brooked no argument. Jacques remained motionless, as if carved from stone. Byron’s words did not appear to move him in any way. Byron shrugged, his face twisted with pain. “When we thought you were dead, we searched for your body. Months, years even. You were never out of our thoughts. You were my family, Jacques, my friend. It was hard to learn to be completely solitary. Gregori and Mikhail and even Aidan survived the centuries because, as alone as they had to be, they had a bond, an anchor to keep them strong through the bleak centuries. You were mine. Once you were gone, my struggle became immense.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
We remember the old world as it had been for a thousand years, so beautiful and diverse, and which, in only thirty years, has crumbled away. When we were young every country still had its own architecture and customs and food. . . . . Now the dreariness! The suburbs of every town uniform all over the world. . . . [O]ur children never saw that world so they cannot share our sadness. One more of the many things that divide us. There is an immense gap between us and them, caused by unshared experience. Never in history have the past and the present been so different; never have the generations been divided as they are now.
Nancy Mitford (Don't Tell Alfred (Radlett & Montdore, #3))
Just as seasons and centuries must turn, so too must men—the bad and the good, equal in their frailty of flesh—pass away from this earth. He heard a nightbird singing. Out there. Out in one of the trees that stood around the pond. It was a noontime song, and presently it was joined by a second. For their kind, Matthew mused, night was not a time of sad longing, loneliness, and fear. For them the night was but a further opportunity to sing. And such a sweetness in it, to hear these notes trilled as the land slept, as the stars hummed in the immense velvet black. Such a sweetness, to realize that even at this darkest hour there was yet joy to be known.
Anonymous
Most of one’s own troubles, worries, and sadness come from self-cherishing, self-centeredness.’ But don’t we need to be somewhat self-centered in order to succeed in life?” “Self-cherishing, that’s by nature,” he said (by which I assumed he meant it’s “natural”). “Without that, we human beings become like robots, no feeling. But now, practice for development of concern for well-being of others, that actually is immense benefit to oneself.” A light went off in my head. “It seems like you’re saying
Dan Harris (10% Happier)
Most religions and philosophies have consequently taken a very different approach to happiness than liberalism does.3 The Buddhist position is particularly interesting. Buddhism has assigned the question of happiness more importance than perhaps any other human creed. For 2,500 years, Buddhists have systematically studied the essence and causes of happiness, which is why there is a growing interest among the scientific community both in their philosophy and their meditation practices. Buddhism shares the basic insight of the biological approach to happiness, namely that happiness results from processes occurring within one’s body, and not from events in the outside world. However, starting from the same insight, Buddhism reaches very different conclusions. According to Buddhism, most people identify happiness with pleasant feelings, while identifying suffering with unpleasant feelings. People consequently ascribe immense importance to what they feel, craving to experience more and more pleasures, while avoiding pain. Whatever we do throughout our lives, whether scratching our leg, fidgeting slightly in the chair, or fighting world wars, we are just trying to get pleasant feelings. The problem, according to Buddhism, is that our feelings are no more than fleeting vibrations, changing every moment, like the ocean waves. If five minutes ago I felt joyful and purposeful, now these feelings are gone, and I might well feel sad and dejected. So if I want to experience pleasant feelings, I have to constantly chase them, while driving away the unpleasant feelings. Even if I succeed, I immediately have to start all over again, without ever getting any lasting reward for my troubles. What is so important about obtaining such ephemeral prizes? Why struggle so hard to achieve something that disappears almost as soon as it arises? According to Buddhism, the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never satisfied. Even when experiencing pleasure, it is not content, because it fears this feeling might soon disappear, and craves that this feeling should stay and intensify. People are liberated from suffering not when they experience this or that fleeting pleasure, but rather when they understand the impermanent nature of all their feelings, and stop craving them. This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely observe your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realise how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind becomes very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasising about what might have been.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
What was wrong with me? Here I was, sitting in a warm, secure place with a whole loaf of bread. Why, then, did I feel so sad, so forlorn? Slowly, the answer began to dawn. During the long years of deprivation, I had dreamed of eating my fill in a warm place, in peace, but I never thought that I would eat my bread alone. Later that evening, I told Kurt that I had been thinking of my friends still in Europe, cold and hungry. I had to do something. Out of that need evolved my work with the local Jewish Federation, where I soon found myself putting stamps on envelopes and sealing them. I was immensely proud of having become a volunteer. When Kurt’s aunt cautioned me that volunteer work was really for the wealthy, I agreed wholeheartedly. I considered myself rich now.
Gerda Weissmann Klein (All But My Life: A Memoir)
What's this one, Mum? There's no return address, and there's like, five stamps on it. Who's it from?" Leaning forward to get a closer look at the stamps, I didn't notice the fleeting look of immense sadness pass over her face. "Oh it's nothing, darling." I raised my eyebrow at her. She sighed. "An overseas friend. You wouldn't know her." And before I could ask what 'her' name was, Mum had left the room.
