Quickly Death Quotes

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Women were different, no doubt about it. Men broke so much more quickly. Grief didn't break women. Instead it wore them down, it hollowed them out very slowly.
Cornelia Funke (Inkdeath (Inkworld, #3))
Perhaps the greatest faculty our minds possess is the ability to cope with pain. Classic thinking teaches us of the four doors of the mind, which everyone moves through according to their need. First is the door of sleep. Sleep offers us a retreat from the world and all its pain. Sleep marks passing time, giving us distance from the things that have hurt us. When a person is wounded they will often fall unconscious. Similarly, someone who hears traumatic news will often swoon or faint. This is the mind's way of protecting itself from pain by stepping through the first door. Second is the door of forgetting. Some wounds are too deep to heal, or too deep to heal quickly. In addition, many memories are simply painful, and there is no healing to be done. The saying 'time heals all wounds' is false. Time heals most wounds. The rest are hidden behind this door. Third is the door of madness. There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind. Last is the door of death. The final resort. Nothing can hurt us after we are dead, or so we have been told.
Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #1))
Stick Boy liked Match Girl, He liked her a lot. He liked her cute figure, he thought she was hot. But could a flame ever burn for a match and a stick? It did quite literally; he burned up quick.
Tim Burton (The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories)
Whether a thought is spoken or not it is a real thing and it has power," Tuek said. "You might find the line between life and death among the Fremen to be too sharp and quick.
Frank Herbert (Dune (Dune #1))
For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.
Hermann Hesse (Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte)
You're fucked. You thought you were going to be someone, but now it's obvious you're nobody. You haven't got as much talent as you thought you had, and there was no Plan B, and you got no skills and no education, and now you're looking at forty or fifty years of nothing. Less than nothing, probably. That's pretty heavy. That's worse than having the brain thing, because what you got now will take a lot longer to kill you. You've got the choice of a slow, painful death, or a quick, merciful one.
Nick Hornby (A Long Way Down)
Yes, my tiara sets off the whole thing nicely," said Auntie Muriel in a rather carrying whisper. "But I must say, Ginevra's dress is far too low-cut." Ginny glanced round, grinning, winked at Harry, then quickly faced the front again.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Life is fragile and temporary. The faces of today quickly become the faces of the past. Sorrow, pain, and anger... it all fades- except love. Love is forever and there after, even when we've fallen to our graves.
Lee Argus
If quick, I survive. If not quick, I am lost. This is "death.
Sun Tzu
How quickly he fell; how soon it was over.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
In quick succession, Qhuinn reviewed his answers: No, of course not, the knife was acting of its own volition. I was actually trying to stop it...No, I only meant to give him a shave...No, I didn't realize that slicing open someone's jugular was going to lead to death.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
Brick by brick. Brick by brick, I will destroy you. "It was the promise that let him sleep at night, that drove him every day, that kept Jordie's ghost at bay. Because a quick death was too good for Pekka Rollins.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
Never admit defeat and ask for a quick death! Die first, then admit defeat! If you are defeated but didn't die, it just means you were lucky! At those times, think only about survival! Survive and think only about killing the one who failed to kill you! ~Kenpachi Zaraki
Tite Kubo
Do you remember the first time we made love?" He touched his lips to hers as he said it. "We rode up in the elevator like this and couldn't keep our hands off each other, couldn't get to each other quick enough. I was mad for you. I wanted you more than I wanted to keep breathing. I still do." He deepened the kiss as the elevator doors opened. "It's never going to change.
J.D. Robb (Big Jack (In Death, #17.5))
When all usefulness is over, when one is assured of an unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
I am almost a hundred years old; waiting for the end, and thinking about the beginning. There are things I need to tell you, but would you listen if I told you how quickly time passes? I know you are unable to imagine this. Nevertheless, I can tell you that you will awake someday to find that your life has rushed by at a speed at once impossible and cruel. The most intense moments will seem to have occurred only yesterday and nothing will have erased the pain and pleasure, the impossible intensity of love and its dog-leaping happiness, the bleak blackness of passions unrequited, or unexpressed, or unresolved.
Meg Rosoff (What I Was)
the gods seldom give but so quickly take.
Charles Bukowski (You Get So Alone at Times That it Just Makes Sense)
I heard this girl worked for Bishop,' said one of the guys, who had a tire iron resting on his shoulder. 'Carrying around his death warrants. Like one of those Nazi collaborators.' 'You heard wrong,' Shane said. 'She’s my girl. Now back off.' 'Let’s hear from her,' said the leader of the pack, and locked stares with Claire. 'So? You working for the vamps?' Shane sent her a quick, warning glance. Claire took in a deep breath and said, 'Absolutely.' 'Ah hell,' Shane breathed. 'Okay, then. Run.
Rachel Caine (Fade Out (The Morganville Vampires, #7))
Life is a slope. As long as you're going up you're always looking towards the top and you feel happy, but when you reach it, suddenly you can see the road going downhill and death at the end of it all. It's slow going up and quick going down.
Guy de Maupassant (Bel-Ami)
Unnerved, Summerset moved quickly to the communication center. "Roarke, the lieutenant has just come in from outside. She wore no outer gear. She looks very bad." "Where is she?" "She's heading up. Roarke, I insulted her and...she apologized to me. Something must be done.
J.D. Robb (Conspiracy in Death (In Death, #8))
I am Death. I come quickly, I come slowly, but I am not cheated.
Erika Johansen (The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1))
The guys were totally skuzzy, grinning horribly, showing holes where teeth should be. “Boys, God doesn’t like you,” Fang intoned behind them. Whaaat? I thought, dumbfounded. “Wha!” they said, whirling. At that moment, Fang snapped out his huge wings and shone the penlight under his chin so it raked his cheekbones and eyes. My mouth dropped open. He looked like the angel of death. His dark wings filled the hallway almost to the ceiling, and he moved them up and down. “God doesn’t like bad people,” he said, using a really weird, deep voice. “What the heck?” one of the squatters murmured shallowly, his mouth slack, his eyes bugging out of his head. I whipped my own wings open. Fun, anyway. “This was a test,” I said, using my best spooky voice. “And guess what? You both failed.” The bums stopped dead, looks of horror and amazement on their faces. Then Fang growled, “Rowr!” He stepped forward, sweeping his wings up and down: the avenging demon. I almost cracked up. “Rowr!” I said myself, shaking my wings out. “Ahhhhh!” the guys yelled, backpedaling fast. Unfortunately, they were standing at the top of the staircase. They fell awkwardly, trying to grab each other, and rolled down two flights like lumpy bags of potatoes, shrieking the whole way. Fang and I slapped each other a quick high five—and we were out of there, jack.
James Patterson (School's Out—Forever (Maximum Ride, #2))
pull a string, a puppet moves ... each man must realize that it can all disappear very quickly: the cat, the woman, the job, the front tire, the bed, the walls, the room; all our necessities including love, rest on foundations of sand -- and any given cause, no matter how unrelated: the death of a boy in Hong Kong or a blizzard in Omaha ... can serve as your undoing. all your chinaware crashing to the kitchen floor, your girl will enter and you'll be standing, drunk, in the center of it and she'll ask: my god, what's the matter? and you'll answer: I don't know, I don't know ...
Charles Bukowski (Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame)
true apothecary thy drugs art quick
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
Maybe we’re like the cherry blossom, Rune. Like shooting stars. Maybe we loved too much too young and burned so bright that we had to fade out.” She pointed behind us, to the blossom grove. “Extreme beauty, quick death. We had this love long enough to teach us a lesson. To show us how capable of love we truly are.
Tillie Cole (A Thousand Boy Kisses)
A funeral is not death, any more than baptism is birth or marriage union. All three are the clumsy devices, coming now too late, now too early, by which Society would register the quick motions of man.
E.M. Forster (Howards End)
For the rest of the earth’s organisms, existence is relatively uncomplicated. Their lives are about three things: survival, reproduction, death—and nothing else. But we know too much to content ourselves with surviving, reproducing, dying—and nothing else. We know we are alive and know we will die. We also know we will suffer during our lives before suffering—slowly or quickly—as we draw near to death. This is the knowledge we “enjoy” as the most intelligent organisms to gush from the womb of nature. And being so, we feel shortchanged if there is nothing else for us than to survive, reproduce, and die. We want there to be more to it than that, or to think there is. This is the tragedy: Consciousness has forced us into the paradoxical position of striving to be unself-conscious of what we are—hunks of spoiling flesh on disintegrating bones.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
My grandfather used to say the placement of a birthmark was the story of how a person lost the battle in their past life. I guess you got stabbed in the neck. Bet it was a quick death, though.
Colleen Hoover (Ugly Love)
When we're alive, life consumes us. But when we die, all of the color and the motion is gone so quickly, it's as though it can no longer stand to be wasted on us.
Lauren DeStefano (Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3))
Dirge Without Music I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground. So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind: Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned. Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you. Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust. A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew, A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost. The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,— They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve. More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world. Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
Edna St. Vincent Millay (Collected Poems)
When night comes and no one is watching, I feel afraid of everything: life, death, love or the lack of it; the fact that all novelties quickly become habits; the feeling that I'm wasting the best years of my life in a pattern that will be repeated over and over until I die; and sheer panic at facing the unknown, however exciting and adventurous that might be.
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
Decisions made quickly were almost always regretted quickly.
J.D. Robb
You don't hear heroes say that a lot. Quick, Boy Wonder! To the pottery studio! But Alex's tone left no doubt it was a matter of life and death.
Rick Riordan (The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3))
I became aware that our love was doomed; love had turned into a love affair with a beginning and an end. I could name the very moment when it had begun, and one day I knew I should be able to name the final hour. When she left the house I couldn't settle to work. I would reconstruct what we had said to each other; I would fan myself into anger or remorse. And all the time I knew I was forcing the pace. I was pushing, pushing the only thing I loved out of my life. As long as I could make believe that love lasted I was happy; I think I was even good to live with, and so love did last. But if love had to die, I wanted it to die quickly. It was as though our love were a small creature caught in a trap and bleeding to death; I had to shut my eyes and wring its neck.
Graham Greene (The End of the Affair)
There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one's own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage alone a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come. I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
There was never anybody before you," she said. "I just wanted to say that. And when I did what I do, and it opened a crack in me like it did last night, there was nobody there to hold on to me. I didn't want anyone to hold on to me. Until you. And I got through and I got by, and it was okay. But I think, maybe, if I'd just kept getting through and getting by, I'd have come to a point where I couldn't do it anymore. And if I couldn't do it anymore, it'd be the end of me, Roarke. So when you hold on to me, You're helping me stand up, one more time. And the dead, you're standing for them, too. I just wanted to say that." She went out quickly, and left him staring at her.
J.D. Robb (Seduction in Death (In Death, #13))
THE WEATHER OF LOVE Love Has a way of wilting Or blossoming At the strangest, Most unpredictable hour. This is how love is, An uncontrollable beast In the form of a flower. The sun does not always shine on it. Nor does the rain always pour on it Nor should it always get beaten by a storm. Love does not always emit the sweetest scents, And sometimes it can sting with its thorns. Water it. Give it plenty of sunlight. Nurture it, And the flower of love will Outlive you. Neglect it or keep dissecting it, And its petals will quickly curl up and die. This is how love is, Perfection is a delusional vision. So love the person who loves you Unconditionally, And abandon the one Who only loves you Under favorable Conditions.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Ben Adaephon Delat," Pearl said plaintively, "see the last who comes. You send me to my death." "I know," Quick Ben whispered. "Flee, then. I will hold them enough to ensure your escape no more." Quick Ben sank down past the roof. Before he passed from sight Pearl spoke again. "Ben Adaephon Delat, do you pity me?" "Yes" he replied softly, then pivoted and dropped down into darkness.
Steven Erikson (Gardens of the Moon (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #1))
Sensationalism dies quickly, fear is long-lived.
Agatha Christie (Death in the Clouds (Hercule Poirot, #11))
to be injured on this tundra would lead to a quick and painful death—or at the very least abject humiliation before the popping flashes of the tourist season's tail end, which was slightly less painful than a painful death, but lasted longer.
Eoin Colfer (The Atlantis Complex (Artemis Fowl #7))
I can't," I bite out, looking anywhere but his face. He responds quickly, with force. "Neither can I." "But I also can't - " Stay away. Keep doing this. Denying ourselves in the face of always-looming death. Tiberias hisses out a breath. "Neither can I.
Victoria Aveyard (War Storm (Red Queen, #4))
For the wise man delights in establishing his merit, the brave man likes to show his courage in action, the covetous man is quick at seizing advantages, and the stupid man has no fear of death.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
District 12. Where you can starve to death in safety," I mutter. Then I glance quickly over my shoulder. Even here, in the middle of nowhere, you worry someone might overhear you.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
A little bloodthirsty, isn’t it? (Kim) Given what they did to Tory, I’m thinking a quick death is merciful. Not to mention they ruined one of my favorite jackets and totaled my bike. (Acheron) Well, let’s just torture then bomb the bastards. How dare they! (Pam)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #14))
In the end we all come to be cured of our sentiments. Those whom life does not cure death will. The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and reality, even where we will not. Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting. I've thought a great deal about my life and my country. I think there is little that can be truly known. My family has been fortunate. Others were less so. As they are often quick to point out.
Cormac McCarthy (All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1))
To this day, I can never shake the connection between this boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave me hope, and the dandelion that reminded me that I was not doomed. And more than once, I have turned in the school hallway and caught his eyes trained on me, only to quickly flit away. I feel like I owe him something, and I hate owing people. Maybe if I had thanked him at some point, I'd be feeling less conflicted now. I thought about it a couple of times, but the opportunity never seemed to present itself. And now it never will. Because we're going to be thrown into an arena to fight to the death. Exactly how am I supposed to work in a thank-you in there? Somehow it just won't seem sincere if I'm trying to slit his throat.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
The events unfolded with such speed and efficiency that Anderson found himself in a state of shock. His anger with Bevin and McPhearson was quickly replaced with a sense of impending doom. An unbelievable stream of events had taken place since his training exercises in the Pacific.
Behcet Kaya (Murder on the Naval Base)
I exist here, now. I'm not much interested in the future. Or, more precisely put, I do not believe in the future. To exaggerate a little, I have no faith that I will still exist tomorrow or the day after. What is more, I absolutely detest retrospection. That dislike is balances only by my desire to make my way back home as quickly as possible.
Yohji Yamamoto (My Dear Bomb)
I have to say you don't look anything like a policewoman." Maxia's perfect eyebrows arched as she gave Eve's dress a quick scan. "Leonardo dresses you, doesn't he?" "No, I usually do it myself.
J.D. Robb (Ritual in Death (In Death, #27.5))
Loss is like a wind, it either carries you to a new destination or it traps you in an ocean of stagnation. You must quickly learn how to navigate the sail, for stagnation is death.
Val Uchendu
If you wear black, then kindly, irritating strangers will touch your arm consolingly and inform you that the world keeps on turning. They're right. It does. However much you beg it to stop. It turns and lets grenadine spill over the horizon, sends hard bars of gold through my window and I wake up and feel happy for three seconds and then I remember. It turns and tips people out of their beds and into their cars, their offices, an avalanche of tiny men and women tumbling through life... All trying not to think about what's waiting at the bottom. Sometimes it turns and sends us reeling into each other's arms. We cling tight, excited and laughing, strangers thrown together on a moving funhouse floor. Intoxicated by the motion we forget all the risks. And then the world turns... And somebody falls off... And oh God it's such a long way down. Numb with shock, we can only stand and watch as they fall away from us, gradually getting smaller... Receding in our memories until they're no longer visible. We gather in cemeteries, tense and silent as if for listening for the impact; the splash of a pebble dropped into a dark well, trying to measure its depth. Trying to measure how far we have to fall. No impact comes; no splash. The moment passes. The world turns and we turn away, getting on with our lives... Wrapping ourselves in comforting banalities to keep us warm against the cold. "Time's a great healer." "At least it was quick." "The world keeps turning." Oh Alec— Alec's dead.
Alan Moore (Swamp Thing, Vol. 5: Earth to Earth)
She drew in a shuddering breath. “I love you.” And let it out. “God.” The emotion that swept through him was like a summer storm, quick, violent, then clean. Swamped with it, he rested his brow on hers. “You didn’t choke on it.
J.D. Robb (Glory in Death (In Death, #2))
Hanged" I hung myself today. Hanged? Whatever, the point is I hanged myself today and I’m still hanging. I feel fine. Just bored. I keep hoping that someone will come home and cut me down but then I keep remembering that if I knew someone like that I wouldn’t be up here. Bit ironic, right? Or is that not ironic? I read somewhere that, like, anything funny is, in some way, ironic. But I don’t know if it's funny or not. I don’t think my brain owns “funny”, you know? I feel taller. I like that. I’ve never been away from my shadow for this long. It had always clung to my feet, parting momentarily for a quick dive into the swimming pool. But never for five hours. I like it. There’s three feet of space between my two and the floor. I wanted something this morning. I may be stuck. But at least I’m three feet closer to it.
Bo Burnham (Egghead; or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone)
Not marble nor the gilded monuments Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme, But you shall shine more bright in these contents Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time. When wasteful war shall statues overturn And broils roots out the work of masonry, Nor mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn The living record of your memory. 'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room Even in the eyes of all posterity That wear this world out to the ending doom. So, till judgement that yourself arise, You in this, and dwell in lovers eyes.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
Dulce Et Decorum Est Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of disappointed shells that dropped behind. GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And floundering like a man in fire or lime.-- Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-- My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
Wilfred Owen (The War Poems)
One of my predecessors used to have people torn to death by wild tortoises. It was not a quick death.
Terry Pratchett
She had an insult waiting for Summerset, who she knew would comment about her being home early. She’d say it was Mortician’s Day, and she’d taken off in his honor. Quick and to the point.
J.D. Robb (Calculated in Death (In Death, #36))
O corse of the Locked Tomb, she prayed silently to herself, the cold death to anyone who looks at me in pity; the heat death to anyone who looks to me in amusement; the quick death to anyone who looks at me in fear.
Tamsyn Muir (Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2))
A culture that denies death is a barrier to achieving a good death. Overcoming our fears and wild misconceptions about death will be no small task, but we shouldn't forget how quickly other cultural prejudices--racism, sexism, homophobia--have begun to topple in the recent past. It is high time death had its own moment of truth.
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory)
The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
If there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness, did lay siege to it, Making it momentary as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream, Brief as the lightning in the collied night That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, And ere a man hath power to say 'Behold!' The jaws of darkness do devour it up; So quick bright things come to confusion.
