Meet After Long Time Quotes

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The slow arrow of beauty. The most noble kind of beauty is that which does not carry us away suddenly, whose attacks are not violent or intoxicating (this kind easily awakens disgust), but rather the kind of beauty which infiltrates slowly, which we carry along with us almost unnoticed, and meet up with again in dreams; finally, after it has for a long time lain modestly in our heart, it takes complete possession of us, filling our eyes with tears, our hearts with longing. What do we long for when we see beauty? To be beautiful. We think much happiness must be connected with it. But that is an error.
Friedrich Nietzsche
For a long time now, every meeting with another human being has been a collision. I feel too much, sense too much, am exhausted by the reverberations after even the simplest conversation.
May Sarton (Journal of a Solitude)
I know there's no way I can convince you this is not one of their tricks, but I don't care, I am me. My name is Valerie, I don't think I'll live much longer and I wanted to tell someone about my life. This is the only autobiography ill ever write, and god, I'm writing it on toilet paper. I was born in Nottingham in 1985, I don't remember much of those early years, but I do remember the rain. My grandmother owned a farm in Tuttlebrook, and she use to tell me that god was in the rain. I passed my 11th lesson into girl's grammar; it was at school that I met my first girlfriend, her name was Sara. It was her wrists. They were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that is was an adolescent phase people outgrew. Sara did, I didn't. In 2002 I fell in love with a girl named Christina. That year I came out to my parents. I couldn't have done it without Chris holding my hand. My father wouldn't look at me, he told me to go and never come back. My mother said nothing. But I had only told them the truth, was that so selfish? Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have. It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free. I'd always known what I wanted to do with my life, and in 2015 I starred in my first film, "The Salt Flats". It was the most important role of my life, not because of my career, but because that was how I met Ruth. The first time we kissed, I knew I never wanted to kiss any other lips but hers again. We moved to a small flat in London together. She grew Scarlet Carsons for me in our window box, and our place always smelled of roses. Those were there best years of my life. But America's war grew worse, and worse. And eventually came to London. After that there were no roses anymore. Not for anyone. I remember how the meaning of words began to change. How unfamiliar words like collateral and rendition became frightening. While things like Norse Fire and The Articles of Allegiance became powerful, I remember how different became dangerous. I still don't understand it, why they hate us so much. They took Ruth while she was out buying food. I've never cried so hard in my life. It wasn't long till they came for me.It seems strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years, I had roses, and apologized to no one. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An Inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. -Valerie
Alan Moore (V for Vendetta)
retrouvailles, another one of those words that do not translate into English, which means “the happiness of meeting someone you love again after a long time.
Martha Hall Kelly (Lilac Girls)
I imagine the feelings of two people meeting again after many years. In the past they spent some time together, and therefore they think they are linked by the same experience, the same recollections. The same recollections? That's where the misunderstanding starts: they don't have the same recollections; each of them retains two or three small scenes from the past, but each has his own; their recollections are not similar; they don't intersect; and even in terms of quantity they are not comparable: one person remembers the other more than he is remembered; first because memory capacity varies among individuals (an explanation that each of them would at least find acceptable), but also (and this is more painful to admit) because they don't hold the same importance for each other. When Irena saw Josef at the airport, she remembered every detail of their long-ago adventure; Josef remembered nothing. From the very first moment their encounter was based on an unjust and revolting inequality.
Milan Kundera
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
Being alone is not the most awful thing in the world. You visit your museums and cultivate your interests and remind yourself how lucky you are not to be one of those spindly Sudanese children with flies beading their mouths. You make out To Do lists - reorganise linen cupboard, learn two sonnets. You dole out little treats to yourself - slices of ice-cream cake, concerts at Wigmore Hall. And then, every once in a while, you wake up and gaze out of the window at another bloody daybreak, and think, I cannot do this anymore. I cannot pull myself together again and spend the next fifteen hours of wakefulness fending off the fact of my own misery. People like Sheba think that they know what it's like to be lonely. They cast their minds back to the time they broke up with a boyfriend in 1975 and endured a whole month before meeting someone new. Or the week they spent in a Bavarian steel town when they were fifteen years old, visiting their greasy-haired German pen pal and discovering that her hand-writing was the best thing about her. But about the drip drip of long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. They don't know what it is to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the laundrette. Or to sit in a darkened flat on Halloween night, because you can't bear to expose your bleak evening to a crowd of jeering trick-or-treaters. Or to have the librarian smile pityingly and say, ‘Goodness, you're a quick reader!’ when you bring back seven books, read from cover to cover, a week after taking them out. They don't know what it is to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand on your shoulder sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin. I have sat on park benches and trains and schoolroom chairs, feeling the great store of unused, objectless love sitting in my belly like a stone until I was sure I would cry out and fall, flailing, to the ground. About all of this, Sheba and her like have no clue.
Zoë Heller (What Was She Thinking? [Notes on a Scandal])
He once told me about polar bears - what solitary animals they are. They mate just once a year. One time in a whole year. There is no such thing as a lasting male-female bond in their world. One male polar bear and one female polar bear meet by sheer chance somewhere in the frozen vastness, and they mate. It doesn't take long. And once they are finished, the male runs away from the female as if he is frightened to death: he runs from the place where they have mated. He never looks back - literally. The rest of the year he lives in deep solitude. Mutual communications - the touching of two hearts - do not exist for them. So, that is the story of polar bears - or at least it is what my employer told me about them.' How very strange.' Yes, it is strange. I remember asking my employer, ' Then what do polar bears exist for?' ' Yes, exactly,' he said with a big smile. 'Then what do we exist for?
Haruki Murakami (After the Quake)
I used to think Romeo and Juliet was the greatest love story ever written. But now that I’m middle-aged, I know better. Oh, Romeo certainly thinks he loves his Juliet. Driven by hormones, he unquestionably lusts for her. But if he loves her, it’s a shallow love. You want proof?” Cagney didn’t wait for Dr. Victor to say yay or nay. “Soon after meeting her for the first time, he realizes he forgot to ask her for her name. Can true love be founded upon such shallow acquaintance? I don’t think so. And at the end, when he thinks she’s dead, he finds no comfort in living out the remainder of his life within the paradigm of his love, at least keeping alive the memory of what they had briefly shared, even if it was no more than illusion, or more accurately, hormonal. “Those of us watching events unfold from the darkness know she merely lies in slumber. But does he seek the reason for her life-like appearance? No. Instead he accuses Death of amorousness, convinced that the ‘lean abhorred monster’ endeavors to keep Juliet in her present state, her cheeks flushed, so that she might cater to his own dissolute desires. But does Romeo hold her in his arms one last time and feel the warmth of her blood still coursing through her veins? Does he pinch her to see if she might awaken? Hold a mirror to her nose to see if her breath fogs it? Once, twice, three times a ‘no.’” Cagney sighed, listened to the leather creak as he shifted his weight in his chair. “No,” he repeated. “His alleged love is so superficial and selfish that he seeks to escape the pain of loss by taking his own life. That’s not love, but obsessive infatuation. Had they wed—Juliet bearing many children, bonding, growing together, the masks of the star-struck teens they once were long ago cast away, basking in the comforting campfire of a love born of a lifetime together, not devoured by the raging forest fire of youth that consumes everything and leaves behind nothing—and she died of natural causes, would Romeo have been so moved to take his own life, or would he have grieved properly, for her loss and not just his own?
J. Conrad Guest (The Cobb Legacy)
It wasn't always like this. There was a time when I imagined my life could happen in another way. It's true that early on I became used to the long hours I spent alone. I discovered that I did not need people as others did. After writing all day it took an effort to make conversation, like wading through cement, and often I simply chose not to make it, eating at a restaurant with a book or going for long walks alone instead, unwinding the solitude of the day through the city. But loneliness, true loneliness, is impossible to accustom oneself to, and while I was still young I thought of my situation as somehow temporary, and did not stop hoping and imagining that I would meet someone and fall in love... Yes, there was a time before I closed myself off to others.
Nicole Krauss (Great House)
The most important thing to understand is that while we courted, Americans dated, a pragmatic custom whereby a male and a female set a mutually agreeable time to meet, as if to negotiate a potentially profitable business venture. Americans understood dating to be about investments and gains, short or long term , but we saw romance and courtship as being about losses. After all, the only worthwhile courtship involved persuading a woman who could not be persuaded, not a woman already predisposed to examine her calendar for her availability.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
Adolf Eichmann went to the gallows with great dignity. He had asked for a bottle of red wine and had drunk half of it. He refused the help of the Protestant minister the Reverend William Hull who offered to read the Bible with him: he had only two more hours to live and therefore no “time to waste.” He walked the fifty yards from his cell to the execution chamber calm and erect with his hands bound behind him. When the guards tied his ankles and knees he asked them to loosen the bonds so that he could stand straight. “I don’t need that ” he said when the black hood was offered him. He was in complete command of himself nay he was more: he was completely himself. Nothing could have demonstrated this more convincingly than the grotesque silliness of his last words. He began by stating emphatically that he was a Gottgläubiger to express in common Nazi fashion that he was no Christian and did not believe in life after death. He then proceeded: “After a short while gentlemen we shall all meet again. Such is the fate of all men. Long live Germany long live Argentina long live Austria. I shall not forget them.” In the face of death he had found the cliché used in funeral oratory. Under the gallows his memory played him the last trick he was “elated” and he forgot that this was his own funeral. It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us-the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
I went down not long ago to the Mad River, under the willows I knelt and drank from that crumpled flow, call it what madness you will, there's a sickness worse than the risk of death and that's forgetting what we should never forget. Tecumseh lived here. The wounds of the past are ignored, but hang on like the litter that snags among the yellow branches, newspapers and plastic bags, after the rains. Where are the Shawnee now? Do you know? Or would you have to write to Washington, and even then, whatever they said, would you believe it? Sometimes I would like to paint my body red and go into the glittering snow to die. His name meant Shooting Star. From Mad River country north to the border he gathered the tribes and armed them one more time. He vowed to keep Ohio and it took him over twenty years to fail. After the bloody and final fighting, at Thames, it was over, except his body could not be found, and you can do whatever you want with that, say his people came in the black leaves of the night and hauled him to a secret grave, or that he turned into a little boy again, and leaped into a birch canoe and went rowing home down the rivers. Anyway this much I'm sure of: if we meet him, we'll know it, he will still be so angry.
Mary Oliver
I don’t know how he does it but every woman he meets is crazy. he will get rid of one crazy woman but he never gets any relief— another crazy moves right in with him. it’s only after they move in and begin acting more than strange that they admit to him that they’ve done madhouse time or that their families have a long history of mental illness.
Charles Bukowski (You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense)
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
So the boy…the boy must die?” asked Snape quite calmly. “And Voldemort himself must do it, Severus. That is essential.” Another long silence. Then Snape said, “I thought…all these years…that we were protecting him for her. For Lily.” “We have protected him because it has been essential to teach him, to raise him, to let him try his strength,” said Dumbledore, his eyes still tight shut. “Meanwhile, the connection between them grows ever stronger, a parasitic growth: Sometimes I have thought he suspects it himself. If I know him, he will have arranged matters so that when he does set out to meet his death, it will truly mean the end of Voldemort.” Dumbledore opened his eyes. Snape looked horrified. “You have kept him alive so that he can die at the right moment?” “Don’t be shocked, Severus. How many men and women have you watched die?” “Lately, only those whom I could not save,” said Snape. He stood up. “You have used me.” “Meaning?” “I have spied for you and lied for you, put myself in mortal danger for you. Everything was supposed to be to keep Lily Potter’s son safe. Now you tell me you have been raising him like a pig for slaughter--” “But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?” “For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!” From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe: She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears. “After all this time?” “Always,” said Snape.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
Romance for me is Meeting yeu after a Long time After all those nighs i have spend longing to hold yeu thinking about yeu And finally being next to yeu when i still have to hold back Because there are people around Romance for me is trying to act normal And not being able to take my eyes off yeu
Sandesh Hukpachongbang
As the cab drove off, I caught a glimpse of Paul in the crowd and felt a rush of retrouvailles, another one of those words that do not translate into English, which means “the happiness of meeting someone you love again after a long time.” I
Martha Hall Kelly (Lilac Girls)
An attachment grew up. What is an attachment? It is the most difficult of all the human interrelationships to explain, because it is the vaguest, the most impalpable. It has all the good points of love, and none of its drawbacks. No jealousy, no quarrels, no greed to possess, no fear of losing possession, no hatred (which is very much a part of love), no surge of passion and no hangover afterward. It never reaches the heights, and it never reaches the depths. As a rule it comes on subtly. As theirs did. As a rule the two involved are not even aware of it at first. As they were not. As a rule it only becomes noticeable when it is interrupted in some way, or broken off by circumstances. As theirs was. In other words, its presence only becomes known in its absence. It is only missed after it stops. While it is still going on, little thought is given to it, because little thought needs to be. It is pleasant to meet, it is pleasant to be together. To put your shopping packages down on a little wire-backed chair at a little table at a sidewalk cafe, and sit down and have a vermouth with someone who has been waiting there for you. And will be waiting there again tomorrow afternoon. Same time, same table, same sidewalk cafe. Or to watch Italian youth going through the gyrations of the latest dance craze in some inexpensive indigenous night-place-while you, who come from the country where the dance originated, only get up to do a sedate fox trot. It is even pleasant to part, because this simply means preparing the way for the next meeting. One long continuous being-together, even in a love affair, might make the thing wilt. In an attachment it would surely kill the thing off altogether. But to meet, to part, then to meet again in a few days, keeps the thing going, encourages it to flower. And yet it requires a certain amount of vanity, as love does; a desire to please, to look one's best, to elicit compliments. It inspires a certain amount of flirtation, for the two are of opposite sex. A wink of understanding over the rim of a raised glass, a low-voiced confidential aside about something and the smile of intimacy that answers it, a small impromptu gift - a necktie on the one part because of an accidental spill on the one he was wearing, or of a small bunch of flowers on the other part because of the color of the dress she has on. So it goes. And suddenly they part, and suddenly there's a void, and suddenly they discover they have had an attachment. Rome passed into the past, and became New York. Now, if they had never come together again, or only after a long time and in different circumstances, then the attachment would have faded and died. But if they suddenly do come together again - while the sharp sting of missing one another is still smarting - then the attachment will revive full force, full strength. But never again as merely an attachment. It has to go on from there, it has to build, to pick up speed. And sometimes it is so glad to be brought back again that it makes the mistake of thinking it is love. ("For The Rest Of Her Life")
Cornell Woolrich (Angels of Darkness)
His vulnerability allowed me to let my guard down, and gently and methodically, he tore apart my well-constructed dam. Waves of tender feelings were lapping over the top and slipping through the cracks. The feelings flooded through and spilled into me. It was frightening opening myself up to feel love for someone again. My heart pounded hard and thudded audibly in my chest. I was sure he could hear it. Ren’s expression changed as he watched my face. His look of sadness was replaced by one of concern for me. What was the next step? What should I do? What do I say? How do I share what I’m feeling? I remembered watching romance movies with my mom, and our favorite saying was “shut up and kiss her already!” We’d both get frustrated when the hero or heroine wouldn’t do what was so obvious to the two of us, and as soon as a tense, romantic moment occurred, we’d both repeat our mantra. I could hear my mom’s humor-filled voice in my mind giving me the same advice: “Kells, shut up and kiss him already!” So, I got a grip on myself, and before I changed my mind, I leaned over and kissed him. He froze. He didn’t kiss me back. He didn’t push me away. He just stopped…moving. I pulled back, saw the shock on his face, and instantly regretted my boldness. I stood up and walked away, embarrassed. I wanted to put some distance between us as I frantically tried to rebuild the walls around my heart. I heard him move. He slid his hand under my elbow and turned me around. I couldn’t look at him. I just stared at his bare feet. He put a finger under my chin and tried to nudge my head up, but I still refused to meet his gaze. “Kelsey. Look at me.” Lifting my eyes, they traveled from his feet to a white button in the middle of his shirt. “Look at me.” My eyes continued their journey. They drifted past the golden-bronze skin of his chest, his throat, and then settled on his beautiful face. His cobalt blue eyes searched mine, questioning. He took a step closer. My breath hitched in my throat. Reaching out a hand, he slid it around my waist slowly. His other hand cupped my chin. Still watching my face, he placed his palm lightly on my cheek and traced the arch of my cheekbone with his thumb. The touch was sweet, hesitant, and careful, the way you might try to touch a frightened doe. His face was full of wonder and awareness. I quivered. He paused just a moment more, then smiled tenderly, dipped is head, and brushed his lips lightly against mine. He kissed me softly, tentatively, just a mere whisper of a kiss. His other hand slid down to my waist too. I timidly touched his arms with my fingertips. He was warm, and his skin was smooth. He gently pulled me closer and pressed me lightly against his chest. I gripped his arms. He sighed with pleasure, and deepened the kiss. I melted into him. How was I breathing? His summery sandalwood scent surrounded me. Everywhere he touched me, I felt tingly and alive. I clutched his arms fervently. His lips never leaving mine, Ren took both of my arms and wrapped them, one by one, around his neck. Then he trailed one of his hands down my bare arm to my waist while the other slid into my hair. Before I realized what he was planning to do, he picked me up with one arm and crushed me to his chest. I have no idea how long we kissed. It felt like a mere second, and it also felt like forever. My bare feet were dangling several inches from the floor. He was holding all my body weight easily with one arm. I buried my fingers into his hair and felt a rumble in his chest. It was similar to the purring sound he made as a tiger. After that, all coherent thought fled and time stopped.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
THEY FOUND LEO AT THE TOP of the city fortifications. He was sitting at an open-air café, overlooking the sea, drinking a cup of coffee and dressed in…wow. Time warp. Leo’s outfit was identical to the one he’d worn the day they first arrived at Camp Half-Blood—jeans, a white shirt, and an old army jacket. Except that jacket had burned up months ago. Piper nearly knocked him out of his chair with a hug. “Leo! Gods, where have you been?” “Valdez!” Coach Hedge grinned. Then he seemed to remember he had a reputation to protect and he forced a scowl. “You ever disappear like that again, you little punk, I’ll knock you into next month!” Frank patted Leo on the back so hard it made him wince. Even Nico shook his hand. Hazel kissed Leo on the cheek. “We thought you were dead!” Leo mustered a faint smile. “Hey, guys. Nah, nah, I’m good.” Jason could tell he wasn’t good. Leo wouldn’t meet their eyes. His hands were perfectly still on the table. Leo’s hands were never still. All the nervous energy had drained right out of him, replaced by a kind of wistful sadness. Jason wondered why his expression seemed familiar. Then he realized Nico di Angelo had looked the same way after facing Cupid in the ruins of Salona. Leo was heartsick. As the others grabbed chairs from the nearby tables, Jason leaned in and squeezed his friend’s shoulder. “Hey, man,” he said, “what happened?” Leo’s eyes swept around the group. The message was clear: Not here. Not in front of everyone. “I got marooned,” Leo said. “Long story. How about you guys? What happened with Khione?” Coach Hedge snorted. “What happened? Piper happened! I’m telling you, this girl has skills!” “Coach…” Piper protested. Hedge began retelling the story, but in his version Piper was a kung fu assassin and there were a lot more Boreads. As the coach talked, Jason studied Leo with concern. This café had a perfect view of the harbor. Leo must have seen the Argo II sail in. Yet he sat here drinking coffee—which he didn’t even like—waiting for them to find him. That wasn’t like Leo at all. The ship was the most important thing in his life. When he saw it coming to rescue him, Leo should have run down to the docks, whooping at the top of his lungs. Coach Hedge was just describing how Piper had defeated Khione with a roundhouse kick when Piper interrupted. “Coach!” she said. “It didn’t happen like that at all. I couldn’t have done anything without Festus.” Leo raised his eyebrows. “But Festus was deactivated.” “Um, about that,” Piper said. “I sort of woke him up.” Piper explained her version of events—how she’d rebooted the metal dragon with charmspeak.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
We're all creatures of complex needs and desires. The only certain thing in a romantic relationship is that you will both change, and one morning you will wake up, go the mirror, and see a stranger. You will have what you wanted, and discover you want something different. You think you know who you are, and then you'll surprise yourself. In all the choices in front of you, Restless, one thing is clear: love is not something to be thrown away lightly. There was something about this man, beyond coincidences of timing and opportunity, that drew you to him. Before you give up on the marriage . . . give him a chance. Be honest with him about the needs that aren't being met, the dreams you want to pursue. Let him find out who you really are. Let him help you in the work of opening that door, so the two of you can finally meet after all these years. How do you know he can't satisfy your emotional needs? How can you be sure he doesn't long for magic and passion just as you do? Can you state with absolute certainty that you know everything there is to know about him? There are rewards to be gained from the effort, even if it fails. And it will take courage as well as patience, Restless. Try everything you can . . . fight to stay with a man who loves you. Just for now, put aside the question of what you might have had with someone else, and focus on what you can have, what you do have, at this very moment. I hope you'll find new questions, and that your husband might be the answer.
Lisa Kleypas
It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum? That's what bothers me sometimes. Have I never known true love, after all? She too was an eminently flat woman and she moved with short stiff steps, leaning on an ebony stick. Perhaps she too was a man, yet another of them. But in that case surely our testicles would have collided, while we writhed. Perhaps she held hers tight in her hand, on purpose to avoid it. She favoured voluminous tempestuous shifts and petticoats and other undergarments whose names I forget. They welled up all frothing and swishing and then, congress achieved, broke over us in slow cascades. And all I could see was her taut yellow nape which every now and then I set my teeth in, forgetting I had none, such is the power of instinct. We met in a rubbish dump, unlike any other, and yet they are all alike, rubbish dumps. I don't know what she was doing there. I was limply poking about in the garbage saying probably, for at that age I must still have been capable of general ideas, This is life. She had no time to lose, I had nothing to lose, I would have made love with a goat, to know what love was. She had a dainty flat, no, not dainty, it made you want to lie down in a corner and never get up again. I liked it. It was full of dainty furniture, under our desperate strokes the couch moved forward on its castors, the whole place fell about our ears, it was pandemonium. Our commerce was not without tenderness, with trembling hands she cut my toe-nails and I rubbed her rump with winter cream. This idyll was of short duration. Poor Edith, I hastened her end perhaps. Anyway it was she who started it, in the rubbish dump, when she laid her hand upon my fly. More precisely, I was bent double over a heap of muck, in the hope of finding something to disgust me for ever with eating, when she, undertaking me from behind, thrust her stick between my legs and began to titillate my privates. She gave me money after each session, to me who would have consented to know love, and probe it to the bottom, without charge. But she was an idealist. I would have preferred it seems to me an orifice less arid and roomy, that would have given me a higher opinion of love it seems to me. However. Twixt finger and thumb tis heaven in comparison. But love is no doubt above such contingencies. And not when you are comfortable, but when your frantic member casts about for a rubbing-place, and the unction of a little mucous membrane, and meeting with none does not beat in retreat, but retains its tumefaction, it is then no doubt that true love comes to pass, and wings away, high above the tight fit and the loose.
Samuel Beckett (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (The Trilogy, #1-3))
I love you, Lily. Everything you are. I love you." I know those words get thrown around a lot, especially by teenagers. A lot of times prematurely and without much merit. But when he said them to me, I knew he wasn't saying it like he was in love with me. It wasn't that kind of "I love you." Imagine the people you meet in your life. There are so many. They come in like waves, trickling in and out with the tide. Some waves are much bigger and make more of an impact than others. Sometimes the waves bring with them things from deep in the bottom of the sea and they leave those things tossed on the shore. Imprints against the grains of sand that prove the waves had once been there, long after the tide recedes. That was what Atlas was telling me wen he said "I love you." He was letting me know that I was the biggest wave he'd ever come across. And I brought so much with me that my impression would always be there, even when the tide rolled out.
Colleen Hoover (It Ends with Us)
I was in the army.... We went to fight a bad white man, or so the whites told us. We had meetings that were called orientation and education. There were films. It was to show us how this bad white man was doing terrible things in his country. Everybody was angry after the films, and eager to fight. Except me. I was only there because the army paid more than an Indian can earn anywhere else. So I was not angry, but puzzled. There was nothing that this white leader did that the white leaders in this country do not also do. They told us about a place named Lidice. It was much like Wounded Knee. They told us of families moved thousands of miles to be destroyed. It was much like the Trail of Tears. They told us of how this man ruled his nation, so that none dared disobey him. It was much like the way white men work in corporations in New York City, as Sam has described it to me. I asked another soldier about this, a black white man. He was easier to talk to than the regular white man. I asked him what he thought of the orientation and education. He said it was shit, and he spoke from the heart! I thought about it a long time, and I knew he was right. The orientation and education was shit.
Robert Shea (The Eye in the Pyramid (Illuminatus, #1))
Sweet for a little even to fear, and sweet, O love, to lay down fear at love’s fair feet; Shall not some fiery memory of his breath Lie sweet on lips that touch the lips of death? Yet leave me not; yet, if thou wilt, be free; Love me no more, but love my love of thee. Love where thou wilt, and live thy life; and I, One thing I can, and one love cannot—die. Pass from me; yet thine arms, thine eyes, thine hair, Feed my desire and deaden my despair. Yet once more ere time change us, ere my cheek Whiten, ere hope be dumb or sorrow speak, Yet once more ere thou hate me, one full kiss; Keep other hours for others, save me this. Yea, and I will not (if it please thee) weep, Lest thou be sad; I will but sigh, and sleep. Sweet, does death hurt? thou canst not do me wrong: I shall not lack thee, as I loved thee, long. Hast thou not given me above all that live Joy, and a little sorrow shalt not give? What even though fairer fingers of strange girls Pass nestling through thy beautiful boy’s curls As mine did, or those curled lithe lips of thine Meet theirs as these, all theirs come after mine; And though I were not, though I be not, best, I have loved and love thee more than all the rest. O love, O lover, loose or hold me fast, I had thee first, whoever have thee last; Fairer or not, what need I know, what care? To thy fair bud my blossom once seemed fair. Why am I fair at all before thee, why At all desired? seeing thou art fair, not I. I shall be glad of thee, O fairest head, Alive, alone, without thee, with thee, dead; I shall remember while the light lives yet, And in the night-time I shall not forget. Though (as thou wilt) thou leave me ere life leave, I will not, for thy love I will not, grieve; Not as they use who love not more than I, Who love not as I love thee though I die; And though thy lips, once mine, be oftener prest To many another brow and balmier breast, And sweeter arms, or sweeter to thy mind, Lull thee or lure, more fond thou wilt not find.
Algernon Charles Swinburne (Poems and Ballads)
The scientific research is very clear that experiencing trauma without control can be debilitating. But I also worry about people who cruise through life, friction-free, for a long, long time before encountering their first real failure. They have so little practice falling and getting up again. They have so many reasons to stick with a fixed mindset. I see a lot of invisibly vulnerable high-achievers stumble in young adulthood and struggle to get up again. I call them the “fragile perfects.” Sometimes I meet fragile perfects in my office after a midterm or a final. Very quickly, it becomes clear that these bright and wonderful people know how to succeed but not how to fail.
Angela Duckworth (Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance)
Economic inequality has long been a signature issue of the left, and it rose in prominence after the Great Recession began in 2007. It ignited the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011 and the presidential candidacy of the self-described socialist Bernie Sanders in 2016, who proclaimed that “a nation will not survive morally or economically when so few have so much, while so many have so little.” 2 But in that year the revolution devoured its children and propelled the candidacy of Donald Trump, who claimed that the United States had become “a third-world country” and blamed the declining fortunes of the working class not on Wall Street and the one percent but on immigration and foreign trade. The left and right ends of the political spectrum, incensed by economic inequality for their different reasons, curled around to meet each other, and their shared cynicism about the modern economy helped elect the most radical American president in recent times.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
To look back upon the past year, and see how little we have striven and to what small purpose: and how often we have been cowardly and hung back, or temerarious and rushed unwisely in; and how every day and all day long we have transgressed the law of kindness; -it may seem a paradox, but in the bitterness of these discoveries, a certain consolation resides. Life is not designed to minister to a man's vanity. He goes upon his long business most of the time with a hanging head, and all the time like a blind child. Full of rewards and pleasures as it is - so that to see the day break or the moon rise, or to meet a friend, or to hear the dinner-call when he is hungry, fills him with surprising joys - this world is yet for him no abiding city. Friendships fall through, health fails, weariness assails him; year after year, he must thumb the hardly varying record of his own weakness and folly. It is a friendly process of detachment. When the time comes that he should go, there need be few illusions left about himself. Here lies one who meant well, tried a little, failed much: -surely that may be his epitaph, of which he need not be ashamed.
Robert Louis Stevenson (A Christmas Sermon)
1) Choose a person, older than yourself, you see frequently — not too often by approx once a week or once a month. Maybe one of your grandparents if they are still alive. 2) Every time you meet the chosen person you press your 2 pointing-fingers firmly against your eyes for 10 to 20 seconds until various colors and patterns arise. 3) Try to note or memorize the patterns and colors in connection with the context and repeat the practice every time you meet the chosen person for a as long as possible, minimum 6 months. 4) After minimum 6 months of this practice you can recall the person, virtually by pressing your eyes for a while. In the midst of the colors and pattern a sense of presence of the chosen person arrives even after the chosen person has died.