Kelly Batten (One Day You'll Find Me)
February 10: In a four-hour afternoon shoot, Rizzo captures Marilyn in close-up and in various positions on a lounger and at the edge of her Brentwood home pool. He later said she seemed “immensely sad . . . and that sadness was very visible in the pictures.
Carl Rollyson (Marilyn Monroe Day by Day: A Timeline of People, Places, and Events)
Barbara ne pose pas de question. elle ne veut pas savoir ce qui s'est passé. Ce qu'elle sait, c'est que chacun ici reçoit son lot de malheurs et qu'il ne sert à rien de les partager, qu'en parler ne fait qu'alourdir le fardeau des autres. C'est une immense leçon de vie qu'elle n'oubliera jamais.
Nick Alexander (The Photographer's Wife)
As the Princess performs the impossible balancing act which her life requires, she drifts inexorably into obsession, continually discussing her problems. Her friend Carolyn Bartholomew argues it is difficult not to be self-absorbed when the world watches everything she does. “How can you not be self-obsessed when half the world is watching everything you do; the high-pitched laugh when someone is talking to somebody famous must make you very very cynical.” She endlessly debates the problems she faces in dealing with her husband, the royal family, and their system. They remain tantalizingly unresolved, the gulf between thought and action achingly great. Whether she stays or goes, the example of the Duchess of York is a potent source of instability. James Gilbey sums up Diana’s dilemma: “She can never be happy unless she breaks away but she won’t break away unless Prince Charles does it. He won’t do it because of his mother so they are never going to be happy. They will continue under the farcical umbrella of the royal family yet they will both lead completely separate lives.” Her friend Carolyn Bartholomew, a sensible sounding-board throughout Diana’s adult life, sees how that fundamental issue has clouded her character. “She is kind, generous, sad and in some ways rather desperate. Yet she has maintained her self-deprecating sense of humour. A very shrewd but immensely sorrowful lady.” Her royal future is by no means well-defined. If she could write her own script the Princess would like to see her husband go off with his Highgrove friends and attempt to discover the happiness he has not found with her, leaving Diana free to groom Prince William for his eventual destiny as the Sovereign. It is an idle pipe-dream as impossible as Prince Charles’s wish to relinquish his regal position and run a farm in Italy. She has other more modest ambitions; to spend a weekend in Paris, take a course in psychology, learn the piano to concert grade and to start painting again. The current pace of her life makes even these hopes seem grandiose, never mind her oft-repeated vision of the future where she see herself one day settling abroad, probably in Italy or France. A more likely avenue is the unfolding vista of charity, community and social work which has given her a sense of self-worth and fulfillment. As her brother says: “She has got a strong character. She does know what she wants and I think that after ten years she has got to a plateau now which she will continue to occupy for many years.” As a child she sensed her special destiny, as an adult she has remained true to her instincts. Diana has continued to carry the burden of public expectations while enduring considerable personal problems. Her achievement has been to find her true self in the face of overwhelming odds. She will continue to tread a different path from her husband, the royal family and their system and yet still conform to their traditions. As she says: “When I go home and turn my light off at night, I know I did my best.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
The “song” (he felt the word’s inadequacy, but knew no other word for it) had taken on for him all the significance of a historical, even a revolutionary event. He wondered how its existence had never been celebrated, or indeed mentioned in the newspapers. The music itself seemed to invite, even demand, a revolutionary interpretation. Not just in the sheer immensity of its sounds, the tremendous, earth-shaking importance asserted in its whispers and crashes, but in its progression, the very arrangement of its notes. The song began with trilling ups and downs that surely signified the fermenting, but disorganized, dissatisfaction of the pre-revolutionary proletariat; then, as though from afar, there entered for the first time the major melody, the sad but uplifting theme that came in to give sudden coherence, order, and direction to the impotent turmoil; and eventually, after a few unforeseen deviations, interruptions, and delays that could only signify the War itself, the rising and falling turmoil dropped entirely away, and only the theme remained, stronger and clearer than ever. And
Craig Boyko (Blackouts)
The wind blew steadily in from the desert seeping the sand in low, thin sheets. Afternoon waned, the sun sank, twilight crept over the barren waste. There were no sounds but the seep of sand, the moan of wind, the mourn of wolf. Loneliness came with the night that mantled Beauty Stanton’s grave. Shadows trooped in from the desert and the darkness grew black. On that slope the wind always blew, and always the sand seeped, dusting over everything, imperceptibly changing the surface of the earth. The desert was still at work. Nature was no respecter of graves. Life was nothing. Radiant, cold stars blinked pitilessly out of the vast blue-black vault of heaven. But there hovered a spirit beside this woman’s last resting-place — a spirit like the night, sad, lonely, silent, mystical, immense. And as it hovered over hers so it hovered over other nameless graves. In the eternal workshop of nature, the tenants of these unnamed and forgotten graves would mingle dust of good with dust of evil, and by the divinity of death resolve equally into the elements again.
