Reached Home Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Reached Home. Here they are! All 200 of them:

One never reaches home,' she said. 'But where paths that have an affinity for each other intersect, the whole world looks like home, for a time.
Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
You're here," I murmured, reaching out to touch him, hardly believing this was real. "You came back." Ash's breath hitched, and he put his hand over mine. "I came home.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.
C.S. Lewis (Till We Have Faces)
There were once two sisters who were not afriad of the dark because the dark was full of the other's voice across the room, because even when the night was thick and starless they walked home together from the river seeing who could last the longest without turning on her flashlight, not afraid because sometimes in the pitch of night they'd lie on their backs in the middle of the path and look up until the stars came back and when they did, they'd reach their arms up to touch them and did.
Jandy Nelson (The Sky Is Everywhere)
The king lifted a hand to her cheek and kissed her. It was not a kiss between strangers, not even a kiss between a bride and groom. It was a kiss between a man and his wife, and when it was over, the king closed his eyes and rested his forehead in the hollow of the queen's shoulder, like a man seeking respite, like a man reaching home at the end of the day.
Megan Whalen Turner (The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3))
And here we are, in the middle, surrounded by a sea of stars. A million suns. Any of them could hold a planet. Any of them could hold a home. But all of them are out of reach. [p.218]
Beth Revis (A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2))
I'd like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
So we reach into the raging chaos, and we cling to it, and we tell ourselves it has meaning, and that the world is good, and we are not evil, and we will all go home in the end.
Anne Rice (The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles, #4))
Then I know Prim is right, that Snow cannot afford to waste Peeta's life, especially now, while the Mockingjay causes so much havoc. He's killed Cinna already. Destroyed my home. My family, Gale, and even Haymitch are out of his reach. Peeta's all he has left. "So, what do you think they'll do to him?" I ask. Prim sound about a thousand years old when she speaks."Whatever it takes to break you.
Suzanne Collins
Did you ever, when you were little, endure your parents’ warnings, then wait for them to leave the room, pry loose protective covers and consider inserting some metal object into an electrical outlet? Did you wonder if for once you might light up the room? When you were big enough to cross the street on your own, did you ever wait for a signal, hear the frenzied approach of a fire truck and feel like stepping out in front of it? Did you wonder just how far that rocket ride might take you? When you were almost grown, did you ever sit in a bubble bath, perspiration pooling, notice a blow dryer plugged in within easy reach, and think about dropping it into the water? Did you wonder if the expected rush might somehow fail you? And now, do you ever dangle your toes over the precipice, dare the cliff to crumble, defy the frozen deity to suffer the sun, thaw feather and bone, take wing to fly you home?
Ellen Hopkins (Burned (Burned, #1))
My mom's coming home soon," I said. "We should go to your place." Patch ran a hand across the shadow of stubble along his jaw. "I have rules about who I take there." I was getting really tired of that answer. "If you showed me, you'd have to kill me?" I guessed, fighting the urge to feel irritated. "Once I'm inside, I can never leave?" Patch studied me a moment. Then he reached into his pocket, twisted a key off his key chain, and slipped it into the front pocket of my pajama top. "Once you've gone inside, you have to keep coming back.
Becca Fitzpatrick (Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2))
I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through. Tell me what the word home means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s name just by the way you describe your bedroom when you were eight. See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate, and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you prefer to play in puddles of rain or bounce in the bellies of snow? And if you were to build a snowman, would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman arms or would leave your snowman armless for the sake of being harmless to the tree? And if you would, would you notice how that tree weeps for you because your snowman has no arms to hug you every time you kiss him on the cheek? Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad even if it makes your lover mad? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name, and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind. Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel. Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years old beating up little boys at school. If you were walking by a chemical plant where smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black clouds would you holler “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud or would you whisper “That cloud looks like a fish, and that cloud looks like a fairy!” Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me — how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? See, I wanna know if you believe in any god or if you believe in many gods or better yet what gods believe in you. And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you asked come true? And if they didn’t, did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? Would you think less of me if I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key? And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry I just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around me who have learned the wisdom of silence. Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence? And if you do — I want you to tell me of a meadow where my skateboard will soar. See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving, and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes from other people’s wounds, and if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon — that if you wanted to, you could pop, but you never would ‘cause you’d never want it to stop. If a tree fell in the forest and you were the only one there to hear — if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound, would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist, or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness? And lastly, let me ask you this: If you and I went for a walk and the entire walk, we didn’t talk — do you think eventually, we’d… kiss? No, wait. That’s asking too much — after all, this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson
Myrnin, who hadn't said much, suddenly reached out and wrapped his arms around her. She stiffened, shocked, and for a panicked second wondered whether he'd suddenly decided to snack on her neck... but it was just a hug. His body felt cold against hers, and way too close, but then he let go and stepped back. "You've done very well. I'm extremely proud of you," he said. There was a touch of color high in his pale cheeks. "Do go home now. And shower. You reek like the dead." Which, coming from a vampire, was pretty rich.
Rachel Caine (Ghost Town (The Morganville Vampires, #9))
For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning - not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.
Frederick Buechner (The Magnificent Defeat)
Like the vital rudder of a ship, we have been provided a way to determine the direction we travel. The lighthouse of the Lord beckons to all as we sail the seas of life. Our home port is the celestial kingdom of God. Our purpose is to steer an undeviating course in that direction. A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder—never likely to reach home port. To us comes the signal: Chart your course, set your sail, position your rudder, and proceed.
Thomas S. Monson
You see? Size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box abd cover it with wet weeds to die? Or one might take the tip of the pencil and magnify it. One reaches the point where a stunning realization strikes home: The pencil tip is not solid; it is composed of atoms which whirl and revolve like a trillion demon planets. What seems solid to us is actually only a loose net held together by gravity. Viewed at their actual size, the distances between these atoms might become league, gulfs, aeons. The atoms themselves are composed of nuclei and revolving protons and electrons. One may step down further to subatomic particles. And then to what? Tachyons? Nothing? Of course not. Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity.
Stephen King (The Gunslinger)
This is what you do. If you feel low, you stand tall. You mess up, you move on. You want to try something, try it, and if it was a stupid thing to try, you look it in the eye. There's no turning back. You apologize if you're sorry, but know that the nimblest, strongest hands can't rebuild a bridge out of embers, so cut new wood. Start from scratch. You love with your whole heart. If you're jealous, talk yourself from the ledge. If you can't talk yourself down from the ledge, have a good time up there, looking down on the world. If you have to lie to make everything true again, lie like you mean it. If you find yourself in a cage, reach out through the bars for the key, unlock the door, and run away. If running away gets dangerous, run home. If home doesn't mean what it used to mean, decide what home will be in the future. If your best friend says she doesn't trust you, hold her jaw in your hand until it hurts, and make her face you. Thats all it takes. If you think you love a guy, see how his hand looks in yours, thats all it takes. If you get exiled into a new land, then go discover it. And if you feel like you're drowning, go swimming.
Hobson Brown
We were both just too messed up to ever be with each other in the way we needed to be. Two shooting stars that burned out too quickly, never quite reaching each other’s skies.
Tillie Cole (Sweet Fall (Sweet Home, #2; Carillo Boys, #1))
Ah, Harry, we have to stumble through so much dirt and humbug before we reach home. And we have no one to guide us. Our only guide is our homesickness.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
I want you to tell me about every person you've ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn't think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mothers name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mothers joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you've been unkind. Tell me all the ways you've been cruel.Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me, how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? And for all the times you've knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you've asked come true? And if they didn't did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who[m]? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see in the mirror on a day a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who ever taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment, will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds. And if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon that if you wanted to you could pop—but you never would because you’d never want it to stop.
Andrea Gibson
If you truly feel that self esteem and motivation have to happen first before you can make changes in your life, then we’ll probably be sharing walkers at a retirement home as we talk over what might have been.
Shannon L. Alder
However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.
Jeffrey R. Holland
The cord pulled taut and she rebounded, flying back up before falling again. As her velocity slowed, she opened her eyes and found herself dangling at the end of the cord, about five feet above Jace. He was grinning. "Nice," he said. "As graceful as a falling snowflake." "Was I screaming?" She asked, genuinely curious. "You know, on the way down." He nodded. "Thankfully no one's home, or they would have assumed I was murdering you." "Ha. You can't even reach me." She kicked out a leg and spun lazily in midair. Jace's eyes glinted. "Want to bet?" Clary knew that expression. "No," she said quickly. "Whatever you're going to do-" But he'd already done it. When Jace moved fast, his individual movements were almost invisible. She saw his hand go to his belt, and then something flashed in the air. She heard the sound of parting fabric as the cord above her head was sheared through. Released, she fell freely, too surprised to scream- directly into Jace's arms. The force knocked him backward, and they sprawled together onto one of the padded floor mats, Clary on top of him. He grinned up at her. "Now," he said, "that was much better. You didn't scream at all." "I didn't get the chance." She was breathless, and not just from the impact of the fall. Being sprawled on top of Jace, feeling his body against hers, made her hands shake and her heart beat faster.
Cassandra Clare (City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3))
Some people are born in the mountains, while others are born by the sea. Some people are happy to live in the place they were born, while others must make a journey to reach the climate in which they can flourish and grow. Between the ocean and the mountains is a wild forest. That is where I want to make my home.
Maia Kobabe (Gender Queer)
SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. Accurate scholarship can Unearth the whole offence From Luther until now That has driven a culture mad, Find what occurred at Linz, What huge imago made A psychopathic god: I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return. Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book, The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In an euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong. Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone. From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow; 'I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work,' And helpless governors wake To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the dead, Who can speak for the dumb? All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame.
W.H. Auden (Another Time)
My request today is simple. Today. Tomorrow. Next week. Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home. Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by. Reach your arm out and put it around them. And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you love them. If you or I wanna make a change in this world, that’s where we’re gonna be able to do it. That’s where we’ll start. Every. Single. Time.
Dan Pearce (Single Dad Laughing)
These religious types were the fans that Jesus seems to have the most trouble with. Fans who will walk into a restaurant and bow their heads to pray before a meal just in case someone is watching. Fans who won’t go to R-rated movies at the theater, but have a number of them saved on their DVR at home. Fans who may feed the hungry and help the needy, and then they make sure they work it into every conversation for the next two weeks. Fans who make sure people see them put in their offering at church, but they haven’t considered reaching out to their neighbor who lost a job and can’t pay the bills. Fans who like seeing other people fail because in their minds it makes them look better. Fans whose primary concern in raising their children is what other people think. Fans who are reading this and assuming I’m describing someone else. Fans who have worn the mask for so long they have fooled even themselves.
Kyle Idleman
He pulled the Carstairs family ring from his finger and held it out to Will. "Take it." Will let his eyes drift down toward it, and then up to Jem's face. A dozen awful things he could say, or do, went through his mind. One did not slough off a persona so quickly, he had found. He had pretended to be cruel for so many years that the pretense was still what he reached for first, as a man might absently turn his carriage toward the home he had lived in for all his life, despite the fact that he had recently moved. "You wish to marry me now?" he said, at last.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
When we reached home your cheeks were like roses, and your eyes were shining like stars, and you tried to tell Mummy so much in one breath that I thought you would burst.
Katherine Mansfield
The Type Everyone needs a place. It shouldn't be inside of someone else. -Richard Siken If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at, you can let them look at you. But do not mistake eyes for hands. Or windows. Or mirrors. Let them see what a woman looks like. They may not have ever seen one before. If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch, you can let them touch you. Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for. Sometimes it is a bottle. A door. A sandwich. A Pulitzer. Another woman. But their hands found you first. Do not mistake yourself for a guardian. Or a muse. Or a promise. Or a victim. Or a snack. You are a woman. Skin and bones. Veins and nerves. Hair and sweat. You are not made of metaphors. Not apologies. Not excuses. If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold, you can let them hold you. All day they practice keeping their bodies upright-- even after all this evolving, it still feels unnatural, still strains the muscles, holds firm the arms and spine. Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you, admit they do not have the answers they thought they would have by now; some men will want to hold you like The Answer. You are not The Answer. You are not the problem. You are not the poem or the punchline or the riddle or the joke. Woman. If you grow up the type men want to love, You can let them love you. Being loved is not the same thing as loving. When you fall in love, it is discovering the ocean after years of puddle jumping. It is realizing you have hands. It is reaching for the tightrope when the crowds have all gone home. Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt. If he leaves you with a car alarm heart, you learn to sing along. It is hard to stop loving the ocean. Even after it has left you gasping, salty. Forgive yourself for the decisions you have made, the ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night. And know this: Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours. Let the statues crumble. You have always been the place. You are a woman who can build it yourself. You were born to build.
Sarah Kay
Most of the time it's not the Europeans who belittle us. What happens when we look at them is that we belittle ourselves. When we undertake the pilgrimage, it's not just to escape the tyranny at home but also to reach to the depths of our souls. The day arrives when the guilty must return to save those who could not find the courage to leave.
Orhan Pamuk (Snow)
Now he got out of bed and wrapped his blanket around himself, yawning. That evening, he'd talk to Jude. He didn't know where he was going, but he knew he would be safe; he would keep them both safe. He went to the kitchen to make himself coffee, and as he did, he whispered the lines back to himself, those lines he thought of whenever he was coming home, coming back to Greene Street after a long time away - "And tell me this: I must be absolutely sure. This place I've reached, is it truly Ithaca?"- as all around him, the apartment filled with light.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Maybe they're out doing the tango and drinking tequila shots." He sent Eve a grin. "As we will be when we reach their age. After which we'll come home and have mad sex." "For God's sake. This is on the record." "Yes, I know." He stepped off with her on Var's floor. "I wanted those future plans to be official as well.
J.D. Robb (Fantasy in Death (In Death, #30))
It's said, after all, that people reach middle age the day they realize they're never going to read Remembrance of Things Past.
Alison Bechdel (Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic)
Home is a boxcar and it's so far out of reach Hidden under umbrella beach
Owl City (Owl City - Ocean Eyes)
Well, here he was. They could save each other, the way the poets promised lovers should. He was mystery, he was darkness, he was all she had dreamed of. And if she would only free him he would service her - oh yes - until her pleasure reached that threshold that, like all thresholds, was a place where the strong grew stronger, and the weak perished. Pleasure was pain there, and vice versa. And he knew it well enough to call it home.
Clive Barker (The Hellbound Heart)
I cannot understand what pleasures and joys they are that drive people to the overcrowded railways and hotels, into the packed cafés with the suffocating and oppressive music, to the Bars and variety entertainments, to World Exhibitions, to the Corsos. I cannot understand nor share these joys, though they are within my reach, for which thousands of others strive. On the other hand, what happens to me in my rare hours of joy, what for me is bliss and life and ecstasy and exaltation, the world in general seeks at most in imagination; in life it finds it absurd. And in fact, if the world is right, if this music of the cafés, these mass enjoyments and these Americanised men who are pleased with so little are right, then I am wrong, I am crazy. I am in truth the Steppenwolf that I often call myself; that beast astray who finds neither home nor joy nor nourishment in a world that is strange and incomprehensible to him.
Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf)
Home is the place you return to when you have finally lost your soul. Home is the place where life is born, not the place of your birth, but the place where you seek rebirth. When you no longer have to remember which tale of your own past is true and which is an invention, when you know that you are an invention, then is the time to seek out your home. Perhaps only when you have come to understand that can you finally reach home.
Karen Maitland (Company of Liars)
When you reach the little house, the place your journey started, you will recognize it, although it will seem much smaller than you remember. Walk up the path, and through the garden gate you never saw before but once. And then go home. Or make a home. And rest.
Neil Gaiman (Instructions)
Do you trust him? When had we reached the point where the answer to Rei's question had become yes without hesitation? When Zane had sat by my bedside for hours while I was drifting in and out of consciousness? When he had arranged for me to be visited by entertainers and friends, or had carried me home when I was too tired to walk? Or when I had first seen him cry and had wanted nothing but to comfort him? I do not know how, yet somehow, impossibly, we are here.
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes (Hawksong (The Kiesha'ra, #1))
You know what I noticed when I was with Jacob? In your world, people can reach each other in an instant. There's the telephone, and the fax - and on the computer you can talk to someone all the way around the world. You've got people telling their secrets on TV talk shows, and magazines that publish pictures of movie stars trying to hide their homes. All those connections, but everyone there seems so lonely.
Jodi Picoult (Plain Truth)
...Don't rupture another's illusion unless you're positive the alternative you offer is more worthwhile than that from which you're wrenching them. Interrogate your solipsism: Does it offer any better a home than the delusions you're reaching to shatter?
Jonathan Lethem (Chronic City)
The point is, you need to distinguish between what honestly moves you and what the world is telling you should melt your heart. If something doesn’t reach you on a personal level, let it go. It’s hard enough dealing with everything that does.
Judi Culbertson (The Clutter Cure: Three Steps to Letting Go of Stuff, Organizing Your Space, & Creating the Home of Your Dreams)
I'm sure we all have dreams of leaving at some time in our lives, but when we reach the bottom, most of us go running home.
Deborah Curtis (Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division)
She didn't want the medi-techs. She wanted a fucking candy bar. [...] She reached down [...] and chose a Galaxy bar [...] "I'm going home." "You didn't pay for that," Francois shouted after her. "Fuck you, Frank," she shouted back and kept going.
J.D. Robb (Naked in Death (In Death, #1))
As his (C. S. Lewis's) good friend Owen Barfield once remarked, Lewis radiated a sense that the spiritual world is home, that we are always coming back to a place we have never yet reached.
David C. Downing (Into the Region of Awe: Mysticism in C. S. Lewis)
Betrayal is too kind a word to describe a situation in which a father says he loves his daughter but claims he must teach her about the horrors of the world in order to make her a stronger person; a situation in which he watches or participates in rituals that make her feel like she is going to die. She experiences pain that is so intense that she cannot think; her head spins so fast she can't remember who she is or how she got there. All she knows is pain. All she feels is desperation. She tries to cry out for help, but soon learns that no one will listen. No matter how loud she cries, she can't stop or change what is happening. No matter what she does, the pain will not stop. Her father orders her to be tortured and tells her it is for her own good. He tells her that she needs the discipline, or that she has asked for it by her misbehavior. Betrayal is too simple a word to describe the overwhelming pain, the overwhelming loneliness and isolation this child experiences. As if the abuse during the rituals were not enough, this child experiences similar abuse at home on a daily basis. When she tries to talk about her pain, she is told that she must be crazy. "Nothing bad has happened to you;' her family tells her Each day she begins to feel more and more like she doesn't know what is real. She stops trusting her own feelings because no one else acknowledges them or hears her agony. Soon the pain becomes too great. She learns not to feel at all. This strong, lonely, desperate child learns to give up the senses that make all people feel alive. She begins to feel dead. She wishes she were dead. For her there is no way out. She soon learns there is no hope. As she grows older she gets stronger. She learns to do what she is told with the utmost compliance. She forgets everything she has ever wanted. The pain still lurks, but it's easier to pretend it's not there than to acknowledge the horrors she has buried in the deepest parts of her mind. Her relationships are overwhelmed by the power of her emotions. She reaches out for help, but never seems to find what she is looking for The pain gets worse. The loneliness sets in. When the feelings return, she is overcome with panic, pain, and desperation. She is convinced she is going to die. Yet, when she looks around her she sees nothing that should make her feel so bad. Deep inside she knows something is very, very wrong, but she doesn't remember anything. She thinks, "Maybe I am crazy.
Margaret Smith (Ritual Abuse: What it is, Why it Happens, and How to Help)
At night, forgotten words tried to reach me. I listened with my skin. Words tore my skin off, crept inside me, and nestled down. I was a mass of wounds. When I opened my mouth in front of the mirror, beasts lay asleep in my throat; they'd made it their home.
Margarita Karapanou (Kassandra and the Wolf)
I read library books as fast as I could go, rushing them home in the basket of my bicycle. From the minute I reached our house, I started to read. Every book I seized on, from “Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue at Camp Rest-a-While” to “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” stood for the devouring wish to read being instantly granted. I knew this was bliss, knew it at the time. Taste isn’t nearly so important; it comes in its own time.
Eudora Welty (One Writer's Beginnings)
Rain Soft rain, summer rain Whispers from bushes, whispers from trees. Oh, how lovely and full of blessing To dream and be satisfied. I was so long in the outer brightness, I am not used to this upheaval: Being at home in my own soul, Never to be led elsewhere. I want nothing, I long for nothing, I hum gently the sounds of childhood, And I reach home astounded In the warm beauty of dreams. Heart, how torn you are, How blessed to plow down blindly, To think nothing, to know nothing, Only to breathe, only to feel.
