Long Roads Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Long Roads. Here they are! All 200 of them:

The Road Not Taken Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
When you set sail for Ithaca, wish for the road to be long, full of adventures, full of knowledge.
Constantinos P. Cavafy
You're beautiful and sad," I said finally, not looking at him when I did. "Just like your eyes. You're like a song that I heard when I was a little kid but forgot I knew until I heard it again." For a long moment there was only the whirring sound of the tires on the road, and then Sam said softly, "Thank you.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.
Nelson Mandela
When I turn around, he cups my face in his hands and he kisses me so deeply that I don't know who is breathing for who, but his mouth and tongue taste like warm honey. I don't know how long it lasts, but when I let go of him, I miss it already.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
Winston S. Churchill
Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgandy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
I've always believed that a person is smart. It's people that are stupid.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
Most of the world's problems could be avoided if people just said what they fucking meant.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
I wish you could have been there for the sun & the rain & the long, hard hills. For the sound of a thousand conversations scattered along the road. For the people laughing & crying & remembering at the end. But, mainly, I wish you could have been there.
Brian Andreas
You have some queer friends, Dorothy,' she said. The queerness doesn't matter, so long as they're friends,' was the answer
L. Frank Baum (The Road to Oz (Oz, #5))
Like most others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles - a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other - that kept me going.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Rum Diary)
The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
So many memories and so little worth remembering, and in front of me — a long, long road without a goal...
Ivan Turgenev (Fathers and Sons)
Roads Go Ever On Roads go ever ever on, Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea; Over snow by winter sown, And through the merry flowers of June, Over grass and over stone, And under mountains in the moon. Roads go ever ever on, Under cloud and under star. Yet feet that wandering have gone Turn at last to home afar. Eyes that fire and sword have seen, And horror in the halls of stone Look at last on meadows green, And trees and hills they long have known. The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with weary feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say. The Road goes ever on and on Out from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone. Let others follow, if they can! Let them a journey new begin. But I at last with weary feet Will turn towards the lighted inn, My evening-rest and sleep to meet.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages someone long gone has called my attention to.
Helene Hanff (84, Charing Cross Road)
Relationships never break cleanly. Like a valuable vase, they are smashed and then glued back together, smashed and glued, smashed and glued until the pieces just don't fit together anymore.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
Turning away, I stared at the long road winding off ahead of me. I sighed. This trip might take awhile. "Then start walking, Rose," I muttered to myself. I set off, off to kill the man I loved.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.
Patrick Rothfuss
How old are you?” “Seventeen,” he answered promptly. “And how long have you been seventeen?” His lips twitched as he stared at the road. “A while,” he admitted at last.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1))
You just have to belong. Long to be.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon earth's shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man's weak praise should be given God's attention.
Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)
There's a long road of suffering ahead of you. But don't lose courage. You've already escaped the gravest danger: selection. So now, muster your strength, and don't lose heart. We shall all see the day of liberation. Have faith in life. Above all else, have faith. Drive out despair, and you will keep death away from yourselves. Hell is not for eternity. And now, a prayer - or rather, a piece of advice: let there be comradeship among you. We are all brothers, and we are all suffering the same fate. The same smoke floats over all our heads. Help one another. It is the only way to survive.
Elie Wiesel (Night (The Night Trilogy, #1))
You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place...
Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)
Not only are love and hate such closely related emotions, but it's a lot easier to hate someone you've cared about than someone you never have.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
Dear girl, it will be a very long road if you spend more time looking backwards than forward.
Soman Chainani (The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil, #3))
The road and the tale have both been long, would you not say so? The trip has been long and the cost has been high... but no great thing was ever attained easily. A long tale, like a tall Tower, must be built a stone at a time.
Stephen King (The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower, #7))
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road. Healthy, free, the world before me. The long brown path before me leading me wherever I choose. Henceforth, I ask not good fortune, I myself am good fortune. Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing.
Walt Whitman (Songs for the Open Road: Poems of Travel and Adventure)
If truth is what you seek, then the examined life will only take you on a long ride to the limits of solitude and leave you by the side of the road with your truth and nothing else.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.
Wendell Berry (Remembering)
I'd like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
The frailty of everything revealed at last. Old and troubling issues resolved into nothingness and night. The last instance of a thing takes the class with it. Turns out the light and is gone. Look around you. Ever is a long time. But the boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
You need to be content with small steps. That's all life is. Small steps that you take every day so when you look back down the road it all adds up and you know you covered some distance. It took me a long time to accept that, but it's true. You need to have patience."",
Katie Kacvinsky (Awaken (Awaken, #1))
I walked away exhilarated by my success, because there's nothing like making a difference in someone's life, even if that difference is a lifetime of nightmares and a fortune in therapy bills.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
There's a road to hell that is paved with good intentions but it's a long route. The quicker path is paved with the kind of ignorance that clever men who just don't want to know are best at.
Mark Lawrence (Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3))
The road is long, we carry on, try to have fun in the meantime.
Lana Del Rey
The crack inside your fucking heart is me.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
A home to come back to every day of their lives. Where they would all belong or long to be. A place on the Jellicoe Road.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
Behind me there are already so many memories (...) Lots of memories, but no point in remembering them, and ahead of me a long, long road with nothing to aim for ... I just don't want to go along it.
Ivan Turgenev (Fathers and Sons)
The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road; long before I dance under those lights.
Muhammad Ali
I've seen my own death in dreams like this and it's helped me appreciate life more. I've also seen my own life in dreams and it's helped me appreciate death more.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
The people we remember are the ones who decided how our maps should be drawn. Nobody remembers who built the roads.
Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1))
The seeds of who I am now had been planted. "Fools aren't born," I wrote in my notebook one day during ethics class. "They are watered and grown like weeds by institutions such as Christianity."
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches. May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty. When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer. Guide her, protect her When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age. Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit. May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers. Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait. O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed. And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars'll be out, and don't you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all the rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what's going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
...but I preferred reading the American landscape as we went along. Every bump, rise, and stretch in it mystified my longing.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
Yes,there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there's still time to change the road you're on.
Led Zeppelin
Life is a slope. As long as you're going up you're always looking towards the top and you feel happy, but when you reach it, suddenly you can see the road going downhill and death at the end of it all. It's slow going up and quick going down.
Guy de Maupassant (Bel-Ami)
Why did so many grown-ups want to be young, she wondered, when it took so long to grow old? It was like going on a million-mile road trip then wanting to turn around without getting out of the car.
Pseudonymous Bosch (The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret, #1))
(I)f you do not believe that hearts can bloom suddenly bigger, and that love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places, then I am afraid that for you the road will be long and brown and barren, and you will have trouble finding the light. But if you do believe, then you already know all about magic.
Lauren Oliver (Liesl & Po)
Okay,' I said quietly. 'I'll do whatever you say. Just remember not to talk down to me. I'm not your student anymore. I'm your equal now.' He glanced away from the side of the road just long enough to give me a surprised look. 'You've always been my equal, Roza.
Richelle Mead (Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6))
Perhaps everyone loved someone; I didn't now, I couldn't give much thought to love; in order to travel far you had to be detached, and I had the long road back to the campus before me.
Ralph Ellison (Invisible Man)
Someone who does not run toward the allure of love walks a road where nothing lives.
Rumi (The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing)
Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know “why” I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.
Will Rogers
Childhood is a long, long road, from which that dark whispering forest of death seems an impossible destination.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
If every cigarette you smoke takes seven minutes off of your life, every game of Dungeons & Dragons you play delays the loss of your virginity by seven hours.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
The long, long road over the moors and up into the forest - who trod it into being first of all? Man, a human being, the first that came here. There was no path before he came.
Knut Hamsun (Growth of the Soil)
First thing you learn wandering the long roads, kid. Everyone thinks they're the hero of their own story. Pg328
Sebastien de Castell (Spellslinger (Spellslinger, #1))
I was becoming the cold, emotionally crippled monster I always wanted to be, and I wasn’t so sure I liked it. But it was too late. The metamorphosis was already well under way.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
This is the culture your raising your kids in, don't be suprised when it blows up in your face.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
You need mountains, long staircases don't make good hikers.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Here are two things I found taking the long road, though: Applause is a quick fix. And love is an acquired taste.
Donald Miller (Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy)
We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
She found herself over a long and treacherous road and the more treacherous the road became, the more of herself she found.
Atticus Poetry (Love Her Wild)
I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond! I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I've got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk, rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial! I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up. You can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail. But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing-- a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore--no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-wash, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out!
George Carlin
The nights were blinding cold and casket black and the long reach of the morning had a terrible silence to it.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
i am going to bed. i will have nightmares involving huge monsters in academic robes carrying long bloody butcher knives labeled Excerpt, Selection, Passage, and Abridged.
Helene Hanff (84, Charing Cross Road)
This question is posed to mayself, am I a man who thinks he's an angel? Or an angel who thinks he's a man?
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
I don't know how to say it, but after last night I feel different. I seem to see ahead, in a kind of way. I know we are going to take a very long road, into darkness; but I know I can't turn back. It isn't right to see Elves now, nor dragons, nor mountains, that I want - I don't rightly know what I want: but I have something to do before the end, and it lies ahead, not in the Shire. I must see it through, sir, if you understand me.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Beyond the East the sunrise, beyond the West the sea, And East and West the wanderlust that will not let me be; It works in me like madness, dear, to bid me say good-by! For the seas call and the stars call, and oh, the call of the sky! I know not where the white road runs, nor what the blue hills are, But man can have the sun for friend, and for his guide a star; And there's no end of voyaging when once the voice is heard, For the river calls and the road calls, and oh, the call of a bird! Yonder the long horizon lies, and there by night and day The old ships draw to home again, the young ships sail away; And come I may, but go I must, and if men ask you why, You may put the blame on the stars and the sun and the white road and the sky!
Gerald Gould
If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
Roads go ever ever on, Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea; Over snow by winter sown, And through the merry flowers of June, Over grass and over stone, And under mountains of the moon. Roads go ever ever on Under cloud and under star, Yet feet that wandering have gone Turn at last to home afar. Eyes that fire and sword have seen And horror in the halls of stone Look at last on meadows green And trees and hills they long have known
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, or There and Back Again)
Ronan crossed his arms to wait, just looking. At Adam’s fine cheekbones, his furrowed fair eyebrows, his beautiful hands, everything washed out by the furious light. He had memorized the shape of Adam’s hands in particular: the way his thumb jutted awkwardly, boyishly; the roads of the prominent veins; the large knuckles that punctuated his long fingers. In dreams Ronan put them to his mouth.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
It's a long hard road ahead for you, little warrior. Enjoy a happy day while you can. —Boldred
Brian Jacques (Martin the Warrior (Redwall, #6))
I hid this one in hopes that you would find it long after I'm gone. I hope you find this months from now, when I'm still out there, on the road, away from you. I can't imagine what the time apart has done to us. I'm hoping we're more in love than ever. I'm hoping that when I come back, you'll move in with me. In all honesty, I'm hoping that when I come back, you'll agree to marry me someday. Because that's what I want, what I dream about. You, mine, for the rest of my life. I hope you feel the same because I don't know what I would do without you. I love you so much. But, if for some reason we're not closer, if something has gotten between us, please, I'm begging you, don't give up on me. Stay. Stay with me. Work it out with me. Just don't leave me. Please.
