Letters To The Lost Quotes

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Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.
Lemony Snicket (The Beatrice Letters (A Series of Unfortunate Events))
The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
Clary, Despite everything, I can't bear the thought of this ring being lost forever, any more then I can bear the thought of leaving you forever. And though I have no choice about the one, at least I can choose about the other. I'm leaving you our family ring because you have as much right to it as I do. I'm writing this watching the sun come up. You're asleep, dreams moving behind your restless eyelids. I wish I knew what you were thinking. I wish I could slip into your head and see the world the way you do. I wish I could see myself the way you do. But maybe I dont want to see that. Maybe it would make me feel even more than I already do that I'm perpetuating some kind of Great Lie on you, and I couldn't stand that. I belong to you. You could do anything you wanted with me and I would let you. You could ask anything of me and I'd break myself trying to make you happy. My heart tells me this is the best and greatest feeling I have ever had. But my mind knows the difference between wanting what you can't have and wanting what you shouldn't want. And I shouldn't want you. All night I've watched you sleeping, watched the moonlight come and go, casting its shadows across your face in black and white. I've never seen anything more beautiful. I think of the life we could have had if things were different, a life where this night is not a singular event, separate from everything else that's real, but every night. But things aren't different, and I can't look at you without feeling like I've tricked you into loving me. The truth no one is willing to say out loud is that no one has a shot against Valentine but me. I can get close to him like no one else can. I can pretend I want to join him and he'll believe me, up until that last moment where I end it all, one way or another. I have something of Sebastian's; I can track him to where my father's hiding, and that's what I'm going to do. So I lied to you last night. I said I just wanted one night with you. But I want every night with you. And that's why I have to slip out of your window now, like a coward. Because if I had to tell you this to your face, I couldn't make myself go. I don't blame you if you hate me, I wish you would. As long as I can still dream, I will dream of you. _Jace
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
You are free and that is why you are lost.
Franz Kafka (Letter to His Father)
A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.
John Adams (Letters of John Adams, Addressed to His Wife)
Though these words will never find you, I hope that you knew I was thinking of you today….. and that I was wishing you every happiness. Love Always, The girl you loved once.
Ranata Suzuki
One day isn't your whole life. A day is just a day.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
If I cease searching, then, woe is me, I am lost. That is how I look at it - keep going, keep going come what may.
Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent van Gogh)
I am not collarbones or drunken letters never sent. I am not the way I leave or left or didn’t know how to handle anything, at any time, and I am not your fault.
Charlotte Eriksson
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ... What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
What preys on my mind is simply this one question: what am I good for, could I not be of service or use in some way?
Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent van Gogh)
We're all united by grief, and somehow divided by the same thing.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
We all push sometimes, just to make sure someone is on the other side, pushing back.
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost, #2))
You are all a lost generation," Gertrude Stein said to Hemingway. We weren't lost. We knew where we were, all right, but we wouldn't go home. Ours was the generation that stayed up all night.
James Thurber (Selected Letters)
When everything goes to hell around you, the only way to go is forward.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Did you know I always thought you were braver than me? Did you ever guess that that was why I was so afraid? It wasn't that I only loved some of you. But I wondered if you could ever love more than some of me. I knew I'd miss you. But the surprising thing is, you never leave me. I never forget a thing. Every kind of love, it seems, is the only one. It doesn't happen twice. And I never expected that you could have a broken heart and love with it too, so much that it doesn't seem broken at all. I know young people look at me and think my youth seems so far away, but it's all around me, and you're all around me. Tiger Lily, do you think magic exists if it can be explained? I can explain why I loved you, I can explain the theory of evolution that tells me why mermaids live in Neverland and nowhere else. But it still feels magic. The lost boys all stood at our wedding. Does it seem odd to you that they could have stood at a wedding that wasn't yours and mine? It does to me. and I'm sorry for it, and for a lot, and I also wouldn't change it. It is so quiet here. Even with all the trains and the streets and the people. It's nothing like the jungle. The boys have grown. Everything has grown. Do you think you will ever grow? I hope not. I like to think that even if I change and fade away, some other people won't. I like to think that one day after I die, at least one small particle of me - of all the particles that will spread everywhere - will float all the way to Neverland, and be part of a flower or something like that, like that poet said, the one that your Tik Tok loved. I like to think that nothing's final, and that everyone gets to be together even when it looks like they don't, that it all works out even when all the evidence seems to say something else, that you and I are always young in the woods, and that I'll see you sometime again, even if it's not with any kind of eyes I know of or understand. I wouldn't be surprised if that is the way things go after all - that all things end happy. Even for you and Tik Tok. and for you and me. Always, Your Peter P.S. Please give my love to Tink. She was always such a funny little bug.
Jodi Lynn Anderson (Tiger Lily)
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
She wrote me a letter (Joan,1941) asking,"How can I read it?,Its so hard." I told her to start at the beginning and read as far as you can get until you're lost. Then start again at the beginning and keep working through until you can understand the whole book. And thats what she did
Richard P. Feynman
That letter was your whole future, you daft prince." "It was my past. I lost that the night my parents died. But I found you, Deryn. Maybe I wasn't meant to end the war, but I was meant to find you. I know that. You've saved me from having any reason to keep going." "We save each other. That's how it works.
Scott Westerfeld (Goliath (Leviathan, #3))
No one lives in a vacuum. Our actions have an impact on everyone around us. Sometimes without us even realizing it.
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost, #2))
We all have different capacities for failure.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Never is okay, you know,” he murmurs. I draw back a bit. “What?” “You said ‘not yet.’” He looks at me. “I’ll leave it up to you. But ‘never’ is okay, too, Jules. Never is always okay.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
The Resurrection was the greatest ‘eucatastrophe’ possible in the greatest Fairy Story — and produces that essential emotion: Christian joy which produces tears because it is qualitatively so like sorrow, because it comes from those places where Joy and Sorrow are at one, reconciled, as selfishness and altruism are lost in Love.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
You can't make your own path with your eyes closed. (pg 388).
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Some words are more than letters on a page, don't you think? They have shape and texture. They are like bullets, full of energy, and when you give one breath you can feel its sharp edge against your lip.
Pip Williams (The Dictionary of Lost Words)
[...] He says the Internet makes too many people loud, and too many people silent, but the loud ones are all we hear.. We have to ask questions to hear the silent people.
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost, #2))
I want to fall into him. I want to let someone else carry this weight, even if just for a little bit. But it's been too long.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
This letter really touched my heart. Sabrina says when she lost all her hair during chemo, she wore the cap I gave her.
Justin Bieber (First Step 2 Forever)
It didn’t hurt me. Not “hurt”. Hurt is a four letter word. It’s short, almost cute sounding. Aawwww, did that hurt? No. It didn’t hurt. Destroyed, Obliterated, Desecrated, Annihilated, Demolished, Shattered, or Demoralised maybe… But no. It didn’t hurt me. It didn’t “hurt” me at all.
Ranata Suzuki
Linh grinned. “I think I need to get Happy Shadow Thoughts embroidered on a tunic for you- with a bunch of smiley faces.” “I definitely think I need to see him wear that,” Sophie agreed. “Especially if it’s pink.” “Hot pink,” Linh decided. “With sparkly letters.” “And it should say Angry echoes-beware! on the back!” Sophie added.
Shannon Messenger (Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #7))
When it is moving on luxurious wings, The soul is lost in pleasant smotherings.
John Keats (Bright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne)
Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost.
Virginia Woolf (Jacob's Room)
I've become a collector of stories about unlikely returns: the sudden reappearance of the long-lost son, the father found, the lovers reunited after forty years. Once in awhile, a letter does fall behind a post office desk and lie there for years before it's finally discovered and delivered to the rightful address. The seemingly brain-dead sometimes wake up and start talking. I'm always on the lookout for proof that what is done can sometimes be undone.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles)
Can I tell you one thing?” Melonhead says. I swallow. “Sure.” “One day isn’t your whole life, Murph.” He waits until I look at him. “A day is just a day.” I scoff and slouch in the chair. “So what are you saying? That people shouldn’t judge me on one mistake? Tell that to Judge Ororos.” He leans in against the table. “No, kid. I’m saying you shouldn’t judge yourself for it.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
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))
In the pit of red You hid from the bone-clinic whiteness But the jewel you lost was blue.
Ted Hughes (Birthday Letters)
What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can't reread a phone call.
Liz Carpenter
a picture wasn’t worth anything if it didn’t produce a reaction, that it takes talent to capture feeling with an image.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ. ...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost... [Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
Simon I've been trying to call you, but it seems like your phone is turned off. I don't know where you are right now. I don't know if Clary's already told you what happened tonight. But I have to go to Magnus's and I'd really like you to be there. I'm scared for my brother. I never ask you for anything, Simon, but I'm asking you now. Please come. Isabelle. Simon let the letter fall from his hand. He was out of the apartment and on his way down the steps before it had even hit the floor.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
I am the androgyne, I am the living mind you fail to describe in your dead language the lost noun, the verb surviving only in the infinitive the letters of my name are written under the lids of the newborn child
Adrienne Rich (Diving Into the Wreck)
Rev is about as aggressive as an old golden retriever.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27: 17
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2))
You’re exactly as strong as I thought you were.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody but unbowed.' In other words, life has a solid right hook, but it's not going to take me down.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
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))
Dear Sixpence, I saved them all, you know. Every letter you ever sent, even those to which I never replied. I’m sorry for so many things, my love: that I left you; that I never came home; that it took me so long to realize that you were my home and that, with you by my side, none of the rest mattered. But in the darkest hours, on the coldest nights, when I felt I’d lost everything, I still had your letters. And through them, in some small way, I still had you. I loved you then, my darling Penelope, more than I could imagine—just as I love you now, more than you can know. Michael Hell House, February 1831
Sarah MacLean (A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1))
It was then that I could feel that the moths in him, with their wings so paper-thin, will never be near enough to the light. They will always want to be nearer - to be inside of it. It was then that I could feel the lost thing in him.
Ava Dellaira (Love Letters to the Dead)
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2))
I wonder, if I keep faking it, will I eventually believe it? A part of me worries that I’ll keep faking it and completely forget what’s real at all.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Many years afterwards, we attempt to solve puzzles that were not mysteries at the time and we try to decipher half-obliterated letters from a language that is too old and whose alphabet we don't even know.
Patrick Modiano (So You Don't Get Lost in the Neighborhood)
Kate, I'm not always the best at expressing myself to you, so I'm taking advantage of the fact that I will be completely unresponsive when you read this, and therefore incapable of messing things up. I want to thank you for giving me a chance. When I first saw you, I knew I had found something incredible. And since then all I've wanted was to be with you as much as possible. When I thought I had lost you, I was torn between wanting you back and wanting the best for you—wanting you to be happy. Seeing you so miserable during the weeks we were apart gave me the courage to fight for us . . . to find a way for things to work. And seeing you happy again in the days we've been back together makes me think I did the right thing. I can't promise you an ordinary experience, Kate. I wish I could transform myself into a normal man and be there for you, always, without the trauma that defines my life as "the walking dead." Since that isn't possible, I can only reassure you that I will do everything in my power to make it up to you. To give you more than a normal boyfriend could. I have no idea what that will mean, exactly, but I'm looking forward to finding out. With you. Thank you for being here, my beauty. Mon ange. My Kate. Yours utterly, Vincent
Amy Plum (Die for Me (Revenants, #1))
You want to know what I believe? I believe in fate, but I also believe in free will. Meaning, there's a path, but we're free to veer away from it. The only problem is that there's no way to know whose path we're following on any given moment. Our own? Our fate's? Other people are on their on paths, too. What happens when we intersect? What happens when someone else wipes our path clean, and we're left with no road to follow? Is that fate? Is that when free will kicks in? Is the path there, but invisible? Who the hell knows?
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
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.
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2))
Men can be like toddlers, Juliet. Sometimes all they need is something shiny to distract them.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
The quiet lets my thoughts roam free, and they don’t travel in happy directions.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Painting completed my life. I lost three children and a series of other things that would have fulfilled my horrible life. My painting took the place of all this. I think work is the best. (Frida Kahlo, p. 157)
Martha Zamora (The Letters of Frida Kahlo: Cartas Apasionadas)
Before I got here, I thought for a long time that the way out of the labyrinth was to pretend that it did not exist, to build a small, self-sufficient world in a back corner of, the endless maze and to pretend that I was not lost, but home. But that only led to a lonely life accompanied only by the last words of the looking for a Great Perhaps, for real friends, and a more-than minor life. And then i screwed up and the Colonel screwed up and Takumi screwed up and she slipped through our fingers. And there's no sugar-coating it: She deserved better friends. When she fucked up, all those years ago, just a little girl terrified. into paralysis, she collapsed into the enigma of herself. And I could have done that, but I saw where it led for her. So I still believe in the Great Perhaps, and I can believe in it spite of having lost her. Beacause I will forget her, yes. That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person. I know that she forgives me for being dumb and sacred and doing the dumb and scared thing. I know she forgives me, just as her mother forgives her. And here's how I know: I thought at first she was just dead. Just darkness. Just a body being eaten by bugs. I thought about her a lot like that, as something's meal. What was her-green eyes, half a smirk, the soft curves of her legs-would soon be nothing, just the bones I never saw. I thought about the slow process of becoming bone and then fossil and then coal that will, in millions of years, be mined by humans of the future, and how they would their homes with her, and then she would be smoke billowing out of a smokestack, coating the atmosphere. I still think that, sometimes. I still think that, sometimes, think that maybe "the afterlife" is just something we made up to ease the pain of loss, to make our time in the labyrinth bearable. Maybe she was just a matter, and matter gets recycled. But ultimately I do not believe that she was only matter. The rest of her must be recycled, too. I believe now that we are greater than the sum of our parts. If you take Alaska's genetic code and you add her life experiences and the relationships she had with people, and then you take the size and shape of her body, you do not get her. There is something else entirety. There is a part of her knowable parts. And that parts has to go somewhere, because it cannot be destroyed. Although no one will ever accuse me of being much of a science student, One thing I learned from science classes is that energy is never created and never destroyed. And if Alaska took her own life, that is the hope I wish I could have given her. Forgetting her mother, failing her mother and her friends and herself -those are awful things, but she did not need to fold into herself and self-destruct. Those awful things are survivable because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be. When adults say "Teenagers think they are invincible" with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail. So I know she forgives me, just as I forgive her. Thomas Eidson's last words were: "It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Though I love you to the core of my being, so thoroughly that every cell comprising me aches to be near you, I must accept that we can never be together. For our existence parallels the sun and the moon—a temptation in constant, beautiful view, yet if the sun were ever to kiss the moon it would devour the heavenly orb whole. Oh, my darling, if only I were the moon! Then I would dare taste your lips and be happy for my last and final joy! But alas, I am the sun, and I will not venture to destroy the one I love.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
I am not a finished poem, and I am not the song you’ve turned me into. I am a detached human being, making my way in a world that is constantly trying to push me aside, and you who send me letters and emails and beautiful gifts wouldn’t even recognise me if you saw me walking down the street where I live tomorrow for I am not a poem. I am tired and worn out and the eyes you would see would not be painted or inspired but empty and weary from drinking too much at all times and I am not the life of your party who sings and has glorious words to speak for I don’t speak much at all and my voice is raspy and unsteady from unhealthy living and not much sleep and I only use it when I sing and I always sing too much or not at all and never when people are around because they expect poems and symphonies and I am not a poem but an elegy at my best but unedited and uncut and not a lot of people want to work with me because there’s only so much you can do with an audio take, with the plug-ins and EQs and I was born distorted, disordered, and I’m pretty fine with that, but others are not.
Charlotte Eriksson (Another Vagabond Lost To Love: Berlin Stories on Leaving & Arriving)
Bright, heroic, tender, true and noble was that lost treasure of my heart, who faithfully accompanied me in all the rocky ways and climbings; and I am forever poor without her.
Thomas Carlyle (The Love Letters of Thomas Carlyle and Jane Welsh)
But there's only so much rejection you can take before you finally give up and stop trying.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Thank you.” “For what?” “For seeing me.
