People say, 'I'm going to sleep now,' as if it were nothing. But it's really a bizarre activity. 'For the next several hours, while the sun is gone, I'm going to become unconscious, temporarily losing command over everything I know and understand. When the sun returns, I will resume my life.'
If you didn't know what sleep was, and you had only seen it in a science fiction movie, you would think it was weird and tell all your friends about the movie you'd seen.
They had these people, you know? And they would walk around all day and be OK? And then, once a day, usually after dark, they would lie down on these special platforms and become unconscious. They would stop functioning almost completely, except deep in their minds they would have adventures and experiences that were completely impossible in real life. As they lay there, completely vulnerable to their enemies, their only movements were to occasionally shift from one position to another; or, if one of the 'mind adventures' got too real, they would sit up and scream and be glad they weren't unconscious anymore. Then they would drink a lot of coffee.'
So, next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie. And whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups... So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.
Philip K. Dick
...crackers..." a voice breathed out nehind us, "yesss..."
Both of us turned, watching as Chubs twisted around in his seat and settled back down, still fast asleep.
I pressed a hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. Liam rolled his eyes, smiling.
"He dreams about food," he said. "A lot.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
There are just lots of possibilities in the world...I need to keep my mind open for what could happen and not decide that the world is hopeless if what I want to happen doesn't happen. Because something else great might happen in between.
Rachel Cohn (Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (Dash & Lily, #1))
I do not like my state of mind;
I'm bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn's recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the gentlest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I'm disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I'd be arrested.
I am not sick, I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men....
I'm due to fall in love again.
To my babies,
Merry Christmas. I'm sorry if these letters have caught you both by surprise. There is just so much more I have to say. I know you thought I was done giving advice, but I couldn't leave without reiterating a few things in writing. You may not relate to these things now, but someday you will. I wasn't able to be around forever, but I hope that my words can be.
-Don't stop making basagna. Basagna is good. Wait until a day when there is no bad news, and bake a damn basagna.
-Find a balance between head and heart. Hopefully you've found that Lake, and you can help Kel sort it out when he gets to that point.
-Push your boundaries, that's what they're there for.
-I'm stealing this snippet from your favorite band, Lake. "Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name."
-Don't take life too seriously. Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit. Laugh at it.
-And Laugh a lot. Never go a day without laughing at least once.
-Never judge others. You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is. Always keep that in mind. You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life.
-Question everything. Your love, your religion, your passions. If you don't have questions, you'll never find answers.
-Be accepting. Of everything. People's differences, their similarities, their choices, their personalities. Sometimes it takes a variety to make a good collection. The same goes for people.
-Choose your battles, but don't choose very many.
-Keep an open mind; it's the only way new things can get in.
-And last but not least, not the tiniest bit least. Never regret.
Thank you both for giving me the best years of my life.
Especially the last one.
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
Yep, she called to me from the parking lot of abandoned cars. The sun was shining though her windows like a beacon of hope."
Chubs groaned. "Why are you so weird?"
"Because my weird has to be able to cancel out your weird, Lady Cross-stitch.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
I've never met a girl who thinks like you."
"A lot of people tell me that," she said, digging at a cuticle. "But it's the only way I know how to think. Seriously. I'm just telling you what I believe. It's never crossed my mind that my way of thinking is different from other people's. I'm not trying to be different. But when I speak out honestly, everybody thinks I'm kidding or playacting. When that happens, I feel like everything is such a pain!
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
I’m a simple man without a lot of complicated twists and turns. Look down my throat and you can see out my ass.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1))
When we were five, they asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. Our answers were thing like astronaut, president, or in my case… princess.
When we were ten, they asked again and we answered - rock star, cowboy, or in my case, gold medalist. But now that we've grown up, they want a serious answer. Well, how 'bout this: who the hell knows?!
This isn't the time to make hard and fast decisions, its time to make mistakes. Take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere chill. Fall in love - a lot. Major in philosophy 'cause there's no way to make a career out of that. Change your mind. Then change it again, because nothing is permanent.
So make as many mistakes as you can. That way, someday, when they ask again what we want to be… we won't have to guess. We'll know.
[from the movie]
Stephenie Meyer (Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, #3))
I was crushing on my mentor. Crushing on my older mentor. I had to be out of my mind. He was seven years older than me. Old enough to be my…well, okay, nothing. But still older than me. Seven years was a lot. He's been learning to write when I was born. When I'd been learning to write and throw books at my teachers, he's probably been kissing girls. Probably lots of girls, considering how he looked.
Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1))
You’re presumptuous and arrogant and a whole lot of other things if you think I’ve changed my mind.”
“You see, that’s just it.” There he was again, moving into my space. “I think you like the ‘other things.
Richelle Mead (The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3))
Some catastrophic moments invite clarity, explode in split moments: You smash your hand through a windowpane and then there is blood and shattered glass stained with red all over the place; you fall out a window and break some bones and scrape some skin. Stitches and casts and bandages and antiseptic solve and salve the wounds. But depression is not a sudden disaster. It is more like a cancer: At first its tumorous mass is not even noticeable to the careful eye, and then one day -- wham! -- there is a huge, deadly seven-pound lump lodged in your brain or your stomach or your shoulder blade, and this thing that your own body has produced is actually trying to kill you. Depression is a lot like that: Slowly, over the years, the data will accumulate in your heart and mind, a computer program for total negativity will build into your system, making life feel more and more unbearable. But you won't even notice it coming on, thinking that it is somehow normal, something about getting older, about turning eight or turning twelve or turning fifteen, and then one day you realize that your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live.
In my case, I was not frightened in the least bit at the thought that I might live because I was certain, quite certain, that I was already dead. The actual dying part, the withering away of my physical body, was a mere formality. My spirit, my emotional being, whatever you want to call all that inner turmoil that has nothing to do with physical existence, were long gone, dead and gone, and only a mass of the most fucking god-awful excruciating pain like a pair of boiling hot tongs clamped tight around my spine and pressing on all my nerves was left in its wake.
That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal -- unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space. But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead.
And the scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, 'Gradually and then suddenly.' When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say too
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
You're nothing like your sister," he tells me. "She meant a lot to me, okay? It's true. But the things I like about you have nothing to do with her. You - you are so strong and stubborn it drives me crazy. You're the one going through all this and you still put Laney first every time, instead of throwing yourself the pity party we both know you deserve. You call me out on my shit, and I like that, because sometimes I need someone to call me out on my shit. And you get Johnny Cash, and you take these incredible photos, and everything about you makes me hurt, in a good way, and it blows my mind that someone can be so amazing and not even see it.
Hannah Harrington (Saving June)
Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability a sperm whale had suddenly been called into existence several miles above the surface of an alien planet.
And since this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale, this poor innocent creature had very little time to come to terms with its identity as a whale before it then had to come to terms with not being a whale any more.
This is a complete record of its thoughts from the moment it began its life till the moment it ended it.
Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought.
Er, excuse me, who am I?
Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life?
What do I mean by who am I?
Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach.
Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet?
Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation …
Or is it the wind?
There really is a lot of that now isn’t it?
And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!
I wonder if it will be friends with me?
And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence.
Curiously enough, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again. Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
I hope I redeemed myself with the whole dancing-sex comparison.”
“I suppose there were a couple of notable similarities,” I observed, holding a straight face.
“A couple? What about attention to detail, heavy exertion, lots of sweat, and single-minded determinedness to get the job done and done well?”
“Mostly I was thinking you just don’t talk during sex.” Mean perhaps, but I couldn’t resist.
“Well, my mouth has better things to do.”
I swallowed, my own mouth dry. “Are we still talking about dancing?
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
I can describe an axe entering a human skull in great explicit detail and no one will blink twice at it. I provide a similar description, just as detailed, of a penis entering a vagina, and I get letters about it and people swearing off. To my mind this is kind of frustrating, it’s madness. Ultimately, in the history of [the] world, penises entering vaginas have given a lot of people a lot of pleasure; axes entering skulls, well, not so much.
George R.R. Martin
I've called in the oracles and they were communing with the Fates. But you know how they are. I'm sure it'll come back as 'When the sky is green,m and the earth turns black, the Daimons will give you lots of flack. To kill the great awful one you seek, you'll have to find something unique.' Or some bullshit like that. I really hate Oracles. If I wanted to play mind games, I'd buy a Rubik's Cube. (Acheron)
I don't know, Ash, you're pretty good at that. Sure you don't want to take up an Oracle position? (Kyrian)
Picture this, General, my middle finger is extended all the way up, and aimed right at you. Now let me work. I have Daimons to track, Dark-Hunters to antagonize, and women to seduce. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter #1))
Okay, I’m dreaming. Hallucinating. Brought on by stress. I had a hard day today and this is my mind trying to protect itself from…from stuff. Lots of stuff. (Geary)
(Arik, Trieg, and ZT stare at Geary.)
Oh, like I’m any less sane than the three of you just because I talk to myself. (Geary)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (The Dream-Hunter (Dark-Hunter, #10; Dream-Hunter, #1))
I wasn’t a nerd, mind you, but I’d spent a lot of my youth studying Epics, so I’d had limited experience with social interaction. I mixed with ordinary people about the same way that a bucket of paint mixed with a bag of gerbils.
Brandon Sanderson (Firefight (The Reckoners, #2))
Her words at the party replayed in my mind.
If we were in another life, I could love you.
Abby was lying weak and sick in my arms, depending on me to take care of her. In
that moment I recognized that my feelings for her were a lot stronger than I thought. Sometime between
the moment we met, and holding her on that bathroom floor, I had fallen in love with her.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
I should curl up in a ball and cry. Instead i think about everything in the whole entire world that makes me angry - There is a lot, oh, there is a lot - and I start singing Justin Bieber at the top of my lungs.
Kiersten White (Mind Games (Mind Games, #1))
I have a lot on my mind and not a lot to do so it's going to come out, all of it, and then, then, it may begin to make a sort of sense
Bryan Lee O'Malley (Lost at Sea)
Aren't the clouds beautiful? They look like big balls of cotton... I could just lie here all day, and watch them drift by... If you use your imagination, you can see lots of things in the cloud formations... What do you think you see, Linus?"
"Well, those clouds up there look like the map of the British Honduras on the Caribbean... That cloud up there looks a little like the profile of Thomas Eakins, the famous painter and sculptor... And that group of clouds over there gives me the impression of the stoning of Stephen... I can see the apostle Paul standing there to one side..."
"Uh huh... That's very good... What do you see in the clouds, Charlie Brown?"
"Well, I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsie, but I changed my mind!
Charles M. Schulz (The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 5: 1959-1960)
A different word usually came to my mind when I thought of Yeva, though it did sound a lot like “witch.
Richelle Mead (Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction)
A thousand thoughts ran through my mind. Well, at least six or seven, anyway, because a thousand thoughts are a lot. Try counting your own thoughts and see how long it takes you to get to a thousand.
Linda Howard (To Die For (Blair Mallory, #1))
If I was feeling depressed or frustrated about my lot in life, all I had to do was tap the Player One button, and my worries would instantly slip away as my mind focused itself on the relentless pixelated onslaught on the screen in front of me. There, inside the game's two-dimensional universe, life was simple: It's just you against the machine. Move with your left hand, shoot with your right, and try to stay alive as long as possible.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
What?" he whispered. "What are you smiling about?"
My fingers brushed against his hair, trying to smooth it down. I realized what I was doing a full minute after Liam had closed his eyes and leaned into my touch. Embarrassment flared up my chest, but he grabbed my hand before I could pull back and tucked it under his chin.
"Nope," he whispered, when I tried to tug it away. "Mine now."
Dangerous. This is dangerous. The warning was fleeting, banished to the back corners of my mind, where it wouldn't interrupt how good it felt to touch him - how right.
"I'm going to need it back eventually," I said, letting him run it along the stubble on his chin.
"...crackers..." a voice breathed out behind us, "yessss..."
Both of us turned, watching as Chubs twisted around in his seat and settled back down, still fast asleep.
I pressed a hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. Liam rolled his eyes, smiling.
"He dreams about food," he said. "A lot."
"At least they're good dreams."
"Yeah," Liam agreed. "I guess he's lucky.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1))
Live dangerously. There's a lot to be said for sinning.
Katharine Hepburn (The Making of The African Queen Or How I went to Africa with Bogart, Bacall and Huston and almost lost my mind)
Do you want to tell me why I'm getting the silent treatment?' He asked gruffly, his breath hot on my ear.
I hunched up my shoulders, pulling away. His voice had an effect on my body and I didn't want him to know that. 'I'm talking to you.'
'I've got a lot on my mind.'
'Do you want to talk about it?'
'When have I ever wanted to talk about it?
Samantha Young (On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1))
I squeeze Finn’s hand back, and my eyes fall closed. I feel something like the whisper of a touch to my face. Deep from the back of my mind, a voice that sounds a lot like my own speaks to me like a memory, telling me I’m strong and loved and that everything is going to be okay.
And, for some strange reason, I believe it.
Cristin Terrill (All Our Yesterdays)
I think I want a house of my own," I start, the words a discovery as they leave my mouth. "Something small, so I don't have much housework, but enough room for a proper library. I want a lot of books. And I wouldn't mind a good old dog to walk with me. And a bakery I go to every morning where they know my name.
Mackenzi Lee (The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2))
When people dis fantasy—mainstream readers and SF readers alike—they are almost always talking about one sub-genre of fantastic literature. They are talking about Tolkien, and Tolkien's innumerable heirs. Call it 'epic', or 'high', or 'genre' fantasy, this is what fantasy has come to mean. Which is misleading as well as unfortunate.
Tolkien is the wen on the arse of fantasy literature. His oeuvre is massive and contagious—you can't ignore it, so don't even try. The best you can do is consciously try to lance the boil. And there's a lot to dislike—his cod-Wagnerian pomposity, his boys-own-adventure glorying in war, his small-minded and reactionary love for hierarchical status-quos, his belief in absolute morality that blurs moral and political complexity. Tolkien's clichés—elves 'n' dwarfs 'n' magic rings—have spread like viruses. He wrote that the function of fantasy was 'consolation', thereby making it an article of policy that a fantasy writer should mollycoddle the reader.
That is a revolting idea, and one, thankfully, that plenty of fantasists have ignored. From the Surrealists through the pulps—via Mervyn Peake and Mikhael Bulgakov and Stefan Grabiński and Bruno Schulz and Michael Moorcock and M. John Harrison and I could go on—the best writers have used the fantastic aesthetic precisely to challenge, to alienate, to subvert and undermine expectations.
Of course I'm not saying that any fan of Tolkien is no friend of mine—that would cut my social circle considerably. Nor would I claim that it's impossible to write a good fantasy book with elves and dwarfs in it—Michael Swanwick's superb
Iron Dragon's Daughter
gives the lie to that. But given that the pleasure of fantasy is supposed to be in its limitless creativity, why not try to come up with some different themes, as well as unconventional monsters? Why not use fantasy to challenge social and aesthetic lies?
Thankfully, the alternative tradition of fantasy has never died. And it's getting stronger. Chris Wooding, Michael Swanwick, Mary Gentle, Paul di Filippo, Jeff VanderMeer, and many others, are all producing works based on fantasy's radicalism. Where traditional fantasy has been rural and bucolic, this is often urban, and frequently brutal. Characters are more than cardboard cutouts, and they're not defined by race or sex. Things are gritty and tricky, just as in real life. This is fantasy not as comfort-food, but as challenge.
The critic Gabe Chouinard has said that we're entering a new period, a renaissance in the creative radicalism of fantasy that hasn't been seen since the New Wave of the sixties and seventies, and in echo of which he has christened the Next Wave. I don't know if he's right, but I'm excited. This is a radical literature. It's the literature we most deserve.
I found a box of this paper at the back of a bureau so I must write to you as I am mourning for my lost innocence. It never looked like living. The doctors despaired of it from the start...
I am never quite alone. Members of my family keep turning up and collecting luggage and going away again, but the white raspberries are ripe.
I have a good mind not to take Aloysius to Venice. I don't want him to meet a lot of horrid Italian bears and pick up bad habits.
Love or what you will.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
None of this is important in itself, but I feel somewhere that it has a lot to do with why I have always felt separate, why I have always felt unable to join in, to let go, to become part of the tribe, why I have always sniped or joked from the sidelines, why I have never, ever, lost my overwhelmingly self-conscious self-consciousness.
It's not all that bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing - they are not all bad. Those devils have also been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot (Memoir #1))
If you don’t mind my asking, why would a demon be concerned about appearances? Aren’t you all about killing, maiming, and torturing?”
“That’s the kind of stereotyping that has afflicted demons for billions of years. Don’t you think some of us want to branch out, to explore other options?”
“It never occurred to me.”
“Yes, we obtain great satisfaction from killing and maiming and torturing. But there’s a lot of competition these days for the torturing thing. So many physical therapists around.”
Steve Bates (Back To You)
I'm convinced that a lot of people run ultramarathons for the same reason they take mood-altering drugs. I don't mean to minimize the gifts of friendship, achievement, and closeness to nature that I've received in my running carer. But the longer and farther I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind - a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.
Scott Jurek (Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness)
The tinkle of wind chimes announcing the return of our fairy guests made us both look up. Our chance to be alone was going to be shorter than either of us had hoped.
I sighed and brushed an errant dragon scale from Eadric’s tunic. “Someday when we have lots of time, remind me to tell you what you mean to me.”
Eadric tilted my head back so he could gaze into my eyes. “I can tell you what you mean to me with just one word.”
Let me guess,” I said, smiling up at him. “Maybe I make you happy because you no longer have to enter kissing contests to find the best kisser? Do I bring excitement into your life because I can wisk you away to exotic lands on my magic carpet? Or do you find me delightful because I can conjure food whenever you’re hungry?”
No, that’s not. . . Wait, what was that last one?”
I laughed and shook my head. “Never mind. So tell me in one word, what do I mean to you?”
That’s easy,” said Eadric. “Everything!
E.D. Baker (No Place for Magic (The Tales of the Frog Princess, #4))
"I gave up a world for you."
He glared at me, not giving me anything.
I kept right on going. "I thought, perhaps, when I learned I had powers, I might be able to use them to go home," his eyes flashed but that was all I got so I kept on going, "but not for good. My father isn't dead." Another flash. "He's alive and at home and living maybe with a fake Circe. He'll know the difference, though, I KNOW it. He's out of his mind with worry, I know that too. He's wondering where I am and if I'm okay and how to get me back. I also know that. I know that and I know that my life was good. I loved my life. I loved my home. I loved my job. I had a lot of people who loved me that loved me back." I sucked in a breath and then whispered, "But as much as your world scared me, as much as our practices repulsed me, I still chose you."
His torso jerked, it was almost imperceptible, but I caught it.
I kept at him. "I gave up my world for you, Lahn. I sat at your side through things people in my world would find loathsome and I did it with my head held high. I even felt 'pride' that I could endure, that I could be a good queen to you.......Everything I did in this fucking place, even before I fell in love with you, was for...fucking...YOU."
Kristen Ashley (The Golden Dynasty (Fantasyland, #2))
The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set --
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink --
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK -- HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY ... USED ... TO ... READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start -- oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1))
Mab turned back to me and eyed me up and down. She quirked one eyebrow, very slightly, somehow conveying layers of disapproval toward multiple aspects of my appearance, conduct, and situation, and said, 'Finally.'
'There’s been a lot on my mind,' I replied.
'It seems unlikely that your cares will lighten,' Queen Mab replied. 'Improve your mind.'
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
Not to change the subject, but…you do realize you’ve been going over the speed limit for quite a few miles? Never mind. And thank you Professor Ludefance. Somehow, I think this lecture is meant for me, but I have a lot more interchange of material and energy with my environment than most.”
“In a physical sense, you’re not decaying at all, you’re a very vibrant young woman. The decay I’m speaking about for you is emotional. As for the professorship, that very lecture was given to me from a Turkish friend who had inherited a great deal of wealth and didn’t know what to do with himself. I learned this from him. As for you, you interact with your environment, but you are predatory, fearless, irritable, and listless. You’re getting no emotional feedback.”
“And just where do you suggest I go to look for ‘emotional feedback,’ Mr. Professor?”
“Aha. That’s the catch. You can’t. It’s not that mechanical. You merely have to be receptive and hope it comes along.”
“Meanwhile, I’m being ground down by the second law of thermodynamics.”
“In a sense, yes.”
“Thank you so much, Professor. I never would have known.
Behcet Kaya (Appellate Judge (Jack Ludefance, #3))
I’ve always been able to tell a lot about people by whether they ask me about my scar. Most people never ask, but if it comes up naturally somehow and I offer up the story, they are quite interested. Some people are just dumb: 'Did a cat scratch you?' God bless. Those sweet dumdums I never mind. Sometimes it is a fun sociology litmus test, like when my friend Ricky asked me, 'Did they ever catch the black guy that did that to you?' Hmmm. It was not a black guy, Ricky, and I never said it was.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
I reach out and take his hand.
“Well, he probably used up a lot of resources helping me knock you out,” I say mischievously.
“Yeah, about that,” says Peeta, entwining his fingers in mine. “Don’t try something like that again.”
“Or what?” I ask.
“Or . . . or . . .” He can’t think of anything good. “Just give me a minute.”
“What’s the problem?” I say with a grin.
“The problem is we’re both still alive. Which only reinforces the idea in your mind that you did the right thing,” says Peeta.
“I did do the right thing,” I say.
“No! Just don’t, Katniss!” His grip tightens, hurting my hand, and there’s real anger in his voice. “Don’t die for me. You won’t be doing me any favors. All right?”
I’m startled by his intensity but recognize an excellent opportunity for getting food, so I try to keep up. “Maybe I did it for myself, Peeta, did you ever think of that? Maybe you aren’t the only one who . . . who worries about . . . what it would be like if. . .”
I fumble. I’m not as smooth with words as Peeta. And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die. And it’s not about the sponsors. And it’s not about what will happen back home.
And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread.
“If what, Katniss?” he says softly.
I wish I could pull the shutters closed, blocking out this moment from the prying eyes of Panem. Even if it means losing food. Whatever I’m feeling, it’s no one’s business but mine.
“That’s exactly the kind of topic Haymitch told me to steer clear of,” I say evasively, although Haymitch never said anything of the kind. In fact, he’s probably cursing me out right now for dropping the ball during such an emotionally charged moment. But Peeta somehow catches it.
“Then I’ll just have to fill in the blanks myself,” he says, and moves in to me.
This is the first kiss that we’re both fully aware of. Neither of us hobbled by sickness or pain or simply unconscious. Our lips neither burning with fever or icy cold. This is the first kiss where I actually feel stirring inside my chest. Warm and curious.
This is the first kiss that makes me want another.
But I don’t get it. Well, I do get a second kiss, but it’s just a light one on the tip of my nose because Peeta’s been distracted.
“I think your wound is bleeding again. Come on, lie down, it’s bedtime anyway,” he says.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
A lot of people want to do great things for God. A lot of people want to change the world. I just shake my head when I hear that. God is the only one who can change the world because He’s the only one who can change hearts and minds.
Chris Fabry (War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon)
The central attitudes driving Mr. Sensitive are:
I’m against the macho men, so I couldn’t be abusive.
As long as I use a lot of “psychobabble,” no one is going to believe that I am mistreating you.
I can control you by analyzing how your mind and emotions work, and what your issues are from childhood.
I can get inside your head whether you want me there or not.
Nothing in the world is more important than my feelings.
Women should be grateful to me for not being like those other men.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
There are times when I long to sweep away half the things I am expected to learn; for the overtaxed mind cannot enjoy the treasure it has secured at the greatest cost. ... When one reads hurriedly and nervously, having in mind written tests and examinations, one's brain becomes encumbered with a lot of bric-a-brac for which there seems to be little use. At the present time my mind is so full of heterogeneous matter that I almost despair of ever being able to put it in order. Whenever I enter the region of my mind I feel like the proverbial bull in the china shop. A thousand odds and ends of knowledge come crashing about my head like hailstones, and when I try to escape them, theme goblins and college nixies of all sorts pursue me, until I wish – oh, may I be forgiven the wicked wish! – that I might smash the idols I came to worship.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
By then I wasn't just asking questions; I was being changed by them. I was being changed by my prayers, which dwindled down nearer and nearer to silence, which weren't confrontations with God but with the difficulty--in my own mind, or in the human lot--of knowing what or how to pray. Lying awake at night, I could feel myself being changed--into what, I had no idea.
Wendell Berry (Jayber Crow)
Just shut up and start sucking each other's faces already," Vida grumbled, leaning awkwardly against the stump. She would never admit it aloud, but I knew the burns on her back her eating her alive with pain. "I'm trying to make up for the sleep I lost when you started screeching at each other like cats in heat."
"Miss Vida," Liam said, "has anyone ever told you that you are positively the whipped cream on the sundae of life?"
She glared at him. "Anyone ever told you your head is shaped like a pencil?"
"That is physically impossible," Chubs groused. "He'd be--"
"Actually," Liam began, "Cole once did try to-- What?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," Chub said, "apparently the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours. Do continue."
"I'm going to guess you probably don't want to hear about the time he pushed my head through the neighbours fence..."
"Was there a lot of blood?" Vida asked, suddenly interested. "Did you lose an ear?"
Liam held his hands up next to his ears, indicating both were firmly attached to his skull.
"Then, no" she said. "No one wants to hear your boring-ass story.
Alexandra Bracken (Never Fade (The Darkest Minds, #2))
I used to know how the mind handled language, and I could communicate what I knew. I used to be someone who knew a lot. No one asks for my opinion or advice anymore. I miss that. I used to be curious and independent and confident. I miss being sure of things. There's no peace in being unsure of everything all the time. I miss doing everything easily. I miss being a part of what's happening. I miss feeling wanted. I miss my life and my family. I loved my life and family.
Lisa Genova (Still Alice)
A uniform cordoned off the area with crime scene tape. The M.E. pulled in and parked. There were two EMT trucks idling at the edge of the lot. I’d stayed close to the back door, and one of the Rangeman guys had taken a position two feet from me, standing at parade rest. No doubt in my mind he’d take a bullet for me rather than face Ranger over a dead Stephanie.
Janet Evanovich (Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum, #17))
I tell you this not as aimless revelation but because I want you to know, as you read me, precisely who I am and where I am and what is on my mind. I want you to understand exactly what you are getting: you are getting a woman who for some time now has felt radically separated from most of the ideas that seem to interest people. You are getting a woman who somewhere along the line misplaced whatever slight faith she ever had in the social contract, in the meliorative principle, in the whole grand pattern of human endeavor. Quite often during the past several years I have felt myself a sleepwalker, moving through the world unconscious of the moment’s high issues, oblivious to its data, alert only to the stuff of bad dreams, the children burning in the locked car in the supermarket parking lot, the bike boys stripping down stolen cars on the captive cripple’s ranch, the freeway sniper who feels “real bad” about picking off the family of five, the hustlers, the insane, the cunning Okie faces that turn up in military investigations, the sullen lurkers in doorways, the lost children, all the ignorant armies jostling in the night. Acquaintances read The New York Times, and try to tell me the news of the world. I listen to call-in shows.
Joan Didion (The White Album: Essays)
That's when Sam grabbed my hand. "I love this song!" She led me to the dance floor. And she started dancing. And I started dancing. It was a fast song, so I wasn't very good, but she didn't seem to mind. We were just dancing, and that was enough. The song ended, and then a slow one came on. She looked at me. I looked at her. Then, she took my hands and pulled me in to dance slow. I don't know how to dance slow very well either, but I do know how to sway. Her whisper smelled like cranberry juice and vodka. "I looked for you in the parking lot today." I hoped mine still smelled like toothpaste. "I was looking for you, too." Then, we were quiet for the rest of the song. She held me a little closer. I held her a little closer. And we kept dancing. It was the one time all day that I really wanted the clock to stop. And just be there for a long time.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
You can’t come in without an invitation.”
He leans a shoulder against Alison’s framed photo of a wheat field at harvest. “That so?” His boot heel nudges the door behind him, shutting out the storm and the scent of rain. “Last I checked, I wasn’t a vampire,” he says, his voice low.
My fists clench tighter, and I step backward onto the line of carpet that borders the edge of the living room. “You sure have a lot in common with one.”
“Because I suck?”
“More proof. You just read my mind.
A.G. Howard (Splintered (Splintered, #1))
You saved me, Nick. Sooner or later I would have lost my mind. I had to know, or I would have always felt like an outsider. You made me feel like I was part of something, part of a lot of things actually. I'll never be able to repay you for that.
Samantha Shannon (The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1))
I am filthy. I am riddled with lice. Hogs, when they look at me, vomit. My skin is encrusted with the scabs and scales of leprosy, and covered with yellow pus.[...] A family of toads has taken up residence in my left armpit and, when one of them moves, it tickles. Mind one of them does not escape and come and scratch the inside of your ear with its mouth; for it would then be able to enter your brain. In my right armpit there is a chameleon which is perpetually chasing them, to avoid starving to death: everyone must live.[...] My anus has been penetrated by a crab; encouraged by my sluggishness, he guards the entrance with his pincers, and causes me a lot of pain.
Comte de Lautréamont (Maldoror and Poems)
But you have friends.
You have a lot of friends.
What do you offer your friends to make them so supportave.
What do you offer your friends to make them so supportave
what do you offer. "
...if I could remember any more of my lines I'd add them
so basically this is a preface to the whole play. I would like to quote the whole play. Currently my mind is afraid to remember the play.
Sarah Kane (4.48 Psychosis)
My doctor says that, contrary to conventional wisdom, she doesn't believe our memories flag because of a drop in estrogen but because of how crowded it in the drawers of our minds.
Anna Quindlen (Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake)
There's been a lot on my mind," I replied.
"It seems unlikely that your cares will lighten," Queen Mab replied. "Improve your mind.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
Where there’s a lot of money to be made, there’s also a lot of blood to be spilled.
Orhan Pamuk (A Strangeness in My Mind)
Just as I do not know where I came from, so I do not know where I am going. All I know is that when I leave this world I shall fall forever into oblivion, or into the hands of an angry God, without knowing which of the two will be my lot for eternity. Such is my state of mind, full of weakness and uncertainty. The only conclusion I can draw from all this is that I must pass my days without a thought of trying to find out what is going to happen to me.
Blaise Pascal (Pensées)
카카오톡 , 라인 , 텔레그램 모두 서버에서 포렌식 복구가 가능하여 굉장히 위험합니다.
사용하는 딜러들은 보안에 관해 무지하여 적발 가능성이 굉장히 높으니 조심하세요..
Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.
공식홈페이지 / deepwebkorea(.)(com)
❣결제 : [비트코인,모네로]
❣샘플 선드랍 가능
❣딥웹코리아 떨(버드 /떨 액상,쥴 대마 팟,해쉬)
"Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!
you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live"
❣딥웹코리아 케미컬 (위커 문의)
❣샘플 선드랍 가능
. I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan
(James Joyce, in conversation with Carl Jung:)"Literary artists know more about the human mind than you fellers have a hope in hell of knowing. Ha. My craft is ebbing. I am yung and easily freudened. One of these days I'll show the lot of you what the unconscious mind is really like. I don't need any of you. In a sense I am Freud."
Jung looked gloomily guilty at the name. "Yes?"
"What's Freud in English?"
"Joy and Joyce. There's little enough difference. Except that I add C and E for Creative Endeavour. I spit in all your eyes.
Anthony Burgess (The End of the World News)
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
D'you ever wonder what it would be like if our positions were reversed?' I ask. At Jack's puzzled look I continue. 'If we whites were in charge instead of you Crosses?'
'Can't say it's ever crossed my mind,' Jack shrugs.
'I used to think about it a lot,' I sigh. 'Dreams of living in a world with no more discrimination, no more prejudice, a fair police force, an equal justice system, equality of education, equality of life, a level playing field...
Malorie Blackman (Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1))
I had tried years earlier to kill myself, and nearly died in the attempt, but did not consider it either a selfish or a not-selfish thing to have done. It was simply the end of what I could bear, the last afternoon of having to imagine waking up the next morning only to start all over again with a thick mind and black imaginings. It was the final outcome of a bad disease, a disease it seemed to me I would never get the better of. No amount of love from or for other people0and there was a lot-could help. No advantage of a caring family and fabulous job was enough to overcome the pain and hopelessness I felt; no passionate or romantic love, however strong, could make a difference. Nothing alive and warm could make its way in through my carapace. I knew my life to be a shambles, and I believed-incontestably-that my family, friends, and patients would be better off without me. There wasn't much of me left anymore, anyway, and I thought my death would free up the wasted energies and well-meant efforts that were being wasted on my behalf. (290)
Kay Redfield Jamison (Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide)
Look. I see it. You can go to all the movies and watch all the television you want. I am the end of all time. I'm not hooked up to the machine. I don't care about being labelled a misogynist, misanthropic hate addict. I don't give a fuck if some human organism calls me politically incorrect. I like the idea of people getting killed in parking lots. I stab every person who passes me. In my mind, I stab them in the face with a fucking knife. If I thought I could get away with it, I would skin you alive. I only fear prison if I get caught killing one of you humans. I hate you all. I don't know anyone. I am the enemy of humans. I am that which spits in the face of humanity.
Henry Rollins (Eye Scream)
The vampire’s true appearance was grotesque--but it wasn’t as bad as some of the things I had seen in my day. Some demons were a lot worse, and some of the Elder Things could rip your mind apart just by letting you look at them
Jim Butcher (Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1))
Just to let you know I don't post my books and things on the net in hopes of being rich. The reason is. "I am a person with Bipolar Disorder" and they're are a lot of great minds on the "Famous Bipolar" list that died penniless. If I do the same it's no big deal but having a form of mental Illness I would love to get my name on the Bipolar list also one day. Preferably while I'm still living so I can make sure they spelled it right
Stanley Victor Paskavich (Return to Stantasyland)
I don't do the mob mind-reading trick, so I do not speak to motivation. But I do keep my eyes open and watch what happens. It is called reporting.
Colin Flaherty (White Girl Bleed a Lot)
This "sir, yes sir" business, which would probably sound like horseshit to any civilian in his right mind, makes sense to Shaftoe and to the officers in a deep and important way. Like a lot of others, Shaftoe had trouble with military etiquette at first. He soaked up quite a bit of it growing up in a military family, but living the life was a different matter. Having now experienced all the phases of military existence except for the terminal ones (violent death, court-martial, retirement), he has come to understand the culture for what it is: a system of etiquette within which it becomes possible for groups of men to live together for years, travel to the ends of the earth, and do all kinds of incredibly weird shit without killing each other or completely losing their minds in the process. The extreme formality with which he addresses these officers carries an important subtext: your problem, sir, is deciding what you want me to do, and my problem, sir, is doing it. My gung-ho posture says that once you give the order I'm not going to bother you with any of the details--and your half of the bargain is you had better stay on your side of the line, sir, and not bother me with any of the chickenshit politics that you have to deal with for a living. The implied responsibility placed upon the officer's shoulders by the subordinate's unhesitating willingness to follow orders is a withering burden to any officer with half a brain, and Shaftoe has more than once seen seasoned noncoms reduce green lieutenants to quivering blobs simply by standing before them and agreeing, cheerfully, to carry out their orders.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
My calculations about how to stay alive and sane on this particular planet have clearly been at fault. Lots of people are plenty uglier and poorer than me without seeming to mind, without the self-hate and self-pity – the sentimentality, in a word – that makes me such a quivering condom of neurosis and ineptitude.
Martin Amis (Success)
I had a lot of tire marks on my heart and mind, but I used those marks and scars to survive.”
~Love is respect ♥~
Charlena E. Jackson (In Love With Blindfolds On)
If I was feeling depressed or frustrated about my lot in life, all I had to do was tap the Player One button, and my worries would instantly slip away as my mind focused itself on the relentless pixelated onslaught on the screen in front of me.
Ernest Cline (Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1))
The new car’s a lot prettier than Lucy, my Sweet Caroline—she’s a newer sedan, and, if I’m being perfectly honest, is actually a little bit of a risk. She’s flashier than what I’d usually pick. I just couldn’t resist her gorgeous shade of ruby red.
Alexandra Bracken (The Rising Dark: A Darkest Minds Collection (Darkest Minds Short Stories))
Each thing is valid and really there. It is through a field of such valid objects that I must pick my way, every day and in every way. I put a lot of effort into making such distinctions. I need to make them. I need to be very clear, in my own mind.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
I have rooted myself into this quiet place where I don’t need much to get by. I need my visions. I need my books. I need new thoughts and lessons, from older souls, bars, whisky, libraries; different ones in different towns. I need my music. I need my songs. I need the safety of somewhere to rest my head at night, when my eyes get heavy. And I need space. Lots of space. To run, and sing, and change around in any way I please—outer or inner—and I need to love. I need the space to love ideas and thoughts; creations and people—anywhere I can find—and I need the peace of mind to understand it.
In the years that followed, the goal went from taking huge risks to create new industries and grand new ideas, to chasing easier money by entertaining consumers and pumping out simple apps and advertisements. “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,” Jeff Hammerbacher, an early Facebook engineer, told me. “That sucks.” Silicon Valley began to look an awful lot like Hollywood.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Inventing the Future)
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.
Title: Letter to Abigail
Chapter: The Road To Awe
The night before brain surgery, I thought about death. I searched out my larger values, and I asked myself, if I was going to die, did I want to do it fighting and clawing or in peaceful surrender? What sort of character did I hope to show? Was I content with myself and what I had done with my life so far? I decided that I was essentially a good person, although I could have been better--but at the same time I understood that the cancer didn't care.
I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, I wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking, and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough. At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized. If there was indeed a God at the end of my days, I hoped he didn't say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you're going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You're right. Fine.'
I believed, too, in the doctors and the medicine and the surgeries--I believed in that. I believed in them. A person like Dr. Einhorn [his oncologist], that's someone to believe in, I thought, a person with the mind to develop an experimental treatment 20 years ago that now could save my life. I believed in the hard currency of his intelligence and his research.
Beyond that, I had no idea where to draw the line between spiritual belief and science. But I knew this much: I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe--what other choice was there? We do it every day, I realized. We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery.
To continue believing in yourself, believing in the doctors, believing in the treatment, believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing, I decided. It had to be.
Without belief, we would be left with nothing but an overwhelming doom, every single day. And it will beat you. I didn't fully see, until the cancer, how we fight every day against the creeping negatives of the world, how we struggle daily against the slow lapping of cynicism. Dispiritedness and disappointment, these were the real perils of life, not some sudden illness or cataclysmic millennium doomsday. I knew now why people fear cancer: because it is a slow and inevitable death, it is the very definition of cynicism and loss of spirit.
So, I believed.
Lance Armstrong (It's Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life)
Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness. Wretched is he who looks back upon lone hours in vast and dismal chambers with brown hangings and maddening rows of antique books, or upon awed watches in twilight groves of grotesque, gigantic, and vine-encumbered trees that silently wave twisted branches far aloft. Such a lot the gods gave to me - to me, the dazed, the disappointed; the barren, the broken. And yet I am strangely content and cling desperately to those sere memories, when my mind momentarily threatens to reach beyond to the other.
H.P. Lovecraft (The Outsider)
The idea makes a lot of people uncomfortable. [...] It's hurt a great many people and been responsible for a great deal of misery. But, to my mind at least, that doesn't mean it can't now bring pleasure to someone.
Manna Francis (Quis Custodiet (The Administration, #5))
You see a lot of UFOs with closed eyes and opened mind.
Toba Beta (My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut)
This is the same reason I listen to a lot of uber-conservative Republican radio. Because I want to know what is on the minds of my enemies.
Jenny Lawson (Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir)
I never had problems with my fellow scientists. Scientists are a friendly, atheistic, hard-working, beer-drinking lot whose minds are preoccupied with sex, chess and baseball when they are not preoccupied with science.
I learned a lot, when I was a child, from novels and stories, even fairytales have some point to them--the good ones. The thing that impressed me most forcibly was this: the villains went to work with their brains and always accomplished something. To be sure they were "foiled" in the end, but that was by some special interposition of Providence, not by any equal exertion of intellect on the part of the good people. The heroes and middle ones were mostly very stupid. If bad things happened, they practised patience, endurance, resignation, and similar virtues; if good things happened they practised modesty and magnanimity and virtues like that, but it never seemed to occur to any of them to make things move their way. Whatever the villains planned for them to do, they did, like sheep. The same old combinations of circumstances would be worked off on them in book after book--and they always tumbled.
It used to worry me as a discord worries a musician. Hadn't they ever read anything? Couldn't they learn anything from what they read--ever? It appeared not. And it seemed to me, even as a very little child, that what we wanted was good people with brains, not just negative, passive, good people, but positive, active ones, who gave their minds to it.
"A good villain. That's what we need!" I said to myself. "Why don't they write about them? Aren't there ever any?"
I never found any in all my beloved story books, or in real life. And gradually, I made up my mind to be one.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Benigna Machiavelli)
She held his eyes. "Truth."
"How did Taylor get you to that party, really?" He gave her a quick once-over. "Especially looking like that."
She shifted to look out at the darkness. "I changed my mind. Dare."
Gabriel slid his cell phone out of his picket and held it out. "Okay. Here. I dare you to call your father and tell him you're sitting in a dark parking lot with me."
"Ooooh." She glared up at him without any real malice. "I don't think I like this game."
He smiled. "Come on, pony up.
Brigid Kemmerer (Spark (Elemental, #2))
Well I've made up my mind, anyway. I want to see mountains again, Gandalf – mountains; and then find somewhere where I can rest. In peace and quiet, without a lot of relatives prying around, and string of confounded visitors hanging on the bell. I might find somewhere where I can finish my book. I have thought of a nice ending for it: and he lived happily ever after to the end of his days.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
I spoke of my desire of finding a friend, of my thirst for a more intimate sympathy with a fellow mind than had ever fallen to my lot, and expressed my conviction that a man could boast of little happiness who did not enjoy this blessing.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein)
Look, it’s true that I think there are a lot of people to blame for all of this, but I’m one of them.” For a second, my mind flashed back to the party, to the last words I’d ever said to him. Fuck you, Hayden. Some kind of best friend I was. “And it’s not my job to decide who should pay.
Michelle Falkoff (Playlist for the Dead)
I think a lot of people quit pursuing creative lives because they’re scared of the word interesting. My favorite meditation teacher, Pema Chödrön, once said that the biggest problem she sees with people’s meditation practice is that they quit just when things are starting to get interesting. Which is to say, they quit as soon as things aren’t easy anymore, as soon as it gets painful, or boring, or agitating. They quit as soon as they see something in their minds that scares them or hurts them. So they miss the good part, the wild part, the transformative part—the part when you push past the difficulty and enter into some raw new unexplored universe within yourself. And maybe it’s like that with every important aspect of your life. Whatever it is you are pursuing, whatever it is you are seeking, whatever it is you are creating, be careful not to quit too soon. As my friend Pastor Rob Bell warns: “Don’t rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you.” Don’t let go of your courage the moment things stop being easy or rewarding. Because that moment? That’s the moment when interesting begins.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Suddenly gator was framed in the doorway, grinning at them, his black unruly hair tumbling into his face and his piercing blue eyes bright with laughter. "Oh, I see you are most friendly with each other. And Lily was so worried." He turned his head. "Ian Tucker, come look at this. Our man has found himself a little kitty cat."
"Shut up, Gator, or I'm going to shoot you." Nicholas put the gun away and looked down at dahlia. She had the covers pulled up to her chin. Here eyes were enormous and getting bigger by the moment as more Ghost Walkers crowded into the doorway to gape at the sight of Nicholas, the loner, in bed with Dahlia.
"And you said he didn't know what to do with a woman," Tucker Addison accused the tallest of the group, Ian McGillicuddy.
"I stand corrected." Ian gave Nicholas a small salute.
Dahlia made a small distressed squeak. Nicholas picked up the gun. "I'm going to start shooting if the lot of you don't get out and close the door."
"What a poor sport," Gator groused. "And this is my house.
Christine Feehan (Mind Game (GhostWalkers, #2))
NOT to my contemporaries, not to my compatriots but to
mankind I commit my now completed work in the confidence that it will not be without value for them, even
if this should be late recognised, as is commonly the lot
of what is good. For it cannot have been for the passing
generation, engrossed with the delusion of the moment,
that my mind, almost against my will, has uninterruptedly
stuck to its work through the course of a long life.
preface to the second edition of "the world as will and representation
My mind leaps to my theory about presidents - that there are two kinds, ones who have a lot of sex and the others who start wars. In short - and don't quote me, because this is an incomplete expression of a more complex premise - I believe blow jobs prevent war.
A.M. Homes (May We Be Forgiven)
I believe that I love sleep
much more than anybody I’ve ever
I have the ability to sleep for
2 or 3 days and
I will go to bed at any given
I often confused my girlfriends
say it would be about onethirty
in the afternoon:
“well, I’m going to bed now, I’m
going to sleep…”
most of them wouldn’t mind, they
would go to bed with me
thinking I was hinting for
but I would just turn my back
and snore off.
this, of course, could explain
why so many of my girlfriends
as for doctors, they were never
“listen, I have this desire to
go to bed and sleep, almost all
what is wrong with
“do you get enough exercise?”
“are you getting enough
they always handed me a
which I threw away
between the office and the
it’s a curious malady
because I can’t sleep between
6 p.m. and midnight.
it must occur after
and when I arise
it can never be
and should the phone ring
say at 10:30 a.m.
I go into a mad rage
don’t even ask who the caller
scream into the
phone: “WHAT ARE YOU
CALLING ME FOR AT THIS
every person, I suppose, has
but in an effort to be
in the world’s
they overcome them
I’ve kept mine
and do believe that
they have lent generously to
I think it’s the main reason I
decided to become a
writer: I can type
when I damn well
What I mean by that is: if I wanted to implement something new into my game, I’d see it and try incorporating it immediately. I wasn’t scared of missing, looking bad, or being embarrassed. That’s because I always kept the end result, the long game, in my mind. I always focused on the fact that I had to try something to get it, and once I got it, I’d have another tool in my arsenal. If the price was a lot of work and a few missed shots, I was OK with that.
Kobe Bryant (The Mamba Mentality: How I Play)
No matter what any of you have done, you haven't all done it. Because it's not right to judge a class of people by the actions of one, or a few. That's not justice. It's prejudice, and I don't like it. Justice means judging each person individually."
Jesse's lips slowly curled into a smile, and her eyes warmed as well. "High-minded," she said. "I'm not sure you'll find a lot of people living up to your standard."
Claire shrugged. "Doesn't matter if they do or not. It's my opinion, I'm not trying to make anybody else agree. But I don't want them forcing their opinions on me."
"And thus beging the war," said Lady Grey, who'd once been queen.
Rachel Caine (Daylighters (The Morganville Vampires, #15))
Apropos of nothing at all except that it has been on my mind and I think I had better say it because it accounts for a good deal of my behaviour. There is a strong streak in me that wishes not to exist and really does not believe that I do, so that I tend to become unnerved when these curious ideas are proved to be not really true because someone (in this case you) has responded to something I have said or done just as if I were an actual person the same as you (especially) or anyone else. Some of it is, I guess, just the worst sorts of arrogance and irresponsibility , but not all of it, as I really don't think I exist a lot of the time, so I'm asking you to bear with it, me, whatever, for the sake of what?—friendship I suppose, which I want to be capable of, which is obviously not enough. More brains might help, but enough unseemly remarks for eight o'clock in the morning and the shivering in pyjama bottoms syndrome.
