Proving Something Quotes

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Be wary of men with something to prove.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don’t like something, it is empirically not good. I don’t like Chinese food, but I don’t write articles trying to prove it doesn’t exist.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
Tess, Tess, Tessa. Was there ever a more beautiful sound than your name? To speak it aloud makes my heart ring like a bell. Strange to imagine that, isn’t it – a heart ringing – but when you touch me that is what it is like: as if my heart is ringing in my chest and the sound shivers down my veins and splinters my bones with joy. Why have I written these words in this book? Because of you. You taught me to love this book where I had scorned it. When I read it for the second time, with an open mind and heart, I felt the most complete despair and envy of Sydney Carton. Yes, Sydney, for even if he had no hope that the woman he loved would love him, at least he could tell her of his love. At least he could do something to prove his passion, even if that thing was to die. I would have chosen death for a chance to tell you the truth, Tessa, if I could have been assured that death would be my own. And that is why I envied Sydney, for he was free. And now at last I am free, and I can finally tell you, without fear of danger to you, all that I feel in my heart. You are not the last dream of my soul. You are the first dream, the only dream I ever was unable to stop myself from dreaming. You are the first dream of my soul, and from that dream I hope will come all other dreams, a lifetime’s worth. With hope at least, Will Herondale
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2))
I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men." "Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
Never do a single thing in the anticipation to prove something to someone who has hurt you. If someone has hurt or offended you (whoever that person may be), never perform anything or strive for anything in your life with the mind of proving something to that someone/ to those people. May nothing that you do be done with any thought of them in mind. There is nothing that needs to be proven.
C. JoyBell C.
Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers have chosen to see it as the final and clinching proof of the non-existence of God. The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist,'" says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing." "But," says Man, "The Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don't. QED." "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. "Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are.
Marjorie Pay Hinckley
Lunatics are similar to designated hitters. Often an entire family is crazy, but since an entire family can't go into the hospital, one person is designated as crazy and goes inside. Then, depending on how the rest of the family is feeling that person is kept inside or snatched out, to prove something about the family's mental health.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted: Screenplay based on the book)
He wasn't the type for displays of affection, either verbal or not. He was disgusted by couples that made out in the hallways between classes, and got annoyed at even the slightest sappy moments in movies. But I knew he cared about me: he just conveyed it more subtly, as concise with expressing this emotion as he was with everything else. It was in the way he'd put his hand on the small of my back, for instance, or how he'd smile at me when I said something that surprised him. Once I might have wanted more, but I'd come around to his way of thinking in the time we'd been together. And we were together, all the time. So he didn't have to prove how he felt about me. Like so much else, I should just know.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
A man writes because he is tormented, because he doubts. He needs to constantly prove to himself and the others that he’s worth something. And if I know for sure that I’m a genius? Why write then? What the hell for?
Andrei Tarkovsky
The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
The axiom of equality states that x always equals x: it assumes that if you have a conceptual thing named x, that it must always be equivalent to itself, that it has a uniqueness about it, that it is in possession of something so irreducible that we must assume it is absolutely, unchangeably equivalent to itself for all time, that its very elementalness can never be altered. But it is impossible to prove. Always, absolutes, nevers: these are the words, as much as numbers, that make up the world of mathematics. Not everyone liked the axiom of equality––Dr. Li had once called it coy and twee, a fan dance of an axiom––but he had always appreciated how elusive it was, how the beauty of the equation itself would always be frustrated by the attempts to prove it. It was the kind of axiom that could drive you mad, that could consume you, that could easily become an entire life. But now he knows for certain how true the axiom is, because he himself––his very life––has proven it. The person I was will always be the person I am, he realizes. The context may have changed: he may be in this apartment, and he may have a job that he enjoys and that pays him well, and he may have parents and friends he loves. He may be respected; in court, he may even be feared. But fundamentally, he is the same person, a person who inspires disgust, a person meant to be hated.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
So many people will tell you ”no”, and you need to find something you believe in so hard that you just smile and tell them ”watch me”. Learn to take rejection as motivation to prove people wrong. Be unstoppable. Refuse to give up, no matter what. It’s the best skill you can ever learn.
Charlotte Eriksson
Fashion does not have to prove that it is serious. It is the proof that intelligent frivolity can be something creative and positive
Karl Lagerfeld
I just wanted to thank you' he says, his voice low. 'A group of scientists told you that my genes were damaged, that there was something wrong with me - they showed you the test results that proved it. And even I started to believe it.' He touches my face, his thumb skimming my cheekbone, and his eyes are on mine, intense and insistent. 'You never believed it,' he says 'Not for a second. You always insisted I was... I don't know, whole.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
We all believe that we are a certain kind of person, but we never know until we do something that proves otherwise, or until we die.
Chuck Klosterman (Downtown Owl)
You're right. I'm not the kind of woman to do something foolish out of defiance. I am, however, the kind of woman who would do something just to prove that you can't tell me what kind of woman I am.
Carolyn Crane (Mind Games (The Disillusionists, #1))
A queen is wise. She has earned her serenity, not having had it bestowed on her but having passer her tests. She has suffered and grown more beautiful because of it. She has proved she can hold her kingdom together. She has become its vision. She cares deeply about something bigger than herself. She rules with authentic power.
Marianne Williamson
Trust. Why not ask me to do something easier, like prove the existence of God? Even God had given up on me.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
I’d learned a long time ago that you can’t prove a negative. You can prove that you did something, but it’s the devil to prove you didn’t do something.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Bullet (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #19))
So it took an eight-year-old child to bring 'em to their senses.... That proves something - that a gang of wild animals can be stopped, simply because they're still human. Hmp, maybe we need a police force of children. ~To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 16, spoken by the character Atticus
Harper Lee
As it happened, I was no longer interested in literature as a form of snobbery or even self-definition. I had no desire to prove that one book was better than another; in fact, if I read something I admired, I found myself increasingly disinclined to mention it at all. What I knew personally to be true had come to seem unrelated to the process of persuading others. I did not, any longer, want to persuade anyone of anything.
Rachel Cusk (Outline)
I want to take the road that no one dares travel, and I want to travel it with you two. No matter what may befall us. Not as Illyrians, not for their titles but as something new . To prove to them, to everyone, that something new and different might triumph over their rules and restrictions.
Sarah J. Maas (A ​Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #4))
The Christian says, 'Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Being Tigerstar's son has meant I've had to win the trust of every ThunderClan cat over and over. So I know how frustrating it is when you have to prove something that shouldn't need proving.
Erin Hunter (Dark River (Warriors: Power of Three, #2))
He'd always liked women who'd talk back to him just a little bit. "Girls with balls" were good. Women with an actual mind of their own who could prove him wrong in something were, of course, castrating bitches who should be drowned in bottomless wells.
Warren Ellis (Crooked Little Vein)
What are you trying to prove?" Lucia demanded. Between strikes, he bellowed, "That you should no' have left me!" "You were going to do it to me--don't bother denying it!" When he didn't, she said, "Then why are you different?" Another volley of arrows. "What gives you the right to risk yourself?" He snapped, "Because you could move on if something happened to me.
Kresley Cole (Pleasure of a Dark Prince (Immortals After Dark, #8))
I filled my head with thoughts of the future, of infinite possibly. There's someone out there who will one day find me and fall in love with me and prove that all this waiting actually meant something....
Perry Moore (Hero)
If you feel obsessed to prove something to the world, then you'd need world attention to be able to prove it.
Toba Beta (Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
But you are not,” Magnus said. “He is not dead, Will. He lives because you let him go. He would have stayed with you and died, if you had asked it, but you loved him enough to prefer that he live, even if that life is separate from yours. And that above all things proves that you are not Sydney Carton, Will, that yours is not the kind of love that can be redeemed only through destruction. It is what I saw in you, what I have always seen in you, what made me want to help you. That you are not despairing. That you have in you an infinite capacity for joy.” He put one gloved hand under Will’s chin and lifted Will’s face. There were not many people Will had to raise his head to look in the eye, but Magnus was one. “Bright star,” Magnus said, and his eyes were thoughtful, as if he were remembering something, or someone. “Those of you who are mortal, you burn so fiercely. And you fiercer than most, Will. I will not ever forget you.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
I have been to many religious services over the years. Each one I go to only reinforces my general impression that religions have much, much more in common than they like to admit. The beliefs are almost always the same; it's just that the histories are different. Everybody wants to believe in a higher power. Everybody wants to belong to something bigger than themselves, and everybody wants company in doing that. They want there to be a force of good on earth, and they want an incentive to be a part of that force. They want to be able to prove their belief and their belonging, through rituals and devotion. They want to touch the enormity. It's only in the finer points that it gets complicated and contentious, the inability to realize that no matter what our religion or gender or race or geographic background, we all have about 98 percent in common with each other. yes, the differences between male and female are biological, but if you look at the biology as a matter of percentage, there aren't a whole lot of things that are different. Race is different purely as a social construction, not as an inherent difference. And religion--whether you believe in God or Yahweh or Allah or something else, odds are that at heart you want the same things. For whatever reason, we like to focus on the 2 percent that's different, and most of the conflict in the world comes from that.