S.C. Stephens
I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; In “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat,” his first speech as Prime Minister to the House of Commons May 13, 1940 quoted by Jeffrey R. Holland in “However Long and Hard the Road” BYU Devotional 18 Jan 1983
Winston S. Churchill
We feel lonely now and then and long for friends and think we should be quite different and happier if we found a friend of whom we might say: “He is the one.” But you, too, will begin to learn that there is much self-deception behind this longing; if we yielded too much to it, it would lead us from the road.
Vincent van Gogh (Complete Letters of Vincent Van Gogh (vol. iii of iii))
Sometimes I feel like I don't belong anywhere, & it's gonna take so long for me to get to somewhere, Sometimes I feel so heavy hearted, but I can't explain cuz I'm so guarded. But that's a lonely road to travel, and a heavy load to bear. And it's a long, long way to heaven but I gotta get there Can you send an angel? Can you send me an angel...to guide me.
Alicia Keys
In the dull twilight of the winter afternoon she came to the end of a long road which had begun the night Atlanta fell. She had set her feet upon that road a spoiled, selfish and untried girl, full of youth, warm of emotion, easily bewildered by life. Now, at the end of the road, there was nothing left of that girl. Hunger and hard labor, fear and constant strain, the terrors of war and the terrors of Reconstruction had taken away all warmth and youth and softness. About the core of her being, a shell of hardness had formed and, little by little, layer by layer, the shell had thickened during the endless months.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
I was thinking how complicated life is and how there are no simple roads or paths. We are a fabric of mistakes and hurts; a family tree of fumbled attempts, successes and failures.
Belinda Jeffrey (One Long Thread)
To attain something desired is to discover how vain it is; and…though we live all our lives in expectation of better things, we often at the same time long regretfully for what is past. The present, on the other hand, is regarded as something quite temporary and serving only as the road to our goal. That is why most men discover when they look back on their life that they have the whole time been living ad interim, and are surprised to see that which they let go by so unregarded and unenjoyed was precisely their life, was precisely in expectation of which they lived.
Arthur Schopenhauer
I understand addiction now. I never did before, you know. How could a man (or a woman) do something so self-destructive, knowing that they’re hurting not only themselves, but the people they love? It seemed that it would be so incredibly easy for them to just not take that next drink. Just stop. It’s so simple, really. But as so often happens with me, my arrogance kept me from seeing the truth of the matter. I see it now though. Every day, I tell myself it will be the last. Every night, as I’m falling asleep in his bed, I tell myself that tomorrow I’ll book a flight to Paris, or Hawaii, or maybe New York. It doesn’t matter where I go, as long as it’s not here. I need to get away from Phoenix—away from him—before this goes even one step further. And then he touches me again, and my convictions disappear like smoke in the wind. This cannot end well. That’s the crux of the matter, Sweets. I’ve been down this road before—you know I have—and there’s only heartache at the end. There’s no happy ending waiting for me like there was for you and Matt. If I stay here with him, I will become restless and angry. It’s happening already, and I cannot stop it. I’m becoming bitter and terribly resentful. Before long, I will be intolerable, and eventually, he’ll leave me. But if I do what I have to do, what my very nature compels me to do, and move on, the end is no better. One way or another, he’ll be gone. Is it not wiser to end it now, Sweets, before it gets to that point? Is it not better to accept that this happiness I have is destined to self-destruct? Tomorrow I will leave. Tomorrow I will stop delaying the inevitable. Tomorrow I will quit lying to myself, and to him. Tomorrow. What about today, you ask? Today it’s already too late. He’ll be home soon, and I have dinner on the stove, and wine chilling in the fridge. And he will smile at me when he comes through the door, and I will pretend like this fragile, dangerous thing we have created between us can last forever. Just one last time, Sweets. Just one last fix. That’s all I need. And that is why I now understand addiction.
Marie Sexton (Strawberries for Dessert (Coda Books, #4; Strawberries for Dessert, #1))
The dead are orphans. No company but the silence like a moth's wing. An end to the agony of movement, to the long nightmare of going down the road. The body in peace, stillness, and order. The perfect darkness of death.
Richard Bachman (The Long Walk)
For ages you have come and gone courting this delusion. For ages you have run from the pain and forfeited the ecstasy. So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. Although you appear in earthly form Your essence is pure Consciousness. You are the fearless guardian of Divine Light. So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. When you lose all sense of self the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish. Lose yourself completely, Return to the root of the root of your own soul. You descended from Adam, by the pure Word of God, but you turned your sight to the empty show of this world. Alas, how can you be satisfied with so little? So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. Why are you so enchanted by this world when a mine of gold lies within you? Open your eyes and come --- Return to the root of the root of your own soul. You were born from the rays of God's Majesty when the stars were in their perfect place. How long will you suffer from the blows of a nonexistent hand? So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. You are a ruby encased in granite. How long will you decieve Us with this outer show? O friend, We can see the truth in your eyes! So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. After one moment with that glorious Friend you became loving, radiant, and ecstatic. Your eyes were sweet and full of fire. Come, return to the root of the root of your own soul. Shams-e Tabriz, the King of the Tavern has handed you an eternal cup, And God in all His glory is pouring the wine. So come! Drink! Return to the root of the root of your own soul. Soul of all souls, life of all life - you are That. Seen and unseen, moving and unmoving - you are That. The road that leads to the City is endless; Go without head and feet and you'll already be there. What else could you be? - you are That.
Rumi
Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without vicory there is no survival.
Winston S. Churchill
Because this is our life. We met on the road; we grew to know and to love each other on the road. It's where we were meant to be for however long, and it's what we're going to do until it becomes clear that we're meant to do something else.
J.A. Redmerski (The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2))
We pull on to the road, where our only company are the wandering cattle, who have become commonplace as traffic lights. Lethargic and listless, they look like they've been roaming the roads of Guinea since the dawn of time. And no doubt they will continue to long after we're gone.
Tom Hiddleston
Gradually, I began to resent Christian school and doubt everything I was told. It became clear that the suffering they were praying to be released from was a suffering they had imposed on themselves—and now us. The beast they lived in fear of was really themselves: It was man, not some mythological demon, that was going to destroy man in the end. And this beast had been created out of their fear.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
We’ll all be glad to see you die. No one’s going to miss you, Gary. Maybe I’ll walk behind you and spit on your brains after they blow them all over the road. Maybe I’ll do that. Maybe we all will.” It
Richard Bachman (The Long Walk)
And what is happiness, Nathan? In my experience, it's only a moment's pause here and there on what is otherwise a long and difficult road. No one can be happy all the time.
William Kent Krueger (Ordinary Grace)
Part of abandoning the all-or-nothing mentality is allowing yourself room for setbacks. We are bound to have lapses on the road to health and wellness, but it is critical that we learn how to handle small failures positively so that we can minimize their long-term destructive effects. One setback is one setback—it is not the end of the world, nor is it the end of your journey toward a better you.
Jillian Michaels
I still had this idea that there was a whole world of marvelous golden people somewhere, as far ahead of me as the seniors at Rye when I was in the sixth grade; people who knew everything instinctively, who made their lives work out the way they wanted without even trying, who never had to make the best of a bad job because it never occured to them to do anything less then perfectly the first time. Sort of heroic super-people, all of them beautiful and witty and calm and kind, and I always imagined that when I did find them I'd suddenly know that I Belonged among them, that I was one of them, that I'd been meant to be one of them all along, and everything in the meantime had been a mistake; and they'd know it too. I'd be like the ugly duckling among the swans.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
But time, as well as healing all wounds, taught me something strange too: that it's possible to love more than one person in a lifetime. I remarried. I'm very happy with my new wife, and I can't imagine living without her. This, however, doesn't mean that I have to renounce all my past experiences, as long as I'm careful not to compare my two lives. You can't measure love the way you can the length of a road or the height of a building.
Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
Why does reading freak people out so much? Sure, I could be pretty anti-social when we were on the road, but if I was playing a Gameboy hour after hour, no one would be on my case. In my social circle, blowing up space monsters is socially acceptable in a way that American Pastoral isn't.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
It was a war scripted by Heller from a story by Orwell, and somebody would be bombing their own airfield before too long, no doubt.
Iain Banks (The Crow Road)
(Lisa Henson about her father) He admired the job of the man who walks along the road picking up trash with a long stick. He thought that guy had a great job, walking along with a stick, enjoying the road, and doing only good in the world, with hundreds of small actions.
Jim Henson
Long before all these divisions were opened between home and the road, betweens a woman's place and a man's world, humans followed the crops, the seasons, traveling with their families, our companions, animals, our tents. We built campfires and moved from place to place. This way of traveling is still in our cellular memory. Living things have evolved as travelers, Even migrating birds know that nature doesn't demand a choice between nesting and flight.
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
They got that way, Garraty had noticed. Complete withdrawal from everything and everyone around them. Everything but the road. They stared at the road with a kind of horrid fascination, as if it were a tightrope thay had to walk over an endless, bottomless chasm.
Richard Bachman (The Long Walk)
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it's the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw, my inability to change. I don't think I'm alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it's kind of everyone's flaw. Staying exactly the same for as long as possible, standing perfectly still... It feels safer somehow. And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took that leap of faith, went outside the box, did something unexpected... Who knows what other pain might be out there, waiting for you. Chances are it could be even worse. So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn't seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You're not a drug addict. You're not killing anyone... Except maybe yourself a little. When we finally do change, I don't think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we're like this different person. I think it's smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn't even notice unless they looked at us really close. Which, thank God, they never do. But you notice it. Inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever... that you'll never have to change again.
Laura J. Burns
sometimes i'd wake up at two or three in the morning and not be able to fall asleep again. i'd get out of bed, go to the kitchen, and pour myself a whiskey. glass in hand, i'd look down at the darkened cemetary across teh way and the headlights of the cars on the road. the moments of time linking night and dawn were long and dark. if i could cry, it might make things easier. but what would i cry over? i was too self centered to cry for other people, too old to cry for myself.
Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun)
What? I demand to know. "What is it now?" "You're not going to go." he says. "Watch me." "I've been having a vision of this place, too." This stops me from my wild, cowardly (how can he think I'm brave?) retreat back to the road ... "You're having a new vision, too?" I ask. "It's right here." He walks toward me, his strides long and purposeful across the grass. "Right now. I've been seeing it for weeks, and it's happening right now." He stops in front of me. "This is the part where I kiss you," he says.
Cynthia Hand (Hallowed (Unearthly, #2))
The fog was where I wanted to be. Halfway down the path you can’t see this house. You’d never know it was here. Or any of the other places down the avenue. I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead. I didn’t meet a soul. Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted—to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. Out beyond the harbor, where the road runs along the beach, I even lost the feeling of being on land. The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned long ago. As if I was the ghost belonging to the fog, and the fog was the ghost of the sea. It felt damned peaceful to be nothing more than a ghost within a ghost.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
No man is brave that has never walked a hundred miles. If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
In the long run we get no more than we have been willing to risk giving.
