Letters To My Son Quotes

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The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts. I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.
John Adams (Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife)
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Outside his office my father had a framed copy of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher, translated into Pashto. It is a very beautiful letter, full of good advice. “Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside,” it says. “Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
November 20. Andrius's birthday. I had counted the days carefully. I wished him a happy birthday when I woke and thought about him while hauling logs during the day. At night, I sat by the light of the stove, reading Dombey and Son. Krasivaya. I still hadn't found the word. Maybe I'd find it if I jumped ahead. I flipped through some of the pages. A marking caught my eye. I leafed backward. Something was written in pencil in the margin of 278. Hello, Lina. You've gotten to page 278. That's pretty good! I gasped, then pretened I was engrossed in the book. I looked at Andrius's handwritting. I ran my finger over this elongated letters in my name. Were there more? I knew I should read onward. I couldn't wait. I turned though the pages carefully, scanning the margins. Page 300: Are you really on page 300 or are you skipping ahead now? I had to stifle my laughter. Page 322: Dombey and Son is boring. Admit it. Page 364: I'm thinking of you. Page 412: Are you maybe thinking of me? I closed my eyes. Yes, I'm thinking of you. Happy birthday, Andrius.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
My Dear Son... remember that you are accountable to your Maker for all your words and actions.
Abigail Adams (Abigail Adams: Her Letters)
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt. I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate. There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid. At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame. I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you. The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you. For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right. I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Thing was' he faced them, and Harry was astonished to see that he was grinning, 'they bit of a bit more than they could chew with Gran. Little old witch living alone, they probably think they didn't need to send anyone particularly powerful. Anyway' Neville laughed, 'Dawlish is still in St Mungo's and Gran is on the run. She sent me a letter,' he clapped a hand to the breast pocket of his robes, 'telling me she was proud of me, that I'm my parents' son, and to keep it up
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
A few days after we came home from the hospital, I sent a letter to a friend, including a photo of my son and some first impressions of fatherhood. He responded, simply, 'Everything is possible again.' It was the perfect thing to write, because that was exactly how it felt. We could retell our stories and make them better, more representative or aspirational. Or we could choose to tell different stories. The world itself had another chance.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
(Looking at the letter in his hand) Then what is this if it isn’t telling me? Sure, [Larry] was my son. But I think to him [the pilots killed] were all my sons. And I guess they were, I guess they were
Arthur Miller (All My Sons)
Since there was nothing at all I was certain of, since I needed to be provided at every instant with a new confirmation of my existence, since nothing was in my very own, undoubted, sole possession, determined unequivocally only by me — in sober truth a disinherited son — naturally I became unsure even of the thing nearest to me, my own body.
Franz Kafka (Letter to His Father)
We don’t know each other, but I know that you must be very special. I can’t be there today, to watch my baby boy promise his love to you, but there are a few things that I think I might say to you if I were. First, thank you for loving my son. Of all my boys, Travis is the most tender hearted. He is also the strongest. He will love you with everything he has for as long as you let him. Tragedies in life sometimes change us, but some things never change. A boy without a mother is a very curious creature. If Travis is anything like his father, and I know that he is, he’s a deep ocean of fragility, protected by a thick wall of swear words and feigned indifference. A Maddox boy will take you all the way to the edge, but if you go with him, he’ll follow you anywhere. I wish more than anything that I could be there today. I wish I could see his face when he takes this step with you, and that I could stand there with my husband and experience this day with all of you. I think that’s one of the things I’ll miss the most. But today isn’t about me. You reading this letter means that my son loves you. And when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever. Please give my baby boy a kiss for me. My wish for both of you is that the biggest fight you have is over who is the most forgiving. Love, Diane
Jamie McGuire (A Beautiful Wedding (Beautiful, #2.5))
Pitiful and pitied by no one, why have I come to the ignominy of this detestable old age, who was ruler of two kingdoms, mother of two kings? My guts are torn from me, my family is carried off and removed from me. The young king [crown prince Henry, †1183] and the count of Britanny [prince Geoffrey, †1186] sleep in dust, and their most unhappy mother is compelled to be irremediably tormented by the memory of the dead. Two sons remain to my solace, who today survive to punish me, miserable and condemned. King Richard [the Lionheart] is held in chains [in captivity with Emperor Henry VI of Germany]. His brother, John, depletes his kingdom with iron [the sword] and lays it waste with fire. In all things the Lord has turned cruel to me and attacked me with the harshness of his hand. Truly his wrath battles against me: my sons fight amongst themselves, if it is a fight where where one is restrained in chains, the other, adding sorrow to sorrow, undertakes to usurp the kingdom of the exile by cruel tyranny. Good Jesus, who will grant that you protect me in hell and hide me until your fury passes, until the arrows which are in me cease, by which my whole spirit is sucked out?" [Third letter to Pope Celestine (1193)]
Eleanor of Aquitaine
I perceived or thought of the Light of God and in it suspended one small mote (or millions of motes to only one of which was my small mind directed), glittering white because of the individual ray from the Light which both held and lit it...And the ray was the Guardian Angel of the mote: not a thing interposed between God and the creature, but God's very attention itself, personalized...This is a finite parallel to the Infinite. As the love of the Father and Son (who are infinite and equal) is a Person, so the love and attention of the Light to the Mote is a person (that is both with us and in Heaven): finite but divine, i.e. angelic.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
A few days after we came home from the hospital, I sent a letter to a friend, including a photo of my son and some first impressions of fatherhood. He responded, simply, 'Everything is possible again.' It was the perfect thing to write because that was exactly how it felt.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
I learned to love my son without wanting to possess him and I learned how to teach him to teach himself.
Maya Angelou (Letter to My Daughter)
You reading this letter means that my son loves you. And when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever.
Jamie McGuire (A Beautiful Wedding (Beautiful, #2.5))
I wanted to join the rebels. I waited for my Hogwarts letter to come. I longed for Gandalf to show up and tell me we’re going on an adventure. When a white rabbit shows up in my life and says ‘I want to take you to Wonderland’, you’d better believe I’m going to pack my bags.
Kendra Moreno (Late as a Rabbit (Sons of Wonderland #2))
Foreign Cash is not the answers to our problems, my friend. Africa needs the hearts and minds of its sons and daughters to nurture it. You were our pride, Mukoma Bryon. When you did not return, a whole village lost its investment. Africa is all that we have. If we do not build it, no one else will.
J. Nozipo Maraire (Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter)
This is why we need to travel. If we don't offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don't lift to the horizon; our ears don't hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days.
Kent Nerburn (Letters to My Son: A Father's Wisdom on Manhood, Life, and Love)
My art school rejection letter arrived as a cold manila fist that closed around my fragile hopes [...] The fear was practically edible. Nothing would happen unless I get out and make it happen. Then, as if handing me the keys to the jet pack, my dad bought me a typewriter and a taped message to the inside of its case: 'Son- the world is waiting to hear from you'.
Grant Morrison (Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human)
[Philip's death was] beyond comparison the most afflicting of my life.... He was truly a fine youth. But why should I repine? It was the will of heaven and he is now out of the reach of the seductions and calamities of a world full of folly, full of vice, full of danger, of least value in proportion as it is best known. I firmly trust also that he has safely reached the haven of eternal repose and felicity. (Alexander Hamilton letter to Benjamin Rush about the death of his 19-year old son from mortal wounds inflicted from a duel.)
Ron Chernow (Alexander Hamilton)
Living as prayer. I think that is when I am at my best. Because seeing through prayer provides a remarkable clarity. Not in the doctrinal sense, but because it is, at best, the lens of a love for every tattered inch of this earth.
Imani Perry (Breathe: A Letter to My Sons)
Who could guess he’d have a tooth pulled by Shmelke the healer and lie down the next morning and die? It’s as my mother says: “Tomorrow is another day—but whose?
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Time can play all sorts of tricks on you. In the blink of an eye, babies appear in carriages, coffins disappear into the ground, wars are won and lost, and children transform, like butterflies, into adults. That's what happened to me. Once upon a time, I was a boy named Hugo Cabret, and I desperately believed that a broken automaton would save my life. Now that my cocoon has fallen away and I have emerged as a magician named Professor Alcofrisbas, I can look back and see that I was right. The automaton my father discovered did save me. But now I have built a new automaton. I spent countless hours designing it. I made every gear myself, carefully cut every brass disk, and fashioned every bt of machinery with my own hands. When you wind it up, it can do something I'm sure no other automaton in the world can do. It can tel you the incredible story of Georges Melies, his wife, their goddaughter, and a beloved clock maker whose son grew up to be a magician. The complicated machinery inside my automaton can produce one-hundred and fifty-eight different pictures, and it can wrote, letter, by letter, an entire book, twenty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-nine words. These words. THE END
Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret)
Desmond ushered the man inside. He was stooped and ugly, with an unkempt beard and unwashed clothes, yet Father greeted him pleasantly and asked his name. “Yoren, as it please m’lord. My pardons for the hour.” He bowed to Arya. “And this must be your son. He has your look.” “I’m a girl,” Arya said, exasperated. If the old man was down from the Wall, he must have come by way of Winterfell. “Do you know my brothers?” she asked excitedly. “Robb and Bran are at Winterfell, and Jon’s on the Wall. Jon Snow, he’s in the Night’s Watch too, you must know him, he has a direwolf, a white one with red eyes. Is Jon a ranger yet? I’m Arya Stark.” The old man in his smelly black clothes was looking at her oddly, but Arya could not seem to stop talking. “When you ride back to the Wall, would you bring Jon a letter if I wrote one?” She wished Jon were here right now. He’d believe her about the dungeons and the fat man with the forked beard and the wizard in the steel cap.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
Believe in seeds, earth, and the sea, but in people above all. Love clouds, machines, and books, but people above all. Grieve for the withering branch, the dying star, and the hurt animal, but feel for people above all. Rejoice in all the earth's blessings- darkness and light, the four seasons, but people above all. - Last Letter to my Son
Nâzım Hikmet (Poems of Nazım Hikmet)
The disease of the soul is both more common and more deadly than the disease of the body. Just as medicine is the art devoted to healing the body, so philosophy is the art devoted to healing the soul, curing it of improper emotions, false beliefs, and faulty judgments, which are the causes of so much hardship and handicap. To heal the body one turns to the practitioner of the art of healing the body, but to heal the soul there is no doctor to turn to, and each of us is left to become that doctor unto himself. Yet, this need not stop us from exhorting others to imitate us in the godly art, in the forlorn hope that they might transform themselves into better citizens for Athens and better companions for us.
Neel Burton (Plato: Letters to my Son)
Will and George were doing well in business, and Joe was writing letters home in rhymed verse and making as smart an attack on all the accepted verities as was healthful. Samuel wrote to Joe, sayings, "I would be disappointed if you had not become an atheist, and I read pleasantly that you have, in your age and wisdom, accepted agnosticism the way you'd take a cookie on a full stomach. But I would ask you with all my understanding heart not to try to convert your mother. Your last letter only made her think you are not well. Your mother does not believe there are many ills uncurable by good strong soup. She puts your brave attack on the structure of our civilization down to a stomach ache. It worries her. Her faith is a mountain, and you, my son, haven't even got a shovel yet.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
In times past there were rituals of passage that conducted a boy into manhood, where other men passed along the wisdom and responsibilities that needed to be shared. But today we have no rituals. We are not conducted into manhood; we simply find ourselves there. Kent Nerburn, Letters to My Son
Michelle Anthony (Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family: Avoiding the 6 Dysfunctional Parenting Styles)
Dear dad, in consequence of a trivial altercation with a Captain Tapper, of Wild Violet Lodge, whom I happened to step upon in the corridor of a train, I had a pistol duel this morning in the woods near Kalugano and am now no more. Though the manner of my end can be regarded as a kind of easy suicide, the encounter and the ineffable Captain are in no way connected with the Sorrows of Young Veen. In 1884, during my first summer in Ardis, I seduced your daughter, who was then twelve. Our torrid affair lasted till my return to Riverlane; it was resumed last June, four years later. That happiness has been the greatest event in my life, and I have no regrets. Yesterday, though, I discovered she had been unfaithful to me, so we parted. Tapper, I think, may be the chap who was thrown out of one of your gaming clubs for attempting oral intercourse with the washroom attendant, a toothless old cripple, veteran of the first Crimean War. Lots of flowers, please! Your loving son, Van He carefully reread his letter – and carefully tore it up. The note he finally placed in his coat pocket was much briefer. Dad, I had a trivial quarrel with a stranger whose face I slapped and who killed me in a duel near Kalugano. Sorry! Van
Vladimir Nabokov (Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle)
Someday find my son...tell him about how things can be between men on this Earth." --A Letter to Jesse Owens
Luz Long
But it’s as my mother, bless her, says: When a madman breaks a window, it’s never his own….
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Parents are living gods. They do everything to make their children happy and expect nothing in return.
Saravanakumar Murugan (Letters To My Son (Coffee Reads Book 1))
Love binds a family and, in the process, breaks two.
Saravanakumar Murugan (Letters To My Son (Coffee Reads Book 1))
Less abject but more shocking was the letter from the Founder of the Calvary Tabernacle Association in Oklahoma: Professor Einstein, I believe that every Christian in America will answer you, 'We will not give up our belief in our God and his son Jesus Christ, but we invite you, if you do not believe in the God of the people of this nation, to go back where you came from.' I have done everything in my power to be a blessing to Israel, and then you come along and with one statement from your blasphemous tongue, do more to hurt the cause of your people than all the efforts of the Christians who...
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
My grandmother believed that one of the most difficult tasks that the Almighty can assign anyone is being a girl in Afghanistan. As a child, I didn't want to be a girl. I didn't want my dolls to be women.
Homeira Qaderi (Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son)
Still, I knew rehab was important. So I listened. I went to every class. I held hands with strangers. With suburban mummies who’d gotten addicted to prescription pills, and a preacher’s son who’d fallen into the arms of heroin, and a Russian oligarch’s daughter who, like me, had snorted pounds and pounds of cocaine to numb the feeling that the world was closing in on you from all angles. I wrote letters to my family and friends. Angry letters. Apologetic letters. Funny letters. Then I burned them all. I couldn’t write Stardust shite, though. Everything I had to say to her—every single groveling word—had to be said in person.
L.J. Shen (Midnight Blue)
Without fail, he always signed off on these letters with love and he always included Whiskey and Bess in the list of individuals sending this love my way. At the time it made me laugh, it made me embarrassed, but as soon as I softened, as soon as I matured back into his son, I came to appreciate what he was saying -- an endearing and magnanimous reminder of how family will always be the sum of its individual members, be they human or animal.
Nick Trout (Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight [Acts] Pets)
Keep his mind on the inner life. He thinks his conversion is something inside him, and his attention is therefore chiefly turned at present to the state of his own mind--or rather to that very expurgated version of them which is all you should allow him to see. Encourage this. Keep his mind off the most elementary duties of directing it to the most advanced and spiritual ones. Aggravate the most useful human characteristics, the horror and neglect of the obvious. You must bring him to a condition in which he can practise self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself which are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with him or worked in the same office. 2. It is, no doubt, impossible to prevent his praying for his mother, but we have means of rendering the prayers innocuous. Make sure that they are always very 'spiritual', that is is always concerned with the state of her soul and never with her rhuematism. Two advantages will follow. In the first place, his attention will be kept on what he regards are her sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself. Thus you can keep rubbing the wounds of the day a little sorer even while he is on his knees; the operation is not at all difficult and you will find it very entertaining. In the second place, since his ideas about her soul will be very crude and often erroneous, he will, in some degree, be praying for an imaginary person, and it will be your task to make that imaginary person daily less and less like the real mother--the sharp-tongued old lady at the breakfast table. In time you may get the cleavage so wide that no thought or feeling from his prayers for the imagined mother will ever flow over into his treatment of the real one. I have had patients of my own so well in hand that they could be turned at a moment's notice from impassioned prayer for a wife's or son's soul to beating or insulting the real wife or son without any qualm. 3. When two humans have lived together for many years it usually happens that each has tones of voice and expressions of face whice are almost unedurably irritating to the other. Work on that. Bring fully into the consciousness of your patient that particular lift of his mother's eyebrows which he learned to dislike in the nursery, and let him think how much he dislikes it. Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy--if you know your job he will not notice the immense improbablity of the assumption. And, of course, never let him suspect that he has tones and looks which similarly annoy her. As he cannot see or hear himself, this is easily managed.
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
His [Luke]letter went something like this: "Dear Mr President, Thank you for introducing me to the Hall of Famers and for showing me the Oval Office. I think if I work really hard I will have a chance for both." The next time I saw the president I told him about my son's ambitious plans. His response was beautiful: "Never get between a boy and his dreams
Tim Russert
Philosophy is a bitter medicine with many fearsome side effects, but if you are able to stomach it, it can cure your soul of the many ills and infirmities of ignorance. Given the choice, most men prefer not to take it, and many of those who do soon find that they cannot carry on with it. In the end, they choose what is more pleasant over what is more wholesome, and prefer the society of those who encourage them in their follies to that of those who admonish and improve them. You, on the other hand, appear to be minded otherwise, for when a young men sets for himself the highest standards of education and conduct, he naturally shuns the company of mindless nobodies and boldly seeks out that of the singular men who are prepared to teach him and challenge him and exhort him to virtue. In time, by his strivings, he will come to realize that it is from the hardest toil and noblest deeds that the purest and most persisting pleasures are to be had, and, taking pity on other men, and thinking also of the gods, he will do everything in his power to share this precious secret.
Neel Burton (Plato: Letters to my Son)
And when you do find this letter, you know what? Something extraordinary will happen. It will be like a reverse solar eclipse - the sun will start shining down in the middle of the night, imagine that! - and when I see this sunlight it will be my signal to go running out into the streets, and I'll shout over and over, "Awake! Awake! The son of mine who once was lost has now been found!" I'll pound on every door in the city, and my cry will ring true: "Awake! Everyone listen, there has been a miracle - my son who once was dead is now alive. Rejoice! All of you! Rejoice! You must! My son is coming home!
Douglas Coupland (Hey Nostradamus!)
True friends seek together to live truer, fuller lives by relating to each other authentically and by teaching each other about the limitations of their beliefs and the defects in their character, which are a far greater source of error than mere rational confusion.
Neel Burton (Plato: Letters to my Son)
Franklin ended his “Apology for Printers” with a fable about a father and son traveling with a donkey. When the father rode and made his son walk, they were criticized by those they met; likewise, they were criticized when the son rode and made the father walk, or when they both rode the donkey, or when neither did. So finally, they decided to throw the donkey off a bridge. The moral, according to Franklin, was that it is foolish to try to avoid all criticism. Despite his “despair of pleasing everybody,” Franklin concluded, “I shall not burn my press or melt my letters.”16
Walter Isaacson (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life)
I wish I'd gotten to know my dad better too," Kent nodded, "because when I did know him, he already wasn't himself. But the thing is, I never blamed him." "Why's that?" "I suppose because trying to place blame on someone always seemed like an impossible task. Like trying to find the start of something that's actually an endless cycle. I just figured it was better to be hard on myself and to make sure that I was a better person to those I loved. That way I could break the cycle." Did you hear that, Dad? That's the kind of wisdom older brothers are put on this earth to dispense.
Louie Anderson (Dear Dad: Letters from an Adult Child)
Now, here is the big one—write her a letter.” I pulled my head back and looked at him with a confused expression. “A letter? What kind of letter?” He smiled a crooked smile. “A letter telling her how you’ve felt—from the moment she told you she was having your child to watching her belly grow, and most of all, to holding your child in your arms for the first time. Write it down while it is fresh in your memory, son. Then, after you get home, when it feels like the right time, you give her that letter. Take the baby and go for a walk, so she has some time alone when she reads it.
Kelly Elliott (A Forever Love (Wanted, #5))
I am the sun I am the sea I am the one By infinity I am the spark I am the light I am the dark And I am the night I am Iran I am Xerxes I am Zal’s son And I am a beast I am God’s own Emissary Colour my heart Red, white and green I am Ferdowsi I am Hafez I am Saadi Rolled all in one breath Ibn Sina Omar Khayyam Look at me now Bundled in one I am the present I am the past I am the future My presence will last I am Ismail My soul is unleashed ‘Till the day at least The sun sets in the east
Soroosh Shahrivar (Letter 19)
My son, you are just an infant now, but on that day when the world disrobes of its alluring cloak, it is then that I pray this letter is in your hands. Listen closely, my dear child, for I am more than that old man in the dusty portrait beside your bed. I was once a little boy in my mother’s arms and a babbling toddler on my father's lap. I played till the sun would set and climbed trees with ease and skill. Then I grew into a fine young man with shoulders broad and strong. My bones were firm and my limbs were straight; my hair was blacker than a raven's beak. I had a spring in my step and a lion's roar. I travelled the world, found love and married. Then off to war I bled in battle and danced with death. But today, vigor and grace have forsaken me and left me crippled. Listen closely, then, as I have lived not only all the years you have existed, but another forty more of my own. My son, We take this world for a permanent place; we assume our gains and triumphs will always be; that all that is dear to us will last forever. But my child, time is a patient hunter and a treacherous thief: it robs us of our loved ones and snatches up our glory. It crumbles mountains and turns stone to sand. So who are we to impede its path? No, everything and everyone we love will vanish, one day. So take time to appreciate the wee hours and seconds you have in this world. Your life is nothing but a sum of days so why take any day for granted? Don't despise evil people, they are here for a reason, too, for just as the gift salt offers to food, so do the worst of men allow us to savor the sweet, hidden flavor of true friendship. Dear boy, treat your elders with respect and shower them with gratitude; they are the keepers of hidden treasures and bridges to our past. Give meaning to your every goodbye and hold on to that parting embrace just a moment longer--you never know if it will be your last. Beware the temptation of riches and fame for both will abandon you faster than our own shadow deserts us at the approach of the setting sun. Cultivate seeds of knowledge in your soul and reap the harvest of good character. Above all, know why you have been placed on this floating blue sphere, swimming through space, for there is nothing more worthy of regret than a life lived void of this knowing. My son, dark days are upon you. This world will not leave you with tears unshed. It will squeeze you in its talons and lift you high, then drop you to plummet and shatter to bits . But when you lay there in pieces scattered and broken, gather yourself together and be whole once more. That is the secret of those who know. So let not my graying hairs and wrinkled skin deceive you that I do not understand this modern world. My life was filled with a thousand sacrifices that only I will ever know and a hundred gulps of poison I drank to be the father I wanted you to have. But, alas, such is the nature of this life that we will never truly know the struggles of our parents--not until that time arrives when a little hand--resembling our own--gently clutches our finger from its crib. My dear child, I fear that day when you will call hopelessly upon my lifeless corpse and no response shall come from me. I will be of no use to you then but I hope these words I leave behind will echo in your ears that day when I am no more. This life is but a blink in the eye of time, so cherish each moment dearly, my son.
Shakieb Orgunwall
it is necessary for you to study; since, then, you have no longer the excuse of illness, take pains to study letters and music, for you see what honour is done to me for the little skill I have. Therefore, my son, if you wish to please me, and to bring success and honour to yourself, do right and study, because others will help you if you help yourself.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Prince)
All the wrong questions have been asked and the correct answers are not true.
Michael Hogan (Letters For My Son)
What determines our being virtuous is largely the absence of opportunity to be otherwise
Eric Nicol (Letters To My Son)
Yo lo sé, la resistencia, el coraje, la fuerza no son infinitas. Sólo te pedimos un poco más. Sólo un poco...
Ingrid Betancourt (Letters to My Mother)
It has been my experience that, even when a man has a sense of humor, it only really carries him to the point where he will join in a laugh at the expense of the other fellow.
George Horace Lorimer (Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son)
I did not tell you it would be okay because I never believed it would be okay.
Ta-Nehisi Coates
A drunk grows sober before a fool grows wise,” says my mother, more health to her.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
My brother-in-law—may my life be as long as his was short!—has died of the toothache. Of course, his health wasn’t too good before that.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
In short, things are going from bad to worse. But if you want peace and quiet, my mother says, you should look for it in the grave …
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Stay at home,” says my mother, “and you won’t wear out your boots!
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
As my mother says, there’s no need to show the beaten dog a stick….
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
But you know what my mother says: “With the right kind of luck you can break your nose falling on grass …
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
But it’s as my mother says: “When a girl can’t dance, she blames the musicians …
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Well, to quote my mother, a worm lies in horseradish and thinks there’s nothing sweeter.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
But it’s as my mother says: “If you want to learn how to grow cabbages, ask the gardener, not the goat.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
The wise man blesses the whip that flogs him,” says my mother.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
JOH14.13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
Fathers have a way of either distorting the character of God or rightly representing it to their son.
Isaac Mogilevsky (A Letter to My Father: What Your Son Wants to Tell You But Doesn't)
Are you okay?” he says. My breath shakes. “Do you know the story of the Prodigal Son?” “Oh my god. Rev—” “Do you?” He sighs. “I don’t remember the whole thing.” So I tell him the story. He listens. When I’m done, he says, “What does that have to do with anything?” “Which one am I?” I finally ask. “Rev—” “I didn’t stay with my father. So I’m obviously not the devoted son.” “Dude.” “But is that saying that if I went back to him, he’d welcome me with open arms? Am I supposed to be that son?” “Are you listening to yourself right now?” “No.” I study him. My voice is a breath away from breaking. “Help me, Dec. Which one am I?” His eyes are dark and serious. “Neither. Is that what you need me to say? You’re neither son. “But—” “You’re not selfish. You wouldn’t be the son who asks for his money and leaves. And you’re not spiteful. You don’t resent anyone, even the one person you should.” I flinch again. “Don’t you understand? I have to be one or the other.” “No, you don’t! You moron, there are three people in the story.” “What?” “You’re neither son, Rev. If you’re anyone, you’re the man who watched his kids act like total dicks, only to stand there with open arms and forgive them.” I’m speechless. I might be gaping at him. As many times as I’ve read that parable, I’ve never considered a third perspective. But of course it’s right there. It’s so clear. Declan pulls his pillow away from the wall, fluffs it up, and lies back down. He yawns. “Now. Tell me about the girl.
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost, #2))
As my mother says, “God is a father. He punishes with one hand and heals with the other.” That’s something I don’t get. Why punish and then heal? You could save yourself the trouble by skipping both.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Respected Teacher, My son will have to learn that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for ever scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader. Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is far more valuable than five found. Teach him to learn to lose and also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can. Teach him the secret of quite laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to tick. Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books... but also give him quiet time to ponder over the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hill. In school teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if every one tells him they are wrong. Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough. Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when every one is getting on the bandwagon. Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through. Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness. Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders; but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul. Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he’s right. Treat him gently; but do not cuddle him because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind. This is a big order; but see what you can do. He is such a fine little fellow, my son. (Abraham Lincoln’s letter to his son’s Head Master)
Abraham Lincoln
R.O.TC. kept me away from sports while the other guys practiced every day. They made the school teams, won their letters and got the girls. My days were spent mostly marching around in the sun. All you ever saw were the backs of some guy's ears and his buttocks. I quickly became disenchanted with military proceedings. The others shined their shoes brightly and seemed to go through maneuvers with relish. I couldn't see any sense in it. They were just getting shaped up in order to get their balls blown off later. On the other hand, I couldn't see myself crouched down in a football helmet, shoulder pads laced on, decked out in Blue and White, #69, trying to move out some brute with tacos on his breath so that the son of the district attorney could slant off left tackle for six yards. The problem was you had to keep choosing between on evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25, most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidate who reminded them most of themselves.
Charles Bukowski (Ham on Rye)
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
You know what a clever woman my mother is. “What good,” she says to me, “are all his promises of tablecloths and handkerchiefs when he should be sending you cash? The Angel of Death doesn’t wait for a man to buy his shrouds…
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Queen Wilhelmina of Holland entered the state of motherhood six times, but was never able to carry the child to maturity. All the science of Europe could not bring the child to birth. There was a dear lady in our congregation in South Africa who had formerly been a nurse to Queen Wilhelmina. Her son was marvellously healed when dying of African fever, when he had been unconscious for six weeks. Being a friend of the queen, she wrote the story of her son’s healing, and after some correspondence we received a written request that we pray God that she might be a real mother. I brought her letter before the congregation one Sunday night, and the congregation went down to prayer. And before I arose from my knees, I turned around and said, “All right mother, you write and tell the queen, God has heard our prayer; she will bear a child.” Less than a year later the child was born, the present Princess Julianna of Holland.
John G. Lake (The John G. Lake Sermons: On Dominion Over Demons, Disease And Death (Pentecostal Pioneers Book 14))
Ruby: I’ve decided. I’m putting my Gary on a diet. Rosie: You’re putting him on a diet? How on earth can you control what your twenty-one-year-old son eats? Ruby: Oh it’s easy; I’ll just nail down everything to the floor. Rosie: So what kind of diet is it? Ruby: I don’t know. I bought a magazine, but there are so many stupid diets out there I don’t know which one to pick. Remember that ridiculous one that you and I did last year? The alphabet one where we had to eat foods beginning with a certain letter every day? Rosie: Oh yeah! How long did we do that for?! Ruby: Em . . . that would be 26 days of course Rosie Rosie: Oh . . . right . . . of course. You put on weight on the third day. Ruby: That’s because the third day was the lucky letter “C” . . . Cakes . . . mmmm Rosie: Well we made up for it on the last day. I was bloody starving on “Z” day; I was practically chasing zebras with a kitchen knife around the zoo. Could have eaten the zoo I suppose . . . Ruby: You should have done what I did, I ate like a queen. I became German for the day and ate “ze cakes” and “ze buns.” Oh I don’t know Rosie. I think I’ll just invent a diet of my own and give those stupid magazines a run for their money
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
But, Siawash, I want you to be a rebel, to grow up to fight the antiquated, brutal ways of that land. My son, nothing can diminish this sense of motherhood in me. Let your uncle Jaber refer to you as “his son,” but you and I both know the truth.
Homeira Qaderi (Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Mother's Letter to Her Son)
My cough is much worse at night and often prevents me from sleeping. It is not so much the daytime tiredness that I resent, but the inability to proceed uninter- rupted with my dreams, to run and play with my fancies, and, at last, in the early hours of the morning, to be visited with visions like a holy madman. The dreamer is like a Delian diver, fishing for pearls from the depths of our inner sea of knowledge; and I must have solved, or rather resolved, many more problems in my sleep than in my conscious hours.
Neel Burton (Plato: Letters to my Son)
My son, I want you to be shrewd, careful, and to guard your party affiliation carefully beneath the shadow of the cross. Donkeys and elephants be hanged. Because that’s the only allegiance that offers a roadmap out of the mire of the political mess we’ve made.
Jasmine L. Holmes (Mother to Son: Letters to a Black Boy on Identity and Hope)
I know of no trunk full of old heirlooms, no felt hats or army uniforms. There are no tarnished medals or gold watches. I've stopped dreaming of discovering the old shoe box filled with the history of our family, the documents and letters that recorded our family's arrival and the historical milestones as my grandfathers left their mark on a place. There is no journal or diary. I do not know if they knew how to read or write. I could easily dismiss their existence. Their lives seem empty and still, void of emotion. I cannot tell if they wear scars. I only know of my grandfathers as broken old men.
David Mas Masumoto (Harvest Son: Planting Roots in American Soil)
I closed my eyes. The monster had named itself now - stolen its name from the Son of Sam, who'd called himself Mr. Monster in a letter to the paper. He'd begged the police to shoot him on sight, so he wouldn't kill again. He couldn't stop himself. But I could. I am not a serial killer. I put down the knife.
Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1))
Charley looked over at him. "About how much you and Jesse have in common." Jesse said, "Why don't you tell it, Bob; if you remember." Bob inched forward in his chair. "Well, if you'll pardon my saying so, it is interesting, the many ways you and I overlap and whatnot. You begin with my daddy, J.T. Ford. J stands for James! And T is Thomas, meaning 'twin.' Your daddy was a pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church; my daddy was part-time pastor of a church at Excelsior Springs. You're the youngest of the three James boys; I'm the youngest of the five Ford boys. You had twins as sons, I had twins as sisters. Frank is four and a half years older than you, which incidentally is the difference between Charley and me, the two outlaws in the Ford clan. Between us is another brother, Wilbur here (with six letters in his name); between Frank and you was a brother, Robert, also with six letters. Robert died in infancy, as most everyone knows, and he was named after your father, Robert, who was remembered by your brother's first-born, another Robert. Robert, of course, is my Christian name. My uncle, Robert Austin Ford, has a son named Jesse James Ford. You have blue eyes; I have blue eyes. You're five feet eight inches tall; I'm five feet eight inches tall. We're both hot-tempered and impulsive and devil-may-care. Smith and Wesson is our preferred make of revolver. There's the same number of letters and syllables in our names; I mean, Jesse James and Robert Ford. Oh me, I must've had a list as long as your nightshirt when I was twelve, but I lost some curiosities over the years.
Ron Hansen (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
On the morning of November 22nd, a Friday, it became clear the gap between living and dying was closing. Realizing that Aldous [Huxley] might not survive the day, Laura [Huxley's wife] sent a telegram to his son, Matthew, urging him to come at once. At ten in the morning, an almost inaudible Aldous asked for paper and scribbled "If I go" and then some directions about his will. It was his first admission that he might die ... Around noon he asked for a pad of paper and scribbled LSD-try it intermuscular 100mm In a letter circulated to Aldous's friends, Laura Huxley described what followed: 'You know very well the uneasiness in the medical mind about this drug. But no 'authority', not even an army of authorities, could have stopped me then. I went into Aldous's room with the vial of LSD and prepared a syringe. The doctor asked me if I wanted him to give the shot- maybe because he saw that my hands were trembling. His asking me that made me conscious of my hands, and I said, 'No, I must do this.' An hour later she gave Huxley a second 100mm. Then she began to talk, bending close to his ear, whispering, 'light and free you let go, darling; forward and up. You are going forward and up; you are going toward the light. Willingly and consciously you are going, willingly and consciously, and you are doing this beautifully — you are going toward the light — you are going toward a greater love … You are going toward Maria's [Huxley's first wife, who had died many years earlier] love with my love. You are going toward a greater love than you have ever known. You are going toward the best, the greatest love, and it is easy, it is so easy, and you are doing it so beautifully.' All struggle ceased. The breathing became slower and slower and slower until, 'like a piece of music just finishing so gently in sempre piu piano, dolcamente,' at twenty past five in the afternoon, Aldous Huxley died.
Jay Stevens
And suddenly it seemed utterly right to me that resistance had been his wish, his intention. It made a kind of emotional sense that caused me to feel, instantly, how little sense my earlier more or less unframed assumptions had made. Of course! I thought. And with that thought it was as though my father stepped forward to meet me as he had been in 1940: twenty-five years old, newly married, teaching literature and history and religion as his first real job, as an assistant professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. That stage of his life – and he in it – had always been indistinct to me, as the lives of parents before their children exist always are to those children; but now, holding this letter in my hands, I remembered anew and vividly the numerous photographs in our family albums of him then – a slender young man, intense-looking and handsome, with a shock of dark hair swept back from his high forehead. A radical young man, it would seem. More radical in many ways than my own son was now. A young man, ready, perhaps even eager to embrace the fate his powerful beliefs were calling him to. Sitting there, I felt a rush of love and pity for him in his youth, in his passionate convictions – really, the same feelings I often had for my son when he argued his heartfelt positions. Abruptly, they seemed alike to me and equally dear: my father, my son. I felt as though my father had been waiting for this moment to be born to me as the young man he’d been, so touchingly willing to bear witness to his conscience; and the surprise of this new sense of him, this birth, was a gift to me, a sudden balm in those days of my most intense grief.
Sue Miller (The Story of My Father)
DEAR MAMA, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write. Every time I try to write to you and Papa I realize I’m not saying the things that are in my heart. That would be O.K., if I loved you any less than I do, but you are still my parents and I am still your child. I have friends who think I’m foolish to write this letter. I hope they’re wrong. I hope their doubts are based on parents who loved and trusted them less than mine do. I hope especially that you’ll see this as an act of love on my part, a sign of my continuing need to share my life with you. I wouldn’t have written, I guess, if you hadn’t told me about your involvement in the Save Our Children campaign. That, more than anything, made it clear that my responsibility was to tell you the truth, that your own child is homosexual, and that I never needed saving from anything except the cruel and ignorant piety of people like Anita Bryant. I’m sorry, Mama. Not for what I am, but for how you must feel at this moment. I know what that feeling is, for I felt it for most of my life. Revulsion, shame, disbelief—rejection through fear of something I knew, even as a child, was as basic to my nature as the color of my eyes. No, Mama, I wasn’t “recruited.” No seasoned homosexual ever served as my mentor. But you know what? I wish someone had. I wish someone older than me and wiser than the people in Orlando had taken me aside and said, “You’re all right, kid. You can grow up to be a doctor or a teacher just like anyone else. You’re not crazy or sick or evil. You can succeed and be happy and find peace with friends—all kinds of friends—who don’t give a damn who you go to bed with. Most of all, though, you can love and be loved, without hating yourself for it.” But no one ever said that to me, Mama. I had to find it out on my own, with the help of the city that has become my home. I know this may be hard for you to believe, but San Francisco is full of men and women, both straight and gay, who don’t consider sexuality in measuring the worth of another human being. These aren’t radicals or weirdos, Mama. They are shop clerks and bankers and little old ladies and people who nod and smile to you when you meet them on the bus. Their attitude is neither patronizing nor pitying. And their message is so simple: Yes, you are a person. Yes, I like you. Yes, it’s all right for you to like me too. I know what you must be thinking now. You’re asking yourself: What did we do wrong? How did we let this happen? Which one of us made him that way? I can’t answer that, Mama. In the long run, I guess I really don’t care. All I know is this: If you and Papa are responsible for the way I am, then I thank you with all my heart, for it’s the light and the joy of my life. I know I can’t tell you what it is to be gay. But I can tell you what it’s not. It’s not hiding behind words, Mama. Like family and decency and Christianity. It’s not fearing your body, or the pleasures that God made for it. It’s not judging your neighbor, except when he’s crass or unkind. Being gay has taught me tolerance, compassion and humility. It has shown me the limitless possibilities of living. It has given me people whose passion and kindness and sensitivity have provided a constant source of strength. It has brought me into the family of man, Mama, and I like it here. I like it. There’s not much else I can say, except that I’m the same Michael you’ve always known. You just know me better now. I have never consciously done anything to hurt you. I never will. Please don’t feel you have to answer this right away. It’s enough for me to know that I no longer have to lie to the people who taught me to value the truth. Mary Ann sends her love. Everything is fine at 28 Barbary Lane. Your loving son, MICHAEL
Armistead Maupin (More Tales of the City (Tales of the City #2))
Distance erases the contours and colors of memory. I have letters and photographs of the family that Juan Martín built in Norway; he calls me on the phone and has come to see me in recent years, when I no longer had the strength for such a long trip, but when I think of my son I can't seem to conjure the exact details of his features or voice.
Isabel Allende (Violeta)
And suddenly...it made a kind of emotional sense that caused me to feel, instantly, how little sense my earlier...assumptions had made...And with that thought it was as though my father stepped forward to meet me as he had been in 1940: twenty-five years old, newly married, teaching literature and history and religion as his first real job, as an assistant professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. That stage of his life – and he in it – had always been indistinct to me, as the lives of parents before their children exist always are to those children; but now, holding this letter in my hands, I remembered anew and vividly the numerous photographs in our family albums of him then – a slender young man, intense-looking and handsome, with a shock of dark hair swept back from his high forehead. A radical young man, it would seem. More radical in many ways than my own son was now. A young man, ready, perhaps even eager to embrace the fate his powerful beliefs were calling him to. Sitting there, I felt a rush of love and pity for him in his youth, in his passionate convictions...
Sue Miller (The Story of My Father)
The Revolution was another of the darkest, most uncertain of times and the longest war in American history, until the Vietnam War. It lasted eight and a half years, and Adams, because of his unstinting service to his country, was separated from his family nearly all that time, much to his and their distress. In a letter from France he tried to explain to them the reason for such commitment. I must study politics and war [he wrote] that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study paintings, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
David McCullough (The Course of Human Events)
October 19th. (To Miss Grace Bedell) Your very agreeable letter of the 15th is received. I regret the necessity to of saying I have no daughter. I have three sons--one seventeen, one nine, and one seven. They with their mother constitute my whole family. As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affection if I were to begin now?
Abraham Lincoln (An Autobiography of Abraham Lincoln)
Thanks to suffering and madness, I have had a finer, richer life than any of you, and I wish to go to my death with dignity, as befits the great moment after which all dignity and majesty cease. Let my body be my ark and my death a long floating on the waves of eternity. A nothing amid nothingness. What defense have I against nothingness but this ark in which I have tried to gather everything that was dear to me, people, birds, animals, and plants, everything that I carry in my eye and in my heart, in the triple-decked ark of my body and soul. Like the pharaohs in the majestic peace of their tombs, I wanted to have all those things with me in death, I wanted everything to be as it was before; I wanted the birds to sing for me forever, I wanted to exchange Charon's bark for another, less desolate and less empty; I wanted to ennoble eternity's unconscionable void with the bitter herbs that spring from the heart of man, to ennoble the soundless emptiness of eternity with the cry of the cuckoo and the song of the lark. All I have done is to develop that bitter poetic metaphor, carry it with passionate logic to its ultimate consequence, which transforms sleep into waking (and the converse); lucidity into madness (and the converse); life into death, as though there were no borderline, and the converse; death into eternity, as if they were not one and the same thing. Thus my egoism is only the egoism of human existence, the egoism of life, counterweight to the egoism of death, and, appearances to the contrary, my consciousness resists nothingness with an egoism that has no equal, resists the outrage of death with the passionate metaphor of the wish to reunite the few people and the bit of love that made up my life. I have wanted and still want to depart this life with specimens of people, flora and fauna, to lodge them all in my heart as in an ark, to shut them up behind my eyelids when they close for the last time. I wanted to smuggle this pure abstraction into nothingness, to sneak it across the threshold of that other abstraction, so crushing in its immensity: the threshold of nothingness. I have therefore tried to condense this abstraction, to condense it by force of will, faith, intelligence, madness, and love (self-love), to condense it so drastically that its specific weight will be such as to life it like a balloon and carry it beyond the reach of darkness and oblivion. If nothing else survives, perhaps my material herbarium or my notes or my letters will live on, and what are they but condensed, materialized idea; materialized life: a paltry, pathetic human victory over immense, eternal, divine nothingness. Or perhaps--if all else is drowned in the great flood--my madness and my dream will remain like a northern light and a distant echo. Perhaps someone will see that light or hear that distant echo, the shadow of a sound that was once, and will grasp the meaning of that light, that echo. Perhaps it will be my son who will someday publish my notes and my herbarium of Pannonian plants (unfinished and incomplete, like all things human). But anything that survives death is a paltry, pathetic victory over the eternity of nothingness--a proof of man's greatness and Yahweh's mercy. Non omnis moriar.
Danilo Kiš (Hourglass)
It is the prospect of being close to you that makes marriage partly attractive.  I can imagine the equality which we would then enjoy, it would mean more to you than any other type of equality, and be more beautiful.  I could be a son who was freer, more thankful, less guilty, and more upright; you could be a father who was less troubled, less tyrannical, more sympathetic, and more content.  But to reach this point all that has happened would need to be undone; so we would need to be abolished. But we are as we are, and marriage is your domain and so it is forbidden to me.  At times I imagine the map of the world laid out and you stretched across it.  And all that is left for my life are the areas you don’t cover or can’t reach.  And because I see you as a giant, my territory is miserable and small and doesn’t include marriage. I
Franz Kafka (Letter to My Father)
As your affection for me can only proceed from your experience and conviction of my fondness for you (for to talk of natural affection is talking nonsense), the only return I desire is, what it is chiefly your interest to make me; I mean your invariable practice of virtue, and your indefatigable pursuit of knowledge. Adieu! and be persuaded that I shall love you extremely, while you deserve it; but not one moment longer.
Philip Dormer Stanhope (Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman, 1746-47)
If you sum up your judgment of me, the result you get is that, although you don't charge me with anything downright improper or wicked . . . , you do charge me with coldness, estrangements and ingratitude. And, what is more, you charge me with it in such a way as to make it seem my fault, as though I might have been able, with something like a touch on the steering wheel, to make everything quite different, while you aren't in the slightest to blame, unless it be for having been too good to me. This, your usual way of representing it, I regard as accurate only in so far as I too believe you are entirely blameless in the matter of our estrangement. But I am equally entirely blameless. If I could get you to acknowledge this, then what would be possible is—not, I think, a new life, we are both much too old for that—but still, a kind of peace . . .
Franz Kafka
There is no living in the world without a complaisant indulgence for people's weaknesses, and innocent, though ridiculous vanities. If a man has a mind to be thought wiser, and a woman handsomer, than they really are, their error is a comfortable one to themselves, and an innocent one with regard to other people; and I would rather make them my friends by indulging them in it it, than my enemies, by endeavouring, and that to no purpose, to undeceive them.
Philip Dormer Stanhope (Lord Chesterfield, Letters Written To His Natural Son On Manners And Morals)
For example, my choice of career. You generously and patiently gave me complete freedom.  Though this followed the habits, or at least the values, of the Jewish middle class concerning their sons.  And here your misunder-standing of my character worked its effect, which – together with your father’s pride – blinded you to my real nature: to my weakness.  In your opinion, I was always studying as a child, and  later I was always writing.  Looking back that      is certainly not true.  I can say with very little exaggeration, I barely studied and I learnt nothing; to have retained something after so many years of education wasn’t remarkable for a man with a memory and some intelligence;  but given the vast expenditure of time and money, and my outwardly easy, unburdened life, what I achieved with regard to knowledge, especially sound knowledge, was nothing – certainly when compared to what others managed.  It is lamentable, but for me understandable.  I always had such a deep concern about the continued existence of my mind and spirit, that I was indifferent to everything else.  Jewish schoolboys have a reputation, for amongst them one finds the most improbable things; but my cold, barely disguised, permanent, childish, ridiculous, animal, self-satisfied indifference, and my cold and fantastical mind, are not things that I have ever met again – though admittedly they were just a defence against nervous destruction through fear and guilt.  And I was worried about myself in all manner of ways.  For example, I was worried about my health: I was worried about my hair falling out, my digestion, and my back – for it was stooped.  And my worries turned to fear and it all ended in true sickness.  But what was all that?  Not actual bodily sickness.  I was sick because I was a disinherited son, who needed constant reassurance about his own peculiar existence, who in the most profound sense never owned anything, and who was even insecure about the thing which was next to him: his own body. 
Franz Kafka (Letter to My Father)
Thomas Jefferson's Letter to John Holmes on the Missouri Statehood Question – April 20, 1820 I thank you, dear Sir, for the copy you have been so kind as to send me of the letter to your constituents on the Missouri question. It is a perfect justification to them. I had for a long time ceased to read newspapers, or pay any attention to public affairs, confident they were in good hands, and content to be a passenger in our bark to the shore from which I am not distant. But this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror. I considered it at once as the knell of the Union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment. But this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A geographical line, coinciding with a marked principle, moral and political, once conceived and held up to the angry passions of men, will never be obliterated; and every new irritation will mark it deeper and deeper. I can say, with conscious truth, that there is not a man on earth who would sacrifice more than I would to relieve us from this heavy reproach, in any practicable way. The cession of that kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle which would not cost me a second thought, if, in that way, a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected; and, gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be. But as it is, we have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other. Of one thing I am certain, that as the passage of slaves from one State to another, would not make a slave of a single human being who would not be so without it, so their diffusion over a greater surface would make them individually happier, and proportionally facilitate the accomplishment of their emancipation, by dividing the burthen on a greater number of coadjutors. An abstinence too, from this act of power, would remove the jealousy excited by the undertaking of Congress to regulate the condition of the different descriptions of men composing a State. This certainly is the exclusive right of every State, which nothing in the constitution has taken from them and given to the General Government. Could Congress, for example, say, that the non- freemen of Connecticut shall be freemen, or that they shall not emigrate into any other State? I regret that I am now to die in the belief, that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be, that I live not to weep over it. If they would but dispassionately weigh the blessings they will throw away, against an abstract principle more likely to be effected by union than by scission, they would pause before they would perpetrate this act of suicide on themselves, and of treason against the hopes of the world. To yourself, as the faithful advocate of the Union, I tender the offering of my high esteem and respect. Th. Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Bill, this is serious, and despite my stable condition, I am a man and I have something of the gravest importance to ask you. PLEASE could you do this for me? SOMEwhere in the "archives" there must be a picture of Joan, your wife, my mother. Please, Bill. Father, I'm almost 33 and I don't know what my own mother looked like. Would it should it can it possibly be too much trouble to let a precariously living son see the IMAGE of his mother? Honestly, this has rankled me for years on end. This letter has certainly asked a lot. I love you, Bill. Bill Jr.
William S. Burroughs Jr.
Dear Mr. Chance and Ms. Brattle. Sorry about the mess. Great bed. Loved it. As a matter of fact, loved the whole house. Actually, I tried to kill your kids when I found them here. Yeah, funny story. Maybe not funny, hah hah.’” Astrid heard nervous laughter from the media people, or maybe just from the hotel staff who were hovering around the edges grabbing a glimpse of the Hollywood royalty. “‘Anyway, I missed and they got away. I don’t know what will happen to Sanjit and that stick-up-his butt Choo and the rest, but whatever happens next, it’s not on me. However . . .’” Astrid took a dramatic pause. “‘However, the rest of what happened was on me. Me, Caine Soren. You’ll probably be hearing a lot of crazy stories from kids. But what they didn’t know was that it was all me. Me. Me me. See, I had a power I never told anyone about. I had the power to make people do bad things. Crimes and whatnot. Especially Diana, who never did anything wrong on her own, by her own will, I mean. She—and the rest of them—were under my control. The responsibility is on me. I confess. Haul me away, officers.’” Astrid suddenly felt her throat tightening, although she’d read the letter many times already, and knew what it said. Rotten son of a . . . And then this. Redemption. Not a bad concept. Well, partial redemption. “It’s signed Caine Soren. And below that, ‘King of the FAYZ.’” It was a full confession. A lie: a blatant, not-very-convincing lie. But it would be just enough to make prosecutions very difficult. Caine’s role in the FAYZ, and the reality that strange powers had actually existed in that space, were widely known and accepted. Of course Caine had enjoyed writing it. It was his penultimate act of control. He was manipulating from beyond the grave.
Michael Grant (Light (Gone, #6))
I’m crossing our backyard to the Pearces’, trying to juggle the bag and the portable speakers and my phone, when I see John Ambrose McClaren standing in front of the tree house, staring up at it with his arms crossed. I’d know the back of his blond head anywhere. I freeze, suddenly nervous and unsure. I’d thought Peter or Chris would be here with me when he arrived, and that would smooth out any awkwardness. But no such luck. I put down all my stuff and move forward to tap him on the shoulder, but he turns around before I can. I take a step back. “Hi! Hey!” I say. “Hey!” He takes a long look at me. “Is it really you?” “It’s me.” “My pen pal the elusive Lara Jean Covey who shows up at Model UN and runs off without so much as a hello?” I bite the inside of my cheek. “I’m pretty sure I at least said hello.” Teasingly he says, “No, I’m pretty sure you didn’t.” He’s right: I didn’t. I was too flustered. Kind of like right now. It must be that distance between knowing someone when you were a kid and seeing them now that you’re both more grown-up, but still not all the way grown-up, and there are all these years and letters in between you, and you don’t know how to act. “Well--anyway. You look…taller.” He looks more than just taller. Now that I can take the time to really look at him, I notice more. With his fair hair and milky skin and rosy cheeks, he looks like he could be an English farmer’s son. But he’s slim, so maybe the sensitive farmer’s son who steals away to the barn to read. The thought makes me smile, and John gives me a curious look but doesn’t ask why. With a nod, he says, “You look…exactly the same.” Gulp. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? “I do?” I get up on my tiptoes. “I think I’ve grown at least an inch since eighth grade.” And my boobs are at least a little bigger. Not much. Not that I want John to notice--I’m just saying.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Putting down the book, I said: "Listen, it revolts me to think that God sent His Son to say to us: 'I am the way, the truth, and the life,' with the fine result then that all of us find ourselves in the situation of those blind men, each with a wretched little fragment of the truth in his hand, each fragment different from the others. We know the truth of the faith only by analogy, yes; but blind to this degree, no! It seems to me unworthy both of God and of our reason!" This unexpected theology based on elephants' tails and backs did not completely convince my guest, but it shook him, making him say: "Well, nobody had ever said this to me!
Pope John Paul I (Illustrissimi: Letters from Pope John Paul I)
That’s when they decided there was only one way to stop me, I suppose, and they went for Gran.” “They what?” said Harry, Ron, and Hermione together. “Yeah,” said Neville, panting a little now, because the passage was climbing so steeply, “well, you can see their thinking. It had worked really well, kidnapping kids to force their relatives to behave, I s’pose it was only a matter of time before they did it the other way around. Thing was,” he faced them, and Harry was astonished to see that he was grinning, “they bit off a bit more than they could chew with Gran. Little old witch living alone, they probably thought they didn’t need to send anyone particularly powerful. Anyway,” Neville laughed, “Dawlish is still in St. Mungo’s and Gran’s on the run. She sent me a letter,” he clapped a hand to the breast pocket of his robes, “telling me she was proud of me, that I’m my parents’ son, and to keep it up.” “Cool,” said Ron. “Yeah,” said Neville happily. “Only thing was, once they realized they had no hold over me, they decided Hogwarts could do without me after all. I don’t know whether they were planning to kill me or send me to Azkaban; either way, I knew it was time to disappear.” “But,” said Ron, looking thoroughly confused, “aren’t--aren’t we heading straight back into Hogwarts?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
It pained Maria Fyodorovna to watch how her daughter-in-law dominated her son. Nicholas never once mentioned Rasputin in any of his letters to his mother. The subject for him was taboo. His mother wept: “My poor daughter-in-law does not perceive that she is ruining the dynasty and herself. She sincerely believes in the holiness of an adventurer, and we are powerless to ward off the misfortune, which is sure to come.” It was possible she was then recalling that upon her arrival in Russia from her homeland of Denmark in 1866, an old woman had foretold that her son would rule over Russia with great wealth and power, only to be cut down by “a moujik’s hand.”13
Douglas Smith (Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs)
There is a moment in the tractate Menahot when the Rabbis imagine what takes place when Moses ascends Mount Sinai to receive the Torah. In this account (there are several) Moses ascends to heaven, where he finds God busily adding crownlike ornaments to the letters of the Torah. Moses asks God what He is doing and God explains that in the future there will be a man named Akiva, son of Joseph, who will base a huge mountain of Jewish law on these very orthographic ornaments. Intrigued, Moses asks God to show this man to him. Moses is told to 'go back eighteen rows,' and suddenly, as in a dream, Moses is in a classroom, class is in session and the teacher is none other than Rabbi Akiva. Moses has been told to go to the back of the study house because that is where the youngest and least educated students sit. Akiva, the great first-century sage, is explaining Torah to his disciples, but Moses is completely unable to follow the lesson. It is far too complicated for him. He is filled with sadness when, suddenly, one of the disciples asks Akiva how he knows something is true and Akiva answers: 'It is derived from a law given to Moses on Mount Sinai.' Upon hearing this answer, Moses is satisfied - though he can't resist asking why, if such brilliant men as Akiva exist, Moses needs to be the one to deliver the Torah. At this point God loses patience and tells Moses, 'Silence, it's my will.
Jonathan Rosen (The Talmud and the Internet: A Journey between Worlds)
About two years ago," Cymbra went on, "Wolf conceived the idea of an alliance between Norse and Saxon to stand against the Danes.He thought such an alliance would be best confirmed by a marriage between himself and me.This did he propose in a letter to my brother. With the help of a traitorous house priest, Father Elbert, Daria intercepted that letter and stole Hawk's seal as well. She sent back to Wolf a refusal in Hawk's name and mine that not merely rejected the alliance but also insulted him deeply. His repsonse was all too predictable, although it is certain Daria herself never thought of it." "What did he do?" Rycca asked,trying very hard not to sound breathless. Cymbra smiled in fond memory. "Wolf came to Essex and took me by stealth. We were married as I told you and only then did he send word to Hawk as to where I could be found. Naturally, my brother was very angry and concerned. He came to Sciringesheal, where I did my utmost to convince him that I was happily wed,which certainly was true but unfortunately he did not believe. So are men ever stubborn. One thing led to another and Hawk spirited me back to Essex. Winter set in and it was months before Wolf could follow.During that time, Hawk realized his mistake. Once Wolf arrived, all was settled amicably, which was a good thing because this little one"-she smiled at her drowsy son-"had just been norn and I was in no mood to put up with any more foolishness on the part of bull-headed men. It was while we were at Hawkforte, waiting as I regained strength to return home, that Wolf suggested Hawk and Dragon should also make marriages for the alliance." "Such suggestion I am sure they both heartily welcomed," Rycca said sardonically. Cymbra laughed. "About as much as they would being boiled in oil.Hawk was especially bad. He had been married years ago when he was very young and had no good memories of the experience. But I must say, Krysta brought him round in far shorter time than I would have thought possible." "Do you have any idea how she did it?" Rycca ventured,hoping not to sound too desperately curious. "Oh,I know exactly how." Cymbra looked at her new sister-in-law and smiled. "She loved him." "Loved him? That was all it took?" "Well,to be fair,I think she also maddened, irked, frustrated, and bewildered him. All that certainly helped.But I will leave Krysta to tell her own story,as I am sure she will when opportunity arises.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
In his final months, Grant showed exceptional kindness to Terrell, furnishing him with a glowing recommendation letter for use after his death so he could find employment as a War Department messenger. Terrell’s son Robert had just graduated cum laude from Harvard. While he was there, Grant had provided him with a beautiful letter to obtain summer work in the Boston Custom House: “My special interest in him is from the fact that his father—a most estimable man—is my butler, beside I should feel an interest in any young man, white or colored, who had the courage and ability to graduate himself at Harvard without other pecuniary aid than what he could earn.”91 Robert Terrell was to befriend Booker T. Washington and become the first black municipal judge in Washington. Harrison Terrell had unusual opportunities to observe Grant’s drinking habits.
Ron Chernow (Grant)
Every night, I sit in the rocking chair in the nursery when I give Willow her bedtime bottle. Tonight, I burped her halfway through her feeding like always. Then I sat her on my knees facing me and made funny faces. She looked right into my eyes. And she smiled. She’s ten weeks old and she just gave me her very first smile. I wish I’d taken a picture. I’m probably supposed to be documenting everything better for her baby book or whatever. She’s going to have a terrible baby book. But at least she’ll have a father who loves her. Because when she smiled at me tonight, I finally felt it. Love. A rush of love. I was so blown away by it I laughed, which made her smile at me even more. Then I hugged her small body and breathed in the smell of her Johnson’s baby shampoo. I could feel her heartbeat. Up until tonight, I was pretty sure Willow didn’t like me, and I understood why she didn’t. I didn’t blame her for resenting the idiot, bumbling guy who started doing for her all the things her gorgeous, familiar mother had done before. But tonight . . . tonight my little girl smiled at me. She gave her very first smile to me because I’m her person now. I’m her daddy and, in her way, I think she might love me, too. When I laid her against the inside of my elbow to feed her the rest of her bottle, her hand made a fist in the fabric of my shirt. She watched me as she drank down her formula. I’m tired and lonely. Parenting is far more difficult than I understood when I was a son and not yet a father. I miss my freedom and my friends and the life I had before Sylvie told me she was pregnant. I miss who I used to be. But tonight my daughter, a tiny girl in pink pajamas, smiled at me. Because I’m her person. Letter
Becky Wade (Then Came You (A Bradford Sisters Romance, #0.5))
What can I tell you that you do not know Of the life after death? Your son’s eyes, which had unsettled us With your Slavic Asiatic Epicanthic fold, but would become So perfectly your eyes, Became wet jewels, The hardest substance of the purest pain As I fed him in his high white chair. Great hands of grief were wringing and wringing His wet cloth of face. They wrung out his tears. But his mouth betrayed you — it accepted The spoon in my disembodied hand That reached through from the life that had survived you. Day by day his sister grew Paler with the wound She could not see or touch or feel, as I dressed it Each day with her blue Breton jacket. By night I lay awake in my body The Hanged Man My neck-nerve uprooted and the tendon Which fastened the base of my skull To my left shoulder Torn from its shoulder-root and cramped into knots — I fancied the pain could be explained If I were hanging in the spirit From a hook under my neck-muscle. Dropped from life We three made a deep silence In our separate cots. We were comforted by wolves. Under that February moon and the moon of March The Zoo had come close. And in spite of the city Wolves consoled us. Two or three times each night For minutes on end They sang. They had found where we lay. And the dingos, and the Brazilian-maned wolves — All lifted their voices together With the grey Northern pack. The wolves lifted us in their long voices. They wound us and enmeshed us In their wailing for you, their mourning for us, They wove us into their voices. We lay in your death, In the fallen snow, under falling snow, As my body sank into the folk-tale Where the wolves are singing in the forest For two babes, who have turned, in their sleep, Into orphans Beside the corpse of their mother.
Ted Hughes (Birthday Letters)
There are Californians who waiver in their allegiance to the climate of California. Sometimes the climate of San Francisco has made me cross. Sometimes I have thought that the winds in summer were too cold, that the fogs in summer were too thick. But whenever I have crossed the continent—when I have emerged from New York at ninety-five degrees, and entered Chicago at one hundred degrees—when I have been breathing the dust of alkali deserts and the fiery air of sagebrush plains—these are the times when I have always been buoyed up by the anticipation of inhaling the salt air of San Francisco Bay. If ever a summer wanderer is glad to get back to his native land, it is I, returning to my native fog. Like the prodigal youth who returned to his home and filled himself with husks, so I always yearn in summer to return to mine, and fill myself up with fog. Not a thin, insignificant mist, but a fog—a thick fog—one of those rich pea-soup August fogs that blow in from the Pacific Ocean over San Francisco. When I leave the heated capitals of other lands and get back to California uncooked, I always offer up a thank-offering to Santa Niebla, Our Lady of the Fogs. Out near the Presidio, where Don Joaquin de Arillaga, the old comandante, revisits the glimpses of the moon, clad in rusty armor, with his Spanish spindle-shanks thrust into tall leathern boots—there some day I shall erect a chapel to Santa Niebla. And I have vowed to her as an ex-voto a silver fog-horn, which horn will be wound by the winds of the broad Pacific, and will ceaselessly sound through the centuries the litany of Our Lady of the Fogs. Every Californian has good reason to be loyal to his native land. If even the Swiss villagers, born in the high Alps, long to return to their birthplace, how much more does the exiled Californian yearn to return to the land which bore him. There are other, richer, and more populous lands, but to the Californian born, California is the only place in which to live. And to the returning Californian, particularly if he be native-born, the love of his birthplace is only intensified by visits to other lands. Why do men so love their native soil? It is perhaps a phase of human love for the mother. For we are compact of the soil. Out of the crumbling granite eroded from the ribs of California’s Sierras by California’s mountain streams—out of earth washed into California’s great valleys by her mighty rivers—out of this the sons of California are made, brain, and muscle, and bone. Why then should they not love their mother, even as the mountaineers of Montenegro, of Switzerland, of Savoy, lover their mountain birth-place? Why should not exiled Californians yearn to return? And we sons of California always do return; we are always brought back by the potent charm of our native land—back to the soil which gave us birth—and at the last back to Earth, the great mother, from whom we sprung, and on whose bosom we repose our tired bodies when our work is done.
Jerome Hart (Argonaut Letters)
Two weeks ago, Aaron and Isaac, I learned your mother Laura has breast cancer. My heart feels impaled. These words, so useless and feeble. Laura is only thirty-five years old. Her next birthday will be in only three days. I write this letter to you, my sons, with the hope that one day in the future you will read it and understand what happened to our family. Together, your mother and I have created and nurtured an unbreakable bond that has transformed us into an unlikely team. A Chicano from El Paso, Texas. A Jew from Concord, Massachusetts. I want you to know your mother. She has given me hope when I have felt none; she has offered me kindness when I have been consumed by bitterness. I believe I have taught her how to be tough and savvy and how to achieve what you want around obstacles and naysayers. Our hope is that the therapies we are discussing with her doctors will defeat her cancer. But a great and ominous void has suddenly engulfed us at the beginning of our life as a family. This void suffocates me.
Sergio Troncoso (Crossing Borders: Personal Essays)
I have in my files a copy of a letter written by Major Sullivan Ballou, a Union officer in the 2nd Rhode Island. He writes to his wife on the eve of the Battle of Bull Run, a battle he senses will be his last. He speaks tenderly to her of his undying love, of “the memories of blissful moments I have spent with you.” Ballou mourns the thought that he must give up “the hope of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood around us.” Yet in spite of his love the battle calls and he cannot turn from it. “I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter . . . how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution . . . Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break” and yet a greater cause “comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistably on with all these chains to the battle field.
John Eldredge (Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul)
And in this moment of pale dawn in the hours before we leave California, I finally realize what has been the hardest thing for me about Matt’s death. It isn’t that I lost a brother, like Frankie, or a son, like Aunt Jayne and Uncle Red. The hardest thing is that I’ll never know exactly what I lost, how much it should hurt, how long I should keep thinking about him. He took that mystery with him when he died, and a hundred thousand one-sided letters in my journal wouldn’t have brought me any closer to the truth than I was the night I pressed my fingers to the sea glass he wore around his neck and kissed him back. For over a year, the letters were my only connection to him; the only evidence that I didn’t imagine our brief time as other. When I first saw my journal helplessly floating on the waves, I felt a loss so immediate and overwhelming it was like being back in the hospital lobby when the doctor told us they couldn’t fix him. One minute, the journal was in my hands, soft and familiar and real; the next minute, it was gone. Just like Matt. And just like Matt, I need to let it go.
Sarah Ockler (Twenty Boy Summer)
They were brought up that way by their parents. When they came to England, they were further mesmerised. They were impressed by English language, literature and English way of life. They considered the English as divine. Let us consider a specific case. The person is not a modern Hindu but a Muslim. His name is Sayyad Ahmad. He founded the Aligad Movement and asked Muslims to be slaves of the English forever. When he lived in England in late nineteenth century he wrote a letter to his friends describing life in England at that time. In a letter of 1869 he wrote – “The English have reasons to believe that we in India are imbecile brutes. What I have seen and daily seeing is utterly beyond imagination of a native in India. All good things, spiritual and worldly which should be found in man have been bestowed by the Almighty on Europe and especially on the English.” (Ref -Nehru’s Autobiography page 461). Above letter of Sayyad Ahmad would suffice to show how mentally degenerated and devoid of any self-respect, Indians had become. I have already illustrated this point by quoting experiences of Indians from the early days of Dadabhai Naoroji till I reached London in 1906. Gandhi came to London to study Law in 1888. His behaviour was no different to that described above. He too tried to use Top Hat, Tail Coat and expensive ties. Many other Indians have described their experiences in a similar manner. Motilal Nehru, like father of Arvind Ghosh too, was impressed by the British Raj. He sent his son Jawaharlal to England in his young age, who stayed in English hostels and so anglicised he had become that after studying in Cambridge University and becoming a Barrister in 1912 he paid no attention to Indian Politics which was taking shape in Europe. Anyone can verify my statements by referring to autobiographies of Gandhi, Nehru, Charudatta, and others. When the British called Indians as Brutes, instead of becoming furious, Indians would react – “Oh yes sir. We are indeed so and that is why, by divine dispensation, the British Raj has been established over us.“ I was trying to sow seeds of armed revolution to overthrow the British rule in India. The readers can imagine how difficult, well nigh impossible was my task. I was determined .
July 14, 1861 Camp Clark, Washington My very dear Sarah: The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days — perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more… I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing — perfectly willing — to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt… Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me unresistibly on with all these chains to the battle field. The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God and to you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years, when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grown up to honorable manhood, around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me — perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar, that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battle field, it will whisper your name. Forgive my many faults and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness… But, O Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the gladdest days and in the darkest nights … always, always, and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath, as the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by. Sarah do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again…
Sullivan Ballou
Nothing demonstrates so clearly as the unfolding of our conflict with Russia how essential it is that the Head of a State must be capable of swift, decisive action on his own responsibility, when a war seems to him to be inevitable. In a letter which we found on Stalin's son written by a friend, stands the following phrase : "I hope to be able to see my Anuschka once more before the promenade to Berlin." If, in accordance with their plan, the Russians had been able to foresee our actions, it is, probable that nothing would have been able to stop their armoured units, for the highly developed road system of central Europe would greatly have favoured their advance. In any case, I take credit for the fact that we succeeded in making the Russians hold off right up to the moment when we launched our attack, and that we did so by entering into agreements which were favourable to their interests. Suppose for example that, when the Russians marched into Rumania, we had not been able to limit their conquests to Bessarabia, they would in one swoop have grabbed all the oilfields of the country, and we should have found ourselves, from the spring of that very year, completely frustrated as regards our supplies of petrol.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
The next morning I showed up at dad’s house at eight, with a hangover. All my brothers’ trucks were parked in front. What are they all doing here? When I opened the front door, Dad, Alan, Jase, and Willie looked at me. They were sitting around the living room, waiting. No one smiled, and the air felt really heavy. I looked to my left, where Mom was usually working in the kitchen, but this time she was still, leaning over the counter and looking at me too. Dad spoke first. “Son, are you ready to change?” Everything else seemed to go silent and fade away, and all I heard was my dad’s voice. “I just want you to know we’ve come to a decision as a family. You’ve got two choices. You keep doing what you’re doing--maybe you’ll live through it--but we don’t want nothin’ to do with you. Somebody can drop you off at the highway, and then you’ll be on your own. You can go live your life; we’ll pray for you and hope that you come back one day. And good luck to you in this world.” He paused for a second then went on, a little quieter. “Your other choice is that you can join this family and follow God. You know what we stand for. We’re not going to let you visit our home while you’re carrying on like this. You give it all up, give up all those friends, and those drugs, and come home. Those are your two choices.” I struggled to breathe, my head down and my chest tight. No matter what happened, I knew I would never forget this moment. My breath left me in a rush, and I fell to my knees in front of them all and started crying. “Dad, what took y’all so long?” I burst out. I felt broken, and I began to tell them about the sorry and dangerous road I’d been traveling down. I could see my brothers’ eyes starting to fill with tears too. I didn’t dare look at my mom’s face although I could feel her presence behind me. I knew she’d already been through the hell of addiction with her own mother, with my dad, with her brother-in-law Si, and with my oldest brother, Alan. And now me, her baby. I remembered the letters she’d been writing to me over the last few months, reaching out with words of love from her heart and from the heart of the Lord. Suddenly, I felt guilty. “Dad, I don’t deserve to come back. I’ve been horrible. Let me tell you some more.” “No, son,” he answered. “You’ve told me enough.” I’ve seen my dad cry maybe three times, and that was one of them. To see my dad that upset hit me right in the gut. He took me by my shoulders and said, “I want you to know that God loves you, and we love you, but you just can’t live like that anymore.” “I know. I want to come back home,” I said. I realized my dad understood. He’d been down this road before and come back home. He, too, had been lost and then found. By this time my brothers were crying, and they got around me, and we were on our knees, crying. I prayed out loud to God, “Thank You for getting me out of this because I am done living the way I’ve been living.” “My prodigal son has returned,” Dad said, with tears of joy streaming down his face. It was the best day of my life. I could finally look over at my mom, and she was hanging on to the counter for dear life, crying, and shaking with happiness. A little later I felt I had to go use the bathroom. My stomach was a mess from the stress and the emotions. But when I was in the bathroom with the door shut, my dad thought I might be in there doing one last hit of something or drinking one last drop, so he got up, came over, and started banging on the bathroom door. Before I could do anything, he kicked in the door. All he saw was me sitting on the pot and looking up at him while I about had a heart attack. It was not our finest moment. That afternoon after my brothers had left, we went into town and packed up and moved my stuff out of my apartment. “Hey bro,” I said to my roommate. “I’m changing my life. I’ll see ya later.” I meant it.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
Ten days later I was amazed to receive a letter from Diana written just days after she’d arrived home--in fact, before I’d written her a thank-you letter. I was mortified by my delay in writing to her. I had managed to fire off proper thank-you notes to Ambassador Wight and Ms. Gillett, but I had so much more to say to Diana. Her letter was the most heartwarming one I have ever received--even more so, now that I know what personal strain she was under then. After thanking us “a million times” for coming to see them in Washington, she wrote, “From the beginning to the end I had a lump in my throat looking at what a special little man Patrick had grown up to be--Goodness, you must be extremely proud of him and if either of my boys turn out like Patrick I will have no worries and I really mean every word.” I had a lump in my throat as I read this. I was very proud of Patrick and deeply touched by Diana’s praise. Diana added that, for her, the high point of the visit to Washington was seeing Patrick and me. She explained, “Being able to get in touch with a v. happy and memorable part of my past meant a tremendous amount to me and kept me going for days!” Seeing the world-famous Diana in such a warm and personal way after five years and realizing how much she still cherished our friendship kept me going for months, even years!
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
This book is fiction and all the characters are my own, but it was inspired by the story of the Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida. I first heard of the place in the summer of 2014 and discovered Ben Montgomery’s exhaustive reporting in the Tampa Bay Times. Check out the newspaper’s archive for a firsthand look. Mr. Montgomery’s articles led me to Dr. Erin Kimmerle and her archaeology students at the University of South Florida. Their forensic studies of the grave sites were invaluable and are collected in their Report on the Investigation into the Deaths and Burials at the Former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida. It is available at the university’s website. When Elwood reads the school pamphlet in the infirmary, I quote from their report on the school’s day-to-day functions. Officialwhitehouseboys.org is the website of Dozier survivors, and you can go there for the stories of former students in their own words. I quote White House Boy Jack Townsley in chapter four, when Spencer is describing his attitude toward discipline. Roger Dean Kiser’s memoir, The White House Boys: An American Tragedy, and Robin Gaby Fisher’s The Boys of the Dark: A Story of Betrayal and Redemption in the Deep South (written with Michael O’McCarthy and Robert W. Straley) are excellent accounts. Nathaniel Penn’s GQ article “Buried Alive: Stories From Inside Solitary Confinement” contains an interview with an inmate named Danny Johnson in which he says, “The worst thing that’s ever happened to me in solitary confinement happens to me every day. It’s when I wake up.” Mr. Johnson spent twenty-seven years in solitary confinement; I have recast that quote in chapter sixteen. Former prison warden Tom Murton wrote about the Arkansas prison system in his book with Joe Hyams called Accomplices to the Crime: The Arkansas Prison Scandal. It provides a ground’s-eye view of prison corruption and was the basis of the movie Brubaker, which you should see if you haven’t. Julianne Hare’s Historic Frenchtown: Heart and Heritage in Tallahassee is a wonderful history of that African-American community over the years. I quote the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. a bunch; it was energizing to hear his voice in my head. Elwood cites his “Speech Before the Youth March for Integrated Schools” (1959); the 1962 LP Martin Luther King at Zion Hill, specifically the “Fun Town” section; his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”; and his 1962 speech at Cornell College. The “Negroes are Americans” James Baldwin quote is from “Many Thousands Gone” in Notes of a Native Son. I was trying to see what was on TV on July 3, 1975. The New York Times archive has the TV listings for that night, and I found a good nugget.
Colson Whitehead (The Nickel Boys)
As Emma's final days drew near, she reported a vision in which Joseph came to her. In the dream she put on her bonnet and shawl and went with him: "I did not think that it was anything unusual. I went with him into a [beautiful] mansion, and he showed me through the different apartments." One room was a nursery, and there she saw with joy an infant in the cradle. Emma continued, "I knew my babe, my Don Carlos that was taken from me." Emma sprang forward, caught the child up in her arms, held him to her exultant heart, and wept with joy. Recovered from the overwhelming emotion of once again holding her little one, she turned to Joseph and asked, "Joseph, where are the rest of my children?" He responded, "Emma, be patient and you shall have all of your children." As her vision closed, Emma saw standing by Joseph's side a personage of light, even the Lord Jesus Christ. That vision must have been a final seal of peace upon Emma's heart, writing upon it her precious sealing to Joseph on that beautiful spring day in 1843. A few days later, Emma trembled at the threshold of eternity, surrounded by her loved ones. Suddenly she raised herself up, stretched out her hand, and called, "Joseph! Joseph!" Then, sinking back into her son's arm, she clasped her hands on her chest and was gone. At last they were together once more--Joseph and Emma, hearts twined as one, never to be separated again.
Angela Eschler (Love Letters Of Joseph And Emma)
What’s the name of that great-great-great-great-grandfather of yours again?” I asked. “The one that mucked about here during one of the Risings? I can’t remember if it was Willy or Walter.” “Actually, it was Jonathan.” Frank took my complete disinterest in family history placidly, but remained always on guard, ready to seize the slightest expression of inquisitiveness as an excuse for telling me all facts known to date about the early Randalls and their connections. His eyes assumed the fervid gleam of the fanatic lecturer as he buttoned his shirt. “Jonathan Wolverton Randall—Wolverton for his mother’s uncle, a minor knight from Sussex. He was, however, known by the rather dashing nickname of ‘Black Jack,’ something he acquired in the army, probably during the time he was stationed here.” I flopped facedown on the bed and affected to snore. Ignoring me, Frank went on with his scholarly exegesis. “He bought his commission in the mid-thirties—1730s, that is—and served as a captain of dragoons. According to those old letters Cousin May sent me, he did quite well in the army. Good choice for a second son, you know; his younger brother followed tradition as well by becoming a curate, but I haven’t found out much about him yet. Anyway, Jack Randall was highly commended by the Duke of Sandringham for his activities before and during the ’45—the second—Jacobite Rising, you know,” he amplified for the benefit of the ignorant amongst his audience, namely me. “You know, Bonnie Prince Charlie and that lot?
Diana Gabaldon (Outlander (Outlander, #1))
Then one day our phone rang, and the voice on the other end said, “I need to talk to Mr. Robertson.” “Yeah, that’s me,” I answered. “Are you the one who’s getting duck calls into Walmart stores?” the man asked me. “Yes, that’s me,” I told him. “Son, let me ask you a question,” he said. “How did you get duck calls into the Walmart chain without going through me?” “Well, just who are you?” I asked. “I’m the buyer for Walmart!” he screamed. There was a pause. “One store at a time,” I told him. There was a long pause. “Let me get this right,” he said. “You mean to tell me you’ve been driving around in your pickup truck and convincing our sporting goods departments to buy duck calls without even conferring with me, who’s supposed to be doing the buying for the whole Walmart chain?” “Sir, I didn’t mean to slight you or anything,” I said. “Look, I didn’t even know who you were. Bentonville’s a long way. I’m just trying to survive down here!” He thought about that for a minute, then said, “I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. Anybody who can pull a stunt like that, I’m going to write you a letter authorizing you to do what you’ve been doing.” “Man, I appreciate that,” I told him. “I’m going to authorize you to go into our stores,” he said. “You’ll have that letter from me, and that makes it all aboveboard.” “Hey, I’d appreciate any help you can give me,” I said. So the buyer in Bentonville wrote me a letter and sent it to me. I got the letter and showed it to every store manager I met. They all told me, “Come on in, Mr. Robertson.
Phil Robertson (Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander)
Are his letters to Diana downstairs?" She sighed. "What is it about girls and letters? My husband left me messages in soap on the bathroom mirror. Utterly impermanent.Really wonderful-" She broke off and scowled. I would have thought she looked a little embarrassed, but I didn't think embarrassment was in her repertoire. "Anyway. Most of the correspondence between the Willings is in private collections. He had their letters with him in Paris when he died. In a noble but ultimately misguided act, his attorney sent them to his neice. Who put them all in a ghastly book that she illustrated. Her son sold them to finance the publication of six even more ghastly books of poetry. I trust there is a circle of hell for terrible poets who desecrate art." "I've seen the poetry books in the library," I told her. "The ones with Edward's paintings on the covers. I couldn't bring myself to read them." "Smart girl. I suppose worse things have been done, but not many.Of course, there was that god-awful children's television show that made one of his landscapes move.They put kangaroos in it. Kangaroos. In eastern Pennsylvania." "I've seen that,too," I admitted. I'd hated it. "Hated it.Not quite as much as the still life where Tastykakes replaced one orange with a cupcake, or the portrait of Diana dressed in a Playtex sports bra, but close." "Oh,God. I try to forget about the bra." Dr. Rothaus shuddered. "Well, I suppose they do far worse to the really famous painters.Poor van Gogh. All those hearing-aid ads." "Yeah." We shared a moment of quiet respect for van Gogh's ear.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, in addition to the daily letter I also made sure to send her a Valentine’s card and a different bar of chocolate. I was buying really nice bars of chocolate, all different flavors and kinds. She was only allowed to eat them right there at mail call, and sometimes she would get several packages at once, so even though it was hard to do, she’d share bites of her chocolate with other people. I also made sure to give extra thought to the regular, daily letter that would arrive on Valentine’s Day: Jamie, In the beginning of our relationship I criticized your expectations in a boyfriend. I told you that you watched too many movies and lived in a fantasy world. In a way I was asking you to settle. Even through our arguments about what was realistic and what was a fairy tale, I did everything I could to be your prince in a world where I saw you as the princess that you are. I was wrong to ever question you. Your standards never dropped and it forced me to rise up to the level needed to keep you. Like a storybook romance, I’ve defended your honor, showered you with love, worshipped the ground you walk on, and will faithfully wait for you while you’re away. You have made me a better man. Because of you I live a life I am proud of and have become the father, brother, son, and friend my family deserves. Your love has positively affected every aspect of my life. And for that I could never repay you. But I will happily be forever yours, paying off my debt and love for years to come. Like your favorite movie, Beauty and the Beast, a tale as old as time, we are living proof that fantasy can be reality. Love always and forever, Noah I’d never been that outwardly romantic before. I’d never worn my feelings on my sleeve quite like I did with her.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
For our part, we thought we would be following her path from a distance in the press. Our friends called to tell us when the photo of Diana pushing Patrick in his stroller appeared in Newsweek, or when our name was mentioned in a news magazine or paper. We were generally mislabeled as the Robinsons. Everyone asked if we would be going to the wedding, and we would reply, “Us? No, of course not.” We truly never expected to hear from Diana again, so her January letter became especially precious to us. We were stunned when a letter from Diana on Buckingham Palace stationary arrived in late March. She was clearly happy, writing, “I am on a cloud.” She missed Patrick “dreadfully.” She hoped that we were all “settled down by now, including your cat too--.” Diana had never even seen our cat. We’d left him with my brother because England requires a six-month quarantine for cats and dogs. How did she ever remember we had one? Then, “I will be sending you an invitation to the wedding, naturally. . . .” The wedding . . . naturally . . . God bless her. Maybe we weren’t going to lose her after all. She even asked me to send a picture of Patrick to show to “her intended(!), since I’m always talking about him.” As for her engagement, she could never even have imagined it the year before. She closed with her typical and appealing modesty: “I do hope you don’t mind me writing to you but just had to let you know what was going on.” Mind? I was thrilled and touched and amazed by her fondness and thoughtfulness, as I have been every single time she has written to us and seen us. This was always to be the Diana we knew and loved—kind, affectionate, unpretentious. I wrote back write away and sent her the two photographs I’d taken of her holding Patrick in our living room the previous fall. After Diana received the photographs, she wrote back on March 31 to thank me and sent us their official engagement picture. She said I should throw the photograph away if it was of no use. She added, “You said some lovely things which I don’t feel I deserve . . . .” Surely, she knew from the previous year that we would be her devoted friends forever.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
When we were finished, the Prince said, “Have you any further questions concerning the matter we discussed last night?” “One.” While I felt no qualms about being rude to his son, I was reluctant to treat the elderly man the same. “You really have been planning this for a long time?” “For most of my life.” “Then why didn’t you respond? Offer to help us--at least offer a place in your alliance--when Bran and I sent our letter to the King at the start of winter?” The Prince paused to take a sip of his coffee. I noted idly that he had long, slim hands like his son’s. Had the Prince ever wielded a sword? Oh yes--wasn’t he wounded in the Pirate Wars? “There was much to admire in your letter,” he said with a faint smile. “Your forthright attitude, the scrupulous care with which you documented each grievance, bespoke an earnestness, shall we say, of intent. What your letter lacked, however, was an equally lucid plan for what to do after Galdran’s government was torn down.” “But we did include one,” I protested. He inclined his head. “In a sense. Your description of what the government ought to be was truly enlightened. Yet…as the military would say, you set out a fine strategy, but failed to supplement it with any kind of tactical carry-through.” His eyes narrowed slightly, and he added, “It is always easiest to judge where one is ignorant--a mistake we made about you, and that we have striven to correct--but it seemed that you and your adherents were idealistic and courageous, yet essentially foolhardy, folk. We were very much afraid you would not last long against the sheer weight of Galdran’s army, its poor leadership notwithstanding.” I thought this over, looking for hidden barbs--and for hidden meanings. He said, “If you should change your mind, or if you simply need to communicate with us, please be assured you shall be welcome.” It seemed that, after all, I was about to go free. “I confess I’ll feel a lot more grateful for your kindness after I get home.” He set his cup down and steepled his fingers. “I understand,” he murmured. “Had I lived through your recent experiences, I expect I might have a similar reaction. Suffice it to say that we wish you well, my child, whatever transpires.” “Thank you for that,” I said awkwardly, getting to my feet. He also rose. “I wish you a safe, swift journey.” He bowed over my hand with graceful deliberation. I left then, but for the first time in days I didn’t feel quite so bad about recent events.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
I miss Diana more than I can express. The world seems a colder place without her luminous presence. To had had Diana’s friendship, to have known her personally, has been a gift beyond comparison. She brought joy and pride and a touch of glamour to my life for years. I loved and admired her without reservation. When Patrick recognized her picture on magazine covers, I thought how incredible it was that we actually knew the beautiful, famous Diana. Best of all, we knew she was even lovelier inside. I read her letters, feeling deeply touched that she continued to care for us. Seeing her in person--warm, unpretentious, and radiant--was a thrill that lasted a long, long time. It truly was, “like being brushed by angels’ wings,” as my friend at the funeral had said. Whoever would have thought when I called for a nanny so many years ago, that magic would enter my life. My family and I watched her dazzling progress from a shy teenager to a multi-faceted and charismatic woman. She fulfilled her many roles so beautifully. Yet to me, Diana was a beloved friend, not the world-famous Princess of Wales. Behind the glamour, I saw the qualities I’d always admired in her--kindness, integrity, and grace in all she did. Above all, Diana was born to be a mother. Showing affection was as natural to her as breathing. I saw her tender care for my young son. I know she was an utterly devoted mother to her own boys, giving them unconditional love and deriving her greatest joy in life from them. I’ve wished so often that her life had been a fairytale, that Diana had been spared the pain and loneliness she suffered. But without the despair, she might not have developed the strength and humanity that reached out to people everywhere. Diana instinctively looked beyond her own problems to ease the pain and distress of others. She touched so many people in her short lifetime. I never thought it would end this way--that she would die so young. I will always remember, as the last hymn faded into silence at her funeral, the solemn tread of the soldiers’ boots--so haunting, so final--as they carried her casket through the Abbey. I couldn’t bear that she was leaving forever. For months now, I’ve searched for some solace in this tragedy. I hope that Diana’s untimely death and the worldwide mourning for her have silenced forever those who belittled her values and doubted her appeal. She rests peacefully now beyond reproach--young and beautiful. Diana, you were greater than we realized. We will never, never forget you.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
What?” I yelled. And I opened my mouth to complain Nobody told me anything, but I recalled a certain interview, not long ago, that had ended rather abruptly when a candleholder had--ah--changed hands. Grimacing, I said in a more normal voice, “When did this happen?” “That’s the joke on us.” Bran laughed. “They’ve been at it as long as we have. Longer, even.” I looked from father to son and read nothing in those bland, polite faces. “Then…why…didn’t you respond to our letter?” As I spoke the words, a lot of things started making sense. I thought back to what Ara’s father had said, and then I remembered Shevraeth’s words about the purpose of a court. When I glanced at Prince Alaerec, he saluted me with his wineglass; just a little gesture, but I read in it that he had comprehended a good deal of my thoughts. Which meant that my face, as usual, gave me away--and of course this thought made my cheeks burn. He said, “We admire--tremendously--your courageous efforts to right the egregious wrongs obtaining in Remalna.” Thinking again of Ara’s father and Master Kepruid the innkeeper, I said, “But the people don’t welcome armies trampling through their houses and land, even armies on their side. I take it you’ve figured out some miraculous way around this?” Bran slapped his palm down on the table. “That’s it, Mel--where we’ve been blind. We were trying to push our way in from without, but Shevraeth, here, has been working from within.” He nodded in the Prince’s direction. “Both--all three of ‘em, in fact.” I blinked, trying to equate with a deadly plot an old, imperious voice whose single purpose seemed to be the safety of her clothing. “The Princess is part of this, too?” “She is the one who arranged your escape from Athanarel,” Shevraeth said to me. “The hardest part was finding your spy.” “You knew about Azmus?” “I knew you had to have had some kind of contact in Remalna-city, from some of the things you said during our earlier journey. We had no idea who, or what, but we assumed that this person would display the same level of loyalty your compatriots had when you first fell into our hands, and I had people wait to see who might be lurking around the palace, watching.” Questions crowded my thoughts. But I pushed them all aside, focusing on the main one. “If you’re rebelling, then you must have someone in mind for the throne. Who?” Bran pointed across the table at Shevraeth. “He seems to want to do it, and I have to say, he’d be better at it than I.” “No, he wouldn’t,” I said without thinking. Bran winced and rubbed his chin. “Mel…” “Please, my dear Lord Branaric,” the Prince murmured. “Permit the lady to speak. I am interested to hear her thoughts on the matter.” Rude as I’d been before, my response had shocked even me, and I hadn’t intended to say anything more. Now I sneaked a peek at the Marquis, who just sat with his goblet in his fingers, his expression one of mild questioning.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
...he [Perry Hildebrandt] broached the subject of goodness and its relation to intelligence. He'd come to the reception for selfless reasons, but he now saw that he might get not only a free buzz but free advise from, as it were, two professionals. 'I suppose what I'm asking,' he said, 'is whether goodness can ever truly be its own reward, or whether, consciously or not, it always serves some personal instrumentality.' Reverend Walsh [Trinity Lutheran] and the rabbi [Meyer] exchanged glances in which Perry detected pleasant surprise. It gratified him to upset their expectations of a fifteen-year-old. 'Adam may have a different answer,' the rabbi said, but in the Jewish faith there is really only one measure of righteousness: Do you celebrate God and obey His commandments?' 'That would suggest,' Perry said, 'that goodness and God are essentially synonymous.' 'That's the idea,' the rabbi said. 'In biblical times, when God manifested Himself more directly. He could seem like quite the hard-ass--striking people blind for trivial offenses, telling Abraham to kill his son. But the essence of the Jewish faith is that God does what He does, and we obey Him.' 'So, in other words, it doesn't matter what a righteous person's private thoughts are, so long as he obeys the letter of God's commandments?' 'And worships Him, yes. Of course, at the level of folk wisdom, a man can be righteous without being a -mensch.- I'm sure you see this, too, Adam--the pious man who makes everyone around him miserable. That might be what Perry is asking about.' 'My question,' Perry said, 'is whether we can ever escape our selfishness. Even if you bring in God, and make him the measure of goodness, the person who worships and obeys Him still wants something for himself. He enjoys the feeling of being righteous, or he wants eternal life, or what have you. If you're smart enough to think about it, there's always some selfish angle.' The rabbi smiled. 'There may be no way around it, when you put it like that. But we "bring in God," as you say--for the believer, of course, it's God who brought -us- in--to establish a moral order in which your question becomes irrelevant. When obedience is the defining principle, we don't need to police every little private thought we might have.' 'I think there's more to Perry's question, though,' Reverend Walsh said. 'I think he is pointing to sinfulness, which is our fundamental condition. In Christian faith, only one man has ever exemplified perfect goodness, and he was the Son of God. The rest of us can only hope for glimmers of what it's like to be truly good. When we perform an act of charity, or forgive an enemy, we feel the goodness of Christ in our hearts. We all have an innate capability to recognize true goodness, but we're also full of sin, and those two parts of us are constantly at war.' 'Exactly,' Perry said. 'How do I know if I'm really being good or if I'm just pursuing a sinful advantage?' 'The answer, I would say, is by listening to your heart. Only your heart can tell you what your true motive is--whether it partakes of Christ. I think my position is similar to Rabbi Meyer's. The reason we need faith--in our case, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ--is that it gives us a rock-solid basis for evaluating our actions. Only through faith in the perfection of our Savior, only by comparing our actions to his example, only by experiencing his living presence in our hearts, can we hope to be forgiven for the more selfish thoughts we might have. Only faith in Christ redeems us. Without him, we're lost in a sea of second-guessing our motives.
Jonathan Franzen (Crossroads)
I’m not quite sure how to start this letter, so I’m just going to dive right in and tell you that you, sweet girl, are a gift I never thought I would receive. You are the gift. The one that has allowed me to breathe for the first time in a very long time. Because of you, my daily struggle has lessened, and I’m finally able to put my white flag to rest. What does that mean? Well, it means that my mind and heart are finally on speaking terms with my body. And if I’m understanding the secrets my body has shared with me, I’ve left him. I’ve left my son. If you haven’t guessed, this letter is from me, Lori Riley, Noah’s mother.
Meagan Brandy (Say You Swear)
Remember, then, as long as you live, that nothing but strict truth can carry you through the world, with either your conscience or your honor unwounded. It is not only your duty, but your interest; as proof of which you may always observe, that the greatest fools are the greatest liars. For my own part, I judge of every man's truth by his degree of understanding. Remember that I shall see you in the summer; shall examine you most narrowly; and will never forget nor forgive those faults, which it has been in your own power to prevent or cure;
Philip Dormer Stanhope (Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Son and Godson)
Ordinance Letter, it is both recorded on earth and in heaven. They use the conversation that Jesus had with Peter to support this: And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:19).
Joe Keim (My People, the Amish: The True Story of an Amish Father and Son)
Outside his office my father had a framed copy of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher, translated into Pashto. It is a very beautiful letter, full of good advice. ‘Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books . . . But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside,’ it says. ‘Teach him it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat.
Malala Yousafzai (I am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban)
My father may not hear voices but he also has an impossible project, he’s also filled with a force larger than himself. In nearly every letter my father has sent me for the last twenty-five years he tells me his writing is going very, very well. His novel, such as it is, if it is at all, written in blackout and prison, is his ark, the thing that will save him, that will save the world. His single-mindedness impresses most, his fathomless belief in his own greatness, in his powers to transform a failed world, to make it whole again by a word, by a story. That if you stick with your vision long enough you will be redeemed. All this in the face of near-constant evidence to the contrary. The actual circumstances of his life—his alcoholism, the crimes he’s committed, his homelessness and decades of poverty—these are mere tests, and what is a faith not tested? Noah needed to gather nails, to sort the animals, to convince his sons. He planed his timber and laid out the ribs. His ark would be bigger than the temple. We all need to create the story that will make sense of our lives, to make sense of the daily tasks. Yet each night the doubts returned, howling through him. Without doubt there can be no faith. At daybreak Noah looked to the darkening sky and vowed to work faster. My father cannot die, he tells me, will not, until his work is completed. But is there a deadline inside him for when he must finish, a day, like Noah, when the rains begin? When the boat, finished or not, begins to rise from the cradle?
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
Anyway,’ Neville laughed, ‘Dawlish is still in St Mungo’s and Gran’s on the run. She sent me a letter,’ he clapped a hand to the breast pocket of his robes, ‘telling me she was proud of me, that I’m my parents’ son, and to keep it up.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
That Lecia sends her son’s outgrown slick leather jackets and that fancy loafers come free never strikes me as fortune. Nor does my subsidized rent. Nor the fancy Harvard doctors Dev has through Warren’s job. Nor the Minks’ ongoing calls and letters. I have a gaze that blanks out luck any time I face it, like a black box over the eyes of a porn star. Whap and thunk. I compose my Christmas list for my in-laws, who always give exactly what you ask for—nothing more, nothing less. This year I’ve asked for a crockpot, but I secretly long for a Smith & Wesson. The machine jams. I resist the urge to step back five yards and head-butt it repeatedly. By fumbling around on the side, I locate some kind of handle and pull. I stare at the machine’s innards. For one thousand years I could ponder here before any useful action came to me.
Mary Karr (Lit)
Tolkien would describe his process of writing stories as one of uncovering something that already had, to a certain degree, an objective existence. In speaking about his stories, he once said: „I have long ceased to invent … I wait till I seem to know what really happened. Or till it writes itself.“ He claimed that the stories „arose in my mind as „given“ things, and as they came, separately, so too the links grew. … Always I had the sense of recording what was already „there“, somewhere: not of inventing.“ Both the separate stories, and the larger narrative whole of the legendarium, came to Tolkien as given – a gift bestowed somewhere from beyond his own individual being. Tolkien once stated in a letter to his son Christopher, „the thing seems to write itself once I get going, as if the truth comes out then, only imperfectly glimpsed in the preliminary sketch.“ When Tolkien discussed the Lord of the Rings, or his other stories of Middle Earth, he spoke about it not as a work of fiction but rather as a chronicle of actual events. He considered himself not as the author of his stories, but rather a historian and a translator of a record already in existence.
Becca Tarnas (Journey to the Imaginal Realm: A Reader's Guide to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (Nuralogicals))
Of her portrayal in the 1967 movie, Bonnie and Clyde, Blanche said, 'That movie made me out like a screaming horse's ass!' ... 'I was too busy moving bodies [to act hysterical],' Blanche herself said. ... Her image in this memoir, as well as in Fugitives and in Cumie Barrow's manuscript, was fashioned at a time when Blanche could have easily been charged with the Joplin murders. That may account for the great difference in tone Between Blanche, the young convict in Missouri State Penitentiary, and Blanche, the elder ex-fugitive. Indeed, at least one of Blanche Barrows' champions, Wilbur Winkler, the Deni— son man who co-owned (along with Artie Barrow Winkler) the Cinderella Beauty Shoppe, used Fugitives to try to obtain a parole for Blanche from the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole. In letters to the Platte County prosecutor and the judge involved in Blanche's case, Winkler alluded to the book's description of Blanche in Joplin in an effort to win their support for her release: 'Blanch [sic] ran hysterical [tic] thru [sit] the gunfire down the street carrying [her] dog in her arms,' Winkler wrote. He even sent copies of the book to them—and to others.
John Neal Phillips (My Life with Bonnie and Clyde)
I never heard any not-so-subtle commercial for the priesthood. No, my dad’s lifelong sermon was simple, powerful, and at the end of pre-Internet letters he wrote us when we were away later at university. Choose life. Be not afraid. This was his gospel. As I grew older, I appreciated how, no doubt, he needed to say those lines first to himself. He had to be scared in that orphanage, then surviving grim Depression years, and in the trenches in Italy. One day, I would corral Dad’s “choose life,” “be not afraid,” inspiration when love vanished, and a son died.
Rick Prashaw (Father Rick Roamin' Catholic)
THES. Ah me! what other evil is this in addition to evil, not to be borne, nor spoken! alas wretched me! CHOR. What is the matter? Tell me if it may be told me. THES. It cries out—the letter cries out things most dreadful: which way can I fly the weight of my ills; for I perish utterly destroyed. What, what a complaint have I seen speaking in her writing! CHOR. Alas! thou utterest words foreboding woes. THES. No longer will I keep within the door of my lips this dreadful, dreadful evil hardly to be uttered. O city, city, Hippolytus has dared by force to approach my bed, having despised the awful eye of Jove. But O father Neptune, by one of these three curses, which thou formerly didst promise me, by one of those destroy my son, and let him not escape beyond this day, if thou hast given me curses that shall be verified. CHOR. O king, by the Gods recall back this prayer, for hereafter you will know that you have erred; be persuaded by me. THES. It can not be: and moreover I will drive him from this land. And by one or other of the two fates shall he be assailed: for either Neptune shall send him dead to the mansions of Pluto, having respect unto my wish; or else banished from this country, wandering over a foreign land, he shall drag out a miserable existence. CHOR. And lo! thy son Hippolytus is present here opportunely, but if thou let go thy evil displeasure, king Theseus, thou wilt advise the best for thine house.
Euripides (The Tragedies Of Euripides Volume I)
And when I am old, and my body has begun to fail me, my memories will be waiting for me. They will lift me and carry me over mountains and oceans. I will hold them and turn them and watch them catch the sunlight as they come alive once more in my imagination. I will be rich and I will be at peace.
Kent Nerburn (Letters to My Son: A Father's Wisdom on Manhood, Life, and Love)
The father-son relationship can be tough, but it is also one of the most beautiful; and life-giving mercies that God has given us, even in our fallen world.
Isaac Mogilevsky (A Letter to My Father: What Your Son Wants to Tell You But Doesn't)
It takes great courage to love unconditionally.
Isaac Mogilevsky (A Letter to My Father: What Your Son Wants to Tell You But Doesn't)
The letter I wrote after my son was born said, “You might think you want an expensive car, a fancy watch, and a huge house. But I’m telling you, you don’t. What you want is respect and admiration from other people, and you think having expensive stuff will bring it. It almost never does—especially from the people you want to respect and admire you.” I learned that as a valet, when I began thinking about all the people driving up to the hotel in their Ferraris, watching me gawk. People must gawk everywhere they went, and I’m sure they loved it. I’m sure they felt admired. But did they know I did not care about them, or even notice them? Did they know I was only gawking at the car, and imagining myself in the driver’s seat? Did they buy a Ferrari thinking it would bring them admiration without realizing that I—and likely most others—who are impressed with the car didn’t actually give them, the driver, a moment’s thought? Does this same idea apply to those living in big homes? Almost certainly. Jewelry and clothes? Yep. My point here is not to abandon the pursuit of wealth. Or even fancy cars. I like both. It’s a subtle recognition that people generally aspire to be respected and admired by others, and using money to buy fancy things may bring less of it than you imagine. If respect and admiration are your goal, be careful how you seek it. Humility, kindness, and empathy will bring you more respect than horsepower ever will. We’re not done talking about Ferraris.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money)
I waited for my Hogwarts letter to come. I longed for Gandalf to show up and tell me we’re going on an adventure. When a white rabbit shows up in my life and says ‘I want to take you to Wonderland’, you’d better believe I’m going to pack my bags.
Kendra Moreno (Late as a Rabbit (Sons of Wonderland #2))
Ordinance Letter, it is both recorded on earth and in heaven.
Joe Keim (My People, the Amish: The True Story of an Amish Father and Son)
believed I had to obey my parents, get baptized, join the Amish church, follow the ordinance letter, and separate myself from the outside world.
Joe Keim (My People, the Amish: The True Story of an Amish Father and Son)
On the table was a closed book. Oh how my heart beat! Never but then have I known the feeling of utter preciousness in a thing possessed. What doubts and fears would not this one lovely, oh unutterably beloved volume, lay at rest for ever! How my eyes would dwell upon every stroke of every letter the hand of the dearest disciple had formed! Nearly eighteen hundred years—and there it lay!—and there WAS a man who DID hear the Master say the words, and did set them down! I stood motionless, and my soul seemed to wind itself among the leaves, while my body stood like a pillar of salt, lost in its own gaze. At last, with sudden daring, I made a step towards the table, and, bending with awe, stretched out my hand to lay it upon the book. But ere my hand reached it, another hand, from the opposite side of the table, appeared upon it—an old, blue-veined, but powerful hand. I looked up. There stood the beloved disciple! His countenance was as a mirror which shone back the face of the Master. Slowly he lifted the book, and turned away. Then first I saw behind him as it were an altar whereon a fire of wood was burning, and a pang of dismay shot to my heart, for I knew what he was about to do. He laid the book on the burning wood, and regarded it with a smile as it shrunk and shrivelled and smouldered to ashes. Then he turned to me and said, while a perfect heaven of peace shone in his eyes: 'Son of man, the Word of God liveth and abideth for ever, not in the volume of the book, but in the heart of the man that in love obeyeth him. And therewith I awoke weeping, but with the lesson of my dream.
George MacDonald (Thomas Wingfold, Curate)
The best part of being a valet is getting to drive some of the coolest cars ever to touch pavement. Guests came in driving Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls-Royces--the whole aristocratic fleet. It was my dream to have one of these cars of my own, because (I thought) they sent such a strong signal to others that you made it. You're smart. You're rich. You have taste. You're important. Look at me. The irony is that I rarely ever looked at them, the drivers. When you see someone driving a nice car, you rarely think, " Wow, the guy driving that car is cool." Instead, you think, "Wow, if I had that car people would think I'm cool." Subconscious or not, this is how people think. There is a paradox here: people tend to want wealth to signal to others that they should be liked or admired. But in reality those other people often bypass admiring you, not because they don't think wealth is admirable, but because they use your wealth as a benchmark for their own desire to be liked and admired. The letter I wrote to my son after he was born said, "You might think you want an expensive car, a fancy watch, and a huge house. But I'm telling you, you don't. What you want is respect and admiration from other people, and you think having expensive stuff will bring it. It almost never does--especially from the people you want to respect and admire you." It's a subtle recognition that people generally aspire to be respected and admired by others, and using money to buy fancy things may bring less of it than you imagine. If respect and admiration are your goals, be careful how you seek it. Humility, kindness, and empathy will bring you more respect than horsepower ever will.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money)
… that our King-in-Waiting Chivalry is not at all the son whom King Shrewd supposed him to be. As you can well imagine, this has grieved my good husband beyond telling, but as ever, Prince Regal has done all in his power to be a comfort to his beloved father. It was my sad duty to inform both my lord and our wayward prince that in light of his besprinkling the countryside with bastards (for where there is one, can we doubt there are others?) my Dukes of the Inland Duchies have expressed doubt of Chivalry’s worthiness to follow his father as king. In light of that, Chivalry has been persuaded to step aside. I have been less successful in persuading my lord that the presence of this by-blow at Buckkeep Castle is an affront to myself and every true married woman. He maintains that if the child is restricted to the stable and the stableman’s care, it should not concern the rest of us that this physical evidence of Lord Chivalry’s failing is ever flaunted before us. I have begged in vain for a more permanent solution … —LETTER FROM QUEEN DESIRE TO LADY PEONY OF TILTH
Robin Hobb (Fool's Fate (Tawny Man, #3))
The Golem If (as affirms the Greek in the Cratylus) the name is archetype of the thing, in the letters of “rose” is the rose, and all the Nile flows through the word. Made of consonants and vowels, there is a terrible Name, that in its essence encodes God’s all, power, guarded in letters, in hidden syllables. Adam and the stars knew it in the Garden. It was corroded by sin (the Cabalists say), time erased it, and generations have forgotten. The artifice and candor of man go on without end. We know that there was a time in which the people of God searched for the Name through the ghetto’s midnight hours. But not in that manner of those others whose vague shades insinuate into vague history, his memory is still green and lives, Judá the Lion the rabbi of Prague. In his thirst to know the knowledge of God Judá permutated the alphabet through complex variations and in the end pronounced the name that is the Key the Door, the Echo, the Guest, and the Palace, over a mannequin shaped with awkward hands, teaching it the arcane knowledge of symbols, of Time and Space. The simulacrum raised its sleepy eyelids, saw forms and colors that it did not understand, and confused by our babble made fearful movements. Gradually it was seen to be (as we are) imprisoned in a reverberating net of Before, Later, Yesterday, While, Now, Right, Left, I, You, Those, Others. The Cabalists who celebrated this mysterium, this vast creature, named it Golem. (Written about by Scholem, in a learned passage of his volume.) The rabbi explained the universe to him, “This is my foot, this yours, and this the rope,” but all that happened, after years, was that the creature swept the synagogue badly. Perhaps there was an error in the word or in the articulation of the Sacred Name; in spite of the highest esoteric arts this apprentice of man did not learn to speak. Its eyes uncanny, less like man than dog and much less than dog but thing following the rabbi through the doubtful shadows of the stones of its confinement. There was something abnormal and coarse in the Golem, at its step the rabbi’s cat fled in fear. (That cat not from Scholem but of the blind seer) It would ape the rabbi’s devotions, raising its hands to the sky, or bend over, stupidly smiling, into hollow Eastern salaams. The rabbi watched it tenderly but with some horror. How (he said) could I engender this laborious son? Better to have done nothing, this is insanity. Why did I give to the infinite series a symbol more? To the coiled skein on which the eternal thing is wound, I gave another cause, another effect, another grief. In this hour of anguish and vague light, on the Golem our eyes have stopped. Who will say the things to us that God felt, at the sight of his rabbi in Prague?
Jorge Luis Borges
Then, turning to a man who was standing beside him, he said, ‘Padron Lettereo, prendete lo chiutosto vui.’fn6 Lettereo is a baptismal name peculiar to Messina. It comes from the letter which the Virgin is said to have written to the townspeople and which she is said to have dated in ‘the one thousand four hundred and fifty-second year from the birth of my Son’. The inhabitants of Messina venerate this letter as much as the Neapolitans venerate the blood of St Januarius.fn7 I mention this detail because a year and a half later I said what I thought would be the last prayer of my life to the Madonna della Lettera.
Jan Potocki (The Manuscript Found in Saragossa)
A Good Man. Every night, like a question-and-answer prayer, my son and I recite...What are you going to be? And he says...An honest man. A fair man. A courageous man. And a good man. That's the most important thing, Papa. And my job is finally done. For the night.
Carew Papritz (The Legacy Letters: his Wife, his Children, his Final Gift)
Chapter One Vietnam 1967 I am Jason Snowblood. This is my journal. 1967 April 21. Vietnam–day one. Cu Chi. We are the only two assigned to this tent. It is about thirty feet by twenty feet and filled with cots, but Benny and I are alone. The others both enlisted and draftees have been sent elsewhere. Benny is sitting on the next cot. He is still, head down, face in his hands. Outside the mud is four inches deep. It is thick and sucks hard when you try to walk. The rain keeps coming. We’ve been in this tent for twenty-three hours and it has not let up for a second. It is hot. It might be a mirage, but I see steam rising off my arms and Benny’s neck. The mud stinks. It gives off the odor of something freshly dead and quietly rotting. The rain and the air smell old and dying. We thought we were going to Bien Hoa to be assigned to the 173rd Airborne Division, but were told to board the bus to Cu Chi, home of the 25th Infantry Division. The lieutenant who directed this was frustrated and tentative. He kept checking his clipboard and walking over to a sergeant for quick conferences. The sergeant was busy with two groups. He rolled his eyes at one of the lieutenant’s questions, and caught my stare with a smile and a wink. Body bags were being staged next to the plane that delivered us to the Tan Son Nhut complex outside Saigon. He pointed at us and said “Soldiers to Vietnam,” then to the bags and added, “Soldiers going home.” We had been separated into enlisted and draftee squads. Enlisted soldiers have the letters RA for regular army in their numbers. Benny and I volunteered for the draft, it is not the same as enlisting. We carried US. The lieutenant pointed to a battered Isuzu bus and said, “All draftees are going to replace wiped out platoons.” It took us less than two hours to get here. It started raining before we left. I hoped the rain would wash the stink from the air, but it has not. The smell of jet fuel faded quickly but was replaced by this rotting mud and the continual roar of 175mm howitzers. Benny is shaking. He is crying. I have never seen him cry. This is going to be a bad year.
Bob Linsenman (Snowblood's Journal)
I remember reading once that some fellows use language to conceal thought; but it's been my experience that a good many more use it instead of thought.
George Horace Lorimer (Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son)
Waterfalls" A lonely mother gazing out of her window Staring at a son that she just can't touch If at any time he's in a jam she'll be by his side But he doesn't realize he hurts her so much But all the praying just ain't helping at all 'Cause he can't seem to keep his self out of trouble So he goes out and he makes his money the best way he knows how Another body laying cold in the gutter Listen to me [Chorus:] Don't go chasing waterfalls Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to I know that you're gonna have it your way or nothing at all But I think you're moving too fast Little precious has a natural obsession For temptation but he just can't see She gives him loving that his body can't handle But all he can say is "Baby, it's good to me." One day he goes and takes a glimpse in the mirror But he doesn't recognize his own face His health is fading and he doesn't know why Three letters took him to his final resting place Y'all don't hear me [Chorus (2x)] Come on I seen a rainbow yesterday But too many storms have come and gone Leavin' a trace of not one God-given ray Is it because my life is ten shades of gray I pray all ten fade away Seldom praise Him for the sunny days And like His promise is true Only my faith can undo The many chances I blew To bring my life to anew Clear blue and unconditional skies Have dried the tears from my eyes No more lonely cries My only bleedin' hope Is for the folk who can't cope With such an endurin' pain That it keeps 'em in the pourin' rain Who's to blame For tootin' 'caine into your own vein What a shame You shoot and aim for someone else's brain You claim the insane And name this day in time For fallin' prey to crime I say the system got you victim to your own mind Dreams are hopeless aspirations In hopes of comin' true Believe in yourself The rest is up to me and you [Chorus (2x)]
The fact that it was the “Christian church” which chose to do the evils you write about, and to do them using God’s name, in my mind only serves to show that all that goes under the name of “Christian” is not necessarily Christian. Christianity isn’t a religion or an institution of any sort: It’s a relationship. Within the religion of Christianity there are, and have always been, genuine Christians—people who have a saving and transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. And this fact accounts for the tremendous good Christianity has brought to the world (in spite of the evils). But the “religion” of Christianity, the “institution” of the church, is not itself Christian. Only people, not institutions, can be Christian.
Gregory A. Boyd (Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father's Questions about Christianity)
Dear Prudence, I’m sitting in this dusty tent, trying to think of something eloquent to write. I’m at wit’s end. You deserve beautiful words, but all I have left are these: I think of you constantly. I think of this letter in your hand and the scent of perfume on your wrist. I want silence and clear air, and a bed with a soft white pillow… Beatrix felt her eyebrows lifting, and a quick rise of heat beneath the high collar of her dress. She paused and glanced at Prudence. “You find this boring?” she asked mildly, while her blush spread like spilled wine on linen. “The beginning is the only good part,” Prudence said. “Go on.” …Two days ago in our march down the coast to Sebastopol, we fought the Russians at the Alma River. I’m told it was a victory for our side. It doesn’t feel like one. We’ve lost at least two thirds of our regiment’s officers, and a quarter of the noncommissioned men. Yesterday we dug graves. They call the final tally of dead and wounded the “butcher’s bill.” Three hundred and sixty British dead so far, and more as soldiers succumb to their wounds. One of the fallen, Captain Brighton, brought a rough terrier named Albert, who is undoubtedly the most badly behaved canine in existence. After Brighton was lowered into the ground, the dog sat by his grave and whined for hours, and tried to bite anyone who came near. I made the mistake of offering him a portion of a biscuit, and now the benighted creature follows me everywhere. At this moment he is sitting in my tent, staring at me with half-crazed eyes. The whining rarely stops. Whenever I get near, he tries to sink his teeth into my arm. I want to shoot him, but I’m too tired of killing. Families are grieving for the lives I’ve taken. Sons, brothers, fathers. I’ve earned a place in hell for the things I’ve done, and the war’s barely started. I’m changing, and not for the better. The man you knew is gone for good, and I fear you may not like his replacement nearly so well. The smell of death, Pru…it’s everywhere. The battlefield is strewn with pieces of bodies, clothes, soles of boots. Imagine an explosion that could tear the soles from your shoes. They say that after a battle, wildflowers are more abundant the next season--the ground is so churned and torn, it gives the new seeds room to take root. I want to grieve, but there is no place for it. No time. I have to put the feelings away somewhere. Is there still some peaceful place in the world? Please write to me. Tell me about some bit of needlework you’re working on, or your favorite song. Is it raining in Stony Cross? Have the leaves begun to change color? Yours, Christopher Phelan
Lisa Kleypas (Love in the Afternoon (The Hathaways, #5))
Ancient Rome According to legend, the ancient city of Rome was built by Romulus and Remus. They were twin sons of Mars, the god of war. An evil uncle tried to drown the boys in the Tiber River, which runs through present-day Rome. They were rescued by a wolf who raised them as her own. Many years later, Romulus built a city on Palantine, one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The city was named after him. The manager of our hotel suggested we see ancient Rome first. So we hopped on the metro and headed to the Roman Forum. According to my guidebook, this was once the commercial, political, and religious center of ancient Rome. Today, ruins of buildings, arches, and temples are all that are left of ancient Rome. I closed my eyes for a moment, and I could almost hear the shouts of a long-ago political rally. I especially liked the house of the Vestal Virgins. It once had 50 rooms and was attached to the Temple of Vesta. She was the goddess of fire. The nearby Colosseum was originally called the Flavian Amphitheater. It reminded me of a huge sports stadium. Emperor Vespasian began building it in A.D. 72. It had 80 entrances, including 4 just for the emperor and his guests. It had 3 levels of seats with an awning along the top to protect spectators from the sun and rain. It could hold up to 50,000 people!
Lisa Halvorsen (Letters Home from Italy)
When my sons asked the reason for my trip, I said that I needed to conduct research for my book. What is it about? the younger one asked. He was constantly writing stories, as many as three a day, and would not have been troubled by such a question concerning his own writing. For a long time he’d spelled the words as he thought they might be spelled, without any spaces between them, which, like the Torah’s unbroken string of letters, opened his writing to infinite interpretations. He had only begun to ask us how things were spelled once he’d started to use the electric typewriter he was given for his birthday, as if it were the machine that had demanded it of him—the machine, with its air of professionalism and the reproach of its giant space bar, that required that what was written on it be understood. But my son himself remained ambivalent about the matter. When he wrote by hand, he returned to his old habits.
Nicole Krauss (Forest Dark)
I believe every day should begin and end with gratitude. I practice it every day in my morning meditation. Each morning, focusing on the reverse gap, I think of five things I’m grateful for in my personal life. Then I think of five things I’m grateful for in my work and career. A typical list might look like this: PERSONAL LIFE 1.​My daughter, Eve, and her beautiful smiles 2.​The happiness I felt last night relaxing with a glass of red wine and watching Sherlock on BBC 3.​My wife and life partner 4.​The time I spent with my son building his newest Lego Star Wars creation 5.​The wonderful cup of gourmet coffee my publicist, Tania, left on my desk WORK LIFE 1.​My leadership team and the amazing talent they bring to our company 2.​A particularly great letter we received for my online course Consciousness Engineering 3.​The incredibly fun Culture Day we had in the office yesterday 4.​The fact that plans are coming together to hold our upcoming A-Fest at another amazing location 5.​Having coworkers who are friends and who greet me with hugs when I come to the office This entire practice takes me no more than ninety seconds. But it’s perhaps one of the most important and powerful ninety seconds I can spend each day.
Vishen Lakhiani (The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms)
Why did you go through with it?” she heard him ask quietly. “I thought it best for Michael.” She felt a twinge of satisfaction as she saw how that had annoyed him. Harry half sat on the bed, his posture informal. His gaze didn’t stray from her. “Had there been a choice, I would have done all this the ordinary way. I would have courted you openly, won you fairly. But you’d already decided on Bayning. This was the only alternative.” “No, it wasn’t. You could have let me be with Michael.” “It’s doubtful he ever would have offered for you. He deceived you, and himself, by assuming he could persuade his father to accept the match. You should have seen the old man when I showed him the letter—he was mortally offended by the notion of his son taking a wife so far beneath him.” That hurt, as perhaps Harry had intended, and Poppy stiffened. “Then why didn’t you let it all play out? Why not wait until Michael had abandoned me, and then come forward to pick up the pieces?” “Because there was a chance Bayning might have dared to run off with you. I couldn’t risk it. And I knew that sooner or later you’d realize that what you had with Bayning was nothing but infatuation.” Poppy gave him a glance of purest contempt. “What do you know of love?” “I’ve seen how people in love behave. And what I witnessed in the vestry this morning was nothing close to it. Had you truly wanted each other, no force in the world could have stopped you from walking out of that church together.” “You wouldn’t have allowed it!” she shot back in outrage. “True. But I would have respected the effort.” “Neither of us gives a damn about your respect.” The fact that she was speaking for Michael as well as herself . . . “us” . . . caused Harry’s face to harden. “Whatever your feelings for Bayning are, you’re my wife now. And he’ll go on to marry some blue-blooded heiress as he should have done in the first place. Now all that’s left to decide is how you and I will go on.” “I would prefer a marriage in name only.” “I don’t blame you,” Harry said calmly. “However, the marriage isn’t legal until I bed you. And, unfortunately, I never leave loopholes.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
While we were standing by, Clinton was doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, which he reputedly could dispatch in a matter of minutes. He asked me about a clue—a three-letter word starting with some letter or other. I had no idea, so I asked my son Jamie. ¶ 'Who's so stupid they don't know that?' Jamie retorted in a voice that could be heard at the other end of the phone. ¶ 'The President of the United States,' I said.
Robert E. Rubin (In an Uncertain World: Tough Choices from Wall Street to Washington)
In recognition of his standing and commitment to conservation and research, the University of Queensland was about to appoint him as an adjust professor, an honor bestowed on only a few who have made a significant contribution to their field. Steve didn’t know this had happened. The letter from the university arrived at Australia Zoo while we were in the field studying crocs during August 2006. He never got back to the pile of mail that included that letter. I know he would have proudly accepted the recognition of his achievement, but I also suspect that he would have remained humble and given credit to those around him, especially Terri, his mum and dad, Wes, John Stainton, and the incredible team at Australia Zoo. A year later, in 2007, we are back here in northern Australia, continuing the research in his name. There is a big gap in all our lives, but I feel he is here, all around us. One sure sign is that the sixteen-foot crocodile we named “Steve” keeps turning up in our traps. My life has been enriched by my friendship with Steve. I now sit around the fire with Terri, his family, and mates from Australia Zoo chatting about crocodiles and continuing the legacy Steve has left behind. Terri and Bob Irwin are now leading the croc-catching team from Australia Zoo, and Bindi is helping to affix the tracking devices to crocs, and so the tradition continues. I miss him. We all do. But I can sit at the campfire and look into the coals and hear his voice, always intense, always passionate, telling us stories and goading us on to achieve more. The enthusiasm and determination Steve shared with us is alive and well. He has touched so many lives. His memory will never fade, and this book will be one of the ways we can remind ourselves of our brush with the indomitable spirit of a loving husband, father, and son; a committed wildlife ambassador and conservationist; and a great mate. Professor Craig E. Franklin, School of Integrative Biology University of Queensland Lakefield National Park August 2007
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Her boys were growing up, too. William would start nursery school in January of 1987 at four and a half. The most exciting part for William was the uniform, “which he is thrilled to bits about, especially as Harry is very envious of his big brother!” The next year would find Diana and Charles in Portugal, Spain, and Germany. “It never stops and it’s certainly no holiday package tour!” How true. I’d seen that for myself in Washington. I had been thrilled to catch a television documentary on the royal couple and had said so in my letter. Diana wrote, “An awful lot of money was raised for very worthy causes so that made the intrusion much more worthwhile!” This comment exemplified the conflict Diana faced between her desire for privacy and her desire to do good.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
Shortly before Christmas that year, Patrick, now seven, came along with me to work at our church’s annual Christmas bazaar. As he wandered around, he spotted a small handcrafted necklace and earring set. He thought of Diana’s recent letter and remembered our visit in Washington. As a result, he bought the little jewelry set with his saved-up allowance. We sent it to Diana for Christmas, accompanied by notes from Patrick and me. Later the following January, 1987, Diana wrote to “Dearest Patrick,” telling him she was “enormously touched to be thought of in this wonderful way.” Then she drew a smiley face. “I will wear the necklace and earrings with great pride and they will be a constant reminder of my dear friend in America. This comes with a big thank you and a huge hug, and as always, lots of love from Diana.” Could one imagine a more precious letter? I just felt chills of emotion when I rediscovered it after her death. Diana wrote to me at the same time. Now that the holidays were over, Diana had to return to her official duties--“It’s just like going back to school!” Prince William loved his new school. Diana felt he was ready for “stimulation from a new area and boys his own age…” She described taking William to school the first day “in front of 200 press men and quite frankly I could easily have dived into a box of Kleenex as he look incredibly grown-up--too sweet!” Diana noticed that Patrick and Caroline looked very much alike in our 1987 Christmas photograph. “But my goodness how they grow or maybe it’s the years taking off and leaving us mothers behind!” Diana was a young twenty-six when she wrote that observation. I wonder if she knew then that less than four years later, Prince William would be off to boarding school, truly leaving his mother behind. Again she extended a welcoming invitation. If we could manage a trip to London, “I’d love to introduce you to my two men!” By then, she meant her two sons. She also repeated that our letters “mean a great deal to me…
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
came to deeply regret giving President Bush the benefit of the doubt on that vote. He later asserted that the resolution gave him the sole authority to decide when the clock had run out on weapons inspections. On March 20, 2003, he decided that it had, and he launched the war, with the UN weapons inspectors pleading for just a few more weeks to finish the job. Over the years that followed, many Senators came to wish they had voted against the resolution. I was one of them. As the war dragged on, with every letter I sent to a family in New York who had lost a son or daughter, a father or mother, my mistake became more painful.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (Hard Choices)
My heart had started thumping with anticipation. So much had changed in Diana’s life. This would be our first meeting since she had become the Princess of Wales and a celebrity. Would she still be the same Diana underneath? Based on her letters, I thought so. Next Patrick and I were shown into the library, a warmer room with high ceilings and sunlight flooding in from tall windows. Carved wooden bookcases, glowing with a centuries-old patina, lined the walls and held leather-bound, gilt-edged volumes. I loved this room. I wished I could have leafed through a few of those beautiful old books. I was calmer now, prepared for a cozy mother-to-mother visit with Diana. Patrick and I stood expectantly in the center of the elegant room. I rested my right arm around his little shoulders. I needed the support more than he did. Then the door opened and Diana entered…with Prince Charles. I held my breath as she gave us a brilliant smile and briskly crossed the floor. The new Diana was truly breathtaking--beautiful, self-assured, polished, and stunning in her scarlet suit. She looked even more radiant in person than in her best pictures. She was absolute perfection, with her flawless complexion, starry blue eyes, and confident carriage. A remarkable and complete transformation from young nanny to global sensation--and she was only twenty-four!
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
The reactions of our personal friends may reflect to a large degree Diana’s worldwide and lasting appeal. We received letters and phone calls from friends living, literally, all over the world--Malaysia, Sumatra, Brazil, Australia, Europe, and throughout America--many of whom had not known of our connection with Diana until they saw me on television. The fact that so many of our far-flung and diverse friends were watching the television coverage of Diana’s death and funeral spoke volumes in itself. They were shocked and saddened by Diana’s death but acknowledged, “It must be so much worse for you. You knew her.” One comment I heard repeated by men and women friends alike, was, “I didn’t really follow her that closely, so I was surprised at how upset I was by her death.” Again, that undeniable and universal appeal. Women friends, mothers my own age, referred to her so often as “that poor child.” Incredible. Diana was beautiful, rich, the most famous woman of her era, yet what spoke to all of us was her vulnerability.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
And in an upstairs bedroom of the elegant house, the newest de Montforte was being born. Charles was as distraught as Lucien had ever seen him, pacing back and forth in the drawing room while above, Amy screamed in pain as another contraction seized her. Charles blanched.  Droplets of sweat beaded his brow. "Do sit down, Charles," Lucien murmured, not looking up from where he sat calmly writing a letter.  The duke, along with his siblings and Juliet — whose presence Amy had specifically requested — had arrived a fortnight ago so they could all be together for the grand event.  "I daresay you're expending as much effort on delivering this child as Amy is." "Yes, I wonder which one will be more exhausted when it's over?" teased Gareth, lounging on a nearby sofa and bouncing a leg over one bent knee. Charles kept pacing.  "I won't sit down, I can't sit down, I can't rest, I can't eat, I can't think until I know that both of them are all right!" Gareth, with his new son Gabriel in his arms and Charlotte playing on the floor nearby, fought hard to contain his laughter.  Having recently gone through the same hell as Charles was currently experiencing — and behaving just as abominably — he considered himself quite the expert on such matters.  He looked at Charles and grinned. "Yes, Luce is quite right, Charles.  All you're doing is wearing a hole in the carpet.  Amy'll be just fine." "But those screams!  I cannot bear to hear them!" Lucien dipped his quill in the ink bottle.  "Then go outside, my dear Charles, so that you do not have to hear them." For answer, Charles only threw himself down in the nearest chair.  Raked a hand through his hair.  Jumped to his feet, poured himself a drink, and continued his pacing. Moments
Danelle Harmon (The Beloved One (The De Montforte Brothers, #2))
I tell you, my husband, I’ve put up with as much as I can. Either you get yourself home in a jiffy and act like a human being—or else! As I wish my enemies an early death, so I am from the bottom of my heart, Your truly faithful wife,
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Money on paper is not even paper money,” my mother says….
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
An utshebe zavadyenye may be out of the question, but there’s not a barishnye who wouldn’t like to be znakome with Zola, Pushkin, or dazhe Gorky …” So she says to me, my beauty, half in Yiddish and half in Russian, although the Russian was more like two-thirds.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Will told his rival that "if you ever do that again, I'll hurt you." The next day Will had a third playhouse almost two-thirds constructed when Steve once again pushed it over. The fight that followed found Will once again on his back, pinned down by Steve Gobel. This time he resorted to a small pocket knife he carried and slashed Steve on the thigh. It was not a serious wound by any means, but it did draw blood, as well as Steve's anguished cry that he had been "killed." The other pupils and the teacher came running, and Will decided he'd better make himself scarce. He fled to a wagon train led by John R. Willis, for whom he had herded cattle. When he told Willis what had happened, the wagon master hid the boy in one of his wagons. Soon Steve, his father, an elder brother, and the local constable came to arrest Will Cody. Willis, a Philadelphia lawyer at heart, demanded to see a warrant. When the constable admitted he didn't have one, Willis told him that he thought it was overdoing it to arrest a boy for what was only play. Will was safe-for the moment-but he was afraid to return to school. Willis suggested that young Cody accompany him on the wagon train, which was headed for Fort Kearny, a trip of some forty days, by which time the excitement ought to have cooled down. Will's mother consented to the trip, not without some foreboding; she feared that her son might be attacked by Indians. Cody wrote of this first trip across the plains that "it proved a most enjoyable one for me, although no incidents worthy of note occurred along the way." John Willis disagreed with Cody about the lack of incidents. Forty years later Buffalo Bill's Wild West played Memphis on October 4, 1897, and Willis, now a judge in Harrisburg, Arkansas, wanted to see it. Unfortunately, he missed the show, but he wrote Cody the following letter: "Dear Old Friend it has been a long time since I have herd from you.... I would like very much to shake your hand, Billy, and talk over the old grand hours you rode at my heels on the little gray mule while I was killing Buffalo. oh them were happy days. of course you recollect the time the Buffalo ran through the train and stampeded the teams and you stoped the stampede.
Robert A. Carter (Buffalo Bill Cody: The Man Behind the Legend)
I don’t care what I’ll be in America. I just want to get there. I’m dying to see the place. I’ve made up my mind to learn three things there: swimming, writing, and cigar smoking. I mean I can do all three already. But I’ll do them better in America.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
As my mother, God bless her, would say, “Bring the bread and I’ll find the cutting knife …
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Better to wish yourself well than another ill,” as my mother says.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Who says you need luck to be lucky?” my mother answered, looking at me. Search me what that means.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
The worse heartache,” says my mother, “is the one you can’t bare.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Second, my dear husband, I pronounce you a certified lunatic. You might as well run naked through the streets!
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Thinking of the dead,” says my mother, “makes you wonder about the living …
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
If it’s my fate to have a scribbler for a husband, why must you scribble in Yehupetz? Isn’t there enough ink in Kasrilevke?
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Second, may all the bad dreams I dreamed last night, and the night before that, and every night of the year before that, come true for my enemies
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
I should have listened to my mother when she said, “Never throw your luck out with the dish-water …
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
My father had a good reputation. Not that anyone ever thought of it when he was alive.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
My mother spoke about being a widow with two sons, one swimming in chicken fat and the other the poor little fellow sitting next to her.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
My friend Mendl and I once ate three haht dawgz apiece and could have polished off a few more if we had the cash …but that’s not what I wanted to tell you.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Once the custom was for a bankrupt to leave town, but that’s no longer in vogue. It’s not even called bankruptcy any more. The expression is, “I’m in arrears.” In plain language that means, “Kiss my rear.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Second, I wish all my enemies would burst from the bellyful your last letter gave me.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
My mother, bless her, had your number when she said, “Don’t hold your breath waiting for him, because nothing good comes from a graveyard.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Daughter,” said my mother, “always remember this prayer: Protect me, dear God, from a Berdichev tycoon, an Uman fanatic, a Mohilev skeptic, a Konstantin servant, a Kamenetz politician, and a Yehupetz rogue.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
Money,” says my mother, “can buy everything but a fever.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
My mother says, “It’s not brains or good looks that a person needs, it’s luck.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
They’re a lovely couple—she doesn’t mind his not being too bright and he doesn’t mind her not looking so good. But beauty makes nothing good, my mother says. It’s goodness that makes everything beautiful.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
It makes my heart ache to see people living such fine lives when I have to sit here like a widow in black, waiting to hear from my fine breadwinner
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
My mother says dumplings in a dream are a dream and not dumplings.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
When there’s bread,” says my mother, “don’t hanker after sweets.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
And you have three children, bless them. “Remember your own and you’ll forget the next man’s,” my mother says.
Sholom Aleichem (The Letters of Menakhem-Mendl and Sheyne-Sheyndl and Motl, the Cantor's Son)
have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. MAT19.29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. MAT19.30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first. CHAPTER 20 MAT20  OT    PS    NT    CH    BK
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE with VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
As so often in life, it is not a case of true and false, but of true and more true.
Neel Burton (Plato: Letters to my Son)
PROLOGUE Soon after Father’s death we discovered the latest, and worst, of King Galdran’s acts: He was going to betray our Covenant with the mysterious and magical Hill Folk in order to harvest and sell the fabulous colorwood trees, which grow nowhere else in the world. The forests have been home to the Hill Folk since long before humans settled in Remalna. The Covenant made with the Hill Folk centuries before our time guaranteed that so long as we left the forests--common trees as well as our fabulous colorwoods--uncut, they would give us magical Fire Sticks each fall, which burned warmly until at least midsummer. So, untrained and ill prepared, Branaric and I commenced our revolt. It was a disaster. Oh, we were successful enough at first, when the huge army the King sent against us was led by his cowardly, bullying cousin Baron Debegri. But when the Marquis of Shevraeth--son of the Prince and Princess of Renselaeus--replaced Debegri, we lost ground steadily. I stumbled into a steel trap our side had set out in a desperate attempt to slow up Shevraeth’s army, was caught, and was taken by the Marquis to the capital, where the King condemned me to death without permitting me to speak a word in my defense. But I escaped--with help--and limped my way back toward home, chased by two armies. Both Branaric and I nearly got killed before we found out that some of King Galdran’s Court aristocrats--led by the Marquis of Shevraeth--had actually been working to get rid of the King without launching civil war. King Galdran and Baron Debegri forced us into a final battle, in which they were killed. After that Branaric rode with the Marquis and his allies to the royal palace Athanarel in Remalna-city, the capital, and I retreated home. As a reward for our aid, Shevraeth--who was favored to become the new king--turned over Galdran’s personal fortune to Branaric and me. That much, I know, is in the records. What the scribes don’t tell, because they don’t know, is exactly how--and why--I subsequently got mixed up again in royal affairs. It began with a letter from the Marquise of Merindar--sister of the late King Galdran.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
When no answer came after the second letter to Ostwald, Hermann Einstein took it upon himself, without his son’s knowledge, to make an unusual and awkward effort, suffused with heart-wrenching emotion, to prevail upon Ostwald himself: Please forgive a father who is so bold as to turn to you, esteemed Herr Professor, in the interest of his son. Albert is 22 years old, he studied at the Zurich Polytechnic for four years, and he passed his exam with flying colors last summer. Since then he has been trying unsuccessfully to get a position as a teaching assistant, which would enable him to continue his education in physics. All those in a position to judge praise his talents; I can assure you that he is extraordinarily studious and diligent and clings with great love to his science. He therefore feels profoundly unhappy about his current lack of a job, and he becomes more and more convinced that he has gone off the tracks with his career. In addition, he is oppressed by the thought that he is a burden on us, people of modest means. Since it is you whom my son seems to admire and esteem more than any other scholar in physics, it is you to whom I have taken the liberty of turning with the humble request to read his paper and to write to him, if possible, a few words of encouragement, so that he might recover his joy in living and working. If, in addition, you could secure him an assistant’s position, my gratitude would know no bounds. I beg you to forgive me for my impudence in writing you, and my son does not know anything about my unusual step.25
I ain’t one of those who believe that a half knowledge of a subject is useless, but it has been my experience that when a fellow has that half knowledge he finds it’s the other half which would really come in handy.
George Horace Lorimer (Letters From A Merchant To His Son: Letters From A Self-Made Merchant To His Son Classics, Letters From A Self-Made Merchant To His Son George Horace Lorimer Illustrated and Annotated)