Riddle Me This Quotes

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

There are those who seek me a lifetime but never we meet, And those I kiss but who trample me beneath ungrateful feet. At times I seem to favor the clever and the fair, But I bless all those who are brave enough to dare. By large, my ministrations are soft-handed and sweet, But scorned, I become a difficult beast to defeat. For though each of my strikes lands a powerful blow, When I kill, I do it slow...
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Tell me what I must slay, what I must steal, tell me the riddle I must solve or the hag I must trick. Only tell me the way, and I will do it, no matter the danger, no matter the hardship, no matter the cost.
Holly Black (The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3))
I profess not to know how women's hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration.
Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
She left me alone in the riddle. I needed her because I loved her — or I loved her because I needed her. Why had the feelings turned to a maze? Now I was lost in the dark.
M. Pierce (Night Owl (Night Owl, #1))
Nix to Declan: Begin transcript— Testing. Hello, hellooo, anybody out there? Check, check, one, two. Soft pee. Puh, puh. Resonance! Sooooooft pee. Alpha bravo disco tango duck. This is Nïx! I’m the Ever-Knowing One, a goddess incandescent, incomparable, and irresistible. But enough about what you think of me. It’s a beautiful day in New Orleans. The wind is out of the east at a steady five knots and clouds look like rabbits … But enough about what you think of me! Now, down to business— Squirrel! Where was I? [Long pause] Why am I in Regin’s car? Bertil, you crawl right back out of that bong this minute! Oh, I remember! I am hereby laying down this track for Magister Declan Chase. If you are a mortal of the recorder peon class, know that Dekko and I go waaaaay back, and he’ll go berserk (snicker snicker) if he doesn’t receive this transmittal. … Chase, riddle me this: what’s beautiful but monstrous, long of tooth but sharp of tooth and soft of mind, and can never ever tell a lie? That’s right. The Enemy of Old can be very useful to you. So use him already. P.S. Your middle name’s about to be spelled r-e-g-r-e-t. And with that, I must bid you adieu. Don’t worry, we’ll catch up very soon. … [Muffled] Who’s mummy’s wittle echolocator? That’s right—you are! —End transcript
Kresley Cole (Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #10))
Log Entry: SOL 118 My conversation with NASA about the Water Reclaimer was boring and riddled with technical details. So I'll paraphrase for you: Me: "This is obviously a clog. How about I take it apart and check the internal tubing?" NASA: (After about 5 hours of deliberation) "No. You'll fuck it up and die." So I took it apart.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
There is a Quichua riddle: El que me nombra, me rompe. Whatever names me, breaks me. The solution, your course, is "silence." But the truth is, anyone who knows your name can break you in two.
Carmen Maria Machado (In the Dream House)
I know what you are known as . . . but to me, you will always be Tom Riddle. It is one of the irritating things about old teachers. I am afraid that they never quite forget their charges’ youthful beginnings.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
War?" Something cold touched my cheek, and I glanched up to see snowflakes swirling in a lightning-riddled sky. It was eerily beautiful, and I shivered. "What will happen then?" Ash stepped closer. His fingers came up to brush the hair from my face, sending an electric shock through me from my spine to my toes. His cool breath tickled my ear as he leaned in. "I'll kill you.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1))
I wanted wide-open horizons and worn shoes and strange constellations spinning above me like midnight riddles. I wanted danger and mystery and adventure.
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
No, I won't leave the world--I'll enter a lunatic asylum and see if the profundity of insanity reveals to me the riddles of life. Idiot, why didn't I do that long ago, why has it taken me so long to understand what it means when the Indians honour the insane, step aside for them? Yes, a lunatic asylum--don't you think I may end up there?
Søren Kierkegaard
My grandmother told me that her father used to ask her a riddle: What must you break apart in order to bring a family close together? Bread, of course.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
And now I say to you, Yeva Luchcova: will you remain here with the father who tried to sell you, or the prince who hoped to buy you, or the man too weak to solve his riddles for himself? Or will you come with me and be the bride to nothing but the shore?
Leigh Bardugo (The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grishaverse, #0.5, 2.5, 2.6))
A certain person wondered why a big strong girl like me wouldn't keep a job which paid a normal salary. I took my time to lead her and to read her every page. Even minimal people can't survive on minimal wage. A certain person wondered why I wait all week for you. I didn't have the words to describe just what you do. I said you had the motion of the ocean in your walk, and when you solve my riddles you don't even have to talk.
Maya Angelou (I Shall Not Be Moved)
There are those who seek me a lifetime but never we meet, And those i kiss but who trample me beneath ungrateful feet. At times i seem to favor the clever and the fair, But i bless all those who are brave enough to dare. By large, my ministrations are soft-handed and sweet, But scorned, i become a difficult beast to defeat. For though my strikes lands a powerful blow, When i kill, I do it slow....
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Truly, nothing in the world has so occupied my thoughts as this I, this riddle, the fact I am alive, that I am separated and isolated from all others, that I am Siddhartha! And about nothing in the world do I know less about than me, about Siddhartha!
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
All I wanted, even when I hated you most, was some poor, barren, parched excuse to love you. But you only gave me riddles.
Patricia A. McKillip (Harpist in the Wind (Riddle-Master, #3))
What’s the riddle? Me talking so much And saying so little
Carrie Fisher (The Princess Diarist)
You think I didn’t fight the same fight? I halfway convinced myself that as long as Avery was just a riddle or a puzzle, as long as I was just playing, I’d be fine. Well, joke’s on me, because somewhere along the way, I stopped playing.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, #2))
His two front teeth are slightly crooked, veer just a tiny bit to the right, as if they've decided perfection is overrated. His smile is like unlocking a riddle. How does an imperfection make him seem more perfect?
Julie Buxbaum (Tell Me Three Things)
Poetry And it was at that age... Poetry arrived in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where it came from, from winter or a river. I don’t know how or when, no, they were not voices, they were not words, nor silence, but from a street I was summoned, from the branches of night, abruptly from the others, among violent fires or returning alone, there I was without a face and it touched me. I did not know what to say, my mouth had no way with names my eyes were blind, and something started in my soul, fever or forgotten wings, and I made my own way, deciphering that fire and I wrote the first faint line, faint, without substance, pure nonsense, pure wisdom of someone who knows nothing, and suddenly I saw the heavens unfastened and open, planets, palpitating planations, shadow perforated, riddled with arrows, fire and flowers, the winding night, the universe. And I, infinitesimal being, drunk with the great starry void, likeness, image of mystery, I felt myself a pure part of the abyss, I wheeled with the stars, my heart broke free on the open sky.
Pablo Neruda (Selected Poems)
Second, my long years of research have taught me that all stories, even the meanest folktales, matter. They are artifacts and palimpsests, riddles and histories. They are the red threads that we may follow out of the labyrinth.
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
The only good thing about being frightened half to death, she thought, is that it makes me forget all about being seasick.
Alison Croggon (The Riddle)
May I leave you with a bit of a riddle, Lord Tyrion?” He did not wait for an answer. “In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. ‘Do it,’ says the king, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.’ ‘Do it,’ says the priest, ‘for I command you in the names of the gods.’ ‘Do it,’ says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.’ So tell me—who lives and who dies?
George R.R. Martin
Isn't it a riddle . . . and awe-inspiring, that everything is so beautiful? Despite the horror. Lately I've noticed something grand and mysterious peering through my sheer joy in all that is beautiful, a sense of its creator . . . Only man can be truly ugly, because he has the free will to estrange himself from this song of praise. It often seems that he'll manage to drown out this hymn with his cannon thunder, curses and blasphemy. But during this past spring it has dawned upon me that he won't be able to do this. And so I want to try and throw myself on the side of the victor.
Sophie Scholl
What on earth did you say to Isola? She stopped in on her way to pick up Pride and Prejudice and to berate me for never telling her about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Why hadn't she known there were better love stories around? Stories not riddled with ill-adjusted men, anguish, death and graveyards!
Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
Chade, I know the Fool is strange. But I like it when he comes to talk to me. He speaks in riddles, and he insults me, and makes fun of me, and gives himself leave to tell me things he thinks I should do, like wash my hair, or not wear yellow. But (...) I like him. He mocks me, but from him, it seems a kindness. He makes me feel, well, important. That he could choose me to talk to.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1))
It only put me in Griffindor. said Harry in a defeated voice, because I asked not to go in Slytherin... EXACTLY, said Dumbledore, beaming once more. Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
Older than I look, younger than I ought to be. My skin is a riddle not to be solved, and even letting go of everything I love won’t offer me the answer. My window is closing, if that’s what you’re asking. Every day I wake up a little more linear, a little less lost, and one day I’ll be one of the women who says ‘I had the most charming dream,’ and I’ll mean it. Old enough to know what I’m losing in the process of being found.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
I profess not to know how women’s hearts are wooed and won. To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration. Some seem to have but one vulnerable point, or door of access; while others have a thousand avenues, and may be captured in a thousand different ways. It is a great triumph of skill to gain the former, but a still greater proof of generalship to maintain possession of the latter, for man must battle for his fortress at every door and window. He who wins a thousand common hearts is therefore entitled to some renown; but he who keeps undisputed sway over the heart of a coquette is indeed a hero.
Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)
Something that’s bothered me for a while now is the current profligacy in YA culture of Team Boy 1 vs Team Boy 2 fangirling. [...] Despite the fact that I have no objection to shipping, this particular species of team-choosing troubled me, though I had difficulty understanding why. Then I saw it applied to Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games trilogy – Team Peeta vs Team Gale – and all of a sudden it hit me that anyone who thought romance and love-triangles were the main event in that series had utterly missed the point. Sure, those elements are present in the story, but they aren’t anywhere near being the bones of it, because The Hunger Games, more than anything else, is about war, survival, politics, propaganda and power. Seeing such a strong, raw narrative reduced to a single vapid argument – which boy is cuter? – made me physically angry. So, look. People read different books for different reasons. The thing I love about a story are not necessarily the things you love, and vice versa. But riddle me this: are the readers of these series really so excited, so thrilled by the prospect of choosing! between! two! different! boys! that they have to boil entire narratives down to a binary equation based on male physical perfection and, if we’re very lucky, chivalrous behaviour? While feminism most certainly champions the right of women to chose their own partners, it also supports them to choose things besides men, or to postpone the question of partnership in favour of other pursuits – knowledge, for instance. Adventure. Careers. Wild dancing. Fun. Friendship. Travel. Glorious mayhem. And while, as a woman now happily entering her fourth year of marriage, I’d be the last person on Earth to suggest that male companionship is inimical to any of those things, what’s starting to bother me is the comparative dearth of YA stories which aren’t, in some way, shape or form, focussed on Girls Getting Boyfriends, and particularly Hot Immortal Or Magical Boyfriends Whom They Will Love For All Eternity. Blog post: Love Team Freezer
Foz Meadows
Are people drawn to each other because of the stories they carry inside? At the library I couldn’t help but notice which patrons checked out the same books. They appeared to have nothing in common, but who could tell what a person was truly made of? The unknown, the riddle, the deepest truth. I noticed them all: the ones who’d lost their way, the ones who’d lived their lives in ashes, the ones who had to prove themselves, the ones who, like me, had lost the ability to feel.
Alice Hoffman (The Ice Queen)
The wise have pitied the fool that hath striven to give a life In the world of time and space among the bulks of actual things, To dream that was dreamed in the heart, and that only the heart could hold. Oh wise men, riddle me this: What if the dream come true?
Pádraic Pearse
At that stage of my youth, death remained as abstract a concept as non-Euclidean geometry or marriage. I didn't yet appreciate its terrible finality or the havoc it could wreak on those who'd entrusted the deceased with their hearts. I was stirred by the dark mystery of mortality. I couldn't resist stealing up to the edge of doom and peering over the brink. The hint of what was concealed in those shadows terrified me, but I caught sight of something in the glimpse, some forbidden and elemental riddle that was no less compelling than the sweet, hidden petals of a woman's sex. In my case - and, I believe, in the case of Chris McCandless - that was a very different thing from wanting to die.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
You say some Greek philosophers could dazzle their audiences with their riddles? That does not interest me at all. Bring more wine instead and play your lute; your changes in tones remind me of the wind that rushes past and disappears, just like us.
Omar Khayyám (The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)
I am filthy. I am riddled with lice. Hogs, when they look at me, vomit. My skin is encrusted with the scabs and scales of leprosy, and covered with yellow pus.[...] A family of toads has taken up residence in my left armpit and, when one of them moves, it tickles. Mind one of them does not escape and come and scratch the inside of your ear with its mouth; for it would then be able to enter your brain. In my right armpit there is a chameleon which is perpetually chasing them, to avoid starving to death: everyone must live.[...] My anus has been penetrated by a crab; encouraged by my sluggishness, he guards the entrance with his pincers, and causes me a lot of pain.
Comte de Lautréamont (Maldoror and Poems)
My dad once told me that Winstone Churchill said that Russia was riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. According to my dad, Churchill had been talking about my mother. This was before the divorce, and he said it half-bitterly, half-respectfully. Because even when he hated her, he admired her. I think he would have stayed with her forever, trying to figure out the mystery. He was a puzzle solver, the kind of person who likes theorems, theories. X always had to equal something. It couldn't just be X. To me, my mother wasn't that mysterious. She was my mother. Always reasonable, always sure of herself. To me, she was about as mysterious as a glass fo water. She knew what she wanted; she knew what she didn't want. And that was to be married to my father. I wasn't sure if it was that she fell our of love or if it was that she just never was. in love, I mean.
Jenny Han (The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1))
We can't save the past or solve the riddle of love. But to me, it's worth trying.
Diane Keaton (Then Again)
He was mocking me. I could see his mouth beginning to lift in a maddening smirk, a smile that was half sardonic and half secretive, as if the fate of the world depended on the answer to a riddle only he knew and would never share.
Melika Dannese Hick (Corcitura)
It’s not a sense of justice. Figuring out difficult cases is my hobby. If you measured good and evil deeds by current laws, I would be responsible for many crimes. The same way you all like to solve mysteries and riddles, or clear video games more quickly. For me too, its simply prolonging something I enjoy doing. It’s not justice at all. And if it means being able to clear a case, I don’t play fair, I’m a dishonest, cheating human being who hates losing in truth.
L Lawliet
And do you know what “the world” is to me? Shall I show it to you in my mirror? This world: a monster of energy, without beginning, without end; a firm, iron magnitude of force that does not grow bigger or smaller, that does not expend itself but only transforms itself; as a whole, of unalterable size, a household without expenses or losses, but likewise without increase or income; enclosed by “nothingness” as by a boundary; not something blurry or wasted, not something endlessly extended, but set in a definite space as a definite force, and not a space that might be “empty” here or there, but rather as force throughout, as a play of forces and waves of forces, at the same time one and many, increasing here and at the same time decreasing there; a sea of forces flowing and rushing together, eternally changing, eternally flooding back, with tremendous years of recurrence, with an ebb and a flood of its forms; out of the simplest forms striving toward the most complex, out of the stillest, most rigid, coldest forms striving toward the hottest, most turbulent, most self-contradictory, and then again returning home to the simple out of this abundance, out of the play of contradictions back to the joy of concord, still affirming itself in this uniformity of its courses and its years, blessing itself as that which must return eternally, as a becoming that knows no satiety, no disgust, no weariness: this, my Dionysian world of the eternally self- creating, the eternally self-destroying, this mystery world of the twofold voluptuous delight, my “beyond good and evil,” without goal, unless the joy of the circle is itself a goal; without will, unless a ring feels good will toward itself— do you want a name for this world? A solution for all of its riddles? A light for you, too, you best-concealed, strongest, most intrepid, most midnightly men?— This world is the will to power—and nothing besides! And you yourselves are also this will to power—and nothing besides!