Hans Ulrich Obrist (Do It)
When I saw Jonah’s face for the first time it was like seeing someone again after a long absence. Not a meeting, but a reunion.
Emma Scott (Full Tilt (Full Tilt, #1))
What is more tormenting than a meeting after a long time, when all the words fall to the ground like dead things, and the spirit that should animate them floats disembodied in the air? We both felt its presence.
Iris Murdoch (Under the Net)
He cannot do anything deliberate now. The strain of his whole weight on his outstretched arms hurts too much. The pain fills him up, displaces thought, as much for him as it has for everyone else who has ever been stuck to one of these horrible contrivances, or for anyone else who dies in pain from any of the world’s grim arsenal of possibilities. And yet he goes on taking in. It is not what he does, it is what he is. He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road. But there is so much of it. So many injured children; so many locked rooms; so much lonely anger; so many bombs in public places; so much vicious zeal; so many bored teenagers at roadblocks; so many drunk girls at parties someone thought they could have a little fun with; so many jokes that go too far; so much ruining greed; so much sick ingenuity; so much burned skin. The world he claims, claims him. It burns and stings, it splinters and gouges, it locks him round and drags him down… All day long, the next day, the city is quiet. The air above the city lacks the usual thousand little trails of smoke from cookfires. Hymns rise from the temple. Families are indoors. The soldiers are back in barracks. The Chief Priest grows hoarse with singing. The governor plays chess with his secretary and dictates letters. The free bread the temple distributed to the poor has gone stale by midday, but tastes all right dipped in water or broth. Death has interrupted life only as much as it ever does. We die one at a time and disappear, but the life of the living continues. The earth turns. The sun makes its way towards the western horizon no slower or faster than it usually does. Early Sunday morning, one of the friends comes back with rags and a jug of water and a box of the grave spices that are supposed to cut down on the smell. She’s braced for the task. But when she comes to the grave she finds that the linen’s been thrown into the corner and the body is gone. Evidently anonymous burial isn’t quite anonymous enough, after all. She sits outside in the sun. The insects have woken up, here at the edge of the desert, and a bee is nosing about in a lily like silk thinly tucked over itself, but much more perishable. It won’t last long. She takes no notice of the feet that appear at the edge of her vision. That’s enough now, she thinks. That’s more than enough. Don’t be afraid, says Yeshua. Far more can be mended than you know. She is weeping. The executee helps her to stand up.
Francis Spufford (Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense)
Protests and looting naturally capture attention. But the real rage smolders in meetings where officials redraw precincts to dilute African American voting strength or seek to slash the government payrolls that have long served as sources of black employment. It goes virtually unnoticed, however, because white rage doesn’t have to take to the streets and face rubber bullets to be heard. Instead, white rage carries an aura of respectability and has access to the courts, police, legislatures, and governors, who cast its efforts as noble, though they are actually driven by the most ignoble motivations. White rage recurs in American history. It exploded after the Civil War, erupted again to undermine the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, and took on its latest incarnation with Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House. For every action of African American advancement, there’s a reaction, a backlash. The
Jesmyn Ward (The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race)
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
At a lunchtime reception for the diplomatic corps in Washington, given the day before the inauguration of Barack Obama as president, I was approached by a good-looking man who extended his hand. 'We once met many years ago,' he said. 'And you knew and befriended my father.' My mind emptied, as so often happens on such occasions. I had to inform him that he had the advantage of me. 'My name is Hector Timerman. I am the ambassador of Argentina.' In my above album of things that seem to make life pointful and worthwhile, and that even occasionally suggest, in Dr. King’s phrase as often cited by President Obama, that there could be a long arc in the moral universe that slowly, eventually bends toward justice, this would constitute an exceptional entry. It was also something more than a nudge to my memory. There was a time when the name of Jacobo Timerman, the kidnapped and tortured editor of the newspaper La Opinion in Buenos Aires, was a talismanic one. The mere mention of it was enough to elicit moans of obscene pleasure from every fascist south of the Rio Grande: finally in Argentina there was a strict ‘New Order’ that would stamp hard upon the international Communist-Jewish collusion. A little later, the mention of Timerman’s case was enough to derail the nomination of Ronald Reagan’s first nominee as undersecretary for human rights; a man who didn’t seem to have grasped the point that neo-Nazism was a problem for American values. And Timerman’s memoir, Prisoner without a Name, Cell without a Number, was the book above all that clothed in living, hurting flesh the necessarily abstract idea of the desaparecido: the disappeared one or, to invest it with the more sinister and grisly past participle with which it came into the world, the one who has been ‘disappeared.’ In the nuances of that past participle, many, many people vanished into a void that is still unimaginable. It became one of the keywords, along with escuadrone de la muerte or ‘death squads,’ of another arc, this time of radical evil, that spanned a whole subcontinent. Do you know why General Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina was eventually sentenced? Well, do you? Because he sold the children of the tortured rape victims who were held in his private prison. I could italicize every second word in that last sentence without making it any more heart-stopping. And this subhuman character was boasted of, as a personal friend and genial host, even after he had been removed from the office he had defiled, by none other than Henry Kissinger. So there was an almost hygienic effect in meeting, in a new Washington, as an envoy of an elected government, the son of the brave man who had both survived and exposed the Videla tyranny.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
The list of correlations to that night is as long as the Jersey coast. And so is the list of reasons I shouldn't be looking forward to seeing him at school. But I can't help it. He's already texted me three times this morning: Can I pick you up for school? and Do u want 2 have breakfast? and R u getting my texts? My thumbs want to answer "yes" to all of the above, but my dignity demands that I don't answer at all. He called my his student. He stood there alone with me on the beach and told me he thinks of me as a pupil. That our relationship is platonic. And everyone knows what platonic means-rejected. Well, I might be his student, but I'm about to school, him on a few things. The first lesson of the day is Silent Treatment 101. So when I see him in the hall, I give him a polite nod and brush right by him. The zap from the slight contact never quite fades, which mean he's following me. I make it to my locker before his hand is on my arm. "Emma." The way he whispers my name sends goose bumps all the way to my baby toes. But I'm still in control. I nod to him, dial the combination to my locker, then open it in his face. He moves back before contact. Stepping around me, he leans his hand against the locker door and turns me around to face him. "That's not very nice." I raise my best you-started-this brow. He sighs. "I guess that means you didn't miss me." There are so many things I could pop off right now. Things like, "But at least I had Toraf to keep my company" or "You were gone?" Or "Don't feel bad, I didn't miss my calculus teacher either." But the goal is to say nothing. So I turn around. I transfer books and papers between my locker and backpack. As I stab a pencil into my updo, his breath pushes against my earlobe when he chuckles. "So your phone's not broken; you just didn't respond to my texts." Since rolling my eyes doesn't make a sound, it's still within the boundaries of Silent Treatment 101. So I do this while I shut my locker. As I push past him, he grabs my arm. And I figure if stomping on his toe doesn't make a sound... "My grandmother's dying," he blurts. Commence with the catching-Emma-off-guard crap. How can I continue Silent Treatment 101 after that? He never mentioned his grandmother before, but then again, I never mentioned mine either. "I'm sorry, Galen." I put my hand on his, give it a gentle squeeze. He laughs. Complete jackass. "Conveniently, she lives in a condo in Destin and her dying request is to meet you. Rachel called your mom. We're flying out Saturday afternoon, coming back Sunday night. I already called Dr. Milligan." "Un-freaking-believable.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Dear Jessa, I’ve started this letter so many times and I’ve never been able to finish it. So here goes again . . . I’m sorry. I’m sorry that Riley is dead. I’m sorry for ignoring your emails and for not being there for you. I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it had been me that died and not Riley. If I could go back in time and change everything I would. I’m sorry I left without a word. There’s no excuse for my behaviour but please know that it had nothing to do with you. I was a mess. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone for months. And I felt too guilty and didn’t know how to tell you the truth about what happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of you knowing. I got all your emails but I didn’t read them until last week. I couldn’t face it and I guess that makes me the biggest coward you’ll ever meet. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I never replied. You needed me and I wasn’t there for you. I don’t even know how to ask your forgiveness because I don’t deserve it. I’m just glad you’re doing better. I’m better too. I’ve started seeing a therapist – twice a week – you’d like her. She reminds me of Didi. I never thought I’d be the kind of guy who needed therapy, but they made it a condition of me keeping my job. She’s helped me a lot with getting the panic attacks under control. Working in a room the size of a janitor’s closet helps too – there aren’t too many surprises, only the occasional rogue paperclip. I asked for the posting. I have to thank your dad ironically. The demotion worked out. Kind of funny that I totally get where your father was coming from all those years. Looks like I’ll be spending the remainder of my marine career behind a desk, but I’m OK with that. I don’t know what else to say, Jessa. My therapist says I should just write down whatever comes into my head. So here goes. Here’s what’s in my head . . . I miss you. I love you. Even though I long ago gave up the right to any sort of claim over you, I can’t stop loving you. I won’t ever stop. You’re in my blood. You’re the only thing that got me through this, Jessa. Because even during the bad times, the worst times, the times I’d wake up in a cold sweat, my heart thumping, the times I’d think the only way out was by killing myself and just having it all go away, I’d think of you and it would pull me back out of whatever dark place I’d fallen into. You’re my light, Jessa. My north star. You asked me once to come back to you and I told you I always would. I’m working on it. It might take me a little while, and I know I have no right to ask you to wait for me after everything I’ve done, but I’m going to anyway because the truth is I don’t know how to live without you. I’ve tried and I can’t do it. So please, I’m asking you to wait for me. I’m going to come back to you. I promise. And I’m going to make things right. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll never stop trying for the rest of my life to make things right between us. I love you. Always. Kit
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
The child's heart beat: but she was growing in the wrong place inside her extraordinary mother, south of safe...she and her mother were rushed to the hospital, where her mother was operated on by a brisk cheerful diminutive surgeon who told me after the surgery that my wife had been perhaps an hour from death from the pressure of the child growing outside the womb, the mother from the child growing, and the child from growing awry; and so my wife did not die, but our mysterious child did...Not uncommon, an ectopic pregnancy, said the surgeon...Sometimes, continued the surgeon, sometimes people who lose children before they are born continue to imagine the child who has died, and talk about her or him, it's such an utterly human thing to do, it helps deal with the pain, it's healthy within reason, and yes, people say to their other children that they actually do, in a sense, have a sister or brother, or did have a sister or brother, and she or he is elsewhere, has gone ahead, whatever the language of your belief or faith tradition. You could do that. People do that, yes. I have patients who do that, yes... One summer morning, as I wandered by a river, I remembered an Irish word I learned long ago, and now whenever I think of the daughter I have to wait to meet, I find that word in my mouth: dunnog, little dark one, the shyest and quietest and tiniest of sparrows, the one you never see but sometimes you sense, a flash in the corner of your eye, a sweet sharp note already fading by the time it catches your ear.
Brian Doyle (The Wet Engine: Exploring Mad Wild Miracle of Heart)
Thank you for the improvements you made... the lock and hinges... and the lion's-head knocker. I like it very much." Ethan's voice was soft. "Did you like the violets?" She hesitated before shaking her head. "No?" he asked, more softly still. "Why not?" "They reminded me that I might never see you again." "After tonight, you probably won't." "You say that every time we meet. However, you keep popping up like a jack-in-the-box, which has made me increasingly skeptical." Garrett paused before adding in an abashed tone, "And hopeful." His gaze caressed her face. "Garrett Gibson... as long as I'm on this earth, I'll want to be wherever you are." She couldn't help smiling ruefully. "You're the only one who does. I've been in a foul mood for the past two weeks. I've offended nearly everyone I know, and frightened off one or two of my patients." His voice was dark velvet. "You needed me there to sweeten your temper." Garrett couldn't bring herself to look at him as she admitted huskily, "Yes.
Lisa Kleypas (Hello Stranger (The Ravenels, #4))
Tsunami spotted Snail and Herring among the guards. Their eyes darted anxiously from side to side, as if they were wondering how they were still alive. Because Mother wants to make a spectacle of them, Tsunami guessed. Coral was probably waiting for the right moment to punish them in public, the way she’d punished Tortoise. Well, two can play the spectacle game, Your Majesty. “MOTHER!” Tsunami declared dramatically as the waitstaff set bowls of soup in front of each dragon. Beside her, Whirlpool jumped and nearly tipped his bowl onto himself. Even Queen Coral looked startled. “I have something DREADFULLY SHOCKING to tell you!” Tsunami announced. She wanted this to be loud, so every dragon could witness it. “Oh?” said Coral. “Could we discuss it after breakfast? In a civilized fashion?” “NO,” Tsunami said, louder than before. “This is TOO SHOCKING.” Even SeaWings not invited to the feast were starting to peer out of their caves and poke their heads out of the lake to hear what was going on. “Well, perhaps —” Coral started. “WOULD YOU BELIEVE,” Tsunami said, “that my friends — the DRAGONETS OF DESTINY, remember — were CHAINED UP? And STARVED? In YOUR CAVES? By YOUR DRAGONS?” “What?” Coral said, flapping her wings. She looked thoroughly alarmed, but Tsunami couldn’t tell whether that was because the news actually surprised her or because she was being confronted openly with what she’d done. “I KNOW!” Tsunami practically bellowed. “It’s UNBELIEVABLE. I’m sure you didn’t know anything about it, of course.” “Of course,” Coral said in a hurry. “I would never treat any dragonets that way! Especially my dearest daughter’s dearest friends. Who are part of the prophecy and everything.” “And I’m sure you’ll want to punish the dragons who disobeyed you by treating my friends so terribly,” Tsunami said. “Right? Like, for instance, the one who lied to you about keeping them well fed?” She shot a glare at Lagoon, who froze with a sea snail halfway to her mouth, suddenly realizing what was going on. “Absolutely,” said the queen. “Guards! Throw Lagoon in one of the underwater dungeons!” “But —” Lagoon said. “But I was only —” “Next time you’ll obey my orders,” said the queen. A stripe quickly flashed under her wings, but Tsunami spotted it, and it was one Riptide had taught her. Silence. Oh, Mother, Tsunami thought sadly. “Can’t I even —” Lagoon said, reaching wistfully for her cauldron of soup as the guards pulled her away. “No breakfast for you,” the queen ordered. “Think about how that feels as you sit in my dungeon.” Tsunami was fairly sure Lagoon wouldn’t actually suffer very much. Queen Coral would have her back at Council meetings before long. But Tsunami wasn’t done. “And
Tui T. Sutherland (The Lost Heir (Wings of Fire, #2))
I know you,” he added, helping to arrange the blanket over my shoulders. “You won’t drop the subject until I agree to check on your cousin, so I’ll do it. But only under one condition.” “John,” I said, whirling around to clutch his arm again. “Don’t get too excited,” he warned. “You haven’t heard the condition.” “Oh,” I said, eagerly. “Whatever it is, I’ll do it. Thank you. Alex has never had a very good life-his mother ran away when he was a baby, and his dad spent most of his life in jail…But, John, what is all this?” I swept my free hand out to indicate the people remaining on the dock, waiting for the boat John had said was arriving soon. I’d noticed some of them had blankets like the one he’d wrapped around me. “A new customer service initiative?” John looked surprised at my change of topic…then uncomfortable. He stooped to reach for the driftwood Typhon had dashed up to drop at his feet. “I don’t know what you mean,” he said, stiffly. “You’re giving blankets away to keep them warm while they wait. When did this start happening?” “You mentioned some things when you were here the last time….” He avoided meeting my gaze by tossing the stick for his dog. “They stayed with me.” My eyes widened. “Things I said?” “About how I should treat the people who end up here.” He paused at the approach of a wave-though it was yards off-and made quite a production of moving me, and my delicate slippers, out of its path. “So I decided to make a few changes.” It felt as if one of the kind of flowers I liked-a wild daisy, perhaps-had suddenly blossomed inside my heart. “Oh, John,” I said, and rose onto my toes to kiss his cheek. He looked more than a little surprised by the kiss. I thought I might actually have seen some color come into his cheeks. “What was that for?” he asked. “Henry said nothing was the same after I left. I assumed he meant everything was much worse. I couldn’t imagine it was the opposite, that things were better.” John’s discomfort at having been caught doing something kind-instead of reckless or violet-was sweet. “Henry talks too much,” he muttered. “But I’m glad you like it. Not that it hasn’t been a lot of added work. I’ll admit it’s cut down on the complaints, though, and even the fighting amongst our rowdier passengers. So you were right. Your suggestions helped.” I beamed up at him. Keeper of the dead. That’s how Mr. Smith, the cemetery sexton, had referred to John once, and that’s what he was. Although the title “protector of the dead” seemed more applicable. It was totally silly how much hope I was filled with by the fact that he’d remembered something I’d said so long ago-like maybe this whole consort thing might work out after all. I gasped a moment later when there was a sudden rush of white feathers, and the bird he’d given me emerged from the grizzly gray fog seeming to engulf the whole beach, plopping down onto the sand beside us with a disgruntled little humph. “Oh, Hope,” I said, dashing tears of laughter from my eyes. Apparently I had only to feel the emotion, and she showed up. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to leave you behind. It was his fault, you know.” I pointed at John. The bird ignored us both, poking around in the flotsam washed ashore by the waves, looking, as always, for something to eat. “Her name is Hope?” John asked, the corners of his mouth beginning to tug upwards. “No.” I bristled, thinking he was making fun of me. Then I realized I’d been caught. “Well, all right…so what if it is? I’m not going to name her after some depressing aspect of the Underworld like you do all your pets. I looked up the name Alastor. That was the name of one of the death horses that drew Hades’s chariot. And Typhon?” I glanced at the dog, cavorting in and out of the waves, seemingly oblivious of the cold. “I can only imagine, but I’m sure it means something equally unpleasant.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
MOMENTS I saw you first You looked exactly The same as before Tall and awkward and shy I walked towards you My hands clammy I felt cold inside My insides were shaking Cant run This is it. U saw me Your face brightened A smile painted on your face I missed it Your smile It brought back the past You walked I walked Nearer It feels like in the Movies Two people A boy and a girl Meeting halfway Hoping for a happy Ever after I stopped Right before I reached you I realized This isn't like the movies I turned I told myself Don’t smile You reached me Close So close I felt the urge To touch you Hug you And maybe Kiss you There weren't Hellos Only silent prayers Smiling You reached for my hand Giving me something You knew I love It was awkward You standing there Me standing there So close Too close Yet so far I looked up to you I tried to ask myself Are you for real? You smiled wider Shy but happy You left as fast As you came back It was for a second I hated time I wished it was A little bit longer With that, I knew I still want you.
Marianne Escobar
You seem disappointed that I am not more responsive to your interest in "spiritual direction". Actually, I am more than a little ambivalent about the term, particularly in the ways it is being used so loosely without any sense of knowledge of the church's traditions in these matters. If by spiritual direction you mean entering into a friendship with another person in which an awareness and responsiveness to God's Spirit in the everydayness of your life is cultivated, fine. Then why call in an awkward term like "spiritual direction"? Why not just "friend"? Spiritual direction strikes me as pretentious in these circumstances, as if there were some expertise that can be acquired more or less on its own and then dispensed on demand. The other reason for my lack of enthusiasm is my well-founded fear of professionalism in any and all matters of the Christian life. Or maybe the right label for my fear is "functionalism". The moment an aspect of Christian living (human life, for that matter) is defined as a role, it is distorted, debased - and eventually destroyed. We are brothers and sisters with one another, friends and lovers, saints and sinners. The irony here is that the rise of interest in spiritual direction almost certainly comes from the proliferation of role-defined activism in our culture. We are sick and tired of being slotted into a function and then manipulated with Scripture and prayer to do what someone has decided (often with the help of some psychological testing) that we should be doing to bring glory to some religious enterprise or other. And so when people begin to show up who are interested in us just as we are - our souls - we are ready to be paid attention to in this prayerful, listening, non-manipulative, nonfunctional way. Spiritual direction. But then it begins to develop a culture and language and hierarchy all its own. It becomes first a special interest, and then a specialization. That is what seems to be happening in the circles you are frequenting. I seriously doubt that it is a healthy (holy) line to be pursuing. Instead, why don't you look over the congregation on Sundays and pick someone who appears to be mature and congenial. Ask her or him if you can meet together every month or so - you feel the need to talk about your life in the company of someone who believes that Jesus is present and active in everything you are doing. Reassure the person that he or she doesn't have to say anything "wise". You only want them to be there for you to listen and be prayerful in the listening. After three or four such meetings, write to me what has transpired, and we'll discuss it further. I've had a number of men and women who have served me in this way over the years - none carried the title "spiritual director", although that is what they have been. Some had never heard of such a term. When I moved to Canada a few years ago and had to leave a long-term relationship of this sort, I looked around for someone whom I could be with in this way. I picked a man whom I knew to be a person of integrity and prayer, with seasoned Christian wisdom in his bones. I anticipated that he would disqualify himself. So I pre-composed my rebuttal: "All I want you to do is two things: show up and shut up. Can you do that? Meet with me every six weeks or so, and just be there - an honest, prayerful presence with no responsibility to be anything other than what you have become in your obedient lifetime." And it worked. If that is what you mean by "spiritual director," okay. But I still prefer "friend". You can see now from my comments that my gut feeling is that the most mature and reliable Christian guidance and understanding comes out of the most immediate and local of settings. The ordinary way. We have to break this cultural habit of sending out for an expert every time we feel we need some assistance. Wisdom is not a matter of expertise. The peace of the Lord, Eugene
Eugene H. Peterson (The Wisdom of Each Other)
October 17, 1946 D’Arline, I adore you, sweetheart. I know how much you like to hear that — but I don't only write it because you like it — I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you. It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you — almost two years but I know you'll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; and I thought there was no sense to writing. But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you. I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead — but I still want to comfort and take care of you — and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you — I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that. What should we do. We started to learn to make clothes together — or learn Chinese — or getting a movie projector. Can't I do something now? No. I am alone without you and you were the "idea-woman" and general instigator of all our wild adventures. When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to and thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true — you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else — but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive. I know you will assure me that I am foolish and that you want me to have full happiness and don't want to be in my way. I'll bet you are surprised that I don't even have a girlfriend (except you, sweetheart) after two years. But you can't help it, darling, nor can I — I don't understand it, for I have met many girls and very nice ones and I don't want to remain alone — but in two or three meetings they all seem ashes. You only are left to me. You are real. My darling wife, I do adore you. I love my wife. My wife is dead. Rich. PS Please excuse my not mailing this — but I don't know your new address.
Richard P. Feynman
She needs to think you're still a couple. And you'll need to be convincing about it, too. Lots of kissing and stuff in case your mother tries to spy on you." Emma stops chewing. Galen drops his fork. "Uh, I don't think we need to take it that far-" Emma starts. "Oh, no? Teenagers don't kiss their sweethearts anymore?" Rachel crosses her arms, wagging the spatula to the beat of her tapping foot. "They do, but-" "No buts. Come on, sweetie. You think your mom's going to believe you keep your hands off Galen?" "Probably not, but-" "I said no buts. Look at you two. You're not even sitting next to each other! You need some practice, I'd say. Galen, go sit beside her. Hold her hand." "Rachel," he says, shaking his head, "this can wait-" "Fine," Emma grinds out. They both turn to her. Still frowning, she nods. "We'll make it a point to kiss and hold hands when she's around." Galen almost drops his fork again. No way. Kissing Emma is the last thing I need to do. Especially when her lips turn that red. "Emma, we don't have to kiss. She already knows I want to sleep with you." He cringes as soon as he says it. He doesn't have to look up to know the sizzling sound in the kitchen is from Rachel spitting her pineapple juice into the hot skillet. "What I mean is, I already told her I want to sleep with you. I mean, I told her I wanted to sleep with you because she already thinks I do. Want to, I mean-" If a Syrena could drown, this is what it would feel like. Emma holds up her hand. "I get it, Galen. It's fine. I told her the same thing." Rachel plops down beside Emma, wiping the juice spittle from her face with a napkin. "So you're telling me your mom thinks you two want to sleep with each other, but you don't think she'll be expecting you to kiss." Emma shakes her head and shovels a forkful of omelet into her mouth, then chases it with some juice. She says, "You're right, Rachel. We'll let her catch us making out or something." Rachel nods. "That should work." "What does that mean? Making out?" Galen says between bites. Emma puts her fork down. "It means, Galen, that you'll need to force yourself to kiss me. Like you mean it. For a long time. Think you can do that? Do Syrena kiss?" He tries to swallow the bite he forgot to chew. Force myself? I'll be lucky if I can stop myself. It had never occurred to him to kiss anyone-before he met Emma. These days, it's all he can think about, her lips on his. He decides it was better for both of them when Emma kept rejecting him. Now she's ordering him to kiss her-for a long time. Great. "Yes, they kiss. I mean, we kiss. I mean, I can force myself, if I have to." He doesn't meet Rachel's eyes as she plunks more fish onto his plate, but he can almost feel her smirking down at him. "We'll just have to plan it, that's all. Give you time to prepare," Emma tells him. "Prepare for what?" Rachel scoffs. "Kissing isn't supposed to be planned. That's why it's so fun." "Yeah, but this isn't for fun, remember?" Emma says. "This is just for show." "You don't think kissing Galen would be fun?" Emma sighs, putting her hands on her cheeks. "You know, I appreciate that you're trying to help us, Rachel. But I can't talk about this anymore. Seriously, I'm going to break out into hives. We'll make it work when the time comes." Rachel laughs and removes Emma's plate after she declines a second helping. "If you say so. But I still think you should practice.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
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THE COUNCIL WAS NOTHING LIKE Jason imagined. For one thing, it was in the Big House rec room, around a Ping-Pong table, and one of the satyrs was serving nachos and sodas. Somebody had brought Seymour the leopard head in from the living room and hung him on the wall. Every once in a while, a counselor would toss him a Snausage. Jason looked around the room and tried to remember everyone’s name. Thankfully, Leo and Piper were sitting next to him—it was their first meeting as senior counselors. Clarisse, leader of the Ares cabin, had her boots on the table, but nobody seemed to care. Clovis from Hypnos cabin was snoring in the corner while Butch from Iris cabin was seeing how many pencils he could fit in Clovis’s nostrils. Travis Stoll from Hermes was holding a lighter under a Ping-Pong ball to see if it would burn, and Will Solace from Apollo was absently wrapping and unwrapping an Ace bandage around his wrist. The counselor from Hecate cabin, Lou Ellen something-or-other, was playing “got-your-nose” with Miranda Gardiner from Demeter, except that Lou Ellen really had magically disconnected Miranda’s nose, and Miranda was trying to get it back. Jason had hoped Thalia would show. She’d promised, after all—but she was nowhere to be seen. Chiron had told him not to worry about it. Thalia often got sidetracked fighting monsters or running quests for Artemis, and she would probably arrive soon. But still, Jason worried. Rachel Dare, the oracle, sat next to Chiron at the head of the table. She was wearing her Clarion Academy school uniform dress, which seemed a bit odd, but she smiled at Jason. Annabeth didn’t look so relaxed. She wore armor over her camp clothes, with her knife at her side and her blond hair pulled back in a ponytail. As soon as Jason walked in, she fixed him with an expectant look, as if she were trying to extract information out of him by sheer willpower. “Let’s come to order,” Chiron said. “Lou Ellen, please give Miranda her nose back. Travis, if you’d kindly extinguish the flaming Ping-Pong ball, and Butch, I think twenty pencils is really too many for any human nostril. Thank you. Now, as you can see, Jason, Piper, and Leo have returned successfully…more or less. Some of you have heard parts of their story, but I will let them fill you in.” Everyone looked at Jason. He cleared his throat and began the story. Piper and Leo chimed in from time to time, filling in the details he forgot. It only took a few minutes, but it seemed like longer with everyone watching him. The silence was heavy, and for so many ADHD demigods to sit still listening for that long, Jason knew the story must have sounded pretty wild. He ended with Hera’s visit right before the meeting.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
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When Elizabeth finally descended the stairs on her way to the dining room she was two hours late. Deliberately. “Good heavens, you’re tardy, my dear!” Sir Francis said, shoving back his chair and rushing to the doorway where Elizabeth had been standing, trying to gather her courage to do what needed to be done. “Come and meet my guests,” he said, drawing her forward after a swift, disappointed look at her drab attire and severe coiffure. “We did as you suggested in your note and went ahead with supper. What kept you abovestairs so long?” “I was at prayer,” Elizabeth said, managing to look him straight in the eye. Sir Francis recovered from his surprise in time to introduce her to the three other people at the table-two men who resembled him in age and features and two women of perhaps five and thirty who were both attired in the most shockingly revealing gowns Elizabeth had ever seen. Elizabeth accepted a helping of cold meat to silence her protesting stomach while both women studied her with unhidden scorn. “That is a most unusual ensemble you’re wearing, I must say,” remarked the woman named Eloise. “Is it the custom where you come from to dress so…simply?” Elizabeth took a dainty bite of meat. “Not really. I disapprove of too much personal adornment.” She turned to Sir Francis with an innocent stare. “Gowns are expensive. I consider them a great waste of money.” Sir Francis was suddenly inclined to agree, particularly since he intended to keep her naked as much as possible. “Quite right!” he beamed, eyeing the other ladies with pointed disapproval. “No sense in spending all that money on gowns. No point in spending money at all.” “My sentiments exactly,” Elizabeth said, nodding. “I prefer to give every shilling I can find to charity instead.” “Give it away?” he said in a muted roar, half rising out of his chair. Then he forced himself to sit back down and reconsider the wisdom of wedding her. She was lovely-her face more mature then he remembered it, but not even the black veil and scraped-back hair could detract from the beauty of her emerald-green eyes with their long, sooty lashes. Her eyes had dark circles beneath them-shadows he didn’t recall seeing there earlier in the day. He put the shadows down to her far-too-serious nature. Her dowry was creditable, and her body beneath that shapeless black gown…he wished he could see her shape. Perhaps it, too, had changed, and not for the better, in the past few years. “I had hoped, my dear,” Sir Francis said, covering her hand with his and squeezing it affectionately, “that you might wear something else down to supper, as I suggested you should.” Elizabeth gave him an innocent stare. “This is all I brought.” “All you brought?” he uttered. “B-But I definitely saw my footmen carrying several trunks upstairs.” “They belong to my aunt-only one of them is mine,” she fabricated hastily, already anticipating his next question and thinking madly for some satisfactory answer. “Really?” He continued to eye her gown with great dissatisfaction, and then he asked exactly the question she’d expected: “What, may I ask, does your one truck contain if not gowns?” Inspiration struck, and Elizabeth smiled radiantly. “Something of great value. Priceless value,” she confided. All faces at the table watched her with alert fascination-particularly the greedy Sir Francis. “Well, don’t keep us in suspense, love. What’s in it?” “The mortal remains of Saint Jacob.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
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You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out." You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft. I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it." That so?" Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact." They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me." Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke. I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened. Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times. And Gerry's hand exploded. And so did mine. The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair. Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy. I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working. I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand. My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head. The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck. Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice. Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back. The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell. He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil. Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing. Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh. Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire. Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn. Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed. I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar. His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment. How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly. And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice. And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
Dennis Lehane
More than the sound of my own beating heart, I miss the sound of a ticking clock. Time passes, it must pass, but I have no more assurance of moving through time than I have that I am moving through space. In a way, I’m glad: this means perhaps 300 years and 364 days have passed, and tomorrow I will wake up. Sometimes after a cross-country meet or a long day at school, I’d fall into bed with all my clothes on and be out before I knew it. When I’d finally open my eyes, it would feel like I’d just shut them for a minute, but really, the whole rest of the day and half the night was gone. But. There were other times when I’d collapse onto my mattress, shut my eyes and dream, and it felt like I’d lived a whole lifetime in that dream, but when I woke up, it had only been a few minutes. What if only a year has gone by? What if we haven’t even left yet? That is my greatest fear.