Sheldon B. Kopp (If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him: The Pilgrimage Of Psychotherapy Patients)
There's nothing like the feeling of knowing that you've made a difference in someone's life, even if that difference is a lifetime of nightmares and a fortune in therapy bills.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
Ever is a long time. But the boy knew what he knew. That ever is no time at all.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
When evening in the Shire was grey his footsteps on the Hill were heard; before the dawn he went away on journey long without a word. From Wilderland to Western shore, from northern waste to southern hill, through dragon-lair and hidden door and darkling woods he walked at will. With Dwarf and Hobbit, Elves and Men, with mortal and immortal folk, with bird on bough and beast in den, in their own secret tongues he spoke. A deadly sword, a healing hand, a back that bent beneath its load; a trumpet-voice, a burning brand, a weary pilgrim on the road. A lord of wisdom throned he sat, swift in anger, quick to laugh; an old man in a battered hat who leaned upon a thorny staff. He stood upon the bridge alone and Fire and Shadow both defied; his staff was broken on the stone, in Khazad-dûm his wisdom died.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Camerado, I give you my hand! I give you my love more precious than money, I give you myself before preaching or law; Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?
Walt Whitman
People who dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue. They also know that the real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom. It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. The pleasure of the true dreamer does not lie in the substance of the dream, but in this: that there things happen without any interference from his side, and altogether outside his control. Great landscapes create themselves, long splendid views, rich and delicate colours, roads, houses, which he has never seen or heard of...
Karen Blixen (Out of Africa)
Imagination is the politics of dreams; imagination turns every word into a bottle rocket. . . . Imagine every day is Independence Day and save us from traveling the river changed; save us from hitchhiking the long road home. Imagine an escape. Imagine that your own shadow on the wall is a perfect door. Imagine a song stronger than penicillin. Imagine a spring with water that mends broken bones. Imagine a drum which wraps itself around your heart. Imagine a story that puts wood in the fireplace.
Sherman Alexie (The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven)
What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.
Thomas Sowell
For the sake of a few lines one must see many cities, men and things. One must know the animals, one must feel how the birds fly and know the gesture with which the small flowers open in the morning. One must be able to think back to roads in unknown regions, to unexpected meetings and to partings which one had long seen coming; to days of childhood that are still unexplained, to parents that one had to hurt when they brought one some joy and one did not grasp it (it was joy for someone else); to childhood illness that so strangely began with a number of profound and grave transformations, to days in rooms withdrawn and quiet and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that rushed along on high and flew with all the stars-and it is not enough if one may think all of this. One must have memories of many nights of love, none of which was like the others, of the screams of women in labor, and of light, white, sleeping women in childbed, closing again. But one must also have been beside the dying, one must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the fitful noises. And still it is not enough to have memories. One must be able to forget them when they are many, and one must have the great patience to wait until they come again. For it is not yet the memories themselves. Not until they have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves-not until then can it happen that in a most rare hour the first word of a verse arises in their midst and goes forth from them.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
Madness will push you anywhere it wants. It never tells you where you're going, or why. It tells you it doesn't matter. It persuades you. It dangles something sparkly before you, shimmering like that water patch on the road up ahead. You will drive until you find it, the treasure, the thing you most desire. You will never find it. Madness may mock you so long you will die of the search. Or it will tire of you, turn its back, oblivious as you go flying. The car is beside you, smoking, belly-up, still spinning its wheels.
Marya Hornbacher (Madness: A Bipolar Life)
Swiftboating enters the English language as a verb that means attacking strength instead of weakness. In feminist and other social justice contexts, this has long been called trashing, attacking leaders for daring to write, speak, or lead at all. Taking away the good is even more lethal than pointing out the bad. p.189
Gloria Steinem (My Life on the Road)
Time is not measured by the years that you live But by the deeds that you do and the joy that you give- And each day as it comes brings a chance to each one To love to the fullest, leaving nothing undone That would brighten the life or lighten the load Of some weary traveler lost on Life's Road- So what does it matter how long we may live If as long as we live we unselfishly give.
Helen Steiner Rice
Space," it says, "is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space, listen...
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
As a performer, I wanted to be the loudest, most persistent alarm clock I could be, because there didn’t seem like any other way to snap society out of its Christianity- and media-induced coma.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
If you act like a rock star you will be treated like one.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
The balance between good and evil, and the choices we make between them, are probably the single most important aspects of shaping our personalities and humanity.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
For a long time I believed the opposite of passion was death. I was wrong. Passion and death are implicit, one in the other. Past the border of a fiery life lies the netherworld. I can trace this road, which took me through places so hot the very air burned the lungs. I did not turn back. I pressed on, and eventually passed over the border, beyond which lies a place that is wordless and cold, so cold that it, like mercury, burns a freezing blue flame.
Marya Hornbacher (Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia)
He woke before dawn and watched the gray day break. Slow and half opaque. He rose while the boy slept and pulled on his shoes and wrapped in his blanket he walked out through the trees. He descended into a gryke in the stone and there he crouched coughing and he coughed for a long time. Then he just knelt in the ashes. He raised his face to the paling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at the last? Have you a neck by which to throttle you? Have you a heart? Damn you eternally have you a soul? Oh God, he whispered. Oh God.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
When Van Gogh was a young man in his early twenties, he was in London studying to be a clergyman. He had no thought of being an artist at all. he sat in his cheap little room writing a letter to his younger brother in Holland, whom he loved very much. He looked out his window at a watery twilight, a thin lampost, a star, and he said in his letter something like this: "it is so beautiful I must show you how it looks." And then on his cheap ruled note paper, he made the most beautiful, tender, little drawing of it. When I read this letter of Van Gogh's it comforted me very much and seemed to throw a clear light on the whole road of Art. Before, I thought that to produce a work of painting or literature, you scowled and thought long and ponderously and weighed everything solemnly and learned everything that all artists had ever done aforetime, and what their influences and schools were, and you were extremely careful about *design* and *balance* and getting *interesting planes* into your painting, and avoided, with the most astringent severity, showing the faintest *acedemical* tendency, and were strictly modern. And so on and so on. But the moment I read Van Gogh's letter I knew what art was, and the creative impulse. It is a feeling of love and enthusiasm for something, and in a direct, simple, passionate and true way, you try to show this beauty in things to others, by drawing it. And Van Gogh's little drawing on the cheap note paper was a work of art because he loved the sky and the frail lamppost against it so seriously that he made the drawing with the most exquisite conscientiousness and care.
Brenda Ueland (If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit)
She had passed the in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound road sign a long time ago. Hell, she was cruising the neighborhood streets of tonnage by now. Limping backward, she raised her middle finger to the Fae King.
Thea Harrison (Dragon Bound (Elder Races, #1))
For some reason, this is the moment I know I’m gonna be all right; that the hurt might never fade, and my heart might always long for a stubborn cowboy with squinty eyes, but I’ll make do. Sure as the sun will rise.
Erin Bowman (Vengeance Road (Vengeance Road, #1))
Once upon a time,” I began. “There was a little boy born in a little town. He was perfect, or so his mother thought. But one thing was different about him. He had a gold screw in his belly button. Just the head of it peeping out. “Now his mother was simply glad he had all his fingers and toes to count with. But as the boy grew up he realized not everyone had screws in their belly buttons, let alone gold ones. He asked his mother what it was for, but she didn’t know. Next he asked his father, but his father didn’t know. He asked his grandparents, but they didn’t know either. “That settled it for a while, but it kept nagging him. Finally, when he was old enough, he packed a bag and set out, hoping he could find someone who knew the truth of it. “He went from place to place, asking everyone who claimed to know something about anything. He asked midwives and physickers, but they couldn’t make heads or tails of it. The boy asked arcanists, tinkers, and old hermits living in the woods, but no one had ever seen anything like it. “He went to ask the Cealdim merchants, thinking if anyone would know about gold, it would be them. But the Cealdim merchants didn’t know. He went to the arcanists at the University, thinking if anyone would know about screws and their workings, they would. But the arcanists didn’t know. The boy followed the road over the Stormwal to ask the witch women of the Tahl, but none of them could give him an answer. “Eventually he went to the King of Vint, the richest king in the world. But the king didn’t know. He went to the Emperor of Atur, but even with all his power, the emperor didn’t know. He went to each of the small kingdoms, one by one, but no one could tell him anything. “Finally the boy went to the High King of Modeg, the wisest of all the kings in the world. The high king looked closely at the head of the golden screw peeping from the boy’s belly button. Then the high king made a gesture, and his seneschal brought out a pillow of golden silk. On that pillow was a golden box. The high king took a golden key from around his neck, opened the box, and inside was a golden screwdriver. “The high king took the screwdriver and motioned the boy to come closer. Trembling with excitement, the boy did. Then the high king took the golden screwdriver and put it in the boy’s belly button.” I paused to take a long drink of water. I could feel my small audience leaning toward me. “Then the high king carefully turned the golden screw. Once: Nothing. Twice: Nothing. Then he turned it the third time, and the boy’s ass fell off.” There was a moment of stunned silence. “What?” Hespe asked incredulously. “His ass fell off.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))
It had ceased raining in the night and he walked out on the road and called for the dog. He called and called. Standing in that inexplicable darkness. Where there was no sound anywhere save only the wind. After a while he sat in the road. He took off his hat and placed it on the tarmac before him and he bowed his head and held his face in his hands and wept. He sat there for a long time and after a while the east did gray and after a while the right and godmade sun did rise, once again, for all and without distinction.
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
The scenes in our life resemble pictures in a rough mosaic; they are ineffective from close up, and have to be viewed from a distance if they are to seem beautiful. That is why to attain something desired is to discover how vain it is; and why, though we live all our lives in expectation of better things, we often at the same time long regretfully for what is past. The present, on the other hand, is regarded as something quite temporary and serving as the only road to our goal. That is why most men discover when they look back on their life that they have been living the whole time ad interim, and are surprised to see that which they let go by so unregarded and unenjoyed was precisely their life, was precisely that in expectation of which they lived.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Essays and Aphorisms)
I wish you hadn't been so over-courteous about putting the inscription on a card instead of on the flyleaf. It's the bookseller coming out in you all, you were afraid you'd decrease its value. You would have increased it for the present owner. (And possibly for the future owner. I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages someone long gone has called my attention to.)
Helene Hanff (84, Charing Cross Road)
This is a little awkward," I said, "but my mother just ran over the rabbit." "Ran over?" "As in roadkill. We're not sure what to do about it." "Where are you?" "Giovichinni's, buying lunch meat." "And the rabbit?" "Gone. He was with two other guys. They scooped him up off the road and drove away with him." There was a long silence on the phone. "I'm fucking speechless," Morelli finally said.
Janet Evanovich (Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum, #8))
Cultivate an understanding that life is long, that people both change and remain the same, that every last one of us will need to fuck up and be forgiven, that we’re all just walking and walking and walking and trying to find our way, that all roads lead eventually to the mountaintop.