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power)
DRACO: My father thought he was protecting me. Most of the time. I think you have to make a choice - at a certain point - of the man you want to be. And I tell you that at a time you need a parent or a friend. And if you've learnt to hate your parent by then and you have no friends . . . then you're all alone. And being alone - that's so hard. I was alone. And it sent me to a truly dark place. For a long time. Tom Riddle was also a lonely child. You may not understand that, Harry, but I do - and I think Ginny does too.
Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8))
Elednor,' he said, 'Elednor, why have you betrayed me? Come back to me. Come back to were you belong. I alone need you...
Alison Croggon (The Riddle)
There are worse words than cuss-words, there are words that hurt.
Tillie Olsen (Tell Me a Riddle)
Give me one more night to taste the dark When wolves imitate a lone dog's bark Let those secrets remain unspoken Fallen angel's heart now lover's token Light grows dim burying riddle’s death Just breathe to free your one last breath
Munia Khan
It seems to me that Canadian sensibility has been profoundly disturbed, not so much by our famous problem of identity, important as that is, as by a series of paradoxes in what confronts that identity. It is less perplexed by the question "Who am I?" than by some such riddle as "Where is here?
Northrop Frye (The Bush Garden)
Hear me, Daenerys Targaryen. The glass candles are burning. Soon comes the pale mare, and after her the others. Kraken and dark flame, lion and griffin, the sun's son and the mummer's dragon. Trust none of them. Remember the Undying. Beware the perfumed seneschal." "Reznak? Why should I fear him?" Dany rose from the pool. Water trickled down her legs, and gooseflesh covered her arms in the cool night air. "If you have some warning for me, speak plainly. What do you want of me, Quaithe?" Moonlight shown in the woman's eyes. "To show you the way." "I remember the way. I go north to go south, east to go west, back to go forward. And to touch the light I have to pass beneath the shadow." She squeezed the water from her silvery hair. "I am half-sick of riddling. In Qarth I was a beggar, but here I am a queen. I command you-" "Daenerys. Remember the Undying. Remember who you are." "The blood of the dragon." But my dragons are roaring in the darkness. "I remember the Undying. Child of three, they called me. Three mounts they promised me, three fires, and three treasons. One for blood and one for gold and one for . . ." "Your Grace?" Missandei stood in the door of the queen's bedchamber, a lantern in her hand. "Who are you talking to?" Dany glanced back toward the persimmon tree. There was no woman there. No hooded robe, no lacquer mask, no Quaithe. A shadow. A Memory. No one.
George R.R. Martin (A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, #5))
I can make things move without touching them. I can make animals do what I want them to do, without training them. I can make bad things happen to people who annoy me. I can make them hurt if I want to.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6))
Tell me a riddle, Kazi.
Mary E. Pearson (Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1))
Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie, A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly. Ask me a riddle and I reply: "Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie.
A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1))
Give me priests. Give me men with feathers in their hair, or tall domed hats, female oracles in caves, servants of the python, smoking weed and reading palms. A gypsy fortuneteller with a foot-peddle ouija board and a gold fish bowl for a crystal ball knows more about the world than many of the great thinkers of the West. Mumbling priests swinging stink cans on their chains and even witch doctors conjuring up curses with a well-buried elephant tooth have a better sense of their places in the world. They know this universe is brimming with magic, with life and riddles and ironies. They know that the world might eat them, and no encyclopedia could stop it
N.D. Wilson (Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World)
I say,” he said, smiling his very white smile and pulling her a touch closer. “You don’t look half bad in the sunlight. It brings out a perky red in your hair.” “Oh, honestly,” said Azalea, trying to tug her hand away gently. “Mr. Hyette, please.” “You don’t find me handsome?” “No.” Mr. Hyette’s smile faded. “Now see here,” he said. “You certainly have no right to be picky. Everyone knows the point of this silly riddle is to find the future King.
Heather Dixon Wallwork (Entwined)
He stood up and took a step toward her. "There has been a request for your hand in marriage." "Is that why you kissed me? So you could take me home and then marry me to a man I don't love? Who is he?" she demanded, emotionally spent now and uncaring that tears were streaming down her face. He started toward her. "Don't you dare kiss me again," she ordered. "I can't think when you… Just don't," she stammered. "And as for the offer, I decline." "You can't decline until you know who he is," he reasoned. "All right. Tell me his name, and then I'll decline. You're going to praise him first though, aren't you? That's what you always do to try to get me to agree," she ended, and even she could hear the heartbreak in her voice. "No, I'm not going to praise him. He's riddled with flaws." She stopped trying to run away. "He is?" He slowly nodded. "I have it on good authority that he's stupid and arrogant and obstinate, or at least he was until he realized what a fool he has been." "But that's what I said about… you." "I love you, Bridgid. Will you marry me?
Julie Garwood (Ransom (Highlands' Lairds, #2))
You know what, the jacket’s like the car.” "“Is this a riddle?” " , "“No,” Peabody said as Eve swiped the master.","“It’s an", "ordinary thing—well, special, but a jacket, right? And the car, it’s ordinary, it even looks it. But both of them have the special inside. Cop special especially, you know? He so gets you. That’s even better than a just-because present.”", "“You’re right. He does. And it is.” Inside, Eve paused another moment. “He’s worried about me.”", [J.D. Robb, Celebrity In Death]
J.D. Robb
You talk to me in riddles, I will answer you in rhyme. I loved you for a little— I will love you for all time.
Lang Leav (Sea of Strangers)
THE ELFIN KNIGHT Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme Remember me to one who lives there She must be a true love of mine Tell her she'll sleep in a goose-feather bed Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme Tell her I sear she'll have nothing to dread She must be a true love of mine Tell her tomorrow her answer make known Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme What e'er she may say I'll not leave her alone She must be a true love of mine Her answer came in a week and a day Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme I'm sorry good sir, I must answer thee nay I'll not be a true love of thine From the sting of my curse she can never be free Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme Unless she unravels my riddlings three She will be a true love of mine Tell her to make me a magical shirt Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme Without any seam or needlework Else she'll be a true love of mine Tell her to find me an acre of land Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme Between the salt water and the sea strand Else she'll be a true love of mine Tell her to plow it with just a goat's horn Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme And sow it all over with one grain of corn Else she'll be a true love of mine And her daughters forever possessions of mine
Nancy Werlin (Impossible (Impossible, #1))
I wondered if she was truly Rahtan. Yes, she was skilled, but she didn’t exactly possess brawn—even if she had managed to overtake me and slam me up against the wall. But juggling? Riddles? Her age. Her poise and demeanor was that of a cynical tested soldier, but her appearance—she was young, younger than me, I was certain. Her black hair fell in thick, long waves, and her hands were delicate, her fingers more suited for a piano than a sword.
Mary E. Pearson (Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1))
Songs of myself These are really the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me, If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing, or next to nothing, If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing, If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing. This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is, This the common air that bathes the globe.
Walt Whitman
You’ve done a good job of saying everything but how you feel,” she said. “Sadness isn’t something you get to get out of by being smart. You don’t get to outwit this. You will have to deal with the pain at some point.
David Stuart MacLean (The Answer to the Riddle Is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia)
I’m not sure how long it will take to convince my heart to stop racing every time I’m confronted with no place to hide. Maybe a lifetime. Are you up for that?” “That’s a lot of riddles.” “I still have a few in me.” I did too.
Mary E. Pearson (Vow of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #2))
Luke glanced at me, his expression oddly light. "Shh, pretty girl. Let's enjoy ourselves for a bit before you start riddling again ".
Maggie Stiefvater
What more could I have done when I did not know that to love is both to seek and to be sought? For me love was nothing but a dialogue of little riddles, with no answers given.
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
Word on the street is how the Pastor bought pussy on Saturday, and then spit cum lies on Sunday. Riddle me that Batman,
Flenardo L Taylor (The Poetic Whore)
I once expected to spend seven years walking around the world on foot. I walked from Mexico to Panama where the road ended before an almost uninhabited swamp called the Choco Colombiano. Even today there is no road. Perhaps it is time for me to resume my wanderings where I left off as a tropical tramp in the slums of Panama. Perhaps like Ambrose Bierce who disappeared in the desert of Sonora I may also disappear. But after being in all mankind it is hard to come to terms with oblivion - not to see hundreds of millions of Chinese with college diplomas come aboard the locomotive of history - not to know if someone has solved the riddle of the universe that baffled Einstein in his futile efforts to make space, time, gravitation and electromagnetism fall into place in a unified field theory - never to experience democracy replacing plutocracy in the military-industrial complex that rules America - never to witness the day foreseen by Tennyson 'when the war-drums no longer and the battle-flags are furled, in the parliament of man, the federation of the world.' I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions - just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is 'Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.' I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world." [Shakespeare & Company, archived statement]
George Whitman
Nobody ever,” said the Dowager sorrowfully, “credits me with normal thought processes. When a mysterious man creates a royal scandal on the banks of the Lake of Menteith with the keenest ears in Scotland strolling utterly oblivious—by her own account—in the locality, I begin to wonder. I also wonder when a delicately reared child sends a court into fits with a riddle which I invented myself.
Dorothy Dunnett (The Game of Kings (The Lymond Chronicles, #1))
I just want to know...if I am special,’ finished September, halfway between a whisper and a squeak. ‘In stories, when someone appears in a poof of green clouds and asks a girl to go away on an adventure, it’s because she’s special, because she’s smart and strong and can solve riddles and fight with swords and give really good speeches, and . . . I don’t know that I’m any of those things. I don’t even know that I’m as ill-tempered as all that. I’m not dull or anything, I know about geography and chess, and I can fix the boiler when my mother has to work. But what I mean to say is: Maybe you meant to go to another girl’s house and let her ride on the Leopard. Maybe you didn’t mean to choose me at all, because I’m not like storybook girls. I’m short and my father ran away with the army and I wouldn’t even be able to keep a dog from eating a bird.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
An Druides be, thanne answere me: whos love in Eire is moste fyn and fre?" Herne "whether in bedde or in feeld do ye meet, Flidais awaiteth your limbes to greet." Atticus
Kevin Hearne (Hunted (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #6))
There are more riddles in a stone than in a philosopher's head
Damon Knight (Far Out)
In stories, when someone appears in a poof of green clouds and asks a girl to go away on an adventure, it’s because she’s special, because she’s smart and strong and can solve riddles and fight with swords and give really good speeches, and… I don’t know that I’m any of those things. I don’t even know that I’m as ill-tempered as all that… Maybe you meant to go to another girl’s house and let her ride on the Leopard. Maybe you didn’t mean to choose me at all, because I’m not like storybook girls…
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
Tangier and Lucy were the same, I thought. Both unsolvable riddles that refused to leave me in peace. And I had tired of it - of the not knowing, of always feeling as though I were on the outside of things, just on the periphery.
Christine Mangan (Tangerine)
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Do you want a half-truth or truth?” “Truth.” “Then you will have to trust me.” His voice was suddenly softer than the fire sounds, melting into the silence within the stones. “Beyond logic, beyond reason, beyond hope. Trust me.” Morgon
Patricia A. McKillip (Riddle-Master (Riddle-Master, #1-3))
Well, for one," said Frances, "that's an extremely shitty thing to say to me. Two, the glamour passed a long time ago, and toy know very well that it did. And third, three, yes, my life is riddled by cliches, but do you know what a cliche is? It's a story so fine and thrilling that it's grown old in its hopeful retelling.
Patrick deWitt (French Exit)
You said that love could not be feigned and could not be stolen" she said passionately. "And now you say I am to be your queen. And yet you imprison me and give me no freedom. You know what it is like to be caged, It is a death. You tell me I cannot hide from you and yet you punish me for hiding.You say you do not want me to fear you and you treat me like I am a slave. Forgive me my Lord"-and here she bowed her head sadly, contrite and meek-"I don not understand why you are punishing me for something you say I cannot do. I do not understand your love, if this is the love you offer me.
Alison Croggon (The Riddle)
I don't care about your family," he said sharply. "Whatever you choose must be for you and you alone. You waste my time. This is no riddle to debate and stew. Just choose," He bellowed, causing me to jump. [...] "Refuge," I whispered. The growling stopped.
M.J. Haag (Devastation: A Beauty and the Beast Novel)
All we Karamazovs are such insects. And angel as you are, that insect lives in you, too, and will stir up a tempest in your blood. Tempests, because sensual lust is a tempest - worse than a tempest! Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it has not been fathomed and never can be fathomed, for God sets before us nothing but riddles. Here the boundaries meet and all contradictions exist side by side. I am not an educated nor cultured man, Alyosha, but I've thought a lot about this. It's terrible what mysteries there are! Too many riddles weigh men down on earth. We must solve as we can, and try to keep a dry skin in the water. Beauty! I can't bear the thought that a man of lofty mind and heart begins with the ideal of the Madonna and ends with the ideal of Sodom. What's still more awful is that a man with the ideal of Sodom in his soul does not renounce the ideal of the Madonna, and his heart may be on fire with that ideal, genuinely on fire, just as in his days of youth and innocence. Yes, man is broad, too broad. I'd have him narrower. The devil only knows what to make of it! What to the mind is shameful is beauty and nothing else to the heart. Is there beauty in Sodom? Believe me, that for the immense mass of mankind beauty is found in Sodom. Did you know that secret? The awful thing is that beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and the devil are fighting there and the battlefield is the heart of man.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Not for the first time I felt myself confronted by the dizzying possibility that an entire episode in the story of mankind might have been forgotten. Indeed it seemed to me then, as I overlooked the mathematical city of the gods from the summit of the Pyramid of the Moon, that our species could have been afflicted with some terrible amnesia and that the dark period so blithely and dismissively referred to as `prehistory' might turn out to conceal unimagined truths about our own past. What is prehistory, after all, if not a time forgotten--a time for which we have no records? What is prehistory if not an epoch of impenetrable obscurity through which our ancestors passed but about which we have no conscious remembrance? It was out of this epoch of obscurity, configured in mathematical code along astronomical and geodetic lines, that Teotihuacan with all its riddles was sent down to us. And out of that same epoch came the great Olmec sculptures, the inexplicably precise and accurate calendar the Mayans inherited from their predecessors, the inscrutable geoglyphs of Nazca, the mysterious Andean city of Tiahuanaco ... and so many other marvels of which we do not know the provenance. It is almost as though we have awakened into the daylight of history from a long and troubled sleep, and yet continue to be disturbed by the faint but haunting echoes of our dreams
Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization)
If you were madly in love, you’d want me to win,’ said Katherine. “‘I’m not sure that’s true,’ said Sam. ‘I think love is about equality: both of us equally happy with either result. One-sided self-sacrifice is only enabling someone else’s egoism. Altruists always end up riddled with resentment, or if they make that last superhuman effort, with spiritual pride.’ “‘Oh,’ said Katherine, ‘you mean you’re not going to enable my egoism.’ “‘Okay, okay,’ said Sam ‘you’re right – love is doing everything you want all the time.
Edward St. Aubyn (Lost for Words)
Be not fickle with your riddles, Alasír,” she said. “You and I both suspect the same thing. Someone has been out here poking the bear, if you’ll excuse me crude analogy.
Jacob D. Lochner (The Twenty-Seven Swords - Part One)
...the monk beat me to break my spirit, incensed I knew Acquinas - angry, I knew his riddle - beauty is what is pleasing to the eye - he wasn't...
