Puzzles Of Life Quotes

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To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause: there's the respect That makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, The insolence of office and the spurns That patient merit of the unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all; And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry, And lose the name of action.--Soft you now! The fair Ophelia! Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd!
William Shakespeare (Hamlet)
Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…
Timothy Leary
Drifting off to sleep, I thought about her. How nobody is perfect. How you just have to close your eyes and breathe out and let the puzzle of the human heart be what it is.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees)
Returning home is the most difficult part of long-distance hiking; You have grown outside the puzzle and your piece no longer fits.
Cindy Ross
You're a Shadowhunter," he said. "You know how to deal with injuries." He slid his stele across the table toward her. "Use it." "No," Clary said, and pushed the stele back across the table at him. Jace slammed his hand down on the stele. "Clary—" "She said she doesn't want it," said Simon. "Ha-ha." "Ha-ha?" Jace looked incredulous. "That's your comeback?" Alec, folding his phone, approached the table with a puzzled look. "What's going on?" "We seem to be trapped in an episode of One Life to Waste," Magnus observed. "It's all very dull.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
But it is important to know this, to know your roots. To know where you started as a person. If not, your own life seems unreal to you. Like a puzzle. Vous comprenez? Like you have missed the beginning of a story and now you are in the middle of it, trying to understand.
Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed)
The world's a puzzle; no need to make sense out of it." - Socrates
Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives)
Sure, we'd faced some things as children that a lot of kids don't. Sure, Justin had qualified for his Junior de Sade Badge in his teaching methods for dealing with pain. We still hadn't learned, though, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you're just going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something. Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There's the little empty pain of leaving something behind - gradutaing, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There's the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expecations. There's the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life they grow and learn. There's the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens. And if you're very, very lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realized that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last - and yet will remain with you for life. Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don't feel it. Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it's a big part, and sometimes it isn't, but either way, it's a part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you're alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.
Jim Butcher
I held this girl in my arms She wrapped her tiny fingers around mine. It was then that I realized. She was the fusion. The glue. The cement that bound all my pieces together. The piece that seals my puzzle. The piece that completes my life. The element that makes me who I am. Who I was. Who I'll one day be. You, baby girl. You're my final piece.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Trying to write is very much like trying to put a Chinese puzzle together. We have a pattern in mind which we wish to work out in words; but the words will not fit the spaces, or, if they do, they will not match the design.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
You may not see every single piece of the puzzle that creates your life -- you may not see every move the grand chess player makes -- but know, He is in complete control of the game board. Sometimes certain pieces are moved or knocked over to make room for new ones. Other times, things happen because of the world we live in. But everything in the end, will always turn out for good. It's a nice promise, isn't it? To know there's a reason for it all?
Rachel Van Dyken (Ruin (Ruin, #1))
Life is messy. Would that every puzzle piece fell into place, every word was kind, every accident happy, but such is not the case. Life is messy
Christopher Moore (The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Pine Cove, #3))
YOU. ARE. PERFECT. You are. Im talking to YOU. and dont you dare think otherwise...embrace the entity of yourself...you are a puzzle piece and you are meant to be puzzling.
Kaiden Blake
We perceive the world through the rear window of life, observe all the puzzles and little pieces of our existence and assemble them in a comprehensive pattern. This allows us to reassess and evaluate our world view. ( "Waiting for the pieces to fall into place" )
Erik Pevernagie
A mind is like a puzzle; you must unlock it to read its hidden secrets.
Melissa de la Cruz (Masquerade (Blue Bloods, #2))
In one equation you can solve all the puzzles of life. It is the equation of giving.
Amit Ray
Life doesn't wait to hand you a new puzzle until you've figured out the last one.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The ​Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash, #3))
Puzzles are sort of like life because you can mess up and rebuild later, and you're likely smarter the next time around.
Adam Silvera (History Is All You Left Me)
When we are young we are often puzzled by the fact that each person we admire seems to have a different version of what life ought to be, what a good man is, how to live, and so on. If we are especially sensitive it seems more than puzzling, it is disheartening. What most people usually do is to follow one person's ideas and then another's depending on who looms largest on one's horizon at the time. The one with the deepest voice, the strongest appearance, the most authority and success, is usually the one who gets our momentary allegiance; and we try to pattern our ideals after him. But as life goes on we get a perspective on this and all these different versions of truth become a little pathetic. Each person thinks that he has the formula for triumphing over life's limitations and knows with authority what it means to be a man, and he usually tries to win a following for his particular patent. Today we know that people try so hard to win converts for their point of view because it is more than merely an outlook on life: it is an immortality formula.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
The search for the purpose of life has puzzled people for thousands of years. That’s because we typically begin at the wrong starting point—ourselves. We ask self-centered questions like What do I want to be? What should I do with my life? What are my goals, my ambitions, my dreams for my future? But focusing on ourselves will never reveal our life’s purpose.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth am I Here for?)
It is my secrecy which makes you unhappy, my evasions, my silences. And so I have found a solution. Whenever you get desperate with my mysteries, my ambiguities, here is a set of Chinese puzzle boxes. You have always said that I was myself a Chinese puzzle box. When you are in the mood and I baffle your love of confidences, your love of openness, your love of sharing experiences, then open one of the boxes. And in it you will find a story, a story about me and my life. Do you like this idea? Do you think it will help us to live together?
Anaïs Nin (Collages)
That’s what i love about poetry. The more abstract, the better. The stuff were your not sure what the poets talking about. You may have an idea, but you cant be sure. Not a hundred percent. Each word, specifically chosen, could have a million different meanings. Is it a stand-in ―a symbol for another idea? Does it fit into a larger, more hidden, metaphor? ...I hated poetry until someone showed me how to appreciate it. He told me to see poetry as a puzzle. Its up to the reader to decipher the code, or the words, based on everything they know about life and emotions.
Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why)
If the reality of our life has become an unsettling arabesque puzzle and we still want to add more filigree embroidery to it, we might, some day, expect to stray from the point of recognition, lose the final thread, be expelled to the edge of delusion and forced to dance on the brim of chaos. ("Alert. High noon." )
Erik Pevernagie
Maybe you had to be dying to finally get to do what you wanted. I fidgeted around with the puzzle pieces for a while longer, but I wasn't lucky. Nothing seemed to fit without a whole lot of work. Then I had this thought: What if it was enough to realize that you would die someday, that none of this would go on forever? Would that be enough?
Carol Rifka Brunt (Tell the Wolves I'm Home)
Just another day in my life. This was one of those days when I thought that maybe a new life, a different life, wouldn't be so bad. But where the hell had I put the receipt, and could you return something that was over twenty years old? Where do you go to get a new life when your old one has you so puzzled you don't know how to fix it? Wish I knew.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Cerulean Sins (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #11))
Everything, decided Francie after that first lecture, was vibrant with life and there was no death in chemistry. She was puzzled as to why learned people didn't adopt chemistry as a religion.
Betty Smith (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
life is like a jigsaw puzzle, you have to see the whole picture, then put it together piece by piece!
Terry McMillan (A Day Late and a Dollar Short)
Isn’t life a collection of weird quizzes with no answers to half the questions?
Pawan Mishra (Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy)
Maybe I'm not so different from everyone else after all. It's like somebody gave me a puzzle, but I don't have the box with the picture on it. So I don't know what the final thing is supposed to look like. I'm not even sure if I have all the pieces.
Sharon M. Draper (Out of My Mind)
I wanted him dead too, so that if I couldn't stop thinking about him and worrying about when would be the next time I'd see him, at least his death would put an end to it. I wanted to kill him myself, even, so as to let him know how much his mere existence had come to bother me, how unbearable his ease with everything and everyone, taking all things in stride, his tireless I'm-okay-with-this-and-that, his springing across the gate to the beach when everyone else opened the latch first, to say nothing of his bathings suits, his spot in paradise, his cheeky Later!, his lip-smacking love for apricot juice. If I didn't kill him, then I'd cripple him for life, so that he'd be with us in a wheelchair and never go back to the States. If he were in a wheelchair, I would always know where he was, and he'd be easy to find. I would feel superior to him and become his master, now that he was crippled. Then it hit me that I could have killed myself instead, or hurt myself badly enough and let him know why I'd done it. If I hurt my face, I'd want him to look at me and wonder why, why might anyone do this to himself, until, years and years later--yes, Later!--he'd finally piece the puzzle together and beat his head against the wall.
André Aciman (Call Me by Your Name)
Leave the dishes. Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor. Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster. Throw the cracked bowl out and don't patch the cup. Don't patch anything. Don't mend. Buy safety pins. Don't even sew on a button. Let the wind have its way, then the earth that invades as dust and then the dead foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch. Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome. Don't keep all the pieces of the puzzles or the doll's tiny shoes in pairs, don't worry who uses whose toothbrush or if anything matches, at all. Except one word to another. Or a thought. Pursue the authentic-decide first what is authentic, then go after it with all your heart. Your heart, that place you don't even think of cleaning out. That closet stuffed with savage mementos. Don't sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth or worry if we're all eating cereal for dinner again. Don't answer the telephone, ever, or weep over anything at all that breaks. Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life and talk to the dead who drift in though the screened windows, who collect patiently on the tops of food jars and books. Recycle the mail, don't read it, don't read anything except what destroys the insulation between yourself and your experience or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters this ruse you call necessity.
Louise Erdrich (Original Fire)
Audiences love both the feeling part (reliving the life) and the thinking part (figuring out the puzzle) of a story. Every good story has both.
John Truby (The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller)
I had the crucial and inescapable realization that I wanted him. Not just in bed. Not just as a friend, but all of him. Every piece of the puzzle. I'd never wanted anything so badly in my life.
R.K. Lilley (Bad Things (Tristan & Danika, #1))
…life isn’t a puzzle to be solved. It’s an adventure to be savored. Let every challenge be a new mountain to climb, not an obstacle to get in your way and stop you. Yeah, it’ll be hard, but once you reach the summit of it, you’ll be able to see the world for what it really is. And at the top, it never seems to have been as difficult a feat to climb there as you first made it out to be. Most of all, you’ll know that you beat that mountain, and that you rule it. It does not rule you.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3))
Throughout his life, Albert Einstein would retain the intuition and the awe of a child. He never lost his sense of wonder at the magic of nature's phenomena-magnetic fields, gravity, inertia, acceleration, light beams-which grown-ups find so commonplace. He retained the ability to hold two thoughts in his mind simultaneously, to be puzzled when they conflicted, and to marvel when he could smell an underlying unity. "People like you and me never grow old," he wrote a friend later in life. "We never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.
Walter Isaacson
Life isn't a puzzle to be solved. It's an adventure to be savored.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3))
Any problem you face in a video game or in life is one of four things: an enemy, obstacle, puzzle, or trap. That’s it. Everyone you meet in life is one of those four things.
Nathan Hill (The Nix)
We're all pieces of the same ever-changing puzzle; some connected for mere seconds, some connected for life, some connected through knowledge, some through belief, some connected through wisdom, some through Love, and some connected with no explanation at all. Yet, as spiritual beings having a human experience, we're all here for the sensations this reality or illusion has to offer. The best anyone can hope for is the right to be able to Live, Learn, Love then Leave. After that, reap the benefits of their own chosen existence in the hereafter by virtue of simply believing in what they believe. As for here, it took me a while but this progression helped me with my life: "I like myself. I Love myself. I am myself.
Stanley Victor Paskavich
Love is ease, love is comfort, love is support and respect. Love is not punishing or controlling. Love lets you grow and breathe. Love's passion is only good passion -- swirling-leaves-on-a-fall-day passion, a-sky-full-of-magnificent-stars passion -- not angst and anxiety. Love is not hurt and harm. Love is never unsafe. Love is sleeping like puzzle pieces. It's your own garden you protect; it's a field of wildflowers you move about in both freely and together.
Deb Caletti (The Secret Life of Prince Charming)
People can waste a large amount of their time trying to be accepted by people. Sometimes, God meant for you not to fit. You never know, you may hold the unique perspective that when voiced or demonstrated will change generations.
Shannon L. Alder
But you cannot endure this world alone, and the more Samuel’s written his book, the more he’s realized how wrong he was. Because if you see people as enemies or obstacles or traps, you will be at constant war with them and with yourself. Whereas if you choose to see people as puzzles, and if you see yourself as a puzzle, then you will be constantly delighted, because eventually, if you dig deep enough into anybody, if you really look under the hood of someone’s life, you will find something familiar.
Nathan Hill (The Nix)
It wasn't so much that he minded telling Leslie that he was afraid to go; it was that he minded being afraid. It was as though he had been made with a great piece missing - one of May Belle's puzzles with this huge gap where somebody's eye should have been. Lord, it would be better to be born without an arm than to go through life with no guts.
Katherine Paterson (Puente Hasta Terabithia)
(Love is the puzzle that) can’t be solved. Catlike, it follows no rules but its own, and only it knows what they are. Also it can change the rules any time it wants, in any way it wants, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Chris Dee (Cat-Tales Book 5)
Life is puzzle unsolved.
Santosh Kalwar
because sometimes that’s how life is.  A puzzle made up of a million pieces, and when one piece doesn’t exactly fit, it throws the rest of them off.
Courtney Cole (Nocte (The Nocte Trilogy, #1))
Existence was bigger than just life. It was everyone's life all together, and even if you lived in Buffalo, New York and had never been more than ten miles from home, you were part of the puzzle, too. It didn't matter how small your life was.