William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
He did not deserve to die, and his death absolutely proves that life is random and fucked-up and arbitrary, until you find someone who can make sense of it all for you—if only temporarily.
Matthew Quick (The Silver Linings Playbook)
Harry Potter," he said very softly. His voice might have been part of the spitting fire. "The Boy Who Lived." None of the Death Eaters moved. They were waiting. Everything was waiting. Hagrid was struggling, and Bellatrix was panting, and Harry thought inexplicably of Ginny, and her blazing look, and the feel of her lips on his-- Voldemort had raised his wand. His head was still tilted to one side, like a curious child, wondering what would happen if he proceeded. Harry looked back into the red eyes, and wanted it to happen now, quickly, while he could still stand, before he lost control, before he betrayed fear-- He saw the mouth move and a flash of green light, and everything was gone.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Why?” He tilted his head. “That’s a tricky one. Could it be your serenity, your quiet manner, your flawless fashion sense?” It did his heart good to see her quick, amused grin. “No, I must be thinking of someone else. It must be your courage, your absolute dedication to balancing scales, that restless mind, and that sweet corner of your heart that pushes you to care so much about so many.” “That’s not me.” “Oh, but it is you, darling Eve.
J.D. Robb (Glory in Death (In Death, #2))
I think about how fragile people are, how anyone can disappear in a second and be gone forever.
Matthew Quick (Boy21)
I didn't want to tell you I'd been scared, much less why. I guess that was stupid." "It was." "Aren't you supposed to say something like 'no, it wasn't. Blah, blah, support, stroke, let me get you some chocolate'?" "You haven't red the marriage handbook's footnotes. It's another woman who does that sort of thing. I believe I'm allowed to be more blunt, then ask if you'd like a quick shag." "Shag yourself
J.D. Robb (Eternity in Death (In Death, #25.5))
Boast of Quietness Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors. The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside. Sure of my life and death, I observe the ambitious and would like to understand them. Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air. Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack. They speak of humanity. My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of that same poverty. They speak of homeland. My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword, the willow grove's visible prayer as evening falls. Time is living me. More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude. They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow. My name is someone and anyone. I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn't expect to arrive.
Jorge Luis Borges
Wilson stopped and stood silent. Inattention dies a quick and sure death when a speaker does that.
Mark Twain (Pudd'nhead Wilson and Other Tales)
Man, that woman was quick when she wanted to be. But put her behind the wheel of a Buick...
Darynda Jones (Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight, #1))
A brother's love? You don't know him at all, do you. What's a death but easy, quick. It's supposed to haunt you forever that the one time he beat you was the one time that mattered.
C.S. Pacat (Captive Prince (Captive Prince, #1))
The death of self-esteem can occur quickly, easily in children, before their ego has “legs,” so to speak. Couple the vulnerability of youth with indifferent parents, dismissive adults, and a world, which, in its language, laws, and images, re-enforces despair, and the journey to destruction is sealed.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
For some time now the impression has been growing upon me that everyone is dead. It happens when I speak to people. In the middle of a sentence it will come over me: yes, beyond a doubt this is death. There is little to do but groan and make an excuse and slip away as quickly as one can. At such times it seems that the conversation is spoken by automatons who have no choice in what they say. I hear myself or someone else saying things like: "In my opinion the Russian people are a great people, but--" or "Yes, what you say about the hypocrisy of the North is unquestionably true. However--" and I think to myself: this is death. Lately it is all I can do to carry on such everyday conversations, because my cheek has developed a tendency to twitch of its own accord.
Walker Percy (The Moviegoer)
Be brave. Even if you're not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. Don't allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It's there for your convenience, not the callers. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb. That's where the fruit is. Don't burn bridges. You'll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. Don't major in minor things. Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Helen Keller, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. Don't spread yourself too thin. Learn to say no politely and quickly. Don't use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved. Don't waste time grieving over past mistakes Learn from them and move on. Every person needs to have their moment in the sun, when they raise their arms in victory, knowing that on this day, at his hour, they were at their very best. Get your priorities straight. No one ever said on his death bed, 'Gee, if I'd only spent more time at the office'. Give people a second chance, but not a third. Judge your success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, health and love. Learn to listen. Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life and death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems. Never cut what can be untied. Never overestimate your power to change others. Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen years. Remember that winners do what losers don't want to do. Seek opportunity, not security. A boat in harbor is safe, but in time its bottom will rot out. Spend less time worrying who's right, more time deciding what's right. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. The importance of winning is not what we get from it, but what we become because of it. When facing a difficult task, act as though it's impossible to fail.
Jackson H. Brown Jr.
Never to have been born is best But if we must see the light, the next best Is quickly returning whence we came. When youth departs, with all its follies, Who does not stagger under evils? Who escapes them? Sophocles' Sleep is good, death is better; but of course, The best would be never to have been born at all. Heinrich Heine2
David Benatar (Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence)
The skillful employer of men will employ the wise man, the brave man, the covetous man, and the stupid man. For the wise man delights in establishing his merit, the brave man likes to show his courage in action, the covetous man is quick at seizing advantages, and the stupid man has no fear of death."]
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
Well, we better be quick and not become human popsicles. I’m going to be really upset at you if I freeze to death. (Shahara)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Born of Fire (The League: Nemesis Rising #2))
Life is too short to be anything but happy. So kiss slowly. Love deeply. Forgive quickly. Take chances and never have regrets. Forget the past but remember what it taught you.
Abhysheq Shukla (KISS Life "Life is what you make it")
But death is not always a bad outcome, you know, and a quick death can be better than a slow one.
Henry Marsh (Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery)
The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where it all started. I shook off the sweat and the sun. I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day, the exceptional silence of a beach where I'd been happy. Then I fired four more times at the motionless body where the bullets lodged without leaving a trace. And it was like knocking four quick times on the door of unhappiness.
Albert Camus (L'Étranger)
Why don't you like girls?" Nicky looked startled by the interruption, but he rallied quickly and made a face. "They're so soft." Neil thought about Renee's bruised knuckles, Dan's fierce spirit, and Allison holding her ground on the court a week after Seth's death. He thought about his mother standing unflinching in the face of his father's violent anger and her ruthlessly leaving bodies in their wake. He felt compelled to say, "Some of the strongest people I've known are women." "What? Oh, no," Nicky hurried to say. "I mean literally soft. Too many curves, see? I feel like my hands would slide right off. It's totally not my thing. I like…" He drew a box with his fingers as he searched for words. "Erik. Erik's perfect. He's a total outdoors junkie, rock climbing and hiking and mountain biking, all that awful bug-infested fresh-air stuff. But oh my god, you should see what it does to his body. He's like this, all hard edges." He drew another box. "He's stronger than I am, and I like that. I feel like I could lean on him all day and he wouldn't break a sweat.
Nora Sakavic (The Raven King (All for the Game, #2))
But if love had to die, I wanted it to die quickly. It was as though our love were a small creature caught in a trap and bleeding to death: I had to shut my eyes and wring its neck.
Graham Greene (The End of the Affair)
As always, just the sight of him gave her a quick inner jolt. His face was like a painting, a depiction in perfect oils of some fallen angel. The sheer beauty of it, framed by all that rich black hair, was forever a surprise to her.
J.D. Robb (Glory in Death (In Death, #2))
Cold as a bitch’s tit.” “It’s ‘witch’s.’” “Why? Doesn’t matter,” Eve said quickly. “Neither way makes sense. If somebody’s a witch, why do they put up with cold tits? I’m a bitch, and twenty-four hours ago, my tits were plenty warm.
J.D. Robb (Devoted in Death (In Death, #41))
She started to pull at the chain, but he closed his hands over hers. “It doesn’t go with my suit. Eve, a gift is not supposed to make the blood drain out of your cheeks.” Suddenly exasperated, he gave her a quick shake. “It caught my eye, and I was thinking of you. Damn you, I always am. I bought it because I love you. Christ Jesus, when are you going to swallow that?
J.D. Robb (Glory in Death (In Death, #2))
A man who seeks only the light, while shirking his responsibilities, will never find illumination. And one who keep his eyes fixed upon the sun ends up blind..." "It doesn't matter what others think -because that's what they will think, in any case. So, relax. Let the universe move about. Discover the joy of surprising yourself." "The master says: “Make use of every blessing that God gave you today. A blessing cannot be saved. There is no bank where we can deposit blessings received, to use them when we see fit. If you do not use them, they will be irretrievably lost. God knows that we are creative artists when it comes to our lives. On one day, he gives us clay for sculpting, on another, brushes and canvas, or a pen. But we can never use clay on our canvas, nor pens in sculpture. Each day has its own miracle. Accept the blessings, work, and create your minor works of art today. Tomorrow you will receive others.” “You are together because a forest is always stronger than a solitary tree,” the master answered. "The forest conserves humidity, resists the hurricane and helps the soil to be fertile. But what makes a tree strong is its roots. And the roots of a plant cannot help another plant to grow. To be joined together in the same purpose is to allow each person to grow in his own fashion, and that is the path of those who wish to commune with God.” “If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.” “If you are traveling the road of your dreams, be committed to it. Do not leave an open door to be used as an excuse such as, 'Well, this isn't exactly what I wanted. ' Therein are contained the seeds of defeat. “Walk your path. Even if your steps have to be uncertain, even if you know that you could be doing it better. If you accept your possibilities in the present, there is no doubt that you will improve in the future. But if you deny that you have limitations, you will never be rid of them. “Confront your path with courage, and don't be afraid of the criticism of others. And, above all, don't allow yourself to become paralyzed by self-criticism. “God will be with you on your sleepless nights, and will dry your tears with His love. God is for the valiant.” "Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing." "There is a moment in every day when it is difficult to see clearly: evening time. Light and darkness blend, and nothing is completely clear nor completely dark." "But it's not important what we think, or what we do or what we believe in: each of us will die one day. Better to do as the old Yaqui Indians did: regard death as an advisor. Always ask: 'Since I'm going to die, what should I be doing now?'” "When we follow our dreams, we may give the impression to others that we are miserable and unhappy. But what others think is not important. What is important is the joy in our heart.” “There is a work of art each of us was destined to create. That is the central point of our life, and -no matter how we try to deceive ourselves -we know how important it is to our happiness. Usually, that work of art is covered by years of fears, guilt and indecision. But, if we decide to remove those things that do not belong, if we have no doubt as to our capability, we are capable of going forward with the mission that is our destiny. That is the only way to live with honor.
Paulo Coelho (Maktub)
Death comes quick, in the beat of a heart, and he ain't picky about who he takes.
Hiroshi Sakurazaka (All You Need Is Kill)
What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit. Sick animals are more profitable... Factory farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying...We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals)
Still in Bed?" Thomas had asked with amusement, as Lissianna had blinked at them. "I am so glad you got at least a little rest today. I feared you'd work Greg to death while the rest of us tried to sleep.
Lynsay Sands (A Quick Bite (Argeneau #1))
My flesh was burning where the skin was scraped off my knees, and I was afraid that I couldn't be alive anymore with so much pain, and at the same time I knew I was alive because it hurt. I was afraid that death would find its way into me through this open knee and I quickly covered my knee with my hands.
Herta Müller (Nadirs)
If prayer flew as quickly as gossip, all the saints in heaven could not keep up with it.
James R. Benn (Death's Door (Billy Boyle World War II, #7))
Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand—if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
You'll write to me, won't you?" Albus asked his parents immediately, capitalizing on the momentary absence of his brother. "Every day, if you want us to," said Ginny. "Not every day," said Albus quickly. "James says most people only get letters from home about once a month." "We wrote to James three times a week last year," said Ginny. "And you don't want to believe everything he tells you about Hogwarts," Harry put in. "He likes a laugh, your brother.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Fox was here first, and his brother was the wolf. Fox said, people will live forever. If they die they will not die for long. Wolf said, no, people will die, people must die, all things that live must die, or they will spread and cover the world, and eat all the salmon and the caribou and the buffalo, eat all the squash and all the corn. Now one day Wolf died, and he said to the fox, quick, bring me back to life. And Fox said, No, the dead must stay dead. You convinced me. And he wept as he said this. But he said it, and it was final. Now Wolf rules the world of the dead and Fox lives always under the sun and the moon, and he still mourns his brother.
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
Once upon a time there was a young prince who believed in all things but three. He did not believe in princesses, he did not believe in islands, he did not believe in God. His father, the king, told him that such things did not exist. As there were no princesses or islands in his father's domains, and no sign of God, the young prince believed his father. But then, one day, the prince ran away from his palace. He came to the next land. There, to his astonishment, from every coast he saw islands, and on these islands, strange and troubling creatures whom he dared not name. As he was searching for a boat, a man in full evening dress approached him along the shore. Are those real islands?' asked the young prince. Of course they are real islands,' said the man in evening dress. And those strange and troubling creatures?' They are all genuine and authentic princesses.' Then God must exist!' cried the prince. I am God,' replied the man in full evening dress, with a bow. The young prince returned home as quickly as he could. So you are back,' said the father, the king. I have seen islands, I have seen princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully. The king was unmoved. Neither real islands, nor real princesses, I have seen God,' said the prince reproachfully. The king was unmoved. Neither real islands, nor real princesses, nor a real God exist.' I saw them!' Tell me how God was dressed.' God was in full evening dress.' Were the sleeves of his coat rolled back?' The prince remembered that they had been. The king smiled. That is the uniform of a magician. You have been deceived.' At this, the prince returned to the next land, and went to the same shore, where once again he came upon the man in full evening dress. My father the king has told me who you are,' said the young prince indignantly. 'You deceived me last time, but not again. Now I know that those are not real islands and real princesses, because you are a magician.' The man on the shore smiled. It is you who are deceived, my boy. In your father's kingdom there are many islands and many princesses. But you are under your father's spell, so you cannot see them.' The prince pensively returned home. When he saw his father, he looked him in the eyes. Father, is it true that you are not a real king, but only a magician?' The king smiled, and rolled back his sleeves. Yes, my son, I am only a magician.' Then the man on the shore was God.' The man on the shore was another magician.' I must know the real truth, the truth beyond magic.' There is no truth beyond magic,' said the king. The prince was full of sadness. He said, 'I will kill myself.' The king by magic caused death to appear. Death stood in the door and beckoned to the prince. The prince shuddered. He remembered the beautiful but unreal islands and the unreal but beautiful princesses. Very well,' he said. 'I can bear it.' You see, my son,' said the king, 'you too now begin to be a magician.
John Fowles
Advice from a Caterpillar Chew your way into a new world. Munch leaves. Molt. Rest. Molt again. Self-reinvention is everything. Spin many nests. Cultivate stinging bristles. Don't get sentimental about your discarded skins. Grow quickly. Develop a yen for nettles. Alternate crumpling and climbing. Rely on your antennae. Sequester poisons in your body for use at a later date. When threatened, emit foul odors in self-defense. Behave cryptically to confuse predators: change colors, spit, or feign death. If all else fails, taste terrible.
Amy Gerstler (Dearest Creature)
I shook with helplessness and rage, but also with fear. This was what fighting back earned you. More abuse. More death. Half a dozen Jews would be murdered today because one man refused to die without a fight. To fight back was to die quickly and to take others with you. This was why prisoners went meekly to their deaths. I had been so resolved to fight back, but I knew then that I wouldn't. To suffer quietly hurt only you. To suffer loudly, violently, angrily--to fight back--was to bring hurt and pain and death to others.
Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087)
Calm down. I’m a demon, Nick. Hematite doesn’t like my genetics. It doesn’t mean anything other than I have really bad parentage.” “Then why am I having flashes of you killing me?” “What’d you eat this morning?” Nick didn’t care for that answer. Not one little bit. “I saw it happen. You were choking the life out of me.” Caleb rolled his eyes. “Oh yeah. That is definitely a figment of your overactive, over-Hollywood-stimulated imagination. I assure you. I don’t kill people that way. Takes too long. I’m not into torture. I prefer a quick death so that I can move on to something more satisfying.” Strangely enough, that he believed. Patience wasn’t a virtue Caleb practiced. “You sure?” “Dude, look at me. You think I’d have let the demons pound all over me last night so that you could escape if I had any intention of killing you? Really?
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
I say no wealth is worth my life! Not all they claim was stored in the depths of Troy, that city built on riches, in the old days of peace before the sons of Achaea came- not all the gold held fast in the Archer's rocky vaults, in Phoebus Apollo's house on Pytho's sheer cliffs! Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding, tripods all for the trading, and tawny-headed stallions. But a man's life breath cannot come back again- no raiders in force, no trading brings it back, once it slips through a man's clenched teeth. Mother tells me, the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet, that two fates bear me on to the day of death. If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy, my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies. If I voyage back to the fatherland I love, my pride, my glory dies... true, but the life that's left me will be long, the stroke of death will not come on me quickly.
Homer (The Iliad)
As he watches the sun rise, what grieves him is that he failed her. He thinks of the terror she felt. They tell him it was quick, as if that will somehow confine the horror.
Nancy Horan (Loving Frank)
know that when I die somebody’s going to sell my flesh on the black market, one of my awful distant relatives. That’s why I smoke and drink, so I taste bitter and no one gets any pleasure out of my death.” She takes a quick drag and says, “Today I’m the butcher, tomorrow I might be the cattle.
Agustina Bazterrica (Tender Is the Flesh)
Dangling form the trap's steel teeth by his wounded leg, a lesser creature might have closed his eyes and prayed for nothing more than a quick death. But if Koja had words then he had hope.
Leigh Bardugo (The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grishaverse, #0.5, 2.5, 2.6))
The coldest most rational scientific madness is also the most intolerable. But when a man has acquired a certain ability to subsist, even rather scantily, in a certain niche with the help of a few grimaces, he must either keep at it or resign himself to dying the death of a guinea pig. Habits are acquired more quickly than courage, especially the habit of filling one's stomach.
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Journey to the End of the Night)
A book is an attempt to make through permanent and to contribute to the great conversation conducted by authors of the past. […] The telegraph is suited only to the flashing of messages, each to be quickly replaced by a more up-to-date message. Facts push other facts into and then out of consciousness at speeds that neither permit nor require evaluation. (70)
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
You sleep here?” “I don’t intend to sleep tonight.” He interrupted her gawking by pulling her up the two stairs to the platform and tumbling her onto the bed. “I have to check in by oh seven hundred.” “Shut up, lieutenant.” “Okay.” With a half laugh, she rolled on top of him and fastened her mouth to his. Wild, reckless energy was bursting inside her. She couldn’t move quickly enough, her hands weren’t fast enough to satisfy the craving.