John Geddes (A Familiar Rain)
I know all about you from your books,' she said. 'But in spite of that you're still a riddle to me.' Have you come here to solve it?' I asked.
Maxim Biller (Love Today)
Sonja!” David called around the hall. “Switch with me.
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis World (The Origin Mystery, #3))
I pull my sidearm and fire at them from point-blank range, killing the first two men, who must have either thought I was dead or couldn’t see me
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1))
Their conversations hung like riddles, so obvious to the tellers yet so utterly befuddling to me.
Bryan Reardon (Finding Jake)
Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other, it will unriddle many riddles, it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now. That is a simple rule, and easy to remember. When I, a thoughtful and unbiased Presbyterian, examine the Koran, I know that beyond any question every Mohammedan is insane; not in all things, but in religious matters. When a thoughtful and unbiased Mohammedan examines the Westminster Catechism, he knows that beyond any question I am spiritually insane. I cannot prove to him that he is insane, because you never can prove anything to a lunatic--for that is part of his insanity and the evidence of it. He cannot prove to me that I am insane, for my mind has the same defect that afflicts his. All democrats are insane, but not one of them knows it; none but the republicans and mugwumps know it. All the republicans are insane, but only thee democrats and mugwumps can perceive it. The rule is perfect; in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane. When I look around me I am often troubled to see how many people are mad. This should move us to be charitable toward one anothers lunacies.
Mark Twain
To me, this is what great books are about, revealing our own lives in a way only stories can; we see ourselves in the characters, our own struggles and shortcomings, in a way that’s nonthreatening and nonjudgmental. We learn from the characters; we take those lessons and inspiration back to the real world. I believe that a good book leaves its readers better than they were before.
A.G. Riddle (Departure)
Freaks was a thing I photographed a lot. It was one of the first things I photographed and it had a terrific kind of excitement for me. I just used to adore them. I still do adore some of them. I don't quite mean they're my best friends but they made me feel a mixture of shame and awe. There's a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you riddle. Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats.
Diane Arbus (Diane Arbus: Monograph)
She smiled. “I don’t know. I wonder sometimes, too. Then you touch my face with your scarred hand and read my mind. Your eyes know me. That’s why I keep following you all over the realm, barefoot or half-frozen, cursing the sun or the wind, or myself because I have no more sense than to love a man who does not even possess a bed I can crawl into at night. And sometimes I curse you because you have spoken my name in a way that no other man in the realm will speak it, and I will listen for that until I die. So,” she added, as he gazed down at her mutely, “how can I leave you?” He
Patricia A. McKillip (Riddle-Master (Riddle-Master, #1-3))
Will you remain here with the father who tried to sell you, or the Prince who hoped to buy you, or the man too weak to solve his riddles for himself? Or will you come with me and be bride to nothing but the shore?
Leigh Bardugo (Folktales from Ravka: Little Knife, The Too-Clever Fox, The Witch of Duva)
I'd felt certain of his eros in the months before this unsterile kiss, but perhaps some small and niggling part of me had believed it pity or forbearance, that his medieval virtues compelled him to love me in my dying. But non! It was this wink of time when I whorled toward understanding, into and resting in the arms of love we shared--an uncommon and vulnerable combination of the four loves we'd traveled with and toward: agape, storge, philia, and now, unquestionably, eros. Our journey--riddled with both pain and joy--culminated in a kiss I would never have anticipated as the revelation it became, as the comfort and mastery of love.
Patti Callahan (Becoming Mrs. Lewis)
It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of my youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the "merely personal," from an existence which is dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned like a liberation [...] The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our given capacities presented itself, half consciously and half unconsciously, as the highest goal. The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it.
Albert Einstein (Autobiographical Notes)
I regard marriage as a sin and propagation of children as a crime. It is my conviction also that he is a fool, and still more a sinner, who takes upon himself the yoke of marriage - a fool, because he thereby throws away his freedom, without gaining a corresponding recompense; a sinner, because he gives life to children, without being able to give them the certainty of happiness. I despise humanity in all its strata; I foresee that our posterity will be far more unhappy than we are; and should not I be a sinner, if, in spite of this insight, I should take care to leave a posterity of unhappy beings behind me? The whole of life is the greatest insanity. And if for eighty years one strives and inquiries, still one is obliged finally to confess that he has striven for nothing and has found nothing. Did we at least know why we are in this world! But to the thinker, everything is and remains a riddle; and the greatest good luck is that of being born a flathead.
Alexander von Humboldt
No one had ever looked at me the way he did now. Like I was more than just some riddle to be solved or a body to be conquered. But as if I held some integral part of him, maybe. The man looked at me like I truly mattered, as if he really saw me, and I hadn’t even realized just how much that had been missing from the others.
Kylie Scott (It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time)
I? What am I?" roared the President, and he rose slowly to an incredible height, like some enormous wave about to arch above them and break. "You want to know what I am, do you? Bull, you are a man of science. Grub in the roots of those trees and find out the truth about them. Syme, you are a poet. Stare at those morning clouds. But I tell you this, that you will have found out the truth of the last tree and the top-most cloud before the truth about me. You will understand the sea, and I shall be still a riddle; you shall know what the stars are, and not know what I am. Since the beginning of the world all men have hunted me like a wolf—kings and sages, and poets and lawgivers, all the churches, and all the philosophies. But I have never been caught yet, and the skies will fall in the time I turn to bay. I have given them a good run for their money, and I will now.
G.K. Chesterton (The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare)
What idea?” “I’ll be back.” “Wake me up in an hour,” David called to her as she left. There was no way she would wake him up in an hour. He needed rest. If Kate was right, he would need to be at the very top of his game.
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis World (The Origin Mystery, #3))
Tides Every day the sea blue gray green lavender pulls away leaving the harbor’s dark-cobbled undercoat slick and rutted and worm-riddled, the gulls walk there among old whalebones, the white spines of fish blink from the strandy stew as the hours tick over; and then far out the faint, sheer line turns, rustling over the slack, the outer bars, over the green-furred flats, over the clam beds, slippery logs, barnacle-studded stones, dragging the shining sheets forward, deepening, pushing, wreathing together wave and seaweed, their piled curvatures spilling over themselves, lapping blue gray green lavender, never resting, not ever but fashioning shore, continent, everything. And here you may find me on almost any morning walking along the shore so light-footed so casual.
Mary Oliver (A Thousand Mornings)
And I want the heart. I do. I don’t care if it’s black with despair and riddled with rot. I’d live inside the bits of him that are barely functioning, if I could. I’d spend the rest of my days trying to piece him back together, if he’d let me.
Charlotte Stein
Rich or poor, all come full of devotion and with no inner misgivings to lay their offerings before the gods and to pray for their blessing. Is there any people so uniformly attached to their religion and so obedient to it in their daily life? I have always envied the Tibetans their simple faith, for all my life I have been a seeker. Though I learned, while in Asia, the way to meditate, the final answer to the riddle of life has not been vouchsafed to me. But I have at least learned to contemplate the events of life with tranquility and not let myself be flung to and fro by circumstances in a sea of doubt.
Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet)
My writing is riddled with such tics of uncertainty. I have no excuse or solution, save to allow myself the tremblings, then go back in later and slash them out. In this way I edit myself into a boldness that is neither native nor foreign to me.
Maggie Nelson (The Argonauts)
Shepherd's pie'? 'Chili special'? Sounds like leftovers to me. How about swordfish? I like it fine. But my seafood purveyor, when he goes out to dinner, won't eat it. He's seen too many of those 3-foot-long parasitic worms that riddle the fish's flesh.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
My skin is a riddle not to be solved, and even letting go of everything I love won’t offer me the answer. My window is closing, if that’s what you’re asking. Every day I wake up a little more linear, a little less lost, and one day I’ll be one of the women who says ‘I had the most charming dream,’ and I’ll mean it. Old enough to know what I’m losing in the process of being found.
Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1))
As the days passed, it became noticeable, in a way that was, at first, imperceptible, that the word blank, as if it had suddenly become obscene or rude, was falling into disuse, that people would employ all kinds of evasions and periphrases to replace it. A blank piece of paper, for example, would be described instead as virgin, a blank on a form that had all its life been a blank became the space provided, blank looks all became vacant instead, students stopped saying that their minds had gone blank, and owned up to the fact that they simply knew nothing about the subject, but the most interesting case of all was the sudden disappearance of the riddle with which, for generations, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors had sought to stimulate the intelligence and deductive powers of children, You can fill me in, draw me and fire me, what am I, and people, reluctant to elicit the word blank from innocent children, justified this by saying that the riddle was far too difficult for those with limited experience of the world.
José Saramago
WELCOME CHALLENGING TIMES as opportunities to trust Me. You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against those challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety. Without Me, you wouldn’t make it past the first hurdle! The way to walk through demanding days is to grip My hand tightly and stay in close communication with Me. Let your thoughts and spoken words be richly flavored with trust and thankfulness. Regardless of the day’s problems, I can keep you in perfect Peace as you stay close to Me. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. —JAMES 1:2 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. —PHILIPPIANS 4:13 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. —ISAIAH 26:3
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
My blind adoration of Omi was devoid of any element of conscious criticism, and still less did I have anything like a moral viewpoint where he was concern. Whenever I tried to capture the amorphous mass of my adoration within the confines of analysis, it would already have disappeared. If there be such a thing as love that has neither duration nor progress, this was precisely my emotion. The eyes through which I saw Omi were always those of a 'first glance' or, if I may say so, of the 'primeval glance'. It was purely an unconscious attitude on my part, a ceaselesseffort to protect my fourteen-yesr-old purity from the process of erosion. Could this have been love? Grant it to be one form of love, for even though at first glance it seemed to retain its pristine form forever, simply repeating that form over and over again, it too had its own unique sort of debasement and decay. And it was a debasement more evil than that of any normal kind of love. Indeed, of all the kinds of decay in this world, decadent purity is the most malignant. Nevertheless, in my unrequited love for Omi, in this the first love I encountered in life, I seemed like a baby bird keeping its truly innocent animal lusts hidden under its wing. I was being tempted, not by the desire of possession, but simply by unadorned temptation itself. To say the least, while at school, particularly during a boring class, I could not take my eyes off Omi's profile. What more could I have done when I did not know that to love is both to seek and to be sought? For me love was nothing but a dialogue of little riddles, with no answers given. As for my spirit of adoration, I never even imagined it to be a thing that required some sort of answer.
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
Once I am sure there's nothing going on I step inside, letting the door thud shut. Another church: matting, seats, and stone, And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff Up at the holy end; the small neat organ; And a tense, musty, unignorable silence, Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off My cycle-clips in awkward reverence. Move forward, run my hand around the font. From where I stand, the roof looks almost new - Cleaned, or restored? Someone would know: I don't. Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce 'Here endeth' much more loudly than I'd meant. The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence, Reflect the place was not worth stopping for. Yet stop I did: in fact I often do, And always end much at a loss like this, Wondering what to look for; wondering, too, When churches will fall completely out of use What we shall turn them into, if we shall keep A few cathedrals chronically on show, Their parchment, plate and pyx in locked cases, And let the rest rent-free to rain and sheep. Shall we avoid them as unlucky places? Or, after dark, will dubious women come To make their children touch a particular stone; Pick simples for a cancer; or on some Advised night see walking a dead one? Power of some sort will go on In games, in riddles, seemingly at random; But superstition, like belief, must die, And what remains when disbelief has gone? Grass, weedy pavement, brambles, buttress, sky, A shape less recognisable each week, A purpose more obscure. I wonder who Will be the last, the very last, to seek This place for what it was; one of the crew That tap and jot and know what rood-lofts were? Some ruin-bibber, randy for antique, Or Christmas-addict, counting on a whiff Of gown-and-bands and organ-pipes and myrrh? Or will he be my representative, Bored, uninformed, knowing the ghostly silt Dispersed, yet tending to this cross of ground Through suburb scrub because it held unspilt So long and equably what since is found Only in separation - marriage, and birth, And death, and thoughts of these - for which was built This special shell? For, though I've no idea What this accoutred frowsty barn is worth, It pleases me to stand in silence here; A serious house on serious earth it is, In whose blent air all our compulsions meet, Are recognized, and robed as destinies. And that much never can be obsolete, Since someone will forever be surprising A hunger in himself to be more serious, And gravitating with it to this ground, Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in, If only that so many dead lie round.
Philip Larkin
I must learn the dregs of my thought, my dreams, are the speech of my soul. I must carry them in my heart, and go back and forth over them in my mind, like the words of the person dearest to me. Dreams are the guiding words of the soul. Why should I henceforth not love my dreams and not make their riddling images into objects of my daily consideration? You think that the dream is foolish and ungainly. What is beautiful? What is ungainly? What is clever? What is foolish? The spirit of this time is your measure, but the spirit of the depths surpasses it at both ends.
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: Liber Novus)
Gryffindor. You know why that was. Think.” “It only put me in Gryffindor,” said Harry in a defeated voice, “because I asked not to go in Slytherin. . . .” “Exactly,” said Dumbledore, beaming once more. “Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Harry sat motionless in his chair, stunned. “If you want proof, Harry, that you belong in Gryffindor, I suggest you look more closely at this.” Dumbledore reached across to Professor McGonagall’s desk, picked up the blood-stained silver sword, and handed it to Harry. Dully,
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter: The Complete Collection (1-7))
Riddle me this - she is my daughter but I am not her father: who am I? I am a step parent. Ah, but I don't really believe in the term step-parent. I don't think the role exists. Not really. For either in the end you are either a child's parent or you are not. And blood does not have a lot do to with it.
Tony Parsons (Men From The Boys (Harry Silver, #3))
Listen to me, Harry. You happen to have many qualities Salazar Slytherin prized in his hand-picked students. His own very rare gift, Parseltongue — resourcefulness — determination — a certain disregard for rules,” he added, his mustache quivering again. “Yet the Sorting Hat placed you in Gryffindor. You know why that was. Think.” “It only put me in Gryffindor,” said Harry in a defeated voice, “because I asked not to go in Slytherin. . . .” “Exactly,” said Dumbledore, beaming once more. “Which makes you very different from Tom Riddle. It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
As I walked, I was thinking about the Great and Secret Knowledge, which the Other says will grant us strange new powers. And I realised something. I realised that I no longer believed in it. Or perhaps that is not quite accurate. I thought it was possible that the Knowledge existed. Equally I thought that it was possible it did not. Either way it no longer mattered to me. I did not intend to waste my time looking for it any more. This realisation – the realisation of the Insignificance of the Knowledge – came to me in the form of a Revelation. What I mean by this is that I knew it to be true before I understood why or what steps had led me there. When I tried to retrace those steps my mind kept returning to the image of the One-Hundred-and-Ninety-Second Western Hall in the Moonlight, to its Beauty, to its deep sense of Calm, to the reverent looks on the Faces of the Statues as they turned (or seemed to turn) towards the Moon. I realised that the search for the Knowledge has encouraged us to think of the House as if it were a sort of riddle to be unravelled, a text to be interpreted, and that if ever we discover the Knowledge, then it will be as if the Value has been wrested from the House and all that remains will be mere scenery. The sight of the One-Hundred-and-Ninety-Second Western Hall in the Moonlight made me see how ridiculous that is. The House is valuable because it is the House. It is enough in and of Itself. It is not the means to an end. This thought led on to another. I realised that the Other’s description of the powers that the Knowledge will grant has always made me uneasy. For example: he says that we will have the power to control lesser minds. Well, to begin with there are no lesser minds; there are only him and me and we both have keen and lively intellects. But, supposing for a moment that a lesser mind existed, why would I want to control it?