Beth Revis (Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1))
Be a man. Not any old man, not mankind, but manhood. To do this you don’t need to play pro football and grow hair on your chest and seduce every third woman you meet long as she’s female. All you have to do is hunt, fish (or talk sense about ’em as if you had) and go bug-eyed when the girls go by. If a sunset moves you so much you have to express yourself, do it with a grunt and a dirty word. Or you say, ‘That Beethoven, he blows a cool symphony.’ Never champion a real underdog unless it’s a popular type, like a baseball team. Always treat other men as if you were sore at something and will wipe it off on them if they give you the slightest excuse. I mean sore, Louis, not vexed or in a snit. And stay away from women. They have an intuition that’ll find you nine times out of ten. The tenth time she falls for you, and there’s nothing funnier.” “I think,” Loolyo said after a time, “that you hate human beings.
Theodore Sturgeon (The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon, Volume IX: And Now the News...)
There were some children round him playing in the dust on the paths. They had long fair hair, and with very earnest faces and solemn attention were making little mountains of sand so as to stamp on them and squash them underfoot. Pierre was going through one of those gloomy days when one looks into every corner of one's soul and shakes out every crease. 'Our occupations are like the work of those kids,' he thought. Then he wondered whether after all the wisest course in life was not to beget two or three of these little useless beings and watch them grow with complacent curiosity. And he was touched by the desire to marry. You aren't so lost when you're not alone any more. At any rate you can hear somebody moving near you in times of worry and uncertainty, and it is something anyway to be able to say words of love to a woman when you are feeling down. He began thinking about women. His knowledge of them was very limited, as all he had had in the Latin Quarter was affairs of a fortnight or so, dropped when the month's money ran out and picked up again or replaced the following month. Yet kind, gentle, consoling creatures must exist. Hadn't his own mother brought sweet reasonableness and charm to his father's home? How he would have loved to meet a woman, a real woman! He leaped up, determined to go and pay a little visit to Mme Rosémilly. But he quickly sat down again. No, he didn't like that one!
Guy de Maupassant (Pierre et Jean)
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I haven’t slept in two days so I feel tired now, lying on my sleeping bag. My feet are very cold but I am ok. In the long transition to sleep I entertain a complex paranoia about a group of people who will be assigned to review each action I have taken throughout my life. And once dead, I’ll meet them in council. There will be a group assigned to review my “thank-yous said” to “those not said.” There will be a group assigned to review every face I’ve made just after waking up. There will be a group assigned to review how I treated people who asked me for help. And a group assigned to review the times I felt bad but didn’t tell anyone. A group assigned to review the times I deliberately threw crayons into the small fan my third grade bus driver positioned by his face. And a group assigned to review bugs I needlessly stepped on. A group for this nap I’m taking too. And in the paranoia, I see myself getting dressed-up to go before them and answer questions. I’m very nervous before each council but I try to be brave. “This nap you took—” someone says. “Yes?” A mean-looking woman in the middle of the panel, she clasps her hands together and she says, “Tell us about this nap.” When I wake up, one of my legs is numb. And I remain awake in my sleeping bag, staring at the blinds until the black behind gets more blue, then lighter blue, then white. Sometimes I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment but it’s never after accomplishing something.
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详情咨询(留学认证顾问Q/微:1954292140)大学毕业证书成绩单GPA如何修改,办理阿尔伯塔大学毕业证。Whether you consult a few sentences or hundreds of sentences, one day or a long time, or you can do it after consulting, there is no problem. I am happy to meet friends from all over the world every day. 主营业务一,快速办理高仿毕业证成绩单: 1,毕业证+成绩单+留学回国人员证明+教育部学历认证(全套留学回国必备证明材料,给父母及亲朋好友一份完美交代); 2,雅思,托福,OFFER,在读证明,学生卡等留学相关材料(申请学校,转学,甚至是申请工签都可以用到)。 3.毕业证、成绩单等全套材料,从防伪到印刷,从水印到钢印烫金,高精仿度跟学校原版100%相同。 注:上述高仿材料,随时都可以安排办理,毕业证成绩单,学校,专业,学位,毕业时间都可以根据客户要求安排。
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Having made profession of the glorious gospel of Christ a long time, and preached the same about five years, I was apprehended at a meeting of good people in the country (among whom, had they let me alone, I should have preached that day, but they took me away from amongst them), and had me before a justice; who, after I had offered security for my appearing at the next sessions, yet committed me, because my sureties would not consent to be bound that I should preach no more to the people.
John Bunyan (Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners)
A lonely cloud drifted in front of the sun, casting long shadows beside him, and he clenched the reins in his fists. They’d enjoy a few weeks of stolen moments, clandestine meetings. After that, they’d say good-bye, and he’d pretend she wasn’t the best thing to ever happen to him. He’d make sure she and her family never wanted for anything, if her stubborn pride would let him. And in time, she’d meet a kind man, get married, have children, and forget him. But never, ever, would Owen forget her.
Anne Barton (When She Was Wicked (Honeycote, #1))
One of my greatest concerns for the young women of the Church is that they will sell themselves short in dating and marriage by forgetting who they really are--daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. . . . Unfortunately, a young woman who lowers her standards far enough can always find temporary acceptance from immature and unworthy young men. . . . At their best, daughters of God are loving, caring, understanding, and sympathetic. This does not mean they are also gullible, unrealistic, or easily manipulated. If a young man does not measure up to the standards a young woman has set, he may promise her that he will change if she will marry him first. Wise daughters of God will insist that young men who seek their hand in marriage change before the wedding, not after. (I am referring here to the kind of change that will be part of the lifelong growth of every disciple.) He may argue that she doesn't really believe in repentance and forgiveness. But one of the hallmarks of repentance is forsaking sin. Especially when the sin involves addictive behaviors or a pattern of transgression, wise daughters of God insist on seeing a sustained effort to forsake sin over a long period of time as true evidence of repentance. They do not marry someone because they believe they can change him. Young women, please do not settle for someone unworthy of your gospel standards. On the other hand, young women should not refuse to settle down. There is no right age for young men or young women to marry, but there is a right attitude for them to have about marriage: "Thy will be done" . . . . The time to marry is when we are prepared to meet a suitable mate, not after we have done all the enjoyable things in life we hoped to do while we were single. . . . When I hear some young men and young women set plans in stone which do not include marriage until after age twenty-five or thirty or until a graduate degree has been obtained, I recall Jacob's warning, "Seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand" (Jacob 4:10). . . . How we conduct ourselves in dating relationships is a good indication of how we will conduct ourselves in a marriage relationship. . . . Individuals considering marriage would be wise to conduct their own prayerful due diligence--long before they set their hearts on marriage. There is nothing wrong with making a T-square diagram and on either side of the vertical line listing the relative strengths and weaknesses of a potential mate. I sometimes wonder whether doing more homework when it comes to this critical decision would spare some Church members needless heartache. I fear too many fall in love with each other or even with the idea of marriage before doing the background research necessary to make a good decision. It is sad when a person who wants to be married never has the opportunity to marry. But it is much, much sadder to be married to the wrong person. If you do not believe me, talk with someone who has made that mistake. Think carefully about the person you are considering marrying, because marriage should last for time and for all eternity.
Robert D. Hales (Return: Four Phases of our Mortal Journey Home)
Anyone who claims that the older ones have a more difficult time here certainly doesn't realize to what extent our problems with down on us, problems for which we are probably much to young, but which thrust themselves upon us continually, until, after a long time, we think we've found a solution, but the solution doesn't seem able to resist the facts which reduce it to nothing again. That's the difficulty in these times: ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us, only to meet the horrible truth and be shattered.
Anne Frank
I wondered ...if meeting people with creativity and passion when you were at an impressionable enough age actually kind of ruined you for life among normal people. For a long time, I'd searched the world, thinking I could start up new friendships like the ones I'd had before. But I never met people like that again. I know people will think that's what everyone believes about their college friends, but it's true. Maybe we're like flowers that open up at that brief moment in our lives, and after that, we close up again, one by one.
Jennifer Finney Boylan (Long Black Veil)
I’ve done you a disservice,” he said at last. “It’s only fair to let you know, but you won’t have a normal life span.” I bit my lip. “Have you come to take my soul, then?” “I told you that’s not my jurisdiction. But you’re not going to die soon. In fact, you won’t die for a long time, far longer than I initially thought, I’m afraid. Nor will you age normally.” “Because I took your qi?” He inclined his head. “I should have stopped you sooner.” I thought of the empty years that stretched ahead of me, years of solitude long after everyone I loved had died. Though I might have children or grandchildren. But perhaps they might comment on my strange youthfulness and shun me as unnatural. Whisper of sorcery, like those Javanese women who inserted gold needles in their faces and ate children. In the Chinese tradition, nothing was better than dying old and full of years, a treasure in the bosom of one’s family. To outlive descendants and endure a long span of widowhood could hardly be construed as lucky. Tears filled my eyes, and for some reason this seemed to agitate Er Lang, for he turned away. In profile, he was even more handsome, if that was possible, though I was quite sure he was aware of it. “It isn’t necessarily a good thing, but you’ll see all of the next century, and I think it will be an interesting one.” “That’s what Tian Bai said,” I said bitterly. “How long will I outlive him?” “Long enough,” he said. Then more gently, “You may have a happy marriage, though.” “I wasn’t thinking about him,” I said. “I was thinking about my mother. By the time I die, she’ll have long since gone on to the courts for reincarnation. I shall never see her again.” I burst into sobs, realizing how much I’d clung to that hope, despite the fact that it might be better for my mother to leave the Plains of the Dead. But then we would never meet in this lifetime. Her memories would be erased and her spirit lost to me in this form. “Don’t cry.” I felt his arms around me, and I buried my face in his chest. The rain began to fall again, so dense it was like a curtain around us. Yet I did not get wet. “Listen,” he said. “When everyone around you has died and it becomes too hard to go on pretending, I shall come for you.” “Do you mean that?” A strange happiness was beginning to grow, twining and tightening around my heart. “I’ve never lied to you.” “Can’t I go with you now?” He shook his head. “Aren’t you getting married? Besides, I’ve always preferred older women. In about fifty years’ time, you should be just right.” I glared at him. “What if I’d rather not wait?” He narrowed his eyes. “Do you mean that you don’t want to marry Tian Bai?” I dropped my gaze. “If you go with me, it won’t be easy for you,” he said warningly. “It will bring you closer to the spirit world and you won’t be able to lead a normal life. My work is incognito, so I can’t keep you in style. It will be a little house in some strange town. I shan’t be available most of the time, and you’d have to be ready to move at a moment’s notice.” I listened with increasing bewilderment. “Are you asking me to be your mistress or an indentured servant?” His mouth twitched. “I don’t keep mistresses; it’s far too much trouble. I’m offering to marry you, although I might regret it. And if you think the Lim family disapproved of your marriage, wait until you meet mine.” I tightened my arms around him. “Speechless at last,” Er Lang said. “Think about your options. Frankly, if I were a woman, I’d take the first one. I wouldn’t underestimate the importance of family.” “But what would you do for fifty years?” He was about to speak when I heard a faint call, and through the heavy downpour, saw Yan Hong’s blurred figure emerge between the trees, Tian Bai running beside her. “Give me your answer in a fortnight,” said Er Lang. Then he was gone.
Yangsze Choo (The Ghost Bride)
Maybe I . . . shouldn’t tell him what I thought I’d heard. Not until I knew more. How exactly would I put the revelation anyway? Jack’s alive, but apparently he kept that little detail secret. Ah, but Matthew spilled the beans! Buying myself time, I waved Aric on. I was scarcely listening as he began talking about Paul, of all people. How the EMT had grown worried when I’d been shut in with my grandmother for so long. How I had lost weight and become listless. The man had pleaded with me to get a checkup, even offering to source contraception after Aric and I had started sleeping together. Wait. I glanced up. “After?” Aric nodded. “He said you told him you had no need of contraception.” The hell? “I went to him and got a shot prior to us getting together. I told you about it.” “As I told him in turn, but he swears that never happened.” Real? Unreal? Had I . . . imagined my meeting with Paul? I’d already feared gaps in my memory; Gran had told me things that I’d had no recollection of. Was I now inventing memories? Had I invented Jack’s return? In a soothing voice, Aric said, “I’m not angry, love. Just talk to me.” He wasn’t the first person to look at me as if I’d gone insane, like I was trouble with the possibility of rubble. Won’t be the last. No. I refused this. I had heard Jack, and I had gotten that shot. “It did happen, which means Paul’s a liar.” But why would he lie? “I’m going to confront him.” In time. Right now, all I wanted was to hear from Matthew again. Yet I frowned as a thought occurred. “Why would you be talking to Paul about contraception?” Aric tucked my hair behind my ear. “Sievā,” he said gently, “do you not know you’re pregnant?” Tick-tock.
Kresley Cole (Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4))
Then there are those of us who are simply self-critical. Even without comparing ourselves to the world’s greatest, we set such high standards for ourselves that neither we nor anyone else could ever meet them—and nothing is more destructive to creativity than this. We fail to realize that mastery is not about perfection. It’s about a process, a journey. The master is the one who stays on the path day after day, year after year. The master is the one who is willing to try, and fail, and try again, for as long as he or she lives. ​Chapter 13 Mastering the Commonplace Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences. To put it more starkly, it has robbed us of countless hours of the time of our lives. We awaken in the morning and hurry to get dressed. (Getting dressed doesn’t count.) We hurry to eat breakfast so that we can leave for work. (Eating breakfast doesn’t count.) We hurry to get to work. (Getting to work doesn’t count.) Maybe work will be interesting and satisfying and we won’t have to simply endure it while waiting for lunchtime to come. And maybe lunch will bring a warm, intimate meeting, with fascinating conversation. But
George Leonard (Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment)
8 second hug: Yes, eight seconds is a long time, and no, I am not recommending giving everyone an eight second hug. The shell we put up or mask we hide behind is made up of what we think logically think will keep us emotionally safe. Intuition is not fooled by shells or masks, intuition which is non-verbal communication bypasses whatever façade we put up, so that hearts can connect. This makes us feel vulnerable, because we can’t hide out hopes and fears from being seen from other people’s intuition. We may not remember the last time we felt an overwhelming feeling of belonging, but likely it was when we were the most vulnerable; like being held as a newly born infant, not aware that we were naked, and nothing we could do about it even if we did know, being held tightly in someone’s arms who completely loved us. It may not have been a parent or grandparent holding the newborn us, but if it wasn’t, for sure it was the nurse there at the delivery, responding to our cry to be held. We resist the one thing that allows someone into our life—vulnerability, by cutting off the intuitions communication which is non-verbal. We often avoid eye contact, avoid letting people see us cry, and avoid allowing ourselves to be held. I wish I had known earlier in life, what C.S. Lewis put so well in his book The Four Loves, “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” We live in a world of alphas, where we all want to prove we are worthy to be held by proving we can hold ourselves. When we hug what is said intuitively is, “I will hold your pieces together so you don’t have to worry about falling apart. Take a rest in my arms for a moment and remember that you are loved.” When we hug someone, at about eight seconds on average there is a deeper breath in and then an exhale as our body actually relaxes. You can definitely feel it, we are rigid, and then we melt. Don’t count while you are hugging, but if it is longer than about eight seconds before the other person relaxes, then they are really stressed out, and scared everything will crumble if they relax. If it is less than about five seconds, that means something else, not something consistent enough to be able to diagnose similar to taking longer to relax. You’ll just actually have to communicate and figure it out with the person. The non-verbal communication of a hug or eye contact should precede the verbal communication of words. I would venture a bet that most marriages struggling don’t meet each other after work with at least an eight second hug before they ask how their day was. We shouldn’t expect words to be able to describe emotions, especially when we can just look someone in the eyes and then hug them and feel their emotion for ourselves. The part of hugging that is the best, is after we relax and allow ourselves to be loved, and so if our hugs with those we really love aren’t at least eight seconds, we are totally missing out.
Michael Brent Jones (Conflict and Connection: Anatomy of Mind and Emotion)
Born in the East, and clothed in Oriental form and imagery, the Bible walks the ways of all the world with familiar feet, and enters land after land to find its own everywhere. It has learned to speak in hundreds of languages to the heart of man. It comes into the palace to tell the monarch that he is the servant of the Most High, and into the cottage to assure the peasant that he is the son of God. Children listen to its stories with wonder and delight, and wisemen ponder them as parables of life. It has a word of peace for the time of peril, the hour of darkness. Its oracles are repeated in the assembly of the people, and its counsels whispered in the ear of the lonely. The wise and the proud tremble at its warnings, but to the wounded and penitent it has a mother's voice. The wilderness and the solitary place have been made glad by it, and the fire on the hearth has lighted the reading of its well-worn pages. It has woven itself into our deepest affections, and colored our dearest dreams; so that love and friendship, sympathy and devotion, memory and hope, put on the beautiful garments of its treasured speech, breathing of frankincense and myrrh. Above the cradle and beside the grave its great words come to us uncalled. They fill our prayers with power larger than we know, and the beauty of them lingers in our ear long after the sermons which they have adorned have been forgotten. They return to us swiftly and quietly, like birds flying from far away. They surprise us with new meanings, like springs of water breaking forth from the mountain beside a long-forgotten path. They grow richer, as pearls do when they are worn near the heart. No man is poor or desolate who has this treasure for his own. When the landscape darkens and the trembling pilgrim comes to the valley named the shadow, he is not afraid to enter; he takes the rod and staff of Scripture in his hand; he says to friend and comrade, "Good-by, we shall meet again"; and comforted by that support, he goes toward the lonely pass as one who climbs through darkness into light.
Henry Van Dyke
The US Empire received a big boost from the 9/11 attack. Paul O’Neill, George W. Bush’s first secretary of the treasury, reported he was shocked that in the very first National Security Council meeting—ten days after Bush’s January of 2001 inauguration—the discussion was about when, not if, the US should invade Iraq. We also know that the PATRIOT Act was written a long time before 9/11, when the conditions were not ripe for its passage. Nine-eleven took care of that. The bill quickly passed in the US House and Senate with minimal debate and understanding. Bush signed the bill into law on October 26, 2001, a mere 45 days after the attack. Making use of a crisis is established policy.
Ron Paul (Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity)
Imagine going a long time without seeing someone you love. Then after months or years getting the moment to see them and catch up. I think that's what death is like. Going a long time and missing them a lot, more and more each day. No matter how many years go by you miss them just as much as the first day they left. I miss my mom. Its been years. Its easier to manage but I miss her more and more. But I often think of the moment we will meet again and catch up again. In living life going a long time not seeing someone is tough then catching up right where you left off BUT imagine in death how powerful the feeling to see them again must be. Death is getting the chance to catch up and see them again. Experiencing the butterflies and that special high that is felt all over your body. Do not fear death. Embrace it as you do life. In life, love hard! Life moves fast. For when your time comes you have a chance to love hard again and catch up with those that left, those you've missed and those that missed you. Someone is there counting the days to seeing you again. Some you may not expect or some you've missed just as much. Don't fear what you think you're leaving behind. Don't fear at all. For what you leave is temporary, the living will too join you as you wait for them. And, that moment to catch up is worth the wait. You will pick up right where you left off as if time did not pass.
Jill Telford
Risking a glance at the dignified young man beside her- what was his name?- Mr. Arthurson, Arterton?- Pandora decided to try her hand at some small talk. "It was very fine weather today, wasn't it?" she said. He set down his flatware and dabbed at both corners of his mouth with his napkin before replying. "Yes, quite fine." Encouraged, Pandora asked, "What kind of clouds do you like better- cumulus or stratocumulus?" He regarded her with a slight frown. After a long pause, he asked, "What is the difference?" "Well, cumulus are the fluffier, rounder clouds, like this heap of potatoes on my plate." Using her fork, Pandora spread, swirled, and dabbed the potatoes. "Stratocumulus are flatter and can form lines or waves- like this- and can either form a large mass or break into smaller pieces." He was expressionless as he watched her. "I prefer flat clouds that look like a blanket." "Altostratus?" Pandora asked in surprise, setting down her fork. "But those are the boring clouds. Why do you like them?" "They usually mean it's going to rain. I like rain." This showed promise of actually turning into a conversation. "I like to walk in the rain, too," Pandora exclaimed. "No, I don't like to walk in it. I like to stay in the house." After casting a disapproving glance at her plate, the man returned his attention to eating. Chastened, Pandora let out a noiseless sigh. Picking up her fork, she tried to inconspicuously push her potatoes into a proper heap again. Fact #64 Never sculpt your food to illustrate a point during small talk. Men don't like it. As Pandora looked up, she discovered Phoebe's gaze on her. She braced inwardly for a sarcastic remark. But Phoebe's voice was gentle as she spoke. "Henry and I once saw a cloud over the English Channel that was shaped in a perfect cylinder. It went on as far as the eye could see. Like someone had rolled up a great white carpet and set it in the sky." It was the first time Pandora had ever heard Phoebe mention her late husband's name. Tentatively, she asked, "Did you and he ever try to find shapes in the clouds?" "Oh, all the time. Henry was very clever- he could find dolphins, ships, elephants, and roosters. I could never see a shape until he pointed it out. But then it would appear as if by magic." Phoebe's gray eyes turned crystalline with infinite variations of tenderness and wistfulness. Although Pandora had experienced grief before, having lost both parents and a brother, she understood that this was a different kind of loss, a heavier weight of pain. Filled with compassion and sympathy, she dared to say, "He... he sounds like a lovely man." Phoebe smiled faintly, their gazes meeting in a moment of warm connection. "He was," she said. "Someday I'll tell you about him." And finally Pandora understood where a little small talk about the weather might lead.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
I’m about fifty-fifty on believing in God,” he said. “For most of my life, I’ve felt that there must be more to our existence than meets the eye.” He admitted that, as he faced death, he might be overestimating the odds out of a desire to believe in an afterlife. “I like to think that something survives after you die,” he said. “It’s strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures.” He fell silent for a very long time. “But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch,” he said. “Click! And you’re gone.” Then he paused again and smiled slightly. “Maybe that’s why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Miss Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones, former paid companion to several of the ton’s most successful debutantes of prior seasons, came to Havenhurst to fill the position of Elizabeth’s duenna. A woman of fifty with wiry gray hair she scraped back into a bun and the posture of a ramrod, she had a permanently pinched face, as if she smelled something disagreeable but was too well-bred to remark upon it. In addition to the duenna’s daunting physical appearance, Elizabeth observed shortly after their first meeting that Miss Throckmorton-Jones possessed an astonishing ability to sit serenely for hours without twitching so much as a finger. Elizabeth refused to be put off by her stony demeanor and set about finding a way to thaw her. Teasingly, she called her “Lucy,” and when the casually affectionate nickname won a thunderous frown from the lady, Elizabeth tried to find a different means. She discovered it very soon: A few days after Lucinda came to live at Havenhurst the duenna discovered her curled up in a chair in Havenhurt’s huge library, engrossed in a book. “You enjoy reading?” Lucinda had said gruffly-and with surprise-as she noted the gold embossed title on the volume. “Yes,” Elizabeth had assured her, smiling. “Do you?” “Have you read Christopher Marlowe?” “Yes, but I prefer Shakespeare.” Thereafter it became their policy each night after supper to debate the merits of the individual books they’d read. Before long Elizabeth realized that she’d won the duenna’s reluctant respect. It was impossible to be certain she’d won Lucinda’s affection, for the only emotion the lady ever displayed was anger, and that only once, at a miscreant tradesman in the village. Even so, it was a display Elizabeth never forgot. Wielding her ever-present umbrella, Lucinda had advanced on the hapless man, backing him clear around his own shop, while from her lips in a icy voice poured the most amazing torrent of eloquent, biting fury Elizabeth had ever heard. “My temper,” Lucinda had primly informed her-by way of apology, Elizabeth supposed-“is my only shortcoming.” Privately, Elizabeth thought Lucy must bottle up all her emotions inside herself as she sat perfectly still on sofas and chairs, for years at a time, until it finally exploded like one of those mountains she’d read about that poured forth molten rock when the pressure finally reached a peak.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
He’s talking intently on his mobile phone and sipping a cup of coffee and frowning at something in the paper. But then he looks up and his dark eyes meet mine, and his whole face breaks into a smile. A true, affectionate smile, which makes him seem like a different person. When I first knew Luke, I only ever saw him businesslike and polite, or scarily angry, or—very occasionally—amused. Even after we started seeing each other, it was a long time before he really let his guard down. In fact, the first time he really, really laughed, I was so surprised, I snorted lemonade through my nose. Even now, whenever I see his face creasing into a real smile, I feel a bit of a lift inside. Because I know he’s not like that with everyone. He’s smiling like that because it’s me. For me." (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella)
Sophie Kinsella (Shopaholic Takes Manhattan (Shopaholic, #2))
HOW DO THEY RECEIVE ME? They call me “little girl,” “dear daughter,” “dear child.” Probably if I was of their generation they would behave differently with me. Calmly and as equals. Without joy and amazement, which are the gifts of the meeting between youth and age. It is a very important point, that then they were young and now, as they remember, they are old. They remember across their life—across forty years. They open their world to me cautiously, to spare me: “I got married right after the war. I hid behind my husband. Behind the humdrum, behind baby diapers. I wanted to hide. My mother also begged: ‘Be quiet! Be quiet! Don’t tell.’ I fulfilled my duty to the Motherland, but it makes me sad that I was there. That I know about it…And you are very young. I feel sorry for you…” I often see how they sit and listen to themselves. To the sound of their own soul. They check it against the words. After long years a person understands that this was life, but now it’s time to resign yourself and get ready to go. You don’t want to, and it’s too bad to vanish just like that. Casually. In passing. And when you look back you feel a wish not only to tell about your life, but also to fathom the mystery of life itself. To answer your own question: Why did all this happen to me? You gaze at everything with a parting and slightly sorrowful look…Almost from the other side…No longer any need to deceive anyone or yourself. It’s already clear to you that without the thought of death it is impossible to make out anything in a human being. Its mystery hangs over everything. War is an all too intimate experience. And as boundless as human life… Once a woman (a pilot) refused to meet with me. She explained on the phone: “I can’t…I don’t want to remember. I spent three years at war…And for three years I didn’t feel myself a woman. My organism was dead. I had no periods, almost no woman’s desires. And I was beautiful…When my future husband proposed to me…that was already in Berlin, by the Reichstag…He said: ‘The war’s over. We’re still alive. We’re lucky. Let’s get married.’ I wanted to cry. To shout. To hit him! What do you mean, married? Now? In the midst of all this—married? In the midst of black soot and black bricks…Look at me…Look how I am! Begin by making me a woman: give me flowers, court me, say beautiful words. I want it so much! I wait for it! I almost hit him…I was about to…He had one cheek burned, purple, and I see: he understood everything, tears are running down that cheek. On the still-fresh scars…And I myself can’t believe I’m saying to him: ‘Yes, I’ll marry you.’ “Forgive me…I can’t…” I understood her.
