Preparation Quotes

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The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
Mark Twain
Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently, #1))
To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Seneca
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!
Maya Angelou
This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.
Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)
Only someone who is well prepared has the opportunity to improvise.
Ingmar Bergman
My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!
William Goldman (The Princess Bride)
Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
Malcolm X
Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.
Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou's Autobiography, #1))
Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.
W.B. Yeats
You better live your best and act your best and think your best today, for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.
Harriet Martineau
One more time? For the audience?" he says. His voice isn't angry. It's hollow, which is worse. Already the boy with the bread is slipping away from me. I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I will finally have to let go.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been given to us, the ultimate, the final problem and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke)
I don't know a better preparation for life than love of poetry and a good digestion
Zona Gale
Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over.
Gloria Naylor
Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.
Albert Einstein
Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Benjamin Franklin
The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.
Robertson Davies (Tempest-Tost (Salterton Trilogy, #1))
Gus: "It tastes like..." Me: "Food." Gus: "Yes, precisely. It tastes like food, excellently prepared. But it does not taste, how do I put this delicately...?" Me: "It does not taste like God Himself cooked heaven into a series of five dishes which were then served to you accompanied by several luminous balls of fermented, bubbly plasma while actual and literal flower petals floated down around your canal-side dinner table." Gus: "Nicely phrased." Gus's father: "Our children are weird." My dad: "Nicely phrased.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
She said, 'I'm so afraid.' And I said, 'why?,' and she said, 'Because I'm so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening.' I asked her why and she said, 'They only let you be this happy if they're preparing to take something from you.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself
Maya Angelou
The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.
Thomas S. Monson
Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.
Christopher Markus
Treat every moment as your last. It is not preparation for something else.
Shunryu Suzuki (Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice)
there's no harm in hoping for the best as long as you're prepared for the worst.
Stephen King (Different Seasons)
If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original.
Ken Robinson (The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything)
Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.
Rumi
There will be time, there will be time To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet.
T.S. Eliot
You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
Albert Einstein
Definition of rock journalism: People who can't write, doing interviews with people who can't think, in order to prepare articles for people who can't read.
Frank Zappa (The Real Frank Zappa Book)
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Abraham Lincoln
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
John Dewey
I will prepare and some day my chance will come.
Abraham Lincoln
I suddenly realized that we were on borrowed time, that time is always borrowed, and that the lending agency exacts its premium precisely when we are least prepared to pay and need to borrow more...
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
every mouth you’ve ever kissed was just practice all the bodies you’ve ever undressed and ploughed in to were preparing you for me. i don’t mind tasting them in the memory of your mouth they were a long hall way a door half open a single suit case still on the conveyor belt was it a long journey? did it take you long to find me? you’re here now, welcome home.
Warsan Shire
Be prepared for the worst, my love, for it lives next door to the best.
Melina Marchetta (Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles, #1))
If you love someone, you must be prepared to set them free.
Paulo Coelho (The Winner Stands Alone)
Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.
H. Jackson Brown Jr. (P.S. I Love You)
Achievement is talent plus preparation
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again.
Anaïs Nin
Is it useful to feel fear, because it prepares you for nasty events, or is it useless, because nasty events will occur whether you are frightened or not?
Lemony Snicket
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected .
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
To love is good, too: love being difficult. For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation...Love is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world for himself for another's sake, it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
I'm so afraid. Because I'm so profoundly happy. Happiness like this is frightening...They only let you this happy if they're preparing to take something from you.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
We should live our lives as though Christ was coming this afternoon.
Jimmy Carter
People only see what they are prepared to see.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson)
If you just set out to be liked, you will be prepared to compromise on anything at anytime, and would achieve nothing.
Margaret Thatcher
Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
Why not seize the pleasure at once? -- How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!
Jane Austen (Emma)
Do not give way to useless alarm; though it is right to be prepared for the worst, there is no occasion to look on it as certain.
Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice)
Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
You and I have spoken all these words, but for the way we have to go,words are no preparation. I have one small drop of knowing in my soul. Let it dissolve in your ocean
Rumi
I dreamed of a green place once,” he whispered. “A manor house and a little girl with red hair, and preparations for a wedding. If there are other worlds, then maybe there is one where I was a good brother and a good son.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Be sure to lie to your kids about the benevolent, all-seeing Santa Claus. It will prepare them for an adulthood of believing in God.
Scott Dikkers (You Are Worthless: Depressing Nuggets of Wisdom Sure to Ruin Your Day)
One must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
Chance favors the prepared mind.
Louis Pasteur
It is the oldest ironies that are still the most satisfying: man, when preparing for bloody war, will orate loudly and most eloquently in the name of peace.
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.
Terry Pratchett (The Fifth Elephant (Discworld, #24))
This is so unbearably inconvenient," he says. "I was prepared to hate him for the rest of my life.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Sometimes, we must face our fears and our enemies on their ground, a place where they appear stronger but if we are well prepared, nothing can stop us. Their turf or not, success will be ours.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
You weren't put on earth to be remembered. You were put here to prepare for eternity.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here For?)
The worst feeling: when you just have to wait and prepare yourself for the lie.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Life could do nothing for her, beyond giving time for a better preparation for death.
Jane Austen (Sense and Sensibility)
We believe that preparation eradicates cowardice, which we define as the failure to act in the midst of fear.
Veronica Roth
There will be occasions in each of our lives when we will be called upon to explain or to defend our beliefs. When the time for performance arrives, the time for preparation is past.
Thomas S. Monson
Thus we may know that there are five essentials for victory: 1 He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight. 2 He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces. 3 He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all its ranks. 4 He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared. 5 He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by the sovereign.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
All things are ready, if our mind be so.
William Shakespeare (Henry V)
The purpose of school should be to prepare kids for the rest of their lives, but too often what kids need to be prepared for is surviving the school day itself.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Benjamin Franklin
You were born to win, but to be a winner you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.
Zig Ziglar
To study philosophy is nothing but to prepare one’s self to die.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Alaska decided to go help Dolores with dinner. She said that it was sexist to leave the cooking to the women, but better to have good sexist food than crappy boy-prepared food.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Today I know that such memories are the key not to the past, but to the future. I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.
Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)
Until she met the exploding statue, Annabeth thought she was prepared for anything.
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
What has mood to do with it? You fight when the necessity arises—no matter the mood! Mood's a thing for cattle or making love or playing the baliset. It's not for fighting.
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune #1))
It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. They must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies; and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
...the best possible way to prepare for tomorrow is to concentrate with all your intelligence, all your enthusiasm, on doing today's work superbly today. That is the only possible way you can prepare for the future.
Dale Carnegie (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living)
As Estha stirred the thick jam he thought Two Thoughts and the Two Thoughts he thought were these: a) Anything can happen to anyone. and b) It is best to be prepared.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
Whatever you do, He will make good of it. But not the good He had prepared for you if you had obeyed him.
C.S. Lewis (Perelandra (The Space Trilogy, #2))
You think Okay, I get it, I'm prepared for the worst, but you hold out that small hope, see, and that's what fucks you up. That's what kills you.
Stephen King (Joyland)
Artemis must be present at the solstice," Zoe said. "She has been the most vocal on the council, arguing for taking action against Kronos's minions. If she is not there, the gods will decide nothing. We will lose another year of war preparations." Are you sugesting the gods have trouble acting together, young lady?" Dionysis asked. Yes, Lord Dionysis." Mr.D nodded. "Just checking. Your right, of course. Carry on.
