Meeting After Long Time Quotes

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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)
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
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)
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])
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))
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’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
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)
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)
The day came: a Monday at the end of September. The night before he had realized that it was almost exactly a year since the beating, although he hadn’t planned it that way. He left work early that evening. He had spent the weekend organizing his projects; he had written Lucien a memo detailing the status of everything he had been working on. At home, he lined up his letters on the dining room table, and a copy of his will. He had left a message with Richard’s studio manager that the toilet in the master bathroom kept running and asked if Richard could let in the plumber the following day at nine – both Richard and Willem had a set of keys to his apartment – because he would be away on business. He took off his suit jacket and tie and shoes and watch and went to the bathroom. He sat in the shower area with his sleeves pushed up. He had a glass of scotch, which he sipped at to steady himself, and a box cutter, which he knew would be easier to hold than a razor. He knew what he needed to do: three straight vertical lines, as deep and long as he could make them, following the veins up both arms. And then he would lie down and wait. He waited for a while, crying a bit, because he was tired and frightened and because he was ready to go, he was ready to leave. Finally he rubbed his eyes and began. He started with his left arm. He made the first cut, which was more painful than he had thought it would be, and he cried out. Then he made the second. He took another drink of the scotch. The blood was viscous, more gelatinous than liquid, and a brilliant, shimmering oil-black. Already his pants were soaked with it, already his grip was loosening. He made the third. When he was done with both arms, he slumped against the back of the shower wall. He wished, absurdly, for a pillow. He was warm from the scotch, and from his own blood, which lapped at him as it pooled against his legs – his insides meeting his outsides, the inner bathing the outer. He closed his eyes. Behind him, the hyenas howled, furious at him. Before him stood the house with its open door. He wasn’t close yet, but he was closer than he’d been: close enough to see that inside, there was a bed where he could rest, where he could lie down and sleep after his long run, where he would, for the first time in his life, be safe.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
There is no doubt that the shock of an... emotional experience is often needed to make people wake up and pay attention to what they are doing. There's a famous case of the 13th century Spanish Hidalgo, Raimon Lull, who finally (after a long chase) succeeded in meeting the lady he admired at a secret rendezvous. She silently opened her dress and showed him her breast, rotten with cancer. The shock changed Lull's life; he eventually became an eminent Theologian and one of the Church's greatest missionaries. In the case of such a sudden change one can often prove that an archetype has been at work for a long time in the unconscious, skillfully arranging circumstances that will lead to the crisis... such experiences seem to show that archetypal forms are not just static patterns. They are Dynamic factors that manifest themselves in impulses, just as spontaneously as the instincts. Certain dreams, visions, or thoughts can suddenly appear; and however carefully one investigates, one cannot find out what causes them. This does not mean that they have no cause; they certainly have. But it is so remote or obscure that one cannot see what it is.
C.G. Jung (Man and His Symbols)
To economists, everything revolves around scarcity - after all, even the biggest spenders can't buy everything. However, the perception of scarcity is not ubiquitous. An empty schedule feels different than a jam-packed workday. And that's not some harmless little feeling. Scarcity impinges on your mind. People behave differently when they perceive a thing to be scarce. What that thing is doesn't much matter; whether it's too little time, money, friendship, food - it all contributes to experience a "scarcity mentality". And this has benefits. People who experience a sense of scarcity are good at managing their short-term problems. Poor people have an incredible ability - in the short term - to make ends meet, the same way that overworked CEOs can power through to close a deal. Despite all this, the drawbacks of a "scarcity mentality" are greater than the benefits. Scarcity narrows your focus to your immediate lack, to the meeting that's starting in five minutes or the bills that need to be paid tomorrow. The long-term perspective goes out of the window. "Scarcity consumes you", Shafir explains. "You're less able to focus on other things that are also important to you." ... There's a key distinction though between people with busy lives and those living in poverty: You can't take a break from poverty.
