Layers Of Happiness Quotes

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Vipassana meditation is an ongoing creative purification process. Observation of the moment-to-moment experience cleanses the mental layers, one after another.
Amit Ray (Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style)
I was happy, I think, but I wonder now if my memory is playing tricks on me. If it is giving me the gift of an illusion. We all layer them over our remembrances; the filters through which we want to see our lives.
Greer Hendricks (The Wife Between Us)
Meditation is a journey to know yourself. Knowing yourself has many layers. Start knowing your bodily discomforts. Know your success, know your failures. Know your fears. Know your irritations. Know your pleasures, joy and happiness. Know your mental wounds. Go deeper and examine every feeling you have.
Amit Ray (Meditation: Insights and Inspirations)
It is that happy stretch of time when the lovers set to chronicling their passion. When no glance, no tone of voice is so fleeting but it shines with significance. When each moment, each perception is brought out with care, unfolded like a precious gem from its layers of the softest tissue paper and laid in front of the beloved — turned this way and that, examined, considered.
Ahdaf Soueif (The Map of Love)
Lena realized that a fundamental layer of their happiness depended on the four of them being close to one another. Their lives were independent and full. Their friendship was only one aspect of their lives, but it seemed to give meaning to all the others.
Ann Brashares (Sisterhood Everlasting (Sisterhood, #5))
But happiness is not always loud and bright and crowded. Happiness ripens like a watermelon, sweet and rosy on the inside with only a thin top layer altogether free of small black pits. And, like a watermelon, the whole thing can be covered with a plain dark rind.
E.L. Konigsburg
Robot Boy Mr. an Mrs. Smith had a wonderful life. They were a normal, happy husband and wife. One day they got news that made Mr. Smith glad. Mrs. Smith would would be a mom which would make him the dad! But something was wrong with their bundle of joy. It wasn't human at all, it was a robot boy! He wasn't warm and cuddly and he didn't have skin. Instead there was a cold, thin layer of tin. There were wires and tubes sticking out of his head. He just lay there and stared, not living or dead. The only time he seemed alive at all was with a long extension cord plugged into the wall. Mr. Smith yelled at the doctor, "What have you done to my boy? He's not flesh and blood, he's aluminum alloy!" The doctor said gently, "What I'm going to say will sound pretty wild. But you're not the father of this strange looking child. You see, there still is some question about the child's gender, but we think that its father is a microwave blender." The Smith's lives were now filled with misery and strife. Mrs. Smith hated her husband, and he hated his wife. He never forgave her unholy alliance: a sexual encounter with a kitchen appliance. And Robot Boy grew to be a young man. Though he was often mistaken for a garbage can.
Tim Burton
They'd had fun, for sure. They laughed and enjoyed being together. But if she was painfully honest with herself, something was missing. Something in the way Tim looked at her. She remembered her mom's word. "I saw the way he looked at you...he adores you." Maybe that was it. Tim looked at her on a surface level. He smiled and seemed happy to see her. But When Cody looked at her, there were no layers left, nothing her didn't reveal, nothing he couldn't see. He didn't really look at her so much as he looked into her. To the deepest, most real places in her heart and soul.
Karen Kingsbury (Take Two (Above the Line, #2))
What I'm feeling, I think, is joy. And it's been some time since I've felt that blinkered rush of happiness, This might be one of those rare events that lasts, one that'll be remembered and recalled as months and years wind and ravel. One of those sweet, significant moments that leaves a footprint in your mind. A photograph couldn't ever tell its story. It's like something you have to live to understand. One of those freak collisions of fizzing meteors and looming celestial bodies and floating debris and one single beautiful red ball that bursts into your life and through your body like an enormous firework. Where things shift into focus for a moment, and everything makes sense. And it becomes one of those things inside you, a pearl among sludge, one of those big exaggerated memories you can invoke at any moment to peel away a little layer of how you felt, like a lick of ice cream. The flavor of grace.
Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones)
It is always now. This might sound trite, but it is the truth. It’s not quite true as a matter of neurology, because our minds are built upon layers of inputs whose timing we know must be different. But it is true as a matter of conscious experience. The reality of your life is always now. And to realize this, we will see, is liberating. In fact, I think there is nothing more important to understand if you want to be happy in this world. But we spend most of our lives forgetting this truth—overlooking it, fleeing it, repudiating it. And the horror is that we succeed. We manage to avoid being happy while struggling to become happy, fulfilling one desire after the next, banishing our fears, grasping at pleasure, recoiling from pain—and thinking, interminably, about how best to keep the whole works up and running.
Sam Harris
Sure. I'll make small talk. Chit chat. Discuss the ins and outs of a "typical" day. Pass the time lightly. Say tiny things. I'm happy to tread surfaces with a smile, and will. Sometimes. Yet- when I look at you, I know there are layers. Dimensions. Collections of ancient wisdom. Roads. Stories on stories on stories. Core needs. There is humanness. This is where I light up. This is where I thrive. You can't be caged in a pool for long. Not when you're someone who wants oceans.
Victoria Erickson
Ignorance might feel like bliss, but when you peel away the happy layer, it’s still just a lack of information.
Emma Chase (Tamed (Tangled, #3))
What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand was the time that distant summer on Brokeback when Ennis had come up behind him and pulled him close, the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger. They had stood that way for a long time in front of the fire, its burning tossing ruddy chunks of light, the shadow of their bodies a single column against the rock. The minutes ticked by from the round watch in Ennis's pocket, from the sticks in the fire settling into coals. Stars bit through the wavy heat layers above the fire. Ennis's breath came slow and quiet, he hummed, rocked a little in the sparklight and Jack leaned against the steady heartbeat, the vibrations of the humming like faint electricity and, standing, he fell into sleep that was not sleep but something else drowsy and tranced until Ennis, dredging up a rusty but still useable phrase from the childhood time before his mother died, said, "Time to hit the hay, cowboy. I got a go. Come on, you're sleepin on your feet like a horse," and gave Jack a shake, a push, and went off in the darkness. Jack heard his spurs tremble as he mounted, the words "see you tomorrow," and the horse's shuddering snort, grind of hoof on stone. Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives. Nothing marred it, even the knowledge that Ennis would not then embrace him face to face because he did not want to see nor feel that it was Jack he held. And maybe, he thought, they'd never get much farther that that. Let be, let be.
Annie Proulx (Brokeback Mountain)
Once again, I'm unnerved by the feeling that Charlie Lastra sees right through my carefully pressed outermost layers. "I'm perfectly happy with peace and quiet," I insist. "Maybe. Or maybe, Nora Stephens, I can read you like a book." I scoff. "Because you're so socially intelligent." "Because you're like me.
Emily Henry (Book Lovers)
In this way Penelope's happy and sad feelings got all mixed up together, until they were not unlike one of those delicious cookies they have nowadays, the ones with a flat circle of sugary cream sandwiched between two chocolate-flavored wafers. In her heart she felt a soft, hidden core of sweet melancholy nestled inside crisp outer layers of joy, and if that is not the very sensation most people feel at some point or other during the holidays, then one would be hard pressed to say what is.
Maryrose Wood (The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, #1))
Happiness like sadness, comes wrapped in many layers
Alexandra Burt (Remember Mia)
We consume so we never have to answer the hard questions. When we are bored we eat. When we are lonely we watch a movie, read the newspaper, jump on social media. Each time we do we cover up our real emotions and keep throwing another layer of confusion and anxiety on top, making it almost impossible to dig ourselves out of the hole, or at least see which way is up.
Evan Sutter (Solitude: How Doing Nothing Can Change the World)
Readers develop unique histories with the books they read. It may not be immediately apparent at the time of reading, but the person you were when you read the book, the place you were where you read the book, your state of mind while you read it, your personal situation (happy, frustrated, depressed, bored) and so on – all these factors, and others, make the simple experience of reading a book a far more complex and multi-layered affair than might be thought.
Alasdair Gray (Lanark)
People aren't absolutes. We are all layered: mean sometimes, and flawed, but also funny, and caring, and happy, and in love. We are all so many different things at once.
Cameron Lund (Heartbreakers and Fakers)
This quality of Jewish folk music [- it can appear to be happy when it's tragic-] is close to my idea of what music should be. The should always be two layers in music.
Dmitri Shostakovich (Testimony: The Memoirs)
But now that he was here, he was happy. It wasn’t an uncomplicated kind of happy, but still. Something about the warm atmosphere, the way Cormac’s family teased him the same as they teased each other, fussed over him and brought him drinks, included him seamlessly in their conversation, just…recognized him.
Heidi Belleau (The Druid Stone (Layers of the Otherworld, #1))
As we open our hearts, what we notice is that information starts opening up for us in an unfolding process, as if life were being revealed layer by layer.
Catherine Carrigan (What Is Healing?: Awaken Your Intuitive Power for Health and Happiness)
Mindfulness helps you open up to the deeper layers of yourself.
Rick Hanson (Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness)
Promethea has awakened in me dreams extinguished for thousands of years; sometimes one catches on fire even through so many icy layers. Promethea has rekindled dreams of fire in me, dreams of abysses, they are terribly dangerous dreams: as long as they are dreams alone, as long as one dreams alone, one can fool around with dreaming, because afterward one forgets. But now, ever since I learned how Promethea brings the fire of all dreams up into reality, how she climbs back up through the shaft of the Red Cows, bearing the first fire, how she crosses the Chamber of the Mares, how she goes through every epoch of existence reawakening along the walls memories of times so fragile and so inflammable, and comes out in 1982 still carrying in her hands the primitive spark, I feel myself wavering between exultation and terror. Formerly, I too sucked satiny coals. Once I burned my tongue. (That only happens if someone makes you lose faith.) Ever since I have no longer dared suck real fire; for a long time I lived on electricity. But I have never forgotten the fiery taste of eternity. I just was sure that I could live with my tongue extinguished until the end of my days. I was not even tempted. I was calm. I had firm definitions. I called happiness the absence of unhappiness. I wrote in ink and I dedicated my dreams to the Moons.
Hélène Cixous (The Book of Promethea)
In this exploration the deeper layers, such as feelings of fear, guilt, shame, inadequacy, unlovableness, etc. are allowed to surface without resistance or agenda and slowly reveal the sense of separation that lies at their heart.
