Nobody Owns You Quotes

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So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
It's your own conscience That is gonna remind you That it's your heart and nobody else's That is gonna judge.
Bob Marley
You feel good, you feel bad, and these feelings are bubbling from your own unconsciousness, from your own past. Nobody is responsible except you. Nobody can make you angry, and nobody can make you happy.
Osho
You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
You think because he doesn't love you that you are worthless. You think that because he doesn't want you anymore that he is right -- that his judgement and opinion of you are correct. If he throws you out, then you are garbage. You think he belongs to you because you want to belong to him. Don't. It's a bad word, 'belong.' Especially when you put it with somebody you love. Love shouldn't be like that. Did you ever see the way the clouds love a mountain? They circle all around it; sometimes you can't even see the mountain for the clouds. But you know what? You go up top and what do you see? His head. The clouds never cover the head. His head pokes through, beacuse the clouds let him; they don't wrap him up. They let him keep his head up high, free, with nothing to hide him or bind him. You can't own a human being. You can't lose what you don't own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don't, do you? And neither does he. You're turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can't value you more than you value yourself.
Toni Morrison
Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can't cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It's just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.
Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)
Nobody knows you. You don't know yourself. And I, who am half in love with you, What am I in love with? My own imaginings?
D.H. Lawrence (The Complete Poems of D.H. Lawrence)
You're nobody's rainbow. You're nobody's princess. You're nobody's doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
You can't own a human being. You can't lose what you don't own. Suppose you did own him. Could you really love somebody who was absolutely nobody without you? You really want somebody like that? Somebody who falls apart when you walk out the door? You don't, do you? And neither does he. You're turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can't value you more than you value yourself.
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
Nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see ...each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition-- all such distortions within our own egos-- condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That's how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layers of opacity and see each other's naked hearts.
Tennessee Williams
Born to be wild; born to be free; nobody owns you; you are, a romantic tree.
Santosh Kalwar
These are the things I learned (in Kindergarten): 1. Share everything. 2. Play fair. 3. Don't hit people. 4. Put things back where you found them. 5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS. 6. Don't take things that aren't yours. 7. Say you're SORRY when you HURT somebody. 8. Wash your hands before you eat. 9. Flush. 10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. 11. Live a balanced life - learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some. 12. Take a nap every afternoon. 13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. 14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that. 15. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we. 16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.
Robert Fulghum (All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten)
Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable. You are you, I am I. I have to contribute my potential to life; you have to contribute your potential to life. I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own being.
Osho
DESTINY is a feeling you have that you know something about yourself nobody else does. The picture you have in your own mind of what you're about WILL COME TRUE. It's a kind of a thing you kind of have to keep to your own self, because it's a fragile feeling, and you put it out there, then someone will kill it. It's best to keep that all inside.
Bob Dylan (The Bob Dylan Scrapbook: 1956-1966)
But that was life: Nobody got a guided tour to their own theme park. You had to hop on the rides as they presented themselves, never knowing whether you would like the one you were in line for...or if the bastard was going to make you throw up your corn dog and your cotton candy all over the place.
J.R. Ward (Crave (Fallen Angels, #2))
There is nobody in this country who got rich on their own. Nobody. You built a factory out there - good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory... Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.
Elizabeth Warren
Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it's not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you've been to. I'm not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don't have to be like anyone else. I'm walking on the wall and nobody can stop me.
Hugo Hamilton (The Speckled People: A Memoir of a Half-Irish Childhood)
LOG ENTRY: SOL 381 I’ve been thinking about laws on Mars. Yeah, I know, it’s a stupid thing to think about, but I have a lot of free time. There’s an international treaty saying no country can lay claim to anything that’s not on Earth. And by another treaty, if you’re not in any country’s territory, maritime law applies. So Mars is “international waters.” NASA is an American nonmilitary organization, and it owns the Hab. So while I’m in the Hab, American law applies. As soon as I step outside, I’m in international waters. Then when I get in the rover, I’m back to American law. Here’s the cool part: I will eventually go to Schiaparelli and commandeer the Ares 4 lander. Nobody explicitly gave me permission to do this, and they can’t until I’m aboard Ares 4 and operating the comm system. After I board Ares 4, before talking to NASA, I will take control of a craft in international waters without permission. That makes me a pirate! A space pirate!
Andy Weir (The Martian)
We've got a sort of brainwashing going on in our country, Morrie sighed. Do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it--and have it repeated to us--over and over until nobody bothers to even think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by all of this, he has no perspective on what's really important anymore. Wherever I went in my life, I met people wanting to gobble up something new. Gobble up a new car. Gobble up a new piece of property. Gobble up the latest toy. And then they wanted to tell you about it. 'Guess what I got? Guess what I got?' You know how I interpreted that? These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you, as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have.
Mitch Albom (Tuesdays with Morrie)
I don’t know,” Mark said, looking down at his own long pale fingers tangled in the little boy’s brown curls. “He just – Julian left, and Tavvy fell asleep on my lap.” He sounded amazed, wondering. “Of course he did,” Cristina said. “He’s your brother. He trusts you.” “Nobody trusts a Hunter,” Mark said.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
And what do you want right now?" Right now I itch to heal his wounds and forget my own. He touches my cheek with the tips of his fingers. My breath hitches. "Do you want to kiss me, Alex?" I whisper. "Dios mio, I want to kiss you ... to taste your lips, your tongue." He gently traces my lips withthe tips of his fingers. "Do you want me to kiss you? Nobody else would know but the two of us.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Welcome to the human race. Nobody controls his own life, Ender. The best you can do is choose to fill the roles given you by good people, by people who love you.
Orson Scott Card
If you have done something meritorious, you experience pleasure and happiness; if wrong things, suffering. A happy or unhappy life is your own creation. Nobody else is responsible. If you remember this, you won’t find fault with anybody. You are your own best friend as well as your worst enemy. (99)
Satchidananda (The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali)
There are things you can't back down on, things you gotta take a stand on. But it's up to you to decide what them things are. You have to demand respect in this world, ain't nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for--that's how you gain respect. But, little one, ain't nobody's respect worth more than your own.
Mildred D. Taylor (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Logans, #4))
Nobody fights you like your own sister; nobody else knows the most vulnerable parts of you and will aim for them without mercy.
Jojo Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind)
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
That's the thing I'm learning about being thrown out on yer own. Nobody does nothing for you. If you don't change it, it don't get changed.
Patrick Ness (The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1))
Lilacs on a bush are better than orchids. And dandelions and devil grass are better! Why? Because they bend you over and turn you away from all the people in the town for a little while and sweat you and get you down where you remember you got a nose again. And when you’re all to yourself that way, you’re really proud of yourself for a little while; you get to thinking things through, alone. Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that - but you are the only you. Tarantino - you can criticize everything that Quentin does - but nobody writes Tarantino stuff like Tarantino. He is the best Tarantino writer there is, and that was actually the thing that people responded to - they’re going ‘this is an individual writing with his own point of view’. There are better writers than me out there, there are smarter writers, there are people who can plot better - there are all those kinds of things, but there’s nobody who can write a Neil Gaiman story like I can.
Neil Gaiman
Figure it out. Work a lifetime to pay off a house. You finally own it, and there's nobody to live in it.
Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman)
When you're three, you don't draw what you see--you draw upon your imagination. Nobody tells you to stop putting wings on people, unless you have a most unfortunate preschool teacher. You are intoxicated by your own magic.
Kirsten Hubbard (Wanderlove)
So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say. But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its colour, in deference to some Headmaster with a silver pot in his hand or to some professor with a measuring-rod up his sleeve, is the most abject treachery, and the sacrifice of wealth and chastity which used to be said to be the greatest of human disasters, a mere flea-bite in comparison.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One’s Own)
I’ve had a lot of practice. The Pack contains thirty-two species in seven tribes, each with their own hang-up. Jackals and coyotes pick fights with wolves, because they have an inferiority complex and think they’ve got something to prove. Wolves believe themselves to be superior, marry the wrong people, and then refuse to divorce them because they cling to their ‘mating for life’ idiocy. Hyenas listen to nobody, screw everything, and break out in berserk rages at some perceived slight against one of their own. Cats randomly refuse to follow orders to prove they can. That’s my life. I’ve been at this for fifteen years now. You’re easy by comparison.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
It was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if you open it and read it, you don't have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don't have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read.
Philip Pullman
I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, Eyes; I wonder if It weighs like Mine, Or has an Easier size. I wonder if They bore it long, Or did it just begin? I could not tell the Date of Mine, It feels so old a pain. I wonder if it hurts to live, And if They have to try, And whether, could They choose between, It would not be, to die. I note that Some -- gone patient long -- At length, renew their smile. An imitation of a Light That has so little Oil. I wonder if when Years have piled, Some Thousands -- on the Harm Of early hurt -- if such a lapse Could give them any Balm; Or would they go on aching still Through Centuries above, Enlightened to a larger Pain By Contrast with the Love. The Grieved are many, I am told; The reason deeper lies, -- Death is but one and comes but once, And only nails the eyes. There's Grief of Want and Grief of Cold, -- A sort they call "Despair"; There's Banishment from native Eyes, In sight of Native Air. And though I may not guess the kind Correctly, yet to me A piercing Comfort it affords In passing Calvary, To note the fashions of the Cross, And how they're mostly worn, Still fascinated to presume That Some are like My Own.
Emily Dickinson (I'm Nobody! Who Are You? (Scholastic Classics))
I was never able to accept anyone else’s support but my own –
Simona Panova (Nightmarish Sacrifice (Cardew))
You're nobody's rainbow. You're nobody's princess. You're nobody's doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
You have to find your own shtick. A Picasso always looks like Picasso painted it. Hemingway always sounds like Hemingway. A Beethoven symphony always sounds like a Beethoven symphony. Part of being a master is learning how to sing in nobody else's voice but your own.
Hugh MacLeod (Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity)
A wonderful flaw about human beings is that we’re incapable of making perfect copies. Our failure to copy our heroes is where we discover where our own thing lives. That is how we evolve.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
Take risks! That is really what life is about. We must pursue our own happiness. Nobody has ever lived our lives; ther are no guidelines. Trust your instincts. Accept nothing but the best. But then also look for it carefully. Don't allow it to slip between your fingers. Sometimes, good things come to us in a such a quiet fashion. And nothing comes complete. It is what we make of whatever we encounter that determines the outcome. What we choose to see, what we choose to save. And what we choose to remember. Never forget that all the love in your life is there, inside you, always.
Linda Olsson (Astrid and Veronika)
To be yourself requires extraordinary intelligence. You are blessed with that intelligence; nobody need give it to you; nobody can take it away from you. He who lets that express itself in its own way is a "Natural Man".
U.G. Krishnamurti (The Mystique of Enlightenment: The Radical Ideas of U.G. Krishnamurti)
The only advice, indeed, that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions. If this is agreed between us, then I feel at liberty to put forward a few ideas and suggestions because you will not allow them to fetter that independence which is the most important quality that a reader can possess. After all, what laws can be laid down about books? The battle of Waterloo was certainly fought on a certain day; but is Hamlet a better play than Lear? Nobody can say. Each must decide that question for himself. To admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. Everywhere else we may be bound by laws and conventions-there we have none.
Virginia Woolf (The Second Common Reader)
Oshima's silent for a time as he gazes at the forest, eyes narrowed. Birds are flitting from one branch to the next. His hands are clasped behind his head. "I know how you feel," he finally says. "But this is something you have to work out on your own. Nobody can help you. That's what love's all about, Kafka. You're the one having those wonderful feelings, but you have to go it alone as you wander through the dark. Your mind and body have to bear it all. All by yourself.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Study yourself. Become your own mentor and best friend. When you are suffering stay at the bottom until you find out who you are. Let the storms come and pass. How you walk through the fire says a lot about you. Nobody likes a victimhood mentality and what happened to you is not important. It is about how you use your chaos that matters. The dawn will come
Mohadesa Najumi
The mind is an incredibly complex machine, Stuart. Nobody fully understands the workings of it. Everyone has their own perception of the lives they lead and the environment in which they live them. For most of us, the perceptions are complimentary, so we accept reality as a collective experience. For instance, who is to say you see the colour of this t-shirt in the same way I do. We both perceive it as green, but whether or not we see the same colour, we can’t say. It doesn’t matter though as long as we all agree. Nevertheless, if a person comes in and says my t-shirt is red and everyone else says it is green then we have to question his or her perception of my t-shirt. There has to be a reason why their perception is different to ours. Of course, in that case, we would suspect colour blindness, a condition in which the receptors in the eye send erroneous signals to the brain. For whatever reason, Stuart, we are all seeing green, but you see red. We need to find out what is causing your brain to do that.
D.S. Smith (Unparalleled)
Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if you feel you should not follow it, you must not stay with it under any conditions. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path and there is no affront, to oneself or to others, in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you. Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. This question is one that only a very old man asks. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same: they lead nowhere. They are paths going through the bush, or into the bush. In my own life I could say I have traversed long long paths, but I am not anywhere. Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere; but one has a heart, the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it, you are one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong; the other weakens you. Before you embark on any path ask the question: Does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The trouble is nobody asks the question; and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill him. At that point very few men can stop to deliberate, and leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.
Carlos Castaneda (The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge)
And as for romance? Well, I want that too. I want to fall asleep next to you, 100 times a night, so I can know you 100 times better before we hit the day light. And despite all of this, I also want amnesia so I can relive each kiss with a perfect newness that leaves me smashed in the arms of rapture. I want the sky to fracture under the impossible weight of an apology because I'm sorry. I'm sorry that I want so much. I'm sorry that I'm using "I'm sorry" as a crutch to lean on for so long but if you sing me that song of sweet logic again then I promise to make the effort to stand on my own. There is a reason that our hearts are more like a muscle and less like a bone. I've known so many people who've have grown up flexing in front of mirrors and falling for their own reflection as if that's adequate but that's bullshit. Because we only get now until the time we go and if they've only got time to love themselves then nobody is going to be around to hear the sound of their heartbeat echo. So lady, don't expect an apology when I tell you I'm only held together by a heart that pumps blue, it's the strongest muscle in my body and I'm flexing it for you
Shane L. Koyczan
I drank some too-hot coffee and scowled at him, annoyed although I couldn't remember why. The light from the lounge was leaking in, highlighting his spiky blond hair. I decided that must be it. "You really hate my hair, don't you?" he asked, a smile flickering over his lips so fast I might have imagined it. "Yeah" "Why?" I reached out to touch it, and was surprised as always to find it mostly soft. Just a little stiff in places from whatever product he used on it. It felt weird, imagining Pritkin having anything in his hair but sweat. But he must have; nobody's did that all on its own. "It's like...angry hair," I said, trying to pat it down and failing miserably. He caught my wrist. "Most people would say that suits me." "I'm not most people." "I know.
Karen Chance (Hunt the Moon (Cassandra Palmer, #5))
I don't know what the definition of pornography is and nobody else does either. Pornography is somebody else's erotica that you don't like. People are interested in their own sexuality and they've always reflected it in their art. End of story.
Erica Jong
There aren’t many ways to find comfort in this world. We must take it where we can get it, even in the darkest, most disgusting places. Nobody asks to be born. No one signs a form that says, You have my permission to make me exist. Babies are born, because parents feel that they themselves are not enough. So, parents, never condemn us for trying to fill our existential holes, when we are but the fruit of your own vain attempts to fill yours. It’s your fault we’re here to deal with the void in the first place.
Melissa Broder (So Sad Today: Personal Essays)
Grades are a problem. On the most general level, they're an explicit acknowledgment that what you're doing is insufficiently interesting or rewarding for you to do it on your own. Nobody ever gave you a grade for learning how to play, how to ride a bicycle, or how to kiss. One of the best ways to destroy love for any of these activities would be through the use of grades, and the coercion and judgment they represent. Grades are a cudgel to bludgeon the unwilling into doing what they don't want to do, an important instrument in inculcating children into a lifelong subservience to whatever authority happens to be thrust over them.
