Posts About Love Quotes

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Worrying about scarcity is our culture's version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when we've been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability) we're angry and scared and at each other's throats.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
I have always, essentially, been waiting. Waiting to become something else, waiting to be that person I always thought I was on the verge of becoming, waiting for that life I thought I would have. In my head, I was always one step away. In high school, I was biding my time until I could become the college version of myself, the one my mind could see so clearly. In college, the post-college “adult” person was always looming in front of me, smarter, stronger, more organized. Then the married person, then the person I’d become when we have kids. For twenty years, literally, I have waited to become the thin version of myself, because that’s when life will really begin. And through all that waiting, here I am. My life is passing, day by day, and I am waiting for it to start. I am waiting for that time, that person, that event when my life will finally begin. I love movies about “The Big Moment” – the game or the performance or the wedding day or the record deal, the stories that split time with that key event, and everything is reframed, before it and after it, because it has changed everything. I have always wanted this movie-worthy event, something that will change everything and grab me out of this waiting game into the whirlwind in front of me. I cry and cry at these movies, because I am still waiting for my own big moment. I had visions of life as an adventure, a thing to be celebrated and experienced, but all I was doing was going to work and coming home, and that wasn’t what it looked like in the movies. John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” For me, life is what was happening while I was busy waiting for my big moment. I was ready for it and believed that the rest of my life would fade into the background, and that my big moment would carry me through life like a lifeboat. The Big Moment, unfortunately, is an urban myth. Some people have them, in a sense, when they win the Heisman or become the next American Idol. But even that football player or that singer is living a life made up of more than that one moment. Life is a collection of a million, billion moments, tiny little moments and choices, like a handful of luminous, glowing pearl. It takes so much time, and so much work, and those beads and moments are so small, and so much less fabulous and dramatic than the movies. But this is what I’m finding, in glimpses and flashes: this is it. This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that move-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully. This is it. Normal, daily life ticking by on our streets and sidewalks, in our houses and apartments, in our beds and at our dinner tables, in our dreams and prayers and fights and secrets – this pedestrian life is the most precious thing any of use will ever experience.
Shauna Niequist (Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life)
Brod's life was a slow realization that the world was not for her, and that for whatever reason, she would never be happy and honest at the same time. She felt as if she were brimming, always producing and hoarding more love inside of her. But there was no release. Table, ivory, elephant charm, rainbow, onion, hairdo, mollusk, Shabbos, violence, cuticle, melodrama, ditch, honey, doily...None of it moved her. She addressed her world honestly, searching for something deserving of the volumes of love she knew she had within her, but to each she would have to say, I don't love you. Bark-brown fence post: I don't love you. Poem too long: I don't love you. Lunch in a bowl: I don't love you. Physics, the idea of you, the laws of you: I don't love you. Nothing felt like anything more than what it actually was. Everything was just a thing, mired completely in its thingness. If we were to open a random page in her journal- which she must have kept and kept with her at all times, not fearing that it would be lost, or discovered and read, but that she would one day stumble upon that thing which was finally worth writing about and remembering, only to find that she had no place to write it- we would find some rendering of the following sentiment: I am not in love.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)
When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
We are about to part," said Neville. "Here are the boxes; here are the cabs. There is Percival in his billycock hat. He will forget me. He will leave my letters lying about among guns and dogs unaswered. I shall send him poems and he will perhaps reply with a picture post card. But it is for that that I love him. I shall propose a meeting - under a clock, by some Cross; and shall wait and he will not come. It is for that that I love him.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
We all love after-the-bomb stories. If we didn't, why would there be so many of them? There's something attractive about all those people being gone, about wandering in a depopulated world, scrounging cans of Campbell's pork and beans, defending one's family from marauders. But some secret part of us thinks it would be good to survive. All those other folks will die. That's what after-the-bomb stories are all about.
John Varley
I didn't mean to scare you. I'm not suicidal if that's what's freaking you out. I'm not fucked up in the head. I'm not deranged. I'm not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. I'm just a brother who loved his sister more than life itself, so I get a little intense when I think about her.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
But when you talk about Nabokov and Coover, you’re talking about real geniuses, the writers who weathered real shock and invented this stuff in contemporary fiction. But after the pioneers always come the crank turners, the little gray people who take the machines others have built and just turn the crank, and little pellets of metafiction come out the other end. The crank-turners capitalize for a while on sheer fashion, and they get their plaudits and grants and buy their IRAs and retire to the Hamptons well out of range of the eventual blast radius. There are some interesting parallels between postmodern crank-turners and what’s happened since post-structural theory took off here in the U.S., why there’s such a big backlash against post-structuralism going on now. It’s the crank-turners fault. I think the crank-turners replaced the critic as the real angel of death as far as literary movements are concerned, now. You get some bona fide artists who come along and really divide by zero and weather some serious shit-storms of shock and ridicule in order to promulgate some really important ideas. Once they triumph, though, and their ideas become legitimate and accepted, the crank-turners and wannabes come running to the machine, and out pour the gray pellets and now the whole thing’s become a hollow form, just another institution of fashion. Take a look at some of the critical-theory Ph.D. dissertations being written now. They’re like de Man and Foucault in the mouth of a dull child. Academia and commercial culture have somehow become these gigantic mechanisms of commodification that drain the weight and color out of even the most radical new advances. It’s a surreal inversion of the death-by-neglect that used to kill off prescient art. Now prescient art suffers death-by acceptance. We love things to death, now. Then we retire to the Hamptons.
David Foster Wallace
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees. After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her. Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
I still know in my heart that it is a Godless, dirty game; that love is bitter and all there is, and that the rest is for the emotional beggars of the earth and is about the equivalent of people who stimulate themselves with dirty post cards-
Zelda Fitzgerald
When I am introduced as someone from New Orleans, people sometimes say: "I'm so sorry." New Orleans. I'm so sorry. That's not the way it was before,not the way it's supposed to be. When people find out you're from New Orleans, they're supposed to tell you about how they got drunk there once, or fell in love there, or first heard the music there that changed their lives. At worst people would say: "I've always wanted to go there." But now, it's just: "I'm sorry." Man, that kills me. That just kills me.
Chris Rose (1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories)
Suddenly, in the space of a moment, I realized what it was that I loved about Britain - which is to say, all of it. Every last bit of it, good and bad - Marmite, village fetes, country lanes, people saying 'mustn't grumble' and 'I'm terribly sorry but', people apologizing to me when I conk them with a nameless elbow, milk in bottles, beans on toast, haymaking in June, stinging nettles, seaside piers, Ordnance Survey maps, crumpets, hot-water bottles as a necessity, drizzly Sundays - every bit of it. What a wondrous place this was - crazy as fuck, of course, but adorable to the tiniest degree. What other country, after all, could possibly have come up with place names like Tooting Bec and Farleigh Wallop, or a game like cricket that goes on for three days and never seems to start? Who else would think it not the least odd to make their judges wear little mops on their heads, compel the Speaker of the House of Commons to sit on something called the Woolsack, or take pride in a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy? ('Please Hardy, full on the lips, with just a bit of tongue.') What other nation in the world could possibly have given us William Shakespeare, pork pies, Christopher Wren, Windsor Great Park, the Open University, Gardners' Question Time and the chocolate digestive biscuit? None, of course. How easily we lose sight of all this. What an enigma Britain will seem to historians when they look back on the second half of the twentieth century. Here is a country that fought and won a noble war, dismantled a mighty empire in a generally benign and enlightened way, created a far-seeing welfare state - in short, did nearly everything right - and then spent the rest of the century looking on itself as a chronic failure. The fact is that this is still the best place in the world for most things - to post a letter, go for a walk, watch television, buy a book, venture out for a drink, go to a museum, use the bank, get lost, seek help, or stand on a hillside and take in a view. All of this came to me in the space of a lingering moment. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I like it here. I like it more than I can tell you.
Bill Bryson (Notes from a Small Island)
He will forget me. He will leave my letters lying about among guns and dogs unanswered. I shall send him poems and he will perhaps reply with a picture post card. But it is for that that I love him. I shall propose meeting - under a clock, by some Cross; and shall wait, and he will not come. It is for that that I love him. Oblivious, almost entirely ignorant, he will pass from my life. And I shall pass, incredible as it seems, into other lives; this is only an escapade perhaps, a prelude only.
Virginia Woolf (The Waves)
The closer we get—the more I let you in…the more dangerous this gets. We’re just pawns in this game, and I wasn’t playing before. I was just a piece to move about the board, but I am playing now. Don’t you get it? You’re what everyone wants! But I’m not going to let them win.
Cassandra Giovanni (In Between Seasons)
Something that’s bothered me for a while now is the current profligacy in YA culture of Team Boy 1 vs Team Boy 2 fangirling. [...] Despite the fact that I have no objection to shipping, this particular species of team-choosing troubled me, though I had difficulty understanding why. Then I saw it applied to Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy – Team Peeta vs Team Gale – and all of a sudden it hit me that anyone who thought romance and love-triangles were the main event in that series had utterly missed the point. Sure, those elements are present in the story, but they aren’t anywhere near being the bones of it, because The Hunger Games, more than anything else, is about war, survival, politics, propaganda and power. Seeing such a strong, raw narrative reduced to a single vapid argument – which boy is cuter? – made me physically angry. So, look. People read different books for different reasons. The thing I love about a story are not necessarily the things you love, and vice versa. But riddle me this: are the readers of these series really so excited, so thrilled by the prospect of choosing! between! two! different! boys! that they have to boil entire narratives down to a binary equation based on male physical perfection and, if we’re very lucky, chivalrous behaviour? While feminism most certainly champions the right of women to chose their own partners, it also supports them to choose things besides men, or to postpone the question of partnership in favour of other pursuits – knowledge, for instance. Adventure. Careers. Wild dancing. Fun. Friendship. Travel. Glorious mayhem. And while, as a woman now happily entering her fourth year of marriage, I’d be the last person on Earth to suggest that male companionship is inimical to any of those things, what’s starting to bother me is the comparative dearth of YA stories which aren’t, in some way, shape or form, focussed on Girls Getting Boyfriends, and particularly Hot Immortal Or Magical Boyfriends Whom They Will Love For All Eternity. Blog post: Love Team Freezer
Foz Meadows
Make me a weapon,” I whispered as he pulled away. “Make it so I never have to dream about this again—make it so we can have this…forever.
Cassandra Giovanni (In Between Seasons)
Who wouldn’t love this jargon we dress common sense in: "formal innovation is no longer transformative, having been co-opted by the forces of stabilization and post-industrial inertia," blah, blah. But this co-optation might actually be a good thing if it helped keep younger writers from being able to treat mere formal ingenuity as an end in itself. MTV-type co-optation could end up a great prophylactic against cleveritis—you know, the dreaded grad-school syndrome of like "Watch me use seventeen different points of view in this scene of a guy eating a Saltine." The real point of that shit is "Like me because I’m clever"—which of course is itself derived from commercial art’s axiom about audience-affection determining art’s value.
David Foster Wallace
Psychedelic experiences are notoriously hard to render in words; to try is necessarily to do violence to what has been seen and felt, which is in some fundamental way pre- or post-linguistic or, as students of mysticism say, ineffable. Emotions arrive in all their newborn nakedness, unprotected from the harsh light of scrutiny and, especially, the pitiless glare of irony. Platitudes that wouldn't seem out of place on a Hallmark card flow with the force of revealed truth. Love is everything. Okay, but what else did you learn? No - you must not have heard me; it's everything! Is a platitude so deeply felt still just a platitude? No, I decided. A platitude is precisely what is left of a truth after it has been drained of all emotion. To resaturate that dried husk with feeling is to see it again for what it is: the loveliest and most deeply rooted of truths, hidden in plain sight.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
Religion is simply a tool to put God's love into words and symbols. Doctrine is only useful to the extent it enhances your understanding of that love. God doesn't care about your religion. He cares about your heart.
Reba Riley (Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing)
As all men are touched by God’s love, so all are also touched by the desire for His intimacy. No one escapes this longing; we are all kings in exile, miserable without the Infinite. Those who reject the grace of God have a desire to avoid God, as those who accept it have a desire for God. The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will; it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not; the post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.
Fulton J. Sheen (Peace of Soul: Timeless Wisdom on Finding Serenity and Joy by the Century's Most Acclaimed Catholic Bishop)
Remember your math: an anecdote is not a trend. Remember your history: the fact that something is bad today doesn't mean it was better in the past. Remember your philosophy: one cannot reason that there's no such thing as reason, or that something is true or good because God said it is. And remember your psychology: much of what we know isn't so, especially when our comrades know it too. Keep some perspective. Not every problem is a Crisis, Plague, Epidemic, or Existential Threat, and not every change is the End of This, the Death of That, or the Dawn of a Post-Something Era. Don't confuse pessimism with profundity: problems are inevitable, but problems are solvable, and diagnosing every setback as a symptom of a sick society is a cheap grab for gravitas. Finally, drop the Nietzsche. His ideas may seem edgy, authentic, baad,while humanism seems sappy, unhip, uncool But what's so funny about peace, love, and understanding?
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
most psychologists/philosophers we've learned about have experienced severe depressions, attempted suicide, were considered 'freaks' or 'insane' by their peers, locked themselves in their rooms, felt socially isolated, were either celibate or extremely promiscuous, and rarely found 'love
Megan Boyle (selected unpublished blog posts of a mexican panda express employee)
So you're, like crazy, in love. You open your eyes in the morning and your first thought is her. You wonder how she is. What she's doing. When you can see her again. Those thoughts stay with you all day. You share them with whoever will listen — including your best friends, who of course respect you but, after a while, out of the kind of concern only real friends have, seriously question your sanity. And you make all sorts of plans — big plans, like, post-high school — when the rest of us can barely wrap our heads around the fact that we only two years left to get a clue. You live and breath this girl. You talk about her all the time, you hang out with your friends less and less, you're blind to other girls, no matter how hot or into you they are — and some of them are extremely hot and into you — and eventually, you break and actually say you love her. Not only that, you tell your friends you love her. Which, as you know, is about as major as you can get. Your friends may think you're a little out there, but they know you wouldn't be for any other girl. It's just because it's her. She's different. This girl is it for you. Food, water, oxygen, sleep — all details.
Tricia Rayburn (Siren (Siren, #1))
My sweetheart, my love, my love, my love—do you know what—all the happiness of the world, the riches, power and adventures, all the promises of religions, all the enchantment of nature and even human fame are not worth your two letters. It was a night of horror, terrible anguish, when I imagined that your undelivered letter, stuck at some unknown post office, was being destroyed like a sick little stray dog . . . But today it arrived—and now it seems to me that in the mailbox where it was lying, in the sack where it was shaking, all the other letters absorbed, just by touching it, your unique charm and that that day all Germans received strange wonderful letters—letters that had gone mad because they had touched your handwriting. The thought that you exist is so divinely blissful in itself that it is ridiculous to talk about the everyday sadness of separation—a week’s, ten days’—what does it matter? since my whole life belongs to you. I wake at night and know that you are together with me,—I sense your sweet long legs, your neck through your hair, your trembling eyelashes—and then such happiness, such simmering bliss follows me in my dreams that I simply suffocate . . .
Vladimir Nabokov (Letters to Vera)
Something I learned very quickly was that grieving was complicated by lack of certainty, that the hope inherent in a missing loved one was also a species of curse. People posted about children who had gone missing upwards of fifteen years ago and whose faces were now impossible to conjure, about friends who had messaged to confirm a meeting place and then simply never showed up. In almost every case, the sense of loss was convoluted by an ache of possibility, by the almost-but-not-quite-negligible hope of reprieve. Deus ex machina – the missing loved one thrown back down to earth. Grief is selfish: we cry for ourselves without the person we have lost far more than we cry for the person – but more than that, we cry because it helps. The grief process is also the coping process and if the grief is frozen by ambiguity, by the constant possibility of reversal, then so is the ability to cope.
Julia Armfield (Our Wives Under the Sea)
Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far. The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them. I don’t think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of children’s books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. I’ve seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy. It’s tosh. It’s snobbery and it’s foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isn’t hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you. Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant. We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. [from, Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming]
Neil Gaiman
By the time I finally finished writing The End of Science , I'd concluded that people don't give a shit about science.... They don't give a shit about quantum mechanics or the Big Bang. As a mass society, our interest in those subjects is trivial. People are much more interested in making money, finding love, and attaining status and prestige. So I'm not really sure if a post-science world would be any different than the world of today.
John Horgan (But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past)
His Facebook post is pure Jamie: Hi all. I feel like a heel doing this over Facebook, but I can’t reach everyone by tomorrow. You’re all going to discuss me on Sunday, anyway. And in case you think my account was hacked, it wasn’t. As proof I’ll confess that I’m the one who broke Mom’s Christmas tree angel when I was seven. It was death by baseball, but I swear she didn’t suffer. Anyway, I have to catch you up on a few developments. I’ve taken the coaching job in Toronto, and I’ve declined my spot in Detroit. This feels like the right career move, but there’s something else. I’m living with my boyfriend (that was not a typo.) His name is Wes, and we met at Lake Placid about nine years ago. In case you were lacking something to talk about over dinner, I’ve fixed that problem. Love you all. Jamie
Sarina Bowen (Him (Him, #1))
The modern world, which denies personal guilt and admits only social crimes, which has no place for personal repentance but only public reforms, has divorced Christ from His Cross; the Bridegroom and Bride have been pulled apart. What God hath joined together, men have torn asunder. As a result, to the left is the Cross; to the right is Christ. Each has awaited new partners who will pick them up in a kind of second and adulterous union. Communism comes along and picks up the meaningless Cross; Western post-Christian civilization chooses the unscarred Christ. Communism has chosen the Cross in the sense that it has brought back to an egotistic world a sense of discipline, self-abnegation, surrender, hard work, study, and dedication to supra-individual goals. But the Cross without Christ is sacrifice without love. Hence, Communism has produced a society that is authoritarian, cruel, oppressive of human freedom, filled with concentration camps, firing squads, and brain-washings. The Western post-Christian civilization has picked up the Christ without His Cross. But a Christ without a sacrifice that reconciles the world to God is a cheap, feminized, colourless, itinerant preacher who deserves to be popular for His great Sermon on the Mount, but also merits unpopularity for what He said about His Divinity on the one hand, and divorce, judgment, and hell on the other. This sentimental Christ is patched together with a thousand commonplaces, sustained sometimes by academic etymologists who cannot see the Word for the letters, or distorted beyond personal recognition by a dogmatic principle that anything which is Divine must necessarily be a myth. Without His Cross, He becomes nothing more than a sultry precursor of democracy or a humanitarian who taught brotherhood without tears.
Fulton J. Sheen (Life of Christ)
‎'After a few seconds, I knew Tuesday was listening. He locked into my eyes, and a calm came over him that I had never seen before. Maybe the part of him that wanted love opened up. Maybe he realized, finally, that this wasn't like any rela tionship he'd had before. He had been on a treadmill, racing toward each new handler but always ending in the exact spot: alone. He didn't know I was the mission he'd been training for, but at that moment, at the very least, he realized I needed him. And maybe I realized, in my heart and in my head, that this was a two-way relationship and he needed me too. All I know for sure is that when I looked up, everybody was staring at us. Staff, dogs, veterans, everybody. Even the photographer had lowered his camera. Lu Picard told me later that we were together for five minutes, although I could have it was thirty seconds at the most. 'What was that about?' she asked, as Tuesday and I walked post, side by side. 'We're okay now.' I told her. 'We reached an understanding.
Luis Carlos Montalván
Good morning on the 7th of July. while still in bed my thoughts turn towards you my Immortal Beloved, now and then happy, then sad again, waiting whether Fate might answer us. – I can only live either wholly with you or not at all, yes, I have resolved to stray about far away until I can fly into your arms, and feel at home with you, and send my soul embraced by you into the realm of the Spirits. – Yes, unfortunately it must be. – You will compose yourself, all the more since you know my faithfulness to you, never can another own my heart, never – never. – Oh God why do I have to separate from someone whom I love so much, and yet my life in V[ienna] as it is now is a miserable life. – Your love makes me at once most happy and most unhappy. – At my age, I would now need some conformity regularity in my life – can this exist in our relationship? – Angel, I just learned that the post goes every day – and I must therefore conclude so that you get the l[etter] straightway – be patient, only through quiet contemplation of our existence can we achieve our purpose to live together – be calm – love me – today – yesterday. – What yearning with tears for you – you – you – my life – my everything – farewell – oh continue to love me – never misjudge the most faithful heart of your Beloved L. Forever thine forever mine forever us.
Ludwig van Beethoven
John Adair had little liking for the simple life; he said it was not simple, but the most damnably complicated method of wasting time that had every existed. He liked a constant supply of hot water, a refrigerator, an elevator, an electric toaster, a telephone beside his bed, central heating and electric fires, and anything whatever that reduced the time spent upon the practical side of living to a minimum and left him free to paint. But Sally [his daughter] did not want to be set free for anything, for it was living itself that she enjoyed. She liked lighting a real fire of logs and fir cones, and toasting bread on an old-fashioned toaster. And she liked the lovely curve of an old staircase and the fun of running up and down it. And she vastly preferred writing a letter and walking with it to the post to using the telephone and hearing with horror her voice committing itself to things she would never have dreamed of doing if she'd had the time to think. "It's my stupid brain," she said to herself. "I like the leisurely things, and taking my time about them. That's partly why I like children so much, I think. They're never in a hurry to get on to something else.
Elizabeth Goudge (Pilgrim's Inn (Eliots of Damerosehay, #2))
I have come to see this fear, this sense of my own imperilment by my creations, as not only an inevitable, necessary part of writing fiction but as virtual guarantor, insofar as such a thing is possible, of the power of my work: as a sign that I am on the right track, that I am following the recipe correctly, speaking the proper spells. Literature, like magic, has always been about the handling of secrets, about the pain, the destruction and the marvelous liberation that can result when they are revealed. Telling the truth, when the truth matters most, is almost always a frightening prospect. If a writer doesn’t give away secrets, his own or those of the people he loves; if she doesn’t court disapproval, reproach and general wrath, whether of friends, family, or party apparatchiks; if the writer submits his work to an internal censor long before anyone else can get their hands on it, the result is pallid, inanimate, a lump of earth. The adept handles the rich material, the rank river clay, and diligently intones his alphabetical spells, knowing full well the history of golems: how they break free of their creators, grow to unmanageable size and power, refuse to be controlled. In the same way, the writer shapes his story, flecked like river clay with the grit of experience and rank with the smell of human life, heedless of the danger to himself, eager to show his powers, to celebrate his mastery, to bring into being a little world that, like God’s, is at once terribly imperfect and filled with astonishing life. Originally published in The Washington Post Book World
Michael Chabon
I don’t need you to stay the same, Cleo,” I say. “And it’s not ‘having things in common’ that makes me love you. We’re so different, Clee. All of us. And I wouldn’t change anything about you. Like I said, you are a missing piece of my heart, and Sabrina is too. If your schedule has to change, or you start singing Barney songs to yourself, or become one of those people who post about their kids’ diaper blowouts on social media—” “You’ll put me out of my misery?” she asks quietly. “God, yes. I’ll take your phone and feed it to the sea. But I’ll also still love you. You’re family to me. You and Sab both.
Emily Henry (Happy Place)
I. My first thought was, he lied in every word, That hoary cripple, with malicious eye Askance to watch the workings of his lie On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford Suppression of the glee, that pursed and scored Its edge, at one more victim gained thereby. II. What else should he be set for, with his staff? What, save to waylay with his lies, ensnare All travellers who might find him posted there, And ask the road? I guessed what skull-like laugh Would break, what crutch 'gin write my epitaph For pastime in the dusty thoroughfare. III. If at his counsel I should turn aside Into that ominous tract which, all agree, Hides the Dark Tower. Yet acquiescingly I did turn as he pointed, neither pride Now hope rekindling at the end descried, So much as gladness that some end might be. IV. For, what with my whole world-wide wandering, What with my search drawn out through years, my hope Dwindled into a ghost not fit to cope With that obstreperous joy success would bring, I hardly tried now to rebuke the spring My heart made, finding failure in its scope. V. As when a sick man very near to death Seems dead indeed, and feels begin and end The tears and takes the farewell of each friend, And hears one bit the other go, draw breath Freelier outside, ('since all is o'er,' he saith And the blow fallen no grieving can amend;') VI. When some discuss if near the other graves be room enough for this, and when a day Suits best for carrying the corpse away, With care about the banners, scarves and staves And still the man hears all, and only craves He may not shame such tender love and stay. VII. Thus, I had so long suffered in this quest, Heard failure prophesied so oft, been writ So many times among 'The Band' to wit, The knights who to the Dark Tower's search addressed Their steps - that just to fail as they, seemed best, And all the doubt was now - should I be fit? VIII. So, quiet as despair I turned from him, That hateful cripple, out of his highway Into the path he pointed. All the day Had been a dreary one at best, and dim Was settling to its close, yet shot one grim Red leer to see the plain catch its estray. IX. For mark! No sooner was I fairly found Pledged to the plain, after a pace or two, Than, pausing to throw backwards a last view O'er the safe road, 'twas gone; grey plain all round; Nothing but plain to the horizon's bound. I might go on, naught else remained to do. X. So on I went. I think I never saw Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove! But cockle, spurge, according to their law Might propagate their kind with none to awe, You'd think; a burr had been a treasure trove. XI. No! penury, inertness and grimace, In some strange sort, were the land's portion. 'See Or shut your eyes,' said Nature peevishly, It nothing skills: I cannot help my case: Tis the Last Judgement's fire must cure this place Calcine its clods and set my prisoners free.
Robert Browning
What's Facebook? It's where moms like me post about how much we love the husbands who annoy the living bejesus out of us, and share expertly edited photos of our kids and generally talk about our loves like we're living in an enchanted fairy tale blessed by rainbow angel unicorns. In short, it's for lying. But I'm addicted.
Bunmi Laditan
There's a picture in When the Lights Go Down: A Short Illustrated History of Film of Alec Matto smoking in a chair in a room with a slice of light blaring over his head toward a screen we can't see. 'Alec Matto reviewing dailies for Where Has Julia Gone? (1947) in his private screening room.' Joan had to tell me what dailies are, it's when the director takes sometime in the evening, while smoking, to see all the footage that was filmed that day, maybe just one scene, a man opening a door over and over, a woman pointing out the window, pointing out the window, pointing out the window. That's dailies, and it took seven or eight matches on the roof over the garage for me to go over our breathless dailies that night, the nervous wait with the tickets in my hand, Lottie Carson heading north on those trains, kissing you, kissing you, the strange conversation in A-Post Novelties that had me all nerve-wracky after I talked to Al about it, even though he said he had no opinion. The matches were little he loves me, he loves me not, but then I saw right on the box that I had twenty-four, which would end the game at not, so I just let the small handful sparkle and puff for a bit, each one a thrill, a tiny delicious jolt for each part I remembered, until I burned my finger and went back in still thinking of all we did together.
Daniel Handler (Why We Broke Up)
Fascists despised the small truths of daily existence, loved slogans that resonated like a new religion, and preferred creative myths to history or journalism. They used new media, which at the time was radio, to create a drumbeat of propaganda that aroused feelings before people had time to ascertain facts. And now, as then, many people confused faith in a hugely flawed leader with the truth about the world we all share. Post-truth is pre-fascism.
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
I made it three days before the text messages started one afternoon while I was trying to finish warming up before our afternoon session. I had gotten to the LC later than usual and had gone straight to the training room, praising Jesus that I’d decided to change my clothes before leaving the diner once I’d seen what time it was and had remembered lunchtime traffic was a real thing. I was in the middle of stretching my hips when my phone beeped from where I’d left it on top of my bag. I took it out and snickered immediately at the message after taking my time with it. Jojo: WHAT THE FUCK JASMINE I didn’t need to ask what my brother was what-the-fucking over. It had only been a matter of time. It was really hard to keep a secret in my family, and the only reason why my mom and Ben—who was the only person other than her who knew—had kept their mouths closed was because they had both agreed it would be more fun to piss off my siblings by not saying anything and letting them find out the hard way I was going to be competing again. Life was all about the little things. So, I’d slipped my phone back into my bag and kept stretching, not bothering to respond because it would just make him more mad. Twenty minutes later, while I was still busy stretching, I pulled my phone out and wasn’t surprised more messages appeared. Jojo: WHY WOULD YOU NOT TELL ME Jojo: HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME Jojo: DID THE REST OF YOU KEEP THIS FROM ME Tali: What happened? What did she not tell you? Tali: OH MY GOD, Jasmine, did you get knocked up? Tali: I swear, if you got knocked up, I’m going to beat the hell out of you. We talked about contraception when you hit puberty. Sebastian: Jasmine’s pregnant? Rubes: She’s not pregnant. Rubes: What happened, Jojo? Jojo: MOM DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS Tali: Would you just tell us what you’re talking about? Jojo: JASMINE IS SKATING WITH IVAN LUKOV Jojo: And I found out by going on Picturegram. Someone at the rink posted a picture of them in one of the training rooms. They were doing lifts. Jojo: JASMINE I SWEAR TO GOD YOU BETTER EXPLAIN EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW Tali: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THIS TRUE? Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: I’m going on Lukov’s website right now to confirm this Rubes: I just called Mom but she isn’t answering the phone Tali: She knew about this. WHO ELSE KNEW? Sebastian: I didn’t. And quit texting Jas’s name over and over again. It’s annoying. She’s skating again. Good job, Jas. Happy for you. Jojo: ^^ You’re such a vibe kill Sebastian: No, I’m just not flipping my shit because she got a new partner. Jojo: SHE DIDN’T TELL US FIRST THO. What is the point of being related if we didn’t get the scoop before everybody else? Jojo: I FOUND OUT ON PICTUREGRAM Sebastian: She doesn’t like you. I wouldn’t tell you either. Tali: I can’t find anything about it online. Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: Tell us everything or I’m coming over to Mom’s today. Sebastian: You’re annoying. Muting this until I get out of work. Jojo: Party pooper Tali: Party pooper Jojo: Jinx Tali: Jinx Sebastian: Annoying ... I typed out a reply, because knowing them, if I didn’t, the next time I looked at my phone, I’d have an endless column of JASMINE on there until they heard from me. That didn’t mean my response had to be what they wanted. Me: Who is Ivan Lukov?
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
In the age of social media, you weren’t angry or grieving unless you posted about it online. Our instincts dictated we run to strangers on the internet the moment we experience pain, to tell the world how deeply gutted we are over the loss of our loved ones—as if the multitude of absentminded apologies and offers of prayers would actually mend the rip.
B.B. Reid (Lilac)
The moment the Benedict Option becomes about anything other than communion with Christ and dwelling with our neighbors in love, it ceases to be Benedictine,” he said. “It can’t be a strategy for self-improvement or for saving the church or the world.
Rod Dreher (The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation)
In sex women are largely guided by their sensible bodies but men are driven crazy by their feverish minds. Men love to think and talk about sex; women enjoy it while it lasts, if they can, and have little interest in pre-match build-up or post-match analysis.
Michael Foley (Embracing the Ordinary: Lessons From the Champions of Everyday Life)
They were posted to a country neither knew much about beyond the space it occupied on the map of East Africa between Kenya and Rwanda. After four years working in the remote Usambara Mountains, they moved to Moshi, which means “smoke” in Swahili, where the family was billeted by their Lutheran missionary society in a Greek gun dealer’s sprawling cinder-block home, which had been seized by the authorities. And with the sort of serendipity that so often rewards impetuousness, the entire family fell fiercely in love with the country that would be renamed Tanzania after independence in 1961. “The older I get, the more I appreciate my childhood. It was paradise,” Mortenson says
Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time)
A few weeks ago, my manager asked: "Do you feel like you're back? I feel like you're back." She meant it as a total compliment, but we had this great conversation where I was like, "You know what? I try really hard not to use that language, because it's not about going backward in life." I think it comes from this culture of antiaging, which is so not loving ourselves. I've been really focused on not being "back" to anything, but being the best version of myself right now. My body is the site of a miracle now. I don't want to be pre-miracle.
Kerry Washington
Bernard was to remember this moment for the rest of his life. As they drank from their water bottles he was struck by the recently concluded war not as a historical, geopolitical fact but as a multiplicity, a near-infinity of private sorrows, as a boundless grief minutely subdivided without diminishment among individuals who covered the continent like dust, like spores whose separate identities would remain unknown, and whose totality showed more sadness than anyone could ever begin to comprehend; a weight borne in silence by hundreds of thousands, millions, like the woman in black for a husband and two brothers, each grief a particular, intricate, keening love story that might have been otherwise. It seemed as though he had never thought about the war before, not about its cost. He had been so busy with the details of his work, of doing it well, and his widest view had been of war aims, of winning, of statistical deaths, statistical destruction, and of post-war reconstruction. For the first time he sensed the scale of the catastrophe in terms of feeling; all those unique and solitary deaths, all that consequent sorrow, unique and solitary too, which had no place in conferences, headlines, history, and which had quietly retired to houses, kitchens, unshared beds, and anguished memories. This came upon Bernard by a pine tree in the Languedoc in 1946 not as an observation he could share with June but as a deep apprehension, a recognition of a truth that dismayed him into silence and, later, a question: what possible good could come of a Europe covered in this dust, these spores, when forgetting would be inhuman and dangerous, and remembering a constant torture?
Ian McEwan (Black Dogs)
No matter how desperately a mother loves you, she can only put up with so much. And so, the day came when Mother Nature lashed out against us. I understood where Nature was coming from. My family never listened to me either, which is why I didn't tell them about the guns I bought.
Brenda Marie Smith (If Darkness Takes Us)
Nothing changes if we just feel shitty about being White. And nothing changes if we refuse to talk about it. The opposite of white pride does not have to be white shame. We can’t push it away and pretend it’s not us. We are not color-blind, we are not post-race, we do not get to reject our whiteness because it makes us feel bad…This does not get solved with a Celebration of Diversity Day and a coexist bumper sticker. (Kate Schatz)
Carolina De Robertis (Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times)
Social media has put an incredible pressure on the Facebook generation. We’ve made our lives so public to one another, and as a result we feel pressure to live up to a certain ideal version of ourselves. On social media, everyone is happy, and popular, and successful—or, at least, we think we need to look like we are. No matter how well off we are, how thin or pretty, we have our issues and insecurities. But none of that shows up online. We don’t like to reveal our weaknesses on social media. We don’t want to appear unhappy, or be a drag. Instead, we all post rose-colored versions of ourselves. We pretend we have more money than we do. We pretend we are popular. We pretend our lives are great. Your status update says I went to a totally awesome party last night! It won’t mention that you drank too much and puked and humiliated yourself in front of a girl you like. It says My sorority sisters are the best! It doesn’t say I feel lonely and don’t think they accept me. I’m not saying everyone should post about having a bad time. But pretending everything is perfect when it’s not doesn’t help anyone. The danger of these kinds of little white lies is that, in projecting the happiness and accomplishments we long for, we’re setting impossible standards for ourselves and others to live up to.
Nev Schulman (In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age)
I never have bruises like that. I suppose it's being fat that makes them spread so. Won't you look lovely when you go yellow-green?" "That's one thing about me," said Fatty, "I'm a wonderful bruiser. Once, when I ran into the goal-post at football, I got a bruise just here that was exactly the shape of a church-bell. It was most peculiar.
Enid Blyton (Mystery Of The Burnt Cottage)
Like so many others of my tenure and temperament—stubborn ancients, I suppose—web reporting is anathema to everything I love about newspapering: getting a tip, developing leads, fleshing-out the details, then telling the story. Now it stops with the tip. Just verify (hopefully!) and post it. I didn’t write stories anymore; I 'produced content.
Chris Rose
Do I look that bad?’ I said, my voice quavering with the rejection that I was ashamed for even caring about. ‘Is that what this is all about? How ugly I look?’ Patrick kept his eyes on the back wall of the cave. ‘If you really have to know, it’s the opposite of that,’ he said, his voice taking on a tender tone. ‘I think you are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.
Vanessa Garden (Carrier)
We scoffed at the kids who weren't like us, the ones who already talked about careers, or bliddy mortgages and pensions. Kids wanting to be old before they were young. Kids wanting to be dead before they'd lived. They were digging their own graves, building the walls of their own damn jails. Us, we hung to our youth. We were footloose, fancy free. We said we'd never grow boring and old. We plundered charity shops for vintage clothes. We bought battered Levis and gorgeous faded velvet stuff from Attica in High Bridge. We wore coloured boots, hemp scarves from Gaia. We read Baudelaire and Byron. We read our poems to each other. We wrote songs and posted them on YouTube. We formed bands. We talked of the amazing journeys we'd take together once school was done. Sometimes we paired off, made couples that lasted for a little while, but the group was us. We hung together. We could say anything to each other. We loved each other.
David Almond (A Song for Ella Grey)
unsolicited advice to adolescent girls with crooked teeth and pink hair When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys call asking your cup size, say A, hang up. When he says you gave him blue balls, say you’re welcome. When a girl with thick black curls who smells like bubble gum stops you in a stairwell to ask if you’re a boy, explain that you keep your hair short so she won’t have anything to grab when you head-butt her. Then head-butt her. When a guidance counselor teases you for handed-down jeans, do not turn red. When you have sex for the second time and there is no condom, do not convince yourself that screwing between layers of underwear will soak up the semen. When your geometry teacher posts a banner reading: “Learn math or go home and learn how to be a Momma,” do not take your first feminist stand by leaving the classroom. When the boy you have a crush on is sent to detention, go home. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boy with the blue mohawk swallows your heart and opens his wrists, hide the knives, bleach the bathtub, pour out the vodka. Every time. When the skinhead girls jump you in a bathroom stall, swing, curse, kick, do not turn red. When a boy you think you love delivers the first black eye, use a screw driver, a beer bottle, your two good hands. When your father locks the door, break the window. When a college professor writes you poetry and whispers about your tight little ass, do not take it as a compliment, do not wait, call the Dean, call his wife. When a boy with good manners and a thirst for Budweiser proposes, say no. When your mother hits you, do not strike back. When the boys tell you how good you smell, do not doubt them, do not turn red. When your brother tells you he is gay, pretend you already know. When the girl on the subway curses you because your tee shirt reads: “I fucked your boyfriend,” assure her that it is not true. When your dog pees the rug, kiss her, apologize for being late. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Jersey City, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because you live in Harlem, do not move. When he refuses to stay the night because your air conditioner is broken, leave him. When he refuses to keep a toothbrush at your apartment, leave him. When you find the toothbrush you keep at his apartment hidden in the closet, leave him. Do not regret this. Do not turn red. When your mother hits you, do not strike back.
Jeanann Verlee
I meant it, and I knew I meant it,” he says. “It wasn’t an impulse. I knew for years that I loved you, and I thought about it from every single angle and knew what I wanted before I ever kissed you. We went two years without talking, and I thought about you every day and I gave you the space I thought you wanted, and that whole time I asked myself what I’d be willing to do, to give up, if you decided you wanted to be with me too. I spent that whole time alternating between trying to move on and let you go, so you could be happy, and looking at job postings and apartments near you, just in case.
Emily Henry (People We Meet on Vacation)
In summary, we each spend our adult lives running on a unique operating system that took some eighteen years to program and is full of distinct bugs and viruses. And when we put together all these different theories of attachment, developmental immaturity, post-traumatic stress, and internal family systems, they make up a body of knowledge that allows us to run a virus scan on ourselves and, at any point, to look at our behaviors, our thoughts, and our feelings, and figure out where they come from. That’s the easy part. The tough part is to quarantine the virus, and to recognize the false self and restore the true self. Because it isn’t until we start developing an honest, compassionate, and functional relationship with ourselves that we can begin to experience a healthy, loving relationship with others.
Neil Strauss (The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book about Relationships)
(Talking about the movement to deny the prevalence and effects of adult sexual exploitation of children) So what does this movement consist of? Who are the movers and shakers? Well molesters are in it, of course. There are web pages telling them how to defend themselves against accusations, to retain confidence about their ‘loving and natural’ feelings for children, with advice on what lawyers to approach, how to complain, how to harass those helping their children. Then there’s the Men’s Movements, their web pages throbbing with excitement if they find ‘proof’ of conspiracy between feminists, divorcing wives and therapists to victimise men, fathers and husbands. Then there are journalists. A few have been vitally important in the US and Britain in establishing the fightback, using their power and influence to distort the work of child protection professionals and campaign against children’s testimony. Then there are other journalists who dance in and out of the debates waggling their columns behind them, rarely observing basic journalistic manners, but who use this debate to service something else – a crack at the welfare state, standards, feminism, ‘touchy, feely, post-Diana victimhood’. Then there is the academic voice, landing in the middle of court cases or inquiries, offering ‘rational authority’. Then there is the government. During the entire period of discovery and denial, not one Cabinet minister made a statement about the prevalence of sexual abuse or the harm it caused. Finally there are the ‘retractors’. For this movement to take off, it had to have ‘human interest’ victims – the accused – and then a happy ending – the ‘retractors’. We are aware that those ‘retractors’ whose parents trail them to newspapers, television studios and conferences are struggling. Lest we forget, they recanted under palpable pressure.
Beatrix Campbell (Stolen Voices: The People and Politics Behind the Campaign to Discredit Childhood Testimony)
I pulled, allowing her body to slide down mine. I kept my hands at her waist to slow her descent. The shifting of her body against mine was heavenly. She sucked in a breath, and when our faces were level, her eyes were not narrowed, but closed. Her lips weren't pursed, but her bottom lip was caught between her teeth in a way that made my mouth dry. Her cheeks were still flushed, but I had a feeling it wasn't about anger anymore. "You did that on purpose," she said. I laughed, and it came out raspy. She wasn't the only one affected by our closeness. "I definitely did that on purpose. I think we should make this a post-show ritual actually.
Cora Carmack (Losing It (Losing It, #1))
A few months ago on a school morning, as I attempted to etch a straight midline part on the back of my wiggling daughter's soon-to-be-ponytailed blond head, I reminded her that it was chilly outside and she needed to grab a sweater. "No, mama." "Excuse me?" "No, I don't want to wear that sweater, it makes me look fat." "What?!" My comb clattered to the bathroom floor. "Fat?! What do you know about fat? You're 5 years old! You are definitely not fat. God made you just right. Now get your sweater." She scampered off, and I wearily leaned against the counter and let out a long, sad sigh. It has begun. I thought I had a few more years before my twin daughters picked up the modern day f-word. I have admittedly had my own seasons of unwarranted, psychotic Slim-Fasting and have looked erroneously to the scale to give me a measurement of myself. But these departures from my character were in my 20s, before the balancing hand of motherhood met the grounding grip of running. Once I learned what it meant to push myself, I lost all taste for depriving myself. I want to grow into more of a woman, not find ways to whittle myself down to less. The way I see it, the only way to run counter to our toxic image-centric society is to literally run by example. I can't tell my daughters that beauty is an incidental side effect of living your passion rather than an adherence to socially prescribed standards. I can't tell my son how to recognize and appreciate this kind of beauty in a woman. I have to show them, over and over again, mile after mile, until they feel the power of their own legs beneath them and catch the rhythm of their own strides. Which is why my parents wake my kids early on race-day mornings. It matters to me that my children see me out there, slogging through difficult miles. I want my girls to grow up recognizing the beauty of strength, the exuberance of endurance, and the core confidence residing in a well-tended body and spirit. I want them to be more interested in what they are doing than how they look doing it. I want them to enjoy food that is delicious, feed their bodies with wisdom and intent, and give themselves the freedom to indulge. I want them to compete in healthy ways that honor the cultivation of skill, the expenditure of effort, and the courage of the attempt. Grace and Bella, will you have any idea how lovely you are when you try? Recently we ran the Chuy's Hot to Trot Kids K together as a family in Austin, and I ran the 5-K immediately afterward. Post?race, my kids asked me where my medal was. I explained that not everyone gets a medal, so they must have run really well (all kids got a medal, shhh!). As I picked up Grace, she said, "You are so sweaty Mommy, all wet." Luke smiled and said, "Mommy's sweaty 'cause she's fast. And she looks pretty. All clean." My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me--my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along.
Kristin Armstrong
Should we play some music for them, when he gets down on one knee?” Peter suggests. “We didn’t discuss that part of the plan, and Daddy’s nervous enough as it is,” I say. “He can’t be thinking about how we’re hiding in the bushes waiting to cue up music for them. It’ll make him self-conscious.” “Besides, we can add the music in post,” Kitty says. “We need to be able to hear the dialogue.” I give her a look. “Katherine, this isn’t a movie. This is real life.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
But there was a more recent author and public figure whose work spoke to the core of a new set of issues I was struggling with: the Bronx's own Colin Powell. His book, My American Journey, helped me harmonize my understanding of America's history and my aspiration to serve her in uniform. In his autobiography he talked about going to the Woolworth's in Columbus, Georgia, and being able to shop but not eat there. He talked about how black GIs during World War II had more freedoms when stationed in Germany than back in the country they fought for. But he embraced the progress this nation made and the military's role in helping that change to come about. Colin Powell could have been justifiably angry, but he wasn't. He was thankful. I read and reread one section in particular: The Army was living the democratic ideal ahead of the rest of America. Beginning in the fifties, less discrimination, a truer merit system, and leveler playing fields existed inside the gates of our military posts more than in any Southern city hall or Northern corporation. The Army, therefore, made it easier for me to love my country, with all its flaws, and to serve her with all of my heart." -The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates (p. 131)
Wes Moore (The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates)
look for the fruits of the Spirit. For those of you who didn’t grow up singing them on a kids’ worship music tape before breakfast each morning like I did, the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All of these are incredible values, but I believe there’s always one that we need the most in a particular season. Choose the one that resonates with you at this moment, write it down on some Post-its, and stick them everywhere.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be (Girl, Wash Your Face Series))
The Whiteman told of another country beyond the sea where a powerful woman sat on a throne while men and women danced under the shadow of her authority and benevolence. She was ready to spread the shadow to cover the Agikuyu. They laughed at this eccentric man whose skin had been so scalded that the black outside had peeled off. The hot water must have gone into his head. Nevertheless, his words about a woman on the throne echoed something in the heart, deep down in their history. It was many, many years ago. Then women ruled the land of the Agikuyu. Men had no property, they were only there to serve the whims and needs of the women. Those were hard years. So they waited for women to go to war, they plotted a revolt, taking an oath of secrecy to keep them bound each to each in the common pursuit of freedom. They would sleep with all the women at once, for didn't they know the heroines would return hungry for love and relaxation? Fate did the rest; women were pregnant; the takeover met with little resistance.
Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (A Grain of Wheat)
Observers call the phenomenon Black Twitter, described here by Farhad Manjoo in Slate: Black people—specifically, young black people—do seem to use Twitter differently from everyone else on the service. They form tighter clusters on the network—they follow one another more readily, they retweet each other more often, and more of their posts are @-replies—posts directed at other users. It’s this behavior, intentional or not, that gives black people—and in particular, black teenagers—the means to dominate the conversation on Twitter.
Christian Rudder (Dataclysm: Love, Sex, Race, and Identity--What Our Online Lives Tell Us about Our Offline Selves)
All that summer, as I end up in his flat over and over, drinking his wine, having his bad pervy sex, and then lying on the bed, talking about Auden’s influence on Morrissey, I feel like we’re in a huge, ongoing surreal session of the Post-it Game, in which Rich has stuck a Post-it on my head on which is written either “My girlfriend” or “Not my girlfriend,” and I am having to guess which it is with a series of questions that he can only answer yes or no. This whole situation seems like a massive societal problem. Why have we not yet discovered a way to find out if someone’s in love with you? Why can’t I press a litmus paper to Tony’s sweaty brow, when we’re fucking, and see if it turns pink for love—or blue for casual fuck? Why is there no information on this? Why has science not attended to this matter?
Caitlin Moran (How to Build a Girl)
When he wrote back, he pretended to be his old self, he lied his way into sanity. For fear of his psychiatrist who was also their censor, they could never be sensual, or even emotional. His was considered a modern, enlightened prison, despite its Victorian chill. He had been diagnosed, with clinical precision, as morbidly oversexed, and in need of help as well as correction. He was not to be stimulated. Some letters—both his and hers—were confiscated for some timid expression of affection. So they wrote about literature, and used characters as codes. All those books, those happy or tragic couples they had never met to discuss! Tristan and Isolde the Duke Orsino and Olivia (and Malvolio too), Troilus and Criseyde, Once, in despair, he referred to Prometheus, chained to a rock, his liver devoured daily by a vulture. Sometimes she was patient Griselde. Mention of “a quiet corner in a library” was a code for sexual ecstasy. They charted the daily round too, in boring, loving detail. He described the prison routine in every aspect, but he never told her of its stupidity. That was plain enough. He never told her that he feared he might go under. That too was clear. She never wrote that she loved him, though she would have if she thought it would get through. But he knew it. She told him she had cut herself off from her family. She would never speak to her parents, brother or sister again. He followed closely all her steps along the way toward her nurse’s qualification. When she wrote, “I went to the library today to get the anatomy book I told you about. I found a quiet corner and pretended to read,” he knew she was feeding on the same memories that consumed him “They sat down, looked at each other, smiled and looked away. Robbie and Cecilia had been making love for years—by post. In their coded exchanges they had drawn close, but how artificial that closeness seemed now as they embarked on their small talk, their helpless catechism of polite query and response. As the distance opened up between them, they understood how far they had run ahead of themselves in their letters. This moment had been imagined and desired for too long, and could not measure up. He had been out of the world, and lacked the confidence to step back and reach for the larger thought. I love you, and you saved my life. He asked about her lodgings. She told him. “And do you get along all right with your landlady?” He could think of nothing better, and feared the silence that might come down, and the awkwardness that would be a prelude to her telling him that it had been nice to meet up again. Now she must be getting back to work. Everything they had, rested on a few minutes in a library years ago. Was it too frail? She could easily slip back into being a kind of sister. Was she disappointed? He had lost weight. He had shrunk in every sense. Prison made him despise himself, while she looked as adorable as he remembered her, especially in a nurse’s uniform. But she was miserably nervous too, incapable of stepping around the inanities. Instead, she was trying to be lighthearted about her landlady’s temper. After a few more such exchanges, she really was looking at the little watch that hung above her left breast, and telling him that her lunch break would soon be over.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
During my first few months of Facebooking, I discovered that my page had fostered a collective nostalgia for specific cultural icons. These started, unsurprisingly, within the realm of science fiction and fantasy. They commonly included a pointy-eared Vulcan from a certain groundbreaking 1960s television show. Just as often, though, I found myself sharing images of a diminutive, ancient, green and disarmingly wise Jedi Master who speaks in flip-side down English. Or, if feeling more sinister, I’d post pictures of his black-cloaked, dark-sided, heavy-breathing nemesis. As an aside, I initially received from Star Trek fans considerable “push-back,” or at least many raised Spock brows, when I began sharing images of Yoda and Darth Vader. To the purists, this bordered on sacrilege.. But as I like to remind fans, I was the only actor to work within both franchises, having also voiced the part of Lok Durd from the animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was the virality of these early posts, shared by thousands of fans without any prodding from me, that got me thinking. Why do we love Spock, Yoda and Darth Vader so much? And what is it about characters like these that causes fans to click “like” and “share” so readily? One thing was clear: Cultural icons help people define who they are today because they shaped who they were as children. We all “like” Yoda because we all loved The Empire Strikes Back, probably watched it many times, and can recite our favorite lines. Indeed, we all can quote Yoda, and we all have tried out our best impression of him. When someone posts a meme of Yoda, many immediately share it, not just because they think it is funny (though it usually is — it’s hard to go wrong with the Master), but because it says something about the sharer. It’s shorthand for saying, “This little guy made a huge impact on me, not sure what it is, but for certain a huge impact. Did it make one on you, too? I’m clicking ‘share’ to affirm something you may not know about me. I ‘like’ Yoda.” And isn’t that what sharing on Facebook is all about? It’s not simply that the sharer wants you to snortle or “LOL” as it were. That’s part of it, but not the core. At its core is a statement about one’s belief system, one that includes the wisdom of Yoda. Other eminently shareable icons included beloved Tolkien characters, particularly Gandalf (as played by the inimitable Sir Ian McKellan). Gandalf, like Yoda, is somehow always above reproach and unfailingly epic. Like Yoda, Gandalf has his darker counterpart. Gollum is a fan favorite because he is a fallen figure who could reform with the right guidance. It doesn’t hurt that his every meme is invariably read in his distinctive, blood-curdling rasp. Then there’s also Batman, who seems to have survived both Adam West and Christian Bale, but whose questionable relationship to the Boy Wonder left plenty of room for hilarious homoerotic undertones. But seriously, there is something about the brooding, misunderstood and “chaotic-good” nature of this superhero that touches all of our hearts.
George Takei
Dear Jessa, I’ve started this letter so many times and I’ve never been able to finish it. So here goes again . . . I’m sorry. I’m sorry that Riley is dead. I’m sorry for ignoring your emails and for not being there for you. I’m sorry I’ve hurt you. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wish it had been me that died and not Riley. If I could go back in time and change everything I would. I’m sorry I left without a word. There’s no excuse for my behaviour but please know that it had nothing to do with you. I was a mess. I haven’t been able to talk to anyone for months. And I felt too guilty and didn’t know how to tell you the truth about what happened. I couldn’t bear the thought of you knowing. I got all your emails but I didn’t read them until last week. I couldn’t face it and I guess that makes me the biggest coward you’ll ever meet. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I never replied. You needed me and I wasn’t there for you. I don’t even know how to ask your forgiveness because I don’t deserve it. I’m just glad you’re doing better. I’m better too. I’ve started seeing a therapist – twice a week – you’d like her. She reminds me of Didi. I never thought I’d be the kind of guy who needed therapy, but they made it a condition of me keeping my job. She’s helped me a lot with getting the panic attacks under control. Working in a room the size of a janitor’s closet helps too – there aren’t too many surprises, only the occasional rogue paperclip. I asked for the posting. I have to thank your dad ironically. The demotion worked out. Kind of funny that I totally get where your father was coming from all those years. Looks like I’ll be spending the remainder of my marine career behind a desk, but I’m OK with that. I don’t know what else to say, Jessa. My therapist says I should just write down whatever comes into my head. So here goes. Here’s what’s in my head . . . I miss you. I love you. Even though I long ago gave up the right to any sort of claim over you, I can’t stop loving you. I won’t ever stop. You’re in my blood. You’re the only thing that got me through this, Jessa. Because even during the bad times, the worst times, the times I’d wake up in a cold sweat, my heart thumping, the times I’d think the only way out was by killing myself and just having it all go away, I’d think of you and it would pull me back out of whatever dark place I’d fallen into. You’re my light, Jessa. My north star. You asked me once to come back to you and I told you I always would. I’m working on it. It might take me a little while, and I know I have no right to ask you to wait for me after everything I’ve done, but I’m going to anyway because the truth is I don’t know how to live without you. I’ve tried and I can’t do it. So please, I’m asking you to wait for me. I’m going to come back to you. I promise. And I’m going to make things right. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll never stop trying for the rest of my life to make things right between us. I love you. Always. Kit
Mila Gray (Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me, #1))
Amaranth" There are no starfish in the sky tonight, But there is one below your belly, And there are cold evenings in your eyes. If I could get to your house I would look under the bed of your childhood, The tongueless loafer without laces or eyes, The cave of your young foot With its odor of moon, its dampness Coming from underground, your shoe Which also bled and is now an island. You have to remember these are the memories Of a survivor, you have to remember. You could be looking for clay to haul away, Fill for the deep washouts of your love. All your old loves, they bled to death, too. Your hair is like a cemetery full of hands, Fingers in the moonlight. When you come down to the heart Bring your post-hole diggers and crowbar. Do not set a corner, a fence won’t last. Do not bury our first child there, Or set a post, Although I have tasted blood on the lips of a stranger, At night and in the rain.
Frank Stanford (What About This: Collected Poems of Frank Stanford)
Genuinely support people in ways you can. If you build great relationships and people get to like you for you, they will eventually promote what you do and would want to do business with you. The bottom line is that people love to do business with those they love and trust. Learn to understand people, your audience, their needs, and their real problem. If you are using a Facebook page or even your own profile, involve your friends in a fruitful discussion. Don’t just make a post and leave to expect likes and comments. Take time to leave a note for a friend, ask about their business and what interests them.
Bernard Kelvin Clive
This past soccer season, the league in which my son and daughter were playing had to make up two games due to rain (the price of living in Houston). The consensus in the league was that Sunday was the only available day, so the makeup games were scheduled for Sunday afternoon. My family and I sat down to discuss the matter, but no discussion was really necessary. There was no way we were going to participate. Sunday is the Lord's Day, and playing youth soccer games on Sunday makes a definite statement about the priorities in a community. Interestingly, the most flak from our decision came not from the irreligious people involved but from Christians! “You can go to church, then run home and change for the game,” one man said. One of my children's coaches added, “I'd be glad to pick them up if there is somewhere you have to be.” Nobody seemed to get it. We weren't making a decision based on the hectic nature of our Sunday schedule, nor was it a question of our adhering to a legalistic requirement handed down from our denomination. It was a matter of principle. Sunday is more than just another day. Youth sports leagues are great, but they are not sacred; Sunday is! Again, I do not believe that there is a legalistic requirement not to play games on a Sunday. Nor do I believe that the policeman, fireman, or airline mechanic who goes in to work on Sunday is out of the will of God. I do, however, think that there is a huge difference between someone whose job requires working on Sunday and a soccer league that just doesn't care.
Voddie T. Baucham Jr. (The Ever-Loving Truth: Can Faith Thrive in a Post-Christian Culture?)
The North Korean capital, Pyongyang, is a city consecrated to the worship of a father-son dynasty. (I came to think of them, with their nuclear-family implications, as 'Fat Man and Little Boy.') And a river runs through it. And on this river, the Taedong River, is moored the only American naval vessel in captivity. It was in January 1968 that the U.S.S. Pueblo strayed into North Korean waters, and was boarded and captured. One sailor was killed; the rest were held for nearly a year before being released. I looked over the spy ship, its radio antennae and surveillance equipment still intact, and found photographs of the captain and crew with their hands on their heads in gestures of abject surrender. Copies of their groveling 'confessions,' written in tremulous script, were also on show. So was a humiliating document from the United States government, admitting wrongdoing in the penetration of North Korean waters and petitioning the 'D.P.R.K.' (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) for 'lenience.' Kim Il Sung ('Fat Man') was eventually lenient about the men, but not about the ship. Madeleine Albright didn't ask to see the vessel on her visit last October, during which she described the gruesome, depopulated vistas of Pyongyang as 'beautiful.' As I got back onto the wharf, I noticed a refreshment cart, staffed by two women under a frayed umbrella. It didn't look like much—one of its three wheels was missing and a piece of brick was propping it up—but it was the only such cart I'd see. What toothsome local snacks might the ladies be offering? The choices turned out to be slices of dry bread and cups of warm water. Nor did Madeleine Albright visit the absurdly misnamed 'Demilitarized Zone,' one of the most heavily militarized strips of land on earth. Across the waist of the Korean peninsula lies a wasteland, roughly following the 38th parallel, and packed with a titanic concentration of potential violence. It is four kilometers wide (I have now looked apprehensively at it from both sides) and very near to the capital cities of both North and South. On the day I spent on the northern side, I met a group of aging Chinese veterans, all from Szechuan, touring the old battlefields and reliving a war they helped North Korea nearly win (China sacrificed perhaps a million soldiers in that campaign, including Mao Anying, son of Mao himself). Across the frontier are 37,000 United States soldiers. Their arsenal, which has included undeclared nuclear weapons, is the reason given by Washington for its refusal to sign the land-mines treaty. In August 1976, U.S. officers entered the neutral zone to trim a tree that was obscuring the view of an observation post. A posse of North Koreans came after them, and one, seizing the ax with which the trimming was to be done, hacked two U.S. servicemen to death with it. I visited the ax also; it's proudly displayed in a glass case on the North Korean side.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
In matters of affection, the rules of engagement at Empire High were detailed yet unambiguous, an extension of procedures established in junior high, a set of guidelines that couldn't have been clearer if they'd been posted on the schoolhouse door. If you were a girl and your heart inclined toward a particular boy, you had one of your girlfriends make inquiries from one of that boy's friends. Such contact represented the commencement of a series of complex negotiations, the opening rounds of which were handled by friends. Boy's friend A might report to Girl's friend B that the boy in question considered her a fox, or, if he felt particularly strongly, a major fox. Those experienced in these matters knew that it was wise to proceed cautiously, since too much ardor could delay things for weeks. The girl in question might be in negotiations with other parties, and no boy wanted to be on record as considering a girl a major fox only to discover that she considered him merely cool. Friends had to be instructed carefully about how much emotional currency they could spend, since rogue emotions led to inflation, lessening the value of everyone's feelings. Once a level of affection within the comfort zone of both parties was agreed upon, the principals could then meet for the exchange of mementos - rings, jackets, photos, key chains - to seal the deal, always assuming that seconds had properly represented the lovers to begin with.
Richard Russo (Empire Falls)
Noemi wondered if High Place had robbed her of her illusions, or if they were meant to be shattered all along. Marriage could hardly be like the passionate romances one read about in books. It seemed to her, in fact, a rotten deal. Men would be solicitous and well behaved when they courted a woman, asking her out to parties and sending her flowers, but once they married. the flowers wilted. You didn't have married men posting love letters to their wives. That's why Noemí tended to cycle through admirers. She worried a man would be briefly impressed with her luster, only to lose interest later on. There was also the excitement of the chase, the delight that flew through her veins when she knew a suitor was bewitched with her. Besides, boys her age were dull, always talking about the parties they had been to the previous week or the one they were planning to go to the week after. Easy, shallow men. Yet the thought of anyone more substantial made her nervous, for she was trapped between competing de sires, a desire for a more meaningful connection and the desire to never change. She wished for eternal youth and endless merriment.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Mexican Gothic)
thought, even as my head told me nothing good would come of posting pictures of myself online. I should probably also admit to her that I was going to need… extra help. But I couldn’t. Not if it meant I would lose this opportunity, which it might. This was my chance. More than likely my last one. I could be safe. Couldn’t I? I could watch what I posted. Be more careful. I could be smart about it if things started happening again. Especially if this opportunity was real and mine. I could record our sessions so I could practice them more later on by myself. I’d done it before. My mom and siblings would help if I asked. I could be more focused and make Ivan skate everything first once we got to doing choreography. I could figure it out. I could make it work without telling them.
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
My bad mood returns like an unwanted rash. “I got in a fight with Logan. And that’s all I’m saying on the subject, because if I talk about it right now, it’ll just piss me off again and then I’ll be too distracted to produce Dumb and Dumber’s show.” We both glance at the main booth, where Evelyn is using the reflection on her water glass to check her makeup, dabbing delicately at her eye shadow. Pace is engrossed with his phone, his chair tipped back so far that I predict a very loud disaster in the near future. “God, I love them,” Daisy says with a snicker. “I don’t think I’ve ever met two more self-absorbed people.” Morris saunters out of the booth and wanders over to us. He notices Daisy’s shirt and says, “Sweetheart, we’re at work. Show some decorum.” “Says the guy who ripped this shirt off me in the supply closet.” Rolling her eyes, she takes a step away. “I’m going to make myself presentable in the bathroom. I’d do it out here, but I’m scared Dumber might take a picture and post it on a porn site.” “Wait, the names Dumb and Dumber actually correspond to each of them?” Morris says in surprise. “I thought it was more of a general thing. Which one is Dumber?” The second the question leaves his mouth, a muffled crash reverberates from the booth, and we all turn to see Pace tangled up on the floor. Yup, the guy who spent an hour regaling me about his cow-tipping days back in Iowa? Tipped himself right over. From behind the glass, Pace bounces to his feet, notices us staring, and mouths the words, “I’m okay!” Morris sighs. “I withdraw the question
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Nick grinned, swooping in for another kiss and then leaning back and scruffing his hair up. “Harriet Manners, I’m about to give you six stamps. Then I’m going to write something on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope with your address on it.” “OK …” “Then I’m going to put the envelope on the floor and spin us as fast as I can. As soon as either of us manage to stick a stamp on it, I’m going to race to the postbox and post it unless you can catch me first. If you win, you can read it.” Nick was obviously faster than me, but he didn’t know where the nearest postbox was. “Deal,” I agreed, yawning and rubbing my eyes. “But why six stamps?” “Just wait and see.” A few seconds later, I understood. As we spun in circles with our hands stretched out, one of my stamps got stuck to the ground at least a metre away from the envelope. Another ended up on a daisy. A third somehow got stuck to the roundabout. One of Nick’s ended up on his nose. And every time we both missed, we laughed harder and harder and our kisses got dizzier and dizzier until the whole world was a giggling, kissing, spinning blur. Finally, when we both had one stamp left, I stopped giggling. I had to win this. So I swallowed, wiped my eyes and took a few deep breaths. Then I reached out my hand. “Too late!” Nick yelled as I opened my eyes again. “Got it, Manners!” And he jumped off the still-spinning roundabout with the envelope held high over his head. So I promptly leapt off too. Straight into a bush. Thanks to a destabilised vestibular system – which is the upper portion of the inner ear – the ground wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Nick, in the meantime, had ended up flat on his back on the grass next to me. With a small shout I leant down and kissed him hard on the lips. “HA!” I shouted, grabbing the envelope off him and trying to rip it open. “I don’t think so,” he grinned, jumping up and wrapping one arm round my waist while he retrieved it again. Then he started running in a zigzag towards the postbox. A few seconds later, I wobbled after him. And we stumbled wonkily down the road, giggling and pulling at each other’s T-shirts and hanging on to tree trunks and kissing as we each fought for the prize. Finally, he picked me up and, without any effort, popped me on top of a high wall. Like Humpty Dumpty. Or some kind of really unathletic cat. “Hey!” I shouted as he whipped the envelope out of my hands and started sprinting towards the postbox at the bottom of the road. “That’s not fair!” “Course it is,” he shouted back. “All’s fair in love and war.” And Nick kissed the envelope then put it in the postbox with a flourish. I had to wait three days. Three days of lingering by the front door. Three days of lifting up the doormat, just in case it had accidentally slipped under there. Finally, the letter arrived: crumpled and stained with grass. Ha. Told you I was faster. LBxx
Holly Smale (Picture Perfect (Geek Girl, #3))
[23] Our situation is like that at a festival.* Sheep and cattle are driven to it to be sold, and most people come either to buy or to sell, while only a few come to look at the spectacle of the festival, to see how it is proceeding and why, and who is organizing it, and for what purpose. [24] So also in this festival of the world. Some people are like sheep and cattle and are interested in nothing but their fodder; for in the case of those of you who are interested in nothing but your property, and land, and slaves, and public posts, all of that is nothing more than fodder. [25] Few indeed are those who attend the fair for love of the spectacle, asking, ‘What is the universe, then, and who governs it? No one at all? [26] And yet when a city or household cannot survive for even a very short time without someone to govern it and watch over it, how could it be that such a vast and beautiful structure could be kept so well ordered by mere chance and good luck? [27] So there must be someone governing it. What sort of being is he, and how does he govern it? And we who have been created by him, who are we, and what were we created for? Are we bound together with him in some kind of union and interrelationship, or is that not the case?’ [28] Such are the thoughts that are aroused in this small collection of people; and from then on, they devote their leisure to this one thing alone, to finding out about the festival before they have to take their leave. [29] What comes about, then? They become an object of mockery for the crowd, just as the spectators at an ordinary festival are mocked by the traders; and even the sheep and cattle, if they had sufficient intelligence, would laugh at those who attach value to anything other than fodder!
Epictetus (Discourses, Fragments, Handbook)
A pandemic paradoxically becomes an opportunity to finally be able to deal with ourselves, in a long interval where the world has stopped and everything around us starts to function at a slow pace. Shopping becomes a long and slow business, and if before we hated getting stuck in the traffic or queuing at the post office, today we can do nothing but adapt to this new world of expectations and shifts, and discover the faces of our fellow men, finally looking them in the face (or rather, in the eyes). We have rediscovered the pleasure of cooking and eating, a world that before the quarantine stopped only on TV with masterchef. If before we considered it a waste of time to cook a plate of pasta, now we have had all the time to devote to cakes, pizzas, biscuits and homemade bread as our grandmothers once did. Rediscovering genuine flavors that have little of "fast" and much of "slow". And so we also found time to read the book that we are not never managed to finish, or we pulled our favorite board game off the shelf. These small gestures, sometimes even insignificant in appearance, are rich in meaning, since they are imbued with our time, our dedication, our passion and our love. Characteristics of the human being that have been forgotten for too long. Thus we find ourselves reflecting on our time, on the past and on the future, observing a precipitous past that makes room for a rich and decidedly slower present. We have resumed the taste of walking slowly, to escape and symbolically get closer to its initiatory role ... the road teaches you that you fall, you get up, you go back, you make miraculous encounters and sometimes you are helped by Samaritans or, in cases worst, deceived by demons. But is always a discovery, going towards something new, a unique experience in which the mind is regenerated. Walking is rediscovered today as an existential alternative, as an opposition to speed, to displacement technologies, it is essentially a criticism of the dominant competitive spirit. We have given importance to windows and balconies, from where you can observe small corners of the world. Terraces from which to peer into the universe, to observe the rising sun, setting, to discover that in the sky there is a wonderful creature called the Moon, accompanied by billions of stars. We finally had a chat with our neighbors who are no longer perfect strangers, we made friends with boredom and, let's face it, we found that time, in general, is not just that marked by watches. Suddenly we found ourselves in the present time, immersed in the much-talked about Here and Now, but little frequented. This small temporal space that marks our life, which contains our ugliest and most beautiful experiences, which brings our youth with us and will bring our old age, becomes the protagonist of this pandemic, which if on the one hand has stuck, on the other it gave us the opportunity to look at our life with different eyes, which seemed to really need to stop for a moment to breathe. Because let's put it on our heads, slowness is not a waste of time, but awareness of one's life time!
Corina Abdulahm Negura
As a minister of the Lord in whatever way the Lord decides to use you and with the gifts he gives you for the work, there is the tendency to start idolizing the work itself or the gifts that you forget it is the father who gave it to you. Who picked you up and dusted you from nothing and adorned you. You forget and make the work a god before him. Exodus 20:3 "You shall have no other gods before me". ----- This can be very subtle especially for social media ministry. You begin to love your social image over the word of God. You begin to dampen and tweak the word of God to appeal to a wider audience. You're suddenly no longer about the raw truth of the gospel. As the followers and likes increase you begin to get more and more addicted to the fruit of the works and the response to YOUR messages and posts. If a post doesn't do too well and get many likes and comments you are not happy. It hurts you deeply. That is how you know It has become about you. ------ If this is you and this message has touched your heart, if this post is like a mirror to your face, go back to God and ask for forgiveness. Ask God to forgive you for elevating yourself and your work as a god before him and return back to when it was just about loving him and preaching the good news. You probably may have noticed you lost the fire of inspiration you used to have at the beginning. This is why.
Daniel Friday Danzor
Asking a writer why they like to write {in the theoretical sense of the question} is like asking a person why they breathe. For me, writing is a natural reflex to the beauty, the events, and the people I see around me. As Anais Nin put it, "We write to taste life twice." I live and then I write. The one transfers to the other, for me, in a gentle, necessary way. As prosaic as it sounds, I believe I process by writing. Part of the way I deal with stressful situations, catty people, or great joy or great trials in my own life is by conjuring it onto paper in some way; a journal entry, a blog post, my writing notebook, or my latest story. While I am a fair conversationalist, my real forte is expressing myself in words on paper. If I leave it all chasing round my head like rabbits in a warren, I'm apt to become a bug-bear to live with and my family would not thank me. Some people need counselors. Some people need long, drawn-out phone-calls with a trusted friend. Some people need to go out for a run. I need to get away to a quiet, lonesome corner--preferably on the front steps at gloaming with the North Star trembling against the darkening blue. I need to set my pen fiercely against the page {for at such moments I must be writing--not typing.} and I need to convert the stress or excitement or happiness into something to be shared with another person. The beauty of the relationship between reading and writing is its give-and-take dynamic. For years I gathered and read every book in the near vicinity and absorbed tale upon tale, story upon story, adventures and sagas and dramas and classics. I fed my fancy, my tastes, and my ideas upon good books and thus those aspects of myself grew up to be none too shabby. When I began to employ my fancy, tastes, and ideas in writing my own books, the dawning of a strange and wonderful idea tinged the horizon of thought with blush-rose colors: If I persisted and worked hard and poured myself into the craft, I could create one of those books. One of the heart-books that foster a love of reading and even writing in another person somewhere. I could have a hand in forming another person's mind. A great responsibility and a great privilege that, and one I would love to be a party to. Books can change a person. I am a firm believer in that. I cannot tell you how many sentiments or noble ideas or parts of my own personality are woven from threads of things I've read over the years. I hoard quotations and shadows of quotations and general impressions of books like a tzar of Russia hoards his icy treasures. They make up a large part of who I am. I think it's worth saying again: books can change a person. For better or for worse. As a writer it's my two-edged gift to be able to slay or heal where I will. It's my responsibility to wield that weapon aright and do only good with my words. Or only purposeful cutting. I am not set against the surgeon's method of butchery--the nicking of a person's spirit, the rubbing in of a salty, stinging salve, and the ultimate healing-over of that wound that makes for a healthier person in the end. It's the bitter herbs that heal the best, so now and again you might be called upon to write something with more cayenne than honey about it. But the end must be good. We cannot let the Light fade from our words.
Rachel Heffington
This week I was watching the Rachel Maddow Show (you'd love her: she's funny and brilliant and just happens to be a stunning butch), and she was interviewing the outgoing attorney general, Loretta Lynch, about the country's post election future. The entire show was like a burst of hope so bright I almost had to put on sunglasses. The African American attorney general, prim and plump, sat perched on a barstool talking to a white butch lesbian who has her own national television news show! The event was being recorded in the Stonewall Inn, the site of one of the first places where queer people fought back against police violence! (I was so nervous about being a lesbian in 1969, I hid the tiny newspaper clipping from you.) Simply that the interview was happening made me remember that there are people in the world who are not such egotistical, political careerists as to believe that human rights don't matter. Then, as if just showing up wasn't enough, Attorney General Lynch spoke a truth that is hard to remember from our short-lived perspective: "History is bigger than one turn of the electoral wheel." During your eighty-eight years on this plane, you saw numerous turns of the wheel, and many of them did not land on a prize. Still, toward the end of your life, you took me in and bestowed not just a roof and clothes and food but the gift of your history and the knowledge that we find hope inside ourselves.
Jewelle L. Gómez (Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times)
These books have really helped me get through some rough patches in my life... So if you want to disagree with me, that's fine, but please do so in a respectful manner. (On anyone's posts for that matter) You never know what someone may be going through. I was recently called an idiot and other names that I won't repeat because I try to keep my language clean, simply because I was defending some other people who were being attacked for loving the Keeper of the Lost Cities. And I know for a fact that many people (myself included) go to books to escape their everyday life. I know of a few people who have read a book that helped them through depression because the characters in that book found a way through it. I've heard about people who were thinking about suicide and then part of a book helped them realize that it wasn't the answer. Books can save lives, as well as any other hobby. So feel free to share your opinion, but please don't attack people for theirs, no matter what it is.
Me!
To the newborn, love is action; it is the attentive, responsive, nurturing care that adults provide. A parent may truly love his child, but if he is sitting at a computer posting on social media about how much he loves his child while the infant is in another room, awake, hungry, and crying, the infant experiences no love. To the infant, skin-to-skin warmth, the smell of the parent, the sights and sounds of her caregivers, the attentive and responsive caregiver’s actions-that becomes love. The thousands of these loving, responsive interactions shape the developing brain of the infant. These loving moments literally build the foundation of the organizing brain….the infant begins to associate these responsive people with pleasure, sustenance, warmth; her view of the world is being shaped…it is through these interactions that the child’s worldview is built, and depending upon the quality and pattern of the caregiver’s responses, will build resilience or contribute to a sensitized, vulnerable child.
Bruce D. Perry (What Happened To You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing)
In talks I was doing on racial justice, I began talking about the United States’ three racialized holocausts: the large-scale death and destruction of cultures that resulted from the genocide of indigenous people on which the country was founded; the African slave trade that was central to the country’s emergence as an industrial power; and the post-WWII assault on the developing world that secured the country’s dominance in the contemporary world. Millions died in these projects, in which hideous levels of violence to expand one group’s wealth and power were justified, overtly or covertly, by the alleged racial superiority of whites. Some people were turned off, objecting that my language was too strong, but many more found the bluntness refreshing and told me the framework was helpful. These experiences taught me that watering down analysis and language to reach the largest possible audience often backfired—people who disagree aren’t persuaded, and those looking for a compelling argument tend to drift away.
Robert Jensen (Plain Radical: Living, Loving and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully)
My Dear Mrs Winter. (I had half a mind when I dipped my pen in the ink, to address you by your old natural Christian name.) The snow lies so deep on the Northern Railway, and the Posts have been so interrupted in consequence, that your charming note arrived here only this morning... I get the heartache again when I read your commission, written in the hand which I find now to be not in the least changed, and yet it is a great pleasure to be entrusted with it, and to have that share in your gentler remembrances which I cannot find it still my privilege to have, without a stirring of the old fancies. ... I am very very sorry you mistrusted me in not writing before your little girl was born; but I hope now you know me better you will teach her, one day, to tell her children, in times to come when they have some interest in wondering about it, that I loved her mother with the most extraordinary earnestness when I was a boy. I have always believed since, and always shall to the last, that there never was such a faithful and devoted poor fellow as I was. Whatever of fancy, romance, energy, passion, aspiration and determination belong to me, I never have separated and never shall separate from the hard hearted little woman - you - whom it is nothing to say I would have died for, with the greatest alacrity! I never can think, and I never seem to observe, that other young people are in such desperate earnest, or set so much, so long, upon one absorbing hope. It is a matter of perfect certainty to me that I began to fight my way out of poverty and obscurity, with one perpetual idea of you. This is so fixed in my knowledge that to the hour when I opened your letter last Friday night, I have never heard anybody addressed by your name or spoken of by your name, without a start. The sound of it has always filled me with a kind of pity and respect for the deep truth that I had, in my silly hobbledehoyhood, to bestow upon one creature who represented the whole world to me. I have never been so good a man since, as I was when you made me wretchedly happy. I shall never be half so good a fellow any more. This is all so strange now, both to think of, and to say, after every change that has come about; but I think, when you ask me to write to you, you are not unprepared for what it is so natural to me to recall, and will not be displeased to read it. I fancy, - though you may not have thought in the old time how manfully I loved you - that you may have seen in one of my books a faithful reflection of the passion I had for you, and may have thought that it was something to have been loved so well, and may have seen in little bits of "Dora" touches of your old self sometimes, and a grace here and there that may be revived in your little girls, years hence, for the bewilderment of some other young lover - though he will never be as terribly in earnest as I and David Copperfield were. People used to say to me how pretty all that was, and how fanciful it was, and how elevated it was above the little foolish loves of very young men and women. But they little thought what reason I had to know it was true and nothing more nor less. These are things that I have locked up in my own breast, and that I never thought to bring out any more. But when I find myself writing to you again "all to your self", how can I forbear to let as much light in upon them as will shew you that they are there still! If the most innocent, the most ardent, and the most disinterested days of my life had you for their Sun - as indeed they had - and if I know that the Dream I lived in did me good, refined my heart, and made me patient and persevering, and if the Dream were all of you - as God knows it was - how can I receive a confidence from you, and return it, and make a feint of blotting all this out! ...
Charles Dickens
But the greatest human problems are not social problems, but decisions that the individual has to make alone. The most important feelings of which man is capable emphasise his separateness from other people, not his kinship with them. The feelings of a mountaineer towards a mountain emphasise his kinship with the mountain rather than with the rest of mankind. The same goes for the leap of the heart experienced by a sailor when he smells the sea, or for the astronomer’s feeling about the stars, or for the archaeologist’s love of the past. My feeling of love for my fellowmen makes me aware of my humanness; but my feeling about a mountain gives me an oddly nonhuman sensation. It would be incorrect, perhaps, to call it ‘superhuman’; but it nevertheless gives me a sense of transcending my everyday humanity. Maslow’s importance is that he has placed these experiences of ‘transcendence’ at the centre of his psychology. He sees them as the compass by which man gains a sense of the magnetic north of his existence. They bring a glimpse of ‘the source of power, meaning and purpose’ inside himself. This can be seen with great clarity in the matter of the cure of alcoholics. Alcoholism arises from what I have called ‘generalised hypertension’, a feeling of strain or anxiety about practically everything. It might be described as a ‘passively negative’ attitude towards existence. The negativity prevents proper relaxation; there is a perpetual excess of adrenalin in the bloodstream. Alcohol may produce the necessary relaxation, switch off the anxiety, allow one to feel like a real human being instead of a bundle of over-tense nerves. Recurrence of the hypertension makes the alcoholic remedy a habit, but the disadvantages soon begin to outweigh the advantage: hangovers, headaches, fatigue, guilt, general inefficiency. And, above all, passivity. The alcoholics are given mescalin or LSD, and then peak experiences are induced by means of music or poetry or colours blending on a screen. They are suddenly gripped and shaken by a sense of meaning, of just how incredibly interesting life can be for the undefeated. They also become aware of the vicious circle involved in alcoholism: misery and passivity leading to a general running-down of the vital powers, and to the lower levels of perception that are the outcome of fatigue. ‘The spirit world shuts not its gates, Your heart is dead, your senses sleep,’ says the Earth Spirit to Faust. And the senses sleep when there is not enough energy to run them efficiently. On the other hand, when the level of will and determination is high, the senses wake up. (Maslow was not particularly literary, or he might have been amused to think that Faust is suffering from exactly the same problem as the girl in the chewing gum factory (described earlier), and that he had, incidentally, solved a problem that had troubled European culture for nearly two centuries). Peak experiences are a by-product of this higher energy-drive. The alcoholic drinks because he is seeking peak experiences; (the same, of course, goes for all addicts, whether of drugs or tobacco.) In fact, he is moving away from them, like a lost traveller walking away from the inn in which he hopes to spend the night. The moment he sees with clarity what he needs to do to regain the peak experience, he does an about-face and ceases to be an alcoholic.
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
When Ash said nothing, Lila growled, “You broke her heart, you know. The least you can do is talk to her.” “I have talked to her. I tried, anyway. I told her up front that I wasn’t looking for a long-term sweetheart. I thought we both agreed to that.” “Did you make her sign a bloody contract?” Lila laughed, but there was a bitter edge to it. “‘I promise that I won’t fall in love with the moody, mysterious Ash Hanson. I will enjoy his rangy body, his broad shoulders, and shapely leg, all the while knowing it’s a lease, not a buy.’” “Shapely leg?” Ash thrust out his leg, pretending to examine it, hoping to interrupt the litany of his physical gifts. But Lila was on a roll. “‘I will not fall into those blue-green eyes, deep as twin mountain pools, nor succumb to the lure of his full lips. Well, I will succumb, but for a limited time only. And the stubble—have I mentioned the stubble?’” Ash’s patience had run out. Lila was far too fluent in Fellsian for his liking. “Shut up, Lila.” “Isn’t there anyone who meets your standards?” “At least I have standards.” He raised an eyebrow. “Ouch!” Lila clutched her shoulder. “A fair hit, sir. A fair hit.” Her smile faded. “The problem is, hope is the thing that can’t be reined in by rules or pinned down by bitter experience. It’s a blessing and curse.” For a long moment, Ash stared at her. He would have been less surprised to hear his pony reciting poetry. “Who knew you were a philosopher?” he said finally. “Now. If you’re staying, let’s talk about something else. Where’s your posting this term?” “I’m going back to the Shivering Fens,” Lila said, “where the taverns are as rare as a day without rain. Where you have to keep moving or grow a crop of moss on your ass.” Good-bye, poetry, Ash thought. “Sounds lovely.
Cinda Williams Chima (Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1))
These girls aren't wounded so much as post-wounded, and I see their sisters everywhere. They're over it. *I am not a melodramatic person.* God help the woman who is. What I'll call "post-wounded" isn't a shift in deep feeling (we understand these women still hurt) but a shift away from wounded affect---these women are aware that "woundedness" is overdone and overrated. They are wary of melodrama so they stay numb or clever instead. Post-wounded women make jokes about being wounded or get impatient with women who hurt too much. The post-wounded woman conducts herself as if preempting certain accusations: don't cry too loud, don't play victim, don't act the old role all over again. Don't ask for pain meds you don't need, don't give those doctors another reason to doubt the other women on their examination tables. Post-wounded women fuck men who don't love them and then they feel mildly sad about it, or just blase about it, more than anything they refuse to care about it, refuse to hurt about it---or else they are endlessly self-aware about the posture they have adopted if they allow themselves this hurting. The post-wounded posture is claustrophobic. It's full of jadedness, aching gone implicit, sarcasm quick-on-the-heels of anything that might look like self-pity. I see it in female writers and their female narrators, troves of stories about vaguely dissatisfied women who no longer fully own their feelings. Pain is everywhere and nowhere. Post-wounded women know that postures of pain play into limited and outmoded conceptions of womanhood. Their hurt has a new native language spoken in several dialects; sarcastic, apathetic, opaque; cool and clever. They guard against those moments when melodrama or self-pity might split their careful seams of intellect. *I should rather call is a seam.* We have sewn ourselves up. We bring everything to the grindstone.
Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams)
Yes, it’s too much to ask,” Alexander said when he returned with no ice (“Tomorrow”) but with an ax, a hammer and nails, a saw, a wood plane, and a kerosene-burning Primus stove. “I didn’t marry you so we could go over there every night.” He laughed. “You invited them inside? That’s very brave of you, my wife. Did you at least make the bed before they came in?” He laughed harder. Tatiana was sitting down on the cool iron hearth, shaking her head. “You’re just impossible.” “I’m impossible? I’m not going there for dinner, forget it. Why don’t you just invite them here afterward then, for the post-dinner vaudeville—” “Vaudeville?” “Never mind.” He dropped all of his goods on the floor in the corner of the cabin. “Invite them here for the entertainment hour. Go ahead. As I make love to you, they can walk around the hearth, clucking to their hearts’ content. Naira will say, ‘Tsk, tsk, tsk. I told her to go with my Vova. I know he could do it better.’ Raisa will want to say, ‘Oh, my, oh, my,’ but she’ll be shaking too much. Dusia will say, ‘Oh, dear Jesus, I prayed to You to spare her from the horrors of the marriage bed!’ And Axinya will say—” “‘Wait till I tell the whole village about his horrors,’” said Tatiana. Alexander laughed and then went to the water to swim.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert talks about this phenomenon in his 2006 book, Stumbling on Happiness. “The greatest achievement of the human brain is its ability to imagine objects and episodes that do not exist in the realm of the real,” he writes. “The frontal lobe—the last part of the human brain to evolve, the slowest to mature, and the first to deteriorate in old age—is a time machine that allows each of us to vacate the present and experience the future before it happens.” This time travel into the future—otherwise known as anticipation—accounts for a big chunk of the happiness gleaned from any event. As you look forward to something good that is about to happen, you experience some of the same joy you would in the moment. The major difference is that the joy can last much longer. Consider that ritual of opening presents on Christmas morning. The reality of it seldom takes more than an hour, but the anticipation of seeing the presents under the tree can stretch out the joy for weeks. One study by several Dutch researchers, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010, found that vacationers were happier than people who didn’t take holiday trips. That finding is hardly surprising. What is surprising is the timing of the happiness boost. It didn’t come after the vacations, with tourists bathing in their post-trip glow. It didn’t even come through that strongly during the trips, as the joy of travel mingled with the stress of travel: jet lag, stomach woes, and train conductors giving garbled instructions over the loudspeaker. The happiness boost came before the trips, stretching out for as much as two months beforehand as the holiday goers imagined their excursions. A vision of little umbrella-sporting drinks can create the happiness rush of a mini vacation even in the midst of a rainy commute. On some level, people instinctively know this. In one study that Gilbert writes about, people were told they’d won a free dinner at a fancy French restaurant. When asked when they’d like to schedule the dinner, most people didn’t want to head over right then. They wanted to wait, on average, over a week—to savor the anticipation of their fine fare and to optimize their pleasure. The experiencing self seldom encounters pure bliss, but the anticipating self never has to go to the bathroom in the middle of a favorite band’s concert and is never cold from too much air conditioning in that theater showing the sequel to a favorite flick. Planning a few anchor events for a weekend guarantees you pleasure because—even if all goes wrong in the moment—you still will have derived some pleasure from the anticipation. I love spontaneity and embrace it when it happens, but I cannot bank my pleasure solely on it. If you wait until Saturday morning to make your plans for the weekend, you will spend a chunk of your Saturday working on such plans, rather than anticipating your fun. Hitting the weekend without a plan means you may not get to do what you want. You’ll use up energy in negotiations with other family members. You’ll start late and the museum will close when you’ve only been there an hour. Your favorite restaurant will be booked up—and even if, miraculously, you score a table, think of how much more you would have enjoyed the last few days knowing that you’d be eating those seared scallops on Saturday night!
Laura Vanderkam (What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off (A Penguin Special from Portfo lio))
Was it as scary for you as it is for me? Falling for Sawyer?” “Not really, no.” She shakes her head. “I’m sure I had some of the same worries, everyone does. But I’m a leaper. You’re a thinker. We process things differently.” “You didn’t have a panic attack and run away?” I ask sarcastically. “No,” she muses. “Not even that time he refused to have sex with me.” “That was your first date, Everly. And you did have sex,” I remind her. I know, because I heard about it for a week. “Whew.” She blows out a breath. “It was a tough few hours though. How is Boyd’s POD by the way? Can we talk about that?” She leans forward on the couch, looking at me expectantly. “Um, no. I don’t think so.” She shrugs good-naturedly then changes the subject back to me. “Chloe, why didn’t you tell me you were struggling with your anxiety? You know I’m never too busy for you, no matter how many husbands or children I have.” “You have one husband, babe,” Sawyer says, walking into the room at that moment. “You’re still the one, baby.” “We’ve been married for three months, Everly. I sure as hell better still be the one.” “Sawyer,” she sighs. “I was trying to have a moment, okay? Work with me.” “Next time, try waiting more than a day after downloading Shania Twain’s greatest hits to your iPod. You do realize the receipts come to my email, don’t you?” “Um.” Everly looks away and scrunches her nose. “No?” “You’ve been on quite the 90’s love ballads kick this week. Which is weird, because you’re not old enough to have owned the CD’s those songs were originally released on.” He looks at her with amused interest. “What’s a CD?” She blinks at Sawyer dramatically. “Cute. Keep it up.” “Nineties music is all the rage with the millennials,” she tells him with a shrug. “I saw a blog post about it.” “Don’t worry, sweets. We’ll beat the odds together.” He winks and she scowls. “You’re still the only one I dream of,” he calls as he walks into the kitchen and grabs a bottle of water. “See! I don’t even care that you lifted that from a song. It still gave me all the feels!
Jana Aston (Trust (Cafe, #3))
I love analogies! Let’s have one. Imagine that you dearly love, absolutely crave, a particular kind of food. There are some places in town that do this particular cuisine just amazingly. Lots of people who are into this kind of food hold these restaurants in high regard. But let’s say, at every single one of these places, every now and then throughout the meal, at random moments, the waiter comes over and punches any women at the table right in the face. And people of color and/or LGBT folks as well! Now, most of the white straight cis guys who eat there, they have no problem–after all, the waiter isn’t punching them in the face, and the non-white, non-cis, non-straight, non-guys who love this cuisine keep coming back so it can’t be that bad, can it? Hell, half the time the white straight cis guys don’t even see it, because it’s always been like that and it just seems like part of the dining experience. Granted, some white straight cis guys have noticed and will talk about how they don’t like it and they wish it would stop. Every now and then, you go through a meal without the waiter punching you in the face–they just give you a small slap, or come over and sort of make a feint and then tell you they could have messed you up bad. Which, you know, that’s better, right? Kind of? Now. Somebody gets the idea to open a restaurant where everything is exactly as delicious as the other places–but the waiters won’t punch you in the face. Not even once, not even a little bit. Women and POC and LGBT and various combinations thereof flock to this place, and praise it to the skies. And then some white, straight, cis dude–one of the ones who’s on record as publicly disapproving of punching diners in the face, who has expressed the wish that it would stop (maybe even been very indignant on this topic in a blog post or two) says, “Sure, but it’s not anything really important or significant. It’s getting all blown out of proportion. The food is exactly the same! In fact, some of it is awfully retro. You’re just all relieved cause you’re not getting punched in the face, but it’s not really a significant development in this city’s culinary scene. Why couldn’t they have actually advanced the state of food preparation? Huh? Now that would have been worth getting excited about.” Think about that. Seriously, think. Let me tell you, being able to enjoy my delicious supper without being punched in the face is a pretty serious advancement. And only the folks who don’t get routinely assaulted when they try to eat could think otherwise.
Ann Leckie
Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. —Psalm 85:10 (KJV) When my husband, David, made the heart-wrenching decision to leave his post as senior minister at Hillsboro Presbyterian Church, the church was strong, thriving, and ripe for new leadership. But leaving was complicated. No one has ever loved a congregation more than David, and the congregation responded in kind. So it was infinitely sad when an influential person began working to erase David’s legacy. We had looked forward to returning to Hillsboro after the proper transition period, but now amid the confusion, the outlook was cloudy. Would it work for David to come back? Would we lose our church family forever? Finally, a new minister was chosen. For me, I wasn’t sure how I would feel until I met Chris. My reaction was immediate. I have a pastor! But what about David? I would never go back to Hillsboro without him. Well, it seems God had planned ahead. Chris sent out a letter to the congregation, addressing the misperception that “it’s not possible to love the new pastor if you still love the previous pastor.” He dispelled that notion with five simple words: “It’s okay to love both.” Chris went on to describe his meetings with David and to announce that he had invited him to come back to Hillsboro where the two of them “share a love for the church and its people.” And so it was finished. We had a church home once again, where we could come and worship with our family and friends, a place where there’s enough love for everyone, and a new minister wise enough to know that’s true. Father, I pray for the day when all of us grasp the unlimited reservoir of Your love and can finally see its regenerating power. —Pam Kidd Digging Deeper: Ps 132:7; Eph 4:15–16; Col 3:14–17
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
Jack coughed slightly and offered his hand. “Hi, uh. I’m Jack.” Kim took it. “Jack what?” “Huh?” “Your last name, silly.” “Jackson.” She blinked at him. “Your name is Jack Jackson?” He blushed. “No, uh, my first name’s Rhett, but I hate it, so…” He gestured to the chair and she sat. Her dress rode up several inches, exposing pleasing long lines of creamy skin. “Well, Jack, what’s your field of study?” “Biological Engineering, Genetics, and Microbiology. Post-doc. I’m working on a research project at the institute.” “Really? Oh, uh, my apple martini’s getting a little low.” “I’ve got that, one second.” He scurried to the bar and bought her a fresh one. She sipped and managed to make it look not only seductive but graceful as well. “What do you want to do after you’re done with the project?” Kim continued. “Depends on what I find.” She sent him a simmering smile. “What are you looking for?” Immediately, Jack’s eyes lit up and his posture straightened. “I started the project with the intention of learning how to increase the reproduction of certain endangered species. I had interest in the idea of cloning, but it proved too difficult based on the research I compiled, so I went into animal genetics and cellular biology. It turns out the animals with the best potential to combine genes were reptiles because their ability to lay eggs was a smoother transition into combining the cells to create a new species, or one with a similar ancestry that could hopefully lead to rebuilding extinct animals via surrogate birth or in-vitro fertilization. We’re on the edge of breaking that code, and if we do, it would mean that we could engineer all kinds of life and reverse what damage we’ve done to the planet’s ecosystem.” Kim stared. “Right. Would you excuse me for a second?” She wiggled off back to her pack of friends by the bar. Judging by the sniggering and the disgusted glances he was getting, she wasn’t coming back. Jack sighed and finished off his beer, massaging his forehead. “Yes, brilliant move. You blinded her with science. Genius, Jack.” He ordered a second one and finished it before he felt smallish hands on his shoulders and a pair of soft lips on his cheek. He turned to find Kamala had returned, her smile unnaturally bright in the black lights glowing over the room. “So…how did it go with Kim?” He shot her a flat look. “You notice the chair is empty.” Kamala groaned. “You talked about the research project, didn’t you?” “No!” She glared at him. “…maybe…” “You’re so useless, Jack.” She paused and then tousled his hair a bit. “Cheer up. The night’s still young. I’m not giving up on you.” He smiled in spite of himself. “Yet.” Her brown eyes flashed. “Never.
Kyoko M. (Of Cinder and Bone (Of Cinder and Bone, #1))
God was dead: to begin with. And romance was dead. Chivalry was dead. Poetry, the novel, painting, they were all dead, and art was dead. Theatre and cinema were both dead. Literature was dead. The book was dead. Modernism, postmodernism, realism and surrealism were all dead. Jazz was dead, pop music, disco, rap, classical music, dead. Culture was dead. Decency, society, family values were dead. The past was dead. History was dead. The welfare state was dead. Politics was dead. Democracy was dead. Communism, fascism, neoliberalism, capitalism, all dead, and marxism, dead, feminism, also dead. Political correctness, dead. Racism was dead. Religion was dead. Thought was dead. Hope was dead. Truth and fiction were both dead. The media was dead. The internet was dead. Twitter, instagram, facebook, google, dead. Love was dead. Death was dead. A great many things were dead. Some, though, weren’t, or weren’t dead yet. Life wasn’t yet dead. Revolution wasn’t dead. Racial equality wasn’t dead. Hatred wasn’t dead. But the computer? Dead. TV? Dead. Radio? Dead. Mobiles were dead. Batteries were dead. Marriages were dead, sex lives were dead, conversation was dead. Leaves were dead. Flowers were dead, dead in their water. Imagine being haunted by the ghosts of all these dead things. Imagine being haunted by the ghost of a flower. No, imagine being haunted (if there were such a thing as being haunted, rather than just neurosis or psychosis) by the ghost (if there were such a thing as ghosts, rather than just imagination) of a flower. Ghosts themselves weren’t dead, not exactly. Instead, the following questions came up: “are ghosts dead are ghosts dead or alive are ghosts deadly” but in any case forget ghosts, put them out of your mind because this isn’t a ghost story, though it’s the dead of winter when it happens, a bright sunny post-millennial global-warming Christmas Eve morning (Christmas, too, dead), and it’s about real things really happening in the real world involving real people in real time on the real earth (uh huh, earth, also dead):
Ali Smith (Winter (Seasonal, #2))
I dial her mum's number, then sit down cross-legged, facing the wall. When she comes on the line, she sounds uncertain, hesitant. 'Hey! Guess where I am?' I ask, my voice loud with false cheer. 'Rami told me. The Wellesly Hospital in Worthing. What's it like?' 'For a loony-bin it's actually quite decent,' I reply. 'I don't have Sky or an en-suite, and the menu isn't exactly à la carte, but you know...' I tail off. There is a silence. 'Do you have your own room?' Jenna asks, 'Oh yeah, yeah. I have a lovely view of the sea between the bars of my window.' She doesn't laugh. 'Have you started' -there is a pause as she searches for the right word -'threatment?' 'Yeah, yeah. We had group therapy today. Tomorrow we'll probably have art therapy - maybe I'll draw you a hourse and a garden. I know, perhaps they'll teach us to make baskets! Isn't that why they call us basket cases?' 'Flynn, stop,' Jennah softly implores. 'And we'll probably have music therapy the day after. Maybe I'll get to play the tambourine. Or the triangle. I've always wanted to play the triangle!' 'Flynn-' 'No, I'm serious! I'll ask for some manuscript paper and see if I can write a composition for tambourine and triangle. Then I can post if off to you to hand in for my next composition assignment.' 'Flynn, listen-' 'Hold on, hold on! I'm making a note to myself now: Find fellow insane musician and start composing the Flynn Laukonen Sonata for Tambourine and Triangle.' 'Flynn-' 'And then, when they let me out, if they ever let me out, perhaps you could pull a few strigns and organize for me and my tambourine buddy to give a recital. I'm not sure where though -how about the subway at Marble Arch tube? Nice and central, good acoustics-' 'What are the other people like?' Jennah cuts in, an edge to her voice. I notice she doesn't use the word patients. Clever Jennah. For a moment there you almost made me forget I was locked up in a mental institution. 'Round the bend, just like me,' I reply. 'I'm in excellent company. We'll be swapping suicide tips in no time at all!' I give a harsh laugh.
Tabitha Suzuma (A Voice in the Distance (Flynn Laukonen, #2))
I want a love like me thinking of you thinking of me thinking of you type love or me telling my friends more than I've ever admitted to myself about how I feel about you type love or hating how jealous you are but loving how much you want me all to yourself type love or seeing how your first name just sounds so good next to my last name. and shit- I wanted to see how far I could get without calling you and I barely made it out of my garage. See, I want a love that makes me wait until she falls asleep then wonder if she's dreaming about us being in love type love or who loves the other more or what she's doing at this exact moment or slow dancing in the middle of our apartment to the music of our hearts. Closing my eyes and imagining how a love so good could just hurt so much when she's not there and shit I love not knowing where this love is headed type love. And check this- I wanna place those little post-it notes all around the house so she never forgets how much I love her type love then not have enough ink in my pen to write all the love type love and hope I make her feel as good as she makes me feel and I wanna deal with my friends making fun of me the way I made fun of them when they went through the same kind of love type love. The only difference is this is one of those real type loves and just like in high school I wanna spend hours on the phone not saying shit and then fall asleep and then wake up with her right next to me and smell her all up in my covers type love and I wanna try counting the ways I love her then lose count in the middle just so I could start all over again and I wanna celebrate one of those one-month anniversaries even though they ain't really anniversaries but doing it just 'cause it makes her happy type love and check this- I wanna fall in love with the melody the phone plays when our numbers dial in type love and talk to you until I lose my breath, she leaves me breathless, but with the expanding of my lungs I inhale all of her back into me. I want a love that makes me need to change my cell phone calling plan to something that allows me to talk to her longer 'cause in all honesty, I want to avoid one of them high cell phone bill type loves and I don't want a love that makes me regret how small my hands are I mean the lines on my palms don't give me enough time to love you as long as I'd like to type love and I want a love that makes me st-st-st-stutter just thinking about how strong this love is type love and I want a love that makes me want to cut off all my hair. Well maybe not all of the hair, maybe like I'd cut the split ends and trim the mustache but it would still be a symbol of how strong my love is for her. I kind of feel comfortable now so I even be fantasize about walking out on a green light just dying to get hit by a car just so I could lose my memory, get transported to some third world country just to get treated and somehow meet up again with you so I could fall in love with you in a different language and see if it still feels the same type love. I want a love that's as unexplainable as she is, but I'm married so she is gonna be the one I share this love with.
Saul Williams
Finally, some people tell me that they avoid science fiction because it’s depressing. This is quite understandable if they happened to hit a streak of post-holocaust cautionary tales or a bunch of trendies trying to outwhine each other, or overdosed on sleaze-metal-punk-virtual-noir Capitalist Realism. But the accusation often, I think, reflects some timidity or gloom in the reader’s own mind: a distrust of change, a distrust of the imagination. A lot of people really do get scared and depressed if they have to think about anything they’re not perfectly familiar with; they’re afraid of losing control. If it isn’t about things they know all about already they won’t read it, if it’s a different color they hate it, if it isn’t McDonald’s they won’t eat at it. They don’t want to know that the world existed before they were, is bigger than they are, and will go on without them. They do not like history. They do not like science fiction. May they eat at McDonald’s and be happy in Heaven." Pro: "But what I like in and about science fiction includes these particular virtues: vitality, largeness, and exactness of imagination; playfulness, variety, and strength of metaphor; freedom from conventional literary expectations and mannerism; moral seriousness; wit; pizzazz; and beauty. Let me ride a moment on that last word. The beauty of a story may be intellectual, like the beauty of a mathematical proof or a crystalline structure; it may be aesthetic, the beauty of a well-made work; it may be human, emotional, moral; it is likely to be all three. Yet science fiction critics and reviewers still often treat the story as if it were a mere exposition of ideas, as if the intellectual “message” were all. This reductionism does a serious disservice to the sophisticated and powerful techniques and experiments of much contemporary science fiction. The writers are using language as postmodernists; the critics are decades behind, not even discussing the language, deaf to the implications of sounds, rhythms, recurrences, patterns—as if text were a mere vehicle for ideas, a kind of gelatin coating for the medicine. This is naive. And it totally misses what I love best in the best science fiction, its beauty." "I am certainly not going to talk about the beauty of my own stories. How about if I leave that to the critics and reviewers, and I talk about the ideas? Not the messages, though. There are no messages in these stories. They are not fortune cookies. They are stories.
Ursula K. Le Guin (A Fisherman of the Inland Sea)
Say what you will of religion, but draw applicable conclusions and comparisons to reach a consensus. Religion = Reli = Prefix to Relic, or an ancient item. In days of old, items were novel, and they inspired devotion to the divine, and in the divine. Now, items are hypnotizing the masses into submission. Take Christ for example. When he broke bread in the Bible, people actually ate, it was useful to their bodies. Compare that to the politics, governments and corrupt, bumbling bureacrats and lobbyists in the economic recession of today. When they "broke bread", the economy nearly collapsed, and the benefactors thereof were only a select, decadent few. There was no bread to be had, so they asked the people for more! Breaking bread went from meaning sharing food and knowledge and wealth of mind and character, to meaning break the system, being libelous, being unaccountable, and robbing the earth. So they married people's paychecks to the land for high ransoms, rents and mortgages, effectively making any renter or landowner either a slave or a slave master once more. We have higher class toys to play with, and believe we are free. The difference is, the love of profit has the potential, and has nearly already enslaved all, it isn't restriced by culture anymore. Truth is not religion. Governments are religions. Truth does not encourage you to worship things. Governments are for profit. Truth is for progress. Governments are about process. When profit goes before progress, the latter suffers. The truest measurement of the quality of progress, will be its immediate and effective results without the aid of material profit. Quality is meticulous, it leaves no stone unturned, it is thorough and detail oriented. It takes its time, but the results are always worth the investment. Profit is quick, it is ruthless, it is unforgiving, it seeks to be first, but confuses being first with being the best, it is long scale suicidal, it is illusory, it is temporary, it is vastly unfulfilling. It breaks families, and it turns friends. It is single track minded, and small minded as well. Quality, would never do that, my friends. Ironic how dealing and concerning with money, some of those who make the most money, and break other's monies are the most unaccountable. People open bank accounts, over spend, and then expect to be held "unaccountable" for their actions. They even act innocent and unaccountable. But I tell you, everything can and will be counted, and accounted for. Peace can be had, but people must first annhilate the love of items, over their own kind.
Justin Kyle McFarlane Beau
As in everything, nature is the best instructor, even as regards selection. One couldn't imagine a better activity on nature's part than that which consists in deciding the supremacy of one creature over another by means of a constant struggle. While we're on the subject, it's somewhat interesting to observe that our upper classes, who've never bothered about the hundreds of thousands of German emigrants or their poverty, give way to a feeling of compassion regarding the fate of the Jews whom we claim the right to expel. Our compatriots forget too easily that the Jews have accomplices all over the world, and that no beings have greater powers of resistance as regards adaptation to climate. Jews can prosper anywhere, even in Lapland and Siberia. All that love and sympathy, since our ruling class is capable of such sentiments, would by rights be applied exclusively—if that class were not corrupt—to the members of our national community. Here Christianity sets the example. What could be more fanatical, more exclusive and more intolerant than this religion which bases everything on the love of the one and only God whom it reveals? The affection that the German ruling class should devote to the good fellow-citizen who faithfully and courageously does his duty to the benefit of the community, why is it not just as fanatical, just as exclusive and just as intolerant? My attachment and sympathy belong in the first place to the front-line German soldier, who has had to overcome the rigours of the past winter. If there is a question of choosing men to rule us, it must not be forgotten that war is also a manifestation of life, that it is even life's most potent and most characteristic expression. Consequently, I consider that the only men suited to become rulers are those who have valiantly proved themselves in a war. In my eyes, firmness of character is more precious than any other quality. A well toughened character can be the characteristic of a man who, in other respects, is quite ignorant. In my view, the men who should be set at the head of an army are the toughest, bravest, boldest, and, above all, the most stubborn and hardest to wear down. The same men are also the best chosen for posts at the head of the State—otherwise the pen ends by rotting away what the sword has conquered. I shall go so far as to say that, in his own sphere, the statesman must be even more courageous than the soldier who leaps from his trench to face the enemy. There are cases, in fact, in which the courageous decision of a single statesman can save the lives of a great number of soldiers. That's why pessimism is a plague amongst statesmen. One should be able to weed out all the pessimists, so that at the decisive moment these men's knowledge may not inhibit their capacity for action. This last winter was a case in point. It supplied a test for the type of man who has extensive knowledge, for all the bookworms who become preoccupied by a situation's analogies, and are sensitive to the generally disastrous epilogue of the examples they invoke. Agreed, those who were capable of resisting the trend needed a hefty dose of optimism. One conclusion is inescapable: in times of crisis, the bookworms are too easily inclined to switch from the positive to the negative. They're waverers who find in public opinion additional encouragement for their wavering. By contrast, the courageous and energetic optimist—even although he has no wide knowledge— will always end, guided by his subconscious or by mere commonsense, in finding a way out.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)