Most Silent Quotes

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When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life)
You are most powerful when you are most silent. People never expect silence. They expect words, motion, defense, offense, back and forth. They expect to leap into the fray. They are ready, fists up, words hanging leaping from their mouths. Silence? No.
Alison McGhee (All Rivers Flow To The Sea)
The most truly generous persons are those who give silently without hope of praise or reward.
Carol Ryrie Brink (Caddie Woodlawn's Family (Caddie Woodlawn, #2))
We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.
Orson Scott Card
Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose... ...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.
Rainer Maria Rilke
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
LAW 46 Never Appear Too Perfect Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.
Robert Greene (The 48 Laws of Power)
In his face there came to be a brooding peace that is seen most often in the faces of the very sorrowful or the very wise. But still he wandered through the streets of the town, always silent and alone.
Carson McCullers (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter)
You know, one of the hardest things to admit is that we weren’t loved when we needed it most. It’s a terrible feeling, the pain of not being loved.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.
Chris Van Allsburg (The Polar Express)
Truly powerful people have great humility. They do not try to impress, they do not try to be influential. They simply are. People are magnetically drawn to them. They are most often very silent and focused, aware of their core selves. ... They never persuade, nor do they use manipulation or aggressiveness to get their way. They listen. If there is anything they can offer to assist you, they offer it; if not, they are silent.
Sanaya Roman (Living with Joy: Keys to Personal Power and Spiritual Transformation)
Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. “No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.” “But what if he is your friend?” Achilles had asked him, feet kicked up on the wall of the rose-quartz cave. “Or your brother? Should you treat him the same as a stranger?” “You ask a question that philosophers argue over,” Chiron had said. “He is worth more to you, perhaps. But the stranger is someone else’s friend and brother. So which life is more important?” We had been silent. We were fourteen, and these things were too hard for us. Now that we are twenty-seven, they still feel too hard. He is half of my soul, as the poets say. He will be dead soon, and his honor is all that will remain. It is his child, his dearest self. Should I reproach him for it? I have saved Briseis. I cannot save them all. I know, now, how I would answer Chiron. I would say: there is no answer. Whichever you choose, you are wrong.
Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles)
Come to think of it, she did not speak a word. Yet I could have sworn she had the most beautiful voice.
Julie Klassen (The Silent Governess)
keep silent . . the most beautiful voice , is the talk of your hand on the table. قليل من الصمت . . ياجاهلة فأجمل من كل هذا الحديث حديث يديك على الطاولة
نزار قباني (Arabian Love Poems)
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
Then he holds her and for a moment I hear total silence; that totally silent part of a cry that announces that the most horrible grief is going to follow. And it does, and he's muffling it, but I can hear and I want someone to come over and jab her with a sedative because its pitch pierces my soul.
Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road)
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Theodore Dalrymple
Little world, full of little people shouting for recognition, screaming for love, Rolling world, teeming with millions, carousel of the hungry, Is there food enough? Wheat and corn will not do. The fat are the hungriest of all, the skinny the most silent.
James Kavanaugh (There Are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves)
Now," Clary said. "I don't want to wait. Do you?" He didn't reply, just got up off the floor and picked his shirt. He looked at Clary, and almost smiled. "If we're going to the Silent City, you might want to get dressed. I mean, I appreciate the bra-and-panties look, but I don't know if the Silent Brothers will. There are only a few of them left, and I don't want them to die of excitement." Clary got up off the bed and threw a pillow at him, mostly out of relief. She reached for her clothes and began to pull her shirt on. Just before it went over her head, she caught sight of the knife lying on the bedspread, gleaming like a fork of silvery flame.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
One of the most effective ways to learn about oneself is by taking seriously the cultures of others. It forces you to pay attention to those details of life which differentiate them from you.
Edward T. Hall (The Silent Language)
I’m Hannah’s daughter. I’m Winter’s conduit. I’m a warrior, a soldier, a lady, a queen, and most of all, as I plunge across the snowfield toward Jannuari’s silent ruin, I’m Meira.
Sara Raasch (Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1))
a silent night. - the most eloquent poem i have ever read.
Sanober Khan
There is only one way: Go within. Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write. Put it to this test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place of your heart? Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write? Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this: Must I write? Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple, “I must,” then build your life upon it. It has become your necessity. Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign, a testimony to this urge.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
The chronic kicker, even the most violent critic, will frequently soften and be subdued in the presence of a patient, sympathetic listener— a listener who will be silent while the irate fault-finder dilates like a king cobra and spews the poison out of his system.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
And when she at last came out, her eyes were dry. Her parents stared up from their silent breakfast at her. They both started to rise but she put a hand out, stopped them. ‘I can care for myself, please,’ and she set about getting some food. They watched her closely. In point of fact, she had never looked as well. She had entered her room as just an impossibly lovely girl. The woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, and an ocean sadder. This one understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character, and a sure knowledge of suffering. She was eighteen. She was the most beautiful woman in a hundred years. She didn’t seem to care. ‘You’re all right?’ her mother asked. Buttercup sipped her cocoa. ‘Fine,’ she said. ‘You’re sure?’ her father wondered. ‘Yes,’ Buttercup replied. There was a very long pause. ‘But I must never love again.’ She never did.
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
When we read, we decide when, where, how long, and about what. One of the few places on earth that it is still possible to experience an instant sense of freedom and privacy is anywhere you open up a good book and begin to read. When we read silently, we are alone with our own thoughts and one other voice. We can take our time, consider, evaluate, and digest what we read—with no commercial interruptions, no emotional music or special effects manipulation. And in spite of the advances in electronic information exchange, the book is still the most important medium for presenting ideas of substance and value, still the only real home of literature.
Andrew Clements
My main goal is to stay alive. To keep fooling myself into hanging around. To keep getting up every day. Right now I live without inspiration. I go day to day and do the work because it's all I know. I know that if I keep moving I stand a chance. I must keep myself going until I find a reason to live. I need one so bad. On the other hand maybe I don't. Maybe it's all bullshit. Nothing I knew from my old life can help me here. Most of the things that I believed turned out to be useless. Appendages from someone else's life. Everything I have I would give to not know what I know. To not feel emptiness as my constant companion. To not look into this room and be reminded why I'm in it. I'm not getting enough air. The room feels so small all of a sudden. It's pathetic to be this lonely and know it. To keep breathing. To be silent and alone. And to know.
Henry Rollins (Roomanitarian)
A safe, still night; too serene for the companionship of fear. We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us: and it is in the unclouded night sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His Omnipresence.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
You’re alive," she whispered. "Really alive." With a slow wonderment he reached to touch her face. "I was in the dark," he said softly. "There was nothing there but shadows, and I was a shadow, and I knew that I was dead, and that it was over, all of it. And then I heard your voice. I heard you say my name, and it brought me back." "Not me." Clary’s throat tightened. "The Angel brought you back." "Because you asked him to." Silently he traced the outline of her face with his fingers, as if reassuring himself that she was real. "You could have had anything else in the world, and you asked for me." She smiled up at him. Filthy as he was, covered in blood and dirt, he was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. "But I don’t want anything else in the world.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Through their kisses and caresses they experienced a joy and wonder the equal of which has never been known or heard of. But I shall be silent...; for the rarest and most delectable pleasures are those which are hinted at, but never told.
Chrétien de Troyes
Waiting silently is the hardest thing of all. I was dying to talk to Jim and about Jim. But the things that we feel most deeply we ought to learn to be silent about, at least until we have talked them over thoroughly with God.
Elisabeth Elliot (Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control)
I want to be someone capable of seeing the unseen faces, of seeing those who do not seek fame or glory, who silently fulfil the role life has given them. I want to be able to do this because the most important things, those that shape our existence, are precisely the ones that never show their faces.
Paulo Coelho (Like the Flowing River)
... Where did you go?” “Down below.” “Ugh,” she said. “I’ve heard they’re little better than animals.” Funny. I thought the same thing about most Topsiders I encountered. Tegan touched my hand in silent sympathy, and I set my jaw. ... I stepped forward and pasted on a false smile. We were in her home, after all. The least I could do was be polite. “I’m Deuce, animal from the underground.
Ann Aguirre (Enclave (Razorland, #1))
My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma -- tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said." She could really say nothing. "You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more." Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling. "I cannot make speeches, Emma," he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing. "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it. Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover. But you understand me. Yes, you see, you understand my feelings and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.
Jane Austen (Emma)
I believe the same is true for most people who go into mental health. We are drawn to this profession because we are damaged - we study psychology to heal ourselves. Whether we are prepared to admit this or not is another question.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures--solitude, books and imagination--outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
I've solved the mystery: You have to submit silently. Open up, let go. Let anything penetrate you, even the most painful things. Endure. Bear up. That's the magic key! The text comes by itself, and its meaning shakes the soul ... You mustn't let scar tissue form on your wounds; you have to keep ripping them open in order to turn your insides into a marvelous instrument that is capable of anything. All this has its price.
Klaus Kinski
Most of life is so dull that there is nothing to be said about it, and the books and talk that would describe it as interesting are obliged to exaggerate, in the hope of justifying their own existence. Inside its cocoon of work or social obligation, the human spirit slumbers for the most part, registering the distinction between pleasure and pain, but not nearly as alert as we pretend. There are periods in the most thrilling day during which nothing happens, and though we continue to exclaim 'I do enjoy myself' or 'I am horrified' we are insincere. 'As far as I feel anything, it is enjoyment, horror' - it's no more than that really, and a perfectly adjusted organism would be silent.
E.M. Forster (A Passage to India)
When Alex leaves a little later, Carlos steps forward. “Need help?” I shake my head. “Are you ever gonna talk to me again? Dammit, Kiara, enough with the silent treatment. I’d rather have you say your little two-word sentences than stop talkin’ altogether. Hell, just flip me off again.” I toss my backpack in the backseat and start the engine. “Where are you goin’?” Carlos asks, stepping in front of my car. I beep. “I’m not movin’,” he says. My response is another beep. It’s not an intimidating, deep beep like most cars, but it’s the best my car can give. He places both hands on the hood. “Move,” I say. He moves all right. With pantherlike quickness, Carlos jumps through the open passenger window, feet first. “You should get the door fixed,” he says.
Simone Elkeles (Rules of Attraction (Perfect Chemistry #2))
Oh, how I despised remaining silent under such awful judgment. I’d like to remind each man who held such poor opinions of a woman that their beloved mothers were, in fact, women. I didn’t see any men running about, birthing the world’s population then going on to make supper and tend to the house. Most of them buckled to their knees when the slightest sniffle attacked them.
Kerri Maniscalco (Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1))
Who's to blame when your kid goes nuts? Is it a blessing to not have children? 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' became a hit cult book for women without offspring who were finally able to admit they didn't want to give birth. They felt complete, thank you very much, and lived in silent resentment for years at other women's pious, unwanted sympathy toward them for not having babies. With even gay couples having children these days, aren't happy heterosexual women who don't want to have kids the most ostracized of us all? To me they are beautiful feminists. If you're not sure you could love your children, please don't have them, because they might grow up and kill us.
John Waters
The toleration of racism and xenophobia by most westerners contradicts their delusional assumptions — the result of mass indoctrination — of belonging to civilised and enlightened democracies where religious and political leaders abide by the truth with freedom and justice prevailing over racial preference, class privilege, negative preconceptions, and cowardly conformity. Such repressive indoctrination facilitates either silent complicity, or active involvement in the unspeakable crimes being committed against most of humanity.
William Hanna (The Grim Reaper)
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA's state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts [...] That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. Then that most nonaddicted adult civilians have already absorbed and accepted this fact, often rather early on [...] That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused [...] That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That gambling can be an abusable escape, too, and work, shopping, and shoplifting, and sex, and abstention, and masturbation, and food, and exercise, and meditation/prayer [...] That loneliness is not a function of solitude [...] That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt [...] That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness [...] That the effects of too many cups of coffee are in no way pleasant or intoxicating [...] That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it's almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused [...] That it is permissible to want [...] That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Humanity lived many years and ruled the earth, sometimes wisely, sometimes well, but mostly neither.
Catherynne M. Valente (Silently and Very Fast)
Basic personality traits develop early in life and over time become inviolable, hardwired. Most people learn little from experience, rarely thinking of adjusting their behavior, see problems as emanating from those around them, and keep on doing what they do in spite of everything, for better or worse.
A.S.A. Harrison (The Silent Wife)
Loss of empathy might well be the most enduring and deep-cutting scar of all, the silent blade of an unseen enemy, tearing at our hearts and stealing more than our strength. Stealing our will, for what are we without empathy? What manner of joy might we find in our live if we cannot understand the joys and pains of those around us, if we cannot share in a greater community.
R.A. Salvatore (The Silent Blade (Forgotten Realms: Paths of Darkness, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #11))
This time, I whispered that I loved him too. Then, I silently listed all the reason: I loved him for his gentleness. I loved him for being an amazing catch yet still vulnerable enough to be insecure. But most of all, I loved him for loving me.
Emily Giffin (Something Blue (Darcy & Rachel, #2))
From then on, Matilda would visit the library only once a week in order to take out new books and return the old ones. Her own small bedroom now became her reading-room and there she would sit and read most afternoons, often with a mug of hot chocolate beside her. She was not quite tall enough to reach things around in the kitchen, but she kept a small box in the outhouse which she brought in and stood on in order to get whatever she wanted. Mostly it was hot chocolate she made, warming the milk in a saucepan on the stove before mixing it. Occasionally she made Bovril or Ovaltine. It was pleasant to take a hot drink up to her room and have it beside her as she sat in her silent room reading in the empty house in the afternoons. The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She traveled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.
Roald Dahl (Matilda)
It was like trying to break up with the color orange, or Wednesday, or silent e. It was the most passionate and tumultuous relationship I'd ever known.
Rob Sheffield (Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut)
But quiet shouldn't be mistaken for weak. Sometimes the most steely resolve is asserted silently.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
Most people talk too much, and what they do say is often just noise or irrelevant gibberish designed to keep themselves entertained
Stuart Wilde (Silent Power)
In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: they are mostly what I call 'photographs of people talking.' When we tell a story in cinema we should resort to dialogue only when it's impossible to do otherwise. I always try to tell a story in the cinematic way, through a succession of shots and bits of film in between.
Alfred Hitchcock (Hitchcock)
Jaime," I said softly, "are you happy about it? About the baby?" Outlawed in Scotland, barred from his own home, and with only vague prospects in France, he could pardonably have been less than enthused about acquiring an additional obligation. He was silent for a moment, only hugging me harder, then sighed briefly before answering. "Aye, Sassenach," His hand stayed downward, gently rubbing my belly. "I'm happy. And proud as a stallion. But I am most awfully afraid too." "About the birth? I'll be all right." I could hardly blame him for apprehension; his own mother had died in childbirth, and birth and its complications were the leading cause of death for women in these times. Still, I knew a thing or two myself, and I had no intention whatever of exposing myself to what passed for medical care here. "Aye, that--and everything," he said softly. "I want to protect ye like a cloak and shield you and the child wi' my body." His voice was soft and husky, with a slight catch in it. "I would do anything for ye...and yet...there's nothing I can do. It doesna matter how strong I am, or how willing; I canna go with you where ye must go...nor even help ye at all. And to think of the things that might happen, and me helpless to stop them...aye, I'm afraid, Sassenach. "And yet"--he turned me toward him, hand closing gently over one breast--"yet when I think of you wi' my child at your breast...then I feel as though I've gone hollow as a soap bubble, and perhaps I shall burst with joy.
Diana Gabaldon (Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander, #2))
I began my studies with eagerness. Before me I saw a new world opening in beauty and light, and I felt within me the capacity to know all things. In the wonderland of Mind I should be as free as another [with sight and hearing]. Its people, scenery, manners, joys, and tragedies should be living tangible interpreters of the real world. The lecture halls seemed filled with the spirit of the great and wise, and I thought the professors were the embodiment of wisdom... But I soon discovered that college was not quite the romantic lyceum I had imagined. Many of the dreams that had delighted my young inexperience became beautifully less and "faded into the light of common day." Gradually I began to find that there were disadvantages in going to college. The one I felt and still feel most is lack of time. I used to have time to think, to reflect, my mind and I. We would sit together of an evening and listen to the inner melodies of the spirit, which one hears only in leisure moments when the words of some loved poet touch a deep, sweet chord in the soul that until then had been silent. But in college there is no time to commune with one's thoughts. One goes to college to learn, it seems, not to think. When one enters the portals of learning, one leaves the dearest pleasures – solitude, books and imagination – outside with the whispering pines. I suppose I ought to find some comfort in the thought that I am laying up treasures for future enjoyment, but I am improvident enough to prefer present joy to hoarding riches against a rainy day.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
Grown-ups didn't seem to realize that for me, as for most other schoolboys, it was easier to keep silent than to speak. I was a natural oyster.