J.D. Robb (Naked in Death (In Death, #1))
Let me help you." Roarke bent down, lifted Rockman by the lapels. He jerked the man up, steadied him. "Look at me, Rockman. Vision clear?" Rockman blinked blood out of his eyes. "I can see you." "Good." Roarke's arm shot up, quick as a bullet, and his fist connected with Rockman's already battered face. "Oops," Feeney said mildly, when Rockman crumbled to the floor again.
J.D. Robb (Naked in Death (In Death, #1))
Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. No candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine. If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding form it. Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains unpenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control. Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering. By eliminating the safety net of comforts in your life, you have the opportunity to free fall in this moment between birth and death, right through the hole of your fear, into the unthreatenable openness which is the source of your gifts. The superior man lives as this spontaneous sacrifice of love.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire)
And you? Did you find the doorknob?” Hadrian picked up a jug and downed several swallows, drinking so quickly some of the water dripped down his chin. He poured some in his palm and rinsed his face, running his fingers through his hair. “I didn’t even get close enough to see a door.” “Well, look on the bright side”—Hadrian smiled—“at least you weren’t captured and condemned to death this time.” “That’s the bright side?” “What can I say? I’m a glass-half-full kinda guy.
Michael J. Sullivan (Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2))
He gave her a quick devastating kiss, then drew back, the look in his eyes making her melt. "You know what I want? I want to enjoy you, Chloe. Everything about you, for the rest of my life. Learn all the miracles that make you who you are. Be your best friend, your lover, your everything. I'll worship you, protect you and love you til the day I die. And then I'll defy whatever higher powers are out there to try and keep me away from you, because I won't even let death come between us." "Wow," she whispered, completely dazzled. "And you're going to marry me." "Her eyes went wide, "I am?" "Oh, yeah," he breathed out.
Rhyannon Byrd (Touch of Temptation (Primal Instinct, #6))
Life changes so quickly. Not long ago I was mourning the death of my parents and wondering if I could make it through another day. Now I have been handed eternity. And not on a silver platter, either, but down a path lined with pain and bloodshed. But I will walk it with my kindred. With this boy I love. Together we will do something worthy and good. We will give our lives for others. Over and over again. I don't have answers to all the questions that lie before me. But Vincent and I have time to figure them out. All the time in the world.
Amy Plum (If I Should Die (Revenants, #3))
The second death. To think that you died and no one would remember you. I wondered if this was why we tried so hard to make our mark in America. To be known. Think of how important celebrity has become. We sing to get famous; expose our worst secrets to get famous; lose weight, eat bugs, even commit murder to get famous. Our young people post their deepest thoughts on public web sites. They run cameras from their bedrooms. It’s as if we are screaming Notice Me! Remember Me! Yet the notoriety barely lasts. Names quickly blur and in time are forgotten.
Mitch Albom
This is Quick Ben’s game, O Elder. The bones are in his sweaty hands and they have been for some time. Now, if at his table you’ll find the Worm of Autumn, and the once Lord of Death, and Shadowthrone and Cotillion, not to mention the past players Anomander Rake and Dessembrae, and who knows who else, well – did you really believe a few thousand damned Nah’ruk could take him down? The thing about Adaephon Delat’s game is this: he cheats.
Steven Erikson (The Crippled God (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #10))
As a kid, I imagined lots of different scenarios for my life. I would be an astronaut. Maybe a cartoonist. A famous explorer or rock star. Never once did I see myself standing under the window of a house belonging to some druggie named Carbine, waiting for his yard gnome to steal his stash so I could get a cab back to a cheap motel where my friend, a neurotic, death-obsessed dwarf, was waiting for me so we could get on the road to an undefined place and a mysterious Dr. X, who would cure me of mad cow disease and stop a band of dark energy from destroying the universe.
Libba Bray (Going Bovine)
But the modern-day church doesn’t like to wander or wait. The modern-day church likes results. Convinced the gospel is a product we’ve got to sell to an increasingly shrinking market, we like our people to function as walking advertisements: happy, put-together, finished—proof that this Jesus stuff WORKS! At its best, such a culture generates pews of Stepford Wife–style robots with painted smiles and programmed moves. At its worst, it creates environments where abuse and corruption get covered up to protect reputations and preserve image. “The world is watching,” Christians like to say, “so let’s be on our best behavior and quickly hide the mess. Let’s throw up some before-and-after shots and roll that flashy footage of our miracle product blanching out every sign of dirt, hiding every sign of disease.” But if the world is watching, we might as well tell the truth. And the truth is, the church doesn’t offer a cure. It doesn’t offer a quick fix. The church offers death and resurrection. The church offers the messy, inconvenient, gut-wrenching, never-ending work of healing and reconciliation. The church offers grace. Anything else we try to peddle is snake oil. It’s not the real thing.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
Coffined thoughts around me, in mummycases, embalmed in spice of words. Thoth, god of libraries, a birdgod, moonycrowned. And I heard the voice of that Egyptian highpriest. In painted chambers loaded with tilebooks. They are still. Once quick in the brains of men. Still: but an itch of death is in them, to tell me in my ear a maudlin tale, urge me to wreak their will.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
He took her hand, lifted it to his lips. Nothing could have pleased him more than the quick suspicion on her face. "You won't forget me, Eve. You'll think of me, perhaps not fondly, but you'll think of me." "I'm in the middle of a murder investigation. You're part of it. Sure, I'll think of you." "Darling," he began, and watched with amusement as his use of the endearment knitted her brow. "You'll be thinking of what I can do to you.
J.D. Robb (Naked in Death (In Death, #1))
A racist cop pulls over a black driver for little reason other than the fact that the driver is black and a recent robbery was committed by a couple of young black guys in a white community. The cop quickly realizes the driver is not one of the robbery suspects. He sees a man with a wife and two small children. They are not a couple of young punks. Still,he persists. Why? “He asks to see the driver’s license and registration. While locating the appropriate documents, the black driver respectfully volunteers that he is legally carrying a handgun. The cop panics—is it the image of a black man with a gun? He barks out conflicting orders and then shoots the man to death, in front of his family. Why? “Is it because the cop is an insensitive racist? Maybe he wasn’t trained or taught any better? Perhaps he lived a completely different life in a completely different world than that of the black man. In this cop’s world, were all black men potential criminals, people to be watched, people to be feared?
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal In Black (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #4))
Marya put down her fork. “Why are you doing this, Koschei? I have had lovers before. You have, too. Remember Marina? The rusalka? She and I swam together every morning. We raced the salmon. You called us your little sharks.” The Tsar of Life held his knife so tightly Marya could see his knucklebones bulging. “Were any of them called Ivan? Were any of them human boys all sticky with their own innocence? I know you. I know you because you are like me, as much like me as two spoons nested in each other.” Her husband leaned close to her, the candlelight sparking in his dark, shaggy hair. “When you steal them, they mean so much more, Marousha. Trust me. I know. What did I do wrong? Was I boring? Did I ignore you? Did I not give you enough pretty dresses? Enough emeralds? I’m sure I have more, somewhere.” Marya lifted her hand and laid it on her husband’s cheek. With a blinking quickness, she drove her nails deep into his face. “Don’t you dare speak to me like that. I have worn nothing but blood and death for years. I have fought all your battles for you, just as you asked me. I have learned all the tricks you said I must learn. I have learned not to cry when I strangle a man. I have learned to lay my finger aside my nose and disappear. I have learned to watch everything die. I am not a little girl anymore, dazzled by your magic. It is my magic, now, too. And if I have watched all my soldiers die in front of me, if I have only been saved by my rifle and my own hands, if I have drunk more blood than water for weeks, then I take the human boy who stumbled into my tent and hold him between my legs until I stop screaming, you will not punish me for it. Are we not chyerti? Are we not devils? I will not even hear your punishment, old man.
Catherynne M. Valente (Deathless)
THE DREAM THAT MUST BE INTERPRETED This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief. But there's a difference with this dream. Everything cruel and unconscious done in the illusion of the present world, all that does not fade away at the death-waking. It stays, and it must be interpreted. All the mean laughing, all the quick, sexual wanting, those torn coats of Joseph, they change into powerful wolves that you must face. The retaliation that sometimes comes now, the swift, payback hit, is just a boy's game to what the other will be. You know about circumcision here. It's full castration there! And this groggy time we live, this is what it's like: A man goes to sleep in the town where he has always lived, and he dreams he's living in another town. In the dream, he doesn't remember the town he's sleeping in his bed in. He believes the reality of the dream town. The world is that kind of sleep. The dust of many crumbled cities settles over us like a forgetful doze, but we are older than those cities. We began as a mineral. We emerged into plant life and into animal state, and then into being human, and always we have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green again. That's how a young person turns toward a teacher. That's how a baby leans toward the breast, without knowing the secret of its desire, yet turning instinctively. Humankind is being led along an evolving course, through this migration of intelligences, and though we seem to be sleeping, there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream, and that will eventually startle us back to the truth of who we are.
Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
One of the seats of emotion and memory in the brain is the amygdala, he explained. When something threatens your life, this area seems to kick into overdrive, recording every last detail of the experience. The more detailed the memory, the longer the moment seems to last. "This explains why we think that time speeds up when we grow older," Eagleman said--why childhood summers seem to go on forever, while old age slips by while we’re dozing. The more familiar the world becomes, the less information your brain writes down, and the more quickly time seems to pass.
Burkhard Bilger
There is no 'this'. This is nothing." "And I am nothing," Neil prompted. When Andrew gestured confirmation, Neil said, "And as you've always said, you want nothing." Andrew stared stone-faced back at him. Neil would have assumed it a silent rejection of Neil's veiled accusation if Andrew's hand hadn't frozen midair between them. Neil took the bottle from Andrew's other hand and set it off to one side where they couldn't knock it over. "That's a first," Neil said. "Do I get a prize for shutting you up?" "A quick death," Andrew said. "I've already decided where to hide your body." "Six feet under?" Neil guessed. "Stop talking," Andrew said, and kissed him.
Nora Sakavic (The King's Men (All for the Game, #3))
O hell! to choose love by another's eyes!" "Or, if there were a sympathy in choice, War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it, Making it momentany as a sound, Swift as a shadow, short as any dream; Brief as the lighting in the collied night, That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth, And ere a man hath pwer to say, 'Behold!' The jaws of darkness do devour it up: So quick bright things come to confusion.
William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream)
Ah, Robert?” “Shhhh, not while I’m praying,” he said, momentarily losing his place before he started again, “thank you for letting us survive that trip from hell. Thank you for ignoring my prayers for a quick death when I didn’t think that I’d be able to survive another day of starvation,” he said, making her roll her eyes in annoyance. “You were given three full meals a day just like everyone else,” she pointed out, not bothering to mention the fact that, on most days, he’d received second helpings. She sat down on a bench near their luggage, wondering just how much longer he was going to keep this up. “I’m sorry for all the cursing that my wife forced me to do while I was on that boat,” he continued, ignoring her even as he amused her. “As you know, she’s been such a bad influence on me. Thank you for pulling me from near death and somehow giving me the strength to survive.” “Near death?” she asked, frowning. “When were you near death?” “When was I near death?” he asked in stunned disbelief as he opened his eyes so that he could glare at her. “How could you forget all those times that I could barely move? When I struggled to find the will to live so that I wouldn’t leave you a young widow? Did my struggle for survival mean nothing to you?” he demanded in outrage, terrifying the people that were forced to walk past him to get to the docks and making her wrack her brain as she struggled to figure out what he was talking about. “Do you mean those few times when you had a touch of seasickness?” she asked, unable to think of anything else that he could be talking about since he’d been the picture of health during the majority of the trip. “A touch?” he repeated in disbelief. “I nearly died!
R.L. Mathewson (Truce (Neighbor from Hell, #4))
In America and Europe, it was said, people know what is going to happen when they turn on the water tap or flick on the light switch. In India, a land of few safe assumptions, chronic uncertainty was said to have helped produce a nation of quick-witted, creative problem-solvers.
Katherine Boo (Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity)
Occupation, curfew, settlements, closed military zone, administrative detention, siege, preventive strike, terrorist infrastructure, transfer. Their WAR destroys language. Speaks genocide with the words of a quiet technician. Occupation means that you cannot trust the OPEN SKY, or any open street near to the gates of snipers tower. It means that you cannot trust the future or have faith that the past will always be there. Occupation means you live out your live under military rule, and the constant threat of death, a quick death from a snipers bullet or a rocket attack from an M16. A crushing, suffocating death, a slow bleeding death in an ambulance stopped for hours at a checkpoint. A dark death, at a torture table in an Israeli prison: just a random arbitrary death. A cold calculated death: from a curable disease. A thousand small deaths while you watch your family dying around you. Occupation means that every day you die, and the world watches in silence. As if your death was nothing, as if you were a stone falling in the earth, water falling over water. And if you face all of this death and indifference and keep your humanity, and your love and your dignity and YOU refuse to surrender to their terror, then you know something of the courage that is Palestine.
Suheir Hammad
To-day man is, and to-morrow he will be seen no more. And being removed out of sight, quickly also he is out of mind. O the dulness and hardness of man's heart, which thinketh only of the present, and looketh not forward to the future. Thou oughtest in every deed and thought so to order thyself, as if thou wert to die this day.
Thomas à Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. If a writer can make people live there may be no great characters in his book, but it is possible that his book will remain as a whole; as an entity; as a novel. If the people the writer is making talk of old masters; of music; of modern painting; of letters; or of science then they should talk of those subjects in the novel. If they do not talk of these subjects and the writer makes them talk of them he is a faker, and if he talks about them himself to show how much he knows then he is showing off. No matter how good a phrase or a simile he may have if he puts it in where it is not absolutely necessary and irreplaceable he is spoiling his work for egotism. Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over. For a writer to put his own intellectual musings, which he might sell for a low price as essays, into the mouths of artificially constructed characters which are more remunerative when issued as people in a novel is good economics, perhaps, but does not make literature. People in a novel, not skillfully constructed characters, must be projected from the writer’s assimilated experience, from his knowledge, from his head, from his heart and from all there is of him. If he ever has luck as well as seriousness and gets them out entire they will have more than one dimension and they will last a long time. A good writer should know as near everything as possible. Naturally he will not. A great enough writer seems to be born with knowledge. But he really is not; he has only been born with the ability to learn in a quicker ratio to the passage of time than other men and without conscious application, and with an intelligence to accept or reject what is already presented as knowledge. There are some things which cannot be learned quickly and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little new that each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave. Every novel which is truly written contributes to the total of knowledge which is there at the disposal of the next writer who comes, but the next writer must pay, always, a certain nominal percentage in experience to be able to understand and assimilate what is available as his birthright and what he must, in turn, take his departure from. If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing. A writer who appreciates the seriousness of writing so little that he is anxious to make people see he is formally educated, cultured or well-bred is merely a popinjay. And this too remember; a serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
Ernest Hemingway (Death in the Afternoon)
They said she killed herself.Everyone was saying It. What started out as a rumor, quietly whispered among small gatherings of polite people, quickly grew into something that was openly discussed in a large gatherings of impolite people. I was so sick of hearing them talk about It. They questioned me. Over and over again, trying to find out If i knew what happened. But my answers didn't change. Yet It never failed-someone else would ask, as if one day my reply would suddenly be different. I didn't know, but i should have...and I've been haunted ever since.
Jessica Verday (The Hollow (The Hollow, #1))
The Trifler Death's the lover that I'd be taking; Wild and fickle and fierce is he. Small's his care if my heart be breaking- Gay young Death would have none of me. Hear them clack of my haste to greet him! No one other my mouth had kissed. I had dressed me in silk to meet him- False young Death would not hold the tryst. Slow's the blood that was quick and stormy, Smooth and cold is the bridal bed; I must wait till he whistles for me- Proud young Death would not turn his head. I must wait till my breast is wilted. I must wait till my back is bowed, I must rock in the corner, jilted- Death went galloping down the road. Gone's my heart with a trifling rover. Fine he was in the game he played- Kissed, and promised, and threw me over, And rode away with a prettier maid.
Dorothy Parker
You are embarrassed." She leaned over to kiss him, and while he was distracted, snatched the disc. "That's cute. Really cute." "Shut up. Give me that." "I don't think so." Delighted, she danced back a step and held the disc out of reach. "I bet this is very hot. Aren't you curious?" "No." He made a grab, but she was very quick. "Eve, give me the damn thing." "This is fascinating." She edged back toward the open patio doors. "The sophisticated,seen-it-all Roarke is blushing.
J.D. Robb (Glory in Death (In Death, #2))
I see the way you look at me. I feel the way you touch me. I hear the hidden messages in your voice. Unlike you, I’ve been blessed knowing the warmth that comes with love. The way a person’s eyes glow and body softens. You love me! And if you can stand there and deny it—when it’s so blatantly obvious—then there really is no hope for us. You might as well march me outside and complete the Final Debt, because I’d rather you kill me quickly than live through this endless death!”-Nila
Pepper Winters (Third Debt (Indebted, #4))
Darling Eve!” The Irish was a bit more ripe in the voice, and no, the eyes not as stunningly blue. But Julian Cross hit the gorgeous mark, and moved well. In fact he moved straight to Eve, yanked her into a quick, hard kiss, with a hint of tongue. “Hey!” “I couldn’t help it.” The not-quite-blue-enough eyes twinkled at her. “I feel like we’re close.” “Think that again and they’ll have to write a fat lip into your next scene.” She caught Roarke, eyes narrowed, across the room. “And possibly a broken jaw.
J.D. Robb (Celebrity in Death (In Death, #34))
It's a messy business, dying,' he said. 'As time goes on there's just less and less of you. It happens quickly for some; for others it can drag on. Starting from birth you keep losing one thing after another: first a finger, than an arm, first a tooth, then a whole set of teeth, first one memory, then all your memory, and so on and so forth, until one day there's nothing left. Then they chuck what's left of you in a hole and shovel it in and that's your lot.