Zane Grey (The U. P. Trail)
Sometimes I wonder if maybe it was for the best. I tried and I failed. Maybe deep down I didn’t want it enough. Like you said, not everyone does.’ ‘True.’ Eventually she says something. ‘But is that really you talking? Or is it your grief?’ ‘I don’t know.’ I shake my head. ‘And that’s OK,’ she says quietly. I raise my eyes to meet Cricket’s. ‘I’m eighty-one years old and I’ve learned if there’s one gift you can give yourself in life, it’s the freedom and courage to say “I don’t know”. Because I’ll let you into a secret – you don’t have to know. You don’t have to know how you feel, or what you want, or if you’re happy or if you’re sad. Life is full of choices and decisions, and there is so much pressure on us to make all the right ones. But what if we don’t? What if we have doubts and misgivings? What if we make mistakes and contradict ourselves?’ She looks at me, her eyes shining. ‘What if we try our best and fail anyway?’ As her words peg out before me, I think about myself, about everything that’s happened. ‘What then? Should we feel bad about ourselves? Why not just accept that we don’t know? Because if you accept that, my dear girl, it will give you such immense freedom. It will allow you to change your mind, to take a different path, to grab opportunities that come your way that you might never have thought of . . . to be impulsive instead of being stuck, to stop feeling guilty.’ Cricket looks at me, her face imploring. ‘To stop feeling scared.
Alexandra Potter (Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up: The Funniest WTF AM I DOING?! Novel of the Year)
I carried the cups out to the kitchen, and inside of me long, mysterious words began to crawl across my soul like a protective membrane. A song, a poem, something soothing and rhythmic and immensely pensive, but never distressing or sad, as I knew the rest of my day would be distressing and sad. When these light waves of words streamed through me, I knew that my mother couldn’t do anything else to me because she had stopped being important to me.
Tove Ditlevsen
The picture of human life in the market-place, though its general tint was the sad gray, brown, or black of the English emigrants, was yet enlivened by some diversity of hue. A party of Indians—in their savage finery of curiously embroidered deerskin robes, wampum-belts, red and yellow ochre, and feathers, and armed with the bow and arrow and stone-headed spear—stood apart with countenances of inflexible gravity, beyond what even the Puritan aspect could attain. Nor, wild as were these painted barbarians, were they the wildest feature of the scene. This distinction could more justly be claimed by some mariners—a part of the crew of the vessel from the Spanish Main—who had come ashore to see the humours of Election Day. They were rough-looking desperadoes, with sun-blackened faces, and an immensity of beard; their wide short trousers were confined about the waist by belts, often clasped with a rough plate of gold, and sustaining always a long knife, and in some instances, a sword. From beneath their broad-brimmed hats of palm-leaf, gleamed eyes which, even in good-nature and merriment, had a kind of animal ferocity. They transgressed without fear or scruple, the rules of behaviour that were binding on all others: smoking tobacco under the beadle's very nose, although each whiff would have cost a townsman a shilling; and quaffing at their pleasure, draughts of wine or aqua-vitae from pocket flasks, which they freely tendered to the gaping crowd around them. It remarkably characterised the incomplete morality of the age, rigid as we call it, that a licence was allowed the seafaring class, not merely for their freaks on shore, but for far more desperate deeds on their proper element. The sailor of that day would go near to be arraigned as a pirate in our own. There could be little doubt, for instance, that this very ship's crew, though no unfavourable specimens of the nautical brotherhood, had been guilty, as we should phrase it, of depredations on the Spanish commerce, such as would have perilled all their necks in a modern court of justice. But the sea in those old times heaved, swelled, and foamed very much at its own will, or subject only to the tempestuous wind, with hardly any attempts at regulation by human law. The buccaneer on the wave might relinquish his calling and become at once if he chose, a man of probity and piety on land; nor, even in the full career of his reckless life, was he regarded as a personage with whom it was disreputable to traffic or casually associate. Thus the Puritan elders in their black cloaks, starched bands, and steeple-crowned hats, smiled not unbenignantly at the clamour and rude deportment of these jolly seafaring men; and it excited neither surprise nor animadversion when so reputable a citizen as old Roger Chillingworth, the physician, was seen to enter the market-place in close and familiar talk with the commander of the questionable vessel.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
Learn to hold your own feelings like beloved children, however intensely they burn and scream for attention. Celebrate the aliveness in your hurt, the vibrancy of your disappointment, the electricity of your sadness. Kneel before the power in your anger; honor its fiery creativity. From this place of deep acceptance, you do not become weak and passive. Quite the opposite. You simply enter the world from a place of non-violence, and therefore immense creative power, and you are open to the possibility of deep listening, honest dialogue, and unexpected change. In suffering, you become small. In love, anything is possible.
Jeff Foster (The Way of Rest: Finding The Courage to Hold Everything in Love)