Svetlana Alexievich (War's Unwomanly Face)
I will have you for husband tonight,” she said in fierce, low tones, “or I will not go until I do!” “If there was any way, I would,” he protested. “Daise Congar would crack my head if I wanted to go against custom. For the love of the Light, Faile, just carry the message, and I’ll wed you the very first day I can.” He would. If that day ever came. Suddenly she was very intent on his beard, smoothing it and not meeting his eyes. She started speaking slowly but picked up speed like a runaway horse. “I … just happened to mention … in passing … I just mentioned to Mistress al’Vere how we had been traveling together—I don’t know how it came up—and she said—and Mistress Congar agreed with her—not that I talked to everybody!—she said that we probably—certainly—could be considered betrothed already under your customs, and the year is just to make sure you really do get on well together—which we do, as anyone can see—and here I am being as forward as some Domani hussy or one of those Tairen galls—if you ever even think of Berelain—oh, Light, I’m babbling, and you won’t even—” He cut her off by kissing her as thoroughly as he knew how. “Will you marry me?” he said breathlessly when he was done. “Tonight?” He must have done ever better with the kiss than he thought; he had to repeat himself six times, with her giggling against his throat and demanding he say it again, before she seemed to understand. Which was how he found himself not half an hour later kneeling opposite her in the common room, in front of Daise Congar and Marin al’Vere, Alsbet Luhhan and Neysa Ayellin and all the Women’s Circle. Loial had been roused to stand for him with Aram, and Bain and Chiad stood for Faile. There were no flowers to put in her hair or his, but Bain, guided by Marin, tucked a long red wedding ribbon around his neck, and Loial threaded another through Faile’s dark hair, his thick fingers surprisingly deft and gentle. Perrin’s hands trembled as he cupped hers. “I, Perrin Aybara, do pledge you my love, Faile Bashere, for as long as I live.” For as long as I live and after. “What I possess in this world I give to you.” A horse, an axe, a bow. A hammer. Not much to gift a bride. I give you life, my love. It’s all I have. “I will keep and hold you, succor and tend you, protect and shelter you, for all the days of my life.” I can’t keep you; the only way I can protect you is to send you away. “I am yours, always and forever.” By the time he finished, his hands were shaking visibly. Faile moved her hands to hold his. “I, Zarine Bashere …” That was a surprise; she hated that name. “ … do pledge you my love, Perrin Aybara … .” Her hands never trembled at all.
Robert Jordan (The Shadow Rising (The Wheel of Time, #4))
What to Make a Game About? Your dog, your cat, your child, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your mother, your father, your grandmother, your friends, your imaginary friends, your summer vacation, your winter in the mountains, your childhood home, your current home, your future home, your first job, your worst job, the job you wish you had. Your first date, your first kiss, your first fuck, your first true love, your second true love, your relationship, your kinks, your deepest secrets, your fantasies, your guilty pleasures, your guiltless pleasures, your break-up, your make-up, your undying love, your dying love. Your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your secrets, the dream you had last night, the thing you were afraid of when you were little, the thing you’re afraid of now, the secret you think will come back and bite you, the secret you were planning to take to your grave, your hope for a better world, your hope for a better you, your hope for a better day. The passage of time, the passage of memory, the experience of forgetting, the experience of remembering, the experience of meeting a close friend from long ago on the street and not recognizing her face, the experience of meeting a close friend from long ago and not being recognized, the experience of aging, the experience of becoming more dependent on the people who love you, the experience of becoming less dependent on the people you hate. The experience of opening a business, the experience of opening the garage, the experience of opening your heart, the experience of opening someone else’s heart via risky surgery, the experience of opening the window, the experience of opening for a famous band at a concert when nobody in the audience knows who you are, the experience of opening your mind, the experience of taking drugs, the experience of your worst trip, the experience of meditation, the experience of learning a language, the experience of writing a book. A silent moment at a pond, a noisy moment in the heart of a city, a moment that caught you unprepared, a moment you spent a long time preparing for, a moment of revelation, a moment of realization, a moment when you realized the universe was not out to get you, a moment when you realized the universe was out to get you, a moment when you were totally unaware of what was going on, a moment of action, a moment of inaction, a moment of regret, a moment of victory, a slow moment, a long moment, a moment you spent in the branches of a tree. The cruelty of children, the brashness of youth, the wisdom of age, the stupidity of age, a fairy tale you heard as a child, a fairy tale you heard as an adult, the lifestyle of an imaginary creature, the lifestyle of yourself, the subtle ways in which we admit authority into our lives, the subtle ways in which we overcome authority, the subtle ways in which we become a little stronger or a little weaker each day. A trip on a boat, a trip on a plane, a trip down a vanishing path through a forest, waking up in a darkened room, waking up in a friend’s room and not knowing how you got there, waking up in a friend’s bed and not knowing how you got there, waking up after twenty years of sleep, a sunset, a sunrise, a lingering smile, a heartfelt greeting, a bittersweet goodbye. Your past lives, your future lives, lies that you’ve told, lies you plan to tell, lies, truths, grim visions, prophecy, wishes, wants, loves, hates, premonitions, warnings, fables, adages, myths, legends, stories, diary entries. Jumping over a pit, jumping into a pool, jumping into the sky and never coming down. Anything. Everything.
Anna Anthropy (Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form)
Flying Home As this plane dragged its track of used ozone half the world long thrusts some four hundred of us toward places where actual known people live and may wait, we diminish down in our seats, disappeared into novels of lives clearer than ours, and yet we do not forget for a moment the life down there, the doorway each will soon enter: where I will meet her again and know her again, dark radiance with, and then mostly without, the stars. Very likely she has always understood what I have slowly learned, and which only now, after being away, almost as far away as one can get on this globe, almost as far as thoughts can carry - yet still in her presence, still surrounded not so much by reminders of her as by things she had already reminded me of, shadows of her cast forward and waiting - can I try to express: that love is hard, that while many good things are easy, true love is not, because love is first of all a power, its own power, which continually must make its way forward, from night into day, from transcending union always forward into difficult day. And as the plane descends, it comes to me in the space where tears stream down across the stars, tears fallen on the actual earth where their shining is what we call spirit, that once the lover recognizes the other, knows for the first time what is most to be valued in another, from then on, love is very much like courage, perhaps it is courage, and even perhaps only courage. Squashed out of old selves, smearing the darkness of expectation across experience, all of us little thinkers it brings home having similar thoughts of landing to the imponderable world, the transoceanic airliner, resting its huge weight down, comes in almost lightly, to where with sudden, tiny, white puffs and long, black, rubberish smears all its tires know the home ground.
Galway Kinnell
And . . . I owe you.” Selene didn’t explain because she knew he’d think she was referring to when Meghan saved her life. That was fine with her. Telling him exactly how she owed him would strip her open too bare and she wasn’t willing to let anyone see that vulnerable side of her. “Telling the truth again.” He frowned now, true confusion in his gaze. Whether from her words or the fact that she was letting him in on this op. “You plan to try to bring me in after the op?” “No.” That was actually the truth. Wesley, however, was a different story. But she refused to let her mind go there, knowing Levi would pick up on it. Levi started to respond when a burst of gunfire from the pool area made them both turn at the noise. Selene automatically moved off the bench, crouching down behind it and to her surprise Levi moved in front of her, blocking her even though they were too far away to be in any danger from what she could hear. “This is what happens when you get a bunch of criminals under the same roof,” he muttered. She snorted in agreement. “I’m leaving using the beach. You’re free to join me.” There hadn’t been any more gunfire so likely the guards had the situation under control but she wasn’t heading back up there. She’d already had her meeting so she had no reason to return. Now he snorted as he turned to face her, still crouching low. He slid his long, callused hands down her bare arms. This time she couldn’t hide the shiver. “Oh, I’m joining you,” he murmured, a seductive note in his voice. But the timing was all wrong. For once she wished she understood the opposite sex more. What was he doing? She’d already told him he could come on the op with her. Her nipples tightened and her body hummed with a strange anticipation as he lightly held her wrists in both hands, his thumbs rubbing her inner wrist in small circles. She started to pull back and he let go of one of her wrists. As she pushed out a sigh of relief, the feel of cold steel skimmed her skin just as the soft snick of handcuffs clicked into place.
Katie Reus (Shattered Duty (Deadly Ops, #3))
Ted and Rick. Ted graduates from university and starts his climb up the corporate ladder. Every day he works long hours. He spends Saturday on projects to try to get ahead. No time for sports, no time for relationships, and no money to save. Every month he reviews his goals to see how far he can climb the corporate ladder. Extra meetings, extra projects. Gradually, Ted begins his climb to the top. And after 18 short years, Ted has his chance. He could become the next new, semi-young, chief executive of the company. But the owner gives the chief executive job to his recently graduated grandson, who promptly fires Ted. Ted has lost 18 years of his life, his dignity, his hard effort, and is again unemployed. Ted’s friend, Rick, also leaves university, but takes an ordinary job. However, Rick does something different. In the evenings, after work, Rick starts his part-time network marketing business. Four years later, Rick fires his boss, and lives the rest of his life on the earnings of his network marketing business.
Tom "Big Al" Schreiter (How To Prospect, Sell and Build Your Network Marketing Business With Stories)
Pointsman is the only one here maintaining his calm. He appears unruffled and strong. His lab coats have even begun lately to take on a Savile Row serenity, suppressed waist, flaring vents, finer material, rather rakishly notched lapels. In this parched and fallow time, he gushes affluence. After the baying has quieted down at last, he speaks, soothing: “There’s no danger.” “No danger?” screams Aaron Throwster, and the lot of them are off again muttering and growling. “Slothrop’s knocked out Dodson-Truck and the girl in one day!” “The whole thing’s falling apart, Pointsman!” “Since Sir Stephen came back, Fitzmaurice House has dropped out of our scheme, and there’ve been embarrassing inquires down from Duncan Sandys—“ “That’s the P.M.’s son-in-law, Pointsman, not good, not good!” “We’ve already begun to run into a deficit—“ “Funding,” IF you can keep your head, “is available, and will be coming in before long… certainly before we run into any serious trouble. Sir Stephen, far from being ‘knocked out,’ is quite happily at work at Fitzmaurice House, and is At Home there should any of you wish to confirm. Miss Borgesius is still active in the program, and Mr. Duncan Sandys is having all his questions answered. But best of all, we are budgeted well into fiscal ’46 before anything like a deficit begins to rear its head.” “Your Interested Parties again?” sez Rollo Groast. “Ah, I noticed Clive Mossmoon from Imperial Chemicals closeted with you day before yesterday,” Edwin Treacle mentions now. “Clive Mossmoon and I took an organic chemistry course or two together back at Manchester. Is ICI one of our, ah, sponsors, Pointsman?” “No,” smoothly, “Mossmoon, actually, is working out of Malet Street these days. I’m afraid we were up to nothing more sinister than a bit of routine coordination over the Schwarzkommando business.” “The hell you were. I happen to know Clive’s at ICI, managing some sort of polymer research.” They stare at each other. One is lying, or bluffing, or both are, or all of the above. But whatever it is Pointsman has a slight advantage. By facing squarely the extinction of his program, he has gained a great of bit of Wisdom: that if there is a life force operating in Nature, still there is nothing so analogous in a bureaucracy. Nothing so mystical. It all comes down, as it must, to the desires of men. Oh, and women too of course, bless their empty little heads. But survival depends on having strong enough desires—on knowing the System better than the other chap, and how to use it. It’s work, that’s all it is, and there’s no room for any extrahuman anxieties—they only weaken, effeminize the will: a man either indulges them, or fights to win, und so weiter. “I do wish ICI would finance part of this,” Pointsman smiles. “Lame, lame,” mutters the younger Dr. Groast. “What’s it matter?” cries Aaron Throwster. “If the old man gets moody at the wrong time this whole show can prang.” “Brigadier Pudding will not go back on any of his commitments,” Pointsman very steady, calm, “we have made arrangements with him. The details aren’t important.” They never are, in these meetings of his.
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
From what I’ve gathered during the time I could stomach listening to your omegas exaggerate every good thing about you, Violet is going tonight to try to talk Arion into some deal with real peace between you two. It’s cute how she thinks life is simply that simple. The omegas adore her just for trying to give it a shot.” He flicks an orange peel away after he licks it clean like he’s the wolf. “The only good part of all this is that I now know you’ll never again get laid by those wolves, no matter how much they praise you to Violet. They’ve not just picked out a girlfriend; they’ve picked you out a mate.” I glare at him, and he just grins, never meeting my eyes. “Too bad I’m way out ahead of you,” he adds. “I’d say Vance is winning, if this is a sprint instead of a marathon,” I tell him, still not even sure if I actually want her or if I just want her long enough to piss them all off. “Vance lucked into his moment and failed to follow-through with charming stalkery. She’s leaving a window open for me at night now.” I roll my eyes as I start heading toward the omega wing.
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters, #2))
She kissed his lips and felt his smile form. Alone in this beautiful space, Blake and Livia made things right. Blake kissed her slowly and patiently, like he had all the time in the world. Carefully, they eased back to lie down, and Blake braced himself above her. He smelled of mint and fresh soap. Livia put her hands on his chest and felt the densely packed muscles there. Empowered by his adoration, she shrugged off her fleece shirt, enjoying the feeling of being trapped between his arms. Blake’s eyes became stormy seas. “Damn it all to hell,” he cursed. Despite his words, Livia believed she was winning this battle of seduction. Blake kissed her mouth and sucked on her bottom lip. He moved to her earlobe and breathed, “First, I will blow, then I will lick, last I will bite.” Holy crap. Blake blew a gentle stream of minty breath along the outside of Livia’s ear, down to her neck, and along the edge of her breasts where they peeked out of her bright blue bra. Blake took his time creating an elaborate pattern on her stomach, and Livia was pretty sure he’d spelled the word torture. He increased the pressure of his breath as he grazed below her belly button to the top of her jeans. He skipped back to her mouth and gave her another long, slow kiss. “And now I lick,” he murmured. Livia bit back the embarrassingly loud moan she felt building. He gently traced the same trail his breath had left, this time with his tongue. When he reached her breast, she lost control and grabbed his hair, intent on kissing him. “No. No.” Blake held her wrists above her head. “I’ve done this to you so many times in my mind. I won’t have you rush me.” Livia groaned and arched her back in an effort to change his mind. But his slow, sexy smile told her he was doing it his way. “Fine.” Livia dutifully kept her hands above her head as he picked up where he’d left off. His tongue had her making noises that surely scared the wildlife. He spent an inordinate amount of time licking just above her belt buckle. Then again he was back to her mouth. He spoke through his kiss. “I’m going to bite you now.” Blake began down the same flaming path on Livia’s body with his teeth, nibbling in time with her heartbeat. When it speeded up, he bit slightly harder. After what seemed to be sixteen million glorious years, Blake was at the top of her jeans again. A light, almost invisible, mist from the gray clouds now gave the clearing a slick sheen. The cool rain and his hot mouth were ecstasy. Blake unbuckled her belt and used his tongue and teeth to unbutton her jeans. He chuckled as he flipped her zipper with his teeth. Each pop of the releasing zipper filled the woods as he blew again on the newly revealed skin. Livia knew what to expect this time: blow, lick, bite. Oh, sweet God! This is heaven. At last, Livia could no longer obey and reached her hands down to his angelic face. Blake glanced up as if to rebuke her, but quickly smiled and let her sit up to meet his lips. Love. Crazy, soon, ever. Love, Livia’s mind raged. She tried to tell him with kisses, but it wasn’t enough. Blake knelt before her, and Livia straddled his thighs. She pulled back to try putting it into words and noticed how Blake glistened, covered in tiny raindrops. The clear, cool pond she’d described to Cole had just exploded over them. But instead of drowning, they wore it like a cloak.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
Will you never forgive me for what I did so long ago, Jane?” The soft question caught her off guard. “Would you do it again if you had the chance?” She could hardly breathe, awaiting his answer. With a low oath, he glanced away. Then his features hardened into those of the rigid and arrogant Dom he had become. “Yes. I did the only thing I could to keep you happy.” Her breath turned to ice in her throat. “That’s the problem. You still really believe that.” His gaze swung to her again, but before he could say anything more, noises in the hall arrested them both. “It’s gone very quiet in there.” It was the duke’s voice, remarkably clear, sounding as if it came from right outside the door. “Perhaps we should knock first.” Oh no! As Jane frantically set her gown to rights, she heard Lisette say, “Don’t you dare bother them, Max. I’m sure everything’s fine. Let’s come back later.” With panic growing in her belly, Jane glanced around for her tucker. Wordlessly, Dom plucked it from the back of a chair and handed it to her. Without meeting his gaze, she pinned it into her bodice, hoping to hide the tiny holes where Dom had unwittingly ripped it free of its pins. “Besides,” drawled Tristan, “it’s not as if Dom will seduce her or anything. That’s not his vice.” Sweet Lord, were they all right outside the door? “I’m not worried about that,” Max answered. “Miss Vernon isn’t the sort to let him seduce her.” As Jane tensed, Dom hissed under his breath, “Do the blasted idiots not realize we can hear them?” “Apparently not.” Dom furtively adjusted his trousers, which seemed to be rather…oddly protruding just now. Ohhh. Right. This was one time she wished Nancy hadn’t been so forthcoming about what happened to a man’s body when he was aroused. So that, not his pistol, had been the odd bulge digging into her. Definitely not a pistol. Her cheeks positively flamed. Faith, how could she even face his family after this and not give away what she and Dom had been doing? Mortified, she hurried to the looking glass to fix her hair. While she stuffed tendrils back into place and repinned drooping curls, Dom came up behind her to meet her gaze in the mirror. “Before we let them in, I want an answer to my question about Blakeborough.” Curse the stubborn man. How could she tell Dom she was so pathetic that she hadn’t even managed to find another man to love in all the years they’d spent apart? That she’d been foolish enough to wait around for Dom all this time, when he’d happily gone on living his life without her? Her pride couldn’t endure having him know that. To her relief, Tristan said, “Well, whatever they’re up to, we have to get moving.” A knock sounded at the door. “Dom? Jane? Are you done talking?” She met Dom’s gaze with a certain defiance, and he arched one eyebrow in question. So she took matters into her own hands and strode for the door. Caught off guard, Dom swore behind her and snatched up his greatcoat just as she opened the door and said, “Please come in. We’re quite finished.” In more ways than one. Their companions trooped in, casting her and Dom wary glances. Jane looked over to see Dom holding his greatcoat looped over his arm as if to shield the front of him. That brought the blushes back to her cheeks. She caught Lisette furtively watching her, and she cursed herself for wearing her emotions on her sleeve. Better shift her attention elsewhere before Lisette guessed just how shameless she’d been.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
As we’ve seen, one of the most frequently pursued paths for achievement-minded college seniors is to spend several years advancing professionally and getting trained and paid by an investment bank, consulting firm, or law firm. Then, the thought process goes, they can set out to do something else with some exposure and experience under their belts. People are generally not making lifelong commitments to the field in their own minds. They’re “getting some skills” and making some connections before figuring out what they really want to do. I subscribed to a version of this mind-set when I graduated from Brown. In my case, I went to law school thinking I’d practice for a few years (and pay down my law school debt) before lining up another opportunity. It’s clear why this is such an attractive approach. There are some immensely constructive things about spending several years in professional services after graduating from college. Professional service firms are designed to train large groups of recruits annually, and they do so very successfully. After even just a year or two in a high-level bank or consulting firm, you emerge with a set of skills that can be applied in other contexts (financial modeling in Excel if you’re a financial analyst, PowerPoint and data organization and presentation if you’re a consultant, and editing and issue spotting if you’re a lawyer). This is very appealing to most any recent graduate who may not yet feel equipped with practical skills coming right out of college. Even more than the professional skill you gain, if you spend time at a bank, consultancy, or law firm, you will become excellent at producing world-class work. Every model, report, presentation, or contract needs to be sophisticated, well done, and error free, in large part because that’s one of the core value propositions of your organization. The people above you will push you to become more rigorous and disciplined, and your work product will improve across the board as a result. You’ll get used to dressing professionally, preparing for meetings, speaking appropriately, showing up on time, writing official correspondence, and so forth. You will be able to speak the corporate language. You’ll become accustomed to working very long hours doing detail-intensive work. These attributes are transferable to and helpful in many other contexts.
Andrew Yang (Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America)
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Princeton毕业证书,按学校原版1:1制作买国外普林斯顿大学毕业证Princeton成绩单办理Princeton毕业证
(咨询顾问qq/微信: 1954 292 140)普林斯顿大学毕业证Princeton成绩单回国认证、应付家人、回国工作入职、国外申请学校等。致力于为每一位因特殊因素拿不到学位证的同学服务。Over the past ten years, the study abroad service company has countless overseas models, and can perfectly restore the degree, Diploma, Transcripts, certificate and other graduation materials of overseas universities in 1:1. ◇高规格,高质量!选择我们-就是选择安心,全程保密,让你办的放心。 ◇留学学历认证,非正常毕业留学生。留信网认证。 ◇服务: 留学学历认证, 未毕业 原版毕业证, 留学保录取。 No matter where you are, as long as you need it, we will meet your needs with the most efficient work efficiency Just a little hope that everyone understands! This is a gray industry with its special nature. I am doing this for everyone, and I have a heavy legal responsibility. Some friends consulted for a long time, and finally asked, "If I am looking for you, how can you prove that you are not deceiving?" "If I am looking for you to prove how your things are reliable?" "How to prove that you are good people?" Since we have chosen us, we should trust us and buy goods to shop around. I have no problems at all. I have never urged my clients to handle it with me, and I never object to customers consulting more. After all, who is the best, I believe everyone sees it. Wherever gold shines!
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The Portal Potion Success! After weeks and weeks of trying, I’ve finally discovered the correct ingredients for the potion I’d hoped to create for my son! With just a few drops, the potion turns any written work into a portal to the world it describes. Even with my ability to create portals to and from the Otherworld, I never thought it would be possible to create a substance that allowed me passage to any world I wished. My son will get to see the places and meet the characters he’s spent his whole childhood dreaming about! And best of all, I’ll get to watch his happiness soar as it happens! The ingredients are much simpler than I imagined, but difficult to obtain. Their purposes are more metaphysical than practical, so it took some imagination to get the concoction right. The first requirement is a branch from the oldest tree in the woods. To bring the pages to life, I figured the potion would need the very thing that brought the paper to life in the first place. And what else has more life than an ancient tree? The second ingredient is a feather from the finest pheasant in the sky. This will guarantee your potion has no limits, like a bird in flight. It will ensure you can travel to lands far and wide, beyond your imagination. The third component is a liquefied lock and key that belonged to a true love. Just as this person unlocked your heart to a life of love, it will open the door of the literary dimensions your heart desires to experience. The fourth ingredient is two weeks of moonlight. Just as the moon causes waves in the ocean, the moonlight will stir your potion to life. Last, but most important, give the potion a spark of magic to activate all the ingredients. Send it a beam of joy straight from your heart. The potion does not work on any biographies or history books, but purely on works that have been imagined. Now, I must warn about the dangers of entering a fictional world: 1. Time only exists as long as the story continues. Be sure to leave the book before the story ends, or you may disappear as the story concludes. 2. Each world is made of only what the author describes. Do not expect the characters to have any knowledge of our world or the Otherworld. 3. Beware of the story’s villains. Unlike people in our world or the Otherworld, most literary villains are created to be heartless and stripped of all morals, so do not expect any mercy should you cross paths with one. 4. The book you choose to enter will act as your entrance and exit. Be certain nothing happens to it; it is your only way out. The
Chris Colfer (Beyond the Kingdoms (The Land of Stories, #4))
Whenever we meet someone for the first time, whenever we interview someone for a job, whenever we react to a new idea, whenever we're faced with making a decision quickly and under stress, we use that second part of our brain. How long, for example, did it take you, when you were in college, to decide how good a teacher your professor was? A class? Two classes? A semester? The psychologist Nalini Ambady once gave students three ten-second videotapes of a teacher - with the sound turned off - and found they had no difficulty at all in coming up with a rating of the teacher's effectiveness. Then Ambady cut the clips back to five seconds, and the ratings were the same. They were remarkably consistent even when she showed the students just two seconds of videotape. Then Ambady compared those snap judgments of teacher effectiveness with evaluations of those same professors made by their students after a full semester of classes, and she found that they were also essentially the same. A person watching silent two-second video clips of a teacher he or she has never met will reach conclusions about how good that teacher is that are very similar to those of a student who has sat in the teacher's class for an entire semester. That's the power of our adaptive unconscious.
Malcolm Gladwell (Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)
My dear, dear ladies,” Sir Francis effused as he hastened forward, “what a long-awaited delight this is!” Courtesy demanded that he acknowledge the older lady first, and so he turned to her. Picking up Berta’s limp hand from her side, he presed his lips to it and said, “Permit me to introduce myself. I am Sir Francis Belhaven.” Lady Berta curtsied, her fear-widened eyes fastened on his face, and continued to press her handkerchief to her lips. To his astonishment, she did not acknowledge him at all; she did not say she was charmed to meet him or inquire after his health. Instead, the woman curtsied again. And once again. “There’s hardly a need for all that,” he said, covering his puzzlement with forced jovially. “I’m only a knight, you know. Not a duke or even an earl.” Lady Berta curtsied again, and Elizabeth nudged her sharply with her elbow. “How do!” burst out the plump lady. “My aunt is a trifle-er-shy with strangers,” Elizabeth managed weakly. The sound of Elizabeth Cameron’s soft, musical voice made Sir Francis’s blood sing. He turned with unhidden eagerness to his future bride and realized that it was a bust of himself that Elizabeth was clutching so protectively, so very affectionately to her bosom. He could scarcely contain his delight. “I knew it would be this way between us-no pretense, no maidenly shyness,” he burst out, beaming at her blank, wary expression as he gently took the bust of himself from Elizabeth’s arms. “But, my lovely, there’s no need for you to caress a hunk of clay when I am here in the flesh.” Momentarily struck dumb, Elizabeth gaped at the bust she’d been holding as he first set it gently upon its stand, then turned expectantly to her, leaving her with the horrifying-and accurate-thought that he now expected her to reach out and draw his balding head to her bosom. She stared at him, her mind in paralyzed chaos. “I-I would ask a favor of you, Sir Francis,” she burst out finally. “Anything, my dear,” he said huskily. “I would like to-to rest before supper.” He stepped back, looking disappointed, but then he recalled his manners and reluctantly nodded. “We don’t keep country hours. Supper is at eight-thirty.” For the first time he took a moment to really look at her. His memories of her exquisite face and delicious body had been so strong, so clear, that until then he’d been seeing the Lady Elizabeth Cameron he’d met long ago. Now he belatedly registered the stark, unattractive gown she wore and the severe way her hair was dressed. His gaze dropped to the ugly iron cross that hung about her neck, and he recoiled in shock. “Oh, and my dear, I’ve invited a few guests,” he added pointedly, his eyes on her unattractive gown. “I thought you would want to know, in order to attire yourself more appropriately.” Elizabeth suffered that insult with the same numb paralysis she’d felt since she set eyes on him. Not until the door closed behind him did she feel able to move. “Berta,” she burst out, flopping disconsolately onto the chair beside her, “how could you curtsy like that-he’ll know you for a lady’s maid before the night is out! We’ll never pull this off.” “Well!” Berta exclaimed, hurt and indignant. “Twasn’t I who was clutching his head to my bosom when he came in.” “We’ll do better after this,” Elizabeth vowed with an apologetic glance over her shoulder, and the trepidation was gone from her voice, replaced by steely determination and urgency. “We have to do better. I want us both out of here tomorrow. The day after at the very latest.” “The butler stared at my bosom,” Berta complained. “I saw him!” Elizabeth sent her a wry, mirthless smile. “The footman stared at mine. No woman is safe in this place. We only had a bit of-of stage fright just now. We’re new to playacting, but tonight I’ll carry it off. You’ll see. No matter what if takes, I’ll do it.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Weak and trembling from passion, Major Flint found that after a few tottering steps in the direction of Tilling he would be totally unable to get there unless fortified by some strong stimulant, and turned back to the club-house to obtain it. He always went dead-lame when beaten at golf, while Captain Puffin was lame in any circumstances, and the two, no longer on speaking terms, hobbled into the club-house, one after the other, each unconscious of the other's presence. Summoning his last remaining strength Major Flint roared for whisky, and was told that, according to regulation, he could not be served until six. There was lemonade and stone ginger-beer. You might as well have offered a man-eating tiger bread and milk. Even the threat that he would instantly resign his membership unless provided with drink produced no effect on a polite steward, and he sat down to recover as best he might with an old volume of Punch. This seemed to do him little good. His forced abstemiousness was rendered the more intolerable by the fact that Captain Puffin, hobbling in immediately afterwards, fetched from his locker a large flask of the required elixir, and proceeded to mix himself a long, strong tumblerful. After the Major's rudeness in the matter of the half-crown, it was impossible for any sailor of spirit to take the first step towards reconciliation. Thirst is a great leveller. By the time the refreshed Puffin had penetrated half-way down his glass, the Major found it impossible to be proud and proper any longer. He hated saying he was sorry (no man more) and he wouldn't have been sorry if he had been able to get a drink. He twirled his moustache a great many times and cleared his throat--it wanted more than that to clear it--and capitulated. "Upon my word, Puffin, I'm ashamed of myself for--ha!--for not taking my defeat better," he said. "A man's no business to let a game ruffle him." Puffin gave his alto cackling laugh. "Oh, that's all right, Major," he said. "I know it's awfully hard to lose like a gentleman." He let this sink in, then added: "Have a drink, old chap?" Major Flint flew to his feet. "Well, thank ye, thank ye," he said. "Now where's that soda water you offered me just now?" he shouted to the steward. The speed and completeness of the reconciliation was in no way remarkable, for when two men quarrel whenever they meet, it follows that they make it up again with corresponding frequency, else there could be no fresh quarrels at all. This one had been a shade more acute than most, and the drop into amity again was a shade more precipitous.
