Putting Your Child First Quotes

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But how?" my students ask. "How do you actually do it?" You sit down, I say. You try to sit down at approximately the same time every day. This is how you train your unconscious to kick in for you creatively. So you sit down at, say, nine every morning, or ten every night. You put a piece of paper in the typewriter, or you turn on the computer and bring up the right file, and then you stare at it for an hour or so. You begin rocking, just a little at first, and then like a huge autistic child. You look at the ceiling, and over at the clock, yawn, and stare at the paper again. Then, with your fingers poised on the keyboard, you squint at an image that is forming in your mind -- a scene, a locale, a character, whatever -- and you try to quiet your mind so you can hear what that landscape or character has to say above the other voices in your mind.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird)
I think motherhood is the noblest task of all, because you cannot do it at your convenience, or tailor it to suit your preferences. You have to be ready to give up everything when you take on this task: your time, restful nights, your hobbies, your pursuit of physical fitness, any beauty you may have had, and all of the private little pleasures you might have counted as a right, from late dinners and long soaks in the tub to weekend excursions and cycling trips…I’m not saying you can’t have any of these things, but you have to be ready to let them all go if you’re going to have children and put them first.
Johann Christoph Arnold (Endangered : Your Child in a Hostile World)
Emotional loneliness is so distressing that a child who experiences it will do whatever is necessary to make some kind of connection with the parent. These children may learn to put other people's needs first as the price of admission to a relationship. Instead of expecting others to provide support or show interest in them, they may take on the role of helping others, convincing everyone that they have few emotional needs of their own. Unfortunately, this tends to create even more loneliness, since covering up your deepest needs prevents genuine connection with others.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
I know I have a pretty good sense for music, but she was better than me. I used to think it was such a waste! I thought, ‘If only she had started out with a good teacher and gotten the proper training, she’d be so much further along!’ But I was wrong about that. She was not the kind of child who could stand proper training. There just happen to be people like that. They’re blessed with this marvelous talent, but they can’t make the effort to systematize it. They end up squandering it in little bits and pieces. I’ve seen my share of people like that. At first you think they’re amazing. Like, they can sight-read some terrifically difficult piece and do a damn good job playing it all the way through. You see them do it, and you’re overwhelmed. you think, ‘I could never do that in a million years.’ But that’s as far as they go. They can’t take it any further. And why not? Because they won’t put in the effort. Because they haven’t had the discipline pounded into them. They’ve been spoiled. They have just enough talent so they’ve been able to play things well without any effort and they’ve had people telling them how great they are from the time they’re little, so hard work looks stupid to them. They’ll take some piece another kid has to work on for three weeks and polish it off in half the time, so the teacher figures they’ve put enough into it and lets them go to the next thing. And they do that in half the time and go on to the next piece. They never find out what it means to be hammered by the teacher; they lose out on a certain element required or character building. It’s a tragedy.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes? When I was little, I remember wandering the cereal aisle (which surely is as American a phenomenon as fireworks on the Fourth of July) and picking my breakfast food based on what the reward was: a Frisbee with the Trix rabbit's face emblazoned on the front. Holographic stickers with the Lucky Charms leprechaun. A mystery decoder wheel. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring at the end. I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA. Here's a secret: those mothers don't exist. Most of us-even if we'd never confess-are suffering through the raisin bran in the hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. I look very good on paper. I have a family, and I write a newspaper column. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost for dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone. Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping-and, dare I say it, the Burlington Free Press-seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood. Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's car, and say, "Great. Maybe YOU can do a better job." Real mothers know that it's okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast. Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed. If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages. Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
Now that’s what I call magic—seein’ all that, dealin’ with all that, and still goin’ on. It’s sittin’ up all night with some poor old man who’s leavin’ the world, taking away such pain as you can, comfortin’ their terror, seein’ ‘em safely on their way…and then cleanin’ ‘em up, layin’ ‘em out, making ‘em neat for the funeral, and helpin’ the weeping widow strip the bed and wash the sheets—which is, let me tell you, no errand for the fainthearted—and stayin’ up the next night to watch over the coffin before the funeral, and then going home and sitting down for five minutes before some shouting angry man comes bangin’ on your door ‘cuz his wife’s havin’ difficulty givin’ birth to their first child and the midwife’s at her wits’ end and then getting up and fetching your bag and going out again…We all do that, in our own way, and she does it better’n me, if I was to put my hand on my heart. That is the root and heart and soul and center of witchcraft, that is. The soul and center!
Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32; Tiffany Aching, #2))
They say that people who live next to waterfalls don't hear the water. It was terrible at first. We couldn't stand to be in the house for more than a few hours at a time. The first two weeks were filled with nights of intermittent sleep and quarreling for the sake of being heard over the water. We fought so much just to remind ourselves that we were in love, and not in hate. But the next weeks were a little better. It was possible to sleep a few good hours each night and eat in only mild discomfort. [We] still cursed the water, but less frequently, and with less fury. Her attacks on me also quieted. It's your fault, she would say. You wanted to live here. Life continued, as life continues, and time passed, as time passes, and after a little more than two months: Do you hear that? I asked her one of the rare mornings we sat at the table together. Hear it? I put down my coffee and rose from my chair. You hear that thing? What thing? she asked. Exactly! I said, running outside to pump my fist at the waterfall. Exactly! We danced, throwing handfuls of water in the air, hearing nothing at all. We alternated hugs of forgiveness and shouts of human triumph at the water. Who wins the day? Who wins the day, waterfall? We do! We do! And this is what living next to a waterfall is like. Every widow wakes one morning, perhaps after years of pure and unwavering grieving, to realize she slept a good night's sleep and will be able to eat breakfast, and doesn't hear her husband's ghost all the time, but only some of the time. Her grief is replaced with a useful sadness. Every parent who loses a child finds a way to laugh again. The timbre begins to fade. The edge dulls. The hurt lessens. Every love is carved from loss. Mine was. Yours is. Your great-great-great-grandchildren's will be. But we learn to live in that love.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated)
On occasion, it occurs to adults that they are allowed to do all the things that being a child prevented them from doing. But those desires change when you're not looking. There was a time when your favorite color transferred from purple to blue to whatever shade it is when you realize having a favorite color is a trite personality crutch, an unstable cultivation of quirk and a possible cry for help. You just don't notice the time of your own metamorphosis. Until you do. Every once in a while time dissolves and you remember what you liked as a kid. You jump on your hotel bed, order dessert first, decide to put every piece of jewelry you own on your body and leave the house. Why? Because you can. Because you're the boss. Because . . . Ooooh. Shiny.
Sloane Crosley (How Did You Get This Number: Essays)
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees. After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, 'Let the children come!' and they ran from the trees toward her. Let your mothers hear you laugh,' she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then 'Let the grown men come,' she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. Let your wives and your children see you dance,' she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. 'Cry,' she told them. 'For the living and the dead. Just cry.' And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart. She did not tell them to clean up their lives or go and sin no more. She did not tell them they were the blessed of the earth, its inheriting meek or its glorybound pure. She told them that the only grace they could have was the grace they could imagine. That if they could not see it, they would not have it. Here,' she said, 'in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard...
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
A mother's body remembers her babies--the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has its own entreaties to body and soul. It's the last one, though, that overtakes you. I can't dare say I loved the others less, but my first three were all babies at once, and motherhood dismayed me entirely. . . . That's how it is with the firstborn, no matter what kind of mother you are--rich, poor, frazzled half to death or sweetly content. A first child is your own best food forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after--oh, that's love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she's gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She's the one you can't put down.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
I’m often asked by parents what advice can I give them to help get kids interested in science? And I have only one bit of advice. Get out of their way. Kids are born curious. Period. I don’t care about your economic background. I don’t care what town you’re born in, what city, what country. If you’re a child, you are curious about your environment. You’re overturning rocks. You’re plucking leaves off of trees and petals off of flowers, looking inside, and you’re doing things that create disorder in the lives of the adults around you. And so then so what do adults do? They say, “Don’t pluck the petals off the flowers. I just spent money on that. Don’t play with the egg. It might break. Don’t….” Everything is a don’t. We spend the first year teaching them to walk and talk and the rest of their lives telling them to shut up and sit down. So you get out of their way. And you know what you do? You put things in their midst that help them explore. Help ‘em explore. Why don’t you get a pair of binoculars, just leave it there one day? Watch ‘em pick it up. And watch ‘em look around. They’ll do all kinds of things with it.
Neil deGrasse Tyson
A woman in her thirties came to see me. As she greeted me, I could sense the pain behind her polite and superficial smile. She started telling me her story, and within one second her smile changed into a grimace of pain. Then, she began to sob uncontrollably. She said she felt lonely and unfulfilled. There was much anger and sadness. As a child she had been abused by a physically violent father. I saw quickly that her pain was not caused by her present life circumstances but by an extraordinarily heavy pain-body. Her pain-body had become the filter through which she viewed her life situation. She was not yet able to see the link between the emotional pain and her thoughts, being completely identified with both. She could not yet see that she was feeding the pain-body with her thoughts. In other words, she lived with the burden of a deeply unhappy self. At some level, however, she must have realized that her pain originated within herself, that she was a burden to herself. She was ready to awaken, and this is why she had come. I directed the focus of her attention to what she was feeling inside her body and asked her to sense the emotion directly, instead of through the filter of her unhappy thoughts, her unhappy story. She said she had come expecting me to show her the way out of her unhappiness, not into it. Reluctantly, however, she did what I asked her to do. Tears were rolling down her face, her whole body was shaking. “At this moment, this is what you feel.” I said. “There is nothing you can do about the fact that at this moment this is what you feel. Now, instead of wanting this moment to be different from the way it is, which adds more pain to the pain that is already there, is it possible for you to completely accept that this is what you feel right now?” She was quiet for a moment. Suddenly she looked impatient, as if she was about to get up, and said angrily, “No, I don't want to accept this.” “Who is speaking?” I asked her. “You or the unhappiness in you? Can you see that your unhappiness about being unhappy is just another layer of unhappiness?” She became quiet again. “I am not asking you to do anything. All I'm asking is that you find out whether it is possible for you to allow those feelings to be there. In other words, and this may sound strange, if you don't mind being unhappy, what happens to the unhappiness? Don't you want to find out?” She looked puzzled briefly, and after a minute or so of sitting silently, I suddenly noticed a significant shift in her energy field. She said, “This is weird. I 'm still unhappy, but now there is space around it. It seems to matter less.” This was the first time I heard somebody put it like that: There is space around my unhappiness. That space, of course, comes when there is inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing in the present moment. I didn't say much else, allowing her to be with the experience. Later she came to understand that the moment she stopped identifying with the feeling, the old painful emotion that lived in her, the moment she put her attention on it directly without trying to resist it, it could no longer control her thinking and so become mixed up with a mentally constructed story called “The Unhappy Me.” Another dimension had come into her life that transcended her personal past – the dimension of Presence. Since you cannot be unhappy without an unhappy story, this was the end of her unhappiness. It was also the beginning of the end of her pain-body. Emotion in itself is not unhappiness. Only emotion plus an unhappy story is unhappiness. When our session came to an end, it was fulfilling to know that I had just witnessed the arising of Presence in another human being. The very reason for our existence in human form is to bring that dimension of consciousness into this world. I had also witnessed a diminishment of the pain-body, not through fighting it but through bringing the light of consciousness to it.
Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose)
A Faint Music by Robert Hass Maybe you need to write a poem about grace. When everything broken is broken, and everything dead is dead, and the hero has looked into the mirror with complete contempt, and the heroine has studied her face and its defects remorselessly, and the pain they thought might, as a token of their earnestness, release them from themselves has lost its novelty and not released them, and they have begun to think, kindly and distantly, watching the others go about their days— likes and dislikes, reasons, habits, fears— that self-love is the one weedy stalk of every human blossoming, and understood, therefore, why they had been, all their lives, in such a fury to defend it, and that no one— except some almost inconceivable saint in his pool of poverty and silence—can escape this violent, automatic life’s companion ever, maybe then, ordinary light, faint music under things, a hovering like grace appears. As in the story a friend told once about the time he tried to kill himself. His girl had left him. Bees in the heart, then scorpions, maggots, and then ash. He climbed onto the jumping girder of the bridge, the bay side, a blue, lucid afternoon. And in the salt air he thought about the word “seafood,” that there was something faintly ridiculous about it. No one said “landfood.” He thought it was degrading to the rainbow perch he’d reeled in gleaming from the cliffs, the black rockbass, scales like polished carbon, in beds of kelp along the coast—and he realized that the reason for the word was crabs, or mussels, clams. Otherwise the restaurants could just put “fish” up on their signs, and when he woke—he’d slept for hours, curled up on the girder like a child—the sun was going down and he felt a little better, and afraid. He put on the jacket he’d used for a pillow, climbed over the railing carefully, and drove home to an empty house. There was a pair of her lemon yellow panties hanging on a doorknob. He studied them. Much-washed. A faint russet in the crotch that made him sick with rage and grief. He knew more or less where she was. A flat somewhere on Russian Hill. They’d have just finished making love. She’d have tears in her eyes and touch his jawbone gratefully. “God,” she’d say, “you are so good for me.” Winking lights, a foggy view downhill toward the harbor and the bay. “You’re sad,” he’d say. “Yes.” “Thinking about Nick?” “Yes,” she’d say and cry. “I tried so hard,” sobbing now, “I really tried so hard.” And then he’d hold her for a while— Guatemalan weavings from his fieldwork on the wall— and then they’d fuck again, and she would cry some more, and go to sleep. And he, he would play that scene once only, once and a half, and tell himself that he was going to carry it for a very long time and that there was nothing he could do but carry it. He went out onto the porch, and listened to the forest in the summer dark, madrone bark cracking and curling as the cold came up. It’s not the story though, not the friend leaning toward you, saying “And then I realized—,” which is the part of stories one never quite believes. I had the idea that the world’s so full of pain it must sometimes make a kind of singing. And that the sequence helps, as much as order helps— First an ego, and then pain, and then the singing
Robert Hass (Sun under Wood)
It’s like what flight attendants tell you about the oxygen masks that plop down in an emergency: First you put yours on, and then you put it on the child next to you.” She
Francisco X. Stork (The Memory of Light)
In a devastating of example critical thinking gone bad, highly educated, deeply caring parents avoid the vaccinations that would protect their children from killer diseases. I love critical thinking and I admire scepticism, but only in a framework that respects evidence. So if you are sceptical about the measles vaccinations, I ask you to do two things. First, make sure you know what it looks like when a child dies of measles. Most children who catch measles recover, but there is still no cure and even with the best modern medicine, one or two in every thousand will die from it. Second, ask yourself, “What kind of evidence would convince me change my mind about vaccination. If the answer is ‘no evidence could ever change my mind about vaccination,” then you are putting yourself outside evidence-based rationality, outside the very critical thinking that first brought you to this point. In that case, to be consistent in your scepticism about science, next time you have an operation please ask your surgeon not to bother washing her hands.
Hans Rosling (Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think)
But that’s not what I’m trying to tell you,” Violet said, her eyes taking on a slightly determined expression. “What I’m trying to say is that when you were born, and they put you into my arms—it’s strange, because for some reason I was so convinced you would look just like your father. I thought for certain I would look down and see his face, and it would be some sort of sign from heaven.” Hyacinth’s breath caught as she watched her, and she wondered why her mother had never told her this story. And why she’d never asked. “But you didn’t,” Violet continued. “You looked rather like me. And then—oh my, I remember this as if it were yesterday—you looked into my eyes, and you blinked. Twice.” “Twice?” Hyacinth echoed, wondering why this was important. “Twice.” Violet looked at her, her lips curving into a funny little smile. “I only remember it because you looked so deliberate. It was the strangest thing. You gave me a look as if to say, ‘I know exactly what I’m doing.’ ” A little burst of air rushed past Hyacinth’s lips, and she realized it was a laugh. A small one, the kind that takes a body by surprise. “And then you let out a wail,” Violet said, shaking her head. “My heavens, I thought you were going to shake the paint right off the walls. And I smiled. It was the first time since your father died that I smiled.” Violet took a breath, then reached for her tea. Hyacinth watched as her mother composed herself, wanting desperately to ask her to continue, but somehow knowing the moment called for silence. For a full minute Hyacinth waited, and then finally her mother said, softly, “And from that moment on, you were so dear to me. I love all my children, but you…” She looked up, her eyes catching Hyacinth’s. “You saved me.” Something squeezed in Hyacinth’s chest. She couldn’t quite move, couldn’t quite breathe. She could only watch her mother’s face, listen to her words, and be so very, very grateful that she’d been lucky enough to be her child. “In some ways I was a little too protective of you,” Violet said, her lips forming the tiniest of smiles, “and at the same time too lenient. You were so exuberant, so completely sure of who you were and how you fit into the world around you. You were a force of nature, and I didn’t want to clip your wings.” “Thank you,” Hyacinth whispered, but the words were so soft, she wasn’t even sure she’d said them aloud.
Julia Quinn (It's in His Kiss (Bridgertons, #7))
As I look back on my own life, I recognize that some of the greatest gifts I received from my parents stemmed not from what they did for me—but rather from what they didn’t do for me. One such example: my mother never mended my clothes. I remember going to her when I was in the early grades of elementary school, with holes in both socks of my favorite pair. My mom had just had her sixth child and was deeply involved in our church activities. She was very, very busy. Our family had no extra money anywhere, so buying new socks was just out of the question. So she told me to go string thread through a needle, and to come back when I had done it. That accomplished—it took me about ten minutes, whereas I’m sure she could have done it in ten seconds—she took one of the socks and showed me how to run the needle in and out around the periphery of the hole, rather than back and forth across the hole, and then simply to draw the hole closed. This took her about thirty seconds. Finally, she showed me how to cut and knot the thread. She then handed me the second sock, and went on her way. A year or so later—I probably was in third grade—I fell down on the playground at school and ripped my Levi’s. This was serious, because I had the standard family ration of two pairs of school trousers. So I took them to my mom and asked if she could repair them. She showed me how to set up and operate her sewing machine, including switching it to a zigzag stitch; gave me an idea or two about how she might try to repair it if it were she who was going to do the repair, and then went on her way. I sat there clueless at first, but eventually figured it out. Although in retrospect these were very simple things, they represent a defining point in my life. They helped me to learn that I should solve my own problems whenever possible; they gave me the confidence that I could solve my own problems; and they helped me experience pride in that achievement. It’s funny, but every time I put those socks on until they were threadbare, I looked at that repair in the toe and thought, “I did that.” I have no memory now of what the repair to the knee of those Levi’s looked like, but I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. When I looked at it, however, it didn’t occur to me that I might not have done a perfect mending job. I only felt pride that I had done it. As for my mom, I have wondered what
Clayton M. Christensen (How Will You Measure Your Life?)
There is no matter what children should learn first, any more than what leg you should put into your breeches first. Sir, you may stand disputing which is best to put in first, but in the meantime your backside is bare. Sire, while you stand considering which of two things you should teach your child first, another boy has learn't 'em both.
Samuel Johnson
Before school, there had to be vaccination. That was the law. How it was dreaded! When the health authorities tried to explain to the poor and illiterate that vaccination was a giving of the harmless form of smallpox to work up immunity against the deadly form, the parents didn’t believe it. All they got out of the explanation was that germs would be put into a healthy child’s body. Some foreign-born parents refused to permit their children to be vaccinated. They were not allowed to enter school. Then the law got after them for keeping the children out of school. A free country? they asked. You should live so long. What’s free about it, they reasoned, when the law forces you to educate your children and then endangers their lives to get them into school? Weeping mothers brought bawling children to the health center for inoculation. They carried on as though bringing their innocents to the slaughter. The children screamed hysterically at the first sight of the needle and their mothers, waiting in the anteroom, threw their shawls over their heads and keened loudly as if wailing for the dead. Francie
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Nietzsche’s words that relate to this with respect to masks and the processes of life. He speaks of three stages in the life of the spirit incarnate in each of us. Three transformations of the spirit, he calls it. The first is that of the camel which gets down on its knees and asks, “Put a load on me.” That’s the period of these dear little children. This is the just-born life that has come in and is receiving the imprint of the society. The primary mask. “Put a load on me. Teach me what I must know to live in this society.” Once heavily loaded, the camel struggles to its feet and goes out into the desert — into the desert of the realization of its own individual nature. This must follow the reception of the culture good. It must not precede it. First is humility, and obedience, and the reception of the primary mask. Then comes the turning inward, which happens automatically in adolescence, to find your own inward life. Nietzsche calls this the transformation of the camel into a lion. Then the lion attacks a dragon; and the dragon’s name is Thou Shalt. The dragon is the concretization of all those imprints that the society has put upon you. The function of the lion is to kill the dragon Thou Shalt. On every scale is a “Thou Shalt,” some of them dating from 2000 b.c., others from this morning’s newspaper. And, when the dragon Thou Shalt has been killed — that is to say, when you have made the transition from simple obedience to authority over your own life — the third transformation is to that of being a child moving spontaneously out of the energy of its own center. Nietzsche calls it a wheel rolling out of its own center.
Joseph Campbell (Trick or Treat: Hallowe'en, Masks, and Living Your Myth (E-Singles))
Baby girl, this is your mother. I know I’ve given you explicit instructions to trace this into your yearbook, but they’re my words. That means this is from me, my heart, and my love for you. There’s so many things I want to say to you, things I want you to hear, to know, but let’s start with the reason I’m having you put these words in your senior yearbook. First of all, this book is everything. It may be pictures, some names of people you won’t remember in five years, ten years, or longer, but this book is more important than you can imagine. It’s the first book that’s the culmination of your first chapter in life. You will have many. So many! But this book is the physical manifestation of your first part in life. Keep it. Treasure it. Whether you enjoyed school or not, it’s done. It’s in your past. These were the times you were a part of society from a child to who you are now, a young adult woman. When you leave for college, you’re continuing your education, but you’re moving onto your next chapter in life. The beginning of adulthood. This yearbook is your bridge. Keep this as a memento forever. It sums up who you grew up with. It houses images of the buildings where your mind first began to learn things, where you first began to dream, to set goals, to yearn for the road ahead. It’s so bittersweet, but those memories were your foundation to set you up for who you will become in the future. Whether they brought pain or happiness, it’s important not to forget. From here, you will go on and you will learn the growing pains of becoming an adult. You will refine your dreams. You will set new limits. Change your mind. You will hurt. You will laugh. You will cry, but the most important is that you will grow. Always, always grow, honey. Challenge yourself. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations (BUT BE SAFE!) and push yourself not to think about yourself, your friends, your family, but to think about the world. Think about others. Understand others, and if you can’t understand, then learn more about them. It’s so very important. Once you have the key to understanding why someone else hurts or dreams or survives, then you have ultimate knowledge. You have empathy. Oh, honey. As I’m writing this, I can see you on the couch reading a book. You are so very beautiful, but you are so very humble. You don’t see your beauty, and I want you to see your beauty. Not just physical, but your inner kindness and soul. It’s blinding to me. That’s how truly stunning you are. Never let anyone dim your light. Here are some words I want you to know as you go through the rest of your life: Live. Learn. Love. Laugh. And, honey, know. Just know that I am with you always.
Tijan (Enemies)
His heart is weak, but his will is strong-more so now than ever,” he continued, shrugging into the light cape Ormsley was putting over his shoulders. “What do you mean, ‘more now than ever’?” The physician smiled in surprise. “Why, I meant that your coming here has meant a great deal to him, my lord. It’s had an amazing effect on him-well, not amazing, really. I should say a miraculous effect. Normally he rails at me when he’s ill. Today he almost hugged me in his eagerness to tell me you were here, and why. Actually, I was ordered to “have a look at you,” he continued in the confiding tone of an old family friend, “although I wasn’t supposed to tell you I was doing so, of course.” Grinning, he added, “He thinks you are a ‘handsome devil.’” Ian refused to react to that admonishing information with any emotion whatsoever. “Good day, my lord,” the doctor said. Turning to the duke’s sisters, who’d been hovering worriedly in the hall, he tipped his hat. “Ladies,” he said, and he departed. “I’ll just go up and look in on him,” Hortense announced. Turning to Charity, she said sternly, “Do not bore Ian with too much chatter,” she admonished, already climbing the stairs. In an odd, dire voice, she added, “And do not meddle.” For the next hour Ian paced the floor, with Charity watching him with great interest. The one thing he did not have was time, and time was what he was losing. At this rate Elizabeth would be giving birth to her first child before he got back to London.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I told you Grandfather is easy. Tom, I mean my father, is the same: they don’t put barriers against me. It is Grandmother, it is always other women, apart from you, who put up barriers against girls and on themselves. I know men can be tyrants, but a lot of women are nasty to women – everybody says it, unless you have not met Jjajja Nsangi, Grandfather’s sister.’ ‘Kirabo, have you seen God come down from heaven to make humans behave?’ ‘No.’ ‘That is because some people have appointed themselves his police. And I tell you, child, the police are far worse than God himself. That is why the day you catch your man with another woman, you will go for the woman and not him. My grandmothers called it kweluma. That is when oppressed people turn on each other or on themselves and bite. It is as a form of relief. If you cannot bite your oppressor, you bite yourself.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (The First Woman)
For you, a thousand times over." "Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors." "...attention shifted to him like sunflowers turning to the sun." "But even when he wasn't around, he was." "When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal a wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. There is no act more wretched than stealing." "...she had a voice that made me think of warm milk and honey." "My heart stuttered at the thought of her." "...and I would walk by, pretending not to know her, but dying to." "It turned out that, like satan, cancer had many names." "Every woman needed a husband, even if he did silence the song in her." "The first time I saw the Pacific, I almost cried." "Proud. His eyes gleamed when he said that and I liked being on the receiving end of that look." "Make morning into a key and throw it into the well, Go slowly, my lovely moon, go slowly. Let the morning sun forget to rise in the East, Go slowly, lovely moon, go slowly." "Men are easy,... a man's plumbing is like his mind: simple, very few surprises. You ladies, on the other hand... well, God put a lot of thought into making you." "All my life, I'd been around men. That night, I discovered the tenderness of a woman." "And I could almost feel the emptiness in [her] womb, like it was a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking. And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I'd feel it rising from [her] and settling between us. Sleeping between us. Like a newborn child." "America was a river, roaring along unmindful of the past. I could wade into this river, let my sins drown to the bottom, let the waters carry me someplace far. Someplace with no ghosts, no memories, and no sins. If for nothing else, for that I embraced America." "...and every day I thank [God] that I am alive, not because I fear death, but because my wife has a husband and my son is not an orphan." "...lifting him from the certainty of turmoil and dropping him in a turmoil of uncertainty." "...sometimes the dead are luckier." "He walked like he was afraid to leave behind footprints. He moved as if not to stir the air around him." "...and when she locked her arms around my neck, when I smelled apples in her hair, I realized how much I had missed her. 'You're still the morning sun to me...' I whispered." "...there is a God, there always has been. I see him here, in the eys of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him... there is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He will forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need. I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is.
Khalid Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
Parents who are seriously committed to helping a troubled and challenged child thrive will vastly increase their odds of success by making a fundamental policy decision: to slow down their lives and put their child's needs first.
Karyn Purvis (The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family)
Everyone was embarrassed. She had never realized before her life was torn apart how awkward grief was, how inconvenient for everyone with whom the mourner came into contact. At first it was acknowledged and respected and deferred to. But after a while it got in the way—of conversation, of laughter, of normal life. Everyone wanted to put it behind them, to get on with things, and there you were, in the way, blocking the path, dragging the body of your dead child behind you.
Paula Hawkins (Into the Water)
In 90% of cases, you can start with one of the two most effective ways to open a speech: ask a question or start with a story. Our brain doesn’t remember what we hear. It remembers only what we “see” or imagine while we listen. You can remember stories. Everything else is quickly forgotten. Smell is the most powerful sense out of 4 to immerse audience members into a scene. Every sentence either helps to drive your point home, or it detracts from clarity. There is no middle point. If you don’t have a foundational phrase in your speech, it means that your message is not clear enough to you, and if it’s not clear to you, there is no way it will be clear to your audience. Share your failures first. Show your audience members that you are not any better, smarter or more talented than they are. You are not an actor, you are a speaker. The main skill of an actor is to play a role; to be someone else. Your main skill as a speaker is to be yourself. People will forgive you for anything except for being boring. Speaking without passion is boring. If you are not excited about what you are talking about, how can you expect your audience to be excited? Never hide behind a lectern or a table. Your audience needs to see 100% of your body. Speak slowly and people will consider you to be a thoughtful and clever person. Leaders don’t talk much, but each word holds a lot of meaning and value. You always speak to only one person. Have a conversation directly with one person, look him or her in the eye. After you have logically completed one idea, which usually is 10-20 seconds, scan the audience and then stop your eyes on another person. Repeat this process again. Cover the entire room with eye contact. When you scan the audience and pick people for eye contact, pick positive people more often. When you pause, your audience thinks about your message and reflects. Pausing builds an audiences’ confidence. If you don’t pause, your audience doesn’t have time to digest what you've told them and hence, they will not remember a word of what you've said. Pause before and after you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. After you make an important point and stand still. During this pause, people think about your words and your message sinks in. Speakers use filler words when they don’t know what to say, but they feel uncomfortable with silence. Have you ever seen a speaker who went on stage with a piece of paper and notes? Have you ever been one of these speakers? When people see you with paper in your hands, they instantly think, “This speaker is not sincere. He has a script and will talk according to the script.” The best speeches are not written, they are rewritten. Bad speakers create a 10 minutes speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Great speakers create a 5 minute speech and deliver it in 7 minutes. Explain your ideas in a simple manner, so that the average 12-year-old child can understand the concept. Good speakers and experts can always explain the most complex ideas with very simple words. Stories evoke emotions. Factual information conveys logic. Emotions are far more important in a speech than logic. If you're considering whether to use statistics or a story, use a story. PowerPoint is for pictures not for words. Use as few words on the slide as possible. Never learn your speech word for word. Just rehearse it enough times to internalize the flow. If you watch a video of your speech, you can triple the pace of your development as a speaker. Make videos a habit. Meaningless words and clichés neither convey value nor information. Avoid them. Never apologize on stage. If people need to put in a lot of effort to understand you they simply won’t listen. On the other hand if you use very simple language you will connect with the audience and your speech will be remembered.
Andrii Sedniev (Magic of Public Speaking: A Complete System to Become a World Class Speaker)
They asked me to tell you what it was like to be twenty and pregnant in 1950 and when you tell your boyfriend you’re pregnant, he tells you about a friend of his in the army whose girl told him she was pregnant, so he got all his buddies to come and say, “We all fucked her, so who knows who the father is?” And he laughs at the good joke…. What was it like, if you were planning to go to graduate school and get a degree and earn a living so you could support yourself and do the work you loved—what it was like to be a senior at Radcliffe and pregnant and if you bore this child, this child which the law demanded you bear and would then call “unlawful,” “illegitimate,” this child whose father denied it … What was it like? […] It’s like this: if I had dropped out of college, thrown away my education, depended on my parents … if I had done all that, which is what the anti-abortion people want me to have done, I would have borne a child for them, … the authorities, the theorists, the fundamentalists; I would have born a child for them, their child. But I would not have born my own first child, or second child, or third child. My children. The life of that fetus would have prevented, would have aborted, three other fetuses … the three wanted children, the three I had with my husband—whom, if I had not aborted the unwanted one, I would never have met … I would have been an “unwed mother” of a three-year-old in California, without work, with half an education, living off her parents…. But it is the children I have to come back to, my children Elisabeth, Caroline, Theodore, my joy, my pride, my loves. If I had not broken the law and aborted that life nobody wanted, they would have been aborted by a cruel, bigoted, and senseless law. They would never have been born. This thought I cannot bear. What was it like, in the Dark Ages when abortion was a crime, for the girl whose dad couldn’t borrow cash, as my dad could? What was it like for the girl who couldn’t even tell her dad, because he would go crazy with shame and rage? Who couldn’t tell her mother? Who had to go alone to that filthy room and put herself body and soul into the hands of a professional criminal? – because that is what every doctor who did an abortion was, whether he was an extortionist or an idealist. You know what it was like for her. You know and I know; that is why we are here. We are not going back to the Dark Ages. We are not going to let anybody in this country have that kind of power over any girl or woman. There are great powers, outside the government and in it, trying to legislate the return of darkness. We are not great powers. But we are the light. Nobody can put us out. May all of you shine very bright and steady, today and always.
Ursula K. Le Guin
Through The Mecca I saw that we were, in our own segregated body politic, cosmopolitans. The black diaspora was not just our own world but, in so many ways, the Western world itself. Now, the heirs of those Virginia planters could never directly acknowledge this legacy or reckon with its power. And so that beauty that Malcolm pledged us to protect, black beauty, was never celebrated in movies, in television, or in the textbooks I’d seen as a child. Everyone of any import, from Jesus to George Washington, was white. This was why your grandparents banned Tarzan and the Lone Ranger and toys with white faces from the house. They were rebelling against the history books that spoke of black people only as sentimental “firsts”—first black five-star general, first black congressman, first black mayor—always presented in the bemused manner of a category of Trivial Pursuit. Serious history was the West, and the West was white. This was all distilled for me in a quote I once read from the novelist Saul Bellow. I can’t remember where I read it, or when—only that I was already at Howard. “Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus?” Bellow quipped. Tolstoy was “white,” and so Tolstoy “mattered,” like everything else that was white “mattered.” And this view of things was connected to the fear that passed through the generations, to the sense of dispossession. We were black, beyond the visible spectrum, beyond civilization. Our history was inferior because we were inferior, which is to say our bodies were inferior. And our inferior bodies could not possibly be accorded the same respect as those that built the West. Would it not be better, then, if our bodies were civilized, improved, and put to some legitimate Christian use?
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
In the event of a change in cabin pressure, the flight attendant on the video was saying, you put your oxygen mask on first, pulling the cord, and then you helped others in your party who needed your assistance. The video showed a nice-looking dad tugging the oxygen mask over his own face, his placid daughter sitting quietly beside him, breathing bad air. What kind of idiot came up with that rule? The didn't understand human nature at all. She imagined the compartment filling slowly with smoke and Noah beside her, gasping. Did they really think that she could straighten the mask on her own face and breathe in clean air while her asthmatic son struggled to take a breath? The assumption was that she and her child were two different entities with seperate hearts and lungs and minds. They didn't realise that when your child was gasping for air, you felt your own breath trapped in your chest.
Sharon Guskin (The Forgetting Time)
I think every one who has some vague belief in God, until he becomes a Christian, has the idea of an exam, or of a bargain in his mind. The first result of real Christianity is to blow that idea into bits. When they find it blown into bits, some people think this means that Christianity is a failure and give up. They seem to imagine that God is very simple-minded! In fact, of course, He knows all about this. One of the very things Christianity was designed to do was to blow this idea to bits. God has been waiting for the moment at which you discover that there is no question of earning a pass mark in this exam, or putting Him in your debt. Then comes another discovery. Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to its father and saying, "Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present." Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins. The man is awake now.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
You heard me. Let someone else send you to your blaze of glory. You're a speck, man. You're nothing. You're not worth the bullet or the mark on my soul for taking you out." You trying to piss me off again, Patrick?" He removed Campbell Rawson from his shoulder and held him aloft. I tilted my wrist so the cylinder fell into my palm, shrugged. "You're a joke, Gerry. I'm just calling it like I see it." That so?" Absolutely." I met his hard eyes with my own. "And you'll be replaced, just like everything else, in maybe a week, tops. Some other dumb, sick shit will come along and kill some people and he'll be all over the papers, and all over Hard Copy and you'll be yesterday's news. Your fifteen minutes are up, Gerry. And they've passed without impact." They'll remember this," Gerry said. "Believe me." Gerry clamped back on the trigger. When he met my finger, he looked at me and then clamped down so hard that my finger broke. I depressed the trigger on the one-shot and nothing happened. Gerry shrieked louder, and the razor came out of my flesh, then swung back immediately, and I clenched my eyes shut and depressed the trigger frantically three times. And Gerry's hand exploded. And so did mine. The razor hit the ice by my knee as I dropped the one shot and fire roared up the electrical tape and gasoline on Gerry's arm and caught the wisps of Danielle's hair. Gerry threw his head back and opened his mouth wide and bellowed in ecstasy. I grabbed the razor, could barely feel it because the nerves in my hand seemed to have stopped working. I slashed into the electric tape at the end of the shotgun barrel, and Danielle dropped away toward the ice and rolled her head into the frozen sand. My broken finger came back out of the shotgun and Gerry swung the barrels toward my head. The twin shotgun bores arced through the darkness like eyes without mercy or soul, and I raised my head to meet them, and Gerry's wail filled my ears as the fire licked at his neck. Good-bye, I thought. Everyone. It's been nice. Oscar's first two shots entered the back of Gerry's head and exited through the center of his forehead and a third punched into his back. The shotgun jerked upward in Gerry's flaming arm and then the shots came from the front, several at once, and Gerry spun like a marionette and pitched toward the ground. The shotgun boomed twice and punched holes through the ice in front of him as he fell. He landed on his knees and, for a moment, I wasn't sure if he was dead or not. His rusty hair was afire and his head lolled to the left as one eye disappeared in flames but the other shimmered at me through waves of heat, and an amused derision shone in the pupil. Patrick, the eye said through the gathering smoke, you still know nothing. Oscar rose up on the other side of Gerry's corpse, Campbell Rawson clutched tight to his massive chest as it rose and fell with great heaving breaths. The sight of it-something so soft and gentle in the arms of something so thick and mountaineous-made me laugh. Oscar came out of the darkness toward me, stepped around Gerry's burning body, and I felt the waves of heat rise toward me as the circle of gasoline around Gerry caught fire. Burn, I thought. Burn. God help me, but burn. Just after Oscar stepped over the outer edge of the circle, it erupted in yellow flame, and I found myself laughing harder as he looked at it, not remotely impressed. I felt cool lips smack against my ear, and by the time I looked her way, Danielle was already past me, rushing to take her child from Oscar. His huge shadow loomed over me as he approached, and I looked up at him and he held the look for a long moment. How you doing, Patrick?" he said and smiled broadly. And, behind him, Gerry burned on the ice. And everything was so goddamned funny for some reason, even though I knew it wasn't. I knew it wasn't. I did. But I was still laughing when they put me in the ambulance.
Dennis Lehane
How Children Cope with Emotional Loneliness Emotional loneliness is so distressing that a child who experiences it will do whatever is necessary to make some kind of connection with the parent. These children may learn to put other people’s needs first as the price of admission to a relationship. Instead of expecting others to provide support or show interest in them, they may take on the role of helping others, convincing everyone that they have few emotional needs of their own. Unfortunately, this tends to create even more loneliness, since covering up your deepest needs prevents genuine connection with others.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
it’s like having your own heart living outside of your chest. It’s painful, but there’s no way to put it back in. You simply have to learn to live with it, and to take as many precautions as you can without being stifling. You have to put your child’s needs first, even when it’s uncomfortable for both of you.