L.P. Hartley (The Go-Between)
The utter unbroken silence was more appalling than any ominous noise, than the loudest yells of anguish, than the most piercing screaming... Dead silence. Literally dead.
Simona Panova (Nightmarish Sacrifice)
And why did everyone persist in thinking the mute was exactly as they wanted him to be--when most likely it was all a very queer mistake?... In the battling tumult of voices he alone was silent.
Carson McCullers (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter)
It was too much. The comfortable people made comfortable jokes about weather and things but I sat mostly silent saying a word or so when necessary a word or so trying to hide from them the fact that I was a fool and feeling terrible And I was numb, numb again, numb again again and again, numbness and pain swelling in me.
Charles Bukowski
Truth is dangerous. It topples palaces and kills kings. It stirs gentle men to rage and bids them take up arms. It wakes old grievances and opens forgotten wounds. It is the mother of the sleepless night and the hag-ridden day. And yet there is one thing that is more dangerous than Truth. Those who would silence Truth’s voice are more destructive by far. It is most perilous to be a speaker of Truth. Sometimes one must choose to be silent, or be silenced. But if a truth cannot be spoken, it must at least be known. Even if you dare not speak truth to others, never lie to yourself.
Frances Hardinge (Fly by Night)
You know, there's a million fine looking women in the world, dude. But they don't all bring you lasagna at work. Most of 'em just cheat on you. (As Silent Bob)
Kevin Smith
The most deadly mammal on the planet is a silent, smiling woman. -Note to self
Lani Lynn Vale (Charlie Foxtrot (Code 11-KPD SWAT, #5))
They waited for the elevator. " Most people love butterflies and hate moth," he said. "But moths are more interesting - more engaging." "They're destructive." "Some are, a lot are, but they live in all kinds of ways. Just like we do." Silence for one floor. "There's a moth, more than one in fact, that lives only on tears," he offered. "That's all they eat or drink." "What kind of tears? Whose tears?" "The tears of large land mammals, about our size. The old definition of moth was, 'anything that gradually, silently eats, consumes, or wages any other thing.' It was a verb for destruction too. . . .
Thomas Harris (The Silence of the Lambs (Hannibal Lecter, #2))
What did she say?” asked Matthias. Nina coughed and took his arm, leading him away. “She said you’re a very nice fellow, and a credit to the Fjerdan race. Ooh, look, blini! I haven’t had proper blini in forever.” “That word she used: babink,” he said. “You’ve called me that before. What does it mean?” Nina directed her attention to a stack of paper-thin buttered pancakes. “It means sweetie pie.” “Nina—” “Barbarian.” “I was just asking, there’s no need to name-call.” “No, babink means barbarian.” Matthias’ gaze snapped back to the old woman, his glower returning to full force. Nina grabbed his arm. It was like trying to hold on to a boulder. “She wasn’t insulting you! I swear!” “Barbarian isn’t an insult?” he asked, voice rising. “No. Well, yes. But not in this context. She wanted to know if you’d like to play Princess and Barbarian.” “It’s a game?” “Not exactly.” “Then what is it?” Nina couldn’t believe she was actually going to attempt to explain this. As they continued up the street, she said, “In Ravka, there’s a popular series of stories about, um, a brave Fjerdan warrior—” “Really?” Matthias asked. “He’s the hero?” “In a manner of speaking. He kidnaps a Ravkan princess—” “That would never happen.” “In the story it does, and”—she cleared her throat—“they spend a long time getting to know each other. In his cave.” “He lives in a cave?” “It’s a very nice cave. Furs. Jeweled cups. Mead.” “Ah,” he said approvingly. “A treasure hoard like Ansgar the Mighty. They become allies, then?” Nina picked up a pair of embroidered gloves from another stand. “Do you like these? Maybe we could get Kaz to wear something with flowers. Liven up his look.” “How does the story end? Do they fight battles?” Nina tossed the gloves back on the pile in defeat. “They get to know each other intimately.” Matthias’ jaw dropped. “In the cave?” “You see, he’s very brooding, very manly,” Nina hurried on. “But he falls in love with the Ravkan princess and that allows her to civilize him—” “To civilize him?” “Yes, but that’s not until the third book.” “There are three?” “Matthias, do you need to sit down?” “This culture is disgusting. The idea that a Ravkan could civilize a Fjerdan—” “Calm down, Matthias.” “Perhaps I’ll write a story about insatiable Ravkans who like to get drunk and take their clothes off and make unseemly advances toward hapless Fjerdans.” “Now that sounds like a party.” Matthias shook his head, but she could see a smile tugging at his lips. She decided to push the advantage. “We could play,” she murmured, quietly enough so that no one around them could hear. “We most certainly could not.” “At one point he bathes her.” Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he—” “She’s tied up, so he has to.” “Be silent.” “Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.” “How about I bite your lip?” “Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
We drove 22 miles into the country around Farmington. There were meadows and apple orchards. White fences trailed through the rolling fields. Soon the sign started appearing. THE MOST PHOTOGRAPHED BARN IN AMERICA. We counted five signs before we reached the site. There were 40 cars and a tour bus in the makeshift lot. We walked along a cowpath to the slightly elevated spot set aside for viewing and photographing. All the people had cameras; some had tripods, telephoto lenses, filter kits. A man in a booth sold postcards and slides -- pictures of the barn taken from the elevated spot. We stood near a grove of trees and watched the photographers. Murray maintained a prolonged silence, occasionally scrawling some notes in a little book. "No one sees the barn," he said finally. A long silence followed. "Once you've seen the signs about the barn, it becomes impossible to see the barn." He fell silent once more. People with cameras left the elevated site, replaced by others. We're not here to capture an image, we're here to maintain one. Every photograph reinforces the aura. Can you feel it, Jack? An accumulation of nameless energies." There was an extended silence. The man in the booth sold postcards and slides. "Being here is a kind of spiritual surrender. We see only what the others see. The thousands who were here in the past, those who will come in the future. We've agreed to be part of a collective perception. It literally colors our vision. A religious experience in a way, like all tourism." Another silence ensued. "They are taking pictures of taking pictures," he said.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
You know it is the most relaxed thing when you when you sit with a best friend and you know there is nothing you have to tell him to empty your mind. We just stayed there together, silent in the dusk like this, and we were quite happy.
Michael Ondaatje (Running in the Family)
I looked out across the Ocean, and determined to drown myself. I was up to my chin when the shout came, and I will never forget it. Never. For it seems to me that any hope in life is such a shout; a voice that answers the silent place of despair. It is silence that most needs an answering — when I can no longer speak, hear me.
Jeanette Winterson (The Stone Gods)
Giants isn't eating each other either, the BFG said. Nor is giants killing each other. Giants is not very lovely, but they is not killing each other. Nor is crockadowndillies killing other crockadowndillies. Nor is pussy-cats killing pussy-cats. 'They kill mice,' Sophie said. 'Ah, but they is not killing their own kind,' the BFG said. 'Human beans is the only animals that is killing their own kind.' 'Don't poisonous snakes kill each other?' Sophie asked. She was searching desperately for another creature that behaved as badly as the human. 'Even poisnowse snakes is never killing each other,' the BFG said. 'Nor is the most fearsome creatures like tigers and rhinostossterisses. None of them is ever killing their own kind. Has you ever thought about that?' Sophie kept silent. 'I is not understanding human beans at all,' the BFG said.' You is a human bean and you is saying it is grizzling and horrigust for giants to be eating human beans. Right or left?' 'Right,' Sophie said. 'But human beans is squishing each other all the time,' the BFG said. 'They is shootling guns and going up in aerioplanes to drop their bombs on each other's heads every week. Human beans is always killing other human beans.' He was right. Of course he was right and Sophie knew it. She was beginning to wonder whether humans were actually any better than giants. 'Even so,' she said, defending her own race, I' think it's rotten that those foul giants should go off every night to eat humans. Humans have never done them any harm.' 'That is what the little piggy-wig is saying every day,' the BFG answered. 'He is saying, "I has never done any harm to the human bean so why should he be eating me?'" 'Oh dear,' Sophie said. 'The human beans is making rules to suit themselves,' the BFG went on. 'But the rules they is making do not suit the little piggy-wiggies. Am I right or left?' 'Right,' Sophie said. 'Giants is also making rules. Their rules is not suiting the human beans. Everybody is making his own rules to suit himself.
Roald Dahl (The BFG)
If anyone should talk to her," Renfield piped up, "it should be me. We're the most compatible, culturewise. I'm sure that on top of feeling as if she's been thrust into one of the many levels of Hades, with all of its attendant demons, she feels like a lady wandering, lost, amongst the mannerless cads of the slums." We were all silent for a moment before Tom asked, "You do realize that we're sitting right here, right?" "Oh, I am horribly aware of this fact." "Just checking.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
Children are the most wonderful audiences. What's struck me most is that that they watch it so silently, until the end when they shriek and shout and clap.
Emma Thompson
No one’s judging you out loud. Mostly it’s silent, side-eye judgment, but really, that doesn’t even count.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Air He Breathes (Elements, #1))
If you’ve ever had a rational thought or asked Why? or gazed at the night sky in silent wonder, then you have had a Greek moment.
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Genius: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley)
The most intimate moments in the world don't happen in nightclubs or backstage or even on the movie screen. They were moments like this: sitting silently, comfortably, holding hands on a darkened bedroom floor.
Georgia Clark (She's with the Band (Girlfriend Fiction, #3))
He was a man of very few words, and as it was impossible to talk, one had to keep silent. It’s hard work talking to some people, most often males. I have a Theory about it. With age, many men come down with testosterone autism, the symptoms of which are a gradual decline in social intelligence and capacity for interpersonal communication, as well as a reduced ability to formulate thoughts. The Person beset by this Ailment becomes taciturn and appears to be lost in contemplation. He develops an interest in various Tools and machinery, and he’s drawn to the Second World War and the biographies of famous people, mainly politicians and villains. His capacity to read novels almost entirely vanishes; testosterone autism disturbs the character’s psychological understanding.
Olga Tokarczuk (Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead)
Helen spent three days in Rhys Winterborne's room babbling incessantly while he lay there feverish and mostly silent. She became heartily tired of the sound of her own voice, and said something to that effect near the end of the second day. "I'm not," he said shortly. "Keep talking.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Undoubtedly, Baron Arald thought with a deep sense of pride and satisfaction, this would go down as the weddiong of the year. Perhaps of the decade. Already, it had the hallmarks of a roaring success . The Bores' Table was well attended with a group of eight people, currently vying to see who could be the most uninteresting, overbearing, and repetitive. Other guests glanced in their direction, giving silent thanks to the organizers who had seperated them from such dread-ful people. There had been inevitable tearful flouncing and shrill recriminations when a girlfriend of one of the younger warriors from Sir Rodney's Battleschool had caught her boyfriend kissing another girl in a darkened corridor. It wouldn't be a wedding reception without that, Arald thought.
John Flanagan (Erak's Ransom (Ranger's Apprentice, #7))
Female Mercenary. This will be a companion on your Tour. She is usually tall, thin and wiry, silent, and neurotic. Sex scares her. This is because she either came from a nunnery or was raped as a child. Or both. Somehow this inspired her to become a mercenary and she is very good at her job. You can rely on her absolutely in a fight. She can usually kill two people at once while guarding your back in between. The rest of the time, she will irritate you with lots of punctilious weapons cleaning and a perpetual insistence that a proper watch be kept. Mostly, she will have no magic talents, but sometimes, in an emergency, she will come up with a gift or vision. You will end up grudgingly admiring her.
Diana Wynne Jones (The Tough Guide to Fantasyland)
Now the two of them rode silently toward town, both lost in their own thoughts. Their way took them past the Delgado house. Roland looked up and saw Susan sitting in her window, a bright vision in the gray light of that fall morning. His heart leaped up and although he didn't know it then, it was how he would remember her most clearly forever after- lovely Susan, the girl in the window. So do we pass the ghosts that haunt us later in our lives; they sit undramatically by the roadside like poor beggars, and we see them only from the corners of our eyes, if we see them at all. The idea that they have been waiting there for us rarely if ever crosses our minds. Yet they do wait, and when we have passed, they gather up their bundles of memory and fall in behind, treading in our footsteps and catching up, little by little.
Stephen King (Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower, #4))
I walked out of Rhys’s touch—realizing he’d kept silent to let me sort it out. Let me figure out how to deal with both of them, as family, but mostly as their High Lady.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
You know, Theo, one of the hardest things to admit is that we weren’t loved when we needed it most. It’s a terrible feeling, the pain of not being loved.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
Rowan wriggled his fingers in silent reminder. Shall we? Aelin scowled and took his hand, letting him haul her to her feet. So pushy. Rowan slid an arm around her shoulders. That’s the most polite thing you’ve ever said about me.
Sarah J. Maas (Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7))
Silence is a mirror. So faithful, and yet so unexpected, is the relection it can throw back at men that they will go to almost any length to avoid seeing themselves in it, and if ever its duplicating surface is temporarily wiped clean of modern life's ubiquitous hubbub, they will hasten to fog it over with such desperate personal noise devices as polite conversation, hummin, whistling, imaginary dialogue, schizophrenic babble, or, should it come to that, the clandestine cannonry of their own farting. Only in sleep is silence tolerated, and even there, most dreams have soundtracks. Since meditation is a deliberate descent into deep internal hush, a mute stare into the ultimate looking glass, it is regarded with suspicion by the nattering masses; with hostility by buisness interests (people sitting in silent serenity are seldom consuming goods); and with spite by a clergy whose windy authority it is seen to undermine and whose bombastic livelihood it is perceived to threaten.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
I'm often asked which author I am most inspired by, but I'm inspired by all authors. It takes a great deal of courage to pour your onto paper and watch silently as the world judges it loudly.
Charity Parkerson
The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart How astonishing it is that language can almost mean, and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say, God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according to which nation. French has no word for home, and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people in northern India is dying out because their ancient tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost vocabularies that might express some of what we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would finally explain why the couples on their tombs are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated, they seemed to be business records. But what if they are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light. O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper, as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind's labor. Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script is not language but a map. What we feel most has no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds.
Jack Gilbert (The Great Fires)
I am Outcast." "The kids behind me laugh so loud I know they’re laughing about me. I can’t help myself. I turn around. It’s Rachel, surrounded by a bunch of kids wearing clothes that most definitely did not come from the EastSide Mall. Rachel Bruin, my ex-best friend. She stares at something above my left ear. Words climb up my throat. This was the girl who suffered through Brownies with me, who taught me how to swim, who understood about my parents, who didn’t make fun of my bedroom. If there is anyone in the entire galaxy I am dying to tell what really happened, it’s Rachel. My throat burns." "Her eyes meet mine for a second. “I hate you,” she mouths silently.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
My least favorite form of street harassment is when a guy asks why I’m not smiling. It’s related to that: Women aren’t allowed to be quiet or stoic or shy—or, hell, just in a bad mood—without being criticized. Women are bitchy and frigid if we don’t seem accessible at all times, for the most part to men. We’re supposed to be perpetually friendly. Who wants to live up to that? And seriously, when was the last time you heard a quiet woman described as “deep”? Men who are serious are just that—serious. Think laconic cowboys and Clint Eastwood-style movie heroes. Strong and silent is a desirable personality trait for men—women, not so much. Because where silence in men is seen as strength, silence in women (if not seen as bitchy) is seen as weakness—she’s shy, a wallflower.
Jessica Valenti (He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know)
There is a kind of sleep that steals upon us sometimes, which, while it holds the body prisoner, does not free the mind from a sense of things about it, and enable it to ramble at its pleasure. So far as an overpowering heaviness, a prostration of strength, and an utter inability to control our thoughts or power of motion, can be called sleep, this is it; and yet we have a consciousness of all that is going on about us; and if we dream at such a time, words which are really spoken, or sounds which really exist at the moment, accommodate themselves with surprising readiness to our visions, until reality and imagination become so strangely blended that it is afterwards almost a matter of impossibilty to separate the two. Nor is this, the most striking phenomenon, incidental to such a state. It is an undoubted fact, that although our senses of touch and sight be for the time dead, yet our sleeping thoughts, and the visionary scenes that pass before us, will be influenced, and materially influenced, by the mere silent presence of some external object: which may not have been near us when we closed our eyes: and of whose vicinity we have had no waking consciousness.