Rupert Spira (Presence: The Art of Peace and Happiness) wasn’t just about two people getting naked and tangled up together. A lot of other things were involved, things that make you feel so good you forget who you are, and things that feel so creepy you literally get goose bumps, and things you hold so dear you’re afraid to go to sleep, and things that make you so happy you want to bounce up and down—layer after layer of things like that, all mixed up into a sticky mess with the blood and sweat and love juice.
Ryū Murakami (Popular Hits of the Showa Era)
The circus and the flea market are so joyful because of the collection of rich, delightful sensations they offer. The abundance aesthetic is defined by a layering of color, texture, and pattern, and you don’t need a lot of stuff to achieve it.
Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness)
We seek to understand ourselves by telling how we go about securing inner peace, acceptance, and satisfaction intermeshed with layers of pure happiness. Stories allow us to explore the mystery of the universe, share unique experiences, and express personal comprehension.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I read not with any particular object in mind, nor really with the intention of retaining any information about the subjects that I chose, but rather because the act of reading was a habit, and because it was soothing and, perhaps, from a lifetime's inculcated faith in the explanatory power of books, the half-held belief that somewhere in those hectares upon hectares of printed pages I might find that fact which would make sense of my growing unhappiness, allowing me to peel back the obscurant layers of myself and lay bare at last the solid structure underneath.
Jessie Greengrass (Sight)
That’s the thing I’ve never really understood about emotions. We’re given unhelpful words for them—sad, happy, angry, scared, disgusted—but they’re not accurate and there never seems to be anywhere near enough of them. How could there be? Emotions aren’t binary or finite: they change, shift, run into each other like colored water. They are layered, three-dimensional and twisted; they don’t arrive in order, one by one, labeled neatly. They lie on top of each other, twisting like kaleidoscopes, like prisms, like spinning bird feathers lit with their own iridescence.
Holly Smale (Cassandra in Reverse)
I’d have taken anything you’d given. I’d have wrapped my own gauzy layers around it and convinced myself that it was right. But it would never have been right. I can’t be happy, not really down-to-the-bone happy, with less than I need. And if I’m not happy, I can’t make someone else happy.
Nora Roberts (Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, #1))
The conveniences that we increasingly convince ourselves are necessary for happy or successful life also separate us from those who do not have them. The more layers of convenience we add to our lives, the more space we create between us and those desperately working day to day to survive.
Jeff Shinabarger (More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity)
As I glanced around my room, sliding my dinosaur back and forth on its chain, I though that maybe that was the point--that instead of happy endings, you get beginnings. Hundreds of little beginnings happening every moment, each of them layering into histories deep and tangled and new, histories you count on to remain, no matter what changes the world throws at you.
Meg Leder (The Museum of Heartbreak)
The worlds in the books casually stripped the darkness from mine, layer by layer, until all I could see was hope. They sucked the thickness out of the air and ripped the gray right out of the clouds. Each day that my life felt heavier and oppressed, I picked up a book and crawled into the safety of its pages. I hoped that one day my life would be like all the lives in the books––fated for a happy ending.
Tracie Breaux (Refined)
I find beauty in sadness, and peace... and a mystery waiting to be solved.. the more you unfold the mystery, the more you are mesmerized by the layers of mystery lying underneath.. and solitude becomes the perfect company for sadness.. but again, the feeling you get when you realize you're not alone gives you inexplicable happiness.. and there's satisfaction in happiness,, and another mystery which is unknotted yet difficult to penetrate
Sanhita Baruah
There are four obstacles. First: we are told from childhood onward that everything we want to do is impossible. We grow up with this idea, and as the years accumulate, so too do the layers of prejudice, fear, and guilt. There comes a time when our personal calling is so deeply buried in our soul as to be invisible. But it’s still there. If we have the courage to disinter dream, we are then faced by the second obstacle: love. We know what we want to do, but are afraid of hurting those around us by abandoning everything in order to pursue our dream. We do not realize that love is just a further impetus, not something that will prevent us going forward. We do not realize that those who genuinely wish us well want us to be happy and are prepared to accompany us on that journey. Once we have accepted that love is a stimulus, we come up against the third obstacle: fear of the defeats we will meet on the path. We who fight for our dream, suffer far more when it doesn’t work out, because we cannot fall back on the old excuse: “Oh, well, I didn’t really want it anyway.” We do want it and know that we have staked everything on it and that the path of the personal calling is no easier than any other path, except that our whole heart is in this journey. Then, we warriors of light must be prepared to have patience in difficult times and
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Innocence is our natural state, before it becomes covered over. What covers it over is self-image. When we look at ourselves, even when we’re trying to be completely honest, we see an image built up over many years, in layers that are complexly woven together. The lines and wrinkles that develop in a person’s face tell the story of past happiness and sadness, triumph and defeat, ideals and experiences. It is almost impossible to see anything else.
Deepak Chopra (The Way of the Wizard: Twenty Spiritual Lessons for Creating the Life You Want)
Given an area of law that legislators were happy to hand over to the affected industries and a technology that was both unfamiliar and threatening, the prospects for legislative insight were poor. Lawmakers were assured by lobbyists a) that this was business as usual, that no dramatic changes were being made by the Green or White papers; or b) that the technology presented a terrible menace to the American cultural industries, but that prompt and statesmanlike action would save the day; or c) that layers of new property rights, new private enforcers of those rights, and technological control and surveillance measures were all needed in order to benefit consumers, who would now be able to “purchase culture by the sip rather than by the glass” in a pervasively monitored digital environment. In practice, somewhat confusingly, these three arguments would often be combined. Legislators’ statements seemed to suggest that this was a routine Armageddon in which firm, decisive statesmanship was needed to preserve the digital status quo in a profoundly transformative and proconsumer way. Reading the congressional debates was likely to give one conceptual whiplash. To make things worse, the press was—in 1995, at least—clueless about these issues. It was not that the newspapers were ignoring the Internet. They were paying attention—obsessive attention in some cases. But as far as the mainstream press was concerned, the story line on the Internet was sex: pornography, online predation, more pornography. The lowbrow press stopped there. To be fair, the highbrow press was also interested in Internet legal issues (the regulation of pornography, the regulation of online predation) and constitutional questions (the First Amendment protection of Internet pornography). Reporters were also asking questions about the social effect of the network (including, among other things, the threats posed by pornography and online predators).
James Boyle (The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind)
We wandered around in layers, unable to feel anything firsthand. But Lily—Lily didn’t mind. Lily was mittens and hot chocolate and snow angels that lifted from the ground and danced in the air. She said she loved winter, and I wondered if there was any season she didn’t love. I worked hard to accept her enthusiasm as genuine. My mental furnace was built for immolation, not warmth. I didn’t understand how she could be so happy. But such was the love I had fallen into that I decided not to question it, and to live within it.
David Levithan (The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (Dash & Lily, #2))
Needless to say, cooking for a man with such a delicate palate can be challenging and every once in a while I like to make something that isn't served with a glass of milk and a side of applesauce. This can be difficult with a husband with such discriminating taste buds. Difficult, but not impossible, if you're willing to lie. Which I am.   During the winter months I love to make soups and one of my favorites is taco soup. It has all of the basic food groups in one bowl; meat, veggies, beans, and Fritos. It's perfection. I've been warming bodies and cleaning colons with this recipe for years. However, when I met my husband he advised he didn't like beans, so he couldn't eat taco soup. This was not the response I hoped for.   I decided to make it for him anyway. The first time I did I debated whether to add beans. I knew he wouldn't eat it if I did, but I also knew the beans were what gave it the strong flavor. I decided the only way to maintain the integrity of the soup was to sacrifice mine. I lied to him about the ingredients. Because my husband is not only picky but also observant, I knew I couldn't just dump the beans into the soup undetected. Rather, I had to go incognito. For that, I implored the use of the food processor, who was happy to accommodate after sitting in the cabinet untouched for years.   I dumped the cans of beans in the processor and pureed them into a paste. I then dumped the paste into the taco soup mixture, returning the food processor to the cabinet where it would sit untouched for another six months.   When it came time to eat, I dished out a heaping bowl of soup and handed it to my husband. We sat down to eat and I anxiously awaited his verdict, knowing he was eating a heaping bowl of deceit.   “This is delicious. What's in it?” he asked, in between mouthfuls of soup.   “It's just a mixture of taco ingredients,” I innocently replied, focusing on the layer of Fritos covering my bowl.   “Whatever it is, it's amazing,” he responded, quickly devouring each bite.   At that moment I wanted nothing more than to slap the spoon out of his hand and yell “That's beans, bitch!” However, I refrained because I'm classy (and because I didn't want to clean up the mess).
Jen Mann (I Just Want to Be Alone (I Just Want to Pee Alone Book 2))
As we sit allowing these thoughts and, more importantly, uncomfortable feelings to arise, it is important not to have any subtle agenda with them, not to ‘do this’ in order to ‘get rid of them’, That would be more of the same. Just allow the full panoply of thoughts and feelings to display themselves in your loving and indifferent presence. In time their ferocity will die down, revealing subtler and subtler layers of thinking and feeling on behalf of a separate entity, until we come to the little, almost innocuous background thinking about which we were speaking earlier. This is the sense of separation, the ‘ego’, in its apparently mildest and least easily detectable form. Be very sensitive to this. Be sensitive to the ‘avoidance of what is’ in its subtlest forms. It is the sweet, furry baby animal that later turns into a monster! As time goes on we become more and more sensitive and we see how much of our thinking and feeling, as well as our activities, are generated for the sole purpose of avoiding ‘what is’, of avoiding the ‘this’ and the ‘now’, It is this open, un-judging, un-avoiding allowing of all things which, in time, restores the ‘I’ to its proper place in the seat of awareness and which, as a natural corollary to the abiding in and as our true self, gently realigns our thoughts, feelings and activities with the peace and happiness that are inherent in it. Nobody Has, Owns or Chooses Anything Q: While allowing the body, mind and world to be as they are, different thoughts arise, some not so savoury and others that might be better left not acted upon. You have said that, once one begins to abide knowingly as presence, responses to situations will flow naturally from there. Some thoughts will engage the body, others
Rupert Spira (Presence: The Intimacy of All Experience)
Her question was clear- “Father, where does the Loss reside?” In the sighs? Cheeks with tears wiped? A lost appetite? Owning a room confined? Or in the smiles all falsified? Thus, the Father decide, It is no matter to hide, he replied- “I think its deep inside, Probably, In the layers of your soul, Where the body provides it, Ample food to be- Magnified, multiplied, intensified. But once you clarify, That its not to be occupied inside, It starves of supplies, And dies. So child, when there is loss, Make sure you refuse to invite it inward, And absolutely never make it your lifelong parasite.
