Path Ahead Quotes

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The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread through shadows to the edge of night, until the stars are all alight.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
Home is behind, the world ahead, And there are many paths to tread Through shadows to the edge of night, Until the stars are all alight. Then world behind and home ahead, We'll wander back and home to bed. Mist and twilight, cloud and shade, Away shall fade! Away shall fade!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
Everything I was I carry with me, everything I will be lies waiting on the road ahead.
Ma Jian (Red Dust: A Path Through China)
You know how every now and then, you have a moment where your whole life stretches out ahead of you like a forked road, and even as you choose one gritty path you've got your eyes on the other the whole time, certain that you're making a mistake.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
Roads Go Ever On Roads go ever ever on, Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea; Over snow by winter sown, And through the merry flowers of June, Over grass and over stone, And under mountains in the moon. Roads go ever ever on, Under cloud and under star. Yet feet that wandering have gone Turn at last to home afar. Eyes that fire and sword have seen, And horror in the halls of stone Look at last on meadows green, And trees and hills they long have known. The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with weary feet, Until it joins some larger way, Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say. The Road goes ever on and on Out from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone. Let others follow, if they can! Let them a journey new begin. But I at last with weary feet Will turn towards the lighted inn, My evening-rest and sleep to meet.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
His hand closed automatically around the fake Horcrux but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort he knew must come whether in a month in a year or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Jem always said that Will rushed toward the end of a mission rather than proceeding in a measured manner, and that one must look at the next step on the path ahead, rather than the destination in the distance, or one would never reach one’s goal. Will closed his eyes for a moment. He knew that Jem was right, but it was hard to remember, when the goal that he sought was the girl that he loved.
Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices: Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices: Manga, #3))
Reality is harsh. It can be cruel and ugly. Yet no matter how much we grieve over our environment and circumstances nothing will change. What is important is not to be defeated, to forge ahead bravely. If we do this, a path will open before us.
Daisaku Ikeda
No one behind, no one ahead. The path the ancients cleared has closed. And the other path, everyone's path, easy and wide, goes nowhere. I am alone and find my way.
Octavio Paz
One must look at the next step on the path ahead, rather than the mountain in the distance, or one would never reach one's goal.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Lit majors are not known for watching where they're going; most of us walk with our eyes in a book instead of on the path ahead.
Rachel Vincent (Stray (Shifters, #1))
It's the beautiful thing about youth. There's a weightlessness that permeates everything because no damning choices have been made, no paths committed to, and the road forking out ahead is pure, unlimited potential.
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
If we learn to reflect on a paramount strategy and recognize the proper tactics, we may come to find out how we can rule the stormy waves of our lives since action and reflection have to unite in braving the tortuous windings and turnings of the paths ahead. ("Ruling the waves »)
Erik Pevernagie
We're so young. We're so young. We're twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There's this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lie alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out - that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it's too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
It hurts my head to think of how many things had to happen for our paths to intersect. Of all those numberless little fortunes that led me to you. A broken alarm clock, a delayed train, a sudden downpour, and there we were. You and I, sharing coffee, our whole lives ahead of us.
Beau Taplin (Buried Light)
Maybe there's only a dark road ahead. But you still have to believe and keep going. Believe that the stars will light your path, even a little bit. Come on... Let's go on a journey!
Kaori Miyazono
Show me the path I must walk and do not let me stumble in the dark places that lie ahead.
George R.R. Martin (A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2))
Hope is not blind optimism. It's not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It's not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.
Barack Obama
There is a story, always ahead of you. Barely existing. Only gradually do you attach yourself to it and feed it. You discover the carapace that will contain and test your character. You will find in this way the path of your life.
Michael Ondaatje (The Cat's Table)
Life has a way of going in circles. Ideally, it would be a straight path forward––we'd always know where we were going, we'd always be able to move on and leave everything else behind. There would be nothing but the present and the future. Instead, we always find ourselves where we started. When we try to move ahead, we end up taking a step back. We carry everything with us, the weight exhausting us until we want to collapse and give up. We forget things we try to remember. We remember things we'd rather forget. The most frightening thing about memory is that it leaves no choice. It has mastered an incomprehensible art of forgetting. It erases, it smudges, it fills in blank spaces with details that don't exist. But however we remember it––or choose to remember it––the past is the foundation that holds our lives in place. Without its support, we'd have nothing for guidance. We spend so much time focused on what lies ahead, when what has fallen behind is just as important. What defines us isn't where we're going, but where we've been. Although there are places and people we will never see again, and although we move on and let them go, they remain a part of who we are. There are things that will never change, things we will carry along with us always. But as we venture into the murky future, we must find our strength by learning to leave things behind.
Brigid Gorry-Hines
Perhaps scorpions were the only ones who could save each other. Whatever lay ahead, it would always be the two of us above the rest of the universe, and woe to any who dared step in out path.
S.J. Kincaid (The Diabolic (The Diabolic, #1))
Not watching the path where his legs took him, he walked on because he knew he had to walk ahead, leaving his past behind.
Faraaz Kazi
The fog was where I wanted to be. Halfway down the path you can’t see this house. You’d never know it was here. Or any of the other places down the avenue. I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead. I didn’t meet a soul. Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted—to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. Out beyond the harbor, where the road runs along the beach, I even lost the feeling of being on land. The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned long ago. As if I was the ghost belonging to the fog, and the fog was the ghost of the sea. It felt damned peaceful to be nothing more than a ghost within a ghost.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
A thump thump thump noise that was so unfamiliar, and yet I couldn't quite place it. But I knew it. It was---"Mmm-hmmm," Monica murmured, just as Wes came view into the path. He was running, his pace quick and steady. He was in shorts, his shirt off, staring ahead as he passed. His back was tan and gleaming with sweat. God god!" she said finally, fanning her face with her hand, "I've seen it a million times but it just never gets old. Never.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
When flowing water...meets with obstacles on its path, a blockage in its journey, it pauses. It increases in volume and strength, filling up in front of the obstacle and eventually spilling past it... Do not turn and run, for there is nowhere worthwhile for you to go. Do not attempt to push ahead into the danger... emulate the example of the water: Pause and build up your strength until the obstacle no longer represents a blockage.
Thomas Cleary (I Ching: The Book of Change (Shambhala Pocket Classics))
Sometimes in life, a sudden situation, a moment in time, alters your whole life, forever changes the road ahead.
Ahmad Ardalan (Baghdad: The Final Gathering)
Sometimes the trail you leave behind you is more important than the path ahead of you.
Barbara O'Connor (How to Steal a Dog)
People have their time stamps on how long you should know someone before earning the right to say it, but I wouldn't lie to you no matter how little time we have. People waste time and wait for the right moment and we don't have that luxury. If we had our entire lives ahead of us I bet you'd get tired of me telling you how much I love you because I'm positive that's the path we were heading on. But because we're about to die, I want to say it as many times as I want---I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.
Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End)
I find myself thinking about my ongoing existence as a human being and the path that lies ahead of me. Though of course these thoughts lead to but one place - death.
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
The path ahead may present you with a variety of obstacles, some with steep gradients and others more level. Such diversity is inherent in any journey.
Sanu Sharma
They had their faces twisted toward their haunches and found it necessary to walk backward, because they could not see ahead of them. ...And since he wanted so to see ahead, he looks behind and walks a backward path.
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)
Whatever happened to our dreams? The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have is uncountable, breathtaking, and I'm sitting here refreshing my inbox. We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out ahead of us. We see the same things each day, we respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us. And no, I don't have all the answers. I don't know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment could become. But I do know one thing: the solution doesn't involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of someday easing my fit into a mold. It doesn't involve tempering my life to better fit someone's expectations. It doesn't involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up. This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can: FUCK. THAT. SHIT.
Randall Munroe
We have no idea what lies ahead or how God will open doors of potentiality when we consciously choose to get out of the ruts we're in and start moving down new paths about which we can be excited--even passionate.
Luci Swindoll (I Married Adventure: Looking at Life Through the Lens of Possibility)
The paths fork and divide. With each step you take through Destiny's garden, you make a choice; and every choice determines future paths. However, at the end of a lifetime of walking you might look back, and see only one path stretching out behind you; or look ahead, and see only darkness.
Neil Gaiman (The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists)
Maybe there's only a dark road up ahead. But you still have to believe and keep going. Believe that the stars will light your path, even a little bit.
Kaori Miyazono
Upon the hearth the fire is red, Beneath the roof there is a bed; But not yet weary are our feet, Still round the corner we may meet A sudden tree or standing stone That none have seen but we alone. Tree and flower, leaf and grass, Let them pass! Let them pass! Hill and water under sky, Pass them by! Pass them by! Still round the corner there may wait A new road or a secret gate, And though we pass them by today, Tomorrow we may come this way And take the hidden paths that run Towards the Moon or to the Sun. Apple, thorn, and nut and sloe, Let them go! Let them go! Sand and stone and pool and dell, Fare you well! Fare you well! Home is behind, the world ahead, And there are many paths to tread Through shadows to the edge of night, Until the stars are all alight. Then world behind and home ahead, We'll wander back to home and bed. Mist and twilight, cloud and shade, Away shall fade! Away shall fade! Fire and lamp and meat and bread, And then to bed! And then to bed!
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
After reaching an easy path, the walking stick should not be discarded, for there might come difficult paths again ahead.
Sanu Sharma (Pharak)
The Road goes ever on and on Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, And I must follow, if I can, Pursuing it with eager feet, Until it joins some larger way Where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
The path behind is twisted, the path ahead unknown.
Basith (Autopsy of the seasons)
What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish? There are some nations in Europe whose inhabitants think of themselves in a sense as colonists, indifferent to the fate of the place they live in. The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved. They are so divorced from their own interests that even when their own security and that of their children is finally compromised, they do not seek to avert the danger themselves but cross their arms and wait for the nation as a whole to come to their aid. Yet as utterly as they sacrifice their own free will, they are no fonder of obedience than anyone else. They submit, it is true, to the whims of a clerk, but no sooner is force removed than they are glad to defy the law as a defeated enemy. Thus one finds them ever wavering between servitude and license. When a nation has reached this point, it must either change its laws and mores or perish, for the well of public virtue has run dry: in such a place one no longer finds citizens but only subjects.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
The Audi tires squealed as the vehicle tracked the same path. Jake hammered down the avenue, hunting for a getaway. Traffic thickened at the juncture ahead. A green light flickered into amber. He ramped up over the limit, punching over the white lines on a red signal. Tires screeched and a horn beeped. The needle sat on one hundred kilometers per hour. He fishtailed at a laneway. The GPS showed a right angle, car slid into a slot in an overhang. Jake got out and crept toward the opening, hugged the brick wall. He pulled the SIG and flicked off the safety. The Audi braked at the mouth. Door slammed. A shadow fell over the concrete. The swish of clothing indicated a possible weapon draw.
Simon W. Clark
I can't tell you if this is the right path; the future is too mountainous to see to far ahead. ... Only 'the gods' know what awaits us at its end.
Max Brooks (World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War)
lots of things happen in our lives without any apparent justification. but whatever happens to us,takes us one step ahead in the path of self realisation. The truth is we all are travellers in the life's eternal journey, to meet for a short while,to care and share but we tend to forget that nothing lasts forever. if only we could cultivate a sense of detachment,life would have been much easier.
Chitralekha Paul (Delayed Monsoon)
Sun keeps rising. Days keep passing. World keeps spinning. Time, it just keeps moving forward. Weeks, months, even years go by... while you try to make sense of it all. Try to find where you belong. Try to look ahead to a better future. But the truth is the path ahead has only grown darker. It's harder to see. You can feel so lost, so alone, so desperate for something, anything that might show you the way.
Robert Kirkman
There is nothing like feeling truly "awake" and aware of my life and what it means to me. So I look ahead and think, "There is still so much to be done, and I will continue to make the most of it.
Elizabeth Berrien (Creative Grieving: A Hip Chick's Path from Loss to Hope)
I am the saint at prayer on the terrace like the peaceful beasts that graze down to the sea of Palestine. I am the scholar of the dark armchair. Branches and rain hurl themselves at the windows of my library. I am the pedestrian of the highroad by way of the dwarf woods; the roar of the sluices drowns my steps. I can see for a long time the melancholy wash of the setting sun. I might well be the child abandoned on the jetty on its way to the high seas, the little farm boy following the lane, its forehead touching the sky. The paths are rough. The hillocks are covered with broom. The air is motionless. How far away are the birds and the springs! It can only be the end of the world ahead.
Arthur Rimbaud
What was wrong with me? Why could I not just flip the switch and see all the brightness ahead if only I chose the correct path? Or rather, why could I see the correct path but not choose to tread upon it?
Hanne Arts (Just Perfect)
The road ahead holds many tests challenging everything she ever believed. I whispered a prayer for her inner strength to guide her on her path. She was going to need it.
Cambria Hebert (Masquerade (Heven and Hell, #1))
The real trick is you have to forge your way straight ahead through the trees where there is no path.
Laurie Frankel (This Is How It Always Is)
She was in herself, like a woman near term, and did not think of the man, going on ahead, or the path, climbing upwards towards life. She was in herself. And her being-dead filled her with abundance. As a fruit with sweetness and darkness, so she was full with her vast death.
Rainer Maria Rilke (ORPHEUS. EURYDICE. HERMES. NOTATIONS ON A LANDSCAPE.)
She glanced sideways at her companion, who had peeled off his outer layers of clothing to reveal the sweat-drenched shirt clinging to his body. They rounded a hedge, and Calaena rolled her eyes when she saw what waited on the path ahead. Every morning, more and more ladies found excuses to be walking through the gardens just after dawn. At first, it had just been a few young women who'd taken one look at Chaol and his sweaty, clingy clothes and halted their walk. Celaena could have sworn their eyes had bulged out of their heads and their tongues had rolled onto the ground.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
This transformation helped me to become productive and my mindset became focused on change for the better. My identity was the essence of me, and the path without fear was ahead of me as I walked, knowing that happiness, grace, joy, and love were my birthright!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Up ahead about two blocks, a massive figure stepped out into her path. She halted. Took a deep breath. Felt a prickling in her eyes. On the breeze drifting down to her, John's unmistakable bonding scent was a dark spice that wiped out the stink of the city and the wretched sting of her unhappiness. She started walking toward him. Fast. Faster... Now she was running. He met her halfway, falling into a jog as soon as he saw her pick up the pace, and they slammed into each other. Hard to know whose mouth found whose, or whose arms were cinched tighter, or who was the desperate one. But then, in this they were equals.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
Don’t look at the difficulties on your path. Focus on the opportunities ahead.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
I tried to find a way to go on. I could see familiar traces of the path that was my life, but there was always the wall behind me. Do you know what I mean? First you try and climb, pretending it never happened, but it's too tall. Then you try to go around, thinking you can fix it, but it is too far. Then, in frustration, you beat on it with your hands, but it does nothing, so you tire and sit down and just stare at it. You stare because you can't bring yourself to walk away. Walking away means that you're giving up, abandoning them. "There is no way back. There is only forward. It's impossible to imagine there's any reason to move ahead, but that isn't the real reason you give up. The real fear--the terror that keeps you rooted--is that you might be wrong." --Myron, Monk of Maribor
Michael J. Sullivan
They could have fought against it, begged for another way or gone off the path in hopes of finding an easier passage. Instead, they looked upon the trail ahead, the rough ridge, now bound by thick snow, and they accepted the path they had chosen.
Sage Steadman (Upon Destiny's Song)
Footfalls edged closer, putting her tiger on full alert. She ran faster. Several yards ahead, a man stepped into her path. She skidded to a halt and realized he wasn’t a man, but a mutant—half-wolf, half-man—and abomination.
Lia Davis (A Tiger's Claim (Shifters of Ashwood Falls, #2))
Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and unrestricted love.
Brennan Manning (Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God)
What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish?
Alexis de Tocqueville
Sometimes we make decisions because it seems to be the only path visible at the moment. It's only later that we see there was more than one path, but the others were blocked from our vision at the time. That's the thing with hindsight, you see. Even if you can see it clearly, there's no going back. It's at that point we need to turn around and stare ahead and make a new life.
Karen White (Learning to Breathe)
The river itself portrays humanity precisely, with its tortuous windings, its accumulation of driftwood, its unsuspected depths, and its crystalline shallows, singing in the Summer sun. Barriers may be built across its path, but they bring only power, as the conquering of an obstacle is always sure to do. Sometimes when the rocks and stone-clad hills loom large ahead, and eternity itself would be needed to carve a passage, there is an easy way around. The discovery of it makes the river sing with gladness and turns the murmurous deeps to living water, bright with ripples and foam.
Myrtle Reed (Old Rose and Silver)
Sometimes, you turn left on life’s road; sometimes, you turn right. But once you’ve made that decision, you have to march ahead and push through anything in your way. Never waste time thinking about what it would have been like if you’d taken the other path.
Arthur T. Bradley (Judgment Day (The Survivalist, #3))
There's an energy to these autumn nights that touches something primal inside of me. Something from long ago. From my childhood in Western Iowa. I think of high school football games and the stadium lights blazing down on the players. I smell ripening apples, and the sour reek of beer from keg parties in the cornfields. I feel the wind in my face as I ride in the bed of an old pickup truck down a country road at night, dust swirling red in the taillights and the entire span of my life yawning out ahead of me. It's the beautiful thing about youth. There's a weightlessness that permeates everything because no damning choices have been made, no paths committed to, and the road forking out ahead is pure, unlimited potential.
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
First, the line of progress is never straight. For a period a movement may follow a straight line and then it encounters obstacles and the path bends. It is like curving around a mountain when you are approaching a city. Often if feels as though you were moving backwards, and you lose sight of your goal: but in fact you are moving ahead, and soon you will see the city again, closer by.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?)
Whoa,” I pinned my dress under my legs and nudged his chest with my elbow. “Put me down. This is kidnapping.” “No, it's not,” he stated with a smile, keeping his eyes on the path ahead, “It's is a rescue.” “Rescue?” I scoffed, but imagined a white horse waiting for us as we burst through the doors. “I don't need to be rescued.” He stopped walking and looked down at me; I shrank into his arms a little. “The fair maiden, who is locked in the darkest tower, guarded by the cruellest beast, never believes herself to be in danger, only suffering from sorrows untold and a heart untouched.
Angela M. Hudson (Tears of the Broken (Dark Secrets, #0))
Day 5 Look for the gifts in everything, especially when you are facing what appears to be a negative situation. Everything that we attract causes us to grow, which means that ultimately everything is for our own good. Adjusting to a new path and a new direction will require new qualities and strengths, and these qualities are always exactly what we need to acquire in order to accomplish the great things ahead in our life.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret Daily Teachings)
You will not remember much from school. School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly "right" way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. "The early bird catches the worm" does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been. (People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
pleasefindthis
There are a thousand paths into the future, forks after forks in the road ahead. Who knows, if one road closes, maybe another opens in another universe . . . and your soul, your consciousness, leaps over to continue that journey ever forward, always finding the right path.
James Rollins (The Eye of God (Sigma Force, #9))
No Child of Yours I saw a child hide in the corner So I went and asked her name She was so naive and so petite With such a tiny frame. 'No one,' she replied, that's what I am called I have no family, no one at all I eat, I sleep, I get depressed There is no life, I have nothing left.' 'Why hide in the corner?' I had to ask twice Because I've been hurt, it not very nice I tried to stop it, it was out of my control I feared for myself I wanted to go. I begged for my sorrow to disappear I turned in my bed, oh God, I knew they were near 'So come on little girl, where do you go A path ahead, or a path to unknown?' With that she arose, her head hung low She held herself for only she knows Her tears held back, her heart like ice It looks as though she has paid the price. The ice started melting, her tears to flow The memories flood back, still so many years to go The pain, the anger all built up inside Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. It will get better, just wait and see You'll get a life, though you'll never be fire Open your heart and love yourself The abuse you suffered was NOT your fault.
Teresa Cooper (Pin Down)
Praying, we usually ask too much. I know I do. Sometimes we even demand. I think I am learning to ask enough for the moment--not for the whole year, utterly veiled in mystery; not even for the week, the month ahead; but just for today. Jesus said it all when He told us to pray: 'Give us this day our daily bread.' That bread is not only material, it is spiritual; in asking for it, we ask for a sufficiency of strength, courage, hope and light. Enough courage for the step ahead--not for the further miles. Enough strength for the immediate task or ordeal. Enough material gain to enable us to meet our daily obligations. Enough light to see the path--right before our feet.
Faith Baldwin (Many Windows, Seasons of the Heart)
And so Gollum found them hours later, when he returned, crawling and creeping down the path out of the gloom ahead. Sam sat propped against the stone, his head dropping sideways and his breathing heavy. In his lap lay Frodo's head, drowned in sleep; upon his white forehead lay one of Sam's brown hands, and the other lay softly upon his master's breast. Peace was in both their faces. Gollum looked at them. A strange expression passed over his lean hungry face. The gleam faded from his eyes, and they went dim and grey, old and tired. A spasm of pain seemed to twist him, and he turned away, peering back up towards the pass, shaking his head, as if engaged in some interior debate. Then he came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously he touched Frodo's knee--but almost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2))
Here is a riddle not for us contemporaries to figure out: Why is Germany allowed to punish its evildoers and Russia is not? What kind of disastrous path lies ahead of us if we do not have the chance to purge ourselves of that putrefaction rotting inside our body? What, then, can Russia teach the world?
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books III-IV)
Nothing irrevocable had yet been spoken, but there was only the barest margin of safety left them, each of them moving delicately along the outskirts of an open question, and, once spoken, such a question-as "Do you love me?" -could never be answered or forgotten. They walked slowly, meditating, wondering, and the path sloped down from their feet and they followed, walking side by side in the most extreme intimacy of expectation; their feinting and hesitation done with, they could only await passively for resolution. Each knew, almost within a breath, what the other was thinking and wanting to say; each of them almost wept for the other. They perceived at the same moment the change in the path and each knew then the other's knowledge of it; Theodora took Eleanor's arm and, afraid to stop, they moved on slowly, close together, and ahead of them the path widened and blackened and curved.
Shirley Jackson (The Haunting of Hill House)
The Line makes itself felt,-- thro' some Energy unknown, ever are we haunted by that Edge so precise, so near. In the Dark, one never knows. Of course I am seeking the Warrior Path, imagining myself as heroick Scout. We all feel it Looming, even when we're awake, out there ahead someplace, the way you come to feel a River or Creek ahead, before anything else,-- sound, sky, vegetation,-- may have announced it. Perhaps 'tis the very deep sub-audible Hum of its Traffic that we feel with an equally undiscover'd part of the Sensorium,-- does it lie but over the next Ridge? the one after that? We have mileage Estimates from Rangers and Runners, yet for as long as its Distance from the Post Mark'd West remains unmeasur'd, nor is yet recorded as Fact, may it remain, a-shimmer, among the few final Pages of its Life as Fiction.
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
Habits are undeniably useful tools, relieving us of the need to run a complex mental operation every time we’re confronted with a new task or situation. Yet they also relieve us of the need to stay awake to the world: to attend, feel, think, and then act in a deliberate manner. (That is, from freedom rather than compulsion.) If you need to be reminded how completely mental habit blinds us to experience, just take a trip to an unfamiliar country. Suddenly you wake up! And the algorithms of everyday life all but start over, as if from scratch. This is why the various travel metaphors for the psychedelic experience are so apt. The efficiencies of the adult mind, useful as they are, blind us to the present moment. We’re constantly jumping ahead to the next thing. We approach experience much as an artificial intelligence (AI) program does, with our brains continually translating the data of the present into the terms of the past, reaching back in time for the relevant experience, and then using that to make its best guess as to how to predict and navigate the future. One of the things that commends travel, art, nature, work, and certain drugs to us is the way these experiences, at their best, block every mental path forward and back, immersing us in the flow of a present that is literally wonderful—wonder being the by-product of precisely the kind of unencumbered first sight, or virginal noticing, to which the adult brain has closed itself. (It’s so inefficient!) Alas, most of the time I inhabit a near-future tense, my psychic thermostat set to a low simmer of anticipation and, too often, worry. The good thing is I’m seldom surprised. The bad thing is I’m seldom surprised.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
I want my life to be a celebration of slowness. Walking through the sage from our front door, I am gradually drawn into the well-worn paths of deer. They lead me to Round Mountain and the bloodred side canyons below Castle Rock. Sometimes I see them, but often I don't. Deer are quiet creatures, who, when left to their own nature, move slowly. Their large black eyes absorb all shadows, especially the flash of predators. And their ears catch each word spoken. But today they walk ahead with their halting prance, one leg raised, then another, and allow me to follow them. I am learning how to not provoke fear and flight among deer. We move into a pink, sandy wash, their black-tipped tails like eagle feathers. I lose sight of them as they disappear around the bend. On the top of the ridge I can see for miles.... Inside this erosional landscape where all colors eventually bleed into the river, it is hard to desire anything but time and space. Time and space. In the desert there is space. Space is the twin sister of time. If we have open space then we have open time to breath, to dream, to dare, to play, to pray to move freely, so freely, in a world our minds have forgotten but our bodies remember. Time and space. This partnership is holy. In these redrock canyons, time creates space--an arch, an eye, this blue eye of sky. We remember why we love the desert; it is our tactile response to light, to silence, and to stillness. Hand on stone -- patience. Hand on water -- music.
Terry Tempest Williams (Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert)
People will insist on building high and wide barriers directly in your path, often with the intent of closing you in. If you treat these obstacles like fencing walls, they will prove mightily so. I choose to see them as grand towers meant to be scaled and conquered, providing an added victory as well as a great view of the journey ahead.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
I've never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I'm not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
Barack Obama
There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lie alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out—that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
The intentions of the cybernetic totalist tribe are good. They are simply following a path that was blazed in earlier times by well-meaning Freudians and Marxists - and I don't mean that in a pejorative way. I'm thinking of the earliest incarnations of Marxism, for instance, before Stalinism and Maoism killed millions. Movements associated with Freud and Marx both claimed foundations in rationality and the scientific understanding of the world. Both perceived themselves to be at war with the weird, manipulative fantasies of religions. And yet both invented their own fantasies that were just as weird. The same thing is happening again. A self-proclaimed materialist movement that attempts to base itself on science starts to look like a religion rather quickly. It soon presents its own eschatology and its own revelations about what is really going on - portentous events that no one but the initiated can appreciate. The Singularity and the noosphere, the idea that a collective consciousness emerges from all the users on the web, echo Marxist social determinism and Freud's calculus of perversions. We rush ahead of skeptical, scientific inquiry at our peril, just like the Marxists and Freudians.
Jaron Lanier (You Are Not a Gadget)
The things I like best in T. S. Eliot’s poetry, especially in the Four Quartets, are the semicolons. You cannot hear them, but they are there, laying out the connections between the images and the ideas. Sometimes you get a glimpse of a semicolon coming, a few lines farther on, and it is like climbing a steep path through woods and seeing a wooden bench just at a bend in the road ahead, a place where you can expect to sit for a moment, catching your breath.
Benjamin Dreyer (Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style)
There are hermit souls that live withdrawn In the place of their self-content; There are souls like stars, that dwell apart, In a fellowless firmament; There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths Where highways never ran- But let me live by the side of the road And be a friend to man. - Let me live in a house by the side of the road, Where the race of men go by- The men who are good and the men who are bad, As good and as bad as I. I would not sit in the scorner's seat, Or hurl the cynic's ban- Let me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man. - I see from my house by the side of the road, By the side of the highway of life, The men who press with the ardor of hope, The men who are faint with the strife. But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears, Both parts of an infinite plan- Let me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man. I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead And mountains of wearisome height; That the road passes on through the long afternoon And stretches away to the night. But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice. And weep with the strangers that moan, Nor live in my house by the side of the road Like a man who dwells alone. - Let me live in my house by the side of the road- It's here the race of men go by. They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong, Wise, foolish- so am I; Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat, Or hurl the cynic's ban? Let me live in my house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.
Sam Walter Foss
I feel the wind in my face as I ride in the bed of an old pickup truck down a country road at night, dust swirling red in the taillights and the entire span of my life yawning out ahead of me. It’s the beautiful thing about youth. There’s a weightlessness that permeates everything because no damning choices have been made, no paths committed to, and the road forking out ahead is pure, unlimited potential.
Blake Crouch (Dark Matter)
I think that a black poet can do one of two things for his people: 1. Reflect the beauty of their black life; whole, broken and mending. 2. Lead them in a righteous direction by showing them the path and what lies ahead in liberation and victory. If you call yourself a black poet and you ain’t doin’ that, you ain’t bein’ truthful and you ain’t bein’ fair and in general, you ain’t doin’ nothin’ for yr people/yr self/the struggle/the nation/the community. In short, you ain’t doin’ shit.
Pearl Cleage (Things I Should Have Told My Daughter: Lies, Lessons, & Love Affairs)
During my travels in India I met a man at an ashram who was about 45-50. A little older than everyone else. He tells me a story. He had retired and he was traveling on a motorcycle with his wife on the back. While stopped at a red light, a truck ran into them from behind and killed his wife. He was badly injured and almost died. He went into a coma and it was unclear if he’d ever walk again. When he finally came out of it and found out what had happened, he naturally was devastated and heartbroken. Not to mention physically broken. He knew that his road ahead of rehabilitation, both physically and psychologically, was going to be hard. While he had given up, he had one friend who was a yoga teacher who said, “We're going to get you started on the path to recovery.” So, she kept going over to his place, and through yoga, helped him be able to walk again. After he could walk and move around again, he decided to head to India and explore some yoga ashrams. While he was there he started to learn about meditation and Hinduism and Buddhism. He told me that he never would have thought he’d ever go down this path. He would have probably laughed at anyone who goes to India to find themselves. I asked, “Did you get what you were hoping for?” He said, "Even though I lost my wife, it turned out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to me because it put me on this path.
Todd Perelmuter (Spiritual Words to Live by : 81 Daily Wisdoms and Meditations to Transform Your Life)
We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lie alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out—that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement. When we came to Yale, there was this sense of
Marina Keegan (The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories)
In this world, the only easy path is the course of least resistance. This is the path always taken by a stream of water as it seeks lower and lower ground. It will never go over an obstacle, and even when it has to go around one, water will always find the easiest way around, the way that requires as little work as possible. This, you have have noticed, is what makes rivers crooked, and it makes men and women crooked too. The easy path never goes anywhere but downward, and spiritually, that is not the direction we want to go. Worthwhile destinations always take extra effort.
Gary Henry (Reaching Forward Daily Motivation to Move Ahead More Steadily (Wordpoints Daybook))
ahead. The way out.” His deep, melodious voice crafted words of air and sound that landed gently on my chest, seeping into my bones. “But there is the Twice Born man, Weston,” he said, his hand tightening on mine. “The man who walks into the dark forest of his life and suffers. Sometimes unimaginably. The way back is forever closed to him, but the Twice Born man walks forward. The path becomes more twisted, the hardships seemingly impossible to overcome. But he keeps going until one day, the shadows lift. The branches cease to scratch at his skin and they part for him. He’ll regard the scars with pride as he emerges from the forest reborn. Stronger for what he has endured. Wiser. Transformed. And grateful for the lessons he learned.
Emma Scott (Long Live the Beautiful Hearts (Beautiful Hearts, #2))
When my generation of women walked away from the kitchen we were escorted down that path by a profiteering industry that knew a tired, vulnerable marketing target when they saw it. "Hey, ladies," it said to us, "go ahead, get liberated. We'll take care of dinner." They threw open the door and we walked into a nutritional crisis and genuinely toxic food supply. If you think toxic is an exaggeration, read the package directions for handling raw chicken from a CAFO. We came a long way, baby, into bad eating habits and collaterally impaired family dynamics. No matter what else we do or believe, food remains at the center of every culture. Ours now runs on empty calories.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
There were days so clear and skies so brilliant blue, with white clouds scudding across them like ships under full sail, and she felt she could lift right off the ground. One moment she was ambling down a path, and the next thing she knew, the wind would take hold of her, like a hand pushing against her back. Her feet would start running without her even willing it, even knowing it. And she would run faster and faster across the prairie, until her heart jumped like a rabbit and her breath came in deep gasps and her feet barely skimmed the ground. It felt good to spend herself this way. The air tasted fresh and delicious; it smelled like damp earth, grass, and flowers. And her body felt strong, supple, and hungry for more of everything life could serve up. She ran and felt like one of the animals, as though her feet were growing up out of the earth. And she knew what they knew, that sometimes you ran just because you could, because of the way the rush of air felt on your face and how your legs reached out, eating up longer and longer patches of ground. She ran until the blood pounded in her ears, so loud that she couldn't hear the voices that said, You're not good enough, You're not old enough, You're not beautiful or smart or loveable, and you will always be alone. She ran because there were ghosts chasing her, shadows that pursued her, heartaches she was leaving behind. She was running for her life, and those phantoms couldn't catch her, not here, not anywhere. She would outrun fear and sadness and worry and shame and all those losses that had lined up against her like a column of soldiers with their guns shouldered and ready to fire. If she had to, she would outrun death itself. She would keep on running until she dropped, exhausted. Then she would roll over onto her back and breathe in the endless sky above her, sun glinting off her face. To be an animal, to have a body like this that could taste, see hear, and fly through space, to lie down and smell the earth and feel the heat of the sun on your face was enough for her. She did not need anything else but this: just to be alive, cool air caressing her skin, dreaming of Ivy and what might be ahead.
Pamela Todd (The Blind Faith Hotel)
The more time that passes, what begins to seem uncanny to Ben is the fact that all the days ahead are such a darkness, that all of us move through our hours as if blindfolded, never knowing what will happen next. How can he send his daughter out into a world like that? But even an infant’s brain can predict the rough path of a falling object in flight. And so, maybe, in a way, Ben can see what’s coming: His girl will love and be loved. She will suffer, and she will cause suffering. She will be known and unknown. She will be content and discontented. She will sometimes be lonely and sometimes less so. She will dream and be dreamed of. She will grieve and be grieved for. She will struggle and triumph and fail. There will be days of spectacular beauty, sublime and unearned. There will be moments of rapture. She will sometimes feel afraid. The sun will warm her face. The earth will ground her body. And her heart—now thrumming strong and steady, against her father’s chest, as he rocks her to sleep on a porch swing one evening in early summer, at the very start of a life—that heart: it will beat, and it will someday cease to beat. And so much of this life will remain always beyond her understanding, as obscure as the landscapes of someone else’s dreams.
Karen Thompson Walker (The Dreamers)
It is wrong to say that schoolmasters lack heart and are dried-up, soulless pedants! No, by no means. When a child's talent which he has sought to kindle suddenly bursts forth, when the boy puts aside his wooden sword, slingshot, bow-and-arrow and other childish games, when he begins to forge ahead, when the seriousness of the work begins to transform the rough-neck into a delicate, serious and an almost ascetic creature, when his face takes on an intelligent, deeper and more purposeful expression - then a teacher's heart laughs with happiness and pride. It is his duty and responsibility to control the raw energies and desires of his charges and replace them with calmer, more moderate ideals. What would many happy citizens and trustworthy officials have become but unruly, stormy innovators and dreamers of useless dreams, if not for the effort of their schools? In young beings there is something wild, ungovernable, uncultured which first has to be tamed. It is like a dangerous flame that has to be controlled or it will destroy. Natural man is unpredictable, opaque, dangerous, like a torrent cascading out of uncharted mountains. At the start, his soul is a jungle without paths or order. And, like a jungle, it must first be cleared and its growth thwarted. Thus it is the school's task to subdue and control man with force and make him a useful member of society, to kindle those qualities in him whose development will bring him to triumphant completion.
Hermann Hesse (Beneath the Wheel)
Memory is igneous more than ingenious, igneous, and like granite, intrusive, heaved up within oneself, the whole range of one's life, mountains' forbidding height looming over the plains where one lives, mountains formed by the life already lived, but toward which one is always walking, one's own past ahead of him, seeking the improbable path already forged, this path back through oneself, this path we call the present tense, which becomes the continental divide when the tense shifts and the path is lost, path from which the walker emerges only to turn around and see the peaks pulled up by his feet, and the snowy pass, and alpine heights, where those stranded must sometime feed on themselves to survive, where sometimes, through the icy crust, the crocus blooms.
Dan Beachy-Quick (An Impenetrable Screen of Purest Sky)
Devil-boy Jack: "A higher power than ours directs us against the wych-kin. There is no turning back." Thaniel Fox: "There is no higher power, Devil-boy! And I am no-one's pawn, neither man nor wych nor whatever entity you speak of." Devil-boy Jack: "I do not speak of entities. I speak of the force that created the physics of the universe, the force that makes time flow forward and not allow everything to happen at once, the force that sets the patterns to which the planets turn. Its weapons are coincidence, unlikelihood, happenstance. It is there when a man stops suddenly to pick up a coin dropped by another man ten days before, and the woman who is to be his wife bumps into him, and five hundred years hence their offspring rules half the world. It is there when a chance comment causes a scientist to think, What if...? and ten years later a great plague is cured. It is so vast that what we call chaos is simply another part of its order, with a shape too big to see. It has no name, nor will it ever have, though man may hint darkly at fate and destiny. It is what it is... the pattern. We may choose our own paths, but the pattern is always ahead of us. It is a way. It is the way.
Chris Wooding (The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray)
Ren followed along behind me somewhere quietly. I couldn’t hear him, but I knew he was there. I was acutely aware of his presence. I had an intangible connection with him, the man. It was almost as if he were walking next to me. Almost as if he were touching me. I must have started walking down the wrong path because he trotted ahead, pointedly moving in a different direction. I muttered, “Show-off. I’ll walk the wrong way if I want to.” But, I still followed after him. After a while, I made out the Jeep parked on the hill and saw Mr. Kadam waving at us. I walked up to his camp, and he grabbed me in a brief hug. “Miss Kelsey! You’re back. Tell me what happened.” I sighed, set down my backpack, and sat on the back bumper of the Keep. “Well, I have to tell you, these past few days have been some of the worst of my life. There were monkeys, and Kappa, and rotted kissing corpses, and snakebites, and trees covered with needles, and-“ He held up a hand. “What do you mean a few days? You just left last night.” Confused, I said, “No. We’ve been gone at least,” I counted on my fingers, “at least four or five days.” “I’m sorry, Miss Kelsey, but you and Ren left me last night. In fact, I was going to say you should get some rest and then try again tomorrow night. You were really gone almost a week?” “Well, I was asleep for two of the days. At least that’s what tiger boy over there told me.” I glared at Ren who stared back at me with an innocuous tiger expression while listening to our conversation. Ren appeared to be sweet and attentive, as harmless as a little kitten. He was about as harmless as a Kappa. I, on the other hand, was like a porcupine. I was bristling. All of my quills were standing on end so I could defend my soft belly from being devoured by the predator who had taken an interest. “Two days? My, my. Why don’t we return to the hotel and rest? We can try to get the fruit again tomorrow night.” “But, Mr. Kadam,” I said an unzipped the backpack, “we don’t have to come back. We got Durga’s first gift, the Golden Fruit.” I pulled out my quilt and unfolded it, revealing the Golden Fruit nestled within. He gently picked it up out of its cocoon. “Amazing!” he exclaimed. “It’s a mango.” With a smirk, I added, “It only makes sense. After all, mangoes are very important to Indian culture and trade.” Ren huffed at me and rolled onto his side in the grass.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
WE ALL DO IT, YOU know. Distract ourselves from noticing how time’s passing. We throw ourselves into our jobs. We focus on keeping the blight off our tomato plants. We fill up our gas tanks and top off our Metro cards and do the grocery shopping so that the weeks look the same on the surface. And then one day, you turn around, and your baby is a man. One day, you look in the mirror, and see gray hair. One day, you realize there is less of your life left than what you’ve already lived. And you think, How did this happen so fast? It was only yesterday when I was having my first legal drink, when I was diapering him, when I was young. When this realization hits, you start doing the math. How much time do I have left? How much can I fit into that small space? Some of us let this realization guide us, I guess. We book trips to Tibet, we learn how to sculpt, we skydive. We try to pretend it’s not almost over. But some of us just fill up our gas tanks and top off our Metro cards and do the grocery shopping, because if you only see the path that’s right ahead of you, you don’t obsess over when the cliff might drop off. Some of us never learn. And some of us learn earlier than others. —
Jodi Picoult (Small Great Things)
What's Toraf's favorite color?" She shrugs. "Whatever I tell him it is." I raise a brow at her. "Don't know, huh?" She crosses her arms. "Who cares anyway? We're not painting his toenails." "I think what's she's trying to say, honey bunches, is that maybe you should paint your nails his favorite color, to show him you're thinking about him," Rachel says, seasoning her words with tact. Rayna sets her chin. "Emma doesn't paint her nails Galen's favorite color." Startled that Galen has a favorite color and I don't know it, I say, "Uh, well, he doesn't like nail polish." That is to say, he's never mentioned it before. When a brilliant smile lights up her whole face, I know I've been busted. "You don't know his favorite color!" she says, actually pointing at me. "Yes, I do," I say, searching Rachel's face for the answer. She shrugs. Rayna's smirk is the epitome of I know something you don't know. Smacking it off her face is my first reflex, but I hold back, as I always do, because of the kiss I shared with Toraf and the way it hurt her. Sometimes I catch her looking at me with that same expression she had on the beach, and I feel like fungus, even though she deserved it at the time. Refusing to fold, I eye the buffet of nail polish scattered before me. Letting my fingers roam over the bottles, I shop the paints, hoping one of them stands out to me. To save my life, I can't think of any one color he wears more often. He doesn't have a favorite sport, so team colors are a no-go. Rachel picked his cars for him, so that's no help either. Biting my lip, I decide on an ocean blue. "Emma! Now I'm just ashamed of myself," he says from the doorway. "How could you not know my favorite color?" Startled, I drop the bottle back on the table. Since he's back so soon, I have to assume he didn't find what or who he wanted-and that he didn't hunt them for very long. Toraf materializes behind him, but Galen's shoulders are too broad to allow them both to stand in the doorway. Clearing my throat, I say, "I was just moving that bottle to get to the color I wanted." Rayna is all but doing a victory dance with her eyes. "Which is?" she asks, full of vicious glee. Toraf pushes past Galen and plops down next to his tiny mate. She leans into him, eager for his kiss. "I missed you," she whispers. "Not as much as I missed you," he tells her. Galen and I exchange eye rolls as he walks around to prop himself on the table beside me, his wet shorts making a butt-shaped puddle on the expensive wood. "Go ahead, angelfish," he says, nodding toward the pile of polish. If he's trying to give me a clue, he sucks at it. "Go" could mean green, I guess. "Ahead" could mean...I have no idea what that could mean. And angelfish come in all sorts of colors. Deciding he didn't encode any messages for me, I sigh and push away from the table to stand. "I don't know. We've never talked about it before." Rayna slaps her knee in triumph. "Ha!" Before I can pass by him, Galen grabs my wrist and pulls me to him, corralling me between his legs. Crushing his mouth to mine, he moves his hand to the small of my back and presses me into him. Since he's still shirtless and I'm in my bikini, there's a lot of bare flesh touching, which is a little more intimate than I'm used to with an audience. Still, the fire sears through me, scorching a path to the furthest, deepest parts of me. It takes every bit of grit I have not to wrap my arms around his neck. Gently, I push my hands against his chest to end the kiss, which is something I never thought I'd do. Giving him a look that I hope conveys "inappropriate," I step back. I've spent enough time in their company to know without looking that Rayna's eyes are bugging out of their sockets and Toraf is grinning like a nutcracker doll. With any luck, Rachel didn't even see the kiss. Stealing a peek at her, she meets my gaze with openmouthed shock. Okay, it looked as bad as I thought it did.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
My Dearest, Can you forgive me? In a world that I seldom understand, there are winds of destiny that blow when we least expect them. Sometimes they gust with the fury of a hurricane, sometimes they barely fan one’s cheek. But the winds cannot be denied, bringing as they often do a future that is impossible to ignore. You, my darling, are the wind that I did not anticipate, the wind that has gusted more strongly than I ever imagined possible. You are my destiny. I was wrong, so wrong, to ignore what was obvious, and I beg your forgiveness. Like a cautious traveler, I tried to protect myself from the wind and lost my soul instead. I was a fool to ignore my destiny, but even fools have feelings, and I’ve come to realize that you are the most important thing that I have in this world. I know I am not perfect. I’ve made more mistakes in the past few months than some make in a lifetime. I was wrong to deny what was obvious in my heart: that I can’t go on without you. You were right about everything. I tried to deny the things you were saying, even though I knew they were true. Like one who gazes only backward on a trip across the country, I ignored what lay ahead. I missed the beauty of a coming sunrise, the wonder of anticipation that makes life worthwhile. It was wrong of me to do that, a product of my confusion, and I wish I had come to understand that sooner. Now, though, with my gaze fixed toward the future, I see your face and hear your voice, certain that this is the path I must follow. It is my deepest wish that you give me one more chance. For the first few days after you left, I wanted to believe that I could go on as I always had. But I couldn’t. I knew in my heart that my life would never be the same again. I wanted you back, more than I imagined possible, yet whenever I conjured you up, I kept hearing your words in our last conversation. No matter how much I loved you, I knew it wasn’t going to be possible unless we—both of us—were sure I would devote myself fully to the path that lay ahead. I continued to be troubled by these thoughts until late last night when the answer finally came to me. Oh, I am sorry, so very sorry, that I ever hurt you. Maybe I’m too late now. I don’t know. I love you and always will. I am tired of being alone. I see children crying and laughing as they play in the sand, and I realize I want to have children with you. I am sick and sad without you. As I sit here in the kitchen, I am praying that you will let me come back to you, this time forever.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
You and I cannot see what God has in store for us. That is why you should never believe that your worst fears are your fate or that when you are down, you will never rise again. You must have faith in yourself, in your purpose, and in God’s plan for your life. Then you must put fears and insecurities aside and trust that you will find your way. You may not have a clue of what lies ahead, but it’s better to act on life than simply let life act on you. If you have faith, you don’t need proof—you live it. You don’t need to have all the right answers, just the right questions. No one knows what the future holds. Most of the time, God’s plan is beyond our grasp and often beyond even the reach of our imaginations. As a ten-year-old boy, I never would have believed that within the next ten years, God would send me to travel the world to speak to millions of people, inspiring them and leading them to Jesus Christ. Nor could I ever have known that the love of my family would one day be matched and even surpassed by the love of the intelligent, spiritual, fearless, and beautiful young woman who recently became my wife. That boy who despaired at the thought of his future is at peace today as a man. I know who I am, and I take one step at a time, knowing God is on my side. My life is overflowing with purpose and love. Are my days free of worry? Is every day blessed with sunshine and flowers? No, we all know life doesn’t work that way. But I thank God for each and every moment that He allows me to walk the path He has set out for me. You and I are here for a purpose. I’ve found mine, and you should take my story as an assurance that your path awaits you too.
Nick Vujicic (Unstoppable)