Charles Dickens (Oliver Twist)
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts… That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Some sleepers have intelligent faces even in sleep, while other faces, even intelligent ones, become very stupid in sleep and therefore ridiculous. I don't know what makes that happen; I only want to say that a laughing man, like a sleeping one, most often knows nothing about his face. A great many people don't know how to laugh at all. However, there's nothing to know here: it's a gift, and it can't be fabricated. It can only be fabricated by re-educating oneself, developing oneself for the better, and overcoming the bad instincts of one's character; then the laughter of such a person might quite possibly change for the better. A man can give himself away completely by his laughter, so that you suddenly learn all of his innermost secrets. Even indisputably intelligent laughter is sometimes repulsive. Laughter calls first of all for sincerity, and where does one find sincerity? Laughter calls for lack of spite, but people most often laugh spitefully. Sincere and unspiteful laughter is mirth. A man's mirth is a feature that gives away the whole man, from head to foot. Someone's character won't be cracked for a long time, then the man bursts out laughing somehow quite sincerely, and his whole character suddenly opens up as if on the flat of your hand. Only a man of the loftiest and happiest development knows how to be mirthful infectiously, that is, irresistibly and goodheartedly. I'm not speaking of his mental development, but of his character, of the whole man. And so, if you want to discern a man and know his soul, you must look, not at how he keeps silent, or how he speaks, or how he weeps, or even how he is stirred by the noblest ideas, but you had better look at him when he laughs. If a man has a good laugh, it means he's a good man. Note at the same time all the nuances: for instance, a man's laughter must in no case seem stupid to you, however merry and simplehearted it may be. The moment you notice the slightest trace of stupidity in someone's laughter, it undoubtedly means that the man is of limited intelligence, though he may do nothing but pour out ideas. Or if his laughter isn't stupid, but the man himself, when he laughs, for some reason suddenly seems ridiculous to you, even just slightly—know, then, that the man has no real sense of dignity, not fully in any case. Or finally, if his laughter is infectious, but for some reason still seems banal to you, know, then, that the man's nature is on the banal side as well, and all the noble and lofty that you noticed in him before is either deliberately affected or unconsciously borrowed, and later on the man is certain to change for the worse, to take up what's 'useful' and throw his noble ideas away without regret, as the errors and infatuations of youth.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Adolescent)
Many people are trying hard to be invincible, and most of the time they fail invisible, while few find their spotlight. But the remarkable person is one, who can be both invincible and invisible at the same time.
Anthony Liccione
The only woman's body I had studied, with ever-increasing apprehension, was the lame body of my mother, and I had felt pressed, threatened by that image, and still feared that it would suddenly impose itself on mine. That day, instead, I saw clearly the mothers of the old neighborhood. They were nervous, they were acquiescent. They were silent, with tight lips and stooping shoulders, or they yelled terrible insults at the children who harassed them. Extremely thin, with hollow eyes and cheeks, they lugged shopping bags and small children who clung to their skirts and wanted to be picked up. And, good God, they were ten, at most twenty years older than me. Yet they appeared to have lost those feminine qualities that were so important to us girls and that we accentuated with clothes, with makeup. They had been consumed by the bodies of husbands, fathers, brothers, whom they ultimately came to resemble, because of their labors or the arrival of old age, of illness. When did that transformation begin? With housework? With pregnancies? With beatings?
Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name (The Neapolitan Novels #2))
Their eyes met, and in those few silent moments, he told her everything. He told her that she was the most astonishing thing he had ever encountered. He told her that she haunted his waking hours, and that every feeling, every experience he had in his life up to that point was flat and unimportant to the enormity of this. He told her he loved her.
Jojo Moyes (The Last Letter from Your Lover)
It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie's pain-blanched face. He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side. Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness. As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
Corrie ten Boom
What sort of man could you love for a lifetime?" he asked her. She was silent for a while. He guessed that she was considering her answer. "A kind man," she said. "When we are young and foolish we do not realize how essential a component of love kindness is. It is perhaps the most important quality. And an honorable man. Always doing the right thing no matter what." His heart sank-on both account. "And a strong man," she said. "Strong enough to be vulnerable, to take risks, to be honest even when honesty might expose him to ridicule or rejection. And someone who would put himself at the center of my world even before knowing that I would be willing to do the same for him. A man foolish and brave enough to tell me that he loves me even when I have hidden all signs that I love him in return." "Eve-" he said. "He would have to be tall and broad and dark and hook-nosed," she said. "And frowning much of the time, pretending he is tough and impervious to all the finer emotions. And then smiling occasionally to light up my heart and my life." Good God! "He would have to be you," she said. "no one else would do. Which is just as well, considering the fact that I am married to you...
Mary Balogh (Slightly Married (Bedwyn Saga, #1))
...if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.
George Washington
Tyrion Lannister had claimed that most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it, but Jon was done with denials. He was who he was; Jon Snow, bastard and oathbreaker, motherless, friendless, and damned. For the rest of his life-however long that might be-he would be condemned to be an outsider, the silent man standing in the shadows who dares not speak his true name.
George R.R. Martin
A silent velvet footstep filled me, unwelcome yet so needed. You finally found my hidden shore with grains of time and ocean of the most secret secrets, violet and red; left a trail of deep blue footsteps on my glowing beach of soul, and no matter how many times tides wash the golden sand anew, your prints can never be erased. Each one a shining star in my quiet Universe...
Oksana Rus
That dead-eyed anhedonia is but a remora on the ventral flank of the true predator, the Great White Shark of pain. Authorities term this condition clinical depression or involutional depression or unipolar dysphoria. Instead of just an incapacity for feeling, a deadening of soul, the predator-grade depression Kate Gompert always feels as she Withdraws from secret marijuana is itself a feeling. It goes by many names — anguish, despair, torment, or q.v. Burton's melancholia or Yevtuschenko's more authoritative psychotic depression — but Kate Gompert, down in the trenches with the thing itself, knows it simply as It. It is a level of psychic pain wholly incompatible with human life as we know it. It is a sense of radical and thoroughgoing evil not just as a feature but as the essence of conscious existence. It is a sense of poisoning that pervades the self at the self's most elementary levels. It is a nausea of the cells and soul. It is an unnumb intuition in which the world is fully rich and animate and un-map-like and also thoroughly painful and malignant and antagonistic to the self, which depressed self It billows on and coagulates around and wraps in Its black folds and absorbs into Itself, so that an almost mystical unity is achieved with a world every constituent of which means painful harm to the self. Its emotional character, the feeling Gompert describes It as, is probably mostly indescribable except as a sort of double bind in which any/all of the alternatives we associate with human agency — sitting or standing, doing or resting, speaking or keeping silent, living or dying — are not just unpleasant but literally horrible. It is also lonely on a level that cannot be conveyed. There is no way Kate Gompert could ever even begin to make someone else understand what clinical depression feels like, not even another person who is herself clinically depressed, because a person in such a state is incapable of empathy with any other living thing. This anhedonic Inability To Identify is also an integral part of It. If a person in physical pain has a hard time attending to anything except that pain, a clinically depressed person cannot even perceive any other person or thing as independent of the universal pain that is digesting her cell by cell. Everything is part of the problem, and there is no solution. It is a hell for one. The authoritative term psychotic depression makes Kate Gompert feel especially lonely. Specifically the psychotic part. Think of it this way. Two people are screaming in pain. One of them is being tortured with electric current. The other is not. The screamer who's being tortured with electric current is not psychotic: her screams are circumstantially appropriate. The screaming person who's not being tortured, however, is psychotic, since the outside parties making the diagnoses can see no electrodes or measurable amperage. One of the least pleasant things about being psychotically depressed on a ward full of psychotically depressed patients is coming to see that none of them is really psychotic, that their screams are entirely appropriate to certain circumstances part of whose special charm is that they are undetectable by any outside party. Thus the loneliness: it's a closed circuit: the current is both applied and received from within.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Just wish it. But remember, it will only work if it's what you most desire. Do it now. We're running out of time." WHAT I MOST DESIRE. WHAT I MOST DESIRE. I looked into his electric eyes and made my wish. Then I popped the bean into my mouth and swallowed it whole. For a moment, the world stood still. We sat in a silent bubble, just us two, insulated from the snow and the wind. His eyes widened. "But, Katrina, that wish was supposed to be for you." "It's what I most desire." And it was.
Suzanne Selfors (Coffeehouse Angel)
There again," said Syme irritably, "what is there poetical about being in revolt? You might as well say that it is poetical to be sea-sick. Being sick is a revolt. Both being sick and being rebellious may be the wholesome thing on certain desperate occasions; but I'm hanged if I can see why they are poetical...It is things going right," he cried, "that is poetical! Our digestions, for instance, going sacredly and silently right, that is the foundation of all poetry...the most poetical thing in the world is not being sick.
G.K. Chesterton (The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare)
With a suddenness that startled them all the wizard sprang to his feet. He was laughing! "I have it!" he cried. "Of course, of course! Absurdly simple, like most riddles when you see the answer." Picking up his staff he stood before the rock and said in a clear voice: Mellon! The star shone out briefly and faded again. Then silently a great doorway was outlined, though not a crack or joint had been visible before. Slowly it divided in the middle and swung outwards inch by inch, until both doors lay back against the wall.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
I feel so unhappy.” I am sure that this one phrase whispered to me would arouse my sympathy more than the longest, most painstaking account of a woman’s life. It amazes and astonishes me that I have never once heard a woman make this simple statement. This woman did not say, “I feel so unhappy” in so many words, but something like a silent current of misery an inch wide flowed over the surface of her body. When I lay next to her my body was enveloped in her current, which mingled with my own harsher current of gloom like a “withered leaf settling to rest on the stones at the bottom of a pool.” I had freed myself from fear and uneasiness.
Osamu Dazai (No Longer Human)
For it is our most secret desire that governs and dominates all. If your eyes look for nothing but evil, you will always see evil triumphant; but if you have learned to let your glance rest on sincerity, simpleness, truth, you will ever discover, deep down in all things, the silent overpowering victory of that which you love.
Maurice Maeterlinck (Wisdom And Destiny)
It’s okay. I’m a rhinoceros astronaut.” She was silent a moment. “Oh, sparks. You’re going delusional.” “No, no. I mean, I’m surprising. I’ll surprise him. What’s the most surprising thing you can think of? Bet it’s a rhinoceros astronaut.
Brandon Sanderson (Mitosis (The Reckoners, #1.5))
When Westerners remain silent out of 'respect' for foreign cultures, they show support only for the most conservative elements of those cultures. Cultural relativism is as much my enemy as the oppression I fight within my culture and faith.
Mona Eltahawy (Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution)
Ranna," she said aloud, touching the first, the smallest bell. Ranna the sleepbringer, the sweet, low sound that brought silence in its wake. "Mosrael." The second bell, a harsh, rowdy bell. Mosrael was the waker, the bell Sabriel should never use, the bell whose sound was a seesaw, throwing the ringer further into Death, as it brought the listener into Life. "Kibeth." Kibeth, the walker. A bell of several sounds, a difficult and contrary bell. It could give freedom of movement to one of the Dead, or walk them through the next gate. Many a necromancer had stumbled with Kibeth and walked where they would not. "Dyrim." A musical bell, of clear and pretty tone. Dyrim was the voice that the Dead so often lost. But Dyrim could also still a tongue that moved too freely. "Belgaer." Another tricksome bell, that sought to ring of its own accord. Belgaer was the thinking bell, the bell most necromancers scorned to use. It could restore independent thought, memory and all the patterns of a living person. Or, slipping in a careless hand, erase them. "Saraneth." The deepest, lowest bell. The sound of strength. Saraneth was the binder, the bell that shackled the Dead to the wielder's will. And last, the largest bell, the one Sabriel's cold fingers found colder still, even in the leather case that kept it silent. "Astarael, the Sorrowful," whispered Sabriel. Astarael was the banisher, the final bell. Properly rung, it cast everyone who heard it far into Death. Everyone, including the ringer.
Garth Nix (Sabriel (Abhorsen, #1))
Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom But thee, deep buried in the silent tomb, That spot which no vicissitude can find? Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind— But how could I forget thee? Through what power, Even for the least division of an hour, Have I been so beguiled as to be blind To my most grievous loss!—That thought's return Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore, Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more; That neither present time, nor years unborn Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.
William Wordsworth (The Works of William Wordsworth (Wordsworth Collection))
They walked for a while, all silent in their thoughts, until they reached the car and Alec drew a fine telescope from his shirt and handed it to Milo. "Carry this with you on your journey," he said softly, "for there is much worth noticing that often escapes the eye. Through it you can see everything from the tender moss in a sidewalk crack to the glow of the farthest star — and, most important of all, you can see things as they really are, not just as they seem to be. It's my gift to you.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
Sitting there on the heather, on our planetary grain, I shrank from the abysses that opened up on every side, and in the future. The silent darkness, the featureless unknown, were more dread than all the terrors that imagination had mustered. Peering, the mind could see nothing sure, nothing in all human experience to be grasped as certain, except uncertainty itself; nothing but obscurity gendered by a thick haze of theories. Man's science was a mere mist of numbers; his philosophy but a fog of words. His very perception of this rocky grain and all its wonders was but a shifting and a lying apparition. Even oneself, that seeming-central fact, was a mere phantom, so deceptive, that the most honest of men must question his own honesty, so insubstantial that he must even doubt his very existence.
Olaf Stapledon (Star Maker)
A comprehensive treatment plan for the heart’s diseases is to deny the self of its desires,        Enjoin hunger, keep worship vigilance in the night, be silent, and meditate in private;        Also keep company with good people who possess sincerity, those who are emulated in their states and statements;        And, finally, take refuge in the One unto whom all affairs return. That is the most beneficial treatment for all of the previous diseases.        This must be to the point in which you are like a man drowning or someone lost in a barren desert and see no source of succor        Except from the Guardian, possessor of the greatest power. He is the One who responds to the call of the distressed.
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
You stubborn bastard. Take it from someone who knows firsthand, there’s a lot to be said for forgiveness. Grudges seldom hurt anyone except the one bearing them. (Acheron) And there’s a lot to be said for knocking enemies upside their heads and cracking skulls open. (Urian) To everything there is a season, and tonight ours is to stand together or lose everything. I’m not fighting for Stryker or to save your sister. I’m fighting to protect the ones I love. The ones who will suffer most if War isn’t stopped. (Acheron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
Margaret realized the chaotic nature of our daily life, and its difference from the orderly sequence that has been fabricated by historians. Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere. With infinite effort we nerve ourselves for a crisis that never comes. The most successful career must show a waste of strength that might have removed mountains, and the most unsuccessful is no that of a man who is taken unprepared, but of him who has prepared and is never taken. On a tragedy of that kind our national morality is duly silent. It assumes that preparation against danger is in itself a good, and that men, like nations, are the better for staggering through life fully armed. The tragedy of preparedness has scarcely been handled, save by the Greeks. Life is indeed dangerous, but not in the way morality would have us believe. It is indeed unmanageable, but the essence of it is not a battle. It is unmanageable, but the essence of it is not a battle. It is unmanageable because it is a romance, and its essence is romantic beauty.
E.M. Forster (Howards End)
What have you done? (Apollymi) Mulling mostly coupled with a shot or two of reminiscing and a drop of regretting a few past decisions. Some might even call it moping, but I’d kill anyone so stupid as to suggest that of me. (Stryker)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
Trinity’s witnesses responded just as those to Apollo 11 would, as J. Robert Oppenheimer remembered: "We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent." Oppenheimer later said the he beheld his radiant blooming cloud and thought of Hindu scripture: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." Aloud, however, the physicist made the ultimate engineer comment: "It worked.
Craig Nelson (Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon)
You’ve got to be kidding me. I thought you were the most powerful of beings. Even the gods fear you. (Stryker) We all have predators. The entire universe exists in a system of checks and balances. I just met my zero balance. (War) Are you honestly telling me that the most powerful creature on this planet is a pathetic Cajun guttersnipe who offed himself because one of my men killed his mommy? (Stryker)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
Psychopaths project and blame you for their own behavior. They accuse you of being negative when they are the most negative people in the world. They gaslight you into believing that your normal reactions to their abuse are the problem—not the abuse itself. When you feel angry and hurt because of their silent treatment, broken promises, lying, or cheating, there is something wrong with you. When you call them out on their dishonest behavior, you’re the abnormal one who is too sensitive, too critical, and always focusing on the negative.