Cheryl Strayed (Brave Enough)
False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for everyone takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness; and when this is done, one path towards error is closed and the road to truth is often at the same time opened.
Charles Darwin
I think back to my dream of the boy, because in it I find solace. I like that word. I'm going to make it my word of the year. There is just something about that boy that makes me feel like I belong. Belong. Long to be. Weird word, but semantics aside, it is up there with solace.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We are utterly open with no one, in the end -- not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman's second glance, a child's apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words 'I have something to tell you,' a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother's papery ancient hand in a thicket of your hair, the memory of your father's voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children.
Brian Doyle (One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder for the Spiritual and Nonspiritual Alike)
I thought maybe you'd wish for friends because you don't have any. We'll all be glad to see you die. No one's going to miss you, Gary. Maybe I'll walk behind you and spit on your brains after they blow them all over the road. Maybe I'll do that. Maybe we all will." - Garraty (to Barkovitch), The Long Walk
Richard Bachman
It was a very ordinary day, the day I realised that my becoming is my life and my home and that I don't have to do anything but trust the process, trust my story and enjoy the journey. It doesn't really matter who I've become by the finish line, the important things are the changes from this morning to when I fall asleep again, and how they happened, and who they happened with. An hour watching the stars, a coffee in the morning with someone beautiful, intelligent conversations at 5am while sharing the last cigarette. Taking trains to nowhere, walking hand in hand through foreign cities with someone you love. Oceans and poetry. It was all very ordinary until my identity appeared, until my body and mind became one being. The day I saw the flowers and learned how to turn my daily struggles into the most extraordinary moments. Moments worth writing about. For so long I let my life slip through my fingers, like water. I'm holding on to it now, and I'm not letting go.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
The sun goes down long and red. All the magic names of the valley unrolled - Manteca, Madera, all the rest. Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon field; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries. I stuck my head out the window and took deep breaths of the fragant air. It was the most beautiful of all moments.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
I’d always heard that when you truly love someone, you’re happy for them as long they’re happy. But that’s a lie. That’s higher-road bullshit. If you love someone so much, why the hell would you be happy to see them with anyone else? I didn’t want the easy kind of love. I wanted the crazy love, the kind of love that created and destroyed all at the same time.
Julie Murphy (Side Effects May Vary)
I'll tell you how the sun rose A ribbon at a time... It's a living book, this life; it folds out in a million settings, cast with a billion beautiful characters, and it is almost over for you. It doesn't matter how old you are; it is coming to a close quickly, and soon the credits will roll and all your friends will fold out of your funeral and drive back to their homes in cold and still and silence. And they will make a fire and pour some wine and think about how you once were . . . and feel a kind of sickness at the idea you never again will be. So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification. And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in a play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love a woman or a man, about learning to love a child, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?
Donald Miller (Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road)
It is hard work to control the workings of inclination and turn the bent of nature; but that it may be done, I know from experience. God has given us, in a measure, the power to make our own fate: and when our energies seem to demand a sustenance they cannot get--when our will strains after a path we may not follow--we need neither starve from inanition, not stand still in despair: we have but to seek another nourishment for the mind, as strong as the forbidden fruit it longed to taste--and perhaps purer; and to hew out for the adventurous foot a road as direct and broad as the one Fortune has blocked up against us, if rougher than it.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light a candle that can guide us through the darkness to a safe and sure future. For the world is changing. The old era is ending. The old ways will not do. The problems are not all solved and the battles are not all won and we stand today on the edge of a New Frontier - a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils, a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats. It has been a long road to this crowded convention city. Now begins another long journey, taking me into your cities and towns and homes all over America. Give me your help. Give me your hand, your voice and your vote.
John F. Kennedy
He mistrusted all of that. He said the right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the call of languor and of death. He slept little and he slept poorly. He dreamt of walking in a flowering wood where birds flew before them he and the child and the sky was aching blue but he was learning how to wake himself from just such siren worlds. Lying there in the dark with the uncanny taste of a peach from some phantom orchard fading in his mouth. He thought if he lived long enough the world at last would all be lost. Like the dying world the newly blind inhabit, all of it slowly fading from memory.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
We disliked the rigours of existence, the unfulfilled longings, the enshrined injustices of the world, the labyrinths of love, the ignorance of parents, the fact of dying, and the amazing indifference of the Living in the midst of the simple beauties of the universe. We feared the heartlessness of human beings, all of whom are born blind, few of whom ever learn to see.
Ben Okri (The Famished Road)
And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees, When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor, The highwayman comes riding-- Riding--riding-- The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door. Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard, He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred, He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there But the landlord's black-eyed daughter-- Bess, the landlord's daughter-- Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
Alfred Noyes (The Highwayman)
It takes a long time to learn someone. It takes a long time to see a person as a whole spectrum, from worst to best—from the mismanaged heartache that lands them in AA to the pancake dinners, from the hurtful things shouted in a dressing room to the huge-hearted strength that only a best friend can understand. Once you get there, it’s forever.
Emery Lord (Open Road Summer)
A picnic. Picture a forest, a country road, a meadow. Cars drive off the country road into the meadow, a group of young people get out carrying bottles, baskets of food, transistor radios, and cameras. They light fires, pitch tents, turn on the music. In the morning they leave. The animals, birds, and insects that watched in horror through the long night creep out from their hiding places. And what do they see? Old spark plugs and old filters strewn around... Rags, burnt-out bulbs, and a monkey wrench left behind... And of course, the usual mess—apple cores, candy wrappers, charred remains of the campfire, cans, bottles, somebody’s handkerchief, somebody’s penknife, torn newspapers, coins, faded flowers picked in another meadow.
Arkady Strugatsky (Roadside Picnic)
We paid for this instead of a generation of health insurance, or an alternative energy grid, or a brand-new system of roads and highways. With the $13-plus trillion we are estimated to ultimately spend on the bailouts, we could not only have bought and paid off every single sub-prime mortgage in the country (that would only have cost $1.4 trillion), we could have paid off every remaining mortgage of any kind in this country - and still have had enough money left over to buy a new house for every American who does not already have one.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
True strength does not come out of bravado. Until we are broken, our life will be self-centered, self-reliant; our strength will be our own. So long as you think you are really something in and of yourself, what will you need God for? I don’t trust a man who hasn’t suffered; I don’t let a man get close to me who hasn’t faced his wound. Think of the posers you know—are they the kind of man you would call at 2:00 A.M., when life is collapsing around you? Not me. I don’t want clichés; I want deep, soulful truth, and that only comes when a man has walked the road I’ve been talking about.
John Eldredge (Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul)
Then don't. I can't help you. They say that women dream of danger to those in their care and men of danger to themselves. But I don't dream at all. You say you can't? Then don't do it. That's all. Because I am done with my own whorish heart and I have been for a long time. You talk about taking a stand but there is no stand to take. My heart was ripped out of me the night he was born so don't ask for sorrow now. There is none. Maybe you'll be good at this. I doubt it, but who knows. The one thing I can tell you is that you won't survive for yourself. I know because I would have never have come this far. A person who had no one would be well advised to cobble together some passable ghost. Breathe it into being and coax it along with words of love. Offer it each phantom crumb and sheild it from harm with your body. As for me my only hope is for eternal nothingness and I hope it with all my heart.
Cormac McCarthy (The Road)
[...] no one had lived up to the roles they acted out in public. They wasted their years trying to live the lies that they had created for themselves. Only in private could they really be the demons, hypocrites and sinners they really were, and woe betide anyone who caught them at their game, because the only thing worse than a lie is a lie exposed.
Marilyn Manson (The Long Hard Road Out of Hell)
Then I thought of the drive back, late at night, along the starlit river to this rickety antique New England hotel on a shoreline that I hoped would remind us both of the bay of B., and of Van Gogh's starry nights, and of the night I joined him on the rock and kissed him on the neck, and of the last night when we walked together on the coast road, sensing we'd run out of last-minute miracles to put off his leaving. I imagined being in his car asking myself, Who knows, would I want to, would he want to, perhaps a nightcap at the bar would decide, knowing that, all through dinner that evening, he and I would be worrying about the same exact thing, hoping it might happen, praying it might not, perhaps a nightcap would decide - I could just read it on his face as I pictured him looking away while uncorking a bottle of wine or while changing the music, because he too would catch the thought racing through my mind and want me to know he was debating the exact same thing, because, as he'd pour the wine for his wife, for me, for himself, it would finally dawn on us both that he was more me than I had ever been myself, because when he became me and I became him in bed so many years ago, he was and would forever remain, long after every forked road in life had done its work, my brother, my friend, my father, my son, my husband, my lover, myself. In the weeks we'd been thrown together that summer, our lives had scarcely touched, but we had crossed to the other bank, where time stops and heaven reaches down to earth and gives us that ration of what is from birth divinely ours. We looked the other way. We spoke of everything but. But we've always known, and not saying anything now confirmed it all the more. We had found the stars, you and I. And this is given once only.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
Garraty wondered how it would be, to lie in the biggest, dustiest library silence of all, dreaming endless, thoughtless dreams behind your gummed-down eyelids, dressed forever in your Sunday suit. No worries about money, success, fear, joy, pain, sorrow, sex, or love. Absolute zero. No father, mother, girlfriend, lover. The dead are orphans. No company but the silence like a moth's wing. An end to the agony of movement, to the long nightmare of going down the road. The body in peace, stillness, and order. The perfect darkness of death. How would that be? Just how would that be?
Stephen King (The Long Walk)
I'm not gonna wish you happiness, 'cause you've already got that. So I'll just say, may the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon our face. May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live. May there be a generation of children on the children of your children. May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent. And may the saddest day of your and Kate's future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
Emma Chase (Tied (Tangled, #4))
Marco enters a city; he sees someone in a square living a life or an instant that could be his; he could now be in that man's place, if he had stopped in time, long ago; or if, long ago, at a crossroads, instead of taking one road he had taken the opposite one, and after long wandering he had come to be in the place of that man in the square. By now, from that real or hypothetical past of his, he is excluded; he cannot stop; he must go on to another city, where another of his pasts awaits him, or something perhaps that had been a possible future of his and is now someone else's present. Futures not achieved are only branches of the past: dead branches.
Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities)
All these years I thought a piece of my life was missing. But it was there all along. It was there when I sat beside you in your car and you began to drive. It was there when I sang backwards and you laughed or I made a picnic and you ate every crumb. It was there when you told me you liked my brown suit, when you opened the door for me, when you asked once if I would like to take the long road home. It came later in my garden. When I looked at the sun and saw it glow on my hands. When a rosebud appeared where there had not been one before. It was in the people who stopped and talked of this and that over the garden wall. And just when I thought my life was done, it came time and time again at the hospice. It has been everywhere, my happiness – when my mother sang for me to dance, when my father took my hand to keep me safe – but it was such a small, plain thing that I mistook it for something ordinary and failed to see. We expect our happiness to come with a sign and bells, but it doesn’t.
