Sayings Splits Quotes

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For a moment—not even a moment, a split second—I imagine him saying, 'The truth is, I'm desperately attracted to you.' And then I imagine myself spitting in his face. And then I imagine licking it off his cheek and kissing him. (Because I'm disturbed. Ask anyone.)
Rainbow Rowell (Carry On (Simon Snow, #1))
you are a horse running alone and he tries to tame you compares you to an impossible highway to a burning house says you are blinding him that he could never leave you forget you want anything but you you dizzy him, you are unbearable every woman before or after you is doused in your name you fill his mouth his teeth ache with memory of taste his body just a long shadow seeking yours but you are always too intense frightening in the way you want him unashamed and sacrificial he tells you that no man can live up to the one who lives in your head and you tried to change didn't you? closed your mouth more tried to be softer prettier less volatile, less awake but even when sleeping you could feel him travelling away from you in his dreams so what did you want to do love split his head open? you can't make homes out of human beings someone should have already told you that and if he wants to leave then let him leave you are terrifying and strange and beautiful something not everyone knows how to love.
Warsan Shire
Sometimes I feel as though there are two me's, one coasting directly on top of the other: the superficial me, who nods when she's supposed to nod and says what she's supposed to say, and some other, deeper part, the part that worries and dreams... Most of the time they move along in sync and I hardly notice the split, but sometimes it feels as though I'm two whole different people and I could rip apart at any second.
Lauren Oliver (Delirium (Delirium, #1))
These days I just can't seem to say what I mean [...]. I just can't. Every time I try to say something, it misses the point. Either that or I end up saying the opposite of what I mean. The more I try to get it right the more mixed up it gets. Sometimes I can't even remember what I was trying to say in the first place. It's like my body's split in two and one of me is chasing the other me around a big pillar. We're running circles around it. The other me has the right words, but I can never catch her.
Haruki Murakami (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories)
I know one thing about men," Bunny says with finality, leaving the room to check on A. "They never die when you want them to.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
How many times have you tried to talk to someone about something that matters to you, tried to get them to see it the way you do? And how many of those times have ended with you feeling bitter, resenting them for making you feel like your pain doesn't have any substance after all? Like when you've split up with someone, and you try to communicate the way you feel, because you need to say the words, need to feel that somebody understands just how pissed off and frightened you feel. The problem is, they never do. "Plenty more fish in the sea," they'll say, or "You're better off without them," or "Do you want some of these potato chips?" They never really understand, because they haven't been there, every day, every hour. They don't know the way things have been, the way that it's made you, the way it has structured your world. They'll never realise that someone who makes you feel bad may be the person you need most in the world. They don't understand the history, the background, don't know the pillars of memory that hold you up. Ultimately, they don't know you well enough, and they never can. Everyone's alone in their world, because everybody's life is different. You can send people letters, and show them photos, but they can never come to visit where you live. Unless you love them. And then they can burn it down.
Michael Marshall Smith (Only Forward)
I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man's actions but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner. ...I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life -- namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
There’s a Greek legend—no, it’s in something Plato wrote—about how true lovers are really two halves of the same person. It says that people wander around searching for their other half, and when they find him or her, they are finally whole and perfect. The thing that gets me is that the story says that originally all people were really pairs of people, joined back to back, and that some of the pairs were man and man, some woman and woman, and others man and woman. What happened was that all of these double people went to war with the gods, and the gods, to punish them, split them all in two. That’s why some lovers are heterosexual and some are homosexual, female and female, or male and male.
Nancy Garden (Annie on My Mind)
Mum used to say we were the same soul split in two and walking around on four legs. It seems unnatural being born together and then dying apart.
Melodie Ramone (After Forever Ends)
What most people call loving consists of picking out a woman and marrying her. They pick her out, I swear, I’ve seen them. As if you could pick in love, as if it were not a lightning bolt that splits your bones and leaves you staked out in the middle of the courtyard. They probably say that they pick her out because-they-love-her, I think it’s just the siteoppo. Beatrice wasn’t picked out, Juliet wasn’t picked out. You don’t pick out the rain that soaks you to a skin when you come out of a concert.
Julio Cortázar
When we see religion split into so many thousand of sects, and I may say Christianity itself divided into its thousands also, who are disputing, anathematizing and where the laws permit burning and torturing one another for abstractions which no one of them understand, and which are indeed beyond the comprehension of the human mind, into which of the chambers of this Bedlam would a man wish to thrust himself. [Letter to George Logan, 12 November 1816]
Thomas Jefferson (Letters of Thomas Jefferson)
It’s less the words they say than those they leave unsaid that split old friends apart.
Frederick Buechner (Godric)
He announces that lately he keeps losing things. "Like your wife and child," I want to say, but don´t. At fourty, I´ve learned not to say everything clever, not to score every point.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
My mom always tells me that if I feel like punching someone, first I have to say something nice to them. Out loud. If I still feel like punching them, they probably deserve it.
Kasie West (Split Second (Pivot Point, #2))
It’s the moment when you know that you can have what you want if you’re only brave enough to say so. It’s a split second when everything can change, but you pussy out because you’re too afraid to risk the rejection.
Penelope Douglas (Until You (Fall Away, #1.5))
Charles,” Bones said distinctly. “You’d better have a splendid explanation for her being on top of you.” The black-haired vampire rose to his feet as soon as I jumped off, brushing the dirt off his clothes. “Believe me, mate, I’ve never enjoyed a woman astride me less. I came out to say hello, and this she-devil blinded me by flinging rocks in my eyes. Then she vigorously attempted to split my skull before threatening to impale me with silver if I so much as even twitched! It’s been a few years since I’ve been to America, but I daresay the method of greeting a person has changed dramatically!” Bones rolled his eyes and clapped him on the shoulder. “I’m glad you’re still upright, Charles, and the only reason you are is because she didn’t have any silver. She’d have staked you right and proper otherwise. She has a tendency to shrivel someone first and then introduce herself afterwards.
Jeaniene Frost (Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1))
I always thought saying sorry was more about alleviating guilt, that apologies were designed for the mouth, not for the ears.
Swati Avasthi (Split)
Some catastrophic moments invite clarity, explode in split moments: You smash your hand through a windowpane and then there is blood and shattered glass stained with red all over the place; you fall out a window and break some bones and scrape some skin. Stitches and casts and bandages and antiseptic solve and salve the wounds. But depression is not a sudden disaster. It is more like a cancer: At first its tumorous mass is not even noticeable to the careful eye, and then one day -- wham! -- there is a huge, deadly seven-pound lump lodged in your brain or your stomach or your shoulder blade, and this thing that your own body has produced is actually trying to kill you. Depression is a lot like that: Slowly, over the years, the data will accumulate in your heart and mind, a computer program for total negativity will build into your system, making life feel more and more unbearable. But you won't even notice it coming on, thinking that it is somehow normal, something about getting older, about turning eight or turning twelve or turning fifteen, and then one day you realize that your entire life is just awful, not worth living, a horror and a black blot on the white terrain of human existence. One morning you wake up afraid you are going to live. In my case, I was not frightened in the least bit at the thought that I might live because I was certain, quite certain, that I was already dead. The actual dying part, the withering away of my physical body, was a mere formality. My spirit, my emotional being, whatever you want to call all that inner turmoil that has nothing to do with physical existence, were long gone, dead and gone, and only a mass of the most fucking god-awful excruciating pain like a pair of boiling hot tongs clamped tight around my spine and pressing on all my nerves was left in its wake. That's the thing I want to make clear about depression: It's got nothing at all to do with life. In the course of life, there is sadness and pain and sorrow, all of which, in their right time and season, are normal -- unpleasant, but normal. Depression is an altogether different zone because it involves a complete absence: absence of affect, absence of feeling, absence of response, absence of interest. The pain you feel in the course of a major clinical depression is an attempt on nature's part (nature, after all, abhors a vacuum) to fill up the empty space. But for all intents and purposes, the deeply depressed are just the walking, waking dead. And the scariest part is that if you ask anyone in the throes of depression how he got there, to pin down the turning point, he'll never know. There is a classic moment in The Sun Also Rises when someone asks Mike Campbell how he went bankrupt, and all he can say in response is, 'Gradually and then suddenly.' When someone asks how I love my mind, that is all I can say too
Elizabeth Wurtzel (Prozac Nation)
Take me now, God!" I shout to the inky sky. "I´m ready." "You´re not ready. You´re not even divorced yet," Bunny says. "You cannot die married to that man.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
So tonight I reach for my journal again. This is the first time I’ve done this since I came to Italy. What I write in my journal is that I am weak and full of fear. I explain that Depression and Loneliness have shown up, and I’m scared they will never leave. I say that I don’t want to take the drugs anymore, but I’m frightened I will have to. I am terrified that I will never really pull my life together. In response, somewhere from within me, rises a now-familiar presence, offering me all the certainties I have always wished another person would say to me when I was troubled. This is what I find myself writing on the page: I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long. I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and Braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me. Tonight, this strange interior gesture of friendship—the lending of a hand from me to myself when nobody else is around to offer solace—reminds me of something that happened to me once in New York City. I walked into an office building one afternoon in a hurry, dashed into the waiting elevator. As I rushed in, I caught an unexpected glance of myself in a security mirror’s reflection. In that moment, my brain did an odd thing—it fired off this split-second message: “Hey! You know her! That’s a friend of yours!” And I actually ran forward toward my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar. In a flash instant of course, I realized my mistake and laughed in embarrassment at my almost doglike confusion over how a mirror works. But for some reason that incident comes to mind again tonight during my sadness in Rome, and I find myself writing this comforting reminder at the bottom of the page. Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a FRIEND… I fell asleep holding my notebook pressed against my chest, open to this most recent assurance. In the morning when I wake up, I can still smell a faint trace of depression’s lingering smoke, but he himself is nowhere to be seen. Somewhere during the night, he got up and left. And his buddy loneliness beat it, too.