Edward Gorey (Floating Worlds: The Letters of Edward Gorey & Peter F. Neumeyer)
Fifth grade is probably pretty rocky for lots of kids. Homework. Never being quite sure if you’re cool enough. Clothes. Parents. Wanting to play with toys and wanting to be grown up all at the same time. Underarm odor. I guess I have all that, plus about a million different layers of other stuff to deal with. Making people understand what I want. Worrying about what I look like. Fitting in. Will a boy ever like me? Maybe I’m not so different from everyone else after all.
Sharon M. Draper (Out of My Mind)
God, a lot happened since you lost your mind. Is that rude to say?'
'Actually, the problem is that I can't lose my mind," I said. "It's inescapable.'
'That's precisely how I feel about my virginity,' Daisy said.
John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)
We talk like we know what’s going on, but we don’t. We don’t know anything. We’re really young and we’re gonna screw up a lot. We’re gonna keep changing our minds and even sometimes our hearts. And through all that, the only real thing we can offer each other is forgiveness. I couldn’t do that. Or at least, I did it too late. Don’t make my mistake. Don’t let yourself be so angry you stop loving. Because one day you’ll wake up from that anger and the person you love will be gone.
You know, when I was little, my dad told me that if I misbehaved, he'd send me to live with a witch who ate children.'
She nods. 'I was so afraid of the witch. Feelings are magnified when you're young, I think, and the fear can stay with you for a long time. I eventually grew out of the fear but even now when I read something with a witch, my mind always traces back to that story. Isn't that weird?'
'How'd you grow out of it?' I ask. 'The fear?'
She takes a long moment to answer. 'I read lots and lots of books about witches.
Stephanie Oakes (The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly)
Then Allen said, “I’ve discovered a way to have a lot more time. In the past, I used to look at my time as if it were divided into several parts. One part I reserved for Joey, another part was for Sue, another part to help with Ana, another part for household work. The time left over I considered my own. I could read, write, do research, go for walks. But now I try not to divide time into parts anymore. I consider my time with Joey and Sue as my own time. When I help Joey with his homework, I try to find ways of seeing his time as my own time. I go through his lesson with him, sharing his presence and finding ways to be interested in what we do during that time. The time for him becomes my own time. The same with Sue. The remarkable thing is that now I have unlimited time for myself!
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
Early on, when they'd just started home schooling together, he'd written a note on the margin of her page: "What's your star sign?"
She'd turned to him, "What does my star sigh?" and he'd seen how much she'd liked the idea that she owned a star, and that it sighed; he'd seen in her eyes that her mind was rushing through the possible words that it could sigh.
It's true that his handwriting was bad: the "n" looked a lot like an "h."
But when he's crossed it out and written "sign," underlining the "n" three times, a vagueness had wandered onto her face, and she'd thought for a moment, then said, "Pisces," and smiled.
Jaclyn Moriarty (A Corner of White (The Colours of Madeleine, #1))
There are a lot of memories we imagine. We play them over and over in our minds, trying to orchestrate our movements and words to perfection. Or maybe it's just that I've lived inside of my head more than any other person in the history of the world. Maybe none of us can really predict how we will act at any give moment. Maybe we're all at the mercy of circumstance in spite of our well-laid plans.
Mary E. Pearson (The Fox Inheritance (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #2))
Oh my God, I’d forgotten what this felt like.”
“Not a lot of huggers in Hollywood, huh?”
“None like this—holy shit. Okay, I’m just going to kind of slump into you now. So if you’re averse to that, say before I’m swamping your helpless body.”
“I don’t mind if you swamp.”
“Are you sure? Because I think I’m a fumbling virgin at this.”
“You’re doing fine. In fact I think I’m close to a cuddling orgasm.
Charlotte Stein (Beyond Repair (Deeper Than Desire, #1))
How much of what we think of as an admirable response to trauma - the "stiff upper lip" - is actually dissociation, the mind's attempt to protect us from experiences that are too painful to digest? I can recall the facts, at least some of them. But I don't feel very much. At least, the feelings I have are not kind. They are not sympathetic toward my fifteen-year-old self. It happened. It happens to a lot of women. I survived. Most women do. I am "strong," but in those moments of strength, I don't feel. I will admit that I am very afraid of one thing. Not just afraid. Ashamed. I am afraid that I am incapable of love. (11)
Jessica Stern (Denial: A Memoir of Terror)
At the end of his life, the great picture book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak said on the NPR show Fresh Air, 'I cry a lot because I miss people. I cry a lot because they die, and I can't stop them. They leave me, and I love them more.'
He said, 'I'm finding out as I'm aging that I'm in love with the world.'
It has taken me all my life up to now to fall in love with the world, but I've started to feel it the last couple of years. To fall in love with the world isn't to ignore or overlook suffering, both human and otherwise. For me anyway, to fall in love with the world is to look up at the night sky and feel your mind swim before the beauty and the distance of the stars. It is to hold your children while they cry, to watch as the sycamore trees leaf out in June. When my breastbone starts to hurt, and my throat tightens, and tears well in my eyes, I want to look away from the feeling. I want to deflect with irony, or anything else that will keep me from feeling directly. We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open. I want to feel what there is to feel while I am here.
John Green (The Anthropocene Reviewed)
I don't think I could ever live with either a man or a woman for a long time. Male and female are attractive to my mind, but when it comes to the sexual act I am afraid. In every situation I need a lot of stimulation before I am conquered by the forces of passion and lust. But confusion, before and after, is the dominant factor.
I dreamed many times about a mature man with experience who would have the vigour of a boy but an adult's polished methods. Strangely enough, I also dreamed about women of my mother's age who were ideal lovers. These dreams came superimposed on one another. Sometimes the masculine element was dominant, sometimes the feminine one. At other times I wasn't sure. I saw a female body with male organs or a male body with female ones. These pictures, blended together in my mind, occasionally brought pleasure but more often pain.
Adam Thirlwell (Politics)
Environment affects me a great deal. A lot of the songs were written after the sun went down. And I like storms, I like to stay up during a storm. I get very meditative sometimes, and this one phrase was going through my head: `Work while the day lasts, because the night of death cometh when no man can work.' I don't recall where I heard it. I like preaching, I hear a lot of preaching, and I probably just heard it somewhere. Maybe it's in Psalms, it beats me. But it wouldn't let me go. I was, like, what does that phrase mean? But it was at the forefront of my mind, for a long period of time...
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to god and my country but it might not be the same god as the god of the church and I might not be digging on the message of the president because the windmills of his mind are cracked on a lot of subjects concerning people.
Lynda Barry (My Perfect Life)
I think I want a house of my own," I start, the words a discovery as they leave my mouth. "Something small, so I don't have much housework, but enough room for a proper library. I want a lot of books. And I wouldn't mind a good old dog to walk with me. And a bakery I go to every morning where they know my name."
"And you don't want anyone with you?" Sim asks, raising her head. "No family?"
"I want friends," I say. "Good friends, that make up a different kind of family.
Mackenzi Lee (The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2))
Sometimes we take leaps of faith, and sometimes we take tiny steps. Even the tiniest step can require a lot of courage. Like climbing out of denial and admitting my real need for help. Like trusting someone who said I wouldn’t die from eating a bowl of pasta, and taking another bite. Like reaching for a pen or a yoga mat when what I really wanted to do was reach for a cookie. Like searching for a smile in my heart when my mind was busy screaming about how sad and serious I should be.
Shannon Kopp (Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman's Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life)
I love you Tory. I know I say it a lot, but..."
"I know baby. I feel the same way about you. Those words never convey what goes through my mind and heart every time I look up and see you sitting in my house. Funny thign is, I always thought my house was full and that there was nothing missing in my life. I had a job I loved. Family who loved me. Good friends to keep me sane. Everything a human could want. And t hen I met an infuriating, impossible man who added the one thing I didn't know wasn't there."
"Dirty socks on the floor?"
She laughed. "No, the other part of my heart. The last face I see before I go to sleep and the first one I see when I get up. I'm so glad it was you."
Those words both thrilled and scared him. Mostly because he knew firsthand that if love went untended it turned into profound hatred. --Tory and Acheron
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
Tell me something. Do you believe in God?'
Snow darted an apprehensive glance in my direction. 'What? Who still believes nowadays?'
'It isn't that simple. I don't mean the traditional God of Earth religion. I'm no expert in the history of religions, and perhaps this is nothing new--do you happen to know if there was ever a belief in an...imperfect God?'
'What do you mean by imperfect?' Snow frowned. 'In a way all the gods of the old religions were imperfect, considered that their attributes were amplified human ones. The God of the Old Testament, for instance, required humble submission and sacrifices, and and was jealous of other gods. The Greek gods had fits of sulks and family quarrels, and they were just as imperfect as mortals...'
'No,' I interrupted. 'I'm not thinking of a god whose imperfection arises out of the candor of his human creators, but one whose imperfection represents his essential characteristic: a god limited in his omniscience and power, fallible, incapable of foreseeing the consequences of his acts, and creating things that lead to horror. He is a...sick god, whose ambitions exceed his powers and who does not realize it at first. A god who has created clocks, but not the time they measure. He has created systems or mechanisms that serves specific ends but have now overstepped and betrayed them. And he has created eternity, which was to have measured his power, and which measures his unending defeat.'
Snow hesitated, but his attitude no longer showed any of the wary reserve of recent weeks:
'There was Manicheanism...'
'Nothing at all to do with the principles of Good and Evil,' I broke in immediately. 'This god has no existence outside of matter. He would like to free himself from matter, but he cannot...'
Snow pondered for a while:
'I don't know of any religion that answers your description. That kind of religion has never been...necessary. If i understand you, and I'm afraid I do, what you have in mind is an evolving god, who develops in the course of time, grows, and keeps increasing in power while remaining aware of his powerlessness. For your god, the divine condition is a situation without a goal. And understanding that, he despairs. But isn't this despairing god of yours mankind, Kelvin? Is it man you are talking about, and that is a fallacy, not just philosophically but also mystically speaking.'
I kept on:
'No, it's nothing to do with man. man may correspond to my provisional definition from some point of view, but that is because the definition has a lot of gaps. Man does not create gods, in spite of appearances. The times, the age, impose them on him. Man can serve is age or rebel against it, but the target of his cooperation or rebellion comes to him from outside. If there was only a since human being in existence, he would apparently be able to attempt the experiment of creating his own goals in complete freedom--apparently, because a man not brought up among other human beings cannot become a man. And the being--the being I have in mind--cannot exist in the plural, you see? ...Perhaps he has already been born somewhere, in some corner of the galaxy, and soon he will have some childish enthusiasm that will set him putting out one star and lighting another. We will notice him after a while...'
'We already have,' Snow said sarcastically. 'Novas and supernovas. According to you they are candles on his altar.'
'If you're going to take what I say literally...'
...Snow asked abruptly:
'What gave you this idea of an imperfect god?'
'I don't know. It seems quite feasible to me. That is the only god I could imagine believing in, a god whose passion is not a redemption, who saves nothing, fulfills no purpose--a god who simply is.
Stanisław Lem (Solaris)
Though many of my arguments will be coolly analytical — that an acknowledgment of human nature does not, logically speaking, imply the negative outcomes so many people fear — I will not try to hide my belief that they have a positive thrust as well. "Man will become better when you show him what he is like," wrote Chekhov, and so the new sciences of human nature can help lead the way to a realistic, biologically informed humanism. They expose the psychological unity of our species beneath the superficial differences of physical appearance and parochial culture. They make us appreciate the wondrous complexity of the human mind, which we are apt to take for granted precisely because it works so well. They identify the moral intuitions that we can put to work in improving our lot. They promise a naturalness in human relationships, encouraging us to treat people in terms of how they do feel rather than how some theory says they ought to feel. They offer a touchstone by which we can identify suffering and oppression wherever they occur, unmasking the rationalizations of the powerful. They give us a way to see through the designs of self-appointed social reformers who would liberate us from our pleasures. They renew our appreciation for the achievements of democracy and of the rule of law. And they enhance the insights of artists and philosophers who have reflected on the human condition for millennia.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
I don’t have a gun and I don’t have even one wife and my sentences tend to go on and on and on, with all this syntax in them. Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than have syntax. Or semicolons. I use a whole lot of half-assed semicolons; there was one of them just now; that was a semicolon after “semicolons,” and another one after “now.”
And another thing. Ernest Hemingway would have died rather than get old. And he did. He shot himself. A short sentence. Anything rather than a long sentence, a life sentence. Death sentences are short and very, very manly. Life sentences aren’t. They go on and on, all full of syntax and qualifying clauses and confusing references and getting old. And that brings up the real proof of what a mess I have made of being a man: I am not even young. Just about the time they finally started inventing women, I started getting old. And I went right on doing it. Shamelessly. I have allowed myself to get old and haven’t done one single thing about it, with a gun or anything.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader and the Imagination)
But I thought we might get naked, just like Adam and Eve, so natural...”
I gasped. I'd forgotten all about that part of my conversation with Scott! Utter humiliation. I curled into a tighter ball.
“Oh, come on. You haven't even thanked me yet.”
“For what?” I asked, still not looking.
“For saving you from snogging that plonker. You didn't really fancy him, did you?”
My cheeks burned, and I was glad to be turned away from him. I kept my mouth shut.
“So that's it, then?” he asked. I ignored him. “I always wondered what it would feel like.”
That made me curious enough to turn to him.
“What what would feel like?” I asked.
“Rejection.” He seemed in the midst of a revelation.
“What are you saying? That no girl has ever told you no?”
Well, that explained a lot.
“And what about you?” I asked. "Haven't you ever stopped or said no to a girl?”
He laughed as if I'd said something ridiculous. "Why would I do that?”
“Lots of reasons,” I said. “Never mind, just go to sleep. We have a long day tomorrow.” I turned away from him again, punching the thick pillow and laying my head down.
“I suppose I did refuse one, but she doesn't count,” he said.
“Because she was Neph.”
Discomfort gnawed at me.
“This must be the part where I take a cold shower?” he asked.
When he was in the bathroom with the water running, I jumped down and changed into my pajamas. Then I leaped back into bed and chanted to myself, Don't think about the kiss. Don't think about the kiss. Impossible.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
[A]s though mindful of the wife of Lot, who looked back from behind him, thou deliveredst me first to the sacred garments and monastic profession before thou gavest thyself to God. And for that in this one thing thou shouldst have had little trust in me I vehemently grieved and was ashamed. For I (God [knows]) would without hesitation precede or follow thee to the Vulcanian fires according to thy word. For not with me was my heart, but with thee. But now, more than ever, if it be not with thee, it is nowhere. For without thee it cannot anywhere exist.
Héloïse d'Argenteuil (The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse)
BOWIE: I change my mind a lot. I usually don’t agree with what I say very much. I’m an awful liar. (...)
I’m not sure whether it is me changing my mind, or whether I lie a lot. It’s somewhere between the two. I don’t exactly lie, I change my mind all the time. People are always throwing things at me that I’ve said and I say that I didn’t mean anything. You can’t stand still on one point for your entire life.
David Bowie (David Bowie: The Last Interview and Other Conversations)
One morning early, I couldn't sleep, so I walked down to the beach. And I saw you. For a minute- I didn't realize it was you. You were wearing this long scarf thing tied around your waist, lots of wild colors, and it blew around your legs. You had on a red bathing suit under it."
"You..." She literally had to catch her breath. "You remember what I was wearing?"
"Yes I do. And I remember your hair was longer than it is now, halfway down your back. All those mad curls flying. Bare feet. All that golden skin, wild colors, mad curls. My heart just stopped. I thought: That's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. And I wanted that woman, in a way I'd never wanted one before."
He stopped, turned a little as she simply stared at him. "Then I saw it was you. You walked off, down the beach, the surf foaming up over your bare feet, your ankles, your calves. And I wanted you. I thought I'd lost my my mind.
Nora Roberts (Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet, #2))
When I was thirteen I spent a lot of time pretending to like dance music because everyone at my school seemed to love it. If only I'd known it was OK to have different tastes to others and that one day my mind would be blown open by an older man who would introduce me to The Smiths, The Cure, Buzzcocks, Talking Heads and almost every other band I adore to this day. I also wish I'd been reassured that one day, yes, a boy would actually fancy me in spite and potentially, deliberately, FOR my zero boob/skinny legs combo. But mainly I wish I'd listened to my mother when she said learning to play the piano might come in handy in the future and would actually be something I would thank her for forcing me to do. Every Wednesday we would drive to Mrs Batten's house listening to The ArchersI, with me in the passenger seat trying desperately to think up excuses for why I hadn't practiced that week. Though it seemed very unlikely at the time, I am thankful for those piano lessons every time I manage to impress a boy by hammering out some Chopin when drunk (swot up, kids!).
Alexa Chung (It)
John laughed. “You know, I’ve heard all the sayings about the wrath of women, but whew, Scar, you have a temper.”
The others chuckled.
“Keep it in mind, John Little,” I warned him. I didn’t feel much like chuckling.
He laughed. “I’ll be sure to inform Jenny Percy,” he said.
I rolled my eyes, but this time I heard a small laugh come from Rob’s distant corner. “So she really kissed
“Should have seen it, Rob! Scar’s right in the middle of giving her a talking-to, and Jenny lays one on her,” Much
“So that’s how we shut her up,” John said.
I knew he were fair close to me so I tried to kick him. It took a few attempts, but one finally hit something and I heard him whine, “Ow, Scar!”
“And none of you jumped in to defend—her—her honor?” Rob asked, but it got broken up with laughs.
“The lot of you are stupid blighters,” I snapped. “It ain’t for laughing.”
This made them crack apart with howls.
I've been sitting here now, and do you know what I was saying to myself? If I did not believe in life, if I were to lose faith in the woman I love, if I were to lose faith in the order of things, even if I were to become convinced, on the contrary, that everything is a disorderly, damned, and perhaps devilish chaos, if I were struck even by all the horrors of human disillusionment--still I would want to live, and as long as I have bent to this cup, I will not tear myself from it until I've drunk it all. However, by the age of thirty, I will probably drop the cup, even if I haven't emptied it, and walk away...I don't know where. But until my thirtieth year, I know this for certain, my youth will overcome everything--all disillusionment, all aversion to live. I've asked myself many times: is there such despair in the world as could overcome this wild and perhaps indecent thirst for life in me, and have decided that apparently there is not--that is, once again, until my thirtieth year, after which I myself shall want no more, so it seems to me. Some snotty-nosed, consumptive moralists, poets especially, often call this thirst for life base. True, it's a feature of the Karamazovs, to some extent, this thirst for life despite all; it must be sitting in you too; but why is it base? There is still an awful lot of centripetal force on our planet, Alyosha. I want to live, and I do live, even if it be against logic. Though I do not believe in the order of things, still the sticky little leaves that come out in the spring are dear to me, the blue sky is dear to me, some people are dear to me, whom one loves sometimes, would you believe it, without even knowing why; some human deeds are dear to me, which one has perhaps long ceased believing in, but still honors with one's heart, out of old habit...I want to go to Europe, Alyosha, I'll go straight from here. Of course I know that I will only be going to a graveyard, but to the most, the most previous graveyard, that's the thing! The precious dead lie there, each stone over them speaks of such ardent past life, of such passionate faith in their deeds, their truth, their struggle, and their science, that I--this I know beforehand--will fall to the ground and kiss those stones and weep over them--being wholeheartedly convinced, at the same time, that it has all long been a graveyard and nothing more. And I will not weep from despair, but simply because I will be happy in my shed tears. I will be drunk with my own tenderness. Sticky spring leaves, the blue sky--I love them, that's all! Such things you love not with your mind, not with logic, but with your insides, your guts, you love your first young strength...
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
And then a man of forty or so, with a French accent, asked, "How do you achieve the presence of mind to initiate the writing of a poem?" And something cracked open in me, and I finally stopped hoarding and told them my most useful secret. The only secret that has helped me consistently over all the years that I've written. I said, "Well, I'll tell you how. I ask a simple question. I ask myself: What was the very best moment of your day??" The wonder of it was, I told them that this one question could lift out from my life exactly what I will want to write a poem about. Something I hadn't known was important will leap out and hover there in front of me, saying I am— I am the best moment of the day. I noticed two people were writing down what I was saying. Often, I went on, it's a moment when you're waiting for someone, or you're driving somewhere, or maybe you're just walking across a parking lot and admiring the oil stains and the dribbled tar patterns. One time it was when I was driving past a certain house that was screaming with sunlitness on its white clapboards, and then I plunged through tree shadows that splashed and splayed across the windshield. I thought, Ah, of course— I'd forgotten. You, windshield shadows, you are the best moment of the day. "And that's my secret, such as it is," I said.
Nicholson Baker (The Anthologist (The Paul Chowder Chronicles #1))
There'll be a whole lot of things you ain't gonna want to do, but you'll have to do in this life just so you can survive.
'Now, I don't like the idea of what Charlie Simms did to you no more than your Uncle Hammer, but I had to weigh the hurt of what happened to you to what could've happened if I went after him. If I'd-a gone after Charlie Simms and given him a good thrashin', like I felt like doing, the hurt to all of us would've been a whole lot more than the hurt to you. So I let it be. I don't like letting it be, but I can live with that decision.
'But there are other things, Cassie, that if I'd let be, they'd eat away at me and destroy me in the end. And it's the same with you, baby. There are things you can't back down on. Things you gotta take a stand on, but it's up to you to decide what them things are.
'You have to demand respect in this world. Ain't nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for, that's how you gain respect. But little one, ain't nobody's respect worth more than your own. You understand that?'
'Now, there ain't no sense going around being mad. You clear your head so you can think sensibly. Then I want you to think real hard about whether Lillian Jean's worth taking a stand about. But keep in mind that Lillian Jean probably won't be the last white person to think you this way.
Mildred D. Taylor (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Logans, #4))
I want you all to know,” Skulduggery said, “that we are the first line of defence. In fact, we’re practically the only line of defence. If we fail, there won’t be a whole lot anyone else will be able to do. What I’m trying to say is that failure at this point isn’t really the smart move to make. We are not to fail, do I make myself absolutely clear? Failure is bad, it won’t help us in the short term and certainly won’t do us any favours in the long run, and I think I’ve lost track of this speech, and I’m not too sure where it’s headed. But I know where it started and that’s what you’ve got to keep in mind. Where’s my hat?
Derek Landy (Playing with Fire (Skulduggery Pleasant, #2))
You’re quiet.” Bodie issued that statement with no small amount of suspicion. “I’m always quiet.” As Bodie pulled the car past the gates and out onto the street, he glanced at me just long enough to smirk. “And I’m always perceptive. This quiet is a different quiet.” My mind was awash in the day’s events. Georgia’s visit. Vivvie and the article on Pierce. The two names from Henry’s list. Adam’s father being the one who had arranged the get-together in that photograph. “I’m fluent in all varieties of Kendrick silences,” Bodie declared. “And you and your sister both stare very intently at absolutely nothing when the wheels are turning in here.” He lazily reached over and tapped the side of my head. I swatted his hand away. “I have a lot to think about.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Fixer (The Fixer, #1))
Sure, I had gained a lot of weight...I had begun to fear that I would never lose (it) and would be forever confined to this foreign body. The problem was much more superficial - but easier to grapple with - than my real worries about being trapped in my broken mind... When I worried about being fat forever, marred in the eyes of those closest to me, I was actually worried about who I was going to be: Will I be as slow, dour, unfunny, and stupid as I now felt for the rest of my life? Will I ever again regain that spark that defines who I am?
Susannah Cahalan (Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness)
I gave myself a little shake. So if Gideon was carrying on as if nothing had happened—well, thanks a lot, I could do the same. “Okay, let’s get out of here,” I said brightly. “I’m cold.”
I tried to push past him, but he took hold of my arm and stopped me. “Listen, about all that just now . . .” He stopped, probably hoping I was going to interrupt him.
Which of course I wasn’t. I was only too keen to hear what he had to say. I also found breathing difficult when he was standing so close to me.
“That kiss . . . I didn’t mean . . .” Once again it was only half a sentence. But I immediately finished it in my mind.
I didn’t mean it that way.
Well, obviously, but then he shouldn’t have done it, should he? It was like setting fire to a curtain and then wondering why the whole house burned down. (Okay, silly comparison.) I wasn’t going to make it any easier for him. I looked at him coolly and expectantly. That is, I tried to look at him coolly and expectantly, but I probably really had an expression on my face saying, Oh, I’m cute little Bambie, please don’t shoot me! There was nothing I could do about that. All I needed was for my lower lip to start trembling.
I didn’t mean it that way! Go on, say it!
But Gideon didn’t say anything. He took a hairpin out of my untidy hair (by now my complicated arrangement of strands must have looked as if a couple of birds had been nesting in it), took one strand, and wound it around his finger. With his other hand, he began stroking my fact, and then he bent down and kissed me again, this time very cautiously. I closed my eyes—and the same thing happened as before: my brain suffered that delicious break in transmission. (Well, all it was transmitting was oh, hmm, and more!)
But that lasted only about ten seconds, because then a voice right beside us said, irritated, “Not starting that stuff up again, are you?
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
A computer search would have given me a list of pertinent cases, but without that I had to read everything. That is harder by far, but you end up learning a lot more. I was forced to remember cases because making copies of everything was too expensive. Keeping cases in your head is good, too, because cases are like puzzle pieces floating around in your mind, and sometimes, in moments of creativity, they fall into place and form a picture. If they were words on a screen that you could pull up anytime you wished, that phenomenon wouldn't happen as easily.
Shon Hopwood (Law Man: My Story of Robbing Banks, Winning Supreme Court Cases, and Finding Redemption)
I was occupied so entirely by each day, I felt detached from anything so large as a month or a year. History didn't cross my mind. Now it does. Now I know, whatever your burdens, to hold yourself apart from the lot of more powerful men is an illusion. On that awful day in January 1961, Lumumba paid with a life and so did I. On the wings of an owl the fallen Congo came to haunt even our little family, we messengers of goodwill adrift on a sea of mistaken intentions.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
I am in Love with you, it’s me who is in love with you not you,
I am in love with you.
Not in a way I wanted to but yeah the way I am fond to
Hey I am in love with you,
not treating you like I wanted to but just being the one that thought of to
yeah I am in love with you,
Loving you was the secrete I wanted to keep
and buried deep inside my emotional heap,
Doing everything possible what I had to
But baby it hurts as it hurts you too,
but yeah still I am in love with you,
Pulled myself million times because I got the wrong vibes all the time,
But the truth remains the same
baby hear me as I am in love with you,
Waiting on you I could see people were laughing on me
I knew all the while you weren't near me.
But you should know that I am in love with you
There were some days I missed you a lot and scared to tell you how i feel cold and hot
for you as I am in love with you is the only dream
And then I am in love with you
I remember I have cried to sleep
and bagged myself to keep you away
from the highest steep
the voice that said from within me I am in love with you
Just I LOVE YOU was the only words I wanna hear from you
even while knowing, you don’t mean to
Because simply I feel the way I wanted to
Loving to say I am in love with you.
wake up in the morning with only you in my mind till I sleep at deep way in the night
I know its all silly things for your kind
but its perfect to me as clearly - deeply in love with you
When you being nice to me that scares me sometimes
but bottom in my heart it feels so nice because during that time
I am in love with you,
Doesn't matter whatever I do with you even things i have never done before
and i enjoyed them all because simply as I am in love with you.
In the first waiting on you was the favorite thing in my day
weather it s a call or just a look from you from the farthest bay
I asked myself why and the voice within me said that I am in love with you.
The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love.
I used to draw a comparison between him, and Hindley Earnshaw, and perplex myself to explain satisfactorily, why their conduct was so opposite in similar circumstances. They had both been fond husbands, and were both attached to their children; and I could not see how they shouldn't both have taken the same road, for good or evil. But, I thought in my mind, Hindley, with apparently the stronger head, has shown himself sadly the worse and the weaker man. When his ship struck, the captain abandoned his post; and the crew, instead of trying to save her, rushed into riot, and confusion, leaving no hope for their luckless vessel. Linton, on the contrary, displayed the true courage of a loyal and faithful soul: he trusted God; and God comforted him. One hoped, and the other despaired; they chose their own lots, and were righteously doomed to endure them.
Emily Brontë (Wuthering Heights)
It was a good ten minutes before I realized Roman and I had been sitting in silence. I stole a look at him out of the corner of my eye, but he seemed unbothered by quiet as I was.
For the first time in a long while, I didn't feel like I had to say anything. There was no one to comfort tor convince. There was no one to charm or encourage. I disappeared into myself as I drove on, trying to find my center. I could breathe. Be still.
What I hadn't expected was how much Roman seemed to need it, too.
Some people feared silence. They did anything to fill it, talking about things that didn't matter, asking questions just to hear some kind of response. it seemed to me that a lot of people saw it as a kind of failure. Evidence that they weren't interesting enough, or that a bond wasn't strong enough. Or maybe they were just nervous about what it would reveal about themselves.
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Legacy (The Darkest Minds, #4))
I had a bizarre rapport with this mirror and spent a lot of time gazing into the glass to see who was there. Sometimes it looked like me. At other times, I could see someone similar but different in the reflection. A few times, I caught the switch in mid-stare, my expression re-forming like melting rubber, the creases and features of my face softening or hardening until the mutation was complete. Jekyll to Hyde, or Hyde to Jekyll. I felt my inner core change at the same time. I would feel more confident or less confident; mature or childlike; freezing cold or sticky hot, a state that would drive Mum mad as I escaped to the bathroom where I would remain for two hours scrubbing my skin until it was raw.
The change was triggered by different emotions: on hearing a particular piece of music; the sight of my father, the smell of his brand of aftershave. I would pick up a book with the certainty that I had not read it before and hear the words as I read them like an echo inside my head. Like Alice in the Lewis Carroll story, I slipped into the depths of the looking glass and couldn’t be sure if it was me standing there or an impostor, a lookalike.
I felt fully awake most of the time, but sometimes while I was awake it felt as if I were dreaming. In this dream state I didn’t feel like me, the real me. I felt numb. My fingers prickled. My eyes in the mirror’s reflection were glazed like the eyes of a mannequin in a shop window, my colour, my shape, but without light or focus.
These changes were described by Dr Purvis as mood swings and by Mother as floods, but I knew better. All teenagers are moody when it suits them. My Switches could take place when I was alone, transforming me from a bright sixteen-year-old doing her homework into a sobbing child curled on the bed staring at the wall.
The weeping fit would pass and I would drag myself back to the mirror expecting to see a child version of myself. ‘Who are you?’ I’d ask. I could hear the words; it sounded like me but it wasn’t me. I’d watch my lips moving and say it again, ‘Who are you?
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
These are lines from my asteroid-impact novel, Regolith:
Just because there are no laws against stupidity doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be punished.
I haven’t faced rejection this brutal since I was single.
He smelled trouble like a fart in the shower.
If this was a kiss of gratitude, then she must have been very grateful.
Not since Bush and Cheney have so few spent so much so fast for so long for so little.
As a nympho for mind-fucks, Lisa took to politics like a pig to mud.
She began paying men compliments as if she expected a receipt.
Like the Aerosmith song, his get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went.
“You couldn’t beat the crap out of a dirty diaper!”
He embraced his only daughter as if she was deploying to Iraq.
She was hotter than a Class 4 solar flare!
If sex was a weapon, then Monique possessed WMD
I haven’t felt this alive since I lost my virginity.
He once read that 95% of women fake organism, and the rest are gay.
Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but ugly is universal.
Why do wives fart, but not girlfriends?
Adultery is sex that is wrong, but not necessarily bad.
The dinosaurs stayed drugged out, drooling like Jonas Brothers fans.
Silence filled the room like tear gas.
The told him a fraction of the truth and hoped it would take just a fraction of the time.
Happiness is the best cosmetic,
He was a whale of a catch, and there were a lot of fish in the sea eager to nibble on his bait.
Cheap hookers are less buck for the bang,
Men cannot fall in love with women they don’t find attractive, and women cannot fall in love with men they do not respect.
During sex, men want feedback while women expect mind-reading.
Cooper looked like a cow about to be tipped over.
His father warned him to never do anything he couldn’t justify on Oprah.
The poor are not free -- they’re just not enslaved. Only those with money are free.
Sperm wasn’t something he would choose on a menu, but it still tasted better than asparagus.
The crater looked alive, like Godzilla was about to leap out and mess up Tokyo.
Bush follows the Bible until it gets to Jesus.
When Bush talks to God, it’s prayer; when God talks to Bush, it’s policy.
Cheney called the new Miss America a traitor – apparently she wished for world peace.
Cheney was so unpopular that Bush almost replaced him when running for re-election, changing his campaign slogan to, ‘Ain’t Got Dick.’
Bush fought a war on poverty – and the poor lost.
Bush thinks we should strengthen the dollar by making it two-ply.
Hurricane Katrina got rid of so many Democratic voters that Republicans have started calling her Kathleen Harris.
America and Iraq fought a war and Iran won.
Bush hasn’t choked this much since his last pretzel.
Some wars are unpopular; the rest are victorious.
So many conservatives hate the GOP that they are thinking of changing their name to the Dixie Chicks.
If Saddam had any WMD, he would have used them when we invaded. If Bush had any brains, he would have used them when we invaded.
It’s hard for Bush to win hearts and minds since he has neither.
In Iraq, you are a coward if you leave and a fool if you stay.
Bush believes it’s not a sin to kill Muslims since they are going to Hell anyway. And, with Bush’s help, soon.
In Iraq, those who make their constitution subservient to their religion are called Muslims. In America they’re called Republicans.
With great power comes great responsibility – unless you’re Republican.
To My Children,
I'm dedicating my little story to you; doubtless you will be among the very few who will ever read it. It seems war stories aren't very well received at this point. I'm told they're out-dated, untimely and as might be expected - make some unpleasant reading. And, as you have no doubt already perceived, human beings don't like to remember unpleasant things. They gird themselves with the armor of wishful thinking, protect themselves with a shield of impenetrable optimism, and, with a few exceptions, seem to accomplish their "forgetting" quite admirably.
But you, my children, I don't want you to be among those who choose to forget. I want you to read my stories and a lot of others like them. I want you to fill your heads with Remarque and Tolstoy and Ernie Pyle. I want you to know what shrapnel, and "88's" and mortar shells and mustard gas mean. I want you to feel, no matter how vicariously, a semblance of the feeling of a torn limb, a burnt patch of flesh, the crippling, numbing sensation of fear, the hopeless emptiness of fatigue. All these things are complimentary to the province of War and they should be taught and demonstrated in classrooms along with the more heroic aspects of uniforms, and flags, and honor and patriotism. I have no idea what your generation will be like. In mine we were to enjoy "Peace in our time". A very well meaning gentleman waved his umbrella and shouted those very words...less than a year before the whole world went to war. But this gentleman was suffering the worldly disease of insufferable optimism. He and his fellow humans kept polishing the rose colored glasses when actually they should have taken them off. They were sacrificing reason and reality for a brief and temporal peace of mind, the same peace of mind that many of my contemporaries derive by steadfastly refraining from remembering the War that came before.
[excerpt from a dedication to an unpublished short story, "First Squad, First Platoon"; from Serling to his as yet unborn children]
UNDERSTANDING I am constantly increasing my understanding. I am teachable. Every day I open my awareness a little more to the Divine Wisdom within me. I am glad to be alive and so grateful for the good that has come to me. Life, to me, is an education. Every day I open my mind and my heart, as a child does, and I discover new insights, new people, new viewpoints, and new ways to understand what’s happening around me and within me. My human mind may not always understand at first. Understanding seems to require lots of love and patience. My new mental skills are really helping me feel more at ease with all the changes in this incredible school of life here on Planet Earth.
Louise L. Hay (Meditations to Heal Your Life (Hay House Lifestyles) (Hay House Lifestyles))
My mother once told me that trauma is like Lord of the Rings. You go through this crazy, life-altering thing that almost kills you (like say having to drop the one ring into Mount Doom), and that thing by definition cannot possibly be understood by someone who hasn’t gone through it. They can sympathize sure, but they’ll never really know, and more than likely they’ll expect you to move on from the thing fairly quickly. And they can’t be blamed, people are just like that, but that’s not how it works.
Some lucky people are like Sam. They can go straight home, get married, have a whole bunch of curly headed Hobbit babies and pick up their gardening right where they left off, content to forget the whole thing and live out their days in peace. Lots of people however, are like Frodo, and they don’t come home the same person they were when they left, and everything is more horrible and more hard then it ever was before. The old wounds sting and the ghost of the weight of the one ring still weighs heavy on their minds, and they don’t fit in at home anymore, so they get on boats go sailing away to the Undying West to look for the sort of peace that can only come from within. Frodos can’t cope, and most of us are Frodos when we start out.
But if we move past the urge to hide or lash out, my mother always told me, we can become Pippin and Merry. They never ignored what had happened to them, but they were malleable and receptive to change. They became civic leaders and great storytellers; they we able to turn all that fear and anger and grief into narratives that others could delight in and learn from, and they used the skills they had learned in battle to protect their homeland. They were fortified by what had happened to them, they wore it like armor and used it to their advantage.
It is our trauma that turns us into guardians, my mother told me, it is suffering that strengthens our skin and softens our hearts, and if we learn to live with the ghosts of what had been done to us, we just may be able to save others from the same fate.
I never read a book in my life,” she said again. She looked at the volume where it lay by the boulder, at Scott, at the book again. She seemed to be having a great deal of trouble getting used to the idea of a man reading a book. “What do you read books for?”
Now he laughed, and she flared up at him, “You laughing at me?”
“Lord, no, ma’am. It’s just that nobody ever asked me that before.”
He looked at the still water for a moment, thinking. “Tell you what, suppose you had a friend, he knew a whole lot more than you do. He could tell you things about what people are like all over the world, the way they live, everything. And what folks were like a hundred years ago or even a thousand. He could tell you things that make your hair curl, lose you sleep, or things that make you laugh.” He looked up at her swiftly, and away. “Or cry.”
He kicked a pebble into the water and watched the sunlight break and break, and heal. “More than that. Suppose you had a friend there waiting for you anytime you wanted him, anyplace. He’d give you all he’s got or any part of it, whenever you wanted it. And even more, you could shut him up if you didn’t feel like listening. Or if he said something you like, you could get him to say it over a hundred times, and he’d never mind.”
He pointed at the book. “And all that you can put in your pocket.
Theodore Sturgeon (The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume X: The Man Who Lost the Sea)
In times of old when I was new
And Hogwarts barely started
The founders of our noble school
Thought never to be parted:
United by a common goal,
They had the selfsame yearning,
To make the world’s best magic school
And pass along their learning.
“Together we will build and teach!”
The four good friends decided
And never did they dream that they
Might someday be divided,
For were there such friends anywhere
As Slytherin and Gryffindor?
Unless it was the second pair
Of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw?
So how could it have gone so wrong?
How could such friendships fail?
Why, I was there and so can tell
The whole sad, sorry tale.
Said Slytherin, “We’ll teach just those
Whose ancestry is purest.”
Said Ravenclaw, “We’ll teach those whose
Intelligence is surest.”
Said Gryffindor, “We’ll teach all those
With brave deeds to their name.”
Said Hufflepuff, “I’ll teach the lot,
And treat them just the same.”
These differences caused little strife
When first they came to light,
For each of the four founders had
A House in which they might
Take only those they wanted, so,
For instance, Slytherin
Took only pure-blood wizards
Of great cunning, just like him,
And only those of sharpest mind
Were taught by Ravenclaw
While the bravest and the boldest
Went to daring Gryffindor.
Good Hufflepuff, she took the rest,
And taught them all she knew,
Thus the Houses and their founders
Retained friendships firm and true.
So Hogwarts worked in harmony
For several happy years,
But then discord crept among us
Feeding on our faults and fears.
The Houses that, like pillars four,
Had once held up our school,
Now turned upon each other and,
Divided, sought to rule.
And for a while it seemed the school
Must meet an early end,
What with dueling and with fighting
And the clash of friend on friend
And at last there came a morning
When old Slytherin departed
And though the fighting then died out
He left us quite downhearted.
And never since the founders four
Were whittled down to three
Have the Houses been united
As they once were meant to be.
And now the Sorting Hat is here
And you all know the score:
I sort you into Houses
Because that is what I’m for,
But this year I’ll go further,
Listen closely to my song:
Though condemned I am to split you
Still I worry that it’s wrong,
Though I must fulfill my duty
And must quarter every year
Still I wonder whether
Sorting May not bring the end I fear.
Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
The warning history shows,
For our Hogwarts is in danger
From external, deadly foes
And we must unite inside her
Or we’ll crumble from within.
I have told you, I have warned you. . . .
Let the Sorting now begin.
The hat became motionless once more;
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
He never liked me. So I never liked him. A long time ago I made a decision that made things a lot simpler for me: I wasn't going to like someone who didn't like me. If someone had a problem with me, I wouldn't argue with him or try to change his mind. If he demonstrated he didn't like me, I came to the conclusion that life was too short, so fuck him. This included quite a few people I ran across in the music business, as well as my own brother and the whole nation of France. I wasn't going to turn into Sally Field ("You like me! You really like me!"), but I wasn't going to waste my time with assholes, either.
Jerry Heller (Ruthless: A Memoir)
To have taken Maggie by the hand and said, “I will not believe unproved evil of you: my lips should not utter it; my ears shall be closed against it. I, too, am an erring mortal, liable to stumble, apt to come short of my most earnest efforts. Your lot has been harder than mine, your temptation greater. Let us help each other to stand and walk without more falling –“ to have done this would have demanded courage, deep pity, self-knowledge, generous trust – would have demanded a mind that tasted no piquancy in evil-speaking, that felt no self-exaltation in condemning, that cheated itself with no large words into the belief that life can have any moral end, any high religion, which excludes the striving after perfect truth, justice, and love towards the individual men and women who come across our own path.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
None of this is important in itself, but I feel somewhere that it has a lot to do with why I have always felt separate, why I have always felt unable to join in, to let go, to become part of the tribe, why I have always sniped or joked from the sidelines, why I have never, ever, lost my overwhelmingly self-conscious self-consciousness. It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing – they are not all bad. Those devils have also been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot)
Stone: Yes, we are everything, every experience we've ever had, and in some of us, a lot of it translates and makes patterns, poems. But, my God, we don't even began to touch upon it. There's an enormous amount, but we can touch such a little.
Interviewer: That's true, just a very small portion.
Stone: Very small. I think that's one of the things that our minds do; they sort out, somehow, often, and make patterns of significant things to us. And I think our minds do that for us in the dark, and then they offer them back in poems. I think your mind makes up your poem before you get it. You know, you receive the poem from your mind, you know you do. It takes a multitude of experiences, and all this language, and all this sound, and puts it together in these patterns that are significant to you and gives it back to you.
I already knew what I’d research. I wrote the words ‘Courtly love’ on my notepad in swirly script, then caught Hayden peering at it.
‘Courtly love? Sorry, Aurora, but I think I’ve already got that one in the bag.’
‘I think you’d better think again, because I’ve already claimed it,’ I replied.
‘You just said you’re not the Mills & Boon type and, technically, courtly love could be considered historical romance.’ He grinned. ‘As you don’t want to pollute your mind with any clichéd topics, you should probably leave that one to me.’
‘You, discussing romance? Ha!’
Hayden put on a hurt face. ‘I think I might be alright at it. After all, I’ve been doing a lot of observing lately.’ He gave me a significant look.
‘Observing?’ I repeated, curiosity getting the better of me.
‘Well, you keep accusing me of spying on your dates,’ he said, and shrugged. ‘So, technically, I guess I’m learning about romance firsthand. It seems kind of brutal, judging from the goodnight ritual I saw last night.’
My blood wasn’t boiling, but it was pretty warm. Despite that, I was not going to lose my temper. I was determined that this year Hayden Paris wasn’t going to destroy my composure.
The real problem here is that we’re all dying. All of us. Every day the cells weaken and the fibres stretch and the heart gets closer to its last beat. The real cost of living is dying, and we’re spending days like millionaires: a week here, a month there, casually spunked until all you have left are the two pennies on your eyes.
Personally, I like the fact we’re going to die. There’s nothing more exhilarating than waking up every morning and going ‘WOW! THIS IS IT! THIS IS REALLY IT!’ It focuses the mind wonderfully. It makes you love vividly, work intensely, and realise that, in the scheme of things, you really don’t have time to sit on the sofa in your pants watching Homes Under the Hammer.
Death is not a release, but an incentive. The more focused you are on your death, the more righteously you live your life. My traditional closing-time rant – after the one where I cry that they closed that amazing chippy on Tollington Road; the one that did the pickled eggs – is that humans still believe in an afterlife. I genuinely think it’s the biggest philosophical problem the earth faces. Even avowedly non-religious people think they’ll be meeting up with nana and their dead dog, Crackers, when they finally keel over. Everyone thinks they’re getting a harp.
But believing in an afterlife totally negates your current existence. It’s like an insidious and destabilising mental illness. Underneath every day – every action, every word – you think it doesn’t really matter if you screw up this time around because you can just sort it all out in paradise. You make it up with your parents, and become a better person and lose that final stone in heaven. And learn how to speak French. You’ll have time, after all! It’s eternity! And you’ll have wings, and it’ll be sunny! So, really, who cares what you do now? This is really just some lacklustre waiting room you’re only going to be in for 20 minutes, during which you will have no wings at all, and are forced to walk around, on your feet, like pigs do.
If we wonder why people are so apathetic and casual about every eminently avoidable horror in the world – famine, war, disease, the seas gradually turning piss-yellow and filling with ringpulls and shattered fax machines – it’s right there. Heaven. The biggest waste of our time we ever invented, outside of jigsaws.
Only when the majority of the people on this planet believe – absolutely – that they are dying, minute by minute, will we actually start behaving like fully sentient, rational and compassionate beings. For whilst the appeal of ‘being good’ is strong, the terror of hurtling, unstoppably, into unending nullity is a lot more effective. I’m really holding out for us all to get The Fear. The Fear is my Second Coming. When everyone in the world admits they’re going to die, we’ll really start getting some stuff done.
Aren't there going to be any refreshments?" Tharamn interrupted. "I always think better with a little snack to keep me going."
"I'm with you there," said Grishmak. "Bring on the nibbles!"
"There aren't any!" Cressida snapped. "This is all far too important, and besides, once you lot start easting, it'll only turn into a party."
"Can't say I have a problem with that myself," said Tharaman. "What about you, Grishy?"
"None at all. Bit of food and fun helps the boring bits along, in my opinion. Let's call a chamberlain and order some grub."
"No!" Cressida insisted. "We all need to concentrate, and I for one find it difficult to think one you and Tharaman start cracking bones and spitting out gristle."
"I never spit out gristle!" said Tharaman in miffed tones. "A terrible wast of protein. It just needs a little extra chewing, that's all."
Thirrin had watched the exchange in silence, but now she sat forward in her chair. "Actually I wouldn't mind a sandwich myself."
Cressida looked at her thunderously.
Stuart Hill (Last Battle of the Icemark)
Poor innocent little lambie," God said, shaking his head. "Telion. I made you people in My Image. I swear, and drink, and have sex. I even burp and fart, but I damn sure don't snore. You seriously think I mind if people I made to reflect me act like I do? Not hardly. And there's another bone I have to pick with you lot. Know why I don't mess with Amrontil for the most part? I'll tell you. You sorry fuckers forgot how to talk to Me and you completely fucking rejected My gifts. You grovel and beg and plead like you're talking to My asshole Brother Gabriel. Makes Me want to barf. Come on, people, get a backbone! And fucking get laid, would you? Uptight repressed bastards.
Marie Brown (Luminous (The Hidden Game, #1))
Do you have someone in mind, Galen?" Toraf asks, popping a shrimp into his mouth. "Is it someone I know?"
"Shut up, Toraf," Galen growls. He closes his eyes, massages his temples. This could have gone a lot better in so many ways.
"Oh," Toraf says. "It must be someone I know, then."
"Toraf, I swear by Triton's trident-"
"These are the best shrimp you've ever made, Rachel," Toraf continues. "I can't wait to cook shrimp on our island. I'll get the seasoning for us, Rayna."
"She's not going to any island with you, Toraf!" Emma yells.
"Oh, but she is, Emma. Rayna wants to be my mate. Don't you, princess?" he smiles.
Rayna shakes her head. "It's no use, Emma. I really don't have a choice."
She resigns herself to the seat next to Emma, who peers down at her, incredulous. "You do have a choice. You can come live with me at my house. I'll make sure he can't get near you."
Toraf's expression indicates he didn't consider that possibility before goading Emma. Galen laughs. "It's not so funny anymore is it, tadpole?" he says, nudging him.
Toraf shakes his head. "She's not staying with you, Emma."
"We'll see about that, tadpole," she returns.
"Galen, do something," Toraf says, not taking his eyes off Emma.
Galen grins. "Such as?"
"I don't know, arrest her or something," Toraf says, crossing his arms.
Emma locks eyes with Galen, stealing his breath. "Yeah, Galen. Come arrest me if you're feeling up to it. But I'm telling you right now, the second you lay a hand on me, I'm busting this glass over your head and using it to split your lip like Toraf's." She picks up her heavy drinking glass and splashes the last drops of orange juice onto the table.
Everyone gasps except Galen-who laughs so hard he almost upturns his chair.
Emma's nostrils flare. "You don't think I'll do it? There's only one way to find out, isn't there, Highness?"
The whole airy house echoes Galen's deep-throated howls. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he elbows Toraf, who's looking at him like he drank too much saltwater. "Do you know those foolish humans at her school voted her the sweetest out of all of them?"
Toraf's expression softens as he looks up at Emma, chuckling. Galen's guffaws prove contagious-Toraf is soon pounding the table to catch his breath. Even Rachel snickers from behind her oven mitt.
The bluster leaves Emma's expression. Galen can tell she's in danger of smiling. She places the glass on the table as if it's still full and she doesn't want to spill it. "Well, that was a couple of years ago."
This time Galen's chair does turn back, and he sprawls onto the floor. When Rayna starts giggling, Emma gives in, too. "I guess...I guess I do have sort of a temper," she says, smiling sheepishly.
She walks around the table to stand over Galen. Peering down, she offers her hand. He grins up at her. "Show me your other hand."
She laughs and shows him it's empty. "No weapons."
"Pretty resourceful," he says, accepting her hand. "I'll never look at a drinking glass the same way." He does most of the work of pulling himself up but can't resist the opportunity to touch her.
She shrugs. "Survival instinct, maybe?"
He nods. "Or you're trying to cut my lips off so you won't have to kiss me." He's pleased when she looks away, pink restaining her cheeks.
"Rayna tries that all the time," Toraf chimes in. "Sometimes when her aim is good, it works, but most of the time kissing her is my reward for the pain.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
I think he likes you.”
I watched Paci join the others, noticing that he was still glancing at me occasionally, and watching other guys who were looking over at Peter and me.
“Yeah. He keeps watching you. Once he heard Bodo wasn’t your boyfriend, he was all over that.”
I sighed. “Shit.”
“Yeah. Exactly. You’d better not go around advertising you’re single. There’s not a hell of a lot of available jawbreakers if you know what I mean.”
My mind raced with the implications. It was stupid of me not to have been thinking about all this stuff before. I guess I was so wrapped up in finding food to eat, a place to live, and companions who wouldn’t eat me, I hadn’t much considered the other human needs, other than on the most basic level. God, I hope there are no rapists in this group. The last thing I wanted to do was kill a guy in the swamp.
Elle Casey (Warpaint (Apocalypsis, #2))
Three years passed. Three years without a mother. In three years my grief has grown to enormous proportions.
Grief is now a giant, sad whale that I drag along with me wherever I go.
My grief fills rooms. It takes up space and it sucks out the air. It leaves no room for anyone else.
Grief and I are left alone a lot. We smoke cigarettes and we cry.
Grief holds my hand as I walk down the sidewalk, and grief doesn't mind when I cry because it's raining and I cannot find a taxi.
Grief acts like a jealous friend, reminding me that no one else will ever love me as much as it does.
Grief whispers in my ear that no one understands me.
Grief is possessive and doesn't let me go anywhere without it.
Grief is force and I am swept up in it.
Claire Bidwell Smith (The Rules of Inheritance)
The beauty ideal is always a youthful one. This is partly simple realism. The young are beautiful. The whole lot of ’em. The older I get, the more clearly I see that and enjoy it. But it gets harder and harder to enjoy facing the mirror. Who is that old lady? Where is her waist? I got resigned, sort of, to losing my dark hair and getting all this limp grey stuff instead, but now am I going to lose even that and end up all pink scalp? I mean, enough already. Is that another mole or am I turning into an Appaloosa? How large can a knuckle get before it becomes a kneejoint? I don’t want to see, I don’t want to know. And yet I look at men and women my age and older, and their scalps and knuckles and spots and bulges, though various and interesting, don’t affect what I think of them. Some of these people I consider to be very beautiful, and others I don’t. For old people, beauty doesn’t come free with the hormones, the way it does for the young. It has to do with bones. It has to do with who the person is. More and more clearly it has to do with what shines through those gnarly faces and bodies.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination)
I'm sorry I was short with him--but I don't like a man to approach me telling me it for my sake.
"Maybe it was," said Wylie
"It's poor technique."
"I'd all for it," said Wylie. "I'm vain as a woman. If anybody pretends to be interested in me, I'll ask for more. I like advice."
Stahr shook his head distastefully. Wylie kept on ribbing him--he was one of those to whom this privilege was permitted. "You fall for some kinds of flattery," he said. "this 'little Napoleon stuff.'"
"It makes me sick," said Stahr, "but it's not as bad as some man trying to help you."
"If you don't like advice, why do you pay me?"
"That's a question of merchandise," said Stahr. "I'm a merchant. I want to buy what's in your mind."
"You're no merchant," said Wylie. "I knew a lot of them when I was a publicity man, and I agree with Charles Francis Adams."
"What did he say?"
"He knew them all--Gould, Vanderbilt, Carnegie, Astor--and he said there wasn't one he'd care to meet again in the hereafter. Well--they haven't improved since then, and that's why I say you're no merchant."
"Adams was probably a sourbelly," said Stahr. "He wanted to be head man himself, but he didn't have the judgement or else the character."
"He had brains," said Wylie rather tartly.
"It takes more than brains. You writers and artists poop out and get all mixed up, and somebody has to come in and straighten you out." He shrugged his shoulders. "You seem to take things so personally, hating people and worshipping them--always thinking people are so important-especially yourselves. You just ask to be kicked around. I like people and I like them to like me, but I wear my heart where God put it--on the inside.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Last Tycoon)
Just about everyone I've ever interviewed has told me that by doing something or other--recovering from cancer, climbing a mountain, playing the part of a serial killer in a movie--they have learned something about themselves. And I always nod and smile thoughtfully, when really I want to pin them down: What did you learn from the cancer, actually? That you don't like being sick? That you don't want to die? That wigs make your scalp itch? Come on, be specific. I suspect it's something they tell themselves in order to turn the experience into something that might appear valuable, rather than a complete and utter waste of time.
In the last few months, I have been to prison, lost every last molecule of self-respect, become estranged from my children, and thought very seriously about killing myself. I mean, that little lot has got to be the psychological equivalent of cancer, right? And it's certainly a bigger deal than acting in a bloody film. So how come I've learned absolutley bugger all? What was I supposed to learn? I've found out that prison and poverty aren't really me. But, you know, I could have had a wild stab in the dark about both of those things beforehand. Call me literal-minded, but I suspect people might learn more about themselves if they didn't get cancer. They'd have more time, and a lot more energy.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
Well. Um. The thing is…” I inhale, then continue with rapid-fire speed. “Imnotahockeyfan.”
A wrinkle appears in his forehead. “What?”
I repeat myself, slowly this time, with actual pauses between each word. “I’m not a hockey fan.”
Then I hold my breath and await his reaction.
He blinks. Blinks again. And again. His expression is a mixture of shock and horror. “You don’t like hockey?”
I regretfully shake my head.
“Not even a little bit?”
Now I shrug. “I don’t mind it as background noise—”
“—but I won’t pay attention to it if it’s on.” I bite my lip. I’m already in this deep—might as well deliver the final blow. “I come from a football family.”
“Football,” he says dully.
“Yeah, my dad and I are huge Pats fans. And my grandfather was an offensive lineman for the Bears back in the day.”
“Football.” He grabs his water and takes a deep swig, as if he needs to rehydrate after that bombshell.
I smother a laugh. “I think it’s awesome that you’re so good at it, though. And congrats on the Frozen Four win.”
Logan stares at me. “You couldn’t have told me this before I asked you out? What are we even doing here, Grace? I can never marry you now—it would be blasphemous.”
His twitching lips make it clear that he’s joking, and the laughter I’ve been fighting spills over. “Hey, don’t go canceling the wedding just yet. The success rate for inter-sport marriages is a lot higher than you think. We could be a Pats-Bruins family.” I pause. “But no Celtics. I hate basketball.”
“Well, at least we have that in common.” He shuffles closer and presses a kiss to my cheek. “It’s all right. We’ll work through this, gorgeous. Might need couples counseling at some point, but once I teach you to love hockey, it’ll be smooth sailing for us.”
“You won’t succeed,” I warn him. “Ramona spent years trying to force me to like it. Didn’t work.”
“She gave up too easily then. I, on the other hand, never give up
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Real poverty is when hunger pangs force from my mind all thoughts but those of food. Real poverty is when the children are not dressed warmly enough for winter. Real poverty is when the housing we can afford is not adequate to the needs of our families. On the other hand, real poverty is - equally - when I have eaten so much that I am uncomfortable, and again, my thoughts center on food. Or when I have so many clothes that I have to spend a lot of mental energy making choices among them or finding ways to store them. Or when, regardless of my living conditions, I am discontent and brooding about how to have more. Real poverty is when material things are uppermost and pressing - whether because we have too few or too many of them. It is poverty, because the human mind and spirit are made for higher things, worthier pursuits.
Maxine Hancock (Living on Less and Liking It More: How to Reduce Your Spending and Increase Your Living)
Because a mother's love is God's greatest joke. And besides - who is to say what is the first and what is the final cause?
-that I was living my life in inverted commas. I could pick up my keys and go 'home' where I could 'have sex' with my 'husband' just like lots of other people did. And I didn't seem to mind the inverted commas...
This is how we all survive. We default to the oldest scar.
So I left the house with a howl of regret for all I had been denied, though there was nothing there I actually wanted. I wanted out of there, that was all. I wanted a larger life.
My children are of a different breed. They seem to grow like plants, to be made of twig and blossom and not of meat.
There are long stretches of time when I don't know what I am doing, or what I have done - nothing mostly, but sometimes it would be nice to know what kind of nothing that was...I try not to drink before half past five, but I always do drink - from the top of the wine bottle to the last, little drop. It is the only way I know to make the day end.
What interests me is to set up what you might call the rapport de grand écart - the most unexpected relationship possible between the things I want to speak about, because there is a certain difficulty in establishing relationships in just that way, and in that difficulty there is an interest, and in that interest there is a certain tension and for me that tension is a lot more important than the stable equilibrium of harmony, which doesn't interest me at all. Reality must be torn apart in every sense of the word. What people forget is that everything is unique. Nature never produces the same thing twice. Hence my stress on seeking the rapport de grand écart: a small head on a large body; a large head on a small body. I want to draw the mind in the direction it's not used to and wake it up. I want to help the viewer discover something he wouldn't have discovered without me. That's why I stress the dissimilarity, for example, between the left eye and the right eye. A painter shouldn't make them so similar. They're just not that way. So my purpose is to set things in movement, to provoke this movement by contradictory tensions, opposing forces, and in that tension or opposition, to find the moment which seems the most interesting to me.
Françoise Gilot (Life with Picasso)
Well, that's pretty much what the schools are like, I think: they reward discipline and obedience, and they punish independence of mind. If you happen to be a little innovative, or maybe you forgot to come to school one day because you were reading a book or something, that's a tragedy, that's a crime―because you're not supposed to think, you're supposed to obey, and just proceed through the material in whatever way they require.
And in fact, most of the people who make it through the education system and get into the elite universities are able to do it because they've been willing to obey a lot of stupid orders for years and years―that's the way I did it, for example. Like, you're told by some stupid teacher, "Do this," which you know makes no sense whatsoever, but you do it, and if you do it you get to the next rung, and then you obey the next order, and finally you work your way through and they give you your letters: an awful lot of education is like that, from the very beginning. Some people go along with it because they figure, "Okay, I'll do any stupid thing that asshole says because I want to get ahead"; others do it because they've just internalized the values―but after a while, those two things tend to get sort of blurred. But you do it, or else you're out: you ask too many questions and you're going to get in trouble.
Now, there are also people who don't go along-and they're called "behavior problems," or "unmotivated," or things like that. Well, you don't want to be too glib about it―there are children with behavior problems but a lot of them are just independent-minded, or don't like to conform, or just want to go their own way. And they get into trouble right from the very beginning, and are typically weeded out. I mean, I've taught young kids too, and the fact is there are always some who just don't take your word for it. And the very unfortunate tendency is to try to beat them down, because they're a pain in the neck. But what they ought to be is encouraged. Yeah: why take my word for it? Who the heck am I? Figure it out for yourself. That's what real education would be about, in fact.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
This was not going the way I wanted it to. I felt a desperate need to escape before I said something that would screw up my plans. Ren was the dark side, the forbidden fruit, my personal Delilah-the ultimate temptation. The question was…could I resist?
I gave his knee a friendly pat and played my trump card…”I’m leaving.”
“I’m going home to Oregon. Mr. Kadam thinks it will be safer for me anyway, with Lokesh out there looking to kill us and all. Besides, you need time to figure out…stuff.”
“If you’re leaving, then I’m going with you!”
I smiled at him wryly. “That kind of defeats the purpose of me leaving. Don’t you think?”
He slicked back his hair, let out a deep breath, then took my hand and looked intently into my eyes. “Kells, when are you going to accept the fact that we belong together?”
I felt sick, like I was kicking a faithful puppy who only wanted to be loved. I looked out at the pool.
After a moment, he sat back scowling and said menacingly, “I won’t let you leave.”
Inside, I desperately wanted to take his hand and beg him to forgive me, to love me, but I steeled myself, dropped my hands in my lap, then implored, “Ren, please. You have to let me go. I need…I’m afraid…look, I just can’t be here, near you, when you change your mind.”
“It’s not going to happen.”
“it might. There’s a good chance.”
He growled angrily. “There’s no chance!”
“Well, my heart can’t take that risk, and I don’t want to put you in what can only be an awkward position. I’m sorry, Ren. I really am. I do want to be your friend, but I understand if you don’t want that. Of course, I’ll return when you need me, if you need me, to help you find the other three gifts. I wouldn’t abandon you or Kishan in that way. I just can’t stay here with you feeling obligated to pity-date me because you need me. But I’d never abandon your cause. I’ll always be there for you both, no matter what.”
He spat out, “Pity-date! You? Kelsey, you can’t be serious!”
“I am. Very, very serious. I’ll ask Mr. Kadam to make arrangements to send me back in the next few days.”
He didn’t say another word. He just sat back in his chair. I could tell he was fuming mad, but I felt that, after a week or two, when he started getting back out in the world, he would come to appreciate my gesture.
I looked away from him. “I’m very tired now. I’d like to go to bed.” I got up and headed to my room. Before I closed the sliding door, I asked, “Can I make one last request?”
He sat there tight-lipped, his arms folded over his chest, with a tense, angry face.
I sighed. Even infuriated he was beautiful.
He said nothing so I went on, “It would be a lot easier on me if I didn’t see you, I mean as a man. I’ll try to avoid most of the house. It is yours after all, so I’ll stay in my room. If you see Mr. Kadam, please tell him I’d like to speak with him.”
He didn’t respond.
“Well, good-bye, Ren. Take care of yourself.” I tore my eyes away from him, shut the door, and drew the curtains.
Take care of yourself? That was a lame goodbye. Tears welled in my eyes and blurred my vision. I was proud that I’d gotten through it without showing emotion. But, now, I felt like a steamroller had come along and flattened me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
There are four independent brain circuits that influence our lasting well-being, Davidson explained. The first is “our ability to maintain positive states.” It makes sense that the ability to maintain positive states or positive emotions would directly impact one’s ability to experience happiness. These two great spiritual leaders were saying that the fastest way to this state is to start with love and compassion. The second circuit is responsible for “our ability to recover from negative states.” What was most fascinating to me was that these circuits were totally independent. One could be good at maintaining positive states but easily fall into an abyss of a negative state from which one had a hard time recovering. That explained a lot in my life. The third circuit, also independent but essential to the others, is “our ability to focus and avoid mind-wandering.” This of course was the circuit that so much of meditation exists to develop. Whether it was focusing on one’s breath, or a mantra, or the analytic meditation that the Dalai Lama did each morning, this ability to focus one’s attention was fundamental. The fourth and final circuit is “our ability to be generous.” That was amazing to me: that we had an entire brain circuit, one of four, devoted to generosity. It is no wonder that our brains feel so good when we help others or are helped by others, or even witness others being helped, which Ekman had described as the elevation that is one dimension of joy. There was strong and compelling research that we come factory equipped for cooperation, compassion, and generosity.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World)
The aborted research project wasn’t important in and of itself. What mattered was the instruction that Ye Wenjie had given him, so that’s where Luo Ji’s mind was stuck. Over and over again he recalled her words: Suppose a vast number of civilizations are distributed throughout the universe, on the order of the number of detectable stars. Lots and lots of them. The mathematical structure of cosmic sociology is far clearer than that of human sociology. The factors of chaos and randomness in the complex makeups of every civilized society in the universe get filtered out by the immense distance, so those civilizations can act as reference points that are relatively easy to manipulate mathematically. First: Survival is the primary need of civilization. Second: Civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter in the universe remains constant. One more thing: To derive a basic picture of cosmic sociology from these two axioms, you need two other important concepts: chains of suspicion and the technological explosion. I’m afraid there won’t be that opportunity.… Well, you might as well just forget I said anything. Either way, I’ve fulfilled my duty. He
Liu Cixin (The Dark Forest (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #2))
We shouldn't let our envy of distinguished masters of the arts distract us from the wonder of how each of us gets new ideas. Perhaps we hold on to our superstitions about creativity in order to make our own deficiencies seem more excusable. For when we tell ourselves that masterful abilities are simply unexplainable, we're also comforting ourselves by saying that those superheroes come endowed with all the qualities we don't possess. Our failures are therefore no fault of our own, nor are those heroes' virtues to their credit, either. If it isn't learned, it isn't earned.
When we actually meet the heroes whom our culture views as great, we don't find any singular propensities––only combinations of ingredients quite common in themselves. Most of these heroes are intensely motivated, but so are many other people. They're usually very proficient in some field--but in itself we simply call this craftmanship or expertise. They often have enough self-confidence to stand up to the scorn of peers--but in itself, we might just call that stubbornness. They surely think of things in some novel ways, but so does everyone from time to time. And as for what we call "intelligence", my view is that each person who can speak coherently already has the better part of what our heroes have. Then what makes genius appear to stand apart, if we each have most of what it takes?
I suspect that genius needs one thing more: in order to accumulate outstanding qualities, one needs unusually effective ways to learn. It's not enough to learn a lot; one also has to manage what one learns. Those masters have, beneath the surface of their mastery, some special knacks of "higher-order" expertise, which help them organize and apply the things they learn. It is those hidden tricks of mental management that produce the systems that create those works of genius. Why do certain people learn so many more and better skills? These all-important differences could begin with early accidents. One child works out clever ways to arrange some blocks in rows and stacks; a second child plays at rearranging how it thinks. Everyone can praise the first child's castles and towers, but no one can see what the second child has done, and one may even get the false impression of a lack of industry. But if the second child persists in seeking better ways to learn, this can lead to silent growth in which some better ways to learn may lead to better ways to learn to learn. Then, later, we'll observe an awesome, qualitative change, with no apparent cause--and give to it some empty name like talent, aptitude, or gift.
Marvin Minsky (The Society of Mind)
I am just like you. My immediate response to most situations is with reactions of attachment, defensiveness, judgment, control, and analysis. I am better at calculating than contemplating.
Let’s admit that we all start there. The False Self seems to have the “first gaze” at almost everything.
The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: “How will this affect me?” or “How can I get back in control of this situation?” This leads us to an implosion, a self-preoccupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live “undefended,” can we immediately stand with and for the other, and in the present moment. It takes lots of practice.
On my better days, when I am “open, undefended, and immediately present,” as Gerald May says, I can sometimes begin with a contemplative mind and heart. Often I can get there later and even end there, but it is usually a second gaze. The True Self seems to always be ridden and blinded by the defensive needs of the False Self. It is an hour-by-hour battle, at least for me. I can see why all spiritual traditions insist on daily prayer, in fact, morning, midday, evening, and before we go to bed, too! Otherwise, I can assume that I am back in the cruise control of small and personal self-interest, the pitiable and fragile “Richard self.
Richard Rohr (Radical Grace: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr)
I can do anything I believe I can do! I’ve got it, and every day I get more of it. I have talent, skills, and ability. I set goals and I reach them. I know what I want out of life. I go after it and I get it. People like me, and I feel good about myself. I have a sense of pride in who I am, and I believe in myself. Nothing seems to stop me. I have a lot of determination. I turn problems into advantages. I find possibilities in things that other people never give a chance. I have a lot of energy—I am very alive! I enjoy life and I can tell it and so can others. I keep myself up, looking ahead, and liking it. I know that I can accomplish anything I choose, and I refuse to let anything negative hold me back or stand in my way. I am not afraid of anything or anyone. I have strength, power, conviction, and confidence! I like challenges and I meet them head on, face to face—today especially! I am on top of the world and I’m going for it. I have a clear picture in my mind of what I want. I can see it in front of me. I know what I want and I know how to get it. I know that it’s all up to me and I know I can do it. Roadblocks don’t bother me. They just mean that I am alive and running, and I’m not going to stand still for anything. I trust myself I’ve got what it takes—plenty of it—and I know how to use it. Today, more than ever. Today I am unstoppable! I’ve got myself together and I’m getting more together every day. And today—look out world, here I come! Limitations? I don’t even recognize them as limitations. There is no challenge I can’t conquer; there is no wall I can’t climb over. There is no problem I can’t defeat, or turn around and make it work for me. I stand tall! I am honest and sincere. I like to deal with people and they like me. I think well; I think clearly. I am organized; I am in control of myself, and everything about me. I call my shots, and no one has to call them for me. I never blame anyone else for the circumstances of my life. I accept my failings and move past them as easily as I accept the rewards for my victories. I never demand perfection of myself, but I expect the very best of what I have to give—and that’s what I get! I never give myself excuses. I get things done on time and in the right way. Today I have the inner strength to do more than ever. I am an exceptional human being. My goals and my incredible belief in myself turn my goals into reality. I have the power to live my dreams. I believe in them like I believe in myself. And that belief is so strong that there is nothing that diminishes my undefeatable spirit.
Shad Helmstetter (What To Say When You Talk To Your Self)
The end of this short story could be a rather disturbing thing, if it came true. I hope you like it, and if you do, be sure to COMMENT and SHARE.
Paradoxes of Destiny?
Dani! My boy! Are you all right? Where are you? Have you hurt yourself? Are you all right? Daniiii! Why won’t you answer? It’s so cold and dark here. I can’t see a thing… It’s so silent. Dani? Can you hear me? I shouldn’t have looked at that text message while I was driving… I shouldn’t have done it! I'm so stupid sometimes! Son, are you all right?... We really wrecked the car when we rolled it! I can’t see or hear a thing… Am I in hospital? Am I dead…? Dani? Your silence is killing me… Are you all right?! I can see a glimmer of light. I feel trapped. Dani, are you there? I can’t move. It’s like I’m wrapped in this mossy green translucent plastic. I have to get out of here. The light is getting more and more intense. I think I can tear the wrapping that’s holding me in. I'm almost out. The light is blinding me. What a strange place. I've never seen anything like it. It doesn’t look like Earth. Am I dead? On another planet? Oh God, look at those hideous monsters! They’re so creepy and disgusting! They look like extraterrestrials. They’re aliens! I'm on another planet! I can’t believe it. I need to get the hell out here. Those monsters are going to devour me. I have to get away. I’m so scared. Am I floating? Am I flying? I’m going to go higher to try to escape. I can’t see the aliens anymore and the landscape looks less terrifying. I think I've made it. It’s very windy. Is that a highway? I think I can see some vehicles down there. Could they be the extraterrestrials’ transport? I’m going to go down a bit. I see people! Am I on Earth? Could this be a parallel universe? Where could Dani be? I shouldn’t have looked at that text message while I was driving. I shouldn’t…
That tower down there looks a lot like the water tank in my town… It’s identical. But the water tank in my town doesn’t have that huge tower block next to it. It all looks very similar to my neighborhood, but it isn’t exactly the same: there are a lot of tower blocks here. There’s the river… and the factory. It’s definitely my neighborhood, but it looks kind of different. I must be in a parallel universe…
It’s amazing that I can float. People don’t seem to notice my presence. Am I a ghost?
I have to get back home and see if Dani’s there. God, I hope he’s safe and sound. Gabriela must be out of her mind with the crash.
There’s my house! Home sweet home. And whose are those cars? The front of the house has been painted a different color… This is all so strange! There’s someone in the garden… Those trees I planted in the spring have really grown.
Is… is that… Dani? Yes, yes! It’s Dani. But he looks so different… He looks older, he looks… like a big boy! What’s important is that he’s OK. I need to hug him tight and tell him how much I love him. Can he see me if I’m a ghost? I'll go up to him slowly so I don’t scare him. I need to hold him tight.
He can’t see me, I won’t get any closer. He moved his head, I think he’s started to realize I’m here…
Wow I’m so hungry all of a sudden! I can’t stop! How are you doing, son?! It’s me! Your dad! My dear boy? I can’t stop! I'm too hungry! Ahhhh, so delicious! What a pleasure! Nooo Daniii! Nooooo!.... I’m your daaaad!...
“Mum, bring the insect repellent, the garden’s full of mosquitoes,” grunted Daniel as he wiped the blood from the palm of his hand on his trousers. Gabriela was just coming out. She did an about turn and went back into her house, and shouted “Darling, bring the insect repellent, it’s on the fireplace…”
Absolute cold and silence…
(1) This note is for those who have read EQUINOX—WHISPERS OF DESTINY. This story is a spin-off of the novel EQUINOX—WHISPERS OF DESTINY and revolves around Letus’s curious theories about the possibility of animal reincarnation.
Gonzalo Guma (Equinoccio. Susurros del destino)
Gregori brought Savannah's hand to the warmth of his mouth,his breath heating the pulse beating in her wrist. The night is especially beautiful, mon petit amour.Your hero saved the girl, walks among humans, and converses with a fool.That alone should bring a smile to your face.Do not weep for what we cannot change.We will make certain that this human with us comes to no harm.
Are you my hero,then? There were tears in her voice, in her mind, like an iridescent prism. She needed him, his comfort,his support under her terrible weight of guilt and love and loss.
Always,for all eternity, he answered instantly,without hesitation, his eyes hot mercury. He tipped her chin up so that she met the brilliance of his silver gaze.Always, mon amour.His molten gaze trapped her blue one and held her enthralled. Your heart grows lighter.The burden of your sorrow becomes my own. He held her gaze captive for a few moments to ensure that she was free of the heaviness crushing her.
Savannah blinked and moved a little away from him, wondering what she had been thinking of.What had they been talking about?
"Gary." Gregori drawled the name slowly and sat back in his chair,totally relaxed. He looked like a sprawling tiger,dangerous and untamed. "Tell us about yourself."
"I work a lot.I'm not married. I'm really not much of a people person. I'm basically a nerd."
Gregori shifted, a subtle movement of muscles suggesting great power. "I am not familiar with this term."
"Yeah,well,you wouldn't be," Gary said. "It means I have lots of brains and no brawn.I don't do the athlete thing. I'm into computers and chess and things requiring intellect. Women find me skinny,wimpy,and boring. Not something they would you." There was no bitterness in his voice,just a quiet acceptance of himself,his life.
Gregori's white teeth flashed. "There is only one woman who matters to me, Gary, and she finds me difficult to live with.I cannot imagine why,can you?"
"Maybe because you're jealous, possessive, concerned with every single detail of her life?" Gary plainly took the question literally, offering up his observations without judgement. "You're probably domineering,too. I can see that. Yeah.It might be tough."
Savannah burst out laughing, the sound musical, rivaling the street musicians. People within hearing turned their heads and held their breath, hoping for more. "Very astute, Gary.Very, very astute. I bet you have an anormous IQ."
Gregori stirred again, the movement a ripple of power,of danger. He was suddenly leaning into Gary. "You think you are intelligent? Baiting the wild animal is not too smart.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Gustavo Tiberius speaking."
“It’s so weird you do that, man,” Casey said, sounding amused. “Every time I call.”
“It’s polite,” Gus said. “Just because you kids these days don’t have proper phone etiquette.”
“Oh boy, there’s the Grumpy Gus I know. You miss me?”
Gus was well aware the others could hear the conversation loud and clear. He was also aware he had a reputation to maintain. “Hadn’t really thought about it.”
“I miss you.”
“I miss you too,” Gus mumbled into the phone, blushing fiercely.
“Yeah? How much?”
Gus was in hell. “A lot,” he said truthfully. “There have been allegations made against my person of pining and moping. False allegations, mind you, but allegations nonetheless.”
“I know what you mean,” Casey said. “The guys were saying the same thing about me.”
Gus smiled. “How embarrassing for you.”
“Completely. You have no idea.”
“They’re going to get you packed up this week?”
“Ah, yeah. Sure. Something like that.”
“You’re being cagey.”
“I have no idea what you mean. Hey, that’s a nice Hawaiian shirt you’ve got on. Pink? I don’t think I’ve seen you in that color before.”
Gus shrugged. “Pastor Tommy had a shitload of them. I think I could wear one every day for the rest of the year and not repeat. I think he may have had a bit of a….” Gus trailed off when his hand started shaking. Then, “How did you know what I was wearing?”
There was a knock on the window to the Emporium. Gus looked up.
Standing on the sidewalk was Casey. He was wearing bright green skinny jeans and a white and red shirt that proclaimed him to be a member of the 1987 Pasadena Bulldogs Women’s Softball team. He looked ridiculous. And like the greatest thing Gus had ever seen.
Casey wiggled his eyebrows at Gus. “Hey, man.”
“Hi,” Gus croaked.
“Come over here, but stay on the phone, okay?”
Gus didn’t even argue, unable to take his eyes off Casey. He hadn’t expected him for another week, but here he was on a pretty Saturday afternoon, standing outside the Emporium like it was no big deal.
Gus went to the window, and Casey smiled that lazy smile.
He said, “Hi.”
Gus said, “Hi.”
“So, I’ve spent the last two days driving back,” Casey said. “Tried to make it a surprise, you know?”
“I’m very surprised,” Gus managed to say, about ten seconds away from busting through the glass just so he could hug Casey close.
The smile widened. “Good. I’ve had some time to think about things, man. About a lot of things. And I came to this realization as I drove past Weed, California. Gus. It was called Weed, California. It was a sign.”
Gus didn’t even try to stop the eye roll. “Oh my god.”
“Right? Kismet. Because right when I entered Weed, California, I was thinking about you and it hit me. Gus, it hit me.”
Casey put his hand up against the glass. Gus did the same on his side. “Hey, Gus?”
“I’m going to ask you a question, okay?”
Gustavo’s throat felt very dry. “Okay.”
“What was the Oscar winner for Best Song in 1984?”
Automatically, Gus answered, “Stevie Wonder for the movie The Woman in Red. The song was ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You.’” It was fine, of course. Because he knew answers to all those things. He didn’t know why Casey wanted to—
And then he could barely breathe.
Casey’s smile wobbled a little bit. “Okay?”
Gus blinked the burn away. He nodded as best he could.
And Casey said, “Yeah, man. I love you too.”
Gus didn’t even care that he dropped his phone then. All that mattered was getting as close to Casey as humanely possible. He threw open the door to the Emporium and suddenly found himself with an armful of hipster. Casey laughed wetly into his neck and Gus just held on as hard as he could. He thought that it was possible that he might never be in a position to let go. For some reason, that didn’t bother him in the slightest.
T.J. Klune (How to Be a Normal Person (How to Be, #1))
The nine in our list are based on a longer list in Robert Leahy, Stephen Holland, and Lata McGinn’s book, Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders. For more on CBT—how it works, and how to practice it—please see Appendix 1.) EMOTIONAL REASONING: Letting your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. “I feel depressed; therefore, my marriage is not working out.” CATASTROPHIZING: Focusing on the worst possible outcome and seeing it as most likely. “It would be terrible if I failed.” OVERGENERALIZING: Perceiving a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me. I seem to fail at a lot of things.” DICHOTOMOUS THINKING (also known variously as “black-and-white thinking,” “all-or-nothing thinking,” and “binary thinking”): Viewing events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.” MIND READING: Assuming that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts. “He thinks I’m a loser.” LABELING: Assigning global negative traits to yourself or others (often in the service of dichotomous thinking). “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.” NEGATIVE FILTERING: You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives. “Look at all of the people who don’t like me.” DISCOUNTING POSITIVES: Claiming that the positive things you or others do are trivial, so that you can maintain a negative judgment. “That’s what wives are supposed to do—so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.” BLAMING: Focusing on the other person as the source of your negative feelings; you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all my problems.”11
Greg Lukianoff (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
For you, a thousand times over."
"Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors."
"...attention shifted to him like sunflowers turning to the sun."
"But even when he wasn't around, he was."
"When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal a wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing."
"...she had a voice that made me think of warm milk and honey."
"My heart stuttered at the thought of her."
"...and I would walk by, pretending not to know her, but dying to."
"It turned out that, like satan, cancer had many names."
"Every woman needed a husband, even if he did silence the song in her."
"The first time I saw the Pacific, I almost cried."
"Proud. His eyes gleamed when he said that and I liked being on the receiving end of that look."
"Make morning into a key and throw it into the well,
Go slowly, my lovely moon, go slowly.
Let the morning sun forget to rise in the East,
Go slowly, lovely moon, go slowly."
"Men are easy,... a man's plumbing is like his mind: simple, very few surprises. You ladies, on the other hand... well, God put a lot of thought into making you."
"All my life, I'd been around men. That night, I discovered the tenderness of a woman."
"And I could almost feel the emptiness in [her] womb, like it was a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking. And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I'd feel it rising from [her] and settling between us. Sleeping between us. Like a newborn child."
"America was a river, roaring along unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins. If for nothing else, for that I embraced America."
"...and every day I thank [God] that I am alive, not because I fear death, but because my wife has a husband and my son is not an orphan."
"...lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty."
"...sometimes the dead are luckier."
"He walked like he was afraid to leave behind footprints. He moved as if not to stir the air around him."
"...and when she locked her arms around my neck, when I smelled apples in her hair, I realized how much I had missed her. 'You're still the morning sun to me...' I whispered."
"...there is a God, there always has been. I see him here, in the eys of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him... there is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He will forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need. I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is.
Khalid Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
I’ve never quite mastered the art of holding my liquor,” she replied. He watched her root around in her purse a moment, before pulling out a tube of lip balm.
As Jonas watched her apply it, he nearly got distracted from her answer. Leaning forward, Jonas murmured, “Can’t hold your liquor, huh?”
She replaced the cap and dropped it back into her purse. “Not so much. I tend to get a bit too happy.”
His eyebrows shot up and his cock came to full-alert status. Happy--he liked the sound of that. “And that’s a bad thing?”
To his utter shock, Deanna blushed. “In my case it is.”
Curiosity got the better of him. “Care to explain?”
The waiter returned with the check, forcing Jonas to drop the conversation while he fished out his credit card. Once they were alone again, Jonas waited, hoping Deanna would go into more detail. She didn’t disappoint him. “All my inhibitions disappear. It’s not a comfortable feeling for me.”
She was killing him. An immediate picture of a carefree Deanna sprang to mind. He liked it a hell of a lot. “Most people enjoy letting it all hang out every once in a while. Taking life too seriously leads to an early grave.”
“Maybe, but if I suddenly develop the urge, I’d rather be coherent.”
“You don’t like to give up control,” he surmised.
She cocked her head to the side, as if unsure how to respond at first. “It’s not that,” she said. “I guess if I’m in the mood to go romping naked through a forest, for example, then I don’t want alcohol to blur the memorable event for me.” She laughed. “I mean, I’d want to remember a crazy moment like that. Wouldn’t you?”
No doubt about it, Jonas liked the way the lady’s mind worked. “You had me at ‘running naked’.”
Deanna snorted. “You need serious help.
Anne Rainey (Pleasure Bound (Hard to Get, #2))
[Paul Olum] was president of the University of Oregon when he heard of [Richard] Feynman’s death. He realized that the young genius he had met at Princeton had become a part of him, impossible to extricate. “My wife died three years ago, also of cancer,” he said.
... I think about her a lot. I have to admit I have Dick’s books and other things of Dick’s. I have all of the Feynman lectures and other stuff. And there are things that have pictures of Dick on them. The article in Science about the Challenger episode. And also some of the recent books.
I get a terrible feeling every time I look at them. How could someone like Dick Feynman be dead? This great and wonderful mind. This extraordinary feeling for things and ability is in the ground and there’s nothing there anymore.
It’s an awful feeling. And I feel it—— A lot of people have died and I know about it. My parents are both dead and I had a younger brother who is dead. But I have this feeling about just two people. About my wife and about Dick.
I suppose, although this wasn’t quite like childhood, it was graduate students together, and I do have more—— I don’t know, romantic, or something, feelings about Dick, and I have trouble realizing that he’s dead. He was such an extraordinarily special person in the universe.
Gleick, James (2011-02-22). Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (p. 145). Open Road Media. Kindle Edition.
Jame Gleick quoting Paul Olum
Somehow the realization that nothing was to be hoped for had a salutary effect upon me. For weeks and months, for years, in fact, all my life I had been looking forward to something happening, some intrinsic event that would alter my life, and now suddenly, inspired by the absolute hopelessness of
everything, I felt relieved, felt as though a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders. At dawn I parted company with the young Hindu, after touching him for a few francs, enough for a room. Walking toward Montparnasse I decided to let myself drift with the tide, to make not the least resistance to fate, no matter in what form it presented itself. Nothing that had happened to me thus far had been sufficient to destroy me; nothing had been destroyed except my illusions. I myself was intact. The world was intact. Tomorrow there might be a revolution, a plague, an earthquake; tomorrow there might not be left a single soul to whom one could turn for sympathy, for aid, for faith. It seemed to me that the great calamity had already manifested itself, that I could be no more truly alone than at this very moment.
I made up my mind that I would hold on to nothing, that I would expect nothing, that henceforth I would live as an animal, a beast of prey, a rover, a plunderer. Even if war were declared, and it were my lot to go, I would grab the bayonet and plunge it, plunge it up to
the hilt. And if rape were the order of the day then rape I would, and with a vengeance. At this very moment, in the quiet dawn of a new day, was not the earth giddy with crime and distress? Had one single element of man's nature been altered, vitally, fundamentally altered, by the incessant march of history?
By what he calls the better part of his nature, man has been betrayed, that is all. At the extreme limits of his spiritual being man finds himself again naked as a savage. When he finds God, as it were, he has been picked clean: he is a skeleton. One must burrow into life again in order to put on flesh. The word must become flesh; the soul thirsts. On whatever crumb
my eye fastens, I will pounce and devour. If to live is the paramount thing, then I will live, even if I must become a cannibal. Heretofore I have been trying to save my precious hide, trying to preserve the few pieces of meat that hid my bones. I am done with that. I have reached the limits of endurance. My back is to the wall; I can retreat no further. As far as history goes I am dead. If there is something beyond I shall have to bounce back. I have found God, but he is insufficient. I am only spiritually dead. Physically I am alive. Morally I am free. The world which I have departed is a menagerie. The dawn is breaking on a new world, a jungle world in which the lean spirits roam with sharp claws. If I am a hyena I am a lean and hungry one: I go forth to fatten myself.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
People who go through a heavy experience like that are changed men, like it or not,” he said. “They change for the better and they change for the worse. On the good side, they become unshakable. Next to that half year, the rest of the suffering I’ve experienced doesn’t even count. I can put up with almost anything. And I also am a lot more sensitive to the pain of people around me. That’s on the plus side. It made me capable of making some real friends. But there’s also the minus side. I mean, it’s impossible, in my own mind, to believe in people. I don’t hate people, and I haven’t lost my faith in humanity. I’ve got a wife and kids. We’ve made a home and we protect each other.
Those things you can’t do without trust. It’s just that, sure, we’re living a good life right now, but if something were to happen, if something really were to come along and yank up everything by the roots, even surrounded by a happy family and good friends, I don’t know what I’d do. What would happen if one day, for no reason, no one believes a word you say? It happens, you know.
Suddenly, one day, out of the blue. I’m always thinking about it. Last time, it was only six months, but the next time? No one can say; there’s no guarantee. I don’t have confidence in how long I can hold out the next time. When I think of these things, I really get shaken up. I’ll dream about it and wake up in the middle of the night. It happens a little too often, in fact. And when it happens, I wake my wife up and I hold on to her and cry.
Sometimes for a whole hour, I’m so scared.
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
I've thought of myself a girl on several occasions because I like to polish shoes and find household tasks amusing. There was once even a time when I insisted on mending a torn suit with my own hands. And in winter I always light the heating stoves myself, as though this were the natural course of things. But of course I'm not a real girl. Please give me a moment to consider all this would entail. The first thing that comes to mind is the question of whether I might possibly be a girl has never, never, not for a single moment, troubled me, rattled my bourgeois composure or made me unhappy. An absolutely by no means unhappy person stands before you, I'd like to put quite special emphasis on this, for I have never experienced sexual torment or distress, for I was never at a loss for quite simple methods of freeing myself from pressures. A rather curious, that is to say, important discovery for me was that it filled me with the most delightful gaiety to imagine myself someone's servant.... My nature, then, merely inclines me to treat people well, to be helpful and so forth. Not long ago I carried with flabbergasting zeal a shopping bag full of new potatoes for a petit bourgeoise. She's have been perfectly able to tote it herself. Now my situation is this: my particular nature also sometimes seeks, I've discovered, a mother, a teacher, that is, to express myself better, an unapproachable entity, a sort of goddess. At times I find the goddess in an instant, whereas at others it takes time before I'm able to imagine her, that is, find her bright, bountiful figure and sense her power. And to achieve a moment of human happiness, I must always first think up a story containing an encounter between myself and another person, whereby I am always the subordinate, obedient, sacrificing, scrutinized, and chaperoned party. There's more to it, of course, quite a lot, but this still sheds light on a few things. Many conclude it must be terribly easy to carry out a course of treatment, as it were, upon my person, but they're all gravely mistaken. For, the moment anyone seems ready to start lording and lecturing it over me, something within me begins to laugh, to jeer, and then, of course, respect is out of the question, and within the apparently worthless individual arises a superior one whom I never expel when he appears in me....
Robert Walser (The Robber)
This is great. But what I’m grasping at is an idea about a subtler goal. This thinking owes a lot to conversations with Manjula Waldron of Ohio State University, an engineering professor who also happens to be a hospital chaplain. This feels embarrassingly Zen-ish for me to spout, being a short, hypomanic guy with a Brooklyn accent, but here goes: Maybe the goal isn’t to maximize the contrast between a low baseline and a high level of activation. Maybe the idea is to have both simultaneously. Huh? Maybe the goal would be for your baseline to be something more than the mere absence of activation, a mere default, but to instead be an energized calm, a proactive choice. And for the ceiling to consist of some sort of equilibrium and equanimity threading through the crazed arousal. I have felt this a few times playing soccer, inept as I am at it, where there’s a moment when, successful outcome or not, every physiological system is going like mad, and my body does something that my mind didn’t even dream of, and the two seconds when that happened seemed to take a lot longer than it should have. But this business about the calm amid the arousal isn’t just another way of talking about “good stress” (a stimulating challenge, as opposed to a threat). Even when the stressor is bad and your heart is racing in crisis, the goal should be to somehow make the fraction of a second between each heartbeat into an instant that expands in time and allows you to regroup. There, I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I think there might be something important lurking there. Enough said.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
Well,” I said, trying to keep my tone light as I walked over to put my arms around his neck, though I had to stand on my toes to do so. “That wasn’t so bad, was it? You told me something about yourself that I didn’t know before-that you didn’t, er, care for your family, except for your mother. But that didn’t make me hate you…it made me love you a bit more, because now I know we have even more in common.”
He stared down at him, a wary look in his eyes. “If you knew the truth,” he said, “you wouldn’t be saying that. You’d be running.”
“Where would I go?” I asked, with a laugh I hoped didn’t sound as nervous to him as it did to me. “You bolted all the doors, remember? Now, since you shared something I didn’t know about you, may I share something you don’t know about me?”
Those dark eyebrows rose as he pulled me close. “I can’t even begin to imagine what this could be.”
“It’s just,” I said, “that I’m a little worried about rushing into this consort thing…especially the cohabitation part.”
“Cohabitation?” he echoed. He was clearly unfamiliar with the word.
“Cohabitation means living together,” I explained, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Like married people.”
“You said last night that these days no one your age thinks of getting married,” he said, holding me even closer and suddenly looking much more eager to stick around for the conversation, even though I heard the marina horn blow again. “And that your father would never approve it. But if you’ve changed your mind, I’m sure I could convince Mr. Smith to perform the ceremony-“
“No,” I said hastily. Of course Mr. Smith was somehow authorized to marry people in the state of Florida. Why not? I decided not to think about that right now, or how John had come across this piece of information. “That isn’t what I meant. My mom would kill me if I got married before I graduated from high school.”
Not, of course, that my mom was going to know about any of this. Which was probably just as well, since her head would explode at the idea of my moving in with a guy before I’d even applied to college, let alone at the fact that I most likely wasn’t going to college. Not that there was any school that would have accepted me with my grades, not to mention my disciplinary record.
“What I meant was that maybe we should take it more slowly,” I explained. “The past couple years, while all my friends were going out with boys, I was home, trying to figure out how this necklace you gave me worked. I wasn’t exactly dating.”
“Pierce,” he said. He wore a slightly quizzical expression on his face. “Is this the thing you think I didn’t know about you? Because for one thing, I do know it, and for another, I don’t understand why you think I’d have a problem with it.”
I’d forgotten he’d been born in the eighteen hundreds, when the only time proper ladies and gentlemen ever spent together before they were married was at heavily chaperoned balls…and that for most of the past two centuries, he’d been hanging out in a cemetery.
Did he even know that these days, a lot of people hooked up on first dates, or that the average age at which girls-and boys as well-lost their virginity in the United States was seventeen…my age?
“What I’m trying to say,” I said, my cheeks burning brighter, “is that I’m not very experienced with men. So this morning when I woke up and found you in bed beside me, while it was really, super nice-don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it very much-it kind of freaked me out. Because I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of thing yet.” Or maybe the problem was that I wasn’t prepared for how ready I was…
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Be honest with yourself. You were at your lowest and broken down. You were unsure and lost hope. You were hiding your fears until you showed them on your sleeve. You felt like everything and everyone was the hammer and you were the nail as they were beating down on you, and it was never-ending. Their empty threats had you scared and you were always running because your weakness was exposed. You were their prey. You didn’t know who to believe because of their mixed signals.
You might not see it now, but you are stronger than you can ever imagine.
You cannot become comfortable in your pain. You have to let the pain that you feel turn you into a rose without thorns. There are sixteen pieces on the chessboard. The king is the most important piece, but the difference is that the queen is the most powerful piece!
You are a queen, you can maneuver around your opponents; they do not have the power over your life, your mind or soul. You might think you’ve been a prisoner, but that is your past’. Look in the now and work your way to how you want your future to be. Exercise your thoughts into a pattern of letting go, and think positively about more of what you want than what you do not want.
You are a queen! As a matter of fact, you are the queen! Act as if you know it!
You are powerful, determined, strong, and you can make the biggest and most extravagant move and put it into action.
Lights, camera, strike a pose and own it!
It is yours to own!
Yes, you loved and loved so much. You also lost as well, but you lost hurt, pain, agony, and confusion. You’ve lost interest in wanting to know answers to unanswered questions. You’ve lost the willingness to give a shit about what others think. You’ve surrendered to being fine, that you cannot change the things you have no control over.
You’ve lost a lot, but you’ve gained closure. You are now balanced, centered, focused, and filled with peace surrounding you in your heart, mind, body, and soul.
Your pride was hurt, but you would rather walk alone and be more willing to give and learn more about the queen you are.
You lost yourself in the process, but the more you learn about the new you, the more you will be so much in love with yourself. The more you learn about the new you, the more you will know your worth. The more you learn about the new you, the happier you are going to be, and this time around you will be smiling inside and out!
The dots are now connecting. You feel alive!
You know now that all is not lost. Now that you’ve cut the cord it is time to give your heart a second chance at loving yourself.
Silence your mind. Take a deep breath and close your eyes. As you open your eyes, look at your reflection in the mirror. Aren’t you beautiful, Queen? Embrace who you are. Smile, laugh, welcome the new you and say, “My world is just now beginning.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Your wife,” said Arthur, looking around, “mentioned some toothpicks.” He said it with a hunted look, as if he was worried that she might suddenly leap out from behind a door and mention them again.
Wonko the Sane laughed. It was a light easy laugh, and sounded like one he had used a lot before and was happy with.
“Ah yes,” he said, “that’s to do with the day I finally realized that the world had gone totally mad and built the Asylum to put it in, poor thing, and hoped it would get better.”
This was the point at which Arthur began to feel a little nervous again.
“Here,” said Wonko the Sane, “we are outside the Asylum.” He pointed again at the rough brickwork, the pointing, and the gutters. “Go through that door” — he pointed at the first door through which they had originally entered — “and you go into the Asylum. I’ve tried to decorate it nicely to keep the inmates happy, but there’s very little one can do. I never go in there myself. If I ever am tempted, which these days I rarely am, I simply look at the sign written over the door and I shy away.”
“That one?” said Fenchurch, pointing, rather puzzled, at a blue plaque with some instructions written on it.
“Yes. They are the words that finally turned me into the hermit I have now become. It was quite sudden. I saw them, and I knew what I had to do.”
The sign read:
“Hold stick near center of its length. Moisten pointed end in mouth. Insert in tooth space, blunt end next to gum. Use gentle in-out motion.”
“It seemed to me,” said Wonko the Sane, “that any civilization that had so far lost its head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a package of toothpicks, was no longer a civilization in which I could live and stay sane.”
He gazed out at the Pacific again, as if daring it to rave and gibber at him, but it lay there calmly and played with the sandpipers.
“And in case it crossed your mind to wonder, as I can see how it possibly might, I am completely sane. Which is why I call myself Wonko the Sane, just to reassure people on this point. Wonko is what my mother called me when I was a kid and clumsy and knocked things over, and sane is what I am, and how,” he added, with one of his smiles that made you feel, Oh. Well that’s all right then. “I intend to remain.
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
Do not laugh! But once upon a time (my crest has long since fallen) I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story – the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country. It should possess the tone and quality that I desired, somewhat cool and clear, be redolent of our ‘air’ (the clime and soil of the North West, meaning Britain and the hither parts of Europe: not Italy or the Aegean, still less the East), and, while possessing (if I could achieve it) the fair elusive beauty that some call Celtic (though it is rarely found in genuine ancient Celtic things), it should be ‘high’, purged of the gross, and fit for the more adult mind of a land long now steeped in poetry. I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd.
Of course, such an overweening purpose did not develop all at once. The mere stories were the thing. They arose in my mind as ‘given’ things, and as they came, separately, so too the links grew. An absorbing, though continually interrupted labour (especially since, even apart from the necessities of life, the mind would wing to the other pole and spend itself on the linguistics): yet always I had the sense of recording what was already ‘there’, somewhere: not of ‘inventing’. Of course, I made up and even wrote lots of other things (especially for my children). Some escaped from the grasp of this branching acquisitive theme, being ultimately and radically unrelated: Leaf by Niggle and Farmer Giles, for instance, the only two that have been printed. The Hobbit, which has much more essential life in it, was quite independently conceived: I did not know as I began it that it belonged. But it proved to be the discovery of the completion of the whole, its mode of descent to earth, and merging into ‘history’. As the high Legends of the beginning are supposed to look at things through Elvish minds, so the middle tale of the Hobbit takes a virtually human point of view – and the last tale blends them.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
You wrote to me. Do not deny it. I’ve read your words and they evoke My deep respect for your emotion, Your trusting soul… and sweet devotion. Your candour has a great appeal And stirs in me, I won’t conceal, Long dormant feelings, scarce remembered. But I’ve no wish to praise you now; Let me repay you with a vow As artless as the one you tendered; Hear my confession too, I plead, And judge me both by word and deed. 13 ’Had I in any way desired To bind with family ties my life; Or had a happy fate required That I turn father, take a wife; Had pictures of domestication For but one moment held temptation- Then, surely, none but you alone Would be the bride I’d make my own. I’ll say without wrought-up insistence That, finding my ideal in you, I would have asked you—yes, it’s true— To share my baneful, sad existence, In pledge of beauty and of good, And been as happy … as I could! 14 ’But I’m not made for exaltation: My soul’s a stranger to its call; Your virtues are a vain temptation, For I’m not worthy of them all. Believe me (conscience be your token): In wedlock we would both be broken. However much I loved you, dear, Once used to you … I’d cease, I fear; You’d start to weep, but all your crying Would fail to touch my heart at all, Your tears in fact would only gall. So judge yourself what we’d be buying, What roses Hymen means to send— Quite possibly for years on end! 15 ’In all this world what’s more perverted Than homes in which the wretched wife Bemoans her worthless mate, deserted— Alone both day and night through life; Or where the husband, knowing truly Her worth (yet cursing fate unduly) Is always angry, sullen, mute— A coldly jealous, selfish brute! Well, thus am I. And was it merely For this your ardent spirit pined When you, with so much strength of mind, Unsealed your heart to me so clearly? Can Fate indeed be so unkind? Is this the lot you’ve been assigned? 16 ’For dreams and youth there’s no returning; I cannot resurrect my soul. I love you with a tender yearning, But mine must be a brother’s role. So hear me through without vexation: Young maidens find quick consolation— From dream to dream a passage brief; Just so a sapling sheds its leaf To bud anew each vernal season. Thus heaven wills the world to turn. You’ll fall in love again; but learn … To exercise restraint and reason, For few will understand you so, And innocence can lead to woe.
Alexander Pushkin (Eugene Onegin)
I resolved to come right to the point. "Hello," I said as coldly as possible, "we've got to talk."
"Yes, Bob," he said quietly, "what's on your mind?" I shut my eyes for a moment, letting the raging frustration well up inside, then stared angrily at the psychiatrist.
"Look, I've been religious about this recovery business. I go to AA meetings daily and to your sessions twice a week. I know it's good that I've stopped drinking. But every other aspect of my life feels the same as it did before. No, it's worse. I hate my life. I hate myself."
Suddenly I felt a slight warmth in my face, blinked my eyes a bit, and then stared at him.
"Bob, I'm afraid our time's up," Smith said in a matter-of-fact style.
"Time's up?" I exclaimed. "I just got here."
"No." He shook his head, glancing at his clock. "It's been fifty minutes. You don't remember anything?"
"I remember everything. I was just telling you that these sessions don't seem to be working for me."
Smith paused to choose his words very carefully. "Do you know a very angry boy named 'Tommy'?"
"No," I said in bewilderment, "except for my cousin Tommy whom I haven't seen in twenty years..."
"No." He stopped me short. "This Tommy's not your cousin. I spent this last fifty minutes talking with another Tommy. He's full of anger. And he's inside of you."
"No, I'm not. Look. I want to take a little time to think over what happened today. And don't worry about this. I'll set up an emergency session with you tomorrow. We'll deal with it then."
This is Robert speaking. Today I'm the only personality who is strongly visible inside and outside. My own term for such an MPD role is dominant personality. Fifteen years ago, I rarely appeared on the outside, though I had considerable influence on the inside; back then, I was what one might call a "recessive personality." My passage from "recessive" to "dominant" is a key part of our story; be patient, you'll learn lots more about me later on. Indeed, since you will meet all eleven personalities who once roamed about, it gets a bit complex in the first half of this book; but don't worry, you don't have to remember them all, and it gets sorted out in the last half of the book. You may be wondering -- if not "Robert," who, then, was the dominant MPD personality back in the 1980s and earlier? His name was "Bob," and his dominance amounted to a long reign, from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. Since "Robert B. Oxnam" was born in 1942, you can see that "Bob" was in command from early to middle adulthood.
Although he was the dominant MPD personality for thirty years, Bob did not have a clue that he was afflicted by multiple personality disorder until 1990, the very last year of his dominance. That was the fateful moment when Bob first heard that he had an "angry boy named Tommy" inside of him. How, you might ask, can someone have MPD for half a lifetime without knowing it? And even if he didn't know it, didn't others around him spot it?
To outsiders, this is one of the most perplexing aspects of MPD. Multiple personality is an extreme disorder, and yet it can go undetected for decades, by the patient, by family and close friends, even by trained therapists. Part of the explanation is the very nature of the disorder itself: MPD thrives on secrecy because the dissociative individual is repressing a terrible inner secret. The MPD individual becomes so skilled in hiding from himself that he becomes a specialist, often unknowingly, in hiding from others. Part of the explanation is rooted in outside observers: MPD often manifests itself in other behaviors, frequently addiction and emotional outbursts, which are wrongly seen as the "real problem."
The fact of the matter is that Bob did not see himself as the dominant personality inside Robert B. Oxnam. Instead, he saw himself as a whole person. In his mind, Bob was merely a nickname for Bob Oxnam, Robert Oxnam, Dr. Robert B. Oxnam, PhD.
Robert B. Oxnam (A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder)
His hands came to her wrists, squeezed reflexively, before he got quickly to his feet. "You're mixing things up." Panic arrowed straight into his heart. "I told you sex complicates things."
"Yes,you did.And of course since you're the only man I've been with, how could I knew the difference between sex and love? Then again, that doesn't take into account that I'm a smart and self-aware woman, and I know the reason you're the only man I've been with is that you're the only man I've loved.Brian..."
She stepped toward him, humor flashing into her eyes when he stepped back. "I've made up my mind.You know how stubborn I am."
"I train your father's horses."
"So what? My mother groomed them."
"That's a different matter."
"Why? Oh, because she's a woman.How foolish of me not to realize we can't possibly love each other, build a life with each other.Now if you owned Royal Meadows and I worked here, then it would be all right."
"Stop making me sound ridiculous."
"I can't." She spread her hands. "You are ridiculous.I love you anyway. Really, I tried to approach it sensibly.I like doing things in a structured order that makes a beeline for the goal.But..." She shrugged, smiled. "It just doesn't want to work that way with you.I look at you and my heart,well, it just insists on taking over.I love you so much,Brian. Can't you tell me? Can't you look at me and tell me?"
He skimmed his fingertips over the bruise high on her temple. He wanted to tend to it, to her. "If I did there'd be no going back."
"Coward." She watched the heat flash into his eyes,and thought how lovely it was to know him so well.
"You won't push me into a corner."
Now she laughed. "Watch me," she invited and proceeded to back him up against the steps. "I've figured a lot of things out today,Brian.You're scared of me-of what you feel for me. You were the one always pulling back when we were in public, shifting aside when I'd reach for you.It hurt me."
The idea quite simply appalled him. "I never meant to hurt you."
"No,you couldn't.How could I help but fall for you? A hard head and a soft heart.It's irresistable. Still, it did hurt. But I thought it was just the snob in you.I didn't realize it was nerves."
"I'm not a snob, or a coward."
"Put your arms around me.Kiss me. Tell me."
"Damn it." he grabbed her shoulders, then simply held on, unable to push her back or draw her in. "It was the first time I saw you, the first instant. You walked in the room and my heart stopped. Like it had been struck by lightning.I was fine until you walked into the room."
Her knees wanted to buckle.Hard head, soft heart, and here, suddenly, a staggering sweep of romance. "Why didn't you tell me? Why did you make me wait?"
"I thought I'd get over it."
"Get over it?" Her brow arched up. "Like a head cold?"
"Maybe." He set her aside, paced away to stare out at the hills.
Keeley closed her eyes, let the breeze ruffle her hair, cool her cheeks. When the calm descended, she opened her eyes and smiled. "A good strong head cold's tough to shake off.
Nora Roberts (Irish Rebel (Irish Hearts, #3))
Raquel? You coming?”
“I honestly never thought I would see the light of day again.”
“Aww, come on. With me on your side? Of course things worked out.”
She tried to smile, but her eyes filled with tears. Thank you, Evie.”
I threw my arms around her in a hug. “You don’t have to thank me.”
“I really do. You wonderful girl. I’ve missed you so much.”
“Well, now that we’re both unemployed fugitives, think of how much time we’ll have to hang out!”
She laughed drily, and we walked with our arms around each other to the house. I opened the door and yelled, “Evie alert! Coming into the family room!”
“You made it!” Lend shouted back. “Just a sex, I’ll go to the kitchen. Raquel’s with you?”
“Good job! Jack and Arianna got back a couple of minutes ago.”
I walked into the family room to find Arianna and Jack sitting on the couch, arguing. “But here would have been no point to you being there if it hadn’t been for my computer prowess.”
“But your computer prowess wouldn’t have mattered if you couldn’t have gotten into the Center in the first place.”
“Being a glorified taxi does not make you the bigger hero.”
“Being a nerd who can tap on a keyboard or being able to navigate the dark eternities of the Faerie Paths . . . hmmm . . . which is a rarer and more valuable skill . . .”
I put my hands on my hips. “Okay, kids, take it elsewhere. Raquel and I have work to do.”
“Evie,” Raquel said. She was staring at Jack in horror.
“Oh, that.” I waved a hand dismissively. “It’s all good. Jack’s been helping us.”
“Don’t you remember how he tried to kill you?”
Jack rolled his eyes. “Boring. We’ve all moved on.”
“Not really,” I said. “But he’s behaving. And everyone needs a glorified taxi now and then.”
“Admit it: you all adore me.” Jack bowed dramatically as he left the room. Arianna smiled tightly at Raquel and left after him.
Raquel collapsed onto the couch and closed her eyes. “You’re working with Reth and Jack? Have you lost your mind?”
“Oh, that happened ages ago. But I’ve had to do a lot of rescuing lately, and those two come in handy.”
“Do you trust them?”
“No, we don’t,” Lend called from the kitchen.
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
Most people cannot stand being alone for long. They are always seeking groups to belong to, and if one group dissolves, they look for another. We are group animals still, and there is nothing wrong with that. But what is dangerous is not the belonging to a group, or groups, but not understanding the social laws that govern groups and govern us.
When we're in a group, we tend to think as that group does: we may even have joined the group to find "like-minded" people. But we also find our thinking changing because we belong to a group. It is the hardest thing in the world to maintain an individual dissent opinion, as a member of a group.
It seems to me that this is something we have all experienced - something we take for granted, may never have thought about. But a great deal of experiment has gone on among psychologists and sociologists on this very theme. If I describe an experiment or two, then anyone listening who may be a sociologist or psychologist will groan, oh God not again - for they have heard of these classic experiments far too often. My guess is that the rest of the people will never have had these ideas presented to them. If my guess is true, then it aptly illustrates general thesis, and the general idea behind these essays, that we (the human race) are now in possession of a great deal of hard information about ourselves, but we do not use it to improve our institutions and therefore our lives.
A typical test, or experiment, on this theme goes like this. A group of people are taken into the researcher's confidence. A minority of one or two are left in the dark. Some situation demanding measurement or assessment is chosen. For instance, comparing lengths of wood that differ only a little from each other, but enough to be perceptible, or shapes that are almost the same size. The majority in the group - according to instruction- will assert stubbornly that these two shapes or lengths are the same length, or size, while the solitary individual, or the couple, who have not been so instructed will assert that the pieces of wood or whatever are different. But the majority will continue to insist - speaking metaphorically - that black is white, and after a period of exasperation, irritation, even anger, certainly incomprehension, the minority will fall into line. Not always but nearly always. There are indeed glorious individualists who stubbornly insist on telling the truth as they see it, but most give in to the majority opinion, obey the atmosphere.
When put as baldly, as unflatteringly, as this, reactions tend to be incredulous: "I certainly wouldn't give in, I speak my mind..." But would you?
People who have experienced a lot of groups, who perhaps have observed their own behaviour, may agree that the hardest thing in the world is to stand out against one's group, a group of one's peers. Many agree that among our most shameful memories is this, how often we said black was white because other people were saying it.
In other words, we know that this is true of human behaviour, but how do we know it? It is one thing to admit it in a vague uncomfortable sort of way (which probably includes the hope that one will never again be in such a testing situation) but quite another to make that cool step into a kind of objectivity, where one may say, "Right, if that's what human beings are like, myself included, then let's admit it, examine and organize our attitudes accordingly.
Doris Lessing (Prisons We Choose to Live Inside)
Leta walked to the door and opened it with a ready smile for Colby Lane. And found herself looking straight into the eye of a man she hadn’t seen face-to-face in thirty-six years.
Matt Holden matched her face against his memories of a young, slight, beautiful woman whose eyes loved him every time they looked at him. His heart spun like a cartwheel in his chest.
“Cecily said it was Colby,” Leta said unsteadily.
“Strange. She phoned me and asked if I was free this evening.” His broad shoulders shrugged and he smiled faintly. “I’m free every evening.”
“That doesn’t sound like the life of a playboy widower,” Leta said caustically.
“My wife was a vampire,” he said. “She sucked me dry of life and hope. Her drinking wore me down. Her death was a relief for both of us. Do I get to come in?” he added, glancing down the hall. “I’m going to collect dust if I stand out here much longer, and I’m hungry. A sack of McDonald’s hamburgers and fries doesn’t do a lot for me.”
“I hear it’s a presidential favorite,” Cecily mused, joining them. “Come in, Senator Holden.”
“It was Matt before,” he pointed out. “Or are you trying to butter me up for a bigger donation to the museum?”
She shrugged. “Pick a reason.”
He looked at Leta, who was uncomfortable. “Well, at least you can’t hang up on me here. You’ll be glad to know that our son isn’t speaking to me. He isn’t speaking to you, either, or so he said,” he added. “I suppose he won’t talk to you?” he added to Cecily.
“He said goodbye very finally, after telling me that I was an idiot to think he’d change his mind and want to marry me just because he turned out to have mixed blood,” she said, not relating the shocking intimacy that had prefaced his remarks.
“I’ll punch him for that,” Matt said darkly.
“Ex-special forces,” Leta spoke up with a faint attempt at humor, nodding toward Matt. “He was in uniform when we went on our first date.”
“You wore a white cotton dress with a tiered skirt,” he recalled, “and let your hair down. Hair…”
He turned back to Cecily and grimaced. “Good God, what did you do that for?”
“Tate likes long hair, that’s what I did it for,” she said, venom in her whole look. “I can’t wait for him to see it, even if I have to settle for sending him a photo!”
“I hope you never get mad at me,” Matt said.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
Subject: SELF WORTH (Very Deep!!!) In a brief conversation, a man asked a woman he was pursuing the question: 'What kind of man are you looking for?' She sat quietly for a moment before looking him in the eye & asking, 'Do you really want to know?' Reluctantly, he said, 'Yes. She began to expound, 'As a woman in this day & age, I am in a position to ask a man what can you do for me that I can't do for myself? I pay my own bills. I take care of my household without the help of any man... or woman for that matter. I am in the position to ask, 'What can you bring to the table?' The man looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring to money. She quickly corrected his thought & stated, 'I am not referring to money. I need something more. I need a man who is striving for excellence in every aspect of life. He sat back in his chair, folded his arms, & asked her to explain. She said, 'I need someone who is striving for excellence mentally because I need conversation & mental stimulation. I don't need a simple-minded man. I need someone who is striving for excellence spiritually because I don't need to be unequally yoked...believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster. I need a man who is striving for excellence financially because I don't need a financial burden. I need someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded. I need someone who has integrity in dealing with relationships. Lies and game-playing are not my idea of a strong man. I need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader, priest and provider to the lives entrusted to him by God. I need someone whom I can respect. In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn't taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive...he just has to be worthy. And by the way, I am not looking for him...He will find me. He will recognize himself in me. Hey may not be able to explain the connection, but he will always be drawn to me. God made woman to be a help-mate for man. I can't help a man if he can't help himself. When she finished her spill, she looked at him. He sat there with a puzzled look on his face. He said, 'You are asking a lot. She replied, "I'm worth a lot". Send this to every woman who's worth a lot.... and every man who has the brains to understand!!
Dru Edmund Kucherera
In the beginning was the Word'. I have taken as my text this evening the almighty Word itself. Now get this: 'There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.' Amen, brothers and sisters, Amen. And the riddle of the Word, 'In the beginning was the Word....' Now what do you suppose old John meant by that? That cat was a preacher, and, well, you know how it is with preachers; he had something big on his mind. Oh my, it was big; it was the Truth, and it was heavy, and old John hurried to set it down. And in his hurry he said too much. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' It was the Truth, all right, but it was more than the Truth. The Truth was overgrown with fat, and the fat was God. The fat was John's God, and God stood between John and the Truth. Old John, see, he got up one morning and caught sight of the Truth. It must have been like a bolt of lightning, and the sight of it made him blind. And for a moment the vision burned on the back of his eyes, and he knew what it was. In that instant he saw something he had never seen before and would never see again. That was the instant of revelation, inspiration, Truth. And old John, he must have fallen down on his knees. Man, he must have been shaking and laughing and crying and yelling and praying - all at the same time - and he must have been drunk and delirious with the Truth. You see, he had lived all his life waiting for that one moment, and it came, and it took him by surprise, and it was gone. And he said, 'In the beginning was the Word....' And man, right then and there he should have stopped. There was nothing more to say, but he went on. He had said all there was to say, everything, but he went on. 'In the beginning was the Word....' Brothers and sisters, that was the Truth, the whole of it, the essential and eternal Truth, the bone and blood and muscle of the Truth. But he went on, old John, because he was a preacher. The perfect vision faded from his mind, and he went on. The instant passed, and then he had nothing but a memory. He was desperate and confused, and in his confusion he stumbled and went on. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' He went on to talk about Jews and Jerusalem, Levites and Pharisees, Moses and Philip and Andrew and Peter. Don't you see? Old John had to go on. That cat had a whole lot at stake. He couldn't let the Truth alone. He couldn't see that he had come to the end of the Truth, and he went on. He tried to make it bigger and better than it was, but instead he only demeaned and encumbered it. He made it soft and big with fat. He was a preacher, and he made a complex sentence of the Truth, two sentences, three, a paragraph. He made a sermon and theology of the Truth. He imposed his idea of God upon the everlasting Truth. 'In the beginning was the Word....' And that is all there was, and it was enough.
N. Scott Momaday (House Made of Dawn)
The last time I’d been unwell, suicidally depressed, whatever you want to call it, the reactions of my friends and family had fallen into several different camps:
The Let’s Laugh It Off merchants: Claire was the leading light. They hoped that joking about my state of mind would reduce it to a manageable size. Most likely to say, ‘Feeling any mad urges to fling yourself into the sea?’
The Depression Deniers: they were the ones who took the position that since there was no such thing as depression, nothing could be wrong with me. Once upon a time I’d have belonged in that category myself. A subset of the Deniers was The Tough Love people. Most likely to say, ‘What have you got to be depressed about?’
The It’s All About Me bunch: they were the ones who wailed that I couldn’t kill myself because they’d miss me so much. More often than not, I’d end up comforting them. My sister Anna and her boyfriend, Angelo, flew three thousand miles from New York just so I could dry their tears. Most likely to say, ‘Have you any idea how many people love you?’
The Runaways: lots and lots of people just stopped ringing me. Most of them I didn’t care about, but one or two were important to me. Their absence was down to fear; they were terrified that whatever I had, it was catching. Most likely to say, ‘I feel so helpless … God, is that the time?’ Bronagh – though it hurt me too much at the time to really acknowledge it – was the number one offender.
The Woo-Woo crew: i.e. those purveying alternative cures. And actually there were hundreds of them – urging me to do reiki, yoga, homeopathy, bible study, sufi dance, cold showers, meditation, EFT, hypnotherapy, hydrotherapy, silent retreats, sweat lodges, felting, fasting, angel channelling or eating only blue food. Everyone had a story about something that had cured their auntie/boss/boyfriend/next-door neighbour. But my sister Rachel was the worst – she had me plagued. Not a day passed that she didn’t send me a link to some swizzer. Followed by a phone call ten minutes later to make sure I’d made an appointment. (And I was so desperate that I even gave plenty of them a go.) Most likely to say, ‘This man’s a miracle worker.’ Followed by: ‘That’s why he’s so expensive. Miracles don’t come cheap.’
There was often cross-pollination between the different groupings. Sometimes the Let’s Laugh It Off merchants teamed up with the Tough Love people to tell me that recovering from depression is ‘simply mind over matter’. You just decide you’re better. (The way you would if you had emphysema.)
Or an All About Me would ring a member of the Woo-Woo crew and sob and sob about how selfish I was being and the Woo-Woo crew person would agree because I had refused to cough up two grand for a sweat lodge in Wicklow.
Or one of the Runaways would tiptoe back for a sneaky look at me, then commandeer a Denier into launching a two-pronged attack, telling me how well I seemed. And actually that was the worst thing anyone could have done to me, because you can only sound like a self-pitying malingerer if you protest, ‘But I don’t feel well. I feel wretched beyond description.’
Not one person who loved me understood how I’d felt. They hadn’t a clue and I didn’t blame them, because, until it had happened to me, I hadn’t a clue either.
In every interview I’m asked what’s the most important quality a novelist has to have. It’s pretty obvious: talent. Now matter how much enthusiasm and effort you put into writing, if you totally lack literary talent you can forget about being a novelist. This is more of a prerequisite than a necessary quality. If you don’t have any fuel, even the best car won’t run.The problem with talent, though, is that in most cases the person involved can’t control its amount or quality. You might find the amount isn’t enough and you want to increase it, or you might try to be frugal and make it last longer, but in neither case do things work out that easily. Talent has a mind of its own and wells up when it wants to, and once it dries up, that’s it. Of course, certain poets and rock singers whose genius went out in a blaze of glory—people like Schubert and Mozart, whose dramatic early deaths turned them into legends—have a certain appeal, but for the vast majority of us this isn’t the model we follow.
If I’m asked what the next most important quality is for a novelist, that’s easy too: focus—the ability to concentrate all your limited talents on whatever’s critical at the moment. Without that you can’t accomplish anything of value, while, if you can focus effectively, you’ll be able to compensate for an erratic talent or even a shortage of it. I generally concentrate on work for three or four hours every morning. I sit at my desk and focus totally on what I’m writing. I don’t see anything else, I don’t think about anything else.
After focus, the next most important thing for a novelist is, hands down, endurance. If you concentrate on writing three or four hours a day and feel tired after a week of this, you’re not going to be able to write a long work. What’s needed of the writer of fiction—at least one who hopes to write a novel—is the energy to focus every day for half a year, or a year, or two years.
Fortunately, these two disciplines—focus and endurance—are different from talent, since they can be acquired and sharpened through training. You’ll naturally learn both concentration and endurance when you sit down every day at your desk and train yourself to focus on one point. This is a lot like the training of muscles I wrote of a moment ago. You have to continually transmit the object of your focus to your entire body, and make sure it thoroughly assimilates the information necessary for you to write every single day and concentrate on the work at hand. And gradually you’ll expand the limits of what you’re able to do. Almost imperceptibly you’ll make the bar rise. This involves the same process as jogging every day to strengthen your muscles and develop a runner’s physique. Add a stimulus and keep it up. And repeat. Patience is a must in this process, but I guarantee results will come.
In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated. I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower. This sort of daily training was indispensable to him.
Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate—and how much is too much? How far can I take something and still keep it decent and consistent? When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world? To what extent should I be confident in my abilities, and when should I start doubting myself? I know that if I hadn’t become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different. How different? Hard to say. But something would definitely have been different.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
Catching my breath, I lean against the front of the car and focus on the individual blades of grass hedging my flip-flop, trying not to throw up or pass out or both. In the far distance, a vehicle approaches-the first one to witness the scene of our accident. A million explanations run through my mind, but I can’t imagine a single scenario that would solve all-or any-of our issues right now.
None of us can risk going to the hospital. Mom technically doesn’t qualify as human, so I’m sure we’d get a pretty interesting diagnosis. Rachel is technically supposed to be deceased as of the last ten years or so, and while she probably has a plethora of fake IDs, she’s still antsy around cops, which will surely be called to the hospital in the event of a gunshot wound, even if it is just in the foot. And let’s not forget that Mom and Rachel are new handcuff buddies. There just isn’t an explanation for any of this.
That’s when I decide I’m not the one who should do the talking. After all, I didn’t kidnap anyone. I didn’t shoot anyone. And I certainly didn’t handcuff myself to the person who shot me. Besides, both Mom and Rachel are obviously much more skilled at deception then I’ll ever be.
“If someone pulls over to help us, one of you is explaining all this,” I inform them. “You’ll probably want to figure it out fast, because here comes a car.”
But the car comes and goes without even slowing. In fact, a lot of cars come and go, and if the situation weren’t so strange and if I weren’t so thankful that they didn’t actually stop, I’d be forced to reexamine what the world is coming to, not helping strangers in an accident. Then it occurs to me that maybe the passerby don’t realize it’s the scene of an accident. Mom’s car is in the ditch, but the ditch might be steep enough to hide it. It’s possible that no one can even see Rachel and Mom from the side of the road. Still, I am standing at the front of Rachel’s car. An innocent-looking teenage girl just loitering for fun in the middle of nowhere and no one cares to stop? Seriously?
Just as I decide that people suck, a vehicle coming from the opposite direction slows and pulls up a few feet behind us. It’s not a good Samaritan traveler pulling over to see what he or she can do to inadvertently complicate things. It’s not an ambulance. It’s not a state trooper. If only we could be so lucky. But, nope, it’s way worse.
Because it’s Galen’s SUV.
From where I stand, I can see him looking at me from behind the wheel. His face is stricken and tried and relieved and pained. I want to want to want to believe the look in his eyes right now. The look that clearly says he’s found what he’s looking for, in more ways than one.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Katie stood alone...
'They think this is so good,' he thought. 'They think it's good- the tree they got for nothing and their father playing up to them and the singing and the way the neighbors are happy. They think they're mighty lucky that they're living and it's Christmas again. They can't see that we live on a dirty street in a dirty house among people who aren't much good. Johnny and the children can't see how pitiful it is that our neighbors have to make happiness out of this filth and dirt. My children must get out of this. They must come to more than Johnnny or me or all thse people around us. But how is this to come about? Reading a page from those books every day and saving pennies in the tin-can bank isn't enough. Money! Would that make it better for them? Yes, it would make it easy. But no, the money wouldn't be enough. McGarrity owns the saloon standing on the corner and he has a lot of money. His wife wears diamond earrings. But her children are not as good and smart as my children. They are mean and greedy towards others...Ah no, it isn't the money alone... That means there must be something bigger than money. Miss Jackson teaches... and she has no money. She works for charity. She lives in a little room there on the top floor. She only has the one dress but she keeps it clean and pressed. Her eyes look straight into yours when you talk to her... She understands about things. She can live in the middle of a dirty neighborhood and be fine and clean like an actress in a play; someone you can look at but is too fine to touch... So what is this difference between her and this Miss Jackson who has no money?...
Education! That was it!...Education would pull them out of the grime and dirt. Proof? Miss Jackson was educated, the McGarrity wasn't. Ah! That's what Mary Rommely, her mother, had been telling her all those years. Only her mother did not have the one clear word: education!...
'Francie is smart...She's a learner and she'll be somebody someday. But when she gets educated, she will grow away from me. Why, she's growing away from me now. She does not love me the way the boy loves me. I feel her turn away from me now. She does not understand me. All she understands is that I don't understand her. Maybe when she gets education, she will be ashamed of me- the way I talk. but she will have too much character to show it. Instead she will try to make me different. She will come to see me and try to make me live in a better way and I will be mean to her because I'll know she's above me. She will figure out too much about things as she grows older; she'll get to know too much for her own happiness. She'll find out that I don't love her as much as I love the boy. I cannot help that this is so. But she won't understand that. Somethimes I think she knows that now. Already she is growing away from me; she will fight to get away soon. Changing over to that far-away school was the first step in her getting away from me. But Neeley will never leave me, that is why I love him best. He will cling to me and understand me... There is music in him. He got that from his father. He has gone further on the piano than Francie or me. Yes, his father has the music in him but it does him no good. It is ruining him... With the boy, it will be different. He'll be educated. I must think out ways. We'll not have Johnnny with us long. Dear God, I loved him so much once- and sometimes I still do. But he's worthless...worthless. And God forgive me for ever finding out.'
Thus Katie figured out everything in the moments it took them to climb the stairs. People looking up at her- at her smooth pretty vivacious face- had no way of knowing about the painfully articulated resolves formulating hin her mind.
Okay.First things first. Three things you don't want me to know about you."
"What?" I gaped at him.
"You're the one who says we don't know each other.So let's cut to the chase."
Oh,but this was too easy:
1. I am wearing my oldest, ugliest underwear.
2.I think your girlfriend is evil and should be destroyed.
3.I am a lying, larcenous creature who talks to dead people and thinks she should be your girlfriend once the aforementioned one is out of the picture.
I figured that was just about everything. "I don't think so-"
"Doesn't have to be embarrassing or major," Alex interrupted me, "but it has to be something that costs a little to share." When I opened my mouth to object again, he pointed a long finger at the center of my chest. "You opened the box,Pandora.So sit."
There was a funny-shaped velour chair near my knees. I sat. The chair promptly molded itself to my butt. I assumed that meant it was expensive, and not dangerous. Alex flopped onto the bed,settling on his side with his elbow bent and his head propped on his hand.
"Can't you go first?" I asked.
"You opened the box..."
"Okay,okay. I'm thinking."
He gave me about thirty seconds. Then, "Time."
I took a breath. "I'm on full scholarship to Willing." One thing Truth or Dare has taught me is that you can't be too proud and still expect to get anything valuable out of the process.
"I'm terrified of a lot things, including lightning, driving a stick shift, and swimming in the ocean."
His expression didn't change at all. He just took in my answers. "Last one."
"I am not telling you about my underwear," I muttered.
He laughed. "I am sorry to hear that. Not even the color?"
I wanted to scowl. I couldn't. "No.But I will tell you that I like anchovies on my pizza."
"That's supposed to be consolation for withholding lingeries info?"
"Not my concern.But you tell me-is it something you would broadcast around the lunchroom?"
"Probably not," he agreed.
"Didn't think so." I settled back more deeply into my chair. It didn't escape my notice that, yet again, I was feeling very relaxed around this boy. Yet again, it didn't make me especially happy. "Your turn."
I thought about my promise to Frankie. I quietly hoped Alex would tell me something to make me like him even a little less.
He was ready. "I cried so much during my first time at camp that my parents had to come get me four days early."
I never went to camp. It always seemed a little bit idyllic to me. "How old were you?"
"Why?" I imagined a very small Alex in a Spider-Man shirt, cuddling the threadbare bunny now sitting on the shelf over his computer. I sighed. "Oh,no reason. Next."
"I hated Titanic, The Notebook, and Twilight."
"What did you think of Ten Things I Hate About You?"
"Hey," he snapped. "I didn't ask questions during your turn."
"No,you didn't," I agreed pleasantly. "Anser,please."
"Fine.I liked Ten Things. Satisfied?"
No,actually. "Alex," I said sadly, "either you are mind-bogglingly clueless about what I wouldn't want to know, or your next revelation is going to be that you have an unpleasant reaction to kryptonite."
He was looking at me like I'd spoken Swahili. "What are you talking about?"
Just call me Lois. I shook my head. "Never mind. Carry on."
"I have been known to dance in front of the mirror-" he cringed a little- "to 'Thriller.'"
And there it was. Alex now knew that I was a penniless coward with a penchant for stinky fish.I knew he was officially adorable.
He pushed himself up off his elbow and swung his legs around until he was sitting on the edge of the bed. "And on that humiliating note, I will now make you translate bathroom words into French." He picked up a sheaf of papers from the floor. "I have these worksheets. They're great for the irregular verbs...
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
and drew her strength directly from our magickal Oklahoma earth. “U-we-tsi-a-ge-ya, it seems I need help at the lavender booth. I simply cannot believe how busy we are.” Grandma had barely spoken when a nun hurried up. “Zoey, Sister Mary Angela could use your help filling out cat adoption forms.” “I’ll help you, Grandma Redbird,” Shaylin said. “I love the smell of lavender.” “Oh, honey, that would be so sweet of you. First, could you run to my car and get into the trunk. There is another box of lavender soaps and sachets tucked back there. Looks like I’m going to sell out completely,” Grandma said happily. “Sure thing.” Shaylin caught the keys Grandma tossed to her and hurried toward the main exit of the school grounds which led to the parking lot, as well as the tree-lined road that joined Utica Street. “And I’ll call my momma. She said just let her know if we get too busy over here. She and the PTA moms will be back here in a sec,” said Stevie Rae. “Grandma, do you mind if I give Street Cats a hand? I’ve been dying to check out their new litter of kittens.” “Go on, u-we-tsi-a-ge-ya. I think Sister Mary Angela has been missing your company.” “Thanks, Grandma.” I smiled at her. Then I turned to Stevie Rae. “Okay, if your mom’s group is coming back, I’m gonna go help the nuns.” “Yeah, no problem.” Stevie Rae, shielding her eyes and peering through the crowd, added, “I see her now, and she’s got Mrs. Rowland and Mrs. Wilson with her.” “Don’t worry. We can handle this,” Shaunee said. “’Kay,” I said, grinning at both of them. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.” I left the cookie booth and noticed Aphrodite, clutching her big purple Queenies cup, was right on my heels. “I thought you didn’t want a lecture from the nuns.” “Better than a lecture from PTA moms.” She shuddered. “Plus, I like cats more than people.” I shrugged. “Okay, whatever.” We’d only gotten partway to the Street Cats tent when Aphrodite slowed way down. “Seriously. Effing. Pathetic.” She was muttering around her straw, narrowing her eyes, and glaring. I followed her gaze and joined her frown. “Yeah, no matter how many times I see them together, I still don’t get it.” Aphrodite and I had stopped to watch Shaunee’s ex-Twin BFF, Erin, hang all over Dallas. “I really thought she was better than that.” “Apparently not,” Aphrodite said. “Eeew,” I said, looking away from their way too public display of locked lips. “I’m telling you, there’s not enough booze in Tulsa to make watching those two suck face okay.” She made a gagging sound, which changed to a snort and a laugh. “Check out the wimple, twelve o’clock.” Sure enough, there was a nun I vaguely recognized as Sister Emily (one of the more uptight of the nuns) descending on the too-busy-with-their-tongues-to-notice couple. “She looks serious,” I said. “You know, a nun may very well be the direct opposite of an aphrodisiac. This should be entertaining. Let’s watch.” “Zoey! Over here!” I looked from the train wreck about to happen to see Sister Mary Angela waving me over to her.
P.C. Cast (Revealed (House of Night #11))
How I Threw Big Party for Jane Austen
It was at a petting party in the White House that I first met Jane Austen. The beautiful little Englishwoman had come to our shores in response to an attractive offer from the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer people, one of whose officers had spelled out her novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and considered it good material for a seven reel comedy. Syd Chaplin was at that time with this firm and was slated for the title role.
Miss Austen had a few weeks’ time to spare before she was due in Hollywood and it fell to my lot to entertain her. I postponed my engagement with President Pierce, whom I intended to interview in regard to my pension as general in the Spanish war, and placed myself entirely at the disposal of the little authoress. She expressed a desire to see the night life of New York and I organized a party to visit Texas Guinan’s. In the party, besides myself and Miss Austen, or Janey as we called her, were Brinck Thorne, then captain of the Yale football nine, and Harry Wills.*
*Editor’s note: The author evidently means ‘eleven,’ not ‘nine.’
*Author’s note: Other teams would not play against Mr. Thorne unless he limited himself to eight helpers instead of the regulation ten.
After two or three rounds of drinks we decided we had had enough and a water brought us a check for $22.75. The other two men seemed to have paralysis of the arms and as I found on $1.50 in my pocket, I asked Miss Guinan if she would take my check. She said yes and I made out a check on the Great Neck Trust Company, but knowing my balance there was only $7.00, I purposely neglected to affix my signature. Miss Guinana’s sharp eyes noticed the oversight and asked for my autograph. This piqued Miss Austen as she was really more famous than I at that time, so to smooth matters over I suggested that we all give Miss Guinan our autographs and start an album for her.
I next took Miss Austen to Albany to meet Gov. Al (‘Peaches’) Smith. The governor received us with his usual simplicity and said he was a great admirer of Miss Austen’s work.
‘I thought “The Green Hat” was a scream,’ he complimented her.
Miss Austen wanted to go to Hollywood by way of Pittsburgh, but at that time there was a federal law forbidding any railroad to run a train near that city. President Pierce was a born hater of Pittsburgh and remained in that frame of mind to his dying day. ‘Janey’ was obliged to make the journey via Niagara Falls. She eventually reached Hollywood and supervised the screening of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ which made a big success under its new title, ‘The Bath in Champagne.’
It was about a month subsequent to my affair with Jane that the world was startled by Robert Fulton’s invention of the taxicab. The first taxi now would seem a crude vehicle, but at the time it was hailed as a marvel. It was a sidewheeler and was steered from the rear seat, by the passenger, thus insuring at least, its arrival at the point where the passenger wanted to go. The driver sat in front and warned pedestrians out of the way. He generally did this by cupping his hands to his mouth and shouting, almost continuously, ‘Halloa! Halloa!’ For a while the new conveyances were known as ‘Halloa cabs.’*
*Editor’s note: They still are in some cities.
Ring Lardner Jr. (The Story of a Wonder Man: Being the Autobiography of Ring Lardner)
Neliss, why is this rug wet?”
Legna peeked around the corner to glance at the rug in question, looking as if she had never seen it before.
“We have a rug there?”
“Did you or did you not promise me you were not going to practice extending how long you can hold your invisible bowls of water in the house? And what on earth is that noise?”
“Okay, I confess to the water thing, which was an honest mistake, I swear it. But as for a noise, I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“You cannot hear that? It has been driving me crazy for days now. It just repeats over and over again, a sort of clicking sound.”
“Well, it took a millennium, but you have finally gone completely senile. Listen, this is a house built by Lycanthropes. It is more a cave than a house, to be honest. I have yet to decorate to my satisfaction. There is probably some gizmo of some kind lying around, and I will come across it eventually or it will quit working the longer it is exposed to our influence. Even though I do not hear anything, I will start looking for it. Is this satisfactory?”
“I swear, Magdelegna, I am never letting you visit that Druid ever again.”
“Oh, stop it. You do not intimidate me, as much as you would love to think you do. Now, I will come over there if you promise not to yell at me anymore. You have been quite moody lately.”
“I would be a hell of a lot less moody if I could figure out what that damn noise is.”
Legna came around the corner, moving into his embrace with her hands behind her back. He immediately tried to see what she had in them.
“What is that?”
“Remember when you asked me why I cut my hair?”
“Ah yes, the surprise. Took you long enough to get to it.”
“If you do not stop, I am not going to give it to you.”
“Okay. I am stopping. What is it?”
She held out the box tied with a ribbon to him and he accepted it with a lopsided smile.
“I do not think I even remember the last time I received a gift,” he said, leaning to kiss her cheek warmly. He changed his mind, though, and opted to go for her mouth next. She smiled beneath the cling of their lips and pushed away.
He reached for the ribbon and soon was pulling the top off the box.
“What is this?”
“Gideon, what does it look like?”
He picked up the woven circlet with a finger and inspected it closely. It was an intricately and meticulously fashioned necklace, clearly made strand by strand from the coffee-colored locks of his mate’s hair. In the center of the choker was a silver oval with the smallest writing he had ever seen filling it from top to bottom.
“What does it say?”
“It is the medics’ code of ethics,” she said softly, taking it from him and slipping behind him to link the piece around his neck beneath his hair. “And it fits perfectly.” She came around to look at it, smiling. “I knew it would look handsome on you.”
“I do not usually wear jewelry or ornamentation, but . . . it feels nice. How on earth did they make this?”
“Well, it took forever, if you want to know why it took so long for me to make good on the surprise. But I wanted you to have something that was a little bit of me and a little bit of you.”
“I already have something like that. It is you. And . . . and me, I guess,” he laughed. “We are a little bit of each other for the rest of our lives.”
“See, that makes this a perfect symbol of our love,” she said smartly, reaching up on her toes to kiss him.
“Well, thank you, sweet. It is a great present and an excellent surprise. Now, if you really want to surprise me, help me find out what that noise is.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))