Peace (Psychopath Free: Recovering from Emotionally Abusive Relationships With Narcissists, Sociopaths, & Other Toxic People)
I saw a banner hanging next to city hall in downtown Philadelphia that read, "Kill them all, and let God sort them out." A bumper sticker read, "God will judge evildoers; we just have to get them to him." I saw a T-shirt on a soldier that said, "US Air Force... we don't die; we just go to hell to regroup." Others were less dramatic- red, white, and blue billboards saying, "God bless our troops." "God Bless America" became a marketing strategy. One store hung an ad in their window that said, "God bless America--$1 burgers." Patriotism was everywhere, including in our altars and church buildings. In the aftermath of September 11th, most Christian bookstores had a section with books on the event, calendars, devotionals, buttons, all decorated in the colors of America, draped in stars and stripes, and sprinkled with golden eagles. This burst of nationalism reveals the deep longing we all have for community, a natural thirst for intimacy... September 11th shattered the self-sufficient, autonomous individual, and we saw a country of broken fragile people who longed for community- for people to cry with, be angry with, to suffer with. People did not want to be alone in their sorrow, rage, and fear. But what happened after September 11th broke my heart. Conservative Christians rallies around the drums of war. Liberal Christian took to the streets. The cross was smothered by the flag and trampled under the feet of angry protesters. The church community was lost, so the many hungry seekers found community in the civic religion of American patriotism. People were hurting and crying out for healing, for salvation in the best sense of the word, as in the salve with which you dress a wound. A people longing for a savior placed their faith in the fragile hands of human logic and military strength, which have always let us down. They have always fallen short of the glory of God. ...The tragedy of the church's reaction to September 11th is not that we rallied around the families in New York and D.C. but that our love simply reflected the borders and allegiances of the world. We mourned the deaths of each soldier, as we should, but we did not feel the same anger and pain for each Iraqi death, or for the folks abused in the Abu Ghraib prison incident. We got farther and farther from Jesus' vision, which extends beyond our rational love and the boundaries we have established. There is no doubt that we must mourn those lives on September 11th. We must mourn the lives of the soldiers. But with the same passion and outrage, we must mourn the lives of every Iraqi who is lost. They are just as precious, no more, no less. In our rebirth, every life lost in Iraq is just as tragic as a life lost in New York or D.C. And the lives of the thirty thousand children who die of starvation each day is like six September 11ths every single day, a silent tsunami that happens every week.
Shane Claiborne (The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical)
It was love at first touch rather than at first sight, for I had met her several times before without experiencing any special emotions; but one night as I was seeing her home, something quaint she had said made me stoop with a laugh and lightly kiss her on the hair - and of course we all know of that blinding blast which is caused by merely picking up a small doll from the floor of a carefully abandoned house: the soldier involved hears nothing; for him it is but an ecstatic soundless and boundless expansion of what had been during his life a pinpoint of light in the dark center of his being. And really, the reason we think of death in celestial terms is that the visible firmament, especially at night (above our blacked-out Paris with the gaunt arches of its Boulevard Exelmans and the ceaseless Alpine gurgle of desolate latrines), is the most adequate and ever-present symbol of that vast silent explosion' The time, the place, the torture. Her fan, her gloves, her mask. I spent that night and many others getting it out of her bit by bit, but not getting it all. I was under the strange delusion that first I must find out every detail, reconstruct every minute, and only then decide whether I could bear it. But the limit of desired knowledge was unattainable, nor could I ever foretell the approximate point after which I might imagine myself satiated, because of course the denominator of every fraction of knowledge was potentially as infinite as the number of intervals between the fractions themselves.
Vladimir Nabokov (The Collected Stories)
On the whole she fares better with the men, if they can work their way past the awkward preliminaries; if they can avoid calling her "little lady," or saying they weren't expecting her to be so feminine, by which they mean short. Though only the most doddering ones do that any more. If she weren't so tiny, though, she'd never get away with it. If she were six feet tall and built like a blockhouse; if she had hips. Then she'd be threatening, then she'd be an Amazon. It's the incongruity that grants her permission. A breath would blow you away, they beam down at her silently. You wish, thinks Tony, smiling up. Many have blown.
Margaret Atwood (The Robber Bride)
You, Doctor Martin, walk from breakfast to madness. Late August, I speed through the antiseptic tunnel where the moving dead still talk of pushing their bones against the thrust of cure. And I am queen of this summer hotel or the laughing bee on a stalk of death. We stand in broken lines and wait while they unlock the doors and count us at the frozen gates of dinner. The shibboleth is spoken and we move to gravy in our smock of smiles. We chew in rows, our plates scratch and whine like chalk in school. There are no knives for cutting your throat. I make moccasins all morning. At first my hands kept empty, unraveled for the lives they used to work. Now I learn to take them back, each angry finger that demands I mend what another will break tomorrow. Of course, I love you; you lean above the plastic sky, god of our block, prince of all the foxes. The breaking crowns are new that Jack wore. Your third eye moves among us and lights the separate boxes where we sleep or cry. What large children we are here. All over I grow most tall in the best ward. Your business is people, you call at the madhouse, an oracular eye in our nest. Out in the hall the intercom pages you. You twist in the pull of the foxy children who fall like floods of life in frost. And we are magic talking to itself, noisy and alone. I am queen of all my sins forgotten. Am I still lost? Once I was beautiful. Now I am myself, counting this row and that row of moccasins waiting on the silent shelf.
Anne Sexton (To Bedlam and Part Way Back)
Daughter, I want you to form the most intense, loving relationship with yourself. Only then will you realize your capacity for kindness and emotional expansiveness. Daughter, after you have formed this relationship with yourself, I want you to love others with the openness and humility that you always embodied as a child. Daughter, I want you to forgive easily, laugh loudly and never allow yourself to become the invisible, silent woman that your mother was. Daughter, this is how we soften our hearts and become better human beings.
Diriye Osman
The [bowling] ball flew out jerkily, sailed about four feet, hit the lane with a loud crack, and then promptly entered the gutter. Roman walked up beside me, and we silently watched the ball complete its journey. 'Are you always that rough with balls?' he asked finally. 'Most men don't complain.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Blues (Georgina Kincaid, #1))
She loved most being in the woods with the diffused light and the quiet there. Such a stillness, with just the pecking of ground birds and forest animals, the flutter of wings, the occasional skittering of squirrels playing up and down a tree. The silent, imperceptible unfurling of spring buds into blossom. She felt comfortable there. As if nothing could be unnatural in that place, within but apart from the world.
Brad Watson (Miss Jane)
I, too, stood on the sacred image. For a moment this foot was on his face. It was on the face of the man who has been ever in my thoughts, on the face that was before me on the mountains, in my wanderings, in prison, on the best and most beautiful face that any man can ever know, on the face of him whom I have always longed to love. Even now that face is looking at me with eyes of pity from the plaque rubbed flat by many feet. « Trample ! » said those compassionate eyes. « Trample ! Your foot suffers in pain ; it must suffer like all the feet that have stepped on this plaque. But that pain alone is enough. I understand your pain and your suffering. It is for that reason that I am here. » « Lord, I resented your silence. » « I was not silent. I suffered beside you. »
Shūsaku Endō (Silence)
Spiritual pride tends to speak of other persons’ sins with bitterness or with laughter and levity and an air of contempt. But pure Christian humility rather tends either to be silent about these problems or to speak of them with grief and pity. Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble Christian is most guarded about himself. He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The proud person is apt to find fault with other believers, that they are low in grace, and to be much in observing how cold and dead they are and to be quick to note their deficiencies. But the humble Christian has so much to do at home and sees so much evil in his own heart and is so concerned about it that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts. He is apt to esteem others better than himself.
Jonathan Edwards
So, it was done, the break was made, in words at least: on July 2, 1776, in Philadelphia, the American colonies declared independence. If not all thirteen clocks had struck as one, twelve had, and with the other silent, the effect was the same. It was John Adams, more than anyone, who had made it happen. Further, he seems to have understood more clearly than any what a momentous day it was and in the privacy of two long letters to Abigail, he poured out his feelings as did no one else: The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.
David McCullough (John Adams)
You are looking outside, and that is what you should most avoid right now. No one can advise or help you - no one. There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple "I must," then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse...go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to, the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist. Then take that destiny upon yourself, and bear it, its burden and its greatness, without ever asking what reward might come from outside.
Rainer Maria Rilke
One more, final question came from the audience on my last night in Newtown, and it was the one I most did not want to hear: “Will God protect my child?” I stayed silent for what seemed like minutes. More than anything I wanted to answer with authority, “Yes! Of course God will protect you. Let me read you some promises from the Bible.” I knew, though, that behind me on the same platform twenty-six candles were flickering in memory of victims, proof that we have no immunity from the effects of a broken planet. My mind raced back to Japan, where I heard from parents who had lost their children to a tsunami in a middle school, and forward to that very morning when I heard from parents who had lost theirs to a shooter in an elementary school. At last I said, “No, I’m sorry, I can’t promise that.” None of us is exempt. We all die, some old, some tragically young. God provides support and solidarity, yes, but not protection—at least not the kind of protection we desperately long for. On this cursed planet, even God suffered the loss of a Son.
Philip Yancey (The Question That Never Goes Away)
Sometimes people appear in your life unexpectedly like a gift from the Universe. You didn’t even know you needed them, or that you had called out silently to them. They appear when you needed them most, to lift you, educate you, wake you up, or shine a light on your path. They sprout the seed that was in you, and patiently watch that seed emerge from the soil. Sometimes it wears them out to water and fertilize you every single day as you grow. This is a delicate time, you as the plant, and they as the nurturer. You as the plant need them for your growth, and they as your nurturer, have to have the energy to believe in your growth. Then, one day you blossom, and awaken to the beauty around you and rejoice. The only thing you ask from them anymore, is to celebrate the flower they have brought to life, and to accept the riches you now will give to them.
Riitta Klint
If God wants something from me, he would tell me. He wouldn't leave someone else to do this, as if an infinite being were short on time. And he would certainly not leave fallible, sinful humans to deliver an endless plethora of confused and contradictory messages. God would deliver the message himself, directly, to each and every one of us, and with such clarity as the most brilliant being in the universe could accomplish. We would all hear him out and shout "Eureka!" So obvious and well-demonstrated would his message be. It would be spoken to each of us in exactly those terms we would understand. And we would all agree on what that message was.
Richard C. Carrier (Why I Am Not a Christian: Four Conclusive Reasons to Reject the Faith)
And while I shall keep silent about some points, I do not want to remain silent about my morality which says to me: Live in seclusion so that you can live for yourself. Live in ignorance about what seems most important to your age. Between yourself and today lay the skin of at least three centuries. And the clamor of today, the noise of wars and revolutions should be a mere murmur for you.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Then know that I’ll be laughing at your ineptitude every time your enemies strike you, and if you fail to return with my daughter, I’ll have your heart and your head for decorations. (Zephyra) Your words are noted, my most prickly rose. And I shall endeavor to keep your amusement at a bare minimum. (Stryker)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (One Silent Night (Dark-Hunter, #15))
Had she believed all that? Old Pilar's folklore? No, not really; or not exactly. Most likely Pilar hadn't quite believed it either, but it was a reassuring story: that the dead were not entirely dead but were alive in a different way; a paler way admittedly, and somewhat darker. But still able to send messages, if only such messages could be recognized and deciphered. People need such stories, Pilar said once, because however dark, a darkness with voices in it is better than a silent void.
Margaret Atwood (MaddAddam (MaddAddam, #3))
Your friend is your needs answered. He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving. And he is your board and your fireside. For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace. When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay." And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart; For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed. When you part from your friend, you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain. And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit. For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught. And let your best be for your friend. If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also. For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill? Seek him always with hours to live. For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness. And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
As a rule, however fine and deep a phrase may be, it only affects the indifferent, and cannot fully satisfy those who are happy or unhappy; that is why dumbness is most often the highest expression of happiness or unhappiness; lovers understand each other better when they are silent, and a fervent, passionate speech delivered by the grave only touches outsiders, while to the widow and children of the dead man it seems cold and trivial.
Anton Chekhov (The Essential Tales of Chekhov)
Your Greatest Power - The things that you keep silently telling yourself are your most important conversations. Whatever you habitually dwell on in your mind, you will become, express, or experience. Your subconscious mind will be your best friend or your worst enemy. Everything depends on the way you train it and the use you make of it. ... your freedom to think, choose, reason, and decide for yourself. It shapes your destiny and determines the attraction and repulsion in your life. Guard its portals well. It is your hope of heaven.
Elinor MacDonald
Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule. Not William the Silent only, but all the considerable men I have known, and the most undiplomatic and unstrategic of these, forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting. Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties; what wreck and rubbish have those mute workmen within thee swept away, when intrusive noises were shut out! Speech is too often not, as the Frenchman defined it, the art of concealing Thought; but of quite stifling and suspending Thought, so that there is none to conceal. Speech too is great, but not the greatest. As the Swiss Inscription says: Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silvern, Silence is golden); or as I might rather express it: Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity.
Thomas Carlyle (Sartor Resartus)
We aren't victims of circumstance, we are co creators of our own reality. Self absorbed people may silence you, by projecting their undesirable traits on to you. You have power. You don't have to be a silent sheep. You can roar like a lion. Expression is what the narcissist, sociopath, and the psychopath fear the most when you start to speak for your self. When you start to stand up for your self - you become your greatest version. YOU are worthy. YOU have a choice to be around people, who are nurturing to your being and help you grow.
Angie karan
Life, of course, never gets anyone's entire attention. Death always remains interesting, pulls us, draws us. As sleep is necessary to our physiology, so depression seems necessary to our psychic economy. In some secret way, Thanatos nourishes Eros as well as opposes it. The two principles work in covert concert; though in most of us Eros dominates, in none of us is Thanatos completely subdued. However-and this is the paradox of suicide-to take one's life is to behave in a more active, assertive, "erotic" way than to helplessly watch as one's life is taken away from one by inevitable mortality. Suicide thus engages with both the death-hating and the death-loving parts of us: on some level, perhaps, we may envy the suicide even as we pity him. It has frequently been asked whether the poetry of Plath would have so aroused the attention of the world if Plath had not killed herself. I would agree with those who say no. The death-ridden poems move us and electrify us because of our knowledge of what happened. Alvarez has observed that the late poems read as if they were written posthumously, but they do so only because a death actually took place. "When I am talking about the weather / I know what I am talking about," Kurt Schwitters writes in a Dada poem (which I have quoted in its entirety). When Plath is talking about the death wish, she knows what she is talking about. In 1966, Anne Sexton, who committed suicide eleven years after Plath, wrote a poem entitled "Wanting to Die," in which these startlingly informative lines appear: But suicides have a special language. Like carpenters they want to know which tools. They never ask why build. When, in the opening of "Lady Lazarus," Plath triumphantly exclaims, "I have done it again," and, later in the poem, writes, Dying Is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well. I do it so it feels like hell. I do it so it feels real. I guess you could say I've a call, we can only share her elation. We know we are in the presence of a master builder.
Janet Malcolm (The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes)
She sat silently in her rocking chair. Some people are good at talking, but Granny Weatherwax was good at silence. She could sit so quiet and still that she faded. You forgot she was there. The room became empty. Tiffany thought of it as the I’m-not-here spell, if it was a spell. She reasoned that everyone had something inside them that told the world they were there. That was why you could often sense when someone was behind you, even if they were making no sound at all. You were receiving their I-am-here signal. Some people had a very strong one. They were the people who got served first in shops. Granny Weatherwax had an I-am-here signal that bounced off the mountains when she wanted it to; when she walked into a forest, all the wolves and bears ran out the other side. She could turn it off, too. She was doing that now. Tiffany was having to concentrate to see her. Most of her mind was telling her that there was no one there at all.
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3))
The faint aroma of gum and calico that hangs about a library is as the fragrance of incense to me. I think the most beautiful sight is the gilt-edged backs of a row of books on a shelf. The alley between two well-stocked shelves in a hall fills me with the same delight as passing through a silent avenue of trees. The colour of a binding-cloth and its smooth texture gives me the same pleasure as touching a flower on its stalk. A good library hall has an atmosphere which elates. I have seen one or two University Libraries that have the same atmosphere as a chapel, with large windows, great trees outside, and glass doors sliding on noiseless hinges.
R.K. Narayan
You were right to end it with us,” I said harshly. “And I’m not willing to do it again.” He stared at me, shocked. My words were a lie, of course. Part of me wanted to try again, to endure anything to be with him. But I couldn’t stop thinking about Maddie. Couldn’t stop thinking about the hurt she would go through. It was ironic, really. Last time, he’d gone out of his way to hurt me purposely because it was for the greater good. Now I was doing the same for both of them, saving her from heartache and him from more grief with me. We were in an endless cycle. “You can’t mean that. I know you can’t.” His face was a mixture of incredulity and pain. I shook my head. “I do. You and me are a disaster. What we did during this stasis...it was wrong. It was disgraceful. Immoral. We betrayed someone who loves both of us, who wishes nothing but the best for us. How could we do that? What kind of precedent is that? How could we expect to have a solid relationship that was built on that sort of sordid foundation? One that was built on lies and deceit?” Saying those words hurt. It was tarnishing the beauty of these precious few days we had, but I needed to make my case. Seth was silent for several moments as he assessed me. “You’re serious.” “Yes.” I was a good liar, good enough that the person who loved me most couldn’t tell. “Go back to her, Seth. Go back to her and make it up to her.” “Georgina...” I could see it, see it hitting him. The full weight of betraying Maddie was sinking in. His nature couldn’t ignore the wrong he’d done. It was part of his good character, the character that had gone back to save Dante, the character that was going to make him leave me. Again. Hesitantly, he extended his hand to me. I took it, and he pulled me into an embrace. “I will always love you.” My heart was going to burst. How many times, I wondered, could I endure this kind of agony? “No, you won’t,” I said. “You’ll move on. So will I.” Seth left not long after that. Staring at the door, I replayed my own words. You’ll move on. So will I. In spite of how much he loved me, how much he was willing to risk, I truly felt he’d go back to Maddie, that he’d believe what I said. I’d driven home the guilt, made it trump his love for me. You’ll move on. So will I. The unfortunate part about being a good liar, however, was that while I could get other people to believe my words, I didn’t believe them myself.