E.F. Benson
It is already the fashion to diminish Eliot by calling him derivative, the mouthpiece of Pound, and so forth; and yet if one wanted to understand the apocalypse of early modernism in its true complexity it would be Eliot, I fancy, who would demand one's closest attention. He was ready to rewrite the history of all that interested him in order to have past and present conform; he was a poet of apocalypse, of the last days and the renovation, the destruction of the earthly city as a chastisement of human presumption, but also of empire. Tradition, a word we especially associate with this modernist, is for him the continuity of imperial deposits; hence the importance in his thought of Virgil and Dante. He saw his age as a long transition through which the elect must live, redeeming the time. He had his demonic host, too; the word 'Jew' remained in lower case through all the editions of the poems until the last of his lifetime, the seventy-fifth birthday edition of 1963. He had a persistent nostalgia for closed, immobile hierarchical societies. If tradition is, as he said in After Strange Gods--though the work was suppressed--'the habitual actions, habits and customs' which represent the kinship 'of the same people living in the same place' it is clear that Jews do not have it, but also that practically nobody now does. It is a fiction, a fiction cousin to a myth which had its effect in more practical politics. In extenuation it might be said that these writers felt, as Sartre felt later, that in a choice between Terror and Slavery one chooses Terror, 'not for its own sake, but because, in this era of flux, it upholds the exigencies proper to the aesthetics of Art.' The fictions of modernist literature were revolutionary, new, though affirming a relation of complementarity with the past. These fictions were, I think it is clear, related to others, which helped to shape the disastrous history of our time. Fictions, notably the fiction of apocalypse, turn easily into myths; people will live by that which was designed only to know by. Lawrence would be the writer to discuss here, if there were time; apocalypse works in Woman in Love, and perhaps even in Lady Chatterley's Lover, but not n Apocalypse, which is failed myth. It is hard to restore the fictive status of what has become mythical; that, I take it, is what Mr. Saul Bellow is talking about in his assaults on wastelandism, the cant of alienation. In speaking of the great men of early modernism we have to make very subtle distinctions between the work itself, in which the fictions are properly employed, and obiter dicta in which they are not, being either myths or dangerous pragmatic assertions. When the fictions are thus transformed there is not only danger but a leak, as it were, of reality; and what we feel about. all these men at times is perhaps that they retreated inso some paradigm, into a timeless and unreal vacuum from which all reality had been pumped. Joyce, who was a realist, was admired by Eliot because he modernized myth, and attacked by Lewis because he concerned himself with mess, the disorders of common perception. But Ulysses ,alone of these great works studies and develops the tension between paradigm and reality, asserts the resistance of fact to fiction, human freedom and unpredictability against plot. Joyce chooses a Day; it is a crisis ironically treated. The day is full of randomness. There are coincidences, meetings that have point, and coincidences which do not. We might ask whether one of the merits of the book is not its lack of mythologizing; compare Joyce on coincidence with the Jungians and their solemn concordmyth, the Principle of Synchronicity. From Joyce you cannot even extract a myth of Negative Concord; he shows us fiction fitting where it touches. And Joyce, who probably knew more about it than any of the others, was not at tracted by the intellectual opportunities or the formal elegance of fascism.
Frank Kermode (The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction)
So, my dear…” She faced him with thudding heart, the crystal piece clutched desperately in her hand, but she was hardly aware that she even held it. “… You say I have let another man into my bed.” Erienne opened her mouth to speak. Her first impulse was to chatter some inanity that could magically take the edge from his callous half statement, half question. No great enlightenment dawned, however, and her dry, parched throat issued no sound of its own. She inspected the stopper closely, turning it slowly in her hand rather than meet the accusing stare. From behind the mask, Lord Saxton observed his wife closely, well aware that the next moments would form the basis for the rest of his life or leave it an empty husk. After this, there could be no turning back. “I think, my dear,” his words made her start, “that whatever the cost, ’tis time you met the beast of Saxton Hall.” Erienne swallowed hard and clasped the stopper with whitened knuckles, as if to draw some bit of courage from the crystal piece. As she watched, Lord Saxton doffed his coat, waistcoat, and stock, and she wondered if it was a trick of her imagination that he seemed somewhat lighter of frame. After their removal, he caught the heel of his right boot over the toe of the left and slowly drew the heavy, misshapen encumbrance from his foot. She frowned in open bemusement, unable to detect a flaw. He flexed the leg a moment before slipping off the other boot. His movements seemed pained as he shed the gloves, and Erienne’s eyes fastened on the long, tan, unscarred hands that rose to the mask and, with deliberate movements, flipped the lacings loose. She half turned, dropping the stopper and colliding with the desk as he reached to the other side of the leather helm and lifted it away with a single motion. She braved a quick glance and gasped in astonishment when she found translucent eyes calmly smiling at her. “Christopher! What…?” She could not form a question, though her mind raced in a frantic search for logic. He rose from the chair with an effort. “Christopher Stuart Saxton, lord of Saxton Hall.” His voice no longer bore a hint of a rasp. “Your servant, my lady.” “But… but where is…?” The truth was only just beginning to dawn on her, and the name she spoke sounded small and thin. “… Stuart?” “One and the same, madam.” He stepped near, and those translucent eyes commanded her attention. “Look at me, Erienne. Look very closely.” He towered over her, and his lean, hard face bore no hint of humor. “And tell me again if you think I would ever allow another man in your bed while I yet breathe.” -Christopher & Erienne
Kathleen E. Woodiwiss (A Rose in Winter)
Only in America do we ask our writers to believe they don't matter as a condition of writing. It is time to end this. Much of my time as a student was spent doubting the importance of my work, doubting the power it had to reach anyone or do anything of significance. I was already tired o hearing about how the pen was mightier than the sword by the time I was studying writing. Swords, it seemed to me, won all the time. By the time I found that Auden quote -- "poetry makes nothing happen" -- I was more than ready to believe what I thought he was saying. But books were still to me as they had been when I found them: the only magic. My mother's most common childhood memory of me is of standing next to me trying to be heard over the voice of the page. I didn't really commit to writing until I understood that it meant making that happen for someone else. And in order to do that, I had to commit the chaos inside of me to an intricate order, an articulate complexity. To write is to tell a ticket to escape, not from the truth, but into it. My job is to make something happen in a space barely larger than the span of your hand, behind your eyes, distilled out of all that I have carried, from friends, teachers, people met on planes, people I have only seen in my mind, all my mother and father ever did, every favorite book, until it meets and distills from you, the reader, something out of the everything it finds in you. All of this meets along the edge of a sentence like this on, as if the sentence is a fence, with you on one side and me on the other. When the writing works best, I feel like I could poke one of these words out of place and find the writer's eye there, looking through to me. If you don't know what I mean, what I mean is this: when I speak of walking through a snowstorm, you remember a night from your childhood full of snow, or from last winter, say, driving home at night, surprised by a storm. When I speak of my dead friends and poetry, you may remember your own dead friends, or if none of your friends are dead, you may imagine how it might feel to have them die. You may think of your poems, or poems you've seen or heard. You may remember you don't like poetry. Something new is made from my memories and yours as you read this. It is not my memory, not yours, and it is born and walks the bridges and roads of your mind, as long as it can. After it has left mine. All my life I've been told this isn't important, that it doesn't matter, that it could never matter. And yet I think it does. I think it is the real reason the people who would take everything from us say this. I think it's the same reason that when fascists come to power, writers are among the first to go to jail. And that is the point of writing.
Alexander Chee (How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays)
There is a scene I love where a brother and sister meet after many years and little communication. They meet in an arranged café in mid-afternoon. The light is dying and the city outside rumbles softly in the complacent time before rush hour. The café is unexceptional and quiet. She comes first, sits at the far end, a table facing the door, nervous in her buttoned raincoat. The waiter is an older man. He leaves her be. The brother enters late with the look but not the words of apology. He kisses her cheek. They sit and the old man brings them teas they do not want, two pots, strong for him weak for her. It is long ago since they said each other’s names aloud, and saying them now has the extraordinary shyness of encounter I imagine on the Last Day. At first there is the full array of human awkwardness. But here is the thing: almost in an instant their old selves are immediately present. The years and the changes are nothing. They need few words. They recognise each other in each other, and even in silence the familiarity is powerfully consoling, because despite time and difference there remains that deep-river current, that kind of maybe communion that only exists within people joined in the word family. So now what washes up between them, foam-white and fortifying and quite unexpectedly, is love. I cannot remember what book it is in. But it’s in this one now.
Anonymous
From Tomorrow to Yesterday The tree trunks move in time with the rhythm of her rubber soles on the wet path, where the air is still cool after the night rain. The woodland floor is white with anemones; in one place, growing close to the roots of an ancient tree, they make her think of an old, wrinkled hand. She could go on and on without getting tired, without meeting anyone or thinking of anything in particular, and without coming to the edge of the woods. As if the town did not begin just behind the trees, the leafy suburb with its peaceful roads and its houses hidden behind close-trimmed hedges. She doesn't want to think about anything, and almost succeeds; her body is no more than a porous, pulsating machine. The sun breaks through the clouds as she runs back, its light diffused on the gravel drive and the magnolia in front of the kitchen window. His car is no longer parked beside hers, he must have left while she was in the woods. He hadn't stirred when she rose, and she'd already been in bed when he came home late last night. She lay with her back turned, eyes closed, as he undressed, taking care not to wake her. She leans against one of the pillars of the garage and stretches, before emptying the mailbox and letting herself into the house. She puts the mail on the kitchen table. The little light on the coffeemaker is on; she switches it off. Not so long ago, she would have felt a stab of irritation or a touch of tenderness, depending on her mood. He always forgets to turn off that machine. She puts the kettle on, sprinkles tea leaves into the pot, and goes over to the kitchen window. She observes the magnolia blossoms, already starting to open. They'll have to talk about it, of course, but neither of them seems able to find the right words, the right moment. She pauses on her way through the sitting room. She stands amid her furniture looking out over the lawn and the pond at the end of the garden. The canopies of the trees are dimly reflected in the shining water. She goes into the bathroom. The shower door is still spotted with little drops. As time went on they have come to make contact during the day only briefly, like passing strangers. But that's the way it has been since the children left home, nothing unusual in that. She takes off her clothes and stands in front of the mirror where a little while ago he stood shaving. She greets her reflection with a wry smile. She has never been able to view herself in a mirror without this moue, as if demonstrating a certain guardedness about what she sees. The dark green eyes and wavy black hair, the angularity of her features. She dyes her hair exactly the color it would have been if she hadn't begun to go gray in her thirties, but that's her only protest against age.
Jens Christian Grøndahl (An Altered Light)
RICHARD FEYNMAN LETTER TO ARLINE FEYNMAN, 1946 Richard Feynman (1918–1988) shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on quantum electrodynamics. Unrivaled in his generation for his brilliance and innovation, he was also known for being witty, warm, and unconventional. Those last three qualities were particularly evident in this letter, which he wrote to his wife Arline nearly two years after her death from tuberculosis. Feynman and Arline had been high school sweethearts and married in their twenties. Feynman’s second marriage, in 1952, ended in divorce two years later. His third marriage, in 1960, lasted until his death. D’Arline, I adore you, sweetheart. I know how much you like to hear that—but I don’t only write it because you like it—I write it because it makes me warm all over inside to write it to you. It is such a terribly long time since I last wrote to you—almost two years but I know you’ll excuse me because you understand how I am, stubborn and realistic; & I thought there was no sense to writing. But now I know my darling wife that it is right to do what I have delayed in doing, and that I have done so much in the past. I want to tell you I love you. I want to love you. I always will love you. I find it hard to understand in my mind what it means to love you after you are dead—but I still want to comfort and take care of you—and I want you to love me and care for me. I want to have problems to discuss with you—I want to do little projects with you. I never thought until just now that we can do that together. What should we do. We started to learn to make clothes together—or learn Chinese—or getting a movie projector. Can’t I do something now. No. I am alone without you and you were the “idea-woman” and general instigator of all our wild adventures. When you were sick you worried because you could not give me something that you wanted to & thought I needed. You needn’t have worried. Just as I told you then there was no real need because I loved you in so many ways so much. And now it is clearly even more true—you can give me nothing now yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else—but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive. I know you will assure me that I am foolish & that you want me to have full happiness & don’t want to be in my way. I’ll bet you are surprised that I don’t even have a girl friend (except you, sweetheart) after two years. But you can’t help it, darling, nor can I—I don’t understand it, for I have met many girls & very nice ones and I don’t want to remain alone—but in two or three meetings they all seem ashes. You only are left to me. You are real. My darling wife, I do adore you. I love my wife. My wife is dead. Rich. P.S. Please excuse my not mailing this—but I don’t know your new address.
Lisa Grunwald (The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration, and Cautionary Tales from Adam and Eve to Zoloft)
Here’s the thing, people: We have some serious problems. The lights are off. And it seems like that’s affecting the water flow in part of town. So, no baths or showers, okay? But the situation is that we think Caine is short of food, which means he’s not going to be able to hold out very long at the power plant.” “How long?” someone yelled. Sam shook his head. “I don’t know.” “Why can’t you get him to leave?” “Because I can’t, that’s why,” Sam snapped, letting some of his anger show. “Because I’m not Superman, all right? Look, he’s inside the plant. The walls are thick. He has guns, he has Jack, he has Drake, and he has his own powers. I can’t get him out of there without getting some of our people killed. Anybody want to volunteer for that?" Silence. “Yeah, I thought so. I can’t get you people to show up and pick melons, let alone throw down with Drake.” “That’s your job,” Zil said. “Oh, I see,” Sam said. The resentment he’d held in now came boiling to the surface. “It’s my job to pick the fruit, and collect the trash, and ration the food, and catch Hunter, and stop Caine, and settle every stupid little fight, and make sure kids get a visit from the Tooth Fairy. What’s your job, Zil? Oh, right: you spray hateful graffiti. Thanks for taking care of that, I don’t know how we’d ever manage without you.” “Sam…,” Astrid said, just loud enough for him to hear. A warning. Too late. He was going to say what needed saying. “And the rest of you. How many of you have done a single, lousy thing in the last two weeks aside from sitting around playing Xbox or watching movies? “Let me explain something to you people. I’m not your parents. I’m a fifteen-year-old kid. I’m a kid, just like all of you. I don’t happen to have any magic ability to make food suddenly appear. I can’t just snap my fingers and make all your problems go away. I’m just a kid.” As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Sam knew he had crossed the line. He had said the fateful words so many had used as an excuse before him. How many hundreds of times had he heard, “I’m just a kid.” But now he seemed unable to stop the words from tumbling out. “Look, I have an eighth-grade education. Just because I have powers doesn’t mean I’m Dumbledore or George Washington or Martin Luther King. Until all this happened I was just a B student. All I wanted to do was surf. I wanted to grow up to be Dru Adler or Kelly Slater, just, you know, a really good surfer.” The crowd was dead quiet now. Of course they were quiet, some still-functioning part of his mind thought bitterly, it’s entertaining watching someone melt down in public. “I’m doing the best I can,” Sam said. “I lost people today…I…I screwed up. I should have figured out Caine might go after the power plant.” Silence. “I’m doing the best I can.” No one said a word. Sam refused to meet Astrid’s eyes. If he saw pity there, he would fall apart completely. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m sorry.
Michael Grant (Hunger (Gone, #2))
I wish I had asked myself when I was younger. My path was so tracked that in my 8th-grade yearbook, one of my friends predicted— accurately— that four years later I would enter Stanford as a sophomore. And after a conventionally successful undergraduate career, I enrolled at Stanford Law School, where I competed even harder for the standard badges of success. The highest prize in a law student’s world is unambiguous: out of tens of thousands of graduates each year, only a few dozen get a Supreme Court clerkship. After clerking on a federal appeals court for a year, I was invited to interview for clerkships with Justices Kennedy and Scalia. My meetings with the Justices went well. I was so close to winning this last competition. If only I got the clerkship, I thought, I would be set for life. But I didn’t. At the time, I was devastated. In 2004, after I had built and sold PayPal, I ran into an old friend from law school who had helped me prepare my failed clerkship applications. We hadn’t spoken in nearly a decade. His first question wasn’t “How are you doing?” or “Can you believe it’s been so long?” Instead, he grinned and asked: “So, Peter, aren’t you glad you didn’t get that clerkship?” With the benefit of hindsight, we both knew that winning that ultimate competition would have changed my life for the worse. Had I actually clerked on the Supreme Court, I probably would have spent my entire career taking depositions or drafting other people’s business deals instead of creating anything new. It’s hard to say how much would be different, but the opportunity costs were enormous. All Rhodes Scholars had a great future in their past. the best paths are new and untried. will this business still be around a decade from now? business is like chess. Grandmaster José Raúl Capablanca put it well: to succeed, “you must study the endgame before everything else. The few who knew what might be learned, Foolish enough to put their whole heart on show, And reveal their feelings to the crowd below, Mankind has always crucified and burned. Above all, don’t overestimate your own power as an individual. Founders are important not because they are the only ones whose work has value, but rather because a great founder can bring out the best work from everybody at his company. That we need individual founders in all their peculiarity does not mean that we are called to worship Ayn Randian “prime movers” who claim to be independent of everybody around them. In this respect, Rand was a merely half-great writer: her villains were real, but her heroes were fake. There is no Galt’s Gulch. There is no secession from society. To believe yourself invested with divine self-sufficiency is not the mark of a strong individual, but of a person who has mistaken the crowd’s worship—or jeering—for the truth. The single greatest danger for a founder is to become so certain of his own myth that he loses his mind. But an equally insidious danger for every business is to lose all sense of myth and mistake disenchantment for wisdom.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future)
What have I earned for all that work,’ I said, ‘For all that I have done at my own charge? The daily spite of this unmannerly town, Where who has served the most is most defamed, The reputation of his lifetime lost Between the night and morning. I might have lived, And you know well how great the longing has been, Where every day my footfall should have lit In the green shadow of Ferrara wall; Or climbed among the images of the past – The unperturbed and courtly images – Evening and morning, the steep street of Urbino To where the Duchess and her people talked The stately midnight through until they stood In their great window looking at the dawn; I might have had no friend that could not mix Courtesy and passion into one like those That saw the wicks grow yellow in the dawn; I might have used the one substantial right My trade allows: chosen my company, And chosen what scenery had pleased me best.’ Thereon my phoenix answered in reproof, ‘The drunkards, pilferers of public funds, All the dishonest crowd I had driven away, When my luck changed and they dared meet my face, Crawled from obscurity, and set upon me Those I had served and some that I had fed; Yet never have I, now nor any time, Complained of the people.’ All I could reply Was: ‘You, that have not lived in thought but deed, Can have the purity of a natural force, But I, whose virtues are the definitions Of the analytic mind, can neither close The eye of the mind nor keep my tongue from speech.’ And yet, because my heart leaped at her words, I was abashed, and now they come to mind After nine years, I sink my head abashed.
W.B. Yeats (Collected Poems (Macmillan Collector's Library Book 13))
Mikhail would be going into a dangerous situation, and a part of her knew he needed most of the night to complete his tasks, but there was no sign of impatience in him. He appeared relaxed and enjoying his time with her, wholly focused on her alone. She appreciated that in him so much--that ability to give her what she needed. He lifted his head and looked at her. “You always come first with me, Raven.” “I don’t know how I managed to get so lucky.” She trailed her fingers through his hair. All that dark silk intrigued her. She had never really seen men who wore their hair long and yet still looked so masculine. “That you can say that after all that has happened amazes me,” Mikhail said. He dipped his head to taste the small indent of her belly button. His chin nuzzled her. “Someday my child will grow right here.” “You’d like that, would you? I might get as big as a house.” Mikhail kissed her tummy again and then kissed the path to her breasts. “You will have milk for our babies. That is such a miracle, Raven.” She heard the ache in his voice. The need. He didn’t quite believe they would manage to have children, not when his people had been unable to do so for centuries, but he was willing to dream of it--with her. “We’ll find a way to have children, Mikhail. You managed to convert me without becoming deranged.” There was gentle humor in her voice. Mikhail’s head went up, his dark eyes meeting hers. Raven laughed softly. “Did you think I wouldn’t know your worst fear? I am adept at reading minds, and you, my love, have opened yourself to me often. I knew your fear and loved you all the more for facing it alone.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
Tobias is standing in the hallway outside the dormitory. I am breathless, and I can feel my heartbeat even in my fingertips; I am overwhelmed, teeming with loss and wonder and anger and longing. “Tris,” Tobias says, his brow furrowed with concern. “Are you all right?” I shake my head, still struggling for air, and crush him against the wall with my body, my lips finding his. For a moment he tries to push me away, but then he must decide that he doesn’t care if I’m all right, doesn’t care if he’s all right, doesn’t care. We haven’t been alone together in days. Weeks. Months. His fingers slide into my hair, and I hold on to his arms to stay steady as we press together like two blades at a stalemate. He is stronger than anyone I know, and warmer than anyone else realizes; he is a secret that I have kept, and will keep, for the rest of my life. He leans down and kisses my throat, hard, and his hands smooth over me, securing themselves at my waist. I hook my fingers in his belt loops, my eyes closing. In that moment I know exactly what I want; I want to peel away all the layers of clothing between us, strip away everything that separates us, the past and the present and the future. I hear footsteps and laughter at the end of the hallway, and we break apart. Someone--probably Uriah--whistles, but I barely hear it over the pulsing in my ears. Tobias’s eyes meet mine, and it’s like the first time I really looked at him during my initiation, after my fear simulation; we stare too long, too intently. “Shut up,” I call out to Uriah, without looking away. Uriah and Christina walk into the dormitory, and Tobias and I follow them, like nothing happened.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
How did you find me?" "I've followed you for a long time." He must have mistaken the look on my face for alarm or fear, and said, "Not literally. I just mean I never lost track." But it wasn't fear, or anything like that. It was an instant of realization I'd have a lot in the coming days: I'd been thinking of him as coming back from the dead, but the fact was he'd been there all along. He'd been alive when I cried in my room over him being gone. He'd been alive when I started a new school without him, the day I made my first friend a Jones Hall, the time I ran into Ethan at the library. Cameron Quick and I had existed simultaneously on the planet during all of those moments. It didn't seem possible that we could have been leading separate lives, not after everything we'd been through together. "...then I looked you up online," he was saying, "and found your mom's wedding announcement from before you changed your name. I didn't even need to do that. It's easy to find someone you never lost." I struggled to understand what he was saying. "You mean...you could have written to me, or seen me, sooner?" "I wanted to. Almost did, a bunch of times." "Why didn't you? I wish you had." And I did, I wished it so much, imagined how it would have been to know all those years that he was there, thinking of me. "Things seemed different for you," he said, matter-of-fact. "Better. I could tell that from the bits of information I found...like an interview with the parents who were putting their kids in your school when it first started. Or an article about that essay contest you won a couple years ago." "You knew about that?" He nodded. "That one had a picture. I could see just from looking at you that you had a good thing going. Didn't need me coming along and messing it up." "Don't say that," I said quickly. Then: "You were never part of what I wanted to forget." "Nice of you to say, but I know it's not true." I knew what he was thinking, could see that he'd been carrying around the same burden all those years as me. "You didn't do anything wrong." It was getting cold on the porch, and late, and the looming topic scared me. I got up. "Let's go in. I can make coffee or hot chocolate or something?" "I have to go." "No! Already?" I didn't want to let him out of my sight. "Don't worry," he said. "Just have to go to work. I'll be around." "Give me your number. I'll call you." "I don't have a phone right now." "Find me at school," I said, "or anytime. Eat lunch with us tomorrow." He didn't answer. "Really," I continued, "you should meet my friends and stuff." "You have a boyfriend," he finally said. "I saw you guys holding hands." I nodded. "Ethan." "For how long?" "Three months, almost." I couldn't picture Cameron Quick dating anyone, though he must have at some point. If I'd found Ethan, I was sure Cameron had some Ashley or Becca or Caitlin along the way. I didn't ask. "He's nice," I added. "He's..." I don't know what I'd planned to say, but whatever it was it seemed insignificant so I finished that sentence with a shrug. "You lost your lisp." And about twenty-five pounds, I thought. "I guess speech therapy worked for both of us." He smiled. "I always liked that, you know. Your lisp. It was...you." He started down the porch steps. "See you tomorrow, okay?" "Yeah," I said, unable to take my eyes off of him. "Tomorrow.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
How was I ever going to explain to him, or to myself, why I couldn’t go to his home and meet his family, though every part of me was dying to? Oliver wife. Oliver sons. Oliver pets. Oliver study, desk, books, world, life. What had I expected? A hug, a handshake, a perfunctory hail-fellow-well-met, and then the unavoidable Later! ? The very possibility of meeting his family suddenly alarmed me—too real, too sudden, too in-my-face, not rehearsed enough. Over the years I’d lodged him in the permanent past, my pluperfect lover, put him on ice, stuffed him with memories and mothballs like a hunted ornament confabulating with the ghost of all my evenings. I’d dust him off from time to time and then put him back on the mantelpiece. He no longer belonged to earth or to life. All I was likely to discover at this point wasn’t just how distant were the paths we’d taken, it was the measure of loss that was going to strike me—a loss I didn’t mind thinking about in abstract terms but which would hurt when stared at in the face, the way nostalgia hurts long after we’ve stopped thinking of things we’ve lost and may never have cared for. Or was it that I was jealous of his family, of the life he’d made for himself, of the things I never shared and couldn’t possibly have known about? Things he had longed for, loved, and lost, and whose loss had crushed him, but whose presence in his life, when he had them, I wasn’t there to witness and wouldn’t know the first thing about. I wasn’t there when he’d acquired them, wasn’t there when he’d given them up. Or was it much, much simpler? I had come to see if I felt something, if something was still alive. The trouble was I didn’t want anything to be alive either.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
It's hard to form a lasting connection when your permanent address is an eight-inch mailbox in the UPS store. Still,as I inch my way closer, I can't help the way my breath hitches, the way my insides thrum and swirl. And when he turns,flashing me that slow, languorous smile that's about to make him world famous,his eyes meeting mine when he says, "Hey,Daire-Happy Sweet Sixteen," I can't help but think of the millions of girls who would do just about anything to stand in my pointy blue babouches. I return the smile, flick a little wave of my hand, then bury it in the side pocket of the olive-green army jacket I always wear. Pretending not to notice the way his gaze roams over me, straying from my waist-length brown hair peeking out from my scarf, to the tie-dyed tank top that clings under my jacket,to the skinny dark denim jeans,all the way down to the brand-new slippers I wear on my feet. "Nice." He places his foot beside mine, providing me with a view of the his-and-hers version of the very same shoe. Laughing when he adds, "Maybe we can start a trend when we head back to the States.What do you think?" We. There is no we. I know it.He knows it.And it bugs me that he tries to pretend otherwise. The cameras stopped rolling hours ago, and yet here he is,still playing a role. Acting as though our brief, on-location hookup means something more. Acting like we won't really end long before our passports are stamped RETURN. And that's all it takes for those annoyingly soft girly feelings to vanish as quickly as a flame in the rain. Allowing the Daire I know,the Daire I've honed myself to be, to stand in her palce. "Doubtful." I smirk,kicking his shoe with mine.A little harder then necessary, but then again,he deserves it for thinking I'm lame enough to fall for his act. "So,what do you say-food? I'm dying for one of those beef brochettes,maybe even a sausage one too.Oh-and some fries would be good!" I make for the food stalls,but Vane has another idea. His hand reaches for mine,fingers entwining until they're laced nice and tight. "In a minute," he says,pulling me so close my hip bumps against his. "I thought we might do something special-in honor of your birthday and all.What do you think about matching tattoos?" I gape.Surely he's joking. "Yeah,you know,mehndi. Nothing permanent.Still,I thought it could be kinda cool." He arcs his left brow in his trademark Vane Wick wau,and I have to fight not to frown in return. Nothing permanent. That's my theme song-my mission statement,if you will. Still,mehndi's not quite the same as a press-on. It has its own life span. One that will linger long after Vane's studio-financed, private jet lifts him high into the sky and right out of my life. Though I don't mention any of that, instead I just say, "You know the director will kill you if you show up on set tomorrow covered in henna." Vane shrugs. Shrugs in a way I've seen too many times, on too many young actors before him.He's in full-on star-power mode.Think he's indispensable. That he's the only seventeen-year-old guy with a hint of talent,golden skin, wavy blond hair, and piercing blue eyes that can light up a screen and make the girls (and most of their moms) swoon. It's a dangerous way to see yourself-especially when you make your living in Hollywood. It's the kind of thinking that leads straight to multiple rehab stints, trashy reality TV shows, desperate ghostwritten memoirs, and low-budget movies that go straight to DVD.