Cari Z. (Luckless (Luckless, #1))
Things I've Learned in 18 Years of Life   1) True love is not something found, rather [sic] something encountered. You can’t go out and look for it. The person you marry and the person you love could easily be two different people. So have a beautiful life while waiting for God to bring along your once-in-a-lifetime love. Don't allow yourself to settle for anything less than them. Stop worrying about who you're going to marry because God's already on the front porch watching your grandchildren play.   2) God WILL give you more than you can handle, so you can learn to lean on him in times of need. He won't tempt you more than you can handle, though. So don't lose hope. Hope anchors the soul.   3) Remember who you are and where you came from. Remember that you are not from this earth. You are a child of heaven, you're invaluable, you are beautiful. Carry yourself that way.   4) Don't put your faith in humanity, humanity is inherently flawed. We are all imperfect people created and loved by a perfect God. Perfect. So put your faith in Him.   5) I fail daily, and that is why I succeed.   6) Time passes, and nothing and everything changes. Don't live life half asleep. Don't drag your soul through the days. Feel everything you do. Be there physically and mentally. Do things that make you feel this way as well.   7) Live for beauty. We all need beauty, get it where you can find it. Clothing, paintings, sculptures, music, tattoos, nature, literature, makeup. It's all art and it's what makes us human. Same as feeling the things we do. Stay human.   8) If someone makes you think, keep them. If someone makes you feel, keep them.   9) There is nothing the human brain cannot do. You can change anything about yourself that you want to. Fight for it. It's all a mental game.   10) God didn’t break our chains for us to be bound again. Alcohol, drugs, depression, addiction, toxic relationships, monotony and repetition, they bind us. Break those chains. Destroy your past and give yourself new life like God has given you.   11) This is your life. Your struggle, your happiness, your sorrow, and your success. You do not need to justify yourself to anyone. You owe no one an explanation for the choices that you make and the position you are in. In the same vein, respect yourself by not comparing your journey to anyone else's.   12) There is no wrong way to feel.   13) Knowledge is everywhere, keep your eyes open. Look at how diverse and wonderful this world is. Are you going to miss out on beautiful people, places, experiences, and ideas because you are close-minded? I sure hope not.   14) Selfless actions always benefit you more than the recipient.   15) There is really no room for regret in this life. Everything happens for a reason. If you can't find that reason, accept there is one and move on.   16) There is room, however, for guilt. Resolve everything when it first comes up. That's not only having integrity, but also taking care of your emotional well-being.   17) If the question is ‘Am I strong enough for this?’ The answer is always, ‘Yes, but not on your own.’   18) Mental health and sanity above all.   19) We love because He first loved us. The capacity to love is the ultimate gift, the ultimate passion, euphoria, and satisfaction. We have all of that because He first loved us. If you think about it in those terms, it is easy to love Him. Just by thinking of how much He loves us.   20) From destruction comes creation. Beauty will rise from the ashes.   21) Many things can cause depression. Such as knowing you aren't becoming the person you have the potential to become. Choose happiness and change. The sooner the better, and the easier.   22) Half of happiness is as simple as eating right and exercising. You are one big chemical reaction. So are your emotions. Give your body the right reactants to work with and you'll be satisfied with the products.
Scott Hildreth (Broken People)
Oak puts a hand on my arm. I startle. 'You all right?' he asks. 'When they first took me from the mortal world to the Court of Teeth, Lord Jarel and Lady Nore tried to be nice to me. They gave me good things to eat and dressed me in fancy dresses and told me that I was their princess and would be a beautiful and beloved queen,' I tell him, the words slipping from my lips before I can call them back. I occupy myself with searching deeper in the closet so I don't have to see his face as I speak. 'I cried constantly, ceaselessly. For a week, I wept and wept until they could bear it no more.' Oak is silent. Though he knew me as a child, he never knew me as that child, the one who still believed the world could be kind. But then, he had sisters who were stolen. Perhaps they had cried, too. 'Lord Jarel and Lady Nore told their servants to enchant me to sleep, and the servants did. But it never lasted. I kept weeping.' He nods, just a little, as though more movement might break the spell of my speaking. 'Lord Jarel came to me with a beautiful glass dish in which there was flavoured ice,' I tell him. 'When I took a bite, the flavour was indescribably delicious. It was as though I were eating dreams.' 'You will have this every day if you cease you're crying,' he said. 'But I couldn't stop. 'Then he came to me with a necklace of diamonds, as cold and beautiful as ice. When I put it on, my eyes shone, my hair sparkled, and my skin shimmered as though glitter had been poured over it. I looked wondrously beautiful. But when he told me to stop crying, I couldn't. 'Then he became angry, and he told me that if I didn't stop, he would turn my tears to glass that would cut my cheeks. And that's what he did. 'But I cried until it was hard to tell the difference between tears and blood. And after that, I began to teach myself how to break their curses. They didn't like that. 'And so they told me I would be able to see the humans again- that's what they called them, the humans- in a year, for a visit, but only if I was good. 'I tried. I choked back tears. And on the wall beside my bed, I scratched the number of days in the ice. 'One night I returned to my room to find the scratches weren't the way I remembered. I was sure it had been five months, but the scratches made it seem as though it had been only a little more than three. 'And that was when I realised I was never going home, but by then the tears wouldn't come, no matter how much I willed them. And I never cried again.' His eyes shone with horror.
Holly Black (The Stolen Heir (The Stolen Heir Duology, #1))
And you must tell the child the legends I told you—as my mother told them to me and her mother to her. You must tell the fairy tales of the old country. You must tell of those not of the earth who live forever in the hearts of people—fairies, elves, dwarfs and such. You must tell of the great ghosts that haunted your father’s people and of the evil eye which a hex put on your aunt. You must teach the child of the signs that come to the women of our family when there is trouble and death to be. And the child must believe in the Lord God and Jesus, His Only Son.” She crossed herself. “Oh, and you must not forget the Kris Kringle. The child must believe in him until she reaches the age of six.” “Mother, I know there are no ghosts or fairies. I would be teaching the child foolish lies.” Mary spoke sharply. “You do not know whether there are not ghosts on earth or angels in heaven.” “I know there is no Santa Claus.” “Yet you must teach the child that these things are so.” “Why? When I, myself, do not believe?” “Because,” explained Mary Rommely simply, “the child must have a valuable thing which is called imagination. The child must have a secret world in which live things that never were. It is necessary that she believe. She must start out by believing in things not of this world. Then when the world becomes too ugly for living in, the child can reach back and live in her imagination. I, myself, even in this day and at my age, have great need of recalling the miraculous lives of the Saints and the great miracles that have come to pass on earth. Only by having these things in my mind can I live beyond what I have to live for.” “The child will grow up and find out things for herself. She will know that I lied. She will be disappointed.” “That is what is called learning the truth. It is a good thing to learn the truth one’s self. To first believe with all your heart, and then not to believe, is good too. It fattens the emotions and makes them to stretch. When as a woman life and people disappoint her, she will have had practice in disappointment and it will not come so hard. In teaching your child, do not forget that suffering is good too. It makes a person rich in character.” “If that is so,” commented Katie bitterly, “then we Rommelys are rich.” “We are poor, yes. We suffer. Our way is very hard. But we are better people because we know of the things I have told you. I could not read but I told you of all of the things I learned from living. You must tell them to your child and add on to them such things as you will learn as you grow older.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Every generation of children instinctively nests itself in nature, no matter matter how tiny a scrap of it they can grasp. In a tale of one city child, the poet Audre Lord remembers picking tufts of grass which crept up through the paving stones in New York City and giving them as bouquets to her mother. It is a tale of two necessities. The grass must grow, no matter the concrete suppressing it. The child must find her way to the green, no matter the edifice which would crush it. "The Maori word for placenta is the same word for land, so at birth the placenta is buried, put back in the mothering earth. A Hindu baby may receive the sun-showing rite surya-darsana when, with conch shells ringing to the skies, the child is introduced to the sun. A newborn child of the Tonga people 'meets' the moon, dipped in the ocean of Kosi Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. Among some of the tribes of India, the qualities of different aspects of nature are invoked to bless the child, so he or she may have the characteristics of earth, sky and wind, of birds and animals, right down to the earthworm. Nothing is unbelonging to the child. "'My oldest memories have the flavor of earth,' wrote Frederico García Lorca. In the traditions of the Australian deserts, even from its time in the womb, the baby is catscradled in kinship with the world. Born into a sandy hollow, it is cleaned with sand and 'smoked' by fire, and everything -- insects, birds, plants, and animals -- is named to the child, who is told not only what everything is called but also the relationship between the child and each creature. Story and song weave the child into the subtle world of the Dreaming, the nested knowledge of how the child belongs. "The threads which tie the child to the land include its conception site and the significant places of the Dreaming inherited through its parents. Introduced to creatures and land features as to relations, the child is folded into the land, wrapped into country, and the stories press on the child's mind like the making of felt -- soft and often -- storytelling until the feeling of the story of the country is impressed into the landscape of the child's mind. "That the juggernaut of ants belongs to a child, belligerently following its own trail. That the twitch of an animal's tail is part of a child's own tale or storyline, once and now again. That on the papery bark of a tree may be written the songline of a child's name. That the prickles of a thornbush may have dynamic relevance to conscience. That a damp hollow by the riverbank is not an occasional place to visit but a permanent part of who you are. This is the beginning of belonging, the beginning of love. "In the art and myth of Indigenous Australia, the Ancestors seeded the country with its children, so the shimmering, pouring, circling, wheeling, spinning land is lit up with them, cartwheeling into life.... "The human heart's love for nature cannot ultimately be concreted over. Like Audre Lord's tufts of grass, will crack apart paving stones to grasp the sun. Children know they are made of the same stuff as the grass, as Walt Whitman describes nature creating the child who becomes what he sees: There was a child went forth every day And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became... The early lilacs became part of this child... And the song of the phoebe-bird... In Australia, people may talk of the child's conception site as the origin of their selfhood and their picture of themselves. As Whitman wrote of the child becoming aspects of the land, so in Northern Queensland a Kunjen elder describes the conception site as 'the home place for your image.' Land can make someone who they are, giving them fragments of themselves.
Jay Griffiths (A Country Called Childhood: Children and the Exuberant World)
What Can Be Learned From a Thief The saintly Rabi Zusya was originally a disciple of the tsaddik Rabbi Dov Baer of Mezritsh. Once he asked his master to teach him the secret of worshipping the Creator. “There’s no need for me to teach you,” replied Rabbi Dov Baer, “because you can learn it from any child or thief.” “Why, how can I learn it from a child?” asked the astounded disciple. “In three ways,” replied his master. “First, a child needs no reason to be happy. Second, a child always keeps busy. And third, when a child wants something, it screams until it gets it.” “And what,” asked Rabbi Zusya, “can I learn from a thief?” “From a thief,” answered Rabbi Dov Baer, “you can learn seven things. First, to apply yourself by night and not just by day. Second, to try again if at first you don’t succeed. Third, to love your comrades. Fourth, to be ready to risk your life, even for a small thing. Fifth, to attach so little value to what you have that you will sell it for a pittance. Sixth, not to be put off by hardship and blows. And seventh, to be glad you are what you are instead of wanting to be something else.
Pinhas Sadeh (Jewish Folktales)
She had never realized before her life was torn apart how awkward grief was, how inconvenient for everyone with whom the mourner came into contact. At first it was acknowledged and respected and deferred to. But after a while it got in the way—of conversation, of laughter, of normal life. Everyone wanted to put it behind them, to get on with things, and there you were, in the way, blocking the path, dragging the body of your dead child behind you.
Paula Hawkins (Into the Water)
...there are a lot of women writers who never get married and don't have kids. I am married, but I didn't marry until I was 43. I knew when I was young that if I had to make a choice between being married and being a writer, I would have chosen to be a writer. I think it's a career where you have to put the career first. I don't have kids but - and luckily everyone isn't like this — I think if you have that passion, in a way, your career is your child.
Candace Bushnell
Okay, okay . . . where do you hear it coming from?” “Around here somewhere.” “Always in this spot?” “No. Not always. You are going to think I am even more insane, but I swear it is following me around.” “Maybe it is my new powers. The power to drive you mad.” She wriggled her fingers at him theatrically as if she were casting a curse on him. “You already drive me mad,” he teased, dragging her up against him and nibbling her neck with a playful growling. “Ah hell,” he broke off. “I really am going mad. I cannot believe you cannot hear that. It is like a metronome set to some ridiculously fast speed.” He turned and walked into the living room, looking around at every shelf. “The last person to own this place probably had a thing for music and left it running. Listen. Can you hear that?” “No,” she said thoughtfully, “but I can hear you hearing it if I concentrate on your thoughts. What in the world . . . ?” Gideon turned, then turned again, concentrating on the rapid sound, following it until it led him right up to his wife. “It is you!” he said. “No wonder it is following me around. Are you wearing a watch?” He grabbed her wrist and she rolled her eyes. “A Demon wearing a watch? Now I have heard everything.” Suddenly Gideon went very, very still, the cold wash of chills that flooded through him so strong that she shivered with the overflow of sensation. He abruptly dropped to his knees and framed her hips with his hands. “Oh, Legna,” he whispered, “I am such an idiot. It is a baby. It is our baby. I am hearing it’s heartbeat!” “What?” she asked, her shock so powerful she could barely speak. “I am with child?” “Yes. Yes, sweet, you most certainly are. A little over a month. Legna, you conceived, probably the first time we made love. My beautiful, fertile, gorgeous wife.” Gideon kissed her belly through her dress, stood up, and caught her up against him until she squeaked with the force of his hug. Legna went past shock and entered unbelievable joy. She laughed, not caring how tight he held her, feeling his joy on a thousand different levels. “I never thought I would know this feeling,” he said hoarsely. “Even when we were getting married, I never thought . . . It did not even enter my mind!” Gideon set her down on her feet, putting her at arm’s length as he scanned her thoroughly from head to toe. “I cannot understand why I did not become aware of this sooner. The chemical changes, the hormone levels alone . . .” “Never mind. We know now,” she said, throwing herself back up against him and hugging him tightly. “Come, we have to tell Noah . . . and Hannah! Oh, and Bella! And Jacob, of course. And Elijah. And we should inform Siena—” She was still rattling off names as she teleported them to the King’s castle.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
The Job Application Esteemed gentlemen, I am a poor, young, unemployed person in the business field, my name is Wenzel, I am seeking a suitable position, and I take the liberty of asking you, nicely and politely, if perhaps in your airy, bright, amiable rooms such a position might be free. I know that your good firm is large, proud, old, and rich, thus I may yield to the pleasing supposition that a nice, easy, pretty little place would be available, into which, as into a kind of warm cubbyhole, I can slip. I am excellently suited, you should know, to occupy just such a modest haven, for my nature is altogether delicate, and I am essentially a quiet, polite, and dreamy child, who is made to feel cheerful by people thinking of him that he does not ask for much, and allowing him to take possession of a very, very small patch of existence, where he can be useful in his own way and thus feel at ease. A quiet, sweet, small place in the shade has always been the tender substance of all my dreams, and if now the illusions I have about you grow so intense as to make me hope that my dream, young and old, might be transformed into delicious, vivid reality, then you have, in me, the most zealous and most loyal servitor, who will take it as a matter of conscience to discharge precisely and punctually all his duties. Large and difficult tasks I cannot perform, and obligations of a far-ranging sort are too strenuous for my mind. I am not particularly clever, and first and foremost I do not like to strain my intelligence overmuch. I am a dreamer rather than a thinker, a zero rather than a force, dim rather than sharp. Assuredly there exists in your extensive institution, which I imagine to be overflowing with main and subsidiary functions and offices, work of the kind that one can do as in a dream? --I am, to put it frankly, a Chinese; that is to say, a person who deems everything small and modest to be beautiful and pleasing, and to whom all that is big and exacting is fearsome and horrid. I know only the need to feel at my ease, so that each day I can thank God for life's boon, with all its blessings. The passion to go far in the world is unknown to me. Africa with its deserts is to me not more foreign. Well, so now you know what sort of a person I am.--I write, as you see, a graceful and fluent hand, and you need not imagine me to be entirely without intelligence. My mind is clear, but it refuses to grasp things that are many, or too many by far, shunning them. I am sincere and honest, and I am aware that this signifies precious little in the world in which we live, so I shall be waiting, esteemed gentlemen, to see what it will be your pleasure to reply to your respectful servant, positively drowning in obedience. Wenzel
Robert Walser (Selected Stories)
Look you," Pandora told him in a businesslike tone, "marriage is not on the table." Look you? Look you? Gabriel was simultaneously amused and outraged. Was she really speaking to him as if he were an errand boy? "I've never wanted to marry," Pandora continued. "Anyone who knows me will tell you that. When I was little, I never liked the stories about princesses waiting to be rescued. I never wished on falling stars, or pulled the petals off daisies while reciting 'he loves me, he loves me not.' At my brother's wedding, they handed out slivers of wedding cake to all the unmarried girls and said if we put it under our pillows, we would dream of our future husbands. I ate my cake instead. Every crumb. I've made plans for my life that don't involve becoming anyone's wife." "What plans?" Gabriel asked. How could a girl of her position, with her looks, make plans that didn't include the possibility of marriage? "That's none of your business," she told him smartly. "Understood," Gabriel assured her. "There's just one thing I'd like to ask: What the bloody hell were you doing at the ball in the first place, if you don't want to marry?" "Because I thought it would be only slightly less boring than staying at home." "Anyone as opposed to marriage as you claim to be has no business taking part in the Season." "Not every girl who attends a ball wants to be Cinderella." "If it's grouse season," Gabriel pointed out acidly, "and you're keeping company with a flock of grouse on a grouse-moor, it's a bit disingenuous to ask a sportsman to pretend you're not a grouse." "Is that how men think of it? No wonder I hate balls." Pandora looked scornful. "I'm so sorry for intruding on your happy hunting grounds." "I wasn't wife-hunting," he snapped. "I'm no more interested in marrying than you are." "Then why were you at the ball?" "To see a fireworks display!" After a brief, electric silence, Pandora dropped her head swiftly. He saw her shoulders tremble, and for an alarming moment, he thought she had begun to cry. But then he heard a delicate snorting, snickering sound, and he realized she was... laughing? "Well," she muttered, "it seems you succeeded." Before Gabriel even realized what he was doing, he reached out to lift her chin with his fingers. She struggled to hold back her amusement, but it slipped out nonetheless. Droll, sneaky laughter, punctuated with vole-like squeaks, while sparks danced in her blue eyes like shy emerging stars. Her grin made him lightheaded. Damn it.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Spring (The Ravenels, #3))
Noah turned to face his younger sister, arching one brow to a fairly smug height. Lenga lifted a brow back at him, giving him a delicate smattering of applause. “And I was afraid you would never learn the art of diplomacy,” she remarked, her lips twitching with her humor. “It merely took you the entire two and a half centuries of my life. Longer, actually. You had a few centuries’ head start.” “Funny how you seem to recall the fact that I am far older than you only when it suits your arguments, my sister,” he taunted her, reaching to tug on her hair as he had been doing since her childhood. “Well, I can say with all honesty that this is the first time I have ever seen you forgo a good argument with Hannah, opting for peace instead. I was beginning to wonder if you were my brother at all. Perhaps some imposter . . .” “Legna, be careful. You are speaking words of treason,” he teased her, tugging her hair once more, making her turn around to swat at his hand. “I don’t know how you convinced the entire Council that you were mature enough to be King, Noah! You are such a child!” She twisted her body so he couldn’t grab at her hair again. “And I swear, if you pull my hair once more like some sort of schoolyard bully, I am going to put you to sleep and shave you bald!” Noah immediately raised his hands in acquiescence, laughing as Legna flushed in exasperation. For all her grace and ladylike ways, Noah’s little sister was quite capable of making good on any threat she made. “I mean really, Noah. You are just about seven hundred years old. One would think you could at least act like it.
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
Reacher said, “You got health insurance?” Chang put her hand on his arm. The first time she had touched him, he thought, apropos of nothing. The guy said, “You threatening me?” Reacher said, “Pretty much.” “This is a free country. I can choose who I sell to. The law says so.” “What’s your name?” “None of your business.” “Is it Maloney?” “No.” “Can you give me change for a dollar?” “Why?” “I want to use your pay phone.” “It isn’t working today.” “You got your own phone in back?” The guy said, “You can’t use it. You’re not welcome here.
Lee Child (Make Me (Jack Reacher, #20))
Very well, but - who are you?' again asked Gil Gil, in whom curiosity was beginning to get the better of every other feeling. 'I told you that when I first spoke to you - I am your friend. And bear in mind that you are the only being on the face of the earth to whom I accord the title of friend. I am bound to you by remorse! I am the cause of all your misfortunes.' 'I do not know you,' replied the shoemaker. 'And yet I have entered your house many times! Through me you were left motherless at your birth; I was the cause of the apoplectic stroke that killed Juan Gil; it was I who turned you out of the palace of Rionuevo; I assassinated your old house-mate, and, finally, it was I who placed in your pocket the vial of sulfuric acid.' Gil Gil trembled like a leaf; he felt his hair stand on end, and it seemed to him as if his contracted muscles must burst asunder. 'You are the devil!' he exclaimed, with indescribable terror. 'Child!' responded the black-robed figure in accents of amiable censure, 'what has put that idea into your head? I am something greater and better than the wretched being you have named.' 'Who are you, then?' 'Let us go into the inn and you shall learn.' Gil hastily entered, drew the Unknown before the modest lantern that lighted the apartment, and looked at him with intense curiosity. He was a person about thirty-three years old; tall, handsome, pale, dressed in a long black tunic and a black mantle, and his long locks were covered by a Phrygian cap, also black. He had not the slightest sign of a beard, yet he did not look like a woman. Neither did he look like a man... ("The Friend of Death")
Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (Ghostly By Gaslight)
It took a year for us to conceive our second child. This is a common ordeal for the average middle-class American couple that puts off having children until their thirties. We knew so many other couples that had experienced fertility problems and miscarriages that it was more surprising when someone we knew had a child without being consigned to thirty-eight consecutive weeks of bed rest. Turns out God WANTS you to conceive when you’re eighteen years old, apparently so that you can spend your twenties miserable and penniless and living in a camper.
Drew Magary (Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood)
Tell me this- if you could have a guarantee that your child would be a National Merit Scholar and get into a prestigious college, have good work habits and a successful career, but that your relationship with him would be destroyed in the process, would you do it? Why not? Because you are made to love, that's why. We care about our relationships more than about our accomplishments. That's the way God made us. Then why don't we live that way? Why, come a damp and gloomy day in March, do we yell over a  math lesson or lose our temper over a writing assignment? Why do we see the lessons left to finish and get lost in an anxiety-ridden haze? We forget that we are dealing with a soul, a precious child bearing the Image of God, and all we can see is that there are only a few months left to the school year and we are still only halfway through the math book. When you are performing mommy triage- that is, when you have a crisis moment and have to figure out which fire to put out first- always choose your child. It's just a math lesson. It's only a writing assignment. It's a Latin declension. Nothing more. But your child? He is God's. And the Almighty put him in your charge for relationship. Don't damage that relationship over something so trivial as an algebra problem. And when you do (because you will, and so will I), repent. We like to feed our egos. When our children perform well, we can puff up with satisfaction and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done. But as important as it is to give our children a solid education (and it is important, don't misunderstand me), it is far more important that we love them well.  Our children need to know that the most important thing about them is not whether they finished their science curriculum or score well on the SAT. Their worth is not bound up in a booklist or a test score. Take a moment. Take ten. Look deep into your child's eyes. Listen, even when you're bored. Break out a board game or an old picture book you haven't read in ages. Resting in Him means relaxing into the knowledge that He has put these children in our care to nurture. And nurturing looks different than charging through the checklist all angst-like. Your children are not ordinary kids or ordinary people, because there are no ordinary kids or ordinary people. They are little reflections of the
Sarah Mackenzie (Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace)
Don’t you routinely push yourself into absurd plot twists? Aren’t you often lured into someone else’s drama? It’s hard to resist getting hooked. You believe the premise of their story, whatever it is, and sign on to the madness. It happens. Kids use their amazing imaginations for fun. For them, it’s great to be in an imagined world and to believe in it completely. In the company of other excited kids, they can take a thrilling ride. But staying too long in a fantasy is exhausting, even for a child. After an afternoon of pretending, children are relieved to be called home for supper and to collapse into a warm bed. We adults, too, need to be called home to ourselves. Young or old, no one wants to be locked in a tower forever, however magical it might have seemed at first. I’m asking you to notice where you put your faith, and make changes when you need to. Common sense says to put your faith in you. Don’t lie to yourself for the sake of an idyllic notion. It’s not enough to admit to the fantasy, you need to wake yourself up. See where a bad story is taking you, and alter your course. Say no to the drama. Win the war over fear. Protect yourself from your own abuses, no one can do it for you.
Miguel Ruiz (The Actor: How to Live an Authentic Life (Mystery School Series Book 1))
1 cup of ordinary white flour a pinch of salt 2 eggs 2½ cups of milk and water (1½ cups of milk and 1 cup of water mixed) 1 tablespoon of either vegetable oil or melted butter (You’ll also need some granulated sugar and a couple of lemons to put on the pancakes, along with other things like jams and possibly even maple syrup because you’re American.) Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Crack the eggs in and whisk/fork the egg into the flour. Slowly add the milk/water mixture, stirring as you go, until there are no lumps and you have a liquid the consistency of a not-too-thick cream. Then put the mixture in the fridge overnight. Grease or butter or oil a nonstick frying pan. Heat it until it’s really hot (375 degrees according to one website, but basically, it has to be hot for the pancake to become a pancake. And these are crepes, French style, not thick American round pancakes). Stir the mixture you just took from the fridge thoroughly because the flour will all be at the bottom. Get an even consistency. Then ladle some mixture into the pan, thinly covering the bottom of the pan. When the underside of the pancake is golden, flip it (or, if you are brave, toss it). Cook another 30 seconds on the other side. For reasons I do not quite understand (although pan heat is probably the reason), the first one is always a bit disappointing. Often it’s a burnt, sludgy, weird thing, always, in my family, eaten by the cook (which was me). Just keep going, and the rest will be fine. Sprinkle sugar in the middle. And then squeeze some lemon juice on, preferably from a lemon. Then wrap it like a cigar and feed it to a child. (You can experiment with other things in the middle, like Nutella or jam or even maple syrup—but remember that these pancakes are not syrup-absorbent like American-style pancakes.) This is a very peculiar interview, Joe. Let me know how the pancakes come out.
Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane)
I sat up, woozy and blurry-eyed. I was lying in my old cot in the Me cabin. Sunlight streamed through the windows—morning light? Had I really slept that long? Snuggled up next to me, something warm and furry was growling and snuffling in my pillow. At first glance, I thought it might be a pit bull, though I was fairly sure I did not own a pit bull. Then it looked up, and I realized it was the disembodied head of a leopard. One nanosecond later, I was standing at the opposite end of the cabin, screaming. It was the closest I’d come to teleporting since I’d lost my godly powers. “Oh, you’re awake!” My son Will emerged from the bathroom in a billow of steam, his blond hair dripping wet and a towel around his waist. On his left pectoral was a stylized sun tattoo, which seemed unnecessary to me—as if he could be mistaken for anything but a child of the sun god. He froze when he registered the panic in my eyes. “What’s wrong?” GRR! said the leopard. “Seymour?” Will marched over to my cot and picked up the leopard head—which at some point in the distant past had been taxidermied and stuck on a plaque, then liberated from a garage sale by Dionysus and granted new life. Normally, as I recalled, Seymour resided over the fireplace mantel in the Big House, which did not explain why he had been chewing on my pillow. “What are you doing here?” Will demanded of the leopard. Then, to me: “I swear I did not put him in your bed.” “I did.” Dionysus materialized right next to me. My tortured lungs could not manage another scream, but I leaped back an additional few inches. Dionysus gave me his patented smirk. “I thought you might like some company. I always sleep better with a teddy leopard.” “Very kind.” I tried my best to kill him with eye daggers. “But I prefer to sleep alone.” “As you wish. Seymour, back to the Big House.” Dionysus snapped his fingers and the leopard head vanished from Will’s hands. “Well, then…
Rick Riordan (The Tower of Nero (The Trials of Apollo, #5))
When I first began teaching Religion 101, students would sometimes tell me they were scared to study other religions for fear of losing their own faith. It was an odd concern, on the face of it. Would studying Spanish make them lose their English? Would traveling to Turkey cost them their US passport? I had a stock response to their concern: engaging the faith of others is the best way to grow your own. Now, years down the road, I have greater respect for their unease. To discover that your faith is one among many - that there are hundreds of others that have sustained millions of people for thousands of years, and that some of them make a great deal of sense - that can rock your boat, especially if you thought yours was the only one on the sea. If your faith depends on being God's only child, then the discovery that there are others can lead you to decide that someone must be wrong - or that everybody belongs, which means that no religion, including yours, is the entire ocean. The next time I teach the course I will try to be more honest. 'Engaging the faith of others will almost certainly cause you to lose faith in the old box you kept God in,' I will say. 'The truths you glimpse in other religions are going to crowd up against some of your own. Holy envy may lead you to borrow some things, and you will need a place to put them. You may find spiritual guides outside your box whom you want to make room for, or some neighbors from other faith who have stopped by for a visit. However it happens, your old box will turn out to be too small for who you have become. You will need a bigger one with more windows in it - something more like a home than a box, perhaps - where you can open the door to all kinds of people without fearing their faith will cancel yours out if you let them in. If things go well, they may invite you to visit them in their homes as well, so that your children can make friends.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others)
Has he invited you to dinner, dear? Gifts, flowers, the usual?” I had to put my cup down, because my hand was shaking too much. When I stopped laughing, I said, “Curran? He isn’t exactly Mr. Smooth. He handed me a bowl of soup, that’s as far as we got.” “He fed you?” Raphael stopped rubbing Andrea. “How did this happen?” Aunt B stared at me. “Be very specific, this is important.” “He didn’t actually feed me. I was injured and he handed me a bowl of chicken soup. Actually I think he handed me two or three. And he called me an idiot.” “Did you accept?” Aunt B asked. “Yes, I was starving. Why are the three of you looking at me like that?” “For crying out loud.” Andrea set her cup down, spilling some tea. “The Beast Lord’s feeding you soup. Think about that for a second.” Raphael coughed. Aunt B leaned forward. “Was there anybody else in the room?” “No. He chased everyone out.” Raphael nodded. “At least he hasn’t gone public yet.” “He might never,” Andrea said. “It would jeopardize her position with the Order.” Aunt B’s face was grave. “It doesn’t go past this room. You hear me, Raphael? No gossip, no pillow talk, not a word. We don’t want any trouble with Curran.” “If you don’t explain it all to me, I will strangle somebody.” Of course, Raphael might like that . . . “Food has a special significance,” Aunt D said. I nodded. “Food indicates hierarchy. Nobody eats before the alpha, unless permission is given, and no alpha eats in Curran’s presence until Curran takes a bite.” “There is more,” Aunt B said. “Animals express love through food. When a cat loves you, he’ll leave dead mice on your porch, because you’re a lousy hunter and he wants to take care of you. When a shapeshifter boy likes a girl, he’ll bring her food and if she likes him back, she might make him lunch. When Curran wants to show interest in a woman, he buys her dinner.” “In public,” Raphael added, “the shapeshifter fathers always put the first bite on the plates of their wives and children. It signals that if someone wants to challenge the wife or the child, they would have to challenge the male first.” “If you put all of Curran’s girls together, you could have a parade,” Aunt B said. “But I’ve never seen him physically put food into a woman’s hands. He’s a very private man, so he might have done it in an intimate moment, but I would’ve found out eventually. Something like that doesn’t stay hidden in the Keep. Do you understand now? That’s a sign of a very serious interest, dear.” “But I didn’t know what it meant!” Aunt B frowned. “Doesn’t matter. You need to be very careful right now. When Curran wants something, he doesn’t become distracted. He goes after it and he doesn’t stop until he obtains his goal no matter what it takes. That tenacity is what makes him an alpha.” “You’re scaring me.” “Scared might be too strong a word, but in your place, I would definitely be concerned.” I wished I were back home, where I could get to my bottle of sangria. This clearly counted as a dire emergency. As if reading my thoughts, Aunt B rose, took a small bottle from a cabinet, and poured me a shot. I took it, and drained it in one gulp, letting tequila slide down my throat like liquid fire. “Feel better?” “It helped.” Curran had driven me to drinking. At least I wasn’t contemplating suicide.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Damn it, Jacob, I’m freezing my butt off.” “I came as fast as I could, considering I thought it would be wise to walk the last few yards.” Isabella whirled around, her smiling face lighting up the silvery night with more ease than the fullest of moons. She leapt up into his embrace, eagerly drinking in his body heat and affection. “I can see it now. ‘Daddy, tell me about your wedding day.’ ‘Well, son,’” she mocked, deepening her voice to his timbre and reflecting his accent uncannily, “’The first words out of your mother’s mouth were I’m freezing my butt off!’” “Very romantic, don’t you think?” he teased. “So, you think it will be a boy, then? Our first child?” “Well, I’m fifty percent sure.” “Wise odds. Come, little flower, I intend to marry you before the hour is up.” With that, he scooped her off her feet and carried her high against his chest. “Unfortunately, we are going to have to do this hike the hard way.” “As Legna tells it, that’s what you’re supposed to do.” “Yeah, well, I assure you a great many grooms have fudged that a little.” He reached to tuck her chilled face into the warm crook of his neck. “Surely the guests would know. It takes longer to walk than it does to fly . . . or whatever . . . out of the woods.” “This is true, little flower. But passing time in the solitude of the woods is not necessarily a difficult task for a man and woman about to be married.” “Jacob!” she gasped, laughing. “Some traditions are not necessarily publicized,” he teased. “You people are outrageous.” “Mmm, and if I had the ability to turn to dust right now, would you tell me no if I asked to . . . pass time with you?” Isabella shivered, but it was the warmth of his whisper and intent, not the cold, that made her do so. “Have I ever said no to you?” “No, but now would be a good time to start, or we will be late to our own wedding,” he chuckled. “How about no . . . for now?” she asked silkily, pressing her lips to the column on his neck beneath his long, loose hair. His fingers flexed on her flesh, his arms drawing her tighter to himself. He tried to concentrate on where he was putting his feet. “If that is going to be your response, Bella, then I suggest you stop teasing me with that wicked little mouth of yours before I trip and land us both in the dirt.” “Okay,” she agreed, her tongue touching his pulse. “Bella . . .” “Jacob, I want to spend the entire night making love to you,” she murmured. Jacob stopped in his tracks, taking a moment to catch his breath. “Okay, why is it I always thought it was the groom who was supposed to be having lewd thoughts about the wedding night while the bride took the ceremony more seriously?” “You started it,” she reminded him, laughing softly. “I am begging you, Isabella, to allow me to leave these woods with a little of my dignity intact.” He sighed deeply, turning his head to brush his face over her hair. “It does not take much effort from you to turn me inside out and rouse my hunger for you. If there is much more of your wanton taunting, you will be flushed warm and rosy by the time we reach that altar, and our guests will not have to be Mind Demons in order to figure out why.” “I’m sorry, you’re right.” She turned her face away from his neck. Jacob resumed his ritual walk for all of thirty seconds before he stopped again. “Bella . . .” he warned dangerously. “I’m sorry! It just popped into my head!” “What am I getting myself into?” he asked aloud, sighing dramatically as he resumed his pace. “Well, in about an hour, I hope it will be me.
Jacquelyn Frank (Jacob (Nightwalkers, #1))
It is said that when Martin Luther would slip into one of his darker places (which happened a lot, the dude was totally bipolar), he would comfort himself by saying, “Martin, be calm, you are baptized.” I suspect his comfort came not from recalling the moment of baptism itself, or in relying on baptism as a sort of magic charm, but in remembering what his baptism signified: his identity as a beloved child of God. Because ultimately, baptism is a naming. When Jesus emerged from the waters of the Jordan, a voice from heaven declared, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Jesus did not begin to be loved at the moment of his baptism, nor did he cease to be loved when his baptism became a memory. Baptism simply named the reality of his existing and unending belovedness. As my friend Nadia puts it, “Identity. It’s always God’s first move.”9 So, too, it is with us. In baptism, we are identified as beloved children of God, and our adoption into the sprawling, beautiful, dysfunctional family of the church is celebrated by whoever happens to be standing on the shoreline with a hair dryer and deviled eggs. This is why the baptism font is typically located near the entrance of a church. The central aisle represents the Christian’s journey through life toward God, a journey that begins with baptism. The good news is you are a beloved child of God; the bad news is you don’t get to choose your siblings.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
I’ve lived on both sides of the abuse. I wear bruises on both sides of my fist. I have wept “what am I doing” and I have cried “why did they do that”. The child of an alcoholic and the alcoholic of a child. It’s strange how broken spirits, broken hearts, and broken homes walk hand-in-hand. How they leave a clear trail of shattered to follow. We are all picking out sins of the father like shrapnel left over from the day we were born. Bang. Welcome to life. Try not to step on a landmine before you get to twenty. Here are your parents. They hate you. Sorry that you won the race. Me? I’ve got a piece of broken mirror lodged dangerously close to my heart. I never know which twist in the story will be the one to open up my insides and help me drown in my own soul. People asked me where I picked up the wisdom. I don’t know that any of this actually is made of wisdom. There’s just too much fluff and well-meaning for my taste. For me, the path was always made of pain. I haven’t found feel better or act right yet... not for myself. I’m not the best one to help anybody else find it... that’s for certain... but I know every road that leads to resentment. I’ve walked them more times than I can count. I can’t tell you how to get where you’re going, but I can give you a roadmap that highlights the places I wish I never went. The first place on the list sits pretty damn close to home. There’s a town called Grief & Regret just north of Salvation, USA. I’m putting do not enter signs on every road that goes there.
Kalen Dion
Make out a schedule for yourself, on paper if necessary, that requires you to be busy with housework or anything else while your baby is awake. Go at it with a great bustle—to impress your baby and to impress yourself. Say you are the mother of a baby boy who has become accustomed to being carried all the time. When he frets and raises his arms, explain to him in a friendly but very firm tone that this job and that job must get done this afternoon. Though he doesn’t understand the words, he does understand the tone of voice. Stick to your busywork. The first hour of the first day is the hardest. One baby accepts the change better if his mother stays out of sight a good part of the time at first and talks little. This helps him to become absorbed in something else. Another adjusts more quickly if he can at least see his mother and hear her talking to him, even if she won’t pick him up. When you bring him a plaything or show him how to use it, or when you decide it’s time to play with him, sit down beside him on the floor. Let him climb into your arms if he wants, but don’t get back into the habit of walking him around. If you’re on the floor with him, he can crawl away when he eventually realizes you won’t walk. If you pick him up and walk him, he’ll surely object noisily just as soon as you start to put him down again. If he keeps on fretting indefinitely when you sit with him on the floor, remember another job and get busy again. What you are trying to do is to help your baby begin to build frustration tolerance—a little at a time. If she does not begin to learn this gradually between six and twelve months, it is a much harder lesson to learn later on.
Benjamin Spock (Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care)
So let’s imagine for now that our love for our children and our thankfulness for their existence is a given. Let’s imagine that no one can possibly doubt the depths of our feelings for our sons and daughters. Let’s imagine that everyone in the world knows exactly how much we love all the many things there are to love about our children and the relationships we have with them. Let’s imagine that we are all most definitely Good Moms, and, with all that on our side, admit for a moment what we don’t love. I’ll give you my list, you add your own. I don’t love every minute of going to the playground. I don’t love every minute of going to the museums. I don’t love every minute of watching Elmo. I don’t love every minute of having to wake up early in the morning. I don’t love every minute of having interrupted sleep at night. I don’t love every minute of having to be the one to make the rules and the one who must enforce them. I don’t love every minute of laundry. I don’t love every minute of changing diapers. I don’t love every minute of having to endure the stares of people when my child freaks out in public. I don’t love every minute of making food that my kid ends up throwing on the floor. I don’t love every minute that I have the Barney song stuck in my head. I don’t love every minute of having to reason with a tantrum-throwing toddler. I don’t love every minute of being peed on, pooped on, and thrown-up on. I don’t love every minute of weaning. I don’t love every minute of sidewalk chalk. I don’t love every minute of having to pick up the blocks fifteen times a day. I don’t love every minute of putting my life on hold. I don’t love every minute of tantrums. I don’t love every minute of going to story time at the library. I HATE the Teletubbies. I don’t love every minute of being chained to someone else’s routine. I don’t love every minute of not being able to go to the bathroom without company. I don’t love every minute of being a mother.
Andrea J. Buchanan (Mother Shock: Tales from the First Year and Beyond -- Loving Every (Other) Minute of It)
It was moments like finding coolers full of drinks and snacks left out in the middle of nowhere that made me appreciate the little things in life. Allow me to try and put this into perspective. When I ran into trail magic like this, or when I was in town for the first time in nearly a week and about to have a sweet tea, a slice of pizza, or any one of the small things that we would normally not think twice about in daily life; a special feeling would wash over me. I can only describe that feeling as being exactly like the feelings you would experience as a child on Christmas morning or waking up on your birthday, except stronger. Out here you don’t get that feeling only twice a year. You get it every time someone performs a simple act of kindness, or when you get a dose of something that you otherwise could’ve had at any time back in the “real world.” It’s addicting, humbling, and eye opening. It makes you appreciate what you had before the trail and makes you want to never take such simple things for granted ever again. 
Kyle Rohrig (Lost on the Appalachian Trail (Triple Crown Trilogy (AT, PCT, CDT) Book 1))
Spearing a quail egg with her fork, Evie popped it into her mouth. “What is to be done about Mr. Egan?” His shoulders lifted in a graceful shrug. “As soon as he is sober enough to walk, he’ll be dismissed.” Evie brushed away a stray lock of hair that had fallen over her cheek. “There is no one to replace him.” “Yes, there is. Until a suitable manager can be found, I’ll run the club.” The quail egg seemed to stick in her throat, and Evie choked a little. Hastily she reached for her wine, washed it down, and regarded him with bulging eyes. How could he say something so preposterous? “You can’t.” “I can hardly do worse than Egan. He hasn’t managed a damned thing in months… before long, this place will be falling down around our ears.” “You said you hated work!” “So I did. But I feel that I should try it at least once, just to be certain.” She began to stammer in her anxiety. “You’ll pl-play at this for a few days, and then you’ll tire of it.” “I can’t afford to tire of it, my love. Although the club is still profitable, its value is in decline. Your father has a load of outstanding debt that must be settled. If the people who owe him can’t muster the cash, we’ll have to take property, jewelry, artwork… whatever they can manage. Having a good idea of the value of things, I can negotiate some acceptable settlements. And there are other problems I haven’t yet mentioned… Jenner has a string of failing Thoroughbreds that have lost a fortune at Newmarket. And he’s made some insane investments— ten thousand pounds he put into an alleged gold mine in Flintshire— a swindle that even a child should have seen through.” “Oh God,” Evie murmured, rubbing her forehead. “He’s been ill— people have taken advantage—” “Yes. And now, even if we wanted to sell the club, we couldn’t without first putting it in order. If there were an alternative, believe me, I would find it. But this place is a sieve, with no one who is capable or willing to stop the holes. Except for me.” “You know nothing about filling holes!” she cried, appalled by his arrogance. Sebastian responded with a bland smile and the slightest arch of one brow. Before he could open his mouth to reply, she clapped her hands over her ears. "Oh, don't say it, don't!" When she saw that he was obligingly holding his silence-though a devilish gleam remained in his eyes-she lowered her hands cautiously.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3))
There’s this girl…this woman I can’t get out of my mind.” He spilled the story of his seduction of sweet, innocent Amanda McCormick for Rufus’s examination. When he finished talking, there was another silence. “You did that?” Rufus’s voice was as deep and gravelly as a quarry. “Fucked some poor virgin while posing as her fiancé?” “Yeah.” “You got some balls. How’d you know you’d be a close enough match to this Baxter?” “Brown hair, blue eyes, that’s all she seemed to know about him.” Spence couldn’t explain his need for the rush of tempting fate. “I took a chance. It was a gamble.” “Jesus, you’re a mean son of a bitch.” “I didn’t want to hurt her. I was just having fun.” He sounded like a spoiled child even to himself. “And now you want to go see this woman and try to make it right?” Rufus said. “Just how the hell did you think you were going to fix it? By showing up and wrecking her marriage, if you haven’t done that already?” It was Spence’s turn to pause. “Haven’t you done enough to this lady? Where’s your head, boy? Leave her alone.” “I can’t. I have to see her again.” He didn’t want to share his dreams of the little girl. He’d sound crazy. Rufus laughed harshly. “So you can try and get another piece of tail?” “No. It’s not like that.” “What? You think you’re in love. Son, you don’t know the first thing about it. If you did, you’d be putting this woman’s needs above your own.” He thought of the little girl telling him to go to Amanda. “Maybe what she needs is me.” Rufus made a scoffing noise. “A woman needs a man who’ll stand by her, be there through hard times and good. From what you’ve told me these past months, this is the longest you’ve stayed put in one place in your life and that’s only ‘cause they won’t let you out.” “I just want to do the right thing.” “Then do like I say. Leave her be. You think she’s going to be happy to see you again?” Spence pulled his blanket tighter around his shoulders and watched a gray cloud puff from his mouth. “You still there, boy?” “Where else?” “Don’t take it too hard. Everybody does things they’re sorry for. Sometimes there’s just no way to make it right.” He leaned back against the wall and reviewed the stupid chain of events that had landed him in jail. Maybe Rufus was right and there was no way he could ever apologize for what he’d done to Amanda. He should let the whole thing slide and leave the woman in peace.
Bonnie Dee (Perfecting Amanda)
Soon, droves of children start to show up, keeping us rather busy. We start tallying up the number of Trolls, Batmans, Lego men, and princesses we see. The most popular costume? Batman and Superwoman with the fabrics and accessories varying from child to child. But my favorite so far is the girl who dressed as Little Debbie, but then again, I may be biased. “I think she might be my new favorite,” Emma says as a little girl dressed as a nurse walks away. “That’s because you’re a nurse, but you can’t play favorites,” I say, reminding Emma of the rules. She levels with me. “This coming from the guy whose favorite child was dressed as Little Debbie.” “Come on.” I lean back in my chair and motion to my head. “She had the rim of blue on her hat. That’s attention to detail.” “And good fucking parenting,” Tucker chimes in, and we clink our beer bottles together. Amelia chuckles next to me as Emma shakes her head. “Ridiculous. What about you, Amelia? What costume has been your favorite so far?” “Hmm, it’s been a tough competition. There has been some real winning costumes and some absolute piss-poor ones.” She shakes her head. “Just because you put a scarf around your neck and call yourself Jack Frost doesn’t mean you dressed up.” “Ugh, that costume was dumb.” “It shouldn’t be referred to as a costume, but that’s beside the point.” I like how much Amelia is getting into this little pretend competition. She’s a far cry from the girl who first came home earlier. I love that having Tucker and Emma over has given me more time with Amelia, getting to know the woman she is today, but also managed to put that beautiful smile back on her face. “So who takes the cake for you?” I ask, nudging her leg with mine. Smiling up at me, she says, “Hands down it’s the little boy who dressed as Dwight Schrute from The Office. I think I giggled for five minutes straight after he left. That costume was spot on.” “Oh shit, you’re right,” I reply as Emma and Tucker agree with me. “He even had the watch calculator.” “And the small nose Dwight always complains about.” Emma chuckles. “Yeah, he has to be the winner.” “Now, now, now, let’s not get too hasty. Little Debbie is still in the running,” Tucker points out. Amelia leans forward, seeming incredibly comfortable, and says, “There is no way Little Debbie beats Dwight. Sorry, dude.” The shocked look on Tucker’s face is comical. He’s just been put in his place and the old Amelia has returned. I fucking love it.
Meghan Quinn (The Other Brother (Binghamton, #4))
I’m here to horrify you,” he said. And then, because he couldn’t bear it any longer, he reached out and pulled her to him. She was warm and soft in his arms, and she smelled so deliciously right. He could have inhaled her scent for hours. “Hugo—” He didn’t want to talk. He didn’t want to answer any questions. He didn’t know who he was or what he wanted or what dreams would come to fill his heart. He only knew that if he couldn’t have her, nothing would ever be right again. And so he kissed her. He tasted her, sweet and steady against him, put his hand in the small of her back and drew her toward him. She kissed him back. “I love you,” he said. The truth took root inside him. For the first time in years, the dark words of his past receded. “But, Hugo…” He set his fingers over her lips. “Let me do this,” he said. “I thought I had to prove myself with money and accomplishments. But those will always ring hollow. They will never be enough. I want to be somebody. Let me be your husband. Let me be the father of your child—of all your children. I got more satisfaction from striking Clermont than I did from any success I found in business.” She pulled back from him. “You struck Clermont?” “Twice. And—that reminds me—I blackmailed him into promising to send your child to Eton.” Hugo tightened his grip around her. “I’ve never pretended to be a good man, you know. It’s just that…I’m yours.” He leaned his head against hers. Her breath was warm against his face. “Did you hit him hard?” “I’m afraid I did.” “That’s my Hugo.” There was a grim satisfaction in her voice. “I love you, you know. If you hadn’t come, as soon as winter set in and the ground became too hard to work, I’d planned to come for you.” “Well, I’m glad I came to my senses,” Hugo said. “You shouldn’t have traveled, not in your condition. Yet curiosity impels me to inquire. What did you plan to do, once you arrived?” “Allow me to demonstrate.” She lifted her face to his, traced the line of his jaw with her fingers. “This.” She pressed a kiss to the corner of his mouth. “And this.” She kissed the other corner. “And…” She took his mouth full on, her lips soft against his, tasting of all the things he’d most wanted. “I’d do that,” she whispered, “until you were forced to admit you loved me.” “I love you.” “Well, that’s no fun.” She kissed him again. “Now what excuse do I have?” He drew in a shuddering breath and pulled her closer. “You could make me say it again,” he whispered. “Make me say it always. Make me say it so often that you never have cause to doubt. I love you.
Courtney Milan
Then I came back to Christine. She was waiting for me..." Erik here rose solemnly. Then he continued, but, as he spoke, he was overcome by all his former emotion and began to tremble like a leaf: "Yes, she was waiting for me... waiting for me erect and alive, a real, living bride... as she hoped to be saved... And, when I... came forward, more timid than... a little child, she did not run away... no, no... she stayed... she waited for me... I even believe... daroga... that she put out her forehead... a little... oh, not too much... just a little... like a living bride... And... and... I... kissed her!... I!... I!... I!... And she did not die!... Oh, how good it is, daroga, to kiss somebody on the forehead!... You can't tell!... But I! I!... My mother, daroga, my poor, unhappy mother would never... let me kiss her... She used to run away... and throw me my mask!... Nor any other woman... ever, ever!... Ah, you can understand, my happiness was so great, I cried. And I fell at her feet, crying... and I kissed her feet... her little feet... crying. You're crying, too, daroga... and she cried also... the angel cried!..." Erik sobbed aloud and the Persian himself could not retain his tears in the presence of that masked man, who, with his shoulders shaking and his hands clutched at his chest, was moaning with pain and love by turns. "Yes, daroga... I felt her tears flow on my forehead... on mine, mine!... They were soft... they were sweet!... They trickled under my mask... they mingled with my tears in my eyes... they flowed between my lips... Listen, daroga, listen to what I did... I tore off my mask so as not to lose one of her tears... and she did not run away!... And she did not die!... She remained alive, weeping over me, with me. We cried together! I have tasted all the happiness the world can offer!" And Erik fell into a chair, choking for breath: "Ah, I am not going to die yet... presently I shall... but let me cry!... Listen, daroga... listen to this... While I was at her feet... I heard her say, 'Poor, unhappy Erik!'... And she took my hand!... I had become, no more, you know, than a poor dog ready to die for her... I mean it, daroga!... I held in my hand a ring, a plain gold ring which I had given her... which she had lost... and which I had found again... a wedding-ring, you know... I slipped it into her little hand and said, 'There!... Take it!... Take it for you... and him!... It shall be my wedding-present from your poor, unhappy Erik... I know you love the boy... don't cry any more!'.... She asked me, in a very soft voice, what I meant... Then I made her understand that, where she was concerned, I was only a poor dog, ready to die for her... but that she could marry the young man when she pleased, because she had cried with me and mingled her tears with mine!..." Erik's emotion was so great that he had to tell the Persian not to look at him, for he was choking and must take off his mask.
Gaston Leroux (The Phantom Of The Opera)
Luther's opponent in the Peasants' War, Thomas Muntzer is deeply rooted in mystic tradition . . . Muntzer calls the first step in preparing for God "wonderment": amazement and fright begin when the eternal Word comes into the human heart. "And this wonderment at whether it really is God's Word or not begins to happen when one is a child of six or seven years of age." . . . Muntzer's interest in Gregorian chant and his attempt, rejected by Luther, to integrate it into the German mass, may perhaps be understood as a manifestation of his mystical love for wonderment. In connection with "wonderment," Muntzer quotes from Deuteronomy: "But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart" (30:14 RSV). . . This inward word, heard through God's revelation in the abyss of the soul, speaks to human beings without mediation, even without the Bible. Muntzer opposed Luther in the understanding of Scripture. Muntzer's view of the living Word of God as being "so very close to you" - and which constitutes the first step of mystical cognition (cognitio experimen- talis) - represents a break with Luther's appeal for sola scriptura, (the Scriptures alone) as the basic principle of the Reformation puts it. What in the controversy over indulgences had served well in fighting the financial manipulations of the Church of Rome's authorities, namely this basic principle and its critical force, soon came to serve the consolidation of a new clerical domination.
Dorothee Sölle (The Silent Cry: Mysticism and Resistance)
More than anything, we have lost the cultural customs and traditions that bring extended families together, linking adults and children in caring relationships, that give the adult friends of parents a place in their children's lives. It is the role of culture to cultivate connections between the dependent and the dependable and to prevent attachment voids from occurring. Among the many reasons that culture is failing us, two bear mentioning. The first is the jarringly rapid rate of change in twentieth-century industrial societies. It requires time to develop customs and traditions that serve attachment needs, hundreds of years to create a working culture that serves a particular social and geographical environment. Our society has been changing much too rapidly for culture to evolve accordingly. There is now more change in a decade than previously in a century. When circumstances change more quickly than our culture can adapt to, customs and traditions disintegrate. It is not surprising that today's culture is failing its traditional function of supporting adult-child attachments. Part of the rapid change has been the electronic transmission of culture, allowing commercially blended and packaged culture to be broadcast into our homes and into the very minds of our children. Instant culture has replaced what used to be passed down through custom and tradition and from one generation to another. “Almost every day I find myself fighting the bubble-gum culture my children are exposed to,” said a frustrated father interviewed for this book. Not only is the content often alien to the culture of the parents but the process of transmission has taken grandparents out of the loop and made them seem sadly out of touch. Games, too, have become electronic. They have always been an instrument of culture to connect people to people, especially children to adults. Now games have become a solitary activity, watched in parallel on television sports-casts or engaged in in isolation on the computer. The most significant change in recent times has been the technology of communication — first the phone and then the Internet through e-mail and instant messaging. We are enamored of communication technology without being aware that one of its primary functions is to facilitate attachments. We have unwittingly put it into the hands of children who, of course, are using it to connect with their peers. Because of their strong attachment needs, the contact is highly addictive, often becoming a major preoccupation. Our culture has not been able to evolve the customs and traditions to contain this development, and so again we are all left to our own devices. This wonderful new technology would be a powerfully positive instrument if used to facilitate child-adult connections — as it does, for example, when it enables easy communication between students living away from home, and their parents. Left unchecked, it promotes peer orientation.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
I think every one who has some vague belief in God, until he becomes a Christian, has the idea of an exam, or of a bargain in his mind. The first result of real Christianity is to blow that idea into bits. When they find it blown into bits, some people think this means that Christianity is a failure and give up. They seem to imagine that God is very simple-minded! In fact, of course, He knows all about this. One of the very things Christianity was designed to do was to blow this idea to bits. God has been waiting for the moment at which you discover that there is no question of earning a pass mark in this exam, or putting Him in your debt. Then comes another discovery. Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to its father and saying, "Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present." Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins. The man is awake now.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
When warm weather came, Baby Suggs, holy, followed by every black man, woman, and child who could make it through, took her great heart to the Clearing--a wide-open place cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what at the end of the path known only to deer and whoever cleared the land in the first place. In the heat of every Saturday afternoon, she sat in the clearing while the people waited among the trees. After situating herself on a huge flat-sided rock, Baby Suggs bowed her head and prayed silently. The company watched her from the trees. They knew she was ready when she put her stick down. Then she shouted, "Let the children come!" and they ran from the trees toward her. "Let your mothers hear you laugh,"she told them, and the woods rang. The adults looked on and could not help smiling. Then "Let the grown men come," she shouted. They stepped out one by one from among the ringing trees. "Let your wives and your children see you dance," she told them, and groundlife shuddered under their feet. Finally she called the women to her. “Cry,” she told them. “For the living and the dead. Just cry.” And without covering their eyes the women let loose. It started that way: laughing children, dancing men, crying women and then it got mixed up. Women stopped crying and danced; men sat down and cried; children danced, women laughed, children cried until, exhausted and riven, all and each lay about the Clearing damp and gasping for breath. In the silence that followed, Baby Suggs, holy, offered up to them her great big heart…“Here,” she said, “in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it… No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them! Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face ‘cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it - you! And no, they ain’t in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed…What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give leavins instead. No they don’t love your mouth. You got to love it." "This is flesh I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I’m telling you. And oh my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it, and hold it up. And all your inside parts that they’d just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver - love it, love it, and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet…More than your life-holding womb and your live-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize."" -Baby Suggs
Toni Morrison (Beloved)
Keng's Disciple The disciple: "When I don't know people treat me like a fool. When I do know, the knowledge gets me into trouble. When I fail to do good. I hurt others. When I do good, I hurt myself. If I avoid my duty, I am remiss, But if I do it, I am ruined. How can I get out of these contradictions? This is what I came to ask you." ". . . .You are trying to sound The middle of the ocean With a six-foot pole. You have got lost and are trying To find your way back To your own true self. You find nothing But illegible signposts Pointing in all directions. I pity you." The disciple asked for admittance, Took a cell, and there Meditated, Trying to cultivate qualities He thought desirable And get rid of others Which he disliked. Ten days of that! Despair! ". . . Do not try To hold on to Tao - Just hope that Tao Will keep hold of you!" ". . . You want the first elements? The infant has them. Free from care, unaware of self, He acts without reflection, Stays where he is put, does not know why, Does not figure things out, Just goes along with them, Is part of the current. These are the first elements!" The disciple asked: Is this perfection? Lao replied: "Not at all. It is only the beginning. This melts the ice. This enables you To unlearn, So that you can be led by Tao, Be a child of Tao If you persist in trying To attain what is never attained (It is Tao's gift!) If you persist in making effort To obtain what effort cannot get; If you persist in reasoning About what cannot be understood, You will be destroyed By the very thing you seek. To know when to stop to know When you can get no further By your own action, This is the right beginning!
Thomas Merton (The Way of Chuang Tzu (Shambhala Library))
She could envision Shakespeare's sister. But she imagined a violent, an apocalyptic end for Shakespeare's sister, whereas I know that isn't what happened. You see, it isn't necessary. I know that lots of Chinese women, given in marriage to men they abhorred and lives they despised, killed themselves by throwing themselves down the family well. I'm not saying it doesn't happen. I'm only saying that isn't what usually happens. It it were, we wouldn't be having a population problem. And there are so much easier ways to destroy a woman. You don't have to rape or kill her; you don't even have to beat her. You can just marry her. You don't even have to do that. You can just let her work in your office for thirty-five dollars a week. Shakespeare's sister did...follow her brother to London, but she never got there. She was raped the first night out, and bleeding and inwardly wounded, she stumbled for shelter into the next village she found. Realizing before too long that she was pregnant, she sought a way to keep herself and her child safe. She found some guy with the hots for her, realized he was credulous, and screwed him. When she announced her pregnancy to him, a couple months later, he dutifully married her. The child, born a bit early, makes him suspicious: they fight, he beats her, but in the end he submits. Because there is something in the situation that pleases him: he has all the comforts of home including something Mother didn't provide, and if he has to put up with a screaming kid he isn't sure is his, he feels now like one of the boys down at the village pub, none of whom is sure they are the children of the fathers or the fathers of their children. But Shakespeare's sister has learned the lesson all women learn: men are the ultimate enemy. At the same time she knows she cannot get along in the world without one. So she uses her genius, the genius she might have used to make plays and poems with, in speaking, not writing. She handles the man with language: she carps, cajoles, teases, seduces, calculates, and controls this creature to whom God saw fit to give power over her, this hulking idiot whom she despises because he is dense and fears because he can do her harm. So much for the natural relation between the sexes. But you see, he doesn't have to beat her much, he surely doesn't have to kill her: if he did, he'd lose his maidservant. The pounds and pence by themselves are a great weapon. They matter to men, of course, but they matter more to women, although their labor is generally unpaid. Because women, even unmarried ones, are required to do the same kind of labor regardless of their training or inclinations, and they can't get away from it without those glittering pounds and pence. Years spent scraping shit out of diapers with a kitchen knife, finding places where string beans are two cents less a pound, intelligence in figuring the most efficient, least time-consuming way to iron men's white shirts or to wash and wax the kitchen floor or take care of the house and kids and work at the same time and save money, hiding it from the boozer so the kid can go to college -- these not only take energy and courage and mind, but they may constitute the very essence of a life. They may, you say wearily, but who's interested?...Truthfully, I hate these grimy details as much as you do....They are always there in the back ground, like Time's winged chariot. But grimy details are not in the background of the lives of most women; they are the entire surface.
Marilyn French (The Women's Room)
They kept in touch for years and years. Momma believed in the goodness of people and she believed in the prayer of protection, that wherever she was, God was, too. Mom had a way of taking people under her wing and making you feel special when you were talking to her. Your story mattered. And whenever she thought I was getting a little too full of myself, she’d remind me: “Robin, your story is no more important than anybody else’s story. When you strut, you stumble.” Meaning: When you think that you’re all that and a bag of chips, you’re gonna fall flat on your face. Thank you, Momma, for that invaluable lesson. We were overwhelmed with the outpouring of love for our mother. President and Michelle Obama sent a beautiful flower arrangement to our house. It was the first time I had seen Mom’s grandchildren smile in days. It was a proud moment for them. The president of the United States. They asked if they could take pictures of the flowers and Instagram them to their friends. It was painful to make the final arrangements for Mom. The owners of the Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home were incredibly kind and gentle. Our families have known each other for decades, and they also handled my father’s homegoing service. Mom had always said she wanted to be laid to rest in a simple pine box. We were discussing what to put on her tombstone. I had been quiet up to that point, just numb. Mom and Dad were both gone. I was left with such an empty feeling. Grandma Sally had passed when Mom was in her seventies, and I remember Mom saying she now felt like an orphan. I thought that was strange. But now I knew exactly what Mom meant. There was a lot of chatter about what words to use on Mom’s tombstone. I whispered it should simply read: A CHILD OF GOD. Everyone agreed.
Robin Roberts (Everybody's Got Something)
Are you ready, children?” Father Mikhail walked through the church. “Did I keep you waiting?” He took his place in front of them at the altar. The jeweler and Sofia stood nearby. Tatiana thought they might have already finished that bottle of vodka. Father Mikhail smiled. “Your birthday today,” he said to Tatiana. “Nice birthday present for you, no?” She pressed into Alexander. “Sometimes I feel that my powers are limited by the absence of God in the lives of men during these trying times,” Father Mikhail began. “But God is still present in my church, and I can see He is present in you. I am very glad you came to me, children. Your union is meant by God for your mutual joy, for the help and comfort you give one another in prosperity and adversity and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children. I want to send you righteously on your way through life. Are you ready to commit yourselves to each other?” “We are,” they said. “The bond and the covenant of marriage was established by God in creation. Christ himself adorned this manner of life by his first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. A marriage is a symbol of the mystery of the union between Christ and His Church. Do you understand that those whom God has joined together, no man can put asunder?” “We do,” they said. “Do you have the rings?” “We do.” Father Mikhail continued. “Most gracious God,” he said, holding the cross above their heads, “look with favor upon this man and this woman living in a world for which Your Son gave His life. Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world. Defend this man and this woman from every enemy. Lead them into peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle upon their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their friendship, in their sleeping and in their waking, in their joys and their sorrows, in their life and in their death.” Tears trickled down Tatiana’s face. She hoped Alexander wouldn’t notice. Father Mikhail certainly had. Turning to Tatiana and taking her hands, Alexander smiled, beaming at her unrestrained happiness. Outside, on the steps of the church, he lifted her off the ground and swung her around as they kissed ecstatically. The jeweler and Sofia clapped apathetically, already down the steps and on the street. “Don’t hug her so tight. You’ll squeeze that child right out of her,” said Sofia to Alexander as she turned around and lifted her clunky camera. “Oh, wait. Hold on. Let me take a picture of the newlyweds.” She clicked once. Twice. “Come to me next week. Maybe I’ll have some paper by then to develop them.” She waved. “So you still think the registry office judge should have married us?” Alexander grinned. “He with his ‘of sound mind’ philosophy on marriage?” Tatiana shook her head. “You were so right. This was perfect. How did you know this all along?” “Because you and I were brought together by God,” Alexander replied. “This was our way of thanking Him.” Tatiana chuckled. “Do you know it took us less time to get married than to make love the first time?” “Much less,” Alexander said, swinging her around in the air. “Besides, getting married is the easy part. Just like making love. It was the getting you to make love to me that was hard. It was the getting you to marry me…” “I’m sorry. I was so nervous.” “I know,” he said. He still hadn’t put her down. “I thought the chances were twenty-eighty you were actually going to go through with it.” “Twenty against?” “Twenty for.” “Got to have a little more faith, my husband,” said Tatiana, kissing his lips.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
She sighed and leaned down, kissed my thigh, and then looked up, and put her arm around my shoulder, moving close, so our thighs and arms were touching. She put her finger to my lips. “Well, Gwendoline, my dear vampire-pale mistress-confessor, who wishes to possess my soul, the first confession is this: I love playing like this. Being your prisoner is exciting. Her voice had gone throaty, dreamy, and her fingers were playing in my stubble, caressing it, stroking it, my recently shaved skull. We slid to the floor and rolled over. I pinned her down. I bit her left nipple, just a delicate nip and twist, and lingering lick and kiss. Remember! Leave no marks! “Oh, Gwendoline, the silliest things arouse me,” she whispered, her teeth tugging my earlobe. “Like what?” I slid off her body, and lay beside her, both of us now on our sides, face to face, only a few inches apart. “Like what?” I repeated, kissing her, and running my hand over the curve of her hip, and cupping her backside. She took a deep breath. “Certain gestures you make drive me crazy.” “Me?” “Yes, like when you reach up to put the curls at the nape of your neck back in place, or when you just touch the nape of your neck. Or when you tilt your head down and look up from under your eye¬brows that are coal-black like arched arrows in flight. Or like the way your English accent in French is sometimes just a bit awkward, and I want to touch your lips and correct you by kissing you. And then – and this is unbearably beautiful – there’s the self-conscious way you sometimes walk, looking down as if abashed at the cobble¬stones just in front of your toes, as if you were self-conscious of your sexual vulnerability, as if you were shy, and retiring, a vestal virgin, a timid, self-conscious child. And then there’s the way your shoes are always so neat and impeccable, even when it is raining, or muddy. I want to get down on my knees and worship! Everything about you is neat and self-contained, and as if it had been just polished.
Gwendoline Clermont (Gwendoline Goes To School)
I wondered why nobody realized what a crazy experience we all were having. I'd be lying in bed, or walking down a hallway in college, and the realization that I was alive would startle me, as though it had come up from behind and slammed two books together. I suddenly realized I was breathing air and stuck to the planet and temporary. And that realization felt as though I had come from some other existence and was experiencing this magical life for the first time. If you think about it, we get robbed of the mystery of being alive. It's a fairly amazing thing, you know. Even if you believe life is an accident, that we are all here by accident, it's still an amazing thing. It might even be a more amazing thing if we are really here by accident. What are the chances, honestly? Still, I think we get robbed of the glory of it, because we don't remember how we got here. When you get born, you wake up slowly to everything. Your brain doesn't stop growing until you turn 26, you know. So from birth to 26, God is slowly turning on the lights, and you are groggy and pointing at things and saying ‘circle’ and ‘blue’ and ‘car,’ and then ‘sex’ and ‘job’ and ‘healthcare.’ The experience is so slow, you can easily come to believe life isn't that big a deal, that life isn't staggering. What I'm saying is, I think life IS staggering, and we are just too used to it. We are all of us like spoiled children, no longer impressed with the gifts we are being given. It’s just another sunset, just another rainstorm moving over the mountains, just another child being born, just another funeral. When I was writing myself into a movie, I felt the way God feels as he writes the world, sitting over the planets, placing tiny people in tiny wombs. If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me specifically into the story. And He put us in with the sunsets and the rainstorms as though to say, ‘Enjoy your place in My story. The very beauty of it means it’s not about you, and in time, that will give you comfort.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
Moreland sired some decent sons,” Rothgreb remarked. “And that’s a pretty filly they have for a sister. Not as brainless as the younger girls, either.” “Lady Sophia is very pretty.” Also kind, intelligent, sweet, and capable of enough passion to burn a man’s reason to cinders. “She’s mighty attached to the lad, though.” His uncle shot him a look unreadable in the gloom of the chilly hallways. “Women take on over babies.” “He’s a charming little fellow, but he’s a foundling. I believe she intends to foster him. Watch your step.” He took his uncle’s bony elbow at the stairs, only to have his hand shaken off. “For God’s sake, boy. I can navigate my own home unaided. So if you’re attracted to the lady, why don’t you provide for the boy? You can spare the blunt.” Vim paused at the first landing and held the candle a little closer to his uncle’s face. “What makes you say I’m attracted to Lady Sophia? And how would providing for the child endear me to her?” “Women set store by orphans, especially wee lads still in swaddling clothes. Never hurts to put yourself in a good light when you want to impress a lady.” His uncle went up the steps, leaning heavily on the banister railing. “And why would I want to impress Lady Sophia?” “You ogle her,” Rothgreb said, pausing halfway up the second flight. “I do not ogle a guest under our roof.” “You watch her, then, when you don’t think anybody’s looking. In my day, we called that ogling. You fret over her, which I can tell you as a man married for more than fifty years, is a sure sign a fellow is more than infatuated with his lady.” Vim remained silent, because he did, indeed, fret over Sophie Windham. “And you have those great, strapping brothers of hers falling all over themselves to put the two of you together.” Rothgreb paused again at the top of the steps. Vim paused too, considering his uncle’s words. “They aren’t any more strapping than I am.” Except St. Just was more muscular. Lord Val was probably quicker with his fists than Vim, and Westhaven had a calculating, scientific quality to him that suggested each of his blows would count. “They were all but dancing with each other to see that you sat next to their sister.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
Little Robin had been brought by Lord Orthallen—although he had the feeling that his lord did not realize it. The boy was a part of his household, though Orthallen seemed to have long since forgotten the fact; and when the order came to pack up the household and move to the Border, Robin found himself in the tail of the baggage train, with no small bewilderment. He'd been at a loss in the encampment, wandering about until someone had seen him and realized that a small child had no place in a camp preparing for warfare. So he was sent packing; first off with Elspeth, then pressed into service by the Healers. They'd set him to fetching and carrying for Dirk, thinking that the child was far too young to be able to pick anything up from the casual talk around him, and that Dirk wouldn't think to interrogate a child as young as he. They were wrong on both counts. Robin was very much aware of what was going on—not surprising, since it concerned his adored Talia. He was worried sick, and longing for an adult to talk to. And Dirk was kind and gentle with him—and had he but known it, desperate enough for news to have questioned the rats in the walls if he thought it would get him anywhere. Dirk knew all about Robin and his adoration of Talia. If anyone knew where she was being kept and what her condition was, that boy would. Dirk bided his time. Eventually the Healers stopped overseeing his every waking moment. Finally there came a point when they began leaving him alone for hours at a time. He waited then, until Robin was sent in alone with his lunch—alone, unsupervised, and more than willing to talk—and put the question to him. Dirk had no intention of frightening the boy, and his tone was gentle, "I need your help. The Healers won't answer my questions, and I need to know about Talia." Robin had turned back with his hand still on the doorknob; at the mention of Talia's name, his expression was one of distress. "I'll tell you what I know, sir," he replied, his voice quavering a little. "But she's hurt real bad and they won't let anybody but Healers see her." "Where is she? Do you have any idea who's taking care of her?" The boy not only knew where she was, but the names and seniority of every Healer caring for her—and the list nearly froze Dirk's heart. They'd even pulled old Farnherdt out of retirement—and he'd sworn that no case would ever be desperate enough for them to call on him.
Mercedes Lackey (Arrow's Fall (Heralds of Valdemar, #3))
He took a breath. He could feel his anxiety fade; he could feel himself returning to who he was. 'But would you sing with me?' Every morning for the past two months, they had been singing with each other in preparation for Duets. In the film, his character and the character's wife led an annual Christmas pageant, and both he and the actress playing his wife would be performing their own vocals. The director had sent him a list of songs to work on, and Jude had been practicing with him: Jude took the melody, and he took the harmony. 'Sure,' Jude said. 'Our usual?' For the past week, they'd been working on 'Adeste Fideles,' which he would have to sing a cappella, and for the past week, he'd been pitching sharp at the exact same point, at 'Venite adoremus,' right in the first stanza. He'd wince every time he did it, hearing the error, and Jude would shake his head at him and keep going, and he'd follow him until the end. 'You're overthinking it,' Jude would say. 'When you go sharp, its because you're concentrating too hard on staying on key; just don't think about it, Willem, and you'll get it.' That morning, though, he felt certain he'd get it right. He gave Jude the bunch of herbs, which he was still holding, and Jude thanked him, pinching its little purple flowers between his fingers to release its perfume. 'I think it's a kind of perilla,' he said, and held his fingers up for Willem to smell. 'Nice,' he said, and they smiled at each other. And so Jude began, and he followed, and he made it through without going sharp. And at the end of the song, just after the last note, Jude immediately began singing the next song on the list, 'For Unto Us a Child Is Born,' and after that, 'Good King Wenceslas,' and again and again, Willem followed. His voice wasn't as full as Jude's, but he could tell in those moments that it was good enough, that it was maybe better than good enough: he could tell it sounded better with Jude's, and he closed his eyes and let himself appreciate it. They were still singing when the doorbell chimed with their breakfast, but as he was standing, Jude put his hand on his wrist, and they remained there, Jude sitting, he standing, until they had sung the last words of the song, and only after they had finished did he go to answer the door. Around him, the room was redolent of the unknown herb he'd found, green and fresh and yet somehow familiar, like something he hadn't known he had liked until it had appeared, suddenly and unexpectedly, in his life.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Discipline As your baby becomes more mobile and inquisitive, she’ll naturally become more assertive, as well. This is wonderful for her self-esteem and should be encouraged as much as possible. When she wants to do something that’s dangerous or disrupts the rest of the family, however, you’ll need to take charge. For the first six months or so, the best way to deal with such conflicts is to distract her with an alternative toy or activity Standard discipline won’t work until her memory span increases around the end of her seventh month. Only then can you use a variety of techniques to discourage undesired behavior. When you finally begin to discipline your child, it should never be harsh. Remember that discipline means to teach or instruct, not necessarily to punish. Often the most successful approach is simply to reward desired behavior and withhold rewards when she does not behave as desired. For example, if she cries for no apparent reason, make sure there’s nothing wrong physically; then when she stops, reward her with extra attention, kind words, and hugs. If she starts up again, wait a little longer before turning your attention to her, and use a firm tone of voice as you talk to her. This time, don’t reward her with extra attention or hugs. The main goal of discipline is to teach limits to the child, so try to help her understand exactly what she’s doing wrong when she breaks a rule. If you notice her doing something that’s not allowed, such as pulling your hair, let her know that it’s wrong by calmly saying “no,” stopping her, and redirecting her attention to an acceptable activity. If your child is touching or trying to put something in her mouth that she shouldn’t, gently pull her hand away as you tell her this particular object is off-limits. But since you do want to encourage her to touch other things, avoid saying “Don’t touch.” More pointed phrases, such as “Don’t eat the flowers” or “No eating leaves” will convey the message without confusing her. Because it’s still relatively easy to modify her behavior at this age, this is a good time to establish your authority and a sense of consistency Be careful not to overreact, however. She’s still not old enough to misbehave intentionally and won’t understand if you punish her or raise your voice. She may be confused and even become startled when told that she shouldn’t be doing or touching something. Instead, remain calm, firm, consistent, and loving in your approach. If she learns now that you have the final word, it may make life much more comfortable for both of you later on, when she naturally becomes more headstrong.
American Academy of Pediatrics (Your Baby's First Year)
Consider: Anyone can turn his hand to anything. This sounds very simple, but its psychological effects are incalculable. The fact that everyone between seventeen and thirty-five or so is liable to be (as Nim put it) “tied down to childbearing,” implies that no one is quite so thoroughly “tied down” here as women, elsewhere, are likely to be—psychologically or physically. Burden and privilege are shared out pretty equally; everybody has the same risk to run or choice to make. Therefore nobody here is quite so free as a free male anywhere else. Consider: A child has no psycho-sexual relationship to his mother and father. There is no myth of Oedipus on Winter. Consider: There is no unconsenting sex, no rape. As with most mammals other than man, coitus can be performed only by mutual invitation and consent; otherwise it is not possible. Seduction certainly is possible, but it must have to be awfully well timed. Consider: There is no division of humanity into strong and weak halves, protective/protected, dominant/submissive, owner/chattel, active/passive. In fact the whole tendency to dualism that pervades human thinking may be found to be lessened, or changed, on Winter. The following must go into my finished Directives: when you meet a Gethenian you cannot and must not do what a bisexual naturally does, which is to cast him in the role of Man or Woman, while adopting towards him a corresponding role dependent on your expectations of the patterned or possible interactions between persons of the same or the opposite sex. Our entire pattern of sociosexual interaction is nonexistent here. They cannot play the game. They do not see one another as men or women. This is almost impossible for our imagination to accept. What is the first question we ask about a newborn baby? Yet you cannot think of a Gethenian as “it.” They are not neuters. They are potentials, or integrals. Lacking the Karhidish “human pronoun” used for persons in somer, I must say “he,” for the same reasons as we used the masculine pronoun in referring to a transcendent god: it is less defined, less specific, than the neuter or the feminine. But the very use of the pronoun in my thoughts leads me continually to forget that the Karhider I am with is not a man, but a manwoman. The First Mobile, if one is sent, must be warned that unless he is very self-assured, or senile, his pride will suffer. A man wants his virility regarded, a woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect and subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. On Winter they will not exist. One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience. Back
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Left Hand of Darkness)
IN HIS 2005 COLLECTION of essays Going Sane, Adam Phillips makes a keen observation. “Babies may be sweet, babies may be beautiful, babies may be adored,” he writes, “but they have all the characteristics that are identified as mad when they are found too brazenly in adults.” He lists those characteristics: Babies are incontinent. They don’t speak our language. They require constant monitoring to prevent self-harm. “They seem to live the excessively wishful lives,” he notes, “of those who assume that they are the only person in the world.” The same is true, Phillips goes on to argue, of young children, who want so much and possess so little self-control. “The modern child,” he observes. “Too much desire; too little organization.” Children are pashas of excess. If you’ve spent most of your adult life in the company of other adults—especially in the workplace, where social niceties are observed and rational discourse is generally the coin of the realm—it requires some adjusting to spend so much time in the company of people who feel more than think. (When I first read Phillips’s observations about the parallels between children and madmen, it so happened that my son, three at the time, was screaming from his room, “I. Don’t. Want. To. Wear. PANTS.”) Yet children do not see themselves as excessive. “Children would be very surprised,” Phillips writes, “to discover just how mad we think they are.” The real danger, in his view, is that children can drive their parents crazy. The extravagance of children’s wishes, behaviors, and energies all become a threat to their parents’ well-ordered lives. “All the modern prescriptive childrearing literature,” he concludes, “is about how not to drive someone (the child) mad and how not to be driven mad (by the child).” This insight helps clarify why parents so often feel powerless around their young children, even though they’re putatively in charge. To a preschooler, all rumpus room calisthenics—whether it’s bouncing from couch cushion to couch cushion, banging on tables, or heaving bowls of spaghetti onto the floor—feel normal. But to adults, the child looks as though he or she has suddenly slipped into one of Maurice Sendak’s wolf suits. The grown-up response is to put a stop to the child’s mischief, because that’s the adult’s job, and that’s what civilized living is all about. Yet parents intuit, on some level, that children are meant to make messes, to be noisy, to test boundaries. “All parents at some time feel overwhelmed by their children; feel that their children ask more of them than they can provide,” writes Phillips in another essay. “One of the most difficult things about being a parent is that you have to bear the fact that you have to frustrate your child.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
Thomas (his middle name) is a fifth-grader at the highly competitive P.S. 334, the Anderson School on West 84th in New York City. Slim as they get, Thomas recently had his long sandy-blond hair cut short to look like the new James Bond (he took a photo of Daniel Craig to the barber). Unlike Bond, he prefers a uniform of cargo pants and a T-shirt emblazoned with a photo of one of his heroes: Frank Zappa. Thomas hangs out with five friends from the Anderson School. They are “the smart kids.” Thomas is one of them, and he likes belonging. Since Thomas could walk, he has constantly heard that he’s smart. Not just from his parents but from any adult who has come in contact with this precocious child. When he applied to Anderson for kindergarten, his intelligence was statistically confirmed. The school is reserved for the top 1 percent of all applicants, and an IQ test is required. Thomas didn’t just score in the top 1 percent. He scored in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent. But as Thomas has progressed through school, this self-awareness that he’s smart hasn’t always translated into fearless confidence when attacking his schoolwork. In fact, Thomas’s father noticed just the opposite. “Thomas didn’t want to try things he wouldn’t be successful at,” his father says. “Some things came very quickly to him, but when they didn’t, he gave up almost immediately, concluding, ‘I’m not good at this.’ ” With no more than a glance, Thomas was dividing the world into two—things he was naturally good at and things he wasn’t. For instance, in the early grades, Thomas wasn’t very good at spelling, so he simply demurred from spelling out loud. When Thomas took his first look at fractions, he balked. The biggest hurdle came in third grade. He was supposed to learn cursive penmanship, but he wouldn’t even try for weeks. By then, his teacher was demanding homework be completed in cursive. Rather than play catch-up on his penmanship, Thomas refused outright. Thomas’s father tried to reason with him. “Look, just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you don’t have to put out some effort.” (Eventually, Thomas mastered cursive, but not without a lot of cajoling from his father.) Why does this child, who is measurably at the very top of the charts, lack confidence about his ability to tackle routine school challenges? Thomas is not alone. For a few decades, it’s been noted that a large percentage of all gifted students (those who score in the top 10 percent on aptitude tests) severely underestimate their own abilities. Those afflicted with this lack of perceived competence adopt lower standards for success and expect less of themselves. They underrate the importance of effort, and they overrate how much help they need from a parent.
Po Bronson (NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children)
Every bit of evidence would suggest that the will to be moving is as old as mankind. Take the people in the Old Testament. They were always on the move. First, it's Adam and Eve moving out of Eden. Then it's Cain condemned to be a restless wanderer, Noah drifting on the waters of the Flood, and Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt toward the Promised Land. Some of these figures were out of the Lord's favor and some of them were in it, but all of them were on the move. And as far as the New Testament goes, Our Lord Jesus Christ was what they call a peripatetic--someone who's always going from place to place--whether on foot, on the back of a donkey, or on the wings of angels. But the proof of the will to move is hardly limited to the pages of the Good Book. Any child of ten can tell you that getting-up-and-going is topic number one in the record of man's endeavors. Take that big red book that Billy is always lugging around. It's got twenty-six stories in it that have come down through the ages and almost every one of them is about some man going somewhere. Napoleon heading off on one of his conquests, or King Arthur in search of the Holy Grail. Some of the men in the book are figures from history and some from fancy, but whether real or imagined, almost every one of them is on his way to someplace different from where he started. So, if the will to move is as old as mankind and every child can tell you so, what happens to a man like my father? What switch is flicked in the hallway of his mind that takes the God-given will for motion and transforms it into the will for staying put? It isn't due to a loss of vigor. For the transformation doesn't come when men like my father are growing old and infirm. It comes when they are hale, hearty, and at the peak of their vitality. If you asked them what brought about the change, they will cloak it in the language of virtue. They will tell you that the American Dream is to settle down, raise a family, and make an honest living. They'll speak with pride of their ties to the community through the church and the Rotary and the chamber of commerce, and all other manner of stay-puttery. But maybe, I was thinking as I was driving over the Hudson River, just maybe the will to stay put stems not from a man's virtues but from his vices. After all, aren't gluttony, sloth, and greed all about staying put? Don't they amount to sitting deep in a chair where you can eat more, idle more, and want more? In a way, pride and envy are about staying put too. For just as pride is founded on what you've built up around you, envy is founded on what your neighbor has built across the street. A man's home may be his castle, but the moat, it seems to me, is just as good at keeping people in as it is at keeping people out.
Amor Towles (The Lincoln Highway)
Surely you’re not going to destroy another book, are you?” “I’ve decided my obsession with reading has gotten me absolutely nowhere, so . . . I’m tossing all the nonsense out of my life and intend to travel forth with less baggage.” “You love to read.” “And I’ll occasionally indulge that love, but enough is enough.” She held up her copy of Pride and Prejudice. “This, for all intent and purposes, is a fairy tale. I’m done with fairy tales for good, as well as anything by Shakespeare. I loathe his stories, don’t understand most of what he’s written, and I was only reading them because of any future children I hoped to have. But since I’m destined to remain a spinster forever . . . I’m chucking them into the fire.” “What do Shakespeare and any children you might have in the future have in common?” Millie sent him a look that clearly said she found him a little dense. “I wanted to be knowledgeable so that my children wouldn’t suffer any embarrassment because of my ignorance and lack of education.” Everett’s mouth dropped open before he had the presence of mind to snap it shut when she shot him a glare. Bracing himself in case she got it into her head to punch him as she’d done Mr. Victor, Everett stepped closer to her and pried the copy of Pride and Prejudice out of her hand. “Any child would be lucky to call you mother, Millie. You’re smart, well-read, curious about everything, and have a true love for children.” Staring at him for a long moment, Millie tilted her head. “I knew we should have summoned the physician to take a look at you after your last brawl.” “My wits are not addled, Millie. Quite honestly, my mind is clearer right now than it’s been in years.” He brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it, relieved when her eyes widened just a bit. “And I have to tell you something else.” “What?” she asked in a voice that sounded somewhat breathless. “I can’t allow you to burn any Jane Austen book—but especially not Pride and Prejudice.” “That’s what you have to say to me—that I can’t burn a silly book?” “I finished the story, Millie. I read Pride and Prejudice from cover to cover, and . . . I’m your Mr. Darcy and you’re my Lizzy.” “You . . . finished . . . the story?” “Indeed. And if you didn’t hear me the first time, I’m Mr. Darcy.” “I’m fairly certain Mr. Darcy would have had an English accent, but since Lizzy did enjoy reading, I suppose it’s not too much of a stretch to compare me with her, although. . . .” As Millie continued talking, really rapidly at that, Everett simply watched her, taking in every detail of her face. Her green eyes were sparkling and her cheeks were flushed a delicate shade of pink. Brown curls had begun to escape the pins someone had put in her hair, and a spray of flowers that had been tucked into that hair was hanging somewhat forlornly over her ear. Her lips were still moving incredibly fast, but the second his gaze settled on them, he couldn’t seem to look away. They were delightful lips, just the right shade of pink, and . . . Everett leaned forward and claimed those rapidly moving lips with his own. For
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
If we take God’s Word seriously, we should avoid debt when possible. In those rare cases where we go into debt, we should make every effort to get out as soon as we can. We should never undertake debt without prayerful consideration and wise counsel. Our questions should be, Why go into debt? Is the risk called for? Will the benefits of becoming servants to the lender really outweigh the costs? What should we ask ourselves before going into debt? Before we incur debt, we should ask ourselves some basic spiritual questions: Is the fact that I don’t have enough resources to pay cash for something God’s way of telling me it isn’t his will for me to buy it? Or is it possible that this thing may have been God’s will but poor choices put me in a position where I can’t afford to buy it? Wouldn’t I do better to learn God’s lesson by foregoing it until—by his provision and my diligence—I save enough money to buy it? What I would call the “debt mentality” is a distorted perspective that involves invalid assumptions: • We need more than God has given us. • God doesn’t know best what our needs are. • God has failed to provide for our needs, forcing us to take matters into our own hands. • If God doesn’t come through the way we think he should, we can find another way. • Just because today’s income is sufficient to make our debt payments, tomorrow’s will be too (i.e., our circumstances won’t change). Those with convictions against borrowing will normally find ways to avoid it. Those without a firm conviction against going into debt will inevitably find the “need” to borrow. The best credit risks are those who won’t borrow in the first place. The more you’re inclined to go into debt, the more probable it is that you shouldn’t. Ask yourself, “Is the money I’ll be obligated to repay worth the value I’ll receive by getting the money or possessions now? When it comes time for me to repay my debt, what new needs will I have that my debt will keep me from meeting? Or what new wants will I have that will tempt me to go further into debt?” Consider these statements of God’s Word: • “True godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8). • “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” (Ecclesiastes 5:10). • “My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the LORD is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap” (Proverbs 3:21-26). • “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Randy Alcorn (Managing God's Money: A Biblical Guide)
Sophie?” He knocked, though not that hard, then decided she wasn’t going hear anything less than a regiment of charging dragoons over Kit’s racket. He pushed the door open to find half of Sophie’s candles lit and the lady pacing the room with Kit in her arms. “He won’t settle,” she said. “He isn’t wet; he isn’t hungry; he isn’t in want of cuddling. I think he’s sickening for something.” Sophie looked to be sickening. Her complexion was pale even by candlelight, her green eyes were underscored by shadows, and her voice held a brittle, anxious quality. “Babies can be colicky.” Vim laid the back of his hand on the child’s forehead. This resulted in a sudden cessation of Kit’s bellowing. “Ah, we have his attention. What ails you, young sir? You’ve woken the watch and disturbed my lady’s sleep.” “Keep talking,” Sophie said softly. “This is the first time he’s quieted in more than an hour.” Vim’s gaze went to the clock on her mantel. It was a quarter past midnight, meaning Sophie had gotten very little rest. “Give him to me, Sophie. Get off your feet, and I’ll have a talk with My Lord Baby.” She looked reluctant but passed the baby over. When the infant started whimpering, Vim began a circuit of the room. “None of your whining, Kit. Father Christmas will hear of it, and you’ll have a bad reputation from your very first Christmas. Do you know Miss Sophie made Christmas bread today? That’s why the house bore such lovely scents—despite your various efforts to put a different fragrance in the air.” He went on like that, speaking softly, rubbing the child’s back and hoping the slight warmth he’d detected was just a matter of the child’s determined upset, not inchoate sickness. Sophie would fret herself into an early grave if the boy stopped thriving. “Listen,” Vim said, speaking very quietly against the baby’s ear. “You are worrying your mama Sophie. You’re too young to start that nonsense, not even old enough to join the navy. Go to sleep, my man. Sooner rather than later.” The child did not go to sleep. He whimpered and whined, and by two in the morning, his nose was running most unattractively. Sophie would not go to sleep either, and Vim would not leave her alone with the baby. “This is my fault,” Sophie said, her gaze following Vim as he made yet another circuit with the child. “I was the one who had to go to the mews, and I should never have taken Kit with me.” “Nonsense. He loved the outing, and you needed the fresh air.” The baby wasn’t even slurping on his fist, which alarmed Vim more than a possible low fever. And that nose… Vim surreptitiously used a hankie to tend to it, but Sophie got to her feet and came toward them. “He’s ill,” she said, frowning at the child. “He misses his mother and I took him out in the middle of a blizzard and now he’s ill.” Vim put his free arm around her, hating the misery in her tone. “He has a runny nose, Sophie. Nobody died of a runny nose.” Her expression went from wan to stricken. “He could die?” She scooted away from Vim. “This is what people mean when they say somebody took a chill, isn’t it? It starts with congestion, then a fever, then he becomes weak and delirious…” “He’s not weak or delirious, Sophie. Calm down.
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
These Claudines, then…they want to know because they believe they already do know, the way one who loves fruit knows, when offered a mango from the moon, what to expect; and they expect the loyal tender teasing affection of the schoolgirl crush to continue: the close and confiding companionship, the pleasure of the undemanding caress, the cuddle which consummates only closeness; yet in addition they want motherly putting right, fatherly forgiveness and almost papal indulgence; they expect that the sights and sounds, the glorious affairs of the world which their husbands will now bring before them gleaming like bolts of silk, will belong to the same happy activities as catching toads, peeling back tree bark, or powdering the cheeks with dandelions and oranging the nose; that music will ravish the ear the way the trill of the blackbird does; that literature will hold the mind in sweet suspense the way fairy tales once did; that paintings will crowd the eye with the delights of a colorful garden, and the city streets will be filled with the same cool dew-moist country morning air they fed on as children. But they shall not receive what they expect; the tongue will be about other business; one will hear in masterpieces only pride and bitter contention; buildings will have grandeur but no flowerpots or chickens; and these Claudines will exchange the flushed cheek for the swollen vein, and instead of companionship, they will get sex and absurd games composed of pinch, leer, and giggle—that’s what will happen to “let’s pretend.” 'The great male will disappear into the jungle like the back of an elusive ape, and Claudine shall see little of his strength again, his intelligence or industry, his heroics on the Bourse like Horatio at the bridge (didn’t Colette see Henri de Jouvenel, editor and diplomat and duelist and hero of the war, away to work each day, and didn’t he often bring his mistress home with him, as Willy had when he was husband number one?); the great affairs of the world will turn into tawdry liaisons, important meetings into assignations, deals into vulgar dealings, and the en famille hero will be weary and whining and weak, reminding her of all those dumb boys she knew as a child, selfish, full of fat and vanity like patrons waiting to be served and humored, admired and not observed. 'Is the occasional orgasm sufficient compensation? Is it the prize of pure surrender, what’s gained from all that giving up? There’ll be silk stockings and velvet sofas maybe, the customary caviar, tasting at first of frog water but later of money and the secretions of sex, then divine champagne, the supreme soda, and rubber-tired rides through the Bois de Boulogne; perhaps there’ll be rich ugly friends, ritzy at homes, a few young men with whom one may flirt, a homosexual confidant with long fingers, soft skin, and a beautiful cravat, perfumes and powders of an unimaginable subtlety with which to dust and wet the body, many deep baths, bonbons filled with sweet liqueurs, a procession of mildly salacious and sentimental books by Paul de Kock and company—good heavens, what’s the problem?—new uses for the limbs, a tantalizing glimpse of the abyss, the latest sins, envy certainly, a little spite, jealousy like a vaginal itch, and perfect boredom. 'And the mirror, like justice, is your aid but never your friend.' -- From "Three Photos of Colette," The World Within the Word, reprinted from NYRB April 1977
William H. Gass (The World Within the Word)
From an essay on early reading by Robert Pinsky: My favorite reading for many years was the "Alice" books. The sentences had the same somber, drugged conviction as Sir John Tenniel's illustrations, an inexplicable, shadowy dignity that reminded me of the portraits and symbols engraved on paper money. The books were not made of words and sentences but of that smoky assurance, the insistent solidity of folded, textured, Victorian interiors elaborately barricaded against the doubt and ennui of a dreadfully God-forsaken vision. The drama of resisting some corrosive, enervating loss, some menacing boredom, made itself clear in the matter-of-fact reality of the story. Behind the drawings I felt not merely a tissue of words and sentences but an unquestioned, definite reality. I read the books over and over. Inevitably, at some point, I began trying to see how it was done, to unravel the making--to read the words as words, to peek behind the reality. The loss entailed by such knowledge is immense. Is the romance of "being a writer"--a romance perhaps even created to compensate for this catastrophic loss--worth the price? The process can be epitomized by the episode that goes with one of my favorite illustrations. Alice has entered a dark wood--"much darker than the last wood": [S]he reached the wood: It looked very cool and shady. "Well, at any rate it's a great comfort," she said as she stepped under the trees, "after being so hot, to get into the--into the--into what?" she went on, rather surprised at not being able to think of the word. "I mean to get under the--under the--under this, you know!" putting her hand on the trunk of the tree. "What does it call itself, I wonder? I do believe it's got no name--why to be sure it hasn't!" This is the wood where things have no names, which Alice has been warned about. As she tries to remember her own name ("I know it begins with L!"), a Fawn comes wandering by. In its soft, sweet voice, the Fawn asks Alice, "What do you call yourself?" Alice returns the question, the creature replies, "I'll tell you, if you'll come a little further on . . . . I can't remember here". The Tenniel picture that I still find affecting illustrates the first part of the next sentence: So they walked on together through the wood, Alice with her arms clasped lovingly round the soft neck of the Fawn, till they came out into another open field, and here the Fawn gave a sudden bound into the air, and shook itself free from Alice's arm. "I'm a Fawn!" it cried out in a voice of delight. "And dear me! you're a human child!" A sudden look of alarm came into its beautiful brown eyes, and in another moment it had darted away at full speed. In the illustration, the little girl and the animal walk together with a slightly awkward intimacy, Alice's right arm circled over the Fawn's neck and back so that the fingers of her two hands meet in front of her waist, barely close enough to mesh a little, a space between the thumbs. They both look forward, and the affecting clumsiness of the pose suggests that they are tripping one another. The great-eyed Fawn's legs are breathtakingly thin. Alice's expression is calm, a little melancholy or spaced-out. What an allegory of the fall into language. To imagine a child crossing over from the jubilant, passive experience of such a passage in its physical reality, over into the phrase-by-phrase, conscious analysis of how it is done--all that movement and reversal and feeling and texture in a handful of sentences--is somewhat like imagining a parallel masking of life itself, as if I were to discover, on reflection, that this room where I am writing, the keyboard, the jar of pens, the lamp, the rain outside, were all made out of words. From "Some Notes on Reading," in The Most Wonderful Books (Milkweed Editions)
Robert Pinsky
Take a look at the following list of numbers: 4, 8, 5, 3, 9, 7, 6. Read them out loud. Now look away and spend twenty seconds memorizing that sequence before saying them out loud again. If you speak English, you have about a 50 percent chance of remembering that sequence perfectly. If you're Chinese, though, you're almost certain to get it right every time. Why is that? Because as human beings we store digits in a memory loop that runs for about two seconds. We most easily memorize whatever we can say or read within that two-second span. And Chinese speakers get that list of numbers—4, 8, 5, 3, 9, 7, 6—right almost every time because, unlike English, their language allows them to fit all those seven numbers into two seconds. That example comes from Stanislas Dehaene's book The Number Sense. As Dehaene explains: Chinese number words are remarkably brief. Most of them can be uttered in less than one-quarter of a second (for instance, 4 is "si" and 7 "qi"). Their English equivalents—"four," "seven"—are longer: pronouncing them takes about one-third of a second. The memory gap between English and Chinese apparently is entirely due to this difference in length. In languages as diverse as Welsh, Arabic, Chinese, English and Hebrew, there is a reproducible correlation between the time required to pronounce numbers in a given language and the memory span of its speakers. In this domain, the prize for efficacy goes to the Cantonese dialect of Chinese, whose brevity grants residents of Hong Kong a rocketing memory span of about 10 digits. It turns out that there is also a big difference in how number-naming systems in Western and Asian languages are constructed. In English, we say fourteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen, so one might expect that we would also say oneteen, twoteen, threeteen, and five- teen. But we don't. We use a different form: eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fifteen. Similarly, we have forty and sixty, which sound like the words they are related to (four and six). But we also say fifty and thirty and twenty, which sort of sound like five and three and two, but not really. And, for that matter, for numbers above twenty, we put the "decade" first and the unit number second (twentyone, twenty-two), whereas for the teens, we do it the other way around (fourteen, seventeen, eighteen). The number system in English is highly irregular. Not so in China, Japan, and Korea. They have a logical counting system. Eleven is ten-one. Twelve is ten-two. Twenty-four is two- tens-four and so on. That difference means that Asian children learn to count much faster than American children. Four-year-old Chinese children can count, on average, to forty. American children at that age can count only to fifteen, and most don't reach forty until they're five. By the age of five, in other words, American children are already a year behind their Asian counterparts in the most fundamental of math skills. The regularity of their number system also means that Asian children can perform basic functions, such as addition, far more easily. Ask an English-speaking seven-yearold to add thirty-seven plus twenty-two in her head, and she has to convert the words to numbers (37+22). Only then can she do the math: 2 plus 7 is 9 and 30 and 20 is 50, which makes 59. Ask an Asian child to add three-tensseven and two-tens-two, and then the necessary equation is right there, embedded in the sentence. No number translation is necessary: It's five-tens-nine. "The Asian system is transparent," says Karen Fuson, a Northwestern University psychologist who has closely studied Asian-Western differences. "I think that it makes the whole attitude toward math different. Instead of being a rote learning thing, there's a pattern I can figure out. There is an expectation that I can do this. There is an expectation that it's sensible. For fractions, we say three-fifths. The Chinese is literally 'out of five parts, take three.' That's telling you conceptually
AD 1948 Laodicea – Lukewarm Church In contrast to the Philadelphia church, Laodicea, which overlaps it in time, is the lukewarm church. Neither hot nor cold, Laodicea accepts any doctrine for the sake of compromise. This is the ecumenical spirit going too far by allowing back all those Gnostic ideas from the past. It requires, first of all, a denial of the verbal inspiration of Scripture. Otherwise, we would all have to agree exactly with what God requires of us. The Laodicean Church believes your interpretation is as good as mine. It is interesting to note that the city of Laodicea was named after Laodice, the wife of the Antiochus of Daniel 11. Antiochus replaced Laodice with Bernice, a true loving wife. Laodice then sought to kill the righteous bride with her child, poison Antiochus, and put her own child on the throne.  Laodice is a perfect picture of the apostate church.
Ken Johnson (Ancient Prophecies Revealed)
AD 1948 Laodicea – Lukewarm Church In contrast to the Philadelphia church, Laodicea, which overlaps it in time, is the lukewarm church. Neither hot nor cold, Laodicea accepts any doctrine for the sake of compromise. This is the ecumenical spirit going too far by allowing back all those Gnostic ideas from the past. It requires, first of all, a denial of the verbal inspiration of Scripture. Otherwise, we would all have to agree exactly with what God requires of us. The Laodicean Church believes your interpretation is as good as mine. It is interesting to note that the city of Laodicea was named after Laodice, the wife of the Antiochus of Daniel 11. Antiochus replaced Laodice with Bernice, a true loving wife. Laodice then sought to kill the righteous bride with her child, poison Antiochus, and put her own child on the throne.  Laodice is a perfect picture of the apostate church.   At the end of this section we will create a grand list of the facets of the apostasy from the seven churches, other Scripture, and the ancient church fathers that will manifest in the Laodicean church
Ken Johnson (Ancient Prophecies Revealed)
SLEEP TRAINING DOES NOT EQUAL CRY IT OUT Sleep training involves several general principles to use the natural development of sleep/wake rhythms as an aid to help your child learn to sleep. • Respect your baby’s need to sleep. • Start early to plan for or anticipate for when your baby will need to sleep, similar to anticipating when your baby will need to feed. • Maintain brief intervals of wakefulness, this is the one- to two-hour window. • Learn to recognize drowsy cues (see this page), though they may be absent in 20 percent of extremely fussy/colicky babies. Drowsy cues or sleepy signs signal that your baby is becoming sleepy; this is when you should begin your soothing efforts. • When you put your baby down or lie down with him, he may be drowsy and awake or in a deep sleep. Either way works if you have good timing. • Develop a bedtime routine. • Matching the time when you soothe your baby to sleep to the time when he naturally needs to sleep is the key. For 80 percent of common fussy babies, perfect timing produces no crying. • During the first several weeks, many babies fall asleep while feeding or sucking to soothe even if not hungry. This is natural. It is not necessary to deliberately wake your baby before you put him down to sleep or lie down with him in your bed. Later, your older baby may or may not momentarily and partially awaken as you remove your breast or bottle before falling asleep. Do not force him to a wakeful state before attempting to sleep him.
Marc Weissbluth (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child)
The Guildhall was in the middle of Plano, Texas. Plano Texas, is brown and not much else. They have a Frito-Lay factory, parking lots, and a videogame school. At the time, I kept a strict vegan diet and didn’t drive. There was nothing to eat and nowhere to go. But the latter didn’t matter; when you were at the Guildhall you had no life outside the Guildhall. I remember the first day of orientation, sitting in a lecture hall with my future classmates and the spouses they’d brought with them to this wasted brown land. One of the other level design students had his wife and their year-old child with him. “Give her a kiss and say good-bye,” the director of the school told him in front of the assembly. “You’re not going to see her for two years.” I was in Plano, Texas, for six months. You’re at school from nine to five. You stay after and do your work with the teams they’ve assigned you to. Late at night you drag yourself home and do your actual homework. Maybe you get a few hours of sleep. The idea behind the school is that you’re always in what the Big Games Industry calls “crunch time”: unpaid overtime. Your masters want the game done by Christmas, so you don’t leave the office until it’s done. This is why people in the industry aren’t healthy; this is why they burn out and quit games within a few years. This is why you miss the second year of your daughter’s life. This is their scheme: you put up with crunch time all the time while you’re in school, so when you work for a big publisher—or, rather, a studio contracted by a big publisher—you won’t complain about being told you can’t see your daughter until the game’s done. The Guildhall boasts an over 90 percent employment rate, and it’s true: they will get you a job in the games industry. That’s because they will make you into exactly the kind of worker the games industry wants. It’s that kind of school. And it works; that’s the horrifying thing. My classmates were all self-identified gamers and game fans and were willing to put up with anything in order to live their dream of making videogames. That’s the carrot the industry dangles, and it’s what we take away from the industry when we create a form to which anyone can contribute. As long as the industry is allowed to continue acting as the gatekeeper to game creation, people will continue to accept the ways in which the industry tramples the lives and well-being of the creative people who make games, rather than challenging the insane level of control that publishers ask over developers’ lives.
Anna Anthropy (Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form)
You can't stop the thought about hell, probably you know that it doesn't exist as far as I can tell you and some other type of sources. But what happen with the serial killers?? THe brutal killers, they go to heaven??? - Really?? So there isn't communication between hell and heaven so they put all in one place?? - WTF, how big this soul planet is it? 200000000000000000000000000 People even and more are there and everyday you see new born child or children and old people or young people die.... Okay some die because of start of smoke at early age, other people start to smoke and drink alcohol because other have said them it's incrediable to drink, you aren't a human without a drink, you can't be in our group if you don't drink and many other stuff (as Alan Macmillan Orr said in his book The Little book of life)... - Did you knew that there are stuff which believers don't know or know and still believe?? You should check out the holy book what's said think little and then do whatever you are on the way to do. - As first I just read a an article called "Souls do not Exist Evidence from Science & Philosophy Against Mind-Body Dualism" what I read it will blow your mind. I'm sure if you believe in god the % will go low or probably you will change you direction... As far as I'm on the road I can tell that there are people which read this and this and this and continue to believe, but it's WRITTEN BLACK ON WHITE THE TRUTH AND THEY PREFER TO STAY IN THE COMFORT ZONE, BECAUSE THERE IS COMFORT IF THEY COME HERE THERE WON'T BE COMFORT FOR THE FEW WEEKS, MONTHS OR EVEN YEARS, THEY NEED TO BUILD EVERYTHING LIKE AGAIN, LIKE YOU HAVE RESET YOUR SCORE AT GAME AND YOU START AGAIN AND AGAIN...
Deyth Banger
Gregori did not look at him but stared out into the storm. The child she carries is my lifemate. It is female and belongs to me. There was an unmistakable warning note, an actual threat. In all their centuries together, such a thing had never happened. Mikhail immediately closed his mind to Raven. She could never hope to understand how Gregori felt. Without a lifemate, the healer had no choice but to eventually destroy himself or become the very epitome of evil. The vampire. The walking dead. Gregori had spent endless centuries waiting for his lifemate, holding on when those younger than he had given in. Gregori had defended their people, lived a solitary existence so that he might keep their race safe. He was far more alone than the others of his kind, and far more susceptible to the call of power as he had to hunt and kill often. Mikhail could not blame his oldest friend for his possessive, protective streak toward the unborn child. He spoke calmly and firmly, hoping to avoid a confrontation. Gregori had held on for so long, this promise of a lifemate could send him careening over the edge into the dark madness if he felt there was a danger to the female child. Raven is not like Carpathian woman. You have always known and accepted that. She will not remain in seclusion during this time. She would wither and die. Gregori actually snarled, a menacing rumble that froze Shea in place, put Jacques into a crouch, and had Mikhail shifting position for a better defense. Raven pushed past Mikhail’s strong body and fearlessly laid a hand on the healer’s arm. Everyone else might think Gregori could turn at any moment, but he had held on for centuries, and she believed implicitly that he would no more hurt her than he would her child. “Gregori, don’t be angry with Mikhail.” Her voice was soft and gentle. “His first duty to me is to see to my happiness.” “It is to see to your protection.” Gregori’s voice was a blend of heat and light. “In a way it’s the same thing. Don’t blame him for having to make adjustments for what you consider my shortcomings. It hasn’t been easy for him, or for me, for that matter. We could have waited to conceive until I’d had time to become more familiar with Carpathian ways, but that would have taken more time than you have. You’re far more than a close friend to us— you’re family, a part of our hearts. We weren’t willing to risk losing you. So we both pray this child is a female and that she grows to love and cherish you as we do, that this is the one who will be your other half.” Gregori stirred as if to say something. Do not say anything! Mikhail hissed in the healer’s head. She believes the child will have a choice. Gregori bowed his head mentally to Mikhail. If Mikhail chose to allow his wife the comforting if false thought that the female child would have a choice in such a matter, then so be it.
Christine Feehan (Dark Desire (Dark, #2))
President Woodruff told of an experience of being prompted by the Spirit. He was sent by the First Presidency to “gather all the Saints of God in New England and Canada and bring them to Zion” (in Conference Report, April 1898, 30). He stopped at the home of one of the brethren in Indiana and put his carriage in the yard, where he and his wife and one child went to bed while the rest of the family slept in the house. Shortly after he had retired for the night, the Spirit whispered, warning him, “Get up, and move your carriage.” He got up and moved the carriage a distance from where it had stood. As he was returning to bed, the Spirit spoke to him again: “Go and move your mules away from that oak tree.” He did this and then retired once again to bed. Not more than thirty minutes later, a whirlwind caught the tree to which his mules had been tied and broke it off at the ground. It was carried a hundred yards through two fences. The enormous tree, which had a trunk five feet in circumference, fell exactly upon the spot where his carriage had been parked. By listening to the promptings of the Spirit, Elder Woodruff had saved his life and the lives of his wife and child (see Wilford Woodruff, Leaves from My Journal [1881], 88). That same
Boyd K. Packer (Truths Most Worth Knowing)
Speaking of the children, aren’t you supposed to be watching them at the moment?” “Of course.” He glanced around the hallway. “Where are they?” “They’re perfectly fine.” She dropped her voice to the merest whisper. “I’ve tied them up in the nursery.” For a moment, he thought he’d misheard her. “Forgive me, but you didn’t just say you’ve tied up the children, did you?” “Indeed I did.” “It’s little wonder you get dismissed so often if you make a habit of tying up your charges while you wander through libraries perusing romance novels.” “Oh, I’ve never tied children up before today. . . . Well, except for some children in my youth, but that hardly counts, since I was a child myself.” She held up a hand. “Before you dismiss me—something your expression clearly states you long to do—the whole tying-up business was the children’s idea.” “You would have me believe they wanted you to tie them up?” The dimple on Millie’s cheek popped out again as she grinned. “Don’t be silly. If you must know, they insisted on tying me up first, but obviously, since I’m standing in front of you, I was able to free myself.” Her grin widened. “In the spirit of fair play, I convinced them it was their turn to be held captive, although I don’t think the children thought their little game was going to have this particular outcome.” Everett headed for the stairs. “I’m going to go release them.” “You’ll put a damper on our fun if you do.” Not
Jen Turano (In Good Company (A Class of Their Own Book #2))
work vehicles and a lone motorcycle, her SUV had the road to itself, which meant she would get there faster. Indeed, the familiarity of turning onto Caroline’s street was a lifeline. Once she parked in front of the mint-over-teal Victorian, she put Tad on her hip and hurried up the walk. The squeak of the screen was actually reassuring. And the smell of time when she stepped inside? Heaven. “Mom?” Caroline ran barefoot from the kitchen, stopped short, and put a hand to her heart. “Mother and child,” she breathed and slowly approached. Her hair was a wavy mess, and her face blushed in a way that made her look forty, but her eyes, moist now, held adoration. Wrapping a firm arm around Jamie, she said by her ear, “We will not mention the show. It has no place in this house with us right now, okay?” Jamie hadn’t even thought about the show, and certainly couldn’t think of it with Caroline’s soft, woodsy scent soothing her nerves and giving her strength. “Mom,” she began, drawing back, but Caroline was studying Tad. “Oh my. A real little boy. Hey,” she said softly and touched his hair. Jamie felt the warmth of the touch, but Tad just stared without blinking. “I think I know you. Aren’t you Theodore MacAfee the Second?” Those very big eyes were somber as he shook his head. “Who, then?” “Taddy,” came the baby voice. “The Taddy who likes cats?” Caroline asked, to which he started looking around the floor, “or the Taddy who likes pancakes?” “Pancakes, please,” Jamie inserted. “I promised him we’d eat here. Mom—” She broke off when Master meowed. Setting Tad on the floor, she waited only until he had run after the cat before turning back to her mother and holding out her left hand. Caroline frowned. “You’re shaking.” She had steadied the hand with her own before she finally focused on that bare ring finger. Wide eyes flew to Jamie’s. In that instant, with this first oh-so-important disclosure, it was real. Jamie could barely breathe. “I returned it. Brad and I split.” “What happened?” Caroline whispered, but quickly caught herself. Cupping Jamie’s face, she said, “First things first. I don’t have a booster seat for Tad.” “He’ll kneel on a chair. He looks like Dad. Do you hate him for that?” Tad was on his haunches on the other side of the room, waiting for Master to come out from under the spindle legs of a lamp stand. “I should,” Caroline confessed, “but how to hate a child? He may have Roy’s coloring, but he’ll take on your expressions, and soon enough he’ll look like himself. Besides,” she gave a gritty smirk, “it’s not like your father gets the last laugh. If he thought I was a withered-up old hag—” “He didn’t.” “Yes, he did. Isn’t that what booting me off Gut It! was about?” “You said we weren’t talking about that,” Jamie begged, knowing that despite this nascent reconciliation, Gut It! remained a huge issue. Not talking about it wouldn’t make it go away, but she didn’t want the intrusion of it now. Caroline seemed to agree. She spoke more calmly. “Your father’s opinion of me went way back to our marriage, so this, today, here, now, is satisfying for me. How happy do you think he is looking down from heaven to see his son at my house, chasing my cat and about to eat my grandmother’s pancakes, cooked by me in my kitchen and served on a table I made?” The part of Jamie that resented Roy for what he had made Caroline suffer shared her mother’s satisfaction. She might have said that, if Caroline hadn’t gone from bold to unsure in a breath. “I’m not equipped yet, baby. Does Tad need a bottle for his water?” “No. He’s done with bottles. Just a little water in a cup will do, since I forgot the sippy.” In her rush to get out of the house, she had also left Moose, which meant she would have to go back for him before dropping Tad off, which meant she would be late for her first appointment, which she couldn’t reschedule because she had back-to-backs all day, which meant she would have to postpone to another day, which
Barbara Delinsky (Blueprints)
When you put him down drowsy but awake and he cries hard, immediately pick him up for more soothing and try again some other time that day or the next day. If he makes very quiet sounds, wait and see. He might drift off to sleep or begin to cry hard. If he now begins to cry hard, quickly pick him up. Don’t be disappointed if he does not fall asleep when you first start to practice putting him down drowsy but awake; it just takes practice. Expect to become frustrated, because initially you may be successful only about 10 percent of the time during the first week. But by the end of the second week, you may be successful 20 percent of the time. This percentage may double each week, so after a few more weeks it becomes much easier. Be optimistic! After a few months of practice and the maturation of sleep rhythms, you will develop an anticipatory sense of when he will need to sleep. Later, when he is completely well rested, don’t be surprised if drowsy signs disappear altogether because you have successfully synchronized the timing of your soothing to sleep with the beginning of his emerging sleep wave. It’s like being good at surfing; you catch the wave for a long ride. Patience, practice, timing, and trial and error will guarantee success.
Marc Weissbluth (Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child: A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep)