Left Alone Quotes

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I don't want to be alone, I want to be left alone.
Audrey Hepburn
There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
It hurts to let go. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold on to something or someone the more it wants to get away. You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you, because you think that your feelings were wrong and it makes you feel so small because it's so hard to keep it inside when you let it out and it doesn't coma back. You're left so alone that you can't explain. Damn, there's nothing like that, is there? I've been there and you have too. You're nodding your head.
Henry Rollins (The Portable Henry Rollins)
I should never be left alone with my mind for too long.
Libba Bray
I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn't have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone.
Charles Bukowski
You were so busy trying to be my savior that you left me all alone.
Gayle Forman (Where She Went (If I Stay, #2))
To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.
Anthony Burgess (Homage To Qwert Yuiop: Essays)
I realize full well how hard it must be to go on living alone in a place from which someone has left you, but there is nothing so cruel in this world as the desolation of having nothing to hope for.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
I prefer to be left alone with my books.
Alison Weir (Innocent Traitor)
The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
He succeeded in being considered totally uninteresting. People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
Thank goodness for all the things you are not, thank goodness you're not something someone forgot, and left all alone in some punkerish place, like a rusty tin coat hanger hanging in space.
Dr. Seuss
I was drawn to all the wrong things: I liked to drink, I was lazy, I didn't have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. I didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. On the other hand, when I got drunk I screamed, went crazy, got all out of hand. One kind of behavior didn't fit the other. I didn't care.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, "Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody." ... [My dark side says,] I am no good... I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the "Beloved." Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
On the other hand, I think cats have Asperger's. Like me, they're very smart. And like me, sometimes they simply need to be left alone.
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
So this was betrayal. It was like being left alone in the desert at dusk without water or warmth. It left your mouth dry and will broken. It sapped your tears and made you hollow.
Anna Godbersen (Rumors (Luxe, #2))
To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision. Few, if any, survive their teens. Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity. It becomes easier to die and avoid conflict than to maintain a constant battle with the superior forces of maturity.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
It was not generally realized that what children mostly wanted was to be left alone.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
Like crying wolf, if you keep looking for sympathy as a justification for your actions, you will someday be left standing alone when you really need help.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
What does an introvert do when he's left alone? He stays alone.
Jenni Ferrari-Adler (Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone)
To be left alone on the tightrope of youthful unknowing is to experience the excruciating beauty of full freedom and the threat of eternal indecision.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did - that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that - a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.
Debra Ginsberg
If you only had 48 hours left to live, would you spend it like you normally spend your weekends? If not, why spend 2/7th of your life wasting your free time? After all, free time isn’t free. Free time is the most expensive time you have, because nobody pays for it but you. But that also makes it the most valuable time you have, as you alone stand to reap the profits from spending it wisely.
Jarod Kintz (I Should Have Renamed This)
I have outlasted all desire, My dreams and I have grown apart; My grief alone is left entire, The gleamings of an empty heart. The storms of ruthless dispensation Have struck my flowery garland numb, I live in lonely desolation And wonder when my end will come. Thus on a naked tree-limb, blasted By tardy winter's whistling chill, A single leaf which has outlasted Its season will be trembling still.
Alexander Pushkin
Left alone, human beings are a plague. They multiply relentlessly, consuming every resource, destroying everything they touch.
Scott Westerfeld (Pretties (Uglies, #2))
Ten little Indian boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little Indian boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little Indian boys travelling in Devon; One said he'd stay there and then there were seven. Seven little Indian boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six. Six little Indian boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five. Five little Indian boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little Indian boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little Indian boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little Indian boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little Indian boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.
Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None)
Sometimes people, when left alone, can hear their own hatefulness for themselves. Sometimes goodness is enough to expose evil for what it really is.
Sylvain Reynard (Gabriel's Inferno (Gabriel's Inferno, #1))
The best candy shop a child can be left alone in, is the library
Maya Angelou
Remember who you are. Nikolai knew. He was a king who had only begun to make mistakes. He was a solider for whom the war would never be over. He was a bastard left alone in the woods. And he was not afraid to die this day.
Leigh Bardugo (King of Scars (King of Scars, #1))
To have her meals, and her daily walk, and her fill of novels, and to be left alone, was all that she asked of the gods.
Anthony Trollope (The Eustace Diamonds (Palliser, #3))
The thing about exploring is that you have to know whether the thing you've found is worth finding. Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone. Like a dead mouse at the back of the cupboard.
John Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas)
I just let the pain take over, allowing it to numb the pain of being left behind.
Jessica Sorensen (The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence, #1))
I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non-being, and I accepted it. It didn't make for an interesting person. I didn't want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone.
Charles Bukowski (Women)
Of all the ways we have found to hurt ourselves, the worse has been through love. We are always suffering because of someone who doesn't love us, or someone who has left us, or someone who won't leave us. If we are alone, it is because no one wants us...
Paulo Coelho (Warrior of the Light)
I’m not antisocial. I just want to be left alone.” ~ Roland
Dianne Duvall (Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians, #1))
Everything hurt. I closed my eyes, pressing my cheek to the street, and waited. What for, I didn't know. To be rescued. Or found. But no one came. All I'd ever thought I wanted was to be left alone. Until I was.
Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)
Those candle flames were like the lives of men. So fragile. So deadly. Left alone, they lit and warmed. Let run rampant, they would destroy the very things they were meant to illuminate. Embryonic bonfires, each bearing a seed of destruction so potent it could tumble cities and dash kings to their knees.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
I decided that maybe we left each other alone too much. Leaving each other alone was killing us.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
I was sentimental about many things: a woman’s shoes under the bed; one hairpin left behind on the dresser; the way they said, 'I’m going to pee.' hair ribbons; walking down the boulevard with them at 1:30 in the afternoon, just two people walking together; the long nights of drinking and smoking; talking; the arguments; thinking of suicide; eating together and feeling good; the jokes; the laughter out of nowhere; feeling miracles in the air; being in a parked car together; comparing past loves at 3am; being told you snore; hearing her snore; mothers, daughters, sons, cats, dogs; sometimes death and sometimes divorce; but always carring on, always seeing it through; reading a newspaper alone in a sandwich joint and feeling nausea because she’s now married to a dentist with an I.Q. of 95; racetracks, parks, park picnics; even jails; her dull friends; your dull friends; your drinking, her dancing; your flirting, her flirting; her pills, your fucking on the side and her doing the same; sleeping together
Charles Bukowski (Women)
This left me alone to solve the coffee problem - a sort of catch-22, as in order to think straight I need caffeine, and in order to make that happen I need to think straight.
David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames)
Touchstone watched, suddenly conscious that he probably only had five seconds left to be alone with Sabriel, to say something, to say anything. Perhaps the last five seconds they ever would have alone together. I am not afraid, he said to himself. "I love you," he whispered. "I hope you don't mind.
Garth Nix (Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1))
Adeline has decided she would rather be a tree, like Estele. If she must grow roots, she would rather be left to flourish wild instead of pruned, would rather stand alone, allowed to grow beneath the open sky.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
One little Indian left all alone, he went out and hanged himself and then there were none.
Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None)
I'm blown away by how happy you make me. Thank you for being there for me when I'm stupid enough to think I'd rather be alone.
Adam Silvera (History Is All You Left Me)
Only he knew that to be left alone is not always to be forsaken.
George MacDonald (At the Back of the North Wind)
The Temple of Dendur," Zia said. "Actually it was built by the Romans - " "When they occupied Egypt," Carter said, like this was delightful information. "Augustus commissioned it." "Yes," Zia said. "Fascinating," I murmured. "Would you two like to be left alone with a history textbook?
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
I have never seen much point in getting heavy with stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I... And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (The Gonzo Papers, #1))
I do not mourn the loss of my sister because she will always be with me, in my heart," she says. "I am, however, rather annoyed that my Tara has left me to suffer you lot alone. I do not see as well without her. I do not hear as well without her. I do not feel as well without her. I would be better off without a hand or a leg than without my sister. Then at least she would be here to mock my appearance and claim to be the pretty one for a change. We have all lost our Tara, but I have lost a part of myself as well.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
Now I no longer wish to be loved, beautiful, happy or successful. I want one thing and one thing only - to be left alone.
Jean Rhys (Good Morning, Midnight)
And if they thought her aimless, if they thought her a bit mad, let them. It meant they left her alone. Marya was not aimless, anyway. She was thinking.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless)
If she must grow roots, she would rather be left to flourish wild instead of pruned, would rather stand alone, allowed to grow beneath the open sky. Better that than firewood, cut down just to burn in someone else’s hearth.
V.E. Schwab (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue)
She had tricked him. She had made him leave his old self behind and come into her world, and then before he was really at home in it but too late to go back, she had left him stranded there--like an astronaut wandering about on the moon. Alone.
Katherine Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia)
We are men without ambition, and all we want is to be left alone, in peace so that we can try and be happy. So few people will understand this simplicity.
Upamanyu Chatterjee (English, August: An Indian Story)
Some people are finicky about going to the theater alone, but I’m not. Because when the lights go down, the only relationship left in the room is the one between the movie and me.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Left alone with the dial tone...excuse me, operator, why is no one listening?
Melina Marchetta (Saving Francesca)
People left him alone. And that was all he wanted.
Patrick Süskind (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer)
as a child i suppose i was not quite normal. my happiest times were when i was left alone in the house on a saturday.
Charles Bukowski
Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.
Billy Connolly
The one good thing about being kind of shy is that nobody bugs you when you want to be left alone.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
Keep up," said an irritable voice in her ear. It was Jace, who had dropped back to walk beside her. "I don't want to have to keep looking behind me to make sure nothing's happened to you." "So don't bother." "Last time I left you alone, a demon attacked you," he pointed out. "Well, I'd certainly hate to interrupt your pleasant night stroll with my sudden death." He blinked. "There is a fine line between sarcasm and outright hostility, and you seem to have crossed it.
Cassandra Clare (City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1))
You loved so hard and hoped so much and then you ended up with nothing. Children who no longer needed you. A husband who no longer wanted you. Nothing left but you, alone, and empty space.
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
We were never lovers, and we never will be, now. I do not regret that, however. I regret the conversations we never had, the time we did not spend together. I regret that I never told him that he made me happy, when I was in his company. The world was the better for his being in it. These things alone do I now regret: things left unsaid. And he is gone, and I am old.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman Vol. 10: The Wake)
What's the trick to remembering that a sandwich is masculine? What qualities does it share with anyone in possession of a penis? I'll tell myself that a sandwich is masculine because if left alone for a week or two, it will eventually grow a beard.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
Nico was devastatingly alone. He’d lost his big sister Bianca. He’d pushed away all other demigods who’d tried to get close to him. His experiences at Camp Half-Blood, in the Labyrinth and in Tartarus had left him scarred, afraid to trust anyone.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
People only picked the pretty, sweet-smelling flowers. The ones with thorns were left alone.
Nenia Campbell (Fearscape (Horrorscape, #1))
Your own space, man, it's so important. That's why we were doomed because we didn't have any. It is like monkeys in a zoo. They die. You know, everything needs to be left alone.
George Harrison (I, Me, Mine)
I can't praise a young lady who is alive only when people are admiring her, but as soon as she is left alone, collapses and finds nothing to her taste--one who is all for show and has no resources in herself
Leo Tolstoy (Family Happiness)
He would not beg Zoya to stay. It was not in his nature to plead with anyone, and that was not the pact they shared. They did not look to each other for comfort. They kept each other marching. They kept each other strong. So he would not find another excuse to get her talking again. He would not tell her he was afraid to be left alone with the thing he might become, and he would not ask her to leave the lamp burning, a child's bit of magic to ward off the dark. But he was relieved when she did it anyway.