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2))
Time lost can never be recovered...and this should be written in flaming letters everywhere.
Erik Larson (Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History)
...words always carried a bit of the writer’s soul,...
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
I knew something as I watched: almost everyone was saying goodbye to me. I was becoming one of the many little-girl-losts. They would go back to their homes and put me to rest, a letter from the past never to be reopened or reread. And I could say goodbye to them, wish them well, bless them somehow for their good thoughts. A handshake in the street, a dropped item picked up and retrieved and handed back, or a friendly wave from the distant window, a nod, a smile, a moment when the eyes lock over the antics of a child.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Sometimes I think people are so used to negativity that a positive atmosphere is uncomfortable, or even frightening. It goes along with what we were talking about. When you can't trust anyone, the unknown is a very frightening place indeed.
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost, #2))
Ah! dearest love, sweet home of all my fears, and hopes, and joys, and panting miseries, Tonight if I may guess, thy beauty wears a smile of such delight, As brilliant and as bright As when with ravished, aching, nassal eyes, Lost in a soft amaze I gaze, I gaze
John Keats (Letters of John Keats)
I think jalapeno sounds like a bunch of letters piling into a beat-up old word to get tacos.
Edmond Manning (King Perry (The Lost and Founds, #1))
But the jewel you lost was blue.
Ted Hughes (Birthday Letters)
I lost you three years ago, I told myself I’d never let that happen again. It’s important to me to be with you, B. But I can’t be if you don’t let me.
Kandi Steiner (A Love Letter to Whiskey)
you are ares' lost sister. goddess of sedated battles and lost girls. always full of other people and never yourself.
Salma Deera (Letters From Medea)
One day isn’t your whole life, Murph.” He waits until I look at him. “A day is just a day.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Dropping an f-bomb wouldn’t make me an idiot any more than saying “sesquipedalian” makes someone intelligent.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Why did You bid me drown the letter? I have lost something that he touched, and the destruction of it has gained You nothing, for now I no longer read the words, I hear them, as if he implored me face to face. Speak to me, Jacob, do not play the tyrant. Speak to me.
Maria McCann (As Meat Loves Salt)
Please, when I come home, don't forget the "soul"... and I don't mean "sweet sayings"... I mean the truth, the sharing of our inmost thoughts, good or bad... lost or comforting. That is the soul. I think it. The soul, is I think, a human being who speaks with the pressure of death at his head. That's how I'd phrase it. The self in trouble... not just the self without love (as us) but the self as it will always be (with gun at its head finally)... To live and know it is only for a moment... that is to know "the soul"... and it increases closeness and despair and happiness...
Anne Sexton (Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters)
While the art of printing is left to us science can never be retrograde; what is once acquired of real knowledge can never be lost.
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
But are the twin souls destined to be together? Synchronicity is at work here to bring the two back together again. How entrancing to find the same magical alchemy still at work, just as it was at the first meeting – a recognition of a deep rooted love so entrenched and so accepted, it could only have been forged in other lifetimes together. And probably that is what love at first sight is, recognition of an ancient love.
Chimnese Davids (My Unrequited Love Letters)
I have been in my bed for five weeks, oppressed with weakness and other infirmities from which my age, seventy four years, permits me not to hope release. Added to this (proh dolor! [O misery!]) the sight of my right eye — that eye whose labors (dare I say it) have had such glorious results — is for ever lost. That of the left, which was and is imperfect, is rendered null by continual weeping.
Galileo Galilei (Lettere di Galileo Galilei (Italian Edition))
You have both been so busy learning tactics and studying battles, you have failed to see the truth of where thrones are won and lost. It is in the gossip, the words and letters passed in dark corners, the shadow alliances and the secret payments. You think I am worthless? I can do things you could never dream of.
Kiersten White (And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1))
Isobel, this was the only way I knew how to reach you. After tonight it will all go away. I never meant for you to be pulled into any of this-ever. Please believe that. Somehow I've lost control of everything. I only wish I could see you again. I wish I could tell you everything that I couldn't before. Most of all, I wish there was a way we could start over. Whatever happens now, please believe that I didn't mean for it to end this way. Yours always. - V
Kelly Creagh (Nevermore (Nevermore, #1))
If a book cover has raised lettering, metallic lettering, or raised metallic lettering, then it is telling the reader: Hello. I am an easy-to-read work on espionage, romance, a celebrity, and/or murder. To readers who do not care for such things, this lettering tells them: Hello. I am crap.
Paul Collins (Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books)
Boys,” Lindsay agreed, nodding. “What doesn't get lost in translation?” “Things with the letter X in front of them,” Rachel posited. “Like X-Box. And X-rated movies.
Nenia Campbell (Fearscape (Horrorscape, #1))
I receive letters from readers who lost money thinking they bought my series. I’m protecting them and that’s what trademarks are meant for.
Faleena Hopkins
They could read it on each other, their faces wrinkled pages. Words hiding in the folds of their clothes. She was made of letters then, as all of us are now.
Brian Francis Slattery (Lost Everything)
Now when I had mastered the language of this water, and had come to know every trifling feature that bordered the great river as familiarly as I knew the letters of the alphabet, I had made a valuable acquisition. But I had lost something, too. I had lost something which could never be restored me while I lived. All the grace, the beauty, the poetry, had gone out of the majestic river!
Mark Twain
None of them could help her. She had lost all of them. They would not find out about this; she would not put it into a letter. And because of this she understood that they would never know her now. Maybe, she thought, they had never known her, any of them, because if they had, then they would have had to realize what this would be like for her.
Colm Tóibín (Brooklyn)
Tragedy is the common lot of man. 'So many people have lost children' I remind myself. pp 178-179 This tragedy is such an inextricable part of my story that it cannot be left out of an honest record. Suffering - no matter how multiplied - is always individual. p 179
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead: Diaries and Letters, 1929-1932)
I like you.” “I like you, too.” “I’ve liked you since the morning you ran into me.” I giggle and try to shove him away, but he uses the motion to pull us closer. “You have not,” I say. “I have,” he whispers, and now his lips brush against my cheek. “I remember thinking, ‘Nice job, dickhead. Add another girl to the list of people who hate you.’” “I don’t hate you. I’ve never hated you.” “Now, that’s reassuring,” he says, but I can hear the smile in his voice. He inhales along my cheekbone, and sparks flare through my abdomen. “You should write for Hallmark.” “All my future love letters will start with ‘To whom it may concern.’” “Are you going to send me future love letters?” I flush, and I’m sure he can see it. Feel it.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
With shaking hands, I hold the letter and slide my back down the wall until I'm on the floor. My tears drop on what he's written, leaving blurred ink in its place. I cry for everything that's lost. I cry that he gave up. I cry for the anger in his words. I cry that he's found someone that has made him consider letting me go. I cry for the day I ever met him and thought I could handle someone like him. I cry that the girl he met that day in the restaurant is long gone. And I cry because I don't know what to do with this person that's left.
Willow Aster (True Love Story)
Me - the poet - lost for words.
Jessica Brockmole (Letters from Skye)
We’re all united by grief, and somehow divided by the same thing. My
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
I feel that from the very beginning life played a terrible conjurer’s trick on me. I lost faith in it. It seems to me that every moment now it is playing tricks on me. So that when I hear love I am not sure it is love, and when I hear gaiety I am not sure it is gaiety, and when I have eaten and loved and I am all warm from wine, I am not sure it is either love or food or wine, but a strange trick being played on me, an illusion, slippery and baffling and malicious, and a magician hangs behind me watching the ecstasy I feel at the things which happen so that I know deep down it is all fluid and escaping and may vanish at any moment. Don’t forget to write me a letter and tell me I was here, and I saw you, and loved you, and ate with you. It is all so evanescent and I love it so much, I love it as you love the change in the days.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 2: 1934-1939)
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph's diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror's face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror; I saw all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me; I saw in a backyard of Soler Street the same tiles that thirty years before I'd seen in the entrance of a house in Fray Bentos; I saw bunches of grapes, snow, tobacco, lodes of metal, steam; I saw convex equatorial deserts and each one of their grains of sand; I saw a woman in Inverness whom I shall never forget; I saw her tangled hair, her tall figure, I saw the cancer in her breast; I saw a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree; I saw a summer house in Adrogué and a copy of the first English translation of Pliny -- Philemon Holland's -- and all at the same time saw each letter on each page (as a boy, I used to marvel that the letters in a closed book did not get scrambled and lost overnight); I saw a sunset in Querétaro that seemed to reflect the colour of a rose in Bengal; I saw my empty bedroom; I saw in a closet in Alkmaar a terrestrial globe between two mirrors that multiplied it endlessly; I saw horses with flowing manes on a shore of the Caspian Sea at dawn; I saw the delicate bone structure of a hand; I saw the survivors of a battle sending out picture postcards; I saw in a showcase in Mirzapur a pack of Spanish playing cards; I saw the slanting shadows of ferns on a greenhouse floor; I saw tigers, pistons, bison, tides, and armies; I saw all the ants on the planet; I saw a Persian astrolabe; I saw in the drawer of a writing table (and the handwriting made me tremble) unbelievable, obscene, detailed letters, which Beatriz had written to Carlos Argentino; I saw a monument I worshipped in the Chacarita cemetery; I saw the rotted dust and bones that had once deliciously been Beatriz Viterbo; I saw the circulation of my own dark blood; I saw the coupling of love and the modification of death; I saw the Aleph from every point and angle, and in the Aleph I saw the earth and in the earth the Aleph and in the Aleph the earth; I saw my own face and my own bowels; I saw your face; and I felt dizzy and wept, for my eyes had seen that secret and conjectured object whose name is common to all men but which no man has looked upon -- the unimaginable universe. I felt infinite wonder, infinite pity.
Jorge Luis Borges
A love letter lost in the mail, forgotten, miss delivered and then discovered years later and received by the intended is romantic. A love letter ending up in someone's spam filter is just annoying.
B.J. Neblett
Where did this come from?” I bristle at the question. “I wrote it right in front of you. I didn’t cheat.” “I’m not accusing you of cheating. I’m asking why you were able to put together five hundred words about a poem, when I can rarely get more than a compound sentence out of you.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
My poems only come when I have almost lost the ability to utter a word. To speak, in a way, of the unspeakable.
Anne Sexton (Anne Sexton: A Self-Portrait in Letters)
Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain - which is to say, all of it. Every last bit of it, good and bad - Marmite, village fetes, country lanes, people saying 'mustn't grumble' and 'I'm terribly sorry but', people apologizing to me when I conk them with a nameless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, stinging nettles, seaside piers, Ordnance Survey maps, crumpets, hot-water bottles as a necessity, drizzly Sundays - every bit of it. What a wondrous place this was - crazy as fuck, of course, but adorable to the tiniest degree. What other country, after all, could possibly have come up with place names like Tooting Bec and Farleigh Wallop, or a game like cricket that goes on for three days and never seems to start? Who else would think it not the least odd to make their judges wear little mops on their heads, compel the Speaker of the House of Commons to sit on something called the Woolsack, or take pride in a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy? ('Please Hardy, full on the lips, with just a bit of tongue.') What other nation in the world could possibly have given us William Shakespeare, pork pies, Christopher Wren, Windsor Great Park, the Open University, Gardners' Question Time and the chocolate digestive biscuit? None, of course. How easily we lose sight of all this. What an enigma Britain will seem to historians when they look back on the second half of the twentieth century. Here is a country that fought and won a noble war, dismantled a mighty empire in a generally benign and enlightened way, created a far-seeing welfare state - in short, did nearly everything right - and then spent the rest of the century looking on itself as a chronic failure. The fact is that this is still the best place in the world for most things - to post a letter, go for a walk, watch television, buy a book, venture out for a drink, go to a museum, use the bank, get lost, seek help, or stand on a hillside and take in a view. All of this came to me in the space of a lingering moment. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I like it here. I like it more than I can tell you.
Bill Bryson (Notes from a Small Island)
When it came to talking with God, I wanted to believe he was like those stars. If I looked, he’d be there. I’d lost a lot of things in the years that led up to this point - shoes and keys and books and boyfriends - but I never lost that hope
Hannah Brencher (If You Find This Letter: My Journey to Find Purpose Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers)
My dearest friend Abigail, These probably could be the last words I write to you and I may not live long enough to see your response but I truly have lived long enough to live forever in the hearts of my friends. I thought a lot about what I should write to you. I thought of giving you blessings and wishes for things of great value to happen to you in future; I thought of appreciating you for being the way you are; I thought to give sweet and lovely compliments for everything about you; I thought to write something in praise of your poems and prose; and I thought of extending my gratitude for being one of the very few sincerest friends I have ever had. But that is what all friends do and they only qualify to remain as a part of the bunch of our loosely connected memories and that's not what I can choose to be, I cannot choose to be lost somewhere in your memories. So I thought of something through which I hope you will remember me for a very long time. I decided to share some part of my story, of what led me here, the part we both have had in common. A past, which changed us and our perception of the world. A past, which shaped our future into an unknown yet exciting opportunity to revisit the lost thoughts and to break free from the libido of our lost dreams. A past, which questioned our whole past. My dear, when the moment of my past struck me, in its highest demonised form, I felt dead, like a dead-man walking in flesh without a soul, who had no reason to live any more. I no longer saw any meaning of life but then I saw no reason to die as well. I travelled to far away lands, running away from friends, family and everyone else and I confined myself to my thoughts, to my feelings and to myself. Hours, days, weeks and months passed and I waited for a moment of magic to happen, a turn of destiny, but nothing happened, nothing ever happens. I waited and I counted each moment of it, thinking about every moment of my life, the good and the bad ones. I then saw how powerful yet weak, bright yet dark, beautiful yet ugly, joyous yet grievous; is a one single moment. One moment makes the difference. Just a one moment. Such appears to be the extreme and undisputed power of a single moment. We live in a world of appearance, Abigail, where the reality lies beyond the appearances, and this is also only what appears to be such powerful when in actuality it is not. I realised that the power of the moment is not in the moment itself. The power, actually, is in us. Every single one of us has the power to make and shape our own moments. It is us who by feeling joyful, celebrate for a moment of success; and it is also us who by feeling saddened, cry and mourn over our losses. I, with all my heart and mind, now embrace this power which lies within us. I wish life offers you more time to make use of this power. Remember, we are our own griefs, my dear, we are our own happinesses and we are our own remedies. Take care! Love, Francis. Title: Letter to Abigail Scene: "Death-bed" Chapter: The Road To Awe
Huseyn Raza
The start date and the end date are always the important bits on the gravestones, written in big letters. The dash in between is always so small you can barely see it. Surely the dash should be big and bright and amazing, or not, depending on how you had lived.
Brooke Davis (Lost & Found)
Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad. The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of. If only it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a little beyond the outworks of our presentiment, perhaps we would bear our sadnesses with greater trust than we have in our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy embarrassment, everything in us withdraws, a silence arises, and the new experience, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it all and says nothing.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
To my unsuspecting love. When I look into your eyes, I loose all sense of time and place. Reason robbed, clear thought erased, I am lost in the paradise I find within you gaze. I long to touch your blushing cheek, to whisper in your ear how I adore you, how I cannot bear the thought of living without you. To be so near you without touching you is agony. Your blindness to my feelings is a daily torment, and I feel driven to the edge of madness by my love for you
Julianne Donaldson (Edenbrooke (Edenbrooke, #1))
Perhaps in time, Ella, the words we have lost will fade, and we will all stop summoning them by habit, only to stamp them out like unwanted toadstools when they appear. Perhaps they will eventually disappear altogether, and the accompanying halts and stammers as well: those troublesome, maddening pauses that at present invade and punctuate through caesura all manner of discourse. Trying so desperately we all are, to be ever so careful.
Mark Dunn (Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters)
I wish you may profit by my experience. Alas, how much time have I lost and wasted, which, had I been wise—I would have devoted to reading and studying the Bible! But my evil heart obstructs the dictates of my judgment, I often feel a reluctance to read this book of books, and a disposition to hew out broken cisterns which afford me no water, while the fountain of living waters are close within my reach!