Rick Riordan (The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3))
I take his hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I will finally have to let go.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Expect the best, prepare for the worst.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
I believe that worrying about a bad thing prepares you for it when it comes. If you worry, the bad thing doesn't hit you as hard. You can roll with the punch if you see it coming.
Rainbow Rowell (Attachments)
You don't really know either of us," Cam said, standing and stepping away, "but you're prepared to choose right now, huh?
Lauren Kate (Fallen (Fallen, #1))
Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this.
Thomas Henry Huxley (Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley - Volume 1)
All artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn to draw?
Banksy (Wall and Piece)
Fear prophets, Adso, and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them.
Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose)
One cannot be prepared for something while secretly believing it will not happen.
Nelson Mandela
To return to love, to get the love we always wanted but never had, to have the love we want but are not prepared to give, we seek romantic relationships. We believe these relationships, more than any other, will rescue and redeem us. True love does have the power to redeem but only if we are ready for redemption. Love saves us only if we want to be saved.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there's just no figuring out today?
Jenny Han
Sometimes, we must face our fears or our enemies on their ground, a place where they appear stronger but if we are well prepared, nothing can stop us. Their turf or not, success will be ours.
Idowu Koyenikan
The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.
Malcolm X (Malcolm X, Black Liberation, and the Road to Workers Power)
Say what you will, but you’re never prepared for the surprise attack.
Sarah Dessen
A daydreamer is prepared for most things.
Joyce Carol Oates
They were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend. Things that should never have happened, that seemed out of place and wrong, these were what prevailed, what endured, in the end.
Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)
There is in every madman a misunderstood genius whose idea shining in his head frightened people and for whom delirium was the only solution to the strangulation that life had prepared for him.
Antonin Artaud
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
Edward Abbey
The only ones who should kill, are those who are prepared to be killed.
Lelouch Vi Britannia
I’m the god of funerals. I know every death custom in the world—how to die properly, how to prepare the body and soul for the afterlife. I live for death.” “You must be fun at parties,” I said.
Rick Riordan (The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, #1))
What is the point of worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one's life took? Surely it is enough that the likes of you and I at least try to make our small contribution count for something true and worthy. And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day)
We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we will always be free.
Ronald Reagan
A technicality I'm prepared to hide wildly behind.
Jim Butcher (Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1))
He didn’t ask for mistake-free games. He didn’t demand that his players never lose. He asked for full preparation and full effort from them. “Did I win? Did I lose? Those are the wrong questions. The correct question is: Did I make my best effort?” If so, he says, “You may be outscored but you will never lose.
Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology of Success)
Don't start anything you're not prepared to finish.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
I've come to believe that there exists in the universe something I call "The Physics of The Quest" — a force of nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity or momentum. And the rule of Quest Physics maybe goes like this: "If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself... then truth will not be withheld from you." Or so I've come to believe.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia)
Meet me in the courtyard in half an hour, then,” said Will. “I’ll wake Cyril. And be prepared to swoon at my finery.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
Erma Bombeck
Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.
Elisabeth Elliot
Affliction is often that thing which prepares an ordinary person for some sort of an extraordinary destiny.
C.S. Lewis
Even seasonal situations can bring with them lessons that last a lifetime. If the love doesn’t last, it prepares you for the one that will.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.
Elbert Hubbard
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
John Wooden
You done with work? Yep, at home waiting for you. Now that's a nice visual... Prepare yourself, I'm taking bread out of the oven. Don't tease me woman...zucchini? Cranberry orange. Mmmm... No woman has ever done breakfast bread foreplay the way you do. Ha! When you coming? Can't. Drive. Straight. Can we have one conversation when you're not twelve? Sorry, I'll be there in 30 Perfect, that will give me time to frost my buns. Pardon me? Oh, didn't I tell you? I also made cinnamon rolls. Be there in 25.
Alice Clayton (Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1))
It usually takes me two or three days to prepare an impromptu speech.
Mark Twain
O Deep Thought computer," he said, "the task we have designed you to perform is this. We want you to tell us...." he paused, "The Answer." "The Answer?" said Deep Thought. "The Answer to what?" "Life!" urged Fook. "The Universe!" said Lunkwill. "Everything!" they said in chorus. Deep Thought paused for a moment's reflection. "Tricky," he said finally. "But can you do it?" Again, a significant pause. "Yes," said Deep Thought, "I can do it." "There is an answer?" said Fook with breathless excitement. "Yes," said Deep Thought. "Life, the Universe, and Everything. There is an answer. But, I'll have to think about it." ... Fook glanced impatiently at his watch. “How long?” he said. “Seven and a half million years,” said Deep Thought. Lunkwill and Fook blinked at each other. “Seven and a half million years...!” they cried in chorus. “Yes,” declaimed Deep Thought, “I said I’d have to think about it, didn’t I?" [Seven and a half million years later.... Fook and Lunkwill are long gone, but their descendents continue what they started] "We are the ones who will hear," said Phouchg, "the answer to the great question of Life....!" "The Universe...!" said Loonquawl. "And Everything...!" "Shhh," said Loonquawl with a slight gesture. "I think Deep Thought is preparing to speak!" There was a moment's expectant pause while panels slowly came to life on the front of the console. Lights flashed on and off experimentally and settled down into a businesslike pattern. A soft low hum came from the communication channel. "Good Morning," said Deep Thought at last. "Er..good morning, O Deep Thought" said Loonquawl nervously, "do you have...er, that is..." "An Answer for you?" interrupted Deep Thought majestically. "Yes, I have." The two men shivered with expectancy. Their waiting had not been in vain. "There really is one?" breathed Phouchg. "There really is one," confirmed Deep Thought. "To Everything? To the great Question of Life, the Universe and everything?" "Yes." Both of the men had been trained for this moment, their lives had been a preparation for it, they had been selected at birth as those who would witness the answer, but even so they found themselves gasping and squirming like excited children. "And you're ready to give it to us?" urged Loonsuawl. "I am." "Now?" "Now," said Deep Thought. They both licked their dry lips. "Though I don't think," added Deep Thought. "that you're going to like it." "Doesn't matter!" said Phouchg. "We must know it! Now!" "Now?" inquired Deep Thought. "Yes! Now..." "All right," said the computer, and settled into silence again. The two men fidgeted. The tension was unbearable. "You're really not going to like it," observed Deep Thought. "Tell us!" "All right," said Deep Thought. "The Answer to the Great Question..." "Yes..!" "Of Life, the Universe and Everything..." said Deep Thought. "Yes...!" "Is..." said Deep Thought, and paused. "Yes...!" "Is..." "Yes...!!!...?" "Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
For long the two enemies looked at one another, Hook shuddering slightly, and Peter with the strange smile upon his face. "So, Pan," said Hook at last, "this is all your doing." "Ay, James Hook," came the stern answer, "it is all my doing." "Proud and insolent youth," said Hook, "prepare to meet thy doom." "Dark and sinister man," Peter answered, "have at thee.
J.M. Barrie (Peter Pan)
The passion I feel for you is more than you’re prepared for. - Eric
Kailin Gow (The Phantom Diaries (The Phantom Diaries, #1))
What good is a prepared body if you have a scattered mind?
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation. I hold this to be the highest task for a bond between two people: that each protects the solitude of the other.
This is the miracle that happens every time to those who really love: the more they give, the more they possess.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
In this life you've got to hope for the best, prepare for the worst and take whatever God sends.