Leigh Bardugo (King of Scars (King of Scars, #1))
Some feel lucky, if they haven't got to be happy, as they don’t like their frame of mind to be unravelled and prefer to be left well enough alone. ( "C’est quand le bonheur ?" )
Erik Pevernagie
There's a monster at the end of this book. It's the blank page where the story ends and you're left alone with yourself and your thoughts.
Cecil Baldwin
And although two people can love each other deeply, sometimes love alone doesn’t cut it. We can only sacrifice so much of ourselves in a relationship before there’s nothing left to love or be loved.
Tiffany Reisz (The Siren (The Original Sinners, #1))
Nick loved me enough to leave me alone. Isaac knew me better than I knew me. I said I wanted to be left alone, he knew better. I said I wanted white, he knew better. He brightened me. He enlightened me. Because Isaac was my soulmate. Not Nick. Nick was just some great love. Isaac knew how to heal my soul.
Tarryn Fisher (Mud Vein)
Maybe I am fated to always be alone, Tsukuru found himself thinking. People came to him, but in the end they always left. They came, seeking something, but either they couldn’t find it, or were unhappy with what they found (or else they were disappointed or angry), and then they left. One day, without warning, they vanished, with no explanation, no word of farewell. Like a silent hatchet had sliced the ties between them, ties through which warm blood still flowed, along with a quiet pulse.
Haruki Murakami (Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage)
What did that stupid deserting crap-bag ex-boyfriend, ex-best friend with the most perfect stupid hair do? He DIDN'T delete his crap off the desktop before he fled my life and left me all alone. That's what he did.
James Patterson (Fang (Maximum Ride, #6))
Seven little crazy kids chopping up sticks; One burnt her daddy up and then there were six. Six little crazy kids playing with a hive; One tattooed himself to death and then there were five. Five little crazy kids on a cellar door; One went all schizo and then there were four. Four little crazy kids going out to sea; One wouldn't say a word and then there were three. Three little crazy kids walking to the zoo; One jerked himself too much and then there were two. Two little crazy kids sitting in the sun; One a took a bunch of pills and then there was one. One little crazy kid left all alone; He went and slit his wrists, and then there were none.
Michael Thomas Ford (Suicide Notes)
...there are so many books left to read. For that reason alone it is worth going on living. Books make me happy, the help me escape from reality.
Félix J. Palma (The Map of the Sky)
The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
6 months, 2 weeks, 4 days, and I still don’t know which month it was then or what day it is now. Blurred out lines from hangovers to coffee Another vagabond lost to love. 4am alone and on my way. These are my finest moments. I scrub my skin to rid me from you and I still don’t know why I cried. It was just something in the way you took my heart and rearranged my insides and I couldn’t recognise the emptiness you left me with when you were done. Maybe you thought my insides would fit better this way, look better this way, to you and us and all the rest. But then you must have changed your mind or made a wrong because why did you leave? 6 months, 2 weeks, 4 days, and I still don’t know which month it was then or what day it is now. I replace cafés with crowded bars and empty roads with broken bottles and this town is healing me slowly but still not slow or fast enough because there’s no right way to do this. There is no right way to do this. There is no right way to do this.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
I've lived to bury my desires and see my dreams corrode with rust now all that's left are fruitless fires that burn my empty heart to dust. Struck by the clouds of cruel fate My crown of Summer bloom is sere Alone and sad, I watch and wait And wonder if the end is near. As conquered by the last cold air When Winter whistles in the wind Alone upon a branch that's bare A trembling leaf is left behind.
Alexander Pushkin
It's only now that he's been corrupted that I can fully appreciate the real Peeta. Even more than I would've if he'd died. The kindness, the steadiness, the warmth that had an unexpected heat behind it. Outside of Prim, my mother and Gale, how many people in the world love me unconditionally? I think in my case, the answer may be none. Sometimes, when I'm alone, I take the pearl from where it lives in my pocket and try to remember the boy with the bread, the strong arms that warded off nightmares on the train, the kisses in the arena. To make myself put a name to the thing I've lost. But what's the use? It's gone. He's gone. Whatever existed between us is gone. All that's left is my promise to kill Snow. I tell myself this ten times a day.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Of course I loved you, you saved my life. I wish you hadn’t I wish you hadn’t I wish you’d left me alone.
Sarah Kane (4.48 Psychosis)
That is the problem with governments these days. They want to do things all the time; they are always very busy thinking of what things they can do next. That is not what people want. People want to be left alone to look after their cattle.
Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #1))
Until death," Jem replied gently. "Those are the words of the oath. 'Until aught but death part thee and me.' Someday, Will, I will go where none can follow me, and I think it will be sooner rather than later. Have you ever asked yourself why I agreed to be your parabatai?" "No better offers forthcoming?" Will tried for humor, but his voice cracked like glass. "I thought you needed me," Jem said. "There is a wall you have built about yourself, Will, and I have never asked you why. But no one should shoulder every burden alone. I thought you would let me inside if I became your parabatai, and then you would have at least someone to lean upon. I did wonder what my death would mean for you. I used to fear it, for your sake. I feared you would be left alone inside that wall. But now... something has changed. I do not know why. But I know that it is true." "That what is true?" Will's fingers were still digging into Jem's wrist. "That the wall is coming down.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
So, having found a lady, could you not have come to her aid, or left her alone? Why drag her into your foolishness?' 'Love,' he explained. She looked at him with eyes the blue of the sky. 'I hope you choke on it,' she said, flatly.
Neil Gaiman (Stardust)
She left me alone in the riddle. I needed her because I loved her — or I loved her because I needed her. Why had the feelings turned to a maze? Now I was lost in the dark.
M. Pierce (Night Owl (Night Owl, #1))
All you who sleep tonight Far from the ones you love, No hand to left or right, An emptiness above-- Know that you aren't alone. The whole world shares your tears, Some for two nights or one, And some for all your years.
Vikram Seth
On more than one occasion I have been ready to abandon my whole life for love. To alter everything that makes sense to me and to move into a different world where the only known will be the beloved. Such a sacrifice must be the result of love... or is it that the life itself was already worn out? I had finished with that life, perhaps, and could not admit it, being stubborn or afraid, or perhaps did not known it, habit being a great binder. I think it is often so that those most in need of change choose to fall in love and then throw up their hands and blame it all on fate. But it is not fate, at least, not if fate is something outside of us; it is a choice made in secret after nights of longing. ... I may be cynical when I say that very rarely is the beloved more than a shaping spirit for the lover's dreams... To be a muse may be enough. The pain is when the dreams change, as they do, as they must. Suddenly the enchanted city fades and you are left alone again in the windy desert. As for your beloved, she didn't understand you. The truth is, you never understood yourself.
Jeanette Winterson (Sexing the Cherry)
I thought that if I owned nothing, had nothing, was nothing, I would have nothing left to lose, and I wouldn't be scared anymore. Because my whole life I’ve been so damn scared. Scared to live because I was scared to die. But at the same I was so scared of living, so I wanted to die. Or maybe so scared of dying that I refused to live. You don't have to be afraid to fall, when you're already on the ground. You don't have to be scared to lose someone, when there's no one around to lose.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
What kind of wife would I be if I left your father simply because he was dead?
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
Everything about my heart is a crime scene. I drink to forget things it takes me 2 beers to name. I pour my breath into things only worth forgetting. I have nothing left to say to the ghosts. Their cold hands and bitter mouths keep kissing me awake when I have asked them nicely and then not-so-nicely to be left alone. I have nothing left to say to the ghosts. Two decades full of nothing but monsters and crime scenes and sometimes I am the monster and sometimes I am the crime scene. There is nothing I would undo so much as things I wish would wake up forgotten.
Clementine von Radics
They spoke almost as loud as Feeling: and that clamoured wildly. "Oh, comply!" it said. "Think of his misery; think of his danger — look at his state when left alone; remember his headlong nature; consider the recklessness following on despair — soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do?" Still indomitable was the reply — "I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad — as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth — so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am quite insane — quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
It’s called Yes Please because it is the constant struggle and often the right answer. Can we figure out what we want, ask for it, and stop talking? Yes please. Is being vulnerable a power position? Yes please. Am I allowed to take up space? Yes please. Would you like to be left alone? Yes please. I love saying “yes” and I love saying “please.” Saying “yes” doesn’t mean I don’t know how to say no, and saying “please” doesn’t mean I am waiting for permission. “Yes please” sounds powerful and concise. It’s a response and a request. It is not about being a good girl; it is about being a real woman. It’s also a title I can tell my kids. I like when they say “Yes please” because most people are rude and nice manners are the secret keys to the universe.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I was the only one who knew the whole truth about Lucas--who he really was, and what we felt for each other. The truth was all I had left of him, and I would have to carry it alone.
Claudia Gray (Evernight (Evernight, #1))
I thought you needed me," Jem said. "There is a wall you have built about yourself, Will, and I have never asked you why. But no one should shoulder every burden alone. I thought you would let me inside if I became your parabatai, and then you would have at least someone to lean upon. I did wonder what my death would mean for you. I used to fear it, for your sake. I feared you would be left alone inside that wall. But now ... something has changed. I do not know why. But I know that it is true." "That what is true?" Will's fingers were still digging into Jem's wrist. "That the wall is coming down.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
You didn’t really hold back on Braga so Pickering could kill him, did you?” Royce asked after the two were left alone in the hallway. “Of course not. I held off because it’s death for a commoner to kill a noble.” “That’s what I thought.” Royce sounded relieved. “For a minute, I wondered if you’d gone from jumping on the good-deed wagon to leading the whole wagon train.
Michael J. Sullivan (Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2))
I miss you, Quinn. So much. You're right here, but you aren't. I don't know where you went or when you left, but I have no idea how to bring you back. I am so alone. We live together. We eat together. We sleep together. But I have never felt more alone in my entire life.
Colleen Hoover (All Your Perfects)
Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold onto something or someone the more it wants to get away. You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you because you think that your feelings were wrong and it makes you feel so small because it’s so hard to keep it inside when you let it out and it doesn’t come back. You’re left so alone that you can’t explain.
Henry Rollins
I was left alone there in the company of the orchids, roses and violets, which, like people waiting beside you who do not know you, preserved a silence which their individuality as living things made all the more striking, and warmed themselves in the heat of a glowing coal fire...
Marcel Proust (Within a Budding Grove (In Search of Lost Time, #2))
I write to find strength. I write to become the person that hides inside me. I write to light the way through the darkness for others. I write to be seen and heard. I write to be near those I love. I write by accident, promptings, purposefully and anywhere there is paper. I write because my heart speaks a different language that someone needs to hear. I write past the embarrassment of exposure. I write because hypocrisy doesn’t need answers, rather it needs questions to heal. I write myself out of nightmares. I write because I am nostalgic, romantic and demand happy endings. I write to remember. I write knowing conversations don’t always take place. I write because speaking can’t be reread. I write to sooth a mind that races. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in the sand. I write because my emotions belong to the moon; high tide, low tide. I write knowing I will fall on my words, but no one will say it was for very long. I write because I want to paint the world the way I see love should be. I write to provide a legacy. I write to make sense out of senselessness. I write knowing I will be killed by my own words, stabbed by critics, crucified by both misunderstanding and understanding. I write for the haters, the lovers, the lonely, the brokenhearted and the dreamers. I write because one day someone will tell me that my emotions were not a waste of time. I write because God loves stories. I write because one day I will be gone, but what I believed and felt will live on.
Shannon L. Alder
Cammie!" I'll never forget the tone of Macey's voice in that moment. "Cam," she said slowly, moving toward me, "I know how it feels to be watched every second of every day. I know what it's like to trust fewer and fewer people until it seems like you are completely alone in the world. I know you think the only things that are left in your life are the bad things. I know what you're feeling, Cam." Her hands were on my shoulders. Her blue eyes were staring into mine. "I know.
Ally Carter (Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4))
Ideas were growing in all directions and dimensions; they were becoming a sculpture, or a castle. And then everyone left her, to return to their own affairs; and she was alone, and empty and unbelieving again.
Kristin Cashore (Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3))
Will closed his eyes. He could not hear Jem go, not anymore; he did not want to know the moment when he left and Will was alone, did now want to know when his first day as a Shawdowhunter without a parabatai truly began. And if the place over his heart, where his parabatai rune had been, flared up with a sudden burning pain as the door closed behind Jem, Will told himself it was only a stray ember from the fire.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Besides,” Puck said, grinning his evil grin, “who says I came alone?” “You did,” called another Puck from the rooftop he just left. Glitch’s eyes bugged as the second Puck grinned down at him. “No, he didn’t,” said a third Puck from the opposite roof. “Well, I’m sure they know what he meant,” said yet another Puck, sitting atop a street lamp. “In any case, here we are.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
I didn't get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I'd wished she'd done differently and then get older and understand that she had done the best she could and realize that what she had done was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very heigh of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we'd left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her, but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could full. I'd have to fill it myself again and again and again.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
For those who are not frightened by the solitude, everything will have a different taste. In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise arrive unnoticed. In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them. In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path. In solitude, they will learn that saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue. And those who are alone at this moment, need never be frightened by the words of the devil: ‘You’re wasting your time.’ Or by the chief demon’s even more potent words: ‘No one cares about you.’ The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing. And when we achieve that harmony, we receive more than we asked for.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
It's a shame you left without a word, you know. She was just beginning to trust you before that. Before you got angry. Before you ran off. Just like every other man in her life. Lusting after her, full of sweet words, then just walking away. Leaving her alone. Good thing she's used to it by now, isn't it? Otherwise you might have hurt her. Otherwise you just might have broken that poor girl's heart
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
She had said she didn’t feel fear, but it was a lie; this was her fear: being left alone. Because of one thing she was certain, and it was that she could never love, not like that. Trust a stranger with her flesh? The closeness, the quiet. She couldn’t imagine it. Breathing someone else’s breath as they breathed yours, touching someone, opening for them? The vulnerability of it made her flush. It would mean submission, letting down her guard, and she wouldn’t. Ever. Just the thought made her feel small and weak as a child...
Laini Taylor (Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2))
At school, our classroom had a small rodent zoo consisting of two rabbits, three hamsters, a litter of baby gerbils and a guinea pig. At first, I’d thought the teacher was raising snack food, which impressed me, being the first sign of intelligence she’d shown. Soon, though, I’d figured out the animals’ true purpose and left them alone, though I would never understand the appeal of petting and coddling perfectly good food.
Kelley Armstrong (Men of the Otherworld (Otherworld Stories, #1))
I always wondered why survivors understood other survivors so well. Why, even if the details of our attacks vary, survivors can lock eyes and get it without having to explain. Perhaps it is not the particulars of the assault itself that we have in common, but the moment after; the first time you are left alone. Something slipping out of you. Where did I go. What was taken. It is terror swallowed inside silence. An unclipping from the world where up was up and down was down.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earth's dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be left alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests.
H.P. Lovecraft (At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror)
I'm alone. And I'm crying. And no one is coming to the crib. And the nightlight has burned out. And I'm mad. I'm so mad. Left frontal lobe. I...I...I don't feel so good. Left occipital lobe. I... don't remember where...Left parietal lobe. I...I...I can't remember my name,but...but...Right temporal...but I'm still here. Right frontal. I'm still here... Right occipital.I'm still...Right parietal. I'm...Cerebellum. I'm...Thalamus. I...Hypothalamus. I...Hippocampus...Medulla........................
Neal Shusterman (Unwind (Unwind, #1))
I become one of those people who walks alone in the dark at night while others sleep or watch Mary Tyler Moore reruns or pull all-nighters to finish up some paper that's due first thing tomorrow. I always carry lots of stuff with me wherever I roam, always weighted down with books, with cassettes, with pens and paper, just in case I get the urge to sit down somewhere, and oh, I don't know, read something or write my masterpiece. I want all my important possessions, my worldly goods, with me at all times. I want to hold what little sense of home I have left with me always.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
The job of a good dog was ultimately to be with them, remaining by their sides no matter what course their lives might take. All I could do now was offer him comfort, the assurance that as he left this life he was not alone but rather was tended by the dog who loved him more than anything in the whole world.
W. Bruce Cameron (A Dog's Purpose (A Dog's Purpose, #1))
Virtue is never left to stand alone. He who has it will have neighbors.
Confucius
I keep telling myself That you’re just a girl. Another leaf blown across my path Destined to pass on And shrivel into yourself Like all the others. Yet despite my venom You refuse to wither Or fade. You remain golden throughout, And in your gaze I am left to wonder if it is me alone Who feels the fall.
Kelly Creagh (Enshadowed (Nevermore, #2))
I’ve just never met someone like you," as if I were a stranger from another town or an eccentric guest accompanying a mutual friend to a dinner party. It was a strange thought to hear from the mouth of the woman who had birthed and raised me, with whom I shared a home for eighteen years, someone who was half me. My mother had struggled to understand me just as I struggled to understand her. Thrown as we were on opposite sides of a fault line—generational, cultural, linguistic—we wandered lost without a reference point, each of us unintelligible to the other’s expectations, until these past few years when we had just begun to unlock the mystery, carve the psychic space to accommodate each other, appreciate the differences between us, linger in our refracted commonalities. Then, what would have been the most fruitful years of understanding were cut violently short, and I was left alone to decipher the secrets of inheritance without its key.
Michelle Zauner (Crying in H Mart)
If she had been left alone she would have gone on, in her own way, enjoying herself thoroughly, until people found one day that she had turned imperceptibly into one of those women who have become old without ever having been middle aged: a little withered, a little acid, hard as nails, sentimentally kindhearted, and addicted to religion or small dogs.
Doris Lessing (The Grass Is Singing)
darkness falls upon Humanity and faces become terrible things that wanted more than there was. all our days are marked with unexpected affronts - some disastrous, others less so but the process is wearing and continuous. attrition rules. most give way leaving empty spaces where people should be. and now as we ready to self-destruct there is very little left to kill which makes the tragedy less and more much much more.
Charles Bukowski (You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense)
This birth thing. And this death thing. Each one had it's turn. We entered alone and we left alone. And most of us lived lonely and frightened and incomplete lives. An incomparable sadness descended up on me. Seeing all that life that must die. Seeing all that life that would first turn to hate, to dementia, to neuroses, to stupidity, to fear, to murder, to nothing - nothing in life and nothing in death.
Charles Bukowski (Tales of Ordinary Madness)
St. Clair gets a crush on Anna. He's torn between her and Ellie, and he spends so much time running between them that he hardly has time left for Josh. And the more time that Josh spends alone, the more he realizes how alone he actually is. All of his friends will be gone the next year. Josh grows increasingly antagonistic toward school, which makes Rashmi increasingly antagonistic toward him, which makes him increasingly antagonistic toward her. And she's upset because Elie dropped her as a friend, and Meredith is upset because now St. Clair likes two girls who aren't her, and Anna is upset because St. Clair is leading her on, and then St. Clair's mom gets cancer. It's a freaking soap opera.
Stephanie Perkins (Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3))
If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken. If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home. If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass. If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.
Alex North (The Whisper Man)
I dislike interaction. The less I say the better I feel. I was naturally a loner. I didn’t want conversation, or to goanywhere. I didn’t understand other people who wanted to share their emotions. Parties sickened me. I was drawn to all the wrong things: I was lazy , I didn’t have a god, politics, ideas, ideals. I was settled into nothingness; a kind of non - being, and I accepted it. I didn’t make for an interesting person. I didn’t want to be interesting, it was too hard. What I really wanted was only a soft, hazy space to live in, and to be left alone. Relationships never worked with me. I alwayslost interest. I simply disliked people, crowds, anywhere, except at my readings.
Charles Bukowski
What’s three?” I asked, hoping to move away from this uncomfortable topic. The smile pulled at his lips again. “Three.” One of his hands cupped my face and the other slid around my back. He pulled my body against his and my heart began to pound. I took advantage of my free hand and pushed at his chest. “I don’t think so, Lily,” he said. “If you want to get rid of me, you’ll need to do better than that.” I drew a sharp breath and tried to wiggle away, but he held me firmly in place, watching me struggle. He grinned as he lifted me up onto the sink. “What are you doing?” I started to panic. “Someone could come in!” “If they see us, they’ll just turn around and get out of here,” he murmured, lips touching my ear. “No one crosses me.” His hips pressed against my knees, opening them, pushing my skirt up my legs. I gripped his shirt, clinging to him so I wouldn’t fall into the sink. His hand pushed into my lower back. I gasped as his body fitted against mine. Heat flooded my chest, my pelvis. I thought I would drown in it. “We can’t—” His lips stopped my words. The kiss just made me dizzier. I dug my fingers into his shoulders. “You said you didn’t want to be left alone.” His tongue flicked over my cheekbone. “This is me pestering you.” “Aren’t you breaking the rules?” I could barely get the words out. “What about the union?” “I’d rather have you on my own terms.” His hand slipped between my thighs. All strength fled my limbs. “I can’t breathe.” “That means you like it.” He kissed me again.
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade (Nightshade, #1; Nightshade World, #4))
Ruin your fucking self before they do. Otherwise they'll screw you because you're a nobody. They'll keep you alive but you'll have to crawl and say "thank-you" for every bone they throw. You might as well stay drunk or shoot junk and be a crazy fucker. If the rich guys want to play with you, make them get their hands dirty. Send them away gagging, or sobbing if they're soft-hearted. You'll be left alone if you're frightening, and dead you're free!
Jenny Holzer
When you start working, everybody is in your studio- the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas- all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.
John Cage
If your friend is sick and dying, the most important thing he wants is not an explanation; he wants you to sit with him. He's terrified of being alone more than anything else. So, God has not left us alone.
Lee Strobel
My chest cracked open at his words. I stared into Noah's perfect face and tried to see what he saw. I tried to see us - not individually, not the arrogant, beautiful, reckless lost boy and the angry, broken girl - but what we were, who we were, together. I tried to remember holding his hand at my kitchen table and feeling for the first time since I'd left Rhode Island that I wasn't alone in this. That I belonged.
Michelle Hodkin (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1))
Asil left Bran alone with his thoughts then, because if he stayed, Bran would argue with him. This way, Bran would have no one to argue with but himself. And Asil had always credited Bran with the ability to be persuasive.
Patricia Briggs (Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3))
Even though summers were mostly made of sun and heat, summers for me were about the storms that came and went. And left me feeling alone. Did all boys feel alone? The summer sun was not meant for boys like me. Boys like me belonged to the rain.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
Whoever reaches into a rosebush may seize a handful of flowers; but no matter how many one holds, it's only a small portion of the whole. Nevertheless, a handful is enough to experience the nature of the flowers. Only if we refuse to reach into the bush, because we can't possibly seize all the flowers at once, or if we spread out our handful of roses as if it were the whole of the bush itself -- only then does it bloom apart from us, unknown to us, and we are left alone.
Lou Andreas-Salomé
I guess I didn't have it so bad.Maybe everybody didn't love me,but i wasn't one of those kids that everyone hated,either. I was good in a fight.So people left me alone. i was almost invisible.i think i liked it that way. And then Dante came along.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante, #1))
I understand, all right. The hopeless dream of being - not seeming, but being. At every waking moment, alert. The gulf between what you are with others and what you are alone. The vertigo and the constant hunger to be exposed, to be seen through, perhaps even wiped out. Every inflection and every gesture a lie, every smile a grimace. Suicide? No, too vulgar. But you can refuse to move, refuse to talk, so that you don't have to lie. You can shut yourself in. Then you needn't play any parts or make wrong gestures. Or so you thought. But reality is diabolical. Your hiding place isn't watertight. Life trickles in from the outside, and you're forced to react. No one asks if it is true or false, if you're genuine or just a sham. Such things matter only in the theatre, and hardly there either. I understand why you don't speak, why you don't move, why you've created a part for yourself out of apathy. I understand. I admire. You should go on with this part until it is played out, until it loses interest for you. Then you can leave it, just as you've left your other parts one by one.