Elizabeth Gilbert
How do you know? How best to ensure his nervous breakdown?" I ask. "Keep going," Christian says. "Just go on as if nothing has happened. We all hate that.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
What's the use in waiting until the right moment if that moment never comes?" I say. "What if the moment escapes you in a split second when your focus was elsewhere?
Nina LaCour (Everything Leads to You)
If you are heartbroken right now, then I feel for you deeply, Evelyn says. That I have the utmost respect for. Thats the sort of thing that can split a person in two. But I wasnt heartbroken when Don left me. I simply felt like my marriage had failed. And those are very different things.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
God is great and God is good," Lisa says. "But where are the Apache attack helicopters when you need them?
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
Irony and cynicism were just what the U.S. hypocrisy of the fifties and sixties called for. That’s what made the early postmodernists great artists. The great thing about irony is that it splits things apart, gets up above them so we can see the flaws and hypocrisies and duplicates. The virtuous always triumph? Ward Cleaver is the prototypical fifties father? "Sure." Sarcasm, parody, absurdism and irony are great ways to strip off stuff’s mask and show the unpleasant reality behind it. The problem is that once the rules of art are debunked, and once the unpleasant realities the irony diagnoses are revealed and diagnosed, "then" what do we do? Irony’s useful for debunking illusions, but most of the illusion-debunking in the U.S. has now been done and redone. Once everybody knows that equality of opportunity is bunk and Mike Brady’s bunk and Just Say No is bunk, now what do we do? All we seem to want to do is keep ridiculing the stuff. Postmodern irony and cynicism’s become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony’s gone from liberating to enslaving. There’s some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who’s come to love his cage.
David Foster Wallace
It's weird when someone gets you understands what you would never say not even to yourself.
Swati Avasthi (Split)
You don't know what it's like to grow up with a mother who never said a positive thing in her life, not about her children or the world, who was always suspicious, always tearing you down and splitting your dreams straight down the seams. When my first pen pal, Tomoko, stopped writing me after three letters she was the one who laughed: You think someone's going to lose life writing to you? Of course I cried; I was eight and I had already planned that Tomoko and her family would adopt me. My mother of course saw clean into the marrow of those dreams, and laughed. I wouldn't write to you either, she said. She was that kind of mother: who makes you doubt yourself, who would wipe you out if you let her. But I'm not going to pretend either. For a long time I let her say what she wanted about me, and what was worse, for a long time I believed her.
Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao)
Some people say "if we split up,we can cover more ground"-with blood
Seth Grahame-Smith (How to Survive a Horror Movie (How to Survive))
If I say those words, if I snap apart the air with them, whatever is binding me together will split too.
Elizabeth Acevedo (Clap When You Land)
How can I grieve what is still in motion?" I ask her. "Shoes are still dropping all over the place. I´m not kidding," I say. "It´s Normandy out there.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
I’m not good at talking,” Naoko said. “Haven’t been for the longest while. I start to say something and the wrong words come out. Wrong or sometimes completely backward. I try to go back and correct it, but things get even more complicated and confused, so that I don’t even remember what I started to say in the first place. Like I was split into two or something, one half chasing the other. And there’s this big pillar in the middle and they go chasing each other around and around it. The other me always latches onto the right word and this me absolutely never catches up
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Yes. THANK YOU. And say hello to Judas Iscariot.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
May I ask you something?" I say. "Why do you read books, when you could be outside, living a million different adventures every day?" "Because you can always count on a book to stay the same. EVerything else changes when you least expect it," she replies, bitter. "Families split apart, and nothing's forever. In books, you always know what's coming next. There are no surprises.
Jodi Picoult (Between the Lines (Between the Lines, #1))
Humanity is the start of the race; I say Humanity is the mould to break away from, the crust to break through, the coal to break into fire, The atom to be split.
Robinson Jeffers (Selected Poems)
This is another paradox, that many of the most important impressions and thoughts in a person's life are ones that flash through your head so fast that fast isn't even the right word, they seem totally different from or outside of the regular sequential clock time we all live by, and they have so little relation to the sort of linear, one-word-after-another word English we all communicate with each other with that it could easily take a whole lifetime just to spell out the contents of one split-second's flash of thoughts and connections, etc. -- and yet we all seem to go around trying to use English (or whatever language our native country happens to use, it goes without saying) to try to convey to other people what we're thinking and to find out what they're thinking, when in fact deep down everybody knows it's a charade and they're just going through the motions. What goes on inside is just too fast and huge and all interconnected for words to do more than barely sketch the outlines of at most one tiny part of it at any given instant.
David Foster Wallace
There’s smashed glass glittering everywhere like stars. It’s a Western, Henry. It’s a downright shoot-em-up. We’ve made a graveyard out of the bone white afternoon. It’s another wrong-man-dies scenario, and we keep doing it Henry, keep saying until we get it right … but we always win and we never quit. See, we’ve won again, here we are at the place where I get to beg for it, where I get to say Please, for just one night, will you lie down next to me, we can leave our clothes on, we can stay all buttoned up … But we both know how it goes—I say I want you inside me and you hold my head underwater. I say I want you inside me and you split me open with a knife.
Richard Siken (Crush)
you can not remain a war between what you want to say (who you really are). and what you should say (who you pretend to be). your mouth was not designed to eat itself. – split
Nayyirah Waheed (salt.)
These days I just can't seem to say what I mean,' she said. 'I just can't. Every time I try to say something, it misses the point. Either that or I end up saying the opposite of what I mean. The more I try to get it right the more mixed up it gets. Sometimes I can't even remember what I was trying to say in the first place. It's like my body's split in two and one of me is chasing the other me around a big pillar. We're running circles around it. The other me has the right words, but I can never catch her...Do you know what I'm trying to say?' 'Everybody has that kind of feeling sometimes,' I said. 'You can't express yourself the way you want to, and it annoys you.' Obviously this wasn't what she wanted to hear.
Haruki Murakami (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman)
Ray Parsons, you have no soul”, she says, her voice gaining volume as she speaks. “You are a bag of skin. You are a pile of bones. Every cell that has ever split inside of you was a waste of energy. Where you walk you leave a vacuum. Your existence should cease.
Mindy McGinnis (The Female of the Species)
Stop entertaining two faced people. You know the ones who have split personalities and untrustworthy habits. Nine times out of ten if they telling you stuff about another person, they're going to tell your business to other people. If they say, "You know I heard........." More than likely it's in their character to share false information. Beware of your box, circle, square! Whatever you want to call it.
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Sweet Destiny)
She's not much taller than Tess and definitely lighter than Kaede. For a second it seems like the crowd's attention has made her umcomfortable and I'm ready to dismiss her as a real contender until I study her again. No, this girl is nothing like the last one. She's hesitating not because she's afraid to fight,or because she fears losing,but because she's thinking. Calculating.She has dark hair tied back in a high ponytail and a lean, athletic build. She stands deliberately, with a hand resting on her hip, as if nothing in the world can catch her off guard. I find myself pausing to admire her face. For a brief moment,I'm lost to my surroundings. The girl shakes her head at Kaede. This surprises me too-I've never seen anyone refuse to fight. Everyone knows the rules: if you're chosen,you fight. This girl doesn't seem to fear the crowds wrath. Kaede laughs at her and says something I can't quite make out. Tess hears it,though, and casts me a quick, concerned glance. This time the girl nods. The crowd lets out another cheer,and Kaede smiles. I lean a little bit out from behind the chimney. Something about this girl...I don't know what it is.But her eyes burn in the light,and although it's hot and might be my imagination, I think I see a small smile on the girl's face. Tess shoots a questioning look at me.I hesitate for a split second,then hold up one finger again. I'm grateful to this mystery girl for helping Tess out, but with my money on the line,I decide to play it safe. Tess nods,then casts our bet in favor of Kaede. But the instant the new girl steps into the circle and I see her stance...I know I've made a big mistake.Kaede strikes like a bull, a battering ram. This girl strikes like a viper.
Marie Lu (Legend (Legend, #1))
I can never say what I want to say, it's been like this for a while now. I try to say something but all I get are wrong words - the wrong words or the exact opposite words from what I mean. I try to correct myself, and that only makes it worse. I lose track of what I was trying to say to begin with. It's like I'm split in two and playing tag with myself. One half is chasing this big, fat post. The other me has the right words, but this can't catch her.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
People sometimes say that sorrow is mental but longing is physical. One is a wound, the other an amputated limb, a withered petal compared to a snapped stem. Anything that grows closely enough to what it loves will eventually share the same roots. We can talk about loss, we can treat it and give it time, but biology still forces us to live according to certain rules: plants that are split down the middle don’t heal, they die.
Fredrik Backman
By repeating back what people say, you trigger this mirroring instinct and your counterpart will inevitably elaborate on what was just said and sustain the process of connecting.