John Newton (The Letters of John Newton)
A story is a map of the world. A gloriously colored and wonderful map, the sort one often sees framed and hanging on the wall in a study full of plush chairs and stained-glass lamps: painstakingly lettered, researched down to the last pebble and participle, drawn with dash and flair, with cloud-goddesses in the corners and giant squid squirming up out of the sea...[T]here are more maps in the world than anyone can count. Every person draws a map that shows themselves at the center.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (Fairyland, #4))
Then it is not uncommon for a man to become lost in a single letter, or hear a voice rise up from the silent page.
Howard Schwartz
You’re not alone in this. If yesterday was a hard day, you weren’t the only one who felt that way. Maybe there are things you need to say. Maybe there’s a letter you need to write, an e-mail to send. Maybe it’s going to take a long time and today you just need to call a friend and begin to be honest. Maybe things are really heavy or it’s just too painful. Maybe it’s time to find some help. Help I real. Hope is real. These things are possible. You’re not alone. The thing about the idea that you’re not alone is that it doesn’t do us much good if it’s just an idea. We have to do something with it. It’s like having no money and then someone hands you a check. You have to take it to the bank. You have to do something with it. Maybe hope is like that. Maybe community is like that. Maybe relationships are like that. We have to choose these things. We have to say they’re real and possible and important. We have to say some things out loud. We have to choose to believe that our story matters, along with the stories of the people we love.
Jamie Tworkowski (If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For)
Jeff is the annoying kind of Scrabble player who plays a lot of obscure two-letter words that shouldn't count but for whatever reason are considered legitimate. My father is the annoying kind of Scrabble player who takes hours with his turn and then plays deliberately misspelled words that no one has the heart to call him out on. I am the perfect Scrabble player, both serious and considerate. Obviously I lost by a lot.
Bennett Madison (September Girls)
John nods. "So I gathered a bunch of sticks and some flowers and I arranged them into the letters FORMAL? in front of your window. But your dad came home while I was in the middle of it, and he thought I was going around cleaning people's yards. He gave me ten bucks, and I lost my nerve and I just went home.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Wait!” Juliet pulls away from her father, and once again, she’s breathless and looking up at me. “Declan.” I hold myself at a distance. The spell is broken. “Juliet.” She closes that distance, though, and then does one better. She grabs the front of my shirt and pulls me forward. For half a second, my brain explodes because I think we’re going to have a movie moment and she’s going to kiss me. And then it’s going to be super awkward because of her father. But no, she’s only pulling me close to whisper. Her breath is warm on my cheek, sweet and perfect. “We were wrong,” she says. “You make your own path.” Then she spins, grabs her father’s hand, and leaves me there in the middle of the cemetery.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
I fell in love with Wild’s voice in my ear. Now I had her in my arms while she was giving it to me, and I was out of my fucking mind lost for this girl. There was no turning back. I’d be anything she needed. I’d be everything she needed.
J. Daniels (Four Letter Word (Dirty Deeds, #1))
We all stood and gathered our backpacks and I looked at the floor around my chair to make sure I hadn’t dropped anything. I was terrified of unwittingly leaving behind a scrap of paper on which were written all my private desires and humiliations. The fact that no such scrap of paper existed, that I did not even keep a diary or write letters except bland, earnest, falsely cheerful ones to my family (We lost to St. Francis in soccer, but I think we’ll win our game this Saturday; we are working on self-portraits in art class, and the hardest part for me is the nose) never decreased my fear.
Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep)
Once again I have told you so little, and have asked no questions, and once again I must close. But not a single answer and, even more certainly, not a single question shall be lost. There exists some kind of sorcery by which two people, without seeing each other, without talking to each other, can at least discover the greater part about each other’s past, literally in a flash, without having to tell each other all and everything; but this, after all, is almost an instrument of Black Magic (without seeming to be) which, although never without reward, one would certainly never resort to with impunity. Therefore I won’t say it, unless you guess it first. It is terribly short, like all magic formulas. Farewell, and let me reinforce this greeting by lingering over your hand. Yours, Franz K.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice‎ (Schocken Classics))
That's what I've always found so pathetic about fans. They weep when they have a live glimpse of you, frame the fork you touched. Yet they're impervious to doing anything with that inspiration, like enriching their own lives. It drove Stanny-boy crazy. He used to say to me, 'Huey'—it was his nickname for me—'Huey, they see the films five times, write me fan letters, but the underlying meaning is lost on them. They take nothing away. Not heroism. Not courage. It's all just entertainment.
Marisha Pessl (Night Film)
He tries again, swallowing hard to ease away the painful lump in his throat. "It's just important. I love you. I'm yours. I need people to know." "Alright," Lindsay says suddenly. He leans down to grab at Pip's bag, throwing stuff out onto the carpet, his iPod and phone and wallet and gloves and Attitude magazine until he finds what he's looking for, a green marker pen, and holds it between his teeth while he starts tugging at the hem of Pip's t-shirt. Pip's too surprised to do anything but submit, he lets Lindsay peel off his t-shirt and throw that on top of all the things from his bag then just watches as Lindsay pulls the pen out of the cap in his mouth and signs his name in big green letters on the side of Pip's stomach. He holds his breath, trying not to suck in the belly fat everybody else keeps telling him is imaginary. "There, you're mine, are you fucking happy now?" Lindsay snaps, and throws the recapped pen across the room to get lost in the bookcase somewhere.
Richard Rider (No Beginning, No End (Stockholm Syndrome, #3))
In a marriage or relationship, when people hurt each other physically and morally, the respect is lost and that's the end, because without respect and love for one another there's nothing, it's time to split.
Ingrid Holm-Garibay (Letters from Frank: An American Terrorist's Life)
I wince. I have no idea what to say. "Do you want to hit me back? You can." "No, I don't want to hit you back, you idiot. I've sent you like thiry texts. Are you okay?" My eyebrows go up. "You are asking me if I'm okay?" "Yes." It's like the moment I realised Dad wasn't going to let me chase him out of my room. I want to crumple on the floor. "No," I say. "I'm not." "Then come on." I don't move. My head is spinning. "Where are we going?" "Downstairs. Get your gloves. If you need to throw punches, let's find something better than my face.
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost, #2))
I tell you, life is extraordinary. A few years ago I couldn’t write anything or sell anything, I’d passed the age where you know all the returns are in, I’d had my chance and done my best and failed. And how was I to know the miracle waiting to happen round the corner in late middle age? 84, Charing Cross Road was no best seller, you understand; it didn’t make me rich or famous. It just got me hundreds of letters and phone calls from people I never knew existed; it got me wonderful reviews; it restored a self-confidence and self-esteem I’d lost somewhere along the way, God knows how many years ago. It brought me to England. It changed my life.
Helene Hanff (The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street)
I want you to promise we’ll see each other again, you’ll send a letter. Promise we’ll be lost together in our forest, pale birches of our legs. I hear your voice now—I know, everyone knows promises come from fear. People don’t live past each other, you’re always here with me. Sometimes I pretend you’re in the other room until it rains… and then this is the letter I always write...
Anne Michaels (Poems: The Weight of Oranges, Miner's Pond, Skin Divers)
I never wanted to fix things with them.” I pause, and my voice is very quiet. “I wanted out. I screwed up.” “I don’t know, Murph.” We make the turn into the cemetery, and he hesitates, as if unsure of his next words. “I wonder if you’re just telling yourself that.” I frown. “What?” “I don’t think you wanted to kill yourself.” I pull next to his car in the now-empty employee lot. “Didn’t you listen to everything I just told you?” “Yeah. I did. Maybe you wanted to try to kill yourself, but I don’t think you wanted to actually do it.” “What’s the difference?” He opens the door and gets out, standing there, looking down at me. “You wore your seat belt.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Dusk had fallen, While the sky was gray, Red flowers bloomed, And the yellow fade away, Night was to fall, But the sun had to stay, Moon of fourteen, For the lover had to pray, Life gave up hope, Yet the heart had to say, Lover wrote a letter, But the pigeon lost it's way.
Neymat Khan
I hope he remembers everyday why he lost his future. He may spend the rest of his life in prison, but at least his heart is still beating, he can still breathe. He made this choice. He should have to suffer the consequences of it." - Lilianna Gregor
H.R. Willaston (Future Letters)
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)
It was an old fear, a fear that has never left me: the fear that, in losing pieces of her life, mine lost intensity and importance. And the fact that she didn’t answer emphasized that preoccupation. However hard I tried in my letters to communicate the privilege of the days in Ischia, my river of words and her silence seemed to demonstrate that my life was splendid but uneventful, which left me time to write to her every day, while hers was dark but full.
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1))
But there are good things I can hold on to and there are other things I have the power to change. My family, myself, this world—all of us are flawed. But flawed doesn’t mean hopeless. It doesn’t mean forsaken. It doesn’t mean lost. We are not doomed to suffer things as they are, silent and alone. We do not have to leave questions and letters and lives unanswered. We have more power and potential than we know if we would only speak, if we would only listen.
Randy Ribay (Patron Saints of Nothing)
There was a silence and then Alice, the oldest person in the room, cleared her throat. Alice has watery eyes and fluffy white hair and favors sweatpants and sweatshirts with glittery stars and flowers. Alice lost her mother when she was ten. That is a whole lifetime without a mother, to get used to not having a mother, and yet here she is. All these years later. Still grieving. Alice said, “Write me a letter telling me how to live for the rest of my life without you.” She paused. “That was sixty-four years ago, and I still would like to know.” I’m writing this down because someday I will be Alice, with a whole lifetime spent without a mother, a lifetime of walking around with a Grand Canyon of grief in my heart, and people should know what that feels like.
Kathleen Glasgow (How to Make Friends with the Dark)
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)
I love the dark hours of my being. My mind deepens into them. There I can find, as in old letters, the days of my life, already lived, and held like a legend, and understood. Then the knowing comes: I can open to another life that’s wide and timeless. So I am sometimes like a tree rustling over a gravesite and making real the dream of the one its living roots embrace: a dream once lost among sorrows and songs.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Rilke's Book of Hours: Love Poems to God)
A civilization is integral and healthy to the extent [that] it is founded on the "invisible" or "underlying" religion, the religio perennis, that is, to the extent [that] its expressions or forms are transparent to the Non-Formal and tend toward the Origin, thus conveying the recollection of a lost Paradise, but also - and with all the more reason - the presentiment of a timeless Beatitude. For the Origin is at once within us and before us; time is but a spiral movement around a motionless Center.
Frithjof Schuon (Light on the Ancient Worlds: A New Translation with Selected Letters)
That's the difference between a champ and a knife thrower. The champ may have lost his stuff temporarily or permanently, he can't be sure. But when he can no longer throw the high hard one, he throws his heart instead. He throws something. He doesn't just walk off the mound and weep.
Raymond Chandler (The Raymond Chandler Papers: Selected Letters and Nonfiction 1909-1959)
Reading these stories, it's tempting to think that the arts to be learned are those of tracking, hunting, navigating, skills of survival and escape. Even in the everyday world of the present, an anxiety to survive manifests itself in cars and clothes for far more rugged occasions than those at hand, as though to express some sense of the toughness of things and of readiness to face them. But the real difficulties, the real arts of survival, seem to lie in more subtle realms. There, what's called for is a kind of resilience of the psyche, a readiness to deal with what comes next. These captives lay out in a stark and dramatic way what goes on in every life: the transitions whereby you cease to be who you were. Seldom is it as dramatic, but nevertheless, something of this journey between the near and the far goes on in every life. Sometimes an old photograph, an old friend, an old letter will remind you that you are not who you once were, for the person who dwelt among them, valued this, chose that, wrote thus, no longer exists. Without noticing it you have traversed a great distance; the strange has become familiar and the familiar if not strange at least awkward or uncomfortable, an outgrown garment. And some people travel far more than others. There are those who receive as birthright an adequate or at least unquestioned sense of self and those who set out to reinvent themselves, for survival or for satisfaction, and travel far. Some people inherit values and practices as a house they inhabit; some of us have to burn down that house, find our own ground, build from scratch, even as a psychological metamorphosis.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened. One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street. “This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.” “And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.” They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle. As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily? And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves - just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?” “Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.” And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west. The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully. One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank. They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love. Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty. One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew: She is the 100% perfect girl for me. He is the 100% perfect boy for me. But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever. A sad story, don’t you think?
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
She knew it the way people say they know they are about to be hit by lightning, yet remain powerless to run, unable to avoid their fate. She panicked, as anyone might have when disparate parts of her life were about to crash into each other, certain to leave a path of anguish and debris. It was true that devotion could be lost as quickly as it was found, which was why some people insisted that love letters be written in ink. How easy it was for even the sweetest words to evaporate, only to be rewritten as impulse and infatuation might dictate. How unfortunate that love could not be taught or trained, like a seal or a dog. Instead it was a wolf on the prowl, with a mind of its own, and it made its own way, undeterred by the damage done. Love like this could turn honest people into liars and cheats, as it now did…
Alice Hoffman (The River King)
piece of paper falls out and floats to the ground. I pick it up carefully, studying the handwriting I don’t recognize but know is Mr. Watanabe’s. In neat, swooping letters written with black pen are the words: If you get lost in the darkness, remember to follow the music. Thanks for reminding me to do the same. Even though I’m crying, I’m smiling, too.
Akemi Dawn Bowman (Summer Bird Blue)
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)
He loved her, he loved her, and until he'd loved her she had never minded being alone, she'd liked to much to be alone. At school, where all the girls had crushes on one another and trailed in sweetheart pairs, she had kept to herself: except once, and that was when she'd allowed Naomi to adore her. Naomi, scholarly, and bourgeois as a napkin ring, had written her passionate poems that really rhymed, and once she'd let Naomi kiss her on the lips. But she had not loved her: it is very seldom that a person loves anyone they cannot in some way envy: she could not envy any girl, only men: and so Naomi became mislaid in her thoughts, then lost, like an old letter, one which had never been carefully read.
Truman Capote (Summer Crossing)
THE BODY of BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Printer like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out, and stripped of its lettering and gilding lies here, food for worms; Yet the work itself shall not be lost, For it will (as he believed) appear once more, in a new, and more beautiful edition, corrected and amended By The AUTHOR
Benjamin Franklin
And so I miss the fertilization that might come from a contact. And for me--yes, I think I might as well admit it--fertilization does come a great deal from contacts. Why then do I avoid them--in a sort of false pride--shyness--timorous modesty? I used to be afraid of falling in love with people--or having them think I was--that I was chasing them (how ridiculous--I am actually always running away!) but now surely--I should be mature enough to be over that. I am no longer afraid of falling in love, and the other false modesties should vanish. I cannot bear to think "par delicatesse j'ai perdu ma vie." (Because of discretion I have lost my life).
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Against Wind and Tide: Letters and Journals, 1947-1986)
When your parents die, Alessandro, you feel that you have betrayed them." "Why?" Luciana asked. "Because you come to love your children more. I lost my mother and father to images in photographs and handwriting on letters, and as I abandoned them for you, the saddest thing was that they made no protest. "Even now that I'm going back to them, I regret above all that I must leave you." "You're not going back to anybody," Alessandro told him. "We'll solve those problems later." "Alessandro," his father said, almost cheerfully. "You don't understand. This kind of problem is very special: it has no solution.