Ingmar Bergman
[The Old Astronomer to His Pupil] Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet, When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet; He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how We are working to completion, working on from then to now. Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete, Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet, And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true, And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you. But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn, You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn, What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles; What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles. You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late, But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate. Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night. What, my boy, you are not weeping? You should save your eyes for sight; You will need them, mine observer, yet for many another night. I leave none but you, my pupil, unto whom my plans are known. You 'have none but me,' you murmur, and I 'leave you quite alone'? Well then, kiss me, -- since my mother left her blessing on my brow, There has been a something wanting in my nature until now; I can dimly comprehend it, -- that I might have been more kind, Might have cherished you more wisely, as the one I leave behind. I 'have never failed in kindness'? No, we lived too high for strife,-- Calmest coldness was the error which has crept into our life; But your spirit is untainted, I can dedicate you still To the service of our science: you will further it? you will! There are certain calculations I should like to make with you, To be sure that your deductions will be logical and true; And remember, 'Patience, Patience,' is the watchword of a sage, Not to-day nor yet to-morrow can complete a perfect age. I have sown, like Tycho Brahe, that a greater man may reap; But if none should do my reaping, 'twill disturb me in my sleep So be careful and be faithful, though, like me, you leave no name; See, my boy, that nothing turn you to the mere pursuit of fame. I must say Good-bye, my pupil, for I cannot longer speak; Draw the curtain back for Venus, ere my vision grows too weak: It is strange the pearly planet should look red as fiery Mars,-- God will mercifully guide me on my way amongst the stars.
Sarah Williams (Twilight Hours: A Legacy of Verse)
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and being alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You have to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes too near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself that you tasted as many as you could.
Louise Erdrich (The Painted Drum)
She wanted to be alone - to think things out - to adjust herself, if it were possible, to the new world in which she seemed to have been transplanted with a suddenness and completeness that left her half bewildered to her own identity.
L.M. Montgomery (Rilla of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #8))
Mare,” he whispers. “Choose me.” Choose a crown. Choose another king’s cage. Choose a betrayal to everything you’ve bled for. I find my thread of steel too. Thin but unbreakable. “I am in love with you, and I want you more than anything else in the world.” His words sound hollow coming from me. “Anything else in this world.” Slowly, my eyelids flutter open. He finds the spine to match my gaze. “Think what we could do together,” he murmurs, trying to pull me closer. My feet hold firm. “You know what you are to me. Without you, I have no one. I am alone. I have nothing left. Don’t leave me alone.” My breathing turns ragged. I kiss him for what could be, what might be, what will be—the last time. His lips feel strangely cold as we both turn to ice. “You aren’t alone.” The hope in his eyes cuts deeply. “You have your crown.
Victoria Aveyard (King's Cage (Red Queen, #3))
ONCE UPON A time, there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. He loved each of them dearly. One day, when the young ladies were of age to be married, a terrible, three-headed dragon laid siege to the kingdom, burning villages with fiery breath. It spoiled crops and burned churches. It killed babies, old people, and everyone in between. The king promised a princess’s hand in marriage to whoever slayed the dragon. Heroes and warriors came in suits of armor, riding brave horses and bearing swords and arrows. One by one, these men were slaughtered and eaten. Finally the king reasoned that a maiden might melt the dragon’s heart and succeed where warriors had failed. He sent his eldest daughter to beg the dragon for mercy, but the dragon listened to not a word of her pleas. It swallowed her whole. Then the king sent his second daughter to beg the dragon for mercy, but the dragon did the same. Swallowed her before she could get a word out. The king then sent his youngest daughter to beg the dragon for mercy, and she was so lovely and clever that he was sure she would succeed where the others had perished. No indeed. The dragon simply ate her. The king was left aching with regret. He was now alone in the world. Now, let me ask you this. Who killed the girls? The dragon? Or their father?
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
He insists on a version of you that is funnier, stranger, more eccentric and profound than you suspect yourself to be--capable of doing more good and more harm in the world than you've ever imagined--it is all but impossible not to believe, at least in his presence and a while after you've left him, that he alone sees through your essence, weighs your true qualities . . . and appreciates you more fully than anyone else ever has.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
People are flawed," said Jace. "Not every member of your family is going to be awesome. But when you see Tessa again, and you will, she can tell you about Will Herondale. And James Herondale. And me, of course," he added, modestly. "As far as Shadowhunters go, I'm a pretty big deal. Not to intimidate you." "I don't feel intimidated," said Kit, wondering if this guy was for real. There was a gleam in Jace's eye as he spoke that indicated that he might not take what he was saying all that seriously, but it was hard to be sure. "I feel like I want to be left alone.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
He began to cry, not hysterically or screaming as people cry when concealed rage with tears, but with continuous sobs who has just discovered that he's alone and will be for long. He cried because safety and reason seemed to have left the world. Loneliness was a reality, but in this situation madness was also remotely a possibility.
Stephen King (The Talisman (The Talisman, #1))
That Jones shall worship the god within him turns out ultimately to mean that Jones shall worship Jones. Let Jones worship the sun or moon, anything rather than the Inner Light; let Jones worship cats or crocodiles, if he can find any in his street, but not the god within. Christianity came into the world firstly in order to assert with violence that a man had not only to look inwards, but to look outwards, to behold with astonishment and enthusiasm a divine company and a divine captain. The only fun of being a Christian was that a man was not left alone with the Inner Light, but definitely recognized an outer light, fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Damen watched as alone, unattended, Laurent had left his own banquet to find him, to follow him here, up the worn steps out onto the battlements. Laurent fitted himself next to him, a comfortable, unobtrusive presence that took up room in Damen's chest. They stood on the edge of the fort they had won together.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
She said no, okay?" All the eyes that had been on me suddenly jerked toward Adrian. He leaned forward, fixing his gaze on Sonya and Dimitri, and I saw something in those pretty eyes I'd never seen before: anger. They were like emerald fire. "How many times does she have to refuse?" Adrian demanded. "If she doesn't want to, then that's all there's to it. This has nothing to do with her. This is our science project. She's here to protect Jill and has plenty to do there. So stop harassing her already!"" "Harassing is kind of a strong word," Dimitri said, calm in the face of Adrian's outburst. "Not when you keep pushing someone who wants to be left alone," countered Adrian. He shot me a concerned look before fixing his anger back on Sonya and Dimitri. "Stop ganging up on her." Sonya glanced uncertainly between us. She looked legitimately hurt. As astute as she was, I don't think she'd realized how much this bothered me. "Adrian... Sydney... we aren't trying to upset anyone. We just really want to get to the bottom of this. I thought all of you did too. Sydney's always been so supportive. "It doesn't matter," growled Adrian. "Take Eddie's blood. Take Belikov's blood. Take your own for all I care. But if she doesn't want to give hers, then that's all there is to it. She said no. This conversation is done.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
Between 10 and 20 percent of people with anorexia die from heart attacks, other complications and suicide; the disease has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Or Kitty could have lost her life in a different way, lost it to the roller coaster of relapse and recovery, inpatient and outpatient, that eats up, on average, five to seven years. Or a lifetime: only half of all anorexics recovery in the end. The other half endure lives of dysfunction and despair. Friends and families give up on them. Doctors dread treating them. They’re left to stand in the bakery with the voice ringing in their ears, alone in every way that matters.
Harriet Brown
I am alone this evening, and I am alone because of a cruel twist of fate, a phrase which here means that nothing has happened the way I thought it would. Once I was a content man, with a comfortable home, a successful career, a person I loved very much, and an extremely reliable typewriter, but all of those things have been taken away from me, and now the only trace I have of those happy days is the tattoo on my left ankle. As I sit in this very tiny room, printing these words with a very large pencil, I feel as if my whole life has been nothing but a dismal play, presented just for someone else’s amusement, and that the playwright who invented my cruel twist of fate is somewhere far above me, laughing and laughing at his creation.
Lemony Snicket (The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8))
I have always loved everything about you. Even what I didn’t understand. And I have always known that, at heart, I would have you no different. But most people don’t know how to love. Nothing is enough for them. They must have their dreams. It’s the only thing they do well. Dreaming. They dream up obligations. New ones every day. They long for undiscovered countries, fresh demands, another call. While some of us are left with the knowledge that love can never wait. A shared bed, a hand in yours, that’s the only thing that matters. The worst thing of all is fear. The fear of being alone.
Albert Camus
The soul gropes in search of a soul, and finds it. And that soul, found and proven, is a woman. A hand sustains you, it is hers; lips lightly touch your forehead, they are her lips; you hear breathing near you, it is she. To have her wholly, from her devotion to her pity, never to be left alone, to have that sweet shyness as, to lean on that unbending reed, to touch, Providence with your hands and be able to grasp it in your arms; God made palpable, what transport! The heart, that dark celestial flower, bursts into a mysterious bloom. You would not give up that shade for all the light in the world! The angel soul is there, forever there; if she goes away, it is only to return; she fades away in a dream and reappears in reality. You feel an approaching warmth, she is there. You overflow with serenity, gaiety, and ecstasy; you are radiant in your darkness. And the thousand little cares! The trifles that are enormous in this void. The most ineffable accents of the womanly voice used to comfort you, and replacing for you the vanished universe! You are caressed through the soul. You see nothing but you feel yourself adored. It is paradise of darkness.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
You ask yourself: where are your dreams now? And you shake your head and say how swiftly the years fly by! And you ask yourself again: what have you done with your best years, then? Where have you buried the best days of your life? Have you lived or not? Look, you tell yourself, look how cold the world is becoming. The years will pass and after them will come grim loneliness, and old age, quaking on its stick, and after them misery and despair. Your fantasy world will grow pale, your dreams will fade and die, falling away like the yellow leaves from the trees… Ah, Nastenka! Will it not be miserable to be left alone, utterly alone, and have nothing even to regret — nothing, not a single thing… because everything I have lost was nothing, stupid, a round zero, all dreaming and no more!
Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Tiny Wound.     It is small but painful and irritating. You try all sorts of medicaments, you com- plain, you scratch and pick at the scab. Doctors only make it worse, transforming the tiny wound into a grave matter. If only you had left the wound alone, letting time heal it and freeing yourself of worry.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
Sometimes, when I find it hard to sleep, I’ll think of when we first met, of the newness of each other’s body, and my impatience to know everything about this person. Looking back, I should have taken it more slowly, measured him out over the course of fifty years rather than cramming him in so quickly. By the end of our first month together, he’d been so thoroughly interrogated that all I had left was breaking news—what little had happened in the few hours since I’d last seen him. Were he a cop or an emergency-room doctor, there might have been a lot to catch up on, but, like me, Hugh works alone, so there was never much to report. “I ate some potato chips,” he might say, to which I’d reply, “What kind?” or “That’s funny, so did I!” More often than not we’d just breathe into our separate receivers. Are you still there?” I’m here.” Good. Don’t hang up.” I won’t.
David Sedaris
Who has inflicted this upon us? Who has made us Jews different from all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. If we bear all this suffering and if there are still Jews left, when it is over, then Jews, instead of being doomed, will be held up as an example. Who knows, it might even be our religion from which the world and all peoples learn good, and for that reason and that reason alone do we have to suffer now. We can never become just Netherlanders, or just English, or representatives of any country for that matter; we will always remain Jews, but we want to, too.