L.M. Montgomery
I will sleep no more but arise, You oceans that have been calm within me! how I feel you, fathomless, stirring, preparing unprecedented waves and storms.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Man is born to live, not to prepare for life.
Boris Pasternak
Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I'm a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst case scenario. I call it 'the eaten by wolves factor.' If I do something, what's the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves? One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don't worry about, because I have a plan in place if they do.
Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)
Learn from the past, prepare for the future, live in the present.
Thomas S. Monson
You can do anything in this world if you are prepared to take the consequences.
W. Somerset Maugham
It is always useful to face an enemy who is prepared to die for his country," he read. "This means that both you and he have exactly the same aim in mind.
Terry Pratchett (Jingo (Discworld, #21; City Watch, #4))
We must be careful not to discourage our twelve-year-olds by making them waste the best years of their lives preparing for examinations.
Freeman Dyson (Infinite in All Directions)
A phenomenon that a number of people have noted while in deep depression is the sense of being accompanied by a second self — a wraithlike observer who, not sharing the dementia of his double, is able to watch with dispassionate curiosity as his companion struggles against the oncoming disaster, or decides to embrace it. There is a theatrical quality about all this, and during the next several days, as I went about stolidly preparing for extinction, I couldn't shake off a sense of melodrama — a melodrama in which I, the victim-to-be of self-murder, was both the solitary actor and lone member of the audience.
William Styron (Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness)
If you really love someone,' Claudia continued, 'you have to be prepared to accept them as they are. Maybe you hope that one day they get a wake-up call and make the changes for their own reasons.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project)
Tell me what it's like. The race." "What it's like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood. The fastest and strongest of what is left from two weeks of preparation on the sand. It's the surf in your face, the deadly magic of November on your skin, the Scorpio drums in the place of your heartbeat. It's speed, if you're lucky. It's life and it's death or it's both, and there's nothing like it.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.
Nelson Mandela
He looked down at his boots. "That berth belongs to you too. It will always be there when―if you want to come back." Inej could not speak. Her heart felt too full, a dry creek bed ill-prepared for such rain. "I don't know what to say.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
I will see you again,’ Hades promised. ‘I will prepare a room for you at the palace in case you do not survive. Perhaps your chambers would look good decorated with the skulls of monks.’ ‘Now I can’t tell if you’re joking.’ Hades’s eyes glittered as his form began to fade. ‘Then perhaps we are alike in some important ways.’ The god vanished.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
He paused, then tapped a finger against the box. “This is a wish,” he said quietly, “that even after four hundred years of existence, a man can be strong enough to accept the gifts he’s given.” “Ethan—,” I began, but he shook his head. “I’m prepared to wait for a positive response.” “That’s going to take a while.” Ethan lifted a single eyebrow, a grin lifting one corner of his mouth. “Sentinel, I am immortal.
Chloe Neill (Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3))
The event of falling in love is of such a nature that we are right to reject as intolerable the idea that it should be transitory. In one high bound it has overleaped the massive of our selfhood; it has made appetite itself altruistic, tossed personal happiness aside as a triviality and planted the interests of another in the centre of our being. Spontaneously and without effort we have fulfilled the law (towards one person) by loving our neighbour as ourselves. It is an image, a foretaste, of what we must become to all if Love Himself rules in us without a rival. It is even (well used) a preparation for that.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
our world requires that decisions be sourced and footnoted, and if we say how we feel, we must also be prepared to elaborate on why we feel that way...We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that - sometimes - we're better off that way.
Malcolm Gladwell (Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)
You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.
Edward O. Wilson
Lucien had been prepared to take me against my will. Fae males were territorial, dominant, arrogant—but the ones in the Spring Court … something had festered in their training. Because I knew—deep in my bones—that Cassian might push and test my limits, but the moment I said no, he’d back off. And I knew that if … that if I had been wasting away and Rhys had done nothing to stop it, Cassian or Azriel would have pulled me out. They would have taken me somewhere—wherever I needed to be—and dealt with Rhys later. But Rhys … Rhys would never have not seen what was happening to me; would never have been so misguided and arrogant and self-absorbed. He’d known what Ianthe was from the moment he met her. And he’d understood what it was like to be a prisoner, and helpless, and to struggle—every day—with the horrors of both.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2))
There are people we treat wrong and later we're prepared to treat other people right. Perhaps this sounds mercenary, but I feel grateful for these trial relationships, and I would like to think it all evens out - surely, unknowingly, I have served as practice for other people.
Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep)
Humans! They lived in a world where the grass continued to be green and the sun rose every day and flowers regularly turned into fruit, and what impressed them? Weeping statues. And wine made out of water! A mere quantum-mechanistic tunnel effect, that'd happen anyway if you were prepared to wait zillions of years. As if the turning of sunlight into wine, by means of vines and grapes and time and enzymes, wasn't a thousand times more impressive and happened all the time...
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
Don’t be jealous if I spend 50% of my time with you, and 50% of my time with others, because you get 100% of 50%, while all the others have to share that other 50%.” This is the speech I’ve prepared to tell my wife in the future, when I’m spending a majority minus one percent of my time with my clones.
Jarod Kintz (This Book Has No Title)
We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Living Buddha, Living Christ)
I had no illusions about you,' he said. 'I knew you were silly and frivolous and empty-headed. But I loved you. I knew that your aims and ideals were vulgar and commonplace. But I loved you. I knew that you were second-rate. But I loved you. It's comic when I think how hard I tried to be amused by the things that amused you and how anxious I was to hide from you that I wasn't ignorant and vulgar and scandal-mongering and stupid. I knew how frightened you were of intelligence and I did everything I could to make you think me as big a fool as the rest of the men you knew. I knew that you'd only married me for convenience. I loved you so much, I didn't care. Most people, as far as I can see, when they're in love with someone and the love isn't returned feel that they have a grievance. They grow angry and bitter. I wasn't like that. I never expected you to love me, I didn't see any reason that you should. I never thought myself very lovable. I was thankful to be allowed to love you and I was enraptured when now and then I thought you were pleased with me or when I noticed in your eyes a gleam of good-humored affection. I tried not to bore you with my love; I knew I couldn't afford to do that and I was always on the lookout for the first sign that you were impatient with my affection. What most husbands expect as a right I was prepared to receive as a favor.
W. Somerset Maugham (The Painted Veil)
It is the iron." Grimalkin picked his way over a puddle, then leaped atop a fallen tree, shaking out his paws."This close to the false king's realm, his influence is stronger that ever. It will be worse once you are actually within its borders." Puck snorted."Doesn't seem like it's affecting you much, Cat." That is because I am smarter than you and prepare for these things." "Really? How would you prepare for me tossing you into a lake?
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Queen (The Iron Fey, #3))
The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
Karl Popper (The Open Society and Its Enemies)
Zakalwe, in all human societies we have ever reviewed, in every age and every state, there has seldom if ever been a shortage of eager young males prepared to kill and die to preserve the security, comfort and prejudices of their elders, and what you call heroism is just an expression of this simple fact; there is never a scarcity of idiots.
Iain M. Banks (Use of Weapons (Culture, #3))
Are you preparing for another war, Plutarch?" I ask. "Oh, not now. Now we're in a sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated," he says. "But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We're fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it, Katniss.
Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3))
Can you think what the Mirror of Erised shows us all?" Harry shook his head. "Let me explain. The happiest man on earth would be able to use the Mirror of Erised like a normal mirror, that is, he would look into it and see himself exactly as he is. Does that help." Harry thought. Then he said slowly, "It shows us what we want... whatever we want..." "Yes and no," said Dumbledore quietly. "It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts. You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Ronald Weasley, who has always been overshadowed by his brothers, sees himself standing alone, the best of all of them. However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible. "The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1))
If man had his way, the plan of redemption would be an endless and bloody conflict. In reality, salvation was bought not by Jesus' fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.
A.W. Tozer (Preparing for Jesus' Return: Daily Live the Blessed Hope)
...when your child dies, you feel everything you'd expect to feel, feelings so well-documented by so many others that I won't even bother to list them here, except to say that everything that's written about mourning is all the same, and it's all the same for a reason - because there is no read deviation from the text. Sometimes you feel more of one thing and less of another, and sometimes you feel them out of order, and sometimes you feel them for a longer time or a shorter time. But the sensations are always the same. But here's what no one says - when it's your child, a part of you, a very tiny but nonetheless unignorable part of you, also feels relief. Because finally, the moment you have been expecting, been dreading, been preparing yourself for since the day you became a parent, has come. Ah, you tell yourself, it's arrived. Here it is. And after that, you have nothing to fear again.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. “So,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance. “Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?” He frowned at her, all seriousness. “Depends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. “How big is the pack?” “I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?” “I could win against six,” he said. “Any more than that and it could be a close call.” Scarlet smirked. “You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.” “What do you mean?” “Nothing at all.” She kicked a stone from their path. “How about you and … a lion?” “A cat? Don’t insult me.” She laughed, the sound sharp and surprising. “How about a bear?” “Why, do you see one out there?” “Not yet, but I want to be prepared in case I have to rescue you.” The smile she’d been waiting for warmed his face, a glint of white teeth flashing. “I’m not sure. I’ve never had to fight a bear before.
Marissa Meyer (Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2))
Charlotte leaned forward across the table. “The Dark Sisters never mentioned what use they intended to make of your abilities, did they?” “You know about the Magister.” Tessa said. “They said they were preparing me for him.” “For him to do what?” Will asked. “Eat you for dinner?” Tessa shook her head. “To – to marry me, they said.” “To marry you?” Jessamine was openly scornful. “That’s ridiculous. They were probably going to blood sacrifice you and didn’t want you to panic.” (page 78)
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1))
How is Angeline?" asked Dimitri. "Is she improving?" Eddie and I exchanged glances. So much for avoiding her indiscretions. "improving how exactly?" I asked. "Improving how exactly?" I asked. "In combat, in following the dress code, or in keeping her hands to herself?" "Or in turning off caps lock?" added Eddie. "you noticed that too?"I asked. "Hard not to," he said. Dimitri looked surprised, which was not a common thing. He wasn't caught off guard very often, but then, no one could really prepare for what Angeline might do. "I didn't realize I needed to be more specific," said Dimitri after a pause. "I meant combat.
Richelle Mead (The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2))
The real questions for parents should be: "Are you engaged? Are you paying attention?" If so, plan to make lots of mistakes and bad decisions. Imperfect parenting moments turn into gifts as our children watch us try to figure out what went wrong and how we can do better next time. The mandate is not to be perfect and raise happy children. Perfection doesn't exist, and I've found what makes children happy doesn't always prepare them to be courageous, engaged adults.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
My name’s Lassiter, and I’ll tell you all you need to know about me. I’m an angel first and a sinner second, and I’m not here for long. I’ll never hurt you, but I’m prepared to make you pretty goddamn uncomfortable if I have to, to get my job done. I like sunsets and long walks on the beach, but my perfect female no longer exists. Oh, and my favorite hobby is annoying the shit out of people. Guess I’m just bred to want to get a rise out of folks—probably the whole resurrection thing.
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
There are young men and women up and down the land who happily (or unhappily) tell anyone who will listen that they don’t have an academic turn of mind, or that they aren’t lucky enough to have been blessed with a good memory, and yet can recite hundreds of pop lyrics and reel off any amount of information about footballers. Why? Because they are interested in those things. They are curious. If you are hungry for food, you are prepared to hunt high and low for it. If you are hungry for information it is the same. Information is all around us, now more than ever before in human history. You barely have to stir or incommode yourself to find things out. The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.
Stephen Fry (The Fry Chronicles)
We are the girls with anxiety disorders, filled appointment books, five-year plans. We take ourselves very, very seriously. We are the peacemakers, the do-gooders, the givers, the savers. We are on time, overly prepared, well read, and witty, intellectually curious, always moving… We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible and thrive on self-deprivation. We drink coffee, a lot of it. We are on birth control, Prozac, and multivitamins… We are relentless, judgmental with ourselves, and forgiving to others. We never want to be as passive-aggressive as our mothers, never want to marry men as uninspired as our fathers… We are the daughters of the feminists who said, “You can be anything,” and we heard, “You have to be everything.
Courtney Martin
Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it, and by the same token save it from that ruin which except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and the young, would be inevitable. And education, too, is where we decide whether we love our children enough not to expel them from our world and leave them to their own devices, nor to strike from their hands their chance of undertaking something new, something unforeseen by us, but to prepare them in advance for the task of renewing a common world.
Hannah Arendt
Father, I anticipate the good things You have prepared for me today. Bring complete order to my day as I seek You first and make Your will my priority. I rejoice in the new day You have given me. I praise You for making it fruitful and productive. Thank You for teaching me ways to increase my effectiveness— to work smarter. I work according to Your agenda and perform for an audience of one—the Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
You have to be grateful to existence that it has chosen you to be a passage for a few beautiful children. But you are not to interfere in their growth, in their potential. You are not to impose yourself upon them. They are not going to live in the same times, they are not going to face the same problems. They will be part of another world. Don´t prepare them for this world, this society, this time, because then you will be creating troubles for them. They will find themselves unfit, unqualified.
Osho
I am concerned that too many people are focused too much on money and not on their greatest wealth, which is their education. If people are prepared to be flexible, keep an open mind and learn, they will grow richer and richer through the changes. If they think money will solve the problems, I am afraid those people will have a rough ride. Intelligence solves problems and produces money. Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone.
Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)
Let me tell you about love, that silly word you believe is about whether you like somebody or whether somebody likes you or whether you can put up with somebody in order to get something or someplace you want or you believe it has to do with how your body responds to another body like robins or bison or maybe you believe love is how forces or nature or luck is benign to you in particular not maiming or killing you but if so doing it for your own good. Love is none of that. There is nothing in nature like it. Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal. Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God. You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn - by practice and careful contemplations - the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it. Which is to say you have to earn God. You have to practice God. You have to think God-carefully. And if you are a good and diligent student you may secure the right to show love. Love is not a gift. It is a diploma. A diploma conferring certain privileges: the privilege of expressing love and the privilege of receiving it. How do you know you have graduated? You don't. What you do know is that you are human and therefore educable, and therefore capable of learning how to learn, and therefore interesting to God, who is interested only in Himself which is to say He is interested only in love. Do you understand me? God is not interested in you. He is interested in love and the bliss it brings to those who understand and share the interest. Couples that enter the sacrament of marriage and are not prepared to go the distance or are not willing to get right with the real love of God cannot thrive. They may cleave together like robins or gulls or anything else that mates for life. But if they eschew this mighty course, at the moment when all are judged for the disposition of their eternal lives, their cleaving won't mean a thing. God bless the pure and holy. Amen.
Toni Morrison (Paradise (Beloved Trilogy, #3))
I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient.
Henry David Thoreau
The love a parent feels for a child is strange. There is a starting point to our love for everyone else, but not this person. This one we have always loved, we loved them before they even existed. No matter how well prepared they are, all moms and dads experience a moment of total shock, when the tidal wave of feelings first washed through them, knocking them off their feet. It's incomprehensible because there's nothing to compare it to. It's like trying to describe sand between your toes or snowflakes on your tongue to someone who's lived their whole life in a dark room. It sends the soul flying.
Fredrik Backman (Beartown (Beartown, #1))
You were so hurt,” he says, “that I’d asked you to wear a dress.” He looks at me then, eyes sparkling with amusement. “Here I was, prepared to defend my life against an uncontrollable monster who could kill,” he says, “kill a man with her bare hands—” He bites back another laugh. “And you threw tantrums over clean clothes and hot meals. Oh,” he says, shaking his head at the ceiling, “you were ridiculous. You were completely ridiculous and it was the most entertainment I’d ever had. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. I loved making you mad,” he says to me, his eyes wicked. “I love making you mad.
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
What can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished? The hard reality is, surely, that for the likes of you and I, there is little choice other than to leave our fate, ultimately, in the hands of those great gentlemen at the hub of this world who employ our services. What is the point in worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not have done to control the course one’s life took? Surely it is enough that the likes of you and I at least try to make our small contribution count for something true and worthy. And if some of us are prepared to sacrifice much in life in order to pursue such aspirations, surely that is in itself, whatever the outcome, cause for pride and contentment.
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day)
I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee’s life of the poet. She died young—alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the cross–roads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here to–night, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh. This opportunity, as I think, it is now coming within your power to give her. For my belief is that if we live another century or so—I am talking of the common life which is the real life and not of the little separate lives which we live as individuals—and have five hundred a year each of us and rooms of our own; if we have the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what we think; if we escape a little from the common sitting–room and see human beings not always in their relation to each other but in relation to reality; and the sky. too, and the trees or whatever it may be in themselves; if we look past Milton’s bogey, for no human being should shut out the view; if we face the fact, for it is a fact, that there is no arm to cling to, but that we go alone and that our relation is to the world of reality and not only to the world of men and women, then the opportunity will come and the dead poet who was Shakespeare’s sister will put on the body which she has so often laid down. Drawing her life from the lives of the unknown who were her forerunners, as her brother did before her, she will be born. As for her coming without that preparation, without that effort on our part, without that determination that when she is born again she shall find it possible to live and write her poetry, that we cannot expect, for that would he impossible. But I maintain that she would come if we worked for her, and that so to work, even in poverty and obscurity, is worth while.
Virginia Woolf (A Room of One's Own)
I learned a long time ago that life introduces young people to situations they are in no way prepared for, even good girls, lucky girls who want for nothing. Sometimes, when you least expect it, you become the girl in the woods. You lose your name because another one is forced on you. You think you are alone until you find books about girls like you. Salvation is certainly among the reasons I read. Reading and writing have always pulled me out of the darkest experiences in my life. Stories have given me a place in which to lose myself. They have allowed me to remember. They have allowed me to forget. They have allowed me to imagine different endings and better possible worlds.
Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist)
I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your un-dumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it would lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is just really a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become. I suppose you are accustomed to people saying these things. Damn you, spoilt creature; I shan’t make you love me any the more by giving myself away like this —But oh my dear, I can’t be clever and stand-offish with you: I love you too much for that. Too truly. You have no idea how stand-offish I can be with people I don’t love. I have brought it to a fine art. But you have broken down my defences. And I don’t really resent it.
Vita Sackville-West (The Letters of Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf)
Whenever I'd been sad or upset before, the relevant people in my life would simply call my social worker and I'd be moved somewhere else. Raymond hadn't phoned anyone or asked an outside agency to intervene. He'd elected to look after me himself. I'd been pondering this, and concluded that there must be some people for whom difficult behavior wasn't a reason to end their relationship with you. If they liked you -- and, I remembered, Raymond and I had agreed that we were pals now -- then, it seemed, they were prepared to maintain contact, even if you were sad, or upset, or behaving in very challenging ways. This was something of a revelation.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
One of the great tragedies of life is that men seldom bridge the gulf between practice and profession, between doing and saying. A persistent schizophrenia leaves so many of us tragically divided against ourselves. On the one hand, we proudly profess certain sublime and noble principles, but on the other hand, we sadly practise the very antithesis of these principles. How often are our lives characterised by a high blood pressure of creeds and an anaemia of deeds! We talk eloquently about our commitment to the principles of Christianity, and yet our lives are saturated with the practices of paganism. We proclaim our devotion to democracy, but we sadly practise the very opposite of the democratic creed. We talk passionately about peace, and at the same time we assiduously prepare for war. We make our fervent pleas for the high road of justice, and then we tread unflinchingly the low road of injustice. This strange dichotomy, this agonising gulf between the ought and the is, represents the tragic theme of man's earthly pilgrimage.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Strength to Love)
Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.
Alice Walker (Living by the Word)
Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then -the glory- so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man's importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Once upon a time, powerful wizard, who wanted to destroy an entire kingdom, placed a magic potion in the well from which the inhabitants drank. Whoever drank that water would go mad. The following morning, the whole population drank from the well and they all went mad, apart from the king and his family, who had a well set aside for them alone, which the magician had not managed to poison. The king was worried and tried to control the population by issuing a series of edicts governing security and public health. The policemen and the inspectors, however, had also drunk the poisoned water, and they thought the king’s decisions were absurd and resolved to take notice of them. When the inhabitants of the kingdom heard these decrees, they became convinced that the king had gone mad and was now giving nonsensical orders. The marched on the castle and called for his abdication. In despair the king prepared to step down from the throne, but the queen stopped him, saying: ‘Let us go and drink from the communal well. Then we will be the same as them.’ And that was what they did: The king and queen drank the water of madness and immediately began talking nonsense. Their subjects repented at once; now that the king was displaying such ‘wisdom’, why not allow him to rule the country? The country continued to live in peace, although its inhabitants behaved very differently from those of its neighbors. And the king was able to govern until the end of his days.
Paulo Coelho (Veronika Decides to Die)
I tried to warn you, But girls never listen. Got your innocence insured? ’Cause it’s ’bout to be stolen Right out from under your nose. Prepare to curl your toes. I’ve got a one-track mind. You’ve got a nice behind. Chorus: I had a good thing goin’ All numb in my shell, Then you took me by surprise And now I’m scared as hell. I don’t wanna feel for you, I don’t wanna feel. If feeling means hurting, Then I don’t wanna be real. You crank up my lust, girl, You tame down my rage. You let your inner vixen Roam out of her cage. The moment our lips met I saw it in your eyes, But you were seeing me, too, I now realize. Chorus What do I want from you? I want everything. And I’m not gonna share— This ain’t a casual fling. You can be my bad girl, I’ll even be your good boy. How’d the tables get turned? F*** it, I’ll be your love toy.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Peril (Sweet, #2))
It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny... It's a force that appears to be negative, but actually shows you how to realize your destiny. It prepares your spirit and you will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
What grinds me the most is we're sending kids out into the world who don't know how to balance a checkbook, don't know how to apply for a loan, don't even know how to properly fill out a job application, but because they know the quadratic formula we consider them prepared for the world` With that said, I'll admit even I can see how looking at the equation x -3 = 19 and knowing x =22 can be useful. I'll even say knowing x =7 and y= 8 in a problem like 9x - 6y= 15 can be helpful. But seriously, do we all need to know how to simplify (x-3)(x-3i)?? And the joke is, no one can continue their education unless they do. A student living in California cannot get into a four-year college unless they pass Algebra 2 in high school. A future psychologist can't become a psychologist, a future lawyer can't become a lawyer, and I can't become a journalist unless each of us has a basic understanding of engineering. Of course, engineers and scientists use this shit all the time, and I applaud them! But they don't take years of theater arts appreciation courses, because a scientist or an engineer doesn't need to know that 'The Phantom of the Opoera' was the longest-running Broadway musical of all time. Get my point?
Chris Colfer (Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal)
Personally, I was never more passionate about manga than when preparing for my college entrance exams. It's a period of life when young people appear to have a great deal of freedom, but are in many ways actually opressed. Just when they find themselves powerfully attracted to members of opposite sex, they have to really crack the books. To escape from this depressing situation, they often find themselves wishing they could live in a world of their own - a world they can say is truly theirs, a world unknown even to their parents. To young people, anime is something they incorporate into this private world. I often refer to this feeling as one yearning for a lost world. It's a sense that although you may currently be living in a world of constraints, if you were free from those constraints, you would be able to do all sorts of things. And it's that feeling, I believe, that makes mid-teens so passionate about anime.
Hayao Miyazaki (Starting Point: 1979-1996)
Relegated as he was to a corner and as though sheltered behind the billiard table, the soldiers, their eyes fixed upon Enjolras, had not even noticed Grantaire, and the sergeant was preparing to repeat the order: 'Take aim!' when suddenly they heard a powerful voice cry out beside them, 'Vive la Republique! Count me in.' Grantaire was on his feet. The immense glare of the whole combat he had missed and in which he had not been, appeared in the flashing eyes of the transfigured drunkard. He repeated, 'Vive la Republique!' crossed the room firmly, and took his place in front of the muskets beside Enjolras. 'Two at one shot,' he said. And, turning toward Enjolras gently, he said to him, 'Will you permit it?' Enjolras shook his hand with a smile. The smile had not finished before the report was heard. Enjolras, pierced by eight bullets, remained backed up against the wall is if the bullets had nailed him there. Except that his head was tilted. Grantaire, struck down, collapsed at his feet.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face. All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dínen. "You cannot enter here," said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. "Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!" The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter. "Old fool!" he said. "Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!" And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of war nor of wizardry, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn. And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns, in dark Mindolluin's sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
Oh, if only it were possible to find understanding,” Joseph exclaimed. “If only there were a dogma to believe in. Everything is contradictory, everything tangential; there are no certainties anywhere. Everything can be interpreted one way and then again interpreted in the opposite sense. The whole of world history can be explained as development and progress and can also be seen as nothing but decadence and meaninglessness. Isn’t there any truth? Is there no real and valid doctrine?” The master had never heard him speak so fervently. He walked on in silence for a little, then said: “There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught. Be prepared for conflicts, Joseph Knecht - I can see that they already have begun.
Hermann Hesse (The Glass Bead Game)
I am a creature of the Fey Prepare to give your soul away My spell is passion and it is art My song can bind a human heart And if you chance to know my face My hold shall be your last embrace. I shall be thy lover... I am unlike a mortal lass From dreams of longing I have passed I came upon your lonely cries Revealed beauty to your eyes So shun the world that you have known And spend your nights within my own. I shall be thy lover... You shall be known by other men For your great works of voice and pen Yet inspiration has a cost For with me know your soul is lost I'll take your passion and your skill I'll take your young life quicker still. I shall be thy lover... Through the kisses that I give I draw from you that I will live And though you think this weakness grand The touch of death your lover's hand Your will to live has come too late Come to my arms and love this fate I shall be thy lover... I am a creature of the Fey Prepare to give your soul away My spell is passion and it is art My song can bind a human heart And if you chance to know my face My hold shall be your last embrace.
Heather Alexander
Right. Lack of opportunities," Daddy says. "Corporate America don't bring jobs to our communities, and they damn sure ain't quick to hire us. Then, shit, even if you do have a high school diploma, so many of the schools in our neighborhoods don't prepare us well enough. That's why when your momma talked about sending you and your brothers to Williamson, I agreed. Our schools don't get the resources to equip you like Williamson does. It's easier to find some crack that it is the find a good school around here. "Now, think 'bout this," he says. "How did the drugs even get in our neighborhood? This is a multibillion-dollar industry we talking 'bout, baby. That shit is flown into our communities, but I don't know anybody with a private jet. Do you?" "No." "Exactly. Drugs come from somewhere, and they're destroying our community," he says. "You got folks like Brenda, who think they need them survive, and then you got the Khalils, who think they need to sell them to survive. The Brendas can't get jobs unless they're clean, and they can't pay for rehab unless they got jobs. When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion-dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That's the hate they're giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That's Thug Life.
Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1))
To my son, If you are reading this letter, then I am dead. I expect to die, if not today, then soon. I expect that Valentine will kill me. For all his talk of loving me, for all his desire for a right-hand man, he knows that I have doubts. And he is a man who cannot abide doubt. I do not know how you will be brought up. I do not know what they will tell you about me. I do not even know who will give you this letter. I entrust it to Amatis, but I cannot see what the future holds. All I know is that this is my chance to give you an accounting of a man you may well hate. There are three things you must know about me. The first is that I have been a coward. Throughout my life I have made the wrong decisions, because they were easy, because they were self-serving, because I was afraid. At first I believed in Valentine’s cause. I turned from my family and to the Circle because I fancied myself better than Downworlders and the Clave and my suffocating parents. My anger against them was a tool Valentine bent to his will as he bent and changed so many of us. When he drove Lucian away I did not question it but gladly took his place for my own. When he demanded I leave Amatis, the woman I love, and marry Celine, a girl I did not know, I did as he asked, to my everlasting shame. I cannot imagine what you might be thinking now, knowing that the girl I speak of was your mother. The second thing you must know is this. Do not blame Celine for any of this, whatever you do. It was not her fault, but mine. Your mother was an innocent from a family that brutalized her. She wanted only kindess, to feel safe and loved. And though my heart had been given already, I loved her, in my fashion, just as in my heart, I was faithful to Amatis. Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. I wonder if you love Latin as I do, and poetry. I wonder who has taught you. The third and hardest thing you must know is that I was prepared to hate you. The son of myslef and the child-bride I barely knew, you seemed to be the culmination of all the wrong decisions I had made, all the small compromises that led to my dissolution. Yet as you grew inside my mind, as you grew in the world, a blameless innocent, I began to realize that I did not hate you. It is the nature of parents to see their own image in their children, and it was myself I hated, not you. For there is only one thing I wan from you, my son — one thing from you, and of you. I want you to be a better man than I was. Let no one else tell you who you are or should be. Love where you wish to. Believe as you wish to. Take freedom as your right. I don’t ask that you save the world, my boy, my child, the only child I will ever have. I ask only that you be happy. Stephen
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
... What do you want, Ash?" "Your head," Ash answered softly. "On a pike. But what I want doesn't matter this time." He pointed his sword at me. "I've come for her." I gasped as my heart and stomach began careening around my chest. He's here for me, to kill me, like he promised at Elysium. "Over my dead body." Puck smiled, as if this was a friendly conversation on the street, but I felt muscles coiling under his skin. "This was part of the plan." The prince raised his sword, the icy blade wreathed in mist. "I will avenge her today, and put her memory to rest." For a moment, a shadow of anguish flitted across his face, and he closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were cold and glittered with malice. "Prepare yourself." "Stay back, princess," Puck warned, pushing me out of the way. He reached into his boot and pullet out a dagger, the curved blade clear as glass. "This might get a little rough." "Puck, no." I clutched at his sleeve. "Don't fight him. Someone could die." "Duels to the death tend to end that way." Puck grinned, but it was a savage thing, grim and frightening. "But I'm touched that you care. One moment, princeling," he called to Ash, who inclined his head. Taking my wrist, Puck steered me behind the fountain and bent close, his breath warm on my face. "I have to do this, princess," he said firmly. "Ash won't let us go without a fight, and this has been coming for a long time now." For a moment, a shadow of regret flickered across his face, but then it was gone. "So," he murmured, grinning as he tilted my chin up, "before I march off to battle, how 'bout a kiss for luck?" I hesitated, wondering why now, of all times, he would ask for a kiss. He certainly didn't think of me in that way... did he?
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
I turn to head outside when the boys make their way back into the house. Kel stops in the doorway and puts his hands on his hips, then looks up at me. “Are you my sister’s boyfriend?” I’m thrown off by his directness. I pull my jacket on and shake my head. “Um, no. Just her friend.” “She told my mom you were taking her on a date. I thought only boyfriends took girls on dates.” “Well,” I pause. “Sometimes boys take girls on dates to see if they want them to be their girlfriend.” I notice Caulder standing beside me, taking in the conversation as if he’s just as curious. I wasn’t prepared to have to explain the rules of dating right now. “So it’s like a test?” Caulder asks. “To see if you want Layken to be your girlfriend?” I shrug and nod. “Yeah, I guess you could say that.” Kel laughs. “You aren’t gonna like her. She burps a lot. And she’s bossy. And she never lets me drink coffee, so she probably won’t let you have any, either. And she has really bad taste in music and sings way too loud and leaves her bras all over the house. It’s gross.” I laugh. “Thanks for the warning. You think it’s too late to back out now?” Kel shakes his head, missing my sarcasm completely. “No, she’s already dressed so you have to take her now.” I sigh, pretending to be annoyed. “Well, it’s just a few hours. Hopefully she won’t burp a lot and boss me around and steal my coffee and sing to her really bad music and leave her bra in my car.” Or hopefully she will.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Dear God Please take away my pain and despair of yesterday and any unpleasant memories and replace them with Your glorious promise of new hope. Show me a fresh HS-inspired way of relating to negative things that have happened. I ask You for the mind of Christ so I can discern Your voice from the voice of my past. I pray that former rejection and deep hurts will not color what I see and hear now. Help me to see all the choices I have ahead of me that can alter the direction of my life. I ask You to empower me to let go of the painful events and heartaches that would keep me bound. Thank You for Your forgiveness that You have offered to me at such a great price. Pour it into my heart so I can relinquish bitterness hurts and disappointments that have no place in my life. Please set me free to forgive those who have sinned against me and caused me pain and also myself. Open my heart to receive Your complete forgiveness and amazing grace. You have promised to bind up my wounds Psa 147:3 and restore my soul Psa 23:3 . Help me to relinquish my past surrender to You my present and move to the future You have prepared for me. I ask You to come into my heart and make me who You would have me to be so that I might do Your will here on earth. I thank You Lord for all that’s happened in my past and for all I have become through those experiences. I pray You will begin to gloriously renew my present.
Sue Augustine (When Your Past Is Hurting Your Present: Getting Beyond Fears That Hold You Back)
Death. The only thing inevitable in life. People don't like to talk about death because it makes them sad. They don't want to imagine how life will go on without them, all the people they love will briefly grieve but continue to breathe. They don't want to imagine how life will go on without them, Their children will still grow Get married Get old.. They don't want to imagine how life will continue to go on without them Their material things will be sold Their medical files stamped "closed" Their name becoming a memory to everyone they know. They don't want to imagine how life will go on without them, so instead of accepting it head on, they avoid the subject all together, hoping and praying it will somehow... pass them by. Forget about them, moving on to the next one in line. no, they didn't want to imagine how life would continue to go on.... without them. But death didn't forget. Instead they were met head-on by death, disguised as an 18-wheeler behind a cloud of fog. No. Death didn't forget about them. If only they had been prepared, accepted the inevitable, laid out their plans, understood that it wasn't just their lives at hand. I may have legally been considered an adult at the age of nineteen, but still i felt very much all of just nineteen. Unprepared and overwhelmed to suddenly have the entire life of a seven-year-old in my realm. Death. The only thing inevitable in life. -Will
Colleen Hoover (Slammed (Slammed, #1))
Man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman--a rope over an abyss. A dangerous crossing, a dangerous wayfaring, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous trembling and halting. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what is lovable in man is that he is an OVER-GOING and a DOWN-GOING. I love those that know not how to live except as down-goers, for they are the over-goers. I love the great despisers, because they are the great adorers, and arrows of longing for the other shore. I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth of the Superman may hereafter arrive. I love him who lives in order to know, and seeks to know in order that the Superman may hereafter live. Thus seeks he his own down-going. I love him who labors and invents, that he may build the house for the Superman, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus seeks he his own down-going. I love him who loves his virtue: for virtue is the will to down-going, and an arrow of longing. I love him who reserves no share of spirit for himself, but wants to be wholly the spirit of his virtue: thus walks he as spirit over the bridge. I love him who makes his virtue his inclination and destiny: thus, for the sake of his virtue, he is willing to live on, or live no more. I love him who desires not too many virtues. One virtue is more of a virtue than two, because it is more of a knot for one's destiny to cling to. I love him whose soul is lavish, who wants no thanks and does not give back: for he always bestows, and desires not to keep for himself. I love him who is ashamed when the dice fall in his favor, and who then asks: "Am I a dishonest player?"--for he is willing to succumb. I love him who scatters golden words in advance of his deeds, and always does more than he promises: for he seeks his own down-going. I love him who justifies the future ones, and redeems the past ones: for he is willing to succumb through the present ones. I love him who chastens his God, because he loves his God: for he must succumb through the wrath of his God. I love him whose soul is deep even in the wounding, and may succumb through a small matter: thus goes he willingly over the bridge. I love him whose soul is so overfull that he forgets himself, and all things that are in him: thus all things become his down-going. I love him who is of a free spirit and a free heart: thus is his head only the bowels of his heart; his heart, however, causes his down-going. I love all who are like heavy drops falling one by one out of the dark cloud that lowers over man: they herald the coming of the lightning, and succumb as heralds. Lo, I am a herald of the lightning, and a heavy drop out of the cloud: the lightning, however, is the SUPERMAN.--
Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
I don't believe in God. Can you understand that? Look around you man. Cant you see? The clamor and din of those in torment has to be the sound most pleasing to his ear. And I loathe these discussions. The argument of the village atheist whose single passion is to revile endlessly that which he denies the existence of in the first place. Your fellowship is a fellowship of pain and nothing more. And if that pain were actually collective instead of simply reiterative then the sheer weight of it would drag the world from the walls of the universe and send it crashing and burning through whatever night it might yet be capable of engendering until it was not even ash. And justice? Brotherhood? Eternal life? Good god, man. Show me a religion that prepares one for death. For nothingness. There's a church I might enter. Yours prepares one only for more life. For dreams and illusions and lies. If you could banish the fear of death from men's hearts they wouldnt live a day. Who would want this nightmare if not for fear of the next? The shadow of the axe hangs over every joy. Every road ends in death. Or worse. Every friendship. Every love. Torment, betrayal, loss, suffering, pain, age, indignity, and hideous lingering illness. All with a single conclusion. For you and for every one and everything that you have chosen to care for. There's the true brotherhood. The true fellowship. And everyone is a member for life. You tell me that my brother is my salvation? My salvation? Well then damn him. Damn him in every shape and form and guise. Do I see myself in him? Yes. I do. And what I see sickens me. Do you understand me? Can you understand me?
Cormac McCarthy (The Sunset Limited)
What marriage offers - and what fidelity is meant to protect - is the possibility of moments when what we have chosen and what we desire are the same. Such a convergence obviously cannot be continuous. No relationship can continue very long at its highest emotional pitch. But fidelity prepares us for the return of these moments, which give us the highest joy we can know; that of union, communion, atonement (in the root sense of at-one-ment)... To forsake all others does not mean - because it cannot mean - to ignore or neglect all others, to hide or be hidden from all others, or to desire or love no others. To live in marriage is a responsible way to live in sexuality, as to live in a household is a responsible way to live in the world. One cannot enact or fulfill one's love for womankind or mankind, or even for all the women or men to whom one is attracted. If one is to have the power and delight of one's sexuality, then the generality of instinct must be resolved in a responsible relationship to a particular person. Similarly, one cannot live in the world; that is, one cannot become, in the easy, generalizing sense with which the phrase is commonly used, a "world citizen." There can be no such think as a "global village." No matter how much one may love the world as a whole, one can live fully in it only by living responsibly in some small part of it. Where we live and who we live there with define the terms of our relationship to the world and to humanity. We thus come again to the paradox that one can become whole only by the responsible acceptance of one's partiality. (pg.117-118, "The Body and the Earth")
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
The first language humans had was gestures. There was nothing primitive about this language that flowed from people’s hands, nothing we say now that could not be said in the endless array of movements possible with the fine bones of the fingers and wrists. The gestures were complex and subtle, involving a delicacy of motion that has since been lost completely. During the Age of Silence, people communicated more, not less. Basic survival demanded that the hands were almost never still, and so it was only during sleep (and sometimes not even then) that people were not saying something or other. No distinction was made between the gestures of language and the gestures of life. The labor of building a house, say, or preparing a meal was no less an expression than making the sign for I love you or I feel serious. When a hand was used to shield one’s face when frightened by a loud noise something was being said, and when fingers were used to pick up what someone else had dropped something was being said; and even when the hands were at rest, that, too, was saying something. Naturally, there were misunderstandings. There were times when a finger might have been lifted to scratch a nose, and if casual eye contact was made with one’s lover just then, the lover might accidentally take it to be the gesture, not at all dissimilar, for Now I realize I was wrong to love you. These mistakes were heartbreaking. And yet, because people knew how easily they could happen, because they didn’t go round with the illusion that they understood perfectly the things other people said, they were used to interrupting each other to ask if they’d understood correctly. Sometimes these misunderstandings were even desirable, since they gave people a reason to say, Forgive me, I was only scratching my nose. Of course I know I’ve always been right to love you. Because of the frequency of these mistakes, over time the gesture for asking forgiveness evolved into the simplest form. Just to open your palm was to say: Forgive me." "If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms – if you find yourself at a loss for what to do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body – it’s because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what’s inside and what’s outside, was so much less. It’s not that we’ve forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it’s too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other’s bodies to make ourselves understood.
Nicole Krauss (The History of Love)
what love looks like what does love look like the therapist asks one week after the breakup and i’m not sure how to answer her question except for the fact that i thought love looked so much like you that’s when it hit me and i realized how naive i had been to place an idea so beautiful on the image of a person as if anybody on this entire earth could encompass all love represented as if this emotion seven billion people tremble for would look like a five foot eleven medium-sized brown-skinned guy who likes eating frozen pizza for breakfast what does love look like the therapist asks again this time interrupting my thoughts midsentence and at this point i’m about to get up and walk right out the door except i paid too much money for this hour so instead i take a piercing look at her the way you look at someone when you’re about to hand it to them lips pursed tightly preparing to launch into conversation eyes digging deeply into theirs searching for all the weak spots they have hidden somewhere hair being tucked behind the ears as if you have to physically prepare for a conversation on the philosophies or rather disappointments of what love looks like well i tell her i don’t think love is him anymore if love was him he would be here wouldn’t he if he was the one for me wouldn’t he be the one sitting across from me if love was him it would have been simple i don’t think love is him anymore i repeat i think love never was i think i just wanted something was ready to give myself to something i believed was bigger than myself and when i saw someone who probably fit the part i made it very much my intention to make him my counterpart and i lost myself to him he took and he took wrapped me in the word special until i was so convinced he had eyes only to see me hands only to feel me a body only to be with me oh how he emptied me how does that make you feel interrupts the therapist well i said it kind of makes me feel like shit maybe we’re looking at it wrong we think it’s something to search for out there something meant to crash into us on our way out of an elevator or slip into our chair at a cafe somewhere appear at the end of an aisle at the bookstore looking the right amount of sexy and intellectual but i think love starts here everything else is just desire and projection of all our wants needs and fantasies but those externalities could never work out if we didn’t turn inward and learn how to love ourselves in order to love other people love does not look like a person love is our actions love is giving all we can even if it’s just the bigger slice of cake love is understanding we have the power to hurt one another but we are going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t love is figuring out all the kind sweetness we deserve and when someone shows up saying they will provide it as you do but their actions seem to break you rather than build you love is knowing who to choose
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
Did I ever tell you about the man who taught his asshole to talk? His whole abdomen would move up and down, you dig, farting out the words. It was unlike anything I ever heard. Bubbly, thick, stagnant sound. A sound you could smell. This man worked for the carnival,you dig? And to start with it was like a novelty ventriloquist act. After a while, the ass started talking on its own. He would go in without anything prepared... and his ass would ad-lib and toss the gags back at him every time. Then it developed sort of teethlike... little raspy incurving hooks and started eating. He thought this was cute at first and built an act around it... but the asshole would eat its way through his pants and start talking on the street... shouting out it wanted equal rights. It would get drunk, too, and have crying jags. Nobody loved it. And it wanted to be kissed, same as any other mouth. Finally, it talked all the time, day and night. You could hear him for blocks, screaming at it to shut up... beating at it with his fists... and sticking candles up it, but... nothing did any good, and the asshole said to him... "It is you who will shut up in the end, not me... "because we don't need you around here anymore. I can talk and eat and shit." After that, he began waking up in the morning with transparentjelly... like a tadpole's tail all over his mouth. He would tear it off his mouth and the pieces would stick to his hands... like burning gasoline jelly and grow there. So, finally, his mouth sealed over... and the whole head... would have amputated spontaneously except for the eyes, you dig? That's the one thing that the asshole couldn't do was see. It needed the eyes. Nerve connections were blocked... and infiltrated and atrophied. So, the brain couldn't give orders anymore. It was trapped inside the skull... sealed off. For a while, you could see... the silent, helpless suffering of the brain behind the eyes. And then finally the brain must have died... because the eyes went out... and there was no more feeling in them than a crab's eye at the end of a stalk.
William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch)
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts… That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)