Alyson Noel (Fated (Soul Seekers, #1))
I have put you on a horse—that same horse—and watched you ride away from me before. I thought I should never get over it that first time. I think I followed you for that; not for any noble desire to help you save Damar; only to pick up whatever pieces Agsded might have left of you.… I know I shall never get over it this time. If you do it, someday, a third time, it will probably kill me.” Aerin tried to smile, but Luthe stopped her with a kiss. “Go now. A quick death is the best, I believe.” “You can’t scare me,” Aerin said, almost succeeding in keeping her voice level. “You told me long ago that you aren’t mortal.” “I never said I can’t be killed,” replied Luthe. “If you wish to chop logic with me, my dearest love, you must make sure of your premises.” “I shall practice them—while—I shall practice, that I may dazzle you when next we meet.” There was a little silence, and Luthe said, “You need not try to dazzle me.” “I must go,” Aerin said hopelessly, and flung herself at Talat just as she had done once before. “I will see you again.” Luthe nodded. She almost could not say the words: “But it will be a long time—long and long.” Luthe nodded again. “But we shall meet.” Luthe nodded a third time. “Gods of all the worlds, say something,” she cried, and Talat startled beneath her. “I love you,” said Luthe. “I will love you till the stars crumble, which is a less idle threat than is usual to lovers on parting. Go quickly, for truly I cannot bear this.” She closed her legs violently around the nervous Talat, and he leaped into a gallop. Long after Aerin was out of sight, Luthe lay full length upon the ground, and pressed his ear to it, and listened to Talat’s hoofbeats carrying Aerin farther and farther away.
Robin McKinley (The Hero and the Crown (Damar, #2))
Well,that was fun," she said lightly as he maneuvered out of the lot. "I'm really glad you talked me into going out. My day was a blank page until seven." That long, quiet moment lingered in his mind even as it lingered in Shelby's. Alan shifted, hoping to ease the thudding in the pit of his stomach. "Always happy to help someone fill in a few empty spaces." Alan controlled the speed of the car through force of will. Holding her hadn't soothed him but rather had only served to remind him how much time had passed since he had last held her. "Actually you're an easy man to be with, Alan, for a politician." Easy? Shelby repeated to herself as she pressed the button to lower her window. Her blood was still throbbing from a meeting of eyes that had lasted less than ten seconds. If he was any easier, she'd be head over heels in love with him and headed for disaster. "I mean,you're not really pompous." He shot her a look, long and cool, that boosted her confidence. "No?" he murmured after a humming silence. "Hardly at all." Shelby sent him a smile. "Why,I'd probably vote for you myself." Alan paused at a red light, studying it thoughtfully before he turned to her. "Your insults aren't as subtle today, Shelby." "Insults?" Shelby gave him a bland stare. "Odd,I thought it was more flattery.Isn't a vote what it all comes down to? Votes, and that all-encompassing need to win." The light stayed green for five full seconds before he cruised through it. "Be careful." A nerve,she thought,hating herself more than a little. "You're a little touchy. That's all right." She brushed at the thigh of her jeans. "I don't mind a little oversensitivity." "The subject of my sensitivity isn't the issue,but you're succeeding in being obnoxious." "My,my,aren't we all Capitol Hill all of a sudden.
Nora Roberts (The MacGregors: Alan & Grant (The MacGregors, #3-4))
Phoebe Kitzke?” The man had stopped in front of her. He had a deep, beautiful voice that made her thigh muscles quiver. This close she could see the multiple shades of deep blue that made up his eyes. He didn’t smile. On the whole she would say he looked about as far from happy as it was possible to be while still breathing. “I’m Phoebe,” she said, afraid she sounded as tentative as she felt. Why hadn’t Maya warned her? Saying Zane was good-looking was like saying summer in the desert was warm. “Zane.” He held out his hand. She wasn’t sure if he wanted to shake or take her luggage. She erred on the side of good manners and found her fingers engulfed in his. The instant heat didn’t surprise her, nor did the melting sensation. Everything else was going wrong in her life--it made sense for her body to betray her, too. She mentally jerked her attention away from her traitorous thighs and noticed that he had a really big hand. Phoebe tried not to think about those old wives’ tales. She tried not to think about anything except the fact that she was going to kill Maya the next time she saw her. “Nice to meet you,” she said when he’d released her. “Maya says the ranch is some distance from the airport, and I really appreciate you coming all this way to collect me.” His only response was to pick up her luggage. He didn’t bother with the wheels, instead carrying the bags out as if they weighed as much as a milk carton. Uh-huh. She’d nearly thrown out her entire back just wrestling them into the car. While in the past she’d never been all that interested in men with muscles, she could suddenly see the appeal of well-developed biceps. Zane headed for the parking lot, and Phoebe trailed after him. He didn’t seem to be much of a talker. That could make the drive to the ranch incredibly long.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
Why did you come here-that is, why did you agree to reconsider my proposal?” The question alarmed and startled her. Now that she’d seen him she had only the dimmest, possibly even erroneous recollection of having spoken to him at a ball. Moreover, she couldn’t tell him she was in danger of being cut off by her uncle, for that whole explanation was to humiliating to bear mentioning. “Did I do or say something during our brief meetings the year before last to mislead you, perhaps, into believing I might yearn for the city life?” “It’s hard to say,” Elizabeth said with absolute honesty. “Lady Cameron, do you even remember our meeting?” “Oh, yes, of course. Certainly,” Elizabeth replied, belatedly recalling a man who looked very like him being presented to her at Lady Markham’s. That was it! “We met at Lady Markham’s ball.” His gaze never left her face. “We met in the park.” “In the park?” Elizabeth repeated in sublime embarrassment. “You had stopped to admire the flowers, and the young gentleman who was your escort that day introduced us.” “I see,” Elizabeth replied, her gaze skating away from his. “Would you care to know what we discussed that day and the next day when I escorted you back to the park?” Curiosity and embarrassment warred, and curiosity won out. “Yes, I would.” “Fishing.” “F-fishing?” Elizabeth gasped. He nodded. “Within minutes after we were introduced I mentioned that I had not come to London for the Season, as you supposed, but that I was on my way to Scotland to do some fishing and was leaving London the very next day.” An awful feeling of foreboding crept over Elizabeth as something stirred in her memory. “We had a charming chat,” he continued. “You spoke enthusiastically of a particularly challenging trout you were once able to land.” Elizabeth’s face felt as hot as red coals as he continued, “We quite forgot the time and your poor escort as we shared fishing stories.” He was quiet, waiting, and when Elizabeth couldn’t endure the damning silence anymore she said uneasily, “Was there…more?” “Very little. I did not leave for Scotland the next day but stayed instead to call upon you. You abandoned the half-dozen young bucks who’d come to escort you to some sort of fancy soiree and chose instead to go for another impromptu walk in the park with me.” Elizabeth swallowed audibly, unable to meet his eyes. “Would you like to know what we talked about that day?” “No, I don’t think so.” He chucked but ignored her reply, “You professed to be somewhat weary of the social whirl and confessed to a longing to be in the country that day-which is why we went to the park. We had a charming time, I thought.” When he fell silent, Elizabeth forced herself to meet his gaze and say with resignation, “And we talked of fishing?” “No,” he said. “Of boar hunting.” Elizabeth closed her eyes in sublime shame. “You related an exciting tale of a wild board your father had shot long ago, and of how you watched the hunt-without permission-from the very tree below which the boar as ultimately felled. As I recall,” he finished kindly, “you told me that it was your impulsive cheer that revealed your hiding place to the hunters-and that caused you to be seriously reprimanded by your father.” Elizabeth saw the twinkle lighting his eyes, and suddenly they both laughed. “I remember your laugh, too,” he said, still smiling, “I thought it was the loveliest sound imaginable. So much so that between it and our delightful conversation I felt very much at ease in your company.” Realizing he’d just flattered her, he flushed, tugged at his neckcloth, and self-consciously looked away.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
In case you haven't noticed,rodeos are a serious business.Careless cowboys tend to break bones,or even their skulls,as hard as that may be to believe." She stared down at the hand holding her wrist. Despite his smile,she could feel the strength in his grip. If he wanted to,he could no doubt break her bone with a single snap. But she wasn't concerned with his strength,only with the heat his touch was generating. She felt the tingle of warmth all the way up her arm.It alarmed her more than she cared to admit. "My job is to minimize damage to anyone who is actually hurt." "I'm grateful." He sat up so his laughing blue eyes were even with hers. If possible,his were even bluer than the perfect Montana sky above them. "What do you think? Any damage from that fall?" Her instinct was to move back,but his fingers were still around her wrist,holding her close. "I'm beginning to wonder if you were actually tossed from that bull or deliberately fell." "I'd have to be a little bit crazy to deliberately fell." "I'd have to be a little bit crazy to deliberately jump from the back of a raging bull just to get your attention, wouldn't I?" "Yeah." She felt the pull of that magnetic smile that had so many of the local females lusting after Wyatt McCord. Now she knew why he'd gained such a reputation in such a short time. "I'm beginning to think maybe you are. In fact,more than a little.A whole lot crazy." "I figured it was the best possible way to get you to actually talk to me. You couldn't ignore me as long as there was even the slightest chance that I might be hurt." There was enough romance in her nature to feel flattered that he'd go to so much trouble to arrange to meet her. At least,she thought,it was original. And just dangerous enough to appeal to a certain wild-and-free spirit that dominated her own life. Then her practical side kicked in, and she felt an irrational sense of annoyance that he'd wasted so much of her time and energy on his weird idea of a joke. "Oh,brother." She scrambled to her feet and dusted off her backside. "Want me to do that for you?" She paused and shot him a look guaranteed to freeze most men. He merely kept that charming smile in place. "Mind if we start over?" He held out his hand. "Wyatt McCord." "I know who you are." "Okay.I'll handle both introductions. Nice to meet you,Marilee Trainor. Now that we have that out of the way,when do you get off work?" "Not until the last bull rider has finished." "Want to grab a bite to eat? When the last rider is done,of course." "Sorry.I'll be heading home." "Why,thanks for the invitation.I'd be happy to join you.We could take along some pizza from one of the vendors." She looked him up and down. "I go home alone." "Sorry to hear that." There was that grin again,doing strange things to her heart. "You're missing out on a really fun evening." "You have a high opinion of yourself, McCord." He chuckled.Without warning he touched a finger to her lips. "Trust me.I'd do my best to turn that pretty little frown into an even prettier smile." Marilee couldn't believe the feelings that collided along her spine. Splinters of fire and ice had her fighting to keep from shivering despite the broiling sun. Because she didn't trust her voice, she merely turned on her heel and walked away from him. It was harder to do than she'd expected. And though she kept her spine rigid and her head high, she swore she could feel the heat of that gaze burning right through her flesh. It sent one more furnace blast rushing through her system. A system already overheated by her encounter with the bold, brash,irritatingly charming Wyatt McCord.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
So what did you and Landon do this afternoon?” Minka asked, her soft voice dragging him back to the present. Angelo looked up to see that Minka had already polished off two fajitas. Damn, the girl could eat. “Landon gave me a tour of the DCO complex. I did some target shooting and blew up a few things. He even let me play with the expensive surveillance toys. I swear, it felt more like a recruiting pitch to get me to work there than anything.” Minka’s eyes flashed green, her full lips curving slightly. Damn, why the hell had he said it like that? Now she probably thought he was going to come work for the DCO. Even if he wanted to, he couldn’t, not after just reenlisting for another five years. The army wasn’t the kind of job where you could walk into the boss’s office and say, “I quit.” Thinking it would be a good idea to steer the conversation back to safer ground, he reached for another fajita and asked Minka a question instead. “What do you think you’ll work on next with Ivy and Tanner? You going to practice with the claws for a while or move on to something else?” Angelo felt a little crappy about changing the subject, but if Minka noticed, she didn’t seem to mind. And it wasn’t like he had to fake interest in what she was saying. Anything that involved Minka was important to him. Besides, he didn’t know much about shifters or hybrids, so the whole thing was pretty damn fascinating. “What do you visualize when you see the beast in your mind?” he asked. “Before today, I thought of it as a giant, blurry monster. But after learning that the beast is a cat, that’s how I picture it now.” She smiled. “Not a little house cat, of course. They aren’t scary enough. More like a big cat that roams the mountains.” “Makes sense,” he said. Minka set the other half of her fourth fajita on her plate and gave him a curious look. “Would you mind if I ask you a personal question?” His mouth twitched as he prepared another fajita. He wasn’t used to Minka being so reserved. She usually said whatever was on her mind, regardless of whether it was personal or not. “Go ahead,” he said. “The first time we met, I had claws, fangs, glowing red eyes, and I tried to kill you. Since then, I’ve spent most of the time telling you about an imaginary creature that lives inside my head and makes me act like a monster. How are you so calm about that? Most people would have run away already.” Angelo chuckled. Not exactly the personal question he’d expected, but then again Minka rarely did the expected. “Well, my mom was full-blooded Cherokee, and I grew up around all kinds of Indian folktales and legends. My dad was in the army, and whenever he was deployed, Mom would take my sisters and me back to the reservation where she grew up in Oklahoma. I’d stay up half the night listening to the old men tell stories about shape-shifters, animal spirits, skin-walkers, and trickster spirits.” He grinned. “I’m not saying I necessarily believed in all that stuff back then, but after meeting Ivy, Tanner, and the other shifters at the DCO, it just didn’t faze me that much.” Minka looked at him with wide eyes. “You’re a real American Indian? Like in the movies? With horses and everything?” He laughed again. The expression of wonder on her face was adorable. “First, I’m only half-Indian. My dad is Mexican, so there’s that. And second, Native Americans are almost nothing like you see in the movies. We don’t all live in tepees and ride horses. In fact, I don’t even own a horse.” Minka was a little disappointed about the no-horse thing, but she was fascinated with what it was like growing up on an Indian reservation and being surrounded by all those legends. She immediately asked him to tell her some Indian stories. It had been a long time since he’d thought about them, but to make her happy, he dug through his head and tried to remember every tale he’d heard as a kid.
Paige Tyler (Her Fierce Warrior (X-Ops, #4))
I have to second Gran’s thanks for not giving up on me.” “I did consider it a few times,” she teased. “But you can be such an engaging fellow that I never considered it for long.” “And there was all that encouragement from my siblings,” he said. “All their little machinations to help our romance along.” He had the satisfaction of watching his wife blush very prettily. “I didn’t have anything to do with that. I had no idea they were trying to ‘push you’ anywhere.” “Of course you didn’t. You don’t have an ounce of guile in your entire body. But I knew what they were doing.” She blinked at him. “You did?” “My siblings are as transparent as that fetching night rail you put on every evening.” “If you knew, why didn’t you fight them?” “Because they were pushing me in a direction I wanted to go.” “That’s very sweet, but I’m sure you had no desire to marry until-“ “From the moment I met you, sweetheart, I could tell I was in trouble. I didn’t acknowledge it, but on some level I sensed it. When a man first sees the thing he never realized he wanted, he knows it instantly. He just doesn’t always know how to get it.” She laughed. “Oh, I think you figured out very quickly how to get it. You just kissed me until I stopped kneeing you in the privates, and after that I was putty in your hands.” “So that’s the secret, is it?” Reaching over, he hauled her onto his lap. “Now I know how I’ll be spending my afternoon.” Her eyes gleamed at him. “Meeting with the tenants?” “Guess again.” He began to unbutton her gown, which very conveniently opened in the front. “Consulting with the carpenter?” “Absolutely not.” Kissing each swath of flesh revealed with the release of a button, he started dragging up her skirts with his other hand. “Seducing your wife?” she teased, then caught her breath as he slipped his hand between her legs to find her already ready for him. “Exactly. But, if you don’t mind, I believe I shall skip the part where you knee me in the privates.” And as she burst into laughter, he set about to show her the decided advantages in marrying a rakehell.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
Reaching out, Andrew crooked his little finger with mine. “If I live, I’ll find a way to let you know, Drew,” he promised. “I owe you that much--and a whole lot more.” After a little silence, Andrew’s face brightened. “You don’t suppose you could stay, do you? Just think of the fun we’d have playing tricks on Edward and Mrs. Armiger.” He laughed at his own thoughts. “Why, we’d make their heads spin, Drew. They wouldn’t know one of us from the other.” For a moment, it seemed possible. My mother and father were away, they wouldn’t miss me. As for Aunt Blythe--well, we’d think of some way to let her know I was all right. We were bouncing on the bed, singing “Yip-I-Addy-I-Ay,” when the door opened and Mama appeared. It was Andrew she looked at, not me. “Why are you still awake?” she asked. “I told you to go to sleep.” As Mama approached the bed, Andrew flung his arms around her. “You can see me, Mama,” he cried. “Oh, thank the Lord! It’s me, your own true son, back again for keeps.” She stared at him, perplexed. “What nonsense is this? Of course I can see you. Of course it’s you. Who else would it be, you silly goose?” I slid off the bed and ran to her side. “Me,” I shouted, “it could be me.” When Mama didn’t even blink, I tugged at her nightgown. “Look at me,” I begged. “I’m here too, we both are. Andrew and me. Can’t you see us both?” I hugged her, but all she did was shiver. “No wonder this room is so drafty,” she murmured. “The attic door is wide open.” Andrew and I stared at each other, his face reflecting my disappointment. He was visible, I was invisible. Like the design on his quilt, the pattern had reversed. Sadly I released Mama. As I turned away, Andrew whispered, “We’ll meet again, Drew. I swear it.” Mama looked at him. “What did you say?” “Oh, nothing.” Hiding his face from his mother, Andrew winked at me and said, “I was just talking to myself, Mama.” I took one long last look at Andrew. Much as I wanted to stay, it was time to leave. When Mama reached out to close the attic door, I slipped through it like a ghost. The door shut behind me. I was alone at the bottom of the dark stairs with nowhere to go but home.
Mary Downing Hahn (Time for Andrew: A Ghost Story)
After we finished the interview Paul thanked me for my time and told me he thought I was great on the radio. He suggested I think about it as a career. I thanked him and said I’d consider it. But really all I was thinking about was Jamie. As soon as I got in my car I looked on my phone and saw I had a Facebook friend request from her. I felt schoolgirl giddy. I accepted the request and immediately called my Army buddy Max. Max is one of the guys who came with me on that first Tough Mudder. We are really close friends, and he’s someone I’ve always confided in. Just a few weeks before I had called and told him, “You know what? I’m done with women for the time being, but the next time I talk to a girl, I’m shooting out of my league.” So now I called Max and said, “I’ve met a girl way out of my league and I’m gonna take a shot.” I wasn’t good at asking women out and felt really nervous. I told Max she had sent me a friend request and he urged me to send her a private message on Facebook. I typed out a pretty long message and hit SEND. Then I finally put the keys in the ignition and left the radio station parking lot. Every red light I hit, I checked my phone to see if she had responded. She hadn’t. Why wasn’t she responding? Finally, I pulled over and looked again. The message hadn’t gone through! I panicked and called Max back. “What am I gonna do? What if I send another one and the first one is just floating through the Internet and it eventually goes through? Do I send another one? Do I make it sound exactly the same? I’m gonna look like a crazy person! What do I do? I don’t know what to do!” Max calmed me down again and I rewrote my original message. This time she responded. “Jamie, it was great meeting you and Paul today. Sorry you got stuck with a used bracelet. If I run into you again I will hook you up with a new one. You’ll just have to give that one back. They aren’t free. LOL. Take care.” She responded: “Ha ha. Actually, Noah Galloway, I got the one I wanted ;). Great to meet you, too. Love your story. Tragedy to triumph. I can’t imagine the number of people you inspire every day. Hope to run into you sooner rather than later.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
OBAMA WENT THROUGH STAGES. That first day, I was in multiple meetings where he tried to lift everyone’s spirits. That evening, he interrupted the senior staff meeting in Denis McDonough’s office and gave a version of the speech that I’d now heard three times as we all sat there at the table. He was the only one standing. It was both admirable and heartbreaking watching him take everything in stride, working—still—to lift people’s spirits. When he was done, I spoke first. “It says a lot about you,” I said, “that you’ve spent the whole day trying to buck the rest of us up.” People applauded. Obama looked down. On the Thursday after the election, he had a long, amiable meeting with Trump. It left him somewhat stupefied. Trump had repeatedly steered the conversation back to the size of his rallies, noting that he and Obama could draw big crowds but Hillary couldn’t. He’d expressed openness to Obama’s arguments about healthcare, the Iran deal, immigration. He’d asked for recommendations for staff. He’d praised Obama publicly when the press was there. Afterward, Obama called a few of us up to the Oval Office to recap. “I’m trying to place him,” he said, “in American history.” He told us Trump had been perfectly cordial, but he’d almost taken pride in not being attached to a firm position on anything. “He peddles bullshit. That character has always been a part of the American story,” I said. “You can see it right back to some of the characters in Huckleberry Finn.” Obama chuckled. “Maybe that’s the best we can hope for.” In breaks between meetings in the coming days, he expressed disbelief that the election had been lost. With unemployment at 5 percent. With the economy humming. With the Affordable Care Act working. With graduation rates up. With most of our troops back home. But then again, maybe that’s why Trump could win. People would never have voted for him in a crisis. He kept talking it out, trying on different theories. He chalked it up to multiple car crashes at once. There was the letter from Comey shortly before the election, reopening the investigation into Clinton’s email server. There was the steady release of Podesta emails from Wikileaks through October. There was a rabid right-wing propaganda machine and a mainstream press that gorged on the story of Hillary’s emails, feeding Trump’s narrative of corruption.
Ben Rhodes (The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House)
Lady Mechanic, there is one other thing I yet need to know. You have done a great deed here, and done is a great service. Now I would know what that deed will cost us." "Cost you?" Mari lowered her head, sighing loud enough for Alain to hear. "Of course, because I am a Mechanic, and Mechanics never do a deed for free, instead charging the maximum that they can get." "You said this, Lady, not me." "Then here is my price, General." Mari looked up again, meeting his eyes. "You and your soldiers are to forget they ever saw me, no matter who asks." Flyn regarded her for a moment. "No matter who? Including members of your own Guild, Lady?" "Especially including members of my own Guild." Another long pause, then Flyn nodded. " that part of the price we can pay. And?" "Oh, you want to pay more?" Mari asked. "My horse. The poor beast has been ridden hard for a few days and needs proper treatment. I'm neither experienced nor good at handling horses, so if someone else would take care of her now it would be to the horse's benefit and mine." Flyn nodded again. "And?" Mari gestured. "And a private campsite, fire and food for myself and the Mage." "The Mage has already earned that for himself, Lady. We can do that for you as well, but I must tell you that after our reversal and retreat our provisions are neither extensive nor of great quality." Alain saw Mari run her eyes across the beat-up soldiers. Alain wondered if the commons could see the sympathy in those eyes. "As long as I get the equivalent of what your soldiers receive I'll be content, General." "Lady? Perhaps I was not clear as to how limited our means are at the moment—" "I will not eat better than men and women who have been through what these soldiers obviously have recently," Mari snapped. "I will have the same as them, General, nothing more." Flyn regarded Mari once more with outright astonishment. "Very well. And?" Mari narrowed her eyes at Flyn. "And, General, you will immediately cease to as me 'and?'. If you say that word one more time. My price will go up dramatically." The General gazed at her, then nodded. "Very well, Lady Mechanic. I accept your price, ridiculously small though it is. I do have one other question." "Which is?" Mari asked. "Am I allowed to use that prohibited word in other contexts?" Mari kept her hard look for a moment longer, then grinned at him. "Certainly, General. Use the word 'and' in as many other contexts as you desire. It appears to be your favorite word and I'd hate to deny you the use of it.
Jack Campbell (The Hidden Masters of Marandur (The Pillars of Reality, #2))
I thought we were meeting by the field house,” I call out as I make my way over. He doesn’t even turn around. “Nah, I’m pretty sure I said the parking lot.” “You definitely said the field house,” I argue. Why can’t he ever just admit that he’s wrong? “Geez, field house, parking lot. What difference does it make?” Mason asks. “Give it a rest, why don’t you.” I shoot him a glare. “Oh, hey, Mason. Remember when your hair was long and everyone thought you were a girl?” Ryder chuckles as he releases a perfect spiral in Mason’s direction. “She’s got you there.” “Hey, whose side are you on, anyway?” Mason catches the ball and cradles it against his chest, then launches it toward Ben. I just stand there watching as they continue to toss it back and forth between the three of them. Haven’t they had enough football for one day? I pull out my cell to check the time. “We should probably get going.” “I guess,” Ryder says with an exaggerated sigh, like I’m putting him out or something. Which is particularly annoying since he’s the one who insisted on going with me. Ben jogs up beside me, the football tucked beneath his arm. “Where are you two off to? Whoa, you’re sweaty.” I fold my arms across my damp chest. “Hey, southern girls don’t sweat. We glow.” Ben snorts at that. “Says who?” “Says Ryder’s mom,” I say with a grin. It’s one of Laura Grace’s favorite sayings--one that always makes Ryder wince. “The hardware store,” Ryder answers, snatching the ball back from Ben. “Gotta pick up some things for the storm--sandbags and stuff like that. Y’all want to come?” “Nah, I think I’ll pass.” Mason wrinkles his nose. “Pretty sure I don’t want to be cooped up in the truck with Jemma glowing like she is right now.” “Everybody thought you and Morgan were identical twin girls,” I say with a smirk. “Remember, Mason? Isn’t that just so cute?” “I’ll go,” Ben chimes in. “If you’re getting sandbags, you’ll need some help carrying them out to the truck.” “Thanks, Ben. See, someone’s a gentleman.” “Don’t look now, Ryder, but your one-woman fan club is over there.” Mason tips his head toward the school building in the distance. “I think she’s scented you out. Quick. You better run.” I glance over my shoulder to find Rosie standing on the sidewalk by the building’s double doors, looking around hopefully. “Hey!” Mason calls out, waving both arms above his head. “He’s over here.” Ryder’s cheeks turn beet-red. He just stares at the ground, his jaw working furiously. “C’mon, man,” Ben says, throwing an elbow into Mason’s side. “Don’t be a dick.” He grabs the football and heads toward Ryder’s Durango. “We better get going. The hardware store probably closes at six.” Silently, Ryder and I hurry after him and hop inside the truck--Ben up front, me in the backseat. We don’t look back to see if Rosie’s following.