Hermann Hesse (Wandering)
I reach out and take his hand. “Well, he probably used up a lot of resources helping me knock you out,” I say mischievously. “Yeah, about that,” says Peeta, entwining his fingers in mine. “Don’t try something like that again.” “Or what?” I ask. “Or . . . or . . .” He can’t think of anything good. “Just give me a minute.” “What’s the problem?” I say with a grin. “The problem is we’re both still alive. Which only reinforces the idea in your mind that you did the right thing,” says Peeta. “I did do the right thing,” I say. “No! Just don’t, Katniss!” His grip tightens, hurting my hand, and there’s real anger in his voice. “Don’t die for me. You won’t be doing me any favors. All right?” I’m startled by his intensity but recognize an excellent opportunity for getting food, so I try to keep up. “Maybe I did it for myself, Peeta, did you ever think of that? Maybe you aren’t the only one who . . . who worries about . . . what it would be like if. . .” I fumble. I’m not as smooth with words as Peeta. And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die. And it’s not about the sponsors. And it’s not about what will happen back home. And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread. “If what, Katniss?” he says softly. I wish I could pull the shutters closed, blocking out this moment from the prying eyes of Panem. Even if it means losing food. Whatever I’m feeling, it’s no one’s business but mine. “That’s exactly the kind of topic Haymitch told me to steer clear of,” I say evasively, although Haymitch never said anything of the kind. In fact, he’s probably cursing me out right now for dropping the ball during such an emotionally charged moment. But Peeta somehow catches it. “Then I’ll just have to fill in the blanks myself,” he says, and moves in to me. This is the first kiss that we’re both fully aware of. Neither of us hobbled by sickness or pain or simply unconscious. Our lips neither burning with fever or icy cold. This is the first kiss where I actually feel stirring inside my chest. Warm and curious. This is the first kiss that makes me want another. But I don’t get it. Well, I do get a second kiss, but it’s just a light one on the tip of my nose because Peeta’s been distracted. “I think your wound is bleeding again. Come on, lie down, it’s bedtime anyway,” he says.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Private Parts The first love of my life never saw me naked - there was always a parent coming home in half an hour - always a little brother in the next room. Always too much body and not enough time for me to show it. Instead, I gave him my shoulder, my elbow, the bend of my knee - I lent him my corners, my edges, the parts of me I could afford to offer - the parts I had long since given up trying to hide. He never asked for more. He gave me back his eyelashes, the back of his neck, his palms - we held each piece we were given like it was a nectarine that could bruise if we weren’t careful. We collected them like we were trying to build an orchid. And the spaces that he never saw, the ones my parents half labeled “private parts” when I was still small enough to fit all of myself and my worries inside a bathtub - I made up for that by handing over all the private parts of me. There was no secret I didn’t tell him, there was no moment I didn’t share - and we didn’t grow up, we grew in, like ivy wrapping, moulding each other into perfect yings and yangs. We kissed with mouths open, breathing his exhale into my inhale - we could have survived underwater or outer space. Breathing only of the breathe we traded, we spelled love, g-i-v-e, I never wanted to hide my body from him - if I could have I would have given it all away with the rest of me - I did not know it was possible. To save some thing for myself. Some nights I wake up knowing he is anxious, he is across the world in another woman’s arms - the years have spread us like dandelion seeds - sanding down the edges of our jigsaw parts that used to only fit each other. He drinks from the pitcher on the night stand, checks the digital clock, it is 5am - he tosses in sheets and tries to settle, I wait for him to sleep. Before tucking myself into elbows and knees reach for things I have long since given up.
Sarah Kay
I love you, Josie, and I am devoted to making your life full of happiness and accomplishments, ensuring that you thrive to your fullest potential and that while you reach for the sky, you remain grounded by the love of our family and our home.
Kristen Proby (Safe with Me (With Me in Seattle, #5))
Where have you come from, traveler?” “I have come from the End of the World,” said a quiet voice that made my heart stop beating. “From the River of Dreams, through the gauntlet and the Briars and the Deep Wyld, in order to stand before you today. I have but one request—to take my place at your side. To resume my duty as your knight, and to protect you and your kingdom for as long as I draw breath.” He raised his head and pushed back the hood, and a gasp went around the throne room. “I am still yours, my queen,” Ash said, looking at me straight in the eye. “If you'll have me.” “You're here,” I murmured, reaching out to touch him, hardly believe this was real. “You came back.” Ash's breath hitched, and he put his hand over mine. “I came home.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
Want your boat, Georgie?' Pennywise asked. 'I only repeat myself because you really do not seem that eager.' He held it up, smiling. He was wearing a baggy silk suit with great big orange buttons. A bright tie, electric-blue, flopped down his front, and on his hands were big white gloves, like the kind Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck always wore. Yes, sure,' George said, looking into the stormdrain. And a balloon? I’ve got red and green and yellow and blue...' Do they float?' Float?' The clown’s grin widened. 'Oh yes, indeed they do. They float! And there’s cotton candy...' George reached. The clown seized his arm. And George saw the clown’s face change. What he saw then was terrible enough to make his worst imaginings of the thing in the cellar look like sweet dreams; what he saw destroyed his sanity in one clawing stroke. They float,' the thing in the drain crooned in a clotted, chuckling voice. It held George’s arm in its thick and wormy grip, it pulled George toward that terrible darkness where the water rushed and roared and bellowed as it bore its cargo of storm debris toward the sea. George craned his neck away from that final blackness and began to scream into the rain, to scream mindlessly into the white autumn sky which curved above Derry on that day in the fall of 1957. His screams were shrill and piercing, and all up and down Witcham Street people came to their windows or bolted out onto their porches. They float,' it growled, 'they float, Georgie, and when you’re down here with me, you’ll float, too–' George's shoulder socked against the cement of the curb and Dave Gardener, who had stayed home from his job at The Shoeboat that day because of the flood, saw only a small boy in a yellow rain-slicker, a small boy who was screaming and writhing in the gutter with muddy water surfing over his face and making his screams sound bubbly. Everything down here floats,' that chuckling, rotten voice whispered, and suddenly there was a ripping noise and a flaring sheet of agony, and George Denbrough knew no more. Dave Gardener was the first to get there, and although he arrived only forty-five seconds after the first scream, George Denbrough was already dead. Gardener grabbed him by the back of the slicker, pulled him into the street...and began to scream himself as George's body turned over in his hands. The left side of George’s slicker was now bright red. Blood flowed into the stormdrain from the tattered hole where his left arm had been. A knob of bone, horribly bright, peeked through the torn cloth. The boy’s eyes stared up into the white sky, and as Dave staggered away toward the others already running pell-mell down the street, they began to fill with rain.
Stephen King (It)
I want my home to be your home, my bed to be your bed. I want your nighttime heat to be within arm's reach.
Mia Sheridan (Finding Eden)
I imagine having that sixth sense, the certainty that what I'm looking for is within reach, even if it's still hidden.
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
They reached their familiar, circular dormitory with its five four-poster beds, and Harry, looking around, felt he was home at last
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3))
Two shooting stars that burned out too quickly, never quite reaching each other’s skies.
Tillie Cole (Sweet Fall (Sweet Home, #2; Carillo Boys, #1))
It was only when I got home that I reached into my pocket. I found a piece of paper he must have slipped in there while he held me: a little caricature of the two of us, him a huge bear in his uniform, grinning, his arm around me, petite and narrow-waisted, my face straight and solemn, my hair pulled neatly behind my head. Underneath it he had written, in his looping,‘I never knew real happiness until you.
Jojo Moyes (The Girl You Left Behind)
Generals trump Majors," Ursan said. "True, but do princes trump generals?" "I attacked him." "Ryne's not the type to hold a grudge." Ursan considered. "Isn't he a king? Both his parents died" "Technically, yes. But he hasn't assumed the title." "Neither has Prince Kerrick," Ursan said. " Don't you find that odd?" "Not with Kerrick. He loved his father very much. I think it's still too painful for him to assume the title. Plus he hasn't been home in years." Ursan remained quiet until we reached his tent. "Prince Kerrick's a forest mage. Which means his eyes change colour with the seasons. Right?" "Yes." He stared at me for a moment. "Lucky guy." Ursan ducked into his tent.
Maria V. Snyder (Scent of Magic (Healer, #2))
My whole life I wanted to be normal. Everybody knows there's no such thing as normal. There is no black-and-white definition of normal. Normal is subjective. There's only messy, inconsistant, silly, hopeful version of how we feel most at home in our own lives. But when I think about what I have, what I strived to reach my whole life, it's not the biggest or best or easiest or prettiest or most anything. It's not the Manor or the laundry closet. Not the multi-million dollar inheritance or the poorhouse. It's not superstardom or unemployment. It's family and love and safety. It's bravery and hope. It's work and laughter and imperfection. It's my normal.
Tori Spelling
I have written letters that are failures, but I have written few, I think, that are lies. Trying to reach a person means asking the same question over and over again: Is this the truth, or not? I begin this letter to you, then, in the western tradition. If I understand it, the western tradition is: Put your cards on the table.
Amy Hempel (Tumble Home: A Novella and Short Stories)
I felt angry, frustrated. I felt I didn't belong, not in my church, not in my home, not in my skin. Amidst the chaos, i felt alone, in need of a friend instead of a sister, someone detached from my world. The "woman's role" theory disgusted me. I would soon be a woman, and I knew I could never perform as expected. I was tired of my mom's submission to her religion, to her husband's sick quest for an heir, to his abuse. I was sick of my dad, of reaching for him as he fell farther away from us and into the arms of Johnnie WB.
Ellen Hopkins (Burned (Burned, #1))
This state lasted for six months, for six months I was truly happy, truly at home in this world and in myself before slowly it began to lose its luster, and once more the world moved out of my reach.
Karl Ove Knausgård (A Man in Love)
Everything established, settled, everything to do with home and order and the common ground, has crumbled into dust and has been swept away in the general upheaval and reorganization of the whole of society. The whole human way of life has been destroyed and ruined. All that's left is the bare, shivering human soul, stripped to the last shred, the naked force of the human psyche for which nothing has changed because it was always cold and shivering and reaching out to its nearest neighbor, as cold and lonely as itself.
Boris Pasternak (Doctor Zhivago)
Suddenly there was a humming in the air, and the bees were there too. They flowed out of Granny Weatherwax’s hive, circling Tiffany like a halo, crowning her, and swarm and girl stood on the threshold of the cottage and Tiffany reached out her arms and the bees settled along them, and welcomed her home.
Terry Pratchett (The Shepherd's Crown (Tiffany Aching Book 5))
I’m going to take you away from here, to a place where my bed is your bed, and my home is your home. And in that place, I’ll never be more than an arm’s reach from you.
Mia Sheridan (Becoming Calder)
We, who have so much, need to reach out to the orphans of this world and show them the care, hope, and love they deserve.
Kim De Blecourt (Until We All Come Home: A Harrowing Journey, a Mother's Courage, a Race to Freedom)
A man worth being with is one… That never lies to you Is kind to people that have hurt him A person that respects another’s life That has manners and shows people respect That goes out of his way to help people That feels every person, no matter how difficult, deserves compassion Who believes you are the most beautiful person he has ever met Who brags about your accomplishments with pride Who talks to you about anything and everything because no bad news will make him love you less That is a peacemaker That will see you through illness Who keeps his promises Who doesn’t blame others, but finds the good in them That raises you up and motivates you to reach for the stars That doesn’t need fame, money or anything materialistic to be happy That is gentle and patient with children Who won’t let you lie to yourself; he tells you what you need to hear, in order to help you grow Who lives what he says he believes in Who doesn’t hold a grudge or hold onto the past Who doesn’t ask his family members to deliberately hurt people that have hurt him Who will run with your dreams That makes you laugh at the world and yourself Who forgives and is quick to apologize Who doesn’t betray you by having inappropriate conversations with other women Who doesn’t react when he is angry, decides when he is sad or keep promises he doesn’t plan to keep Who takes his children’s spiritual life very seriously and teaches by example Who never seeks revenge or would ever put another person down Who communicates to solve problems Who doesn’t play games or passive aggressively ignores people to hurt them Who is real and doesn’t pretend to be something he is not Who has the power to free you from yourself through his positive outlook Who has a deep respect for women and treats them like a daughter of God Who doesn’t have an ego or believes he is better than anyone Who is labeled constantly by people as the nicest person they have ever met Who works hard to provide for the family Who doesn’t feel the need to drink alcohol to have a good time, smoke or do drugs Who doesn't have to hang out a bar with his friends, but would rather spend his time with his family Who is morally free from sin Who sees your potential to be great Who doesn't think a woman's place has to be in the home; he supports your life mission, where ever that takes you Who is a gentleman Who is honest and lives with integrity Who never discusses your private business with anyone Who will protect his family Who forgives, forgets, repairs and restores When you find a man that possesses these traits then all the little things you don’t have in common don’t matter. This is the type of man worth being grateful for.
Shannon L. Alder
She reached up and curled her fingers into mine. “He should take you to dinner.” To say that the mere thought horrified me would have been a grievous understatement. I threw up a little in my mouth then swallowed hard. I told Taft when I recovered, “Just please, for the love of God, find a girl good enough to take home to your mother. And do it soon.” “And stop dating skanks.
Darynda Jones (Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2))
This entire time I'd been thinking about where my home was. At first it was California, then Wisconsin. But in truth, home isn't necessarily where you sleep at night. It's where you feel like yourself. Where you're most comfortable. Where you don't have to pretend, where you can just be you. I had finally reached that place because Macallan is home to me.
Elizabeth Eulberg (Better off Friends)
MY MOTHER GETS DRESSED It is impossible for my mother to do even the simplest things for herself anymore so we do it together, get her dressed. I choose the clothes without zippers or buckles or straps, clothes that are simple but elegant, and easy to get into. Otherwise, it's just like every other day. After bathing, getting dressed. The stockings go on first. This time, it's the new ones, the special ones with opaque black triangles that she's never worn before, bought just two weeks ago at her favorite department store. We start with the heavy, careful stuff of the right toes into the stocking tip then a smooth yank past the knob of her ankle and over her cool, smooth calf then the other toe cool ankle, smooth calf up the legs and the pantyhose is coaxed to her waist. You're doing great, Mom, I tell her as we ease her body against mine, rest her whole weight against me to slide her black dress with the black empire collar over her head struggle her fingers through the dark tunnel of the sleeve. I reach from the outside deep into the dark for her hand, grasp where I can't see for her touch. You've got to help me a little here, Mom I tell her then her fingertips touch mine and we work her fingers through the sleeve's mouth together, then we rest, her weight against me before threading the other fingers, wrist, forearm, elbow, bicep and now over the head. I gentle the black dress over her breasts, thighs, bring her makeup to her, put some color on her skin. Green for her eyes. Coral for her lips. I get her black hat. She's ready for her company. I tell the two women in simple, elegant suits waiting outside the bedroom, come in. They tell me, She's beautiful. Yes, she is, I tell them. I leave as they carefully zip her into the black body bag. Three days later, I dream a large, green suitcase arrives. When I unzip it, my mother is inside. Her dress matches her eyeshadow, which matches the suitcase perfectly. She's wearing coral lipstick. "I'm here," she says, smiling delightedly, waving and I wake up. Four days later, she comes home in a plastic black box that is heavier than it looks. In the middle of a meadow, I learn a naked more than naked. I learn a new way to hug as I tighten my fist around her body, my hand filled with her ashes and the small stones of bones. I squeeze her tight then open my hand and release her into the smallest, hottest sun, a dandelion screaming yellow at the sky.
Daphne Gottlieb (Final Girl)
She didn’t know how long they stood on that roof, tangled up in each other, mouths and hands roving until she moaned and dragged him through the greenhouse, down the stairs, and into the carriage waiting outside. And then there was the ride home, where he did things to her neck and ear that made her forget her own name. They managed to straighten themselves out as they reached the castle gates, and kept a respectable distance as they walked back to her room, though every inch of her felt so alive and burning that it was a miracle she made it back to her door without pulling him into a closet.But then they were inside her rooms, and then at her bedroom door, and he paused as she took his hand to lead him in. “Are you sure?” She lifted a hand to his face, exploring every curve and freckle that had become so impossibly precious to her. She had waited once before—waited with Sam, and then it had been too late. But now, there was no doubt, no shred of fear or uncertainty, as if every moment between her and Chaol had been a step in a dance that had led to this threshold. “I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life,” she told him. His eyes blazed with hunger that matched her own, and she kissed him again, tugging him into her bedroom. He let her pull him, not breaking the kiss as he kicked the door shut behind them.
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
down the dank mouldering paths and past the Ocean's streams they went and past the White Rock and the Sun's Western Gates and past the Land of Dreams, and soon they reached the fields of asphodel where the dead, the burnt-out wraiths of mortals make their home
Homer (The Odyssey)
It's not words, so much, just my mind going blank and thoughts reaching up up up, me wishing I could climb through the ceiling and over the stars until I can find God, really see God, and know once and for all that everything I've believed my whole life is true, and real. Or, not even everything. Not even half. Just the part about someone or something bigger than us who doesn't lose track. I want to believe the stories, that there really is someone who would search the whole mountainside just to find that one lost thing that he loves, and bring it home.
Sara Zarr (Once Was Lost)
Maybe she is reaching out because she has sent another man to his grave prematurely. Or maybe she wants to know if I can buy eggs on the way home. Either way, I’m not picking up.
Oyinkan Braithwaite (My Sister, the Serial Killer)
Imagine if you were the positive pole of a magnet, and you were told that under no circumstances were you allowed to touch that negative pole that was sucking you in like a black hole. Or if you crawled out of the desert and found a woman standing with a pitcher of ice water, but she held it out of your reach. Imagine jumping off a building, and then being told not to fall. That's what it feels like to want a drink.
Jodi Picoult (Sing You Home)
The temperature jumped another ninety degrees. Why couldn't anyone see in my life how awesome Noah was? I shoved up my sleeves, welcoming the cold air on my skin. "Echo, stop!" Ashley propelled her self out of the gliter. I froze and then remembered Ashley was damaged. I was going on a date, not to Vegas to elope. Noah's strong hand slipped over my wrist before he entwined his fingers with mine. The sensation of warm flesh against an area I allowed no one to see, much less touch, caused me to shiver. My eyes widened, realizing my mistake. This is what had freaked Ashley out. What had come over me? I never pulled up my sleeves. I spent all my time pulling them down. When had I become...comfortable? He rubbed his thumb over my hand. "I planned on taking her to my house to meet some of my friends." Noah could have told them he was getting me to the ghetto to buy us crack and they wouldn't have heard him. Ashley stood in place, staring at my exposed scars as my father stared at our combined hands. I reached over to pull down my sleeve, but Noah casually placed his hand over my forearm, preventing me fron doing it. My lungs squeezed out all the oxygen in my body. Noah Hutchins, in fact, a human being, was overtly, on purpose, touching my scars. I'd stopped breathing moments ago, as had Ashley. Noah continued as nothing earth-shattering had happened. "What time does Echo need to be home?" Blinking my self back to life, i answered for them, "My curfew is eleven." "Twelve." My father stood and extended his hand. "I didn't have a chance to properly introduce myself earlier. I'm Owen Emerson.
Katie McGarry (Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1))
So we reach into the raging chaos, and we pluck some small glittering thing, and we cling to it, and tell ourselves it has meaning, and that the world is good, and we are not evil, and we will all go home in the end.
Anne Rice (The Tale of the Body Thief (The Vampire Chronicles, #4))
Once this had been the life I'd wanted. Even chosen. Now, though, I couldn't believe that there had been a time when this kind of monotony and silence, this most narrow of existences, had been preferable. Then again, once, I'd never known anything else... My mother had to know I was unhappy. But it didn't matter: all she cared about was that I was her Macy again, the one she'd come to depend on, always within earshot or reach. I came to work early, sat up straight at my desk and endured the monotony of answering phones and greeting potential homebuyers with a smile on my face. After dinner, I spent my hour and a half of free time alone, doing accepted activities. When I came home afterwards, my mother w ould be waiting for me, stickingher head out of her office to verify that, yes. I was just where I was supposed to be. And I was. I was also miserable. ~Macy, pg 306
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
I Have Decided I have decided to find myself a home in the mountains, somewhere high up where one learns to live peacefully in the cold and the silence. It’s said that in such a place certain revelations may be discovered. That what the spirit reaches for may be eventually felt, if not exactly understood. Slowly, no doubt. I’m not talking about a vacation. Of course at the same time I mean to stay exactly where I am. Are you following me?
Mary Oliver (A Thousand Mornings)
The Pomegranate The only legend I have ever loved is the story of a daughter lost in hell. And found and rescued there. Love and blackmail are the gist of it. Ceres and Persephone the names. And the best thing about the legend is I can enter it anywhere. And have. As a child in exile in a city of fogs and strange consonants, I read it first and at first I was an exiled child in the crackling dusk of the underworld, the stars blighted. Later I walked out in a summer twilight searching for my daughter at bed-time. When she came running I was ready to make any bargain to keep her. I carried her back past whitebeams and wasps and honey-scented buddleias. But I was Ceres then and I knew winter was in store for every leaf on every tree on that road. Was inescapable for each one we passed. And for me. It is winter and the stars are hidden. I climb the stairs and stand where I can see my child asleep beside her teen magazines, her can of Coke, her plate of uncut fruit. The pomegranate! How did I forget it? She could have come home and been safe and ended the story and all our heart-broken searching but she reached out a hand and plucked a pomegranate. She put out her hand and pulled down the French sound for apple and the noise of stone and the proof that even in the place of death, at the heart of legend, in the midst of rocks full of unshed tears ready to be diamonds by the time the story was told, a child can be hungry. I could warn her. There is still a chance. The rain is cold. The road is flint-coloured. The suburb has cars and cable television. The veiled stars are above ground. It is another world. But what else can a mother give her daughter but such beautiful rifts in time? If I defer the grief I will diminish the gift. The legend will be hers as well as mine. She will enter it. As I have. She will wake up. She will hold the papery flushed skin in her hand. And to her lips. I will say nothing.