Rachel Joyce (The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Harold Fry, #2))
I reached out my hand, England's rivers turned and flowed the other way... I reached out my hand, my enemies's blood stopt in their veins... I reached out my hand; thought and memory flew out of my enemies' heads like a flock of starlings; My enemies crumpled like empty sacks. I came to them out of mists and rain; I came to them in dreams at midnight; I came to them in a flock of ravens that filled a northern sky at dawn; When they thought themselves safe I came to them in a cry that broke the silence of a winter wood... The rain made a door for me and I went through it; The stones made a throne for me and I sat upon it; Three kingdoms were given to me to be mine forever; England was given to me to be mine forever. The nameless slave wore a silver crown; The nameless slave was a king in a strange country... The weapons that my enemies raised against me are venerated in Hell as holy relics; Plans that my enemies made against me are preserved as holy texts; Blood that I shed upon ancient battlefields is scraped from the stained earth by Hell's sacristans and placed in a vessel of silver and ivory. I gave magic to England, a valuable inheritance But Englishmen have despised my gift Magic shall be written upon the sky by the rain but they shall not be able to read it; Magic shall be written on the faces of the stony hills but their minds shall not be able to contain it; In winter the barren trees shall be a black writing but they shall not understand it... Two magicians shall appear in England... The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me; The first shall be governed by thieves and murderers; the second shall conspire at his own destruction; The first shall bury his heart in a dark wood beneath the snow, yet still feel its ache; The second shall see his dearest posession in his enemy's hand... The first shall pass his life alone, he shall be his own gaoler; The second shall tread lonely roads, the storm above his head, seeking a dark tower upon a high hillside... I sit upon a black throne in the shadows but they shall not see me. The rain shall make a door for me and I shall pass through it; The stones shall make a throne for me and I shall sit upon it... The nameless slave shall wear a silver crown The nameless slave shall be a king in a strange country...
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
There will dawn a day when these hostile hours, these days of hatred and violence, seem the faintest of memories, but dark and steep and long is the road up out of hell. So do not tire, do not despair, do not abandon your brethren, and do not forget that through this darkness we and we alone carry the light of freedom. We must defend it with every cell in our bodies. If not now, when? If not us, who?
Pierce Brown (Dark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5))
A friend took me to the most amazing place the other day. It's called the Augusteum. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the barbarians came they trashed it a long with everything else. The great Augustus, Rome's first true great emperor. How could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. It's one of the quietest, loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won't let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we're afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured - the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn't been so chaotic, it's just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
We all go through hard times in life. It’s a part of being alive and it's the reality we all have to deal with. There are times we forget our value as a person because we are so blinded with these thoughts of loneliness, emptiness and ego. Somewhere along the road we become numbed with all the frustrations and dissatisfaction. But life itself isn't always about darkness and sadness, Life is also filled with colors and that makes it beautiful. Along this path of darkness there's always light waiting to be seen by our daunted hearts. Our heart is gifted to see this light. It may be hiding behind those circumstances that we encounter; in a stranger we just met at an unexpected place; a family who has been always there but you just ignored because of your imperfect relationship with them; it might be a long time friend you have or a friend you just met. Open your heart and you will see how blessed you are to have them all in your life. Sometimes they are the light that shines your path in some dark phases of life. Don't lose hope
Chanda Kaushik
The agnostic has a very curious notion of religion. He is convinced that a man who says 'I believe in God' should at once become perfect; if this does not happen, then the believer must be a fraud and a hypocrite. He thinks that adherence to a religion is the end of the road, whereas it is in fact only the beginning of a very long and sometimes very rough road. He looks for consistency in religious people, however aware he may be of inconsistencies in himself
Charles Le Gai Eaton (Islam and the Destiny of Man)
In another conversation I said, ‘Tell me the truth. When you were leaving prison after twenty-seven years and walking down that road to freedom, didn’t you hate them all over again?’ And he said, ‘Absolutely I did, because they’d imprisoned me for so long. I was abused. I didn’t get to see my children grow up. I lost my marriage and the best years of my life. I was angry. And I was afraid, because I had not been free in so long. But as I got closer to the car that would take me away, I realized that when I went through that gate, if I still hated them, they would still have me. I wanted to be free. And so I let it go.
Nelson Mandela (Long Walk To Freedom)
For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood. We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural selection as an essential element in our survival. Long summers, mild winters, rich harvests, plentiful game—none of them lasts forever. It is beyond our powers to predict the future. Catastrophic events have a way of sneaking up on us, of catching us unaware. Your own life, or your band’s, or even your species’ might be owed to a restless few—drawn, by a craving they can hardly articulate or understand, to undiscovered lands and new worlds. Herman Melville, in Moby Dick, spoke for wanderers in all epochs and meridians: “I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas…” Maybe it’s a little early. Maybe the time is not quite yet. But those other worlds— promising untold opportunities—beckon. Silently, they orbit the Sun, waiting.
Carl Sagan
Through Rohan over fen and field where the long grass grows The West Wind goes walking, and about the walls it goes. What news from the West, oh wandering wind, do you bring to me tonight? Have you seen Boromir the Tall by moon or by starlight? ‘I saw him ride over seven streams, over waters wide and grey; I saw him walk in empty lands, until he passed away Into the shadows of the North. I saw him then no more. The North Wind may have heard the horn of the son of Denethor.’ Oh, Boromir! From the high walls westward I looked afar. But you came not from the empty lands where no men are. From the mouth of the sea the South Wind flies, From the sand hills and the stones; The wailing of the gulls it bears, and at the gate it moans What news from the South, oh sighing wind, do you bring to me at eve? Where now is Boromir the Fair? He tarries and I grieve. ‘Ask me not where he doth dwell--so many bones there lie On the white shores and on the black shores under the stormy sky; So many have passed down Anduin to find the flowing sea. Ask of the North Wind news of them the North Wind sends to me!’ Oh Boromir! Beyond the gate the Seaward road runs South, But you came not with the wailing gulls from the grey seas mouth. From the Gate of Kings the North Wind rides, And past the roaring falls And loud and cold about the Tower its loud horn calls. What news from the North, oh mighty wind, do you bring to me today? What news of Boromir the Bold? For he is long away. ‘Beneath Amon Hen I heard his cry. There many foes he fought His cloven shield, his broken sword, they to the water brought. His head so proud, his face so fair, his limbs they laid to rest; And Rauros, Golden Rauros Falls, bore him upon its breast.’ Oh Boromir! The Tower of Guard shall ever northward gaze To Rauros, Golden Rauros Falls until the end of days.
J.R.R. Tolkien
Everyone's looking for the perfect teacher, but although their teachings might be divine, teachers are all too human, and that's something people find all too hard to accept. Don't confuse the teacher with the lesson, the ritual with the ecstasy, the transmitter of the symbol with the symbol itself. The Tradition is linked to our encounter with the forces of life and not with the people who bring this about. But we are weak: we ask the Mother to send us guides, and all she sends are signs to the road we need to follow. Pity those who seek for shepherds, instead of longing for freedom! An encounter with superior energy is open to anyone but remains far from those who shift responsibility onto others. Our time on earth is sacred and we should celebrate every moment.
Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
You seem to have a problem with me," he says in typical Griggs fashion. I can tell he regrets saying it when he is treated to one of Hannah's long cold gazes. "I think it will be a while before I forgive the trip to Sydney," she says flatly. "Fair enough. I think it will be a while before I forgive you for what you put her through over the past six weeks." I watch them both and for the first time it occurs to me that I'm no longer flying solo and that I have no intention of pretending that I am. I have an aunt and I have a Griggs and this is what it's like to have connections with people. "Do you know what?" I ask both of them. "If you don't build a bridge and get over it, I'll never forgive either of you.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
The study was slowly lit up as the candle was brought in. The familiar details came out: the stag's horns, the bookshelves, the looking-glass, the stove with its ventilator, which had long wanted mending, his father's sofa, a large table, on the table an open book, a broken ash-tray, a manuscript-book with his handwriting. As he saw all this, there came over him for an instant a doubt of the possibility of arranging this new life, of which he had been dreaming on the road. All these traces of his life seemed to clutch him, and to say to him: 'No, you're not going to get away from us, and you're not going to be different, but you're going to be the same as you've always been; with doubts, everlasting dissatisfaction with yourself, vain efforts to amend, and falls, and everlasting expectations, of a happiness which you won't get, and which isn't possible for you.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
At night, after the exhausting games of canasta, we would look out over the immense sea, full of white-flecked and green reflections, the two of us leaning side by side on the railing, each of us far away, flying in his own aircraft to the stratospheric regions of our own dreams. There we understood that our vocation, our true vocation, was to move for eternity along the roads and seas of the world. Always curious, looking into everything that came before our eyes, sniffing out each corner but only ever faintly - not setting down roots in any land or staying long enough to see the substratum of things; the outer limits would suffice.
Ernesto Che Guevara (The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey)
Of all the misconceptions about love the most powerful and pervasive is the belief that "falling in love" is love or at least one of the manifestations of love. It is a potent misconception, because falling in love is subjectively experienced in a very powerful fashion as an experience of love. When a person falls in love what he or she certainly feels is "I love him" or "I love her." But two problems are immediately apparent. The first is that the experience of falling in love is specifically a sex-linked erotic experience. We do not fall in love with our children even though we may love them very deeply. We do not fall in love with our friends of the same sex-unless we are homosexually oriented-even though we may care for them greatly. We fall in love only when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated. The second problem is that the experience of falling in love is invariably temporary. No matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later fall out of love if the relationship continues long enough. This is not to say that we invariably cease loving the person with whom we fell in love. But it is to say that the feeling of ecstatic lovingness that characterizes the experience of falling in love always passes. The honeymoon always ends. The bloom of romance always fades.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
The new country lay open before me: there were no fences in those days, and I could choose my own way over the grass uplands, trusting the pony to get me home again. Sometimes I followed the sunflower-bordered roads. Fuchs told me that the sunflowers were introduced into that country by the Mormons; that at the time of the persecution when they left Missouri and struck out into the wilderness to find a place where they could worship God in their own way, the members of the first exploring party, crossing the plains to Utah, scattered sunflower seeds as they went. The next summer, when the long trains of wagons came through with all the women and children, they had a sunflower trail to follow. I believe that botanists do not confirm Jake's story but, insist that the sunflower was native to those plains. Nevertheless, that legend has stuck in my mind, and sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia)
Why love the boy in a March field with his kite braving the sky? Because our fingers burn with the hot string singeing our hands. Why love some girl viewed from a train bent to a country well? The tongue remembers iron water cool on some long lost noon. Why weep at strangers dead by the road? They resemble friends unseen in forty years. Why laugh when clowns are hot by pies? We taste custard we taste life. Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience. Billions of prickling textures. Cut one sense away, cut part of life away. Cut two senses; life halves itself on the instant. We love what we know, we love what we are. Common cause, common cause, common cause of mouth, eye, ear, tongue, hand, nose, flesh, heart, and soul.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
The Ache That Would Not Leave Behind the hum and routine of daily living, there lay a persistent and wild longing for something she could not easily put into words. It felt like impulsive adventures and watching the sun rise over unfamiliar mountains, or coffee in a street café, set to the background music of a foreign language. It was the smell of the ocean, with dizzying seagulls whirling in a cobalt sky; exotic foods and strange faces, in a city where no one knew her name. She wanted secrets whispered at midnight, and road trips without a map, but most of all, she ached for someone who desired to explore the mysteries that lay sleeping within her. The truly heartbreaking part was that she could feel the remaining days of her life falling away, like leaves from an autumn tree, but still this mysterious person who held the key to unlock her secrets did not arrive; they were missing, and she knew not where to find them.
