Outside The Box Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Outside The Box. Here they are! All 100 of them:

I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.
Terry Pratchett
Think outside the box, collapse the box, and take a fucking sharp knife to it.
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Deprived of their newspapers or a novel, reading-addicts will fall back onto cookery books, on the literature which is wrapped around bottles of patent medicine, on those instructions for keeping the contents crisp which are printed on the outside of boxes of breakfast cereals. On anything.
Aldous Huxley (Olive Tree)
No, look, there's a blue box. It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can go anywhere in time and space and sometimes even where it's meant to go. And when it turns up, there's a bloke in it called The Doctor and there will be stuff wrong and he will do his best to sort it out and he will probably succeed 'cause he's awesome. Now sit down, shut up, and watch 'Blink'.
Neil Gaiman
There was a smell of Time in the air tonight. He smiled and turned the fancy in his mind. There was a thought. What did time smell like? Like dust and clocks and people. And if you wondered what Time sounded like it sounded like water running in a dark cave and voices crying and dirt dropping down upon hollow box lids, and rain. And, going further, what did Time look like? Time look like snow dropping silently into a black room or it looked like a silent film in an ancient theater, 100 billion faces falling like those New Year balloons, down and down into nothing. That was how Time smelled and looked and sounded. And tonight-Tomas shoved a hand into the wind outside the truck-tonight you could almost taste time.
Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles)
It's in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Life's trials will test you, and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
All right, then, her first rule for the rest of her days: no more looking outside for definitions. She might not have any clue who she was, but better to be lost and searching than shoved into a social box by someone else.
J.R. Ward (Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4))
True friends don't come with conditions.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Without struggle, success has no value.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
It's daring to be curious about the unknown, to dream big dreams, to live outside prescribed boxes, to take risks, and above all, daring to investigate the way we live until we discover the deepest treasured purpose of why we are here.
Luci Swindoll (I Married Adventure: Looking at Life Through the Lens of Possibility)
She was always daydreaming. She never wanted to live in the real world; she always seemed to be separated from other children her age. They couldn’t understand her or her imagination. She was always thinking outside of the box, breaking rules, and only following what her heart told her was right.
Shannon A. Thompson (November Snow)
From this point forward, you don’t even know how to quit in life.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I'm not sure who the first person was who said that. Probably Shakespeare. Or maybe Sting. But at the moment, it's the sentence that best explains my tragic flaw, my inability to change. I don't think I'm alone in this. The more I get to know other people, the more I realize it's kind of everyone's flaw. Staying exactly the same for as long as possible, standing perfectly still... It feels safer somehow. And if you are suffering, at least the pain is familiar. Because if you took that leap of faith, went outside the box, did something unexpected... Who knows what other pain might be out there, waiting for you. Chances are it could be even worse. So you maintain the status quo. Choose the road already traveled and it doesn't seem that bad. Not as far as flaws go. You're not a drug addict. You're not killing anyone... Except maybe yourself a little. When we finally do change, I don't think it happens like an earthquake or an explosion, where all of a sudden we're like this different person. I think it's smaller than that. The kind of thing most people wouldn't even notice unless they looked at us really close. Which, thank God, they never do. But you notice it. Inside you that change feels like a world of difference. And you hope this is it. This is the person you get to be forever... that you'll never have to change again.
Laura J. Burns
Great leaders have to think outside the box sometimes.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Those who achieve the extraordinary are usually the most ordinary because they have nothing to prove to anybody. Be Humble.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
At some point, you just gotta forgive the past, your happiness hinges on it.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I've been clinically diagnosed with sociopathy,' I said. 'Do you know what that means?' 'It means you're a freak,' he said. 'It means that you're about as important to me as a cardboard box,' I said. 'You're just a thing - a piece of garbage that no one's thrown away yet. Is that what you want me to say?' 'Shut up,' said Rob. He was still acting tough, but I could see his bluster was starting to fail. He didn't know what to say. 'The thing about boxes,' I said, 'is that you can open them up. Even though they're completely boring on the outside, there might be something interesting inside. So while you're saying all of these stupid, boring things I'm imagining what it would be like to cut you open and see what you've got in there.
Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1))
Explore, Experience, Then Push Beyond.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame.
Salman Rushdie (The Ground Beneath Her Feet)
Being different will always threaten the institution of understanding of a closed mind. However, evolution is built on difference, changing and the concept of thinking outside the box. Live to be your own unique brand, without apology.
Shannon L. Alder
If you're reading this, I hope God opens incredible doors for your life this year. Greatness is upon you. You must believe it though.
Germany Kent
Your mission statement says Galer Street is based on global "connectitude." (You people don't just think outside the box, you think outside the dictionary!)
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Once again, we shall have to operate not only outside the box, but outside the room containing the box.
Douglas Preston
The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Marijuana enhances our mind in a way that enables us to take a different perspective from 'high up', to see and evaluate our own lives and the lives of others in a privileged way. Maybe this euphoric and elevating feeling of the ability to step outside the box and to look at life’s patterns from this high perspective is the inspiration behind the slang term “high” itself.
Sebastian Marincolo
There's more to a person than flesh. Judge others by the sum of their soul and you'll see that beauty is a force of light that radiates from the inside out.
Aaron Lauritsen
If you didn't earn something, it's not worth flaunting.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
You have to change your thinking if you desire to have a future different from your present.
Germany Kent
Its Better to Destroy the BOX than to Think outside the BOX.
Udayveer Singh
It’s the ‘everyday’ experiences we encounter along the journey to who we wanna be that will define who we are when we get there.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Thinking incomplete knowledge of the industry presents a fuller picture.
Pooja Agnihotri (17 Reasons Why Businesses Fail :Unscrew Yourself From Business Failure)
We were a chocolate-box family, I thought. Brightly wrapped on the outside and oozing sticky darkness within.
Yangsze Choo (The Night Tiger)
I don’t check any particular box. I’ve never caught feelings for anyone because they were a male or a female. I feel for people because of who they are. Not what they are.
Tammy Ferebee (Outsiders)
Don't think outside the box. Think like there is no box.
Ziad K. Abdelnour
I’m average. I’ve been average most of my life, but there are moments where I feel extraordinary. Invincible. Able to conquer any fear and step outside any box. There is no illusion, no fantasy. I can climb a forty-foot pole. I can fly eighty-feet in the air. I can be taller than tall. It’s a dream that I’m living. Every day. With him.
Krista Ritchie (Amour Amour (Aerial Ethereal, #1))
What Foundling does isn’t thinking outside the box so much as stealing the box and hitting her opponents with it until they stop moving.” – Extract from “A Commentary on the Uncivil Wars”, by Juniper of the Red Moon Clan
ErraticErrata (So You Want to Be a Villain? (A Practical Guide to Evil, #1))
Building bridges is the best defence against ignorance.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
You can't force creatives into a box. If you try, they'll no longer be creative. And no one will want your box.
Ryan Lilly
The high road of grace will get you somewhere a whole lot faster then the freeway of spite.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Dance to the beat of your own drum; whether the world likes your rhythmic movements or not.
Matshona Dhliwayo
We love our partners for who they are, not for who they are not.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The 7 Steps to Transformation: 1. Dream it. 2. Envision it. 3. Think it. 4. Grow it. 5. Become it. 6. Live it. 7. OWN it.
Germany Kent
I have never understood the saying 'To think outside the box.' Why would anyone sit inside of a box and then think outside of it. Rather just get out of the box.
Lawrence Anthony
Instead of thinking outside the box, get rid of the box.
Deepak Chopra
MY MOTHER GETS DRESSED It is impossible for my mother to do even the simplest things for herself anymore so we do it together, get her dressed. I choose the clothes without zippers or buckles or straps, clothes that are simple but elegant, and easy to get into. Otherwise, it's just like every other day. After bathing, getting dressed. The stockings go on first. This time, it's the new ones, the special ones with opaque black triangles that she's never worn before, bought just two weeks ago at her favorite department store. We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toes into the stocking tip then a smooth yank past the knob of her ankle and over her cool, smooth calf then the other toe cool ankle, smooth calf up the legs and the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist. You're doing great, Mom, I tell her as we ease her body against mine, rest her whole weight against me to slide her black dress with the black empire collar over her head struggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve. I reach from the outside deep into the dark for her hand, grasp where I can't see for her touch. You've got to help me a little here, Mom I tell her then her fingertips touch mine and we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouth together, then we rest, her weight against me before threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep and now over the head. I gentle the black dress over her breasts, thighs, bring her makeup to her, put some color on her skin. Green for her eyes. Coral for her lips. I get her black hat. She's ready for her company. I tell the two women in simple, elegant suits waiting outside the bedroom, come in. They tell me, She's beautiful. Yes, she is, I tell them. I leave as they carefully zip her into the black body bag. Three days later, I dream a large, green suitcase arrives. When I unzip it, my mother is inside. Her dress matches her eyeshadow, which matches the suitcase perfectly. She's wearing coral lipstick. "I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, waving and I wake up. Four days later, she comes home in a plastic black box that is heavier than it looks. In the middle of a meadow, I learn a naked more than naked. I learn a new way to hug as I tighten my fist around her body, my hand filled with her ashes and the small stones of bones. I squeeze her tight then open my hand and release her into the smallest, hottest sun, a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
7 keys to getting more things done: 1 start 2 dont make excuses 3 celebrate small steps 4 ignore critics 5 be consistent 6 be open 7 stay positive
Germany Kent
Jedi are always assessing situations, actions and possibilities. Jedi don’t just think outside of the box with the help from the Force, they also adapt to situations outside of the box!
Stephen Richards (Develop Jedi Self-Confidence: Unleash the Force within You)
Colour outside the lines, live outside the box. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do, or not. Don’t be afraid, listen to your heart. Heaven is a state of being – of one-ness, and Hell is a state of being – lost. We simply need to live as we best define ourselves, find our own ways of being who we are in our world. There is no requirement - only freedom of choice. We should not be judged if we are doing what we think best according to our perceptions at any given time. Guilt should be discarded, moved beyond - what matters is who we choose to be in the next moment, given what we might have learned. We continually create ourselves anew. Forgiving someone is a great way to show love, and forgive yourself too for the hurt you held onto far too long. Take back the energy you have wasted on these things and reclaim your power to be your next best self. Honour the past but refresh, expand, renew, fulfill. Heaven is within us, always reachable.
Jay Woodman
Or powerful objects, such as statues, amulets, monuments, certain models of cars. But they prefer human form. You see gods have great power, but only humans have creativity, the power to change history rather than simply repeat it. Humans can...how do you moderns say it...think outside the cup.” “The box,” I suggested.
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid: The Graphic Novel (The Kane Chronicles: The Graphic Novels, #1))
Think outside the box? Indeed. But to add balance to that, one should not in the process forget what the inside of the box looks like as well. Those who are best at thinking outside the box do it not to puff themselves up, but to see how small they really are. As a contented fish in its fish tank appears to have a small, boring existence to us, imagine a larger, more perceptive kingdom (even by scientific taxonomy) to whom our contented existences may appear to be small and boring. This is where true creativity and massive perceptive abilities spawn a sense of intellectual humility; the kind which God adores.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Break every chain of mediocrity that confines you. You may have begun at a level below average, but dare to leave that side and paddle your steps to cross the river with honours.
Israelmore Ayivor (Shaping the dream)
What the average call excellent, the excellent call average.
Onyi Anyado
Think different does not mean to think out of the box. It means to question what the significance of a box is?
priyavrat gupta
He'll never compose whole odes to my beauty and grace. He'll never show up with a boom box to reenact Say Anything outside my window. He'll never drive over at three a.m. because I'm sick and can't sleep and just want to feel his arms around me.
Abby McDonald (Getting Over Garrett Delaney)
I long ago abandoned myself to a blind lust for the written word. Literature is my sandbox. In it I play, build my forts and castles, spend glorious time. It is the world outside that box that gives me trouble. I have adapted tamely, though not conventionally, to this visible world so I can retreat without much inconvenience into my inner world of books.
Rabih Alameddine (An Unnecessary Woman)
[M]an is not permitted without censure to follow his own thoughts in the search of truth, when they lead him ever so little out of the common road.
John Locke (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding)
Intelligence is just one dimension of ability. Don't limit yourself to it. Open up to instinct, intuition, creativity and thus possibility
Rasheed Ogunlaru
Travel is costly yes, but it pays dividends too.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
I live in nature where everything is connected, circular. The seasons are circular. The planet is circular, and so is the planet around the sun. The course of water over the earth is circular coming down from the sky and circulating through the world to spread life and then evaporating up again. I live in a circular teepee and build my fire in a circle. The life cycles of plants and animals are circular. I live outside where I can see this. The ancient people understood that our world is a circle, but we modern people have lost site of that. I don’t live inside buildings because buildings are dead places where nothing grows, where water doesn’t flow, and where life stops. I don’t want to live in a dead place. People say that I don’t live in a real world, but it’s modern Americans who live in a fake world, because they have stepped outside the natural circle of life. Do people live in circles today? No. They live in boxes. They wake up every morning in a box of their bedrooms because a box next to them started making beeping noises to tell them it was time to get up. They eat their breakfast out of a box and then they throw that box away into another box. Then they leave the box where they live and get into another box with wheels and drive to work, which is just another big box broken into little cubicle boxes where a bunch of people spend their days sitting and staring at the computer boxes in front of them. When the day is over, everyone gets into the box with wheels again and goes home to the house boxes and spends the evening staring at the television boxes for entertainment. They get their music from a box, they get their food from a box, they keep their clothing in a box, they live their lives in a box. Break out of the box! This not the way humanity lived for thousands of years.
Elizabeth Gilbert (The Last American Man)
Some of us are fated to live in a box from which there is only temporary release. We of the damned-up spirits, of the thwarted feelings, of the blocked hearts, and the pent-up thoughts, we who long to blast out, flood forth in a torrent of rage or joy or even madness, but there is nowhere for us to go, nowhere in the world because no one will have us as we are, and there is nothing to do except to embrace the secret pleasures of our sublimations, the arc of a sentence, the kiss of a rhyme, the image that forms on paper or canvas, the inner cantata, the cloistered embroidery, the dark and dreaming needlepoint from hell or heaven or purgatory or none of those three, but there must be some sound and fury from us, some clashing cymbals in the void.
Siri Hustvedt (The Summer Without Men)
That is the way we decided to talk, free and easy, two young men discussing a boxing match. That was the only way to talk. You couldn't let too much truth seep into your conversation, you couldn't admit with your mouth what your eyes had seen. If you opened the door even a centimeter, you would smell the rot outside and hear the screams. You did not open the door. You kept your mind on the tasks of the day, the hunt for food and water and something to burn, and you saved the rest for the end of the war.
David Benioff (City of Thieves)
They must live outside class, without relations or money; they must work and stick to each other till death. But England belonged to them. That, besides companionship, was their reward. Her air and sky were theirs, not the timorous millions' who own stuffy little boxes, but never their own souls.
E.M. Forster (Maurice)
The sign outside this tent is accompanied by a small box full of smooth black stones. The text instructs you to take one with you as you enter. Inside, the tent is dark, the ceiling covered with open black umbrellas, the curving handles hanging down like icicles. In the center of the room there is a pool. A pond enclosed within a black stone wall that is surrounded by white gravel. The air carries the salty tinge of the ocean. You walk over to the edge to look inside. The gravel crunches beneath your feet. It is shallow, but it is glowing. A shimmering, shifting light cascades up through the surface of the water. A soft radiance, enough to illuminate the pool and the stones that sit at the bottom. Hundreds of stones, each identical to the one you hold in your hand. The light beneath filters through the spaces between the stones. Reflections ripple around the room, making it appear as though the entire tent is underwater. You sit on the wall, turning your black stone over and over in your fingers. The stillness of the tent becomes a quiet melancholy. Memories begin to creep forward from hidden corners of your mind. Passing disappointments. Lost chances and lost causes. Heartbreaks and pain and desolate, horrible loneliness. Sorrows you thought long forgotten mingle with still-fresh wounds. The stone feels heavier in your hand. When you drop it in the pool to join the rest of the stones, you feel lighter. As though you have released something more than a smooth polished piece of rock.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
They say to think within the box, but it's funny how those in the box never go anywhere, where those outside it, get to see the world.
Anthony Liccione
Rebels revel in rewriting reality's restrictions.
Ryan Lilly
I guess it means we don't understand everything, and we're not going to. Maybe the whys aren't answered here. Not because there aren't answers, but because we wouldn't understand the answers if we had them. Maybe there's a bigger purpose, a bigger picture that we only contribute a very small piece to. You know, like one of those thousand piece puzzles? There's no way you can tell by looking at one piece of the puzzle what the puzzle is going to look like in the end. And we don't have the picture on the outside of the puzzle box to guide us. Maybe everyone represents a piece of the puzzle. We all fit together to create this experience we call life. None of us can see the part we play or the way it all turns out. Maybe the miracles that we see are just the tip of the iceberg. And maybe we just don't recognize the blessings that come as a result of terrible things.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
Condoms aren’t a hundred percent you know,” he reminds me calmly. My mind flashes to a certain episode of Friends, and I suddenly feel like yelling out that they should put that on the outside of the box.
Chantal Fernando (Dragon's Lair (Wind Dragons MC, #1))
Tokyo is bigger than Kumamoto. And Japan is bigger than Tokyo. And even bigger than Japan... Even bigger than Japan is the inside of your head. Don't ever surrender yourself ― not to Japan, not to anything. You may think that what you're doing is for the sake of the nation, but let something take possession of you like that, and all you do is bring it down.
Natsume Sōseki (Sanshirō)
He is never going to be here, I thought. He is never coming back. Was I okay with it? No. But missing him every day for the rest of my life was still easier than the fight Sebastian had: to stuff himself inside a box every morning and tuck that box inside his heart and pray that his heart kept beating around the obstacle. Every day I could go to class as exactly the person I am, and meet new people, and come outside later for some fresh air and Frisbee. Every day I would be grateful that no one who matters to me questions whether I am too masculine, too feminine, too open, too closed. Every day I would be grateful for what I have, and that I can be who I am without judgment. So every day I would fight for Sebastian, and people in the same boat, who don’t have what I do, who struggle to find themselves in a world that tells them white and straight and narrow gets first pick in the schoolyard game of life. My chest was congested with regret, and relief, and resolve. Give me more of those, I thought to whoever was listening—whether it was God, or Oz, or the three sisters of Fate. Give me those moments where I think he’s coming back. I can take the hurt. The reminder that he’s not coming back—and why—will keep me fighting.
Christina Lauren (Autoboyography)
Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters. No, no, wait. Once upon a time there were three bears who lived in a wee house in the woods. Once upon a time there were three soldiers, tramping together down the road after the war. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Once upon a time there were three brothers. No, this is it. This is the variation I want. Once upon a time there were three Beautiful children, two boys and a girl. When each baby was born, the parents rejoiced, the heavens rejoiced, even the fairies rejoiced. The fairies came to christening parties and gave the babies magical gifts. Bounce, effort, and snark. Contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. Sugar, curiosity, and rain. And yet, there was a witch. There's always a witch. This which was the same age as the beautiful children, and as she and they grew, she was jealous of the girl, and jealous of the boys, too. They were blessed with all these fairy gifts, gifts the witch had been denied at her own christening. The eldest boy was strong and fast, capable and handsome. Though it's true, he was exceptionally short. The next boy was studious and open hearted. Though it's true, he was an outsider. And the girl was witty, Generous, and ethical. Though it's true, she felt powerless. The witch, she was none of these things, for her parents had angered the fairies. No gifts were ever bestowed upon her. She was lonely. Her only strength was her dark and ugly magic. She confuse being spartan with being charitable, and gave away her possessions without truly doing good with them. She confuse being sick with being brave, and suffered agonies while imagining she merited praise for it. She confused wit with intelligence, and made people laugh rather than lightening their hearts are making them think. Hey magic was all she had, and she used it to destroy what she most admired. She visited each young person in turn in their tenth birthday, but did not harm them out right. The protection of some kind fairy - the lilac fairy, perhaps - prevented her from doing so. What she did instead was cursed them. "When you are sixteen," proclaimed the witch in a rage of jealousy, "you shall prick your finger on a spindle - no, you shall strike a match - yes, you will strike a match and did in its flame." The parents of the beautiful children were frightened of the curse, and tried, as people will do, to avoid it. They moved themselves and the children far away, to a castle on a windswept Island. A castle where there were no matches. There, surely, they would be safe. There, Surely, the witch would never find them. But find them she did. And when they were fifteen, these beautiful children, just before their sixteenth birthdays and when they're nervous parents not yet expecting it, the jealous which toxic, hateful self into their lives in the shape of a blonde meeting. The maiden befriended the beautiful children. She kissed him and took them on the boat rides and brought them fudge and told them stories. Then she gave them a box of matches. The children were entranced, for nearly sixteen they have never seen fire. Go on, strike, said the witch, smiling. Fire is beautiful. Nothing bad will happen. Go on, she said, the flames will cleanse your souls. Go on, she said, for you are independent thinkers. Go on, she said. What is this life we lead, if you did not take action? And they listened. They took the matches from her and they struck them. The witch watched their beauty burn, Their bounce, Their intelligence, Their wit, Their open hearts, Their charm, Their dreams for the future. She watched it all disappear in smoke.
E. Lockhart (We Were Liars)
Dear book, this is another day in my life. A life is like a book. A book is like a box. A box has six sides. Inside and outside, so, how do you get to what's inside? How do you get what's inside, out? Once upon a time, there lived a very pretty girl, who lived in a beautiful box, and everybody loved her.
gia carangi
Gopnik has tested this hypothesis on children in her lab and has found that there are learning problems that four-year-olds are better at solving than adults. These are precisely the kinds of problems that require thinking outside the box, those times when experience hobbles rather than greases the gears of problem solving, often because the problem is so novel. In one experiment, she presented children with a toy box that lights up and plays music when a certain kind of block is placed on top of it. Normally, this “blicket detector” is set to respond to a single block of a certain color or shape, but when the experimenter reprograms the machine so that it responds only when two blocks are placed on it, four-year-olds figure it out much faster than adults do.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
Suicide creates his own society: to shut yourself off from other people in some dingy, rented box and stare, like Melville's Bartleby, day in and day out at the dead wall outside your window is in itself a rejection of the world which is said to be rejecting you. It is a way of saying, like Bartleby, 'I prefer not to' to every offer and every possibility, which is a condition no amount of social engineering will cure.
Al Álvarez (The Savage God: A Study of Suicide)
Prison is designed to separate, isolate, and alienate you from everyone and everything. You're not allowed to do so much as touch your spouse, your parents, your children. The system does everything within its power to sever any physical or emotional links you have to anyone in the outside world. They want your children to grow up without ever knowing you.They want your spouse to forget your face and start a new life. They want you to sit alone, grieving, in a concrete box, unable even to say your last farewell at a parent's funeral.
Damien Echols (Life After Death)
Robin was a great kid. Smarter than her father at eight years old. She liked the oddest things. Like the instructions for a toy more than the toy itself. The credits of a movie instead of the movie. The way something was written. An expression on my face. Once she told me I looked like the sun to her, because of my hair. I asked her if I shined like the sun, and she told me, ‘No, Daddy, you shine more like the moon, when it’s dark outside.
Josh Malerman (Bird Box (Bird Box, #1))
And the poser has a girlfriend. Ten years younger. The Blond Weed, Ove calls her. Tottering around the streets like an inebriated panda on heels as long as box wrenches, with clown paint all over her face and sunglasses so big that one can’t tell whether they’re a pair of glasses or some kind of helmet. She also has one of those handbag animals, running about off the leash and pissing on the paving stones outside Ove’s house. She thinks Ove doesn’t notice, but Ove always notices.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
What is love? Is it a lightning bolt that instantaneously unites two souls in utter infatuation and admiration through the meeting of a simple innocent stare? Or is it a lustful seed that is sown in a dark dingy bar one sweaty summer's night only to be nurtured with romantic rendezvous as it matures into a beautiful flower? Is it a river springing forth, creating lifelong bonds through experiences, heartaches, and missed opportunities? Or is it a thunderstorm that slowly rolls in, climaxing with an awesome display of unbridled passion, only to succumb to its inevitable fade into the distance? I define love as education.... It teaches us to learn from our opportunities, and made the stupidest of decisions for the rightest of reasons. It gives us a hint of what "it" should be and feel like, but then encourages us to think outside the box and develop our own understanding of what "it" could be. Those that choose to embrace and learn from love's educational peaks and valleys are the ones that will eventually find true love, that one in a million. Those that don't are destined to be consumed with the inevitable ring around the rosy of fake I love you's and failed relationships. I have been lucky enough to have some of the most amazing teachers throughout my romantic evolution and it is to them that I dedicate this book. The lessons in life, passion and love they taught me have helped shape who I am today and who I will be tomorrow. To the love that stains my heart, but defines my soul....I thank you.....
Ivan Rusilko (Appetizers (The Winemaker's Dinner, #1))
Nobody likes to fail, but there is a difference between a normal aversion to failure and an intense fear of failure. Aversion to failure motivates us to take necessary precautions and to work harder to achieve success. By contrast, intense fear of failure often handicaps us, making us reject failure so vigorously that we cannot take the risks that are necessary for growth. This fear not only compromises our performance but jeopardizes our overall psychological well-being. Failure is an inescapable part of life and a critically important part of any successful life. We learn to walk by falling, to talk by babbling, to shoot a basket by missing, and to color the inside of a square by scribbling outside the box. Those who intensely fear failing end up falling short of their potential. We either learn to fail or we fail to learn.
Tal Ben-Shahar (Being Happy: You Don't Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life: You Don't Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life)
The outside of the building was covered with faded poster advertising what was sold, and by the eerie light of the half-moon, the Baudelaires could see that fresh limes, plastic knives, canned meat, white envelopes, mango-flavored candy, red wine, leather wallets, fashion magazines, goldfish bowls, sleeping bags, roasted figs, cardboard boxes, controversial vitamins, and many other things were available inside the store. Nowhere on the building, however, was there a poster advertising help, which is really what the Baudelaires needed.
Lemony Snicket (The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #8))
Opportunities pop up for everybody all of the time. It's the way that we progress. It's whether or not you're in the right frame of mind or in the right stage of your life or if you're even looking for them [that determines] whether or not you see them. [...] As you take more risks you see opportunities more easily. [Risks are] never the safe option, but for me the safe option is the worst option. [...] The riskiest life I can think of is letting yourself to be molded into this comfortable, same-as-everybody-else routine. For me, that is risking my whole life.
Ben Brown
Here’s what I’ve got, the reasons why our marriage might work: Because you wear pink but write poems about bullets and gravestones. Because you yell at your keys when you lose them, and laugh, loudly, at your own jokes. Because you can hold a pistol, gut a pig. Because you memorize songs, even commercials from thirty years back and sing them when vacuuming. You have soft hands. Because when we moved, the contents of what you packed were written inside the boxes. Because you think swans are overrated. Because you drove me to the train station. You drove me to Minneapolis. You drove me to Providence. Because you underline everything you read, and circle the things you think are important, and put stars next to the things you think I should think are important, and write notes in the margins about all the people you’re mad at and my name almost never appears there. Because you make that pork recipe you found in the Frida Khalo Cookbook. Because when you read that essay about Rilke, you underlined the whole thing except the part where Rilke says love means to deny the self and to be consumed in flames. Because when the lights are off, the curtains drawn, and an additional sheet is nailed over the windows, you still believe someone outside can see you. And one day five summers ago, when you couldn’t put gas in your car, when your fridge was so empty—not even leftovers or condiments— there was a single twenty-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew, which you paid for with your last damn dime because you once overheard me say that I liked it.
Matthew Olzmann
Why have so many schools reduced the time and emphasis they place on art, music, and physical education? The answer is beyond simple: those areas aren’t measured on the all-important tests. You know where those areas are measured… in life! Art, music, and a healthy lifestyle help us develop a richer, deeper, and more balanced perspective. Never before have we needed more of an emphasis on the development of creativity, but schools have gone the exact opposite direction in an effort to make the best test-taking automatons possible. Our economy no longer rewards people for blindly following rules and becoming a cog in the machine. We need risk-takers, outside-the-box thinkers, and entrepreneurs; our school systems do the next generation a great disservice by discouraging these very skills and attitudes. Instead of helping and encouraging them to find and develop their unique strengths, they're told to shut up, put the cell phones away, memorize these facts and fill in the bubbles.
Dave Burgess (Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator)
What is art? Art is tar, rearranged. Art is tar on canvas or tar on tarp or tar on a naked body. Art is a bird chirping changed into something visual. Art is an image of a thousand beaks breaking into the office of a quack doctor. I know that doctor, and I've personally spoken to ten of those beaks. Art is rhythm, two hands clapping at a urinal while a third shakes off pee to the beat. Good art stays with you your whole life, especially if that good art is a tattoo. Good art is my name, written backwards, inked on your upper lip in a furry font. Art imitates life, just as life imitates Orafoura. Art can be anything from a Manet to a Monet to a painting of money to a missile. Art can save the world, or devastate it. (We could drop another big bomb on Japan, though I'm not advocating dumping Basquiat paintings on Hiroshima). Art rhymes with a bodily function, and everybody should let their creativity rip everywhere from the privacy of their bathrooms to small heated boxes with four of their closest friends. Art is thinking outside that box, and desperately trying to escape.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Doctors know nothing. Well. That's kind of unfair. Let's just say the world is unpredictable. Science is unreliable. It can't tell you who you are or what you'll want or how you'll feel. All these researchers are going crazy in their labs, trying to fit us into these little boxes so they can justify their jobs, or their government funding, or their life's work. They can theorize and they can give you a mean, median and mode but it's all standardized guesswork, made official by arrogance. You have to be pretty into yourself to think you can play a part in defining the identity of a bunch of people you don't know, of human beings with complicated shit going on in their bodies. They still don't know what certain parts of our brains do, they still don't know how to cure a common cold, and they say they know about sexuality, about gender. Well, you're not a man because you like football and you're not a woman because you're attracted to men and you're not a chick because you like to be the one who gives and you're not a dude because you like to receive or because sometimes you cry at dumb movies.
Abigail Tarttelin (Golden Boy)
She sits and listens with crossed legs under the batik house-wrap she wears, with her heavy three-way-piled hair and cigarette at her mouth and refuses me - for the time being, anyway - the most important things I ask of her. It's really kind of tremendous how it all takes place. You'd never guess how much labor goes into it. Only some time ago it occurred to me how great an amount. She came back from the studio and went to take a bath, and from the bath she called out to me, "Darling, please bring me a towel." I took one of those towel robes that I had bought at the Bon Marche' department store and came along with it. The little bathroom was in twilight. In the auffe-eua machine, the brass box with teeth of gas burning, the green metal dropped crumbs inside from the thousand-candle blaze. Her body with its warm woman's smell was covered with water starting in a calm line over her breasts. The glass of the medicine chest shone (like a deep blue place in the wall, as if a window to the evening sea and not the ashy fog of Paris. I sat down with the robe over my; shoulder and felt very much at peace. For a change the apartment seemed clean and was warm; the abominations were gone into the background, the stoves drew well and they shone. Jacqueline was cooking dinner and it smelled of gravy. I felt settled and easy, my chest free and my fingers comfortable and open. And now here's the thing. It takes a time like this for you to find out how sore your heart has been, and, moreover, all the while you thought you were going around idle terribly hard work was taking place. Hard, hard work, excavation and digging, mining, moiling through tunnels, heaving, pushing, moving rock, working, working, working, working, panting, hauling, hoisting. And none of this work is seen from the outside. It's internally done. It happens because you are powerless and unable to get anywhere, to obtain justice or have requital, and therefore in yourself you labor, you wage and combat, settle scores, remember insults, fight, reply, deny, blab, denounce, triumph, outwit, overcome, vindicate, cry, persist, absolve, die and rise again. All by yourself? Where is everybody? Inside your breast and skin, the entire cast.
Saul Bellow (All Marbles Accounted for)
When I met you — somehow you healed me. From the inside out, the outside in. We conquered fears together, we learned, we laughed, and we loved. I swear, you caused my heart to soar more in the past few months than it has in my entire existence. My heart is whole because you chose to share yours with me, and it’s for that reason that I get down on not one, but both knees…” I knelt in front of her and gripped her hand. “And say thank you. Thank you for saving my life, thank you for loving me enough to treasure your own, and thank you for being my strength when I had none. I’d like to think our hearts are joined — forever entwined — but considering that’s not technically a legal joining, I have a question for you Marry me? Make me the happiest man alive.” I opened the box revealing my mom’s ring.
Rachel Van Dyken
I hate you,’ I begin. ‘I hate the way your lip curls up when you’re confused. It’s sickeningly adorable. I hate the way your arms are so fucking strong. It kind of scares me.’ He smiles and I take a deep breath, trying to keep from crying, but it’s so hard. ‘I hate that your smile makes me want to cry and I don’t know why. I hate that you know how to look so together on the outside when you’re screaming inside. I hate that you always know the right thing to say. I hate the way that I already know what you’re thinking just by the way you’re looking at me.’ He wipes the tears from my jaw and I close my eyes. ‘I hate that you saved me. But, most of all, I hate that you love me because now I love you and I don’t know how to make it stop.
Cassia Leo (Black Box)
Almondine To her, the scent and the memory of him were one. Where it lay strongest, the distant past came to her as if that morning: Taking a dead sparrow from her jaws, before she knew to hide such things. Guiding her to the floor, bending her knee until the arthritis made it stick, his palm hotsided on her ribs to measure her breaths and know where the pain began. And to comfort her. That had been the week before he went away. He was gone, she knew this, but something of him clung to the baseboards. At times the floor quivered under his footstep. She stood then and nosed into the kitchen and the bathroom and the bedroom-especially the closet-her intention to press her ruff against his hand, run it along his thigh, feel the heat of his body through the fabric. Places, times, weather-all these drew him up inside her. Rain, especially, falling past the double doors of the kennel, where he’d waited through so many storms, each drop throwing a dozen replicas into the air as it struck the waterlogged earth. And where the rising and falling water met, something like an expectation formed, a place where he might appear and pass in long strides, silent and gestureless. For she was not without her own selfish desires: to hold things motionless, to measure herself against them and find herself present, to know that she was alive precisely because he needn’t acknowledge her in casual passing; that utter constancy might prevail if she attended the world so carefully. And if not constancy, then only those changes she desired, not those that sapped her, undefined her. And so she searched. She’d watched his casket lowered into the ground, a box, man-made, no more like him than the trees that swayed under the winter wind. To assign him an identity outside the world was not in her thinking. The fence line where he walked and the bed where he slept-that was where he lived, and they remembered him. Yet he was gone. She knew it most keenly in the diminishment of her own self. In her life, she’d been nourished and sustained by certain things, him being one of them, Trudy another, and Edgar, the third and most important, but it was really the three of them together, intersecting in her, for each of them powered her heart a different way. Each of them bore different responsibilities to her and with her and required different things from her, and her day was the fulfillment of those responsibilities. She could not imagine that portion of her would never return. With her it was not hope, or wistful thoughts-it was her sense of being alive that thinned by the proportion of her spirit devoted to him. "ory of Edgar Sawtelle" As spring came on, his scent about the place began to fade. She stopped looking for him. Whole days she slept beside his chair, as the sunlight drifted from eastern-slant to western-slant, moving only to ease the weight of her bones against the floor. And Trudy and Edgar, encapsulated in mourning, somehow forgot to care for one another, let alone her. Or if they knew, their grief and heartache overwhelmed them. Anyway, there was so little they might have done, save to bring out a shirt of his to lie on, perhaps walk with her along the fence line, where fragments of time had snagged and hung. But if they noticed her grief, they hardly knew to do those things. And she without the language to ask.
David Wroblewski (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle)
A PICNIC IS NOT AN ADVENTURE! Excuse me, but at thirty-eight and over six foot, trying to sit cross-legged on the ground to eat a meal is a total adventure. Have you ever attempted to eat with a plastic knife and fork, off a paper plate, while balancing the plate on your knee? And in company? That's an adventure. I tried to cut into my pork pie and the knife broke, then my Scotch egg rolled off the plate and into some mud. What does one do in that situation? Wipe off the mud, and eat it anyway? Risky. I peeled off the meaty outside and ate the boiled egg. Result. And, once, on the beach, I sat down with fish and chips (not strictly a picnic, but still hardcore al fresco eating) and a seagull swooped down and took the whole fish from my box! It was terrifying. So don't you go telling me that picnics aren't an adventure, thanking you muchly.
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
I feel completely embarrassed and remember the lock on the door and think: He knows, he knows, it shows, shows completely. “He’s out back,” Mr. Garret tells me mildly, “unpacking shipments.” Then he returns to the papers. I feel compelled to explain myself. “I just thought I’d come by. Before babysitting. You, know, at your house. Just to say hi. So . . . I’m going to do that now. Jase’s in back, then? I’ll just say hi.” I’m so suave. I can hear the ripping sound of the box cutter before I even open the rear door to find Jase with a huge stack of cardboard boxes. His back’s to me and suddenly I’m as shy with him as I was with his father. This is silly. Brushing through my embarrassment, I walk up, put my hand on his shoulder. He straightens up with a wide grin. “Am I glad to see you!” “Oh, really?” “Really. I thought you were Dad telling me I was messing up again. I’ve been a disaster all day. Kept knocking things over. Paint cans, our garden display. He finally sent me out here when I knocked over a ladder. I think I’m a little preoccupied.” “Maybe you should have gotten more sleep,” I offer. “No way,” he says. Then we just gaze at each other for a long moment. For some reason, I expect him to look different, the way I expected I would myself in the mirror this morning . . . I thought I would come across richer, fuller, as happy outside as I was inside, but the only thing that showed was my lips puffy from kisses. Jase is the same as ever also. “That was the best study session I ever had,” I tell him. “Locked in my memory too,” he says, then glances away as though embarrassed, bending to tear open another box. “Even though thinking about it made me hit my thumb with a hammer putting up a wall display.” “This thumb?” I reach for one of his callused hands, kiss the thumb. “It was the left one.” Jase’s face creases into a smile as I pick up his other hand. “I broke my collarbone once,” he tells me, indicating which side. I kiss that. “Also some ribs during a scrimmage freshman year.” I do not pull his shirt up to where his finger points now. I am not that bold. But I do lean in to kiss him through the soft material of his shirt. “Feeling better?” His eyes twinkle. “In eighth grade, I got into a fight with this kid who was picking on Duff and he gave me a black eye.” My mouth moves to his right eye, then the left. He cups the back of my neck in his warm hands, settling me into the V of his legs, whispering into my ear, “I think there was a split lip involved too.” Then we are just kissing and everything else drops away. Mr. Garret could come out at any moment, a truck full of supplies could drive right on up, a fleet of alien spaceships could darken the sky, I’m not sure I’d notice.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
I am fearful most men of this age are like you. They have forgotten what it is to huddle in a hut with the beasts and demons howling outside their door. They no longer have want of a great and terrible spirit to protect them. They have lost their fear of the wild and with it their need to believe. And I cannot blame them, for they now have the power to chase away the shadows with a mere flick of a switch. So I must ask myself, what role can I play in a world where men worship the moving-picture box, where they make and consume potions that eat away their own brains, where they ravage and pillage entire mountains, kill the very earth itself? “Mankind has lost its connection to the land, to the earth, to the beasts and spirits. They gather their food not from the forest and fields, but from plastic bins and ice boxes. Their lives are no longer tied to the cycles of the seasons and the harvest, no longer do they need the Yule Lord to chase away the winter darkness and usher in the light of spring. Man has only himself to fear now . . . he has become his own worst devil.
Brom (Krampus: The Yule Lord)
Hello,' he said, almost shyly, as he approached the table. He was barefoot and shirtless, and adorably tousled, with golden hair falling over sparkly eyes that looked as if they were still waking up. 'Hi.' Her voice came out oddly shy as well, which only seemed to make Jacks smile. 'You didn't have to sneak out of bed,' he said. 'I didn't sneak.' 'Then why didn't you stay?' He casually slid in to the seat beside her and turned to her with a wolfish grin. It was a smile like a fairytale, part villain, part hero, part impossible ever after. She couldn't bear how much she loved it. But then she remembered the stone. She imagined she'd feel differently if it was in an iron box, and she feared that Jacks would, too. That he wouldn't be looking at her as if he wanted to devour her instead of the breakfast. 'Tomorrow, I won't let you leave so easily.' His eyes flashed with mischief, and he stole a bite of her toast. The gesture was so simple and so comfortable, and all she could think was that it would be so easy to stay here. 'I thought you said it was just one night.' 'I thought you never believed what I said.' He shook his head reproachfully and tugged her on to his lap. 'Jacks-' Evangeline put a hand against his chest. She could feel his heart was pounding, which surprised her. On the outside, he looked so casual and careless, but now she imagined he felt as nervous as she did. It made her want to pull him closer, to press her head in to his shoulder and tell him all the things that she was trying not to feel. She wrapped her arms around his neck , and for a second she held tight. She held him as if he was hers and she was his, and there was nothing else between them. No curses. No lies. No past wounds or mistakes. She held him as if there was only now, as if nothing else mattered but this moment. Then she let him go. She shoved off his laps with clumsy arms and even clumsier legs that stumbled as she tried to step back. 'Evangeline... what's wrong?' A line creased between his brows. 'This isn't real, Jacks. You and I, we're under the influence of the mirth stone.' 'You think you would only feel this way about me because of a rock?' Jacks' mouth clamped shut. For a moment he looked angry, but she looked in his eyes, all she could see was hurt.
Stephanie Garber (The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart, #2))
Until one morning, one of the coldest mornings of the year, when I came in with the book cart and found Jean Hollis Clark, a fellow librarian, standing dead still in the middle of the staff room. "I heard a noise from the drop box," Jean said. "What kind of noise?" "I think it's an animal." "A what?" "An animal," Jean said. "I think there's an animal in the drop box." That was when I heard it, a low rumble from under the metal cover. It didn't sound like an animal. It sounded like an old man clearing his throat. Gurr-gug-gug. Gurr-gug-gug. But the opening at the top of the chute was only a few inches wide, so that would be quite a squeeze for an old man. It had to be an animal. But what kind? I got down on my knees, reached over the lid, and hoped for a chipmunk. What I got instead was a blast of freezing air. The night before, the temperature had reached minus fifteen degrees, and that didn't take into account the wind, which cut under your coat and squeezed your bones. And on that night, of all nights, someone had jammed a book into return slot, wedging it open. It was as cold in the box as it was outside, maybe colder, since the box was lined with metal. It was the kind of cold that made it almost painful to breathe. I was still catching my breath, in fact, when I saw the kitten huddled in the front left corner of the box. It was tucked up in a little space underneath a book, so all I could see at first was its head. It looked grey in the shadows, almost like a little rock, and I could tell its fur was dirty and tangled. Carefully, I lifted the book. The kitten looked up at me, slowly and sadly, and for a second I looked straight into its huge golden eyes. The it lowered its head and sank back down into its hole. At that moment, I lost every bone in my body and just melted.
Vicki Myron (Dewey the Library Cat: A True Story)
I watched the light flicker on the limestone walls until Archer said, "I wish we could go to the movies." I stared at him. "We're in a creepy dungeon. There's a chance I might die in the next few hours. You are going to die in the next few hours. And if you had one wish, it would be to catch a movie?" He shook his head. "That's not what I meant. I wish we weren't like this. You know, demon, demon-hunter. I wish I'd met you in a normal high school, and taken you on normal dates, and like, carried your books or something." Glancing over at me, he squinted and asked, "Is that a thing humans actually do?" "Not outside of 1950s TV shows," I told him, reaching up to touch his hair. He wrapped an arm around me and leaned against the wall, pulling me to his chest. I drew my legs up under me and rested my cheek on his collarbone. "So instead of stomping around forests hunting ghouls, you want to go to the movies and school dances." "Well,maybe we could go on the occasional ghoul hunt," he allowed before pressing a kiss to my temple. "Keep things interesting." I closed my eyes. "What else would we do if we were regular teenagers?" "Hmm...let's see.Well,first of all, I'd need to get some kind of job so I could afford to take you on these completely normal dates. Maybe I could stock groceries somewhere." The image of Archer in a blue apron, putting boxes of Nilla Wafers on a shelf at Walmart was too bizarre to even contemplate, but I went along with it. "We could argue in front of our lockers all dramatically," I said. "That's something I saw a lot at human high schools." He squeezed me in a quick hug. "Yes! Now that sounds like a good time. And then I could come to your house in the middle of the night and play music really loudly under your window until you took me back." I chuckled. "You watch too many movies. Ooh, we could be lab partners!" "Isn't that kind of what we were in Defense?" "Yeah,but in a normal high school, there would be more science, less kicking each other in the face." "Nice." We spent the next few minutes spinning out scenarios like this, including all the sports in which Archer's L'Occhio di Dio skills would come in handy, and starring in school plays.By the time we were done, I was laughing, and I realized that, for just a little while, I'd managed to forget what a huge freaking mess we were in. Which had probably been the point. Once our laughter died away, the dread started seeping back in. Still, I tried to joke when I said, "You know, if I do live through this, I'm gonna be covered in funky tattoos like the Vandy. You sure you want to date the Illustrated Woman, even if it's just for a little while?" He caught my chin and raised my eyes to his. "Trust me," he said softly, "you could have a giant tiger tattooed on your face, and I'd still want to be with you." "Okay,seriously,enough with the swoony talk," I told him, leaning in closer. "I like snarky, mean Archer." He grinned. "In that case, shut up, Mercer.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
He cannot do anything deliberate now. The strain of his whole weight on his outstretched arms hurts too much. The pain fills him up, displaces thought, as much for him as it has for everyone else who has ever been stuck to one of these horrible contrivances, or for anyone else who dies in pain from any of the world’s grim arsenal of possibilities. And yet he goes on taking in. It is not what he does, it is what he is. He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road. But there is so much of it. So many injured children; so many locked rooms; so much lonely anger; so many bombs in public places; so much vicious zeal; so many bored teenagers at roadblocks; so many drunk girls at parties someone thought they could have a little fun with; so many jokes that go too far; so much ruining greed; so much sick ingenuity; so much burned skin. The world he claims, claims him. It burns and stings, it splinters and gouges, it locks him round and drags him down… All day long, the next day, the city is quiet. The air above the city lacks the usual thousand little trails of smoke from cookfires. Hymns rise from the temple. Families are indoors. The soldiers are back in barracks. The Chief Priest grows hoarse with singing. The governor plays chess with his secretary and dictates letters. The free bread the temple distributed to the poor has gone stale by midday, but tastes all right dipped in water or broth. Death has interrupted life only as much as it ever does. We die one at a time and disappear, but the life of the living continues. The earth turns. The sun makes its way towards the western horizon no slower or faster than it usually does. Early Sunday morning, one of the friends comes back with rags and a jug of water and a box of the grave spices that are supposed to cut down on the smell. She’s braced for the task. But when she comes to the grave she finds that the linen’s been thrown into the corner and the body is gone. Evidently anonymous burial isn’t quite anonymous enough, after all. She sits outside in the sun. The insects have woken up, here at the edge of the desert, and a bee is nosing about in a lily like silk thinly tucked over itself, but much more perishable. It won’t last long. She takes no notice of the feet that appear at the edge of her vision. That’s enough now, she thinks. That’s more than enough. Don’t be afraid, says Yeshua. Far more can be mended than you know. She is weeping. The executee helps her to stand up.
Francis Spufford (Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense)
I say is someone in there?’ The voice is the young post-New formalist from Pittsburgh who affects Continental and wears an ascot that won’t stay tight, with that hesitant knocking of when you know perfectly well someone’s in there, the bathroom door composed of thirty-six that’s three times a lengthwise twelve recessed two-bevelled squares in a warped rectangle of steam-softened wood, not quite white, the bottom outside corner right here raw wood and mangled from hitting the cabinets’ bottom drawer’s wicked metal knob, through the door and offset ‘Red’ and glowering actors and calendar and very crowded scene and pubic spirals of pale blue smoke from the elephant-colored rubble of ash and little blackened chunks in the foil funnel’s cone, the smoke’s baby-blanket blue that’s sent her sliding down along the wall past knotted washcloth, towel rack, blood-flower wallpaper and intricately grimed electrical outlet, the light sharp bitter tint of a heated sky’s blue that’s left her uprightly fetal with chin on knees in yet another North American bathroom, deveiled, too pretty for words, maybe the Prettiest Girl Of All Time (Prettiest G.O.A.T.), knees to chest, slew-footed by the radiant chill of the claw-footed tub’s porcelain, Molly’s had somebody lacquer the tub in blue, lacquer, she’s holding the bottle, recalling vividly its slogan for the past generation was The Choice of a Nude Generation, when she was of back-pocket height and prettier by far than any of the peach-colored titans they’d gazed up at, his hand in her lap her hand in the box and rooting down past candy for the Prize, more fun way too much fun inside her veil on the counter above her, the stuff in the funnel exhausted though it’s still smoking thinly, its graph reaching its highest spiked prick, peak, the arrow’s best descent, so good she can’t stand it and reaches out for the cold tub’s rim’s cold edge to pull herself up as the white- party-noise reaches, for her, the sort of stereophonic precipice of volume to teeter on just before the speaker’s blow, people barely twitching and conversations strettoing against a ghastly old pre-Carter thing saying ‘We’ve Only Just Begun,’ Joelle’s limbs have been removed to a distance where their acknowledgement of her commands seems like magic, both clogs simply gone, nowhere in sight, and socks oddly wet, pulls her face up to face the unclean medicine-cabinet mirror, twin roses of flame still hanging in the glass’s corner, hair of the flame she’s eaten now trailing like the legs of wasps through the air of the glass she uses to locate the de-faced veil and what’s inside it, loading up the cone again, the ashes from the last load make the world's best filter: this is a fact. Breathes in and out like a savvy diver… –and is knelt vomiting over the lip of the cool blue tub, gouges on the tub’s lip revealing sandy white gritty stuff below the lacquer and porcelain, vomiting muddy juice and blue smoke and dots of mercuric red into the claw-footed trough, and can hear again and seems to see, against the fire of her closed lids’ blood, bladed vessels aloft in the night to monitor flow, searchlit helicopters, fat fingers of blue light from one sky, searching.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
When I took it off, I glanced in the mirror behind the dresser, and I nearly screamed when I saw the reflection. Finn was sitting behind me on the bed. His eyes, dark as night, met mine in the mirror, and I could hardly breathe. "Finn!" I gasped and whirled around to look at him. "What are you doing here?" "I missed your birthday," he said, as if that answered my question. He lowered his eyes, looking at a small box he had in his hands. "I got you something." "You got me something?" I leaned back on the dresser behind me, gripping it. "Yeah." He nodded, still staring down at the box. "I picked it up outside of Portland two weeks ago. I meant to get back in time to give it to you on your birthday." He chewed the inside of his cheek. "But now that I'm here, I'm not sure I should give it to you at all." "What are you talking about?" I asked. "It doesn't feel right." Finn rubbed his face. "I don't even know what I'm doing here." "Neither do I," I said. "Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to see you. I just...I don't understand." "I know." He sighed. "It's a ring. What I got you." His gaze moved from me to the engagement ring sitting on the dresser beside me. "And you already have one." "Why did you get me a ring?" I asked tentatively, and my heart beat erratically in my chest. I didn't know what Finn was saying or doing. "I'm not proposing to you, if that's what you're asking." He shook his head. "I saw it and thought of you. But now it seems like poor taste. And here I am, the night before your wedding sneaking in to give you a ring." "Why did you sneak in?" I asked. "I don't know." He looked away and laughed darkly. "That's a lie. I know exactly what I'm doing, but I have no idea why I'm doing it." "What are you doing?" I asked quietly. "I..." Finn stared off for a moment, then turned back to me and stood up. "Finn, I-" I began, but he held up his hand, stopping me. "No, I know you're marrying Tove," he said. "You need to do this. We both know that. It's what's best for you, and it's what I want for you." He paused. "But I want you for myself too." All I'd ever wanted from Finn was for him to admit how he felt about me, and he'd waited until the day before my wedding. It was too late to change anything, to take anything back. Not that I could have, even if I wanted to. "Why are you telling me this?" I asked with tears swimming in my eyes. "Because." Finn stepped toward me, stopping right in front of me. He looked down at me, his eyes mesmerizing me the way they always did. He reached up, brushing back a tear from my cheek. "Why?" I asked, my voice trembling. "I needed you to know," he said, as if he didn't truly understand it himself. He set the box on the dresser beside me, and his hand went to my waist, pulling me to him. I let go of the dresser and let him. My breath came out shallow as I stared up at him. "Tomorrow you will belong to someone else," Finn said. "But tonight, you're with me.
Amanda Hocking (Ascend (Trylle, #3))