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
Dear Max - You looked so beautiful today. I'm going to remember what you looked like forever. ... And I hope you remember me the same way - clean, ha-ha. I'm glad our last time together was happy. But I'm leaving tonight, leaving the flock, and this time it's for good. I don't know if I'll ever see any of you again. The thing is, Max, that everyone is a little bit right. Added up all together, it makes this one big right. Dylan's a little bit right about how my being here might be putting the rest of you in danger. The threat might have been just about Dr. Hans, but we don't know that for sure. Angel is a little bit right about how splitting up the flock will help all of us survive. And the rest of the flock is a little bit right about how when you and I are together, we're focused on each other - we can't help it. The thing is, Maximum, I love you. I can't help but be focused on you when we're together. If you're in the room, I want to be next to you. If you're gone, I think about you. You're the one who I want to talk to. In a fight, I want you at my back. When we're together, the sun is shining. When we're apart, everything is in shades of gray. I hope you'll forgive me someday for turning our worlds into shades of gray - at least for a while. ... You're not at your best when you're focused on me. I mean, you're at your best Maxness, but not your best leaderness. I mostly need Maxness. The flock mostly needs leaderness. And Angel, if you're listening to this, it ain't you, sweetie. Not yet. ... At least for a couple more years, the flock needs a leader to survive, no matter how capable everyone thinks he or she is. The truth is that they do need a leader, and the truth is that you are the best leader. It's one of the things I love about you. But the more I thought about it, the more sure I got that this is the right thing to do. Maybe not for you, or for me, but for all of us together, our flock. Please don't try to find me. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, besides wearing that suit today, and seeing you again will only make it harder. You'd ask me to come back, and I would, because I can't say no to you. But all the same problems would still be there, and I'd end up leaving again, and then we'd have to go through this all over again. Please make us only go through this once. ... I love you. I love your smile, your snarl, your grin, your face when you're sleeping. I love your hair streaming out behind you as we fly, with the sunlight making it shine, if it doesn't have too much mud or blood in it. I love seeing your wings spreading out, white and brown and tan and speckled, and the tiny, downy feathers right at the top of your shoulders. I love your eyes, whether they're cold or calculating or suspicious or laughing or warm, like when you look at me. ... You're the best warrior I know, the best leader. You're the most comforting mom we've ever had. You're the biggest goofball, the worst driver, and a truly lousy cook. You've kept us safe and provided for us, in good times and bad. You're my best friend, my first and only love, and the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, with wings or without. ... Tell you what, sweetie: If in twenty years we haven't expired yet, and the world is still more or less in one piece, I'll meet you at the top of that cliff where we first met the hawks and learned to fly with them. You know the one. Twenty years from today, if I'm alive, I'll be there, waiting for you. You can bet on it. Good-bye, my love. Fang P.S. Tell everyone I sure will miss them
James Patterson
Blay didn’t shake the hand that was offered. He reached over, took a hold of the fighter’s face, and drew Qhuinn in for a kiss. It was supposed to be only a split-seconder— like their lips were the ones doing the handshake thing. When he went to pull back, though, Qhuinn captured him, and held him in place. Their mouths met again… and again… and once more, their heads tilting to the sides, the contact lingering. “You’re welcome,” Blay said roughly. Then he smiled a little. “Can’t say it was all a pleasure, though.
J.R. Ward (Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11))
Beau, what is it you want?" "A porch," he says softly. He says it like it's my name, and right then, I think, what both of us want more than anything is something we can never have. "All I really want is to build a house with a nice, big porch that gets used every day.
Emily Henry (The Love That Split the World)
Hello," I said stiffly. His smile split into a full grin."So nice to see you again." "Always a pleasure." My lie sounded robotic, but hopefully it was better than sounding afraid. "No,no," he said. "The pleasure's all mine." "If you say so,"I said.
Richelle Mead (Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1))
When they got to thew bottom of the stairwell, they stopped dead. Blay's father was facing off with a lesser, a Civil War sword in one hand, a dagger in the other. Behind his Joe Friday glasses, his eyes were lit like torches, and they flicked over for a split second. "Stay out of this. This one's mine." The shit was done faster than you can say, Ninja Dad. Blay's father went Ginsu on the slayer, carving the thing up like a turkey, then stabbing it back to the Omega.
J.R. Ward (Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6))
Whoever says The Smiths have split shall be severely spanked by me with a wet plimsoll.
Morrissey (Morrissey: In His Own Words)
It's gas! It's gonna blow!" Ben shouts. He throws open the passenger door and takes off, running in a panic. He hurdles a split-rail fence and tears across a hay field. I get out as well, but not in quite the same hurry. Radar is outside, too, and as Ben hauls ass, Radar is laughing. "It's the beer," he says.
John Green (Paper Towns)
Here we are, at the place where I get to beg for it. Where I get to say ‘Please, for just one night, will you lay down next to me? We can leave our clothes on, we can stay all buttoned up?’ But we both know how it goes – I say I want you inside me and you hold my head underwater. I say I want you inside me and you split me open with a knife.
Richard Siken
The beers all broke," he says again, and nods toward the split-open cooler, gallons of foaming liquid pouring out from inside it. We try to call Ben buy he can't hear us because he's to busy screaming, "IT'S GONNA BLOW!" as he races acrossthe field. His graduation robe flies up in the gray dawn, his bony bare ass esposed.
John Green (Paper Towns)
It wouldn't matter," he says. "If we were in the same world, the one where Kincaid was in love with you, I'd still be here. If you wanted me, I'd be here." "Why?" I ask. He hides a grin and runs his thumb over my lips. "I'm not sure the world and me are as complicated as you think, Natalie. I didn't mean to choose you or anything. I just know if I only get to build one porch in my life, I'd like it to be yours, and if there's one person I never have to hurt or disappoint, I'd want that to be you too.
Emily Henry (The Love That Split the World)
How could you do that to me?" I repeat. I don´t have to itemize. He knows what I speak of. Eventually N produces three answers, in this order: 1. "Because I am a complete rotter." I silently agree, but it´s a cop-out: I have maggots, therefore I am dead. 2. "I was stressed at work and unhappy and we were always fighting...and you know I was just crazy..." I cut him off, saying, "You don´t get to be crazy. You did exactly what you chose to do." Which is true, he did. It is what he has always done. He therefore seems slightly puzzled at the need for further diagnosis, which may explain his third response: 3. "I don´t know." This, I feel instinctively, is the correct answer. How can I stay angry with him for being what he is? I was, after all, his wife, and I chose him. No coincidences, that´s what Freud said. None. Ever. I wipe my eyes on my sleeve and walk toward the truck, saying to his general direction, "Fine. At least now I know: You don´t know." I stop and turn around and fire one more question: a bullet demanding attention in the moment it enters the skin and spreads outward, an important bullet that must be acknowledged. "What did you feel?" After a lengthy pause, he answers. "I felt nothing." And that, I realize too late, was not the whole truth, but was a valid part of the truth. Oh, and welcome to the Serengeti. That too.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
It’s a phenomenon (and now technique) that follows a very basic but profound biological principle: We fear what’s different and are drawn to what’s similar. As the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together. Mirroring, then, when practiced consciously, is the art of insinuating similarity. “Trust me,” a mirror signals to another’s unconscious, “You and I—we’re alike.” Once
Chris Voss (Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It)
Speak you too, speak as the last, say out your say. Speak- But don’t split off No from Yes. Give your say this meaning too: Give it the shadow. Give it shadow enough, Give it as much As you know is spread round you from Midnight to midday and midnight. Look around: See how things all come alive- By death! Alive! Speaks true who speaks shadow. But now the place shrinks, where you stand: Where now, shadow-stripped, where? Climb. Grope upwards. Thinner you grow, less knowable, finer! Finer: a thread The star wants to descend on: So as to swim down beliow, down here Where it sees itself shimmer:in the swell Of wandering words.
Paul Celan
There is that, and there is also the Irreconcilable Differences line. It seems so catchall, so vague. You could say that about anyone, any man and woman at all. Jesus and Mary Magdalene: "Irreconcilable Differences." JFK and Jackie, anyone at all. It´s built into the man-woman thing. What kind of paltry reason is that? "Insanity" is another box to be checked on the divorce petition, the only alternative to "Irreconcilable Differences." I would like to check it.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
Not long ago, I advertised for perverse rules of grammar, along the lines of "Remember to never split an infinitive" and "The passive voice should never be used." The notion of making a mistake while laying down rules ("Thimk," "We Never Make Misteaks") is highly unoriginal, and it turns out that English teachers have been circulating lists of fumblerules for years. As owner of the world's largest collection, and with thanks to scores of readers, let me pass along a bunch of these never-say-neverisms: * Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read. * Don't use no double negatives. * Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't. * Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed. * Do not put statements in the negative form. * Verbs has to agree with their subjects. * No sentence fragments. * Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. * Avoid commas, that are not necessary. * If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. * A writer must not shift your point of view. * Eschew dialect, irregardless. * And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. * Don't overuse exclamation marks!!! * Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents. * Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens. * Write all adverbial forms correct. * Don't use contractions in formal writing. * Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided. * It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms. * If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. * Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language. * Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors. * Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky. * Never, ever use repetitive redundancies. * Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing. * If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole. * Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration. * Don't string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death. * Always pick on the correct idiom. * "Avoid overuse of 'quotation "marks."'" * The adverb always follows the verb. * Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives." (New York Times, November 4, 1979; later also published in book form)
William Safire (Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage)
We are split people. For myself, half of me wishes to sit quietly with legs crossed, letting the things that are beyond my control wash over me. But the other half wants to fight a holy war. Jihad! And certainly we could argue this out in the street, but I think, in the end, your past is not my past and your truth is not my truth and your solution---it is not my solution. So I do not know what it is you would like me to say. Truth and firmness is one suggestion, though there are many people you can ask if that answer does not satisfy. Personally, my hope lies in the last days. The prophet Muhammad---peace be upon Him!---tells us that on the Day of Resurrection everyone will be struck unconscious. Deaf and dumb. No chitchat. Tongueless. And what a bloody relief that will be.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
Lord, he’d said. Let me be enough. That prayer had lodged in my heart like an arrow when I’d heard it and thought he asked for help in doing what had to be done. But that wasn’t what he’d meant at all—and the realization of what he had meant split my heart in two. I took his face between my hands, and wished so much that I had his own gift, the ability to say what lay in my heart, in such a way that he would know. But I hadn’t.
Diana Gabaldon (An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7))
You need a place just a click over middle range. Don’t want to go all-out first time, but you don’t want to run on the cheap either. You want atmosphere, but not stuffy. A nice established place.” “Bob, you’re going to give me an ulcer.” “This is all ammunition, Cart. All ammo. You want to be able to order a nice bottle of wine. Oh, and after dinner, if she says how she doesn’t want dessert, you suggest she pick one and you’ll split it. Women love that. Sharing dessert’s sexy. Do not go on and on about your job over dinner. Certain death. Get her to talk about hers, and what she likes to do. Then—” “Should I be writing this down?
Nora Roberts (Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1))
We must have a religion — it goes without saying — but my idea is, to have it cut up into forty free sects, so that they will police each other, as had been the case in the United States in my time. Concentration of power in a political machine is bad; and and an Established Church is only a political machine; it was invented for that; it is nursed, cradled, preserved for that; it is an enemy to human liberty, and does no good which it could not better do in a split-up and scattered condition. That wasn’t law; it wasn’t gospel: it was only an opinion — my opinion, and I was only a man, one man: so it wasn’t worth any more than the pope’s — or any less, for that matter.
Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court)
I was reading a book about the cosmos recently,” he says, and then he looks around and goes, “Hold on, trust me, this relates.” The crowd laughs again. “And I was reading about different theories about the universe. I was really taken with this one theory that states that everything that is possible happens. That means that when you flip a quarter, it doesn’t come down heads or tails. It comes up heads and tails. Every time you flip a coin and it comes up heads, you are merely in the universe where the coin came up heads. There is another version of you out there, created the second the quarter flipped, who saw it come up tails. This is happening every second of every day. The world is splitting further and further into an infinite number of parallel universes where everything that could happen is happening. This is completely plausible, by the way. It’s a legitimate interpretation of quantum mechanics. It’s entirely possible that every time we make a decision, there is a version of us out there somewhere who made a different choice. An infinite number of versions of ourselves are living out the consequences of every single possibility in our lives. What I’m getting at here is that I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices that led me somewhere else, led me to someone else.” He looks at Gabby. “And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.
Taylor Jenkins Reid (Maybe in Another Life)
You get what you give," we will tell his sorry, selfish ass." The Betty Lady has spoken. I detect a Bronx accent. "But," I demur, "it will make the other woman say, ´See? She IS a jealous and paranoid and pushy wife.´" The Betty Lady rips open a cell phone statement with a nail file and, without looking up at me, says, "Let me tell you something, honey. In my experience? The only thing they care about is what they see in the mirror each morning and WINNING...or their perception of winning.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
What is it? The ordinary is EXTRAORDINARY. The ordinary is extraordinary. The ordinary is the thing we want back when someone we love dies. When someone dies or leaves or falls out of love with us. We call it "little things". We say, "it's the little things I miss most." The ordinary things. It's the little thing that brings them back to us unexpectedly. We say "reminds us" but it is more than reminding-it's a conflagration-it's an inundation-Both fire and flood is memory. It's spark and breach so ordinary we do not question it. The atom split. The little thing.
Lynda Barry (What It Is)
To think, for instance, that I have never been aware before how many faces there are. There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more faces, for each person has several. There are people who wear the same face for years; naturally it wears out, it gets dirty, it splits at the folds, it stretches, like gloves one has worn on a journey. These are thrifty, simple people; they do not change their face, they never even have it cleaned. It is good enough, they say, and who can prove to them the contrary? The question of course arises, since they have several faces, what do they do with the others? Thhey store them up. Their children will wear them. But sometimes, too, it happens that their dogs go out with them on. And why not? A face is a face.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
Once the creator was removed from the creation, divinity became only a remote abstraction, a social weapon in the hands of the religious institutions. This split in public values produced or was accompanied by, as it was bound to be, an equally artificial and ugly division in people's lives, so that a man, while pursuing Heaven with the sublime appetite he thought of as his soul, could turn his heart against his neighbors and his hands against the world... Though Heaven is certainly more important than the earth if all they say about it is true, it is still morally incidental to it and dependent on it, and I can only imagine it and desire it in terms of what I know of the earth. (pg. 23, "A Native Hill")
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
So, Violet." Zane turns his chair in my direction. "Is your day getting better yet?" "Pretty sure it's getting worse as we speak," I say. - Zane's dark eyes are sparkling with humor. "Come on," he says. "It's not that bad, is it?" "Oh, let's see." I stare up at the fancy glass ball lamps hanging from the ceiling. "I got dumped at Taco Bill's today; fell down, split my pants, and generally humiliated myself in front of a complete stranger; went to dinner at a snooty restaurant, found out said stranger is my future step brother; got called a stripper, hooker, and virgin by my mother...did I leave anything out?" "Well, I don't know. The night is still young — anything could happen." The corners of his beautiful mouth twitch upwards. "It can only get better, right?" I frown. "Don't say that, you'll jinx me. Now my mom will come back and blurt out how she and Bill had kinky bathroom sex, and I'll run away before she can go into detail, and trip over that waiter carrying that flaming dessert - he'll go crashing into the lady with way too much product in her hair, and then the whole restaurant will be on fire.
Nicole Christie (Falling for the Ghost of You)
Our death is our wedding with eternity What is the secret? "God is One." The sunlight splits when entering the windows of the house. This multiplicity exists in the cluster of grapes; It is not in the juice made from the grapes. For he who is living in the Light of God, The death of the carnal soul is a blessing. Regarding him, say neither bad nor good, For he is gone beyond the good and the bad. Fix your eyes on God and do not talk about what is invisible, So that he may place another look in your eyes. It is in the vision of the physical eyes That no invisible or secret thing exists. But when the eye is turned toward the Light of God What thing could remain hidden under such a Light? Although all lights emanate from the Divine Light Don't call all these lights "the Light of God"; It is the eternal light which is the Light of God, The ephemeral light is an attribute of the body and the flesh. ...Oh God who gives the grace of vision! The bird of vision is flying towards You with the wings of desire.
Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammad ar-Rumi)
I'm sorry. I love you, but it's an enormous conflict of interest." Her head snaps up, "You love me?" "What?" MY face is suddenly on fire. "I never said that." "You did. I heard it." "I said I'd love to." "No," Sage says, a grin splitting her face. "You didn't." Did I? I'm so tired I don't know what the hell is coming out of my mouth. Which probably means that I don't have the faculties to cover up what I really feel for Sage Singer, with an intensity that terrifies me.
Jodi Picoult (The Storyteller)
If You Knew What if you knew you'd be the last to touch someone? If you were taking tickets, for example, at the theater, tearing them, giving back the ragged stubs, you might take care to touch that palm brush your fingertips along the lifeline's crease. When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase too slowly through the airport, when the car in front of me doesn't signal, when the clerk at the pharmacy won't say thank you, I don't remember they're going to die. A friend told me she'd been with her aunt. They'd just had lunch and the waiter, a young gay man with plum black eyes, joked as he served the coffee, kissed her aunt's powdered cheek when they left. Then they walked half a block and her aunt dropped dead on the sidewalk. How close does the dragon's spume have to come? How wide does the crack in heaven have to split? What would people look like if we could see them as they are, soaked in honey, stung and swollen, reckless, pinned against time?
Ellen Bass (The Human Line)
A three-day-old human embryo is a collection of 150 cells called a blastocyst. There are, for the sake of comparison, more than 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly. If our concern is about suffering in this universe, it is rather obvious that we should be more concerned about killing flies than about killing three-day-old human embryos… Many people will argue that the difference between a fly and a three-day-old human embryo is that a three-day-old human embryo is a potential human being. Every cell in your body, given the right manipulations, every cell with a nucleus is now a potential human being. Every time you scratch your nose, you’ve committed a holocaust of potential human beings… Let’s say we grant it that every three-day-old human embryo has a soul worthy of our moral concern. First of all, embryos at this stage can split into identical twins. Is this a case of one soul splitting into two souls? Embryos at this stage can fuse into a chimera. What has happened to the extra human soul in such a case? This is intellectually indefensible, but it’s morally indefensible given that these notions really are prolonging scarcely endurable misery of tens of millions of human beings, and because of the respect we accord religious faith, we can’t have this dialogue in the way that we should. I submit to you that if you think the interests of a three-day-old blastocyst trump the interests of a little girl with spinal cord injuries or a person with full-body burns, your moral intuitions have been obscured by religious metaphysics.
Sam Harris (Letter to a Christian Nation)
But as incentives go, commissions are tricky. First of all, a 6 percent real-estate commission is typically split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s. Each agent then kicks back roughly half of her take to the agency. Which means that only 1.5 percent of the purchase price goes directly into your agent’s pocket. So on the sale of your $300,000 house, her personal take of the $18,000 commission is $4,500. Still not bad, you say. But what if the house was actually worth more than $300,000? What if, with a little more effort and patience and a few more newspaper ads, she could have sold it for $310,000? After the commission, that puts an additional $9,400 in your pocket. But the agent’s additional share—her personal 1.5 percent of the extra $10,000—is a mere $150. If you earn $9,400 while she earns only $150, maybe your incentives aren’t aligned after all.
Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything)
when she was 7, a boy pushed her on the playground she fell headfirst into the dirt and came up with a mouthful of gravel and lines of blood chasing each other down her legs when she told her teacher what happened, she laughed and said ‘boys will be boys honey don’t let it bother you he probably just thinks you’re cute’ but the thing is, when you tell a little girl who has rocks in her teeth and scabs on her knees that hurt and attention are the same you teach her that boys show their affection through aggression and she grows into a young woman who constantly mistakes the two because no one ever taught her the difference ‘boys will be boys’ turns into ‘that’s how he shows his love’ and bruises start to feel like the imprint of lips she goes to school with a busted mouth in high school and says she was hit with a basketball instead of his fist the one adult she tells scolds her ‘you know he loses his temper easily why the hell did you have to provoke him?’ so she shrinks folds into herself, flinches every time a man raises his voice by the time she’s 16 she’s learned her job well be quiet, be soft, be easy don’t give him a reason but for all her efforts, he still finds one ‘boys will be boys’ rings in her head ‘boys will be boys he doesn’t mean it he can’t help it’ she’s 7 years old on the playground again with a mouth full of rocks and blood that tastes like copper love because boys will be boys baby don’t you know that’s just how he shows he cares she’s 18 now and they’re drunk in the split second it takes for her words to enter his ears they’re ruined like a glass heirloom being dropped between the hands of generations she meant them to open his arms but they curl his fists and suddenly his hands are on her and her head hits the wall and all of the goddamn words in the world couldn’t save them in this moment she touches the bruise the next day boys will be boys aggression, affection, violence, love how does she separate them when she learned so early that they’re inextricably bound, tangled in a constant tug-of-war she draws tally marks on her walls ratios of kisses to bruises one entire side of her bedroom turns purple, one entire side of her body boys will be boys will be boys will be boys when she’s 20, a boy touches her hips and she jumps he asks her who the hell taught her to be scared like that and she wants to laugh doesn’t he know that boys will be boys? it took her 13 years to unlearn that lesson from the playground so I guess what I’m trying to say is i will talk until my voice is hoarse so that my little sister understands that aggression and affection are two entirely separate things baby they exist in different universes my niece can’t even speak yet but I think I’ll start with her now don’t ever accept the excuse that boys will be boys don’t ever let him put his hands on you like that if you see hate blazing in his eyes don’t you ever confuse it with love baby love won’t hurt when it comes you won’t have to hide it under long sleeves during the summer and the only reason he should ever reach out his hand is to hold yours
Fortesa Latifi
My friends, don't idolize hardship. What you idolize is what your heart will look for and what your heart looks for is what you will have. And don't capitalize on misfortune, because you will always seek out to have capital! Throw away that pride! Don't put sorrow on a pedestal! If you ask me if I would rather have had my sorrows or not, I will tell you that no, I would rather have not had any of them! In the blink of an eye, I would rid myself of them! I have no pride. I don't rely on hardships and sorrows to mold me into someone. I don't allow myself to be dictated. When hardship and sorrow come knocking, saying "We are responsible for who you are today, let us in!" I'm going to say, in a split second, "No you're not! Go away, I don't owe you anything!
C. JoyBell C.
. . . you know who Polworth is?" "Your best mate," said Robin. "He's my oldest mate," Strike corrected her. "My best mate . . . " For a split second he wondered whether he was going to say it, but the whisky had lifted the guard he usually kept upon himself: why not say it, why not let go? " . . . is you." Robin was so amazed, she couldn't speak. Never, in four years, had Strike come close to telling her what she was to him. Fondness had had to be deduced from offhand comments, small kindnesses, awkward silences or gestures forced from him under stress. She'd only once before felt as she did now, and the unexpected gift that had engendered the feeling had been a sapphire and diamond ring, which she'd left behind when she walked out on the man who'd given it to her. She wanted to make some kind of return, but for a moment or two, her throat felt too constricted. "I . . . well, the feeling's mutual," she said, trying not to sound too happy.
Robert Galbraith (Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike, #5))
After I changed a crew, I would watch them scrabbling and crying in the sty, falling over each other, stupid with their horror. They hated it all, their newly voluptuous flesh, their delicate split trotters, their swollen bellies dragging in the earth’s muck. It was a humiliation, a debasement. They were sick with longing for their hands, those appendages men use to mitigate the world. Come, I would say to them, it’s not that bad. You should appreciate a pig’s advantages. Mud-slick and swift, they are hard to catch. Low to the ground, they cannot easily be knocked over. They are not like dogs, they do not need your love. They can thrive anywhere, on anything, scraps and trash. They look witless and dull, which lulls their enemies, but they are clever. They will remember your face. They never listened. The truth is, men make terrible pigs.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Well my ship’s been split to splinters and it’s sinkin' fast
 I’m drownin’ in the poison, got no future, got no past
 But my heart is not weary, it’s light and it’s free
 I’ve got nothin’ but affection for all those who’ve sailed with me Everybody movin’ if they ain’t already there
 Everybody got to move somewhere
 Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
 Things should start to get interestin' right about now My clothes are wet, tight on my skin
 Not as tight as the corner that I painted myself in
 I know that fortune is waitin’ to be kind
 So give me your hand and say you’ll be mine Well, the emptiness is endless, cold as the clay
 You can always come back, but you can’t come back all the way
 Only one thing I did wrong
 Stayed in Mississippi a day too long -Bob Dylan, “Mississippi
Bob Dylan (Lyrics, 1962-2001)
Most abusive men put on a charming face for their communities, creating a sharp split between their public image and their private treatment of women and children. He may be: Enraged at home but calm and smiling outside Selfish and self-centered with you but generous and supportive with others Domineering at home but willing to negotiate and compromise outside Highly negative about females while on his own turf but a vocal supporter of equality when anyone else is listening Assaultive toward his partner or children but nonviolent and nonthreatening with everyone else Entitled at home but critical of other men who disrespect or assault women The pain of this contrast can eat away at a woman. In the morning her partner cuts her to the quick by calling her a “brainless fat cow,” but a few hours later she sees him laughing with the people next door and helping them fix their car. Later the neighbor says to her, “Your partner is so nice. You’re lucky to be with him—a lot of men wouldn’t do what he does.” She responds with a mumbled “Yeah,” feeling confused and tongue-tied. Back at home, she asks herself over and over again, “Why me?
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Night has fallen, and morning will come too,” Kenji said while gazing at the paddy field. “Spring will arrive, and Autumn too. Everything is split in halves. The grass grows, trees wither, animals are born, and they die……when you live with the land, you slowly come to understand that nature is made up of halves. When something bad happens……when a storm or erosion happens, we feel like bad things will only continue. But in truth, the good and the bad, they are all part of nature……part of living. That’s how everyone in the village thinks.” “I do not understand,” Akutagawa said, looking at the same scenery. “So fortune and misfortune are equal halves? Do you want to say the same thing to my comrades who died in the slums?” “That is why you’re the half that’s left, Akutagawa-san.” Kenji looked at Akutagawa. “You survived. And with a very powerful Ability, too. Everybody passed on their good halves to you, I’m sure.
Kafka Asagiri
watch your tense and case oh baby i want to be your direct object. you know, that is to say i want to be on the other side of all the verbs i know you know how to use. i've seen you conjugate: i touch you touched you heard she knows who cares i'm interested in a few decent prepositions: above, over, inside, atop, below, around and i'm sure there are more right on the tip of your tongue. i am ready to spend the present perfect splitting your infinitive there's an art to the way you dangle your participle and since we're being informal it's okay to use a few contractions, like wasn't (going to) shouldn't (have) and a conjunction: but (did it anyway) and i'm really really glad you're not into dependent clauses since all i'm really interested in is your bad, bad grammar and your exclamation point.
Daphne Gottlieb (Pelt)
But when you get down to it, it’s all a lie. You sit here writing and writing, but no one can see it—that’s arrogant, I told you so before. And you aren’t even honest enough to let yourself be what you are—everything’s divided off and split up. So what’s the use of patronising me and saying: You’re in a bad phase. If you’re not in a bad phase, then it’s because you can’t be in a phase, you take care to divide yourself into compartments. If things are a chaos, then that’s what they are. I don’t think there’s a pattern anywhere—you are just making patterns, out of cowardice. I think people aren’t good at all, they are cannibals, and when you get down to it no one cares about anyone else. All the best people can be good to one other person or their families. But that’s egotism, it isn’t being good. We aren’t any better than the animals, we just pretend to be.
Doris Lessing (The Golden Notebook)
It’s this thing I have. I’m sorry if it scared you. I feel other people’s feelings. I imagine crumbling insides and splitting hearts, goodbyes that hang in the air before they break into tiny pieces. I hear words that aren’t said, the echoes of lonely hallways and hollow footsteps. I hear sobs that soak pillowcases when all the lights are out and the world is sleeping. I carry this inside of me, all of it. I knew you paced the floor at night, trying to walk over all the things you didn’t want me to know. But I felt every wound you ever endured when I rested against you. I felt the ache that I have, deep inside of me, on your lips. Every time we kissed, I tasted a lifetime of tangled paths and bumpy roads woven with joined hands. Love isn’t blind, you see. I felt everything you were and could be, if only you stopped hiding in the same darkness you sheltered me from. I knew who you could become if someone loved you just right. I’m sorry if that scared you. Just in case you were wondering, I still love you and I'll keep the lights dim. Come home.
Jacqueline Simon Gunn
there was a sort of embarrassment about storytelling that struck home powerfully about one hundred years ago, at the beginning of modernism. We see a similar reaction in painting and in music. It's a preoccupation suddenly with the surface rather than the depth. So you get, for example, Picasso and Braque making all kinds of experiments with the actual surface of the painting. That becomes the interesting thing, much more interesting than the thing depicted, which is just an old newspaper, a glass of wine, something like that. In music, the Second Viennese School becomes very interested in what happens when the surface, the diatonic structure of the keys breaks down, and we look at the notes themselves in a sort of tone row, instead of concentrating on things like tunes, which are sort of further in, if you like. That happened, of course, in literature, too, with such great works as James Joyce's Ulysses, which is all about, really, how it's told. Not so much about what happens, which is a pretty banal event in a banal man's life. It's about how it's told. The surface suddenly became passionately interesting to artists in every field about a hundred years ago. In the field of literature, story retreated. The books we talked about just now, Middlemarch, Bleak House, Vanity Fair -- their authors were the great storytellers as well as the great artists. After modernism, things changed. Indeed, modernism sometimes seems to me like an equivalent of the Fall. Remember, the first thing Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit was to discover that they had no clothes on. They were embarrassed. Embarrassment was the first consequence of the Fall. And embarrassment was the first literary consequence of this modernist discovery of the surface. "Am I telling a story? Oh my God, this is terrible. I must stop telling a story and focus on the minute gradations of consciousness as they filter through somebody's..." So there was a great split that took place. Story retreated, as it were, into genre fiction-into crime fiction, into science fiction, into romantic fiction-whereas the high-art literary people went another way. Children's books held onto the story, because children are rarely interested in surfaces in that sort of way. They're interested in what-happened and what-happened next. I found it a great discipline, when I was writing The Golden Compass and other books, to think that there were some children in the audience. I put it like that because I don't say I write for children. I find it hard to understand how some writers can say with great confidence, "Oh, I write for fourth grade children" or "I write for boys of 12 or 13." How do they know? I don't know. I would rather consider myself in the rather romantic position of the old storyteller in the marketplace: you sit down on your little bit of carpet with your hat upturned in front of you, and you start to tell a story. Your interest really is not in excluding people and saying to some of them, "No, you can't come, because it's just for so-and-so." My interest as a storyteller is to have as big an audience as possible. That will include children, I hope, and it will include adults, I hope. If dogs and horses want to stop and listen, they're welcome as well.
Philip Pullman
Count, or we’ll begin again with each stroke you miss. You decide how long this goes on for. Unless you’d rather Elide Lochan receive these strokes.” No. Never. Never anyone else but her. Never. But as Cairn walked slowly, savoring each step, as he let that whip drag along the ground, her body betrayed her. Began shaking. She knew the pain. Knew what it’d feel like, what it’d sound like. Her dreams were still full of it. No doubt why Maeve had picked a whipping, why she’d done it to Rowan in Doranelle. Cairn halted. She felt him studying the tattoo on her back. Rowan’s loving words, written there in the Old Language. Cairn snorted. Then she felt him revel in how he’d destroy that tattoo. “Begin,” Maeve said. Cairn’s breath sucked in. And even bracing herself, even clamping down hard, there was nothing to prepare for the crack, the sting, the pain. She did not let herself cry out, only hissed through her teeth. A whip wielded by an overseer at Endovier was one thing. One wielded by a full-blooded Fae male … Blood slid down the back of her pants, her split skin screaming. But she knew how to pace herself. How to yield to the pain. How to take it. “What number was that, Aelin?” She would not. She would never count for that rutting bitch— “Start over, Cairn,” Maeve said. A breathy laugh. Then the crack and the pain and Aelin arched, the tendons in her neck near snapping as she panted through clenched teeth. The males holding her gripped her firm enough to bruise. Maeve and Cairn waited. Aelin refused to say the word. To start the count. She’d die before she did it. “Oh gods, oh gods,” Elide sobbed. “Start over,” Maeve merely ordered over the girl. So Cairn did. Again. Again. Again. They started over nine times before Aelin finally screamed. The blow had been right atop another one, tearing skin down to the bone. Again. Again. Again. Again. Cairn was panting. Aelin refused to speak. “Start over,” Maeve repeated. “Majesty,
Sarah J. Maas (Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5))
Having said that the unliterary reader attends to the words too little to make anything like a full use of them, I must notice that there is another sort of reader who attends to them far too much and in the wrong way. I am thinking of what I call Stylemongers. On taking up a book, these people concentrate on what they call its ‘style’ or its ‘English’. They judge this neither by its sound nor by its power to communicate but by its conformity to certain arbitrary rules. Their reading is a perpetual witch hunt for Americanisms, Gallicisms, split infinitives, and sentences that end with a preposition. They do not inquire whether the Americanism or Gallicism in question increases or impoverishes the expressiveness of our language. It is nothing to them that the best English speakers and writers have been ending sentences with prepositions for over a thousand years. They are full of arbitrary dislikes for particular words. One is ‘a word they’ve always hated’; another ‘always makes them think of so-and-so’. This is too common, and that too rare. Such people are of all men least qualified to have any opinion about a style at all; for the only two tests that are really relevant—the degree in which it is (as Dryden would say) ‘sounding and significant’—are the two they never apply. They judge the instrument by anything rather than its power to do the work it was made for; treat language as something that ‘is’ but does not ‘mean’; criticise the lens after looking at it instead of through it.
C.S. Lewis (An Experiment in Criticism)
I had a bizarre rapport with this mirror and spent a lot of time gazing into the glass to see who was there. Sometimes it looked like me. At other times, I could see someone similar but different in the reflection. A few times, I caught the switch in mid-stare, my expression re-forming like melting rubber, the creases and features of my face softening or hardening until the mutation was complete. Jekyll to Hyde, or Hyde to Jekyll. I felt my inner core change at the same time. I would feel more confident or less confident; mature or childlike; freezing cold or sticky hot, a state that would drive Mum mad as I escaped to the bathroom where I would remain for two hours scrubbing my skin until it was raw. The change was triggered by different emotions: on hearing a particular piece of music; the sight of my father, the smell of his brand of aftershave. I would pick up a book with the certainty that I had not read it before and hear the words as I read them like an echo inside my head. Like Alice in the Lewis Carroll story, I slipped into the depths of the looking glass and couldn’t be sure if it was me standing there or an impostor, a lookalike. I felt fully awake most of the time, but sometimes while I was awake it felt as if I were dreaming. In this dream state I didn’t feel like me, the real me. I felt numb. My fingers prickled. My eyes in the mirror’s reflection were glazed like the eyes of a mannequin in a shop window, my colour, my shape, but without light or focus. These changes were described by Dr Purvis as mood swings and by Mother as floods, but I knew better. All teenagers are moody when it suits them. My Switches could take place when I was alone, transforming me from a bright sixteen-year-old doing her homework into a sobbing child curled on the bed staring at the wall. The weeping fit would pass and I would drag myself back to the mirror expecting to see a child version of myself. ‘Who are you?’ I’d ask. I could hear the words; it sounded like me but it wasn’t me. I’d watch my lips moving and say it again, ‘Who are you?
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
I feel completely embarrassed and remember the lock on the door and think: He knows, he knows, it shows, shows completely. “He’s out back,” Mr. Garret tells me mildly, “unpacking shipments.” Then he returns to the papers. I feel compelled to explain myself. “I just thought I’d come by. Before babysitting. You, know, at your house. Just to say hi. So . . . I’m going to do that now. Jase’s in back, then? I’ll just say hi.” I’m so suave. I can hear the ripping sound of the box cutter before I even open the rear door to find Jase with a huge stack of cardboard boxes. His back’s to me and suddenly I’m as shy with him as I was with his father. This is silly. Brushing through my embarrassment, I walk up, put my hand on his shoulder. He straightens up with a wide grin. “Am I glad to see you!” “Oh, really?” “Really. I thought you were Dad telling me I was messing up again. I’ve been a disaster all day. Kept knocking things over. Paint cans, our garden display. He finally sent me out here when I knocked over a ladder. I think I’m a little preoccupied.” “Maybe you should have gotten more sleep,” I offer. “No way,” he says. Then we just gaze at each other for a long moment. For some reason, I expect him to look different, the way I expected I would myself in the mirror this morning . . . I thought I would come across richer, fuller, as happy outside as I was inside, but the only thing that showed was my lips puffy from kisses. Jase is the same as ever also. “That was the best study session I ever had,” I tell him. “Locked in my memory too,” he says, then glances away as though embarrassed, bending to tear open another box. “Even though thinking about it made me hit my thumb with a hammer putting up a wall display.” “This thumb?” I reach for one of his callused hands, kiss the thumb. “It was the left one.” Jase’s face creases into a smile as I pick up his other hand. “I broke my collarbone once,” he tells me, indicating which side. I kiss that. “Also some ribs during a scrimmage freshman year.” I do not pull his shirt up to where his finger points now. I am not that bold. But I do lean in to kiss him through the soft material of his shirt. “Feeling better?” His eyes twinkle. “In eighth grade, I got into a fight with this kid who was picking on Duff and he gave me a black eye.” My mouth moves to his right eye, then the left. He cups the back of my neck in his warm hands, settling me into the V of his legs, whispering into my ear, “I think there was a split lip involved too.” Then we are just kissing and everything else drops away. Mr. Garret could come out at any moment, a truck full of supplies could drive right on up, a fleet of alien spaceships could darken the sky, I’m not sure I’d notice.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
And now an hour, maybe, has passed. And they are both drunk: Kenny fairly, George very. But George is drunk in a good way, and one that he seldom achieves. He tries to describe to himself what this kind of drunkenness is like. Well - to put it very crudely - it's like Plato; it's a dialogue. A dialogue between two people. Yes, but not a Platonic dialogue in the hair-splitting, word-twisting, one-up-to-me sense; not a mock-humble bitching match; not a debate on some dreary set theme. You can talk about anything and change the subject as often as you like. In fact, what really matters is not what you talk about, but the being together in this particular relationship. George can't imagine having a dialogue of this kind with a woman, because women can only talk in terms of the personal. A man of his own age would do, if there was some sort of polarity: for instance, if he was a Negro. You and your dialogue-partner have to be somehow opposites. Why? Because you have to be symbolic figures - like, in this case, Youth and Age. Why do you have to be symbolic? Because the dialogue is by its nature impersonal. It's a symbolic encounter. It doesn't involve either party personally. That's why, in a dialogue, you can say absolutely anything. Even the closest confidence, the deadliest secret, comes out objectively as a mere metaphor or illustration which could never be used against you.