Jasleen Kaur Gumber
The story line of Kings is so overcrowded, it’s hard to keep track. The narrator complains, there’s so much going on, Solomon can’t love God “wholeheartedly.” This is a crucial word. The new Jerusalem opens up a whole new layer of human problems. We are in a fluid world, full of lush possibilities. Religions, jobs, marriages, all forms of life feel like open questions. In this atmosphere, can anybody be “wholehearted” about anything? Cosmopolitan culture, when it thrives, is scary. But it is also thrilling, and the people love it: “Judah and Israel prospered, as many as the sand on the sea; they ate and drank and were happy.
We are all children in the dark, finding our way together to the light. Many define the light before the light is reached and fix on their defining. There in the dark they clamor for others to embrace their defining, demanding its elevation, and giving it names they claim as sacred. But all are still in the dark, distracted by so many claims to the one way out, all unseen, and fix their take with fear and penalty if not likewise elevated as the one and only way. Whereas I leave it open to what the opening will reveal. Layered writing is my tool to enable the opening to widen, and it is our consciousness, not our physical form that has trouble squeezing through the passageway to the way out of the dark, while so many call out in the dark they know the way, rather than allowing the way to reveal itself. Watch the silent ones, calm in demeanor, who are experienced at leaving ways open, in order to find it. They listen and feel their way, in different ways and on different levels. These have no following to create the clamor, nor seek the glamour the clamor brings. They are simply wise because they leave it open to what the opening may become, rather than what they have been fed from birth, they birth in solitude what might be, allowing layers of ways to formulate and in that way follow in their minds and hearts a revealed and reveled light yet unseen.
Tom Althouse
[I] want to remind you that we are not looking for the happy ending, the teachable moment, or the pretty bow at the end of all the learning. We are also not looking for dramatic admissions of guilt or becoming so frozen with shame that you cannot move forward. The aim of this work is not self-loathing. The aim of this work is truth-seeing it, owning it, and figuring out what to do with it. This is lifelong work. Avoid the shortcuts, and be wary of the easy answers. Avoid the breaking down into white fragility. Question yourself when you think you have finally figured it out-there are always deeper layers, and you will continue to reflect even more as you continue on with this work.
Layla F. Saad (Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor)
For, rather than thinking of his death, I will be thinking of the story of his death, so much so that after his funeral Amy will ask, "Did I see you taking notes during the service?" There'll be no surprise in her voice. Rather, it will be the way you might playfully scold a squirrel: "Did you just jump up from the deck and completely empty that bird feeder?" The squirrel and me—it's in our nature, though maybe not forever. For our natures, I have just recently learned from my father, can change. Or maybe they're simply revealed, and the dear, cheerful man I saw that afternoon at Springmoor was there all along, smothered in layers of rage and impatience that burned away as he blazed into the homestretch.
David Sedaris (Happy-Go-Lucky)
Life kills you more acutely than death. . A saved relationship is no relationship, after all. . I'm in need of someone who is ready to listen. . We all have this special talent for hiding a truth by adding layers of lies on to it. . When you are attached to one and attracted to another, then one’s truth becomes the other’s lie as long as you keep the truth away from each other. . I still don’t know why I chose her over you. I was so happy with you. Maybe I was happy with you but I wasn't happy with us. Those are two different things. People jump into a relationship when they experience the former. . A break-up doesn't necessarily end the love two people have for each other. In fact some love stories never end. They only end something within the people involved.
Novoneel Chakraborty (All Yours, Stranger: Some Mysteries are Dangerously Sexy)
Are you a relative of her late husband?” the woman asked. His eyes widened. “I beg your pardon?” “It must be so hard for her, pregnant and just widowed,” the middle-aged woman continued. “We’ve all done what we could to make her happy here. Mr. Johnson, the curator, is a widower himself. He’s already sweet on her. But you’re probably anxious to see Mrs. Peterson. Shall I ring her and let her know you’re coming?” Tate’s eyes were blazing. “No,” he said with forced politeness. “I want to surprise her!” He stalked out, leaving the rented vehicle where it was as he trudged through the small layer of snow and glared contemptuously at the cars sliding around in the street as they passed. This little bit of snow was nothing compared to the six-foot snowdrifts on the reservation. Southerners, he considered, must not get much winter precipitation if this little bit of white dust paralyzed traffic! As for Cecily’s mythical dead husband, he considered, going up the walkway to the small brick structure where she lived, he was about to make a startling, resurrected appearance! He knocked on the door and waited. There was an irritated murmur beyond the closed door and the sound of a lock being unfastened. The door opened and a wan Cecily looked straight into his eyes. He managed to get inside the screen door and catch her before she passed out. She came to on the sofa with Tate sitting beside her, smoothing back her disheveled hair. The nausea climbed into her throat and, fortunately, stayed there. She looked at him with helpless delight, wishing she could hide what the sight of him was doing to her after so many empty, lonely weeks. He didn’t speak. He touched her hair, her forehead, her eyes, her nose, her mouth, with fingers that seemed bent on memorizing her. Then his hands went to the robe carelessly fastened over her cotton nightdress and pushed it aside. He touched her belly, his face radiant as he registered the very visible and tangible signs of her condition. “When did we make him?” he asked without preamble. She felt her world dissolve. He knew about the baby. Of course. That was why he was here. He met her eyes, found hostility and bitter disillusionment in them. His hand pressed down over her belly. “I would have come even if I hadn’t known about the baby,” he said at once. “The baby is mine.” “And mine.” “Audrey is not getting her avaricious little hands on my child…!
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Happy Camper Tip #10   Veggie Pancakes—These are delicious, healthier than regular pancakes, and can be made ahead and warmed up. Grate two cups of zucchini and one cup of carrots. Add one cup of corn—frozen works best. Stir in one egg, two tablespoons of plain yogurt, one half teaspoon of salt and one eighth teaspoon of pepper. Combine one half cup of flour, one half cup of corn meal and two teaspoons of baking powder and add to veggie mixture. Stir well and add one half cup of cheese. In a skillet with a small amount of oil, use a scant quarter cup of batter for each pancake and flatten slightly with a fork. Cook about three minutes on a side and drain on paper towels. Store in the refrigerator between layers of waxed paper and reheat in the microwave. Excellent with butter and syrup or ranch dressing.
Karen Musser Nortman (Peete and Repeat (The Frannie Shoemaker Campground Mysteries #3))
I’m fragile, the fragility of a hopeless romantic trapped in a reality in which there is no happily ever after. Some people outgrow their fragility. I never did. Instead I became proficient at packaging it. Have you ever encountered a product that comes in a box covered with duct tape, which opens to an explosion of packing peanuts, and then you are faced with layers of tightly taped bubble wrap, only to find after that there’s still a hard plastic shell that’s a pain in the ass to pry apart? That’s me. Except I never let anyone get past the duct-tape stage. Okay, maybe occasionally Zelda saw the packing peanuts, but no further, no deeper. So what’s underneath it all? Fear, yes. Need, so much of it. More wishful thinking than there is in the entire country on a Powerball weekend. Maybe greed too, a greed for happiness that’s matched only by the fear of losing it.
Sherry Thomas (The One In My Heart)
The real nemesis of the modern economy is ecological collapse. Both scientific progress and economic growth take place within a brittle biosphere, and as they gather steam, so the shock waves destabilise the ecology. In order to provide every person in the world with the same standard of living as affluent Americans, we would need a few more planets – but we only have this one. If progress and growth do end up destroying the ecosystem, the cost will be dear not merely to vampires, foxes and rabbits, but also to Sapiens. An ecological meltdown will cause economic ruin, political turmoil, a fall in human standards of living, and it might threaten the very existence of human civilisation. We could lessen the danger by slowing down the pace of progress and growth. If this year investors expect to get a 6 per cent return on their portfolios, in ten years they will be satisfied with a 3 per cent return, in twenty years only 1 per cent, and in thirty years the economy will stop growing and we’ll be happy with what we’ve already got. Yet the creed of growth firmly objects to such a heretical idea. Instead, it suggests we should run even faster. If our discoveries destabilise the ecosystem and threaten humanity, then we should discover something to protect ourselves. If the ozone layer dwindles and exposes us to skin cancer, we should invent better sunscreen and better cancer treatments, thereby also promoting the growth of new sunscreen factories and cancer centres. If all the new industries pollute the atmosphere and the oceans, causing global warming and mass extinctions, then we should build for ourselves virtual worlds and hi-tech sanctuaries that will provide us with all the good things in life even if the planet is as hot, dreary and polluted as hell.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
You’re more beautiful than the breaking of the dawn,” I murmured, touching my finger to the softness of her cheek. “You make every day new.” From the moment I met her, I'd longed to slip behind the veil and that had not changed. I wanted to know her mind, feel her body, hold her heart. More than anything, I wanted her to know that her heart was safe with mine. in, his eyes sweeping down to my hands before returning to my face. With one finger, he separated my twisting fingers. “You’re everything I never knew I wanted and far more than I deserve.” Turning, he folded both my hands in his. “I’m going to make you so damn happy.” For the first time, his light didn’t hurt my eyes and I didn’t feel the need to look away. “You do, darling. You truly do.” She was such an enigma, a gift. Layers upon layers and I planned to remove every single one. “I’ll further elaborate to add my baby, my sweetheart, my beautiful lady, my soul, my heart, my happiness, my fucking eyes, Minty.
Devin Sloane (Mountain Road)
I have one priority in life and it’s not making millions as it once was. I have all the money I could ever want, too much, India claims. I’m business driven but it’s my girl who is the most important part of my life. My whole life. It’s that very reason I’m reluctant to bring any shift in our happy bubble. We both work hard. We play hard together. That woman is my equal in every aspect of life. She thrills me, and intrigues me. I’ve loved peeling back India’s layers. She’s vulnerable is my mean girl and I love the place we’ve gotten to where she trusts me with all her sad, unsure moments. She will grieve for her brother for the rest of her life. She’ll always worry about her mom becoming manic depressive again. She’ll forever be a woman who puts everyone else before her own needs. But what’s different in India’s life is she now has me who makes sure she’s first. In everything. It’s going to kill me to see the happiness drop from her eyes. She’ll go into fix it mode and when she can’t, she’ll get angry and stressed.
V. Theia (Manhattan Heart (From Manhattan #5))
Dear Polar Night, It seems like the darkness will never shed any light. It is like the night skies have layers of darkness when it comes to Kace and me. I mean, the sun isn’t rising at all in our life. The darkness has a way of making things difficult for us. We are supposed to sleep during the dark, but we are always awake because we have to always be on the lookout. Will the midnight sun rise? We will accept part of the sun disk. Just a little bit will be okay with us. They will be just enough light for us to see what’s next on our life’s path. However, selfishly we do not have a sunset or sunrise in our life. The clouds and the fog keep the sun isolated—how long do you think Kace and I will be able to endure such treatment? I hope one day the polar night will run its course, and the white nights will shed more than 24 hours of light. I know the sun will not be visible—that is okay. We will accept the white nights if we cannot have the sun. We would be more than happy to take whatever light is offered. Wishing on Pinwheels and Dandelions until the break of dawn.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
The Guardians of the Overhead hold the most power in Heaven. They have the power to not only heal, but project. They can influence other Healers around them to make sure that Healer makes better judgment choices in life. Following them is the royal family that rules Heavens dynasty—” “The Caspian family,” I cut in happy that I knew the answer. To know that my family was the second most powerful family in Heaven’s dynasty suddenly made me feel powerful, even though my powers have not come in yet. “Yes,” Mother agreed with friendlies to her voice. “Although we are better known as the Nobles of Heaven. We have the ability to heal others, as well as control ones emotions. As you have noticed, your father and I are most powerful in the day time. That is when our power shines brightest. As the Nobles of Heaven, your father has the ability to control how a Healer acts. If one misbehaves, it is a Nobles job to straighten them up for the good of Heaven. Just by a single command, your father can change that Healers action. For if one Healer acts out, it is a chain reaction. Without consequence, Lumen will be unbalanced.
Barbara C. Doyle (Finding Redemption)
Am I bothering you?” “Yes.” Samuel lifted his chin as he said this, jutting it at me, like he said the word purposely to hurt me and make me angry. “What am I doing that’s bothering you?” I again fought the wet that threatened to undermine my dignity. I spoke each word distinctly, focusing on the shape and sound instead of the sentiment. “You are so.....” His smooth voice was layered with turbulence and frustration. Samuel rarely raised his voice, and didn’t do so now, but the threat was there. “You are so… calm, and accepting, and NAIVE that sometimes…I just want to shake you!” I wondered what in the world had brought on this vehement attack and sat in stunned silence for several heartbeats. “I bother you because I’m calm...and accepting?” I said, my voice an incredulous squeak. “Do you want me to be hyper and, well, intolerant?” “It would be nice if you questioned something, sometime.” Samuel was revving up to his argument; I could see the animation in his face. “You live in your own happy little world. You don’t know how it feels to not belong anywhere! I don’t belong anywhere!” “Why do you think I created my own happy little world?” I shot back. “I fit in perfectly there!
Amy Harmon (Running Barefoot)
Della & I are drunk at the top of Mont-Royal. We have an open blue plastic thermos of red wine at our feet. It's the first day of spring & it's midnight & we've been peeling off layers of winter all day. We stand facing each other, as if to exchange vows, chests heaving from racing up & down the mountain to the sky. My face is hurting from smiling so much, aching at the edges of my words. She reaches out to hold my face in her hands, dirty palms form a bowl to rest my chin. I’m standing on a tree stump so we’re eye to eye. It’s hard to stay steady. I worry I may start to drool or laugh, I feel so unhinged from my body. It’s been one of those days I don’t want to end. Our goal was to shirk all responsibility merely to enjoy the lack of everyday obligations, to create fullness & purpose out of each other. Our knees are the colour of the ground-in grass. Our boots are caked in mud caskets. Under our nails is a mixture of minerals & organic matter, knuckles scraped by tree bark. We are the thaw embodied. She says, You have changed me, Eve, you are the single most important person in my life. If you were to leave me, I would die. At that moment, our breath circling from my lungs & into hers, I am changed. Perhaps before this I could describe our relationship as an experiment, a happy accident, but this was irrefutable. I was completely consumed & consuming. It was as though we created some sort of object between us that we could see & almost hold. I would risk everything I’ve ever known to know only this. I wanted to honour her in a way that was understandable to every part of me. It was as though I could distill the meaning of us into something I could pour into a porcelain cup. Our bodies on top of this city, rulers of love. Originally, we were celebrating the fact that I got into Concordia’s visual arts program. But the congratulatory brunch she took me to at Café Santropol had turned into wine, which had turned into a day for declarations. I had a sense of spring in my body, that this season would meld into summer like a running-jump movie kiss. There would be days & days like this. XXXX gone away on a sojurn I didn’t care to note the details of, she simply ceased to be. Summer in Montreal in love is almost too much emotion to hold in an open mouth, it spills over, it causes me to not need any sleep. I don’t think I will ever feel as awake as I did in the summer of 1995.
Zoe Whittall (Bottle Rocket Hearts)
Why do the ambiance of self-doubt and a shroud of multiple layers of contradictions underscore my confusion? Can I attain happiness by carving out a protective niche in the world, a place where my thoughts can roam free, a safe place where I can work unencumbered by silly worries that mar an ordinary life? I am free to do as I please, so why does life seem so bewildering, difficult, frustrating, and unsatisfying? Am I any different from other people? Do all people by their very nature stretch their puniness to know? Does it place a person in jeopardy to reach out to explore the difference between the known and the unknown? Is the risk to gain self-knowledge and determine how one fits into the world that surrounds us a worthwhile proposition? Is the desire to expand a person’s understanding of humanity and enhance their comprehension of humankind’s role in an interconnected world a journey that we each must undertake in our own way in order to exact a hard won scrap of perception that every civilization builds its structural pillars upon and every person relies upon in order to survive? Will a haphazard quest to obtain personal knowledge parlay my ruin or can cerebral effort jumpstart personal salvation?
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
All my films are about Hong Kong." Wong Kar Wai once told me, "even if they're set in Argentina." While many in the West saw Happy Together primarily as a love story, his compatriots saw it something more timely and relevant: Wong grappling with the meaning of the handover to China. They knew it wasn't coincidental that the film should open in Hong Kong one month before that historical transfer of power. Nor was it coincidental that it should begin with a shot of Hong kong passports and end with Tony Leung's Lai on a train in Taipei, not Hong Kong, heading into an indeterminate future as the soundtrack plays Danny Chung's cover of the pop song "Happy Together" --a title that could be read as predicting a successful union, or as a slash of bitter irony. Even the movie's defining image, the aerial shot of water rushing down Iguazu Falls, is layered with political intimations that cut in different directions. At once thrillingly spectacular and patently dangerous--Chris Doyle, who's terrified of heights, shot it while hanging out of a chopper--the roaring waters that combine in these falls are an expression of the inexorably rushing power of reunion that can be seen as both a symbol of great strength or the downward pull of destruction.
Wong Kar-Wai
Things you shouldn’t do when someone is dying: Don’t talk about when your aunt or your grandmother or your dog died. This isn’t about you, and the sick person shouldn’t have to comfort you; it should be the other way around. There are concentric circles of grief: the patient is at the center, the next layer is the caregiver, then their kids, then close friends, and so on. Figure out what circle you’re in. If you are looking into the concentric circles, you give comfort. If you’re looking out, you receive it. Don’t say things that aren’t true: You’re going to beat this cancer! It’s all about a positive outlook! You look stronger! You aren’t fooling anyone. Don’t overact your happiness. It’s okay to be sad with someone who is dying. They’ve invited you close at a very tender time, and that’s a moment of grace you can share. Don’t think you have to discuss the illness. Sometimes, a sick person needs a break. And if you ask up front if he wants to talk about how he feels—or doesn’t—you’re giving him control at a time when he doesn’t have a lot of choices. Don’t be afraid of the silence. It’s okay to say nothing. Don’t forget: No one knows what to say to someone who’s dying. Everyone is afraid of saying the wrong thing. It’s more important to be there than to be right. Win and I have reached the stage where we can sit in quiet, without a background noise of NPR on the radio or the television murmuring.
Jodi Picoult (The Book of Two Ways)
If loneliness or sadness or happiness could be expressed through food, loneliness would be basil. It’s not good for your stomach, dims your eyes, and turns your mind murky. If you pound basil and place a stone over it, scorpions swarm toward it. Happiness is saffron, from the crocus that blooms in the spring. Even if you add just a pinch to a dish, it adds an intense taste and a lingering scent. You can find it anywhere but you can’t get it at any time of the year. It’s good for your heart, and if you drop a little bit in your wine, you instantly become drunk from its heady perfume. The best saffron crumbles at the touch and instantaneously emits its fragrance. Sadness is a knobby cucumber, whose aroma you can detect from far away. It’s tough and hard to digest and makes you fall ill with a high fever. It’s porous, excellent at absorption, and sponges up spices, guaranteeing a lengthy period of preservation. Pickles are the best food you can make from cucumbers. You boil vinegar and pour it over the cucumbers, then season with salt and pepper. You enclose them in a sterilized glass jar, seal it, and store it in a dark and dry place. WON’S KITCHEN. I take off the sign hanging by the first-floor entryway. He designed it by hand and silk-screened it onto a metal plate. Early in the morning on the day of the opening party for the cooking school, he had me hang the sign myself. I was meaning to give it a really special name, he said, grinning, flashing his white teeth, but I thought Jeong Ji-won was the most special name in the world. He called my name again: Hey, Ji-won. He walked around the house calling my name over and over, mischievously — as if he were an Eskimo who believed that the soul became imprinted in the name when it was called — while I fried an egg, cautiously sprinkling grated Emmentaler, salt, pepper, taking care not to pop the yolk. I spread the white sun-dried tablecloth on the coffee table and set it with the fried egg, unsalted butter, blueberry jam, and a baguette I’d toasted in the oven. It was our favorite breakfast: simple, warm, sweet. As was his habit, he spread a thick layer of butter and jam on his baguette and dunked it into his coffee, and I plunked into my cup the teaspoon laced with jam, waiting for the sticky sweetness to melt into the hot, dark coffee. I still remember the sugary jam infusing the last drop of coffee and the moist crumbs of the baguette lingering at the roof of my mouth. And also his words, informing me that he wanted to design a new house that would contain the cooking school, his office, and our bedroom. Instead of replying, I picked up a firm red radish, sparkling with droplets of water, dabbed a little butter on it, dipped it in salt, and stuck it into my mouth. A crunch resonated from my mouth. Hoping the crunch sounded like, Yes, someday, I continued to eat it. Was that the reason I equated a fresh red radish with sprouting green tops, as small as a miniature apple, with the taste of love? But if I cut into it crosswise like an apple, I wouldn't find the constellation of seeds.
Kyung-ran Jo (Tongue)
VIN RESISTED THE URGE TO PICK at her noblewoman’s dress. Even after a half week of being forced to wear one—Sazed’s suggestion—she found the bulky garment uncomfortable. It pulled tightly at her waist and chest, then fell to the floor with several layers of ruffled fabric, making it difficult to walk. She kept feeling as if she were going to trip—and, despite the gown’s bulk, she felt as if she were somehow exposed by how tight it was through the chest, not to mention the neckline’s low curve. Though she had exposed nearly as much skin when wearing normal, buttoning shirts, this seemed different somehow. Still, she had to admit that the gown made quite a difference. The girl who stood in the mirror before her was a strange, foreign creature. The light blue dress, with its white ruffles and lace, matched the sapphire barrettes in her hair. Sazed claimed he wouldn’t be happy until her hair was at least shoulder-length, but he had still suggested that she purchase the broochlike barrettes and put them just above each ear. “Often, aristocrats don’t hide their deficiencies,” he had explained. “Instead, they highlight them. Draw attention to your short hair, and instead of thinking you’re unfashionable, they might be impressed by the statement you are making.” She also wore a sapphire necklace—modest by noble standards, but still worth more than two hundred boxings. It was complemented by a single ruby bracelet for accentuation. Apparently, the current fashion dictated a single splash of a different color to provide contrast. And it was all hers,
Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1))
Much more than skeleton, it is flash, I mean the carrion flesh, which disturb and alarm us – and which alleviates us as well. The Buddhists monks gladly frequented charnel houses: where corner desire more surely and emancipate oneself from it? The horrible being a path of liberation in every period of fervor and inwardness, our remains have enjoyed great favor. In the Middle Ages, a man made a regimen of salvation, he believed energetically: the corpse was in fashion. Faith was vigorous than, invincible; it cherished the livid and the fetid, it knew the profits to be derived from corruption and gruesomeness. Today, an edulcorated religion adheres only to „nice” hallucinations, to Evolution and to Progress. It is not such a religion which might afford us the modern equivalent of the dense macabre. „Let a man who aspires to nirvana act so that nothing is dear to him”, we read in a Buddhist text. It is enough to consider these specters, to meditate on the fate of the flash which adhered to them, in order to understand the urgency of detachment. There is no ascesis in the double rumination on the flesh and on the skeleton, on the dreadful decrepitude of the one and the futile permanence of the other. It is a good exercise to sever ourselves now and then from our face, from our skin, to lay aside this deceptive sheathe, then to discard – if only for a moment – that layer of grease which keeps us from discerning what is fundamental in ourselves. Once exercise is over, we are freer and more alone, almost invulnerable. In other to vanquish attachments and the disadvantages which derive from them, we should have to contemplate the ultimate nudity of a human being, force our eyes to pierce his entrails and all the rest, wallow in the horror of his secretions, in his physiology of an imminent corpse. This vision would not be morbid but methodical, a controlled obsession, particularly salutary in ordeals. The skeleton incites us to serenity; the cadaver to renunciation. In the sermon of futility which both of them preach to us happiness is identified with the destruction of our bounds. To have scanted no detail of such a teaching and even so to come to terms with simulacra! Blessed was the age when solitaries could plumb their depths without seeming obsessed, deranged. Their imbalance was not assigned a negative coefficient, as is the case for us. They would sacrifice ten, twenty years, a whole life, for a foreboding, for a flash of the absolute. The word „depth” has a meaning only in connection with epochs when the monk was considered as the noblest human exemplar. No one will gain – say the fact that he is in the process of disappearing. For centuries, he has done no more than survive himself. To whom would he address himself, in a universe which calls him a „parasite”? In Tibet, the last country where monks still mattered, they have been ruled out. Yet is was a rare consolation to think that thousands of thousands of hermits could be meditating there, today, on the themes of the prajnaparamita. Even if it had only odious aspects, monasticism would still be worth more than any other ideal. Now more then ever, we should build monasteries … for those who believe in everything and for those who believe in nothing. Where to escape? There no longer exist a single place where we can professionally execrate this world.
Emil M. Cioran
Chicken Francese, or lamb chops, or plump spinach gnocchi that she'd roll out by hand and drop into boiling salt water. When her brothers came home for the holidays, she'd spend days in the kitchen, preparing airy latkes and sweet and sour brisket; roast turkey with chestnut stuffing; elaborately iced layer cakes. She'd stay in the kitchen for hours, cooking dish after dish, hoping that all the food would somehow conceal their father's absence; hoping that the meals would take the taste of grief out of their mouths. "After my father died, I think cooking saved me. It was the only thing that made me happy. Everything else felt so out of control. But if I followed a recipe, if I used the right amounts of the right ingredients and did everything I was supposed to do..." She tried to explain it- how repetitive motions of peeling and chopping felt like a meditation, the comfort of knowing that flour and yeast, oil and salt, combined in the correct proportions, would always yield a loaf of bread; the way that making a shopping list could refocus her mind, and how much she enjoyed the smells of fresh rosemary, of roasting chicken or baking cookies, the velvety feel of a ball of dough at the precise moment when it reached its proper elasticity and could be put into an oiled bowl, under a clean cloth, to rise in a warm spot in the kitchen, the same step that her mother's mother's mother would have followed to make the same kind of bread. She liked to watch popovers rising to lofty heights in the oven's heat, blooming out of their tins. She liked the sound of a hearty soup or grain-thickened stew, simmering gently on a low flame, the look of a beautifully set table, with place cards and candles and fine china. All of it pleased her.
Jennifer Weiner (That Summer)
It’s okay if you can’t. No worries. Just an idea,” I say quickly, looking away so she won’t see how disappointed I am. “No—I mean, I want to, but—” Hana sucks in a breath. I hate this, hate how awkward we both are. “I kind of have this party”—she corrects herself quickly— “this thing I’m supposed to go to with Angelica Marston.” My stomach gets that hollowed-out feeling. It’s amazing how words can do that, just shred your insides apart. [...] A rush of hatred overwhelms me. Hatred for my life, for its narrowness and cramped spaces; hatred for Angelica Marston, with her secretive smile and rich parents; hatred for Hana, for being so stupid and careless and stubborn, first and foremost, and for leaving me behind before I was ready to be left; and underneath all those layers something else, too, some white-hot blade of unhappiness flashing in the very deepest part of me. I can’t name it, or even focus on it clearly, but somehow I understand that this—this other thing—makes me the angriest of all. [...] Despite everything, this gives me pause. In the days after the party at Roaring Brook Farms, snatches of music seemed to follow me everywhere: I heard it winging in and out of the wind, I heard it singing off the ocean and moaning through the walls of the house. Sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, my heart pounding, with the notes sounding in my ears. But every time I was awake and trying to remember the melodies consciously, hum a few notes or recall any of the chords, I couldn’t. Hana’s staring at me hopefully, waiting for my response. For a second I actually feel bad for her. I want to make her happy, like I always did, want to see her give a whoop and put her fist in the air and flash me one of her famous smiles. But then I remember she has Angelica Marston now, and something hardens in my throat, and knowing that I’m going to disappoint her gives me a kind of dull satisfaction.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
The Sandwich Maker would pass what he had made to his assistant who would then add a few slices of newcumber and fladish and a touch of splagberry sauce, and then apply the topmost layer of bread and cut the sandwich with a fourth and altogether plainer knife. It was not that these were not also skilful operations, but they were lesser skills to be performed by a dedicated apprentice who would one day, when the Sandwich Maker finally laid down his tools, take over from him. It was an exalted position and that apprentice, Drimple, was the envy of his fellows. There were those in the village who were happy chopping wood, those who were content carrying water, but to be the Sandwich Maker was very heaven. And so the Sandwich Maker sang as he worked. He was using the last of the year’s salted meat. It was a little past its best now, but still the rich savour of Perfectly Normal Beast meat was something unsurpassed in any of the Sandwich Maker’s previous experience. Next week it was anticipated that the Perfectly Normal Beasts would appear again for their regular migration, whereupon the whole village would once again be plunged into frenetic action: hunting the Beasts, killing perhaps six, maybe even seven dozen of the thousands that thundered past. Then the Beasts must be rapidly butchered and cleaned, with most of the meat salted to keep it through the winter months until the return migration in the spring, which would replenish their supplies. The very best of the meat would be roasted straight away for the feast that marked the Autumn Passage. The celebrations would last for three days of sheer exuberance, dancing and stories that Old Thrashbarg would tell of how the hunt had gone, stories that he would have been busy sitting making up in his hut while the rest of the village was out doing the actual hunting. And then the very, very best of the meat would be saved from the feast and delivered cold to the Sandwich Maker. And the Sandwich Maker would exercise on it the skills that he had brought to them from the gods, and make the exquisite Sandwiches of the Third Season, of which the whole village would partake before beginning, the next day, to prepare themselves for the rigours of the coming winter. Today he was just making ordinary sandwiches, if such delicacies, so lovingly crafted, could ever be called ordinary. Today his assistant was away so the Sandwich Maker was applying his own garnish, which he was happy to do. He was happy with just about everything in fact.
Douglas Adams (Mostly Harmless (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5))
But there were problems. After the movie came out I couldn’t go to a tournament without being surrounded by fans asking for autographs. Instead of focusing on chess positions, I was pulled into the image of myself as a celebrity. Since childhood I had treasured the sublime study of chess, the swim through ever-deepening layers of complexity. I could spend hours at a chessboard and stand up from the experience on fire with insight about chess, basketball, the ocean, psychology, love, art. The game was exhilarating and also spiritually calming. It centered me. Chess was my friend. Then, suddenly, the game became alien and disquieting. I recall one tournament in Las Vegas: I was a young International Master in a field of a thousand competitors including twenty-six strong Grandmasters from around the world. As an up-and-coming player, I had huge respect for the great sages around me. I had studied their masterpieces for hundreds of hours and was awed by the artistry of these men. Before first-round play began I was seated at my board, deep in thought about my opening preparation, when the public address system announced that the subject of Searching for Bobby Fischer was at the event. A tournament director placed a poster of the movie next to my table, and immediately a sea of fans surged around the ropes separating the top boards from the audience. As the games progressed, when I rose to clear my mind young girls gave me their phone numbers and asked me to autograph their stomachs or legs. This might sound like a dream for a seventeen-year-old boy, and I won’t deny enjoying the attention, but professionally it was a nightmare. My game began to unravel. I caught myself thinking about how I looked thinking instead of losing myself in thought. The Grandmasters, my elders, were ignored and scowled at me. Some of them treated me like a pariah. I had won eight national championships and had more fans, public support and recognition than I could dream of, but none of this was helping my search for excellence, let alone for happiness. At a young age I came to know that there is something profoundly hollow about the nature of fame. I had spent my life devoted to artistic growth and was used to the sweaty-palmed sense of contentment one gets after many hours of intense reflection. This peaceful feeling had nothing to do with external adulation, and I yearned for a return to that innocent, fertile time. I missed just being a student of the game, but there was no escaping the spotlight. I found myself dreading chess, miserable before leaving for tournaments. I played without inspiration and was invited to appear on television shows. I smiled.
Josh Waitzkin (The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance)
Wittgenstein uses this beetle analogy to suggest that the felt states and sensations that occur in a person’s mind; things like smell, pain, love, happiness, sadness, and so on are things that no one can communicate sufficiently enough to share and reveal their experiences to others. I can never see your beetle, and you can never see mine. When we attempt to think and communicate about the beetle, though, the word has to be a word that everyone understands and can be taught for the word to have any meaning. According to Wittgenstein and many others, language is entirely social. This theory is known as the Private Language Argument, which proposes that no language can be understandable if it is solely to one individual. Rather, language is only formed through shared use amongst a community of others. Thus, the sensation of something might exist exclusively to one’s self, but it can never be understood in terms of language exclusively to one’s self. Meaning, we can never know if anyone experiences anything the same way we experience it, even if everyone talks about it in the same words. We can only assume. Arguably, trying to rationalize, communicate, and comprehend the mental experience of a sensation as it actually is, becomes inconceivable after a certain point. For example, one could say that fresh cut grass smells good, but when asked what it smells like, they would have to go on to say things like it smells natural or like the season of spring. If then asked, what that smells like, perhaps if one tried hard enough, they could come with a few other smells to compare it to, but they would eventually and inevitably reach the limits of language. There would be a final question of what it smells like that would have no answer. A sensation beyond words that no one besides the smeller could know for sure what is like. “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” Wittgenstein writes when referring to the notion of subjective experience and that which exceeds language and logical understanding. Beyond the suggestions of language and shared meaning, arguably what is most thought-provoking about all of this is the notion that we can never know what it feels like to be anyone else other than our self. We can never know what the world might look, taste, smell, sound, and feel like from outside our own heads. We can never verify what anyone else’s color blue looks like, or what anyone else’s punch in the arm feels like, or what anyone else’s sense of love or happiness is like. We are all locked inside our minds, yelling out to each other in an attempt to find out, but never capable of entering anyone else’s to find out for sure. Even if the framework, structure, and wiring of each of our brains are mostly identical, the unknowable conscious psychological layer on top of it all transmutes the experience of neurological occurrences into something abstract, distanced enough from the measurable and communicable to ever know exactly what any of it is, where it comes from, and how it might change in different heads. Ultimately, no matter the philosophical stance or scientific theory, it is fair to argue that at a minimum no one can or will ever know what it means to have navigated and experienced this universe in the way that you have and will. Each moment that you experience, a particular sense or image of the world with your particular conditions of consciousness, is forever yours exclusively, withholding the mystery of what it means to actually be you for all of eternity. Perhaps we all feel and experience in nearly identical ways, or perhaps we all feel and experience in very dissimilar ways. Your version of blue, your sensation of pain, your experience of love, could perhaps be its only version of blue, its only version of pain, and its only version of love to ever exist in the entire universe. The point is, we don’t know because each of us holds the answer that no one can ever access.
Robert Pantano
And after that, after the awkward shuffling away of that last thin layer of clothes, words retreated to the sounds they once were. We had sex. A happy entanglement of warm limbs and warmer love. A physical and psychological merging that conjured a kind of inner light, a bio-emotional phosphorescence, that was overwhelming in its gorgeousness. I wondered why they weren’t prouder of it. Of this magic. I wondered why, if they had to have flags, why they didn’t just opt for one with a picture of sex.
Matt Haig (The Humans)
Happiness in a tablet. This is our world. Prozac. Paxil. Xanax. Billions are spent to advertise such drugs. And billions more are spent purchasing them. You don’t even need a specific trauma; just “general depression” or “anxiety,” as if sadness were as treatable as the common cold. I knew depression was real, and in many cases required medical attention. I also knew we overused the word. Much of what we called “depression” was really dissatisfaction, a result of setting a bar impossibly high or expecting treasures that we weren’t willing to work for. I knew people whose unbearable source of misery was their weight, their baldness, their lack of advancement in a workplace, or their inability to find the perfect mate, even if they themselves did not behave like one. To these people, unhappiness was a condition, an intolerable state of affairs. If pills could help, pills were taken. But pills were not going to change the fundamental problem in the construction. Wanting what you can’t have. Looking for self-worth in the mirror. Layering work on top of work and still wondering why you weren’t satisfied—before working some more. I knew. I had done all that. There was a stretch where I could not have worked more hours in the day without eliminating sleep altogether. I piled on accomplishments. I made money. I earned accolades. And the longer I went at it, the emptier I began to feel, like pumping air faster and faster into a torn tire.
The design integrity of your system is far more important than being able to test it any particular layer. Stop obsessing about unit tests, embrace backfilling of tests when you're happy with the design, and strive for overall system clarity as your principle pursuit.
The following day Alexander came back in the evening and said happily, “Girls! You know what day today is, don’t you?” They looked at him blankly. Tatiana had gone to the hospital for a few hours. What she did there, she could not remember. Dasha seemed even more unfocused. They attempted to smile, and failed. “What day is it?” asked Dasha. “It’s New Year’s Eve!” he exclaimed. They stared. “Come, look, I brought us three cans of tushonka.” He grinned. “One each. And some vodka. But only a little bit. You don’t want to be drinking too much vodka.” Tatiana and Dasha continued to stare at him. Tatiana finally said, “Alexander, how will we even know when it’s New Year? We have only the wind-up alarm clock that hasn’t been right in months. And the radio is not working.” Alexander pointed to his wristwatch. “I’m on military time. I always know precisely what time it is. And you two have got to be more cheerful. This is no way to act before a celebration.” There was no table to set anymore, but they laid their food out on plates, sat on the couch in front of the bourzhuika, and ate their New Year’s Eve dinner of tushonka, some white bread and a spoonful of butter. Alexander gave Dasha cigarettes and Tatiana, with a smile, a small hard candy, which she gladly put in her mouth. They sat chatting quietly until Alexander looked at his watch and went to pour everyone a bit of vodka. In the darkened room they stood up a few minutes before twelve and raised their glasses to 1942. They counted down the last ten seconds, and clinked and drank, and then Alexander kissed and hugged Dasha, and Dasha kissed and hugged Tatiana, and said, “Go on, Tania, don’t be afraid, kiss Alexander on New Year’s,” and went to sit on the couch, while Tatiana raised her face to Alexander, who bent to Tatiana and very carefully, very gently kissed her on the lips. It was the first time his lips had touched hers since St. Isaac’s. “Happy New Year, Tania.” “Happy New Year, Alexander.” Dasha was on the couch with her eyes closed, a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other. “Here’s to 1942,” she said. “Here’s to 1942,” echoed Alexander and Tatiana, allowing themselves a glance before he went to sit next to Dasha. Afterward they all lay down in the bed together, Tatiana next to her wall, turned to Dasha, turned to Alexander. Are there any layers left? she thought. There is hardly life left, how can anything be covering our remains?
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
But when she's asleep he likes to sit down beside her bed and make one further attempt to get to the bottom of what has seemed to him the greatest riddle in all the history of mankind: how processes, circumstances, or events of a general nature--such as war, famine, or even a civil servant's salary that fails to increase along with the galloping inflation--can infiltrate a private face. Here they turn a few hairs gray, there devour a pair of lovely cheeks until the skin is stretched taut across angular jawbones; the secession of Hungary, say, might result in a pair of lips bitten raw in the case of one particular woman, perhaps even his own wife. In other words, there is a constant translation between far outside and deep within, it's just that a different vocabulary exists for each of us, which no doubt explains why it's never been noticed that this is a language in the first place--and in fact, the only language valid across the world and for all time. ... It feels to him as if the top layer is crumbling away all at once from everything he sees and encounters, a layer that once prevented him from comprehending, and finally he is able to recognize what lies below. Minds = landscapes, ... what a happy coincidence that these observations happened to fall into his hands: the hands of one who has taken it upon himself to investigate this primeval tongue ...
Jenny Erpenbeck
The truth is not what is told, the truth is hidden beneath several layers of lies what is claimed to be truth. There is only ultimate truth and it it's difficult to uncover it.
Saurabh Gupta Earth5R
Our bodies are reflective of our inner feelings. If we feel emotionally or sexually vulnerable inside, we may build a protective layer of fat over our abdomen or hips, the places where we hold our emotions and sexuality.
Hina Hashmi (Your Life A Practical Guide to Happiness Peace and Fulfilment)
At birth we are connected to the real world and then, subtly, without our nascent consciousness even being aware of it happening, a veil is slipped over our minds. As we proceed through our lives, layer after layer is wrapped around us to suppress any inquisitiveness we may have. We are enmeshed in lives that leave little room for inquiry and are so set in our ways by the constant forces that have governed our thoughts that we do not seek out truth — we seek out only what the system has taught us are worthy goals: money, material possessions, career progression, synthetic happiness and whatever “dream” our adoptive country is driven to aspire to.