Susanna Clarke (Piranesi)
DRACO: My father thought he was protecting me. Most of the time. I think you have to make a choice — at a certain point — of the man you want to be. And I tell you that at that time you need a parent or a friend. And if you’ve learnt to hate your parent by then and you have no friends . . . then you’re all alone. And being alone — that’s so hard. I was alone. And it sent me to a truly dark place. For a long time. Tom Riddle was also a lonely child. You may not understand that, Harry, but I do — and I think Ginny does too. GINNY: He’s right. DRACO: Tom Riddle didn’t emerge from his dark place. And so Tom Riddle became Lord Voldemort. Maybe the black cloud Bane saw was Albus’s loneliness. His pain. His hatred. Don’t lose the boy. You’ll regret it. And so will he. Because he needs you, and Scorpius
Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8))
Well, for one," said Frances, "that's an extremely shitty thing to say to me. Two, the glamour passed a long time ago, and you know very well that it did. And third, three, yes, my life is riddled by cliches, but do you know what a cliche is? It's a story so fine and thrilling that it's grown old in its hopeful retelling.
Patrick deWitt (French Exit)
You were a town with one pay phone and someone else was using it. You were an ATM temporarily unable to dispense cash. You were an outdated link and the server was down. You were invisible to the naked eye. You were the two insect parts per million allowed in peanut butter. You were a car wash that me as dirty as when I pulled in. You were twenty rotting bags of rice in the hold of a cargo plane sitting on the runway in a drought-riddled country. You were one job opening for two hundred applicants and you paid minimum wage. You were grateful for my submission but you just couldn't use it. You weren't a Preferred Provider. You weren't giving any refunds. You weren't available for comment. Your grave wasn't marked so I wandered the cementary for hours, part of the grass, part of the crumbling stones.
Kim Addonizio (Lucifer at the Starlite: Poems)
... it made me realize how crazy random it was not just that I was me (the billion sperm to one egg; the insane odds against all of my ancestors ever meeting each other), but also how, with the millions of electrical pulses in the brain that were needed to fire every microsecond, it was incredibly random that I continued to be me.
David Stuart MacLean (The Answer to the Riddle Is Me: A Memoir of Amnesia)
It strikes me then that it’s our darkest hours and greatest crises that push us to the highest peaks of performance and genius.
A.G. Riddle (Winter World (The Long Winter, #1))
Every night, when I go to sleep in this big lonely haveli, I pray to God to let me live one more day so I can see her getting the justice she deserved
Sapan Saxena (The Tenth Riddle)
His long blond hair falls around his face, hiding me from his view, and I’m glad for that.
A.G. Riddle (Departure)
You can see me in water, but I never get wet. What am I?
M. Prefontaine (Difficult Riddles For Smart Kids: 300 Difficult Riddles And Brain Teasers Families Will Love)
Never saw so many peaceful wrecks in my life.... That's what I want to be when I grow up, just a peaceful wreck holding hands with other peaceful wrecks.
Tillie Olsen (Tell Me a Riddle)
the first riddle of the universe: asking, when is a man not a man?: telling them take their time, yungfries, and wait till the tide stops (for from the first his day was a fortnight) and offering the prize of a bittersweet crab, a little present from the past, for their copper age was yet un-minted, to the winner. One said when the heavens are quakers, a second said when Bohemeand lips, a third said when he, no, when hold hard a jiffy, when he is a gnawstick and detarmined to, the next one said when the angel of death kicks the bucket of life, still another said when the wine's at witsends, and still another when lovely wooman stoops to conk him, one of the littliest said me, me, Sem, when pappa papared the harbour, one of the wittiest said, when he yeat ye abblokooken and he zmear he zelf zo zhooken, still one said when you are old I'm grey fall full wi sleep, and still another when wee deader walkner, and another when he is just only after having being semisized, another when yea, he hath no mananas, and one when dose pigs they begin now that they will flies up intil the looft. All were wrong, so Shem himself, the doctator, took the cake, the correct solution being — all give it up? — when he is a — yours till the rending of the rocks, — Sham.
James Joyce
Remember how many times I did my hair the day I married Kyle? I think that shirt is my hair for you today.” Blake sighed. “What? Could you not launch riddles at me? I can’t think straight.
Debra Anastasia (Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Brotherhood, #1))
My diary. Little Ginny’s been writing in it for months and months, telling me all her pitiful worries and woes — how her brothers tease her, how she had to come to school with secondhand robes and books, how” — Riddle’s eyes glinted — “how she didn’t think famous, good, great Harry Potter would ever like her. . . .” All the time he spoke, Riddle’s eyes never left Harry’s face. There was an almost hungry look in them. “It’s very boring, having to listen to the silly little troubles of an eleven-year-old girl,” he went on. “But I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathetic, I was kind. Ginny simply loved me. No one’s ever understood me like you, Tom. . . . I’m so glad I’ve got this diary to confide in. . . . It’s like having a friend I can carry around in my pocket. . . .” Riddle laughed, a high, cold laugh that didn’t suit him. It made the hairs stand up on the back of Harry’s neck. “If I say it myself, Harry, I’ve always been able to charm the people I needed. So Ginny poured out her soul to me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted. . . . I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets. I grew powerful, far more powerful than little Miss Weasley. Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul back into her . . .
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
The answer to the riddle posed by identity groups is that they are one entity and their identity is that of their ideal. There can be no shared identity among people, as each person is unique.
Heather Marsh (The Creation of Me, Them and Us)
Jase had seen me, restless, walking, organizing supplies that were already ordered. Everyone else was asleep on their bedrolls. He came up behind me, his hands circling my waist. "I can't sleep either," he said. His lips grazed my neck, and he whispered, "Tell me a riddle, Kazi." We laid out a blanket on a bed of grass, the stars of Hetisha's Chariot, Eagle's Nest, and Thieves' Gold lighting our way, far from everyone else. I settled in next to him, laying my head in the crook of his shoulder, his arm wrapping around me, pulling me close. "Listen carefully now, Jase Ballenger. I won't repeat myself." "I'm a good listener." I know you are. I've known that since our first night together. That's what makes you dangerous. You make me want to share everything with you. I cleared my throat, signaling I was ready to begin. "If I were a color, I'd be red as a rose, I make your blood rush, and tingle your toes, I taste of honey and spring, and a good bit of trouble, But I make the birds sing, and all the stars double. I can be quick, a mere peck, or slow and divine, And that is probably, the very best kind." "Hmm..." he said, as if stumped. "Let me think for a minute..." He rolled up on one elbow, looking down at me, the stars dusting his cheekbones. "Honey?" He kissed my forehead. "Spring?" He kissed my chin. "You are a good bit of trouble, Kazi of Brightmist." "I try my best." "I may have to take this one slowly..." His hand traveled leisurely from my waist, across my ribs, to my neck, until he was cupping my cheek. My blood rushed; the stars blurred. "Very slowly...to figure it all out." And then his lips pressed, warm and demanding onto mine, and I hoped it would take him an eternity to solve the riddle.
Mary E. Pearson (Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1))
A boy at a carnival went to a booth run by a man who said, "If I can write your exact weight on this piece of paper then you have to give me $50, but if I cannot, I will pay you $50." The boy looked around and saw no scale so he agreed, thinking no matter what the carny writes he'll just say he weighs more or less. In the end the boy ended up paying the man $50. How did the man win the bet?
M. Prefontaine (Difficult Riddles For Smart Kids: 300 Difficult Riddles And Brain Teasers Families Will Love)
Wolfgang Pauli, in the months before Heisenberg's paper on matrix mechanics pointed the way to a new quantum theory, wrote to a friend, "At the moment physics is again terribly confused. In any case, it is too difficult for me, and I wish I had been a movie comedian or something of the sort and had never heard of physics." That testimony is particularly impressive if contrasted with Pauli's words less than five months later: "Heisenberg's type of mechanics has again given me hope and joy in life. To be sure it does not supply the solution to the riddle, but I believe it is again possible to march forward.
Wolfgang Pauli
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida, is the most respected, and probably the largest, commercial flight-training school in the nation, I was informed. It’s the Notre Dame of the air.
Frank W. Abagnale (Catch Me If You Can)
MARCELLUS: But look, Agathon, what strange dark light is glowing amongst the clouds. You would think a sea of flame is blazing behind the clouds. A divine fire! And the sky is like a blue bell. It's as if one can hear it tolling in deep, solemn tones. You might even suspect that up there above us, in unattainable heights, something is taking place of which we shall never know. But at times we can sense it, when that vast silence has settled over the earth. And yet! All this is very confusing. The gods have to pose insoluble riddles for us humans. And the earth does not rescue us from the cunning of the gods; for it too is full of things that confound the senses. Both things and humans confuse me. True enough! Things are very taciturn! And the human soul won't yield up its riddles. You ask and it keeps silent. AGATHON: Let's live and not ask questions. Life is full of beauty.
Georg Trakl (Gedichte und Prosa)
You speak to me in locked cages. In open sentences with closed meanings. In riddles I can never seem to understand. Around you Nkem, I feel lost. Un-at-home. Dismembered. In many small bits. And in tiny minuscule pieces.
Ezinne Orjiako, Nkem.
The Healing spells on his chest were certainly earning their keep tonight. Sullivan got to his feet. The lack of noise from the courtyard indicated that his team had gotten all the mechanical men. “Thanks.” Toru just grunted a noncommittal response as he lifted the feed tray to check the condition of his borrowed machine gun. They didn’t see the final robot inside until it turned on its eye and illuminated the Iron Guard in blue light. Sullivan’s Spike reversed gravity, and the gigantic machine fell upward to hit the steel beams in the ceiling. Sullivan cut his Power and the robot dropped. It crashed hard into the floor where it lay twitching and kicking. The two of them riddled the mechanical man with bullets until the light died and it lay still in a spreading puddle of oil. “Normally, this would be the part where you thank me for returning the favor and saving your life.” “Yes. Normally… If we were court ladies instead of warriors,” Toru answered. “Shall we continue onward or do you wish to stop and discuss your feelings over tea?” Sullivan looked forward to the day that the two of them would be able to finish their fight. “Let’s go.
Larry Correia (Spellbound (Grimnoir Chronicles, #2))
I see them in the primitive silkscreen the brain is able to produce, maybe eight inches in front of my closed eyes, miniaturised by time and distance, riddled by visual static, each figure a dancing red ribbon. These are among the people I've tried to know twice, the second time in memory and language. Through them, myself. They are what I've become, in ways I don't understand but which I believe will accrue to a rounded truth, a second life for me as well as for them.
Don DeLillo (The Names)
Still, the ground beneath me felt unsteady, as though at any moment it could shake and easily take me to the ground. I stumbled upon what Zen priest and author Susan Murphy calls the koan of the earth. How do we answer the riddle of our times? How do we sift through the shards of our broken culture, our fragmented psyches, and come once again into “our original undividedness and the freedom it bestows, right there in the suffocating fear itself.”90 This was the question at the heart of my despair, ripening in the vessel of my sorrow. What felt different this time was the interior experience of the grief and despair. It was not centered on personal losses—my history, wounds, losses, failures, and disappointments. It was arising from the greater pulse of the earth itself, winding its way through sidewalks and grocery lists, traffic snarls and utility bills. Somewhere in all the demands of modern life, the intimate link between earth and psyche was being reestablished or, more accurately, remembered. The conditioned fantasy of the segregated self was being dismantled, and I was being reunited, through the unexpected grace of fear, despair, and grief, with the body of the earth.
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
The Veteran When I was young and bold and strong, Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong! My plume on high, my flag unfurled, I rode away to right the world. “Come out, you dogs, and fight!” said I, And wept there was but once to die. But I am old; and good and bad Are woven in a crazy plaid. I sit and say, “The world is so; And he is wise who lets it go. A battle lost, a battle won- The difference is small, my son.” Inertia rides and riddles me; The which is called Philosophy.
Dorothy Parker
And well may God with the serving-folk Cast in His dreadful lot; Is not He too a servant, And is not He forgot? For was not God my gardener And silent like a slave; That opened oaks on the uplands Or thicket in graveyard gave? And was not God my armourer, All patient and unpaid, That sealed my skull as a helmet, And ribs for hauberk made? Did not a great grey servant Of all my sires and me, Build this pavilion of the pines, And herd the fowls and fill the vines, And labour and pass and leave no signs Save mercy and mystery? For God is a great servant, And rose before the day, From some primordial slumber torn; But all we living later born Sleep on, and rise after the morn, And the Lord has gone away. On things half sprung from sleeping, All sleeping suns have shone, They stretch stiff arms, the yawning trees, The beasts blink upon hands and knees, Man is awake and does and sees- But Heaven has done and gone. For who shall guess the good riddle Or speak of the Holiest, Save in faint figures and failing words, Who loves, yet laughs among the swords, Labours, and is at rest? But some see God like Guthrum, Crowned, with a great beard curled, But I see God like a good giant, That, laboring, lifts the world.
G.K. Chesterton (The Ballad of the White Horse)
Your human gods love to present you with such riddles and challenges, or so it has seemed to me for most of my life... You often seem to prefer difficult choices when simple alternatives are available; it is a constant source of amazement to my kind.
Raymond E. Feist (Honored Enemy (Legends of the Riftwar, #1))
It's sad to wander about the graveyard of my tired memory, where all hurts have been forgiven, where every sin has been more that atoned for, every riddle unriddled and twilight quietly cloaks the crosses, now no longer upright, of graves I once wept over.
Teffi (Tolstoy, Rasputin, Others, and Me: The Best of Teffi)
Let kings stack their treasure houses ceiling-high, and merchants burst their vaults with hoarded coin, and fools envy them. I have a treasure that outvalues theirs. A diamond as big as a man’s skull. Twelve rubies each as big as the skull of a cat. Seventeen emeralds each as big as the skull of a mole. And certain rods of crystal and bars of orichalcum. Let Overlords swagger jewel-bedecked and queens load themselves with gems, and fools adore them. I have a treasure that will outlast theirs. A treasure house have I builded for it in the far southern forest, where the two hills hump double, like sleeping camels, a day’s ride beyond the village of Soreev. “A great treasure house with a high tower, fit for a king’s dwelling—yet no king may dwell there.  Immediately below the keystone of the chief dome my treasure lies hid, eternal as the glittering stars. It will outlast me and my name, I, Urgaan of Angarngi. It is my hold on the future. Let fools seek it. They shall win it not. For although my treasure house be empty as air, no deadly creature in rocky lair, no sentinel outside anywhere, no pitfall, poison, trap, or snare, above and below the whole place bare, of demon or devil not a hair, no serpent lethal-fanged yet fair, no skull with mortal eye a-glare, yet have I left a guardian there. Let the wise read this riddle and forbear.
Fritz Leiber (Swords Against Death (Lankhmar, 2))
Truly, no thing in this world has so occupied my thoughts as has my own self, the riddle of the fact I am alive, that I am distinct, and separate from all others, that I am Siddhartha! And there is no thing in this world I know less about than about me, about Siddhartha!
Hermann Hesse (Siddhartha)
What I’ve come to realize I that I don’t like action for action’s sake. Mindless explosions, super close ups of combat and gore, and unnecessary effects make me zone out incredibly fast. What I do love is a fight that is well choreographed and in which I actually care about the outcome. And hopefully not riddled with cliches. Even more so, I have had a long, deep-seated appreciation for watching chicks kick ass. Watching some lone-wolf-type hero beat the crap out of the bad guys is okay, but watching a BAMF femme do it is 10000% times better.