Derrick Jensen
See? See what you can do? Never mind you can’t tell one letter from another, never mind you born a slave, never mind you lose your name, never mind your daddy dead, never mind nothing. Here, this here, is what a man can do if he puts his mind to it and his back in it. Stop sniveling,’ [the land] said. ‘Stop picking around the edges of the world. Take advantage, and if you can’t take advantage, take disadvantage. We live here. On this planet, in this nation, in this county right here. Nowhere else! We got a home in this rock, don’t you see! Nobody starving in my home; nobody crying in my home, and if I got a home you got one too! Grab it. Grab this land! Take it, hold it, my brothers, make it, my brothers, shake it, squeeze it, turn it, twist it, beat it, kick it, kiss it, whip it, stomp it, dig it, plow it, seed it, reap it, rent it, buy it, sell it, own it, build it, multiply it, and pass it on – can you hear me? Pass it on!
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
I mostly want to remind her of the recipes of healing, and give her my own made-on-the spot remedy for the easing of her pain. I tell her, “Get a pen. Stop crying so you can write this down and start working on it tonight.” My remedy is long. But the last item on the list says: “When you wake up and find yourself living someplace where there is nobody you love and trust, no community, it is time to leave town – to pack up and go (you can even go tonight). And where you need to go is any place where there are arms that can hold you, that will not let you go.
bell hooks (Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery)
The center snaps the ball to the quarterback!" "No he doesn't!" "He doesn't?" "NO! Secretly, he's the quarterback for the other team! He keeps the ball!" "A traitor!" "Calvin breaks for the goal." "Wheeee! He's at the 30... the 20... the 10! Nobody can catch him!" "Nobody wants to! Your running toward your own goal!" "Huh?!" "When I learned that you were a spy, I switched goals. This is your goal and mine's hidden!" "Hidden?!" "You'll never find it in a million years!" "I don't need to find it as a traitor to your team, crossing my goal counts as crossing your goal!" "Ah, so you might think so..." "In fact, I know so!" "But the place I hid my goal is right on top of your goal, so the points will go to me!" "But the fact is, I'm really a double agent! I'm on your team after all, which means you'll lose points if I cross your goal! Ha ha!" "But I'm a traitor too, so I'm really on your team! I want you to cross my goal! The points will go to your team, which is really my team!" "That would be true... if I were a football player!" "You mean...?" "I'm actually a badminton player disguised as a double-agent football player!!" "And I'm actually a volleyball-croquet-polo player!" "Sooner or later, all our games turn into CalvinBall." "No cheating!
Bill Watterson
Puddleglum,' they've said, 'You're altogether too full of bobance and bounce and high spirits. You've got to learn that life isn't all fricasseed frogs and ell pie. You want something to sober you down a bit. We're only saying it for your own good, Puddleglum.' That's what they say. Now a job like this --a journey up north just as winter's beginning looking for a prince that probably isn't there, by way of ruined city nobody's ever seen-- will be just the thing. If that doesn't steady a chap, I don't know what will.
C.S. Lewis (The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4))
Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.
C.S. Lewis
chew on one thinker-writer, activist, role model- you really love. Study everything there is to know about that thinker. Then find three people the thinker loved and find out everything about them. Repeat this as many times as you can. Climb up the tree as far as you can go. Once you built your tree, it's time to start your own branch.
Austin Kleon (Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative)
A lady?' Jem raised his head. His face was scarlet. 'After all those things she said about you, a lady?' 'She was. She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine, maybe... son, I told you that if you hadn't lost your head I'd have made you go read to her. I wanted you to see something about her- I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
Freedom from activity is never achieved by abstaining from action. Nobody can become perfect by merely ceasing to act. In fact, nobody can ever rest from his activity even for a moment. All are helplessly forced to act. . . . A man who renounces certain physical actions but still lets his mind dwell on the objects of his sensual desire, is deceiving himself. He can only be called a hypocrite. The truly admirable man controls his senses by the power of his will. All his actions will be disinterested. Activity is better than inertia. Act, but with self-control. If you are lazy, you cannot even sustain your own body.
Anonymous (BHAGAVAD GITA: EL CANTO DEL SEÑOR (Spanish Edition))
Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder.
Ray Bradbury (Dandelion Wine)
It's only just beginning to occur to me that it's important to have something going on somewhere, at work or at home, otherwise you're just clinging on. [...] You need as much ballast as possible to stop you floating away; you need people around you, things going on, otherwise life is like some film where the money ran out, and there are no sets, or locations, or supporting actors, and it's just one guy on his own staring into the camera with nothing to do and nobody to speak to, and who'd believe in this character then? I've got to get more stuff, more clutter, more detail in here, because at the moment I'm in danger of falling off the edge.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
In this life you have to be your own hero. By that I mean you have to win whatever it is that matters to you by your own strength and in your own way. Like it or not, you are alone in a forest, just like all those fairy tales that begin with a hero who’s usually stupid but somehow brave, or who might be clever, but weak as a straw, and away he goes (don’t worry about the gender), cheered on by nobody, via the castles and the bears, and the old witch and the enchanted stream, and by and by (we hope) he’ll find the treasure.
Jeanette Winterson (The PowerBook)
I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim or too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard travelling. I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work. And the songs that I sing are made up for the most part by all sorts of folks just about like you. I could hire out to the other side, the big money side, and get several dollars every week just to quit singing my own kind of songs and to sing the kind that knock you down still farther and the ones that poke fun at you even more and the ones that make you think that you've not got any sense at all. But I decided a long time ago that I'd starve to death before I'd sing any such songs as that. The radio waves and your movies and your jukeboxes and your songbooks are already loaded down and running over with such no good songs as that anyhow.
Woody Guthrie
We wish we could have been there for you. We didn't have many role models of our own--we latched on to the foolish love of Oscar Wilde and the well-versed longing of Walt Whitman because nobody else was there to show us an untortured path. We were going to be your role models. We were going to give you art and music and confidence and shelter and a much better world. Those who survived lived to do this. But we haven't been there for you. We've been here. Watching as you become the role models.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
I love you so much I spend all day with you, and it still isn’t enough for me,” he kept going. I stopped breathing. “I love you so much, if I can’t skate with you, I don’t want to skate with anyone else.” Holy. Fuck. “I love you so fucking much, Jasmine, that if I broke my ankle during a program, I would get up and finish it for you, to get you what you’ve always wanted.” It was love. All I could feel was love. I was going to cry. I was going to fucking cry. Right. Then. “You mean so much to me that that’s why whatever happens doesn’t really matter to me. Not like it used to. Not like it ever will again,” he finished, pressing his forehead against mine, his eyes intense and heartbreaking. “You’re not ever going to be anyone else’s partner. Not while I’m alive, Meatball. I will drag your stubborn, beautiful ass kicking and screaming back to me because nobody else will ever be good enough for you.” I blinked. I blinked so fast I knew I was about two point five seconds away from losing my shit. And then Ivan ended me. He ended every worry I’d ever had about there being someone after him. He did it right there with the tip of his nose touching my own and his forehead against mine too. “Because I’m okay with you having ten other people be your favorite. But you’re always going to be my favorite person,” he finished. “Always. No matter what.
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
I looked about me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks. I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as a man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
Look to yourself. You free. Nothing and nobody is obliged to save you but you. Seek your own land. You young and a woman and there's serious limitation in both, but you are a person too. Don't let Lenore or some trifling boyfriend and certainly no devil doctor decide who you are. That's slavery. Somewhere inside you is that free person I'm talking about. Locate her and let her do some good in the world.
Toni Morrison (Home)
Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down, you dig, farting out the words. It was unlike anything I ever heard. Bubbly, thick, stagnant sound. A sound you could smell. This man worked for the carnival,you dig? And to start with it was like a novelty ventriloquist act. After a while, the ass started talking on its own. He would go in without anything prepared... and his ass would ad-lib and toss the gags back at him every time. Then it developed sort of teethlike... little raspy incurving hooks and started eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it... but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street... shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags. Nobody loved it. And it wanted to be kissed, same as any other mouth. Finally, it talked all the time, day and night. You could hear him for blocks, screaming at it to shut up... beating at it with his fists... and sticking candles up it, but... nothing did any good, and the asshole said to him... "It is you who will shut up in the end, not me... "because we don't need you around here anymore. I can talk and eat and shit." After that, he began waking up in the morning with transparentjelly... like a tadpole's tail all over his mouth. He would tear it off his mouth and the pieces would stick to his hands... like burning gasoline jelly and grow there. So, finally, his mouth sealed over... and the whole head... would have amputated spontaneously except for the eyes, you dig? That's the one thing that the asshole couldn't do was see. It needed the eyes. Nerve connections were blocked... and infiltrated and atrophied. So, the brain couldn't give orders anymore. It was trapped inside the skull... sealed off. For a while, you could see... the silent, helpless suffering of the brain behind the eyes. And then finally the brain must have died... because the eyes went out... and there was no more feeling in them than a crab's eye at the end of a stalk.
William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)
I had been hungry all the years- My noon had come, to dine- I, trembling, drew the table near And touched the curious wine. 'Twas this on tables I had seen When turning, hungry, lone, I looked in windows, for the wealth I could not hope to own. I did not know the ample bread, 'Twas so unlike the crumb The birds and I had often shared In Nature's diningroom. The plenty hurt me, 'twas so new,-- Myself felt ill and odd, As berry of a mountain bush Transplanted to the road. Nor was I hungry; so I found That hunger was a way Of persons outside windows, The entering takes away.
Emily Dickinson (I'm Nobody! Who Are You? (Scholastic Classics))
Know Thyself. It’s good advice. Know yourself. You are worth knowing. Examine your life. The unexamined life is not worth living. Be aware that other people have equal significance. Give them the space to make their own choices, and let their choices count as you want them to let your choices count. Remember that excellence has no stopping point and keep on pursuing it. Make art that can last and that says something nobody else can say. Live the best life you can, and become the best self you can. You cannot know which of your actions is the lever that will move worlds. Not even Necessity knows all ends. Know yourself.
Jo Walton (The Just City (Thessaly, #1))
But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, there’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same reason that it will never, ever, ever be fixed. It’s never gonna get any better. Don’t look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now, the real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the senate, the congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I'll tell you what they don’t want: They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. Thats against their interests. Thats right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table to figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork, and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you, sooner or later, 'cause they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club. And by the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head in their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged, and nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people -- white collar, blue collar, it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on -- good honest hard-working people continue -- these are people of modest means -- continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about them. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you. They don't care about you at all -- at all -- at all. And nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on; the fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that's being jammed up their assholes everyday. Because the owners of this country know the truth: it's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.
George Carlin
I knew it! I knew you'd hate my body!" She slammed her hands on her hips, marched over to the bed, and glared down at him. "Well, for your information, mister, all those cute little sex kittens in your past might have had perfect bodies, but they don't know a lepton from a proton,and if you think that I'm going to stand here and let you judge me by the size of my hips and because my belly's not flat, then you're in for a rude awakening." She jabbed her finger at him. "This is the way a grown woman looks, buster! This body was designed by God to be functional, not to be stared at by some hormonally imbalanced jock who can only get aroused by women who still own Barbie dolls" "Damn. Now I've got to gag you." With one swift motion, he pulled her down on the bed, rolled on top of her, and covered her lips with his own.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Nobody's Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars, #3))
We could call you an ambisexual. A duosexual. A—” “Do I really have to find a word for it?” Kyle interrupts. “Can’t it just be what it is?” “Of course,” I say, even though in the bigger world I’m not so sure. The world loves stupid labels. I wish we got to choose our own. We pause for a moment. I wonder if that’s all—if he just needed to say the truth and have it heard. But then Kyle looks at me with unsure eyes and says, “You see, I don’t know who I’m supposed to be.” “Nobody does,” I assure him.
David Levithan (Boy Meets Boy)
Suppose that a man leaps out of a burning building—as my dear friend and colleague Jeff Goldberg sat and said to my face over a table at La Tomate in Washington not two years ago—and lands on a bystander in the street below. Now, make the burning building be Europe, and the luckless man underneath be the Palestinian Arabs. Is this a historical injustice? Has the man below been made a victim, with infinite cause of complaint and indefinite justification for violent retaliation? My own reply would be a provisional 'no,' but only on these conditions. The man leaping from the burning building must still make such restitution as he can to the man who broke his fall, and must not pretend that he never even landed on him. And he must base his case on the singularity and uniqueness of the original leap. It can't, in other words, be 'leap, leap, leap' for four generations and more. The people underneath cannot be expected to tolerate leaping on this scale and of this duration, if you catch my drift. In Palestine, tread softly, for you tread on their dreams. And do not tell the Palestinians that they were never fallen upon and bruised in the first place. Do not shame yourself with the cheap lie that they were told by their leaders to run away. Also, stop saying that nobody knew how to cultivate oranges in Jaffa until the Jews showed them how. 'Making the desert bloom'—one of Yvonne's stock phrases—makes desert dwellers out of people who were the agricultural superiors of the Crusaders.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Here is another truth about wintering: you’ll find wisdom in your winter, and once it’s over, it’s your responsibility to pass it on. And in return, it’s our responsibility to listen to those who have wintered before us. It’s an exchange of gifts in which nobody loses out. This may involve the breaking of a lifelong habit, one passed down carefully through generations: that of looking at other people’s misfortunes and feeling certain that they brought them upon themselves in a way that you never would. This isn’t just an unkind attitude. It does us harm, because it keeps us from learning that disasters do indeed happen and how we can adapt when they do. It stops us from reaching out to those who are suffering. And when our own disaster comes, it forces us into a humiliated retreat, as we try to hunt down mistakes that we never made in the first place or wrongheaded attitudes that we never held. Either that, or we become certain that there must be someone out there we can blame. Watching winter and really listening to its messages, we learn that effect is often disproportionate to cause; that tiny mistakes can lead to huge disasters; that life is often bloody unfair, but it carries on happening with or without our consent. We learn to look more kindly on other people’s crises, because they are so often portents of our own future.
Katherine May (Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times)
Write it. Just write it. Write it on receipts in the car while you wait for your kid to finish their piano lessons, scribble on napkins at lunch with friends. Type on crappy typewriters or borrow computers if you have to. Fill notebooks with ink. Write inside your head while you’re in traffic and when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office. Write the truth, write lies. Write the perfect spouse. Write your dreams. Write your nightmares. Write while you cry about what you’re writing, write while you laugh out loud at your own words. Write until your fingers hurt, then keep writing more. Don’t ever stop writing. Don’t ever give up on your story, no matter what “they” say. Don’t ever let anybody take away your voice. You have something to say, your soul has a story to tell. Write it. There is never any reason to be afraid. Just write it and then put it out there for the world. Shove it up a flag pole and see who salutes it. Somebody will say it’s crap. So what? Somebody else will love it. And that’s what writing’s about. Love. Love of the art, love of the story, and love for and from the people who really understand your work. Nobody else matters. Love yourself. Love your work. Be brave. Just write.
Melodie Ramone
Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. Nobody ever saw one animal by its gestures and natural cries signify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that....But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of.
Adam Smith (An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations)
October Fullness” Little by little, and also in great leaps, life happened to me, and how insignificant this business is. These veins carried my blood, which I scarcely ever saw, I breathed the air of so many places without keeping a sample of any. In the end, everyone is aware of this: nobody keeps any of what he has, and life is only a borrowing of bones. The best thing was learning not to have too much either of sorrow or of joy, to hope for the chance of a last drop, to ask more from honey and from twilight. Perhaps it was my punishment. Perhaps I was condemned to be happy. Let it be known that nobody crossed my path without sharing my being. I plunged up to the neck into adversities that were not mine, into all the sufferings of others. It wasn’t a question of applause or profit. Much less. It was not being able to live or breathe in this shadow, the shadow of others like towers, like bitter trees that bury you, like cobblestones on the knees. Our own wounds heal with weeping, our own wounds heal with singing, but in our own doorway lie bleeding widows, Indians, poor men, fishermen. The miner’s child doesn’t know his father amidst all that suffering. So be it, but my business was the fullness of the spirit: a cry of pleasure choking you, a sigh from an uprooted plant, the sum of all action. It pleased me to grow with the morning, to bathe in the sun, in the great joy of sun, salt, sea-light and wave, and in that unwinding of the foam my heart began to move, growing in that essential spasm, and dying away as it seeped into the sand.
Pablo Neruda (The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems)
Nobody reads poetry, we are told at every inopportune moment. I read poetry. I am somebody. I am the people, too. It can be allowed that an industrious quantity of contemporary American poetry is consciously written for a hermetic constituency; the bulk is written for the bourgeoisie, leaving a lean cut for labor. Only the hermetically aimed has a snowball's chance in hell of reaching its intended ears. One proceeds from this realization. A staggering figure of vibrant, intelligent people can and do live without poetry, especially without the poetry of their time. This figure includes the unemployed, the rank and file, the union brass, banker, scientist, lawyer, doctor, architect, pilot, and priest. It also includes most academics, most of the faculty of the humanities, most allegedly literary editors and most allegedly literary critics. They do so--go forward in their lives, toward their great reward, in an engulfing absence of poetry--without being perceived or perceiving themselves as hobbled or deficient in any significant way. It is nearly true, though I am often reminded of a Transtromer broadside I saw in a crummy office building in San Francisco: We got dressed and showed the house You live well the visitor said The slum must be inside you. If I wanted to understand a culture, my own for instance, and if I thought such an understanding were the basis for a lifelong inquiry, I would turn to poetry first. For it is my confirmed bias that the poets remain the most 'stunned by existence,' the most determined to redeem the world in words..
C.D. Wright (Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil)
Boys are like elastic bands. It doesn't mean that boys are made of elastic, which is a plus because nobody wants a boyfriend made out of rubber. On the other hand, if they were made out of rubber, you could save yourself a lot of time and effort and heartache by just rustling one up out of a car tire. Boys are different from girls. Girls like to be cozy all the time but boys don't. First of all, they like to get all close to you like a coiled-up rubber band, but after a while, they get fed up with being too coiled and need to stretch away to their full stretchiness. Then, after a bit of on-their-own strategy, they ping back to be close to you. So in conclusion on the boy front, you have to play hard to get and also let them be elastic bands.
Louise Rennison (On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, #2))
If we can use an H-bomb--and as you said it's no checker game; it's real, it's war and nobody is fooling around--isn't it sort of ridiculous to go crawling around in the weeds, throwing knives and maybe getting yourself killed . . . and even losing the war . . . when you've got a real weapon you can use to win? What's the point in a whole lot of men risking their lives with obsolete weapons when one professor type can do so much more just by pushing a button?' Zim didn't answer at once, which wasn't like him at all. Then he said softly, 'Are you happy in the Infantry, Hendrick? You can resign, you know.' Hendrick muttered something; Zim said, 'Speak up!' I'm not itching to resign, sir. I'm going to sweat out my term.' I see. Well, the question you asked is one that a sergeant isn't really qualified to answer . . . and one that you shouldn't ask me. You're supposed to know the answer before you join up. Or you should. Did your school have a course in History and Moral Philosophy?' What? Sure--yes, sir.' Then you've heard the answer. But I'll give you my own--unofficial--views on it. If you wanted to teach a baby a lesson, would you cuts its head off?' Why . . . no, sir!' Of course not. You'd paddle it. There can be circumstances when it's just as foolish to hit an enemy with an H-Bomb as it would be to spank a baby with an ax. War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government's decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him . . . but to make him do what you want him to do. Not killing . . . but controlled and purposeful violence. But it's not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It's never a soldier's business to decide when or where or how--or why--he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people--"older and wiser heads," as they say--supply the control. Which is as it should be. That's the best answer I can give you. If it doesn't satisfy you, I'll get you a chit to go talk to the regimental commander. If he can't convince you--then go home and be a civilian! Because in that case you will certainly never make a soldier.
Robert A. Heinlein (Starship Troopers)
What is there to see if I go outside? Don't tell me. I know. I can see other people. I don't want to see other people. They look awful. The men look like slobs and the women look like men. The men have mush faces framed by long hair and the women have big noses, big jaws, big heads, and stick-like bodies. That depresses me. Its no fun to people-watch anymore because there's so little variety in types. You say it's good to get a change of scenery. What scenery? New buildings? New cars? New freeways? New shopping malls? Go to the woods or a park? I saw a tree once. The new ones look the same, which is fine. I even remember what the old ones look like. My memory isn't that short. But it's not worth going to see a squirrel grab a nut, or fish swimming around in a big tank if I must put up with the ugly contemporary human pollution that accompanies each excursion. The squirrel may enliven me and remind me of better vistas but the price in social interaction isn't worth it. If, on my way to visit the squirrel, I encounter a single person who gains stimulation by seeing me, I feel like I have given more than I've received and I get sore. If every time I go somewhere to see a fish swimming, I become someone else's stimulation, I feel shortchanged. I'll buy my own fish and watch it swim. Then, I can watch the fish, the fish can watch me, we can be friends, and nobody else interferes with the interaction, like trying to hear what the fish and I are talking about. I won't have to get dressed a certain way to visit the fish. I needn't dress the way my pride dictates, because who's going to see me? I needn't wear any pants. The fish doesn't care. He doesn't read the tabloids. But, if I go out to see a fish other than my own, I'm right back where I started: entertaining others, which is more depleting than visiting the new fish is entertaining. Maybe I should go to a coffee house. I find no stimulation in watching ordinary people trying to put the make on other uninteresting people. I can fix my own cup of coffee and not have to look at or talk to other people. No matter where I go, I stimulate others, and have been doing so all my life. It used to be I'd sometimes get stimulated back.
Anton Szandor LaVey
It is only through silent awareness that our physical and mental nature can change. This change is completely spontaneous. If we make an effort to change we do no more than shift our attention from one level, from one thing, to another. We remain in a vicious circle. This only transfers energy from one point to another. It still leaves us oscillating between suffering and pleasure, each leading inevitably back to the other. Only living stillness, stillness without someone trying to be still, is capable of undoing the conditioning our biologoical, emotional and psychological nature has undergone. There is no controller, no selector, no personality making choices. In choiceless living the situation is given the freedom to unfold. You do not grasp one aspect over another for there is nobody to grasp. When you understand something and live it without being stuck to the formulation, what you have understood dissolves in your openness. In this silence change takes place of its own accord, the problem is resolved and duality ends. You are left in your glory where no one has understood and nothing has been understood.
Jean Klein (I Am)
Just spunk won't be enough; you've got to have gumption. You've got to bear it in mind that nobody that ever lived is specially privileged; the axe can fall at any moment, on any neck, without any warning or any regard for justice. You've got to keep your mind off of pitying your own rotten luck and setting up any kind of howl about it. You've got to remember that things as bad as this and a hell of a lot worse have happened to millions of people before and that they've come through it and you can too. You'll bear it because there isn't any choice--except to go to pieces. . . It's kind of a test, Mary, and it's the only kind that amounts to anything. When something rotten like this happens. Then you have your choice. You start to really be alive, or you start to die. That's all.
James Agee (A Death in the Family)
What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness. So, I suppose, this obstinacy and perversity were pleasanter to them than any advantage... The fact is, gentlemen, it seems there must really exist something that is dearer to almost every man than his greatest advantages, or (not to be illogical) there is a most advantageous advantage (the very one omitted of which we spoke just now) which is more important and more advantageous than all other advantages, for the sake of which a man if necessary is ready to act in opposition to all laws; that is, in opposition to reason, honour, peace, prosperity -- in fact, in opposition to all those excellent and useful things if only he can attain that fundamental, most advantageous advantage which is dearer to him than all. "Yes, but it's advantage all the same," you will retort. But excuse me, I'll make the point clear, and it is not a case of playing upon words. What matters is, that this advantage is remarkable from the very fact that it breaks down all our classifications, and continually shatters every system constructed by lovers of mankind for the benefit of mankind. In fact, it upsets everything... One's own free unfettered choice, one's own caprice, however wild it may be, one's own fancy worked up at times to frenzy -- is that very "most advantageous advantage" which we have overlooked, which comes under no classification and against which all systems and theories are continually being shattered to atoms. And how do these wiseacres know that man wants a normal, a virtuous choice? What has made them conceive that man must want a rationally advantageous choice? What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead. And choice, of course, the devil only knows what choice. Of course, this very stupid thing, this caprice of ours, may be in reality, gentlemen, more advantageous for us than anything else on earth, especially in certain cases… for in any circumstances it preserves for us what is most precious and most important -- that is, our personality, our individuality. Some, you see, maintain that this really is the most precious thing for mankind; choice can, of course, if it chooses, be in agreement with reason… It is profitable and sometimes even praiseworthy. But very often, and even most often, choice is utterly and stubbornly opposed to reason ... and ... and ... do you know that that, too, is profitable, sometimes even praiseworthy? I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! …And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don't know? You will scream at me (that is, if you condescend to do so) that no one is touching my free will, that all they are concerned with is that my will should of itself, of its own free will, coincide with my own normal interests, with the laws of nature and arithmetic. Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. As if free will meant that!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
I saw a meme the other day with a picture of Marilyn Manson and Robin Williams. It said about the former, this isn’t the face of depression, and about the latter, this is. This really struck a chord and it’s been on my mind since then. As someone who has continuously dipped in and out of chronic depression and anxiety for close to three decades now, and I’ve never previously spoken about the subject, I finally thought it was time I did. These days it’s trendy for people to think they’re cool and understanding about mental illness, posting memes and such to indicate so. But the reality is far different to that. It seems most people think if they publicly display such understanding then perhaps a friend will come to them, open up, and calmly discuss their problems. This will not happen. For someone in that seemingly hopeless void of depression and anxiety the last thing they are likely to do is acknowledge it, let alone talk about it. Even if broached by a friend they will probably deny there is a problem and feel even more distanced from the rest of the world. So nobody can do anything to help, right? No. If right now you suspect one of your friends is suffering like this then you’re probably right. If right now you think that none of your friends are suffering like this then you’re probably wrong. By all means make your public affirmations of understanding, but at least take on board that an attempt to connect on this subject by someone you care about could well be cryptic and indirect. When we hear of celebrities who suffered and finally took their own lives the message tends to be that so many close friends had no idea. This is woeful, but it’s also great, right? Because by not knowing there was a problem there is no burden of responsibility on anyone else. This is another huge misconception, that by acknowledging an indirect attempt to connect on such a complex issue that somehow you are accepting responsibility to fix it. This is not the case. You don’t have to find a solution. Maybe just listen. Many times over the years I’ve seen people recoil when they suspect that perhaps that is the direct a conversation is about to turn, and they desperately scramble for anything that can immediately change the subject. By acknowledging you’ve heard and understood doesn’t mean you are picking up their burden and carrying it for them. Anyway, I’ve said my piece. And please don’t think this is me reaching out for help. If this was my current mindset the last thing I’d ever do is write something like this, let alone share it.
R.D. Ronald
There is evidence that the honoree [Leonard Cohen] might be privy to the secret of the universe, which, in case you're wondering, is simply this: everything is connected. Everything. Many, if not most, of the links are difficult to determine. The instrument, the apparatus, the focused ray that can uncover and illuminate those connections is language. And just as a sudden infatuation often will light up a person's biochemical atmosphere more pyrotechnically than any deep, abiding attachment, so an unlikely, unexpected burst of linguistic imagination will usually reveal greater truths than the most exacting scholarship. In fact. The poetic image may be the only device remotely capable of dissecting romantic passion, let alone disclosing the inherent mystical qualities of the material world. Cohen is a master of the quasi-surrealistic phrase, of the "illogical" line that speaks so directly to the unconscious that surface ambiguity is transformed into ultimate, if fleeting, comprehension: comprehension of the bewitching nuances of sex and bewildering assaults of culture. Undoubtedly, it is to his lyrical mastery that his prestigious colleagues now pay tribute. Yet, there may be something else. As various, as distinct, as rewarding as each of their expressions are, there can still be heard in their individual interpretations the distant echo of Cohen's own voice, for it is his singing voice as well as his writing pen that has spawned these songs. It is a voice raked by the claws of Cupid, a voice rubbed raw by the philosopher's stone. A voice marinated in kirschwasser, sulfur, deer musk and snow; bandaged with sackcloth from a ruined monastery; warmed by the embers left down near the river after the gypsies have gone. It is a penitent's voice, a rabbinical voice, a crust of unleavened vocal toasts -- spread with smoke and subversive wit. He has a voice like a carpet in an old hotel, like a bad itch on the hunchback of love. It is a voice meant for pronouncing the names of women -- and cataloging their sometimes hazardous charms. Nobody can say the word "naked" as nakedly as Cohen. He makes us see the markings where the pantyhose have been. Finally, the actual persona of their creator may be said to haunt these songs, although details of his private lifestyle can be only surmised. A decade ago, a teacher who called himself Shree Bhagwan Rajneesh came up with the name "Zorba the Buddha" to describe the ideal modern man: A contemplative man who maintains a strict devotional bond with cosmic energies, yet is completely at home in the physical realm. Such a man knows the value of the dharma and the value of the deutschmark, knows how much to tip a waiter in a Paris nightclub and how many times to bow in a Kyoto shrine, a man who can do business when business is necessary, allow his mind to enter a pine cone, or dance in wild abandon if moved by the tune. Refusing to shun beauty, this Zorba the Buddha finds in ripe pleasures not a contradiction but an affirmation of the spiritual self. Doesn't he sound a lot like Leonard Cohen? We have been led to picture Cohen spending his mornings meditating in Armani suits, his afternoons wrestling the muse, his evenings sitting in cafes were he eats, drinks and speaks soulfully but flirtatiously with the pretty larks of the street. Quite possibly this is a distorted portrait. The apocryphal, however, has a special kind of truth. It doesn't really matter. What matters here is that after thirty years, L. Cohen is holding court in the lobby of the whirlwind, and that giants have gathered to pay him homage. To him -- and to us -- they bring the offerings they have hammered from his iron, his lead, his nitrogen, his gold.
Tom Robbins
because when i feel the human world is doomed, has doomed itself by its own mingy beastliness, then i feel the colonies aren't far enough. the moon wouldn't be far enough, because even there you could look back and see the earth, dirty, beastly, unsavory among all the stars: made foul by men. Then i feel i've swallowed gall, and its eating my inside out, and nowhere's far enough to get away. but when i get a turn, i forget it all again. though it's a shame, what's been done to people these last hundred years: men turned into nothing but labor-insects, and all their manhood taken away, and all their real life. i'd wipe the machines off the face of the earth again, and end the industrial epoch absolutely, like a black mistake. but since i can't, an' nobody can, i'd better hold my peace, an' try an' life my own life: if i've got one to live, which i rather doubt.
D.H. Lawrence (Lady Chatterley's Lover)
Who are we to say getting incested or abused or violated or any of those things can’t have their positive aspects in the long run? … You have to be careful of taking a knee-jerk attitude. Having a knee-jerk attitude to anything is a mistake, especially in the case of women, where it adds up to this very limited and condescending thing of saying they’re fragile, breakable things that can be destroyed easily. Everybody gets hurt and violated and broken sometimes. Why are women so special? Not that anybody ought to be raped or abused, nobody’s saying that, but that’s what is going on. What about afterwards? All I’m saying is there are certain cases where it can enlarge you or make you more of a complete human being, like Viktor Frankl. Think about the Holocaust. Was the Holocaust a good thing? No way. Does anybody think it was good that it happened? No, of course not. But did you read Viktor Frankl? Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning? It’s a great, great book, but it comes out of his experience. It’s about his experience in the human dark side. Now think about it, if there was no Holocaust, there’d be no Man’s Search for Meaning… . Think about it. Think about being degraded and brought within an inch of your life, for example. No one’s gonna say the sick bastards who did it shouldn’t be put in jail, but let’s put two things into perspective here. One is, afterwards she knows something about herself that she never knew before. What she knows is that the most totally terrible terrifying thing that she could ever have imagined happening to her has now happened, and she survived. She’s still here, and now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. Look, totally terrible things happen… . Existence in life breaks people in all kinds of awful fucking ways all the time, trust me I know. I’ve been there. And this is the big difference, you and me here, cause this isn’t about politics or feminism or whatever, for you this is just ideas, you’ve never been there. I’m not saying nothing bad has ever happened to you, you’re not bad looking, I’m sure there’s been some sort of degradation or whatever come your way in life, but I’m talking Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning type violation and terror and suffering here. The real dark side. I can tell from just looking at you, you never. You wouldn’t even wear what you’re wearing, trust me. What if I told you it was my own sister that was raped? What if I told you a little story about a sixteen-year-old girl who went to the wrong party with the wrong guy and four of his buddies that ended up doing to her just about everything four guys could do to you in terms of violation? But if you could ask her if she could go into her head and forget it or like erase the tape of it happening in her memory, what do you think she’d say? Are you so sure what she’d say? What if she said that even after that totally negative as what happened was, at least now she understood it was possible. People can. Can see you as a thing. That people can see you as a thing, do you know what that means? Because if you really can see someone as a thing you can do anything to him. What would it be like to be able to be like that? You see, you think you can imagine it but you can’t. But she can. And now she knows something. I mean she really, really knows. This is what you wanted to hear, you wanted to hear about four drunk guys who knee-jerk you in the balls and make you bend over that you didn’t even know, that you never saw before, that you never did anything to, that don’t even know your name, they don’t even know your name to find out you have to choose to have a fucking name, you have no fucking idea, and what if I said that happened to ME? Would that make a difference?
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
I remember the first time I saw you,” Allie said. “I thought you smelled me first.” “Right,” said Allie. “The chocolate. But then I saw you as I sat up in the dead forest, thinking I knew you. At the time, I thought I must have seen you through the windshield when our cars crashed…. But that wasn’t it. I think, way back then, I was seeing you as you are now. Isn’t that funny?” “Not as funny as the way I always complained, and the way you always bossed me around!” They embraced and held each other for a long time. “Don’t forget me,” Nick said. “No matter where your life goes, no matter how old you get. And if you ever get the feeling that someone is looking over your shoulder, but there’s nobody there, maybe it’ll be me.” “I’ll write to you,” said Allie, and Nick laughed. “No really. I’ll write the letter then burn it, and if I care just enough it will cross into Everlost.” “And,” added Nick, “it will show up as a dead letter at that the post office Milos made cross into San Antonio!” Allie could have stood there saying good-bye forever, because it was more than Nick she was saying good-bye to. She was leaving behind four years of half-life in a world that was both stunningly beautiful, and hauntingly dark. And she was saying good-bye to Mikey. I’ll be waiting for you, he had said…. Well, if he was, maybe she wasn’t saying good-bye at all. Nick hefted the backpack on his shoulder. “Shouldn’t you be heading off to Memphis?” he said. “You’d better hit the road…. Jack.” Then he chuckled by his own joke, and walked off.
Neal Shusterman (Everfound (Skinjacker, #3))
Elsewhere there are no mobile phones. Elsewhere sleep is deep and the mornings are wonderful. Elsewhere art is endless, exhibitions are free and galleries are open twenty-four hours a day. Elsewhere alcohol is a joke that everybody finds funny. Elsewhere everybody is as welcoming as they’d be if you’d come home after a very long time away and they’d really missed you. Elsewhere nobody stops you in the street and says, are you a Catholic or a Protestant, and when you say neither, I’m a Muslim, then says yeah but are you a Catholic Muslim or a Protestant Muslim? Elsewhere there are no religions. Elsewhere there are no borders. Elsewhere nobody is a refugee or an asylum seeker whose worth can be decided about by a government. Elsewhere nobody is something to be decided about by anybody. Elsewhere there are no preconceptions. Elsewhere all wrongs are righted. Elsewhere the supermarkets don’t own us. Elsewhere we use our hands for cups and the rivers are clean and drinkable. Elsewhere the words of the politicians are nourishing to the heart. Elsewhere charlatans are known for their wisdom. Elsewhere history has been kind. Elsewhere nobody would ever say the words bring back the death penalty. Elsewhere the graves of the dead are empty and their spirits fly above the cities in instinctual, shapeshifting formations that astound the eye. Elsewhere poems cancel imprisonment. Elsewhere we do time differently. Every time I travel, I head for it. Every time I come home, I look for it.
Ali Smith (Public Library and Other Stories)
It was the shadow of Some one who had gone by long before: of Some one who had gone on far away quite out of reach, never, never to come back. It was bright to look at; and when the tiny woman showed it to the Princess, she was proud of it with all her heart, as a great, great, treasure. When the Princess had considered it a little while, she said to the tiny woman, And you keep watch over this, every day? And she cast down her eyes, and whispered, Yes. Then the Princess said, Remind me why. To which the other replied, that no one so good and so kind had ever passed that way, and that was why in the beginning. She said, too, that nobody missed it, that nobody was the worse for it, that Some one had gone on to those who were expecting him-- 'Some one was a man then?' interposed Maggy. Little Dorrit timidly said yes, she believed so; and resumed: '-- Had gone on to those who were expecting him, and that this remembrance was stolen or kept back from nobody. The Princess made answer, Ah! But when the cottager died it would be discovered there. The tiny woman told her No; when that time came, it would sink quietly into her own grave, and would never be found.
Charles Dickens (Little Dorrit)
If you lose your ego, you lose the thread of that narrative you call your Self. Humans, however, can't live very long without some sense of a continuing story. Such stories go beyond the limited rational system (or the systematic rationality) with which you surround yourself; they are crucial keys to sharing time-experience with others. Now a narrative is a story, not a logic, nor ethics, nor philosophy. It is a dream you keep having, whether you realize it or not. Just as surely as you breathe, you go on ceaselessly dreaming your story. And in these stories you wear two faces. You are simultaneously subject and object. You are a whole and you are a part. You are real and you are shadow. "Storyteller" and at the same time "character". It is through such multilayering of roles in our stories that we heal the loneliness of being an isolated individual in the world. Yet without a proper ego nobody can create a personal narrative, any more than you can drive a car without an engine, or cast a shadow without a real physical object. But once you've consigned your ego to someone else, where on earth do you go from there? At this point you receive a new narrative from the person to whom you have entrusted your ego. You've handed over the real thing, so what comes back is a shadow. And once your ego has merged with another ego, your narrative will necessarily take on the narrative created by that ego. Just what kind of narrative? It needn't be anything particularly fancy, nothing complicated or refined. You don't need to have literary ambitions. In fact, the sketchier and simpler the better. Junk, a leftover rehash will do. Anyway, most people are tired of complex, multilayered scenarios-they are a potential letdown. It's precisely because people can't find any fixed point within their own multilayered schemes that they're tossing aside their own self-identity.
Haruki Murakami (Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche)
Keep creating new chapters in your personal book and never stop re-inventing and perfecting yourself. Try new things. Pick up new hobbies and books. Travel and explore other cultures. Never stay in the same city or state for more than five years of your life. There are many heavens on earth waiting for you to discover. Seek out people with beautiful hearts and minds, not those with just beautiful style and bodies. The first kind will forever remain beautiful to you, while the other will grow stale and ugly. Learn a new language at least twice. Change your career at least thrice, and change your location often. Like all creatures in the wild, we were designed to keep moving. When a snake sheds its old skin, it becomes a more refined creature. Never stop refining and re-defining yourself. We are all beautiful instruments of God. He created many notes in music so we would not be stuck playing the same song. Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your journey and play on. Nobody will ever reach ultimate perfection in this lifetime, but trying to achieve it is a full-time job. Start now and don't stop. Make your book of life a musical. Never abandon obligations, but have fun leaving behind a colorful legacy. Never allow anybody to be the composer of your own destiny. Take control of your life, and never allow limitations implanted by society, tell you how your music is supposed to sound — or how your book is supposed to be written.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
Every Day You Play.... Every day you play with the light of the universe. Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water, You are more than this white head that I hold tightly as a bunch of flowers, every day, between my hands. You are like nobody since I love you. Let me spread you out among yellow garlands. Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south? Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed. Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window. The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish. Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them. The rain takes off her clothes. The birds go by, fleeing. The wind.  The wind. I alone can contend against the power of men. The storm whirls dark leaves and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky. You are here.  Oh, you do not run away. You will answer me to the last cry. Curl round me as though you were frightened. Even so, a strange shadow once ran through your eyes. Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle, and even your breasts smell of it. While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth. How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me, my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running. So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes, and over our heads the grey light unwinds in turning fans. My words rained over you, stroking you. A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body. Until I even believe that you own the universe. I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
You must want to be free. It must become first with you before anything else. Everything that you’ve done all your life, is only a game, a game you’re playing with your self, only it seems to be real. The only reality is the Self and you are That. Why look for anything else? Everything else will take care of itself. You’ve got to abide in the Self, just in the Self. Everything else will take care of itself in a beautiful way. You are boundless space, like the ocean, like the sky, all-pervasive. This is your real nature. But for some reason you believe you are a body, confined to a small space. This is not you. It’s illusion. You are all-pervading absolute reality. This is your true nature. This is who you really are. Just by thinking about these things all the time, something begins to happen to you, something wonderful. Do not think about the weather, or about the day’s work or your problems. For all the thinkers, who thinks? Find out who has the problems? Find out who you really are, who am I? It’s up to you to awaken from this mortal dream. You can keep on going like you are right now, with the good things and the bad things. Yet you live in a universe of dualities, which means for every good there is a bad. For every bad there is a good. It’s a false world in which you live. You need to awaken to this truth. Be aware of yourself, always. The world goes through its own karma. It has absolutely nothing to do with you. You belong to God. Everything you see is God. This is why you should be nonjudgemental. Leave everything alone. By practising these things, you become radiantly happy. Everyone wants something. If your mind stops thinking, what happens? Some of you believe you will not have anything, that you will have more problems. But it’s in reverse. You experience bliss, joy and happiness when you don’t want anything. From what we know, people want something and when they get it, they become more miserable than ever before. Nothing is wrong. Everything is right just the way it is. Do not try to understand this or figure it out. Leave it alone. It will happen by itself, by keeping yourself quiet and still. You quiet the mind because of realization. Let it be calm. In all situations be calm. Let it be still and quiet. The world doesn’t need any help from you. Aren’t you the world, aren’t you the Creator? You created the world the way it is. It came out of you, of your mind. The world that you are in, is a creation of your own mind. When the mind becomes still, the world begins to disappear. And you’re in divine harmony and joy. Therefore, happiness comes to you when you stop thinking, when you stop judging, when you stop being afraid. When you begin to contemplate what is happiness. All the answers are within you. Everything you’re looking for is within you, everything. Nobody can help but your Self. Know who you are. You are the power. All the power of the universe is within you. You have all the power you need. All is well, exceedingly well. It has always been well, it will always be well. When you leave here today act like a god or a goddess. Do not act like a human being any longer. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, saying you’re unhappy. Stand up tall. Know the truth about yourself. Become the witness of all phenomena that you see and be free. Peace.
Robert Adams (Silence of the Heart: Dialogues with Robert Adams)
Ms. Lane.”Barrons’ voice is deep, touched with that strange Old World accent and mildly pissed off. Jericho Barrons is often mildly pissed off. I think he crawled from the swamp that way, chafed either by some condition in it, out of it, or maybe just the general mass incompetence he encountered in both places. He’s the most controlled, capable man I’ve ever known. After all we’ve been through together, he still calls me Ms. Lane, with one exception: When I’m in his bed. Or on the floor, or some other place where I’ve temporarily lost my mind and become convinced I can’t breathe without him inside me this very instant. Then the things he calls me are varied and nobody’s business but mine. I reply: “Barrons,” without inflection. I’ve learned a few things in our time together. Distance is frequently the only intimacy he’ll tolerate. Suits me. I’ve got my own demons. Besides I don’t believe good relationships come from living inside each other’s pockets. I believe divorce comes from that. I admire the animal grace with which he enters the room and moves toward me. He prefers dark colors, the better to slide in and out of the night, or a room, unnoticed except for whatever he’s left behind that you may or may not discover for some time, like, say a tattoo on the back of one’s skull. “What are you doing?” “Reading,” I say nonchalantly, rubbing the tattoo on the back of my skull. I angle the volume so he can’t see the cover. If he sees what I’m reading, he’ll know I’m looking for something. If he realizes how bad it’s gotten, and what I’m thinking about doing, he’ll try to stop me. He circles behind me, looks over my shoulder at the thick vellum of the ancient manuscript. “In the first tongue?” “Is that what it is?” I feign innocence. He knows precisely which cells in my body are innocent and which are thoroughly corrupted. He’s responsible for most of the corrupted ones. One corner of his mouth ticks up and I see the glint of beast behind his eyes, a feral crimson backlight, bloodstaining the whites. It turns me on. Barrons makes me feel violently, electrically sexual and alive. I’d march into hell beside him. But I will not let him march into hell beside me. And there’s no doubt that’s where I’m going. I thought I was strong, a heroine. I thought I was the victor. The enemy got inside my head and tried to seduce me with lies. It’s easy to walk away from lies. Power is another thing. Temptation isn’t a sin that you triumph over once, completely and then you’re free. Temptation slips into bed with you each night and helps you say your prayers. It wakes you in the morning with a friendly cup of coffee, and knows exactly how you take it. He skirts the Chesterfield sofa and stands over me. “Looking for something, Ms. Lane?” I’m eye level with his belt but that’s not where my gaze gets stuck and suddenly my mouth is so dry I can hardly swallow and I know I’m going to want to. I’m Pri-ya for this man. I hate it. I love it. I can’t escape it. I reach for his belt buckle. The manuscript slides from my lap, forgotten. Along with everything else but this moment, this man. “I just found it,” I tell him.
Karen Marie Moning (Burned (Fever, #7))
Reader: Will you not admit that you are arguing against yourself? You know that what the English obtained in their own country they obtained by using brute force. I know you have argued that what they have obtained is useless, but that does not affect my argument. They wanted useless things and they got them. My point is that their desire was fulfilled. What does it matter what means they adopted? Why should we not obtain our goal, which is good, by any means whatsoever, even by using violence? Shall I think of the means when I have to deal with a thief in the house? My duty is to drive him out anyhow. You seem to admit that we have received nothing, and that we shall receive nothing by petitioning. Why, then, may we do not so by using brute force? And, to retain what we may receive we shall keep up the fear by using the same force to the extent that it may be necessary. You will not find fault with a continuance of force to prevent a child from thrusting its foot into fire. Somehow or other we have to gain our end. Editor: Your reasoning is plausible. It has deluded many. I have used similar arguments before now. But I think I know better now, and I shall endeavour to undeceive you. Let us first take the argument that we are justified in gaining our end by using brute force because the English gained theirs by using similar means. It is perfectly true that they used brute force and that it is possible for us to do likewise, but by using similar means we can get only the same thing that they got. You will admit that we do not want that. Your belief that there is no connection between the means and the end is a great mistake. Through that mistake even men who have been considered religious have committed grievous crimes. Your reasoning is the same as saying that we can get a rose through planting a noxious weed. If I want to cross the ocean, I can do so only by means of a vessel; if I were to use a cart for that purpose, both the cart and I would soon find the bottom. "As is the God, so is the votary", is a maxim worth considering. Its meaning has been distorted and men have gone astray. The means may be likened to a seed, the end to a tree; and there is just the same inviolable connection between the means and the end as there is between the seed and the tree. I am not likely to obtain the result flowing from the worship of God by laying myself prostrate before Satan. If, therefore, anyone were to say : "I want to worship God; it does not matter that I do so by means of Satan," it would be set down as ignorant folly. We reap exactly as we sow. The English in 1833 obtained greater voting power by violence. Did they by using brute force better appreciate their duty? They wanted the right of voting, which they obtained by using physical force. But real rights are a result of performance of duty; these rights they have not obtained. We, therefore, have before us in English the force of everybody wanting and insisting on his rights, nobody thinking of his duty. And, where everybody wants rights, who shall give them to whom? I do not wish to imply that they do no duties. They don't perform the duties corresponding to those rights; and as they do not perform that particular duty, namely, acquire fitness, their rights have proved a burden to them. In other words, what they have obtained is an exact result of the means they adapted. They used the means corresponding to the end. If I want to deprive you of your watch, I shall certainly have to fight for it; if I want to buy your watch, I shall have to pay you for it; and if I want a gift, I shall have to plead for it; and, according to the means I employ, the watch is stolen property, my own property, or a donation. Thus we see three different results from three different means. Will you still say that means do not matter?
Mahatma Gandhi