Not All Family Is Blood Quotes

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What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. We had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, and the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You can't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build your world from it.
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
Family is found...whether it be blood or circumstance or choice, what binds us does not matter. All that matters is that we are bound.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Malibu Rising)
The Death Eaters can't all be pure-blood, there aren't enough pure-blood wizards left," said Hermione stubbornly. "I expect most of them are half-bloods pretending to be pure. It's only Muggle-borns they hate, they'd be quite happy to let you and Ron join up" "There is no way they'd let me be a Death Eater!" said Ron indignantly...."My whole family are blood traitors! That's as bad as Muggle-borns to Death Eaters!" "And they'd love to have me," said Harry sarcastically. "We'd be best pals if they didn't keep trying to do me in.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Family means something different with us because it has to. It's not about blood. It's not even about who we like. It's about who Andrew's willing to protect.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
1. I’m lonely so I do lonely things 2. Loving you was like going to war; I never came back the same. 3. You hate women, just like your father and his father, so it runs in your blood. 4. I was wandering the derelict car park of your heart looking for a ride home. 5. You’re a ghost town I’m too patriotic to leave. 6. I stay because you’re the beginning of the dream I want to remember. 7. I didn’t call him back because he likes his girls voiceless. 8. It’s not that he wants to be a liar; it’s just that he doesn’t know the truth. 9. I couldn’t love you, you were a small war. 10. We covered the smell of loss with jokes. 11. I didn’t want to fail at love like our parents. 12. You made the nomad in me build a house and stay. 13. I’m not a dog. 14. We were trying to prove our blood wrong. 15. I was still lonely so I did even lonelier things. 16. Yes, I’m insecure, but so was my mother and her mother. 17. No, he loves me he just makes me cry a lot. 18. He knows all of my secrets and still wants to kiss me. 19. You were too cruel to love for a long time. 20. It just didn’t work out. 21. My dad walked out one afternoon and never came back. 22. I can’t sleep because I can still taste him in my mouth. 23. I cut him out at the root, he was my favorite tree, rotting, threatening the foundations of my home. 24. The women in my family die waiting. 25. Because I didn’t want to die waiting for you. 26. I had to leave, I felt lonely when he held me. 27. You’re the song I rewind until I know all the words and I feel sick. 28. He sent me a text that said “I love you so bad.” 29. His heart wasn’t as beautiful as his smile 30. We emotionally manipulated one another until we thought it was love. 31. Forgive me, I was lonely so I chose you. 32. I’m a lover without a lover. 33. I’m lovely and lonely. 34. I belong deeply to myself .
Warsan Shire
Most people write me off when they see me. They do not know my story. They say I am just an African. They judge me before they get to know me. What they do not know is The pride I have in the blood that runs through my veins; The pride I have in my rich culture and the history of my people; The pride I have in my strong family ties and the deep connection to my community; The pride I have in the African music, African art, and African dance; The pride I have in my name and the meaning behind it. Just as my name has meaning, I too will live my life with meaning. So you think I am nothing? Don’t worry about what I am now, For what I will be, I am gradually becoming. I will raise my head high wherever I go Because of my African pride, And nobody will take that away from me.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for all Africans: How Every African Can Live the Life of Their Dreams)
We are, all four of us, blood relatives, and we speak a kind of esoteric, family language, a sort of semantic geometry in which the shortest distance between any two points is a fullish circle.
J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)
It's a commonly expressed and rather nice, romantic notion that we are all "sisters" and "brothers." Let's be real. Fact is, we might be better served to accept that we are all siblings. Siblings fight, pull each other's hair, steal stuff, and accuse each other indiscriminately. But siblings also know the undeniable fact that they are the same blood, share the same origins, and are family. Even when they hate each other. And that tends to put all things in perspective.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
A wise man once told me family don’t end in blood, but it doesn’t start there either. Family cares about you, not what you can do for them. Family’s there through the good, bad, all of it. They got your back even when it hurts. That’s family
Eric Kripke
Family: the most important thing of all. My siblings may drive me crazy at times but they are my blood. They’re all I’ve known. My family is me. They are my life. Without them I walk the planet alone. Forbidden, Tabitha Suzuma
Tabitha Suzuma (Forbidden)
All beauty comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain. If the greatnesses are in conjunction in a man or woman it is enough...the fact will prevail through the universe...but the gaggery and gilt of a million years will not prevail. Who troubles himself about his ornaments or fluency is lost. This is what you shall so: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body...
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
She reached out and touched the bright colors of the cashmere scarf, her face filled with wonder as much as shock. "This . . .this is Ibrahim's scarf . . .it's a family heirloom. . . " "No, it belongs to this mobster guy named Abe. . . [...] "Mom," I said disbelievingly. "You know Abe." "Yes, Rose. I know him." "Please don't tell me. . ." Oh, man. Why couldn't I have been an illegitimate half-royal like Robert Doru? Or even the mail-man's daughter? "Please don't tell me Abe is my father. . . . " She didn't have to tell me. It was all over her face. "Oh God, " I said. "I'm Zmey's daughter. Zmey Junior. Zmeyette, even." That got her attention. She looked up at me. "What on earth are you talking about?" "Nothing," I said.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
Family isn’t always the one you’re born into. Sometimes it’s about people who get into your blood, inside your heart, and under your skin all on their own.
L.H. Cosway (The Hooker and the Hermit (Rugby, #1))
Someone could cut through the mess in our house and look at it like one might look at rings on a tree or layers of sediment. They'd find the black-and-white hairs of a dog we had when I was six, the acid-washed jeans my mother once wore, the seven blood-soaked pillowcases from the time I skinned my knee. All our family secrets rest in endless piles.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
All blood does is make you related. But loyalty? It's loyalty that makes you Family.
Chris Diaz (For Blood And Loyalty)
What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. Cora was right- we had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, as well as the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them were perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You couldn't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build a world from it. So my true family was not just my mom, lost or found; my dad, gone from the start; and Cora, the only one who had really been there all along. It was Jamie, who took me in without question and gave me a future I once couldn't even imagine; Oliva, who did question, but also gave me answers; Harriet, who, like me, believed she needed no one and discovered otherwise. And then there was Nate. Nate, who was a friend to me before I even knew what a friend was. Who picked me up, literally, over and over again, and never asked for anything in return except for my word and my understanding. I'd given him one but not the other, because at the time I thought I couldn't, and then proved myself right by doing exactly as my mother had, hurting to prevent from being hurt myself. Needing was so easy: it came naturally, like breathing. Being needed by someone else, though, that was the hard part. But as with giving help and accepting it, we had to do both to be made complete- like links overlapping to form a chain, or a lock finding the right key. ~Ruby (pgs 400-401)
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
How can it be, after all this concentrated effort and separation, how can it be that I still resemble, so very closely, my own detestable mother?
Gabrielle Hamilton (Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef)
But happiness is a difficult thing-it is, as Aristotle posited in The Nicomachean Ethics, an activity, is is about good social behavior, about being a solid citizen. Happiness is about community, intimacy, relationships, rootedness, closeness, family, stability, a sense of place, a feeling of love. And in this country, where people move from state to state and city to city so much, where rootlessness is almost a virtue ("anywhere I hang my hat...is someone else's home"), where family units regularly implode and leave behind fragments of divorce, where the long loneliness of life finds its antidote not in a hardy, ancient culture (as it would in Europe), not in some blood-deep tribal rites (as it would in the few still-hale Third World nations), but in our vast repository of pop culture, of consumer goods, of cotton candy for all-in this America, happiness is hard.
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
London The Institute Year of Our Lord 1878 “Mother, Father, my chwaer fach, It’s my seventeenth birthday today. I know that to write to you is to break the law, I know that I will likely tear this letter into pieces when it is finished. As I have done on all my birthdays past since I was twelve. But I write anyway, to commemorate the occasion - the way some make yearly pilgrimages to a grave, to remember the death of a loved one. For are we not dead to each other? I wonder if when you woke this morning you remembered that today, seventeen years ago, you had a son? I wonder if you think of me and imagine my life here in the Institute in London? I doubt you could imagine it. It is so very different from our house surrounded by mountains, and the great clear blue sky and the endless green. Here, everything is black and gray and brown, and the sunsets are painted in smoke and blood. I wonder if you worry that I am lonely or, as Mother always used to, that I am cold, that I have gone out into the rain again without a hat? No one here worries about those details. There are so many things that could kill us at any moment; catching a chill hardly seems important. I wonder if you knew that I could hear you that day you came for me, when I was twelve. I crawled under the bed to block out the sound of you crying my name, but I heard you. I heard mother call for her fach, her little one. I bit my hands until they bled but I did not come down. And, eventually, Charlotte convinced you to go away. I thought you might come again but you never did. Herondales are stubborn like that. I remember the great sighs of relief you would both give each time the Council came to ask me if I wished to join the Nephilim and leave my family, and each time I said no and I send them away. I wonder if you knew I was tempted by the idea of a life of glory, of fighting, of killing to protect as a man should. It is in our blood - the call to the seraph and the stele, to marks and to monsters. I wonder why you left the Nephilim, Father? I wonder why Mother chose not to Ascend and to become a Shadowhunter? Is it because you found them cruel or cold? I have no fathom side. Charlotte, especially, is kind to me, little knowing how much I do not deserve it. Henry is mad as a brush, but a good man. He would have made Ella laugh. There is little good to be said about Jessamine, but she is harmless. As little as there is good to say about her, there is as much good to say about Jem: He is the brother Father always thought I should have. Blood of my blood - though we are no relation. Though I might have lost everything else, at least I have gained one thing in his friendship. And we have a new addition to our household too. Her name is Tessa. A pretty name, is it not? When the clouds used to roll over the mountains from the ocean? That gray is the color of her eyes. And now I will tell you a terrible truth, since I never intend to send this letter. I came here to the Institute because I had nowhere else to go. I did not expect it to ever be home, but in the time I have been here I have discovered that I am a true Shadowhunter. In some way my blood tells me that this is what I was born to do.If only I had known before and gone with the Clave the first time they asked me, perhaps I could have saved Ella’s life. Perhaps I could have saved my own. Your Son, Will
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
I got schooled this year. By everyone. By my little brother... by The Avett Brothers... by my mother, my best friend, my teacher, my father, and by a boy. a boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with... I got so schooled this year. By a nine-year-old. He taught me that it's okay to live life a little backwards. And how to laugh At what you would think is un-laughable. I got schooled this year By a Band! They taught me how to find that feeling of feeling again. They taught me how to decide what to be And go be it. I got schooled this year. By a cancer patient. She taught me so much. She's still teaching me so much. She taught me to question. To never regret. She taught me to push my boundaries, Because that's what they're there for. She told me to find a balance between head and heart And then she taught me how... I got schooled this year By a Foster Kid She taught me to respect the hand that I was dealt. And to be grateful I was even dealt a hand. She taught me that family Doesn't have to be blood. Sometimes your family are your friends. I got schooled this year By my teacher He taught me That the points are not the point, The point is poetry... I got schooled this year By my father. He taught me that hero's aren't always invincible And that the magic is within me.. I got schooled this year by a Boy. a boy that I'm seriously, deeply, madly, incredibly, and undeniably in love with. And he taught me the most important thing of all... To put the emphasis On life.
Colleen Hoover
They say blood is thicker than water. It's also more treacherous, prone to betrayal, full of shit and quite honestly, I wouldn't put much weight into it at all.
Ashly Lorenzana
Blood is one thing, but that’s not all that goes into family. The family you choose is the family that really matters. They’re the ones who’ll keep you standing.
Seanan McGuire (Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2))
Alex’s experience of real family—of blood relations—was more like having a lot of people who had all wound up on the same mailing list without knowing quite why they signed up for it.
James S.A. Corey (Nemesis Games (The Expanse, #5))
The second rule is family is a choice.” I thought about that. “You can’t choose your family. It’s all blood relations.” “Family consists of people you care about, who care about you, who try to make an effort.
C.L. Stone (Liar (The Scarab Beetle, #2))
I thought it was the other girl who had drawn your fancy. Your princess.” Mark gave a choked laugh. “By the Angel,” he said, and saw Kieran blanch at the Shadowhunter words. “Your imagination is limited by your jealousy. Kieran . . . everyone who lives under this roof, whether they are bound by blood or not, we are tied together by an invisible net of love and duty and loyalty and honor. That is what it means to be a Shadowhunter. Family—” “What would I know of family? My father sold me to the Wild Hunt. I do not know my mother. I have three dozen brothers, all of whom would gladly see me dead. Mark, you are all I have.” “Kieran—” “And I love you,” Kieran said. “You are all that exists on the earth and under the sky that I do love.
Cassandra Clare (Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1))
His family included all the demigods who fought at his side, Roman and Greek, new friends and old. He wasn't going to let anyone break his family apart.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
That was impressive," Ash said quietly as we walked through the maze of tents. Summer fey parted for us, scurrying out of sight as we headed deeper into camp. "Oberon was throwing all the mind-altering glamour he could at you, trying to get you to agree to his terms quickly and not question him. Not only did you resist, you turned the contract to your advantage. Not many could have done that." "Really?" I thought back to the thick, sluggish feeling in the Erlking's tent. "So that was Oberon trying to manipulate me again, huh? Maybe I could resist since I'm family. Half Oberon's blood and all that." "Or you're just incredibly stubborn," Ash added, and I smacked his arm. He chuckled, taking my hand and we continued on to the Winter's territory.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
There was something special about family by choice. It wasn’t blood that held us all together. It was loyalty. Love.
Cambria Hebert (#Junkie (GearShark, #1))
We're all family--the only family we've got. It doesn't have to be blood.
Holly Cupala (Don't Breathe a Word)
Come with every wound and every woman you’ve ever loved; every lie you’ve ever told and whatever it is that keeps you up at night. Every mouth you’ve punched in, all the blood you’ve ever tasted. Come with every enemy you’ve ever made and all the family you’ve ever buried and every dirty thing you’ve ever done; every drink that’s burnt your throat and every morning you’ve woken with nothing and no one. Come with all your loss, your regrets, sins, memories, black outs, secrets. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful than you.
Warsan Shire
No child in my family watches holos before the age of twelve. We all have nature and nurture to shape us. She can watch other people’s opinions when she has opinions of her own, and no sooner. We’re not digital creatures. We’re flesh and blood. Better she learns that before the world finds her.
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising, #3))
The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites one family. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. The earth is sacred and men and animals are but one part of it. Treat the earth with respect so that it lasts for centuries to come and is a place of wonder and beauty for our children.
Extract from Chief Seattle.
Maybe it was the converse of the way amputees feel pain in a missing limb. He really was there all those years, a flesh-and-blood presence streaming off the wallpaper, digging up the dogwoods, polishing the finials... smelling of sawdust and sweat and designer cologne. But I ached as if he were already gone.
Alison Bechdel (Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic)
...it isn’t things and proximity, or even blood that holds us all together. What makes a family is love and loyalty.
Genevieve Dewey (Third Time's The Charm (The Downey Trilogy, #3))
I wish I worried about my uncle's opinions, and had problems to work out with my mom. Hell, I'd settle for knowing what her voice sounded like." I put a hand on her shoulder. "Trite but true—you don't know what you have until it's gone. People change. The world changes. And sooner or later you lose people you care about. If you don't mind some advice from someone who doesn't know much about families, I can tell you this: Don't take yours for granted. It might feel like all of them will always be there. But they won't.
Jim Butcher (Blood Rites (The Dresden Files, #6))
When Nico had woken up at Barrachina and found the Hunters’ note about kidnapping Reyna, he’d torn apart the courtyard in rage. He didn’t want the Hunters stealing another important person from him. Fortunately, he’d got Reyna back, but he didn’t like how brooding she had become. Every time he tried to ask her about the incident on the Calle San Jose – those ghosts on the balcony, all staring at her, whispering accusations – Reyna shut him down.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
It had been June, the bright hot summer of 1937, and with the curtains thrown back the bedroom had been full of sunlight, sunlight and her and Will's children, their grandchildren, their nieces and nephews- Cecy's blue eyed boys, tall and handsome, and Gideon and Sophie's two girls- and those who were as close as family: Charlotte, white- haired and upright, and the Fairchild sons and daughters with their curling red hair like Henry's had once been. The children had spoken fondly of the way he had always loved their mother, fiercely and devotedly, the way he had never had eyes for anyone else, and how their parents had set the model for the sort of love they hoped to find in their own lives. They spoke of his regard for books, and how he had taught them all to love them too, to respect the printed page and cherish the stories that those pages held. They spoke of the way he still cursed in Welsh when he dropped something, though he rarely used the language otherwise, and of the fact that though his prose was excellent- he had written several histories of the Shadowhunters when he's retired that had been very well respected- his poetry had always been awful, though that never stopped him from reciting it. Their oldest child, James, had spoken laughingly about Will's unrelenting fear of ducks and his continual battle to keep them out of the pond at the family home in Yorkshire. Their grandchildren had reminded him of the song about demon pox he had taught them- when they were much too young, Tessa had always thought- and that they had all memorized. They sang it all together and out of tune, scandalizing Sophie. With tears running down her face, Cecily had reminded him of the moment at her wedding to Gabriel when he had delivered a beautiful speech praising the groom, at the end of which he had announced, "Dear God, I thought she was marrying Gideon. I take it all back," thus vexing not only Cecily and Gabriel but Sophie as well- and Will, though too tired to laugh, had smiled at his sister and squeezed her hand. They had all laughed about his habit of taking Tessa on romantic "holidays" to places from Gothic novels, including the hideous moor where someone had died, a drafty castle with a ghost in it, and of course the square in Paris in which he had decided Sydney Carton had been guillotined, where Will had horrified passerby by shouting "I can see the blood on the cobblestones!" in French.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Legend says my entire family bleeds nothing but treasure. Of course, I've bled a lot in my time. Sirens lose all serenity when they turn from hunter to prey and pieces of their nails become embedded in my arms. My blood has been spilled more often than any prince's, and I can attest to the fact that it has never been gold.
Alexandra Christo (To Kill a Kingdom (Hundred Kingdoms, #1))
You mean to say a family of hot-tempered Mafia people are all cosying up with each other on a Saturday night to sit down and watch a movie about a family of hot-tempered Mafia people...? Is that really what you're telling me?
Catherine Doyle (Mafiosa (Blood for Blood, #3))
The first time he had taken the massa to one of these "high-falutin' to-dos," as Bell called them, Kunta had been all but overwhelmed by conflicting emotions: awe, indignation, envy, contempt, fascination, revulsion—but most of all a deep loneliness and melancholy from which it took him almost a week to recover. He couldn't believe that such incredible wealth actually existed, that people really lived that way. It took him a long time, and a great many more parties, to realize that they didn't live that way, that it was all strangely unreal, a kind of beautiful dream the white folks were having, a lie they were telling themselves: that goodness can come from badness, that it's possible to be civilized with one another without treating as human beings those whose blood, sweat, and mother's milk made possible the life of privilege they led.
Alex Haley (Roots: The Saga of an American Family)
You know, nothing is stronger than blood bonds. What else is the reason for the success of life insurance policies? Why bother with what happens to your blood relatives after your death? After all, you stop existing. Why then bother about what is happening to your kids, and why be concerned about what is happening on Earth even? Well, it’s because, after one’s final exit, one lives through one’s children.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
There comes a point in time when we must acknowledge that we are more than our nationality, and we are bigger than our ethnicity. There comes a time when we have an aha moment. What is that aha moment? It's sort of like a revelation. A revelation is when we put all the pieces together to see the bigger picture. When we see the bigger picture, we can see ourselves through the realm of reality and truth. The truth is we belong to a blood family that is connected to a tribal community, and this community is big and bright and bold with life, and we should be proud of the ties to blood that each of us has. We should not play small and reduce our human nature—for we are all connected. We belong to something bigger and more expansive. We belong to life itself. Always remember that you are more than an American (as wonderfully dramatic as that can be). Together, we make up the collective of great. ...And this is good.
Janine Myung Ja (Adoption Stories)
We want to climb in with you,' Dermot said. 'We'll all sleep better.' That seemed incredibly weird and creepy to me - or maybe I only thought it should have. I was simply too tired to argue. I climbed in the bed. Claude got in on one side of me, Dermot on the other. Just when I was thinking, I would never be able to sleep, that this situation was too odd and too wrong, I felt a kind of blissful relaxation roll through my body, a kind of unfamiliar comfort. I was with family. I was with blood. And I slept.
Charlaine Harris (Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10))
Neither his family nor his next taste of blood mattered as much as knowing that she was safe and within arm’s reach. If that was what it meant to be bewitched, he was a lost man.
Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1))
You carry all of us in your heart. We shall live in every breath you take. Every incantation you speak.
Tomi Adeyemi (Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha, #2))
We must love all human beings, giving even our last drop of blood for all our siblings of this great human family.
Samael Aun Weor (Igneous Rose: Practical Spiritual Techniques That Use Nature's Power to Help Humanity)
The circus is a jealous wench. Indeed that is an understatement. She is a ravening hag who sucks your vitality as a vampire drinks blood – who kills the brightest stars in her crown and will allow no private life for those who serve her; wrecking their homes, ruining their bodies, and destroying the happiness of their loved ones by her insatiable demands. She is all of these things, and yet, I love her as I love nothing else on earth.
Henry Ringling North (The Circus Kings: Our Ringling Family Story)
Once, he’d been the Seducer, the Executioner, the High Priest of the Hourglass, the Prince of the Darkness, the High Lord of Hell. Once, he’d been Consort to Cassandra, the great Black-Jeweled, Black Widow Queen, the last Witch to walk the Realms. Once, he’d been the only Black-Jeweled Warlord Prince in the history of the Blood, feared for his temper and the power he wielded. Once, he’d been the only male who was a Black Widow. Once, he’d ruled the Dhemlan Territory in the Realm of Terreille and her sister Territory in Kaeleer, the Shadow Realm. He’d been the only male ever to rule without answering to a Queen and, except for Witch, the only member of the Blood to rule Territories in two Realms. Once, he’d been married to Hekatah, an aristo Black Widow Priestess from one of Hayll’s Hundred Families. Once, he’d raised two sons, Mephis and Peyton. He’d played games with them, told them stories, read to them, healed their skinned knees and broken hearts, taught them Craft and Blood Law, showered them with his love of the land as well as music, art, and literature, encouraged them to look with eager eyes upon all that the Realms had to offer—not to conquer but to learn. He’d taught them to dance for a social occasion and to dance for the glory of Witch. He’d taught them how to be Blood. But that was a long, long time ago.
Anne Bishop (Daughter of the Blood (The Black Jewels, #1))
A family is a messy unwieldy thing bounded only by blood andbeneath all the embarrassmentaffection.
Priya Parmar (Exit the Actress)
They had taught her that family is found, that whether it be blood or circumstance or choice, what binds us does not matter. All that matters is that we are bound.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Malibu Rising)
When you're growing up, you don't ask whether your family's good, do you? Especially if you don't know anything else. They're just your family.
Emma Törzs (Ink Blood Sister Scribe)
I liked how your teacher said we were 'kindred spirits'. I looked that up on m-w .com and it says that means we are related spirits, like family who is not blood family. I told Mamaw this and she said, 'Sometimes that's the best family of all.
Silas House & Neela Vaswani (Same Sun Here)
Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know: the earth does not belong to man - man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood that unites one's family. All things are connected.
Chief Seattle
Were these boys in their right minds? Here were two boys with good intellect, one eighteen and one nineteen. They had all the prospects that life could hold out for any of the young; one a graduate of Chicago and another of Ann Arbor; one who had passed his examination for the Harvard Law School and was about to take a trip in Europe,--another who had passed at Ann Arbor, the youngest in his class, with three thousand dollars in the bank. Boys who never knew what it was to want a dollar; boys who could reach any position that was to boys of that kind to reach; boys of distinguished and honorable families, families of wealth and position, with all the world before them. And they gave it all up for nothing, for nothing! They took a little companion of one of them, on a crowded street, and killed him, for nothing, and sacrificed everything that could be of value in human life upon the crazy scheme of a couple of immature lads. Now, your Honor, you have been a boy; I have been a boy. And we have known other boys. The best way to understand somebody else is to put yourself in his place. Is it within the realm of your imagination that a boy who was right, with all the prospects of life before him, who could choose what he wanted, without the slightest reason in the world would lure a young companion to his death, and take his place in the shadow of the gallows? ...No one who has the process of reasoning could doubt that a boy who would do that is not right. How insane they are I care not, whether medically or legally. They did not reason; they could not reason; they committed the most foolish, most unprovoked, most purposeless, most causeless act that any two boys ever committed, and they put themselves where the rope is dangling above their heads.... Why did they kill little Bobby Franks? Not for money, not for spite; not for hate. They killed him as they might kill a spider or a fly, for the experience. They killed him because they were made that way. Because somewhere in the infinite processes that go to the making up of the boy or the man something slipped, and those unfortunate lads sit here hated, despised, outcasts, with the community shouting for their blood. . . . I know, Your Honor, that every atom of life in all this universe is bound up together. I know that a pebble cannot be thrown into the ocean without disturbing every drop of water in the sea. I know that every life is inextricably mixed and woven with every other life. I know that every influence, conscious and unconscious, acts and reacts on every living organism, and that no one can fix the blame. I know that all life is a series of infinite chances, which sometimes result one way and sometimes another. I have not the infinite wisdom that can fathom it, neither has any other human brain
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
But not all Jews were victims- look at Chairman Rumkowski, who sat safe with his new wife in his cushy home making lists, with the blood of my family on his hands. And not all Germans were murderers. Look at Herr Fassbinder, who had saved so many children on the night that children were taken away.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
I always wanted to know about my family," Suraya said quietly, and her voice was small and sad. "But all I've learned of my grandmother so far is that she was a horrible, mean person. And I have her blood. What does that say about me?" "It says that the most beautiful blooms come from the darkest soil.
Hanna Alkaf (The Girl and the Ghost)
No parent should have to bury a child ... No mother should have to bury a son. Mothers are not meant to bury sons. It is not in the natural order of things. I buried my son. In a potter's field. In a field of Blood. In empty, acrid silence. There was no funeral. There were no mourners. His friends all absent. His father dead. His sisters refusing to attend. I discovered his body alone, I dug his grave alone, I placed him in a hole, and covered him with dirt and rock alone. I was not able to finish burying him before sundown, and I'm not sure if that affected his fate ... I begrudge God none of this. I do not curse him or bemoan my lot. And though my heart keeps beating only to keep breaking--I do not question why. I remember the morning my son was born as if it was yesterday. The moment the midwife placed him in my arms, I was infused with a love beyond all measure and understanding. I remember holding my son, and looking over at my own mother and saying, "Now I understand why the sun comes up at day and the stars come out at night. I understand why rain falls gently. Now I understand you, Mother" ... I loved my son every day of his life, and I will love him ferociously long after I've stopped breathing. I am a simple woman. I am not bright or learn-ed. I do not read. I do not write. My opinions are not solicited. My voice is not important ... On the day of my son's birth I was infused with a love beyond all measure and understanding ... The world tells me that God is in Heaven and that my son is in Hell. I tell the world the one true thing I know: If my son is in Hell, then there is no Heaven--because if my son sits in Hell, there is no God.
Stephen Adly Guirgis (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot)
Linda asked that morning what it was about Charlotte’s Web that Ally particularly liked; maybe it would help to think about that, since it was Ally’s model book. “I like the family that comes together in the barn,” Ally said without hesitation. “I like that they aren’t all the same thing; one is human and one’s a spider and one’s a pig. I like that it has nothing to do with blood relations, and everything to do with love.
Meg Waite Clayton (The Wednesday Sisters)
There is a thing called the blood feud. All societies have them, even the West Saxons have them, despite their vaunted piety. Kill a member of my family and I shall kill one of yours, and so it goes on, generation after generation or until one family is all dead, and Kjartan had just wished a blood feud on himself. I did not know how, I did not know where, I could not know when, but I would revenge Ragnar. I swore it that night.
Bernard Cornwell (The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1))
You have to focus all of your energy on that connection every family has. It's in our bones, our blood. More than that, it's in the questions we need answered. The secrets, the traumas, and legacies that we don't know we've inherited, even if we don't want them.
Zoraida Córdova (The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina)
Mom has reorganized the kitchen so that the one room that was everyone's room is foreign to me. My visits are punctuated with me whipping around, angrily demanding, "Where are the forks, WHY DID YOU MOVE THE FORKS?" and she has to calmly open the drawer on the other side of the kitchen as if she moved it just to ruin my life. I just found out where she puts the bowls and their new location feels like such a personal attack that I can barely talk about it without raising my blood pressure.
Scaachi Koul (One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter)
Maeve went as still as death while Celaena lifted the ring between two fingers. 'I think you've been looking for this for a long time,' Celaena said. 'That does not belong to you.' 'Doesn't it? I found it, after all. in Goldryn's scabbard, where Brannon left it after grabbing it of Athril's corpse-the family ring Athril would have given you someday. And in the thousands of years since than, you never found it so. . . I suppose it's mine by chance.' Celaena closed her fist around the ring. 'but who would have thought you were so sentimental?' So Celaena said, ' I'll make a trade with you though.' Maeve's browns narrowed. Celaena jerked her chin. 'Your beloved's ring-for Rowan's freedom from his blood oath.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America)
Long before it was known to me as a place where my ancestry was even remotely involved, the idea of a state for Jews (or a Jewish state; not quite the same thing, as I failed at first to see) had been 'sold' to me as an essentially secular and democratic one. The idea was a haven for the persecuted and the survivors, a democracy in a region where the idea was poorly understood, and a place where—as Philip Roth had put it in a one-handed novel that I read when I was about nineteen—even the traffic cops and soldiers were Jews. This, like the other emphases of that novel, I could grasp. Indeed, my first visit was sponsored by a group in London called the Friends of Israel. They offered to pay my expenses, that is, if on my return I would come and speak to one of their meetings. I still haven't submitted that expenses claim. The misgivings I had were of two types, both of them ineradicable. The first and the simplest was the encounter with everyday injustice: by all means the traffic cops were Jews but so, it turned out, were the colonists and ethnic cleansers and even the torturers. It was Jewish leftist friends who insisted that I go and see towns and villages under occupation, and sit down with Palestinian Arabs who were living under house arrest—if they were lucky—or who were squatting in the ruins of their demolished homes if they were less fortunate. In Ramallah I spent the day with the beguiling Raimonda Tawil, confined to her home for committing no known crime save that of expressing her opinions. (For some reason, what I most remember is a sudden exclamation from her very restrained and respectable husband, a manager of the local bank: 'I would prefer living under a Bedouin muktar to another day of Israeli rule!' He had obviously spent some time thinking about the most revolting possible Arab alternative.) In Jerusalem I visited the Tutungi family, who could produce title deeds going back generations but who were being evicted from their apartment in the old city to make way for an expansion of the Jewish quarter. Jerusalem: that place of blood since remote antiquity. Jerusalem, over which the British and French and Russians had fought a foul war in the Crimea, and in the mid-nineteenth century, on the matter of which Christian Church could command the keys to some 'holy sepulcher.' Jerusalem, where the anti-Semite Balfour had tried to bribe the Jews with the territory of another people in order to seduce them from Bolshevism and continue the diplomacy of the Great War. Jerusalem: that pest-house in whose environs all zealots hope that an even greater and final war can be provoked. It certainly made a warped appeal to my sense of history.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
When people related by blood were so careful with each other, when they were so very polite, there was soon nothing left to say. Only niceties that meant so little they might as well have been spoken to a complete stranger. Pass the butter, open the door, see you after school, there's rain again, it's sunny, it's cold. Has the dog eaten? Has the window been shut? Where are you going? Why is it I don't know you at all? Such statements did not add up to anything like a family...
Alice Hoffman (The Probable Future)
Sometimes during the night I'd look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no family, no nothing, just myself the stupid son of plans all of them compacted of eventual darkness. God how right Hemingway was when he said there was no remedy for life - and to think that negative little paper-shuffling prissies should write condescending obituaries about a man who told the truth, nay who drew breath in pain to tell a tale like that! ... No remedy but in my mind I raise a fist to High Heaven promising that I shall bull whip the first bastard who makes fun of human hopelessness anyway - I know it's ridiculous to pray to my father that hunk of dung in a grave yet I pray to him anyway, what else shall I do? sneer? shuffle paper on a desk and burp rationality? Ah thank God for all the Rationalists the worms and vermin got. Thank God for all the hate mongering political pamphleteers with no left or right to yell about in the Grave of Space. I say that we shall all be reborn with the Only One, and that's what makes me go on, and my mother too. She has her rosary in the bus, don't deny her that, that's her way of stating the fact. If there can't be love among men let there be love at least between men and God. Human courage is an opiate but opiates are human too. If God is an opiate so am I. Thefore eat me. Eat the night, the long desolate American between Sanford and Shlamford and Blamford and Crapford, eat the hematodes that hang parasitically from dreary southern trees, eat the blood in the ground, the dead Indians, the dead pioneers, the dead Fords and Pontiacs, the dead Mississippis, the dead arms of forlorn hopelessness washing underneath - Who are men, that they can insult men? Who are these people who wear pants and dresses and sneer? What am I talking about? I'm talking about human helplessness and unbelievable loneliness in the darkness of birth and death and asking 'What is there to laugh about in that?' 'How can you be clever in a meatgrinder?' 'Who makes fun of misery?' There's my mother a hunk of flesh that didn't ask to be born, sleeping restlessly, dreaming hopefully, beside her son who also didn't ask to be born, thinking desperately, praying hopelessly, in a bouncing earthly vehicle going from nowhere to nowhere, all in the night, worst of all for that matter all in noonday glare of bestial Gulf Coast roads - Where is the rock that will sustain us? Why are we here? What kind of crazy college would feature a seminar where people talk about hopelessness, forever?
Jack Kerouac (Desolation Angels)
Something else gets under your skin, keeps you working days and nights at the sacrifice of your sleeping and eating and attention to your family and friends, something beyond the love of puzzle solving. And that other force is the anticipation of understanding something about the world that no one has ever understood before you. Einstein wrote that when he first realized that gravity was equivalent to acceleration -- an idea that would underlie his new theory of gravity -- it was the "happiest thought of my life." On projects of far smaller weight, I have experienced that pleasure of discovering something new. It is an exquisite sensation, a feeling of power, a rush of the blood, a sense of living forever. To be the first vessel to hold this new thing. All of the scientists I've known have at least one more quality in common: they do what they do because they love it, and because they cannot imagine doing anything else. In a sense, this is the real reason a scientist does science. Because the scientist must. Such a compulsion is both blessing and burden. A blessing because the creative life, in any endeavor, is a gift filled with beauty and not given to everyone, a burden because the call is unrelenting and can drown out the rest of life. This mixed blessing and burden must be why the astrophysicist Chandrasekhar continued working until his mid-80's, why a visitor to Einstein's apartment in Bern found the young physicist rocking his infant with one hand while doing mathematical calculations with the other. This mixed blessing and burden must have been the "sweet hell" that Walt Whitman referred to when he realized at a young age that he was destined to be a poet. "Never more," he wrote, "shall I escape.
Alan Lightman
The song of a Gypsy’s Pride: The tea leaves warned of blood and death. Four gypsy first-borns breathed the last breath. War! War! Beyond the double-dutch doors! Sing, sweet gypsies, who will be mistaken no more. Six gypsy families all stood nigh. Five gypsy families for one sacrifice. Four gypsy families broken apart. Three gypsy families turned cold of heart. Two gypsy families couldn’t back down. One gypsy family went underground. Forever is such a long time to bleed. Worst are the gypsies brought to their knees. Sing, gypsies, sing of your lies. Never trust a gypsy with no gypsy pride. Sing, gypsies, sing of your truths. The apples have all rotted; the oranges just bruised.
Kristy Cunning (Gypsy Freak (All The Pretty Monsters, #2))
My family sat in their pool courtyard," Harah said, "in air bathed by the moisture that arose from the spray of a fountain. There was a tree of portyguls, round and deep in color, near at hand. There was a basket with mish mish and baklawa and mugs of liban—all manner of good things to eat. In our gardens and, in our flocks, there was peace . . . peace in all the land." "Life was full with happiness until the raiders came," Alia said. "Blood ran cold at the scream of friends," Jessica said. And she felt the memories rushing through her out of all those other pasts she shared. "La, la, la, the women cried," said Harah.
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune, #1))
Noatalgia Nalan believed there were two families in this world:relatives formed blood family;and friends,the water family.If your blood family happened to be nice and caring,you could count your lucky stars and make the most of it; and if not,there was still hope; things could take a turn for the better once you are old enough to leave your home sour home. As for the water family, this was formed much later in life and was,to a large extent,of your own making. While it was true that nothing could take the place of a loving, happy blood family, in the absence of one, a good water family could wash away the hurt and pain collected inside like black soot.It is therefore possible for your friends to have a treasured place in your heart, and occupy a bigger space than all your kin combined.But those who had never experienced what it felt like to be spurned by their own relatives would not understand this truth in a million years.They would never know that there were times when water ran thicker than blood.
Elif Shafak (10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World)
Sometimes you look at yourself in the mirror, any mirror, and you wonder why that nose looks as it does, or those eyes--what is behind them, what depths can they reach. Your flesh, your skin, your lips--you know that that face which you behold is not yours alone but is already something which belongs to those who love it, to your family and all those who esteem you. But a person is more than a face or a bundle of nerves and a spigot of blood; a person is more than talking and feeling and being sensitive to the changes in the weather, to the opinions of people. A person is part of a clan, a race. And knowing this, you wonder where you came from and who preceded you; you wonder if you are strong, as you know those who lived before you were strong, and then you realize that there is a durable thread which ties you to a past you did not create but which created you. Then you know that you have to be sure about who you are and if you are not sure or if you do not know, you have to go back, trace those who hold the secret to your past. The search may not be fruitful; from this moment of awareness, there is nothing more frustrating than the belief that you have been meaningless. A man who knows himself can live with his imperfections; he knows instinctively that he is part of a wave that started from great, unnavigable expanses.
F. Sionil José
No soldiers, no gendarmes or police, no nobles, kings, regents, prefects, or judges, no prisons, no lawsuits - and everything takes its orderly course. All quarrels and disputes are settled by the whole of the community affected, by the gens or the tribe, or by the gentes among themselves; only as an extreme and exceptional measure is blood revenge threatened-and our capital punishment is nothing but blood revenge in a civilized form, with all the advantages and drawbacks of civilization. Although there were many more matters to be settled in common than today - the household is maintained by a number of families in common, and is communistic, the land belongs to the tribe, only the small gardens are allotted provisionally to the households - yet there is no need for even a trace of our complicated administrative apparatus with all its ramifications. The decisions are taken by those concerned, and in most cases everything has been already settled by the custom of centuries. There cannot be any poor or needy - the communal household and the gens know their responsibilities towards the old, the sick, and those disabled in war. All are equal and free - the women included. There is no place yet for slaves, nor, as a rule, for the subjugation of other tribes.
Friedrich Engels (The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State)
Family. It was just a word…Could see its letters all strung together. But it was a symbol, too. And people thought they knew what it meant…It was a thing everyone had an opinion about—that it was all you had when you didn’t have anything else, that family was there, that blood was thicker than water, whatever. But when Nailer thought about it, most of these words and ideas just seemed like good excuses for people to behave badly and get away with it. Family wasn’t more reliable than marriages or friendships…maybe less…The blood bond was nothing. It was the people that mattered. If they covered your back, and you covered theirs, then maybe that was worth calling family.
Paolo Bacigalupi (Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1))
For all these stars, nothing is new. They’ve seen all kinds of wars and miracles, too. They know the messengers with their holy books will smile and wash their hands in blood. They know the politicians with their good looks will make the poor eat pies of mud. They’ve seen the Earth freeze and then burn with greed. They’ve seen the trees and the seas emptied. Yet, you won’t hear their sneers when a man arrives and, having experienced a number of years, proclaims: 'I have lived!' Because nothing is new under these stars: the lies, the love, the memories and scars, the ruin, the revolution, the fakes and true, the families, the friends, none of it is new. All of it—even the me and you.
Kamand Kojouri
Never having experienced inequality, therefore, the majority of straight white men will be absolutely oblivious to their own advantages – not because they must necessarily be insensitive, sexist, racist, homophobic or unaware of the principles of equality; but because they have been told, over and over again, that there is no inequality left for them – or anyone else – to experience – and everything they have experienced up to that point will only have proved them right. Let the impact of that sink in for a moment. By teaching children and teenagers that equality already exists, we are actively blinding the group that most benefits from inequality – straight white men – to the prospect that it doesn’t. Privilege to them feels indistinguishable from equality, because they’ve been raised to believe that this is how the world behaves for everyone. And because the majority of our popular culture is straight-white-male-dominated, stories that should be windows into empathy for other, less privileged experiences have instead become mirrors, reflecting back at them the one thing they already know: that their lives both are important and free from discrimination. And this hurts men. It hurts them by making them unconsciously perpetrate biases they’ve been actively taught to despise. It hurts them by making them complicit in the distress of others. It hurts them by shoehorning them into a restrictive definition masculinity from which any and all deviation is harshly punished. It hurts them by saying they will always be inferior parents and caregivers, that they must always be active and aggressive even when they long for passivity and quietude, that they must enjoy certain things like sports and beer and cars or else be deemed morally suspect. It hurts them through a process of indoctrination so subtle and pervasive that they never even knew it was happening , and when you’ve been raised to hate inequality, discovering that you’ve actually been its primary beneficiary is horrifying – like learning that the family fortune comes from blood money. Blog post 4/12/2012: Why Teaching Equality Hurts Men
Foz Meadows
Dear lieutenant, I think we all seduced you, deflected you from a course that might have let you live. Seeking something in the quick of us, searching to secure a kind of love with the provenance of age and land and family, you took over our premises; you presumed to the legacy that was ours, and if you did not see that such assumptions have their own ramifying repercussions, and that the stones demand their own continuity of blood, if you did not understand the gravity of their isolation, the solitude of their trapped state or the hardness of their old responsibility, still you cannot fault the castle or either one of us, or complain that you were led to your own conclusion. I left the castle; you brought us all back.
Iain Banks (A Song of Stone)
When older people get together there is something unflappable about them; you can sense they’ve tasted all the heavy, bitter, spicy food of life, extract its poison, and will now spend ten or fifteen years in a state of perfect equilibrium and enviable morality. They are happy with themselves. They have renounced the vain attempts of youth to adapt the world to their desires. They have failed and now, they can relax. In a few years they will once again be troubled by a great anxiety, but this time it will be a fear of death; it will have a strange effect on their tastes, it will make them indifferent, or eccentric, or moody, incomprehensible to their families, strangers to their children. But between the ages of forty and sixty they enjoy a precarious sense of tranquility.
Irène Némirovsky (Fire in the Blood)
The New York of the plays, the movies, the books; the New York of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair and Vogue. It was a beacon, a spire, a beacon on top of a spire. A light, always glowing from afar, visible even from the cornfields of Iowa, the foothills of the Dakotas, the deserts of California. The swamps of Louisiana. Beckoning, always beckoning. Summoning the discontented, seducing the dreamers. Those whose blood ran too hot, and too quickly, causing them to look about at their placid families, their staid neighbors, the graves of their slumbering ancestors and say— I’m different. I’m special. I’m more. They all came to New York.
Melanie Benjamin (The Swans of Fifth Avenue)
Wagons rattling and banging, horses neighing and snorting, conscripts marching, each with bow and arrows at his hip, fathers and mothers, wives and children, running to see them off-- so much dust kicked up you can't see Xian-yang Bridge! And the families pulling at their clothes, stamping feet in anger, blocking the way and weeping-- ah, the sound of their wailing rises straight up to assault heaven. And a passerby asks, "What's going on?" The soldier says simply, "This happens all the time. From age fifteen some are sent to guard the north, and even at forty some work the army farms in the west. When they leave home, the village headman has to wrap their turbans for them; when they come back, white-haired, they're still guarding the frontier. The frontier posts run with blood enough to fill an ocean, and the war-loving Emperor's dreams of conquest have still not ended.
Du Fu
Southerners. Such literate, civilized folk, such charm and cleverness and passion for living, such genuine interest in people, all people, high and low, white and black, and yet how often it had come to, came to, was still coming to vicious incomprehension, usually over race but other things too - religion, class, money. How often the lowest elements had burst out of the shadows and hollers, guns and torches blazing, galloping past the educated and tolerant as nightriders, how often the despicable had run riot over the better Christian ideals... how often cities had burned, people had been strung up in trees, atrocities had been permitted to occur and then, in the seeking of justice for those outrages, how slippery justice had proven, how delayed its triumph. Oh you expect such easily obtained violence in the Balkans or among Asian or African tribal peoples centuries-deep in blood feuds, but how was there such brutality and wickedness in this place of church and good intention, a place of immense friendliness and charity and fondness for the rituals of family and socializing, amid the nation's best cooking and best music... how could one place contain the other place?
Wilton Barnhardt (Lookaway, Lookaway)
It seems to me, that you people spend a great deal of time talking about honour, but strip away the high sounding words and you are no different from any other race. Family? Has Priam not killed wayward sons? When a king dies do his sons not go to war with one another to succeed him? Men speak of how you reacted to your father's death. They say it was amazing, for you did not order your little brother's execution. Your race thrives on blood and death, Helikaon. Your ships raid the coasts of other nations, stealing slaves, burning and plundering. Warriors brag of how many men they have killed, and women they have raped. Almost all of your kings either seized their thrones with swords and murder, or are children of men who seized power with swords and murder. So put all this talk of honour to one side.
David Gemmell (Shield of Thunder (Troy, #2))
There is a peculiar strength that comes to one who is facing the final battle. That battle is not limited to war, nor the strength to warriors. I've seen this strength in old women with the coughing sickness and heard of it in families that are starving together. It drives one to go on, past hope or despair, past blood loss and gut wounds, past death itself in a final surge to save something that is cherished. It is courage without hope. During the Red-Ship Wars, I saw a man with blood gouting in spurts from where his left arm had once been yet swinging a sword with his right as he stood protecting a fallen comrade. During one encounter with Forged Ones, I saw a mother stumbling over her own entrails as she shrieked and clutched at a Forged man, trying to hold him away from her daughter. The OutIslanders have a word for that courage. "Finblead", they call it, the last blood, and they believe that a special fortitude resides in the final blood that remains in a man or a woman before they fall. According to their tales, only then can one find and use that sort of courage. It is a terrible bravery and at its strongest and worst, it goes on for months when one battles a final illness. Or, I believe, when one moves toward a duty that will result in death but is completely unavoidable. That "finblead" lights everything in one's life with a terrible radiance. All relationships are illuminated for what they are and for what they truly were in the past. All illusions melt away. The false is revealed as starkly as the true.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3))
I do not write every day. I write to the questions and issues before me. I write to deadlines. I write out of my passions. And I write to make peace with my own contradictory nature. For me, writing is a spiritual practice. A small bowl of water sits on my desk, a reminder that even if nothing is happening on the page, something is happening in the room--evaporation. And I always light a candle when I begin to write, a reminder that I have now entered another realm, call it the realm of the Spirit. I am mindful that when one writes, one leaves this world and enters another. My books are collages made from journals, research, and personal experience. I love the images rendered in journal entries, the immediacy that is captured on the page, the handwritten notes. I love the depth of ideas and perspective that research brings to a story, be it biological or anthropological studies or the insights brought to the page by the scholarly work of art historians. When I go into a library, I feel like I am a sleuth looking to solve a mystery. I am completely inspired by the pursuit of knowledge through various references. I read newpapers voraciously. I love what newspapers say about contemporary culture. And then you go back to your own perceptions, your own words, and weigh them against all you have brought together. I am interested in the kaleidoscope of ideas, how you bring many strands of thought into a book and weave them together as one piece of coherent fabric, while at the same time trying to create beautiful language in the service of the story. This is the blood work of the writer. Writing is also about a life engaged. And so, for me, community work, working in the schools or with grassroots conservation organizations is another critical component of my life as a writer. I cannot separate the writing life from a spiritual life, from a life as a teacher or activist or my life intertwined with family and the responsibilities we carry within our own homes. Writing is daring to feel what nurtures and breaks our hearts. Bearing witness is its own form of advocacy. It is a dance with pain and beauty.
Terry Tempest Williams
He took her in his arms then, imagining the life growing inside of her and the future they would have together, a family, more love to fill the absences left by those they'd lost, more love than either of them had ever imagined still possible. The future was so precarious, shadowed by a looming danger neither of them fully understood, and Jem wondered what kind of world his child would be born into. He thought of all the blood that had been shed these last few years, the growing sense among the Shadowhunters he knew that something dark was rising, that this Cold Peace after the war might be only the eerie calm at the eye of the hurricane, those still, silent moments in which it was possible to deceive yourself into imagining the worst was over. He and Tessa have been alive too long to deceive themselves, and he thought about what might happen to a child born at the eye of such a storm. He thought about Tessa, her will and her strength, her refusal to let loss after loss harden her against love, her refusal to hide any longer from the brutality of the mortal world, her determination to fight, to hold on. She too had been a child born of storms, he thought, as had he, as had Will. All three had risen in love through their struggles to find happiness - and without the struggle, would the happiness have been so great? He closed his eyes and pressed a kiss to Tessa's hair. Behind his lids, he did not see darkness but the light of a London morning and Will there, smiling at him. "A new soul made of you and Tessa," Will said. "I can hardly wait to meet such a paragon." "Do you see him too?" Tessa whispered. "I see him," Jem said, and he held her even more tightly against him, the new life they had created together between them.
Cassandra Clare (Ghosts of the Shadow Market)
Classic Ballet, Keep away, keep building your creaky fairy castles, keep cloning clones and meaningless manners, hang on to your beanstalk ballerinas and their midget male shadows, run yourself out of business with your tons of froufrou and costly clattery toe shoes that ruin all chances for illusions of lightness, keep on crowding the minds of blind balletomanes who prefer dainty poses to the eloquent strength of momentum, who have forgotten or never known the manings of gesture, who would nod their noses to barefoot embargos ("so grab me" spelt backwards). Continue to repolish your stiff technique and to ignore a public that hungers for something other than a bag of tricks and the empty-headedness of surface patterns. Just keep it up, keep imitating yourself, and, , go grow your own dance makers. Come on, don't keep trying to filter modern ones through your so-safe extablishment. We're to be seen undiluted, undistorted, not absorbed by your hollow world like blood into a sponge. Yours truly, A Different Leaf on Our Family Tree
Paul Taylor (Private Domain: An Autobiography)
Long ago, when faeries and men still wandered the earth as brothers, the MacLeod chief fell in love with a beautiful faery woman. They had no sooner married and borne a child when she was summoned to return to her people. Husband and wife said a tearful goodbye and parted ways at Fairy Bridge, which you can still visit today. Despite the grieving chief, a celebration was held to honor the birth of the newborn boy, the next great chief of the MacLeods. In all the excitement of the celebration, the baby boy was left in his cradle and the blanket slipped off. In the cold Highland night he began to cry. The baby’s cry tore at his mother, even in another dimension, and so she went to him, wrapping him in her shawl. When the nursemaid arrived, she found the young chief in the arms of his mother, and the faery woman gave her a song she insisted must be sung to the little boy each night. The song became known as “The Dunvegan Cradle Song,” and it has been sung to little chieflings ever since. The shawl, too, she left as a gift: if the clan were ever in dire need, all they would have to do was wave the flag she’d wrapped around her son, and the faery people would come to their aid. Use the gift wisely, she instructed. The magic of the flag will work three times and no more. As I stood there in Dunvegan Castle, gazing at the Fairy Flag beneath its layers of protective glass, it was hard to imagine the history behind it. The fabric was dated somewhere between the fourth and seventh centuries. The fibers had been analyzed and were believed to be from Syria or Rhodes. Some thought it was part of the robe of an early Christian saint. Others thought it was a part of the war banner for Harald Hardrada, king of Norway, who gave it to the clan as a gift. But there were still others who believed it had come from the shoulders of a beautiful faery maiden. And that faery blood had flowed through the MacLeod family veins ever since. Those people were the MacLeods themselves.
Signe Pike (Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World)
I vowed I would use the strategy I studied for my own benefit. I would find a way to take all that I wanted, for myself and for my family. What a freeing thought it was to no longer believe I had to deserve something in order to get it.” He’s right; that would be a shockingly freeing thought. “Stop waiting,” Madoc says. “Sink those pretty teeth into something.” I give him a sharp look, trying to decide if he is making fun of me. I lean down and write in the dirt and crust of my own dried blood: Monsters have teeth like mine. He grins as though I am finally getting his point. “That they do.” Oak turns away from the lock in frustration. “Father, what exactly do you think you’re doing?” “We were just talking, she and I,” Madoc says. “Don’t listen to him.” He shakes his head with an exasperated look at his father. “He’s full of bad old-guy advice.” “Just because I’m bad,” Madoc says with a grunt, “doesn’t mean the advice is.
Holly Black (The Stolen Heir (The Stolen Heir Duology, #1))
Handsome, strong, gay ... She felt again the thro and lilt of her blood. She had loved Kameni in that moment. She loved him now. Kameni could take the place that Khay had held in her life. She thought: 'We shall be happy together - yes, we shall be happy. We shall live together and take pleasure in each other and we shall have strong, handsome children. There will be busy days full of work ... and days of pleasure when we sail on the River...Life will be again as I knew it with Khay...What could I ask more than that? What do I want more than that?' And slowly, very slowly indeed, she turned her face towards Hori. It was as though, silently, she asked him a question. As though he understood her, he answered: 'When you were a child, I loved you. I loved your grave face and the confidence with which you came to me, asking me to mend your broken toys. And then, after eight years' absence, you came again and sat here, and brought me the thoughts that were in your mind. And your mind, Renisenb, is not like the minds of the rest of your family. It does not turn in upon itself, seeking to encase itself in narrow walls. Your mind is like my mind, it looks over the River, seeing a world of changes, of new ideas - seeing a world where all things are possible to those with courage and vision...' She broke off, unable to find words to frame her struggling thoughts. What life would be with Hori, she did not know. In spite of his gentleness, in spite of his love for her, he would remain in some respects incalculable and incomprehensible. They would share moments of great beauty and richness together - but what of their common daily life? (...) I have made my choice, Hori. I will share my life with you for good or evil, until death comes... With his arms round her, with the sudden new sweetness of his face against hers, she was filled with an exultant richness of living.
Agatha Christie (Death Comes as the End)
Long black hair and deep clean blue eyes and skin pale white and lips blood red she's small and thin and worn and damaged. She is standing there. What are you doing here? I was taking a walk and I saw you and I followed you. What do you want. I want you to stop. I breathe hard, stare hard, tense and coiled. There is still more tree for me to destroy I want that fucking tree. She smiles and she steps towards me, toward toward toward me, and she opens he r arms and I'm breathing hard staring hard tense and coiled she puts her arms around me with one hand not he back of my head and she pulls me into her arms and she holds me and she speaks. It's okay. I breathe hard, close my eyes, let myself be held. It's okay. Her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and my heart slows and I stop shaking an the Fury melts into her safety an she holds me and she says. Okay. Okay. Okay. Something else comes and it makes me feel weak and scared and fragile and I don't want to be hurt and this feeling is the feeling I have when I know I can be hurt and hurt deeper and more terribly than anything physical and I always fight it and control it and stop it but her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and if she let me go right now I would fall and the need and confusion and fear and regret and horror and shame and weakness and fragility are exposed to the soft strength of her open arms and her simple word okay and I start to cry. I start to cry. I want to cry. It comes in waves. THe waves roll deep and from deep the deep within me and I hold her and she holds me tighter and i let her and I let it and I let this and I have not felt this way this vulnerability or allowed myself to feel this way this vulnerability since I was ten years old and I don't know why I haven't and I don't know why I am now and I only know that I am and that it is scary terrifying frightening worse and better than anything I've ever felt crying in her arms just crying in her ams just crying. She guides me to the ground, but she doesn't let me go. THe Gates are open and thirteen years of addiction, violence, hell and their accompaniments are manifesting themselves in dense tears and heavy sobs and a shortness of breath and a profound sense of loss. THe loss inhabits, fills and overwhelms me. It is the loss of a childhood of being a Teeenager of normalcy of happiness of love of trust anon reason of God of Family of friends of future of potential of dignity of humanity of sanity f myself of everything everything everything. I lost everything and I am lost reduced to a mass of mourning, sadness, grief, anguish and heartache. I am lost. I have lost. Everything. Everything. It's wet and Lilly cradles me like a broken Child. My face and her shoulder and her shirt and her hair are wet with my tears. I slow down and I start to breathe slowly and deeply and her hair smells clean and I open my eyes because I want to see it an it is all that I can see. It is jet black almost blue and radiant with moisture. I want to touch it and I reach with one of my hands and I run my hand from the crown along her neck and her back to the base of her rib and it is a thin perfect sheer and I let it slowly drop from the tips of my fingers and when it is gone I miss it. I do it again and again and she lets me do it and she doesn't speak she just cradles me because I am broken. I am broken. Broken. THere is noise and voices and Lilly pulls me in tighter and tighter and I know I pull her in tighter and tighter and I can feel her heart beating and I know she can feel my heart beating and they are speaking our hearts are speaking a language wordless old unknowable and true and we're pulling and holding and the noise is closer and the voices louder and Lilly whispers. You're okay. You're okay. You're okay.
James Frey
In genealogy you might say that interest lies in the eye of the gene holder. The actual descendants are far more intrigued with it all than the listeners, who quickly sink into a narcoleptic coma after the second or third great-great-somebody kills a bear or beheads Charles I, invents the safety pin or strip-mines Poland, catalogues slime molds, dances flamenco, or falls in love with a sheep. Genealogy is a forced march through stories. Yet everyone loves stories, and that is one reason we seek knowledge of our own blood kin. Through our ancestors we can witness their times. Or, we think, there might be something in their lives, an artist’s or a farmer’s skill, an affection for a certain landscape, that will match or explain something in our own. If we know who they were, perhaps we will know who we are. And few cultures have been as identity-obsessed as ours. So keen is this fascination with ancestry, genealogy has become an industry. Family reunions choke the social calendar. Europe crawls with ancestor-seeking Americans. Your mother or your spouse or your neighbors are too busy to talk to you because they are on the Internet running “heritage quests.” We have climbed so far back into our family trees, we stand inches away from the roots where the primates dominate.
Ellen Meloy (The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky (Pulitzer Prize Finalist))
Howard had a pine display case, fastened by fake leather straps and stained to look like walnut. Inside, on fake velvet, were cheap gold-plated earrings and pendants of semiprecious stones. He opened this case for haggard country wives when their husbands were off chopping trees or reaping the back acres. He showed them the same half-dozen pieces every year the last time he came around, when he thought, This is the season - preserving done, woodpile high, north wind up and getting cold, night showing up earlier every day, dark and ice pressing down from the north, down on the raw wood of their cabins, on the rough-cut rafters that sag and sometimes snap from the weight of the dark and the ice, burying families in their sleep, the dark and the ice and sometimes the red in the sky through trees: the heartbreak of a cold sun. He thought, Buy the pendant, sneak it into your hand from the folds of your dress and let the low light of the fire lap at it late at night as you wait for the roof to give out or your will to snap and the ice to be too thick to chop through with the ax as you stand in your husband's boots on the frozen lake at midnight, the dry hack of the blade on ice so tiny under the wheeling and frozen stars, the soundproof lid of heaven, that your husband would never stir from his sleep in the cabin across the ice, would never hear and come running, half-frozen, in only his union suit, to save you from chopping a hole in the ice and sliding into it as if it were a blue vein, sliding down into the black, silty bottom of the lake, where you would see nothing, would perhaps feel only the stir of some somnolent fish in the murk as the plunge of you in your wool dress and the big boots disturbed it from its sluggish winter dreams of ancient seas. Maybe you would not even feel that, as you struggled in clothes that felt like cooling tar, and as you slowed, calmed, even, and opened your eyes and looked for a pulse of silver, an imbrication of scales, and as you closed your eyes again and felt their lids turn to slippery, ichthyic skin, the blood behind them suddenly cold, and as you found yourself not caring, wanting, finally, to rest, finally wanting nothing more than the sudden, new, simple hum threading between your eyes. The ice is far too thick to chop through. You will never do it. You could never do it. So buy the gold, warm it with your skin, slip it onto your lap when you are sitting by the fire and all you will otherwise have to look at is your splintery husband gumming chew or the craquelure of your own chapped hands.
Paul Harding (Tinkers)
The coming of Caesarism breaks the dictature of money and its political weapon, democracy. After a long triumph of world-city economy and its interests over political creative force, the political side of life manifests itself after all as the stronger of the two. The sword is victorious over the money, the master-will subdues again the plunderer-will. If we call these money-powers 'Capitalism,' then we may designate as Socialism the will to call into life a mighty politico-economic order that transcends all class interests, a system of lofty thoughtfulness and duty-sense that keeps the whole in fine condition for the decisive battle of its history, and this battle is also the battle of money and law. The private powers of the economy want free paths for their acquisition of great resources. No legislation must stand in their way. They want to make the laws themselves, in their interests, and to that end they make use of the tool they have made for themselves, democracy, the subsidized party. Law needs, in order to resist this onslaught, a high tradition and an ambition of strong families that finds its satisfaction not in the heaping-up of riches, but in the tasks of true rulership, above and beyond all money-advantage. A power can be overthrown only by another power, not by a principle, and no power that can confront money is left but this one. Money is overthrown and abolished only by blood. Life is alpha and omega, the cosmic stream in microcosmic form. It is the fact of facts within the world-as-history. Before the irresistible rhythm of the generation-sequence, everything built up by the waking-consciousness in its intellectual world vanishes at the last. Ever in History it is life and life only race-quality, the triumph of the will-to-power and not the victory of truths, discoveries, or money that signifies. World-history is the world court, and it has ever decided in favour of the stronger, fuller, and more self-assured life decreed to it, namely, the right to exist, regardless of whether its right would hold before a tribunal of waking-consciousness.
Oswald Spengler (The Decline of the West)
Perspective - Use It or Lose It. If you turned to this page, you're forgetting that what is going on around you is not reality. Think about that. Remember where you came from, where you're going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place. You are led through your lifetime by the inner learning creature, the playful spiritual being that is your real self. Don't turn away from possible futures before you're certain you don't have anything to learn from them. Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers. Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a false messiah. Your conscience is the measure of the honesty of your selfishness. Listen to it carefully. The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in awhile, and watch your answers change. Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years. The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof. There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts. Imagine the universe beautiful and just and perfect. Then be sure of one thing: The Is has imagined it quite a bit better than you have. The original sin is to limit the Is. Don't. A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed, it feels an impulsion....this is the place to go now. But the sky knows the reason and the patterns behind all clouds, and you will know, too, when you lift yourself high enough to see beyond horizons. You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however. Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. If you will practice being fictional for a while, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats. The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums. It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages. Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you. In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice. The best way to avoid responsibility is to say, "I've got responsibilities." The truth you speak has no past and no future. It is, and that's all it needs to be. Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't. Don't be dismayed at good-byes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends. The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. You're going to die a horrible death, remember. It's all good training, and you'll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they'll call you crazy. Everything above may be wrong!
Richard Bach
If you could design a new structure for Camp Half-Blood what would it be? Annabeth: I’m glad you asked. We seriously need a temple. Here we are, children of the Greek gods, and we don’t even have a monument to our parents. I’d put it on the hill just south of Half-Blood Hill, and I’d design it so that every morning the rising sun would shine through its windows and make a different god’s emblem on the floor: like one day an eagle, the next an owl. It would have statues for all the gods, of course, and golden braziers for burnt offerings. I’d design it with perfect acoustics, like Carnegie Hall, so we could have lyre and reed pipe concerts there. I could go on and on, but you probably get the idea. Chiron says we’d have to sell four million truckloads of strawberries to pay for a project like that, but I think it would be worth it. Aside from your mom, who do you think is the wisest god or goddess on the Olympian Council? Annabeth: Wow, let me think . . . um. The thing is, the Olympians aren’t exactly known for wisdom, and I mean that with the greatest possible respect. Zeus is wise in his own way. I mean he’s kept the family together for four thousand years, and that’s not easy. Hermes is clever. He even fooled Apollo once by stealing his cattle, and Apollo is no slouch. I’ve always admired Artemis, too. She doesn’t compromise her beliefs. She just does her own thing and doesn’t spend a lot of time arguing with the other gods on the council. She spends more time in the mortal world than most gods, too, so she understands what’s going on. She doesn’t understand guys, though. I guess nobody’s perfect. Of all your Camp Half-Blood friends, who would you most like to have with you in battle? Annabeth: Oh, Percy. No contest. I mean, sure he can be annoying, but he’s dependable. He’s brave and he’s a good fighter. Normally, as long as I’m telling him what to do, he wins in a fight. You’ve been known to call Percy “Seaweed Brain” from time to time. What’s his most annoying quality? Annabeth: Well, I don’t call him that because he’s so bright, do I? I mean he’s not dumb. He’s actually pretty intelligent, but he acts so dumb sometimes. I wonder if he does it just to annoy me. The guy has a lot going for him. He’s courageous. He’s got a sense of humor. He’s good-looking, but don’t you dare tell him I said that. Where was I? Oh yeah, so he’s got a lot going for him, but he’s so . . . obtuse. That’s the word. I mean he doesn’t see really obvious stuff, like the way people feel, even when you’re giving him hints, and being totally blatant. What? No, I’m not talking about anyone or anything in particular! I’m just making a general statement. Why does everyone always think . . . agh! Forget it. Interview with GROVER UNDERWOOD, Satyr What’s your favorite song to play on the reed pipes?
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
...Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march. He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. ...He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low. He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life-or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to "square-away" those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. ...Just as did his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over two hundred years. He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to war when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this. A short lull, a little shade, and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.
Sarah Palin (America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag)
Do you want to hold her?” Qhuinn asked. Xcor recoiled as if someone had inquired whether he’d like a hot poker in his hands. Then he recovered, shaking his head as he made a manly show of scrubbing his tears away like they were permanent marker on his cheeks. “I don’t think I’m quite ready for that. She looks…so delicate.” “She’s strong, though. She’s got her mahmen’s blood in her, too.” Qhuinn looked at Blay. “And she’s got good parents. They both do. We’re in this together, people, three fathers and one mom, two kids. Bam!” Xcor’s voice got low. “A father…?” He laughed softly. “I went from having no family, to having a mate, a brother, and now…” Qhuinn nodded. “A son and a daughter. As long as you are Layla’s hellren, you are their father, too.” Xcor’s smile was transformative, so wide that it stretched his face into something she had never seen. “A son and a daughter.” “That’s right,” Layla whispered with joy. But then instantly that expression on his face was gone, his lips thinning out and his brows dropping down like he was ready to go on the attack. “She is never dating. I don’t care who he is—” “Right!” Qhuinn put his palm out for a high five. “That’s what I’m talking about!” “Now, hold on,” Blay interjected as they clapped hands. “She has every right to live her life as she chooses.” “Yes, come on,” Layla added. “This double-standard stuff is ridiculous. She’s going to be allowed…” As the argument started up, she and Blay fell in beside each other, and Qhuinn and Xcor lined up shoulder to shoulder, their massive forearms crossed over their chests. “I’m good with a gun,” Xcor said like that was the end of things. “And I can handle the shovel,” Qhuinn tacked on. “They’ll never find the body.” The two of them pounded knuckles and looked so dead serious that Layla had to roll her eyes. But then she was smiling. “You know something?” she said to the three of them. “I really believe…that it’s all going to be okay. We’re going to work it out, together, because that’s what families do.” As she rose up on her tiptoes and kissed her male, she said, “Love has a way of fixing everything…even your daughter starting to date.” “Which is not going to happen,” Xcor countered. “Ever.” “My man,” Qhuinn said, backing him up. “I knew I liked you—” “Oh, for the love,” Layla muttered as the debate resumed, and Blay started laughing and Qhuinn and Xcor continued bonding. -Qhuinn, Xcor, Layla, & Blay
J.R. Ward (The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15))
All social orders command their members to imbibe in pipe dreams of posterity, the mirage of immortality, to keep them ahead of the extinction that would ensue in a few generations if the species did not replenish itself. This is the implicit, and most pestiferous, rationale for propagation: to become fully integrated into a society, one must offer it fresh blood. Naturally, the average set of parents does not conceive of their conception as a sacrificial act. These are civilized human beings we are talking about, and thus they are quite able to fill their heads with a panoply of less barbaric rationales for reproduction, among them being the consolidation of a spousal relationship; the expectation of new and enjoyable experiences in the parental role; the hope that one will pass the test as a mother or father; the pleasing of one’s own parents, not to forget their parents and possibly a great-grandparent still loitering about; the serenity of taking one’s place in the seemingly deathless lineage of a familial enterprise; the creation of individuals who will care for their paternal and maternal selves in their dotage; the quelling of a sense of guilt or selfishness for not having done their duty as human beings; and the squelching of that faint pathos that is associated with the childless. Such are some of the overpowering pressures upon those who would fertilize the future. These pressures build up in people throughout their lifetimes and must be released, just as everyone must evacuate their bowels or fall victim to a fecal impaction. And who, if they could help it, would suffer a building, painful fecal impaction? So we make bowel movements to relieve this pressure. Quite a few people make gardens because they cannot stand the pressure of not making a garden. Others commit murder because they cannot stand the pressure building up to kill someone, either a person known to them or a total stranger. Everything is like that. Our whole lives consist of metaphorical as well as actual bowel movements, one after the other. Releasing these pressures can have greater or lesser consequences in the scheme of our lives. But they are all pressures, all bowel movements of some kind. At a certain age, children are praised for making a bowel movement in the approved manner. Later on, the praise of others dies down for this achievement and our bowel movements become our own business, although we may continue to praise ourselves for them. But overpowering pressures go on governing our lives, and the release of these essentially bowel-movement pressures may once again come up for praise, congratulations, and huzzahs of all kinds.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
Without screaming or weeping these people undressed, stood around in family groups, kissed each other, said farewells and waited for a sign from another S.S. man, who stood near the pit, also with a whip in his hand. During the fifteen minutes that I stood near the pit I heard no complaint or plea for mercy… An old woman with snow-white hair was holding a one-year-old child in her arms and singing to it and tickling it. The child was cooing with delight. The parents were looking on with tears in their eyes. The father was holding the hand of a boy about 10 years old and speaking to him softly; the boy was fighting his tears. The father pointed to the sky, stroked his head and seemed to explain something to him. At that moment the S.S. man at the pit shouted something to his comrade. The latter counted off about twenty persons and instructed them to go behind the earth mound… I well remember a girl, slim and with black hair, who, as she passed close to me, pointed to herself and said: “twenty-three years old.” I walked around the mound and found myself confronted by a tremendous grave. People were closely wedged together and lying on top of each other so that only their heads were visible. Nearly all had blood running over their shoulders from their heads. Some of the people were still moving. Some were lifting their arms and turning their heads to show that they were still alive. The pit was already two-thirds full. I estimated that it contained about a thousand people. I looked for the man who did the shooting. He was an S.S. man, who sat at the edge of the narrow end of the pit, his feet dangling into the pit. He had a tommy gun on his knees and was smoking a cigarette. The people, completely naked, went down some steps and clambered over the heads of the people lying there to the place to which the S.S. man directed them. They lay down in front of the dead or wounded people; some caressed those who were still alive and spoke to them in a low voice. Then I heard a series of shots. I looked into the pit and saw that the bodies were twitching or the heads lying already motionless on top of the bodies that lay beneath them. Blood was running from their necks. The next batch was approaching already. They went down into the pit, lined themselves up against the previous victims and were shot. And so it went, batch after batch. The next morning the German engineer returned to the site. I saw about thirty naked people lying near the pit. Some of them were still alive… Later the Jews still alive were ordered to throw the corpses into the pit. Then they themselves had to lie down in this to be shot in the neck… I swear before God that this is the absolute truth.47
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
No, he would never know his father, who would continue to sleep over there, his face for ever lost in the ashes. There was a mystery about that man, a mystery he had wanted to penetrate. But after all there was only the mystery of poverty that creates beings without names and without a past, that sends them into the vast throng of the nameless dead who made the world while they themselves were destroyed for ever. For it was just that that his father had in common with the men of the Labrador. The Mahon people of the Sahel, the Alsatians on the high plateaus, with this immense island between sand and sea, which the enormous silence was now beginning to envelop: the silence of anonymity; it enveloped blood and courage and work and instinct, it was at once cruel and compassionate. And he who had wanted to escape from the country without name, from the crowd and from a family without a name, but in whom something had gone on craving darkness and anonymity - he too was a member of the tribe, marching blindly into the night near the old doctor who was panting at his right, listening to the gusts of music coming from the square, seeing once more the hard inscrutable faces of the Arabs around the bandstands, Veillard's laughter and his stubborn face - also seeing with a sweetness and a sorrow that wrung his heart the deathly look on his mother's face at the time of the bombing - wandering though the night of the years in the land of oblivion where each one is the first man, where he had to bring himself up, without a father, having never known those moments when a father would call his son, after waiting for him to reach the age of listening, to tell him the family's secret, or a sorrow of long ago, or the experience of his life, those moments when even the ridiculous and hateful Polonius all of a sudden becomes great when he is speaking to Laertes; and he was sixteen, then he was twenty, and no one had spoken to him, and he had to learn by himself, to grow alone, in fortitude, in strength, find his own morality and truth, at last to be born as a man and then to be born in a harder childbirth, which consists of being born in relation to others, to women, like all the men born in this country who, one by one, try to learn without roots and without faith, and today all of them are threatened with eternal anonymity and the loss of the only consecrated traces of their passage on this earth, the illegible slabs in the cemetery that the night has now covered over; they had to learn how to live in relation to others, to the immense host of the conquerors, now dispossessed, who had preceded them on this land and in whom they now had to recognise the brotherhood of race and destiny.
Albert Camus (The First Man)
I ask him if he tried to rape Nyla. “Laws are silent in times of war,” Tactus drawls. “Don’t quote Cicero to me,” I say. “You are held to a higher standard than a marauding centurion.” “In that, you’re hitting the mark at least. I am a superior creature descended from proud stock and glorious heritage. Might makes right, Darrow. If I can take, I may take. If I do take, I deserve to have. This is what Peerless believe.” “The measure of a man is what he does when he has power,” I say loudly. “Just come off it, Reaper,” Tactus drawls, confident in himself as all like him are. “She’s a spoil of war. My power took her. And before the strong, bend the weak.” “I’m stronger than you, Tactus,” I say. “So I can do with you as I wish. No?” He’s silent, realizing he’s fallen into a trap. “You are from a superior family to mine, Tactus. My parents are dead. I am the sole member of my family. But I am a superior creature to you.” He smirks at that. “Do you disagree?” I toss a knife at his feet and pull my own out. “I beg you to voice your concerns.” He does not pick his blade up. “So, by right of power, I can do with you as I like.” I announce that rape will never be permitted, and then I ask Nyla the punishment she would give. As she told me before, she says she wants no punishment. I make sure they know this, so there are no recriminations against her. Tactus and his armed supporters stare at her in surprise. They don’t understand why she would not take vengeance, but that doesn’t stop them from smiling wolfishly at one another, thinking their chief has dodged punishment. Then I speak. “But I say you get twenty lashes from a leather switch, Tactus. You tried to take something beyond the bounds of the game. You gave in to your pathetic animal instincts. Here that is less forgivable than murder; I hope you feel shame when you look back at this moment fifty years from now and realize your weakness. I hope you fear your sons and daughters knowing what you did to a fellow Gold. Until then, twenty lashes will serve.” Some of the Diana soldiers step forward in anger, but Pax hefts his axe on his shoulder and they shrink back, glaring at me. They gave me a fortress and I’m going to whip their favorite warrior. I see my army dying as Mustang pulls off Tactus’s shirt. He stares at me like a snake. I know what evil thoughts he’s thinking. I thought them of my floggers too. I whip him twenty brutal times, holding nothing back. Blood runs down his back. Pax nearly has to hack down one of the Diana soldiers to keep them from charging to stop the punishment. Tactus barely manages to stagger to his feet, wrath burning in his eyes. “A mistake,” he whispers to me. “Such a mistake.” Then I surprise him. I shove the switch into his hand and bring him close by cupping my hand around the back of his head. “You deserve to have your balls off, you selfish bastard,” I whisper to him. “This is my army,” I say more loudly. “This is my army. Its evils are mine as much as yours, as much as they are Tactus’s. Every time any of you commit a crime like this, something gratuitous and perverse, you will own it and I will own it with you, because when you do something wicked, it hurts all of us.” Tactus stands there like a fool. He’s confused. I shove him hard in the chest. He stumbles back. I follow him, shoving. “What were you going to do?” I push his hand holding the leather switch back toward his chest. “I don’t know what you mean …” he murmurs as I shove him. “Come on, man! You were going to shove your prick inside someone in my army. Why not whip me while you’re at it? Why not hurt me too? It’ll be easier. Milia won’t even try to stab you. I promise.” I shove him again. He looks around. No one speaks. I strip off my shirt and go to my knees. The air is cold. Knees on stone and snow. My eyes lock with Mustang’s. She winks at me and I feel like I can do anything.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))