Mark Helprin (A Soldier of the Great War)
Before, Sazed had looked at the doctrines themselves. This time, he found himself studying the people who had believed, or what he could find of them. As he read their words over again in his mind, he began to see something. The faiths he had looked at, they couldn't be divorced from the people who had adhered to them. In the abstract, those religions were stale. However, as he read the words of the people—really read them—he began to see patterns. Why did they believe? Because they saw miracles. Things one man took as chance, a man of faith took as a sign. A loved one recovering from disease, a fortunate business deal, a chance meeting with a long lost friend. It wasn't the grand doctrines or the sweeping ideals that seemed to make believers out of men. It was the simple magic in the world around them. What was it Spook said? Sazed thought, sitting in the shadowy kandra cavern. That faith was about trust. Trusting that somebody was watching. That somebody would make it all right in the end, even though things looked terrible at the moment. To believe, it seemed, one had to want to believe. It was a conundrum, one Sazed had wrestled with. He wanted someone, something, to force him to have faith. He wanted to have to believe because of the proof shown to him. Yet, the believers whose words now filled his mind would have said he already had proof. Had he not, in his moment of despair, received an answer? As he had been about to give up, TenSoon had spoken. Sazed had begged for a sign, and received it. Was it chance? Was it providence? In the end, apparently, it was up to him to decide. He slowly returned the letters and journals to his metalminds, leaving his specific memory of them empty—yet retaining the feelings they had prompted in him. Which would he be? Believer or skeptic? At that moment, neither seemed a patently foolish path. I do want to believe, he thought. That's why I've spent so much time searching. I can't have it both ways. I simply have to decide. Which would it be? He sat for a few moments, thinking, feeling, and—most important—remembering. I sought help, Sazed thought. And something answered. Sazed smiled, and everything seemed a little bit brighter. Breeze was right, he thought, standing and organizing his things as he prepared to go. I was not meant to be an atheist.
Brandon Sanderson (The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3))
Come back, come back, dear friend, only friend, come back. I promise to be good. If I was short with you, I was either kidding or just being stubborn; I regret all this more than I can express. Come back and all is forgotten. It is unbearable to think you took my joke seriously. I have been crying for two days straight. Come back. Be brave, dear friend. All is not lost. You only need to come back. We will live here once again, bravely, patiently. I’m begging you. You know it is for your own good. Come back, all of your things are here. I hope you now know that our last conversation wasn’t real. That awful moment. But you, when I waved to you to get off the boat, why didn’t you come? To have lived together for two years and to have come to that! What will you do? If you don’t want to come back here, would you want me to come to you? Yes, I was wrong. Tell me you haven’t forgotten me. You couldn’t. I always have you with me. Listen, tell me: should we not live together anymore? Be brave. Write immediately. I can’t stay here much longer. Listen to your heart. Now, tell me if I should come join you. My life is yours.
Arthur Rimbaud (I Promise to Be Good: The Letters of Arthur Rimbaud)
He has lost his daughters, but he has also lost the memory of losing them. But he has not lost the loss. Pain is as present in his body as his signature is in his hand. He can sign his name perfectly, but he can't print it. W, he tries. But the a is impossible without the cursive tilt, the remembered motion of the letter before. He knows his name but can't see, can't feel, the separate parts, which are only possible from the inertia of his hand. He knows his grief, too, but its source is also lost without its movement. It is a static thing, unrecognizable, disconnected.
Emily Ruskovich (Idaho)
Had there been a Papist among the crowd of Puritans, he might have seen in this beautiful woman, so picturesque in her attire and mien, and with the infant at her bosom, an object to remind him of the image of Divine Maternity, which so many illustrious painters have vied with one another to represent; something which should remind him, indeed, but only by contrast, of that sacred image of sinless motherhood, whose infant was to redeem the world. Here, there was the taint of of deepest sin in the most sacred of quality of human life, working such effect, that the world was only the darker for this woman's beauty, and the more lost for the infant that she had borne.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
Sin-cere. Since the days of Michelangelo, sculptors had been hiding the flaws in their work by smearing hot wax into the cracks and then dabbing the wax with stone dust. The method was considered cheating, and therefore, any sculpture “without wax”—literally sine cera—was considered a “sincere” piece of art. The phrase stuck. To this day we still sign our letters “sincerely” as a promise that we have written “without wax” and that our words are true.
Dan Brown (The Lost Symbol (Robert Langdon, #3))
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 at the night I pressed my fingers to the sea glass he wore around his neck and kissed him back.
Sarah Ockler
Zoe is survived by her husband, Charles, and her daughter, Juliet. Survived. This guy is right. The words we use to surround death are bizarre. Like we’re hiding something. I guess the obituary wouldn’t read right if it said something like, Zoe died on the way home from the airport, after nine months on assignment in a war zone, leaving her husband, Charles, and her daughter, Juliet, with a Welcome Home cake that would sit in the refrigerator for a month before either of them could bear to throw it away. So maybe we are hiding something.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad. The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
And here was your mysterious innocence and invulnerability: you abused others without regret, and you condemned abuse, and said it was forbidden.  You backed your derision with threats, for example, ‘I’ll rip you apart like a fish.’  And that was dreadful to me, even though I knew that nothing bad would happen (yet as a young child I didn’t know this), but your words served as a sign of your power, and you always seemed capable of doing something.  And it was also dreadful when you shouted left and right at the table, and tried to grab someone – or pretended to try – until mother seemingly came to the rescue.  And it appeared to a child that life existed through your mercy, and continued as your unearned gift.  And linked to this were your threats about disobedience and where it would lead.  When I began something which didn’t please you and you threatened me with failure, my awe for your opinion was so great that failure was unavoidable – perhaps at first, if not, then later.  I lost the confidence to do anything.  I was unsettled, doubtful.  And the older I was, the more solid was the material with which you could demonstrate how worthless I was; and gradually, to a certain extent, you became right. But again, I must say that I’m not as I am just because of you; yet you increased what was there, and you increased it greatly; because against me you were very powerful, and you used all your power. You
Franz Kafka (Letter to My Father)
After writing the letter Sybil lost almost two days. "Coming to," she stumbled across what she had written just before she had dissociated and wrote to Dr. Wilbur as follows: It's just so hard to have to feel, believe, and admit that I do not have conscious control over my selves. It is so much more threatening to have something out of hand than to believe that at any moment I can stop (I started to say "This foolishness") any time I need to. When I wrote the previous letter, I had made up my mind I would show you how I could be very composed and cool and not need to ask you to listen to me nor to explain anything to me nor need any help. By telling you that all this about the multiple personalities was not really true I could show, or so I thought, that I did not need you. Well, it would be easier if it were put on. But the only ruse of which I'm guilty is to have pretended for so long before coming to you that nothing was wrong. Pretending that the personalities did not exist has now caused me to lose about two days.
Flora Rheta Schreiber (Sybil: The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities)
For instance, take this sample: he has imagined a heaven, and has left entirely out of it the supremest of all his delights, the one ecstasy that stands first and foremost in the heart of every individual of his race -- and of ours -- sexual intercourse! It is as if a lost and perishing person in a roasting desert should be told by a rescuer he might choose and have all longed-for things but one, and he should elect to leave out water!
Mark Twain (Letters from the Earth: Uncensored Writings)
I read once about how fighting in a game releases the same brain chemicals as fighting in real life--but fighting online removes any humanity from it. It's all in your head. Even with a headset and a voice, no one feels real. It's easy to drop your guard and make friends. And it's just as easy to tear someone down. I don't just mean from my side. If I win a mission, I'm happy--but to someone on the other side, do they feel even worse because they were defeated by someone who their brain doesn't think exists? And when they pair that anonymous defeat with a woman's real voice/likeness, is that somehow emasculating? Like, where does the rage come from?
Brigid Kemmerer (More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost, #2))
He watches me eat for a moment. “Let me see it again.” “No.” “Okay.” He pulls a can of carbonated water out of his backpack and pops the lid. Sometimes I want to punch him. I find the letter and slide it across the table. He reads it again. It makes me feel all jittery inside. His eyes flick up. “She likes you.” I shrug and steal his drink. It tastes like someone drowned an orange in a bottle of Perrier, and I cough. Rev smiles. “You like her.” “How can you drink this crap?” His smile widens. “Is it making you crazy that she won’t reveal herself?” “Seriously, Rev, do you have any regular water?” He’s no fool. “What do you want to do?” I take a long breath and blow it out. I run a hand through my hair. “I don’t know.” “You know.” “I want to stake out the grave. This waiting between letters is killing me.” “Suggest email.” “She doesn’t want to tell me anything more than her age. She’s not going to give me her email address.” “Maybe not her real email. But you could set up a private account and give her the address. See if she writes you.” It’s so simple it’s brilliant. I hate that I didn’t think of it. “Rev, I could kiss you.” “Brush your teeth first.” He reclaims his bizarre can of water.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Let us consider letters - how they come at breakfast, and at night, with their yellow stamps and their green stamps, immortalized by the postmark - for to see one's own envelope on another's table is to realize how soon deeds sever and become alien. Then at last the power of the mind to quit the body is manifest, and perhaps we fear or hate or wish annihilated this phantom of ourselves, lying on the table. Still, there are letters that merely say how dinner's at seven; others ordering coal; making appointments. The hand in them is scarcely perceptible, let alone the voice or the scowl. Ah, but when the post knocks and the letter comes always the miracle seems repeated - speech attempted. Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost.
Virginia Woolf (Jacob's Room)
Andy: Most of the things I did with her partly in mind. And if I said or did an inauthentic thing, I could almost hear her groaning over my shoulder. But now she's gone and I really don't know how I'll get along without her. Melissa: (Looking at him for the first time.) You'll survive, Andy... Andy: I have a wonderful wife, fine children, and a place in the world I feel proud of, but the death of Melissa suddenly leaves a huge gap in my life... Melissa: Oh now, Andy... Andy: The thought of never again being able to write to her, to connect to her, to get some signal back from her, fills me with an emptiness which is hard to describe. Melissa: Now Andy, stop... Andy: I don't think there are many men in this world who have had the benefit of such a friendship with such a woman. But it was more than friendship, too. I know now that I loved her. I loved her even from the day I met her, when she walked into second grade, looking like the lost princess of Oz. Melissa: Oh, Andy, PLEASE. I can't bear it. Andy: I don't think I've ever loved anyone the way I loved her, and I know I never will again. She was at the heart of my life, and already I miss her desperately. I just wanted to say this to you and to her. Sincerely, Andy Ladd. Melissa: Thank you, Andy.
A.R. Gurney (Love Letters)
It isn’t Easter,” he said, “but this week has caused me to think a lot about the Easter story. Not the glorious resurrection that we celebrate on Easter Sunday but the darkness that came before. I know of no darker moment in the Bible than the moment Jesus in his agony on the cross cries out, ‘Father, why have you forsaken me?’ Darker even than his death not long after because in death Jesus at last gave himself over fully to the divine will of God. But in that moment of his bitter railing he must have felt betrayed and completely abandoned by his father, a father he’d always believed loved him deeply and absolutely. How terrible that must have been and how alone he must have felt. In dying all was revealed to him, but alive Jesus like us saw with mortal eyes, felt the pain of mortal flesh, and knew the confusion of imperfect mortal understanding. “I see with mortal eyes. My mortal heart this morning is breaking. And I do not understand. “I confess that I have cried out to God, ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ ” Here my father paused and I thought he could not continue. But after a long moment he seemed to gather himself and went on. “When we feel abandoned, alone, and lost, what’s left to us? What do I have, what do you have, what do any of us have left except the overpowering temptation to rail against God and to blame him for the dark night into which he’s led us, to blame him for our misery, to blame him and cry out against him for not caring? What’s left to us when that which we love most has been taken? “I will tell you what’s left, three profound blessings. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul tells us exactly what they are: faith, hope, and love. These gifts, which are the foundation of eternity, God has given to us and he’s given us complete control over them. Even in the darkest night it’s still within our power to hold to faith. We can still embrace hope. And although we may ourselves feel unloved we can still stand steadfast in our love for others and for God. All this is in our control. God gave us these gifts and he does not take them back. It is we who choose to discard them. “In your dark night, I urge you to hold to your faith, to embrace hope, and to bear your love before you like a burning candle, for I promise that it will light your way. “And whether you believe in miracles or not, I can guarantee that you will experience one. It may not be the miracle you’ve prayed for. God probably won’t undo what’s been done. The miracle is this: that you will rise in the morning and be able to see again the startling beauty of the day. “Jesus suffered the dark night and death and on the third day he rose again through the grace of his loving father. For each of us, the sun sets and the sun also rises and through the grace of our Lord we can endure our own dark night and rise to the dawning of a new day and rejoice. “I invite you, my brothers and sisters, to rejoice with me in the divine grace of the Lord and in the beauty of this morning, which he has given us.
William Kent Krueger (Ordinary Grace)
At first he told them that everything was just the same, that the pink snails were still in the house where he had been born, that the dry herring still had the same taste on a piece of toast, that the waterfalls in the village still took on a perfumed smell at dusk. They were the notebook pages again, woven with the purple scribbling, in which he dedicated a special paragraph to each one. Nevertheless, and although he himself did not seem to notice it, those letters of recuperation and stimulation were slowly changing into pastoral letters of disenchantment. One winter night while the soup was boiling in the fireplace, he missed the heat of the back of his store, the buzzing of the sun on the dusty almond trees, the whistle of the train during the lethargy of siesta time, just as in Macondo he had missed the winter soup in the fireplace, the cries of the coffee vendor, and the fleeting larks of springtime. Upset by two nostalgias facing each other like two mirrors, he lost his marvelous sense of unreality and he ended up recommending to all of them that they leave Macondo, that they forget everything he had taught then about the world and the human heart, that they shit on Horace, and that wherever they might be they always remember that the past was a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.
Gabriel García Márquez
The relations one has with a woman one loves (and that can apply also to love for a youth) can remain platonic for other reasons than the chastity of the woman or the unsensual nature of the love she inspires. The reason may be that the lover is too impatient and by the very excess of his love is unable to await the moment when he will obtain his desires by sufficient pretence of indifference. Continually, he returns to the charge, he never ceases writing to her whom he loves, he is always trying to see her, she refuses herself, he becomes desperate. From that time she knows, if she grants him her company, her friendship, that these benefits will seem so considerable to one who believed he was going to be deprived of them, that she need grant nothing more and that she can take advantage of the moment when he can no longer bear being unable to see her and when, at all costs, he must put an end to the struggle by accepting a truce which will impose upon him a platonic relationship as its preliminary condition. Moreover, during all the time that preceded this truce, the lover, in a constant state of anxiety, ceaselessly hoping for a letter, a glance, has long ceased thinking of the physical desire which at first tormented him but which has been exhausted by waiting and has been replaced by another order of longings more painful still if left unsatisfied. The pleasure formerly anticipated from caresses will later be accorded but transmuted into friendly words and promises of intercourse which brings delicious moments after the strain of uncertainty or after a look impregnated with such coldness that it seemed to remove the loved one beyond hope of his ever seeing her again. Women divine all this and know they can afford the luxury of never yielding to those who, from the first, have betrayed their inextinguishable desire. A woman is enchanted if, without giving anything, she can receive more than she generally gets when she does give herself.
Marcel Proust (In Search of Lost Time [volumes 1 to 7])
You see, this is a problem all over the world. Man is seeking a new response, a new approach to life, because the old ways are decaying, whether in Europe, in Russia, or here. Life is a continual challenge, and merely to try to bring about a better economic order is not a total response to that challenge, which is always new; and when cultures, peoples, civilizations are incapable of responding totally to the challenge of the new, they are destroyed. Unless you are properly educated, unless you have this extraordinary confidence of innocence, you are inevitably going to be absorbed by the collective and lost in mediocrity. You will put some letters after your name, you will be married, have children, and that will be the end of you. You see,
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
Have you ever wondered What happens to all the poems people write? The poems they never let anyone else read? Perhaps they are Too private and personal Perhaps they are just not good enough. Perhaps the prospect of such a heartfelt expression being seen as clumsy shallow silly pretentious saccharine unoriginal sentimental trite boring overwrought obscure stupid pointless or simply embarrassing is enough to give any aspiring poet good reason to hide their work from public view. forever. Naturally many poems are IMMEDIATELY DESTROYED. Burnt shredded flushed away Occasionally they are folded Into little squares And wedged under the corner of An unstable piece of furniture (So actually quite useful) Others are hidden behind a loose brick or drainpipe or sealed into the back of an old alarm clock or put between the pages of AN OBSCURE BOOK that is unlikely to ever be opened. someone might find them one day, BUT PROBABLY NOT The truth is that unread poetry Will almost always be just that. DOOMED to join a vast invisible river of waste that flows out of suburbia. well Almost always. On rare occasions, Some especially insistent pieces of writing will escape into a backyard or a laneway be blown along a roadside embankment and finally come to rest in a shopping center parking lot as so many things do It is here that something quite Remarkable takes place two or more pieces of poetry drift toward each other through a strange force of attraction unknown to science and ever so slowly cling together to form a tiny, shapeless ball. Left undisturbed, this ball gradually becomes larger and rounder as other free verses confessions secrets stray musings wishes and unsent love letters attach themselves one by one. Such a ball creeps through the streets Like a tumbleweed for months even years If it comes out only at night it has a good Chance of surviving traffic and children and through a slow rolling motion AVOIDS SNAILS (its number one predator) At a certain size, it instinctively shelters from bad weather, unnoticed but otherwise roams the streets searching for scraps of forgotten thought and feeling. Given time and luck the poetry ball becomes large HUGE ENORMOUS: A vast accumulation of papery bits That ultimately takes to the air, levitating by The sheer force of so much unspoken emotion. It floats gently above suburban rooftops when everybody is asleep inspiring lonely dogs to bark in the middle of the night. Sadly a big ball of paper no matter how large and buoyant, is still a fragile thing. Sooner or LATER it will be surprised by a sudden gust of wind Beaten by driving rain and REDUCED in a matter of minutes to a billion soggy shreds. One morning everyone will wake up to find a pulpy mess covering front lawns clogging up gutters and plastering car windscreens. Traffic will be delayed children delighted adults baffled unable to figure out where it all came from Stranger still Will be the Discovery that Every lump of Wet paper Contains various faded words pressed into accidental verse. Barely visible but undeniably present To each reader they will whisper something different something joyful something sad truthful absurd hilarious profound and perfect No one will be able to explain the Strange feeling of weightlessness or the private smile that remains Long after the street sweepers have come and gone.
Shaun Tan (Tales from Outer Suburbia)
When our hopes are most alive, it is less from a view of the imperfect beginnings of grace in our hearts, than from an apprehension of him who is our all in all. His person, his love, his sufferings, his intercession, his compassion, his fullness, and his faithfulness—these are our delightful themes, which leave us little leisure, when in our best frames, to speak of ourselves... If any people have contributed a mite to their own salvation, it was more than we could do. If any were obedient and faithful to the first calls and impressions of his Spirit, it was not our case. If any were prepared to receive him beforehand, we know that we were in a state of alienation from him. We needed sovereign, irresistible grace to save us, or we would be lost forever! If there are any who have a power of their own, we must confess ourselves poorer than they are. We cannot watch, unless he watches with us; we cannot strive, unless he strives with us; we cannot stand one moment, unless he holds us up; and we believe we must perish after all, unless his faithfulness is engaged to keep us. But this we trust he will do, not for our righteousness, but for his own name's sake, and because, having loved us with an everlasting love, he has been pleased in loving kindness to draw us to himself, and to be found by us when we sought him not.
John Newton (Select Letters of John Newton)
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!)
The rest of the story, to Grand's thinking, was very simple. The common lot of married couples. You get married, you go on loving a bit longer, you work. And you work so hard that it makes you forget to love. As the head of the office where Grand was employed hadn't kept his promise, Jeanne, too, had to work outside. At this point a little imagination was needed to grasp what Grand was trying to convey. Owing largely to fatigue, he gradually lost grip of himself, had less and less to say, and failed to keep alive the feeling in his wife that she was loved. An overworked husband, poverty, the gradual loss of hope in a better future, silent evenings at home, what chance had any passion of surviving such conditions? Probably Jeanne had suffered. And yet she'd stayed; of course one may often suffer a long time without knowing it. Thus years went by. Then, one day, she left him. Naturally she hadn't gone alone. "I was very fond of you, but now I'm so tired. I'm not happy to go, but one needn't be happy to make another start." That, more or less, was what she'd said in her letter. Grand, too, had suffered. And he, too, might, as Rieux pointed out, have made a fresh start. But no, he had lost faith. Only, he couldn't stop thinking about her. What he'd have liked to do was to write her a letter justifying himself. "But it's not easy," he told Rieux. "I've been thinking it over for years. While we loved each other we didn't need words to make ourselves understood. But people don't love forever. A time came when I should have found the words to keep her with me, only I couldn't.
Albert Camus (La Peste | The Plague)
We have to discard the past and, as one builds floor by floor, window by window, and the building rises, so do we keep shedding -- first, broken tiles, then proud doors, until, from the past, dust falls as if it would crash against the floor, smoke rises as if it were on fire, and each new day gleams like an empty plate. There is nothing, there was always nothing. It all has to be filled with a new, expanding fruitfulness; then, down falls yesterday as in a well falls yesterday's water, into the cistern of all that is now without a voice, without fire. It is difficult to get bones used to disappearing, to teach eyes to close, but we do it unwittingly. Everything was alive, alive, alive,alive like a scarlet fish, but time passed with cloth and darkness and kept wiping away the flash of the fish. Water water water, the past goes on falling although it keeps a grip on thorns and on roots. It went, it went, and now memories mean nothing. Now the heavy eyelid shut out the light of the eye and what was once alive is now no longer living; what we were, we are not. And with words, although the letters still have transparency and sound, they change, and the mouth changes; the same mouth is now another mouth; they change, lips, skin, circulation; another soul took on our skeleton; what once was in us now is not. It left, but if they call, we reply "I am here," and we realize we are not, that what was once, was and is lost, lost in the past, and now does not come back." -"Past
Pablo Neruda (Fully Empowered)
Thinking about anything interesting?” I shrug and force my brain to stay with safer topics. “I didn’t know you could feed a baby Thai food.” Babydoll shovels a handful of shredded food into her mouth and swings her legs happily. She talks with her mouth full and half falls out. “Ah-da-da-da-da-da.” There’s a noodle in her hair, and Kristin reaches out to pull it free. Geoff scoops some coconut rice onto his plate and tops it with a third serving of beef. “What do you think they feed babies in Thailand?” I aim a chopstick in his direction. “Point.” Rev smiles. “Some kid in Bangkok is probably watching his mom tear up a hamburger, saying ‘I didn’t know you could feed a baby American food.’” “Well,” says Geoff. “Culturally—” “It was a joke
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
We’re loyal servants of the U.S. government. But Afghanistan involves fighting behind enemy lines. Never mind we were invited into a democratic country by its own government. Never mind there’s no shooting across the border in Pakistan, the illegality of the Taliban army, the Geneva Convention, yada, yada, yada. When we’re patrolling those mountains, trying everything we know to stop the Taliban regrouping, striving to find and arrest the top commanders and explosive experts, we are always surrounded by a well-armed, hostile enemy whose avowed intention is to kill us all. That’s behind enemy lines. Trust me. And we’ll go there. All day. Every day. We’ll do what we’re supposed to do, to the letter, or die in the attempt. On behalf of the U.S.A. But don’t tell us who we can attack. That ought to be up to us, the military. And if the liberal media and political community cannot accept that sometimes the wrong people get killed in war, then I can only suggest they first grow up and then serve a short stint up in the Hindu Kush. They probably would not survive. The truth is, any government that thinks war is somehow fair and subject to rules like a baseball game probably should not get into one. Because nothing’s fair in war, and occasionally the wrong people do get killed. It’s been happening for about a million years. Faced with the murderous cutthroats of the Taliban, we are not fighting under the rules of Geneva IV Article 4. We are fighting under the rules of Article 223.556mm — that’s the caliber and bullet gauge of our M4 rifle. And if those numbers don’t look good, try Article .762mm, that’s what the stolen Russian Kalashnikovs fire at us, usually in deadly, heavy volleys. In the global war on terror, we have rules, and our opponents use them against us. We try to be reasonable; they will stop at nothing. They will stoop to any form of base warfare: torture, beheading, mutilation. Attacks on innocent civilians, women and children, car bombs, suicide bombers, anything the hell they can think of. They’re right up there with the monsters of history.
Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10)
Did I ever tell you that my mother and father started out as pen pals? They wrote these long, unabashedly affectionate love letters to one another, peppered with clichés and pie-in-the-sky proclamations of eternal devotion. Despite my father’s eventual dishonesty and unfaithfulness, I have to believe he meant every word he wrote at that time, and it was admittedly romantic, uncovering my parents’ yellowed letters, all soft, crumbling corners and black ink stains, one rainy afternoon. Because how can anyone scrawl lies, really, in their own handwriting, the evidence of your own betrayal right in front of you? I sat cross-legged on the floor, holding my breath as I unfolded each letter, fragile and expectant, like a little girl opening her presents on Christmas morning. I sat there and soaked up my parents’ love for each other, and then I wondered where all those feelings had escaped to. I wondered where love went when it was lost—did it travel far, across miles and oceans and forests and deserts, or did it linger somewhere nearby, just waiting for a chance to be summoned again? Wherever it was, I could only hope it had ended up settling somewhere quieter, safer.
Marla Miniano (From This Day Forward)
You can't cure people of their character,' she read. After this he had crossed something out then gone on, 'You can't even change yourself. Experiments in that direction soon deteriorate into bitter, infuriated struggles. You haul yourself over the wall and glimpse new country. Good! You can never again be what you were! But even as you are congratulating yourself you discover tied to one leg the string of Christmas cards, gas bills, air letters and family snaps which will never allow you to be anyone else. A forty-year-old woman holds up a doll she has kept in a cardboard box under a bed since she was a child. She touches its clothes, which are falling to pieces; works tenderly its loose arm. The expression that trembles on the edge of realizing itself in the slackening muscles of her lips and jaw is indescribably sad. How are you to explain to her that she has lost nothing by living the intervening years of her life? How is she to explain that to you?
M. John Harrison (Things That Never Happen)
Andy: Andrew Makepeace Ladd, the Third, accepts with pleasure the kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Channing Gardner for a birthday party in honor of their daughter Melissa on April 19th, 1937 at half past three o'clock. Melissa: Dear Andy: Thank you for the birthday present. I have a lot of Oz books, but not 'The Lost Princess of Oz.' What made you give me that one? Sincerely yours, Melissa. Andy: I'm answering your letter about the book. When you came into second grade with that stuck-up nurse, you looked like a lost princess. Melissa: I don't believe what you wrote. I think my mother told your mother to get that book. I like the pictures more than the words. Now let's stop writing letters.
A.R. Gurney (Love Letters)
When we feel abandoned, alone, and lost, what’s left to us? What do I have, what do you have, what do any of us have left except the overpowering temptation to rail against God and to blame him for the dark night into which he’s led us, to blame him for our misery, to blame him and cry out against him for not caring? What’s left to us when that which we love most has been taken? “I will tell you what’s left, three profound blessings. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul tells us exactly what they are: faith, hope, and love. These gifts, which are the foundation of eternity, God has given to us and he’s given us complete control over them. Even in the darkest night it’s still within our power to hold to faith. We can still embrace hope. And although we may ourselves feel unloved we can still stand steadfast in our love for others and for God. All this is in our control. God gave us these gifts and he does not take them back. It is we who choose to discard them. “In your dark night, I urge you to hold to your faith, to embrace hope, and to bear your love before you like a burning candle, for I promise that it will light your way. “And whether you believe in miracles or not, I can guarantee that you will experience one. It may not be the miracle you’ve prayed for. God probably won’t undo what’s been done. The miracle is this: that you will rise in the morning and be able to see again the startling beauty of the day. “Jesus suffered the dark night
William Kent Krueger (Ordinary Grace)
My delightful, my love, my life, I don’t understand anything: how can you not be with me? I’m so infinitely used to you that I now feel myself lost and empty: without you, my soul. You turn my life into something light, amazing, rainbowed—you put a glint of happiness on everything—always different: sometimes you can be smoky-pink, downy, sometimes dark, winged—and I don’t know when I love your eyes more—when they are open or shut. It’s eleven p.m. now: I’m trying with all the force of my soul to see you through space; my thoughts plead for a heavenly visa to Berlin via air . . . My sweet excitement . . . Today I can’t write about anything except my longing for you. I’m gloomy and fearful: silly thoughts are swarming—that you’ll stumble as you jump out of a carriage in the underground, or that someone will bump into you in the street . . . I don’t know how I’ll survive the week. My tenderness, my happiness, what words can I write for you? How strange that although my life’s work is moving a pen over paper, I don’t know how to tell you how I love, how I desire you. Such agitation—and such divine peace: melting clouds immersed in sunshine—mounds of happiness. And I am floating with you, in you, aflame and melting—and a whole life with you is like the movement of clouds, their airy, quiet falls, their lightness and smoothness, and the heavenly variety of outline and tint—my inexplicable love. I cannot express these cirrus-cumulus sensations. When you and I were at the cemetery last time, I felt it so piercingly and clearly: you know it all, you know what will happen after death—you know it absolutely simply and calmly—as a bird knows that, fluttering from a branch, it will fly and not fall down . . . And that’s why I am so happy with you, my lovely, my little one. And here’s more: you and I are so special; the miracles we know, no one knows, and no one loves the way we love. What are you doing now? For some reason I think you’re in the study: you’ve got up, walked to the door, you are pulling the door wings together and pausing for a moment—waiting to see if they’ll move apart again. I’m tired, I’m terribly tired, good night, my joy. Tomorrow I’ll write you about all kinds of everyday things. My love.
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
I am sitting down to write in a state of some confusion; I have been reading a lot of different things that are merging into one another, and if one hopes to find a solution for oneself by this kind of reading, one is mistaken; one comes up against a wall, and cannot proceed. Your life is so very different, dearest. Except in relation to your fellow men, have you ever known uncertainty? Have you ever observed how, within yourself and independent of other people, diverse possibilities open up in several directions, thereby actually creating a ban on your every movement? Have you ever, without giving the slightest thought to anyone else, been in despair simply about yourself? Desperate enough to throw yourself on the ground and remain there beyond the Day of Judgment? How devout are you? You go to the synagogue; but I dare say you have not been recently. And what is it that sustains you, the idea of Judaism or of God? Are you aware, and this is the most important thing, of a continuous relationship between yourself and a reassuringly distant, if possibly infinite height or depth? He who feels this continuously has no need to roam about like a lost dog, mutely gazing around with imploring eyes; he never need yearn to slip into a grave as if it were a warm sleeping bag and life a cold winter night; and when climbing the stairs to his office he never need imagine that he is careering down the well of the staircase, flickering in the uncertain light, twisting from the speed of his fall, shaking his head with impatience. There are times, dearest, when I am convinced I am unfit for any human relationship.
Franz Kafka (Letters to Felice‎ (Schocken Classics))
As Hester Prynne seemed to see some trace of her own sin in every bosom, by the glare of the Scarlet Letter burning on her own; so Sylvia, living in the shadow of a household grief, found herself detecting various phases of her own experience in others. She had joined that sad sisterhood called disappointed women; a larger class than many deem it to be, though there are few of us who have not seen members of it. Unhappy wives; mistaken or forsaken lovers; meek souls, who make life a long penance for the sins of others; gifted creatures kindled into fitful brilliancy by some inward fire that consumes but cannot warm. These are the women who fly to convents, write bitter books, sing songs full of heartbreak, act splendidly the passion they have lost or never won. Who smile, and try to lead brave uncomplaining lives, but whose tragic eyes betray them, whose voices, however sweet or gay, contain an undertone of hopelessness, whose faces sometimes startle one with an expression which haunts the observer long after it is gone.
Louisa May Alcott
How long are you going to wait for this guy?” I’m thrown by his sudden shift. “Ah . . . I don’t know.” “Give me your keys.” “What?” “Give me your keys. I’m going to change your tire while we’re waiting.” I fish in my purse and come up with a handful of keys. “You’re going to—” “Stay in the car.” He grabs the keys and practically yanks them out of my fingers. Then he slams the door in my face. I watch him in the path of his headlights, mystified. He opens my trunk, and, moments later, emerges with the spare tire. He lays it beside the car, then pulls something else from the darkened space. I’ve never changed a tire, so I have no idea what he’s doing. His movements are quick and efficient, though. I shouldn’t be sitting here, just watching, but I can’t help myself. There’s something compelling about him. Dozens of cars have passed, but he was the only one to stop—and he’s helping me despite the fact that I’ve been less than kind to him all night. He gets down on the pavement—on the wet pavement, in the rain—and slides something under the car. A hand brushes wet hair off his face. I can’t sit here and watch him do this. He doesn’t look at me when I approach. “I told you to wait in the car.” “So you’re one of those guys? Thinks the ‘little woman’ should wait in the car?” “When the little woman doesn’t know her tires are bald and her battery could barely power a stopwatch?” He attaches a steel bar to . . . something . . . and starts twisting it. “Yeah. I am.” My pride flinches. “So what are you saying?” I ask, deadpan. “You don’t want my help?” His smile is rueful. “You’re kind of funny when you’re not so busy being judgmental.” “You’re lucky I’m not kicking you while you’re down there.” He loses the smile but keeps his eyes on whatever he’s doing. “Try it, sister.