J.M. Richards
It was getting late, but sleep was the furthest thing from my racing mind. Apparently that was not the case for Mr. Sugar Buns. He lay back, closed his eyes, and threw an arm over his forehead, his favorite sleeping position. I could hardly have that. So, I crawled on top of him and started chest compressions. It seemed like the right thing to do. "What are you doing?" he asked without removing his arm. "Giving you CPR." I pressed into his chest, trying not to lose count. Wearing a red-and-black football jersey and boxers that read, DRIVERS WANTED. SEE INSIDE FOR DETAILS, I'd straddled him and now worked furiously to save his life, my focus like that of a seasoned trauma nurse. Or a seasoned pot roast. It was hard to say. "I'm not sure I'm in the market," he said, his voice smooth and filled with a humor I found appalling. He clearly didn't appreciate my dedication. "Damn it, man! I'm trying to save your life! Don't interrupt." A sensuous grin slid across his face. He tucked his arms behind his head while I worked. I finished my count, leaned down, put my lips on his, and blew. He laughed softly, the sound rumbling from his chest, deep and sexy, as he took my breath into his lungs. That part down, I went back to counting chest compressions. "Don't you die on me!" And praying. After another round, he asked, "Am I going to make it?" "It's touch-and-go. I'm going to have to bring out the defibrillator." "We have a defibrillator?" he asked, quirking a brow, clearly impressed. I reached for my phone. "I have an app. Hold on." As I punched buttons, I realized a major flaw in my plan. I needed a second phone. I could hardly shock him with only one paddle. I reached over and grabbed his phone as well. Started punching buttons. Rolled my eyes. "You don't have the app," I said from between clenched teeth. "I had no idea smartphones were so versatile." "I'll just have to download it. It'll just take a sec." "Do I have that long?" Humor sparkled in his eyes as he waited for me to find the app. I'd forgotten the name of it, so I had to go back to my phone, then back to his, then do a search, then download, then install it, all while my patient lay dying. Did no one understand that seconds counted? "Got it!" I said at last. I pressed one phone to his chest and one to the side of his rib cage like they did in the movies, and yelled, "Clear!" Granted, I didn't get off him or anything as the electrical charge riddled his body, slammed his heart into action, and probably scorched his skin. Or that was my hope, anyway. He handled it well. One corner of his mouth twitched, but that was about it. He was such a trouper. After two more jolts of electricity--it had to be done--I leaned forward and pressed my fingertips to his throat. "Well?" he asked after a tense moment. I released a ragged sigh of relief,and my shoulders fell forward in exhaustion. "You're going to be okay, Mr. Farrow." Without warning, my patient pulled me into his arms and rolled me over, pinning me to the bed with his considerable weight and burying his face in my hair. It was a miracle!
Darynda Jones (The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10))
The human race is the biggest mass murderer of all time. Think about it: we’re hard-coded to survive. Even our ancient ancestors were driven by this impulse, driven enough to recognize the Neanderthals and Hobbits as dangerous enemies. They may have slaughtered dozens of human subspecies. And that legacy shamefully lives on. We attack whatever is different, anything we don’t understand, anything that might change our world, our environment, reduce our chances of survival. Racism, class warfare, sexism, east versus west, north and south, capitalism and communism, democracy and dictatorships, Islam and Christianity, Israel and Palestine, they’re all different faces of the same war: the war for a homogeneous human race, an end to our differences. It’s a war we started a long time ago, a war we’ve been fighting ever since. A war that operates in every human mind below the subconscious level, like a computer program, constantly running in the background, guiding us to some eventuality.” Kate didn’t know what to say, couldn’t see how it could involve her trial and her children. “You expect me to believe those two children are involved in an ancient cosmic struggle for the human race?
A.G. Riddle (The Atlantis Gene (The Origin Mystery, #1))
The happiness of my existence, its unique character perhaps can be found in its fatefulness: to speak in a riddle, as my father I have already died, as my mother I still live and grow old. This double origin taken as it were from the highest and lowest rungs of the ladder of life at once decadent and beginning — this if anything explains that neutrality, that freedom from bias in regard to the general problem of existence which perhaps distinguishes me. My nose is more sensitive than any man that has yet lived as to signs of ascent or decline. In this domain I am a true master — I know both sides for I am both sides.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Ecce Homo)
Just let me grab my thinking cap,” she told him, heading for her locker. The long floppy hat was required during midterms, designed to restrict Telepaths and preserve the integrity of the tests—not that anything could block Sophie’s enhanced abilities. But after the exams, the hats became present sacks, and everyone filled them with treats and trinkets and treasures. “I’ll need to inspect your presents before you open them,” Sandor warned as he helped Sophie lift her overstuffed hat. “That’s perfect,” Fitz said. “While he does that, you can open mine.” He pulled a small box from the pocket of his waist-length cape and handed it to Sophie. The opalescent wrapping paper had flecks of teal glitter dusted across it, and he’d tied it with a silky teal bow, making her wonder if he’d guessed her favorite color. She really hoped he couldn’t guess why. . . . “Hopefully I did better this year,” Fitz said. “Biana claimed the riddler was a total fail.” The riddle-writing pen he’d given her last time had been a disappointment, but . . . “I’m sure I’ll love it,” Sophie promised. “Besides. My gift is boring.” Sandor had declared an Atlantis shopping trip to be far too risky, so Sophie had spent the previous day baking her friends’ presents. She handed Fitz a round silver tin and he popped the lid off immediately. “Ripplefluffs?” he asked, smiling his first real smile in days. The silver-wrapped treats were what might happen if a brownie and a cupcake had a fudgey, buttery baby, with a candy surprise sunken into the center. Sophie’s adoptive mother, Edaline, had taught her the recipe
Shannon Messenger (Lodestar (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #5))
For ever so long, on a branch of this willow Sits a bird, the colour of a riddle. Attuned to him no sound, no colour. Totally alone, like me, in this land. [...] The bird's tale comes straight from the heart: What fails to arrive is idle fancy. His are ties with cities lost: The riddle bird is a stranger in this land.
Sohrab Sepehri
It’s funny: you can imagine committing a vile act, something completely against your moral code, but only when you physically hold the means to take that action does the decision become real. Only then do you learn what you’re capable of—and I’m not capable of this. I’m not sure if that makes me a bad guy or a good guy.
A.G. Riddle (Departure)
Look at him, lying there. Why should he need me to give him strength--to watch over him, and always be worrying how he's feeling? Surely he'll find it himself. Isn't that what we believe, that we do always somehow find the strength? That the path will lead out of the forest; that the riddle will be solved; that the child never dies.
Neil Bartlett (Skin Lane)
I am, in general, an easygoing person. I try to take a reed-bending-with-the-wind attitude toward life, rather than fight everything. But these constant “out of the frying pan, into the fire, into a worse fire, into a worse fire than the worse fire before it” situations that had been riddling my life of late were beginning to wear me down
Katie MacAlister (Light My Fire (Aisling Grey #3))
Oh, but my netherling side did, and she casts my human armor aside. She guides my hands, knots my fingers through his hair, teases his tongue with hers. She won’t let me pull away, because she wants to be there again. In Wonderland, where his tobacco-flavored kisses always take us . . . Because the things I loathe are the things she adores: His snark, his infuriating condescension. His menacing mastery of half-truths and riddles. The way he shoves me into the face of danger, forces me to look beyond my fears and reach for my full potential. Most of all, because he encourages me to believe in the madness ...in her . . . the darker side of myself: the queen who was born to reign over the Red kingdom and to give Wonderland a legacy of dreams and imagination. His gloved palms seek the bend of my waist, the bow of my hips. He moves me on top of him, so close there’s not enough space for a blade of grass between us. His kisses grow insistent, desperate. His flavor winds through me, fruit and smoke and earth, and other things born of shadows and storms . . . things I can’t put a name to.
A.G. Howard (Ensnared (Splintered, #3))
For God's sake, Gwen," he said gently. "What matter that I love you. That's not the bit that's always been missing." Her lips parted. They wished to ask a question she could not bear to bring herself to ask. He was never less than honest. The answer, than, was bound to be wrong." So she did not ask it as a question. "You won't leave me," she said. He drew a long breath. "There," he said, quietly, fiercely. "That is the answer to this riddle. The promises I can make, and the one I can't. Gwen." His hands closed on her wrists, tightening until she swallowed and found her courage and looked up at him. "I will never leave you willingly. Life is a risk, and so love is, as well. But I swear to God, you will not regret the gamble.
Meredith Duran (Wicked Becomes You)
I have always envied the Tibetans their simple faith, for all my life I have been a seeker. Though I learned, while in Asia, the way to meditate, the final answer to the riddle of life has not been vouchsafed to me. But I have at least learned to contemplate the events of life with tranquillity and not let myself be flung to and fro by circumstances in a sea of doubt.
Heinrich Harrer (Seven Years in Tibet)
me, this is what great books are about, revealing our own lives in a way only stories can; we see ourselves in the characters, our own struggles and shortcomings, in a way that’s nonthreatening and nonjudgmental. We learn from the characters; we take those lessons and inspiration back to the real world. I believe that a good book leaves its readers better than they were before. And
A.G. Riddle (Departure)
Morgon, I told you what I am; you could see what dark power I was waking in me—you knew its origins. You knew I am kin to those shape-changers who tried to kill you, you thought I was helping the man who had betrayed you—why in Hel’s name did you trust me?” His hands, circling the gold crown on the skull, closed on the worn metal with sudden strength. “I don’t know. Because I chose to. Then, and forever.
Patricia A. McKillip (Riddle-Master (Riddle-Master, #1-3))
Though parted our two loving souls combine, For mine is all your own and yours is mine. Two riddles to the world we represent, One answer each the other's deep lament. But if our parting severs us in two, One radiant light envelops me and you, As from another world - though blocked and barred What there is one, down here is forced apart. Yet if despairing bodies separate, Souls freely wander and communicate.
Nizami Ganjavi (Layla and Majnun)
These are the thoughts of all men in all ages and lands, they are not original with me, If they are not yours as much as mine they are nothing or next to nothing, If they do not enclose everything they are next to nothing, If they are not the riddle and the untying of the riddle they are nothing, If they are not just as close as they are distant they are nothing. This is the grass that grows wherever the land is and the water is, This is the common air that bathes the globe. This is the breath of laws and songs and behaviour, This is the tasteless water of souls.... this is the true sustenance, It is for the illiterate.... it is for the judges of the supreme court . . . . it is for the federal capitol and the state capitols, It is for the admirable communes of literary men and composers and singers and lecturers and engineers and savans, It is for the endless races of working people and farmers and seamen. This is the trill of a thousand clear cornets and scream of the octave flute and strike of triangles. I play not a march for victors only.... I play great marches for conquered and slain persons. Have you heard that it was good to gain the day? I also say it is good to fall.... battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won.
Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
While our bodies move ever forward on the time line, our minds continuously trace backward, seeking shape and meaning as deftly as any arrow seeking its mark. . . Sometimes it is as difficult to know what the past holds as it is to know the future, and just as an answer to a riddle seems so obvious once it is revealed, it seems curious to me now that I passed through all those early moments with no idea of their weight.
Lucy Grealy (Autobiography of a Face)
Yes, but I’ve also walked about in your city and I’ve watched your people. Your people are aggressive!” “You see, Duncan? Peace encourages aggression.” “And you say that your Golden Path . . .” “Is not precisely peace. It is tranquility, a fertile ground for the growth of rigid classes and many other forms of aggression.” “You talk riddles!” “I talk accumulated observations which tell me that the peaceful posture is the posture of the defeated. It is the posture of the victim. Victims invite aggression.” “Your damned enforced tranquility! What good does it do?” “If there is no enemy, one must be invented. The military force which is denied an external target always turns against its own people.” “What’s your game?” “I modify the human desire for war.” “People don’t want war!” “They want chaos. War is the most readily available form of chaos.
Frank Herbert (God Emperor of Dune (Dune, #4))
Have I not reason, beldams as you are, Saucy and overbold? How did you dare To trade and traffic with Macbeth In riddles and affairs of death; And I, the mistress of your charms, The close contriver of all harms, Was never call'd to bear my part, Or show the glory of our art? And, which is worse, all you have done Hath been but for a wayward son, Spiteful and wrathful, who, as others do, Loves for his own ends, not for you. But make amends now: get you gone, And at the pit of Acheron Meet me i' the morning: thither he Will come to know his destiny: Your vessels and your spells provide, Your charms and every thing beside. I am for the air; this night I'll spend Unto a dismal and a fatal end: Great business must be wrought ere noon: Upon the corner of the moon There hangs a vaporous drop profound; I'll catch it ere it come to ground: And that distill'd by magic sleights Shall raise such artificial sprites As by the strength of their illusion Shall draw him on to his confusion: He shall spurn fate, scorn death, and bear He hopes 'bove wisdom, grace and fear: And you all know, security Is mortals' chiefest enemy. Music and a song within: 'Come away, come away,' & c Hark! I am call'd; my little spirit, see, Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.
William Shakespeare
DESDEMONA Come, how wouldst thou praise me? IAGO I am about it; but indeed my invention Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frieze; It plucks out brains and all: but my Muse labours, And thus she is deliver'd. If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit, The one's for use, the other useth it. DESDEMONA Well praised! How if she be black and witty? IAGO If she be black, and thereto have a wit, She'll find a white that shall her blackness fit. DESDEMONA Worse and worse. EMILIA How if fair and foolish? IAGO She never yet was foolish that was fair; For even her folly help'd her to an heir. DESDEMONA These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i' the alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for her that's foul and foolish? IAGO There's none so foul and foolish thereunto, But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.
William Shakespeare (Othello)
How can we expect to know everything about God?" He looked at me, his eyes narrowing. "I call that ambiguity," I said. "Riddles, puzzles, double meanings, lost possibilities, the dark side to the light, the light side to the darkness, different perspectives on the same thing. Nothing in this whole world has only one side to it. Everything is like a kaleidoscope. That's what I'm trying to capture in my art. That's what I mean by ambiguity.
Chaim Potok (The Gift of Asher Lev)
To me, this is what great books are about, revealing our own lives in a way only stories can; we see ourselves in the characters, our own struggles and shortcomings, in a way that’s nonthreatening and nonjudgmental. We learn from the characters; we take those lessons and inspiration back to the real world. I believe that a good book leaves its readers better than they were before. And I think these stories will. That’s why they’re important.
A.G. Riddle (Departure)
Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it never has and never can be fathomed, for God sets us nothing but riddles. Within beauty both shores meet and all contradictions exist side by side. I’m not a cultivated man, brother, but I’ve thought a lot about this. Truly there are mysteries without end! Too many riddles weigh man down on earth. We guess them as we can, and come out of the water dry. Beauty! I cannot bear the thought that a man of noble heart and lofty mind sets out with the ideal of the Madonna and ends with the ideal of Sodom. What’ still more awful is that the man with the ideal of Sodom in his soul does not renounce the ideal of the Madonna, and in the bottom of his heart he may still be on fire, sincerely on fire, with longing for the beautiful ideal, just as in the days of his youthful innocence. Yes, man’s heart is wide indeed. I’d have it narrower. The devil only knows what to make of it! but what the intellect regards as shameful often appears splendidly beautiful to the heart. Is there beauty in Sodom? Believe me, most men find their beauty in Sodom. Did you know this secret? The dreadful thing is that beauty is not only terrifying but also mysterious. God and the Devil are fighting there, and their battlefield is the heart of man. But a man’s heart wants to speak only of its own ache. Listen, now I’ll tell you what it says…
Yukio Mishima (Confessions of a Mask)
In all my years in the wild, I’ve never met Mother Nature or Mr. Photosynthesis. Humans tend to try to make sense of things and are always searching for scientific reasons to explain the world’s riddles. But if you do not believe in a Creator, your options are limited in trying to explain the functions of Earth, let alone the universe. Who built this place? Where did I come from? Where did you come from? As Hebrews 3:4 says, “For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.” The Hebrews writer was actually comparing Moses and Jesus, but he delivered principles that I have come to believe are fundamental to life’s questions. To me it would be silly to claim someone’s physical home might not have been built just because you didn’t see it being built. We know someone built our homes, neighborhoods, and skyscrapers because of their design, even though they may have been constructed before we were even born.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
How To Make A Human Take the cat out of the sphinx and what is left? Riddle Me That. Take the horse from the centaur and you take away the sleek grace, the strength of harnessed power. What is left can still run across fields, after a fashion, but is easily winded; what is left will therefore erect buildings to divide the open plains so he no longer must face the wide expanse where once his equine legs raced the winds and, sometimes, won. Take the bull from the Minotaur but what is left will still assemble a herd for the sake of ruling over it. What is left will kill for sport, in an arena thronged with spectators shouting "Ole" at each deadly thrust. Take the fish from the Merman: What is left can still swim, if only with lots of splashing; gone is the sleek sliding through the waves, alert to the subtle changes in the current. What is left will build ships so he can cross the oceans without getting his feet wet, what is left won't care if his boats pollute the seas he can no longer breathe so long as their passage can keep him from sinking. Take the goat from the satyr but what is left will dance out of reach before you have the chance to get that Dionysian streak of myschief, the love of music and wine, the rutting parts that like to party all the day through. What is left will still be stubborn and refuse to give way; what is left will lock horns and butt heads with anyone who challenges him. Take the bird from the harpy, but the memory of flying, a constant yearning ache for skies so tantalizingly distant, will still remain, as will the established pecking orders, the bitter squabbling over food and territory, and the magpie eye that lusts for shining objects. What is left will cut down the whole forest to feather his sprawling urban nest. At the end of these operations, tell me: what is left? The answer: Man, a creature divorced from nature, who's forgotten where he came from.
Lawrence Schimel
I suppose the real reason Ginny Weasley’s like this is because she opened her heart and spilled all her secrets to an invisible stranger.” “What are you talking about?” said Harry. “The diary,” said Riddle. “My diary. Little Ginny’s been writing in it for months and months, telling me all her pitiful worries and woes — how her brothers tease her, how she had to come to school with secondhand robes and books, how” — Riddle’s eyes glinted — “how she didn’t think famous, good, great Harry Potter would ever like her. . . .
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
You may indeed! I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen.' 'So I can well believe, ' said Smaug, 'but that is hardly your usual name.' 'I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number.' 'Lovely titles!' sneered the dragon. 'But lucky numbers don't always come off.' 'I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, or There and Back Again)
If I could sum up my poetry in a few well-chosen words, the result might be a poem. Several years ago, when I was asked to say something on this topic, I came up with the notion that for me the making of poems is both a commemoration (a moment captured) and an evocation (the archaeologist manqué side of me digging into something buried and bringing it to light). But I also said that I find the processes that bring poems into being mysterious, and I wouldn't really wish to know them; the thread that links the first unwilled impulse to the object I acknowledge as the completed poem is a tenuous one, easily broken. If I knew the answers to these riddles, I would write more poems, and better ones. "Simple Poem" is as close as I can get to a credo': Simple Poem I shall make it simple so you understand. Making it simple will make it clear for me. When you have read it, take me by the hand As children do, loving simplicity. This is the simple poem I have made. Tell me you understand. But when you do Don't ask me in return if I have said All that I meant, or whether it is true.
Anthony Thwaite
An atheist is someone who is certain that God does not exist, someone who has compelling evidence against the existence of God. I know of no such compelling evidence. Because God can be relegated to remote times and places and to uptime causes, we would have to know a great deal more about the Universe than we do now to be sure that no such God exists. To be certain of the existence of God and you be certain of the nonexistence of God seem to me to be the confident extremes in a subject so riddled with doubt and uncertainty as to inspire very little confidence indeed.
Carl Sagan
I cannot possibly let you stay at school over the summer. Surely you want to go home for the holidays?" "No," Riddle said at once. "I'd much rather stay at Hogwarts than go back to that- to that-" "You live in a Muggle orphanage during the holidays, I believe?" said Dippet curiously. "Yes, sir," said Riddle, reddening slightly. "You are Muggle-born?" "Half-blood, sir," said Riddle. "Muggle father, witch mother." "And are both your parents-?" "My mother died just after I was born, sir. They told me at the orphanage she lived just long enough to name me- Tom after my father, Marvolo after my grandfather.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
She climbs a tree And scrapes her knee Her dress has got a tear. She waltzes on her way to mass And whistles on the stair. And underneath her wimple She has curlers in her hair! Maria's not an asset to the abbey. She's always late for chapel, But her penitence is real. She's always late for everything! Except for every meal. I hate to have to say it But I very firmly feel Maria's not an asset to the abbey! I'd like to say a word on her behalf. Maria makes me laugh. How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Maria? A flibbertigibbet! A will o' the wisp! A clown! Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her, Many a thing she ought to understand. But how do you make her stay And listen to all you say, How do you keep a wave upon the sand? Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand? When I'm with her I'm confused Out of focus and bemused, And I never know exactly where I am. Unpredictable as weather, She's as flighty as a feather, She's a darling, She's a demon, She's a lamb. She'd out-pester any pest, Drive a hornet from his nest, She can throw a whirling dervish out of whirl. She is gentle, She is wild, She's a riddle. She's a child. She's a headache! She's an angel! She's a girl. How do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you find a word that means Maria? A flibbertigibbet! A will o' the wisp! A clown! Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her, Many a thing she ought to understand. But how do you make her stay? And listen to all you say? How do you keep a wave upon the sand? Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria? How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand? "Maria" from The Sound of Music
Rodgers & Hammerstein
Everything I’ve previously attempted in my life was child’s play compared to this. The pathway I’m walking is not just riddled with all manner of uncertainty; it’s also excruciatingly difficult to follow through! How do I know this is the right path for me, when it’s been costing me every ounce of willpower just to stay on track? How do I tell what my purpose is?’ ‘THIS is how you know it, Mario. This moment right here!’ Amanita had told him. ‘If the path you are walking feels back-breaking and steep, know you are climbing the Mountain of Purpose. The more you sacrifice on your journey, the more valuable its end reward.
Louise Blackwick (The Underworld Rhapsody)
The monstrous versions of himself and Hermione were gone: There was only Ron, standing there with the sword held slackly in his hand, looking down at the shattered remains of the locket on the flat rock. Slowly, Harry walked back to him, hardly knowing what to say or do. Ron was breathing heavily: His eyes were no longer red at all, but their normal blue; they were also wet. Harry stooped, pretending he had not seen, and picked up the broken Horcrux. Ron had pierced the glass in both windows: Riddle’s eyes were gone, and the stained silk lining of the locket was smoking slightly. The thing that had lived in the Horcrux had vanished; torturing Ron had been its final act. The sword clanged as Ron dropped it. He had sunk to his knees, his head in his arms. He was shaking, but not, Harry realized, from cold. Harry crammed the broken locket into his pocket, knelt down beside Ron, and placed a hand cautiously on his shoulder. He took it as a good sign that Ron did not throw it off. “After you left,” he said in a low voice, grateful for the fact that Ron’s face was hidden, “she cried for a week. Probably longer, only she didn’t want me to see. There were loads of nights when we never even spoke to each other. With you gone…” He could not finish; it was only now that Ron was here again that Harry fully realized how much his absence had cost them. “She’s like my sister,” he went on. “I love her like a sister and I reckon she feels the same way about me. It’s always been like that. I thought you knew.” Ron did not respond, but turned his face away from Harry and wiped his nose noisily on his sleeve. Harry got to his feet again and walked to where Ron’s enormous rucksack lay yards away, discarded as Ron had run toward the pool to save Harry from drowning. He hoisted it onto his own back and walked back to Ron, who clambered to his feet as Harry approached, eyes bloodshot but otherwise composed. “I’m sorry,” he said in a thick voice. “I’m sorry I left. I know I was a--a--” He looked around at the darkness, as if hoping a bad enough word would swoop down upon him and claim him. “You’ve sort of made up for it tonight,” said Harry. “Getting the sword. Finishing off the Horcrux. Saving my life.” “That makes me sound a lot cooler than I was,” Ron mumbled. “Stuff like that always sounds cooler than it really was,” said Harry. “I’ve been trying to tell you that for years.” Simultaneously they walked forward and hugged, Harry gripping the still-sopping back of Ron’s jacket. “And now,” said Harry as they broke apart, “all we’ve got to do is find the tent again.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
I suppose the real reason Ginny Weasley's like this is because she opened her heart and spilled all her secrets to an invisible stranger." "What are you talking about?" said Harry. "The diary," said Riddle. "My diary. Little Ginny's been writing in it for months and months, telling me all her pitiful worries and woes- how her brothers tease her, how she had come to school with secondhand robes and books, how"- Riddle's eyes glinted- "how she didn't think famous, good, great Harry Potter would ever like her..." All the time he spoke, Riddle's eyes never left Harry's face. There was an almost hungry look in them. "It's very boring, having to listen to the silly little troubles of an eleven-year-old girl," he went on. "But I was patient. I wrote back. I was sympathetic, I was kind. Ginny simply loved me. No one's ever understood me like you, Tom... I'm so glad I've got this diary to confide in.... It's like having a friend I can carry around in my pocket...." Riddle laughed, a high, cold laugh that didn't suit him. It made the hairs stand up on the back of Harry's neck. "If I say it myself, Harry, I've always been able to charm the people I needed. So Ginny poured out her soul to me, and her soul happened to be exactly what I wanted.... I grew stronger and stronger on a diet of her deepest fears, her darkest secrets. I grew powerful, more powerful than little Miss Weasley. Powerful enough to start feeding Miss Weasley a few of my secrets, to start pouring a little of my soul into her..." "What d'you mean?" said Harry, whose mouth had gone dry. "Haven't you guessed yet, Harry Potter?" said Riddle softly. "Ginny Weasley opened the Chamber of Secrets. She strangled the school roosters and daubed threatening messages on the walls. She set the Serpent of Slytherin on four Mudbloods, and the Squib's cat." "No," Harry whispered. "Yes," said Riddle, calmly. "Of course, she didn't know what she was doing at first. It was very amusing. I wish you could have seen her new diary entries... far more interesting, they became... Dear Tom," he recited, watching Harry's horrified face, "I think I'm losing my memory. There are rooster feathers all over my robes and I don't know how they got there. Dear Tom, I can't remember what I did on the night of Halloween, but a cat was attacked and I've got paint all down my front. Dear Tom, Percy keeps telling me I'm pale and I'm not myself. I think he suspects me.... There was another attack today and I don't know where I was. Tom, what am I going to do? I think I'm going mad.... I think I'm the one attacking everyone, Tom!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
From all that I’ve read, what Harry did to Riddle’s diary was one of the few really foolproof ways of destroying a Horcrux.” “What, stabbing it with a basilisk fang?” asked Harry. “Oh well, lucky we’ve got such a large supply of basilisk fangs, then,” said Ron. “I was wondering what we were going to do with them.” “It doesn’t have to be a basilisk fang,” said Hermione patiently. “It has to be something so destructive that the Horcrux can’t repair itself. Basilisk venom only has one antidote, and it’s incredibly rare--” “--phoenix tears,” said Harry, nodding. “Exactly,” said Hermione. “Our problem is that there are very few substances as destructive as basilisk venom, and they’re all dangerous to carry around with you. That’s a problem we’re going to have to solve, though, because ripping, smashing, or crushing a Horcrux won’t do the trick. You’ve got to put it beyond magical repair.” “But even if we wreck the thing it lives in,” said Ron, “why can’t the bit of soul in it just go and live in something else?” “Because a Horcrux is the complete opposite of a human being.” Seeing that Harry and Ron looked thoroughly confused, Hermione hurried on, “Look, if I picked up a sword right now, Ron, and ran you through with it, I wouldn’t damage your soul at all.” “Which would be a real comfort to me, I’m sure,” said Ron. Harry laughed. “It should be, actually!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
So why hadn’t he confronted me? Why hadn’t he torn through my lies and forced me to own up that I’d caught him in a Binding? It wasn’t like he could just brush this off. And that smile before he left, as if he’d been pulling my leg to see my reaction… I shook my head. Ryan was certainly providing his fair share of riddles. There was the tiny possibility he was still clueless and was just teasing me, but I doubted anyone could be that naïve. Even him. My mind began to tick over, desperate for an answer. Only one other thing stuck out in his behaviour. Maybe he was going for a fair exchange strategy. He wouldn’t question my secrets, in the hope I wouldn’t question his. Now that was naïve.
Sam Dogra (The Goddess's Binding (Chronicles of Azaria, #1))
WELCOME CHALLENGING TIMES as opportunities to trust Me. You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against those challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety. Without Me, you wouldn’t make it past the first hurdle! The way to walk through demanding days is to grip My hand tightly and stay in close communication with Me. Let your thoughts and spoken words be richly flavored with trust and thankfulness. Regardless of the day’s problems, I can keep you in perfect Peace as you stay close to Me. JAMES 1:2; PHILIPPIANS 4:13; ISAIAH 26:3
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
In stories when someone appears in a poof of green clouds and asks a girl to go away on an adventure, it's because she's special, because she's smart and strong and can solve riddles and fight with swords, and give really good speeches, and... I don't know if I'm any of those things. I don't even know that I'm as ill-tempered as all that. I'm not dull or anything. I know about geography and chess, and I can fix the boiler when my mother has to work. But what I mean to say is: Maybe you meant to go to another girl's house and let her ride on the Leopard. Maybe you didn't mean to choose me at all, because I'm not like storybook girls. I'm short and my father ran away with the army and I wouldn't even be able to keep a dog from eating a bird.
Catherynee M. Valente
The geneticist Antoine Danchin once used the parable of the Delphic boat to describe the process by which individual genes could produce the observed complexity of the natural world. In the proverbial story, the oracle at Delphi is asked to consider a boat on a river whose planks have begun to rot. As the wood decays, each plank is replaced, one by one—and after a decade, no plank is left from the original boat. Yet, the owner is convinced that it is the same boat. How can the boat be the same boat—the riddle runs—if every physical element of the original has been replaced? The answer is that the “boat” is not made of planks but of the relationship between planks. If you hammer a hundred strips of wood atop each other, you get a wall; if you nail them side to side, you get a deck; only a particular configuration of planks, held together in particular relationship, in a particular order, makes a boat. Genes operate in the same manner. Individual genes specify individual functions, but the relationship among genes allows physiology. The genome is inert without these relationships. That humans and worms have about the same number of genes—around twenty thousand—and yet the fact that only one of these two organisms is capable of painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel suggests that the number of genes is largely unimportant to the physiological complexity of the organism. “It is not what you have,” as a certain Brazilian samba instructor once told me, “it is what you do with it.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
When I first stopped trying to fix other people, I turned my attention to 'curing' myself. I was in a hurry to get this healing process over. I wanted immediate recovery from the effects of growing up in a family riddled with alcoholism and from being married to an alcoholic. I looked forward to the day I would graduate from Al-Anon and get on with my life. As year two and year three passed, I was still in the program. I began to despair as the character defects I had worked so long to overcome came back to haunt me, particularly during times of stress and during periods when I didn't attend meetings. I have severe arthritis in my joints. To cope with my condition, I have to assess my body each day and patiently respond to its needs. Some days I need a warm bath to get going in the morning. On other days I apply a medicated rub to the painful areas. Yet other days some light stretching and exercise help to loosen me up. I'ave accepted that my arthritis will never go away. It's a condition I manage daily with consistent, on-going care. One day I made a connection between my medical condition and my struggle with recovery. I began to look at myself as having 'arthritis of the personality,' requiring patient, continuous care to keep me from 'stiffening' into old habits and attitudes. This care includes attending meetings, reading Al-Anon literature, calling my sponsor, and engaging in service. Now, as long as I practice patience, recovery is a manageable and adventurous process instead of an arduously sought end point.
Al-Anon Family Groups (Hope for Today)
Do you know what the clan says of you, Adaira?” Jack began softly. “They call you our light. Our hope. They claim even the spirits bend a knee when you pass. I’m surprised flowers don’t grow in your footsteps.” That coaxed a slight chuckle from her, but he could still see her melancholy, as if a hundred sorrows weighed her down. “Then I have fooled you all. I fear that I am riddled with flaws, and there is far more shadow than light in me these days.” She met his gaze again. The wind began to blow from the east, cold and dry. Adaira’s hair rose and tangled like a silver net, and Jack could smell the fragrance within its shine. Like lavender and honey. He thought he would like to see those shadows in her. Because he felt his own, brimming in his bones and dancing in solitude for far too long.
Rebecca Ross (A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence, #1))
The Fates themselves grant us one or two places in our lives where the thread untwists and we can follow either one strand or the other. Better to know when and where those choices will come to us instead of being taken by surprise. “ “Why only one or two?” I asked, thinking of all the moments my life had already accumulated in which I’d chosen to follow a different path than the one most people would expect of me. “Why not say that every day lets me choose my own future?” The priest chuckled. “What a gift you have for joking, Lady Helen! You know your future. You’ll be Sparta’s queen, living a life blessed by the gods. Your only surprises will be the name of your husband and whether your babies will be sons or daughters. You don’t need to visit the Pythia. But your noble brothers will be heroes, making their own futures; heroes should know what awaits them.” “He’s right, Helen,” Castor said. “Polydeuces and I should know our fate.” Castor’s fate? He didn’t need an oracle to discover that; I could tell him exactly what it would be. The young priest’s glib words were better than underground fumes for giving me a vision of what lay in store for both of my brothers: They were going to have their ears filled with flattery, then be persuaded to leave a rich gift at Apollo’s shrine just to hear some poor girl babble riddles while she choked half to death on smoke. Then they’d made another offering just to have Apollo’s priests translate the Pythia’s wild words. If their gifts to the sun god were too extravagant, I could also predict what Father would have to say about it when we got home.
Esther M. Friesner (Nobody's Princess (Nobody's Princess, #1))
I remember a time when my mind wouldn’t have been able to shut down, my cases churning so relentlessly that I could barely see the person standing right in front of me. I remember when it had to be me who solved the case, who figured out the riddle. Now I didn’t care who did it, how it came about, just as long as it was over. I’m tired of seeing all the rotten things one person does to another person. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to open a flower shop. But this is my dream: One day, I leave my job at my office and it doesn’t follow me home and haunt me in my sleep. Another dream: I don’t live in my brother’s basement apartment. After everything I’ve seen and done and mused about endlessly, I’m convinced of one thing: There’s more to life than this, and sometimes when I picture more, it looks like something so simple, like so much less.
Lisa Lutz (The Last Word (The Spellmans, #6))
Anthony took the pipe out of his mouth and smiled at her. "Sorry, dear! You know I don't mean to get like this, but I can't help it. What you want me to tell you is what I'm thinking, but I can't, because I don't know. Now, now, that's not clever, it's purely a statement of fact. We've been married quite long enough for you to know me by this tim, but you never seem to have understood properly what a tidy mind I've got. That, you know, is really why I'm always getting mixed up in this 'finding-out' business. When I see a thing all unreasonable and all at loose ends, I just have to see whether I can't straighten it out, and it's the same with my own thinking. When my own thinking's just a mess, it isn't tidy, and therefore I won't let it release its untidiness onto the world. I have to get it nicely rearranged and sorted before I can really talk.
Philip MacDonald (The Polferry Riddle (Colonel Gethryn, #5))
Frederick Jackson Turner, president of the American Historical Association, stated in 1910 that history ought to be separated from objective study, and ought to instead be activated in service of “points of view furnished by new conditions which reveal the influence and significance of forces not adequately known by the historians of the previous generation.” Carl Becker, a deeply influential progressive historian, suggested as much: “To me, nothing can be duller than historical facts, and nothing more interesting than the service they can be made to render in the effort to solve the everlasting riddle of human existence.” Becker would later explain, “in truth, the historical fact is a thing wonderfully elusive after all, very difficult to fix, almost impossible to distinguish from ‘theory,’ to which it is commonly supposed to be so completely antithetical.
Ben Shapiro (How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps)
The Canonization" For God's sake hold your tongue, and let me love, Or chide my palsy, or my gout, My five gray hairs, or ruined fortune flout, With wealth your state, your mind with arts improve, Take you a course, get you a place, Observe his honor, or his grace, Or the king's real, or his stampèd face Contemplate; what you will, approve, So you will let me love. Alas, alas, who's injured by my love? What merchant's ships have my sighs drowned? Who says my tears have overflowed his ground? When did my colds a forward spring remove? When did the heats which my veins fill Add one more to the plaguy bill? Soldiers find wars, and lawyers find out still Litigious men, which quarrels move, Though she and I do love. Call us what you will, we are made such by love; Call her one, me another fly, We're tapers too, and at our own cost die, And we in us find the eagle and the dove. The phœnix riddle hath more wit By us; we two being one, are it. So, to one neutral thing both sexes fit. We die and rise the same, and prove Mysterious by this love. We can die by it, if not live by love, And if unfit for tombs and hearse Our legend be, it will be fit for verse; And if no piece of chronicle we prove, We'll build in sonnets pretty rooms; As well a well-wrought urn becomes The greatest ashes, as half-acre tombs, And by these hymns, all shall approve Us canonized for Love. And thus invoke us: "You, whom reverend love Made one another's hermitage; You, to whom love was peace, that now is rage; Who did the whole world's soul contract, and drove Into the glasses of your eyes (So made such mirrors, and such spies, That they did all to you epitomize) Countries, towns, courts: beg from above A pattern of your love!
John Donne
Lester.” Reyna sighed. “What in Tartarus are you saying? I’m not in the mood for riddles.” “That maybe I’m the answer,” I blurted. “To healing your heart. I could…you know, be your boyfriend. As Lester. If you wanted. You and me. You know, like…yeah.” I was absolutely certain that up on Mount Olympus, the other Olympians all had their phones out and were filming me to post on Euterpe-Tube. Reyna stared at me long enough for the marching band in my circulatory system to play a complete stanza of “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Her eyes were dark and dangerous. Her expression was unreadable, like the outer surface of an explosive device. She was going to murder me. No. She would order her dogs to murder me. By the time Meg rushed to my aid, it would be too late. Or worse—Meg would help Reyna bury my remains, and no one would be the wiser. When they returned to camp, the Romans would ask What happened to Apollo? Who? Reyna would say. Oh, that guy? Dunno, we lost him. Oh, well! the Romans would reply, and that would be that. Reyna’s mouth tightened into a grimace. She bent over, gripping her knees. Her body began to shake. Oh, gods, what had I done? Perhaps I should comfort her, hold her in my arms. Perhaps I should run for my life. Why was I so bad at romance? Reyna made a squeaking sound, then a sort of sustained whimper. I really had hurt her! Then she straightened, tears streaming down her face, and burst into laughter. The sound reminded me of water rushing over a creek bed that had been dry for ages. Once she started, she couldn’t seem to stop. She doubled over, stood upright again, leaned against a tree, and looked at her dogs as if to share the joke. “Oh…my…gods,” she wheezed. She managed to restrain her mirth long enough to blink at me through the tears, as if to make sure I was really there and she’d heard me correctly. “You. Me? HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA.
Rick Riordan (The Tyrant's Tomb (The Trials of Apollo, #4))
The past is an annoying critic whose loud tirade of accusatory declamations detracts me from experiencing happiness. Loitering within the craggy shadows of my lithograph identification apparatus is the splayed viscera from the blood-soaked entrails of an egotistical self’s riddled history. The unbidden past tugs at my sleeves similar to a persistent tramp demanding an attentive accounting. A disgraced personal self refuses to release its despotic hold upon my guilt-ridden psyche without exacting a sacrificial tithing. Strewn wreckage from my history of scandalous debacles cast a pall of shame over the present. The shambles of my disreputable past stifles my present desire to celebrate in the rudimentary grandeur of living robustly. With the past snarling its reproach, my mind is preoccupied with ugly thoughts, and every day reduced to a tiresome and worrisome filled existence that halts my progress towards achieving an envisaged life.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Down at the foamy shoreline, where small tight waves explode against black rocks, a lifeguard with feet wedged in the wet and vaguely tangerine sand stands shirtless like a magnificent sea-Jesus. An ill-timed journey into a breaker knocks a boy on his little back. A bald man throws a tennis ball for his Labrador and a second, unrelated dog bounds in after it. Through a gauze of mist a brunette—tall, and from where we’re sitting seemingly riddled with breasts—kicks water on the sunlit torso of her blond companion. There are three other drinkers in the place, already tethered to the sunbleached bar. It is eleven a.m. Slumped in his cumbersome mechanised wheelchair that squeaks somewhere down by the left back wheel when he’s doing pressure lifts, Aldo squints out from sand-whipped windows into the tumour of searing light. He turns to me and says, ‘I’m nobody’s muse.’ I think: That’s a great line right there. I take out my notebook and when he shoots me an outraged look I say, ‘That’s right, motherfucker. I’m writing it down.
Steve Toltz (Quicksand)
How the intelligent young do fight shy of the mention of God! It makes them feel both bored and superior.” I tried to explain: “Well, once you stop believing in an old gentleman with a beard … It’s only the word God, you know — it makes such a conventional noise.” “It’s merely shorthand for where we come from, where we’re going, and what it’s all about.” “And do religious people find out what it’s all about? Do they really get the answer to the riddle?” “They get just a whiff of an answer sometimes.” He smiled at me and I smiled back and we both drank our madeira. Then he went on: “I suppose church services make a conventional noise to you, too — and I rather understand it. Oh, they’re all right for the old hands and they make for sociability, but I sometimes think their main use is to help weather churches — like smoking pipes to colour them, you know. If any — well, unreligious person, needed consolation from religion, I’d advise him or her to sit in an empty church. Sit, not kneel. And listen, not pray. Prayer’s a very tricky business.” “Goodness, is it?” “Well, for inexperienced pray-ers it sometimes is. You see, they’re apt to think of God as a slot-machine. If nothing comes out they say ‘I knew dashed well it was empty’ — when the whole secret of prayer is knowing the machine’s full.” “But how can one know?” “By filling it oneself.” “With faith?” “With faith. I expect you find that another boring word. And I warn you this slot-machine metaphor is going to break down at any moment. But if ever you’re feeling very unhappy — which you obviously aren’t at present, after all the good fortune that’s come to your family recently — well, try sitting in an empty church.” “And listening for a whiff?” We both laughed and then he said that it was just as reasonable to talk of smelling or tasting God as of seeing or hearing Him. “If one ever has any luck, one will know with all one’s senses — and none of them. Probably as good a way as any of describing it is that we shall ‘come over all queer.’” “But haven’t you already?” He sighed and said the whiffs were few and far between. “But the memory of them everlasting,” he added softly.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
Madame Valenska sat down in one of the chairs. “Whose fortune shall I tell first?” she asked the girls. Nancy stepped forward. “Mine. I mean . . . maybe you can tell me about something I lost.” Madame invited Nancy to sit in the chair facing her. She waved her hands in front of Nancy’s face. “I can see your name begins with a P. Is it . . . Patty?” Nancy heard Jessie begin to laugh. “It’s Nancy,” Nancy said. “Nancy, Patty—close enough,” Madame said with a shrug. She took Nancy’s hand and traced Nancy’s palm with her index finger. “That tickles!” Nancy giggled. “I can see that what you lost is very valuable,” Madame Valenska said. “Can you also see where they are?” Nancy asked. Madame Valenska’s eyes twinkled. She leaned back in her chair. “All I will say is this: Be aware. The clues are there. Be wise. And use your eyes.” Nancy wrinkled her nose. “That sounds more like a riddle than a fortune.” “It is a riddle,” Madame said. “But it also tells your fortune.” “Thanks,” Nancy said. But she felt disappointed. “I’ve gotten better fortunes in cookies,” Jessie whispered as they headed out of the tent.
Carolyn Keene (Dare at the Fair (Nancy Drew Notebooks Book 25))
Just ask me anything you can think of,’ said Gaam kindly. The Sphinx leaned forward. ‘What have I got in my pockets?’ she asked, an insane glare in her eyes. ‘That’s not a riddle, that’s a question!’ said Gaam indignantly. ‘Well, you said she could ask you anything,’ said Erkila smoothly. ‘So you have to answer her. But I admit it’s a little strange. Where did you get this riddle?’ she asked the Sphinx. ‘I don’t remember. Possibly from someone I ate,’ murmured the Sphinx. ‘Well, mortal?’ ‘Are you sure you want me to answer your riddle?’ asked Gaam. ‘Of course.’ ‘And you will let me go if I answer correctly?’ The Sphinx shot a look at Erkila, watching them calmly. ‘Yes,’ she said. ‘Very well. When I saw you first, I noticed that like all Sphinxes, you are half woman and half lioness. Also, like all Sphinxes, you do not wear clothes. Since you do not wear clothes, you have no pockets. Therefore, you cannot possibly have anything in your pockets.’ He bowed. ‘A somewhat impulsive question, if I may say so.’ ‘There’s no need to gloat,’ grumbled the Sphinx. She padded off, leaving Gaam with Erkila.
Samit Basu (The Simoqin Prophecies (GameWorld Trilogy, #1))
In fourth grade, I had a talk with the school psychologist about all the things that actively terrified me . . . After our session, he handed my mom a list of all my fears . . . Highest (and most memorable) on the list was the specific fear that I'd accidentally churn myself into butter. This was inspired by a creepy antique children's book called Little Black Sambo, which is one of those stories from the simpler, more racist times of yore when people wrote frightening, insulting tales to help children fall asleep at night. It was highly popular back in the day and has since been rightly banned or taken out of circulation. But my mom had a copy lying around. It's about a boy who goes on an adventure and ends up getting chased by tigers, who circle and circle around a tree so fast that they churn themselves into a pool of butter, which the boy then takes home for his mother to use to make pancakes. Like ya do. Anyway, I was always riddled with fear that I'd somehow be transformed into melted butter, which now doesn't really sound like that much of a bummer. It sounds more like how I'd like to spend my last twenty-four hours on this earth.
Amy Schumer (The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo)
I have many questions for you, Harry Potter." "Like what?" Harry spat, fists still clenched. "Well," said Riddle, smiling pleasantly, "how is it that you- a skinny boy with no extraordinary magical talent- managed to defeat the greatest wizard of all time? How did you escape with nothing but a scar, while Lord Voldemort's powers were destroyed?" There was an odd red gleam in his hungry eyes now. "Why do you care how I escaped?" said Harry slowly. "Voldemort was after your time...." "Voldemort," said Riddle softly, "is my past, present, and future, Harry Potter...." He pulled Harry's wand from his pocket and began to trace it through the air, writing three shimmering words: TOM MARVOLO RIDDLE Then he waved the wand once, and the letters of his name rearranged themselves: I AM LORD VOLDEMORT "You see?" he whispered. "It was a name I was already using at Hogwarts, to my most intimate friends only, of course. You think I was going to use my filthy Muggle father's name forever? I, in whose veins runs the blood of Salazar Slytherin himself, through my mother's side? I, keep the name of a foul, common Muggle, who abandoned me even before I was born, just because he found out his wife was a witch? No, Harry- I fashioned myself a new name, a name I knew wizards everywhere would one day fear to speak, when I had become the greatest sorcerer in the world!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2))
sighed. “I can’t say that you weren’t expected.” “I’m just going to be walking around here and taking some measurements. It says here… you own eighty acres? That is one of the most gorgeous mansions I have ever seen,” he rambled on. “It must have cost you millions. I could never afford such a beauty. Well, heck, for that matter I couldn’t afford the millions of dollars in taxes a house like this would assess, let alone such a pricey property. Do you have an accountant?” Zo opened her mouth to respond, but he continued, “For an estate this size, I would definitely have one.” “I do have an accountant,” she cut in, with frustration. “Furthermore, I have invested a lot of money bringing this mansion up to speed. You can see my investment is great.” “Of course, it would be. The fact of the matter is, Mrs. Kane, a lot of people are in over their heads in property. You still have to pay up, or we take the place. Well, I’ll get busy now. Pay no mind to me.” He walked on, taking notes. “Clairrrrre!” Zo called as soon as she entered the house. “Bring your cell phone!” Two worry-filled months went by and many calls were made to lawyers, before Zoey finally picked one that made her feel confident. And then the letter came with the totals and the due date. “There is no way we can pay this, Mom, even if we sold off some of our treasures, because a lot of them are contracted to museums anyway. I am feeling awfully poor all of a sudden, and insecure.” “Yes, and I did some research, thinking I’d be forced to sell. It’s unlikely that anyone else around here can afford this place. It looks like they are going to get it all; they aren’t just charging for this year. What we have here is a value about equal to a little country. And all the new construction sites for housing developments suddenly popping up on this side of the river, does not help. Value is going up.” Zo put her head in her hands. “Ohhh, oh, oh, oh!” “Yeah, bring out the ice-cream and cake. I need comforting,” sighed Claire. The cell phone rang. “Yes, tonight? You guys have become pretty good to us, haven’t you?! You know, Bob, Mom and I thought we were just going to pig out on ice cream and cake. We found out we are losing this estate and are going to be poor again and we are bummed out.” There was a long pause. “No, that’s okay, I understand. Yeah, okay, bye.” “Well?” Zo ask dryly. “He was appropriately sorry, and he got off the phone fast, saying he remembered he had other business to take care of. Do you want to cry? I do…” “I’ll get the cake and dish the ice cream. You make our tea and we’ll cry together.” A pitter patter began to drum on the window. “Rain again. It seems softer though, dear.” “I thought you said this was going to be a softer rain!” It started to pour. “At least this is not a thunder storm… What was that?” “Thunder,” replied Claire, unmoved and resigned. An hour had gone by when there was a rapping at the door. “People rarely use the doorbell, ever notice that?” Zo asked on the way to the door. She opened it to reveal two wet guys holding a pizza, salad, soft drink, and giant chocolate chip cookies in a plastic container. In a plastic
Zoey Kane (The Riddles of Hillgate (Z & C Mysteries #1))
The story of the prodigal son, one I’ve mentioned a few times in this book, is told again and again in the church as a triumphant story about a son who went astray, who degraded his father’s name, returning home to his father’s open arms and a celebration in his honor. Many Christians like to use this story to talk about those who have wandered away from the church, the ones they believe are on the outside and trying to get right with God again, the ones God welcomes back with open arms. I don’t know what it means to waste a life, if that is even possible, and I don’t know that we can step so far outside the love of Mystery that we are not seen and known even in that distance. But there is always something important about returning. There is always something about the way a community welcomes us home. Young people who are forced out of their communities by traumatic events must return home and learn what it means to be part of their people again. I think about young Black men who are wrongfully imprisoned in the United States, who return home to reintegrate into society. I think about LGBTQ+ youth who are kicked out of their homes and communities and must find new homes with strangers who welcome them in. I think of Indigenous people separated from their communities through boarding schools, who must learn what it means to know themselves when their stories are riddled with trauma. The work of returning is communal work, and we must all lead one another. When I sit down to write and tell my own story, I can feel the fire burn brighter again, and the work of returning leads me deeper into who I am and who God is.
Kaitlin B. Curtice (Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God)
Well, my epic freedom moment was short-lived, because I realized my cell phone was dead. I walked down the road to a gas station and asked if I could use the phone. I called Tracy and told her where I was and asked her to pick me up. When Tracy arrived I hopped in the car and the very first thing I said to her was “I gotta get home. I have to print out some TV guides and I need to write a letter to some of the guys in there.” She started laughing and when she could compose herself enough to talk said, “My sisters and I all said we guarantee Noah is going to come out of jail with new friends. He’s going to be friends with everybody.” I got home and immediately wrote a letter to Michael Bolton. I put my email address at the bottom. I printed out TV guides. I printed out crossword puzzles. I even printed a couple of pages of jokes and riddles and whatever would be fun to read and do and folded them up and put them in an envelope. All that was left to do was to write the address, put a stamp on the envelope, and put it in the mailbox. I put the envelope in the car in between the seat and the center console to take to the post office. I must have been distracted or had to do something else because the envelope sat there for months. Every so often I would look at it and go, Oh crap, I haven’t sent that yet. And then at some point I spilled something on it so I knew I would never send it now. I threw it out. To this day I’m worried that one day I’m going to be at the gas station in line and hear a voice behind me say, “I’m Michael Bolton and you never sent me my damn TV guide. You’re just like the rest.” He’s going to shank me in my side and that will be the end of the Noah Galloway story.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
I won’t know where we’re going until we get there.” Skylar was completely unfazed by my snapping. “And once we get there, I probably won’t know why until you guys tell me what’s going on.” “You’re the psychic,” Bethany muttered. “Shouldn’t you be able to figure it out for yourself?” If anything, Skylar seemed enthused by the pointed question. “Reading your minds on command would require being significantly psychic, and I’m not. I never know when I’m going to pick up something, and it comes in pieces and feelings, not in words. So who wants to clue the sophomore in?” Not me. I didn’t want to drag Skylar into this. There was just something about her that screamed protect me! Whoever the men looking for the “anemic cheerleader” were, I was fairly certain I didn’t want them anywhere near the Little Optimist That Could. Unfortunately, Bethany had no such predilection. “Sometime in the past week, I got bitten by a chupacabra. Somehow—no idea how—Kali lured it out of my body and into hers. She’s already far enough gone that medical science can’t do a thing to save her, and she’s got some kind of plan—probably a risky, unreliable one riddled with holes—to get the bloodsucker out.” Bethany blew out a long breath and then glanced back over her shoulder at Skylar. “There. You know what I know about the current situation. So, any time now, feel free to do your whole ‘psychic’ thing and tell me where the bedazzler we’re going, or I might be forced to physically hurt you.” Skylar made a pfft sound with her lips. “Five brothers,” she said, pointing to herself. Then she pointed to Bethany. “Only child. I could totally take you. Turn left.” Bethany slammed on the brakes. “Seriously?” “Please?” Skylar smiled winningly, and after a long moment, Bethany turned left onto an access road that dead-ended into a large parking lot. 
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Every Other Day)
If you’re wise, you’ll keep your mouth shut and your ears open. It’ll do you more good here than a loose tongue. And keep your wits about you—even your senses will try to betray you here" "That was why the leather baldric bore no weapons: why use them when you were a weapon yourself? " " If you go poking about the grounds, keep your wits about you.”" "Because when you look at it—when you acknowledge it—that’s when it becomes real. That’s when it can kill you" "But with your affinity for eavesdropping, maybe you’ll someday learn something valuable." "I would never say it—never let her hear that, even if she killed me. And if it was to be my downfall, so be it. If it would be the weakness that would break me, I would embrace it with all my heart. If this was— For though each of my strikes lands a powerful blow, When I kill, I do it slow … That’s what these three months had been—a slow, horrible death. What I felt for Tamlin was the cause of this. There was no cure—not pain, or absence, or happiness. But scorned, I become a difficult beast to defeat. She could torture me all she liked, but it would never destroy what I felt for him. It would never make Tamlin want her—never ease the sting of his rejection. The world became dark at the borders of my vision, taking the edge off the pain. But I bless all those who are brave enough to dare. For so long, I had run from it. But opening myself to him, to my sisters—that had been a test of bravery as harrowing as any of my trials. “Say it, you vile beast,” Amarantha hissed. She might have lied her way out of our bargain, but she’d sworn differently with the riddle—instantaneous freedom, regardless of her will. Blood filled my mouth, warm as it dribbled out between my lips. I gazed at Tamlin’s masked face one last time. “Love,” I breathed, the world crumbling into a blackness with no end. A pause in Amarantha’s magic. “The answer to the riddle …,” I got out, choking on my own blood, “is … love.” Tamlin’s eyes went wide before something forever cracked in my spine.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
Which brings me back to Ecclesiastes, his search for happiness, and mine. I spoke in chapter 4 about my first meeting, as a student, with Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Lubavitcher Rebbe. As I was waiting to go in, one of his disciples told me the following story. A man had recently written to the Rebbe on something of these lines: ‘I need the Rebbe’s help. I am deeply depressed. I pray and find no comfort. I perform the commands but feel nothing. I find it hard to carry on.’ The Rebbe, so I was told, sent a compelling reply without writing a single word. He simply ringed the first word in every sentence of the letter: the word ‘I’. It was, he was hinting, the man’s self-preoccupation that was at the root of his depression. It was as if the Rebbe were saying, as Viktor Frankl used to say in the name of Kierkegaard, ‘The door to happiness opens outward.’23 It was this insight that helped me solve the riddle of Ecclesiastes. The word ‘I’ does not appear very often in the Hebrew Bible, but it dominates Ecclesiastes’ opening chapters. I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. (Ecclesiastes 2:4–8) Nowhere else in the Bible is the first-person singular used so relentlessly and repetitively. In the original Hebrew the effect is doubled because of the chiming of the verbal suffix and the pronoun: Baniti li, asiti li, kaniti li, ‘I built for myself, I made for myself, I bought for myself.’ The source of Ecclesiastes’ unhappiness is obvious and was spelled out many centuries later by the great sage Hillel: ‘If I am not for myself, who will be? But if I am only for myself, what am I?’24 Happiness in the Bible is not something we find in self-gratification. Hence the significance of the word simchah. I translated it earlier as ‘joy’, but really it has no precise translation into English, since all our emotion words refer to states of mind we can experience alone. Simchah is something we cannot experience alone. Simchah is joy shared.
Jonathan Sacks (The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning)
You dare--?” said Voldemort again. “Yes, I dare,” said Harry, “because Dumbledore’s last plan hasn’t backfired on me at all. It’s backfired on you, Riddle.” Voldemort’s hand was trembling on the Elder Wand, and Harry gripped Draco’s very tightly. The moment, he knew, was seconds away. “That wand still isn’t working properly for you because you murdered the wrong person. Severus Snape was never the true master of the Elder Wand. He never defeated Dumbledore.” “He killed--” “Aren’t you listening? Snape never beat Dumbledore! Dumbledore’s death was planned between them! Dumbledore intended to die undefeated, the wand’s last true master! If all had gone as planned, the wand’s power would have died with him, because it had never been won from him!” “But then, Potter, Dumbledore as good as gave me the wand!” Voldemort’s voice shook with malicious pleasure. “I stole the wand from its last master’s tomb! I removed it against its last master’s wishes! Its power is mine!” “You still don’t get it, Riddle, do you? Possessing the wand isn’t enough! Holding it, using it, doesn’t make it really yours. Didn’t you listen to Ollivander? The wand chooses the wizard…The Elder Wand recognized a new master before Dumbledore died, someone who never even laid a hand on it. The new master removed the wand from Dumbledore against his will, never realizing exactly what he had done, or that the world’s most dangerous wand had given him its allegiance…” Voldemort’s chest rose and fell rapidly, and Harry could feel the curse coming, feel it building inside the wand pointed at his face. “The true master of the Elder Wand was Draco Malfoy.” Blank shock showed in Voldemort’s face for a moment, but then it was gone. “But what does it matter?” he said softly. “Even if you are right, Potter, it makes no difference to you and me. You no longer have the phoenix wand: We duel on skill alone…and after I have killed you, I can attend to Draco Malfoy…” “But you’re too late,” said Harry. “You’ve missed your chance. I got there first. I overpowered Draco weeks ago. I took this wand from him.” Harry twitched the hawthorn wand, and he felt the eyes of everyone in the Hall upon it. “So it all comes down to this, doesn’t it?” whispered Harry. “Does the wand in your hand know its last master was Disarmed? Because if it does…I am the true master of the Elder Wand.” A red-gold glow burst suddenly across the enchanted sky above them as an edge of dazzling sun appeared over the sill of the nearest window. The light hit both of their faces at the same time, so that Voldemort’s was suddenly a flaming blur. Harry heard the high voice shriek as he too yelled his best hope to the heavens, pointing Draco’s wand: “Avada Kedavra!” “Expelliarmus!
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Chet couldn’t wipe away his smile. “I have learned much since we parted ways, and one of those lessons is that a static force, even in mass, can be crushed by a dynamic one.” Wellington‘s face stiffened. “What kind of foolish talk is that?” “You will find out. On the Fourth of July, as you sit here in your governor’s mansion pandering to your public servants—using them to climb into more power, you will learn what it feels like to have everything you believe in shatter before your very eyes.” Wellington shifted irritably in his seat. “What sort of riddle is that, Chet? You and I have been in this political game our entire lives. You know how it works, and that’s not going to change. Ever. One party controls the knobs of politics with one hand, and the other party controls the knobs with the other hand. But they are all one body, members of a political ruling class. That’s what we do. This isn’t anything new.” Chet pushed his brows over his eyes in a gaze that could melt steel. “You will not be able to stop the ramifications of its impact. This thing I’m about to unleash upon you, I’m doing to you because you are an evil man. I used to be, I’ll give you that. But I changed, luckily, before death found me. And I will not let you get away with what you are doing to this country.” Wellington was aghast. “So you’re involved with terrorism now, are you? What are you going to do?” Chet shook his head. “The truth isn’t something you can hide from people. They all feel it even if they don’t understand the intentions behind the madness.” Wellington was in a near panic in anticipation over what Chet was planning. “I can have you followed, you know. Everyone you speak to will be monitored. Surely you know that? And who are you to decide what the best position for anything is? You don’t have a right to make decisions for the masses. If you were sitting in my seat, perhaps. But you’re not.” “If you hadn’t cheated, I would be in your chair.” Chet pierced Wellington with his squinted eyes. “And because of that, I have decided that you aren’t able to make decisions for the masses either, and I’ll see to it that you won’t continue to do so.” Chet pushed back his chair and stood up dramatically. “Enjoy this office because you won’t be here long.” Wellington contorted his face in panic. “What are you doing? What’s going to happen? Tell me at least that much! Was it so bad between us that we can’t reason with each other? Maybe we could make a deal. What if I make you my presidential running mate?” Chet didn’t answer. He headed for the door, unsure as to why he had said that last part. He still didn’t really know what was going to happen. But with Rick Stevens headed down in a few days with a multimillion dollar car, anything was possible. But now Wellington would know that Chet was behind the crazy driver who refused to pull over.
Rich Hoffman