Keith Farnish (Underminers: A Guide to Subverting the Machine)
In the early 1900s a Serbian scientist named Milutin Milanković studied the Earth’s position relative to other planets and came up with the theory of ice ages that we now know is accurate: The gravitational pull of the sun and moon gently affect the Earth’s motion and tilt toward the sun. During parts of this cycle—which can last tens of thousands of years—each of the Earth’s hemispheres gets a little more, or a little less, solar radiation than they’re used to. And that is where the fun begins. Milanković’s theory initially assumed that a tilt of the Earth’s hemispheres caused ravenous winters cold enough to turn the planet into ice. But a Russian meteorologist named Wladimir Köppen dug deeper into Milanković’s work and discovered a fascinating nuance. Moderately cool summers, not cold winters, were the icy culprit. It begins when a summer never gets warm enough to melt the previous winter’s snow. The leftover ice base makes it easier for snow to accumulate the following winter, which increases the odds of snow sticking around in the following summer, which attracts even more accumulation the following winter. Perpetual snow reflects more of the sun’s rays, which exacerbates cooling, which brings more snowfall, and on and on. Within a few hundred years a seasonal snowpack grows into a continental ice sheet, and you’re off to the races. The same thing happens in reverse. An orbital tilt letting more sunlight in melts more of the winter snowpack, which reflects less light the following years, which increases temperatures, which prevents more snow the next year, and so on. That’s the cycle. The amazing thing here is how big something can grow from a relatively small change in conditions. You start with a thin layer of snow left over from a cool summer that no one would think anything of and then, in a geological blink of an eye, the entire Earth is covered in miles-thick ice.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
Watching musicians caught in a riff, or dancers swept up in a rhythm, you might be tempted to believe that music is joyful because it is so free and unfettered. But underlying the pleasure of music are layers of order: the repetition of sounds, the sequence of beat and rhythm, and, at the deepest level, the quivering oscillations of the sound waves themselves. Our first experience with a beat is in utero, and even outside the womb babies are comforted by the sound of their mother’s heartbeat, repetitive sounds, and rhythmic rocking movements.
Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness)
Faith is one of the most important elements of human life. It is with faith that you operate your imagination, then gaining upper control over the physical universe around you. It is with faith that you make plans for the future, endure the pains of seeing them fail, and then regain hope again, by replanning, readjusting towards your goals, in order to finally succeed. It is because of your faith that your life gains a higher meaning, enabling you to endure the most profound of chaos, at a mental, physical, and spiritual level. It is due to faith, that we love. And it is because of faith that we keep our relationships. No relationship was ever made possible without faith. That was not, at the very least, a relationship that could be labeled as a loving one. Because we only associate with those who can become recipients of our faith. That faith then assumes different ramifications, in the form of trust, commitment, realistic expectations, and understanding. Whenever these fundamental branches get broken, faith is lost, and so is the relationship or its meaning. Nothing ever ends before ending faith first. Suicide, depression, despair, and anxiety, among many other forms of mental illnesses and emotional challenges in general, cannot emerge without breaking faith first. And that faith is broken first in our social interactions before being broken within us. We do that by violating our own ethical code. Ultimately, faith connects us as a collective and connects the essence of our soul to the meaning of life. Without faith, nothing makes any sense. But the deepest challenge of faith, is always a karmic one, for the heavier your karma, the more faith you will need to overcome it. The worse the actions of the past — the more against your spiritual integrity and the spiritual integrity of others they are — the thicker will be the layers of your karma. And those layers will manifest too in the physical world, leading into the greatest trap of all, which is the idea that your surroundings and those who compose them make you. They do not. And every glimpse of light in the horizon, in the form of an illusion, shows you that. Because that is what pleasant illusions are for, to give you hope. Because it is thanks to hoping that you rediscover your faith and it is with this renewed faith that you rediscover love. Happiness then could be considered a process, but no process is joyful until you look back at the memories that led you towards success, and no success is meaningful except the one that can be shared. Recognition and admiration are then not a goal in itself, but part of such illusion in which we find ourselves, for it either sink us deeper into thicker layers of karma or propels us outwards, and towards love. The difference is as clear as in seeing with whom we associate ourselves with, for we may be too immersed in a karmic fog to realize that the ones who help us the most are not our enemies, and our enemies may be the ones we consider friends. Upon contemplating these different stages of karmic manifestation, one then understands the need to repent, and becomes humble, and focused on his spiritual freedom before even considering a spiritual growth. When this is consciously seen and accepted, he will feel blessed for the glimpses of light, no matter how delusional, and the ones who despite the inner conflicts caused can lead then to the spiritual freedom they seek. As a man in the dark, those who are blinded by their karma, won’t be able to discern their angels from their demons, but faith in oneself is a good start in that direction.
Dan Desmarques (Codex Illuminatus: Quotes & Sayings of Dan Desmarques)
All the sounds, words, emotions and memories of previous experiences cannot prepare us enough for the encounters with the unexpected, challenging our values, preconceptions and beliefs. It is then that one is either rewarded for his faith or punished for the lack of it. The ultimate test, however, emerges in the form of what one desires the most hidden beneath the layer of what is simultaneously feared. No one knows the outcome of this invisible battle until its very end. It is when the heart is finally offered to that confrontation that one faces the last gate of his own mortal life, and in doing so, is led to either an immediate rebirth or a slow death.
Dan Desmarques (Codex Illuminatus: Quotes & Sayings of Dan Desmarques)
the kind of abundance that really matters is not material accumulation but sensorial richness. The circus and the flea market are so joyful because of the collection of rich, delightful sensations they offer. The abundance aesthetic is defined by a layering of color, texture, and pattern, and you don’t need a lot of stuff to achieve it.
Ingrid Fetell Lee (Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness)
There is no old age like anxiety,” said one of the monks I met in India. “And there is no freedom from old age like the freedom from anxiety.” In desperate love, we always invent the characters of our partners, demanding that they be what we need of them, and then feeling devastated when they refuse to perform the role we created in the first place. Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that’s not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life’s achievement. You don’t necessarily need to be rich in order to experience this, either. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair. Without seeing Sicily one cannot get a clear idea of what Italy is. “No town can live peacefully, whatever its laws,” Plato wrote, “when its citizens…do nothing but feast and drink and tire themselves out in the cares of love.” In a world of disorder and disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real. The idea that the appreciation of pleasure can be an anchor of one’s humanity. You should never give yourself a chance to fall apart because, when you do, it becomes a tendency and it happens over and over again. You must practice staying strong, instead. People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. They break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life. The Zen masters always say that you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water. Your treasure—your perfection—is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart. Balinese families are always allowed to eat their own donations to the gods, since the offering is more metaphysical than literal. The way the Balinese see it, God takes what belongs to God—the gesture—while man takes what belongs to man—the food itself.) To meditate, only you must smile. Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clean away dirty energy. Even smile in your liver. Practice tonight at hotel. Not to hurry, not to try too hard. Too serious, you make you sick. You can calling the good energy with a smile. The word paradise, by the way, which comes to us from the Persian, means literally “a walled garden.” The four virtues a person needs in order to be safe and happy in life: intelligence, friendship, strength and (I love this one) poetry. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. Once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Think of your purpose as your pulse. As a healthy human in a single layer of clothing, you can find your pulse in many places on your body. Now, imagine that every layer of expectation from family, friends, and society is like putting on another layer of clothing. Years of hearing how smart you are can feel like another sweater. The casual comment that you aren’t great at maths is like a ski suit. The hidden biases you have learned from television and pop culture are like wearing a wetsuit. Now try finding your pulse. Not so easy!
Tamara Lechner (The Happiness Reset: What to do When Nothing Makes You Happy)
Many of us have hearts that are encrusted with anxieties, fears, aversions, sorrows, and an array of defensive armor. The non-reactive and accepting awareness of mindfulness will help to dissolve these crusts. The practice has a cyclic quality; it is self-reinforcing. At first, the practice will allow us to let go of a small amount of defensiveness. That release allows a corresponding amount of openness and tender- heartedness to show itself. This process encourages us to drop even more armor. Slowly, a greater sense of heartfeltness supports the further development of mindfulness. As our neurotic thought patterns drop away, layers of judgment and resistance atrophy, and the need to define our selves through hard-held identities relaxes. As this happens, the natural goodness of the heart shines by itself. The impulses to be aware, happy, compassionate, and free, all come from the goodness of our hearts. As we connect to these intentions and allow them to motivate our mindfulness practice, the practice becomes heartfelt.
Gil Fronsdal (The Issue at Hand: Essays on Buddhist Mindfulness Practice)
True and profound happiness can be realized only in the breakthrough of the limitations of the self. Bliss, the uninterrupted happiness, is to be located only in the deeper layers of consciousness, beyond the grasp of the separated self with all its wants and needs.
Shai Tubali - "The Seven Wisdoms of Life – a Journey Into The Chakras"
So you’ve run off from him, have you?” Beatrix asked, smoothing the wiry ruff on his head. “Naughty boy. I suppose you’ve had a fine old time chasing rabbits and squirrels. And there’s a damaging rumor about a missing chicken. You had better stay out of poultry yards, or it won’t go well for you in Stony Cross. Shall I take you home, boy? He’s probably looking for you. He--” She stopped at the sound of something…someone…moving through the thicket. Albert turned his head and let out a happy bark, bounding toward the approaching figure. Beatrix was slow to lift her head. She struggled to moderate her breathing, and tried to calm the frantic stutters of her heart. She was aware of the dog bounding joyfully back to her, tongue dangling. He glanced back at his master as if to convey Look what I found! Letting out a slow breath, Beatrix looked up at the man who had stopped approximately three yards away. Christopher. It seemed the entire world stopped. Beatrix tried to compare the man standing before her with the cavalier rake he had once been. But it seemed impossible that he could be the same person. No longer a god descending from Olympus…now a warrior hardened by bitter experience. His complexion was a deep mixture of gold and copper, as if he had been slowly steeped in sun. The dark wheaten locks of his hair had been cut in efficiently short layers. His face was impassive, but something volatile was contained in the stillness. How bleak he looked. How alone. She wanted to run to him. She wanted to touch him. The effort of standing motionless caused her muscles to tremble in protest. She heard herself speak in a voice that wasn’t quite steady. “Welcome home, Captain Phelan.” He was silent, staring at her without apparent recognition. Dear Lord, those eyes…frost and fire, his gaze burning through her awareness. “I’m Beatrix Hathaway,” she managed to say. “My family--” “I remember you.” The rough velvet of his voice was a pleasure-stroke against her ears. Fascinated, bewildered, Beatrix stared at his guarded face. To Christopher Phelan, she was a stranger. But the memories of his letters were between them, even if he wasn’t aware of it. Her hand moved gently over Albert’s rough fur. “You were absent in London,” she said. “There was a great deal of hullabaloo on your behalf.” “I wasn’t ready for it.” So much was expressed in that spare handful of words. Of course he wasn’t ready. The contrast would be too jarring, the blood-soaked brutality of war followed by a fanfare of parades and trumpets and flower petals. “I can’t imagine any sane man would be,” she said. “It’s quite an uproar. Your picture is in all the shop windows. And they’re naming things after you.” “Things,” he repeated cautiously. “There’s a Phelan hat.” His brows lowered. “No there isn’t.” “Oh, yes there is. Rounded at the top. Narrow-brimmed. Sold in shades of gray or black. They have one featured at the milliner’s in Stony Cross.” Scowling, Christopher muttered something beneath his breath.
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Mom and Dad decided to drive out into the country to get some apple cider at Whipple’s Orchard. They asked if we wanted to come along. We said we’d rather stay home with Grandma. Then, as soon as they pulled out of the driveway, we begged Grandma to take us somewhere. “My turn! My turn! I want to visit her!” “Why, Liz, what a great choice! That’s Remember Allerton. She was your grandpa’s great-great-great-great-well, I forget exactly how many greats it was--aunt. She was one of the Pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower.” “Remember? What a weird name!” “That’s nothing! I know a dog named Sparkplug.” When you travel back in time, you have to put on the kind of clothes that people wore back then. If you don’t, they’ll think you’re really strange. “I have to wear three layers? I’ll bake!” “Trust me, Lenny. You’ll be happy to have them. No central heating, you know.” “Hey, I thought Pilgrims always wore black suits and big hats with buckles on them.” “Nope. They dressed like ordinary working people of their time--and they liked to wear colors, same as anybody else. Of course, on Sundays they put on their best suits and fancy collars.
Diane Stanley (Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation (The Time-Traveling Twins))
It is good I came, my father. You have the gift. Already my heart is lighter.” Many Horses ran his tongue over his own jagged teeth, nodding thoughtfully. “I am proud of all my children,” he said huskily. “Of you, most of all. It is a strange thing, my son, but when a man takes a babe into his arms and claims him as son, it becomes a truth within his heart. The blood in his veins is as nothing. The color of his eyes is as nothing. When you took your first step, it was toward my outstretched hand. That was everything. White Eyes or Comanche, you were my son. I would have killed any man who said you weren’t.” Tears burned behind Hunter’s eyes. “What are you saying, my father?” “I am saying that you must walk the path of your own heart. You came here angry because your yellow-hair is angry, yes? If you love her, it will be the same when she is sad, when she is happy. Have you ever stood where a stream spills into a river? The two become one. They laugh over the stones together, twist through the sharp canyons together, plunge down the waterfalls together. It is the same when a man and woman love one another. It is not always a pleasant thing, but when it happens, a man has little to say about it. Women, like streams, can be smooth one minute and make a man feel like he’s swimming through white water the next.” Hunter leaned forward over his knees, brandishing the poker under his father’s blackened nose. “I don’t understand her. I treat her kindly, yet she still shakes with fear at the thought of being one with me. I try to make her happy and make her angry instead.” Many Horses lifted an eyebrow. “Fear is not like a layer of dust on a tree leaf that washes away in a gentle rain. Give her time. Be her good friend, first--then become her lover. As for making a woman happy, you succeed sometimes, you fail sometimes. That is the way of it.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
I don’t understand her. I treat her kindly, yet she still shakes with fear at the thought of being one with me. I try to make her happy and make her angry instead.” Many Horses lifted an eyebrow. “Fear is not like a layer of dust on a tree leaf that washes away in a gentle rain. Give her time. Be her good friend, first--then become her lover. As for making a woman happy, you succeed sometimes, you fail sometimes. That is the way of it.” Hunter took a deep breath and let it out on a weary sigh. “It’s not that I have another woman in mind to take as wife. It’s just--” “That you are bullheaded?” Hunter smothered an outraged laugh. “A little bit, yes?” Many Horses shrugged. “One unto the other is not a bad thing for a man. I am sure enough glad I have only one tug rope coming into my lodge. Can you imagine how exhausting three or four wives would be?” “My mother has been enough for you, but she is a special woman.” Many Horses grinned. “She is a jealous woman. And I’m not a stupid man. I didn’t want to live in a wasp’s nest all my life.” He shrugged. “I like things as they are. Fewer sharp tongues nagging me. Fewer mouths to feed. And only one woman to try to understand. I brought her slaves to help her with the work.” “My yellow-hair does not believe in having slaves.” “Neither does she believe in many wives. Give her a choice, slaves or wives. See which she chooses.” Many Horses waved his hand before him to clear the air of ash. “You must also remember the yellow-hair may give you many more children than a Comanche woman. Take care or you could father more children than you can feed. I’ve never seen a white woman yet who wasn’t a good breeder.” A slow grin spread across Hunter’s mouth. “You will tell her this, yes? So far she isn’t showing the proper enthusiasm.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
focus on speaking your truth rather than changing other people; stay in touch with your experience, especially the deeper layers; establish the facts; take maximum reasonable responsibility for the other person’s issues with you and keep addressing his or her legitimate complaints; do what you can to have the relationship match its true foundation; keep in mind the big picture; and maintain compassion and kindness.
Rick Hanson (Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom)
The key to surviving four seasons in one day is layers.
Meik Wiking (The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living)
Thought engages to add an extra layer of protection when the brain plans ahead to keep you away from possible danger.
Mo Gawdat (Solve For Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy)
The egoless child is still calmly sitting inside each of us. Buried in layers over layers of lies, egos, and personas. Happy nonetheless. Waiting to be found. Let
Mo Gawdat (Solve For Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy)
Since the most recent influx of newly curious people started appearing in the scene a couple of years earlier, Paul and Claire’s relationship had shifted from two happy, overlapping circles to a pyramid. He sat at the apex, and a steady stream of new girls—younger, edgier girls—made up the layers beneath him. And
Jenna Barton (Closer and Closer)
Sundays when they could come, my mother would bring a piece of cake and some cookies from the bakery. Of course, the cookies and the cake were past their prime, but that was just the way I liked them. I really don’t know how happy my parents were to see me since most of the time they were there; they would talk to my teachers in conference, and then tell me all the things I had supposedly done wrong. Sadly, I would always wind up with a lecture on how bad I had been and what was expected of me. It was something I had grown to expect, but more importantly, I was grateful for the cake and pastries. I have no idea why, but they also brought me cans of condensed milk. I can only guess that they believed that the thick syrupy milk, super saturated with sweet, sweet, sugar, would give me the energy I needed to think better. After one such visit, I made the mistake of leaving my cake unattended. It didn’t take long before it grew legs and ran off. I couldn’t believe that one of my schoolmates would steal my cake, not at a Naval Honor School! Nevertheless, not being able to determine who the villains were, I hatched a plan to catch the culprits the next time around. Some months later when my parents returned to check on my progress, my mother brought me a beautiful double-layer chocolate cake. This time I was ready, having bought all the Ex-Lax the pharmacy in Toms River had on hand. Using a hot plate, I heated the Ex-Lax until it liquefied, and then poured the sticky brown substance all over the cake in a most decorative way. With that, I placed the cake on my desk and invitingly left the door open to my dorm room. I wasn’t away long before this cake also grew legs, and, lo and behold, it also disappeared. The expected happened, and somewhat later I found the culprits in the boys’ bathroom, having a miserable time of it. Laughingly, I identified them as the culprits, but didn’t turn them in. It was enough that I caught them with their pants down!
Hank Bracker
I know every day is a battle for thousands of people out there. For too many, just walking down the stairs, taking a bath, getting public transport or being alone among strangers takes real courage. And the only thing that makes you want to cry about how hard this can be is all the other people out there who do all that without even having to think about it. To them all that stuff is trivial, the reflex of life – the nothing on which you layer your everything. The upsetting bit is not that others take it for granted. They should. I would. You never wish that other people should suffer to make you feel better. This is not about wanting other people to struggle or feel worse. You don’t need someone else to be suffering more… (And if you do then you need to go and sit in a corner and have a bloody word with yourself.) Everyone should take walking down the stairs or having a bath for granted. My kids do, and I couldn’t be gladder for them. The thing that gnaws away at you is the fact that you can’t, and that these ordinary things take up so much head space. So much of what you might usefully apply to exciting stuff, or profitable stuff, or happy stuff is used up with nonsense. You go to bed hoping the night won’t be too dreadful, that you won’t have a major fit, that you will wake up with your arms in their sockets and with a tongue that hasn’t been bitten into such a bloody pulp that you sound like a deaf person when you speak.
Katie Hopkins (Rude)
A place like this does not want to be reclaimed. It is happy being foresaken, lying dormant and dead. A graveyard of lost livelihoods, lost dreams, coal dust and bones. We only skim the surface of this earth. But it has many layers. And sometimes you shouldn't dig too deep.
C.J. Tudor (The Hiding Place)
The process of letting be, letting go, and letting in can sometimes uncover the next layer of psychological material
Rick Hanson (Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness)
I was happy, I think, but I wonder now if my memory is playing tricks on me. If it's giving me the gift of illusion. We all layer them over our remembrances; the filter through which we see our lives.
Greer Hendricks (The Wife Between Us)
When we experience physical or mental pain, the first thing to do is to acknowledge it and allow it to be there simply as a feeling that will pass. A popular and useful acronym to remember is RAIN: Recognise what is happening; Allow the experience to be there; Investigate with kindness; Non-identification. By doing this we can loosen the added layer of suffering and become better able to live with the pain.
Antonia Macaro (More Than Happiness: Buddhist and Stoic Wisdom for a Sceptical Age)