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Abundance is not the money you have in your bank account, the trophies on your shelf, the letters after your name, the list of goals reached, the number of people you know, your perfect, healthy body, your adoring fans. Abundance is your connection to each breath, how sensitive you are to every flicker of sensation and emotion in the body. It is the delight with which you savor each unique moment, the joy with which you greet each new day. It is knowing yourself as presence, the power that creates and moves worlds. It is your open heart, how deeply moved you are by love every day, your willingness to embrace, to hold what needs to be held. It is the freshness of each morning unencumbered by memory or false hope. Abundance is the feeling of the afternoon breeze on your cheeks, the sun warming your face. It is meeting others in the field of honesty and vulnerability, connecting beyond the story, sharing what is alive. It is your rootedness in the present moment, knowing that you are always Home, no matter what happens, no matter what is gained or lost. It is touching life at the point of creation, never looking back, feeling the belly rise and fall, thanking each breath, giving praise to each breath. It is falling to your knees in awe, laughing at the stories they tell about you, sinking more deeply into rest. Abundance is simplicity. It is kindness. It is you, before every sunrise: fresh, open, and awake. You are rich, friend! You are rich!
Jeff Foster (The Way of Rest: Finding The Courage to Hold Everything in Love)
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))
dear samantha i’m sorry we have to get a divorce i know that seems like an odd way to start a love letter but let me explain: it’s not you it sure as hell isn’t me it’s just human beings don’t love as well as insects do i love you.. far too much to let what we have be ruined by the failings of our species i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night i know you would never DO anything, you never do but.. i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night did you know that when a female fly accepts the pheromones put off by a male fly, it re-writes her brain, destroys the receptors that receive pheromones, sensing the change, the male fly does the same. when two flies love each other they do it so hard, they will never love anything else ever again. if either one of them dies before procreation can happen both sets of genetic code are lost forever. now that… is dedication. after Elizabeth and i broke up we spent three days dividing everything we had bought together like if i knew what pots were mine like if i knew which drapes were mine somehow the pain would go away this is not true after two praying mantises mate, the nervous system of the male begins to shut down while he still has control over his motor functions he flops onto his back, exposing his soft underbelly up to his lover like a gift she then proceeds to lovingly dice him into tiny cubes spooning every morsel into her mouth she wastes nothing even the exoskeleton goes she does this so that once their children are born she has something to regurgitate to feed them now that.. is selflessness i could never do that for you so i have a new plan i’m gonna leave you now i’m gonna spend the rest of my life committing petty injustices i hope you do the same i will jay walk at every opportunity i will steal things i could easily afford i will be rude to strangers i hope you do the same i hope reincarnation is real i hope our petty crimes are enough to cause us to be reborn as lesser creatures i hope we are reborn as flies so that we can love each other as hard as we were meant to.
Jared Singer
dear samantha i’m sorry we have to get a divorce i know that seems like an odd way to start a love letter but let me explain: it’s not you it sure as hell isn’t me it’s just human beings don’t love as well as insects do i love you.. far too much to let what we have be ruined by the failings of our species i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night i know you would never DO anything, you never do but.. i saw the way you looked at the waiter last night did you know that when a female fly accepts the pheromones put off by a male fly, it re-writes her brain, destroys the receptors that receive pheromones, sensing the change, the male fly does the same. when two flies love each other they do it so hard, they will never love anything else ever again. if either one of them dies before procreation can happen both sets of genetic code are lost forever. now that… is dedication. after Elizabeth and i broke up we spent three days dividing everything we had bought together like if i knew what pots were mine like if i knew which drapes were mine somehow the pain would go away this is not true after two praying mantises mate, the nervous system of the male begins to shut down while he still has control over his motor functions he flops onto his back, exposing his soft underbelly up to his lover like a gift she then proceeds to lovingly dice him into tiny cubes spooning every morsel into her mouth she wastes nothing even the exoskeleton goes she does this so that once their children are born she has something to regurgitate to feed them now that.. is selflessness i could never do that for you so i have a new plan i’m gonna leave you now i’m gonna spend the rest of my life committing petty injustices i hope you do the same i will jay walk at every opportunity i will steal things i could easily afford i will be rude to strangers i hope you do the same i hope reincarnation is real i hope our petty crimes are enough to cause us to be reborn as lesser creatures i hope we are reborn as flies so that we can love each other as hard as we were meant to
Jared Singer
Reading two pages apiece of seven books every night, eh? I was young. You bowed to yourself in the mirror, stepping forward to applause earnestly, striking face. Hurray for the Goddamned idiot! Hray! No-one saw: tell no-one. Books you were going to write with letters for titles. Have you read his F? O yes, but I prefer Q. Yes, but W is wonderful. O yes, W. Remember your epiphanies written on green oval leaves, deeply deep, copies to be sent if you died to all the great libraries of the world, including Alexandria? Someone was to read them there after a few thousand years, a mahamanvantara. Pico della Mirandola like. Ay, very like a whale. When one reads these strange pages of one long gone one feels that one is at one with one who once ... The grainy sand had gone from under his feet. His boots trod again a damp crackling mast, razorshells, squeaking pebbles, that on the unnumbered pebbles beats, wood sieved by the shipworm, lost Armada. Unwholesome sandflats waited to suck his treading soles, breathing upward sewage breath, a pocket of seaweed smouldered in seafire under a midden of man's ashes. He coasted them, walking warily. A porterbottle stood up, stogged to its waist, in the cakey sand dough. A sentinel: isle of dreadful thirst. Broken hoops on the shore; at the land a maze of dark cunning nets; farther away chalkscrawled backdoors and on the higher beach a dryingline with two crucified shirts. Ringsend: wigwams of brown steersmen and master mariners. Human shells. He halted. I have passed the way to aunt Sara's. Am I not going there? Seems not.
James Joyce
War, I have always said, forces men to change their standards, regardless of whether their country has won or lost. Poetics and philosophies disintegrate "when the trees fall and the walls collapse ". At the point when continuity was interrupted by the first nuclear explosion, it would have been too easy to recover the formal sediment which linked us with an age of poetic decorum, of a preoccupation with poetic sounds. After the turbulence of death, moral principles and even religious proofs are called into question. Men of letters who cling to the private successes of their petty aesthetics shut themselves off from poetry's restless presence. From the night, his solitude, the poet finds day and starts a diary that is lethal to the inert. The dark landscape yields a dialogue. The politician and the mediocre poets with their armour of symbols and mystic purities pretend to ignore the real poet. It is a story which repeats itself like the cock's crow; indeed, like the cock's third crow.
Salvatore Quasimodo
Venerable are letters, infinitely brave, forlorn, and lost. Life would split asunder without them. "Come to tea, come to dinner, what's the truth of the story? have you heard the news? life in the capital is gay; the Russian dancers...." These are our stays and props. These lace our days together and make of life a perfect globe. And yet, and yet... when we go to dinner, when pressing finger-tips we hope to meet somewhere soon, a doubt insinuates itself; is this the way to spend our days? the rare, limited, so soon dealt out to us - drinking tea? dining out? And the notes accumulate. And the telephones ring. And everywhere we go wires and tubes surround us to carry the voices that try to penetrate before the last card is dealt. "Try to penetrate" for as we lift the cup, shake the hand, express the hope, something whispers, Is this all? Can I never know, share, be certain? Am I doomed all my days to write letters, send voices, which fall upon the tea-table, fade upon the passage, making appointments, while life dwindles, to come and dine? Yet letters are venerable; and the telephone valiant, for the journey is a lonely one, and if bound together by notes and telephones we went in company, perhaps- who know? - we might talk by the way.
Virginia Woolf (Jacob's Room)
My Darling, It is late at night and though the words are coming hard to me, I can’t escape the feeling that it’s time that I finally answer your question. Of course I forgive you. I forgive you now, and I forgave you the moment I read your letter. In my heart, I had no other choice. Leaving you once was hard enough; to have done it a second time would have been impossible. I loved you too much to have let you go again. Though I’m still grieving over what might have been, I find myself thankful that you came into my life for even a short period of time. In the beginning, I’d assumed that we were somehow brought together to help you through your time of grief. Yet now, one year later, I’ve come to believe that it was the other way around. Ironically, I am in the same position you were, the first time we met. As I write, I am struggling with the ghost of someone I loved and lost. I now understand more fully the difficulties you were going through, and I realize how painful it must have been for you to move on. Sometimes my grief is overwhelming, and even though I understand that we will never see each other again, there is a part of me that wants to hold on to you forever. It would be easy for me to do that because loving someone else might diminish my memories of you. Yet, this is the paradox: Even though I miss you greatly, it’s because of you that I don’t dread the future. Because you were able to fall in love with me, you have given me hope, my darling. You taught me that it’s possible to move forward in life, no matter how terrible your grief. And in your own way, you’ve made me believe that true love cannot be denied. Right now, I don’t think I’m ready, but this is my choice. Do not blame yourself. Because of you, I am hopeful that there will come a day when my sadness is replaced by something beautiful. Because of you, I have the strength to go on. I don’t know if spirits do indeed roam the world, but even if they do, I will sense your presence everywhere. When I listen to the ocean, it will be your whispers; when I see a dazzling sunset, it will be your image in the sky. You are not gone forever, no matter who comes into my life. you are standing with God, alongside my soul, helping to guide me toward a future that I cannot predict. This is not a good-bye, my darling, this is a thank-you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever. But most of all, thank you for showing me that there will come a time when I can eventually let you go. I love you
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
Bucket had started his criminal career in Braas, not far from when Allan and his new friends now found themselves. There he had gotten together with some like-minded peers and started the motorcycle club called The Violence. Bucket was the leader; he decided which newsstand was to be robbed of cigarettes next. He was the one who has chosen the name- The Violence, in English, not swedish. And he was the one who unfortunately asked his girlfriend Isabella to sew the name of the motorcycle club onto ten newly stolen leather jackets. Isabella had never really learned to spell properly at school, not in Swedish, and certainly not in English. The result was that Isabella sewed The Violins on the jackets instead. As the rest of the club members had had similar academic success, nobody in the group noticed the mistake. So everyone was very surprised when one day a letter arrived for The Violins in Braas from the people in charge of the concert hall in Vaxjo. The letter suggested that, since the club obviously concerned itself with classical music, they might like to put in am appearance at a concert with the city’s prestigious chamber orchestra, Musica Viate. Bucket felt provoked; somebody was clearly making fun of him. One night he skipped the newsstand, and instead went into Vaxjo to throw a brick through the glass door of the concert hall. This was intended to teach the people responsible lesson in respect. It all went well, except that Bucket’s leather glove happened to follow the stone into the lobby. Since the alarm went off immediately, Bucket felt it would be unwise to try to retrieve the personal item in question. Losing the glove was not good. Bucket had traveled to Vaxjo by motorbike and one hand was extremely cold all the way home to Braas that night. Even worse was the fact that Bucket’s luckless girlfriend had written Bucket’s name and adress inside the glove, in case he lost it." For more quotes from the novel visit my blog: frommybooks.wordpress.com
Jonas Jonasson (The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (The Hundred-Year-Old Man, #1))
When he wrote back, he pretended to be his old self, he lied his way into sanity. For fear of his psychiatrist who was also their censor, they could never be sensual, or even emotional. His was considered a modern, enlightened prison, despite its Victorian chill. He had been diagnosed, with clinical precision, as morbidly oversexed, and in need of help as well as correction. He was not to be stimulated. Some letters—both his and hers—were confiscated for some timid expression of affection. So they wrote about literature, and used characters as codes. All those books, those happy or tragic couples they had never met to discuss! Tristan and Isolde the Duke Orsino and Olivia (and Malvolio too), Troilus and Criseyde, Once, in despair, he referred to Prometheus, chained to a rock, his liver devoured daily by a vulture. Sometimes she was patient Griselde. Mention of “a quiet corner in a library” was a code for sexual ecstasy. They charted the daily round too, in boring, loving detail. He described the prison routine in every aspect, but he never told her of its stupidity. That was plain enough. He never told her that he feared he might go under. That too was clear. She never wrote that she loved him, though she would have if she thought it would get through. But he knew it. She told him she had cut herself off from her family. She would never speak to her parents, brother or sister again. He followed closely all her steps along the way toward her nurse’s qualification. When she wrote, “I went to the library today to get the anatomy book I told you about. I found a quiet corner and pretended to read,” he knew she was feeding on the same memories that consumed him “They sat down, looked at each other, smiled and looked away. Robbie and Cecilia had been making love for years—by post. In their coded exchanges they had drawn close, but how artificial that closeness seemed now as they embarked on their small talk, their helpless catechism of polite query and response. As the distance opened up between them, they understood how far they had run ahead of themselves in their letters. This moment had been imagined and desired for too long, and could not measure up. He had been out of the world, and lacked the confidence to step back and reach for the larger thought. I love you, and you saved my life. He asked about her lodgings. She told him. “And do you get along all right with your landlady?” He could think of nothing better, and feared the silence that might come down, and the awkwardness that would be a prelude to her telling him that it had been nice to meet up again. Now she must be getting back to work. Everything they had, rested on a few minutes in a library years ago. Was it too frail? She could easily slip back into being a kind of sister. Was she disappointed? He had lost weight. He had shrunk in every sense. Prison made him despise himself, while she looked as adorable as he remembered her, especially in a nurse’s uniform. But she was miserably nervous too, incapable of stepping around the inanities. Instead, she was trying to be lighthearted about her landlady’s temper. After a few more such exchanges, she really was looking at the little watch that hung above her left breast, and telling him that her lunch break would soon be over.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
Shubha let me sleep for a few moments in your violent silvery uterus Give me peace, Shubha, let me have peace Let my sin-driven skeleton be washed anew in your seasonal bloodstream Let me create myself in your womb with my own sperm Would I have been like this if I had different parents? Was Malay alias me possible from an absolutely different sperm? Would I have been Malay in the womb of other women of my father? Would I have made a professional gentleman of me like my dead brother without Shubha? Oh, answer, let somebody answer these Shubha, ah, Shubha Let me see the earth through your cellophane hymen Come back on the green mattress again As cathode rays are sucked up with the warmth of magnet's brilliance I remember the letter of the final decesion of 1956 The surroundings of your clitoris were being embellished with coon at that time Fine rib-smashing roots were descending into your bosom Stupid relationship inflted in the bypass of senseless neglect Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I do not know whether I am going to die Squandering was roaring within heart's exhaustive impatience I'll disrupt and destroy I'll split all into pieces for the sake of Art There isn't any other way out for poetry except suicide Shubha Let me enter into the immemorial incontinence of your labia majora Into the absurdity of woeless effort In the golden chlorophyll of the drunken heart Why wasn't I lost in my mother's urethra? Why wasn't I driven away in my father's urine after his self-coition? Why wasn't I mixed in the ovum-flux or in the phlegm? With her eyes shut supine beneath me I felt terribly distressed when I saw comfort seize Shubha Women could be treacherous even after unfolding a helpless appeareance Today it seems there is nothing so treacherous as Women and Art Now my ferocious heart is rinning towards an impossible death Vertigoes of water are coming up to my neck from the pierced earth I will die Oh what are these happening within me? I am failing to fetch out my hand and my palm From the dried sperms on my trousers spreading wings 300000 children are gliding toward the district of Shubha's bosom Millions of needles are now running from my blood into Poetry Now the smuggling of my obstinate leg is trying to plunge Into the death killer sex-wig entangled in the hypnotic kingdom of words In violent mirrors on each wall of the room I am observing After letting loose a few naked Malay, his unestablished scramblings.
Malay Roy Choudhury (Selected Poems)
Kristin comes down the stairs, and the pressure on my chest snaps. I take a moment to turn away, inhaling deeply, blinking away tears. She sets the plate on a table behind the couch, and half tiptoes back up the stairs. Thank god. I don’t think I could have handled maternal attention right this second. My body feels like it’s on a hair trigger. I need to get it together. This is why people avoid me. Someone asks if I want a drink and I have a panic attack. “You’re okay.” Declan is beside me, and his voice is low and soft, the way it was in the foyer. He’s so hard all the time, and that softness takes me by surprise. I blink up at him. “You’re okay,” he says again. I like that, how he’s so sure. Not Are you okay? No question about it. You’re okay. He lifts one shoulder in a half shrug. “But if you’re going to lose it, this is a pretty safe place to fall apart.” He takes two cookies from the plate, then holds one out to me. “Here. Eat your feelings.” I’m about to turn him down, but then I look at the cookie. I was expecting something basic, like sugar or chocolate chip. This looks like a miniature pie, and sugar glistens across the top. “What . . . is that?” “Pecan pie cookies,” says Rev. He’s taken about five of them, and I think he might have shoved two in his mouth at once. “I could live on them for days.” I take the one Declan offered and nibble a bit from the side. It is awesome. I peer up at him sideways. “How did you know?” He hesitates, but he doesn’t ask me what I mean. “I know the signs.” “I’m going to get some sodas,” Rev says slowly, deliberately. “I’m going to bring you one. Blink once if that’s okay.” I smile, but it feels watery around the edges. He’s teasing me, but it’s gentle teasing. Friendly. I blink once. This is okay. I’m okay. Declan was right. “Take it out on the punching bag,” calls Rev. “That’s what I do.” My eyes go wide. “Really?” “Do whatever you want,” says Declan. “As soon as we do anything meaningful, the baby will wake up.” Rev returns with three sodas. “We’re doing something meaningful right now.” “We are?” I say. He meets my eyes. “Every moment is meaningful.” The words could be cheesy—should be cheesy, in fact—but he says them with enough weight that I know he means them. I think of The Dark and all our talk of paths and loss and guilt. Declan sighs and pops the cap on his soda. “This is where Rev starts to freak people out.” “No,” I say, feeling like this afternoon could not be more surreal. Something about Rev’s statement steals some of my earlier guilt, to think that being here could carry as much weight as paying respects to my mother. I wish I knew how to tell whether this is a path I’m supposed to be on. “No, I like it. Can I really punch the bag?” Rev shrugs and takes a sip of his soda. “It’s either that or we can break out the Play-Doh
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
Dear Bill, I came to this black wall again, to see and touch your name. William R. Stocks. And as I do, I wonder if anyone ever stops to realize that next to your name, on this black wall, is your mother's heart. A heart broken fifteen years ago today, when you lost your life in Vietnam. And as I look at your name, I think of how many, many times I used to wonder how scared and homesick you must have been, in that strange country called Vietnam. And if and how it might have changed you, for you were the most happy-go-lucky kid in the world, hardly ever sad or unhappy. And until the day I die, I will see you as you laughed at me, even when I was very mad at you. And the next thing I knew, we were laughing together. But on this past New Year's Day, I talked by phone to a friend of yours from Michigan, who spent your last Christmas and the last four months of your life with you. Jim told me how you died, for he was there and saw the helicopter crash. He told me how your jobs were like sitting ducks; they would send you men out to draw the enemy into the open, and then, they would send in the big guns and planes to take over. He told me how after a while over there, instead of a yellow streak, the men got a mean streak down their backs. Each day the streak got bigger, and the men became meaner. Everyone but you, Bill. He said how you stayed the same happy-go-lucky guy that you were when you arrived in Vietnam. And he said how you, of all people, should never have been the one to die. How lucky you were to have him for a friend. And how lucky he was to have had you. They tell me the letters I write to you and leave here at this memorial are waking others up to the fact that there is still much pain left from the Vietnam War. But this I know; I would rather to have had you for twenty-one years and all the pain that goes with losing you, than never to have had you at all. -Mom
Eleanor Wimbish
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)
The sudden and total disappearance of Mawlana aroused resentment among his disciples and students, some of them becoming highly critical of Hazrat Shams, even threatening him. They believed Hazrat Shams had ruined their spiritual circle and prevented them from listening to Mawlana's sermons. In March of 1246 he left Konya and went to Syria without warning. After he left, Mawlana was grief stricken, secluding himself even more rather than engaging with his disciples and students. He was without a doubt furious with them. Realising the error of their ways, they repeatedly repented before Mawlana. Some months later, news arrived that Hazrat Shams had been seen in Damascus and a letter was sent to him with apologising for the behaviour of these disciples. Hazrat Sultan Walad and a search party were sent to Damascus to invite him back and in April 1247, he made his return. During the return journey, he invited Hazrat Sultan Walad to ride on horseback although he declined, choosing instead to walk alongside him, explaining that as a servant, he could not ride in the presence of such a king. Hazrat Shams was received back with joyous celebration with sama ceremonies being held for several days, and all those that had shown him resentment tearfully asked for his forgiveness. He reserved special praise for Hazrat Sultan Walad for his selflessness, which greatly pleased Mawlana. As he originally had no intention to return to Konya, he most likely would not have returned if Hazrat Sultan Walad had not himself gone to Damascus in search of him. After his return, he and Mawlana Rumi returned to their intense discussions. Referring to the disciples, Hazrat Shams narrates that their new found love for him was motivated only by desperation: “ They felt jealous because they supposed, "If he were not here, Mowlana would be happy with us." Now [that I am back] he belongs to all. They gave it a try and things got worse, and they got no consolation from Mowlana. They lost even what they had, so that even the enmity (hava, against Shams) that had swirled in their heads disappeared. And now they are happy and they show me honor and pray for me. (Maqalat 72) ” Referring to his absence, he explains that he left for the sake of Mawlana Rumi's development: “ I'd go away fifty times for your betterment. My going away is all for the sake of your development. Otherwise it makes no difference to me whether I'm in Anatolia or Syria, at the Kaaba or in Istanbul, except, of course, that separation matures and refines you. (Maqalat 164) ” After a while, by the end of 1247, he was married to Kimia, a young woman who’d grown up in Mawlana Rumi's household. Sadly, Kimia did not live long after the marriage and passed away upon falling ill after a stroll in the garden
Shams Tabrizi
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the base Only sentries were stirring--they guarded the place. At the foot of each bunk sat a helmet and boot For the Santa of Soldiers to fill up with loot. The soldiers were sleeping and snoring away As they dreamed of “back home” on good Christmas Day. One snoozed with his rifle--he seemed so content. I slept with the letters my family had sent. When outside the tent there arose such a clatter. I sprang from my rack to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash. Poked out my head, and yelled, “What was that crash?” When what to my thrill and relief should appear, But one of our Blackhawks to give the all clear. More rattles and rumbles! I heard a deep whine! Then up drove eight Humvees, a jeep close behind… Each vehicle painted a bright Christmas green. With more lights and gold tinsel than I’d ever seen. The convoy commander leaped down and he paused. I knew then and there it was Sergeant McClaus! More rapid than rockets, his drivers they came When he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now, Cohen! Mendoza! Woslowski! McCord! Now, Li! Watts! Donetti! And Specialist Ford!” “Go fill up my sea bags with gifts large and small! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away, all!” In the blink of an eye, to their trucks the troops darted. As I drew in my head and was turning around, Through the tent flap the sergeant came in with a bound. He was dressed all in camo and looked quite a sight With a Santa had added for this special night. His eyes--sharp as lasers! He stood six feet six. His nose was quite crooked, his jaw hard as bricks! A stub of cigar he held clamped in his teeth. And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath. A young driver walked in with a seabag in tow. McClaus took the bag, told the driver to go. Then the sarge went to work. And his mission today? Bring Christmas from home to the troops far away! Tasty gifts from old friends in the helmets he laid. There were candies, and cookies, and cakes, all homemade. Many parents sent phone cards so soldiers could hear Treasured voices and laughter of those they held dear. Loving husbands and wives had mailed photos galore Of weddings and birthdays and first steps and more. And for each soldier’s boot, like a warm, happy hug, There was art from the children at home sweet and snug. As he finished the job--did I see a twinkle? Was that a small smile or instead just a wrinkle? To the top of his brow he raised up his hand And gave a salute that made me feel grand. I gasped in surprise when, his face all aglow, He gave a huge grin and a big HO! HO! HO! HO! HO! HO! from the barracks and then from the base. HO! HO! HO! as the convoy sped up into space. As the camp radar lost him, I heard this faint call: “HAPPY CHRISTMAS, BRAVE SOLDIERS! MAY PEACE COME TO ALL!
Trish Holland (The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas)
[From Sid Vicious's letter to Nancy Spungen's mother Deborah] P.S. Thank you, Debbie, for understanding that I have to die. Everyone else just thinks that I'm being weak. All I can say is that they never loved anyone as passionately as I love Nancy. I always felt unworthy to be loved by someone so beautiful as her. Everything we did was beautiful. At the climax of our lovemaking, I just used to break down and cry. It was so beautiful it was almost unbearable. It makes me mad when people say you must have really loved her.' So they think that I don't still love her? At least when I die, we will be together again. I feel like a lost child, so alone. The nights are the worst. I used to hold Nancy close to me all night so that she wouldn't have nightmares and I just can't sleep without my my beautiful baby in my arms. So warm and gentle and vulnerable. No one should expect me to live without her. She was a part of me. My heart. Debbie, please come and see me. You are the only person who knows what I am going through. If you don’t want to, could you please phone me again, and write. I love you. I was staggered by Sid's letter. The depth of his emotion, his sensitivity and intelligence were far greater than I could have imagined. Here he was, her accused murderer, and he was reaching out to me, professing his love for me. His anguish was my anguish. He was feeling my loss, my pain - so much so that he was evidently contemplating suicide. He felt that I would understand that. Why had he said that? I fought my sympathetic reaction to his letter. I could not respond to it, could not be drawn into his life. He had told the police he had murdered my daughter. Maybe he had loved her. Maybe she had loved him. I couldn't become involved with him. I was in too much pain. I couldn't share his pain. I hadn't enough strength. I began to stuff the letter back in its envelope when I came upon a separate sheet of paper. I unfolded it. It was the poem he'd written about Nancy. NANCY You were my little baby girl And I shared all your fears. Such joy to hold you in my arms And kiss away your tears. But now you’re gone there’s only pain And nothing I can do. And I don’t want to live this life If I can’t live for you. To my beautiful baby girl. Our love will never die. I felt my throat tighten. My eyes burned, and I began to weep on the inside. I was so confused. Here, in a few verses, were the last twenty years of my life. I could have written that poem. The feelings, the pain, were mine. But I hadn't written it. Sid Vicious had written it, the punk monster, the man who had told the police he was 'a dog, a dirty dog.' The man I feared. The man I should have hated, but somehow couldn't.
Deborah Spungen (And I Don't Want to Live This Life: A Mother's Story of Her Daughter's Murder)
The hospital is as busy as it was yesterday. We go in through the main entrance, and people walk in every direction. The people in scrubs and white coats all walk a little bit faster. There’s a guy sleeping on one of the waiting room sofas, and a hugely pregnant woman leaning against the wall by the elevator. She’s swirling a drink in a plastic cup. That baby is giving her T-shirt a run for its money. A toddler is throwing a tantrum somewhere down the hallway. The shrieking echoes. We move to the bank of elevators, too, and Melonhead isn’t one of those guys who insists on pressing a button that’s already lit. He smiles and says “Good afternoon” to the pregnant woman, but I can’t look away from her swollen belly. My mother is going to look like that. My mother is going to have a baby. My brain still can’t process this. Suddenly, the woman’s abdomen twitches and shifts. It’s startling, and my eyes flick up to find her face. She laughs at my expression. “He’s trying to get comfortable.” The elevator dings, and we all get on. Her stomach keeps moving. I realize I’m being a freak, but it’s the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. I can’t stop staring. She laughs again, softly, then comes closer. “Here. You can feel it.” “It’s okay,” I say quickly. Melonhead chuckles, and I scowl. “Not too many people get to touch a baby before it’s born,” she says, her voice still teasing. “You don’t want to be one of the chosen few?” “I’m not used to random women asking me to touch them,” I say. “This is number five,” she says. “I’m completely over random people touching me. Here.” She takes my wrist and puts my hand right over the twitching. Her belly is firmer than I expect, and we’re close enough that I can look right down her shirt. I’m torn between wanting to pull my hand back and not wanting to be rude. Then the baby moves under my hand, something firm pushing right against my fingers. I gasp without meaning to. “He says hi,” the woman says. I can’t stop thinking of my mother. I try to imagine her looking like this, and I fail. I try to imagine her encouraging me to touch the baby, and I fail. Four months. The elevator dings. “Come on, Murph,” says Melonhead. I look at the pregnant lady. I have no idea what to say. Thanks? “Be good,” she says, and takes a sip of her drink. The elevator closes and she’s gone
Brigid Kemmerer (Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1))
In The Garret Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, All fashioned and filled, long ago, By children now in their prime. Four little keys hung side by side, With faded ribbons, brave and gay When fastened there, with childish pride, Long ago, on a rainy day. Four little names, one on each lid, Carved out by a boyish hand, And underneath there lieth hid Histories of the happy band Once playing here, and pausing oft To hear the sweet refrain, That came and went on the roof aloft, In the falling summer rain. 'Meg' on the first lid, smooth and fair. I look in with loving eyes, For folded here, with well-known care, A goodly gathering lies, The record of a peaceful life-- Gifts to gentle child and girl, A bridal gown, lines to a wife, A tiny shoe, a baby curl. No toys in this first chest remain, For all are carried away, In their old age, to join again In another small Meg's play. Ah, happy mother! Well I know You hear, like a sweet refrain, Lullabies ever soft and low In the falling summer rain. 'Jo' on the next lid, scratched and worn, And within a motley store Of headless dolls, of schoolbooks torn, Birds and beasts that speak no more, Spoils brought home from the fairy ground Only trod by youthful feet, Dreams of a future never found, Memories of a past still sweet, Half-writ poems, stories wild, April letters, warm and cold, Diaries of a wilful child, Hints of a woman early old, A woman in a lonely home, Hearing, like a sad refrain-- 'Be worthy, love, and love will come,' In the falling summer rain. My Beth! the dust is always swept From the lid that bears your name, As if by loving eyes that wept, By careful hands that often came. Death canonized for us one saint, Ever less human than divine, And still we lay, with tender plaint, Relics in this household shrine-- The silver bell, so seldom rung, The little cap which last she wore, The fair, dead Catherine that hung By angels borne above her door. The songs she sang, without lament, In her prison-house of pain, Forever are they sweetly blent With the falling summer rain. Upon the last lid's polished field-- Legend now both fair and true A gallant knight bears on his shield, 'Amy' in letters gold and blue. Within lie snoods that bound her hair, Slippers that have danced their last, Faded flowers laid by with care, Fans whose airy toils are past, Gay valentines, all ardent flames, Trifles that have borne their part In girlish hopes and fears and shames, The record of a maiden heart Now learning fairer, truer spells, Hearing, like a blithe refrain, The silver sound of bridal bells In the falling summer rain. Four little chests all in a row, Dim with dust, and worn by time, Four women, taught by weal and woe To love and labor in their prime. Four sisters, parted for an hour, None lost, one only gone before, Made by love's immortal power, Nearest and dearest evermore. Oh, when these hidden stores of ours Lie open to the Father's sight, May they be rich in golden hours, Deeds that show fairer for the light, Lives whose brave music long shall ring, Like a spirit-stirring strain, Souls that shall gladly soar and sing In the long sunshine after rain
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
How are things going with your brothers?” “The judge set a date to hear me out after graduation. Mrs.Collins has been prepping me.” “That is awesome!” “Yeah.” “What’s wrong?” “Carrie and Joe hired a lawyer and I lost visitation.” Echo placed her delicate hand over mine.“Oh, Noah. I am so sorry." I’d spent countless hours on the couch in the basement, staring at the ceiling wondering what she was doing. Her laughter, her smile, the feel of her body next to mine, and the regret that I let her walk away too easily haunted me. Taking the risk, I entwined my fingers with hers. Odds were I’d never get the chance to be this close again. "No, Mrs. Collins convinced me the best thing to do is to keep my distance and follow the letter of the law." "Wow, Mrs. Collins is a freaking miracle worker. Dangerous Noah Hutchins on the straight and narrow. If you don’t watch out she’ll ruin your rep with the girls." I lowered my voice. "Not that it matters. I only care what one girl thinks about me." She relaxed her fingers into mine and stroked her thumb over my skin. Minutes into being alone together, we fell into each other again, like no time had passed. I could blame her for ending us, but in the end, I agreed with her decision. “How about you, Echo? Did you find your answers?” “No.” If I continued to disregard breakup rules, I might as well go all the way. I pushed her curls behind her shoulder and let my fingers linger longer than needed so I could enjoy the silky feel. “Don’t hide from me, baby. We’ve been through too much for that.” Echo leaned into me, placing her head on my shoulder and letting me wrap an arm around her. “I’ve missed you, too, Noah. I’m tired of ignoring you.” “Then don’t.” Ignoring her hurt like hell. Acknowledging her had to be better. I swallowed, trying to shut out the bittersweet memories of our last night together. “Where’ve you been? It kills me when you’re not at school.” “I went to an art gallery and the curator showed some interest in my work and sold my first piece two days later. Since then, I’ve been traveling around to different galleries, hawking my wares.” “That’s awesome, Echo. Sounds like you’re fitting into your future perfectly. Where did you decide to go to school?” “I don’t know if I’m going to school.” Shock jolted my system and I inched away to make sure I understood. “What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? You’ve got colleges falling all over you and you don’t fucking know if you want to go to school?” My damned little siren laughed at me. “I see your language has improved.” Poof—like magic, the anger disappeared. “If you’re not going to school, then what are your plans?” "I’m considering putting college off for a year or two and traveling cross-country, hopping from gallery to gallery.” “I feel like a dick. We made a deal and I left you hanging. I’m not that guy who goes back on his word. What can I do to help you get to the truth?” Echo’s chest rose with her breath then deflated when she exhaled. Sensing our moment ending, I nuzzled her hair, savoring her scent. She patted my knee and broke away. “Nothing. There’s nothing you can do.” "I think it’s time that I move on. As soon as I graduate, this part of my life will be over. I’m okay with not knowing what happened.” Her words sounded pretty, but I knew her better. She’d blinked three times in a row.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
I had ceased to be a writer of tolerably poor tales and essays, and had become a tolerably good Surveyor of the Customs. That was all. But, nevertheless, it is any thing but agreeable to be haunted by a suspicion that one's intellect is dwindling away; or exhaling, without your consciousness, like ether out of a phial; so that, at every glance, you find a smaller and less volatile residuum. Of the fact, there could be no doubt; and, examining myself and others, I was led to conclusions in reference to the effect of public office on the character, not very favorable to the mode of life in question. In some other form, perhaps, I may hereafter develop these effects. Suffice it here to say, that a Custom-House officer, of long continuance, can hardly be a very praiseworthy or respectable personage, for many reasons; one of them, the tenure by which he holds his situation, and another, the very nature of his business, which—though, I trust, an honest one—is of such a sort that he does not share in the united effort of mankind. An effect—which I believe to be observable, more or less, in every individual who has occupied the position—is, that, while he leans on the mighty arm of the Republic, his own proper strength departs from him. He loses, in an extent proportioned to the weakness or force of his original nature, the capability of self-support. If he possess an unusual share of native energy, or the enervating magic of place do not operate too long upon him, his forfeited powers may be redeemable. The ejected officer—fortunate in the unkindly shove that sends him forth betimes, to struggle amid a struggling world—may return to himself, and become all that he has ever been. But this seldom happens. He usually keeps his ground just long enough for his own ruin, and is then thrust out, with sinews all unstrung, to totter along the difficult footpath of life as he best may. Conscious of his own infirmity,—that his tempered steel and elasticity are lost,—he for ever afterwards looks wistfully about him in quest of support external to himself. His pervading and continual hope—a hallucination, which, in the face of all discouragement, and making light of impossibilities, haunts him while he lives, and, I fancy, like the convulsive throes of the cholera, torments him for a brief space after death—is, that, finally, and in no long time, by some happy coincidence of circumstances, he shall be restored to office. This faith, more than any thing else, steals the pith and availability out of whatever enterprise he may dream of undertaking. Why should he toil and moil, and be at so much trouble to pick himself up out of the mud, when, in a little while hence, the strong arm of his Uncle will raise and support him? Why should he work for his living here, or go to dig gold in California, when he is so soon to be made happy, at monthly intervals, with a little pile of glittering coin out of his Uncle's pocket? It is sadly curious to observe how slight a taste of office suffices to infect a poor fellow with this singular disease. Uncle Sam's gold—meaning no disrespect to the worthy old gentleman—has, in this respect, a quality of enchantment like that of the Devil's wages. Whoever touches it should look well to himself, or he may find the bargain to go hard against him, involving, if not his soul, yet many of its better attributes; its sturdy force, its courage and constancy, its truth, its self-reliance, and all that gives the emphasis to manly character.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Scarlet Letter)
That summer, in a small house near the beach, he began to write a book. He knew it would be the last thing he ever did, so he decided to write something advocating a crazy, preposterous idea—one so outlandish that nobody had ever written a book about it before. He was going to propose that gay people should be allowed to get married, just like straight people. He thought this would be the only way to free gay people from the self-hatred and shame that had trapped Andrew himself. It’s too late for me, he thought, but maybe it will help the people who come after me. When the book—Virtually Normal—came out a year later, Patrick died when it had only been in the bookstores for a few days, and Andrew was widely ridiculed for suggesting something so absurd as gay marriage. Andrew was attacked not just by right-wingers, but by many gay left-wingers, who said he was a sellout, a wannabe heterosexual, a freak, for believing in marriage. A group called the Lesbian Avengers turned up to protest at his events with his face in the crosshairs of a gun. Andrew looked out at the crowd and despaired. This mad idea—his last gesture before dying—was clearly going to come to nothing. When I hear people saying that the changes we need to make in order to deal with depression and anxiety can’t happen, I imagine going back in time, to the summer of 1993, to that beach house in Provincetown, and telling Andrew something: Okay, Andrew, you’re not going to believe me, but this is what’s going to happen next. Twenty-five years from now, you’ll be alive. I know; it’s amazing; but wait—that’s not the best part. This book you’ve written—it’s going to spark a movement. And this book—it’s going to be quoted in a key Supreme Court ruling declaring marriage equality for gay people. And I’m going to be with you and your future husband the day after you receive a letter from the president of the United States telling you that this fight for gay marriage that you started has succeeded in part because of you. He’s going to light up the White House like the rainbow flag that day. He’s going to invite you to have dinner there, to thank you for what you’ve done. Oh, and by the way—that president? He’s going to be black.
Johann Hari (Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions)
Bill.' If you don't, I'll do this," and with that he gave me a twitch that I thought would have made me faint. Between this and that, I was so utterly terrified of the blind beggar that I forgot my terror of the captain, and as I opened the parlour door, cried out the words he had ordered in a trembling voice. The poor captain raised his eyes, and at one look the rum went out of him and left him staring sober. The expression of his face was not so much of terror as of mortal sickness. He made a movement to rise, but I do not believe he had enough force left in his body. "Now, Bill, sit where you are," said the beggar. "If I can't see, I can hear a finger stirring. Business is business. Hold out your left hand. Boy, take his left hand by the wrist and bring it near to my right." We both obeyed him to the letter, and I saw him pass something from the hollow of the hand that held his stick into the palm of the captain's, which closed upon it instantly. "And now that's done," said the blind man; and at the words he suddenly left hold of me, and with incredible accuracy and nimbleness, skipped out of the parlour and into the road, where, as I still stood motionless, I could hear his stick go tap-tap-tapping into the distance. It was some time before either I or the captain seemed to gather our senses, but at length, and about at the same moment, I released his wrist, which I was still holding, and he drew in his hand and looked sharply into the palm. "Ten o'clock!" he cried. "Six hours. We'll do them yet," and he sprang to his feet. Even as he did so, he reeled, put his hand to his throat, stood swaying for a moment, and then, with a peculiar sound, fell from his whole height face foremost to the floor. I ran to him at once, calling to my mother. But haste was all in vain. The captain had been struck dead by thundering apoplexy. It is a curious thing to understand, for I had certainly never liked the man, though of late I had begun to pity him, but as soon as I saw that he was dead, I burst into a flood of tears. It was the second death I had known, and the sorrow of the first was still fresh in my heart. 4 The Sea-chest I LOST no time, of course, in telling my mother all that I knew, and perhaps should have told her long before, and we saw ourselves at once in a difficult and dangerous position. Some of the man's money—if he had any—was certainly due to us, but it was not likely that our captain's shipmates, above all the two specimens seen by me, Black Dog and the blind beggar, would be inclined to give up their booty in payment of the dead man's debts. The captain's order to mount at once and ride for Doctor Livesey would have left my mother alone and unprotected, which was not to be thought of. Indeed, it seemed impossible for either of us to remain much longer in the house; the fall of coals in the kitchen grate, the very ticking of the clock, filled us with alarms. The neighbourhood, to our ears, seemed haunted by approaching footsteps; and what between the dead body of the captain on the parlour floor and the thought of that detestable blind beggar hovering near at hand and ready to return, there were moments when, as the saying goes, I jumped in my skin for terror. Something must speedily be resolved upon, and it occurred to us at last to go forth together and seek help in the neighbouring hamlet. No sooner said than done. Bare-headed as we were, we ran out at once in the gathering evening and the frosty fog. The hamlet lay not many hundred yards away, though out of view, on the other side of the next cove; and what greatly encouraged me, it was in an opposite direction from that whence the blind man had made his appearance and whither he had presumably returned. We were not many minutes on the road, though we sometimes stopped to lay hold of each other and hearken. But there was no unusual sound—nothing but the low wash of the ripple and the croaking of the inmates of the wood.
Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island)
The English word Atonement comes from the ancient Hebrew word kaphar, which means to cover. When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit and discovered their nakedness in the Garden of Eden, God sent Jesus to make coats of skins to cover them. Coats of skins don’t grow on trees. They had to be made from an animal, which meant an animal had to be killed. Perhaps that was the very first animal sacrifice. Because of that sacrifice, Adam and Eve were covered physically. In the same way, through Jesus’ sacrifice we are also covered emotionally and spiritually. When Adam and Eve left the garden, the only things they could take to remind them of Eden were the coats of skins. The one physical thing we take with us out of the temple to remind us of that heavenly place is a similar covering. The garment reminds us of our covenants, protects us, and even promotes modesty. However, it is also a powerful and personal symbol of the Atonement—a continuous reminder both night and day that because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we are covered. (I am indebted to Guinevere Woolstenhulme, a religion teacher at BYU, for insights about kaphar.) Jesus covers us (see Alma 7) when we feel worthless and inadequate. Christ referred to himself as “Alpha and Omega” (3 Nephi 9:18). Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Christ is surely the beginning and the end. Those who study statistics learn that the letter alpha is used to represent the level of significance in a research study. Jesus is also the one who gives value and significance to everything. Robert L. Millet writes, “In a world that offers flimsy and fleeting remedies for mortal despair, Jesus comes to us in our moments of need with a ‘more excellent hope’ (Ether 12:32)” (Grace Works, 62). Jesus covers us when we feel lost and discouraged. Christ referred to Himself as the “light” (3 Nephi 18:16). He doesn’t always clear the path, but He does illuminate it. Along with being the light, He also lightens our loads. “For my yoke is easy,” He said, “and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). He doesn’t always take burdens away from us, but He strengthens us for the task of carrying them and promises they will be for our good. Jesus covers us when we feel abused and hurt. Joseph Smith taught that because Christ met the demands of justice, all injustices will be made right for the faithful in the eternal scheme of things (see Teachings, 296). Marie K. Hafen has said, “The gospel of Jesus Christ was not given us to prevent our pain. The gospel was given us to heal our pain” (“Eve Heard All These Things,” 27). Jesus covers us when we feel defenseless and abandoned. Christ referred to Himself as our “advocate” (D&C 29:5): one who believes in us and stands up to defend us. We read, “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler” (Psalm 18:2). A buckler is a shield used to divert blows. Jesus doesn’t always protect us from unpleasant consequences of illness or the choices of others, since they are all part of what we are here on earth to experience. However, He does shield us from fear in those dark times and delivers us from having to face those difficulties alone. … We’ve already learned that the Hebrew word that is translated into English as Atonement means “to cover.” In Arabic or Aramaic, the verb meaning to atone is kafat, which means “to embrace.” Not only can we be covered, helped, and comforted by the Savior, but we can be “encircled about eternally in the arms of his love” (2 Nephi 1:15). We can be “clasped in the arms of Jesus” (Mormon 5:11). In our day the Savior has said, “Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love” (D&C 6:20). (Brad Wilcox, The Continuous Atonement, pp. 47-49, 60).
Brad Wilcox
Is there a bird among them, dear boy?” Charity asked innocently, peering not at the things on the desk, but at his face, noting the muscle beginning to twitch at Ian’s tense jaw. “No.” “Then they must be in the schoolroom! Of course,” she said cheerfully, “that’s it. How like me, Hortense would say, to have made such a silly mistake.” Ian dragged his eyes from the proof that his grandfather had been keeping track of him almost from the day of his birth-certainly from the day when he was able to leave the cottage on his own two legs-to her face and said mockingly, “Hortense isn’t very perceptive. I would say you are as wily as a fox.” She gave him a little knowing smile and pressed her finger to her lips. “Don’t tell her, will you? She does so enjoy thinking she is the clever one.” “How did he manage to have these drawn?” Ian asked, stopping her as she turned away. “A woman in the village near your home drew many of them. Later he hired an artist when he knew you were going to be somewhere at a specific time. I’ll just leave you here where it’s nice and quiet.” She was leaving him, Ian knew, to look through the items on the desk. For a long moment he hesitated, and then he slowly sat down in the chair, looking over the confidential reports on himself. They were all written by one Mr. Edgard Norwich, and as Ian began scanning the thick stack of pages, his anger at his grandfather for this outrageous invasion of his privacy slowly became amusement. For one thing, nearly every letter from the investigator began with phrases that made it clear the duke had chastised him for not reporting in enough detail. The top letter began, I apologize, Your Grace, for my unintentional laxness in failing to mention that indeed Mr. Thornton enjoys an occasional cheroot… The next one opened with, I did not realize, Your Grace, that you would wish to know how fast his horse ran in the race-in addition to knowing that he won. From the creases and holds in the hundreds of reports it was obvious to Ian that they’d been handled and read repeatedly, and it was equally obvious from some of the investigator’s casual comments that his grandfather had apparently expressed his personal pride to him: You will be pleased to know, Your Grace, that young Ian is a fine whip, just as you expected… I quite agree with you, as do many others, that Mr. Thornton is undoubtedly a genius… I assure you, Your Grace, that your concern over that duel is unfounded. It was a flesh wound in the arm, nothing more. Ian flipped through them at random, unaware that the barricade he’d erected against his grandfather was beginning to crack very slightly. “Your Grace,” the investigator had written in a rare fit of exasperation when Ian was eleven, “the suggestion that I should be able to find a physician who might secretly look at young Ian’s sore throat is beyond all bounds of reason. Even if I could find one who was willing to pretend to be a lost traveler, I really cannot see how he could contrive to have a peek at the boy’s throat without causing suspicion!” The minutes became an hour, and Ian’s disbelief increased as he scanned the entire history of his life, from his achievements to his peccadilloes. His gambling gains and losses appeared regularly; each ship he added to his fleet had been described, and sketches forwarded separately; his financial progress had been reported in minute and glowing detail.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))