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
To finally surrender ourselves to healing, we have to have three spaces opened up within us - and all at the same time: our opinionated head, our closed-down heart, and our defensive and defended body. That is the summary work of spirituality - and it is indeed work. Yes, it is also the work of “a Power greater than ourselves,” and it will lead to a great luminosity and depth of seeing. That is why true faith is one of the most holistic and free actions a human can perform. It leads to such broad and deep perception that most traditions would just call it “light.” Remember, Jesus said that we also are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), as well as saying it about himself (John 8:12). Strange that we see light in him but do not imitate him in seeing the same light in ourselves. Such luminous seeing is quite the opposite of the closed-minded, dead-hearted, body-denying thing that much religion has been allowed to become. As you surely have heard before, “Religion is lived by people who are afraid of hell. Spirituality is lived by people who have been through hell and come out enlightened.” The innocuous mental belief systems of much religion are probably the major cause of atheism in the world today, because people see that religion has not generally created people who are that different, more caring, or less prejudiced than other people. In fact, they are often worse because they think they have God on their small side. I wish I did not have to say this, but religion either produces the very best people or the very worst. Jesus makes this point in many settings and stories. Mere mental belief systems split people apart, whereas actual faith puts all our parts (body, heart, and head) on notice and on call. Honestly, it takes major surgery and much of one’s life to get head, heart, and body to put down their defenses, their false programs for happiness, and their many forms of resistance to what is right in front of them. This is the meat and muscle of the whole conversion process.
Richard Rohr (Radical Grace: Daily Meditations)
Dr. Talbon was struck by another very important thing. It all hung together. The stories Cheryl told — even though it was upsetting to think people could do stuff like that — they were not disjointed They were not repetitive in terms of "I've heard this before". It was not just she'd someone trying consciously or unconsciously to get attention. really processed them out and was done with them. She didn't come up with them again [after telling the story once and dealing with it]. Once it was done, it was done. And I think that was probably the biggest factor for me in her believability. I got no sense that she was using these stories to make herself a really interesting person to me so I'd really want to work with her, or something. Or that she was just living in this stuff like it was her life. Once she dealt with it and processed it, it was gone. We just went on to other things. 'Throughout the whole thing, emotionally Cheryl was getting her life together. Parts of her were integrating where she could say,"I have a sense that some particular alter has folded in with some basic alter", and she didn't bring it up again. She didn't say that this alter has reappeared to cause more problems. That just didn't happen. The therapist had learned from training and experience that when real integration occurs, it is permanent and the patient moves on.
Cheryl Hersha (Secret Weapons: How Two Sisters Were Brainwashed to Kill for Their Country)
Cheryl was aided in her search by the Internet. Each time she remembered a name that seemed to be important in her life, she tried to look up that person on the World Wide Web. The names and pictures Cheryl found were at once familiar and yet not part of her conscious memory: Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, Dr. Louis 'Jolly' West, Dr. Ewen Cameron, Dr. Martin Orne and others had information by and about them on the Web. Soon, she began looking up sites related to childhood incest and found that some of the survivor sites mentioned the same names, though in the context of experiments performed on small children. Again, some names were familiar. Then Cheryl began remembering what turned out to be triggers from old programmes. 'The song, "The Green, Green Grass of home" kept running through my mind. I remembered that my father sang it as well. It all made no sense until I remembered that the last line of the song tells of being buried six feet under that green, green grass. Suddenly, it came to me that this was a suicide programme of the government. 'I went crazy. I felt that my body would explode unless I released some of the pressure I felt within, so I grabbed a [pair ofl scissors and cut myself with the blade so I bled. In my distracted state, I was certain that the bleeding would let the pressure out. I didn't know Lynn had felt the same way years earlier. I just knew I had to do it Cheryl says. She had some barbiturates and other medicine in the house. 'One particularly despondent night, I took several pills. It wasn't exactly a suicide try, though the pills could have killed me. Instead, I kept thinking that I would give myself a fifty-fifty chance of waking up the next morning. Maybe the pills would kill me. Maybe the dose would not be lethal. It was all up to God. I began taking pills each night. Each-morning I kept awakening.
Cheryl Hersha (Secret Weapons: How Two Sisters Were Brainwashed to Kill for Their Country)
Do you have someone in mind, Galen?" Toraf asks, popping a shrimp into his mouth. "Is it someone I know?" "Shut up, Toraf," Galen growls. He closes his eyes, massages his temples. This could have gone a lot better in so many ways. "Oh," Toraf says. "It must be someone I know, then." "Toraf, I swear by Triton's trident-" "These are the best shrimp you've ever made, Rachel," Toraf continues. "I can't wait to cook shrimp on our island. I'll get the seasoning for us, Rayna." "She's not going to any island with you, Toraf!" Emma yells. "Oh, but she is, Emma. Rayna wants to be my mate. Don't you, princess?" he smiles. Rayna shakes her head. "It's no use, Emma. I really don't have a choice." She resigns herself to the seat next to Emma, who peers down at her, incredulous. "You do have a choice. You can come live with me at my house. I'll make sure he can't get near you." Toraf's expression indicates he didn't consider that possibility before goading Emma. Galen laughs. "It's not so funny anymore is it, tadpole?" he says, nudging him. Toraf shakes his head. "She's not staying with you, Emma." "We'll see about that, tadpole," she returns. "Galen, do something," Toraf says, not taking his eyes off Emma. Galen grins. "Such as?" "I don't know, arrest her or something," Toraf says, crossing his arms. Emma locks eyes with Galen, stealing his breath. "Yeah, Galen. Come arrest me if you're feeling up to it. But I'm telling you right now, the second you lay a hand on me, I'm busting this glass over your head and using it to split your lip like Toraf's." She picks up her heavy drinking glass and splashes the last drops of orange juice onto the table. Everyone gasps except Galen-who laughs so hard he almost upturns his chair. Emma's nostrils flare. "You don't think I'll do it? There's only one way to find out, isn't there, Highness?" The whole airy house echoes Galen's deep-throated howls. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he elbows Toraf, who's looking at him like he drank too much saltwater. "Do you know those foolish humans at her school voted her the sweetest out of all of them?" Toraf's expression softens as he looks up at Emma, chuckling. Galen's guffaws prove contagious-Toraf is soon pounding the table to catch his breath. Even Rachel snickers from behind her oven mitt. The bluster leaves Emma's expression. Galen can tell she's in danger of smiling. She places the glass on the table as if it's still full and she doesn't want to spill it. "Well, that was a couple of years ago." This time Galen's chair does turn back, and he sprawls onto the floor. When Rayna starts giggling, Emma gives in, too. "I guess...I guess I do have sort of a temper," she says, smiling sheepishly. She walks around the table to stand over Galen. Peering down, she offers her hand. He grins up at her. "Show me your other hand." She laughs and shows him it's empty. "No weapons." "Pretty resourceful," he says, accepting her hand. "I'll never look at a drinking glass the same way." He does most of the work of pulling himself up but can't resist the opportunity to touch her. She shrugs. "Survival instinct, maybe?" He nods. "Or you're trying to cut my lips off so you won't have to kiss me." He's pleased when she looks away, pink restaining her cheeks. "Rayna tries that all the time," Toraf chimes in. "Sometimes when her aim is good, it works, but most of the time kissing her is my reward for the pain.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand, thus, by use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-herods Herod. Pray you avoid it. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature. For anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first and now, was and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature, to show virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskillful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve, the censure of the which one must in your allowance o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. O, there be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly (not to speak profanely), that neither having th' accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, nor man, have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably. Reform it altogether! And let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them, for there be of them that will themselves laugh, to set on some quantity of barren spectators to laugh too, though in the mean time some necessary question of the play be then to be considered. That's villainous and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it. Go make you ready.
William Shakespeare
There is a bench in the back of my garden shaded by Virginia creeper, climbing roses, and a white pine where I sit early in the morning and watch the action. Light blue bells of a dwarf campanula drift over the rock garden just before my eyes. Behind it, a three-foot stand of aconite is flowering now, each dark blue cowl-like corolla bowed for worship or intrigue: thus its common name, monkshood. Next to the aconite, black madonna lilies with their seductive Easter scent are just coming into bloom. At the back of the garden, a hollow log, used in its glory days for a base to split kindling, now spills white cascade petunias and lobelia. I can't get enough of watching the bees and trying to imagine how they experience the abundance of, say, a blue campanula blosssom, the dizzy light pulsing, every fiber of being immersed in the flower. ... Last night, after a day in the garden, I asked Robin to explain (again) photosynthesis to me. I can't take in this business of _eating light_ and turning it into stem and thorn and flower... I would not call this meditation, sitting in the back garden. Maybe I would call it eating light. Mystical traditions recognize two kinds of practice: _apophatic mysticism_, which is the dark surrender of Zen, the Via Negativa of John of the Cross, and _kataphatic mysticism_, less well defined: an openhearted surrender to the beauty of creation. Maybe Francis of Assissi was, on the whole, a kataphatic mystic, as was Thérèse of Lisieux in her exuberant momemnts: but the fact is, kataphatic mysticism has low status in religious circles. Francis and Thérèse were made, really made, any mother superior will let you know, in the dark nights of their lives: no more of this throwing off your clothes and singing songs and babbling about the shelter of God's arms. When I was twelve and had my first menstrual period, my grandmother took me aside and said, 'Now your childhood is over. You will never really be happy again.' That is pretty much how some spiritual directors treat the transition from kataphatic to apophatic mysticism. But, I'm sorry, I'm going to sit here every day the sun shines and eat this light. Hung in the bell of desire.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
The Loneliness of the Military Historian Confess: it's my profession that alarms you. This is why few people ask me to dinner, though Lord knows I don't go out of my way to be scary. I wear dresses of sensible cut and unalarming shades of beige, I smell of lavender and go to the hairdresser's: no prophetess mane of mine, complete with snakes, will frighten the youngsters. If I roll my eyes and mutter, if I clutch at my heart and scream in horror like a third-rate actress chewing up a mad scene, I do it in private and nobody sees but the bathroom mirror. In general I might agree with you: women should not contemplate war, should not weigh tactics impartially, or evade the word enemy, or view both sides and denounce nothing. Women should march for peace, or hand out white feathers to arouse bravery, spit themselves on bayonets to protect their babies, whose skulls will be split anyway, or,having been raped repeatedly, hang themselves with their own hair. There are the functions that inspire general comfort. That, and the knitting of socks for the troops and a sort of moral cheerleading. Also: mourning the dead. Sons,lovers and so forth. All the killed children. Instead of this, I tell what I hope will pass as truth. A blunt thing, not lovely. The truth is seldom welcome, especially at dinner, though I am good at what I do. My trade is courage and atrocities. I look at them and do not condemn. I write things down the way they happened, as near as can be remembered. I don't ask why, because it is mostly the same. Wars happen because the ones who start them think they can win. In my dreams there is glamour. The Vikings leave their fields each year for a few months of killing and plunder, much as the boys go hunting. In real life they were farmers. The come back loaded with splendour. The Arabs ride against Crusaders with scimitars that could sever silk in the air. A swift cut to the horse's neck and a hunk of armour crashes down like a tower. Fire against metal. A poet might say: romance against banality. When awake, I know better. Despite the propaganda, there are no monsters, or none that could be finally buried. Finish one off, and circumstances and the radio create another. Believe me: whole armies have prayed fervently to God all night and meant it, and been slaughtered anyway. Brutality wins frequently, and large outcomes have turned on the invention of a mechanical device, viz. radar. True, valour sometimes counts for something, as at Thermopylae. Sometimes being right - though ultimate virtue, by agreed tradition, is decided by the winner. Sometimes men throw themselves on grenades and burst like paper bags of guts to save their comrades. I can admire that. But rats and cholera have won many wars. Those, and potatoes, or the absence of them. It's no use pinning all those medals across the chests of the dead. Impressive, but I know too much. Grand exploits merely depress me. In the interests of research I have walked on many battlefields that once were liquid with pulped men's bodies and spangled with exploded shells and splayed bone. All of them have been green again by the time I got there. Each has inspired a few good quotes in its day. Sad marble angels brood like hens over the grassy nests where nothing hatches. (The angels could just as well be described as vulgar or pitiless, depending on camera angle.) The word glory figures a lot on gateways. Of course I pick a flower or two from each, and press it in the hotel Bible for a souvenir. I'm just as human as you. But it's no use asking me for a final statement. As I say, I deal in tactics. Also statistics: for every year of peace there have been four hundred years of war.
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House: Poems)
As I’ve told you many times, I’m split in two. One side contains my exuberant cheerfulness, my flippancy, my joy in life and, above all, my ability to appreciate the lighter side of things. By that I mean not finding anything wrong with flirtations, a kiss, an embrace, an off-color joke. This side of me is usually lying in wait to ambush the other one, which is much purer, deeper and finer. No one knows Anne’s better side, and that’s why most people can’t stand me. Oh, I can be an amusing clown for an afternoon, but after that everyone’s had enough of me to last a month. Actually, I’m what a romantic movie is to a profound thinker—a mere diversion, a comic interlude, something that is soon forgotten: not bad, but not particularly good either. I hate having to tell you this, but why shouldn’t I admit it when I know it’s true? My lighter, more superficial side will always steal a march on the deeper side and therefore always win. You can’t imagine how often I’ve tried to push away this Anne, which is only half of what is known as Anne—to beat her down, hide her. But it doesn’t work, and I know why. I’m afraid that people who know me as I usually am will discover I have another side, a better and finer side. I’m afraid they’ll mock me, think I’m ridiculous and sentimental and not take me seriously. I’m used to not being taken seriously, but only the “lighthearted” Anne is used to it and can put up with it; the “deeper” Anne is too weak. If I force the good Anne into the spotlight for even fifteen minutes, she shuts up like a clam the moment she’s called upon to speak, and lets Anne number one do the talking. Before I realize it, she’s disappeared. So the nice Anne is never seen in company. She’s never made a single appearance, though she almost always takes the stage when I’m alone. I know exactly how I’d like to be, how I am … on the inside. But unfortunately I’m only like that with myself. And perhaps that’s why—no, I’m sure that’s the reason why—I think of myself as happy on the inside and other people think I’m happy on the outside. I’m guided by the pure Anne within, but on the outside I’m nothing but a frolicsome little goat tugging at its tether. As I’ve told you, what I say is not what I feel, which is why I have a reputation for being boy-crazy as well as a flirt, a smart aleck and a reader of romances. The happy-go-lucky Anne laughs, gives a flippant reply, shrugs her shoulders and pretends she doesn’t give a darn. The quiet Anne reacts in just the opposite way. If I’m being completely honest, I’ll have to admit that it does matter to me, that I’m trying very hard to change myself, but that I’m always up against a more powerful enemy. A voice within me is sobbing, “You see, that’s what’s become of you. You’re surrounded by negative opinions, dismayed looks and mocking faces, people who dislike you, and all because you don’t listen to the advice of your own better half.” Believe me, I’d like to listen, but it doesn’t work, because if I’m quiet and serious, everyone thinks I’m putting on a new act and I have to save myself with a joke, and then I’m not even talking about my own family, who assume I must be sick, stuff me with aspirins and sedatives, feel my neck and forehead to see if I have a temperature, ask about my bowel movements and berate me for being in a bad mood, until I just can’t keep it up anymore, because when everybody starts hovering over me, I get cross, then sad, and finally end up turning my heart inside out, the bad part on the outside and the good part on the inside, and keep trying to find a way to become what I’d like to be and what I could be if … if only there were no other people in the world. Yours, Anne M. Frank ANNE’S DIARY ENDS HERE.
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults. There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it. And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies. People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
Oh, you're right. I'm just a human with thick skin, purple eyes, and hard bones. Which means you can go home. Tell Galen I said hi." Toraf opens and shuts his mouth twice. Both times it seems like he wants to say something, but his expression tells me his brain isn't cooperating. When his mouth snaps shut a third time, I splash water in his face. "Are you going to say something, or are you trying to catch wind and sail? A grin the size of the horizon spreads across his face. "He likes that, you know. Your temper." Yeahfreakingright. Galen's a classic type A personality-and type A's hate smartass-ism. Just ask my mom. "No offense, but you're not exactly an expert at judging people's emotions." "I'm not sure what you mean by that." "Sure you do." "If you're talking about Rayna, then you're wrong. She loves me. She just won't admit it." I roll my eyes. "Right. She's playing hard to get, is that it? Bashing your head with a rock, splitting your lip, calling you squid breath all the time." "What does that mean? Hard to get?" "It means she's trying to make you think she doesn't like you, so that you end up liking her more. So you work harder to get her attention." He nods. "Exactly. That's exactly what she's doing." Pinching the bridge of my nose, I say, "I don't think so. As we speak, she's getting your mating seal dissolved. That's not playing hard to get. That's playing impossible to get." "Even if she does get it dissolved, it's not because she doesn't care about me. She just likes to play games." The pain in Toraf's voice guts me like the catch of the day. She might like playing games, but his feelings are real. And can't I relate to that? "There's only one way to find out," I say softly. "Find out?" "If all she wants is games." "How?" "You play hard to get. You know how they say. 'If you love someone, set them free. If they return to you, it was meant to be?'" "I've never heard that." "Right. No, you wouldn't have." I sigh. "Basically, what I'm trying to say is, you need to stop giving Rayna attention. Push her away. Treat her like she treats you." He shakes his head. "I don't think I can do that." "You'll get your answer that way," I say, shrugging. "But it sounds like you don't really want to know." "I do want to know. But what if the answer isn't good?" His face scrunches as if the words taste like lemon juice. "You've got to be ready to deal with it, no matter what." Toraf nods, his jaw tight. The choices he has to consider will make this night long enough for him. I decide not to intrude on his time anymore. "I'm pretty tired, so I'm heading back. I'll meet you at Galen's in the morning. Maybe I can break thirty minutes tomorrow, huh?" I nudge his shoulder with my fist, but a weak smile is all I get in return. I'm surprised when he grabs my hand and starts pulling me through the water. At least it's better than dragging me by the ankle. I can't but think how Galen could have done the same thing. Why does he wrap his arms around me instead?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))