Routinely Quotes

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

With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
It's never too late to change your life for the better. You don't have to take huge steps to change your life. Making even the smallest changes to your daily routine can make a big difference to your life.
Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)
I've always thought people would find a lot more pleasure in their routines if they burst into song at significant moments.
John Barrowman
I am two women: one wants to have all the joy, passion and adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be a slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can be planned and achieved. I'm a housewife and a prostitute, both of us living in the same body and doing battle with each other.
Paulo Coelho (Eleven Minutes)
It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Life is like topography, Hobbes. There are summits of happiness and success, flat stretches of boring routine and valleys of frustration and failure.
Bill Watterson
My mind," he said, "rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.
Arthur Conan Doyle (The Sign of Four (Sherlock Holmes, #2))
The key to personal development lies in your daily routine.
Idowu Koyenikan (Wealth for All: Living a Life of Success at the Edge of Your Ability)
One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we become ungrateful..we let what was once a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to his goodness it becomes a routine..
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” —
William Arthur Ward
If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal.
Paulo Coelho
I've always loved strong women, which is lucky for me because once you're over about twenty-five there is no other kind. Women blow my mind. The stuff that routinely gets done to them would make most men curl up and die, but women turn to steel and keep on coming. Any man who claims he's not into strong women is fooling himself mindless; he's into strong women who know how to pout prettily and put on baby voices, and who will end up keeping his balls in her makeup bags.
Tana French (Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad #3))
Marriage must fight constantly against a monster which devours everything: routine.
Honoré de Balzac
He glared accusingly at her while he made short work of his clothes. "You didn't wake me up." She rolled her eyes as she speared a piece of sausage with her fork. "I did wake you up. Three times in fact. Each time you threw something at me and went back to sleep." Jason gaped at her. "And you gave up? You know our routine, woman. You have to keep at it until I'm forced to get off the bed to find something to throw at you.
R.L. Mathewson (Playing for Keeps (Neighbor from Hell, #1))
Try to find pleasure in the speed that you're not used to. Changing the way you do routine things allows a new person to grow inside of you. But when all is said and done, you're the one who must decide how you handle it.
Paulo Coelho
Routine, repetition, tedium, monotony, ephemeracy, inconsequence, abstraction, disorder, boredom, angst, ennui — these are the true hero's enemies, and make no mistake, they are fearsome indeed. For they are real.
David Foster Wallace (The Pale King)
Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
...the routine of life goes on, whatever happens, we do the same things, go through the little performance of eating, sleeping, washing. No crisis can break through the crust of habit.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.
L.R. Knost
I was giving up. I would have given up - if a voice hadn't made itself heard in my heart. The voice said "I will not die. I refuse it. I will make it through this nightmare. I will beat the odds, as great as they are. I have survived so far, miraculously. Now I will turn miracle into routine. The amazing will be seen everyday. I will put in all the hard work necessary. Yes, so long as God is with me, I will not die. Amen.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
That's why people take vacations. No to relax or find excitement or see new places. To escape the death that exists in routine things.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
It's a funny thing about the modern world. You hear girls in the toilets of clubs saying, "Yeah, he fucked off and left me. He didn't love me. He just couldn't deal with love. He was too fucked up to know how to love me." Now, how did that happen? What was it about this unlovable century that convinced us we were, despite everything, eminently lovable as a people, as a species? What made us think that anyone who fails to love us is damaged, lacking, malfunctioning in some way? And particularly if they replace us with a god, or a weeping madonna, or the face of Christ in a ciabatta roll---then we call them crazy. Deluded. Regressive. We are so convinced of the goodness of ourselves, and the goodness of our love, we cannot bear to believe that there might be something more worthy of love than us, more worthy of worship. Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
Routine feeds the illusion of safety...
Christopher Moore (Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal)
I am afraid of getting older. I am afraid of getting married. Spare me from cooking three meals a day—spare me from the relentless cage of routine and rote. I want to be free. (...) I want, I think, to be omniscient… I think I would like to call myself "The girl who wanted to be God." Yet if I were not in this body, where would I be—perhaps I am destined to be classified and qualified. But, oh, I cry out against it. I am I—I am powerful—but to what extent? I am I.
Sylvia Plath (Letters Home)
Most middle-class whites have no idea what it feels like to be subjected to police who are routinely suspicious, rude, belligerent, and brutal.
Benjamin Spock
She was not shy, but maybe lazy socially. Not willing to seek out situations and connections that were not already part of her routine.
Joseph Fink (Welcome to Night Vale)
Rather, to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine.
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
To live in a culture in which women are routinely naked where men aren't is to learn inequality in little ways all day long. So even if we agree that sexual imagery is in fact a language, it is clearly one that is already heavily edited to protect men's sexual--and hence social--confidence while undermining that of women.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
One of the main reasons that we lose our enthusiasm in life is because we become ungrateful; we take for granted what God has done for us. We let what once was a miracle become common to us. We get so accustomed to goodness, it becomes routine; it doesn’t really excite us anymore.
Joel Osteen (Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential)
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
Darren Hardy (The Compound Effect)
The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.
Mike Murdock
The secret to being alone is to organize your time; to develop habits and routines and gradually elevate their importance to where they seem almost like normal, healthy activities.
Daniel Clowes (Caricature)
My days had a pleasant identicalness about them. I had always liked that: I liked routine. I liked being bored. I didn’t want to but I did.
John Green (Paper Towns)
When we traded homemaking for careers, we were implicitly promised economic independence and worldly influence. But a devil of a bargain it has turned out to be in terms of daily life. We gave up the aroma of warm bread rising, the measured pace of nurturing routines, the creative task of molding our families' tastes and zest for life; we received in exchange the minivan and the Lunchable.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
I know, my dear Watson, that you share my love of all that is bizarre and outside the conventions and humdrum routine of daily life.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Bureaucracy destroys initiative. There is little that bureaucrats hate more than innovation, especially innovation that produces better results than the old routines. Improvements always make those at the top of the heap look inept. Who enjoys appearing inept?
Frank Herbert (Heretics of Dune (Dune Chronicles #5))
Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next - and disappear. That's why it's so important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches out psychological time, and lengthens our perception of our lives.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
Don't expect me to tell you apart," Reagan said when this became a routine. "I have short hair," Wren said. "and she wears glasses." "Stop," Reagan groaned, "don't make me look at you. It's like The Shining in here.
Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl)
I have a 12:34 representational time dance. I do it at 3:33 every other Tuesday (twice a day). If you’d like to participate in my choreographed dance routine, bring a football helmet and a half empty can of tuna (keeps the stray cats away, because I perform in a gritty, grimy downtown alley).

Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off.
Raymond Chandler
Routine kills creative thought.
Scarlett Thomas (PopCo)
Time interval is a strange and contradictory matter in the mind. It would be reasonable to suppose that a routine time or an eventless time would seem interminable. It should be so, but it is not. It is the dull eventless times that have no duration whatever. A time splashed with interest, wounded with tragedy, crevassed with joy - that's the time that seems long in the memory. And this is right when you think about it. Eventlessness has no posts to drape duration on. From nothing to nothing is no time at all.
John Steinbeck (East of Eden)
Love has the power to create an inviting space in the lives of people. But if daily routine kills dreamy or passionate thoughts, the constraint of the room may become oppressive and the emptiness unbearable. The room loses then its original fullness and turns into a place of nothingness. ( " Another empty room" )
Erik Pevernagie
Leave home, leave the country, leave the familiar. Only then can routine experience—buying bread, eating vegetables, even saying hello—become new all over again.
Anthony Doerr
The bitch does not stop moving to her own rhythm. This, in and of itself, prevents her from becoming off-balance like a nice girl who abandons her routine.
Sherry Argov (Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl—A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship)
Even when I took the drugs I realized that this just wasn't fun anymore. The drugs had become a part of my routine. Something to wake me up. Something to help me sleep. Something to calm my nerves. There was a time when I was able to wake up, go to sleep, and have fun without a pill or a line to help me function. These days it felt like I might have a nervous breakdown if I didn't have them.
Cherie Currie
The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.
Vilayat Inayat Khan
If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow -- you are not understanding yourself.
Bruce Lee (Tao of Jeet Kune Do)
THE FRAMEWORK: • Identify the routine • Experiment with rewards • Isolate the cue • Have a plan
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
Snow, get behind me!" Charming shouted as he leaped to his feet. "I'll handle this brute." "Billy", the teacher cried. "This is the twenty-first century, Women don't need the white knight routine anymore. I can fight my own battles.
Michael Buckley (The Unusual Suspects (The Sisters Grimm #2))
People need routines. It's like a theme in music. But it also restricts your thoughts and actions and limits your freedom. It structures your priorities and in some cases distorts your logic.
Haruki Murakami (1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3))
..in that moment i realize how much i love the little everyday routines of my life..the details that are my life's special pattern, like how in handwoven rugs what really makes them unique are the tiny flaws in the stitching, little gaps and jumps and stutters that can never be reproduced. so many things become beautiful when you really look.
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
More girls were killed in the last 50 years, precisely because they were girls, than men killed in all the wars in the 20th century. More girls are killed in this routine gendercide in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century. The equivalent of 5 jumbo jets worth of women die in labor each day... life time risk of maternal death is 1,000x higher in a poor country than in the west. That should be an international scandal.
Nicholas D. Kristof (Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide)
Even the smallest changes in our daily routine can create incredible ripple effects that expand our vision of what is possible.
Charles F. Glassman (Brain Drain The Breakthrough That Will Change Your Life)
Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.
null
We require routine and tradition. That’s order. Order can become excessive, and that’s not good, but chaos can swamp us, so we drown— and that is also not good. We need to stay on the straight and narrow path.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Still, even now, when a woman says something uncomfortable about male misconduct, she is routinely portrayed as delusional, a malicious conspirator, a pathological liar, a whiner who doesn’t recognize it’s all in fun, or all of the above.
Rebecca Solnit (Men Explain Things to Me)
Theatres are curious places, magician's trick-boxes where the golden memories of dramtic triumphs linger like nostalgic ghosts, and where the unexplainable, the fantastic, the tragic, the comic and the absurd are routine occurences on and off the stage. Murders, mayhem, politcal intrigue, lucrative business, secret assignations, and of course, dinner.
E.A. Bucchianeri (Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, (Gadfly Saga, #1))
Like a snake sheds its skin, we are capable of getting rid of assembled habits, creating space to call matters into question. Instead of the Shakespearian " To be or not to be " we could favor " to become or not to become". By "becoming", we challenge the range of possibilities in our life and go beyond the merely "being". We can retreat, then, from the imprisonment of a deadly routine, acquire an identity and develop our personality. ( "Man without Qualities" )
Erik Pevernagie
Routine is not a prison, but the way to freedom from time.
May Sarton
I usually take a walk after breakfast, write for three hours, have lunch and read in the afternoon. Demons don’t like fresh air - they prefer it if you stay in bed with cold feet; for a person who is as chaotic as me, who struggles to be in control, it is an absolute necessity to follow these rules and routines. If I let myself go, nothing will get done.
Ingmar Bergman
Fridays are absolutely without a doubt the best day of the week, five grueling days of the same routine seem to melt at three o'clock on Friday afternoon. There's a sense of magic there, everything smells better, tastes better, and the colors are brighter. As opposed to Sunday evenings when everything begins to get dim all over again.
Stefanie Ellis (Ashes (The Gray Area, #1))
Raise your quality standards as high as you can live with, avoid wasting your time on routine problems, and always try to work as closely as possible at the boundary of your abilities. Do this, because it is the only way of discovering how that boundary should be moved forward.
Edsger W. Dijkstra
Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the slavery of Civilization, man feels once more happy.
Richard Francis Burton
Can you not see, […] that fairy tales in their essence are quite solid and straightforward; but that this everlasting fiction about modern life is in its nature essentially incredible? Folk-lore means that the soul is sane, but that the universe is wild and full of marvels. Realism means that the world is dull and full of routine, but that the soul is sick and screaming. The problem of the fairy tale is-what will a healthy man do with a fantastic world? The problem of the modern novel is-what will a madman do with a dull world? In the fairy tales the cosmos goes mad; but the hero does not go mad. In the modern novels the hero is mad before the book begins, and suffers from the harsh steadiness and cruel sanity of the cosmos.
G.K. Chesterton
The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care. [DEA Administrative Law Judge - 1988]
Francis Young
I want to caution you against the idea that balance has to be a routine that looks the same week in and week out.
Kevin Thoman
You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
John C. Maxwell
I wonder what life will be like a millennium from now, when the average age will be nearer to one thousand. Will we all be renaissance children, skilled at every art and science, because we’ve had time to master them? Or will boredom and slavish routine plague us even more than it does today, giving us less of a reason to live limitless lives? I dream of the former, but I suspect the latter.
Neal Shusterman (Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1))
I believe everyone has this fuckin' poem in his heart.
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
How many people do you know who are obsessed with their work, who are type A or have stress related diseases and who can’t slow down? They can’t slow down because they use their routine to distract themselves, to reduce life to only its practical considerations. And they do this to avoid recalling how uncertain they are about why they live.
James Redfield (The Celestine Prophecy (Celestine Prophecy, #1))
Households that have lost the soul of cooking from their routines may not know what they are missing: the song of a stir-fry sizzle, the small talk of clinking measuring spoons, the yeasty scent of rising dough, the painting of flavors onto a pizza before it slides into the oven.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
This process within our brains is a three-step loop. First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future: THE HABIT LOOP
Charles Duhigg (The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business)
Fernanda, on the other hand, looked for it in vain along the paths of her everyday itinerary without knowing that the search for lost things is hindered by routine habits and that is why it is so difficult to find them.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
People who claim to know jackrabbits will tell you they are primarily motivated by Fear, Stupidity, and Craziness. But I have spent enough time in jack rabbit country to know that most of them lead pretty dull lives; they are bored with their daily routines: eat, fuck, sleep, hop around a bush now and then....No wonder some of them drift over the line into cheap thrills once in a while; there has to be a powerful adrenalin rush in crouching by the side of a road, waiting for the next set of headlights to come along, then streaking out of the bushes with split-second timing and making it across to the other side just inches in front of the speeding front wheels
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
Routine is the one thing the can get you killed. It tells the enemy where you're going and when you're going to be there.
Anthony Horowitz (Point Blank (Alex Rider, #2))
I don’t need to tell you not to fuck my buddy. Right.” The surgeon looked around his little-glass-bottle-and-needle routine. “I’m not thinking of sex at the moment, thank you very much. But if I was, it sure as shit wouldn’t be with him. So instead of worrying about who I’m tapping, how’d you like to do us all a favor and have a shower. You stink.
J.R. Ward (Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9))
I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. We do not think that she has a rich inner life or that God likes her or can even stand her. (Although when I mentioned this to my priest friend Tom, he said that you can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.)
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
Depression is one of the unknown modes of being. There are no words for a world without a self, seen with impersonal clarity. All language can register is the slow return to oblivion we call health when imagination automatically recolors the landscape and habit blurs perception and language takes up its routine flourishes.
Anne Carson (Autobiography of Red)
All events, no matter how earthshaking or bizarre, are diluted within moments of their occurrence the the continuance of the necessary routines of day-to-day. -Fitz Most prisons are of our own making. A man makes his own freedom, too. -Chade When you cut pieces out of the truth to avoid looking like a fool, you end up sounding like a moron instead. -Burrich We left. Walking uphill and into the wind. That suddenly seemed a metaphor for my whole life. -Fitz
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy, #1))
In my biology class, we'd talked about the definition of life: to be classified as a living creature, a thing needs to eat, breathe, reproduce, and grow. Dogs do, rocks don't, trees do, plastic doesn't. Fire, by that definition, is vibrantly alive. It eats everything from wood to flesh, excreting the waste as ash, and it breathes air just like a human, taking in oxygen and emitting carbon. Fire grows, and as it spreads, it creates new fires that spread out and make new fires of their own. Fire drinks gasoline and excretes cinders, it fights for territory, it loves and hates. Sometimes when I watch people trudging through their daily routines, I think that fire is more alive than we are–brighter, hotter, more sure of itself and where it wants to go. Fire doesn't settle; fire doesn't tolerate; fire doesn't 'get by.' Fire does. Fire is.
Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1))
Aunt Syl must have conveniently stopped reading the childhood fairy tales when the knight left the damsel in distress to pursue a better damsel out of my bedtime routine.
Rachel Higginson (Endless Magic (Star-Crossed, #4))
Sometimes, all it takes to change your life is to change your routine.
Stephen Richards
Self-care is how you take your power back.
Lalah Delia
I'm losing myself trying to compete With everyone else instead of just being me Don't know where to turn I've been stuck in this routine I need to change my ways Instead of always being weak I don't wanna be afraid I wanna wake up feeling beautiful today And know that I'm okay 'Cause everyone's perfect in unusual ways You see, I just wanna believe in me
Demi Lovato (Demi Lovato: Don't Forget)
You start dying slowly if you do not travel, if you do not read, If you do not listen to the sounds of life, If you do not appreciate yourself. You start dying slowly When you kill your self-esteem; When you do not let others help you. You start dying slowly If you become a slave of your habits, Walking everyday on the same paths… If you do not change your routine, If you do not wear different colours Or you do not speak to those you don’t know. You start dying slowly If you avoid to feel passion And their turbulent emotions; Those which make your eyes glisten And your heart beat fast. You start dying slowly If you do not change your life when you are not satisfied with your job, or with your love, If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain, If you do not go after a dream, If you do not allow yourself, At least once in your lifetime, To run away from sensible advice.
Martha Medeiros
I knew that good like bad becomes a routine, that the temporary tends to endure, that what is external permeates to the inside, and that the mask, given time, comes to be the face itself.
Marguerite Yourcenar (Memoirs of Hadrian)
I always liked routine. I suppose I never found boredom very boring. I doubted I could explain it to someone like Margo but drawing circles through life struck me as a kind of reasonable insanity.
John Green (Paper Towns)
For man seems to be unable to live without myth, without the belief that the routine and drudgery, the pain and fear of this life have some meaning and goal in the future. At once new myths come into being – political and economic myths with extravagant promises of the best of futures in the present world. These myths give the individual a certain sense of meaning by making him part of a vast social effort, in which he loses something of his own emptiness and loneliness. Yet the very violence of these political religions betrays the anxiety beneath them – for they are but men huddling together and shouting to give themselves courage in the dark.
Alan W. Watts (The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety)
This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops. Do not be afraid to break out of comfortable and routine modes of living in order to take up the challenge of making Christ known in the modern metropolis.
Pope John Paul II
To the artist, all problems of art appear uniquely personal. Well, that's understandable enough, given that not many other activities routinely call one's basic self-worth into question.
David Bayles (Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking)
I tired of the routine of eight years in one afternoon.
Charlotte Brontë
Caste is insidious and therefore powerful because it is not hatred, it is not necessarily personal. It is the worn grooves of comforting routines and unthinking expectations, patterns of a social order that have been in place for so long that it looks like the natural order of things.
Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents)
I think she was the love of his life. When you've got one of those, it does stuff to you. It makes you think about them even when you're doing routine things. It makes you want to protect them, to make them happy and safe.
J.D. Robb
Dirty talk is an art. Do it too often, it becomes routine. Never do it, and you’re missing something. Simon did it just right. He was like a perfect bowl of smutty porridge: just right.
Alice Clayton (Rusty Nailed (Cocktail, #2))
When anesthesia was developed, it was for many decades routinely withheld from women giving birth, since women were "supposed" to suffer. One of the few societies to take a contrary view was the Huichol tribe in Mexico. The Huichol believed that the pain of childbirth should be shared, so the mother would hold on to a string tied to her husband's testicles. With each painful contraction, she would give the string a yank so that the man could share the burden. Surely if such a mechanism were more widespread, injuries in childbirth would garner more attention.
Nicholas D. Kristof (Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide)
The less of routine, the more of life.
Amos Bronson Alcott
And to those who believe that adventures are i say try routine: it kills you far more quickly.
Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra)
We routinely leave our small children in day care among strangers. At the same time, in our guilt we evince paranoia about strangers and foster fear in children.
Thomas Harris (Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter, #3))
People just don't seem to get me. Don't understand that I need my space. Always telling me what to do. They think rules and routines and clean hands and your p's and q's will make everything all right. They haven't got a clue.
Rachel Ward (Numbers (Numbers, #1))
Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.
Lenny Bruce (The Essential Lenny Bruce: his original unexpurgated satirical routines)
Top 10 Deathbed Regrets: 1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life other people expected of me. 2. I wish I took time to be with my children more when they were growing up. 3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings, without the fear of being rejected or unpopular. 4. I wish I would have stayed in touch with friends and family. 5. I wish I would have forgiven someone when I had the chance. 6. I wish I would have told the people I loved the most how important they are to me. 7. I wish I would have had more confidence and tried more things, instead of being afraid of looking like a fool. 8. I wish I would have done more to make an impact in this world. 9. I wish I would have experienced more, instead of settling for a boring life filled with routine, mediocrity and apathy. 10. I wish I would have pursued my talents and gifts. (contributed by Shannon L. Alder, author and therapist that has 17 years of experience working with hospice patients)
Shannon L. Alder
Man may feel like a feeble and powerless pawn, at some moment in his life. This apprehension can come out of the blue, in the middle of the day, at the center of a public place, like a cerebral attack. Check mated by 'daily routine', he may feel trapped in a smothering set of circumstances and only a deconstruction of all impeding barriers can bring about a vital mental deliverance. ( "Check and mate" )
Erik Pevernagie
In the end, the employees said, Jonathan’s routine had been so boring the subcontractor surveilling him had given up. 'I’m interesting!' Jonathan said, when I told him. 'I am a very interesting person! I went to an escape room!
Ronan Farrow (Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators)
لا تجمد نفسك في نمط، النمطية مفيدة ولكن المرونة خير و أبقى
Naguib Mahfouz (الحب تحت المطر)
Productiveness is your acceptance of morality, your recognition of the fact that you choose to live--that productive work is the process by which man's consciousness controls his existence, a constant process of acquiring knowledge and shaping matter to fit one's purpose, of translating an idea into physical form, of remaking the earth in the image of one's values--that all work is creative work if done by a thinking mind, and no work is creative if done by a blank who repeats in uncritical stupor a routine he has learned from others--that your work is yours to choose, and the choice is as wide as your mind, that nothing more is possible to you and nothing less is human--that to cheat your way into a job bigger than your mind can handle is to become a fear-corroded ape on borrowed motions and borrowed time, and to settle down into a job that requires less than your mind's full capacity is to cut your motor and sentence yourself to another kind of motion: decay--that your work is the process of achieving your values, and to lose your ambition for values is to lose your ambition to live--that your body is a machine, but your mind is its driver, and you must drive as far as your mind will take you, with achievement as the goal of your road--that the man who has no purpose is a machine that coasts downhill at the mercy of any boulder to crash in the first chance ditch, that the man who stifles his mind is a stalled machine slowly going to rust, that the man who lets a leader prescribe his course is a wreck being towed to the scrap heap, and the man who makes another man his goal is a hitchhiker no driver should ever pick up--that your work is the purpose of your life, and you must speed past any killer who assumes the right to stop you, that any value you might find outside your work, any other loyalty or love, can be only travelers you choose to share your journey and must be travelers going on their own power in the same direction.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
We are absurdly accustomed to the miracle of a few written signs being able to contain immortal imagery, involutions of thought, new worlds with live people, speaking, weeping, laughing. We take it for granted so simply that in a sense, by the very act of brutish routine acceptance, we undo the work of the ages, the history of the gradual elaboration of poetical description and construction, from the treeman to Browning, from the caveman to Keats. What if we awake one day, all of us, and find ourselves utterly unable to read? I wish you to gasp not only at what you read but at the miracle of its being readable.
Vladimir Nabokov (Pale Fire)
I am wary of the whole dreary deadening structured mess that we have built into such a glittering top-heavy structure that there is nothing left to see but the glitter, and the brute routines of maintaining it.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By (Travis McGee, #1))
My life is routine. I wake up early in the morning. I brush my teeth. I sit on the floor of the cell I do not go to breakfast. I stare at a gray cement wall. I keep my legs crossed my back straight my eyes forward. I take deep breaths in and out, in and out, and I try not to move. I sit for as long as I can I sit until everything hurts I sit until everything stops hurting I sit until I lose myself in the gray wall I sit until my mind becomes as blank as the gray wall. I sit and I stare and I breathe. I sit and I stare. I breathe.
James Frey (My Friend Leonard)
Mengubah rutinitas itu sama saja dengan menawar bumi agar berhenti mengedari matahari.
Dee Lestari (Rectoverso)
Because of the routines we follow, we often forget that life is an ongoing adventure. . . Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art: to bring all our energies to each encounter, to remain flexible enough to notice and admit when what we expected to happen did not happen. We need to remember that we are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.
Maya Angelou
We make time for what we truly value. We build habits and routines around the things that really matter to us. This is an important principle to understand as we seek to build our lives around the gospel. Do you want a cross centered life? A cross centered life is made up of cross centered days.
C.J. Mahaney
We get trapped in our own little bubbles, and even though the world is a wide and mysterious place, our bubbles keep us safe from that. To our detriment.” She sighed. “But it’s so easy because there’s something soothing about routine. Day in and day out, it’s always the same. When we’re shaken from that, when that bubble bursts, it can be hard to understand all that we’ve missed.
T.J. Klune (The House in the Cerulean Sea)
Respectability, regularity, and routine - the whole cast-iron discipline of a modern industrial society - have atrophied the artistic impulse, and imprisoned love so that it can no longer be generous and free and creative, but must be either stuffy or furtive.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays)
If a man is convinced that he is safe only as long as he uses his power to give others a sense of insecurity, then the measure of their security is in his hands. If security or insecurity is at the mercy of a single individual or group, then control of behavior becomes routine. All imperialism functions in this way.
Howard Thurman
One must indeed be ignorant of the methods of genius to suppose that it allows itself to be cramped by forms. Forms are for mediocrity, and it is fortunate that mediocrity can act only according to routine. Ability takes its flight unhindered.
Napoléon Bonaparte
I am drowning in negativism, self-hate, doubt, madness - and even I am not strong enough to deny the routine, the rote, to simplify. No, I go plodding on, afraid that the blank hell in back of my eyes will break through, spewing forth like a dark pestilence; afraid that the disease which eats away the pith of my body with merciless impersonality will break forth in obvious sores and warts, screaming "Traitor, sinner, imposter.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Life, for the most part, inevitably becomes routine, the random confluence of timing and fortune that configures its components all but forgotten. But every so often, I catch a glimpse of my life out of the corner of my eye, and am rendered breathless by it.
Jonathan Tropper
And here one of the most soul-crushing things about the Trump era reveals itself: to get through it with any psychological stability—to get through it without routinely descending into an emotional abyss—a person’s best strategy is to think mostly of himself, herself. As wealth continues to flow upward, as Americans are increasingly shut out of their own democracy, as political action is constrained into online spectacle, I have felt so many times that the choice of this era is to be destroyed or to morally compromise ourselves in order to be functional—to be wrecked, or to be functional for reasons that contribute to the wreck.
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror)
Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, your closet full of your clothes -- with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That's not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating.
Michael Crichton (Travels)
I really am a pessimist. I've always felt that fascism is a more natural governmental condition than democracy. Democracy is a grace. It's something essentially splendid because it's not at all routine or automatic. Fascism goes back to our infancy and childhood, where we were always told how to live. We were told, Yes, you may do this; no, you may not do that. So the secret of fascism is that it has this appeal to people whose later lives are not satisfactory.
Norman Mailer
Hospitalizations in general are blurry. The days are the same, precisely the same. Nothing changes. Life melts down to a simple progression of meals. They become a way of life fairly quickly. You may welcome this transition. It may seem inevitable to you. You have been removed from the world. It is all right, in a way, because there is nothing so sure, so safe, as routine.
Marya Hornbacher
Every concert pianist knows that the surest way to ruin a performance is to be aware of what the fingers are doing. Every dancer and acrobat knows enough to let the mind go, let the body run itself. Every driver of a manual vehicle arrives at destinations with no recollection of the stops and turns and roads traveled in getting there. You are all sleepwalkers, whether climbing creative peaks or slogging through some mundane routine for the thousandth time. You are all sleepwalkers.
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
To live in a city is to live the life that it was built for, to adapt to its schedule and rhythms, to move within the transit layout made for you during the morning and evening rush, winding through the crowds of fellow commuters. To live in a city is to consume its offerings. To eat at its restaurants. To drink at its bars. To shop at its stores. To pay its sales taxes. To give a dollar to its homeless. To live in a city is to take part in and to propagate its impossible systems. To wake up. To go to work in the morning. It is also to take pleasure in those systems because, otherwise, who could repeat the same routines, year in, year out?
Ling Ma (Severance)
By autistic standards, the “normal” brain is easily distractible, is obsessively social, and suffers from a deficit of attention to detail and routine. Thus people on the spectrum experience the neurotypical world as relentlessly unpredictable and chaotic, perpetually turned up too loud, and full of people who have little respect for personal space.
Steve Silberman (NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity)
Productivity is for robots. What humans are going to be really good at is asking questions, being creative, and experiences.”   Kevin Kelly
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren't any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true.
Zach Helm (Stranger Than Fiction: The Shooting Script)
It was her last breakfast with Bapi, her last morning in Greece. In her frenetic bliss that kept her up till dawn, she’d scripted a whole conversation in Greek for her and Bapi to have as their grand finale of the summer. Now she looked at him contentedly munching on his Rice Krispies, waiting for the right juncture for launchtime. He looked up at her briefly and smiled, and she realized something important. This was how they both liked it. Though most people felt bonded by conversation, Lena and Bapi were two of a kind who didn’t. They bonded by the routine of just eating cereal together. She promptly forgot her script and went back to her cereal. At one point, when she was down to just milk, Bapi reached over and put his hand on hers. ‘You’re my girl,’ he said. And Lena knew she was.
Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1))
You deserve more of their attention than their phone does. You deserve quality time, not just time. You deserve effort, not just routines. You deserve to be treated as if you are a priority, not the last thing on their checklist. You are special and you deserve to be the only option. If that is too much to ask, you are asking it from the wrong person. If begging ever becomes your last approach to receive those things which ought to be freely given, it’s safe to say, you are out of your dang mind. Begging to be loved is suicide. It’s like going sky diving from the Eiffel Tower naked of proper equipment, and expecting gravity to overturn the outcome.
Pierre Alex Jeanty (To the Women I Once Loved)
It is, and has been, and will forever be, this world of ours, a fucking joke.
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
...I just want to be free of the fears and anxieties and the superstitions of religion. An 'avenging GOD'? One who created Hell for those who don't believe? I thought we were the perfect and holy children of GOD? How could any limits possibly be put upon us? Hell.. really? I'm sorry, but... no. Wrong. You're wrong. That's an insane GOD and therefore not mine. Because, see, GOD would be very sane, don't you get it?
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
When I was in college, a teacher once said that all women live by a ‘rape schedule.’ I was baffled by the term, but as she went on to explain, I got really freaked out. Because I realized that I knew exactly what she was talking about. And you do too. Because of their constant fear of rape (conscious or not), women do things throughout the day to protect themselves. Whether it’s carrying our keys in our hands as we walk home, locking our car doors as soon as we get in, or not walking down certain streets, we take precautions. While taking precautions is certainly not a bad idea, the fact that certain things women do are so ingrained into our daily routines is truly disturbing. It’s essentially like living in a prison – all the time. We can’t assume that we’re safe anywhere: not on the streets, not in our homes. And we’re so used to feeling unsafe that we don’t even see that there’s something seriously fucked up about it.
Jessica Valenti (Full Frontal Feminism)
The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.
Ludwig von Mises (Bureaucracy)
Don't get me wrong. I love a Denver omelette as much as the next girl. But I'm curious whether that’s your thing, or if you try to change up the routine depending on the specific woman. You know… like, green pepper because I have green eyes, ham because I’m so funny, and onions for all the tears you’ll shed after I leave.
Julie James (Love Irresistibly (FBI/US Attorney, #4))
We are so convinced of the goodness of ourselves, and the goodness of our love, we cannot bear to believe that there might be something more worthy of love than us, more worthy of worship. Greeting cards routinely tell us everybody deserves love. No. Everybody deserves clean water. Not everybody deserves love all the time.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
We all have our routines," he said softly."But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
If one has failed to develop curiosity and interest in the early years, it is a good idea to acquire them now, before it is too late to improve the quality of life. To do so is fairly easy in principle, but more difficult in practice. Yet it is sure worth trying. The first step is to develop the habit of doing whatever needs to be done with concentrated attention, with skill rather than inertia. Even the most routine tasks, like washing dishes, dressing, or mowing the lawn become more rewarding if we approach them with the care it would take to make a work of art. The next step is to transfer some psychic energy each day from tasks that we don’t like doing, or from passive leisure, into something we never did before, or something we enjoy doing but don’t do often enough because it seems too much trouble. There are literally millions of potentially interesting things in the world to see, to do, to learn about. But they don’t become actually interesting until we devote attention to them.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life)
Women don't realize how much store men set on the regularity of their habits. We absorb their comings and goings into our bodies, their rhythms into our bones.
Louise Erdrich (The Round House)
WHEN 99% OF PEOPLE DOUBT YOU, YOU’RE EITHER GRAVELY WRONG OR ABOUT TO MAKE HISTORY.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
I have no routines or personal history. One day I found out that they were no longer necessary for me and, like drinking, I dropped them. One must have the desire to drop them and then one must proceed harmoniously to chop them off, little by little. If you have no personal history, no explanations are needed; nobody is angry or disillusioned with your acts. And above all no one pins you down with their thoughts. It is best to erase all personal history because that makes us free from the encumbering thoughts of other people. I have, little by little, created a fog around me and my life. And now nobody knows for sure who I am or what I do. Not even I. How can I know who I am, when I am all this?
Carlos Castaneda (Journey to Ixtlan)
Look for someone who matches your soul (not who completes it): someone who flows through life like you do; someone who shares your interests, values, outlook, routine, and so on.”….”No one else completes you. Period. People come in and out of our lives to share them with us, contribute, support us, and teach us, but they never complete us.
Christine Hassler (20 Something Manifesto)
Losers have goals. Winners have systems.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
The most important trick to be happy is to realize that happiness is a choice that you make and a skill that you develop. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It’s just like building muscles.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
It is growing up different. It is extreme hypersensitivity. It is a bottomless pit of feeling you're failing, but three days later, you feel you can do anything, only to end the week where you began. It is not learning from your mistakes. It is distrusting people because you have been hurt enough. It is moments of knowing your pain is self inflicted, followed by blaming the world. It is wanting to listen, but you just can’t anymore because your life has been to full of people that have judged you. It is fighting to be right; so for once in your life someone will respect and hear you for a change. It is a tiring life of endless games with people, in order to seek stimulus. It is a hyper focus, so intense about what bothers you, that you can’t pay attention to anything else, for very long. It is a never-ending routine of forgetting things. It is a boredom and lack of contentment that keeps you running into the arms of anyone that has enough patience to stick around. It wears you out. It wears everyone out. It makes you question God’s plan. You misinterpret everything, and you allow your creative mind to fill the gaps with the same old chains that bind you. It narrows your vision of who you let into your life. It is speaking and acting without thinking. It is disconnecting from the ones you love because your mind has taken you back to what you can’t let go of. It is risk taking, thrill seeking and moodiness that never ends. You hang your hope on “signs” and abandon reason for remedy. It is devotion to the gifts and talents you have been given, that provide temporary relief. It is the latching onto the acceptance of others---like a scared child abandoned on a sidewalk. It is a drive that has no end, and without “focus” it takes you nowhere. It is the deepest anger when someone you love hurts you, and the greatest love when they don't. It is beauty when it has purpose. It is agony when it doesn’t. It is called Attention Deficit Disorder.
Shannon L. Alder
My daughter, Carly, has been in and out of drug treatment facilities since she was thirteen. Every time she goes away, I have a routine: I go through her room and search for drugs she may have left behind. We have a laugh these days because Carly says, “So you were lookingfor drugs I might have left behind? I’m a drug addict, Mother. We don’t leave drugs behind, especially if we’re going into treatment. We do all the drugs. We don’t save drugs back for later. If I have drugs, I do them. All of them. If I had my way, we would stop for more drugs on the way to rehab, and I would do them in the parking lot of the treatment center.
Dina Kucera (Everything I Never Wanted to Be)
My idea of absolute happiness is to sit in a hot garden all, reading, or writing, utterly safe in the knowledge that the person I love will come home to me in the evening. Every evening.' 'You are a romantic, Edith,' repeated Mr Neville, with a smile. 'It is you who are wrong,' she replied. 'I have been listening to that particular accusation for most of my life. I am not a romantic. I am a domestic animal. I do not sigh and yearn for extravagant displays of passion, for the grand affair, the world well lost for love. I know all that, and know that it leaves you lonely. No, what I crave is the simplicity of routine. An evening walk, arm in arm, in fine weather. A game of cards. Time for idle talk. Preparing a meal together.
Anita Brookner (Hotel du Lac)
It hit her like a sledgehammer, and it was then that she knew what to feel. A liquid trail of hate flooded her chest. Knowing that she would hate him long and well filled her with pleasant anticipation, like when you know you are going to fall in love with someone and you wait for the happy signs. Hating BoyBoy, she could get on with it, and have the safety, the thrill, the consistency of that hatred as long as she wanted or needed it to define and strengthen her or protect her from routine vulnerabilities.
Toni Morrison (Sula)
I looked about me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks. I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as a man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Wind, Sand and Stars)
The man who has not the habit of reading is imprisoned in his immediate world, in respect to time and space. His life falls into a set routine; he is limited to contact and conversation with a few friends and acquaintances, and he sees only what happens in his immediate neighbourhood. From this prison there is no escape. But the moment he takes up a book, he immediately enters a different world, and if it is a good book, he is immediately put in touch with one of the best talkers of the world. This talker leads him on and carries him into a different country or a different age, or unburdens to him some of his personal regrets, or discusses with him some special line or aspect of life that the reader knows nothing about. An ancient author puts him in communion with a dead spirit of long ago, and as he reads along, he begins to imagine what the ancient author looked like and what type of person he was.
Lin Yutang (The Importance of Living)
I am two women: one wants to have all the joy, passion & adventure that life can give me. The other wants to be a slave to routine, to family life, to the things that can be planned and achieved. I'm a housewife & a prostitute, both of us living in the same body & doing battle with each other. The meeting of these two women is a game with serious risks. A divine dance. When we meet, we are two divine energies, two universes colliding. If the meeting is not carried out with due reverence, one universe destroys the other.
Paulo Coelho
Imagination is absolutely critical to the quality of our lives. Our imagination enables us to leave our routine everyday existence by fantasizing about travel, food, sex, falling in love, or having the last word—all the things that make life interesting. Imagination gives us the opportunity to envision new possibilities—it is an essential launchpad for making our hopes come true. It fires our creativity, relieves our boredom, alleviates our pain, enhances our pleasure, and enriches our most intimate relationships.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
An island can be dreadful for someone from outside. Everything is complete, and everyone has his obstinate, sure and self-sufficient place. Within their shores, everything functions according to rituals that are as hard as rock from repetition, and at the same time they amble through their days as whimsically and casually as if the world ended at the horizon.
Tove Jansson (The Summer Book)
I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other. Then I ask just the men: What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they've been asked a trick question. The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, 'I stay out of prison.' This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, 'Nothing. I don't think about it.' Then I ask women the same question. What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted? Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands. As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine. Here are some of their answers: Hold my keys as a potential weapon. Look in the back seat of the car before getting in. Carry a cell phone. Don't go jogging at night. Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights. Be careful not to drink too much. Don't put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured. Own a big dog. Carry Mace or pepper spray. Have an unlisted phone number. Have a man's voice on my answering machine. Park in well-lit areas. Don't use parking garages. Don't get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men. Vary my route home from work. Watch what I wear. Don't use highway rest areas. Use a home alarm system. Don't wear headphones when jogging. Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime. Don't take a first-floor apartment. Go out in groups. Own a firearm. Meet men on first dates in public places. Make sure to have a car or cab fare. Don't make eye contact with men on the street. Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.
Jackson Katz (The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help)
A charmed life is so rare that for every one such life there are millions of wretched lives. Some know that their baby will be among the unfortunate. Nobody knows, however, that their baby will be one of the allegedly lucky few. Great suffering could await any person that is brought into existence. Even the most privileged people could give birth to a child that will suffer unbearably, be raped, assaulted, or be murdered brutally. The optimist surely bears the burden of justifying this procreational Russian roulette. Given that there are no real advantages over never existing for those who are brought into existence, it is hard to see how the significant risk of serious harm could be justified. If we count not only the unusually severe harms that anybody could endure, but also the quite routine ones of ordinary human life, then we find that matters are still worse for cheery procreators. It shows that they play Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun—aimed, of course, not at their own heads, but at those of their future offspring.
David Benatar (Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence)
So I am nineteen years old and don’t usually know what I’m doing, snap my thoughts out of the printed page, get my looks from other eyes, do not overtake dotards and cripples in the street for fear I will depress them with my agility, love watching children and animals at play but wouldn’t mind seeing a beggar kicked or a little girl run over because it’s all experience, dislike myself and sneer at a world less nice and less intelligent than me. I take it this is fairly routine?
Martin Amis (The Rachel Papers)
There is something sustaining in the very agitation that accompanies the first shocks of trouble, just as an acute pain is often a stimulus, and produces an excitement which is transient strength. It is in the slow, changed life that follows--in the time when sorrow has become stale, and has no longer an emotive intensity that counteracts its pain--in the time when day follows day in dull unexpectant sameness, and trial is a dreary routine--it is then that despair threatens; it is then that the peremptory hunger of the soul is felt, and eye and ear are strained after some unlearned secret of our existence, which shall give to endurance the nature of satisfaction.
George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss)
If man is not made in the image of God, nothing then stands in the way of inhumanity. There is no good reason why mankind should be perceived as special. Human life is cheapened. We can see this in many of the major issues being debated in our society today: abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, the increase of child abuse and violence of all kinds, pornography ... , the routine torture of political prisoners in many parts of the world, the crime explosion, and the random violence which surrounds us.
Francis A. Schaeffer (Whatever Happened to the Human Race?)
How are you coming with your home library? Do you need some good ammunition on why it's so important to read? The last time I checked the statistics...I think they indicated that only four percent of the adults in this country have bought a book within the past year. That's dangerous. It's extremely important that we keep ourselves in the top five or six percent. In one of the Monthly Letters from the Royal Bank of Canada it was pointed out that reading good books is not something to be indulged in as a luxury. It is a necessity for anyone who intends to give his life and work a touch of quality. The most real wealth is not what we put into our piggy banks but what we develop in our heads. Books instruct us without anger, threats and harsh discipline. They do not sneer at our ignorance or grumble at our mistakes. They ask only that we spend some time in the company of greatness so that we may absorb some of its attributes. You do not read a book for the book's sake, but for your own. You may read because in your high-pressure life, studded with problems and emergencies, you need periods of relief and yet recognize that peace of mind does not mean numbness of mind. You may read because you never had an opportunity to go to college, and books give you a chance to get something you missed. You may read because your job is routine, and books give you a feeling of depth in life. You may read because you did go to college. You may read because you see social, economic and philosophical problems which need solution, and you believe that the best thinking of all past ages may be useful in your age, too. You may read because you are tired of the shallowness of contemporary life, bored by the current conversational commonplaces, and wearied of shop talk and gossip about people. Whatever your dominant personal reason, you will find that reading gives knowledge, creative power, satisfaction and relaxation. It cultivates your mind by calling its faculties into exercise. Books are a source of pleasure - the purest and the most lasting. They enhance your sensation of the interestingness of life. Reading them is not a violent pleasure like the gross enjoyment of an uncultivated mind, but a subtle delight. Reading dispels prejudices which hem our minds within narrow spaces. One of the things that will surprise you as you read good books from all over the world and from all times of man is that human nature is much the same today as it has been ever since writing began to tell us about it. Some people act as if it were demeaning to their manhood to wish to be well-read but you can no more be a healthy person mentally without reading substantial books than you can be a vigorous person physically without eating solid food. Books should be chosen, not for their freedom from evil, but for their possession of good. Dr. Johnson said: "Whilst you stand deliberating which book your son shall read first, another boy has read both.
Earl Nightingale
I marvel again at the nakedness of men's lives: the showers right out in the open, the body exposed for inspection and comparison, the public display of privates. What is it for? What purposes of reassurance does it serve? The flashing of a badge, look, everyone, all is in order, I belong here. Why don't women have to prove to one another that they are women? Some form of unbuttoning, some split-crotch routine, just as casual. A doglike sniffing.
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1))
When I look at my friend's marriages, with their routine day-to-dayness, they actually seem far more romantic than any dating relationship might be. Dating seems romantic, but for the most part it's an extended audition. Marriage seems boring, but for the most part it's a state of comfort and acceptance. Dating is about grand romantic gestures that mean little over the long-term. Marriage is about small acts of kindness that bond you over a lifetime. It's quietly romantic. He makes her tea. She goes to the doctor appointment with him. They listen to each other's daily trivia. They put up with each other's quirks. They're there for each other.
Lori Gottlieb (Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough)
The multitude of men and women choose the less adventurous way of the comparatively unconscious civic and tribal routines. But these seekers, too, are saved—by virtue of the inherited symbolic aids of society, the rites of passage, the grace-yielding sacraments, given to mankind of old by the redeemers and handed down through millenniums. It is only those who know neither an inner call nor an outer doctrine whose plight truly is desperate; that is to say, most of us today, in this labyrinth without and within the heart. Alas, where is the guide, that fond virgin, Ariadne, to supply the simple clue that will give us courage to face the Minotaur, and the means then to find our way to freedom when the monster has been met and slain?
Joseph Campbell (The Hero With a Thousand Faces)
We have not noticed how fast the rest has risen. Most of the industrialized world--and a good part of the nonindustrialized world as well--has better cell phone service than the United States. Broadband is faster and cheaper across the industrial world, from Canada to France to Japan, and the United States now stands sixteenth in the world in broadband penetration per capita. Americans are constantly told by their politicians that the only thing we have to learn from other countries' health care systems is to be thankful for ours. Most Americans ignore the fact that a third of the country's public schools are totally dysfunctional (because their children go to the other two-thirds). The American litigation system is now routinely referred to as a huge cost to doing business, but no one dares propose any reform of it. Our mortgage deduction for housing costs a staggering $80 billion a year, and we are told it is crucial to support home ownership, except that Margaret Thatcher eliminated it in Britain, and yet that country has the same rate of home ownership as the United States. We rarely look around and notice other options and alternatives, convinced that "we're number one.
Fareed Zakaria (The Post-American World)
I told myself that I didn't need any of that shit, but there it was, repeated to me day after day after day. And when you're surrounded by a bunch of mostly strangers experiencing the same thing, unable to call home, tethered to routine on ranchland miles away from anybody who might have known you before, might have been able to recognize the real you if you told them you couldn't remember who she was, it's not really like being real at all. It's plastic living. It's living in a diorama. It's living the life of one of those prehistoric insects encased in amber: suspended, frozen, dead but not, you don't know for sure.
Emily M. Danforth (The Miseducation of Cameron Post)
As the syringe was filled, Butch stepped up into the surgeon’s grille. Even as incapacitated as the cop was from the inhaling, he was straight-up deadly as he spoke. “I don’t need to tell you not to f*ck my buddy. Right.” The surgeon looked around his little-glass-bottle-and-needle routine. “I’m not thinking about sex at the moment, thank you very much. But if I was, it sure as shit wouldn’t be with him. So instead of worrying about who I’m tapping, how’d you like to do us all a favor and have a shower. You stink.” Butch blinked. Then smiled a little. “You have balls.” “And they’re made of brass. Big as church bells, too.
J.R. Ward (Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9))
There is something joyful about storms that interrupt routine. Snow or freezing rain suddenly releases you from expectations, performance demands, and the tyranny of appointments and schedules. And unlike illness, it is largely a corporate rather than individual experience. One can almost hear a unified sigh rise from the nearby city and surrounding countryside where Nature has intervened to give respite to the weary humans slogging it out within her purview. All those affected this way are united by a mutual excuse, and the heart is suddenly and unexpectedly a little giddy. There will be no apologies needed for not showing up to some commitment or other. Everyone understands and shares in this singular justification, and the sudden alleviation of the pressure to produce makes the heart merry.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. "I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
Sterling Hayden (Wanderer)
Children of her type contrive the purest philosophies. Ada had worked out her own little system. Hardly a week had elapsed since Van’s arrival when he was found worthy of being initiated in her web of wisdom. An individual’s life consisted of certain classified things: "real things" which were unfrequent and priceless, simply "things" which formed the routine stuff of life; and "ghost things," also called "fogs," such as fever, toothache, dreadful disappointments, and death. Three or more things occurring at the same time formed a "tower," or, if they came in immediate succession, they made a "bridge." "Real towers" and "real bridges" were the joys of life, and when the towers came in a series, one experienced supreme rapture; it almost never happened, though. In some circumstances, in a certain light, a neutral "thing" might look or even actually become "real" or else, conversely, it might coagulate into a fetid "fog." When the joy and the joyless happened to be intermixed, simultaneously or along the ramp of duration, one was confronted with "ruined towers" and "broken bridges.
Vladimir Nabokov (Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle)
We're not really taught how to recreate constructively. We need to do more than find diversions; we need to restore and expand ourselves. Our idea of relaxing is all too often to plop down in front of the television set and let its pandering idiocy liquefy our brains. Shutting off the thought process is not rejuvenating; the mind is like a car battery -- it recharges by running. You may be surprised to find how quickly daily routine and the demands of "just getting by" absorb your waking hours. You may be surprised to find how quickly you start to see your politics and religion become matters of habit rather than thought and inquiry. You may be surprised to find how quickly you start to see your life in terms of other people's expectations rather than issues. You may be surprised to find out how quickly reading a good book sounds like a luxury.
Bill Watterson
What I have learned from the year past is something about miracles--miracles of healing and answered prayer and unexpected happy endings. Each came quietly and simply, on tiptoe, so that I hardly knew it had occurred. All this makes me realize that miracles are everyday things. Not only the sudden, great good fortune, wafting in on a new wind from the sky. They are almost routine, yet miracles just the same. Every time something hard becomes easier; every time you adjust to a situation which, last week, you didn't know existed; every time a kindness falls as softly as the dew; or someone you love who was ill grows better; every time a blessing comes, not with trumpet and fanfare, but silently as night, you have witnessed a miracle.
Faith Baldwin (Many Windows, Seasons of the Heart)
The Ache That Would Not Leave Behind the hum and routine of daily living, there lay a persistent and wild longing for something she could not easily put into words. It felt like impulsive adventures and watching the sun rise over unfamiliar mountains, or coffee in a street café, set to the background music of a foreign language. It was the smell of the ocean, with dizzying seagulls whirling in a cobalt sky; exotic foods and strange faces, in a city where no one knew her name. She wanted secrets whispered at midnight, and road trips without a map, but most of all, she ached for someone who desired to explore the mysteries that lay sleeping within her. The truly heartbreaking part was that she could feel the remaining days of her life falling away, like leaves from an autumn tree, but still this mysterious person who held the key to unlock her secrets did not arrive; they were missing, and she knew not where to find them.
John Mark Green
So I am led to one or two choices! Can I write? Will I write if I practice enough? How much should I sacrifice to writing anyway, before I find out if I'm any good? Above all, CAN A SELFISH, EGOCENTRIC, JEALOUS, AND UNIMAGINATIVE FEMALE WRITE A DAMN THING WORTHWHILE? Should I sublimate (my how we throw words around!) my selfishness in serving other people- through social or other such work? Would I then become more sensitive to other people and their problems? Would I be able to write honestly? Then of other beings besides a tall, introspective adolescent girl? I must be in contact with a wide variety of lives if I am not to become submerged in the routine of my own economic strata and class.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty.... Even from your scant description, I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that you are forced to lead. I don't think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.
Everett Ruess
Time stops when someone dies. Of course it stops for them, maybe, but for the mourners time runs amok. Death comes too soon. It forgets the tides, the days growing longer and shorter, the moon. It rips up the calendar. You aren't at your desk or on the subway or fixing dinner for the children. You're reading People in a surgery waiting room, or shivering outside on a balcony smoking all night long. you stare into space, sitting in your childhood bedroom with the lobe on the desk... The bad part is that when you return to your ordinary life all the routines, the marks of the day, seem like senseless lies. all is suspect, a trick to lull us, rock us back into the placid relentlessness of time.
Lucia Berlin (A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories)
my god! i'm thinking, what incredible shit we've put up with most of our lives - the domestic routine (same old jobs, insufferable arrogance of elected officials, the crafty cheating and the slimy advertising of the businessman, the tedious wars in which we kill our buddies instead of our real enemies back home in the capital, the foul diseased and hideous cities and towns we live in, the constant petty tyranny of automatic washers and automobiles and tv machines and telephones -! ah christ!, i'm thinking, at the same time that i'm waving goodby to that hollering idiot on shore, what intolerable garbage and what utterly useless crap we bury ourselves in day by day, while patiently enduring at the same time the creeping strangulation of the clean white collar and the rich but modest four-in-hand garrote)
Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire)
Cooking without remuneration" and "slaving over a hot stove" are activities separated mostly by a frame of mind. The distinction is crucial. Career women in many countries still routinely apply passion to their cooking, heading straight from work to the market to search out the freshest ingredients, feeding their loved ones with aplomb. [...] Full-time homemaking may not be an option for those of us delivered without trust funds into the modern era. But approaching mealtimes as a creative opportunity, rather than a chore, is an option. Required participation from spouse and kids is an element of the equation. An obsession with spotless collars, ironing, and kitchen floors you can eat off of---not so much. We've earned the right to forget about stupefying household busywork. But kitchens where food is cooked and eaten, those were really a good idea. We threw that baby out with the bathwater. It may be advisable to grab her by her slippery foot and haul her back in here before it's too late.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Austerity means to eliminate the comforts and cushions in your life that you have learned to snuggle into and lose wakefulness. Take away anything that dulls your edge. No newspapers or magazines. No TV. No candy, cookies, or sweets. No sex. No cuddling. No reading of anything at all while you eat or sit on the toilet. Reduce working time to a necessary minimum. No movies. No conversation that isn't about truth, love, or the divine. If you take on these disciplines for a few weeks, as well as any other disciplines that may particularly cut through your unique habits of dullness, then your life will be stripped of routine distraction. All that will be left is the edge you have been avoiding by means of your daily routine. You will have to face the basic discomfort and dissatisfaction that is the hidden texture of your life. You will be alive with the challenge of living your truth, rather than hiding form it. Unadorned suffering is the bedmate of masculine growth. Only by staying intimate with your personal suffering can you feel through it to its source. By putting all your attention into work, TV, sex, and reading, your suffering remains unpenetrated, and the source remains hidden. Your life becomes structured entirely by your favorite means of sidestepping the suffering you rarely allow yourself to feel. And when you do touch the surface of your suffering, perhaps in the form of boredom, you quickly pick up a magazine or the remote control. Instead, feel your suffering, rest with it, embrace it, make love with it. Feel your suffering so deeply and thoroughly that you penetrate it, and realize its fearful foundation. Almost everything you do, you do because you are afraid to die. And yet dying is exactly what you are doing, from the moment you are born. Two hours of absorption in a good Super Bowl telecast may distract you temporarily, but the fact remains. You were born as a sacrifice. And you can either participate in the sacrifice, dissolving in the giving of your gift, or you can resist it, which is your suffering. By eliminating the safety net of comforts in your life, you have the opportunity to free fall in this moment between birth and death, right through the hole of your fear, into the unthreatenable openness which is the source of your gifts. The superior man lives as this spontaneous sacrifice of love.
David Deida (The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire)
As soon as she releases me, Galen grabs my hand and I don't even have time to gasp before he snatches me to the surface and pulls me toward shore, only pausing to dislodge his pair of swimming trunks from under his favorite rock, where he had just moments before taken the time to hide them. I know the routine and turn away so he can change, but it seems like no time before he hauls me onto the beach and drags me to the sand dunes in front of my house. "What are you doing?" I ask. His legs are longer than mine so for every two of his strides I have to take three, which feels a lot like running. He stops us in between the dunes. "I'm doing something that is none of anyone else's business." Then he jerks me up against him and crushes his mouth on mine. And I see why he didn't want an audience for this kiss. I wouldn't want an audience for this kiss, either, especially if the audience included my mother. This is our first kiss after he announced that he wanted me for his mate. This kiss holds promises of things to come. When he pulls away I feel drunk and excited and nervous and filled with a craving that I'm not sure can ever be satisfied. And Galen looks startled. "Maybe I shouldn't have done that," he says. "That makes it about fifty times harder to leave, I think.
Anna Banks (Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2))
Don't fall in love with me. Not unless you're ready for a God damn fight. I don't do fragility, or friction and fairy tales. I want you to be irrational because I'm irrational. Be bold. Speak your mind. I want your wildfires and obscenities. I want your passion and priorities. Protect what's yours. I'll defend what's ours. Let us fight against routines and bad habits, and anything typical. And don't you dare quit. Not on us, not on yourself. God help the person who threatens us. Forgive me when I let you down, but don't overlook it, or allow it. We're all insecure about something. Show me yours. We're all terrified sometimes. Turn to me. People come in and out of my life so often and easily that I just look for a love that stays. I don't mind your blemishes or scars, I have a few of my own. Don't be another flash in the pan. Falling for me will be easy. Staying with me will be impossible. But you deserve a love that most people don't believe in anymore.
J. Raymond
War has changed. It's no longer about nations, ideologies, or ethnicity. It's an endless series of proxy battles, fought by mercenaries and machines. War--and it's consumption of life--has become a well-oiled machine. War has changed. ID-tagged soldiers carry ID-tagged weapons, use ID-tagged gear. Nanomachines inside their bodies enhance and regulate their abilities. Genetic control, information control, emotion control, battlefield control…everything is monitored and kept under control. War…has changed. The age of deterrence has become the age of control, all in the name of averting catastrophe from weapons of mass destruction, and he who controls the battlefield, controls history. War…has changed. When the battlefield is under total control, war becomes routine.
David Hayter
Are you born again?" he asked, as we taxied down the runway. He was rather prim and tense, maybe a little like David Eisenhower with a spastic colon. I did not know how to answer for a moment. "Yes," I said. "I am." My friends like to tell each other that I am not really a born-again Christian. They think of me more along the lines of that old Jonathan Miller routine, where he said, "I'm not really a Jew -- I'm Jew-ish." They think I am Christian-ish. But I'm not. I'm just a bad Christian. A bad born-again Christian. And certainly, like the apostle Peter, I am capable of denying it, of presenting myself as a sort of leftist liberation-theology enthusiast and maybe sort of a vaguely Jesusy bon vivant. But it's not true. And I believe that when you get on a plane, if you start lying you are totally doomed. So I told the truth; that I am a believer, a convert. I'm probably about three months away from slapping an aluminum Jesus-fish on the back of my car, although I first want to see if the application or stickum in any way interferes with my lease agreement. And believe me, all this boggles even *my* mind. But it's true. I could go to a gathering of foot-wash Baptists and, except for my dreadlocks, fit right in. I would wash their feet; I would let them wash mine.
Anne Lamott
This metropolitan world, then, is a world where flesh and blood is less real than paper and ink and celluloid. It is a world where the great masses of people, unable to have direct contact with more satisfying means of living, take life vicariously, as readers, spectators, passive observers: a world where people watch shadow-heroes and heroines in order to forget their own clumsiness or coldness in love, where they behold brutal men crushing out life in a strike riot, a wrestling ring or a military assault, while they lack the nerve even to resist the petty tyranny of their immediate boss: where they hysterically cheer the flag of their political state, and in their neighborhood, their trades union, their church, fail to perform the most elementary duties of citizenship. Living thus, year in and year out, at second hand, remote from the nature that is outside them and no less remote from the nature within, handicapped as lovers and as parents by the routine of the metropolis and by the constant specter of insecurity and death that hovers over its bold towers and shadowed streets - living thus the mass of inhabitants remain in a state bordering on the pathological. They become victims of phantasms, fears, obsessions, which bind them to ancestral patterns of behavior.
Lewis Mumford (The Culture of Cities (Book 2))
Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900. To You WHOEVER you are, I fear you are walking the walks of dreams, I fear these supposed realities are to melt from under your feet and hands; Even now, your features, joys, speech, house, trade, manners, troubles, follies, costume, crimes, dissipate away from you, Your true Soul and Body appear before me, They stand forth out of affairs—out of commerce, shops, law, science, work, forms, clothes, the house, medicine, print, buying, selling, eating, drinking, suffering, dying. Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem; I whisper with my lips close to your ear, I have loved many women and men, but I love none better than you. O I have been dilatory and dumb; I should have made my way straight to you long ago; I should have blabb’d nothing but you, I should have chanted nothing but you. I will leave all, and come and make the hymns of you; None have understood you, but I understand you; None have done justice to you—you have not done justice to yourself; None but have found you imperfect—I only find no imperfection in you; None but would subordinate you—I only am he who will never consent to subordinate you; I only am he who places over you no master, owner, better, God, beyond what waits intrinsically in yourself. Painters have painted their swarming groups, and the centre figure of all; From the head of the centre figure spreading a nimbus of gold-color’d light; But I paint myriads of heads, but paint no head without its nimbus of gold-color’d light; From my hand, from the brain of every man and woman it streams, effulgently flowing forever. O I could sing such grandeurs and glories about you! You have not known what you are—you have slumber’d upon yourself all your life; Your eye-lids have been the same as closed most of the time; What you have done returns already in mockeries; (Your thrift, knowledge, prayers, if they do not return in mockeries, what is their return?) The mockeries are not you; Underneath them, and within them, I see you lurk; I pursue you where none else has pursued you; Silence, the desk, the flippant expression, the night, the accustom’d routine, if these conceal you from others, or from yourself, they do not conceal you from me; The shaved face, the unsteady eye, the impure complexion, if these balk others, they do not balk me, The pert apparel, the deform’d attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside. There is no endowment in man or woman that is not tallied in you; There is no virtue, no beauty, in man or woman, but as good is in you; No pluck, no endurance in others, but as good is in you; No pleasure waiting for others, but an equal pleasure waits for you. As for me, I give nothing to any one, except I give the like carefully to you; I sing the songs of the glory of none, not God, sooner than I sing the songs of the glory of you. Whoever you are! claim your own at any hazard! These shows of the east and west are tame, compared to you; These immense meadows—these interminable rivers—you are immense and interminable as they; These furies, elements, storms, motions of Nature, throes of apparent dissolution—you are he or she who is master or mistress over them, Master or mistress in your own right over Nature, elements, pain, passion, dissolution. The hopples fall from your ankles—you find an unfailing sufficiency; Old or young, male or female, rude, low, rejected by the rest, whatever you are promulges itself; Through birth, life, death, burial, the means are provided, nothing is scanted; Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.
Walt Whitman
Your ribcage never meant to hurt you. Your windpipe doesn’t know how to be pretty, but she knows how to howl— and here, I’d like to take a moment to submit a formal apology to my soft parts because they kept me warm when I was trying to freeze to death, and I hated them for it. An apology for a starvation that went deeper than my skin. One for the strongest skeleton I will ever own and how I kept using the word girl against it. Or how I turned words like beautiful into shapes I could contort myself into. I didn’t mean to compare myself to faces I can’t have. Or spend years trying to carve myself, like Michelangelo’s angels, from the marble— forgetting what it is to be skin instead of stone. I let myself be afraid. I was taught to be. When you learn you are only as good as your beauty routine, you forget how to define yourself by anything else.
Ashe Vernon (Wrong Side of a Fistfight)
I was also sick of my neighbors, as most Parisians are. I now knew every second of the morning routine of the family upstairs. At 7:00 am alarm goes off, boom, Madame gets out of bed, puts on her deep-sea divers’ boots, and stomps across my ceiling to megaphone the kids awake. The kids drop bags of cannonballs onto the floor, then, apparently dragging several sledgehammers each, stampede into the kitchen. They grab their chunks of baguette and go and sit in front of the TV, which is always showing a cartoon about people who do nothing but scream at each other and explode. Every minute, one of the kids cartwheels (while bouncing cannonballs) back into the kitchen for seconds, then returns (bringing with it a family of excitable kangaroos) to the TV. Meanwhile the toilet is flushed, on average, fifty times per drop of urine expelled. Finally, there is a ten-minute period of intensive yelling, and at 8:15 on the dot they all howl and crash their way out of the apartment to school.” (p.137)
Stephen Clarke (A Year in the Merde)
Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’ The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe. ‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’ He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’ David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’ ‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things)
All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately upon one assumption; a false assumption. It is supposed that if a thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead; a piece of clockwork. People feel that if the universe was personal it would vary; if the sun were alive it would dance. This is a fallacy even in relation to known fact. For the variation in human affairs is generally brought into them, not by life, but by death; by the dying down or breaking off of their strength or desire. A man varies his movements because of some slight element of failure or fatigue. He gets into an omnibus because he is tired of walking; or he walks because he is tired of sitting still. But if his life and joy were so gigantic that he never tired of going to Islington, he might go to Islington as regularly as the Thames goes to Sheerness. The very speed and ecstacy of his life would have the stillness of death. The sun rises every morning. I do not rise every morning; but the variation is due not to my activity, but to my inaction. Now, to put the matter in a popular phrase, it might be true that the sun rises regularly because he never gets tired of rising. His routine might be due, not to a lifelessness, but to a rush of life. The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE. Heaven may ENCORE the bird who laid an egg. If the human being conceives and brings forth a human child instead of bringing forth a fish, or a bat, or a griffin, the reason may not be that we are fixed in an animal fate without life or purpose. It may be that our little tragedy has touched the gods, that they admire it from their starry galleries, and that at the end of every human drama man is called again and again before the curtain. Repetition may go on for millions of years, by mere choice, and at any instant it may stop. Man may stand on the earth generation after generation, and yet each birth be his positively last appearance.
G.K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy)
Life was not to be sitting in hot amorphic leisure in my backyard idly writing or not-writing, as the spirit moved me. It was, instead, running madly, in a crowded schedule, in a squirrel cage of busy people. Working, living, dancing, dreaming, talking, kissing — singing, laughing, learning. The responsibility, the awful responsibility of managing (profitably) 12 hours a day for 10 weeks is rather overwhelming when there is nothing, noone, to insert an exact routine into the large unfenced acres of time — which it is so easy to let drift by in soporific idling and luxurious relaxing. It is like lifting a bell jar off a securely clockwork-like functioning community, and seeing all the little busy people stop, gasp, blow up and float in the inrush, (or rather outrush,) of the rarified scheduled atmosphere — poor little frightened people, flailing impotent arms in the aimless air. That's what it feels like: getting shed of a routine. Even though one had rebelled terribly against it, even then, one feels uncomfortable when jounced out of the repetitive rut. And so with me. What to do? Where to turn? What ties, what roots? as I hang suspended in the strange thin air of back-home?
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
It was my teacher's genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me. She realized that a child's mind is like a shallow brook which ripples and dances merrily over the stony course of its education and reflects here a flower, there a bush, yonder a fleecy cloud; and she attempted to guide my mind on its way, knowing that like a brook it should be fed by mountain streams and hidden springs, until it broadened out into a deep river, capable of reflecting in its placid surface, billowy hills, the luminous shadows of trees and the blue heavens, as well as the sweet face of a little flower. Any teacher can take a child to the classroom, but not every teacher can make him learn. He will not work joyously unless he feels that liberty is his, whether he is busy or at rest; he must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way bravely through a dull routine of textbooks. My teacher is so near to me that I scarcely think of myself apart from her. How much of my delight in all beautiful things is innate, and how much is due to her influence, I can never tell. I feel that her being is inseparable from my own, and that the footsteps of my life are in hers. All the best of me belongs to her--there is not a talent, or an aspiration or a joy in me that has not been awakened by her loving touch.
Helen Keller (The Story of My Life: With Her Letters (1887 1901) and a Supplementary Account of Her Education Including Passages from the Reports and Letters of Her Teacher Anne Mansfield Sullivan by John Albert Macy)
It was in fact the ordinary nature of everything preceding the event that prevented me from truly believing it had happened, absorbing it, incorporating it, getting past it. I recognize now that there was nothing unusual in this: confronted with sudden disaster we all focus on how unremarkable the circumstances were in which the unthinkable occurred, the clear blue sky from which the plane fell, the routine errand that ended on the shoulder with the car in flames, the swings where the children were playing as usual when the rattlesnake struck from the ivy. "He was on his way home from work — happy, successful, healthy — and then, gone," I read in the account of a psychiatric nurse whose husband was killed in a highway accident. In 1966 I happened to interview many people who had been living in Honolulu on the morning of December 7, 1941; without exception, these people began their accounts of Pearl Harbor by telling me what an "ordinary Sunday morning" it had been. "It was just an ordinary beautiful September day," people still say when asked to describe the morning in New York when American Airlines 11 and United Airlines 175 got flown into the World Trade towers. Even the report of the 9/11 Commission opened on this insistently premonitory and yet still dumbstruck narrative note: "Tuesday, September 11, 2001, dawned temperate and nearly cloudless in the eastern United States.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
I learned to find equal meaning in the repeated rituals of domestic life. Setting the table. Lighting the candles. Building the fire. Cooking. All those soufflés, all that crème caramel, all those daubes and albóndigas and gumbos. Clean sheets, stacks of clean towels, hurricane lamps for storms, enough water and food to see us through whatever geological event came our way. These fragments I have shored against my ruins, were the words that came to mind then. These fragments mattered to me. I believed in them. That I could find meaning in the intensely personal nature of life as a wife and mother did not seem inconsistent with finding meaning in the vast indifference of geology and the test shots.
Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking)
It's a poem about moths. But it's also a poem about psychopaths. I get it copied. And stick it in a frame. And now it glowers redoubtably above my desk:an entomological keepsake of the horizons of existence. And the brutal, star-crossed wisdom of those who seek them out. i was talking to a moth the other evening he was trying to break into an electric bulb and fry himself on the wires why do you fellows pull this stunt i asked him because it is the conventional thing for moths or why if that had been an uncovered candle instead of an electric light bulb you would now be a small unsightly cinder have you no sense plenty of it he answered but at times we get tired of using it we get bored with routine and crave beauty and excitement fire is beautiful and we know that if we get too close it will kill us but what does that matter it is better to be happy for a moment and be burned up with beauty than to live a long time and be bored all the while so we wad all our life up into one little roll and then we shoot the roll that is what life is for it is better to be part of beauty our attitude toward life is come easy go easy we are like human beings used to be before they became too civilized to enjoy themselves and before i could argue him out of his philosophy he went and immolated himself on a patent cigar lighter i do not agree with him myself i would rather have half the happiness and twice the longevity but at the same time i wish there was something i wanted as badly as he wanted to fry himself
Kevin Dutton (The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success)
On a long flight, after periods of crisis and many hours of fatigue, mind and body may become disunited until at times they seem completely different elements, as though the body were only a home with which the mind has been associated but by no means bound. Consciousness grows independent of the ordinary senses. You see without assistance from the eyes, over distances beyond the visual horizon. There are moments when existence appears independent even of the mind. The importance of physical desire and immediate surroundings is submerged in the apprehension of universal values. For unmeasurable periods, I seem divorced from my body, as though I were an awareness spreading out through space, over the earth and into the heavens, unhampered by time or substance, free from the gravitation that binds to heavy human problems of the world. My body requires no attention. It's not hungry. It's neither warm or cold. It's resigned to being left undisturbed. Why have I troubled to bring it here? I might better have left it back at Long Island or St. Louis, while the weightless element that has lived within it flashes through the skies and views the planet. This essential consciousness needs no body for its travels. It needs no plane, no engine, no instruments, only the release from flesh which circumstances I've gone through make possible. Then what am I – the body substance which I can see with my eyes and feel with my hands? Or am I this realization, this greater understanding which dwells within it, yet expands through the universe outside; a part of all existence, powerless but without need for power; immersed in solitude, yet in contact with all creation? There are moments when the two appear inseparable, and others when they could be cut apart by the merest flash of light. While my hand is on the stick, my feet on the rudder, and my eyes on the compass, this consciousness, like a winged messenger, goes out to visit the waves below, testing the warmth of water, the speed of wind, the thickness of intervening clouds. It goes north to the glacial coasts of Greenland, over the horizon to the edge of dawn, ahead to Ireland, England, and the continent of Europe, away through space to the moon and stars, always returning, unwillingly, to the mortal duty of seeing that the limbs and muscles have attended their routine while it was gone.
Charles A. Lindbergh (The Spirit of St. Louis)
I don’t know if I’ve learned anything yet! I did learn how to have a happy home, but I consider myself fortunate in that regard because I could’ve rolled right by it. Everybody has a superficial side and a deep side, but this culture doesn’t place much value on depth — we don’t have shamans or soothsayers, and depth isn’t encouraged or understood. Surrounded by this shallow, glossy society we develop a shallow side, too, and we become attracted to fluff. That’s reflected in the fact that this culture sets up an addiction to romance based on insecurity — the uncertainty of whether or not you’re truly united with the object of your obsession is the rush people get hooked on. I’ve seen this pattern so much in myself and my friends and some people never get off that line. But along with developing my superficial side, I always nurtured a deeper longing, so even when I was falling into the trap of that other kind of love, I was hip to what I was doing. I recently read an article in Esquire magazine called ‘The End of Sex,’ that said something that struck me as very true. It said: “If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.” What happens when you date is you run all your best moves and tell all your best stories — and in a way, that routine is a method for falling in love with yourself over and over. You can’t do that with a longtime mate because he knows all that old material. With a long relationship, things die then are rekindled, and that shared process of rebirth deepens the love. It’s hard work, though, and a lot of people run at the first sign of trouble. You’re with this person, and suddenly you look like an asshole to them or they look like an asshole to you — it’s unpleasant, but if you can get through it you get closer and you learn a way of loving that’s different from the neurotic love enshrined in movies. It’s warmer and has more padding to it.
Joni Mitchell
Of all the sciences cultivated by mankind, Astronomy is acknowledged to be, and undoubtedly is, the most sublime, the most interesting, and the most useful. For, by knowledge derived from this science, not only the bulk of the Earth is discovered . . . ; but our very faculties are enlarged with the grandeur of the ideas it conveys, our minds exalted above [their] low contracted prejudices." JAMES FERGUSON, 1757† Long before anyone knew that the universe had a beginning, before we knew that the nearest large galaxy lies two million light-years from Earth, before we knew how stars work or whether atoms exist, James Ferguson’s enthusiastic introduction to his favorite science rang true. Yet his words, apart from their eighteenth-century flourish, could have been written yesterday. But who gets to think that way? Who gets to celebrate this cosmic view of life? Not the migrant farmworker. Not the sweatshop worker. Certainly not the homeless person rummaging through the trash for food. You need the luxury of time not spent on mere survival. You need to live in a nation whose government values the search to understand humanity’s place in the universe. You need a society in which intellectual pursuit can take you to the frontiers of discovery, and in which news of your discoveries can be routinely disseminated.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)
Fundamentalist Christianity: fascinating. These people actually believe that the world is twelve thousand years old. Swear to God. Based on what? I asked them. "Well, we looked at all the people in the Bible and we added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages? Twelve thousand years." "Well, how fucking scientific, OK. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble there. That's good. You believe the world's twelve thousand years old?" "That's right." "OK, I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?" "Uh huh." "Dinosaurs." You know, the world's twelve thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and existed in that time, you'd think it would been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point: And O, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in its paw. And the disciples did run a-screamin'. "What a big fucking lizard, Lord!" "I'm sure gonna mention this in my book," Luke said. "Well, I'm sure gonna mention it in my book," Matthew said. But Jesus was unafraid. And he took the splinter from the brontosaurus paw, and the brontosaurus became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch, O so many years, attracting fat American families with their fat fuckin' dollars to look for the Loch Ness Monster. And O the Scots did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" Twelve thousand years old. But I actually asked this guy, "OK, dinosaur fossils-- how does that fit into your scheme of life? What's the deal?" He goes: "God put those here to test our faith." "I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. I think I've figured this out." Does that-- That's what this guy said. Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fucking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: "Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!" You know? You die, you go to St. Peter: "Did you believe in dinosaurs?" "Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!" "You fuckin' idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fuckin' with you!" "It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!" "Enjoy the lake of fire, fucker!" They believe this. But you ever notice how people who believe in Creationism usually look pretty unevolved. Eyes really close together, big furry hands and feet? "I believe God created me in one day." Yeah, looks like he rushed it. Such a weird belief. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he's gonna want to see a fucking cross, man? "Ow." Might be why he hasn't shown up yet. "Man, they're still wearing crosses. Fuck it, I'm not goin' back, Dad. No, they totally missed the point. When they start wearing fishes, I might show up again, but... let me bury fossils with you, Dad. Fuck 'em, let's fuck with 'em! Hand me that brontosaurus head, Dad.
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Nearly a Valediction" You happened to me. I was happened to like an abandoned building by a bull- dozer, like the van that missed my skull happened a two-inch gash across my chin. You were as deep down as I’ve ever been. You were inside me like my pulse. A new- born flailing toward maternal heartbeat through the shock of cold and glare: when you were gone, swaddled in strange air I was that alone again, inventing life left after you. I don’t want to remember you as that four o’clock in the morning eight months long after you happened to me like a wrong number at midnight that blew up the phone bill to an astronomical unknown quantity in a foreign currency. The U.S. dollar dived since you happened to me. You’ve grown into your skin since then; you’ve grown into the space you measure with someone you can love back without a caveat. While I love somebody I learn to live with through the downpulled winter days’ routine wakings and sleepings, half-and-half caffeine- assisted mornings, laundry, stock-pots, dust- balls in the hallway, lists instead of longing, trust that what comes next comes after what came first. She’ll never be a story I make up. You were the one I didn’t know where to stop. If I had blamed you, now I could forgive you, but what made my cold hand, back in prox- imity to your hair, your mouth, your mind, want where it no way ought to be, defined by where it was, and was and was until the whole globed swelling liquefied and spilled through one cheek’s nap, a syllable, a tear, was never blame, whatever I wished it were. You were the weather in my neighborhood. You were the epic in the episode. You were the year poised on the equinox.
Marilyn Hacker (Winter Numbers: Poems)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Stephen had been put to sleep in his usual room, far from children and noise, away in that corner of the house which looked down to the orchard and the bowling-green, and in spite of his long absence it was so familiar to him that when he woke at about three he made his way to the window almost as quickly as if dawn had already broken, opened it and walked out onto the balcony. The moon had set: there was barely a star to be seen. The still air was delightfully fresh with falling dew, and a late nightingale, in an indifferent voice, was uttering a routine jug-jug far down in Jack's plantations; closer at hand and more agreeable by far, nightjars churred in the orchard, two of them, or perhaps three, the sound rising and falling, intertwining so that the source could not be made out for sure. There were few birds that he preferred to nightjars, but it was not they that had brought him out of bed: he stood leaning on the balcony rail and presently Jack Aubrey, in a summer-house by the bowling-green, began again, playing very gently in the darkness, improvising wholly for himself, dreaming away on his violin with a mastery that Stephen had never heard equalled, though they had played together for years and years. Like many other sailors Jack Aubrey had long dreamed of lying in his warm bed all night long; yet although he could now do so with a clear conscience he often rose at unChristian hours, particularly if he were moved by strong emotion, and crept from his bedroom in a watch-coat, to walk about the house or into the stables or to pace the bowling-green. Sometimes he took his fiddle with him. He was in fact a better player than Stephen, and now that he was using his precious Guarnieri rather than a robust sea-going fiddle the difference was still more evident: but the Guarnieri did not account for the whole of it, nor anything like. Jack certainly concealed his excellence when they were playing together, keeping to Stephen's mediocre level: this had become perfectly clear when Stephen's hands were at last recovered from the thumb-screws and other implements applied by French counter-intelligence officers in Minorca; but on reflexion Stephen thought it had been the case much earlier, since quite apart from his delicacy at that period, Jack hated showing away. Now, in the warm night, there was no one to be comforted, kept in countenance, no one could scorn him for virtuosity, and he could let himself go entirely; and as the grave and subtle music wound on and on, Stephen once more contemplated on the apparent contradiction between the big, cheerful, florid sea-officer whom most people liked on sight but who would have never been described as subtle or capable of subtlety by any one of them (except perhaps his surviving opponents in battle) and the intricate, reflective music he was now creating. So utterly unlike his limited vocabulary in words, at times verging upon the inarticulate. 'My hands have now regained the moderate ability they possessed before I was captured,' observed Maturin, 'but his have gone on to a point I never thought he could reach: his hands and his mind. I am amazed. In his own way he is the secret man of the world.
Patrick O'Brian (The Commodore (Aubrey/Maturin, #17))