Eavan Boland
The greatest mystery the universe offers is not life but size. Size encompasses life, and the Tower encompasses size. The child, who is most at home with wonder, says: Daddy, what is above the sky? And the father says: The darkness of space. The child: What is beyond space? The father: The galaxy. The child: Beyond the galaxy? The father: Another galaxy. The child: Beyond the other galaxies? The father: No one knows. You see? Size defeats us. For the fish, the lake in which he lives is the universe. What does the fish think when he is jerked up by the mouth through the silver limits of existence and into a new universe where the air drowns him and the light is blue madness? Where huge bipeds with no gills stuff it into a suffocating box and cover it with wet weeds to die? Or one might take the tip of the pencil and magnify it. One reaches the point where a stunning realization strikes home: The pencil tip is not solid; it is composed of atoms which whirl and revolve like a trillion demon planets. What seems solid to us is actually only a loose net held together by gravity. Viewed at their actual size, the distances between these atoms might become league, gulfs, aeons. The atoms themselves are composed of nuclei and revolving protons and electrons. One may step down further to subatomic particles. And then to what? Tachyons? Nothing? Of course not. Everything in the universe denies nothing; to suggest an ending is the one absurdity. If you fell outward to the limit of the universe, would you find a board fence and signs reading DEAD END? No. You might find something hard and rounded, as the chick must see the egg from the inside. And if you should peck through the shell (or find a door), what great and torrential light might shine through your opening at the end of space? Might you look through and discover our entire universe is but part of one atom on a blade of grass? Might you be forced to think that by burning a twig you incinerate an eternity of eternities? That existence rises not to one infinite but to an infinity of them?
Stephen King (The Gunslinger)
A hundred and fifty years before, when the parochial disagreements between Earth and Mars had been on the verge of war, the Belt had been a far horizon of tremendous mineral wealth beyond viable economic reach, and the outer planets had been beyond even the most unrealistic corporate dream. Then Solomon Epstein had built his little modified fusion drive, popped it on the back of his three-man yacht, and turned it on. With a good scope, you could still see his ship going at a marginal percentage of the speed of light, heading out into the big empty. The best, longest funeral in the history of mankind. Fortunately, he’d left the plans on his home computer. The Epstein Drive hadn’t given humanity the stars, but it had delivered the planets.
James S.A. Corey (Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse, #1))
He handed me a bandana. "Tie that on." "Why?" I said, but I did it anyway. "Norman, you are way too into ceremony." "It's important." I could hear him moving around, adjusting things, before he came to sit beside me. "Okay," he said. "Take a look." I pulled off the blindfold. Beside me, Norman watched me see myself for the first time. And it was me. At least, it was a girl who looked like me. She was sitting on the back stoop of the restaurant, legs crossed and dangling down. She had her head slightly tilted, as if she had been asked something and was waiting for the right moment to respond, smiling slightly behind the sunglasses that were perched on her nose, barely reflecting part of a blue sky. The girl was something else, though. Something I hadn't expected. She was beautiful. Not in the cookie-cutter way of all the faces encircling Isabel's mirror. And not in the easy, almost effortless style of a girl like Caroline Dawes. This girl who stared back at me, with her lip ring and her half smile - not quite earned - knew she wasn't like the others. She knew the secret. And she'd clicked her heels three times to find her way home. "Oh, my God," I said to Norman, reaching forward to touch the painting, which still didn't seem real. My own face, bumpy and textured beneath my fingers, stared back at me. "Is this how you see me?" "Colie." He was right beside me. "That's how you are.
Sarah Dessen (Keeping the Moon)
We all reach a point as young adults when we wonder what we should be doing with our lives—or, at the very least, which direction to point ourselves in. Beyond the means to get by, we need to think about what’s most important to us. Not surprisingly, I discovered that for me the answer was family.
Saroo Brierley (A Long Way Home)
We ate, we slept, we formed our kaleidoscopic relationships and marched ever forward. We licked chocolate from our fingers. We arranged flowers in vases. We inspected our backsides when we tried on new clothes. We gave ourselves over to art. We elected officials and complained. We stood up for home runs. We marked life passages in ceremonies we attended with impatience and pride. We reached out for new love when what we had died, confessing our unworthiness, confessing our great need. We felt at times that perhaps we really were visitors from another planet. We occasionally wondered if it was true that each of us was making everything up. But this was a wobbly saucer; this was thinking we could not endure; we went back to our elegant denial of unbreachable isolation, to refusing the lesson of being born alone and dying that way, too. We went back to loving, to eating, to sleeping, to marching and marching and marching along.
Elizabeth Berg (The Year of Pleasures)
You do see me crossing the meadow stiff and dead from the mist? I long for that home, that home I've never had, and without any hope that I'll ever be able to reach it. For such a home, never touched, I carry that longing that will never die, like that meadow dies stiff and dead from the mist. You do see me crossing it, full of dread?
Robert Walser (Oppressive Light: Selected Poems by Robert Walser)
...We always look for Christ amid magnificence. But ... Christ has a history of showing up amide the unlovely. Born in a dirty stall. Crowned with thorns. Died gasping on a shameful cross atop a jagged rise. We don't need to be beautiful for Christ to take us in. He is equally at home when we're broken-down and dirty. It's like George Herbert wrote: 'And here in dust and dirt, O here, The lilies of God's love appear.' We think magnificence is in short supply, that dust and dirt choke out the lilies. But that's not true and never was. Lilies may root in dirt, but they reach for heaven—and in the reaching, reveal their magnificence. —chapter 24
Philip Gulley (Home to Harmony (Harmony, #1))
Well, after all, this is the age of the disposable tissue. Blow your nose on a person, wad them, flush them away, reach for another, blow, wad, flush. Everyone using everyone else's coattails. How are you supposed to root for the home team when you don't even have a program or know the names? For that matter, what color jersey's are they reading as they trot out to the feild?
Ray Bradbury
And Ross again knew himself to be happy-in a new and less ephemeral way than before. He was filled with a queer sense of enlightnment. It seemed to him that all his life had moved to this pinpoint of time down the scattered threads of twenty years; from his old childhood running thoughtless and barefoot in the sun on Hendrawna sands, from Demelza's birth in the squarlor of a mining cottage, from the plains of Virginia and the trampled fairgrounds of Redruth, from the complex impulses which had governed Elizabeth's choice of Francis and from the simple philosophies of Demelza's own faith, all had been animated to a common end-and that end a moment of enlightenment and understanding and completion. Someone--a Latin poet--had defined eternity as no more than this: to hold and possess the whole fullness of life in one moment, here and now, past and present and to come. He thought: if we could only stop here. Not when we get home, not leaving Trenwith, but here, here reaching the top of the hill out of Sawle, dusk wiping out the edges of the land and Demelza walking and humming at my side.
Winston Graham (Ross Poldark (Poldark, #1))
In reaching toward Emma, I’d risked everything—was risking it again, every day—but in doing so I had grasped and pulled myself into a world once unimaginable to me, where I lived among people who were more alive than anyone I’d known, did things I’d never dreamed I could do, survived things I’d never dreamed I could survive. All because I’d let myself feel something for one peculiar girl.
Ransom Riggs (Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, # 2))
She had believed that she alone could touch his heart, and that likewise his was the only gaze that would ever reach hers. She had left her home in response to his kind words, only to find that this belief had been nothing but the conceit of an ignorant girl.
Noriko Ogiwara (Dragon Sword and Wind Child (Tales of the Magatama, #1))
Every room I've lived in since I was given my own room at eleven was lined with, and usually overfull of, books. My employment in bookstores was always continuous with my private hours: shelving and alphabetizing, building shelves, and browsing-- in my collection and others-- in order to understand a small amount about the widest possible number of books. Such numbers of books are constantly acquired that constant culling is necessary; if I slouch in this discipline, the books erupt. I've also bricked myself in with music--vinyl records, then compact discs. My homes have been improbably information-dense, like capsules for survival of a nuclear war, or models of the interior of my own skull. That comparison--room as brain-- is one I've often reached for in describing the rooms of others, but it began with the suspicion that I'd externalized my own brain, for anyone who cared to look.
Jonathan Lethem (The Disappointment Artist)
There is a love that equals in its power the love of man for woman and reaches inwards as deeply. It is the love of a man or a woman for their world. For the world of their center where their lives burn genuinely and with a free flame. The love of the diver for his world of wavering light. His world of pearls and tendrils and his breath at his breast. Born as a plunger into the deeps he is at one with every swarm of lime-green fish, with every colored sponge. As he holds himself to the ocean's faery floor, one hand clasped to a bedded whale's rib, he is complete and infinite. Pulse, power and universe sway in his body. He is in love. The love of the painter standing alone and staring, staring at the great colored surface he is making. Standing with him in the room the rearing canvas stares back with tentative shapes halted in their growth, moving in a new rhythm from floor to ceiling. The twisted tubes, the fresh paint squeezed and smeared across the dry on his palette. The dust beneath the easel. The paint has edged along the brushes' handles. The white light in a northern sky is silent. The window gapes as he inhales his world. His world: a rented room, and turpentine. He moves towards his half-born. He is in Love. The rich soil crumbles through the yeoman's fingers. As the pearl diver murmurs, 'I am home' as he moves dimly in strange water-lights, and as the painter mutters, 'I am me' on his lone raft of floorboards, so the slow landsman on his acre'd marl - says with dark Fuchsia on her twisting staircase, 'I am home.
Mervyn Peake (Titus Groan (Gormenghast, #1))
Peter was a superb swordsman, and parried with dazzling rapidity; ever and anon he followed up a feint with a lunge that got past his foe's defense, but his shorter reach stood him in ill stead, and he could not drive the steel home
J.M. Barrie
His way of coping with the days was to think of activities as units of time, each unit consisting of about thirty minutes. Whole hours, he found, were more intimidating, and most things one could do in a day took half an hour. Reading the paper, having a bath, tidying the flat, watching Home and Away and Countdown, doing a quick crossword on the toilet, eating breakfast and lunch, going to the local shops… That was nine units of a twenty-unit day (the evenings didn’t count) filled by just the basic necessities. In fact, he had reached a stage where he wondered how his friends could juggle life and a job. Life took up so much time, so how could one work and, say, take a bath on the same day? He suspected that one or two people he knew were making some pretty unsavoury short cuts.
Nick Hornby (About a Boy)
Strategy for a Marathon I will start when the gun goes off. I will run for five miles. Feeling good, I will run to the tenth mile. At the tenth I will say, Only three more to the halfway." At the halfway mark, 13.1 miles, I will know fifteen is in reach. At fifteen miles I will say, You've run twenty before, keep going." At twenty I will say, Run home.
Marnie Mueller
If you simply walk on the beach as we are doing, you have no special color. But if you travel with a purpose, it is different. When you go somewhere important or you return home from a long journey, you build a shape around you and it reaches out ahead to touch your destination.
Lyall Watson (Gifts of Unknown Things: A True Story of Nature, Healing, and Initiation from Indonesia's Dancing Island)
A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he cut in Night City, and he'd still see the matrix in his dreams, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colourless void... The Sprawl was a long, strange way home now over the Pacific, and he was no Console Man, no cyberspace cowboy. Just another hustler, trying to make it through. But the dreams came on in the Japanese night like livewire voodoo, and he'd cry for it, cry in his sleep, and wake alone in the dark, curled in his capsule in some coffin hotel, hands clawed into the bedslab, temper foam bunched between his fingers, trying to reach the console that wasn't there.
William Gibson (Neuromancer (Sprawl, #1))
Halfway home, the sky goes from dark gray to almost black and a loud thunder snap accompanies the first few raindrops that fall. Heavy, warm, big drops, they drench me in seconds, like an overturned bucket from the sky dumping just on my head. I reach my hands up and out, as if that can stop my getting wetter, and open my mouth, trying to swallow the downpour, till it finally hits me how funny it is, my trying to stop the rain. This is so funny to me, I laugh and laugh, as loud and free as I want. Instead of hurrying to higher ground, I jump lower, down off the curb, splashing through the puddles, playing and laughing all the way home. In all my life till now, rain has meant staying inside and not being able to go out to play. But now for the first time I realize that rain doesn't have to be bad. And what's more, I understand, sadness doesn't have to be bad, either. Come to think of it, I figure you need sadness, just as you need the rain. Thoughts and ideas pour through my awareness. It feels to me that happiness is almost scary, like how I imagine being drunk might feel - real silly and not caring what anybody else says. Plus, that happy feeling always leaves so fast, and you know it's going to go before it even does. Sadness lasts longer, making it more familiar, and more comfortable. But maybe, I wonder, there's a way to find some happiness in the sadness. After all, it's like the rain, something you can't avoid. And so, it seems to me, if you're caught in it, you might as well try to make the best of it. Getting caught in the warm, wet deluge that particular day in that terrible summer full of wars and fires that made no sense was a wonderful thing to have happen. It taught me to understand rain, not to dread it. There were going to be days, I knew, when it would pour without warning, days when I'd find myself without an umbrella. But my understanding would act as my all-purpose slicker and rubber boots. It was preparing me for stormy weather, arming me with the knowledge that no matter how hard it seemed, it couldn't rain forever. At some point, I knew, it would come to an end.
Antwone Quenton Fisher (Finding Fish: A Memoir)
In referring to her earlier statement that he had was not her type because he was "a dollar short when it came to maturity and a day late when it came to peace." I may have been wrong about that," she conceded. "You are a complicated man, but happily complicated. You have found a way to be at home with the world's confusion, a way to embrace the chaos rather than struggle to reduce it or become its victim. It's all part of the game to you, and you are delighted to play. In that regard, you may have reached a more elevated plateau of harmony than...ummph.
Tom Robbins (Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates)
Our longing for community and purpose is so powerful that it can drive us to join groups, relationships, or systems of belief that, to our diminished or divided self, give the false impression of belonging. But places of false belonging grant us conditional membership, requiring us to cut parts of ourselves off in order to fit in. While false belonging can be useful and instructive for a time, the soul becomes restless when it reaches a glass ceiling, a restriction that prevents us from advancing. We may shrink back from this limitation for a time, but as we grow into our truth, the invisible boundary closes in on us and our devotion to the groupmind weakens. Your rebellion is a sign of health. It is the way of nature to shatter and reconstitute. Anything or anyone who denies your impulse to grow must either be revolutionised or relinquished.
Toko-pa Turner (Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home)
Hell is eternal apartness. What had she done that she must spend the rest of her years reaching out with yearning for them, making secret trips to long ago, making no journey to the present? I am their blood and bones, I have dug in this ground, this is my home. But I am not their blood, the ground doesn’t care who digs it, I am a stranger at a cocktail party.
Harper Lee (Go Set a Watchman)
How’d this happen?” Melody asked in a stunned whisper. She never expected to fall in love and certainly not this swiftly or with this much finality. “We just met.” “I don’t believe that,” Clay argued as he turned her palm over in his and traced the lines of it with the pad of his finger. “I’m pretty sure we’ve known each other forever. Seeing you the first time was like coming home, and there ain’t been anything to happen since that’s disabused me of the notion.” “Yeah,” Melody agreed, the bright skyline blurring to a sea of vibrant color. She remembered seeing Clay in Hal’s Diner the first time. Alone and eating his turkey, she’d been compelled to reach out to him. “Do you really believe in soul mates?” “I do now.
Kele Moon (Defying the Odds (Battered Hearts, #1))
This was the road over which Ántonia and I came on that night when we got off the train at Black Hawk and were bedded down in the straw, wondering children, being taken we knew not whither. I had only to close my eyes to hear the rumbling of the wagons in the dark, and to be again overcome by that obliterating strangeness. The feelings of that night were so near that I could reach out and touch them with my hand. I had the sense of coming home to myself, and of having found out what a little circle man’s experience is. For Ántonia and for me, this had been the road of Destiny; had taken us to those early accidents of fortune which predetermined for us all that we can ever be. Now I understood that the same road was to bring us together again. Whatever we had missed, we possessed together the precious, the incommunicable past.
Willa Cather (My Ántonia (Great Plains Trilogy, #3))
That night, Ronan didn’t dream. After Gansey and Blue had left the Barns, he leaned against one of the front porch pillars and looked out at his fireflies winking in the chilly darkness. He was so raw and electric that it was hard to believe that he was awake. Normally it took sleep to strip him to this naked energy. But this was not a dream. This was his life, his home, his night. After a few moments, he heard the door ease open behind him and Adam joined him. Silently they looked over the dancing lights in the fields. It was not difficult to see that Adam was working intensely with his own thoughts. Words kept rising up inside Ronan and bursting before they ever escaped. He felt he’d already asked the question; he couldn’t also give the answer. Three deer appeared at the tree line, just at the edge of the porch light’s reach. One of them was the beautiful pale buck, his antlers like branches or roots. He watched them, and they watched him, and then Ronan could not stand it. “Adam?” When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for longer. Inside, they pretended they would dream, but they did not. They sprawled on the living room sofa and Adam studied the tattoo that covered Ronan’s back: all the sharp edges that hooked wondrously and fearfully into each other. “Unguibus et rostro,” Adam said. Ronan put Adam’s fingers to his mouth. He was never sleeping again.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4))
We may, indeed, say that the hour of death is uncertain, but when we say so we represent that hour to ourselves as situated in a vague and remote expanse of time, it never occurs to us that it can have any connexion with the day that has already dawned, or may signify that death — or its first assault and partial possession of us, after which it will never leave hold of us again — may occur this very afternoon, so far from uncertain, this afternoon every hour of which has already been allotted to some occupation. You make a point of taking your drive every day so that in a month’s time you will have had the full benefit of the fresh air; you have hesitated over which cloak you will take, which cabman to call, you are in the cab, the whole day lies before you, short because you have to be at home early, as a friend is coming to see you; you hope that it will be as fine again to-morrow; and you have no suspicion that death, which has been making its way towards you along another plane, shrouded in an impenetrable darkness, has chosen precisely this day of all days to make its appearance, in a few minutes’ time, more or less, at the moment when the carriage has reached the Champs-Elysées.
Marcel Proust (The Guermantes Way)
YOU TRIED TO WARN HIM, he said, removing Binky’s nose-bag. “Yes, sir. Sorry.” YOU CANNOT INTERFERE WITH FATE. WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE WHO SHOULD LIVE AND WHO SHOULD DIE? Death watched Mort’s expression carefully. ONLY THE GODS ARE ALLOWED TO DO THAT, he added. TO TINKER WITH THE FATE OF EVEN ONE INDIVIDUAL COULD DESTROY THE WHOLE WORLD. DO YOU UNDERSTAND? Mort nodded miserably. “Are you going to send me home?” he said. Death reached down and swung him up behind the saddle. BECAUSE YOU SHOWED COMPASSION? NO. I MIGHT HAVE DONE IF YOU HAD SHOWN PLEASURE. BUT YOU MUST LEARN THE COMPASSION PROPER TO YOUR TRADE. “What’s that?” A SHARP EDGE.
Terry Pratchett (Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1))
Good, glad you agree,” Wrath muttered as he cued George. The dog signaled that they’d come up to a barrier by halting, and Wrath reached out, his palm finding a sheet that was stiff and thick. Dropping his hold on the halter, he used two hands to pull it aside so he didn’t tear it from its tethers above. The voices stopped immediately. Except for one that breathed, “Holy . . . shit.” All at once there was a clattering, as if tools were being dropped to the floor—and then a rustling. Like seven males of some size had just gone down on their knees. For a moment, Wrath’s eyes teared up behind his wraparounds. “Evening,” he said, trying to be all casual. “How’s the work going?” No answer. And he could smell the stunned disbelief—it was like sautéed onions, not entirely unpleasant. “My lord,” came a low greeting. “It is a great honor to be in your presence.” He opened his mouth to blow that off . . . except as he inhaled, he realized that was the truth. For each and every one of them. They were honestly in awe and overcome. In a hoarse voice, he said, “Welcome to my home.
J.R. Ward (The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12))
Let go!” I insisted. He ignored me. I staggered along sideways across the wet sidewalk until we reached the Volvo. Then he finally freed me – I stumbled against the passenger door. “You are so pushy!” I grumbled “It’s open,” was all he responded. He got in the driver’s side. “I am perfectly capable of driving myself home!” I stood by the car, fuming. It was raining harder now, and I’d never put my hood up, so my hair was dripping down my back. He lowered the automatic window and leaned toward me across the seat. “Get in, Bella.” I didn’t answer. I was mentally calculating my chances of reaching the truck before he could catch me. I had to admit it, they weren’t good. “I’ll just drag you back,” he threatened, guessing my plan.
Stephenie Meyer (Twilight (Twilight, #1))
Pain is part of life. That much I knew. If I could just teach her how to be resilient, how to love big, how to fear less. How to weather hurt, either at the hands of others or even the hurts she might unknowingly inflict on herself. I wanted her to know that love can come in many forms. That sometimes it can look like letting go, but it can also look like never letting go. That one day she might have to love someone in ways the world wasn’t ready for. That reaching for that kind of love would bring with it struggle, but in the end, it could be grander than her wildest imaginings.
Tembi Locke (From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home)
I thought you were bringing me back. Forever.” He looked puzzled. “Why would I do that, when I waited almost two centuries to find you?” As he spoke, he reached out to take me by the waist and pull me against him, then lowered his mouth to mine and kissed me with a thoroughness that left no doubt in my mind that he had no intention of abandoning me anywhere. “John,” I said a little breathlessly, when he let me up for air. “Maybe it would be better if you waited for me out here.” “No,” he said simply, and took my hand and began walking me towards the French doors to my mother’s home.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
The conversations rests uneasily; one doesn't expect good-byes to be burdened by such trivialities. This is not how it is in the books, he thinks, or in the theater, and he feels the need to speak of mission, of duty, of love. They reach home and close the door and he doesn't drop her hand. Where speech fails, touch compensates.
Daniel Mason (The Piano Tuner)
Summer makes me suicidal. It sucks all the magick out of life, and even sleeping becomes an exercise in fruitless brutality. I cannot comprehend what it is in the souls who await this misery. Nothing worthwhile can survive the heat. The birds and the bees are harbingers of hell, ushering in a season of disease. There is nothing in these months that speaks to me. It conspires to keep me from ever reaching home.
Damien Echols (Life After Death)
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.
Barack Obama
I know it's common for old people to complain about the modern moment, and lament the passing of a golden age when children were polite and you could buy a kilo of meat for pennies, but in our case, my boy, I think I am not mistaken when I say that something fundamental has changed about the world in which we live. We have reached a state of constant reinvention. Revolutions have moved off the battlefield and on to home computers.
G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen)
The hoopoe said: 'Your heart's congealed like ice; When will you free yourself from cowardice? Since you have such a short time to live here, What difference does it make? What should you fear? The world is filth and sin, and homeless men Must enter it and homeless leave again. They die, as worms, in squalid pain; if we Must perish in this quest, that, certainly, Is better than a life of filth and grief. If this great search is vain, if my belief Is groundless, it is right that I should die. So many errors throng the world - then why Should we not risk this quest? To suffer blame For love is better than a life of shame. No one has reached this goal, so why appeal To those whose blindness claims it is unreal? I'd rather die deceived by dreams than give My heart to home and trade and never live. We've been and heard so much - what have we learned? Not for one moment has the self been spurned; Fools gather round and hinder our release. When will their stale, insistent whining cease? We have no freedom to achieve our goal Until from Self and fools we free the soul. To be admitted past the veil you must Be dead to all the crowd considers just. Once past the veil you understand the Way From which the crowd's glib courtiers blindly stray. If you have any will, leave women's stories, And even if this search for hidden glories Proves blasphemy at last, be sure our quest Is not mere talk but an exacting test. The fruit of love's great tree is poverty; Whoever knows this knows humility. When love has pitched his tent in someone's breast, That man despairs of life and knows no rest. Love's pain will murder him and blandly ask A surgeon's fee for managing the task - The water that he drinks brings pain, his bread Is turned to blood immediately shed; Though he is weak, faint, feebler than an ant, Love forces him to be her combatant; He cannot take one mouthful unaware That he is floundering in a sea of care.
Attar of Nishapur (The Conference of the Birds)
there is a list of questions i want to ask but never will there is a list of questions i go through in my head every time i'm alone and my mind can't stop itself from searching for you there is a list of questions i want to ask so if you're listening somewhere here i am asking them what do you think happens to the love that's left behind when two lovers leave how blue do you think it gets before it passes away does it pass away or does it still exist somewhere waiting for us to come back when we lied to ourselves by calling this unconditional and left which one of us hurt more i shattered into a million little pieces and those pieces shattered into a million more crumbled into dust till there was nothing left of me but the silence tell me how love how did the grieving feel for you how did the mourning hurt how did you peel your eyes open after every blink knowing i'd never be there staring back it must be hard to live with what ifs there must always be this constant dull aching in the pit of your stomach trust me i feel it too how in the world did we get here how did we live through it and how are we still living how many months did it take before you stopped thinking of me or are you still thinking of me cause if you are then maybe i am too thinking of you thinking of me with me in me around me everywhere you and me and us do you still touch yourself to the thoughts of me do you still imagine my naked naked tiny tiny body pressed into yours do you still imagine the curve of my spine and how you wanted to rip it out of me cause the way it dipped into my perfectly rounded bottom drove you crazy baby sugar baby sweet baby ever since we left how many times did you pretend it was my hand stroking you how many times did you search for me in your fantasies and end up crying instead of coming don't you lie to me i can tell when you're lying cause there's always that little bit of arrogance in your response are you angry with me are you okay and would you tell me if you're not and if we ever see each other again do you think you'd reach out and hold me like you said you would the last time we spoke and you talked of the next time we would or do you think we'd just look shake in our skin as we pine to absorb as much as we can of each other cause by this time we've probably got someone else waiting at home we were good together weren't we and is it wrong that i'm asking you these questions tell me love that you have been looking for these answers too
Rupi Kaur (The Sun and Her Flowers)
Look up," the darkness whispered, "Do you wish to travel time? For there are centuries of stories Hidden inside each star's shine. Yet what you see is just a sentence In a tale with many more, For the light reaching us now Left the home countless years before. And someday in the future Long after your last goodbye, Perhaps somebody else Will turn their eyes upto the sky. And where now you just see darkness They will see a brand new light, The beginning of a story That has just left home tonight.
Emily Hanson
common end—and that end a moment of enlightenment and understanding and completion. Someone—a Latin poet—had defined eternity as no more than this: to hold and possess the whole fullness of life in one moment, there and then, past and present and to come. He thought, If we could only stop life for a while I would stop here. Not when I get home, not leaving Trenwith, but here, here reaching the top of the hill out of Sawle, dusk wiping out the edges of the land and Demelza walking and humming at my side.
Winston Graham (Ross Poldark (Poldark, #1))
Day 72 I remember oranges and you don’t mind me leaving the queue momentarily to find some. When you say, Of course, you reach for my arm in sympathy and recognition. This may be the thing that breaks me today, that stops me in my tracks before driving me forward, turning a corner, making something work, letting everything happen. When I return, you’re touching my yoghurts, reading the ingredients, as though you are making them yours, protecting them in my absence and amusing yourself with the cherry-ness of them. On days like this, I want to take my strangers home with me.
Gemma Seltzer (Speak to Strangers)
One year, on Yom Kippur eve, Salanter did not show up in synagogue for services. The congregation was extremely worried; they could only imagine that their rabbi had suddenly taken sick or been in an accident. In any case, they would not start the service without him. During the wait, a young woman in the congregation became agitated. She had left her infant child at home asleep in its crib; she was certain she would only be away a short while. Now, because of the delay, she slipped out to make sure that the infant was all right. When she reached her house, she found her child being rocked in the arms of Rabbi Salanter. He had heard the baby crying while walking to the synagogue and, realizing that the mother must have gone off to services, had gone into the house to calm him.
Joseph Telushkin (Jewish Literacy)
I felt instantly at home, and wanted only to dismiss Alistair, along with the rest of Justice Hall, that I might have a closer look at the shelves.I had to content myself instead with a strolling perusal, my hands locked behind my back to keep them from reaching out for Le Morte D'Arthur, Caxton 1485 or the delicious little red-and-gilt Bestiary, MS Circa 1250 or.... If I took one down, I should be lost. So I looked, like a hungry child in a sweet shop, and trailed out on my guide's heels with one longing backward glance.
Laurie R. King (Justice Hall (Mary Russell, #6))
Yeah? How's this?" Claire, in one smooth, fast motion, pulled an arrow from the bag on her shoulder, slotted it home on the string, and pulled the compound bow back to full extension. She was aiming the arrow straight at Morley's crossed hands, over his heart. He laughed. "You aren't serious--" She fired. The arrow went through both of Morley's hands, pinning them to his chest with the fletching at the end. He stared down in shock at the wood piercing his chest, stumbled, and went down to his knees. Then just down, face forward. The arrow stuck up out of his back, like an exclamation point. "I will," Claire said softly, and let the bow rock forward as she reached one-handed for another arrow and notched it home. "I'm not a really good shot, but this is a really small room, so let me make this very clear: the first vampire who tries to lay a hand on either of my friends gets a new piercing, just like Morley. Now, if you need food, I will figure it out. But you don't get to use my friends like vending machines. Are we clear?" Around the room, vampires nodded, casting disbelieving looks at Morley. Even Oliver was staring at her as if he'd never really seen her before. She didn't know why; he'd known she could do it--hadn't he? Or was she different, somehow?
Rachel Caine (Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8))
As I speak, blood is coursing through our bodies. As it moves away from the heart it marches to a 2/4 or 4/4 beat and it's arterial blood, reoxygenated, assertive, active, progressive, optimistic. When it reaches our extremities and turns home--the heart--well, it's nostalgic, venous blood (as in veins), it's tired, wavelike, rising and falling, fighting against gravity and inertia, and it moves to the beat of a waltz, a 3/4 beat, a little homesick now, and full of longing.
Mary Ruefle (Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures)
Sun Tzu said: In the operations of war, where there are in the field a thousand swift chariots, as many heavy chariots, and a hundred thousand mail-clad soldiers, with provisions enough to carry them a thousand Li, the expenditure at home and at the front, including entertainment of guests, small items such as glue and paint, and sums spent on chariots and armour, will reach the total of a thousand ounces of silver per day. Such is the cost of raising an army of 100,000 men.
Ralph D. Sawyer (The Art of War)
Nita stood still, listening to Joanne's footsteps hurrying away, a little faster every second- and slowly began to realize that she'd gotten what she asked for too- the ability to break the cycle of anger and loneliness, not necessarily for others, but at least for herself. It wouldn't even take the Speech; plain words would do it, and the magic of reaching out. It would take a long time, much longer then something simple like breaking the walls of the worlds, and it would cost more effort than even reading the Book of Night with Moon. But it would be worth it- and eventually it would work. A spell always works. Nita went home.
Diane Duane (So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards #1))
It just wasn’t supposed to end like this.” She looks at me with red-rimmed eyes and yellow skin. Colors should be a good thing, but now, they’re marks, omens of bad tidings. “I was supposed to grow up, go to college, get a job,” she continues in that gut-clenching croak. “Meet my dream guy, marry, have k-kids. You were going to live next door and we would grow old in the same nursing home. Chuck oatmeal at each other and watch soap operas all day in our rocking chairs. That was my daydream. My perfect life. I don’t want to keep asking myself why until the end, but … ” A lone tear trails down her sunken cheek. This time I don’t reach out to wipe the water away; I let it go. Down, down, until it drips off the side of her jaw. This is humanity. This is life and death in one room.
Kelsey Sutton (Some Quiet Place (The Other Plane, #1))
She’s soft, but sure. “I’m going with you. You kept telling me you’d take me home with you, and that’s what you’re going to do.” She squeezes my hand, climbing to her feet now. I want so badly to believe her, but the bitter twist of fear inside me says she’ll do anything to keep me safe. She’d lie to my face if she thought it would save me. I know she would. I’d do the same for her. She reaches up to curl a hand around the back of my neck, pulling my head down so her forehead can press against mine. “I know what you would’ve given up for me. I could never let that be for nothing.
Amie Kaufman (These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1))
He is a human being in kid's clothing. He has the organs and the feeling of his species, but none of the rights. And he is not alone. This country is stewing itself in the notion that you're not a person until you reach voting and drinking age. It's wrong. You don't get it, Doctor (with all due respect), and because you don't get it you can't give it. Let him go home. He isn't crazy, he isn't even strange. We have met the enemy, and he is us.
Howard Buten
He turned her chin until she looked him in the face. “I’m going to tell you a couple things, and I want you to remember this. Number one, I’m a Navy SEAL. You can’t even compare me to most men, so don’t lump me in with them.” He waited for her laughter to subside. “Number two, I don’t care what you’ve been told or by whom. Your body fucking rocks. Men don’t want to make love to twigs. Way more than will admit it want a lush, cushioning body to welcome them home.” Reaching out, he cupped her hips in his hands, tugging her into him. “I would not change anything about you. Not one single thing.
J.M. Madden (SEAL's Lost Dream (Lost and Found, #2.5))
The lives of men who have to live in our great cities are often tragically lonely. In many more ways than one, these dwellers in the hive are modern counterparts of Tantalus. They are starving to death in the midst of abundance. The crystal stream flows near their lips but always falls away when they try to drink of it. The vine, rich-weighted with its golden fruit, bends down, comes near, but springs back when they reach out to touch it...In other times, when painters tried to paint a scene of awful desolation, they chose the desert or a heath of barren rocks, and there would try to picture man in his great loneliness--the prophet in the desert, Elijah being fed by ravens on the rocks. But for a modern painter, the most desolate scene would have to be a street in almost any one of our great cities on a Sunday afternoon.
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
I will run every mile, i will save every line, i will say i reached the top and i will fall back down standing. I will write down every thing, the good and the bad,I will wake up one day and go back to the start. I will notice that the good ones were nothing but my beautiful lines, were everything painted by my mind. I will notice that the bad ones were nothing but pieces of my pain that should have been crumbled and thrown away the first time i started to rain. I will leave home and i won't mind, i will miss some beating pieces but i will survive.the sky will stay in place, mountains won't shake and my mind will go nowhere.the stars will  take my side not yours, and the new air in your chest will feel forever cold. I will donate a piece of my heart to hurt you forever and a lifelong lasting question about what you have lost.My hands won't ever fit in yours and my faith says that crown on your head will hurt you the most. One day i won't overlook anything anymore. One day i won't remember anything anymore.I will stop pretending i'm ice cold and i will learn how to be strong.one day I will grow out of this, i will grow out of us.
Mennah al Refaey
And the strange thing was he had never loved her more than in that moment, because at that moment she had become himself. But thats not love, he thought, thats not what she wants, not what any of them want, they do not want you to find yourself in them, they want instead that you should lose yourself in them. And yet, he thought, they are always trying to find themselves in you. [...] And it seemed to him then that every human was always looking for himself, in bars, in railway trains, in offices, in mirrors, in love, especially in love, for the self of him that is there, someplace, in every other human. Love was not to give oneself, but find oneself, describe oneself. And that the whole conception had been written wrong. Because the only part of any man that he can ever touch or understand is that part of himself he recognises in him. And that he is always looking for the way in which he can expose his sealed bee cell and reach the other airtight cells with which he is connected in the waxy comb. And the only way he had ever found, the only code, the only language by which he could speak and be heard by other men, could communicate himself, was with a bugle. If you had a bugle here, he told himself, you could speak to her and be understood, you could play Fatigue Call for her, with its tiredness, its heavy belly going out to sweep somebody else's streets when it would rather stay home and sleep, she would understand it then. But you havent got a bugle, himself said, not here nor any other place. Your tongue has been ripped out. All you got is two bottles, one nearly full, one nearly empty.
James Jones (From Here to Eternity)
The morning Julia found the phone, my parents were over for brunch. Everything was falling apart around Benjy, although I'll never know what he knew at the time, and neither will he. The adults were talking when he reentered the kitchen and said, "The sound of time. What happened to it?" "What are you talking about?" "You know," he said, waving his tiny hand about, "the sound of time." It took time - about five frustrating minutes - to figure out what he was getting at. Our refigerator was being repaired, so the kitchen lacked its omnipresent, nearly imperceptible buzzing sound. He spent virtually all his home life within reach of that sound, and so had come to associate it with life happening. I loved his misunderstanding, because it wasn't a misunderstanding. My grandfather heard the cries of his dead brothers. That was the sound of his time. My father heard attacks. Julia heard the boys' voices. I heard silences. Sam heard betrayals and the sounds of Apple products turning on. Max heard Argus's whining. Benjy was the only one still young enough to hear home.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Here I Am)
At night I would return home, set out a lamp before me, and devote myself to reading and writing. Whenever sleep overcame me or I became conscious of weakening, I would turn aside to drink a cup of wine, so that my strength would return to me. Then I would return to reading. And whenever sleep seized me I would see those very problems in my dream; and many questions became clear to me in my sleep. I continued in this until all of the sciences were deeply rooted within me and I understood them as is humanly possible. Everything which I knew at the time is just as I know it now; I have not added anything to it to this day. Thus I mastered the logical, natural, and mathematical sciences, and I had now reached the science.
Avicenna Ibn Sina
The fatal combination of indulgence without feeling disgusts me. Strange to be both greedy and dead. For myself, I prefer to hold my desires just out of reach of appetite, to keep myself honed and sharp. I want the keen edge of longing. it is so easy to be a brute and yet it has become rather fashionable. Is that the consequence of leaving your body to science? Of assuming that another pill, another drug, another car, another pocket-sized home-movie station, a DNA transfer, or the complete freedom of choice that five hundred TV channels must bring, will make everything all right? Will soothe the nagging pain in the heart that the latest laser scan refuses to diagnose? The doctor's surgery is full of men and women who do not know why they are unhappy. "Take this", says the Doctor, "you'll soon feel better." They do not feel better, because, little by little, they cease to feel at all.
Jeanette Winterson (Art and Lies)
I whispered, "Do you have a rubber?" He laughed, hushed, a laughing whisper, as though his parents were in the next room, and reached one arm past my head to a nightstand there. "A rubber chicken." He shook the dancing chicken in the air. "Will that do?" I laughed back, ran a finger along the bumps of the fake chicken skin. "Ribbed and beaked for her pleasure, even. Want me to leave you two alone?" He threw the chicken on the floor and bit my neck and I giggled and he said, "Never," and he was everywhere then. The couch was a sinking place and I disappeared into the orgy of costumes, the smell of nervous strangers, makeup and smoke, my naked body buried in the perfume of human need. I took the rubber chicken home. Plucky was my mascot, the souvenir of our date. Later, much later, there was the conception of our child. And now the miscarriage, unexpected, though I should've expected it because, why not? -- family slid through my fingers the same as the old silicone banana-peel trick. After the D&C, after the suctioning away of our tiny fetus, I drew the black heart on Plucky's rubber breast in the place where a chicken might have a heart, over the ridges of implied feathers. Indelible ink. Now she'd been nabbed by a kid too young to know what love means, what a chicken might mean. Too young to know that a rubber chicken can carry all of love in one indelible ink heart.
Monica Drake (Clown Girl)
There is a mirror across from me, and I check my reflection in it before heading home. Despite the bone-deep fatigue and the growing fear and frustration, I look…fine. Da always said he’d teach me to play cards. Said I’d take the bank, the way things never reach my eyes. There should be something—a tell, a crease between my eyes, or a tightness in my jaw. I’m too good at this. Behind my reflection I see the painting of the sea, slanting as if the waves crashing on the rocks have hit with enough force to tip the picture. I turn and straighten it. The frame makes a faint rattling sound when I do. Everything in this place seems to be falling apart.
Victoria Schwab (The Archived (The Archived, #1))
Suddenly I saw a clearing in the dark drive ahead, and a patch of sky, and in a moment the dark trees had thinned, the nameless shrubs had disappeared, and on either side of us was a wall of colour, blood-red, reaching far above our heads. We were amongst the rhododendrons. There was something bewildering, even shocking, about the suddenness of their discovery. The woods had not prepared me for them. They startled me with their crimson faces, massed one upon the other in incredible profusion, showing no leaf, no twig, nothing but the slaughterous red, luscious and fantastic, unlike any rhododendron plant I had seen before. I glanced at Maxim. He was smiling. 'Like them?' he said. I told him 'Yes,' a little breathlessly, uncertain whether I was speaking the truth or not, for to me a rhododendron was a homely, domestic thing, strictly conventional, mauve or pink in colour, standing one beside the other in a neat round bed. And these were monsters, rearing to the sky, massed like a battalion, too beautiful I thought, too powerful; they were not plants at all.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Ye can at least promise me the victory,” he said, but his voice held the whisper of a question. “Yes,” I said, and touched his face. I sounded choked, and my vision blurred. “Yes, I can promise that. This time.” No mention made of what that promise spared, of the things I could not guarantee. Not life, not safety. Not home, nor family; not law nor legacy. Just the one thing—or maybe two. “The victory,” I said. “And that I will be with you ’til the end.” He closed his eyes for a moment. Snowflakes pelted down, melting as they struck his face, sticking for an instant, white on his lashes. Then he opened his eyes and looked at me. “That is enough,” he said softly. “I ask no more.” He reached forward then and took me in his arms, held me close for a moment, the breath of snow and ashes cold around us. Then he kissed me, released me, and I took a deep breath of cold air, harsh with the scent of burning.
Diana Gabaldon (A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6))
Since I was in flight from religion, I assumed that my classmates had to be in flight from religion too, albeit in a quieter, savvier way than I had as yet been able to discover. Only today do I realize how mistaken I was. They were never in flight at all. Nor are their children in flight, or their grandchildren. By the time I reached by seventieth year, I used to predict, all the churches in the world would have been turned into barns or museums or potteries. But I was wrong. Behold, new churches spring up every day, all over the place, to say nothing of mosques. So Nietzsche's dictum needs to be amended: while it may be so that only the higher animals are capable of boredom, man proves himself highest of all by domesticating boredom, giving it a home.
J.M. Coetzee (Diary of a Bad Year)
Let's go over the facts one more time," Josh says. "This is your first weekend away from home?" "Yes." "Your first weekend without parental supervision?" "Yes." "Your first weekend without parental supervision in Paris? And you want to spend it in your bedroom? Alone?" He and Rashmi exchange pitying glances. I look at St. Clair for help, but find him staring at me with his head tilted to the side. "What?" I ask,irritated. "Soup on my chin? Green bean between my teeth?" St. Clair smiles to himself. "I like your stripe," he finally says. He reaches out and touches it lightly. "You have perfect hair.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
These are the three stages of enlightenment, the three glimpses of satori. 1. The first stage enlightenment: A Glimpse of the Whole The first stage of enlightenment is short glimpse from faraway of the whole. It is a short glimpse of being. The first stage of enlightenment is when, for the first time, for a single moment the mind is not functioning. The ordinary ego is still present at the first stage of enlightenment, but you experience for a short while that there is something beyond the ego. There is a gap, a silence and emptiness, where there is not thought between you and existence. You and existence meet and merge for a moment. And for the first time the seed, the thirst and longing, for enlightenment, the meeting between you and existence, will grow in your heart. 2. The second stage of enlightenment: Silence, Relaxation, Togetherness, Inner Being The second stage of enlightenment is a new order, a harmony, from within, which comes from the inner being. It is the quality of freedom. The inner chaos has disappeared and a new silence, relaxation and togetherness has arisen. Your own wisdom from within has arisen. A subtle ego is still present in the second stage of enlightenment. The Hindus has three names for the ego: 1. Ahamkar, which is the ordinary ego. 2. Asmita, which is the quality of Am-ness, of no ego. It is a very silent ego, not aggreessive, but it is still a subtle ego. 3. Atma, the third word is Atma, when the Am-ness is also lost. This is what Buddha callas no-self, pure being. In the second stage of enlightenment you become capable of being in the inner being, in the gap, in the meditative quality within, in the silence and emptiness. For hours, for days, you can remain in the gap, in utter aloneness, in God. Still you need effort to remain in the gap, and if you drop the effort, the gap will disappear. Love, meditation and prayer becomes the way to increase the effort in the search for God. Then the second stage becomes a more conscious effort. Now you know the way, you now the direction. 3. The third stage of enlightenment: Ocean, Wholeness, No-self, Pure being At the third stage of enlightenment, at the third step of Satori, our individual river flowing silently, suddenly reaches to the Ocean and becomes one with the Ocean. At the third Satori, the ego is lost, and there is Atma, pure being. You are, but without any boundaries. The river has become the Ocean, the Whole. It has become a vast emptiness, just like the pure sky. The third stage of enlightenment happens when you have become capable of finding the inner being, the meditative quality within, the gap, the inner silence and emptiness, so that it becomes a natural quality. You can find the gap whenever you want. This is what tantra callas Mahamudra, the great orgasm, what Buddha calls Nirvana, what Lao Tzu calls Tao and what Jesus calls the kingdom of God. You have found the door to God. You have come home.
Swami Dhyan Giten
Perhaps one may be out late, and had got separated from one's companions. Oh horrors! Suddenly one starts and trembles as one seems to see a strange-looking being peering from out of the darkness of a hollow tree, while all the while the wind is moaning and rattling and howling through the forest—moaning with a hungry sound as it strips the leaves from the bare boughs, and whirls them into the air. High over the tree-tops, in a widespread, trailing, noisy crew, there fly, with resounding cries, flocks of birds which seem to darken and overlay the very heavens. Then a strange feeling comes over one, until one seems to hear the voice of some one whispering: "Run, run, little child! Do not be out late, for this place will soon have become dreadful! Run, little child! Run!" And at the words terror will possess one's soul, and one will rush and rush until one's breath is spent—until, panting, one has reached home.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Poor Folk)
if another person got on that elevator to travel eight feet upward, I couldn’t have been responsible for what I did. I had been pushed to the limit. The next time it happens, I swore to myself, I’m going to reach out and pinch that One Floorer and say, “You get out there and walk! You won’t come close to burning a fraction of the three thousand calories you ate at lunch, but maybe by the time you reach the landing, you’ll pass out from exhaustion and get to go home for the rest of the day, you lazy little asshole, because that’s exactly what you want anyway!
Laurie Notaro (I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies))
There are seven incarnations (and six correlates) necessary to becoming an Artist: 1. Explorer (Courage) 2. Surveyor (Vision) 3. Miner (Strength) 4. Refiner (Patience) 5. Designer (Intelligence) 6. Maker (Experience) 7. Artist. First, you must leave the safety of your home and go into the dangers of the world, whether to an actual territory or some unexamined aspect of the psyche. This is what is meant by 'Explorer.' Next, you must have the vision to recognize your destination once you arrive there. Note that a destination may sometimes also be the journey. This is what is meant by 'Surveyor.' Third, you must be strong enough to dig up the facts, follow veins of history, unearth telling details. This is what is meant by 'Miner.' Fourth, you must have the patience to winnow and process your material into something rare. This may take months or even years. And this is what is meant by 'Refiner.' Fifth, you must use your intellect to conceive of your material as something meaning more than its origins. This is what is meant by 'Designer.' Six, you must fashion a work independent of everything that has gone before it including yourself. This is accomplished though experience and is what is meant by 'Maker.' At this stage, the work is acceptable. You will be fortunate to have progressed so far. It is unlikely, however, that you will go any farther. Most do not. But let us assume you are exceptional. Let us assume you are rare. What then does it mean to reach the final incarnation? Only this: at every stage, from 1 thru 6, you will risk more, see more, gather more, process more, fashion more, consider more, love more, suffer more, imagine more and in the end know why less means more and leave what doesn't and keep what implies and create what matters. This is what is meant by 'Artist.
Mark Z. Danielewski
Just as much as it does you. Reach under the table, Autumn. I’m hard now, but I can guarantee it has nothing to do with the knife in my hand. The only difference between you and I is that I’m willing to admit to it, whereas you attempt to cloak yourself in modesty and morality. We are nothing more than animals; meat, organisms that operate on instinct and desire. Some of us are brave enough to admit to our depravities, while others openly criticize it, but secretly hide inside the safety of their homes to explore the world they are too scared to admit attracts them.
Lily White (Target This)
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)
Jonathan Safran Foer’s 10 Rules for Writing: 1.Tragedies make great literature; unfathomable catastrophes (the Holocaust, 9/11) are even better – try to construct your books around them for added gravitas but, since those big issues are such bummers, make sure you do it in a way that still focuses on a quirky central character that’s somewhat like Jonathan Safran Foer. 2. You can also name your character Jonathan Safran Foer. 3. If you’re writing a non-fiction book you should still make sure that it has a strong, deep, wise, and relatable central character – someone like Jonathan Safran Foer. 4. If you reach a point in your book where you’re not sure what to do, or how to approach a certain scene, or what the hell you’re doing, just throw in a picture, or a photo, or scribbles, or blank pages, or some illegible text, or maybe even a flipbook. Don’t worry if these things don’t mean anything, that’s what postmodernism is all about. If you’re not sure what to put in, you can’t go wrong with a nice photograph of Jonathan Safran Foer. 5. If you come up with a pun, metaphor, or phrase that you think is really clever and original, don’t just use it once and throw it away, sprinkle it liberally throughout the text. One particularly good phrase that comes to mind is “Jonathan Safran Foer.” 6. Don’t worry if you seem to be saying the same thing over and over again, repetition makes the work stronger, repetition is good, it drives the point home. The more you repeat a phrase or an idea, the better it gets. You should not be afraid of repeating ideas or phrases. One particularly good phrase that comes to mind is “Jonathan Safran Foer.” 7. Other writers are not your enemies, they are your friends, so you should feel free to borrow some of their ideas, words, techniques, and symbols, and use them completely out of context. They won’t mind, they’re your friends, just like my good friend Paul Auster, with whom I am very good friends. Just make sure you don’t steal anything from Jonathan Safran Foer, it wouldn’t be nice, he is your friend. 8. Make sure you have exactly three plots in your novel, any more and it gets confusing, any less and it’s not postmodern. At least one of those plots should be in a different timeline. It often helps if you name these three plots, I often use “Jonathan,” “Safran,” and “Foer.” 9. Don’t be afraid to make bold statements in you writing, there should always be a strong lesson to be learned, such as “don’t eat animals,” or “the Holocaust was bad,” or “9/11 was really really sad,” or “the world would be a better place if everyone was just a little bit more like Jonathan Safran Foer.” 10. In the end, don’t worry if you’re unsuccessful as a writer, it probably wasn’t meant to be. Not all of us are chosen to become writers. Not all of us can be Jonathan Safran Foer.
Jonathan Safran Foer
Would you let me drive this?" I ask, surprised that I say the words out loud. "Of course," Christian replies, smiling. "What's mine is yours. If you dent it, though, I will take you into the Red Room of Pain." He glances swiftly at me with a malicious grin. "You're kidding. You'd punish me for denting your car? You love your car more than you love me?" I tease. "It's close," he says and reaches across to squeeze my knee, "But she doesn't keep me warm at night." "I'm sure it could be arranged. You could sleep in her," I snap. Christian laughs. "We haven't been home one day and you're kicking me out already?" He seems delighted.
E.L. James (Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades, #3))
That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet. These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights. Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.
Barack Obama
I’ve thought of you every day.” He watched as I wiped the tears from my face. “Fiske’s father gave me a choice to be traded back to the Aska, Eelyn.” “What?” I could feel the words prying my mind open. “I couldn’t go. I couldn’t leave this place.” He reached to take my hand. “The path of my soul has taken a turn, just as yours has.” “This is not the same.” I glowered at him. “I want to go home.” “I know. But you will never be the same. You will never be the same person you were.” He paused. “You are seeing the truth. I see you thinking it, everyday.” “What truth?” “That they’re like us.” I put my face into my hands, trying to escape what he was saying. Because it made me feel like the world was turned sideways. Like everything I’d ever been taught didn’t fit into the shape of this world. “What are you thinking now?” The weight of it fell from my head, down into the rest of my body. The words were small but they were true. “I’m thinking that I wish you’d died that day.
Adrienne Young (Sky in the Deep (Sky in the Deep, #1))
Once the government can demand of a publisher the names of the purchasers of his publications, the free press as we know it disappears. Then the spectre of a government agent will look over the shoulder of everyone who reads. The purchase of a book or pamphlet today may result in a subpoena tomorrow. Fear of criticism goes with every person into the bookstall. The subtle, imponderable pressures of the orthodox lay hold. Some will fear to read what is unpopular, what the powers-that-be dislike. When the light of publicity may reach any student, any teacher, inquiry will be discouraged. The books and pamphlets that are critical of the administration, that preach an unpopular policy in domestic or foreign affairs, that are in disrepute in the orthodox school of thought will be suspect and subject to investigation. The press and its readers will pay a heavy price in harassment. But that will be minor in comparison with the menace of the shadow which government will cast over literature that does not follow the dominant party line. If the lady from Toledo can be required to disclose what she read yesterday and what she will read tomorrow, fear will take the place of freedom in the libraries, book stores, and homes of the land. Through the harassment of hearings, investigations, reports, and subpoenas government will hold a club over speech and over the press." [United States v. Rumely, 345 U.S. 41 (1953)]
William O. Douglas
He reaches over, takes my face in his hands and pulls me to him. In my idle moments, imagining such a scene, I have always assumed that it would be the other way round, that I would reach for him and he would pull away, denouncing me as a degenerate and a false friend. But now I am neither shocked nor surprised by his initiative, nor do I feel any of the great urgency that I thought I would, should this moment ever come to pass. Instead, it feels perfectly natural, everything he does to me, everything that he allows to happen between us. And for the first time since that dreadful afternoon when my father beat me to within an inch of my life, I feel that I have come home.
John Boyne (The Absolutist)
Sometimes, a person isn’t looking to increase their lifestyle, status or ego when they fall in love. Sometimes, they just want that special someone that is just like them. The one person that truly understands how they suffer because they have gone through it too. They want to wake up beside someone that knows their trials intimately. They want a teammate that doesn’t say they get it, but someone who knows it, lived it and survived it. They have been looking for that person their entire life because they feel alone and misunderstood. They are tired of people telling them not to care about other people, when that is not who God designed them to be. The depth of their soul can’t be reached by their partner standing at the top looking down. They want to come home to their “own kind”--the person that has run the same dark corridors they have traveled in their mind. They want to build a life with someone that would never break their heart, push them away or give up on them. They don’t want the person that has to win. They want the rescuer that has been to the fearful boundaries of their heart, but knows the way back to life. When they meet this person they will never forget them because they will come into their life with all the fire they possess and never leave their soul.
Shannon L. Alder
The answer to that question is…I won’t. You belong with me. Which leads me to the discussion I wanted to have with you.” “Where I belong is for me to decide, and though I may listen to what you have to say, that doesn’t mean I will agree with you.” “Fair enough.” Ren pushed his empty plate to the side. “We have some unfinished business to take care of.” “If you mean the other tasks we have to do, I’m already aware of that.” “I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about us.” “What about us?” I put my hands under the table and wiped my clammy palms on my napkin. “I think there are a few things we’ve left unsaid, and I think it’s time we said them.” “I’m not withholding anything from you, if that’s what you mean.” “You are.” “No. I’m not.” “Are you refusing to acknowledge what has happened between us?” “I’m not refusing anything. Don’t try to put words in my mouth.” “I’m not. I’m simply trying to convince a stubborn woman to admit that she has feelings for me.” “If I did have feelings for you, you’d be the first one to know.” “Are you saying that you don’t feel anything for me?” “That’s not what I’m saying.” “Then what are you saying?” “I’m saying…nothing!” I spluttered. Ren smiled and narrowed his eyes at me. If he kept up this line of questioning, he was bound to catch me in a lie. I’m not a very good liar. He sat back in his chair. “Fine. I’ll let you off the hook for now, but we will talk about this later. Tigers are relentless once they set their minds to something. You don’t be able to evade me forever.” Casually, I replied, “Don’t get your hopes up, Mr. Wonderful. Every hero has his Kryptonite, and you don’t intimidate me.” I twisted my napkin in my lap while he tracked my every move with his probing eyes. I felt stripped down, as if he could see into the very heart of me. When the waitress came back, Ren smiled at her as she offered a smaller menu, probably featuring desserts. She leaned over him while I tapped my strappy shoe in frustration. He listened attentively to her. Then, the two of them laughed again. He spoke quietly, gesturing to me, and she looked my way, giggled, and then cleared all the plates quickly. He pulled out a wallet and handed her a credit card. She put her hand on his arm to ask him another question, and I couldn’t help myself. I kicked him under the table. He didn’t even blink or look at me. He just reached his arm across the table, took my hand in his, and rubbed the back of it absentmindedly with his thumb as he answered her question. It was like my kick was a love tap to him. It only made him happier. When she left, I narrowed my eyes at him and asked, “How did you get that card, and what were you saying to her about me?” “Mr. Kadam gave me the card, and I told her that we would be having our dessert…later.” I laughed facetiously. “You mean you will be having dessert later by yourself this evening because I am done eating with you.” He leaned across the candlelit table and said, “Who said anything about eating, Kelsey?” He must be joking! But he looked completely serious. Great! There go the nervous butterflies again. “Stop looking at me like that.” “Like what?” “Like you’re hunting me. I’m not an antelope.” He laughed. “Ah, but the chase would be exquisite, and you would be a most succulent catch.” “Stop it.” “Am I making you nervous?” “You could say that.” I stood up abruptly as he was signing the receipt and made my way toward the door. He was next to me in an instant. He leaned over. “I’m not letting you escape, remember? Now, behave like a good date and let me walk you home. It’s the least you could do since you wouldn’t talk with me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
For he had learned tonight that love was not enough. There had to be a higher devotion than all the devotions of this fond imprisonment. There had to be a larger world than this glittering fragment of a world with all its wealth and privilege. Throughout his whole youth and early manhood, this very world of beauty, ease, and luxury, of power, glory, and security, had seemed the ultimate end of human ambition, the furthermost limit to which the aspirations of any man could reach. But tonight, in a hundred separate moment of intense reality, it had revealed to him its very core. He had seen it naked, with its guards down. He had sensed how the hollow pyramid of a false social structure had been erected and sustained upon a base of common mankind's blood and sweat and agony...Privilege and truth could not lie down together. He thought of how a silver dollar, if held close enough to the eye, could blot out the sun itself. There were stronger, deeper tides and currents running in America than any which these glamorous lives tonight had ever plumbed or even dreamed of. Those were the depths he would like to sound.
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
When you enter the woods of a fairy tale and it is night, the trees tower on either side of the path. They loom large because everything in the world of fairy tales is blown out of proportion. If the owl shouts, the otherwise deathly silence magnifies its call. The tasks you are given to do (by the witch, by the stepmother, by the wise old woman) are insurmountable - pull a single hair from the crescent moon bear's throat; separate a bowl's worth of poppy seeds from a pile of dirt. The forest seems endless. But when you do reach the daylight, triumphantly carrying the particular hair or having outwitted the wolf; when the owl is once again a shy bird and the trees only a lush canopy filtering the sun, the world is forever changed for your having seen it otherwise. From now on, when you come upon darkness, you'll know it has dimension. You'll know how closely poppy seeds and dirt resemble each other. The forest will be just another story that has absorbed you, taken you through its paces, and cast you out again to your home with its rattling windows and empty refrigerator - to your meager livelihood, which demands, inevitably, that you write about it.
Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew (On The Threshold: Home, Hardwood, and Holiness)
If you grow up the type of woman men want to look at, You can let them look at you. But do not mistake eyes for hands, Or windows for mirrors. Let them see what a woman looks like. They may not have ever seen one before. If you grow up the type of woman men want to touch, You can let them touch you. Sometimes it is not you they are reaching for. Sometimes it is a bottle, a door, a sandwich, a Pulitzer, another woman – But their hands found you first. Do not mistake yourself for a guardian, or a muse, or a promise, or a victim or a snack. You are a woman – Skin and bones, veins and nerves, hair and sweat You are not made of metaphors, Not apologies, not excuses. If you grow up the type of woman men want to hold, You can let them hold you. All day they practice keeping their bodies upright. Even after all this evolving it still feels unnatural, Still strains the muscles, holds firm the arms and spine. Only some men will want to learn what it feels like to curl themselves into a question mark around you, Admit they don’t have the answers they thought they would by now. Some men will want to hold you like the answer. You are not the answer. You are not the problem. You are not the poem, or the punchline, or the riddle, or the joke. Woman, if you grow up the type of woman men want to love, You can let them love you. Being loved is not the same thing as loving. When you fall in love, It is discovering the ocean after years of puddle jumping. It is realising you have hands. It is reaching for the tightrope after the crowds have all gone home. Do not spend time wondering if you are the type of woman men will hurt. If he leaves you with a car alarm heart. You learn to sing along. It is hard to stop loving the ocean, Even after it’s left you gasping, salty. So forgive yourself for the decisions you’ve made, The ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night, And know this. Know you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours. Let the statues crumble. You have always been the place. You are a woman who can build it yourself. You are born to build.
Sarah Kay
The woman types everything into her computer, raising her eyebrows slightly at Devon's middle name. "Devon Sky Davenport," she repeats. "Sky? S-k-y?" "Yes," Devon says, addressing the back of the computer monitor rather than the woman's face directly. "S-k-y. As in"---she swallows---"as in, 'the sky's the limit.'" But Devon doesn't volunteer any further explanation, doesn't explain to the women the story behind the name. That, in fact, "the sky's the limit" is how Devon's mom has always defined Devon and her supposed potential in life. Her mom would say it when Devon brought home a flawless report card or when Devon received a stellar postseason evaluation from her coach or when a complete stranger commented on Devon's exceptional manners or after the Last Loser packed his stuff and walked out. "You'll be Somebody for both of us," her mom would say. Not anymore, Mom. Everything's changed. Now, for me, "the sky" isn't anything but flat and gray and too far away to ever reach. She takes a deep breath. If you were here with me, you'd see it for yourself.
Amy Efaw (After)
KRIT "Fuck," Matty whispered. He'd heard her. It was me who couldn't breathe now. I had thought it was an accident. But she'd fucking done it on purpose. To protect me. Holy hell. "I'm gonna go . . . ," Matty trailed off. I listened to his footsteps until he was gone before pulling back and looking down at Blythe. "You got in front of a six-foot-three one hundred and eighty pounds of muscle because he was going to hit me?" She nodded. "It was my fault he was going to hit you. I was just going to stop him." She was going to stop him. This girl. Never in all my life did I imagine there was anyone like her. Never. "Sweetheart, how did you intend to stop him? I could handle him. I've kicked his ass many, many times." I cupped her chin in my hand. "I had rather had him kick my ass than to have anything happen to you. That was fucking unbearable. You can't do that to me. If you get hurt, I won't be able to handle it." She signed, and her eyes locked back toward the stage. " I made this worse. I'm sorry. Can you go fix things with the two of you so you can get back onstage?" The distressed look on her face meant I wasn't going to be able to leave. I wanted nothing more than to take her back home and hold her all night. But she was really upset about this. I had overreacted. She had been sitting over here staring at the floor with the saddest lost expression, and I couldn't think straight. I had to get to her. "I'll get Green, and we'll go back onstage. But you have to promise me that you won't try and save me again. I take care of you. Not the other way around," I told her. She reached up and touched my face. "Then who will take care of you?" No one had ever cared about that before. That wasn't something I was going to tell her, though. "You safe in my arms is all I need. Okay?" She frowned and glanced away from me. "I'm not agreeing to that," she said. God, she was adorable. I pressed a kiss to her head. "Come with me to get the guys," I told her as I stood up and brought her with me. "You won't do anything to Green then?" she said, sounding hopeful. "No." Until you're asleep tonight. And then I'm beating his ass.
Abbi Glines (Bad for You (Sea Breeze, #7))
When I was fifteen, a companion and I, on a dare, went into the mound one day just at sunset. We saw some of those Indians for the first time; we got directions from them and reached the top of the mound just as the sun set. We had camping equiptment with us, but we made no fire. We didn't even make down our beds. We just sat side by side on that mound until it became light enough to find our way back to the road. We didn't talk. When we looked at each other in the gray dawn, our faces were gray, too, quiet, very grave. When we reached town again, we didn't talk either. We just parted and went home and went to bed. That's what we thought, felt, about the mound. We were children, it is true, yet we were descendants of people who read books and who were, or should have been, beyond superstition and impervious to mindless fear.
William Faulkner (Collected Stories)
In the dusk of that evening Jude walked away from his old aunt's as if to go home. But as soon as he reached the open down he struck out upon it till he came to a large round pond. The frost continued, though it was not particularly sharp, and the larger stars overhead came out slow and flickering, Jude put one foot on the edge of the ice, and then the other: it cracked under his weight; but this did not deter him. He ploughed his way inward to the centre, the ice making sharp noises as he went. When just about the middle he looked around him and gave a jump. The cracking repeated itself; but he did not go down. He jumped again, but the cracking had ceased. Jude went back to the edge, and stepped upon the ground. It was curious, he thought. What was he reserved for? He supposed he was not a sufficiently dignified person for suicide. Peaceful death abhorred him as a subject, and would not take him. What could he do of a lower kind than self-extermination; what was there less noble, more in keeping with his present degraded position? He could get drunk.
Thomas Hardy (Jude the Obscure)
Grey refused to shy away from the intensity heating in Sirus's eyes to charcoal. As he waited for the man to roll over, Grey watched, unwavering, challenging the fire burning hot in Sirus's gaze. Sirus lifted up to his elbows, but didn't make any effort to shift his position. In fact, he looked downright defiant, and Grey's pulse started to race. "I want a nice view of my cock taking your sweet ass." "You want me to flip you over and hold you down, fuck you that way?" "Yeah, you want it." Grey said to Sirus. "But is it the fucking that has you leaking so damn hard, or is it the thought of force?" "Don't try to overtake me," Sirus bit Grey's lower lip and tugged, letting it pull through his teeth until it released, "unless you're ready to be the one who ends up on the bottom, with my cock buried in your ass." Grey wrapped his hand around Sirus's throat, yanked the man's head back and took his mouth in a hard, thrusting kiss, going deep and aggressive enough to make Sirus jerk and go compliant. An almost silent whimper escaped the man, begging without words for more. Knowing he was in charge fully once again, Grey reached between their bodies, positioned the head of his cock and drove his length home.
Cameron Dane (Grey's Awakening (Cabin Fever, #2))
The only justice is love. Just let it go. You don't have to explain. This is not about being right. There is something true inside the song you can't stop listening to. You don't feel at home anywhere, but you feel at home when Aaron sings that song. Someone calling you a criminal does not make you a criminal, just as someone calling you a hero does not make you a hero. Nobody gets to name you. Find your identity in the one true place. If someone gives you something, and then takes it back - that's okay. If someone says something or sees something, and then they don't - that's okay. Do not be like some broken lawyer making the same argument over and over again, always reaching for rewind. Guilt and regret, those are awful places. You know that. So don't live there. Do not despair. Do not be afraid. Grace is the interesting thing. Hope. And God must be a pretty big fan of today, because you keep waking up to it. You have made known your request for a hundred different yesterdays, but the sun keeps rising on this thing that has never been known. Yesterday is dead and over. Wrapped in grace. You are still alive, and today is the most interesting day. Today is the best place to live. These things deserve your attention: your family, your friends, the people you will meet today, the strangers with their stories. They say 'We are all in this together.' It is absolutely true.
Jamie Tworkowski (If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For)
It seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you.’ I could see that Rosie could not place the line from The Bridges of Madison County that had produced such a powerful emotional reaction on the plane. She looked confused. ‘Don, what are you…what have you done to yourself?’ ‘I’ve made some changes.’ ‘Big changes.’ ‘Whatever behavioural modifications you require from me are a trivial price to pay for having you as my partner.’ Rosie made a downwards movement with her hand, which I could not interpret. Then she looked around the room and I followed her eyes. Everyone was watching. Nick had stopped partway to our table. I realised that in my intensity I had raised my voice. I didn’t care. ‘You are the world’s most perfect woman. All other women are irrelevant. Permanently. No Botox or implants will be required. ‘I need a minute to think,’ she said. I automatically started the timer on my watch. Suddenly Rosie started laughing. I looked at her, understandably puzzled at this outburst in the middle of a critical life decision. ‘The watch,’ she said. ‘I say “I need a minute” and you start timing. Don is not dead. 'Don, you don’t feel love, do you?’ said Rosie. ‘You can’t really love me.’ ‘Gene diagnosed love.’ I knew now that he had been wrong. I had watched thirteen romantic movies and felt nothing. That was not strictly true. I had felt suspense, curiosity and amusement. But I had not for one moment felt engaged in the love between the protagonists. I had cried no tears for Meg Ryan or Meryl Streep or Deborah Kerr or Vivien Leigh or Julia Roberts. I could not lie about so important a matter. ‘According to your definition, no.’ Rosie looked extremely unhappy. The evening had turned into a disaster. 'I thought my behaviour would make you happy, and instead it’s made you sad.’ ‘I’m upset because you can’t love me. Okay?’ This was worse! She wanted me to love her. And I was incapable. Gene and Claudia offered me a lift home, but I did not want to continue the conversation. I started walking, then accelerated to a jog. It made sense to get home before it rained. It also made sense to exercise hard and put the restaurant behind me as quickly as possible. The new shoes were workable, but the coat and tie were uncomfortable even on a cold night. I pulled off the jacket, the item that had made me temporarily acceptable in a world to which I did not belong, and threw it in a rubbish bin. The tie followed. On an impulse I retrieved the Daphne from the jacket and carried it in my hand for the remainder of the journey. There was rain in the air and my face was wet as I reached the safety of my apartment.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
He motions to the glue brush. "Can I have some?" I start to grab it so I can pass it to him. He reaches for it at the same time. Our fingers touch, and the moment they do the fluorescent lights overhead flicker and then fizzle out. Everyone moans, even though we can all still see. There's enough light from the outside filtering in, just not enough for us to really focus on the finer details. Nick's fingers stroke mine lightly, so lightly that I'm almost not sure the touch is real. My insides flicker like the art room lights. They do not, however, fizzle. I turn my head to look him in the eye. He leans over and whispers, "It will be hard to be just your friend." The lights come back on. "Just a little brownout." The art teacher smiles and holds out her arms. "Welcome to Maine, Zara. Land of a million power failures." Nick's breath touches my ear. "I heard you didn't drive to school. I'll bring you home after cross-country,okay?" "Okay," I say, trying to be all calm, but what I really want to do is leap up and do a happy dance all over the art room. Nick is driving me home.
Carrie Jones (Need (Need, #1))
Ya live your life like it's a coma So won't you tell me why we'd wanna With all the reasons you give it's It's kinda hard to believe But who am I to tell you that I've Seen any reason why you should stay Matbe we'd be better off Without you anyway You got a one way ticket On your last chance ride Gotta one way ticket To your suicide Gotta one way ticket An there's no way out alive An all this crass communication That has left you in the cold Isn't much for consolation When you feel so weak and old But is home is where the heart is Then there's stories to be told No you don't need a doctor No one else can heal your soul Got your mind in submission Got your life on the line But nobody pulled the trigger They just stepped aside They be down by the water While you watch 'em waving goodbye They be callin' in the morning They be hangin' on the phone They be waiting for an answer When you know nobody's home And when the bell's stopped ringing It was nobody's fault but your own There were always ample warnings There were always subtle signs And you would have seen it comin' But we gave you too much time And when you said That no one's listening Why'd your best friend drop a dime Sometimes we get so tired of waiting For a way to spend our time An "It's so easy" to be social "It's so easy" to be cool Yeah it's easy to be hungry When you ain't got shit to lose And I wish that I could help you With what you hope to find But I'm still out here waiting Watching reruns of my life When you reach the point of breaking Know it's gonna take some time To heal the broken memories That another man would need Just to survive Guns N’ Roses, “Coma” (1991)
Guns N' Roses (Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I)
EPILOGUE This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you. You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth. No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own. And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful follower, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real. Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good. Let Him prepare you further. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end. The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us. We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.
Foundation for Inner Peace (A Course in Miracles)
Hence, Orlando and Sasha, as he called her for short, and because it was the name of a white Russian fox he had had as a boy—a creature soft as snow, but with teeth of steel, which bit him so savagely that his father had it killed—hence they had the river to themselves. Hot with skating and with love they would throw themselves down in some solitary reach, where the yellow osiers fringed the bank, and wrapped in a great fur cloak Orlando would take her in his arms, and know, for the first time, he murmured, the delights of love. Then, when the ecstasy was over and they lay lulled in a swoon on the ice, he would tell her of his other loves, and how, compared with her, they had been of wood, of sackcloth, and of cinders. And laughing at his vehemence, she would turn once more in his arms and give him, for love’s sake, one more embrace. And then they would marvel that the ice did not melt with their heat, and pity the poor old woman who had no such natural means of thawing it, but must hack at it with a chopper of cold steel. And then, wrapped in their sables, they would talk of everything under the sun; of sights and travels; of Moor and Pagan; of this man’s beard and that woman’s skin; of a rat that fed from her hand at table; of the arras that moved always in the hall at home; of a face; of a feather. Nothing was too small for such converse, nothing was too great.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
The Janus Guard will also be out that night,” he said, one hand reaching out to squeeze her shoulder. “Just as we have been and will be for every night of the Nine.” “Good.” “Speaking of which—Kelley…” Sonny seemed suddenly exhausted. He turned his face to the west, and she could see the fatigue etched into the lines and planes of his face. “It’s getting late. You need to leave the park. Please. Don’t argue with me this time. Just go. The sun will set soon, and I have to go to work.” He squared his shoulders as though he expected her to put up a fight. She did—a little—but only out of actual concern for him. “Shouldn’t you be taking it easy? I mean, you try to hide it with the whole tough-guy-swagger thing and all, but I saw the bandages. You’re really hurt. Aren’t you?” “It’s not so bad.” “Wow. You are a terrible liar.” He frowned fiercely at her. “You also look like you haven’t slept in a week.” She took a tentative step toward him and put a hand on his chest, looking up into his silver-gray eyes. He put his hand over the top of hers, and she could feel the rhythm of his heart beating under her palm, through his shirt and the bandages. “I’m fine.” “Are you sure?” With his other hand, Sonny reached up and brushed a stray auburn curl out of her eyes. “I’m sure.” He smiled down at her, and she felt her insides melt a little. His whole face changed when he smiled. It was like the sun coming out. “But,” he continued, “I’ll be even better if you are safe at home and I don’t have to worry about you for tonight.” “I can take care of myself, Sonny Flannery,” she bristled, halfheartedly. “Please?” He turned up the wattage on his smile. “I…okay.” She felt her own lips turn up in a shy, answering smile. “I’ll be good. This once.” “That’s my girl.” Kelley was silent. Those three words of Sonny’s had managed to render her utterly speechless.
Lesley Livingston (Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1))
Why have you done all this for me?" She turned her head to look at him. "Tell me the truth." He shook his head slowly. "I don't think I could have been more terrified of the devil than I was of you," she said, "when it was happening and in my thoughts and nightmares afterward. And when you came home to Willoughby and I realized that the Duke of Ridgeway was you, I thought I would die from the horror of it." His face was expressionless. "I know," he said. "I was afraid of your hands more than anything," she said. "They are beautiful hands." He said nothing. "When did it all change?" she asked. She turned completely toward him and closed the distance between them. "You will not say the words yourself. But they are the same words as the ones on my lips, aren't they?" She watched him swallow. "For the rest of my life I will regret saying them," she said. "But I believe I would regret far more not saying them." "Fleur," he said, and reached out a staying hand. "I love you," she said. "No." "I love you." "It is just that we have spent a few days together," he said, "and talked a great deal and got to know each other. It is just that I have been able to help you a little and you are feeling grateful to me." "I love you," she said. "Fleur." She reached up to touch his scar. "I am glad I did not know you before this happened," she said. "I do not believe I would have been able to stand the pain." "Fleur," he said, taking her wrist in his hand. "Are you crying?" she said. She lifted both arms and wrapped them about his neck and laid her cheek against his shoulder. "Don't, my love. I did not mean to lay a burden on you. I don't mean to do so. I only want you to know that you are loved and always will be." "Fleur," he said, his voice husky from his tears, "I have nothing to offer you, my love. I have nothing to give you. My loyalty is given elsewhere. I didn't want this to happen. I don't want it to happen. You will meet someone else. When I am gone you will forget and you will be happy." She lifted her head and looked into his face. She wiped away one of his tears with one finger. "I am not asking anything in return," she said. "I just want to give you something, Adam. A free gift. My love. Not a burden, but a gift. To take with you when you go, even though we will never see each other again." He framed her face with his hands and gazed down into it. "I so very nearly did not recognize you," he said. "You were so wretchedly thin, Fleur, and pale. Your lips were dry and cracked, your hair dull and lifeless. But I did know you for all that. I think I would still be in London searching for you if you had not gone to that agency. But it's too late, love. Six years too late.
Mary Balogh (The Secret Pearl)
Eventually they climb sixteen steps into the Gallery of Mineralogy. The guide shows them a gate from Brazil and violet amethysts and a meteorite on a pedestal that he claims is as ancient as the solar system itself. Then he leads them single file down two twisting staircases and along several corridors and stops outside an iron door with a single keyhole. “End of tour,” he says. A girl says, “But what’s through there?” “Behind this door is another locked door, slightly smaller.” “And what’s behind that?” “A third locked door, smaller yet.” “What’s behind that?” “A fourth door, and a fifth, on and on until you reach a thirteenth, a little locked door no bigger than a shoe.” The children lean forward. “And then?” “Behind the thirteenth door”—the guide flourishes one of his impossibly wrinkled hands—“is the Sea of Flames.” Puzzlement. Fidgeting. “Come now. You’ve never heard of the Sea of Flames?” The children shake their heads. Marie-Laure squints up at the naked bulbs strung in three-yard intervals along the ceiling; each sets a rainbow-colored halo rotating in her vision. The guide hangs his cane on his wrist and rubs his hands together. “It’s a long story. Do you want to hear a long story?” They nod. He clears his throat. “Centuries ago, in the place we now call Borneo, a prince plucked a blue stone from a dry riverbed because he thought it was pretty. But on the way back to his palace, the prince was attacked by men on horseback and stabbed in the heart.” “Stabbed in the heart?” “Is this true?” A boy says, “Hush.” “The thieves stole his rings, his horse, everything. But because the little blue stone was clenched in his fist, they did not discover it. And the dying prince managed to crawl home. Then he fell unconscious for ten days. On the tenth day, to the amazement of his nurses, he sat up, opened his hand, and there was the stone. “The sultan’s doctors said it was a miracle, that the prince never should have survived such a violent wound. The nurses said the stone must have healing powers. The sultan’s jewelers said something else: they said the stone was the largest raw diamond anyone had ever seen. Their most gifted stonecutter spent eighty days faceting it, and when he was done, it was a brilliant blue, the blue of tropical seas, but it had a touch of red at its center, like flames inside a drop of water. The sultan had the diamond fitted into a crown for the prince, and it was said that when the young prince sat on his throne and the sun hit him just so, he became so dazzling that visitors could not distinguish his figure from light itself.” “Are you sure this is true?” asks a girl. “Hush,” says the boy. “The stone came to be known as the Sea of Flames. Some believed the prince was a deity, that as long as he kept the stone, he could not be killed. But something strange began to happen: the longer the prince wore his crown, the worse his luck became. In a month, he lost a brother to drowning and a second brother to snakebite. Within six months, his father died of disease. To make matters even worse, the sultan’s scouts announced that a great army was gathering in the east. "The prince called together his father’s advisers. All said he should prepare for war, all but one, a priest, who said he’d had a dream. In the dream the Goddess of the Earth told him she’d made the Sea of Flames as a gift for her lover, the God of the Sea, and was sending the jewel to him through the river. But when the river dried up, and the prince plucked it out, the goddess became enraged. She cursed the stone and whoever kept it.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
A chill penetrating wail of outrage screamed up from the depts of the Abyss. So loud and horrifying was it that all the citizens of Palanthas woke shruddering from even the deepest sleep and lay in their beds, paralyzed by fear, waiting for the end of the world. The guards on the the city walls could move neither hand nor foot. Shutting their eyes, they cowered in shadows, awaiting death. Babies wimpered in fear, dogs cringed and slunk beneath beds, cat's eyes gleamed. The shriek sounded again, and a pale hand reached out from the Tower gates. A ghastly face, twisted in fury, floated in the dank air. Raistlin did not move. The hand drew near, the face promised him tortures of the Abyss, where he would be dragged for his great folly in daring the curse of the Tower. The skeletal hand touched Raistlin's heart. Then, trembling, it halted. 'Know this,' said Raistlin calmly, looking up at the Tower, pitching his voice so that it could be heard by those within. 'I am the master of the past and the present! My coming was foretold. For me, the gates will open.' The skeletal hand shrank back and, with a slow sweeping motion of invitation, parted the darkness. The gates swung open upon silent hinges. Raistlin passed through them without a glance at the hand or the pale visage that was lowered in reverence. As he entered, all the black and shapeless, dark and shadowy things dwelling within the Tower bowed in homage. Then Raistlin stopped and looked around him. 'I am home,' he said.
Margaret Weis (Dragons of Spring Dawning (Dragonlance: Chronicles, #3))
We take it for granted that life moves forward. You build memories; you build momentum.You move as a rower moves: facing backwards. You can see where you've been, but not where you’re going. And your boat is steered by a younger version of you. It's hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way. Avenoir. You'd see your memories approaching for years, and watch as they slowly become real. You’d know which friendships will last, which days are important, and prepare for upcoming mistakes. You'd go to school, and learn to forget. One by one you'd patch things up with old friends, enjoying one last conversation before you meet and go your separate ways. And then your life would expand into epic drama. The colors would get sharper, the world would feel bigger. You'd become nothing other than yourself, reveling in your own weirdness. You'd fall out of old habits until you could picture yourself becoming almost anything. Your family would drift slowly together, finding each other again. You wouldn't have to wonder how much time you had left with people, or how their lives would turn out. You'd know from the start which week was the happiest you’ll ever be, so you could relive it again and again. You'd remember what home feels like, and decide to move there for good. You'd grow smaller as the years pass, as if trying to give away everything you had before leaving. You'd try everything one last time, until it all felt new again. And then the world would finally earn your trust, until you’d think nothing of jumping freely into things, into the arms of other people. You'd start to notice that each summer feels longer than the last. Until you reach the long coasting retirement of childhood. You'd become generous, and give everything back. Pretty soon you’d run out of things to give, things to say, things to see. By then you'll have found someone perfect; and she'll become your world. And you will have left this world just as you found it. Nothing left to remember, nothing left to regret, with your whole life laid out in front of you, and your whole life left behind.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
One night he sits up. In cots around him are a few dozen sick or wounded. A warm September wind pours across the countryside and sets the walls of the tent rippling. Werner’s head swivels lightly on his neck. The wind is strong and gusting stronger, and the corners of the tent strain against their guy ropes, and where the flaps at the two ends come up, he can see trees buck and sway. Everything rustles. Werner zips his old notebook and the little house into his duffel and the man beside him murmurs questions to himself and the rest of the ruined company sleeps. Even Werner’s thirst has faded. He feels only the raw, impassive surge of the moonlight as it strikes the tent above him and scatters. Out there, through the open flaps of the tent, clouds hurtle above treetops. Toward Germany, toward home. Silver and blue, blue and silver. Sheets of paper tumble down the rows of cots, and in Werner’s chest comes a quickening. He sees Frau Elena kneel beside the coal stove and bank up the fire. Children in their beds. Baby Jutta sleeps in her cradle. His father lights a lamp, steps into an elevator, and disappears. The voice of Volkheimer: What you could be. Werner’s body seems to have gone weightless under his blanket, and beyond the flapping tent doors, the trees dance and the clouds keep up their huge billowing march, and he swings first one leg and then the other off the edge of the bed. “Ernst,” says the man beside him. “Ernst.” But there is no Ernst; the men in the cots do not reply; the American soldier at the door of the tent sleeps. Werner walks past him into the grass. The wind moves through his undershirt. He is a kite, a balloon. Once, he and Jutta built a little sailboat from scraps of wood and carried it to the river. Jutta painted the vessel in ecstatic purples and greens, and she set it on the water with great formality. But the boat sagged as soon as the current got hold of it. It floated downstream, out of reach, and the flat black water swallowed it. Jutta blinked at Werner with wet eyes, pulling at the battered loops of yarn in her sweater. “It’s all right,” he told her. “Things hardly ever work on the first try. We’ll make another, a better one.” Did they? He hopes they did. He seems to remember a little boat—a more seaworthy one—gliding down a river. It sailed around a bend and left them behind. Didn’t it? The moonlight shines and billows; the broken clouds scud above the trees. Leaves fly everywhere. But the moonlight stays unmoved by the wind, passing through clouds, through air, in what seems to Werner like impossibly slow, imperturbable rays. They hang across the buckling grass. Why doesn’t the wind move the light? Across the field, an American watches a boy leave the sick tent and move against the background of the trees. He sits up. He raises his hand. “Stop,” he calls. “Halt,” he calls. But Werner has crossed the edge of the field, where he steps on a trigger land mine set there by his own army three months before, and disappears in a fountain of earth.
Anthony Doerr (All the Light We Cannot See)
Attention, God the Judge, God the Father, who Art in Heaven, give me one miracle, please. If You exist as I know You do, even if no one else in the world believes in You, please give me a brain tumor. Please tear my limbs from their sockets and let the backseat and my older sister be totally covered with blood. Please make me dumb and blind and deaf, please make me a martyr, please, dear heavenly Father. Tear my heart right from my chest. Drive spikes into my eyes and let hot lava shoot out of my mouth. Make me silent and thoroughly dead, but please hurry. Before we get home, before we reach the next stoplight, let the only sound be no sound, the silence of my death burning in the empty sky. If You are a mighty and true God, if You are not just a dream I have made up, please, before another hour, another minute passes, let the wire in my bra poke through my heart. Dear Lord, please, please, give me this one miracle. I have begged You every day, every evening, so please, let Your will be done, let Your will be done. Give me a gruesome death as fast as You possibly can. Thank you, God. Amen.
Joe Meno (The Great Perhaps)
Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through; I dream of what it may go through. I record here the actions of optical nerves, of taste buds, of sensory perception. And, I think: I am but one more drop in the great sea of matter, defined, with the ability to realize my existence. Of the millions, I, too, was potentially everything at birth. I, too, was stunted, narrowed, warped, by my environment, my outcroppings of heredity. I, too, will find a set of beliefs, of standards to live by, yet the very satisfaction of finding them will be marred by the fact that I have reached the ultimate in shallow, two-dimensional living - a set of values. This loneliness will blur and diminish, no doubt, when tomorrow I plunge again into classes, into the necessity of studying for exams. But now, that false purpose is lifted and I am spinning in a temporary vacuum. At home I rested and played, here, where I work, the routine is momentarily suspended and I am lost. There is no living being on earth at this moment except myself. I could walk down the halls, and empty rooms would yawn mockingly at me from every side. God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in it's appalling self-consciousness, is horrible and overpowering.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Maybe it begins the day you pledge allegiance, face the flag and suddenly clutch your left clavicle because you find a tender puff of breast where yesterday your heart was Or maybe it happens later when you're walking home from school and they rush you on the street-- those boys who reach out fast, disgrace your blouse with rubs of dirt, their laughter stinging hot against your face. And you bite your rage, swallow your tears because the fact is, your territory's up for grabs and somehow it's your own damned fault. And one day you stand at your mirror armed with jars and razor blades against the scents and grasses of your shameless bleeding body, and you see what you've become--a freak manufactured to disguise the real one, the one who sometimes still recalls your innocence, the time before you became a dirty joke. And maybe it begins to end the day you try against the odds to love yourself again. Even though you know the worst thing you can call someone is cunt, you try to love the flesh and fur you are, that convoluted, prehistoric flower, petals dripping weeds and echoing vaguely fragrant odors of the sea.
Marilyn Johnson
It ended by my almost believing (perhaps actually believing) that this was perhaps my normal condition. But at first, in the beginning, what agonies I endured in that struggle! I did not believe it was the same with other people, and all my life I hid this fact about myself as a secret. I was ashamed (even now, perhaps, I am ashamed): I got to the point of feeling a sort of secret abnormal, despicable enjoyment in returning home to my corner on some disgusting Petersburg night, acutely conscious that that day I had committed a loathsome action again, that what was done could never be undone, and secretly, inwardly gnawing, gnawing at myself for it, tearing and consuming myself till at last the bitterness turned into a sort of shameful accursed sweetness, and at last—into positive real enjoyment! Yes, into enjoyment, into enjoyment! I insist upon that. I have spoken of this because I keep wanting to know for a fact whether other people feel such enjoyment? I will explain; the enjoyment was just from the too intense consciousness of one’s own degradation; it was from feeling oneself that one had reached the last barrier, that it was horrible, but that it could not be otherwise; that there was no escape for you; that you never could become a different man; that even if time and faith were still left you to change into something different you would most likely not wish to change; or if you did wish to, even then you would do nothing; because perhaps in reality there was nothing for you to change into. And the worst of it was, and the root of it all, that it was all in accord with the normal fundamental laws of over-acute consciousness, and with the inertia that was the direct result of those laws, and that consequently one was not only unable to change but could do absolutely nothing. Thus it would follow, as the result of acute consciousness, that one is not to blame in being a scoundrel; as though that were any consolation to the scoundrel once he has come to realise that he actually is a scoundrel.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Notes from Underground, White Nights, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, and Selections from The House of the Dead)
You'll stay," he said firmly. "But-" He crossed his arms. "Do I look like a man in the mood to be argued with?" She stared at him mutinously. "If you run," he warned, "I will catch you." Sophie eyed the distance between them, then tried to judge the distance back to My Cottage.If he stopped to pull on his clothing she might have a chance of escaping, but if he didn't... "Sophie," he said, "I can practically see the steam coming out of your ears. Stop taxing your brain with useless mathematical computations and do as I asked." One of her feet twitched. Whether it was itching to run home or merely turn around, she'd never know. "Now," he ordered. With a loud sigh and grumble, Sophie crossed her arms and turned around to stare at a knothole in the tree trunk in front of her as if her very life depended on it The inferal man wasn't being particularly quiet as he went about his business, and she couldn't seem to keep herself from listening to and trying to identify every sound that rustled and splashed behind her.Now he was emerging from the water, now he was reaching for his breeches, now he was... It was no use.She had a dreadfully wicked imagination, and there was no getting around it. He should have just let her return to the house. Instead she was forced to wait, utterly mortified, while he dressed. Her skin felt like it was on fire, and she was certain her cheeks must be eight different shades of red. A gentleman would have let her weasle out of her embarrassment and hole up in her room back at the house for at least three days in hopes that he'd just forget about the entire affair.
Julia Quinn (An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons, #3))
Jay showed up after school with a bouquet of flowers and an armful of DVDs, although Violet couldn’t have cared less about either . . . he was all she wanted. She couldn’t help the electric thrill of excitement she felt when he came strolling in, grinning at her foolishly as if he hadn’t seen her in weeks rather than hours. He scooped her up from the couch and dropped her onto his lap as he sat down where she had been just a moment before. He was careful to arrange her ankle on a neatly stacked pile of pillows beside him. He stubbornly refused to hide his affection for her, and if Violet hadn’t known better she would have sword that he was going out of his way to make her self-conscious in her own home. Fortunately her parents were giving them some space for the time being, and they were left by themselves most of the time. “Did you miss me?” he asked arrogantly as he gently brushed his lips over hers, not bothering to wait for an answer. She smiled while she kissed him back, loving the topsy-turvy feeling that her stomach always got when he was so close to her. She wound her arms around his neck, forgetting that she was in the middle of the family room and not hidden away in the privacy of her bedroom. He pulled away from her, suddenly serious. “You know, we didn’t get much time alone yesterday. And I didn’t get a chance to tell you . . .” Violet was mesmerized by the thick timbre of his deep voice. She barely heard his words but rather concentrated on the fluid masculinity of his tone. “I feel like I’ve waited too long to finally have you, and then yesterday . . . when . . .” He stopped, seemingly at a loss, and he tried another approach. His hand stroked her cheek, igniting a response from deep within her. “I can’t imagine living without you,” he said, tenderly kissing her forehead, his warm breath fanning her brow. He paused thoughtfully for a moment before speaking again. “I love you, Violet. More than I ever could have imagined. And I don’t want to lose you . . . I can’t lose you.” It was her turn to look arrogant as she glanced up at him. “I know,” she stated smugly, shrugging her shoulder. He shoved her playfully but held on to her tightly so that she never really went anywhere. “What do you mean, ‘I know’? What kind of response is that?” His righteous indignation bordered on comical. He pulled her down into his arms so that his face was directly above hers. “Say it!” he commanded. She shook her head, pretending not to understand him. “What? What do you want me to say?” But then she giggled and ruined her baffled façade. He teased her with his mouth, leaning down to kiss her and then pulling away before his lips ever reached hers. He nuzzled her neck tantalizingly, only to stop once she responded. She wrapped her arms around his neck, trying to pull him closer, frustrated by his mocking ambush of her senses. “Sat it,” he whispered, his breath warm against her neck. She groaned, wanting him to put her out of her misery. “I love you too,” she rasped as she clung to him. “I love you so much . . .” His mouth moved to cover hers in an exhausting kiss that left them both breathless and craving more than they could have. Violet collapsed into his arms, gathering her wits and hoping that no one walking in on them anytime soon.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
Like most people, I acquired my initial sense of the era from books and photographs that left me with the impression that the world of then had no color, only gradients of gray and black. My two main protagonists, however, encountered the fl esh-and-blood reality, while also managing the routine obligations of daily life. Every morning they moved through a city hung with immense banners of red, white, and black; they sat at the same outdoor cafés as did the lean, black-suited members of Hitler’s SS, and now and then they caught sight of Hitler himself, a smallish man in a large, open Mer-cedes. But they also walked each day past homes with balconies lush with red geraniums; they shopped in the city’s vast department stores, held tea parties, and breathed deep the spring fragrances of the Tier-garten, Berlin’s main park. They knew Goebbels and Göring as social acquaintances with whom they dined, danced, and joked—until, as their fi rst year reached its end, an event occurred that proved to be one of the most signifi cant in revealing the true character of Hitler and that laid the keystone for the decade to come. For both father and daughter it changed everything.
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)
The travelers emerged into a spacious square. In the middle of this square were several dozen people on a wooden bandstand like in a public park. They were the members of a band, each of them as different from one another as their instruments. Some of them looked round at the approaching column. Then a grey-haired man in a colorful cloak called out and they reached for their instruments. There was a burst of something like cheeky, timid bird-song and the air – air that had been torn apart by the barbed wire and the howl of sirens, that stank of oily fumes and garbage – was filled with music. It was like a warm summer cloud-burst ignited by the sun, flashing as it crashed down to earth. People in camps, people in prisons, people who have escaped from prison, people going to their death, know the extraordinary power of music. No one else can experience music in quite the same way. What music resurrects in the soul of a man about to die is neither hope nor thought, but simply the blind, heart-breaking miracle of life itself. A sob passed down the column. Everything seemed transformed, everything had come together; everything scattered and fragmented -home, peace, the journey, the rumble of wheels, thirst, terror, the city rising out of the mist, the wan red dawn – fused together, not into a memory or a picture but into the blind, fierce ache of life itself. Here, in the glow of the gas ovens, people knew that life was more than happiness – it was also grief. And freedom was both painful and difficult; it was life itself. Music had the power to express the last turmoil of a soul in whose blind depths every experience, every moment of joy and grief, had fused with this misty morning, this glow hanging over their heads. Or perhaps it wasn't like that at all. Perhaps music was just the key to a man's feelings, not what filled him at this terrible moment, but the key that unlocked his innermost core. In the same way, a child's song can appear to make an old man cry. But it isn't the song itself he cries over; the song is simply a key to something in his soul.
Vasily Grossman (Life and Fate)
Now the evening's at its noon, its meridian. The outgoing tide has simmered down, and there's a lull-like the calm in the eye of a hurricane - before the reverse tide starts to set in. The last acts of the three-act plays are now on, and the after-theater eating places are beginning to fill up with early comers; Danny's and Lindy's - yes, and Horn & Hardart too. Everybody has got where they wanted to go - and that was out somewhere. Now everybody will want to get back where they came from - and that's home somewhere. Or as the coffee-grinder radio, always on the beam, put it at about this point: 'New York, New York, it's a helluva town, The Bronx is up, the Battery's down, And the people ride around in a hole in the ground. Now the incoming tide rolls in; the hours abruptly switch back to single digits again, and it's a little like the time you put your watch back on entering a different time zone. Now the buses knock off and the subway expresses turn into locals and the locals space themselves far apart; and as Johnny Carson's face hits millions of screens all at one and the same time, the incoming tide reaches its crest and pounds against the shore. There's a sudden splurge, a slew of taxis arriving at the hotel entrance one by one as regularly as though they were on a conveyor belt, emptying out and then going away again. Then this too dies down, and a deep still sets in. It's an around-the-clock town, but this is the stretch; from now until the garbage-grinding trucks come along and tear the dawn to shreds, it gets as quiet as it's ever going to get. This is the deep of the night, the dregs, the sediment at the bottom of the coffee cup. The blue hours; when guys' nerves get tauter and women's fears get greater. Now guys and girls make love, or kill each other or sometimes both. And as the windows on the 'Late Show' title silhouette light up one by one, the real ones all around go dark. And from now on the silence is broken only by the occasional forlorn hoot of a bogged-down drunk or the gutted-cat squeal of a too sharply swerved axle coming around a turn. Or as Billy Daniels sang it in Golden Boy: While the city sleeps, And the streets are clear, There's a life that's happening here. ("New York Blues")
Cornell Woolrich (Night and Fear: A Centenary Collection of Stories)
The glow lasted through the night, beyond the bar's closing, when there were no cabs on the street. And so Mathilde and Lotto decided to walk home, her arm in his, chatting about nothing, about everything, the unpleasant, hot breath of the subway belching up from the grates. 'Chthonic', he said, booze letting loose the pretension at his core, which she still found sweet, an allowance from the glory. It was so late, there were few other people out, and it felt, just for this moment, that they had the city to themselves. She thought of all the life just underfoot, the teem of it that they were passing over, unknowing. She said, 'Did you know that the total weight of all the ants on Earth is the same as the total weight of all the humans on Earth.' She, who drank to excess, was a little bit drunk, it was true, there was so much relief in the evening. When the curtains closed against the backdrop, an enormous bolder blocking their future had rolled away. 'They'll still be here when we're gone,' he said. He was drinking from a flask. By the time they were home, he'd be sozzeled. 'The ants and the jellyfish and the cockroaches, they will be the kings of the Earth.'... 'They deserve this place more than we do,' she said. 'We've been reckless with our gifts.' He smiled and looked up. There were no stars, there was too much smog for them. 'Did you know,' he said, 'they just found out just a while ago that there are billions of worlds that can support life in our galaxy alone.' ...She felt a sting behind here eyes, but couldn't say why this thought touched her. He saw clear through and understood. He knew her. The things he didn't know about her would sink an ocean liner. He knew her. 'We're lonely down here,' he said, 'it's true, but we're not alone.' In the hazy space after he died, when she lived in a sort of timeless underground grief, she saw on the internet a video about what would happen to our galaxy in billions of years. We are in an immensely slow tango with the Andromeda galaxy, both galaxies shaped like spirals with outstretched arms, and we are moving toward each other like spinning bodies. The galaxies will gain speed as they draw near, casting off blue sparks, new stars until they spin past each other, and then the long arms of both galaxies will reach longingly out and grasp hands at the last moment and they will come spinning back in the opposite direction, their legs entwined, never hitting, until the second swirl becomes a clutch, a dip, a kiss, and then at the very center of things, when they are at their closest, there will open a supermassive black hole.
Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies)
Naked Girl and Mirror This is not I. I had no body once- only what served my need to laugh and run and stare at stars and tentatively dance on the fringe of foam and wave and sand and sun. Eyes loved, hands reached for me, but I was gone on my own currents, quicksilver, thistledown. Can I be trapped at last in that soft face? I stare at you in fear, dark brimming eyes. Why do you watch me with that immoderate plea- 'Look under these curled lashes, recognize that you were always here; know me-be me.' Smooth once-hermaphrodite shoulders, too tenderly your long slope runs, above those sudden shy curves furred with light that spring below your space. No, I have been betrayed. If I had known that this girl waited between a year and a year, I'd not have chosen her bough to dance upon. Betrayed, by that little darkness here, and here this swelling softness and that frightened stare from eyes I will not answer; shut out here from my own self, by its new body's grace- for I am betrayed by someone lovely. Yes, I see you are lovely, hateful naked girl. Your lips in the mirror tremble as I refuse to know or claim you. Let me go-let me be gone. You are half of some other who may never come. Why should I tend you? You are not my own; you seek that other-he will be your home. Yet I pity your eyes in the mirror, misted with tears; I lean to your kiss. I must serve you; I will obey. Some day we may love. I may miss your going, some day, though I shall always resent your dumb and fruitful years. Your lovers shall learn better, and bitterly too, if their arrogance dares to think I am part of you.
Judith A. Wright
— If love wants you; if you’ve been melted down to stars, you will love with lungs and gills, with warm blood and cold. With feathers and scales. Under the hot gloom of the forest canopy you’ll want to breathe with the spiral calls of birds, while your lashing tail still gropes for the waes. You’ll try to haul your weight from simple sea to gravity of land. Caught by the tide, in the snail-slip of your own path, for moments suffocating in both water and air. If love wants you, suddently your past is obsolete science. Old maps, disproved theories, a diorama. The moment our bodies are set to spring open. The immanence that reassembles matter passes through us then disperses into time and place: the spasm of fur stroked upright; shocked electrons. The mother who hears her child crying upstairs and suddenly feels her dress wet with milk. Among black branches, oyster-coloured fog tongues every corner of loneliness we never knew before we were loved there, the places left fallow when we’re born, waiting for experience to find its way into us. The night crossing, on deck in the dark car. On the beach wehre night reshaped your face. In the lava fields, carbon turned to carpet, moss like velvet spread over splintered forms. The instant spray freezes in air above the falls, a gasp of ice. We rise, hearing our names called home through salmon-blue dusk, the royal moon an escutcheon on the shield of sky. The current that passes through us, radio waves, electric lick. The billions of photons that pass through film emulsion every second, the single submicroscopic crystal struck that becomes the phograph. We look and suddenly the world looks back. A jagged tube of ions pins us to the sky. — But if, like starlings, we continue to navigate by the rear-view mirror of the moon; if we continue to reach both for salt and for the sweet white nibs of grass growing closest to earth; if, in the autumn bog red with sedge we’re also driving through the canyon at night, all around us the hidden glow of limestone erased by darkness; if still we sish we’d waited for morning, we will know ourselves nowhere. Not in the mirrors of waves or in the corrading stream, not in the wavering glass of an apartment building, not in the looming light of night lobbies or on the rainy deck. Not in the autumn kitchen or in the motel where we watched meteors from our bed while your slow film, the shutter open, turned stars to rain. We will become indigestible. Afraid of choking on fur and armour, animals will refuse the divided longings in our foreing blue flesh. — In your hands, all you’ve lost, all you’ve touched. In the angle of your head, every vow and broken vow. In your skin, every time you were disregarded, every time you were received. Sundered, drowsed. A seeded field, mossy cleft, tidal pool, milky stem. The branch that’s released when the bird lifts or lands. In a summer kitchen. On a white winter morning, sunlight across the bed.
Anne Michaels
You know, we still have like, half an hour down here. Seems a shame to waste it.” I poked him in the ribs, and he gave an exaggerated wince. “No way, dude. My days of cellar, mill, and dungeon lovin’ are over. Go castle or go home.” “Fair enough,” he said as we interlaced our fingers and headed for the stairs. “But does it have to be a real castle, or would one of those inflatable bouncy things work?” I laughed. “Oh, inflatable castles are totally out of-“ I skidded to a stop on the first step, causing Archer to bump into me. “What the heck is that?” I asked, pointing to a dark stain in the nearest corner. “Okay, number one question you don’t want to hear in a creepy cellar,” Archer sad, but I ignored him and stepped off the staircase. The stain bled out from underneath the stone wall, covering maybe a foot of the dirt floor. It looked black and vaguely…sticky. I swallowed my disgust as I knelt down and gingerly touched the blob with one finger. Archer crouched down next to me and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a lighter, and after a few tries, a wavering flame sprung up. We studied my fingertip in the dim glow. “So that’s-“ “It’s blood, yeah,” I said, not taking my eyes off my hand. “Scary.” “I was gonna go with vile, but scary works.” Archer fished in his pockets again, and this time he produced a paper napkin. I took it from him and gave Lady Macbeth a run for her money in the hand-scrubbing department. But even as I attempted to remove a layer of skin from my finger, something was bugging me. I mean, something other than the fact that I’d just touched a puddle of blood. “Check the other corners,” I told Archer. He stood up and moved across the room. I stayed where I was, trying to remember that afternoon Dad and I had sat with the Thorne family grimoire. We’d looked at dozens of spells, but there had been one- “There’s blood in every corner,” Archer called from the other side of the cellar. “Or at least that’s what I’m guessing it is. Unlike some people, I don’t have the urge to go sticking my fingers in it.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
He slammed his cup down. Coffee splashed over the rim and puddled around the base. “What on earth gave you the idea I want space? I want you here. With me. All the time. I want to come home and hear the shower running and get excited because I know you’re in it. I want to struggle every morning to get up and go to the gym because I hate the idea of leaving your warm body behind in bed. I want to hear a key turn in the lock and feel contented knowing you’re home. I don’t want fucking space, Harper.” Harper laughed. “What’s funny?” “I didn’t mean space. I meant space, like closet space, a drawer in the bedroom, part of the counter in the bathroom.” Trent’s mouth twitched, a slight smile making its way to his lips. “Like a compromise. A commitment that I want more. I seem to recall you telling me in the car about something being a step in the right direction to a goal we both agreed on. Well, I want all those things you just said, with you, eventually. And if we start to leave things at each other’s places, it’s a step, right?” Trent reached up, flexing his delicious tattooed bicep, and scratched the side of his head. Without speaking, he leapt to his feet, grabbing Harper and pulling her into a fireman’s lift. “Trent,” she squealed, kicking her feet to get free. “What are you doing?” He slapped her butt playfully and laughed as he carried her down the hallway. Reaching the bedroom, Trent threw her onto the bed. “We’re doing space. Today, right now.” He started pulling open his drawers, looking inside each one before pulling stuff out of the top drawer and dividing it between the others. “Okay, this is for your underwear. I need to see bras, panties, and whatever other girly shit you have in here before the end of the day.” Like a panther on the prowl, Trent launched himself at the bed, grabbing her ankle and pulling her to the edge of the bed before sweeping her into his arms to walk to the bathroom. He perched her on the corner of the vanity, where his stuff was spread across the two sinks. “Pick one.” “Pick one what?” “Sink. Which do you want?” “You’re giving me a whole sink? Wait … stop…” Trent grabbed her and started tickling her. Harper didn’t recognize the girly giggles that escaped her. Pointing to the sink farthest away from the door, she watched as he pushed his toothbrush, toothpaste, and styling products to the other side of the vanity. He did the same thing with the vanity drawers and created some space under the sink. “I expect to see toothbrush, toothpaste, your shampoo, and whatever it is that makes you smell like vanilla in here.” “You like the vanilla?” It never ceased to surprise her, the details he remembered. Turning, he grabbed her cheeks in both hands and kissed her hard. He trailed kisses behind her ear and inhaled deeply before returning to face her. “Absolutely. I fucking love vanilla,” he murmured against her lips before kissing her again, softly this time. “Oh and I’d better see a box of tampons too.” “Oh my goodness, you are beyond!” Harper blushed furiously. “I want you for so much more than just sex, Harper.
Scarlett Cole (The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1))
Wedding Superstitions The Bridal Gown White - You have chosen right. Grey - You'll go far away. Black - You'll wish yourself back. Red - You'll wish yourself dead. Green - Ashamed to be seen. Blue - You'll always be true. Pearl - You'll live in a whirl. Peach - A love out of reach. Yellow - Ashamed of your fellow. Pink - Your Spirits will sink. The Wedding Day Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday best of all, Thursday for losses, Friday for crosses, Saturday for no luck at all. The Wedding Month Marry in May, and you'll rue the day, Marry in Lent, you'll live to repent. Married when the year is new, He'll be loving, kind and true. When February birds do mate, You wed nor dread your fate. If you wed when March winds blow, Joy and sorrow both you'll know. Marry in April when you can, Joy for maiden and the man. Marry in the month of May, And you'll surely rue the day. Marry when the June roses grow, Over land and sea you'll go. Those who in July do wed, Must labour for their daily bread. Whoever wed in August be, Many a change is sure to see. Marry in September's shine, Your living will be rich and fine. If in October you do marry, Love will come, but riches tarry. If you wed in bleak November, Only joys will come, remember, When December's snows fall fast, Marry and true love will last. Married in January's roar and rime, Widowed you'll be before your prime. Married in February's sleepy weather, Life you'll tread in time together. Married when March winds shrill and roar, Your home will lie on a distant shore. Married 'neath April's changeful skies, A checkered path before you lies. Married when bees o'er May blossoms flit, Strangers around your board will sit. Married in month of roses June, Life will be one long honeymoon. Married in July with flowers ablaze, Bitter-sweet memories in after days. Married in August's heat and drowse, Lover and friend in your chosen spouse. Married in September's golden glow, Smooth and serene your life will go. Married when leaves in October thin, Toil and hardships for you begin. Married in veils of November mist, Fortune your wedding ring has kissed. Married in days of December's cheer, Love's star shines brighter from year to year
New Zealand Proverb
What are you two doing?” Her uncle’s teasing voice came into the room before he did. But his voice was the second warning that they were no longer alone, since Violet had tasted his presence long before he’d actually stepped into her house. Ever since saving her and Jay at Homecoming, her uncle carried an imprint of his own. The bitter taste of dandelions still smoldered on Violet’s tongue whenever he was near. A taste that Violet had grown to accept. And even, to some degree, to appreciate. “Nothing your parents wouldn’t approve of, I hope,” he added. Violet flashed Jay a wicked grin. “We were just making out, so if you could make this quick, we’d really appreciate it.” Jay jumped up from beside her. “She’s kidding,” he blurted out. “We weren’t doing anything.” Her uncle Stephen stopped where he was and eyed them both carefully. Violet could’ve sworn she felt Jay squirming, even though every single muscle in his body was frozen in place. Violet smiled at her uncle, trying her best to look guilty-as-charged. Finally he raised his eyebrows, every bit the suspicious police officer. “Your parents asked me to stop by and check on you on my way home. They won’t be back until late. Can I trust the two of you here . . . alone?” “Of course you can—” Jay started to say. “Probably not—“ Violet answers at the same time. And then she caught a glimpse of the horror-stricken expression on Jay’s face, and she laughed. “Relax, Uncle Stephen, we’re fine. We were just doing homework.” Her uncle looked at the pile of discarded books on the table in front of the couch. Not one of them was open. He glanced skeptically at Violet but didn’t say a word. “We may have gotten a little distracted,” she responded, and again she saw Jay shifting nervously. After several warnings, and a promise from Violet that she would lock the doors behind him, Uncle Stephen finally left the two of them alone again. Jay was glaring at Violet when she peeked at him as innocently as she could manage. “Why would you do that to me?” “Why do you care what he thinks we’re doing?” Violet had been trying to get Jay to admit his new hero worship of her uncle for months, but he was too stubborn—or maybe he honestly didn’t realize it himself—to confess it to her. “Because, Violet,” he said dangerously, taking a threatening step toward her. But his scolding was ruined by the playful glint in his eyes. “He’s your uncle, and he’s the police chief. Why poke the bear?” Violet took a step back, away from him, and he matched it, moving toward her. He was stalking her around the coffee table now, and Violet couldn’t help giggling as she retreated. But it was too late for her to escape. Jay was faster than she was, and his arms captured her before she’d ever had a chance. Not that she’d really tried. He hauled her back down onto the couch, the two of them falling into the cushions, and this time he pinned her beneath him. “Stop it!” she shrieked, not meaning a single word. He was the last person in the world she wanted to get away from. “I don’t know . . .” he answered hesitantly. “I think you deserve to be punished.” His breath was balmy against her cheek, and she found herself leaning toward him rather than away. “Maybe we should do some more homework.” Homework had been their code word for making out before they’d realized that they hadn’t been fooling anyone. But Jay was true to his word, especially his code word, and his lips settled over hers. Violet suddenly forgot that she was pretending to break free from his grip. Her frail resolve crumbled. She reached out, wrapping her arms around his neck, and pulled him closer to her. Jay growled from deep in his throat. “Okay, homework it is.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
I have something to show you." He sank down next to me and handed me a sketchbook. I opened it. And saw the mermaid. She was drawn in colored ink, exquisitely detailed; each scale had a little picture in it: a pyramid, a rocket, a peacock, a lamp. Her torso was patterened red, like a tattoo, like coral. She had a thin strand of seaweed around her neck, with a starfish holding on to the center. Her hair was a tumble of loose black curls. She had my face. I turned the page.And another and another. There she was fighting a creature that was half human, half octopus. Exploring a cave. Riding a shark. Laughing and petting a stingray that rested on her lap. "I'm calling her Cora Lia for the moment," Alex told me. "I thought about Corella, but it sounded like cheap dishware." "She's...amazing." "She's fierce. Fighting the Evil Sea-Dragon King and his minions." I traced the red tattoo on her chest. "This is beautiful." Alex reached into my sweater, pulled the loose neck of the T-shirt away from my shoulder. I didn't stop him. "It looks like coral to me." He touched me, then,the pad of his thumb tracing the outline of the scar. It felt strange, partly because of the difference in the tissue, but more because in the last few years, the only hands that had touched me there were mine. I set the book aside carefully. "Guess I don't see what you do." "That's too bad, because I see you perfectly." I curved myself into him. "Maybe you're exactly what I need." "Like there's any doubt?" He buried his face in my neck.I didn't stop him. "So." "So?" "We'll kill a few hours, watch the sunrise, have pancakes, and you'll drive home." "What?" I felt him smile against my skin. "I got you swimming with sharks. Next on the Conquer Your Fears list is driving a stick shift.Right?" "One thing at a time," I said. Then, "Oh. Do that again." In another story, the intrepid heroine would have gone running out and splashed in the surf, hypothermia be damned. She would have driven the Mustang home, booked a haircut, taken up stand-up comedy, and danced on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. But this was me, and I was moving at my own pace. Truth: My story started a hundred years ago. There's time.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
The Sun King had dinner each night alone. He chose from forty dishes, served on gold and silver plate. It took a staggering 498 people to prepare each meal. He was rich because he consumed the work of other people, mainly in the form of their services. He was rich because other people did things for him. At that time, the average French family would have prepared and consumed its own meals as well as paid tax to support his servants in the palace. So it is not hard to conclude that Louis XIV was rich because others were poor. But what about today? Consider that you are an average person, say a woman of 35, living in, for the sake of argument, Paris and earning the median wage, with a working husband and two children. You are far from poor, but in relative terms, you are immeasurably poorer than Louis was. Where he was the richest of the rich in the world’s richest city, you have no servants, no palace, no carriage, no kingdom. As you toil home from work on the crowded Metro, stopping at the shop on the way to buy a ready meal for four, you might be thinking that Louis XIV’s dining arrangements were way beyond your reach. And yet consider this. The cornucopia that greets you as you enter the supermarket dwarfs anything that Louis XIV ever experienced (and it is probably less likely to contain salmonella). You can buy a fresh, frozen, tinned, smoked or pre-prepared meal made with beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, prawns, scallops, eggs, potatoes, beans, carrots, cabbage, aubergine, kumquats, celeriac, okra, seven kinds of lettuce, cooked in olive, walnut, sunflower or peanut oil and flavoured with cilantro, turmeric, basil or rosemary … You may have no chefs, but you can decide on a whim to choose between scores of nearby bistros, or Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Indian restaurants, in each of which a team of skilled chefs is waiting to serve your family at less than an hour’s notice. Think of this: never before this generation has the average person been able to afford to have somebody else prepare his meals. You employ no tailor, but you can browse the internet and instantly order from an almost infinite range of excellent, affordable clothes of cotton, silk, linen, wool and nylon made up for you in factories all over Asia. You have no carriage, but you can buy a ticket which will summon the services of a skilled pilot of a budget airline to fly you to one of hundreds of destinations that Louis never dreamed of seeing. You have no woodcutters to bring you logs for the fire, but the operators of gas rigs in Russia are clamouring to bring you clean central heating. You have no wick-trimming footman, but your light switch gives you the instant and brilliant produce of hardworking people at a grid of distant nuclear power stations. You have no runner to send messages, but even now a repairman is climbing a mobile-phone mast somewhere in the world to make sure it is working properly just in case you need to call that cell. You have no private apothecary, but your local pharmacy supplies you with the handiwork of many thousands of chemists, engineers and logistics experts. You have no government ministers, but diligent reporters are even now standing ready to tell you about a film star’s divorce if you will only switch to their channel or log on to their blogs. My point is that you have far, far more than 498 servants at your immediate beck and call. Of course, unlike the Sun King’s servants, these people work for many other people too, but from your perspective what is the difference? That is the magic that exchange and specialisation have wrought for the human species.
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves)
In the years since the disaster, I often think of my friend Arturo Nogueira, and the conversations we had in the mountains about God. Many of my fellow survivors say they felt the personal presence of God in the mountains. He mercifully allowed us to survive, they believe, in answer to our prayers, and they are certain it was His hand that led us home. I deeply respect the faith of my friends, but, to be honest, as hard as I prayed for a miracle in the Andes, I never felt the personal presence of God. At least, I did not feel God as most people see Him. I did feel something larger than myself, something in the mountains and the glaciers and the glowing sky that, in rare moments, reassured me, and made me feel that the world was orderly and loving and good. If this was God, it was not God as a being or a spirit or some omnipotent, superhuman mind. It was not a God who would choose to save us or abandon us, or change in any way. It was simply a silence, a wholeness, an awe-inspiring simplicity. It seemed to reach me through my own feelings of love, and I have often thought that when we feel what we call love, we are really feeling our connection to this awesome presence. I feel this presence still when my mind quiets and I really pay attention. I don’t pretend to understand what it is or what it wants from me. I don’t want to understand these things. I have no interest in any God who can be understood, who speaks to us in one holy book or another, and who tinkers with our lives according to some divine plan, as if we were characters in a play. How can I make sense of a God who sets one religion above the rest, who answers one prayer and ignores another, who sends sixteen young men home and leaves twenty-nine others dead on a mountain? There was a time when I wanted to know that god, but I realize now that what I really wanted was the comfort of certainty, the knowledge that my God was the true God, and that in the end He would reward me for my faithfulness. Now I understand that to be certain–-about God, about anything–-is impossible. I have lost my need to know. In those unforgettable conversations I had with Arturo as he lay dying, he told me the best way to find faith was by having the courage to doubt. I remember those words every day, and I doubt, and I hope, and in this crude way I try to grope my way toward truth. I still pray the prayers I learned as a child–-Hail Marys, Our Fathers–-but I don’t imagine a wise, heavenly father listening patiently on the other end of the line. Instead, I imagine love, an ocean of love, the very source of love, and I imagine myself merging with it. I open myself to it, I try to direct that tide of love toward the people who are close to me, hoping to protect them and bind them to me forever and connect us all to whatever there is in the world that is eternal. …When I pray this way, I feel as if I am connected to something good and whole and powerful. In the mountains, it was love that kept me connected to the world of the living. Courage or cleverness wouldn’t have saved me. I had no expertise to draw on, so I relied upon the trust I felt in my love for my father and my future, and that trust led me home. Since then, it has led me to a deeper understanding of who I am and what it means to be human. Now I am convinced that if there is something divine in the universe, the only way I will find it is through the love I feel for my family and my friends, and through the simple wonder of being alive. I don’t need any other wisdom or philosophy than this: My duty is to fill my time on earth with as much life as possible, to become a little more human every day, and to understand that we only become human when we love. …For me, this is enough.
Nando Parrado
I turn on my heel, which is no easy feat in a gravel parking lot. Not losing eye contact with Galen, I stare him down until I get to the door he's opened for me. He seems unconcerned. In fact, he seems downright emotionless. "This better be good," I tell him as I plop down. "You should have returned my calls. Or my texts," he says, his voice tight. As he backs out of the parking space, I yank my cell out of my purse, perusing the texts. "Well, doesn't look like anyone died, so why the hell did you ruin my date?" It's the first time I've ever cursed at royalty and it's liberating. "Or is this a kidnapping? Is Grom in the trunk? Are you taking us on our honeymoon?" You're supposed to be hurting him, not yourself, moron. My lip trembles like the traitor it is. Even though I'm looking away, I can tell Galen's impassive expression has softened because of the way he says, "Emma." "Leave me alone, Galen." He pulls my chin to face him. I knock his hand away. "You can't go forty miles an hour on the interstate, Galen. You need to speed up.” He sighs and presses the gas. By the time we reach a less-embarrassing speed, I’ve abandoned my hurt for rage-o-plenty, struck by the realization that I’ve turned into “that girl.” Not the one who exchanges her doctorate for some kids and a three-bedroom two-bath, but the other kind. That girl who exchanges her dignity and chances for happiness for some possessive loser who beats her when she makes eye contact with some random guy working the hot dog stand. Not that Galen beats me, but after his little show, what will people think? He acted like a lunatic tonight, stalking me to Atlantic City, blowing up my phone, and threatening my date with physical violence. He made serial-killer eyes, for crying out loud. That might be acceptable in the watery grave, but by dry-land standards, it’s the ingredients for a restraining order. And why are we getting off the interstate? “Where are you taking me? I told you I want to go home.” “We need to talk,” he says quietly, taking a dark road just off the exit. “I’ll take you home after I feel you understand.” “I don’t want to talk. You might have realized that when I didn’t answer your calls.” He pulls over on the shoulder of Where-Freaking-Are-We Street. Shutting off the engine, he turns to me, putting his arm around the back of my seat. “I don’t want to break up.” One Mississippi…two Mississippi…”You followed me like a crazy person to tell me that? You ruined my date for that? Mark is a nice guy. I deserve a nice guy, don’t I, Galen?” “Absolutely. But I happen to be a nice guy, too.” Three Mississippi…four Mississippi…”Don’t you mean Grom? And you’re not a nice guy. You threatened Mark with physical pain.” “You threw Rayna through a window. Call it even?” “When are you going to get over that? Besides, she provoked me!” “Mark provoked me, too. He put his hand on your leg. We won’t even talk about the kiss on your cheek. Don’t think I didn’t hear you give him permission either.” “Oh, now that’s rich,” I snort, getting out of the car. Slamming the door, I scream at him. “Now you’re acting jealous on behalf of your brother,” I say, spinning in place. “Can Grom do anything without the almighty Galen helping him?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Todd wrapped his arm around her. They stood together in silent awe, watching the sunset. All Christy could think of was how this was what she had always wanted, to be held in Todd's arms as well as in his heart. Just as the last golden drop of sun melted into the ocean, Christy closed her eyes and drew in a deep draught of the sea air. "Did you know," Todd said softly, "that the setting sun looks so huge from the island of Papua New Guinea that it almost looks like you're on another planet? I've seen pictures." Then, as had happened with her reflection in her cup of tea and in her disturbing dream, Christy heard those two piercing words, "Let go." She knew what she had to do. Turning to face Todd, she said, "Pictures aren't enough for you, Todd. You have to go." "I will. Someday. Lord willing," he said casually. "Don't you see, Todd? The Lord is willing. This is your 'someday.' Your opportunity to go on the mission field is now. You have to go." Their eyes locked in silent communion. "God has been telling me something, Todd. He's been telling me to let you go. I don't want to, but I need to obey Him." Todd paused. "Maybe I should tell them I can only go for the summer. That way I'll only be gone a few months. A few weeks, really. We'll be back together in the fall." Christy shook her head. "It can't be like that, Todd. You have to go for as long as God tells you to go. And as long as I've known you, God has been telling you to go. His mark is on your life, Todd. It's obvious. You need to obey Him." "Kilikina," Todd said, grasping Christy by the shoulders, "do you realize what you're saying? If I go, I may never come back." "I know." Christy's reply was barely a whisper. She reached for the bracelet on her right wrist and released the lock. Then taking Todd's hand, she placed the "Forever" bracelet in his palm and closed his fingers around it. "Todd," she whispered, forcing the words out, "the Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace. And may you always love Jesus more than anything else. Even more than me." Todd crumbled to the sand like a man who had been run through with a sword. Burying his face in his hands, he wept. Christy stood on wobbly legs. What have I done? Oh, Father God, why do I have to let him go? Slowly lowering her quivering body to the sand beside Todd, Christy cried until all she could taste was the salty tears on her lips. They drove the rest of the way home in silence. A thick mantle hung over them, entwining them even in their separation. To Christy it seemed like a bad dream. Someone else had let go of Todd. Not her! He wasn't really going to go. They pulled into Christy's driveway, and Todd turned off the motor. Without saying anything, he got out of Gus and came around to Christy's side to open the door for her. She stepped down and waited while he grabbed her luggage from the backseat. They walked to the front door. Todd stopped her under the trellis of wildly fragrant white jasmine. With tears in his eyes, he said in a hoarse voice, "I'm keeping this." He lifted his hand to reveal the "Forever" bracelet looped between his fingers. "If God ever brings us together again in this world, I'm putting this back on your wrist, and that time, my Kilikina, it will stay on forever." He stared at her through blurry eyes for a long minute, and then without a hug, a kiss, or even a good-bye, Todd turned to go. He walked away and never looked back.
Robin Jones Gunn (Sweet Dreams (Christy Miller, #11))