Robert Seethaler (Ein ganzes Leben)
While they waited, Ronan decided to finally take up the task of teaching Adam how to drive a stick shift. For several minutes, it seemed to be going well, as the BMW had an easy clutch, Ronan was brief and to the point with his instruction, and Adam was a quick study with no ego to get in the way. From a safe vantage point beside the building, Gansey and Noah huddled and watched as Adam began to make ever quicker circles around the parking lot. Every so often their hoots were audible through the open windows of the BMW. Then—it had to happen eventually—Adam stalled the car. It was a pretty magnificent beast, as far as stalls went, with lots of noise and death spasms on the part of the car. From the passenger seat, Ronan began to swear at Adam. It was a long, involved swear, using every forbidden word possible, often in compound-word form. As Adam stared at his lap, penitent, he mused that there was something musical about Ronan when he swore, a careful and loving precision to the way he fit the words together, a black-painted poetry. It was far less hateful sounding than when he didn’t swear. Ronan finished with, “For the love of . . . Parrish, take some care, this is not your mother’s 1971 Honda Civic.” Adam lifted his head and said, “They didn’t start making the Civic until ’73.” There was a flash of fangs from the passenger seat, but before Ronan truly had time to strike, they both heard Gansey call warmly, “Jane! I thought you’d never show up. Ronan is tutoring Adam in the ways of manual transmissions.” Blue, her hair pulled every which way by the wind, stuck her head in the driver’s side window. The scent of wildflowers accompanied her presence. As Adam catalogued the scent in the mental file of things that made Blue attractive, she said brightly, “Looks like it’s going well. Is that what that smell is?” Without replying, Ronan climbed out of the car and slammed the door. Noah appeared beside Blue. He looked joyful and adoring, like a Labrador retriever. Noah had decided almost immediately that he would do anything for Blue, a fact that would’ve needled Adam if it had been anyone other than Noah. Blue permitted Noah to pet the crazy tufts of her hair, something Adam would have also liked to do, but felt would mean something far different coming from him.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
I WANT her though, to take the same from me. She touches me as if I were herself, her own. She has not realized yet, that fearful thing, that I am the other, she thinks we are all of one piece. It is painfully untrue. I want her to touch me at last, ah, on the root and quick of my darkness and perish on me, as I have perished on her. Then, we shall be two and distinct, we shall have each our separate being. And that will be pure existence, real liberty. Till then, we are confused, a mixture, unresolved, unextricated one from the other. It is in pure, unutterable resolvedness, distinction of being, that one is free, not in mixing, merging, not in similarity. When she has put her hand on my secret, darkest sources, the darkest outgoings, when it has struck home to her, like a death, "this is _him!_" she has no part in it, no part whatever, it is the terrible _other_, when she knows the fearful _other flesh_, ah, dark- ness unfathomable and fearful, contiguous and concrete, when she is slain against me, and lies in a heap like one outside the house, when she passes away as I have passed away being pressed up against the _other_, then I shall be glad, I shall not be confused with her, I shall be cleared, distinct, single as if burnished in silver, having no adherence, no adhesion anywhere, one clear, burnished, isolated being, unique, and she also, pure, isolated, complete, two of us, unutterably distinguished, and in unutterable conjunction. Then we shall be free, freer than angels, ah, perfect. VIII AFTER that, there will only remain that all men detach themselves and become unique, that we are all detached, moving in freedom more than the angels, conditioned only by our own pure single being, having no laws but the laws of our own being. Every human being will then be like a flower, untrammelled. Every movement will be direct. Only to be will be such delight, we cover our faces when we think of it lest our faces betray us to some untimely fiend. Every man himself, and therefore, a surpassing singleness of mankind. The blazing tiger will spring upon the deer, un-dimmed, the hen will nestle over her chickens, we shall love, we shall hate, but it will be like music, sheer utterance, issuing straight out of the unknown, the lightning and the rainbow appearing in us unbidden, unchecked, like ambassadors. We shall not look before and after. We shall _be_, _now_. We shall know in full. We, the mystic NOW. (From the poem the Manifesto)
D.H. Lawrence
She didn't know how seriously to take the fact that he claimed to be in love with her. Love meant different things to different people. It had never been a part of her life. She poured herself a half glass of wine, then merely frown into it. She felt something for him, certainly. Something new, and uncomfortably strong. Still, it was best to let things coast as they were. Decisions made quickly were almost always regretted quickly.
J.D. Robb (Naked in Death (In Death, #1))
He wanted to scream at his parents, to hit them, to elicit from them something - some melting into grief, some loss of composure, some recognition that something large had happened, that in Hemming's death they had lost something vital and necessary to their lives. He didn't care if they really felt that way or not: he just needed them to say it, he needed to feel that something lay beneath their imperturbable calm, that somewhere within them ran a thin stream of quick, cool water, teeming with delicate lives, minnows and grasses and tiny white flowers, all tender and easily wounded and so vulnerable you couldn't see them without aching for them.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
...it was complicated, she wasn't thinking only of herself but me too, since we'd both been through so many of the same things, she and I, and we were an awful lot alike-too much. And because we'd both been hurt so badly, so early on, in violent and irremediable ways that most people didn't, and couldn't, understand, wasn't it a bit… precarious? A matter of self-preservation? Two rickety and death-driven persons who would need to lean on each other quite so much? not to say she wasn't doing well at the moment, because she was, but all that could change in a flash with either of us, couldn't it? the reversal, the sharp downward slide, and wasn't that the danger? since our flaws and weaknesses were so much the same, and one of us could bring the other down way too quick? and though this was left to float in the air a bit, I realized instantly, and with some considerable astonishment, what she was getting at. (Dumb of me not to have seen it earlier, after all the injuries, the crushed leg, the multiple surgeries; adorable drag in the voice, adorable drag in the step, the arm-hugging and the pallor, the scarves and sweaters and multiple layers of clothes, slow drowsy smile: she herself, the dreamy childhood her, was sublimity and disaster, the morphine lollipop I'd chased for all those years.)
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of disappointed shells that dropped behind. GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And floundering like a man in fire or lime.-- Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-- My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.
Wilfred Owen (The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen)
Reconstructions based on bone remains can only reveal the most general characteristics of the creature, since the really distinctive morphological features of any animal are soft tissues which quickly vanish after death. Therefore, due to the speculative nature of the interpretation of the soft tissues, the reconstructed drawings or models become totally dependent on the imagination of the person producing them.
Harun Yahya (The Evolution Deceit: The Scientific Collapse of Darwinism and its Ideological Background)
Bebeorh þé ðone bealo-níð, Béowulf léofa, secg betsta, ond þé þæt sélre gecéos, éce rǽdas; ofer-hýda ne gým, mǽre cempa! Nú is þines mægnes blǽd áne hwíle; eft sóna bið þæt þec ádl oððe ecg eafoþes getwǽfeð, oððe fýres feng oððe flódes wylm oððe gripe méces oððe gáres fliht oððe atol yldo, oððe éagena bearhtm forsiteð ond forsworceð; semninga bið, þæt ðec, dryht-guma, déað oferswýðeð. O flower of warriors, beware of that trap. Choose, dear Béowulf, the better part, eternal rewards. Do not give way to pride. For a brief while your strength is in bloom but it fades quickly; and soon there will follow illness or the sword to lay you low, or a sudden fire or a surge of water or jabbing blade or javelin from the air or repellent age. Your piercing eye will dim and darken; and death will arrive, dear warrior, to sweep you away.
Seamus Heaney (Beowulf)
What do you know of love or marriage?" I asked. "You were all set to marry a woman ten years older than you before the King stole her away." "I wouldn't have married her anyway," Loki shrugged. "Not if I didn't love her." "Now you've got integrity?" I scoffed. "You kidnapped me, and your father was a traitor." "I've never said a nice word about my father," Loki said quickly. "And I've never done anything bad to you." "You still kidnapped me!" I said dubiously. "Did I?" Loki cocked his head. "Because I remember Kyra kidnapping you,and me preventing her from pummeling you to death. Then,when you were coughing up blood, I sent for the Queen to help you. When you escaped,I didn't stop you. And since I came here,I've done nothing to you. I've even been good because you told me to be. So what terrible crimes have I committed against you, Princess?" "I-I-" I stammered. "I never said you did anything terrible." "Then why don't you trust me, Wendy?" He'd never called me by my name before, and the underlying affection underneath it startled me. Even his eyes, which still held their usual veil of playfulness, had something deeper brewing underneath. When he wasn't trying so hard to be devilishly handsome, he actually was. The growing connection I felt with him unnerved me, but I didn't want him to see that. More than that,it didn't matter what feelings I might be having for him.He was leaving today, and I would probably never see him again. "I do trust you," I admitted. "I do trust you.I just don't know why I do,and I don't know why you've been helping me." "You want the truth?" He smiled at me, and there was something sincere and sweet underlying. "You piqued my curiosity." "You risked your life for me because you were curious?" I asked doubtfully. "As soon as you came to,your only conern was for helping your friends, and you never stopped," Loki said. "You were kind. And I haven't seen that much kindness in my life.
Amanda Hocking (Torn (Trylle, #2))
If the demand for self-knowledge is willed by fate and is refused, this negative attitude may end in real death. The demand would not have come to this person had he still been able to strike out on some promising by-path. But he is caught in a blind alley from which only self-knowledge can extricate him. If he refuses this then no other way is left open to him. Usually he is not conscious of his situation, either, and the more unconscious he is the more he is at the mercy of unforeseen dangers: he cannot get out of the way of a car quickly enough, in climbing a mountain he misses his foothold somewhere, out skiing he thinks he can negotiate a tricky slope, and in an illness he suddenly loses the courage to live. The unconscious has a thousand ways of snuffing out a meaningless existence with surprising swiftness.
C.G. Jung
Father used to say that change took time, but he was wrong. It did not take any time at all to change me. The glimpse of a family. A beautiful tale. A child’s tears. A confession. A wound. An honest opinion. A friend’s betrayal. One parent’s death and another’s embrace. A touch—an instant slapping you with its light and jolting you back, shaken and blinking. Those quick moments were what changed people.
Natalia Jaster (Trick (Foolish Kingdoms, #1))
I knew that some victims of powerful self-loathing turn out to be dangerous, violent, reproducing the enemy who has humiliated them over and over. Others surrender their identity; melt into a structure that delivers the strong persona they lack. Most others, however, grow beyond it. But there are some who collapse, silently, anonymously, with no voice to express or acknowledge it. They are invisible. The death of self-esteem can occur quickly, easily in children, before their ego has “legs,” so to speak. Couple the vulnerability of youth with indifferent parents, dismissive adults, and a world, which, in its language, laws, and images, re-enforces despair, and the journey to destruction is sealed.
Toni Morrison (The Bluest Eye)
He went to his own dark house and lighted the lamps and set fire in the stove. The clock wound by Elizabeth still ticked, storing in its spring the pressure of her hand, and the wool socks she had hung to dry over the stove screen were still damp. These were vital parts of Elizabeth that were not dead yet. Joseph pondered slowly over it. Life cannot be cut off quickly. One cannot be dead until the things he changed are dead. His effect is the only evidence of his life.
John Steinbeck (To a God Unknown)
And we neglect the glorious gospel when we fail to recognize his preeminence. How frequently we forget that everything is for him and about him. We forget that he is to be first, in our honor and in our worship. Whenever the gospel slips from our conscious thought, our religion becomes all about our performance, and then we think everything that happens or will ever happen isa bout us. When I forget the incarnation, sinless life, death, resurrection, and ascension, I quickly believe that I'm supposed to be the unrivaled supreme, and matchless one. It's at this point that I'm particularly in need of an intravenous dose of gospel truth. He is preeminent.
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick (Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life)
It is a strange thing how quickly our bodies die. How fragile a force our presence is. In an instant the soul is gone - leaving an empty, insignificant vessel in its stead. I have read of those sent to the gallows and guillotines of Europe. I have read of the great war of ages past and men slaughtered by the tens of thousands. And we give but fleeting consideration to such deaths, for it is our nature to banish such thoughts. But in doing so, we forget that they were each as alive as we, and the one length of rope - or bullet - or blade, took the whole of their lives in that one, fragile instant. Took their earliest days as swaddled infants, and their grayest unfulfilled futures. When one think of how many souls have suffered this fate in all of history - of the untold murders of untold men, women and children.. it is too much to bear.
Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, #1))
I tell Thee that man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that gift of freedom with which the ill-fated creatures is born. But only one who can appease their conscience can take over their freedom […] Instead of taking men's freedom from them, Thou didst make it greater than ever! Didst Thou forget that man prefers peace, and even death, to freedom of choice in the knowledge of good and evil?
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
You're certainly chipper this morning." "Damn straight. Chipper's my middle name. I'm going out to spread joy and laughter to all of mankind." "What a nice change of pace." There was amusement riding along with the Irish in his voice. "Perhaps you'll start now by going down with me to see Summerset off." She grimaced. "That might spoil my appetite." Testing, she polished off the pancakes. "No, no, it doesn't. I can do that. I can go down and wave bye-bye." Brow lifted, he gave her hair a quick tug. "Nicely." "I won't do the happy dance until he's out of sight. Three weeks.
J.D. Robb (Portrait in Death (In Death, #16))
Things like "Everything happens for a reason" and "You'll become a stronger/kinder/more compassionate person because of this" brings out rage in grieving people. Nothing makes a person angrier than when they know they're being insulted but can't figure out how. It's not just erasing your current pain that makes words of comfort land so badly. There's a hidden subtext in those statements about becoming a better, kinder, and more compassionate because of your loss, that often-used phrase about knowing what's "truly important in life" now that you've learned how quickly life can change. The unspoken second half of the sentence in this case says you needed this somehow. It says that you weren't aware of what was important in life before this happened. It says that you weren't kind, compassionate, or aware enough in your life before this happened. That you needed this experience in order to develop or grow, that you needed this lesson in order to step into your "true path" in life. As though loss and hardship were the only ways to grow as a human being. As though pain were the only doorway to a better, deeper life, the only way to be truly compassionate and kind.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had I ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed could have meant pain, or death. But we all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change, or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quickly, now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said, or had only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone else's words. And I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength. I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.
Audre Lorde (The Cancer Journals)
and on the other side for lack of sun there is death perhaps waiting for you in the uproar of a dazzling whirlwind with a thousand explosive arms stretched toward you man flower passing from the seller's hands to those of the lover and the loved passing from the hand of one event to the other passive and sad parakeet the teeth of doors are chattering and everything is done with impatience to make you leave quickly man amiable merchandise eyes open but tightly sealed cough of waterfall rhythm projected in meridians and slices globe spotted with mud with leprosy and blood winter mounted on its pedestal of night poor night weak and sterile draws the drapery of cloud over the cold menagerie and holds in its hands as if to throw a ball luminous number your head full of poetry
Tristan Tzara (L'Homme approximatif)
Cry Out in Your Weakness A dragon was pulling a bear into its terrible mouth. A courageous man went and rescued the bear. There are such helpers in the world, who rush to save anyone who cries out. Like Mercy itself, they run toward the screaming. And they can’t be bought off. If you were to ask one of those, “Why did you come so quickly?” He or she would say, “Because I heard your helplessness.” Where lowland is, that’s where water goes. All medicine wants is pain to cure. And don’t just ask for one mercy. Let them flood in. Let the sky open under your feet. Take the cotton out of your ears, the cotton of consolations, so you can hear the sphere-music. . . . Give your weakness to One Who Helps. Crying out loud and weeping are great resources. A nursing mother, all she does is wait to hear her child. Just a little beginning-whimper, and she’s there. God created the child, that is, your wanting, so that it might cry out, so that milk might come. Cry out! Don’t be stolid and silent with your pain. Lament! And let the milk of Loving flow into you. The hard rain and wind are ways the cloud has to take care of us. Be patient. Respond to every call that excites your spirit. Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back toward disease and death.
Rumi (The Essential Rumi)
Death is like giving birth. Birth can be painful. Sometimes women die from giving birth. However, when the baby is born, all that pain (that was endured) vanishes in an instant. Love for that tiny baby makes one forget the pain, the fear. And as I’ve said before, love between mother and child is the highest experience, the closest to divine love. You might wonder about the parallel I’m making between birth and death. But I say to you, the fear and pain accompanying an awful death is over quickly. Beyond that portal one is suddenly in the light, in oneness and bliss…Just as a woman heals rapidly after childbirth and then is able to fall in love with her baby, those who pass over also are able to fall in love with a new life."-Kuan Yin (From "Oracle of Compassion: the Living Word of Kuan Yin
Hope Bradford (Oracle of Compassion: The Living Word of Kuan Yin)
I know that a stranger's hand will write to me next, to say that the good and faithful servant has been called at length into the joy of his Lord. And why weep for this? No fear of death will darken St. John's last hour: his mind will be unclouded; his heart will be undaunted; his hope will be sure; his faith steadfast. His own words are a pledge of this: “My Master,” he says, “has forewarned me. Daily he announces more distinctly, ‘Surely I come quickly!’ and hourly I more eagerly respond, ‘Amen; even so come, Lord Jesus!
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
If a person leads an ‘active’ life, as Wiggs had, if a person has goals, ideals, a cause to fight for, then that person is distracted, temporarily, from paying a whole lot of attention to the heavy scimitar that hangs by a mouse hair just about his or her head. We, each of us, have a ticket to ride, and if the trip be interesting (if it’s dull, we have only ourselves to blame), then we relish the landscape (how quickly it whizzes by!), interact with our fellow travelers, pay frequent visits to the washrooms and concession stands, and hardly ever hold up the ticket to the light where we can read its plainly stated destination: The Abyss. Yet, ignore it though we might in our daily toss and tussle, the fact of our impending death is always there, just behind the draperies, or, more accurately, inside our sock, like a burr that we can never quite extract. If one has a religious life, one can rationalize one’s slide into the abyss; if one has a sense of humor (and a sense of humor, properly developed, is superior to any religion so far devised), one can minimalize it through irony and wit. Ah, but the specter is there, night and day, day in and day out, coloring with its chalk of gray almost everything we do. And a lot of what we do is done, subconsciously, indirectly, to avoid the thought of death, or to make ourselves so unexpendable through our accomplishments that death will hesitate to take us, or, when the scimitar finally falls, to insure that we ‘live on’ in the memory of the lucky ones still kicking.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
The ruby is meant to represent a drop of blood. It is the symbolic representation of the way of the primary edict. It means only one thing and everything. Cut. Once committed to the fight, cut. Everything else is secondary. Cut. That is your duty, your purpose, your hunger. There is no rule more important, no commitment that overrides that one. Cut. The lines are a portrayal of the dance. Cut from the void, not from bewilderment. Cut the enemy as quickly and directly as possible. Cut with certainty. Cut decisively, resolutely. Cut into his strength. Flow through the gap in his guard. Cut him. Cut him down utterly. Don’t allow him a breath. Crush him. Cut him without mercy to the depths of his spirit. It’s the balance of life: death. It is the dance with death.
Terry Goodkind (Faith of the Fallen (Sword of Truth, #6))
The days are passing so quickly. This is the only time of year when I want to slow time down. I spend the entire year trying to get here as fast as I can, then once I'm here I want to slam on the brakes. I'm beginning to have those moments when the feel of autumn is so strong it drowns out everything else. Lately it's been making me think about the perfect soundtrack for a Halloween party. The top of any Halloween music list as to be the theme song from the movie Halloween; right on its heels is "Pet Sematary" by the Ramones. For some reason I've always equated the old Van Morrison song "Moondance" with Halloween, too. I love that song. "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus is an October classic, as well as anything by Type O Negative. And Midnight Syndicate. If you've never heard anything by Midnight Syndicate, look them up right this moment. If you distilled the raw essence of every spooky story you ever heard, you would have Midnight Syndicate. I have a friend who swears by them, believing them to be a vital element of any Halloween party. To finish off the list you must have "The Lyre of Orpheus" by Nick Cave and "I Feel Alright" by Steve Earle.
Damien Echols (Life After Death)
It is very important that you understand the true innocence of all feelings, for each of them, if left alone and followed, will lead you back to the reality of love . -In their way the hateful or revengeful thoughts are natural therapeutic devices, for if you follow them, accepting them with their own validity as feelings, they will automatically lead you beyond themselves; they will change into other feelings, carrying you from hatred into ... fear - which is always behind hatred. (1 1;220-22 1) 2. Regardless of what you have been told, hatred does not initiate strong violence ... The outbreak of violence is often the result of a built-in sense of powerlessness. (21;418) 3. There are adults who quail when one of their children say, "I hate you'. Often children quickly learn not to be honest. What the child is really saying is, “I love you so. Why are you so mean to me?' or 'What stands between us and the love for you that I feel?' (21;423)4. You become conditioned so that you feel guilty when you even contemplate hating another. You try to hide such thoughts from yourself. You may succeed so well that you literally do not know what you are feeling on a conscious level. The emotions are there but they are invisible to you because you are afraid to look. To that extent you are divorced from your own reality and disconnected from your own feelings of love. (21;424) 5. Even your hateful fantasies, left alone, will return you to a reconciliation and release of love. A fantasy of beating a parent or a child, even to death, will if followed through lead to tears of love and understanding. (2 1;424) 6. You may love a parent, and if the parent does not seem to return the love...you may 'hate' the parent .... Hatred is not a denial of love then but an attempt to regain it
Jane Roberts
She pushed back from the table. "I've got some stuff I need to do." "The Walking Dead said there was chocolate cake." "Jamie," Roarke said mildly. "Sorry," Jamie said reluctantly. "Mister Walking Dead, also known as Summerset, said there was chocolate cake." "And if you eat it all, I'll kill you in your sleep. Then you can join The Walking Dead. Roarke, I need to talk to you." As they started out, she heard Jamie ask: "Think they're gonna go do it?" And heard the quick slap of Feeney's hand on the teenaged skull. "Are we going to go do it?" Roarke grabbed her hand. "Want me to have Feeney knock you, too?" "I'm a bit quicker than Jamie yet. But I take that to mean we're not going back upstairs for a fast tumble." "How many times a day do you think about sex?" He gave her a considering look. "Would that be actively thinking of it, or just having the concept of it lurking there, like Jamie's invisible document?
J.D. Robb (Purity in Death (In Death, #15))
Camels can go many weeks without drinking anything at all. The notion that they cache water in their humps is pure myth—their humps are made of fat, and water is stored in their body tissues. While other mammals draw water from bloodstreams when faced with dehydration, leading to death by volume shock, camels tap the water in their tissues, keeping their blood volume stable. Though this reduces the camel’s bulk, they can lose up to a third of their body weight with no ill effects, which they can replace astonishingly quickly, as they are able to drink up to forty gallons in a single watering.” (pp.69-70)
Michael Benanav (Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold)
They rode for a while in silence, a tiny island in the smoky stream of marching men. Then Lee said slowly, in a strange, soft, slow tone of voice, "Soldiering has one great trap." Longstreet turned to see his face. Lee was riding slowly ahead, without expression. He spoke in that same slow voice. "To be a good soldier you must love the army. But to be a good officer you must be willing to order the death of the thing you love. This is...a very hard thing to do. No other profession requires it. That is one reason why there are so very few good officers. Although there are many good men." Lee rarely lectured. Longstreet sensed a message beyond it. He waited. Lee said, "We don't fear our own deaths, you and I." He smiled slightly, then glanced away. "We protect ourselves out of military necessity, not do not protect yourself enough and must give thought to it. I need you. But the point is, we are afraid to die. We are prepared for our own deaths, and for the deaths of comrades. We learn that at the Point. But I have seen this happen: we are not prepared for as many deaths as we have to face, inevitably as the war goes on. There comes a time..." He paused. He had been gazing straight ahead, away from Longstreet. Now, black-eyed, he turned back, glanced once quickly into Longstreet's eyes, then looked away. "We are never prepared for so many to die. So you understand? No one is. We expect some chosen few. We expect an occasional empty chair, a toast to dear departed comrades. Victory celebrations for most of us, a hallowed death for a few. But the war goes on. And the men die. The price gets ever higher. Some officers...can pay no longer. We are prepared to lose some of us." He paused again. "But never ALL of us. Surely not all of us. But...that is the trap. You can hold nothing back when you attack. You must commit yourself totally. And yet ,if they all die, a man must ask himself, will it have been worth it?
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one’s own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage along a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come. I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.
Steven Erikson (The Bonehunters (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #6))
God will not be tolerated. He instructs us to worship and fear Him. In our world, where hundreds of things distract us from God, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Because we don’t often think about the reality of who God is, we quickly forget that He is worthy to be worshiped and loved. We are to fear Him. The answer to each of these questions is simply this: because He’s God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Can you worship a God who isn’t obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? If God is truly the greatest good on this earth, would He be loving us if He didn’t draw us toward what is best for us (even if that happens to be Himself)? Doesn’t His courting, luring, pushing, calling, and even “threatening” demonstrate His love? If He didn’t do all of that, wouldn’t we accuse Him of being unloving in the end, when all things are revealed? Has your relationship with God actually changed the way you live? Do you see evidence of God’s kingdom in your life? Or are you choking it out slowly by spending too much time, energy, money, and thought on the things of this world? Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. Jesus’ call to commitment is clear: He wants all or nothing. Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. If life is a river, then pursuing Christ requires swimming upstream. When we stop swimming, or actively following Him, we automatically begin to be swept downstream. How could we think for even a second that something on this puny little earth compares to the Creator and Sustainer and Savior of it all? True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity. When you are truly in love, you go to great lengths to be with the one you love. You’ll drive for hours to be together, even if it’s only for a short while. You don’t mind staying up late to talk. Walking in the rain is romantic, not annoying. You’ll willingly spend a small fortune on the one you’re crazy about. When you are apart from each other, it’s painful, even miserable. He or she is all you think about; you jump at any chance to be together. There is nothing better than giving up everything and stepping into a passionate love relationship with God, the God of the universe who made galaxies, leaves, laughter, and me and you. Do you recognize the foolishness of seeking fulfillment outside of Him? Are you ready and willing to make yourself nothing? To take the very nature of a servant? To be obedient unto death? True love requires sacrifice. What are you doing right now that requires faith? God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. If one person “wastes” away his day by spending hours connecting with God, and the other person believes he is too busy or has better things to do than worship the Creator and Sustainer, who is the crazy one? Am I loving my neighbor and my God by living where I live, by driving what I drive, by talking how I talk?” If I stop pursuing Christ, I am letting our relationship deteriorate. The way we live out our days is the way we will live our lives. What will people say about your life in heaven? Will people speak of God’s work and glory through you? And even more important, how will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with what I gave you?
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
Life is like the big wheel at Luna Park. You pay five francs and go into a room with tiers of seats all around, and in the centre the floor is made of a great disc of polished wood that revolves quickly. At first you sit down and watch the others. They are all trying to sit in the wheel, and they keep getting flung off, and that makes them laugh too. It's great fun. You see, the nearer you can get to the hub of the wheel the slower it is moving and the easier it is to stay on. There's generally someone in the centre who stands up and sometimes does a sort of dance. Often he's paid by the management, though, or, at any rate, he's allowed in free. Of course at the very centre there's a point completely at rest, if one could only find it; I'm not very near that point myself. Of course the professional men get in the way. Lots of people just enjoy scrambling on and being whisked off and scrambling on again. How they all shriek and giggle! Then there are others, like Margot, who sit as far out as they can and hold on for dear life and enjoy that. But the whole point about the wheel is that you needn't get on it at all, if you don't want to. People get hold of ideas about life, and that makes them think they've got to join in the game, even if they don't enjoy it. It doesn't suit everyone. People don't see that when they say "life" they mean two different things. They can mean simply existence, with its physiological implications of growth and organic change. They can't escape that - even by death, but because that's inevitable they think the other idea of life is too - the scrambling and excitement and bumps and the effort to get to the middle, and when we do get to the middle, it's just as if we never started. It's so odd. Now you're a person who was clearly meant to stay in the seats and sit still and if you get bored watch the others. Somehow you got on to the wheel, and you got thrown off again at once with a hard bump. It's all right for Margot, who can cling on, and for me, at the centre, but you're static. Instead of this absurd division into sexes they ought to class people as static and dynamic. There's a real distinction there, though I can't tell you how it comes. I think we're probably two quite different species spiritually.
Evelyn Waugh (Decline and Fall)
What do you fear when you fear everything? Time passing and not passing. Death and life. I could say my lungs never filled with enough air, no matter how many puffs of my inhaler I took. Or that my thoughts moved too quickly to complete, severed by a perpetual vigilance. But even to say this would abet the lie that terror can be described, when anyone who's ever known it knows that it has no components but its instead everywhere inside you all the time, until you recognize yourself only by the tensions that string one minute to the next. And yet I keep lying, by describing, because how else can I avoid this second, and the one after it? This being the condition itself: the relentless need to escape a moment that never ends.
Adam Haslett (Imagine Me Gone)
Ready to have some fun?” She didn’t give him time to answer. Weighed down with the chains, she flashed to a busy street in New York—fingers crossed he would be run over—then to a gay strip club in Italy—fingers crossed he would be groped—then to a zoo in Oklahoma—fingers crossed the elephant shit was ripe. “Enjoy,” she muttered with relish. Anya flashed one final time, back to where she’d begun: his home in Greece. Lucien was still following her trail. Lightning-quick, she hid the chains under the bed and palmed her Taser. When she straightened he was there, just in front of her. Her breath caught. He was still scowling, teeth bared and sharp, Death glowing in his eyes. He had a bleeding cut on his leg and he smelled like shit. Her nose wrinkled. “Step in something?” she asked innocently. “That, I did not mind.” He took a menacing step toward her. “What I did mind was being hit by a cab, then landing on the lap of a naked man. With an erection, Anya. He had an erection.” She grinned. She just couldn’t help herself.
Gena Showalter (The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld, #2))
Idiot. People say that those who call others idiots are the real idiots. I don't care if I'm an idiot, so I'll call you one. Idiot! You should have told me this earlier! Okay, he's dead! I'm gonna kill him for sure. He's totally dead, guaranteed! -Shizuo Well, no. I'm the Headless Rider! I'm totally fine. -Celty No, no, no. That's not even the problem here! If he pulled a blade on you, that's instant death. Gonna kill him...-Shizuo What about your job? Aren't you on a break right now? -Celty I don't give a shit. -Shizuo Come on. I'm not going to let you get fired because of me. Besides, I still need more information to track him down. I'll make the preparations, so just wait for now. -Celty Fine. But try to make it quick. Gonna kill him...
Ryohgo Narita
Come up into the hills, O my young love. Return! O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again, as first I knew you in the timeless valley, where we shall feel ourselves anew, bedded on magic in the month of June. There was a place where all the sun went glistening in your hair, and from the hill we could have put a finger on a star. Where is the day that melted into one rich noise? Where the music of your flesh, the rhyme of your teeth, the dainty languor of your legs, your small firm arms, your slender fingers, to be bitten like an apple, and the little cherry-teats of your white breasts? And where are all the tiny wires of finespun maidenhair? Quick are the mouths of earth, and quick the teeth that fed upon this loveliness. You who were made for music, will hear music no more: in your dark house the winds are silent. Ghost, ghost, come back from that marriage that we did not foresee, return not into life, but into magic, where we have never died, into the enchanted wood, where we still life, strewn on the grass. Come up into the hills, O my young love: return. O lost, and by the wind grieved ghost, come back again.
Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward, Angel)
Prince Humperdinck: First things first, to the death. Westley: No. To the pain. Prince Humperdinck: I don't think I'm quite familiar with that phrase. Westley: I'll explain and I'll use small words so that you'll be sure to understand, you warthog faced buffoon. Prince Humperdinck: That may be the first time in my life a man has dared insult me. Westley: It won't be the last. To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists. Next your nose. Prince Humperdinck: And then my tongue I suppose, I killed you too quickly the last time. A mistake I don't mean to duplicate tonight. Westley: I wasn't finished. The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right. Prince Humperdinck: And then my ears, I understand let's get on with it. Westley: WRONG. Your ears you keep and I'll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, "Dear God! What is that thing," will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever. Prince Humperdinck: I think you're bluffing. Westley: It's possible, Pig, I might be bluffing. It's conceivable, you miserable, vomitous mass, that I'm only lying here because I lack the strength to stand. But, then again... perhaps I have the strength after all. [slowly rises and points sword directly at the prince] Westley: DROP... YOUR... SWORD!
-Princess Bride
I feel to that the gap between my new life in New York and the situation at home in Africa is stretching into a gulf, as Zimbabwe spirals downwards into a violent dictatorship. My head bulges with the effort to contain both worlds. When I am back in New York, Africa immediately seems fantastical – a wildly plumaged bird, as exotic as it is unlikely. Most of us struggle in life to maintain the illusion of control, but in Africa that illusion is almost impossible to maintain. I always have the sense there that there is no equilibrium, that everything perpetually teeters on the brink of some dramatic change, that society constantly stands poised for some spasm, some tsunami in which you can do nothing but hope to bob up to the surface and not be sucked out into a dark and hungry sea. The origin of my permanent sense of unease, my general foreboding, is probably the fact that I have lived through just such change, such a sudden and violent upending of value systems. In my part of Africa, death is never far away. With more Zimbabweans dying in their early thirties now, mortality has a seat at every table. The urgent, tugging winds themselves seem to whisper the message, memento mori, you too shall die. In Africa, you do not view death from the auditorium of life, as a spectator, but from the edge of the stage, waiting only for your cue. You feel perishable, temporary, transient. You feel mortal. Maybe that is why you seem to live more vividly in Africa. The drama of life there is amplified by its constant proximity to death. That’s what infuses it with tension. It is the essence of its tragedy too. People love harder there. Love is the way that life forgets that it is terminal. Love is life’s alibi in the face of death. For me, the illusion of control is much easier to maintain in England or America. In this temperate world, I feel more secure, as if change will only happen incrementally, in manageable, finely calibrated, bite-sized portions. There is a sense of continuity threaded through it all: the anchor of history, the tangible presence of antiquity, of buildings, of institutions. You live in the expectation of reaching old age. At least you used to. But on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, those two states of mind converge. Suddenly it feels like I am back in Africa, where things can be taken away from you at random, in a single violent stroke, as quick as the whip of a snake’s head. Where tumult is raised with an abruptness that is as breathtaking as the violence itself.
Peter Godwin (When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa)
We quickly learn that God is more interested in our holiness than in our comfort. He more greatly delights in the integrity and purity of his church than in the material well-being of its members. He shows himself more clearly to men and women who enjoy him and obey him than to men and women whose horizons revolve around good jobs, nice houses, and reasonable health. He is far more committed to building a corporate “temple” in which his Spirit dwells than he is in preserving our reputations. He is more vitally disposed to display his grace than to flatter our intelligence. He is more concerned for justice than for our ease. He is more deeply committed to stretching our faith than our popularity. He prefers that his people live in disciplined gratitude and holy joy rather than in pushy self-reliance and glitzy happiness. He wants us to pursue daily death, not self-fulfillment, for the latter leads to death, while the former leads to life. These essential values of the gospel must shape our praying, as they shape Paul’s. Indeed, they become the ground for our praying (“For this reason . . . I pray”): it is a wonderful comfort, a marvelous boost to faith, to know that you are praying in line with the declared will of almighty God.
D.A. Carson (A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers)
There is a plain under a dim sky. It is covered with gentle rolling curves that might remind you of something else if you saw it from a long way away, and if you did see it from a long way away you'd be very glad that you were, in fact, a long way away. Three gray figures floated just above it. Exactly what they were can't be described in normal language. Some people might call them cherubs, although there was nothing rosy-cheeked about them. They might be rumored among those who see to it that gravity operates and that time stays separate from space. Call them auditors. Auditors of reality. They were in conversation without speaking. They didn't need to speak. They just changed reality so that they had spoken. One said, It has never happened before. Can it be done? One said, It will have to be done. There is a personality. Personalities come to an end. Only forces endure. It said this with satisfaction. One said, Besides... there have been irregularities. Where you get personality, you get irregularities. Well-known fact. One said, He has worked inefficiently? One said, No. We can't get him there. One said, That is the point. The word is him. Becoming a personality is inefficient. We don't want it to spread. Supposing gravity developed a personality? Supposing it decided to like people? One said, Got a crush on them, that sort of thing? One said, in a voice that would have been even chillier if it was not already at absolute zero, No. One said, Sorry. Just my little joke. One said, Besides, sometimes he wonders about his job. Such speculation is dangerous. One said, No argument there. One said, Then we are agreed? One, who seemed to have been thinking about something, said, Just one moment. Did you not just use the singular pronoun "my?" Not developing a personality, are you? One said, guiltily, Who? Us? One said, Where there is personality, there is discord. One said, Yes. Yes. Very true. One said, All right. But watch it in future. One said, Then we are agreed? They looked up at the face of Azrael, outlined against the sky. In fact, it was the sky. Azrael nodded, slowly. One said, Very well. Where is this place? One said, It is the Discworld. It rides through space on the back of a giant turtle. One said, Oh, one of that sort. I hate them. One said, You're doing it again. You said "I." One said, No! No! I didn't! I never said "I!"... oh, bugger... It burst into flame and burned in the same way that a small cloud of vapor burns, quickly and with no residual mess. Almost immediately, another one appeared. It was identical in appearance to its vanished sibling. One said, Let that be a lesson. To become a personality is to end. And now... let us go.
Terry Pratchett (Reaper Man (Discworld, #11; Death, #2))
I was of the age when it was natural to seek out a wife, but by then I had seen tasking women promised to tasking men, and then seen how such “promises” were kept. I remember how these young couples would hold one another, each morning before going to their separate tasks, how they would clasp hands at night, sitting on the steps of their quarters, how they would fight and draw knives, kill each other, before being without each other, kill each other, because Natchez-way was worse than death, was living death, an agony of knowing that somewhere in the vastness of America, the one whom you loved most was parted from you, never again to meet in this shackled, fallen world. That was the love the Tasked made, and it was that love that occupied my thoughts when time came to tend to Maynard—how families formed in the shadow and quick, and then turned to dust with the white wave of a hand.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)
The light was crude. It made Artaud's eyes shrink into darkness, as they are deep-set. This brought into relief the intensity of his gestures. He looked tormented. His hair, rather long, fell at times over his forehead. He has the actor's nimbleness and quickness of gestures. His face is lean, as if ravaged by fevers. His eyes do not seem to see the people. They are the eyes of a visionary. His hands are long, long-fingered. Beside him Allendy looks earthy, heavy, gray. He sits at the desk, massive, brooding. Artaud steps out on the platform, and begins to talk about " The Theatre and the Plague." He asked me to sit in the front row. It seems to me that all he is asking for is intensity, a more heightened form of feeling and living. Is he trying to remind us that it was during the Plague that so many marvelous works of art and theater came to be, because, whipped by the fear of death, man seeks immortality, or to escape, or to surpass himself? But then, imperceptibly almost, he let go of the thread we were following and began to act out dying by plague. No one quite knew when it began. To illustrate his conference, he was acting out an agony. "La Peste" in French is so much more terrible than "The Plague" in English. But no word could describe what Artaud acted out on the platform of the Sorbonne. He forgot about his conference, the theatre, his ideas, Dr. Allendy sitting there, the public, the young students, his wife, professors, and directors. His face was contorted with anguish, one could see the perspiration dampening his hair. His eyes dilated, his muscles became cramped, his fingers struggled to retain their flexibility. He made one feel the parched and burning throat, the pains, the fever, the fire in the guts. He was in agony. He was screaming. He was delirious. He was enacting his own death, his own crucifixion. At first people gasped. And then they began to laugh. Everyone was laughing! They hissed. Then, one by one, they began to leave, noisily, talking, protesting. They banged the door as they left. The only ones who did not move were Allendy, his wife, the Lalous, Marguerite. More protestations. More jeering. But Artaud went on, until the last gasp. And stayed on the floor. Then when the hall had emptied of all but his small group of friends, he walked straight up to me and kissed my hand. He asked me to go to the cafe with him.
Anaïs Nin
When reading the history of the Jewish people, of their flight from slavery to death, of their exchange of tyrants, I must confess that my sympathies are all aroused in their behalf. They were cheated, deceived and abused. Their god was quick-tempered unreasonable, cruel, revengeful and dishonest. He was always promising but never performed. He wasted time in ceremony and childish detail, and in the exaggeration of what he had done. It is impossible for me to conceive of a character more utterly detestable than that of the Hebrew god. He had solemnly promised the Jews that he would take them from Egypt to a land flowing with milk and honey. He had led them to believe that in a little while their troubles would be over, and that they would soon in the land of Canaan, surrounded by their wives and little ones, forget the stripes and tears of Egypt. After promising the poor wanderers again and again that he would lead them in safety to the promised land of joy and plenty, this God, forgetting every promise, said to the wretches in his power:—'Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness and your children shall wander until your carcasses be wasted.' This curse was the conclusion of the whole matter. Into this dust of death and night faded all the promises of God. Into this rottenness of wandering despair fell all the dreams of liberty and home. Millions of corpses were left to rot in the desert, and each one certified to the dishonesty of Jehovah. I cannot believe these things. They are so cruel and heartless, that my blood is chilled and my sense of justice shocked. A book that is equally abhorrent to my head and heart, cannot be accepted as a revelation from God. When we think of the poor Jews, destroyed, murdered, bitten by serpents, visited by plagues, decimated by famine, butchered by each, other, swallowed by the earth, frightened, cursed, starved, deceived, robbed and outraged, how thankful we should be that we are not the chosen people of God. No wonder that they longed for the slavery of Egypt, and remembered with sorrow the unhappy day when they exchanged masters. Compared with Jehovah, Pharaoh was a benefactor, and the tyranny of Egypt was freedom to those who suffered the liberty of God. While reading the Pentateuch, I am filled with indignation, pity and horror. Nothing can be sadder than the history of the starved and frightened wretches who wandered over the desolate crags and sands of wilderness and desert, the prey of famine, sword, and plague. Ignorant and superstitious to the last degree, governed by falsehood, plundered by hypocrisy, they were the sport of priests, and the food of fear. God was their greatest enemy, and death their only friend. It is impossible to conceive of a more thoroughly despicable, hateful, and arrogant being, than the Jewish god. He is without a redeeming feature. In the mythology of the world he has no parallel. He, only, is never touched by agony and tears. He delights only in blood and pain. Human affections are naught to him. He cares neither for love nor music, beauty nor joy. A false friend, an unjust judge, a braggart, hypocrite, and tyrant, sincere in hatred, jealous, vain, and revengeful, false in promise, honest in curse, suspicious, ignorant, and changeable, infamous and hideous:—such is the God of the Pentateuch.
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
Transcendent renunciation is developed by meditating on the preciousness of human life in terms of the ocean of evolutionary possibilities, the immediacy of death, the inexorability of evolutionary causality, and the sufferings of the ignorance-driven, involuntary life cycle. Renunciation automatically occurs when you come face-to-face with your real existential situation, and so develop a genuine sympathy for yourself, having given up pretending the prison of habitual emotions and confusions is just fine. Meditating on the teachings given on these themes in a systematic way enables you to generate quickly an ambition to gain full control of your body and mind in order at least to face death confidently, knowing you can navigate safely through the dangers of further journeys. Wasting time investing your life in purposes that “you cannot take with you” becomes ludicrous, and, when you radically shift your priorities, you feel a profound relief at unburdening yourself of a weight of worry over inconsequential things
Padmasambhava (The Tibetan Book of the Dead)
I'm driving." Roarke's hand paused as it reached for the car door, and his brow winged up. "It's my car." "It's my deal." They studied each other a minute, crowded together at the driver's side door. "Why are you driving?" "Because." Vaguely embarrassed, she dug her hands in her pockets. "Don't smirk." "I'll try to resist. Why?" "Because," she said again, "I drive when I'm on a case, so if I drive, it'll feel like -- it'll feel official instead of criminal." "I see. Well, that makes perfect sense. You drive." She started to climb in while he circled around to the passenger side. "Are you smirking behind my back?" "Yes, of course." He sat, stretched out his legs. "Now, to make it really official, I should have a uniform. I'll go that far, but I refuse to wear those amazingly ugly cop shoes." "You're a real joker," she muttered and jerked the car into reverse, did a quick, squealing spin, and shot out of the garage. "Too bad this vehicle doesn't have a siren. But we can pretend nothing works on it, so you'll feel official." "Keep it up. Just keep it up." "Maybe I'll call you sir. Could be sexy." He smiled blandly when she glared at him. "Okay, I'm done. How do you want to play this?
J.D. Robb (Conspiracy in Death (In Death, #8))
Hi, I’m Adele Czerny. I don’t really have a long speech. I mean, I sat through these things when I was your age, and they’re boring. I’m just going to say a few things about Noah and Raven Day. Did any of you guys know him?” In unison, Gansey and Adam started to lift their hands and just as quickly dropped them. Yes, they knew him. No, they had not known him. Noah, alive, had been before their time here. Noah, dead, was a phenomenon, not an acquaintance. “Well, you were missing out,” she said. “My mom always said he was a firecracker, which just meant he was always getting speeding tickets and jumping on tables at family reunions and stuff. He always had so many ideas. He was so hyper.” Adam and Gansey looked at each other. They had always had the sense that the Noah they knew was not the true Noah. It was just disconcerting to hear how much Noahness death had stripped. It was impossible to not wonder what Noah would have done with himself if he had lived. “Anyway, I’m here because I was actually the first one he told about his idea for Raven Day. He called me one evening, I guess it would’ve been when he was fourteen, and he told me he’d had this dream about ravens fighting and battling. He said they were all different colours and sizes and shapes, and he was inside them, and they were, like, swirling around him.” She motioned around herself in a whirlwind; she had Noah’s hands, Noah’s elbows. “And he told me, ‘I think it would be a cool art project.’ And I told him, ‘I’ll bet if everybody at the school made one, I bet you’d have enough.’ ” Gansey was aware that his arm hairs were standing up. “So they’re swooping and careening and there’s nothing but ravens, nothing but dreams all around you,” Adele said, only Gansey wasn’t sure if she had actually said it, or if he’d heard her wrong and he was just half-remembering something she’d already said. “Anyway, I know he’d like what it is like nowadays. So, um, thanks for remembering one of his crazy dreams.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
While dragging herself up she had to hang onto the rail. Her twisted progress was that of a cripple. Once on the open deck she felt the solid impact of the black night, and the mobility of the accidental home she was about to leave. Although Lucette had never died before—no, dived before, Violet—from such a height, in such a disorder of shadows and snaking reflections, she went with hardly a splash through the wave that humped to welcome her. That perfect end was spoiled by her instinctively surfacing in an immediate sweep — instead of surrendering under water to her drugged lassitude as she had planned to do on her last night ashore if it ever did come to this. The silly girl had not rehearsed the technique of suicide as, say, free-fall parachutists do every day in the element of another chapter. Owing to the tumultuous swell and her not being sure which way to peer through the spray and the darkness and her own tentaclinging hair—t,a,c,l—she could not make out the lights of the liner, an easily imagined many-eyed bulk mightily receding in heartless triumph. Now I’ve lost my next note. Got it. The sky was also heartless and dark, and her body, her head,and particularly those damned thirsty trousers, felt clogged with Oceanus Nox, n,o,x. At every slap and splash of cold wild salt, she heaved with anise-flavored nausea and there was an increasing number, okay, or numbness, in her neck and arms. As she began losing track of herself, she thought it proper to inform a series of receding Lucettes—telling them to pass it on and on in a trick-crystal regression—that what death amounted to was only a more complete assortment of the infinite fractions of solitude. She did not see her whole life flash before her as we all were afraid she might have done; the red rubber of a favorite doll remained safely decomposed among the myosotes of an un-analyzable brook; but she did see a few odds and ends as she swam like a dilettante Tobakoff in a circle of brief panic and merciful torpor. She saw a pair of new vairfurred bedroom slippers, which Brigitte had forgotten to pack; she saw Van wiping his mouth before answering, and then, still withholding the answer, throwing his napkin on the table as they both got up; and she saw a girl with long black hair quickly bend in passing to clap her hands over a dackel in a half-tom wreath. A brilliantly illumined motorboat was launched from the not-too-distant ship with Van and the swimming coach and the oilskin-hooded Toby among the would-be saviors; but by that time a lot of sea had rolled by and Lucette was too tired to wait. Then the night was filled with the rattle of an old but still strong helicopter. Its diligent beam could spot only the dark head of Van, who, having been propelled out of the boat when it shied from its own sudden shadow, kept bobbing and bawling the drowned girl’s name in the black, foam-veined, complicated waters.
Vladimir Nabokov (Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle)
FAUSTUS. Ah, Faustus, Now hast thou but one bare hour to live, And then thou must be damn'd perpetually! Stand still, you ever-moving spheres of heaven, That time may cease, and midnight never come; Fair Nature's eye, rise, rise again, and make Perpetual day; or let this hour be but A year, a month, a week, a natural day, That Faustus may repent and save his soul! O lente,172 lente currite, noctis equi! The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike, The devil will come, and Faustus must be damn'd. O, I'll leap up to my God!—Who pulls me down?— See, see, where Christ's blood streams in the firmament! One drop would save my soul, half a drop: ah, my Christ!— Ah, rend not my heart for naming of my Christ! Yet will I call on him: O, spare me, Lucifer!— Where is it now? 'tis gone: and see, where God Stretcheth out his arm, and bends his ireful brows! Mountains and hills, come, come, and fall on me, And hide me from the heavy wrath of God! No, no! Then will I headlong run into the earth: Earth, gape! O, no, it will not harbour me! You stars that reign'd at my nativity, Whose influence hath allotted death and hell, Now draw up Faustus, like a foggy mist. Into the entrails of yon labouring cloud[s], That, when you173 vomit forth into the air, My limbs may issue from your smoky mouths, So that my soul may but ascend to heaven! [The clock strikes the half-hour.] Ah, half the hour is past! 'twill all be past anon O God, If thou wilt not have mercy on my soul, Yet for Christ's sake, whose blood hath ransom'd me, Impose some end to my incessant pain; Let Faustus live in hell a thousand years, A hundred thousand, and at last be sav'd! O, no end is limited to damned souls! Why wert thou not a creature wanting soul? Or why is this immortal that thou hast? Ah, Pythagoras' metempsychosis, were that true, This soul should fly from me, and I be chang'd Unto some brutish beast!174 all beasts are happy, For, when they die, Their souls are soon dissolv'd in elements; But mine must live still to be plagu'd in hell. Curs'd be the parents that engender'd me! No, Faustus, curse thyself, curse Lucifer That hath depriv'd thee of the joys of heaven. [The clock strikes twelve.] O, it strikes, it strikes! Now, body, turn to air, Or Lucifer will bear thee quick to hell! [Thunder and lightning.] O soul, be chang'd into little water-drops, And fall into the ocean, ne'er be found! Enter DEVILS. My God, my god, look not so fierce on me! Adders and serpents, let me breathe a while! Ugly hell, gape not! come not, Lucifer! I'll burn my books!—Ah, Mephistophilis! [Exeunt DEVILS with FAUSTUS.]
Christopher Marlowe (Dr. Faustus)
I tell you that man has no more tormenting care than to find someone to whom he can hand over as quickly as possible that gift of freedom with which the miserable creature is born. But he alone can take over the freedom of men who appeases their conscience. With bread you were given an indisputable banner: give man bread and he will bow down to you, for there is nothing more indisputable than bread. But if at the same time someone else takes over his conscience - oh, then he will even throw down your bread and follow him who has seduced his conscience. In this you were right. For the mystery of man's being is not only in living, but in what one lives for. Without a firm idea of what he lives for, man will not consent to live and will sooner destroy himself than remain on earth, even if there is bread all around him. That is so, but what came of it? Instead of taking over men's freedom, you increased it still more for them! Did you forget that peace and even death are dearer to man than free choice in the knowledge of good and evil? There is nothing more seductive for man than the freedom of his conscience, but there is nothing more tormenting either. And so, instead of a firm foundation for appeasing human conscience once and for all, you chose everything that was unusual, enigmatic, and indefinite, you chose everything that was beyond men's strength, and thereby acted as if you did not love them at all - and who did this? He who came to give his life for them! Instead of taking over men's freedom, you increased it and forever burdened the kingdom of the human soul with its torments. You desired the free love of man, that he should follow you freely. seduced and captivated by you. Instead of the firm ancient law, men had henceforth to decide for himself, with a free heart, what is good and what is evil, having only your image before him as a guide - but did it not occur to you that he would eventually reject and dispute even your image and your truth if he was oppressed by so terrible a burden as freedom of choice? They will finally cry out that the truth is not in you, for it was impossible to leave them in greater confusion and torment than you did, abandoning them to so many cares and insoluble problems. Thus you yourself laid the foundation for the destruction of your own kingdom, and do not blame anyone else for it.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Come, Paul!" she reiterated, her eye grazing me with its hard ray like a steel stylet. She pushed against her kinsman. I thought he receded; I thought he would go. Pierced deeper than I could endure, made now to feel what defied suppression, I cried - "My heart will break!" What I felt seemed literal heart-break; but the seal of another fountain yielded under the strain: one breath from M. Paul, the whisper, "Trust me!" lifted a load, opened an outlet. With many a deep sob, with thrilling, with icy shiver, with strong trembling, and yet with relief - I wept. "Leave her to me; it is a crisis: I will give her a cordial, and it will pass," said the calm Madame Beck. To be left to her and her cordial seemed to me something like being left to the poisoner and her bowl. When M. Paul answered deeply, harshly, and briefly - "Laissez-moi!" in the grim sound I felt a music strange, strong, but life-giving. "Laissez-moi!" he repeated, his nostrils opening, and his facial muscles all quivering as he spoke. "But this will never do," said Madame, with sternness. More sternly rejoined her kinsman - "Sortez d'ici!" "I will send for Père Silas: on the spot I will send for him," she threatened pertinaciously. "Femme!" cried the Professor, not now in his deep tones, but in his highest and most excited key, "Femme! sortez à l'instant!" He was roused, and I loved him in his wrath with a passion beyond what I had yet felt. "What you do is wrong," pursued Madame; "it is an act characteristic of men of your unreliable, imaginative temperament; a step impulsive, injudicious, inconsistent - a proceeding vexatious, and not estimable in the view of persons of steadier and more resolute character." "You know not what I have of steady and resolute in me," said he, "but you shall see; the event shall teach you. Modeste," he continued less fiercely, "be gentle, be pitying, be a woman; look at this poor face, and relent. You know I am your friend, and the friend of your friends; in spite of your taunts, you well and deeply know I may be trusted. Of sacrificing myself I made no difficulty but my heart is pained by what I see; it must have and give solace. Leave me!" This time, in the "leave me" there was an intonation so bitter and so imperative, I wondered that even Madame Beck herself could for one moment delay obedience; but she stood firm; she gazed upon him dauntless; she met his eye, forbidding and fixed as stone. She was opening her lips to retort; I saw over all M. Paul's face a quick rising light and fire; I can hardly tell how he managed the movement; it did not seem violent; it kept the form of courtesy; he gave his hand; it scarce touched her I thought; she ran, she whirled from the room; she was gone, and the door shut, in one second. The flash of passion was all over very soon. He smiled as he told me to wipe my eyes; he waited quietly till I was calm, dropping from time to time a stilling, solacing word. Ere long I sat beside him once more myself - re-assured, not desperate, nor yet desolate; not friendless, not hopeless, not sick of life, and seeking death. "It made you very sad then to lose your friend?" said he. "It kills me to be forgotten, Monsieur," I said.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
Not much time will be gained, O Athenians, in return for the evil name which you will get from the detractors of the city, who will say that you killed Socrates, a wise man; for they will call me wise even although I am not wise when they want to reproach you. If you had waited a little while, your desire would have been fulfilled in the course of nature. For I am far advanced in years, as you may perceive, and not far from death. I am speaking now only to those of you who have condemned me to death. And I have another thing to say to them: You think that I was convicted through deficiency of words - I mean, that if I had thought fit to leave nothing undone, nothing unsaid, I might have gained an acquittal. Not so; the deficiency which led to my conviction was not of words - certainly not. But I had not the boldness or impudence or inclination to address you as you would have liked me to address you, weeping and wailing and lamenting, and saying and doing many things which you have been accustomed to hear from others, and which, as I say, are unworthy of me. But I thought that I ought not to do anything common or mean in the hour of danger: nor do I now repent of the manner of my defence, and I would rather die having spoken after my manner, than speak in your manner and live. For neither in war nor yet at law ought any man to use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death; and in other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a man is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death. I am old and move slowly, and the slower runner has overtaken me, and my accusers are keen and quick, and the faster runner, who is unrighteousness, has overtaken them. And now I depart hence condemned by you to suffer the penalty of death, and they, too, go their ways condemned by the truth to suffer the penalty of villainy and wrong; and I must abide by my award - let them abide by theirs. I suppose that these things may be regarded as fated, - and I think that they are well.
Plato (Apology)
We are talking about a cloak that really and truly renders the wearer completely invisible, and endures eternally, giving constant and impenetrable concealment, no matter what spells are cast at it. How many cloaks have you ever seen like that, Miss Granger?” Hermione opened her mouth to answer, then closed it again, looking more confused than ever. She, Harry, and Ron glanced at one another, and Harry knew that they were all thinking the same thing. It so happened that a cloak exactly like the one Xenophilius had just described was in the room with them at that very moment. “Exactly,” said Xenophilius, as if he had defeated them all in reasoned argument. “None of you have ever seen such a thing. The possessor would be immeasurably rich, would he not?” He glanced out of the window again. The sky was now tinged with the faintest trace of pink. “All right,” said Hermione, disconcerted. “Say the Cloak existed…what about the stone, Mr. Lovegood? The thing you call the Resurrection Stone?” “What of it?” “Well, how can that be real?” “Prove that it is not,” said Xenophilius. Hermoine looked outraged. “But that’s--I’m sorry, but that’s completely ridiculous! How can I possibly prove it doesn’t exist? Do you expect me to get hold of--of all the pebbles in the world and test them? I mean, you could claim that anything’s real if the only basis for believing in it is that nobody’s proved it doesn’t exist!” “Yes, you could,” said Xenophilius. “I am glad to see that you are opening your mind a little.” “So the Elder Wand,” said Harry quickly, before Hermione could retort, “you think that exists too?
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Song of myself Now I will do nothing but listen, To accrue what I hear into this song, to let sounds contribute toward it. I hear bravuras of birds, bustle of growing wheat, gossip of flames, clack of sticks cooking my meals, I hear the sound I love, the sound of the human voice, I hear all sounds running together, combined, fused or following, Sounds of the city and sounds out of the city, sounds of the day and night, Talkative young ones to those that like them, the loud laugh of work-people at their meals, The angry base of disjointed friendship, the faint tones of the sick, The judge with hands tight to the desk, his pallid lips pronouncing a death-sentence, The heave'e'yo of stevedores unlading ships by the wharves, the refrain of the anchor-lifters, The ring of alarm-bells, the cry of fire, the whirr of swift-streaking engines and hose-carts with premonitory tinkles and color'd lights, The steam-whistle, the solid roll of the train of approaching cars, The slow march play'd at the head of the association marching two and two, (They go to guard some corpse, the flag-tops are draped with black muslin.) I hear the violoncello, ('tis the young man's heart's complaint,) I hear the key'd cornet, it glides quickly in through my ears, It shakes mad-sweet pangs through my belly and breast. I hear the chorus, it is a grand opera, Ah this indeed is music--this suits me.
Walt Whitman
I am still vaguely haunted by our hitchhiker’s remark about how he’d “never rode in a convertible before.” Here’s this poor geek living in a world of convertibles zipping past him on the highways all the time, and he’s never even ridden in one. It made me feel like King Farouk. I was tempted to have my attorney pull into the next airport and arrange some kind of simple, common-law contract whereby we could just give the car to this unfortunate bastard. Just say: “Here, sign this and the car’s yours.” Give him the keys and then use the credit card to zap off on a jet to some place like Miami and rent another huge fireapple-red convertible for a drug-addled, top-speed run across the water all the way out to the last stop in Key West … and then trade the car off for a boat. Keep moving. But this manic notion passed quickly. There was no point in getting this harmless kid locked up—and, besides, I had plans for this car. I was looking forward to flashing around Las Vegas in the bugger. Maybe do a bit of serious drag-racing on the Strip: Pull up to that big stoplight in front of the Flamingo and start screaming at the traffic: “Alright, you chickenshit wimps! You pansies! When this goddamn light flips green, I’m gonna stomp down on this thing and blow every one of you gutless punks off the road!” Right. Challenge the bastards on their own turf. Come screeching up to the crosswalk, bucking and skidding with a bottle of rum in one hand and jamming the horn to drown out the music … glazed eyes insanely dilated behind tiny black, gold-rimmed greaser shades, screaming gibberish … a genuinely dangerous drunk, reeking of ether and terminal psychosis. Revving the engine up to a terrible high-pitched chattering whine, waiting for the light to change … How often does a chance like that come around? To jangle the bastards right down to the core of their spleens. Old elephants limp off to the hills to die; old Americans go out to the highway and drive themselves to death with huge cars.
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas)
Orpheus chose to be the leader of mankind. Ah, not even Orpheus had attained such a goal, not even his immortal greatness had justified such vain and presumptuous dreams of grandeur, such flagrant overestimation of poetry! Certainly many instances of earthly beauty--a song, the twilit sea, the tone of the lyre, the voice of a boy, a verse, a statue, a column, a garden, a single flower--all possess the divine faculty of making man hearken unto the innermost and outermost boundaries of his existence, and therefore it is not to be wondered at that the lofty art of Orpheus was esteemed to have the power of diverting the streams from their beds and changing their courses, of luring the wild beasts of the forest with tender dominance, of arresting the cattle a-browse upon the meadows and moving them to listen, caught in the dream and enchanted, the dreamwish of all art: the world compelled to listen, ready to receive the song and its salvation. However, even had Orpheus achieved his aim, the help lasts no longer than the song, nor does the listening, and on no account might the song resound too long, otherwise the streams would return to their old courses, the wild beasts of the forest would again fall upon and slay the innocent beasts of the field, and man would revert again to his old, habitual cruelty; for not only did no intoxication last long, and this was likewise true of beauty's spell, but furthermore, the mildness to which men and beasts had yielded was only half of the intoxication of beauty, while the other half, not less strong and for the most part far stronger, was of such surpassing and terrible cruelty--the most cruel of men delights himself with a flower--that beauty, and before all the beauty born of art, failed quickly of its effect if in disregard of the reciprocal balance of its two components it approached man with but one of them.
Hermann Broch (The Death of Virgil)
An asteroid or comet traveling at cosmic velocities would enter the Earth’s atmosphere at such a speed that the air beneath it couldn’t get out of the way and would be compressed, as in a bicycle pump. As anyone who has used such a pump knows, compressed air grows swiftly hot, and the temperature below it would rise to some 60,000 Kelvin, or ten times the surface temperature of the Sun. In this instant of its arrival in our atmosphere, everything in the meteor’s path—people, houses, factories, cars—would crinkle and vanish like cellophane in a flame. One second after entering the atmosphere, the meteorite would slam into the Earth’s surface, where the people of Manson had a moment before been going about their business. The meteorite itself would vaporize instantly, but the blast would blow out a thousand cubic kilometers of rock, earth, and superheated gases. Every living thing within 150 miles that hadn’t been killed by the heat of entry would now be killed by the blast. Radiating outward at almost the speed of light would be the initial shock wave, sweeping everything before it. For those outside the zone of immediate devastation, the first inkling of catastrophe would be a flash of blinding light—the brightest ever seen by human eyes—followed an instant to a minute or two later by an apocalyptic sight of unimaginable grandeur: a roiling wall of darkness reaching high into the heavens, filling an entire field of view and traveling at thousands of miles an hour. Its approach would be eerily silent since it would be moving far beyond the speed of sound. Anyone in a tall building in Omaha or Des Moines, say, who chanced to look in the right direction would see a bewildering veil of turmoil followed by instantaneous oblivion. Within minutes, over an area stretching from Denver to Detroit and encompassing what had once been Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, the Twin Cities—the whole of the Midwest, in short—nearly every standing thing would be flattened or on fire, and nearly every living thing would be dead. People up to a thousand miles away would be knocked off their feet and sliced or clobbered by a blizzard of flying projectiles. Beyond a thousand miles the devastation from the blast would gradually diminish. But that’s just the initial shockwave. No one can do more than guess what the associated damage would be, other than that it would be brisk and global. The impact would almost certainly set off a chain of devastating earthquakes. Volcanoes across the globe would begin to rumble and spew. Tsunamis would rise up and head devastatingly for distant shores. Within an hour, a cloud of blackness would cover the planet, and burning rock and other debris would be pelting down everywhere, setting much of the planet ablaze. It has been estimated that at least a billion and a half people would be dead by the end of the first day. The massive disturbances to the ionosphere would knock out communications systems everywhere, so survivors would have no idea what was happening elsewhere or where to turn. It would hardly matter. As one commentator has put it, fleeing would mean “selecting a slow death over a quick one. The death toll would be very little affected by any plausible relocation effort, since Earth’s ability to support life would be universally diminished.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
There's not much to say about loneliness, for it's not a broad subject. Any child, alone in her room, can journey across its entire breadth, from border to border, in an hour. Though not broad, our subject is deep. Loneliness is deeper than the ocean. But here, too, there is no mystery. Our intrepid child is liable to fall quickly to the very bottom without even trying. And since the depths of loneliness cannot sustain human life, the child will swim to the surface again in short order, no worse for wear. Some of us, though, can bring breathing aids down with us for longer stays: imaginary friends, drugs and alcohol, mind-numbing entertainment, hobbies, ironclad routine, and pets. (Pets are some of the best enablers of loneliness, your own cuddlesome Murphy notwithstanding.) With the help of these aids, a poor sap can survive the airless depths of loneliness long enough to experience its true horror -- duration. Did you know, Myren Vole, that when presented with the same odor (even my own) for a duration of only several minutes, the olfactory nerves become habituated -- as my daughter used to say -- to it and cease transmitting its signal to the brain? Likewise, most pain loses its edge in time. Time heals all -- as they say. Even the loss of a loved one, perhaps life's most wrenching pain, is blunted in time. It recedes into the background where it can be borne with lesser pains. Not so our friend loneliness, which grows only more keen and insistent with each passing hour. Loneliness is as needle sharp now as it was an hour ago, or last week. But if loneliness is the wound, what's so secret about it? I submit to you, Myren Vole, that the most painful death of all is suffocation by loneliness. And by the time I started on my portrait of Jean, I was ten years into it (with another five to go). It is from that vantage point that I tell you that loneliness itself is the secret. It's a secret you cannot tell anyone. Why? Because to confess your loneliness is to confess your failure as a human being. To confess would only cause others to pity and avoid you, afraid that what you have is catching. Your condition is caused by a lack of human relationship, and yet to admit to it only drives your possible rescuers farther away (while attracting cats). So you attempt to hide your loneliness in public, to behave, in fact, as though you have too many friends already, and thus you hope to attract people who will unwittingly save you. But it never works that way. Your condition is written all over your face, in the hunch of your shoulders, in the hollowness of your laugh. You fool no one. Believe me in this; I've tried all the tricks of the lonely man.
David Marusek (Counting Heads (Counting Heads, #1))
Secondly, it is the very nature of spiritual life to grow. Wherever they principle of this life is to be found, it can be no different for it must grow. "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18); "The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger" (Job 17:9). This refers to the children of GOd, who are compared to palm and cedar trees (Psa. 92:12). As natural as it is for children and trees to grow, so natural is growth for the regenerated children of God. Thirdly, the growth of His children is the goal and objective God has in view by administering the means of grace to them. "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints...that we henceforth be no more children...but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head" (Eph. 4:11-15). This is also to be observed in 1 Peter 2:2: "as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby, " God will reach His goal and His word will not return to Him void; thus God's children will grow in grace. Fourthly, is is the duty to which God's children are continually exhorted, and their activity is to consist in a striving for growth. That it is their duty is to be observed in the following passages: "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18); "He that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev. 22:11). The nature of this activity is expressed as follows: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after" (Phil. 3:12). If it were not necessary for believers to grow the exhortations to that end would be in vain. Some remain feeble, having but little life and strength. this can be due to a lack of nourishment, living under a barren ministry, or being without guidance. It can also be that they naturally have a slow mind and a lazy disposition; that they have strong corruptions which draw them away; that they are without much are without much strife; that they are too busy from early morning till late evening, due to heavy labor, or to having a family with many children, and thus must struggle or are poverty-stricken. Furthermore, it can be that they either do not have the opportunity to converse with the godly; that they do not avail themselves of such opportunities; or that they are lazy as far as reading in God's Word and prayer are concerned. Such persons are generally subject to many ups and downs. At one time they lift up their heads out of all their troubles, by renewal becoming serious, and they seek God with their whole heart. It does not take long, however , and they are quickly cast down in despondency - or their lusts gain the upper hand. Thus they remain feeble and are, so to speak, continually on the verge of death. Some of them occasionally make good progress, but then grieve the Spirit of God and backslide rapidly. For some this lasts for a season, after which they are restored, but others are as those who suffer from consumption - they languish until they die. Oh what a sad condition this is! (Chapter 89. Spiritual Growth, pg. 140, 142-143)
Wilhelmus à Brakel (The Christian's Reasonable Service, Vol. 4)
People referred to the symbolism of the empty Cross more than once on its journey. It would seem obviously to point to our faith in Jesus’ resurrection. It’s not quite so simple though. The Cross is bare, but in and of itself the empty Cross does not point directly to the Resurrection. It says only that the body of Jesus was removed from the Cross. If a crucifix is a symbol of Good Friday, then it is the image of the empty tomb that speaks more directly of Easter and resurrection. The empty Cross is a symbol of Holy Saturday. It’s an indicator of the reality of Jesus’ death, of His sharing in our mortal coil. At the same time, the empty Cross is an implicit sign of impending resurrection, and it tells us that the Cross is not only a symbol of hatred, violence and inhumanity: it says that the Cross is about something more. The empty Cross also tells us not to jump too quickly to resurrection, as if the Resurrection were a trump card that somehow absolves us from suffering. The Resurrection is not a divine ‘get-out-of-jail free’ card that immunises people from pain, suffering or death. To jump too quickly to the Resurrection runs the risk of trivialising people’s pain and seemingly mapping out a way through suffering that reduces the reality of having to live in pain and endure it at times. For people grieving, introducing the message of the Resurrection too quickly cheapens or nullifies their sense of loss. The empty Cross reminds us that we cannot avoid suffering and death. At the same time, the empty Cross tells us that, because of Jesus’ death, the meaning of pain, suffering and our own death has changed, that these are not all-crushing or definitive. The empty Cross says that the way through to resurrection must always break in from without as something new, that it cannot be taken hold of in advance of suffering or seized as a panacea to pain. In other words, the empty Cross is a sign of hope. It tells us that the new life of God surprises us, comes at a moment we cannot expect, and reminds us that experiences of pain, grief and dying are suffused with the presence of Christ, the One Who was crucified and is now risen.
Chris Ryan MGL (In The Light Of The Cross: Reflections On The Australian Journey Of The World Youth Day Cross And Icon)
When the attachment figure is also a threat to the child, two systems with conflicting goals are activated simultaneously or sequentially: the attachment system, whose goal is to seek proximity, and the defense systems, whose goal is to protect. In these contexts, the social engagement system is profoundly compromised and its development interrupted by threatening conditions. This intolerable conflict between the need for attachment and the need for defense with the same caregiver results in the disorganized–disoriented attachment pattern (Main & Solomon, 1986). A contradictory set of behaviors ensues to support the different goals of the animal defense systems and of the attachment system (Lyons-Ruth & Jacobvitz, 1999; Main & Morgan, 1996; Steele, van der Hart, & Nijenhuis, 2001; van der Hart, Nijenhuis, & Steele, 2006). When the attachment system is stimulated by hunger, discomfort, or threat, the child instinctively seeks proximity to attachment figures. But during proximity with a person who is threatening, the defensive subsystems of flight, fight, freeze, or feigned death/shut down behaviors are mobilized. The cry for help is truncated because the person whom the child would turn to is the threat. Children who suffer attachment trauma fall into the dissociative–disorganized category and are generally unable to effectively auto- or interactively regulate, having experienced extremes of low arousal (as in neglect) and high arousal (as in abuse) that tend to endure over time (Schore, 2009b). In the context of chronic danger, patterns of high sympathetic dominance are apt to become established, along with elevated heart rate, higher cortisol levels, and easily activated alarm responses. Children must be hypervigilantly prepared and on guard to avoid danger yet primed to quickly activate a dorsal vagal feigned death state in the face of inescapable threat. In the context of neglect, instead of increased sympathetic nervous system tone, increased dorsal vagal tone, decreased heart rate, and shutdown (Schore, 2001a) may become chronic, reflecting both the lack of stimulation in the environment and the need to be unobtrusive.
Pat Ogden (Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment)
Because complex animals can evolve their behavior rapidly. Changes can occur very quickly. Human beings are transforming the planet, and nobody knows whether it’s a dangerous development or not. So these behavioral processes can happen faster than we usually think evolution occurs. In ten thousand years human beings have gone from hunting to farming to cities to cyberspace. Behavior is screaming forward, and it might be nonadaptive. Nobody knows. Although personally, I think cyberspace means the end of our species.” “Yes? Why is that?” “Because it means the end of innovation,” Malcolm said. “This idea that the whole world is wired together is mass death. Every biologist knows that small groups in isolation evolve fastest. You put a thousand birds on an ocean island and they’ll evolve very fast. You put ten thousand on a big continent, and their evolution slows down. Now, for our own species, evolution occurs mostly through our behavior. We innovate new behavior to adapt. And everybody on earth knows that innovation only occurs in small groups. Put three people on a committee and they may get something done. Ten people, and it gets harder. Thirty people, and nothing happens. Thirty million, it becomes impossible. That’s the effect of mass media—it keeps anything from happening. Mass media swamps diversity. It makes every place the same. Bangkok or Tokyo or London: there’s a McDonald’s on one corner, a Benetton on another, a Gap across the street. Regional differences vanish. All differences vanish. In a mass-media world, there’s less of everything except the top ten books, records, movies, ideas. People worry about losing species diversity in the rain forest. But what about intellectual diversity—our most necessary resource? That’s disappearing faster than trees. But we haven’t figured that out, so now we’re planning to put five billion people together in cyberspace. And it’ll freeze the entire species. Everything will stop dead in its tracks. Everyone will think the same thing at the same time. Global uniformity. Oh, that hurts. Are you done?” “Almost,” Harding said. “Hang on.” “And believe me, it’ll be fast. If you map complex systems on a fitness landscape, you find the behavior can move so fast that fitness can drop precipitously. It doesn’t require asteroids or diseases or anything else. It’s just behavior that suddenly emerges, and turns out to be fatal to the creatures that do it. My idea was that dinosaurs—being complex creatures—might have undergone some of these behavioral changes. And that led to their extinction.
Michael Crichton (The Lost World (Jurassic Park, #2))
I am in my old room once more, for a little, and I am caught in musing - - how life is a swift motion, a continuous flowing, changing, and how one is always saying goodbye and going places, seeing people, doing things. Only in the rain, sometimes, only when the rain comes, closing in your pitifully small radius of activity, only when you sit and listen by the window, as the cold wet air blows thinly by the back of your neck - only then do you think and feel sick. You feel the days slipping by, elusive as slippery pink worms, through your fingers, and you wonder what you have for your eighteen years, and you think about how, with difficulty and concentration, you could bring back a day, a day of sun, blue skies and watercoloring by the sea. You could remember the sensual observations that made that day reality, and you could delude yourself into thinking - almost - that you could return to the past, and relive the days and hours in a quick space of time. But no, the quest of time past is more difficult than you think, and time present is eaten up by such plaintive searchings. The film of your days and nights is wound up tight in you, never to be re-run - and the occasional flashbacks are faint, blurred, unreal, as if seen through falling snow. Now, you begin to get scared. You don't believe in God, or a life-after-death, so you can't hope for sugar plums when your non-existent soul rises. You believe that whatever there is has got to come from man, and man is pretty creative in his good moments - pretty mature, pretty perceptive for his age - how many years is it, now? How many thousands? Yet, yet in this era of specialization, of infinite variety and complexity and myriad choices, what do you pick for yourself out of the grab-bag? Cats have nine lives, the saying goes. You have one; and somewhere along the thin, tenuous thread of your existence there is the black knot, the blood clot, the stopped heartbeat that spells the end of this particular individual which is spelled "I" and "You" and "Sylvia." So you wonder how to act, and how to be - and you wonder about values and attitudes. In the relativism and despair, in the waiting for the bombs to begin, for the blood (now spurting in Korea, in Germany, in Russia) to flow and trickle before your own eyes, you wonder with a quick sick fear how to cling to earth, to the seeds of grass and life. You wonder about your eighteen years, ricocheting between a stubborn determination that you've done well for your own capabilities and opportunities... that you're competing now with girls from all over America, and not just from the hometown: and a fear that you haven't done well enough - You wonder if you've got what it takes to keep building up obstacle courses for your self, and to keep leaping through them, sprained ankle or not. Again the refrain, what have you for your eighteen years? And you know that whatever tangible things you do have, they cannot be held, but, too, will decompose and slip away through your coarse-skinned and death-rigid fingers. So you will rot in the ground, and so you say, what the hell? Who cares? But you care, and somehow you don't want to live just one life, which could be typed, which could be tossed off in a thumbnail sketch = "She was the sort of girl.... And end in 25 words or less.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
James was exactly the same height as Harry. He was wearing the clothes in which he had died, and his hair was untidy and ruffled, and his glasses were a little lopsided, like Mr. Weasley’s. Sirius was tall and handsome, and younger by far than Harry had seen him in life. He loped with an easy grace, his hands in his pockets and a grin on his face. Lupin was younger too, and much less shabby, and his hair was thicker and darker. He looked happy to be back in this familiar place, scene of so many adolescent wanderings. Lily’s smile was widest of all. She pushed her long hair back as she drew close to him, and her green eyes, so like his, searched his face hungrily, as though she would never be able to look at him enough. “You’ve been so brave.” He could not speak. His eyes feasted on her, and he thought that he would like to stand and look at her forever, and that would be enough. “You are nearly there,” said James. “Very close. We are…so proud of you.” “Does it hurt?” The childish question had fallen from Harry’s lips before he could stop it. “Dying? Not at all,” said Sirius. “Quicker and easier than falling asleep.” “And he will want it to be quick. He wants it over,” said Lupin. “I didn’t want you to die,” Harry said. These words came without his volition. “Any of you. I’m sorry--” He addressed Lupin more than any of them, beseeching him. “--right after you’d had your son…Remus, I’m sorry--” “I am sorry too,” said Lupin. “Sorry I will never know him…but he will know why I died and I hope he will understand. I was trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life.” A chilly breeze that seemed to emanate from the heart of the forest lifted the hair at Harry’s brow. He knew that they would not tell him to go, that it would have to be his decision. “You’ll stay with me?” “Until the very end,” said James. “They won’t be able to see you?” asked Harry. “We are part of you,” said Sirius. “Invisible to anyone else.” Harry looked at his mother. “Stay close to me,” he said quietly. And he set off. The dementors’ chill did not overcome him; he passed through it with his companions, and they acted like Patronuses to him, and together they marched through the old trees that grew closely together, their branches tangled, their roots gnarled and twisted underfoot. Harry clutched the Cloak tightly around him in the darkness, traveling deeper and deeper into the forest, with no idea where exactly Voldemort was, but sure that he would find him. Beside him, making scarcely a sound, walked James, Sirius, Lupin, and Lily, and their presence was his courage, and the reason he was able to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Close your eyes and stare into the dark. My father's advice when I couldn't sleep as a little girl. He wouldn't want me to do that now but I've set my mind to the task regardless. I'm staring beyond my closed eyelids. Though I lie still on the ground, I feel perched at the highest point I could possibly be; clutching at a star in the night sky with my legs dangling above cold black nothingness. I take one last look at my fingers wrapped around the light and let go. Down I go, falling, then floating, and, falling again, I wait for the land of my life. I know now, as I knew as that little girl fighting sleep, that behind her gauzed screen of shut-eye, lies colour. It taunts me, dares me to open my eyes and lose sleep. Flashes of red and amber, yellow and white speckle my darkness. I refuse to open them. I rebel and I squeeze my eyelids together tighter to block out the grains of light, mere distractions that keep us awake but a sign that there's life beyond. But there's no life in me. None that I can feel, from where I lie at the bottom of the staircase. My heart beats quicker now, the lone fighter left standing in the ring, a red boxing glove pumping victoriously into the air, refusing to give up. It's the only part of me that cares, the only part that ever cared. It fights to pump the blood around to heal, to replace what I'm losing. But it's all leaving my body as quickly as it's sent; forming a deep black ocean of its own around me where I've fallen. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Never have enough time here, always trying to make our way there. Need to have left here five minutes ago, need to be there now. The phone rings again and I acknowledge the irony. I could have taken my time and answered it now. Now, not then. I could have taken all the time in the world on each of those steps. But we're always rushing. All, but my heart. That slows now. I don't mind so much. I place my hand on my belly. If my child is gone, and I suspect this is so, I'll join it there. There.....where? Wherever. It; a heartless word. He or she so young; who it was to become, still a question. But there, I will mother it. There, not here. I'll tell it; I'm sorry, sweetheart, I'm sorry I ruined your chances - our chances of a life together.But close your eyes and stare into the darkness now, like Mummy is doing, and we'll find our way together. There's a noise in the room and I feel a presence. 'Oh God, Joyce, oh God. Can you hear me, love? Oh God. Oh God, please no, Hold on love, I'm here. Dad is here.' I don't want to hold on and I feel like telling him so. I hear myself groan, an animal-like whimper and it shocks me, scares me. I have a plan, I want to tell him. I want to go, only then can I be with my baby. Then, not now. He's stopped me from falling but I haven't landed yet. Instead he helps me balance on nothing, hover while I'm forced to make the decision. I want to keep falling but he's calling the ambulance and he's gripping my hand with such ferocity it's as though I'm all he has. He's brushing the hair from my forehead and weeping loudly. I've never heard him weep. Not even when Mum died. He clings to my hand with all of his strength I never knew his old body had and I remember that I am all he has and that he, once again just like before, is my whole world. The blood continues to rush through me. Rushing, rushing, rushing. We are always rushing. Maybe I'm rushing again. Maybe it's not my time to go. I feel the rough skin of old hands squeezing mine, and their intensity and their familiarity force me to open my eyes. Lights fills them and I glimpse his face, a look I never want to see again. He clings to his baby. I know I lost mind; I can't let him lose his. In making my decision I already begin to grieve. I've landed now, the land of my life. And still my heart pumps on. Even when broken it still works.
Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)
Under the seeming disorder of the old city, wherever the old city is working successfully, is a marvelous order for maintaining the safety of the streets and the freedom of the city. It is a complex order. Its essence is intricacy of sidewalk use, bringing with it a constant succession of eyes. This order is all composed of movement and change, and although it is life, not art, we may fancifully call it the art form of the city and liken it to the dance — not to a simple-minded precision dance with everyone kicking up at the same time, twirling in unison and bowing off en masse, but to an intricate ballet in which the individual dancers and ensembles all have distinctive parts which miraculously reinforce each other and compose an orderly whole. The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any once place is always replete with new improvisations. The stretch of Hudson Street where I live is each day the scene of an intricate sidewalk ballet. I make my own first entrance into it a little after eight when I put out my garbage gcan, surely a prosaic occupation, but I enjoy my part, my little clang, as the junior droves of junior high school students walk by the center of the stage dropping candy wrapper. (How do they eat so much candy so early in the morning?) While I sweep up the wrappers I watch the other rituals of the morning: Mr Halpert unlocking the laundry's handcart from its mooring to a cellar door, Joe Cornacchia's son-in-law stacking out the empty crates from the delicatessen, the barber bringing out his sidewalk folding chair, Mr. Goldstein arranging the coils of wire which proclaim the hardware store is open, the wife of the tenement's super intendent depositing her chunky three-year-old with a toy mandolin on the stoop, the vantage point from which he is learning English his mother cannot speak. Now the primary childrren, heading for St. Luke's, dribble through the south; the children from St. Veronica\s cross, heading to the west, and the children from P.S 41, heading toward the east. Two new entrances are made from the wings: well-dressed and even elegant women and men with brief cases emerge from doorways and side streets. Most of these are heading for the bus and subways, but some hover on the curbs, stopping taxis which have miraculously appeared at the right moment, for the taxis are part of a wider morning ritual: having dropped passengers from midtown in the downtown financial district, they are now bringing downtowners up tow midtown. Simultaneously, numbers of women in housedresses have emerged and as they crisscross with one another they pause for quick conversations that sound with laughter or joint indignation, never, it seems, anything in between. It is time for me to hurry to work too, and I exchange my ritual farewell with Mr. Lofaro, the short, thick bodied, white-aproned fruit man who stands outside his doorway a little up the street, his arms folded, his feet planted, looking solid as the earth itself. We nod; we each glance quickly up and down the street, then look back at eachother and smile. We have done this many a morning for more than ten years, and we both know what it means: all is well. The heart of the day ballet I seldom see, because part off the nature of it is that working people who live there, like me, are mostly gone, filling the roles of strangers on other sidewalks. But from days off, I know enough to know that it becomes more and more intricate. Longshoremen who are not working that day gather at the White Horse or the Ideal or the International for beer and conversation. The executives and business lunchers from the industries just to the west throng the Dorgene restaurant and the Lion's Head coffee house; meat market workers and communication scientists fill the bakery lunchroom.
Jane Jacobs (The Death and Life of Great American Cities)
Duroy, who felt light hearted that evening, said with a smile: "You are gloomy to-day, dear master." The poet replied: "I am always so, young man, so will you be in a few years. Life is a hill. As long as one is climbing up one looks towards the summit and is happy, but when one reaches the top one suddenly perceives the descent before one, and its bottom, which is death. One climbs up slowly, but one goes down quickly. At your age a man is happy. He hopes for many things, which, by the way, never come to pass. At mine, one no longer expects anything - but death." Duroy began to laugh: "You make me shudder all over." Norbert de Varenne went on: "No, you do not understand me now, but later on you will remember what I am saying to you at this moment. A day comes, and it comes early for many, when there is an end to mirth, for behind everything one looks at one sees death. You do not even understand the word. At your age it means nothing; at mine it is terrible. Yes, one understands it all at once, one does not know how or why, and then everything in life changes its aspect. For fifteen years I have felt death assail me as if I bore within me some gnawing beast. I have felt myself decaying little by little, month by month, hour by hour, like a house crumbling to ruin. Death has disfigured me so completely that I do not recognize myself. I have no longer anything about me of myself - of the fresh, strong man I was at thirty. I have seen death whiten my black hairs, and with what skillful and spiteful slowness. Death has taken my firm skin, my muscles, my teeth, my whole body of old, only leaving me a despairing soul, soon to be taken too. Every step brings me nearer to death, every movemebt, every breath hastens his odious work. To breathe, sleep, drink, eat, work, dream, everything we do is to die. To live, in short, is to die. Oh, you will realize this. If you stop and think for a moment you will understand. What do you expect? Love? A few more kisses and you will be impotent. Then money? For what? Women? Much fun that will be! In order to eat a lot and grow fat and lie awake at night suffering from gout? And after that? Glory? What use is that when it does not take the form of love? And after that? Death is always the end. I now see death so near that I often want to stretch my arms to push it back. It covers the earth and fills the universe. I see it everywhere. The insects crushed on the path, the falling leaves, the white hair in a friend's head, rend my heart and cry to me, 'Behold it!' It spoils for me all I do, all I see, all that I eat and drink, all that I love; the bright moonlight, the sunrise, the broad ocean, the noble rivers, and the soft summer evening air so sweet to breath." He walked on slowly, dreaming aloud, almost forgetting that he had a listener: "And no one ever returns - never. The model of a statue may be preserved, but my body, my face, my thoughts, my desires will never reappear again. And yet millions of beings will be born with a nose, eyes, forehead, cheeks, and mouth like me, and also a soul like me, without my ever returning, without even anything recognizable of me appearing in these countless different beings. What can we cling to? What can we believe in? All religions are stupid, with their puerile morality and their egotistical promises, monstrously absurd. Death alone is certain." "Think of that, young man. Think of it for days, and months and years, and life will seem different to you. Try to get away from all the things that shut you in. Make a superhuman effort to emerge alive from your own body, from your own interests, from your thoughts, from humanity in general, so that your eyes may be turned in the opposite direction. Then you understand how unimportant is the quarrel between Romanticism and Realism, or the Budget debates.
Guy de Maupassant
Thus engaged, with her right elbow supported by her left hand, Madame Defarge said nothing when her lord came in, but coughed just one grain of cough. This, in combination with the lifting of her darkly defined eyebrows over her toothpick by the breadth of a line, suggested to her husband that he would do well to look round the shop among the customers, for any new customer who had dropped in while he stepped over the way. The wine-shop keeper accordingly rolled his eyes about, until they rested upon an elderly gentleman and a young lady, who were seated in a corner. Other company were there: two playing cards, two playing dominoes, three standing by the counter lengthening out a short supply of wine. As he passed behind the counter, he took notice that the elderly gentleman said in a look to the young lady, "This is our man." "What the devil do you do in that galley there?" said Monsieur Defarge to himself; "I don't know you." But, he feigned not to notice the two strangers, and fell into discourse with the triumvirate of customers who were drinking at the counter. "How goes it, Jacques?" said one of these three to Monsieur Defarge. "Is all the spilt wine swallowed?" "Every drop, Jacques," answered Monsieur Defarge. When this interchange of Christian name was effected, Madame Defarge, picking her teeth with her toothpick, coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. "It is not often," said the second of the three, addressing Monsieur Defarge, "that many of these miserable beasts know the taste of wine, or of anything but black bread and death. Is it not so, Jacques?" "It is so, Jacques," Monsieur Defarge returned. At this second interchange of the Christian name, Madame Defarge, still using her toothpick with profound composure, coughed another grain of cough, and raised her eyebrows by the breadth of another line. The last of the three now said his say, as he put down his empty drinking vessel and smacked his lips. "Ah! So much the worse! A bitter taste it is that such poor cattle always have in their mouths, and hard lives they live, Jacques. Am I right, Jacques?" "You are right, Jacques," was the response of Monsieur Defarge. This third interchange of the Christian name was completed at the moment when Madame Defarge put her toothpick by, kept her eyebrows up, and slightly rustled in her seat. "Hold then! True!" muttered her husband. "Gentlemen--my wife!" The three customers pulled off their hats to Madame Defarge, with three flourishes. She acknowledged their homage by bending her head, and giving them a quick look. Then she glanced in a casual manner round the wine-shop, took up her knitting with great apparent calmness and repose of spirit, and became absorbed in it. "Gentlemen," said her husband, who had kept his bright eye observantly upon her, "good day. The chamber, furnished bachelor- fashion, that you wished to see, and were inquiring for when I stepped out, is on the fifth floor. The doorway of the staircase gives on the little courtyard close to the left here," pointing with his hand, "near to the window of my establishment. But, now that I remember, one of you has already been there, and can show the way. Gentlemen, adieu!" They paid for their wine, and left the place. The eyes of Monsieur Defarge were studying his wife at her knitting when the elderly gentleman advanced from his corner, and begged the favour of a word. "Willingly, sir," said Monsieur Defarge, and quietly stepped with him to the door. Their conference was very short, but very decided. Almost at the first word, Monsieur Defarge started and became deeply attentive. It had not lasted a minute, when he nodded and went out. The gentleman then beckoned to the young lady, and they, too, went out. Madame Defarge knitted with nimble fingers and steady eyebrows, and saw nothing.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)