Paul Auster (The Brooklyn Follies)
I imagined Kandinsky's mind, spread out all over the world, and then gathered together. Everyone having only a piece of the puzzle. Only in a show like this could you see the complete picture, stack the pieces up, hold them to the light, see how it all fit together. It made me hopeful, like someday my life would make sense too, if I could just hold all the pieces together at the same time.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
For a child, it is in the simplicity of play that the complexity of life is sorted like puzzle pieces joined together to make sense of the world.
L.R. Knost (Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages)
Her constant phrase, "Go with God", had puzzled me a good deal. Suddenly it became clear. It was a revelation - acceptance. It filled me with joy. Accept life, the world, Spirit, God, call it what you will, and all else will follow.
Jennifer Worth (The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times)
Don’t lie. Life is a puzzle and we are all unique pieces. When you lie, you make it impossible to find your true place in the grand design.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
What needs to be discharged is the intolerable tenderness of the past, the past gone and grieved over and never made sense of. Music ransoms us from the past, declares an amnesty, brackets and sets aside the old puzzles. Sing a new song. Start a new life, get a girl, look into her shadowy eyes, smile.
Walker Percy (Love in the Ruins)
We're born into the world as just one small piece to the puzzle that makesup an entire life.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
Between the shadows of the earth and the dark depths of the sky, human life lay slumbering, with all its unsolved puzzles.
Theodor Storm (Immensee)
Long ago, when an early galaxy began to pour light out into the surrounding darkness, no witness could have known that billions of years later some remote clumps of rock and metal, ice and organic molecules would fall together to make place called Earth; or that life would arise and thinking beings evolve who would one day capture a little of that galactic light, and try to puzzle out what had sent it on its way. And after the earth dies, some 5 billion years from now, after it's burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the Sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being -- and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth.
Carl Sagan
That night I realized a few things about life. Sometimes the rain was more pleasing than the sun. Sometimes the hurt was more fulfilling than the healing. And sometimes the pieces of a puzzle were more beautiful when scattered apart.
Brittainy C. Cherry (The Silent Waters (Elements, #3))
It is time to stop a young woman from being manipulated to break her ass and tear herself down to the core in order to build a man up. Once she builds him up, more than half the time he leaves her to figure out the million-piece puzzle of life. Wow! It never amazes me how men forget who was there for them when they didn’t have a damn thing to their name. It’s a timeout for that!
Charlena E. Jackson (Unapologetic for My Flaws and All)
I am quite a wise old bird, but I am no desert hermit who can only prophesy when his guts are knotted with hunger. I am deep in the old man’s puzzle, trying to link the wisdom of the body with the wisdom of the spirit until the two are one.
Robertson Davies
We don't get what we need. We get what we search for".
Jim Rohn (The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle: A Guide to Personal Success)
life is not a puzzle to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
Michael Tsarion (Disciples of the Mysterium)
I wanted to thank you for saving my life. I am still puzzled about your motives
though. Was it revenge against Zedan for rejecting you?”
“You insult me. It seems that you think of everybody in the same lowly terms you
think of yourself. If there is anybody I should hate for Zedan rejecting me, it should be
you. He was only doing what is expected of him in our society.”
“You mean you don't hate me?” This was a new revelation to Brown. It worried him.
He was used to hate, he could deal with it, but this he could not understand, he had used
the girl ruthlessly and yet she did not hate him.
Max Nowaz (The Arbitrator)
Because some information is better than no information. Life does not give you big, simple answers, Caitlyn. It demands patience, focus, and an open, intelligent mind to gather the pieces of a puzzle and fit them together into a coherent whole. Nothing worth knowing is ever easily learned.
Lisa Cach (Wake Unto Me)
I've always been puzzled, and am still at this moment in a state of confusion, between the imaginative world and the real world. It is perfectly true to say that I have at some times in my life found that the imaginative world had pushed the real world right out of the way, and was literally more real.
William Golding
They filed out into the cold night at closing time, heading for Begbie's place with a carry-out. They'd already spent twelve hours drinking and pontificating about Matty's life and his motivations. In truth, the more reflective of them realised, all their insights pooled and processed, did little to illuminate the cruel puzzle of it all. They were no wiser now than at the start.
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting (Mark Renton #2))
Life is a puzzle, a riddle, a test, a mystery, a game—whatever challenge you wish to compare it to. Just remember, you're not the only participant; no one person holds all the answers, the pieces, or the cards. The trick to success in this life is to accumulate teammates and not opponents.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
It certainly is a puzzle.” He turned back to the broken road. “But sometimes to find the answer, you have to take a leap of faith.
Dianna Hardy (Summer's End (Once Times Thrice, #2))
From this, one can make a deduction which is quite certainly the ultimate truth of jigsaw puzzles: despite appearances, puzzling is not a solitary game: every move the puzzler makes, the puzzlemaker has made before; every piece the puzzler picks up, and picks up again, and studies and strokes, every combination he tries, and tries a second time, every blunder and every insight, each hope and each discouragement have all been designed, calculated, and decided by the other.
Georges Perec (Life: A User's Manual)
Quelle come me non tradiscono mai, quelle come me hanno valori che sono incastrati nella testa come se fossero pezzi di un puzzle, dove ogni singolo pezzo ha il suo incastro e lì deve andare. Niente per loro è sottotono, niente è superficiale o scontato, non le amiche, non la famiglia, non gli amori che hanno voluto, che hanno cercato, e difeso e sopportato. Quelle come me regalano sogni, anche a costo di rimanerne prive. Quelle come me donano l’anima, perché un’anima da sola, è come una goccia d’acqua nel deserto.
Alda Merini
Others of us are lost. We're forever seeking. We torture ourselves with philosophies and ache to see the world. We question everything, even our own existence. We ask a lifetime of questions and are never satisfied with the answers because we don't recognize anyone as an authority to give them. We see life and the world as an enormous puzzle that we might never understand, that our questions might go unanswered until the day we die, almost never occurs to us. And when it does, it fills us with dread.
Lisa Unger (Sliver of Truth (Ridley Jones, #2))
I know a woman who keeps buying puzzles chinese puzzles blocks wires pieces that finally fit into some order. she works it out mathmatically she solves all her puzzles lives down by the sea puts sugar out for the ants and believes ultimately in a better world. her hair is white she seldom combs it her teeth are snaggled and she wears loose shapeless coveralls over a body most women would wish they had. for many years she irritated me with what I considered her eccentricities- like soaking eggshells in water (to feed the plants so that they'd get calcium). but finally when I think of her life and compare it to other lives more dazzling, original and beautiful I realize that she has hurt fewer people than anybody I know (and by hurt I simply mean hurt). she has had some terrible times, times when maybe I should have helped her more for she is the mother of my only child and we were once great lovers, but she has come through like I said she has hurt fewer people than anybody I know, and if you look at it like that, well, she has created a better world. she has won. Frances, this poem is for you.
Charles Bukowski (Love Is a Dog from Hell)
The beginning and the end are never really the journey of discovery for me. It is the middle that remains a puzzle until well into the writing. That's how life is most of the time, isn't it? You know where you are and where you hope to wind up. It's the getting there that's challenging.
Anna Quindlen (Object Lessons)
Everyone is down on pain, because they forget one important thing about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don't feel it. Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it's a big part, and sometimes it isn't, but either way, it's part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you're alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.
Jim Butcher
The problem is that we always look for the missing piece of the puzzle instead of finding a place for the one in our hand...
Alina Radoi
Life is not a puzzle to be solved. Life is a masterpiece that you create.
Brittany Burgunder
I look at this life as a puzzle without all the pieces in the box.
Jonathan Anthony Burkett
He was a puzzle she never would have been able to solve if he hadn't shown her how. Those were the best kinds of puzzles, though, weren't they? The ones no one else could figure out?
Helen Hoang (The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2))
D'you ever wonder what it would be like if our positions were reversed?' I ask. At Jack's puzzled look I continue. 'If we whites were in charge instead of you Crosses?' 'Can't say it's ever crossed my mind,' Jack shrugs. 'I used to think about it a lot,' I sigh. 'Dreams of living in a world with no more discrimination, no more prejudice, a fair police force, an equal justice system, equality of education, equality of life, a level playing field...
Malorie Blackman (Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1))
my final piece We’re born into the world As just one small piece to the puzzle That makes up an entire life. It’s up to us throughout our years, to find all of our pieces that fit. The pieces that connect who we are To who we were To who we’ll one day be. Sometimes pieces will almost fit. They’ll feel right. We’ll carry them around for a while, Hoping they’ll change shape. Hoping they’ll conform to our puzzle. But they won’t. We’ll eventually have to let them go. To find the puzzle that is their home. Sometimes pieces won’t fit at all. No matter how much we want them to. We’ll shove them. We’ll bend them. We’ll break them. But what isn’t meant to be, won’t be. Those are the hardest pieces of all to accept. The pieces of our puzzle That just don’t belong. But occasionally . . . Not very often at all, If we’re lucky, If we pay enough attention, We’ll find a perfect match. The pieces of the puzzle that slide right in The pieces that hug the contours of our own pieces. The pieces that lock to us. The pieces that we lock to. The pieces that fit so well, we can’t tell where our piece begins And that piece ends. Those pieces we call Friends. True loves. Dreams. Passions. Beliefs. Talents. They’re all the pieces that complete our puzzles. They line the edges, Frame the corners, Fill the centers, Those pieces are the pieces that make us who we are. Who we were. Who we’ll one day be. Up until today, When I looked at my own puzzle, I would see a finished piece. I had the edges lined, The corners framed, The center filled. It felt like it was complete. All the pieces were there. I had everything I wanted. Everything I needed. Everything I dreamt of. But up until today, I realized I had collected all but one piece. The most vital piece. The piece that completes the picture. The piece that completes my whole life. I held this girl in my arms She wrapped her tiny fingers around mine. It was then that I realized She was the fusion. The glue. The cement that bound all my pieces together. The piece that seals my puzzle. The piece that completes my life. The element that makes me who I am. Who I was. Who I’ll one day be. You, baby girl. You’re my final piece.
Colleen Hoover (This Girl (Slammed, #3))
In an extroverted society, we rarely see ourselves in the mirror. We get alienating feedback. Alienating feedback comes in the form of repeated encouragement to join or talk, puzzled expressions, well-intended concern, and sometimes, all-out pointing and laughing. Alienating feedback happens when we hear statements like, “What kind of loser would be home on a Saturday night?” Alienating feedback happens where neighborhoods, schools, and offices provide no place to retreat. Alienating feedback happens when our quiet spaces and wilderness sanctuaries are seen as places to colonize.
Laurie A. Helgoe (Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength)
But we shouldn't be concerned about trees purely for material reasons, we should also care about them because of the little puzzles and wonders they present us with. Under the canopy of the trees, daily dramas and moving love stories are played out. Here is the last remaining piece of Nature, right on our doorstep, where adventures are to be experienced and secrets discovered. And who knows, perhaps one day the language of trees will eventually be deciphered, giving us the raw material for further amazing stories. Until then, when you take your next walk in the forest, give free rein to your imagination-in many cases, what you imagine is not so far removed from reality, after all!
Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World)
I guess it means we don't understand everything, and we're not going to. Maybe the whys aren't answered here. Not because there aren't answers, but because we wouldn't understand the answers if we had them. Maybe there's a bigger purpose, a bigger picture that we only contribute a very small piece to. You know, like one of those thousand piece puzzles? There's no way you can tell by looking at one piece of the puzzle what the puzzle is going to look like in the end. And we don't have the picture on the outside of the puzzle box to guide us. Maybe everyone represents a piece of the puzzle. We all fit together to create this experience we call life. None of us can see the part we play or the way it all turns out. Maybe the miracles that we see are just the tip of the iceberg. And maybe we just don't recognize the blessings that come as a result of terrible things.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
The painter pondered the mournful puzzle of life demanding to be born and, once born, demanding to be fruitful ... to multiply and to live as long as possible—to do all that on a very small planet that would have to last forever.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (2BR02B)
Understanding life is like trying to put together a puzzle with pieces that don't fit.
Dave Guerrero
We are puzzle pieces, bragging about being puzzle pieces, rather than being the picture.
Tom Althouse (The frowny face cow)
There comes a moment in our lives when some of the pieces of the puzzle come together - where all our past experiences, both good and bad, are brought to bear in causing us to become who God intends us to be.
Michael Card (A Fragile Stone: The Emotional Life of Simon Peter)
Since the first human eye saw a leaf in Devonian sandstone and a puzzled finger reached to touch it, sadness has lain over the heart of man. By this tenuous thread of living protoplasm, stretching backward into time, we are linked forever to lost beaches whose sands have long since hardened into stone. The stars that caught our blind amphibian stare have shifted far or vanished in their courses, but still that naked, glistening thread winds onward. No one knows the secret of its beginning or its end. Its forms are phantoms. The thread alone is real; the thread is life.
Loren Eiseley (The Firmament of Time)
It’s an essential part of becoming more creative. Expand your interests in life. Seek out new, interesting experiences, no matter how mundane or inconsequential they might seem to others. Read books, watch documentaries, and discuss your ideas with others. No subject, no matter how specialized or esoteric, is off limits. You never know where your imagination will find pieces for its puzzles.
Sean Patrick (Nikola Tesla: Imagination and the Man That Invented the 20th Century)
It is clear that men accept an immediate pain rather than an immediate pleasure, but only because they expect a greater pleasure in the future. Often the pleasure is illusory, but their error in calculation is no refutation of the rule. You are puzzled because you cannot get over the idea that pleasures are only of the sense; but, child, a man who dies for his country dies because he likes it as surely as a man eats pickled cabbage because he likes it.
W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage)
Sometimes I feel like one of those sliding tile puzzles. I just get so dang close to what I want to see in the mirror and who I want to be... but then I have to completely jumble up the pieces to try to get even closer.
Erica Goros
You are lucky." "How so?" "To know where you came from." I guess I never gave it much thought.: "Bah, of course not. But it is important to know this, to know your roots. To know where you started as a person. If not, your own life seems unreal to you. Like a puzzle. Vous comprenez? Like you missed the beginning of a story and now you are in the middle of it, trying to understand.
Khaled Hosseini (And the Mountains Echoed)
I don't think immediate tragedy is a very good source of art. It can be, but too often it's raw and painful and un-dealt-with. Sometimes art can be a really good escape from the intolerable, and a good place to go when things are bad, but that doesn't mean you have to write directly about the bad thing; sometimes you need to let time pass, and allow the thing that hurts to get covered with layers, and then you take it out, like a pearl, and you make art out of it. When my father died, on the plane from his funeral in the UK back to New York, still in shock, I got out my notebook and wrote a script. It was a good place to go, the place that script was, and I went there so deeply and so far that when we landed Maddy had to tap me on the arm to remind me that I had to get off the plane now. (She says I looked up at her, puzzled, and said "But I want to find out what happens next.") It was where I went and what I did to cope, and I was amazed, some weeks later when I pulled out that notebook to start typing, to find that I'd written pretty much the entire script in that six hour journey.
Neil Gaiman
You see, every piece of the puzzle is required to complete the scene, while some have rough edges and some smooth, they all have value. Being grateful for each piece is not always easy, but it is necessary.
Greg Dutilly
I was a puzzle. An enigma. I was nothing. And then I was again.
Daniel Xiao Wang (Lucid Nightmares)
If the pieces do not fit into your puzzle... Try a different picture
Cass van Krah
I may never know Mama as well as I wanted to but I knew how gentle she was. I had been a jig saw puzzle for her just waiting to be touched and made whole. But now, I was free from hurting her. She was looking at me, not as a loss but as a gain.
Vera Jane Cook (Pleasant Day)
Man is a mystery: if you spend your entire life trying to puzzle it out, then do not say that you have wasted your time. I occupy myself with this mystery, because I want to be a man.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
She said she’d often wondered why she wanted to do some things and not do other things at all. Well, it was obvious with some things, but for others, there was no reason there. She’d spent a long time puzzling it out, then she thought that what you’d done in a past life you didn’t need to do again, and what you had to do in the future, you wouldn’t be ready to do now.
Jeanette Winterson (Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit)
Why didn’t you dare it before? he asked harshly. When I hadn’t a job? When I was starving? When I was just as I am now, as a man, as an artist, the same Martin Eden? That’s the question. I’ve been asking myself for many a day. My brain is the same old brain. And what is puzzling me is why they want me now. Surely they don’t want me for myself, for myself the same olf self they did not want. They must want me for something else, for something that is outside of me, for something that is not I. Shall I tell you what that something is? It is for the recognition I have recieved. That recognition is not I. Then again for the money I have earned and am earnin. But money is not I. And is it for the recognition and money, that you now want me?
Jack London (Мартин Иден)
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)
Part of the puzzle, surely, lies in the disconnect between official rhetoric and lived realities. Americans are constantly extolling “traditions”; litanies to family values are at the center of every politician’s discourse. And yet the culture of America is extremely corrosive of family life, indeed of all traditions except those redefined as “identities” that fit in the larger patterns of distinctiveness, cooperation, and openness to innovation.
Susan Sontag (At the Same Time: Essays and Speeches)
So I just live with my insomnia. I do crossword puzzles, or wander out to the music room and fool around on the piano, or read. Those late hours when the world is completely still, when the only sound is the rustle of the air in the vents and the wind visiting the trees outside, when the darkness is tucked tight around the house and you feel as life itself the movements of your own consciousness-these are wonderful hours to read. There is no interruption.
Stephen Goodwin (Breaking Her Fall)
Love—he seemed to have missed it. Or was the love that others told about a mere fabrication of perfervid imagination, an exaggeration of the commonplace, a glorification of insipid monotonies such as made up his love life? Was love a combination of circumstances, or sheer native capacity of soul? In those days love was, for him, still the eternal puzzle; for love, as he knew it, was a stranger to love as he divined it might be.
Paz Marquez-Benitez (Dead Stars)
While part of my mind puzzled that out, I watched my mother with fascination. I'd listened to her tell her stories. I'd seen and felt her fight. But really, truly, I'd never seen her in action in a real-life crisis. She showed every bit of that hard control she did around me, but here, I could see how necessary it was. A situation like this created panic. Even among the guardians, I could sense those who were so keyed up that they wanted to do something drastic. My mother was a voice of reason, a reminder that they had to stay focused and fully assess the situation. Her composure calmed everybody; her strong manner inspired them. This, I realized, was how a leader behaved.
Richelle Mead (Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2))
Of the not very many ways known of shedding one's body, falling, falling, falling is the supreme method, but you have to select your sill or ledge very carefully so as not to hurt yourself or others. Jumping from a high bridge is not recommended even if you cannot swim, for wind and water abound in weird contingencies, and tragedy ought not to culminate in a record dive or a policeman's promotion. If you rent a cell in the luminous waffle, room 1915 or 1959, in a tall business centre hotel browing the star dust, and pull up the window, and gently - not fall, not jump - but roll out as you should for air comfort, there is always the chance of knocking clean through into your own hell a pacific noctambulator walking his dog; in this respect a back room might be safer, especially if giving on the roof of an old tenacious normal house far below where a cat may be trusted to flash out of the way. Another popular take-off is a mountaintop with a sheer drop of say 500 meters but you must find it, because you will be surprised how easy it is to miscalculate your deflection offset, and have some hidden projection, some fool of a crag, rush forth to catch you, causing you to bounce off it into the brush, thwarted, mangled and unnecessarily alive. The ideal drop is from an aircraft, your muscles relaxed, your pilot puzzled, your packed parachute shuffled off, cast off, shrugged off - farewell, shootka (little chute)! Down you go, but all the while you feel suspended and buoyed as you somersault in slow motion like a somnolent tumbler pigeon, and sprawl supine on the eiderdown of the air, or lazily turn to embrace your pillow, enjoying every last instant of soft, deep, death-padded life, with the earth's green seesaw now above, now below, and the voluptuous crucifixion, as you stretch yourself in the growing rush, in the nearing swish, and then your loved body's obliteration in the Lap of the Lord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
The stories of Harmonius and Aristogeiton, of Phaedrus of the Theban Band were well enough for those whose hearts were empty, but no substitute for life. That Clive should occasionally prefer them puzzled him.
E.M. Forster (Maurice)
THE PUZZLE IS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE LIVE so badly. Not so wickedly, but so inanely. Not so cruelly, but so stupidly. There is little to admire and less to imitate in the people who are prominent in our culture. We have celebrities but not saints. Famous entertainers amuse a nation of bored insomniacs. Infamous criminals act out the aggressions of timid conformists. Petulant and spoiled athletes play games vicariously for lazy and apathetic spectators. People, aimless and bored, amuse themselves with trivia and trash. Neither the adventure of goodness nor the pursuit of righteousness gets headlines.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
Whereas if you choose to see people as puzzles, and if you see yourself as a puzzle, then you will be constantly delighted, because eventually, if you dig deep enough into anybody, if you really look under the hood of someone’s life, you will find something familiar. This is more work, of course, than believing they are enemies. Understanding is always harder than plain hatred. But it expands your life. You will feel less alone.
Nathan Hill (The Nix)
Your life is like a mosaic, a puzzle. You have to figure out where the pieces go and put them together for yourself.
Maria Shriver (Ten Things I Wish I'd Known--Before I Went Out Into the Real World)
My dear son, It is a puzzle worthy of the best psychiatrist that a human life can be so utterly void and at the same time filled to bursting with
Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay)
My life's a tangle of past and present, like two separate puzzles with their pieces tumbled together. Nothing fits.
Emily Murdoch (If You Find Me)
Much like life, you don't complete a puzzle by throwing away the pieces.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Pick a piece of the problem that you can help solve while trying to see how your piece fits into the broader social change puzzle.
Marian Wright Edelman
Our lives aren't so different from a crossword puzzle, sure. But the thing about life is we don't get to draw the grid; we take the rows and columns we're given. Our bodies, parents, mental health issues, all that. What we do get to do is fill the cells.
Arvin Ahmadi (Down and Across)
I feel like my life is made up of tiny puzzle parts that no longer fit together. Imagine working on a puzzle only to find that the final picture can never be complete because one of its pieces is missing. This is exactly what's happened to my life; it has become impossible to put it back together.
Zeina Kassem (Crossing)
Never make a calculation until you know the answer. Make an estimate before every calculation, try a simple physical argument (symmetry! invariance! conservation!) before every derivation, guess the answer to every paradox and puzzle. Courage: No one else needs to know what the guess is. Therefore make it quickly, by instinct. A right guess reinforces this instinct. A wrong guess brings the refreshment of surprise. In either case life as a spacetime expert, however long, is more fun!
John Archibald Wheeler (Spacetime Physics)
What if I could be happy with Will? Really happy. Not settling. What if I have waited my whole life to find this person who fits me like the missing piece of my puzzle? What if my entire life has led to this point, not to teach me a lesson about appreciating what I have, but to help me let it all go?
Megan Hart (Tear You Apart)
I am not worried if scientists go and explain everything. This is for a very simple reason: an impala sprinting across the Savannah can be reduced to biomechanics, and Bach can be reduced to counterpoint, yet that does not decrease one iota our ability to shiver as we experience impalas leaping or Bach thundering. We can only gain and grow with each discovery that there is structure underlying the most accessible levels of things that fill us with awe. But there is an even stronger reason why I am not afraid that scientists will inadvertently go and explain everything--it will never happen. While in certain realms, it may prove to be the case that science can explain anything, it will never explain everything. As should be obvious after all these pages, as part of the scientific process, for every question answered, a dozen newer ones are generated. And they are usually far more puzzling, more challenging than than the prior problems. This was stated wonderfully in a quote by a geneticist named Haldane earlier in the century: "Life is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine." We will never have our flames extinguished by knowledge. The purpose of science is not to cure us of our sense of mystery and wonder, but to constantly reinvent and reinvigorate it.
Robert M. Sapolsky (The Trouble with Testosterone and Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament)
England once there lived a big And wonderfully clever pig. To everybody it was plain That Piggy had a massive brain. He worked out sums inside his head, There was no book he hadn't read. He knew what made an airplane fly, He knew how engines worked and why. He knew all this, but in the end One question drove him round the bend: He simply couldn't puzzle out What LIFE was really all about. What was the reason for his birth? Why was he placed upon this earth? His giant brain went round and round. Alas, no answer could be found. Till suddenly one wondrous night. All in a flash he saw the light. He jumped up like a ballet dancer And yelled, "By gum, I've got the answer!" "They want my bacon slice by slice "To sell at a tremendous price! "They want my tender juicy chops "To put in all the butcher's shops! "They want my pork to make a roast "And that's the part'll cost the most! "They want my sausages in strings! "They even want my chitterlings! "The butcher's shop! The carving knife! "That is the reason for my life!" Such thoughts as these are not designed To give a pig great piece of mind. Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland, A pail of pigswill in his hand, And piggy with a mighty roar, Bashes the farmer to the floor… Now comes the rather grizzly bit So let's not make too much of it, Except that you must understand That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland, He ate him up from head to toe, Chewing the pieces nice and slow. It took an hour to reach the feet, Because there was so much to eat, And when he finished, Pig, of course, Felt absolutely no remorse. Slowly he scratched his brainy head And with a little smile he said, "I had a fairly powerful hunch "That he might have me for his lunch. "And so, because I feared the worst, "I thought I'd better eat him first.
Roald Dahl
Whatever this might have been for you before now baby, there is no trying or going slow. I know you felt it; it was all over your face. I feel like I just found a piece of myself that has been lost forever. A piece of the puzzle that I didn’t even know was missing until you walked into my life. This, us… baby, I will work as hard as I can and then some to prove to you that you have nothing to fear.
Harper Sloan (Cage (Corps Security, #2))
Life isn´t a puzzle to be solved. It´s an adventure to be savored. Let every challenge be a new mountain to climb, not an obstacle to get in your way and stop you. Yeah, it´ll be hard, but once you reach the summit of it, you´ll be able to see the world for what it really is. And at the top, it never seems to have been as difficult a feat to climb there as you first made it out to be. Most of all, you´ll know that you beat the mountain, and that you rule it. It does not rule you.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3))
The basic rule of the psychic universe is that “like attracts like.” Similarly, “love promotes love,” so that the person who has let go of a lot of inner negativity is surrounded by loving thoughts, loving events, loving people, and loving pets. This phenomenon explains many scriptural quotations and common sayings that have puzzled the intellect, such as, “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” and “Those who have, get.” As a general rule, therefore, people who are carrying the consciousness of apathy bring poverty circumstances into their lives, and those with a prosperity consciousness bring abundance into their lives. Because all living things are connected on vibrational energy levels, our basic emotional state is picked up and reacted to by all life forms around us. It is well known that animals can instantly read a person’s basic emotional state. There are experiments demonstrating that even the growth of bacteria is affected by human emotions, and that plants register measurable reactions to our emotional state (Backster, 2003).
David R. Hawkins (Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender)
The greater puzzle of universal wisdom and beauty that we have strived to honor through our work includes the profound legacies of world artistic and spiritual traditions, the innate integrity of human communities where people seek to live in social harmony, and that regenerative stream of life sustained upon the earth itself as it spins through the cosmos to the music of the spheres.
Luther E. Vann (Elemental: The Power of Illuminated Love)
As puzzled as I was by my classmates’ assumptions, their classification of me as a Black American nonetheless comforted me. Could it be that now, finally, I had my own group to belong to? Would Black Americans claim me just because the whites assigned me to them?
Maria Nhambu (America's Daughter (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #2))
Life is like a puzzle, when you find the heart of that puzzle the rest will complete it's self
Joshua Vander Linden
[People] add their own pieces to your puzzle until they feel that they understand you.
Mae Krell (All The Things I Never Said)
The greatest book in the world, the Mahabharata, tells us we all have to live and die by our karmic cycle. Thus works the perfect reward-and-punishment, cause-and-effect, code of the universe. We live out in our present life what we wrote out in our last. But the great moral thriller also orders us to rage against karma and its despotic dictates. It teaches us to subvert it. To change it. It tells us we also write out our next lives as we live out our present. The Mahabharata is not a work of religious instruction. It is much greater. It is a work of art. It understands men will always fall in the shifting chasm between the tug of the moral and the lure of the immoral. It is in this shifting space of uncertitude that men become men. Not animals, not gods. It understands truth is relative. That it is defined by context and motive. It encourages the noblest of men - Yudhishtra, Arjuna, Lord Krishna himself - to lie, so that a greater truth may be served. It understands the world is powered by desire. And that desire is an unknowable thing. Desire conjures death, destruction, distress. But also creates love, beauty, art. It is our greatest undoing. And the only reason for all doing. And doing is life. Doing is karma. Thus it forgives even those who desire intemperately. It forgives Duryodhana. The man who desires without pause. The man who precipitates the war to end all wars. It grants him paradise and the admiration of the gods. In the desiring and the doing this most reviled of men fulfils the mandate of man. You must know the world before you are done with it. You must act on desire before you renounce it. There can be no merit in forgoing the not known. The greatest book in the world rescues volition from religion and gives it back to man. Religion is the disciplinarian fantasy of a schoolmaster. The Mahabharata is the joyous song of life of a maestro. In its tales within tales it takes religion for a spin and skins it inside out. Leaves it puzzling over its own poisoned follicles. It gives men the chance to be splendid. Doubt-ridden architects of some small part of their lives. Duryodhanas who can win even as they lose.
Tarun J. Tejpal (The Alchemy of Desire)
Maybe everyone represents a piece of the puzzle. We all fit together to create this experience we call life. None of us can see the part we play or the way it all turns out. Maybe the miracles that we see are just the tip of the iceberg. And maybe we just don't recognize the blessings that come as a result of terrible things.
Amy Harmon (Making Faces)
In my own experience, contacts with the big world outside the typewriter are puzzling and terrifying; I don’t think I like reality very much. Principally, I don’t understand people outside; people in books are sensible and reasonable, but outside there is no predicting what they will do.
Shirley Jackson (Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings)
You came into this life with a starving heart. I know better than anyone that you cannot fill it with fence posts or china patterns. You cannot fill it with paper bodies, people whose skin rips in your palms. For some people, you will be too hard: an unmanageable puzzle, all sharp edges, and snarls. For others, you will be too soft: always looking to set up camp somewhere safe and warm where the wind won’t knock you down. You cannot build your home like a house of cards in the mouth of a lover who breathes too hard at night.
Trista Mateer (Honeybee)
The evenings grew longer; kitchen windows stayed open after dinner and peepers could be heard in the marsh. Isabelle, stepping out to sweep her porch steps, felt absolutely certain that some wonderful change was arriving in her life. The strength of this belief was puzzling; what she was feeling, she decided, was really the presence of God.
Elizabeth Strout (Amy and Isabelle)
Two sides of the puzzle come together to form a union that seems protected in perfection and unscathed by life. Here, together, we don't have pasts that scar us or baggage that weighs us down with burdens and regrets. Here, together, our flawed souls find solace in each other. Here, together, we make sense.
S.L. Scott (The Resistance (Hard to Resist, #1))
You will never be able to see clearly when people around you distort your view of truth with their own clouded version. You will begin to read into everything incorrectly and find yourself lost in a delusional story stitched together from the crumbs of over analyzed words once spoken, misunderstandings or speculation. Life should not be wasted by collecting clues or piecing together a puzzle about how someone feels. Love is straightforward and it is clearly seen on the cloudiest days of your life. If someone loves you it will be obvious. They won't let you go, until you ask them to.
Shannon L. Alder
Life's like a puzzle. Everyone is given one piece. Sometimes you connect with someone or something that has an interlocking part. As time goes by, you’ll see that picture taking form, and you’ll be amazed how beautiful it is. God will never tell you how many pieces it takes or how to complete the puzzle, but when you meet Him in heaven, you’ll see that everything fit together perfectly.
Dan Petermeier (Summer Letters)
Readers don't want to read about somebody else having powerful emotions. . . . Readers want to become somebody else for a few hours, to live an exciting life, to find true love, to face down unimaginable terrors, to solve impossible puzzles, to feel a lightning jolt of adrenaline.
Randy Ingermanson (Writing Fiction for Dummies)
Peter and the deer herd ranged over the forest together, and without words, Peter told the deer about his new life at the Palace, amongst people. The scents that lingered on him told a hundred stories. His expressions and movements too, echoed foreign influences. And in Peter’s eyes, the story was told plainly. They sensed that he had grown not just physically, but in his being he was bigger, more mature. The deer wanted the Wild Boy to return to the Enchanted Forest with them, but they were uncertain he would come. They called him by his forest name, and he replied, “Peter.” The strangeness of this intonation puzzled them.
Christopher Daniel Mechling (Peter: The Untold True Story)
It starts off like climbing a tree or solving a puzzle - poetry, if nothing else, is just fun to write. But deeper into each and every piece, you no longer hesitate to call it work. It's passion. A poet's sense of lyrical accomplishment is then his food and water, his means of survival.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Life is a chain of interrelated puzzles.Pain and Sorrow are some necessities to greater heights and people may be the architects of our woes. We may develop some hatred for such people through whom the woes of life came our way but when we get to the point where we fully understand why sorrow and pain came our way, we ought to be grateful to those through whom the woes that propelled us to our greatness came.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah (The Untapped Wonderer In You: dare to do the undone)
Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it’s a big part, and sometimes it isn’t, but either way, it’s part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you’re alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
Like we were just jagged puzzle pieces that made no sense alone but together we fit perfectly. That's what life is supposed to be like for normal people right? You find that other piece that matches yours that completes yours. And you make the jags and the crevices fit, even if they don't go in perfectly smooth, even if they require a few adjustments. You don't demand perfection you make it work and appreciate the parts that fit instead of obsessing about the small angles that don't.
James Patterson (Invisible (Invisible, #1))
The book exists for us perchance which will explain our miracles and reveal new ones. The at present unutterable things we may find somewhere uttered. These same questions that disturb and puzzle and confound us have in their turn occurred to all the wise men; not one has been omitted; and each has answered them, according to his ability, by his words and his life.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
She did nothing, although sometimes when she saw him in the village she'd smile in a faint, puzzled way. After three weeks of this the suspense was too much for him and he took his own life; in fact he took it all the way across the continent, where he became a reformed character and never went home again.
Terry Pratchett (Wyrd Sisters (Discworld, #6; Witches #2))
And tomorrow, next month, next year? It will take a long time. Years from now, they will still be arranging the pieces they know, puzzling over her features, redrawing her outlines in their minds. Sure that they've got her right this time, positive in this moment that they understand her completely, at last. They will think of her often: when Marilyn opens the curtains in Lydia's room, opens the closet, and begins to take the clothing from the shelves. When their father, one day, enters a party for the first time does not glance, quickly, at all the blond heads in the room. When Hannah begins to stand a little straighter, when she begins to speak a bit clearer, when one day she flicks her hair behind her ear in a familiar gesture and wonders, for a moment, where she got it. And Nath. When at school people ask if he has siblings: two sisters, but one died; when one day, he looks at the small bump that will always mar the bridge of Jack's nose and wants to trace it, gently, with his finger. When a long, long time later, he stares down at the silent blue marble of the earth and thinks of his sister, as he will at every important moment of his life. He doesn't know this yet, but he senses it deep down in his core. So much will happen, he thinks, that I would want to tell you.
Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You)
Something else gets under your skin, keeps you working days and nights at the sacrifice of your sleeping and eating and attention to your family and friends, something beyond the love of puzzle solving. And that other force is the anticipation of understanding something about the world that no one has ever understood before you. Einstein wrote that when he first realized that gravity was equivalent to acceleration -- an idea that would underlie his new theory of gravity -- it was the "happiest thought of my life." On projects of far smaller weight, I have experienced that pleasure of discovering something new. It is an exquisite sensation, a feeling of power, a rush of the blood, a sense of living forever. To be the first vessel to hold this new thing. All of the scientists I've known have at least one more quality in common: they do what they do because they love it, and because they cannot imagine doing anything else. In a sense, this is the real reason a scientist does science. Because the scientist must. Such a compulsion is both blessing and burden. A blessing because the creative life, in any endeavor, is a gift filled with beauty and not given to everyone, a burden because the call is unrelenting and can drown out the rest of life. This mixed blessing and burden must be why the astrophysicist Chandrasekhar continued working until his mid-80's, why a visitor to Einstein's apartment in Bern found the young physicist rocking his infant with one hand while doing mathematical calculations with the other. This mixed blessing and burden must have been the "sweet hell" that Walt Whitman referred to when he realized at a young age that he was destined to be a poet. "Never more," he wrote, "shall I escape.
Alan Lightman
Apart from stemming consumption, the most intractable puzzle that Paul Ehrlich has encountered is why health decisions about Mother Nature—the mother that gives us life and breath—are made by politicians, not by scientists who know how critical her condition is. “It’s the immoral equivalent of insurance company accountants making decisions about our personal health.” Even
Alan Weisman (Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth?)
He's an intricate, mesmerizing puzzle; I only succeeded at putting the pieces together because for once in my life I observed. I stopped talking long enough to listen - really listen - not just to what's said, but also to everything that goes unspoken.
Jody Gehrman
When I think about the past and how blind I was in that life, I compare it to being a god and losing everything when being cast out. I had the unlimited power to destroy myself and everything around me. It’s like having been in a cave for years and I’m finally out of the cave. The sun burns my eyes and skin. I don’t recognize my surroundings. No one looks authentic, and now I’m on the hunt for people that have the pieces to my puzzle that will help me on my quest. I have no cave to hide in, and I’m just left with the sediment of a previous life and my own mortality.
Phil Volatile (My Mind's Abyss)
Who would fardels bear, To groan and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscovered country, from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus, conscience does make cowards of us all;
William Shakespeare
Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting, and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate. I grow more intense as I age. To my own surprise I burst out with hot conviction. Only a few years ago I enjoyed my tranquility; now I am so disturbed by the outer world and by human quality in general that I want to put things right, as though I still owed a debt to life. I must calm down. I am far too frail to indulge in moral fervor.
Florida Scott-Maxwell (The Measure of My Days)
The Armorys of this world don't steal. They serve their country right or wrong. Or they do until the day when they come face to face with real life and their warped rectitude deserts them and their faces unlock and become real, puzzled faces like everybody else's. So there's another god for you that's passed its sell-by date: enlightened patriotism, until this afternoon Nick Armory's religion. (ch. 14)
John le Carré (The Little Drummer Girl)
Our first job in life is to recognize the gifts we’ve already got, take the donuts that show up while we cultivate and use those gifts, and then turn around and share those gifts—sometimes in the form of money, sometimes time, sometimes love—back into the puzzle of the world. Our second job is to accept where we are in the puzzle at each moment.
Amanda Palmer (The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help)
I have found it helpful to think of my life as if it were a game in which each problem I face is a puzzle I need to solve. By solving the puzzle, I get a gem in the form of a principle that helps me avoid the same sort of problem in the future. Collecting these gems continually improves my decision making, so I am able to ascend to higher and higher levels of play in which the game gets harder and the stakes become ever greater.
Ray Dalio (Principles: Life and Work)
When bad things happen to good people, we have a problem. We know consciously that life is unfair, but unconsciously we see the world through the lens of reciprocity. The downfall of an evil man (in our biased and moralistic assessment) is no puzzle: He had it coming to him. But when the victim was virtuous, we struggle to make sense of his tragedy. At an intuitive level, we all believe in karma, the Hindu notion that people reap what they sow. The psychologist Mel Lerner has demonstrated that we are so motivated to believe that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get that we often blame the victim of a tragedy, particularly when we can’t achieve justice by punishing a perpetrator or compensating the victim.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
It is not all books that are as dull as their readers. There are probably words addressed to our condition exactly, which, if we could really hear and understand, would be more salutary than the morning or the spring to our lives, and possibly put a new aspect on the face of things for us. How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book. The book exists for us perchance which will explain our miracles and reveal new ones. The at present unutterable things we may find somewhere uttered. These same questions that disturb and puzzle and confound us have in their turn occurred to all the wise men; not one has been omitted; and each has answered them, according to his ability, by his words and his life.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
You may not see every single piece of the puzzle that creates your life — you may not see every move the grand chess player makes — but know, He is in complete control of the game board. Sometimes certain pieces are moved or knocked over to make room for new ones. Other times, things happen because of the world we live in. But everything, in the end, will always turn out for good. It’s a nice promise, isn’t it? To know that there’s a reason for it all? A reason for your cancer — maybe by having cancer you’ve saved the lives of three of your best friends. Had you not been sick, would you have met them? Had you not been sick, would you have found the love of your life? Maybe it’s not in the perfection of life that things make sense, but in the chaos.
Rachel Van Dyken (Ruin (Ruin, #1))
Once, when I was puzzled to know why there were so many religions, he said: "There is one universal religion, Helen- the religion of love. Love your heavenly father with your whole heart and soul, love every child of God as much as you ever can, and remember that the possibilities of good are greater than the possibilities of evil; and you have the key to heaven." And his life was a happy illustration of this great truth. In this noble soul love and widest knowledge were blended with faith that had become insight. He saw God in all that liberates and lifts, in all that humbles, sweetens and consoles.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life)
But it wasn't just the distance. It was what had happened to me since these days, those endless, quiet days when I thought my life would always continue in that way. When my life consisted of small, certain pieces of a larger, but basically simple, puzzle. When I was certain that I always knew where each piece fit.
Linda Holeman (The Saffron Gate)
Life is a gift, value it.
 Life is a trial, endure it.
 Life is a journey, complete it.
 Life is a test, pass it.
 Life is a task, fulfill it.
 Life is an opportunity, use it.
 Life is a moment, enjoy it.
 Life is a mission, accomplish it. Life is a battle, face it.
 Life is a jungle, explore it.
 Life is a puzzle, study it.
 Life is a mystery, solve it.
 Life is a game, beat it.
 Life is an opponent, defeat it.
 Life is a treasure, cherish it. Life is a bridge, cross it.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Mrs E. Kapelsen of Boston, Massachusetts was an elderly lady, indeed, she felt her life was nearly at an end. She had seen a lot of it, been puzzled by some, but, she was a little uneasy to feel at this late stage, bored by too much. It had all been very pleasant, but perhaps a little too explicable, a little too routine. With a sigh she flipped up the little plastic window shutter and looked out over the wing. At first she thought she ought to call the stewardess, but then she thought no, damn it, definitely not, this was for her, and her alone. By the time her two inexplicable people finally slipped back off the wing and tumbled into the slipstream she had cheered up an awful lot. She was mostly immensely relieved to think that virtually everything that anybody had ever told her was wrong.
Douglas Adams (So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #4))
People seem to have acquired the idea that they have the inalienable right to stroll through life without either having sweated, picked up anything heavy, worked hard, or eaten less than they wanted at every meal. This approach is, of course, wrong. And it has resulted in a lot of expensive, unattractive, and entirely preventable problems amongst people who seem puzzled about why things aren't going well.
Mark Rippetoe (Strong Enough? Thoughts from Thirty Years of Barbell Training)
Before Jeremiah knew God, God knew Jeremiah: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you.” This turns everything we ever thought about God around. We think that God is an object about which we have questions. We are curious about God. We make inquiries about God. We read books about God. We get into late-night bull sessions about God. We drop into church from time to time to see what is going on with God. We indulge in an occasional sunset or symphony to cultivate a feeling of reverence for God. But that is not the reality of our lives with God. Long before we ever got around to asking questions about God, God had been questioning us. Long before we got interested in the subject of God, God subjected us to the most intensive and searching knowledge. Before it ever crossed our minds that God might be important, God singled us out as important. Before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. We are known before we know. This realization has a practical result: no longer do we run here and there, panicked and anxious, searching for the answers to life. Our lives are not puzzles to be figured out. Rather, we come to God, who knows us and reveals to us the truth of our lives. The fundamental mistake is to begin with ourselves and not God. God is the center from which all life develops. If we use our ego as the center from which to plot the geometry of our lives, we will live eccentrically.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
A little smile on your face, because you’d just untangled a new translation.” He cleared his throat. “Like this one. Tumi amar jeeboner dhruvotara.” She tilted her head, puzzling over the phrase. “That’s not Hindustani.” “Bengali. It means ‘You are my life’s bright star’ in Bengali.” The sweet words were edged with frustration, not tenderness. His knuckles cracked. “Obviously, I was saving that one. For the right morning.
Tessa Dare (Once Upon a Winter's Eve (Spindle Cove, #1.5))
Beside them, little pot-bellied men in light suits and panama hats; clean, pink men with puzzled, worried eyes, with restless eyes. Worried because formulas do not work out; hungry for security and yet sensing its disappearance from the earth. In their lapels the insignia of lodges and service clubs, places where they can go and, by a weight of numbers of little worried men, reassure themselves that business is noble and not the curious ritualized thievery they know it is; that business men are intelligent in spite of the records of their stupidity; that they are kind and charitable in spite of the principles of sound business; that their lives are rich instead of the thin tiresome routines they know; and that a time is coming when they will not be afraid any more.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Neither of us could fully participate in our days, though later Suzanne would participate in a way she could never take back. I mean that we didn't quite believe it was enough, what we were offered, and Tamar seemed to accept the world happily, as an end point. Her planning wasn't actually about making anything different - she was just rearranging the same known quantities, puzzling out a new order like life was an extended seating chart.
Emma Cline (The Girls)
For thirty years now I have been studying my fellow-men. I do not know very much about them. I should certainly hesitate to engage a servant on his face, and yet I suppose it is on the face that for the most part we judge the persons we meet. We draw our conclusions from the shape of the jaw, the look in the eyes, the contour of the mouth. I wonder if we are more often right than wrong. Why novels and plays are so often untrue to life is because their authors, perhaps of necessity, make their characters all of a piece. They cannot afford to make them self-contradictory, for then they become incomprehensible, and yet self-contradictory is what most of us are. We are a haphazard bundle of inconsistent qualities. In books on logic they will tell you that it is absurd to say that yellow is tubular or gratitude heavier than air; but in that mixture of incongruities that makes up the self yellow may very well be a horse and cart and gratitude the middle of the week. I shrug my shoulders when people tell me that their first impressions of a person are always right. I think they must have small insight or great vanity. For my own part I find that the longer I know people the more they puzzled me: my oldest friends are just these of whom I can say that I don't know the first thing about them.
W. Somerset Maugham
One’s lack of confidence over oneself contributes to one’s downfall, even if such a downfall is avoidable. It diminishes whatever probabilities there are of overcoming the hurdles on the path to our success. It strips us of our ability to win a battle even when the circumstances favor us. Most of our strength, capacity and resilience gets nullified when we harbor the slightest of doubts over our own adequacies. The more the sense of insecurity, the closer we move towards defeat.
Nihar Satpathy (The Puzzles of Life)
People had no sense of history, they learned about chemistry and biology and astronomy and thought that these matters had always been the proper meat of science, that they had never been mysterious. The stars had once been mysteries. Lord Kelvin had once called the nature of life and biology - the response of muscles to human will and the generation of trees from seeds - a mystery "infinitely beyond" the reach of science. (Not just a little beyond, mind you, but infinitely beyond. Lord Kelvin certainly had felt a huge emotional charge from not knowing something.) Every mystery ever solved had been a puzzle from the dawn of the human species right up until someone solved it.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
The widespread willingness to rely on thermonuclear bombs as the ultimate weapon displays a cavalier attitude toward death that has always puzzled me. My impression is that...most of the defenders of these weapons are not suitably horrified at the possibility of a war in which hundreds of millions of people would be killed...I suspect that an important factor may be belief in an afterlife, and that the proporttion of those who think that death is not the end is much higher among the partisans of the bomb than among its opponents.
Thomas Nagel (The View from Nowhere)
VI. FINAL WARNING There are monsters in these pages, but as Ogden Nash pointed out in my first short-story collection, Smoke and Mirrors, where there’s a monster, there’s also a miracle. There are some long stories and some short ones. There are a handful of poems, which perhaps might need their own warning for the people who are frightened, disturbed, or terminally puzzled by poetry. (In my second short-story collection, Fragile Things, I tried to explain that the poems come free. They are bonuses for the kind of people who do not need to worry about sneaky and occasional poems lurking inside their short-story collections.) There. Consider yourself warned. There are so many little triggers out there, being squeezed in the darkness even as I write this. This book is correctly labeled. Now all we have to worry about is all the other books, and, of course, life, which is huge and complicated and will not warn you before it hurts you. Thank you for coming. Enjoy the things that never happened. Secure your own mask again after you read these stories, but do not forget to help others.
Neil Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances)
Things it helps me to remember When in a bad mood, keep quiet or still. Baggy jumpers don’t suit you. When you’re tired you get doubtful. Difficulties come in spurts. Listen to the echo of your own voice. Avoid be strident. All aeroplanes go through clouds during their journeys. So do people during theirs. Often greater clarity comes out of confusion. You have to be puzzled before you find a solution. PMS often brings on a crisis of confidence. Ordinariness is restful. If someone is explosive in front of you, be silent. If you feel explosive, be silent.
Aidan Chambers (This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn)
I spent the afternoon musing on Life. If you come to think of it, what a queer thing Life is! So unlike anything else, don't you know, if you see what I mean. At any moment you may be strolling peacefully along, and all the time Life's waiting around the corner to fetch you one. You can't tell when you may be going to get it. It's all dashed puzzling. Here was poor old George, as well-meaning a fellow as every stepped, getting swatted all over the ring by the hand of Fate. Why? That's what I asked myself. Just Life, don't you know. That's all there was about it.
P.G. Wodehouse (My Man Jeeves (Jeeves, #1))
Aspirations,dreams were some of the most powerful components that also held life from falling apart. They propelled life towards the fulfilment of a destiny. All those hard tests required to pass in the boot camp and outside in the Dravi community on this journey to the safe haven were worthy trade-offs thereof. The presence of the paradoxical absence of the ONE, and His selective random process as to who won and who didn't was one of those many unresolved puzzles. However, His existence was as immutable as the law of gravity to the faithful." - Moiae, Mehreen Ahmed
Mehreen Ahmed (Moirae)
The fact is, from an evolutionary standpoint, people have an inbred tendency to care about and protect themselves and their immediate family. We do not naturally care about people we don’t know. If ten people get killed in a bus crash in Brazil, I don’t feel anything at all. I understand intellectually that it’s sad, but I don’t feel sad. But then I see people making a big deal over it and it puzzles and troubles me because I don’t seem to be reacting the same way. For much of my life, being different equated to being bad, even though I never thought of myself that way.
John Elder Robison (Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's)
Suddenly an unexpected series of sounds began to be heard in this place up against the starry sky. They were the notes of Oak´s flute. It came from the direction of a small dark object under the hedge - a shephard´s hut - now presenting an outline to which an unintiated person might have been puzzled to attach either meaning or use. ... Being a man not without a frequent consciousness that there was some charm in this life he led, he stood still after looking at the sky as a useful instrument, and regarded it in an appreciative spirit, as a work of art superlatively beautiful. For a moment he seemed impressed with the speaking loneliness of the scene, or rather with the complete abstraction from all its compass of the sights and sounds of man. ... Oak´s motions, though they had a quiet energy, were slow, and their deliberateness accorded well with his occupation. Fitness being the basis of beauty, nobody could have denied tha his steady swings and turns in and about the flock had elements of grace. His special power, morally, physically, and mentally, was static. ... Oak was an intensely human man: indee, his humanity tore in pieces any politic intentions of his which bordered on strategy, and carried him on as by gravitation. A shadow in his life had always been that his flock should end in mutton - that a day could find a shepherd an arrant traitor to his gentle sheep.
Thomas Hardy (Far From the Madding Crowd)
Human nature presents human minds with a puzzle which they have not yet solved and may never succeed in solving, for all that we can tell. The dichotomy of a human being into 'soul' and 'body' is not a datum of experience. No one has ever been, or ever met, a living human soul without a body... Someone who accepts—as I myself do, taking it on trust—the present-day scientific account of the Universe may find it impossible to believe that a living creature, once dead, can come to life again; but, if he did entertain this belief, he would be thinking more 'scientifically' if he thought in the Christian terms of a psychosomatic resurrection than if he thought in the shamanistic terms of a disembodied spirit.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee (Experiences)
I want so badly to help you realize, Elizabeth Anne, how difficult and puzzling and full of wonder it all is: some day I will tell you how I learned to watch the shifting light of autumn days or smelled the earth through snow in March; how one winter morning God vanished from my life and how one summer evening I sat in a Ferris wheel, looking down on a man that hurt me badly; I will tell you how I once travelled to Rome and saw all the soldiers in that city of dead poets; I will tell you how I met your father outside a movie house in Toronto, and how you came to be. Perhaps that is where I will begin. On a winter afternoon when we turn the lights on early, or perhaps a summer day of leaves and sky, I will begin by conjugating the elemental verb. I am. You are. It is.
Richard B. Wright (Clara Callan)
To walk attentively through a forest, even a damaged one, is to be caught by the abundance of life: ancient and new; underfoot and reaching into the light. But how does one tell the life of the forest? We might begin by looking for drama and adventure beyond the activities of humans. Yet we are not used to reading stories without human heroes. This is the puzzle that informs this section of the book. Can I show landscape as the protagonist of an adventure in which humans are only one kind of participant? Over the past few decades many kinds of scholars have shown that allowing only human protagonists into our stories is not just ordinary human bias. It is a cultural agenda tied to dreams of progress through modernization. There are other ways of making worlds. Anthropologists have become interested, for example, in how substance hunters recognize other living beings as persons, that is protagonists of stories. Indeed, how could it be otherwise? Yet expectations of progress block this insight. Talking animals are for children and primitives. Their voices silent, we imagine wellbeing without them. We trample over them for our advancement. We forget that collaborative survival requires cross-species coordinations. To enlarge what is possible we need other kinds of stories, including adventures of landscapes.
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins)
What we hadn’t known about, back then, was pain. Sure, we’d faced some things as children that a lot of kids don’t. Sure, Justin had qualified for his Junior de Sade Badge in his teaching methods for dealing with pain. We still hadn’t learned, though, that growing up is all about getting hurt. And then getting over it. You hurt. You recover. You move on. Odds are pretty good you’re just going to get hurt again. But each time, you learn something. Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize that there are more flavors of pain than coffee. There’s the little empty pain of leaving something behind—graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown. There’s the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations. There’s the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn’t give you what you thought they would. There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up. The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn. There’s the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens. And if you’re very, very lucky, there are a very few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last—and yet will remain with you for life. Everyone is down on pain, because they forget something important about it: Pain is for the living. Only the dead don’t feel it. Pain is a part of life. Sometimes it’s a big part, and sometimes it isn’t, but either way, it’s part of the big puzzle, the deep music, the great game. Pain does two things: It teaches you, tells you that you’re alive. Then it passes away and leaves you changed. It leaves you wiser, sometimes. Sometimes it leaves you stronger. Either way, pain leaves its mark, and everything important that will ever happen to you in life is going to involve it in one degree or another.
Jim Butcher (White Night (The Dresden Files, #9))
You can say whatever you like to me. I'm your oyster." Before she could restrain herself, an appalled giggle escaped her. "Please don't say that. You're no such thing." "You can choose another word, if you like." Mr. Severin extended his arm to escort her downstairs. "But the fact is, if you ever need anything- any favor, any service, large or small- I'm the one to send for. No questions asked. No obligations attached. Will you remember that?" Cassandra hesitated before taking his arm. "I'll remember." As they proceeded to the first floor, she asked in bewilderment, "But why would you make such a promise?" "Haven't you ever liked someone or something right away, without knowing exactly why, but feeling sure you would discover the reasons later?" She couldn't help smiling at that, thinking, Yes, as a matter of fact. Just now. But it would be too forward to say so, and besides, it would be wrong to encourage him. "I would be glad to call you a friend, Mr. Severin. But I'm afraid marriage will never be a possibility. We don't suit. I could please you only in the most superficial ways." "I would be happy with that," he said. "Superficial relationships are my favorite kind." A regretful smile lingered at her lips. "Mr. Severin, you couldn't give me the life I've always dreamed of." "I hope your dream comes true, my lady. But if it doesn't, I could offer you some very satisfying substitutes." "Not if you're heart is frozen," Cassandra said. Mr. Severin grinned at that, and made no reply. But as they neared the last step, she heard his reflective, almost puzzled murmur. "Actually... I think it just thawed a little.
Lisa Kleypas (Chasing Cassandra (The Ravenels, #6))
She goes off to see a shrink, to see if she can improve herself, make herself over into a new woman, one who no longer gives a shit. She would like that. The shrink is a nice person; Roz likes her. Together the two of them labor over Roz's life as if it's a jigsaw puzzle, a mystery story with a solution at the end. They arrange and rearrange the pieces, trying to get them to come out better. They are hopeful: if Roz can figure out what story she's in, then they will be able to spot the erroneous turns she took, they can retrace her steps, they can change the ending. They work out a tentative plot.
Margaret Atwood
...somewhere in that intersection of broken hearts and shattered souls... broken is not the end of things, but the beginning. Maybe broken is what happens before you become unbroken. What's more, maybe our broken pieces don't fit us... maybe my pieces are the very pieces needed to mend you and your pieces are the very pieces needed to mend me, but until we've been broken we don't have the pieces to mend each other. Maybe in the offering we discover the meaning, and value of being broken. Maybe...somewhere on the planet is another somebody standing around holding a bag of all the jagged, painful pieces of themselves and they can't get whole without you... Maybe love, the real kind, the kind only wished for in whispers and the kind our hearts are hardwired to want, is opening up the bag of you... And what's more, they don't cost you anything. They're free. I paid for them in the breaking... And because you're desperate, and you've tried most everything else, you empty my bag across the floor... and...find the one piece you've been missing... And when you insert that piece into the puzzle that had become you, it stops the hemorrhage, and for the first time in maybe your whole life, the wound starts to heal.
Charles Martin (Unwritten)
One Sufi mystic who had remained happy his whole life—no one had ever seen him unhappy—he was always laughing. He was laughter, his whole being was a perfume of celebration. In his old age, when he was dying—he was on his deathbed, and still enjoying death, laughing hilariously—a disciple asked, “You puzzle us. Now you are dying. Why are you laughing? What is there funny about it? We are feeling so sad. We wanted to ask you many times in your life why you are never sad. But now, confronting death, at least one should be sad. You are still laughing! How are you managing it?” And the old man said, “It is a simple clue. I had asked my master. I had gone to my master as a young man; I was only seventeen, and already miserable. And my master was old, seventy, and he was sitting under a tree, laughing for no reason at all. There was nobody else, nothing had happened, nobody had cracked a joke or anything. And he was simply laughing, holding his belly. And I asked him, ‘What is the matter with you? Are you mad or something?’ “He said, ‘One day I was also as sad as you are. Then it dawned on me that it is my choice, it is my life. Since that day, every morning when I get up, the first thing I decide is, before I open my eyes, I say to myself, “Abdullah”—that was his name—‘what do you want? Misery? Blissfulness? What are you going to choose today? And it happens that I always choose blissfulness.’” It is a choice. Try it. The first moment in the morning when you become aware that sleep has left, ask yourself, “Abdullah, another day! What is your idea? Do you choose misery or blissfulness?” And who would choose misery? And why? It is so unnatural—unless one feels blissful in misery, but then too you are choosing bliss, not misery.
Osho (Meditation: The First and Last Freedom)
It seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you.’ I could see that Rosie could not place the line from The Bridges of Madison County that had produced such a powerful emotional reaction on the plane. She looked confused. ‘Don, what are you…what have you done to yourself?’ ‘I’ve made some changes.’ ‘Big changes.’ ‘Whatever behavioural modifications you require from me are a trivial price to pay for having you as my partner.’ Rosie made a downwards movement with her hand, which I could not interpret. Then she looked around the room and I followed her eyes. Everyone was watching. Nick had stopped partway to our table. I realised that in my intensity I had raised my voice. I didn’t care. ‘You are the world’s most perfect woman. All other women are irrelevant. Permanently. No Botox or implants will be required. ‘I need a minute to think,’ she said. I automatically started the timer on my watch. Suddenly Rosie started laughing. I looked at her, understandably puzzled at this outburst in the middle of a critical life decision. ‘The watch,’ she said. ‘I say “I need a minute” and you start timing. Don is not dead. 'Don, you don’t feel love, do you?’ said Rosie. ‘You can’t really love me.’ ‘Gene diagnosed love.’ I knew now that he had been wrong. I had watched thirteen romantic movies and felt nothing. That was not strictly true. I had felt suspense, curiosity and amusement. But I had not for one moment felt engaged in the love between the protagonists. I had cried no tears for Meg Ryan or Meryl Streep or Deborah Kerr or Vivien Leigh or Julia Roberts. I could not lie about so important a matter. ‘According to your definition, no.’ Rosie looked extremely unhappy. The evening had turned into a disaster. 'I thought my behaviour would make you happy, and instead it’s made you sad.’ ‘I’m upset because you can’t love me. Okay?’ This was worse! She wanted me to love her. And I was incapable. Gene and Claudia offered me a lift home, but I did not want to continue the conversation. I started walking, then accelerated to a jog. It made sense to get home before it rained. It also made sense to exercise hard and put the restaurant behind me as quickly as possible. The new shoes were workable, but the coat and tie were uncomfortable even on a cold night. I pulled off the jacket, the item that had made me temporarily acceptable in a world to which I did not belong, and threw it in a rubbish bin. The tie followed. On an impulse I retrieved the Daphne from the jacket and carried it in my hand for the remainder of the journey. There was rain in the air and my face was wet as I reached the safety of my apartment.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
Men speak of blind destiny, a thing without scheme or purpose. But what sort of destiny is that? Each act in this world from which there can be no turning back has before it another, and it another yet. In a vast and endless net. Men imagine that the choices before them are theirs to make. But we are free to act only upon what is given. Choice is lost in the maze of generations and each act in that maze is itself an enslavement for it voids every alternative and binds one ever more tightly into the constraints that make a life. If the dead man could have forgiven his enemy for whatever wrong was done to him all would have been otherwise. Did the son set out to avenge his father? Did the dead man sacrifice his son? Our plans are predicated upon a future unknown to us. The world takes its form hourly by a weighing of things at hand, and while we may seek to puzzle out that form we have no way to do so. We have only God's law, and the wisdom to follow it if we will.
Cormac McCarthy (The Crossing (The Border Trilogy, #2))
Tibet has not yet been infested by the worst disease of modern life, the everlasting rush. No one overworks here. Officials have an easy life. They turn up at the office late in the morning and leave for their homes early in the afternoon. If an official has guests or any other reason for not coming, he just sends a servant to a colleague and asks him to officiate for him. Women know nothing about equal rights and are quite happy as they are. They spend hours making up their faces, restringing their pearl necklaces, choosing new material for dresses, and thinking how to outshine Mrs. So-and-so at the next party. They do not have to bother about housekeeping, which is all done by the servants. But to show that she is mistress the lady of the house always carries a large bunch of keys around with her. In Lhasa every trifling object is locked up and double-locked. Then there is mah-jongg. At one time this game was a universal passion. People were simply fascinated by it and played it day and night, forgetting everything else—official duties, housekeeping, the family. The stakes were often very high and everyone played—even the servants, who sometimes contrived to lose in a few hours what they had taken years to save. Finally the government found it too much of a good thing. They forbade the game, bought up all the mah-jongg sets, and condemned secret offenders to heavy fines and hard labor. And they brought it off! I would never have believed it, but though everyone moaned and hankered to play again, they respected the prohibition. After mah-jongg had been stopped, it became gradually evident how everything else had been neglected during the epidemic. On Saturdays—the day of rest—people now played chess or halma, or occupied themselves harmlessly with word games and puzzles.
Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet)
In the jumbled, fragmented memories I carry from my childhood there are probably nearly as many dreams as images from waking life. I thought of one which might have been my earliest remembered nightmare. I was probably about four years old - I don't think I'd started school yet - when I woke up screaming. The image I retained of the dream, the thing which had frightened me so, was an ugly, clown-like doll made of soft red and cream-coloured rubber. When you squeezed it, bulbous eyes popped out on stalks and the mouth opened in a gaping scream. As I recall it now, it was disturbingly ugly, not really an appropriate toy for a very young child, but it had been mine when I was younger, at least until I'd bitten its nose off, at which point it had been taken away from me. At the time when I had the dream I hadn't seen it for a year or more - I don't think I consciously remembered it until its sudden looming appearance in a dream had frightened me awake. When I told my mother about the dream, she was puzzled. 'But what's scary about that? You were never scared of that doll.' I shook my head, meaning that the doll I'd owned - and barely remembered - had never scared me. 'But it was very scary,' I said, meaning that the reappearance of it in my dream had been terrifying. My mother looked at me, baffled. 'But it's not scary,' she said gently. I'm sure she was trying to make me feel better, and thought this reasonable statement would help. She was absolutely amazed when it had the opposite result, and I burst into tears. Of course she had no idea why, and of course I couldn't explain. Now I think - and of course I could be wrong - that what upset me was that I'd just realized that my mother and I were separate people. We didn't share the same dreams or nightmares. I was alone in the universe, like everybody else. In some confused way, that was what the doll had been telling me. Once it had loved me enough to let me eat its nose; now it would make me wake up screaming. ("My Death")
Lisa Tuttle (Best New Horror 16 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #16))
they Whatever can make life truly happy is absolutely good in its own right because it cannot be warped into evil From whence then comes error In that while all men wish for a happy life they mistake the means for the thing itself and while they fancy themselves in pursuit of it they are flying from it for when the sum of happiness consists in solid tranquillity and an unembarrassed confidence therein they are ever collecting causes of disquiet and not only carry burthens but drag them painfully along through the rugged and deceitful path of life so that they still withdraw themselves from the good effect proposed the more pains they take the more business they have upon their hands instead of advancing they are retrograde and as it happens in a labyrinth their very speed puzzles and confounds them
Seneca (Letters from a Stoic)
Colored like a sunset tide is a gaze sharply slicing through the reflective glass. A furrowed brow is set much too seriously, as if trying to unfold the pieces of the face that stared back at it. One eyebrow is raised skeptically, always calculating and analyzing its surroundings. I tilt my head trying to see the deeper meaning in my features, trying to imagine the connection between my looks and my character as I stare in the mirror for the required five minutes. From the dark brown hair fastened tightly in a bun, a curl as bright as woven gold comes loose. A flash of unruly hair prominent through the typical browns is like my temper; always there, but not always visible. I begin to grow frustrated with the girl in the mirror, and she cocks her hip as if mocking me. In a moment, her lips curve in a half smile, not quite detectable in sight but rather in feeling, like the sensation of something good just around the corner. A chin was set high in a stubborn fashion, symbolizing either persistence or complete adamancy. Shoulders are held stiff like ancient mountains, proud but slightly arrogant. The image watches with the misty eyes of a daydreamer, glazed over with a sort of trance as if in the middle of a reverie, or a vision. Every once and a while, her true fears surface in those eyes, terror that her life would amount to nothing, that her work would have no impact. Words written are meant to be read, and sometimes I worry that my thoughts and ideas will be lost with time. My dream is to be an author, to be immortalized in print and live forever in the minds of avid readers. I want to access the power in being able to shape the minds of the young and open, and alter the minds of the old and resolute. Imagine the power in living forever, and passing on your ideas through generations. With each new reader, a new layer of meaning is uncovered in writing, meaning that even the author may not have seen. In the mirror, I see a girl that wants to change the world, and change the way people think and reason. Reflection and image mean nothing, for the girl in the mirror is more than a one dimensional picture. She is someone who has followed my footsteps with every lesson learned, and every mistake made. She has been there to help me find a foothold in the world, and to catch me when I fall. As the lights blink out, obscuring her face, I realize that although that image is one that will puzzle me in years to come, she and I aren’t so different after all.
K.D. Enos
The year 1866 was signalised by a remarkable incident, a mysterious and puzzling phenomenon, which doubtless no one has yet forgotten. Not to mention rumours which agitated the maritime population and excited the public mind, even in the interior of continents, seafaring men were particularly excited. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the Governments of several States on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter. For some time past vessels had been met by "an enormous thing," a long object, spindle-shaped, occasionally phosphorescent, and infinitely larger and more rapid in its movements than a whale. The facts relating to this apparition (entered in various log-books) agreed in most respects as to the shape of the object or creature in question, the untiring rapidity of its movements, its surprising power of locomotion, and the peculiar life with which it seemed endowed. If it was a whale, it surpassed in size all those hitherto classified in science. Taking into consideration the mean of observations made at divers times—rejecting the timid estimate of those who assigned to this object a length of two hundred feet, equally with the exaggerated opinions which set it down as a mile
Jules Verne (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea)
In The Sunset Sky The sunset sky dazzling with the golden hues, Taking bow in brilliant sparkle of experience Is it not a climax, of the story so far, that was today? Or is it building anticipation of the night yet to come. Watch the days go, some proud of their accomplishments Some leaving sighs of disappointments, Leaving all in awe of its Amaranthine twists and turns And the fortunate get to see the moon trying to steal the show from setting sun, Oh she is such a show off, isn't she, basking in reflected glory Its magical, the sunset sky,Puzzling, sometimes just like a riddle, Leaving the nature stunned and amazed For it has been filling the canvas whole day with colours And now the sunset threatens to hide them all And in dark all the colours will be same A cue for the wise. Sunset sky has so much to offer, is she not a fine exampleof how uncertain a life can be Often reminding no matter what you planned, there will besome unexpected returns For End has its own brain, its own script Charting its own course So why just the beginning,every moment of the life should be grand, meted with equal passion and fervor She has been so clever; the sunset sky Leaving Twinkling cryptic messages for the night sky For even the dark has sparkle and hope if you keep your head up, A constant reminder that exuberance is an attitude of deep,rich, warm hearts I want my sunset sky to be grand, magical, and full of stories of my life that has been And its memories to linger on in this world, in the tomorrow and a few more years to come
Soma Mukherjee
to test. Would weightlessness put them off their game? It did. The turtles moved “slowly and insecurely” and did not attack a piece of bait placed directly in front of them. Then again, the water in which they swam was repeatedly floating up out of the jar and forming an “ovoid cupola.” Who could eat? Von Beckh quickly moved on from turtles to Argentinean pilots. Under the section heading “Experiments with Human Subjects”—a heading that, were I a doctor previously employed by Nazi Germany, I might have rephrased—von Beckh reports on the efforts of the pilots to mark X’s inside small boxes during regular and weightless flight. During weightlessness, many of the letters strayed from the boxes, indicating that pilots might experience difficulties maneuvering their planes and doing crossword puzzles during air battles. The following year, von Beckh was recruited by the Aeromedical Research Laboratory at Holloman Air Force
Mary Roach (Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void)
There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards where, in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above the green fields. In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pines. Then foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed the fields, half hidden in the mists of the fall mornings. Along the roads, laurel, viburnum, and alder, great ferns and wildflowers delighted the traveler's eye through much of the year. Even in winter the roadsides were places of beauty, where countless birds came to feed on the berries and on the seed heads of the dried weeds rising above the snow. The countryside was, in fact, famous for the abundance and variety of its bird life, and when the flood of migrants was pouring through in spring and fall people traveled from great distances to observe them. Others came to fish the streams, which flowed clear and cold out of the hills and contained shady pools where trout lay. So it had been from the days many years ago when the first settlers raised their homes, sank their wells, and built their barns. Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change. Some evil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens, the cattle, and sheep sickened and died. Everywhere was a shadow of death. The farmers spoke of much illness among their families. In the town the doctors had become more and more puzzled by new kinds of sickness appearing among their patients. There had been sudden and unexplained deaths, not only among adults but even among children whoe would be stricken suddently while at play and die within a few hours. There was a strange stillness. The birds, for example--where had they gone? Many people spoke of them, puzzled and disturbed. The feeding stations in the backyards were deserted. The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly. It was a spring without voices. On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens, and scores of other bird voices there was no sound; only silence lay over the fields and woods and marsh. On the farms the hens brooded, but no chicks hatched. The farmers complained that they were unable to raise any pigs--the litters were small and the young survived only a few days. The apple trees were coming into bloom but no bees droned among the blossoms, so there was no pollination and there would be no fruit. The roadsides, once so attractive, were now lined with browned and withered vegetation as though swept by fire. These, too, were silent, deserted by all living things. Even the streams were not lifeless. Anglers no longer visited them, for all the fish had died. In the gutters under the eaves and between the shingles of the roofs, a white granular powder still showed a few patches; some weeks before it had fallen like snow upon the roofs and the lawns, the fields and streams. No witchcraft, no enemy action had silenced the rebirth of life in this stricken world. The people had done it to themselves.
Rachel Carson
They needed each other. Two lost souls, he thought, taking a moment to walk to the tall windows that looked out on part of the world he’d built for himself out of will, desire, sweat, and dubiously accumulated funds. Two lost souls whose miserable beginnings had forged them into what appeared to be polar opposites. Love had narrowed the distance, then had all but eradicated it. She’d saved him. The night his life had hung in her furious and unbreakable grip. She’d saved him, he mused, the first moment he’d locked eyes with her. As impossible as it should have been, she was his answer. He was hers. He had a need to give her things. The tangible things wealth could command. Though he knew the gifts most often puzzled and flustered her. Maybe because they did, he corrected with a grin. But underlying that overt giving was the fierce foundation to give her comfort, security, trust, love. All the things they’d both lived without most of their lives. He wondered that a woman who was so skilled in observation, in studying the human condition, couldn’t see that what he felt for her was often as baffling and as frightening to him as it was to her. Nothing had been the same for him since she’d walked into his life wearing an ugly suit and cool-eyed suspicion. He thanked God for it. Feeling sentimental, he realized. He supposed it was the Irish that popped out of him at unexpected moments.
J.D. Robb (Witness in Death (In Death, #10))
Stepan Arkadyevitch had not chosen his political opinions or his views; these political opinions and views had come to him of themselves, just as he did not choose the shapes of his hat and coat, but simply took those that were being worn. And for him, living in a certain society--owing to the need, ordinarily developed at years of discretion, for some degree of mental activity--to have views was just as indispensable as to have a hat. If there was a reason for his preferring liberal to conservative views, which were held also by many of his circle, it arose not from his considering liberalism more rational, but from its being in closer accordance with his manner of life. The liberal party said that in Russia everything is wrong, and certainly Stepan Arkadyevitch had many debts and was decidedly short of money. The liberal party said that marriage is an institution quite out of date, and that it needs reconstruction; and family life certainly afforded Stepan Arkadyevitch little gratification, and forced him into lying and hypocrisy, which was so repulsive to his nature. The liberal party said, or rather allowed it to be understood, that religion is only a curb to keep in check the barbarous classes of the people; and Stepan Arkadyevitch could not get through even a short service without his legs aching from standing up, and could never make out what was the object of all the terrible and high-flown language about another world when life might be so very amusing in this world. And with all this, Stepan Arkadyevitch, who liked a joke, was fond of puzzling a plain man by saying that if he prided himself on his origin, he ought not to stop at Rurik and disown the first founder of his family--the monkey. And so Liberalism had become a habit...Anna Karenina, Tolstoy.
Leo Tolstoy
Ever since I was young I enjoyed solving puzzles and having the pleasure to see the bigger picture afterwards. But even after all that, I found that life could be the most challenging puzzle we have to face. It's one of those things that even if you have all the pieces and could see the whole picture, it still takes time and patience to solve it. At times, we feel more at ease not knowing the whole picture, not knowing the whole level of difficulty or number of pieces that we're missing, but just building up one piece at a time. The problem with this approach is that the only clues that we have for matching two pieces are the shape and a small glimpse of the image. We so often find comfort in building up the corners and the borders but very rarely do we adventure in the middle of the puzzle. We'd rather work little by little holding on to our safe border and only move towards the center when the pieces are still in touch with our borders or roots. On the other hand, you could be one of those people that just jumps in the middle and builds up on every piece you have in order to get small portions of the truth of the bigger picture every now and then. Not having your borders or corners in place might mean that you don't need to know your limits in order to realize that the puzzle will one day come to an end. Nevertheless, every piece is equally important and it gets handed to you at a time where you have at least some matching piece. That doesn't mean you should only focus on one point or piece and limit your possible connections. Spread out and you will find even more connections. The truth of the puzzle information comes in different shapes and colors but in the end it's all connected. Information might be divided, spread out in different areas, different people, different experiences. What's important to remember is that every piece is meant for you. You might throw it on the side now and use it later, but it will forever remain a part of your bigger picture. Work on your puzzle, with patience and care in moving forward and with a hopeful spirit that it will all work out in the end for your highest good!
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
The satyr, as the Dionysiac chorist, dwells in a reality sanctioned by myth and ritual. That tragedy should begin with him, that the Dionysiac wisdom of tragedy should speak through him, is as puzzling a phenomenon as, more generally, the origin of tragedy from the chorus. Perhaps we can gain a starting point for this inquiry by claiming that the satyr, that fictive nature sprite, stands to cultured man in the same relation as Dionysian music does to civilization. Richard Wagner has said of the latter that it is absorbed by music as lamplight by daylight. In the same manner, I believe, the cultured Greek felt himself absorbed into the satyr chorus, and in the next development of Greek tragedy state and society, in fact everything that separates man from man, gave way before an overwhelming sense of unity that led back into the heart of nature. This metaphysical solace (which, I wish to say at once, all true tragedy sends us away) that, despite every phenomenal change, life is at bottom indestructibly joyful and powerful, was expressed most concretely in the chorus of satyrs, nature beings who dwell behind all civilization and preserve their identity through every change of generations and historical movement. With this chorus the profound Greek, so uniquely susceptible to the subtlest and deepest suffering, who had penetrated the destructive agencies of both nature and history, solaced himself. Though he had been in danger of craving a Buddhistic denial of the will, he was saved through art, and through art life reclaimed him.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Birth of Tragedy)
Looking back into childhood is like turning a telescope the wrong way around. Everything appears in miniature, but with a clarity it probably does not deserve; moreover it has become concentrated and stylized, taking shape in symbolism. Thus it is that I sometimes see my infant self as having been set down before a blank slate on which to construct a map or schema of the external world, and as hesitantly beginning to sketch it, with many false starts and much rubbing-out, the anatomy of my universe. Happiness and sorrow, love and friendship, hostility, a sense of guilt and more abstract concepts still, must all find a place somewhere, much as an architect lays out the plan of a house he is designing - hall, dining-room and bedrooms - but must not forget the bathroom. In a child’s map, too, some of the rooms are connected by a serving-hatch, while others are sealed off behind baize doors. How can the fragments possibly be combined to make sense? Yet this map or finished diagram, constructed in the course of ten or twelve years’ puzzling, refuses to be ignored, and for some time to come will make itself felt as bones through flesh, to emerge as the complex organism which adults think of as their philosophy of life. Presumably it has its origins in both heredity and enviorment. So with heredity I shall begin.
Frances Partridge (Love In Bloomsbury: Memories)
I wish you’d told me this before.” “It wouldn’t have changed anything.” “Maybe not. But talking about wounds can help heal them.” “You don’t talk about yours,” she pointed out. He sat down on the sofa facing her and leaned forward. “But I do,” he said seriously. “I talk to you. I’ve never told anyone else about the way my father treated us. That’s a deeply personal thing. I don’t share it. I can’t share it with anyone but you.” “I’m part of your life,” she said heavily, smoothing her hair back again. “Neither of us can help that. You were my comfort when Mama died, my very salvation when my stepfather hurt me. But I can’t expect you to go on taking care of me. I’m twenty-five years old, Tate. I have to let you go.” “No, you don’t.” He caught her wrists and pulled her closer. He was more solemn than she’d ever seen him. “I’m tired of fighting it. Let’s find out how deep your scars ago. Come to bed with me, Cecily. I know enough to make it easy for you.” She stared at him blankly. “Tate…” She touched his lean cheek hesitantly. He was offering her paradise, if she could face her own demons in bed with him. “This will only make things worse, whatever happens.” “You want me,” he said gently. “And I want you. Let’s get rid of the ghosts. If you can get past the fear, I won’t have anyone else from now on except you. I’ll come to you when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when the world falls on me. I’ll lie in your arms and comfort you when you’re sad, when you’re frightened. You can come to me when you need to be held, when you need me. I’ll cherish you.” “And you’ll make sure I never get pregnant.” His face tautened. “You know how I feel about. I’ve never made a secret of it. I won’t compromise on that issue, ever.” She touched his long hair, thinking how beautiful he was, how beloved. Could she live with only a part of him, watch him leave her one day to marry another woman? If he never knew the truth about his father, he might do that. She couldn’t tell him about Matt Holden, even to insure her own happiness. He glanced at her, puzzled by the expression on her face. “I’ll be careful,” he said. “And very slow. I won’t hurt you, in any way.” “Colby might come back…” He shook his head. “No. He won’t.” He stood up, pulling her with him. He saw the faint indecision in her face. “I won’t ask for more than you can give me,” he said quietly. “If you only want to lie in my arms and be kissed, that’s what we’ll do.” She looked up into his dark eyes and an unsteady sigh passed her lips. “I would give…anything…to let you love me,” she said huskily. “For eight long years…!” His mouth covered the painful words, stilling them.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
She asked, “Are you well?” “Yes.” His voice was a deep rasp. “Are you?” She nodded, expecting him to release her at the confirmation. When he showed no signs of moving, she puzzled at it. Either he was gravely injured or seriously impertinent. “Sir, you’re…er, you’re rather heavy.” Surely he could not fail to miss that hint. He replied, “You’re soft.” Good Lord. Who was this man? Where had he come from? And how was he still atop her? “You have a small wound.” With trembling fingers, she brushed a reddish knot high on his temple, near his hairline. “Here.” She pressed her hand to his throat, feeling for his pulse. She found it, thumping strong and steady against her gloved fingertips. “Ah. That’s nice.” Her face blazed with heat. “Are you seeing double?” “Perhaps. I see two lips, two eyes, two flushed cheeks…a thousand freckles.” She stared at him. “Don’t concern yourself, miss. It’s nothing.” His gaze darkened with some mysterious intent. “Nothing a little kiss won’t mend.” And before she could even catch her breath, he pressed his lips to hers. A kiss. His mouth, touching hers. It was warm and firm, and then…it was over. Her first real kiss in all her five-and-twenty years, and it was finished in a heartbeat. Just a memory now, save for the faint bite of whiskey on her lips. And the heat. She still tasted his scorching, masculine heat. Belatedly, she closed her eyes. “There, now,” he murmured. “All better.” Better? Worse? The darkness behind her eyelids held no answers, so she opened them again. Different. This strange, strong man held her in his protective embrace, and she was lost in his intriguing green stare, and his kiss reverberated in her bones with more force than a powder blast. And now she felt different. The heat and weight of him…they were like an answer. The answer to a question Susanna hadn’t even been aware her body was asking. So this was how it would be, to lie beneath a man. To feel shaped by him, her flesh giving in some places and resisting in others. Heat building between two bodies; dueling heartbeats pounding both sides of the same drum. Maybe…just maybe…this was what she’d been waiting to feel all her life. Not swept her off her feet-but flung across the lane and sent tumbling head over heels while the world exploded around her. He rolled onto his side, giving her room to breathe. “Where did you come from?” “I think I should ask you that.” She struggled up on one elbow. “Who are you? What on earth are you doing here?” “Isn’t it obvious?” His tone was grave. “We’re bombing the sheep.” “Oh. Oh dear. Of course you are.” Inside her, empathy twined with despair. Of course, he was cracked in the head. One of those poor soldiers addled by war. She ought to have known it. No sane man had ever looked at her this way. She pushed aside her disappointment. At least he had come to the right place. And landed on the right woman. She was far more skilled in treating head wounds than fielding gentlemen’s advances. The key here was to stop thinking of him as an immense, virile man and simply regard him as a person who needed her help. An unattractive, poxy, eunuch sort of person. Reaching out to him, she traced one fingertip over his brow. “Don’t be frightened,” she said in a calm, even tone. “All is well. You’re going to be just fine.” She cupped his cheek and met his gaze directly. “The sheep can’t hurt you here.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Her pretty name of Adina seemed to me to have somehow a mystic fitness to her personality. Behind a cold shyness, there seemed to lurk a tremulous promise to be franker when she knew you better. Adina is a strange child; she is fanciful without being capricious. She was stout and fresh-coloured, she laughed and talked rather loud, and generally, in galleries and temples, caused a good many stiff British necks to turn round. She had a mania for excursions, and at Frascati and Tivoli she inflicted her good-humoured ponderosity on diminutive donkeys with a relish which seemed to prove that a passion for scenery, like all our passions, is capable of making the best of us pitiless. Adina may not have the shoulders of the Venus of Milo...but I hope it will take more than a bauble like this to make her stoop. Adina espied the first violet of the year glimmering at the root of a cypress. She made haste to rise and gather it, and then wandered further, in the hope of giving it a few companions. Scrope sat and watched her as she moved slowly away, trailing her long shadow on the grass and drooping her head from side to side in her charming quest. It was not, I know, that he felt no impulse to join her; but that he was in love, for the moment, with looking at her from where he sat. Her search carried her some distance and at last she passed out of sight behind a bend in the villa wall. I don't pretend to be sure that I was particularly struck, from this time forward, with something strange in our quiet Adina. She had always seemed to me vaguely, innocently strange; it was part of her charm that in the daily noiseless movement of her life a mystic undertone seemed to murmur "You don't half know me! Perhaps we three prosaic mortals were not quite worthy to know her: yet I believe that if a practised man of the world had whispered to me, one day, over his wine, after Miss Waddington had rustled away from the table, that there was a young lady who, sooner or later, would treat her friends to a first class surprise, I should have laid my finger on his sleeve and told him with a smile that he phrased my own thought. .."That beautiful girl," I said, "seems to me agitated and preoccupied." "That beautiful girl is a puzzle. I don't know what's the matter with her; it's all very painful; she's a very strange creature. I never dreamed there was an obstacle to our happiness--to our union. She has never protested and promised; it's not her way, nor her nature; she is always humble, passive, gentle; but always extremely grateful for every sign of tenderness. Till within three or four days ago, she seemed to me more so than ever; her habitual gentleness took the form of a sort of shrinking, almost suffering, deprecation of my attentions, my petits soins, my lovers nonsense. It was as if they oppressed and mortified her--and she would have liked me to bear more lightly. I did not see directly that it was not the excess of my devotion, but my devotion itself--the very fact of my love and her engagement that pained her. When I did it was a blow in the face. I don't know what under heaven I've done! Women are fathomless creatures. And yet Adina is not capricious, in the common sense... .So these are peines d'amour?" he went on, after brooding a moment. "I didn't know how fiercely I was in love!" Scrope stood staring at her as she thrust out the crumpled note: that she meant that Adina--that Adina had left us in the night--was too large a horror for his unprepared sense...."Good-bye to everything! Think me crazy if you will. I could never explain. Only forget me and believe that I am happy, happy, happy! Adina Beati."... Love is said to be par excellence the egotistical passion; if so Adina was far gone. "I can't promise to forget you," I said; "you and my friend here deserve to be remembered!
Henry James (Adina)
Stepan Arkadyevitch had not chosen his political opinions or his views; these political opinions and views had come to him of themselves, just as he did not choose the shapes of his hat and coat, but simply took those that were being worn. And for him, living in a certain society—owing to the need, ordinarily developed at years of discretion, for some degree of mental activity—to have views was just as indispensable as to have a hat. If there was a reason for his preferring liberal to conservative views, which were held also by many of his circle, it arose not from his considering liberalism more rational, but from its being in closer accordance with his manner of life. The liberal party said that in Russia everything is wrong, and certainly Stepan Arkadyevitch had many debts and was decidedly short of money. The liberal party said that marriage is an institution quite out of date, and that it needs reconstruction; and family life certainly afforded Stepan Arkadyevitch little gratification, and forced him into lying and hypocrisy, which was so repulsive to his nature. The liberal party said, or rather allowed it to be understood, that religion is only a curb to keep in check the barbarous classes of the people; and Stepan Arkadyevitch could not get through even a short service without his legs aching from standing up, and could never make out what was the object of all the terrible and high-flown language about another world when life might be so very amusing in this world. And with all this, Stepan Arkadyevitch, who liked a joke, was fond of puzzling a plain man by saying that if he prided himself on his origin, he ought not to stop at Rurik and disown the first founder of his family—the monkey. And so Liberalism had become a habit of Stepan Arkadyevitch's, and he liked his newspaper, as he did his cigar after dinner, for the slight fog it diffused in his brain. He read the leading article, in which it was maintained that it was quite senseless in our day to raise an outcry that radicalism was threatening to swallow up all conservative elements, and that the government ought to take measures to crush the revolutionary hydra; that, on the contrary, "in our opinion the danger lies not in that fantastic revolutionary hydra, but in the obstinacy of traditionalism clogging progress," etc., etc. He read another article, too, a financial one, which alluded to Bentham and Mill, and dropped some innuendoes reflecting on the ministry. With his characteristic quickwittedness he caught the drift of each innuendo, divined whence it came, at whom and on what ground it was aimed, and that afforded him, as it always did, a certain satisfaction. But today that satisfaction was embittered by Matrona Philimonovna's advice and the unsatisfactory state of the household. He read, too, that Count Beist was rumored to have left for Wiesbaden, and that one need have no more gray hair, and of the sale of a light carriage, and of a young person seeking a situation; but these items of information did not give him, as usual, a quiet, ironical gratification. Having finished the paper, a second cup of coffee and a roll and butter, he got up, shaking the crumbs of the roll off his waistcoat; and, squaring his broad chest, he smiled joyously: not because there was anything particularly agreeable in his mind—the joyous smile was evoked by a good digestion.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Imagine you live on a planet where the dominant species is far more intellectually sophisticated than human beings but often keeps humans as companion animals. They are called the Gorns. They communicate with each other via a complex combination of telepathy, eye movements & high-pitched squeaks, all completely unintelligible & unlearnable by humans, whose brains are prepared for verbal language acquisition only. Humans sometimes learn the meaning of individual sounds by repeated association with things of relevance to them. The Gorns & humans bond strongly but there are many Gorn rules that humans must try to assimilate with limited information & usually high stakes. You are one of the lucky humans who lives with the Gorns in their dwelling. Many other humans are chained to small cabanas in the yard or kept in outdoor pens of varying size. They are so socially starved they cannot control their emotions when a Gorn goes near them. The Gorns agree that they could never be House-Humans. The dwelling you share with your Gorn family is filled with water-filled porcelain bowls.Every time you try to urinate in one,nearby Gorn attack you. You learn to only use the toilet when there are no Gorns present. Sometimes they come home & stuff your head down the toilet for no apparent reason. You hate this & start sucking up to the Gorns when they come home to try & stave this off but they view this as evidence of your guilt. You are also punished for watching videos, reading books, talking to other human beings, eating pizza or cheesecake, & writing letters. These are all considered behavior problems by the Gorns. To avoid going crazy, once again you wait until they are not around to try doing anything you wish to do. While they are around, you sit quietly, staring straight ahead. Because they witness this good behavior you are so obviously capable of, they attribute to “spite” the video watching & other transgressions that occur when you are alone. Obviously you resent being left alone, they figure. You are walked several times a day and left crossword puzzle books to do. You have never used them because you hate crosswords; the Gorns think you’re ignoring them out of revenge. Worst of all, you like them. They are, after all, often nice to you. But when you smile at them, they punish you, likewise for shaking hands. If you apologize they punish you again. You have not seen another human since you were a small child. When you see one you are curious, excited & afraid. You really don’t know how to act. So, the Gorn you live with keeps you away from other humans. Your social skills never develop. Finally, you are brought to “training” school. A large part of the training consists of having your air briefly cut off by a metal chain around your neck. They are sure you understand every squeak & telepathic communication they make because sometimes you get it right. You are guessing & hate the training. You feel pretty stressed out a lot of the time. One day, you see a Gorn approaching with the training collar in hand. You have PMS, a sore neck & you just don’t feel up to the baffling coercion about to ensue. You tell them in your sternest voice to please leave you alone & go away. The Gorns are shocked by this unprovoked aggressive behavior. They thought you had a good temperament. They put you in one of their vehicles & take you for a drive. You watch the attractive planetary landscape going by & wonder where you are going. You are led into a building filled with the smell of human sweat & excrement. Humans are everywhere in small cages. Some are nervous, some depressed, most watch the goings on on from their prisons. Your Gorns, with whom you have lived your entire life, hand you over to strangers who drag you to a small room. You are terrified & yell for your Gorn family to help you. They turn & walk away.You are held down & given a lethal injection. It is, after all, the humane way to do it.
Jean Donaldson (The Culture Clash)