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
Benjamin Franklin wrote little about race, but had a sense of racial loyalty. “[T]he Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably [sic] very small,” he observed. “ . . . I could wish their Numbers were increased.” James Madison, like Jefferson, believed the only solution to the problem of racial friction was to free the slaves and send them away. He proposed that the federal government sell off public lands in order to raise the money to buy the entire slave population and transport it overseas. He favored a Constitutional amendment to establish a colonization society to be run by the President. After two terms in office, Madison served as chief executive of the American Colonization Society, to which he devoted much time and energy. At the inaugural meeting of the society in 1816, Henry Clay described its purpose: to “rid our country of a useless and pernicious, if not dangerous portion of the population.” The following prominent Americans were not merely members but served as officers of the society: Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, Stephen Douglas, William Seward, Francis Scott Key, Winfield Scott, and two Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, John Marshall and Roger Taney. All opposed the presence of blacks in the United States and thought expatriation was the only long-term solution. James Monroe was such an ardent champion of colonization that the capital of Liberia is named Monrovia in gratitude for his efforts. As for Roger Taney, as chief justice he wrote in the Dred Scott decision of 1857 what may be the harshest federal government pronouncement on blacks ever written: Negroes were “beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the White race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they have no rights which a White man is bound to respect.” Abraham Lincoln considered blacks to be—in his words—“a troublesome presence” in the United States. During the Lincoln-Douglas debates he expressed himself unambiguously: “I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will for ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality.” His opponent, Stephen Douglas, was even more outspoken, and made his position clear in the very first debate: “For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any form. I believe that this government was made on the white basis. I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and I am in favor of confining the citizenship to white men—men of European birth and European descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes and Indians, and other inferior races.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
He ran long at the White House, and arrived late to his next meeting with Hillary Clinton, Jake Sullivan and Frank Ruggiero—their first major strategy session on Taliban talks after the secret meeting with A-Rod. She was waiting in her outer office, a spacious room paneled in white and gilt wood, with tasseled blue and pink curtains and an array of colorfully upholstered chairs and couches. In my time reporting to her later, I only ever saw Clinton take the couch, with guests of honor in the large chair kitty-corner to her. She’d left it open for him that day. “He came rushing in. . . . ” Clinton later said. “And, you know, he was saying ‘oh I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.’ ” He sat down heavily and shrugged off his coat, rattling off a litany of his latest meetings, including his stop-in at the White House. “That was typical Richard. It was, like, ‘I’m doing a million things and I’m trying to keep all the balls in the air,’ ” she remembered. As he was talking, a “scarlet red” flush went up his face, according to Clinton. He pressed his hands over his eyes, his chest heaving. “Richard, what’s the matter?” Clinton asked. “Something horrible is happening,” he said. A few minutes later, Holbrooke was in an ambulance, strapped to a gurney, headed to nearby George Washington University Hospital, where Clinton had told her own internist to prepare the emergency room. In his typically brash style, he’d demanded that the ambulance take him to the more distant Sibley Memorial Hospital. Clinton overruled him. One of our deputies on the SRAP team, Dan Feldman, rode with him and held his hand. Feldman didn’t have his BlackBerry, so he scrawled notes on a State Department expense form for a dinner at Meiwah Restaurant as Holbrooke dictated messages and a doctor assessed him. The notes are a nonlinear stream of Holbrooke’s indomitable personality, slashed through with medical realities. “Call Eric in Axelrod’s office,” the first read. Nearby: “aortic dissection—type A . . . operation risk @ > 50 percent”—that would be chance of death. A series of messages for people in his life, again interrupted by his deteriorating condition: “S”—Secretary Clinton—“why always together for medical crises?” (The year before, he’d been with Clinton when she fell to the concrete floor of the State Department garage, fracturing her elbow.) “Kids—how much love them + stepkids” . . . “best staff ever” . . . “don’t let him die here” . . . “vascular surgery” . . . “no flow, no feeling legs” . . . “clot” . . . and then, again: “don’t let him die here want to die at home w/ his fam.” The seriousness of the situation fully dawning on him, Holbrooke turned to job succession: “Tell Frank”—Ruggiero—“he’s acting.” And finally: “I love so many people . . . I have a lot left to do . . . my career in public service is over.” Holbrooke cracked wise until they put him under for surgery. “Get me anything you need,” he demanded. “A pig’s heart. Dan’s heart.
Ronan Farrow (War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence)
Post-Rehab Advice: 5 Things to Do After Getting Out of Rehab Getting yourself into rehab is not the easiest thing to do, but it is certainly one of the most important things you can ever do for your well-being. However, your journey to self-healing does not simply end on your last day at rehab. Now that you have committed your self to sobriety and wellness, the next step is maintaining the new life you have built. To make sure that you are on the right track, here are some tips on what you should do as soon as you get back home from treatment. 1. Have a Game Plan Most people are encouraged to leave rehab with a proper recovery plan. What’s next for you? Envision how you want yourself to be after the inpatient treatment. This is a crucial part of the entire recovery process since it will be easier to determine the next phase of treatment you need. 2. Build Your New Social Life Finishing rehab opens endless opportunities for you. Use it to put yourself out in the world and maybe even pursue a new passion in life. Keep in mind that there are a lot of alcohol- and drug-free activities that offer a social and mental outlet. Meet new friends by playing sports, taking a class or volunteering. It is also a good opportunity for you to have sober friends who can help you through your recovery. 3. Keep Yourself Busy One of the struggles after rehab is finding purpose. Your life in recovery will obviously center on trying to stay sober. To remain sober in the long term, you must have a life that’s worth living. What drives you? Begin finding your purpose by trying out things that make you productive and satisfied at the same time. Get a new job, do volunteer work or go back to school. Try whatever is interesting for you. 4. Pay It Forward As a person who has gone through rehab, you are in the perfect place to help those who are in the early stages of recovery. Join a support group and do not be afraid to tell your story. Reaching out to other recovering individuals will also help keep your mind off your own struggles, while being an inspiration to others. 5. Get Help If You’re Still Struggling Research proves that about half of those in recovery will relapse, usually within the treatment’s first few months. However, these numbers do not necessarily mean that rehab is a waste of time. Similar to those with physical disabilities who need continuous therapy, individuals recovering from addiction also require ongoing support to stay clean and sober. Are you slipping back to your old ways? Do not let pride or shame take control of your mind. Life throws you a curveball sometimes, and slipping back to old patterns does not mean you are hopeless. Be sure to have a sober friend, family, therapist or sponsor you could trust and call in case you are struggling. Remember that building a drug- and alcohol-free life is no walk in the park, but you will likely get through it with the help of those who are dear to you.
opiateaddictions
Astonishment: these women’s military professions—medical assistant, sniper, machine gunner, commander of an antiaircraft gun, sapper—and now they are accountants, lab technicians, museum guides, teachers…Discrepancy of the roles—here and there. Their memories are as if not about themselves, but some other girls. Now they are surprised at themselves. Before my eyes history “humanizes” itself, becomes like ordinary life. Acquires a different lighting. I’ve happened upon extraordinary storytellers. There are pages in their lives that can rival the best pages of the classics. The person sees herself so clearly from above—from heaven, and from below—from the ground. Before her is the whole path—up and down—from angel to beast. Remembering is not a passionate or dispassionate retelling of a reality that is no more, but a new birth of the past, when time goes in reverse. Above all it is creativity. As they narrate, people create, they “write” their life. Sometimes they also “write up” or “rewrite.” Here you have to be vigilant. On your guard. At the same time pain melts and destroys any falsehood. The temperature is too high! Simple people—nurses, cooks, laundresses—behave more sincerely, I became convinced of that…They, how shall I put it exactly, draw the words out of themselves and not from newspapers and books they have read—not from others. But only from their own sufferings and experiences. The feelings and language of educated people, strange as it may be, are often more subject to the working of time. Its general encrypting. They are infected by secondary knowledge. By myths. Often I have to go for a long time, by various roundabout ways, in order to hear a story of a “woman’s,” not a “man’s” war: not about how we retreated, how we advanced, at which sector of the front…It takes not one meeting, but many sessions. Like a persistent portrait painter. I sit for a long time, sometimes a whole day, in an unknown house or apartment. We drink tea, try on the recently bought blouses, discuss hairstyles and recipes. Look at photos of the grandchildren together. And then…After a certain time, you never know when or why, suddenly comes this long-awaited moment, when the person departs from the canon—plaster and reinforced concrete, like our monuments—and goes on to herself. Into herself. Begins to remember not the war but her youth. A piece of her life…I must seize that moment. Not miss it! But often, after a long day, filled with words, facts, tears, only one phrase remains in my memory (but what a phrase!): “I was so young when I left for the front, I even grew during the war.” I keep it in my notebook, although I have dozens of yards of tape in my tape recorder. Four or five cassettes… What helps me? That we are used to living together. Communally. We are communal people. With us everything is in common—both happiness and tears. We know how to suffer and how to tell about our suffering. Suffering justifies our hard and ungainly life.
Svetlana Alexievich (War's Unwomanly Face)
But we may fairly say that they alone are engaged in the true duties of life who shall wish to have Zeno, Pythagoras, Democritus, and all the other high priests of liberal studies, and Aristotle and Theophrastus, as their most intimate friends every day. No one of these will be "not at home," no one of these will fail to have his visitor leave more happy and more devoted to himself than when he came, no one of these will allow anyone to leave him with empty hands; all mortals can meet with them by night or by day. No one of these will force you to die, but all will teach you how to die; no one of these will wear out your years, but each will add his own years to yours; conversations with no one of these will bring you peril, the friendship of none will endanger your life, the courting of none will tax your purse. From them you will take whatever you wish; it will be no fault of theirs if you do not draw the utmost that you can desire. What happiness, what a fair old age awaits him who has offered himself as a client to these! He will have friends from whom he may seek counsel on matters great and small, whom he may consult every day about himself, from whom he may hear truth without insult, praise without flattery, and after whose likeness he may fashion himself. We are wont to say that it was not in our power to choose the parents who fell to our lot, that they have been given to men by chance; yet we may be the sons of whomsoever we will. Households there are of noblest intellects; choose the one into which you wish to be adopted; you will inherit not merely their name, but even their property, which there will be no need to guard in a mean or niggardly spirit; the more persons you share it with, the greater it will become. These will open to you the path to immortality, and will raise you to a height from which no one is cast down. This is the only way of prolonging mortality—nay, of turning it into immortality. Honours, monuments, all that ambition has commanded by decrees or reared in works of stone, quickly sink to ruin; there is nothing that the lapse of time does not tear down and remove. But the works which philosophy has consecrated cannot be harmed; no age will destroy them, no age reduce them; the following and each succeeding age will but increase the reverence for them, since envy works upon what is close at hand, and things that are far off we are more free to admire. The life of the philosopher, therefore, has wide range, and he is not confined by the same bounds that shut others in. He alone is freed from the limitations of the human race; all ages serve him as if a god. Has some time passed by? This he embraces by recollection. Is time present? This he uses. Is it still to come? This he anticipates. He makes his life long by combining all times into one. But those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear for the future have a life that is very brief and troubled; when they have reached the end of it, the poor wretches perceive too late that for such a long while they have been busied in doing nothing.
Seneca
I saw her as soon as I pulled into the parking lot. This beautiful woman with a gigantic smile on her face was just about bouncing up and down despite the orthopedic boot she had on her foot as she waved me into a parking space. I felt like I’d been hit in the gut. She took my breath away. She was dressed in workout clothes, her long brown hair softly framing her face, and she just glowed. I composed myself and got out of the car. She was standing with Paul Orr, the radio host I was there to meet. Local press had become fairly routine for me at this point, so I hadn’t really given it much thought when I agreed to be a guest on the afternoon drive-time show for WZZK. But I had no idea I’d meet her. Paul reached out his hand and introduced himself. And without waiting to be introduced she whipped out her hand and said, “Hi! I’m Jamie Boyd!” And right away she was talking a mile a minute. She was so chipper I couldn’t help but smile. I was like that little dog in Looney Toons who is always following the big bulldog around shouting, “What are we going to do today, Spike?” She was adorable. She started firing off questions, one of which really caught my attention. “So you were in the Army? What was your MOS?” she asked. Now, MOS is a military term most civilians have never heard. It stands for Military Occupational Specialty. It’s basically military code for “job.” So instead of just asking me what my job was in the Army, she knew enough to specifically ask me what my MOS was. I was impressed. “Eleven Bravo. Were you in?” I replied. “Nope! But I’ve thought about it. I still think one day I will join the Army.” We followed Paul inside and as he set things up and got ready for his show, Jamie and I talked nonstop. She, too, was really into fitness. She was dressed and ready for the gym and told me she was about to leave to get in a quick workout before her shift on-air. “Yeah, I have the shift after Paul Orr. The seven-to-midnight show. I call it the Jammin’ with Jamie Show. People call in and I’ll ask them if they’re cryin’, laughin’, lovin’, or leavin’.” I couldn’t believe how into this girl I was, and we’d only been talking for twenty minutes. I was also dressed in gym clothes, because I’d been to the gym earlier. She looked down and saw the rubber bracelet around my wrist. “Is that an ‘I Am Second’ bracelet? I have one of those!” she said as she held up her wrist with the band that means, “I am second after Jesus.” “No, this is my own bracelet with my motto, ‘Train like a Machine,’ on it. Just my little self-motivator. I have some in my car. I’d love to give you one.” “Well, actually, I am about to leave. I have to go work out before my shift,” she reminded me. “You can have this one. Take it off my wrist. This one will be worth more someday because I’ve been sweating in it,” I joked. She laughed and took it off my wrist. We kept chatting and she told me she had wanted to do an obstacle course race for a long time. Then Paul interrupted our conversation and gently reminded Jamie he had a show to do. He and I needed to start our interview. She laughed some more and smiled her way out the door.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
The men in grey were powerless to meet this challenge head-on. Unable to detach the children from Momo by bringing them under their direct control, they had to find some roundabout means of achieving the same end, and for this they enlisted the children's elders. Not all grown-ups made suitable accomplices, of course, but plenty did. [....] 'Something must be done,' they said. 'More and more kids are being left on their own and neglected. You can't blame us - parents just don't have the time these days - so it's up to the authorities.' Others joined in the chorus. 'We can't have all these youngsters loafing around, ' declared some. 'They obstruct the traffic. Road accidents caused by children are on the increase, and road accidents cost money that could be put to better use.' 'Unsupervised children run wild, declared others.'They become morally depraved and take to crime. The authorities must take steps to round them up. They must build centers where the youngsters can be molded into useful and efficient members of society.' 'Children,' declared still others, 'are the raw material for the future. A world dependent on computers and nuclear energy will need an army of experts and technicians to run it. Far from preparing children from tomorrow's world, we still allow too many of them to squander years of their precious time on childish tomfoolery. It's a blot on our civilization and a crime against future generations.' The timesavers were all in favor of such a policy, naturally, and there were so many of them in the city by this time that they soon convinced the authorities of the need to take prompt action. Before long, big buildings known as 'child depots' sprang up in every neighborhood. Children whose parents were too busy to look after them had to be deposited there and could be collected when convenient. They were strictly forbidden to play in the streets or parks or anywhere else. Any child caught doing so was immediately carted off to the nearest depot, and its parents were heavily fined. None of Momo's friends escaped the new regulation. They were split up according to districts they came from and consigned to various child depots. Once there, they were naturally forbidden to play games of their own devising. All games were selected for them by supervisors and had to have some useful, educational purpose. The children learned these new games but unlearned something else in the process: they forgot how to be happy, how to take pleasure in the little things, and last but not least, how to dream. Weeks passed, and the children began to look like timesavers in miniature. Sullen, bored and resentful, they did as they were told. Even when left to their own devices, they no longer knew what to do with themselves. All they could still do was make a noise, but it was an angry, ill-tempered noise, not the happy hullabaloo of former times. The men in grey made no direct approach to them - there was no need. The net they had woven over the city was so close-meshed as to seem inpenetrable. Not even the brightest and most ingenious children managed to slip through its toils. The amphitheater remained silent and deserted.
Michael Ende, Momo
When we arrived at the wedding at Marlboro Man’s grandparents’ house, I gasped. People were absolutely everywhere: scurrying and mingling and sipping champagne and laughing on the lawn. Marlboro Man’s mother was the first person I saw. She was an elegant, statuesque vision in her brown linen dress, and she immediately greeted and welcomed me. “What a pretty suit,” she said as she gave me a warm hug. Score. Success. I felt better about life. After the ceremony, I’d meet Cousin T., Cousin H., Cousin K., Cousin D., and more aunts, uncles, and acquaintances than I ever could have counted. Each family member was more gracious and welcoming than the one before, and it didn’t take long before I felt right at home. This was going well. This was going really, really well. It was hot, though, and humid, and suddenly my lightweight wool suit didn’t feel so lightweight anymore. I was deep in conversation with a group of ladies--smiling and laughing and making small talk--when a trickle of perspiration made its way slowly down my back. I tried to ignore it, tried to will the tiny stream of perspiration away, but one trickle soon turned into two, and two turned into four. Concerned, I casually excused myself from the conversation and disappeared into the air-conditioned house. I needed to cool off. I found an upstairs bathroom away from the party, and under normal circumstances I would have taken time to admire its charming vintage pedestal sinks and pink hexagonal tile. But the sweat profusely dripping from all pores of my body was too distracting. Soon, I feared, my jacket would be drenched. Seeing no other option, I unbuttoned my jacket and removed it, hanging it on the hook on the back of the bathroom door as I frantically looked around the bathroom for an absorbent towel. None existed. I found the air vent on the ceiling, and stood on the toilet to allow the air-conditioning to blast cool air on my face. Come on, Ree, get a grip, I told myself. Something was going on…this was more than simply a reaction to the August humidity. I was having some kind of nervous psycho sweat attack--think Albert Brooks in Broadcast News--and I was being held captive by my perspiration in the upstairs bathroom of Marlboro Man’s grandmother’s house in the middle of his cousin’s wedding reception. I felt the waistband of my skirt stick to my skin. Oh, God…I was in trouble. Desperate, I stripped off my skirt and the stifling control-top panty hose I’d made the mistake of wearing; they peeled off my legs like a soggy banana skin. And there I stood, naked and clammy, my auburn bangs becoming more waterlogged by the minute. So this is it, I thought. This is hell. I was in the throes of a case of diaphoresis the likes of which I’d never known. And it had to be on the night of my grand entrance into Marlboro Man’s family. Of course, it just had to be. I looked in the mirror, shaking my head as anxiety continued to seep from my pores, taking my makeup and perfumed body cream along with it. Suddenly, I heard the knock at the bathroom door. “Yes? Just a minute…yes?” I scrambled and grabbed my wet control tops. “Hey, you…are you all right in there?” God help me. It was Marlboro Man.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Outside the room they found his family standing in the Great Hall, discussing something in heated whispers as Freddy nervously paced the other end. Oliver cleared his throat, and they all jumped. “My fiancée has made it clear that she doesn’t appreciate my attempt at a joke.” “Oliver enjoys shocking people,” Maria said calmly. When he looked at her, surprised that she had noticed, she arched one eyebrow at him. “I’m sure you know that about him by now. I find it a great flaw in his character.” She seemed to consider many things as flaws in his character. Not that he could blame her. Gran glanced from Maria to him. “So the two of you didn’t meet in a brothel?” “We did,” he said, “but only because poor Freddy got lost and wandered into one by mistake. I was trying to determine what he was looking for when Maria rushed in, mad with worry over where he might have gone off to. With two such Americans lost in the wicked city, hopelessly innocent of its dangers, I felt compelled to help them. I’ve been squiring them about town the last week. Isn’t that right, sweetheart?” She cast him a sugary and thoroughly false smile. “Oh, yes, dearest. And you were a very informative guide, too.” Jarret arched one eyebrow. “Astonishing that after finding you in a brothel, Oliver, Miss Butterfield wasn’t put off of marrying you.” “I ought to have been,” Maria said. “But he swore those days were behind him when he pledged his undying love to me on bended knee.” When Gabriel and Jarret barely managed to stifle their laughter, Oliver gritted his teeth. Bended knee, indeed. She was determined to prick his pride at every opportunity. She probably felt he deserved it. He could only pray that Gran backed down from the right before he had to bring the chit around any of his friends, or Maria would have them taunting him unmercifully for the next decade. “I’m afraid, my dear,” he said tersely, “that my brothers have trouble envisioning me bending a knee to anyone.” She affected a look of wide-eyed shock. “Have they no idea what a romantic you are? I’ll have to show them the sonnets you wrote praising my beauty. I believe I left them in my redingote pocket.” The teasing wench actually looked back toward the entrance. “I could go fetch them if you like.” “Not now,” he said, torn between a powerful urge to laugh and an equally powerful urge to strangle her. “It’s time for dinner, and I’m starved.” “So am I,” Freddy put in. At a frown from Maria, he mumbled, “Not that it matters, mind you.” “Of course it matters,” Gran said graciously. “We don’t like our guests to be uncomfortable. Come along then, Mr. Dunse. You may take me in to dinner, since my grandson is otherwise occupied.” As they trooped toward the dining room, Oliver bent his head to whisper, “I see you’re enjoying making me out to be a besotted idiot.” A minxish smile tipped up her fetching lips. “Oh, yes. It’s great fun.” “Then my explanation of how you ended up in a brothel met with your approval?” “It’ll do for now.” She cast him a glance from beneath her long lashes. “You’re by no means out of the woods yet, sir.” But I will be by the time the night is over. No matter what it took, he would get her to stay and do this, so help him God.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
I do not know the substance of the considerations and recommendations which Dr. Szilárd proposes to submit to you,” Einstein wrote. “The terms of secrecy under which Dr. Szilárd is working at present do not permit him to give me information about his work; however, I understand that he now is greatly concerned about the lack of adequate contact between scientists who are doing this work and those members of your Cabinet who are responsible for formulating policy.”34 Roosevelt never read the letter. It was found in his office after he died on April 12 and was passed on to Harry Truman, who in turn gave it to his designated secretary of state, James Byrnes. The result was a meeting between Szilárd and Byrnes in South Carolina, but Byrnes was neither moved nor impressed. The atom bomb was dropped, with little high-level debate, on August 6, 1945, on the city of Hiroshima. Einstein was at the cottage he rented that summer on Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, taking an afternoon nap. Helen Dukas informed him when he came down for tea. “Oh, my God,” is all he said.35 Three days later, the bomb was used again, this time on Nagasaki. The following day, officials in Washington released a long history, compiled by Princeton physics professor Henry DeWolf Smyth, of the secret endeavor to build the weapon. The Smyth report, much to Einstein’s lasting discomfort, assigned great historic weight for the launch of the project to the 1939 letter he had written to Roosevelt. Between the influence imputed to that letter and the underlying relationship between energy and mass that he had formulated forty years earlier, Einstein became associated in the popular imagination with the making of the atom bomb, even though his involvement was marginal. Time put him on its cover, with a portrait showing a mushroom cloud erupting behind him with E=mc2 emblazoned on it. In a story that was overseen by an editor named Whittaker Chambers, the magazine noted with its typical prose flair from the period: Through the incomparable blast and flame that will follow, there will be dimly discernible, to those who are interested in cause & effect in history, the features of a shy, almost saintly, childlike little man with the soft brown eyes, the drooping facial lines of a world-weary hound, and hair like an aurora borealis… Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible.36 It was a perception that plagued him. When Newsweek did a cover on him, with the headline “The Man Who Started It All,” Einstein offered a memorable lament. “Had I known that the Germans would not succeed in producing an atomic bomb,” he said, “I never would have lifted a finger.”37 Of course, neither he nor Szilárd nor any of their friends involved with the bomb-building effort, many of them refugees from Hitler’s horrors, could know that the brilliant scientists they had left behind in Berlin, such as Heisenberg, would fail to unlock the secrets. “Perhaps I can be forgiven,” Einstein said a few months before his death in a conversation with Linus Pauling, “because we all felt that there was a high probability that the Germans were working on this problem and they might succeed and use the atomic bomb and become the master race.”38
Walter Isaacson (Einstein: His Life and Universe)
What franticke fit (quoth he) hath thus distraught Thee, foolish man, so rash a doome to give? What justice ever other judgement taught, But he should die, who merites not to live? None else to death this man despayring drive, But his owne guiltie mind deserving death. Is then unjust to each his due to give? Or let him die, that loatheth living breath? Or let him die at ease, that liveth here uneath? Who travels by the wearie wandring way, To come unto his wished home in haste, And meetes a flood, that doth his passage stay, Is not great grace to helpe him over past, Or free his feet, that in the myre sticke fast? Most envious man, that grieves at neighbours good, And fond, that joyest in the woe thou hast, Why wilt not let him passe, that long hath stood Upon the banke, yet wilt thy selfe not passe the flood? He there does now enjoy eternall rest And happie ease, which thou doest want and crave, And further from it daily wanderest: What if some litle paine the passage have, That makes fraile flesh to feare the bitter wave? Is not short paine well borne, that brings long ease, And layes the soule to sleepe in quiet grave? Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas, Ease after warre, death after life does greatly please. [...] Is not his deed, what ever thing is donne, In heaven and earth? did not he all create To die againe? all ends that was begonne. Their times in his eternall booke of fate Are written sure, and have their certaine date. Who then can strive with strong necessitie, That holds the world in his still chaunging state, Or shunne the death ordaynd by destinie? When houre of death is come, let none aske whence, nor why. The lenger life, I wote the greater sin, The greater sin, the greater punishment: All those great battels, which thou boasts to win, Through strife, and bloud-shed, and avengement, Now praysd, hereafter deare thou shalt repent: For life must life, and bloud must bloud repay. Is not enough thy evill life forespent? For he, that once hath missed the right way, The further he doth goe, the further he doth stray. Then do no further goe, no further stray, But here lie downe, and to thy rest betake, Th'ill to prevent, that life ensewen may. For what hath life, that may it loved make, And gives not rather cause it to forsake? Feare, sicknesse, age, losse, labour, sorrow, strife, Paine, hunger, cold, that makes the hart to quake; And ever fickle fortune rageth rife, All which, and thousands mo do make a loathsome life. Thou wretched man, of death hast greatest need, If in true ballance thou wilt weigh thy state: For never knight, that dared warlike deede, More lucklesse disaventures did amate: Witnesse the dongeon deepe, wherein of late Thy life shut up, for death so oft did call; And though good lucke prolonged hath thy date, Yet death then, would the like mishaps forestall, Into the which hereafter thou maiest happen fall. Why then doest thou, O man of sin, desire To draw thy dayes forth to their last degree? Is not the measure of thy sinfull hire High heaped up with huge iniquitie, Against the day of wrath, to burden thee? Is not enough, that to this Ladie milde Thou falsed hast thy faith with perjurie, And sold thy selfe to serve Duessa vilde, With whom in all abuse thou hast thy selfe defilde? Is not he just, that all this doth behold From highest heaven, and beares an equall eye? Shall he thy sins up in his knowledge fold, And guiltie be of thine impietie? Is not his law, Let every sinner die: Die shall all flesh? what then must needs be donne, Is it not better to doe willinglie, Then linger, till the glasse be all out ronne? Death is the end of woes: die soone, O faeries sonne.
Edmund Spenser (The Faerie Queene)
This rich pork flavor, which lands on the tongue with a thump... It's Chinese Dongpo Pork! He seasoned pork belly with a blend of spices and let it marinate thoroughly... ... before finely dicing it and mixing it into the fried rice!" "What? Dongpo Pork prepared this fast?! No way! He didn't have nearly enough time to simmer the pork belly!" "Heh heh. Actually, there's a little trick to that. I simmered it in sparkling water instead of tap water. The carbon dioxide that gives sparkling water its carbonation helps break down the fibers in meat. Using this, you can tenderize a piece of meat in less than half the normal time!" "That isn't the only protein in this dish. I can taste the seafood from an Acqua Pazza too!" "And these green beans... it's the Indian dish Poriyal! Diced green beans and shredded coconut fried in oil with chilies and mustard seeds... it has a wonderfully spicy kick!" "He also used the distinctly French Mirepoix to gently accentuate the sweetness of the vegetables. So many different delicious flavors... ... all clashing and sparking in my mouth! But the biggest key to this dish, and the core of its amazing deliciousness... ... is the rice!" "Hmph. Well, of course it is. The dish is fried rice. If the rice isn't the centerpiece, it isn't a..." "I see. His dish is fried rice while simultaneously being something other than fried rice. A rice lightly fried in butter before being steamed in some variety of soup stock... In other words, it's actually closer to that famous staple from Turkish cuisine- a Pilaf! In fact, it's believed the word "pilaf" actually comes from the Turkish word pilav. To think he built the foundation of his dish on pilaf of all things!" "Heh heh heh! Yep, that's right! Man, I've learned so much since I started going to Totsuki." "Mm, I see! When you finished the dish, you didn't fry it in oil! That's why it still tastes so light, despite the large volume and variety of additional ingredients. I could easily tuck away this entire plate! Still... I'm surprised at how distinct each grain of rice is. If it was in fact steamed in stock, you'd think it'd be mushier." "Ooh, you've got a discerning tongue, sir! See, when I steamed the rice... ... I did it in a Donabe ceramic pot instead of a rice cooker!" Ah! No wonder! A Donabe warms slowly, but once it's hot, it can hold high temperatures for a long time! It heats the rice evenly, holding a steady temperature throughout the steaming process to steam off all excess water. To think he'd apply a technique for sticky rice to a pilaf instead! With Turkish pilaf as his cornerstone... ... he added super-savory Dongpo pork, a Chinese dish... ... whitefish and clams from an Italian Acqua Pazza... ... spicy Indian green bean and red chili Poriyal... ... and for the French component, Mirepoix and Oeuf Mayonnaise as a topping! *Ouef is the French word for "egg."* By combining those five dishes into one, he has created an extremely unique take on fried rice! " "Hold it! Wait one dang minute! After listening to your entire spiel... ... it sounds to me like all he did was mix a bunch of dishes together and call it a day! There's no way that mishmash of a dish could meet the lofty standards of the BLUE! It can't nearly be gourmet enough!" "Oh, but it is. For one, he steamed the pilaf in the broth from the Acqua Pazza... ... creating a solid foundation that ties together the savory elements of all the disparate ingredients! The spiciness of the Poriyal could have destabilized the entire flavor structure... ... but by balancing it out with the mellow body of butter and soy sauce, he turned the Poriyal's sharp bite into a pleasing tingle!
Yuto Tsukuda (食戟のソーマ 36 [Shokugeki no Souma 36] (Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, #36))
Before their chaise drew to a complete halt in front of the house a door was already being flung open, and a tall, stocky man was bouncing down the steps. “It would appear that our greeting here is going to be far more enthusiastic than the one we received at our last stop,” Elizabeth said in a resolute voice that still shook with nerves as she drew on her gloves, bravely preparing to meet and defy the next obstacle to her happiness and independence. The door of their chaise was wrenched open with enough force to pull it from its hinges, and a masculine face poked inside. “Lady Elizabeth!” boomed Lord Marchman, his face flushed with eagerness-or drink; Elizabeth wasn’t certain. “This is indeed a long-awaited surprise,” and then, as if dumbstruck by his inane remark, he shook his large head and hastily said, “A long-awaited pleasure, that is! The surprise is that you’ve arrived early.” Elizabeth firmly repressed a surge of compassion for his obvious embarrassment, along with the thought that he might be rather likeable. “I hope we haven’t inconvenienced you overmuch,” she said. “Not overmuch. That is,” he corrected, gazing into her wide eyes and feeling himself drowning, “not at all.” Elizabeth smiled and introduced “Aunt Berta,” then allowed their exuberant host to escort them up the steps. Beside her Berta whispered with some satisfaction, “I think he’s as nervous as I am.” The interior of the house seemed drab and rather gloomy after the sunny splendor outside. As their host led her forward Elizabeth glimpsed the furnishings in the salon and drawing room-all of which were upholstered in dark leathers that appeared to have once been maroon and brown. Lord Marchman, who was watching her closely and hopefully, glanced about and suddenly saw his home as she must be seeing it. Trying to explain away the inadequacies of his furnishings, he said hastily, “This home is in need of a woman’s touch. I’m an old bachelor, you see, as was my father.” Berta’s eyes snapped to his face. “Well, I never!” she exclaimed in outraged reaction to his apparent admission of being a bastard.” “I didn’t mean,” Lord Marchman hastily assured, “that my father was never married. I meant”-he paused to nervously tug on his neckcloth, as if trying to loosen it-“that my mother died when I was very young, and my father never remarried. We lived here together.” At the juncture of two hallways and the stairs Lord Marchman turned and looked at Berta and Elizabeth. “Would you care for refreshment, or would you rather go straight to bed?” Elizabeth wanted a rest, and she particularly wanted to spend as little time in his company as was possible. “The latter, if you please.” “In that case,” he said with a sweeping gesture of his arm toward the staircase, “let’s go.” Berta let out a gasp of indignant outrage at what she perceived to be a clear indication that he was no better than Sir Francis. “Now see here, milord! I’ve been putting her in bed for nigh onto two score, and I don’t need help from the likes of you!” And then, as if she realized her true station, she ruined the whole magnificent effect by curtsying and adding in a servile whisper, “if you don’t mind, sir.” “Mind? No, I-“ It finally occurred to John Marchmen what she thought, and he colored up clear to the roots of his hair. “I-I only meant to show you how,” he began, and then he leaned his head back and briefly closed his eyes as if praying for deliverance from his own tongue. “How to find the way,” he finished with a gusty sigh of relief. Elizabeth was secretly touched by his sincerity and his awkwardness, and were the situation less threatening, she would have gone out of her way to put him at his ease.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
His eyes flickered with amusement, reflecting sunlight and shade. The rough beard on his chin gave him a wild, dangerous look. Stiffly, she lifted herself onto her toes, bracing a hand against his shoulders. He was steel beneath her grasp. Did he have to watch her so intently? She closed her eyes. It was the only way she would have the courage to do this. Still he waited. It would be a brief meeting of lips. Nothing to be afraid of. If only her heart would remember to keep beating. Holding her breath, she let her lips brush over his. It was the first time she’d ever kissed a man and her mind raced with it. She hardly had a sense of his mouth at all, though the shock of the single touch rushed like liquid fire to her toes. Her part of the bargain was fulfilled. It could be done and over right then. Recklessly, after a moment’s hesitation, she touched her lips once again to him. This time she lingered, exploring the feel of him little by little. His mouth was warm and smooth and wonderful, all of it new and unexpected. He still hadn’t moved, even though her knees threatened to crumble and her heart beat like a thunder drum. Finally he responded with the barest hint of pressure. The warmth of his breath mingled with hers. Without thinking, she let her fingers dig into the sleek muscle of his arms. A low, husky sound rumbled in his throat before he wrapped his arms around her. Heaven and earth. She hadn’t been kissing him at all. The thin ribbon of resistance uncoiled within her as he took control of the kiss. His stubble scraped against her mouth, raking a raw path of sensation through her. She could do nothing but melt against him, clutching the front of his tunic to stay on her feet. A delicious heat radiated from him. His hands sank low against the small of her back to draw her close as he teased her mouth open. His breath mingled with hers for one anguished second before his tongue slipped past her lips to taste her in a slow, indulgent caress. A sigh of surrender escaped from her lips, a sound she hadn’t imagined she was capable of uttering. His hands slipped from her abruptly and she opened her eyes to see his gaze fixed on her. ‘Well,’ he breathed, ‘you do honour your bets.’ Though he no longer touched her, it was as if the kiss hadn’t ended. He was still so close, filling every sense and thought. She stumbled as she tried to step away and he caught her, a knowing smile playing over his mouth. Her balance was impeccable. She never lost her footing like that, just standing there. His grip tightened briefly before he let her go. Even that tiny, innocent touch filled her with renewed longing. In a daze, she bent to pick up her fallen swords. Her pulse throbbed as if she had run a li without stopping. In her head she was still running, flying fast. ‘Now that our bargain is settled…’ she began hoarsely ‘…we should be going.’ To her horror her hands would not stop shaking. Brushing past him, she gathered up her knapsack and slung it over her shoulder. ‘You said the next town was hours from here?’ He collected his sword while a slow grin spread over his face. She couldn’t look at him without conjuring the feel and the taste of him. Head down, she ploughed through the tall grass. ‘A good match,’ she attempted. He caught up to her easily with his long stride. ‘Yes, quite good,’ he replied, the tone rife with meaning. Her cheeks burned hot as she forced her gaze on the road ahead. She could barely tell day from night, couldn’t give her own name if asked. She had to get home and denounce Li Tao. Warn her father. She had thought of nothing else since her escape, until this blue-eyed barbarian had appeared. It was fortunate they were parting when they reached town. When he wasn’t looking she pressed her fingers over her lips, which were still swollen from that first kiss. She was outmatched, much more outmatched than when they had crossed swords.
Jeannie Lin (Butterfly Swords (Tang Dynasty, #1))
But it will be asked, why are they now admonished of their duty, and not rather left to the guidance of the Spirit? Why are they urged with exhortations when they cannot hasten any faster than the Spirit impels them? and why are they chastised, if at any time they go astray, seeing that this is caused by the necessary infirmity of the flesh? "O, man! who art thou that replies against God?" If, in order to prepare us for the grace which enables us to obey exhortation, God sees meet to employ exhortation, what is there in such an arrangement for you to carp and scoff at? Had exhortations and reprimands no other profit with the godly than to convince them of sin, they could not be deemed altogether useless. Now, when, by the Spirit of God acting within, they have the effect of inflaming their desire of good, of arousing them from lethargy, of destroying the pleasure and honeyed sweetness of sin, making it hateful and loathsome, who will presume to cavil at them as superfluous? Should any one wish a clearer reply, let him take the following: - God works in his elect in two ways: inwardly, by his Spirit; outwardly, by his Word. By his Spirit illuminating their minds, and training their hearts to the practice of righteousness, he makes them new creatures, while, by his Word, he stimulates them to long and seek for this renovation. In both, he exerts the might of his hand in proportion to the measure in which he dispenses them. The Word, when addressed to the reprobate, though not effectual for their amendment, has another use. It urges their consciences now, and will render them more inexcusable on the day of judgement. Thus, our Saviour, while declaring that none can come to him but those whom the Father draws, and that the elect come after they have heard and learned of the Father, (John 6: 44, 45), does not lay aside the office of teacher, but carefully invites those who must be taught inwardly by the Spirit before they can make any profit. The reprobate, again, are admonished by Paul, that the doctrine is not in vain; because, while it is in them a savour of death unto death, it is still a sweet savour unto God, (2Co 2: 16)
John Calvin (Institutes of the Christian Religion)
I didn’t want to go, but his arms were underneath me, easing me toward the edge of the gurney and a waiting wheelchair padded with pillows. I was afraid any resistance would result in another game of hospital gown peekaboo. He settled me so gently in the soft wheelchair that my hip and my back hardly hurt. Pushing me past the curtain and into the bustling emergency room, he leaned close, over me, to say, “I fixed it. They’re going to lose the records of your visit, so you’ll never get billed. But you’re my girlfriend.” “What do you mean, I’m your girlfriend?” What delicious blackmail was this? And was it worth the price? Perhaps I could stand it. ‘I had to make them think I have a vested interest in you,” he whispered. “They never would have agreed to lose your records if I told them you were my friend at twelve years old but not so much at eighteen and I had pretty much walked in and stolen the birthright to your family farm. See? Shhh. Hey, Brody.” He slapped hands with another man in scrubs wheeling an empty gurney in the opposite direction. The man eyed me, waggled his eyebrows at Hunter, and kept going. “Couldn’t you have said we’re friends and left it at that?” I needed to keep up the façade that I did not like the idea at all. At the same time, I was a little afraid Hunter would call the charade off. “I have a lot of friends,” he explained, wheeling me into a waiting room marked X-RAY. he rounded the wheelchair and knelt in front of me. Behind him, a door stood ajar. A contraption I assumed to be an X-ray machine was visible through the crack. He glanced over his shoulder at the door, then turned back to me. “Sorry about this,” he murmured as he slid both hands into my hair and kissed me. All I could do at first was feel. His lips were on mine. His hands held me steady, so I couldn’t have shrugged away if I’d tried, but I would not try. Bright tingles spread from my lips across my face and down my neck to my chest. I longed to pull him closer for more. I reminded myself that we were faking this for a reason. I didn’t want to make the kiss deeper than necessary in case it turned him off. Hunter deepened it. His tongue pressed past my teeth and swept inside my mouth. One of his hands released my hair and caressed my shoulder, traveling down. The farther his hand went, the higher I felt. My hip hardly hurt and my back pain was gone. I wondered how low his hand would go. I never found out. A shadow stood in the doorway and cleared its throat. I stopped kissing Hunter back and braced for him to jump away. He did back off, but very slowly. He sat back on his haunches and glared at the X-ray tech as if she had a lot of nerve. His cheeks were bright red. “So, Hunter,” she said mischievously. “This is your girlfriend.” “Hullo.” I gave her a small wave. “And you got hit by a taxi while you were crossing the street to visit Hunter? That is so romantic! Have you seen Sleepless in Seattle?” “Not romantic,” I said flatly. “I hate that movie. They don’t meet until the last scene. They don’t kiss at all.” Too late I realized I sounded like I was begging Hunter for more. “But in that movie,” the tech said, “they talk about An Affair to Remember. Have you seen that? Deborah Kerr is crossing the street to meet Cary Grant and gets hit by a car. Years later he comes back to her and she’s paralyzed from the waist down.” “You call that romantic?” I heard myself yelling. “That is repulsive!” Hunter stood and put a heavy hand on my shoulder as he pushed my wheelchair past the tech and through the doorway to the X-ray machine. “Erin is in a lot of pain,” he murmured to the tech, “and she doesn’t want to think about being paralyzed from the waist down.” After that the tech was a lot nicer, because Hunter had a way with people. Hunter lifted me onto the table and left the room so he wouldn’t be irradiated or see my bony ass.
Jennifer Echols (Love Story)
One thing more makes these men and women from the age of wigs, swords, and stagecoaches seem surprisingly contemporary. This small group of people not only helped to end one of the worst of human injustices in the most powerful empire of its time; they also forged virtually every important tool used by citizens’ movements in democratic countries today. Think of what you’re likely to find in your mailbox—or electronic mailbox—over a month or two. An invitation to join the local chapter of a national environmental group. If you say yes, a logo to put on your car bumper. A flier asking you to boycott California grapes or Guatemalan coffee. A poster to put in your window promoting this campaign. A notice that a prominent social activist will be reading from her new book at your local bookstore. A plea that you write your representative in Congress or Parliament, to vote for that Guatemalan coffee boycott bill. A “report card” on how your legislators have voted on these and similar issues. A newsletter from the group organizing support for the grape pickers or the coffee workers. Each of these tools, from the poster to the political book tour, from the consumer boycott to investigative reporting designed to stir people to action, is part of what we take for granted in a democracy. Two and a half centuries ago, few people assumed this. When we wield any of these tools today, we are using techniques devised or perfected by the campaign that held its first meeting at 2 George Yard in 1787. From their successful crusade we still have much to learn. If, early that year, you had stood on a London street corner and insisted that slavery was morally wrong and should be stopped, nine out of ten listeners would have laughed you off as a crackpot. The tenth might have agreed with you in principle, but assured you that ending slavery was wildly impractical: the British Empire’s economy would collapse. The parliamentarian Edmund Burke, for example, opposed slavery but thought that the prospect of ending even just the Atlantic slave trade was “chimerical.” Within a few short years, however, the issue of slavery had moved to center stage in British political life. There was an abolition committee in every major city or town in touch with a central committee in London. More than 300,000 Britons were refusing to eat slave-grown sugar. Parliament was flooded with far more signatures on abolition petitions than it had ever received on any other subject. And in 1792, the House of Commons passed the first law banning the slave trade. For reasons we will see, a ban did not take effect for some years to come, and British slaves were not finally freed until long after that. But there was no mistaking something crucial: in an astonishingly short period of time, public opinion in Europe’s most powerful nation had undergone a sea change. From this unexpected transformation there would be no going back.
Adam Hochschild (Bury the Chains)
One thing that helps me in difficult times is that I long ago decided that the Mystery, that inexplicable source of Love and Life energy, is vastly more complex and intelligent than we can comprehend.  What makes us think that nothing in the universe could be more intelligent and complex than the human brain? When something bad happens, rather than assuming that there’s a creator out there who is either cruel, slacking off, or totally fictional, I tend to assume there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye. I lean toward trusting that all of this probably makes more sense in a complexity beyond our comprehension.
Liz Eastwood (Soul Comfort for Cat Lovers: Coping wisdom for heart and soul after the loss of a beloved feline)
Bringing Citizen Participation to Life Some years ago John McKnight attended the annual Canadian Conference of Community Development Organizations. Several hundred groups were in attendance. The convener of the conference told him that the best community “developer” in all of Canada was at the conference and pointed toward a middle-aged man named Gaëtan Ruest, the mayor of Amqui, Quebec. John introduced himself to Mayor Ruest and asked about Amqui. The mayor said that it was a town of about six thousand people on the Gaspé Peninsula amid the Chic-Choc Mountains, located at the intersection of the Matapédia and Humqui rivers. These rivers are the richest Atlantic salmon rivers on the North American continent, and Amqui is the regional center for fishing for these salmon. Gaëtan invited John to visit his town, and a year later John was able to take him up on the invitation. He found that all the townspeople were French-speaking, and a great deal of the economic base of the community was from fisherpeople who came to fish for the rare Atlantic salmon. One day, as Gaëtan and John walked together down the street, two men approached the mayor. There was a long conversation in French. After they were finished Gaëtan explained to John what had happened. The mayor said that the town had put nets on salmon streams in order to keep the fish near Amqui and accessible to the fishing guides. The two men reported that somebody was cutting the nets to let the salmon go upstream where they could poach them. “That’s terrible,” Gaëtan replied. “What do you think we can do about that?” The men thought for a while and then suggested three things that could be done. “Is there anybody who could help you do those things?” Gaëtan asked. “Yes,” they responded. “We know a couple of other fisherpeople who could help.” Gaëtan said, “Will you ask them to join you to meet with me at city hall this evening?” They agreed. That evening John joined Gaëtan at the meeting with four concerned people. The mayor had insisted that they meet in the city council’s meeting room and he led a discussion of how the group could deal with the salmon poaching problem. By the time they were done, the group had specific plans and specific people committed to carrying them out. Then Gaëtan asked, “Is there anything the city can do to help you with the job?” The participants came up with two ways the city could be helpful. “I am making you the official Amqui Salmon Preservation Committee,” Gaëtan said. “I want you to hold your meetings in the city council meeting room because you are official. I want you to come to city council meetings and tell the council people how you are coming along.” The convener of the National Association of Community Development Organizations, previously mentioned, told John that the process he had observed in the council meeting room that gave birth to the Amqui Salmon Preservation Committee was repeated over and over during Gaëtan’s long tenure as mayor. As a result, the convener said that in Amqui, hidden away in the Chic-Choc Mountains, almost all the residents had become officials of the local government and the principal problem-solvers for the community. John wholeheartedly believes that every public official can learn a great deal from the mayor of Amqui.
Cormac Russell (Rekindling Democracy: A Professional’s Guide to Working in Citizen Space)
While Mussolini toiled long hours at his desk, Hitler continued to indulge in the lazy bohemian dilettantism of his art-student days. When aides sought his attention for urgent matters, Hitler was often inaccessible. He spent much time at his Bavarian retreat; even in Berlin he often neglected pressing business. He subjected his dinner guests to midnight monologues, rose at midday, and devoted his afternoons to personal passions such as plans by his young protege Albert Speer to reconstruct his hometown of Linz and the center of Berlin in a monumental style benefiting the Thousand-Year Reich. After February 1938 the cabinet ceased to meet; some cabinet ministers never managed to see the Fuhrer at all. Hans Mommsen went so far as to call him a 'weak dictator.' Mommsen never meant to deny the unlimited nature of Hitler's vaguely defined and haphazardly exercised power, but he observed that the Nazi regime was not organized on rational principles of bureaucratic efficiency, and that its astonishing burst of murderous energy was not produced by Hitler's diligence. Neither an extreme intentionalist view of the all-powerful leader ruling alone nor an extreme structuralist view that initiatives from below are the main motor of fascist dynamism is tenable. In the 1990s, the most convincing work established two-way explanations in which competition among midlevel officials to anticipate the leader's intimate wishes and 'work toward' them are given due place, while the leader's role in establishing goals and removing limits and rewarding zealous associates plays its indispensable role.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
age of computers and programming, and he couldn’t understand either. Sure, he could send emails, had even mastered Word and Excel, but apart from that, the complexities of the machine left him baffled. There was unemployment, but he had never taken the dole, or he could go overseas, try his luck on an oil rig. Even if that were possible, he didn’t want to go, but these were desperate times, and now, to add confusion, there was a solution. Betty Galton, his former sister-in-law, had in her possession a million pounds in gold. He opened his laptop and switched it on. How does one melt gold? How does one dispose of it? he thought. He entered the search terms, fingering one key at a time, and pressed enter. If a criminal act was committed during the planning stage, then he was guilty as charged. And for once, he did not care. He hummed a tune to himself. It had been some time since he had been contented. For that night, he would forget what would be required and envisage what his life could be like with money in his pocket. Maybe a small place in the country, a dog, possibly a woman. How long had it been since he had enjoyed the closeness of another’s skin? He picked up his phone and made a call. It was a special treat for himself and for once the budget was going to be blown. He knew she’d look after him, the way she looked after so many others. Chapter 11 Clare woke early the next day; her phone was ringing. She leant over and picked it up. ‘Yarwood, I’m at the hospital,’ Tremayne said. She could tell by his voice that something was amiss. ‘I’ll be there in fifteen.’ ‘Thanks, and don’t tell anyone.’ A quick shower, some food for her cat, and Clare was out of her cottage. A murder enquiry was serious; her boss being ill, more so. Parking at the hospital, she soon found her way to outpatients, meeting someone she knew. ‘It’s Tremayne, he’s not well,’ Clare said. ‘And please, not a word to anyone.’ The woman, a friend, understood. Inside, behind some screens, Tremayne was lying flat on his back. His shoes had been removed, and his tie had been loosened. ‘How long have you been here?’ Clare said. She knew Tremayne would not appreciate lashings of sympathy, although he looked dreadful. ‘Since last night. I’d had a few drinks, a few cigarettes, and all of a sudden I’m in the back of an ambulance.’ ‘Does Jean know?’ ‘Not yet. Maybe you can phone her. She went to see her son for a few days, left me on my own.’ ‘Off the leash and into trouble, that’s you, guv.’ ‘Not today, Yarwood. Maybe Moulton’s right about me retiring.’ ‘Having you feeling sorry for yourself isn’t going to help, is it?’ The nurse, standing on the other side of the bed, looked over at Clare disapprovingly. ‘It’s how we work,’ Clare said. ‘That may be the case, but Mr Tremayne has had a bit of a scare. He needs to be here for a few days while we conduct a few checks.’ ‘What’s the problem?’ ‘It’s not for me to say. That’s for the doctor.’ ‘He told me to cut down on the beer, quit smoking, and take it easy.’ ‘Retire, is that it?’ Clare said. ‘They don’t get it, do they?’ Tremayne looked over at the nurse who was monitoring his condition. ‘Sorry. We’ve got a murder to deal with, nothing personal.’ ‘Don’t worry about me. We get our fair share of people, men mainly, who think they’re invincible. You’re not the first, not the last, who thinks they know more
Phillip Strang (Death by a Dead Man's Hand (DI Tremayne Thriller Series #5))
Even a late modern hero like Steve Jobs doesn’t conform to the narrative of secularism. In his biography of Jobs, Walter Isaacson recalls a scene near the end of Jobs’s life that exemplifies the ambiguity of our secular age: One sunny afternoon, when he wasn’t feeling well, Jobs sat in the garden behind his house and reflected on death. He talked about his experiences in India almost four decades earlier, his study of Buddhism, and his views on reincarnation and spiritual transcendence. “I’m about fifty-fifty on believing in God,” he said. “For most of my life, I’ve felt that there must be more to our existence than meets the eye.” He admitted that, as he faced death, he might be overestimating the odds out of a desire to believe in an afterlife. “I like to think that something survives after you die,” he said. “It’s strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures.” He fell silent for a very long time. “But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch,” he said. “Click! And you’re gone.” Then he paused again and smiled slightly. “Maybe that’s why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices.
James K.A. Smith (How (Not) to Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor)
And yet leaving the room, she did not leave me, for we were mysteriously linked together during the next hours. When Tib left 405 she'd gone outside to walk on the boardwalk. After a while she stepped down onto the sand where she could walk right at the water's edge. She walked for a long, long time. The sun sank lower in the winter sky. Facing south as she was, her eyes began to be bothered by it. Tib has always been extremely light-sensitive, choosing chairs that looked away from windows and so forth. She started to turn around and head north with her back to the sun when a sentence popped into her mind with the force of a command. "Look neither to the right nor to the left, but only straight ahead." But straight ahead was the dazzling sun. She walked on a little farther, squinting her eyes. It was getting late. She was a long way from the hotel by now. The meeting in Room 405 must be over, she thought: I would be looking for her. But each time she started to turn around and retrace her steps, the extraordinary words reappeared in her mind. "Neither right or left. Only straight ahead." The sun was lower still. Glittering on the waves, glaring straight into her eyes. And still Tib walked on, into the blinding light...
John Sherrill (They Speak with Other Tongues: A Skeptic Investigates This Life-Changing Gift)
After his meeting with Romney, Fonesca encountered Keith Flax, a local jeweler who was also speaker of the legislative council and a close friend of both Romney and Peters. It didn't take long for the Panamanian and the Belonger to recognize they shared a special bond. Both were members of the ancient order of Freemasons. Dating to the Industrial Revolution in England, Freemasonry appropriated the symbols of craft guilds like the stonemasons to forge a fraternal order kept alive through esoteric rituals and Masonic lodges. ¶ Fonseca had tapped into an underground network—a secret society within a secret society—that exists in tax havens, particularly the British ones. Knowledge of Freemasonry, its signs, symbols, and rites, often serves as a doorway into closed cultures. It provides instant solidarity and an opportunity for government and business interests to network privately. John Christensen [the Jersey island exposé cooperator] says he was approached multiple times on Jersey to join one lodge or another. He always declined the offer. Holding no particular animus toward Freemasonry or the elite hobnobbing in the lodges, Christensen nonetheless viewed it all as slightly creepy.
Jake Bernstein (Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite)
Yes, of course it is. So just for a moment, Dufresne, let’s assume that Blatch exists and that he is still ensconced in the Rhode Island State Penitentiary. Now what is he going to say if we bring this kettle of fish to him in a bucket? Is he going to fall down on his knees, roll his eyes, and say: ‘I did it! I did it! By all means add a life term onto my charge!’?” “How can you be so obtuse?” Andy said, so low that Chester could barely hear. But he heard the warden just fine. “What? What did you call me?” “Obtuse!” Andy cried. “Is it deliberate?” “Dufresne, you’ve taken five minutes of my time—no, seven—and I have a very busy schedule today. So I believe we’ll just declare this little meeting closed and—” “The country club will have all the old time-cards, don’t you realize that?” Andy shouted. “They’ll have tax-forms and W-twos and unemployment compensation forms, all with his name on them! There will be employees there now that were there then, maybe Briggs himself! It’s been fifteen years, not forever! They’ll remember him! They will remember Blatch! If I’ve got Tommy to testify to what Blatch told him, and Briggs to testify that Blatch was there, actually working at the country club, I can get a new trial! I can—” “Guard! Guard! Take this man away!” “What’s the matter with you?” Andy said, and Chester told me he was very nearly screaming by then. “It’s my life, my chance to get out, don’t you see that? And you won’t make a single long-distance call to at least verify Tommy’s story? Listen, I’ll pay for the call! I’ll pay for—” Then there was a sound of thrashing as the guards grabbed him and started to drag him out. “Solitary,” Warden Norton said dryly. He was probably fingering his thirty-year pin as he said it. “Bread and water.” And so they dragged Andy away, totally out of control now, still screaming at the warden; Chester said you could hear him even after the door was shut: “It’s my life! It’s my life, don’t you understand it’s my life?
Stephen King (Different Seasons)
I apologize for my intrusion, but in your distress, your mind summoned me to you. First, let me say you have no need to fear for Avenger or the lives of your crew. Our destiny—yours and mine—is starting to become clearer to me. I have glimpsed future events that, for the time being, assure your safety. I believe this ability is one of the herculean gifts to which Tynabo alluded. I thank you for sharing Tynabo’s recording with me. Even that small glimpse of the man I called father has been a comfort.” Then, in a tone that bespoke a more intimate connection between them, she said, “As regards us, these last weeks apart have been extremely difficult—as much for you as they are for me. So please know that you have not been alone in your suffering. In your mind, I also saw your desire to know exactly what it is that has been happening to you, to us, each night. In short, what you see, I see. What you feel, I feel. The fugue is creating its own reality for us, albeit on a more esoteric plane. I think you will agree that there is nothing lost in the translation between the fugue state—and a true physical reality. However, as Tynabo had warned us, it is becoming harder to hold on. Each day we’re apart is more unbearable than the one before. Because of this growing need, I fear it will not be long before the fugue creates situations that would be quite embarrassing were they to happen in public. Because of this I ask you not to delay your return to Sea Base any longer than necessary.” Her tone softened empathetically, an acknowledgement of the crisis facing Steven. “I am also aware of the personal hurdles you face as regards Renee and your family, and that you are in desperate need of a solution. I want you to know that you do not bear this burden alone. You have my full support on any decision that you make. It will always be so. “Until we meet again—sweet dreams.” As Ashlyn’s image dissipated, her sensual smile stole his breath. ***         As the wave subsided, the bridge suddenly lit up like Times Square on New Year’s Eve, chimes and klaxons sounding everywhere.
Glenn Van Dyke (2287 A.D. - After Destruction (The Ashlyn Chronicles, #1))
Look for all of the possible missteps in the following scenario. My friend Amy arrived at a consultation with her Hispanic business partner. The African American woman to whom they were delivering their presentation was a long-time friend of her partner’s. Her partner was greeted with a hug and Amy was greeted with a handshake. The meeting was a great success. As it came to a close, the two friends hugged. With enthusiastic affection, Amy went to hug the African American client. The woman took a step, turned her shoulder to block the hug, and looked at Amy with dismissive anger. It was almost a defensive move. Her partner, recognizing this, put her arm around Amy to soften the situation and make light of the inappropriate gesture. Everything turned out fine, but Amy was baffled by the barrier. She was confused by the woman’s reaction since their interaction had been cordial and positive. She wondered if she had been socially insensitive or culturally inappropriate. After much reflection, however, she realized that she had simply been too quick to assume familiarity. Thankfully, she earned and learned the lesson quickly to become more aware. Amy eventually earned the trust of her client and secured her valuable business.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Body Language: 8 Ways to Optimize Non-Verbal Communication for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #3))
To remember people’s names, create a New Contact—Saving someone’s name shortly after meeting will help you retain it longer. Whether it is on a piece of paper, your cell phone contacts, “friending” him on Facebook, or inviting him to join your LinkedIn network, adding the name to your contacts will make it easy to remember him for a long time into the future.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Communication: 8 Ways to Confirm Clarity & Understanding for Positive Impact(The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #5))
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