Rutger Bregman (Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World)
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 will meet the dying Emperor's empty eye sockets and tell him the war is almost over. At last, after ten thousand years of banishment in the Underworld, his fallen angels are coming home...These are the end times. None of you are destined to survive the coming of the Crimson Path. The Imperium has been losing the Long War since it was first declared, and now we enter the endgame. I will tell you everything, Inquisitor, because for you, it will change nothing.
Aaron Dembski-Bowden (Black Legion (Black Legion #2))
She was the first close friend who I felt like I’d re­ally cho­sen. We weren’t in each other’s lives be­cause of any obli­ga­tion to the past or con­ve­nience of the present. We had no shared his­tory and we had no rea­son to spend all our time to­ gether. But we did. Our friend­ship in­ten­si­fied as all our friends had chil­dren – she, like me, was un­con­vinced about hav­ing kids. And she, like me, found her­self in a re­la­tion­ship in her early thir­ties where they weren’t specif­i­cally work­ing to­wards start­ing a fam­ily. By the time I was thirty-four, Sarah was my only good friend who hadn’t had a baby. Ev­ery time there was an­other preg­nancy an­nounce­ment from a friend, I’d just text the words ‘And an­other one!’ and she’d know what I meant. She be­came the per­son I spent most of my free time with other than Andy, be­cause she was the only friend who had any free time. She could meet me for a drink with­out plan­ning it a month in ad­vance. Our friend­ship made me feel lib­er­ated as well as safe. I looked at her life choices with no sym­pa­thy or con­cern for her. If I could ad­mire her de­ci­sion to re­main child-free, I felt en­cour­aged to ad­mire my own. She made me feel nor­mal. As long as I had our friend­ship, I wasn’t alone and I had rea­son to be­lieve I was on the right track. We ar­ranged to meet for din­ner in Soho af­ter work on a Fri­day. The waiter took our drinks or­der and I asked for our usual – two Dirty Vodka Mar­ti­nis. ‘Er, not for me,’ she said. ‘A sparkling wa­ter, thank you.’ I was ready to make a joke about her un­char­ac­ter­is­tic ab­sti­nence, which she sensed, so as soon as the waiter left she said: ‘I’m preg­nant.’ I didn’t know what to say. I can’t imag­ine the ex­pres­sion on my face was par­tic­u­larly en­thu­si­as­tic, but I couldn’t help it – I was shocked and felt an un­war­ranted but in­tense sense of be­trayal. In a de­layed re­ac­tion, I stood up and went to her side of the ta­ble to hug her, un­able to find words of con­grat­u­la­tions. I asked what had made her change her mind and she spoke in va­garies about it ‘just be­ing the right time’ and wouldn’t elab­o­rate any fur­ther and give me an an­swer. And I needed an an­swer. I needed an an­swer more than any­thing that night. I needed to know whether she’d had a re­al­iza­tion that I hadn’t and, if so, I wanted to know how to get it. When I woke up the next day, I re­al­ized the feel­ing I was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing was not anger or jeal­ousy or bit­ter­ness – it was grief. I had no one left. They’d all gone. Of course, they hadn’t re­ally gone, they were still my friends and I still loved them. But huge parts of them had dis­ap­peared and there was noth­ing they could do to change that. Un­less I joined them in their spa­ces, on their sched­ules, with their fam­i­lies, I would barely see them. And I started dream­ing of an­other life, one com­pletely re­moved from all of it. No more chil­dren’s birth­day par­ties, no more chris­ten­ings, no more bar­be­cues in the sub­urbs. A life I hadn’t ever se­ri­ously con­tem­plated be­fore. I started dream­ing of what it would be like to start all over again. Be­cause as long as I was here in the only Lon­don I knew – mid­dle-class Lon­don, cor­po­rate Lon­don, mid-thir­ties Lon­don, mar­ried Lon­don – I was in their world. And I knew there was a whole other world out there.
Dolly Alderton (Good Material)