John Mark Green
It might seem to you that living in the woods on a riverbank would remove you from the modern world. But not if the river is navigable, as ours is. On pretty weekends in the summer, this riverbank is the very verge of the modern world. It is a seat in the front row, you might say. On those weekends, the river is disquieted from morning to night by people resting from their work. This resting involves traveling at great speed, first on the road and then on the river. The people are in an emergency to relax. They long for the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. Their eyes are hungry for the scenes of nature. They go very fast in their boats. They stir the river like a spoon in a cup of coffee. They play their radios loud enough to hear above the noise of their motors. They look neither left nor right. They don't slow down for - or maybe even see - an old man in a rowboat raising his lines... I watch and I wonder and I think. I think of the old slavery, and of the way The Economy has now improved upon it. The new slavery has improved upon the old by giving the new slaves the illusion that they are free. The Economy does not take people's freedom by force, which would be against its principles, for it is very humane. It buys their freedom, pays for it, and then persuades its money back again with shoddy goods and the promise of freedom.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
You said, "I will go to another land, I will go to another sea. Another city will be found, better than this. Every effort of mine is condemned by fate; and my heart is-like a corpse-buried. How long in this wasteland will my mind remain. Wherever I turn my eyes, wherever I may look I see the black ruins of my life here, where I spent so many years, and ruined and wasted." New lands you will not find, you will not find other seas. The city will follow you. You will roam the same streets. And you will age in the same neighborhoods; in these same houses you will grow gray. Always you will arrive in this city. To another land-do not hope- there is no ship for you, there is no road. As you have ruined your life here in this little corner, you have destroyed it in the whole world.2
Constantinos P. Cavafy
All night, after the exhausting games of canasta, we would look over the immense sea, full of white-flecked and green reflections, the two of us leaning side by side on the railing, each of us far away, flying in his own aircraft to the stratospheric regions of his own dreams. There we understood that our vocation, our true vocation, was to move for eternity along the roads and seas of the world. Always curious, looking into everything that came before our eyes, sniffing out each corner but only ever faintly--not setting down roots in any land or staying long enough to see the substratum of things the outer limits would suffice.
Ernesto Che Guevara (The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey)
Just because the road ahead is long, is no reason to slow down. Just because there is much work to be done, is no reason to get discouraged. It is a reason to get started, to grow, to find new ways, to reach within yourself and discover strength, commitment, determination, discipline. The road ahead is long and difficult, and filled with opportunity at every turn. Start what needs starting. Finish what needs finishing. Get on the road. Stay on the road. Get on with the work. Right now you’re at the beginning of the journey. What a great place to be! Just imagine all the things you’ll learn, all the people you’ll meet, all the experiences you’ll have. Be thankful that the road is long and challenging, because that is where you’ll find the best that life has to offer.
Ralph S. Marston Jr.
Sometimes without conscious realization, our thoughts, our faith, out interests are entered into the past. We talk about other times, other places, other persons, and lose our living hold on the present. Sometimes we think if we could just go back in time we would be happy. But anyone who attempts to reenter the past is sure to be disappointed. Anyone who has ever revisited the place of his birth after years of absence is shocked by the differences between the way the place actually is, and the way he has remembered it. He may walk along old familiar streets and roads, but he is a stranger in a strange land. He has thought of this place as home, but he finds he is no longer here even in spirit. He has gone onto a new and different life, and in thinking longingly of the past, he has been giving thought and interest to something that no longer really exists.
James McBride (The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother)
There aren't any rules to running away from your problems. No checklist of things to cross off. No instructions. Eeny, meeny, pick a path and go. That's how my dad does it anyway because apparently there's no age limit to running away, either. He wakes up one day, packs the car with everything we own, and we hit the road. Watch all the pretty colors go by until he finds a town harmless enough to hide in. But his problems always find us. Sometimes quicker than others. Sometimes one month and sometimes six. There's no rule when it comes to that, either. Not about how long it takes for the problems to catch up with us. Just that they will—that much is a given. And then it's time to run again to a new town, a new home, and a new school for me. But if there aren't any rules, I wonder why it feels the same every time. Feels like I leave behind a little bit of who I was in each house we've left empty. Scattering pieces of me in towns all over the place. A trail of crumbs dotting the map from everywhere we've left to everywhere we go. And they don't make any pictures when I connect dots. They are random like the stars littering the sky at night.
Brian James (Zombie Blondes)
The American Society of Civil Engineers said in 2007 that the U.S. had fallen so far behind in maintaining its public infrastructure -- roads, bridges, schools, dams -- that it would take more than a trillion and half dollars over five years to bring it back up to standard. Instead, these types of expenditures are being cut back. At the same time, public infrastructure around the world is facing unprecedented stress, with hurricanes, cyclones, floods and forest fires all increasing in frequency and intensity. It's easy to imagine a future in which growing numbers of cities have their frail and long-neglected infrastructures knocked out by disasters and then are left to rot, their core services never repaired or rehabilitated. The well-off, meanwhile, will withdraw into gated communities, their needs met by privatized providers.
Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism)
I don’t know,’ said Frodo. ‘It came to me then, as if I was making it up; but I may have heard it long ago. Certainly it reminds me very much of Bilbo in the last years, before he went away. He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. Do you realize that this is the very path that goes through Mirkwood, and that if you let it, it might take you to the Lonely Mountain or even further and to worse places?” He used to say that on the path outside the front door at Bag End, especially after he had been out for a long walk.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
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
Do you see that man in the black Porsche?" I asked the women. They squinted out at Ranger. "Yes," they said."Your partner." "He's homeless. He's looking for a place to stay and he might be interested in renting Singh's room." Mrs.Apusenja's eyes widened. "We could use the income."She looked at Nonnie and then back at Ranger. "Is he married?" "Nope. He's single. He's a real catch." Connie did something between a gasp and a snort and buried her head back behind the computer. "Thank you for everything." Mrs.Apusenja said. "I suppose you are not such a bad slut. I will go talk to your partner.: "Omigod," Connie said, when the door closed behind the Apusenja's. "Ranger's going to kill you." The Apusenjas stood beside the Porsche, talkig to Ranger for a few long minutes, giving him the big sales pitch. The pitch wound down, Ranger responded, and Mrs. Apusenja looked disappointed. The two women crossed the road and got into the burgundy Escort and quickly drove away. Ranger turned his head in my direction and our eyes met. His expression was still bemused, but this time it was the sort of bemused expression a kid has when he's pulling the wings off a fly. "Uh-Oh,"Connie said. I whipped around and faced Connie. "Quick, give me an FTA. You're backed up, right? For God's sake, give me something fast. I need a reason to stand here until he calms down!" Connie shoved a pile of folders at me. "Pick one. Any one! Oh shit, he's getting out of his car.".... He leaned into me and his lips brushed the shell of my ear. "Feeling playful?" "I don't know what you're talking about." "Watch your back babe. I will get even." -Ranger and Stephanie
Janet Evanovich (To the Nines (Stephanie Plum, #9))
In this scheme of things we don’t create our lives; we are summoned by life. The important answers are not found inside, they are found outside. This perspective begins not within the autonomous self, but with the concrete circumstances in which you happen to be embedded. This perspective begins with an awareness that the world existed long before you and will last long after you, and that in the brief span of your life you have been thrown by fate, by history, by chance, by evolution, or by God into a specific place with specific problems and needs. Your job is to figure certain things out: What does this environment need in order to be made whole? What is it that needs repair? What tasks are lying around waiting to be performed? As the novelist Frederick Buechner put it, “At what points do my talents and deep gladness meet the world’s deep need?
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
What would you have me do? Seek for the patronage of some great man, And like a creeping vine on a tall tree Crawl upward, where I cannot stand alone? No thank you! Dedicate, as others do, Poems to pawnbrokers? Be a buffoon In the vile hope of teasing out a smile On some cold face? No thank you! Eat a toad For breakfast every morning? Make my knees Callous, and cultivate a supple spine,- Wear out my belly grovelling in the dust? No thank you! Scratch the back of any swine That roots up gold for me? Tickle the horns Of Mammon with my left hand, while my right Too proud to know his partner's business, Takes in the fee? No thank you! Use the fire God gave me to burn incense all day long Under the nose of wood and stone? No thank you! Shall I go leaping into ladies' laps And licking fingers?-or-to change the form- Navigating with madrigals for oars, My sails full of the sighs of dowagers? No thank you! Publish verses at my own Expense? No thank you! Be the patron saint Of a small group of literary souls Who dine together every Tuesday? No I thank you! Shall I labor night and day To build a reputation on one song, And never write another? Shall I find True genius only among Geniuses, Palpitate over little paragraphs, And struggle to insinuate my name In the columns of the Mercury? No thank you! Calculate, scheme, be afraid, Love more to make a visit than a poem, Seek introductions, favors, influences?- No thank you! No, I thank you! And again I thank you!-But... To sing, to laugh, to dream To walk in my own way and be alone, Free, with a voice that means manhood-to cock my hat Where I choose-At a word, a Yes, a No, To fight-or write.To travel any road Under the sun, under the stars, nor doubt If fame or fortune lie beyond the bourne- Never to make a line I have not heard In my own heart; yet, with all modesty To say:"My soul, be satisfied with flowers, With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them In the one garden you may call your own." So, when I win some triumph, by some chance, Render no share to Caesar-in a word, I am too proud to be a parasite, And if my nature wants the germ that grows Towering to heaven like the mountain pine, Or like the oak, sheltering multitudes- I stand, not high it may be-but alone!
Edmond Rostand (Cyrano de Bergerac)
I tramp the perpetual journey My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods, No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair, I have no chair, no philosophy, I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange, But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll, My left hand hooking you round the waist, My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road. Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you, You must travel it for yourself. It is not far, it is within reach, Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know, Perhaps it is everywhere on water and on land. Shoulder your duds dear son, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth, Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go. If you tire, give me both burdens, and rest the chuff of your hand on my hip, And in due time you shall repay the same service to me, For after we start we never lie by again. This day before dawn I ascended a hill and look'd at the crowded heaven, And I said to my spirit When we become the enfolders of those orbs, and the pleasure and knowledge of every thing in them, shall we be fill'd and satisfied then? And my spirit said No, we but level that lift to pass and continue beyond. You are also asking me questions and I hear you, I answer that I cannot answer, you must find out for yourself. Sit a while dear son, Here are biscuits to eat and here is milk to drink, But as soon as you sleep and renew yourself in sweet clothes, I kiss you with a good-by kiss and open the gate for your egress hence. Long enough have you dream'd contemptible dreams, Now I wash the gum from your eyes, You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light and of every moment of your life. Long have you timidly waded holding a plank by the shore, Now I will you to be a bold swimmer, To jump off in the midst of the sea, rise again, nod to me, shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.
Walt Whitman (Song of Myself)
To hell with you. You just don't want to admit it. Those people, they're animals. They want to see someone's brains on the road, that's why they turn out. They'd just as soon see yours." "That isn't the point," McVries said calmly. "Didn't you say you went to see the Long Walk when you were younger?" "Yes, when I didn't know any better!" "Well, that makes it okay, doesn't it?" McVries uttered a short, ugly-sounding laugh. "Sure they're animals. You think you just found out a new principle? Sometimes I wonder just how naive you really are. The French lords and ladies used to screw after the guillotinings. The old Romans used to stuff each other during the gladiatorial matches. That's entertainment, Garraty. It's nothing new." He laughed againd. Garraty stared at him, fascinated. [...] "Death is great for the appetites," McVries said. [...] "But even that's not the real point of this little expedition, Garraty. The point is, they're the smart ones. They're not getting thrown to the lions. They're not staggering along and hoping they won't have to take a shit with two warnings against them. You're dumb, Garraty. You and me and Pearson and Barkovitch and Stebbins, we're all dumb. Scramm's dumb because he thinks he understands and he doesn't. Olson's dumb because he understood too much too late. They're animals, all right. But why are you so goddam sure that makes us human beings?" He paused, badly out of breath. [...] "Then why are you doing it? Garraty asked him. "If you know that much, and if you're that sure, why are you doing it?" "The same reason we're all doing it," Stebbins said. He smiled gently, almost lovingly. His lips were a little sun-parched; otherwise, his face was still unlined and seemingly invincible. "We want to die, that's why we're doing it. Why else, Garraty? Why else?
Richard Bachman (The Long Walk)
However, the majority of women are neither harlots nor courtesans; nor do they sit clasping pug dogs to dusty velvet all through the summer afternoon. But what do they do then? and there came to my mind’s eye one of those long streets somewhere south of the river whose infinite rows are innumerably populated. With the eye of the imagination I saw a very ancient lady crossing the street on the arm of a middle-aged woman, her daughter, perhaps, both so respectably booted and furred that their dressing in the afternoon must be a ritual, and the clothes themselves put away in cupboards with camphor, year after year, throughout the summer months. They cross the road when the lamps are being lit (for the dusk is their favourite hour), as they must have done year after year. The elder is close on eighty; but if one asked her what her life has meant to her, she would say that she remembered the streets lit for the battle of Balaclava, or had heard the guns fire in Hyde Park for the birth of King Edward the Seventh. And if one asked her, longing to pin down the moment with date and season, but what were you doing on the fifth of April 1868, or the second of November 1875, she would look vague and say that she could remember nothing. For all the dinners are cooked; the plates and cups washed; the children sent to school and gone out into the world. Nothing remains of it all. All has vanished. No biography or history has a word to say about it. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie. All these infinitely obscure lives remain to be recorded, I said, addressing Mary Carmichael as if she were present; and went on in thought through the streets of London feeling in imagination the pressure of dumbness, the accumulation of unrecorded life, whether from the women at the street corners with their arms akimbo, and the rings embedded in their fat swollen fingers, talking with a gesticulation like the swing of Shakespeare’s words; or from the violet-sellers and match-sellers and old crones stationed under doorways; or from drifting girls whose faces, like waves in sun and cloud, signal the coming of men and women and the flickering lights of shop windows. All that you will have to explore, I said to Mary Carmichael, holding your torch firm in your hand.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
we all make vows, Jimmy. And there is something very beautiful and touching and noble about wanting good impulses to be permanent and true forever," she said. "Most of us stand up and vow to love, honor and cherish someone. And we truly mean it, at the time. But two or twelve or twenty years down the road, the lawyers are negotiating the property settlement." "You and George didn't go back on your promises." She laughed. "Lemme tell ya something, sweetface. I have been married at least four times, to four different men." She watched him chew that over for a moment before continuing, "They've all been named George Edwards but, believe me, the man who is waiting for me down the hall is a whole lot different animal from the boy I married, back before there was dirt. Oh, there are continuities. He has always been fun and he has never been able to budget his time properly and - well, the rest is none of your business." "But people change," he said quietly. "Precisely. People change. Cultures change. Empires rise and fall. Shit. Geology changes! Every ten years or so, George and I have faced the fact that we have changed and we've had to decide if it makes sense to create a new marriage between these two new people." She flopped back against her chair. "Which is why vows are such a tricky business. Because nothing stays the same forever. Okay. Okay! I'm figuring something out now." She sat up straight, eyes focused somewhere outside the room, and Jimmy realized that even Anne didn't have all the answers and that was either the most comforting thing he'd learned in a long time or the most discouraging. "Maybe because so few of us would be able to give up something so fundamental for something so abstract, we protect ourselves from the nobility of a priest's vows by jeering at him when he can't live up to them, always and forever." She shivered and slumped suddenly, "But, Jimmy! What unnatural words. Always and forever! Those aren't human words, Jim. Not even stones are always and forever.
Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1))
Normally death came at night, taking a person in their sleep, stopping their heart or tickling them awake, leading them to the bathroom with a splitting headache before pouncing and flooding their brain with blood. It waits in alleys and metro stops. After the sun goes down plugs are pulled by white-clad guardians and death is invited into an antiseptic room. But in the country death comes, uninvited, during the day. It takes fishermen in their longboats. It grabs children by the ankles as they swim. In winter it calls them down a slope too steep for their budding skills, and crosses their skies at the tips. It waits along the shore where snow met ice not long ago but now, unseen by sparkling eyes, a little water touches the shore, and the skater makes a circle slightly larger than intended. Death stands in the woods with a bow and arrow at dawn and dusk. And it tugs cars off the road in broad daylight, the tires spinning furiously on ice or snow, or bright autumn leaves.
Louise Penny (Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1))
So it hadn’t been wrong or dishonest of her to say no this morning, when he asked if she hated him, any more than it had been wrong or dishonest to serve him the elaborate breakfast and to show the elaborate interest in his work, and to kiss him goodbye. The kiss, for that matter, had been exactly right—a perfectly fair, friendly kiss, a kiss for a boy you’d just met at a party, a boy who’d danced with you and made you laugh and walked you home afterwards, talking about himself all the way. The only real mistake, the only wrong and dishonest thing, was ever to have seen him as anything more than that. Oh, for a month or two, just for fun, it might be all right to play a game like that with a boy; but all these years! And all because, in a sentimentally lonely time long ago, she had found it easy and agreeable to believe whatever this one particular boy felt like saying, and to repay him for that pleasure by telling easy, agreeable lies of her own, until each was saying what the other most wanted to hear—until he was saying “I love you” and she was saying “Really, I mean it; you’re the most interesting person I’ve ever met.” What a subtle, treacherous thing it was to let yourself go that way! Because once you’d started it was terribly difficult to stop; soon you were saying “I’m sorry, of course you’re right,” and “Whatever you think is best,” and “You’re the most wonderful and valuable thing in the world,” and the next thing you knew all honesty, all truth, was as far away and glimmering, as hopelessly unattainable as the world of the golden people. Then you discovered you were working at life the way the Laurel Players worked at The Petrified Forest, or the way Steve Kovick worked at his drums—earnest and sloppy and full of pretension and all wrong; you found you were saying yes when you meant no, and “We’ve got to be together on this thing” when you meant the very opposite; then you were breathing gasoline as if it were flowers and abandoning yourself to a delirium of love under the weight of a clumsy, grunting, red-faced man you didn’t even like—Shep Campbell!—and then you were face to face, in total darkness, with the knowledge that you didn’t know who you were. (p.416-7)
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
I remember the first time I saw you,” Allie said. “I thought you smelled me first.” “Right,” said Allie. “The chocolate. But then I saw you as I sat up in the dead forest, thinking I knew you. At the time, I thought I must have seen you through the windshield when our cars crashed…. But that wasn’t it. I think, way back then, I was seeing you as you are now. Isn’t that funny?” “Not as funny as the way I always complained, and the way you always bossed me around!” They embraced and held each other for a long time. “Don’t forget me,” Nick said. “No matter where your life goes, no matter how old you get. And if you ever get the feeling that someone is looking over your shoulder, but there’s nobody there, maybe it’ll be me.” “I’ll write to you,” said Allie, and Nick laughed. “No really. I’ll write the letter then burn it, and if I care just enough it will cross into Everlost.” “And,” added Nick, “it will show up as a dead letter at that the post office Milos made cross into San Antonio!” Allie could have stood there saying good-bye forever, because it was more than Nick she was saying good-bye to. She was leaving behind four years of half-life in a world that was both stunningly beautiful, and hauntingly dark. And she was saying good-bye to Mikey. I’ll be waiting for you, he had said…. Well, if he was, maybe she wasn’t saying good-bye at all. Nick hefted the backpack on his shoulder. “Shouldn’t you be heading off to Memphis?” he said. “You’d better hit the road…. Jack.” Then he chuckled by his own joke, and walked off.
Neal Shusterman (Everfound (Skinjacker, #3))
The living dead had taken more from us than land and loved ones. They'd robbed us of our confidence as the planet's dominant life form. We were a shaken, broken species, driven to the edge of extinction and grateful only for tomorrow with perhaps a little less suffering than today. Was this the legacy we would leave our children, a level of anxiety and self-doubt not seen since our simian ancestors cowered in the tallest trees? What kind of world would they rebuild? Would they rebuild at all? Could they continue to progress, knowing that they would be powerless to reclaim their future? And what if that future saw another rise of the living dead? Would our descendants rise to meet them in battle, or simply crumple in meek surrender and accept what they believe to be their inevitable extinction? For this alone, we had to reclaim our planet. We had to prove to ourselves that we could do it, and leave that proof as this war's greatest monument. The long, hard road back to humanity, or the regressive ennui of Earth's once-proud primates. That was the choice, and it had to be made now.
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
Mother. Father. I am sorry. I have failed you both. I made a promise to protect our people, Mother. I thought if I could stop the Templars, If I could keep the revolution free from their influence, then those I supported would do what was right. They did, I suppose, do what was right - what was right for them. As for you, Father, I thought I might unite us, that we would forget the past and forge a better future. In time, I believed you could be made to see the world as I do - to understand. But it was just a dream. This, too, I should have known. Were we not meant to live in peace, then? Is that it? Are we born to argue? To fight? So many voices - each demanding something else. "It has been hard at times, but never harder than today. To see all I worked for perverted, discarded, forgotten. You would say I have described the whole of history, Father. Are you smiling, then? Hoping I might speak the words you long to hear? To validate you? To say that all along you were right? I will not. Even now, faced as I am with the truth of your cold words, I refuse. Because I believe things can still change. "I may never succeed. The Assassins may struggle another thousand years in vain. But we will not stop." "Compromise. That's what everyone has insisted on. And so I have learnt it. But differently than most, I think. I realize now that it will take time, that the road ahead is long and shrouded in darkness. It is a road which will not always take me where I wish to go - and I doubt I will live to see it end. But I will travel down it nonetheless." "For at my side walks hope. In the face of all that insists I turn back, I carry on: this, this is my compromise.
Oliver Bowden (Assassin's Creed: Forsaken (Assassin's Creed, #5))
ON THE DAY I DIE On the day I die, when I'm being carried toward the grave, don't weep. Don't say, He's gone! He's gone. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and the moon sets, but they're not gone. Death is a coming together. The tomb looks like a prison, but it's really release into union. The human seed goes down in the ground like a bucket into the well where Joseph is. It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty. Your mouth closes here, and immediately opens with a shout of joy there. --------------------------------- One who does what the Friend wants done will never need a friend. There's a bankruptcy that's pure gain. The moon stays bright when it doesn't avoid the night. A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn. ---------------------------------- Childhood, youth, and maturity, and now old age. Every guest agrees to stay three days, no more. Master, you told me to remind you. Time to go. ----------------------------------- The angel of death arrives, and I spring joyfully up. No one knows what comes over me when I and that messenger speak! ------------------------------------- When you come back inside my chest no matter how far I've wandered off, I look around and see the way. At the end of my life, with just one breath left, if you come then, I'll sit up and sing. -------------------------------------- Last night things flowed between us that cannot now be said or written. Only as I'm being carried out and down the road, as the folds of my shroud open in the wind, will anyone be able to read, as on the petal-pages of a turning bud, what passed through us last night. ------------------------------------- I placed one foot on the wide plain of death, and some grand immensity sounded on the emptiness. I have felt nothing ever like the wild wonder of that moment. Longing is the core of mystery. Longing itself brings the cure. The only rule is, Suffer the pain. Your desire must be disciplined, and what you want to happen in time, sacrificed.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts. The most obvious part was a hollow, echoing quiet, made by things that were lacking. If there had been a wind it would have sighed trough the trees, set the inn’s sign creaking on its hooks, and brushed the silence down the road like trailing autumn leaves. If there had been a crowd, even a handful of men inside the inn, they would have filled the silence with coversation and laughter, the clatter and clamour one expects from a drinking house during the dark hours of the night. If there had been music…but no, of curse there was no music. In fact there were none of these things, and so the silence remained. Inside the Waystone a pair of men huddled at one corner of the bar. they drank with quiet determination, avoiding serious discussions of troubling news. In doing these they added a small, sullen silenceto the lager, hollow one. it made an alloy of sorts, a counterpoint. The third silence was not an easy thing to notice. If you listened for an hour, you might begin to feel it in the wooden floor underfoot and in the rough, splintering barrels behind the bar. It was in the weight of the black stone heart that held the heat of a long-dead fire. It was in the slow back and forth of a white linen cloth rubbing along the grain of the bar. and it was in the hands of the man who stood there, polishing a strech of mahogany that already gleamed in the lamplight. The man had true-red hair, red as flame. his eyes was dark and distant, and he moved with the subtle certainty that comes from knowing many things. The Waystone was is, just as the third silence was his. This was appropriate, as it was the greatest silence of the three, wapping the other inside itself. It was deep and wide as autumn’s ending. It was heavy as a great river-smooth stone. It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Sometimes during the night I'd look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no family, no nothing, just myself the stupid son of plans all of them compacted of eventual darkness. God how right Hemingway was when he said there was no remedy for life - and to think that negative little paper-shuffling prissies should write condescending obituaries about a man who told the truth, nay who drew breath in pain to tell a tale like that! ... No remedy but in my mind I raise a fist to High Heaven promising that I shall bull whip the first bastard who makes fun of human hopelessness anyway - I know it's ridiculous to pray to my father that hunk of dung in a grave yet I pray to him anyway, what else shall I do? sneer? shuffle paper on a desk and burp rationality? Ah thank God for all the Rationalists the worms and vermin got. Thank God for all the hate mongering political pamphleteers with no left or right to yell about in the Grave of Space. I say that we shall all be reborn with the Only One, and that's what makes me go on, and my mother too. She has her rosary in the bus, don't deny her that, that's her way of stating the fact. If there can't be love among men let there be love at least between men and God. Human courage is an opiate but opiates are human too. If God is an opiate so am I. Thefore eat me. Eat the night, the long desolate American between Sanford and Shlamford and Blamford and Crapford, eat the hematodes that hang parasitically from dreary southern trees, eat the blood in the ground, the dead Indians, the dead pioneers, the dead Fords and Pontiacs, the dead Mississippis, the dead arms of forlorn hopelessness washing underneath - Who are men, that they can insult men? Who are these people who wear pants and dresses and sneer? What am I talking about? I'm talking about human helplessness and unbelievable loneliness in the darkness of birth and death and asking 'What is there to laugh about in that?' 'How can you be clever in a meatgrinder?' 'Who makes fun of misery?' There's my mother a hunk of flesh that didn't ask to be born, sleeping restlessly, dreaming hopefully, beside her son who also didn't ask to be born, thinking desperately, praying hopelessly, in a bouncing earthly vehicle going from nowhere to nowhere, all in the night, worst of all for that matter all in noonday glare of bestial Gulf Coast roads - Where is the rock that will sustain us? Why are we here? What kind of crazy college would feature a seminar where people talk about hopelessness, forever?
Jack Kerouac (Desolation Angels)
John Hay, in The Immortal Wilderness, has written: 'There are occasions when you can hear the mysterious language of the Earth, in water, or coming through the trees, emanating from the mosses, seeping through the undercurrents of the soil, but you have to be willing to wait and receive.' Sometimes I hear it talking. The light of the sunflower was one language, but there are others more audible. Once, in the redwood forest, I heard a beat, something like a drum or a heart coming from the ground and trees and wind. That underground current stirred a kind of knowing inside me, a kinship and longing, a dream barely remembered that disappeared back to the body.... Tonight, I walk. I am watching the sky. I think of the people who came before me and how they knew the placement of the stars in the sky, watching the moving sun long and hard enough to witness how a certain angle of light touched a stone only once a year. Without written records, they knew the gods of every night, the small, fine details of the world around them and the immensity above them. Walking, I can almost hear the redwoods beating....It is a world of elemental attention, of all things working together, listening to what speaks in the blood. Whichever road I follow, I walk in the land of many gods, and they love and eat one another. Walking, I am listening to a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.
Linda Hogan (Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World)
You have a picture of life within you, a faith, a challenge, and you were ready for deeds and sufferings and sacrifices, and then you became aware by degrees that the world asked no deeds and no sacrifices of you whatever, and that life is no poem of heroism with heroic parts to play and so on, but a comfortable room where people are quite content with eating and drinking, coffee and knitting, cards and wireless. And whoever wants more and has got it in him--the heroic and the beautiful, and the reverence for the great poets or for the saints--is a fool and a Don Quixote. Good. And it has been just the same for me, my friend. I was a gifted girl. I was meant to live up to a high standard, to expect much of myself and do great things. I could have played a great part. I could have been the wife of a king, the beloved of a revolutionary, the sister of a genius, the mother of a martyr. And life has allowed me just this, to be a courtesan of fairly good taste, and even that has been hard enough. That is how things have gone with me. For a while I was inconsolable and for a long time I put the blame on myself. Life, thought I, must in the end be in the right, and if life scorned my beautiful dreams, so I argued, it was my dreams that were stupid and wrong headed. But that did not help me at all. And as I had good eyes and ears and was a little inquisitive too, I took a good look at this so-called life and at my neighbors and acquaintances, fifty or so of them and their destinies, and then I saw you. And I knew that my dreams had been right a thousand times over, just as yours had been. It was life and reality that were wrong. It was as little right that a woman like me should have no other choice than to grow old in poverty and in a senseless way at a typewriter in the pay of a money-maker, or to marry such a man for his money's sake, or to become some kind of drudge, as for a man like you to be forced in his loneliness and despair to have recourse to a razor. Perhaps the trouble with me was more material and moral and with you more spiritual--but it was the same road. Do you think I can't understand your horror of the fox trot, your dislike of bars and dancing floors, your loathing of jazz and the rest of it? I understand it only too well, and your dislike of politics as well, your despondence over the chatter and irresponsible antics of the parties and the press, your despair over the war, the one that has been and the one that is to be, over all that people nowadays think, read and build, over the music they play, the celebrations they hold, the education they carry on. You are right, Steppenwolf, right a thousand times over, and yet you must go to the wall. You are much too exacting and hungry for this simple, easygoing and easily contented world of today. You have a dimension too many. Whoever wants to live and enjoy his life today must not be like you and me. Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours--
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
The Death of Allegory I am wondering what became of all those tall abstractions that used to pose, robed and statuesque, in paintings and parade about on the pages of the Renaissance displaying their capital letters like license plates. Truth cantering on a powerful horse, Chastity, eyes downcast, fluttering with veils. Each one was marble come to life, a thought in a coat, Courtesy bowing with one hand always extended, Villainy sharpening an instrument behind a wall, Reason with her crown and Constancy alert behind a helm. They are all retired now, consigned to a Florida for tropes. Justice is there standing by an open refrigerator. Valor lies in bed listening to the rain. Even Death has nothing to do but mend his cloak and hood, and all their props are locked away in a warehouse, hourglasses, globes, blindfolds and shackles. Even if you called them back, there are no places left for them to go, no Garden of Mirth or Bower of Bliss. The Valley of Forgiveness is lined with condominiums and chain saws are howling in the Forest of Despair. Here on the table near the window is a vase of peonies and next to it black binoculars and a money clip, exactly the kind of thing we now prefer, objects that sit quietly on a line in lower case, themselves and nothing more, a wheelbarrow, an empty mailbox, a razor blade resting in a glass ashtray. As for the others, the great ideas on horseback and the long-haired virtues in embroidered gowns, it looks as though they have traveled down that road you see on the final page of storybooks, the one that winds up a green hillside and disappears into an unseen valley where everyone must be fast asleep.
Billy Collins
That's the myth of it, the required lie that allows us to render our judgments. Parasites, criminals, dope fiends, dope peddlers, whores--when we can ride past them at Fayette and Monroe, car doors locked, our field of vision cautiously restricted to the road ahead, then the long journey into darkness is underway. Pale-skinned hillbillies and hard-faced yos, toothless white trash and gold-front gangsters--when we can glide on and feel only fear, we're well on the way. And if, after a time, we can glimpse the spectacle of the corner and manage nothing beyond loathing and contempt, then we've arrived at last at that naked place where a man finally sees the sense in stretching razor wire and building barracks and directing cattle cars into the compound. It's a reckoning of another kind, perhaps, and one that becomes a possibility only through the arrogance and certainty that so easily accompanies a well-planned and well-tended life. We know ourselves, we believe in ourselves; from what we value most, we grant ourselves the illusion that it's not chance in circumstance, that opportunity itself isn't the defining issue. We want the high ground; we want our own worth to be acknowledged. Morality, intelligence, values--we want those things measured and counted. We want it to be about Us. Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkably assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now posses. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still our broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith. Why? The truth is plain: We were not born to be niggers.
David Simon (The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood)
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning