Sad Short Quotes

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She said she usually cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful & life was so short.
Brian Andreas
The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
I used to analyze myself down to the last thread, used to compare myself with others, recalled all the smallest glances, smiles and words of those to whom I’d tried to be frank, interpreted everything in a bad light, laughed viciously at my attempts ‘to be like the rest’ –and suddenly, in the midst of my laughing, I’d give way to sadness, fall into ludicrous despondency and once again start the whole process all over again – in short, I went round and round like a squirrel on a wheel.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Crime and Punishment)
One likes to think there's something in it, that old platitude amor vincit omnia. But if I've learned one thing in my short sad life, it is that that particular platitude is a lie. Love doesn't conquer everything. And whoever thinks it does is a fool.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife's slain body in his arms.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars, and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance." The night wind whirls in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. On nights like this, I held her in my arms. I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her. To hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass. What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her. The night is full of stars and she is not with me. That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away. My soul is lost without her. As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her. My heart searches for her and she is not with me. The same night that whitens the same trees. We, we who were, we are the same no longer. I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her. My voice searched the wind to touch her ear. Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once belonged to my kisses. Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her. Love is so short and oblivion so long. Because on nights like this I held her in my arms, my soul is lost without her. Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her.
Pablo Neruda
Ô, Wanderess, Wanderess When did you feel your most euphoric kiss? Was I the source of your greatest bliss?
Roman Payne
When I was little and running on the race track at school, I always stopped and waited for all the other kids so we could run together even though I knew (and everybody else knew) that I could run much faster than all of them! I pretended to read slowly so I could "wait" for everyone else who couldn't read as fast as I could! When my friends were short I pretended that I was short too and if my friend was sad I pretended to be unhappy. I could go on and on about all the ways I have limited myself, my whole life, by "waiting" for people. And the only thing that I've ever received in return is people thinking that they are faster than me, people thinking that they can make me feel bad about myself just because I let them and people thinking that I have to do whatever they say I should do. My mother used to teach me "Cinderella is a perfect example to be" but I have learned that Cinderella can go fuck herself, I'm not waiting for anybody, anymore! I'm going to run as fast as I can, fly as high as I can, I am going to soar and if you want you can come with me! But I'm not waiting for you anymore.
C. JoyBell C.
She liked being reminded of butterflies. She remembered being six or seven and crying over the fates of the butterflies in her yard after learning that they lived for only a few days. Her mother had comforted her and told her not to be sad for the butterflies, that just because their lives were short didn't mean they were tragic. Watching them flying in the warm sun among the daisies in their garden, her mother had said to her, see, they have a beautiful life. Alice liked remembering that.
Lisa Genova (Still Alice)
Benvolio: What sadness lengthens Romeo's hours? Romeo: Not having that, which, having, makes them short.
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
We got off at the next exit, quietly, and, switching drivers, we walked in front of the car. We met and I held him, my hands balled into tight fists around his shoulders, and he wrapped his short arms around me and squeezed tight, so that I felt the heaves of his chest as we realized over and over again that we were still alive. I realized it in waves and we held on to each other crying and I thought, 'God we must look so lame,' but it doesn't matter when you have just now realized, all the time later, that you are still alive.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Our lips were for each other and our eyes were full of dreams. We knew nothing of travel and we knew nothing of loss. Ours was a world of eternal spring, until the summer came.
Roman Payne (Hope and Despair)
For me the noise of Time is not sad: I love bells, clocks, watches — and I recall that at first photographic implements were related to techniques of cabinetmaking and the machinery of precision: cameras, in short, were clocks for seeing, and perhaps in me someone very old still hears in the photographic mechanism the living sound of the wood.
Roland Barthes (Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography)
A Very Short Song Once, when I was young and true, Someone left me sad- Broke my brittle heart in two; And that is very bad. Love is for unlucky folk, Love is but a curse. Once there was a heart I broke; And that, I think, is worse.
Dorothy Parker (The Complete Poems of Dorothy Parker)
For how imperiously, how coolly, in disregard of all one’s feelings, does the hard, cold, uninteresting course of daily realities move on! Still we must eat, and drink, and sleep, and wake again, - still bargain, buy, sell, ask and answer questions, - pursue, in short, a thousand shadows, though all interest in them be over; the cold, mechanical habit of living remaining, after all vital interest in it has fled.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Leo cried, "Hold on! Let's have some manners here. Can I at least find out who has the honor of destroying me?" "I am Cal!" the ox grunted. He looked very proud of himself, like he'd taken a long time to memorize that sentence. "That's short for Calais," the love god said. "Sadly, my brother cannot say words with more than two syllables--" "Pizza! Hockey! Destroy!" Cal offered. "--which includes his own name," the love god finished. "I am Cal," Cal repeated. "And this is Zethes! My brother!" "Wow," Leo said. "That was almost three sentences, man! Way to go." Cal grunted, obviously pleased with himself. "Stupid buffoon," his brother grumbled. "They make fun of you. But no matter. I am Zethes, which is short for Zethes. And the lady there--" He winked at piper, but the wink was more like a facial seizure. "She can call me anything she likes. Perhaps she would like to have dinner with a famous demigod before we must destroy you?
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
It didn’t hurt me. Not “hurt”. Hurt is a four letter word. It’s short, almost cute sounding. Aawwww, did that hurt? No. It didn’t hurt. Destroyed, Obliterated, Desecrated, Annihilated, Demolished, Shattered, or Demoralised maybe… But no. It didn’t hurt me. It didn’t “hurt” me at all.
Ranata Suzuki
The man walked past me and stopped, observing the blood running down my neck. "Your injury. Let us tend to it." He looked out through the open doorway and silently gestured to someone out there. "Our world," he said, "is far more advanced than yours. For reasons you'll understand shortly." A thin, bony, naked woman entered the room, carrying two small, white kittens. She sat one of the fluffy cats in my lap and stuffed the other down my shirt. She turned and left. "There," said the large man. "The kittens will make your sad go away.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
Our opportunities to give of ourselves are indeed limitless, but they are also perishable. There are hearts to gladden. There are kind words to say. There are gifts to be given. There are deeds to be done. There are souls to be saved. As we remember that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God,” (Mosiah 2:17) we will not find ourselves in the unenviable position of Jacob Marley’s ghost, who spoke to Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’s immortal "Christmas Carol." Marley spoke sadly of opportunities lost. Said he: 'Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!' Marley added: 'Why did I walk through crowds of fellow-beings with my eyes turned down, and never raise them to that blessed Star which led the Wise Men to a poor abode? Were there no poor homes to which its light would have conducted me!' Fortunately, as we know, Ebenezer Scrooge changed his life for the better. I love his line, 'I am not the man I was.' Why is Dickens’ "Christmas Carol" so popular? Why is it ever new? I personally feel it is inspired of God. It brings out the best within human nature. It gives hope. It motivates change. We can turn from the paths which would lead us down and, with a song in our hearts, follow a star and walk toward the light. We can quicken our step, bolster our courage, and bask in the sunlight of truth. We can hear more clearly the laughter of little children. We can dry the tear of the weeping. We can comfort the dying by sharing the promise of eternal life. If we lift one weary hand which hangs down, if we bring peace to one struggling soul, if we give as did the Master, we can—by showing the way—become a guiding star for some lost mariner.
Thomas S. Monson
Our life is a short time in expectation, a time in which sadness and joy kiss each other at every moment. There is a quality of sadness that pervades all the moments of our lives. It seems that there is no such thing as a clear-cut pure joy, but that even in the most happy moments of our existence we sense a tinge of sadness. In every satisfaction, there is an awareness of limitations. In every success, there is the fear of jealousy. Behind every smile, there is a tear. In every embrace, there is loneliness. In every friendship, distance. And in all forms of light, there is the knowledge of surrounding darkness . . . But this intimate experience in which every bit of life is touched by a bit of death can point us beyond the limits of our existence. It can do so by making us look forward in expectation to the day when our hearts will be filled with perfect joy, a joy that no one shall take away from us.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Making All Things New: An Invitation to the Spiritual Life)
He did not understand all he had heard, but from his clandestine glimpse into the privacy of these two, with all the world that his short experience could conceive of at their feet, he had gathered that life for everybody was a struggle, sometimes magnificent from a distance, but always difficult and surprisingly simple and a little sad.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Babylon Revisited and Other Stories)
I envisaged a perfect detective’s assistant. She’d have long, wavy blonde hair, a short skirt, and curves in all the right places. She’d have a genius IQ, know how to hack and code, and be available at all hours. Now, make her into a robot. Sadly, I mentally removed her body, leaving a phone app.
Grahame Shannon (Tiger and the Robot (Chandler Gray, #1))
Grace: Outside, deep in the woods, I heard a long keening wail, and then another, as the wolves began to howl. More voices pitched in, some low and mournful, others high and short, an eerie and beautiful chorus. I knew my wolf's howl; his rich tone sang out above others as if begging me to hear it. My heart ached inside me, torn between wanting them to stop and wishing they would go on for ever. I imagined myself there among them in the golden woods, watching them tilt their heads back and howl underneath a sky of endless stars. I blinked a tear away, feeling foolish and miserable, but I didn't go to sleep until every wolf had fallen silent.
Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1))
Life is too short to be anything but happy. So kiss slowly. Love deeply. Forgive quickly. Take chances and never have regrets. Forget the past but remember what it taught you.
Abhysheq Shukla (KISS Life "Life is what you make it")
once upon a time all the rivers combined to protest against the action of the sea in making their waters salt. "When we come to you," sad they to the sea, "we are sweet and drinkable; but when once we have mingled with you, our waters become as briny and unpalatable as your own." The sea replied shortly, "Keep away from me, and you'll remain sweet.
Aesop (Aesop's Fables)
Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example,'The night is shattered and the blue stars shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is shattered and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight searches for her as though to go to her. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before. Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.
Pablo Neruda
The World "You know the saddest thing," she said. "The saddest thing is that we're you." I said nothing. "In your fantasies," she said, "my people are just like you. Only better. We don't die or age or suffer from pain or cold or thirst. We're snappier dressers. We possess the wisdom of the ages. And if we crave blood, well, it is no more than the way you people crave food or affection or sunlight - and besides, it gets us out of the house. Crypt. Coffin. Whatever." "And the truth is?" I ask her. "We're you," she said. "We're you with all your fuckups and all the things that make you human - all your fears and lonelinesses and confusions... none of that gets better. "But we're colder than you are. Deader. I miss daylight and food and knowing how it feels to touch someone and care. I remember life, and meeting people as people and not just as things to feed on or control, and I remember what it was to feel something, anything, happy or sad or anything..." And then she stopped. "Are you crying?" I asked. "We don't cry," she told me. Like I said, the woman was a liar." Fifteen Painted Cards From A Vampire Tarot
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
Ô, Muse of the Heart’s Passion, let me relive my Love’s memory, to remember her body, so brave and so free, and the sound of my Dreameress singing to me, and the scent of my Dreameress sleeping by me, Ô, sing, sweet Muse, my soliloquy!
Roman Payne
I don't cry. Unfortunately, I seem rather short of tears, so my sorrows have to stay inside me.
Nadine Gordimer (The Quotable Gordimer; or, The Wit and Wisdom of Nadine Gordimer)
Demigods today. I blame social media for their short attention spans. When you can't even take the time to listen to a god hold forth, that's just sad.
Rick Riordan (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2))
I write short stories because I am one. I wish I was a novel. Breaths away from midnight, I know my final chapter is close. I look up at Valentino, wondering what life could’ve offered if I had more pages in me.
Adam Silvera (The First to Die at the End)
His lyrical whistle beckoned me to adventure and forgetting. But I didn't want to forget. Hugging my grudge, ugly and prickly, a sad sea urchin, I trudged off on my own, in the opposite direction toward the forbidding prison. As from a star I saw, coldly and soberly, the separateness of everything. I felt the wall of my skin; I am I. That stone is a stone. My beautiful fusion with the things of this world was over. The Tide ebbed, sucked back into itself. There I was, a reject, with the dried black seaweed whose hard beads I liked to pop, hollowed orange and grapefruit halves and a garbage of shells. All at once, old and lonely, I eyed these-- razor clams, fairy boats, weedy mussels, the oyster's pocked gray lace (there was never a pearl) and tiny white "ice cream cones." You could always tell where the best shells were-- at the rim of the last wave, marked by a mascara of tar. I picked up, frigidly, a stiff pink starfish. It lay at the heart of my palm, a joke dummy of my own hand. Sometimes I nursed starfish alive in jam jars of seawater and watched them grow back lost arms. On this day, this awful birthday of otherness, my rival, somebody else, I flung the starfish against a stone. Let it perish.
Sylvia Plath (Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose and Diary Excerpts)
Bartimaeus: "A small piece of advice," I said "it isn't wise to be rude to someone bigger than you, especially when they've just trapped you under a boulder." Imp: "You can stick your advice up...." "This brief pause replaces a short, censored episode, characterized by bad language and some sadly necessary violence. When we pick up the story again, everything is as before, except that I am perspiring slightly and the contrite imp is the model of cooperation." Bartimaeus: "I'll ask again: who is Rupert Deveraeux?" Imp: "He's the British Prime Minister, oh Most Bounteous and Merciful one.
Jonathan Stroud (The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus, #1))
I don’t pretend to be happy. I just refuse to be sad.
Abby Jimenez (Life's Too Short (The Friend Zone, #3))
You once told me I was so good at this game because it's all I'll ever have.' The sadness in his voice had drawn me up short. 'Your words were true, though I didn't wish them to be. Not then. Or now.' I'd heard Aric enraged, playful, fierce, in pain, and in lust. I'd never heard this soft sadness before.
Kresley Cole (Dead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3))
Nothing will get you into trouble so deep or as sad as faith.
Rick Bass (The Watch)
Oh, yeah, this girl was going down. She had no idea who she was messing with. And, sadly, she didn’t seem to care. I hoped her drawer came up short at the end of her shift. Karma’s a bitch.
Darynda Jones (Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4))
We don't get to choose our time. Death is what gives life meaning. To know your days are numbered. Your time is short. You'd think after all this time, I'd be ready. But look at me. Stretching one moment out into a thousand... just so that I can watch the snow.
The ancient one
Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, So ... Love the people who treat you right and pray for the ones who don't. Life is 10% what you make it 90% how you take it.
Abhysheq Shukla (Feelings Undefined: The Charm of the Unsaid Vol. 1)
And sociopaths are noted especially for their shallowness of emotion, the hollow and transient nature of any affectionate feelings they may claim to have, a certain breathtaking callousness. They have no trace of empathy and no genuine interest in bonding emotionally with a mate. Once the surface charm is scraped off, their marriages are loveless, one-sided, and almost always short-term. If a marriage partner has any value to the sociopath, it is because the partner is viewed as a possession, one that the sociopath may feel angry to lose, but never sad or accountable.
Martha Stout (The Sociopath Next Door)
What?” I cut him off. “That’s not true—I do take this seriously—” “Bullshit.” He laughs a short, sharp, angry laugh. “All you do is sit around and think about your feelings. You’ve got problems. Boo-freaking-hoo,” he says. “Your parents hate you and it’s so hard but you have to wear gloves for the rest of your life because you kill people when you touch them. Who gives a shit?” He’s breathing hard enough for me to hear him. “As far as I can tell, you’ve got food in your mouth and clothes on your back and a place to pee in peace whenever you feel like it. Those aren’t problems. That’s called living like a king. And I’d really appreciate it if you’d grow the hell up and stop walking around like the world crapped on your only roll of toilet paper. Because it’s stupid,” he says, barely reining in his temper. “It’s stupid, and it’s ungrateful. You don’t have a clue what everyone else in the world is going through right now. You don’t have a clue, Juliette. And you don’t seem to give a damn, either.” I swallow, so hard. “Now I am trying,” he says, “to give you a chance to fix things. I keep giving you opportunities to do things differently. To see past the sad little girl you used to be—the sad little girl you keep clinging to—and stand up for yourself. Stop crying. Stop sitting in the dark counting out all your individual feelings about how sad and lonely you are. Wake up,” he says. “You’re not the only person in this world who doesn’t want to get out of bed in the morning. You’re not the only one with daddy issues and severely screwed-up DNA. You can be whoever the hell you want to be now. You’re not with your shitty parents anymore. You’re not in that shitty asylum, and you’re no longer stuck being Warner’s shitty little experiment. So make a choice,” he says. “Make a choice and stop wasting everyone’s time. Stop wasting your own time. Okay?
Tahereh Mafi (Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2))
I was shaking so hard, I could barely get the door unlocked. I just got the door shut behind me when I sank to my knees and fell apart. I cried so hard I was nearly convulsing. I had never felt such raw emotions in my life. I felt like someone had ripped my heart out of my chest and tore it to pieces. I curled into a ball on the floor and tried desperately to disappear. But no matter how small I got, I was still here. I still existed. And for a short while, I thought I had mattered to someone. I guess I was wrong. I mattered to no one.
Dakota Madison (Be Good)
I felt sad. I felt cold. I felt hurt. I felt forsaken and lonely. I felt doubtful and hesitant. I felt scared and deeply worried. I felt different, unknown, and unwelcome. I felt empty and woefully neglected. I felt weak and intimidated. I felt withdrawn and shy. I felt utterly hopeless. Then you held my hand, and I felt better.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
What sad, short lives humans live! Each life a short pamphlet written by an idiot! Tut-tut, and all that.
Stephen King (It)
Sorrowers tend to avoid what they are most fond of and try to give vent to their grief.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
You poor girl, what sort of aged, unfriendly Libraries have you met in short life? A silent Library is a sad Library ... A Library should be full of exclamations! ... A Library should be full of now-just-a-minutes and that-can't-be-rights and scientifick folk running skelter to prove somebody wrong... A Library should not shush ; it should roar !
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Fairyland, #3))
Tonight I Can Write Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, 'The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is starry and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses. Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.
Pablo Neruda (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair)
Sometimes I'm sad about everything; the way my grilled cheese sandwich tastes, how nice my socks feel, a song John is playing in the kitchen. One time he puts on this goofy Loudon Wainwright song that was on a mix tape I used to listen to during my commute from the boys' school in Bethesda back into the District when we were newly married and everything was about to begin and it makes me burst into tears about the shortness of everything.
Nina Riggs (The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying)
Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad. The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of. If only it were possible for us to see farther than our knowledge reaches, and even a little beyond the outworks of our presentiment, perhaps we would bear our sadnesses with greater trust than we have in our joys. For they are the moments when something new has entered us, something unknown; our feelings grow mute in shy embarrassment, everything in us withdraws, a silence arises, and the new experience, which no one knows, stands in the midst of it all and says nothing.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
Short stories can be like photographs, catching people at some moment in their lives and trapping the memory for ever . There they are, smiling or frowning, looking sad, happy, serious, surprised ... And behind those smiles and those frowns lie all the experience of life, the fears and delights, the hopes and the dreams
Katherine Mansfield
And if I have anything else to say to you it is this: do not think that the person who is trying to console you lives effortlessly among the simple, quiet words that sometimes make you feel better. His life is full of troubles and sadness and falls far short of them. But if it were any different he could never have found the words that he did.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
But if I’ve learned one thing in my short sad life, it is that that particular platitude is a lie. Love doesn’t conquer everything. And whoever thinks it does is a fool.
Donna Tartt
When a loved one is sick, the days are long, but the years are short.
Lindsay Eagar (Hour of the Bees)
How short life would be if certain unpleasant moments didn't make it feel endless!
Silvina Ocampo (Thus Were Their Faces)
Of course we have a Tomorrow on the map…located east of Today and west of Yesterday…and we have no end of "times" in fairyland. Spring-time, long time, short time, new-moon time, good-night time, next time…but no last time, because that is too sad a time for fairyland; old time, young time…because if there is an old time there ought to be a young time, too; mountain time…because that has such a fascinating sound; night-time and day-time…but no bed-time or school-time; Christmas-time; no only time, because that also is too sad…but lost time, because it is so nice to find it; some time, good time, fast time, slow time, half-past kissing-time, going-home time, and time immemorial…which is one of the most beautiful phrases in the world.
L.M. Montgomery
Sadness is melancholy. Depression is a black hole of despair. I always imagine it’s like drowning. There are short bursts of fresh air, like Alice, but the past, the hopelessness, the guilt, and self-loathing is a pair of lead shoes that always pull me back under.
Kim Holden (The Other Side)
One consequential change is that people used to get most of their calories at breakfast and midday, with only the evening top-up at suppertime. Now those intakes are almost exactly reversed. Most of us consume the bulk--a sadly appropriate word here--of our calories in the evening and take them to bed with us, a practice that doesn't do any good at all.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
Listen, life’s too short to let sadness overpower you for long periods of time. Like you said, ‘Everyone dies.’ I felt my emotions, cried my tears, and then came to peace about it. You don’t ever ‘get over’ something like that,” she said, adding air quotes. “Al you can do is embrace the experience and do your best to go on.
N.K. Smith (My Only)
Now, my dear little girl, you have come to an age when the inward life develops and when some people (and on the whole those who have most of a destiny) find that all is not a bed of roses. Among other things there will be waves of terrible sadness, which last sometimes for days; irritation, insensibility, etc., etc., which taken together form a melancholy. Now, painful as it is, this is sent to us for an enlightenment. It always passes off, and we learn about life from it, and we ought to learn a great many good things if we react on it right. (For instance, you learn how good a thing your home is, and your country, and your brothers, and you may learn to be more considerate of other people, who, you now learn, may have their inner weaknesses and sufferings, too.) Many persons take a kind of sickly delight in hugging it; and some sentimental ones may even be proud of it, as showing a fine sorrowful kind of sensibility. Such persons make a regular habit of the luxury of woe. That is the worst possible reaction on it. It is usually a sort of disease, when we get it strong, arising from the organism having generated some poison in the blood; and we mustn't submit to it an hour longer than we can help, but jump at every chance to attend to anything cheerful or comic or take part in anything active that will divert us from our mean, pining inward state of feeling. When it passes off, as I said, we know more than we did before. And we must try to make it last as short as time as possible. The worst of it often is that, while we are in it, we don't want to get out of it. We hate it, and yet we prefer staying in it—that is a part of the disease. If we find ourselves like that, we must make something ourselves to some hard work, make ourselves sweat, etc.; and that is the good way of reacting that makes of us a valuable character. The disease makes you think of yourself all the time; and the way out of it is to keep as busy as we can thinking of things and of other people—no matter what's the matter with our self.
William James
It's not wrong to feel sorry for yourself. Just like it's not wrong to stand in a puddle of water while the rain pours down on your head. But neither is productive, unless you enjoy feeling cold and miserable and soggy while mascara runs down your face.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction -- Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn ... No -- Gatsby turned out all right in the end; it was what prayed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and the short-winded elations of men.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
Then a hundred sad voices lifted a wail, And a hundred glad voices piped on the gale: 'Time is short, life is short,' they took up the tale: 'Life is sweet, love is sweet, use to-day while you may; Love is sweet, and to-morrow may fail; Love is sweet, use to-day.
Christina Rossetti (Complete Poems)
...I'm as happy as a pig in mud, but I would have normally been as horrible, angry, and sad as a pig turned into bacon.
Aquila Robinson (Septic Zombie - A Short Story (Written by a Seven Year Old Home Schooled Girl))
Have you ever had a beautiful melody stuck in your head, but you don't know where it came from? That melody is me.
ShortSkirtsAndExplosions
There is something sad, dreamy, and in the highest degree poetic in a lonely grave ... You can hear its silence, and in this silence you sense the presence of the soul of the unknown person who lies under the cross. Is it good for this soul in the steppe? Does it languish
Anton Chekhov (The Complete Short Novels)
All my work and all my dealings with people feel very easy. Actually, everything is simple. There is one straight road - if you open your eyes you can go along it. I don't see the need to search for all sorts of clever short cuts. Happiness and sadness are both on the road - there is no road that avoids them - but peace is found only on this road, nowhere else.
Rabindranath Tagore
Poppy took my hand and held it to her cheek. “I really believe that tales of loss don’t always have to be sad or sorrowful. I want mine to be remembered as a great adventure that I tried to live as best as I possibly could. Because how dare we waste a single breath? How dare we waste something so precious? Instead, we should strive for all those precious breaths to be taken in as many precious moments as we can squeeze into this short time on Earth. That’s the message I want to leave behind. And what a beautiful legacy to leave for those I love.
Tillie Cole (A Thousand Boy Kisses)
The idea that the millionaire finds nothing but a sad, empty place at the top of this society; the idea that the rich do not know what to do with their money; the idea that the successful become filled up with futility, and that those born successful are poor and little as well as rich - the idea, in short, of the disconsolateness of the rich - is, in the main, merely a way by which those who are not rich reconcile themselves to the fact. Wealth in America is directly gratifying and directly leads to many further gratifications. To be truly rich is to possess the means of realizing in big ways one's little whims and fantasies and sicknesses....
C. Wright Mills (The Power Elite)
We stared at each other for a long moment. His hand smoldered against my skin. In my face, I knew there was nothing but wistful sadness―I didn't want to have to say goodbye now, no matter for how short a time. At first his face reflected mine, but then, as neither of us looked away, his expression changed. He released me, lifting his other hand to brush his fingertips along my cheek, trailing them down to my jaw. I could feel his fingers tremble―not with anger this time. He pressed his palm against my cheek, so that my face was trapped between his burning hands. "Bella," he whispered. I was frozen. No! I hadn't made this decision yet. I didn't know if I could do this, and now I was out of time to think. But I would have been a fool if I thought rejecting him now would have no consequences. I stared back at him. He was not my Jacob, but he could be. His face was familiar and beloved. in so many real ways, I did love him. He was my comfort, my safe harbor. Right now, I could choose to have him belong to me. Alice was back for the moment, but that changed nothing. True love was forever lost. The prince was never coming back to kiss me awake from my enchanted sleep. I was not a princess, after all. So what was the fairy-tale protocol for other kisses? The mundane kind that didn't break any spells? Maybe it would be easy―like holding his hand or having his arms around me. Maybe it would feel nice. Maybe it wouldn't feel like betrayal. Besides, who was I betraying, anyway? Just myself. Keeping his eyes on mine, Jacob began to bend his face toward me. And I was still absolutely undecided.
Stephenie Meyer (New Moon (The Twilight Saga, #2))
But mortification - literally, "making death" - is what life is all about, a slow discovery of the mortality of all that is created so that we can appreciate its beauty without clinging to it as if it were a lasting possession. Our lives can indeed be seen as a process of becoming familiar with death, as a school in the art of dying . . . all these times have passed by like friendly visitors, leaving you with dear memories but also with the sad recognition of the shortness of life. In every arrival there is a leave-taking; in every reunion there is a separation; in each one's growing up there is a growing old; in every smile there is a tear; and in every success there is a loss. All living is dying and all celebration is mortification too.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Show Me The Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent)
The world seems to want us to be sad and angry because bad things frequently happen. But I say we should feel the opposite. We should be happy and cheerful because good things happen. We should be delighted to see the sun rise and stars glow and rainbows color stormy skies. We should savor every simple breath and eat each meal with gratitude. We should slumber in sweet dreams and relish moments of laughter and love. We should take more notice of the joys and kindnesses that do exist, still dictating the actions of millions of good people all over the world. Life is filled with pleasant moments, not just grief. We should be happy because this is true.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
Prayer is vastly superior to worry. With worry, we are helpless; with prayer, we are interceding. When I hear sad news, I try to say a prayer for the victims. When I am troubled, I will say a prayer that asks for relief for myself and for all those who suffer as I do. When I am concerned about my relatives or friends I say a short prayer to myself - "May they be happy and free of suffering." Book: Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddist in the World
Mary Pipher
On an impulse he went into the room and stood before the window, pushing aside the sheer curtain to watch the snow, now nearly eight inches high on the lampposts and the fences and the roofs. It was the sort of storm that rarely happened in Lexington, and the steady white flakes, the silence, filled him with a sense of excitement and peace. It was a moment when all the disparate shards of his life seemed to knit themselves together, every past sadness and disappointment, every anxious secret and uncertainty hidden now beneath the soft white layers. Tomorrow would be quiet, the world subdued and fragile, until the neighborhood children came out to break the stillness with their tracks and shouts and joy. He remembered such days from his own childhood in the mountains, rare moments of escape when he went into the woods, his breathing amplified and his voice somehow muffled by the heavy snow that bent branches low, drifted over paths. The world, for a few short hours, transformed.
Kim Edwards (The Memory Keeper's Daughter)
I know someone who kisses the way a flower opens, but more rapidly. Flowers are sweet. They have short, beatific lives. They offer much pleasure. There is nothing in the world that can be said against them. Sad, isn't it, that all they can kiss is the air. Yes, yes! We are the lucky ones.
Mary Oliver (Felicity)
...but in the next moment I cursed myself for being so great a fool as to dream of hope at all.
Edgar Allan Poe (A Descent into the Maelstrom - an Edgar Allan Poe Short Story)
In general I lacked principally the ability to provide even in the slightest detail for the real future. I thought only of things in the present and their present condition, not because of thoroughness or any special, strong interest, but rather, to the extent that weakness in thinking was not the cause, because of sorrow and fear – sorrow, because the present was so sad for me that I thought I could not leave it before it resolved itself into happiness; fear, because, like my fear of the slightest action in the present, I also considered myself, in view of my contemptible, childish appearance, unworthy of forming a serious, responsible opinion of the great, manly future which usually seemed so impossible to me that every short step forward appeared to me to be counterfeit and the next step unattainable.
Franz Kafka (Diaries, 1910-1923)
There are mainly nine emotions: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, Pity, Disgust, Expectation, Surprise, and Trust. You are attached to those who give you joy. You are attached to those who make you sad. You are attached to those you fear. You are attached to those you are full of pity for. You are attached to those who disgust you. You are attached to those you expect from. You are attached to those who surprise you. You are attached to those you trust. In short, you are attached to those who evoke any kind of emotion in you. You should consider them all as mermaids, or the infected souls out to sink you in the depths of their bad Karma.
Shunya (Immortal Talks (- Book 1))
I think sometimes the bits of your life happen in the wrong order, or all at the same time and you waste time feeling angry about it, but that's the way it is, it's real life. You meet the person who you think could make you happy the rest of your life, but at the same time your ex-girlfriend who's told you umpteen times she never wants to see you again tells you you're going to be a dad.' Elle took up the story. 'And then you move to another country and then the next time you see that person, even though its like no time has passed, you sleep together and then - your mum dies' She gave a short, sad laugh. 'Yep that's rubbish timing
Harriet Evans (Happily Ever After)
I decided to choose: No more sadness because of how someone else will feel. No more hiding my feelings. No more avoiding the truth of how I felt. No more unresolved situations. No more letting people rob me of my happiness and joy and letting life pass me by. No more misery and selling myself short. No more letting people take and steal my inner peace. No more giving a shit about what other people think of me—they are going to form their opinion anyway—and the question is, who cares? Not me. That’s the least of my worries. No more giving everyone the best of me. It is time for me to fall in love with myself and give myself ALL of me!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Lidewij, I believe Agustus Waters sent a few pages from a notebok to Peter Van Houten shortly before he (Augustus) died. It is very important to me that someone reads these pages. I want to read them, of course, but maybe they weren't written for me. Regardless, they must be read. They must be. Can you help? Your friend, Hazel Grace Lancaster "She responded late that afternoon." Dear Hazel, I did not know that Augustus had died. I am very sad to hear this news. He was such a very charismatic young man. I am so sorry, and so sad. I have not spoken to Peter since I resigned that day we met. It is very late at night here, but I am going over to his house first thing in the morning to find this letter and force him to read it. Mornings were his best time, usually. Your friend, Lidewij Vliegenthart p.s. I am bringing my boyfriend in case we have to physically retsrain Peter.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
All emotions, including sadness, are designed to be short-term solu­tions. If we remain in a constant state of sadness or feel sad for too long a time, we run the risk of ruminating and withdrawing from the world around us. If we express too much sadness, we begin to alienate the very people whose help and support we most need.
George A. Bonanno (The Other Side of Sadness: What the New Science of Bereavement Tells Us about Life After Loss)
I now know that there is a happy abundance of science writers who pen the most lucid and thrilling prose—Timothy Ferris, Richard Fortey and Tim Flannery are three that jump out from a single station of the alphabet (and that’s not even to mention the late but godlike Richard Feynman)—but, sadly, none of them wrote any textbook I ever used.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
The sad rocking chair in the corner was actually a joke of a chair: if one started laughing at it, one could die laughing. It was too low for a grown man, and besides, it was so tight, one needed a shoehorn to get back out of it. In short, this room was simply not furnished in a way appropriate to intellectual effort, and I did not intend to keep it any longer.
Knut Hamsun (Hunger)
Sadly enough, sometimes you and Lenny are the only real human interactions that I have all day. The rest of the day I'm just like a machine that mechnically computes and produces Also in "Stories and Scripts:An Anthology
Zack Love (The Doorman)
Then at last the opening music came again, with all the different instruments bunched together for each note like a hard, tight fist that socked at her heart. And the first part was over. This music did not take a long time or a short time. It did not have anything to do with time going by at all. She sat with her arms held tight around her legs, biting her salty knee very hard. It might have been five minutes she listened or half the night. The second part was black-colored--a slow march. Not sad, but like the whole world was dead and black and there was no use thinking back how it was before. One of those horn kind of insturments played a sad and silver tune. Then the music rose up angry and with excitement underneath. And finally the black march again.
Carson McCullers (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter)
Take fireflies for example. Try to imagine their beauty, the evanescent beauty of their lives, which don't even last a week. Female fireflies flash their lights only to have intercourse with the males; males twinkle just to have intercourse with the females. And once their mating has finished, they die. In short, their reproductive instinct is the single, absolute reason for fireflies to live. In that simple instinct and their simple world, no kind of sadness can intervene. This is precisely why fireflies are so fleetingly beautiful.
Tatsuhiko Takimoto (Welcome to the N.H.K.)
Perhaps many things inside you have been transformed; perhaps somewhere, someplace deep inside your being, you have undergone important changes while you were sad. The only sadnesses that are dangerous and unhealthy are the ones that we carry around in public in order to drown them out with the noise; like diseases that are treated superficially and foolishly, they just withdraw and after a short interval break out again all the more terribly; and gather inside us and are life, are life that is unlived, rejected, lost, life that we can die of.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
They were so sorry, dear; they went down to meet each other in a taxi, honey; they had preferences in smiles and had met in Hindustan, and shortly afterward they must have quarrelled, for nobody knew and nobody seemed to care - yet finally one of them had gone and left the other crying, only to feel blue, to feel sad.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tender Is the Night)
Richard put away the Narnia books, convinced, sadly, that they were an allegory; that an author (whom he had trusted) had been attempting to slip something past him. He had had the same disgust with the Professor Challenger stories, when the bull-necked old professor became a convert to Spiritualistm; it was not that Richard had any problems believing in ghosts - Richard believed, with no problems or contradictions, in everything - but Conan Doyle was preaching, and it showed through the words. Richard was young, and innoncent in his fashion, and believed that authors should be trusted, and that there should be nothing hidden beneath the surface of a story.
Neil Gaiman (Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fiction and Illusions)
It seems to me that I grew younger daily with each adult habit that I acquired. I had lived a lonely childhood and a boyhood straitened by war and overshadowed by bereavement; to the hard bachelordom of English adolescence, the premature dignity and authority of the school system, I had added a sad and grim strain of my own. Now, that summer term with Sebastian, it seemed as though I was being given a brief spell of what I had never known, a happy childhood, and though its toys were silk shirts and liqueurs and cigars and its naughtiness high in the catalogue of grave sins, there was something of nursery freshness about us that fell little short of the joy of innocence.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
The next morning I told Mom I couldn't go to school again. She asked what was wrong. I told her, “The same thing that’s always wrong.” “You’re sick?” “I'm sad.” “About Dad?” “About everything.” She sat down on the bed next to me, even though I knew she was in a hurry. “What's everything?” I started counting on my fingers: “The meat and dairy products in our refrigerator, fistfights, car accidents, Larry–” “Who's Larry?” “The homeless guy in front of the Museum of Natural History who always says ‘I promise it’s for food’ after he asks for money.” She turned around and I zipped her dress while I kept counting. “How you don’t know who Larry is, even though you probably see him all the time, how Buckminster just sleeps and eats and goes to the bathroom and has no ‘raison d’etre’, the short ugly guy with no neck who takes tickets at the IMAX theater, how the sun is going to explode one day, how every birthday I always get at least one thing I already have, poor people who get fat because they eat junk food because it’s cheaper…” That was when I ran out of fingers, but my list was just getting started, and I wanted it to be long, because I knew she wouldn't leave while I was still going. “…domesticated animals, how I have a domesticated animal, nightmares, Microsoft Windows, old people who sit around all day because no one remembers to spend time with them and they’re embarrassed to ask people to spend time with them, secrets, dial phones, how Chinese waitresses smile even when there’s nothing funny or happy, and also how Chinese people own Mexican restaurants but Mexican people never own Chinese restaurants, mirrors, tape decks, my unpopularity in school, Grandma’s coupons, storage facilities, people who don’t know what the Internet is, bad handwriting, beautiful songs, how there won’t be humans in fifty years–” “Who said there won't be humans in fifty years?” I asked her, “Are you an optimist or a pessimist?” She looked at her watch and said, “I'm optimistic.” “Then I have some bed news for you, because humans are going to destroy each other as soon as it becomes easy enough to, which will be very soon.” “Why do beautiful songs make you sad?” “Because they aren't true.” “Never?” “Nothing is beautiful and true.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
And in her life, she found the perfect death, a way to drown out the pain, a way to let go.
Kayla Krantz (When Night Falls: A Collection of Short Stories and Poems)
The funeral was really sad, but Chinatown fucking killed this moo shu tonight!
Jared Reck (A Short History of the Girl Next Door)
Happiness is only for a short time then comes sadness which proceeds on overtime
A.N. Knight
I’m always getting forgotten,” said the grizzled doctor sadly. “I must have a very inconspicuous personality.
Agatha Christie (Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories)
It would be sad to be hired as a caregiver and then die before the person you were looking after. You wouldn't be able to let people know you did a good job.
Holly Goldberg Sloan (Short)
Is Jace with you?" "Uh, no," said Alec. He wondered if Aline was asking for a specific reason. Aline and Jace had kissed in Alicante, before the war. Alec tried to think of what Isabelle usually said to girls about Jace. "The thing is," he added, "Jace is a beautiful antelope, who has to be free to run across the plains." "What?" said ALine. Maybe Alec had gotten that wrong. "Jace is home with his, uh, his new girlfriend. You remember Clary." Alec hoped Aline was not too heartbroken. "Oh right, the short redhead," she said. Aline was tiny herself, but refused to ever admit it. "you know, Jace was so sad before the war, I thought he must have a forbidden love. I just didn't think it was Clary, for obvious reasons. I thought it was that vampire." Alec coughed. Aline offered him a sip of her latte. "No," he said when he got his voice back. "Jace is not dating Simon. Jace is straight. Simon is straight." "I totally saw scars on Jace's neck," Aline said. "He let the vampire bite him. He brought him to Alicante. I thought: classic Jace. Never makes a mess when a total catastrophe will do. Wait, did you think I wanted a ride on that disaster train?" "Yes?" said Alec.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
Then again, she didn't like small talk either, so she was glad he wasn't commenting on the weather or the landscape. Life was too big and too short and too important to talk about the lack of rain or the latest gossip. She wanted to know how people felt about themselves and one another, whether they were happy or sad. She wanted to know what made them feel loved and what hurt them to the core. She wanted to know about their past, how they got where they were, and their relationships with their mothers and fathers and siblings. She wanted to know if she was the only mixed-up person in the world who felt completely and utterly alone.
Ellen Marie Wiseman (The Life She Was Given)
it’s a bit like if we were on a planet where all the space creatures were short, green and fat. Except a very few of them were tall, thin and yellow. And all the advertising was of the tall, yellow ones, airbrushed to make them even taller and yellower. So all the little green space creatures spent their whole time feeling sad because they weren’t tall, thin and yellow.
Helen Fielding (Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones, #3))
The whole of the Sermon [Matt 5-7] is framed within Jesus's announcement that what his fellow Jews had longed for over many generations was now at last coming to pass - but that new kingdom didn't look like they had thought it would. Indeed, in some ways it went in exactly the other direction. No violence, no hatred of enemies, no anxious protection of land and property against the pagan hordes. In short, no frantic intensification of the ancestral codes of life. Rather, a glad and unworried trust in the creator God, whose kingdom is now at last starting to arrive, leading to a glad and generous heart toward other people, even those who are technically "enemies." Faith, hope, and love: here they are again. They are the language of life, the sign in the present of green shoots growing through the concrete of this sad old world, the indication that the creator God is on the move, and that Jesus's hearers and followers can be part of what he's now doing.
N.T. Wright
In the beginning we start with roses. The king’s flower right? Only they wilt in less than a day, especially when exposed to the elements. But Carnations? Oh, what a beautiful flower. They come in every color. True, some are painted, but that doesn’t mean they are less beautiful, and they never wilt.
Ruth McLeod-Kearns (Carnations Never Wilt)
On Egyptian television during a 2010 talk show, a Muslim cleric, Sa’d Arafat, reviewed the rules for beating one’s wife. He began by saying, “Allah honored wives by installing the punishment of beating.”21 Beating, he explained, was a legitimate punishment if a husband did not receive sexual satisfaction from his wife. But he added: “There is a beating etiquette.” Beatings must avoid the face because they should not make a wife ugly. They must be done at chest level. He recommended using a short rod.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
So it is with sorrow, each thinks his own present grief the most severe. For of this he judges by his own experience. He that is childless considers nothing so sad as to be without children; he that is poor, and has many children, complains of the extreme evils of a large family. He who has but one, looks upon this as the greatest misery, because that one, being set too much store by, and never corrected, becomes willful, and brings grief upon his father. He who has a beautiful wife, thinks nothing so bad as having a beautiful wife, because it is the occasion of jealousy and intrigue. He who has an ugly one, thinks nothing worse than having a plain wife, because it is constantly disagreeable. The private man thinks nothing more mean, more useless, than his mode of life. The soldier declares that nothing is more toilsome, more perilous, than warfare; that it would he better to live on bread and water than endure such hardships. He that is in power thinks there can be no greater burden than to attend to the necessities of others. He that is subject to that power, thinks nothing more servile than living at the beck of others. The married man considers nothing worse than a wife, and the cares of marriage. The unmarried declares there is nothing so wretched as being unmarried, and wanting the repose of a home. The merchant thinks the husbandman happy in his security. The husbandman thinks the merchant so in his wealth. In short, all mankind are somehow hard to please, and discontented and impatient.
John Chrysostom
I want—no—I need him in my life. In the short time of knowing him, he has flipped my world around, more than once. He can make me angry, sad and confused all in the same minute, but he can also makes me the happiest I’ve ever been. Being around Seth is exciting and dangerous and I like it... I like him.
Skyla Madi (Consumed (Consumed, #1))
There comes a time when we realize that our parents cannot save themselves or save us, that everyone who wades through time eventually gets dragged out to sea by the undertow-that, in short, we are all going
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
Death! mysterious, ill-visaged friend of weak humanity! Why alone of all mortals have you cast me from your sheltering fold? Oh, for the peace of the grave! the deep silence of the iron-bound tomb! that thought would cease to work in my brain, and my heart beat no more with emotions varied only by new forms of sadness!
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (The Mortal Immortal: The Complete Supernatural Short Fiction of Mary Shelley)
It's too short,' she said, 'ever so much too short.' Never did anybody look so sad. Bitter and black, half-way down, in the darkness, in the shaft which ran from the sunlight to the depths, perhaps a tear formed; a tear fell; the waters swayed this way and that, received it, and were at rest. Never did anybody look so sad.
Virginia Woolf (To the Lighthouse)
The world seems to want us to be sad and angry because bad things frequently happen. But I say we should feel the opposite. We should be happy and cheerful because good things happen. We should be delighted to see the sun rise and stars glow and rainbows color stormy skies. We should savor every simple breath and eat each meal with gratitude. We should slumber in sweet dreams and relish moments of laughter and love. We should take more notice of the joys and kindnesses that do exist, still dictating the actions of millions of good people all over the world. Life is filled with pleasant moments, not just grief. We should be happy because this is true.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Slaying Dragons: Quotes, Poetry, & a few Short Stories for Every Day of the Year)
His voice was low and rueful. It was as though before his mind’s eye he saw the sadness of autumn and the leaves falling from the trees. – W. Somerset Maugham, from “P. & O.” Collected Short Stories, Volume 4 (Penguin, 1963)
W. Somerset Maugham (Collected Short Stories: Volume 4)
10 ways to raise a wild child. Not everyone wants to raise wild, free thinking children. But for those of you who do, here's my tips: 1. Create safe space for them to be outside for a least an hour a day. Preferable barefoot & muddy. 2. Provide them with toys made of natural materials. Silks, wood, wool, etc...Toys that encourage them to use their imagination. If you're looking for ideas, Google: 'Waldorf Toys'. Avoid noisy plastic toys. Yea, maybe they'll learn their alphabet from the talking toys, but at the expense of their own unique thoughts. Plastic toys that talk and iPads in cribs should be illegal. Seriously! 3. Limit screen time. If you think you can manage video game time and your kids will be the rare ones that don't get addicted, then go for it. I'm not that good so we just avoid them completely. There's no cable in our house and no video games. The result is that my kids like being outside cause it's boring inside...hah! Best plan ever! No kid is going to remember that great day of video games or TV. Send them outside! 4. Feed them foods that support life. Fluoride free water, GMO free organic foods, snacks free of harsh preservatives and refined sugars. Good oils that support healthy brain development. Eat to live! 5. Don't helicopter parent. Stay connected and tuned into their needs and safety, but don't hover. Kids like adults need space to roam and explore without the constant voice of an adult telling them what to do. Give them freedom! 6. Read to them. Kids don't do what they are told, they do what they see. If you're on your phone all the time, they will likely be doing the same thing some day. If you're reading, writing and creating your art (painting, cooking...whatever your art is) they will likely want to join you. It's like Emilie Buchwald said, "Children become readers in the laps of their parents (or guardians)." - it's so true! 7. Let them speak their truth. Don't assume that because they are young that you know more than them. They were born into a different time than you. Give them room to respectfully speak their mind and not feel like you're going to attack them. You'll be surprised what you might learn. 8. Freedom to learn. I realize that not everyone can homeschool, but damn, if you can, do it! Our current schools system is far from the best ever. Our kids deserve better. We simply can't expect our children to all learn the same things in the same way. Not every kid is the same. The current system does not support the unique gifts of our children. How can they with so many kids in one classroom. It's no fault of the teachers, they are doing the best they can. Too many kids and not enough parent involvement. If you send your kids to school and expect they are getting all they need, you are sadly mistaken. Don't let the public school system raise your kids, it's not their job, it's yours! 9. Skip the fear based parenting tactics. It may work short term. But the long term results will be devastating to the child's ability to be open and truthful with you. Children need guidance, but scaring them into listening is just lazy. Find new ways to get through to your kids. Be creative! 10. There's no perfect way to be a parent, but there's a million ways to be a good one. Just because every other parent is doing it, doesn't mean it's right for you and your child. Don't let other people's opinions and judgments influence how you're going to treat your kid. Be brave enough to question everything until you find what works for you. Don't be lazy! Fight your urge to be passive about the things that matter. Don't give up on your kid. This is the most important work you'll ever do. Give it everything you have.
Brooke Hampton
I loathed being sixty-four, and I will hate being sixty-five. I don’t let on about such things in person; in person, I am cheerful and Pollyannaish. But the honest truth is that it’s sad to be over sixty. The long shadows are everywhere—friends dying and battling illness. A miasma of melancholy hangs there, forcing you to deal with the fact that your life, however happy and successful, has been full of disappointments and mistakes, little ones and big ones. There are dreams that are never quite going to come true, ambitions that will never quite be realized. There are, in short, regrets. Edith Piaf was famous for singing a song called “Non, je ne regrette rien.” It’s a good song. I know what she meant. I can get into it; I can make a case that I regret nothing. After all, most of my mistakes turned out to be things I survived, or turned into funny stories, or, on occasion, even made money from. But
Nora Ephron (I Feel Bad About My Neck)
She put him out like the burning end of a midnight cigarett. She broke his heart. He spent his whole life trying to forget. We watched him drink his pain away a little at a time. But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind until the night. He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger. And finally drank away her memory. Life is short but this time it was bigger, Than the strength he had to get up off his knees. We found him with his face down in the pillow. With a note that said: I love her til' I die. And when we buried him beneath the willow, The angels sang a whiskey lullaby. La la la la la la la. La la la la la la la. La la la la la la la. La la la la la la la. The rumors flew, But nobody knew how much she blamed herself for years and years. She tried to hide the whiskey on her breath. She finally drank her pain away a little at a time, But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind until the night. She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger. And finally drank away his memory. Life is short but this time it was bigger, Than the strength she had to get up off her knees. We found her with her face down in the pillow. Clinging to his picture for dear life. We laid her next to him beneath the willow, While the angels sang a whiskey lullaby. La la la la la la la. La la la la la la la. La la la la la la la. La la la la la la la.
Brad Paisley (Hits Alive)
Now that they'd stopped running, Aru realized she was still holding the silver fruit. It was cold in her hands. Curious, she raised it to her face and inhaled deeply. Aru had never smelled a fruit like this....It didn't give off a scent as much as a feeling. It felt like a moment on the verge of passing. Hot cocoa on the brink of turning cold. The end of a good book. The prickling sense of waking up that always cuts a good nap short. It made her happy and sad all at once. She lost herself in it.
Roshani Chokshi (Aru Shah and the Song of Death (Pandava, #2))
Then Wang Lung turned to the woman and looked at her for the first time. She had a square, honest face, a short, broad nose with large black nostrils, and her mouth was wide as a gash in her face. Her eyes were small and of a dull black in color, and were filled with some sadness that was not clearly expressed. It was a face that seemed habitually silent and unspeaking, as though it could not speak if it would. She bore patiently Wang Lung’s look, without embarrassment or response, simply waiting until he had seen her. He saw that it was true there was not beauty of any kind in her face—a brown, common, patient face. But there were no pock-marks on her dark skin, nor was her lip split. In her ears he saw his rings hanging, the gold-washed rings he had bought, and on her hands were the rings he had given her. He turned away with secret exultation. Well, he had his woman!
Pearl S. Buck (The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1))
A scream is a sound we make that is born of intense feeling. A scream of fear, of being startled, is often high-pitched. It may be short or prolonged. A scream may also accompany delight or amusement, though often that is more of a squeal. And a scream of sorrow or rage ... well, that is an entirely different thing. That comes from a darker place, from the depths of our souls, and when we scream in those times, because we are sad or angry, there is a terrible knowledge that accompanies it, that we are giving voice to our emotions, to what is simply too big for our hearts to contain. And as Li Wei cries out, I know Feng Ji is right. It is his heart I am hearing, a way of expressing what he feels over his father's loss that is both primal and beautiful, and it comes from his soul and reaches something within mine. It is the sound my own heart made when my parents died, only I didn't know it until now.
Richelle Mead (Soundless)
It makes me sad to see a Christian man out in the world, selling God short like that. I don't care how bad your situation is. If you so readily complain about it, you're basically telling the world that the God you serve isn't doing a good job taking care of you.
Brooke St. James (Back to the Beach (Hunt Family #4))
People are fond of spouting out the old cliché about how Van Gogh never sold a painting in his lifetime. Somehow his example serves to justify to us, decades later, that there is merit in utter failure. Perhaps, but the man did commit suicide. The market for his work took off big-time shortly after his death. Had he decided to stick around another few decades he most likely would’ve entered old age quite prosperous. And sadly for failures everywhere, the cliché would have lost a lot of its power. The fact is, the old clichés work for us in abstract terms, but they never work out in real life quite the same way. Life is messy; clichés are clean and tidy.
Hugh MacLeod (Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity)
BENVOLIO: It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours? ROMEO: Not having that, which, having, makes them short. BENVOLIO: In love? ROMEO: Out— BENVOLIO: Of love? ROMEO: Out of her favour, where I am in love. BENVOLIO: Alas, that love, so gentle in his view, Should be so tyrannous and rough in proof! ROMEO: Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still, Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
If we had fooled her last night, I would have considered my life at a satisfactory end, with all debts paid. I would have wound up on skid row, or maybe I would have been a suicide." He shrugged and smiled sadly. "Now," he said, "if I'm ever going to square things with her, I've got to believe in a Heaven, I've got to believe she can look down and see me, and I've got to be a big success for her to see
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Look at the Birdie: Unpublished Short Fiction)
You wrote down that you were a writer by profession. It sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism I had ever heard. When was writing ever your profession? It's never been anything but your religion. Never. I'm a little over-excited now. Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won't be asked. You won't be asked if you were working on a wonderful moving piece of writing when you died. You won't be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished. You won't be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it. You won't even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished--I think only poor Soren K. will get asked that. I'm so sure you'll get asked only two questions.' Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. If only you'd remember before ever you sit down to write that you've been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart's choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. I won't even underline that. It's too important to be underlined. Oh, dare to do it, Buddy ! Trust your heart. You're a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you.
J.D. Salinger (Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters & Seymour: An Introduction)
It huddled on the edge of a dead, dirty lake, fed by a river best known for burning; it was built on a river whose very name meant sadness: Chagrin. Which then gave its name to everything, pockets of agony scattered throughout the city, buried like veins of dismay: Chagrin Falls, Chagrin Boulevard, Chagrin Reservation. Chagrin Real Estate. Chagrin Auto Body. Chagrin reproducing and proliferating, as if they would ever run short. The Mistake on the Lake, people called it sometimes, and to Lexie, as to her siblings and friends, Cleveland was something to be escaped.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
God created the world in seven days, but those days weren't necessarily twenty-four-hour days. Each one of His days might have been a million years long. Human time means nothing in the realm of Heaven, where clocks probably don't have hands, but golden arms, and the arms belong to God. On which day did the mammoth get created? It wasn't on the seventh day, since that was the day of rest. Quite possibly it came on the morning of the fifth an d went back out again the same afternoon. Thinking of creations come and gone in such a short amount of time makes Mawmaw sad.
Thomas Pierce (Shirley Temple Three)
The alley is a pitch for about twenty women leaning in doorways, chain-smoking. In their shiny open raincoats, short skirts, cheap boots, and high-heeled shoes they watch the street with hooded eyes, like spies in a B movie. Some are young and pretty, and some are older, and some of them are very old, with facial expressions ranging from sullen to wry. Most of the commerce is centred on the slightly older women, as if the majority of the clients prefer experience and worldliness. The younger, prettier girls seem to do the least business, apparent innocence being only a minority preference, much as it is for the aging crones in the alley who seem as if they’ve been standing there for a thousand years. In the dingy foyer of the hotel is an old poster from La Comédie Française, sadly peeling from the all behind the desk. Cyrano de Bergerac, it proclaims, a play by Edmond Rostand. I will stand for a few moments to take in its fading gaiety. It is a laughing portrait of a man with an enormous nose and a plumed hat. He is a tragic clown whose misfortune is his honour. He is a man entrusted with a secret; an eloquent and dazzling wit who, having successfully wooed a beautiful woman on behalf of a friend cannot reveal himself as the true author when his friend dies. He is a man who loves but is not loved, and the woman he loves but cannot reach is called Roxanne. That night I will go to my room and write a song about a girl. I will call her Roxanne. I will conjure her unpaid from the street below the hotel and cloak her in the romance and the sadness of Rostand’s play, and her creation will change my life.
Sting (Broken Music)
Feathers," he says. They ask this question at least once a week. He gives the same answer. Even over such a short time — two months, three? He's lost count — they've accumulated a stock of lore, of conjecture about him: Snowman was once a bird but he's forgotten how to fly and the rest of his feathers fell out, and so he is cold and he needs a second skin, and he has to wrap himself up. No: he's cold because he eats fish, and fish are cold. No: he wraps himself up because he's missing his man thing, and he doesn't want us to see. That's why he won't go swimming. Snowman has wrinkles because he once lived underwater and it wrinkled up his skin. Snowman is sad because the others like him flew away over the sea, and now he is all alone.
Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1))
Becky was a weed.  Nobody ever wanted them taking over the bigger, prettier plants.  People went to all extremes to make them go away.  They sprayed poison, pulled until the roots gave way. They felt only like their garden was complete when every tendril was extirpated.  This was how she felt from birth.
Ruth McLeod-Kearns (Weeds)
I cannot be certain what I would have said. I knew that there was something sad and faintly distasteful about love's ending, particularly love that has never been fully realised. I might have hinted at that, but I doubt it. In our deepest moments we say the most inadequate things." short story "Sister Imelda
Edna O'Brien (Returning: A Collection of Tales)
There is no antidote against the opium of time, which temporally considereth all things: our fathers find their graves in our short memories, and sadly tell us how we may be buried in our survivors. Gravestones tell truth scarce forty years. Generations pass while some trees stand, and old families last not three oaks.
Thomas Browne
When Tommy walked forlornly home a short while later, Rudy tried what appeared to be a masterful new tactic. Pity. On the step, he perused the mud that had dried as a crusty sheet on his uniform, then looked Liesel hopelessly in the face. “What about it, Saumensch?” “What about what?” “You know. . . .” Liesel responded in the usual fashion. “Saukerl,” she laughed, and she walked the short distance home. A disconcerting mixture of mud and pity was one thing, but kissing Rudy Steiner was something entirely different. Smiling sadly on the step, he called out, rummaging a hand through his hair. “One day,” he warned her. “One day, Liesel!
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
What we have waited for too long, or possessed only in secret, or had for too short a while: how hard it is to walk through our days with a loss not apparent. To have survived endings that had no ceremony and called forth no condolences. That were bereft even of a grave or death certificate. Sadness without sign or symbol.
Tanya Shadrick (The Cure for Sleep)
The voice came from the night all around him, in his head and out of it. "What do you want?' it repeated. He wondered if he dared to turn and look, realised he did not. 'Well? You come here every night, in a place where the living are not welcome. I have seen you. Why?' 'I wanted to meet you,' he said, without looking around. 'I want to live for ever.' His voice cracked as he said it. He had stepped over the precipice. There was no going back. In his imagination, he could already feel the prick of needle-sharp fangs in his neck, a sharp prelude to eternal life. The sound began. It was low and sad, like the rushing of an underground river. It took him several long seconds to recognise it as laughter. 'This is not life,' said the voice. It said nothing more, and after a while the young man knew he was alone in the graveyard.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
No one desires to end their happiness by sadness! But who can defy nature’s illusion? We being materialistic keep on taking birth to love, Which is temporary in this world full of darkness? Get your mind out of this worldly short term pleasure, We born out of sand will go in sand! Everything goes but why this bloody lust doesn’t go?
Mahiraj Jadeja (Love Forever)
I’m Still Here Your heart has been heavy since that day— The day you thought I went away— I haven’t left you I never would— You just can’t see me, though I wish that you could. It might ease the pain that you feel in your heart— The pain that you’ve felt since you’ve believed us to part. Try and think of it this way, it might help you see— That I am right here with you and always will be. Remember the times we were out in the yard, You could not always see me yet I hadn’t gone far. That’s how it is now when you look for my face I’m still right beside you still filling my place. I find it to be so very sad, That seeing and believing seem to go hand in hand, The love and the loyalty the warmth that I gave, You felt them, did not see them, but you believed just the same. I walk with you now like I walked with you then— My pain is now gone and I lead once again. My eyes always following you wherever you roam— Making sure you’re okay and you’re never alone. Our time was too short yet for me it goes on— I won’t ever leave you, I’ll never be gone. I live in your heart as you live in mine— An endearing love that continues to shine. The day will come and together we’ll be, And you’ll say take me home boy, and once again I will lead. Until that day comes don’t think that I’ve gone— I’m right here beside you, and my love it lives on.
Sylvia Browne (All Pets Go To Heaven: The Spiritual Lives of the Animals We Love)
Our world,” he said, “is far more advanced than yours. For reasons you’ll understand shortly.” A thin, bony naked woman entered the room, carrying two small, white kittens. She sat one of the fluffy cats in my lap and stuffed the other down my shirt. She turned and left. “There,” said the large man. “The kittens will make your sad go away.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
Life is short, even for those who live a long time, and we must live for the few who know and appreciate us, who judge and absolve us, and for whom we have the same affection and indulgence. The rest I look upon as a mere crowd, lively or sad, loyal or corrupt, from whom there is nothing to be expected but fleeting emotions, either pleasant or unpleasant, which leave no trace behind them. We ought to hate very rarely, as it is too fatiguing; remain indifferent to a great deal, forgive often and never forget.
Sarah Bernhardt (My Double Life: The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt)
In my own shire, if I was sad Homely comforters I had: The earth, because my heart was sore, Sorrowed for the son she bore; And standing hills, long to remain, Shared their short-lived comrade's pain. And bound for the same bourn as I, On every road I wandered by, Trod beside me, close and dear, The beautiful and death-struck year: Whether in the woodland brown I heard the beechnut rustle down, And saw the purple crocus pale Flower about the autumn dale; Or littering far the fields of May Lady-smocks a-bleaching lay, And like a skylit water stood The bluebells in the azured wood. Yonder, lightening other loads, The season range the country roads, But here in London streets I ken No such helpmates, only men; And these are not in plight to bear, If they would, another's care. They have enough as 'tis: I see In many an eye that measures me The mortal sickness of a mind Too unhappy to be kind. Undone with misery, all they can Is to hate their fellow man; And till they drop they needs must still Look at you and wish you ill.
A.E. Housman (A Shropshire Lad)
The sea refreshes our imagination because it does not make us think of human life; yet it rejoices the soul, because, like the soul, it is an infinite and impotent striving, a strength that is ceaselessly broken by falls, an eternal and exquisite lament. The sea thus enchants us like music, which, unlike language, never bears the traces of things, never tells us anything about human beings, but imitates the stirrings of the soul. Sweeping up with the waves of those movements, plunging back with them, the heart thus forgets its own failures and finds solace in an intimate harmony between its own sadness and the sea’s sadness, which merges the sea’s destiny with the destinies of all things.
Marcel Proust (The Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust)
One afternoon, Reeves and a colleague were having lunch in Central Park. On the way back to their Madison Avenue office, they encountered a man sitting in the park, begging for money. He had a cup for donations and beside it was a sign, handwritten on cardboard, that read: I AM BLIND. Unfortunately for the man, the cup contained only a few coins. His attempts to move others to donate money were coming up short. Reeves thought he knew why. He told his colleague something to the effect of: “I bet I can dramatically increase the amount of money that guy is raising simply by adding four words to his sign.” Reeves’s skeptical friend took him up on the wager. Reeves then introduced himself to the beleaguered man, explained that he knew something about advertising, and offered to change the sign ever so slightly to increase donations. The man agreed. Reeves took a marker and added his four words, and he and his friend stepped back to watch. Almost immediately, a few people dropped coins into the man’s cup. Other people soon stopped, talked to the man, and plucked dollar bills from their wallets. Before long, the cup was running over with cash, and the once sad-looking blind man, feeling his bounty, beamed. What four words did Reeves add?   It is springtime and   The sign now read:   It is springtime and I am blind.   Reeves won his bet. And we learned a lesson. Clarity depends on contrast.
Daniel H. Pink (To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others)
Long black hair and deep clean blue eyes and skin pale white and lips blood red she's small and thin and worn and damaged. She is standing there. What are you doing here? I was taking a walk and I saw you and I followed you. What do you want. I want you to stop. I breathe hard, stare hard, tense and coiled. There is still more tree for me to destroy I want that fucking tree. She smiles and she steps towards me, toward toward toward me, and she opens he r arms and I'm breathing hard staring hard tense and coiled she puts her arms around me with one hand not he back of my head and she pulls me into her arms and she holds me and she speaks. It's okay. I breathe hard, close my eyes, let myself be held. It's okay. Her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and my heart slows and I stop shaking an the Fury melts into her safety an she holds me and she says. Okay. Okay. Okay. Something else comes and it makes me feel weak and scared and fragile and I don't want to be hurt and this feeling is the feeling I have when I know I can be hurt and hurt deeper and more terribly than anything physical and I always fight it and control it and stop it but her voice calms me and her arms warm me and her smell lightens me and I can feel her heart beat and if she let me go right now I would fall and the need and confusion and fear and regret and horror and shame and weakness and fragility are exposed to the soft strength of her open arms and her simple word okay and I start to cry. I start to cry. I want to cry. It comes in waves. THe waves roll deep and from deep the deep within me and I hold her and she holds me tighter and i let her and I let it and I let this and I have not felt this way this vulnerability or allowed myself to feel this way this vulnerability since I was ten years old and I don't know why I haven't and I don't know why I am now and I only know that I am and that it is scary terrifying frightening worse and better than anything I've ever felt crying in her arms just crying in her ams just crying. She guides me to the ground, but she doesn't let me go. THe Gates are open and thirteen years of addiction, violence, hell and their accompaniments are manifesting themselves in dense tears and heavy sobs and a shortness of breath and a profound sense of loss. THe loss inhabits, fills and overwhelms me. It is the loss of a childhood of being a Teeenager of normalcy of happiness of love of trust anon reason of God of Family of friends of future of potential of dignity of humanity of sanity f myself of everything everything everything. I lost everything and I am lost reduced to a mass of mourning, sadness, grief, anguish and heartache. I am lost. I have lost. Everything. Everything. It's wet and Lilly cradles me like a broken Child. My face and her shoulder and her shirt and her hair are wet with my tears. I slow down and I start to breathe slowly and deeply and her hair smells clean and I open my eyes because I want to see it an it is all that I can see. It is jet black almost blue and radiant with moisture. I want to touch it and I reach with one of my hands and I run my hand from the crown along her neck and her back to the base of her rib and it is a thin perfect sheer and I let it slowly drop from the tips of my fingers and when it is gone I miss it. I do it again and again and she lets me do it and she doesn't speak she just cradles me because I am broken. I am broken. Broken. THere is noise and voices and Lilly pulls me in tighter and tighter and I know I pull her in tighter and tighter and I can feel her heart beating and I know she can feel my heart beating and they are speaking our hearts are speaking a language wordless old unknowable and true and we're pulling and holding and the noise is closer and the voices louder and Lilly whispers. You're okay. You're okay. You're okay.
James Frey
This matters. Real friends - people you trust, respect, laugh with, and can rely on - are a vitally important part of life. No matter how much wealth or fame you accumulate, if you don’t have true friends it’s unlikely you’ll be happy. Sadly I know too many people who have achieved their material goals, but have no friends. As the expression goes: greed is a hole you can never fill
Peter Atkins (Life Is Short And So Is This Book)
The thing I realize, though, the longer and longer I stay sober, is that the bigger injustice would not be a life cut short, or a life inside a prison. It would be living the sadly ordinary life of a career alcoholic, sitting on a barstool and telling the same stories to the same half-friends for years and years, spending all that money on just enough drinks to get into a cozy haze every night.
Brendan Leonard (Sixty Meters to Anywhere)
In my mind, no other flower can compete with the perfection and the fragrance of the Peony. The silky petals, delicate shape, romantic shades and graceful foliage make this flower my all time favorite and I’m not alone. Brides plan their wedding dates around peony season. Flower enthusiasts plant them all through their gardens. Florists go crazy over all the different shades available from white, to coral, yellow to reds and every imaginable pink!  Sadly, this bloom can only be enjoyed in nature for a very short time each year. That’s the reason their paper counterparts have become such a hit!
Chantal Larocque (Bold Beautiful Paper Flowers: More Than 50 Easy Paper Blooms and Gorgeous Arrangements You Can Make at Home)
Sadly, the natural world is not short of people who believe that rattling off Latin names incessantly makes them appear clever, whereas most of us know instinctively that this suggests insecurity at best, but possibly social and sexual dysfunction as well. If somebody corrects you sternly by using an obtuse name for something, they probably know neither human nature nor any other kind very profoundly.
Tristan Gooley (How to Connect with Nature)
My Dearest, I miss you, my darling, as I always do, but today is especially hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together. I can almost feel you beside me as I write this letter, and I can smell the scent of wildflowers that always reminds me of you. But at this moment, these things give me no pleasure. Your visits have been coming less often, and I feel sometimes as if the greatest part of who I am is slowly slipping away. I am trying, though. At night when I am alone, I call for you, and whenever my ache seems to be the greatest, you still seem to find a way to return to me. Last night, in my dreams, I saw you on the pier near Wrightsville Beach. The wind was blowing through your hair, and your eyes held the fading sunlight. I am struck as I see you leaning against the rail. You are beautiful, I think as I see you, a vision that I can never find in anyone else. I slowly begin to walk toward you, and when you finally turn to me, I notice that others have been watching you as well. “Do you know her?” they ask me in jealous whispers, and as you smile at me, I simply answer with the truth. “Better than my own heart.” I stop when I reach you and take you in my arms. I long for this moment more than any other. It is what I live for, and when you return my embrace, I give myself over to this moment, at peace once again. I raise my hand and gently touch your cheek and you tilt your head and close your eyes. My hands are hard and your skin is soft, and I wonder for a moment if you’ll pull back, but of course you don’t. You never have, and it is at times like this that I know what my purpose is in life. I am here to love you, to hold you in my arms, to protect you. I am here to learn from you and to receive your love in return. I am here because there is no other place to be. But then, as always, the mist starts to form as we stand close to one another. It is a distant fog that rises from the horizon, and I find that I grow fearful as it approaches. It slowly creeps in, enveloping the world around us, fencing us in as if to prevent escape. Like a rolling cloud, it blankets everything, closing, until there is nothing left but the two of us. I feel my throat begin to close and my eyes well up with tears because I know it is time for you to go. The look you give me at that moment haunts me. I feel your sadness and my own loneliness, and the ache in my heart that had been silent for only a short time grows stronger as you release me. And then you spread your arms and step back into the fog because it is your place and not mine. I long to go with you, but your only response is to shake your head because we both know that is impossible. And I watch with breaking heart as you slowly fade away. I find myself straining to remember everything about this moment, everything about you. But soon, always too soon, your image vanishes and the fog rolls back to its faraway place and I am alone on the pier and I do not care what others think as I bow my head and cry and cry and cry.
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
Yes, the saint was underrated quite a bit, then, mostly by people who didn’t like things that were ineffable… …a lot of people don’t like things that are unearthly, the things of this earth are good enough for them, and they don’t mind telling you so. “If he’d just go out and get a job, like everybody else, then he could be saintly all day long…” —from “The Temptations of St. Anthony,” by Donald Barthelme
Donald Barthelme (Sadness)
It is necessary to protect precious silence from all parasitical noise. The noise of our “ego”, which never stops claiming its rights, plunging us into an excessive preoccupation with ourselves. The noise of our memory, which draws us toward the past, that of our recollections or of our sins. The noise of temptations or of acedia, the spirit of gluttony, lust, avarice, anger, sadness, vanity, pride—in short: everything that makes up the spiritual combat that man must wage every day. In order to silence these parasitical noises, in order to consume everything in the sweet flame of the Holy Spirit, silence is the supreme antidote.
Robert Sarah (The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise)
There was the biography of a Norwegian resistance fighter who swam through chilly oceans and got gangrene and wandered through I think it might have been Finland or Lapland in a sweet short summer and everyone took him in and the dark Finnish women made him tea with honey in it on late afternoons and it was beautiful but also horribly sad because the book was only half over and you knew that bad things were going to happen.
William T. Vollmann (You Bright and Risen Angels)
Mustering this sad, mutinous little force, I drove them before me up the Linar gorge, cursing the lot of them. It was not difficult for me to work up a rage at this moment. All of a sudden I felt that revulsion against an alien way of life that anyone who travels in remote places experiences from time to time. I longed for clean clothes; the company of people who meant what they said, and did it. I longed for a hot bath and a drink.
Eric Newby (A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush)
I’m not sure it is possible to articulate grief through language. You can say, I was so sad I thought my bones would collapse. I thought I would die. But language always falls short of the body when it comes to the intensity of corporeal experience. The best we can do is bring language in relationship to corporeal experience-bring words close to the body-as close as possible. Close enough to shatter them. Or close enough to knock a body out. To bring language close to the intensity of experiences like love or death or grief or pain is to push on the affect of language. Its sounds and grunts and ecstatic noises. The ritual sense of language. Or the cry.
Lidia Yuknavitch (The Chronology of Water)
On either side of them the essence of honky tonk beach resort had now enclosed them: gas stations, fried clam stands, Dairy Treets, motels painted in feverish pastel colors, mini golf. Larry was drawn two painful ways by these things. Part of him clamored at their sad and blatant ugliness and at the ugliness of the minds that had turned this section of a magnificent, savage coastline into one long highway amusement park for families in station wagons. But there was a more subtle, deeper part of him that whispered of the people who had filled these places and this road during other summers. Ladies in sunhats and shorts too tight for their large behinds. College boys in red and black striped rugby shirts. Girls in beach shifts and thong sandals. Small screaming children with ice cream spread over their faces. They were American people, and there was a kind of dirty, compelling romance about them whenever they were in groups never mind if the group was in an Aspen ski lodge or performing their prosaic/ arcane rites of summer along Route 1 in Maine. And now all these Americans were gone.
Stephen King (The Stand)
Two against thirty two,” Niten said. “Good odds.” “I’ve never fought the Spartoi before,” Prometheus admitted. “I only know of them by their reputation—and it’s fearsome.” “We have an equal reputation,” Niten said. “Well, you do,” the Elder said. “I was never that much of a fighter. And after the fall of the island, I rarely took up weapons again.” “Fighting is a skill you never forget,” Niten said, a touch of sadness in his voice. “I fought my first duel when I was thirteen. I’ve been fighting ever since.” “But you are more than just a swordsman,” Prometheus said. “You are an artist, a sculptor and a writer.” “No man is ever just one thing,” Niten answered. His shoulder dropped and his short sword appeared in his left hand, water droplets sparkling from the blade. “But first and foremost, I was always a warrior.” He jabbed his sword into the fog and stirred it like liquid.
Michael Scott (The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6))
A Short Ode To Sausage "Sad to say, there are people who regard lovers of sausages as relics from a kind of nutritional Dark Ages"…---Charles Simic, poet. Theologically, I’d say I was predestined to eat animals carefully stuffed inside their own intestines. I’m the first to eat knockwurst, and the last in a cholesterol tsunami to relinquish my salami to the authorities. Whether beef, lamb or pork-- it will end up on my fork. (I’m clear about my priorities.) And for those who go into hysterics proclaiming sausages barbaric, I want you to understand: That though you might be leaner you can only have my wiener if you pry it from my cold dead hands.
Daniel Klawitter
What kinds of creatures are we? Just because we want a piece of meat, we take a life. Just because we want a bowl of soup, we kill the child of another being. In exchange for a good taste in our mouth that will last seconds, we take endless years from another animal, causing them to suffer fear, pain, and sadness. These questions are not odd to ask. Centuries ago, the famous poet Su Shi asked them too—as have others. We all must eat of course. But we should find a way to do this compassionately. And our efforts should be more thoughtful than a short fast here and there. Such half measures foster evil while making people feel like they’re accomplishing great good.
Yun Ji (The Shadow Book of Ji Yun: The Chinese Classic of Weird True Tales, Horror Stories, and Occult Knowledge)
It was the singular blessing of an otherwise relentlessly cruel disease, but all I was able to think of as I watched the gleeful look on her face was what a waste of time all the good behavior had been. Her whole life stretched behind me now, and from this vantage point it seemed so short. And these concerns about other people’s opinions, which had dominated my mother’s thinking, seemed so fruitless and unworthy. I was overwhelmed with sadness for her.
Glynnis MacNicol (No One Tells You This)
Your injury. Let us tend to it.” He looked out through the open doorway and silently gestured to someone out there. “Our world,” he said, “is far more advanced than yours. For reasons you’ll understand shortly.” A thin, bony naked woman entered the room, carrying two small, white kittens. She sat one of the fluffy cats in my lap and stuffed the other down my shirt. She turned and left. “There,” said the large man. “The kittens will make your sad go away.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
This lesson is, I suppose, a major reason I wrote this book: because along the way I’ve picked up the wisdom that bad things happen, and yet the sun still comes up the next day, and it’s up to you to carry on living your life and keeping your setbacks in perspective. You also have to understand that on some level, these horrible and sad things happen to everyone; the mark of a man is not just how he survives it all but also what wisdom he’s gained from the experience.
Martin Short (I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend)
My Darling, It is late at night and though the words are coming hard to me, I can’t escape the feeling that it’s time that I finally answer your question. Of course I forgive you. I forgive you now, and I forgave you the moment I read your letter. In my heart, I had no other choice. Leaving you once was hard enough; to have done it a second time would have been impossible. I loved you too much to have let you go again. Though I’m still grieving over what might have been, I find myself thankful that you came into my life for even a short period of time. In the beginning, I’d assumed that we were somehow brought together to help you through your time of grief. Yet now, one year later, I’ve come to believe that it was the other way around. Ironically, I am in the same position you were, the first time we met. As I write, I am struggling with the ghost of someone I loved and lost. I now understand more fully the difficulties you were going through, and I realize how painful it must have been for you to move on. Sometimes my grief is overwhelming, and even though I understand that we will never see each other again, there is a part of me that wants to hold on to you forever. It would be easy for me to do that because loving someone else might diminish my memories of you. Yet, this is the paradox: Even though I miss you greatly, it’s because of you that I don’t dread the future. Because you were able to fall in love with me, you have given me hope, my darling. You taught me that it’s possible to move forward in life, no matter how terrible your grief. And in your own way, you’ve made me believe that true love cannot be denied. Right now, I don’t think I’m ready, but this is my choice. Do not blame yourself. Because of you, I am hopeful that there will come a day when my sadness is replaced by something beautiful. Because of you, I have the strength to go on. I don’t know if spirits do indeed roam the world, but even if they do, I will sense your presence everywhere. When I listen to the ocean, it will be your whispers; when I see a dazzling sunset, it will be your image in the sky. You are not gone forever, no matter who comes into my life. you are standing with God, alongside my soul, helping to guide me toward a future that I cannot predict. This is not a good-bye, my darling, this is a thank-you. Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever. But most of all, thank you for showing me that there will come a time when I can eventually let you go. I love you
Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle)
The sad truth is, John and I and the kids only took Route 66 once on our trips to Disneyland. Our family, like the rest of America, succumbed to the lure of faster highways, more direct routes, higher speed limits. We forgot about taking the slow way. It makes you wonder if something inside us knows that our lives are going to pass faster than we could ever realize. So we run around like chickens about to lose our heads. Which makes our little two- or three-week vacations with our families more important than ever... As for the time that elapsed between those vacations, that’s another thing altogether. It seems to have all passed breathlessly, like some extended whisper of days, months, years, decades. (pp.39-40)
Michael Zadoorian (The Leisure Seeker)
Then there are those who think their bodies don't exist. They live by mechanical time. They rise at seven o'clock in the morning. They eat their lunch at noon and their supper at six. They arrive at their appointments on time, precisely by the clock. They make love between eight and ten at night. They work forty hours a week, read the Sunday paper on Sunday, play chess on Tuesday nights. When their stomach growls, they look at their watch to see if it is time to eat. When they begin to lose themselves in a concert, they look at the clock above the stage to see when it will be time to go home. They know that the body is not a thing of wild magic, but a collection of chemicals, tissues, and nerve impulses. Thoughts are no more than electrical surges in the brain. Sexual arousal is no more than a flow of chemicals to certain nerve endings. Sadness no more than a bit of acid transfixed in the cerebellum. In short, the body is a machine, subject to the same laws of electricity and mechanics as an electron or clock. As such, the body must be addressed in the language of physics. And if the body speaks, it is the speaking only of so many levers and forces. The body is a thing to be ordered, not obeyed.
Alan Lightman
In moments of insecurity and crisis, shoulds and oughts don’t really help; they just increase the shame, guilt, pressure, and likelihood of backsliding. It’s the deep yeses that carry us through. It’s that deeper something we are strongly for that allows us to wait it out. It’s someone in whom we absolutely believe and to whom we commit. In plain language, love wins out over guilt any day. It is sad that we settle for the short-run effectiveness of shaming people instead of the long-term life benefits of true transformation.
Richard Rohr (The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder)
New Rule: Death isn’t always sad. This week, the Reverend Jerry Falwell died, and millions of Americans asked, “Why? Why, God? Why…didn’t you take Pat Robertson with him?” I don’t want to say Jerry was disliked by the gay community, but tonight in New York City, at exactly eight o’clock, Broadway theaters along the Great White Way turned their lights up for two minutes. I know you’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead, but I think we can make an exception, because speaking ill of the dead was kind of Jerry Falwell’s hobby. He’s the guy who said AIDS was God’s punishment for homosexuality and that 9/11 was brought on by pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, and the ACLU—or, as I like to call them, my studio audience. It was surreal watching people on the news praise Falwell, followed by a clip package of what he actually said—things like: "Homosexuals are part of a vile and satanic system that will be utterly annihilated." "If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being." "Feminists just need a man in the house." "There is no separation of church and state." And, of course, everyone’s favorite: "The purple Teletubby is gay." Jerry Falwell found out you could launder your hate through the cover of “God’s will”—he didn’t hate gays, God does. All Falwell’s power came from name-dropping God, and gay people should steal that trick. Don’t say you want something because it’s your right as a human being—say you want it because it’s your religion. Gay men have been going at things backward. Forget civil right, and just make gayness a religion. I mean, you’re kneeling anyway. And it’s easy to start a religion. Watch, I’ll do it for you. I had a vision last night. The Blessed Virgin Mary came to me—I don’t know how she got past the guards—and she told me it’s time to take the high ground from the Seventh-day Adventists and give it to the twenty-four-hour party people. And that what happens in the confessional stays in the confessional. Gay men, don’t say you’re life partners. Say you’re a nunnery of two. “We weren’t having sex,officer. I was performing a very private mass.Here in my car. I was letting my rod and my staff comfort him.” One can only hope that as Jerry Falwell now approaches the pearly gates, he is met there by God Himself, wearing a Fire Island muscle shirt and nut-hugger shorts, saying to Jerry in a mighty lisp, “I’m not talking to you.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
She went to her room and curled into a ball of misery and decided that she would die of a broken heart. Minstrels would write songs about how she had turned her face to the wall and died of the false-heartedness of men. She could not quite make up her mind whether she wanted to be a ghost who would haunt the convent or not. It would be very satisfying to be a sad-eyed, beautiful ghost who drifted through the halls, gazing up at the moon and weeping silently, as a warning to other young women. On the other hand, she was still short and round-faced and sturdy, and there were very few ghost stories about short, sturdy women. Marra had not managed to be pale and willowy and consumptive at any point in eighteen years of life and did not think she could achieve it before she died. Possibly it would be better to just have songs made about her. The Sister Apothecary came to her, the nun who doctored all the residents of the convent for various ailments, and who compounded medicines and salves and treatments for the farmer’s wives who lived nearby. She studied Marra intensely for a few minutes. “It’s a man, is it?” she said finally. Marra grunted. It occurred to her about an hour earlier that she did not know how the minstrels would find out that she existed in order to write the sad songs in the first place, and her mind was somewhat occupied by this problem. Did you write them letters?
T. Kingfisher (Nettle & Bone)
Sorrow (A Song) To me this world's a dreary blank, All hopes in life are gone and fled, My high strung energies are sank, And all my blissful hopes lie dead.-- The world once smiling to my view, Showed scenes of endless bliss and joy; The world I then but little knew, Ah! little knew how pleasures cloy; All then was jocund, all was gay, No thought beyond the present hour, I danced in pleasure’s fading ray, Fading alas! as drooping flower. Nor do the heedless in the throng, One thought beyond the morrow give, They court the feast, the dance, the song, Nor think how short their time to live. The heart that bears deep sorrow’s trace, What earthly comfort can console, It drags a dull and lengthened pace, 'Till friendly death its woes enroll.-- The sunken cheek, the humid eyes, E’en better than the tongue can tell; In whose sad breast deep sorrow lies, Where memory's rankling traces dwell.-- The rising tear, the stifled sigh, A mind but ill at ease display, Like blackening clouds in stormy sky, Where fiercely vivid lightnings play. Thus when souls' energy is dead, When sorrow dims each earthly view, When every fairy hope is fled, We bid ungrateful world adieu.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (The Complete Poems)
The modern educational system teaches children how to obey authority. People are not being educated; they're being tested for levels of obedience. School is about memorizing what you are told short-term and repeating it. Children are taught that truth comes from authority, that intelligence is the ability to remember and repeat, that accurate memory and repetition are rewarded, that noncompliance is punished, and that they need to conform both intellectually and socially. The sad truth is, our educational system is flawed. It does not properly educate the people; it teaches them how to be good workers.
Joseph P. Kauffman (Conscious Collective: An Aim for Awareness)
They lost their sense of reality, the notion of time, the rhythm of daily habits. They closed the doors and windows again so as not to waste time getting undressed and they walked about the house as Remedios the Beauty had wanted to do and they would roll around naked in the mud of the courtyard, and one afternoon they almost drowned as they made love in the cistern. In a short time they did more damage than the red ants: they destroyed the furniture in the parlor, in their madness they tore to shreds the hammock that had resisted the sad bivouac loves of Colonel Aureliano Buendía and they disemboweled the mattresses and emptied them on the floor as they suffocated in storms of cotton. Although Aureliano was just as ferocious a lover as his rival, it was Amaranta ?rsula who ruled in that paradise of disaster with her mad genius and her lyrical voracity, as if she had concentrated in her love the unconquerable energy that her great-great-grandmother had given to the making of little candy animals. And yet, while she was singing with pleasure and dying with laughter over her own inventions, Aureliano was becoming more and more absorbed and silent, for his passion was self-centered and burning. Nevertheless, they both reached such extremes of virtuosity that when they became exhausted from excitement, they would take advantage of their fatigue. They would give themselves over to the worship of their bodies, discovering that the rest periods of love had unexplored possibilities, much richer than those of desire. While he would rub Amaranta ?rsula’s erect breasts with egg whites or smooth her elastic thighs and peach-like stomach with cocoa butter, she would play with Aureliano’s portentous creature as if it were a doll and would paint clown’s eyes on it with her lipstick and give it a Turk’s mustache with her eyebrow pencil, and would put on organza bow ties and little tinfoil hats. One night they daubed themselves from head to toe with peach jam and licked each other like dogs and made mad love on the floor of the porch, and they were awakened by a torrent of carnivorous ants who were ready to eat them alive.
Gabriel García Márquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)
«Dashenka, sister, Dasha?» «Yes?» She sounded so sad. Tatiana swallowed. «Want to hear a funny story?» «Oh, yes, please: I need a funny story to cheer me up. Tell me, darling». «Stalin as Chairman of the Presidium went in front of the House of Parliament to make a short speech that lasted maybe five minutes. After the speech there was applause. The plenum stood on its feet and applauded. For a minute. Then another minute. They stood and applauded. But – Another minute. Still applauded. They were standing up, and still applauding, as Stalin stood in front of the lectern and listened with a humble smile on his face, the epitome of humility. Another minute. And still applauded. No one knew what to do. They waited for a signal from the Chairman to cease, but no such signal came from the humble and diminutive man. Another minute went by. And still they stood and applauded. It had now been eleven minutes. And no one knew what to do. Someone had to stop applauding. But who? Twelve minutes of applause. Thirteen minutes of applause. And still he stood there. And still they stood there. Fourteen minutes. Fifteen minutes. Finally, at the fifteen-minute mark, the man in the front, the Secretary of Transportation, stopped. As soon as he stopped, the entire auditorium fell mute. The following week the Secretary of Transportation was shot for treason». «Tania!» exclaimed a startled Dasha. «That was supposed to be funny?» «Yes», said Tatiana. «Funny, as in, cheer up, things could be worse. You could be the Secretary of Transportation».
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
We pass the apartment we rented five years ago, when I swore off Florence. In summer, wads of tourists clog the city as if it's a Renaissance theme park. Everyone seems to be eating. That year, a garbage strike persisted for over a week and I began to have thoughts of plague when I passed heaps of rot spilling out of bins. I was amazed that long July when waiters and shopkeepers remained as nice as they did, given what they had to put up with. Everywhere I stepped I was in the way. Humanity seemed ugly—the international young in torn T-shirts and backpacks lounging on steps, bewildered bus tourists dropping ice cream napkins in the street and asking, “How much is that in dollars?” Germans in too-short shorts letting their children terrorize restaurants. The English mother and daughter ordering lasagne verdi and Coke, then complaining because the spinach pasta was green. My own reflection in the window, carrying home all my shoe purchases, the sundress not so flattering. Bad wonderland. Henry James in Florence referred to “one's detested fellow-pilgrim.” Yes, indeed, and it's definitely time to leave when one's own reflection is included. Sad that our century has added no glory to Florence—only mobs and lead hanging in the air.
Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun)
The unexamined life is surely worth living, but is the unloved life worth examining? It seems a strange question until one realizes how much of our so-called mental life is about the lives we are not living, the lives we are missing out on, the lives we could be leading but for some reason are not. What we fantasize about, what we long for, are the experiences, the things and the people that are absent. It is the absence of what we need that makes us think, that makes us cross and sad. We have to be aware of what is missing in our lives - even if this often obscures both what we already have and what is actually available - because we can survive only if our appetites more or less work for us. Indeed, we have to survive our appetites by making people cooperate with our wanting. We pressurize the world to be there for our benefit. And yet we quickly notice as children - it is, perhaps, the first thing we do notice - that our needs, like our wishes, are always potentially unmet. Because we are always shadowed by the possibility of not getting what we want, we lean, at best, to ironize our wishes - that is, to call our wants wishes: a wish is only a wish until, as we say, it comes true - and, at worst, to hate our needs. But we also learn to live somewhere between the lives we have and the lives we would like.(…) There is always what will turn out to be the life we led, and the life that accompanied it, the parallel life (or lives) that never actually happened, that we lived in our minds, the wished-for life (or lives): the risks untaken and the opportunities avoided or unprovided. We refer to them as our unloved lives because somewhere we believe that they were open to us; but for some reason - and we might spend a great deal of our lived lives trying to find and give the reason - they were not possible. And what was not possible all too easily becomes the story of our lives. Indeed, our lived lives might become a protracted mourning for, or an endless tantrum about, the lives we were unable to live. But the exemptions we suffer, whether forced or chosen, make us who we are. As we know more now than ever before about the kinds of lives it is possible to live - and affluence has allowed more people than ever before to think of their lives in terms of choices and options - we are always haunted by the myth of our potential, of what we might have it in ourselves to be or do. So when we are not thinking, like the character in Randall Jarrell's poem, that "The ways we miss our lives is life", we are grieving or regretting or resenting our failure to be ourselves as we imagine we could be. We share our lives with the people we have failed to be. We discover these unloved lives most obviously in our envy of other people, and in the conscious 9and unconscious) demands we make on our children to become something that was beyond us. And, of course, in our daily frustrations. Our lives become an elegy to needs unmet and desires sacrificed, to possibilities refused, to roads not taken. The myth of our potential can make of our lives a perpetual falling-short, a continual and continuing loss, a sustained and sometimes sustaining rage; though at its best it lures us into the future, but without letting us wonder why such lures are required (we become promising through the promises made to us). The myth of potential makes mourning and complaining feel like the realest things we eve do; and makes of our frustration a secret life of grudges. Even if we set aside the inevitable questions - How would we know if we had realized our potential? If we don't have potential what do we have? - we can't imagine our lives without the unloved lives they contain. We have an abiding sense, however obscure and obscured, that the lives we do lead are informed by the lives that escape us. That our lives are defined by loss, but loss of what might have been; loss, that is, of things never experienced.
Adam Phillips (Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life)
And while he spoke of my mother often and fondly to me, he always did so incompletely, in a strangely peripheral way, so that I grew up with a picture of her that was really little more than an outline. Was this unfair, an injustice to me? It must seem so, and I suppose in a way it was. And yet we all have within ourselves those private spaces that are uniquely our own and that we cannot share. This was my father's: the heart of his grief, which he chose not to expose. It was only now, in these last months before his death, that the outline was filled in, that without preliminary or explanation, my father suddenly began to talk of my mother as he had never talked before, in words and phrases lit with a bursting lyrical warmth and love that had been stored up and held within him all this time, and that was now released because, I think, he knew his own time was so short, and because he did not for a moment doubt that very soon now he would be joined to her again... So there was a feeling of joy here.
Edwin O'Connor (The Edge of Sadness)
As you might expect, the geographical location of the capital of Fairyland is fickle and has a rather short temper. I'm afraid the whole thing moves around according to the needs of narrative.' September put her persimmon down in the long grass. 'What in the world does that mean?' 'I ... I SUSPECT it means that if we ACT like the kind of folk who would find a Fairy city whilst on various adventures involving tricksters, magical shoes, and hooliganism, it will come to us.' September blinked. 'Is that how things are done here?' 'Isn't that how they're done in your world?' September thought for a long moment. She thought of how children who acted politely were often treated as good and trustworthy, even if they pulled your hair and made fun of your name when grownups weren't around. She thought of how her father acted like a soldier, strict and plain and organized -- and how the army came for him. She thought of how her mother acted strong and happy even when she was sad, and so no one offered to help her, to make casseroles or watch September after school or come over for gin rummy and tea. And she thought of how she had acted just like a child in a story about Fairyland, discontent and complaining, and how the Green Wind had come for her, too. 'I suppose that is how things are done in my world. It's hard to see it, though, on the other side.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
In my humdrum life I was exalted one day by perfumes exhaled by a world that had been so bland. They were the troubling heralds of love. Suddenly love itself had come, with its roses and its flutes, sculpting, papering, closing, perfuming everything around it. Love had blended with the most immense breath of the thoughts themselves, the respiration that, without weakening love, had made it infinite. But what did I know about love itself? Did I, in any way, clarify its mystery, and did I know anything about it other than the fragrance of its sadness and the smell of its fragrances? Then, love went away, and the perfumes, from shattered flagons, were exhaled with a purer intensity. The scent of a weakened drop still impregnates my life.
Marcel Proust (The Complete Short Stories of Marcel Proust)
the effort to try to feel happy is often precisely the thing that makes us miserable. And that it is our constant efforts to eliminate the negative – insecurity, uncertainty, failure, or sadness – that is what causes us to feel so insecure, anxious, uncertain, or unhappy. They didn’t see this conclusion as depressing, though. Instead, they argued that it pointed to an alternative approach, a ‘negative path’ to happiness, that entailed taking a radically different stance towards those things that most of us spend our lives trying hard to avoid. It involved learning to enjoy uncertainty, embracing insecurity, stopping trying to think positively, becoming familiar with failure, even learning to value death. In short, all these people seemed to agree that in order to be truly happy, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions – or, at the very least, to learn to stop running quite so hard from them. Which is a bewildering thought, and one that calls into question not just our methods for achieving happiness, but also our assumptions about what ‘happiness’ really means. These
Oliver Burkeman (The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking)
Time Out To Cry © All alone at the end of the day The time, just a little past ten Evening has come for a short stay It’s time for her sorrow again The smile on her face she’s been holding Suddenly, she lets fall And the feelings begin unfolding She comes out of her personal wall As the world settles down for the night She awakens herself from a dream And the girl they all thought had her life going right Is no longer the image she’d seem She takes off the disguise she’s been wearing Then opens her heart to the truth Behind closed doors she’s not caring About life or love in her youth So she sits by the mirror spilling tears And cries by herself in the dark A whole day of acting like she has no fears Takes a lot from an empty heart Inside she’s lonely and sad But acts like she's fine in the day Revealing her misery, secretly wishing she had A friend, or a promise to stay She’s ashamed of the truth she’s been keeping Living her hours in daylight a lie And this is the reason for in darkness she’s weeping Taking time out from each day to cry Written by Shannen Wrass Copyright © 1995 Shannen Wrass. All Rights Reserved
Shannen Wrass
I was never a child; I never had a childhood. I cannot count among my memories warm, golden days of childish intoxication, long joyous hours of innocence, or the thrill of discovering the universe anew each day. I learned of such things later on in life from books. Now I guess at their presence in the children I see. I was more than twenty when I first experienced something similar in my self, in chance moments of abandonment, when I was at peace with the world. Childhood is love; childhood is gaiety; childhood knows no cares. But I always remember myself, in the years that have gone by, as lonely, sad, and thoughtful. Ever since I was a little boy I have felt tremendously alone―and "peculiar". I don't know why. It may have been because my family was poor or because I was not born the way other children are born; I cannot tell. I remember only that when I was six or seven years old a young aunt of mind called me vecchio―"old man," and the nickname was adopted by all my family. Most of the time I wore a long, frowning face. I talked very little, even with other children; compliments bored me; baby-talk angered me. Instead of the noisy play of the companions of my boyhood I preferred the solitude of the most secluded corners of our dark, cramped, poverty-stricken home. I was, in short, what ladies in hats and fur coats call a "bashful" or a "stubborn" child; and what our women with bare heads and shawls, with more directness, call a rospo―a "toad." They were right. I must have been, and I was, utterly unattractive to everybody. I remember, too, that I was well aware of the antipathy I aroused. It made me more "bashful," more "stubborn," more of a "toad" than ever. I did not care to join in the games played by other boys, but preferred to stand apart, watching them with jealous eyes, judging them, hating them. It wasn't envy I felt at such times: it was contempt; it was scorn. My warfare with men had begun even then and even there. I avoided people, and they neglected me. I did not love them, and they hated me. At play in the parks some of the boys would chase me; others would laugh at me and call me names. At school they pulled my curls or told the teachers tales about me. Even on my grandfather's farm in the country peasant brats threw stones at me without provocation, as if they felt instinctively that I belonged to some other breed.
Giovanni Papini (Un uomo finito)
The doctors found one electrode contact that greatly relieved the woman's symptoms. But the unexpected happened when the electric current passed through one of the four contact sites on the patient's left side, precisely two millimeters below the contact that improved her condition. The patient stopped her ongoing conversation quite abruptly, cast her eyes down and to her right side, then leaned slightly to the right and her emotional expression became one of sadness. After a few seconds she suddenly began to cry. Tears flowed and her entire demeanor was one of profound misery. Soon she was sobbing. As this display continued she began talking about how deeply sad she felt, how she had no energies left to go on living in this manner, how hopeless and exhausted she was. [ . . . ] The physician in charge of the treatment realized that this unusual event was due to the current and aborted the procedure. About ninety seconds after the current was interrupted the patient's behavior returned to normal. [ . . . ] Why would this patient's brain evoke the kind of thoughts that normally cause sadness considering that the emotion and feeling were unmotivated by the appropriate stimuli? The answer has to do with the dependence of feeling on emotion and the intriguing ways of one's memory. When the emotion sadness is deployed, feelings of sadness instantly follow. In short order, the brain also brings forth the kind of thoughts that normally cause the emotion sadness and feelings of sadness. This is because associative learning has linked emotions with thoughts in a rich two-way network. Certain thoughts evoke certain emotions and vice-versa.
António R. Damásio (Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain)
Her face appeared to have grown paler, and it seemed as if there were a mocking insanity flaring up almost imperceptibly on her lips and in the azure of her eyes there lurked the insanity of grief. She was silent, and she waited for what her father would say. And he spoke slowly, finding words almost with difficulty, 'Dearest, what did I hear? I did not expect this of you. Why did you do it?' The Beauty bowed her head and said softly and sadly, 'Father, sooner or later all this will come to pass anyway.' 'Sooner or later?' asked the father as if in surprise. And he continued, 'Better late than sooner.' 'I am all aflame,' said the Beauty softly. And the smile on her lips was like the reflection of some searing flame, and in her eyes there gleamed blue lightning, and her naked arms and shoulders were like some delicate vessel of alabaster, filled to the brim with a molten metal. Her firm breasts rose and fell impetuously, and two white waves strained forth from the tight confines of her dress, the delicate color of which was reminiscent of the yellowish rosiness of a peach. From beneath the folds of her short dress were visible against the dark green velvet of the rug and entwined by the pink ribbons of her gilded sandals her white and trembling legs. ("The Poison Garden")
Valery Bryusov (The Silver Age of Russian Culture: An Anthology)
Suddenly, unexpectedly, someone is using the ugly powers of war, which horrify me, to try to pull and drag me away from the shores of peace, from the happiness of wonderful friendships, playing and love. I feel like a swimmer who was made to enter the cold war, against her will. I feel shocked, sad, unhappy and frightened and I wonder where they are forcing me to go, I wonder why they have taken away the peaceful and lovely shores of my childhood. I used to rejoice at each new day, because each was beautiful in its own way. I used to rejoice at the sun, at playing, at songs. In short, I enjoyed my childhood. I had no need of a better one. I have less and less strength to keep swimming in these cold waters. So take me back to the shores of my childhood, where I was warm, happy and content, like all the children whose childhood and the right to enjoy it are now being destroyed.
Zlata Filipović (Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Wartime Sarajevo)
The story always starts in the same way when people ask me the simple, yet most difficult question to answer: “where are you from?” I often wonder why of all questions people start with this one that has become the hardest for me and countless other exiled people to answer. The question is especially hard when asked in crowded and fast-paced places, or during quick encounters which make a short answer inadequate and a long one potentially uncalled for…I thought to myself: why is it that the first thing people want to know about me is where I am from? If they only knew where I am from, they would perhaps know that where I am from—Iraq—happens to also be the deepest wound on the geography of my body and soul, and so they would tread gently on my wound by not asking that question in the first place. Is there something in my eyes, something written on my forehead, something in my looks, or some marks inscribed on my other body parts that immediately tell people that I am from a place that lost itself and lost me to exile on a cold, dark, and sad winter night? Why don’t these strangers just start with the more common and safer usual remarks about the weather being nice, dreadful, or whatever? Of all questions, “where are you from,” is the most delicate and complicated for people who have lost their home and all the things they loved.
Louis Yako
One of my greatest concerns for the young women of the Church is that they will sell themselves short in dating and marriage by forgetting who they really are--daughters of a loving Heavenly Father. . . . Unfortunately, a young woman who lowers her standards far enough can always find temporary acceptance from immature and unworthy young men. . . . At their best, daughters of God are loving, caring, understanding, and sympathetic. This does not mean they are also gullible, unrealistic, or easily manipulated. If a young man does not measure up to the standards a young woman has set, he may promise her that he will change if she will marry him first. Wise daughters of God will insist that young men who seek their hand in marriage change before the wedding, not after. (I am referring here to the kind of change that will be part of the lifelong growth of every disciple.) He may argue that she doesn't really believe in repentance and forgiveness. But one of the hallmarks of repentance is forsaking sin. Especially when the sin involves addictive behaviors or a pattern of transgression, wise daughters of God insist on seeing a sustained effort to forsake sin over a long period of time as true evidence of repentance. They do not marry someone because they believe they can change him. Young women, please do not settle for someone unworthy of your gospel standards. On the other hand, young women should not refuse to settle down. There is no right age for young men or young women to marry, but there is a right attitude for them to have about marriage: "Thy will be done" . . . . The time to marry is when we are prepared to meet a suitable mate, not after we have done all the enjoyable things in life we hoped to do while we were single. . . . When I hear some young men and young women set plans in stone which do not include marriage until after age twenty-five or thirty or until a graduate degree has been obtained, I recall Jacob's warning, "Seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand" (Jacob 4:10). . . . How we conduct ourselves in dating relationships is a good indication of how we will conduct ourselves in a marriage relationship. . . . Individuals considering marriage would be wise to conduct their own prayerful due diligence--long before they set their hearts on marriage. There is nothing wrong with making a T-square diagram and on either side of the vertical line listing the relative strengths and weaknesses of a potential mate. I sometimes wonder whether doing more homework when it comes to this critical decision would spare some Church members needless heartache. I fear too many fall in love with each other or even with the idea of marriage before doing the background research necessary to make a good decision. It is sad when a person who wants to be married never has the opportunity to marry. But it is much, much sadder to be married to the wrong person. If you do not believe me, talk with someone who has made that mistake. Think carefully about the person you are considering marrying, because marriage should last for time and for all eternity.
Robert D. Hales (Return: Four Phases of our Mortal Journey Home)
continued. “The solution to almost every problem imaginable can be found in the outcome of a fairy tale. Fairy tales are life lessons disguised with colorful characters and situations. “‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf ’ teaches us the value of a good reputation and the power of honesty. ‘Cinderella’ shows us the rewards of having a good heart. ‘The Ugly Duckling’ teaches us the meaning of inner beauty.” Alex’s eyes were wide, and she nodded in agreement. She was a pretty girl with bright blue eyes and short strawberry-blonde hair that was always kept neatly out of her face with a headband. The way the other students stared at their teacher, as if the lesson being taught were in another language, was something Mrs. Peters had never grown accustomed to. So, Mrs. Peters would often direct entire lessons to the front row, where Alex sat. Mrs. Peters was a tall, thin woman who always wore dresses that resembled old, patterned sofas. Her hair was dark and curly and sat perfectly on the top of her head like a hat (and her students often thought it was). Through a pair of thick glasses, her eyes were permanently squinted from all the judgmental looks she had given her classes over the years. “Sadly, these timeless tales are no longer relevant in our society,” Mrs. Peters said. “We have traded their brilliant teachings for small-minded entertainment like television and video games. Parents now let obnoxious cartoons and violent movies influence their children. “The only exposure to the tales some children acquire are versions bastardized by film companies. Fairy
Chris Colfer (The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1))
And in the depths of the city, beyond an old zone of ruined buildings that looked like broken hearts, there lived a happy young fellow by the name of Haroun, the only child of the storyteller Rashid Khalifa, whose cheerfulness was famous throughout that unhappy metropolis, and whose never-ending stream of tall, short and winding tales had earned him not one but two nicknames. To his admirers he was Rashid the Ocean of Notions, as stuffed with cheery stories as the sea was full of glumfish; but to his jealous rivals he was the Shah of Blah. To his wife, Soraya, Rashid was for many years as loving a husband as anyone could wish for, and during these years Haroun grew up in a home in which, instead of misery and frowns, he had his father’s ready laughter and his mother’s sweet voice raised in song. Then something went wrong. (Maybe the sadness of the city finally crept in through their windows.) The day Soraya stopped singing, in the middle of a line, as if someone had thrown a switch, Haroun guessed there was trouble brewing. But he never suspected how much.
Salman Rushdie (Haroun and the Sea of Stories)
Marriage, in short, is a bargain, like buying a house or entering a profession. One chooses it knowing that, by that very decision, one is abnegating other possibilities. In choosing companionship over passion, women like Beatrice Webb and Virginia Woolf made a bargain; their marriages worked because they did not regret their bargains, or blame their husbands for not being something else--dashing lovers, for example. But in writing biographies, or one's own life, it is both customary and misleading to present such marriages, to oneself or to one's reader, as sad compromises, the best of a bad bargain, or scarcely to speak of them at all. Virginia Woolf mentioned that she, who is reticent about nothing, had never spoken of her life with Leonard. but we know that she said of him that when he entered a room, she had no idea what he was going to say, a remarkable definition of a good marriage. Such marriages are not bad bargains, but the best of a good bargain, and we must learn the language to understand and describe them, particularly in writing the lives of accomplished women.
Carolyn G. Heilbrun
My favorite of all was still the place on Vermont, the French cafe, La Lyonnaise, that had given me the best onion soup on that night with George and my father. The two owners hailed from France, from Lyon, before the city had boomed into a culinary sibling of Paris. Inside, it had only a few tables, and the waiters served everything out of order, and it had a B rating in the window, and they usually sat me right by the swinging kitchen door, but I didn't care about any of it. There, I ordered chicken Dijon, or beef Bourguignon, or a simple green salad, or a pate sandwich, and when it came to the table, I melted into whatever arrived. I lavished in a forkful of spinach gratin on the side, at how delighted the chef had clearly been over the balance of spinach and cheese, like she was conducting a meeting of spinach and cheese, like a matchmaker who knew they would shortly fall in love. Sure, there were small distractions and preoccupations in it all, but I could find the food in there, the food was the center, and the person making the food was so connected with the food that I could really, for once, enjoy it.
Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake)
Mamaw also said that the best things in life die quickly, like the cherry blossom. Because something so beautiful can never last forever, shouldn’t last forever. It stays for a brief moment in time to remind us how precious life is, before fading away just as quickly as it came. She said that it teaches you more in its short life than anything that is forever by your side.” My throat began to close at the pain in her voice. She looked up at me. “Because nothing so perfect can last an eternity, can it? Like shooting stars. We see the usual stars above us every single night. Most people take them for granted, even forget they are there. But if a person sees a shooting star, they remember that moment forever, they even make a wish at its presence.” She took in a deep breath. “It shoots by so quickly that people savor the short time they have with it.” I felt a teardrop fall on our joined hands. I was confused, unsure why she was talking about such sad things. “Because something so completely perfect and special is destined to fade. Eventually, it has to blow away into the wind.” Poppy held up the cherry blossom that was still in her hand. “Like this flower.” She threw it into the air, just as a gust of wind came. The strong bluster carried the petals into the sky and away above the trees. It disappeared from our sight. “Poppy—” I went to speak, but she cut me off. “Maybe we’re like the cherry blossom, Rune. Like shooting stars. Maybe we loved too much too young and burned so bright that we had to fade out.” She pointed behind us, to the blossom grove. “Extreme beauty, quick death. We had this love long enough to teach us a lesson. To show us how capable of love we truly are.
Tillie Cole (A Thousand Boy Kisses)
If mind belongs to humans alone, then stones, trees, and streams become mere objects of human tinkering. We can plunder the earth's resources with impunity, treating creeks and mountaintops in Kentucky or rivers in India or forests in northwest America as if they existed only for economic development. Systems of land and river become inert chunks of lifeless mud or mechanical runs of H2O rather than the living, breathing bodies upon which we and all other creatures depend for our very lives. Not to mention what 'nature as machine' has done to our emotional and spiritual well-being. When we regard nature as churning its way forward mindlessly through time, we turn our backs on mystery, shunning the complexity as well as the delights of relationship. We isolate ourselves from the rest of the creatures with whom we share this world. We imagine ourselves the apex of creation -- a lonely spot indeed. Human minds become the measure of creation and human thoughts become the only ones that count. The result is a concept of mind shorn of its wild connections, in which feelings become irrelevant, daydreams are mere distractions, and nighttime dreams -- if we attend to them at all -- are but the cast-offs of yesterday's overactive brain. Mind is cut off from matter, untouched by exingencies of mud or leaf, shaped by whispers or gales of wind, as if we were not, like rocks, made of soil. And then we wonder at our sadness and depression, not realizing that our own view of reality has sunk us into an unbearable solipsism, an agony of separateness -- from loved ones, from other creatures, from rich but unruly emotions, in short, from our ability to connect, through senses and feeling and imagination, with the world that is our home.
Priscilla Stuckey (Kissed by a Fox: And Other Stories of Friendship in Nature)
...and as he swigged another dose, it just kind of came clear to me that the guy was nothing but sadness, really nothing but that, the weakest link in the Great Chain of Being, and that if when raging he was pathetic then in triumph he was tragic; and it also seemed as if, at some level, the guy knew this, that he also was aware that the whole package he had put together for himself had been misconceived, and that any effort to refashion it would just reconfirm its faultiness; and that the zone he inhabited was one that he himself had built, but as a barrier, of course to prevent the world from getting too close but also to forestall any seepage of self, whose effects on other folks he could too easily foresee; and that the poor loonster had become addicted to the language of communication because he knew that each word showed just how hopeless he was-and that people would sense this, and so would stay even further away ...; the guy, in short, had built himself a quicksand situation, a real no­winner, and I just figured OK: give him what he wants and keep the fuck away; don't only ignore him, but force yourself to forget; acknowledge his desire and leave him to his internal exile...
Evan Dara (The Lost Scrapbook)
No...I knew a Martin. And was he wiley? If there was one thing he wasn't was wiley, John. Oh? Poor Martin was an inordinately stupid man. He could barely tie his shoelaces. A ha'penny short? Ah listen. Martin kept animals had more wile in them. What kind of animals? He'd sheep. A few cattle, I suppose. Though they'd have been wind-bothered up that way. They'd have been... Bothered, John. By the wind coming in. The way it would unseat cattle. Unseat them? Cornelius lowers his sad eyes - In the mind. You mean you'd have a cow'd take a turn? Cornelius squares his jaw. Do you realise you're looking at a man who's seen a cow step in front of a moving vehicle? Purposefully. On account of? Wind coming easterly. That's the kind of thing that can leave a beast beyond despair. Because of the pure evil sound of it, John. The way it would play across the country in an ominous way. An easterly? If it was to come across you for a fortnight and it might? Sleep gone out the window and a horrible black feeling racing through your fucken blood. Day and night. All sorts of thoughts of death and hopelessness. This is what you'd get on the tail end of an easterly wind. Man nor animal wouldn't be right after it.
Kevin Barry (Beatlebone)
There is something else I must confess about Tata Boanda: he's a sinner. Right in the plain sight of God he has two wives, a young and an old one. Why, they all come to church! Father says we're to pray for all three of them, but when you get down to the particulars it's hard to know exactly what outcome to pray for. He should drop one wife, I guess, but for sure he'd drop the older one, and she already looks sad enough as it is. The younger one has all the kids, and you can't just pray for a daddy to flat-out dump his babies, can you? I always believed any sin was easily rectified if only you let Jesus Christ into your heart, but here it gets complicated. Mama Boanda Number Two doesn't seem fazed by her situation. In fact, she looks like she's fixing to explode with satisfaction. She and her little girls all wear their hair in short spikes bursting out all over their heads, giving an effect similar to a pincushion (Rachel calls it the "haywire hairdo.") And Mama Boanda always wraps her pagne just so, with a huge pink starburst radiating across her wide rump. The women's long cloth skirts are printed so gaily with the oddest things: there is no telling when a raft of yellow umbrellas, or the calico cat and gingham dog, or an upside-down image of the Catholic Pope might just go sauntering across our yard.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
He suddenly felt the intense sad loveliness of being as being, apart from right or wrong: that, indeed, the mere fact of being was the ultimate right. He began to love the land under him with a fierce longing, not because it was good or bad, but because it was: because of the shadows of the corn stocks on a golden evening; because the sheep’s tails would rattle when they ran, and the lambs, sucking, would revolve their tails in little eddies; because the clouds in daylight would surge it into light and shade; because the squadrons of green and golden plover, worming in pasture fields, would advance in short, unanimous charges, head to wind; because the spinsterish herons, who keep their hair up with fish bones according to David Garnett, would fall down in a faint if a boy could stalk them and shout before he was seen; because the smoke from homesteads was a blue beard straying into heaven; because the stars were brighter in puddles than in the sky; because there were puddles, and leaky gutters, and dung hills with poppies on them; because the salmon in the rivers suddenly leaped and fell; because the chestnut buds, in the balmy wind of spring, would jump out of their twigs like jacks-in-boxes, or like little spectres holding up green hands to scare him; because the jackdaws, building, would hang in the air with branches in their mouths, more beautiful than any ark-returning dove; because, in the moonlight there below, God’s greatest blessing to the world was stretched, the silver gift of sleep.
T.H. White
Speaking of… I gotta go. I need to be at the field.” His voice rumbled through his chest and against my ear as he spoke. I sighed and stepped out of his arms. I was sad that our couple days together were over and I would be here tonight without him. Classes started tomorrow, and I knew we were going to see a lot less of each other now that the semester was starting. “I’ll walk you out,” I said and followed him to the door. Ivy was still digging through my clothes and called out a good-bye. “Just stay inside,” he said, palming the handle. “It’s cold and slippery out there. You’ll be safer in here.” I grimaced. “You’re probably right.” He grinned. “I’ll call you later, ‘kay?” I nodded. He released the door handle and closed the distance between us with one step. The toes of his shoes bumped against my boots and the front of his jacket brushed against me. My stomach fluttered and my heart rate doubled. The effect he had on me was nothing short of amazing. I tipped my head back so I could look up into his eyes, and the corner of his mouth lifted. He looked at me with so much affection in his gaze that emotion caught in my throat. He didn’t have to say anything because I heard everything just by looking in his eyes. My fingers curled around the hem of his shirt and tangled in the cotton fabric, and at the same time I stretched up, he bent down. The feel of his lips against me was my favorite sensation. Nothing compared to the way his mouth owned mine. His tongue stretched out, sweeping through my mouth with gentle pressure, and I sighed into him and sagged forward. A low laugh vibrated his chest and he pulled back. “Be careful walking to class tomorrow, huh? Don’t fall and hurt yourself.” I nodded, barely comprehending his words. He slipped out the door before reality came flooding back. I rushed forward, caught the closing door, and called out his name. He stopped and turned. The lopsided, knowing smile on his face was smug. “Good luck at practice,” I called, ignoring the few girls who stopped to watch us. “Thanks, baby.” I swear every girl within earshot sighed. I couldn’t even blame them. I shut the door and leaned against it. Ivy put her hands on her hips and looked at me. “I’m gonna need a mega supply of barf bags to put up with you two this semester.” I smiled.
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
The most important form of selfishness involves spending time on your fitness, eating right, pursuing your career, and still spending quality time with your family and friends. If you neglect your health or your career, you slip into the second category—stupid—which is a short slide to becoming a burden on society. I blame society for the sad state of adult fitness in the Western world. We’re raised to believe that giving of ourselves is noble and good. If you’re religious, you might have twice as much pressure to be unselfish. All our lives we are told it’s better to give than to receive. We’re programmed for unselfish behavior by society, our parents, and even our genes to some extent. The problem is that our obsession with generosity causes people to think in the short term. We skip exercise to spend an extra hour helping at home. We buy fast food to save time to help a coworker with a problem. At every turn, we cheat our own future to appear generous today. So how can you make the right long-term choices for yourself, thus being a benefit to others in the long run, without looking like a selfish turd in your daily choices? There’s no instant cure, but a step in the right direction involves the power of permission. I’m giving you permission to take care of yourself first, so you can do a better job of being generous in the long run. What? You might be wondering how a cartoonist’s permission to be selfish can help in any way. The surprising answer is that it can, in my opinion. If you’ve read this far, we have a relationship of sorts. It’s an author-reader relationship, but that’s good enough.
Scott Adams (How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life)
Be big enough to offer the truth to people and if it short circuits them I think that's tragic. I think that's sad but, I will not strike no unholy bargains to self erase. I wont do it. I don't care how many people fucked up their lives. I don't care how many bad choices people have made. I don't care how much pettiness they've consumed and spat out. I don't care how much viciousness , rage, abuse, spanking they've dealt out. I am gonna tell the truth as I see it and I'm going to be who I fucking am and if that causes the world to shift in it's orbit and half the evil people get thrown off the planet and up into space well, you shouldn't of been standing in evil to begin with because, there is gravity in goodness. So, sorry; I have to be who I am. Everyone ells is taken. There is no other place I can go than in my own head. I can't jump from skull to skull until I find one that suits bad people around me better. I don't have that choice. So, be your fucking self. Speak your truth and if there are people around you who tempt you with nonexistence , blast through that and give them the full glory of who you are. Do not withhold yourself from the world. Do not piss on the incandescent gift of your existence. Don't drown yourself in the petty fog and dustiness of other peoples ancient superstitions, beliefs, aggressions, culture, and crap. No, be a flare. We're all born self expressive. We are all born perfectly comfortable with being incredibly inconvenient to our parents. We shit, piss, wake up at night, throw up on their shoulders, scream, and cry. We are in our essence, in our humanity, perfectly comfortable with inconveniencing others. That's how we are born. That's how we grow. That's how we develop. Well, I choose to retain the ability to inconvenience the irrational. You know I had a cancer in me last year and I'm very glad that the surgeons knife and the related medicines that I took proved extremely inconvenient to my cancer and I bet you my cancer was like "Aw shit. I hate this stuff man." Good. I'm only alive because medicine and surgery was highly inconvenient to the cancer within me. That's the only reason I'm alive. So, be who you are. If that's inconvenient to other people that's their goddamn business, not yours. Do not kill yourself because other people are dead. Do not follow people into the grave. Do not atomize yourself because, others have shredded themselves into dust for the sake of their fears and their desire to conform with the history of the dead.
Stefan Molyneux
I thought of what Cameron said about the day I came across the yard to him to ask him to be in my club. About how I had guts. About how I was brave and strong. He was around to tell me these things now, to remind me, but I was going to have to learn to remember them myself, and believe them. I got up, crept to Alan's office, and went in. "Cameron? Cam?" He didn't move, and appeared to be fast asleep. I'm not sure what I wanted. To look at him, I guess, and talk. I sat on the floor by the sofa bed so that my face was level with his. His breath came in short, toothpaste-minty sighs. "Cameron Quick," I whispered, just wanting to hear his name. He still didn't move. I touched his face, following the curve of his jaw, the bow of his lips. This was the boy who made my childhood less lonely, who made me feel loved. And known. And accepted. Who had stared into my most terrifying moment right beside me, while my most terrifying moment was his everyday life. And I pictured him patting that baby doll by a cold window, showing it comfort by instinct. I felt overwhelmed with sadness for his life and what it could have been, even though I knew he wouldn't want me to feel that way. He'd say it was all right, that he'd get by, that he could take care of himself. That he didn't need anyone to fix it. But I still wanted to, to somehow make up for that infinite, infinite well of helplessness that I'd spent most of my life believing had swallowed us up. It hadn't, though, because we were here, weren't we? Wiser and braver and more ready for life than our friends or parents or anyone we knew, than even I had realized until he came back to show me. I touched his wrist lightly, his elbow. I tucked the blanket up around his shoulder. "I love you, Cameron," I whispered.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
A while back a young woman from another state came to live with some of her relatives in the Salt Lake City area for a few weeks. On her first Sunday she came to church dressed in a simple, nice blouse and knee-length skirt set off with a light, button-up sweater. She wore hose and dress shoes, and her hair was combed simply but with care. Her overall appearance created an impression of youthful grace. Unfortunately, she immediately felt out of place. It seemed like all the other young women her age or near her age were dressed in casual skirts, some rather distant from the knee; tight T-shirt-like tops that barely met the top of their skirts at the waist (some bare instead of barely); no socks or stockings; and clunky sneakers or flip-flops. One would have hoped that seeing the new girl, the other girls would have realized how inappropriate their manner of dress was for a chapel and for the Sabbath day and immediately changed for the better. Sad to say, however, they did not, and it was the visitor who, in order to fit in, adopted the fashion (if you can call it that) of her host ward. It is troubling to see this growing trend that is not limited to young women but extends to older women, to men, and to young men as well. . . . I was shocked to see what the people of this other congregation wore to church. There was not a suit or tie among the men. They appeared to have come from or to be on their way to the golf course. It was hard to spot a woman wearing a dress or anything other than very casual pants or even shorts. Had I not known that they were coming to the school for church meetings, I would have assumed that there was some kind of sporting event taking place. The dress of our ward members compared very favorably to this bad example, but I am beginning to think that we are no longer quite so different as more and more we seem to slide toward that lower standard. We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best. It is an affront to God to come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a poor member from the hills of Peru must ford a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt. But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt? Ironically, it has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even slovenly clothing. Some say dress and hair don’t matter—it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that truly it is what’s inside a person that counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.” In that condition they are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most. You are Saints of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.
D. Todd Christofferson
Next week is Beltane,” she reminded him. “Do you suppose we will make it through the wedding this time?” “Not if Gideon says you cannot get out of this bed,” he countered sternly. “Absolutely not!” she burst out, making him wince and cover the ear she’d been too close to. She immediately regretted her thoughtlessness, making a sad sound before reaching to kiss the ear she had offended with quiet gentleness. Jacob extricated himself from her hold enough to allow himself to turn and face her. “Okay, explain what you meant,” he said gently. “I refuse to wait another six months. We are getting married on Beltane, come hell or . . . necromancers . . . or . . . the creature from the Black Lagoon. There is no way Corrine is going to be allowed to get married without me getting married, too. I refuse to listen to her calling me the family hussy for the rest of the year.” “What does it matter what she says?” Jacob sighed as he reached to touch the soft contours of her face. “You and I are bonded in a way that transcends marriage already. Is that not what is important?” “No. What’s important is the fact that I am going to murder the sister I love if she doesn’t quit. And she will not quit until I shut her up either with a marriage or a murder weapon. Understand?” Clearly, by his expression, Jacob did not understand. “Thank Destiny all I have is a brother,” he said dryly. “I have been inundated with people tied into knots over one sister or another for the past weeks.” “You mean Legna. Listen, it’s not her fault if everyone has their shorts in a twist because of who her Imprinted mate is! Frankly, I think she and Gideon make a fabulous couple. Granted, a little too gorgeously ‘King and Queen of the Prom’ perfect for human eyes to bear looking at for long, but fabulous just the same.” Jacob blinked in confusion as he tried to decipher his fiancée’s statement. Even after all these months, she still came out with unique phraseologies that totally escaped his more classic comprehension of the English language. But he had gotten used to just shrugging his confusion off, blaming it on the fact that English wasn’t his first, second, or third language, so it was to be expected. “Anyway,” she went on, “Noah and Hannah need to chill. You saw Legna when she came to visit yesterday. If a woman could glow, she was as good as radioactive.” She smiled sweetly at him. “That means,” she explained, “that she looks as brilliantly happy as you make me feel.” “I see,” he chuckled. “Thank you for the translation.” He reached his arms around her, drawing her body up to his as close as he could considering the small matter of a fetal obstacle. He kissed her inviting mouth until she was breathless and glowing herself. “I thought I would be kind to you,” she explained with a laugh against his mouth. “You, my love, are all heart.” “And you are all pervert. Jacob!” She laughed as she swatted one of his hands away from intimate places, only to be shanghaied by another. “What would Gideon say?” “He better not say anything, because if he did that would mean he was in here while you are naked. And that, little flower, would probably cost him his vocal chords in any event.” “Oh. Well . . . when you put it that way . . .
Jacquelyn Frank (Gideon (Nightwalkers, #2))
[There is] no direct relationship between IQ and economic opportunity. In the supposed interests of fairness and “social justice”, the natural relationship has been all but obliterated. Consider the first necessity of employment, filling out a job application. A generic job application does not ask for information on IQ. If such information is volunteered, this is likely to be interpreted as boastful exaggeration, narcissism, excessive entitlement, exceptionalism [...] and/or a lack of team spirit. None of these interpretations is likely to get you hired. Instead, the application contains questions about job experience and educational background, neither of which necessarily has anything to do with IQ. Universities are in business for profit; they are run like companies, seek as many paying clients as they can get, and therefore routinely accept people with lukewarm IQ’s, especially if they fill a slot in some quota system (in which case they will often be allowed to stay despite substandard performance). Regarding the quotas themselves, these may in fact turn the tables, advantaging members of groups with lower mean IQ’s than other groups [...] sometimes, people with lower IQ’s are expressly advantaged in more ways than one. These days, most decent jobs require a college education. Academia has worked relentlessly to bring this about, as it gains money and power by monopolizing the employment market across the spectrum. Because there is a glut of college-educated applicants for high-paying jobs, there is usually no need for an employer to deviate from general policy and hire an applicant with no degree. What about the civil service? While the civil service was once mostly open to people without college educations, this is no longer the case, and quotas make a very big difference in who gets hired. Back when I was in the New York job market, “minorities” (actually, worldwide majorities) were being spotted 30 (thirty) points on the civil service exam; for example, a Black person with a score as low as 70 was hired ahead of a White person with a score of 100. Obviously, any prior positive correlation between IQ and civil service employment has been reversed. Add to this the fact that many people, including employers, resent or feel threatened by intelligent people [...] and the IQ-parameterized employment function is no longer what it was once cracked up to be. If you doubt it, just look at the people running things these days. They may run a little above average, but you’d better not be expecting to find any Aristotles or Newtons among them. Intelligence has been replaced in the job market with an increasingly poor substitute, possession of a college degree, and given that education has steadily given way to indoctrination and socialization as academic priorities, it would be naive to suppose that this is not dragging down the overall efficiency of society. In short, there are presently many highly intelligent people working very “dumb” jobs, and conversely, many less intelligent people working jobs that would once have been filled by their intellectual superiors. Those sad stories about physics PhD’s flipping burgers at McDonald's are no longer so exceptional. Sorry, folks, but this is not your grandfather’s meritocracy any more.
Christopher M. Langan
People always feel sorry for you if you’re physically sick. It doesn’t matter if you have cancer or a cold. People always feel sorry for you and ask you if you’re okay. You need money? You got it! You want to meet a celebrity? Of course you can! You want to go to a convention, ComiCon, Disney World, anywhere in the world? You’re going to go there. That doesn’t happen when you’re mentally ill. If you’re mentally ill, people look at you differently. People roll their eyes when you talk about how sad you are. People won’t lift a finger to help you. “Get a job,” they’ll tell you. “Stop being so lazy. Be grateful you don’t have cancer. Get over it. It’s in the past. You have no reason to be sad.” And that isn’t how it works. But, of course, they wouldn’t know that. They’ve never been mentally ill, they don’t know how you can be so permanently damaged by your past that your present is painful and your future looks bleak. They don’t understand that most days getting out of bed is a chore. They don’t get that sometimes getting a job is out of the question because you’re just too damn afraid to even speak to anyone. That isn’t something you can just get over. But no one knows that because mental illnesses aren’t a real problem apparently. Apparently, the fact that over 800,000 million people die from suicide each year isn’t a real problem. Apparently, the fact that 15% of the adolescent population self-harms isn’t a real problem either. And, apparently, it isn’t a cause to worry that one in 200 American women suffer from an eating disorder. And, as I stand on the balcony, staring at the glittering city, thinking about the short time I spent in Paperthin Hearts, meeting all of the damaged children, I wonder how in the world people don’t understand what a mistake they’re making when they assume that having cancer is worse than being depressed or anxious or wanting to starve yourself to the point of death. How is that a mystery to anyone? Cancer patients are told they’re brave. They’re all made out to be martyrs. They’re given everything they need. Almost all of them. Mental health patients? They’re lucky if they get the right treatment they need before their broken, bleeding hearts, desperate only for love, destroy a part of them that can never be repaired.
Annie Ortiz (StarBright (Paperthin Hearts, #2))
I was never a child; I never had a childhood. I cannot count among my memories warm, golden days of childish intoxication, long joyous hours of innocence, or the thrill of discovering the universe anew each day. I learned of such things later on in life from books. Now I guess at their presence in the children I see. I was more than twenty when I first experienced something similar in my self, in chance moments of abandonment, when I was at peace with the world. Childhood is love; childhood is gaiety; childhood knows no cares. But I always remember myself, in the years that have gone by, as lonely, sad, and thoughtful. Ever since I was a little boy I have felt tremendously alone―and "peculiar". I don't know why. It may have been because my family was poor or because I was not born the way other children are born; I cannot tell. I remember only that when I was six or seven years old a young aunt of mind called me [i]vecchio[/i]―"old man," and the nickname was adopted by all my family. Most of the time I wore a long, frowning face. I talked very little, even with other children; compliments bored me; baby-talk angered me. Instead of the noisy play of the companions of my boyhood I preferred the solitude of the most secluded corners of our dark, cramped, poverty-stricken home. I was, in short, what ladies in hats and fur coats call a "bashful" or a "stubborn" child; and what our women with bare heads and shawls, with more directness, call a [i]rospo[/i]―a "toad." They were right. I must have been, and I was, utterly unattractive to everybody. I remember, too, that I was well aware of the antipathy I aroused. It made me more "bashful," more "stubborn," more of a "toad" than ever. I did not care to join in the games played by other boys, but preferred to stand apart, watching them with jealous eyes, judging them, hating them. It wasn't envy I felt at such times: it was contempt; it was scorn. My warfare with men had begun even then and even there. I avoided people, and they neglected me. I did not love them, and they hated me. At play in the parks some of the boys would chase me; others would laugh at me and call me names. At school they pulled my curls or told the teachers tales about me. Even on my grandfather's farm in the country peasant brats threw stones at me without provocation, as if they felt instinctively that I belonged to some other breed.
Giovanni Papini (Un uomo finito)
Mom,” Vaughn said. “I’m sure Sidney doesn’t want to be interrogated about her personal life.” Deep down, Sidney knew that Vaughn—who’d obviously deduced that she’d been burned in the past—was only trying to be polite. But that was the problem, she didn’t want him to be polite, as if she needed to be shielded from such questions. That wasn’t any better than the damn “Poor Sidney” head-tilt. “It’s okay, I don’t mind answering.” She turned to Kathleen. “I was seeing someone in New York, but that relationship ended shortly before I moved to Chicago.” “So now that you’re single again, what kind of man are you looking for? Vaughn?” Kathleen pointed. “Could you pass the creamer?” He did so, then turned to look once again at Sidney. His lips curved at the corners, the barest hint of a smile. He was daring her, she knew, waiting for her to back away from his mother’s questions. She never had been very good at resisting his dares. “Actually, I have a list of things I’m looking for.” Sidney took a sip of her coffee. Vaughn raised an eyebrow. “You have a list?” “Yep.” “Of course you do.” Isabelle looked over, surprised. “You never told me about this.” “What kind of list?” Kathleen asked interestedly. “It’s a test, really,” Sidney said. “A list of characteristics that indicate whether a man is ready for a serious relationship. It helps weed out the commitment-phobic guys, the womanizers, and any other bad apples, so a woman can focus on the candidates with more long-term potential.” Vaughn rolled his eyes. “And now I’ve heard it all.” “Where did you find this list?” Simon asked. “Is this something all women know about?” “Why? Worried you won’t pass muster?” Isabelle winked at him. “I did some research,” Sidney said. “Pulled it together after reading several articles online.” “Lists, tests, research, online dating, speed dating—I can’t keep up with all these things you kids are doing,” Adam said, from the head of the table. “Whatever happened to the days when you’d see a girl at a restaurant or a coffee shop and just walk over and say hello?” Vaughn turned to Sidney, his smile devilish. “Yes, whatever happened to those days, Sidney?” She threw him a look. Don’t be cute. “You know what they say—it’s a jungle out there. Nowadays a woman has to make quick decisions about whether a man is up to par.” She shook her head mock reluctantly. “Sadly, some guys just won’t make the cut.” “But all it takes is one,” Isabelle said, with a loving smile at her fiancé. Simon slid his hand across the table, covering hers affectionately. “The right one.” Until he nails his personal trainer. Sidney took another sip of her coffee, holding back the cynical comment. She didn’t want to spoil Isabelle and Simon’s idyllic all-you-need-is-love glow. Vaughn cocked his head, looking at the happy couple. “Aw, aren’t you two just so . . . cheesy.” Kathleen shushed him. “Don’t tease your brother.” “What? Any moment, I’m expecting birds and little woodland animals to come in here and start singing songs about true love, they’re so adorable.” Sidney laughed out loud. Quickly, she bit her lip to cover.
Julie James (It Happened One Wedding (FBI/US Attorney, #5))
GCHQ has traveled a long and winding road. That road stretches from the wooden huts of Bletchley Park, past the domes and dishes of the Cold War, and on towards what some suggest will be the omniscient state of the Brave New World. As we look to the future, the docile and passive state described by Aldous Huxley in his Brave New World is perhaps more appropriate analogy than the strictly totalitarian predictions offered by George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Bizarrely, many British citizens are quite content in this new climate of hyper-surveillance, since its their own lifestyle choices that helped to create 'wired world' - or even wish for it, for as we have seen, the new torrents of data have been been a source of endless trouble for the overstretched secret agencies. As Ken Macdonald rightly points out, the real drives of our wired world have been private companies looking for growth, and private individuals in search of luxury and convenience at the click of a mouse. The sigint agencies have merely been handed the impossible task of making an interconnected society perfectly secure and risk-free, against the background of a globalized world that presents many unprecedented threats, and now has a few boundaries or borders to protect us. Who, then, is to blame for the rapid intensification of electronic surveillance? Instinctively, many might reply Osama bin Laden, or perhaps Pablo Escobar. Others might respond that governments have used these villains as a convenient excuse to extend state control. At first glance, the massive growth of security, which includes includes not only eavesdropping but also biometric monitoring, face recognition, universal fingerprinting and the gathering of DNA, looks like a sad response to new kinds of miscreants. However, the sad reality is that the Brave New World that looms ahead of us is ultimately a reflection of ourselves. It is driven by technologies such as text messaging and customer loyalty cards that are free to accept or reject as we choose. The public debate on surveillance is often cast in terms of a trade-off between security and privacy. The truth is that luxury and convenience have been pre-eminent themes in the last decade, and we have given them a much higher priority than either security or privacy. We have all been embraced the world of surveillance with remarkable eagerness, surfing the Internet in a global search for a better bargain, better friends, even a better partner. GCHQ vast new circular headquarters is sometimes represented as a 'ring of power', exercising unparalleled levels of surveillance over citizens at home and abroad, collecting every email, every telephone and every instance of internet acces. It has even been asserted that GCHQ is engaged in nothing short of 'algorithmic warfare' as part of a battle for control of global communications. By contrast, the occupants of 'Celtenham's Doughnut' claim that in reality they are increasingly weak, having been left behind by the unstoppable electronic communications that they cannot hope to listen to, still less analyse or make sense of. In fact, the frightening truth is that no one is in control. No person, no intelligence agency and no government is steering the accelerating electronic processes that may eventually enslave us. Most of the devices that cause us to leave a continual digital trail of everything we think or do were not devised by the state, but are merely symptoms of modernity. GCHQ is simply a vast mirror, and it reflects the spirit of the age.
Richard J. Aldrich (GCHQ)
We came to the city because we wished to live haphazardly, to reach for only the least realistic of our desires, and to see if we could not learn what our failures had to teach, and not, when we came to live, discover that we had never died. We wanted to dig deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to be overworked and reduced to our last wit. And if our bosses proved mean, why then we’d evoke their whole and genuine meanness afterward over vodka cranberries and small batch bourbons. And if our drinking companions proved to be sublime then we would stagger home at dawn over the Old City cobblestones, into hot showers and clean shirts, and press onward until dusk fell again. For the rest of the world, it seemed to us, had somewhat hastily concluded that it was the chief end of man to thank God it was Friday and pray that Netflix would never forsake them. Still we lived frantically, like hummingbirds; though our HR departments told us that our commitments were valuable and our feedback was appreciated, our raises would be held back another year. Like gnats we pestered Management— who didn’t know how to use the Internet, whose only use for us was to set up Facebook accounts so they could spy on their children, or to sync their iPhones to their Outlooks, or to explain what tweets were and more importantly, why— which even we didn’t know. Retire! we wanted to shout. We ha Get out of the way with your big thumbs and your senior moments and your nostalgia for 1976! We hated them; we wanted them to love us. We wanted to be them; we wanted to never, ever become them. Complexity, complexity, complexity! We said let our affairs be endless and convoluted; let our bank accounts be overdrawn and our benefits be reduced. Take our Social Security contributions and let it go bankrupt. We’d been bankrupt since we’d left home: we’d secure our own society. Retirement was an afterlife we didn’t believe in and that we expected yesterday. Instead of three meals a day, we’d drink coffee for breakfast and scavenge from empty conference rooms for lunch. We had plans for dinner. We’d go out and buy gummy pad thai and throat-scorching chicken vindaloo and bento boxes in chintzy, dark restaurants that were always about to go out of business. Those who were a little flush would cover those who were a little short, and we would promise them coffees in repayment. We still owed someone for a movie ticket last summer; they hadn’t forgotten. Complexity, complexity. In holiday seasons we gave each other spider plants in badly decoupaged pots and scarves we’d just learned how to knit and cuff links purchased with employee discounts. We followed the instructions on food and wine Web sites, but our soufflés sank and our baked bries burned and our basil ice creams froze solid. We called our mothers to get recipes for old favorites, but they never came out the same. We missed our families; we were sad to be rid of them. Why shouldn’t we live with such hurry and waste of life? We were determined to be starved before we were hungry. We were determined to be starved before we were hungry. We were determined to decrypt our neighbors’ Wi-Fi passwords and to never turn on the air-conditioning. We vowed to fall in love: headboard-clutching, desperate-texting, hearts-in-esophagi love. On the subways and at the park and on our fire escapes and in the break rooms, we turned pages, resolved to get to the ends of whatever we were reading. A couple of minutes were the day’s most valuable commodity. If only we could make more time, more money, more patience; have better sex, better coffee, boots that didn’t leak, umbrellas that didn’t involute at the slightest gust of wind. We were determined to make stupid bets. We were determined to be promoted or else to set the building on fire on our way out. We were determined to be out of our minds.
Kristopher Jansma (Why We Came to the City)