Richelle Mead (Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid, #4))
In the widely open cup of the armchair was I-330. I, on the floor, embracing her limbs, my head on her lap. We were silent. Everything was silent. Only the pulse was audible. Like a crystal I was dissolving in her, in I-330. I felt most distinctly how the polished facets which limited me in space were slowly thawing, melting away. I was dissolving in her lap, in her, and I became at once smaller and larger, and larger, unembraceable. For she was not she but the whole universe. For a second I and that armchair near the bed, transfixed with joy, we were one.
Yevgeny Zamyatin (We)
A most deplorable sight," she said, folding her arms across her chest. "Someone who has lost everything. You know, minstrel, it is interesting. Once, I thought it was impossible to lose everything, that something always remains. Always. Even in times of contempt, when naivety is capable of backfiring in the cruellest way, one cannot lose everything. But he... he lost several pints of blood, the ability to walk properly, partial use of his left hand, his witcher's sword, the woman he loves, the daughter he had gained by a miracle, his faith... Well, I thought, he must have been left with something. But I was wrong. He has nothing now. Not even a razor." Dandelion remained silent. The dryad did not move. "I asked if you had a hand in this," she began a moment later. "But I think there was no need. It's obvious you had a hand in it. It's obvious you are his friend. And if someone has friends, and he loses everything in spite of that, it's obvious the friends are to blame. For what they did, or for what they didn't do.
Andrzej Sapkowski (Czas pogardy (Saga o Wiedźminie, #2))
Our Voice is our most powerful tool against these evil people who prey on the innocent, we should never be silent and let them continue to harm people. By being silent we are telling them it is “Okay to continue”. I firmly believe if you choose to stand with those who wish to keep the victim silent you are yourself guilty of a crime against humanity - Misty Griffin
Misty Griffin
I began running so as to punish myself, left street after street behind me, pushed myself on with inward jeers, and screeched silently and furiously at myself whenever I felt like stopping. With the help of these exertions I ended up far along Pile Street. When I finally did stop, almost weeping with anger that I couldn’t run any farther, my whole body trembled, and I threw myself down on a house stoop. “Not so fast!” I said. And to torture myself right, I stood up again and forced myself to stand there, laughing at myself and gloating over my own fatigue. Finally, after a few minutes I nodded and so gave myself permission to sit down; however, I chose the most uncomfortable spot on the stoop.
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
If Spring came but once in a century, instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake, and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change! But now the silent succession suggests nothing but necessity. To most men only the cessation of the miracle would be miraculous and the perpetual exercise of God’s power seems less wonderful than its withdrawal would be.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Kavanagh by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Fiction, Classics)
Researchers have known for some time now that the cornerstone of all degenerative conditions, including brain disorders, is inflammation. But what they didn’t have documented until now are the instigators of that inflammation—the first missteps that prompt this deadly reaction. And what they are finding is that gluten, and a high-carbohydrate diet for that matter, are among the most prominent stimulators of inflammatory pathways that reach the brain.
David Perlmutter (Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers)
The great ones do not set up offices, charge fees, give lectures, or write books. Wisdom is silent, and the most effective propaganda for truth is the force of personal example. The great ones attract disciples, lesser figures whose mission is to preach and to teach. These are gospelers who, unequal to the highest task, spend their lives in converting others. The great ones are indifferent, in the profoundest sense. They don’t ask you to believe: they electrify you by their behavior. They are the awakeners. What you do with your petty life is of no concern to them. What you do with your life is only of concern to you, they seem to say. In short, their only purpose here on earth is to inspire. And what more can one ask of a human being than that?
Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
A pause. Then she said: "Tell me, Noah, what do you remember most from the summer we spent together?" "All of it." "Anything in particular?" "No," he said. "You don't remember?" He answered quietly. "No, it's not that. It's not what you're thinking. I was serious when I said 'all of it.' I can remember every moment we were together, and in each or them there was something wonderful. I can't pick any one time that meant more than any other. The entire summer was perfect, the kind of summer everyone should have. How could I pick one moment over another? "Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can't control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That's what it was like for me. I didn't plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of use could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has happened only once, and that's why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I'll never forget a single moment of it." Allie stare at him. No one had ever said anything lik that to her before. Ever. She didn't know what to say and stayed silent, her face hot.
Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook (The Notebook, #1))
What he wanted was colours which would appear stronger and clearer in artificial light. He did not particularly care if they looked crude or insipid in daylight, for he lived most of his life at night, holding that night afforded greater intimacy and isolation and that the mind was truly roused and stimulated only by awareness of the dark; moreover he derived a peculiar pleasure from being in a well-lighted room when all the surrounding houses were wrapped in sleep and darkness, a sort of enjoyment in which vanity may have played some small part, a very special feeling of satisfaction familiar to those who sometimes work late at night and draw aside the curtains to find that all around them the world is dark, silent and dead.
Joris-Karl Huysmans (Against Nature (À Rebours))
I knew that some victims of powerful self-loathing turn out to be dangerous, violent, reproducing the enemy who has humiliated them over and over. Others surrender their identity; melt into a structure that delivers the strong persona they lack. Most others, however, grow beyond it. But there are some who collapse, silently, anonymously, with no voice to express or acknowledge it. They are invisible. The death of self-esteem can occur quickly, easily in children, before their ego has “legs,” so to speak. Couple the vulnerability of youth with indifferent parents, dismissive adults, and a world, which, in its language, laws, and images, re-enforces despair, and the journey to destruction is sealed.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
There is a wide yawning black infinity. In every direction the extension is endless, the sensation of depth is overwhelming. And the darkness is immortal. Where light exists, it is pure, blazing, fierce; but light exists almost nowhere, and the blackness itself is also pure and blazing and fierce. But most of all, there is very nearly nothing in the dark; except for little bits here and there, often associated with the light, this infinite receptacle is empty. This picture is strangely frightening. It should be familiar. It is our universe. Even these stars, which seem so numerous, are, as sand, as dust, or less than dust, in the enormity of the space in which there is nothing. Nothing! We are not without empathetic terror when we open Pascal’s Pensées and read, 'I am the great silent spaces between worlds.' [From an undated, handwritten piece of text from the early 1950s which Sagan wrote when he was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago]
Carl Sagan
So many girls around the world—refugee girls in particular—suffer in silence after being sexually assaulted by someone they know. Most rapes happen at the hands of a relative or friend, not a stranger. I want girls to know that they have the power to speak out. They don’t have to stay quiet. No matter what culture or country you are from, there will always be pressure to remain silent, to never tell. But you don’t have to protect sexual predators. By speaking up, you are standing up for yourself. And you might be preventing it from happening again. Tell people what happened. The predators expect you to stay silent. You can prove them wrong.
Sandra Uwiringiyimana (How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child)
Paul. Look at me. You need to understand this. The worst thing that could have happened to me already happened." He looks up. She swallows, knowing that these are the words that stall; that may simply refuse to emerge. "Four years ago David and I went to bed like it was any other night, brushing our teeth reading our books, chatting about a restaurant we were going to the next day...and when I woke up the next morning he was there beside me, cold. Blue. I didn't...I didn't feel him go. I didn't even get to say..." There is a short silence. "Can you imagine knowing you slept through the person you love most dying next to you ? Knowing that there might have been something you could have done to help him ? To save him ? Not knowing if he was looking at you, silently begging you to..." The words fail, her breath catches, a familiar tide threatens to wash over her He reaches out his hands slowly, enfolds hers within them until she can speak again. "I thought the world had actually ended. I thought nothing good could ever happen again. I thought any thing might happen if I wasn't vigilant. I didn't eat. I didn't go out. I didn't want to see anyone. But I survived, Paul. Much to my own surprise, I got through it. And life...well, life gradually became liveable again." She leans closer to him. "So this...the painting, the house...It hit me when I heard what happened to Sophie. It's just stuff. They could take all of it, frankly. the only thing that matters is people." She looks down at his hands, and her voice cracks. "All that really matters is who you love.
Jojo Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind)
The body is not important. It is made of dust; it is made of ashes. It is food for the worms. The winds and the waters dissolve it and scatter it to the four corners of the earth. In the end, what we care most for lasts only a brief lifetime, then there is eternity. Time forever. Millions of worlds are born, evolve, and pass away into nebulous, unmeasured skies; and there is still eternity. Time always. The body becomes dust and trees and exploding fire, it becomes gaseous and disappears, and still there is eternity. Silent, unopposed, brooding, forever… But the soul survives. The soul lives on forever. It is the soul that must be saved, because the soul endures.
Rudolfo Anaya (Bless Me, Ultima)
Fairy tales are about trouble, about getting into and out of it, and trouble seems to be a necessary stage on the route to becoming. All the magic and glass mountains and pearls the size of houses and princesses beautiful as the day and talking birds and part-time serpents are distractions from the core of most of the stories, the struggle to survive against adversaries, to find your place in the world, and to come into your own. Fairy tales are almost always the stories of the powerless, of youngest sons, abandoned children, orphans, of humans transformed into birds and beasts or otherwise enchanted away from their own lives and selves. Even princesses are chattels to be disowned by fathers, punished by step-mothers, or claimed by princes, though they often assert themselves in between and are rarely as passive as the cartoon versions. Fairy tales are children's stories not in wh they were made for but in their focus on the early stages of life, when others have power over you and you have power over no one. In them, power is rarely the right tool for survival anyway. Rather the powerless thrive on alliances, often in the form of reciprocated acts of kindness -- from beehives that were not raided, birds that were not killed but set free or fed, old women who were saluted with respect. Kindness sewn among the meek is harvested in crisis... In Hans Christian Andersen's retelling of the old Nordic tale that begins with a stepmother, "The Wild Swans," the banished sister can only disenchant her eleven brothers -- who are swans all day look but turn human at night -- by gathering stinging nettles barehanded from churchyard graves, making them into flax, spinning them and knitting eleven long-sleeved shirts while remaining silent the whole time. If she speaks, they'll remain birds forever. In her silence, she cannot protest the crimes she accused of and nearly burned as a witch. Hauled off to a pyre as she knits the last of the shirts, she is rescued by the swans, who fly in at the last moment. As they swoop down, she throws the nettle shirts over them so that they turn into men again, all but the youngest brother, whose shirt is missing a sleeve so that he's left with one arm and one wing, eternally a swan-man. Why shirts made of graveyard nettles by bleeding fingers and silence should disenchant men turned into birds by their step-mother is a question the story doesn't need to answer. It just needs to give us compelling images of exile, loneliness, affection, and metamorphosis -- and of a heroine who nearly dies of being unable to tell her own story.
Rebecca Solnit (The Faraway Nearby)
I tell you hopeless grief is passionless, That only men incredulous of despair, Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air Beat upward to God’s throne in loud access Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness In souls, as countries, lieth silent-bare Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare Of the absolute heavens. Deep-hearted man, express Grief for thy dead in silence like to death— Most like a monumental statue set In everlasting watch and moveless woe Till itself crumble to the dust beneath. Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet; If it could weep, it could arise and go.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The world is not sliding, but galloping into a new transnational dystopia. This development has not been properly recognized outside of national security circles. It has been hidden by secrecy, complexity and scale. The internet, our greatest tool of emancipation, has been transformed into the most dangerous facilitator of totalitarianism we have ever seen. The internet is a threat to human civilization. These transformations have come about silently, because those who know what is going on work in the global surveillance industry and have no incentives to speak out. Left to its own trajectory, within a few years, global civilization will be a postmodern surveillance dystopia, from which escape for all but the most skilled individuals will be impossible. In fact, we may already be there. While many writers have considered what the internet means for global civilization, they are wrong. They are wrong because they do not have the sense of perspective that direct experience brings. They are wrong because they have never met the enemy.
Julian Assange (Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet)
I bumped into something and was knocked to the ground. It took me several breaths to gather myself together, at first I thought I’d walked into a tree, but then that tree became a person, who was also recovering on the ground, and then I saw that it was her, and she saw that it was me, ‘Hello,’ I said, brushing myself off, ‘Hello,’ she said. ‘This is so funny.’ ‘Yes.’ How could it be explained? ‘Where are you going?’ I asked. ‘Just for a walk,’ she said, ‘and you?’ ‘Just for a walk.’ We helped each other up, she brushed leaves from my hair, I wanted to touch her hair, ‘That’s not true,’ I said, not knowing what the next words out of my mouth would be, but wanting them to be mine, wanting, more than I’d ever wanted anything, to express the center of me and be understood. ‘I was walking to see you.’ I told her, ‘I’ve come to your house each of the last six days. For some reason I needed to see you again.’ She was silent, I had made a fool of myself, there’s nothing wrong with not understanding yourself and she started laughing, laughing harder than I’d ever felt anyone laugh, the laughter brought on tears, and the tears brought on more tears, and then I started laughing, out of the most deep and complete shame, ‘I was walking to you,’ I said again, as if to push my nose into my own shit, ‘because I wanted to see you again,’ she laughed and laughed, ‘That explains it,’ she said when she was able to speak. ‘It?’ ‘That explains why, each of the last six days, you weren’t at your house.’ We stopped laughing, I took the world into me, rearranged it, and sent it back out as a question: ‘Do you like me?
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
Sometimes it’s hard to grasp why it is that the answers to the present lie in the past. A simple analogy might be helpful: a leading psychiatrist in the field of sexual abuse once told me she had, in thirty years of extensive work with paedophiles, never met one who hadn’t himself been abused as a child. This doesn’t mean that all abused children go on to become abusers; but it is impossible for someone who was not abused to become an abuser. No one is born evil. As Winnicott put it: ‘A baby cannot hate the mother, without the mother first hating the baby.’ As babies, we are innocent sponges, blank slates – with only the most basic needs present: to eat, shit, love and be loved. But something goes wrong, depending on the circumstances into which we are born, and the house in which we grow up. A tormented, abused child can never take revenge in reality, as she is powerless and defenceless, but she can – and must – harbour vengeful fantasies in her imagination. Rage, like fear, is reactive in nature.
Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient)
As I brush my teeth, I scroll through my phone to see if Sabrina texted when my phone was on silent last night. She didn’t. Damn. I was hoping my speech—and that amazing fucking kiss—might’ve changed her mind about going out with me, but I guess it didn’t. I do, however, find the most mind-boggling conversation in the group chat I have with my roommates. All the messages are from last night, and they’re bizarre as fuck. Garrett: The hells, D?! Dean: It’s not what you think!! Logan: It’s hard to mistake ur romantic bath with that giant pink thing! In ur ass! Dean: It wasn’t in my ass! Garrett: I’m not even going to ask where it was Dean: I had a girl over! Garrett: Suuuuuuuuure Logan: Suuuuuuuuure Dean: I hate you guys Garrett: <3 Logan: <3 I rinse my mouth out, spit, and drop the toothbrush into the little cup on the sink. Then I quickly type out a text. Me: Wait… what did I miss? Since we have practice in twenty minutes, the guys are already awake and clearly on their phones. Two photos pop up simultaneously. Garrett and Logan have both sent me pics of pink dildos. I’m even more confused now. Dean messages immediately with, Why do you guys have dildo pics handy? Logan: ALINIMB Dean: ?? Me: ?? Garrett: At Least It’s Not In My Butt. I snort to myself, because I’m starting to piece it together. Logan: Nice, G! U got that on the first try! Garrett: We spend too much time 2gether. Me: PLEASE tell me u caught D playing w/ dildos. Logan: Sure did. Dean is quick to object again. I HAD A GIRL OVER! The guys and I rag on him for a couple more minutes, but I have to stop when Fitzy stumbles into the bathroom and shoves me aside. He’s got crazy bedhead and he’s buck-naked. “Gotta piss,” he mumbles. “Mornin’, sunshine,” I say cheerfully. “Want me to make you some coffee?” “God. Yes. Please.” Chuckling, I duck out of the bathroom and walk the four or so steps into his kitchenette. When he finally emerges, I shove a cup of coffee in his hand, sip my own, and say, “Dean shoved a dildo up his ass last night.” Fitzy nods. “Makes sense.” I snicker mid-sip. Coffee spills over the rim of my cup. “It really does, huh?