David Levithan (Every Day (Every Day, #1))
Just becausse you can't prove something doesn't mean it isn't real.
Michelle Hodkin (The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2))
Do you know the hallmark of a second rater? It's resentment of another man's achievement. Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone's work prove greater than their own - they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness for an equal - for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire. They bare their teeth at you from out of their rat holes,thinking that you take pleasure in letting your brilliance dim them - while you'd give a year of my life to see a flicker of talent anywhere among them. They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear. They have no way of knowing what he feels when surrounded by inferiors - hatred? no, not hatred, but boredom - the terrible, hopeless, draining, paralyzing boredom. Of what account are praise and adulation from men whom you don't respect? Have you ever felt the longing for someone you could admire? For something, not to look down at, but up to?" "I've felt it all my life," she said.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
He chose a certain path in life, it proved to be a misguided one, but there, he chose it, he can say that at least. As for myself, I cannot even claim that. You see, I trusted. I trusted in his lorship's wisdom. All those years I served him, I trusted I was doing something worthwhile. I can't even say I made my own mistakes. Really - one has to ask oneself - what dignity is there in that?
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day)
That just proves there's something going on with you and Mr. Jackass.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
I’ll purposely do something to hurt you to prove that I can. To prove that you won’t stick around regardless of the consequences. To prove that I can control the situation. To control that I don’t get hurt.
K. Bromberg (Driven (Driven, #1))
I’ve had a lot of practice. The Pack contains thirty-two species in seven tribes, each with their own hang-up. Jackals and coyotes pick fights with wolves, because they have an inferiority complex and think they’ve got something to prove. Wolves believe themselves to be superior, marry the wrong people, and then refuse to divorce them because they cling to their ‘mating for life’ idiocy. Hyenas listen to nobody, screw everything, and break out in berserk rages at some perceived slight against one of their own. Cats randomly refuse to follow orders to prove they can. That’s my life. I’ve been at this for fifteen years now. You’re easy by comparison.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, #3))
I had spent my adolescence trying to blend in with my peers in suburban America, and had come of age feeling like my belonging was something to prove. Something that was always in the hands of other people to be given and never my own to take, to decide which side I was on, whom I was allowed to align with. I could never be of both worlds, only half in and half out, waiting to be ejected at will by someone with greater claim than me. Someone whole.
Michelle Zauner (Crying in H Mart)
But the memory lingered, the lesson I have never quite been able to shake: that I would always have something to prove and that nothing but blazing brilliance would be enough to prove it.
Yaa Gyasi (Transcendent Kingdom)
Oh, for goodness‘ sake,” yawned Isabelle, “Is he really waking us up at this ungodly hour just to prove his love to you or something? Couldn’t he have called? mundane men are such twits.” (Thinking its Simon when the “doorbell” of institute rings) -Isabelle to Clary, pg.188-
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
No one ever said that you would live to see the repercussions of everything you do, or that you have guarantees, or that you are not obliged to wander in the dark, or that everything will be proved to you and neatly verified like something in science. Nothing is: at least nothing that is worthwhile. I didn't bring you up only to move across sure ground. I didn't teach you to think that everything must be within our control or understanding. Did I? For, if I did, I was wrong. I fyou won't take a chance, then the powers you refuse because you cannot explain them, will, as they say, make a monkey out of you.
Mark Helprin (Winter's Tale)
To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it’s because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that’s where phrases like ‘deadly dull’ or ‘excruciatingly dull’ come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient, low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing’s pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly…but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places any more but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets’ checkouts, airport gates, SUVs’ backseats. Walkman, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. This terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can’t think anyone really believes that today’s so-called ‘information society’ is just about information. Everyone knows it’s about something else, way down.
David Foster Wallace
There are four kinds of people in this world: cretins, fools, morons, and lunatics…Cretins don’t even talk; they sort of slobber and stumble…Fools are in great demand, especially on social occasions. They embarrass everyone but provide material for conversation…Fools don’t claim that cats bark, but they talk about cats when everyone else is talking about dogs. They offend all the rules of conversation, and when they really offend, they’re magnificent…Morons never do the wrong thing. They get their reasoning wrong. Like the fellow who says that all dogs are pets and all dogs bark, and cats are pets, too, therefore cats bark…Morons will occasionally say something that’s right, but they say it for the wrong reason…A lunatic is easily recognized. He is a moron who doesn’t know the ropes. The moron proves his thesis; he has logic, however twisted it may be. The lunatic on the other hand, doesn’t concern himself at all with logic; he works by short circuits. For him, everything proves everything else. The lunatic is all idée fixe, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars…There are lunatics who don’t bring up the Templars, but those who do are the most insidious. At first they seem normal, then all of a sudden…
Umberto Eco (Foucault's Pendulum)
Except fang. I glared at him. "Go on, try to stop me, I dare you." It was like the old days when we used to wrestle, each trying to get the better of the other. I was ready to take him down, my hands curled into fist. "I was just going to say be careful," Fang told me. He stepped closer and brushed some hair out of my eyes. "And I've got your back." He motioned with his head toward the torpedo chamber. Oh my God. It hit me like a tsunami then, how perfect he was for me, how no one else would ever, could ever, be so perfect for me, how he was everything I could possibly hope for, as a friend, boyfriend, maybe even more. He was it for me. There would be no more looking. I really, really loved him, with a whole new kind of love I'd never felt before, something that made every other kind of love I'd ever felt feel washed out and wimpy in comparison. I loved him with every cell in my body, every thought in my head, every feather in my wings, every breathe in my lungs. and air sacs. Too bad I was going out to face almost certain death. Right there in front of everyone, I threw my arms around his neck and smashed my mouth against his. He was startled for a second, then his strong arms wrapped around me so tightly I could hardly breathe. "ZOMG," I heard Nudge whisper, but still fang and I kissed slanting our heads this way and that to get closer. I could have stood there and kissed him happily for the next millennium, but Angel, or what was left of her was still out there in the could dark ocean. Reluctantly, I ended the kiss, took a step back. Fang's obsidian eyes were glittering brightly and his stoic face had a look of wonder on it."Gotta go," I said quietly. A half smile quirked his mouth. "Yeah. Hurry back." I nodded and he stepped out of the air lock chamber, keeping his eyes fixed on me, memorizing me as he hit the switch that sealed the chamber. The doors hissed shut with a kind of finality, and I realized that my heart was beating so hard it felt like it was going to start snapping ribs. I was scared. I was crazily, deeply, incredibly, joyously, terrifyingly in love. I was on a death mission. Before my head simply exploded from so much emotion, I hit the large button that pressurized the air lock enough for the doors to open to the ocean outside. I really, really hoped that I would prove somewhat uncrushable, like Angel did. The door cracked open below me and I saw the first dark glint of frigid water.
James Patterson (Maximum Ride Five-Book Set)
Don't be an asshole" Rhage summed up the regurgitation with two words: "Kettle.Black." Fucking hell. "Did you guys plan that out?" "Yeah and if you don't fight us"- Hollywood bit down on the grape Tootsie Pop-"we'll do it again- only with the dance moves this time" "Spare me." "Fine.Unless you agree to home it,we WILL rock the dance moves." To prove the point ,the moron linked his palms behind his head and started doing something obscene with his hips. Which was backed up by a series of,"Uh-huh,uh-huh,ohhhh, yeeeeeeah,who's your daddy..." The others looked at Rhage like he'd grown a horn in the middle of his forehead. Nothing unusual there. And Tohr knew that, in spite of this ridiculous diversion,if he didn't cave,the lot of them would crawl so far up his ass,he'd be coughing up shitkickers. Rhage wheeled around,shoved out his butt,and started slapping his moneymaker like it was bread dough. "For the love of the Virgin Scribe,"Z muttered "put us out of this misery, and go the fuck home" Someone else chimed in, "You know, I never thought there were advantages to being blind..." "Or deaf" "Or mute," somebody added
J.R. Ward (Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10))
What are you doing following me around the back streets of London, you little idiot?” Will demanded, giving her arm a light shake. Cecily’s eyes narrowed. “This morning it was cariad (note: Welsh endearment, like ‘darling’ or ‘love’), now it’s idiot.” “Oh, you’re using a Glamour rune. There’s one thing to declare, you are not afraid of anything when you live in the country. But this is London.” “I’m not afraid of London,” Cecily said defiantly. Will leaned closer, almost hissing in her ear *and said something very complicated in Welsh* She laughed. “No, it wouldn’t do you any good to tell me to go home. You are my brother, and I want to go with you.” Will blinked at her words. You are my brother, and I want to go with you. It was the sort of thing he was used to hearing Jem say. Although Cecily was unlike Jem in every other conceivable possible way, she did share one quality with him. Stubbornness. When Cecily said she wanted something, it did not express an idle desire, but an iron determination. “Do you even care where I’m going?” he said. “What if I were going to hell?” “I’ve always wanted to see hell,” Cecily said. “Doesn’t everyone?” “Most of us spend our time trying to stay out of it, Cecily. I’m going to an ifrit den, if you must know, to purchase drugs from vile, dissolute criminals. They may clap eyes on you, and decide to sell you.” “Wouldn’t you stop them?” “I suppose it would depend on whether they cut me a part of the profit.” She shook her head. “Jem is your parabatai,” she said. “He is your brother, given to you by the Clave, but I am your sister by blood. Why would you do anything for him, but you only want me to go home?” “How do you know the drugs are for Jem?” Will said. “I’m not an idiot, Will.” “No, more’s the pity. Jem- Jem is like the better part of me. I would not expect you to understand. I owe him. I owe him this.” “So what am I?” Cecily said. Will exhaled, too desperate to check himself. “You are my weakness.” “And Tessa is your heart,” she said, not angrily, but thoughtfully. “I am not fooled. As I told you, I’m not an idiot. And more’s the pity for you, although I suppose we all want things we can’t have.” “Oh,” said Will, “and what do you want?” “I want you to come home.” A strand of black hair was stuck to her cheek by the dampness, and Will fought the urge to pull her cloak closer about her, to make her safe as he had when she was a child. “The Institute is my home,” Will sighed, and leaned his head against the stone wall. “I can’t stand out her arguing with you all evening, Cecily. If you’re determined to follow me into hell, I can’t stop you.” “Finally,” she said provingly. “You’ve seen sense. I knew you would, you’re related to me.” Will fought the urge to shake her. “Are you ready?” She nodded, and he raised his hand to knock on the door.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Sometimes the crime follows the punishment, which only serves to prove the foresight of the Great God." "That's what my grandmother used to say," said Brutha automatically. "Indeed? I would like to know more about this formidable lady." "She used to give me a thrashing every morning because I would certainly do something to deserve it during the day," said Brutha. "A most complete understanding of the nature of mankind,
Terry Pratchett (Small Gods (Discworld, #13))
Sex appeal is something that you feel deep down inside. It’s suggested rather than shown. I’m not as well-stacked as Sophia Loren or Gina Lollobrigida, but there is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.
Audrey Hepburn
There’s something simmering inside of me. Something I’ve never dared to tap into, something I’m afraid to acknowledge. There’s a part of me clawing to break free from the cage I’ve trapped it in, banging on the doors of my heart, begging to be free. Begging to let go. Every day I feel like I’m reliving the same nightmare. I open my mouth to shout, to fight, to swing my fists, but my vocal cords are cut, my arms are heavy and weighted down as if trapped in wet cement and I’m screaming but no one can hear me, no one can reach me and I’m caught. And it’s killing me. I’ve always had to make myself submissive, subservient, twisted into a pleading, passive mop just to make everyone else feel safe and comfortable. My existence has become a fight to prove I’m harmless, and I’m not a threat, that I’m capable of living among other human beings without hurting them. And I’m so tired I’m so tire I’m so tired I’m so tired and sometimes I get so angry. I don’t know what’s happening to me.
Tahereh Mafi (Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5))
All over America, people were pulling credentials out of their pockets and sticking them under someone else's nose to prove they had been somewhere or done something. And I thought someday everyone in America will suddenly jump up and say, 'I don't take any shit!' and start pushing and cursing and clawing at the man next to him.
William S. Burroughs (And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks)
If people want something to be wrong about you— they are going to make things wrong about you. That is why it is my belief to never try and prove anything to anyone. Real diamonds belong to people who know how to spot a real diamond; they don’t belong to people who need to be convinced that they are real diamonds. It’s the idiots who need to be convinced of something that they cannot already see.
C. JoyBell C.
Look, if you say that science will eventually prove there is no God, on that I must differ. No matter how small they take it back, to a tadpole, to an atom, there is always something they can’t explain, something that created it all at the end of the search. “And no matter how far they try to go the other way – to extend life, play around with the genes, clone this, clone that, live to one hundred and fifty – at some point, life is over. And then what happens? When the life comes to an end?” I shrugged. “You see?” He leaned back. He smiled. “When you come to the end, that’s where God begins.
Mitch Albom (Have a Little Faith: a True Story)
What is family? They were the people who claimed you. In good, in bad, in parts or in whole, they were the ones who showed up, who stayed in there, regardless. It wasn't just about blood relations or shared chromosomes, but something wider, bigger. Cora was right- we had many families over time. Our family of origin, the family we created, as well as the groups you moved through while all of this was happening: friends, lovers, sometimes even strangers. None of them were perfect, and we couldn't expect them to be. You couldn't make any one person your world. The trick was to take what each could give you and build a world from it. So my true family was not just my mom, lost or found; my dad, gone from the start; and Cora, the only one who had really been there all along. It was Jamie, who took me in without question and gave me a future I once couldn't even imagine; Oliva, who did question, but also gave me answers; Harriet, who, like me, believed she needed no one and discovered otherwise. And then there was Nate. Nate, who was a friend to me before I even knew what a friend was. Who picked me up, literally, over and over again, and never asked for anything in return except for my word and my understanding. I'd given him one but not the other, because at the time I thought I couldn't, and then proved myself right by doing exactly as my mother had, hurting to prevent from being hurt myself. Needing was so easy: it came naturally, like breathing. Being needed by someone else, though, that was the hard part. But as with giving help and accepting it, we had to do both to be made complete- like links overlapping to form a chain, or a lock finding the right key. ~Ruby (pgs 400-401)
Sarah Dessen (Lock and Key)
Many years ago someone told me something that I flatly refused to accept. And I still don't accept it now, despite all the times I've seen it proved right. "The common good and the individual good rarely coincide..." Sure, I know, it's true. But some truths are probably worse than lies.
Sergei Lukyanenko (Night Watch (Watch, #1))
We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get to their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority-it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are-only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional break-through only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself.
Ernest Becker (The Birth and Death of Meaning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Problem of Man)
I knew that I would have to be brave. Not foolhardy, not in love with risk and danger, not making ridiculous exhibitions of myself to prove that I wasn't terrified--really genuinely brave. Brave enough to be quiet when quiet was called for, brave enough to observe before flinging myself into something, brave enough to not abandon my true self when someone else wanted to seduce or force me in a direction I didn't want to go, brave enough to stand my ground quietly.
Piper Kerman (Orange Is the New Black)
Oh. My. God. You're Rose Hathaway aren't you?" "Yeah." I said with surprise. "Do you know me?" "Everyone knows you. I mean, everyone heard about you. You're the one who ran away. And then you came back and killed the Strigoi. That is so cool! Did you get molnija marks?" Her words came out in one long string. She hardly took a breath. "Yeah. I have two." Thinking about the tiny tattoos on the back of my neck made my skin itch. Her pale green eyes—if possible—grew wider. "Oh my God. Wow." I usually grew irate when people made a big deal about molnija marks. After all, the circumstances had not been cool. But this girl was young, and there was something appealing about her. "What's your name?" I asked. "Jillian—Jill. I mean, just Jill. Not both. Jillian's my full name. Jill's what everyone calls me." "Right." I said, hiding a smile. "I figured it out." "I heard Moroi used magic on that trip to fight. Is that true? I would love to do that. I wish someone would teach me. I use air. Do you think i could fight Strigoi with that? Everyone says I'm crazy!" For centuries, Moroi using magic to fight had been viewed as a sin. Everyone believed it should be used peacefully. Recently, some had started to question that, particularly after Christian had proved useful in the Spokane escape. "I don't know." I said. "You should talk to Christian Ozera." She gaped. "Would he talk to me?" "If you bring up fighting the establishment, yeah he'll talk to you." "Okay, cool. Was that Guardian Belikov?" she asked, switching subjects abruptly. "Yeah." I swore I thought she might faint then and there. "Really? He's even cuter then I heard. He's your teacher right? Like, your own personal teacher?" "Yeah." I wondered where he was. Talking to Jill was exhausting. "Wow. You know you guys don't even act like teacher and student. You seem like friends. Do you hang out when you're not training?" "Er, well, kind of. Sometimes." I remembered my earlier thoughts, about how I was one of the few people Dimitri was social with outside of his guardian duties. "I knew it! I can't even imagine that—I'd be freaking out all the time around him. I'd never get anything done, but your so cool about it all, kind of like, 'Yeah. I'm with this totally hot guy, but whatever it doesn't matter!'" I laughed in spite of myself. "I think you're giving me more credit than I deserve." "No way. And I don't believe any of those stories, you know." "Um, stories?" "Yeah about you beating up Christian Ozera." "Thanks." I said.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
We teach our girls how not to get raped with a sense of doom, a sense that we are fighting a losing battle. When I was writing this novel, friend after friend came to me telling me of something that had happened to them. A hand up their skirt, a boy who wouldn’t take no for an answer, a night where they were too drunk to give consent but they think it was taken from them anyway. We shared these stories with one another and it was as if we were discussing some essential part of being a woman, like period cramps or contraceptives. Every woman or girl who told me these stories had one thing in common: shame. ‘I was drunk . . . I brought him back to my house . . . I fell asleep at that party . . . I froze and I didn’t tell him to stop . . .’ My fault. My fault. My fault. When I asked these women if they had reported what had happened to the police, only one out of twenty women said yes. The others looked at me and said, ‘No. How could I have proved it? Who would have believed me?’ And I didn’t have any answer for that.
Louise O'Neill (Asking For It)
When your mind wants to bolt, but your heart hangs on, it is because you don’t know with absolute certainty what the truth is. When you waste so much time on something that you want to believe is true, you begin to overthink things. Eventually, something obvious becomes twisted into something absurd, which keeps us from believing a simpler answer. Over time, you believe your own lies and fantasies to shield yourself from hurt, when following what is logical would have been the quickest way to healing. It is through your own self-imposed delusions that you lose your perspective. The world then becomes different to you when in fact you are different. Why? Because your own ego gets in the way. Everyone wants to feel special. Everyone wants to have faith in others. Everyone wants to believe in fairytales, happy endings and have all bad interactions with others explained. It is easier to sit in denial with your delusions and pray God will intervene, not realizing he has. He gave you commonsense and intuition, but you didn’t like how it made you feel. This is what true mental illness really is: Following your gut instinct through hell because you want to prove you are right, either to yourself or others. You sacrifice choosing to do right, in order to avoid pain. However, you don't realize that you have been in pain for a really long time and believed this was how happiness felt.
Shannon L. Alder
I've proved my point. I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else! All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day. You had a bad day once, am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad day and everything changed. Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... Only you won't admit it! You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling! God you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? What made you what you are? Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? Brother carved up by some mugger? Something like that, I bet. Something like that... Something like that happened to me, you know. I... I'm not exactly sure what it was. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice! Ha ha ha! But my point is... My point is, I went crazy. When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was, I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you? I mean, you're not unintelligent! You must see the reality of the situation. Do you know how many times we've come close to world war three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? Do you know what triggered the last world war? An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! Telegraph poles! Ha ha ha ha HA! It's all a joke! Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! So why can't you see the funny side? Why aren't you laughing?
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Is there anyone out there, from our Blue Night family, that is crying alone tonight? Not crying out of pity for something or someone, but instead because they cannot help asking why they are living in the way that they are? Is there anyone that is feeling sentimental or guilty, needlessly? Don’t be like that. I hope that you believe that these bitter days of crying alone will prove to be the most beautiful days of your life. You’ll realize, with time, that your life is actually pretty alright. I promise you. In fact, I’ll write you a guarantee! The most beautiful thing in all the world is right now. This moment. You. Don’t ever forget that.
Kim Jonghyun
My body Healed quickly. But the wound to my psyche was deep. Wide. First aid, too little, too late, left me hemorrhaging inside, the blood unstaunched by psychological bandage or love's healing magic. Eventually it scabbed over, a thick, ugly welt of memory. I work to conceal it, but no matter how hard I try, once in a while something makes me pick at it until the scarring bleeds. In my arms, Ashante cries, innocence ripped apart by circumstance. Bloodied by inhuman will. Time will prove a tourniquet. But she will always be at risk of infection.
Ellen Hopkins (Fallout (Crank, #3))
Prove to me that you are not a figment of my imagination. Am I a computer simulation? Does the door swing both ways? How can something come from nothing? How do you know a line is straight? If animals wanted to be eaten, would it be okay? If time stopped then stared again, would we know about it? What happens when you get scared half to death twice? What is creationism? What is ethical?
Jessica Park (Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1))
Staring at her face, she began to fancy her outer layer had begun to melt away while she wasn't paying attention, and something -- some new skeleton -- was emerging from beneath the softness of her accustomed self. With a deep, visceral ache, she wished her true form might prove to be a sleek and shining one, like a stiletto blade slicing free of an ungainly sheath. Like a bird of prey losing its hatchling fluff to hunt in cold, magnificent skies. That she might become something glittering, something startling, something dangerous.
Laini Taylor (Lips Touch: Three Times)
… Science is constantly proved all the time. You see, if we take something like any fiction, any holy book… and destroyed it, in a thousand years’ time, that wouldn’t come back just as it was. Whereas if we took every science book, and every fact, and destroyed them all, in a thousand years they’d all be back, because all the same tests would [produce] the same result.
Ricky Gervais
Yet, at the same time, as the Eastern sages also knew, man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body that once belonged to a fish and still carries the gill-marks to prove it. His body is a material fleshy casing that is alien to him in many ways—the strangest and most repugnant way being that it aches and bleeds and will decay and die. Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever. It is a terrifying dilemma to be in and to have to live with. The lower animals are, of course, spared this painful contradiction, as they lack a symbolic identity and the self-consciousness that goes with it. They merely act and move reflexively as they are driven by their instincts. If they pause at all, it is only a physical pause; inside they are anonymous, and even their faces have no name. They live in a world without time, pulsating, as it were, in a state of dumb being. This is what has made it so simple to shoot down whole herds of buffalo or elephants. The animals don't know that death is happening and continue grazing placidly while others drop alongside them. The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it. They live and they disappear with the same thoughtlessness: a few minutes of fear, a few seconds of anguish, and it is over. But to live a whole lifetime with the fate of death haunting one's dreams and even the most sun-filled days—that's something else.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
We always look for the signs we missed when something goes wrong. We become like detectives trying to solve a murder, because maybe if we uncover the clues, it gives us some control. Sure, we can’t change what happened, but if we can string together enough clues, we can prove that whatever nightmare has befallen us, we could have stopped it, if only we had been smart enough. I suppose it’s better to believe in our own stupidity than it is to believe that all the clues in the world wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Neal Shusterman (Challenger Deep)
Then she would be done with J. D. Jameson forever. No more having to prove herself; no more of those pesky jitters she felt whenever she saw him at work—something like butterflies in her stomach, it was actually quite annoying; no more stress; no more fights in the library; and definitely no more sexy I’m-gonna-kiss-you-now-woman blue-eyed heated gazes. She had no idea why she just thought that.
Julie James (Practice Makes Perfect)
He held her gaze steady while he summarized her promises. “She will honor me, protect me, obey me only when she believes I’m being reasonable—but I shouldn’t hold out hope that that day will ever come—try to love me before she’s an old woman, and I’d better get it straight in my mind that she will respect me until or unless I do something to prove I’m not worthy, and God save me then. Have I left anything out, Brenna?
Julie Garwood (The Wedding (Lairds' Fiancées, #2))
I want to tell you this story without having to confess anything, without having to say that I ran out into the street to prove something, that he didn't love me, that I wanted to be possessed, thrown over, that I wanted to have the wounds nailed shut. I want to tell you this story without having to be in it: Max in the wrong clothes. Max at the party, drunk again. Max in the kitchen, in refrigerator Ught, his hands around the neck of a beer. Tell me we're dead and I'll love you even more. I'm surprised that I say it with feeling. There's a thing in my stomach about this. A simple thing. The last rung.
Richard Siken (Crush)
I am living in the Google years, no question of that. And there are advantages to it. When you forget something, you can whip out your iPhone and go to Google. The Senior Moment has become the Google moment, and it has a much nicer, hipper, younger, more contemporary sound, doesn't it? By handling the obligations of the search mechanism, you almost prove you can keep up.... You can't retrieve you life (unless you're on Wikipedia, in which case you can retrieve an inaccurate version of it).
Nora Ephron (I Remember Nothing: and Other Reflections)
Ellie I have never in life... ever sweetheart...experienced these feelings that i have for you. You walk into a room and i have to catch my breath at the sight of you. You flash your beautiful smile at me and there's not a damn thing in this world I wouldnt do for you. Your laugh moves through my body like a jolt of electricity. Your eyes captivate mine; your lips bring me to my knee's. I want to know every part of you Ellie. I'm just as confused by these feelings as you are sweetheart but i want you to know something, I'll never push you or give up on us I promise you that. Please Ellie just let me in. Let me prove to you how much i want to be with you
Kelly Elliott
The ticket to emotional health, like that to physical health, comes from eating your veggies—that is, accepting the bland and mundane truths of life: truths such as “Your actions actually don’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things” and “The vast majority of your life will be boring and not noteworthy, and that’s okay.” This vegetable course will taste bad at first. Very bad. You will avoid accepting it. But once ingested, your body will wake up feeling more potent and more alive. After all, that constant pressure to be something amazing, to be the next big thing, will be lifted off your back. The stress and anxiety of always feeling inadequate and constantly needing to prove yourself will dissipate. And the knowledge and acceptance of your own mundane existence will actually free you to accomplish what you truly wish to accomplish, without judgment or lofty expectations. You
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Go out with me tomorow night," Perry went on. "Let me prove to you that I'm the guy you want." "I...I guess I coul go out tomorrow night," Miranda sounded shocked and a little swept off her feet. Then, from the corner of her eyes. Kylie saw something move at the office window. When she looked back, she spotted Burnett and Holiday standing there high-fiving each other. No doubt Burnett was listening to the coversation and sharing the details with Holiday. Perry nodded, stepped closer, and then pressed a quick kiss on Miranda's cheek. It had to be the most romantic thing Kylie had ever seen. ..."What?" Miranda asked. "You're happy my date [with Todd] wasn't exciting?" "No," Kylie said. "Let's just say we're more excited about tomorrow night's date." A bright smile lit up Miranda's face. "Me too. Can you believ Perry did that? I mean, he was so..." "Romantic," Kylie said. "Hot," Della added. "Sweet," Miranda whispered. "I couldn't stop thinkibng about him all night." And that was the best news Kylie had gotten all day.
C.C. Hunter (Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls, #3))
If you think about it, reading is a necessarily individual act, far more than writing. If we assume that writing manages to go beyond the limitations of the author, it will continue to have a meaning only when it is read by a single person and passes through his mental circuits. Only the ability to be read by a given individual proves that what is written shares in the power of writing, a power based on something that goes beyond the individual. The universe will express itself as long as somebody will be able to say, "I read, therefore it writes.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Truths turn into dogmas the instant that they are disputed. Thus every man who utters a doubt defines a religion. And the scepticism of our time does not really destroy the beliefs, rather it creates them; gives them their limits and their plain and defiant shape. We who are Liberals once held Liberalism lightly as a truism. Now it has been disputed, and we hold it fiercely as a faith. We who believe in patriotism once thought patriotism to be reasonable, and thought little more about it. Now we know it to be unreasonable, and know it to be right. We who are Christians never knew the great philosophic common sense which inheres in that mystery until the anti-Christian writers pointed it out to us. The great march of mental destruction will go on. Everything will be denied. Everything will become a creed. It is a reasonable position to deny the stones in the street; it will be a religious dogma to assert them. It is a rational thesis that we are all in a dream; it will be a mystical sanity to say that we are all awake. Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two make four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer. We shall be left defending, not only the incredible virtues and sanities of human life, but something more incredible still, this huge impossible universe which stares us in the face. We shall fight for visible prodigies as if they were invisible. We shall look on the impossible grass and the skies with a strange courage. We shall be of those who have seen and yet have believed.
G.K. Chesterton (Heretics)
Is there anyone out there that is crying alone tonight? Not crying out of pity for something or someone, but instead because they cannot help asking why they are living in the way that they are? Is there anyone that is feeling sentimental or guilty, needlessly? Don’t be like that. I hope that you believe that these bitter days of crying alone will prove to be the most beautiful days of your life. You’ll realize, with time, that your life is actually pretty alright. I promise you. In fact, I’ll write you a guarantee! The most beautiful thing in all the world is right now. This moment. You. Don’t ever forget that.
Kim Jonghyun
Maybe this is kind of cliche, but animals, well, dogs, are what I do for a living. One reason I like spending time with them so much is they seem to think people are really good. They live with us, and obey our rules, most of which make no sense to them. And the main reason they do it is because they like us. When I watch them, sometimes I'm so blow away by how enthusiastic they are about everything we do that I have to go out and buy them something squeaky or chewy. Just because I love proving to them that it's not a mistake to see the world as a great benevolent place. I hope one day to react to something with as much pure ecstasy as I see in Chuck's face every time I throw the ball. Sometimes he looks so happy, it reminds me of the way blind people smile way too big because they can't see themselves. And if none of this links to anything in you, well... I think you don't know who I am.
Merrill Markoe (Walking in Circles Before Lying Down)
Come live with me and be my love And we will all the pleasures prove Of a marriage conducted with economy In the Twentieth Century Anno Donomy. We’ll live in a dear little walk-up flat With practically room to swing a cat And a potted cactus to give it hauteur And a bathtub equipped with dark brown water. We’ll eat, without undue discouragement, Foods low in cost but high in nouragement And quaff with pleasure, while chatting wittily, The peculiar wine of Little Italy. We’ll remind each other it’s smart to be thrifty And buy our clothes for something-fifty. We’ll bus for miles on holidays For seas at depressing matinees, And every Sunday we’ll have a lark And take a walk in Central Park. And one of these days not too remote You’ll probably up and cut my throat.
Ogden Nash (Hard Lines)
Study, along the lines which the theologies have mapped, will never lead us to discovery of the fundamental facts of our existence. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means. The fact that man, for ages, has superstitiously believed in what he calls a God does not prove at all that his theory has been right. There have been many gods – all makeshifts, born of inability to fathom the deep fundamental truth. There must be something at the bottom of existence, and man, in ignorance, being unable to discover what it is through reason, because his reason has been so imperfect, undeveloped, has used, instead, imagination, and created figments, of one kind or another, which, according to the country he was born in, the suggestions of his environment, satisfied him for the time being. Not one of all the gods of all the various theologies has ever really been proved. We accept no ordinary scientific fact without the final proof; why should we, then, be satisfied in this most mighty of all matters, with a mere theory? Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past... The days of miracles have passed. I do not believe, of course, that there was ever any day of actual miracles. I cannot understand that there were ever any miracles at all. My guide must be my reason, and at thought of miracles my reason is rebellious. Personally, I do not believe that Christ laid claim to doing miracles, or asserted that he had miraculous power... Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up. There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that. Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals – they are mere aggregates of cells. There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
One of the things that strikes me most though is how some people don't realise they're self-harming. The phrase 'self-harm' brings up thoughts of 'cutting', but that's only a small portion of it. When you drink excessively to drown your sorrows to the point you throw up and can't see straight and/or, like a girl at my school, ended up being driven to hospital to have her stomach pumped, you've brought harm to yourself. If you take drugs to feel numb and it becomes an addiction that you can't break, you've self-harmed. When you starve yourself or binge eat to fit the latest fashions, you're pushing your body further than it can go. We need to start treating ourselves how we deserve to be treated, even if you feel that no one else does. Prove to the world you ARE worth something by treating yourself with the utmost respect and hope that other people will follow your example. And even if they don't, at least one person in the world is treating you well: YOU.
Carrie Hope Fletcher (All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully)
Damen said, with helpless honesty, "Laurent, I am your slave." The words laid him open, truth exposed in the space between them. He wanted to prove it, as though, inarticulate, he could make up for what divided them. He was aware of the shallowness of Laurent's breath, it matched his own; they were breathing each other's air. He reached out, watching for any hesitation in Laurent's eyes. The touch he offered was accepted as it had not been last time, fingers gentle on Laurent's jaw, thumb passing over his cheekbone, soft. Laurent's controlled body was hard with tension, his rapid pulse urgent for flight, but he closed his eyes in the last seconds before it happened. Damen's palm slid over Laurent's warm nape; slowly, very slowly, making his height an offering, not a threat, Damen leaned in and kissed Laurent on the mouth. The kiss was barely a suggestion of itself, with no yielding of the rigidity in Laurent, but the first kiss became a second, after a fraction of parting in which Damen felt the flicker of Laurent's shallow breathing against his own lips. It felt, in all the lies between them, as if this was the only true thing. It didn't matter that he was leaving tomorrow. He felt remade with the desire to give Laurent this: to give him all he would allow, and to ask for nothing, this careful threshold something to be savoured because it was all Laurent would let himself have.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince: Volume Two (Captive Prince, #2))
To me, at least in retrospect, the really interesting question is why dullness proves to be such a powerful impediment to attention. Why we recoil from the dull. Maybe it's because dullness is intrinsically painful; maybe that's where phrases like 'deadly dull' or 'excruciatingly dull' come from. But there might be more to it. Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that's dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper type of pain that is always there, if only in an ambient low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with our full attention. Admittedly, the whole thing's pretty confusing, and hard to talk about abstractly...but surely something must lie behind not just Muzak in dull or tedious places anymore but now also actual TV in waiting rooms, supermarkets' checkouts, airports' gates, SUVs' backseats. Walkmen, iPods, BlackBerries, cell phones that attach to your head. The terror of silence with nothing diverting to do. I can't think anyone really believes that today's so-called 'information society' is just about information. Everyone knows it's about something else, way down.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Suddenly I began to find a strange meaning in old fairy-tales; woods, rivers, mountains, became living beings; mysterious life filled the night; with new interests and new expectations I began to dream again of distant travels; and I remembered many extraordinary things that I had heard about old monasteries. Ideas and feelings which had long since ceased to interest me suddenly began to assume significance and interest. A deep meaning and many subtle allegories appeared in what only yesterday had seemed to be naive popular fantasy or crude superstition. And the greatest mystery and the greatest miracle was that the thought became possible that death may not exist, that those who have gone may not have vanished altogether, but exist somewhere and somehow, and that perhaps I may see them again. I have become so accustomed to think "scientifically" that I am afraid even to imagine that there may be something else beyond the outer covering of life. I feel like a man condemned to death, whose companions have been hanged and who has already become reconciled to the thought that the same fate awaits him; and suddenly he hears that his companions are alive, that they have escaped and that there is hope also for him. And he fears to believe this, because it would be so terrible if it proved to be false, and nothing would remain but prison and the expectation of execution.
P.D. Ouspensky (A New Model of the Universe (Dover Occult))
I was born free, and that I might live in freedom I chose the solitude of the fields; in the trees of the mountains I find society, the clear waters of the brooks are my mirrors, and to the trees and waters I make known my thoughts and charms. I am a fire afar off, a sword laid aside. Those whom I have inspired with love by letting them see me, I have by words undeceived, and if their longings live on hope—and I have given none to Chrysostom or to any other—it cannot justly be said that the death of any is my doing, for it was rather his own obstinacy than my cruelty that killed him; and if it be made a charge against me that his wishes were honourable, and that therefore I was bound to yield to them, I answer that when on this very spot where now his grave is made he declared to me his purity of purpose, I told him that mine was to live in perpetual solitude, and that the earth alone should enjoy the fruits of my retirement and the spoils of my beauty; and if, after this open avowal, he chose to persist against hope and steer against the wind, what wonder is it that he should sink in the depths of his infatuation? If I had encouraged him, I should be false; if I had gratified him, I should have acted against my own better resolution and purpose. He was persistent in spite of warning, he despaired without being hated. Bethink you now if it be reasonable that his suffering should be laid to my charge. Let him who has been deceived complain, let him give way to despair whose encouraged hopes have proved vain, let him flatter himself whom I shall entice, let him boast whom I shall receive; but let not him call me cruel or homicide to whom I make no promise, upon whom I practise no deception, whom I neither entice nor receive. It has not been so far the will of Heaven that I should love by fate, and to expect me to love by choice is idle. Let this general declaration serve for each of my suitors on his own account, and let it be understood from this time forth that if anyone dies for me it is not of jealousy or misery he dies, for she who loves no one can give no cause for jealousy to any, and candour is not to be confounded with scorn. Let him who calls me wild beast and basilisk, leave me alone as something noxious and evil; let him who calls me ungrateful, withhold his service; who calls me wayward, seek not my acquaintance; who calls me cruel, pursue me not; for this wild beast, this basilisk, this ungrateful, cruel, wayward being has no kind of desire to seek, serve, know, or follow them. If Chrysostom's impatience and violent passion killed him, why should my modest behaviour and circumspection be blamed? If I preserve my purity in the society of the trees, why should he who would have me preserve it among men, seek to rob me of it? I have, as you know, wealth of my own, and I covet not that of others; my taste is for freedom, and I have no relish for constraint; I neither love nor hate anyone; I do not deceive this one or court that, or trifle with one or play with another. The modest converse of the shepherd girls of these hamlets and the care of my goats are my recreations; my desires are bounded by these mountains, and if they ever wander hence it is to contemplate the beauty of the heavens, steps by which the soul travels to its primeval abode.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
Men who are in prison for rape think it's the dumbest thing that ever happened... it's isn't just a miscarriage of justice; they were put in jail for something very little different from what most men do most of the time and call it sex. The only difference is they got caught. That view is nonremorseful and not rehabilitative. It may also be true. It seems to me that we have here a convergence between the rapists's view of what he has done and the victim's perspective on what was done to her. That is, for both, their ordinary experiences of heterosexual intercourse and the act of rape have something in common. Now this gets us into immense trouble, because that's exactly how judges and juries see it who refuse to convict men accused of rape. A rape victim has to prove that it was not intercourse. She has to show that there was force and that she resisted, because if there was sex, consent is inferred. Finders of fact look for "more force than usual during the preliminaries". Rape is defined by distinction from intercourse - not nonviolence, intercourse. They ask, does this event look more like fucking or like rape? But what is their standard for sex, and is this question asked from the women's point of view? The level of force is not adjudicated at her point of violation; it is adjudicated at the standard for the normal level of force. Who sets this standard?
Catharine A. MacKinnon
Don’t defend him! This is bullshit!” he said as he turned for the door, and then turned back to face me. “I’ve been sitting at work this whole time, staring at those fucking things. I wanted to calm down before I got here, but this is just . . . it’s fucking disrespectful, is what it is! I bust my ass trying to prove to you that I’m better for you than he ever was. But he keeps pulling this shit, and showing up, and . . . I can’t compete with some rich college boy from California. I’m barely getting by, with no degree, and up until a few days ago I still lived with my dad. But I am so fucking in love you, Cami,” he said, reaching for me. “I have been since we were kids. The first time I saw you on the playground, I knew what beauty was. The first time you ignored me was my first broken heart. I thought I was playing this right, from the moment I sat down at your table at the Red. No one has ever wanted someone as much as I want you. For years I . . .” He was breathing hard, and he clenched his jaw. “When I heard about your dad, I wanted to rescue you,” he said, chuckling, but not out of humor. “And that night at your apartment, I thought I’d finally gotten something right.” He pointed to the ground. “That my purpose in life was to love you and keep you safe . . . but I didn’t prepare for having to share you.
Jamie McGuire (Beautiful Oblivion (The Maddox Brothers, #1))
Humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages upon its naive self-love. The first was when it realized that our earth was not the center of the universe, but only a tiny speck in a world-system of a magnitude hardly conceivable; this is associated in our minds with the name of Copernicus, although Alexandrian doctrines taught something very similar. The second was when biological research robbed man of his peculiar privilege of having been specially created, and relegated him to a descent from the animal world, implying an ineradicable animal nature in him: this transvaluation has been accomplished in our own time upon the instigation of Charles Darwin, Wallace, and their predecessors, and not without the most violent opposition from their contemporaries. But man's craving for grandiosity is now suffering the third and most bitter blow from present-day psychological research which is endeavoring to prove to the ego of each one of us that he is not even master in his own house, but that he must remain content with the veriest scraps of information about what is going on unconsciously in his own mind. We psycho-analysts were neither the first nor the only ones to propose to mankind that they should look inward; but it appears to be our lot to advocate it most insistently and to support it by empirical evidence which touches every man closely.
Sigmund Freud (Introduction à la psychanalyse)
I'm not sure I even believe in marriage," Hadley says and he looks surprised. "Aren't you on your way to a wedding?" "Yeah," she says with a nod. "But that's what I mean." He looks at her blankly. "It shouldn't be this big fuss, where you drag everyone halfway across the world to witness your love. If you want to share your life together, fine. But it's between two people, and that should be enough. Why the big show? Why rub it in everyone's faces?" Oliver runs a hand along his jaw, obviously not quite sure what to think. "It sounds like its weddings you don't believe in," he says finally. "Not marriage." "I'm not such a big fan of either at the moment." "I don't know," he says. "I think they're kind of nice." "They're not," she insists. "They're all for show. You shouldn't need to prove anything if you really mean it. It should be a whole lot simpler than that. It should mean something." "I think it does," Oliver says quietly. "It's a promise." "I guess so," she says, unable to keep the sigh out of her voice. "But not everyone keeps that promise." she looks over toward the woman, still fast asleep. "Not everyone makes it fifty-two years, and if you do, it doesn't matter that you once stood in front of all those people and said that you would. The important part is that you had someone to stick by you all that time. Even when everything sucked.
Jennifer E. Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
For when I speak of the banality of evil, I do so only on the strictly factual level, pointing to a phenomenon which stared one in the face at the trial. Eichmann was not Iago and not Macbeth, and nothing would have been farther from his mind than to determine with Richard III 'to prove a villain.' Except for an extraordinary diligence in looking out for his personal advancement, he had no motives at all… He merely, to put the matter colloquially, never realized what he was doing… It was sheer thoughtlessness—something by no means identical with stupidity—that predisposed him to become one of the greatest criminals of that period. And if this is 'banal' and even funny, if with the best will in the world one cannot extract any diabolical or demonic profundity from Eichmann, this is still far from calling it commonplace… That such remoteness from reality and such thoughtlessness can wreak more havoc than all the evil instincts taken together which, perhaps, are inherent in man—that was, in fact, the lesson one could learn in Jerusalem.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
What is to be done with the millions of facts that bear witness that men, consciously, that is fully understanding their real interests, have left them in the background and have rushed headlong on another path, to meet peril and danger, compelled to this course by nobody and by nothing, but, as it were, simply disliking the beaten track, and have obstinately, wilfully, struck out another difficult, absurd way, seeking it almost in the darkness. So, I suppose, this obstinacy and perversity were pleasanter to them than any advantage... The fact is, gentlemen, it seems there must really exist something that is dearer to almost every man than his greatest advantages, or (not to be illogical) there is a most advantageous advantage (the very one omitted of which we spoke just now) which is more important and more advantageous than all other advantages, for the sake of which a man if necessary is ready to act in opposition to all laws; that is, in opposition to reason, honour, peace, prosperity -- in fact, in opposition to all those excellent and useful things if only he can attain that fundamental, most advantageous advantage which is dearer to him than all. "Yes, but it's advantage all the same," you will retort. But excuse me, I'll make the point clear, and it is not a case of playing upon words. What matters is, that this advantage is remarkable from the very fact that it breaks down all our classifications, and continually shatters every system constructed by lovers of mankind for the benefit of mankind. In fact, it upsets everything... One's own free unfettered choice, one's own caprice, however wild it may be, one's own fancy worked up at times to frenzy -- is that very "most advantageous advantage" which we have overlooked, which comes under no classification and against which all systems and theories are continually being shattered to atoms. And how do these wiseacres know that man wants a normal, a virtuous choice? What has made them conceive that man must want a rationally advantageous choice? What man wants is simply independent choice, whatever that independence may cost and wherever it may lead. And choice, of course, the devil only knows what choice. Of course, this very stupid thing, this caprice of ours, may be in reality, gentlemen, more advantageous for us than anything else on earth, especially in certain cases… for in any circumstances it preserves for us what is most precious and most important -- that is, our personality, our individuality. Some, you see, maintain that this really is the most precious thing for mankind; choice can, of course, if it chooses, be in agreement with reason… It is profitable and sometimes even praiseworthy. But very often, and even most often, choice is utterly and stubbornly opposed to reason ... and ... and ... do you know that that, too, is profitable, sometimes even praiseworthy? I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! …And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don't know? You will scream at me (that is, if you condescend to do so) that no one is touching my free will, that all they are concerned with is that my will should of itself, of its own free will, coincide with my own normal interests, with the laws of nature and arithmetic. Good heavens, gentlemen, what sort of free will is left when we come to tabulation and arithmetic, when it will all be a case of twice two make four? Twice two makes four without my will. As if free will meant that!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
And, indeed, this is the odd thing that is continually happening: there are continually turning up in life moral and rational persons, sages and lovers of humanity who make it their object to live all their lives as morally and rationally as possible, to be, so to speak, a light to their neighbours simply in order to show them that it is possible to live morally and rationally in this world. And yet we all know that those very people sooner or later have been false to themselves, playing some queer trick, often a most unseemly one. Now I ask you: what can be expected of man since he is a being endowed with strange qualities? Shower upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, so that nothing but bubbles of bliss can be seen on the surface; give him economic prosperity, such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species, and even then out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element. It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself--as though that were so necessary-- that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar. And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point!
Fyodor Dostoevsky
As he soars, he thinks, suddenly, of Dr. Kashen. Or not of Dr. Kashen, necessarily, but the question he had asked him when he was applying to be his advisee: What's your favorite axiom? (The nerd pickup line, CM had once called it.) "The axiom of equality," he'd said, and Kashen had nodded, approvingly. "That's a good one," he'd said. The axiom of equality states that x always equals x: it assumes that if you have a conceptual thing named x, that it must always be equivalent to itself, that it has a uniqueness about it, that it is in possession of something so irreducible that we must assume it is absolutely, unchangeably equivalent to itself for all time, that its very elementalness can never be altered. But it is impossible to prove. Always, absolutes, nevers: these are the words, as much as numbers, that make up the world of mathematics. Not everyone liked the axiom of equality––Dr. Li had once called it coy and twee, a fan dance of an axiom––but he had always appreciated how elusive it was, how the beauty of the equation itself would always be frustrated by the attempts to prove it. I was the kind of axiom that could drive you mad, that could consume you, that could easily become an entire life. But now he knows for certain how true the axiom is, because he himself––his very life––has proven it. The person I was will always be the person I am, he realizes. The context may have changed: he may be in this apartment, and he may have a job that he enjoys and that pays him well, and he may have parents and friends he loves. He may be respected; in court, he may even be feared. But fundamentally, he is the same person, a person who inspires disgust, a person meant to be hated. And in that microsecond that he finds himself suspended in the air, between ecstasy of being aloft and the anticipation of his landing, which he knows will be terrible, he knows that x will always equal x, no matter what he does, or how many years he moves away from the monastery, from Brother Luke, no matter how much he earns or how hard he tries to forget. It is the last thing he thinks as his shoulder cracks down upon the concrete, and the world, for an instant, jerks blessedly away from beneath him: x = x, he thinks. x = x, x = x.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
My husband claims I have an unhealthy obsession with secondhand bookshops. That I spend too much time daydreaming altogether. But either you intrinsically understand the attraction of searching for hidden treasure amongst rows of dusty shelves or you don't; it's a passion, bordering on a spiritual illness, which cannot be explained to the unaffected. True, they're not for the faint of heart. Wild and chaotic, capricious and frustrating, there are certain physical laws that govern secondhand bookstores and like gravity, they're pretty much nonnegotiable. Paperback editions of D. H. Lawrence must constitute no less than 55 percent of all stock in any shop. Natural law also dictates that the remaining 45 percent consist of at least two shelves worth of literary criticism on Paradise Lost and there should always be an entire room in the basement devoted to military history which, by sheer coincidence, will be haunted by a man in his seventies. (Personal studies prove it's the same man. No matter how quickly you move from one bookshop to the next, he's always there. He's forgotten something about the war that no book can contain, but like a figure in Greek mythology, is doomed to spend his days wandering from basement room to basement room, searching through memoirs of the best/worst days of his life.) Modern booksellers can't really compare with these eccentric charms. They keep regular hours, have central heating, and are staffed by freshly scrubbed young people in black T-shirts. They're devoid of both basement rooms and fallen Greek heroes in smelly tweeds. You'll find no dogs or cats curled up next to ancient space heathers like familiars nor the intoxicating smell of mold and mildew that could emanate equally from the unevenly stacked volumes or from the owner himself. People visit Waterstone's and leave. But secondhand bookshops have pilgrims. The words out of print are a call to arms for those who seek a Holy Grail made of paper and ink.
Kathleen Tessaro (Elegance)
With time to think, the full reality of what had happened hit Thomas like a falling boulder. Ever since Thomas had entered the Maze, Newt had been there for him. Thomas hadn’t realized just how much of a friend he’d become until now. His heart hurt. He tried to remind himself that Newt wasn’t dead. But in some ways this was worse. In most ways. He’d fallen down the slope of insanity, and he was surrounded by bloodthirsty Cranks. And the prospect of never seeing him again was almost unbearable. [...] He pulled the envelope out of his pocket and ripped it open, then took out the slip of paper. The soft lights that ringed the mirror lit up the message in a warm glow. It was two short sentences: Kill me. If you’ve ever been my friend, kill me. Thomas read it over and over, wishing the words would change. To think that his friend had been so scared that he’d had the foresight to write those words made him sick to his stomach. And he remembered how angry Newt had been at Thomas specifically when they’d found him in the bowling alley. He’d just wanted to avoid the inevitable fate of becoming a Crank. And Thomas had failed him. [...] “Newt suddenly twisted around and grabbed Thomas by the hand holding the gun. He yanked it toward himself, forcing it up until the end of the pistol was pressed against his own forehead. “Now make amends! Kill me before I become one of those cannibal monsters! Kill me! I trusted you with the note! No one else. Now do it!” Thomas tried to pull his hand away, but Newt was too strong. “I can’t, Newt, I can’t.” “Make amends! Repent for what you did!” The words tore out of him, his whole body trembling. Then his voice dropped to an urgent, harsh whisper. “Kill me, you shuck coward. Prove you can do the right thing. Put me out of my misery.” The words horrified Thomas. “Newt, maybe we can—” “Shut up! Just shut up! I trusted you! Now do it!” “I can’t.” “Do it!” “I can’t!” How could Newt ask him to do something like this? How could he possibly kill one of his best friends? “Kill me or I’ll kill you. Kill me! Do it!” “Newt …” “Do it before I become one of them!” “I …” “KILL ME!” And then Newt’s eyes cleared, as if he’d gained one last trembling gasp of sanity, and his voice softened. “Please, Tommy. Please.” With his heart falling into a black abyss, Thomas pulled the trigger.
James Dashner (The Death Cure (The Maze Runner, #3))
By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe. But we pay a price. After years of turning people away, of protecting our inner self, of cultivating it by living in a different world, of furnishing this world with our fantasies and dreams—lo and behold we find that we are hopelessly separated from everyone else. We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority—it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are—only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional break-through only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself. We emit huge globs of love to our parents and spouses, and the glob slithers away in exchange of words that are somehow beside the point of what we are trying to say. People seem to keep bumping up against each other with their exteriors and falling away from each other. The cartoonist Jules Feiffer is the modern master of this aspect of the human tragedy. Take even the sexual act—the most intimate merger given to organisms. For most people, even for their entire lives, it is simply a joining of exteriors. The insides melt only in the moment of orgasm, but even this is brief, and a melting is not a communication. It is a physical overcoming of separateness, not a symbolic revelation and justification of one’s interior. many people pursue sex precisely because it is a mystique of the overcoming of the separateness of the inner world, and they go from one partner to another because they can never quite achieve “it." So the endless interrogations: “What are you thinking about right now—me? Do you feel what I feel? Do you love me?
Ernest Becker
If you want to see philosophy in action, pay a visit to a robo-rat laboratory. A robo-rat is a run-ofthe-mill rat with a twist: scientists have implanted electrodes into the sensory and reward areas in the rat’s brain. This enables the scientists to manoeuvre the rat by remote control. After short training sessions, researchers have managed not only to make the rats turn left or right, but also to climb ladders, sniff around garbage piles, and do things that rats normally dislike, such as jumping from great heights. Armies and corporations show keen interest in the robo-rats, hoping they could prove useful in many tasks and situations. For example, robo-rats could help detect survivors trapped under collapsed buildings, locate bombs and booby traps, and map underground tunnels and caves. Animal-welfare activists have voiced concern about the suffering such experiments inflict on the rats. Professor Sanjiv Talwar of the State University of New York, one of the leading robo-rat researchers, has dismissed these concerns, arguing that the rats actually enjoy the experiments. After all, explains Talwar, the rats ‘work for pleasure’ and when the electrodes stimulate the reward centre in their brain, ‘the rat feels Nirvana’. To the best of our understanding, the rat doesn’t feel that somebody else controls her, and she doesn’t feel that she is being coerced to do something against her will. When Professor Talwar presses the remote control, the rat wants to move to the left, which is why she moves to the left. When the professor presses another switch, the rat wants to climb a ladder, which is why she climbs the ladder. After all, the rat’s desires are nothing but a pattern of firing neurons. What does it matter whether the neurons are firing because they are stimulated by other neurons, or because they are stimulated by transplanted electrodes connected to Professor Talwar’s remote control? If you asked the rat about it, she might well have told you, ‘Sure I have free will! Look, I want to turn left – and I turn left. I want to climb a ladder – and I climb a ladder. Doesn’t that prove that I have free will?
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Everybody tries to protect this vulnerable two three four five six seven eight year old inside, and to acquire skills and aptitudes for dealing with the situations that threaten to overwhelm it... Usually, that child is a wretchedly isolated undeveloped little being. It’s been protected by the efficient armour, it’s never participated in life, it’s never been exposed to living and to managing the person’s affairs, it’s never been given responsibility for taking the brunt. And it’s never properly lived. That’s how it is in almost everybody. And that little creature is sitting there, behind the armour, peering through the slits. And in its own self, it is still unprotected, incapable, inexperienced... And in fact, that child is the only real thing in them. It’s their humanity, their real individuality, the one that can’t understand why it was born and that knows it will have to die, in no matter how crowded a place, quite on its own. That’s the carrier of all the living qualities. It’s the centre of all the possible magic and revelation. What doesn’t come out of that creature isn’t worth having, or it’s worth having only as a tool—for that creature to use and turn to account and make meaningful... And so, wherever life takes it by surprise, and suddenly the artificial self of adaptations proves inadequate, and fails to ward off the invasion of raw experience, that inner self is thrown into the front line—unprepared, with all its childhood terrors round its ears. And yet that’s the moment it wants. That’s where it comes alive—even if only to be overwhelmed and bewildered and hurt. And that’s where it calls up its own resources—not artificial aids, picked up outside, but real inner resources, real biological ability to cope, and to turn to account, and to enjoy. That’s the paradox: the only time most people feel alive is when they’re suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world. That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember. But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster. So when you realise you’ve gone a few weeks and haven’t felt that awful struggle of your childish self—struggling to lift itself out of its inadequacy and incompetence—you’ll know you’ve gone some weeks without meeting new challenge, and without growing, and that you’ve gone some weeks towards losing touch with yourself.
Ted Hughes (Letters of Ted Hughes)
Are you all right?" A crease appears between his eyebrows, and he touches my cheek gently.I bat his hand away. "Well," I say, "first I got reamed out in front of everyone,and then I had to chat with the woman who's trying to destroy my old faction,and then Eric almost tossed my friends out of Dauntless,so yeah,it's shaping up to be a pretty great day,Four." He shakes his head and looks at the dilapidated building to his right, which is made of brick and barely resembles the sleek glass spire behind me. It must be ancient.No one builds with brick anymore. "Why do you care,anyway?" I say. "You can be either cruel instructor or concerned boyfriend." I tense up at the word "boyfriend." I didn't mean to use it so flippantly,but it's too late now. "You can't play both parts at the same time." "I am not cruel." He scowls at me. "I was protecting you this morning. How do you think Peter and his idiot friends would have reacted if they discovered that you and I were..." He sighs. "You would never win. They would always call your ranking a result of my favoritism rather than your skill." I open my mouth to object,but I can't. A few smart remarks come to mind, but I dismiss them. He's right. My cheeks warm, and I cool them with my hands. "You didn't have to insult me to prove something to them," I say finally. "And you didn't have to run off to your brother just because I hurt you," he says. He rubs at the back of his neck. "Besides-it worked,didn't it?" "At my expense." "I didn't think it would affect you this way." Then he looks down and shrugs. "Sometimes I forget that I can hurt you.That you are capable of being hurt." I slide my hands into my pockets and rock back on my heels.A strange feeling goes through me-a sweet,aching weakness. He did what he did because he believed in my strength. At home it was Caleb who was strong,because he could forget himself,because all the characteristics my parents valued came naturally to him. No one has ever been so convinced of my strength. I stand on my tiptoes, lift my head, and kiss him.Only our lips touch. "You're brilliant,you know that?" I shake my head. "You always know exactly what to do." "Only because I've been thinking about this for a long time," he says, kissing my briefly. "How I would handle it, if you and I..." He pulls back and smiles. "Did I hear you call me your boyfriend,Tris?" "Not exactly." I shrug. "Why? Do you want me to?" He slips his hands over my neck and presses his thumbs under my chin, tilting my head back so his forehead meets mine. For a moment he stands there, his eyes closed, breathing my air. I feel the pulse in his fingertips. I feel the quickness of his breath. He seems nervous. "Yes," he finally says. Then his smile fades. "You think we convinced him you're just a silly girl?" "I hope so," I say.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
And What Good Will Your Vanity Be When The Rapture Comes” says the man with a cart of empty bottles at the corner of church and lincoln while I stare into my phone and I say I know oh I know while trying to find the specific filter that will make the sun’s near-flawless descent look the way I might describe it in a poem and the man says the moment is already right in front of you and I say I know but everyone I love is not here and I mean here like on this street corner with me while I turn the sky a darker shade of red on my phone and I mean here like everyone I love who I can still touch and not pass my fingers through like the wind in a dream but I look up at the man and he is a kaleidoscope of shadows I mean his shadows have shadows and they are small and trailing behind him and I know then that everyone he loves is also not here and the man doesn’t ask but I still say hey man I’ve got nothing I’ve got nothing even though I have plenty to go home to and the sun is still hot even in its endless flirt with submission and the man’s palm has a small river inside I mean he has taken my hand now and here we are tethered and unmoving and the man says what color are you making the sky and I say what I might say in a poem I say all surrender ends in blood and he says what color are you making the sky and I say something bright enough to make people wish they were here and he squints towards the dancing shrapnel of dying light along a rooftop and he says I love things only as they are and I’m sure I did once too but I can’t prove it to anyone these days and he says the end isn’t always about what dies and I know I know or I knew once and now I write about beautiful things like I will never touch a beautiful thing again and the man looks me in the eyes and he points to the blue-orange vault over heaven’s gates and he says the face of everyone you miss is up there and I know I know I can’t see them but I know and he turns my face to the horizon and he says we don’t have much time left and I get that he means the time before the sun is finally through with its daily work or I think I get that but I still can’t stop trembling and I close my eyes and I am sobbing on the corner of church and lincoln and when I open my eyes the sun is plucking everyone who has chosen to love me from the clouds and carrying them into the light-drunk horizon and I am seeing this and I know I am seeing this the girl who kissed me as a boy in the dairy aisle of meijer while our parents shopped and the older boy on the basketball team who taught me how to make a good fist and swing it into the jaw of a bully and the friends who crawled to my porch in the summer of any year I have been alive they were all there I saw their faces and it was like I was given the eyes of a newborn again and once you know what it is to be lonely it is hard to unsee that which serves as a reminder that you were not always empty and I am gasping into the now-dark air and I pull my shirt up to wipe whatever tears are left and I see the man walking in the other direction and I chase him down and tap his arm and I say did you see it did you see it like I did and he turns and leans into the glow of a streetlamp and he is anchored by a single shadow now and he sneers and he says have we met and he scoffs and pushes his cart off into the night and I can hear the glass rattling even as I watch him become small and vanish and I look down at my phone and the sky on the screen is still blood red.
Hanif Abdurraqib