Anne Frank
When you're born a light is switched on, a light which shines up through your life. As you get older the light still reaches you, sparkling as it comes up through your memories. And if you're lucky as you travel forward through time, you'll bring the whole of yourself along with you, gathering your skirts and leaving nothing behind, nothing to obscure the light. But if a Bad Thing happens part of you is seared into place, and trapped for ever at that time. The rest of you moves onward, dealing with all the todays and tomorrows, but something, some part of you, is left behind. That part blocks the light, colours the rest of your life, but worse than that, it's alive. Trapped for ever at that moment, and alone in the dark, that part of you is still alive.
Michael Marshall Smith (Only Forward)
I thought about suicide all the time, but it seemed toomuch effort, swallowing all those pills or jumping off things. If I'd lived out in the country I would have found a quiet stretch of railway track, and lain on it, fallen asleep, so that I would never have known when my last moment came. In London, the minimum tube fare had gone up so much that even to get near the line cost a fortune. Suicide seemed an extravagance I couldn't afford. People never leave you alone, either; I knew that if I'd tried to lie down on the line, any number of commuters would have pulled me off again, so that I didn't delay their train. There must have been murderers out there who wanted to kill, with no way of finding those who wanted to be dead. If there had been some way of contacting them, a date-with-death line, I would have called them to set up a meeting. The current ways of death seemed too haphazard; it was all left up to chance. Had Chance come up, tapped me on the shoulder, said "Oi, you - long black tunnel, white light, off you go," I wouldn't have complained. It was like having frostbite all over - feeling numb and in pain at the same time.
Helena Dela (The Count)
Discipline I am old and I have had more than my share of good and bad. I've had love and sorrow, seen sudden death and been left alone and of love bereft. I thought I would never love again and I thought my life was grief and pain. The edge between life and death was thin, but then I discovered discipline. I learned to smile when I felt sad, I learned to take the good and the bad, I learned to care a great deal more for the world about me than before. I began to forget the "Me" and "I" and joined in life as it rolled by: this may not mean sheer ecstasy but is better by far than "I" and "Me.
Meryl Gordon
Is there no context for our lives? No song, no literature, no poem full of vitamins, no history connected to experience that you can pass along to help us start strong? You are an adult. The old one, the wise one. Stop thinking about saving your face. Think of our lives and tell us your particularized world. Make up a story. Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created. We will not blame you if your reach exceeds your grasp; if love so ignites your words they go down in flames and nothing is left but their scald. Or if, with the reticence of a surgeon's hands, your words suture only the places where blood might flow. We know you can never do it properly - once and for all. Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul. You, old woman, blessed with blindness, can speak the language that tells us what only language can: how to see without pictures. Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.
Toni Morrison (The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993)
If only you would realize some day, how much have you hurt me, If only your heart ever, craves for me or my presence… If only you feel that love again someday for me, If only you are affected someday by my absence… Only you can end all my suffering and this unbearable pain, If only you would know what you could never procure… If only you go through the memories of past once again, Since the day you left my heart has bled, no one has its cure… If only you would bring that love, those showers and that rain… If only you would come back and see what damage you create, I’ve been waiting for your return since forever more… If only you would see the woman that you have made, You said we cannot sail through, how were you so sure? If only you can feel the old things that can never fade, You may have moved on, but a piece of my heart is still with you… I know how I’ve come so far alone; I know how I’m able to wade, People say that I’m insane and you won’t ever come back again… Maybe you would have never made your separate way, Maybe you would have stayed with me and proved everyone wrong… If only you would know the pain of dying every day, If only you would feel the burden of smiling and being strong…
Mehek Bassi (Chained: Can you escape fate?)
Here’s what I believe: 1. If you are offended or hurt when you hear Hillary Clinton or Maxine Waters called bitch, whore, or the c-word, you should be equally offended and hurt when you hear those same words used to describe Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, or Theresa May. 2. If you felt belittled when Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables” then you should have felt equally concerned when Eric Trump said “Democrats aren’t even human.” 3. When the president of the United States calls women dogs or talks about grabbing pussy, we should get chills down our spine and resistance flowing through our veins. When people call the president of the United States a pig, we should reject that language regardless of our politics and demand discourse that doesn’t make people subhuman. 4. When we hear people referred to as animals or aliens, we should immediately wonder, “Is this an attempt to reduce someone’s humanity so we can get away with hurting them or denying them basic human rights?” 5. If you’re offended by a meme of Trump Photoshopped to look like Hitler, then you shouldn’t have Obama Photoshopped to look like the Joker on your Facebook feed. There is a line. It’s etched from dignity. And raging, fearful people from the right and left are crossing it at unprecedented rates every single day. We must never tolerate dehumanization—the primary instrument of violence that has been used in every genocide recorded throughout history.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
The wine god sighed. 'Oh Hades if I know. But remember, boy, that a kind act can sometimes be as powerful as a sword. As a mortal, I was never a great fighter or athlete or poet. I only made wine. The people in my village laughed at me. They said I would never amount to anything. Look at me now. Sometimes small things can become very large indeed.' He left me alone to think about that. And as I watched Clarisse and Chris singing a stupid campfire song together, holding hands in the darkness, where they thought nobody could see them, I had to smile.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
There is nothing more alone than being in a car at night in the rain. I was in the car. And I was glad of it. Between one point on the map and another point on the map, there was the being alone in the car in the rain. They say you are not you except in terms of relation to other people. If there weren't any other people there wouldn't be any you because what you do which is what you are, only has meaning in relation to other people. That is a very comforting thought when you are in the car in the rain at night alone, for then you aren't you, and not being you or anything, you can really lie back and get some rest. It is a vacation from being you. There is only the flow of the motor under your foot spinning that frail thread of sound out of its metal guy like a spider, that filament, that nexus, which isn't really there, between the you which you have just left in one place and the you which you will be where you get to the other place.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
Bilbo almost stopped breathing, and went stiff himself. He was desperate. He must get away, out of this horrible darkness, while he had any strength left. He must fight. He must stab the foul thing, put its eyes out, kill it. It meant to kill him. No, not a fair fight. He was invisible now. Gollum had no sword. Gollum had not actually threatened to kill him, or tried yet. And he was miserable, alone, lost. A sudden understanding, a pity mixed with horror, welled up in Bilbo’s heart: a glimpse of endless unmarked days without light or hope of betterment, hard stone, cold fish, sneaking and whispering.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit (The Lord of the Rings, #0))
Sometimes I wanted to dance and laugh with my friends until midnight, and sometimes I wanted to screen all calls and hide away with a tragic novel and a bag of candy. Sometimes I spend an hour trying to pretty myself up, and sometimes I could barely be bothered to comb the knots out of my hair before I left the house. Sometimes I wanted to know what it felt like to tell a boy all my secrets. Other times, that seemed as impossible as waking up one morning to find myself fluent in a foreign language. Sometimes I felt better alone that I did with people. And sometimes that just felt lonely.
Michelle Dalton (Sixteenth Summer (Sixteenth Summer #1))
You know what’s sad about reading books? It’s that you fall in love with the characters. They grow on you. And as you read, you start to feel what they feel - all of them - you become them. And when you’re done, you’re never the same. Sure you’re still you, you look the same, talk in the same manner, but something in you has changed. Something in the way you think, the way you choose, sometimes, even the things you say may differ. But it all comes down to the state you go to after a nice novel. The after-feeling. It’s amazing, but somehow, you feel left alone by that world you were once in. It’s overwhelming. But it makes you sad. Cause for once you were this, this otherworldly being in… Neverwhere, and then you suddenly have to say goodbye after a few weeks from when you read the last page. When you’ve recovered from that state it’s just… quite sad.
Suzanne Collins
I was only then, when I knew I was alone, at least for the moment, that I reached under my gown into the pocket of my dress. As I pulled out my key from the yellow house, which I'd kept on my bureau since the day Nate left, I traced the shape one last time before folding my hand tightly around it. Behind me, Cora was calling again. My family was waiting. Looking down at the pond, all I could think was that it is an incredible thing, how a whole world can rise from what seems like nothing at all. I stepped closer to the edge, keeping my eyes on my reflection as I dropped the key into the water, where it landed with a splash. At first, the fish darted away, but as it began to sink they circled back, gathering around. Together, they followed it down, down until it was gone.<3
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
Every morning the maple leaves. Every morning another chapter where the hero shifts from one foot to the other. Every morning the same big and little words all spelling out desire, all spelling out You will be alone always and then you will die. So maybe I wanted to give you something more than a catalog of non-definitive acts, something other than the desperation. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I couldn’t come to your party. Dear So-and-So, I’m sorry I came to your party and seduced you and left you bruised and ruined, you poor sad thing. You want a better story. Who wouldn’t? A forest, then. Beautiful trees. And a lady singing. Love on the water, love underwater, love, love and so on. What a sweet lady. Sing lady, sing! Of course, she wakes the dragon. Love always wakes the dragon and suddenly flames everywhere. I can tell already you think I’m the dragon, that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon. I’m not the princess either. Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later. Let me do it right for once, for the record, let me make a thing of cream and stars that becomes, you know the story, simply heaven. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing and when you open your eyes only a clearing with deer in it. Hello deer. Inside your head the sound of glass, a car crash sound as the trucks roll over and explode in slow motion. Hello darling, sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. Inside your head you hear a phone ringing, and when you open your eyes you’re washing up in a stranger’s bathroom, standing by the window in a yellow towel, only twenty minutes away from the dirtiest thing you know. All the rooms of the castle except this one, says someone, and suddenly darkness, suddenly only darkness. In the living room, in the broken yard, in the back of the car as the lights go by. In the airport bathroom’s gurgle and flush, bathed in a pharmacy of unnatural light, my hands looking weird, my face weird, my feet too far away. I arrived in the city and you met me at the station, smiling in a way that made me frightened. Down the alley, around the arcade, up the stairs of the building to the little room with the broken faucets, your drawings, all your things, I looked out the window and said This doesn’t look that much different from home, because it didn’t, but then I noticed the black sky and all those lights. We were inside the train car when I started to cry. You were crying too, smiling and crying in a way that made me even more hysterical. You said I could have anything I wanted, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you. Okay, if you’re so great, you do it— here’s the pencil, make it work … If the window is on your right, you are in your own bed. If the window is over your heart, and it is painted shut, then we are breathing river water. Dear Forgiveness, you know that recently we have had our difficulties and there are many things I want to ask you. I tried that one time, high school, second lunch, and then again, years later, in the chlorinated pool. I am still talking to you about help. I still do not have these luxuries. I have told you where I’m coming from, so put it together. I want more applesauce. I want more seats reserved for heroes. Dear Forgiveness, I saved a plate for you. Quit milling around the yard and come inside.
Richard Siken
Yet at the last Beren was slain by the Wolf that came from the gates of Angband, and he died in the arms of Tinúviel. But she chose mortality, and to die from the world, so that she might follow him; and it is sung that they met again beyond the Sundering Seas, and after a brief time walking alive once more in the green woods, together they passed, long ago, beyond the confines of this world. So it is that Lúthien Tinúviel alone of the Elf-kindred has died indeed and left the world, and they have lost her whom they most loved.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Do you really like studying?" Mattia nodded. "Why?" "It's the only thing I know how to do," he said shortly. He wanted to tell her that he liked studying because you can do it alone, because all the things you study are already dead, cold, and chewed over. He wanted to tell her that the pages of the schoolbooks were all the same temperature, that they left you time to choose, that they never hurt you and you couldn't hurt them either. But he said nothing.
Paolo Giordano (The Solitude of Prime Numbers)
There was a strange but universal understanding among women. On some level all women knew, they all understood, the fear of being outnumbered, of being helpless. It throbbed in their chests when they thought about the times they left stores and were followed. The knocks on their car windows as they were sitting alone at red lights, and strangers asking for rides. Having too much to drink and losing their ability to be forceful enough to just say no. Smiling at strange men coming on to them, not wanting to hurt their feelings, not wanting to make a scene. All women remembered these things, even if they had never happened to them personally. It was a part of their collective unconscious.
Sarah Addison Allen (The Peach Keeper)
we all seem to function in the exact same way: We hurt people, and we are hurt by people. We feel left out, envious, not good enough, sick, and tired. We have unrealized dreams and deep regrets. We are certain that we were meant for more and that we don’t even deserve what we have. We feel ecstatic and then numb. We wish our parents had done better by us. We wish we could do better by our children. We betray and we are betrayed. We lie and we are lied to. We say good-bye to animals, to places, to people we cannot live without. We are so afraid of dying. Also: of living. We have fallen in love and out of love, and people have fallen in love and out of love with us. We wonder if what happened to us that night will mean we can never be touched again without fear. We live with rage bubbling. We are sweaty, bloated, gassy, oily. We love our children, we long for children, we do not want children. We are at war with our bodies, our minds, our souls. We are at war with one another. We wish we’d said all those things while they were still here. They’re still here, and we’re still not saying those things. We know we won’t. We don’t understand ourselves. We don’t understand why we hurt those we love. We want to be forgiven. We cannot forgive. We don’t understand God. We believe. We absolutely do not believe. We are lonely. We want to be left alone. We want to belong. We want to be loved. We want to be loved. We want to be loved.
Glennon Doyle (Untamed)
A dozen candles burned themselves to death on the shelf before me. Each of my breaths made them tremble. To them, I was a behemoth, to frighten and destroy. And yet, if I strayed too close, they could destroy me. My invisible breath, the pulses of life that flowed in and out, could end them freely, while my fingers could not do the same without being repaid in pain.’” “‘I understood in a moment of stillness,’” Litima read. “‘Those candle flames were like the lives of men. So fragile. So deadly. Left alone, they lit and warmed. Let run rampant, they would destroy the very things they were meant to illuminate. Embryonic bonfires, each bearing a seed of destruction so potent it could tumble cities and dash kings to their knees. In later years, my mind would return to that calm, silent evening, when I had stared at rows of living lights. And I would understand. To be given loyalty is to be infused like a gemstone, to be granted the frightful license to destroy not only one’s self, but all within one’s care.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
Are you okay with what we ordered?” Angeline asked him. “You didn’t pipe up with any requests.” Neil shook his head, face stoic. He kept his dark hair in a painfully short and efficient haircut. It was the kind of no-nonsense thing the Alchemists would’ve loved. “I can’t waste time quibbling over trivial things like pepperoni and mushrooms. If you’d gone to my school in Devonshire, you’d understand. For one of my sophomore classes, they left us alone on the moors to fend for ourselves and learn survival skills. Spend three days eating twigs and heather, and you’ll learn not to argue about any food coming your way.” Angeline and Jill cooed as though that was the most rugged, manly thing they’d ever heard. Eddie wore an expression that reflected what I felt, puzzling over whether this guy was as serious as he seemed or just some genius with swoon-worthy lines.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief - WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care? People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us. For values or guiding principles to be truly effective they have to be verbs. It’s not “integrity,” it’s “always do the right thing.” It’s not “innovation,” it’s “look at the problem from a different angle.” Articulating our values as verbs gives us a clear idea - we have a clear idea of how to act in any situation. Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders—in that order. Leading is not the same as being the leader. Being the leader means you hold the highest rank, either by earning it, good fortune or navigating internal politics. Leading, however, means that others willingly follow you—not because they have to, not because they are paid to, but because they want to. You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills. Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left. Trust is maintained when values and beliefs are actively managed. If companies do not actively work to keep clarity, discipline and consistency in balance, then trust starts to break down. All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year.
Simon Sinek (Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action)
Questions, I've got some questions I want to know you But what if I could ask you only one thing Only this one time, what would you tell me? Well maybe you could give me a suggestion So I could know you, what would you tell me? Maybe you could tell me what to ask you Because then I'd know you, what would you tell me Please tell me that there's time To make this work for all intents and purposes And what are your intentions, will you try? Impressions, you've made impressions They're going nowhere They're just going to wait here if you let them Please don't let them I want to know you And if they're going to haunt me Please collect them Please just collect them And now I'm begging I'm begging you to ask me just one question One simple question Because then you'd know me I'll tell you that there's time To make this work for all intents and purposes At least for my own What is a heart worth if it's just left all alone? Leave it long enough and watch it turn into stone Why must we always be untrue?
Jack Johnson (Curious George: Jack Johnson and Friends - Guitar Recorded Version)
It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
I'll tell you how the sun rose A ribbon at a time... It's a living book, this life; it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn't matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll and all your friends will fold out of your funeral and drive back to their homes in cold and still and silence. And they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were . . . and feel a kind of sickness at the idea you never again will be. So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification. And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?
Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)
Prove it!" she hissed. "Prove you are who you are!" "We don't have time for this! You really want me to prove who I am?" he asked. "Yes!" she challenged. In answer, he took her in his arms, lifting her up and against the wall. He pressed his lips against hers, and with each kiss she could see into his mind, into his soul. She saw a year of hate...saw him alone, alienated, hurt. She had lied to him and had left him. With every kiss he made her see, made her feel...every emotion, every dream he had of her...every ounce of his wanting and his need...and his love...his all-consuming, life-affirming love for her. In the darkness they found each other again...and she kissed him back, so greedily and hungrily, she never wanted to stop kissing him...to feel his heart against hers, the two of them intertwined together, his hands in her hair, then down the small of her back. She wanted to cry from the overwhelming emotion that engulfed the two of them.... "Now do you belive me?" Jack asked huskily, pulling away from a moment so they could look into each other's eyes. Schuyler nodded, breathless. Jack. Every fiber of her being tingled with love and desire and remorse and forgiveness. Oh Jack...the love of her life, her sweet, her soul...
Melissa de la Cruz (The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods, #4))
I write to make peace with the things I cannot control. I write to create red in a world that often appears black and white. I write to discover. I write to uncover. I write to meet my ghosts. I write to begin a dialogue. I write to imagine things differently and in imagining things differently perhaps the world will change. I write to honor beauty. I write to correspond with my friends. I write as a daily act of improvisation. I write because it creates my composure. I write against power and for democracy. I write myself out of my nightmares and into my dreams. I write in a solitude born out of community. I write to the questions that shatter my sleep. I write to the answers that keep me complacent. I write to remember. I write to forget…. I write because I believe in words. I write because I do not believe in words. I write because it is a dance with paradox. I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in sand. I write because it belongs to the force of the moon: high tide, low tide. I write because it is the way I take long walks. I write as a bow to wilderness. I write because I believe it can create a path in darkness…. write as ritual. I write because I am not employable. I write out of my inconsistencies. I write because then I do not have to speak. I write with the colors of memory. I write as a witness to what I have seen. I write as a witness to what I imagine…. I write because it is dangerous, a bloody risk, like love, to form the words, to say the words, to touch the source, to be touched, to reveal how vulnerable we are, how transient we are. I write as though I am whispering in the ear of the one I love.
Terry Tempest Williams (Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert)
I know what it’s like to be torn between a love so pure it burns you deep down in a place you didn’t know someone could touch you and between your oath and duties. Between the love of a father you’ve always known and one you know you can depend on forever versus a love that’s new and untested. But you know what I learned? It’s a lot easier to live without my father’s love than it is to live without Phoebe’s. (Urian) (Acheron didn’t speak as Urian left him alone.) That just makes you want to vomit, doesn’t it? (Jaden)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
Oh, God, help me! And I walked faster, my thoughts pursuing me, and I began to run, my frozen shoes squealing like mice, but running didn't help, the thoughts to the left and right and behind me. But as I ran, The Arm, that good left arm, took hold of the situation and spoke soothingly: ease up, Kid, it's loneliness, you're all alone in the world; your father, your mother, your faith, they can't help you, nobody helps anybody, you only help yourself, and that's why I'm here, because we are inseperable, and we'll take care of everything.
John Fante (1933 Was a Bad Year)
Wordlessly, she slipped off her shoes. Gently, she placed a palm on the floor, shifted to stand, but that was when Macey felt another hand pressing down on hers.Hard. Too Hard. "Just what do you think you're doing ?" Hale hissed in her ear. His fingers burned into her skin. And Macey knew if she was going to take out the gunman, she was first going to have to neutralize the boy beside her. "Why don't you let me go and I'll show you," she said with only a modicum of flirt in her voice. "Why don't you put your fancy shoes back on and sit there like a good little girl?" "First of all, I'm good at a lot of things. Taking orders from bored billionaires isn't one of them. Second of all, he's alone, and I can take him," Macey said. "No!" Hale said. "You don't know anything about this guy." "I know he's left handed and has an old injury to his right knee---probably a torn ACL at some point but the details don't matter. And the way he keeps his finger purposefully away from the safety of that gun means he's never fired it. And he doesn't want to." "You're kinda scary.
Ally Carter (Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5))
My particular dread--the vivid possibility that left me staring at tree shadows on the bedroom ceiling night after night--was having to lie in a small tent, alone in an inky wilderness, listening to a foraging bear outside and wondering what its intentions were. I was especially riveted by an amateur photograph in Herrero's book, taken late at night by a camper with a flash at a campground out West. The photograph caught four black bears as they puzzled over a suspended food bag. The bears were clearly startled but not remotely alarmed by the flash. It was not the size or demeanor of the bears that troubled me--they looked almost comically nonaggressive, like four guys who had gotten a Frisbee caught up a tree--but their numbers. Up to that moment it had not occurred to me that bears might prowl in parties. What on earth would I do if four bears came into my camp? Why, I would die, of course. Literally shit myself lifeless. I would blow my sphincter out my backside like one of those unrolling paper streamers you get at children's parties--I daresay it would even give a merry toot--and bleed to a messy death in my sleeping bag.
Bill Bryson (A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail)
Me?" he said in some surprise. "I won't be dancing! It's the bridal dance. The bride and groom dance alone!" For one circuit of the room," she told him. "After which they are joined by the best man and first bridesmaid, then by the groomsman and the second bridesmaid." Will reacted as he had been stung. He leaned over to speak across Jenny on his left, to Gilan. Gil! Did you know we have to dance?" he asked. Gilan nodded enthusiastically. Oh yes indeed. Jenny and I have been practicing for the past three days, haven't we, Jen?" Jenny looked up at him adoringly and nodded. Jenny was in love. Gilan was tall, dashing, good-looking, charming and very ammusing. Plus he was cloaked in the mystery and romance tat came with being a Ranger. Jenny had only ever known one ranger and that had been grim-faced, gray-bearded Halt.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
It is time for us to fight, and we do so not because we seek the glory of men, but because the other options are worse. We follow the Codes not because they bring gain, but because we loathe the people we would otherwise become. We stand here on this battlefield alone because of who we are. Death is the end of all men! What is the measure of him once he is gone? The wealth he accumulated and left for his heirs to squabble over? The glory he obtained,only to be passed on to those who slew him? The lofty positions he held through happenstance? No. We fight here because we understand. The end is the same. It is the path that separates men. When we taste that end, we will do so with our heads held high, eyes to the sun. I am not ashamed of what I have become. Other men may debase themselves to destroy me. Let them have their glory. For I will retain mine!
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
You know what?' said Vimes aloud. 'This is going to be the world's first democratically killed dragon. One man, one stab.' Then you've got to stop them. You can't let them kill it!' said Lady Ramkin. Vimes blinked at her. Pardon?' he said. It's wounded!' Lady, that was the intention, wasn't it? Anyway, it's only stunned,' said Vimes. I mean you can't let them kill it like this,' said Lady Ramkin insistently. 'Poor thing!' What do you want to do, then?' demanded Vimes, his temper unravelling. 'Give it a strengthening dose of tar oil and a nice comfy basket in front of the stove?' It's butchery!' Suits me fine!' But it's a dragon! It's just doing what a dragon does! It never would have come here if people had left it alone!' Vimes thought: it was about to eat her, and she can still think like this. He hesitated. Perhaps that did give you the right to an opinion...
Terry Pratchett (Guards! Guards! (Discworld, #8))
Week before last I went to Wesleyan and read “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” After it I went to one of the classes where I was asked questions. There were a couple of young teachers there and one of them, an earnest type, started asking the questions. “Miss O’Connor,” he said, “why was the Misfit’s hat black?” I said most countrymen in Georgia wore black hats. He looked pretty disappointed. Then he said, “Miss O’Connor, the Misfit represents Christ, does he not?” “He does not,” I said. He looked crushed. “Well, Miss O’Connor,” he said, “what is the significance of the Misfit’s hat?” I said it was to cover his head; and after that he left me alone. Anyway, that’s what’s happening to the teaching of literature.
Flannery O'Connor
It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves. But we insist, every morning, on showing only the rose that blooms, and keep the thorny stem that hurts us and makes us bleed hidden within. Even knowing that everyone, at some point, has felt completely and utterly alone, it is humiliating to say, “I’m lonely, I need company. I need to kill this monster that everyone thinks is as imaginary as a fairy-tale dragon, but isn’t.” But it isn’t. I wait for a pure and virtuous knight, in all his glory, to come defeat it and push it into the abyss for good, but that knight never comes. Yet we cannot lose hope. We start doing things we don’t usually do, daring to go beyond what is fair and necessary. The thorns inside us will grow larger and more overwhelming, yet we cannot give up halfway. Everyone is looking to see the final outcome, as though life were a huge game of chess. We pretend it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, the important thing is to compete. We root for our true feelings to stay opaque and hidden, but then … … instead of looking for companionship, we isolate ourselves even more in order to lick our wounds in silence. Or we go out for dinner or lunch with people who have nothing to do with our lives and spend the whole time talking about things that are of no importance. We even manage to distract ourselves for a while with drink and celebration, but the dragon lives on until the people who are close to us see that something is wrong and begin to blame themselves for not making us happy. They ask what the problem is. We say that everything is fine, but it’s not … Everything is awful. Please, leave me alone, because I have no more tears to cry or heart left to suffer. All I have is insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing. But they insist that this is just a rough patch or depression because they are afraid to use the real and damning word: loneliness. Meanwhile, we continue to relentlessly pursue the only thing that would make us happy: the knight in shining armor who will slay the dragon, pick the rose, and clip the thorns. Many claim that life is unfair. Others are happy because they believe that this is exactly what we deserve: loneliness, unhappiness. Because we have everything and they don’t. But one day those who are blind begin to see. Those who are sad are comforted. Those who suffer are saved. The knight arrives to rescue us, and life is vindicated once again. Still, you have to lie and cheat, because this time the circumstances are different. Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop everything and go in search of their dream? A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay. That price is death by stoning in some countries, and in others it could be social ostracism or indifference. But there is always a price to pay. You keep lying and people pretend they still believe, but secretly they are jealous, make comments behind your back, say you’re the very worst, most threatening thing there is. You are not an adulterous man, tolerated and often even admired, but an adulterous woman, one who is ...
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
This was hers and hers alone. Forevermore. Or at least so I thought… but shit didn’t work out that way, and then you came along… and circle be damned, I don’t want to be finished with you.” Now it was her turn to feel poleaxed, her body going numb as she struggled to comprehend what he was saying. “Autumn, I’m in love with you—that’s why I came here tonight. And we don’t have to be together, and you don’t have to get over what I said, but I wanted you to hear that from me. And I also want to tell you that I’m at peace with it, because…” He took a deep breath. “You want to know why Wellsie got pregnant? It wasn’t because I wanted a young. It’s because she knew that every night when I left the house I could get killed in the field, and as she said, she wanted something to keep on living for. If I had been the one to go? She would have carved out a life for herself, and… the strange thing is, I would have wanted her to do that. Even if it included someone else. I guess I’ve realized that… she wouldn’t have wanted me to mourn her forever. She’d have wanted me to move on… and I have.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
If you have ever peeled an onion, then you know that the first thin, papery layer reveals another thin, papery layer, and that layer reveals another, and another, and before you know it you have hundreds of layers all over the kitchen table and thousands of tears in your eyes, sorry that you ever started peeling in the first place and wishing that you had left the onion alone to wither away on the shelf of the pantry while you went on with your life, even if that meant never again enjoying the complicated and overwhelming taste of this strange and bitter vegetable. In this way, the story of the Baudelaire orphans is like an onion, and if you insist on reading each and every thin, papery layer in A Series of Unfortunate Events, your only reward will be 170 chapters of misery in your library and countless tears in your eyes. Even if you have read the first twelve volumes of the Baudelaires' story, it is not too late to stop peeling away the layers, and to put this book back on the shelf to wither away while you read something less complicated and overwhelming. The end of this unhappy chronicle is like its bad beginning, as each misfortune only reveals another, and another, and another, and only those with the stomach for this strange and bitter tale should venture any farther into the Baudelaire onion. I'm sorry to tell you this, but that is how the story goes.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
A self-destructive man feels completely alienated, utterly alone. He's an outsider to the human community. He thinks to himself, "I must be insane." What he fails to realize is that society has, just as he does, a vested interest in considerable losses and catastrophes. These wars, famines, floods and quakes meet well-defined needs. Man wants chaos. In fact, he has to have it. Depression, strife, riots, murder - all this dread. We're irresistibly drawn to that almost orgiastic state created out of death and destruction. It's in all of us. We revel in it. Sure, the media tries to put a sad face on these things and paints them up as great human tragedies. But we all know the function of the media has never been to eliminate the evils of the world - no! Their job is to persuade us to accept those evils and get used to living with them. The powers that be want us to be passive observers, and they haven't given us any other options outside the occasional, purely symbolic, participatory act of voting. "You want the puppet on the right or the puppet on the left?" I feel that the time has come to project my own inadequacies and dissatisfactions into the sociopolitical and scientific schemes, let my own lack of a voice be heard.
Richard Linklater
Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair. When it comes, it degrades one's self and ultimately eclipses the capacity to give or receive affection. It is the aloneness within us made manifest, and it destroys not only connection to others but also the ability to be peacefully alone with oneself. Love, though it is no prophylactic against depression, is what cushions the mind and protects it from itself. Medications and psychotherapy can renew that protection, making it easier to love and be loved, and that is why they work. In good spirits, some love themselves and some love others and some love work and some love God: any of these passions can furnish that vital sense of purpose that is the opposite of depression. Love forsakes us from time to time, and we forsake love. In depression, the meaninglessness of every enterprise and every emotion, the meaninglessness of life itself, becomes self-evident. The only feeling left in this loveless state is insignificance.
Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression)
Happy the writer who, passing by characters that are boring, disgusting, shocking in their mournful reality, approaches characters that manifest the lofty dignity of man, who from the great pool of daily whirling images has chosen only the rare exceptions, who has never once betrayed the exalted turning of his lyre, nor descended from his height to his poor, insignificant brethren, and, without touching the ground, has given the whole of himself to his elevated images so far removed from it. Twice enviable is his beautiful lot: he is among them as in his own family; and meanwhile his fame spreads loud and far. With entrancing smoke he has clouded people's eyes; he has flattered them wondrously, concealing what is mournful in life, showing them a beautiful man. Everything rushes after him, applauding, and flies off following his triumphal chariot. Great world poet they name him, soaring high above all other geniuses in the world, as the eagle soars above the other high fliers. At the mere mention of his name, young ardent hearts are filled with trembling, responsive tears shine in all eyes...No one equals him in power--he is God! But such is not the lot, and other is the destiny of the writer who has dared to call forth all that is before our eyes every moment and which our indifferent eyes do not see--all the stupendous mire of trivia in which our life in entangled, the whole depth of cold, fragmented, everyday characters that swarm over our often bitter and boring earthly path, and with the firm strength of his implacable chisel dares to present them roundly and vividly before the eyes of all people! It is not for him to win people's applause, not for him to behold the grateful tears and unanimous rapture of the souls he has stirred; no sixteen-year-old girl will come flying to meet him with her head in a whirl and heroic enthusiasm; it is not for him to forget himself in the sweet enchantment of sounds he himself has evoked; it is not for him, finally, to escape contemporary judgment, hypocritically callous contemporary judgment, which will call insignificant and mean the creations he has fostered, will allot him a contemptible corner in the ranks of writers who insult mankind, will ascribe to him the quality of the heroes he has portrayed, will deny him heart, and soul, and the divine flame of talent. For contemporary judgment does not recognize that equally wondrous are the glasses that observe the sun and those that look at the movement of inconspicuous insect; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that much depth of soul is needed to light up the picture drawn from contemptible life and elevate it into a pearl of creation; for contemporary judgment does not recognize that lofty ecstatic laughter is worthy to stand beside the lofty lyrical impulse, and that a whole abyss separates it from the antics of the street-fair clown! This contemporary judgment does not recognize; and will turn it all into a reproach and abuse of the unrecognized writer; with no sharing, no response, no sympathy, like a familyless wayfarer, he will be left alone in the middle of the road. Grim is his path, and bitterly he will feel his solitude.
Nikolai Gogol (Dead Souls)
I hear You saying to me: "I will give you what you desire. I will lead you into solitude. I will lead you by the way that you cannot possibly understand, because I want it to be the quickest way. "Therefore all the things around you will be armed against you, to deny you, to hurt you, to give you pain, and therefore to reduce you to solitude. "Because of their enmity, you will soon be left alone. They will cast you out and forsake you and reject you and you will be alone. "Everything that touches you shall burn you, and you will draw your hand away in pain, until you have withdrawn yourself from all things. Then you will be all alone. "Everything that can be desired will sear you, and brand you with a cautery, and you will fly from it in pain, to be alone. Every created joy will only come to you as pain, and you will die to all joy and be left alone. All the good things that other people love and desire and seek will come to you, but only as murderers to cut you off from the world and its occupations. "You will be praised, and it will be like burning at the stake. You will be loved, and it will murder your heart and drive you into the desert. "You will have gifts, and they will break you with their burden. You will have pleasures of prayer, and they will sicken you and you will fly from them. "And when you have been praised a little and loved a little I will take away all your gifts and all your love and all your praise and you will be utterly forgotten and abandoned and you will be nothing, a dead thing, a rejection. And in that day you shall being to possess the solitude you have so long desired. And your solitude will bear immense fruit in the souls of men you will never see on earth. "Do not ask when it will be or where it will be or how it will be: On a mountain or in a prison, in a desert or in a concentration camp or in a hospital or at Gethsemani. It does not matter. So do not ask me, because I am not going to tell you. You will not know until you are in it. "But you shall taste the true solitude of my anguish and my poverty and I shall lead you into the high places of my joy and you shall die in Me and find all things in My mercy which has created you for this end and brought you from Prades to Bermuda to St. Antonin to Oakham to London to Cambridge to Rome to New York to Columbia to Corpus Christi to St. Bonaventure to the Cistercian Abbey of the poor men who labor in Gethsemani: "That you may become the brother of God and learn to know the Christ of the burnt men.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world. Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs. It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone. It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been. Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen? We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth. It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Tom Robbins
What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write.To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
The Balrog reached the bridge. Gandalf stood in the middle of the span, leaning on the staff in his left hand, but in his other hand Glamdring gleamed, cold and white. His enemy halted again, facing him, and the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings. It raised the whip, and the thongs whined and cracked. Fire came from its nostrils. But Gandalf stood firm. 'You cannot pass,' he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. 'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.' The Balrog made no answer. The fire in it seemed to die, but the darkness grew. It stepped forward slowly onto the bridge, and suddenly it drew itself up to a great height, and its wings were spread from wall to wall; but still Gandalf could be seen, glimmering in the gloom; he seemed small, and altogether alone: grey and bent, like a wizened tree before the onset of a storm. From out of the shadow a red sword leaped flaming. Glamdring glittered white in answer. There was a ringing clash and a stab of white fire. The Balrog fell back and its sword flew up in molten fragments. The wizard swayed on the bridge, stepped back a pace, and then again stood still. 'You cannot pass!' he said. With a bound the Balrog leaped full upon the bridge. Its whip whirled and hissed. 'He cannot stand alone!' cried Aragorn suddenly and ran back along the bridge. 'Elendil!' he shouted. 'I am with you, Gandalf!' 'Gondor!' cried Boromir and leaped after him. At that moment Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke asunder and fell from his hand. A blinding sheet of white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest remained, poised, quivering like a tongue of rock thrust out into emptiness. With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard's knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. 'Fly, you fools!' he cried, and was gone.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
First having read the book of myths, and loaded the camera, and checked the edge of the knife-blade, I put on the body-armor of black rubber the absurd flippers the grave and awkward mask. I am having to do this not like Cousteau with his assiduous team aboard the sun-flooded schooner but here alone. There is a ladder. The ladder is always there hanging innocently close to the side of the schooner. We know what it is for, we who have used it. Otherwise it is a piece of maritime floss some sundry equipment. I go down. Rung after rung and still the oxygen immerses me the blue light the clear atoms of our human air. I go down. My flippers cripple me, I crawl like an insect down the ladder and there is no one to tell me when the ocean will begin. First the air is blue and then it is bluer and then green and then black I am blacking out and yet my mask is powerful it pumps my blood with power the sea is another story the sea is not a question of power I have to learn alone to turn my body without force in the deep element. And now: it is easy to forget what I came for among so many who have always lived here swaying their crenellated fans between the reefs and besides you breathe differently down here. I came to explore the wreck. The words are purposes. The words are maps. I came to see the damage that was done and the treasures that prevail. I stroke the beam of my lamp slowly along the flank of something more permanent than fish or weed the thing I came for: the wreck and not the story of the wreck the thing itself and not the myth the drowned face always staring toward the sun the evidence of damage worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty the ribs of the disaster curving their assertion among the tentative haunters. This is the place. And I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair streams black, the merman in his armored body. We circle silently about the wreck we dive into the hold. I am she: I am he whose drowned face sleeps with open eyes whose breasts still bear the stress whose silver, copper, vermeil cargo lies obscurely inside barrels half-wedged and left to rot we are the half-destroyed instruments that once held to a course the water-eaten log the fouled compass We are, I am, you are by cowardice or courage the one who find our way back to this scene carrying a knife, a camera a book of myths in which our names do not appear.
Adrienne Rich (Diving Into the Wreck)
there is a list of questions i want to ask but never will there is a list of questions i go through in my head every time i'm alone and my mind can't stop itself from searching for you there is a list of questions i want to ask so if you're listening somewhere here i am asking them what do you think happens to the love that's left behind when two lovers leave how blue do you think it gets before it passes away does it pass away or does it still exist somewhere waiting for us to come back when we lied to ourselves by calling this unconditional and left which one of us hurt more i shattered into a million little pieces and those pieces shattered into a million more crumbled into dust till there was nothing left of me but the silence tell me how love how did the grieving feel for you how did the mourning hurt how did you peel your eyes open after every blink knowing i'd never be there staring back it must be hard to live with what ifs there must always be this constant dull aching in the pit of your stomach trust me i feel it too how in the world did we get here how did we live through it and how are we still living how many months did it take before you stopped thinking of me or are you still thinking of me cause if you are then maybe i am too thinking of you thinking of me with me in me around me everywhere you and me and us do you still touch yourself to the thoughts of me do you still imagine my naked naked tiny tiny body pressed into yours do you still imagine the curve of my spine and how you wanted to rip it out of me cause the way it dipped into my perfectly rounded bottom drove you crazy baby sugar baby sweet baby ever since we left how many times did you pretend it was my hand stroking you how many times did you search for me in your fantasies and end up crying instead of coming don't you lie to me i can tell when you're lying cause there's always that little bit of arrogance in your response are you angry with me are you okay and would you tell me if you're not and if we ever see each other again do you think you'd reach out and hold me like you said you would the last time we spoke and you talked of the next time we would or do you think we'd just look shake in our skin as we pine to absorb as much as we can of each other cause by this time we've probably got someone else waiting at home we were good together weren't we and is it wrong that i'm asking you these questions tell me love that you have been looking for these answers too
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
I’m such a negative person, and always have been. Was I born that way? I don’t know. I am constantly disgusted by reality, horrified and afraid. I cling desperately to the few things that give me some solace, that make me feel good. I hate most of humanity. Though I might be very fond of particular individuals, humanity in general fills me with contempt and despair. I hate most of what passes for civilization. I hate the modern world. For one thing there are just too Goddamn many people. I hate the hordes, the crowds in their vast cities, with all their hateful vehicles, their noise and their constant meaningless comings and goings. I hate cars. I hate modern architecture. Every building built after 1955 should be torn down! I despise modern music. Words cannot express how much it gets on my nerves – the false, pretentious, smug assertiveness of it. I hate business, having to deal with money. Money is one of the most hateful inventions of the human race. I hate the commodity culture, in which everything is bought and sold. No stone is left unturned. I hate the mass media, and how passively people suck up to it. I hate having to get up in the morning and face another day of this insanity. I hate having to eat, shit, maintain the body – I hate my body. The thought of my internal functions, the organs, digestion, the brain, the nervous system, horrify me. Nature is horrible. It’s not cute and loveable. It’s kill or be killed. It’s very dangerous out there. The natural world is filled with scary, murderous creatures and forces. I hate the whole way that nature functions. Sex is especially hateful and horrifying, the male penetrating the female, his dick goes into her hole, she’s impregnated, another being grows inside her, and then she must go through a painful ordeal as the new being pushes out of her, only to repeat the whole process in time. Reproduction – what could be more existentially repulsive? How I hate the courting ritual. I was always repelled by my own sex drive, which in my youth never left me alone. I was constantly driven by frustrated desires to do bizarre and unacceptable things with and to women. My soul was in constant conflict about it. I never was able to resolve it. Old age is the only relief. I hate the way the human psyche works, the way we are traumatized and stupidly imprinted in early childhood and have to spend the rest of our lives trying to overcome these infantile mental fixations. And we never ever fully succeed in this endeavor. I hate organized religions. I hate governments. It’s all a lot of power games played out by ambition-driven people, and foisted on the weak, the poor, and on children. Most humans are bullies. Adults pick on children. Older children pick on younger children. Men bully women. The rich bully the poor. People love to dominate. I hate the way humans worship power – one of the most disgusting of all human traits. I hate the human tendency towards revenge and vindictiveness. I hate the way humans are constantly trying to trick and deceive one another, to swindle, to cheat, and take unfair advantage of the innocent, the naïve and the ignorant. I hate the vacuous, false, banal conversation that goes on among people. Sometimes I feel suffocated; I want to flee from it. For me, to be human is, for the most part, to hate what I am. When I suddenly realize that I am one of them, I want to scream in horror.
Robert Crumb
Two small figures were beating against the rock; the girl had fainted and lay on the the boy's arm. With a last effort Peter pulled her up the rock and then lay down beside her. Even as he also fainted he saw that the water was raising, He knew that they would soon be drowned, but he could do no more. As they lay side by side a mermaid caught Wendy by the feet, and began pulling her softly into the water. Peter feeling her slip from him, woke with a start, and was just in time to draw her back. But he had to tell her the truth. "We are on the rock, Wendy," he said, "but it is growing smaller. Soon the water will be over it." She did not understand even now. "We must go," she said, almost brightly. "Yes," he answered faintly. "Shall we swim or fly, Peter?" He had to tell her. "Do you think you could swim or fly as far as the island, Wendy, without my help?" She had to admit she was too tired. He moaned. "What is it?" she asked, anxious about him at once. "I can't help you, Wendy. Hook wounded me. I can neither fly nor swim." "Do you mean we shall both be downed?" "Look how the water is raising." They put their hands over their eyes to shut out the sight. They thought they would soon be no more. As they sat thus something brushed against Peter as light as a kiss, and stayed there, as if to say timidly, "Can I be of any us?" It was the tail of a kite, which Michael had made some days before. It had torn itself out of his hand and floated away. "Michael's kite," Peter said without interest, but the next moment he had seized the tail, and was pulling the kite towards him. "It lifted Michael off the ground," he cried; "why should it not carry you?" "Both of us!" "It can't left two; Michael and Curly tried." "Let us draw lots," Wendy said bravely. "And you a lady; never." Already he had tied the tail round her. She clung to him; she refused to go without him; but with a "Good-bye, Wendy." he pushed her from the rock; and in a few minutes she was borne out of his sight. Peter was alone on the lagoon. The rock was very small now; soon it would be submerged. Pale rays of light tiptoed across the waters; and by and by there was to be heard a sound at once the most musical and the most melancholy in the world: the mermaids calling to the moon.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
1. Bangladesh.... In 1971 ... Kissinger overrode all advice in order to support the Pakistani generals in both their civilian massacre policy in East Bengal and their armed attack on India from West Pakistan.... This led to a moral and political catastrophe the effects of which are still sorely felt. Kissinger’s undisclosed reason for the ‘tilt’ was the supposed but never materialised ‘brokerage’ offered by the dictator Yahya Khan in the course of secret diplomacy between Nixon and China.... Of the new state of Bangladesh, Kissinger remarked coldly that it was ‘a basket case’ before turning his unsolicited expertise elsewhere. 2. Chile.... Kissinger had direct personal knowledge of the CIA’s plan to kidnap and murder General René Schneider, the head of the Chilean Armed Forces ... who refused to countenance military intervention in politics. In his hatred for the Allende Government, Kissinger even outdid Richard Helms ... who warned him that a coup in such a stable democracy would be hard to procure. The murder of Schneider nonetheless went ahead, at Kissinger’s urging and with American financing, just between Allende’s election and his confirmation.... This was one of the relatively few times that Mr Kissinger (his success in getting people to call him ‘Doctor’ is greater than that of most PhDs) involved himself in the assassination of a single named individual rather than the slaughter of anonymous thousands. His jocular remark on this occasion—‘I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible’—suggests he may have been having the best of times.... 3. Cyprus.... Kissinger approved of the preparations by Greek Cypriot fascists for the murder of President Makarios, and sanctioned the coup which tried to extend the rule of the Athens junta (a favoured client of his) to the island. When despite great waste of life this coup failed in its objective, which was also Kissinger’s, of enforced partition, Kissinger promiscuously switched sides to support an even bloodier intervention by Turkey. Thomas Boyatt ... went to Kissinger in advance of the anti-Makarios putsch and warned him that it could lead to a civil war. ‘Spare me the civics lecture,’ replied Kissinger, who as you can readily see had an aphorism for all occasions. 4. Kurdistan. Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with ‘deniable’ assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger ... for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created.... The apercu of the day was: ‘foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.’ Saddam Hussein heartily concurred. 5. East Timor. The day after Kissinger left Djakarta in 1975, the Armed Forces of Indonesia employed American weapons to invade and subjugate the independent former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Isaacson gives a figure of 100,000 deaths resulting from the occupation, or one-seventh of the population, and there are good judges who put this estimate on the low side. Kissinger was furious when news of his own collusion was leaked, because as well as breaking international law the Indonesians were also violating an agreement with the United States.... Monroe Leigh ... pointed out this awkward latter fact. Kissinger snapped: ‘The Israelis when they go into Lebanon—when was the last time we protested that?’ A good question, even if it did not and does not lie especially well in his mouth. It goes on and on and on until one cannot eat enough to vomit enough.
Christopher Hitchens