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
Well, Betsy," he said, "your mother tells me that you are going to use Uncle Keith's trunk for a desk. That's fine. You need a desk. I've often noticed how much you like to write. The way you eat up those advertising tablets from the store! I never saw anything like it. I can't understand it though. I never write anything but checks myself. " "Bob!" said Mrs. Ray. "You wrote the most wonderful letters to me before we were married. I still have them, a big bundle of them. Every time I clean house I read them over and cry." "Cry, eh?" said Mr. Ray, grinning. "In spite of what your mother says, Betsy, if you have any talent for writing, it comes from family. Her brother Keith was mighty talented, and maybe you are too. Maybe you're going to be a writer." Betsy was silent, agreeably abashed. "But if you're going to be a writer," he went on, "you've got to read. Good books. Great books. The classics.
Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (Betsy-Tacy, #4))
People have to be secure in order to transfer their money to you. Never forget that. How you make them secure is to not come at them from above (action, yang) telling them how marvelous the product is and how marvelous you are. Instead, work on their comfort zone first, keeping silent for the most part, leading things along effortlessly by asking questions (nonaction, yin). When you do get to talk, be sure to tell them that everything is cozy, safe, and secure. People need to hear that. Work on their positive energy, and tell them about the good fortune that is about to descend upon them in these exciting and positive times. Then, and only then, mention the dumb screws.
Stuart Wilde (Infinite Self: 33 Steps to Reclaiming Your Inner Power)
I've always known what you were thinking. You're squeezing that marble in your pocket and you're thinking your cattle wouldn't be at risk if it weren't for Louise. And maybe you're right. But take a hard look, son. When you see that woman working up a sweat pitching hay like a hired hand … you're looking at character. "And if we ever have another family dinner that goes like the last one did, you pay attention. I have an idea that your Louise doesn't sit still for too many insults, and I imagine she could cut someone down to size in about three sentences if she wanted to. But she sat silent while Philadelphia ridiculed and belittled her. Louise did this out of respect for you and this family. That is also character. "Maybe you really believe Wally is living your life. If so, then you haven't been honest with yourself. And you haven't taken a good hard look at the life you have. Mark my words, Max. Someday you're going to hold that marble, and it won't be a symbol of all you lost. That marble will be the gold you went to Piney Creek to find. It will be the most precious thing you own. I say this because I didn't raise any stupid sons.
Maggie Osborne (Silver Lining)
...the woods, when they give at all, give unstintedly, and hold nothing back from their true worshippers. We must go to them lovingly, humbly, patiently, watchfully, and we shall learn what poignant loveliness lurks in the wild places and silent intervales, lying under starshine and sunset, what cadences of unearthly music are harped on aged pine boughs or crooned in copses of fir, what delicate savours exhale from mosses and ferns in sunny corners or on damp brooklands, what dreams and myths and legends of an older time haunt them. Then the immortal heart of the woods will beat against ours and its subtle life will steal into our veins and make us its own forever, so that no matter where we go or how widely we wander we shall yet be drawn back to the forest to find our most enduring kinship.
L.M. Montgomery (The Blue Castle)
The free spirit again draws near to life - slowly, to be sure, almost reluctantly, almost mistrustfully. It again grows warmer about him, yellower as it were; feeling and feeling for others acquire depth, warm breezes of all kind blow across him. It seems to him as if his eyes are only now open to what is close at hand. he is astonished and sits silent: where had he been? These close and closest things: how changed they seem! what bloom and magic they have acquired! He looks back gratefully - grateful to his wandering, to his hardness and self-alienation, to his viewing of far distances and bird-like flights in cold heights. What a good thing he had not always stayed "at home," stayed "under his own roof" like a delicate apathetic loafer! He had been -beside himself-: no doubt about that. Only now does he see himself - and what surprises he experiences as he does so! What unprecedented shudders! What happiness even in the weariness, the old sickness, the relapses of the convalescent! How he loves to sit sadly still, to spin out patience, to lie in the sun! Who understands as he does the joy that comes in winter, the spots of sunlight on the wall! They are the most grateful animals in the world, also the most modest, these convalescents and lizards again half-turned towards life: - there are some among them who allow no day to pass without hanging a little song of praise on the hem of its departing robe. And to speak seriously: to become sick in the manner of these free spirits, to remain sick for a long time and then, slowly, slowly, to become healthy, by which I mean "healthier," is a fundamental cure for all pessimism.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
And she wanted to say not one thing, but everything. Little words that broke up the thought and dismembered it said nothing. “About life, about death; about Mrs. Ramsay”—no, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. TO want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have—to want and want—how that wrung the heart, and wrung it again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! She called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing around a centre of complete emptiness.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
Frequently, beauty is playful like dancing sunlight, it cannot be predicted, and in the most unlikely scene or situation can suddenly emerge. This spontaneity and playfulness often subverts our self-importance and throws our plans and intentions into disarray. Without intending it, we find ourselves coming alive with a sense of celebration and delight. The pedestrian sequence of a working day breaks, a new door opens and the heart recognizes the silent majesty of the ordinary. The things we never notice, like health, friends and love, emerge from their subdued presence and stand out in their true radiance as gifts we could never have earned or achieved. Beauty
John O'Donohue (Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace)
My quarrel with Chomsky goes back to the Balkan wars of the 1990s, where he more or less openly represented the "Serbian Socialist Party" (actually the national-socialist and expansionist dictatorship of Slobodan Milosevic) as the victim. Many of us are proud of having helped organize to prevent the slaughter and deportation of Europe's oldest and largest and most tolerant Muslim minority, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Kosovo. But at that time, when they were real, Chomsky wasn't apparently interested in Muslim grievances. He only became a voice for that when the Taliban and Al Qaeda needed to be represented in their turn as the victims of a "silent genocide" in Afghanistan. Let me put it like this, if a supposed scholar takes the Christian-Orthodox side when it is the aggressor, and then switches to taking the "Muslim" side when Muslims commit mass murder, I think that there is something very nasty going on. And yes, I don't think it is exaggerated to describe that nastiness as "anti-American" when the power that stops and punishes both aggressions is the United States.
Christopher Hitchens
One of our favorite examples of the value of Nothing is an incident in the life of the Japanese emperor Hirohito. Now, being emperor in one of the most frantically Confucianist countries in the world is not necessarily all that relaxing. From early morning until late at night, practically every minute of the emperor's time is filled in with meetings, audiences, tours, inspections, and who-knows-what. And through a day so tightly scheduled that it would make a stone wall seem open by comparison, the emperor must glide, like a great ship sailing in a steady breeze. In the middle of a particularly busy day, the emperor was driven to a meeting hall for an appointment of some kind. But when he arrived, there was no one there. The emperor walked into the middle of the great hall, stood silently for a moment, then bowed to the empty space. He turned to his assistants, a large smile on his face. "We must schedule more appointments like this," he told them. "I haven't enjoyed myself so much in a long time.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
Ms. Terwilliger didn’t have a chance to respond to my geological ramblings because someone knocked on the door. I slipped the rocks into my pocket and tried to look studious as she called an entry. I figured Zoe had tracked me down, but surprisingly, Angeline walked in. "Did you know," she said, "that it’s a lot harder to put organs back in the body than it is to get them out?" I closed my eyes and silently counted to five before opening them again. “Please tell me you haven’t eviscerated someone.” She shook her head. “No, no. I left my biology homework in Miss Wentworth’s room, but when I went back to get it, she’d already left and locked the door. But it’s due tomorrow, and I’m already in trouble in there, so I had to get it. So, I went around outside, and her window lock wasn’t that hard to open, and I—” "Wait," I interrupted. "You broke into a classroom?" "Yeah, but that’s not the problem." Behind me, I heard a choking laugh from Ms. Terwilliger’s desk. "Go on," I said wearily. "Well, when I climbed through, I didn’t realize there was a bunch of stuff in the way, and I crashed into those plastic models of the human body she has. You know, the life size ones with all the parts inside? And bam!" Angeline held up her arms for effect. "Organs everywhere." She paused and looked at me expectantly. "So what are we going to do? I can’t get in trouble with her." "We?" I exclaimed. "Here," said Ms. Terwilliger. I turned around, and she tossed me a set of keys. From the look on her face, it was taking every ounce of self-control not to burst out laughing. "That square one’s a master. I know for a fact she has yoga and won’t be back for the rest of the day. I imagine you can repair the damage—and retrieve the homework—before anyone’s the wiser.” I knew that the “you” in “you can repair” meant me. With a sigh, I stood up and packed up my things. “Thanks,” I said. As Angeline and I walked down to the science wing, I told her, “You know, the next time you’ve got a problem, maybe come to me before it becomes an even bigger problem.” "Oh no," she said nobly. "I didn’t want to be an inconvenience." Her description of the scene was pretty accurate: organs everywhere. Miss Wentworth had two models, male and female, with carved out torsos that cleverly held removable parts of the body that could be examined in greater detail. Wisely, she had purchased models that were only waist-high. That was still more than enough of a mess for us, especially since it was hard to tell which model the various organs belonged to. I had a pretty good sense of anatomy but still opened up a textbook for reference as I began sorting. Angeline, realizing her uselessness here, perched on a far counter and swing her legs as she watched me. I’d started reassembling the male when I heard a voice behind me. "Melbourne, I always knew you’d need to learn about this kind of thing. I’d just kind of hoped you’d learn it on a real guy." I glanced back at Trey, as he leaned in the doorway with a smug expression. “Ha, ha. If you were a real friend, you’d come help me.” I pointed to the female model. “Let’s see some of your alleged expertise in action.” "Alleged?" He sounded indignant but strolled in anyways. I hadn’t really thought much about asking him for help. Mostly I was thinking this was taking much longer than it should, and I had more important things to do with my time. It was only when he came to a sudden halt that I realized my mistake. "Oh," he said, seeing Angeline. "Hi." Her swinging feet stopped, and her eyes were as wide as his. “Um, hi.” The tension ramped up from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds, and everyone seemed at a loss for words. Angeline jerked her head toward the models and blurted out. “I had an accident.” That seemed to snap Trey from his daze, and a smile curved his lips. Whereas Angeline’s antics made me want to pull out my hair sometimes, he found them endearing.
Richelle Mead (The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4))
But I love YOU, Edweird. Sure, I'll probably hook up with Yakob in Eclipse. After all, you're going to leave me for roughly three hundred pages. But that's neither here nor there. You and I were meant to be together. I mean you, me and sometimes Yakob...and sometimes just Yakob and me, but mostly you and me. That's just the way I always dreamed it should be, you want to marry me. We'll marry." "Hmmm," said Edweird thoughtfully after a long pause. "You know, I'm actually getting kind of tired of Yakob, if you want to know the truth. I mean, seriously, going steady with the same guy for half a century can make a stale relationship. Maybe it's time we see other people. You really set me straight on this, Stella. I want to thank you for makin me see this whole vampire-werewolf relationship thing more clearly." Edweird then turned to Yakob, who had remained silent throughout. "It's over between us, toots.
Stephen Jenner (Twilite: A Parody)
Under conditions of a truly human existence, the difference between succumbing to disease at the age of ten, thirty, fifty, or seventy, and dying a "natural" death after a fulfilled life, may well be a difference worth fighting for with all instinctual energy. Not those who die, but those who die before they must and want to die, those who die in agony and pain, are the great indictment against civilization. They also testify to the unredeemable guilt of mankind. Their death arouses the painful awareness that it was unnecessary, that it could be otherwise. It takes all the institutions and values of a repressive order to pacify the bad conscience of this guilt. Once again, the deep connection between the death instinct and the sense of guilt becomes apparent. The silent "professional agreement" with the fact of death and disease is perhaps one of the most widespread expressions of the death instinct -- or, rather, of its social usefulness. In a repressive civilization, death itself becomes an instrument of repression. Whether death is feared as constant threat, or glorified as supreme sacrifice, or accepted as fate, the education for consent to death introduces an element of surrender into life from the beginning -- surrender and submission. It stifles "utopian" efforts. The powers that be have a deep affinity to death; death is a token of unfreedom, of defeat. Theology and philosophy today compete with each other in celebrating death as an existential category: perverting a biological fact into an ontological essence, they bestow transcendental blessing on the guilt of mankind which they help to perpetuate -- they betray the promise of utopia.
Herbert Marcuse (Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud)
If the people really cared about their fellow man, they would control their appetites (greed, procreation, etc.) so that they would not have to operate on a credit or welfare social system which steals from the worker to satisfy the bum. Since most of the general public will not exercise restraint, there are only two alternatives to reduce the economic inductance of the system. (1) Let the populace bludgeon each other to death in war, which will only result in a total destruction of the living earth. (2) Take control of the world by the use of economic “silent weapons” in a form of “quiet warfare” and reduce the economic inductance of the world to a safe level by a process of benevolent slavery and genocide. The latter option has been taken as the obviously better option. At this point it should be crystal clear to the reader why absolute secrecy about the silent weapons is necessary. The general public refuses to improve its own mentality and its faith in its fellow man. It has become a herd of proliferating barbarians, and, so to speak, a blight upon the face of the earth.
Milton William Cooper (Behold a Pale Horse)
Our elders have failed us, they have not provided leadership, they have not provided counsel, they have been silent and compliant in the face of power. They have said nothing on fracking, climate collapse, the extinction crisis and done even less. The old have, for the most part, betrayed the young. This is as true of witchcraft as it is of our wider culture. It is therefore down to us as individuals to take our lead from the only source of initiation, living spirit, and through it embody the new witchcraft. We must become a witchcraft with a renewed sense of meaning and purpose, of responsibility to the land which is in crisis, or we are nothing more than consumers of the earth which will all too soon eat of us. Those who do not feel the imperative to act on this information demonstrate that they are not orientated, that is, they have no connection to the land and its denizens. Their magic is little more than a cerebral construct, and without being embodied is meaningless.
Peter Grey
She looked now at the drawing-room step. She saw, through William’s eyes, the shape of a woman, peaceful and silent, with downcast eyes. She sat musing, pondering (she was in grey that day, Lily thought). Her eyes were bent. She would never lift them. . . . [N]o, she thought, one could say nothing to nobody. The urgency of the moment always missed its mark. Words fluttered sideways and struck the object inches too low. Then one gave it up; then the idea sunk back again; then one became like most middle-aged people, cautious, furtive, with wrinkles between the eyes and a look of perpetual apprehension. For how could one express in words these emotions of the body? Express that emptiness there? (She was looking at the drawing-room steps; they looked extraordinarily empty.) It was one’s body feeling, not one’s mind. The physical sensations that went with the bare look of the steps had become suddenly extremely unpleasant. To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have – to want and want – how that wrung the heart, and wrung again and again! Oh, Mrs. Ramsay! she called out silently, to that essence which sat by the boat, that abstract one made of her, that woman in grey, as if to abuse her for having gone, and then having gone, come back again. It had seemed so safe, thinking of her. Ghost, air, nothingness, a thing you could play with easily and safely at any time of day or night, she had been that, and then suddenly she put her hand out and wrung the heart thus. Suddenly, the empty drawing-room steps, the frill of the chair inside, the puppy tumbling on the terrace, the whole wave and whisper of the garden became like curves and arabesques flourishing round a centre of complete emptiness. . . . A curious notion came to her that he did after all hear the things she could not say. . . . She looked at her picture. That would have been his answer, presumably – how “you” and “I” and “she” pass and vanish; nothing stays; all changes; but not words, not paint. Yet it would be hung in the attics, she thought; it would be rolled up and flung under a sofa; yet even so, even of a picture like that, it was true. One might say, even of this scrawl, not of that actual picture, perhaps, but of what it attempted, that it “remained for ever,” she was going to say, or, for the words spoken sounded even to herself, too boastful, to hint, wordlessly; when, looking at the picture, she was surprised to find that she could not see it. Her eyes were full of a hot liquid (she did not think of tears at first) which, without disturbing the firmness of her lips, made the air thick, rolled down her cheeks. She had perfect control of herself – Oh, yes! – in every other way. Was she crying then for Mrs. Ramsay, without being aware of any unhappiness? She addressed old Mr. Carmichael again. What was it then? What did it mean? Could things thrust their hands up and grip one; could the blade cut; the fist grasp? Was there no safety? No learning by heart of the ways of the world? No guide, no shelter, but all was miracle, and leaping from the pinnacle of a tower into the air? Could it be, even for elderly people, that this was life? – startling, unexpected, unknown? For one moment she felt that if they both got up, here, now on the lawn, and demanded an explanation, why was it so short, why was it so inexplicable, said it with violence, as two fully equipped human beings from whom nothing should be hid might speak, then, beauty would roll itself up; the space would fill; those empty flourishes would form into shape; if they shouted loud enough Mrs. Ramsay would return. “Mrs. Ramsay!” she said aloud, “Mrs. Ramsay!” The tears ran down her face.
Virginia Woolf
Dear Young Black Males, Make sure that you take your education seriously. You may not understand it right now, but your education is important. If you’re struggling in high school, don’t fail silently. Speak up and ask for the help that you need. If you’re interested in going to college afterwards, start researching the colleges that you’re interested in attending. If college isn’t for you, consider trade schools or programs for high school students such as ROP (Regional Occupation Program). Depending on what state you live in, it may be called something different. Some colleges offer certificate programs if you’re not interested in earning an actual degree. Go to your neighborhood community center and ask questions. Ask your school counselors for leads. The library is also a great place to get helpful information. Just ask the librarian, he/she will be happy to assist you. It’s important to educate yourself, because if not, you’ll most likely be stuck working a dead-end job. Ask questions as much as you need to. Don’t assume anything. Get the facts that you need in order to succeed.
Stephanie Lahart
Worn out with this torture of thought, I rose to my knees. Night was come, and her planets were risen: a safe, still night; too serene for the companionship of fear. We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us: and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence. I had risen to my knees to pray for Mr. Rochester. Looking up, I, with tear-dimmed eyes, saw the mighty Milky Way. Remembering what it was--what countless systems there swept space like a soft trace of light--I felt the might and strength of God. Sure was I of His efficiency to save what He had made: convinced I grew that neither earth should perish, nor one of the souls it treasured. I turned my prayer to thanksgiving: the Source of Life was also the Saviour of spirits. Mr. Rochester was safe: he was God's, and by God would he be guarded.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else. You are like fanatics. Your masters, at any rate. Like the old Crusaders -- oh, like certain groups in every belief, though this is not a matter of religion, of course. At the centre of the Light there is a cold white flame, just as at the centre of the Dark there is a great black pit bottomless as the Universe." His warm, deep voice ended, and there was only the roar of the engine. Will looked out over the grey-misted fields, silent. "There was a great long speech, now," John Rowlands said awkwardly. "But I was only saying, be careful not to forget that there are people in this valley who can be hurt, even in the pursuit of good ends.
Susan Cooper
You speak as if you envied him." "And I do envy him, Emma. In one respect he is the object of my envy." Emma could say no more. They seemed to be within half a sentence of Harriet, and her immediate feeling was to avert the subject, if possible. She made her plan; she would speak of something totally different—the children in Brunswick Square; and she only waited for breath to begin, when Mr. Knightley startled her, by saying, "You will not ask me what is the point of envy.—You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity.—You are wise—but I cannot be wise. Emma, I must tell you what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment." "Oh! then, don't speak it, don't speak it," she eagerly cried. "Take a little time, consider, do not commit yourself." "Thank you," said he, in an accent of deep mortification, and not another syllable followed. Emma could not bear to give him pain. He was wishing to confide in her—perhaps to consult her;—cost her what it would, she would listen. She might assist his resolution, or reconcile him to it; she might give just praise to Harriet, or, by representing to him his own independence, relieve him from that state of indecision, which must be more intolerable than any alternative to such a mind as his.—They had reached the house. "You are going in, I suppose?" said he. "No,"—replied Emma—quite confirmed by the depressed manner in which he still spoke—"I should like to take another turn. Mr. Perry is not gone." And, after proceeding a few steps, she added—"I stopped you ungraciously, just now, Mr. Knightley, and, I am afraid, gave you pain.—But if you have any wish to speak openly to me as a friend, or to ask my opinion of any thing that you may have in contemplation—as a friend, indeed, you may command me.—I will hear whatever you like. I will tell you exactly what I think." "As a friend!"—repeated Mr. Knightley.—"Emma, that I fear is a word—No, I have no wish—Stay, yes, why should I hesitate?—I have gone too far already for concealment.—Emma, I accept your offer—Extraordinary as it may seem, I accept it, and refer myself to you as a friend.—Tell me, then, have I no chance of ever succeeding?" He stopped in his earnestness to look the question, and the expression of his eyes overpowered her. "My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma—tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said."—She could really say nothing.—"You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more." Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling. "I cannot make speeches, Emma:" he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.—"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.—You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.—Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.—But you understand me.—Yes, you see, you understand my feelings—and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.
Jane Austen (Emma)
Siddhartha gave his garments to a poor Brahman in the street. He wore nothing more than the loincloth and the earth-coloured, unsown cloak. He ate only once a day, and never something cooked. He fasted for fifteen days. He fasted for twenty-eight days. The flesh waned from his thighs and cheeks. Feverish dreams flickered from his enlarged eyes, long nails grew slowly on his parched fingers and a dry, shaggy beard grew on his chin. His glance turned to icy when he encountered women; his mouth twitched with contempt, when he walked through a city of nicely dressed people. He saw merchants trading, princes hunting, mourners wailing for their dead, whores offering themselves, physicians trying to help the sick, priests determining the most suitable day for seeding, lovers loving, mothers nursing their children--and all of this was not worthy of one look from his eye, it all lied, it all stank, it all stank of lies, it all pretended to be meaningful and joyful and beautiful, and it all was just concealed putrefaction. The world tasted bitter. Life was torture. A goal stood before Siddhartha, a single goal: to become empty, empty of thirst, empty of wishing, empty of dreams, empty of joy and sorrow. Dead to himself, not to be a self any more, to find tranquility with an emptied heard, to be open to miracles in unselfish thoughts, that was his goal. Once all of my self was overcome and had died, once every desire and every urge was silent in the heart, then the ultimate part of me had to awake, the innermost of my being, which is no longer my self, the great secret.
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
Aloneness – that is what SM feels like to me. Isolated, alone, separated, left out as I silently stand by watching others experience life while the words freeze inside me, afraid to speak up or join in a conversation. Actually feeling the anxiety shaking inside my chest as I try to get up the courage to speak to someone or call or text a friend. SM feels like the child standing alone behind the door watching the other kids in the playground – afraid to ask, 'may I play?' It feels like the teenager standing silently against the wall, listening to classmates laugh and chat, invisible to everyone and wondering what it would be like to have a friend. It feels like the 50-year-old office worker, alone in her cube while others chat and laugh in the aisle, still left out. I live inside a shell, a mask that looks like me, but isn't me. I am in here, but it is really hard to let others see. I'm so grateful for the few dear friends I have now. Most people, though, only see the shell and assume I'm aloof and uncaring because I am quiet. I feel very deeply. I feel others' joy and pain intensely, yet they rarely know. I'm not quiet because I am uncaring. I'm silent because I'm afraid.
Carl Sutton (Selective Mutism In Our Own Words: Experiences in Childhood and Adulthood)
This is why most people do not stick with a contemplative discipline for very long; we have heard all sorts of talk about contemplation delivering inner peace but when we turn within to seek this peace, we meet inner chaos instead of peace. But at this point it is precisely the meeting of chaos that is salutary, not snorting lines of euphoric peace. The peace will indeed come, but it will be the fruit, not of pushing away distractions, but of meeting thoughts and feelings with stillness instead of commentary. This is the skill we must learn. The struggle with distractions is not characterized only by afflictive thoughts. Many sincerely devout people never enter the silent land because their attention is so riveted to devotions and words. If there is not a wordy stream of talking to God and asking God for this and that, they feel they are not praying. Obviously this characterizes any relationship to a certain extent. When we are first getting to know someone, the relationship is nurtured by talking. Only with time does the relationship mature in such a way that we can be silent with someone, that silence comes to be seen to be the deeper mode of communion. And so it is with God; our words give way to silence.
Martin Laird (Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation)
Let me tell you something, man. I sat here at this desk during the war as one report after another of Arab sellouts came in. The Egyptian Chief of Staff selling secrets to the Germans; Cairo all decked out to welcome Rommel as their liberator; the Iraqis going to the Germans; the Syrians going to the Germans; the Mufti of Jerusalem a Nazi agent. I could go on for hours. You must look at Whitehall’s side of this, Bruce. We can’t risk losing our prestige and our hold on the entire Middle East over a few thousand Jews.” Sutherland sighed. “And this is our most tragic mistake of all, Sir Clarence. We are going to lose the Middle East despite it.” “You are all wound up, Bruce.” “There is a right and a wrong, you know.” General Sir Clarence Tevor-Browne smiled slightly and shook his head sadly. “I have learned very little in my years, Bruce, but one thing I have learned. Foreign policies of this, or any other, country are not based on right and wrong. Right and wrong? It is not for you and me to argue the right or the wrong of this question. The only kingdom that runs on righteousness is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdoms of the earth run on oil. The Arabs have oil.” Bruce Sutherland was silent. Then he nodded. “Only the kingdom of heaven runs on righteousness,
Leon Uris (Exodus)
Welsh Incident 'But that was nothing to what things came out From the sea-caves of Criccieth yonder.' What were they? Mermaids? dragons? ghosts?' Nothing at all of any things like that.' What were they, then?' 'All sorts of queer things, Things never seen or heard or written about, Very strange, un-Welsh, utterly peculiar Things. Oh, solid enough they seemed to touch, Had anyone dared it. Marvellous creation, All various shapes and sizes, and no sizes, All new, each perfectly unlike his neighbour, Though all came moving slowly out together.' Describe just one of them.' 'I am unable.' What were their colours?' 'Mostly nameless colours, Colours you'd like to see; but one was puce Or perhaps more like crimson, but not purplish. Some had no colour.' 'Tell me, had they legs?' Not a leg or foot among them that I saw.' But did these things come out in any order?' What o'clock was it? What was the day of the week? Who else was present? How was the weather?' I was coming to that. It was half-past three On Easter Tuesday last. The sun was shining. The Harlech Silver Band played Marchog Jesu On thrity-seven shimmering instruments Collecting for Caernarvon's (Fever) Hospital Fund. The populations of Pwllheli, Criccieth, Portmadoc, Borth, Tremadoc, Penrhyndeudraeth, Were all assembled. Criccieth's mayor addressed them First in good Welsh and then in fluent English, Twisting his fingers in his chain of office, Welcoming the things. They came out on the sand, Not keeping time to the band, moving seaward Silently at a snail's pace. But at last The most odd, indescribable thing of all Which hardly one man there could see for wonder Did something recognizably a something.' Well, what?' 'It made a noise.' 'A frightening noise?' No, no.' 'A musical noise? A noise of scuffling?' No, but a very loud, respectable noise --- Like groaning to oneself on Sunday morning In Chapel, close before the second psalm.' What did the mayor do?' 'I was coming to that.
Robert Graves
Prime numbers are divisible only by 1 and by themselves. They hold their place in the infinite series of natural numbers, squashed, like all numbers, between two others, but one step further than the rest. They are suspicious, solitary numbers, which is why Mattia thought they were wonderful. Sometimes he thought that they had ended up in that sequence by mistake, that they'd been trapped, like pearls strung on a necklace. Other times he suspected that they too would have preferred to be like all the others, just ordinary numbers, but for some reason they couldn't do it. This second thought struck him mostly at night, in the chaotic interweaving of images that comes before sleep, when the mind is too weak to tell itself lies. In his first year at university, Mattia had learned that, among prime numbers, there are some that are even more special. Mathematicians call them twin primes: pairs of prime numbers that are close to each other, almost neighbors, but between them there is always an even number that prevents them from truly touching. Numbers like 11 and 13, like 17 and 19, 41 and 43. If you have the patience to go on counting, you discover that these pairs gradually become rarer. You encounter increasingly isolated primes, lost in that silent, measured space made only of ciphers, and you develop a distressing presentiment that the pairs encountered up until that point were accidental, that solitude is the true destiny. Then, just when you're about to surrender, when you no longer have the desire to go on counting, you come across another pair of twins, clutching each other tightly. There is a common conviction among mathematicians that however far you go, there will always be another two, even if no one can say where exactly, until they are discovered.
Paolo Giordano (The Solitude of Prime Numbers)
Buddha used to say to his disciples: Take each step watchfully. He used to say: Watch your breath. And that is one of the most significant practices for watching because the breath is there, continuously available for twenty-four hours a day wherever you are. The birds may be singing one day, they may not be singing some other day, but breathing is always there. Sitting, walking, lying down, it is always there. Go on watching the breath coming in, the breath going out. Not that watching the breath is the point, the point is learning how to watch. Go to the river and watch the river. Sit in the marketplace and watch people passing by. Watch anything, just remember that you are a watcher. Don’t become judgmental, don’t be a judge. Once you start judging you have forgotten that you are a watcher, you have become involved, you have taken sides, you have chosen: “I am in favor of this thought and I am against that thought.” Once you choose, you become identified. Watchfulness is the method of destroying all identification. Hence Gurdjieff called his process the process of nonidentification. It is the same, his word is different. Don’t identify yourself with anything, and slowly one learns the ultimate art of watchfulness. That’s what meditation is all about. Through meditation one discovers one’s own light. That light you can call your soul, your self, your God, whatever word you choose—or you can remain just silent, because it has no name. It is a nameless experience, tremendously beautiful, ecstatic, utterly silent, but it gives you the taste of eternity, of timelessness, of something beyond death.
Osho (Living on Your Own Terms: What Is Real Rebellion?)
We shouldn't let our envy of distinguished masters of the arts distract us from the wonder of how each of us gets new ideas. Perhaps we hold on to our superstitions about creativity in order to make our own deficiencies seem more excusable. For when we tell ourselves that masterful abilities are simply unexplainable, we're also comforting ourselves by saying that those superheroes come endowed with all the qualities we don't possess. Our failures are therefore no fault of our own, nor are those heroes' virtues to their credit, either. If it isn't learned, it isn't earned. When we actually meet the heroes whom our culture views as great, we don't find any singular propensities––only combinations of ingredients quite common in themselves. Most of these heroes are intensely motivated, but so are many other people. They're usually very proficient in some field--but in itself we simply call this craftmanship or expertise. They often have enough self-confidence to stand up to the scorn of peers--but in itself, we might just call that stubbornness. They surely think of things in some novel ways, but so does everyone from time to time. And as for what we call "intelligence", my view is that each person who can speak coherently already has the better part of what our heroes have. Then what makes genius appear to stand apart, if we each have most of what it takes? I suspect that genius needs one thing more: in order to accumulate outstanding qualities, one needs unusually effective ways to learn. It's not enough to learn a lot; one also has to manage what one learns. Those masters have, beneath the surface of their mastery, some special knacks of "higher-order" expertise, which help them organize and apply the things they learn. It is those hidden tricks of mental management that produce the systems that create those works of genius. Why do certain people learn so many more and better skills? These all-important differences could begin with early accidents. One child works out clever ways to arrange some blocks in rows and stacks; a second child plays at rearranging how it thinks. Everyone can praise the first child's castles and towers, but no one can see what the second child has done, and one may even get the false impression of a lack of industry. But if the second child persists in seeking better ways to learn, this can lead to silent growth in which some better ways to learn may lead to better ways to learn to learn. Then, later, we'll observe an awesome, qualitative change, with no apparent cause--and give to it some empty name like talent, aptitude, or gift.
Marvin Minsky (The Society of Mind)
He’s ruined that magic,” this aide said of Trump. “The disdain he shows for our country’s foundation and its principles. The disregard he has for right and wrong. Your fist clenches. Your teeth grate. The hair goes up on the back of your neck. I have to remind myself I said an oath to a document in the National Archives. I swore to the Constitution. I didn’t swear an oath to this jackass.” As this aide saw it, there has been a silent understanding within the national security community that diplomatic, military, and intelligence officers were doing the right thing, quietly risking their lives to protect the American way of life. This aide saw Trump’s move against Brennan as one of the first steps of undercutting America’s democratic system of government and the belief system upon which it was founded. According to the aide, it was the president declaring, “It’s not okay to disagree with me. I can remove you from this work and your career. “If he wanted to, how far could he push this?” this aide asked. “Look back. Did people in the 1930s in Germany know when the government started to turn on them? Most Americans are more worried about who is going to win on America’s Got Talent and what the traffic is going to be like on I-95. They aren’t watching this closely. “I like to believe [Trump] is too self-engrossed, too incompetent and disorganized to get us to 1930,” this aide added. “But he has moved the bar. And another president that comes after him can move it a little farther. The time is coming. Our nation will be tested. Every nation is. Rome fell, remember. He is opening up vulnerabilities for this to happen. That is my fear.” —
Philip Rucker (A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America)
She huddled next to Daniel in the Meadow, basking in the warmth of a burgeoning love that was pure and sustaining, as Daniel’s name rang out across the Meadow. He had been called. He rose above the riot of angelic light and said with calm self-possession, “With respect, I will not do this. I will not choose Lucifer’s side, nor will I choose the side of Heaven.” A roar went up from the vast camps of angels, from those who stood beside the Throne, from Lucifer most of all. Lucinda had been stunned. “Instead, I choose love,” Daniel went on. “I choose love and leave you to your war. You’re wrong to bring this upon us,” Daniel said to Lucifer. Then, to the Throne: “All that is good in Heaven and on Earth is made of love. Maybe that wasn’t your plan when you created the universe-maybe love was just one aspect of a complicated and brutal world. But love was the best thing you made, and it has become the only thing worth saving. This war is not just. This war is not good. Love is the only thing worth fighting for.” The Meadow fell silent after Daniel’s words. Most of the angels looked dumbfounded, as if they did not understand what Daniel meant. It had not been Lucinda’s turn. The angels’ names were called by the celestial secretaries according to their rank, and Lucinda was one of a handful of angels higher than Daniel. It didn’t matter. They were a team. She rose to his side in the Meadow. “There should never have to be a choice between love and You,” Lucinda declared to the Throne. “Maybe one day You will find a way to reconcile adoration and the true love You have made us capable of. But if forced to choose, I must stand beside my love. I choose Daniel and will choose him forevermore.
Lauren Kate (Rapture (Fallen, #4))
This afternoon, being on Fair Haven Hill, I heard the sound of a saw, and soon after from the Cliff saw two men sawing down a noble pine beneath, about forty rods off. I resolved to watch it till it fell, the last of a dozen or more which were left when the forest was cut and for fifteen years have waved in solitary majesty over the sprout-land. I saw them like beavers or insects gnawing at the trunk of this noble tree, the diminutive manikins with their cross-cut saw which could scarcely span it. It towered up a hundred feet as I afterward found by measurement, one of the tallest probably in the township and straight as an arrow, but slanting a little toward the hillside, its top seen against the frozen river and the hills of Conantum. I watch closely to see when it begins to move. Now the sawers stop, and with an axe open it a little on the side toward which it leans, that it may break the faster. And now their saw goes again. Now surely it is going; it is inclined one quarter of the quadrant, and, breathless, I expect its crashing fall. But no, I was mistaken; it has not moved an inch; it stands at the same angle as at first. It is fifteen minutes yet to its fall. Still its branches wave in the wind, as it were destined to stand for a century, and the wind soughs through its needles as of yore; it is still a forest tree, the most majestic tree that waves over Musketaquid. The silvery sheen of the sunlight is reflected from its needles; it still affords an inaccessible crotch for the squirrel’s nest; not a lichen has forsaken its mast-like stem, its raking mast,—the hill is the hulk. Now, now’s the moment! The manikins at its base are fleeing from their crime. They have dropped the guilty saw and axe. How slowly and majestic it starts! as it were only swayed by a summer breeze, and would return without a sigh to its location in the air. And now it fans the hillside with its fall, and it lies down to its bed in the valley, from which it is never to rise, as softly as a feather, folding its green mantle about it like a warrior, as if, tired of standing, it embraced the earth with silent joy, returning its elements to the dust again. But hark! there you only saw, but did not hear. There now comes up a deafening crash to these rocks , advertising you that even trees do not die without a groan. It rushes to embrace the earth, and mingle its elements with the dust. And now all is still once more and forever, both to eye and ear. I went down and measured it. It was about four feet in diameter where it was sawed, about one hundred feet long. Before I had reached it the axemen had already divested it of its branches. Its gracefully spreading top was a perfect wreck on the hillside as if it had been made of glass, and the tender cones of one year’s growth upon its summit appealed in vain and too late to the mercy of the chopper. Already he has measured it with his axe, and marked off the mill-logs it will make. And the space it occupied in upper air is vacant for the next two centuries. It is lumber. He has laid waste the air. When the fish hawk in the spring revisits the banks of the Musketaquid, he will circle in vain to find his accustomed perch, and the hen-hawk will mourn for the pines lofty enough to protect her brood. A plant which it has taken two centuries to perfect, rising by slow stages into the heavens, has this afternoon ceased to exist. Its sapling top had expanded to this January thaw as the forerunner of summers to come. Why does not the village bell sound a knell? I hear no knell tolled. I see no procession of mourners in the streets, or the woodland aisles. The squirrel has leaped to another tree; the hawk has circled further off, and has now settled upon a new eyrie, but the woodman is preparing [to] lay his axe at the root of that also.
Henry David Thoreau (The Journal, 1837-1861)
I might not like what you do, but you’re not going to lose me, Gin.” “Why not?” I said, forcing the words out through the lump of emotion that clogged my throat. “What’s changed?” Bria looked at me. “Because we came down here, and I saw how Donovan treated you. How he thought he was so much better than you, so much more righteous, and I realize that it’s the same way I’ve been treating you for months now, when you’ve done nothing but save my life over and over again. With no question, no hesitation, and nothing asked in return. Not one damn thing.” Tears streaked down her cheeks, and her blue eyes were agonizingly bright in her face. “The truth is that I’m ashamed of myself for acting like him and most especially for taking you for granted. When we found out that Callie was in trouble, you were the first one to do anything about it. You immediately stepped up and offered to help her. If it wasn’t for you, Callie would be dead now and probably Donovan along with her. You saved her not because I asked you to and not even because she was my friend but because you saw someone who was in trouble and you realized you could help her. Maybe you are an assassin, maybe you are one of the bad guys, but you know what? I don’t give a damn anymore. You’re my sister first, and that’s all that matters to me.” I blinked and was surprised to find hot tears sliding down my own cheeks, one after another in a torrent that I couldn’t control. She . . . she . . . understood. She actually understood who and what I was and that I would probably never change or give up being the Spider. She knew it all, and she was still here with me. All sorts of emotions surged through my heart then, but there was one that drowned out all the others—relief. Pure, sweet relief that she wasn’t going to walk out of my life, that she was going to stick with me through the good and the bad and whatever else the world threw at us. I reached forward and wrapped my arms around Bria, and she did the same to me. We stood like that for several minutes, still and quiet, with silent sobs shaking both of our bodies. Just letting out all the fear and anger and guilt that had crept up on us both and had created this gulf between us. But we’d overcome those emotions, and I’d be damned if we’d ever grow apart like this again.
Jennifer Estep (By a Thread (Elemental Assassin #6))
Almondine To her, the scent and the memory of him were one. Where it lay strongest, the distant past came to her as if that morning: Taking a dead sparrow from her jaws, before she knew to hide such things. Guiding her to the floor, bending her knee until the arthritis made it stick, his palm hotsided on her ribs to measure her breaths and know where the pain began. And to comfort her. That had been the week before he went away. He was gone, she knew this, but something of him clung to the baseboards. At times the floor quivered under his footstep. She stood then and nosed into the kitchen and the bathroom and the bedroom-especially the closet-her intention to press her ruff against his hand, run it along his thigh, feel the heat of his body through the fabric. Places, times, weather-all these drew him up inside her. Rain, especially, falling past the double doors of the kennel, where he’d waited through so many storms, each drop throwing a dozen replicas into the air as it struck the waterlogged earth. And where the rising and falling water met, something like an expectation formed, a place where he might appear and pass in long strides, silent and gestureless. For she was not without her own selfish desires: to hold things motionless, to measure herself against them and find herself present, to know that she was alive precisely because he needn’t acknowledge her in casual passing; that utter constancy might prevail if she attended the world so carefully. And if not constancy, then only those changes she desired, not those that sapped her, undefined her. And so she searched. She’d watched his casket lowered into the ground, a box, man-made, no more like him than the trees that swayed under the winter wind. To assign him an identity outside the world was not in her thinking. The fence line where he walked and the bed where he slept-that was where he lived, and they remembered him. Yet he was gone. She knew it most keenly in the diminishment of her own self. In her life, she’d been nourished and sustained by certain things, him being one of them, Trudy another, and Edgar, the third and most important, but it was really the three of them together, intersecting in her, for each of them powered her heart a different way. Each of them bore different responsibilities to her and with her and required different things from her, and her day was the fulfillment of those responsibilities. She could not imagine that portion of her would never return. With her it was not hope, or wistful thoughts-it was her sense of being alive that thinned by the proportion of her spirit devoted to him. "ory of Edgar Sawtelle" As spring came on, his scent about the place began to fade. She stopped looking for him. Whole days she slept beside his chair, as the sunlight drifted from eastern-slant to western-slant, moving only to ease the weight of her bones against the floor. And Trudy and Edgar, encapsulated in mourning, somehow forgot to care for one another, let alone her. Or if they knew, their grief and heartache overwhelmed them. Anyway, there was so little they might have done, save to bring out a shirt of his to lie on, perhaps walk with her along the fence line, where fragments of time had snagged and hung. But if they noticed her grief, they hardly knew to do those things. And she without the language to ask.
David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle)
Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me. There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs--commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land. Look at the crowds of water-gazers there. Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. Go from Corlears Hook to Coenties Slip, and from thence, by Whitehall, northward. What do you see?--Posted like silent sentinels all around the town, stand thousands upon thousands of mortal men fixed in ocean reveries. Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster--tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here? But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in. And there they stand--miles of them--leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues--north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither? Once more. Say you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever.
Herman Melville (Moby-Dick or, the Whale)
Dalinar took one step forward, then drove his Blade point-first into the middle of the blackened glyph on the stone. He took a step back. “For the bridgemen,” he said. Sadeas blinked. Muttering voices fell silent, and the people on the field seemed too stunned, even, to breathe. “What?”Sadeas asked. “The Blade,”Dalinar said, firm voice carrying in the air. “In exchange for your bridgemen. All of them. Every one you have in camp. They become mine, to do with as I please, never to be touched by you again. In exchange, you get the sword.” Sadeas looked down at the Blade, incredulous. “This weapon is worth fortunes. Cities, palaces, kingdoms.” “Do we have a deal?”Dalinar asked. “Father, no!”Adolin Kholin said, his own Blade appearing in his hand. “You—” Dalinar raised a hand, silencing the younger man. He kept his eyes on Sadeas. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, each word sharp. Kaladin stared, unable to move, unable to think. Sadeas looked at the Shardblade, eyes full of lust. He glanced at Kaladin, hesitated just briefly, then reached and grabbed the Blade by the hilt. “Take the storming creatures.” Dalinar nodded curtly, turning away from Sadeas. “Let’s go,”he said to his entourage. “They’re worthless, you know,”Sadeas said. “You’re of the ten fools, Dalinar Kholin! Don’t you see how mad you are? This will be remembered as the most ridiculous decision ever made by an Alethi highprince!” Dalinar didn’t look back. He walked up to Kaladin and the other members of Bridge Four. “Go,” Dalinar said to them, voice kindly. “Gather your things and the men you left behind. I will send troops with you to act as guards. Leave the bridges and come swiftly to my camp. You will be safe there. You have my word of honor on it.” He began to walk away. Kaladin shook off his numbness. He scrambled after the highprince, grabbing his armored arm. “Wait. You—That—What just happened?” Dalinar turned to him. Then, the highprince laid a hand on Kaladin’s shoulder, the gauntlet gleaming blue, mismatched with the rest of his slate-grey armor. “I don’t know what has been done to you. I can only guess what your life has been like. But know this. You will not be bridgemen in my camp, nor will you be slaves.” “But…” “What is a man’s life worth?” Dalinar asked softly. “The slavemasters say one is worth about two emerald broams,” Kaladin said, frowning. “And what do you say?” “A life is priceless,” he said immediately, quoting his father. Dalinar smiled, wrinkle lines extending from the corners of his eyes. “Coincidentally, that is the exact value of a Shardblade. So today, you and your men sacrificed to buy me twenty-six hundred priceless lives. And all I had to repay you with was a single priceless sword. I call that a bargain.” “You really think it was a good trade, don’t you?” Kaladin said, amazed. Dalinar smiled in a way that seemed strikingly paternal.
Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive, #1))
FOR THE VOICELESS by El Niño Salvaje I speak for the ones who cannot speak, for the voiceless. I raise my voice and wave my arms and shout for the ones you do not see, perhaps cannot see, for the invisible. For the poor, the powerless, the disenfranchised; for the victims of this so-called “war on drugs,” for the eighty thousand murdered by the narcos, by the police, by the military, by the government, by the purchasers of drugs and the sellers of guns, by the investors in gleaming towers who have parlayed their “new money” into hotels, resorts, shopping malls, and suburban developments. I speak for the tortured, burned, and flayed by the narcos, beaten and raped by the soldiers, electrocuted and half-drowned by the police. I speak for the orphans, twenty thousand of them, for the children who have lost both or one parent, whose lives will never be the same. I speak for the dead children, shot in crossfires, murdered alongside their parents, ripped from their mothers’ wombs. I speak for the people enslaved, forced to labor on the narcos’ ranches, forced to fight. I speak for the mass of others ground down by an economic system that cares more for profit than for people. I speak for the people who tried to tell the truth, who tried to tell the story, who tried to show you what you have been doing and what you have done. But you silenced them and blinded them so that they could not tell you, could not show you. I speak for them, but I speak to you—the rich, the powerful, the politicians, the comandantes, the generals. I speak to Los Pinos and the Chamber of Deputies, I speak to the White House and Congress, I speak to AFI and the DEA, I speak to the bankers, and the ranchers and the oil barons and the capitalists and the narco drug lords and I say— You are the same. You are all the cartel. And you are guilty. You are guilty of murder, you are guilty of torture, you are guilty of rape, of kidnapping, of slavery, of oppression, but mostly I say that you are guilty of indifference. You do not see the people that you grind under your heel. You do not see their pain, you do not hear their cries, they are voiceless and invisible to you and they are the victims of this war that you perpetuate to keep yourselves above them. This is not a war on drugs. This is a war on the poor. This is a war on the poor and the powerless, the voiceless and the invisible, that you would just as soon be swept from your streets like the trash that blows around your ankles and soils your shoes. Congratulations. You’ve done it. You’ve performed a cleansing. A limpieza. The country is safe now for your shopping malls and suburban tracts, the invisible are safely out of sight, the voiceless silent as they should be. I speak these last words, and now you will kill me for it. I only ask that you bury me in the fosa común—the common grave—with the faceless and the nameless, without a headstone. I would rather be with them than you. And I am voiceless now, and invisible.
Don Winslow (The Cartel (Power of the Dog #2))
The people cast themselves down by the fuming boards while servants cut the roast, mixed jars of wine and water, and all the gods flew past like the night-breaths of spring. The chattering female flocks sat down by farther tables, their fresh prismatic garments gleaming in the moon as though a crowd of haughty peacocks played in moonlight. The queen’s throne softly spread with white furs of fox gaped desolate and bare, for Penelope felt ashamed to come before her guests after so much murder. Though all the guests were ravenous, they still refrained, turning their eyes upon their silent watchful lord till he should spill wine in libation for the Immortals. The king then filled a brimming cup, stood up and raised it high till in the moon the embossed adornments gleamed: Athena, dwarfed and slender, wrought in purest gold, pursued around the cup with double-pointed spear dark lowering herds of angry gods and hairy demons; she smiled and the sad tenderness of her lean face, and her embittered fearless glance, seemed almost human. Star-eyed Odysseus raised Athena’s goblet high and greeted all, but spoke in a beclouded mood: “In all my wandering voyages and torturous strife, the earth, the seas, the winds fought me with frenzied rage; I was in danger often, both through joy and grief, of losing priceless goodness, man’s most worthy face. I raised my arms to the high heavens and cried for help, but on my head gods hurled their lightning bolts, and laughed. I then clasped Mother Earth, but she changed many shapes, and whether as earthquake, beast, or woman, rushed to eat me; then like a child I gave my hopes to the sea in trust, piled on my ship my stubbornness, my cares, my virtues, the poor remaining plunder of god-fighting man, and then set sail; but suddenly a wild storm burst, and when I raised my eyes, the sea was strewn with wreckage. As I swam on, alone between sea and sky, with but my crooked heart for dog and company, I heard my mind, upon the crumpling battlements about my head, yelling with flailing crimson spear. Earth, sea, and sky rushed backward; I remained alone with a horned bow slung down my shoulder, shorn of gods and hopes, a free man standing in the wilderness. Old comrades, O young men, my island’s newest sprouts, I drink not to the gods but to man’s dauntless mind.” All shuddered, for the daring toast seemed sacrilege, and suddenly the hungry people shrank in spirit; They did not fully understand the impious words but saw flames lick like red curls about his savage head. The smell of roast was overpowering, choice meats steamed, and his bold speech was soon forgotten in hunger’s pangs; all fell to eating ravenously till their brains reeled. Under his lowering eyebrows Odysseus watched them sharply: "This is my people, a mess of bellies and stinking breath! These are my own minds, hands, and thighs, my loins and necks!" He muttered in his thorny beard, held back his hunger far from the feast and licked none of the steaming food.
Nikos Kazantzakis (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel)